Wednesday, January 4, 2012

We Need to get These Idiots Out of Power

What’s new Today

Our #1 story relates the results of the Iowa Caucuses.  #2  is an update of the recall election of Governor Walker.  In #3 we have more of an analogy of how the left is similar to a religious cult.  Here we have their blue laws popping up in various states.  #4 relates that like a religious cult that don’t have any tolerance for other religions and their beliefs.  #5 shows the bi-polar mental state of the government.  #6 has three different articles pointing out accomplishments of the left. 

1.  Iowa Caucus Results

Mitt Romney beat Rick Santorum in the Iowa caucuses early this morning by the astonishingly narrow margin of just eight votes as the Republican presidential race got off to a dramatic start.

Former Pennsylvania senator Mr Santorum secured 30,007 votes, while former Massachusetts governor Mr Romney emerged the winner with 30,015 in one of the closest votes in American history.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul came a close third. Mr Santorum, Mr Romney and Mr Paul were neck and neck for much of the night before Mr Paul slipped when results from rural counties came in.

The election season is now officially on. 

2.  Wisconsin:  Walker Faces Recall

So how is Walker doing? He has raised a fair amount of money to defend the recall, although he probably will be outspent two or three to one. (The cardinal rule of American politics is that if money can buy victory, the Democrats will win.) Walker has started running anti-recall ads like this one, which strikes me as very effective, as it reminds voters that 1) the policies Walker’s administration implemented are the ones he campaigned on, and 2) they have worked:

Ann Althouse, who lives in Madison, has followed these events closely and seems optimistic that Walker will prevail. She notes that the Democrats are waffling on how many signatures they now have on petitions to recall Walker and his lieutenant governor, and suggests several possible explanations, all of them more or less optimistic.

Meanwhile, Ed Morrissey points to another front on which Walker is coming out ahead:

The [Democrats'] failure to win back control of the state Senate this summer after spending millions on those recall efforts may have tempered the expectations of success for the Walker recall, but a better indicator might come from an entirely different reform Walker and the state GOP enacted once in control of the state legislature. Their new “shall issue” law on gun permits has resulted in an overwhelming response from Wisconsin citizens:

Wisconsin residents have overwhelmed the state Justice Department with so many concealed weapon permit applications agency officials say they probably won’t meet deadlines for issuing approvals this month despite pulling dozens of employees from other tasks to help.

A state law that allows Wisconsin residents to carry concealed weapons went into effect Nov. 1. Under the law, state residents 21 or older who submit $50 to the Justice Department, pass an agency background check and prove they have received some firearms training can obtain a permit to carry. …

As of Dec. 28, DOJ had received 64,832 applications, issued 36,373 permits and denied 800….

I don’t suppose a lot of those Badgers who appreciate the right to defend themselves will be voting to recall Scott Walker.

The democrats and the unions are probably doing themselves more harm than good with all these attempts at recalls.  They appear to be spending a lot of money and seem like spoiled children who are holding their breath to try and get what they want.

3.  The Left’s New Blue Laws

Montgomery County, Maryland is the latest locality to impose a 5-cent tax on shoppers or restaurant-goers who need a plastic bag to take their purchases home. Next door, Washington, D.C. imposed such a tax already; environmentalists are pushing localities everywhere to do the same.

The tax is insignificant as a revenue-raiser -- perhaps $1 million a year will be collected, and probably less. The tax is in fact designed not to be collected. Relative to the actual price of producing such a bag -- not even 1 penny -- the tax is outrageous, at a 400-percent rate. Few people will pay 5 cents for something they value at zero -- they will go to significant extremes to avoid it, even if it adds "only" 25-50 cents' added costs per trip to the supermarket.

Defenders of the tax say this is exactly the point. They happily gloat that this is a tax which results in a change in behavior that they have long wanted to see. Suffice it to say, it is nice that liberals occasionally acknowledge that taxing something produces less of it.

But that intellectual victory for conservative principles of taxation is probably a one-off. This is not an ordinary public policy discussion….

But plastic bags are terrific devices. They are feather-light, yet hold several pounds of goods. They can be reused multiple times. Dog-owners are grateful to have them for some disposable protection when they pick up after their pets. Parents of newborns are thrilled to encase a particularly nasty diaper on the fly.

Compared to these benefits, how awful is the environmental damage plastic bags are alleged to cause? We cause far more environmental damage for far less practical benefit. There are other pollutants of our streams -- pesticides, fertilizers, and old tires, for example -- but we don't impose 400-percent taxes on them.

No, the only obvious reason to impose such a tax is that it is purely symbolic. Those who hate plastic bags hate them so much that they also hate the people who use plastic bags. A 400-percent tax on something is passed not to capture the external negativities of a product. It is imposed to punish the person who might ever want the product.

Of all the things that supposedly imperil society -- cop-killing bullets, unsecured nuclear waste, deadbeat dads, gas-guzzling SUVs, factory farming, just pick your poison -- plastic bags alone are targeted for punishing tax rates and, it is hoped, disappearance.

Is that because plastic bags are worse than the other evils? No. It's because the use of plastic bags at the store is considered a moral evil by the nags of the retro-puritanical environmental movement. When they can't change behavior through gentle or annoying suasion, they turn to the powers of the state. So they have resorted to the equivalent of blue laws -- a state-imposed ban on otherwise harmless behavior to satisfy the moral urgings of a powerful political bloc….

A perfect example of what the world would be like under a progressive government.  They will impose their values on society just as they scream about how the right wants to impose its values. 

4.  The Left Intolerance on Display

Colorado Christian University in Lakewood is taking the federal government to court. The school says it’s being coerced into violating its deeply-held religious beliefs.

The beliefs involve strong opposition to abortion.

There are some 4,000 students and 500 employees associated with the university. The school offers a group health plan to its employees and students. Under a federal mandate the plan must offer contraceptives. That leaves the school’s administration, led by former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong, facing an important ethical question…

Another example of the left imposing its beliefs on others.  This is one of the things many Europeans came to America to escape.

5.  Democrats Haven’t Learned Anything about the Financial Crisis

Just days before Christmas, the Obama administration gave Bank of America a big lump of coal, levying a hefty $335 million dollar fine on the company for discriminating against minorities in its lending practices.

Supposedly Countrywide, a mortgage company bought by Bank of America in 2008, had not given out enough low interest rate loans to minorities from 2004 to 2008.

What the large fine reveals is that President Obama hasn’t learned anything from the recent financial crisis.

What the president sees as discrimination in awarding a mortgage, lenders saw as wise business decisions.

If a borrower can’t afford a down payment, Obama appears to view charging a higher interest rate as discrimination. Lenders also think that they shouldn’t treat borrowers whose sole source of income is welfare or unemployment insurance, the same as those applicants who have a job. But Obama, again, appears to view this as discrimination….

6.  Some of the Left’s Accomplishments

Worst Product of the Year Award

General Motors' much-hyped Chevy Volt has yet another distinction to add to its long list of commendations. We had all heard repeatedly about Motor Trends' Car of the Year award, Consumer Reports' recommendation and Jay Leno's love affair with the car, but the Volt now gets a less publicized, more deserved distinction from Yahoo Finance's 24/7 Wall Street site. The Volt has made the list of "The Worst Product Flops of 2011" and apologists for the vehicle are sure to, once again, attack the credibility of those issuing the opinion.

The Obama Administrations' favorite car has had a rough time of late with sales goals not being met, exploding cars at NHTSA and media exposure of the high cost to taxpayers regarding Chevy Volt subsidies and federal funding of township purchases. Considering all the money spent by GM to hype the vehicle, the Worst Flop award is well-deserved….

Another “Green” Project

A San Jose-based company has pulled out of plans to build a multimillion-dollar solar cell factory in Saginaw, Mich.

GlobalWatt CEO Sanjeev Chitre blamed the shutdown on the poor economy and competition from overseas; however, many critics are wondering if there really was much of a factory to shut down. Far from a mega-factory promised in early paperwork, GlobalWatt's Saginaw operations actually employed slightly more than a dozen workers….

Debt Now Equals GDP

While not news to Zero Hedge readers who knew about the final debt settlement of US debt about 10 days ahead of schedule, it is now official: according to the US Treasury, America has closed the books on 2011 with debt at an all time record $15,222,940,045,451.09. And, as was observed here first in all of the press, US debt to GDP is now officially over 100%, or 100.3% to be specific, a fact which the US government decided to delay exposing until the very end of the calendar year. We wonder, rhetorically, just how prominent of a talking point this historic event will be in any upcoming GOP primary debates.

We have to get these idiots out of power. 

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