Strike a Blow Against Crony Capitalism!

My latest column is up on Newsmax.com. Time for Export–Import bank — a zombie program from the 30’s — to be given a decent, Christian burial. Please read it here:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Export-Import-Bank/2014/07/23/id/584455/

No Longer the World’s Policeman, We’re Now the World’s Social Worker.

ObamaUSbordersignIt’s 9AM late July and already the day is shot to hell. The temperature is over 80 and the humidity would wilt a Puritan’s collar.

You’re supposed to be taking Migra, your Mexican Water Spaniel, on a 400–hundred-mile car trip. The dog’s 14–years–old if he’s a day, and who knows if he’ll live long enough to be reunited with the rest of your family. Plus, you can’t just motor out the driveway because that’s not a good idea where you live.

It’s one of those ‘transitional neighborhoods’ that you thought was transitioning into a community where people worry about their carbon footprint, but after the real estate crash it became an area where you worry about footsteps after midnight.

That’s why it’s never a good idea for the neighbors to know you’re leaving and taking the dog with you.

So you hide him under a blanket and as you back out of the driveway you’re waving vigorously to a wife that’s not home either. Ready to hit the open road, you remember about breakfast. But that’s why 7/11 was invented.

You drive up, crack a window and tell Migra to stay on the blanket and stop barking.

Inside the store you’re confronted with time–consuming decisions. At the counter you consider taking the slowly rotating trans–fat stick. Or will you settle for the dubious breakfast pastry that looks like it covered in scorched Play–Doh? Then it’s back to the coffee bar. What size, what flavor and will ‘Irish Cream’ dilution fluid clash with Sumatra Surprise coffee?

Meanwhile, back in the parking lot, some busybody in a Prius sees Migra licking the window. That’s what dogs do. Migra washes the inside and you wash the outside. Only she thinks it’s a cry for help from a dog dying of heat prostration.

So she runs into the street and flags down a passing patrol car.

But you’re still inside visiting the new bathroom; not knowing the extra minutes are digging you deeper in the hole. By the time you get back to the car the rear window has been smashed by Fire & Rescue, the busybody is wailing about abuse as the cop is issuing a summons and telling you the dog is going to be a guest of the county, until authorities determine whether or not you are fit to be an animal parent.

So much for white privilege.

By way of contrast if you were an enterprising parent in El Salvador and decided it’s high time to find out what your relatives are doing in El Norte, it’s only natural to deputize your 14–year–old and send him north on an 1,110 mile trek to Laredo, TX.

Pedro might go by foot, by coyote or by Mexican Death Train. He might be robbed, raped, sold into sex slavery, recruited into a gang or killed. But the important thing is he memorizes the magic words that will cause the government drone in Texas to consider him for asylum.

If he makes it to the border, after being helped northward by those nice government officials in Mexico, his free enterprise traveling days are over. Now he’s on Uncle Sugar’s tab. When Migra got to the pound the first thing the staff did was check his tags, check for disease and check his shots.

When Pedro hit the border he has no tags, no shot records and, of course, no parent. But that’s no problem! The US government is here to Pander & Serve! Instead of sending him back across the border to make his way home, Uncle Social Worker takes whatever vague family history and location for relatives that Pedro gives him and prepares to reunite the boy with the same people that had no problem dispatching him on a journey that would get a gringo arrested.

And that’s another contrast. When you go to get Migra at the pound you have to show photo ID and plenty of contrition for roasting your poor dog in the parking lot while you gamboled about in 7/11. When someone shows up for Pedro there’s no ID check, no criminal check, no fingerprint check and certainly no citizenship check. Uncle Social just aids and abets the original border offense.

The staff considers itself fortunate if Pedro doesn’t join the rest of his ‘relatives’ outside and participate in the ‘No Deportations’ rally.

This entire farce just emphasizes the only people who are ignored and actually living in the shadows here are the citizens of the United States.

Two particular items stand out in this latest crisis. The Mainstream Media is focusing on the children and the human tragedy, but no one asks what kind of parents use their children for pawns, other than the Kardashians? The second is the claim that the children are fleeing dangerous neighborhoods.

Well okay, but when you are frightened do you normally flee 1,200 miles? Most of us stop running when the get out of the bad guy’s range. And isn’t it convenient they only feel safe in the new Obama welfare state?

The other is the MSM continuing chronology problem. All teenagers aren’t children, unless you fit into a leftist talking point. Many of these ‘unaccompanied minors’ are tattooed gang members that know a scam and easy pickings when they see it.

It’s also interesting how the left never quotes the Bible when discussing homosexual marriage or abortion, but let an illegal appear on the horizon and it’s instant theology class. We Christians are told by people who I doubt even own a Bible that Christ told us to welcome the stranger and alien.

Which only proves that both the devil and the leftist can quote scripture. They just don’t quote it all. Exodus and Numbers on more than one occasion discuss how the alien should be treated and sure enough it is with equality and generosity. BUT and it’s a big but, Numbers 15:15 plainly states, “The community is to have the same rules for you and for the foreigner residing among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the foreigner shall be the same before the Lord.”

So it’s clear the foreigner residing among us is to be held to the same rules or law as we are. When one’s first action in joining a community is to break the law, it would seem to me that the proper Biblical response would not be a warm welcome.

Obama now wants $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis he created, but only (!) $400 million of the total is to be spent on border–strengthening measures. The rest of the money will go to hire an army illegal alien facilitators, caretakers and expand the federal government.

The great Oklahoma senator and patriot Tom Coburn points out that it would be cheaper to fly the entire alien families home in a first class seat, than to let Obama sprinkle them around the country and create government jobs that cater to lawbreakers.

He’s right. It’s the sensible and Christian action to take.

Government Motors & Close Enough for Government Work

GM revolving workshopTimes have been tough at Government Motors. For a while there it looked like both Osama and GM were going to be dead after encountering the Obama regime. Just recently GM announced the recall of 8,200,000 vehicles over problems with faulty ignition switches. When added to earlier North American recalls, the total for 2014 is an astounding 29,000,000 cars and trucks.

This is almost three times the 9,710,000 vehicles GM managed to sell in 2013.

At this rate soon the only place to find GM cars will be in transportation museums. Total expenses so far for this year’s recall are $2.5 billion. So far the recalls have burned up almost two–thirds of the last year’s $3.8 billion profit. One or two more recalls and GM CEO Mary Barra will be waiting outside the Oval Office for another bail out.

But enough about GM, customers are being hit hard, too. It’s been decades since owning a Detroit car meant joint custody with the dealership’s service department. Buyers are accustomed to having their cars waiting in the driveway and not parked in the diagnostic center like a preemie, with various techs hovering about the machinery while anxious parents await a verdict.

That’s why I was encouraged to learn that GM intends to radically reshape the ownership experience so it will reflect modern Detroit manufacturing reality. Establishing realistic expectations on the part of the customer — expectations that GM knows it can meet or exceed — is an important part of reestablishing credibility with customers.

Details won’t be announced until next month, but a source inside the company has leaked this news release to me and I’ve pasted it below, with a few redactions for the sake of privacy.

 

EMBARGOED UNTIL AUGUST 1, 2014

Contact: XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX

General Motors Media Relations Office

XXX–XXX–XXXX or email XXXXXXXXX@generalmotors.gov

General Motors Announces New Foster Car™ Model for Automobile Ownership

(Detroit, MI) General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra announced today that GM is breaking away from the restrictive ‘ownership’ model of automobile sales and will instead establish a more ‘open’ customer/manufacturer relationship based on the foster care model.

“The recalls of the past few months have been hard on both General Motors and our loyal customer base,” Ms. Barra explained. “The tearful goodbyes as customers deliver their beloved GM products to the service bay, or watch as one of our GM Neighborhood Recall flatbed trucks loads the auto, are emotionally wrenching for both our loyal owners and GM service personnel.

“To say nothing of the occasional hurried calls to 9–1–1 as emotions got the best of some of our more impassioned customers. What’s more, the expenses associated with a nationwide network of grief counselors was becoming burdensome and has a sharp impact on the bottom line.

“That’s why I’m proud to announce today that General Motors is breaking the mold and instituting a new ‘Foster Car’ ™ program that will still provide mostly reliable GM transportation without the emotional commitment of actual ownership.”

In practice the only difference families will notice between foster care of a child and foster care of a car will be that instead of the government paying you to take the child into your home, the family will pay GM a monthly fee to have the car in their garage.

Foster care families are always aware that fostering a child is a temporary situation that can spiral out of control on very short notice, much like the ownership experience with a General Motors product. And the relationship is always subject to rapidly changing government rules and obscure regulations, unevenly enforced by bored bureaucrats.

Foster Car ™will be almost the same. Foster families will only pay GM during those months when they have full possession of the automobile. During a recall there will be no charge and when the car or truck is upgraded to generally prevailing government standards, it will be returned with a full tank of gas. *

Foster Car ™ will differ from a lease in that there is no specified duration for the arrangement. Variables regarding whether or not any one vehicle model will be recalled, how many times it will be recalled and when a Foster Car ™family will want a new vehicle are simply impossible to predict. This flexible model will also prevent families from forming an unnaturally strong bond with the vehicle.

R. E. Call, Vice President of Engineering, believes the Foster Car ™to be a forward–thinking response to GM manufacturing realities, “In the past we’ve avoided large recalls. We felt the tradeoff between inconveniencing millions of owners just to prevent something bad happening to an unlucky few, simply wasn’t worth it.”

That policy has been changed under CEO Barra.

For the customers who still own GM vehicles outright and are waiting for their number in the latest recall drive to come up, Call suggests taking precautions to make sure their ignition switch does not spontaneously shut down. He recommends drivers remove any extra weight from the key ring holding the ignition key. This includes charms, lucky coins, rings, flashlights, small knives, beer–bottle openers and key tags with barcodes.

GM recognizes that removing these items will leave the vast majority of Americans unable to take advantage of frequent buyer programs or identify themselves at grocery stores, drug stores, public libraries and bagel emporiums, but ‘Safety First!’™ is now a byword at General Motors.

*Customers participating in the program are cautioned to remove all personal items from a recalled vehicle. Due to the increasing size of GM recalls, the company does not commit to returning the same vehicle that was sent back.

Michelle Obama had a farm, E-I-E-I-O!

My column is up on Newsmax.

Feel free to enjoy it with a carrot stick.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Kids-Michelle-Fitness-diet/2014/07/10/id/581889 via @Newsmax_Media

The Call of the RINO in Virginia and Mississippi

Stop feeding RINOsIt would be a lot easier for conservatives to tolerate the sanctimony of Republicans In Name Only (RINOs) if they weren’t so hypocritical — or in the case of Mississippi RINOs — despicably hypocritical.

‘Moderate’ Republicans never tire of telling us conservative extremists how they are inclusive and ready to reach across the aisle to get things done. While we are exclusive and alienate and people that disagree with us.

Well the Sen. Thad Cochran campaign got things done in Mississippi all right and in the process of building their ‘big tent’ party the RINOs turned race–baiting 180 degrees.

Formerly in Mississippi and other states where Jim Crow was president of the chamber of commerce, unscrupulous white bigots used the threat of black voting, lawlessness, sexual potency, you–name–it to frighten other bigots into voting against the opposition. Typically this was another Democrat that only had one parent in the Klan, as opposed to the baiter who had two.

The lurid overt and covert campaigns wielded scurrilous attacks in the primary because in the South at that time the general election didn’t count. Republicans were as scarce as black members of the Sons of the Confederacy.

This year in a new low for even bottom feeders, the RINOs in the Cochran campaign used race–baiting to scare blacks into voting against Cochran’s conservative white opponent. In the process smearing State Sen. Chris McDaniel with all the mainstream media and leftist TEA Party slanders.

None of it was true, but accuracy was beside the point when crony capitalists, lobbyists and an entitled Senate staff were working to keep their access to the government trough.

The sleazy campaign hired sleazy consultants and then denied involvement with the product. The Cochran group — lead by lobbyist Haley Barbour and his nephew Henry Barbour —denied knowing anything about the content of the robo–calls or radio ads. The nephew told The Daily Caller, “She (a discredited black consultant forced to resign from the mayor of Atlanta’s staff for filing false financial reports) and I talked message for calls, but I never heard them.”

As lies go this isn’t even as good as an Obama lie.

I’ve worked in campaigns for over 30 years and I assure you that when a campaign pays for a product, they approve it before it goes on the air. Heck, campaigns argue about yard signs for days, so you can imagine the discussion around radio advertising.

So at least Barbour knew, but I’m not so sure Cochran did. Coordination between an ‘independent’ expenditure and the campaign is illegal and even if it wasn’t, Thad occasionally has difficulty distinguishing between the days of the week.

The ads specifically warned black voters that McDaniel had a “racist agenda” and that blacks “could lose food stamps, housing assistance, early breakfast, free lunch” and all the other handout programs. The ads concluded with the ominous, “We’ve come this far, we can’t go back now!”

Say to the time when Mississippi was run by white bigots who were Democrats.

This combination of pandering and lying is actually worse than the old–fashioned race baiting, because then, after the election, the race–baiting winner was going to vote the way the bigots wanted. In fact the loser in the primary probably would have voted the way the bigots wanted.

Which lent the practice an air of twisted integrity.  But the herd of RINOs, Barbour & Barbour, backing the longtime and frequently out­–of–touch incumbent Cochran will do no such thing. If the primary result stands, Cochran will go back to voting the same way that earned him a zero civil rights rating from the ACLU.

Giving ‘credit’ where ‘credit’ is due, the Cochran victory was remarkable. Typically when a long–time incumbent is forced into a runoff, he loses. Cochran trailed in the first vote by 2,000 votes and then won the runoff by 7,000 votes. The difference being the McDaniel campaign spent the runoff turning out it’s base and the Cochran campaign spent its time turning out Obama’s base.

But there is no guarantee the Cochran ‘victory’ will stand.

Mississippi law says anyone can vote in the Republican runoff as long as they did not vote in the earlier Democrat primary. If they did, those votes are illegal. McDaniel campaign representatives have already begun checking names and claim that thousands of Cochran votes came from voters that had already voted in the Democrat primary.

Meanwhile back in Virginia, those inclusive RINOs in the Cantor organization are busy making sure the Dave Brat campaign won’t have the use of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that until last week were sitting in the 7th District Republican Committee.

Eric Cantor — either ambitious or too–big–for–his–britches, take your choice — had turned the committee into an influence–peddling machine. He raised almost $400,000 for the committee so he could contribute campaign funds to other Virginia candidates and build up a bank of political chits he could call in later.

This money was in addition to any leadership PACs and his own federal campaign account that he used to buy influence with his fellow members of Congress. Of course a funny thing happened to Cantor on the way to being Speaker of the House or governor of Virginia.

He lost a primary to Dave Brat. So instead of healing the wounds and uniting for victory in November, Cantor had his lackeys on the committee give the money away in a breath–taking display of spite and poor losership.

Brat’s plan initially was to use a bit over half of the money for a grassroots get–out–the–vote effort with a dozen staffers who would supervise telephone call centers and a direct mail campaign.

Instead the RINOs charged in and gave $150,000 to the Republican National Committee, $150,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, $5,000 to Ed Gillespie’s campaign for US Senate, $25,000 to a GOP state senate candidate and $13,000 to the VA GOP. And oh yes, they left a $10 gift card to Ace Hardware in the deposit box so Brat could buy a bucket to soak his head.

Once the deed was done, the lying could begin.

Cantor’s consultant assured the media the best way to insure the money will come back to the 7th district is to send it off to Washington, as opposed to leaving the money in the local bank account where is already was. Possibly he thought the money would gain momentum as it traveled through the banking system and return to Virginia with the impact of an asteroid.

But I’ll tell you what will happen. Most of the money will go anywhere but Virginia. These committees are run by 24–year–old masters of the universe that let polling do their thinking. Brat’s seat is a safe seat, so he won’t get a dime. The money will go to other House races in other states.

If Gillespie polls well, he could get some of the 150K back, minus a few miscellaneous handling fees, but that’s a big if. What is not in doubt is that Dave Brat won’t have a GOTV operation unless he raises the money for it himself.

So who are the fanatics now? The TEA party–backed candidates who worked hard and turned out conservatives or the RINOs who use sleaze and spite to get their way?