The classical liberal fears the growth of government, and sees it as the prime source of society’s ills. The collectivist celebrates and promotes bigger government, and sees it as the proper foundation for a proper society.
Hillary ropadopes Congress. The outgoing SecState’s testimony on Benghazi was political kabuki at its best. The Dems, in their turn, made great efforts to laud her service as the “greatest Secretary of State” the country has ever had, citing her airline miles and number of countries visited. Some (e.g. Brad Sherman, D-CA) expected her appearance to really be a valedictory address to Congress giving “input on the bigger issues of foreign policy”, instead of talking about the “criminals” and “suspects” who razed our consulate and killed four Americans. The Dems still have a hard time connecting organized Islamic terrorists (e.g. the Mahgreb Al Qaeda) with the attack. (H/T to reader for photo)
The Repubs didn’t get an answer, straight or otherwise, to their material questions. The bottom line was that it was Congress’ fault for not funding security properly that caused Benghazi, even though Congress pissed away billions on the solyndrizing of dubious green energy projects. Meanwhile, the lamestream buries another national tragedy and sends Islamists the wrong message, all because it would prove an embarrassment to the Dems - the sacrifices of Benghazi, RIP.
For the record, I repeat my assessment of Secy Clinton as America’s worst SecState in light of her record. At no time has American global influence become more ineffective, discounted, and lame than under her tenure. I cannot think of a positive thing that she has done in the country’s behalf, while our foreign policy failures during the last four years have been legion (as pointed out in these pages). The only mitigating factor in her favor, the extent of which we’ll perhaps discover from her memoir, is how much she was constrained, limited, and directed in her duties by President Obama.
Romneydamus ignored. The on-the-mark prognostications by candidate Mitt Romney were vilified by the press during his campaign, and now are being totally ignored by the lamestream media as what PJ Media mistakenly refers to as its “dereliction of duty.” I’m talking about, among other things, Romney's predicitions that Jeep manufacture would be farmed to China (this was called the “biggest lie” of the campaign), that Mali was going to be the next expansion of Islamist terror and takeover, and that Obama would do everything possible to weaken 2nd Amendment gun rights.
Where I think that outfits like PJ Media and Fox miss the mark is their implying that the lamestream ever thought it was their duty to be anything except the public mouthpiece for promoting and legitimizing progressive and socialist causes (and recently re-electing Obama). Were they to accept another charter and defend their performance under that, then one could argue their dereliction. But they have unabashedly done no such thing. It would better for the audiences of more conservative outlets to stop implying that the lamestream is somehow falling short of what they are (not) attempting to do.
Soviet agriculture in America. For years I have argued against corporate and agricultural welfare. In the latter case, I have raised arguments against the inconsistency of government subsidizing family farms while not subsidizing other inefficient enterprises supplying goods and services to the public. A bit of research reveals that America’s farm policy is founded on a baseline of farm production that dates back a century (1910-14). This baseline was incorporated into the cleverly named Agricultural Adjustment Acts of 1938 and 1949. The whole purpose of these acts is to “provide financial help to farmers by artificially inflating the prices of the commodities they produce.”
But, of course, as soon as you start such market mangling, things go to hell real fast with missed supplies to misjudged demand. And to adjust for such screw-ups government laid in another dollop of, you guessed it, more screw-ups. This it did by adding on layers of what crops who could plant where in what quantities, and then sell in which markets. Central planning, just like ol’ Uncle Joe was then doing on the great steppes of the former Ukraine and Russia.
But the real nuclear option that has and can again explode food prices is the so-called “permanent law” that was baked into these bills. You see, Congress has to renew agricultural subsidies from time to time. The astute reader knows that once subsidies start in some area, the recipients immediately game the system and tailor it to work to their optimum benefit in a subsidized (as opposed to free market) environment. The result it that our agricultural industry, from small farms to big agri-businesses, are long tuned to subsidies, and would suffer great dislocations (bankruptcies?) if the subsidies were suddenly pulled.
So the permanent law stipulates that if Congress fails to pass the next agricultural subsidy bill, then something called parity pricing automatically kicks in to hike food prices to the adjusted baselines set a hundred years back. Burleigh Leonard in the 23jan13 WSJ points out that the “permanent law is a hodgepodge of inconsistencies” where “some commodities are covered by parity-based price supports (and) others are not.” And none of it takes into account the technology advances and productivity gains that have occurred since the parity levels were adopted. The next food bomb can go off on 1 October 2013.
Ag subsidies make up just one of the cesspools of federal government policies that we quietly tolerate, mostly because we are an ignorant electorate. There are many more like it, and our re-elected President promises to populate the land with as many more of these as he and his can during the next four years. Socialists are a grim bunch who will never give up their belief that they know best. Obamacare is just the first volley down our throats.