Patterico's Pontifications


Using His Authority And Leading The Fight To Protect

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:51 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Earlier this week, I posted about our veterans being sacrificed on the altar of green energy.

It was yet another shameful exposure of the messed up priorities of the VA.

Today we see, in spite of the current disgrace that is the VA scandal, the organization still remains clueless. And once again the public is able to witness their incredible tone-deafness.

Our Ocean is an environmental group managed by the U.S. State Department. Their mission is to save our oceans.

Our ocean today is at grave risk – and it’s not happening by accident. Human activity is the cause. Harmful fishing practices, even illegal fishing; giant garbage patches; hundreds of dead zones; and rising carbon dioxide levels – all of it threatens life under the sea. That’s the bad news. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

So, what does this have to do with the VA? Well, yesterday the VA tweeted out their support of the Our Ocean campaign. Because supporting the vets is a whole lot harder to do.

The responses are what you would expect. A sampling:

Interestingly, the State Department just announced it will be hosting an Our Ocean conference about the ecological threats facing the world’s oceans.

Not coincidentally, the conference coincides with President Obama’s announced intent to make a broad swath of the central Pacific Ocean off-limits to fishing, energy exploration and other activities. This will result in the world’s largest marine sanctuary at 782,000 square miles.

“I’m going to use my authority to protect some of our nation’s most precious marine landscapes,” Obama said in a video to participants at a State Department conference, adding that while the ocean is being degraded, “We cannot afford to let that happen. That’s why the United States is leading the fight to protect our oceans.”

It’s just great that the president seeks to use his authority to protect what is so precious to our nation. And he’s right, we cannot afford something so precious to be degraded. So, how admirable it is that he is leading the fight to protect our veterans… oceans.


Shocking News: ObamaCare Costing More Than Projected

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:43 pm

The L.A. Times (yes, the L.A. Times!) reports: Obamacare subsidies push cost of health law above projections.

The large subsidies for health insurance that helped fuel the successful drive to sign up some 8 million Americans for coverage under the Affordable Care Act may push the cost of the law considerably above current projections, a new federal report indicates.

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans who bought health coverage on the federal government’s healthcare marketplaces received government assistance to offset their premiums.

What’s that you say? A new entitlement that turns out to cost more than promised?!?!?!?!

Raise your hand if you are surprised.

JD, hand out the dunce caps to the people with their hands in the air.

IRS Has “Lost” Emails from Six More Key IRS Figures

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:01 pm

Haven’t you ever heard of multiple computer crashes?

The cynicism is overweening and could not exist in other than a leftist Administration, which can count on the media not to press the issue.

I want people to go to jail. Someone place a phone call to . . . Eric Holder.


UPDATE BY JD: Previously I asked what the likelihood was that selected emails from a specific individual for a specific time frame could just disappear. Now I would ask what the likelihood of 6 people involved in the same investigation could have their emails disappear for the same period of time?

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: When this happens, remember where you saw it first:

Guy Arrested for Benghazi Attack Has Been Hanging Out in Plain Sight for Ages

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:58 pm

Obama done caught him a terrorist. Yay! Except . . . what took so long?

Ed Morrissey has good analysis and this quote from a December HuffPo article:

While the U.S. government has so far been unable to catch Khattala, journalists haven’t had trouble locating him since shortly after the attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Last year, I wrote how both the New York Times and Reuters sat down with Khattala around the time he was first considered a suspect. In those reports — and in more recent ones — journalists have noted the disconnect between his status as a wanted man and casually meeting in public.

On Oct. 18, 2012, New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick ”spent two leisurely hours”with Khattala “at a crowded luxury hotel, sipping a strawberry frappe on a patio and scoffing at the threats coming from the American and Libyan governments.”

Reuters caught up with Khattala the same day and similarly reported that he didn’t appear overly concerned. “Sitting with a friend in the restaurant of a Benghazi hotel, the 41-year-old, sporting a red felt hat and a full salt-and-pepper beard, laughed gently,” wrote Hadeel Al Shalchi and Ghaith Shennib.

And that’s not the last time Khattala popped up in the western media. In August, CNN’s Arwa Damon spent two hours with him at a well-known hotel coffee shop in Benghazi. When asked on-air about locating Khattala, Damon said he’s “not a man who is in hiding.”

Hm. He sounds easy to find. If you care.

Allahpundit says he has been a prime suspect from the beginning and the criminal charges have been filed for nine months.

Doesn’t sound like Obama cared.

Ending the Fed Is a Free Market Solution: Part One in An Occasional Series of Posts on the Fed

Filed under: General,The Fed — Patterico @ 7:50 am

Baghdad is about to be overrun by terrorists; we have a crew of liars in the Administration; and the dollar is headed towards collapse. Let’s talk about the last, which is not in the headlines every day, but which is probably the worst of the three problems.

The situation is caused by government interference in the free market. Look at the latest manifestation of what is truly a huge and ongoing crisis: the collapse of the housing bubble. The housing bubble, recall, was actually sought after by our Keynesian economic betters like Paul Krugman, who said in 2002:

To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.

Yes, he really said that. Wish granted, Mr. Krugman. By artificially keeping interest rates low, the Fed spurred construction far beyond the market’s natural appetite. Banks rushed to provide demand to meet the supply, waiving normal loan requirements. CDOs were created to market the bad debt. All the while, banks felt secure, knowing that if (when) the bubble burst, the government would have their back. Fannie and Freddie had their wink-wink government guarantees, and the federal government and the Federal Reserve stood ready to provide billions to bail these institutions out and keep credit flowing.

But the Fed’s artificial lowering of interest rates started the whole trainwreck.

I’m reading a book in which the following insightful quote appears:

The market rate of interest provides crucial information for the smooth operation of the economy. A central bank setting interest rates is price-fixing and is a form of central economic planning. Price-fixing is a tool of socialism and destroys production. Central bankers, politicians, and bureaucrats can’t know what the proper rate should be. They lack the knowledge and are deceived by their own aggrandizement.

That quote is from a book called End the Fed. (Click through if you want to know who the author is.)

I intend to write more, as time permits, expanding on the concept of ending the Fed. I will explain the Austrian theory of the business cycle, and argue that this theory leads one to the conclusion that the Fed should be abolished. I’ll address the argument that the Fed smooths out recessions, explaining the causes of bank panics in the 1800s (hint: it’s almost always inflation created and/or aided by government policies). I’ll refute the idea that 18 recessions since the beginning of the Fed is a better track record than we had without a central bank. All that is for future posts.

But for now, just think about that quote. If you truly support the free market, you can’t support the Fed. You’re supporting price-fixing.

Let me know what you think.

P.S. I know: this is unlikely to happen right now. We’ll revisit the idea after the dollar collapses and see if you’ve changed your mind. Everything I am writing these days is geared towards the discussion we will have then.

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