Category Archives: Economy

Feeling the Bern in Venezuela

venezuela

Hugo Chavez used to give heating oil to poor Americans through Joe Kennedy’s Citizen’s Energy Corp. Now the mayor of Caracas tweets that Venezuelans are hunting cats and dogs for dinner.

Regular blackouts shut down hospital respirators for hours in Venezuela according to the  NYT. Glenn Reyonolds, at USA Today, says socialism doesn’t help poor people. It creates them.

The Bern in Venezuela

Bernie Sanders says he’s for Denmark style socialism. Danes aren’t pleased. T.D. Tuccille, in Reason, quotes Bernie Sanders giving a shoutout to Socialism’s ability to make people equally poor:

“Sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is because people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing,” Sanders told interviewers in 1985. “In other countries people don’t line up for food; the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

The Venezuelan elite aren’t eating their pets. Chavez’s daughter is believed to have a net worth in the billions.

Brazil

Brazil

The Olympics are coming to Brazil. The country is in deep recession, the water is filthy, Zika virus is rampant and the president is being impeached. President Dilma Rousseff was suspended by the Senate on Thursday.

She calls it a coup.

Coal Country Candidate

coal country

Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in the West Virginia primary 51.4% to 35.8%.

Before the primary an unemployed coal miner confronted Hillary for acknowledging that her policies would put a lot of coal miners out of work. She claimed that her remarks were taken out of context. Here are her remarks in context from Politifact:

So for example, I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country. Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right?

And we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people. Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories. 

Now we’ve got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels, but I don’t want to move away from the people who did the best they could to produce the energy that we relied on.

Aside from EPA mandates, coal is being displaced by a cheaper and cleaner fuel – natural gas produced by fracking.

Ringling Bros Elephant Final Performance

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The elephants at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey have accepted a buyout from management. The terms were undisclosed. Despite having marketable skills in a service economy, most of the pachyderms (the Labor Department deems the term elephant insensitive) say they intend to go on long term disability.

Their final performance was Sunday May 1.

Hastert Hush Money

hastert hush money

I was wondering how it was possible that I was watching Donald Trump, the Republican “presumptive nominee” for president of the United States, giving a foreign policy speech yesterday afternoon.

Then news broke that former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert had been sentenced to fifteen months in prison and fined $250,000. He was guilty of  structuring bank withdrawals to hide the fact that he was taking out millions in cash.

How is it possible that a former politician and high school wrestling coach was able to withdraw $3.5 million in cash? The former Speaker had parlayed his status as an elite Washington insider into a job as a high paid Washington lobbyist.

Hastert Hush Money

The cash was hush money Hastert paid to a former high school wrestler whom he had molested when he was his coach. The judge called him a “serial child molester.”

Here’s the story in the NY Times. Here’s a National Review story about Hastert’s rise from suburban Chicago high school teacher to Washington insider.