The Bankrupt Race Card (Divide the Races – Win the Election!)

By Daniel Greenfield via Canada Free Press

Al Sharpton

This sort of thing happens with depressing regularity in cities where even the most liberal residents have to choose between police overreach and being murdered. It never leads to meaningful debate or a resolution.  Instead it peters out with the best actors in the grievance theater picking up money and influence, the media selling a few more papers or ads for nasal polyp relief on the drive time news and everything going back to the way it was.

The grievance theater is never really about the specific case, the specific shooting, it’s about the links between the social problems of the black community, the compromises of civil liberties necessary to keep entire cities from turning into Detroit, and the inability of the media to address the sources of crime as anything but the phantoms of white racism. It’s about a black leadership that is more interested in posturing as angry activists and shaking loose some money, than in healing their own community’s problems. And so the same story repeats itself again and again without an honest dialogue or anything meaningful coming out of it.

But grievance theater has been going national. It’s no longer just extraordinary cases like Bernie Goetz’s Death Wish moment on the number 2 train that briefly catch hold of the national conversation. The obsessive coverage of the so-called Jena 6 case, an incident of so little internal meaning, signaled that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would no longer just be able to drive a local controversy, they now had the freedom to drive national controversies any time they wanted to.

Trayvon Martin is their big moment. It’s no longer just grievance theater being used to influence the political fortunes of a municipal election, the way that Howard Beach was used to bring down Mayor Koch and replace him with the execrable David Dinkins. Now it’s being used as part of a presidential campaign on a national level.

The fortunes of too many black politicians have been tied to white guilt and black rage

The fortunes of too many black politicians have been tied to white guilt and black rage. The worst sort of black politician channels black rage to score points with black supporters while playing on the guilt of white voters, promising to heal the social conditions that bring about that anger and protect them from its ravages. But never before has that game been played out of the Oval Office.

The last two Democratic presidents were Southern governors, but the current occupant is a veteran of the corrupt urban political machine where there are only two games in town and when the money runs out, this is the one you play. The money is running out, the polls are running down and accordingly we have been treated to an episode of grievance theater, with our beloved leader in the role of healer and inciter.

Obama helped Al Sharpton achieve an unprecedented national profile in order to marshal that part of his base which cares less about jobs than about finding someone to blame. The Trayvon Martin circus is a bullhorn urging that all of us, black or white, to stop focusing on the economy and start focusing on race.

It’s Community Activism 101 to divide and conquer the electorate by breaking them down and feeding local anxieties

It’s Community Activism 101 to divide and conquer the electorate by breaking them down and feeding local anxieties, whether it’s about birth control or racial injustice. And it’s a win-win for Obama, who at worst gains a distraction from economic turmoil and a few thousand guilty voters and at best, upends the national dialogue by asserting the dominance of the racial narrative. While his associates wield the bullhorns, he carefully plays healer and if there is violence, then his currency as racial healer increases.

What does it say about America that what was once a form of political theater rising out of the grimy urban blocks of the failed city is now a national art form? Nothing good. A local dysfunction has become a national dysfunction, not because every city has become New York and Chicago, but because the people at the center of power hail from New York and Chicago.

Our racial dysfunction has always been secondary to our political dysfunction, and now our political dysfunction is second to none

Our racial dysfunction has always been secondary to our political dysfunction, and now our political dysfunction is second to none. We have the best government that Warren Buffett’s money could buy and that ACORN’s election fraud can achieve. And we have a national government that is starting to look like the dysfunctional urban governments at the center of the grievance theaters.

Chicago nearly went bankrupt in 1930. New York nearly went bankrupt in 1975. But states have bailed out cities and the federal government has bailed out states. When there isn’t enough money to keep the dysfunctional political machine built on corruption and subsidies going, there’s always some larger entity to foot the bill.

The problem with this current government is that it’s operating at the federal level and there is no longer any larger entity to foot the bill. All the shopworn radicalism, the cries about making the rich pay their fair share, are old hat. The rich and the upper middle-class can pay more, but there’s no amount of money that will cover a government that spends money as if there is no tomorrow.

That is the lesson that has yet to be learned from the cities whose dysfunctional politics have been transplanted to the national government. Along with the politics has come the grievance mob, the outrage machine, the outpourings of self-righteousness, the class warfare fought by corrupt pols and the rest of the bread-and-circuses show that have blighted the American city for a century and a half.

Grievance theater isn’t about race, it’s not about slavery, police brutality or separate lunch counters, it’s about power and money. Black politicians are not fundamentally different from white ones. They have more in common with their white colleagues than they do with their own communities. The only difference is that they are playing with the race cards they have been dealt.

The ghetto didn’t evolve naturally, it was created through a web of national and local government regulations that played with real estate, social welfare, voting districts

The ghetto didn’t evolve naturally, it was created through a web of national and local government regulations that played with real estate, social welfare, voting districts and the manufacturing sector to achieve the desired results. We don’t have to have ghettos, we have them because at one point they were convenient for a number of political interests, and because they were the unintended side effect of a number of socialist policies.

The ghetto farms black communities for votes and, more importantly, for subsidies. For every dollar that is taken to help minorities, a penny goes to the problem, and ninety-nine cents goes to the hucksters, the administrators, the bureaucrats, the wives of influential pols hired on massive salaries to oversee some aspect of the program, the experts who monitor compliance, the affirmative action contractors who charge four times as much to build a school or provide meals, the unions who have the exclusive right to service the program, the slumlords who administer affordable housing and finally the politicians who have the money kicked back to them by all of the above.

The ghetto farms black communities for votes and more importantly for subsidies

When you look closely at where the school property tax money goes, why health care is so expensive, and why so much money has to be spent on housing, a big chunk of it goes here. It’s the hole in our budget ozone layer and it can never be filled, because it is designed never to be filled. For a sizable number of influential people, both black and white, the black community’s social problems are a cash cow. The grievance theater is their way of collecting protection money and making sure that no one pays too much attention to what’s really wrong.

The problem isn’t limited to the black community. The same phenomenon crosses over different minority communities and some white ones as well, but the race card is still the best card in the deck. It carries too many emotional triggers, too much guilt and too much hope not to use it over and over again. The moral power of the civil rights movement still isn’t exhausted as long as hopeful white people smile at the sight of a black man in the White House as if his political power testified to their innocence.

But the power can only be retained through constant indoctrination in the rituals of guilt, through repetitions of the grievance theater which reminds us that national bankruptcy is a small price to pay for peace, that we will be better people and a better nation if we vote for Obama against our own economic interests. Grievance theater takes many forms, but its elemental form is the street production that the Trayvon Martin case has brought us.

Grievance theater, like light-hearted musicals, is one of those forms that works best when the economy is bad and everyone has trouble making ends meet. But while people voluntarily go to see musicals, or at least they used to, they have to be dragged to attend the latest grievance theater, the production numbers broadcast live on CNN and MSNBC, the programs printed in every paper that still hasn’t gone out of business, and breathless announcements of the latest developments broadcast in between Dunkin Donuts commercials.

The local productions of grievance theater have gone national and we are all compelled to watch it play out. No matter what happens to George Zimmerman or what we learn about Trayvon Martin, the country has been turned into unwilling participants in a national drama that places a distorted idea of race at the center of our identity for the benefit of the same hucksters and politicians who have destroyed the city and are hard at work destroying the country.

For more click here.

Daniel Greenfield Most recent columnsDaniel Greenfield is a New York City based writer and freelance commentator. “Daniel comments on political affairs with a special focus on the War on Terror and the rising threat to Western Civilization. He maintains a blog at Sultanknish.blogspot.com.

Unions, Buffett, Robber Barons and Cronies Now Have Our Oil, Oh My

By John Ransom via Townhall Finance

 

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in t...

It’s already been widely reported that Warren Buffett, a major shareholder in Obama, Inc. will be one of the primary beneficiaries of the decision from the White House to kill the Keystone pipeline and the jobs it would create.

The administration now makes no attempt at all to disguise the fact that most decisions he makes are made in the best interest of Obama, Inc. shareholders.

Buffett’s railroad, the BNSF Railway- now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Obama, Inc.- in a remarkable coincidence, will instead, apparently and patriotically, transport Canadian oil to the US at only a slight premium to the oil companies than it would have cost to transport via the Keystone pipeline.

Ohmygosh. What a fortunate coincidence for all of us. Maybe now Buffett’s secretary will be able to afford the higher tax bracket her jerk-off boss puts her in and she won’t have to decide between her medication and cat food.

Obama has decided thusly to kill the pipeline even though: 1) Transport costs will be more expensive; and 2) The transport method will introduce more of the dreaded “carbon” into our atmosphere. Remember the thing that activists have been protesting against?

Net/net environmentalists have just made sure that more “carbon” will kill our planet even more quickly under their theory.

It’s a win-win-win. Obama and Buffett and Buffett’s secretary all benefit.

And really: Who else is there to be concerned about?

Seriously though: You just can’t find a group more gullible than environmental activists.

It used to be that starting a religious cult was a convenient way to control the gullible. But today’s sophisticated con artist would be well advised to invent a global crisis, you know, like Global Polar Bear Cannibalism.

Imagine spending six months working toward stopping Keystone because you believe with all your liberal bleeding heart that you’ll stop the dirty, planet-killing carbon, only to read today’s article from Bloomberg about the Buffett Express.

While Buffett apparently is a shareholder in Obama, Inc., enviros are only sharecroppers in the concern.

Because anytime you have a liberal policy that 1) is more expensive and 2) doesn’t even attempt to address the issue that liberal activists say they are protesting- you know, like too much “carbon” in our atmosphere- you know somewhere, somehow, someway that another, better-heeled liberal shareholder has just stuck it to the sharecroppers on Obama’s plantation. They tried it previously with Al Gore’s Climate Exchange. I’m still waiting for a thank you from environmentalists for stopping that scam.

I wrote previously about how Labors’ International Union of North America- another sharecropper on Fantasy Island- denounced president Obama’s decision to kill Keystone. But a handful of other unions will benefit greatly because their workers work for Obama shareholder Warren Buffett.

I know, I know: It surprised me too.

Here’s how the Transport Workers Union explained it:

Under President Jim Little, TWU has been a leader in advocating for major “New Deal” type investments in infrastructure modernization and repair, public transportation, energy conservation and climate protection as a means of putting people to work and laying the foundations of a more sustainable economic future for the United States. This is a transition that sound science and sound economics tell us we must make today, not in some far off future, in order to prevent irreversible harm to our planet’s climate, and to provide good jobs now for the millions of Americans who desperately need them. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would take us in the opposite direction, increasing our reliance on dirty bitumen sands oil and stalling critical efforts to create the jobs we need to transition to a more sustainable economy.

The pipeline appeared to be on a fast track to approval, but thanks to the efforts of TWU and a handful of other unions allied with millions of climate justice activists, in November the State Department delayed its decision on the project, and President Obama has said that if Republicans again try to force him to make a premature decision by tying the pipeline’s fate to another payroll tax cut extension early in 2012, he’ll kill the project for good.

So now we know where Obama draws the line: terrorist are OK; illegal immigrants; mob violence- good with all that. But force him to make up his mind? You’ve really crossed the line now buddy.

Thanks to goodness that Obama’s not thinking about the good of the country, but rather just the politics of the whole thing. Maybe we can get him to hold his breath too until the GOP backs down? Hey, it’s worth a shot. He’s done dumber things…this year.

No mention from the Transport Workers union in their communiqué that their workers will now transport the oil that would have gone via the pipeline. Also no mention that a million barrels of oil transported per day will produce for railroads about $3 billion in annual revenues for union workers who are in pay dispute with Buffett’s BNSF and other national carriers.

Ohmygosh. They forgot to tell us that part too.

Where will they get the money to raise union wages?

Ta Da! President Obama has now found the money to settle the dispute.

In October, Obama signed an executive order declaring an emergency and created a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) to forestall a railroad strike.

I guess the PEB found a way out of the difficulty. It’s just a gut feeling I have, but perhaps there will be no strike now.

But the fun doesn’t stop there ladies and gentleman.

Just think of this: Warren Buffett and the railway workers now control a significant portion of your oil. Greaaaat. We thought we’d stop letting our enemies dictate to us once we used less Middle East, Iranian and Venezuelan oil.

Think again.

Get ready to pay and pay and pay….

The energy publication the Platts puts it this way:

John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil used trains to help solidify the power of his trust. (A paper written by two professors on the history of Standard Oil and rail put it this way: “The charge leveled most consistently against Standard Oil is that it secured unfair competitive advantages by negotiating advantageous rates with the railroads over which it shipped crude from the ‘Oil Regions’ of Pennsylvania and Ohio to its Cleveland refineries and sent kerosene and other refined petroleum products to markets on the East Coast.”)

But now the railroads will be able to switch roles with the Standard Oils of the world.

And all this time we thought Keystone was just a dispute about carbon, when in fact it was just a falling out amongst cronies. Some of them, it turns out, are shareholders and some of them, it turns out, are sharecroppers.

Well, either way, global warming, once again, just created a bumper crop of something for someone.

And that something stinks.

John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom and on Facebook: bamransom.

Warren Buffett cleans up after Keystone XL – Cronyism Perchance?!?

by John Hayward in Human Events

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in t...

When President Obama, who is normally a great proponent of “infrastructure” projects, made his bizarre decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline project, I wondered if he might have been induced to create those thousands of American jobs if the oil could be moved by his beloved high-speed rail.

As it turns out, oil is already moved from northern latitudes, such as the booming oil fields of North Dakota, down to the Gulf of Mexico by rail of the old, low-speed variety.  Fortunately, as Newt Gingrich pointed out during the Monday night Republican debate in Florida, the oil is on private land, so Obama can’t shut production down.

Shipping the oil with a pipeline would have significantly reduced costs, as an Associated Press report explains:

Billions of dollars of infrastructure improvements have been made in recent years to allow North Dakota’s oil shipping capacity to keep pace with the skyrocketing production. North Dakota is the nation’s fourth-biggest oil producer and is expected to trail only Texas in crude output within the next year. Alison Ritter, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Mineral Resources, said the state’s so-called takeaway capacity is adequate, though producers and the state were counting on the on the Keystone XL to move North Dakota crude. Shipping crude by pipeline in North Dakota adds up to $1.50 to its cost, compared to $2 or more a barrel for rail shipments, producers say. “Oil that would have moved by the Keystone XL is now going to shift to rail transportation,” Ritter said.

Amusingly, a spokesman for the Sierra Club admitted “there is no question that [transporting] oil by rail or truck is much more dangerous than a pipeline,” but that didn’t stop the zero-growth eco-fanatics from calling in their chips with President Downgrade to kill that pipeline.

Those rail shipments are expected to “increase exponentially with increased oil production and the shortage of pipelines,” according to Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority.  That’s going to be quite a windfall for the railroad companies, isn’t it?

As it happens, 75 percent of the oil currently shipped by rail out of North Dakota is handled by Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC… which just happens to be a unit of Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.  What a coincidence!

For some reason, nobody from BNSF or Berkshire Hathaway would return the AP’s telephone calls, but oilman Harold Hamm told them he was sure this was just a wonderful “lucky break” for Barack Obama’s favorite billionaire, who is “certainly favored by this decision.”  I’ve heard Buffett’s famously overtaxed secretary will be a guest at the State of the Union address tonight.  Maybe someone could ask her about it.

The “tax me more” refrain from liberal billionaires is one of the oldest sucker games in the book.  For the well-connected, the money that can be made through government power – whether by influencing corrupt politicians, or merely predicting what they’re going to do – dwarfs whatever income they offer to cough up.


John Hayward is a staff writer for HUMAN EVENTS, and author of the recently published Doctor Zero: Year One.

For Help With Their Failed GM ‘Investment,’ Obama Administration Asked…Bain Capital

Posted by Seton Motley via Tea Party Nation

Note: This first appeared in BigGovernment.com.

President Barack Obama is in full 2012 reelection mode.  Part of that process is preparing to possibly take on Mitt Romney – whom (it appears) he thinks has the strongest chance to be his Republican opponent.  Which he and many Democrats think is very good news.

Romney fits right into the Left’s absurd anti-capitalism, “robber baron,” Occupy Wall Street anti-1%-er, scorched earth storyline.

Romney is very wealthy, which for Obama and his Democrats is the height of eee-vill (except – these Donkeys are mostly rich…).  Never mind that Romney’s wealth is right in line with many past Presidents and candidates – including 2004 Democrat nominee John Kerry.  (The difference?  Romney earned it, Kerry married it.)

And as Romney recently told us, he these days pays the 15% capital gains tax rate – rather than the (absurdly) higher income tax rates those of us receiving salaries do.  Never mind that this is perfectly legal (and good fiscal policy, and “fair”) – it is culled right from the Leftist, Warren BuffettI pay less in taxes than my secretary” fraudulent script.

—–

How did Romney make his coin?  Via the epitome of eeeee-villll free market entities – the venture capital firm.  His was, of course, Bain Capital.

Yes, Bain sometimes invests in failing companies.  Some of which they determine to be not worth saving, so down they go.  Welcome to Reality, Boys and Girls.

See, President Obama – it’s kind of like your “investing” in Solyndra, and Fisker, and Beacon Power, and….  Only President Obama – yours never work out.  And Bain would never dump money into such absurd companies or concepts.  And Bain uses their own coin, not ours.

Bain has created far more jobs than they’ve closed down – which again makes them the polar opposite of Obama, Inc.  There is no Staples, Sports Authority or myriad other Bain-like successes to which Obama can point and say “See, my government ‘investment’ did that.”

‘Shovel-ready’ wasn’t as shovel-ready as we expected.”  And “created or saved” doesn’t cut it – and fooled only the foolish.

—–

And, of course, the Obama Administration is chock full of Wall Street 1%-ers.  Whom they vilify and legislatively assault by day – and shake down for campaign cash by night.  Heck, Democrats receive more contributions from Bain Capital than do Republicans.  Obama has his own self received $80,000 from Romney’s old digs.

And the new Obama Administration acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jeffrey Zients, worked for Bain Capital.

And behold Obama, Inc. campaign adviser Stephanie Cutter.  Who just wrote a scathing memo about Romney’s Bain days – subtitled “Profit at Any Cost.”

Cutter sounded like a sworn enemy of private equity.  Except a few years ago, she was a spokeswoman for J.C. Flowers, a private-equity firm….

Presumably Cutter wanted to be as well compensated as possible, by J.C. Flowers and the “several Fortune 500 companies” her communications firm served, according to her bio.

Just another poster-child for Obama, Inc.’s “Poverty for Thee – Not for Me,” DC-Wall Street Nexis.

For Obama, Inc., Bain’s good for campaign fodder – and campaign cash.  And, as it turns out, even more than that.

—–

We’ve just discussed Bain Capital investing – vis a vis Obama, Inc. “investing.”

One of the biggest Taxpayer Money “investments” is the $50+ billion in General Motors (GM).  Which has been an unmitigated disaster.

President Obama once promised us we’d make money on the auto bailout – then had to begrudgingly up the (admitted to) loss from $14.3 billion to $23.6 billion.  And We the Taxpayers still own 500 million shares of GM stockwhich is tanking.  So that loss number still has growth potential.

GM is foundering because they insist on doing fabulous things like overproduce the unprofitable, unpopular, combustible Chevy Volt.  And in 2010 file for more green non-energy “energy patents – a la Solyndra, Fisker, etc. – than any other company in America.

As GM continued to sink like a stone, guess who Obama’s Auto Task Force asked for assistance in trying to turn around their colossal automotive failure?

Why, Romney’s ex- Bain Capital – and their fellow Wall Streeters.

Oops.

Obama Administration officials working on a turnaround of General Motors and Chrysler asked for advice from the consulting firm Bain & Company, among other consulting firms, speaking to partners there at least twice, according to multiple sources familiar with the conversations.

In addition, a partner at Bain & Company later detailed his advice on the auto companies when he was contacted for a follow-up review by the office of the inspector general for TARP, according to that office.

——

Obama will this year be trying to convince We the People to give him four more years in the White House.

Not because of anything he’s done – because what he’s done has been atrocious – but to prevent an evil 1%-er from succeeding him.

And if that proposed successor is Romney, Obama, Inc. has the anti-Bain Capital dossier already prepared and at the ready.

But when it came down to it, Obama, Inc. had to admit that they had with GM (and just about everything else) absolutely no idea what they were doing.

And they had to go to…Bain Capital, and their fellow eeee-villl Wall Streeters, to ask for help in trying to salvage their incredible failure.

Whose expert advice he desperately sought as he amateurishly blew up General Motors – and our $50+ billion.