Posts tagged ‘Solyndra’

The Crony Class Includes the Political Class

The Kronies, from John Papola and Emergent Order

For most of US history, crony capitalism has been in a struggle with free-market capitalism for the heart and soul of the American economy. For the past half century, crony capitalism has been gaining the upper hand. There are many reasons why, all of which can be traced to the insatiable desire of the state to gain and hold power.

How the World Was Made Safe for Crony Capitalism

Crony in Chief

Crony Chronicles | The Cronyism Resource

Cafe Hayek – Crony Capitalism

Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Exemplify The Horrors Of Crony Capitalism

ObamaCare’s Crony Capitalism: Worse than We Thought

Crony Capitalism in America: 2008-2012

An Obama renaissance of crony capitalism

Curt Schilling, Crony

We need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT)

Sheila Bair, Crony
Sheila Bair, regulator who criticized the revolving door, passes through the revolving door

Chuck Schumer, Crony
Chuck Schumer: Voice of the little man, courtier of plutocrats

Joe Lieberman, Crony
Joe Lieberman’s revolving-door spin, and the profitability of bigger government

David Strickland, Crony
Obama revolving door: Auto safety chief who oversaw Toyota case cashes out to Chrysler’s lobbying firm

Continue reading ‘The Crony Class Includes the Political Class’ »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

America is Not Becoming More Libertarian

[I]t is a myth that the US is becoming ‘libertarian’ – the number of restrictions on personal behaviour is increasing, not decreasing. At the same time as marijuana is being legalised in Colorado, cities are banning e-cigarettes for no rational reason. The newly ‘liberal’ America says it’s cool to smoke marijuana but then demonises those who eat a McDonald’s hamburger or drink a Big Gulp soda. Many of the same people who are posing as liberty’s champions over marijuana are the same ones who are leading the charge when it comes to bans, limits and nudges on tobacco, soda, school lunches, and so on.

Marijuana and the myth of libertarian America

The American Aristocracy worries about the little people:

What an odd situation in which we find ourselves, where the most influential figures in politics, media, culture, and the academy, the leaders of institutions from the presidency to the Senate to multinational corporations to globally recognized universities, spend most of their time discussing inequalities of income and opportunity, identifying, blaming, and attacking the mysterious and nefarious figures behind whatever the social problem of the day might be. This is the way the clique that runs America justifies the inequalities endemic to “meritocracy,” the way it masks the flaws of a power structure that generates Brown-educated cable hosts and personal chefs who open ballparks with a phone call. This is how a new American aristocracy comes into being, one as entitled and clueless as its predecessors, but without the awareness of itself as a class.

Love in the Time of Obama

Let’s start by downsizing the federal government – a smaller government means less rent-seeking.

DownsizingGovernment.org

Department of Education – college con

Department of Labor – unemployment, FUTA, job training, monopoly unionism

Department of Energy – clean coal, Solyndra

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS – Medicaid, fraud, Medicare,

Department of Agriculture, USDA – ag subsidies, wheat, corn, rice, dairy, soybeans, cotton, sugar

The gradual accretion of power by a vast administrative state, combined with an administration intolerant of dissent, has produced a clear and present danger to basic American freedoms.

Enemies of Friends of Abe: How the IRS chills freedom of association.

Continue reading ‘America is Not Becoming More Libertarian’ »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Shit My President Says

Kind of like “Shit my Dad says,” but with unfortunate consequences for millions of people, not just the rubes who voted for the Moral Preener in Chief.

#ShitMyPresidentSays

Scandal? What Scandal?

“Don’t worry, I’ll pull out.”

“I’ll still love you in the morning.”

“This is the moment the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

“You can keep your plan.” (IYLYPYCKYP)

“It’s the law of the land.”

“We won.”

“Stop fanning the flames of division.”

“Let me be perfectly clear.”

52 Percent of People Don’t Trust Obama Anymore

“You will not see your taxes increase one single dime. Not one single dime.”

“My job is to solve problems, not to stand on the sidelines and carp and gripe.”

“You can take that to the bank.”

I will close Guntanamo.

“The buck stops with me.”

“Let me be absolutely clear.”

“No more secrecy.”

“I’ll make our government more open and transparent.”

“I will promise you this.”

“I hear you loud and clear.”

No to warrantless wiretaps. No corporate welfare, no more secrecy.

“I am less interested in passing out blame.”

Fast and Furious, IRS, Benghazi, Obamacare, Solyndra, GM and Chrysler, revolving door, Pigford, Sibelius shakedown, no lobbyists in administration, transparency, etc., ad nauseum.

Obama is at Two Dozen Scandals and Counting

“We’ve been a little bit lazy the last couple of years.”

A Noble Lie? Why ObamaCare is worse than just a case of pathological altruism.

“ocean-commanding commander-in-chief”

Liar in Chief

“Marriage is the union between a man and a woman.”

Every president faces the challenge of explaining complex policies in simple terms. But the quest for simplicity is no excuse for dishonesty.

Obama’s own advisers told the Journal that they knew those 16 words were untrue, but Obama kept on saying them — over and over and over again.

If that’s the case, then Obama didn’t misspeak.

He lied.

A dishonest presidency

“Let me be absolutely clear.”

“I want to go through the federal budget, line by line.”

“I’m pledging to cut the deficit by half by the end of my first term in office.”

“I’ll end the abuse of no-bid contracts once and for all.”

“No more illegal wiretapping of American citizens.”

“No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient.”

“We’re not going to use signing statements to do an end run around Congress.”

“What can we do without Congress.”

Pretty sad when a politician can make George W. Bush look like a miser, Bill Clinton look like a paragon of virtue, Jimmy Carter look decisive, and Dan Quayle look like a brilliant genius.

“We can restore fiscal responsibility in Washington.”

Alas, the English language is not well equipped to capture the sensation I’m describing, which is why we must all thank the Germans for giving us the term “schadenfreude” — the joy one feels at the misfortune or failure of others. The primary wellspring of schadenfreude can be attributed to Barack Obama’s hubris — another immigrant word, which means a sinful pride or arrogance that causes someone to believe he has a godlike immunity to the rules of life.

The hubris of our ocean-commanding commander-in-chief surely isn’t news to readers of this website. He’s said that he’s smarter and better than everyone who works for him. His wife informed us that he has “brought us out of the dark and into the light” and that he would fix our broken souls. The man defined sin itself as “being out of alignment with my values.” We may be the ones we’ve been waiting for, but at the same time, everyone has been waiting for him. Or as he put it in 2007, “Every place is Barack Obama country once Barack Obama’s been there.”

Obamacare Schadenfreudarama

Hubris, thy name is Barack Obama.

He knows everything. And yet he seems to know nothing. He’s passionate about the details of domestic policy but wasn’t privy to the details of his own legacy law. He’s an academic with a command of every issue at once but seemingly only finds out what his administration is doing in news reports. He’s so brilliant every normal endeavor he’s tried has bored him, but he couldn’t bother to entertain himself with more than one monthly meeting on the make-or-break program of his presidency. He’s the captain of the Culture of Competency who has overseen the most incompetent rollout of an entitlement program in history.
. . .
He knows everything. And yet he knows nothing. . . . The animating feature of Obama’s leadership style is simply making pronouncements. Making them about things he knows, things he knows not, and waiting for everyone and everything to fall in line. And, when things don’t magically come together, he pronounces his disappointment and anger. Wash, rinse, repeat.

“We’re going to get this done, all right?”

Sure. If you say so.

The ignorant omniscience of President Obama

Bill Clinton: “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I have ever seen.”

Continue reading ‘Shit My President Says’ »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stop Watching Us!

Stop Watching Us!

Thousands rallied against NSA’s domestic and international surveillance on Saturday by marching to the Capitol and calling for closer scrutiny of the agency as more details of its spying are leaked.

Holding signs that said “Stop mass surveillance,” “Thank you, Edward Snowden” and “No NSA mass spying,” and chanting slogans like “no secret courts,” the protesters gathered under a blue sky to hear various speakers.

Craig Aaron, head of the group Free Press, said “this isn’t about right and left — it’s about right and wrong.”

Anti-NSA rally attracts thousands to march in Washington

Demonstrators came from across the United States. Some wore tape across their mouths and masks, and dressed up as cameras. Others carried signs plastered with images of Snowden, and a giant blue and white parachute that read “constitutional rights not NSA mass spying.” Groups of protesters chanted slogans like, “They say wiretap, we say fight back,” and “Hey hey, ho ho, the NSA has got to go.” One person dressed up as Obama, held an “Obamacam” and posed in front of a model drone.

NSA ‘Stop Watching Us’ Protest Draws Thousands In Washington

Obamacare, Benghazi, IRS, NSA, race baiting, Solyndra, moral preening, Fast and Furious, Pigford, etc., ad nauseum. President Transparency, Moral Preener in Chief, Victim in Chief, President Asterisk, etc., ad nasueum.

America is going through a transformation, on a scale that few people now realize. The last such fundamental change was from the rural and agrarian society of the Founding era (America 1.0) to the urban and industrial society which is now coming to an end (America 2.0).

That transition was disruptive and painful, but ultimately led to a better America.

We are now making a similar transition to a post-industrial, networked, decentralized, immensely productive America, with a more individualistic, voluntarist, anti-bureaucratic culture (America 3.0).

Today’s political regime is like legacy software, built for an earlier world.

Institutions of the 20th Century welfare state that once looked permanent are crumbling. The old operating system has been kludged so many times it won’t work much longer. It has to be replaced.

The time-worn liberal-progressive wisdom is simple: See a problem, create a government program to fix it.

ObamaCare proves this approach no longer works.

The transformation of the USA — here comes America 3.0

Average is Over

Continue reading ‘Stop Watching Us!’ »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Government of Lies and Mediocrity

The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.

Frederic Bastiat

The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

H.L. Mencken, Bayard vs Lionheart, July 26,1920

I reject the argument that the government is empowered to take our liberties — here, the right to privacy — by majority vote or by secret fiat as part of an involuntary collective bargain that it needs to monitor us in private in order to protect us in public. The government’s job is to keep us free and safe. If it keeps us safe but not free, it is not doing its job.

. . .

And, if all of this is not enough to induce one to realize that the Orwellian future is here thanks to the secret governments of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Snowden also revealed that the NSA can hack into anyone’s mobile phone, even when it is turned off, and use each phone as a listening device and as a GPS to track whoever possesses it.

All of this — which is essentially undisputed — leads me to the question: Where is the outrage? I think the government has succeeded in so terrifying us at the prospect of another 9/11 that we are afraid to be outraged at the government when it claims to be protecting us, no matter what it does. C.S. Lewis once remarked that the greatest trick the devil has pulled off is convincing us that he does not exist. The government’s greatest trick has been persuading us to surrender our freedoms.

Will we ever get them back? The answer to that depends upon the fidelity to freedom of those in whose hands we have reposed the Constitution for safekeeping. At present, those hands are soiled with the filth of totalitarianism and preoccupied with the grasp of power. And they seem to be getting dirtier and their grip tighter every day.


A Government of Secrecy and Fear

A veteran Washington D.C. investigative journalist says the Department of Homeland Security confiscated a stack of her confidential files during a raid of her home in August — leading her to fear that a number of her sources inside the federal government have now been exposed.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, journalist Audrey Hudson revealed that the Department of Homeland Security and Maryland State Police were involved in a predawn raid of her Shady Side, Md. home on Aug. 6. Hudson is a former Washington Times reporter and current freelance reporter.

A search warrant obtained by TheDC indicates that the August raid allowed law enforcement to search for firearms inside her home.

The document notes that her husband, Paul Flanagan, was found guilty in 1986 to resisting arrest in Prince George’s County. The warrant called for police to search the residence they share and seize all weapons and ammunition because he is prohibited under the law from possessing firearms.

But without Hudson’s knowledge, the agents also confiscated a batch of documents that contained information about sources inside the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, she said.

Feds confiscate investigative reporter’s confidential files during raid

This law [Obamacare] only passed because of a profound violation of democratic principles.

The Obamacare website doesn’t show which plans cover abortion.

Obamacare, Benghazi, IRS, NSA, race baiting, Solyndra, moral preening, Fast and Furious, Pigford, etc., ad nauseum. Thank you to the rubes who voted for a 3rd and 4th W. Bush term.

And on the local level: National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-23-13

Continue reading ‘A Government of Lies and Mediocrity’ »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rubes, you did build that.

Obamacare, Benghazi, IRS, NSA, race baiting, Solyndra, moral preening, Fast and Furious, Pigford, etc., ad nauseum. President Transparency, Moral Preener in Chief, Victim in Chief, President Asterisk, etc., ad nasueum.

The U.S. individual health insurance market currently totals about 19 million people. Because the Obama administration’s regulations on grandfathering existing plans were so stringent about 85% of those, 16 million, are not grandfathered and must comply with Obamacare at their next renewal. The rules are very complex. For example, if you had an individual plan in March of 2010 when the law was passed and you only increased the deductible from $1,000 to $1,500 in the years since, your plan has lost its grandfather status and it will no longer be available to you when it would have renewed in 2014.

These 16 million people are now receiving letters from their carriers saying they are losing their current coverage and must re-enroll in order to avoid a break in coverage and comply with the new health law’s benefit mandates––the vast majority by January 1. Most of these will be seeing some pretty big rate increases.

Week Two of the Obamacare Federal Health Insurance Exchange Rollout––No Improvement

Rubes who idolize the state. Statolatry.

President Obama claims that Republicans are busy probing “phony scandals.” But the sheer number of scandals suggests that misbehavior, abuse of power, and possibly corruption are not something being dreamed up by the GOP, but a defining characteristic of the Obama administration.

Obama is at Two Dozen Scandals and Counting

President Obama (in)famously said, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan” under the Affordable Care Act. As it turns out, not so much. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, it turns out, are receiving letters telling them that their existing coverage just isn’t good enough to satisfy the strict rquirements of the Obamacare law, and that they’ll have to sign up for new policies. Those new policies come with new stipulations, and new price tags. Which is to say, it doesn’t matter if you like your health care plan, since you probably can’t keep it.

You Can Keep Your Health Insurance Under Obamacare? Not So Much.

Obviously, those people losing their health insurance must not have liked what they had. It’s the only explanation.

Continue reading ‘Rubes, you did build that.’ »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Optics (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Optics

A “term of art for how a bit of news will be perceived by the public at large, which is only used by people who bill by the hour.”
Troy Senik

“The branch of physics which involves the behavior and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it.”
Wikipedia

“The viewing lens of public perception. How the media will play a story. Political repercussions are all about optics. Bad optics would be giving the media or the political opposition a juicy story to play with.”
Urban Dictionary

How did optics achieve buzzword status in American politics? In his final On Language column last September, William Safire noted the trend: “‘Optics’ is hot, rivaling content.” When politicians fret about the public perception of a decision more than the substance of the decision itself, we’re living in a world of optics. Of course, elected officials have worried about outward appearances since time immemorial, but optics puts a new spin on things, giving a scientific-sounding gloss to P.R. and image-making.

Though the metaphorical expansion of optics into the political arena feels novel, it has actually been brewing for a few decades. On May 31, 1978, The Wall Street Journal quoted Jimmy Carter’s special counselor on inflation, Robert Strauss, as saying that business leaders who went along with Carter’s anti-inflation measures might be invited to the White House as a token of appreciation. “It would be a nice optical step,” Strauss said. The Journal was not impressed by the idea: the following day, an editorial rebuffed Strauss’s overtures with the line “Optics will not cure inflation.”

Optics,” by Ben Zimer, The New York Times, March 4, 2010

“The optics of a Solyndra default will be bad,” the Office of Management and Budget staff member wrote Jan. 31 in an e-mail to a co-worker. “If Solyndra defaults down the road, the optics will be arguably worse later than they would be today. . . . In addition, the timing will likely coincide with the 2012 campaign season heating up.”

Obama administration e-mails: Giving more taxpayer money to Solyndra was risky,” by Carol D. Leonnig and Joe Stephens, The Washington Post, September 15, 2011

Also see Fiscal Illusion; The Shadow of Enlightenment: Optical and Political Transparency in France 1789-1848.

More

Courses

Publications



Legislative Drafter’s Deskbook: A Practical Guide


Congressional Deskbook: The Practical and Comprehensive Guide to Congress


Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: Citizen Advocacy in State Legislatures and Congress: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates


The Federal Budget Process: A description of the federal and congressional budget processes, including timelines

CongressionalGlossary.com, from TheCapitol.Net

Tags: , , , , , , , ,