Friday, January 08, 2010
Be afraid, be very afraid. There is internet access on this plane. Indeed, it is the first thing that I like about this Delta flight. The download speeds are fast, too. The dude next to me is streaming video. The result? You are "enjoying" the very first TigerHawk post from the air.
What could be more enriching under the circumstances than a tab dump?
Regular readers will recall that we have been arguing for some time that regulatory risk was now the biggest obstacle to growing employment. I was very interested to hear Republican Whip Eric Cantor take up that cudgel on CNBC's "Squawk Box" this morning, the first time I had heard a Republican talking head really focus on the point. Now (via Glenn) conservative economist Gary Becker has elaborated in today's Wall Street Journal. Come to TigerHawk for all your Republican talking points weeks before others know about them!
Meanwhile, the Democrats prepare to throw good money after bad.
I, for one, am relieved that the British know a potential terrorist when they see one.
The latest idea of the Democrats, to tax trading in securities, is a very bad idea. But it is a great way to hide the ball on a tax increase so as not to obscure the breakage of a campaign promise not to raise taxes on people making less than $250,000 per year.
Another theme you heard first here: That conflicts of interest rules at newspapers focus on the wrong thing.
Hitchens on Gore. Vidal. A former lefty on a current one.
I was fortunate enough to know Gore a bit in those days. The price of knowing him was exposure to some of his less adorable traits, which included his pachydermatous memory for the least slight or grudge and a very, very minor tendency to bring up the Jewish question in contexts where it didn’t quite belong. One was made aware, too, that he suspected Franklin Roosevelt of playing a dark hand in bringing on Pearl Harbor and still nurtured an admiration in his breast for the dashing Charles Lindbergh, leader of the American isolationist right in the 1930s. But these tics and eccentricities, which I did criticize in print, seemed more or less under control, and meanwhile he kept on saying things one wished one had said oneself. Of a certain mushy spiritual writer named Idries Shah: “These books are a great deal harder to read than they were to write.” Of a paragraph by Herman Wouk: “This is not at all bad, except as prose.” He once said to me of the late Teddy Kennedy, who was then in his low period of red-faced, engorged, and abandoned boyo-hood, that he exhibited “all the charm of three hundred pounds of condemned veal.” Who but Gore could begin a discussion by saying that the three most dispiriting words in the English language were “Joyce Carol Oates”? In an interview, he told me that his life’s work was “making sentences.” It would have been more acute to say that he made a career out of pronouncing them.
Both Hitchens and Vidal are funny in that paragraph, but that's the last time Vidal is funny. Hitch administers a whipping.
"Ping-ponging." All about reconciling the House and Senate versions of health care "reform." And here's a useful chart comparing the "revenue raising" provisions of the two versions. It's a winter evening in America.
OK, as great as this internet access is at only $12.95 for the whole flight, Delta makes up for it by skrinking away on everything else. I had to spend $50 to check my bags, and the abysmally chintzy "fruit and cheese plate" goes for $6. There are better deals in hotel minibars.
More later. Maybe.
Healthcare: There will be three phases of the Democrat's plan.
1) Attempt to glue together the two plans in a dark room somewhere, with duct tape and a staple gun until all the Democrats throw their hands up and flee in disgust.
2) Attempt to Ping-Pong the passed Senate bill through the House with limited debate (about 4 hours should do it) and a bare majority vote.
and 3) Passing the blame and pointing fingers when the whole thing blows up (but somehow trying to take credit for the economic bounce this will cause).
If it were not so tragic and wasteful, it would be somewhat humorous.
Thanks for the VF link. Since I never read the magazine I would have missed this.
Enjoying reading Gore Vidal is like being addicted to a very bad drug. From a craft perspective he's a great writer, and only his very tenuous grip on reality (at all times) and his always shocking,unbelievable nasty-mindedness has prevented him from true stardom. He just cannot plot his books without dipping into the strange, bizarre, mean and angry aspects of his personality. His beautifully written memoir, Palimpset, is savage in it's treatment of his entire family just as one example. In another shocking episode, from "Burr", I remember he imagined that Gen. Washington had a homosexual fascination for LaFayette (presumably because Gore himself would have in Washington's place), and he indulges the fantasy in the story.
Gore is tough to take but an unparalleled wit, just like Wilde. It's a great comparison, but Hitchens deals with Gore the right way. Harshly.