Saturday, October 30, 2010

Municipal narcissism

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:
Nancy Pelosi is perfect fit for San Francisco

That might have been better rendered "is a perfect example of San Franciscan values."

...there is no doubt that the city's best interest rests with Democrats maintaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

As speaker, Nancy Pelosi has used her powers of prerogative and persuasion to help San Franciscans get what they want out of Congress, in terms of both philosophy and funding for specific projects.

...It's in San Francisco's best interest to keep Nancy Pelosi in Washington, working for the city's values and needs. It's in the nation's interest to keep her as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
"[U]sed her powers of prerogative and persuasion?" That would be better rendered as "her powers of bribery and bludgeoning."

The Chronicle has succumbed to the pathology of narcissism afflicting Democrats in general and Pelosi, Reid and Obama, in particular. San Franciscans who place their interests before the nation's will certainly expect the rest of us to bail California out of its Greece-like economic disaster. While Nancy Pelosi's re-election may be in San Francisco's best interests, it certainly is not in ours.

San Franciscans may believe that the rest of the country should be just like them:

...but it is obvious the following SF statutes must have been repealed or Nancy Pelosi would not be able to campaign from a soap-box on any street corner in the city:

  • It is illegal to pile horse manure more than six feet high on a street corner
  • Persons classified as “ugly” may not walk down any street
Ref. here, here, here, here, here.

The rest of the country is poised to tell San Francisco we want Pelosi off her soap-box and off the streets.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why you should not vote for Rick Snyder

Be not afraid: Your vote will not hand a victory to the Democrats and it will not be “wasted.” Snyder has a 20 point lead. Voting for a limited government candidate will send him a message, not elect his opponent.

Why does Mr. Snyder need such a message? Mainly because he sincerely believes government should actively interfere in the economy by picking economic winners. This is not different from Ms Granholm, nor from Mr. Bernero. They all agree that they can command the economy to perform better than can the invisible hand.

Here are Mr. Snyder's corporatist credentials:

As its first Director, he “created” the disaster known as MEDC, and now thinks it merely needs reform, rather than elimination. Adding injury to insult, after he left MEDC he availed himself of $7.5 million in MEDC funds. Rick Snyder believes that government "picking winners" is a good idea if it's done by the “right” elite. So do Granholm and Bernero. They differ merely in who comprises the elite.

When asked about Michigan's preposterous subsidies for the movie industry, Mr. Snyder said he wants to continue them, but to do so in a way that makes sure Michigan companies get the benefit. As an example of such reform, he would eliminate catering from out of State. That'll show Jenny how the game is played.

Snyder emphasizes continued State subsidization of the mythical “green job.” Jennifer's bankrupt ethanol plants, ill-advised windmill subsidies and battery manufacturing give-aways will bring prosperity if only we put the “right” bureaucrats in charge of picking the technology-of-the-month. If they could do this, they wouldn't need a taxation system. They could run the State off their investment gains.

In his single debate, Mr. Snyder indicated he thinks making Michigan a right to work state is not worth the trouble, despite much evidence to the contrary. Right to Work States Gain Billions It is hard to accept the idea that Snyder isn't aware of this. But...

He won the primary at least partially as a result of soliciting Democrats to cross party lines. This strategy was viable because he did not give (and has not given) any clear idea what he actually intends. His “tough nerd” policy documents are devoid of specifics. Snyder's strategy succeeded because the vote for candidates with clear limited government platforms was split. Rick Snyder is either putting one over on the Democrats or he will continue the command-and-control economic policies so dear to his predecessor. On the evidence, I think it's the latter.

In this key area the difference between Snyder and Bernero is the funding channel, not the recipient. Snyder will use an MEDC-like intermediary. Bernero will give directly to the unions. Corporatism is a bad idea no matter who is in charge, and notwithstanding the spoils distribution mechanism.

The good news for those hesitant about a third party vote? Given Snyder's double digit lead, you can play the politics as the multi-year game it is instead of just rejecting, yet again, the greater of two evils. It's a free vote protest against statism. It's without electoral consequence, but still carries policy implications.

Sending this message to Snyder isn’t some mindless obsession with purity. It’s part of presenting a coherent message to other voters and to politicians. It is about offering a real contrast with the bankrupt lunacy of the Democrats. Do you really want to hear, for the next 4 years; “See, Republicans do the same thing!”? If not, you need to do everything you can to constrain Rick Snyder.

In summary: Rick Snyder gives every indication of being a corporatist's best friend. If you want to encourage him to adopt more sensible economic policies, don't let him get a double digit win. Given Snyder's 20 point lead you can vote for a third party without worrying about Virg Bernero. You should consider this so as to send a message to Mr. Snyder: “STOP THE SUBSIDIES. GET GOVERNMENT OUT OF PICKING ECONOMIC WINNERS!”

Vote for Stacey Mathia or Ken Proctor.

If the Taxpayer Party/Libertarian Party vote doubles the expectations - say getting to 12% - Rick Snyder may get the message. If he doesn't, he's no nerd.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I think she's wrong about this...

...because they are about to discover exactly what credit they deserve.

Pelosi: 'We haven't really gotten the credit for what we have done'

It's up to us to go out there. I'm very confident; our members know why they voted for what they did.
She says that as if bribery and corruption were a good thing. It certainly isn't that they voted for that mess of pottage because they had, you know, read it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NO! To Mark Meadows.

State Representative Mark Meadows (D, East Lansing) is running against Susan McGillicuddy. On November 2nd, vote for McGillicuddy. Or, at least vote against Meadows because of his sponsorship of these 3 bills:

HB 6214
This bill would change the sales tax law so that the free meals supplied to some restaurant employees will become subject to sales tax. Many of these workers earn only minimum wage.

Since the alternative interpretation is that Meadows wants to raise taxes on minimum wage workers, I suspect he thinks of it as a tax on the employers: They'll just absorb the increase. On the margins, of course, this petty sniping at small business will simply mean a few more people will not be able to find entry level work.

HB 6257
A bill to prohibit Michigan's Attorney General from bringing suit, or intervening in a suit in a federal court, or a suit in another state or country, unless the Governor asks for it. This would have prevented AG Cox from suing the Federal Government over Obamacare.

HB 5305
A bill to increase the cost of a marriage license from $20 to $40. The proceeds of this tax increase would go to government-sponsored "family counseling services." Or "don't have a family" counseling services, as the case may be.

H/T Mackinac Center and Capitol Confidential

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Memo from Homeland Security

Michelle Obama violates election law by campaigning within a polling station, and "Baghdad Bob" Gibbs say it's to be expected.

Someone wearing a Gadsden flag button is not allowed to vote.

Someone is arrested for a Gadsden flag bumper sticker.

Equality under the law is not for the fearful clingers. Could be why they're frightened.

Cynthia Tucker Award for Self-Deception in Journalism nominees

Cynthia herself, of course, has the inside track, but, 

Clarence Paige:
President has soft-pedaled his own achievements

(I wonder what it would be like if the President had an ounce of chutzpah?)


Steven Pearlstein: 

Democrats suffer from Americans' unwillingness to accept economic reality
(That should read "further economic destruction.")

...must not be counted out.

Taking a British idiom, these handsome statuettes of a Unicorn and its editor are known colloquially as the "Starkers" awards.

Note: the links are not recommended, but are included as evidence for members of the Starkers Awards Jury.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I understand Rush Limbaugh commented today on the GOP tendency to self-destruction, noting this comment,
It's pretty clear the American people expect us to use the existing gridlock to create compromise and advance their agenda. They want us to come together [with the administration] after we agree to disagree.
from Rep. Darrell Issa (R., CA).

As the linked article notes, the GOP elite are showing signs that they fear a repetition of what happened to them in 1995 after major victories in the 1994 mid-term elections. That lesson is the wrong one to which to attend. I would have been happy if the government stayed shut down then. Today, tens of millions more people agree.

I expect the Republicans to obstruct, deny, vilify, denounce, stonewall, jam, and reject the far-left agenda of this arrogant President. I expect them to reverse, not revise, the ill-advised laws already passed. I expect them to stand up for the principle of limited government. It will be hard. It may even cost them dearly. But if they compromise this time, they will have abandoned their oath of office. Again.

They had better be thinking that compromise with poisonous policies means the death of their party. If anyone should be compromising it should be the Democrats. They increased the debt by 3 trillion dollars to no effect. They have shoved legislation down our throats. They have applied draconian regulation where they could not legislate. They have suspended the rule of law in examples ranging from contracts, to voter intimidation, to enforcement of US sovereignty. There is no compromise with this cadre of Progressives, because that compromise will kill this country. But first, it will kill the GOP.

The "Pledge to America," is barely enough to start with. It is anemic on cutting spending. But you can be sure that it is the position from which the Democrats will expect the GOP to compromise. The statists have already denounced the pledge as extreme. Will left-wing fire coming from MoveOn, ACORN, the NAACP and the MSM be less withering after an electoral rejection? Will George Soros decide to give his money to the Chamber of Commerce? Those usual suspects already criticize the President for only having taken half-measures.

Advertising a willingness to compromise on the brink of an electoral blowout is much worse than a bad negotiating tactic, it portends a spineless betrayal. Again.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Obama failures: An excess of bipartisanship?

As long as we have Cynthia Tucker, we will not be without a measure of how low the editorialist bar can be set.  Obama tried too hard to work with Republicans

Go ahead, read the whole column. It is so deranged it won't even make you angry. Bemused, more likely.

In that same spirit, we have someone named Lance Dickie cautioning voters not to vote against their own interests. Mr. Dickie purports to address the 60 to 70% of Americans who specifically oppose the President's policies on health care, immigration, energy taxation, bail-outs and, particularly, financial "reform."
Voters seeking revenge this election for the collapse of the economy, and their frustrations with a loud, crude campaign season, must not let anger overtake their own self-interest.
Of course, there is a question being begged here. Does the general government best serve your interest by promoting your dependency upon it, or does it do so by securing the blessings of liberty on your behalf? Less abstractly and more broadly: Are you willing to make your grandchildren into wage slaves for your own present comfort?

Mr. Dickie has nearly, if unintentionally, written a brilliant satire. For example:
I think the plan is to make Bernie Madoff the speaker of the House.
This would be funny if it weren't for the fact that Madoff would actually be an improvement. He was self-aware enough to know he was running a scam. The present Speaker is not so wise. She says unemployment benefits “create jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name … it injects demand into the economy.”

Who would you rather have as Speaker: Someone who apprehends reality or someone who does not? It's a given that they are both crooks, but you can at least reason with one of them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

From risible to rampageous

Just a little while ago the tea party movement was beneath the notice of the President and merited only derision from the talking heads on MSNBC. Now, we have Chris "Tingly" Matthews ranting about the dangers of probity, a strong work-ethic, self-sufficiency and voluntary co-operation.  Of course, that's not what he calls it...
If the trapped Chilean miners had subscribed to the tea party’s “every-man-for-himself” philosophy, “they would have been killing each other after about two days.”
One wonders if Mr. Matthews has ever read Animal Farm, or Lord of the Flies. If he did, it seems likely he thinks the common thread is that both novels feature pigs.

Matthews is in line here with the Homeland Security memo warning that possession of a Gadsden Flag or a copy of the Constitution is a yellow flag for domestic terrorism, but when Senator Russ Feingold starts identifying with the tea partiers, and Democrats generally campaign against their own Big Brother policies, perhaps Mr. Matthews should pay attention to the narrative shift.  

His point is the benificence of Big Government in general, of course, not just the Obama regime's version.  However, as Richard Viguerie points out the tea party ire did not begin with the Tingler-in-Chief.
Tea partiers know fully the failures of Republicans prior to 2009. Republicans who assert — wrongly — that the tea party is merely a reaction to the even-worse conditions under the Obama Democrats aren’t just kidding themselves. They blindly and foolishly remain part of the problem.
The GOP would do well to remember that, even if Chris Matthews cannot.

Monday, October 11, 2010

10-10-10 Rally

Beautiful day in Lansing.

Free enterprise.

About 250 people from all over the State attended.

This rally was more overtly partisan than in the past. Speakers running for office have spoken before, but only on the principles of limited government. This time there was electioneering starting with the prayer. Unfortunately.

Opsommer, Schuette, Young, Kelly, Johnson and some local candidates gave stump speeches with a nod toward the 10th Amendment. They all deserve your vote. Still...

I suppose this near an election and with the issues solidified, partisan politicking may be expected - and these were all Michigan or Ingham County candidates. However, the tea party must remember its non-partisan origins.

The pressure has to be kept up on all the statists: Nancy Pelosi, Lindsey Graham, Virg Bernero, Jocelyn Benson and fellow travellers like Joe Schwarz.

We also need to send Rick Snyder a message. On which more later.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

10-10-10 Rally

Sunday October 10, 2010
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Michigan State Capitol
100 N. Capitol
Lansing, MI 48933

More here.
Be there!

Friday, October 08, 2010

The New York Times and the rule of the invisible hand

From the people who dare suggest to us that they are our intellectual and moral superiors:

Movement of the Moment Looks to Long-Ago Texts

Kate Zernike, in a generally snide look at the tea party movement, drops this gem (emphasis mine):
"Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, alluded to “The Road to Serfdom” in introducing his economic “Roadmap for America’s Future,” which many other Republicans have embraced. Ron Johnson, who entered politics through a Tea Party meeting and is now the Republican nominee for Senate in Wisconsin, asserted that the $20 billion escrow fund that the Obama administration forced BP to set up to pay damages from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill circumvented “the rule of law,” Hayek’s term for the unwritten code that prohibits the government from interfering with the pursuit of “personal ends and desires.” "
Right, the 'rule of law' is not written anywhere. This explains decades of SCOTUS decisions. It tells us why the Chrysler bondholders were told to pound sand and it clearly justifies making everyone buy a health insurance policy whether they want to or not.

Of course, it is not merely Ms Zernike, but the editors of the fish wrap in which she is published who can't define the rule of law and who cannot distinguish between dead white males like Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Constitutional duty

Harry Reid: “It Is My Constitutional Duty” to Spend Federal Money… “I Fight For It”

Yes he does. This is why we have to rally on Sunday to bring attention to the 10th Amendment: Harry Reid's oath of office was like Faisal Shahzad's oath of allegiance to the US when he was naturalized, "I did swear but I did not mean it."

Faisal Shahzad is the guy who recently attempted to detonate a car bomb in New York's Times Square. Harry Reid, in contrast, has aided and abetted the explosion of US debt and expansion of executive power which is a bigger threat to this country than anything Shahzad even contemplated.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

One can safely predict...

That these folks will not be at the Lansing Tenth Amendment rally next Sunday. 

See next post for time & place.