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Archive for March 8th, 2010

Dr Gabriel Calzada Alvarez’s report shows that for every green job created 2.2 jobs are lost in the real economy.

“After two studies refuted President Barack Obama’s assertions regarding the success of Spain’s and Denmark’s wind energy programs, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals the Department of Energy turned to George Soros and to wind industry lobbyists to attack the studies. …  according to the DoE, wind industry lobbyists and Soros’s Center for American Progress are — for legal purposes — extensions of the government.”—Chris Horner


 

What Dave and his chum Barack don’t want you to know about green jobs and green energy

By James Delingpole  

Green jobs are a waste of space, a waste of money, a lie, a chimera. You know that. I know that. We’re familiar with the report by Dr Gabriel Calzada Alvarez of the Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain which shows that for every “green job” that is created another 2.2 jobs are LOST in the real economy.

We also know that alternative energy is a fraud – only viable through enormous government (ie taxpayer subsidy) and utterly incapable of answering anything more than a fraction of our energy needs. As Shannon Love puts it here:

Here’s a fact you won’t see mentioned in the public policy debate over “alternative” energy:

There exists no alternative energy source, no combination of alternative energy sources, and no system of combinations of alternative energy sources that can fully replace a single, coal fired electric plant built with 1930s era technology.

Nada.

Zero.

Zilch.

And if you’ve time, do watch this fantastically damning video about Green Energy, which will make you hate wind farms even more than you did already.

So why are our political leaders setting out quite deliberately to deceive us?

There have many disgustingly revealing stories this week about the dubious practices of the Climate Fear Promotion lobby, but for me the most damning of all was Chris Horner’s scoop at Pajamas Media concerning high level cover-ups by the Obama administration. Like his soul mate Dave Cameron on this side of the pond, Obama finds the narrative about global warming so compelling and moving that he doesn’t want it spoiled with any inconvenient truths regarding green jobs and green energy.

Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, has discovered that when two European reports came out – the Spanish one above; and another one from Denmark on the inefficiency of wind farms – the Obama administration recruited left-wing lobbyists to attack them.

After two studies refuted President Barack Obama’s assertions regarding the success of Spain’s and Denmark’s wind energy programs, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals the Department of Energy turned to George Soros and to wind industry lobbyists to attack the studies.

Via the FOIA request, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has learned that the Department of Energy — specifically the office headed by Al Gore’s company’s former CEO, Cathy Zoi — turned to George Soros’ Center for American Progress and other wind industry lobbyists to help push Obama’s wind energy proposals.

The FOIA request was not entirely complied with, and CEI just filed an appeal over documents still being withheld. In addition to withholding many internal communications, the administration is withholding communications with these lobbyists and other related communications, claiming they constitute “inter-agency memoranda.” This implies that, according to the DoE, wind industry lobbyists and Soros’s Center for American Progress are — for legal purposes — extensions of the government.

We see something similar going on here in Britain. The taxpayer funded Quango The Carbon Trust is continually pumping out propaganda on behalf of the powerful wind energy lobby; as too is the BBC which cheerfully funded a political broadcast (masquerading as a cri de coeur) by Green activist George Moonbat on its The Daily Politics show earlier this week. In December it was discovered that civil servants working for the government had suppressed evidence that wind farms damage health and disrupt sleep.

Do our political leaders think we’re stupid? Or so supine and malleable that we simply won’t mind being lied to if it’s for our “own good”?

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GONE AWRY

The twelve wind derricks will produce power for perhaps several hundred homes, hardly making a dent in the MMPA’s 57,000 household and business customers.

“They’re basically for public relations, educational purposes. They’re just not feasible for any significant amount of electrical generation.”—Dan Voss, Municipal Utilities Director for the City of Anoka

Another controversial wind power project in Minnesota involves eminent domain:

In the “Threat of Eminent Domain Hangs in the Air Over Minnesota Wind Power Project,” Tom Steward asks whether eminent domain includes seizing the rights to the wind that blows over private property. Several Minnesota farmers don’t think so and are refusing to grant “wind rights” to the New Ulm utility.

“Eminent domain is basically like a nuclear bomb. The repercussions would be long lasting and widespread, not just for us, but for the wind industry.”—Clete Goblirsch, Minnesota farmer


 

‘Symbolic’ Wind Turbines Generating More P.R. Than Power

By Tom Steward

Now that most of twelve California wind turbines retrofitted for Minnesota winters are finally operational, several cities have acknowledged to the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota that the $5 million project may be more suited for generating PR—both good and bad—than producing significant quantities of power.

The wind power project involves utilities in eleven cities scattered across the state from the metro area to East Grand Forks in a consortium called the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA). Each of the eleven member cities received one turbine, and the twelfth was given to the MMPA owned and operated Faribault Energy Park in Faribault. It was supposed to be a step toward meeting the state renewable energy mandate that requires 25 percent of Minnesota’s power be from renewable energy sources by 2025.

It turns out, however, the twelve wind derricks will produce power for perhaps several hundred homes, hardly making a dent in the MMPA’s 57,000 household and business customers.

“They’re basically for public relations, educational purposes. They’re just not feasible for any significant amount of electrical generation,” said Dan Voss, Municipal Utilities Director for the City of Anoka.

The idea of a green energy public relations campaign is acknowledged up front in what’s called the Hometown WindPower project’s criteria for the turbine site selection on member city North St. Paul’s website. The document states the turbine must have “prominent visibility from major roads” and serve to “show each community’s commitment to clean renewable energy.”

The turbines succeeded in attracting publicity from the start, drawing national attention for all the wrong reasons, when the frigid Minnesota temperatures shut down the turbines before they ever got going.

“The original purpose was to help meet our 25 per cent requirement,” said Wally Wysopal, City Manager of North St. Paul. “The other objective is to get people to understand this is going to be a tough objective to hit and these are symbols of that.  And I think you can see they’re not easy to get going sometimes.”

At $417,000 per wind turbine, it’s an expensive campaign fueled by federally subsidized Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBS). The revenue or cost savings from the renewable energy are utilized to pay off the bonds over an average of 15 years.

“The CREBS bonds made it reasonable. It is subsidized, it is available, and we took that opportunity,” Wysopal added. “Otherwise, we would not have done it.”

In 2007, MMPA envisioned installing 300 foot tall turbines that would generate as much as 1.5 megawatts of electricity, providing a greater portion of the cities’ daily energy use. But last fall MMPA began installing turbines less than half that height at 115 feet and with about one-tenth of the capacity at 160 kilowatts.

The estimates of how much power will be produced varies: North St. Paul’s website estimates that 110 homes will receive power when the turbines operate at full power; Anoka’s estimate is at 35-40 homes. At least one city utilities director hopes the controversy focuses attention on the danger of over-relying on wind power to meet the state’s renewable energy mandate.

“One fifth of the arable land would have to be taken up by wind turbines to meet the mandate,” Dan Voss said. “It’s just not a good policy and it’s not sustainable and unfortunately, there’s no interest in it until the lights go out.”

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An exclusive circle of former leftist Democrats joined the Republican Party in the late 1970s and began running American foreign policy after 9/11.  These neoconservatives (neocons) believed in expanding democracy globally through revolution and preemptive and indefinite warfare. Many were former Trotskyites who transformed their communist paradigm into a similarly utopian vision for imposing democracy everywhere.

The conservative principles of Goldwater/Reagan have not failed. The Republican Party must reassert basic conservative principles, not only to do well in the next election but, in fact, to save the country

“The Republican Party of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan was a conservative party of limited government.  That all changed in the post-Reagan era of Republican politics.”—Tom Pauken  

During George W. Bush’s administration, Republicans came to embrace big government conservatism, which had more in common with FDR’s New Deal or LBJ’s Great Society than with the libertarian conservative philosophy of Goldwater and Reagan.


 

Big Government Conservatism Is an Oxymoron

By Wesley Allen Riddle

So reads the title of the third chapter in Tom Pauken’s excellent new book, Bringing America Home (Rockford, Illinois: Chronicles Press, 2010).  Pauken chronicles how Nixon/Ford retreads had begun to reassert influence over the Republican Party during the single term of George Herbert Walker Bush after Ronald Reagan left office.  Dominance of a big business, “corporate liberal” elite grew during George W. Bush’s two terms in office.  Worse, while the elder Bush held by and large to a realistic, balanced, and security-driven approach to international relations, a coterie of former liberal Democrats who joined the Republican Party in the late 1970s literally began running American foreign policy in the aftermath of 9/11.  These neoconservatives believed in global democratic revolution, as well as preemptive and indefinite warfare to accomplish that aim.

Many were former Marxists, who transformed their communist paradigm into a similarly utopian vision for imposing democracy everywhere.  If one searches for an American precursor, one may fairly conclude that it is Wilsonian.  It is therefore true that progressivism had reentered the Republican Party even before the more recent emanations so apparent in the Democrat Party.  By the time George W. Bush left office, a Big Government domestic crowd and a Big Government military-expansionist crowd had virtually assured runaway spending and the near financial collapse.  President Obama really did inherit a mess, notwithstanding his penchant for making things worse. 

The Republican Party is still digging out from shambles, but it was never the conservative principles of Goldwater/Reagan that failed.  Pauken opines the Republican Party must reassert basic conservative principles, not only to do well in the next election but, in fact, to save the country.  The past, à la Goldwater and Reagan, offers salient policy positions for a course correction, as do recently popular libertarian-conservative expounders of limited government and constitutional conservatism, such as Ron Paul.  Paul supporters were instrumental in igniting the Tea Party movement.  Paul may even be this generation’s Goldwater in terms of being the intellectual progenitor, giving rise to a fresh articulation of conservative principles and to future realization of conservative political ascendancy.  How soon that ascendancy happens depends as much on what the Democrats do as Republicans, and also on how bad things get. 

Pauken points out what is now widely understood across conservative ranks, that “Federal spending and unfunded federal mandates on state and local governments are completely out of control.”  He then asks rhetorically, “Is there any hope whatsoever that a true federalist could actually get elected president, reduce the growth of federal spending, and return power to the states, local communities, and the people?”  Sadly the question is now unanswerable, because it may depend on what emerges from the shambles of the Republican Party and whether the GOP rediscovers its conservative root.  It depends as well, as it always does, on the people—whether they give in to having stirrups at their sides, and saddles cinched to their backs and Big Government riding herd. 

According to Pauken, “The Republican Party of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan was a conservative party of limited government.  That all changed in the post-Reagan era of Republican politics.”  During the first eight years this century, Republicans came to embrace big government conservatism, but this had more in common with the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt or the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson than with the conservative philosophy of Goldwater and Reagan. 

Neoconservative Fred Barnes lauded George W. Bush for pursuing conservative ends by traditionally liberal means, a.k.a. activist government.  Barnes noted that neoconservative Republicans were favorably disposed towards a conservative welfare state.  As Pauken sums it up, “A cynic might suggest that what Barnes was really saying was that there is nothing wrong with big government so long as ‘our guys’ are in charge.”  Of course from the standpoint of the economy, big government conservatism still bankrupts the country and stifles recovery.  From the standpoint of liberty it matters only by degree, if one master happens to be more benevolent than another.  From the standpoint of the Constitution, however, it matters not one whit. [emphasis mine]

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“I am confident the people of Arizona again will judge me on not what I’ve done for them, but what they think I can do for them.”—John McCain

McCain on McCain

“I just wish Senator McCain had run as hard against Barack Obama as he is against a conservative like J.D. That could have prevented the harmful, liberal agenda we are all now suffering through.”—Joe Arpaio, Sheriff Maricopa County, Arizona, staunch enforcer of immigration laws

Over the last year, John McCain supported everything that the grass-roots Tea Party movement has stood against. McCain has never admitted he was wrong about his support of:

• The $700 billion all-purpose, earmark-stuffed TARP bailout;
• The $25 billion auto bailout;
• The $300 billion mortgage entitlement bailout; and
• The first $85 billion AIG bailout.

McCain:

Blew it on TARP.

Blew it on the auto bailout.

Blew it on the mortgage entitlement bailout.

Blew it on the AIG bailout.

Blew it on amnesty.

Blew it on campaign finance.

Blew it on global warming.

In short: McCain blows.

The Case against McCain for Senate Re-Election

From The Arizona Conservative Blog

Big Government Bailouts

McCain also voted for the $850 billion bailout of the big banks, which included $150 billion in pork, proposed a $300 billion bailout for mortgage lenders and, according to the Heritage Foundation, sponsored an amnesty bill in 2007 that would have cost taxpayers $2.6 trillion over the long-term.

In the fall of 2008, McCain left the campaign trail in a near panic to return to Washington where he voted in favor of a bailout despite significant Republican opposition and concerns expressed at the time.

Below is a list of seven of the top 20 (including the top five) donors to John McCain from 2003-2008 as compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. It reads like a who’s who of companies that received bailout cash. In fact, while these companies raised John McCain over $1.7 million, they were bailed out to the tune of some $135 billion.

COMPANY McCain Donations Bailout Money
Merrill Lynch (taken over by Bank of America)  $373,595 (see Bank of America)
Citigroup Inc  $322,051 $45,000,000,000
Morgan Stanley  $273,452         $10,000,000,000
Goldman Sachs  $230, 095  $10,000,000,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co  $228, 107  $25,000,000,000
Bank of America  $166,026  $45,000,000,000
Bear Stearns (taken over by JPMorgan)  $117, 498  (see JPMorgan)
 TOTAL  $1,710,824 $135,000,000,000 

John McCain called the bailout bill an “obscenity,” but voted for it anyway. It included $150 billion in earmarks. And just last week in the Arizona Republic, the senior senator from Arizona claims he was duped, seeking to blame others for his bank bailout vote. He repeated the claim on yesterday’s Meet The Press. Ironically, he continues to tout his “experience” as to why Arizonans should return him to the Senate.

Read the story here:

“John McCain likes to talk tough about the bankers at the center of the economic meltdown, but he still kept their cash. But as we saw with Charlie Keating, when it comes to financial interests McCain appears to have a blind spot,” said Hayworth campaign manager David Payne,

“During the economic meltdown in the Fall of 08, Republicans all across America looked to McCain for leadership, but instead they saw a panicky career politician cave to the special interests and ensure Barack Obama’s election.”

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy

In October of 2006, while participating in MSNBC’s Hardball College Tour, Senator McCain said in response to a question about “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”:

“I understand the opposition to it, and I’ve had these debates and discussions, but the day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, senator, we ought to change the policy, then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it because those leaders in the military are the ones we give the responsibility to.”

In an interview given this past June to Ana Marie Cox, McCain said this about the policy: “My opinion is shaped by the view of the leaders of the military.”

So when did Senator McCain change his mind about having his mind changed by military leaders?

Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Admiral Robert Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified on Capitol Hill that they think the policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” should come to an end.

And what response did Senator McCain give to these military leaders asking for a change?

“‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has been an imperfect, but effective policy. And at this moment when we’re asking more of our military than at any time in recent memory we should not repeal this law.”

McCain even went so far as to accuse Secretary Gates of trying to change the policy single-handedly, saying: “I’m happy to say we still have a Congress of the United States that would have to pass a law to repeal ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’, despite your efforts to repeal it, in many respects, by fiat.”

Dissing Senior Citizens

Prior to becoming a 73-year old senior himself McCain derided the well-known retirement community.

“Most of the people coming here are not senior citizens moving to Leisure World, I mean Seizure World, I mean, uh, Sun City…I mentioned Seizure World a moment ago…the last election in 1984, 97% of them came out to vote. I think the other 3% were in intensive care.”

According to a member of the audience, McCain characterized seniors as a group “that makes demands without contributing.” (Source: Casa Grande Dispatch | Casa Grande, Arizona | Friday, June 20, 1986)

On Amnesty

John McCain refused to listen to over 80% of his constituents and the American public by Co-Sponsoring Amnesty legislation with Senator Kennedy in 2007 that would have turned millions of illegal aliens into US voters. McCain’s Amnesty legislation failed after the Capital phone system collapsed under the pressure of angry calls ranging 50-100 to 1 against his bill.

McCain apologized to and misled Republican voters in the 2008 GOP Primary for President by claiming he had changed his position on Amnesty and after winning the primary, he flip flopped and returned to his prior pro-Amnesty positions, which left many voters feeling they could not trust John McCain.

Social Issues

McCain supports federal funding for destructive embryonic stem cell research – “because Nancy Reagan supports it.” Rated 75 percent by the National Right to Life Committee, indicating a mixed record on abortion. (Dec 2006)

McCain voted against cloture on a federal marriage amendment

Campaigning in New Hampshire in 2000, McCain said that if his teen-age daughter got pregnant, he would let her make the “choice” on whether or not to abort the child. This is the pro-abortion argument championed by Planned Parenthood and the abortion advocacy.

Big Government Regulations

Senator John McCain’s big government legislation to further regulate vitamins and supplements, hurting consumer choice and small businesses across Arizona.

The legislation sparked outrage throughout Arizona and the country.

Sen. McCain’s partnership with U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) follows other liberal efforts with Joseph Lieberman on global warming, Ted Kennedy on amnesty and Russ Feingold on First Amendment regulations which were recently overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Use of vitamins and supplements should not be regulated simply because a few athletes want to redirect attention from their doping,” said Hayworth.

This bill is yet more “bipartisan” legislation by the 24-year incumbent that panders to those interested in increasing the size and scope of the federal government. Senator McCain voted for the massive bank bailout bill in 2008, which included $150 billion in earmarks. During his presidential run he proposed spending $300 billion to buy up every bad mortgage in America, again bailing out banks and borrowers. And according to the Heritage Foundation his support for amnesty legislation would have cost taxpayers $2.6trillion.

Voters to Judge McCain on what He Has Yet to Do

A new video shows Senator McCain saying he is confident that voters will judge him not for what he has done for Arizona during his 28 years in Washington, but bizarrely what he might do for them. That might be a good strategy on the part of Arizona’s senior senator, as the video shows puzzled voters trying to answer the question, “What has Senator McCain done for Arizona?”

The video, called “McCain on McCain,” was released today by the campaign of JD Hayworth, the conservative challenger to the moderate McCain.

The video can be seen by clicking here.

In the video, Sen. McCain is heard saying that he is confident that the people of Arizona will “…judge me on not what I’ve done for them, but what they think I can do for them.” Most politicians who have spent as many years in the U.S. Senate as McCain has would be expected to run on their record – not their potential.

Limits on Free Speech

McCain and Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold teamed up to create the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform, placing extreme limits on the freedom of speech during election campaign seasons.

Citizens United, a conservative non-profit organization that produced a documentary movie highly critical of then-candidate Hillary Clinton, wanted to distribute the move via video-on-demand technology, and run ads promoting the movie. The FEC ruled that they could not, under the electioneering communications sections of McCain-Feingold, air commercials promoting the movie or distribute the movie via video-on-demand technology.

Citizens United appealed, and in June 2009 the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would re-hear oral arguments in the case specifically on the issue of whether they should overturn Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, a 1990 decision permitting bans on independent expenditures in campaigns by corporations and unions. Oral arguments were held on September 9, 2009.

On January 21, 2010 in an unusual special session, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Citizens United. It is a transformative which restores the First Amendment rights of businesses, unions and nonprofit advocacy groups to participate in campaigns. It’s an extraordinary win for free political speech rights by speakers of all stripes.

Gang of 14

“[T]he McCain Gang of 14 was a disaster that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on judicial nominations.” Wendy Long, Bench Memo, National Review Online, February 5, 2008:

“In May 2005, Senate Republican leadership had worked for months to make sure they had the votes for the constitutional option. We were ready to put an end to judicial filibusters that liberals had used to kill great nominations.

“And then Senator McCain and his Gang of 14 arrogated the power to their little clique to determine what nominees would make it and what nominees would not, based on a subjective and undefined standard.”—Michael Gaynor, Renew America, February 6, 2008

Economics

“I don’t know much about economics.” FactCheck: Said–then denied–he needed economics education. (Jan 2008)

Miscellaneous

Skipped voting against a government-funded Woodstock museum.

2000: Criticized Bush’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Treaty. (Jan 2004)

1st Republican to sign onto reducing GHGS. (May 2002)

Voted YES on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Mar 2005)

Voted NO on Bush Administration Energy Policy. (Jul 2003)

Voted YES on removing consideration of drilling ANWR from budget bill. (Mar 2003)

Voted NO on drilling ANWR on national security grounds. (Apr 2002)

Voted NO on terminating CAFE standards within 15 months. (Mar 2002)

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Does the GOP have enough balls to fight the Left or doesn’t it? … [R]ead every word of what Andy McCarthy has to say about the GOP leadership’s abandonment of Jim Bunning — and what it says about the lack of Republican fortitude in the war against the permanent, ever-growing Nanny State. 

Andy speaks the truth. Hard truths. And fiscal conservatives/Tea Party activists need to shout them from the rooftops. …  Actions speak louder than words. So, alas, does feckless inaction: 

I don’t want to hear the preemptive Republican promises to “repeal Obamacare later.” Stop. It. Now. 

As long as Beltway GOP hacks see this as a cynical marketing campaign and not an ideological battle, we are screwed.”—Michelle Malkin


 

AWOL in the Bunning Battle

The GOP shows why Obamacare is a good bet for the Left.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

If Obamacare passes, Obamacare is forever. Just ask Jim Bunning.

The Kentucky Republican finally caved in Tuesday after relentless pressure from other senators — including Republicans — to drop what the Politico called his “one man” filibuster of a bill to extend expiring unemployment benefits. Technically, it was not a filibuster. It was an objection to a procedure, called “unanimous consent,” used to speed along uncontroversial legislation.

In this case, there ought to have been raging controversy: Bunning was objecting to yet another monthly extension of unemployment payments absent an explanation of how it would be paid for.

He was right to do so. These extensions happen continually. The stimulus — which is a redistribution of wealth from the private to the public sector, and from people who work to people who don’t — extended unemployment benefits for 53 weeks. Another extension in November added 20 more weeks. Cato’s Alan Reynolds reports that this brings the total to 99 weeks of benefits in high-unemployment states. The measure on which Bunning has relented adds another month. And having browbeaten him into withdrawing his objection, Democrats will now seek an extension through the end of this year, i.e., another 36 weeks or so.

None of this is paid for. Instead, the government borrows ever more money, incurring ever more debt and ever more interest on that debt. The price tag on the relatively modest, stopgap measure Bunning was blocking is put at $10 billion, but that does not count the interest that will be paid on the money borrowed to fund the bill. To count the interest would be to highlight the fact that we are filching the money from our children and their children rather than paying for spending today by cutting something else. Bunning wasn’t even against spending the money; he just wanted the something else identified and cut.

That proved unacceptable, and not only to Democrats. Maine’s Susan Collins took to the Senate floor to assure Americans that Bunning’s radical views about Congress’s not spending yet more billions it doesn’t have “do not represent a majority of the Republican caucus.” And sure enough, they didn’t. Once Bunning backed down, the measure passed by a whopping 78-19.

Think about that. We are talking about $10 billion in a year when Leviathan is slated to spend a total of $3.6 trillion. The majority of Senate Republicans  joined Democrats in concluding that the allocation of every one of these 3.6 thousand billion dollars is so vital that not one of them could be sacrificed in favor of unemployment insurance. So another $10 billion just gets heaped on the already unfathomable trillion-dollar deficits stacking year upon year.

The pols call these mounting months (now years) of unemployment benefits “temporary,” even though the real unemployment rate remains in the double digits and no relief is in sight. The “temporary” label is a budgetary trick. It enables lawmakers to sidestep “PAYGO” — Pay As You Go — restrictions that require the federal government to pay for current obligations out of current revenues. Democrats recently made a big show of reinstituting PAYGO — but not until after they’d blown deficit spending through the stratosphere.

It was a bit of theater Democrats had good reason to believe they could pull off. When Republicans controlled Congress, they made a mockery of PAYGO entitlement restrictions, particularly when it came to enforcing Medicare cuts that were required by law. As the Heritage Foundation’s Bruce Riedl observes, PAYGO was a gimmick to project the illusion of fiscal responsibility even as budget deficits soared. Thus it comes as little surprise that, even as President Obama’s sudden paeans to PAYGO ring in our ears, Democrats are slyly sidestepping it.

Besides unemployment compensation, what is in the bill Bunning was blocking? The proposed goodies include public funds to prevent what would otherwise be a 21 percent reduction in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients.

Of course, these are exactly the sort of steep cuts that enacting Obamacare would accomplish. Given that enacting Obamacare is the Left’s ne plus ultra, why not just let the Medicare payments get slashed now? Because Democrats realize that if people get a load of how Obamacare would actually work before it is a fait accompli, they will scream bloody murder. So the game is to make certain that doctors don’t feel the pinch now, just as the game is to pass Obamacare now but delay its implementation until 2013 — allowing Obama and Democrats to get through the 2010 and 2012 election cycles without being held accountable for the epic disaster that will be government-controlled medicine.

In sum, Bunning’s battle gave Republicans a chance to make points about runaway deficit spending, the fraudulence of PAYGO posturing, the foolish redistribution of wealth to create expensive and unproductive government jobs, unemployment-benefit extensions that Democrats refuse to pay for and that actually increase unemployment, and the monstrous rationing that would be wrought by Obamacare. So, did Republicans rally behind Bunning? Not a chance.

Why? Why abandon this fight when the GOP has the facts on its side? Why no enthusiasm when a year of Obama’s forced march to crony socialism has the public more receptive than ever to the case for slashing government? Simple: Republicans are afraid of being demagogued — as Democrats and the media demagogued Bunning — as wanting to cut off funding (i.e., money we don’t have) for unemployment insurance and the usual laundry list of other Big Government baubles like COBRA coverage, satellite TV dishes, the “highway trust fund,” etc. Republicans also did not want their own sorry PAYGO history rehashed.

Here’s the sad truth: For all the shining they did at last week’s White House “summit” on health care, when it gets down to actually putting the brakes on the Big Gummint Express, most of today’s Republicans are AWOL. They’re great at the debate society. But making the fight on something concrete, really saying no when it means grinding redistribution to a halt, means taking the slings and arrows. No thanks, they say, let’s just make the whole thing go away on a voice vote, the sooner the better. Indeed, while Senator Bunning should be lauded for engaging this fight, it is telling that he took it on only after deciding not to seek reelection.

In a Corner post this past weekend called “Transformation,” I dissented from the heady palaver on the Right about how Democrats are headed for a November Waterloo. I think the Left has already factored in the inevitability of setbacks — perhaps heavy setbacks — in the next few election cycles. While our side swoons over the prospect, the statists coldly calculate that these losses are a price well worth paying in order to impose a transformative takeover of the economy.

It is a perfectly rational calculation for two reasons.

First, with a significantly bigger and more powerful government bureaucracy, there will be many avenues for leadership to reward Democrats who lose their seats after casting the unpopular votes necessary to enact the Left’s program. White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who spent his post-Clinton wilderness months in a lucrative sinecure at Freddie Mac, knows well how this game works — and, under Obama’s command, the economy is becoming one big Freddie.

Second, and more important, Democrats know the electoral setbacks will only be temporary. They are banking on the assurance that Republicans merely want to win elections and have no intention of rolling back Obamacare, much less of dismantling Leviathan.

For my money (while I still have some), that’s an eminently sound bet. The Bunning battle, in which the GOP was nowhere to be found, is the proof. Bunning just wanted Congress to live within its gargantuan means. Yet, the Washington Post ridiculed him: “angry and alone, a one-man blockade against unemployment benefits, Medicare payments to doctors, satellite TV to rural Americans and paychecks to highway workers.” That’s outrageously unfair, but it is a day at the beach compared to the Armageddon that would be unleashed upon any attempt to undo Obama’s welfare state on steroids.

As it turns out, Republicans didn’t have the stomach for a fight over wealth transfers that plainly exacerbate the problem of unemployment. Why would anyone think they’d take on a far more demanding war, in which Democrats and the legacy media would relentlessly indict them for “denying health insurance to millions of Americans”?

Even if the GOP gets a majority for a couple of cycles, even if President Obama is defeated in his 2012 reelection bid, Obamacare will be forever. And once the public sees that the GOP won’t try to dismantle Obamacare, it will lose any enthusiasm for Republicans. Democrats will eventually return to power, and it will be power over a much bigger, much more intrusive government.

Health care is a loser for the Left only if the Right has the steel to undo it. The Left is banking on an absence of steel. Why is that a bad bet?

— National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and the author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter Books, 2008).

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“From McCain-Feingold to his ‘Gang of 14′ betrayal, the kind of compromise that John McCain represents makes him the embodiment of everything we did wrong over the past decade.”—MrArbitrage 


 

Do You Really Want your Country Back? 

McCain v. Hayworth – a key Appraisal of Resolve

By MrArbitrage

This race has national importance for a number of reasons, one of which is it will demonstrate that for a majority of Republicans, John McCain was near the bottom of candidate choices in the 2008 primary.  Initially, he could only win through the wide dilution of conservative votes, spread over several candidates. 

If –instead- of voting on which presidential candidate we actually wanted, we were voting on the one whom we found the LEAST palatable, McCain would have probably won that “inverse-election” by a land-slide.  If it were a reality TV show, the Senator would have been quickly “booted off the island”. 

Most conservatives have no enmity for Senator McCain as a person but as a Senator we have long found his actions appalling.  To represent the people of this country one should expect to be held to the highest scrutiny.  This election is indeed a test to determine whether we truly want to “take our country back” or if that expression is a mere platitude. 

For Arizonans to leave Senator McCain in that seat would be to proclaim to the nation that they have not learned a thing from our past disasters.  Republicans cannot continue to allow imposters to undermine our fundamental principles and alienate the conservative base of our party.

It seems clear that after the GOP negligence in squandering the majority we recently held, conservatives want –almost- a complete changing of the guard.  From McCain-Feingold to his “Gang of 14” betrayal, the kind of compromise that John McCain represents makes him the embodiment of everything we did wrong over the past decade.

This would be an auspicious time for Senator McCain to bow out gracefully because the Jacobins are at the gate and their patience is wearing thin.  We can throw him a nice going away party and he can spend the rest of his golden years with his family.  

At certain critical junctures of our nation there was need for the wisdom of an old sage on the floor (like during the Constitutional Convention of 1787); but John McCain needs to know that he is no Ben Franklin and it was his cooperation for adulation that paved the way for the debacle in which we find ourselves ensnared.

McCain v. Hayworth is a bellwether race.  It will be useful in measuring the degree of resolve we truly have toward the goal of returning to our constitution and founding principles. 

We can all participate in this race through our financial contributions—but only Arizonans can answer the question of whether the prodigal has come home or if he is still out blowing his inheritance.  Have we suffered enough pain?

If you would like to get involved by contributing to the J.D. Hayworth campaign, click here and it will take you to his official website.

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