Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tidbits of Knowledge...

A condom and a sewing needleImage via Wikipedia Interesting piece of history:

• In 1872, the Muslims invented the condom, using a goat's lower intestine.

• In 1873, the British somewhat refined the idea by taking the intestine out of the goat first.

- Thanks to JK!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Carter-Obama Comparisons Grow

These comparisons are being made by fellow liberal democrats! This on top of Bob Woodward's new book portraying an dysfunctional Obama administration... Well, a least ol' Jimmuh wasn't a fascist - just an incompetent. Perhaps the more apt comparison between Obama and another famed incompetent liberal socialist would be Benito Mussolini. Imam Obama as Il Duce redux?!...T

Comparisons between the Obama White House and the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter are increasingly being made—and by Democrats.

Walter Mondale, Mr. Carter's vice president, told The New Yorker this week that anxious and angry voters in the late 1970s "just turned against us—same as with Obama." As the polls turned against his administration, Mr. Mondale recalled that Mr. Carter "began to lose confidence in his ability to move the public." Democrats on Capitol Hill are now saying this is happening to Mr. Obama.

Mr. Mondale says it's time for the president "to get rid of those teleprompters and connect" with voters. Another of Mr. Obama's clear errors has been to turn over the drafting of key legislation to the Democratic Congress: "That doesn't work even when you own Congress," he said. "You have to ride 'em."

Mr. Carter himself is heightening comparisons with his own presidency by publishing his White House diaries this week. "I overburdened Congress with an array of controversial and politically costly requests," he said on Monday. The parallels to Mr. Obama's experience are clear.

Comparisons between the two men were made frequently during the 2008 campaign, but in a favorable way. Princeton University historian Sean Wilentz, for instance, told Fox News in August 2008 that Mr. Obama's "rhetoric is more like Jimmy Carter's than any other Democratic president in recent memory." Syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg noted more recently that Mr. Obama, like Mr. Carter in his 1976 campaign, "promised a transformational presidency, a new accommodation with religion, a new centrism, a changed tone."

But within a few months, liberals were already finding fault with his rhetoric. "He's the great earnest bore at the dinner party," wrote Michael Wolff, a contributor to Vanity Fair. "He's cold; he's prickly; he's uncomfortable; he's not funny; and he's getting awfully tedious. He thinks it's all about him." That sounds like a critique of Mr. Carter.

Foreign policy experts are also picking up on similarities. Walter Russell Mead, then a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, told the Economist magazine earlier this year that Mr. Obama is "avoiding the worst mistakes that plagued Carter." But he warns that presidents like Mr. Obama who emphasize "human rights" can fall prey to the temptation of picking on weak countries while ignoring more dire human rights issues in powerful countries (Russia, China, Iran). Over time that can "hollow out an administration's credibility and make a president look weak." Mr. Mead warned that Mr. Obama's foreign policy "to some degree makes him dependent on people who wish neither him nor America well. This doesn't have to end badly and I hope that it doesn't—but it's not an ideal position after one's first year in power."

Liberals increasingly can't avoid making connections between Mr. Carter's political troubles and those of Mr. Obama. In July, MSNBC's Chris Matthews asked his guests if Democrats up for re-election will "run away from President O'Carter." After much laughter, John Heileman of New York Magazine quipped "Calling Dr. Freud." To which Mr. Matthews, a former Carter speechwriter, sighed "I know."

Pat Caddell, who was Mr. Carter's pollster while he was in the White House, thinks some comparisons between the two men are overblown. But he notes that any White House that is sinking in the polls takes on a "bunker mentality" that leads the president to become isolated and consult with fewer and fewer people from the outside. Mr. Caddell told me that his Democratic friends think that's happening to Mr. Obama—and that the president's ability to pull himself out of a political tailspin is hampered by his resistance to seek out fresh thinking.

The Obama White House is clearly cognizant of the comparisons being made between the two presidents. This month, environmental activist Bill McKibben met with White House aides to convince them to reinstall a set of solar panels that Mr. Carter had placed on the White House roof. They were taken down in 1986 following roof repairs. Mr. McKibben said it was time to bring them back to demonstrate Mr. Obama's support for alternative energy.

But Mr. McKibben told reporters that the White House "refused to take the Carter-era panel that we brought with us" and only said that they would continue to ponder "what is appropriate" for the White House's energy needs. Britain's Guardian newspaper reported that the Obama aides were "twitchy perhaps about inviting any comparison (to Mr. Carter) in the run-up to the very difficult mid-term elections." Democrats need no reminding that Mr. Carter wound up costing them dearly in 1978 and 1980 as Republicans made major gains in Congress.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010


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Imagine yourself as an angry, selfish, arrogant, coddled, know-it-all teenager. You're protected at every turn and fall for every bit of leftist claptrap you hear. But then you fail at everything you try in real life, so you lie about the failures and blame it on everybody except yourself. Imagine all of that and you are getting close to the mind-set of Barack Obama.
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Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Outlook Dims for Democrats

"With the midterm election less than two months away, all signs point to a punishing defeat for Democrats in the House of Representatives... With pressure mounting and a potentially epic loss looming, Mr. Obama has gone from a commanding, engaging candidate to an arrogant, self-pitying president. It is not pretty to witness...The first people to pay the political price for Mr. Obama's mistakes will be congressional Democrats, who likely will be swept out of their House majority this November. "

A stunning update from Mr. Rove, who until this week had predicted that the democrats would likely hold onto control of both houses. The left's stunning arrogance has a precedent: Let's see, who was it that was quoted originally as commenting; "Let them eat cake"?...T

With the midterm election less than two months away, all signs point to a punishing defeat for Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Since July 1, there have been 111 polls released on U.S. House races in 79 districts. Some were commissioned by news organizations; others came from the campaigns themselves or political groups (a detailed list is posted at Ninety-seven polls were conducted in seats held by Democrats while 14 were in Republican districts.

They show that Democratic incumbents trail GOP challengers in 30 districts and are behind in seven of nine open Democratic seats. By comparison, GOP incumbents are ahead in seven of the eight contests polled and Republican hopefuls lead in four of the six races for GOP open seats. If Republicans prevailed in these fights, they would net 34 of the 39 seats they need to win the House.

It could get worse. Of the 36 polls in which Democratic incumbents led, Republican challengers were within three points in 12 contests and within five points in 18 others. By contrast, in the 55 polls in which the GOP leads, the Republican is ahead by more than five points in 36. And in all but two instances in which data are available, the Democrat incumbents are significantly better known than their GOP challengers. As these challengers become better known, they're likely to rise in the polls.

Indiana's second district is a good example. Republican State Rep. Jackie Walorski trails Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly by only 44% to 46%, according to an August American Action Forum poll. But Ms. Walorski is known by 78% of voters while Mr. Donnelly's name ID is a near-saturation 97%. This is a very winnable seat for the GOP.

On the money front—and despite the Republican National Committee's considerable fund-raising and spending difficulties—the Republican Governors Association has almost twice as much cash as the Democratic Governors Association. In addition, the GOP's Senate campaign committee has achieved parity with its Democratic counterpart and, as Josh Kraushaar pointed out in a perceptive piece in Politico, the GOP's Congressional Campaign Committee has outraised its Democratic competitor over the last four months and is spending more wisely. This led Speaker Nancy Pelosi to write Democratic congressmen who hadn't contributed to their party's election fund, telling them to call her within 72 hours to discuss their plans to give . . . or else.

The Democratic financial advantage is also offset by outside center-right groups. Some (including American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, organizations I'm helping) are raising impressive sums and, as importantly, are working together to expand the battlefield to the GOP's advantage.

Republicans don't necessarily need to match the Democrats' money. Democrats, after all, were outspent in 2006 when they won control of the House. What matters is sufficiency—whether GOP challengers have adequate funds to get out their message.

Democrats are saddled with two signature initiatives—the stimulus package and health-care reform—that are manifestly unpopular. Opponents of these laws are energized while supporters are lethargic.

No Democratic incumbent has run a single ad this summer heralding health-care reform, while several have run ads emphasizing their opposition to it. Praise for the stimulus is rare even from the lips of Democratic candidates. Democrats have passed a lot of legislation but don't want to claim public credit for it.

No wonder. Consider what voters call the election's three most important issues. Republicans are leading Democrats on the economy by 11 points, jobs by five, and federal spending by 15, according to the Sept. 1 Gallup/USA Today survey.

This week, the president is trying to regain the initiative by championing $50 billion in new stimulus spending, temporary business tax breaks, and an R&D tax credit. It won't matter. After Labor Day, voters tend to be highly suspicious, rightly seeing such new proposals as election eve shenanigans. While the surging party wins most of the toss-up contests in a year like this, some Democratic incumbents will survive by spending every dollar they have to make their Republican challengers appear radioactive.

It's not too early to assess the damage done by America's 44th president. He squandered his mandate and the public's enormous good will. He alienated voters and dropped a heavy yoke on his party with useless spending and a shockingly unpopular health-care bill. With pressure mounting and a potentially epic loss looming, Mr. Obama has gone from a commanding, engaging candidate to an arrogant, self-pitying president. It is not pretty to witness.

The first people to pay the political price for Mr. Obama's mistakes will be congressional Democrats, who likely will be swept out of their House majority this November.
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Sinking With Obama, Democrats Plan Political Triage

Michael Barone implies (rather blatantly) that the Democrats could lose up to 80 seats in the elections coming a few weeks from now. Barone is perhaps the single most respected election prognosticator in America today. He compares today's Democrats to the antebellum democrats who were wiped out in 1856 after they shoved the Kansas-Nebraska act down the collective throats of Americans, believing that they could "explain" to the electorate the expansion of slavery to the territories "after" the bill had passed...sound familiar?!...T

When you spot the word "triage" in a political news story, you know someone is in trouble.

Triage is the procedure by which medical personnel screening people injured in combat or disasters separate those who can be saved from those who can't. The first group is given immediate surgery in hopes of recovery. The second is given painkillers to make the end bearable.

So it was startling to read last weekend in The New York Times that House Democratic leaders "are preparing a brutal triage of their own members in hopes of saving enough seats to keep a slim grip on the majority."

House Democratic campaign chairman Chris Van Hollen quickly pooh-poohed the story, as any politically savvy person would. But I bet he's already done his triage and that some of the names mentioned in the Times story are to get painkillers only.

For in the last week the bad news has been flooding in on congressional Democrats. On the generic ballot question, the average of recent polls showed that 49 percent said they would vote for the Republican candidate for the House and 41 percent said they would vote for the Democrat.

To put these results in perspective, consider that before last month Gallup had never shown Republicans leading by more than 6 percent since it began asking the question in 1942. Now they lead by as much as 13 percent in some polls.

And consider also that the generic ballot question has tended to under-predict actual Republican performance in five of the last six House elections.

Republicans need to gain 39 seats for a House majority. The professional analysts see it happening: Larry Sabato puts the number at 47, Stuart Rothenberg at 37 to 42, Charlie Cook at 40. Cook notes that Democratic incumbents are trailing Republican challengers in polls in 32 districts.

These are cautious prognosticators who evaluate candidates for every seat. No wonder Politico's Mike Allen wrote yesterday that "the sky is falling" for the Democrats.

The signs are that Democratic candidates are getting the same message in their polls. Joe Donnelly in Indiana 2 runs an ad criticizing Barack Obama. Travis Childers in Mississippi 1 boasts of voting against the budget. Steve Driehaus in Ohio 1 runs a spot identifying his opponent as a congressman, even though he's an ex-congressman, while positioning himself as the challenger.

At least five House Democrats are running ads bragging about their votes against Obamacare. Surveys of ads run by candidates indicate that no Democrat has run an ad bragging about the health care bill since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did in April. More recently, he's been concentrating on depicting his opponent, Sharron Angle, as a wacko.

Is all this just a response to a sputtering economy? Political scientist Alan Abramowitz, on a panel with Sabato and me at the American Political Science Association conference last weekend, said he thought so. I disagreed.

I think what we're seeing is a rejection of the Obama Democrats' big-government policies. The president and his party thought that in times of economic distress most voters would be supportive of or at least amenable to a vast expansion of the size and scope of government.

They jammed the Senate version of their health care bill through the House in March, in the face of the clear opposition signaled by the voters of Massachusetts as well as every public opinion poll. I can't think of a more unpopular major measure passed by Congress since the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.

Back then, the Democrats also had supermajorities in both houses of Congress and a young, previously little known president who had defeated an aging war hero by a decisive margin. They realized that the Kansas-Nebraska Act promoting slavery in the territories would raise some hackles, but expressed confidence that voters would accept it when it was properly explained to them.

They didn't. Voters reduced the number of Democratic House members from 159 to 83, nearly eliminating the party in much of the North. Democrats didn't win a House majority for the next 20 years.

Today, House Democrats have more money than their opponents and, unlike 1994, they've known for months that they might be in peril. They know that Republicans remain unpopular and hoped their own numbers would improve. But instead they're plunging to historic depths. Time for triage.
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Friday, September 03, 2010

Obama? or Osama?

Obama or Osama? If they were trapped together in a small room, would they grapple to the death? Or plot strategy together? Judging by this book, I would wager on the latter...T

The name of the book Obama is reading is called "The Post-American World", and it was written by a fellow Muslim. "Post" America means the world after American leadership, and postulates the decline of western civilization and the rise of Islam and the Far East - HEIL OSAMA!
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Thursday, September 02, 2010

The last refuge of a liberal

President OBama - Close UpImage by Fred Dawson via Flickr And, continuing this theme: the Libs know it! That is why, as Krauthammer points out, they are again resorting to labeling everyone, in the basest terms, as racist, ignorant, white trash et al...they richly deserve what is coming to them this November...tick, tick, tick...T

Liberalism under siege is an ugly sight indeed. Just yesterday it was all hope and change and returning power to the people. But the people have proved so disappointing. Their recalcitrance has, in only 19 months, turned the predicted 40-year liberal ascendancy (James Carville) into a full retreat. Ah, the people, the little people, the small-town people, the "bitter" people, as Barack Obama in an unguarded moment once memorably called them, clinging "to guns or religion or" -- this part is less remembered -- "antipathy toward people who aren't like them."

That's a polite way of saying: clinging to bigotry. And promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

-- Resistance to the vast expansion of government power, intrusiveness and debt, as represented by the Tea Party movement? Why, racist resentment toward a black president.

-- Disgust and alarm with the federal government's unwillingness to curb illegal immigration, as crystallized in the Arizona law? Nativism.

-- Opposition to the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history, as expressed in Proposition 8 in California? Homophobia.

-- Opposition to a 15-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero? Islamophobia.

Now we know why the country has become "ungovernable," last year's excuse for the Democrats' failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?

Note what connects these issues. In every one, liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. Majorities -- often lopsided majorities -- oppose President Obama's social-democratic agenda (e.g., the stimulus, Obamacare), support the Arizona law, oppose gay marriage and reject a mosque near Ground Zero.

What's a liberal to do? Pull out the bigotry charge, the trump that preempts debate and gives no credit to the seriousness and substance of the contrary argument. The most venerable of these trumps is, of course, the race card. When the Tea Party arose, a spontaneous, leaderless and perfectly natural (and traditionally American) reaction to the vast expansion of government intrinsic to the president's proudly proclaimed transformational agenda, the liberal commentariat cast it as a mob of angry white yahoos disguising their antipathy to a black president by cleverly speaking in economic terms.

Then came Arizona and S.B. 1070. It seems impossible for the left to believe that people of good will could hold that: (a) illegal immigration should be illegal, (b) the federal government should not hold border enforcement hostage to comprehensive reform, i.e., amnesty, (c) every country has the right to determine the composition of its immigrant population.

As for Proposition 8, is it so hard to see why people might believe that a single judge overturning the will of 7 million voters is an affront to democracy? And that seeing merit in retaining the structure of the most ancient and fundamental of all social institutions is something other than an alleged hatred of gays -- particularly since the opposite-gender requirement has characterized virtually every society in all the millennia until just a few years ago?

And now the mosque near Ground Zero. The intelligentsia is near unanimous that the only possible grounds for opposition is bigotry toward Muslims. This smug attribution of bigotry to two-thirds of the population hinges on the insistence on a complete lack of connection between Islam and radical Islam, a proposition that dovetails perfectly with the Obama administration's pretense that we are at war with nothing more than "violent extremists" of inscrutable motive and indiscernible belief. Those who reject this as both ridiculous and politically correct (an admitted redundancy) are declared Islamophobes, the ad hominem du jour.

It is a measure of the corruption of liberal thought and the collapse of its self-confidence that, finding itself so widely repudiated, it resorts reflexively to the cheapest race-baiting (in a colorful variety of forms). Indeed, how can one reason with a nation of pitchfork-wielding mobs brimming with "antipathy toward people who aren't like them" -- blacks, Hispanics, gays and Muslims -- a nation that is, as Michelle Obama once put it succinctly, "just downright mean"?

The Democrats are going to get beaten badly in November. Not just because the economy is ailing. And not just because Obama over-read his mandate in governing too far left. But because a comeuppance is due the arrogant elites whose undisguised contempt for the great unwashed prevents them from conceding a modicum of serious thought to those who dare oppose them.
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Down With Big Government, Big Business, Big Labor

You see, they couldn't get away with it this time, in this age, in these days of constant information. Of the Internet, of Rush Limbaugh, FOX News, and REAL history being written and sold at Barnes & Noble: not the pap we were fed in school in the 70's. It's all over for Osama and the socialists/progressives, and this article, in keeping with my theme this week, lays out exactly WHY it is over for them, by telling the truth about what happened in the New Deal and the LBJ fiasco's...T

Some of the most important things in history are things that didn't happen -- even though just about everyone thought they would.

Recent example: Scads of liberals gleefully predicted that the financial crisis and deep recession would destroy Americans' faith in markets and increase their confidence in big government. Many conservatives gloomily feared they were right.

Hasn't happened. If anything, public opinion has moved in the other direction, with most Americans rejecting the stimulus package and the health care bill, denying that government action is needed to address global warming, expressing negative feelings about labor unions.

How to explain this? One way is to see the public's reaction as opposition to governance by an alliance of Big Units -- Big Government, Big Business and Big Labor.

In the 1930s, Americans supposedly lost faith in markets and rallied to government. But if you go back and look at public opinion polling then, you find something rather different. You find majorities grumbling about Big Government, scorning Big Business and opposing Big Labor.

The 1940s were different. Facing the threat of total war, Franklin Roosevelt transformed himself from "Dr. New Deal" to "Dr. Win the War." He fostered cooperation between Big Government, Big Business and Big Labor. Roosevelt was brilliant at selecting, from all these sources, the best men (and women) for jobs he considered important.

The result was a war effort that was brilliantly successful. America was the arsenal of democracy, vanquishing its enemies and inventing the atomic bomb. Big Unit governance gained enormous prestige and held onto it for a generation after the war.

The result was prosperity but also stasis. The Big Government of 1970 looked a lot like the Big Government of the 1940s. The same Big Businesses that dominated the Fortune 500 list in 1940 did so in 1970. The list of Big Labor unions remained pretty much the same.

Around 1970, these Big Units lost their edge. Big Government got mired in wars on poverty and in Vietnam. Big Business got hidebound and bureaucratic. Big Labor started to shrink.

Starting around 1980, the country began to revive. Big Government lowered taxes and deregulated transportation and communications. Entrepreneurs and investors replaced stodgy corporate managements with new companies and new products.

The conformist "organization man" Americans of the 1950s were replaced by non-conformist innovators, risk-takers and creators who made a new economy that central planners could never have envisioned. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn't wait for those at the top of Big Units to tell them what to do.

Big Business changed: The Fortune 500 list of 2010 doesn't look anything like that of 1970. Big Labor almost vanished: Most union members today are public employees.

The Obama Democrats, faced with a grave economic crisis, responded with policies appropriate to the Big Unit America that was disappearing during the president's childhood.

Their financial policy has been to freeze the big banks into place. Their industrial policy was to preserve as much as they could of General Motors and Chrysler for the benefit of the United Auto Workers. Their health care policy was designed to benefit Big Pharma and other big players. Their housing policy has been to try to maintain existing prices. Their macroeconomic policy was to increase the size and scope of existing government agencies to what looks to be the bursting point.

What we see is Big Government colluding with Big Business and trying to breathe life into Big Labor.

Some of this can be defended. The Obama Democrats are right in pointing out that the TARP financial bailout was the product of the George W. Bush administration, and they may well be right that it would have been disastrous to allow Citibank to fail.

But Big Unit policies are not a good fit for a country that has grown out of the wreckage the Big Units made of things in the 1970s. They freeze poorly performing incumbents in place, and they don't provide the breathing room for small units to start up and grow.

In the meantime, the Big Units are not performing as well as they did for Dr. Win the War. The visibly flagging economy and the slapdash stimulus and health care bills have left most voters ready to take a chance on the still reviled Republicans. The unanswered question is, will the Republicans have an effective alternative to Big Unit governance?
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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Recession, Depression, Heil Obama!

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The road map to disaster that Der Feuhrer Osama is following has been travelled before. Travelled by FDR, and by Woodrow Wilson. Every time it is taken, it leads to unmitigated disaster. So why, then, does Il Duce wish to follow it again, eh?

For a complete expose of what REALLY happened during the Great Depression of FDR and Hoover, read these two sources:

1 - New Deal or Raw Deal?: How FDR's Economic Legacy Has Damaged America - by Burton Folsom

2 - Liberal Fascism - by Jonah Goldberg


FDR and the Lessons of the Depression
Higher taxes on capital and increased union power led to the 1937 economic slide.

In 1937, after several years of partial recovery from the Great Depression, the U.S. economy fell into a sharp recession. The episode has become a lightning rod in the ongoing debate about whether the economy needs further increases in government spending to keep employment from declining even more.

Christina Romer, the outgoing chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, started this debate last year in The Economist by drawing a parallel to 1937 for anyone getting cold feet about increased government spending and soaring deficits. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman chimed in by claiming that the economy will repeat the experience of the 1930s if government spending is not increased.

The economy did not tank in 1937 because government spending declined. Increases in tax rates, particularly capital income tax rates, and the expansion of unions, were most likely responsible. Unfortunately, these same factors pose a similar threat today.

Here are the facts: Real government spending, measured in 1937 dollars, declined by less than 0.7% of GDP between 1936 and 1937, and then rebounded in 1938. It is implausible that such a small and temporary decline reduced real GDP by nearly 3.5% in 1938 or reduced industrial production by about one-third.

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Associated Press
.But in 1936, the Roosevelt administration pushed through a tax on corporate profits that were not distributed to shareholders. The sliding scale tax began at 7% if a company retained 1% of its net income, and went to 27% if a company retained 70% of net income. This tax significantly raised the cost of investment, as most investment is financed with a corporation's own retained earnings.

The tax rate on dividends also rose to 15.98% in 1932 from 10.14% in 1929, and then doubled again by 1936. Research conducted last year by Ellen McGratten of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis suggests that these increases in capital income taxation can account for much of the 26% decline in business fixed investment that occurred in 1937-1938.

Meanwhile, after the 1935 National Labor Relations Act, union membership rose to about 25% in 1938 from about 12% in 1934. The increase in unionization was fostered by the sit-down strike.

In late 1936 and early 1937, for example, members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) occupied a General Motors auto body plant in Flint, Mich. Without auto bodies, production plummeted, and the company was forced to settle the strike and recognize the union.

The GM strike effectively unionized the auto industry, as UAW membership rose more than 15-fold the following year to about 500,000 members. Just the threat of a sit-down strike by steelworkers led to a unionized U.S. Steel in 1937. An unprecedented increase in union power increased manufacturing wages by nearly 10% between 1936 and 1938, which increased costs and reduced employment.

There are important parallels between the tax and labor policies of FDR and those of President Obama. As in the 1930s, tax rates on capital income will be rising sharply with the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. Beginning in 2011, dividends will be taxed as ordinary income with rates increasing up to 39.6% for many taxpayers, more than double the current 15% rate. The capital gains tax rate will rise to 20% from 15%.

And like FDR, Mr. Obama has advanced unionization through his recess appointments to the NLRB and his support for "card check," a provision in the controversial Employee Free Choice Act that would allow unions to organize without holding a secret ballot vote.

FDR eventually abandoned the excess profits tax and decreased the tax rate on dividends, but only after they significantly damaged an already weak economy. He also reduced union bargaining power in the 1940s as the National War Labor Board struck down union wage increases that exceeded the increase in the cost of living. This promoted wartime economic expansion.

There are lessons to be learned from the history of 1937-1938 but they are not the ones being taught. The Obama administration should consider these: Raising business costs by increasing capital income taxes and promoting higher unionization is a mistake that will hurt most those who they should want to help—workers who have lost jobs during this recession.

Mr. Cooley teaches economics at New York University's Stern School of Business. Mr. Ohanian teaches economics at UCLA.
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Democrats face midterm meltdown

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich spea...Image via Wikipedia Laid out rather starkly, considering it's from the drive-by media, is this forrcast of the loss of both houses of congress this fall in record numbers, to what is described (accurately I think) as likely the most conservative republican congress in history.

Barack Obama’s Democratic party faces a series of dramatic defeats at every level of government in Washington and beyond in the November midterm elections, according to leading analysts and opinion polls.

The University of Virginia’s widely monitored Crystal Ball will on Wednesday forecast sweeping setbacks on Capitol Hill and the loss of a clutch of state governorships on November 2.

It follows a Gallup poll that showed the Republicans with a 10 percentage point lead over the Democrats – the widest margin in 68 years. Separately, a University of Buffalo paper has predicted a 51-seat gain for Republicans in November.

The Democrats have a 39-seat majority in the House of Representatives. Many believe Democratic control of the Senate is also at risk.

“Voters are going to deliver a big fat message to President Obama, which he will not want to hear,” said Larry Sabato, who runs Crystal Ball. “The Republican base is at least 50 degrees further to the right than where it was when Newt Gingrich took control of the House in 1994, so we would be looking at two years of absolutely nothing getting done on Capitol Hill.”

The numbers, which threaten Mr Obama with a “wave election” similar to those of 1994 and 2006, when Democrats wrested back control of the House after 12 years, also extend to key states.

According to local polls, Democrats are on course to lose the governorships of traditionally left-leaning states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania and may be vulnerable in Illinois, long a party bastion.

Such is the scale of the expected losses that analysts are already focused on how Mr Obama can turn Republican domination to his advantage in his 2012 re-election race.

Washington is awash with speculation on whether the Republicans will over-reach as Mr Gingrich did in 1995 when Bill Clinton won a stand-off that had resulted in the shutdown of government.

“The political environment for Democrats is now every bit as poisonous as it was for them in 1994 and for Republicans in 2006,” said Charlie Cook, the widely tracked electoral forecaster.

The expected groundswell is driven by the composition of voter turnout, which at about 40 per cent would be significantly lower than the 63 per cent that brought Mr Obama to power. According to polls, likely Republican voters are twice as motivated to vote as Democrats.

That “enthusiasm gap” was on display last weekend at the Tea Party movement’s rally in Washington.

Recent polls show that 61 per cent of Americans “always or usually” live from pay cheque to pay cheque, up from 49 per cent in 2008.
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