Daily Archives: April 7, 2013
Obama’s choice for Secretary of defense cancels antimissile test out of concern that it will hurt Kim Jung Un’s feelings.
Reached on the golf course, our president was sanguine. “No problem – I’ve implemented out super-secret, double-dare system instead – works for all madmen, whether armed with pistols, semi-automatics or nukes. Trust me on this.”
Several readers have sent me this clip of some lady, identified as one Melissa Harris Perry, whose web site includes the following biographical information:
Harris-Perry is [a ] professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. She previously served on the faculties of the University of Chicago and Princeton University.
Perry insists that children belong to “society”, whatever that is, and are thus property of the state. Readers seem outraged by this but the former Princeton instructor is merely espousing the credo of the Progressive Movement, which holds that all of us belong to the state, to do with us and to shape us as the wise leaders of that state dictate. The Progressive Movement has been around since at least 1890 and I would argue that it started before that, when Marx first starting dreaming of transforming human nature. Back to the future.
70s this week. In reliance on Al Gore, I’ll be putting out my tomatoes six weeks early this year – frost? I laugh at frost!
Here are the new raised beds being built. At the risk of losing my title as “mas macho hombre en la Connectico”, I’ll confess to enjoying gardening as much as I do hunting. Something about ripping out those poor carrots from the soil and tearing zukes from the vine, I suppose.
Well no s**t, Sherlock. But here’s the narrative being propounded, and why our local Republicans were so foolish to play along:
A model for the nation?
Connecticut’s new gun laws are particularly striking because they have true bipartisan roots.
With support from both Democrats and Republicans, the General Assembly banned more than 100 assault weapons, as well as magazines capable of holding more than 10 bullets, mandated universal background checks and created a registry for existing magazines, assault weapons and dangerous felons.
A Republican stand against this foolish law would have deprived the media of this approach. Months of negotiating produced exactly the result that was predicted, but the final “yes” votes gave the Democrats cover. As always. Pick a fight and stick with it.
And don’t give Livvy Floren a return ticket to Hartford so she can lead that effort to help Democrats.
I have only started into Stockman’s “The Great Deformation” – it’s 750 pages long, for crissake – so I was pleased to find this critique to suggest a perspective from which to view his argument as I trudge the path to happy destiny.
The new book is as full a statement as you could wish of where that strong theory now stands. It turns out to be Ron Paul libertarianism, give or take. Stockman is both impressive and infuriating in just the same way as Paul. He makes valid criticisms of many policies, but his ideas form a sealed intellectual system. Everything depends on everything else. Things can’t be improved here and there. Suggesting palliatives is missing the point — the entire body politic is sick and has to go.
The fundamental problem, says Stockman, is easy money. Alan Greenspan’s low interest rates caused the bubble, hence the crash. Ben Bernanke’s low rates and quantitative easing are reinflating the bubble, hence the next crash (which will be worse). Cheap money obliterates the signals on which capitalism depends. Everything that’s bad in public affairs, from political corruption to explosive growth in public and private debt and the depredations of private-equity firms (like the one Stockman ran), follows from the Federal Reserve’s monetary indiscipline.
It’s a grave indictment of modern central banking and no laughing matter — even when you’re asked to read sentences like this: “During 2009-2012 the vultures feasted gluttonously in the Fed’s killing fields.”
The book describes an 80-year arc of fiscal and monetary recklessness. Dwight Eisenhower wins praise for fiscal solidity, but every other president was a knave. Stockman is nominally a Republican, but his party disgusts him as much as the Democratic Party. There’s no partisan rancor in the book: It’s sustained and intense, but entirely nonpartisan.
The author concludes,
The scope of the critique, while crazy, is undeniably impressive. It has a kind of logical integrity. Everything is worked out and all the connections explained. Stockman has been reading his economic history and his Austrian economics. Crucially, a lot of what he says really does make sense. In understanding the crash, for instance, the Austrian school’s emphasis on the role of the credit cycle looks right. Most of Stockman’s observations aboutWashington’s self-replicating morbidity are accurate.
Frustration arises mainly from the way this mode of analysis resists reform at the margin — the only kind of reform that can actually happen. This relieves Stockman, just as it relieves Paul, of the need to engage in government as we know it. Instead, they can contentedly contemplate our destruction from a great height.
It brings to mind the current flare up on these pages between the Scott Frantz approach – engaging in government, and that of my favorite bomb throwing, flaming haired
Solomon Samson some angry dude intent on bringing down the temple out of frustration and despair of achieving anything positive, ever. I absolutely don’t share Scott’s optimism, but I’d welcome the chance to be proved wrong: pessimistic nihilism is a lousy place to spend one’s life.
State Sen. Jeff Klein’s campaign cup is spilling over with $33,000 in cash from a national wine distributor that would almost singularly benefit from a bill the Bronx lawmaker authored.
But Klein’s re-election war chest is growing at the expense of small merchants and wine-loving consumers in New York, who could end up paying an extra $7 per bottle, critics charge.
Empire Merchants LLC is pushing a measure that would require all wine to be warehoused in New York for at least one day before being sold in local stores.
Empire has poured more than $500,000 over the last eight years into the coffers of Gov. Cuomo, state Senate co-leader Dean Skelos, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver and other key lawmakers.
The wine bill — called an “at rest” proposal because it would require bottles to be “at rest” for one day in New York state — would also hurt the availability of small-batch wines, experts said.
Empire and two of its executives have given Cuomo $68,800 since 2009, records show.
Last week, feds arrested Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson for writing a bill for a campaign donor — a measure that would have staved off competitors to a chain of adult daycare centers.
“I just need to tell me what they want; we prepare the bill . . . you can write down the language, basically what you want,” Stevenson said in a conversation allegedly caught on wiretaps. Stevenson alleged received an illegal bribe, $20,000 in cash, for the legislation.
A Peralta spokesman defended the bill he’s co-sponsoring.
“By leveling the playing field with the 33 states that have At Rest laws, including New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, this bill would create jobs and generate tax revenue for New York,” he said.
A Cuomo spokesman said the governor is still studying the issue.
“No contribution of any size has any impact on this administration’s operation of state government,” the spokesman said.
Well it’s a relief to learn that Governor Cuomo can’t be bought. When a state seizes the power to control every aspect of everyday living, the temptation is there to pay the rule makers to shift things your way. I wonder how Connecticut came to have this same “at rest” law, and how much it cost? Given our history of scandal and the payments that have been exposed, not much. But they do add up to real money, I suppose.