Free Markets, Free People

Monthly Archives: June 2012

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Quote of the Day: McCain says more dumb things edition

In a recent rant about money in politics, a still bitter Sen. John McCain, had this to say about billionaire Sheldon Adleson’s 10 million dollar donation to the pro-Romney Super PAC, Restore Our Future.

"Much of Mr. Adelson’s casino profits that go to him come from his casino in Macau, which says that obviously, maybe in a roundabout way foreign money is coming into an American political campaign," McCain said in an interview on PBS’s News Hour.

"That is a great deal of money, and we need a level playing field and we need to go back to the realization… that we have to have a limit on the flow of money and corporations are not people," he said.

That is one of the stupidest attempts to tie money to a foreign government I’ve yet seen.  And make no mistake, that’s precisely what McCain is trying to imply here.  There is no other reason to bring up the source.  It’s a bit like saying that if Adelson had casinos on the French Riviera that he would be funneling French money into the election.

Hey, McCain, he also owns half of Las Vegas.  Oh, and the “profits”  from “Macau”?  They come from people who have lost money there (and, btw, they’re not all Chinese).

McCain still can’t get over the fact that his attempt to stifle free speech was found to be unconstitutional. 

McCain called the decision "the most misguided, naïve, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court in the 21st Century," and money would be playing a dominant role in American politics for the foreseeable future.

"There will be scandals, there’s just too much money washing around Washington today… I’m afraid we’re for a very bleak period in American politics," he said. "To somehow view money as not having a corrupting effect on elections flies in the face of reality."

His reasoning is a bit like the gun grabbers reasoning that it is guns that are the cause of violent crime, not people.  He believes that if the means of corruption is removed, there’ll be no corruption.

Really?  What is naïve, misguided and uniformed is thinking like that, not to mention repeated attempts to control political speech by this man. 

If there is a Tea Party in Arizona, please, do a Dick Lugar on this guy.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Interrupt this President? Terrible. Throw a show at a President? Hilarious.

Today a reporter for the Daily Caller interrupted the President in a Rose Garden announcement about his decision to selectively enforce the law of the land based on his whim (and pure political calculation not to mention a flip-flop).

The guy who saw fit to interrupt twice the President’s address in the Rose Garden on his new immigration policy, which was being carried live by the cable nets, was actually a reporter for The Daily Caller named Neil Munro.

The left is appalled by the reporter’s behavior (apparently deciding what parts of laws you’ll enforce, though, is ok).  The Emperor President was not amused.

Good thing he didn’t throw his shoes at  Obama. I’m sure, as they did the last time that happened to a President, the left would have found that hilarious.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


A sterling example of that “world class temperament” we’ve often been told about

It’s amazing, though, how much “world class temperament” resembles the behavior of an irritable, spoiled four year old:

 

Details on this reporter, Neil Munro, actually trying to be a reporter are here.

This episode was, naturally, followed by the usual panties-in-a-wad bleating from our legacy media, 95% of whom are far too cowardly and biased to challenge Obama on anything at any time. So naturally, they declared Obama a holy personage, and designated Munro’s questions as blasphemy. Well, something like that; when these guys get into high dudgeon, it always sounds to me like they’re talking about their religion.

I do believe I detect some serious frustration in our noble President. Not to mention frustration in his legacy media acolytes. Though I have no enthusiasm whatsoever for Romney, I must say that watching the sour phiz that Brian Williams might have to wear this November would be fun.

Of course, some of us had this guy’s number from pretty early on. And some others, such as the last commenter on that thread, were determined to be fooled by Obama indefinitely. Some still are. No names needed, I think; examples abound.

(Found via Ace and Insty.)


Economic Statistics for 15 Jun 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey’s General Business Conditions Index fell from 17.09 last month to 2.29. as growth slowed sharply for the month.

The Treasury’s report of international capital flows to the US shows the net inflow of long-term securities rose $25.6 billion in April. Given the situation in the Euro Zone, demand for US securities is surprisingly soft.

The Consumer Sentiment index dropped a surprisingly large 5.2 points to 74.1, a 2012 low, on weakness in both expectations and current conditions.

The Fed reports that Industrial production fell by -0.1% in May. Capacity utilization also fell to 79.0% from 79.2% in April.

~
Dale Franks
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Hypocrites R Us: Obama appeals to the 1% for campaign money

The man who has used class warfare as a means of advancing his re-election campaign is simply shameless:

Speaking in a dimly lighted, art-filled room, Obama told supporters they would play a critical role in an election that would determine a vision for the nation’s future.

"You’re the tie-breaker," he said. "You’re the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes."

Among the celebrities on hand to hear Obama’s remarks were Oscar winner Meryl Streep, fashion designer Michael Kors and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who moderated a private question-and-answer session between the president and the guests. Broderick, who was starring in a Broadway musical, was absent.

Nice group of one-percenters, Mr. President.  Apparently though, this is the “good” 1% (he’s also knee deep in appeals to the “bad 1%” as well, i.e. the Wall Street crowd) who, per Obama, are the “ultimate arbiter[s] if which direction this country goes”.

Really?  Anna Wintour?  Meryl Streep?  Sarah Jessica Parker?

Tell me folks, are George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Spike Lee, Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Cher who you look too for advice or direction on which way this country goes?  Yeah, me neither.

Man will say anything for money, won’t he?  And then he’ll turn on a dime and condemn the other side for taking special interest money.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Quote of the Day: Which Republican said this edition

Tell me if you know which Republican Congressman said this:

"President Obama and others in Washington need to realize that we cannot spend our way to prosperity and that to in order to create jobs," … "We need to address unfair trade deals that ship jobs overseas and enact policies that allow us to take advantage of our vast natural resources such as coal and natural gas in a safe and responsible manner which will lower energy costs and create jobs and approving the Keystone XL Pipeline would be a good first step."

House Speaker Boehner?  Paul Ryan?  Eric Cantor?

Uh, no … it wasn’t a Republican at all.  It was Rep. Mark Critz, D-PA.  The  guy who represents most of John Murtha’s old district.  Does this sound like a guy who is wanting the president anywhere near his district as he runs for re-election?

Meanwhile the President gave a “major speech” yesterday in Ohio that was 54 minutes long and could be boiled down into one sentence – No change: more spending, more taxes, same old failed economic policies and blame Bush.

It was widely panned by the usually supportive media.  Said Jon Healy of the LA Times:

President Obama’s much-anticipated speech Thursday on the economy didn’t lay out any new initiatives or make any new arguments. It often sounded like a recap of his first three years, or another version of the familiar "how we got here" blamefest.

Meanwhile, going back to part of Rep. Critz criticism, the Keystone XL pipeline, something which would mean jobs for this country and a big step toward increasing our energy security, is indeed proceeding – toward China or elsewhere:

While Joe Oliver, Canada’s minister of natural resources, said in an interview that the United States would remain Canada’s “most important customer,” billions of barrels of oil that would have been refined and used in the United States are now poised to head elsewhere. Expansion of Canada’s fast-growing oil-sands industry will be restricted by the lack of pipeline capacity before the decade’s end, he said, which “adds to the urgency of building them so that the resources will not be stranded.”

Three new pipeline network proposals — two that call for heading west and the other east — have been put forward.

If ever there were a blunder of historic proportions, Obama’s petulant and politically motivated disapproval of the pipeline rank up in the top.

As John Sexton writes:

The scale of this blunder, which the President made ostensibly on environmental grounds, is compounded by the fact that there is no putting the genie back in the bottle. Once a new pipeline is built, Canada has no reason to return to selling its oil products solely to the U.S. at a reduced price. The decision not to approve Keystone XL makes Solyndra look like a stroke of genius.

Indeed.

Oh and finally, can anyone guess what was required to attend the President’s Ohio speech?

Yeah, that’s right – a photo ID.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Egypt’s Arab Spring looking more and more like bust

From the Wall Street Journal:

Egypt’s highest court ruled on Thursday to allow a former regime loyalist to run in presidential elections starting Saturday and to dissolve both houses of Egypt’s parliament, in verdicts that could add another pressure point to Egypt’s already fraught transition from military rule to democracy.

Actually it’s a little worse than that:

According to Ahram Online, a news website owned by the Egyptian government, a constitutional court judge announced that the ruling effectively dissolves both houses of Egypt’s parliament.

Taken together, the verdicts return the military—and the civilian cabinet it appointed—to full authority over the country, unhindered by an elected parliament.

One assumes there may be some resistance to this.

On Wednesday afternoon, Egypt’s ministry of justice endowed the military and intelligence services with expanded powers to arrest and detain people for participating in protests and disseminating media the military finds offensive—a decision that human rights groups said smacked of a return to the draconian justice of the former regime.

You think?  Probably cut down a lot on the molesting of women in Tahrir square too … well maybe.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


And then there are the irrelevant polls, like this one from Gallup

Other than political fodder, of what significance is this poll?

Americans continue to place more blame for the nation’s economic problems on George W. Bush than on Barack Obama, even though Bush left office more than three years ago. The relative economic blame given to Bush versus Obama today is virtually the same as it was last September.

Uh, so what? 

Is Bush running for President?

When people enter the voting booth few if any are going to vote based on who they blame for the economic downturn.

Instead they’re much more likely to vote for the candidate they think can best turn it around. 

One will have 3+ year record of failure to this point.

The election isn’t about who is to blame.  It is about who the voters think can fix it.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Economic Statistics for 14 Jun 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

The Consumer Price Index for May fell -0.3% at the headline level, while the core CPI rose 0.2%. On a year-over-year basis, The CPI is up 1.7%, while the core rate is 2.3%.

Initial claims for unemployment rose 6,000to 386,000. The 4-week moving average rose 3,500 to 382,000, the third straight weekly increase.

The US Current Account Deficit increased to $137.3 billion in the first quarter vs. a revised deficit of $118.7 billion in the fourth quarter.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to -36.4, the highest level since April.

~
Dale Franks
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Nanny state update

It’s a bit of a mixed picture with both state and federal nannies doing their best to get the proles under control.  The base premise, of course, is only government can save you from yourself since you’re too freakin’ dumb to handle it yourself.  And since you’ve been so kind as to put these people in power they find it only fair that they exercise the power they’ve accumulated to ensure you live the life they deem best.

First a local example from NYC:

The New York City Board of Health showed support for limiting sizes of sugary drinks at a Tuesday meeting in Queens.  They agreed to start the process to formalize the large-drink ban by agreeing to start a six-week public comment period.

At the meeting, some of the members of board said they should be considering other limits on high-calorie foods.

One member, Bruce Vladeck, thinks limiting the sizes for movie theater popcorn should be considered.

"The popcorn isn’t a whole lot better than the soda," Vladeck said.

Another board member thinks milk drinks should fall under the size limits.

"There are certainly milkshakes and milk-coffee beverages that have monstrous amounts of calories," said board member Dr. Joel Forman.

Ye gods.  When government is given the okay to manage your health care, this is what you can expect to happen.  Update on the drink ban – refills, according to Bloomberg, will be “ok”.  Yeah, so what’s the purpose of the drink ban? 

Moving on to a federal example of drink ban stupidity:

The vending machines are unplugged at a Utah high school after a violation of federal lunch rules. Davis High School was fined $15-thousand dollars for selling carbonated beverages during the lunch hour.

Vending machines in the hallways at Davis High School normally sell carbonated beverages and candy, but to receive federal nutrition funding, they can’t sell it during lunch. Students say it doesn’t make sense.

"Everyone goes out to lunch anyways and drinks them so it’s pretty dumb."

District officials say the policy can be confusing too. Chris Williams, the Davis School District Spokesperson, says there are definite rules about how, and when carbonated beverages can be sold. “It is challenging when you can buy a Coke before lunch, and consume it during lunch, but you can’t buy a coke during lunch."

It’s not just soda sales that are a problem; candy can be too, depending on what kind it is. Davis High School’s Principal, Dee Burton, says Snicker Bars are considered nutritional and legal, but other candy is not. "We are not allowed to sell anything that is carbonated or any candy that sticks to your teeth”

“Snickers” is considered “nutritional?”  And you can buy carbonated drinks before and after lunch but not during?  Oh, and the $15,000 fine?  Any guess where that comes from?  Yeah, Mr.Taxpayer – you.

Finally, the FDC is going after cigars:

Though the agency has yet to lay out its new regulations in detail, industry insiders speculate that it could ban flavored cigars, require ugly warning labels or graphic pictures on cigar boxes, bar customers from entering store humidors, or require that cigars be kept out of the reach of potential buyers, who typically handle and examine them before choosing which ones to buy.

“Banning that experience would be crippling,” says Gary Pesh, the owner of Old Virginia Tobacco in Richmond, Virginia, and executive officer of Cigar Rights of America. “Making a customer pick their brand of cigars from a black-and-white catalog — that destroys the way we’ve done business.”

Pesh says some speculate that the FDA would also bar shops from letting their products be visible to anyone outside the store.“That means I’d have to put blacked-out windows on my storefront,” he explains. “Like a porn shop or something.”

Well let’s be honest, among the zealots it is akin to a porn shop.  Well, with one exception – they’d likely support the right of a porn shop to exist with much less regulation.

Real effect:  if (and they say a number of times that they’re speculating) these sorts of regulations are indeed passed, then they will negatively impact jobs at a time that this economy can’t afford to lose more:

New FDA regulations could result in the immediate closing of many cigar shops, most of which employ only three to five people and operate with slim profit margins. About 85,000 people work in the premium-cigar industry — jobs that would be in jeopardy if the FDA’s regulatory power grab succeeds.

“To jeopardize 85,000 jobs in today’s economic times is absolutely unconscionable,” says Bill Spann, CEO of the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association.

Pesh thinks small shops could also be hurt by user fees the FDA can charge to the businesses it regulates. “I’d have to pay to put me out of business,” he explains.

But that’s not the real problem.  We’re talking about a voluntary transaction between consenting adults.  Why is government involved in any other way but to prevent the use of force or fraud?

Freedom?  Forget about it.  Choice?  Not if the FDA does this the right way. 

There’s a bill in Congress right now to stop this overreach.  By the way, has anyone noticed that instead of being involved in oversight of many agencies, Congress has been reduced to the role of reactive legislation to remove or prevent the most egregious examples of regulatory overreach?

Folks, freedom means the freedom to consume bad things if that is your desire as long as you doing so doesn’t violate the rights of others.  What we see with these examples are attempts to violate that freedom of choice and use the power of government coercion to prevent you from making choices it deems harmful.

Not. The. Job. Of. Government. In. A. Free. Society.

Period. 

Yet certainly the growing trend is to do more and more of that.

And in the case of the NYC soda ban, a good portion of the left is just fine with it.

It’s frightening.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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