Keep an eye out for an amazing documentary on CNBC called “House of Cards.” (It will be showing numerous times this weekend.) David Faber narrates a two-hour program on the current financial-economic recession and its origins in mortgages, securitized debt instruments, the dishonest or incompetent rating of those instruments, and governmental incompetence. Greed, fraud, stupidity, and recklessness are all on display. It is an excellent program that is a nice introduction to what happened to our economy.
To me one person stood out above all the rest: “The Maestro,” Alan Greenspan, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman. Watching Greenspan make excuses for his non-stop money printing in the early 2000s makes it clear that this guy had no business being in that job. He essentially admits that he made no effort to control the Fed’s credit expansion because it wasn’t what the political powers in Washington wanted. This is the problem with having a politician, like Greenspan, as Fed Chief. The Fed was designed to be insulated from political decision-making; his job was to make the tough choices and control credit. Instead, he threw up his hands and cranked up the presses. Disgraceful.
Economists from the Austrian School knew Greenspan’s policies were dangerous. Read this before-the-crash assessment of his Fed tenure by Stefan Karlsson from the Ludwig von Mises Institute website. Greenspan’s philosophy was not deregulatory. No group of economists is more deregulatory than the Austrian School, but they are also committed to price stability and tight money. Don’t be fooled if someone tells you Greenspan was a conservative; he wasn’t.
The House passed the Stimulus bill with all Republicans and 7 Democrats voting against it (except for two Republican absences who would have been NO and one Democrat, Rep. Lipinski, (D-Mich.) who voted PRESENT)
The Democrats voting yes (or switching from the last vote):
5 switched NO to YES: Reps. Boyd (D-Fla.), Cooper (D-Tenn.), Ellsworth (D-Ind.), Kanjorski (D-PA) and Kratovil (D-Md.)
6 stayed NO: Rep. Bright (D-Ala.), Griffith (D-Ala.), Minnick (D-Id.), Peterson (D-Minn.), Shuler (D-N.C.) and Taylor D-Miss.)
1 switched YES to NO: DeFazio (D-Or.)
Representative Boehner gave an impassioned speech (no crying though) on the House floor, you can watch it here
The Senate will vote at 5:30 pm tonight on the Stimulus Conference Report. The vote will be on a motion to waive the budget point of order (must achieve 60 votes) and under the order the vote on the motion to waive will count as final passage of the conference report.
Keep in mind this vote will be held open for a bit in order for all Members to have a chance to record their vote.
“An Alternative Stimulus,” Marc Vander Maas, Acton’s Power Blog Today, Congress is voting on the compromised Stimulus Bill, and the Acton Institute sent a staffer out to see if she could come up with a plan. Watch the video to find out more.
“Requiem for a Republic,” Michael Reagan, Townhall.com Michael Reagan makes a strong point that his father would be rolling in his grave over the travesty of the Stimulus Bill. Throughout the article, Reagan makes such strong points about the excessive and wasteful government spending.
Earlier this week we took a look at Planned Parenthood’s burgeoning abortion industry. While the nation’s overall induced abortion count is declining, Planned Parenthood’s is soaring. The chart below adds two more trend lines, the number of “emergency contraceptive” kits (a.k.a. Plan B, morning after pills) distributed and the number of adoption referrals made each year by all Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide. Plan B distribution is brisk, even soaring, and if abortions are being averted by this lucrative tactic, it has yet to show up in the agency’s own clinical data.
As you can see regarding the adoption referrals, you can hardly see the adoption referrals. The bright yellow line that crawls along the x axis of the graph is Planned Parenthood’s minuscule involvement in this life-giving option. Roughly 120 babies die in their perimeter for every one that gets a chance at adoption placement. Families are unplanned, not formed, through this agency.
Washington, D.C.’s regular listeners to Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” talk show got a rude awakening this week. First, there was nothing but static on AM 570, WTNT. Then, the former cabinet member and former “Drug Czar” was unceremoniously deposed and replaced by the egregious Mancow. Those who follow Bennett online or on XM/SIRIUS, as well as Bennett’s enthusiastic national audience were able yesterday to hear Dr. Scott Teitelbaum-an internationally respected authority on the hazards of drug use. Dr. Teitelbaum warns about the new potency of marijuana. Listeners to Mancow heard him mooing about boycotting Kellogg’s. He’s mad at the cereal giant because they dropped Michael Phelps from their advertising after the Olympic swimmer was caught on camera inhaling from a bong.
Mancow may be more in tune with the temper of these “high times,” it should be noted. “Harm reduction” is the current buzz-word on handling the drug problem. Even PBS travelogues-which used to be a child-safe zone-have been enlisted to soften up public opinion. In a documentary on Switzerland this week, viewers got to see pot-smokers happily sharing parks with hard-working Swiss. Switzerland’s laissez faire approach to drug use was described as “civilized.” Amid views of the beautiful cathedrals and Medieval streets of Bern, we were treated to the sight of drug addicts getting clean needles from openly available vending machines. Men’s rooms-not your usual travel fare on TV-were shown with blue lights. That’s so those who mainline drugs cannot find their veins and will stay out of the loo. What PBS did not show were the pictures brought back to us at FRC over a decade ago, photos that depict the other side of the soft-focus drug-users paradise offered up PBS. In those photos, we could see young men and women, lying on railroad tracks, their eyes turned back in their heads. Unconscious, overdosed, their arms with drug needles still protruding, their life’s blood spattered all over them. It’s not a “Heidi” portrait of the Alpine republic; it’s a vision of hell. Harm reduction is a euphemism for the real message that the Swiss government is sending to its young people tragically addicted to drugs: “We don’t care if you drop dead. In fact, we will even help you.”
By replacing Bill Bennett with Mancow, the owners of WTNT are also replacing Bennett’s cerebral “NPR for our side” with a braying know nothing. There are other ways to kill conservative talk radio than federal regulation. You can banish Bennett’s brand of intelligence, candor and goodwill and call it a business decision. Maybe it’s the station owners’ blue light special.
“Harkin: We need the Fairness Doctrine,” Ed Morrissey, Hot Air First, it was Sen. Stabenow, and now, it is Sen. Tom Harkin trying to bring back the Fairness Doctrine…who will be the next to step up to the plate? Another prime example of the wasteful legislation that the Liberals in Congress are attempting to push through.