Let Them Eat Cake

"Qu'ils mangent de la brioche"
 Hostess Brands has filed a petition in bankruptcy to liquidate its assets after the union representing production facility workers rejected a reduced pay contract offer from the company. 18,500 jobs will be lost.  Interestingly, the Teamsters, representing Hostess transport and delivery drivers had advised the striking bakery workers that this was the best deal they could get.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union represents around 5,000 Hostess employees, but the Bakery Union has decided to end the jobs for its members as well as for 13,500 other Hostess workers in an economy headed into another recession. In August the Teamsters Union representing some 7,500 Hostess workers voted by secret ballot to accept terms similar to the company's proposal to the bakery workers. Four other smaller unions have ratified the company's offer that was filtered through the U.S Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York. But the Bakery Union never had any intent to make the concessions necessary to keep Hostess afloat. All we have to read is this "elegant" public statement was made by the BCTGM union president after the Teamsters ratified their new contract in August.
“I would never sign this piece of crap,” says Frank Hurt, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union (BCTGM), the second-largest labor organization at Hostess after the Teamsters.
Jennifer Rubin, in her Washington Post column, has hit the nail on the head:
It is instructive to see the fat-cat salaries that the union bosses receive. The March 2012 LM-2, the annual filing required by the Department of Labor for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union reveals that union bosses collectively received more than $3 million in compensation. The secretary treasurer takes down a whopping $196, 627 while the president rakes in $210,672. Hey, the Big Labor execs have their dough, so why should they sweat, a month before Christmas, about 18,500 employees going jobless? Perhaps they should adopt a new slogan for their union: "Let ‘em eat cake".
There is irony in the upcoming asset liquidation.  Hostess Brands predecessor, Interstate Bakeries was bailed out of bankruptcy by Ripplewood Holdings which is run by Tim Collins, a Democratic financier connected to "Little" Dick Gephardt's labor consulting firm. As can be seen below the embittered union folks are now sticking it to their Democrat ally in the Ripplewood private equity firm. Everybody loses except possibly the hedge funds.


Angelo Codevilla's Manifesto For Taking Back America

America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution

The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime forgotten, for it was properly done.Honoré de Balzac

Just a few days have passed since Barack Obama shockingly won reelection and the resulting numbness has remained in place among American conservatives who are suddenly without leadership. The 2010 mid-term elections saw rise of the Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party which effectively wrested control of the House of Representatives from the Democrats but the changing of the guard could not be accomplished in 2012.

Looking backward, the failure of the revolution-minded but loosely organized TEA parties can be traced to failure to promulgate a manifesto which could effectively unite the disparate parties seeking regime change through a bloodless coup, first at the ballot box and finally through the dismantling of a too big government structure. But the TEA parties and conservatives simply were not paying enough attention to an essay published in The American Spectator in July of 2010.  Back then, Dr. Gary North wrote in American Vision:
Every political movement needs a manifesto.  The Tea Party surely needs one. So do other grassroots political resistance organizations. They don’t have it yet, but they now have its preliminary foundation, Angelo Codevilla’s essay, “America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution.”
I have long regarded Dr. Codevilla as America’s smartest conservative political analyst. He has been unknown to the conservative public until last week, when Rush Limbaugh began promoting the best essay of Codevilla’s career. I regard this essay as the finest statement on the two-fold division in American political life written in my lifetime — more than this, in the last hundred years. He has laid it out clearly, accurately, and eloquently.
Essentially, Professor Codevilla refocused attention on the Marxist paradigm for American politics. In 1891, Friedrich Engels viewed America thus:


We find two great gangs of political speculators, who alternately take possession of the state power and exploit it by the most corrupt means for the most corrupt ends — the nation is powerless against these two great cartels of politicians who are ostensibly its servants, but in reality dominate and plunder it.
Charles Cartier has done some good "Ayn-Rand-like" work in explaining the concept of "class analysis" that serves as the basis for Angelo Codevilla's masterpiece.
The government’s coercive taxing power necessarily creates two classes: those who create and those who consume the wealth expropriated and transferred by that power. Those who create the wealth naturally want to keep it and devote it to their own purposes. Those who wish to expropriate it look for ever more-clever ways to acquire it without inciting resistance. One of those ways is the spreading of an elaborate ideology of statism, which teaches that the people are the state and that therefore they are only paying themselves when they pay taxes.
So the book, "The Ruling Class" puts all governmental rent-seeking leeches into the classification of the Ruling Class and everyone else into the Country Class. Dr. Codevilla obviously was testing the concept as early as July 6, 2009 when he wrote in National Review Online:
The distinctions between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, are being overshadowed by that between what we might call the “Court party” — made up of the well-connected, the people who feel represented by mainstream politicians who argue over how many trillions should be spent on reforming American society, who see themselves as potters of the great American clay — and the “Country party” — the many more who are tired of being treated as clay.
Codevilla describes the American Ruling Class as possessing  inexhaustible contempt for the majority of their countrymen who are not part of their clique. In his book's Forward, Codevilla begins to focus the reader on  his own class analysis:
America now divides ever more sharply into two classes, the smaller of which holds the commanding heights of government, from which it disposes in ever greater detail of America’s economic energies, from which it ordains new ways of living as if it had the right to do so, and from which it asserts that that right is based on the majority class’ stupidity, racism, and violent tendencies. 
This is why millions of Americans are now reasserting our right to obey the Constitution to which officials swear allegiance upon taking office, rather than to obey any official. The most obvious evidence of the American people’s desire to be responsible for our own lives and to govern ourselves is the Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party movement. But that desire transcends all organizations, joining Independents, Republicans, and not a few Democrats into what we might call the Country Party. This party does not have and may never have an organization.
Ancient and ubiquitous is the division between the Ins, who benefit from closeness to the king’s court, and the Outs in the rest of the country, who must pay for the king’s largess.  Like countless others, America’s Country Party is the party of the Outs. But there is a difference: America’s Outs— the two-thirds of Americans who feel that the Ruling Class is demeaning us, impoverishing us, and demoralizing us— are the people who embody the ideas and habits that made America the world’s envy. And they want the Ruling Class off America’s back.
The Democratic Party represents the Ruling Class well. A majority of people who vote Democrat tell pollsters that they feel represented by the officials they elect. But only a fourth of Republican voters feel represented by Republican officials. This means that many, if not most, Republican officials are in an untenable position, with their hearts and personal hopes pushing further into the Ruling Class, and their roots withering among their voters. Most of these voters, along with Independents (and a few Democrats), make up the vast Country Party. Sooner rather than later, for better or worse, this super-majority of Americans will get its own political vehicle, either an obviously reformed Republican Party, or a new one. The Tea Party movement is part of the soil in which it must root.
Because removing the Democratic Party from positions of power is necessarily the Country Party’s immediate objective, it has no choice in the short run but to channel most of its electoral energies through the Republican Party. But getting non-Democrat majorities in Congress and state Houses is the easy part. Such majorities will surely be tempted to try to impose on America the reverse of the “revolution from above” that the Ruling Class has inflicted on us. Yet the American people do not want partisan government. They want self-governance. That means putting government power in the hands of elected officials rather than bureaucrats— for example, either dismantling administrative agencies or electing their members. For elections to be meaningful, however, citizens would have to take much more responsibility for knowing the issues and keeping officials honest than they have lately exercised.
It is even more essential to self-governance that citizens de-professionalize government by holding elective offices themselves. No legislation would restore parent control over education as much as allowing each neighborhood to administer its school. This would require breaking America’s school districts into as many units as needed. This and other measures to restore citizens’ control of their lives would be truly revolutionary, because every elected non-professional who sits on a school board or a county commission would be a physical re-affirmation of the basic, self-evident truth on which America was founded: “All men are created equal.” In sum, by taking so much power into its self-selected circles, the Ruling Class has gone a long way toward destroying the habits of Americans for economic self-reliance, for citizenship, for family life, and for reverence. Ousting the Ruling Class will not be so difficult or important as reclaiming the habits that made us Americans.
The Ruling Class is made up of anyone who is associated with an depends upon the government for livelihood.. So it includes any elected politician, U.S. government employee, state and local employee, teacher, contractor, politician, police, military and any of the millions upon millions of government program beneficiaries. While many of these people may sympathize with the Country class, they simply cannot be counted on to vote against their vested interests. In today's world, the Ruling Class may be a much higher percentage than Codevilla's estimate of 1/3 of Americans.

Unfortunately, the book stops short of providing organizational answers as to how this manifesto could best be implemented  --- but he was nudging an idea forward in 2009 in the NRO piece.
Far be it from me to suggest that Sarah Palin should be or is likely to be our next president. She has not shown the excellence of cognition or of judgment that would recommend her ahead of other possible candidates, nor does her path to the presidency look easy. But as the nation celebrates the anniversary of the revolution of 1776, every presidential hopeful should realize that in the next election Sarah Palin — or someone like her — could be the vehicle for another revolution.
We can see the nature and power of today’s Country party by noting how little Sarah Palin did to become its head. The person whom candidate John McCain introduced on August 29, 2008, struck the nation like James Stewart in the 1939 movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: somebody like you, who speaks your language, unlike the politicians and bureaucrats who talk, act, and live as if they were better than you. To confirm that impression, Palin hardly had to do anything. The Court party did it for her, and she leads the Country party because highly placed people have demeaned her and everything she stands for more than they have anybody else. They heaped contempt on her for the unpardonable sin of being an ordinary American.
America’s “Best And Brightest” — the media’s haughty personages, the college towns’ privileged residents, affirmative action’s beneficiaries, the “mainstream” politicians who supported billions for bailouts and “stimuli,” the upscale folks who look down on the rest of us and upon themselves as saviors of the planet — these are the people who made Palin into a political force by making her a symbol of everything they are not. They did this despite her lack of brilliance when it came to communicating her ideas on the issues.
More recently, after Sarah's efforts in the 2010 mid-term elections, the professor raised the ante when he said: “Sarah Palin is a political talent we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan.”

Critics may well question the stark, wide-eyed innocence of this oversimplification of a most certainly complex ideological/political conundrum that would be the Country party. How do you convince lifetime doubters that political alliances of any kind are useful? How do we turn the momentum back toward the concepts that made America great? How do you convince moderates and fence-sitters that alignment with conservatives and Big L libertarians could ever be a good bargain? What financiers, outside of the Koch brothers, can be depended on to provide the cash needed to get this endeavor off the ground? The answers for all these questions and more , of course,  is a grassroots efffort to first find and then focus on a voice (Palin or someone else) to sell the concept and to organize the remnants of what was the TEA parties into a political force. The word will have to be spread through allies in the new internet media, since established media outlets are already co-opted

As for Dr. Codevilla's belief that the Republican party could serve temporarily as basis for a political revolution --- we know know that losing two presidential elections in a row has changed nothing among establishment Republicans who direct the party.  Indeed we now can determine that establishment Republicans are an integral part of the Ruling Class.

A final question: Who will start the ball rolling?

Going Galt in Obama's Second Term

Glen Reynolds posted this E-Mail from an Insty reader at 11:00 PM on election night. Take from it what you will.

READER ZACH WHITE EMAILS: “If Obama is reelected, good hardworking people should give up and go Galt. The tipping point is the 2012 election. Will the makers finally succumb to the takers? It’s pointless to think that if America reelects the most unqualified disastrous president in recent memory, we should stand our ground and continue fighting. it’s a signal that marxist free-lunchism and free birth control for everyone trump economic well-being and prosperity in the minds of the masses. Give up. Go Galt. Protect what few assets you have left, and start to hunker down for the coming storm. America is beyond screwed, well past the fiscal insanity of a number of EU countries. Think of it this way – we sit and watch California destroy itself and wonder who could be so foolish as to remain there and dedicate himself to indentured servitude in a state headed for disaster. Why don’t those fools just leave!! Same for Venezuela. as they descend into chaos and totalitarianism, do they reject Chavez more? The answer is plainly no. The spiral down the drain is irreversible and obvious. The more the government creates misery, the more they create programs to help people cope with the misery they’ve created, and we achieve a perpetual negative feedback loop. My advice is simple – if Obama is reelected, get a lawyer and a financial advisor, cash out as much of your assets as you can, and prepare yourself for a nosedive off a cliff. anything else would be imprudent and irresponsible to yourself and your dependents. Who wants to be a Dagny Taggart dedicating themselves to a life of indentured servitude trying to correct the wrongs of a heavy handed government? i will not be volunteering. I didn’t give up on America, America gave up on me.”

With Apologies To Kenny Rogers . . .

Obama's "Christian Faith"

Let his days be few, and let another take his office.

Down to the wire for this election and Obama's campaign has gathered Democrat clergy and the Anointed One himself to explain in an ad just how narcissism and religion mix. Not really, but they believe we are all stupid people.

A review of Barry's mutterings and writings about his religious beliefs finds inconsistencies which can only be called lies. Wiki tells us.
In The Audacity of Hope, Obama writes that he "was not raised in a religious household". He describes his mother, raised by non-religious parents (whom Obama has specified elsewhere as "non-practicing Methodists and Baptists") to be detached from religion, yet "in many ways the most spiritually awakened person that I have ever known". He describes his father as "raised a Muslim", but a "confirmed atheist" by the time his parents met, and his stepfather as "a man who saw religion as not particularly useful". His spiritual change of heart as an adult and his coming to believe in Christianity is a major part of his autobiography Dreams from My Father. Obama has stated that he "felt a beckoning of the spirit" at this time. He has also said that his political/ethical beliefs are "guided by his Christian faith" including belief "in the power of prayer."[12]
Actually, Obama put out a 2008 campaign ad in South Carolina which showed him praying and it says he will be a president "guided by his Christian faith" and quotes the One as saying, "I believe in the power of prayer." But getting back to Barack's childhood, we find that he tells diverse stories of his Christian upbringing. here is an interview with a the religious editor of the Chicago Sun Times, Cathleen Falsani,  during his 2004 Senate campaign.
FALSANI: What do you believe?
OBAMA: I am a Christian. So, I have a deep faith. I draw from the Christian faith. On the other hand, I was born in Hawaii where obviously there are a lot of Eastern influences. I lived in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, between the ages of six and 10. My father was from Kenya, and although he was probably most accurately labeled an agnostic, his father was Muslim. And I'd say, probably, intellectually I've drawn as much from Judaism as any other faith.
FALSANI:
Have you always been a Christian?
OBAMA:
I was raised more by my mother, and my mother was Christian.
FALSANI:
Any particular flavor?
OBAMA:
No. My grandparents were from small towns in Kansas. My grandmother was Methodist. My grandfather was Baptist. And by the time I was born, I think, my grandparents had joined a Universalist church. My mother, who I think had as much influence on my values as anybody, was not someone who wore her religion on her sleeve. We'd go to church for Easter. She wasn't a church lady. [...]
I don't think as a child I had a structured religious education. But my mother was a deeply spiritual person. She would spend a lot of time talking about values and give me books about the world's religions, and talk to me about them. And I think always, her view was that underlying these religions were a common set of beliefs about how you treat other people and how you aspire to act not just for yourself, but also for the greater good. And, so that, I think, was what I carried with me through college.
I cannot go on with this crap. Note that he was asked two specific questions by Cathleen Falsani that he did not clearly answer.  When asked "What do you believe? ", he obfuscated and when asked "Have you always been a Christian?", he said his mother was a Christian. But he has said on many occasions that his mother was not religious and evidence seems to show that she was a communist and an atheist who despised religion but Obama cannot let that get in the way of a good story that glorifies Barack. The "deeply spiritual" description of his mother and her interest in religious writings do not pass the smell test.

On Tuesday, folks, let us put the liar out to pasture.