Saturday, July 31, 2010

Shirley Sherrod: From wronged bureaucrat to lying hack in record time

Media Blog Has the story of someone who had the Nation's (and My (!!!!)) sympathy and threw it away in a fit of self righteous hackery. What ever happened to dignity? I don't know, but don't ask Shirley Sherrod.

Public Service sure does pay

Chelsea's parents dropped some major jack on the little one's nuptials. If I'd known public service paid so well, I'd have gone into party hackery. Silly me.
Mike Rappaport says it best: "Apparently, it is estimated to cost $2 million. Quite a fee for a couple who have spent virtually their entire lives in public service. Well, whatever."

Is Obamacare a Rubicon for the Republic?

The big issue of Obamacare is it's Constitutional overreaching. Power Line makes the key point:

"If Obamacare is constitutional, we have experienced the dissolution of limited government. If the government can, among other things, command citizens to purchase health insurance of a prescribed shape and size, you can bet it will be using this power in a variety of (other) unpleasing ways in the future. It's just a matter of time. As the Tea Party folks recognize, it's time to take a stand."

Squeak! We roared.

Hot Air has a post on the GDP report just released up 2.4% annualized for Q2. My thoughts:
1. The 'roaring back' part of recovering from the worst post WWII recession ever has ended in a squeak.
2. Savings rates remain high because confidence remains low
3. There isn't really any momentum anywhere, unless you count government activity as a momentum item rather than a confidence destroyer as I do.
4. The hole remains confidence. Animal spirits drive growth and historically the US has had the baddest animals in the forest. We all seem to be hiding in our burrows.

All in all the American Economy seems to be stuck in limbo, sort of like the garden zombie in my last post.

What I want for Christmas

A Garden Zombie

From here.  I am already envisioning the endless hours of fun.....

Joseph Biden: Imbecile

Being Joe Biden means not having enough wattage to realize that you need to say you're sorry.
Commentary :  "former president George W. Bush deserved some credit for sending additional troops to Iraq in 2007. But even though Biden said the surge worked militarily, he said he didn’t regret his vote in the Senate against it because Bush did not include a plan to address Iraq’s political problems. “I don’t regret a thing, what I said or did about Iraq policy,” he said. It was the Obama administration, Biden said, that put in the plan that led to success. “What was lacking in the past was a coherent political process.”"

Macroeconomists: "We still don'e know what we're doing"

Marginal Revolution: Has a fascinating but very 'Economics inside pool' post on what has happened to our recovery. Unsurprisingly he puts a central emphasis on confidence and agrees with Schumpeter that stimulus just changes the dates, not the outcomes of the economic cycle. His most profound point is his last: "We still don't know what we're doing". Erm, this seems to be a rather central point, given our 'economic managers' are madly pushing buttons and twirling dials with the utter conviction that they are 'making a difference': "given you boys don't know what you're doing, should you be playing with the machinery like that?". I'm just sayin'.....

Negative Complementary services in the labor market

Marginal Revolution reports that signing LeBron James resulted in the Miami Heat selling out their season tickets in one week. Having achieved their goal, the Heat then promptly fired their 30 person season ticket sales force. Talk about a drag.

The Democrats have really change, haven't they? Dems trash Republican for taking "Jewish" Money

What's up with the Democrats? Anti-semitism, evidently.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Uh Oh: Poll: Electorate closer to Tea Party than Dems

You have to really TRY to alienate voters so much that they identify more with a position to the right of Republicans than with Democrats.  To paraphrase the Far Side:  "Son, you don't just throw a major defeat together, a real debacle has to be PLANNED.  Hope and change indeed.

On the whole, 58 percent of voters see Democrats as liberal or very liberal, while 56 percent see Republicans as conservative or very conservative; no surprise there. But voters now place themselves much closer to the Republican Party than to the Democratic Party on this left-right continuum. Indeed, the ideological gap between the Democratic Party and the mean voter is about three times as large as the separation between that voter and the Republican Party. And, startlingly, the electorate places itself a bit closer to the Tea Party movement (which is well to the right of the Republican Party) than to the Democratic Party.

The "Thanks for telling us now that you're out of power and can't do anything about it" department

Clinton comptroller blasts government workers’ accrual of benefits at expense of private sector workers | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment Talk is cheap. Very, very cheap. Particularly from a Clintonite whose administration actively whooped up government union privileges to secure it's power. Now that they can't get any honest graft? Not so much. Mr. Comptroller: I recommend cloistered penance and a vow of silence. Hack.

The MSM WANTS us to distrust them

WaPo buries Dem fundraiser’s fraud, highlights GOP fundraising scandal Yep, par for the course for Pravda on the Potomac. Why anyone, left, right or ambidextrous would believe anything written in these sagging bankruptcies to be is beyond me.

Darwin was right: some species don't deserve to live.

The "Thank God we have a ruling class" department

See Here: Index Trendy London Neighborhood Clinton is getting married. Good for her. And shutting down a community's air space to preserve her precious safety. To hell with her. Our ruling class is actively trying to make us hate them, aren't they? As David Brooks said (!) Guillotine.

Guillotine indeed.

Al Gore Cleared of Sex Charges

See Here: JammieWearingFool This is good news. Now leave him alone.  No, let me rephrase that:  Ignore him.

CARPE DIEM: Mpls. Orthopedics Clinics Battle It Out; Consumer-Driven Health Care That's "Better, Faster, Cheaper"

Mpls. Orthopedics Clinics Battle It Out; Consumer-Driven Health Care That's "Better, Faster, Cheaper" I always thought of Minnesota as a land-locked Sweden - a mini worker's 'paradise' with better food, cheaper booze and no porn industry. The reality is far more interesting. In terms of fostering market driven health care competition, the quasi-canucks once again show us that they lead the nation. A pity our Imperial Overlords are too stupid to notice.

Only half true

I like this cartoon but it's only half true.

Full truth would show another hurricane leaving the continental US entitled:  Obama "Reforms" and beyond that a third one entitled:  Collapse of Federal Housing "Policy".

Damn, it's been windy lately.

Bust it up, Bust it all up

Our system flourished when it was truly Federal.  Now that it’s a unitary empire ruled from an Imperial capital whose wealth rests on sustained dominance of the provinces and free access to their 'faith and credit', it’s all falling apart.  It’s no surprise that the richest countries in the world are very small.  We used to achieve the same thing through Federalism until our centralizing corporatist overlords decided to ‘save’ us. 

Bust it up,  bust it all up. 

WFB on JFK's death

I am not given to posting on 47 year old obituaries, but Bill Buckley had a brilliant eye for the central truth of any situation and it is displayed here. The final sentence says it all:

 "If man creates and rules his world, it follows, by an exquisite irony, he can find no place for himself in it."
I link to this in Honor of President Kennedy, Mr. Buckley and their (and my) God.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A divider, not a uniter

Contentions has once again hit blogging gold: "Pat Caddell and Douglas Schoen, two Democratic pollsters and consultants, repeatedly have tried to warn their fellow Democrats that they are blowing it — going too far left, passing legislation disliked by the public, and ignoring the issues voters care about most. Now they’re going after Obama for his excessive divisiveness: “Rather than being a unifier, Mr. Obama has divided America on the basis of race, class and partisanship. Moreover, his cynical approach to governance has encouraged his allies to pursue a similar strategy of racially divisive politics on his behalf.”

On race, there was Gatesgate and then the New Black Panther Party scandal. As to the latter, they explain:

On an issue that has gotten much less attention, but is potentially just as divisive, the Justice Department has pointedly refused to prosecute three members of the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation at the polls on Election Day 2008.

It is the job of the Department of Justice to protect all American voters from voter discrimination and voter intimidation—whether committed by the far right, the far left, or the New Black Panthers. It is unacceptable for the Department of Justice to continue to stonewall on this issue."

When I reflect on the themes that BHO used to get elected and compare them to the way he has governed I am struck by the ruthless cynicism of it all.

Yes He Can!

Pretty good for crooked, partisan frauds, don't you think?

Via Commentary Contentions: "According to the Huffington Post, Fox News continued its complete domination of cable-news ratings in July. The network averaged 1.85 million viewers in primetime for the month — more than CNN, MSNBC, and HLN combined. The top 11 rated programs, each with a total of more than a million viewers, belong to Fox News (three programs topped two million viewers). As a point of comparison, no other program on any other cable network was able to draw as many as a million viewers (Hardball with Chris Matthews, for example, was able to draw only a little more than half a million watchers)."

Imagine that: it took an Australian immigrant to give us TV news that the average American trusts. Our elite leaders have destroyed their own raison d'etre. What happens to 'leaders' whom the people will no longer follow?

An act that will live in infamy

Commentary Contentions points out that Republicans have shelved their partisan interests and have supported supplemental appropriations for Afghanistan. This is in direct contrast to how the Democratic party behaved when Bush was in office. John Podhoretz reminds us:

"Democrats’ opposition to Bush and the surge was so intense, their commitment to a particular (defeatist) narrative so strong, and their eagerness to withdraw from Iraq so irresistible that they declared the Petraeus-led surge would not and could not work. It was simply incomprehensible to consider any other possibility.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, for example, declared that “this surge is not accomplishing anything” and in April 2007 announced flatly that the Iraq war was “lost.” A young senator from Illinois, on the night President Bush announced the surge, proclaimed, “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq are going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.” So said Barack Obama. Not to be outdone, Senator Joseph Biden declared: “If he surges another 20, 30 [thousand], or whatever number he’s going to, into Baghdad, it’ll be a tragic mistake.”"

Cynical defeatism in the service of a partisan agenda. It was a disgraceful act in an ugly time in our politics. And it has never been properly repented of. Kudos to the Republicans for refraining from taking their revenge.

The drinkerer I am the smarterer I get

This is fascinating: the more intelligent one is, the more one is likely to drink alcohol. It would be interesting to do a similar study for Marijuana and other illegal drugs. Taken with the evidence that moderate drinkers live longer, it's quite a challenge to how we've traditionally thought about booze and mind altering substances in general. Caveat liquor: correlation is not causation and there may be factors associated with higher verbal intelligence that increase susceptibility to alcohol addiction. But whatever it is, it is obvious that across our society drinking booze does not make you stupid.

As noted alcoholic Ernest Hemingway would have said:  "Have a Drink!"

Hat tip Tyler Cowen:

People of class drink alcohol | Gene Expression | Discover Magazine: "This chart pretty much floored me.
I was expecting it. That is, that the more intelligent, who scored high on a vocabulary test, would drink more than the dumb, who scored low. Look at the other correlates above. But I’ve rarely seen such a stark near-monotonic trend with Wordsum."

The math of risky hiring

Here's an interesting post on how one should think about risky hires. Essentially he takes the financial theory of price volatility or "beta" and links it to making choices between safe "low beta" hiring "investments" and riskier "high beta" ones. He points out that the rational hiring manager will only be willing to take a greater risk if the expected value of the risky hire exceeds that of the safe one and draws the appropriate implications for those seeking jobs for which they are not necessarily 'perfect' for. More here: The Risky Hire

Who knew?

It turns out that former community organizers and untenured law lecturers don't make good Presidents. What a shocker. I mean I didn't see this coming. Simon Heffer has more:

If President Obama carries on like this, he will turn into a lame duck - Telegraph: "The shock about coming to America after an absence of four months is how, in that time, respect for and confidence in President Obama has slumped. It wasn't good in March; now the effect of what one blogger has called his apparent 'impotence' has taken hold. It is not clear what Mr Obama actually does. He isn't engaged with the economy; he certainly isn't engaged with foreign policy; he has abandoned hope of a climate change bill this year (and probably for ever); he has seen his health care bill into law, but America awaits news of how it will be implemented; he is under attack for a casual approach to illegal immigration, notably from the Mexican narco-state. He has only just girded himself to go campaigning for his party in the mid-term elections. Last Sunday was the 100-days-to-go mark, and the talk in politics here is of little else. Joe Biden, the vice-president, has been nominated as 'campaigner in chief'. Why? What is the President doing?"

Our Heroes?

Police: they're big on stomping in, shooting dogs and people when they have their body armor facing a surprised family at three in the morning. However when a deadly crime is in progress and people are dying. Not so much. But don't worry, they'll retire at 50 with a fabulous pension. Just desserts for all their.......'courage'. Instapundit has the story and the link here: Instapundit: "WHEN SECONDS COUNT, THE POLICE ARE ONLY MINUTES AWAY: “The District police department policy on forcible entry caused a ‘deadly delay’ as officers waited for a supervisor outside an apartment while a mother and her two young sons were being stabbed to death inside, according to a lawsuit filed by the woman’s family.” Breaking down doors for drug raids is bad. Breaking down doors to prevent murder is good. Guess which one the cops hold back on . . . ."

The Police:  Bureaucrats with guns - trust them to protect you at your peril.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How to Think About Rail Investment in the U.S. - The Agenda - National Review Online

How to Think About Rail Investment in the U.S. - The Agenda - National Review Online: Reihan Salam praises an article by the Economist on the threat that the boondoggle 'high speed rail' poses for a key success story of our economy: freight railways. It's interesting to note that in Europe freight railway is vastly less productive and far more goods go by truck because passengers dominate the rails. In a country as large as the US, passenger railways will never be anything but a cash and jobs for the boys measure but it can screw up our economy. The money graf from the economist:

"But the problem with America’s plans for high-speed rail is not their modesty. It is that even this limited ambition risks messing up the successful freight railways. Their owners worry that the plans will demand expensive train-control technology that freight traffic could do without. They fear a reduction in the capacity available to freight. Most of all they fret that the spending of federal money on upgrading their tracks will lead the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the industry watchdog, to impose tough conditions on them and, in effect, to reintroduce regulation of their operations. Attempts at re-regulation have been made in Congress in recent years, in response to rising freight rates. “The freight railroads feel they are under attack,” says Don Phillips, a rail expert in Virginia."

Is there nothing that our brilliant Ivy league leaders won't try to screw up?  Arrogance, thy name is Barack.

If we're gonna do socialism, can't we at least do it competently like Canada?

Kevin Williamson: "If we're gonna do socialism, let's at least do it competently like Canada". Kevin famously quit the Republican party over its pathetic me too profligacy during Bush. Now he's had to admit he wishes that we had the Bush level of profligacy back. He points out that we've got the worst of both worlds. Spectacular, epochal wasteful spending, a lousy economy and horrifically expensive, crappy government services. Are there any good government Liberals left out there? Because the Chicago boys are raping your dream. Read the whole thing here:  Words I Never Expected To Type - Exchequer - National Review Online.

Here's the key paragraph:   "Whatever you think about socialism, here is an undeniable fact: Canadians are better at it than Americans are. We are managing to inflict the costs of welfare statism on ourselves without even deriving any of the benefits: Heritage now ranks Canada’s economy as more free than that of the United States. Its government spending is only marginally higher than our own, and its government institutions are much cleaner and more effective. It went into the financial crisis with low levels of government debt and a sounder banking system, thanks in no small part to the fact that the Canadian government is not as dominated by narrow financial interests as the U.S. government is. (Question: Why is it that the lefties who rightly appreciated what a rent-seeking nightmare our financial system is do not see that they have just helped to create a substantially similar situation in the health-care industry? Just askin’.)"

Experience kicks smart all over the field

Tom Sowell - perhaps the smartest economist never to win a Nobel and, ahem, a Chicago boy, has an update on Hayek and the knowledge problem. Hayek if you recall proposed that the reason that social engineering and central planning in particular doesn't work is the inability of the planners to know all of the information embedded in the billions of daily transactions/interactions that people have. Dr. Sowell adds to this the point of experience: why is it that for most of life's needs we rely on terribly average older adults rather than brilliant youngsters? experience. For the vast majority of human interactions a lifetime of experience is far more useful than abstract smarts - so we respect age, we choose experience. And of course the accumulated experience of all human beings in a society far outweighs the genius of the social engineers at the top. The key to society is figuring out how to facilitate the spontaneous organization of this distributed experience and intelligence. Money graf:

"Elites may have more brilliance, but those who make decisions for society as a whole cannot possibly have as much experience as the millions of people whose decisions they preempt. The education and intellects of the elites may lead them to have more sweeping presumptions, but that just makes them more dangerous to the freedom, as well as to the well-being, of the people as a whole."

And I've got a hint for the 'cats at Egghead Central: You won't get to bright by writing 2,700 page laws, shouting orders or writing regulations. Read the whole thing here: How Smart Are We? - Thomas Sowell - National Review Online

An important Public Service Announcement

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USA's looming disaster worse than Greece? You betcha!

Lawrence Kotlikoff has a disturbing column in the Financial Times today. He argues that the United States is in as bad a shape as Greece. In truth our bankruptcy is hidden only because the World has no good alternative to using our soon to be worth less (not worthless) paper. Our Federal "leaders" have taken the magic money machine that was created by the spectacularly productive and enormous US economy and have used it to buy votes for the past 50 years. Both parties. The result of such callous indifference to our children and grand-children's future has resulted in a situation where the Feds have no choice but to rip someone off - either the bondholders who will get their assets inflated away, the beneficiaries who will have their subsidies slashed or tax payers who will be forced to pay far more for less benefit than their parents got. But the lies have been served up for so long that everyone is going to get screwed. This is what centralizing Federal Corporatism gets you - fraud, chaos, destruction.

More here: / Comment / Opinion - Uncle Sam has worse woes than Greece: "But all these countries have something to learn from the real labelling master: Uncle Sam. During the past half-century, the US has sold tens of trillions of unofficial IOUs, leaving it with liabilities to pay Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits that total 40 times official debt. So is US debt actually 40 times larger than reported? Is this year’s deficit 15 per cent of GDP or 9 per cent? It’s your pick, since we are in a fiscal wonderland of measurement without meaning."


With upwards of a fifth to quarter of all men having criminal records and with education almost completely feminized, women's dominance of higher education is well nigh inevitalble.
We are undertaking an unprecedented experiment: organizing society with minimal numbers of men. It is a modern twist on the old tradition of polygamy.  It will be interesting to see how it turns out.  One thing I predict:  dominated by the scarce high status men that they need and in terror of the mobs of feral men on the street, women will have far less freedom in this brave, new feminized world.  More at CARPE DIEM

Gomer Pyle Once Again

Our 'leaders' spend twice as much per enrollee for Medicaid for the poor as private insurance costs per enrollee in the US. And the costs are accelerating much faster than private health care. Medicaid should probably cost somewhat more than private insurance given its demographics but twice as much? And growing much faster? This is a grim portent for both state budgets and Obamacare who proposes adding 20 million enrollees to a program that is completely out of control. As Private Pyle would say: Surprise X 4. More here:

Medicaid Reform in One Easy Step - Critical Condition - National Review Online: "What does the average individual health plan cost in the private sector, you ask? According to the Commonwealth Fund, the average private-sector individual health plan in 2008 cost $4,386. If we assume that premiums increased by 6% in 2009 and 2010, we get to a 2010 average of $4,928. In other words, the government is spending twice per Medicaid enrollee than middle-class Americans spend on their own insurance. And this is the system that PPACA wants to expand by nearly 50%."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Welcome Back Karter? Cotter? Carter? Kotter?

During Jimmy the First's reign back in the 70s the cultural event of the epoch was a situation comedy called "Welcome Back Kotter" where the graduate of a downscale Brooklyn high school returns to teach the decidedly buffoonish inmates known affectionately as the 'Sweat Hogs'. Today we seem to be having a rerun of that era, if not the series with Eric "Boom-Boom" Holder, Rahm EmmanuHorschack and Vincy Pelosirino starring opposite the new Mr. Kotter (Cotter? Karter? Carter?), Barack Obama.

It's so comforting when old, familiar experiences can be made new, isn't it?

Welcome back, Mr. Carter.

BP Oil Spill: Where Did All The Crude Go? Mother Nature Breaks Down Slick in Gulf of Mexico - ABC News

Message to MSM: As I, a humble broke entrepreneur pointed out almost on day one: Much of the oil disintegrated, was eaten or evaporated. 90 degree temperatures, 2-5 foot seas and an ecosystem that has been treating oil seeps as yummy chow for millions of years did what it always does. This is the fundamental conceit of Anthropogenic Global Warming: the presumption that nothing happens if self righteous liberals don't ordain it in legislation and bureaucrats don't implement it. Momma nature doesn't wait for us to mop up, she starts immediately upon finding a mess.

 The arrogance of our elites really knows no bounds, does it? The government lawyers and their scribbler friends really believe nothing happens if they don't write it down in the Federal register. It's the latest cargo cult: instead of New Guinea headhunters thinking they're rich from stacks of rusting junk, Ivy league lawyers thing they make things happen by storing electronically processed words on certain 'special' hard drives. Imbeciles. And they call these clowns our 'Leaders'. God help us.

BP Oil Spill: Where Did All The Crude Go? Mother Nature Breaks Down Slick in Gulf of Mexico - ABC News: "For 86 days, oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's damaged well, dumping some 200 million gallons of crude into sensitive ecosystems. BP and the federal government have amassed an army to clean the oil up, but there's one problem -- they're having trouble finding it."

Deflation Defies Expectations—and Solutions -

Stunning reality: our government is so distrusted, is so hostile towards investment, has so destroyed confidence in the future that despite hysterically profligate spending and by historical standards, wildly inflationary monetary policy we are sliding into deflation. No one believes in the future under this leadership. No one.

Deflation Defies Expectations—and Solutions - "The old bogeyman of deflation has re-emerged as a worry for the U.S. economy. Here's something else to fret about: After studying more than a decade of deflation in Japan, economists have slowly realized they have no idea how it works."

John Kerry On Yacht-Taxes Issue: 'Nothing More To Say' -

Wow the most recent Dem standard bearer minus one is in favor of taxes for thee but not for he - the multi-centi-millionaire dodges almost a million bucks worth of MA taxes.  The state he represents. What else is new? The rich, fashionable and privileged: beneath contempt. While the country strangles on their leadership.

John Kerry On Yacht-Taxes Issue: 'Nothing More To Say' -

Why did I go to Business School? Department

Clearly I did not receive appropriate career counseling: Angry public hounds obscenely overpaid city official out of job -- he still gets $1 million annual public pension | Washington Examiner

As per Shirley Sherrod: Who do I sue?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dowd: Obama WH not "Black Enough"

Maureen Dowd on what's wrong with the Obama Administration: "The president’s getting hurt real bad,” Clyburn told me. “He needs some black people around him.” He said Obama’s inner circle keeps “screwing up” on race: “Some people over there are not sensitive at all about race. They really feel that the extent to which he allows himself to talk about race would tend to pigeonhole him or cost him support, when a lot of people saw his election as a way to get the issue behind us. I don’t think people elected him to disengage on race. Just the opposite.”"

I love the left. They are so obsessed with race, gender and identity that for some of them it completely substitutes for sentient thought. Their problem is that race has run out of runway as an issue that can move the great majority of Americans. We are done with it, sick to death of the whining. If anything, the new racial cry is going to be: "what about working class whites". Our elites have used America's fundamental decency to cry diversity wolf, while just cementing the existing power elites in their power.

But the times, they are a changin'.

Top Job Growth Counties in America

7 of the top 25 job gainers in the US are in Texas. Four are in the Ozarks. Number one? In South Dakota. The number in a 'Blue' state?  Zero, nil, nada, nunca, nicht, ng ada.  Gee, I wonder why?  The times, they are a changing. More at CARPE DIEM

Keeping your hands to yourself: Texas' approach to avoiding economic collapse

Texas is doing well relative to the rest of the nation for a lot of reasons but one of the most important is that it totally avoided the housing bubble. Why? Not manipulating land markets with massive regulations seems to be a key factor.

Funny how often our disasters seem to be associated with governments trying to 'fix' markets.  And the more a government manipulates the bigger the resulting crash.  Of course BHO is the king of aggressive market manipulation.  He says he's doing it for our own "good"..........oh goody. 

CARPE DIEM has more: "'One reason that Texas did so well is that it fully escaped the “housing bubble” that did so much damage in California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada and other states (see chart above). One key factor was the state’s liberal, market oriented land use policies. This served to help keep the price of land low while profligate lending increased demand. More importantly, still sufficient new housing was built, and affordably. By contrast, places with highly restrictive land use policies (California, Florida and other places, saw prices rise to unprecedented heights), making it impossible for builders to supply sufficient new housing at affordable prices."

Toward a more honest discussion of race | Washington Examiner

The Washington Examiner has a needed piece asking for honesty on race, not racism disguised as 'diversity' or as 'anti-racism' which is what is par for the course in America today. The only complaint is that they didn't touch the Georgia-Sherrod affair which has enough stupid racism mud to cover everyone involved right to left. But if we can't get back to MLK's 1963 vision, we will tear our nation apart.

Toward a more honest discussion of race | Washington Examiner: "he reality is that instead of upholding a colorblind society, the federal government has for decades imposed a multitude of racial preferences throughout the economy, especially in the areas of employment and contracting. For example, Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, found that the Obama administration used race and gender as criteria to decide which auto dealerships would be closed.

Then there's the Democrats' Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill, which mandates race- and gender-based hiring quotas for government agencies, private companies and subcontractors who do business with the government, and creates a raft of new Multicultural Mafia bureaucrats to enforce them. As Examiner Columnist Diana Furchtgott-Roth points out, the new law affirmatively requires discrimination on the basis of race. Surely the hypocrisy of defending such policies while branding as racist those who disagree with them is obvious. But until such hypocrisy becomes a thing of the past, the national dialogue on racial issues will be crippled and incomplete."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

National Security Nonsense

Now this is remarkably obtuse: Commentary's Evelyn Gordon argues for a Republican dirigiste energy policy: 

"But Democratic stupidity is no excuse for Republican stupidity. There’s no way to combat any terrorist movement without going after its funding sources, and fossil-fuel revenues are the lifeblood of radical Islamism — and of many other anti-American autocrats, like Chavez and Vladimir Putin. Ignoring the problem of fossil-fuel dependency won’t make it go away; it will only make America weaker."

Hey great Idea: double our cost of energy, abandon our technological dominance of oil and gas exploration and production, wreck our economy and the rest of the world still (rationally) uses oil so the price remains high and our enemies have the same amount of money while we are impoverished and no longer dominate the industry that makes them rich making them less subject to our influence.

Brilliant. Where does one get such deep insights? C’tary has lost it on this one which strange because Editor Podhoretz is a Chicago boy. They need to reboot on this topic

'Mad Men': A Tale for Our Time | Big Questions Online

My friend Robbie Griggs is a big Mad Men fan. Having tried and failed to watch the show once and now preparing to manfully make another try, I clicked on this Big Questions commentary of the show by Rod Dreher: 'Mad Men': A Tale for Our Time | Big Questions Online.

I was struck by one quote from someone who grew up doing the period that the show was set in:

"'I keep thinking that today, right now, we're reliving the Fifties,' said my friend, who has a child in college. 'I see the same obsession with perfection, with getting your kids into the right school so they can go to the right college and get the right job and move into the right group so they can be successful and happy. And these kids, they're terrified of failure. It's crazy, and you can't imagine how stressful this is for parents and kids alike. It's going to blow up, too. You watch. The problem is, there aren't as many intact families to blow up. But these children, they're going to implode. I worry about the net effect on these kids moving forward. They're never going to feel as good or as smart as they're supposed to feel, given how much we've spent on them. I know how my daughter feels: inadequate, always. '"

I don't know if she's right, but the feeling that disaster is around the corner, that we need to be perfect and have the status and credentials does seem to be back with a vengeance. And I feel in myself and among friends a growing sense of resentment that the 'deal' is rigged. Cynicism is reigning supreme right now. If that leads to a 60s style explosion, it will be interesting from which quarter the blast occurs. And what sets it off.

Steve Jobs: Shaman and Sorcerer | Big Questions Online

Big Questions is an awesome website supported by the Templeton Foundation. It focuses on the......Big Questions. Here's a cool piece by Alan Jacobs analogizing Apple to the Roman Catholic Church and Jobs? Well he's the Pope in black. Read the whole thing. And check out the site. Steve Jobs: Shaman and Sorcerer | Big Questions Online

Run Away Run Away - Dem Senators want all Bush tax cuts extended

Read this: Liberal Tax Revolt Game-Changer? - Larry Kudlow - National Review Online The intellectual argument for higher taxes, higher government spending and heavier intervention in the economy is in shambles. The evidence? Conrad, Bayh and Nelson are running away. Evidently, even Christine Romer, Obama's economic Girl Friday is making a play to regain her self respect by pointing out how depressive tax increases are in an economy crushed by recession and uncertainty.

Run away! Run Away!

The benefits of class

Roy Oswalt is one of the best pitchers in Baseball, he could go most anywhere. Yet he's said he'll waive his right to a 16 million dollar 2012 pay package (waive his 'option) only if he is traded to the Cardinals. Willing to potentially give up 16 million. Dollars. To sweat in the 'lou. Now why would anyone do that? Answer that question and you have the secret of the Cardinals century of leadership in the National League. With 10 World Championships, second only to the Yankees. The Yankees did it with money. The Cardinals? With class.  Here's the details:

Roy Oswalt Trade Talks at a Standstill | Bleacher Report: "Oswalt made it clear that if he were traded to anywhere but St. Louis, he would want his $16 million option in 2012 to be picked up. He said he would waive the option being picked up for an opportunity to pitch for the reigning National League Central champions.

That, plus the fact that Oswalt named St. Louis as his first choice for a destination, was what gave the Cardinals the upper hand"

This is a lesson for all of us.  Don't take short cuts, keep your promises, respect effort and celebrate those that contribute and people will sacrifice to serve with you.

As Ronald Reagan said:  "There is no end to what you can achieve if you don't care who gets the credit".

The Suicide Conundrum - National - The Atlantic

I don't really know what I think about suicide and why it has remained so high. I think some would ask the converse: given the collapse of faith in our country and the consequent loss of belief in a future, why are suicides so low? Pointlessness would seem to be a leading indicator of self murder. Nevertheless, I believe anyone whose momma would name him Ta-nehisi Coates knows something about suicide. Heck, with a monicker like that I would have seriously pondered the option myself in junior high. More here: The Suicide Conundrum - National - The Atlantic

AGW hysteria? Take a Chill Pill

Common sense from Stanford University Phycicist Robert Laughlin (I think he is one of the Nobel Prize winners that the National Academy of Sciences put on its 'naughty' list for doubting AGW orthodoxy).

He has a brilliant column in The Globe and Mail: "“Common sense tells us that damaging a thing as old as [Earth] is somewhat easier to imagine than it is to accomplish – like invading Russia.'"

Like Bjorn Lomborg, he focuses us on the real threats to our enviornment: habitat destruction, human population pressure and poverty. But of course there isn't nearly as much power and graft in a boring argument like his.

Just ask Al Gore.

Hat tip to my friend Robert Morrissey.


CARPE DIEM is far and away the best source for data about the macroeconomic status of our economy. He's a bit Pollyanna for my dark, depressed tastes, but he's sharp and incisive and always does good chart.

Oops I just told you where I get my best material.

More mass transit madness: The LA Psychosis

Reason explains just how effective LA's 8 Billion light rail investment (well really ours, the Feds paid for it) has been here.

* If you build it for $8 billion, they won't come. L.A. Times' Dan Weikel explains how the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority is actually carrying fewer people now than it did when it began its light rail building project 20 years ago. More than a million people a day ride buses in the county, a little more than 300,000 ride trains, and the figure for trains keeps falling. (I used to keep a close watch on these numbers, and it looks like the trend has been holding for almost ten years now: rail boardings decline a little almost every quarter, regardless of economic activity, gas price, or efforts to promote train ridership.) Transit gadfly Tom Rubin estimates the massive rail project has cost the MTA 1.5 billion potential passengers since 1986. Don't miss the comment section, where trainspotters are still saying the trains will be full once they have one that goes all the way to the ocean.
I'd sneer if Saint Louis hadn't done the exact same, profligate, cynical, bribe laden thing.  Liberalism at its glorious best.

Environmentalism's Curious Double Standard

If an oil company kills an endangered species all heck rains down on them.  If a wind farm does, crickets chirp.  I wonder what the Enviros would do if a wind farm owned by and oil company had the industry's dreadful record of avian carnage?  Oh dear, my eyes have gone cross.  WSJ summary here.

A map of nullification

Unlike earlier attempts at nullification of Federal Laws which were regional:  New England in the 1810s, the South 1830-1965, the movement to nullify Obamacare is nationwide and picking up steam.  It takes a lot to get Americans riled up but our dear leaders have succeeded.  This is going to be fun to watch.

Journolist: A gorgeous mosaic of......White Dudes

Check out the amazing diversity of the left wing media borg here.

Leave us alone. Please.

The latest Rasmussen polling is truly stunning.  Via Powerline and Instapundit.
The current state of American politics can be summed up in this poll data, published today by Rasmussen Reports:
75% of Likely Voters prefer free markets over a government managed economy. Just 14% think a government managed economy is better while 11% are not sure.
Well, one would hope so. But here is the kicker:
America’s Political Class is far less enamored with the virtues of a free market. In fact, Political Class voters narrowly prefer a government managed economy over free markets by a 44% to 37% margin.
That strikes me as a rather stunning finding.
Yes, and one that perhaps explains why so many voters think the current setup lacks the consent of the governed.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My eyes have gone cross department - Govt decides that the Sustainability Commission is unsustainable

James Delingpole has the story here.  This is irony isn't it?  My mother told me about this.  Irony is so ironic. Am I being Ironic?  How ironic:  Me doing irony.

In the Brave New World of leftist diversity who got screwed?

My people:  working class southern white protestants.  And who continues to be discriminated against by elite colleges and other institutions?  The same working class southern white protestants.  Who takes their places at elite colleges?  Affluent Jews.  Now I have Jewish friends as do my children, am a huge supporter of Israel and do not in any way believe that "The Jews" are in the center of any conspiracy to control anything.  Nevertheless it's clear to anyone that spends any time on our elite campuses that Jews are at least 10 times more numerous on these campuses than in the population at large.  And in the past I would have said 'fine' - Jews are more academic and therefore should be disproportionately represented.  But with the discovery that poor Christian whites are three times less likely to be admitted than the rates at which they qualify and that those with 'traditional and Christian' credentials are three times less likely to be admitted than that.  And with the knowledge that close to half of the 'black' admittees to these institutions actually come from African and Afro-Caribbean elites  and immigrants like BHO rather than the native American black poor and working classes.  And with Asians being treated precisely how Jews were in the old, evil, 'racist' ivy league ("we don't want too many of 'their kind'"), it's time to ask whether this "diversity" is just a way of keeping 'our thing' for 'our people'.  And if so, why is it the law of the land?

Addendum:  The so called financial "reform" bill includes provisions that mandate diversity enforcement by every single Federal agency on any business that serves it and all of their subcontractors.  The provisions read very much like those that have mandated 'diversity' in our colleges and universities - in other words, the only proof of compliance are quotas.  Just what we need:  racist laws that further entrench existing power groups (Jewish Americans) and excludes downtrodden groups (native, lower status whites and blacks) and keeps out threating rising groups (Asians) at the price of letting in a few immigrant Africans and Castillian "Latino" elites.  Once again, the powerful take from the weak and call it 'compassion'.

Liberalism is quite the sight when you take off the pretty wrapping, isn't it?

Impassioned plea for sanity from Washington by Steve Wynn

This almost brought tears to my eyes.  This comes close to reflecting what I believe and fear.  Hat tip to my friend Morris Shank for sending it on.

Journolisting to the left

This Journolist thing is more fun than a barrel full of monkeys on meth.  Jennifer Rubin makes a particularly fun point:

It goes beyond that, in fact. The pose of the left punditocracy is that those on the right are angry, unreasoned, thuggish, and motivated by less than high-minded ideals. They’ve written column after column to that effect. In short, it’s not merely the intellectual corruption, indeed fraud, that Carlson has revealed; it is the worst sort of hypocrisy — verging on projection. The angry white men and the hate-filled political marionettes aren’t on talk radio. They’re on Journolist.

Get that?  It's not angry white men, it's angry......non gender specific metrosexuals, filled with rage and unreasoning hate of the 'other' that they don't understand.


State Nullification of Federal Laws

...has a checkered history.  Associated primarily with slavery and segregation, nullification was overwhelmed first by force of arms and then by the overwhelming consensus of Americans that segregation was immoral.  But what happens when states nullify a law that is rejected by the great majority of Americans?  Can the Feds just stomp the opposition?  Below is a summary of a measure on the the Missouri ballot August 3rd.  It is similar to that passed or being passed in 20 odd states.  It will be an interesting Polisci experiment to see what happens.

From Ballotpedia

The Missouri Health Care Freedom, Proposition C will appear on the August 3, 2010 statewide ballot in Missouri as an legislatively-referred state statute. The proposed measure aims to block the federal government from requiring people to buy health insurance and bans punishment for those without health insurance.[1][2][3]
Backers of such measures are opposed to President Barack Obama’s new health care plans. The measure does not advocate a particular plan but measure advocates say the measure will "protect the individual’s right to make health care decisions." Opponents of the measures and some constitutional scholars say the proposals are mostly symbolic, intended to send a message of political protest, and have little chance of succeeding in court over the long run.[4]
On May 4, 2010 the Missouri State Senate voted 26-8 in favor of referring the proposed measure to the ballot.[5] On May 11 the House gave final approval to refer the measure to the ballot following a 108-47 vote.[6][7][8]

The history of risk

Ian Murray has fine article on the evolution of insurance (must stay awake, falling into soup, bzbpftsssss).  But seriously, it's a great article that covers 4 centuries of people trying to figure out how to manage risk.  He shows that quite a bit of what we consider to be the 'welfare state' is simply government hijacking risk management activities that private industries were already handling.  For example, fire brigades used to be owned and operated by insurance companies and provided public goods by putting out everyone's fires, not just the ones who had paid insurance.

He points out that by carefully reigniting some of these markets (social insurance, education, for example) we could keep quite a bit of the 'social democracy' everyone seems to want at a vastly freer and lower price.

Read the whole thing here.

More Journolist Jackassery

Johah Goldberg has the best summary yet.  Move along, nothing to see here folks.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Piyush "Bobby" Jindal on fire in Louisiana

I've always thought that Bobby Jindal was a Presidential contender.  With this video he looks like one.

Elena Kagan: Another 'humanitarian' who has a hard time with the 'little people'

Fascinating reporting on the career of Elena Kagan - who will be elevated to the Supreme Court with a sum total of two (2!) years experience as a practicing lawyer or judge.  It turns out that like so many of our 'egalitarian' leaders today, she wasn't much of an institution builder.  Oh, and she had a bit of bother with the 'little people'.  Just the type of compassionate, balanced person, with a wide range of experience and judicious temperament that we want on our top court.  Read the whole thing.

Kagan, according to these critics, engaged in regular “verbal abuse” of staff people, including the liberal use of profanity. On one occasion, I was told, she kicked a door while berating a staff member. “She has a terrible attitude toward what she considers underlings,” one faculty member told me. Apparently Kagan fired at least five members of the school’s administrative staff (none were willing to comment on the matter). Kagan’s alleged poor treatment of subordinates was apparently extended to some faculty members. “A lot of the faculty have been yelled at,” I was told. Another professor told me that “a cloud of fear” descended on the faculty during Kagan’s tenure, and that she was “at heart a mean person.” According to her critics Kagan was markedly hostile to disagreement and robust debate — a trait which was most evident in her management style, which was described to me as “authoritarian.” One dissident claimed Kagan had bulldozed appointment offers through hiring committees hand-picked by her to be reliably pliant, then made extravagant financial deals with many of the prospective hires — deals which had left the school in “disastrous financial shape.” Specifically, according to this person, the school’s new building project is badly undercapitalized, to the point where the interim dean looked into the possibility of suspending it, and major cutbacks have been made in areas such as hiring visiting professors, in order to deal with the consequences of Kagan’s alleged impecunious management of the school’s finances.
But these facts in and of themselves don't prove anything other than Law schools are fractious places.  Here's the author's final conclusion which gets to the heart of the matter for a person with almost no meaningful real world legal experience:

The bottom line is that a close look at Kagan’s formal credentials to serve on the Court reveals there is nothing extraordinary about her, other than the extraordinary combination of social privilege and the ability to exploit it that has put her in her current position. This makes it all the more imperative that the public process leading up to Kagan’s confirmation should have produced a satisfactory answer to the almost wholly unresolved question of what Kagan’s fundamental legal and political views actually are. This it has completely failed to do.
And of course that is precisely what the hearings were designed NOT to do.  Washington is such a high minded place:  with solons walking togate among the marble monuments to republican virtue.

The Pelosi Lame Duck Strategy

The plan to get all of the goodies that the hard left wanted but hasn't been able to jam through is to deliver them during a lame duck session after the left has been repudiated by the electorate.  The public - having said no to these corrupt and misbegotten measures in an election a few days prior -  be damned.  If this happens as John Fund predicts, then the fascist provenance of the Democrat party will be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.  An interesting challenge for honorable, constitutional leftists, no?

Adding insult to injury - Adding government workers destroys private jobs

Not only are government workers vastly more expensive and less productive, evidently the act of merely adding them to the workforce destroys private sector jobs with a net loss of jobs.  Thus adding public 'servants' (Ha!) is a trifecta bummer:  a waste of money, they meddle and boss people around and they destroy real jobs producing real wealth  Wow, that's a lot of suckage.  Veronique de Rugy has more:

In this paper, published in Economic Policy Journal, economists Yann Algan, Pierre Cahuc, and Andre Zylberberg looked at the impact of public employment on overall labor-market performance. The authors use data for a sample of OECD countries from 1960 to 2000, and they find that, on average, the creation of 100 public jobs eliminated about 150 private-sector jobs, decreased overall labor-market participation slightly, and increased by about 33 the number of unemployed workers.
Their explanation is that public employment crowds out private employment and increases overall unemployment by offering comparatively attractive working conditions. Basically, public jobs that offer higher wages, require low effort, and offer attractive fringe benefits attract many workers and crowd out private jobs. This is especially true when the public jobs exist in the private sector (transportation and education, for instance). The impact is bigger when these new employees are paid with new taxes.

That's gonna leave a mark department: Broder gets a smack

Ann Althouse gives David Broder - Washington's Hall of Fame bore - a sharp smack.

Ouch.  Very ouch, baby.

Government borrows, businesses save, Keynes goes down in flames

Keynes argued that economies in deep recession can suffer from 'liquidity traps' where falling confidence leads to contracting credit, leading to lower profits, leading to falling confidence in a downward spiral.  Thus, in his model, government needed to borrow aggressively to 'prime the (empty private sector) pump' so that it could get pumping again.  Well today we have the spectacle of a government that has submerged the pump under so much 'primer' that the private sector pumpers can't even swim down to start pumping.  As the government borrows trillions the private sector retrenches, generating record cash flows that it then primly sits on.  So we have the paradox of hysterical pump priming that is doing nothing but dropping dead money on corporate balance sheets.  The more reckless the spending and regulating, the more frightened businesses get and the less risks they are willing to take.  Sweet.

Keynes would never have endorsed this neo-fascist tomfoolery but his name is being taken in heretical vain by clouds of self serving political lawyers who evidently can't think past their next score.  Where it will all end, God only knows.  We are in economic terra incognito here.  And our captain is a proven, battle tested veteran of campaigns, leading a hard bitten crew of........academics and career bureaucrats.

Kevin Williamson has more here where he describes crossing swords with the merry midget mascot of the new Statist dawn:  Robert Reich.  Enjoy.

Graphic pictures of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Those evil Zionists - how could they cause such brutality?  Such oppression?  The horror, the horror.

Singapore laps us

Well it's finally happened:  the CIA World Factbook reports that at over $50,000, Singapore now has a per capita GDP (at purchasing power parity) that is higher than the United States.  When I lived there in the early 70s, the city was still relatively poor but obviously going places.  Led by a nominally socialist ruling party:  The People's Action Party, Singapore has gotten rich by doing what the US used to do before the rise of the Federal uber-state.

Actuarially sound pensions, free trade, no business or interest group subsidies, consumer choice in education, consumer driven healthcare and efficient, performance benchmarked public services.

Reads like the anti-Obama.

That's not to say that Singapore is a wonderland - it's commitment to democracy and civil liberties is - how shall I put it? - 'incomplete'.  Although once it realized that it was losing the battle for the 'best and the brightest' it dialed down the control quite a bit.  You can now chew gum and wear long hair there!

But the paradox is they fought and sweat blood to get the system that we had and cast away in a fit of greed and self absorption.  We are paying a brutal price for swinishly swallowing the pearls of our success.

Less Exceptional than we think?

Conrad Black wrote this from a Federal cell - put there by ambitious, unethical Federal prosecutors (is there any other kind?) who could convict a ham sandwich of something if it paid off for their careers.  Naturally, he has a rather jaundiced view of the United States.  But while I might quibble with this or that detail, I can't argue with his overall thesis.  Rampant Federal impunity and interest group fascism has stripped our nation of much which used to make it exceptional.  We must commit our lives and honor to getting our nation back.  And make no mistake:  it will take the rest of our lives.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Friend Cha Cha

Cha Cha means 'uncle' in Urdu.  It's an honorific that upper class Pakistanis bestow upon the elder members of their household staffs.  Cha Cha's real name is Mohammed - I really couldn't get a second name out of him.  He lives in Dubai and has lived there or in Abu Dhabi for the last 40 years or more.  I reckon that Cha Cha is about 60 years old - tall and strapping for a Pakistani.   Cha Cha is Pashtun, hailing from the high hills and small mountains that separate Islamabad from Peshawar.  Cha Cha comes from farming stock - when there wasn't enough land to support him and his siblings, he chose to become a guest worker in the United Arab Emirates.  Paradoxically, he arrived in the UAE only a few years after I left - although his arrival as steerage in a Dhow - a wooden trading vessel - was rather different than my departure in a jet airliner.

Cha Cha has spent most of the last 40 years working first as a 'tea-boy' - a menial servant to a business, responsible for bringing the tea and cleaning up and then as a licensed driver - taking the 'wives' to the mall and picking and dropping at the airport.  He's the only servant who is trusted implicitly:  he's the Cha Cha.  Cha Cha doesn't always approve of everything his charges do - the younger generation's antics, particularly the women, cause him to furrow his conservative, Islamic brow.  But he handles everything with good natured wit and charm.  Every time I come, he greets me with a great bear hug:  "Ah Mr. Bill" he says in his modest english:  "Welcome, good to see you sir.  Thank you for coming sir."  Cha Cha has taken me out on my share of wild goose chases - gold bracelet for the wife?  "Gold Souk, sir, I drop and wait - you go inside".  Bedouin garb for my son:  "Emirates Mall, sir, here, I show you.  I wait."  Out in the heat, with the other drivers, sharing sardonic opinions on the mass of humanity parading by.

Talking to Cha Cha I get a sense of both his joy and his loss.  Joy in that he has come a long way for a mere Pashtun farm boy - driving the 'big time' American around for goodness sakes - I mean he'll have to tell the folks back home about that one.  And being able to feed and educate his sons so they would not suffer his fate:  unskilled, having to live their entire life away from their families, seeing them at most once a year.  Loss in that his life has been lived for others who lived lives that he was not allowed to share.  He knows his sons, but he does not really know them.  They are his yet not really his.  He knows this and I think at times it must sadden him.  Yet he looks at what he has and he marvels.  He has come so much farther and done and seen so much more than the boys who stayed at home in the village.  He's lucky really, our Cha Cha.  As lucky as a man who has spent his entire adult life sleeping in bunk beds in a dormitory can be.

I sometimes reflect on Cha Cha and what he's sacrificed for his family.  It makes me sick to contemplate my own self centered, self righteous special pleading.  Forgive me Father for I am the foremost among sinners.

The Double Paid Double Secret National Security Bureaucracy

The top secret bureaucracy put in place since 1945 to 'protect' us.  Just as overpaid and unaccountable as the rest of the bloated shamboling wreck that is our Federal government.  Only the mainstream media has no qualms about targeting this one.  Here's a good representation by flowingdata.  There's also a good summary by Wapo here

Hurling racist (or other charges) recklessly is wrong

In response to reckless and unsubstantiated charges by the NAACP that the Tea Parties are 'racist', Andrew Breitbart put up a video snippet ostensibly showing a minor Obama appointee describing her racist behavior.  When viewed in context it is clear she did no such thing.  The Obama administration fired here anyway.

Hurling unsubstantiated and slapdash charges of racism has historically been a way that the left has tried to smear the right.  Turnabout is NOT fair play.

Shannon Coffin has more here.  Her key points:
Finally, the conservative media has some ’splaining to do. It is dangerous to run with a story based on a snippet — and our colleagues on the right have as much of an obligation to investigate before rolling out an expose on someone (especially someone as obscure as Sherrod) as do those on the left (e.g., Dan Rather). Sherrod was a low-level bureaucrat, apparently appointed to the position of Georgia director of rural development by Tom Vilsack; it is a stretch to attribute the views of such a low-ranking functionary to President Obama.

An accusation of racism is serious business, one which neither white nor black should throw around willy-nilly. (I’ll note that Sherrod herself has been willing to use those accusations to her benefit in the past. According to this website, she was at least indirectly part of the plaintiff class of black farmers in the Pigford litigation, which dealt with claims of racial discrimination against black farmers. She personally received $150,000 in a settlement for her pain and suffering associated with denial of loans.) But in this particular episode, it would appear that Sherrod is owed an apology.

In the average week Congress creates one new crime

So many things are against the law that the Congressional Research Service says that counting them would be impossible.  John Stossel has more here.

Edward R. Murrow, call your service

Journolist is an awkward name for a very troubling phenomenon.  Evidently for years a large proportion of our "Main Stream Journalists" have been colluding on stories, tactics and media strategy via a listserv.  Most troubling, they seem to have actively coordinated to promote or kill stories based upon whether those stories would help Barack Obama's election chances.  In other words, they were doing precisely what the more 'wild eyed' conservatives have been claiming:  engaging in a conspiracy to slant news coverage to aid the political fortunes of liberals and Democrats.  Once again an 'institution' that has demanded our respect and honor turns out to be an exploitative fraud.  I'm saying this so often that I think I'll just abbreviate:  Ex-Fraud.  That covers most of government, the news media, the entertainment and education borgs as well as our legal establishment.  The hippies had it wrong:  it's not 'don't trust anyone over 30', it's 'don't trust anyone who claims to providing a public service'.  Jim Geraghty has much, much more.

I am told by lefties who were on the old Journo-List how boring it was. How it was mostly about baseball and movies and books and all kinds of topics, and how controversial, incendiary, or scandalous comments were few and far between.

But every time we get a leak from the archives, we see guys who have respected reputations -- at least among the mainstream media -- suddenly throwing tantrums that would leave John McEnroe telling them to grow up. As
noted yesterday, between Weigel's talk of setting Matt Drudge on fire, Ezra Klein's off-color recommendation for Tim Russert, Spencer Ackerman fantasizing about putting conservatives through plate-glass windows, and the latest edition of an NPR producer fantasizing about Rush Limbaugh's death, I don't know whether these guys are just talking tough because they're typing in front of a screen, or whether they really have rage issues and violent fantasies that ought to be a concern.

Guess who wrote the following: "What's depressing is the way in which liberal journalists are not responding to events in order to find out the truth, but playing strategic games to cover or not cover events and controversies in order to win a media/political war. The far right is right on this: this collusion is corruption. It is no less corrupt than the comically propagandistic Fox News and the lock-step orthodoxy on the partisan right in journalism -- but it is nonetheless corrupt. Having a private journalistic list-serv to debate, bring issues to general attention, notice new facts seems pretty innocuous to me. But this was an attempt to corral press coverage and skew it to a particular outcome." Ready?
Andrew Sullivan.

Ed Morrissey lays out how we're watching any benefit of the doubt
burn to cinders: "Ackerman wasn't talking about a strategy to exposerealracists, in the media or anywhere else. The Washington Independent reporter wanted to conduct a campaign against any figure on the Right, including journalists like Fred Barnes, to smear him as a racist for the political purposes of electing a Democrat to the White House. Notice that Ackerman doesn't even bother to ask people to look for actual evidence of racism, but just suggests [picking] a conservative name out of a hat. Tellingly, the pushback from members of Journolist had less to do with the outrageous idea of smearing an innocent person of racism to frighten people away from the story than with whether it would work. Mark Schmitt, now at American Prospect, warned that it 'wouldn't further the argument' for Obama, and Kevin Drum objected because playing racial politics would 'probably hurt the Obama brand pretty strongly.' It certainly puts efforts by the Left to paint the Tea Party as racist in an entirely new light. It also calls into question the ethics and judgment of anyone who participated in that Ackerman thread. Finally, this first entry in the Journolist exposés -- Tucker Carlson promises more to come -- shows that far from being a benign place to have chats among colleagues, Journolist also served as a place for journalists to plot against their political opponents and strategize to twist the news and propose smear campaigns."

At Legal Insurrection, William Jacobson
concludes: "The story is not just that liberal journalists are a bunch of conspiring liars and frauds. The real story is that liberal journalists manipulated the 2008 election by actively campaigning in secret for Barack Obama, and stifling debate on critical issues by smearing opponents as racist. This is no joke. We now are paying the price, both in the destruction of our economy and standing in the world, and the continued race-card playing antics of groups like Think Progress and the NAACP. The race card tactic was so successful in 2008, that it is being tried again and again. Don't get mad, get even . . . at the polls. Remember November."

At midnight, the Daily Caller
revealed NPR producer Sara Spitz talking about how she would enjoy watching Rush Limbaugh die of a heart attack, and Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, and John Judis, a senior editor at The New Republic, talking about whether the federal government should try to shut down Fox News Channel by having the Federal Communications Commission "pull their broadcasting permit once it expires."