Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Republican Debate and other worries for the left

The Republican Debate: 

This was actually a pretty good one looking at more substantive issues.  Winners tonight in my opinion would be Romney and Gingrich.  Santorum looked very tentative and weak.  Ron Paul was Ron Paul.   Best line came from Romney when the moderator told him he wasn’t answering the question.  Romney said, “You get to ask the questions you want, and I get to answer the questions I want.”  A lot more going after Obama which was a hit with the Republican audience.  Biggest waste of time was the one word you would use to describe yourself, but Gingrich did get a laugh when he said “Cheerful.” 

What’s new Today

Our #1 story looks at all the tax increases that are in the cards if Obama keeps the presidency.  He won’t.  #2 is an article by Glenn Reynolds about how you could actually have a course to study the Occupy movement.  It’s not anywhere near what the liberal establishments are looking to do.  #3 is an editorial in today’s USA Today regarding the Occupy movement.  It definitely isn’t the TEA Party.  #4 as a hint of what 2012 will be like election wise, we find that Scott Brown is 9 point ahead of his competition for his Senate Seat. Not good news for the Democrats.  #5  is a good reason never to elect a Democrat to anything where they need to be part of the economy.  It appears Valerie Jarrett also sees unemployment checks as a stimulus for the economy.  #6 is great news.  It appears Chevron is looking at one of the three biggest oil strikes in the world just off the coast of Louisiana.  Now if we can get Obama to let the drillers get that oil.  Finally in #7 we have a story that will explain why we will never have another 9/11 at least as far as the airplanes are concerned.

1.  If Obama is reelected, Democrats will get their tax increase wishes

... To help finance the health care reform law passed in 2009, Congress approved a new tax on investment income to take effect in 2013. Beginning next year, families whose overall income is above $250,000 (individuals with income over $200,000) will pay an additional tax of 3.8% on taxable investment income (e.g., interest, dividends, capital gains, rents, royalties). This additional tax will not apply to non- taxable income, such as tax-exempt municipal bond interest, or to amounts withdrawn from qualified pension plans and IRAs.

When the new tax under health care reform is added to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, in 2013:

  • The top tax rate on ordinary income will rise from 35% to 43.4%—an increase of almost 25%*
  • The top tax rate on capital gains will rise from 15% to 23.8%—an increase of almost 60%
  • The top tax rate on dividends will rise from 15% to 43.4%—an increase of almost 200%
  • The estate tax exemption will drop from $5 million to $1 million and the estate tax rate will rise from 35% to 55%—an increase of over 55%

Most important, Congress need not pass a single piece of tax legislation in 2012 for these tax rates to take effect in 2013. They will happen by default.

This is the definition of the Democrats of fairness. 

2.  How to Study Occupy Wall Street

Schools from New York's Columbia to Chicago's Roosevelt University are offering courses on the "Occupy" movement. This has inspired some derision from the right, but I think that derision is misplaced. There is much that a course on the Occupy movement might profitably cover. Here are some possible lessons:

1) The Higher Education Bubble and Debt Slavery Throughout History. Since ancient times, debt has been a tool used by rulers to enslave the ruled, which is why the Bible explains that the borrower is the slave to the lender. One complaint of many Occupy protesters involves their pursuit of expensive degrees that has left them burdened by student loans but unable to find suitable employment. This unit would compare the marketing of higher education and student debt to today's students with the techniques used to lure sharecroppers and coal miners into irredeemable indebtedness. Music to be provided by Tennessee Ernie Ford.

2) Bourgeois vs. Non-Bourgeois Revolutions: A Comparison and Contrast. The Occupy movement left its major sites—McPherson Square in D.C., Zuccotti Park in Manhattan, Dewey Square in Boston—filthy and disheveled. By contrast, the tea party protests famously left the Washington Mall and other locations cleaner than they found them, with members proudly performing cleanup duties.

This unit would note that social-protest movements are sometimes orderly and sometimes disorderly as a matter of approach, and it would compare the effectiveness and ultimate success of such relentlessly bourgeois movements as the tea party, the pre-1964 Civil Rights movement, Women's Suffrage activists, and the American Revolution, against such anti-Bourgeois movements as the post-1968 Black Power and New Left movements, and the French Revolution.

Which accomplished more lasting good? Is Max Weber's Protestant work ethic applicable to social movements?

3) Class struggles and the New Class. Professor Kenneth Anderson of American University has suggested that the Occupy movement is best understood as a struggle between the upper and lower tiers of the elite. In recent years, the upper tier, composed of bankers, financiers, etc., has become decoupled from the lower-tier sub-elite of "Virtue Industry" workers in fields like education, nonprofit activism, social work and the like—with the latter feeling betrayed and abandoned….

This article is well worth your time to read it.  Glenn Reynolds does a good job of laying out what you could study. 

3.  The Occupy Patriots????

USA TODAY’s editorial is right to say that Occupy might lack clear goals on how to move forward, but the movement has accomplished its main original goal: to protest these injustices, not by simply holding a rally and going home, but by keeping the rally going to underscore the seriousness of this problem. Your piece accuses the protesters of sitting around and doing nothing. So maybe they should take up their Second Amendment-sanctioned guns and storm Wall Street and our nation’s capitals. If our country doesn’t change, it could very well come to that one day.

Now let’s see the editorials and the condemnation from the Democrats in Congress.  I mean they are threatening armed insurrection which according to the Constitution is treason. But it’s only treason if the person is right winged.  In this case it’s a form of patriotism according to the left.   

4.  Scott Brown ahead in Massachusetts

Republican Sen. Scott Brown holds a decisive lead over Democrat Elizabeth Warren in the race for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. According to a new Suffolk University/7NEWS (WHDH-Boston) survey, the freshman senator garners 49% of the vote -- nine points ahead of his main Democratic rival. It's the first time a poll put Mr. Brown in the lead since last fall. Suffolk University was also the first to show Mr. Brown ahead in 2010 when he upset state Attorney General Martha Coakley.

That upset was driven largely by the independent vote. And the new poll shows Mr. Brown again heavily drawing his support from this group of voters. Among the 52% of respondents who identified themselves as independent, 60% supported Mr. Brown while only 28% supported Ms. Warren….

In a traditional democratic state, to have the independents go to Brown like this is not a good sign for Obama.  Add to this the rise in gas prices, the rise in unemployment as forecasted by Gallup, and the serious lack of fund raising by Obama and the Democrats in January and you have all the signs of a failed presidency that will end this November.

5.  Another Senior White House Advisor claims unemployment good for the economy

This evening, speaking at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said that folks getting and spending unemployment checks is a healthy thing . . . because it stimulates the economy:

"Even though we had a terrible economic crisis three years ago, throughout our country many people were suffering before the last three years, particularly in the black community," Jarrett said. "And so we need to make sure that we continue to support that important safety net. It not only is good for the family, but it's good for the economy. People who receive that unemployment check go out and spend it and help stimulate the economy, so that's healthy as well."

I swear there is nothing but economic idiots in the Democratic Party.  While unemployment checks help the economy from falling down as much as it might, it doesn’t help stimulate the economy.  In fact, there are indicators that many people don’t bother to look for jobs before the checks look like them may stop.  It’s like putting water wings on your kids.  It keeps them afloat, but you need to take the away at some point and get the kids to swim.

6.  Another Oil Find?

As a practical matter Chevron is practically beating the drum – by oil company standards. Chevron has begun promoting the Shallow Water Gulf of Mexico (SWGM) as one of its top three areas of geologic interests worldwide. Keep in mind Chevron is a major firm from the U.S. to Australia, across Africa, central Asia and South America. If SWGM is in the top three, the prospects must be huge.

This is significantly important – an earlier well called Blackbeard East turned out to have a formation measuring 300 feet thick and appears to be a hydrocarbon bearing fractured carbonate. A huge percentage of the world’s most prolific oil and gas deposits have been found in fractured carbonate  structures. Fractured carbonates sometimes naturally give up their deposits very easily. This could be a major discovery….

For consumers this is great news from an additional viewpoint. The SWGM work is in an area where there are existing pipelines to carry the new reserves to market right away. Billions of dollars will not have to be spent over the coming years and interminable waits to get permitting are avoided. This discovery and development isn’t vulnerable to a crass political presidential delay.

The world appears to be doing the opposite of approaching peak oil.  It appears peak oil may be decades or even centuries off in the future. 

Passengers come to the rescue

Passengers aboard a Continental Airlines flight bound for Houston Tuesday sprang into action to help a flight attendant having trouble with an unruly passenger. Twenty minutes after the plane departed Portland, pilots returned to the city where the FBI was waiting.

Passengers said the unruly man was a problem from the beginning. After boarding Flight 1113, the man became upset because he was not seated next to his friend.

Then after the flight took off, he ignored the “No Smoking” sign and tried to light an electronic cigarette.

A flight attendant asked the passenger to turn off the cigarette, but he refused. The Middle Eastern man started screaming at the smaller woman.

“He was screaming, ‘Allah is great, Allah is great,’” said Nancy Haywood, passenger. “And it kind of worries you when that happens, but believe me, there were enough men to hold him down.”

And they did. Men on the plane jumped up and ran to assist the flight attendant.

“Every guy that was in my area was ready to go,” said Mark Foster, passenger. “It was not even a thought. You can tell buckles were off and people were already leaning toward the aisles.”

The men subdued the unruly passenger while the flight attendant ran to the back and retrieved plastic handcuffs and ankle cuffs….

There will be no repeats of 9/11.  Let’s roll. 

No comments:

Post a Comment