It is clear by the recent decision to hold up (we've been waiting three years) until next year the approval of a pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast, which would increase safe oil resources and increase jobs, that President Obama is not serious about energy independence, disentangling us from unstable Middle Eastern oil and expanding U.S. employment. Another reason he needs to be a one termer. He'd rather just run against Congress. By the way, the Chinese have offered to build a Western pipeline and take the oil Obama is spurning.
Redistricting In Texas With Courts
Since Texas is still under the Voting Rights Act our redistricting is micromanaged by the courts and the "Obama Justice" Department. Some Republicans thought we should've been more artful and less aggressive in drawing lines.
In fact, the three judge federal panels' efforts at redistricting is possibly rewarding Democrats with up to 11 new seats and protecting "white liberal" Wendy Davis in Fort Worth in the Texas Senate. This was accomplished by packing Republican voting strength.
Judge Jerry Smith's proposed House Plan was significantly better, but he could only get one vote. That is why who appoints federal judges matters.
Look for the legislature to redistrict again in 2013, and with a new President, we can get a plan that recognizes Republican strength in Texas.
Let's hope a new President does come into office in 2013 and the legislature can redo the lines more in a way we believe they ought to be.
Leppert Coming To Red, White & Blue
The Gulf Coast leading public affairs program, Red, White and Blue, will feature in December the GOP U.S. Senate candidate Tom Leppert in a wide-ranging interview. Ted Cruz appeared last August, the video is available at the PBS website. A third candidate, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, will be featured on a future show.
Double Standard On Oops Moments,
Gary Bauer as a Public Service Gives Us President Obama's!
TCR Comment: The Campaign For Working Families does great work. Recently they completed a less than one-minute video about Obama's oops. You need to watch this.
Rick Perry's "brain freeze" got the Saturday Night Live treatment last weekend, and most commentators think those 53 seconds could end his campaign.
They decided to hold President Obama to the same standard. Go to www.cwfpac.com/home to watch the Featured Video on their homepage.
State Of Our Economy
By Neland Nobel
It seems we are facing two major issues in the intermediate term. One is the Eurozone crisis. Noriel Roubini has a trenchant piece in the Financial Times this morning, suggesting that either the weak countries need to leave, go back to their national currencies and inflate, or the European Central Bank needs to become like the FED, become a buyer of last resort of weak sovereign bonds with money conjured out of nothing (inflate). So we either need to inflate national currencies outside of the Eurozone by those that leave, or the Eurozone will have to inflate.
Either way, Europe needs to inflate. We think Roubini is correct. For the Eurozone, it is boiling down to Dick Russell's (investment gurus) monetary axiom: inflate or die. Either the ECB changes it's machinery to inflate, or the currency union fractures and lets the weak periphery inflate. Either way, the outcome will be some variant on the US quantitative easing.
But the Eurozone has structural impediments designed into the ECB by Germany 's fear of inflation that makes such recommended monetary expansion next to impossible. So, the Eurozone will either have to change those rules, or countries will have to leave. The problem is to change the rules would take a long time since we are talking treaty abrogation. Likewise, the Eurozone was designed like a roach motel. You can get in easily (lying if necessary like Greece did) but there is no mechanism for leaving.
Either way, the Eurozone as presently constituted will be wrecked. The risk is high that bureaucratic diddling will keep the weak from leaving and inflating, hamstring the ECB from inflating, and Europe will have a deflationary depression that will proceed the break up the Euro. The result of that is likely dragging the US and Asia down with them in a synchronized global recession. This is scary to contemplate. It means a global deflationary episode first, followed by a reflationary attempt.
One simply can't know exactly what the sequence of events will be.
On the domestic front, the summer compromise on the budget ceiling fight, the creation of Super Committees, which supposedly could handle the tough choices that the whole Congress as a whole could not; looks like it is getting nowhere. In fact, it looks like the Democrats are deliberately out to scuttle negotiations so the President is free to run against a "do nothing Congress". A do nothing Congress, mind you, largely because of his own policies. The President has cynically walked away from the recommendations of his own commission (Simpson-Bowles). It would appear sacrifice of the country on the alter of his own re-election campaign is a high probability. This outcome cannot be ignored either.
These two problems look intractable. Both would argue that political machinery of the Eurozone and the US, simply cannot deal with the problem. We are In sum, both the stock market and the gold market seem to be saying the same thing: in essence, we are concerned about the Eurozone and the US budget impasse, but for now liquidity factors and a recovery from really a severe over sold condition (and psychologically extremely bearish investor opinion) warrants taking stock values up, even though the political news background out of the US and Europe is dreadful.
The world is in bad shape to be sure, but our pessimistic friends can't figure out why the market should be rising and have missed a very good opportunity to make some money over the past six weeks.
Neland Nobel is Vice President of UBS Financial Services and is a free market economist and investment advisor. He can be reached at email@example.com.
The Left's Master Scheme For Personal Riches
By Bruce Bialosky, Contributing Editor
My daughter, who attends a well-respected university on the East Coast, sent me a quote from a source she was required to use in order to analyze the difference between American hip-hop and African hip-hop. The author wrote "This current volume methodologically and intellectually transcends such a limiting analysis of the import and outcome of identity and music making to look at how youth mobilize hip hop in order to produce not only new avenues for identity formation but also establish new parameters for critiquing the advent of neoliberal market fundamentalism and share social and cultural interpretations within a boarder regional polity."
If anyone can explain the meaning of that statement, dinner is on me. My daughter griped "I just can't get over this sentence. I can't even understand it. Hasn't this man ever heard of a comma?" And yet millions of Americans shell out exorbitant fees for stuff like this so that their adult children can obtain that "golden ticket" called a college degree. The question is not only if it's worth it, but whether the left has, in effect, established a system that not only indoctrinates young Americans, but soaks them financially as well - and, incidentally, provides the ordained an exceedingly opulent lifestyle.
For more insight on this issue, I turned to Naomi Schaefer Riley, one of the most knowledgeable individuals on the subject of college education in today's America. Ms. Riley, a former Wall Street Journal staffer and the child of a current and a former college professor, recently wrote The Faculty Lounges (and Other Reasons Why You Won't Get the College Education You Paid For), in which she attempts to assess the current status of college education. Her concise, thoughtful, and cutting analysis clearly defines the issues at hand.
When asked what caused the rapid increase in the cost of education, Ms. Riley told me that it's much like the health care system - third party payers. As federal aid has poured into the college system, tuition has soared. Unfortunately, the money hasn't gone into the classroom, but has principally been spent on administrative growth. To be fair, universities are burdened with some of the same costly expenses that the rest of us suffer, and now must retain huge legal departments to deal with a plethora of issues and lawsuits, but that's just a small portion of the bloat. An ever-increasing number of transient instructors now support the system while a major portion of the faculty spends its time doing research - much of which produces, at best, minor benefits. Ms. Riley observed that last year, 100 books were written by university professors on Shakespeare (who's been dead for 400 years). Do we really need this? Does this really serve the purpose of the huge fees being paid by the customers?
Ms. Riley clearly articulates what the problem with college education is today. No one is in charge. There may be a president of the university, but he doesn't control the individual departments, who independently determine who gets hired, who obtains permanent status (tenure), and if, when, where, and how much they interact with the customers (students). The professors are responsible neither to the CEO nor the customer, and, predictably, live in disdain for both. Can you imagine any tenured professor personally committed to addressing the needs and desires of their students simply because each of them paid $3,000 - $4,000 to take their class? And if you need proof that tenured professors have no respect for the CEO, just look at how they helped throw out Lawrence Summers, president of Harvard, for a comment that was insufficiently in line with their far-left dogma. College presidents end up doing three things: raising funds for new buildings, making sure the alumni are appeased, and hiring ever more administrators (over whom the President actually has some control).
This is a perfect socialist model: they create a product that doesn't have to be responsible to customers, and the inmates run the asylum - and yet, they have America duped into accepting this scheme. When I asked Ms. Riley how they're able to get away with this, she identified two reasons: first, there really is no alternative; and, second, in general, people feel good about universities. The Occupy Wall Street movement is demanding relief from student loans and blaming bankers, but you never see them excoriating their professors or the University for providing a useless degree, having thoroughly soaked the students (and their parents).
One solution proposed by Ms. Riley is to terminate the tenure system and get the professors back in the classroom, but that's just the beginning. Americans need to grasp the magnitude of the problem and stop giving universities a blank check. When governmental leaders tell Americans about the importance of a college degree, they should also consider the outrageous cost being foisted upon their constituents. Why should the cost of college be increasing, as it is today, at four times or more than the rate of inflation?
We created this problem, principally by allowing these people to run roughshod over us. Alumni pour money into schools, demanding little accountability. Students protest everything from bad nachos to the killing of Osama Bin Laden, but don't demand classes taught by credentialed adults instead of 23-year-old graduate students with no office and no office hours. Parents proudly boast that their kid goes to Highfalutin U, but never question the tuition bill. And, of course, President Obama and the Democrats go after private, for-profit schools while letting the "non-profit" universities get away with anything.
We've all played a part in creating this travesty. Now we must start to reverse it because serious ramifications are facing our country.
Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former appointee of President Bush.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones, Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and replaying Sundays at 5:00 p.m. on PBS Houston Channel 8 and on the web at www.houstonpbs.org.
11/18/11: Runoff Elections – Houston City Council At Large Position 2: Andrew C. Burks, Jr. and Kristi Thibaut and at Large Position 5: Jack Christie and Councilwoman Jolanda Jones.
For a fun feature go to www.houstonpbs.org and under Red White and Blue, you can see commentary about the show and its guests by Gary and David each week. The current show as well as past shows are also available on YouTube.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his thirteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last ten years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 6 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his ninth year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.