As veteran C4P readers know, The Alaska Disptach employs hapless Palin-hater Craig "Scoop" Medred to frequently spout nonsense about Governor Palin. I’m not sure what form of remuneration the Dispatch provides Medred for his sage insights, but given their notable lack of merit, I suspect Dan Riehl is pretty close to the mark:
…maybe he gets his take home in dog bones and chew toys…who knows.
Personally, I think even that would constitute an overpayment on the part of the Dispatch, but I digress. For the benefit of our newer readers who are, justifiably, unaware of the existence of this obtuse imbecile, in a post last December I described him and his written paroxysms thusly:
Medred is a simpleton who, inexplicably, gets paid to write for the left-wing blog, Alaska Dispatch. His sole raison d’être for the Dispatch, evidently, is to channel his obsessive hatred of Governor Palin by taking random bits of information and twisting them into discordant narratives to make her look bad. No deception is out of bounds, whether it’s taking things out of context, making them up out of thin air, or drawing conclusions wholly inconsistent with the facts, Medred has done it all.
My words from last December can pretty much be applied to all of Medred’s columns, and yesterday’s piece is no exception. The whole point (I’m being charitable) of Medred’s latest harangue, near as I can discern, is that Governor Palin’s a demagogue for daring to point out the obvious: Crony capitalism is an impediment to free markets and an enormous problem in our society. The sharp-as-a-marble Medred disagrees. Medred begins by attempting to paint Governor Palin’s use of this common term as nothing more than a straw man she has concocted as part of a devious plot to rile the masses or something. This, Medred solemnly avers, is what Palin always does: Use catchy phrases and slogans to distort public opinion in a way that would make Joseph Goebbels proud:
Political bogeymen are Palin’s touchstones. She’s tried her hand with a variety of these to varying success.
So you see, in Medred’s world, the problem of crony capitalism is just a "political bogeyman"; a figment of Governor Palin’s imagination which she’s guilefully exploiting for political advantage. Medred, of course, sees right through Palin’s subterfuge: Crony capitalism is really no problem at all. And neither, according to Medred, is the unprecedented debt and deficits the Obama Administration is running up, as Medred sees this as just another of Governor Palin’s phony "bogeymen":
Not that long ago, Palin said it was the federal deficit that was ruining the economy. But having now lost the budget ceiling fight, she appears to have abandoned the deficit.
It is, literally, impossible to know what this guy is talking about with this idiocy. Is Medred suggesting Governor Palin is suddenly fine with the $1.4 trillion deficits Obama is running and, therefore, has "abandoned" it as an issue? Has Medred been on the other side of the moon lately? How did she "lose" the budget ceiling fight? Do Americans now agree with Obama and, apparently, Medred, that running trillion plus annual deficits is a good idea? If so I must have missed the polling data which backs this up. Oddly, Medred doesn’t provide it. Throughout her career, she has been a staunch advocate (and practitioner) of a balanced budget. If she has suddenly abandoned this doctrine, Medred should provide evidence. But then he can’t, can he?
It appears she believes the answer is to warn of capitalism as the root cause of America’s downward spiral.
No, Champ, it’s crony capitalism with which she has a problem, not capitalism. I’m not sure if this is a clever attempt to by Medred to obfuscate the issue or simply the result of his omnipresent confusion. I suspect the latter given the mental lethargy present in his musings…and the oxymoronic nature of the words "clever" and "Craig Medred" occupying the same sentence.
This message has the dirty word "socialism" written all over it.
Bingo. Socialism and crony capitalism are indeed very close cousins. Both involve what economists refer to as the political allocation of resources — as opposed to their being efficiently allocated by the market as is the case in free-market capitalism. Whenever resources are allocated for political rather than economic reasons, massive corruption and inefficiency is inevitable as resources are diverted to rent-seeking activities. Why expend time and effort developing a more competitive product when it’s easier and cheaper to prevent competition in the first place by purchasing protection from the government via campaign contributions?
This loss of free market competition results in an incalculable lowering of future living standards as new products and innovations that would have been developed aren’t. So yes, crony capitalism does have the word socialism written all over it. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while and Medred has unwittingly stumbled upon his. (Unwittingly due to the fact that Medred has very few wits about him and, for his sake, those he does possess need to be concentrated at the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid.) Still, I do believe a new propeller hat is due Medred by his superiors at the Dispatch for correctly equating socialism with crony capitalism.
Medred’s brief moment of lucidity, accidental though it is, quickly fades as he says something about Governor Palin running on a socialist platform before veering off toward Governor Palin’s prior political successes in Alaska, which, according to Medred, were all the result Palin’s "fear-mongering". Medred, as is his custom, offers nothing but his own opinion as evidence to support his paranoid fantasies. He even implies that Todd Palin is sympathetic to the idea of Alaska becoming the "Pakistan of the Arctic", whatever that means:
Palin’s husband, Todd, is a former member and current supporter of the Alaska Independence Party, an organization that began by advocating secession from the United States. It has since tempered that view somewhat, but still wants to keep the federal government at arm’s length. Alaskans really would like to be a foreign country north of Canada receiving a ton of U.S. foreign aid and advice, but not having to take any of the latter. Think of the place as sort of the Pakistan of the Arctic and you’ll get the idea.
Actually I doubt anyone has any idea what the hell Medred is talking about here. But, then, that’s nothing new for him, I’m sure. Medred next focuses his limited brain power on Governor Palin’s metaphoric use of the term "death panels" to describe the inevitable rationing contained in Medred’s beloved Obamacare. Governor Palin, as everyone (other than Medred, evidently) knows, was referring to the ideas espoused by Obama’s point man on Obamacare, Dr. Zeke Emanuel and his controversial "complete lives system" theory in which Emanuel advocated the rationing of health care resources based on one’s expected future level of productivity in society. Let’s take a quick look back at the relevant paragraph in Governor Palin’s famous Facebook Note of August, 7, 2009 (emphasis added):
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
That couldn’t be any clearer, right? Well, evidently it was a bit too murky for Medred:
Such a system — had such as (sic) system ever been proposed — would be downright evil. But it was patently false, a gross mischaracterization of an amendment introduced by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, which allowed for Medicare and Medicaid funds to be used for doctor-patient counseling over end-of-life prognoses.
Blumenauer’s amendment, of course, had no more to do with Emanuel’s theory of healthcare resource allocation (to which Governor Palin referred) than Hurricane Irene, but why deal in facts when a red herring is available? Hilariously, Medred even cites the correct quote from Governor Palin’s Facebook page yet clearly is not bright enough to understand what he quoted. Either that or Medred is still seething over the fact that Governor Palin’s brilliant use of the death panels metaphor, which galvanized public opposition to Obamacare in the summer of 2009, came within a Louisiana Purchase and Cornhusker Kickback of scuttling the unaffordable, job-destroying boondoggle completely. My guess is the former since such supine mental prowess is par for the course for a guy who lacks the capacity to comprehend that airplanes are better equipped for inland transportation than boats.
Mercifully, after Medred’s long but familiar detour into the irrelevant, he returns to what ostensibly is the point of his diatribe: Crony capitalism. After a bit more "fear-mongering" lunacy, Medred implies that Governor Palin’s aversion to crony capitalism is evidence that she’s against small businesses. I’m not making this up:
With almost 1-in-10 Americans out of work and looking for a job, who better to hate than corporations with lean payrolls, overpaid CEOs and their filthy-rich lobbyists, whispering in the ears of federal lawmakers?
Never mind that thousands of small and midsize corporations in this country are the backbone of the economy.
Thanks for clearing that up, Craig. Why didn’t I see this before? Governor Palin secretly hates small businesses and has it in for them. Never mind that small and medium sized businesses are the very entities that stand to benefit the most from the elimination of crony capitalism. It is they who are victimized by the current system since they lack the resources to compete on a level field with the "too-big-to-fail" beneficiaries of the crony capitalism Medred defends. Obviously this eludes Medred completely. In perhaps the funniest part of his entire screed, Medred claims crony capitalism is really just…networking:
Sadly, most of them employ some form of cronyism — the practice of hiring people you know or people of the people you know. Polite people now call this practice "networking." Jack gets hired because Johnny says he’d be good at the job. Perfect meritocracies are rare because most business people don’t have the time to spend scouring the world for employees and vetting all the potential hires.
Er…what? By Medred’s logic, the local hardware store owner who hires his neighbor’s son to work on Saturdays is obviously equivalent to, say, VECO contributing close to a million dollars to Alaska politicians in return for favorable state legislation; or a president essentially nationalizing an auto company and using the assets to reward union campaign contributors to the detriment of the company’s secured creditors; or a near-bankrupt Solyndra securing a tax-payer guaranteed loan in excess of a half billion dollars in return for Obama’s cherished "green energy" projects. There’s no difference at all in Scoops view, and to suggest otherwise is needless fear-mongering. Even an intellectual at the New York Times, hardly a bastion of Palin support, has acknowledged Palin’s prescience on this potentially game-changing issue. But none of this matters to Medred, as he doubles down on stupidity with this bizarre insight:
Cronyism isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Natch. Following this omniscient pronouncement, Medred concludes his tirade by returning to his comfort zone and hurling mindless invective at the Governor: She’s execrable, scary, evil, corrupt, a failure, wants to eat your children, etc., etc. In short, she’s Beelzebub. I have no idea why anyone pays him for this kind of sh*t. Is the Alaska Dispatch really this hard up for contributors? The hebetudinous quality of his thinking is as consistent and predictable as his incoherent writing. He can’t even maintain a consistent narrative, and his obsession with Governor Palin clouds whatever rational thoughts may still remain in his empty melon. For other examples of Medred’s brilliance, go here, here, here, here, and here.