What the Heck Was I Thinking!?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

An Apt Metaphor for the Economic “Recovery”

Caroline Baum posts at Bloomberg.com about the economic recovery.

Her article, “Economy Lost Momentum While I Was Pulling Weeds,” points out that the ‘recovery’ wasn’t much to cheer about in the first place. Her description is an apt metaphor:

What we had was a government-prescribed course of amphetamines (to keep it up), antibiotics (to prevent infection) and antidepressants (to make it feel better). It endured regular steroid injections from both monetary and fiscal authorities. And it still has no real muscle.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Not Impressed With the Judge’s Performance

Ed Whelan writes at NRO Weekend about Judge Walker, the judge who’s been making strange decisions on the California Proposition 8 case.

Ed’s not impressed:

Walker’s course of conduct would be sufficient cause for national scandal in any case.  That it comes in a case that aims to radically remake the central social institution of American society makes it utterly intolerable.

The whole post is a must read on the conduct of this activitist in black robes.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Does Obama Know About the Overton Window

Over at Chicago Boyz blog, Bruno Behrend is reposting an entry he’d made from a couple of years ago about the Overton Window.

Bruno’s terse explanation of this phenomenon is:

“The Limits Define the Center”

This got me to thinking about how Barack Obama frames an argument. He paints his own position as where we want to be, then puts a stake at the far right side of the argument and claims that’s where his opponents stand. He seeks to shift the limits by defining one of the boundaries. Then he seeks to describe his position as the center of the discussion.

I’ll bet he or one of his staff is familiar with the concept.

Goodness knows he’s got some extremely radical “friends” to attempt to make himself look more “centrist.”

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bad Signs for Future Disasters

Jay Tea posts at Wizbang Blog on the federal response to the leaking oil well:

I've always been enamored of Professor Glenn Reynolds' oft-repeated aphorism: "I'll believe there's a crisis when the people who say there's a crisis act like there's a crisis." It's a great BS detector, but it has some corollaries that I'm finding truly terrifying.

What does it mean when those people say there's a crisis, I agree that there's a crisis, but they refuse to act like there's a crisis?

I see this sort of non-response response as a way of looking busy but not really engaging on the task. Is there oil on my beach? No? Well then it’s a problem, but not a REAL problem, yet. Look like we’re doing something useful, but don’t forget to use the “crisis” for political purposes first.

What should worry Jay Tea and worries me is what this portends for the federal response to the next hurricane or fire, or … you name the disaster where people will foolishly turn to the federal government for assistance. We’ll all find out just how really competent these leaders are.

I’m not optimistic about that.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Steyn Skewers Stupids

Mark Steyn posts at Macleans of Canada about the cost of the welfare state. Or, as I would call it, the price of being stuck on stupid.

His comments in We’re too broke to be this stupid” are worth reading and quoting:

How did the Western world reach this point? Well, as my correspondent put it, we assumed that we were rich enough that we could afford to be stupid. In any advanced society, there will be a certain number of dysfunctional citizens either unable or unwilling to do what is necessary to support themselves and their dependents. What to do about such people? Ignore the problem? Attempt to fix it? The former nags at the liberal guilt complex, while the latter is way too much like hard work: the modern progressive has no urge to emulate those Victorian social reformers who tramped the streets of English provincial cities looking for fallen women to rescue. All he wants to do is ensure that the fallen women don’t fall anywhere near him.

The fact that we’ve been well enough off to afford to use sloppy thinking in how life should be organized is no longer true. Too many of us have either been the victim of our own or others’ stupidity – including the stupidity of our politicians.

Some more of Mr. Steyn’s choice words:

So the easiest “solution” to the problem is to throw public money at it. You know how it is when you’re at the mall and someone rattles a collection box under your nose and you’re not sure where it’s going but it’s probably for Darfur or Rwanda or Hoogivsastan. Whatever. You’re dropping a buck or two in the tin for the privilege of not having to think about it. For the more ideologically committed, there’s always the awareness-raising rock concert: it’s something to do with Bono and debt forgiveness, whatever that means, but let’s face it, going to the park for eight hours of celebrity caterwauling beats having to wrap your head around Afro-Marxist economics. The modern welfare state operates on the same principle: since the Second World War, the hard-working middle classes have transferred historically unprecedented amounts of money to the unproductive sector in order not to have to think about it. But so what? We were rich enough that we could afford to be stupid.

Actually one could say that we were stupid enough that we steal from ourselves, or elect people who’d tell us it was a good idea to let them steal from us.

One of the core reasons that people get so pitchfork-totin’ mad about politicians and their criminal ways is that it shows us up for the stupids we’ve been in electing and reelecting them to continue the fleecing. It’s like the sheep voting for the wolf that has the best haircut or the smoothest talk, while we let him kill our young.

We should be mad, but we should remember who was the stupid who voted these buffoons into office.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Words of Foreboding

Doctor Zero posts at Hot Air about the SEIU mob that descended on a bank officer’s home recently. His words are ominous:

They are the feral vanguard of a collapsing system, using violence and intimidation to make it clear those not favorably connected to the political power structure will be sacrificed to preserve it, for as long as possible.

These kinds of actions are both predictable and should fill us all with foreboding. Political and economic life will become much less civil and much more “feral.”

This kind of union gang action bears watching, lest we slide into the abyss into which Argentina and Venezuela have collapsed.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Shades of Argentina

Is this what kind of society we want?

From the Huffington Post’s Arthur Delaney:

Dozens of noisy purple-shirted SEIU protesters stormed a Bank of America branch near the U.S. Capitol on Monday, forcing the bank to close down as confused customers looked on and tellers retreated to an interior room.

Other groups from SEIU and National People's Action were set to stage protests at BofA's and JPMorgan Chase's lobby shops downtown as part of a daylong anti-K Street extravaganza.

This is the second time that SEIU union bosses have used union dues to pay for bully tactics against businesses they don’t like.

Sounds like either the Perons’ or Kirchners’ tactics in Argentina.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Perhaps Because You’re Mostly Conservative and Southern?

Just an idea, but that’s my answer to:
Why Did It Take So Long for National Media to Notice We were Flooded?
Posted by Betsy Phillips on Thu, May 6, 2010 at 6:21 AM

In a world of 24-hour news, when said national news channels will devote hours of programming to interviewing people who sleep with famous people, and when they'll interrupt that programming to bring you speculation on the identity of a guy in grainy surveillance footage, it was mind-boggling to flip by CNN, MSNBC, and FOX on Sunday afternoon and see not one station even occasionally bringing their viewers footage of the flood, news of our people dying.

You didn’t have either “ecological” or “terrorism” in your story.

For Gawd’s sake, you had the Grand Ole Opry in the news! How many northern liberals know that’s anything more than some hick stage somewhere in the South where they pick their teeth, pluck their banjos, and talk funny.

I’ll bet more than half of them don’t even know that Nashville is a “big” city. And most of them couldn’t place Tennessee on a map if you spotted them Kentucky and all the states on the eastern seaboard.

“Those hill billies just aren’t smart enough to know to live far enough away from the river. Did you hear the accent on that one woman they interviewed? Good Lord, tell me we’re not related.”

More:

And what about Ashland City? Or Pegram? Or the three homes in a clump along a creek out west of here that don't have a name? What if they don't have time to "construct a narrative" or a vast army of people to push it out to the national media?

Homes in a clump? Along a creek? Come on! They don’t care about your narrative because they don’t want to have any connection to people in the South.

h/t Instapundit – another of those rednecked southerners no doubt

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Well, That’s a Change

As part of the change process underway in the Obama administration,

A damning health care report generated by actuaries at the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department was given to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the health care vote. She hid the report from the public until a month after democrats rammed their nationalized health care bill through Congress.

Well, maybe there wasn’t anything of real importance in the report anyway. How bad could it have been?

The results from the report were troubling. The report released by Medicare and Medicaid actuaries shows that medical costs will skyrocket rising $389 billion 10 years. 14 million will lose their employer-based coverage. Millions of Americans will be left without insurance. And, millions more may be dumped into the already overwhelmed Medicaid system. 4 million American families will be hit with tax penalties under this new law.

Uh oh. That’s not so good. I wonder if it would have caused any votes to change if it had been released BEFORE the vote?

(forgot to add the link to Gateway Pundit for this)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What Do You Mean, “We?”

Jim Hoft, at Gateway Pundit posts a video clip of Obama speaking at his nuclear conference in Washington this week.

A quote from the video:

At his nuclear conference yesterday Barack Obama told Americans,

Whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower.”

Who does he mean by “we?”

If he’s going to try to lead the dominant military superpower, could we get him to be a little bit better with his choice of words and sentiments?

What would he like more, that we become some second rate power that no one asks for help from because we can’t keep our own mess together?

Not me.