The media would like the American Right to be represented by the likes of Bob Dole and John McCain, decent old sticks who know how to give dignified concession speeches. Last time round, we went along with their recommendation. If you want to get rave reviews for losing gracefully, that's the way to go.
And here's Dan Riehl's response:
What the Left, along with the media, want and need are the apologists, the hand wringers and the back peddlers extraordinaire, those Republicans who would just as soon bash or purge one of their own for fear of some bad press. Of course, the bad press always comes anyway. It's not a winner's game they play. It's a losing gambit every time. Still they persist. Republicans need to learn this lesson quickly if they want to capitalize fully on the electoral possibilities presented by 2010.
People who look and sound like losers, or like they are running away, never win. That's true for any game, including politics. I'm not advocating going over the top, or being outrageous just to outrage. This is about standing up for and saying what you believe in and not wasting your time defending against partisan attacks by denying what you are not.
I'm supporting Diggs Brown (just in case that's news to you).
Is that any different than promoting see-through trash bags?
Worried residents thought their rubbish was being stolen when council 'spies' dressed in hoodies started rifling through their bins.
Concerned neighbours saw mysterious men emptying their bins into black sacks and loading them into an unmarked white van.
When homeowners questioned the official binmen an hour later they learned their council was conducting a survey of what was being thrown away.
(via Planet Gore)
UPDATE: Here it is with the full header:
Here's the story as it appeared about five minutes after I took this shot.
I never thought I'd be looking into starting a black-market toilet paper cartel, but you never know...
Concerned that the growing popularity of big-screen televisions could make it harder for California to keep pace with electricity demand, state energy regulators are poised to crack down on energy-guzzling sets despite opposition from a powerful electronics trade group.
... you don't always [usually/sometimes/ever] get the strongest, most viable companies.
Stephen Spruiell at NRO looks at the IPO of hybrid-car battery-maker A123 by comparing it to a similar recent IPO, VeraSun. (VeraSun was in the ethanol business)
Both were highly-touted green energy companies. I use the term "were" because VeraSun went bankrupt last fall:
Why did VeraSun fail? In short, the market changed in ways that Washington policies were not designed to take into account. The industry, built around legislative mandates rather than real economic demand, was not flexible enough to adjust, and collapsed.
The takeaway: Government-created markets for money-losing, uncompetitive green-energy companies are inherently unstable.
What makes politicians think they can do a better job picking the winners and losers in the economy? Why do people assume that politicians have any skill at picking which companies should succeed and fail?
Coolio is the Arlo Guthrie for the new generation of anti-capitalist protesters?
That's right. If you view the video that goes with this story, the protesters are clearly chanting along with Coolio's mid-90's hit: "1, 2, 3, 4 (sumpin' new)".
(about 32 seconds in...)
"Ain't no power like the power of the people 'cause the power of the people don't stop" sounds eerily like "ain't no party like a West Coast party 'cause a West Coast party don't stop".
(about 2:30 in...)
Is this what you want?
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently announced plans to cover 1,000 square miles of land in Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah with solar collectors to generate electricity. He's also talking about generating 20% of our electricity from wind. This would require building about 186,000 50-story wind turbines that would cover an area the size of West Virginia—not to mention 19,000 new miles of high-voltage transmission lines.
Is the federal government showing any concern about this massive intrusion into the natural landscape? Not at all. I fear we are going to destroy the environment in the name of saving the environment.
Calling soda the new tobacco, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will introduce legislation this fall that would charge a fee to retailers that sell sugary beverages.
When Carter returned to Plains, Georgia, to become a peanut
farmer after serving in the Navy, he became a member of the Sumter
County School Board, which did not implement the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education
decision handed down by the Supreme Court. Instead, the board continued
to segregate school children on the streets of Carter’s hometown.
As Laughlin McDonald, director of the ACLU’s Voting Project, relates in his book A Voting Rights Odyssey: Black Enfranchisement in Georgia, Carter’s board tried to stop the construction of a new “Elementary Negro School” in 1956. Local white citizens had complained that the school would be “too close” to a white school. As a result, “the children, both colored and white, would have to travel the same streets and roads in order to reach their respective schools.” The prospect of black and white children commingling on the streets on their way to school was apparently so horrible to Carter that he requested that the state school board stop construction of the black school until a new site could be found. The state board turned down Carter’s request because of “the staggering cost.” Carter and the rest of the Sumter County School Board then reassured parents at a meeting on October 5, 1956, that the board “would do everything in its power to minimize simultaneous traffic between white and colored students in route to and from school.”
(via Instapundit, who notes that now Carter is simply an anti-Semite.)
It is with good reason that the American people are focused on the economy and domestic issues — we continue to lose jobs, amass record-breaking deficits, and the president is promoting a plan to add a trillion dollar health burden. But foreign-policy actions by the Obama administration deserve immediate attention.
President Obama has made a dangerous and alarming decision to shelve our missile-defense system in Europe. Facing the growing threat from Iran’s nuclear ambition, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency has worked long and hard to secure a site for the system to thwart a potential strike against our European allies. Developing the missile shield could also have important implications for U.S. security...
You've seen them. They're the giant, self-congratulatory, taxpayer-funded signs to tell taxpayers that their tax money is being spent on "stimulus" projects.
Colorado Senators Bennet and Udall voted against an amendment to "prohibit the use of stimulus funds for self-congratulatory signage that allows lawmakers to promote their spending of taxpayer dollars on stimulus projects."
This quote by Senator Judd Gregg, (R-NH), the sponsor of the amendment, is priceless:
"I just find it absurd that we're putting up all these signs all over the country with taxpayer money telling taxpayers we're spending their money," he told FOX News. "Most taxpayers can figure that out. We don't have to put up a sign and tell them we're spending their money.
Apparently Senator Bennet disagrees.
One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.
So there you have it. If only America could drop its inefficient and antiquated system, designed in the age before globalization and modernity and, most damning of all, before the lantern of Thomas Friedman's intellect illuminated the land. If only enlightened experts could do the hard and necessary things that the new age requires, if only we could rely on these planners to set the ship of state right. Now, of course, there are "drawbacks" to such a system: crushing of dissidents with tanks, state control of reproduction, government control of the press and the internet. Omelets and broken eggs, as they say. More to the point, Friedman insists, these "drawbacks" pale in comparison to the system we have today here in America.
I cannot begin to tell you how this is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s. It is exactly the argument that was made in defense of Stalin and Lenin before him (it's the argument that idiotic, dictator-envying leftists make in defense of Castro and Chavez today). It was the argument made by George Bernard Shaw who yearned for a strong progressive autocracy under a Mussolini, a Hitler or a Stalin (he wasn't picky in this regard). This is the argument for an "economic dictatorship" pushed by Stuart Chase and the New Dealers. It's the dream of Herbert Croly and a great many of the Progressives.
I like Powerline's analysis.
Friedman's column is indeed monstrous. We on the right sometimes harbor dark suspicions that liberals, if they had the opportunity, would be glad to dispense with the messy process of democracy. And with us. Friedman goes a long way toward confirming those suspicions.
In addition to being monstrous, the column is dumb...
(Read the whole thing.)
As a post-script, check out this quote from DNC chairman Howard Dean:
"I don't think the American people care about the process. They care about the result."
(For the record, I think Constitutionally-mandated, republican legislative process is important.)
And now, as Congress returns to resume wrestling with health care reform, we shall see if he continues his August project of proving that the idea of an Ivy League Huey Long is not oxymoronic.
Barack Obama in August became a Huey for today, a rabble rouser with a better tailor, an unrumpled and modulated tribune of downtrodden Americans, telling them that opponents of his reform plan—which actually does not yet exist—are fearmongers employing scare tactics. He also told Americans to be afraid, very afraid of health-insurance providers because they are dishonest (and will remain so until there is a "public option" to make them "honest"). And to be afraid, very afraid of pediatricians who unnecessarily extract children's tonsils for monetary rather than medical reasons. And to be afraid, very afraid of doctors generally because so many of them are so rapacious that they prefer lopping off limbs of diabetes patients rather than engaging in lifestyle counseling that for "a pittance" could prevent diabetes.
Hundreds of FBI agents are on the ground in Colorado, conducting round-the-clock surveillance on five suspects - including a man who recently visited Queens, sources told The News.
Here's the theory, briefly: Sales of men's underwear typically are stable because they rank as a necessity. But during times of severe financial strain, men will try to stretch the time between buying new pairs, causing underwear sales to dip.
"It's a prolonged purchase," said Marshal Cohen, senior analyst with the consumer research firm NPD Group. "It's like trying to drive your car an extra 10,000 miles."
I think men tend to look for subtle ways to cut their own budgets before they ask for their families to sacrifice. Maybe it's a psychological desire to avoid the appearance of weakness.
(I just bought a year's worth of crappy disposable razors, which cost about 1/5th as much as the blades for my Gillette Mach 3... in case you were wondering why I'm walking around Fort Collins with a couple day's worth of growth).
Well, for starters, it's remarkably tone-deaf and elitist to be pushing for people to spend more on food when they're trying to feed their families on ever-tightening budgets.
Just in time for the worst economic downturn since the Depression, here
comes a new crop of social critics to inform us that we're actually
spending too little for the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the
furniture we sit on and the gasoline that runs our automobiles.
Never mind that U.S. job losses these days range from 200,000 to 500,000 a month, that foreclosures are up 32% over this time last year and that people are re-learning how to clip newspaper coupons so as to save at the supermarket. Dire economic circumstances don't seem to faze these spending enthusiasts, who scold us for shopping at supermarkets instead of at farmer's markets, where a loaf of "artisanal" (and also "sustainable") rye bread sells for $8, ice cream for $6 a cup and organic tomatoes go for $4 a pound.
For those of us who buy a LOT of milk:
The most zealous of the spend-more crowd, however, are the food intellectuals who salivated, as it were, at a steep rise in the cost of groceries earlier this year, including such basics as milk and eggs. Some people might worry about the effect on recession-hit families of a 17% increase in the price of milk, but not Alice Waters, the food-activist owner of Berkeley's Chez Panisse restaurant, who shudders at the thought of sampling so much as a strawberry that hasn't been nourished by organic compost and picked that morning at a nearby farm -- and thinks everyone else in America should shudder too.
(The national media just refuses to report on it. Instead, they're playing along with the Democrat talking points.)
Actually, there are multiple health care reform bills that have been introduced by Republicans:
Rep. Tom Price, the Georgia Republican who heads the House GOP Study Committee, came to President Obama's speech Wednesday night itching to make a point. Price, who also happens to be an orthopedic surgeon, has often heard the president accuse Republicans of criticizing Democratic health care proposals while having no plans of their own. He expected Obama to do the same Wednesday night.
"We knew the president would at some point say something like, 'and the other side has no ideas,' " Price says. So Price and his Republican colleagues brought with them copies of the more than 30 health care reform bills they have proposed in the House this year.
This is damning of the complicity of the national media:
A search of the LexisNexis database of newspapers, magazines, television programs and major blogs finds about 3,000 mentions of the major House Democratic bill, H.R. 3200, in the past six months. (Those are just the stories that refer to the bill by its House number; there have been thousands more stories referring generally to the Democratic legislation.) A similar search found 60 mentions of H.R. 3400, the Price bill.
Another Republican bill, H.R. 2520, the Patients' Choice Act, by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, received 12 mentions in the same time period. And two other bills, H.R. 3217 and H.R. 3218, the Health Care Choice Act and the Improving Health Care for All Americans Act, by Rep. John Shadegg, together received 20 mentions.
The virtual embargo on reporting Republican legislation has allowed Democrats and their allies in the media to keep up the "Republicans have no plan" attack. Just hours after the president's speech, for example, the Democratic National Committee released a new commercial claiming that Republicans "refuse to offer a plan" to reform the health care system.
Just for the record, in case you want to check them out, these are the bills proposed, so far, by Price and his allies in the House: H.R. 77; H.R. 109; H.R. 198; H.R. 270; H.R. 321; H.R. 464; H.R. 502; H.R. 544; H.R. 917; H.R. 1086; H.R. 1118; H.R. 1441; H.R. 1458; H.R. 1468; H.R. 1658; H.R. 1891; H.R. 2520; H.R. 2607; H.R. 2692; H.R. 2784; H.R. 2785; H.R. 2786; H.R. 2787; H.R. 3141; H.R. 3217; H.R. 3218; H.R. 3356; H.R. 3372; H.R. 3400; H.R. 3438; H.R. 3454; and H.R. 3478.
Watch this analysis from Cato regarding the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court case.
The U.S. Chamber has proposed "trial" on the issue of global warming:
The nation's largest business lobby wants to put the science of global warming on trial.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, trying to ward off potentially sweeping federal emissions regulations, is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a rare public hearing on the scientific evidence for man-made climate change.
Chamber officials say it would be "the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century" -- complete with witnesses, cross-examinations and a judge who would rule, essentially, on whether humans are warming the planet to dangerous effect.
September 11, 2009.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was on the verge of being late for a conference call at the bank where I worked. As I hurried out of my condominium, I crossed paths with one of my neighbors. He mentioned that a plane had hit the World Trade Tower, but he failed to say anything about it being a passenger plane. Not having much time to talk, I responded briefly that a plane once hit the Empire State Building in the '40s, so this current incident, while tragic, probably was something along the size of a small Cessna.
I arrived at the bank in time to catch the beginning of the conference call. Within seconds of taking my seat, a distraught teller entered the room and told of the second plane striking the towers...
That evening I stared at the Hollywood-like footage of the attack and eventual collapse of the towers. Like most of the public, I had a difficult time digesting the events of the day. There was utter chaos, which I believe President Bush handled as a true leader would. The uncertainty of my future now held a certainty - I would be going to war. At some point my National Guard unit would be activated, and we would do our duty. With this in mind, I began the assiduous task of getting my life in order.
(From "Your Neighbor Went to War," by Diggs Brown.)
GE has been showing how it's done:
"The intersection between GE's interests and government action is clearer than ever," General Electric Vice Chairman John G. Rice wrote in an Aug. 19 e-mail to colleagues.
Rice was calling on his co-workers to join the General Electric Political Action Committee. "GEPAC is an important tool that enables GE employees to collectively help support candidates who share the values and goals of GE."
The full letter suggests that "share the values and goals of GE" really means "support policies that profit the company."
Steve Milloy, a pro-free market investor at the Free Enterprise Action Fund, obtained this e-mail and says it reveals General Electric for what it really is. "GE is lobbying to become the biggest rent seeker this country has ever seen," Milloy told this column. Rent seeking is using government legislation or regulation to generate private profits the free market wouldn't provide.
Read the whole thing. Is this how you want your economy run, with your taxes going to the government, which then doles it out to companies who do the best job of pressuring politicians?
(Also of note is the fact that GE owns a huge chunk of the media in NBC/MSNBC/CNBC. Kind of makes you look at those green logos for NBC's NFL coverage differently, doesn't it? How about "Green Week" to "raise awareness"? Then the parent company turns around and asks for taxpayer-funded subsidies to address the very crisis they're "raising awareness of".)
So today's by-invitation-only “Regional Energy Forum” held by Obama
cabinet folks and Democratic politicians from Colorado, and the
subsequent protest of the “forum” is even more ironic because it took
place at a high school – the contemporary birthplace of all cliques,
clubs, arrogant and ineffective class presidents, and viral social
Sometimes things just come together. And it was truly an all-American scene at Fossil Ridge High School today.
This would be interesting.
State legislatures love to add mandates to insurance: "If you want to sell your health insurance in Colorado, you must provide..."
And then you can fill in the blank with whatever politically-popular procedure that politicians can show off to their constituents: "I made sure that every child/woman/senior in Colorado has access to acupuncture/maternity/physical therapy."
The problem is not with those procedures. But why would we mandate that a 24-year old man buy maternity coverage? What happened to consumer choice? Mandates might win some votes, but they add to the cost of insurance, making no-frills, low-cost insurance unavailable to people who would like to be able to pick and choose the type of insurance they purchase. (For all of the people who say that our "market-based" system has failed us, it's not really "market-based" if your state representative is telling you what you can and can buy.)
The solution? Make it legal to purchase insurance across state lines.
Affordability would improve if consumers could escape states where each policy is loaded with mandates. "If consumers do not want expensive 'Cadillac' health plans that pay for acupuncture, fertility treatments or hairpieces, they could buy from insurers in a state that does not mandate such benefits," Mr. Herrick has written.
(They've got me down.)
I talked the other day with a rather successful businessman who had just seen his "no annual fee forever" card add an annual fee. (His comment: "I guess 'forever' means 'until 2009'")
What's going on here? Congress.
If your credit is good, or your credit card balance is low, you may soon pay more on every credit card bill. Why? Congress passed a misguided new credit card law, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009. As a result of it, you may end up paying an annual fee. And you may end up losing your percentage rebates, your cash back, or your rewards program.
The new law arbitrarily limits credit card companies’ ability to increase rates on credit card balances, even when a cardholder’s balance has been rapidly increasing -- meaning that a sensible bank might raise the interest rate, because a rising balance drives up the risk that the credit card company won’t get paid what it’s owed. (Increasing numbers of credit cardholders have run up big balances in recent years, then failed to pay them off).