Saturday, March 16, 2013

Always wrong

The Cpac straw poll picked Rand Paul for President with Marco Rubio in a close second. The thing that distinguishes these polls is how wrong they always are. They don't predict the Republican candidate let alone who will be President.

It's just the 'who is most out of touch with reality poll'. It's no surprise a libertarian won, you can't get more out of touch than that.

Mama Grizzly go'in liberal, don't you know, also too

"As conservatives, we must leave no American behind. And we must share our message of freedom and liberty to all citizens, even those who may disagree on some issues because there is solid common ground in fighting against government overreach and for independence. And those who disagree with us on some issues, they're not our enemies, they're our sisters and brothers. They're our neighbors and friends." - Sarah Palin speaking at CPAC

The new rightwing talking point. Amazing how they change the tune when they're out of power. '...we must leave no American behind.' A liberal concept, completely antithetical to conservatives, they're all about leaving the weak and 'undeserving' behind. Actually running over them if they get the chance. Somebody wrote this for Palin, she didn't have a clue what it meant, just that she's out of work and needed the speaking fee.

The good news is that the more the Republicans try to go 'liberal', the more likely the baggers will primary out 'liberal' Republicans. Democrats can win the House next year if they take it seriously. Beware anybody that says 'Dems can't', they are a collection of trolls passing as Dems, and just plain fools. "No matter who you are, you can win on any given Sunday" - Vince Lombardi       www.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Check the label on that rope

The People's Republic of China has a new President. It's an indication of just how powerful China has become that the west universally refers to Comrade Chairman Xi Jinping as a 'president' since he wasn't actually elected. He's been groomed for several years to take over as the figure head of the ruling coalition. After a couple years as 'Vice President' he was 'elected' Chairman of the Communist Party, then made head of the People's Liberation Army (by the military itself), and finally he was made Chairman of the seven member Standing Committee of the Politburo. Presto, you have a President.

Comrade Xi is a powerful man, but not in the western sense of the word. His power comes from bringing together the interests of a group of extremely powerful men. Powerful men that have overseen China moving in just 30 years from relying on steam locomotives to being on the cutting edge of technology. In fact after the new Chairman completes the next five year plan China will move past the United States in practically any measure you care to apply.

The US media used to make fun of 'five year plans', but China always hits the mark and there is nothing stopping them from meeting their current goals. There are Wall Street short sellers constantly  touting the imminent collapse of China. It's been 'imminent' for a long time now, while China moves ahead at flank speed. One of market 'oracles' favorite pieces of evidence are photos showing a landscape of empty malls and 'deserted' apartment buildings. This supposedly shows the bursting of China's real estate bubble and proving the 'imminence' of the economic disaster. This is just central planning, before building one of those massive factories China is know for, they build a city to house the workers, or three, or what ever they need. No austerity please.

In the US, libertarians and conservatives in general resist any sort of government planning. In places where they've been able to avoid any urban planning you have local governments that are totally dysfunctional, and unable to provide even basic services. The right likes to point to the New Deal as proof we don't want government involved in anything. They'll tell you with a straight face that "FDR caused the Depression, and only WWII got us out of it because it ended the New Deal". No matter that during 'War Time' everything business did required a permit from a government board, everything was rationed and price controlled. Most people either worked directly for the Federal Government or for a contractor funded and tightly controlled by the government. It was the New Deal on steroids with a huge dose of nanny state on the side.

Red China is definitely an oligarchy with not even any pretense of democracy, but you can make a lot of money in China and move way up from your current status. China has more middle class than we have people. In the US there is practically no upward mobility anymore and you are far more likely to drop out of the middle class permanently than succeed at bettering yourself. We're very close to losing democracy in the US, and our oligarchs aren't the 'benevolent' kind that build up the country for everyone's benefit. We have the greedy, stupid kind that will smash anything they can't take for themselves.

This will be the China century, and pretty soon they'll be making plans for the next China century. Supposedly communists used to say, 'capitalists will sell us the rope to hang them with'. Now the rope is even made in China.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

the phone is ringing, the green one

The economy continues slowly gain steam as unemployment claims fell another by 10,000 to a five year low. Retail sales were up significantly in February and housing continues to recover from the collapse of the Bush bubble. Hourly wages are up more than the rate of inflation but not by any great amount. Corporate profits are high of course.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the annual deficit at a bit over 800 billion with half of that amount for safety net outlays due to high unemployment and low wages. The easy fix for that would be to increase the minimum wage so that people who work don't need food stamps. Why does Walmart need to have its workers subsided by the taxpayer? Because it can.

Obama has taken the CBO report to his lunch meetings with Republicans to basically tell them that he doesn't need to make nice with the hardliners at all. If they like flying back home on weekends to airports without traffic control, he can live with that. The budget is under control long term, no compromise is needed. He tells them,"'s not smart, we can do better". You can bet Nancy Pelosi is working on the same group of Republicans that defected on the fiscal cliff to come up with a real budget.

The Republicans would like to reinstate the cuts to Defense spending while allowing the normal people affected by the sequester to swing in the breeze. But that requires Obama's signature, so not so fast. As layoffs by contractors back in the districts start to kick in, the pressure will build. You see the Military-Industrial Complex is careful to build something in almost every Congressional District. The easiest budget items to cut are parts from these plants. Obama has said he's just about ready to give up on fixing the sequester, you can bet the phones are starting to ring in Republican offices, the green phones with numbers only lobbyists have.

Paul Ryan is ranting that the Republican Party has to get out and tell people that they are 'the party of jobs'. Notice he didn't say that they actually are 'the party of jobs', just that they need to tell people that. That's as close to honest as he gets. His 'new' budget does away with Obamacare, it conveniently keeps the new revenue and the cost savings, but cuts all the benefits. His budget sharply cuts taxes for the rich while estimating that tax revenue with magically rise with economic growth not seen since before Reagan. No explanation how this will happen, except that the 'job creators' will not be burdened with taxes so they'll hire people. They won't have any new market, so why make more stuff they can't sell? Short answer: they won't, in fact they'll make less stuff as the money disappears from the economy. They'll lay people off and cut wages, just like they always do when given the opportunity.