Archive for May 28th, 2009

May 28, 2009

In which I agree with Conor Friedersdorf

Mark this date on your calendar:

Obviously whatever Republicans did in the last election was a failing strategy. It failed.

Right. They nominated a short, old, bald grumpy guy. Failing strategy. Voting for the bailout? Failing strategy.

Next time: No bailouts and no bald guys. But is the GOP going to pay me as a campaign strategist to tell them this? No. And it’s too short to sell as a book proposal. So there is no money in being right. The GOP “experts” spent $791 million to lose, when I could outline the “roadmap to victory” on a cocktail napkin.

Politics is a corrupt racket, I tell you. An honest guy like me hasn’t a chance.

May 28, 2009

Justice removes the blindfold

Good-bye impartiality, says Francis Cianfrocca:

Reading Sotomayor’s 2002 “wise Latina” speech gives us real insight into this nominee. In this speech, she clearly states that judgements derive not from an objective consideration of the law and the facts of a case, but rather are inescapably colored by the experiences, culture and gender of the judge. This isn’t even negotiable. It’s presented matter-of-factly as an axiom.

I have a distinct feeling that in today’s academic legal community, this is not even a contentious viewpoint. It’s just us non-legal experts (and presumably retrogrades like Scalia) who still think that it’s possible to start from the law and the facts of a case, and arrive at a judgment based on established principles in both. . . .

You can read the whole thing. Being that I’m trying not to take this seriously — for fear I might again succumb to another outbreak of Obama-Induced Tourette’s Syndrome — my question continues to be, what’s her problem with the North Bronx? Is there some kind of North Bronx civic association that could point out that she’s playing borough identity politics?

May 28, 2009

Hey, Ed: You’re wrong

You shouldn’t agree with Doug Kmeic, ever, about anything, because he is a lying liberal scumbag.

There is no such thing as “equality.” Never has been, never will be. U.S. laws on marriage are part of an Anglo-American legal tradition that far pre-dates the Constitution. To complain that these ancient laws impose an unjust “inequality” is to urge the abandonment of that tradition — which is exactly what you could expect from a lying liberal scumbag like Kmeic .

Please read “Feminism, ‘Equality’ and Gay Rights.”

UPDATE: Pundette is right. Generally speaking, what liberals propose, conservatives oppose. Let’s try to keep that in mind, people. We’re never going to get any gold stars for “plays well with others,” and we shouldn’t pretend to try.

UPDATE II: Gabiel Malor at AOSHQ:

Kmiec . . . is echoing a growing refrain from the more libertarian-minded: get government out of the marriage business. . . .
Look, you can’t have it both ways. Either marriage is important enough for soceity–most clearly represented by its laws–to encourage. Or it’s not. Taking away government recognition of marriage as it has been understood to operate for some time now can only ever be recognized as a retreat, a diminution in the status of marriage in the United States.

Well, first off, what Kmiec advocates is not a libertarian (or “libertarian-minded”) approach. Rather, the entirety of the gay rights agenda is egalitarian, demanding that two very different behaviors be treated as if they were the same.

The gay Left has seized upon an analogy to the civil rights agenda (particularly Loving v. Virginia) and have convinced many that homosexuals — as a class, or as a sort of behaviorally defined pseudo-ethnicity — are victims of prejudicial discrimination, as indeed they are, if you adopt the worldview of philosophical egalitarianism.

How many times have I urged readers to take a look at Friedrich Hayek’s book, The Mirage of Social Justice? The real problem with egalitarianism is not the means (which are often horrid enough) but rather the end, i.e., the impossible objective of “equality.” It can never be obtained, but even if it were possible, is it really desirable?

There are many egalitarians who like to think of themselves as “deep,” philosophical and sophisticated, and yet they have obviously never thought very deep about what “equality” would mean. Hayek did that, and did it in such a way that if you read what he wrote — and if you’re really a very thoughtful, pragmatic person — you immediately become very skeptical when people rail against inequality, or propose some “reform” they say will remedy social injustice.

All egalitarian policies ever do is to (a) replace one set of problems with another, and (b) empower those who enforce the coercive regime necessary to the egalitarian project.

If, in the matter of (a) you suppose that the existing ills you would eradicate is greater than the new ills you would create, then you may still favor the egalitarian project. Yet it is the problem of (b) that looms large here, since the swelling of the regulatory bureaucracy, and the inherent moral problem of coercion, are evils entirely distinct from whatever new evils you have created by the egalitarian reform.

Most people never think that deep. Their argument for any policy — whether gay marriage or the regulation of greenhouse gases or bailing out General Motors — is always simplistic: Look, here’s something bad, let’s fix it.

Yet public policy doesn’t work that way. There are always unintended consequences, many of which are unforeseen. Even long after the enactment of new reforms, it is often a matter of fierce debate what are the effects of these policies — to this day, for example, we’re still debating the legacy of the New Deal.

And I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m getting sick and tired of being treated as if I were an ignoramus by people like Doug Kmiec who imagine themselves fit to lecture me, but who obviously haven’t thought about the gay-rights agenda (or any other “progressive” agenda) in any critical way.

May 28, 2009

Ambition, Not Ideology

Because I am fundamentally unserious:

My opinions of U.S. foreign policy, especially in the most recent Iraq war, are nuanced. It is my staunch belief that no nation ever benefitted from military defeat and that the unquestioned invincibility of American arms ought to be the greatest security of our peace. Yet it is also my belief that Falkland’s great conservative dictum — “When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change” — might also be applied to Arab despotisms. If we wish to overthrow vicious dictatorships, why not begin 90 miles from Key West? Cuba is an island, our Navy is up to the task, the Marines are ready, and such of the occupation troops as were not content drinking rum and Coca-Cola with the local jiniteras could take their weekend R&R passes in Miami.
Free the Cohibas! (What are you, some kind of un-American?)
The reader apprehends at once that it has never been my aspiration to be a “senior policy adviser” to any candidate, nor do I aspire to a Cabinet post or a think-tank fellowship. Je suis un journaliste, if I may be permitted what Dreher calls “faggy French.” Others, alas, are not content merely to write for a living, but fancy themselves called to much higher avocations. It is this factor of ambition, not ideology, which accounts for the attacks of Dreher and Frum against Levin, and also against Rush Limbaugh. . . .

Read the whole thing, and keep one ear open for the sound of laughter.

May 28, 2009

‘What Erick is saying is very simple . . .’

“. . . Grassroots conservatives have been sold out for the last time.”

May 28, 2009

‘Tamen hic vivit . . ‘

Quousque tandem abutere, Catalina, nostra patientia? Quamdiu etiam iste furor eludet nos? ad quem finem effrenata audacia jactabit sese? . . . Non sentis tua consilia patere? . . . O tempora! O mores!”

May 28, 2009

HOLY FREAKING CRAP!

Big Brother is here:

I don’t speak Obama and am having trouble getting a handle on this. “Office of Social Innovation” has an ominous ring.

Read the whole thing, people. She is not making this up. This is not a drill. It’s now law of the land:

The Social Innovation Fund was authorized in the recent Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. The Fund will focus on priority policy areas, including education, health care, and economic opportunity. . . .
The White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation will coordinate efforts to enlist all Americans –individuals, non-profits, social entrepreneurs, corporations and foundations – as partners in solving our great challenges.

Remember after the 2004 election, when all the idiot lefties were talking about moving to France or Canada? Well, now they’re turning us into France and Canada.

And you thought I was joking about this:

UPDATE: Honest, folks, I spent two decades in the newspaper business, a notoriously profane occupation, but I’m simply running out of obscenities to shout at my computer lately:

“While we do not want to rule any credible idea in or out as we discuss the way forward with Congress, the VAT tax, in particular, is popular with academics but highly controversial with policymakers,” said Kenneth Baer, a spokesman for White House Budget Director Peter Orszag.
Still, Orszag has hired a prominent VAT advocate to advise him on health care: Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and author of the 2008 book “Health Care, Guaranteed.”

This is a time for Effing Conservatives.

UPDATE II: Velociman says he saw this coming. But how does this fit with tax cuts for 95% and all that?

May 28, 2009

‘Were I China . . .’

“. . . sitting on some trillion dollars plus of Treasury bonds, I’d be nervous too. In fact, I’d be shortening duration like a madman, laying off anything but the shortest end of the T-bill curve and hedging like crazy, all the while doing my damnedest not to get caught so as to not ignite a stampede and risk getting trampled.
“Oh wait: They are.”

(Hat tip: WRSA.) UPDATE 11:58 p.m.: With some help from Instapundit, we are reminded that things only ever go one direction in the Magical Land of Hope from bad to worse: The bond market goes sideways, pushing up interest rates, and the DJIA loses 173 points.

IT WON’T WORK!

UPDATE II: Linked at Protein Wisdom.

UPDATE III:Bond vigilantes“? Hmmm. Sound like extremists.

May 28, 2009

Goode Vibrations

by Smitty

Concur with Tigerhawk: the Goode Family was quite good. I’m going to be stingy and give it a B+, just so the don’t get complacent.

  • Dad works at the school, so there is much room for swipes at academia.
  • Mom is a stereotypical granola-head, staring entranced at a billboard in the supermarket with products shifting from the “good” to the “bad” column, and back.
  • The daughter, Bliss, seems the straight character.
  • The adopted son, hilariously named Ubuntu, is old enough to drive but seems to have some developmental challenges. Tofu overload?

The family is all vegan, including the poor dog, but the dog is really the canine equivalent of the Junk Food Junkie,

wiping out all the local fauna.
The show made some fun of the religious right, mocking father/daughter purity balls as just a little creeped out.
Given the left’s general non-capacity for laughing at itself, this series has excellent potential. The thought of a crazed, Andrew Sullivan-esque blogger character fulminating at the mouth over something inane could provide some quality belly-laughs, indeed.

May 28, 2009

URGENT: Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee endorse Marco Rubio in Florida

Carolyn Tackett has the complete scoop, via The Hill and CNN.

Check Memeorandum and Not One Red Cent.

Updates to come . . .

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: Crap! Donald Douglas, TrogloPundit and Townhall beat me to this, while I was busy working the phones on another story.

Getting beat on my own beat? It’s really kind of embarrassing. Good scoop, guys. Congratulations.