Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Waiting out the tropical storm tab dump 

I'm in Austin, hemmed in by tropical storm Hermine, and have not surprisingly accumulated a mixed grill of tabs, many of them from my very entertaining group of FB friends.

Dave Kopel:

Ross Douthat pens another excellent column in yesterday’s New York Times. He observes that “obsessing about the paranoia of the masses is often a way for American elites to gloss over their own, entirely nonsymbolic failures.” For example, “Today, establishment liberals would much rather fret about the insanity of the Republican base than reckon with the unpopularity of Barack Obama’s domestic program.”

Yup. Douthat's column is well-worth reading for a number of the points that it makes about paranoia in American politics.

Here's a shocker: financial mismanagement at Al Sharpton's non-profit.

Who says there are no creative ideas to close the budget gap? I would totally pay for this privilege. And it definitely would boost sales of fast cars in Nevada.

This seems like good news we should celebrate, but something tells me that it will disappoint the liberals.
The rate at which ice is disappearing from Greenland and Western Antarctica has been seriously overestimated, according to new research.

Seems like the earlier models had failed to correct for an important variable. Surprising, since that almost never happens with computer modeling of complex systems.

Slate: What can Obama say to get Democrats excited? Harder to do, now that polls indicate that blaming Bush has run its course. Oh, voters still blame Bush, but not the GOP.

Twenty-five reasons to send the Democrats packing. The first five are particularly compelling.

Much of what we thought about good studying habits is wrong. Solace for the kids: More testing is better than less testing, because testing itself promotes the integration of knowledge, not just the assessment of the extent of knowledge.

This is what happens when a great democracy starts to appease its Muslim minority:
Adding insult to injury, a Kerala college has sacked its lecturer whose right hand was chopped off by activists of radical outfit PFI for preparing a controversial Malayalam question paper with alleged derogatory references to Prophet Muhammad.

The management of the Christian-run New Man College has informed T J Joseph that he had been removed from September 1 on the grounds that he had hurt religious sentiments, college sources said on Saturday.

And these were Christians, who in principle believe that the Prophet Muhammad was either a fraud or deranged. That is what fear will do.

Insult to injury of the most cruel sort.

It must suck to be Al Gore's publicist.

And, finally, the most important news in this post:
Iran is steadily stockpiling enriched uranium, even in the face of toughened international sanctions, according to a U.N. inspection report that raises new concerns about the ability to monitor parts of the nation's nuclear program that could be used to make a bomb.

Citing a broad pattern of obstruction, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday that it cannot confirm quantities of certain nuclear materials, has a growing list of unanswered questions about enrichment sites and disagrees sharply with Iran's recent decision to eject two inspectors.

Mr. President, dithering only makes it worse.



By Blogger Greg Toombs, at Tue Sep 07, 03:26:00 PM:

"Seems like the earlier models had failed to correct for an important variable. Surprising, since that almost never happens with computer modeling of complex systems."

I prefer "unexpected". Its been a great response when reality intrudes on the left's fantasies. Would seem to have strong prospects for a long life, too.  

By Blogger Progressively Defensive, at Fri Sep 10, 12:29:00 PM:

Bob Schrum, fairly jolly hard-fighting Democratic campaigner who, if he's annoyed me in the past by his rhetoric, I now forget why, this week in 2010:

"The time was 1948 and the president was Harry Truman. It was 1 a.m. when he addressed a dispirited Democratic convention, where the panic was almost palpable: Do we really have to run with this guy?

The most famous part of the speech was in fact just the predicate for Truman’s larger, more salient message. He scorned the “do-nothing” Republicans in Congress just as Barack Obama now assails “the party of no.” But then Truman drew the dividing line on which he would wage his party’s entire campaign, from the convention to whistle-stops across America. “The Democratic Party is the people’s party and the Republican Party is the party of special interest, “ he said as the suddenly roused delegates jumped to their feet.

He described the GOP as a “citadel of privilege and greed”—and proved it by damning their “rich man’s tax bill” as a “rotten” thing that “sticks a knife in the back” of ordinary Americans. Democrats had a different view rooted in very different values: “Tax relief … ought to go to those who need it most, not those who need it least.” He then announced he was calling Congress back into session, a move which would starkly reinforce the case he was making—which he concluded could “save this country … from misrule from now on.”"


This is the crux of the battle - not just for this mid-term election, but far more importantly for our future broadly considered. Which party cares in a balanced way about the hard working poor, hard working less poor, the small-business person, and the hard working wealthy, too; but particularly the poor and particularly the young and the old poor? The Republicans today do seem too devoted to the wealthy special interests (while the Democrats are too devoted to the special interests who profess to advocate for the poor); but betwixt the two, the Democrats have a less complicated, however actual, case to make to the majority of citizens. I believe in "Reaganomics" and that it has proven out over time, which I think is a justly governed pro-work environment where wealth via work is distributed relatively effectively and justly, in recognition of the uncertainty that freedom brings, throughout the citizenry and an adult can find work and raise a family comfortably and safely; along with a wisely woven safety net for individuals who suffer those mishaps we all endure that would render that individual destitute so they might recover their ability to work. But if the GOP cannot rebut the accusation that they are the "citadel of privilege and greed," otherwise characatured as the advocates for the yachting and lunching heirs to fortune, as they easily ought to be able to do with the facts they now have to make their case, they will not do as well as the best interests of the USA require them to do. They must explain in "jelly bean" terms what Obama and the Democrats did wrong and what they'd have done and would do right.  

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