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First Major Test For GOP House Leadership



One of the first major tests for the new GOP House leadership will be about committee assignments, especially who will chair the committees. This will be very telling if there is any truth in what Obama said during the campaign about Rs having no new ideas forward and just return to how things were in 2005.

Chairing a House committee is one of the most powerful positions in Congress. The committee chairs must be able to articulate to liberal reporters the plans they have for the committee. Traps are going to be set for them to fall into. They need to know how to avoid these traps. James L. Payne wrote a very excellent article, Conservatives and the Trap of “Liberalism Lite”. All elected conservative Republicans should read this article. an excerpt:

Reporter: Maybe government could tax just wealthy people?

Elected Republican: Let me tell you about wealthy people. You know that Episcopal scholarship program I mentioned. Last year, that program received a donation of $50,000 from a very generous person in my district-I won’t mention her name because it would embarrass her. Now, does it make any sense for government to tax her money away, and cycle it through the Treasury, and Congress, and congressional committees, and federal and state early childhood bureaucracies to give some of it to preschools? Does that make sense?

Reporter: Uh. . . You make an interesting point.

As this illustration makes clear, in order to exalt the private sector, you have to know a lot about it. Legislators, and their staffs, need to gather specific examples and compile data, and they cannot do this by staying inside the Beltway and studying reports of government administrators.

This text in bold illustrates why I want chairs to be rewarded based on merit instead of seniority of time served in the House. Those who have not served in the House forever are likely to know a lot more about the private sector. The Wall Street Journal has an article suggesting who the new chairmen will be in 2011.

The ones I like on the list include:

File-Jefferson_Miller  Veterans Affairs Jeff Miller October 16, 2001-present

File-Sam_Graves,_official_109th_Congress_photo  Small Business Sam Graves January 3, 2001-present

File-Congressman_Darrell_Issa  Oversight Darrell Issa January 3, 2001-present

File-Rep._Jo_Bonner  Ethics Jo Bonner January 3, 2003-present

File-John_Kline_Official_Photo  Education and Labor John Kline January 3, 2003-present

File-Paul_Ryan,_official_portrait,_111th_Congress  Budget Paul Ryan January 3, 1999-present

File-Mike_Rogers_109th_Congress_photo  Intelligence Mike Rogers January 3, 2001-present

I am not thrilled with the 20+ years in the House picks for the other committee chairs. I have seen news stories about House members vying for a chair who I like.

File-Edward_Royce,_official_photo_portrait_color  Financial Services Ed Royce January 3, 2003-present

File-Rep._John_Shimkus  Energy and Commerce John Shimkus January 3, 2003-present

The hardest task for the GOP House leadership will be the selection for the Chair of the Appropriations Committee that does not anger the conservative Tea Party members. Here is my suggestion, but I have seen nothing in the news to indicate he is interested.

File-John_Culberson,_official_109th_Congress_photo   Appropriations John Culberson January 3, 2001-present

I expect to be disappointed to a certain degree when the smoke clears and all of the Chairs of these committees are determined. In any case the Republicans in the House are on probation to prove they have learned the lesson of losing their way. Some of these elected House GOP members can expect to be disappointed in 2012 if they fail to govern the way that we want them to govern.

Cross-posted at RedState

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Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There



The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.

These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by 


… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.

Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of  rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry


In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.

To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.


But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.

But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…


The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.

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Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:




Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:

The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.


Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.

Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!

I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.

After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.

The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.

But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.

Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.

In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.

Your most humble and obedient,

Friedrich Trump

… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.

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