Memorial to the Left

The Left for you: A spokesman for a leading veterans organization criticized MSNBC’s Chris Hayes for arguing on his television show that that he’s “uncomfortable” describing American soldiers who died in battles as heroes.

“If Mr. Hayes feels uncomfortable, I suggest he enlist, go to war, then come home to what he expects is a grateful nation but encounters the opposite. It’s far too easy to cast stones from inexperience,” Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis told The Daily Caller on Sunday.

Hayes, a liberal writer who hosts the weekend show “Up with Chris Hayes,” said he is “uncomfortable about the word [hero] because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war.”

“I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, he said, “and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism — hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic.”

And these are the people who will stop Iran from nuking the world? 😦

“Like anorexics, who think they are grossly fat when they are very thin, the American body politic is suffering from a national version of body dysmorphia, with nearly half the country believing taxes are high, when they are comparatively and historically low.”
— Reuters global editor at large Chrystia Freeland
“I keep hearing we’re a centrist country and that candidates, after they get through their primaries, have to pivot back to the center, because that’s where we all are. And yet, you have a Republican Party that is in no way in the center, in terms of their issues. They’re clearly out of the mainstream on rolling back, on really rolling back 70 years of legislation.” — CBS’s Lesley Stahl (MRC)

The Origination Clause in Article I, Section 7 states: “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” In addition to clarity, this provision has an even greater virtue: It serves a very good purpose.

The Founding Fathers required revenue measures to originate in the House because they wanted this authority to belong to the legislative body closest to the people. Plus, the Framers wanted the larger states to enjoy the most influence on matters of taxing and spending, which is the case in the House (whose seats are allocated according to population) but not the Senate (where each state gets two seats regardless of population and smaller states have outsized influence). “This power over the purse,” James Madison explained in Federalist No. 58, “may, in fact be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has taken to thumbing his nose at this clear mandate. Recently, he publicly dismissed the Origination Clause as a “hyper-technical budget issue,” raised by his Republican opponents as “a fig leaf to hide their blatant obstruction.” The matter arose as Reid orchestrated a high-profile Senate floor debate on the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012, prior to House consideration of this or any other revenue bill. Also known as the “Buffett Rule,” the Senate measure would impose a hefty new tax on millionaires.Aware that the Republican House would no more propose new, economically debilitating taxes than Warren Buffett would voluntarily follow the rule that bears his name, Reid opted to move unilaterally. Why let a little thing like the Constitution stand in the way of making sure a red-meat, eat-the-rich proposal like this gets maximum media exposure during an election year?

It does not stop there. In its version of the legislation extending federal price controls on student loans, the Senate included a hefty tax increase — again absent the requisite House action. Then there is the Violence against Women Act, which contains a new $30 fee for immigrant visas, another Senate revenue provision that violates the Origination Clause. When House leaders uncovered this constitutional infirmity, they quickly issued a “blue slip” notification, effectively killing it.

Remarkably, as Congressional Quarterly reported, the House move “blindsided” the many constitutional illiterates in the Senate. One unnamed Senate staffer even speculated that the House’s fealty to the Constitution “may be part of some Republican plan.” This is all in keeping with how the leftist intelligentsia has viewed previous efforts to ignore the Origination Clause. The New York Times characterized one such mishap as an “arcane parliamentary mistake” the enforcement of which was designed “to block . . . everything else Mr. Reid is hoping to accomplish,”(NRO)
Private Equity Vs. Public Equity

After all, if Romney’s record in private equity is fair game, then so is Obama’s record in public equity — and that record is not pretty.

Since taking office, Obama has invested billions of taxpayer dollars in private businesses, including as part of his stimulus spending bill. Many of those investments have turned out to be unmitigated disasters — leaving in their wake bankruptcies, layoffs, criminal investigations and taxpayers on the hook for billions. Consider a few examples:

Raser Technologies. In 2010, the Obama administration gave Raser a $33 million taxpayer-funded grant to build a power plant in Beaver Creek, Utah. According to the Wall Street Journal, after burning through our tax dollars, the company filed for bankruptcy protection this year. The plant has fewer than 10 employees, and Raser owes $1.5 million in back taxes.

ECOtality. The Obama administration gave ECOtality $126.2 million in taxpayer money in 2009 for, among other things, the installation of 14,000 electric car chargers in five states. Obama even hosted the company’s president, Don Karner, in the first lady’s box during the 2010 State of the Union address as an example of a stimulus success story.

According to ECOtality’s own SEC filings, the company has since incurred more than $45 million in losses and has told the federal government: “We may not achieve or sustain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis in the future.”

Worse, according to CBS News, the company is “under investigation for insider trading,” and Karner has been subpoenaed “for any and all documentation surrounding the public announcement of the first Department of Energy grant to the company.”

Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP). The Obama administration gave NGP a $98.5 million taxpayer loan guarantee in 2010. The New York Times reported in October that the company is in “financial turmoil” and that “after a series of technical missteps that are draining Nevada Geothermal’s cash reserves, its own auditor concluded in a filing released last week that there was ‘significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.'”

First Solar. The Obama administration provided First Solar with more than $3 billion in loan guarantees for power plants in Arizona and California. According to a Bloomberg Businessweek report last week, the company “fell to a record low in Nasdaq Stock Market trading May 4 after reporting $401 million in restructuring costs tied to firing 30% of its workforce.”

Abound Solar. The Obama administration gave Abound Solar a $400 million loan guarantee to build photovoltaic panel factories. According to Forbes, in February the company halted production and laid off 180 employees.

Beacon Power. The Obama administration gave Beacon — a green-energy storage company — a $43 million loan guarantee. According to CBS News, at the time of the loan, “Standard and Poor’s had confidentially given the project a dismal outlook of ‘CCC-plus.'” Last fall, Beacon received a delisting notice from Nasdaq and filed for bankruptcy.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. A company called SunPower got a $1.2 billion loan guarantee from the Obama administration, and as of January, the company owed more than it was worth. Brightsource got a $1.6 billion loan guarantee and posted a string of net losses totaling $177 million.

And let’s not forget Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer that received $535 million in taxpayer-funded loan guarantees and went bankrupt, leaving taxpayers on the hook.

Obama has declared that all of the projects received funding “based solely on their merits.” But as Hoover Institution scholar Peter Schweizer reported in his book “Throw Them All Out,” 71% of the Obama Energy Department’s grants and loans went to “individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party.”

Collectively, these Obama cronies raised $457,834 for his campaign, and they were in turn approved for grants or loans of nearly $11.35 billion. Obama said this week that it’s not the president’s job “to make a lot of money for investors.” Well, he sure seems to have made a lot of (taxpayer) money for investors in his political machine.

The cronyism and corruption are catching up with the administration. According to Politico, “The Energy Department’s inspector general has launched more than 100 criminal investigations” related to the department’s green-energy programs.

Now the man who made Solyndra a household name says Romney’s record at Bain “is what this campaign is going to be about.” Good luck with that, Mr. President. If Obama wants to attack Romney’s alleged private-equity failures as chief executive of Bain, he’d better be ready to defend his own public-equity failures as chief executive of the United States. (IBD)

PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: This is hard to get people to do, much better, obviously, to build bridges and roads and healthcare clinics and schools. But my proposed, I actually have a serious proposal which is that we have to get a bunch of scientists to tell us that we’re facing a threatened alien invasion, and in order to be prepared for that alien invasion we have to do things like build high-speed rail. And the, once we’ve recovered, we can say, “Look, there were no aliens.”

But look, I mean, whatever it takes because right now we need somebody to spend, and that somebody has to be the U.S. government.- Liberal “economist” Paul Krugman (Newsbusters)

So let’s all have a moment of silence and on this Memorial Day when we remember those who have fallen in War, remember the Death of Common Reason and Rational Thought on the Left.

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