Friday, February 26, 2010

The 3rd Texas Gubernatorial Debate

A 3rd Texas Republican Gubernatorial debate was filmed in secret and the footage released on the internet. The results are revealing. Here's the video:

Texas Gubernatorial Debate 3 from guerilla.effect on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Significance of Debra Medina

Article by Junta Member Will, also on and The Red Pub Magazine.

The 2010 Texas Governor’s race is arguably the most influential race in America. Texas is the largest conservative leaning state in the union and this implies that if Texas sets a good example then states may be willing emulators.

I first met Debra back in 2007 while standing in for proper leadership of the grassroots movement in Beaumont. She gladly drove the long trek to help remedy our hopelessly deep ignorance of grass roots politics.

Though she was knowledgeable, it was clear that she was merely just one of us, not having anything remotely akin to political super powers or that larger-than-life verve politicians often have. The only thing obvious about her was her sincerity.

To those involved in the Season of the Fix, that is the 2008 Texas GOP Convention season, where the party was enabling and rewarding bad actors, it is easy to say that for Medina, and the Liberty movement in Texas, it was a tough time. Debra was handed defeat after defeat by the entrenched elements in the party, and even some dissent about tactics by friends. Yet all of that disappointment evidently only fastened her resolve.

After these defeats, and contrary to contemporary wisdom, she decided to run for Governor; she started by tapping into the remnant of the grass roots movement, and tirelessly meeting every group that would have her, and some that wouldn’t.

Early on her opponents monopolized the money in the race, however, she had cornered the grass roots energy.

As a candidate she has one strategy: simply be the most prepared to lead. This means being more educated on the topics and not relying on sacred rhetorical cows. She has a very developed intellectual model of governance; policy is a function of the model not the other way around. In her model: men are best when free, everything else follows. Thus, men must be able to secure freedom and keep the fruits of their labor, implying that a government’s reason for existence is to maximize freedom.

One must bear in mind the new candidates must endure the scrutiny of a million opinions; a million sets of ideas battling their way to the top in the unfettered intellectual market place of ideas in the coffee shops, pubs and KC halls of Texas.

I cannot conjure the word for the opposite of a bubble, but if there is one it surely describes where she has dwelt for the last year.

And, what has a year’s worth of campaigning and time spent under the lamp wrought? Medina has simply become the most Coherent Candidate in this race in Texas and, potentially, in the Nation.

All that said, it does not do service to why she is important, for she is so because she is the realization of a simple thesis: Does the Toiling Class, those whose living is not based on the redistribution of wealth, have a Right to elect their own candidates?

It could very well be that Medina is an idea whose time has come; showing that a mere citizen with purpose, can develop the talents needed to free themselves, that politics need not be held solely by the political elite, in fact that the power does belong to the people, that is, We Texans.

Monday, February 1, 2010

News Flash: Bank Bailout Created Moral Hazard

Someone at the Treasury is actually doing his job, and admits that TARP caused the big banks that took on too much bad debt in the past decade to get bigger and take on even more bad debt.

The government's response to the financial meltdown has made it more likely the United States will face a deeper crisis in the future, an independent watchdog at the Treasury Department warned.

The problems that led to the last crisis have not yet been addressed, and in some cases have grown worse, says Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the trouble asset relief program, or TARP. The quarterly report to Congress was released Sunday.

"Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car," Barofsky wrote.

Since Congress passed $700 billion financial bailout, the remaining institutions considered "too big to fail" have grown larger and failed to restrain the lavish pay for their executives, Barofsky wrote. He said the banks still have an incentive to take on risk because they know the government will save them rather than bring down the financial system.

Barofsky also said his office is investigating 77 cases of possible criminal and civil fraud, including crimes of tax evasion, insider trading, mortgage lending and payment collection, false statements and public corruption.

Who could have possibly predicted this? Well, basically anyone that has read Economics in One Lesson. It's too bad that the smartest financial minds are more concerned with inventing new ways to defraud American consumers, investors, and taxpayers than sound economics.