Democratic Katrina policies at work

Remember all the energy price control hullabaloo from the Democratic party after Katrina to “help the poor”? Fortunately this didn’t happen because the democratic party currently has about as much influence on policy as a double scotch does on Ted Kennedy. But assuming they did, through the miracle of crappy socialist dictatorships, we can see into a likely democratic future in Venezuela if below we substitute “coffee” for “oil”:

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Coffee is vanishing from Venezuelan stores as producers protest price controls they say are strangling profits -- no laughing matter in a country where drinking the bitter brew is not simply a habit but a culture.

Troops and inspectors have begun raiding inventories held by private companies in an effort to ease the scarcity, authorities said on Wednesday.

The dispute over the bitter beans can be traced back to early 2003, when coffee fell under price controls for staple foods imposed by President Hugo Chavez's government as a way to counter inflation and protect the poor. But prices set in early December outraged coffee producers, prompting protests in downtown Caracas and paralyzing deliveries.

National Guard troops have so far seized about 330 tons of coffee stored by wholesalers in Yaguara and Guacara, near the capital of Caracas, and more raids were planned, said Gen. Marcos Rojas Figueroa of the National Guard.

"That coffee is going to be sold ... at the established price," he said.


NYTimes in self-parody

For a paper so squeamish about attaching the label “terrorist” to individuals who blow innocents up in Iraq to create “terror” they seem awfully at ease at applying labels to the individuals and actions of those involved in the various leak cases in which they’ve become enmeshed. While each leak case involved the potentially illegal public disclosure of sensitive information by current and former executive officials, the NYTimes explains their reasoning for why one leak is bad and the others are good; leakers that provide information that validates the papers editorial views – that the Iraq war and the Bush administration are bad – are “whistleblowers” and leakers that challenge these views are engaged in an illegal campaign to “silence and discredit” said brave whistle blowers. It’s a wonder that they haven’t simply done away with the pretense that conservatives are capable of ethical behavior and simply refer to liberals and conservatives as “good folks” and “evil doers” respectively.