Saturday, November 09, 2013

Things People Blame the Jews for, Volume VI: Energy Speculation

One of my new practice groups at the firm (see my shiny new bio!) is energy, an area which is quite new to me. I spoke to a partner who described how you can appraise how senior someone is in the energy law field by asking them "where does electricity come from" -- my answer, as of now, is: "the wall."

This is a shame, though, because as a Jew, energy markets (and energy speculation) are apparently my reason for existence in Washington. Here's Texe Marrs (there's a name!) with the lowdown []:
They’re doing it again! Three years ago, two Rothschild-owned Wall Street banks—Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley—artificially drove the price of oil up to $142 a barrel, and the American economy collapsed. One year later, the price had fallen to $32 per barrel—and the oil companies were still making money, (They bring it out of the ground for a puny $4 per barrel!)

Now, Rothschild's Wall Street manipulators are back in business. For weeks now, oil gasoline demand has actually decreased. Nevertheless, the Wall Street criminals are driving the price of oil up through the roof on the oil futures market—which they own! That’s right, they own the commodities future exchanges!

And here’s what else you need to know:

1. President Obama is colluding with these bums. His Fed Reserve (with Jewish chairman Bernanke) gave 73 billion dollars in “loans” to Libya and Gaddafi. But Gaddafi’s oil goes to France, not the U.S.A.!

2. Obama’s Treasury Secretary (the Jew Geithner) gave a two billion dollar “loan” to Petrobras, the Brazilian oil giant, to drill in the Atlantic, off the coast of Brazil. Surprise: Brazil’s oil goes primarily to Red China and India, not the U.S.A.!

3. Obama’s Marxist EPA and Energy Department hassles U.S. oil drillers with a blizzard of regulations—all to intentionally force Americans to buy foreign oil owned by Rothschild and other Israel and Jewish billionaires. This in spite of the fact that the U.S. oil reserves are greater than Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, and all the rest of the world’s nations combined.

What the environmental crazies and Obama plan is for the price of gasoline to shoot up to $6.00, even to $10.00 per gallon. They think that Americans will be forced to drive less and thus their Global Warming scam will be enhanced.

4. Fidel’s Cuba and Red China are drilling new oil wells in international waters off of Florida, but Obama says “No!” to American drillers.

5. Iraq’s abundant oil is being shipped by oil pipeline through Israel to tankers sitting off the coasts of Gaza and Lebanon and is going directly to Red China. That’s right, Rothschild’s Israeli partners have been given—yes, given!—all of Iraq’s oil. They’re making a mint selling it to the Communists in Beijing. Remember when Dick Cheney promised us that the invasion and occupation of Iraq wouldn’t cost Americans a dime, because Iraq’s oil would pay for it? Well, now you and I see what rotten, filthy liars these politicians are!
If there's one thing a billionaire (Jewish or otherwise) loves, it's Marxism. And if there are two places Jews have infinite sway, they're Iraq and Saudi Arabia

UPDATE: Somebody must have forwarded this shocking hot take to Guatemalan activists protesting energy prices there.

Who Cares About Deficits?

I've been meaning to welcome my old debate teammate (and very, very technically, former co-blogger) Emily Mirengoff to the blogosphere. She's been writing an ongoing series on education that is well-worth your time.

Her blog is titled "A Moderate Mindset", and last month she put up a post entitled "A Moderate Solution to the Government Shutdown." I, too, have sometimes written on the moderate label, a characterization I'm sure Emily would find laughable (in my defense, see my "The Moderator's Voice" post, where I discuss how I reconcile my currente leftist beliefs with what I take to be the virtues of "moderation" -- I think she might view it with a surprising level of agreement).

In any event, here were the counters of her proposal:
On the Obamacare issue, the Republicans are dead wrong. The law passed; they were unable to overturn it; and they shouldn't be holding the budget hostage in retaliation.

On the debt ceiling issue, the Democrats have spiraled completely out of control. Below is a video of a Democrat who agrees with me. He may look familiar to you; he’s a political rising star named Senator Barack Obama.


So here’s the compromise: President Obama agrees to institute a real debt ceiling–and actually adheres to it by cutting down government spending–and in return, the Republicans abandon their doomed anti-Obamacare campaign. It would truly be an astounding day for the U.S. government: Both parties acting reasonably! Compromise! The government re-opening!
Okay, from one erstwhile moderate to another, let's rap.

On the one hand, we have Republicans unreasonably holding the country hostage while they engage in futile efforts to try to block the healthcare law. They should knock this off, and that would be their side of the compromise. Now, a substantial part of the "problem" here isn't that Republicans oppose the Affordable Care Act. That's their prerogative! It's that they're engaging in extreme levels of hostage taking to substitute for the fact that they are not, currently, in a position to repeal the ACA. I take it that Emily is not proposing that Republicans not try to overturn the ACA if in the future they happened to regain control of Congress and the Executive Branch (such a promise would be unreasonable and entirely unenforceable in any event). So the Republican side of the compromise would be "stop trying to repeal Obamacare until you actually are able to repeal Obamacare." That's not nothing, given that the ongoing GOP temper tantrum on this issue is doing real damage to the country, but you can imagine why Democrats wouldn't exactly be leaping for joy over it.

On the other side, Democrats are supposed to accede to spending cuts in order to bring the deficit under control. The "Democrats have spiraled completely out of control" on the debt, and the way to fix it is spending cuts. We might begin by quibbling with the notion that Democrats have not concerned themselves with deficits -- tough to swing, given that deficits have been slashed dramatically during Obama's tenure in office. But since we're still running a deficit, debts continue to accumulate, and the debt ceiling remains a problem. To the extent we care about reducing our debt load, more steps need to be taken.

The real question is, why is this a "Democratic" sacrifice? The answer is that, somewhat strangely, Emily says we should reduce our deficit level solely by reference to spending cuts. But that is only one way to skin the cat -- another way of reducing deficits, of course, is by raising additional revenue.

Put another way, let's say we posit that Republicans care about deficits and Democrats don't. Republicans would demand steps for deficits to be reduced. Democrats wouldn't be particularly interested because (per stipulation) they don't care about deficits. And they'd be concretely adverse to cutting spending on social programs they value. But Democrats don't really have any objection to raising taxes on the wealthy, or removing the privileged and distorted position capital gains enjoy vis-a-vis other forms of income in our tax code. So presumably, if what Republicans cared about was "deficits", this would be an easy agreement to hammer out: high-income taxes are raised, deficits go down, everyone is happy.

This, of course, is not the terms of the debate. As Jon Chait has noted, the Republican position on deficits is that they would do anything to reduce the debt load, except contemplate any increase in taxes whatsoever. It is a very impressive thing that the GOP has managed to stake out this position -- rejecting even 10:1 spending cut/tax increase propositions -- while still convincing people that their primary concern is with deficits, rather than with cutting spending. And not just any government spending, either: As we learned from the Farm Bill debacle, the real object is slashing government spending that helps poorer Americans, demanding slashes to food stamps while fighting bitterly to maintain subsidies to wealthy agricultural producers (even the National Review found this to be beyond the pale). Certain spending -- for example, defense spending, or corporate subsidies -- doesn't seem to be problematic to the Republican Party at all. Hell, the Affordable Care Act reduces deficits -- yet for some reason this does not endear it to supposedly deficit-conscious Republican congressfolk. Deficit reduction is, at most, a tertiary issue -- perhaps a happy side-effect of depriving impoverished Americans of food, but nowhere near as important as insuring that income earned via capital are taxed at half the rate of earnings won through labor.

I should say that while I obviously oppose these Republican policy priorities substantively, I'm not really bothered by the fact that these are their priorities as opposed to deficit-cutting. Republicans have policy objections to government spending money on healthcare, food stamps, unemployment insurance, and other programs that primarily benefit poorer Americans. If, as a consequence, deficits are also reduced, that's a nice benefit, but it is a bonus, not the primary motivator, and where there are available deficit-reduction opportunities that don't cohere to these priorities (such as raising taxes, or, for that matter, passing the Affordable Care Act), they'll oppose them. Democrats, for their part, support these sorts of programs and wish to expand them. While they'd probably be willing to mitigate their impact on the deficit by passing higher taxes on wealthy Americans, that isn't their priority either and if that avenue is unavailable they'd rather keep the programs and expand the deficit. All of that is perfectly fine, it just demonstrates that deficits and debt are not actually what's driving the current controversy between the parties, and so bootstrapping the debt ceiling to the argument doesn't make a lot of sense.

The real lesson we've learned, hopefully, from the past few months is that the debt ceiling isn't something to grandstand about (and I hope Barack Obama, looking back on his senatorial self, has been appropriately chastened). So my moderate proposal flowing out of the shutdown crisis is considerably simpler: abolish the debt ceiling outright.

Note I am not saying that Congress should rack up infinite deficits. But the amount of debt we incur in a given year is a product of the budget negotiated within Congress and approved by the President, and the presence of a debt ceiling doesn't change that. All the debt ceiling does is threaten a global economic meltdown whenever Congress, as is often, can't get its act together. In essence, what the debt ceiling does is say "we, Congress, cannot be trusted to pass budgets which reduce our debt load. As a consequence of that dysfunction, we will periodically put the entire world at the risk of an unnecessary massive economic calamity unless we decide to take an affirmative step to stop it." This is not sound policy, whether as a tool for reducing the debt or for anything else.

If Congress wants to incur less debt, it should achieve that through the budgetary process. We should incur as much debt (or not) as results from the negotiated balance of revenues to spending that Congress approves in its budget. If that results in too-high debt levels, then the budget should be rerenegotiated to either lower spending or increase revenues. Periodically arming, defusing, and then rearming a ticking time bomb is neither helpful nor sensible. And that lesson, hopefully, has become quite clear.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Law, Law, Everywhere There's Law

Anytime a lawyer looks at a new industry, he or she is immediately struck by just how much law there is about it. It can be quite intimidating. In order to, say, build a water treatment plant, it isn't enough to simply know how to build the plant. One has to be aware of a massive buffet of rules and regulations that govern the field -- zoning, building codes, environmental approvals, laws governing any financing -- the list goes on and on. The amount of effort it takes just to know what you need to know, let alone to actually know it, let alone to actually do it, is daunting. Good for me professionally, but daunting.

So in that sense I can be sympathetic to complaints that there is too much red tape stifling businesses. But then I think about it a little more, and I can't help but think my complaint boils down to crying that filling important social functions takes hard work. Poor us -- we'd like to be able to plan the development of a major public utility in an afternoon and then golf for the next three weeks, but we can't (thanks, Obama). And phrased that way, it feels a little ridiculous.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Things People Blame The Jews For, Volume V: Law (Schools)

I have begun my trek into the world of legal practice, but it is important to remember my roots as a legal academic. Specifically,, a Jewish legal academic. Oh, does that rub some people the wrong way []:
They’re barely two percent of the population, but research indicates that jews occupy slightly more than half of the teaching slots at America’s top ten law schools. (By ranking of U.S. News & World Report, these are: 1. Yale; 2. Stanford; 3. Harvard; 4. Columbia; 5. NYU; 6. Chicago; 7. Berkeley; 7. Michigan; 7. Pennsylvania; 7. Virginia.) The same people who give you the endless song and dance about overrepresentation of white males in every sector they haven’t yet commandeered for themselves have nepotistically positioned their racial crime syndicate to decide who becomes a power player in 21st-century AmeriKwa -- and they breathe not a word of this prodigious legal enormity to the mass public. The simple fact is, jews and people trained to think like them exercise an effective monopoly over the legal profession. In a country in which you can hardly pick your nose without counsel, that fact is grounds for some very serious thought about where we’re headed, and what’s going to be left of normal whites like you and me when we get there.

VNN researched the matter online (you can verify all the findings, the names and pictures, online at ). This was easy to do, since all these schools list their professors by name. It is clear from the very look and feel of these sites that the attitude of the folks training our top lawyers is the same as the jewish business owner who said, “I only hire jews, women, and gays.” Normal white males need not apply, and the ones who do attend these schools, are either self-hating liberals to start with, or bent that way after Prof. Selznik’s “words mean what they have to” course. Simply look at the graphics used by these top ten schools to see the future this type envisions: women and coloreds and jews, with nary a white male to be found. This is the utopia the jew prepares for our race. When they say “abolish,” they mean it. White genocide is very plainly the agenda of the jews who control our law schools.
Of course, this raises tantalizing questions about my own exit from an academy that was apparently built for my own personal pleasure. Was I expelled as a dissident from the Elders' orthodoxy? One would think my anti-discrimination law focus would have kept me safe from charges of apostasy. Maybe the problem was the opposite, my lack of subtlety? Or perhaps it was random caprice -- sometimes, a random zag is the best way to throw folks off the trail. Regardless of the explanation, one can be sure it is nefarious.

Tantrum Ad

If I were a Democratic strategist tasked with running ads right now (or really, right after the shutdown), this is the one I would have run:
SCENE: Two PARENTS, a MOM and DAD stand outside a closed door. Inside, a TODDLER can be heard screaming and throwing a tantrum. The parents look at each other.

MOM: Should we say something?

DAD: I think we have to.

They enter the room. Inside, is a child's bedroom with toys reflective of Washington (e.g., a miniature Washington Monument. The toddler is revealed to be an older white man in a baby outfit featuring an elephhant -- a CONGRESSMAN.

MOM: Do you know why you're in here?

CONGRESSMAN (sullenly): No.

MOM: Yes you do. The government shut down, the debt ceiling, the constant obstruction ...

DAD: I know you oppose expanded health care access, but that's not appropriate behavior.

CONGRESSMAN [screaming]: But I hate it! I HATE IT I HATE IT I HATE IT!

[He throws the toy Washington Monument, which bounces off of MOM's chest. She closes her eyes in exasperation.]

MOM: You're in timeout until you learn how to behave yourself.

[The CONGRESSMAN resumes screaming, and both parents leave the room]

MOM: That hard.

DAD: I know, but if he's not punished, he won't learn.

Scene ends, splash screen comes up asking people to send Republicans in Washington a message
Call me any time, DCCC.