“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Media Smirks at West Virginia

This is an English language clip for Russia Today. It may be heavy handed but represents the real sentiment of the media elites in the US. It will be interesting to see who has the last smirk at the white working class voter come November.

No hanging chads here.


  1. And they wondered ...
    "Why can't we all just get along?".

  2. I listened to clips of that speech. Hillary sounded like she was doing her John Wayne imitation.

  3. Well, lucky, when U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd is seen, holding hands with Obama, as they campaign across WV, in October, the "machine" will turn out the vote, for him.

    A yellow dog could carry WV, if U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd wants it to.

    And he will.

    Finally put his KKK days behind him, show how he's grown.

  4. As goes West Virginia, so goes the nation. Yee haw! (::eye roll::)

    McCain might as well pick Hillary for VP, since she can bring to his ticket the NASCAR dads and guys who blow away squirrels with 30-06's so they can pin the tail on their beer hat.

  5. So, I ask again, who will the VPs be?

  6. James Webb, with Obama

    A National unknown with McCain, a Governor, most likely.

    Long shot, Newt.

  7. Then Senatorr Byrd will personify the "Change" in America.
    Become even more symbolic of how a man can "Grow" in outlook.

    His legacy then secured for all time, a man that United the disparate low-income white folk of WV to see beyond race,
    And delivered to the Democrats, the White House and Congressional dominance.

  8. Webb, who once cruised the streets, looking for blacks to harass, will have also have grown.

    And been forgiven his past sins, along with Senator Byrd.

    By the newest new age political messiah, Barak Obama, the universal man.

  9. Those two fine gentlemen may not be easy on the eyes but they live in a state as beautiful as any, yes they do.

    And you have not lived, truly lived, til you've sat with a bunch of snockered Germans who know all the words to Country Roads. No you have not.

  10. Okay, this (from Kevin Drum) is funny:

    Democrats are taking unsurprising glee in rubbing GOP noses in the fact that the new campaign slogan chosen by House Republicans — "Change You Deserve" — turns out to also be the trademarked slogan of the antidepressant Effexor.

  11. From RCP:


    During both the 2000 and 2004 Bush campaigns, leaking (unauthorized leaking anyway) was almost unheard of. After all, it was absolutely a firing offense and every member of the staff knew that. For most of the 2008 cycle, the Obama campaign has been able to drive its message day-in and day-out through thick and thin. The latest dust-up over Revered Wright has severely tested its ability to continue this patter. Both organizations share an ability to drive the press corps to distraction by their unwavering ability to recite the day's message points ad infinitum.

    That sort of discipline is made possible because both men engendered near-total, reverent loyalty in their staffs. Obamans and Bushies, while they would probably not drink beer together, would defend their man to the end. Both groups are full of hundreds of people who have given up high-paying jobs or barely any money at all because of an almost mystical belief that their candidate is the best and most effective answer to what ails America. The staffs of George Bush in 2000, and Barack Obama in 2008, are probably strikingly similar in make-up and work every day believing that they cannot lose. This sort of esprit de corps, while intangible, is an essential element to running a national campaign. Everyone, from the war-room intern to the campaign manager gets up every morning knowing that they must do as good a job as possible because to do any less would be to let their man down.


    They's an awful lot of people sneering at Obama's swooning masses who have completely, absolutely forgotten the years they spent swooning over Dubya. Did the sun NOT shine out of that man's shirtsleeves?

    Hope and Change. Hope and Change.
    That's exactly what GWB promised to deliver, back when, with a heaping helping of winning personality and a slight Texas drawl.

    And we...we were the followers in Life of Brian. With a far more willing Brian.

  12. Traders

    by Daniel J. Ikenson

    Daniel J. Ikenson is associate director of the Cato Institute's Center for Trade Policy Studies.

    Despite Democrats' rhetoric, Americans embrace trade.

    Whatever Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama say about the fallout from free trade, producers in Indiana and North Carolina are enjoying a golden age of exports.

    Both Clinton and Obama promise to halt new trade agreements and force our trading partners to renegotiate their existing deals. Both candidates support actions that would ultimately hurt American producers, consumers, and investors. And both insinuate that our trade partners are actually adversaries.

    But Indianans should recognize those trade partners as their fastest-growing customers. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Indiana's producers shipped $26 billion worth of goods to foreign customers in 2007 — 14 percent more than the year before, and 80 percent more than in 2001. In fact, since 2001, the state's exports have grown at a rate one-third faster than U.S. exports overall. In North Carolina, producers shipped $23 billion worth of goods to foreign customers in 2007 — 10 percent more than the year before, and 59 percent more than five years ago.

    In 2007, exports accounted for 20 percent of U.S. manufacturers' total sales revenues — the highest percentage in modern history. And nowhere in America is manufacturing more important to the economy than in Indiana, where the sector accounts for over 30 percent of the state's gross domestic product. Manufacturing is also more important to North Carolina's economy than it is to most other states, accounting for 22 percent of the state's gross domestic product, ranking it fifth among states in that measure.

    In China, Canada, and Mexico — the primary villains in the candidates' anti-trade narratives — Indiana's producers are building relationships that are yielding extraordinary returns. Exports from Indiana to China increased by a whopping 36 percent between 2006 and 2007 — twice the rate of total U.S. export growth to China, and nearly four times Indiana's exports to China in 2001.

    Likewise, Indiana's exports to Canada and Mexico have grown 9 percent from 2006 and 67 percent from 2001, eclipsing overall U.S. export growth to the NAFTA countries in both periods. North Carolina's exports to NAFTA have grown 46 percent over the past five years — to $7.4 billion.

    Export growth is not concentrated is one or two industries either. It is economy-wide and the numbers are staggering. Of 32 broad industry groupings, 28 in Indiana experienced export growth between 2006 and 2007, and 30 experienced growth between 2001 and 2007. Of the 28 industries showing export growth between 2006 and 2007, 23 experienced double- or triple-digit percentage growth. From Indiana's largest goods-producing industries to its smallest, strong export growth is evident.

    The fact is that U.S. manufacturing is thriving. But Clinton and Obama never mention that U.S. factories account for 21 percent of the world's manufacturing output, while China's account for just 8 percent. Instead, at the behest of the steel industry, unions, and other protectionist lobbies, the Democratic candidates are threatening to take harsh actions against China and other American trading partners.

    Blaming trade for all that ails us is a time-honored political tradition. Acting on that impulse by imposing trade barriers or otherwise retreating from the global economy is never the proper course, but it would be particularly foolish now, with industry after industry experiencing an export boom.


    But don't tell bob. Or dear host.

  13. and...the point is?

  14. increase flow of exports also one of the benefits of a cheaper US dollar. Better not tell Rat that one ;)

  15. that's for your 12:28.

    Bush isn't running and when he was his campaign couldn't hold a candle to the messianic fervor that Obama generates.

    In 2000, the party rallied to Bush because he was the candidate most likely to defeat the Dems. During the war, they rallied to him because he was the CIC. I don't ever recall the wild-eyed swooners at Bush rallies.

  16. Good point!

    No point required at the EB.

  17. "Bush isn't running and when he was his campaign couldn't hold a candle to the messianic fervor that Obama generates."

    I completely disagree. 9/11 brought the entire country to the margins of that fervor, but pre-9/11, among Republicans, conservatives, what have you, Bush was frankly adored. I oughta know.

    Bush isn't running. So?

    I'm not sure what that has to do with the observation.

  18. Bad enough, whit, my day is on the verge of ruin at the hands of construction workers playing bad music loudly. Don't get all cranky and contentious on me.

    Leave that to the patrons.

  19. Trish wrote:

    " Bush was frankly adored."

    Interestingly, still, some adore him. Strange....but true.

  20. Trish wrote:

    " Bush was frankly adored."

    Interestingly, still, some adore him. Strange....but true.

  21. I am well aware of the benefits of a low value dollar, ash.

    The challenge with trish's clip, if there is one ...

    Percentage increases are easy from a low base point. But not once did the author mention a hard number.
    $1 million in expoert sales, tripled to $3 million, a 200% gain, is insignifigant in a #1Billion dollar economy.

    Where US sales may have droped by a lower percentage, but a much higher total amount.

    So, without a hardnumber baseline for both exports and domestic sales, the talk of percentage gains is truly rhetoric.

    Ponderable rhetoric, but in need of fleshing out with hard numbers.

  22. Those happy holdouts are waiting for the bombing of Iran to commence, ash.

    I think that would probably even restore Doug's warm fuzzies for the man from Crawford.

  23. in need of fleshing out with hard numbers.

    Tue May 13, 01:14:00 PM EDT

    There's your homework, ash.

    Go forth, free trader, and find the magical PDF. (I recommend Cato or DOS, too, usually has good numbers.

  24. Here go, Rat:

    There ARE numbers in it, though as yet unrated here for hardness.

  25. trish's numbers make for a hard case

    It is a pdf, for you state of the art software geeks in HI.
    XP still handles it on the home computer, for me. Works just fine.

    A more informative benchmark for considering relative sizes and growth rates of different countries’ manufacturing output is share of total world output over time. According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the U.S. share of world manufacturing output, on a value-added basis, has remained steady for more than a decade. In 2005, U.S. factories accounted for 21.1 percent of the world’s manufacturing output, which was only a very small decline from their 1993 share of 21.4 percent. Over that same period, Japan’s share declined from 22.4 percent to 19.0 percent, and the combined share of the 27 members of the European Union declined from 29.3 percent to 26.5 percent. Meanwhile, China’s share of world manufacturing value added increased from 3.5 percent in 1993 to 8.0 percent in 2005.25

    Thus, on a global basis, U.S. manufacturing continues to retain its position of primacy.

    Despite the alarmist rhetoric, U.S. factories are the most prolific in the world. Although China’s share of world manufacturing output more than doubled between 2000 and 2005, U.S. producers still churn out 2.5 times the value added coming from Chinese factories.

  26. While sales have remained steady, wages have stagnated or fallen, in the manufacturing sector.

    Perhaps that reality is the cause of the misperception

  27. And the fifty year trendline of manufacturing declining as a percentage of GDP.
    From a high of 28% around 1953 to 13%, now.

  28. Desert rat said, "From a high of 28% around 1953 to 13%, now."

    I reply that:

    Which Country Is the world's largest exporter? China? Japan? Wrong. It's the good old U.S. of A.

  29. Hah. So there.

    (Don't MAKE me drag up the PDF on wages, Rat.)

  30. Actually, a pdf on the wages would be interesting. However, lets not focus on average wages but rather the median. My understanding is that the rich certainly have gotten a lot richer but the rest...

  31. Try this, ash:

    It has numbers, too.

  32. (Trish might have slept through every math class she took upon pain of death, but thankfully not everyone did.)

  33. why sure, katchoo.
    The USA leads the world in value added manufacturing, the question is why is the political perception so out of kilter with the numbers?

    It seems to be two things, both referenced in the Cato story
    1. The stagnated wages in that sector, as the "uninionized" segment atrophies and dies
    2. The shrinkage of manufacturing as a percentage of GDP.

    That shrinkage, hen added to productivity gains,is why there are also many fewer manufacturing jobs, as compared to the 1950's highwater marks.

    Creates a perception that permeates the society.

  34. Some Black/White thinking Cato Genius was on the Ingraham's show saying we really don't need the strategic petroleum reserve, and that he doesn't like it because the govt tends to buy high and sell low.

    (my recent recollection is Bubba selling low for political gain and Bush filling it up come hell or high water)

    I suppose Libertarians could power their lives with platitudes in case of a supply disruption from any cause, natural, or man-made.

    Talk about ideological blinders.
    Free trade with Free People!

  35. Christ, I thought you were busy trying to succor Buddy.

    Buddy, a lonely nation turns its eyes to you.

  36. Huckabee wins WV! Boy that state sure can call 'em.

  37. "I suppose Libertarians could power their lives with platitudes"

    I had this brilliant Coast Guard guy last night reciting the Declaration.

    We both agreed that the last sentence can't be read without breaking down.

  38. Ties with the left were also broken. Revolution and the fight for social rights ceased to be the exclusive preserve of workers and trade unions, as the Marxists had postulated.

    Social movements multiplied and took to the streets, bringing about the fragmentation seen today.

    The world was always a nonlinear mosaic, but until "the 1968 years," it had not been recognised as such.

    Birth of Diversity

  39. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    And their descendents just forgot?

    Or does a core of believers march on holding ...
    these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Amongst all the united States of America

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States;

    From Pole to Pole, across all the States of America, the dream lives on, or did it die in 1959 when Alaska and Hawaii became Free and Independent States of a united America?

    Does the American Revolution still live, or has it been put in the ash heap of history?

  40. Would you like to take a position, Rat?

  41. Let the media smirk on. I know some folks in WVA that keep it real. That is more than I can say for the MSM. And as Trish says it is one of the most scenic states in the Union. Should a tango set off a dirty bomb in DC, I'll log on from there..of course this has a bit to do with those environs being upwind from where I hang my hat currently.

  42. South Carolina has already lost court challenges on a license tag. In 2004, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge's ruling that abortion-opponents' "Choose Life" tags were unconstitutional because they provided forum for one group's views and not another's.

    The state ended up paying $157,810 in Planned Parenthood legal bills.

    Legal experts also have questioned including the Ten Commandments in "Foundations of American Law and Government" displays that would also have, among other things, the Declaration of Independence; Bill of Rights; The Emanicpation Proclamation and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

    SC Lawmakers

  43. My wife says that one way or another, the Clintons will get Obama. Either through character assassination or otherwise.

  44. The most significant Democratic electorate now is the nearly 800 superdelegates, party luminaries who are free to vote as they choose at the party's August convention.

    Tuesday's haul took Obama's tally of superdelegates on the RealClearPolitics website to 283, against 272 for Clinton. In total, including delegates elected in state contests, he has 1,874 to her 1,698, nearer the winning line of 2,025.

    An ABC News-Washington Post poll published Tuesday suggested that nearly two-thirds of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents want Clinton to stay in the contest.


  45. Golly whit, I guess they'll have to update the Clinton Body Count list when that happens. They make Putin look like a piker.

  46. There is no possibility of the US closing its trade deficit. The US is able to survive such enormous deficits only because the US dollar is the world reserve currency.

    This role for the dollar is nearing an end as the world looks for more stable stores of value. Although oil is still nominally priced in dollars, in reality it is being priced in euros as oil producers raise the dollar price with a view to keeping their oil revenues at a constant purchasing power in euros.

    When the dollar loses its reserve currency role, foreign financing for US trade and budget deficits will evaporate. US living standards will collapse, and the indispensable omnipower will be just another washed up country.

    Unnecessary Wars

  47. Bipartisan members of the Mexican Congress are calling for the army to patrol the capital. Already, thousands of troops are battling the traffickers in a dozen states across Mexico.

    "The police are totally out of their depth here," Obdulio Avila, a legislator from Calderon's conservative National Action Party, said on Tuesday. "There are entire neighborhoods where the police don't dare go in."

    He denied that the demand was a political challenge to the capital's leftist mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, who has opposed such a plan.

    Targeting Police

  48. Hey, thanks at least for reproducing it here.

  49. That blurb's not from Whit's link. Different one I looked up.

  50. But according to exit polls, one in five voters said race was an important factor in their decision.

    McAuliffe said the final days of the Democratic race, though, are not about race. He said they are mostly about the economy and the Iraq war.

    Indeed, a majority of West Virginia voters surveyed in exit polls said the economy was the top issue.

    Decisive Margin

  51. Me, and Pap; Them were the Good Ol' Days.

    By the way, how did you get aholt of my "family" album?

  52. "This victory ought to give pause to those who are itching to declare the nomination over and done," said Clinton strategist Geoff Garin. "This strengthens the point that we've seen in other states, that Senator Clinton is the best candidate to win tough states and groups of voters who otherwise may be very difficult for Democrats to keep in our column."

    Garin said Clinton advisers hope that yesterday's primary will undo some of the impact of North Carolina and Indiana, which dramatically cemented a perception that the Democratic race is nearly over.

    "It's our strong view that Senator Clinton did not get enough credit for achieving a come-from-behind victory in Indiana, where Senator Obama had a ton of advantages," he said. "But now the West Virginia victory brings the question of electability back to where it was in the wake of Pennsylvania."


  53. Trish, bob made a post earlier about how we're exporting more paper products than ever before. Up 500% in some departments.

  54. Whites have voted for Hillary because she's not black, in a way joining blacks who vote for Obama because he's not white.

    This called 'voting your conscience' or 'racial pride', in polite circles.