Sunday, November 18, 2007


Abstract of Larry Kudlow's interview of Fred Thompson

Pork Trends - note that the worst pork years were between 2002 and 2006, after which, the controlling party (Republicans)lost Congress. What's most interesting is that 2008 pork levels proposed by the Democrat controlled congress would be just under 2006 levels, making it the second worse pork year since 1991.

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss..."

The Party of 'Making Things Worse'

Or, why I will probably never be a Democrat, even when the Republican party totally screws up. Let's follow the logic of the attitude Democrats seem to have these days:

Republican idea = bad
Democrat solution = expand on that idea and give it more money

Speaking on domestic issues, of course. Follow the logic:

Democrat response: 'No Child Left Behind' is a terrible idea (hey, I agree!).
Democrat solution: "fully fund" it, and expand it!

Democrat response: Spending was out of control when the Republicans had control of Congress (again, I totally agree!)
Democrat solution: we want MORE money!

This is fun.

On 2008

At this point in time, I'm undecided. The only thing I am sure of is that I will not be voting for any one of the Democratic contenders.

At this moment in time, I am leaning towards Rudy Giuliani. While I worry about his electability, and by electability I mean convincing social conservatives to support him, I think he's top notch when it comes to economic and national security issues. Ideally, those are the only two things that should matter; unfortunately, we do not live in a constitutionally ideal society right now, and many people look to the federal government for things that they technically should have no authority to provide, things for which people should instead be looking at their states.

That said, I'm also still open to Fred Thompson and John McCain. Thompson has been a bit of a let-down, but there's still time. He's also solid when it comes to economic and national security issues. McCain is a bit less trustworthy to me when it comes to economic issues.

Why Hillary Clinton Won the Las Vegas Debate

Yes, you're reading correctly: I am calling it, Hillary Clinton won. What's more, I actually found myself in a rare instance of admiration of the Senator from New York. Amidst the usual liberal, base-appealing ignorance tossed about by everyone for most of the debate, one part stood out to me.

The issue being debated at the time was the situation Pakistan, and whether human rights were more important than United States national security. Governor Bill Richardson (who at one time was a "favorite" of mine out of the Democrats), dropped the ball when he answered yes, human rights are more important than United States national security.

Clinton shot back with this zinger: "The first obligation of the president of the United States is to protect and defend the United States of America."

You go girl. I'm still not voting for you, because I don't trust you and I disagree with just about everything else you've ever said, but wow. It takes some guts to stand up in front of a liberal (read = ignorantly idealistic) audience and speak the absolute truth on the importance of the role of the President of the United States, even if you know it's not what they want to hear.

Of course, liberals will cry that because one places the national security interests of the country above an absolute "value" on "human rights," they are somehow against human rights in general. False. We just understand history a little better than them.

Want one glaring example on how placing "human rights" above national security interests: Jimmy Carter and Iran. Take your pick. Ask yourself two questions: did human rights improve when Shah Pahlavi lost U.S. backing under President Carter and was overthrown by the Iranian Revolution? And was it in the best interests of national security of the United States to have people like Ayatollah Khomeini or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad end up in charge?

Do we want another Jimmy Carter as president during a time of worldwide unrest in the struggle against Islamofacist terrorism?

For your spot on answer, I salute you, Senator Clinton. Write it down, take a screen shot, bookmark this entry...I said something positive about Hillary Clinton.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Sheer Ignorance of Politicians

One major problem I have with politicians is the tendency they have to take an issue, and rather than take the time to learn the ins and outs, or even just the basics, they will just choose a side that they feel will best please their audience, and run with it. This is especially bad when the issue is one that far exceeds their everyday level of expertise, such as an issue involving science or technology. Global warming is one fine example; so is the issue of so-called "network neutrality."

Senator Barack Obama is the worse offender I've seen recently, when he stated this a few weeks ago at an MTV/MySpace sponsored forum at Coe College in Iowa, in promising to deliver a law mandating "net neutrality" if elected:

"I am a strong supporter of net neutrality. What you've been seeing is some lobbying that says that the servers and the various portals through which you're getting information over the Internet should be able to be gatekeepers and to charge different rates to different Web you could get much better quality from the Fox News site and you'd be getting rotten service from the mom and pop sites, and that I think destroys one of the best things about the Internet--which is that there is this incredible equality there."

The saddest part about that incredibly dumbed down, ignorant, tin-hatted conspiracy theory driven statement is...HE KNEW THE QUESTION WAS COMING. He knew someone was going to ask that, blogs were abuzz with anticipation on what his answer might be, and despite the time to prepare or have an assistant prepare by researching the issue, HE COMES UP WITH THAT? A freakin' Fox News conspiracy?

What I'm left to wonder is:
a) is Senator Obama just that stupid, that he really thinks that's what "net neutrality" is?
b) is Senator Obama just that politically driven, that he would use an ignorant, intellectually dishonest cliched statement, rather than do some homework on the issue and find out what the real issues are?

I honestly do not know the answer to this.

A Classic

No better way to bring this blog back from the dead than by posting a classic Milton Friedman moment.

Friday, August 24, 2007

King O'Malley on "Smart Growth"

Previously, I reported on the links between the housing crash and government meddling in the economy, including so-called "smart growth" policies.

Well, to no one's surprise, it seems as if King O'Malley is attempting to bring this failed policy back, full scale. The Baltimore Sun did their usual one-sided ass kissing reporting on this, complete with whiney O'Malley quotes, and just one sentence reserved for even mentioning the many issues that make up the opposition of such policies. We'll break the report down.

”The public is crying out for this,” O’Malley said”

No, your out of state, wealthy, anti-capitalist environmental nut-job friends are crying out for this. Oh, and people like Glendenning, who supports statist control over the property of others because it makes his property values increase in the short-term.

…the governor said Maryland needs to figure out how to accommodate the new people while still preserving its environment and quality of life.

Obviously the higher density urban areas are not marketable to most people in the areas of environment and quality of life. How about you do a better job at crime prevention in those areas? Maybe tax cuts to spur growth? Why would people want to move into urban areas where they risk the safety of their lives and property, and all the while are guaranteed that the government will take more of their money?

It does not make sense to enact policies that discourage growth in suburban, exurban or rural areas, thus driving the costs of existing housing to unaffordable levels when the alternative urban areas are terrible place to live for most people. Make people want to come back to the urban areas, then you won’t need to worry so much about “sprawl.”

The state’s population has increased by 30 percent since 1973, O’Malley noted, while the amount of land developed has doubled.

OH NO! The people are able to afford to buy more land and build their own homes and move up the economic ladder?! The economy has been growing and getting better?! EVERYBODY PANIC, says O’Malley, we can’t have that! Then they’re less likely to vote for him!

”If in the next 30 years we grow like that again, I shudder to think about the future we’re going to leave for our kids,” he said.

Oh please, spare us your crocodile tears. We have it better today than we’ve ever had it before, and there is no reason to suspect we’ll have it worse when the next generation arrives on the economic scene. This increased prosperity will only improve the economy, standards of living and society, naturally, without any of your central planning. Even Baltimore isn’t a lost cause, and as more people are prosperous, it will improve as well.

The governor said he hoped the workshop, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Endowment for the Arts, would help his administration tweak state development policy so that it protects Chesapeake Bay and saves taxpayers money but also is “predictable,” so businesses, farmers and residents can all get behind it.

Wait, the National Endowment for the Arts??? They have a say in these meetings, but everyone else gets shut out?

Oh and if you want predictable, how about you let landowners, farmers and residents continue to care for their own property, which has been proven to be far more beneficial to the environment than more statist control of land.

”We need to find predictable ways that we as a people can say no to development that is irresponsible and say yes to development that is responsible,” he said.

Like how it would be irresponsible for a family to grow in Baltimore given the present conditions in regards to their personal safety, and the value and safety of their property? Seems alot of people are saying no to the city in the shape you left it, Governor.

Glendening said that he had offered to work with O’Malley to restore what he said is the state’s faded prominence in the nationwide effort to curb sprawl.

Faded prominence, or the fear of a well justified voter backlash on the state’s violation of property rights, like in Oregon?

Some have faulted former Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. for neglecting or undermining the effort...

You can’t have a Sun article about another grand idea from O'Malley without a swipe at Ehrlich. I guess Ehrlich was supposedly neglectful or undermined “the effort” by supporting more family and property owner-friendly, market-based solutions? You know, the ones that in the end provide for a much better situation? I mean if statist control of land works so well for the environment, then why was the USSR one of the most polluted nations on earth?

...but others have questioned whether state funding alone is a powerful enough incentive to counter market forces and local zoning practices that seem to favor development in green fields over rebuilding faded urban communities.

Ah yes, the token single sentence where the BS presents another view…without any elaboration that might undermine O’Malley’s position, of course. It’s too bad, because this is exactly right. Market forces cannot be tamed. If there is a demand for housing (which there will be so long as people are still being born and growing up to work and make money), there will continue to be the need for a steady supply. In addition, localities know who butters their bread, home and property owners who pay taxes.

But most of the tracts on which houses were built were outside of designated growth areas, and the share grew from 1992 through 2004, the latest year for which data are available, according to the state Department of Planning.

Maybe because the government does a TERRIBLE job at gauging supply and demand, always has always will.

Finally, the communist overtones in this article are downright scary. You know who else had “designated growth?” The USSR. Yeah, how’d those endless rows of block style apartment buildings hold up?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Intellectual Dishonesty Surrounding King O'Malley's Executive Orders

After another look at the Baltimore Sun article on Martin O'Malley's executive orders allowing home health care and child care workers who are already subsidized by the state to unionize, I noticed one glaring bit of misinformation:

"Lorraine Sheehan, co-chairwoman of the advocacy group Medicaid Matters, said home health aides can be paid as little as $24.50 a day, leading to significant turnover and difficulty in recruiting quality workers."
Sounds damning at first, doesn't it? Only $24.50 a day? Who could possibly live on that? But what the article fails to point out are the number of hours the supposed $24.50 a day worker puts in. So let's take a look at how many hours one could work for $24.50 a day.

If we assume that the worker is making the BLS average for a nonsupervisory home health care worker, $14.41 an hour, this worker is only working 1.7 hours a day. Even if we assume that this worker is only making Maryland minimum wage (which is not the case, given the national average), of $6.55 an hour, this worker is only putting in about 3 hours and 45 minutes. Legally, 3 hours and 45 minutes are the most any worker can put in, in any job to make $24.50 a day. Not even an entry level janitor at McDonalds can make less than $24.50 for 3 hours and 45 minutes of their time.

Therefore, we can assume we have been given the daily wage of a very part time, probably on-call home health care worker. Why is this important? Because it was presented by a proponent of unionization as a damning statistic in favor of these executive orders.

When in fact, such a worker likely does the work because they enjoy it, not for the money, and if more of the profession were unionized, would probably be the first to be squeezed out.

An intellectually honest proponent of these executive orders might have presented the daily wage of a full-time home health care worker. Given that this isn't the case, I wonder what they're hiding? Could it be that subsidized home health care workers already make the national average, or close to it, and the union wouldn't be able to garner very much sympathy for someone making close to $14 an hour?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Spending in Maryland

Delegate LeRoy Meyers of Allegany and Washington counties points out that the state has increased spending by 70% over the last eight years. Meanwhile, the median family income has only increased by 28%.

Looks like we’re on a path to disaster if some responsibility isn’t taken in Annapolis to reign in spending. But don’t count on that kind of leadership from Martin O’Malley, who has cast his lot in with the big spenders, continuing to ignore the crisis.

The Intellectual Dishonesty of Martin O'Malley

Last month, in a speech at the 10th annual Irish America magazine Wall Street 50 Awards Dinner, Governor Martin O’Malley praised Ireland’s national health care system, claiming that it has "contributed to the environment" that "expands business growth."

This, despite the fact that, like other nations with nationalized care, there is drug rationing, wait-lists that can stretch for years and many are forced to also pay for supplemental private insurance.

O’Malley claimed that this, along with allowing immigration, was a big part of Ireland’s resurgent economy, now one of the top five in the world. What he failed to mention (no surprise here), are the real reasons for Ireland’s boom: low corporate taxation, decades of investment in domestic higher education, a low-cost labor market, and a policy of restraint in government spending.

Perhaps because these things (except investment in domestic higher education), all run opposite to his agenda for the state of Maryland? After all, he has called for higher taxes on large businesses and the “wealthy.” Then there is his support for labor unions, even going as far as issuing executive orders in broad support of them where the legislature has rejected them. Oh, and don’t forget the 70% and growing increase in government spending over the last eight years that has shown no sign of slowing down with O’Malley at the helm.

O’Malley also failed to make the distinction between the legal immigration of Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian and Nigerian workers in Ireland and the illegal immigration that his policies have encouraged in the state of Maryland.

Once again, all style, and zero substance from O’Malley.