Archive for the ‘economy’ Category

Reality: I’m going to tear down your safe space, I shall smash it with glee.

Cartman: Who is that?

Reality: You can’t stop me from getting inside. I am cold and dark and my name…is reality!

South Park: Safe space , song: In my safe space 2015

I’m rather amused at the left’s insistence that the primary problem they are having is messaging.

That because there are two primary factors hurting their messaging.

The first is reality.

It doesn’t matter getting a standing O at the Kennedy Center if people are paying twice as much for Gas as there were a few month before and their grocery bills are though the roof even as the supply chain falls apart.

Nor does it help when people you have cheered as heroes just a year or two ago (Cuomo) end up either resigning or being fired for offences against decency.

Furthermore it’s hard to ignore rampant crime to the point where local TV stations are giving advice on how not to be carjacked.

All of these things are being actually experienced by actual voters, primarally in actual blue cities. The reality is so pronounced that it’s very hard to spin it away.

And I’ve not even mentioned Afghanistan or even Joe Biden’s inability to speak or move without constant supervision.

But that’s only one component of the problem. The 2nd is almost as deadly.

For a long time the primary MO of the left and their media allies was to avoid talking about their actual beliefs and goal.

Now we have members of the left openly calling for no bail for criminals.

We have people openly supporting socialism and communism

We have an AG calling parents attending school board meetings domestic terrorists

And most important we have Democrat governors and mayors openly pushing mandates at work at school and even at home that are not working while at the same time the primary non-trump villain in your drama (DeSantis in Florida) is doing the exact opposite with a wide degree of success.

While this stuff might play inside the Democrat media bubbles of academia and media outside of those safe spaces they just don’t advance the cause.

Now given the methods used to win the last national election it may well be that it doesn’t matter what the voters think but in midterm elections at a time of heightened scrutiny this is a danger.

The Democrats, the media and reality have come out as what they are, alas for them it’s unlikely that they can be fit back into their bottle.

By John Ruberry

“He crossed state lines with an AR-15” is a typical bellyache from leftist pontificators about Kyle Rittenhouse traveling from his home in Antioch, Illinois to help protect a business in Kenosha, Wisconsin during the riots (oops civil unrest) there last summer. 

The northern city limits of Antioch end at the Wisconsin state line. So for many people, including for Kyle Rittenhouse, travelling to Wisconsin is a daily trip. He worked in Pleasant Prairie, which is sandwiched between the Illinois state line and Kenosha. And Rittenhouse’s father and other relatives of his live in Kenosha.

Rittenhouse of course was found not guilty–and it was the correct verdict–of charges surrounding the self-defense shootings of three rioters (oops mostly peaceful protesters) in Kenosha last summer.

Do you need to fill up your gas tank? Only naive fools top off their vehicles in Illinois when there is a Wisconsin choice a short drive away. For instance, last month Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I visited Illinois Beach State Park in Zion. On our way out of the park I told Mrs. Marathon Pundit, “Let’s head up Sheridan Road and fill up our car.” And so we did. At the BP station there–which is just 50 yards north of the Illinois border, we paid 40 cents less per gallon than we would have south of the Cheese Curtain. The BP station is a large one–there were about ten vehicles filling up. And each one had Illinois license plates.

What about permanent moves to America’s Dairyland?

Just north of that border you see many manufacturing facilities and warehouses, most of them are newly built. Many of them are businesses that formerly called Illinois home. U-Line has a massive warehouse in Pleasant Prairie, they moved there, bringing 1,000 jobs, from Waukegan, Illinois in 2008. That facility has many neighbors that are equally massive. But on the Illinois side you see farms and some small scale businesses.

Why are they leaving?

Writing for the Badger Institute in 2019, Mark J. Perry said, “On 14 different measures of labor market dynamism, economic growth, various tax burdens, business climate and fiscal health, Wisconsin comes out ahead of neighboring Illinois on all but one of those measures — state individual income tax rate.” Perry added, “On net, Wisconsin has gained 116,000 Illinois residents between 2006 and 2017, an average of nearly 40 residents every day from 2014-’17.” 

Illinois has other substantial problems. Its public pension system is the second-worst funded of the 50 states–at just 39 percent–while Wisconsin’s public worker pensions are the best-funded at over 100 percent. Only an amendment to the Illinois constitution to eliminate the pension guarantee clause, a default, or hyper-inflation can solve the pension crisis. Illinois regularly contends for the title of most-corrupt state. Since I was born four Illinois governors have served time in federal prison. No governors of Wisconsin from that period have suffered the same disgrace.

Violent crime and robbery is a growing crisis in Chicago and its inner suburbs. Chicago will probably exceed 800 murders this year–numbers that the city hasn’t seen since the crack-fueled street gang wars of the mid-1990s. According to Hey Jackass there have already been over 1,400 carjackings in Chicago–nearly double than the yearly total of 2009. Flash mob robberies are occurring not just in Chicago but also the suburbs, such as this outrage where a gang of thieves on Wednesday filched over $100,000 in merchandise from a Luis Vuitton store in DuPage County. Two days later in Chicago’s downsized Magnificent Mile a flash mob of shoplifters struck Neiman Marcus–filling up three cars of merchandise. Wow, up until recently finding even an illegal parking spot was nearly impossible on the Mag Mile. Of course no one has been charged in these flash mob thefts. 

So crossing the Illinois state line into Wisconsin isn’t just a common occurrence. It’s the safe and smart move for people and businesses. 

Who knows? Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I might make that migration north too. Without a rifle. We only own a handgun.

John Ruberry regularly blogs just forty miles south of the Wisconsin border at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Sometime in her early 20s my wife, aka Mrs. Marathon Pundit, realized she’d been fed a stream of lies from the Soviet Union. The state media and the government schools put forth this whopper, for instance, that Estonia, Lithuania, and her own Latvia voluntarily joined the USSR in 1940, after the Red Army moved in

What else had they lied to her about?

Plenty of things. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster was one colossal series of disinformation. And she grew up with the false belief that Soviet citizens enjoyed a standard of living that was among the world’s highest. And some information was left out. While we were still dating we were looking up with amazement at the stars on a crystal clear and moonless night in rural Michigan. Then she asked me, “Did the Americans really send men to the moon?”

Let’s move up a few decades to MSNBC, the most reliable mouthpiece for leftist Democratic politicians and their supporters. 

Watching MSNBC you’ll be told that Critical Race Theory is not being taught in public schools. As I explained last week, while the original CRT texts probably aren’t being presented, lessons are being rammed down kids’ throats that put them into two camps for instance, oppressors and oppressed. And that America is incurably racist–well there is a cure. And that is of course CRT, even though it might be labeled “equity training.”

That conversation is morphing into their belief that conservatives don’t want racial history, including slavery, taught in schools. That’s just made-up nonsense. 

Just this morning on some MSNBC program called Velshi, one of the panelists made the claim that many of the protesters who spoke up at school board meetings aren’t parents, or perhaps she said they don’t have children at those schools. No matter. For instance as taxpayers these patriots have a right to voice their opinion on how the biggest part of their property tax bill is spent. Secondly if we take that twisted logic further, then Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, who has no children, should have no voice in how are youngsters are educated. 

MSNBC and CNN pushed the Trump-Russia collusion fallacy for most of the Trump presidency. It is the Elvis-sightings of political scandals. Elvis Presley died in 1977 and there was no Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Here’s another MSNBC fable–that Kyle Rittenhouse, in the words of one commentator on that network, was “arguably a domestic terrorist.” The MSNBC talking heads were infuriated that Rittenhouse crossed a state line from Antioch, Illinois–which borders Wisconsin, to travel during the riot (oops, unrest) in Kenosha, where his father lived and where Rittenhouse worked. The truth has since emerged that the then-17-year-old was just trying to help out in a lawless zone who was forced into a situation where he had no choice but to defend himself.

Oh, just so you know, I don’t believe that minors should be waking around with an AK-47. 

For months MNSBC has been following the Democrat Party line that inflation was all but non-existent, then it was “transitory,” and now while it is real, inflation is not a problem. After Velshi MSNBC’s next program, The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart came on. His first guest was the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who discussed rising prices. “Part of the reason that people are talking about inflation is that there are costs rising for American families across the county.” Duh! Her party’s solution? Of course it’s the expensive Build Back Better bill that includes child care money–and that will bring down costs for Americans. Wow. Give Jayapal her Nobel Prize for Economics now! Capehart didn’t bother to challenge Jayapal’s idiocy.

You probably believe that the typical MSNBC viewer is a hardened leftist who is immune from logic. Yes on the first and no on the second. MSNBC is telling its core audience what it wants to hear. But untruth can only be carried so far. Imagine for a moment a brothel that caters to men in their 50s like me. (Disclosure–I have not been to such a place.) You walk in and the women comment on how handsome you are–and that you are in incredible physical shape. They laugh at your jokes and when you bring up politics, “Republicans are racists, Biden is the best president since FDR,” one of the women winks at you and says, “Let’s continue this conversation upstairs in private.” And upstairs you go.

Eventually you learn that you are being played at that imaginary brothel–you ascertain that the sex workers are coyly reconfirming beliefs that you already have. “I’m a great looking guy.” Even though you’re not. You’re a guy in your 50s. Duh! They just want your money so they tell you want you want to hear.

MSNBC just wants your time. With so many choices for time–hundreds of cable channels, streaming services, podcasts, the internet, not to mention old school choices such as books and actually sitting down and having a one-on-one conversation with another person, time is an ever-precious finite resource. MSNBC is reconfirming the false beliefs–Trump colluded with Russia, Rittenhouse is a vigilante, inflation is not a problem–of its viewers to steal that time.

Sure it’s a trite expression, but time really is money.

What will MSNBC say if runway inflation–not to mention Jimmy Carter-era stagflation–is with us in a year? 

How many of its viewers will switch the channel? Forever.

MSNBC’s ratings are already way below those of Fox News. CNN is in even worse shape.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Heaven’s Gate logo courtesy of Wikipedia

By John Ruberry

The one great comet of my lifetime was the Hale-Bopp Comet of 1997. But its spectacular night time display was overshadowed by the mass suicide of the 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult. Because they believed that here was a spaceship traveling behind the comet they took some barbiturates, drank some vodka, and put hoods over their heads so they could reunite with one of the founders of the cult, who they believed was a passenger on that craft.

They had faith, or something akin to it, in their beliefs. 

On a lesser and of course non-deadly scale is the cult-like beliefs Democrats, and their media allies, have in themselves and their policies. 

There are exceptions here and there, James Carville being a notable Dem who has decried the liberals’ wokeness, but after the victory of Republican Glenn Youngkin over Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial race and the GOP near-miss in New Jersey, leftists are doubling down on failure, despite clear evidence that their policies are unpopular. 

Just like cult members. 

Let’s start with Critical Race Theory. I was one of many conservatives who switched the channel over to MSNBC to see how the left was responding to last week’s election coverage. Commentator after commentator said, like the sheep in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, that CRT was not being taught in Virginia schools or anywhere else for that matter. I laughed particularly hard when former Obama HUD secretary Julian Castro said so on a program that Brian Williams, no stranger to fiction, hosted. Castro is a lawyer and while probably in a lie-but-avoid-perjury mode he fixed his mind on a mental crumb–that no one anywhere in pre-college classrooms is teaching the arcane original Critical Race Theory texts from the 1970s–the Dead Sea Scrolls of leftist bigotry. What is being taught in some schools is that American society is inherently white, meaning racist, and that white people, even children, are oppressors. 

For instance, shortly before Election Day a mother said she was told by her six-year-old daughter in a Loudon County, Virginia classroom that she was “born evil” because she is white. Not surprisingly CRT is hated by most parents–and not just white parents.

I don’t want to dig too far into semantics but the meanings of words and phrases evolve. Critical Race Theory now means dividing people into those oppressor and oppressed camps and that our society is rigged and incurably racist. Well there is one antidote–leftist indoctrination in schools, or so liberals believe.

Yes there are white supremacists. There are far fewer of them than when I was a child and those remaining should be shunned.

Oh, MSNBC talking heads I have a message for you: CRT is not a “racist dog whistle.”

Now let’s move on to infrastructure. Many left-wing experts, that is, people who know a lot of things about stuff that isn’t true, made the ludicrous claim that if Joe Biden’s Build Back Better infrastructure bill had been signed into law before Election Day McAuliffe would have won. I’ll try to be brief on this whopper of a fallacy but for starters, infrastructure was not a major issue in the Virginia governor’s race. Also, as Barack Obama learned, enacting infrastructure legislation doesn’t make thousands of building projects “shovel ready.” Part of Build Back Better was signed into law on Saturday–I’m not breathing the smell of hot asphalt today. But it will be many months before BBB construction projects commence and even longer before they are completed. Okay, the food and beverage improvements on Amtrak, part of the infrastructure bill, could be available soon. 

Do you remember Obama’s not-so-shovel-ready stimulus bill from 2009? Only about $100 billion of the $800 billion bill actually was spent on infrastructure.

On the other hand, inflation is a problem in America for the first time in decades. There is a growing belief among voters that government is getting too big too fast. And the Democrats have been the party of Big Government since the presidency of Joe Biden’s idol, Franklin D. Roosevelt. As for the current president, he was elected because he passed himself off as a moderate, or perhaps as an old school liberal–but certainly not as Bernie Sanders.

There is a deeper problem for Democrats, particularly among hard-left members such as the members of The Squad. As I mentioned earlier Dems have a cultist faith in their policies. I encounter left-wingers regularly here in the inner-suburbs of Chicago. On those rare instances I engage in a political conversation with them, I am usually told, “Well, you just aren’t properly educated on the issues. You listen to too much talk radio and watch too much Fox News–you are indoctrinated.” But unlike them, I am regularly confronted by the other side. For instance, I sat for hours in a hospital waiting room last month. First I endured former Bill Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America and then the leftists on The View, although I was in for a minor treat as Joyce Behar was not on the couch that day. And overall mainstream entertainment media is drenched with covert and overt liberal bias. Take a look at late night comedy shows, excluding of course Fox News’ Gutfeld! And as I mentioned earlier, I dabble with watching MSNBC–and CNN.

So yes, I am educated and I am exposed to multiple political views.

In the post-mortems among Democrats, again with a few exceptions, there was no call from them to moderate their policies and to address what went wrong on Election Day last week. It’s still full steam ahead.

I’ve mentioned this quote many times before but too many people still haven’t seen it “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant,” Ronald Reagan said, “but that they know so much that isn’t so.”

You can’t reason with most leftists. 

And there was no spaceship hiding behind the Hale-Bopp Comet. 

Oh, no one is always right. Yep, not even conservatives.

The last words I’ll leave to Dr. Martin Luther King.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.