Trifecta: Watch as we try our hand at poetry. It’s a Helen Thomas Bye-Ku Extravaganza!
In just about an hour — that’d be 8PM Eastern — I’ll be on The Rick Moran Show with IBD’s Monica Showalter and Rich Baehr of American Thinker. Rick runs a tight ship so it ought to be a good show.
Then, at 9:30, Ed Driscoll and I will once again seize control of The Delivery from Jimmie Bise. Hilarity will ensue.
I’d admonish my conservative and libertarian allies for taking part in these childish antics, except of course, it’s Code Pink just doing its thing.
The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.
-Ronald W. Reagan.
And, boy, if that ain’t the truth. There’s a fascinating study on political leanings and economic literacy, conducted by Zogby and reported on in today’s WSJ. First, the setup:
Zogby researcher Zeljka Buturovic and I considered the 4,835 respondents’ (all American adults) answers to eight survey questions about basic economics. We also asked the respondents about their political leanings: progressive/very liberal; liberal; moderate; conservative; very conservative; and libertarian.
Rather than focusing on whether respondents answered a question correctly, we instead looked at whether they answered incorrectly. A response was counted as incorrect only if it was flatly unenlightened.
In other words, just simple guesswork gave each respondent a 60% chance of getting a correct answer. You have to really try to suck at these questions. Onward:
Consider one of the economic propositions in the December 2008 poll: “Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable.” People were asked if they: 1) strongly agree; 2) somewhat agree; 3) somewhat disagree; 4) strongly disagree; 5) are not sure.
Basic economics acknowledges that whatever redeeming features a restriction may have, it increases the cost of production and exchange, making goods and services less affordable. There may be exceptions to the general case, but they would be atypical.
And the results:
In this case, percentage of conservatives answering incorrectly was 22.3%, very conservatives 17.6% and libertarians 15.7%. But the percentage of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly was 67.6% and liberals 60.1%. The pattern was not an anomaly.
Not an anomaly? Nope. Look at the totals for all eight questions:
How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.
Americans in the first three categories do reasonably well. But the left has trouble squaring economic thinking with their political psychology, morals and aesthetics.
So it seems that liberals aren’t lying to you, when they say that taxes create prosperity or that we can spend our way out of a debt crisis. But they might just be lying to themselves.
You decide which is worse.
Following President Obama’s example, now our Congresscritters are failing to lead — or even to perform their most basic duties. This AP story is especially brutal:
After betting their political future on a government-mandated expansion of health care to include millions more Americans, Democrats appear to have little appetite for more legislative showdowns given voter rebellion against government spending amid trillion dollar-plus annual deficits.
The solution in some cases is to simply not vote. Immigration reform is too politically toxic. Key bills with massive price tags are getting shelved.
Congress’ core duty, exercising its power of the purse by passing a budget? Negative. A vote for it could be seen as a vote for deficit spending. There’s no sign of the 12 annual spending bills that typically come up in June.
If our incumbents really, finally understand why we’re angry, then why don’t they sit down and get to work on cutting the spending and repealing the laws we’re so upset about? Instead, they’re sticking they’re heads in the sand, ignoring their duties — and ignoring us, too.
Vote ‘em all out. Every single one of these cowardly, useless and destructive SOBs.
From a recent Times-Picayune editorial:
We also need to know, Mr. President, whether you support legislation to give Gulf states our rightful share of offshore oil revenues now instead of in 2017. These are vital resources for our imperiled coast. During your visit last week, you did not publicly take questions from Louisianians. A local reporter’s question about the revenue-sharing proposal earned a “we’ll get back to you”-response from a White House spokesman. There was no followup.
Your visit is appreciated, Mr. President. But visiting Louisiana is not the same as listening to us and answering our questions.
And then this from Byron York:
The Obama administration is at first slow to see the seriousness of the accident. Then, as the crisis becomes clear, the federal bureaucracy becomes entangled in itself trying to deal with the problem. “At least a dozen federal agencies have taken part in the spill response,” the New York Times reports, “making decision-making slow, conflicted and confused, as they sought to apply numerous federal statutes.”
Leadership, Mr. President, does not consist of dithering and the occasional game of kick-the-can.
So I’m one of the sexiest men on the right side of the blogosphere? Other than “thanks,” I’m not sure what to say about that — other than I’m sure the competition was quite, ah, stiff.
Although I should also tell Dr. Helen Smith, my unrequited voice-crush, that she’s even lovelier than I ever imagined.
At the WWDC today, Steve Jobs is digging into Google at most any opportunity.
Apple versus Microsoft is so ’97.
Yet more profiles in congressional courage:
The sentiment that fueled the rage during those Congressional forums is still alive in the electorate. But the opportunities for voters to openly express their displeasure, or angrily vent as video cameras roll, have been harder to come by in this election year.
That’s from a New York Times story, detailing how Democratic congresscritters are seeking to avoid angry constituents by avoiding all their actual constituents. Smart, yes?
Avoid them now, and they’ll for sure remember you at the polls in November. Let them vent, and they might — might — relax enough to stay home in the Fall.
But if anyone anywhere had been counting on our Democratic majority to take some action other than the stupid and self-destructive one, hasn’t been paying attention the last few years.
Hot of the Sirius/XM Satellite, it’s the latest edition of PJM Political. On this week’s show we’ve got ur-blogger and California Senate candidate Mickey Kaus, former Senator and presidential candidate Fred Thompson, multimedia impresario James Lileks, Oscar nominees Roger L. Simon and Lionel Chetwynd on the culture wars, and reporting from Jerusalem, historian and author Richard Landes.
Science said producer Ed Driscoll couldn’t fit that much good stuff into one hour of radio, but we laugh in the face of facts!
The Week in Blogs plumbs the depths to discover why this woman was fired from Citibank. And the reason will make your blood boil.
Or at least the pictures will.
And, as always, you’ll find the links in the comments under the show.
PS I had to do something to make up for that Hellen Thomas video, right?
So a while back I came up with this loopy theory that the killer app for tablets and ebooks was… real books. Apparently it wasn’t so loopy, because a lot of commenters agreed. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.
And more than one person suggested I check out Baen Books, which makes a chunk of their back catalog available digitally — for free. And before I knew it, Baen author Sarah Hoyt emailed and asked if I’d like a copy of one of her books. Hardcopy, that is. That was on a Friday. The book arrived on Monday. Wow!
But that was ages ago, and I only just this week got a chance to read Sarah’s Darkship Thieves. Now I don’t think I’ve read any pure space opera since the novelization of “Return of the Jedi” came out, but this book is a blast. Just thrilling, sexy fun. And can you get too much of any of those?
So: A belated thank you, Sarah — and a hearty recommendation to everybody here to pick up this book!
A helpful reminder from Charles Krauthammer:
But as Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes, the blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal. Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel — a declaration backed up by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory. Yet having pledged itself to unceasing bel-ligerency, Hamas claims victimhood when Israel imposes a blockade to prevent Hamas from arming itself with still more rockets.
In World War II, with full international legality, the United States blockaded Germany and Japan. And during the October 1962 missile crisis, we blockaded (“quarantined”) Cuba. Yet Israel is accused of international criminality for doing precisely what John Kennedy did: impose a naval blockade to prevent a hostile state from acquiring lethal weaponry.
What Krauthammer gets wrong here, of course, is that Jews defending themselves is inherently illegal. And racist.
Or at the very least, unacceptably outrageous.
Dear Mr. President,
I’m sure these Jimmy Carter comparisons — now coming even from David Broder! — must be getting a little tiresome. Carter left office thirty years ago, and the world was a much different place, right?
On the other hand, George W. Bush left office barely over a year ago, so for you the bar is set pretty effing low.
Man up, already. Sheesh.
Today’s Trifecta: we finally know what really happened in the Eastern Med off the Gaza Strip — but what does it really mean, and what happens next? I play host, and Scott Ott and Bill Whittle provide some intriguing answers.
PS This is my first blog post written entirely ons an iPad. Went smoothly for a first try on a new device.
Excellent Michael Barone column today, about why you can’t run an entire nation The Chicago Way. But the bit I took away was this:
One measure of that is the $25.6 million that the 2008 Obama campaign raised from metro Chicago. An even more meaningful measure is the $5 million that Hillary Clinton’s campaign raised there — a virtual shutout in a city where the Clintons once raised huge sums. The word obviously went out: You back Barack and you don’t back Hillary.
Now the Clintons are part of the Chicago Way team. As witnessed by Bill Clinton’s willingness to dangle some sort of job to Joe Sestak to get him out of the Pennsylvania Senate race.
That’s right — the Obama Machine is so bad it managed to corrupt Bill Clinton.
It isn’t that I’m on vacation. It’s that the very expensive T1 line PJM runs into my house is down for the count. Covad’s people are working on it, but we don’t yet have an ETA on the repair.
And as much as I love my iPhone, it’s not the best blogging platform — as I think I just proved.