Saturday, November 03, 2012

BULLSHITTING THE BULLSHITERS. At National Review, Jillian Kay Melchior complains that Sam Brownback's gone RINO. How?
Late last week, Kansas’s staunchly free-market governor, Sam Brownback, gave his approval to a flagrantly partisan, protectionist proposal from Democrats in the state Legislature. It’s bad policy — and an unfortunate aberration for a governor who’s been a champ for fiscal conservatism.

Last Thursday, Kansas’s Democratic leaders, the legislative minority, proposed new “buy American” legislation that would force state agencies to buy American-made products, exempting them only if there’s a domestic shortage or if it would raise project costs by more than 25 percent.
Requiring government -- not private citizens, but government -- to buy American is socialism or something, and Melchior doesn't bother to explain why, instead citing authority:
A Buy America provision “essentially increases costs for Kansans and for taxpayers, at least potentially, as opposed to promoting the best value,” said James Franko, communications director for the non-partisan Kansas Policy Institute.
The "non-partisan" Kansas Policy Institute! From SourceWatch:
The Kansas Policy Institute (KPI) is a "free market" think tank, one of many listed as members of the State Policy Network (SPN). Both KPI and SPN are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)... KPI was founded in 1996 as the Kansas Public Policy Institute and was later called the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy before receiving its current name. Kansas' Flint Hills also lent their name to the Koch brothers' Flint Hills Resources, a subsidiary of Koch Industries.
They also founded the Kansas Reporter, one in a chain of connected rightwing propaganda mills.

You may be moved to wonder, "National Review's a safe zone, why is Melchior misrepresenting KPI to her own people?" Could be she's just reading off a sheet they put in front of her. Also, it may be that even some wingnuts might recoil at the idea that buying American is treason to one's corporate masters -- which might remind them, to their horror, that their current Presidential champion is pretty much running on that as a platform.

Oh, and at the same time Romney's accusing Obama of the same thing -- thereby moving news about his own offshore activities off the front page. I never said it wasn't clever.

45 comments:

  1. Substance McGravitas1:28 AM

    When I was a kid dad would say "What about the starving kids in China?" when I wouldn't finish my supper.

    Thank god the National Review is helping to put the dream of enriching poor communist children into action.

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  2. Sam Brownback a RINO?


    Did someone go foraging and get the wrong kind of mushrooms?

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  3. Tehanu2:48 AM

    So "Buy American" is now un-American because miserliness is the most patriotic American virtue?

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  4. Someone should tell Glenn Beck that his line of made-in-USA jeans are unpatriotic doubleplus ungood now.

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  5. Spaghetti Lee3:52 AM

    For the corporate class, the "best value" would be everyone being their slaves. No labor costs and probably less on advertising too. We don't do that (yet), because it's morally wrong. Any more questions, Kochsuckers?

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  6. Another Kiwi4:21 AM

    What morons these people are with their longing for a Mad Max future. DO they ever mention agricultural subsidies that the American government pays out to American farmers? If they are going to get all free-tradey that is a more pressing problem.

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  7. AngryWarthogBreath8:03 AM

    I'll leave "Mitt Romney discusses the horror of offshoring" off the table,because that's... yeah. But isn't "nonpartisan" like "eventheliberal", and not that far away from "conservatives are the really cool people"? It's always better when you can say "everyone's secretly on our side, even the strenuously beige".

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  8. montag28:08 AM

    Brownback has been getting some bad press lately--partly because in the midst of all his jaundice-inducing tax cutting, he's also flitting around in the state's private jet on the taxpayers' dime to go on ski trips, football games and to the NCAA tournament. This deal with the Democrats is probably just politics as usual. Brownback's likely hoping this will cause them to tone down the ugly talk about what his budget cuts have been doing to the public schools.

    As for the "buy American" business, I think it's been federal law since the early `60s, and its intent then was to protect a U.S. steel industry in decline from the ravages of Canadian steel imports (there was a bit of a rail line boomlet at the time, and the Canadians made a lot of train rails). Then it was competition from the Japanese. Then, after many decades of the failure of the big U.S. steelmakers to reinvest in new technology, it was the mini-mills.

    Now, so much of what is manufactured comes from overseas subsidiaries of American firms, the formulae for figuring out American content are truly frightening to behold. Up until recently, 60% of federal contract dollars had to be spent on American-made content and/or labor (IIRC, the percentage was reduced recently--probably due to the slowly dawning recognition by Congress that the longstanding percentage simply could no longer be met because so much industry has been closed or moved offshore, partly because Congress was corrupt and stupid enough to give companies tax credits for the moving expenses).

    Trade protectionism is always pooh-poohed by the free-market fanatics, but, the truth is, everyone does it to some degree. Scratch a free-market fanatic and underneath there's just a greedy capitalist looking for government to give him an advantage over a competitor, foreign or domestic. If it weren't that way, American trade treaties would look remarkably different from what they actually are.

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  9. zencomix8:24 AM

    " Scratch a free-market fanatic and underneath there's just a greedy capitalist looking for government to give him an advantage over a competitor, foreign or domestic."



    The "Shrink Big Government: Vote Republican" signs at the edges of Iowa cornfields are always a good conversation starter about white people welfare farm subsidies.

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  10. montag28:28 AM

    Brownback has been getting some bad press lately--partly because in the midst of all his jaundice-inducing tax cutting, he's also flitting around in the state's private jet on the taxpayers' dime to go on ski trips, football games and to the NCAA tournament. This deal with the Democrats is probably just politics as usual. Brownback's likely hoping this will cause them to tone down the ugly talk about what his budget cuts have been doing to the public schools.



    As for the "buy American" business, I think it's been federal law since the early `60s, and its intent then was to protect a U.S. steel industry in decline from the ravages of Canadian steel imports (there was a bit of a rail line boomlet at the time, and the Canadians made a lot of train rails). Then it was competition from the Japanese. Then, after many decades of the failure of the big U.S. steelmakers to reinvest in new technology, it was the mini-mills.


    Now, so much of what is manufactured comes from overseas subsidiaries of American firms, the formulae for figuring out American content are truly frightening to behold. Up until recently, 60% of federal contract dollars had to be spent on American-made content and/or labor (IIRC, the percentage was reduced recently--probably due to the slowly dawning recognition by Congress that the longstanding percentage simply could no longer be met because so much industry has been closed or moved offshore, partly because Congress was corrupt and stupid enough to give companies tax credits for the moving expenses).


    Trade protectionism is always pooh-poohed by the free-market fanatics, but, the truth is, everyone does it to some degree. Scratch a free-market fanatic and underneath there's just a greedy capitalist looking for government to give him an advantage over a competitor, foreign or domestic. If it weren't that way, American trade treaties would look remarkably different from what they actually are.

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  11. aimai8:29 AM

    They are moving to the Stabbed in the Back legend rather fast. Here's hoping that after Anger, Denial, and Bargaining comes self deportation and auto cannibalism.


    aimai

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  12. Derelict8:50 AM

    I wonder if we're all missing the real central point to this. The real problem Melchoir is bellyaching about has nothing to do with capitalism, protectionism, costs or anything real. The problem is that DEMOCRATS proposed something.


    If you haven't noticed over the last four years, the only absolutely rock-solid principle conservatives have now is that they oppose anything Democrats back. And that includes proposals that conservatives have spent decades pursuing.

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  13. tigrismus10:07 AM

    So who are the conservatives forwarding emails bemoaning foreign pickle relish in the local grocery store and foreign people owning businesses in [insert red city of choice]? Either the majority of conservatives don't read NR or NR is banking on its readers' vast capacity for internal inconsistency. Or both.

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  14. StringOnAStick10:18 AM

    It might not be the most patriotic, but it is certainly the most common amongst those of a certain reddish cast.

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  15. StringOnAStick10:31 AM

    I do know of one dyed-in-the-wool, Limpbaugh loving winger who changed to pissed-off liberal once he could no longer sustain the cognitive dissonance necessary to reconcile American farm subsidies as a destructive force that renders farmers in Africa unable to compete/survive locally or on a world basis. I think he got there from his inherent racism and anger that "we have to keep bailing out starving Africans". Somehow it penetrated his head that if grains here are cheaper than the costs of production thanks to subsidies, then they are so cheap that they wipe out local production for those whose own governments are too poor to compete in the subsidy Thunderdome.
    This guy should be bronzed or something, or at least offered a spot in some museum's exotic rarities section.

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  16. I can just see the Republicans following Melchior's lead and inserting a "Buy foreign if it's cheaper" plank into their platform. White working-class voters will swarm to that like flies on shit.

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  17. mortimer1:05 PM

    Buy American is bad because it encourages union-types to give back less of their hard-earned wages and benefits. It also increases income for those few American businesses who still haven't gone global and reaped higher profits from outsourcing, which sends the wrong message. However, Buy American is great if the products are say, derivatives, where the money goes to hedge funders and private equity scumbags, you know, Real Americans.

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  18. Derelict4:06 PM

    Too bad that cognitive dissonance like that doesn't produce physical symptoms (other than bumper stickers and t-shirts). It might lead some rightwing types to question some of the long-standing Conservative koans:


    The only way to get rich people to work harder is to give them more money, and the only way to get poor people to work harder is to take money away from them.


    Obama's attendance at Reverend Wright's radical Christian church proves that Obama is a Muslim.


    Ronald Reagan cut taxes by raising taxes eight times in 6 years.


    I bet we could probably make this into a new game show!

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  19. Phil Perspective4:32 PM

    Trade protectionism is always pooh-poohed by the free-market fanatics, but, the truth is, everyone does it to some degree.


    And pretty much every country does it, except ours.

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  20. A couple of more years and they'll all be RINOs

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  21. Hey, who's the troll who voted down my comment? Is my meaning not clear?

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  22. redoubt6:37 PM

    Using this logic, their 2016 candidate for President almost has to be Paraguayan-Born Chinese.

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  23. William Miller6:40 PM

    If you're a corporation, you find the best talent at the top by offering obscenely exorbitant salaries and benefits because it takes a lot of money attract the best talent. You find the best talent at the bottom by making unemployed smart people who need a paycheck accept dogshit wages and thank God they finally got a real job because their unemployment benefits are about to run out.

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  24. William Miller6:57 PM

    "...the only rock-solid principle conservatives have now is that they oppose anything Democrats back." If that's true--and I'm not denying that it is--there has to come a time when something gives--blows up in their fucking faces--just from the pressure of the requirement to come up with something new, every day all the time, to cover what it was that they had but that they can no longer have and must now have as it's exact opposite. I want to see that explosion in my lifetime.
    Mitt Romney thinks he can get away with his Etch-a-Sketch philosophy of campaigning. He's probably going to lose, but it will be hard to determine how much his belief that the American electorate is too stupid or semi-conscious to buy his bullshit will have had to do with it. Some people just don't care; "He's a Republican and he is therefore etc., which is what I want. " Will we be able to discern how many people would have voted for Romney except for the fact that, "Well, six months ago he said this and this week he said just the opposite"?

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  25. MyPetGloat9:17 PM

    Wingnuts support "Buy America" not "Buy American" which is marxistsocialismcommunism now.

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  26. Ssh. It's okay. Sometimes people click things they don't mean. We'll get through this together.

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  27. Conservatives/libertarians (but I repeat myself) always identify with management, never labor.

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  28. reallyaimai7:29 AM

    This has absolutely always been WalMart's argument for why it is "good" that crappy walmart jobs replace local mom and pop businesses. They haven't been shy about it at all. Also, I finally found my disqus account so this is going to say "reallyaimai" but its, uh, really me, aimai.

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  29. I'm really touchy these days. I need some Xanax.

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  30. Provider_UNE8:40 AM

    This has absolutely always been WalMart's argument for why it is "good"
    that crappy walmart jobs replace local mom and pop businesses.



    And I remember when Walmart touted their purchase of *only* American Made goods as a justification to gut the marketplace.


    ...

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  31. Provider_UNE8:47 AM

    Anyone marrying Kubler-Ross, the Dolchsto├člegende, one of Mitt's dreams and the Donner Party, is tops in my book. And to blend the mix in three lines...Bravo!

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  32. Provider_UNE8:52 AM

    Did someone go foraging and get the wrong kind of mushrooms?


    One might imagine that after the Goldwater debacle or prior to it, the supplier of 'shrooms to the GOP was "outourced" to a guy who had "connections" and resided next to a cow pasture.
    ...

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  33. Provider_UNE8:55 AM

    ...Or both.


    Asked and answered, methinks!


    Consistency is the hob-goblin of Tribal warfare.
    ...

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  34. tim11710:27 AM

    I'm beginning to think the whole conservative movement is just a grift. Why would she lie at NRO? Because the average right winger is more of a target for the grift than even the Villagers or centrists

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  35. tim11710:28 AM

    This, despite the fact, they do their shopping at Walmart, where everything IS assembled overseas

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  36. Tehanu12:38 PM

    "bemoaning foreign pickle relish"? I thought it was "promoting pink Himalayan salt."

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  37. Another Kiwi12:56 PM

    There's a whole menagerie that preys on the right wingers. people like Jerome Corsi, David Horowitz, the Coultergeist and Glenn Beck. The grift is so well done that the marks end up defending the grifter.

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  38. JennOfArk2:13 PM

    I'm beginning to think the whole conservative movement is just a grift.
    That's because it is. The conservarubes who make up the tea party and their ilk are viewed by party leaders and those on the wingnut welfare gravy train as sheep to be fleeced. I once signed up at one of the wingnut blogs under a fake name with an email address created just for the purpose - I'd guess about 5 spams per day from that one site were coming to the email, and pretty much without exception, they were from those whose sole interest was not so much political as in getting a hand into my pocket. The codewords and fantasies they concoct are in many cases simply created for the purpose of scaring their flock into parting with their money.

    You really, really, should read this, which speaks to your question and gets right to the heart of the issue.

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  39. tim1173:41 PM

    Yeah, Jenn, I after I read Tom's piece (that's right, I call him Tom) that's when I started to realize how persuasive this is

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  40. PersonaAuGratin4:25 PM

    While reading Rick Pearlstein's "The Long Con: Mail-order conservatism" in the Baffler the other day (http://www.thebaffler.com/past/the_long_con) it occurred to me that GOP is barely, if at all, a "political party" anymore but rather a platform (in the sense that Amazon's marketplace, eBay, etc are "platforms" for their sellers) for attracting customers/suckers for anyone who has a certain type of con to sell.

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  41. PersonaAuGratin4:28 PM

    Oops, didn't see that Jenn had already linked to the Pearlstein piece!

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  42. AGoodQuestion11:41 PM

    I'm sure management appreciates it. Not enough to actually do anything to return the favor, but enough for a thumbs-up.

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  43. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard3:28 PM

    If the Kenyan Usurper wins, there will be a Night of the Long Knives in the GOP such as we've never seen in our lifetime.

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  44. Halloween_Jack3:36 PM

    Obligatory "a fella could have a decent time in Vegas with all that stuff" mention.

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