January 16, 2011
AT AMAZON, 50-75% off of Men’s Clothing. That fur-lined bomber hat is looking pretty good this winter.
AT AMAZON, 50-75% off of Men’s Clothing. That fur-lined bomber hat is looking pretty good this winter.
ARE SOME INTELLECTUALS SUFFERING FROM “Tea Party envy?”
WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): Unemployment In The U.S. Is Actually Worse Than Pakistan. “The Eurozone is at similar levels to the US, but when most of the countries that have a higher unemployment rate than the US are collectively referred to as PIGS, it’s not very encouraging.”
KIM STRASSEL: Gun-Control Opportunists: The Tucson shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is now inspiring a new round of political calls for gun control. Well, to be fair, if it weren’t for cynical and opportunistic efforts to exploit tragedy for political gain, we’d hardly have any gun-control laws at all. So what else were they going to do?
LOUGHNER: NOT EXACTLY A TEA PARTIER: “His anger would well up at the sight of President George W. Bush, or in discussing what he considered to be the nefarious designs of government.”
WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): “We’re fine at the moment, and we’re screwed long term.” Well, ordinarily I’d be worried. But with the best and the brightest at the helm, I foresee nothing but smooth sailing.
Plus this: “Clearly, we talk about female politicians’ hair all the time. It is different to talk about men’s hair, of course, because men aren’t supposed to care much about their hair. It’s part of the conventional manly image not to pay attention to hair, and when a man runs afoul of that image, he gives his opponents raw material that… well, that can make a hilarious video.”
FDL was unhappy about Althouse’s observation of Obama’s hair-color change. Personally, I think it’s fine if Obama colors his hair. But weren’t lefties always snarking about Reagan’s hair being dyed?
The left wants us to be civil — after being so uncivil for a decade.
Bite me. I have been screamed at for 10 years. It’s my turn now. I am not going to scream back. But I refuse to allow anyone to dictate what I say or how I say it. I refuse to allow the same foul-mouthed, foul-spirited foul people who dumped on me to now try to tell me what I may or may not say.
Read the whole thing, which is an inspired rant.
WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): Soaring Global Food Prices.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER corrects Mark Shields.
IRELAND: The Silent Bank Run Continues.
MICKEY KAUS TO MORTON KONDRACKE: You don’t spread “civility” by calling your opponents racists. “Part of civility is supposed to be accepting a democratic verdict even if it goes against you.”
TOM MAGUIRE TO MATT BAI: Have You No Sense Of History, Sir, At Long Last?
As befits our credentialed-but-not-educated class, Bai condescends even while getting the famous McCarthy/Joseph Welch confrontation wrong.
DONALD SENSING: SeaHawks Fall To Climate Of Hate In Chicago.
GENETICALLY MODIFIED CHICKENS can’t pass on bird flu.
CROWDSOURCED RANKINGS of law schools and law reviews.
LOTS OF NEW STUFF over at The Tatler.
TODAY’S MEDIA lead where no one follows. “And this is hardly an isolated incident. It’s understandable that journalists would want to set the national agenda by providing new information. That’s their job. But sometimes the press just won’t take no for an answer, when the public refuses to see events the same way. . . . Obviously, even The New York Times eventually got the story right, and the facts eventually won out (though apologies have yet to materialize). But it is also abundantly clear that many of the people and institutions piously speechifying about the desperate need to moderate the political discourse had no problem falsely indicting others in a horrendous murder, not because they knew the charge was true but solely because they desperately wanted it to be.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: A “timeline of deception.”
THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD: “People who think exactly like Paul Krugman and people who think the exact opposite of Paul Krugman’s thoughts.” Actually, I think Krugman’s version is: People who think exactly like Paul Krugman and people who are eeevillll.
So this is a very sad and narrow-minded piece of rationalization in the end, too pathetic to enrage. Krugman has revealed his own emotions-driven thought process in the mirror image he creates of “the other side”. We know that very few get up in the morning thinking “I’m going to be a selfish bastard today”, yet he looks at his reflection and sees millions of them. As the shrinks say, “very interesting”.
MICHAEL S. MALONE: The Photograph.
THE INSTAWIFE TALKS TO THE WASHINGTON POST about Jared Loughner.
TOM SMITH: I’m not saying Paul Krugman is schizophrenic. “Like most people, I regard people who suppose themselves to be greatly morally superior to others, especially when it seems if anything they are rather worse than most, a peculiarly obnoxious trait. K stands out in my mind as one of these people. . . . I have tried a little lately to get my arms around this idea of ‘I am really a kind of moral wonder; truly morally superior to most people’ sense that some people have, and how it relates to politics. Happily I don’t think it is a very widespread trait, but where you encounter it, it’s beastly.”
ON OFFER: A one month free trial of Amazon Prime. If you try it, I think you’ll be hooked. With free shipping, it makes sense to order all sorts of stuff that you’d otherwise buy at a store. I think it’s saved me money, since when I go to Target to buy paper towels, I inevitably emerge with a bunch of other stuff, while when I order paper towels from Amazon, that’s generally all I buy.
WELL, THAT’S WHAT THEY GET PAID FOR: Saturday Night Live Continues The Narrative.
DODD HARRIS: How Not To Improve The Discourse.
MICHAEL WALSH: Those Calling For Stricter Gun Laws Should Look At Vermont. “Arizona’s gun laws may be among the most ‘lenient’ in America, but they’re not as ‘lax’ as Vermont’s — and nobody’s rushing to demonize Howard Dean or Bernie Sanders. Indeed, Arizona’s laws are far closer to the American mainstream than are the restrictive policies of New York, Massachusetts and California.’
THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Unsealed Docs Show The Fed Was Fully Warned Of A Housing Crisis.
SO I WAS ON PETER “DATECHGUY” INGEMI’S TALK SHOW on WCRN radio in Massachusetts last night. It was a good show, and he seems to have plenty of advertisers, but they’re all local. Given that it’s a 50,000 watt station that blankets New England — including New Hampshire — I would have expected that a show reaching so many bloggers and Tea Party types would be running national political ads, but either (1) it’s too early for those yet, or (2) those advertisers just haven’t caught on yet. If not, they’re missing out, I think.
UPDATE: Here’s a post with his ad information.
JIM TREACHER: There’s more evidence that the liberal media influenced Eric Fuller than there is that Palin influenced Jared Loughner. I’m getting email from people who are unhappy that ABC didn’t show the tape of Fuller’s rant, too.
UPDATE: Apparently, ABC Did. LATER: Treacher emails: “Except Amanpour treated it as an afterthought and didn’t say who was being threatened . . . One of the people who’ve been falsely accused of making threats.”
IN THE MAIL: MYTH-Interpretations: The Worlds of Robert Asprin.
DAVID LAT ON AMY CHUA: “If you’re going to be a diva, then own it. . . . After her controversial essay about the superiority of Chinese mothers and hard-ass Asian parenting set the blogosphere on fire — and sent her book rocketing to #5 on the Amazon bestseller list — Chua backtracked a bit, instead of defiantly standing her ground. . . . Chua should send flowers and chocolate to whoever at the Wall Street Journal put that excerpt together. It’s a brilliant provocation, in the manner of early Ann Coulter. . . . Every book publicist in America should study the rollout of Tiger Mother as a lesson in how to market a book.”
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Chrysalis Opens.
The new Barack Obama has learned not to offer instantaneous editorial commentary in the fashion of his past editorializing on hearing of the Skip Gates affair, the Mutallab bombing attempt, the Ground Zero mosque controversy or the Maj. Hasan mass murdering.
Instead, the metamorphosizing president put his finger to the wind. He soon learned that his leftist base within 72 hours had turned off the public with its demagogic charges of conservative culpability for a deranged killer murdering the innocent. And so Obama summarily jettisoned his leftist scapegoating base. In dispassionate fashion, he figured that within hours the New York Times et al. would Trotskyize their earlier narratives, and most of the Left would cease the poll-killing (excuse the metaphor) “climate of hate” narrative.
He was right. The progressive community snapped back into line, reminding the country that the desire for power and status always trumps ideology. . . . Will Obama 2.0 work? Perhaps, especially if conservatives ornate the Clinton ’96 analogy with their own Bob Dole in 2012. But all that said, the wages of hubris—nemesis—are not so easily forgotten.
Read the whole thing. Related: The President Is Not Therapist-in-Chief.
A TUNISIAN Tea Party? Well, we’ll see. Does Tunisia have the requisite social capital to produce a Tea Party? But as the global political class becomes ever-more-obvious in its venality and ineptitude, I expect we’ll see the Tea Party spirit spread.
BYRON YORK: Rethinking Obama’s political performance in Tucson. “By the time he spoke in Tucson, Obama had let four days pass while some of the angriest voices in the media — his supporters — either blamed Republicans directly for the killings or blamed the GOP for creating the atmosphere in which the violence took place. During those four days, the president could have cooled the conversation by urging everyone to avoid jumping to conclusions, as he did the day after the November 2009 massacre at Ft. Hood, Texas. But he didn’t. Only after Loughner’s insanity had been indisputably established did Obama concede that politics was not to blame for the shooting. . . . Some Democratic strategists hope Obama can capitalize on Tucson the way Bill Clinton capitalized on Oklahoma City. Perhaps he’ll be able to, and perhaps he won’t. But he’s already trying.”
DONALD GRAHAM OF THE WASHINGTON POST argues on behalf of for-profit education.
WHY THE POWERS-THAT-BE want inflation.
ED DRISCOLL: ‘Politico.com in the Left Ditch, Wheels Spinning.’
ARGUMENT: COLLEGE IS STILL WORTH IT. Not if you take on lots of non-dischargeable debt. However, if the economics of college are overall good, colleges shouldn’t mind bearing a portion of the cost when students default on loans.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Text-Based Adventure Games Now On The Kindle.
JACK DUNPHY: Sheriff Dupnik: An MSNBC Star Is Born.
CHANGE: Unilever chief warns over global crisis in food output. “The chief executive of one of the world’s largest food producers is to warn that the global crisis in food production is reaching ‘dangerous territory’ with prices soaring and demand outstripping supply.”
FIGHTING THE “Job-Destroying Spending Spree.”
UH OH: Swine Flu has British hospitals “gridlocked.” Plus this: “He expressed anger about the failure of Government and the NHS to develop sufficient contingency plans.” Yeah, it’s not like nobody worried about this previously. (Via Blue Collar Philosophy).
Related: Swine Flu in Wayne County, Illinois.
UPDATE: Oh, good grief: ‘Worried well’ should be banned from having flu jab says leading GP. They’ve gotten criticism for not ordering enough vaccine, so now they want to ban people from paying privately to get it, because that upsets the government rationing scheme. And the government rationing scheme, from what little I can tell from this story, doesn’t make much sense. The pharmacists seem to agree.
WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): Holiday Spending Record Not As Good As It Looks.
This past season’s revenue marked a 5.7 percent increase over holiday 2009. That’s the strongest gain since 2004. While encouraging, that doesn’t mean shoppers have recovered from the loss of $11 trillion in household wealth. From consumers’ perspective, the economy hasn’t improved dramatically from last year, as credit remains tight, unemployment hasn’t budged below 9 percent, and home values are still depressed. Consumer confidence is hovering at the same level as a year ago and well below the point that signals a stable economy. . . .
In several categories, spending on gifts fell short of shoppers’ 2007 outlay. In 2010, consumers spent $50.7 billion on clothing and accessories like shoes and scarves; in 2007, that figure was $51.3 billion even before adjusting for inflation. Holiday revenue at department stores was $45.3 billion last year, much less than the $50.4 billion that traded hands in 2007.
Read the whole thing. It’s better than last year, but it’s not exactly “Happy days are here again.”
PATRICK RICHARDSON: “CNN is reporting there are ‘provocative photos of Jared Loughner in a g-string with a gun.’ Leaving aside the fact that makes me want to scream ‘MY EYES’ and run for the brain bleach, why is that important or worth a story on a major news network?”
RON BROWNSTEIN’S politicized non sequitur. “It’s nonsense. But its printed nonsense. So it has the suggestion of seriousness.” Meh. Not so much anymore, to those who have been paying attention.
WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): U.S. Satisfaction Remains Near 12-Month Low. “Gallup finds 19% of Americans satisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time — essentially on par with the lowest level of the past 12 months, 17%, registered in December. . . . The current low level of satisfaction is likely tied primarily to the economy.”
I LOVE IT THAT WHEN PEOPLE TRY TO PLAY THE “TOXIC RHETORIC ON BOTH SIDES” CARD they’re reduced to quoting things like my paraphrase of Bill Clinton’s “erase North Korea from the map” bit — and always without noting that I was talking about how to respond to a full-fledged North Korean invasion of the South. When you have to stretch that far, it’s an admission that you’ve got nothing.
Also, this bit — “even the most inaccurate and excessive rhetoric on the left these days doesn’t invoke violence” — is simply a lie, or a confession of ignorance so utterly profound as to be, if anything, worse.
Special Bonus: Breaking: TUCSON TEA PARTY LEADER THREATENED At ABC Taping… Unhinged Leftist Arrested. “Trent Humphries has been receiving death threats all week since the national media and their leftist cohorts began blaming the tea party for the shooting.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: A compendium of lefty hate.
THE GUARDIAN goes Full Orwell.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE, to end a political career? A sense of shame, which they don’t really have any more.
AT AMAZON, 50% off on camping and hiking supplies.
MYSTERY WRITER’S INSTINCTS BORNE OUT: New York Times Stuxnet report confirms Roger Simon’s Siemens connection speculation.
HOW BAD WAS THE MEDIA COVERAGE OF TUCSON? So bad that Charles Blow is writing about “The Tucson Witch Hunt.”
Within hours of the shooting, there was a full-fledged witch hunt to link the shooter to the right.
“I saw Goody Proctor with the devil! Oh, I mean Jared Lee Loughner! Yes him. With the devil!”
The only problem is that there was no evidence then, and even now, that overheated rhetoric from the right had anything to do with the shooting. (In fact, a couple of people who said they knew him have described him as either apolitical or “quite liberal.”) The picture emerging is of a sad and lonely soul slowly, and publicly, slipping into insanity. . . . Concocting connections to advance an argument actually weakens it. The argument for tonal moderation has been done a tremendous disservice by those who sought to score political points in the absence of proof.
WHAT, HE’S GOT SOME KIND OF “HAIR WARDROBE” NOW? Ann Althouse: “And what’s the first thing you notice — the difference between today and the speech he gave at the memorial? Right. Different color hair. Gray for the memorial, signifying the wise elder, the father figure. Back to dark hair to signify the vigorous young man, ready to forge ahead, solving problems, and restoring his party’s electoral fortunes.”
VIRGINIA POSTREL: Kidney Donation Goes Prime Time:
Last Sunday night something remarkable happened. Two prime-time shows included plots in which one character’s kidneys failed and, instead of the usual squirming, another character actively tried to donate. Admittedly, on “Family Guy” the would-be donor was a talking dog. But at the last minute a doctor, who treated donating as the logical choice, replaced him.
More significantly, on “Desperate Housewives,” where Susan (Teri Hatcher) is shown visibly ailing and facing years of dialysis, her mother’s refusal to donate seemed petulant and irrational. In contrast, against Susan’s protests her own daughter insisted on being tested. She told her mother: “They have these new surgical techniques—it’s no worse than a belly piercing—which I did not do.” An exaggeration, sure, but a welcome change from declaring kidney donation a Bad Idea.
Virginia donated a kidney to Sally Satel a few years ago. We talked with her about it in this podcast.
THE “WHITE ALBUM” OF THE TUCSON MASSACRE? Not really up to Beatles quality . . .
AS SOON AS I FINISH SHOVELING MY DRIVEWAY, I’LL TRY TO ANSWER THAT: “Why will no one listen to us anymore?”
OIL PRICES: There will be no OPEC bailout.
LETHAL AIRBORNE prions?
NEW — AT LEAST TO ME — the Amazon Photo and Video Services Store. Printing, mugs, cards, and more.
WHAT A . . . BARGAIN: Tom Maguire: Three Krugmans In One. “Not all moral views are created equal.”
IN BOSTON, special ambulances for the grossly obese. “The ambulance is equipped with a special stretcher that can hold 850 pounds and a hydraulic lift with a 1,000 pound capacity, said Captain Jose Archila of Boston’s Emergency Medical Services fleet.”
FROM MARKOS KRUGMAN, it’s the Climate Of Hate Blog.
TUNISIA’S Jasmine Revolution. Don’t blow it, guys.
MORE ON HARD DRIVES: In response to this morning’s post, reader Chuck Allen emails:
You linked to the cheap 2TB Seagate drive. But for just $15 more you can get this 2TB drive that gets *much* better reviews, and will work with a Mac.
I don’t own it, but was researching backup drives this AM.
And reader Stephen Johnson writes: “I’ve had one of these wonderously cheap (and yes, Chinese made) 1 TB drives fail on me. I didn’t have it backed up, and yes, that’s my fault — but restoring the data set me back about two grand: about twenty times the cost of the drive. Electronics — computers and their component parts in particular — *are* getting fantastically cheap but they’re still far from as infallible as, say, blenders or lawn mowers. Until then, I’d say don’t overlook some hidden costs directly related to lack of quality. Not to mention that we basically *have* to upgrade our PCs every 2-3 years.” Yeah. You always need to backup, though. The only hard-drive failure I’ve had in recent years was a supposedly super-reliable and more-expensive hard drive I used in the audio studo computer. Luckily, it was backed up.
THE NEW REPUBLIC: How the Media Botched the Arizona Shooting. Er, totally?
When disaster strikes, journalists have to write something about it—and write it fast. That means they have to take mental shortcuts, calling up established narratives and laying them out like old wrapping paper for new and more ambiguous facts. (Wife poisons husband. Revenge killing? Money killing? Self-defense killing? We stand at the ready with a lot of templates.) While the resulting gift isn’t always pretty, it’s generally good enough for deadline work.
But sometimes the shortcuts produce a journalistic stampede at the worst possible time. That’s what happened last weekend, when 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner shot six people to death at an Arizona Safeway and gravely wounded many more, including Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The dominant storyline in the press—one that persisted in the face of all the facts—was that right-wing hysteria and lunacy had given rise to Loughner’s atrocity. Only on Wednesday night, when President Obama delivered a speech that effectively told everyone to cut it out, was the stampede halted (one hopes). But it’s still worth reviewing how the nation’s leading periodicals descended into such mindlessness.
Sadly, I don’t think most of them had to “descend” very far. Note, however, that local media did better.
E.B. White was onto this a long time ago.
CREDENTIALED, NOT EDUCATED: Elected Officials Flunk Constitution Quiz.
Elected officials at many levels of government, not just the federal government, swear an oath to “uphold and protect” the U.S. Constitution.
But those elected officials who took the test scored an average 5 percentage points lower than the national average (49 percent vs. 54 percent), with ordinary citizens outscoring these elected officials on each constitutional question.
The country’s in the very best of hands.
TIGER MOTHERS: Thoughts on Amy Chua, from Tom Smith. “So why all the piano? I think it must be that it happens to be something you can get prizes for. . . . It seems like an urban upper middle class version of the kiddie beauty contests satirized in Little Miss Sunshine. Yes, parents can do this to kids, but the question is, why would they want to? . . . Imagine, looking back, if you had an IQ of 150 and two Ivy League professors as parents, with the resources of a great university at your fingertips, with all of human culture laid out like a banquet ready for you — would you want to spend three hours a day playing the piano? And never be allowed to talk to other children about the books you were reading, the places you had traveled, your first try at a real poem, learning to ice skate, to sing, dance, fly a kite, make a pizza, shoot a bow and arrow, serve a ball, ski, paint? That’s a helluva expensive piano trophy. . . . Many of us would agree that all this precious over-regard for the self-esteem of children is utter rubbish. Kids’ self-esteem will survive being told to turn off the damn XBox and go do their homework. But this Tiger Mother stuff strikes me as being about as appealing as foot-binding.”
IN THE MAIL: From Tom Rachman, The Imperfectionists: A Novel.
SARAH HOYT IS feeling better about E-publishing all of a sudden.
FELIX SALMON: The US won’t default, even if the debt ceiling stays.
In any given month, the government’s income dwarfs its debt-service obligations, which means that the government could simply pay all interest on Treasury bonds out of its cashflow. Greg hasn’t run the numbers on principal maturities, but I’m pretty sure that they too could be covered out of cash receipts—and when that happened, of course, the total debt outstanding would go down, and we wouldn’t be bumping up against the ceiling any more.
The point here is that the government has enormous expenditures every month, and debt service constitutes an important yet small part of them. If the debt ceiling weren’t raised, it stands to reason that just about any other form of government spending would get cut before Tim Geithner dreamed of defaulting on risk-free bonds.
So they could just . . . cut spending in response? No way, that’s crazy-talk!
HOW TO CUT THE GUN DEATH TOLL: CNN Says Don’t Let People Carry Howitzers.
THE STRANGE DISAPPEARANCE OF DANCHO DANCHEV: “Zero Day blogger and malware researcher Dancho Danchev has gone missing since August of last year. Dancho, who was relentless in his pursuit of cyber-criminals, last blogged here on August 18. His personal blog has not been updated since September 11, 2010.” Has he been abducted by Bulgarian authorities? No one’s sure.
ONE DAY ONLY: A two-terabyte external hard drive for $94.99. I wish everything got better and cheaper at the same rate as electronics. I remember when a 10-megabyte (yes, megabyte) hard drive was something, and cost several hundred bucks.
UPDATE: Reader Charles Purvis writes:
I worked for Computer Shopper magazine from 1993-2001, and when I started there, we carried ads for 1 GB SCSI hard drives, for $10,000. They looked like something you would mount to the deck of a battleship with lag bolts, and were easily the size of 2-3 ammo cases.
Now I can get an 8 GB SDHC card for $13.
And reader Steve Nelson emails:
Glenn, I have a 1982 Byte Magazine with an ad on the back cover marveling how for only $6,000, you too could own the very latest in storage technology: the 5-MEGABYTE Winchester hard drive.
Only 1200 bucks a megabyte! Such a deal!
As you can tell, I might have been in this business too long.
Like I say, if only everything got better and cheaper at the same rate as electronics.
POINTS AND FIGURES: Is There An Education Bubble? Things that can’t go on forever, won’t.
CHUMMY IN LOS ANGELES: Sheriff Lee Baca launched a criminal probe at request of fashion magnate. “Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca personally launched a criminal investigation in another police agency’s jurisdiction after a request from a millionaire businessman who later contributed $100,000 to two sheriff’s charities, according to civil court testimony, law enforcement records and interviews. . . . In October, a Times investigation detailed a similar case in which Baca launched a criminal probe inside another agency’s jurisdiction on behalf of Ezat Delijani, a well-connected Beverly Hills businessman who had given the sheriff political contributions and expensive gifts.”
A RESPONSE TO THE BLOOD LIBEL OF 1860 by Abraham Lincoln:
You charge that we stir up insurrections among your slaves. We deny it; and what is your proof? Harper’s Ferry! John Brown!! John Brown was no Republican; and you have failed to implicate a single Republican in his Harper’s Ferry enterprise. If any member of our party is guilty in that matter, you know it or you do not know it. If you do know it, you are inexcusable for not designating the man and proving the fact. If you do not know it, you are inexcusable for asserting it. . .
Sounds a little like this:
To be clear, if you’re using this event to criticize the “rhetoric” of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you’re either: (a) asserting a connection between the “rhetoric” and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you’re not, in which case you’re just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?
In both cases, interestingly, the blood libel was aimed at Republicans, by Democrats. Some things never change, I guess.
Plus, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Sarah Palin Is Right About ‘Blood Libel’: Judaism rejects the idea of collective responsibility for murder. Of course, what we have here is collective non-responsibility for murder, which makes the libel even more libel-y.
UPDATE: Reader Vito DiPaola writes: “Has anyone commented on the fact that some of the people criticizing Sarah Palin for using the term ‘blood libel’ are the same people that use the term ‘deniers’ when criticizing global warming skeptics?”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Joe Pompeo writes: “Based upon the Lincoln quote it would appear that Sarah Palin, rather than acting ‘unpresidential’ in her response this week as her critics claim, was acting quite presidential after all. Even Lincoln-esque.” Does this mean that if we elect Sarah Palin President, New York, Massachusetts and California will secede?
ANOTHER MADMAN, firing indiscriminately.
TRANSPARENCY: Kentucky Legislature Puts Salaries and Expenses Online.
GEORGE WILL CALLS FOR A CONGRESS THAT REASSERTS ITS POWER:
Many congressional Republicans, and surely some Democrats with institutional pride, think Congress is being derogated and marginalized by two developments. One is the apotheosis of the presidency as the mainspring of the government and the custodian of the nation’s soul. The second is the growing autonomy of the regulatory state, an apparatus responsive to presidents.
The eclipse of Congress by the executive branch and other agencies is Congress’s fault. It is the result of lazy legislating and lax oversight. Too many “laws” actually are little more than pious sentiments endorsing social goals – environmental, educational, etc. – the meanings of which are later defined by executive-branch rule-making. In creating faux laws, the national legislature often creates legislators in the executive branch, making a mockery of the separation of powers. And Congress makes a mockery of itself when the Federal Register, a compilation of the regulatory state’s activities, is a more important guide to governance than the Congressional Record.
Unfortunately, courts long ago made clear that they will not seriously inhibit Congress’s scandalous delegation of its lawmaking function to others. So Congress should stop whining about the actions of the EPA (emissions controls), the FCC (“net neutrality”), the Interior Department (reclassifications of public lands) and other agencies and should start rereading Shakespeare: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
The problem is, Congress decided decades ago that it would rather cede power to the bureaucracy than keep it to itself, so long as it could also cede responsibility and then point fingers when things go wrong. Will that change? Maybe.
WHY THEY’D RATHER TALK ABOUT SARAH PALIN (CONT’D): Munis Crashing For Third Straight Day, And This Is The Worst Yet.
COULD TENNESSEE HAVE its own Jesse Ventura? Let’s hope he’s better than that.
Related: Tea party takes agenda, concerns to Tennessee lawmakers. “Tennessee tea party activists took to the halls of the state legislature Wednesday, warning Republican leaders not to misinterpret the results of the November election as a sign of implicit tea party support. . . . Activists were on the Hill to let GOP lawmakers know the tea party’s next step in Tennessee is to influence legislation and to hold Republicans ‘accountable’ on a variety of policy measures, including fighting federal health-care reform.”
AT AMAZON, markdowns on DVD and Blu-Ray.
I BLAME THE OVER-THE-TOP RHETORIC: Shock CBS Poll: 77% of Americans are Extremist Teabaggers, Want to Cut Government Spending.
TOM SMITH ON CRAZINESS: “We learn of anosognosia, a word spell check has never seen before, which refers to the schizophrenic’s lack of insight about his own illness. But that’s just an exaggerated version of what say, Professor Krugman has. Krugman is evidently blissfully unaware that the concept of a conscience is almost the exact opposite of the disposition, on flagrant display today, one may have to always think that one is right and good and those one disagrees with are wrong and evil. If someone were to say, oh, my conscience, that’s the little voice inside me that tells me I am smarter, and morally better than others. No, Paul, that’s not your conscience; your ego maybe, but not your conscience. But I suspect your efforts to convince Krugman of this would be as successful as efforts to convince the Arizona shooter that the government is not trying to control his mind with grammar.” Is it just me, or have law professors been especially hard on Krugman this week?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “They are a special interest. End of story.”
AT MEGAN MCARDLE’S, an important comment on the foreclosure mess:
You’ll have a hard time finding any market as highly regulated as mortgages and finance. The idea that a LACK of regulations are a major problem here is laughable. It also comes from this bizarre idea that a lot of people have that there is some “Regulation Knob” that government has control of, and they can turn the knob to the right to “increase regulation” and turn it to the left to “decrease regulation”. This just is not the case at all – there is bad regulation and good regulation. The idea that some people think the solution to all of our problems is simply more rules and more employees at regulatory agencies is bizarre.
Much more at the link.
RETRACTO THE CORRECTION ALPACA turns his attention to David Frum. Can’t we all just get along?