Wednesday, October 21, 2009

LA = Airstrip One

With every passing day, Orwell appears to be more, and more, of a genius:


A "Liberal" Foreign Policy

By Thaddeus Russell:

Should President Barack Obama continue his escalation of the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it will be the liberal thing to do.

What too few Americans realize—especially the president’s anti-war supporters, who accuse him of betraying liberal or "progressive" values—is that if he accedes to General Stanley McChrystal's request for more troops in Afghanistan and intensifies the drone attacks in Pakistan, he will follow squarely in the footsteps of the great liberal statesmen he has cited as his role models. Though opponents of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cheered loudly when Obama spoke reverentially in his campaign speeches of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy, those heroes of the president promoted and oversaw U.S. involvement in wars that killed, by great magnitudes, more Americans and foreign civilians than all the modern Republican military operations combined.

Whole thing here.

I'm Taking My Ball and Going Home

This exchange between ABC White House Correspondent Jake Tapper and WHPC Gibbs is astounding:

Tapper: It’s escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations “not a news organization” and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one –


Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.

Tapper: But that’s a pretty sweeping declaration that they are “not a news organization.” How are they any different from, say –

Gibbs: ABC -

Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?

Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight. Or 5 o’clock this afternoon.

Tapper: I’m not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a “news organization” -- why is that appropriate for the White House to say?

Gibbs: That’s our opinion.

The arrogance of these people. Imagine if the Bush Administration had said such a thing about Chris Matthews and the MSNBC gang...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Our President "the Vain"

George Will at his best.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Leave it to the Brits.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Glenn Beck: "Obama Better Than McCain"

Interesting. And I agree.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Most Accurate Diagnosis (forgive the pun) of the Health Care Issue Yet

By Nick Gillespie:

Doctors and other health professionals, who assiduously work to limit the number of health care providers in a given field, bitch and moan all the time about how Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers are driving down reimbursements for basic procedures. Yet somehow the overall cost of health care goes up, up, up. It's because the system, including the vague reforms being championed by Barack Obama in a speech designed to lay out his plan in detail, really don't do anything to empower the person at the center of the drama—the patient, the customer—with the sort of choices that might actually trigger changes that will either curtail costs or, same thing, improve the range and quality of services so that we are happy with the money we're shoveling out.

Whole thing here. The President is either the least astute economic thinker that I have ever heard discuss economics, or he is calculating used-car-selling shyster. Considering his time spent at the University of Chicago, I am confounded by his inability to understand the concept of price incentives.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ode to the Kennedy's

An oldie, but a goodie nonetheless, concerning the "creative destruction" of Old Joe's clan, penned by Nick Gillespie.

Corporatism In Action (GE content)

... or as economist, Anne Krueger would characterize it, "rent-seeking":

GE spent more on lobbying in the second quarter of this year than did any other company, according to federal lobbying files. Since 1998, GE has been the king of lobbying expenditures, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, outpacing its runner-up by 40 percent.

The "intersection between GE's interests and the government's actions" is plenty crowded. GE is betting on climate change legislation, high-speed rail funding, electric car subsidies, embryonic stem cell grants, expanded federal health care spending, subsidies for renewable energy, defense contracts and continued financial bailouts.

Whole thing here.

Stupid Legislation of the Day

Carry-on bags... Geez.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Race Baiting Politics

Matt Welch says baiters are shooting blanks. I agree.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Best Paragraph I've Read Today

Via Julian Sanchez:

It's entertaining to watch the same people who spent the Bush years smearing the antiwar movement as "on the other side" suddenly rediscovering the virtues of noisy protest. But at least they're moving in the right direction, no matter how haphazardly or hypocritically. What's depressing is to see the people who piously defended the right to dissent suddenly writing off public protest as a subversive conspiracy.

Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Whole Foods Healthcare Model

CEO John Mackey's plan here.

I've admired Mr. Mackey's philosophy for quite some time.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Hollywood for Rand

Some celeb thoughts on Ayn:
Angelina Jolie: "I just think [Ayn Rand] has a very interesting philosophy...You reevaluate your own life and what's important to you."

Christina Ricci: "My favorite book is The Fountainhead...I relate to it because of the idea that you're not a bad person if you don't love everyone."

Vince Vaughn: "The last book I read was the book I've been rereading most of my life—The Fountainhead."

Rob Lowe: "Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand is a stupendous achievement and I just adore it."

From here. Brad Pitt's push for Free Trade to help poor African countries is certainly right out of the Rand handbook.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Impending Higher Education Bubble

Amanda Carey writes:

This dilemma is not unlike what we saw in the housing market during the last few years. Someone decided homeownership was a good thing for almost everyone, so the government started pushing people to buy homes, using the tax code and other incentives. The same thing is happening with college. But instead of people getting loans for houses they could never pay off, 18-year-olds are getting excessive loans for college. And just as we saw before the collapse of the housing bubble, the price of going to college in America is skyrocketing.

The reason is simple. The increase in demand (artificial though it may be) means shorter supply, which ultimately means higher prices for everyone. But whether it's in the name of affordable housing or affordable education, the government continues to throw more money into the system, hustling to increase demand. The only difference with education is that instead of bailing out banks to force them to continue making loans, the government is now making the loans itself.

Traditionally, college has been discriminatory in the best possible sense. It was used to weed out those likely to be unsuccessful in the work force. Someone who did not make it through college did not make it to the high paying jobs, period. Furthermore, letting the market control tuition prices (even if they are high) means that many people who probably wouldn't thrive at college—or would do better at a blue-collar job—won't even apply in the first place. This weeding process would eventually decrease demand and in turn, prices would go down, especially at less competitive schools.

Instead, with government help and nudging, more and more people are entering college who wouldn't have made that decision if left to their own devices. We've seen the effects this kind of micro managing has on the housing market. If things don't change now, education will be headed down the same disastrous path and universities will soon become too big to fail.

Yep. Whole piece here.

Our President, the Liar

And now he appears to be conintuning the Bush policies on immigration...

The President's scorecard, to date, here.

The Case Against the Public Option

Monday, August 03, 2009

Weak Sauce


The four drank out of beer mugs. Mr. Obama had a Bud Lite, Sergeant Crowley had Blue Moon, Professor Gates drank Sam Adams Light and Mr. Biden, who does not drink, had a Buckler nonalcoholic beer. (Mr. Biden put a lime slice in his beer. Sergeant Crowley, for his part, kept with Blue Moon tradition and had a slice of orange in his drink.)

What are they? Chicks? (from the NYT).

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Gates Situation

Radley Balko correctly points out that we are all missing the point:

The conversation we ought to be having in response to the July 16 incident and its heated aftermath isn't about race, it's about police arrest powers, and the right to criticize armed agents of the government.

By any account of what happened—Gates', Crowleys', or some version in between—Gates should never have been arrested. "Contempt of cop," as it's sometimes called, isn't a crime. Or at least it shouldn't be. It may be impolite, but mouthing off to police is protected speech, all the more so if your anger and insults are related to a perceived violation of your rights. The "disorderly conduct" charge for which Gates was arrested was intended to prevent riots, not to prevent cops from enduring insults. Crowley is owed an apology for being portrayed as a racist, but he ought to be disciplined for making a wrongful arrest.

Police officers deserve the same courtesy we afford anyone else we encounter in public life—basic respect and civility. If they're investigating a crime, they deserve cooperation as required by law, and beyond that only to the extent to which the person with whom they're speaking is comfortable. Verbally disrespecting a cop may well be rude, but in a free society we can't allow it to become a crime, any more than we can criminalize criticism of the president, a senator, or the city council. There's no excuse for the harassment or arrest of those who merely inquire about their rights, who ask for an explanation of what laws they're breaking, or who photograph or otherwise document police officers on the job.

What we owe law enforcement is vigilant oversight and accountability, not mindless deference and capitulation. Whether or not Henry Louis Gates was racially profiled last week doesn't change any of that.

Exactly. Whole thing here. On a more personal note, a local Atlanta cop shot my friend's dog this weekend in the dog's own yard. Disgusting abuse of power. Here is a Balko piece on dog-shootings.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More On Healthcare

Obama's 3 Lies.

Free Market Alternative.

Seven Bad Ideas.

More problems with Obamacare.

Health Care systems around the globe.

Failure in Massachusetts.