Thursday, April 30, 2009

Don't Turn America Into Another France

A simple plea from a pretty French economist.

Barney Frank: "What housing bubble?"

Before the financial crisis, many members of Congress cheered subprime mortgages simply because they aptly served affordable housing goals. In this video, we see Barney Frank running interference for mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae several years before the feds had to step in to save them.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

He really was more of a Democrat

Spector switches party. Is anybody really surprised? I'm not. Politicians look out for themselves and their elected office. They will see which way the wind is blowing and they act accordingly. This is another example of how citizens should never trust politicians or government.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cartoon of the day

The REAL pirates!


Why You've Never Heard of the Great Depression of 1920

This is a long video--50 minutes . However, if you are interested in economic history and specifically the Great Depression, you should enjoy this.

Monday, April 20, 2009

It’s not easy being Green

On Friday, the Obama administration declared that carbon dioxide (including five other industrial gases) was a grave danger to human health and a threat to the environment. The regulatory agency that will be in charge of crafting environmental regulation will be the Environmental Protection Agency. However, I surmise that it will probably be Congress that creates some sort of all encompassing environmental legislation. This is the moment that environmental groups were waiting for and it is for them a major step into crafting a "green" economy. This is huge. This ruling means that everything that you consume or purchase will essentially become more expensive--EVERYTHING. Congratulations, my dear taxpayers, our nation is now off to a new economic experiment that will never pay off and will bring grimaces of pain when citizens have to settle the bill.

By the way, the "green" experiment of ethanol hasn't worked out well at all yet our government will continue to subsidize it till someone notices the huge money pit that it is. Despite the fact that ethanol plants are closing all over the country, our government wants to mandate even more ethanol use. Of course, this means that the taxpayer remains on the hook to benefit ethanol producers and the states that have them.

Raising Taxes Explained...

This one minute video clearly explains why raising taxes during a recession is not good policy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Free Audio Downloads

Lovers of freedom, check out this website for a free audio download of Frederic Bastiat's "The Law." Now you can listen to Bastiat's classic while driving in to work instead of the corny shock jock radio.

Quote Of The Day

"I am suspicious of all the things that the average citizen believes."

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Big State Government Now Wants Your T.V.

You see we need to save energy because too much energy usage makes the power plants burn more fossil fuels which we know pollutes the earth and causes Global Warming. If we don't stop Global Warming, we will find ourselves underwater or starving or destroyed by killer weather just like that realistic movie, "The Day After Tomorrow." So, your T.V. needs to be regulated. It's for the greater good.

California state regulators, who have limited automobile emissions and required large utilities to increase use of renewable energy, now are taking aim at a ubiquitous household item - the television.

Consumer demand for bigger, flatter and fancier TVs has dramatically increased the amount of energy needed to watch the tube, officials say. The California Energy Commission says a 42-inch plasma television uses more energy than a large refrigerator...

To reduce the electrical draw from TVs, the commission has proposed the nation's first mandatory energy limits on televisions - limits that many large LCD and plasma TVs on the market do not meet.

"We want to get rid of energy-guzzling televisions," said Adam Gottlieb, spokesman for the state energy commission.

The proposed rules would take effect from 2011 to 2013, eventually cutting the use of power by 50 percent.

How long before this idea goes federal?

Dan Mitchell's Makes His Case For Tax Haven's on Capitol Hill -- Part 1 & 2

"The only way competition is harmful is if you're a monopolist or an oligarchist and you don't like when there are competitors that are threatening your secure little position in life."--Dan Mitchell.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Less of a "Live Free Or Die" State Soon.

"New Hampshire is one step closer to having a mandatory seat belt law."

Obama Wants To Monitor Your Internet

Rod Williams over at A Disgruntled Republican notes that the Obama administration intends to revive a Bush administration program that mines the internet for data linked to possible terrorist acts. My question is where are the loud protests? Where is the outrage over this that we witnessed from the Left when Bush tried to implement this very same program? Since Mr. Obama is a beloved liberal democrat, is he going to get a free pass on this power grab? Maybe everyone is being distracted by the new dog.

Much credit is given to Nelson over at the Liberal Journal for tackling this issue.

"Deficits Don't Matter."---Dick Cheney

While Obama cites "signs of progress" in the economy, the national deficit swells.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Salazar and Off Shore Drilling take center stage

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Will it be possible for environmental groups and the oil industry to find a middle ground to pave the way for exploration off the coasts of the U.S.? We are going to find out soon enough. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is opening up the debate for the next six months and I expect the usual rhetoric from environmental groups who detest any drilling whatsoever; they will claim, as usual, that not enough is being done to encourage alternative fuels and development of already-leased federal lands--all which is a bunch of crock. Democrats will invariably find a means to subsidize "renewable" energy by taxing the oil companies if they are allowed to drill under new leases. And as we found out last year, some leased lands or off shore parcels aren't worth drilling because of the high cost or there is little oil to extract.
I have a wait and see attitude on this because I remember how last year the Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi released a 290-page bill on "off shore" drilling--they pushed it through less than 24 hours later, 236-189. "Closed" rules prohibited the GOP from offering alternatives. And the bill was a porker with little prospects of any real off shore drilling. I wonder what this administration up to? I'm suspicious.

I received an e-mail from the intrepid Jane Van Ryan over at the American Petroluem Institute informing me that Secretary Salazar will be in my neck of the woods--San Francisco, California--on Tuesday, April 16th to hold a public hearing on offshore drilling. Oh boy, I expect the protests to be colorful and cartoonish. Here is an excerpt from Jane's informative e-mail:

To give you some background, the Minerals Management Service (MMS) – the federal agency responsible for administering the offshore oil and natural gas program – considers the size, timing, and location of the areas to be considered for federal leasing, and it bases its recommendations on the public’s comments. Although a five-year plan approving increased offshore drilling was released in January, Sec. Salazar directed Interior Department scientists to produce new reports on how much oil and gas might be found off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and extended the public comment period to September. Regional hearings like the one in San Francisco are part of that public comment period.

We expect that anti-drilling groups will mobilize their members to make up the majority of comments at the San Francisco hearing, but I wanted to let you know that you and your readers can submit comments to MMS electronically, if desired. This link will direct you to a page on our Web site where you can learn more about the MMS five-year plan and click-through to submit a public comment. In addition, the page has several resources for bloggers, including a blog badge and an interactive widget that will allow you to identify your Congressional representatives, find them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, or simply send them an e-mail.

So, if any of you are interested in making your voices heard on this issue, this is a good forum to exercise your viewpoint. This country is going to need more energy to power its economy as time goes on--wind mills, solar panels, and bio-fuels will certainly not replace fossil fuels anytime soon. We need to use the resources we have available to us in our own country to keep energy inexpensive and to create jobs. Now is the time to make your voice heard.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

TSA harrassing Ron Paul supporter

A message from Campaign For Liberty about the above video:

Dear Friend of Liberty,

Campaign for Liberty’s very own Steve Bierfeldt has become an unexpected Internet sensation -- and the latest target of over-reaching federal government agents.

You see, Steve was detained by Airport Police and TSA officials shortly after the Campaign for Liberty regional conference in St. Louis.

The officials rudely berated and harassed Steve for 30 minutes in a secluded room at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Fortunately, Steve was able to record nearly all of the interrogation with his cell phone.

Steve’s alleged “crime”? Carrying $4,700 in checks and cash from Campaign for Liberty, along with various other materials from our conference.

The local and Federal agents harassed Steve. They were belligerent, cursing and using insulting language. They threatened to turn Steve over to the DEA and the FBI, all the while refusing to inform him of his legal rights or explain how cash and checks threatened airplane or airport security.

Throughout the interrogation, Steve remained polite but resolute and declined to answer the invasive questions without an adequate explanation from these federal and local agents as to why they needed to be answered. Without telling Steve what law he was accused of breaking, they continued their harassment.

Although they grew increasingly frustrated that he remained committed to exercising his rights, intervention from another officer eventually led the police to reluctantly release Steve.

Last Wednesday, Steve appeared on Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch to discuss the flagrant violation of his rights and to promote the importance of each of us defending our civil liberties...

Steve’s ordeal is a reminder to all patriots that liberty is constantly under fire, and we must remain vigilant and prepared to stand up for our rights.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Cap and Trade Loses in Senate

You may have missed this since the main stream media is too busy covering Obama's European tour; it seems that the cap and trade scheme that Obama and environmentalists have been pining for has hit a snag in the Senate; Democrats will not be able to ram it through with a simple majority. Senators from manufacturing states, even Democrats, know that the cap and trade scheme would be a major blow to their base and the 2010 mid-term elections aren't that far off for constituents to forget how some Senators voted away their economy--they obviously know where their bread is buttered.

The above chart provided by the Heritage Foundation.

Cartoon of the day

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Corporations That Donate

From here are the top ten corporations that make cash donations to charities. Note that some of these are companies Progressives/Liberals love to hate:

Walmart: 301 million

Bank Of America: 211 million

ExxonMobil: 173 million

Citigroup: 146 million

Johnson and Johnson: 127 million

Chevron: 122 million

AT&T: 119 million

General Electric: 114 million

Microsoft: 110 million

Wachovia: 103 million

Friday, April 3, 2009

Is a Bailout of the FHA on the Horizon?

This may come to pass soon:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of troubled loans backed by the government's mortgage insurance program is on the rise as economic problems mount, and lawmakers are worried that taxpayers will be stuck with the final bill.

Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., warned Thursday that the Federal Housing Administration is a "powder keg" waiting to explode, and said the Congress and the Obama administration shouldn't place a greater financial burden on the already strapped agency.

Defenders of the Community Reinvestment Act claim that since the CRA has low rates of defaults, due to a rigorous application process, it is therefore not to be blamed for the housing debacle. I always counter that the CRA has some defaults, albeit small, and that this is enough of a reason to question the merits of the program since taxpayers end up footing the bill for any losses no matter how small. I see the current dilemma with the FHA as being a very similar case as the CRA; good and noble intentions gone awry as the taxpayer foots the bill. BTW, this isn't the first time that the FHA has had financial issues.

China--Please, don't buy our debt!

"The 'independent' Federal Reserve will monetize the debt by buying Treasurys in the open market with money created out of thin air."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mr. Sanchez, it is not all about Greed

Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek responds to Rick Sanchez of CNN regarding this program:

Here's a letter that I sent a couple of weeks ago to a CNN on-air personality:
16 March 2009

Mr. Rick Sanchez, Host, CNN NewsRoom

Dear Mr. Sanchez:

Re your interview today with economics students at Georgia State University: when a young man said that he is skeptical of government regulation and that he values individual liberty, you derisively accused him of believing that the economy would work well "without any rules."

The smug assurance of your accusation reveals your gross misunderstanding of the case for free markets. That case is not that rules are unnecessary. Rather, it's that rules written by politicians and enforced by bureaucrats generally work much less well than do rules that emerge decentrally - rules that evolve from the voluntary interactions and successes and mistakes of individuals each pursuing his or her own goals without being herded by a central authority - rules that are enforced by competition and by the exercise of personal responsibility and that, when sufficiently important, become formalized in case law declared by courts.

The distinction between what you think of as rules and the kinds of rules that permeate successful market economies is perhaps subtle. But it's also real and important. You should try to grasp it.

Donald J. Boudreaux

I must say that Prof. Boudreaux was succinct in his observation and comment.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Best April Fool's Joke on Liberal Bloggers?

The Bobo Files pulled a fast one.

Climate Change Reality

This just in--Al Gore has recanted his stance on Global Warming. Mr. Gore has said recently: "I have, after much studying of the scientific evidence, concluded that there isn't enough hard environmental evidence to support the theory of Global Warming. There are simply too many variables to take into account and several decades worth of data is simply not conclusive." Mr. Gore finished his statement by saying that he was going to turn his attention to alleviating the very real threat of poverty and hunger that continues to afflict the very poor of the world. APRIL'S FOOL!! I really had you going on that one, eh? Al Gore wouldn't come to his senses if an iceberg hit him on the head.

The Cato Institute published this full page ad in various newspapers around the country back in November, 2008. Since the Obama administration is now ready to get into the auto business and it is clear that it will push expensive "green" mandates--hybrid cars and a cap and trade scheme--it would be nice if "Mr. Pragmatic" would actually act like a pragmatist and be concerned with practical consequences and not political expediency or tendentiousness.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius: Tax Cheat

Another Obama nominee that has issues figuring out taxes: Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.