Charges of Racism and its Chilling Effect on Policy Debate

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 10th, 2014

Politics 101

Flying is so Safe already that to make it any Safer is nearly Statistically Impossible

Air travel is the safest way to travel.  People are far more likely to die on the way to the airport than in an airplane.  Air plane accidents and incidents are so rare these days that when one happens it is huge news.  For weeks some networks devoted near 24/7 coverage of missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.  Even though they had nothing to report.  But that didn’t stop them from going to air to speculate about what happened.  Because an airplane just disappearing like that is extremely rare.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates aircraft accidents and incidents to determine the cause.  And to come up with new ways to make aviation safer.  But improving safety any more is getting difficult.  And costly.  They put a cost on the loss of life and compare that to the cost for the airlines (and the people who buy their tickets) to implement a proposed change.  And then judge the likelihood that spending that money will actually save any lives.  They could reduce the number of deaths from flying to zero simply by grounding all aircraft permanently.  But the flying public wants to fly.  And is apparently willing to fly even if there is a slim chance of dying.

When a plane crashes because of an event that is statistically likely to happen, say, one in 100 million flights it’s hard to justify the added expense.  As that cost will not make flying any safer statistically.  This is the problem with making flying safer today.  It is so safe already that to make it any safer is nearly statistically impossible.  And spending more resources to try and make it safe 100% of the time is just not possible.  And it’s just too costly to try.

Racism is so Trivial in the Aggregate that it could not prevent a Black Child from growing up to be President

There are a lot of people on the left who say we need a dialogue on race.  Because there is still racism in this country.  Not Southern Democrat Jim Crowe racism.  But systemic racism that stacks the deck against blacks.  Despite that ‘racist’ America having elected a black president.  Twice.  Who appointed a black man as attorney general.  Eric Holder.  America’s top cop.  This couldn’t have happened without a majority of white voters voting for President Obama.  As blacks make up only approximately 13.1% of the population while whites make up approximately 77.9% (see United States Census QuickFacts).

So there may be some racism in America.  But clearly not a lot of it.  For if there was a lot of it there would have been enough people to vote against President Obama.  But there wasn’t.  And he won reelection.  Even though his record wasn’t that good.  On the economy.  Or on national security.  So there would have been a lot of reasons to vote against him.  Especially if the American people were racist.  But this didn’t happen.  Suggesting that America is not as racist as those on the left would have you believe.

Sure, there is racism in America.  As there is everywhere.  And always will be.  But is it systemic?  Is it impossible for a black child to grow up to be the president of the United States?  To be the top cop in the land?  No.  Because these things have happened.  So is it necessary to focus the Justice Department only on racial injustice in the United States?  Even those on the left will concede that things are a lot better now than they ever were.  So should the Justice Department focus on removing the last vestiges of racism when if doing so will be very difficult if not impossible?  As some people simply cannot be reasoned with?  If these people were running the country perhaps it would be.  But they’re not.  These instances of racism are isolated incidents.  So trivial in the aggregate that they could not prevent a black child growing up to be president.

Despite all of their Efforts to End Racism they haven’t reduced the Need to End Racism

A lot of people voted for President Obama to end racism once and for all.  To move away from our racist past.  But it seems like the left finds more racism than ever since President Obama’s election.  In fact, they call any criticism of President Obama an act of racism.  Making it difficult to criticize the president.  As no one wants to be labeled a racist.  In fact the left uses this to try and shut down debate over policy issues.  Unable to defeat conservatives in the arena of ideas (as conservatives outnumber liberals 2-1) they are quick to try and shut down debate with charges of racism.

Even Attorney General Eric Holder responded angrily when testifying in Congress.  Later when speaking to a mostly black audience he asked was there ever an attorney general or a president treated as poorly as he and President Obama?  (Yes, there were.  Especially when they were Republican).  Implying that the people’s representatives, and, therefore, the people, were racist.  So he can stand morally indignant as he stood in contempt of Congress.  The victim.  A lot in the media have come to his support.  While few criticized him.  Because no one wants to be called a racist.  And because no one does it is a very powerful way to shift attention away from any wrongdoing by shifting the attention to those accusing you of said wrongdoing.  A tactic right from the far-left strategist Saul Alinsky’s playbook (see Corrupt AG’s Feigned Outrage Shouldn’t Be Distraction posted 4/10/2014 on Investors.com).

The NTSB is trying to remove the last vestiges of air travel deaths.  Which is more and more difficult to do these days as there are so few ways left to improve aviation safety.  There are a lot of people trying to end racism.  But if you listen to them the problem of racism has never been worse.  Despite the success of President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.  Who actually benefit from this perceived racism.  As they can discount any criticism of them because they’re black.  And the American people are racist.  Despite these same American people being responsible for their success.  For a country with a 77.9% white population could have been racist enough to prevent the election of a black president.  And they were given two opportunities to show just how racist they are.  But didn’t.  Still, the charge of racism is a powerful weapon in their arsenal.  Which is why despite all of their efforts to end racism they haven’t reduced the need to end racism.  For if they did that they may just have to answer for their policies.

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FT206: “If we got rid of Jim Crowe Laws we can get rid of another bad law like Obamacare.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 24th, 2014

Fundamental Truth

Colorado has allowed Recreational Use of Marijuana even though Federal Law prohibits its Sale and Use

Everyone on the left is saying it.  Those in the mainstream media are saying it.  Even some on the right are saying it.  Obamacare is the law of the land.  And it isn’t going away.  As no law ever goes away.  So get used to it.  And quit your bitching, conservatives.  Especially you radical Tea Party extremists.  With all of your Constitutional this and Constitutional that.  If you’re all about the rule of law then follow the rule of law.  And quit trying to repeal Obamacare.

Marijuana is a class one narcotic.  Federal law prohibits its sales and use.  Yet those on the left have tried long and hard to decriminalize it.  Comparing it to alcohol.  Which is not a class one narcotic.  For the left does not like the law criminalizing the sale and use of marijuana.  And have bitched so much about it that at first states have allowed medical marijuana.  And now Colorado has allowed recreational use of marijuana.  Washington, too.  Even though federal law prohibits the sale and use of this class one narcotic.

There are millions of illegal aliens in the United States.  Who are in the country illegally.  But those on the left want to change our laws so they aren’t here illegally.  They want to grant them amnesty.  Forgive their law-breaking.  And give them citizenship.  Because they are sure that if they do they will then thank those on the left (i.e., the Democrat Party) by voting Democrat.  Especially when they’re telling them that the only reason why they are illegal is that Republicans hate Hispanics.

The Supreme Court made Law the People or Congress would not by Decriminalizing Abortion

The Second Amendment to the Constitution grants the people the right to keep and bear arms.  The left doesn’t like guns.  And they especially don’t like people owning guns.  So the left hates the Second Amendment.  Have long campaigned to curb gun ownership.  And have used every opportunity to advance new gun control legislation.  Whenever a mentally troubled individual goes on a shooting spree they blame the gun and not the mentally troubled individual.  Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Jared Loughner and Seung-Hui Cho were all mentally troubled people.  Yet the discussion is always about taking guns away from law-abiding gun owners.  Not identifying these mentally troubled people before they hurt someone.  Which they could still do even if you take other people’s guns away.

Abortion was illegal everywhere in the United States.  The left did not like this.  So they campaigned long and hard to decriminalize abortion.  Which they could not do.  At least, in Congress.  Because the majority of the people opposed decriminalizing abortion.  And they never had the votes in Congress to pass a law allowing abortion.  Which is why there has never been an abortion debate in Congress.  Not liking their odds in Congress they turned to the courts.  On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court made law the people or Congress would not.  And decriminalized abortion.

The progressives in the early 20th century saw the people were just not smart enough to know what was best for them.  And drinking was not.  Husbands drank away their paychecks, came home drunk and beat their wives and gave them (and their unborn children) the syphilis they caught from prostitutes hanging out in saloons.  So the progressives got a new amendment added to the Constitution to prohibit the sale and transportation of alcohol.  The Eighteenth Amendment.  A law the people didn’t like.  And they repealed the Eighteenth Amendment with the Twenty-first Amendment.  The only Constitutional amendment to be repealed.

The Left tries to Change or Go Around via the Courts Laws they Don’t Like

During the 1950s and 1960s Jim Crowe laws kept America segregated.  Separate but equal went the mantra.  The Southern Democrats made it difficult for blacks to vote.  And treated them as second class citizens.  Giving us race riots in the Sixties.  And a civil rights movement.  From the Montgomery Bus Boycott to Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream speech in Washington the movement grew in intensity.  Leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Overturning the Jim Crowe laws and desegregating America.  Thanks to a united Republican Party that was able to overcome Democrat opposition in Congress to pass the bill.

The Southern Democrats did not lose the American Civil War well.  They did not like the Fifteenth Amendment allowing their former slaves to vote.  And they did not like the Thirteenth Amendment freeing their slaves.  So the planter elite and their fellow Southern Democrats created the KKK.  And began passing Jim Crowe laws to keep the defeated South racially segregated.  The way it was written into the U.S. Constitution.  The way it had to be written into the Constitution to get the Deep South to join the new United States of America.  As the planter elite made clear.  If there was no slavery there would be no United States.

We’ve had a lot of bad law in this country.  Laws that we’ve repealed.  Sometimes even over Democrat opposition.  In fact the Southern Democrats pulled the southern states out of the union and into civil war with the northern states to defend the planter elite’s right to own slaves.  Just as the planter elite forced those who wrote the Constitution to leave slavery alone if they expected their states to join the new union.  And we’ve had laws the left just doesn’t like.  Laws they’ve worked long and hard to change.  Such as criminalizing gun ownership and decriminalizing marijuana.  Or to get around them via the courts.  Such as abortion.  So the argument to just accept Obamacare because it’s the law of the land is a pretty weak argument.  And chastising Republicans for not accepting laws they don’t like is hypocritical to say the least.  We should be able to get rid of bad law.  And Obamacare is a bad law.  As it is doing the opposite of what it was supposed to do.  So why not repeal it?  I mean, if we were able to get rid of Jim Crowe Laws we should be able to get rid of another bad law like Obamacare.

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Over Half of our Civil Servants in Congress are Millionaires

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 12th, 2014

 Week in Review

People who work in government were once called civil servants.  Because they worked for us.  Or, in today’s parlance, they were our bitch.  But over time our government workers no longer wanted to be called civil servants.  As they grew to feel to be our superiors.  Part of a privileged class.  Or, in today’s parlance, we became their bitch.  And if you don’t believe it just compare our earnings to theirs (see Now, most members of Congress are millionaires by Emily Heil posted 1/9/2014 on The Washington Post).

It’s official — Congress is a millionaires’ club. For the first time ever, most members of Congress are worth at least a cool million…

Also worth noting: the analysis shows Rep. Darrell Issa (with a $464 million fortune) is triumphantly back at the top of the list of wealthiest members, a spot the California Republican and car-alarm mogul had enjoyed for years, before being bumped by Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas).

So most members of Congress (i.e., our civil servants) are millionaires.  But note how they make it sound like all of these fat-cat politicians are Republicans.  Building on the stereotype that Republicans are for rich people.  While Democrats are for the working man.  However if you follow the link in this Washington Post (a paper that leans left) article you’ll come to this chart.

Median Net Worth of Current Congress Members R2

My, how about that?  Democrats have a higher median net worth than Republicans.  And Democrats got even richer than Republicans in 2012.  And yet they say the Republicans are the party of the rich?  Clearly that isn’t the case.  The Democrats are the party of the rich.  For they are richer than Republicans in Congress.  Despite the richest guy in Congress being a Republican.  Who, it should be noted, made his money in the private sector.  Not like so many others who go to Congress poor.  And leave millionaires.

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Invoking the Nuclear Option to Legislate more Easily from the Bench

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 21st, 2013

Politics 101

Liberals pack the Judiciary with Liberal Judges to Write Law they can’t Write in Congress

Harry Reid and the Democrats went nuclear today.  Changing the Senate rules for the first time since the Founding.  To increase the power of those in the majority.  So they can run roughshod over those in the minority.  Thanks to the poor launch of Obamacare.  And the sinking realization that because the Democrats have so angered the people in the process of implementing the Affordable Care Act (the president and Democrats lied and people are losing their health insurance and doctors) that Democrats up for election in 2014 are going to be thrown out with extreme prejudice.  Turning the Senate over to the Republicans.  Hence the need to go nuclear now.

It’s no secret the left legislates from the bench.  Using judges to write legislation that Congress won’t.  Such as making abortion legal via Roe v. Wade.  That was a law made not by the law-makers.  The legislature.  Congress.  But by liberal judges on the bench.  Who are to interpret law.  Not write it.  But in Roe v. Wade, as in so many other laws that came to be that Congress refused to write, judges wrote law in their legal rulings.  Allowing the liberal minority to make their will the law of the land.

America is a center-right country.  Which means there are more conservatives than liberals.  In fact, only about 21% of the people identify themselves as liberal while about 40% of the people identify themselves as conservative (see Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S. by Lydia Saad posted 1/12/2012 on Gallup).  Yet this 21% has implemented a lot of their liberal agenda.  How?  Liberal judges.  The key to changing the country against the will of the people.  When you can’t get the people’s representatives to write your laws you turn to the judiciary.  Which is why Harry Reid went nuclear today.  So they can pack the judiciary with liberal judges.  Before they lose the Senate.  So they will be able to write law from the bench that they won’t be able to do after they lose the Senate.

The Filibuster is the Last Line of Defense for the Minority

The filibuster is a stalling tactic.  A tool the minority can use to prevent the majority from running roughshod over them.  To protect minority rights.  For majority rule can be dangerous.  The majority could write law that restricts the rights of the minority.  Don’t like the internal combustion engine?  Well, the majority could write legislation for a costly carbon tax.  Of course, the Democrats don’t have a majority in the House.  But they do have one in the Senate.  Which confirms the president’s judicial appointments.  So if the president stacks the courts with liberal judges the left can get their carbon tax.  By writing regulations for a carbon tax instead of legislation.  And having the courts make that regulation law.  With the left saying that they had that right under their environmental regulatory powers.  And if you don’t like that sue us.

This is why the left wants to stack the courts with liberals.  Who may or may not be actual judges.  For they don’t want judges to interpret law.  They want them to write law that Congress won’t.  If the right sues the government for exceeding their constitutional authority and the case ends up in a court packed with liberal judges the right will lose.  And the unconstitutional regulation will become law.  Despite the Republican-controlled House.

The right has been holding up some exceptionally liberal Obama appointees to the bench.  Frustrating the left.  Because they can’t move their liberal agenda through the Republican held House of Representatives.  While their plan B—stacking the courts—was being blocked by the Republicans because the Democrats did not have 60 Senators in the Senate.  For if they did they could invoke cloture.  End debate.  And force a vote.  Which they would, of course, win.  Making the filibuster the last line of defense for the minority.  For if the judicial appointment only appeals to the 21% of the population the minority can filibuster until they withdraw the appointment.  And appoint someone that doesn’t appeal ONLY to 21% of the population.

When the Democrats were in the Minority they said Opposition to the Republicans was Patriotic

Back when the Republicans held the Senate during the George W. Bush administration the Democrats were holding up Bush appointees.  The Republicans broached the subject of the nuclear option.  And the left attacked Republicans.  Calling it a power grab.  An affront to the Founding Fathers.  The worst thing that could happen to our republic.  Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and other Democrats spoke on the record opposing the nuclear option.  But that was then.  This is now.  After the rollout of Obamacare.  And the very likely possibility that the Democrats will lose control of the Senate in 2014.  Now Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, et al are all for the nuclear option.

Because the Republicans are so partisan the left had no choice.  They simply wouldn’t rubber-stamp the liberal agenda.  So they had no choice but to grab power.  To run roughshod over those in the minority in Congress.  So the minority in the nation can impose their rule on the majority.  When the Democrats were in the minority in Congress they said opposition to the Republicans was patriotic.  That it made the republic healthier.  Locking the Congress into gridlock because they couldn’t get their way was fulfilling the vision of the Founding Fathers.  By preventing one-party rule.

But all that changes when they are in the majority.  And those in the 21% are fine with it.  Those in the mainstream media.  Hollywood.  Late-night television.  Even the audiences of the late-night television shows.  Who are all for debate when they are out of power.  But are fine with one-party rule when they are in power.  Because they believe that their side is the only side that matters.  Which is decidedly NOT what the Founding Fathers envisioned.  The left believes everyone should think like they think.  And if they don’t there should be laws to compel people to act like they (the left) think they should act.  Even if it requires violating the Constitution.  Like Obamacare forces people to buy something against their will for the first time in the history of the republic.  But expecting people to pay for their own birth control instead of forcing others to pay for it?  Why, that’s an affront to the Founding Fathers.  Making any law-violating power grab acceptable.  As long as it’s the left doing the law-violating and the power-grabbing.  For the left believe the end justifies the means.  Just like the Nazis did.  The communists.  And other tyrannical regimes have throughout time.

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The Democrats have refused to Raise the Debt Ceiling for Republican Presidents

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 8th, 2013

History 101

The Democrats opposed Raising the Debt Ceiling for Republican President Dwight Eisenhower

President Obama and the House Republicans are at a standoff.  At the center of the debate is Obamacare.  The House Republicans want to defund Obamacare.  They didn’t like it when it cost $1 trillion over ten years.  And they like it even less now that the CBO has revised its cost to $3 trillion.  It has frozen hiring.  And pushed people from full-time to part-time.  President Obama has also revised the law.  Taking on legislative powers that the Constitution gives only to Congress.  With the one year delay for the business mandate being especially galling to Republicans.  As well as the 75% subsidy members of Congress and their staff get.

The House Republicans have reduced their demands to basically giving the president a continuing resolution to fund all of government if he would only give the American people what he gave to his friends in Big Business.  A one year waiver of the individual mandate.  Infuriating the president.  Saying he will not negotiate with terrorists taking the American people hostage.  However, he said he will negotiate with the Republicans.  After they give him everything he wants.  Including raising the debt limit.  For shutting down the government is one thing.  But messing with the full faith and credit of the United States is another.  With the Republicans having the gall to demand spending cuts before raising the debt ceiling.  This was just unprecedented.  Never before did anyone use the debt ceiling to bully a president before.  In the past Congresses always raised the debt ceiling whenever a president requested.  Whistling a happy tune in the process.  Except, of course, in 1953 (see Can Debt Ceiling Debates Be Useful? History Says Maybe. by Joseph J. Thorndike posted 8/28/2013 on the Huffington Post).

The idea of using the debt ceiling for leverage is not new. Indeed, the nation’s first debt limit crisis hinged on it. In the summer of 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower asked Congress for a modest boost in the debt ceiling. When austerity-minded lawmakers refused, it prompted a crisis that brought the nation to the brink of default – or to its fiscal senses, depending on your point of view…

Eisenhower didn’t believe that spending cuts would be sufficient to keep federal debt under the cap. “Despite our joint vigorous efforts to reduce expenditures,” he told Congress, “it is inevitable that the public debt will undergo some further increase.” On July 30, Eisenhower asked Congress for an increase in the debt ceiling from $275 billion to $290 billion…

Sen. Harry F. Byrd, D-Va., took the lead in fighting the increase. Raising the limit would be “an invitation to extravagance,” he declared. Keeping the present cap, moreover, would encourage much-needed economy. “It may be that the administration would be forced to operate on a very prudent and conservative budget in order to avoid an increase in the debt limit,” he predicted.

A host of senators joined Byrd’s campaign to reject the increase. The New York Times reported that Democratic opposition was “almost solid,” and many Republicans were also prepared to break with the president…

As a leverage goes, it was pretty effective. Almost immediately, Eisenhower told his department heads to cut their spending. “It is absolutely essential that you begin immediately to take every possible step progressively to reduce the expenditures of your department during the fiscal year 1954,” he told them.

So it started early.  And it started with the Democrats.  Holding the debt limit hostage to get what they want.  And in 1953, the Democrats got what they wanted.  They forced President Eisenhower to make spending cuts.  Just like the Republicans asked for in 2011.  And will ask again now.  But President Obama was not as reasonable in 2011 as President Eisenhower was.  And he is saying he will be even less reasonably now.

The Democrats opposed Raising the Debt Ceiling for Republican President Ronald Reagan

So was 1953 an isolated incident?  Were the Democrats more accommodating at other times when a president asked them to raise the debt ceiling?  As President Obama would have us believe?  Well, they weren’t very accommodating in 1984.  When President Ronald Reagan asked Congress to raise the debt ceiling (see In 1984, debt debate looked different to Biden, GOP by Stephen Dinan posted 7/19/2011 on The Washington Times).

With time running out on a looming debt crisis, the president and his allies in the Senate are fighting to win a raise in the government’s borrowing limit, only to be stymied by a minority insisting that a spending freeze be part of the deal.

Sounds like present day, but it was October 1984 — when the partisan roles were reversed. Republicans controlled the White House and the Senate, while Democrats controlled the House. Democrats also could sustain filibusters in the Senate and were balking at raising the debt ceiling unless it was attached to big spending cuts…

One of the leaders of that 1984 Democratic revolt — a man who tried to impose a spending freeze and fought for a smaller debt increase than President Reagan wanted — was none other than current Vice President Joseph R. Biden, then a senator from Delaware and now President Obama’s right-hand man in negotiations with Congress.

“I must express my protest against continually increasing the debt without taking positive steps to slow its growth. Therefore, I am voting against any further increase in the national debt,” Mr. Biden said in a floor speech just before helping fellow Democrats defeat an increase of $251 billion on a 46-14 vote.

Once again the Democrat-controlled House refused to raise the debt ceiling.  So 1953 was not an isolated incident.  But the beginning of a pattern of Democrat willingness to risk the full faith and credit of the United States for political reasons.  To get their way despite losing the election to President Reagan.  Apparently back then elections didn’t have consequences.

How embarrassing it must be for the vice president.  Being part of an administration trying to do what the Reagan administration did when he stood in opposition.  Imagine trying to argue for something you argued against previously?  Thankfully, it was only the vice president that had such a hypocritical past.  Imagine how embarrassing it would be if the president had such hypocrisy in his past.

The Democrats opposed Raising the Debt Ceiling for Republican President George W. Bush

Well, as it turns out, another young Democrat senator went toe-to-toe with another Republican president over the debt ceiling.  And he just didn’t vote against it.  He made a speech.  On the record.  For posterity.  To prove he was no spendthrift.  At least, not when a Republican was in the White House.  That president was George W. Bush.  And that senator was, of course, Barack Obama (see Obama Really Wishes He Never Gave This Speech About The Debt Ceiling by Walter Hickey posted 1/14/2013 on the Business Insider).

In 2006, then-Sen. Barack Obama gave a floor speech defending his decision to vote against an increase in the debt ceiling under President George W. Bush…

Here are some of the key parts of Obama’s speech:

Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem. The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.

[…]

Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘‘the buck stops here.’’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.

In the midst of the first debt-ceiling standoff in 2011, Obama was asked about his flip by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. He chalked it up as a “political vote” and said his mindset changed as President.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Barack Obama.

Interesting.  It was okay for him to do what the House Republicans are doing now when he was in Congress.  When there was less debt.  And less of a debt crisis.  But it’s not okay for the House Republicans to do so now.  When there is more debt.  And a greater debt crisis.

So what is the right thing to do?  Well, if you’re President Obama the right thing to do is what he wants to do.  Not what is best for the country.  For if you argue both sides of the same issue at different times it means you’re more interested in what’s best for yourself.  Not the country.  Unless he evolved on this issue, too.  If so, perhaps we should ask for President Obama’s resignation.  For if he keeps evolving on issues he must be too ill-informed or naïve to be president.

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FT187: “It’s odd how we can never afford a tax cut but we can always afford new spending.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 13th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

The Democrats’ idea of Bipartisanship is Republican Capitulation

It’s that time of the year again.  Summer is winding down.  The weather is starting to cool.  The harvest is coming in.  The stores are already stocking their shelves with Halloween decorations.  Yes, it’s the end of the government’s fiscal year.  The time the government will run out of money unless Congress passes a new budget.  Or what passes for budgets these days.  Continuing resolutions.

This that magical time of year when Republicans and Democrats come together to negotiate the government’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.  The give and take process where they sit down and work with each other.  Civilly.  Saying things like, “Yes, that is too costly.  We need to spend less there.”  And, “You’re right, that is important to the people and we should spend more there.”  And the occasional, “I agree.  That program is no longer needed and we can remove it from the budget entirely.”

I am, of course, lying.  These are things that are rarely, if ever, said to each other.  For when it comes to these budget battles it is always the same.  The Republicans try to be responsible and cut spending.  The Democrats then call them greedy corporate toady Nazis.  The Republicans will then suffer a general emasculation and give the Democrats their spending hikes.  And perhaps a tax hike or two.  While asking them to please like them and invite them to the cool parties.  And the Democrats will then commend the Republicans’ bipartisanship.  What others would call capitulation.  Happy that things are once again right in the world.  With the Republicans once again the Democrats’ bitch.

Entitlement Spending creates a Permanent Underclass that keeps the Privileged Class in Power

John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, known more simply as Lord Acton, said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Great men are almost always bad men.”  And boy was he on to something there.  For something happens when some good conservatives go to Washington.  They enter a world like no other.  Nothing they could ever have dreamed of.  A world that once belonged only to the nobility and the aristocracy.  Those things Americans fought for their independence from.  And here they are.  After winning an election to rein in the kind of government spending that makes this living possible.  And they say, “What, end all of this?  Are you mad?”

So many cross over to the dark side.  Sell their souls.  Forsake their constituents.   Do great dishonor to our Founding Fathers.  All because they like the money and the power.  Especially the power.  Some resist.  Those from the Tea Party seem more immune than most when it comes to the corrupting influences of Washington.  But these people who stand on principle?  Those who serve their constituents honorably?  The left will fling every invective upon them.  A figuratively flinging of excrement.  To try to beat them down and break them.  To get them, too, to forsake their constituents.  And to join them as they drop trou and defecate on the Constitution.  Figuratively, too, of course.  At least I hope so.

So this is what makes the budget process so adversarial.  You have those who are trying to do the right thing for the people.  And those on the other side who want to corrupt these people.  To get them to quit fighting against them and to join them.  So they can maintain their privileged class.  This is what all that entitlement spending is all about.  It’s nothing but alms.  To keep the people content enough so they don’t rise up.  But not too content that they don’t fear that those greedy corporate toady Nazis may take away their meager alms.  And once they get someone to think like that they have a voter for life.

There comes a Point when Raises in Tax Rates actually Reduce Tax Revenue

The key, then, is keeping people poor.  For the whole privileged class thing those in Washington have doesn’t work unless they have poor people who need them.  Which is why they spend so much time reminding the poor how much they need them.  The Democrats in Congress.  Who are always there fighting for them.  Keeping their alms flowing.  But also keeping them poor.  Which a welfare state does well.  Because if you have enough to subsist lethargy will do the rest and destroy the spirit.  Getting the poor to accept their place as a permanent underclass.  That needs a permanent privileged class taking care of them.

There is only one problem.  This destroys lives.  People in this permanent underclass may have gone on and done great things.  They may have been doctors.  They may have been engineers.  They may have been entrepreneurs.  But they will never be those things because the left sacrificed them to maintain their privileged class.  Forever consigning them to the underclass.  So the privileged class has someone to take care of.  No matter how costly it gets to maintain this entitlement culture.  No matter how great the deficits get.  Or how great the national debt grows.

So there is another problem. As you convert taxpayers into tax-consumers you have to keep raising taxes on those remaining in the tax base.  But as you raise tax rates you put the brakes on economic expansion.  And with reduced economic activity there is reduced tax revenue.  There comes a point when raises in tax rates actually reduce tax revenue.  And we’ve passed that point.  Which is why we have record deficits.  A record national debt.  And the worst economic recovery since that following the Great Depression.  Because we are spending, taxing and regulating too much.  Which is why uncorrupted conservatives want to cut taxes, defund Obamacare, roll back other costly regulations and reduce spending.  Things the left bitterly opposes.  For doing so means we don’t need them as much as they need us to need them.

So as the budget battle commences you will hear the usual refrain from the left.  We can’t afford tax cuts.  As they equate tax cuts with government spending.  But we can always afford new government spending.  So the left will call for bipartisanship.  That is, capitulation.  And eventually make the Republicans their bitch.  Again.  And increase the national debt.  Again.  Putting the nation on the path to bankruptcy.  What the left considers a small price to pay to maintain their privileged class.  As long as that bankruptcy comes after they’re dead and buried.  After they enjoyed their time in the privileged class.  Which is why the left is also less likely to believe in God and life after death.  For it is easier to be bad when there is nothing to fear after a bad life.

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FT184: “If our big Democrat-controlled cities seceded from the US to form a liberal utopia they’d all become like Detroit.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 23rd, 2013

Fundamental Truth

The President basically said he doesn’t like Representative Government

President Obama recently said that some Republicans in Congress told him in private that they agree with his policies.  And would like to vote for his policies.  To do what is right for the American people.  But they won’t because they have a primary election coming up.  And if they agree with the president that will hurt them in that election if they go up against some Tea Party candidate.  And they’re afraid what Rush Limbaugh will say.  Him and his conservative extremists.

Now think about what the president is saying.  He said that these Republicans would vote for his policies if they weren’t afraid to vote against the will of the people they represent.  For if these Republicans are afraid they will lose a primary election by voting for the president’s policies that could only mean the people they represent don’t want them voting for the president’s policies.

This is very telling.  For what the president is really saying is that he could do what he wants to do if it wasn’t for representative government.  That is the big obstacle preventing him from passing policies the people oppose.  The people.  Which is why his administration is full of czars to help write and execute policy.  Because they have no elections to worry about.  And can do things against the will of the people all day long without worrying about the consequences of doing so.

If you want to see the Result of Failed Liberal Policies just look at the Big Democrat-Controlled Cities

There’s a reason why those who want to implement liberal policies like the president have to use deceit.  The nation is about twice as conservative as it is liberal (see Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S. by Lydia Saad posted 1/12/2012 on Gallup).  This is why Republicans in Congress fear the Tea Party.  Because the Tea Party represent about twice as many of the people than they and their liberal friends in Congress do.

There’s a reason why the number of people who call themselves liberal has hovered around 20% for decades.  Because liberal policies are not good for America.  They are only good for the ‘connected’ class.  Those with friends in high places.  America’s aristocracy.  Who hate the Tea Party.  And most of America.  As they talk condescendingly down to them from their lofty perches in academia, the mainstream media, union leadership, Hollywood, government bureaucracies, etc.  People who are wealthier than most.  Who like to force people to live the way they want them to live through the heavy hand of government.  While exempting themselves from the laws they pass for us.  Like Obamacare.

If you want to see the result of their failed policies just look at the big Democrat-controlled cities.  Like Detroit.  Detroit was controlled by Democrats for decades.  Democrats there ushered in their liberal utopia.  They raised taxes so much to fund a massive city government that they chased business out of the city.  While layer upon layer of costly regulatory policies helped chase even more businesses away.  And with the jobs gone the people soon followed.  Now they have half the population they once did.  With their tax base imploded they are now left with unfunded pension and retiree health care obligations for their public sector that can never pay.  Sending them into bankruptcy.

Just imagine all the Good that could come from Paying an Entry-Level Worker $75,000

There are a lot of people on the left that want a federal bailout for Detroit.  They want people who have long suffered the high taxation and the job-killing legislation that caused Detroit’s problems in the first place to bail out the city.  People who do not benefit from those generous pension and retiree health insurance benefits.  And who will not benefit from a bailout.  They will only see higher taxes.  More federal debt.  Or more inflation to eat away the money THEY saved for their own retirements (if the government chooses to monetize the debt).  Just so the people in the public sector can enjoy better and longer retirements than they will enjoy.  Because they’ll have to work closer to their own death as they will never be able to save enough to enjoy a ‘public sector’ retirement if they have to pay for the public sector’s retirement as well as their own.

Here’s a thought, why not have the other big Democrat-controlled cities bail out Detroit?  Oh, wait a minute, they can’t.  Because their public sectors have left them greatly indebted, too.  These cities are irresponsibly running up debts that they never will be able to repay.  No matter how much they raise taxes and implement new taxes.  There’s never enough.  In fact, in creating their little liberal utopias they have chased a lot of business, and their tax base, out of their cities.  Yet these cities vote overwhelmingly Democrat.  Perhaps these cities should band together.  If they are so much more enlightened than the rest of the knuckle-dragging Neanderthals in this country perhaps they should secede from the US.  Declare themselves city-states.  And join a federation with other Democrat city-states.  Then they can live like they want to live.  And tell the rest of us (the 80% or so who don’t think like they do) to go someplace warm but not at all pleasant.

They could raise taxes on everyone to really redistribute wealth.  They can do away with drug laws.  Lessen the severity of our criminal laws so there isn’t such a disparity of offenders in our jails.  Make it a hate crime to criticize anyone who isn’t a conservative.  Have government-funded birth control, abortion and morning-after pills.  Government-funded housing.  Government-funded food.  And government-funded health care.  They can outlaw profits and force businesses to maximize the social good.  Raise the minimum wage to a true living wage.  Say, $75,000 a year.  Just imagine all the good that could come from paying an entry-level worker $75,000.  There would be no more student loan debt.  For there would be no reason to go to college to become engineers, doctors, nurses, dentists, paramedics, pharmacists, etc.  Wouldn’t that be lovely?  Wouldn’t you love to work and live in a city where you could do any kind of drug wherever you wanted?  Even while you were cooking food in an entry-level job?  Where there was no punishment for breaking the law?  And no one was so puritanical to tell us not to have sex as often or with as many people as we wanted?  Wouldn’t women love this?  Sure, there would be an epidemic of venereal disease but there would be free health care to treat that (if anyone still worked hard to learn to become a doctor, nurse, dentist, paramedic or pharmacist, that is).  Can you just see these utopian city-states?

Actually, you can see it right now.  For I dare say anyone wanting to open a business or raise a family would NOT want to do so in a city like this.  The jobs would leave first.  Then the people.  Imploding the tax base.  Until you’d have nothing but Detroits dotting the landscape of this utopian federation of liberal city-states.  This is what the president and those in the 20% want.  While of course exempting themselves from this world.  Living in their gated fortresses.  Comfortably.  Where they’ll blame the people who abandoned their utopian city-states as unpatriotic.  Who wouldn’t have fled if it wasn’t for the Tea Party.  Rush Limbaugh.  And, of course, George W. Bush.  Who the left will never tire of hating.  Or blaming.

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The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Liberal Bias and a Conservative America

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 8th, 2013

Politics 101

Far Fewer People pay to read Papers Online than they once Paid to read them in Print

The Washington Post has a market capitalization of $4.2 billion.  Which is the number of issued shares of publically traded stock multiplied by its stock price.  In other words, this is what the shareholders of The Washington Post believe the paper is worth.  Yet on Monday they sold the paper for $250 million.  Which is 94% less that its market capitalization.

This follows the sale of The Boston Globe.  Which The New York Times sold for $70 million.  After buying it for $1.1 billion in 1993.  Coincidentally, a loss of 94%.  The Washington Post and The Boston Globe show how newspapers have lost their value.  Each paper suffered huge declines in circulation.  And with fewer people reading these newspapers advertisers placed their ads elsewhere.  Which led to tens of millions in annual losses.  Common in much of the established print media.  Why?

In part because of the Internet.  People like getting their news online.  Free.  Some papers have installed pay-walls for their online content.  Some more successful than others.  But far fewer people pay to read these papers online like they once paid to read them in print.  On paper.  Old-school style.  Yes, online content is instantaneous.  Up to date.  Free (much of it).  And you don’t get that black ink on your fingers when reading the paper.  But is there something else causing papers like The Boston Globe and The Washington Post to fail so miserably?  Perhaps.

Approximately 75% of all Americans do NOT call themselves Liberal

The problems these papers are having are caused bytheir liberal bias.  This is why so many people are refusing to pay to pass the pay-wall.  And why they aren’t buying the print version.  Because today there is choice.  A lot of choice.  And a lot of choice that doesn’t insult them on a daily basis.

The (once) leading newspapers, the television news networks, the public schools, our colleges and universities, Hollywood, television and the music industry (apart from country music) leans left.  People are bombarded with a liberal agenda from school to television to the movies to their music.  Making the liberal agenda appear to be the mainstream thought.  But it’s not.

According to Gallup the ideological breakdown of the country in 2011 (and 2010, 2009, 2004, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1988, 1997 and 1996) was approximately 40% conservative.  While 35% identified themselves as moderate in 2011.  And those calling themselves liberal came to 21% in 2011.  So nearly half of all Americans call themselves conservative.  While 75% of all Americans do NOT call themselves liberal.  So is it a surprise that newspapers with a liberal slant that insult approximately 75% of the population are failing?

The Boston Globe and The Washington Post are Failing because People don’t like Elitists talking down to Them

The American people don’t like the liberal agenda.  Even liberals don’t like the liberal agenda when it affects their lives.  Matt Damon is a diehard liberal.  And champion of our public schools.  Loving their liberal agenda.  But when it comes to his own kids, surprise, surprise, they go to a private school.  Just like President Obama’s daughters.  The president is such a fierce supporter of our public schools that he ended the school voucher system in Washington DC.  Keeping those kids in the public school system.  Because he took away their choice.  While exercising his choice with his own daughters.  As the president believes that private schools are better than public education.  And he wants to keep the poor people out of them.  Which is what cancelling the school voucher system did.

And just recently we’ve seen Congress and their staff get an exemption from Obamacare.  The same Obamacare they’re forcing on the masses.  But those working in Congress have the best health insurance plans known to mankind.  And they’re expensive.  So much so that the government (i.e., the taxpayers) pays 75% of their premium costs.  They liked their plans.  They wanted to keep their plans.  But an unattended consequence of Obamacare put them in the same boat as the rest of us when it came to their health insurance.  And it was just a gosh-darn shame that these people would have to pay an enormous amount of money for their gold-plated-Cadillac plans.  So the executive branch of the federal government will pay (i.e., the taxpayers will pay) their 75% subsidy so they can keep the plans they like.  Without seeing their premiums going up.  Unlike the rest of us.

This is why papers like The Boston Globe and The Washington Post are failing.  Because people don’t like elitists talking down to them.  Telling us that we don’t know what’s best for us.  Or that we are simply too stupid to know that things we don’t like are actually good for us.  Like our public schools.  And Obamacare.  While the very people telling us this are exempting themselves from these very things.

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Federal Obamacare Exemption proves Congress and their Staff are more Equal than us Poor Schmucks

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 4th, 2013

Week in Review

No one appears to like Obamacare.  But those with friends in high places can do something about it.  Unlike the rest of us (see Congress to get Obamacare fix: reports by Michael Kitchen posted 8/2/2013 on Market Watch).

The White House has approved a deal that will create a regulatory fix for members of Congress and their staff related to some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, according to media reports. Under the law, popularly referred to as Obamacare, lawmakers and their aides were required to source health insurance “created” by the law or offered through one of its exchanges; and without the subsidies they currently have, the members of Congress would have faced thousands of dollars in additional premium payments each year, the reports said.

These members of Congress and their staff have health care plans that put other Cadillac health care plans to shame.  And because they are so good they are very, very expensive.  With premiums costing tens of thousands a year for a family.  Because these are so expensive it would be unfair to have these people pay for them out of their pocket.  So the government used tax dollars to provide a subsidy for them.  About 75% of the cost of these policies.

Now, while the rest of us poor schmucks can’t keep the plans we like and/or are seeing our insurance premiums go up by great amounts guess who gets to keep the plans they have without having to pay an additional dime?  Not us poor schmucks.  Nope.  But those who are apparently more equal than us poor schmucks.  Those in the federal government.  America’s aristocracy.

If you’re keeping count so far pretty much everyone on the left that helped pass Obamacare into legislation has received or is asking for an exemption from this atrocious piece of legislation.  And guess where the best doctors are going to want to work?  Not in the hospitals that take care of us poor schmucks with assembly line efficiency.  No.  They’ll be working in the luxury health care suites that cater to America’s aristocracy.

If you’ve ever wondered what it was like in the Old World with a noble class and a peasant class here’s your chance to experience it.  As you will soon be living it.  The more equal they make everyone else beneath them the more like a peasant class we’ll become.  And this is the ultimate purpose of Obamacare.  To make us their bitch.

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2012 Endorsements: Woodrow Wilson, FDR and Joseph Stalin

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 30th, 2012

2012 Election

A Strong President and a Few Judges could defy Congress and the State Legislatures and Govern as They Please

Woodrow Wilson became president in 1913.  He was a progressive.  And didn’t much care for our Founding Fathers.  Or our Founding Documents.  The Declaration of Independence.  And the Constitution.  He referred to our inalienable rights as a “great deal of nonsense.”  Preferring to think of them as privileges granted by the government.  Like kings once did.  And as kings did not like limits on their power so did Wilson not like limits on his power.  For government was a living thing that could grow and do great things.  But to do great things it needed great men in leadership positions.  Like him.  Not hindered by the checks and balances of the Constitution.  Or state legislatures.  Or people clamoring about their inalienable rights.

This was the age of progressivism.  When smart people were in government.  Smarter than they ever were before.  People who graduated from the finest institutions of higher learning.  Or ran them.  Like Wilson.  Who was president of Princeton.  Progressives were smarter than the average American.  Who could take America to such great heights.  If they could only keep the dumb people from interfering with their vision.  And foolishly try to limit the power of the federal government.  So, as president, Wilson got a lot of legislation passed that helped make the federal government more powerful.  Such as creating the Federal Reserve System.  A central bank that could print money as the government needed it.  And enacting the first federal income tax since the American Civil War.  With this new found wealth the federal government only needed one other thing to take America to great heights.  Getting rid of the Constitution.

As much of what Wilson wanted to do exceeded his Constitutional authority he needed a way around that particular nuisance.  The checks and balances of the Constitution.  Especially after the Framers made it so difficult to add amendments.  Requiring a 2/3 supermajority in both houses of Congress.  And then ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures.  Not a promising way to make radical changes in the structure of the federal government.  So Wilson’s solution was not to amend the Constitution.  But to go around the Constitution.  With judicial activism.  The president should appoint federal judges who share his views of abandoning the intent of the Framers.  Thus consolidating power into fewer hands.  So they could do more of what they wanted and less what the people wanted.  A strong president and a few judges along the way could defy the Congress and the state legislatures and govern as they please.  Reshaping America into their vision.  Not the Founders’ vision.  A progressive vision.  Where these few enlightened and very smart individuals would do what was best for us.  Even if we didn’t know what that was.

The New Deal was a Revolution made not by Tanks and Machine Guns but acts of Congress and Decisions of the Supreme Court

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) saw things the way Wilson did.  FDR was all for radical change.  And breaking away from the constraints of our Founding Documents.  And his New Deal did just that.  A radical change and expansion of the federal government.  And to help get the people to embrace these changes in the long-term he introduced Social Security.  To get even more people dependent on the federal government.  A program so convoluted he reportedly said that it would be impossible to overturn.  He empowered unions.  He introduced payroll taxes to fund Social Security.  He raised income taxes.  Even tried to implement a heavy progressive tax that topped out at 100% for the very rich.  And he introduced the withholding tax.  As people’s tax bills were to grow so large there would have been push back had they had to write a check at the end of the year for the full amount.  But if you took a little bit each pay period the total tax bill didn’t seem so high.

In FDR’s 1944 State of the Union speech he proposed a Second Bill of Rights.  However, when talking about our Constitutional rights he called them “inalienable political rights.”  By inserting the word ‘political’ those God-given rights of the Declaration of Independence became privileges granted by the government.  Which was similar to the way Wilson saw those rights.  As privileges granted by government.  And privileges that government could take away.  Thus emphasizing the power of the federal government over the individual.  Making it easier to impose those new federal taxes.  So what were those new rights?  A good-paying job, adequate food and clothing, recreation, high farm prices for farmers, freedom from unfair competition, a decent home, medical care, a pension, unemployment insurance and a good education.  Sound familiar?  If you’re an old Soviet communist they do.

Chapter X of the 1936 Soviet constitution included a list of Fundamental Rights.  Which included a right to a good-paying job, adequate food and clothing, recreation, medical care, a pension, and a good education.  Among others.  No surprise, really.  As FDR was a fan of Joseph Stalin and what he was doing in the Soviet Union.  The same kind of things he wanted to do.  But he didn’t have the same freedoms Stalin had.  There were such similarities that Whittaker Chambers, a Soviet spy in the US during the time of the New Deal wrote in his book Witness “the New Deal was a genuine revolution, whose deepest purpose was not simply reform within existing traditions, but a basic change in the social and, above all, the power relationship within the nation.  It was not a revolution of violence.  It was a revolution by bookkeeping and lawmaking…made not by tanks and machine guns, but acts of Congress and decisions of the Supreme Court…”  Just like Wilson envisioned.

If Woodrow Wilson, FDR and Joseph Stalin were Alive Today they would likely Endorse Barack Obama and Joe Biden

Alexander Hamilton believed in a strong central government.  Partly because he saw what a weak central government did to the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.  And partly because he admired the greatness of the British Empire.  He wanted an American Empire.  Trusting that only men of virtue would serve in a republican government, he did not fear a federal government from overreaching, and abusing, their power.  Thomas Jefferson and James Madison thought Hamilton was mad.  And fought against him with every last fiber of their bodies.  Because they knew that they couldn’t trust future members of their republican government to be men of virtue.  As proven by Aaron Burr.  Who lived during the time of the Founding Fathers.

The modern Democrat Party traces its roots back to Woodrow Wilson and FDR.  Men hungry for power.  And having little virtue.  Today we call people like them Big Government liberal Democrats.  Who have continued to advance the growth and power of the federal government.  Approximately 20% of the population identifies themselves as liberals.  And yet the liberals have greatly advanced their agenda.  How?  In large part through judicial activism.  Using the courts to give them what the state legislatures or Congress won’t.  Such as when a state passes a referendum on a liberal issue, such as redefining gay marriage, the liberals use the courts to overturn that act of democracy.  Or any other that they disagree with.

Now that’s the kind of governing that Wilson and FDR would approve of.  Even Joseph Stalin.  More and more power centralized in the federal government.  The ability to overturn legislation you don’t like.  A revolution without violence.  It doesn’t get any better than that.  If Woodrow Wilson, FDR and Joseph Stalin were alive today they would likely endorse the Democrat candidates Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

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