30 October 2010

Defining sanity

So the “Rally to Restore Sanity” is on today. Since it’s a response and mocking of the “Rally to Restore Honor”, which highlighted honor and patriotism, may one not very reasonably infer that sponsors and participants in today’s rally think those two things are “insane”? There’s a good election slogan — “Vote Democratic, because we think you’d have to be crazy to be honorable or patriotic”.

22 October 2010

Rowing both directions

People keep claiming that President Obama is smart, but the evidence all points the other way. Today’s bit is Obama’s claim that voters are setting up to vote for GOP candidates because they are scared and therefore not thinking straight while at the same time Obama’s speeches are mostly about fear and frightening people, which should cause them (according to Obama) to … vote for the GOP! Well played, sir, well played.

15 October 2010

Summing it up

A top Ilinois State Board of Elections official tells the DRUDGE REPORT how Mrs. Obama may have simply been ignorant of the law and thus violated it unintentionally.

“You kind of have to drop the standard for the first lady, right?” the official explained late Thursday. “I mean, she’s pretty well liked and probably doesn’t know what she’s doing.”

Drudge Report via Hot Air

“You kind of have to drop the standard” — an excellent summation of the entire Obama Administration. Once we expected our leaders to have higher standards. Now we are expected to think of them as not even measuring up to the average citizen. Hope and change, my friends, hope and change.

14 October 2010

Who's on the fringe now?

Likely voters in battleground districts see extremists as having a more dominant influence over the Democratic Party than the GOP. […] 44 percent of likely voters say the Democratic Party is more dominated by its extreme elements; whereas 37 percent say it’s the Republican Party that is more dominated by extremists.

The Hill via Jammie Wearing Fool

Let us note that “GOP and “Tea Parties” are not synonymous, although for this election effectively all Tea Party candidates are also GOP candidates. The voters tend to agree that it’s hard to take charges of “nutter!” against GOP candidates seriously while Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House.

11 October 2010

A failure of the government

There’s suddenly a lot of buzz about issuance irregularities in mortgages although the problem has been known about for a while and apparently I am an expert with potshots coming in from odd places.

What can I say? If only there had been regulations against this kind of thing, to prevent a recurrence of an old problem, instead of an unfettered market. Wait a minute, there were regulations. All of these problems were in fact already illegal and were so the entire time. A classic example of how regulations were imposed in response to a problem and presumed to prevent recurrence just be existing. I expect a deluge of suggestions that such problems be avoided by creating even more regulation without, once again, any concerns about whether the regulations actually address the problem, or whether they’ll be enforced. Regulators talk about preventing the recurrence of market failure, but never about how to prevent the recurrence of government failure. It seems very clear to me that this is an example of the latter and should be addressed by investigating the cause of that government failure and working on solving that problem.

I would also note that I think it far better to have no regulation, than to have even good regulation that is not enforced. The latter punishes the obedient, and disarms the trusting, while doing nothing to stop the criminals. Better to know, up front, that there is no protection.

P.S. I can’t resist noting that the Obama Administration was aware of the problem and decided to punt it down the road. So much for the Democratic Party taking regulation more seriously than the GOP.

More Equality

If you thought Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s silly remarks and bungling couldn’t get any worse, you must have missed her performance on Fox’s “O’Reilly Factor” last Wednesday night.

The woman in charge of our immigration enforcement said she “doesn’t know” what to do about the country’s celebrity illegal alien, Nicky Diaz, former housekeeper for California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. Hang on — it gets ditzier. Secretary Napolitano told Mr. O’Reilly that “obviously this is ultimately a matter for California voters to decide.”

I’m guessing the Arizona folks have a question for her: “Madam Secretary, if it’s ‘ultimately a matter for California voters to decide’ what to do about an illegal immigrant, why can’t we? By the way, Gov. Jan Brewer loves your answer.”

Jan LaRue

It’s not about rules, or law, or regulation, it’s about handing out favors to the politically favored, and Napolitano isn’t sure who is to be favored yet.

Meanwhile, an official investigation is starting up over inappropriate use of tax payer data by the White House against political opponents.

10 October 2010

Sign of the times

OBAMA SAYS

“Vote DEMOCRAT”

WVGOP.org

[source]

Projection Time

“Foreign-connected PACs
“Election cycle: 2010
“Total: $12,204,154
“To Dems: $6,517,903
“To Repubs: $5,581,701″

[…]

“That is the same tactic and logic that Sen. Joe McCarthy used in the 1950s: Level a headline-grabbing and unsubstantiated charge, like the State Department is filled with communists, and then say it is up to the State Department and the employees so charged to prove it is not true.

“So much for hope and change; this is the politics of fear, slander and divisiveness on the eve of an election that looks as if it will deliver a damning verdict on the first two years of the Obama administration.”

David Zurawik

Via which has some other amazing quotes from David Axelrod about how it’s the Chamber of Commerce’s responsibility to disprove the accusation, even though Axelrod implicitly admits the White House has no evidence at all.

As many have noted this is exactly the sort of the thing the Obama campaign did during the 2008 election. As usual, if you want to know what a MAList has done or wants to do that he won’t admit in public, look at what he accuses his political opponents of doing or wanting.

08 October 2010

Fringy

Nothing says “fringe movement” like “over half of likely voters are supporters of the Tea Parties”.

Oh, and it likes like hispanic voters may be drifting back to the GOP which is not surprising to people who think hispanics might have interests other than tribal solidarity.

02 October 2010

Imagining your ideal world

Just a quick comment on the recent “10:10” video that’s created such a stir. My first reaction was the same as Harry’s Place that it was an over top hyperbolic parody. But it turns out to be completely legitimate, with “name” producers, actors, and backers. If you’re looking for an example of epsistemic closure you would be hard pressed to find a better one, that no one involved in this apparently realized it might be off putting.

P.S. Just One Minute’s take on the video.

P.P.S. Remember to watch out for the Tea Parties promoting violence! That’s the real threat.

Favoring consumption over production

CATO has some interesting charts on how inputs for our educational system have matched up with outputs. One has to wonder, if this is the kind of thing we’ve achieved with the Department of Education, how can anyone who values educating our children not want to abolish it?

There's got to be a control room somewhere

And now, a rant so absurd that both NewsAlert and The Blaze picked up on it. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who once argued that government should destroy the private health-insurance market, here laments the radical nature of Republicans with radio host Stephanie Miller. How are Republicans radical and extreme? Well, they quote ancient texts … like the Constitution!   They talk about old heresies … like free people governing themselves!  They’re all “tenthers” because Republicans believe the conspiracy theory that the founders added a mysterious Tenth Amendment to the Bill of Rights, and actually meant something by it!  Horrors — or as Miller says, “Oy”:

Yes, clearly it’s the Tea Parties and the GOP who citizens need to watch so that they don’t trash our laws and traditions, of which the Constitution and self governance are clearly incompatible. It reminds me of this critique of a critique of the GOP “Pledge”. The interesting thing to me is that the original critique author apparently cannot envision self governance even for members of Congress. That is, if laws are to be required to have a basis in the Constitution, it must be that there is some Congressional office that makes such judgments presumably because Congressmen couldn’t do that on their own.