Telling: Comcast PAC cash accepted by every senator probing Time Warner Cable merger

Chuck Schumer

When you give the federal government more things to do, you give the men and women in charge more things to buy and sell at your expense. If you ever doubted the deleterious effect that growing the government has on the health of civil society, look no further than the Comcast-Time Warner hearings.

Every member of the committee — every one — has taken money from Comcast PAC. I now give you…crony capitalism:

The Senate Judiciary Committee held its first congressional hearing on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger Thursday, and every single member of the committee has taken money from Comcast PAC — even Democratic senator Al Franken of Minnesota, who is generally considered to be anti-Comcast.

Out of 18 committee members, 10 Democrats and eight Republicans, 17 got money from Comcast’s federal PAC, according to the database at OpenSecrets.org, technology website Ars Technicareported.

Ars Technica then confirmed with Mr. Franken’s spokespeople that he did accept $5,000 in Comcast PAC cash in 2009 for his recount fund, since OpenSecrets.org did not have that donation listed.

Why on earth would Comcast donate money to every single senator unless its top brass thought that it could influence every single senator with cash? Answer: Because that’s precisely what Comcast’s money men thought.

The full list of Senate Judiciary Committee members and the cash they’ve accepted from Comcast PAC donations are:

Comcast PAC donations to Democrats:

• Chuck Schumer, New York: $35,000

• Patrick Leahy, Vermont, Chairman: $32,500

• Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island: $26,500

• Chris Coons, Delaware: $25,000

• Dick Durbin, Illinois: $23,000

• Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota: $22,500

• Dianne Feinstein, California: $18,500

• Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut: $11,500

• Mazie Hirono, Hawaii: $5,000

• Al Franken, Minnesota: $5,000 (2009 recount fund)

Comcast PAC donations to Republicans:

• Orrin Hatch, Utah: $30,000

• Chuck Grassley, Iowa, Ranking Member: $28,500

• John Cornyn, Texas: $21,000

• Lindsey Graham, South Carolina: $13,500

• Jeff Sessions, Alabama: $10,000

• Mike Lee, Utah: $8,500

• Ted Cruz, Texas: $2,500

• Jeff Flake, Arizona: $1,000

The sad thing is that there are people out there who still blindly defend the idiocy of both parties. No matter what “their team” does, they’ll defend it it to the death, which is fitting, since that’s exactly the kind of mentality that is killing the freest nation ever created.

Think of all the issues that senators influence, either through legislation or their close relationships with bureaucrat overlords in Executive agencies manning the administrative state. Now think of all the companies that know that if they just cough up the right amount of cash, that the guy or gal “representing” you in the nation’s capital will bend over backwards to find a way to vote against your best interests while still managing to hold onto a job. Infuriating, isn’t it?

If you want to get the nation back on the right track, find your friends and family members who defend the the most boorish behavior and inflammatory rhetoric displayed by the losers in their favorite political party, and then convince them that they are doing the nation a grave disservice.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to sit and think about how pathetic our state of affairs must be for me to bite the bullet and end a blog post with Calloway’s “I Wanna Be Rich.”

Rand Paul to Congress: Instead of yelling at Apple, you hypocritical losers should put yourself on trial

Who has done more for the world: The men and women at Apple, or Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY? Who would you trust with your money: the CEO of Apple or Chuck Schumer? That's what I thought. And that's why Rand Paul wins kudos for publicly sticking it to a bunch of hypocritical politicians.
Who has done more to raise the standard of living for the world’s population: The men and women at Apple, or Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.? Who would you trust with your money: the CEO of Apple or Carl Levin? That’s what I thought. And that’s why Rand Paul wins kudos for publicly sticking it to a bunch of hypocritical politicians.

Ron Paul may be a crazy enough to think that China and Russia would swear off espionage if only the CIA closed up shop, but at least he was sane enough to raise his son Rand with a proper understanding of free market economics.

During Tuesday’s Senate subcommittee hearing on Apple’s offshore tax practices, he lit into Congress and demonstrated that he might have been the only politician in the room with his head on straight.

Behold, the awesomeness that was Rand Paul, Tuesday, May 21, 2013:

“Frankly, I’m offended by the tone and tenor of this hearing. I’m offended by a $4 trillion government bullying, berating and badgering one of America’s greatest success stories,” Mr. Paul said.

“Tell me one of these politicians up here who doesn’t minimize their taxes. Tell me a chief financial officer that you would hire if he didn’t try to minimize your taxes legally. Tell me what Apple has done that is illegal.

“I’m offended by a government that uses the IRS to bully tea parties, but I’m offended by a government that convenes a hearing to bully one of America’s greatest success stories. I’m offended by the spectacle of dragging in executives from an American company that is not doing anything illegal,” Mr. Paul continued.

“If anyone should be on trial, it should be Congress. I frankly think the committee should apologize to Apple,” the senator said. “I think the Congress should be on trial here for creating a bizarre and Byzantine tax code that runs into the tens of thousands of pages, for creating a tax code that simply doesn’t compete with the rest of the world.

“This committee will admit that Apple hasn’t broken any laws, yet we are forced to sit, Apple is forced to sit, though a show trial. … I say, instead of Apple executives, we should have brought in a giant mirror. OK? So we can look at the reflection of Congress because this problem is solely and completely created by the awful tax code.”

Steve Jobs may have been a hard ass (to put it nicely), but here’s what I wrote about him when he passed away in 2011 (has it really been that long?):

For the sake of argument lets say that Steve Jobs was a greedy guy. Let’s agree with the liberal premise that the majority of businessmen are in it for some weird Machiavellian desire to exploit “the masses.” Even if that was the case, at least guys like Steve Jobs have raised the standard of living for hundreds of millions (perhaps billions?) of people! As ReasonTV notes, “Sultans and students now have iPhone 4′s.” …

Steve Jobs never set out to end poverty, but through his inventions the definition of poverty changed. The federal government set out to END poverty, and has spent trillions of taxpayer dollars to do so. How’s that working out? Instead of throwing trillions of dollars at an impossible task, the world would be much better if we left that money in the hands of men and women with a knack for inventing products we didn’t know we wanted.

Instead of seriously addressing the problems that face the nation, politicians host show trials, where they drag in businessmen and berate them for being successful. Apple invented quality products that changed the world, and instead of saying “thank you,” a bunch of self-righteous losers, whose only goal in life is to sit in the halls of Congress for as long as possible, read its CEO the riot act. It’s despicable, but at least there are men like Sen. Rand Paul who are willing to put it all in perspective.

Allahpundit over at Hotair wraps the story up and puts a bow on it:

Apple saved $44 billion since 2009 from tricks like this, which, averaged over four years, means the lost tax revenue last year could have paid for a single day of federal spending. But again — all perfectly legal. Even if you think it shouldn’t be, you run into Paul’s [second point], namely, why not just have a Senate debate on tax reform rather than try to shame Apple with hearings for doing what literally anyone else in their position would have done (potentially at the risk of being ousted by shareholders if they didn’t)? (emphasis added)

If Congress doesn’t like what Apple is doing, they can change the law. Fine. Do that. And then watch what happens when it takes its bat and ball and goes to Ireland or China for good. But what you don’t do is essentially drag in an American success story and demonize its leadership for legally trying to keep as much of its money as possible.

Reid: I’ll burn my socks from Datang, China because I’m an idiot

Senator Reid wants you to know that while he is perfectly okay running up trillions in debt to Chinese banker-pimps, he will not stand for Ralph Lauren’s Chinese contractors.

If you wanted to see the kind of sad-sack losers walking the halls of Congress, look no further than Sens. Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer and the populist clowns calling for Olympic uniforms to be burned because they were created in China. These elected oxygen thieves are perfectly fine having turned the United States into a debtor nation to our Communist banker-pimps, but God forbid Ralph Lauren contracts out the labor to Chinese seamstresses.

Question for Harry Reid: Will you hold a press conference to publicly burn your socks and neckties, since most of them probably come from Datang, China?

Datang produces an astounding nine billion pairs of socks each year — more than one set for every person on the planet. People here fondly call it Socks City, and its annual socks festival attracts 100,000 buyers from around the world. …

[T]hese days, buyers from New York to Tokyo want to be able to buy 500,000 pairs of socks all at once, or 300,000 neckties, 100,000 children’s jackets, or 50,000 size 36B bras. And increasingly, the places that best accommodate those kinds of orders are China’s giant new specialty cities.

As the nation holds at 8% unemployment for over 30 straight months, the big concern of Harry Reid is the lack of sweat-shop type jobs available in the United States. Instead of trying to figure out a way to unlock the entrepreneurial spirit within the American people — so that we can churn out thousands of doctors instead of thousands of socks — our Senators our playing rhetorical games with the country that holds trillions of dollars in U.S. debt.

What would happen if all the Chinese, Korean and Japanese companies that have plants in the  United States pulled up their stakes because they were “outsourcing” jobs to the United States? What if all those Asian tourists and businesses that head to Las Vegas every year suddenly decided to put their money into local Chinese casinos and hotels? It would be fun to see Sen. Reid hem and haw and look like more of a stuttering buffoon than he already is.

Liberal politicians create business environments that push manufacturing overseas. They demonize entrepreneurs. They find creative new ways to stick it to producers through oppressive taxation and regulation, and then play a phony populist card when the blow back hits them in the face for all the world to see.

Remember when Senator Reid literally surrendered during the darkest days of the Iraq War? I do. Someone tell our Commie-banker overlords to push back on Reid and he’ll fold like a nice pair of cotton underwear made in China.

Man vs. Food now Adam Richman vs. Senator Schumer

Liberals everywhere are trying to micro-manage your life, down to individual calorie counts. It isn't about food. It's about a small group of elites trying to run your life (and ruining it in the process).

Adam Richman may have taken on (and won) any number of food challenges, but what happens when the Man vs. Food star finds himself in another cage match: Man vs. Liberalism?

Last week Chicago public schools were telling parents they could no longer pack their children’s lunches—the Nanny State had had enough of that crazy idea that parents should determine if a can of soda, an apple, and a ham sandwich was nutritious enough for their kid. Now, if liberals in Congress have their way, the Travel Channel’s big (bellied) star will no longer find himself on the airwaves. Chief of New York City’s salt and trans-fat police (and sometimes Senator) Chuck Schumer held a press conference to discuss pending legislation:

“In theory I like the idea of Man vs. Food. It’s a show with a gregarious guy you can’t help but love. But consider this: a mother loves her son, even if he commits murder—but the price for that crime must still be paid. Like a heartbroken mother, I, Chuck Schumer, must see to it that Adam Richman is put away in the deep-dark recesses of the Memory Hole. Is he a murderer? No. At least not yet. But he’s an accessory to murder via the epidemic that is obesity. With every show he tapes and every burger he downs to the delight of kids everywhere, the nation mourns the loss of another diabetic. Or heart attack victim. Or knee and joint pain sufferer.

It is with a heavy heart that I tell the Travel Channel: Adam Richmond has got to go. If he won’t listen to us, we must save him…from himself.”

Sadly, the press present for the event didn’t bother to ask Sen. Schumer what gave liberal politicians at the state and federal levels the authority to regulate salt, sugar, and fat content of law-abiding citizens. No one asked the Senator why he felt the need to play Senator Busybody into the lives of millions. And no one challenged Sen. Schumer on the idea that an elite group of know-it-alls in Washington, DC could—or should—try to micromanage society for what 535 members of Congress defined as “the good life.”

Adam Richman, generally a stranger to politics, broke free from the Travel Channel’s PR guys and issued his own statement:

“If I want to die a firey death downing bowls of cheese-stuffed ghost peppers, so be it. If I want to bust a gut eating five pounds of bacon-wrapped fat, that’s my prerogative. And if Chuck Schumer thinks he can deny my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of fattiness…he has another thing coming!”

Liberty-loving Americans cheered the statement, to the befuddlement of liberal pundits in the media. Lost on them in the haze of self-righteousness hovering around their heads was the idea that free people ought to determine the course of their life – not some nameless, faceless bureaucrat hundreds of miles away. And what seems like a bizarre recalcitrance to good nutrition amongst the enlightened few is really a rejection of the notion that politicians can force feed their whims—down to individual calorie counts—on the rest of us.

In the showdown over Man vs. Liberal Senator, we can only hope MAN wins.

This post has been brought to you by Man vs. Satire. Always remember: You are the Master of your Domain…

Chuck Schumer: The Spirit Airlines of Senators

I flew to Miami last night for work, and the amazing thing is: I didn’t need Chuck Schumer’s help. Or should I say, “I didn’t need his scary-stupid ideas”?

I know that the Spirit Airlines story has been squashed now that five airlines caved in and kissed Schumer’s boots instead of holding a press conference where they all said in unison: “Man, you are one pathetic loser.”

How stupid does Schumer think people are? If a company does

Chuck Schumer: Call me Senator Spirit Airlines. I don't charge you for carry-on luggage; I just charge you for life...AND death (which is why I need to divert attention to someone else).

something I don’t like, I don’t shop there. If an airline wanted to jack up the airfare on me through carry-on luggage charges or exorbitant hidden fees (that aren’t really that hidden, so I don’t know why they just don’t work it into the price of the ticket from the get go and save us all a lot of time) I would simply do business with someone else.

And that’s the point: one way or another companies are going to shift prices around to cover costs that need to be dealt with.  The smart choice for all businesses is to opt for the tried-and-true: become more efficient when faced with fleeing or disgruntled customers… And when they don’t they should go belly up (unless you’re “too big to fail,” in which case Congress enacts policies that make you even bigger and warps market forces even more just to make it interesting for the next generation that gets to deal with the fallout).

Right now if some guy on the street slapped Schumer in the face with a giant salami I wouldn’t be surprised because at least one of the following is true:

  • He knows all of this, but chooses to move forward with blatant political posturing because economic dunderheads (i.e., liberals from his state) will like it.
  • He knows all of this, but doesn’t see anything hypocritical about his own brand of liberalism, that jumps at the chance to nickle and dime YOU at every opportunity while demonizing people who actually have to meet a payroll, balance a budget, etc.
  • He doesn’t know this,  and earns himself a place in the Phil Hare pantheon of losers.

The liberalism that tries to find ways to tax bottled water, trans-fat, soda cans, carbon dioxide, your death and who knows what else to infinity and beyond also enables guys like Chuck get on TV with a straight face and read somebody else the riot act.

And speaking of Riot Act, why do liberal artists like Pearl Jam refer to a “green disease” that affects men and women in the private sector…but not guys like Schumer? Apparently, greed isn’t something that afflicts liberal public servants, but it does the conservative businessmen and entrepreneurs creating new technology that will raise the standard of living for millions around the globe? Okay. Sure.

I think Pearl Jam’s lyrics are much more apt for liberal Congressmen than your average businessman:

Tell the Captain
This boat’s not safe,
We’re drowning
Turns out
He’s the one making waves…

Have you ever wondered what happens when men think they’re infallible? Have you ever wondered what happens when politicians start to think they’re God? Answer: They attempt to regulate everything.

Eddie Vedder: Wrong on Mullah Baradar and terrorist scum, but right on Chuck Schumer (even if our aging rock legend doesn’t realize it yet).