Saturday, December 31, 2011

Crimson Shores

Declare Victory
In declaring Keynesian economics vindicated I am, of course, at odds with conventional wisdom. In Washington, in particular, the failure of the Obama stimulus package to produce an employment boom is generally seen as having proved that government spending can’t create jobs. But those of us who did the math realized, right from the beginning, that the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (more than a third of which, by the way, took the relatively ineffective form of tax cuts) was much too small given the depth of the slump. And we also predicted the resulting political backlash. (Paul Krugman, NYT, 12/29/2011)

Like those pesky New Year's resolutions that you just can't seem to keep, RedStateVT promises to stop writing about Paul Krugman and...well, you know the rest. In a column audaciously entitled: "Keynes Was Right" Krugman declares himself to be correct all along. The proof? The Obama stimulus did not work because it was not big enough. Come again? This argument strikes us akin to one of those "prove that you stopped beating your wife" riddles that you can't really prove. Maybe the stimulus didn't work because it was a pork-ladened pay-off to Democrat constituencies. Maybe it didn't work because those shovel-ready jobs weren't really shovel-ready as Obama himself chuckled about. Or maybe just, investors and businesses are sitting on the sidelines waiting for Obama to be gone.

And that austerity that Krugman decries? Well here's another view of it:

Amid this month's payroll tax fracas, few noticed that Congress passed a 1,200-page, $1 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2012. Maybe no one in Washington boasted because it's a victory for spending as usual. (WSJ, 12/31/2011)

Let's end the year on a positive note:

Although they have become prone to apocalyptic forebodings about the fragility of the nation’s institutions and traditions under the current president, conservatives should stride confidently into 2012. This is not because they are certain, or even likely, to defeat President Obama this year. Rather, it is because, if they emancipate themselves from their unconservative fixation on the presidency, they will see events unfolding in their favor. And when Congress is controlled by one party, as it might be a year from now, it can stymie an overreaching executive. (George Will, Washington Post, 12/30/2011)

How any Liberal could read a George Will column and not have a "Road to Damascus" conversion is unfathomable to RedStateVT!

Friday, December 30, 2011

RedStateVT Presents the Worst of 2011

Occupy – No leaders, no agenda and no soap. But give us free stuff.  Special mention to the mayors who coddled them. 

Green – Bankrupt companies which took hundreds of millions from the taxpayers, subsidized electric cars which can drive a full 40 miles before the battery dies…or explodes, and dishonest science all fueled by self-righteous politicians.  Despite all evidence to the contrary, still viewed as the future by the Left.

The Gay Agenda – Two people should be free to love each other no matter what their sex. There – we said it. But simply agreeing with this statement is not enough and anyone who disagreed with the larger gay agenda was immediately branded as a bigot. Disagree with gay marriage – bigot! Disagree that soldiers should not disclose their sexual preferences – bigot! Disagree that sexuality should not be taught in elementary school – bigot!  At least we finally found out the size of the population driving the argument: <1%.

Jon Corzine – If he were a Republican, the media would be clamoring for him to repay the missing billions from his personal account. How about it Mr. Corzine?

The Mainstream Media….again - With an unpopular president for whom they shilled tirelessly and an election coming looming, old media finds only rare opportunities to reflect on Obama. Meanwhile, after admitting that they did not vet Obama, they determine not to make the same mistake with the Republican slate.

Eric Holder….again – The nation’s top lawman decides not to enforce laws with which he disagrees. Embroiled in a gun-running scandal he gets amnesia. Alberto Gonzales was run out of town for partisan reasons amounting to nothing. By that standard, Holder should be indicted.

Barney Frank – The scandal-ridden (sub) prime mover behind the mortgage crisis finally calls it quits, but only after his gerrymandered ride is revoked. He could have used his exit to mend fences and admit that mistakes may have been made. He didn’t, remaining belligerent and showing in the end what everyone suspected all along – he was a very small man.  

Jimmy Carter – A late entry when he thoughtfully reminded us with his paean to North Korea’s Dr. Evil why he is officially: The Worst Ex-President of the Modern Era. 

The Kardashians - In 2010, RedStateVT singled out Reality TV. This year, there is no way to avoid honing on the Kardashians. They truly represent everything that is wrong with America encapsulated in one family.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Fundamentals

Obama will thus be the conservative in 2012, in the truest sense of that word. He is the candidate defending the modestly redistributive and regulatory government the country has relied on since the New Deal... (E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post, 12/25/2011)

In the upside down world of the Liberal, Obama is a "conservative" defending the modest redistribution of wealth. How modest? Let's check with Dionne's colleague Robert J. Samuelson:

From 1960 to 2010, the share of federal spending going for “payments to individuals” (Social Security, food stamps, Medicare and the like) climbed from 26 percent to 66 percent....

Oh, 66 percent!

Samuelson continues:
No one wants to take away; it’s more fun to give. All of 2011’s budget feuds — over the debt ceiling, the supercommittee, the payroll tax cut — skirted the central issues. There’s a legitimate debate about how fast deficits should be reduced to avoid jeopardizing the economic recovery, notes Charles Blahous, a White House official in George W. Bush’s administration. But the long-term budget problem, as he says, stems from Social Security, Medicare and other health programs. (Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post, 12/25/2011)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from RedStateVT

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Around Every Corner

Suspicious Minds
A federal judge dealt a new setback Friday to the immigration enforcement efforts of America's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff," barring his deputies from detaining people based solely on the suspicion that they're in the country illegally.  (, 12/23/2011)

RedStateVT has developed a foolproof formula to help law enforcement (including border patrol agents and airport security) catch the bad guys without offending Liberals who favor political correctness over protecting America. Notwithstanding that young males from Muslim countries are more likely to blow things up and Hispanics are more likely to cross the border illegally, agents cannot show bias. Therefore, for every Muslim/Hispanic detained, security personnel must also detain one Swede, one Pole, one Samoan and one Japanese. It is a foolproof system for sure.

Battle Lines
President Barack Obama's reelection campaign returned political donations made by Jon Corzine, the embattled former Democratic governor and senator from New Jersey, on Friday. (, 12/24/2011)

Shouldn't they first verify that the money does not belong to MF Global customers?

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Dark Sea Of Awareness

Eating Cake
2012 will be no cakewalk for Republicans, and they’re fully capable of bungling the opportunity history has given them.  But if Obama is defeated, then it will be one of the most stunning turnarounds in the history of modern politics.  Consider: George W. Bush entered his first term with a roughly 55% approval rating (averaging the various polls) and left it with about a 47.5% approval rating — a drop of 7.5% over the course of four years full of dissension, accusation and mockery.  Obama began his first term with 65% approval ratings and has stood below 45% for the majority of the past four months — a drop of 20%, nearly three times the Bush figure. (Timothy Dalrymple,, 12/22/2011)

A simple, yet stunning indictment of modern Liberalism. Read the entire column. RedStateVT is going to start following Dalrymple.

Plaintiffs put up by liberal lawsuit shops routinely claim that ID laws endanger the rights of hundreds of thousands, but lawsuits in Indiana and Georgia were dismissed because they couldn't produce a single eligible voter who'd been turned away due to the ID requirement. Turnout has risen in states that have passed the voter ID laws, with no adverse impact on minorities. (WSJ, 12/23/2011)

About the only voters turned away were those scared off by the New Black Panthers....

Not Saying
President Obama, when asked who is to blame for the schism between him and the Republican, said he doesn't want to say "it's all them," but claims Republicans are against everything he is for.  (RealClearPolitics, 12/22/2011)

Once again, RedStateVT will explain why Republicans are "against" Obama. You may remember something called Obamacare. With control of all three branches, Obama, Pelosi and Reid jammed through a massively unpopular new entitlement program using bribes to fellow Dems and questionable legislative tactics.  Anything the Repubs have done or will do through the end of Obama's term is payback. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bringing The Yearlings Home

Matching Purse
How and when Congress acts will also have an important, if impossible to quantify, impact on consumer and business confidence, economists say. Households and companies uncertain about their income, unclear about their tax rates and lacking confidence in their government might hold off on major financial purchases and tighten their purse strings. (NYT, 12/22/2011)

So is The New York Times now on board with the Republican position that regulatory uncertainty caused by, for example, Obamacare, hinders economic growth?

Despite Saudi Arabia's promises to clean up textbooks in the kingdom, recent editions continue to raise alarms in the West over jihadist language...In a textbook for 10th-graders, printed for the 2010-2011 academic year, al-Ahmed said teenagers are taught barbaric practices. “They show students how to cut (the) hand and the feet of a thief,” he said. In another textbook, for ninth-graders, the students are taught the annihilation of the Jewish people is imperative. One text reads in part: “The hour (of judgment) will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. ... There is a Jew behind me come and kill him.”  (, 12/22/2011)

Long before he announced his presidential run this year, Newt Gingrich had become the most prominent American politician to embrace an alarming premise: that Shariah, or Islamic law, poses a threat to the United States as grave as or graver than terrorism....The idea that Shariah poses a danger in the United States, where the census pegs Muslims as less than 1 percent of the population, strikes many scholars as quixotic. 

Even within that 1 percent, most American Muslims have no enthusiasm for replacing federal and state law with Shariah, as some conservatives fear, let alone adopting such ancient prescriptions as stoning for adulterers, said Akbar Ahmed, chairman of Islamic studies at American University in Washington, who spent a year traveling the United States and interviewing Muslims for his 2010 book “Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam.” (NYT, 12/22/2011)

So the Saudis are still teaching their kids to hate, but Gingrich is ginning up the Sharia threat?

Here is the problem, Americans cannot trust the Arabs. Yasir Arafat was well known - and eventually exposed - as someone who would talk about peace in English to the Western press and then about annihilation of the infidels in Arabic to the Palestinians. The Saudis promise to clean up the hatred and then get caught red-handed. 

The Sharia threat? Take it seriously until there is 100% certainty that the threat is gone.

Matt Damon is expressing his disdain for Barack Obama’s presidency again, this time saying that the President doesn’t have any “balls.” (, 12/22/2011)

If the president has lost Mat Damon then we don't know what to say. Plenty of room on the Right, Matt.

The attorney general cited race in explaining why a "more extreme segment" of his critics were going after him. "This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him, both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we're both African-American," Holder said in an interview with The New York Times. (, 12/22/2011)

Even our friends on the Left have got to be embarrassed by Holder.

Message In A Bottle
Former President Jimmy Carter has sent North Korea a message of condolence over the death of Kim Jong-il and wished "every success" to the man expected to take over as dictator, according to the communist country's state-run news agency. (Washington Times, 12/21/2011)

Even our friends on the Left have got to be embarrassed by Carter.

BT and the city, however, underestimated the cost of building the system, and they overestimated the revenues the service would generate. By late 2007 or early 2008, the new money from Citibank was spent, and Mayor Bob Kiss and Chief Administrative Officer Jonathan Leopold decided to use money from the city’s checking account, the cash pool, to pay Telecom expenses. BT’s license permitted use of cash pool money, but with the stipulation the money be repaid within two months. It wasn’t. 

Kiss and Leopold spent $16.9 million from the cash pool on Burlington Telecom without informing the Board of Finance, the City Council, state regulators or the public. BT’s inability to repay the money on time was a violation of the terms of its state license. 

The violations were disclosed after Kiss was re-elected in 2009 to a second term as mayor. (Burlington Free Press, 12/22/2011)

In the world of the Progressive, you do not have to pay back your student loans, you do not have to pay your mortgage and you do not have to pay back your lenders. Good intentions trump the rule of law. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Empty Horizons

At The Beginning
A look at Mr. Gingrich’s earliest days in politics, and the evolution of his thinking, helps explain the rocky relationship between Mr. Gingrich and the movement he once led. He emerges as more of a pragmatist than a purist, a believer in “activist government” whose raw ambition made colleagues uneasy, provoking questions about whether he was motivated by conservative ideals, personal advancement — or both. (NYT, 12/21/2011)

RedStateVT remembers as if it were yesterday how during the 1990s the New York Times often described Gingrich as a pragmatist. Oh wait, that didn't happen.

Clear As Can Be
The Securities and Exchange Commission's lawsuits against six top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced last week, are a seminal event. For the first time in a government report, the complaint has made it clear that the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) played a major role in creating the demand for low-quality mortgages before the 2008 financial crisis. More importantly, the SEC is saying that Fannie and Freddie—the largest buyers and securitizers of subprime and other low-quality mortgages—hid the size of their purchases from the market.  (Peter J. Wallison, WSJ, 12/21/2011)

Sadly, Barney Frank has not yet been indicted.

Vermont's Colonel Bernie Sanders appeared on local news last night in the context he so often favors, i.e. no opposition to refute his extremist comments (shame on the Vermont media for never challenging him). Sanders is in a bit of a quandary as he wants the Social Security payroll tax abatement to continue, but also worries about the effect; namely further underfunding of the Social Security trust fund. Asked to explain the motivations of Republicans in holding out for a one year cut, Sanders conjured up nefarious Republican motives saying it could only be because they were planning down the road to defund other entitlement programs. Sanders should call director Oliver Stone to see if there is a movie here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Round And Round

Shumlin administration officials and the state employees union announced on Friday afternoon that they have come to an agreement on a two-year contract that includes the restoration of the 3 percent pay cut that was instituted two and a half years ago and a 2 percent pay increase in July 2012 plus a 2 percent increase in July 2013....John Reese, the president of the union, which represents about 5,500 members, said he was “incredibly” happy with the arrangement....In fiscal year 2013, the restoration of the 3 percent cut will cost $9.2 million, according to Joint Fiscal Office estimates. The 2 percent increase in pay will cost $7.7 million, Spaulding said. (, 12/9/2011)

Throughout the country, tough-minded governors (Republican and Democrat) are forcing concessions from public unions. Not in Vermont! No wonder the union president is ecstatic. And the taxpayer, pays.

Know Your Enemy
The White House on Monday defended Vice President Joe Biden for saying that the Taliban isn't an enemy of the United States despite the years spent fighting the militant Islamic group that gave a home to Al Qaeda and its leader Usama bin Laden while he plotted the Sept. 11 terror attacks. (, 12/19/2011)

Ramping up for the coming election we get the return of Crazy Joe. We missed him!  And his comment could not have been better, reminding us of how Liberals will always choose appeasement. This is exactly why you guys should not be in charge.

New York City has a little more than 8 million residents. Of those many millions, 1% -- ONE PERCENT -- pays 43% of the income taxes. You know how many people that works out to? About 35,000 people.  (T.J. McCormack,, 12/16/2011)

This is the kind of thing that George Will does so well. Put a number on it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Drifting Away

Banned in Boston
The ban on 100-watt incandescent Thomas Edison light bulbs, which was supposed to begin Jan. 1, was put off. Congress has denied the green fundamentalists any funds to impose their eco-sharia law on the rest of us infidels who have figured out that global warming is a scam, or should I say false religion.  What’s ironic about the Church of Green is that these are the same people who want government out of their bedroom, or their uteruses, now want government in your light socket, or your toilet. (Howie Carr, Boston, 12/18/2011)

RedStateVT has already developed a strategy to deal with the potential ban on the 100 watt bulb. We will utilize two 60 watt bulbs instead. How does that sound to the Luddite crowd?

Both Indiana and Ohio have been aggressively poaching Illinois businesses, especially since January, when lawmakers raised the state income tax to a flat 5% from 3% and the corporate tax to 9.5% from 7.3%. (WSJ, 12/18/2011)

Simple cause and effect.

In what would be the final deal of his private equity career, he negotiated a retirement agreement with his former partners that has paid him a share of Bain’s profits ever since, bringing the Romney family millions of dollars in income each year and bolstering the fortune that has helped finance Mr. Romney’s political aspirations. (NYT, 12/19/2011)

It's "Bash Romney" day at the New York Times which temporarily pivots away from Newt Gingrich. The Times will consider Obama's drug use and shady Chicago real estate deal old news, but Romney's pension deal from 1999 is fair game. Notwithstanding that it was a legal arrangement signed by willing parties. Unlike, say, the sweetheart pension deals public sector employees received in return for greasing the Democrat machine with campaign contributions. 

It’s not as if the criticisms being leveled at Gingrich are wrong. On the contrary, there is a flamboyant self-importance and an eerie sense of mission about him. “I am a transformational figure,” he has said. (E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post, 12/18/2011)

Now who else sees himself as a "transformational politician." Dionne doesn't tell us so we have to remember on our own.  Thinking, it Obama?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sweet Release

Manning supporters say the leaks exposed war crimes and triggered pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East. (Boston, 12/16/2011)

The Lady Gaga Fan Club is pushing hard this novel defense. Traitor Bradley Manning spurred the Arab Spring! Really?

Many stories The Post writes can affect a person’s reputation. Any reporter doing a story that questions a person’s reputation in a direct and public way, such as accusing Mitt Romney of using a KKK slogan, should stop and consider whether, first of all, does that make sense, knowing what you know about the person. If it seems counterintuitive, then you should be extremely sure of your facts, every fact, and that you have appropriate response from the party affected.

I mean, really, Mitt Romney may be many things, but has anyone, anywhere, accused him of being a KKK sympathizer, racist, or anything similar? I don’t think so. (Patrick B. Pexton, Washington Post, 12/16/2011)

Detailed description of how the Romney - KKK quote story evolved with an honest apology. The last comment - that reporters failed to consider what they know about Romney as a person - is interesting. It can be applied equally to any number of Liberal epithets about any number of Republicans. To wit: Bush lied. Really? Reporters know that Bush was a religious man. Do they think he knowingly lied. The examples are endless: Bush is Hitler, Republicans are racists, Republicans want children to starve, Republicans want to destroy the planet, etc. It's a great standard to apply. Before you vilify someone, consider what you know about that person or persons. Would that Liberals and their friends in the press hold to it more often.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Six Hundred

... (Gingrich) urged Republicans to support the Bush administration’s expansion of Medicare’s prescription drug benefit... (NYT, 12/16/2011)

It is Gingrich's turn in the New York Times's "War on Republican Candidates" and so we get this one.  We are never quite sure where Liberals are coming from when they criticize Bush for the Medicare prescription drug benefit. They all wanted it and yet, they will never laud him for this expansion of the welfare state, straight out of their playbook. 

From the opening moment, the seven Republican candidates faced a series of questions on their biggest vulnerabilities, a tough, year-end parting gift from the moderators of Fox News, a network that has a lineup of sympathetic opinion hosts, but whose news anchors have pulled no punches on Republican candidates in debates and interviews. (NYT, 12/16/2011)

Wow, the Times admits that Fox news people have been objective.

The pipeline would create thousands of new jobs, both immediately and downstream, which is why the Teamsters and other unions support it. But Mr. Obama's green financiers see the pipeline as a conveyor of evil carbon, and so the President recently postponed any decision past the election into 2013. Now, that's economic leadership. (WSJ, 12/16/2011)

So will the Teamsters leadership direct the rank and file to vote against Obama and if not, why not?

First Timers
For the first time, a majority of Americans say President Barack Obama should be voted out of the White House next year, despite a small increase in the number of people who say the country’s economic outlook is improving, a new poll shows. (, 12/16/2011)

Just an idea, but given that the polls are now unanimous let's skip the Dem vs. Repub general election and replace it with a nationwide election to pick the president from among the Republican contenders. What do you say?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Go Down Fighting

You Started It
The war was started by the Bush administration in March 2003 on arguments that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and had ties to Al Qaeda that might grow to an alliance threatening the United States with a mass-casualty terrorist attack. (NYT, 12/15/2011)

This is how history gets rewritten. The state-controlled media endlessly repeats their version of events until it becomes - de facto - history. Some of us remember that the Iraqi regime defied UN sanctions, violated the Kurdish no fly zone, locked radar on US fighter jets, invaded Kuwait, gassed the Kurds, tried to assassinate a US president, set the Kuwaiti oil fields on fire, tortured its citizens, harbored terrorists.....should we go on? Oh, and according to Bill and Hillary Clinton, it had weapons of mass destruction.

It Just Gets Harder
For months, the Justice Department has largely been silent as Republican-dominated legislatures in state after state made it harder for minorities, poor people and other Democratic-leaning groups to vote. On Tuesday, however, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. spoke out forcefully and promised to use the full weight of his department to ensure that new electoral laws are not discriminatory. To live up to that vow, he will have his hands full. (NYT Editorial, 12/14/2011)

Yes, much harder. Potential voters will now have to show an ID - the same one that they use to buy beer will work just fine.

Heavy Hands
The federal government issued a scathing report Thursday that outlines how Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office has committed a wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos, including a pattern of racial profiling and discrimination and carrying out heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged citizen complaints. (Huffington Post, 12/15/2011)

We guess that if you are Eric Holder and you have publicly said that you will enforce the laws selectively and you are embroiled in a disastrous gun-running scandal in which an agent was killed and which you very possibly lied to a congressional committee about, then the best response is to go on the offensive in another highly charged political debate.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In The Queue

The evidence is overwhelming that the Obama regulatory surge is one reason the current economic recovery has been so lackluster by historical standards. Rather than nurture an economy trying to rebuild confidence after a financial heart attack, the Administration pushed through its now-famous blitz of liberal policies on health care, financial services, energy, housing, education and student loans, telecom, labor relations, transportation and probably some other industries we've forgotten. Anyone who thinks this has only minimal impact on business has never been in business. (WSJ, 12/14/2011)

OK, we promise to stop writing about Obama and regulations.....soon.

Our world that's coming is a world of narrowing, not widening, choices. It's a world that suits Mr. Romney's skills and history, his knack for operating within constraints and making choices based on data, data, data. Mr. Obama lives in the same world, of course, but is unequipped to deal with it given his dubious gifts for execution, execution, execution. Also, given his inclination to seek refuge in a clueless reverie of big new programs at a time when the resources simply don't exist. (Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., WSJ, 12/14/2011)

Jenkins is good.... Nice piece on Romney's work including the Olympics and Bain Capital (where he fixed companies!).

Recall This Mayor
New Haven Mayor John DeStefano plans to ask the state Legislature to allow illegal immigrants who live in the city to be able vote in municipal elections. (, 12/14/2011)

Liberals are endlessly worried about Republicans suppressing the minority vote. Only they can never point to any instance where it happened (unless, of course, you believe that asking someone to show an ID is voter intimidation). Meanwhile Liberals apparently commit election fraud in Chicago regularly, support the right of the New Black Panthers to stand outside polling places with batons, and want illegals to vote. 

It’s easy to see billionaire George Soros’s imprint on most major American left-wing organizations. All you have to do is look at their financial forms. Soros aids hundreds of left-wing groups in America each year under the auspices of his Open Society Foundations. In just 10 years, Soros has given more than $550 million to liberal organizations in the United States. (, 12/14/2011)

Where is Colonel Bernie Sanders decrying the effects of Soros money in the U.S. electoral process? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Line Around The Block

RedStateVT Announces New Service
It is a frustrating time for Liberal millionaires/billionaires who have publicly stated their wishes to be taxed more. Intransigent Republicans have blocked Democrats at every turn in their efforts to raise taxes on their rich constituents. Although the Treasury permits voluntary contributions, it appears as though wealthy Liberals are not aware of this. Therefore, RedStateVT has stepped into the void and announces today a new service wherein we will collect "extra taxes" from Liberal millionaires/billionaires and forward them to the United States Treasury. We will charge only a small handling fee for this service. 

The chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party announced his resignation Monday, as investigators probe allegations of election fraud stemming from the 2008 Democratic presidential primary...The alleged forgeries have raised the question whether the Obama campaign actually filed the necessary number of signatures, 500 from the county, to get on the state's primary ballot. (, 12/12/2011)

Expect to read countless stories in 2012 about how Republicans are suppressing the black/minority vote. Meanwhile, possible election fraud in 2008 by Democrats will be conveniently ignored.

The One Question That Obama Must Answer
Mr. President: Is the country more or less divided than when you took office? If more, why as the most powerful and influential politician in the country have you not been successful in this stated goal?

Sir Tax
Democrats have sought a surtax on income over $1 million to pay for an extension of a tax break for the middle class, a surtax that Republicans have rejected. Employees’ share of the payroll tax, now 4.2 percent of wages, is scheduled to rise to 6.2 percent in January unless Congress takes action. (NYT, 12/13/2011)

Why is it that no one is calling the "payroll tax" by its real name: the Social Security payroll tax? Notwithstanding Vermont's Colonel Bernie Sanders who swears that Social Security is fully funded, what do other politicians think about the fact that the government is collecting LESS in Social Security taxes?

Share Alike
The share of income received by the top 1 percent — that potent symbol of inequality — dropped to 17 percent in 2009 from 23 percent in 2007, according to federal tax data. Within the group, average income fell to $957,000 in 2009 from $1.4 million in 2007. (NYT, 12/12/2011)

RedStateVT is calling for protests in the streets. We are the 1%!!!!

Sign Language
For Obama advisers in need of a little lift after months of bad news, there have been some encouraging signs in recent weeks. (Washington Post, 12/12/2011)

So things are looking up according to Obama reelection team reporters at the Washington Post, who, a few sentences later tell us this:

Obama’s overall standing in national public polls has improved slightly since hitting new lows earlier this fall, but on the economy — the major focus of the campaign — he remains at or near record lows. (Washington Post, 12/12/2011)

So things are looking up, except on that pesky "major focus of the campaign." And just to confirm that things are moving in the right direction for Obama we also note this:

In a dozen key swing states across the country, President Barack Obama is trailing Mitt Romney by 5 percentage points and Newt Gingrich by 3 percentage points, according to a new Gallup/USA Today poll on Tuesday. ( 12/12/2011)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Face The Music

Although Mr. Corzine had been a United States senator, governor of New Jersey, co-head of Goldman Sachs and a confidant of leaders in Washington and Wall Street, he was at heart a trader, willing to gamble for a rich payoff. (NYT, 12/11/2011)

Clarification that we will not see
In an earlier edition, the New York Times failed to note Corzine's political affiliation. He is a Democrat. We also failed to note that Goldman Sach's made the largest political contribution to President Obama's 2008 campaign from a private company. 

In the case of Mr. Tebow, what seems to fuel many of his fans—and to drive many of his critics crazy—is not so much his evangelical faith itself but the equanimity and generosity that his faith inspires in him. Can he really mean it when he says that football isn't that important to him, that he cares more about transcendent things? (WSJ, 12/10/2011)

Here's a question for you: How would Tebow's critics react if he was a Muslim and stopped to pray several times each game? Not sure, but we suspect these same critics would be enormously supportive!

But the Persian Gulf represents 16% of our imports, and Venezuela 9%. By far the largest, and growing, source of imports is Canada, which supplies about 25%; Mexico is second, at 11%. 

The main reason for Canada's large role is the expansion of output from its oil sands. Canada's oil sands now yield more output than Libya's total exports prior to its civil war. Current plans could double production to three million barrels per day by the beginning of the next decade. That would mean a higher share of our imports coming from our friendly neighbor and largest trading partner. 

But how much more oil the U.S. imports from Canada will depend upon whether sufficient transportation exists. And in response to the State Department's postponement of the decision on the Keystone XL pipeline last month, the Canadian government has indicated that it cannot be wholly dependent on the vagaries of U.S. politics. (Daniel Yergin, WSJ, 12/12/2011)

Nowhere is Liberal hypocrisy more evident than in the XL pipeline issue. They vehemently oppose a project that would make the U.S. LESS dependent on unfriendly countries and that would create MORE U.S. jobs.

The Durban pit-stop in the endless array of climate summits has just ended, and predictably it reaffirmed the United Nations' strong belief that the most important response to global warming is to secure a strong deal to cut carbon emissions. What is almost universally ignored, however, is that if we want to help real people overcome real problems we need to focus first on adaptation. (Bjorn Lomborg, WSJ, 12/12/2011)

Good article by Lomborg. Whether or not you believe that man is causing global warming, if you believe that it is happening the most important thing is to ADAPT TO IT. This is what prehistoric man did: "Getting colder and fewer mastodons to hunt? Well, we better move....."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Silence Drowns The Screams

Washington's efforts at Wall Street reform and consumer protection keep having strange and unintended consequences for Main Street businesses and customers. The Durbin Amendment, part of the Dodd-Frank Act, set a cap on the amount financial institutions can charge merchants to process debit card transactions. Previously, the average "interchange" fee was 44 to 45 cents per transaction. As of Oct. 1, the maximum swipe fee was cut to 21 cents. The intent was to keep the cost of doing business down, but that goal is reportedly being thwarted by the credit card companies' response.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA) have eliminated the discounts they previously offered on interchange for small transactions -- those under roughly $10. Instead, the credit card companies now charge many small businesses the maximum 21-cent fee allowed by the law.  (Daily Finance, 12/8/2011)

From Barney Frank meddling with the housing market (and precipitating the financial crisis) to Dick Durbin messing with the banks, this is why RedStateVT pushes back against regulation. Politicians are not capable of thinking two steps ahead.

Planning Ahead
With Ms. Sebelius’s decision on Wednesday, the Obama administration is taking a more socially conservative stance on Plan B, one closer to that of the Bush administration than to many of its own liberal supporters, even as President Obama has taken a tougher position on higher taxes on the wealthy to pay for a broad payroll tax cut — a stance popular with his political base. (NYT, 12/7/2011)

Isn't the New York Times marvelous? See how they tie together two seemingly unrelated topics: the abortion pill and taxes on the wealthy. 

Again And Again
Ann Coulter is at it again. In her upcoming appearance on Logo's "A List: Dallas," the conservative pundit told gay Republican cast member Taylor Garrett that it was in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community's best interests to be pro-life as "liberal yuppies" will start aborting their unborn gay children once scientists discover a gene for homosexuality. (Huffington Post, 12/8/2011)

Not sure we see the controversy here.....straight liberals who embrace abortion in all its forms (any trimester,  partial birth, birth defect, etc.) would NOT do what Coulter suggests?

Protection Racket
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the Chevy Volt is safe to drive even though the government is investigating fires caused by damage to the electric car’s battery. LaHood told reporters today that his department isn’t trying to protect the maker of the Chevrolet Volt, General Motors, from possible repercussions from the government’s safety investigation. LaHood says his department isn’t in the business of protecting the automobile industry. (Boston Herald, 12/8/2011)

Well, maybe DOT isn't in the business of "protecting" car companies, but POTUS is and problems with the Volt will put yet another nail in the "all-things-green coffin."

Iran paraded what its military described as a captured C.I.A. stealth drone on national television on Thursday and lodged an official diplomatic protest, portraying the visual images as an intelligence and propaganda windfall in its conflict with the West over its nuclear program. (NYT, 12/9/2011)

Obama's drone campaign has been a signature success. Still we can't help but wonder at the reaction of the media had a Bush drone been lost... 

At First
When he first took office, President Obama promised to cut the federal deficit in half by 2013. But instead he's increased it by more than $4 trillion. Indeed, under his direction, the U.S. government spent about $1 trillion on a Keynesian-style stimulus that failed to create the jobs promised, will spend trillions more creating a European-style health-care entitlement with ObamaCare, and has more Americans on welfare than ever before. (Jim DeMint (R-SC), WSJ, 12/9/2011)

A well-stated reminder to bloggers on the Left who keep telling RedStateVT: "Bush didn't raise taxes to pay for the war."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What It All Means

The second thing we’re doing is we’re ramping up our effort to get rid of outdated, unjustified regulations that stifle trade and job creation.  This is especially important in sectors like the auto industry, where so many cars and products are built on both sides of the border.  But sometimes that's slowed down by regulations and paperwork that, frankly, just doesn't make sense.

So we're going to strike a better balance with sensible regulations that unleash trade and job creation, while still protecting public health and safety.  And this builds on the efforts that we have here in the United States, led by Cass Sunstein at OIRA, where we're eliminating billions of dollars in costs from regulations.  (President Barack Obama, 12/7/2011)

Fellow bloggers on the Left harp incessantly about the need for more regulation of business. Apparently George Bush gutted the regulatory controls of the country, thereby leading to the financial collapse. Or so the simplistic narrative goes. Well here we have the president calling for less regulation. So which is it? Maybe Bush got rid of the 'good' regulations while Obama is getting rid of the 'bad' ones.....?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

All Is Fair

Tiny Taxes
They call it the Robin Hood tax — a tiny levy on trades in the financial markets that would take money from the banks and give it to the world’s poor. And like the mythical hero of Sherwood Forest, it is beginning to capture the public’s imagination....The Obama administration has also been lukewarm, expressing sympathy but saying it would be hard to execute, could drive trading overseas and would hurt pension funds and individual investors in addition to banks. (NYT, 12/7/2011)

Well alright, once in a while Obama gets it.

Hacked Off
British police officials said on Wednesday that a 41-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the phone hacking scandal that has rocked Rupert Murdoch’s media outpost here, the 18th suspect taken into custody since inquiries into the scandal intensified in January. (NYT, 12/7/2011)

Breathless reporting from the Times on a publishing scandal in another country, but no updates on Climategate, Solyndra, or Fast and Furious and precious little on other Democrat scandals like Blagojevich or Corzine.

More Talk
The president gave a fine speech in Kansas. President Obama has given some great speeches. Good speeches are not his problem. The problem with voters is that they believe that they have heard it all before.

As Carter said, “The speech had a powerful moral dimension.” Well, that is not difficult to do in writing. Who can’t deploy carefully crafted words that are lofty and noble? President Obama has done that, and perhaps only that, more than any other politician in recent memory.

The problem is that he must govern, and the governed are waiting. His too-frequent righteous phrases and lofty verbiage have become part of his problem, not his solution. (Ed Rogers, Washington Post, 12/7/2011)

Liberals - even those who have recently fessed up to Obama speech fatigue - have briefly revived the notion that Obama has made another 'historic' speech.  Good job by Rogers at bringing them back to earth.

Such a progressive code will make the state (NY) fisc even more dependent on millionaire incomes, which soar on capital gains and bonuses during good times but crash during recessions. This is the same progressive trap that has made California's budget hostage to economic boom and bust. 

The good times create an unsustainable revenue boom, which the politicians spend, only to find that the budget goes quickly and steeply into red when the economy slows. Then the politicians cry poverty and raise taxes again, driving more of the wealthy taxpayers the politicians need out of the state. This is why the highest-taxed states are always under fiscal duress. (WSJ, 12/7/2011)

Two paragraphs of required reading for Liberals. It's pretty simple, really.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

No Mercy

The 'Trash A Republican Candidate' Target in Today's New York Times is Newt Gingrich
Many observers seem surprised that Mr. Gingrich’s, well, colorful personal history isn’t causing him more problems, but they shouldn’t be. If hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, conservatives often seem inclined to accept that tribute, voting for candidates who publicly espouse conservative moral principles whatever their personal behavior. (Paul Krugman, NYT, 12/6/2011)

Krugman wants to talk about Newt Gingrich's personal history - three marriages and infidelity. Fine, let's also talk about Obama's drug use and real estate dealings with a Chicago felon. Or is that old news? Here's the difference: Gingrich has asked for forgiveness and embraced religion. Maybe he should have flaunted his personal failings like Bill Clinton and Barney Frank. Oh, and that convicted felon? Here is how dishonest the New York Times is. They tie him to Rod Blagojevich - a Chicago Democrat that even they are unwilling to defend (some Dems are beyond saving) - rather than to Obama who famously got a sweetheart land deal:

Will he get more than Antoin Rezko, a former top fund-raiser for Mr. Blagojevich, who was sentenced last month to 10 1/2 years in prison for fraud and bribery? (NYT, 12/6/2011)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Tall Grass Bends

The Barney Frank of Vermont Calls It Quits
(Burlington Mayor Bob) Kiss will surely be remembered as the Burlington Telecom mayor, but in his own mind that story is incomplete. He has not yet accepted blame for the financial debacle the municipally owned fiber-to-the-home company represents to many residents, and when the issue comes up, he invariably refers to Burlington Telecom as an “asset” to the city, as if the debate has been about whether to go with the dazzling new information highway of the Internet or with the telegraph...When he first took the oath of office, BT was not a problem. The issue bedeviling the City Council was the underfunded pension fund (still a problem). (Burlington Free Press, 12/1/2012)

Like Barney, Kiss will be remembered for creating financial ruin and refusing to own up to it.

The conservative-preferred, free-market fundamentalist, shareholder-only model—so successful in the 20th century—is being thrown onto the trash heap of history in the 21st century. In an era when countries need to become economic teams, Team USA's results—a jobless decade, 30 years of flat median wages, a trade deficit, a shrinking middle class and phenomenal gains in wealth but only for the top 1%—are pathetic...While we debate, Team China rolls on. Our delegation witnessed China's people-oriented development in Chongqing, a city of 32 million in Western China, which is led by an aggressive and popular Communist Party leader—Bo Xilai. A skyline of cranes are building roughly 1.5 million square feet of usable floor space daily—including, our delegation was told, 700,000 units of public housing annually. (Andy Stern, WSJ, 12/1/2011)

After greasing the Democrat Party with union dues, being paid off in jobs, wages and benefits and ultimately causing financial ruin, former SEIU President Stern has found a better economic model. Communist China! You can't make this stuff up.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Open Skies

Newt Gingrich is adamant that he is not a lobbyist, but rather a visionary who traffics in ideas, not influence. But in the eight years since he started his health care consultancy, he has made millions of dollars while helping companies promote their services and gain access to state and federal officials. (NYT, 11/30/2011)

The lead in the race to become the Republican presidential nominee has shifted rapidly over the course of several weeks between Perry, Cain, Gingrich and Romney. As a result, the New York Times has had to work overtime to trash each prospective candidate. So far they have been up to the task. Here they level a devastating charge against Newt: He may have been a lobbyist!

Extra Extra
The leading conservative voices who have come to Herman Cain’s defense began backing away on Tuesday as he acknowledged that he was reassessing his Republican presidential bid, uncertain that he could withstand a report of an extramarital affair after accusations of sexual harassment and stumbling foreign policy responses. (NYT, 11/30/2011)

Count RedStateVT as flummoxed. Under the Clinton Rules for Presidential Candidates, as enthusiastically championed by both the Democrat party and the media, extramarital affairs are NOT considered grounds for dropping a presidential bid.

All About
“Four years ago it was about hope,” the mayor said. “Now it’s about his (Obama's) record.” (Scranton, Pennsylvania Mayor Christopher A. Doherty (D), NYT, 1129/2011)

If Obama has lost Scranton, he's lost the race!

Barney Frank is leaving office at the end of his term. Maybe he just wants to spend more quality time with his pot-growing prostitute friends in the sub-prime lending business. (Michael Graham, Boston Herald, 11/29/2011)

Leave it to the Boston Herald to sum it up for Barney!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Debts That No Honest Man Can Pay

Following on from the original 'climategate' emails of 2009, the new package appears to show systematic suppression of evidence, and even publication of reports that scientists knew to to be based on flawed approaches...Yet one of the newly released emails, written by Prof. Jones  - who is working with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - said: 'Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden. (Daily Mail, 11/28/2011)

As predicted yesterday by RedStateVT, no discussion of Climategate in the state-controlled media today, but we do get a new Herman Cain scandal. Thankfully we have the Climate Depot web site. And now, at last, we have incontrovertible proof that - as RedStateVT has told you - global warming is all about money, i.e. the research grants that grease the "scientists."

Finally, global warming's epitaph:
Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the climate apocalypse. Namely, the financial apocalypse. The U.S., Russia, Japan, Canada and the EU have all but confirmed they won't be signing on to a new Kyoto. The Chinese and Indians won't make a move unless the West does. The notion that rich (or formerly rich) countries are going to ship $100 billion every year to the Micronesias of the world is risible, especially after they've spent it all on Greece. 

Cap and trade is a dead letter in the U.S. Even Europe is having second thoughts about carbon-reduction targets that are decimating the continent's heavy industries and cost an estimated $67 billion a year. "Green" technologies have all proved expensive, environmentally hazardous and wildly unpopular duds. (Bret Stephens, WSJ, 11/29/2011)

Mr. Gingrich taught college history before entering politics, and his historical references on the campaign trail are such a feature of his public remarks as to be nearly a rhetorical tic. They strike some as evidence that Mr. Gingrich is the smartest candidate in the room — and others that he is a man determined to let you know how much he knows. (NYT, 11/29/2011)

One of the requirements that Liberals have for a president is that he appear to be smart. Hence, because Bush sometimes mangled his syntax we got 'Bush is Dumb.' Obama's qualifications for president - given that he had no experience and no accomplishments - were that he was a brilliant orator. (The bloom is off that rose now, however). All this was notwithstanding that Bush was a Harvard MBA and Obama is reported to have been a mediocre student. 

So what to do with Newt Gingrich who is demonstrably smart and well-spoken? Well, the script now being written is obviously going to be that he is "too smart for his own good...nobody likes a smarty pants."

Scandal-Ridden Congressman To Retire
Simply put, Barney Frank has had enough. (NYT, 11/29/2011)

RedStateVT is by no means an expert on the Barney Frank scandals, but here are the ones that we recall:

- His boyfriend was running a male prostitution ring out of Barney's basement.
- His boyfriend was growing marijuana in his beach house.
- Barney recommended his boyfriend for a job at Fannie Mae (no pun intended).

We do not know whether this was the same boyfriend or not.

Oh, and of course, the biggest Barney scandals was when he told Fannie/Freddie that he wanted to "roll the dice" on providing more loans to the poor (unqualified) mortgage applicants.

Finally, Barney's epitaph:
However, it is unlikely that Mr. Frank is leaving for the reason he should depart Congress: out of shame for all he did to stop reform of Fannie and Freddie while there was still time to avert the disaster that almost took down the American economy.

In 2003, he called Fannie and Freddie “fundamentally sound financially” and accused the Bush Administration of trying to “exaggerate a threat of safety… [to] conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see."

A year later, he said talk of financial problems at Fannie and Freddie were “an artificial issue created by the administration...I don't think we are in any remote danger here."

In 2007, as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and just as Fannie and Freddie – overleveraged and stuffed to the gills with risky mortgages they’d encouraged and facilitated – were about to go over the cliff, Mr. Frank attacked President George W. Bush’s call for reform as “inane.” (Karl Rove, WSJ, 11/29/2011)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stranger Passing Through Put Up A Sign

All the Dishonesty, All the Time(s)
The debate over whether to reduce tax shelters and preferences for the rich is one of the most volatile in Washington and will move to the presidential campaign, now that repeated attempts in Congress to strike a grand bargain over spending cuts and an overhaul of the tax code have failed. 

A handful of billionaires like Warren E. Buffett and Bill Gates have joined Democrats in calling for an elimination of the breaks, saying that the current system adds to the budget deficit, contributes to the widening income gap between the richest and the rest of society, and shifts the tax burden onto small businesses and the middle class. Republicans have resisted, saying the tax increases on the wealthy would harm the economy and cost jobs. (NYT, 11/27/2011)

Here the Times fudges the issue of tax hikes and tax shelters using Ronald Lauder as the punching bag. Apparently unable to find a rich Democrat who engages in legal tax avoidance, the Times settles on Lauder, a contributor to Republicans. The Republican position has been no tax hikes on the rich or anyone else for that matter. But Republicans have endorsed reform of the tax code to eliminate various deductions, loopholes, and shelters.  You would not learn the distinction from reading this article. We suspect that Buffet and Gates utilize every known tax avoidance strategy their bevies of lawyers and accountants can muster up. 

First, successive rounds of Tea Party-driven budget cuts this year have clarified this tradeoff: unless taxes go up on the wealthy, Medicare and Social Security must be cut drastically. (NYT, 11/27/2011)

This literary gem focuses on the political genius of New York's Chuck Schumer who is pushing this canard. Of course as has been pointed out, you could confiscate all the wealth of the top 1% and Medicare and Social Security would not be fixed. 

Can't See the Forest
He wants to see, among other things, “a Robin Hood tax” on all financial transactions... (NYT, 11/28/2011)

This from Kalle Lasn, the Canadian who is the true spiritual leader of OWS (sorry Elizabeth Warren)

Under Water
He badly underestimated the length of this economic crisis.... (Nicholas D. Kristof, NYT, 11/26/2011)

Having seen this repeated in several Liberal columns of late, we now know that this likely comes directly from the Obama re-election campaign. Goes like this: Given a ticked-off electorate, Dems know that they cannot run on Obama's economic record. Therefore they have to do some kind of a mea culpa. The softest way to spin this disaster is to say that Obama erred only in not realizing how bad things were. Of course, it had nothing to do with his policies! A variation is to say that the economy that Obama 'inherited from Bush' was much worse. Of course, the Blame Bush argument is losing steam with voters as we approach the end of Obama's term.

Los Angeles has been relatively accommodating to its Occupy group compared to other major cities, with (Los Angeles Mayor Antonio) Villaraigosa at one point providing ponchos to campers when it rained. But after the collapse of negotiations aimed at persuading protesters to relocate voluntarily, the mayor said last week the encampment would have to go. He said he hoped to avoid violence that erupted in other cities when police used force against Occupy protesters. (NYT, 11/28/2011)

Will the Bloombergs, Quans, and Villaraigosas learn? The Occupiers will take the free stuff you give them and still not obey. We think not, hence the pepper spray.

Make the Case
If the case for man-made global warming is really as strong as the so-called consensus claims it is, why do the climategate emails show scientists attempting to stamp out dissenting points of view? Why must they manipulate data, such as Mr. Jones's infamous effort (revealed in the first batch of climategate emails) to "hide the decline," deliberately concealing an inconvenient divergence, post-1960, between real-world, observed temperature data and scientists' preferred proxies derived from analyzing tree rings? (James Delingpole, WSJ, 11/28/2011)

One has to search hard for an article on the latest Climategate scandal revelations! Now if there had been a new accusation made against Herman Cain we know it would have been front page news.