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Pernicous Hypocrisy in Political Fundraising

truk-hillary-sunglasses

Victor Davis Hanson writes in the National Review, Moral Schizophrenics

excerpts:

But Ms. Clinton’s public ethics are loud and clear: She damns the effects of private money in polluting politics; she is furious about Wall Street profit-making; she is worried about the compensation of the struggling middle class. Indeed, so concerned is Hillary Clinton about the pernicious role of big money and the easy ability of our elites to make huge profits without traditional sweat and toil that she might well have to lecture her own son-in-law, who manages a multimillion-dollar hedge fund. Or better yet, Ms. Clinton’s advisers might warn her that in order to stop the pernicious role of big money in politics, she may be forced to top Barack Obama’s record fund-raising and rake in an anticipated $2.5 billion for the 2016 election.

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Political Climate

polar-bears-mate-at-berlin-zoo

From The Heartland Institute, Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, writes Why I am a Climate Change Skeptic

Excerpts:

Climate change has become a powerful political force for many reasons. First, it is universal; we are told everything on Earth is threatened. Second, it invokes the two most powerful human motivators: fear and guilt. We fear driving our car will kill our grandchildren, and we feel guilty for doing it.

Third, there is a powerful convergence of interests among key elites that support the climate “narrative.” Environmentalists spread fear and raise donations; politicians appear to be saving the Earth from doom; the media has a field day with sensation and conflict; science institutions raise billions in grants, create whole new departments, and stoke a feeding frenzy of scary scenarios; business wants to look green, and get huge public subsidies for projects that would otherwise be economic losers, such as wind farms and solar arrays. Fourth, the Left sees climate change as a perfect means to redistribute wealth from industrial countries to the developing world and the UN bureaucracy.

So we are told carbon dioxide is a “toxic” “pollutant” that must be curtailed, when in fact it is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, gas and the most important food for life on earth. Without carbon dioxide above 150 parts per million, all plants would die.

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The Liquidity Trap

moneymousetrap

from John Mauldin’s Thoughts from the Frontline

Central banks have proven that they can make money cheap and plentiful, but the money they’ve created isn’t moving around the economy or stimulating demand. It’s like a car. Our central banker can put the pedal to the metal and flood the engine with gas; but because the transmission is busted, it’s hard to shift gears, and power isn’t delivered to the wheels. Without a transmission mechanism, monetary policy is ineffective. Study after study has shown that quantitative easing didn’t produce the “bang for the buck” that central bankers hoped it would. After a credit crisis like last decade’s, central bankers can cut the nominal interest rate all the way to zero and still not be able to get their economies in gear. Some economists call that a “liquidity trap” (although that usage of the term differs somewhat from Lord Keynes’s original meaning).

The Great Recession plunged us into a liquidity trap the likes of which the world hadn’t seen since the Great Depression, although Japan has been more or less mired in a liquidity trap since their bubble burst in 1989.

Economists who study liquidity traps know that some of the usual rules of economics don’t apply when an economy is stuck in one. Large budget deficits don’t drive up interest rates; printing money isn’t inflationary; and cutting government spending has an exaggerated impact on the economy.

HKO

Monetary policy has been the savior of bad fiscal policy. With zero interest rates the Fed’s ability to bailout wrongheaded government decisions has been neutered.  We have given them a gun, but denied them ammo.

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Death By Victory

from Daniel Greenfield, The Sultan Knish, The Death of The Left

Excerpts:

What can the left achieve when it no longer has to worry about a conservative opposition, budgets, democracy or any other obstacle to its great dreams? Cities filled with old men and women who never had children. Cities filled with young men and women who will never marry, who are still working on their fourth degree without ever having held a job. Cities filled with multi-generational welfare recipients who are also the only ones having children. Cities owned by foreign nations from their historic buildings to their imported booming populations. That was the great accomplishment of a united Europe.

No children, no jobs and no future. No great works, no civilizational progress and no golden age.

What stakes are to a vampire, victory is to the left. The left gains its creative energies from fighting against authority. Its entire reason for existing is to resist. In triumph, its writers become prostitutes for authority, its heroes become tyrants and its myths die on propaganda posters dissolving in the gutter.

The left gains its ideological legitimacy from reform. But what happens when it becomes the entity in need of reform? Then reform dies and the word comes to be used as a euphemism for oppression. All the ideas die while the slogans march on like zombies. Radicals kill and then are killed. The men and women who used to fill the gulags, die in them instead. Lenin becomes Stalin becomes Khrushchev.

The left has won and victory is killing it. It’s a slow miserable death for it, and for us.

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Mutual Reinforcement of Foreign and Domestic Policy

from Bret Stephens at The Wall Street Journal, Israel Alone

Excerpts:

In other words, Mr. Obama is bequeathing not just a more dangerous Middle East but also one the next president will want to touch only with a barge pole. That leaves Israel alone to deal as best as it can with a broadening array of threats: thousands more missiles for Hezbollah, paid for by sanctions relief for Tehran; ISIS on the Golan Heights; an Iran safe, thanks to Russian missiles, from any conceivable Israeli strike.

The second reason follows from the first. Previous quarrels between Washington and Jerusalem were mainly about differing Mideast perceptions. Now the main issue is how the U.S. perceives itself.

Beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, every U.S. president took the view that strength abroad and strength at home were mutually reinforcing; that global security made us more prosperous, and that prosperity made us more secure.

Then along came Mr. Obama with his mantra of “nation building at home” and his notion that an activist foreign policy is a threat to the social democracy he seeks to build. Under his administration, domestic and foreign policy have been treated as a zero-sum game: If you want more of the former, do less of the latter. The result is a world of disorder, and an Israel that, for the first time in its history, must seek its security with an America that, say what it will, has nobody’s back but its own.