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Sunday, October 31, 2010

World Series:

Good to see George W. Bush on camera so many times during the Texas home games. Never hurts to remind people about the guy, especially just before an election.



5 comments


Friday, October 29, 2010

No conflicts here:

From TPM we learn: (emp add)
Andrew Breitbart To Provide "Analysis" For ABC News On Election Night

ABC News has confirmed that conservative agitprop artist Andrew Breitbart will join the ABC News team to provide "live analysis" of election returns on Tuesday night.

Breitbart runs the conservative website Big Government. And, as luck would have it his editor, Dana Loesch, will also provide analysis for ABC on November 2.
TPM also reports: (emp add)
'Operation Alaska Chaos': Right-Wingers Pushed Flood Of AK-SEN Write-In Candidates

The flood of write-in candidates in the Alaska Senate race was pushed by Big Government's Dan Riehl and the conservative group Conservatives 4 Palin in an attempt to hurt Sen. Lisa Murkowski's own write-in campaign and give Republican nominee (and tea party favorite) Joe Miller a boost.

Beginning on Riehl's Big Government blog and dubbed "Operation Alaska Chaos" by C4P, Miller supporters were encouraged to file as write-in candidates so Murkowski's name would be buried on the official list of candidates.


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Timing:

There is a story about Fox News management pressuring reporters to be even more pro-Republican in their work. The Fox management honcho doing this is alleged to be Bill Sammon, who is also described as the author of At Any Cost: How Al Gore Tried to Steal the Election.

So why not pop over to Amazon and check out the reviews of the book? The reviews are, as you would expect, bimodal. Many people like the book, a sizable number do not - including a hefty portion of self-described conservatives and Republicans (because they don't think the case was well made, even though they don't like Gore).

Here is a peculiar negative review: (emp add)
I voted Republican, but this book is GARBAGE! Don't waste $, September 10, 2001
By hris D. "rippy1" (Rhode Island)

I voted Republican, and am ever so happy that Jeb, Katheryn Harris, many Floridians, and even noble members of the supreme court were able to fight to get the most qualified and intelligent man for the job, George W. Bush, into the Presidency. It was very nerve wracking and difficult to watch the post election media circus. Naturally, after the dust settled, I was anxious to read books that really investigated and shed light on what really happened. I was very excited to purchase this book, however, it left me angry and very disappointed! It is hard to believe some of the other reviews people gave this book. Even though I am a loyal Republican, I cannot lie and recomend this book. I believe other loyal Republicans must have simply read the book discription and out of strong emotions, immpulsively left a five star rating. They most certainly did not read the same book I read.

This book simply made Pro-Republican, Anti-Democrat claims, which I would of course love to be true, but find little to no evidence to support such serious accusations. This really disappointed me because I wanted to write a paper for my Poly-Sci class that took a critical look at the actions of the Democratic party during the past election. I found nothing I could use in this book (although I found plenty of unsupported accusations fit for a tabloid). Honestly, if I had used anything from this book I would have been afraid of failing for lack of supportive arguments.
I wonder if he felt that way a week later.



6 comments


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Illogic:

Patrick Fleenor, a libertarian-ish economist, wrote this in the Christian Science Monitor:
Take the administration’s signature achievement: enactment of healthcare reform, aka Obamacare. This legislation subsidizes health insurance for low- and middle-income groups with taxes on high-earners, leveling material wealth but dampening economic growth by encouraging everyone to pare back on their work effort.

High-income workers have an incentive to work less since they get to keep less of what they earn. Low- and moderate-income workers face the same incentive because they can now maintain the same standard of living with even less effort.
To summarize:

High-income workerswill have less incentive to work because they will keep less of what they earn.
Low- and moderate-income workerswill have less incentive to work because they will keep more of what they earn.


That's called the old switcheroo. Make the "incentive" for high-income workers the money they keep, but for other workers their standard of living, and conclude that there should be no taxation/redistribution. But you could assign the incentives in the reverse fashion and conclude the exact opposite. How about that?



1 comments


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pre-election musings:

This general election of 2010 seems a little "off" compared to earlier ones. Here we are, a week before the vote, and there isn't a whole lot of discussion about the candidates or ballot initiatives. At least not compared to the past. Could it be that the saturation of (mostly negative) television ads has sucked up all the media oxygen, so that conventional political reporting (including the not-very-interesting horse race angle) has been shoved aside?

The blogs seem bored. The networks and newspapers spend more time on the weather. The level of political energy out there seems equal - or less - to what you'd find in a typical week during the summer of 2009.

My guess is that, deep down, people know there are no solutions on the horizon to our economic problems. By either party, since serious reconstruction of the system, along with plenty of time, is the only way to get out of our current state of imbalance (speaking broadly: worker share of productivity gains, savings rate, house/income ratios, health care costs).

I suppose the conservatives are fired up, but what gets the independent voter motivated? A lot of attack ads? Bromides about jobs? Even the social issues don't resonate like they used to.

What's the national narrative? What's your local one? There's not a lot of "Yes! Let's get moving with this policy!" - whatever the hell it might be.

I think people are basically tired. Tired after the last two years of economic anxiety and the last ten years of stagnation. Thus, the low-energy for November 2010.

This doesn't have to be a permanent state of affairs. After a while, energy returns to the system and vigorous debates and policies follow. But it doesn't seem like we are anywhere close to that at the moment.



4 comments

Question:

Republicans raise the charge of voter fraud every time there is a general election, but never during the primaries. I wonder why?



5 comments

Rewrite!

This is the lead sentence written by the professionals at AP:
BAGHDAD – The international face of Saddam Hussein's regime, Tariq Aziz, was sentenced to death by hanging Tuesday for persecuting Shiites just over three months after the Americans transferred him to Iraqi government custody.
How about that? Three months after being handed over, Tariq Asiz somehow managed to persecute Shiites, for which he has now been sentenced to death.



0 comments


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The FOX Nation crowd respond to that Moveon.org worker getting stomped by Rand Paul supporters:

Remember, this is a moderated comment thread:
  • Come on folks, don't believe this. This is just a moveon farce, actors or just SEIU slaves, paid by Soro's. I don't believe it for one minute.
  • MadeUp . org
  • Lets see? "Moveon" is an openly communist, anti-American organization, that promotes violence. This was staged!!!
  • I would have wore baseball cleats and made her pay for her stupidity....to me she got off pretty easily.
  • Should have stomped much harder !
  • When this man is found....and his background checked.... they will find Soros tattoed all over him.
  • It's so obvious. In today's fake and fade the democrats will stage anything, including this little stunt in order to gain the publics' sympathy and votes.
  • Don't worry about Soros' Foot Soldiers, we need to go after Him!!
    He has violated so many laws, when we have control of Congress, he will be Fair Game!!
  • Over the top but understandable.
  • I bet it was all a set up to make the tea party look bad.
  • KUDOS TO MOVE ON,,,,THEY ARE ABLE TO STAGE THESE EVENTS AS WELL AS THEY PLAY THE RACE CARD.
  • Moveon= ANTI-AMERICAN democrat (commies)
  • She's lucky they didn't P i s s on her too !!!
  • Just what Soros hoped would happen!!!
  • I am wondering why the guy did not kick her in the head. It might have jarred some sense into her. You might as well face it folks, there is going to come a time when being civil to this commie scum will not cut it. That time is approaching fast ! They (the commies) are not going away unless we kick their a s s e s and make them fear us.


6 comments

David Brooks is spinning:

When he writes:
... Democrats and their media enablers have paid lavish attention to Christine O’Donnell and Carl Paladino, even though these two Republican candidates have almost no chance of winning. That’s because it feels so delicious to feel superior to opponents you consider to be feeble-minded wackos.
You can question the strategy, but parties routinely seek out the most vulnerable (or bizarre) on the other side to highlight in order to paint them as the face of the opposition.

Brooks knows that. Brooks doesn't write that because he's in the business of creating false narratives that aid Republicans.



1 comments


Monday, October 25, 2010


10 comments

Robots:

Story: (excerpts)
Illinois' top League of Women Voters official said “phony patriotism” is driving criticism over a moderator's reaction when she was asked if the Pledge of Allegiance would be recited before an 8th Congressional District debate this week.

Executive Director Jan Czarnik said what happened at Wednesday's debate and subsequent criticism directed at moderator Kathy Tate-Bradish was an attempt by supporters of Republican candidate Joe Walsh of McHenry and tea party members to bully the organization.

Czarnik said someone is not a better American just by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

“It's a phony patriotism issue is what it is,” she said. “They must think it helps their campaign.”

Brought in from the League of Women Voters Evanston branch because she doesn't live in the 8th Congressional District, Tate-Bradish handled the event at Grayslake Central High School that featured Democratic U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean of Barrington, the Green Party's Bill Scheurer and Walsh.

Tate-Bradish was asked whether the Pledge of Allegiance would be recited after she went over some ground rules and directed the candidates to make opening statements. The query came from a man in the audience.

As Tate-Bradish explained the debate was not scheduled to start with the pledge, almost all in the crowd of more than 300 stood and enthusiastically recited it anyway. Tate-Bradish, who joined in the pledge, issued a scolding when the crowd finished. (...)

Island Lake resident Joseph Ptak, a Walsh supporter, claimed Friday he asked for the pledge at the debate. (...)

Ptak, 58, a U.S. Air Force veteran, said the pledge was a proper way to begin the event that was in a high school and had student participation. He said many veterans were in the audience, and he objects to Czarnik questioning the request's sincerity.

“I'm a Joe Walsh supporter, but first and foremost I'm an American,” Ptak said.
The comments section is interesting. E.g. this was the highest rated (with a +11 thumbs up)
In such a situation, there's two right answers then someone asks if you're gonna lead with the pledge of allegiance:

1. Yes, we will, thanks for the reminder.

2. Yes, we will, will you be kind enough to lead us?


5 comments


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Shorter Charles Murray:
America's elite are the upper-middle class professionals. They are running this country, not corporate executives and billionaires (about whom I shall say nothing).


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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tom Friedman's brilliant solution:

To what ails us economically:
Ultimately, though, good jobs at scale come only when we create more products and services that make people’s lives more healthy, more productive, more secure, more comfortable or more entertained — and then sell them to more people around the world.
That's all there is to it. Plus, he says:
[We should] leverage modern technology so that one American can do the work of 20 Chinese and, therefore, get paid the same as 20 Chinese.
Simple and elegant, because nobody else in the world (including the Chinese) will be thinking of that.

Finally, what about the worker without special skills? Friedman offers:
What about your nurse, barber or waiter? ... Everyone today ... needs to think of himself as an “artisan” — the term used before mass manufacturing to apply to people who made things or provided services with a distinctive touch in which they took personal pride. Everyone today has to be an artisan and bring something extra to their jobs.
Because when your waiter is an artisan, that "something extra" brought to the restaurant table will guarantee a decent income and solid retirement.

But Friedman is no Pollyanna. He issues this caution:
... just doing your job in an average way — in this integrated and automated global economy — will lead to below-average wages.
Is Friedman doing his job in an average way? Or even below-average? Is his writing jejune? Let's hope not or he'll end up below-average economically.



0 comments


Friday, October 22, 2010

George W. Bush's biggest accomplishment:

In his own words:
"my biggest accomplishment is that I kept the country safe amidst a real danger"
He sure did keep the country safe throughout his term in office. And let's not forget the war he initiated against Iraq, which was a clear threat to the nation.



1 comments


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kudos to Juan Williams:

You're now an official Fox News Democrat. *

(I'm not sure if Williams has disclosed party identification, but you get the point.)



1 comments

Shorter David Broder:
My hope is that today's politicians will behave like those who were born 97 years ago.


3 comments


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shorter David Brooks:
If you believe my claim that "money is almost never the difference between victory and defeat", you'll also believe my assertion that the rich and powerful spend millions - not to influence policy, but - "because it makes them feel as if they are doing good and because they get to hang out at exclusive parties".
UPDATE: Brooks' "low" numbers for Republican-friendly spending seemed odd at first reading. Turns out that he was way off, and that the spending is four time as large (at least).



2 comments


Monday, October 18, 2010

Just a reminder:

Of the Supreme Court's reasoning in the Citizens United case: (emp add)
"this court now concludes that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. That speakers may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that those officials are corrupt. And the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy"


3 comments


Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Reid-Angle debate:

Best part:
[Moderator Mitch] Fox: [addressing Sharon Angle]

In a television ad, you claim Senator Reid “voted to get special tax breaks to illegal aliens and to give illegals Social Security benefits.”

Most reputable fact checkers have said that’s patently false, especially the line about social security benefits. The ad was even criticized by the chair of the Republican Hispanic Caucus. Would you like to denounce the ad as deceptive or give voters documented evidence about its accuracy.

Angle:

Not at all, I’m glad to give voters, um, the opportunity to see that Harry Reid has voted to give Social Security to illegal aliens. Not only did he vote to give it to them after they have become citizens but even before they were citizens, he voted to give them the benefits of our Social Security.
In other words:
"You just asserted X, which has been shown to be false. What do you say now?"

"I assert X."


3 comments


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jonathan Chait makes an excellent point:

One that I've advocated, but he's a better writer: (emp add)
This week, Republican House Whip Eric Cantor appeared on the Daily Show. An interesting and (relatively) honest moment occured ...

CANTOR: {I don't want] the government sitting here saying, ‘This person here’s too successful, this one’s not, I’m gonna take from this one and give to that one.’ That’s the principle. It’s earned success.

That is indeed the heart of what Republicans believe. They believe that all success is earned success. They do not believe that luck or life circumstance play an important part in economic success. They believe that wealth and poverty are essentially moral categories, interchangeable with "hard work" and "sloth." They decry government, but they don't really oppose government per se. They oppose those government functions that transfer resources from the rich to the non-rich. ...
If you listen to Sean Hannity or read Andrew Sullivan, they frequently invoke the word "success" when defending conservative policies. That word, "success", has largely positive connotations, but it's not always so. A successful doctor may be very rich, but also a poor doctor (in terms of patient treatment).



7 comments

Bin Laden responsible for U.S. infrastructure projects:

News:
A soaring bypass bridge high above the Colorado River near Hoover Dam is set to open after nearly eight years and $240 million worth of work.

The 1,900-foot engineering wonder perched 890 feet above the water is expected to drastically cut travel time along the main route between Las Vegas and Phoenix, as motorists will no longer have to make their way across the dam and its security checkpoints at a snail's pace. ...

Cars previously were routed across Hoover Dam to cross the border between Arizona and Nevada, and checkpoints added after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, often caused miles-long backups of traffic. Federal officials also heavily restricted the types of vehicles and cargo that could cross the dam ...

It's the longest bridge built with concrete arches in the western hemisphere, according to the Transportation Department. The arches measure 1,060 feet.
Wait a minute! The new bridge is itself a target, which means checkpoints and backups of traffic.

Better build another bridge to circumvent this (attractive to terrorists) record size bridge.



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Transcript of the Coons - O'Donnell debate:

Best part: (edited)
O'DONNELL: I would be remiss not to bring up the fact that my opponent has recently said that it was studying under a Marxist professor that made him become a Democrat. So when you look at his position on things like raising taxes, which is one of the tenets of Marxism; not supporting eliminating death tax, which is a tenet of Marxism -- I would argue that there are more people who support my Catholic faith than his Marxist beliefs ...

COONS: It's an article that I wrote as a senior the day of our commencement speech and the title and the content of that clearly makes it obvious that it was a joke. There was a group of folks who I had shared a room with, my roommates junior year, who are in the Young Republican Club and who thought when I returned from Kenya and registered as a Democrat that doing so was proof that I had gone all the way over to the far left end, and so they jokingly called me a bearded Marxist. If you take five minutes and read the article, it's clear on the face of it, it was a joke. Despite that, my opponent and lots of folks in the right wing media have endlessly spun this. ...

O'DONNELL: [Y]ou writing an article, forget the bearded Marxist comment, you writing an article saying that you learned your beliefs from an articulate, intelligent Marxist professor and that's what made you become a Democrat, that should send chills up the spine of every Delaware voter ...

COONS: If it were accurate, if it were true, I'd agree. But it's not accurate. It's not true.
And so it goes.



1 comments


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Just sayin'

Microsoft OS is one of the biggest hassle-making things out there. I guess that's because it's a monopoly of sorts. Why people put up with the arcane, often confusing, and failure-prone "solutions" to various problems is beyond me. I have to conclude that they do not have anybody in QA that cares about straightforward user procedures. For them, if something "works", even if that requires a top-notch understanding of the software, then it's okay for release.

Right now a CD cannot be seen by the OS and finding the driver is a snipe hunt. Microsoft Security Essentials showed up out of nowhere to conflict with AVG and cannot update for reasons unknown even though the Internet is accessible. A system restore is taking forever to settle down - with the bonus feature of apps "not responding" now and then.

Love the
Insert the Windows Vista installation disc in the drive
that MS support pages often display. Where is the disk? Who knows? (This for another person's PC.) Why, for instance, whatever consists a "driver" cannot be had over the internet in a single file for installation is beyond me.

Linux cannot become the world's default OS fast enough. (And, no, Apple isn't all that great either.)



2 comments

Shorter Tony Perkins:
Homosexuality is a sin which you can escape by embracing Christ. Also, because homosexuals have a higher rate of mental health problems, they are abnormal* and therefore opprobrium is merited.
Perkins' essay in the Washington Post has caused quite a stir.

* That second statement is absurd and could be applied to half the population (e.g. veterans, doctors).



0 comments

Art Robinson, Republican challenger to Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon:

Here is what he's said in recent years: (emp add)
"All we need do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean – or even over America after hormesis is better understood and verified with respect to more diseases."

"While ocean dispersal would have long ago turned the radioactive waste disposal issue into a non-problem had pseudo environmentalism not intervened, the best place for that waste is in the concrete foundations and insulation of homes and buildings. Suitably diluted, radioactive substances in our homes would provide a hermetic radiation dose and significantly prolong our lives."

"If radioactive waste were dissolved as water soluble compounds and then widely dispersed in the oceans, no health or other environmental risks would ever occur."


3 comments

Steve Pearlstein's isn't challenged ...

... on his main point: (emp add)
There are lots of reasons why American companies ... have lost market share ... but one is that in too many industries, our labor costs are now too high to be globally competitive. Reducing wages and benefits in those industries would not only help to create and save jobs, but would also force a further reduction in consumption and living standards that is necessary to bring the U.S. economy back into balance.
Neither economist Dean Baker, nor neo-liberal Matt Yglesias and his free-trade-buddy Brad DeLong*, disagree with that central assertion.

* DeLong's excerpt of Yglesias omitted the observation that lowering-wages, devaluing the dollar, and inflation (all responses to globalization):
... are ... all ways of cutting the real wages of Americans
I wonder why?



5 comments


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blaming the victim: (excerpts, emp add)
Former House Speaker and potential GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich used an appearance on Spanish-language television to sound off on questions surrounding President Obama's birthplace and religious faith, declaring the president has an "obligation" to figure out why so many Americans doubt his life story.

"I think some of this stuff is just a sign of how much fear and anxiety has built up," Gingrich said, "but I think the president has an obligation to slow down and say, if you're president of all thepeople , what is it the White House is doing that so frightens a third of the Republican Party that they don't even believe something as simple and as obvious as his self-professed religious belief."
Yeah! What is it the White House is doing?

Related: What is the White House doing that so frightens viewers of Fox News that they think Obama is a Marxist?



2 comments


Monday, October 11, 2010

Peggy Moron:

Noonan pens this: (emp add)
... Americans weren't born to be accountants. It's not in our DNA! We're supposed to be building the Empire State Building. We were meant—to be romantic about it, and why not—to be a pioneer people, to push on, invent electricity, shoot the bear, bootleg the beer, write the novel, create, reform and modernize great industries. We weren't meant to be neat and tidy record keepers.
QUESTION: What American invented electricity? Was it Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, or someone else?



3 comments

Mark Halperin's data point:

He wrote this: (emp add)
With the exception of core Obama Administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusions: the White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters. This view is held by Fox News pundits, executives and anchors at the major old-media outlets, reporters who cover the White House, Democratic and Republican congressional leaders and governors, many Democratic business people and lawyers who raised big money for Obama in 2008, and even some members of the Administration just beyond the inner circle.
Leading your list of people who are saying Obama is in trouble with "Fox News pundits" is hardly presuasive. On the other hand, maybe Halperin really does believe Fox News is fair and balanced.



1 comments

Unique:

Yglesias observes:
Ron Brownstein has an excellent column on the globally unique position of the American conservative movement’s climate change denialism, a view that’s completely different from the posture outlined by mainstream conservative parties in the rest of the world.
As conservative commentator John Derbyshire has noted over at the National Review, the United States is pretty much alone in having a substantial number of people believing in Intelligent Design. (Derbyshire does not like ID.)

American anti-intellectual-exceptionalism, you might call it.



0 comments


Saturday, October 09, 2010

David Broder tells the truth:

Here are the important parts of his op-ed this Sunday:
Rob Portman, [is on] the verge of victory in the Ohio Senate race and conceivably could make him the Republican presidential nominee in 2016.

Portman ... amassed a giant war chest from Cincinnati business supporters and figures in the Bush fundraising network ...

Democratic Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher ... has tried repeatedly in this campaign to portray Portman as the embodiment of everything wrong with the Republican Party -- a budgeter who created deficits and a trade czar who gave away jobs. Portman, thanks to his planning and his funding, appears to have won the argument with the public.
"the Bush fundraising network" sounds so innocuous.



0 comments


Friday, October 08, 2010

You must watch Meet the Press this weekend.

Why? Forget the interview of candidates for Illinois' senate seat. Here's the real reason (in bold):
With new jobless numbers showing unemployment still at 9.6% and with less than one month before the mid-term elections, all eyes are on Washington and the stakes for November 2nd and beyond. Can Democrats manage to make this election closer than most expect? What are voters most concerned about? Two long-time political journalists weigh in: Joe Klein, a columnist for Time Magazine who wrote this week's cover story: "An American Journey: 6,782 miles, 12 states, 24 days, 576 songs. One road trip reveals the issues people are talking about - but politicians aren't" and Peggy Noonan, columnist for The Wall Street Journal who has written a new preface for the 20th Anniversary edition of her bestselling book: "What I Saw at the Revolution".
A new preface! What better reason to be booked on a national political-issues program?



0 comments

Kudos to the Washington Post:

For giving Dinesh D'Sousa op-ed space to tell everybody that Obama's is an anti-colonialist, whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.



0 comments

Facebook insanity:

If you are a friend of someone, that someone can, without your approval, add you to any group that your friend is part of. A group like NAMBLA, for instance.

There is something pathological about Facebook. Just like with the privacy features (or rather, lack of) that caused consternation earlier this year. The honchos at Facebook just can't control themselves. They've already got a huge customer base with tons of preference-information that advertisers love. So why the constant push, push, push to further entangle their user base with potentially harmful features?

Facebook is out of control.

NOTE: Use Facebook if you must, but treat it like a social gathering at work. Don't reveal anything deeply personal and absolutely do not let anybody be a friend unless it's one of your six closest real-life friends.



2 comments


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Where does the Westboro Baptist Church get the money for their protests?

I've never seen an explanation.



11 comments


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Why so tame, Newt?

In the news:
Gingrich brands Democrats 'party of food stamps'

"It's perfectly fair to say they are earning the title of the party of food stamps," he said. "By contrast, we have historically since Ronald Reagan of 1980 been the party of job creation."
Never mind that, at least for the last 2 decades, the Democrats had much greater job creation (a metric which is not all that meaningful, but it's the one people use).

What puzzles is not that Gingrich says these things. Lots of people do. But that he gets invited to the television shows to opine.



17 comments

Sounds familiar:

In reviewing a Lindsey Graham-friendly New Yorker article about climate legislation, Jonathan Chait has this to say: (emp add)
[The author, Ryan Lizza] shows that the sponsors of the climate change bill, Lindsey Graham, Lieberman, and John Kerry, had plenty of legitimate greivances with the White House. Obama was not showing a determination to pass a bill. At key junctures, he made unilateral concessions that the threesome had hoped to trade for GOP support. And someone in his administration needlessly antagonized Graham. The detail is fantastic and damning of Obama, but the conclusion that these events were decisive seems questionable.
The "concessions" include nuclear powerplant loan guarantees and offshore drilling in the Gulf. Now the internal mechanics of the legislation's path isn't quite that simple, but there does seem to be a pattern of the White House not working effectively with whomever in Congress is trying to get bills passed. Does the problem lie with Phil Schiliro, Obama’s top congressional liaison, or is it someone higher up?



0 comments


Saturday, October 02, 2010

I would rather read David Frum (or another intelligent conservative) than Tom Friedman:

Friedman's latest op-ed is puerile. It's a tough competition, but this column is one of his worst. Excerpts:
President Obama has not been a do-nothing failure. He has some real accomplishments.

... a president who won a sweeping political mandate, propelled by an energized youth movement and with control of both the House and the Senate — about as much power as any president could ever hope to muster in peacetime — was only able to pass an expansion of health care that is ... suboptimal ..., a limited stimulus ..., and a financial regulation bill that [is inadequate]. Plus, Obama had to abandon an energy-climate bill altogether ...

Obama probably did the best he could do, and that’s the point. The best our current two parties can produce today — in the wake of the worst existential crisis in our economy and environment in a century — is suboptimal, even when one party had a huge majority.

We need to ... start building a superconsensus to do the superhard stuff we must do now.

We have to rip open this two-party duopoly and have it challenged by a serious third party ...
No mention of the mechanics behind the legislation. No mention of Republican opposition or the Congressional rules that facilitate it. No mention of the role the press (right-wing and otherwise) has on the debate. The Friedman solution is a super-supermajority third party is never going to happen. He might just as well have called for intervention by advanced beings from the Andromeda Galaxy. Why does the New York Times pay this guy for worthless opinions?



3 comments

Time for a name change:

Here's a typical headline: Obama promotes technology; GOP calls for tax cuts

What else is new? The Republicans are always calling for tax cuts. So why don't they change their name to the Tax Cut Party? Put it right there on the ballot:
Fred Jackson (DEMOCRAT)
Jane Parker (TAX CUT PARTY)


3 comments