November 1, 2009
EVERYBODY’S PILING ON ADAM KIRSCH: Now it’s Jonathan Adler: “It would seem Mr. Kirsch does not understand Rand’s capitalist ideal and is not all that familiar with Rand’s work.”
EVERYBODY’S PILING ON ADAM KIRSCH: Now it’s Jonathan Adler: “It would seem Mr. Kirsch does not understand Rand’s capitalist ideal and is not all that familiar with Rand’s work.”
ON MATT DRUDGE, IT’S Andrew Sullivan vs. Andrew Sullivan.
CHARTING Obama in the polls.
NY-23 REPORT: Scozzafava doing robo-calls for Owens. “Sounds like she’s determined to pay the GOP back, but not for the wasted million-plus.” Nope, that’s gone like the CIT stimulus money . . .
LINE OF THE WEEK, in response to the White House’s criticism of Edmunds.com on Cash For Clunkers: “If Obama’s skin was any thinner, he’d have a reservoir tip on the top of his head.”
Or, a bit less pithily, here: “Yeah, it’s one thing for the administration to take office with very little administrative experience. It’s something else that the administration apparently hasn’t aquired any yet, one year later, and are still throwing prissy little snits over events and reporting that are about five levels below anything the administration should be concerning itself with right now.”
STIMULUS! CIT Files Bankruptcy; U.S. Unlikely to Recoup Money. “CIT Group Inc., a 101-year-old commercial lender, filed for bankruptcy to cut $10 billion in debt after the credit crunch dried up its funding and a U.S. bailout and debt exchange offer failed. CIT listed $71 billion in assets and $64.9 billion in debt in a Chapter 11 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. The U.S. Treasury Department said the government probably won’t recover much, if any, of the $2.3 billion in taxpayer money that went to CIT.”
HMM: PPP poll: Hoffman up big in two-man race. Local polling’s iffy, but we’ll know soon enough.
AN INTERVIEW WITH Rob Zombie.
WILLIAM VOEGELI: California’s Model Doesn’t Work. “Our high-benefit/high-tax model no longer works, especially compared with low-tax states like Texas.”
Plus this: “Twenty years ago, you could go to Texas, where they had very low taxes, and you would see the difference between there and California. Today, you go to Texas, the roads are no worse, the public schools are not great but are better than or equal to ours, and their universities are good. The bargain between California’s government and the middle class is constantly being renegotiated to the disadvantage of the middle class.” There might be a lesson there, on the national level . . . .
JAMES LILEKS, STEPHEN GREEN, AND MORE: If you missed it on XM or Sirius, the latest PJM Political is now online.
COL. DOUGLAS MORTIMER WRITES on the new Levi’s “Go Forth” campaign:
Have you your weapons? Your pistols? Your sharp edged axes?
This is from Levi’s? Left wing, San Francisco, “We hate the Boy Scouts” Levi’s?
I can see them quoting old Walt, but it surprises the f*ck out of me that they quoted the part about the pistols. Unless, of course, they are advocating some kind of Obamabot led Peoples’ Guard that will herd the rest of us into big fenced in pens somewhere out in Western Kansas or something.
Well, it mostly has more of a junior Burning-Man vibe, but there is this bit:
But I’m sure it’s nothing to be concerned about.
BUT WHEN THE TAXMAN COMES TO THE DOOR, LORD THE HOUSE LOOKS LIKE A RUMMAGE SALE: TaxProf: Chicago Property Taxes Increase 9.6%; Obama’s Property Tax Increases 1.0%
JONAH GOLDBERG: “The Frank Rich hissy fit is a perfect example of the real story of the election. The story is not that the GOP is self-destructing, it is that the conventional wisdom is being shown to be ludicrous.”
They’re always surprised. They pile on taxes and regulations, and then — who’d'athunkit — businesses go somewhere else. This is known as “bad luck.”
SALENA ZITO: Mood Sours Toward Both Parties. “A sour mood exists among people, with close-to-10-percent unemployment, decreasing health-care benefits and rising taxes – and a view that the well-heeled get bailed-out but John and Joan Q. Citizen do not. . . . Has the anti-establishment ‘tea party’ movement had an impact on these races? Absolutely.”
KISSING: It’s all about building immunity. Well, not all about . . . .
PROVING HER CRITICS RIGHT: Scozzafava Endorses Democrat.
UPDATE: Reader Erik Fortune writes: “Scozzafava hasn’t just proven her critics right, she’s also made fools of the GOP establishment that backed her. The establishment argument for supporting Scozzafava boiled down to an appeal to party loyalty, and Scozzafava just demonstrated that she has none. Gingrich et al asked voters to compromise their values on behalf of a candidate who turned on them the first chance she got. The voters won’t forget that.” Ouch.
ANOTHER UPDATE: A question: “Now that she’s withdrawn and endorsed the Democratic candidate, can the Republican Party ask for their $900,000 back? Can individuals who contributed to her under the impression that she was a Republican ask for their money back?” They can ask, but unlike with businesses there’s no implied warranty of good faith in politics . . . .
MORE: Scozzafava on Friday: “I have been a Republican my entire life, I will be a Republican until I die. I believe in the Republican party that stands for less government interference in the lives of individuals. I believe in self-sufficiency versus government dependence. I believe in lower taxes, less government regulation, I believe in less government spending.” Like I say, you can’t sue politicians for breach of warranty the way you can sue businesses. If you could, politicians would have to be more trustworthy.
APPLE TV: Less Than It Could Be?
JONAH GOLDBERG: “A lot of conservatives today are too quick to think that because liberals have some affinity for Marxist sentiments that they are actual Marxists. Liberals often make the same mistakes as Marxists, but they’re not Marxists. In the 1960s, the distinction between Marxists and liberals was much more apparent and it’s worth remembering that the radicals often hated the liberals more than they hated the conservatives.”
MICHAEL S. MALONE ON THE ECONOMY:
I’m constantly amazed, and appalled, by what little actual wisdom I’ve actually gained in my more than half-century in this world. But if there are three things I have learned, they are:
1. Never trust luck to get you through.
2. Don’t assume the best-case scenario.
3. The laws of economics, like the laws of chance, always triumph.
CRACKS APPEARING in the law firm associate model.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON on the next three years. “I think very soon the triangulating Republicans of 2008 will fold up and quietly distance themselves from Obama as his poll numbers stay around 50%. On almost every issue that they contrasted Obama favorably with Bush, Obama has bitten them.”
ACORN takes the Fifth. “The moral here? Well, aside from the obvious one of ‘ACORN taints everything that it touches,’ it’s this: one-party rule makes people stupid. And stupid people make mistakes. Keep that in mind the next time you’re trying to decide whether or not to fight City Hall.”
IN THE MAIL: Eclipse 3: New Science Fiction and Fantasy.
A DOUBLE-DIGIT LOSS FOR The Washington Post? “Indeed, in this case, the Post may have done nothing but distract and befuddle their own favored candidate, who, like the Post, became obsessed with a 20-year-old college paper. He and the Post both forgot that campaigns are about voters’ current problems and hopes for the future.”
BELMONT CLUB: The Lordlings. “The one thing no generation of parents can protect their children from is reality. No inheritance can withstand the foolishness of heirs. The harsh arithmetic on the frontier, the terrible outflow of dollars and cents, the gradual and then sudden loss of credibility as people see they are dealing not with serious people but with gilded fools cumulate their irresistible effects.”
IS A TELEVISED BREAST SELF-EXAM a case of “milking the ratings?”
SCOTT JOHNSON: The Flying Imams Win: And The Rest Of Us Lose.
I wonder why we don’t see more “lawfare” from folks on the right?
VIDEO: Mike Flynn Talks Big Government on the Kudlow Report.
FORCED BORROWING FROM THE TAXPAYERS: California to withhold a bigger chunk of paychecks. Well, when you’re basically bankrupt it’s easier to borrow from people who don’t have a choice.
DON’T FORGET TO SET YOUR CLOCKS BACK for the end of Daylight Savings Time.
I wish it went year-round.
MARK STEYN: Obama Makes Bush His Blame Czar.
WANT MORE TERROR-WAR NEWS? Visit Fred Pruitt’s Rantburg.com.
MAKING FRANK RICH nervous.
THE POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS of smartphones.
FROM PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY, the top 10 books of 2009.
STUFF WHITE PEOPLE don’t like.
SOME CHEESY Halloween pickup lines sorted by costume. Emphasis on the cheesy . . .
UPDATE: Tom Maguire: Now, If Book Reviewers Read The Books… “The review would be even more interesting if the reviewer, Adam Kirsch of The New Republic, showed a token familiarity with Ms. Rand’s work, or even with life here in reality.”
JOHN HINDERAKER: Bush-Era Leaks Were Dangerous After All. “Many commentators have noted that this is one more instance where the Obama administration, now that it is in possession of the facts and charged with responsibility for the nation’s security, has acted in full concert with much-reviled policies of the Bush administration. That’s a valid point, and Holder’s press release on the subject, which you can read here, is almost humorous in its labored attempt to create the impression that use of the state secrets privilege by the Obama administration is somehow different from the identical use of the identical privilege by the previous administration. . . . But the administration’s decision merits a closer look because of the nature of the Shubert case.”
“COME FOR THE CULTURE WAR, stay for the chicks.” “The primary reason our womenfolk are at war with the looming spectre of the nanny state is because you can’t buy Jimmy Choos in a socialist paradise.” This should provoke a reaction.
PETER SUDERMAN: $900 Billion House Health-Care Reform Bill Likely to Cost More than $900 Billion. Well, if by “likely” you mean “pretty damn certain.”
A BUNCH OF interesting food links.
OKAY SO THE SCOZZAFAVA WITHDRAWAL came too late to update my Sunday Washington Examiner column. But since the point of my column is that what happens after the election is more important than the election itself, that’s okay . . .
THOMAS SOWELL: Dismantling America, Part II. “This issue is too serious for squeamish silence.”
DON SURBER: “It took Republicans 6 years and 2 wars to lose their enthusiasm for President Bush. It took Democrats one year. Change. Hope. Ohmigodwhatdidwedo?”
CORZINE CAMPAIGN AIDE BUSTED ON DRUG CHARGES? But if it’s true, why are New Jersey media scrubbing the story from their sites?
UPDATE: The Star-Ledger has this: Paramus man claiming to work for Corzine arrested on drug charges. Corzine’s campaign: “No one has ever heard of this guy.”
WHY MOMMY loves the state! (Bumped).
SO WILL THE UNITED STATES’ AGREEMENT ON “HATE SPEECH” be used to end-run the First Amendment?
Only if they think they can get away with it. But if so, yeah. Of course.
THE NOBLEST ROMAN OF THEM ALL objects to the Obama comparison.
IN THE MAIL: From Bo Hoefinger, Bad to the Bone: Memoir of a Rebel Doggie Blogger.
MEMO: It’s now officially safe to criticize Barack Obama. “Numbers like that mean Obama’s intimidation factor has disappeared.”
REVIEWING THE WHITE HOUSE VISITOR LOGS: “As far as I can tell, THE Andrew Stern was the top outside visitor to the White House with approximately 20 visits, or about three visits per month, including four relatively small meetings with the president and a dozen with other White House staffers. Stern has openly bragged about the SEIU’s $61 million investment in Barack Obama. It certainly bought him a lot of access.”
TUCSON COUNCILWOMAN apologizes for “teabagger” slur.
PLUMMETING FERTILITY. “When people got richer, families got smaller; and as families got smaller, people got richer. Now, something similar is happening in developing countries. Fertility is falling and families are shrinking in places— such as Brazil, Indonesia, and even parts of India—that people think of as teeming with children. As our briefing shows, the fertility rate of half the world is now 2.1 or less—the magic number that is consistent with a stable population and is usually called ‘the replacement rate of fertility’. Sometime between 2020 and 2050 the world’s fertility rate will fall below the global replacement rate.”
ANDREW BREITBART IN THE WASHINGTON POST: ACORN video creates new conservative star.
MORE DEVELOPMENTS in the N.E.A. scandal. “Former actor and present White House associate director of public engagement Kalpen Modi was directly involved in planning the controversial conference call hosted by a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) flack to encourage tax-supported artists to create propaganda for President Obama, according to emails obtained by Judicial Watch via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.”
MEGAN MCARDLE: Seriously, stop worrying about hyperinflation.
I’d just like to see somebody make Total Eclipse.
TOO SMALL TO LEAD. “There are many reasons why Obama, according to Gallup, has suffered the largest decline in approval, at this portion in his term, of any elected president since 1953 — and why more Americans believe in UFOs than approve of the job done by Congress. But one reason is surely the bitter, brittle tone of the new Democratic establishment — highlighted by the promise they have raised and disappointed. How did the tonal candidate become so tone-deaf?”
ABC NEWS: Obama Administration Invokes State Secrets Privilege…Again. Hope and change!
MODIFIED LIMITED HANGOUT: White House releases only a few visitor logs.
Despite the accompanying White House claim of “transparency like you’ve never seen before,” the Obama White House continues to take the same legal position as the Bush White House, arguing that the records are not public records subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Only limited “voluntary releases” are being made to settle a lawsuit filed by an advocacy group, though a federal judge has twice ruled that all the visitor logs are public.
UPDATE: More here.
THE ELECTION’S A FORMALITY NOW: Doug Hoffman gets the coveted IowaHawk endorsement.
A SENTENCE THAT WAS in The New York Times before it was not.
MARKDOWNS ON digital cameras and video.
21 HALLOWEEN COSTUMES that will not get you laid.
MAINSTREAMING INFIDELITY at The New York Times.
FORGET THE DITTOCAM, IT’S THE DANACAM: Dana Loesch goes live on webcam.
MICKEY KAUS discovers that he doesn’t really like Obama. Oh, Obama’s likable enough.
IN THE NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR’S RACE, it’s neck-and-neck.
NEW YORK 23: When a nation calls.
WRAPPING SOLAR CELLS around an optical fiber.
DOPAMINE: The molecule of motivation.
CHRISTIAN / NEWSOM UPDATE: Lemaricus Davidson gets death for his role in the torture-rape-murder.
HALLOWEEN Horror Movies.
BILL QUICK: Why Dede Scozzafava should drop out today. “It has become obvious that in a straight head’s up race between Conservative Doug Hoffman and Democrat Bill Owens, Hoffman would win in a walk. It is equally obvious that there is no set of circumstances under which the GOP candidate, Dede Scozzofava, can win this election. However, if she stays in, the race for victory remains close between Hoffman and Owens. Therefore, Scozzofava should drop out today. The bottom line is that if Scozzofava stays in, it is only to act as a spoiler to defeat Hoffman, at the behest of the national and state establishment GOP that is sponsoring her.”
PARANORMAL LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY? A spooky video with Mary Katharine Ham.
PEGGY NOONAN: We’re Governed by Callous Children: Americans feel increasingly disheartened, and our leaders don’t even notice. But John Galt is present, in spirit at least:
The biggest long-term threat is that people are becoming and have become disheartened, that this condition is reaching critical mass, and that it afflicts most broadly and deeply those members of the American leadership class who are not in Washington, most especially those in business. . . .
I talked with an executive this week with what we still call “the insurance companies” and will no doubt soon be calling Big Insura. (Take it away, Democratic National Committee.) He was thoughtful, reflective about the big picture. He talked about all the new proposed regulations on the industry. Rep. Barney Frank had just said on some cable show that the Democrats of the White House and Congress “are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area.” The executive said of Washington: “They don’t understand that people can just stop, get out. I have friends and colleagues who’ve said to me ‘I’m done.’ ” He spoke of his own increasing tax burden and said, “They don’t understand that if they start to tax me so that I’m paying 60%, 55%, I’ll stop.”
He felt government doesn’t understand that business in America is run by people, by human beings. Mr. Frank must believe America is populated by high-achieving robots who will obey whatever command he and his friends issue. But of course they’re human, and they can become disheartened. They can pack it in, go elsewhere, quit what used to be called the rat race and might as well be called that again since the government seems to think they’re all rats. (That would be you, Chamber of Commerce.)
And here is the second part of the story. While Americans feel increasingly disheartened, their leaders evince a mindless . . . one almost calls it optimism, but it is not that. . . . We are governed at all levels by America’s luckiest children, sons and daughters of the abundance, and they call themselves optimists but they’re not optimists—they’re unimaginative. They don’t have faith, they’ve just never been foreclosed on. They are stupid and they are callous, and they don’t mind it when people become disheartened. They don’t even notice.
Read the whole thing.
UPDATE: Reader Stephen Clark writes:
So . . . Peggy Noonan apparently has had her fill.
I must say, I hope that she’s ready to take some measure of responsibility. Some folks, outside of the hermetically sealed world of Washington and the greater east coast corridor, noticed all this long, long ago. And, as I recall, it was the same Ms. Noonan that waxed almost rhapsodic over the prospects of our current President.
It’s very good of her now to take note. Better late than never, I suppose.
Yeah. Too rhapsodic about Obama, too hard on the actual adults.
INSPECTOR GENERAL: IRS Is Not Properly Monitoring $34b of Contracts.
JACQUES CHIRAC ORDERED TO STAND TRIAL FOR CORRUPTION. “Already, the mere fact of 76-year-old Chirac’s being investigated has been a humiliating coda to his four-decade political career. On top of that, one of Chirac’s former prime ministers is on trial in a separate case. Dominique de Villepin is accused of orchestrating a smear campaign against Chirac’s successor, Nicolas Sarkozy. Villepin denies the charges.”
I SURE HOPE SO: Do Professors Matter?
MAYBE THIS IS WHY OLD PEOPLE ARE DOING BETTER: Statins cut H1N1 death risk in half.