Saturday, June 23, 2012

Not All Democrats Are Lemmings

The first time I had heard of Peter Franchot was back in the late eighties during his unsuccessful run to oust Representative Connie Morella from Maryland’s 8th Congressional District.  Though Connie Morella was not conservative enough for my tastes, she was a classy lady, and I was glad she survived the challenge at the time..  After Franchot's loss to Morella, he subsequently faded from my memory.

But Mr. Franchot has been in the news much more as of late, and I am starting to like what I see. As a member of Maryland’s House of Delegates, he was an ardent campaigner against legalizing slot machines in Maryland, believing that the social costs of increased crime and broken families would far outweigh any (illusive) revenue gains.  Though he was unsuccessful, I believe Mr. Franchot has been and will continue to be proven right.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Reid to the Rescue!

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I saw Senator Harry Reid being interviewed the other night on Fox News' "On the Record with Greta van Susteren".  The illustrious majority leader of the world’s greatest deliberative body seemed quite subdued, saddened by recent events, and he was considering legislation to remedy the situation. 

What could have put him in such a somber mood?  Was it perhaps the out of control deficit of about $16 trillion, exceeding the gross domestic product of the USA?  Maybe it was the highly classified intelligence leaks, which people on both sides of the aisle agree have severely damaged our national security?  Or maybe it is the increasingly disappointing employment numbers in light of the stalled economic “recovery”?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Corny Capitalism II

It was about a year ago that I published a post entitled Corny Capitalism, which discussed the advertising efforts of the Corn Farmer’s Coalition and other associations.  Their form of advertising is obviously not an effort to get people to buy their product.   Their target audience is not individual consumers, but rather elected and bureaucratic officials, with the hope of influencing law, policy or regulations to favor their industry.

Well, they are at it again.  Huge wall murals and floor decals are again gracing Washington’s Union Station and informing me and my  fellow commuters that:

  •  95% of all corn farms in America are family owned.
  • America’s corn farmers are by far the most productive in the world, growing 20% more corn per acre than any other nation.
  • An acre of corn removes 8 tons of harmful greenhouse gas, more than that produced by your car annually.  (Source: EPA)
  • America’s corn farmers exported $10 billion worth of corn last year – one of the few American products with a trade surplus. (Source: USDA)
  • More than 30% of U.S. farm operators are women. (Source: USDA)

And on and on it goes.  It kind of makes you want to go out and buy a bushel of corn, doesn’t it?  No, I don’t think that is their intent.  Their website makes it abundantly clear that the target audience is policy makers, not consumers of silver queen sweet corn in the summer time:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

GSA: Do As I Say And Not As I Do

It was in back April when the stories of GSA waste, fraud and abuse started breaking, the most infamous among them being the $823,000 boondoggle to Las Vegas for 300 employees of GSA’s Western Regions, a convention to engage in “team building”.  It is old news by now. 

The GSA made the headlines again in the last couple of days, this time with revelations that work-at-home employees had somehow managed to rack up $750,000 in travel expenses over a nine month period.   This was even too much for Jeff Neely, the former head of the GSA’s Pacific Rim Region and the infamous mastermind behind the kumbaya fest in Las Vegas.