The Oligarch’s Stooge

In tonight’s California debate, McCain again displayed his utter lack of even a rudimentary understanding of economics. His shortcoming is somewhat muted since it is shared with two of the other combatants, all of the moderators and most of the assembled audience.


wow
Hey Moe!

About 31 minutes into the debate, Volcanic Johnny is sure that there is someone to blame criminally for the credit crisis that is currently wreaking havoc in our financial markets. The problem (he says) is that we aren’t regulated enough (I know…. this from the Reagan conservative). He’s just sure that a new oversight agency and more forms to sign when you get a loan is what can prevent future crises. While it is typical of his reactionary outlook and illustrative of the crisis-oriented narrative justifying his candidacy, if he is really interested in understanding the problems, he should look at the Fed policy on interest rate targets during his Senate tenure that made money cheap and caused these problems.

lead crook
Bernanke talks over the head of the legislators who are looking out for us….

When money is cheap, the banks and financial institutions have access to inflated amounts of capital. That translates into a surplus of available capital for loan, and drives the interest rate down. The reduced rates fuel the borrowing activities of businesses and households. Loans are ‘securitized’ and sold off in large bundles, and ratings agencies stamp the stuff ‘AAA’. This allows the proceeds to be returned to the lending institutions, and loaned out again. And securitized again…….

The ‘virtuous circle’ is repeated endlessly. To a person who makes a living in the financial markets, wealth flows in. Every mortgage has a fee for the broker. The securitizing agency gets it’s cut, and the banks make their loan fees. Real estate agents benefit greatly; Stock and commodities brokers have huge windfalls of fees as the surplus money chases the finite assets.

The multiplication of wealth is frenetic, fueled by the cheap credit made available by the central bank, and benefiting the corporate interests, particularly in banking and financial sectors. The lower classes – those who ‘work hard, not smart’ (or lack access to the large pools of cash needed to work smart) – get left behind, as the relative wealth of the financial class balloons to embarrassing proportions.


cash

This is the supreme evil of central banks. It is the engine of corporatism. It allows the financial class to amass an insurmountable control over the nation’s wealth, which facilitates the control of all other substantial assets. It allows the manipulation of our mass media (including the bloggers supported by partisans to spout the party line), functional control of the productive capacity of the nation and the ability to buy every political office of any consequence.

Our minds are pacified through the media as they control the parameters of acceptable debate, and we are goaded into fighting over trivia. And while the great unwashed toil away in fear of the financial calamity they worry is around the corner, the central bank powers the corporatist oligarchs through good times and bad.

John McCain asks if there is anyone criminally to blame. Sure there is, but they are long since dead. Representative Carter Glass, a Democrat from Virginia and Senator Robert Latham Owen, a Democrat from Oklahoma were the lead sponsors on the bill that saw 341 Representatives and Senators vote to hand over this incredible power to the so-called ‘money interests’.
[Federal Reserve Act of 1913]

The folks who pushed low interest, easy money loans at the local broker’s office? They are just doing what the Federal Reserve wanted them to do, implicit in it’s loose monetary policies. The banks who underwrote it; the brokerages that securitized it; the ratings agency that gave it the big thumbs up? Same answer. The problem is the Fed, but the responsible parties are those elected representatives of the people who allow this travesty to continue.

warmonger
Now I think it’s time for some straight talk.

Senator McCain. The closest thing I can find to criminal culpability is the corrupt political class who performs the bidding of the oligarchs; who feed their wealth from manipulation of monetary policies, and not from their own labors or ingenuity. I can’t blame the oligarchs alone – who wouldn’t take all of the material wealth that they can legally lay hand to? The criminal culpability, if such an animal exists in this situation, lies at the feet of our legislators who have abdicated their responsibility to control our monetary policy by farming the proverbial chicken coop out to the fox – and who haven’t even kept up with the responsibility of keeping an eye on the fox! The problem – my friend – is you, along with your peers who feign to represent the interest of us chickens. Quite frankly, us chickens is tired of you.


How’s that for straight talk, my friend?

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And Now, What You’ve All Been Waiting For….

As noted in my post from last night, Guiliani is out as of today. His endorsement of McCain is illustrative of the inevitable coalescing of consensus that always comes when the establishment fears losing their grip over the process. They needed a split field long enough for one of the horses to float to the top of the heap, at which time the also-rans are unceremoniously pushed aside, lending their support to the consensus candidate. For today, that candidate is John McCain. I suspect after Super Tuesday, it will once again be Romney.

debate

Tonight at 8, CNN will televise the California debate, live from the Reagan Library. As the field winnows down, expect to hear more from Dr. Paul. While he may not get more time proportionally, he’ll get more time by virtue of the fact that there are fewer candidates to vie for the time. And as we’ve seen, Dr. Paul does well in the debates. His principled, conservative outlook comes through loud and clear. As the field continues to cast off the casualties, he will get more time and exposure. I want to go on record as predicting a serious upswing in his support from here forward.

The next test for Paul is in Maine, which begins a three-day caucus process on Friday. The punditry is expecting him to make a respectable showing there. We should soon have some sort of clarity to the mess in Louisiana as well. Paul needs to go on the stage tonight, and point out to everyone in attendance and watching on TV that he has finished second or better in 3 of the last 4 states to hold primaries or caucuses. He needs to get across the idea that we are right where we expected to be and wanted to be – still standing and in great financial shape while the field around us packs it in. People like to back a winner, and Paul has to make a clear case that he can win. He needs to point out that we’ve had those three second (1 first?) place showings without the help of the mainstream media – but that they can’t ignore us much longer.

I’d love to see him say something metaphorically powerful. Maybe:

“This train is ready to leave the station. Our strategy is working, and this is where we begin to press forward. I invite the American people to join with me in sending a message to Washington: we are not willing to let things continue as they have been. We will not accept lip-service. We want a government responsive to the will of the people and observant of the rule of law – all of the law. We expect our government to operate within the bounds that we the people set for it. We are not wards of the state, but sovereign individuals with inalienable rights. We are the masters of this government, and we are not happy with your performance. We want our government back from the elites who control the media and try to influence the voters to select candidates who represent the interests of the elite corporatists while devastating the working people who are the backbone of this economy. We are winning over the hearts and minds of the American people who are waking up to find out that we’ve been had. Our campaign has finished first or second in three of the last four states to vote, and yet we are ignored. The will of the American people will not be denied. The party elites and the media will not tell the American people for whom they may vote. This train is leaving the station tonight, and we want all freedom loving people on board.”

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Giuliani Out; McCain Frontrunner

After a third place showing in his ‘firewall’ state – Florida – Giuliani’s inauspicious exit from the race was hardly a surprise. What might not have been expected was the announcement that Giuliani would in fact drop out of the race tomorrow, and endorse John McCain for the nomination.

creepy

McCain’s victory is actually a boon to Paul supporters. By my calculations, Romney is the stronger competitor, in spite of his baggage. McCain is a caricature, and in spite of the Florida numbers, faces a tall climb once we get out of the open primaries.

ooooohhhhh

Most states won’t be overruling the rules to allow independents to cross over. Am I the only one out here having a hard time imagining any scenario where McCain wins a majority of delegates? His only hope is a compromise at the convention, but that would lead to hell splitting wide open in the GOP.

And what of Huckabee? Is there anyone voting for him who thinks he is angling for anything beside McCain’s co-pilot seat?

guv'nah

For the requisite hedge: I am not saying that Paul is the odds-on favorite. He still faces a tough road.

But……

If Paul is to ride his stealth strategy to a win, it is playing out as it has to. McCain’s win baffles most of the party. His presumable lead in delegates is made possible by the diluted field. He cannot ride 30% finishes to the nomination, but cannot win in any two-man field. McCain is in a tough spot. He doesn’t have a line to the nomination without a convention vote in my book. He needs Huckabee in the race. He is getting his high water mark, and only a continuation of the fracturing of the non-McCain vote keeps him viable as a frontrunner. And since I haven’t mentioned it yet – McCain is broke.

Romney is still the man to beat. The longer that McCain edges Romney the better. Romney is there to stay, but McCain has to keep winning.

mittsy

With Thompson out in recent days, Giuliani out tomorrow, and Huckabee likely to drop out after Super Tuesday, I suspect we’ll see a new dynamic moving towards the half-way point in the race. Does Paul have the strategic plans in place to make his splash in a three way race? Is suspect that he has something in the works. I pray it is something profound.

The competition is weak. The strongest candidates (on paper) have left the field. McCain is demonstrably not a conservative, with huge negatives among the party base. It should be fun to see how the Huckabee voters warm up to the guy who lashed out at the ‘religious right’ in 2000. Romney’s shortcomings are legion and of the bottom shelf variety that can be easily demagogued for the most ignorant of the populace (read that: a majority of voters). Paul is the only conservative left; the closest thing to Ronald Reagan that the party has seen since ‘88. The economy is his strong suit, and has been central to his message all along – and not just since Michigan!

Paul is in position to make a realistic run at the nomination. And if not, he has a credible shot at being a power broker at a convention fight. Any seat at the table offers us an opportunity to educate more people about the promise of a return to liberty. Does he have the organization and plan in place to make a go of it?

go ron go

We shall see. Personally, I’m on the edge of my seat.

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The State of Our Union is…..

In a sad homage to his neocon handlers, President Bush offered up a full slate of new spending initiatives and revenue reducing plans in last night’s State of the Union address. The President proposes new government programs to address health care, defense, ‘homeland security’, and for ‘educating the children’, in addition to various increases in ‘funding’ for existing programs.


bush

Bush is clearly pushing the idea that we need to ‘invest’ more in the public sector, but a cynic might ask how long the people are willing to keep throwing more money at an investment that isn’t paying off. In fact, as investments go, investing in our government over my lifetime has been a bigger fiasco than dumping your life savings into the market six weeks ago. Both would be fiscal disasters; the difference is – in the market, I can sell my stock and cut my losses. In the protection racket that is American government, I’m forced to double down repeatedly, and thus far, just compound my losses.

IRS sucks

Of course, he throws bones to the nominal conservatives (that would be a professed conservative who has no idea what that means), proposing $300,000,000 in spending for what he calls ‘Pell Grants for Kids’. On a philosophical level, I suppose that if we are going to suffer the burden of public funding for education (and all the inherent waste and inefficiency that accompanies this construct), one can argue it might as well be extended to include schools that parents actually select for their children. I would argue that it simply expands a bad idea (public funding of education), making more waste and inefficiency likely, and probably opening the institutions on the receiving end of the funds further to the heavy hand of government regulations. Does anyone out there suppose that there won’t be strings tied to those subsidies?

At a time when we are teetering on the precipice of the financial abyss, I would offer that showing fiscal discipline would be the proper course of action. While redistributionists might laud the President’s call for increasing Aids funding by 30 billions over the next five years, the reality is that we’re talking about taking $100 out of the pockets of every man, woman and child in America to fund your do-gooding. That’s $500 for my family, and that’s money that I could use to feed and educate my children, or to generally improve our standard of living. While I have no argument with funding aids research specifically, the answer is not to take more funds from the working people of America. If this research is worth funding, make a humanitarian case for funding. More evil is wrought through your do-goodery with stolen funds than is ameliorated with the stolen loot.

This roadmap for continued deficits and easy credit means more weakness for the dollar ahead, and rising prices of most all staple commodities. The purchasing power of the lower and middle classes will continue to erode because our elites find there to be greater operational imperatives than improving the financial health of our nation. An objective observer would be hard pressed to make a case that the intention wasn’t to bankrupt us as a nation. Whether the intention or not, that is the outcome.


hot cash

We’re maxed out on our proverbial credit cards; we spend more than we make; We’re not even keeping up with the interest payments on our debt. We’re like the college student who finds himself under crushing credit card debt due to imprudent fiscal decisions, who decides that the proper course of action is to get more credit cards, surfing the debt from one to the other and racking up even more debt. Instead of biting the bullet and paying for our imprudence, we’ll just go for broke.

All of this, and a lecture about how we need to hand over yet more of our precious freedoms so that our elite masters in the far off capital can keep us safe from the terrorists hiding under our beds. The State of our Union is broke – and also stupid.

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An Optimistic View

If you’re a died-in-the-wool Paulite like me, things are looking up.

Off the top, there are the recent coups in Louisiana (first, maybe second – we’re still waiting to see how that shakes out) and Nevada (2nd). In the most recent release from Rasmussen Reports for Georgia, Paul is polling at 12%, and is clearly ascendant in many of the super Tuesday states.

And then there’s the money issue. Paul has more on hand than anyone else, and the only one with prospects to beat Paul in the cash race moving ahead is Mitt Romney. But his access to a personal fortune is also one of his achilles heels. So Paul will not be making the financially driven decisions that many of the candidates will be facing. We are truly poised to join the front-runners through attrition – and that is a great way to do it!

mitts money

But wait – there’s more…. have you read about all of the endorsements and additions to the campaign team in recent days? There was the Barry Goldwater Jr. Endorsement; the Norma McColvey endorsement; the Peter Schiff endorsement (the most meaningful to me); the Tom McClintock hedged endorsement; and the Donald Luskin endorsement.

schiff

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been into the primary season for less than a month. While our route to the nomination has not been according to the normal script, we are better off today than at any other point in this campaign. We are making headway, and anything can happen. The field is incredibly weak, and Dr. Paul could be poised to break out and away from the pack. No one knows the future, but I can’t help but be optimistic. We’ve got a lot of reasons to be, and many of our competitors don’t. They’ve got to hope that they can keep the electorate away from the message through ad hominem charges of Paul being ‘unelectable’. It seems that fewer and fewer people are buying that line….. they’re just sitting on the ball and praying. They have used up their arsenal, and are hoping it was enough.

Personally, I don’t think it was. But we will see.

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The Real Conservative: Paul > Reagan

I offer this video without comment, but fully endorsing the message it conveys.


You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

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Romney’s Faux Pas, Take 2

It seems that MSNBC posted a story about the Mitt-miscue, but quickly pulled the story. Fortunately, a savvy Lew Rockwell blogger nabbed the screenshot and saved it for posterity.

MSNBC

It seems the audio in question only came over one channel, leaving the source of the comments undetermined. It clearly isn’t just one of the moderators, as ‘Gdub’ opines in the comments of the previous offering – that would fail to explain how Russert could talk into just one of the sound channels….. it’d be a good trick if he can pull it off, though.

Obviously the author of the piece felt it worth mentioning. One has to wonder who overruled the initial decision, and for what rationale…..

—————–*Update*——————

It seems that MSNBC was able to retrieve the missing post from the memory hole, and added a little commentary:

After some of the confusion today, we are putting it back up for those that haven’t seen it. As far as figuring out the mystery of who or where it came from, that is being worked on, and we hope to have an answer soon. It puzzled us here too, and we’re looking through tape of other candidates to see if it was one of them. We’ll let you know.

We’re not holding our breath, but…. sure, get back to us.

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