The Left was preparing to re-run the Summer of Recovery to boost their electoral chances this fall. The fourth quarter GDP was not horrible, but not great either. All of the usual suspects had convinced themselves that the economy was finally getting off the mat and headed for a boom. Unemployment claims we slowing and the number of posted jobs was increasing. Happy days were here again!
The U.S. economy slowed drastically in the first three months of the year as a harsh winter exacted a toll on business activity. The slowdown, while worse than expected, is likely to be temporary as growth rebounds with warmer weather.
Growth slowed to a barely discernible 0.1 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That was the weakest pace since the end of 2012 and was down from a 2.6 percent rate in the previous quarter.
Many economists said the government’s first estimate of growth in the January-March quarter was skewed by weak figures early in the quarter. They noted that several sectors — from retail sales to manufacturing output — rebounded in March. That strength should provide momentum for the rest of the year.
That’s right, the weather. It is usually sunny and warm in winter but for some strange reason it was cold this winter. That’s why everyone stopped doing stuff.
And on Friday, economists expect the government to report a solid 200,000-plus job gain for April.
America adds about 2 million people to the adult population each year, after accounting for deaths and immigration. That means the job market has to grow accordingly. Adding 200,000 jobs a month is treading water. That’s why this graph never gets on TV:
But hey, why not bring in another twenty or thirty million Latino peasants to do the jobs Americans won’t do? That’s fix this stagnant economy!
I saw this post on National Review and could not help but laugh. Through the Bush years, National Review was just a clearing house for the GOP. Whatever crackpot idea the Bushies cooked up, NR would brand it “conservative approved” and peddle it to the masses. In fairness, the caterwauling by the Left made it easy to fall into this trap. Every left-winger was constantly chanting “Bush Lied”, making it impossible for anyone to think straight. It was one big swindle on all of us.
By 2006 most sensible people threw in the towel on Bush and the GOP. His ratings fell into the high 20’s exclusively due to the Right walking away from him. It turned out that the paleocons were right and Bush was just neocon. Professional conservatives still struggle with their full-throated support of Bush and the GOP. Even today they struggle to separate themselves from the Republican Party. I guess this post over at NRO should be viewed as a positive development.
Jack Kemp famously called for the GOP to “take off its green eyeshades” in the late 1970s. By this he meant that the GOP needed to stop focusing primarily on balancing budgets and start focusing on how to grow the economy and improve the lives of average Americans. After its brief, unsuccessful detour into modern greeneyeshadism by nominating venture capitalist and business consultant extraordinaire Mitt Romney, most nationally serious Republicans are back to talking less about numbers and more about middle-class people. But if this map is any indication, even this effort still views America through a lens of green eyeshades.
This map shows household income for every county, town, and neighborhood in America. Wealthy and upper-middle-class areas are colored green, while the rest of America is colored in orange. As you can see, most of America is some shade of brown, while most of the eastern seaboard is colored in some shade of green.
This small detail on a map makes a world of difference to conservative and GOP chances to run the country. Virtually every major national consultant, analyst, staffer, and journalist lives in the green areas in and around Washington D.C., America’s Emerald City. This is a land where families making $100,000 a year struggle to buy a decent house, where everyone has a college degree, and the major health-care struggle is finding a doctor who takes your insurance.
This problem is compounded by the rise of super-donor-driven super PACs. Virtually all of the large donors who give to super PACs and GOP campaigns live in local versions of the Emerald City. They see highly educated people who get ahead by working hard, lots of prosperity and wealth, and think this is what America looks like. The major political problem they see is that some of their neighbors and friends vote Democratic, so they naturally think a national majority can be crafted by persuading those people to vote more on their self-interest and less on social and other issues. That view makes sense within the walls of the Emerald City, but outside of that realm America is a horse of a different color.
Pat Buchanan said a long time ago that the problem with the GOP is that people get sent to Washington to represent their people back home. They start out okay, but before long they go native. They forget where they are from and start thinking they are Washington’s representative to their home state or district. If given enough time, they no longer remember where they are from. They are just members of the ruling class.
Contrast that with the vast bulk of the country, especially in the swing states needed to retake the presidency. Ohio has very few green counties; Florida, Wisconsin, and Iowa have virtually none. In those states, making $100,000 is rare and enables you to live a very comfortable life. Most people make between $25,000 and $75,000 a year, with many more on the low end of that range than the high. In most of these counties, more people get by on less than $25,000 a year than earn more than $75,000. In these places, “decent home” means something much more humble, very few people have college degrees, and the major health-care struggle is getting or keeping private health insurance at all.
People with high-school degrees making $40,000 a year face problems very different from those of college-educated folks making $80,000. Their economic future is much more unstable, their job opportunities more limited, and their family finances more precarious. There are many more families in these circumstances among the growing Hispanic populations of the Southwest or the vast plains of the Midwest than one would guess living in the Emerald Cities. Republicans are right to focus on the needs of the middle class, but they must better understand who the middle class is if they are to succeed.
That sounds great, but I wonder if the gap between the typical American and the ruling class is too broad to cross. Our rulers live lives that are so estranged from what the typical American experiences, they may as well be foreigners. America, the country with a people, a culture and a shared history, has been colonized by pod-people. They make noises that sound familiar and they sort of look like us, but they are alien to us in all the ways that matter. This story in the Financial Times touches on it.
The UK Independence party does not represent the start of a revolt but the culmination of it. A spirit of anti-politics began permeating the country around the turn of the millennium when Tony Blair, the last politician the British allowed themselves to love, broke their hearts by turning out to be a prime minister and not a miracle worker. The disillusion intensified after the Iraq war, a work of naive over-ambition forever remembered as an act of heinous deceit. Then came the crash, the expenses scandal and much more immigration than voters were told to expect.
Cynicism verging on nihilism is the closest thing modern Britain has to a national ideology. It has become common sense to assume the worst of anyone in public authority. Nigel Farage, Ukip’s leader, profits from this foul zeitgeist, not because he is a manipulative genius but because he is the nearest populist to hand. If it were not him, it would be some other jobbing demagogue with the dumb luck to be here now.
It is not obvious how to take him on. But it is increasingly obvious how not to. Hounded by the mood of anti-politics, Britain’s political class has become self-loathing and scared of its own shadow. Mainstream politicians ape the language and manner of populists. They vie to disown a “metropolitan elite” that they themselves constitute. They hope that nodding along as voters express their scorn for them will somehow spare them from it.
Politicians used to wound each other with accusations of incompetence, immorality or intellectual wrongness – all slurs grounded in substance. Now they try to define each other as “out of touch”. When David Cameron, the Conservative prime minister, attacks Labour for indulging dependency culture or withholding a referendum on EU membership, he points to the party’s estrangement from public opinion. When Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, attacks the Tories for overseeing a fall in living standards, his point is that millionaires cannot care about the plight of the ordinary.
The measure of a politician’s worth is how much he is like “us” and not like “them”. Mr Farage’s real achievement is not electoral – his party has no MPs and runs no councils – but cultural. He has spooked the mainstream into emulating the values and priorities of its own tormentors.
As a ploy to neutralise Mr Farage, this self-abasement gets nowhere because it concedes his basic point – that Britain is run by a conspiracy of malign people – and radiates the most lethal weakness in politics: inauthenticity. Mr Cameron is the highest-born prime minister since Alec Douglas-Home half a century ago. Mr Miliband is a professor’s son whose main detour from north London’s cognoscenti was a year teaching at Harvard. They stand for major parties. When they or their similarly rarefied lieutenants play at being the man in the street, it looks craven and affected.
This is certainly true. When John Kerry was running for president, he tried to pass himself off us a regular guy. They kitted him out in an Elmer Fudd costume and sent him into a gun shop to buy a hunting license. It may very well have cost him the election, as normal men could not stop laughing at this effete over-class pansy. They would have been better off putting him in a sun-dress and having him sing duets with RuPaul.
The political classes believe they are unpopular because of something they have done. Certainly, expense-fiddling compounded their scuzzy reputation. And their sheer narrowness is alienating, too. Parliament has become a job guarantee for apparatchiks and activists who relax by watching television dramas set in other political capitals. In Britain politics is not just showbiz for ugly people but for weirdly obsessive people too.
The rise of populism, however, is not primarily the fault of any person – even Mr Blair – or any event. It is powered by structural trends that have been in train for decades. Prime among these is the fragmentation of class loyalty, which has cut the vote share commanded by the two main parties from 97 per cent in the 1951 election to 65 per cent in 2010. More votes are up for grabs, giving rebel parties a look-in.
People do not like being ruled by foreigners. That’s what it feels like in many Western countries today. In Britain, the major parties are more concerned about the Continentals and their European project than the needs and wants of the native Brits. In the US, our politicians and their toadies make noises that sound like American English, but it is all gibberish. The technical term for it is echolalic babbling. The press serves as the interpreter. We are ruled by pod people.
Neither the 13th (abolition of slavery) nor the 15th Amendment (suffrage for freedmen) have proved problematic. It’s a few phrases in the 14th Amendment which are the problem, and mostly because of the intellectual and moral fraud abroad in the appellate judiciary and legal professoriate.
It’s fashionable to attribute all sorts of trouble to the 17th Amendment, but that complaint is nonsense. The effect of that amendment in the contemporary context is to alter the balance of skill sets in Congress. Absent the amendment, you would get more people adept at building relationships in state legislatures and fewer at running fund-raising and publicity campaigns. Sen. Dede Scozzafava would have her seat for life. Public policy would be little improved.
As for the 16th Amendment, the trouble is that legislature have discretion to determine the dimensions of the tax base, and that discretion is used to confer bon bons on clientele like the oil and real estate industry.
I will wager the schemes in the 25th Amendment will prove unworkable in a true crisis.
The 26th, 24th, and 23d Amendments consisted of some modest adjustments to the suffrage. Not sure why you’re hostile to that. I am not sure why the 19th Amendment (women’s suffrage) counts as a ‘silly fad’. The 20th Amendment was a housekeeping measure. Not sure why that bothers you either.
You want term limits, but the 22d amendment is a ‘silly fad’. You did not give much clear thought to this before you posted, I take it.
First off, I think he misses the problems in the 13th and 14th Amendments. The purpose of a negative constitution is to do three things. One is it puts hard limits on the resulting government. It does this by clearly listing the limits of the state. That means it details the power of the state, while everything else is assumed to be prohibited. The first two items in the Bill of Rights are good examples. Then it establishes the organization of the new government.
The 13th Amendment does something different. It places limits on what citizens of the states can do by prohibiting a specific type of legal arrangement. This is never something we want to see from a national government in a country this size. Much of what ails us these days stems from this belief that the national government has a duty to boss around the people. Enshrining the concept as we do in the 13th Amendments is asking for trouble and I think we got it and are living with it.
As for the 14th, it is an example of not being able to see far enough down stream. The abuses stemming from this amendment are legion. More important, this eats away at the supporting structure of the Constitution. The organizing principle is to balance the power of the states against that of the national government. Once you make the national government superior, that relationship collapses. The goals of the 14th could be accomplished without undermining the rest.
This leads me to the 17th Amendment. American is a big country. The regions are very different from one another. Therefore, the natural governmental unit is the states. The people of Alabama, within the broad framework of the Constitution, should be free to organize their laws as their distinct culture dictates. The only way we can ensure that is to limit the national government, thus giving the people the freedom to organize their state and local government to their tastes.
A lesson learned the hard way is that ambitious men seek a national platform. By making the Senate the stronghold of the states, the ambitious men of Alabama and Oregon will have a national stage from which they can safeguard the interests of their states. That was the point of having the state legislatures pick the senators. The Senate was designed to be the brake on House. The 17th Amendment turned the Senate into the national government’s bulwark against the states.
As to the amendments on suffrage, I think Aristophanes was right. Giving women the franchise was a terrible mistake. Putting that aside, the states should be in charge of figuring out who can vote. I think an allowance can be made for the House of Representatives. A clause to define the franchise for that office is necessary, but not very complicated. Any citizen over 25 should have the vote. Adulthood has been pushed back and it should be reflected in the law. If you want to make an exception for military people, that’s probably a good idea.
I’m a healthy sort. I don’t go crazy about it, but I try to eat a balanced diet, exercise and so forth. As such, I keep track of my calories. The thing about calorie counting is it does not work. Calories counts on food are estimates and no one really knows how accurate they are or even if they are close. McDonalds, for example, claims a Big Mac is 550 calories, which is probably pretty close, given the swarm of lawyers circling major corporations looking for a reason to sue, but you can’t be sure.
That’s why you should avoid eating junk food. As a treat on occasion, it is fine. Life is for living and all that, but moderation is the key. The same is true of chains that laughably claim they are better than fast food. In most cases, the chains are relying on weird chemicals, lots of slat and fat to make their food taste good. They can’t afford to hire chefs, so they hire chemists to make their standardized menu taste good to the broad public. This story in Vox is a good example.
The ranges on menu items are so vast that, depending on what your order looks like, a burrito could have 350 or 970 calories – nearly a threefold difference. (Never mind that it is nearly impossible to order the lowest-calorie Chipotle burrito, which consists of a flour tortilla with beans.)
This is a problem that lots of fast food chains are confronting now that the health care law requires them to post calorie counts on their menus. At establishments where menu items are highly customizable, places like Chipotle or Dominos, coming up with accurate calorie counts is a vexingly difficult tax.
Chipotle has settled on providing consumers with a calorie range that is, well, quite large. And when consumers see that range, a new study in the Journal of Public Health Nutrition finds, they underestimate the calories in their own burrito by 21 percent.
For starters, Chipotle is just a sit down Taco Bell. Pretty much the same stuff. Taco Bell is honest about what their doing, while Chipotle is not. Both sell highly processed food loaded with salt and fat. If you are trying to lose weight or you are on a special diet, STAY OUT OF CHIPOTLE!. No one cares more about your health than you, so if you need a special diet, make it yourself. Otherwise, you get what you deserve.
This is better than when eaters don’t have any calorie information at all. In that scenario, researchers found that eaters underestimated the calories in their burrito by a full third.
But there’s a small tweak that can make Chipotle’s calorie labels even more effective: adding examples of how many calories are in the burritos used as the end points of calorie range. This is what that looks like, spelled out (the calorie ranges Chipotle uses appears to have dropped slightly downward since this study was conducted and when I picked up a menu today).
There’s zero evidence that this will make any difference in the real world, other than to drive up the price of food and give lawyers a new avenue to suck blood from the economy. It is the fundamental nature of the totalitarian mind to see the state as an all consuming organism, of which you are just a part. The state must care and provide for you in the same way the body provides nourishment to the cells and organs.
The Obamacare requirement to post calorie labels, however, favors the range approach. In regulations published in 2011, the Food and Drug Administration directed restaurants to publish a range from the lowest calorie version of an item to the highest. But it doesn’t say anything about including examples of what’s included at each end.
“Critics of calorie-count regulations are correct to point out that we cannot justify the costs of such requirements if the mandated information does not improve consumer understanding,” study co-authors Peter Ubel and Peggy Liu write at the Monkey Cage Blog. “The FDA should require restaurants to define the endpoints of calorie ranges. Consumers deserve comprehensible information about their food choices.”
It is ironic that the Nazis were nuts about diet and exercise and our alleged anti-fascists are similarly nuts about your diet and exercise. That’s the nature of totalitarianism. The king just wants his taxes. He leaves your soul to the church. The totalitarian demands your soul and your sword, in addition to your property. That gives him license to boss you around about your diet. After all, you are responsible to the state and the state is responsible to you, like a violent mother hen.
John Derbyshire’s latest Taki column is on amendments he would like to make to the Constitution. It’s a take off on the book written by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Stevens would like to repeal the Second Amendment. John would like to add a bunch of things to address the abuses that bug him the most. I don’t think his list is intended to be taken seriously. It’s just a handy list of grievances.
The “next constitution” is a topic I think about a lot, not because I am plotting a revolution or expect one. We do seem to be heading for an end of cycle moment, but how that plays out is a mystery to me. Maybe we are headed to World War III. Who knows? The way things end is almost always a surprise to everyone involved, even though the signs are all around them.
I don’t know, but what comes next will be a response to what went wrong. That’s always the way it goes. The Constitution was a reflection of the Founders reading of the recent history of Europe. Much of their concern was the abuses they knew first hand and that’s what they tried to address. Whoever is left after the great upheaval that ends this age will do the same and address the problems of this age.
With that in mind, here’s my list:
1)Clean Up Past Mistakes: The first change is to eliminate the amendments 13 through 27, except 25, which seems sensible. The Civil War Amendments have resulted in so much abuse they are not repairable. The 16th Amendment is another area of abuse. The 17th has been a disaster, knocking the pins from under the balance of powers. The rest are just reflections of silly fads, for the most part.
2) You Vote Where You Were Born: One of the great abuses in recent times has been people moving from one state that is dysfunctional to a well run state. Instead of learning from their new neighbors, the new comers start voting for the same degenerates that destroyed their home state. This amendment is aimed at fixing that problem. If someone from Massachusetts moves to New Hampshire, they still vote in their home state, if their home state will allow it.
The children of that person, assuming they were born in the new state, will vote in the new state. This also solves the problem of foreigners moving here and then voting for crazy people. I would also be amenable to a twenty year waiting period as well. You are on probation for 20 years then you get voting rights.
3)No Federal Debt: The systematic borrowing by the Federal government has led to a mountain of abuses. If taxes had to be raised to pay for government, we would have a lot less government. The last half century has seen the massive growth of the government at all levels fueled by debt. Government debt has also fueled the explosion of the financial sector and all of its abuses.
To address this problem, borrowing would only be permitted in times of war – declared wars against real countries. No more wars against concepts. The ban on debt would also extend to things like pensions. Any promise to pay beyond the term of the current Congress would be invalid. This means the government is a pay as you go enterprise, thus eliminating one route of subversion.
4) All Income Taxed At 12%: The last century has seen Congress auctioning off tax breaks for campaign cash to the point where the tax code is unintelligible. Government needs to be financed and the only source of revenue will be a fixed levy on all income to individuals. No business taxes. No tariffs. Nothing but the 12% tax, which will apply to all income regardless of source. The benefit is it limits the size of the state to the size of the economy. More important, it removes a source of corruption that is at the heart of all forms of socialism.
5)Term Limits: All citizens will be limited to ten years of Federal checks. One of the great abuses today is this army of people living off the tax payer. The government needs employees, but it should not be a career. Putting a ten year cap clears out the vast army of loafers, but it also clears out the political class. They have to get jobs in the dreaded private sector. I’d exempt the military and post office. In all likelihood the workaround would be a shift from a civilian workforce to contractors, but that’s OK. The point is to remove the government as an employer of first resort.
The language would be key, as the weasels that seek to live off the state are good at twisting the meaning of words. Inevitably, they would find new ways to abuse the system. No set of arrangements will outlast the endurance of the parasite class. Like the poor, they will always be with us. But, the Founders created a system that served us pretty well for 100 years. Lincoln drove a stake through it and subsequent generations finished it off, but it staggered on for another 75 years after Lincoln.
The Founders addressed what they knew. The French Revolution had yet to reveal the frightening new danger facing civilization. They can be excused for thinking the excesses of the French Revolution were temporary. The republic they created was designed to arrest the abuses of the past. They simply had no way of anticipating the tidal wave of sewage that was about to wash over Western Civilization. This virulent suicide cult we call Liberalism in America was unimaginable in the 18th century. The constitutions of the 21st century will have to deal with it.
In post-reality America, this will be the dominant story of 2014. Even the coming election will not get the same level of coverage. In fairness to the press, it probably should be the dominant story. After all, this will be the first time a billionaire member of The Tribe will be stripped bare in public. All of our rich and tall black people are upset with him. Magic Johnson, a very rich and tall black person, is angry. LeeBong James, currently the most famous tall black guy in America, wants Sterling banished. The comically illiterate Stephen A. Smith wants the tall wealthy black employees of Sterling to boycott their next game. It’s a Mandingo revolt!
All joking aside, it says something about the state of the nation when the ramblings of a cuckolded old weirdo, apparently in some sort of spat with his paramour, makes national news. As I’m fond of saying, race is all about piety with the Left. It is how they get to tell one another how much they hate America and how much they really hate white people. Hotbeds of racial piety like New England practically glow in the dark they are so white, while allegedly backward places like Georgia have large and growing black populations. On the Left, they talk like MLK and live like the KKK.
There’s another piece to this. How in the world did TMZ get this? Obviously, Sterling did not send this to TMZ. California is an all-party consent state. In order to record a telephone conversation all parties must agree. Without consent, the recording is illegally retained and TMZ is aiding and abetting a criminal act. In a sane and rational society, the authorities will have arrested the reporter and his editor at this point. They have confessed to taking possession of an illegally obtained recording.
It seems to me that one of the reforms that will come downstream is tougher laws regarding communications and privacy. Sterling may be an old bigot, but he has a right to privacy. He made these statements with an expectation that they would remain between him and this woman. In a nation of laws, she and the TMZ people would be cooling their heels in the can right now. They would also be liable for all damages resulting from the public revelations.
The other very strange thing is why in the world would someone with such disdain for blacks buy a basketball team? Basketball has been the game of black people for fifty years now. When Sterling bought the team, he had to know he was going to spend a lot of time around black people. His team president was black for many years. I get the sense that Sterling is a very weird man. Being a billionaire lets him get away with being weird to a point and we may reached that point.
Another entertaining aspect of this is how The Left immediately moved to show he must be a “Republican” and a “Conservative.” It’s like how so-called conservatives claim Democrats ruined cities like Detroit. Just as no one is allowed to notice that blacks commit a lot of crime, no one is allowed to notice that all the NBA owners are Jewish, while all of the players are black. The NBA is the future our masters imagine is plausible on planet earth.
A big part of radical politics is the public display of piety. Members of the Left have a habit of displaying their piety in the same way women display charms on a bracelet. They make a big deal of letting everyone know they have a gay friend or a black friend. They don’t think of these people as people, of course. They are props, charms to hang on their bracelet that they rattle in public to signal to everyone they are a pious person.
Way back in the Bush years, liberals all claimed to know a moderate Muslim, who was like a suburban white guy, just a Muslim. It was hilarious how these otherwise irreligious people suddenly turned into Muslim scholars. They still hated Christians, but they were now experts on the Koran. They just knew that Islam was great. Proof was their imaginary Muslim friends and co-workers.
They never read the Koran and most likely had no Muslim acquaintances. It was just a public act of piety. They needed that charm on their bracelet. The funny part is they all repeated the same claims, as if they were reading from a script. Since these people read the same narrow set of website and watch the same news programs, it is no surprise they make the same arguments, sing the same songs and read the same lines from the catechism.
In the homosexual marriage debate, every liberal friends suddenly sprouted homosexual friends. The fact that the supply of homosexuals was far outstripped by the claims never came up. Unsurprisingly, there was no talk about the Muslim friends who just a few years ago were allegedly confirming all of the claims of the Left. The prominent charms on the piety bracelet were all gay all day.
Now we are seeing Ukrainians turn up in conversation. On the one hand, many leftists are Jewish and have family roots in this part of the world leads to an obsession with Russia and the old Pale of Settlement. On the other hand, the gentiles now need to feel like experts on this new thing. More important, they need to personalize it, so all of a suddenly their gay friend is out and their Ukrainian friend is in.
Every society has its mythologies. The American founding myth is that the country was founded by people looking for religious freedom. It is certainly true that many of the original settlers were religious fanatics, but the Constitution was written by rich guys who financed the Revolutionary War. It’s why the Constitution is mostly about protecting private property and commerce. The men running America in the 18th century were property holders and a merchants. For them, religious liberty was as much about taking religion off the table as any idealistic notions of liberty. But, we still teach kids in school about the Pilgrims, even making some of them black and Latino to be inclusive.
Another enduring myth in America is the people have a say in the running of the country. There’s little evidence to back this up, but it makes for a nice myth. It keeps the peace. The proof of this is the last thirty or so years. If you go back to 1980, the Republicans have been the majority party for 16 years and the Democrats for 18 years. If the polls are correct, the GOP will tie the score here with the next election. At the end of Obama’s term, both parties will have split the White House evenly.
Over that period, taxes as a share of GDP have changed very little, a percentage or two one way or the other. What has changed is who pays how much. Middle class tax rates have remained fairly static, while lower income taxes have disappeared and rates at the top declined. The rich have been made subject to new taxes and have seen many of their shelters disappear so the net result is the tax burden on Americans has changed little. The spending has gone up every year, regardless of who is in charge.
The point being that regardless of the party in charge, the polices remain the same. The counter is that the people like this stasis, but that easily shot down. The people have never favored ObamaCare, yet it passed and will never be overturned. It is also why, despite widespread opposition across all demographics, amnesty will probably be passed this summer. No one in charge cares about the voters.
A bipartisan overhaul of immigration, considered dead in the water just a few weeks ago, is not only alive, according to the House Republican leading efforts to broker a deal — it’s gaining steam.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., told CQ Roll Call that pro-rewrite calls earlier this week from two Illinois Republicans, Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Aaron Schock, recent comments from Speaker John A. Boehner, combined with a rash of immigration rallies and protests across the nation in recent days, are indications that momentum has shifted back to those hoping to implement an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws this year.
Diaz-Balart, a major player in ongoing efforts to produce a bill that could balance Republican demands for border security with Democratic calls for legal status for the undocumented, said a solution is closer than ever.
“I think we finally have the policy right,” he said in a phone interview. “I think we have figured out a way to secure, to have border and interior security, holding the administration accountable for the enforcement … forcing the administration to enforce the law whether they want to or not. And I think we figured out a way to deal with the folks that are here in a way that is fair — fair, by the way, to those in the legal system … who are doing everything legally, and also deals with the folks that are here in a way that is fair and reasonable. And adheres, strictly adheres, to the rule of law.
“So I think we finally have the policy right. And what we’re finding is more and more people out there as they’re seeing it, different aspects of the policy, are starting to say, ‘Hey, that is something that makes sense.’”
Diaz-Balart said he thinks they’re close to a deal that can pass both chambers.
“It is as close as we have ever been. It is still a big, big, heavy lift,” he said. “I think we’re going to get there.”
The Florida lawmaker’s optimism comes as the immigration overhaul, declared dead by pundits and politicians alike earlier this year, is back in the headlines. Boehner, speaking at a Rotary Club luncheon in Ohio, doubled down on his support for an overhaul and openly mocked those in the Republican Conference who have dismissed immigration proposals as “amnesty.”
The reason, of course, is two fold. One is the Cult likes new citizens from authoritarian hell holes like those in South America. These little brown people don’t mind working in the field and living in tin shacks. More important, they never question the big man in the big house on the hill. Those rowdy white people from Northern Europe make bad subjects so the Democrats, the political wing of the CML, favor open borders.
The GOP, on the other hand, just likes being bribed. Boehner is stuffing his pockets with money from the Billionaire Boys Club to push amnesty. This post from Steve Sailer makes clear who is against whom. When all the rich people are for something, there’s no stopping it. They have no qualms about handing traitors like John Boehner their pieces of silver. To them, it is pocket change. For Boehner, it is an easy way to get rich.
One of the things you learn as you travel around this world of ours is that people are not all the same. Way back in the olden thymes, our school teachers had just picked up Cultural Marxism and were preaching to us about how people everywhere were the same. I recall learning the word “ethnocentrism” in the fourth grade. We were about to learn about Japan and India and the teacher spent an hour telling us about how not to laugh at the weird things we were about to learn. That’s close to half a century now for our ruling fanatics to scream epithets against reality. Yet, reality is still here.
Race and culture are just stubborn things and will not yield to wishful thinking. Although I identify as African-American, my ancestors having left the dark continent 50,000 years ago, I am white. I’m very white. Other white people assume I am white and of the white culture. Black people make the same assumption. It is not that everyone is racist. It is that they have eyes and notice things like skin color. People also notice that, the occasional Oreoand Wigger notwithstanding, that skin color tracks closely with race and culture in America.
A good example of this is the film Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp. Until last night, I had never heard of the movie or knew much about the man. I am a fan of true crime so I am familiar with notorious criminals of all races. People find it odd that I can recall the names of obscure ghetto gangsters, but every man has his hobbies. Not only was I not very familiar with Mr. Slim, I had no idea he played such a big role in the culture of black America. Here’s the trailer:
Documentaries about people long after they are gone are usually full of lies.The director is not going to have a bunch of people on-screen saying they never heard of the subject of the documentary. Instead they find people willing to say they share the director’s passion for the subject. Still, according to Wiki, Slim’s books sold millions of copies in the 1970’s, exclusively to black readers. Yet, few white people have ever heard of him or hold “pimping” in the same regard as black Americans.
That last bit is an important takeaway. The Left can rattle on about racism all they like, but people have eyes and they see things. Black people are covetous of their culture, black culture. They don’t want it thrown into the diversity blender. They want their heroes and antiheroes. Iceberg Slim is not an “American” here. Most Americans have never heard of him. He is a black hero, unique to black culture.
It is why being authentically black looms so large for successful black entertainers, sports stars and politicians. Snoop Dogg and Chris Rock live like the Clevers but they pretend to live in the ghetto. I’m more gangster than those two phonies, but they have to “keep it real” and pretend to be ghetto whenever the cameras are rolling. Otherwise, they are not authentically black and will lose their audience.
That said, your culture is not getting very far if you insist on celebrating social pathologies as if they were cultural achievements. Much of American culture these days is exactly that, a celebration of the base and the crude. One television show after another is holding up the riff-raff and carny freaks as role models. Snoop Dogg got very rich pimping the nation’s youth out like whores. For most of human history entertainers were treated as scum, pushed to the fringe of society. Today they are in charge, telling us about the greatness of a ghetto pimp.
Today I stopped for a sandwich at the local bagel shop. It is a treat I have maybe once or twice a month. Usually there’s a pretty little blond at the counter, but she was hustling tables this morning. A new girl was handling takeout. I’m assuming she is a lesbian due to the lip ring, boys jeans, plain hair and sports bra. For whatever reason, lesbians like to try and hide their boobs. I’m sure there is more nuance to lesbian dress codes, but as a non-lesbian, I only notice the basics. The other thing that seems standard with lesbians is the sour look. They always look sad.
Are there happy lesbians? I’m reminded of this classic from Steve Sailer. Re-reading it, I get the sense unhappiness is woven throughout the lesbian lifestyle. It is, after all, a narrow subculture that has never enjoyed the popularity with elite culture that we see with male homosexuality. The typical lesbian is ignored by popular culture. I would imagine that makes the sub-culture of lesbianism more difficult. The overall exclusivity of the group probably explains some of the surliness as well as the strict dress code.
When roughly 1-in-100 are a potential sex-partner, life can be quite lonely.
I also wonder if the biology is more the issue than social pressure. Homosexuals have much higher drug and alcohol abuse. They have very high suicide rates. Violence between homosexuals is also much higher than between heteros. Lesbians, according to crime figures, are twice as likely to be a victim of domestic violence as hetero women. That’s a staggering number. When you look at divorce rates, it’s rather clear that homosexuals should not bother with marriage. Their rates of divorce are astronomical. Lesbians are the least likely to remain “married.” All of this points to a population of uncommonly miserable people.