A little fight between the bloggers of the Volokh Conspiracy and John Fabian Witt of Slate over what’s ostensibly about Lincoln and the laws of war, but is actually about Obama and Bush. Starts with Witt’s post here, Eric Posner’s indulgent, hair-tousling response here, Witt’s somewhat ungracious counter-response here, and ends with Ilya Solmin’s transfixing Witt on a metal spike and leaving him for the ravens here. Moral of the story: when you see the historians snicker about your religious beliefs… just smile, nod, and keep moving.
The real wisdom on the current state of American politics comes from the great Walt Kelly, from his Earth Day poster from 1970, the one in which Pogo famously says, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Appropriately enough, the subject of the poster is pollution. There is so much of that going on around the new President these days he probably wants to wear a gas mask.
I say depressing because, well, it is: there’s something aggravating about knowing that we could stop Hugo Chavez from sending his country over the Marxist edge, but we’re not going to. I felt the same way under the last administration, too.
And before you start lecturing me about Yanqui imperialism, I’d like to remind you that it’s been a darn sight less genocidal than Communist imperialism. The only thing that Marxism has ever shown any genius in is in the turning of large numbers of live peasants into dead ones.
WASHINGTON (Reuters)- President Barack Obama’s aides warned Americans on Sunday not to expect instant miracles from the $787 billion economic stimulus bill he will sign this week, but said it would help eventually.
[I’m snipping the nonsense about how this was Obama’s first major legislative victory. The sentence should more properly read: “It was the legislature’s first major victory over his young presidency.” – ML]
“There will be signs of activity very quickly,” David Axelrod, the White House senior adviser, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “But it’s going to take time for that to show up in the statistics. The president has said it’s likely to get worse before it gets better.”
OK, I’m going to break my rule just this once and give traffic to a pro-torture site (in this case, HuffPo) because it’s not every day that you get to see the shell of a Marxist develop its first crack from a blow of the Hammer of Objective Reality. Meet SD Liddick, and doesn’t he sing pretty?
I’m phobically allergic to the conservative Republican types the military is rife with, but I’ve only been in country four months and already I hate liberals. There’s plenty of ugliness to report in Iraq (as there are thousands of stories of hope and headway)–and the U.S. military certainly isn’t beyond reproach. Nobody’s telling you to report on one side or the other. But manipulating the truth because of your own personal biases is wretched and works in the face of progress. The other end of the political spectrum disregards you, Dahr, and now I know why. I thought it was because you’re a liar–but you aren’t. You don’t have enough backbone to be a liar. You’re a craven obfuscationist, intent on promoting your agenda at the cost of a menagerie of much braver men and women.
“How come,” I asked Andy, “whenever someone upsets the Left, you see immediate marches and parades and rallies with signs already printed and rhyming slogans already composed, whereas whenever someone upsets the Right, you see two members of the Young Americans for Freedom waving a six-inch American Flag?”
“We have jobs.” said Andy.
-P. J. O’Rourke
Which tells you two things:
It’s in the Left’s best interests to keep the unemployment rate down… oops.
Don’t let the time that elapses between the emergency session to pass a bill and the leisurely signing of it four days later include a national holiday. People get those off.
Via Little Miss Atilla – sorry, no CPAC again for me this year – we’re told that there are actually going to be protests against this monstrosity of a Democratic debt bill tomorrow in both Denver and Seattle. Check out Michelle Malkin and Redistributing Knowledge for further details. Will it be large? Don’t know. Will it be mocked? Almost certainly, as only people who know that you have to squash populist resentment quick before it breeds can do it. Will it be worth it? Yes. Will you be there, or do something of your own down the line?
(Via Instapundit) Now that Kaus can actually read the debt bill that the Democrats just passed – a courtesy delayed to everybody who wasn’t a lobbyist – he’s kind of alarmed that his political party has decided to cater to its base by bringing back rules that encourage the formation of a permanent underclass. His major practical objection:
3) But the reference to liberalism isn’t irrelevant, because the now-undermined welfare reform was the key to rebuilding confidence in (liberal) affirmative government. As Bill Clinton recognized, voters may well have been willing to let government spend, but they didn’t trust old style liberals not to spend in actively destructive ways, like subsidizing an isolated underclass of non-working single mothers with a no-strings cash dole. It’s a 75-25 values issue. Work yes. Welfare no. Even if welfare spending was only a tiny portion of the liberals’ spending agenda, it poisoned the rest of it. Only when Clinton’s New Democrats put an ostentatious “time limit” on welfare and required work did they regain the public confidence necessary to increase other kinds of spending (on work-related poverty-fighting benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, day care and Social Security, for example.)
A reemerging “welfare” issue is a potential killer, in other words, for Obama’s big remaining plans, especially health care. If Dems seem determined to reinstate dependency–or at the least blind to the dangers of dependency–voters aren’t going to trust them to spend trillions on universal health insurance and fortified pensions. It’s hard to believe Obama doesn’t realize this. Continue reading Mickey, you almost seem *surprised* that Obama gutted welfare reform.
Just 38% of U.S. voters think that the government should require all radio stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary.
Forty-seven percent (47%) oppose government-imposed political balance on radio stations, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure which course is better.
These findings are a dramatic nine-point drop-off in support for the Fairness Doctrine from a survey last August when 47% said the government should require all radio and television stations to offer balanced political commentary.