Welcome, dear reader, to the most intense nightly read anywhere on the ‘sphere…BitsBlog’s Nightly Ramble
Tonight, we ramble back through time a bit.
This pic to the right… (no, the OTHER right…) was the first BitsBlog World Headquarters. A little sparse, but it was home. And a technological triumph, too. Our twin XT-10’s equipped with 20mb ST225’s were the envy of every operator in the day, but that was nothing compared to our super-fast 300 baud modem. The wire, of course ran uphill both ways…. and we LIKED it. We ran GT version 14, and Compaq DOS 3.31 and Lantastic with ARCNet cards. Internet? What’s THAT?
- I mentioned the other night that it must be the Christmas season, since the lights went up. I was wrong. Ed Rasimus over at Thunder Tales tells us his season’s first card  is in. Good stuff, and Ed’s place is always worthwhile, anyway.
- Reader Matt87 forwards me a post from IntellectualConservative…a site I wish I’d known about a few days ago when Joyner started asking about Intellectual Conservatives. Anyway; Patrick Mulligan  has a great post on the subject of the bailouts , you should pay attention to:
Government officials lecturing anyone on ethics, greed or financial responsibility is as laden with irony as the latest appropriations bill is with pork barrel spending.With the collapse of several of America’s financial institutions along with the impending doom of Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers, and the subsequent taxpayer bailouts, buyouts, loans and “stimulus packages” being pushed by both Congress and the President, renewed blame and outrage have been directed towards “corporate greed”, and corporate executives in particular. Businessmen are being served up as the very personification of avarice; the proverbial golden parachute being the ubiquitous symbol of the evils of capitalism run amok. Raging lawmakers have called for these evil fat cats to take massive pay and benefit cuts, if not lose their jobs altogether
If the government were a private company it would be too broke and uncreditworthy to continue operating. Consider: during the just-completed 2008 fiscal year, the government ran a record annual budget deficit of about 450 billion dollars; the total national debt is over 10 trillion dollars; the national debt has not declined since 1969; both the Government Accountability Office and the Office of Management and Budget have stated that the current fiscal position of the United States government is “unsustainable.” Yet who among the political class – the very managers who remorselessly oversee the financial train wreck in their own institution – has called for a pay or benefit cut for the President or Congress, let alone actually taken one? Which officials have curtailed travel by private jet, forgone their annual salary, or cancelled scheduled retreats and vacations? Certainly not Nancy Pelosi, who upon becoming Speaker of the House was granted, ostensibly for security purposes, a military C-40 “flying office” jumbo jet in which to commute back and forth from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. Certainly not Senator Chris Dodd, who received a privileged loan from now-defunct lender Countrywide Financial even as he was pontificating about Wall Street greed from his seat on the Senate banking committee.
Welll, yes, no question on any of this. But it goes deeper than this on two levels.
- The first; The companies in question are in a bad way to the exact degree government has been overseeing their operations… forcing them by way of ‘safety’ and ‘environmental’ regulation, to make cars people won’t buy, and forcing them to accept Union contracts they can’t pay for.
- The second; By accepting these loans, the auto companies are allowing even greater govenmental instrusion into their operations.
The results here are as predictable as a bad film script. As always it bottom lines at government. And lest we forget, we’re paying for all this. When this ‘bailout fever’ started, a while ago, I suggested that the government helping the banks it had regulated into their problems (Forcing loans to people who couldn’t pay the interest on them, much less the loans themselves) might not be a bad idea, assuming the government was admitting its’s culpability in the matter, paying to fix the problem and then stepping back. The government, being government, decided admitting guilt wasn’t the answer. Certainly relinquishing their chokehold on American busienss wasn’t the way to go, either, by their lights…. and that the way out was to double down on the idiocy that got us into this mess in the first place. Exactly the wrong way to go, people. And by the way, Bruce McQuain posted a vid you want to see from Fred Thompson on all of this. We’d have done well with Fred. I wonder if all this noise is indication he palns a 2012 run?
As it is, I’ll tell you this; I’m disgusted. We see the woman in charge of oversight on these bailouts is annoyed because by even HER lights, there doesn’t seem to be a coherent strategy to all these payouts. It kinda makes me wonder if actually fixing the problem is the goal of the bailouts. When you bail out a boat it’s a stopgap measure at best; water continues to leak into the thing until you actually get around to stopping the leak. What government looks to do here is to bail the boat out while making the hole… governmental involvement in the company… bigger. Forgive me, but I’m not impressed with this…. Hehe… I was about to call it a plan, but it doesn’t even qualify as that. Oh, well, you know what I mean, anyway.
Kudlow, today offers what I think a reasonable response: 
And I still believe the ultimate solution for all these problems â€” be it the carmakers, the banks, mortgages, foreclosures, or all the rest â€” is a significant pro-growth jolt for the economy. Economic growth will solve our problems. And the best way to move to a growth agenda is to lower tax rates across-the-board, including corporate taxes and individual taxes if at all possible.
Lower tax rates will boost asset values and reward successful producers and investors. That’s what we need. A $700 billion big-spending package merely moves money from the private sector to the government and then to a government-targeted bailout. That’s not growth. That won’t create new factories or new technologies or new risk-taking. Permanently lower tax rates will.
It would. But given who it is we have controlling Congress and the WH, we both know that ain’t gonna happen… they’re simply not disposed to gve up their power that easily. Even better,certainly, is the idea Boortz laid out yesterday about not taking taxes at the federal level would end up being cheaper and more effective and would certainly get things moving again. I covered this briefly in last night’s Ramble . But that’s not going to happen, either.
Frankly, I deeply fear for our country. My thought is yes, we’ve always recovered from these big government screwups and power grabs before. Reagan got us back from Carter’s idiocy, for example. What we’re seeing now, though, is record- level idiocy. Nothing in our history even comes close; even Nixon’s wage and price freezes. I worry, because I wonder what the non-recoverabilty threshold is. Why do I get the feeling that edge is about to be tested? And what form will the inevitable backlash, take?
- Ya know, Senator Reid, we might not be interested in smelling you anymore, either. If there’s another statement of yours that gives us a picture of the contempt you hold the American people in, I don’t know what it might be. Did we really pay $621MUSD so you didn’t have to smell us? You and your horse, too, pal.
- Oil’s down again.  Gas is down to a buck eighty five or so average. Gee… remember when the left was accusing Bush of arranging huge profits for ‘big oil’? Has anyone seen a story on the profit margins they’re making now? I’m willing to bet that on a percentage basis, they’ve not substantially changed. Which of course is why the Dinosaur media hasn’t made a mention of it. Such things would expose the charges that the run up in price was all oil company profits as a lie. And Obama is quietly shelving the idea of a supertax on oil companies, because pumpt prices are going down… without ever mentioning that their profits haven’t gone down.
- Look, let’s establish this on the opening bell, shall we? Ron Howard has turned himself into a first level twit.  Wanna help the environment in one fell swoop, Ronnie? Stop wasting our air.
- OK, now that, as David mentioned last night, Chambliss has won , I wonder… the Franken thing will continue to play out, I think… but not with the same intensity. At least, that would be my guess. As I remarked earlier today, I find the 175 new ballots, and the timing of their discovery suspicious at best. The smell of Democrat Party fraud is all over this thing.
- Remember how we were told the internet wouldn’t be regulated? Yeah, right . Here again, comes a government agency looking to expand it’s power.
- I commented yesterday on Plaxico Burris. Since then I’ve begun to detect a lot of idiocy on all of this, mostly being driven by gun phobia. Look, gang, the issue here isn’t the gun. The issue is the guy got stoopid.