Friday, July 27, 2012


Hey, peasant! If you're so smart, why ain't you rich? If you're so smart, why can't you figure out how to get gun control laws passed? Mike Bloomberg is stinking rich, which obviously means he's much, much smarter than you -- smart enough to figure out how to break the NRA's stranglehold on gun legislation. As he explains in this op-ed for, um, Bloomberg, it's a piece of cake!
...What can be done?

One of the U.S. Senate's most pro-gun members has paradoxically shown how the battle might begin. Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, also the chamber's most sincere fiscal conservative, has made it his mission to diminish the influence of another ideological group that has exercised unwarranted sway over public policy: the anti-tax absolutists led by Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform.

To confront Norquist, Coburn identified an indefensible tax -- the ethanol subsidy -- isolated it and forced a vote on it. His colleagues, many of whom had signed Norquist's pledge never to raise taxes, were forced to choose between opposing what Coburn decried as an obvious "special interest giveaway" or looking like spineless shills for Norquist. By heightening attention on the vote, the tactic worked. The $5.4 billion ethanol subsidy was voted down.

The Coburn approach could be applied to guns....
Yeah, right -- because that sure broke the back of Grover Norquist, didn't it? Why, after that vote, Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform were utterly toothless, and now there are no more Bush tax cuts for the wealthy! They're gone! Um ... right? Aren't they?

Oh, and as for those ethanol subsidies:
So why did the powerful corn ethanol lobby let it expire without an apparent fight? The answer lies in legislation known as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which creates government-guaranteed demand that keeps corn prices high and generates massive farm profits....

The RFS mandates that at least 37 percent of the 2011-12 corn crop be converted to ethanol and blended with the gasoline that powers our cars... [As a result] the current price of corn on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is about $6.50 per bushel -- almost triple the pre-mandate level.
That's a quote found in a Kevin Drum post titled "Ethanol Subsidies: Not Gone, Just Hidden a Little Better."

Look, I'm glad Mike Bloomberg is angry about guns -- but he's run for office in only one place, a place where he's absolutely politically insulated from the influence of the NRA. That means he hasn't got a clue about the extent of the NRA's power in the rest of the country.

Fighting these guys will not be easy. If it can possibly happen, it will be a long, slow slog. And it would take huge amounts of money to match the NRA's spending on PR and lobbying.

Hey, Mike, can you possibly spare a few million bucks?


Ten Bears said...

Fighting these guys will not be easy.

We could just shoot them. Think of it as Cheney's one percent doctrine: they are a threat to our survival.

Stand your ground...

Victor said...

After this drought, what does that 37% represent?

Especially when FSM knows how much corn, and corn syrup, are in our food?
Here in Upstate NY, the ears of corn are tiny because of the drought.

We've had some rain lately, so our local farmer says that for the first couple of weeks in August, he should have a nice crop of sweet corn, where the ears are big.

Usually, our corn crop here lasts from late July to mid-September.

Now I'm starting to think this two, or so, week stretch, may well be the new norm.