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.

Dick Durbin: If you have a tumor, letting it grow is always an option

Dick Durbin Debt Liver Tumor

Recently, Lee Doren of CEI covered the “Wealth Inequality in America” video that went viral. In the feedback section of my blog, a liberal drive-by commenter said that I appeared to be an “elitist” for suggesting that the makers of the video purposefully muddied the waters between “income” and “wealth” because I believe large swathes of the public doesn’t particularly make a distinction between the two.

I rejected that claim because the truth is not elitist. Likewise, politicians know this is the truth, which is why you have Sen. Dick Durbin talking about deficits when he was specifically asked about debt.

Liberals are masters at twisting and contorting language until people throw up their hands in frustration or simply go along with whatever definition they’ve come up with on that day.

Note this exchange on March 17 between Sen. Durbin and Chris Wallace:

Chris Wallace: Sen. Durbin, when candidate Obama said that [$9 trillion in debt was “unpatriotic”], our national debt was $9 trillion. It’s now $16 trillion. So the question is: If it was unpatriotic at $9 trillion, is it sustainable at $16 trillion?

Dick Durbin: “Chris, here’s the good news: We’ve reduced the long term deficit by about 2.4 trillion dollars. That’s included only $6 billion in new revenue [i.e., tax hikes] as part of the fiscal cliff. We still have to do more, but we’ve taken the edge off the crisis, I’ll concede that. What the president is pointing to is this: We need strong economic recovery. We need to put Americans back to work. That’s our first priority. Deficit reduction I would put as the second priority and one that is coupled with economic growth. So I think we can do both. Make sure we have deficit reduction, but don’t cut too much, too fast.

Take for example the sequestration. Seven hundred thousand American jobs will be lost. This is not the thing to do and not the right time to do it. We’ve got to phase this in and sequence it so that we have economic growth and Americans paying taxes.

As I’ve said before, when Washington officials lament “cuts,” what they’re really talking about is going into debt at a slower rate than they would like.

BL-sequestration-size-comparisonThink of the federal government or the national debt like a tumor. It grows and it grows and it grows. At some point, even the operation needed to save the life of the afflicted could end up resulting in death. The tumor gets too close or attached to vital organs. Too much blood loss would occur if it was removed by anyone except the most skilled surgeon. The body has grown too weak to survive attempts to excise the cancer.

That is where the United States finds itself today, and it’s precisely what men like Dick Durbin are counting on. If they can continue to play word games long enough, the tumor will grow. And in this tale Durbin plays a deranged doctor who knows he can keep prescribing the wrong medicine and collecting his patient’s cash because he will be long gone by the time the body goes into cardiac arrest.

Sen. Durbin has talked to all the actuaries. He has seen all the numbers by the CBO, OMB, etc. He knows the interest on the national debt alone will break us at some point in the not-to-distant future. And yet he continues to misinform the American people.

America is sick right now, and millions of citizens don’t realize that they’ve hired the political equivalent of Jack Kevorkian to heal the nation.

Barring some sort of technological breakthrough that changes the country’s fiscal trajectory, this will end badly. And when it does, history must note that men like Sen. Durbin willingly allowed it to happen.

Uncle Sam copy

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.