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Baltimore, Detroit, and Other Democrat Utopias

Kevin Williamson at NRO points out that the Baltimore riots are a direct result of the Democrat leadership of that city; a city with no Republicans in any positions of city Government, in the bluest state in the country. Baltimore is a one-party Democrat-run city, and the same can be said of Detroit, St. Louis, Newark, Atlanta and most other large cities that have not seen a Republican mayor since before the advent of color television. Williamson catalogs the failings of Democrat city governments, but he doesn’t really explain how dysfunction is rooted in the Democrat style of politics.

As I have often said, the Democrat Party has one value proposition: We’re going to take money away from people you don’t like and spend it on you. This model has been highly successful in large urban areas and in the last two presidential elections. It is a highly effective message for the greedy, entitled, low-information voters that make up the Democrat base. It is not, however, an effective strategy for actual governance. It is, in fact, the root of why Democrat governance is so dysfunctional.

In real life, how the Democrat value proposition plays out is, “We’re going to take money from people you don’t like, use it to create massive, bloated government bureaucracies where we can give our cronies do-nothing, no-show jobs and also divert a lot of that money to our business cronies who contributed to our campaigns, and whatever is left will trickle down to you in the form of lousy Government services [think inner city schools] and welfare payments that are just enough to keep you in poverty and demanding more.”

In the Democrat model, businesses that employ people and indeed people employed by the private sector are the enemy. The Democrat base is constantly told that businesses are greedy, and that they “owe” the community their “fair share.” And even when businesses try to do good for the community, they are attacked for not doing enough, or for doing it in the wrong way.

In this way, Democrats justify constant increases in taxes and regulations on businesses; and also make sure businesses contribute to the party in a kind of protection racket. However, it also drives businesses out of Democrat-run areas, or out of business entirely, creating unemployment. Democrats are by and large OK with this because welfare recipients are loyal voters; but a model in which ever fewer working people are supporting ever greater numbers of welfare recipients and government bureaucrats is unsustainable. Government, despite the “you didn’t build that” claims of Barack Obama and Liz Warren, creates nothing; it only takes. And it can only be sustained by economic growth in the private sector, which Democrat policies stifle.

Democrats also must villainize Republicans to make sure no alternative to their party exists. They tell blacks, “Republicans want to bring back slavery.” They tell gays, “Republicans want to outlaw sex and make it legal to kill you.” They tell single women, “Republicans will outlaw contraception.” They tell Hispanics, “Republicans want to secure the border and stop you from illegally taking American jobs.” None of these is true, but by demonizing Republicans, Democrats assure dysfunction by denying political alternatives, and by allowing their constituents to ignore the causes and effects of their own dysfunction. Contrary to Al Sharpton, Barack Obama, and guilt-ridden white liberals, the dysfunction of the black community is not the fault of Caucasian Americans. But it is politically potent for Democrats to tell African-Americans that they are the victims of White America. As such, there is no incentive for the black community to introspectively examine black-on-black violence, broken and dysfunctional families, or their rotten (Democrat-run) education systems. Those who acknowledge the dysfunction are decried as racists.

Democrats win election by stoking resentments, scapegoating productive people for the failures of unproductive people, looting the public treasury, and making monsters out of their opponents. These policies win elections very effectively particularly where voters are uneducated and ill-informed (i.e. dependent on Democrat-run schools and Democrat-run media), but as a strategy of governance, they are inherently dysfunctional. The resentments become hatred and violence, the productive people abandon the dysfunction until the dysfunctional are a voting majority, the public treasury is robbed bare, and you end up with… Detroit, Newark, Baltimore, St. Louis, Providence, Bridgeport, Camden, and all the other one-party urban hellholes, basically.

Democrats think that the dysfunction can be papered over by spending more of other people’s money. But that only works while there is money to spend.  The country is broke, which is why I think Baltimore is just the prelude of what’s to come.

Angie’s List’s Sanctimony Is a Cover for Frustrated Cronyism

When the on-line company Angie’s List backed out of a deal to expand its headquarters in Indianapolis, company executives were quick to claim that it was their moral duty not to expand in a state that so intolerantly decided to protect the rights of people of faith to conduct their lives in accordance with their faith.

Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle said his firm will pull out of a pending deal with the state and city to expand its headquarters in Indianapolis because of his disagreement with the state’s passage of the “religious freedom” law.

“We’re going to be very vocal on this issue and I don’t feel we can do that if we are taking state money,” Oesterle said Saturday in an interview with The Indianapolis Star. “We don’t want to be bound by commitments in that deal given the current atmosphere in the state (government).”

And for that, the trained seals of the left applauded them for showing… what do they call it? Good corporate citizenship? Moral leadership?

But the truth is, the city and state had already begun questioning the millions of dollars in subsidies Angie’s List was demanding. And the city council was preparing to vote down the subsidies Angie’s List had demanded. And the real reason Angie’s List wanted to suspend the project had nothing to do with protecting gay people from hurt feelings, and everything to do with not getting their corporate expansion fully subsidized by the taxpayers of Indiana.

Perhaps the most glaring is the fact that in its 20-year history, Angie’s List has never turned a profit. In addition, the company’s stock has plummeted from its initial public offering of $15.80 to this week’s $5.14 per share.

While Angie’s List tempts and teases with the promise of expansion, including adding 1,000 new jobs and relocating 800 of its current employees; we can’t forget the company’s massive layoff just last year.

The proposal currently states the city would designate $2 million on streets and other infrastructure work with the remaining $16.3 million going toward building a garage for employees and relocating an Indianapolis Public Schools’ warehouse from the former Ford assembly plant. But the city wouldn’t be alone in its giving. The state would provide $6.5 million in tax credits and $500,000 in training grants.

Thanks, John in Indy, for pretty much writing the story.

Oregon Democrats Expand Vote Fraud

In a state where politicians believe motorists are too dumb to pump their own gas, every adult who “interacts” with the Department of Motor Vehicles will now be automatically registered to vote and mailed a ballot… expanding the Democrat voter base by 300,000 lazy, dumb, and apathetic people whose ballots will be scooped up and filled out for them by ACORN-type community organizations.

Fanatics Using Government to Force Their Lifestyle Choices on Everyone

A bill is moving through the Colorado Statehouse that would  deny people under the age of 18 the choice of seeking psychological counseling to change their sexual orientation.

However, it will still be legal for minors to undergo irreversible hormone therapy should they want to choose to change their “gender.”

Because Progressives know what’s best for everyone, and will simply remove your ability to make choices they don’t approve of. They will, however, demand taxpayer funding for choices they do approve of.

How Much Worse Could Things Get in Chicago?

Chicago isn’t Detroit yet, but, gosh darn it, they’re trying. The president of the Chicago Teacher’s Union is considering a run for mayor, and according to polls, she would probably win.

The current mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, is a standard issue corrupt Chicago Democrat; Lewis is a straight-up radical. Lewis’s main beef with him is that, in response to the fact that the population of Chicago is declining, and the population of school-age children in Chicago is declining even more, Emanuel closed a bunch of unnecessary public schools; and of course that meant layoffs for teachers and administrators, and that meant fewer dues-payers to support Ms. Lewis’s quarter-million-dollar annual Teacher’s Union president salary.

In the Chicago Public Schools’ run by Ms. Lewis’s Teacher’s Union:

  • Four out of 10 freshmen don’t graduate
  • 91 percent of graduates must take remedial courses in college because they do not know how to do basic math and other schoolwork
  • Only 26 percent of high school students are college-ready, according to results from ACT subject-matter tests.

And the average salary for a Chicago Public School teacher was $76,000 per year in 2012 when teachers went on strike to demand more money, which was not only the highest in the country, but $3000 more than teachers in New York City.

 

chicago-teacher-strike-karen-lewis-624x445

She also obviously has not been participating in Michelle Obama’s school lunch program.

What Democrats and Republican Elites Really Think

Item No. 1: The establishment GOP National Republican Senate Committee paid for a radio ad and printed flyers in Mississippi that called fiscal, small Government conservatives racists.

Item No. 2: The Democrats’ central argument in opposing voter ID boils down to this: “Our voters are too lazy and stupid to go out and get a Government ID.

It fascinates me that, when push comes to shove, both parties privately embrace and promote the worst stereotypes of the people said to vote for them.

It’s also revealing what political aristocrats really think of the people who cast votes for them.

Where Are the Occupy Candidates?

The Occupy Movement was conceived and executed as a response to the Tea Party movement. It was said that both movements opposed crony capitalism; the Tea Party opposed cronyism, and Occupy opposed capitalism.

The Tea Party, though reviled across the political spectrum from far-left to center-left (i.e., the Democrats, the media, low-info voters, and Republicans threatened by the loss of power), managed to elect quite a few candidates at the local, state, and Congressional level. And even those Republicans who didn’t formally align with the Tea Party at least paid lip service to the Tea Party agenda of limited Government, reductions in Government spending, and reform of taxes and regulation.

But when you look for Democrats championing the Occupy Agenda… student loan forgiveness, redistribution of income, expansion of the welfare state, rape tents … there don’t seem to be any who willingly identify themselves as “Occupy” candidates.

There’s Senator Elizabeth Warren, the blonde-haired Cherokee from Massachusetts, who claims to be the founder of the Occupy movement. (She claims a lot of things.) But that’s really it.

I kind of think it’s because the Occupy Agenda is baked into the Democrat Party already; (“We’ll take money away from people you don’t like and spend it on you.”) Also because Occupy was always more of a Democrat PR stunt than an actual movement; they all sort of melted away after the 2012 elections. Also, what politician outside of the San Francisco Bay Area wants to identify himself with rape tents and pooping on cop cars?

Tax Day homily

Although this story focuses on California’s abuses, it shows how government gets its revenue in general: arbitrarily and with the power and willingness to ruin people’s lives.

In 1970, a young Southern California electrical engineer and inventor named Gilbert Hyatt filed a patent application for an innovative microprocessor chip…

Twenty years later…the U.S. patent office awarded Hyatt the patent…a multimillion-dollar windfall. He moved to Las Vegas, where he said he was a full-time resident before he received the earnings.

California’s Franchise Tax Board (FTB)…decided to seek $7.4 million in back taxes, claiming that he was still a resident of California when the money came in. That sounds like a simple enough dispute that could quickly be resolved, but what followed has been an ordeal that has consumed a good bit of Hyatt’s adult life.

…[for] a sum that now tops $55 million as interest and penalties have accrued…The tax authorities have been pursuing him through its administrative process. Tired of the endless investigations, Hyatt filed suit in Nevada court in 1998. California officials said they weren’t subject to an out-of-state tort lawsuit. California lost that argument in the Nevada Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court and the high court decision sent the case back to a Nevada district court, which awarded Hyatt nearly $400 million in damages after finding that the California authorities abused their power and invaded his privacy. That case is on appeal.

Hyatt believes that California officials are purposefully delaying. “Specifically, because of the 20 year delay Hyatt can no longer obtain a fair and full adjudication of whether he owes state taxes to California,” according to his lawsuit. “During this time, material witnesses have passed away, memories of witnesses have faded, and documents relevant and important to Hyatt are no longer available.” The board keeps assessing penalties…He suspects the tax board is waiting for him to die so that it can go after his estate.

Under California law, the Franchise Tax Board has the “presumption of correctness,” meaning that the onus always is on Hyatt to disprove what the tax officials say. And, he argues, they keep changing their stories and their allegations, thus resulting in more years of legal expenses and disputes…

To sum up – When dealing with the tax man in America today, you have:

  • No “innocent until proven guilty”.
  • No real “right to a speedy trial”.
  • Kafka-esque complexity and situations rigged for you to lose.

To anyone who wants to claim that our tax system is “voluntary”, or that government somehow isn’t a gun, or that taxation somehow isn’t a use of force on people (many conscientious tax-objectors are given long jail sentences): You’re just lying.

So, it’s not obstruction when a Democrat does it?

Brit Hume just made my job a lot easier:*

Screen shot 2013-06-27 at 11.17.56 AM

Yesterday, Anderson Cooper all but drooled over the Texas Democrat.  And my left-of-center Facebook friends are making her a hero.  Should remind them of their support for this woman blocking a bill with majority support in the Texas Senate the next time a Republican blocks a bill with similar support in the U.S. Senate.
——-

*I had planned a post wondering if Democrats’ love for Davis signaled a change of heart on the filibuster.

Rhode Island recognizes gay marriages the right way

After several tries, the Ocean State will start recognizing same-sex marriages on August 1.   Both houses of the legislature voted in favor of such recognition and the elected governor signed the bill into law.

And this legislation, like that in New Hampshire, addresses the concerns of those who contend such recognition would force churches (and other religious institutions) to perform weddings at odd with their faith’s doctrine.  According to the Associated Press’s David Klepper:

The bill that passed the House stated that religious institutions may set their own rules regarding who is eligible to marry within the faith and specifies that no religious leader is obligated to officiate at any marriage ceremony. The Senate added language to ensure that groups like the Knights of Columbus aren’t legally obligated to provide facilities for same-sex weddings.

With such provisions, the Ocean State not only recognizes same-sex marriages, but also protects religious freedom.

Kudos.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Jayne contends that “union of 2 males or 2 females is, biologically, historically and culturally so vastly different from the union between a male and female that to define it with the same term renders the definition meaningless.”

I would agree that same-sex unions are different from different-sex ones merely because of the differences between men and women, but is she right, are they “vastly different”? (Emphasis added.)

The only black man in the 113th Senate . . .

. . . will be the only man ever appointed to the Senate by an Indian American woman.  South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, reports, Ed Morrissey

will appoint Rep. Tim Scott to replace Senator Jim DeMint in the US Senate, making Scott the upper chamber’s only African-American member, and give him a boost in the 2014 special election for the rest of DeMint’s term. ..

(Via Instapundit.)  Oh, and Scott is a Republican.  Just as there are no African-American Democratic Senators, there are no Indian-American or Hispanic Democratic governors.  Two of the three Senators of Hispanic background are Republican.

Some news reports notwithstanding, Scott will not occupy the Senate seat once held by Strom Thurmond.  Lindsay Graham sits in that chair.

Media cover imaginary Tea Party violence, ignore real union violence

With the enactment yesterday in the Wolverine State of right-to-work legislation, freeing individual workers from the obligation to pay union dues, the unions have not reacted in a, well, dignified manner.

Take a gander at how union activists treated one conservative blogger outside the Michigan state capitol:

Via Hot Air.  The same folks knocked down a tent that Americans for Prosperity (with a permit) put up on the state capitol grounds, cheering as it collapsed with people in it.

Yet, neither AOL, Yahoo! nor the Washington Post cover this on their front pages this morning.  Here are some screen-captures of the Post’s front page:

Screen shot 2012-12-12 at 9.49.21 AMScreen shot 2012-12-12 at 9.49.47 AMScreen shot 2012-12-12 at 9.50.24 AM (more…)

Obama’s remarks in Michigan & his partisan nature

The decision that President Obama, the head of the federal government, made yesterday to wade into the politics in one state seemed a defining one.

Instead of being the postpartisan political healer he claimed to be in the 2008 election, he seems to feel that he just has to interject himself into contentious political issues, not as the mediator, but as the combatant.

He seems more interested in playing partisan politics than in working with the opposing party to effect a consensus.

RELATED:  Michigan Seems Like A Dream To Me Now. (Via Instapundit.)

ALSO SORT OF RELATED: Protesters to march on Michigan capitol over “right-to-work” vote  (Note how Yahoo!’s editors put right-to-work in quotation marks.  Did they ever so reference the “Affordable Care Act”?

UPDATE: How civil:  Democrats threaten violence on Michigan House floor.  The article includes this interesting factoid, “Michigan has both the highest unionization and unemployment rates in the Midwest.”

ADDENDUM:  I had meant this to be a longer post, addressing the frustration we Republicans feel in the wake of Obama’s victory that we’ll be subject to four more years of his divisive rhetoric, but by the time I got to this post, I had little energy to write.  I have been working a great deal on my fantasy epic and have now completed (and am busy editing) the second chapter of the epic and finding myself scribbling notes for the third chapter. (more…)

Does Obama ever stop campaigning? Has he (or any other top Democrat) made a “Fiscal Cliff” counteroffer?

The day after meeting with House Speaker John Boehner to “talk about avoiding the fiscal cliff”, he jetted off to  Michigan to criticize right-to-work legislation that both houses of the elected legislature of the Wolverine State passed.  The elected governor, Rick Snyder, has pledge to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

Obama win in Michigan to “pressure Republicans in Congress to raise taxes on the nation’s top earners“.  Funny way to pressure Republicans—attacking a policy that Republicans in the legislature overwhelmingly support.

(Do wonder if Mr. Obama’s predecessor ever traveled to a state to criticize legislation based by Democratic legislatures in that jurisdiction.)

Instead of weighing in on state policies in a campaign-style event, the president should instead do the job to which he was elected, that of chief executive of the federal government.  Attacking the GOP in a state which just voted to send nine Republicans to the House of Representatives (out of a fourteen member delegation) won’t help him reach a compromise with the Republican-majority chamber.

Seems Mr. Obama would rather speak to friendly crowds than work with his partisan adversaries, even when the latter work is part of his job description.

New Jersey’s Chris Christie Backs Away from the Cliff

[S]hortly after a face-to-face meeting with President Obama at the White House to discuss Hurricane Sandy aid”, New Jersey Governor Chris Christievetoed legislation that would have established a state-run health care insurance exchange in New Jersey pursuant to the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act.”  (Bold in original.)

“Oh,” quips Hot Air’s Mary Katharine Ham, “the fall from Beltway media grace shall be sharp and swift for the country’s most popular Republican.”

Read the whole thing.

Republican Pennsylvania legislator comes out

A Republican becomes the first first openly gay state representative in the KeyStone State:

State Rep. Mike Fleck (R-Huntingdon) publicly acknowledged Saturday that he is gay, making him the first openly gay lawmaker in Pa. and the only* currently sitting openly gay Republican state legislator in the entire country.

. . . .

“Coming out is hard enough, but doing it in the public eye is definitely something I never anticipated,” he said. “I’m still the exact same person and I’m still a Republican and, most importantly, I’m still a person of faith trying to live life as a servant of God and the public. The only difference now is that I will also be doing so as honestly as I know how.”

He said his party affiliation remains strong.

“The Republican party is all about the government needing to stay out of people’s lives,” Fleck said. “I’m not a one-issue person and it’s not a one-issue party.”

Well said, Representative Fleck. Wish more people understood this about gay Republicans. Our political calculus doesn’t revolve around our sexuality nor does the agenda of our party.

Folks at the Advocate would be wise to learn from this gay elected official — and to watch how his party receives him.

Right-to-work states account for most of nation’s job growth

Seems laws President Obama opposes may have helped secure the Democrat’s reelection.  At his American Enterprise Institute blog, Carpe Diem, University of Michigan economics professor Mark J. Perry reminds us that the incumbent opposes right-to-work laws, legislation which “protect employees from being fired for refusal to pay union dues or fees”.

States which such laws on the books

were responsible for 72% of all net household job growth across the U.S. from June 2009 through September 2012.  If these states’ job increase had been no better than the 0.85% experienced by forced-unionism states as a group, the nationwide job increase would have been less than half as great.  And the President wouldn’t have been able even to pretend the economy was in recovery.

Aggregate household employment grew by 1.86 million jobs in the 22 states with right-to-work laws.  2.59 million jobs created in the nation during that period.  And that number is even more impressive when you consider that the states without right-to-work laws include some with the largest population like California, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan. (more…)

Republicans control state government in 23 states
(Dems in 14)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:00 pm - November 11, 2012.
Filed under: Politics & Government in the States

Hardly the sign of a party in decline:

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), which tracks party representation in the country’s 50 state governments, Democrats now control all three bases of power — the governorship and both houses of the state legislature — in 14 states and Republicans in 23, with only 12 states sharing power. (Nebraska’s unicameral legislature is considered nonpartisan.)

Even in Democratic year, Republicans demonstrate strength in Congressional Elections & at State Level

Today, in his statement on the fiscal cliff and tax rates, President Obama said that “on Tuesday night we found out that the the majority of Americans agree” with his plan for people “making over $250,000” to pay more in his taxes.  Now, to be sure, that was one of the few concrete proposals he did make in the campaign.

If the American people really did agree with him, how come the majority of Americans voted for legislators opposed to this approach?[*]  “Republicans“, reports Michael Barone in the Wall Street Journal

. . . won or are leading in 236 of the 435 House seats, down just six from the 2010 midterm. And they achieved this despite losing five seats because of partisan redistricting in Illinois and another five in California thanks to a supposedly nonpartisan redistricting commission that the Democrats successfully gamed.

And it’s not just the federal legislature where Republicans made a strong showing.  In state legislative races, Republicans also held their own, meaning that Democrats are, as I noted earlier today, are “even further behind” their post-2008 standing at the state level.Right after President Obama’s election, in twelve swing (or near-swing) states, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, Democrats had complete control (Governor, both houses of the legislature) in five, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin, Republicans in just one Florida.

Today, Democrats only have complete control in two, Colorado and Minnesota, and hold both houses of the legislature in Nevada while a Republican sits in the governor’s chair.  Republicans have complete control in six, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, almost complete control in Virginia, holding the governor’s chair, the state House and with a split state Senate.

Since 2009, in those twelve swing (or near-swing) states, Republicans have lost only the governor’s chair in Minnesota.   (more…)

Election news isn’t as bleak in the states

Tuesday night may have represented a defeat for America’s more conservative political party at the federal level, but the American people did not repudiate conservative ideals.

Although Republicans lost seats in the United States Senate and House, they did relatively well in state legislative races. Indeed, “Even as Midwesterners voted to reelect Obama,” wrote James Sherk yesterday in the National Review,

they also voted against the union-backed candidates. Michigan voters rejected making collective-bargaining powers a “right” by a 58–42 margin. Michigan Republicans also held onto their majorities in the legislature. In Wisconsin, Republicans aligned with Governor Walker’s agenda retook the state senate. Republicans expanded their margins in Indiana to better than two-thirds of the legislature. Ohio Republicans also expanded their legislative majority.

They did suffer some losses, losing, for example, the House in Colorado and New Hampshire and losing both chambers in Maine as well as Minnesota, but, in addition to Wisconsin, Republicans flipped the Senate in Alaska and, for the first time since Reconstruction, won both chambers of the Arkansas legislature.

Mitt Romney may have lost Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, but Republicans control the legislature (both houses) and hold the governor’s chair in all five states.

Not just that, Tom Maguire teased out an interesting data point buried in The New York Times report on the exit polls:

In November 2008, when the country was floundering in the worst recession since the Depression, Election Day surveys of voters found that 51 percent of them wanted government to do more to intervene while 43 percent said it was doing too many things better left to businesses. Now, after four years of government activism, those numbers have flipped.

This corresponds with other surveys showing that Americans prefer a smaller government with fewer services to larger government with more services. (more…)