Thursday, December 31, 2015

Why Bernie Shouldn't be President in One Tweet

You have families out there paying 6, 8, 10 percent on student debt but you can refinance your homes at 3 percent. What sense is that?

— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 26, 2015

For those who are not familiar with how interest rates work, home mortgages are secured loans meaning that they can take your house if you don't pay. You can't even get a mortgage without showing the bank that you are able to pay (that rule was relaxed during the first part of the 21st century which led to the Great Recession). College loans are unsecured and are given to students in the hope that they will complete their degree and use it to get a job that allows you to repay the loan. People default on college loans far more often than they do on mortgages. That is why mortgage rates are much lower. The higher rate for college loans pays for the people who default.

You would think that a member of the senate and a leading candidate for President would understand how these things work. In fact there is a good chance that Bernie is aware of all of this and rejects it. That's what being a socialist means: You ignore economics and order things the way you think they should work.

If Bernie had his way then the government would lose money on student loans (Obama already decided that it was immoral for banks to profit from student loans and nationalized them). If Bernie wants to subsidize student loans then he should say so instead of making false comparisons.

It doesn't really matter if Bernie doesn't understand basic economics or if he rejects it. Either would be disastrous in the President of the United States.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Mush From the Wimp

In 1980, an editor put a placeholder title on an article about a speech by President Carter. He was not a fan of the President and entitled it, "Mush From the Wimp" He intended to fix it before it went to print but a few copies got out.

I was reminded of that when President Obama made his Oval Office speech last Sunday. Prior to the speech I was afraid that he was about to announce some new presidential directive to limit guns. Instead he gave a short speech in which he proposed nothing new and only seemed animated when warning about the perils of Islamophobia. In the fight against ISIS (or ISIL) he offered the straw man alternative of a 100,000 man invasion which no one has seriously proposed.

He also doubled down on gun control, insisting that there is no reason for a suspected terrorist to be allowed to buy a gun. This argument is ingenuous. Either he has no idea how the terrorist watch list works or he thinks that no one else does.

To listen to the President, you would think that the watch list* provides a full and complete identification of the suspects. In fact, it is nothing but a list of names, some of them partial names. The list is notorious for false hits such as the five times that Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy was stopped because a suspected terrorist used the alias "T Kennedy". The list does not contain such things as birth date or address or even middle initial. The left has been complaining about the list for years. Now, because it is politically convenient to use it to pummel Republicans, it's acceptable.

Of course, false hits may not be a bug when stopping gun purchases, they may be a feature. The purpose of this proposal is to keep people from buying guns. The fact that no dmestic terrorists have been on the list is irrelevant.

Which is a term that describes President Obama these days - irrelevant.

*or lists, he seems to be referring to the terrorist watch list and the no-fly list which are separate but similar

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Posturing About Guns

The left is using the Rahm Emanuel school of crisis control - never let a crisis go to waste. This has led to an embarrassing about of political posturing.

First came the slaughter in Paris. President Obama insisted that the response to this was an international agreement on global warming. While this was rather lame, the rest of the left used the tragedy to bludgeon the right over concerns that the proposed 10,000 Syrian refugees will not be properly screened.

Then came the Planned Parenthood shooting. The perpetrator was a disturbed man with a long history of hating Planned Parenthood. He lived off the grid without even electricity. Accordingly, it is debatable how aware he was of the videos showing some of Planned Parenhood's unsavory practice. Regardless, several of Planned Parenthood's supporters insist that after that shocking incident, all criticism of Planned Parenthood is now banned. There was also a lot of talk about Christian terrorism.

President Obama, following up on his intended push for gun control, stood in Paris and said that shootings like that just don't happen in other developed countries. Obama and the left in general repeated their call for "common sense" solutions to gun control, ignoring the fact that these have already been passed where the shooting happened.

The White House also pushed the idea that anyone on the terror watch list should be banned for buying a gun. Never mind that the left has been objecting to this watch list for years. Never mind that it's so loose and unaccountable that Senator Teddy Kennedy was on it and was unbable to find out why. This idea was still repeated constantly by the left. Even Hillary Clinton repeated this claim. This is just political posturing since no one has named any shooter who would have been prevented from buying his guns.

Then came the terrorist attack in San Bernadina. President Obama had been briefed and must have known that it was likely a terrorist attack when he gave his standard speech about common sense gun control and it not happening in other countries. It was the same gun control speech he gives for any shooting with no indication that this might be something special.

The entire left has taken up this new call to arms (so to speak). Guns are responsible for the tragedy and anyone one who opposes gun control is an accomplice. The idea is to channel outrage at a domestic terrorist attack at Republicans for allowing it to happen.

There are problems with this line of attack. California, where the attacks happened, already passed the full slate of gun control and it failed to stop the killing. The married couple was not on any watch list to say nothing of the no-fly list.

There is a bigger flaw in the gun control argument. Gun control does not stop terrorist attacks. France has tighter controls than anything seriously proposed for the US but it had multiple terrorist attacks this year. These terrorists happened to use guns this time but they had also bee working on building bombs. The Boston bombers only had one pistol between them. They used a home-made bomb. The San Berdina terror couple was working on similar bombs.

Even Columbine was meant to be a bomb attack killing 1,000. If the pair of killers hadn't had access to guns then they might have successfully reset their bomb.

In Israel, terrorists are using kitchen knives and cars to attack people - something the msm is ignoring.

Either the left knows that terrorism will not be stopped by background checks and hopes the rest of the country is too stupid to realize it or they have worked themselves into such a state that they don't stop to think about what they say - possibly both considering President Obama's incoherence on the subject.

Regardless, the left is using tragedies to push an agenda that will do nothing to stop further shootings. This is insulting to Americans.