trump-for-america-bw-and-colorBy John Ruberry

I haven’t read all of the thousands of John Podesta emails hacked by Wikileaks–has anyone yet?–but what I have read they betray a Democratic Party obsessed with two things: Money and power.

Liberal writer Thomas Frank, in his second great (gasp!) Guardian column in less than a week, accurately portrays the modern Democratic Party:

Let us start with the Democrats. Were you to draw a Venn diagram of the three groups whose interaction defines the modern-day Democratic party – liberals, meritocrats and plutocrats – the space where they intersect would be an island seven miles off the coast of Massachusetts called Martha’s Vineyard.

I’m going to drive the point home by reminding you that John F. Kennedy Jr, who was a liberal, meritocrat, and a plutocrat, was flying to Martha’s Vineyard to attend a cousin’s wedding when the airplane he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic. The Vineyard is Barack Obama’s favorite vacation spot–he’s been there seven times while president. Martha’s Vineyard the playground of the Democrat elitists. Bill and Hillary Clinton have vacationed there several times. In August her campaign held a $100,000-per-couple fundraiser on the island, just days after a devastating flood struck Louisiana.

In those Podesta emails, I haven’t so far found any mention of blacks, unless it’s about the black vote, the group that Democrats claim to champion more than anyone. But other than voting en masse for the Democrats and celebrity campaign appearances by people like Jay-Z, African-Americans otherwise aren’t much use for the Democrats.

Blue collar workers, a section of the electoral pie that has been shrinking for decades, appear to be missing from the Podesta emails too. They are also absent from Martha’s Vineyard, from what I hear, unless they are modern George Wilsons from The Great Gatsby, dutifully repairing plutocrats’ Teslas. The working class, once the biggest chunk of the FDR coalition, is heading towards the Republican Party. Perhaps a majority of them are inside the GOP tent already. And you won’t find what Michael Moore calls “the forgotten working stiff” on any vacation, because the leftist flamethrower pointed out last month his stiff hasn’t “had a real vacation in years.”

Some blacks besides the First Family “holiday” on the Vineyard, but in a 2009 article in New York magazine, Touré dismissed them as African-Americans who are “the only ones,” such as the only black in the room, neighborhood, or workplace.

“No man is an island entire of itself,” John Donne wrote nearly 400 years ago, “every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” Unless of course you are a member of the Democrat elite. An island accessible only by boats and airplanes is a fitting hangout for them.

Which leaves “the leftover people” for the Republicans. Sure, the elitists will blame the decline in unionization of the blue collar work force as why the leftovers have fallen behind.

Maybe.

Also discovered in Podesta’s WikiLeaks cache was an email from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who advised the Clinton campaign to choose a city outside of Washington for its headquarters because they would be better positioned to hire “low paid permanent employees.” And just what wage does Schmidt view as low paid? Is it less than the $15 minimum wage that Democrats call for?

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

Oh, if Schmidt really believes every verse in the Democratic mantra, then why isn’t Google unionized?

So, no, the Democratic Party isn’t the champion of “the little guy” anymore, just as Martha’s Vineyard isn’t a vacation destination for blacks living in Boston’s impoverished Dorchester neighborhood. Ironically it’s a billionaire from Manhattan who, at least this autumn, has made “the little guy” feel at home within the Republican Party.

John Ruberry, whose closest brush with Martha’s Vineyard has been South Boston, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

There has been a lot of justified shock at the tax the Uber to pay the Taxi’s law in Massachusetts:

This is … words fail. No, literally. I have just spent 20 minutes staring at my screen, trying to come up with something to say other than the blindingly obvious: This is a shamelessly unjustifiable giveaway to a special interest, paid for by taxing a competitor that’s eating their lunch. If our 19th-century forbears had tried to run the economy this way, I would be writing out this column longhand, by the light of a whale-oil lamp.

Reason was not happy, not happy at all

The state’s “MassDevelopment” agency—a crony-corporatist sinkhole of misappropriated funds, if ever there was one—will be responsible for figuring out how to spend the money to best help the taxi industry. One idea is to help taxis “adopt new technologies,” which probably means using an app to hail a cab. So Massachusetts is robbing Peter to pay Paul so that Paul can learn how to do the thing Peter already does.

Ride-sharing services have little choice but to accept the fee: indeed, they practically have to thank the government for going easy on them. The new law is apparently some sort of compromise—taxi lobbyists wanted Uber banned outright.

We can all speculate why GOP governor Baker signed this into law (I presume that as Democrats could override any veto easily he went along to get along) but amidst all the online outrage was a paragraph from Megan McArdle’s piece worth a 2nd look

Now, to be sure, a fee of 20 cents is probably not going to put Uber and Lyft out of business. On the other hand, such fees have a way of metastasizing over time. They start out as a tiny fee that no one could possibly object to, and then, when no one’s looking, they’re raised a little bit. And then a little bit more. And then you eventually find they’re hefty enough to make the new service expensive and inefficient — as expensive and inefficient as the old service that it replaced.

In other words it’s designed to slowly kill Uber by bleeding their profits.

It’s a cunning plan except it’s based on a fallacy that can be expressed in two words:

What profits?

The ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc. is not a public company, but every three months, dozens of shareholders get on a conference call to hear the latest details on its business performance from its head of finance, Gautam Gupta.
On Friday, Gupta told investors that Uber’s losses mounted in the second quarter. Even in the U.S., where Uber had turned a profit during its first quarter, the company was once again losing money.

In the first quarter of this year, Uber lost about $520 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to people familiar with the matter. In the second quarter the losses significantly exceeded $750 million, including a roughly $100 million shortfall in the U.S., those people said. That means Uber’s losses in the first half of 2016 totaled at least $1.27 billion.

$100 million in US losses? over $750 million worldwide on a service designed to have basically administrative & labor costs? Cripes who’s in charge of this company Tina Brown?

Subsidies for Uber’s drivers are responsible for the majority of the company’s losses globally, Gupta told investors, according to people familiar with the matter. An Uber spokesman declined to comment.

Or to put it another way, at the price point Uber charges for rides apparently it is not possible to attract drivers willing to drive therefore it’s necessary to “subsidize” said drivers to keep the service going.

Moreover these losses aren’t all that new:

Uber’s losses and revenue have generally grown in lockstep as the company’s global ambitions have expanded. Uber has lost money quarter after quarter. In 2015, Uber lost at least $2 billion before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Uber, which is seven years old, has lost at least $4 billion in the history of the company.
It’s hard to find much of a precedent for Uber’s losses. Webvan and Kozmo.com—two now-defunct phantoms of the original dot-com boom—lost just over $1 billion combined in their short lifetimes. Amazon.com Inc. is famous for losing money while increasing its market value, but its biggest loss ever totaled $1.4 billion in 2000. Uber exceeded that number in 2015 and is on pace to do it again this year.

Maybe it’s just me but If you’re competing with a company that’s losing this much money on a service designed to have minimal overhead that runs off an app then you aren’t going to need taxes and regulation to make it go away.

But I guess the Taxi Lobby figured they might as well get their share while there’s still a share to get.

A determined little group met at the Massachusetts State House this week with a simple message to legislators: move the portrait of 19th-century Know-Nothing governor Henry Gardner away from its place of honor outside legislative chambers to someplace more appropriate. The basement, maybe.

Former ambassador and Boston mayor Ray Flynn led a roster of speakers at the Pioneer Institute event promoting educational choice for Massachusetts students, including students from economically disadvantaged families. “Move this Portrait: The Know-Nothing’s Governor and Barriers to School Choice” was about more than moving a Know-Nothing’s portrait. It was about repealing the anti-aid measure, also known as the Blaine Amendment, that was added to the state constitution by anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant legislators in the 19th century.

Flynn reminded his listeners of something that Abraham Lincoln said in 1855, when the Know-Nothing party’s brief ascendancy was leaving its legacy. “When the Know-Nothings get control, the Declaration of Independence will read ‘all men are created equal – except Negroes, foreigners, and Catholics.” Flynn urged a repudiation of the Know-Nothing’s legacy, represented by Governor Gardner’s portrait. He knows this calls for united action by determined Massachusetts residents. “If you can’t effectively articulate a point of view, injustice prevails. Determined people can change just about anything.”

Gerard Robinson of the American Enterprise Institute asked a good question, a bit tongue-in-cheek, but thought-provoking. “When did it become unpopular with liberals to give poor people money?” Of course if disadvantaged families are paying taxes, it’s their own money. Their sacrifices to send their kids to non-public schools amount to double taxation.

One step at a time, urged the event’s six speakers. Vouchers, education tax credits, education savings accounts: all are measures that would assist poor families, and each one would be a step in the right direction.

Jason Bedrick, one of the event’s speakers, pointed out that the anti-aid amendment was passed in the days when public schools were effectively non-denominational Protestant. It was designed to prevent public money from going to support of Catholic schools, which at the time were depended upon by many immigrant families. Times have changed, but the anti-aid amendment has not. It’s time to change that, said Bedrick, and he pointed out the “tolerance and respect” he enjoyed as a Jewish man who attended Catholic schools. “School choice fosters cooperation and respects minorities, and fosters students more likely to extend political tolerance to people with whom they disagree.”

Take that, Governor Gardner.

Ellen Kolb writes about the life issues at http://leavenfortheloaf.com. When she's not writing, she's hiking in New Hampshire.
Ellen Kolb writes about the life issues at Leaven for the Loaf. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking in New Hampshire.

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A few days ago when writing about Charlie Baker’s attempts to eliminate conservatives from the Massachusetts Republican Committee and noted that his mailer on the GOP state committee didn’t mention the special election for State Rep on the same day where the GOP has a chance to pick up a seat with a strong pro-life republican Dean Tran facing Planned Parenthood supported Steven Hay.

Tonight I got the following email

Hi Members and Friends,
 
I know that many of you do not go on facebook, so I am sharing this information on this message.
 
Governor Charlie Baker will be in Fitchburg at 2:00pm at Destare, 320 Main Street this coming Saturday, February 27 to spearhead a rally for Dean Tran for State Representative.  This is one of the Fitchburg events that Charlie will be involved in with Dean Tran.  They will tour Fitchburg, visit Dean’s campaign headquarters and go to Destare for an enthusiastic rally in support of Dean.
 
I will keep you posted as I hear additional information and changes in the event.
 
Hope to see many friends on Saturday!!

As you might guess I’m very pleased to see this and it suggests that moves in the state committee notwithstanding he is willing to spend political capital to try to elect Republicans statewide, even social conservatives, after all the Governor of a state is a defacto leader of all the members of his party no matter where in that party a member is.

It’s of course going to take more than one special election to remove the veto proof majority in either house of the Massachusetts General Court but one must begin at the beginning and if we see these trips repeated in November than Charlie Baker will have done more for conservatism in Massachusetts than any governor in the state for generations.

At the very least it suggest that while he might have supported Chris Christie for president he isn’t going to repeat his mistakes as governor.

In my hometown paper there is a story about a crooked former democrat speaker of the house.

Sal DiMasi (remember him?) — a former speaker of the Massachusetts House, who is serving time in a North Carolina federal prison after being convicted of accepting some $65,000 in payoffs to facilitate approval of a state computer contract.

I really should have specified DeMasi, after all “crooked former Democrat speaker of the house in Massachusetts” is a description that a whole lot of people fill.

The writer Peter Lukas notes that Mr. DiMasi is in rough physical shape is very old and full of cancer. He’d really like to move to a jail closer to home, Governor Baker has no problem with it however as a federal prisoner it’s not his say, so he needs friends close to the White House perhaps the Gay community

While the gay community once honored DiMasi, it has since abandoned him.

For instance, the gay community spent an enormous amount of time, money and energy seeking a taxpayer-funded sex change for Massachusetts prison inmate Michelle Kosilek. All Kosilek ever did was savagely murder his wife when he was a man named Robert.

DiMasi paved the way for the legalizing same-sex marriage, which was a step toward the transgender movement, but the gay community has done nothing for DiMasi in return.

or maybe an ex governor close to the president:

Patrick was asked one time if he would intervene with his friend, President Barack Obama, to show compassion to DiMasi. Patrick bristled at the question and said, “I’m not going to get involved in that at all.”

“How come?”

“Because it is not my jurisdiction, and I have plenty of other things to do.”

Given that this corrupt pol bears responsibility for bringing Romneycare and Gay Marriage to Massachusetts and all the evil that has come from both nationwide even as a Christian I have a hard time feeling sorry for him, however it’s not folks like me that Peter Lucas is outraged over. He’s wondering why all those people who celebrated all of these things are not willing to lift a finder to make it a little easier for his family to visit and allow him to die a little closer to home.

The answer is really easy.

Historically our friends on the left have always used useful idiots providing financial and political aid to them in order to advance a common cause. Historically as soon as their usefulness ends so does their financial and political support. The same thing has happened here. Sal DiMasi has suffered the same fate that useful idiots have for over a century.

He simply isn’t useful anymore.

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

While everyone is busy commenting on Boston’s now aborted bid to host the olympics a group of activists from SIM (the student immigration movement) are quietly trying to push a different agenda:

For the first time in years, our in-state tuition bill has a shot at being reported favorably out of committee. Thanks to the more than 150 people like you who came out to our hearing on July 15, the Joint Committee on Higher Education got a loud and clear message: The state of Massachusetts wants education equity now.

Ah “Education Equality” a phrase our activist friends define as such: If you are a person in Framingham in violation of federal law, you should be given preference in tuition over a person who was born in Nashua who is not in violation of federal law.

As for his suggestion that Massachusetts wants his version of “education equality” Now, let me point out some inconvenient facts:

The Massachusetts State Senate has 40 seats, Democrats hold 34 of them that’s 85% of the total. Democrats have controlled the Senate for 56 years and have held a supermajority for decades.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has 160 seats, Democrats hold 125 of them 78% of the total. Democrats have controlled the house for 60 years and have held a supermajority for decades.

From from 2007 until Governor Baker was sworn this January Democrat Deval Patrick was in the governor’s seat.

I don’t know what that tells anybody else but do you know what it tells me?

It’s tells me that if there is one thing that Massachusetts DOESN’T want, it’s the Student Immigration Movement’s version of “education equality” because if it did the Democrats with their veto proof majorities would have passed it long ago.  The fact they haven’t been able to do it speaks volumes.

 

Here is the complete text of the email they’re blasting:

July 27, 2015

Supporter,

For the first time in years, our in-state tuition bill has a shot at being reported favorably out of committee. Thanks to the more than 150 people like you who came out to our hearing on July 15, the Joint Committee on Higher Education got a loud and clear message: The state of Massachusetts wants education equity now.

But before our state legislators go into recess in August, we need your help with a couple of more things.

Thing 1

Take two minutes to tell Governor Charlie Baker that he should sign our Education Equity legislation if it gets to his desk. Undocumented students are meeting with him this week, but he needs to hear from as many people as possible.

Use this calling tool to make the call and let us know how it went!

:

Thing 2

Tell your state representative and senator that this legislation is important to you.

You can use our calling tool to call the governor, your representative and senator and let us know how it went!

:Thank you for your help. Every call and voice is important.

:

Until we win,

Carlos Rojas Álvarez, Campaign Coordinator

Two more things:

1.  The SIM people are urging their supporters to call the governors office and state reps to try to push this bill forward. I’d suggest if you are an opponent of illegal immigration you make this call instead and let them know what actual citizen voters think.

2.  Until we win means that they are going to keep coming and keep coming.  You can’t beat these guys once, you have to beat them every single moment of every single day.

Act accordingly.

 

When I’m not posting here I”m still writing at Watchdog.org.  Here are two pieces that went up recently:

The first is on Student Debt:

The cost trend is the same and the number of students with debt continues to rise, particularly since the 2008 election.

Bankrate.com suggests the income-to-debt ratio for buying a house should be no more than 28 percent of your annual income.  How long will it take college students to manage to afford their first house when the average student debt out of college is equal to 50 percent of per capita income?

That’s the iceberg that our national ship is steaming toward. But if your children have not yet reached college age, there are things that can be done.

I have three suggestions to avoid this bomb as a parent but you’ll have to click here to read them.

Meanwhile states are having trouble retaining tech workers:

“Young people always go for the money,” Sowerbutts said. “It happens in the private sector, even in the private sector they tend to stay a few years and go because the driving force is money.  Just not doable.”

There is a reason why engineering is such a good college major to choose.

And money is not the only reason why the young do not find state employment attractive. I spoke to a retired state manager who worked in Massachusetts.

He talked about systems still running Windows 2000 in the second decade of the 21st century, he mentioned patronage hires in management positions who were promoted based on family and political connections, and he mentioned there were people who have different priorities

Both however had a solution to the problem, but again to read it you’ll have to go here.

 

 

 

There was a time in history where being literate was so rare that if you could read and write * do math you could practically write your own ticket. Kings and princes would want you, the rich would want you, the church would want you. It was like being a first class coder. The sky was the limit

This comes to mind when I think of the new push to legalize pot for the over 21 crowd in Massachusetts, the The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act of 2016.

House Bill 1561, the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act of 2016, was introduced on Beacon Hill Tuesday, sponsored by Rep. David Rogers (D-Belmont), Sen. Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville) and a bipartisan group 13 co-sponsors. The bill was filed in January as House Docket 3436, and has now been formally introduced to the legislature for the 2015-16 session.

Now you might think that most people who, like me , have not used pot & whose kids have not, (I’ve been as thorough as only a Sicilian can to confirm this) would reflexively oppose this law for the good of society because the social and medical costs will far outweigh any short-term tax advantage.

All of this is true and more but there is a selfish reason for a guy like me to support it.

What does a society create when there is a large population of dope heads in it? A demand for people who are not.

Business will want people who are not high doing their books, running their forklifts, doing their inventories, managing their businesses. Banks will want managers, general managers and tellers who are not users, and use skyrockets among teens and below (and lets not pretend it will not) people who are not druggies will be the first in line for any type of entry-level position that leads to management.

Old fogies like me, if we find the need to go back into the work force will find that our ability to reason & our cultural upbringing will trump our age medical issues. Forty somethings will find the management is less pressure from below as those above need a solid mind in place and managers & recruiters who need people to be responsible will quickly weed out those who spend too much time putting weed in.

And when it comes to summer jobs, what a difference there will be. While they might get laughed at in the schoolyard they will have money in their pocket as prospective employers search for those with a clear head.

Now legalization of pot is a really stupid idea and those who take advantage of it will be shocked at its price (wait till you see your increased auto insurance, homeowners and life insurance bills once you are identified as a user) but if they want to vote to put people like me & mine on the fast track to success who am I to say no?

Suckers.

************************

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If you are a conservative in Massachusetts there isn’t a lot to cheer about this morning.

Yes Charlie Baker has won the corner office which means that Big Government in Massachusetts will be run by an honest man who is a competent manager, that’s an improvement.

However he had all the coattails of a streaker at a football game which isn’t the way to build a party, of course considering how little we heard of other GOP candidates one might conclude the state party’s concern was winning all the patronage of the appointed positions by the governor without electing any of those icky conservatives to office who might rock the boat.

There were two bright spots in the evening.

Ballot Question 2 which would have expanded the bottle bill went down to a crushing defeat, while ballot Question #1 passed 53-47 removing the onerous Gas tax linked to inflation allowing taxes to go up without a vote (A hearty well done to all involved particularly Marty Lamb there).

It is that result, combined with Democrats sweep at the state house and the left’s victory on Question 4 which mandates businesses provide earned sick leave for employers that really explains the mindset of voter in Massachusetts. It’s about what is in front of their faces & nothing else.

If Question two, the bottle bill expansion passed every person would have to pay that extra nickel (to start) whenever they purchased a non carbonated drink and to get that nickel back they would have to carry that bottle to a redemption center. It would affect people across party and class and racial lines which is why it lost by almost a million votes out of 2.1 million cast. 73-27%

Question one had even more dire consequences, a Gas tax linked to inflation would mean a regular tax increase every year forever. Every person & company who drives a car or truck and pays for gas was would be affected. Because there are a large amount of people who don’t drive and therefore didn’t see the effect on them (in the form of increased prices for good) the margin was smaller but enough of the general population still fills their tank weekly to allow the question to pass by 53-47% the margin being just under 120,000 votes.

But Question 4 Sick Pay law that passed by 18 points (59-41) was another story. Most voters didn’t understand what it means to supermarkets like Market Basket Restaurants like Singapore and even pizzeria’s like Espresso’s in fact all you might see if you are a bagger, a busboy or a pizza driver all you know is you’ve just got an hour of paid sicktime for every 30 hours you work up to a maximum of one paid 40 hour “sick” week a year. That’s likely why it passed by almost 400,000 votes.

Even when the supermarket inch up their prices the Restaurant cuts your hours and the pizza place decides not to hire the votes won’t make the connection that the cost of that effective 2-3% pay raise that you forced them to give is going to have to come from somewhere.

That disconnect from reality is why the same “highly educated” voters who repealed the onerous Gas tax can re-elect almost every single state senator and representative who voted to impose it upon them without batting an eyelash.

The folks at the statehouse will learn from that result and be smarter next time. They’ll make small gradual changes, and reach into your wallet more subtlety, not stealing over their weight or attracting attention.

They know if they do they’ll be all right, the votes who might notice and the business that employ them moved out of Massachusetts a very long time ago.

I’ll give Governor Baker a chance, but if he doesn’t attempt to build the party on the local or state level my advice to young people of talent when it comes to Massachusetts will remain the same.

Get out while there still isn’t an exit tax to do so.

The latest in a series of regular posts containing stories that should surprise nobody who is actually paying attention.

This entry is concerning a source of frustration for a Massachusetts parent highlighted by the web site Fix This Nation.

For years, liberals have done everything in their power to make sure Christianity is kept out of the public school system. In this, they’ve largely been successful, erasing school prayer, condemning student Bible readings, and even crushing private clubs that hold meetings on school property.

After all we wouldn’t want exposure to Christianity, a religion that was intimately involved in the building and development of this country to be mentioned in a public school as it might offend the delicate sensibilities of non-Christians.

But when it comes to Islam, they’re predictably less concerned about appearances.

Apparently those worried about non-Christians getting the vapors over a hint of the cross believe Christians are made of sterner stuff

At least one parent in Revere, Massachusetts is concerned about how his son’s history book teaches about Islam. Anthony Giannino told a local news outlet that, “No religion should be taught in school. It says Allah is their only God. That’s insulting to me as a Christian who believes in just Jesus only.”

While the textbook in question stops short of endorsing Islam, it portrays the religion in an overly-celebratory context that might run at odds with how many view it in light of recent events. It reprints the Muslim Call to Prayer in full, which includes such statements as “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah.” It also includes a rather biased overview of Muhammad’s life. “Muhammad never expected to change the world,” the book tells us. “He had a strong sense of right and wrong.”

The lack of a formal endorsement of Islam was almost enough to disqualify this story from the #UNEXPECTEDLY series but given Massachusetts status as the father or gay marriage that might be a bridge too far even for us.

More here.