Monday, March 19, 2007

McCain and National Greatness

Matt Welch makes his case for why we (who cherish liberty) should be afraid of a 'President McCain:'

The significance of the McCain Plan transcended horse-race politics. It was a microcosm of the Arizona senator's largely unexamined philosophy about the proper role of the U.S. government. Like almost every past McCain crusade, from fining Big Tobacco to drug-testing athletes to restricting political speech in the name of campaign finance reform, the surge involved an increase in the power of the federal government, particularly in the executive branch. Like many of his reform measures identifying weapons pork, eliminating congressional airport perks, even banning torture the escalation had as much to do with appearances (in this case, the appearance of continuing to project U.S. military strength rather than accept defeat) as it did with reality. And like the reputation-making actions of his heroes, including his father, his grandfather, and his political idol Teddy Roosevelt, the new Iraq strategy required yet another expansion of American military power to address what is, at least in part, a nonmilitary problem.

Yuck. McCain is, and always has been, a big government conservative militarist similar to GW sans the religious zealotry. In other words, the election of McCain would simply be a trade of Constantine for Caesar. No thanks.
UPDATE: Gene Healy at CATO concurs.

My Latest Purchase

I cannot wait to dive into this one.

George Will on...

My choice for President:
Most congressional offices are decorated with photos of representatives gripping and grinning with presidents and other eminences. Paul, who thinks the presidency has swollen to anticonstitutional proportions, has photos of two Austrian School economists, Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, who warned against what Hayek called "the fatal conceit" of governments thinking they can allocate wealth and opportunity more reasonably than can markets. Paul's office has a picture of one president—Grover Cleveland, the conservative Democrat who asked, "What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?"
Only in my dreams, I know.

Global Warming and Kyoto:

We do not know how much we must change our economic activity to produce a particular reduction of warming. And we do not know whether warming is necessarily dangerous. Over the millennia, the planet has warmed and cooled for reasons that are unclear but clearly were unrelated to SUVs. Was life better when ice a mile thick covered Chicago? Was it worse when Greenland was so warm that Vikings farmed there? Are we sure the climate at this particular moment is exactly right, and that it must be preserved, no matter the cost?


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hillary's Iraq Problem

I don't think that the 'Hitchens-Clinton Vendetta' will ever get old. Unhealthy vitriol aside, Chris, yet again, accurately points out that Hillary spent 8 years as the establishment and thus will have a tough time distancing herself from the status quo, particularly when it comes to issues like Iraq. Not a good place to be when running for the Presidency, especially when the current President's popularity has dropped below the point of no return. Indeed, I think it will benefit us all (and Mr. Obama) to remember:

[I]t was on the initiative of President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, both of whom delivered extremely tough speeches warning of another round of confrontation with Saddam Hussein, that the Senate passed the Iraq Liberation Actthat year, making it U.S. policy to remove the Baathists from power. It was the Clinton administration that bombed Sudan, claiming that a factory outside Khartoum represented a chemical-weapons link between Saddam and Osama Bin Laden. And, as Sen. Clinton reminded us in the very same speech, it was "President Clinton, with the British and others, [who] ordered an intensive four-day air assault, Operation Desert Fox, on known and suspected weapons of mass destruction sites and other military targets" in Iraq. On its own, this is enough to make childish nonsense of her insinuation that an "obsession" with Saddam took root only after the Bush-Cheney victory in 2000.

Any anti-war Democrat out there who thinks that a president Hillary will translate into a shift of our foreign policy is clearly delusional. Remember, "buy one, get one free...?"

Healthy Competition

This is encouraging. We can only hope that the trend will spread. I can't say that I am too optimistic, however, as the union-goonies in this country have somehow convinced every Democrat (politician and voter) in this country that competition is a bad thing when it comes to education... Geez. Talk about being manipulated.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Republican Party of the Future

According to David Boaz, the Republicans have abandoned their principals and a large segment of their base:

For decades, the Republican party united libertarians and conservatives against the big-government Democratic party. But the recent Republican trend toward big spending and centralization has discouraged both groups.

In one recent poll, voters preferred the Democrats by 2 to 1 to deal with the economy and the federal budget. Meanwhile, the party’s tilt toward social conservatism — the anti-gay marriage amendment, the clumsy intrusion into Terri Schiavo’s hospital room, the “intelligent design” crusade — has turned off younger and more libertarian voters.

No Kidding. And, unfortunately, from my vantage point, the view of the horizon isn't looking any better - evidenced chiefly by the Right's recent rants against Rudy. "We cain't support heem, heez a New Yawk leebral..."As I've been saying for quite a while on this blog (here, here, and here), Hillary will be the next Prez and GW and the fundy-Right will be the bearers of blame. Enjoy.
Side note: here is my choice in '08.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Hillary's Drawl...

Holy schnikes this is painful. I never imagined that anyone, anywhere, could possibly make Keanu Reeve's character in 'The Devil's Advocate' sound good. Well, Keanu, Hillary just surpassed you on the pathetic meter. Congrats.

Inside CPAC

Max Bluementhal of The Nation visited the CPAC convention last weekend in efforts to produce a Michael Moore-esque gotcha-doc displaying the homophobia, xenophobia, and general backwardness that tends to wander the halls of such events. IMO, Bluementhal achieves his goals. While his tactics are opportunistic and smug, if not gratuitous and disingenuous; the documentary effectively portrays the ethnocentric, xenophobic nativism of Tom Tancredo, Michelle Malkin and their fascist ilk. On the bright side, the Grover Norquist fiscal conservative-wing and Bob Barr-libertarian-wing of the movement continue to outclass the Fundies. Hopefully someone is taking notes.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Black Gold, Texas-T

Something about the energy industry, and oil in particular, seems to get the Republicans' statist-instincts going. No wonder so many on the Left (and around the world) sincerely believe that the Bush family's endeavors in the Middle East are linked to some quest to control the oil resources of the region. Without any doubt, when it comes to oil, Republicans have a bad record. Well, that is unless you think Fabian-socialism is a good thing, anyway... When Sony decides to cut back on the production PS2 in the weeks before Christmas (an obvious market failure....), is it necessary to procure federal intervention into the video game market? Scarcity's a bummer. Jerry Taylor, CATO's energy policy wonk, has penned a good piece for NRO questioning the Republican desire to micro-manage energy policy from DC. Here is a taste:

So when President Bush argues that we must reduce our gasoline consumption by 20 percent over the next 10 years, the most natural response is, "Why?" He is either demanding that we surrender our evaluation of the relative worth of gasoline in favor of his (no thanks), asserting that we are too stupid to know what we want(wrong), or positing that there is some external cost associated with gasoline consumption, not reflected in its price, which leads us to consume more gasoline than is optimal.

One can now mow down virtually the entire Bush energy program without getting into the weeds regarding the specifics. Massively increase the size of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (price tag, $50-60 billion)? Why? What evidence is there that market actors are underinvesting in oil inventories?

Should we massively increase the size and scope of renewable energy subsidies? Why? What evidence is there that market actors are underinvesting in renewable energy?

Must we mandate better fuel efficiency for cars and trucks? Why? What evidence is there that consumers are underinvesting in conservation?

Bingo. In my fleeting moments of clarity, I often wonder, "do Republicans, self-described conservatives, really believe in the free market?" Or, rather, "is that just another talking point employed to assuage those of us with no real political home?"