Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Governor Granholm’s Plan To Go Green

In his column today, Granholm’s Perfect Bad Example, William McGurn reviews former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s wretched 8 year track record.

granholm_thumb6Jennifer Granholm, “When We Were Very Young”

Some politicians give us failure. Some politicians give us failure mixed with spectacle. Once in a generation, a politician gives us failure and misunderstanding so colossal that his or her bad example rises to the level of public service.

To this elite few belongs Jennifer Granholm.

Thus William McGurn  launches into his evisceration of Michigan’s former governor. I got the impression that if she had just shut up and gone away, he wouldn’t have bothered, but since she’s hawking her book he felt compelled to launch the bunker buster:

With this kind of record, most politicos might take refuge in prudence. Not Ms. Granholm. Today she is running around the nation selling a book and a message. The book is called "A Governor's Story: The Fight for Jobs and America's Economic Future." Her message—that Granholm's Michigan shows the way forward—has been taken seriously in all the places you might expect: the New York Times and Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

The “record” that she racked up in her 8 year reign of democratic talking points includes, but is not limited to these ignoble achievements:

On her watch, the state's ranking in per capita GDP plummeted to 41st place from 24th, Detroit's population shriveled to its lowest level since 1910, and Michigan earned the dubious distinction of being the only state to suffer a net out-migration this past decade.

I remind you that before Barack Obama, Jennifer Granholm was the new sparkly thing  in the Democrats bling bag. She was frequently fawned over by the MSM as a Rock Star:  young, photogenic, a law degree from a prestigious law school and impressive credentials  (i.e. she was young, photogenic, had a prestigious law degree and was a member of the correct party). In fact there was more than a little consternation expressed that she would be ineligible to run for President after she had righted Michigan’s ship of state (which she was bound to do, because she was, well, young,  photogenic…) because, having been born in Canada, she didn’t meet the Constitutional requirement of being a natural born citizen. That was back when those things were still important, and before Jennifer’s administration ushered Michigan into the dust bin of once great industrial states.

As Mr. McGurn points out, Granholm herself, along with her husband are among the growing number of Michigan ex-pats, having relocated to Berkely to teach yet another generation the fallacious public policy of Keynesian economic intervention and government overreach as a solution to all social ills, particularly poverty.

At the top of Ms. Granholm's claims is that she knows that low taxes and lean government are no prescription for growth because she tried supply-side and found it wanting. To prove her point, her appendix lists 99 business and 17 individual "tax cuts" she approved. She notes likewise that both state spending and the number of state employees dropped during her time.

In fact, almost all Ms. Granholm's "tax cuts" are tax credits or other forms of tax preferences. A less delicate way of saying this is that far from reducing rates for everyone, Ms. Granholm played favorites. That meant a more complicated tax code where trendy businesses (green jobs, anyone?) that would fail without subsidies are effectively underwritten by non-favored businesses and other taxpayers.

Nor does she mention - let alone hype - the fact that her tax record includes a $1.4 billion tax increase in business and personal taxes in 2007. Nor was there any mention of the tax increase she tried to foist on the backs of Michigan businesses and individuals on her way out the door in an effort to make the state coffers appear less depleted at the end of her tenure than they actually were.

But McGurn is fair: recognizing that the worst of Michigan’s blights during her tenure, the loss of an astounding 630,000 Michigan jobs “were the result of larger economic trends and events.”  He points out however that:

More contestable is her assertion that her industrial policy—throwing state and federal dollars at pet progressive industries such as advanced battery technology—is the answer.

You can add to that every other hair-brained green project that some huckster thought they could promote in order to peel off some tax payer funded bucks. Granholm, like most Democrats,  firmly believes that  “politicians and their bureaucrats will channel capital better than a market representing tens of millions of individual investor decisions.” But that belief often leads to embarrassing results as Solyndra recently demonstrated. Granholm discovered this the hard way too:

A year and a half before Americans learned about Solyndra, Gov. Granholm stood next to Flint businessman Richard Short at a press conference and declared that the $9.1 million in state tax credits that her government had awarded his renewable energy company would mean 765 jobs. The next day, Mr. Short was arrested.

Turns out Ms. Granholm's people had not known that their champion of green jobs was a convicted felon out on parole. Two months ago he was sentenced to prison after pleading no contest to making fraudulent statements on his application for the energy credits.

As the Michigan Mackinac Center points out, the Granholm state investment schemes in green energy program was a classic case of “a hamburger today on the if-come tomorrow.” In 2006, Gov. Granholm proudly stated: "In five years, you're going to be blown away by the strength and diversity of Michigan's transformed economy." 

Yeah, well we’re still waiting. The reason Michigan isn’t looking anything close to a rock solid Democratic state in 2012 is because Michigan residents, seeking a pleasant peninsula, looked around and have concluded that “if you liked Gov. Granholm's Michigan, you'll love President Obama's America,” and have decided to opt out next time around.

I can tell you with authority, there’s precious little left in Michigan to like, let alone love. Jennifer isn’t very bright or shiny any more, and the state she left behind is growing downright ugly. But as liberals always do, she’s off to new climes now, denying that any of the state’s ills are due to her policies.

mcgurn0927Now We Are Six” and growing rather tattered around the corners

If only we’d built more windmills…we could have watched Michigan go green even faster.

Monday, September 19, 2011

This might explain something about the “Education Bubble” too.

For anyone who can’t envision a world without the Department of Education and all of the important things they do “for the children,” go read Doug Ross’ Top Five Reasons to Abolish the Department of Education.

Although you really need go no further than #5: Spending by the Department of Education has skyrocketed with absolutely no effect on test scores.


department of edu.Not quite an inverse relationship, but certainly not a positive correlation: makes you wonder doesn’t it?

Go see why Doug urges you to to support the eradication of this useless, unconstitutional appendage of the teachers' unions.

And for the record, this is but one of many government behemoths that exist primarily to throw their weight around via rules and regulations that make it more difficult to do whatever it is they were originally conceived to expedite. Such is the lot of bureaucracies. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

How’s all that free falling working out for you? Checked your chute lately?

Well finally. Democrats are beginning to feel our pain. They’re starting to get the slightest glimmer of how the rest of us have been feeling for the past 32 months.

Warning: the following may cause nausea. The only antidote is to stop free falling.


Experience Zero Gravity from Betty Wants In on Vimeo.

Soft landings, while theoretically possible, are not guaranteed.

H/T Vanderleun at American Digest who writes/finds more good stuff in 24 hours than you can possible read/watch in the same time frame.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Freedom of Speech? No Thanks, We Prefer to Censor Ourselves.

“Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism.”

Oscar Wilde


I see Paul Krugman is reading his tea leaves again. What they are telling him is that America was hijacked. No, not by a band of jihadi terrorists, worse: the evil powers of the Right. He claims they exploited the atrocity committed by the terrorists,  thereby turning 9/11 into a day of shame. So he no longer finds it worthy of our commemoration.

I think Krugman should turn in his turban. His tea leaf reading of the cultural milieu isn’t any more accurate than his reading of economics. Maybe he should switch to Tennessee Tea. It may not improve his social/economic forecasts, but it should make him a bit less cranky.


Oh Great Seer! Paul Krugman: our economic, cultural and spiritual diviner.

The New York Times’ economic guru is, of course, flat-out wrong. Not only is it appropriate to commemorate 9/11, it’s essential. However, I do take exception to the manner in which the media has taken to memorializing this extraordinary historical event.

As with many rituals in modern culture, the ceremony of the 9/11 anniversary has assumed more significance than the event itself.  Despite the media’s best attempts to employ their highest degree of constraint and use their most reverent tones for covering the anniversary, their recounting of the event still ends up feeling more like a Hallmark card than a thoughtful  reflection on the terrorist act that ushered in a new American era.

Part of that is due to the perceived competitive need to provide 24/7 coverage. A “reminiscence"  that stretches over days what could be presented in a few hours is bound to contain a lot of filler of questionable quality that devalues the event being covered. 9/11 is no exception. The hours of personal vignettes, intended to elicit an emotional reaction, simply enervate us. Overexposed to an endless stream of anguishing stories of grief and suffering, our nervous systems just shut down. Everything after that is cheap.  Of course we are sucked into these wrenching stories of pain and loss – we are only human. But exploiting that human reaction - at the price of glossing over the real significance of the terrorist attack - is disgraceful.

Numbness is not what we should take away from a 9/11 retrospective. We should come away with moral clarity: about the the existence of abject evil and our responsibility to fight it in every guise it reappears in. For that we need to remember who did this to us, as a nation, and why? Rage against an evil enemy is not an inappropriate response: without righteous anger, morality loses its footing.

It would be helpful if the forth estate at least attempted to execute it’s self-assigned role of informing the citizenry of the truth, in order that good citizens could react appropriately. Honest reporting of the evil and ongoing danger of Islamofascism would help us know where and how to direct our rage. Which I presume is why, instead of exposing Islamofascism, the media diminishes it: rage against Islamofascism is not in the PC handbook. It’s not the evil that dare not speak it’s name, it’s the evil whose name the media dare not speak. 

Yet one of the principal roles of the federal government is to protect the homeland. How are we the people to know who to elect to best do that if we don’t know precisely what we need protection from? Shall we just leave that to our betters to figure out? I’m uncomfortable with that. I would like our enemies more clearly fleshed out so I can better evaluate who I trust to defend us against them - and who I do not. It would be helpful if the media participated in that exercise. But that isn’t the role the networks cast for themselves in this year’s coverage of the 9/11 atrocity. They chose to go for the cheap, emotional “entertainment” value.

I think the news outlets should leave that to the other 400 channels whose stated mission is to provide entertainment. At one time the news media was considered the watchdog of society. But at some point they decided it was much more fun to have a dog in the fight and truth has been a relative matter ever since.

Around that same time the media – for whom the freedom of speech clause was arguably created – decided to conform to a new concept of free speech in America: freedom of politically correctly speech. Which implies a constitutional right that does not exist: the right not to be offended.

And so our 9/11 memorials, like most news coming from any main stream outlet, is self-censored to ensure that we don’t offend. Especially Muslims. And if that means we play down the role of the Wahhabi based medieval pseudo-religion of the Islamofascists, so be it.

Hence, 9/11 has been systematically cleaned up and dumbed down to “a tragic event” carried out by 19 ‘fanatics’ that destroyed two American skyscrapers, killing 3000 innocent people and shattered our lives on that clear September morning.” That’s about all you’ll get from the mainstream. You have to go to the fifth estate to find any truthful reporting on the enemy in our midst. Naturally, many of these sources are considered “haters” which by definition means they aren’t politically correct. But many of us have discovered that the truth is often not politically correct. It may be worth asking  why that is – but that’s another post.

The politically correct world of news reporting means that once a year, on the anniversary of the “tragic event” committed by the 19 “hijackers of the religion of peace” we are subjected to  memorials at Ground Zero (at least as long as we can still call it that) that become a bit more sanitized each year. This year we even removed the clutter of firefighters and clergy from the ceremony. If the 9/11 memorial becomes any more an act of narcissistic national navel gazing it will be just Mayor Bloomberg and 12 Imams - and it will be held at the new Ground Zero Mosque.

In 2009 the Obama administration re-designated 9/11, previously named “Patriot Day,”  as “ National Day of Service and Remembrance.” This is government-speak at its finest: a not-so-subtle attempt at shape-shifting our perceptions of that day.

It’s also a classic example of the insidious creep of politically correct, government designed thought policing. Your government wants to replace your horrible memories of that day by helping you feel good about yourself by contributing to the common cause. Go ahead! Hug each other if you must, in memory of the horrible way 3000 of our citizens perished in that “tragic event” Just remember, the real meaning of the day is about giving service to others: just like your government does! That way we get all the cheap sentimentality without actually having to deal with the inconvenience of the morality play – more like a Kodak moment.

That’s how political correctness, combined with  “Big-Government-knows-what’s-better-for-you” thinking works.  “Move along, nothing to see here.” It manipulates our collective consciousness and herds the drones toward a more “correct” way to respond to destruction of the World Trade Center by Islamofascists: Clean up a park! Paint a youth center! Make a sandwich at the soup kitchen!

bo dc central kitchen Making sandwiches!  For those less fortunate!

And what are we to do in regard to the religious fanaticism of Islamofascists? I already told you, there’s nothing to see there, move along. Our new politically correct world of free speech dictates that we not try to single out the practitioners of the religion of peace as terrorists. Why, terrorists are just as likely these days to be homegrown right wing fanatics anyway. So let’s embrace our Muslim brothers, and their quaint customs, in the same way we have been “taught” to reflexively respond to every other protected class, with inclusion. We are to drape it in a mantle of diversity and worship its “uniqueness.” We are to bend our culture to accommodate their culture. Even if their culture is corrosively un-American. Even if their culture is based on a pseudo-religious-political philosophy bent on reversing the trajectory of human history. It’s not our place to be judgmental.

I wonder if any member of “The Greatest Generation” ever considered turning December 7 into a national day of service? Probably not; they most likely figured they had executed their service during the Big War. You remember the Greatest Generation’s Big War don’t you?  If not maybe you should visit one of the Holocaust museums for a quick history lesson.

In fact, Holocaust museums provide a pretty good template for how to memorialize monstrous evil: Never forget. Never forget: absolute evil does exist on this earth.  Never forget: when combined with absolute power, absolute evil unleashes unspeakable atrocities.  Never forget: when the world attempts to appease the current monster of absolute evil, they are signing their own death certificate.

History has already written every story,  already provided every conceivable ending. But we prefer to believe that history begins the day we were born.


world trade center


File under: “Why blogging matters”

Update: Here’s an link to an excellent example of one form of the media’s self-censorship: Journalistic Priority: Pro-diversity Spin h/t Vanderleun

Cross-Posted at REDSTATE

Linked By: Larwyn’s Linx on Doug Ross@Journal, Thanks!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WTF Episode 6: Just Clowning Around with the American Jobs Bill

Skyler and Cody are still both employed in the green energy business, but they’re getting a little nervous following the closing of Solyndra.

We join them in their Seattle condo as they anxiously watch President Obama explain his big new American Jobs Plan: