Resident Obama Boxes Libertarian Strawmen

But to be fair, a good deal of the other party’s opposition to our agenda has also been rooted in their sincere and fundamental belief about the role of government.  It’s a belief that government has little or no role to play in helping this nation meet our collective challenges.  It’s an agenda that basically offers two answers to every problem we face:  more tax breaks for the wealthy and fewer rules for corporations.

The last administration called this recycled idea “the Ownership Society.”  But what it essentially means is that everyone is on their own.  No matter how hard you work, if your paycheck isn’t enough to pay for college or health care or childcare, well, you’re on your own.  If misfortune causes you to lose your job or your home, you’re on your own.  And if you’re a Wall Street bank or an insurance company or an oil company, you pretty much get to play by your own rules, regardless of the consequences for everybody else.

June 2 address

Powerful stuff. (emphasis mine)

Total horse hockey, but great for the kabuki theater crowd.

The last administration and the GOP from 2000-2006 grew government spending and government regulation by more than any administration since Nixon, it turns out.

Figure_1

And while we watch BP and Obama scramble to get one up on each other over the continued oil spill, let’s just remember that a $75 million maximum liability that BP faces for the oil spill is a product of regulation, not the free market.

(h/t Hit n Run)

Compelling Profile of Rand Paul in…Salon?

Yep. Surprising, isn’t it? Rand is the physician son of Ron Paul — the old Texas OB libertarian/Republican with some great ideas, uncompromising principles, and two failed presidential runs under his belt. Ron, sadly, is neither the kind who can carry national elections nor is free from the baggage of his past.

Rand, however, is on the rise and he has none of the ancient history problems his father did, but all of his father’s commitment to principle, and a uniting personality to boot.

How Rand Paul became the Tea Party’s Obama

His father’s libertarian army and Rush Limbaugh’s “Dittoheads” aren’t natural allies. But Rand Paul has united them

Rand Paul’s success can be understood in the genealogy of the Tea Party movement. Its viral and decentralized traits, the intellectual foundations of its libertarianism, and its fundraising tactics all come from Ron Paul’s presidential campaign.

The first Tea Party event of the Obama era was arguably a Ron Paul “money bomb” fundraiser; and the story of that event is the primal example of how the medium of the Internet and the power of American mythology have combined to unify a movement of militant individualists.md_horiz

….

The political genius of Paul is his ability to cultivate a narrative that speaks to all strains of the Tea Party movement at once. After all, the libertarian purists who loved Ron Paul’s dissident truth-telling are not natural allies of the Limbaugh Dittoheads who dismissed him as an eccentric. He sings his libertarianism in the key of Glenn Beck – and he is writing a Republican playbook for the tea party era, turning grassroots energy into electoral power. Now, less than a week before the primary, polls show Paul’s lead over Grayson approaching 20 points. He also leads both of his potential Democratic challengers in the general election polling.

Read it all here.

More on Rand here.

h/t Hit n Run

Sweet

hat tip: Vines & Cattle

The Regulators: Heads They Win, Tails You Lose

First, let’s take a quick read of an excerpt from Matt Welch at CNN.com today on whether economic regulations were cut or strengthened over the past decade:

Expecting regulators to do their job well, let alone magically prevent whatever private-sector outcomes we do not like, is as fantastical as the assertion that George W. Bush was a deregulatory president.

Wait, what? Didn’t we just read in Time magazine that “From the start, Bush embraced a governing philosophy of deregulation”? That’s a comforting narrative for those trying to “restore” regulatory oversight of Wall Street. But it’s false.

According to Mercatus Center economist Veronique de Rugy, federal expenditure on regulatory enforcement in finance and banking, when adjusted for inflation, “rose 29 percent from 2001 to 2009, making it hard to argue that Bush deregulated the financial sector.” This was a sharp break from Bill Clinton, who actually cut financial regulation spending by 3 percent, de Rugy found.

The last major bit of financial market regulatory overhaul, which has already disappeared down the public memory hole, was the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in the wake of the Enron debacle and other corporate scandals.

When signing it into law, Bush declared: “No more easy money for corporate criminals, just hard time. …The era of low standards and false profits is over.” I guess someone forgot to tell Bernie Madoff.

But does it matter?

To the mind of the pro-regulation, anti-free market set, all outcomes are evidence of the need for more government regulation of business.

If there’s a breakdown, loophole or Enron-scam, it’s a sign of the need for more regulation.

If things run smoothly, it’s a sign we need more of the regulation that keeps things running smoothly.

Craig Watkins Even Gets on the Last Nerve of His Supporters

Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins, let’s never forget, should be praised for his work in exonerating the wrongly convicted. No one can take that away from him.

But that’s not a “Get Out of Jail Free” card on all the apparently dirty stuff he’s up to — cover ups, misappropriation of campaign funds, vendettas against the Dallas County Republican chair, and so on.

Worst of all, he’s engaging in one of the great crimes on teh Internets: sock puppetry.

Use your eyes to read my Internet crush Bethany Anderson’s take on the whole thing plus some election commentary here.

The Fix Is In: Toyota To Get Kangaroo Court

So whatever legitimate problems that Toyota models have, they’re about to get the union thug treatment, courtesy the majority owner of General Motors, also known as the Federal Government.

The U.S. House has issued its conclusions in advance of hearings – saying here’s the verdict, now let’s have the trial.

WASHINGTON — Leading Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee said Monday that Toyota relied on a flawed study in dismissing the notion that computer issues could be at fault for sticking accelerator pedals, and then made misleading statements about the repairs.

The comments, from Henry A. Waxman, chairman of the committee, and Bart Stupak, a subcommittee chairman, were made in an 11-page letter to James E. Lentz III, the president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. The letter was released Monday on the eve of the committee’s hearing on the Toyota recalls, one of three scheduled.

Kowtowing to union lobbyists, their own vested interest in GM outperforming Toyota, and the fact that Toyota has spent only $24.9 million lobbying versus GM’s $50 million over the last five years — it’s not hard to see why key members of the House committee would embark on a smear campaign. And I’m sorry, but that’s the only way to describe what you’re going to get when you issue your conclusions before you have hearings.

Here’s the best part — even if Toyota presents evidence that vindicates itself, and that shows they were targeted for a public tarring despite the fact that other manufacturers have as many as 10 times as many safety complaints — they won’t be able to do jack or squat about it.

The damage to their reputation among buyers will be done.

Why no recourse? Sovereign immunity.

Seriously — I know American history inside and out, and we’re approaching a level of federal corruption and crony capitalism that eclipses anything short of Tammany Hall. No, this is worse. Boss Tweed was a piker compared to this lot.

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators. -P.J. O’Rourke

The Party of No Has Too Many Saying Yes, Please

zodiac-pig-picIf Dallas people want a streetcar, we should pay for it. We shouldn’t stick our nose in the troth trough and ask the rest of America to support our pet projects. Thanks, Pete. You have a little slop on your collar, there.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, led by Texas Representative Pete Sessions, released a video montage of clips edited to show a series of news anchors and commentators asking “Where are the jobs?”

Sessions, who called the stimulus “a massive spending binge by the Democrat-controlled Congress,” wrote LaHood three times last September and October. Sessions promoted four projects, including a Dallas streetcar line he said “will create jobs in the region and improve the quality of life for North Texans.” The project got $23 million.

Sessions, in an e-mail, called the stimulus an “abject failure” and said he’d vote against it again if he could.

The lawmaker said his objections don’t keep him “from asking federal agencies for their full consideration of critical infrastructure and competitive grant projects for North Texas when asked to do so by my constituents.” Sessions has written agencies supporting six other grants, spokeswoman Emily Davis said.

Health Care and Brown, Take 2

An old chum and lawyer has a different take on what’s what for government-run health care now.

So now for something completely different…

Why Principle Is More Important Than Pragmatism

On deadline again and dealing with family stuff, but meanwhile, this may be one of the more brilliant pieces I’ve read lately.

Sample:

At the heart of the Left’s indulgence of political corruption lies the mistaken conviction that “public service” transforms politicians into exemplars of civic virtue, or that political office attracts a large percentage of such civic-minded individuals. In reality, the political class is even more greedy and selfish than wealthy businessmen… because they spend much of their time in the company of such wealthy men, and believe themselves entitled to riches and luxuries. Max Baucus doubtless attends a lot of campaign events sponsored by rich supporters who can afford to fly their girlfriends to Europe for a romantic getaway, and he believes himself morally and intellectually superior to these men – the remorseless logic of statism demands it. It only makes sense to place politicians in control of industry if they’re better than the industrialists they control, after all.

Doctor Zero doesn’t spare the right-wing trough-feeders, either. Full piece here.

You’re Out of Your Element, Donnie

The fall of the Berlin Wall?

It’s all about Barack.

Best comment:

It is telling that Obama manages it involve himself in all sorts of issues unbecoming a President like having a beer with the cop and victim of a local law enforcement screw-up, giving speeches to captive-audience school children, and begging for the Olympics for his home town (not that his cronies would have profited from that, of course!). Then when there is an event of truly global and historic significance deserving of the stature and symbolism of an appearance by the President of the United States, he can’t be bothered to do more than essentially phone it in?

Obama, his own actions reveal, is just a lousy, thick-headed clod. No wonder he keeps his college transcripts sealed.