Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Today -- technically beginning at 11:09 PM in Princeton -- we Northern Hemispherans leave the lightest six months and enter the darkest six months. Let us hope this refers only to daylight.
I'm at the gate for the early flight to Austin -- no, I will not have any free time on this visit, either, sad to say, but I'll let you know when I do -- so it is propitious to dump my few open tabs before we embark.
The smartest president evah don't know much 'bout history. Either that, or he does know but is hoping that we do not.
With regard to public monopoly schools, the prosecution rests.
This is bad news for all descendants of the Magna Carta:
The UK's tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.
That, Gentle Reader, is socialism. Dwight Eisenhower had a better, and opposite, idea: Eliminate income tax withholding, give people their entire paycheck, and make people pay estimated taxes to the government directly every quarter. That will never happen because it would turn every last one of the 53% of the U.S. population that pays federal income tax against all but the most necessary federal spending, but it sure would get our house in order in a hurry.
Jesse Jackson Jr. knows 'em when he sees 'em.
My favorite lefty blogger, Ezra Klein, on the departure of Larry Summers from the Obama administration:
His departure leaves a tremendous power vacuum in the Obama administration's economic policy team -- and at the exact moment that the recovery seems to be slowing. With Orszag, Summers and Romer gone, the administration is without three of its strongest voices. That makes the choice on NEC director -- the person who will have to build and manage the economic policy process as the new team gets its footing -- a lot more important. With Summers, the administration got a very strong economic adviser, but not someone known for his managerial talents. Now, as a host of less senior voices vie for influence, the administration might approach the choice of his replacement differently.
The early reports are that the White House wants to replace Summers with a female CEO, if possible.
Excellent, because I can think of no qualification more important to restarting the great American economy than a vagina.
Separately, you have to feel bad for Summers, who apparently finds Harvard, which drummed him out of the presidency for choosing his words badly, more congenial than the Obama administration. Klein explains some of that, too.
"Eddie Haskell goes to Washington." Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, OUCH!
Another link that may belong here... concerning Bob Woodward's new book.
In-fighting, name-calling, deceit, and scandal. Sounds fun!
Re: Obama: "Mexicans" Were Here "Long Before America Was Even An Idea"
Obama is the 11th President of my lifetime. While in office, some of them have been good … some not so good, but until now I never doubted any of them for lacking core patriotism.
Obama made his “Mexicans were here first” comment to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. It’s another example of Obama’s pandering to Democratic segments going into the November mid-terms. Putting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to a recent Senate vote was another example – going after the Gay vote with no thought about the effects it may have on military effectiveness.
Everything the guy’s been trying is small ball divisive and losing the Center. The real October Surprise is that there will be no October Surprise – Obama’s got nothing.
The Woodward book deserves its own thread. We could get a record number of comments.
A second link with different details.
The new Woodward book appears focused on Afghanistan. But I always thought Iraq far more important strategically.
Woodward is often good at getting insiders to talk using his version of the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Insiders expect other insiders to talk to Woodward, including their rival insiders. So if you don’t talk it’s to your disadvantage.
Obama & Co could turn into a circular firing squad.
Glad to see Jesse Jackson Jr. has returned to a tradition followed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,banging white women. Jesse's dad used to get a lot on the side (and, maybe, still does) but, at least, he seemed to impregnate only black women. Racial diversity is just so important in many things.
I found it interesting the Eddie Haskel article was written by a former speech writer for George H.W. Bush and surprisingly he takes some fairly heavy handed shots at G.W. This article may be one of the best I have read that sums up the Obama presidency.
It may be entertaining to think so, but comparing Obama to Eddie Haskell misses the danger Obama-ism represents.
If Obama were to quit today he’d still be a Transformative President. This is because of the long-term spending commitments he’s already made, the long-term course of nationalizing the health care and mortgage industries, etc, that he’s already put us on, and the moles he’s wormed into the DC-based political class bureaucracy. Much of what he’s done won’t come on line for years – this was on purpose. These things are hard to reverse – historically the Republicans haven’t been very effective at making the federal government smaller.
Obama will make 2011-2012 all about Guarding the Change. He’s going to dare the Republicans to make spending cuts and intends to force them to raise taxes instead, to avoid a fiscal crisis. I half think he doesn’t care about Democrats losing the House and Senate, because of this.
For a change of pace, this inspiring speech
on Sept 20th:
Mike Pence's Hillsdale College Speech on the Presidency
a snip from his wide-ranging address:
Without proper adherence to the role contemplated in the Constitution for the presidency, the checks and balances in the constitutional plan become weakened. This has been most obvious in recent years when the three branches of government have been subject to the tutelage of a single party. Under either party, presidents have often forgotten that they are intended to restrain the Congress at times, and that the Congress is independent of their desires. And thus fused in unholy unity, the political class has raged forward in a drunken expansion of powers and prerogatives, mistakenly assuming that to exercise power is by default to do good.
Even the simplest among us knows that this is not so. Power is an instrument of fatal consequence. It is confined no more readily than quicksilver, and escapes good intentions as easily as air flows through mesh. Therefore, those who are entrusted with it must educate themselves in self-restraint. A republic -- if you can keep it -- is about limitation, and for good reason, because we are mortal and our actions are imperfect.
"Power is an instrument of fatal consequence"?
We used to grasp intuitively the idea of man as a limited finite being at the mercy of the myriad of unintended consequences lurking in even the best-intentioned behavior (include legislation in "behavior").
Becaus of our ignorace, which we insist is our innocence, we are dying of hubris...
I want to do a post on this finely tuned speech, but it's difficult without simply quoting the whole thing. He ranges from Churchill's idea of "stress of soul" to Calvin Coolidge's grief on the death of his son, indirectly brought about because dad was President.
Oobama's dislike of the Constitution is well-known. Pence says:
A president who slights the Constitution is like a rider who hates his horse: he will be thrown, and the nation along with him. The president solemnly swears to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. He does not solemnly swear to ignore, overlook, supplement, or reinterpret it...
Question for Fearless Leader. Why is Ezra Klein your favorite leftie blogger? I think he’s a child playing with matches. I’d welcome the chance to “debate” him – anytime, anyplace.
Note to Larry Summers. Don’t let the door hit your fat ass on the way out! The cover story is that Summers needs to get back to Harvard to keep his tenure. They’ll need to build him his own new building when he gets there.
The WSJ says his replacement may be former Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy, who just had dinner with Valerie Jarrett. All the other names leaked to the WSJ have been women.
I’d rather that Bob Woodward had done an expose on Obama’s economic team instead of on Obama’s generals. Not a lot of surprises in “Obama’s Wars” so far, from what I’ve heard. Instead, I’d love to have the benefit of the inside baseball on Stimulus, etc.
Stimulus was Obama’s early undoing. The plan was to have a Sugar Rush from Stimulus right now that would carry the Democrats through the mid-term election. Silly Rabbits! – they didn’t consider the reaction of the private sector to Obama-ism. Summers thought he could just plug in a number for what's actually the most significant variable of all.
In a summary of the book, Obama says: "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."
Is that true? It seems to me that since 9/11 the USA, and the free world generally, has been on the defensive. Bin Laden and Zawahiri are still free, and the Islamists (both Sunni and Shia varieties) are full of confidence.