Op- Ed from Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) on Net Neutrality

The Internet is one of the most dynamic and competitive marketplaces in existence and has become a cornerstone of the American economy and culture. Consequently, concerns about the future of an open and fair Internet, broadly coined as “net neutrality,” have rightfully risen to the forefront of the national debate.

The rise of the net neutrality debate to national prominence has been accompanied with certain misconceptions about the underlying issues. In part, concerns about net neutrality have risen sharply because of aggressive claims that the Internet as we know it is under fire. These claims continue to be made despite the fact that one of the principal regulators of the Internet, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has not found problems with competition on the Internet in any peer-reviewed study. In addition, the FCC cannot point to a single case of an Internet provider creating a “fast lane” or a “slow lane,” terms used to describe whether an Internet provider selectively expedites or slows consumers’ access to the Internet or to certain websites.

Nevertheless, commentators have called on the FCC to impose burdensome regulations on the Internet as a remedy to these potential threats. President Obama is among the supporters of this regulatory approach, as announced last month in his White House statement.

The proposed regulatory approach relies on the false premise that regulation will result in increased competition. The Internet has transformed the economy and thrived precisely because of an environment of limited regulation. Increasing regulation on the rapidly growing and dynamic Internet would be a mistake and undermine the intent of net neutrality, which is to maintain a free, open, and competitive Internet.

As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee which has jurisdiction over net neutrality, I recently held a hearing on whether antitrust law or regulation is more effective in protecting consumers and innovation on the Internet. The conclusion of experts at the hearing was that the regulatory approach leaves consumers with fewer choices and higher prices, the antithesis of net neutrality.

I also sent a letter to the head of the FCC who will be the chief architect of any future Internet regulations. My letter to the FCC challenged the idea that regulating the Internet is the most effective way to achieve net neutrality and protect consumers from discriminatory conduct. Instead, I urged the FCC to examine the history of the Internet and why it has succeeded free of these regulations.

The Internet doesn’t need an inflexible “one-size-fits-all” government mandate to ensure net neutrality – and consumers do not need an extra $84 burden added to their annual Internet bill as a result of new net neutrality regulations, a number projected by a recent Progressive Policy Institute study.

The key to an open and free Internet lies in strong enforcement of our nation’s antitrust laws. These time-trusted laws allow for maximum flexibility and consistently demonstrate their ability to prevent discriminatory and anti-competitive conduct in the marketplace.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

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Delegate Peace wants our President to abide by the Constitution

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On Tuesday Delegate Chris Peace sent a letter to Virginia Attorney General Herring requesting that the Commonwealth of Virginia join a host of other states, to stand against President Obama’s power grab on immigration. In the letter Delegate Peace writes:
“Many of our Virginia Representatives share the point of view the President does not have the authority to advance his executive orders to change the laws in the absence of congressional action.”
I applaud Delegate Peace for taking this step, and I hope it is not in vain, as Attorney General Herring does not have a great track record of listening to Republican concerns in his short time while in office. Lets hope that he decides to protect and defend the United States Constitution, which is you know, his job.

Here is the link to the full letter sent by Delegate Peace

http://chrispeace.com/2014/12/08/peace-sends-letter-to-ag-herring-to-join-lawsuit-against-presidential-immigration-policy/

 

Hood Cries

An OP-ED by Coby Dillard :

 

When there’s blood in the streets (streets)
And you remain quiet, don’t you come with a speech
(When it pop) Man down (down), Gunned by police
Hood Cries, you ignore it? Don’t say nuthin’ to me
(When it pop) (When it pop)
The hood been cryin’ out (cryin’ out), but no one ever hears (yeah)
Until they turn it upside down (side down) Now everyone appears (yeah)

It’s easy for me to look at killings like Trayvon Martin’s and Michael Brown’s and say that the outcomes of the inquiries into them resembled justice. I can do that because, in both situations, there were-and remain-a lot of unknowns; a lot of unanswered questions that could lead an individual to say those killings weren’t outright murders. In those instances, I understand how and why the conclusions were made.

That said, I can’t look at the decision to not prosecute the police officer that killed Eric Garner and come to the same conclusion about justice being served. It wasn’t, and there’s no denying that. Even if I grant the police the latitude necessary for them to effectively and safely do their jobs, there is no way that I get to the point of choking someone to their death as a viable method of restraint. No, it may not be murder, but it’s definitely negligence…and New York has a statute for criminally negligent homicide.

I’ll leave that for the federal lawyers to sort out.

These multiple killings-Martin’s, Brown’s, Garner’s-have led to protests and degrees of civil unrest. Rightly so, despite my disagreement with some of the tactics. What we see in Ferguson, what we saw in Florida and around the country last year, is the boiling over of decades of tension and frustration between the black community and the police departments that are supposed to keep the peace.

I notice, however, that people have a hard time acknowledging that frustration. They ask why blacks don’t get upset at the high rates of black-on-black killings, or at the disproportionate rates of black abortions, questioning why some “black lives matter” and those supposedly taken at the hands of other blacks don’t.

To those who I know who make those arguments, do me a favor: stop.

Because those arguments don’t show any concern for what’s going on. They don’t show any compassion for what happened. You can’t dictate to a people-of any color-what they should and should not be upset about. Let’s keep this real: if black police officers were killing young white men in the way Brown and Garner were killed, and if George Zimmerman was a black man, we know what the reaction would be. You do too.

And the funny thing is that the black community would support your frustration. Why? Because we know firsthand what it feels like. Been happening to us for a while.

Do you really think that blacks don’t care about blacks killing blacks, through any form of violent actions? Do you really think we’re not smart enough to recognize the problems that our community has? Do you really think we’re not capable of addressing them?

If you do, I understand. You’re safely insulated. You don’t know what’s going on; don’t see the pastors and community leaders in their streets, going door to door if necessary and pleading for the violence to stop. You don’t see the few-and true, that’s unfortunate-black men who stay in their neighborhoods, working to bring peace and betterment. And the ones you do see and hear about, you cast them as “militants”, because they make you feel uncomfortable.

And yet, when I talk about black murders, black abortions, black kids who can’t read and aren’t learning in schools…..you applaud.

My community has some real issues; I know. We’re doing the best we can to deal with them with the resources we have. Our responses aren’t perfect; sometimes they’re loud. Sometimes they’re profane. Sometimes, yes, they’re self destructive. But they’re ours, with all their positive and negative implications.

Let us have them. Allow us the time and space to get our emotions out…and then help us continue the work of improving.

 

Coby Dillard is the Chairman and Founder of The Virginia Black Conservatives

Sonnie Johnson’s take on the Ferguson Riots

10 Questions Citizens of #Ferguson Should Ask Outside Agitators – Sonnie Johnson

Sonnie-Johnson
photo credit: Brietbart.com

 

It’s all fun and games until you burn down a damn city. The citizens of Ferguson should ask the outside agitators some questions before they let them continue to burn down their community…

  1. Where do you live? It would be nice to know that the people burning down your city will also be there when the destruction smolders. If they live in a gated community a thousand miles away, why are you letting them burn down your economy?
  2. How can they afford to be full time protestors? You don’t get paid to protest…or do you? Have you asked the protesters where they get their salary and what is the purpose of that salary? Has anyone offered you payment for time spent?
  3. What is your economic plan after the Ferguson protest? Now that the city is on fire, how do you plan to rebuild? Will it be private ownership that empowers the people or will Ferguson move to a more government-controlled structure like Detroit?
  4. Now that violence is a standard in Ferguson, from the police and protesters, who is going to protect the citizens caught in the crossfire? Gun sales in the Ferguson area have tripled in the last few months. Will it be incumbent upon the people to protect themselves?
  5. It’s going to take a lot of local tax money to repair all the damages caused to small business and public locations, are you going to contribute to local economy over and beyond what you have destroyed? You have proven your point, will you stay and be apart of cleaning up your anger and bitterness or will we have to live with it for a generation?
  6. You are telling me America is ruled by an oppressive government…but aren’t you the same people telling me to trust that government for my housing, food, healthcare, education, cell phone, etc? Don’t you think it’s dangerous to bite the hand that feeds you…while continuing to beg for scraps from their table?
  7. This is a black and white issue. White protesters; who said you, were an acceptable white? Do you have a white privilege null and void card to show proof you are really down for the cause? I mean, if you have a couple thousand in the bank and daddy’s credit card, you look like a 1%er to me.
  8. I’m asking this question for a friend…Why is it that every time Al Shartpon and his ILK show up, the media comes, but no actual change follows? You pop your head in, burns some shit down, the media displays them in full grandeur, and you leave the communities with nothing but heartbreak and anger?
  9. Do you think the events of Ferguson have cemented Progressive propaganda for an entire generation? We’re friends here, you can be honest. You have kept racism alive and well for an entire generation, are you proud? Which riot, or burning down of a city, will you relate Ferguson to when you tell the story of your battle in the Civil Rights movement?
  10. Was this a victory? Did you show America the value of black lives by burning down a damn city? Did you show black kids the value of hard work by looting? Did you explain 2nd amendment rights and RESPONSIBLITIES while you were shooting at police officers?  Is this what you really think black America looks like?

And this point, I’ll drop the mic and walk away.  There is no scenario where burning down your own shit is acceptable.  PERIOD.

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Israel…doesn’t get it

In response to his party’s caucus shrinking to its lowest number in over 80 year, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY, outgoing Congressional Campaign Chair) revealed a tone-deafness that, if shared by the rest of his caucus, could lead to even further shrinking.

Israel parroted the usual line we hear on the left these days – that the winning Republicans should “come into the middle” and work with Democrats (NROThe Corner), never mind that if voters had wanted Congress to be more amenable to Democrats’ wishes, they would have elected more actual Democrats.

Where Israel really goes off the rails is his insistence that the lame-duck Congress short-circuit the election (which at least in Louisiana is still ongoing) on “immigration reform” (same link):

Israel brought up corporate tax changes and, pointedly, immigration reform as issues on which the two parties can compromise.

“There really shouldn’t be any paralysis on this,” he said, noting that a Senate immigration bill has passed. “Let’s just pass it in the House,” he urged.

Let’s unpack this ass-hattery slowly.

First of all, there are good reasons why someone on either side of the argument on illegal immigration would have serious problems with the Senate’s immigration bill, chief among them the horrendous economic assumptions that “justify” it.  More to the point, a lame-duck session of Congress passing that bill would be a complete insult to the voters.

Lest we forget, John Boehner’s refusal to bring up the Senate immigration bill for a vote was one of the chief complaints thrown at him by the president, Senate Democrats, and just about everyone to the left of center in America. They hoped voters would send Boehner a message. Instead, voters sent him reinforcements.

Mitch McConnell was one of the 32 Senators who opposed the bill. Voters sent him reinforcements, too – eight so far, with perhaps one more coming in Louisiana.

Finally, of the 68 Senators who voted in favor of S.744, 5 Democrats lost their seats to Republicans (with one more, Mary Landrieu, likely to suffer the same fate), 4 have retired (3 of them Democrats to be replaced by Republicans), and one – Marco Rubio – has repudiated his vote. Even assuming no one else would vote differently (highly unlikely, especially given that McConnell will be more accommodating of amendments as Majority Leader), the bill could easily fail a cloture vote in the 2015 Senate. Whatever the voters of 2014 wanted, it sure wasn’t the Senate’s immigration bill.

Then again, Israel is trying to close his eyes to the voters anyway (same link again):

“In this election, one-third of voters chose a Democrat or Republican,” Israel said. “The other two-thirds just want us to get things done.”

Um…with all due respect, Steve, you don’t know what the other two-thirds want because they didn’t bother to vote.

If Israel (and the president) are any indication, the Democrats have decided that the non-voter is their perfect blank slate, upon which they can force any assumption and in whose they can put whatever words they like. That is a surefire recipe for a Republican president the next time actual voters get their say.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

New Global Warming Alarmist Problem: “Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder”

So, now, those of us who don’t buy global warming alarmism are to be blamed for alarmists’ stress.

Andrew Stuttaford (The Corner) has the details

 Just when you think that the misery that climate change is bringing in its wake can get no worse, there is this.

Grist reports:

…From depression to substance abuse to suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder, growing bodies of research in the relatively new field of psychology of global warming suggest that climate change will take a pretty heavy toll on the human psyche as storms become more destructive and droughts more prolonged. For your everyday environmentalist, the emotional stress suffered by a rapidly changing Earth can result in some pretty substantial anxieties….

Lise Van Susteren, a forensic psychiatrist based in Washington, D.C. — and co-author of the National Wildlife Federation’s report — calls this emotional reaction “pre-traumatic stress disorder,” a term she coined to describe the mental anguish that results from preparing for the worst, before it actually happens.

There is, in my view, a perfectly reasonable case to be made that man may be contributing to the way that our ever-changing climate changes. That’s one thing, but how some choose to express their belief in that proposition can be something altogether, well let’s just say, less reasonable.

…and here I thought it would be about alarmists trying to process the sixteen-year pause and all their data problems.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Hillary Turns Left

The economic illiteracy of the the Democrat party is on full display as Hillary tries to make the ridiculous claim that businesses do not create jobs. Thats is correct. She said that this is, “trickle down economics.”  No Hillary, is the free market. I remember the 80’s and 90’s. The private sector – relatively unencumbered generated wealth and our median income skyrocketed from $30K to $50K per household.

Under Obama the medical industry has become a government regulated nightmare.  Under this same administration the auto industry was turned over to the unions as a payoff for their political support in the 2008.  Coal is being killed off, one regulation at a time.  Under the burden of ever greater government control of the economy, we have fared worse.  The Obama’s  recovery has seen a greater loss in median income that the recession that came before it:

New estimates derived from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey by Sentier Research indicate that the real (inflation-adjusted) median annual household income in America has fallen by 4.4 percent during the “recovery,” after having fallen by 1.8 during the recession.  During the recession, the median American household income fell by $1,002 (from $55,480 to $54,478). During the recovery—that is, from the officially defined end of the recession (in June 2009) to the most recent month for which figures are available (June 2013)—the median American household income has fallen by $2,380 (from $54,478 to $52,098).  So the typical American household is making almost $2,400 less per year (in constant 2013 dollars) than it was four years ago, when the Obama “recovery” began.

So what is Hillary’s proposition to fix this mess? She is doubling down on Obamanomics, the false proposition that government creates jobs and wealth.  This experiment has most recently failed not only here, but in Venezuela where Chavez nationalised most industries and imposed price controls.  Now people there are not only not able to get gas and food, they cannot even buy toilet paper.

Most command economy statists, like Chavez and Hilary, are seeking to return us to our gentle, medieval past.  A time where life was brutish, and short.  A time when your betters could demand what you do in life. Hilary is now seeking to give us four more years of Obama.  Under Obama the number of net new jobs is only 4,311 v. Bush’s  11,458.  Both are poor performers, especially when compared to Reagan’s 167K per month and Bill Clinton’s 236K.  During those presidencies the government regulatory burden was lessened.  Obama is choking the economy.  From the sounds of Hillary’s latest speech she is looking to only tighten government’s chokehold on the economy.  Statists never learn.

What has the Democrats most upset at their party? Not social issues…

The Pew Research Center has a new poll out on how self-described Democrats and Republicans view their own parties on abortion, immigration, marriage, and spending. Most are focusing on the top line: namely, that we Republicans are more upset at our party than the Dems – across the board.

However, Pew did a little more digging about why Democrats and Republicans are upset at their parties (those who are). By far, the greatest source of frustration among Republicans is government spending: 48% think the party electeds don’t do enough to cut spending.

Now, here’s the kicker: the Democrats’ biggest source of frustration is the same thing. Thirty percent of Democrats think their elected officials don’t do enough to cut spending either.

In other words, the best shot the GOP has at winning over Democrats isn’t any social issue. It’s cutting government spending, the very thing that would most make upset Republicans happy.

The data speaks loud and clear. Let’s hope the GOP leadership is listening.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Meanwhile, Europe continues to fray at the edges

In the span of a couple of weeks, we are seeing three signs that Europe is falling into Yeats’ most well-known phrase (“Things fall apart; the center does not hold”).

The first took place in France, of all places. A recent IFOP poll revealed that Marine Le Pen, daughter of fascist Jean-Marie Le Pen and successor to him as leader of the Front National (FN), would “win” the first-round of the 2017 presidential election. She’d even defeat President Francois Hollande in the second round. To be fair, the poll also shows Hollande would not make the second round in any event; the center-right nominee would beat him to second place, and then go on to defeat Le Pen. However, that Le Pen has the strength reflected in the poll is a sign that her emphasis on getting France out of the eurozone is finding a hearing in what was – and still is – a core nation in the European Union.

Outside the eurozone, the nation that has long been the epitome of European sophistication and socialism – namely, Sweden – pitched out its center-right government (whose eight-year length in office was itself a modern record), yet the incoming left-wing coalition barely won any more votes than four years ago. The center-right government instead lost nearly 7% of the vote to the anti-establishment, anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats (Coffee House). How the leftist coalition will survive this parliamentary session (four years) is anybody’s guess right now.

Finally, of course, there is Great Britian, which simply put, seems on the verge of a nervous breakdown (Coffee House). Scotland will vote Thursday on whether or not to leave the United Kingdom and form its own state again, and the polls are close enough that a panicked London is trying out plans to hand a slew of powers to the Scots if “No” wins. Already, pundits outside Scotland are wondering if the Kingdom’s leaders have gone mad (especially the acerbic yet side-splitting Dan Hodges).

Underlying all of the political quakes is a fault line right through the continent: the very battles between the elites and the common folks that run visibly through the Republican Party here (and, under the paper-thin loyalty to the president, through the Democrats as well). In Sweden, the center-right’s assumption that it can be more center than right has led to votes being bled to the Sweden Democrats. In the UK, the Tories are losing votes to UKIP in England, while Labour has bled Scottish voters to the Scottish Nationalist Party for so long that the UK itself might lose Scotland itself.

The lessons in Europe should be crystal clear for us here on our side of the Atlantic. Forty years ago, the idea of a right-wing populist party holding the balance of power in Sweden, the rise of a neo-fascist party on a euroskeptic platform in France, and Scotland leaving the United Kingdom were unthinkable nightmares. Today, two are reality, and the third may hit by the weekend. Who knows what disaster could face us in 2054…

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

More on temperature data “adjustment”

Walter Dnes (WUWT) examined American temperature “adjustment” by the USHCN (United States Historical Climate Network), and found that said adjustments were not just annual, but monthly as well (i.e., different months were “adjusted” differently).

Among his more interesting findings…

  • Winter months were adjusted upward more so than summer months, since 1970 (it’s quite possible their could have been a correlation between average monthly temperature and adjustment, but Dnes didn’t examine that). Dnes noted that “talk about winters in the USA getting warmer may be an artifact of the adjustments.”
  • Since 1970, the adjustment slope in annual terms is over 1 degree Celsius. In other words, when anyone talks about warming over the last forty-plus years, 1C of it comes from humans alright – human manipulation of the data
  • Annual adjustment for the 1930s (the decade the gave us the Dust Bowl and the most massive dust storm in American history), were over half a degree Celsius downward. As Dnes notes, “one wonders if this an attempt to disappear the heat waves and droughts of ‘The Dirty Thirties’ in a manner similar to attempts to disappear the Medieval Warm Period. It’s hard to talk about ‘the hottest ever’, when there’s ‘inconvenient data’ around, showing that the 1930s were hotter.”
  • Since 1970, the number of actual data points for temperature has fallen. In fact, we have 20% fewer raw data points today than in 1970. Yet final data points are unchanged, meaning there’s quite a bit of estimated data, a problem I’ve discussed earlier.
  • From about 1895 to 1930, “final” data points are well above raw data points (in 1896, the raw data points were about half the number of final data points

There have been more than a few posts here on the various and sundry problems with temperature data thanks to global warming alarmists. Dnes’ analysis is just the latest example.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Memo to Chris Christie: We are watching the Shaneen Allen case…and you

As a native of New Jersey, I can say without reservation that its bizarre allergy to gun rights was one of the chief reasons I left. Radley Balko (Washington Post) has the details on the latest ridiculous example: Shaneen Allen, who brought her Pennsylvania-permitted gun into the Garden State, told authorities of it when pulled over for a traffic violation…and faces over 3 years in jail because New Jersey doesn’t give a damn what its fellow states think about gun permits.

As Balko notes, New Jersey – and its Governor, Chris Christie – have been down this road before with Brian Aitken, who was also prsecuted (that typo is a deliberate, a way to merge prosecuted and persecuted into one word) for this. The Governor commuted Aitken’s sentence. He has not acted at all on Allen, whose case has not yet come to trial.

For those interested, Aitken is white, and Allen is black…and Balko lays out a detailed and compelling case for why that makes a thoroughly unwarranted difference in these matters (WaPo again). Of course, gun control has been fueled by overt racism from the 1860s to the 1960s (and I’m doubting it really stopped there, what with Armed While Black still being a de facto crime as Balko details).

Meanwhile, Governor Christie is eyeing the presidential race…and should know that folks who care about gun rights are more than a little skeptical of him. He can go a long way toward alleviating those concerns – or reinforcing them to the point of keeping himself out of the White House – depending upon how he treats Shaneen Allen.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Obama’s immigration order threats mean Ex-Im Bank is probably dead

There has been a lot of speculation about the president ordering a mass de facto legalization of millions of unauthorized immigrants “by summer’s end” (Charles Krauthammer, NRO), and the possibility that he might just be hoping for an impeachment reaction, judging by Dan Pfeiffer’s reaction (Reid Epstein, Wall Street Journal). His fellow Democrats appear giddy just at the prospect of being able to defend the president from an impeachment effort (Reuters).

Most of the discussion regarding impeachment has revolved around whether it’s politically wise for Republicans to push it – and it’s not – while far fewer have asked if anyone really wants Joe Biden in the White House (and I guarantee that has a lot to do with why voters are leery of impeachment in general).

That said, I can’t help but noting that what the immigration-cum-impeachment strategy for the midterm elections tells us: namely, that the previous strategy – namely shutting down the government to preserve the Export-Import Bank – is dead, and the Bank itself likely will be, too.

The Democrats were hoping the Ex-Im gambit would divide Republicans and convince Chamber-of-Commerce types to fund Democrats instead. Of course, the plan had serious flaws: the Bank itself disappears on September 30, so on October 1 the Democrats will be trying to use the shutdown to change government policy; many leftist are scratching their heads about their party’s about-face on the corporatist Bank; and the Chamber types themselves are hardly unanimous on the wisdom of the Bank itself, let alone making it a priority.

By contrast, going “double I” means the Democrats can wake their base out of its current stupor while making Republicans look racist, out of touch with the American people, or both. It’s too good a narrative to foul up with the Bank of Boeing.

So I’m fairly optimistic that an executive order on immigration means the Export-Import Bank is on its way out.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Another TARP opponent survives

The victory of Pat Roberts (Republican U.S. Senator from Kansas) in his primary battle is reaffirming the conventional wisdom that “Establishment” Republicans are thwarting “Tea Party” challengers. As one may expect, I don’t automatically share that view. In fact, I think the Tea Party vs. Establishment meme misses the point.

Most would be surprised to see Roberts hit from the right, and one big reason is his vote against TARP (a.k.a. the bank bailout). This is the first chance for Kansas Republicans to weigh in post-TARP on whether Roberts should be the nominee. I find it telling that Roberts survived while TARP proponents like Eric Cantor did not.

Odds are the bailout vote was even more critical in Mississippi, where Thad Cochran (a No on TARP, despite my mistaken assumption) was able to limp into a runoff (and then a narrow if unorthodox victory) when a TARP backer likely would have gone down in flames.

Lest we forget, a large plurality of voters still blame Bush the Younger for the state of the economy…meaning TARP, contrary to popular belief in Washington, has not been forgotten.

Even Mr. Establishment Heavy himself – ex-Congressman and Defending Main Street PAC leader Steve LaTourette – was a No on TARP. That should tell us all something.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

The 2016 Republican nominee better have an alternative to Obamacare

There is a lot of discussion about the effects and wisdom of the Halbig decision, including some amusement at the site of a leading Obamacare architect turn himself into a rhetorical pretzel. However, one thing that has not really been addressed is the need to be serious about “repeal and replace.”

Republicans need to remember that if the Supreme Court actually follows the D.C. Circuit Court panel and knock down all subsidies in states that do not have their own exchanges, millions will find themselves with unaffordable health insurance – and likely go back to the ranks of the uninsured. When that happens, the GOP needs to be ready with an alternative health care reform plan that brings these people back into the insurance market, while reducing the effect of the government’s “invisible foot” in health care in general.

The earliest the Court will hand down a decision is the summer of 2015 (and it could be the summer of 2016). Either way, it will land somewhere in the presidential campaign, meaning the Republican candidate(s) need to spend some time addressing this issue, or get drowned out by the Democrats screaming, “Republicans ended the subsidies and deprived millions of health care just to score political points against Obama.”

Of course, there is plenty of space for right-of-center health care reform: ending the tax-favoritism towards group plans, breaking the AMA’s de facto monopoly on health care prices (handed to them by the federal government), addressing the health-care-provider shortage with supply side economic reforms specific to that industry, etc.

If the defeat of 2012 taught us anything (besides never nominated a TARP backer again), it taught us that an unpopular plan (Obamacare) still beats no plan (Romney’s complete lack of an alternative). The dynamics of a post-Halbig American will drive that lesson home even further. The Republican ticket in 2016 will either learn that lesson, or lament their defeat.

Cross-posted to RWL

Elizabeth Warren backs the Bank of Boeing

To her supporters, Senator Elizabeth Warren is a champion of the downtrodden and bane of the wealthy.

To those of us who know better, she’s a government-always-first leftist who is quite fine with helping the biggest and wealthiest corporations in America so long as the government grows.

We have the Heritage Foundation to thank for this. As Timothy Carney (Washington Examiner) pointed out, Heritage reached out to Warren to see if she would help them fight the Export-Import Bank. No dice: “Senator Warren believes that the Export-Import Bank helps create American jobs and spur economic growth.”

Never mind that so many of the products financed by the bank are intermediate products for foreign firms competing against Americans. Never mind that export subsidies are far and away the worst type of trade intervention for an economy. Never mind that the Congressional Budget Office and the General Accounting Office have laid waste to the arguments the Bank itself peddles (The Corner). Never mind the numerous examples of fraud (Daily Signal). Never mind that it is such a profit-padder for Boeing that it’s nickname is “the Bank of Boeing.”

Clearly, for Elizabeth Warren, some corporate welfare is better than others.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Progressive Jihad: Memo #42

From: Office of Truth And Justice
To: Our Dear Leader

MEMO # 42: Resistance Cell – “Sons Of Liberty”

The following message was intercepted by the resistance.  These reactionaries go by the name: “The Son’s of Liberty”  Among their racist, misogynistic and homophobic beliefs is that men should be judged by the content of their character, and not their skin color, income level, religious belief or sexual orientation.

We plan to deploy the response in our standard propaganda organs (NYT, ABC, CBS, John McCain etc.) No one will believe the following to be anything other than a farce.

Forward!
VJ

From: Office of the High Priest
Church of Pain and Oppression
1600 Pennsylvania Av.
Washington, D.C.

To : Elders in the Congress and Courts

Subject: Allegiance to the Faith

My brothers and sisters in Despotic Progressivism . . . when confronted with an uncomfortable fact, lie about it. When confronted about the lie, lie about that also. If your antagonist persists, stonewall . . . then change the subject . . . roll out the racist, traitor, hate, capitalist pig, or 1-percenter cards. Maintain control of the narrative!

If all else fails summon the deacons of our order. Call forth the DOE, IRS, DEA, DOT, DHS, TSA, ATF, EPA, DHHS, SEIU . . . whoever . . . send a swat team in an up-armored Hum-V for a house call. Arrest the blasphemer for illegally ‘draining a wetland’ in their back yard, ‘failure to report garage sale income’ or ‘throwing a CFL lamp into the non-hazardous trash’ . . . it doesn’t matter.

The Doctrine of Limitless Transgressions is forever expanding. There are countless violations-of-convenience for which you may detain and discredit any blasphemer. We have thousands of perfectly legal opportunities to deal harshly with the enemies of the One True Faith. When an urgent need for new law is identified, notify my office immediately. Holy Writ appropriate to the circumstance will be crafted in a matter of hours. Until new law is in place, you can hold the blasphemer as a material witness.

To: My loyal deacons in the field.

Fear not. Your honor-less Congress, White House, courts and fellow bureaucrats-in-tyranny are consecrated. I have decreed, “Yea verily, ye can do no wrong. Go forth in confidence and with vigor for you have the blessings of your imperial president, force of law and a train-load of ammunition on your side.

Your humble servant in Alinsky,

B. Obama

Egregious Ex-Im Deal of the Day

I basically copied and pasted the title from Veronique de Rugy, who got it herself from the Blog of the House Financial Services Committee – where Chairman Jeb Hensarling is leading the fight against the Export-Import Bank.

The Bank’s defenders insist that it’s all about helping American exporters, but they largely ignore the fact that most of the exports are intermediate products, which foreigners get with discounted loans from market rates. Thus, these firms have a leg up in competition against their American counterparts. The largest (and loudest) victim of this is Delta Airlines, which much compete with a slew of foreign airlines that get Ex-Im funded deals on Boeing airplanes that aren’t available to the American firm.

Lest anyone think this is the only example of Ex-Im run amok, the HFSC began daily highlights of the Bank’s loans. The first one was yesterday (I’m assuming they’ll continue on Monday). Here was the “Egregious Ex-Im Bank Deal of the Day” (HFSC, emphasis in original):

Hardworking American taxpayers, who are paying more for gas (“Gasoline prices at six-year high – AAA”) and “more for almost everything this year” (CNBC), might be wondering why President Obama refuses to approve the Keystone Pipeline but is using their tax dollars to finance foreign corporate welfare — like the nearly $5 billion in direct loans to help build a venture developed by Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company.

This is the same Saudi Aramco, by the way, that one report this week said is “pulling the rug out from under the U.S. gas industry” and has announced plans to spend its money to build 11 45,000-seat capacity stadiums by order of King Abdullah.

Here are the deal details:

In 2012, the Ex-Im Bank provided a record-breaking $4.975 billion in direct loans to help build Sadara Chemical Company, developed by the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco). Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia, is the world’s biggest oil company, with total assets reportedly in the trillions. – (Sources:  Export-Import Bank press release, 4/4/13:  “Sadara Chemical Company Transaction is Awarded Ex-Im Bank Deal of the Year”;Saudi AramcoForbesUniversity of Texas)

Please note the description of Saudi Aramco – the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia. Are we really supposed to believe that they needed Ex-Im’s help for financing?

Reminder: Senator Mark Warner joined all of his fellow Democrats in voting for the Ex-Im Bank’s reauthorization in 2012 (vote). His Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie, has called for it to be shut down.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Ed Gillespie says GOP “learned a lesson,” then proves it by opposing Ex-Im Bank

Roughly a month after he earned the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, Ed Gillespie – consummate Establishment man – spoke to Rick Sincere (a.k.a., the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner) about his campaign going forward. He addressed head on complaints about his former employer, President George W. Bush (emphasis added).

“The difference between Republicans and Democrats,” he told the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner at Claudius Crozet Park, “is, I think, Republicans have learned a lesson.”

Continuing, he noted that “the fact is, I agree that when Republicans had the House, the Senate, and the White House that we spent too much money.”

That experience from the first decade of the 21st century, he added, “pales in comparison to what the Democrats did when they got control of all three – the House, the Senate, and the White House – but that’s not enough.”

What was far more important, however, was Ed’s first example of a government program that needs to go:

One (program) that I have said already that I believe should not be reauthorized and doesn’t deserve to be continued in funding is the ExIm Bank.

If Gillespie has talked about winding down Ex-Im, I missed it, but that’s my problem, not Ed’s.

The point is this: Ed Gillespie’s willingness to put the “Bank of Boeing” on the chopping block is a sign he really has “learned a lesson” about the Republican Party’s mistakes. For a fellow of his Establishment pedigree to openly oppose the Bank is an excellent sign.

I had my concerns (driven by TARP) about Gillespie before the nomination, but he is the party standard bearer now, and more importantly, his opposition to Ex-Im reveals that he does indeed know the party needs to go in an anti-corporatist direction.

Good for him, good for the Republican Party, and very good for Virginia.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

What is happening with USHCN temperature data?

Over the weekend, what started as an argument among global warming skeptics became a dramatic indictment of temperature reporting from the United States Historic Climate Network.

Anthony Watts (Watts Up With That) and Judith Curry (Climate Etc.) provide the details on Steve Goddard’s initial attempt to claim that a large swath of temperature “raw” data was in fact estimations. Watts is particularly self-aware in acknowledging why he had trouble with Goddard’s assertions, while Curry ties it to the underlying data problems.

Both then get to the meat of the matter: Paul Homewood’s revelation that data in not one, but two locations were “adjusted” to create a warming trend of 1-2 degrees that never shows up in the actual data.

Meanwhile, Watts also reveals this stunner: as many as one in four stations “reporting” weather data are in fact shut down, and “reporting” estimated figures derived from neighboring – and in theory still operating – stations.

Curry – who does not consider herself a skeptic on global warming, but is rare in that she does not simply dismiss those who are – summed up with this is so important:

This incident is another one that challenges traditional notions of expertise. From a recent speech by President Obama:

“I mean, I’m not a scientist either, but I’ve got this guy, John Holdren, he’s a scientist,” Obama added to laughter. “I’ve got a bunch of scientists at NASA and I’ve got a bunch of scientists at EPA.”

Who all rely on the data prepared by his bunch of scientists at NOAA.

…and if that data is problematic, all of those scientists have a serious problem.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

A Solution to the Minor Illegal Alien Invasion

This year tens of thousands of minors from Central American are attempting to illegally enter the US. Many are risking life or limb to get here with the expectation that once they are here, they will be able to stay. Few have been deported, so there is some truth in that expectation.

If they are not being deported, how do we get them to go back home on their own? The solution is simple, just feed them the First Lady’s school lunches. Three meals a day of bland “healthy” food with tiny portions will leave them starving. They will want to return home.

New House Majority Leader: Kill Ex-Im Bank

The primary defeat of Eric Cantor continues to reverberate in unexpected ways, as his incoming successor as Majority Leader tells Fox News that he supports shutting down the Export-Import Bank (Washington Examiner):

On “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace asked McCarthy if he agrees with “conservatives who say that the Export-Import Bank is a form of crony capitalism and it should be put out of business — allowed to expire.”

McCarthy responded by tying Ex-Im to “one of the biggest problems with government,” using taxpayers’ “hard-earned money,” to do things the private sector can do. McCarthy supported Ex-Im’s reauthorization in 2012, but he argued on Fox News Sunday that this was a vote to “wind down the Ex-Im Bank.”

Wallace put the question more directly: “You would allow the Ex-Im Bank to expire in September?”

McCarthy immediately said “Yes. Because it’s something that the private sector can be able to do.”

That’s a dramatic change in view from Cantor, and a refreshing one. If McCarthy is serious about it (and that bizarre explanation for his 2012 vote should give us some pause), it would strike a strong blow against corporatism.

Ex-Im’s defenders have three months to save their special interest, and they will throw everything including the kitchen sink to do so. McCarthy’s stance is to be praised, and we should help him hold his newfound ground.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

State Senator Phil Puckett resigns; deck chairs on Titanic to be re-arranged

Richmond is all agog over the resignation of State Senate Phil Puckett (Richmond Times-Dispatch), which grants the Republicans a temporary majority in the State Senate, pending a special election which the Republicans are favored to win. According to the RTD, Puckett’s resignation paves the way for his daughter to be elected to a judgeship, while he himself could land on the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission.

All eyes (in Richmond) went immediately to the budget, where according to the Constitution (emphasis added):

No bill which creates or establishes a new office, or which creates, continues, or revives a debt or charge, or which makes, continues, or revives any appropriation of public or trust money or property, or which releases, discharges, or commutes any claim or demand of the Commonwealth, or which imposes, continues, or revives a tax, shall be passed except by the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members elected to each house, the name of each member voting and how he voted to be recorded in the journal.

Normally, that means 21 out of 40. Given that we only have 39 at the moment, 20 should actually work…for the State Senate to pass the budget until the special election. In the grand scheme of things, though, there is a lot less than meets the eye. Here’s why.

First, not every Republican State Senator supported the Republican budget: Walter Stosch (Dave Brat’s patron), John Watkins, and Emmett Hanger all voted with the Democrats to add Medicaid expansion to the budget. In theory, party unity could convince them to change their minds, but there’s no guarantee of that.

Second, there is still the Governor: If one wanted to hand Terry McAuliffe the perfect excuse for a budget veto, coaxing a Senator’s resignation with the promise of appointments for himself and his daughter would be it. I’ll admit, a veto is unlikely, but this deal is excellent ammunition for Election Day 2014, 2015, and 2017.

Speaking of…

Third, even if the GOP wins the budget battle, the fight of Medicaid will go on, and this will make it harder to win: According to Christopher Newport University (poll), the Republicans were actually winning the debate on Medicaid expansion. That might, and probably will, change if T-Mac can now claim perfidy from the opposition. This allows Terry McAuliffe – Terry F–king McAuliffe - to run as Mr. Clean, and the Democrats to present themselves as the Clean Team in 2015 and 2017.

Odds are this will even damage our recent nominee for U.S. Senate – Ed Gillespie, the consummate Virginia Republican insider.

We may even see the Republicans cave on Medicaid expansion just to neutralize the issue in 2015.

Fourth, the State Senate is the poisoned chalice of recent times. Let’s say the GOP does win the special election and holds all 21 seats next year, which I’ll admit is still likely despite the above (or because of the previous sentence). Let’s take a look at the fate of the party controlling the state senate after the last six midterm elections (1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011). In all six cases, the party lost the ensuing gubernatorial election. In five of them, they lost House seats and a majority of the statewide races. In three, they lost all statewide races, and in two they lost the senate itself.

Now, one could say even that might be worth it if a Republican Senate would mean greater momentum for limited government, but that just isn’t so…

Every Republican-controlled State Senate in the 21st Century has enacted a tax increase: That’s right; there was the referendum of 2002 (defeated by the voters), the Warner tax hike of 2004 (which, at $1.5 billion, was only half what the State Senate originally wanted), HB3202 (largely overturned by the courts), and Plan ’13 From Outer Space. If anything, it has been minority status that forces Republicans to behave.

Given all of the above, I can’t help thinking that this victory is meager, if not pyrrhic.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal