The Washington Monthly, in their March/April edition of 2012, published a list of the Jerrett, er uh, excuse me; the Obama Administration’s top 50 Accomplishments. Needless to say, a blizzard of comments followed. I was not aware of the article until a friend on Facebook brought it to my attention in order to make the point that we mean haters who hate (read: Conservatives) ought to at least be willing to cheer Obama’s successes while we jeer his failures. I agreed and asked for an example, saying in all sincerity that if he could point out a legitimate accomplishment, I would happily laud it. In response another friend, Brenna, sent me the link to the article. When you read it, from the very first example, you are left blinking in astonishment that ANYONE could construct this list and hope that readers anywhere would actually take seriously what is on the list. To be certain, only two types of people do; the frustratingly immature who believe it “just because” – They see Obama as cool, so he is right. He is always right. – and the intentionally credulous. Harry Reid is their patron saint. He knows that what he and Obama have done runs the gambit from theater to sedition. But he continues to blather on, knowing that no one believes he believes any of it himself, but hoping that enough people will pick up on enough talking points to keep the blind stalwarts in the fight.
Yes, you! I mean you…personally!
Update 13 Nov 15: It seems that every election brings the clarion call of the under-educated saying we need to get rid of the Electoral College. This call is very popular among in the very places it is meant to protect.
Without the EC, places like Detroit, Philadelphia, New York, Milwaukee, Chicago and Los Angeles would get 100% of the politicians’ attention. No one else would, They wouldn’t have to spend any time and money courting your vote because they already control the population centers. The cities, which have been taken over by the takers of the world, would also dominate the federal government. No one would care what the rural voter thinks about anything.
The Electoral College is the last vestige of states’ rights left in this once wonderful American Experiment. Like the rules the Democrats flout in congress while Republicans continue to follow, the electoral college was intended to be a bulwark against mob rule. Lose it and that’s what you will have from now on.
I give the EC scant mention at the end of this post, but inspired by my friend, Tammy on FB, I thought I’d expound a bit. Enjoy!
Want to talk REAL crime?
Congress swings into inaction!
With mealy-mouthed Harry Reid in between the perps and those who should be calling for criminal charges, the whole cast can play out their feigned anger for TV cameras and never actually do anything that would require leadership or the cashing in of any political chips. Certainly the cowards John Boener and Mitch McConnell aren’t going to rise to the occasion.
…And a bonus. No one is bugging these guys about the economy.
If they’re the assholes, why am I mad at you?
Matt Jordan is a travel writer, political commentator and author of 16 20 24. Get your SIGNED copy here!
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Economics is a simple discipline. It’s people who EFF it up.
There is a school of thought that says by letting the value of the dollar slip again and again, we keep the price of our goods down, increasing foreign trade. You don’t want a trade deficits, right?
Well, who the hell cares? Markets come and markets go. Exporting goods isn’t the only means of creating revenue in this country. It is only when you form partnerships between chosen businesses and the government (subsidized pricing, protectionism, dollar devaluation) that everything goes to hell. The decline of the dollar helps only dishonest people in the larger scheme of things.
(Reminder: I am a free market conservative. I am not ranting about the 1% here. I don’t begrudge anyone their money, honestly earned. This is about crony capitalism and economic ignorance.)
What people don’t get is that foreign trade is not all we do as an economic power. We do more business inside our own borders than anywhere else. And the value of goods argument is a phony argument. There are trade-offs to having a strong dollar and a week one. Better to let markets rise and fall as they naturally would.
A strong dollar is a strong dollar everywhere, including inside the United States. If deficits run too high, countries that sell us things will find themselves with full warehouses and have to adjust their prices or reduce their exports to the US. It all works itself out on its own. But when you have government patrons using phony arguments to prop up exports, the results are not as they are advertised. The long-term damage to the dollar will kill many times more jobs and shrink far more incomes than trending trade (im)balances.
Same Ignorance, Different Scale
There is a similar scam being touted by local politicians throughout the country. It has been a rising trend for years, but in some places it is becoming a real nightmare.
This story takes place in a once-sleepy Spotsylvnia County. Located in Virginia, near Fredericksburg, it is a place steeped in Civil War history. For a long time, folks who didn’t mind a 60 – 90 minute commute from Washington DC could find a nice place to put down roots at a price far lower than what they would pay nearer the city.
During the housing boom, pre-2008, the whole area including neighboring counties exploded with no planning at all. As some counties began to see the writing on the wall and get a handle on their growth, Spotsy, as it is called by locals, continued on a reckless trajectory. The Board of Supervisors, peopled by developers and builders and/or friends of developers and builders, has not met a residential or real project they didn’t like in years. The exceptions, of course, are projects that might park a Walmart across the street form places like Fawn Lake and Bloomsbury Farm Estates. But to shoehorn more retail and apartments and houses anywhere else? No problem. This has all been done with no consideration for the exponentially expanding traffic on the Interstate 95 corridor. In fact, it is often done while pretending not to realize the problem they are intentionally contributing to.
Case in Point…
In recent years, it would be nothing unusual to spend two to two and a half hours making a commute from exit 166 to exit 126 on I-95. 3 hours is not unheard of. 4 hours on a summer Friday is common. This to travel 40 miles on a major freeway. All of this is due to rampant development without a plan to provide the required infrastructure. In a move demonstrating obtuseness on a scale few can imagine, this board of supervisors approved the construction of a raceway. Old Dominion Raceway is owned by the same (get this) real estate developer who had his raceway kicked out of Manassas, Virginia. After being laughed out of two other proposed locations, he found friends on the Spotsylvania County board. Arguments were presented by a few concerned citizens against the raceway, with traffic being a major consideration. Arguments in favor were made by dozens of out-of-town members of the raceway industry telling touching stories of a boy and his go-cart to defend the raceway. The level of misdirection on the part of proponents was also breath-taking. One interesting exchange went something like this:
Board Member: (to the raceway lawyer) How can we be sure you won’t contribute to the traffic problems on I-95.
Lawyer: As you can see on our application, we won’t start racing until 7:00PM. The rush hour will be clear by that time.
Board Member nods.
Here’s the obtuse part. Traffic is still quite healthy at 7:00 PM. To get to the raceway BEFORE a weeknight event, one would have to leave the DC area from the north and Chesterfield or Williamsburg areas from the south at 4:30 or 5:00, and incrementally later as you get closer to the target. A quiz for the minimally aware: What time does rush hour traffic start? Just this raceway will add thousands of cars to already packed roads and I-95. It was amazing to watch the lawyer and board members pretend not to know this. They all do, of course. But the commuters on I-95, the people who live in Thornburg, at exit 118 (new home of the raceway), and the general population in Spotsy don’t grease their elections, pay their honoraria or promise them jobs for after they leave the board.
And the beat goes on?
In late May of 2014, this same board of self-serving misfits voted in thousands of housing units and tens of thousands of feet of retail space in an area near exit 126. This at a time when we are already seeing soaped up windows of closed retail stores. They have been approving developments, left and right, for thousands of units for the last two years.
Here’s what the board understands completely. You don’t serve your existing citizenry by allowing wild, unplanned development, especially in already congested areas. You only hurt home values and cause more congestion. It is sold as “progress”. But what it is – is crony capitalism. And Boss Hogg runs the show.
The real way you bring up standards and home values and income and quality of life in a community is by setting very high standards for development, especially in congested areas. And in some areas, stop building altogether. By just allowing unchecked development to run amok, you do to housing what the Fed does to the dollar. You devalue it. And for their pain, the citizens are rewarded with more traffic.
Don’t be an ass for these people, locally or nationally.
I called this a cautionary tale. This isn’t just happening in Spotsy. In Spotsy, real estate development is not the only business in town and foreign trade isn’t the only economic mechanism at work in America. And it isn’t just real estate or the dollar being destroyed. Look at every single case of “government and the business community coming together for the common good” and you’ll find people trying to suspend the laws of economics, which are as real as gravity, and making a mess of our economy FOR THEIR OWN GAIN. Whether it’s sugar subsidies, Obamacare, green energy “initiatives”,… the rule of thumb will ALWAYS be a harder life for the people who it is supposed to help and money for the winners picked by the government. And it is happening everywhere.
Sadly, the people of Spotsylvania County don’t read the paper. They already hate the existing traffic pattern. But when all these plans come into being, they will be shocked. “How can this happen?”, they’ll ask. But it won’t matter. When the county board was planning, intentionally, to make their lives harder, the citizens were blissfully ignorant. Don’t let this happen to you. Read your local paper, watch local news and GO TO COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL MEETINGS. When the citizens are looking out for what is good for them, less of this stuff happens. It wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on the lunatics inside the DC Beltway while you’re at it.