Wednesday, July 24, 2002
Everybody's doing it...
...vacation, that is. Now it's my turn.
I will continue posting, on an even more reduced basis, although tomorrow and Friday are probably out. (Traveling on both days). After that, I will post when my alleged life doesn't interfere (I *do* have a life; it's packed in a pocket of my suitcase).
Before I go, I want to highlight this:
Stocks Rebound, Biggest Gain Since '87
Since some of the doomsayers out there were insisting that Bush was so scary to investors that the stock market was doomed, I feel obligated to jump up and down and say "nyah, nyah". Second largest gain ever, folks.
See you in a couple of days.
posted at 08:15 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, July 23, 2002
As most regular readers know, I scan the letters sections of both of the Seattle papers on a daily basis. I had a strong feeling of déja vu today. One gentleman managed to get the same letter published in both papers on the same day. (Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer). Note: The Post-Intelligencer letter is missing the first paragraphI do not know if the paper edited it or if the writer left it out.
While I don't strongly disagree with Rev. Ron Moe-Lebeda's comments today, his comments elsewhere (Seattle Post-Intelligencer letter on July 17th and The Lutheran letter to the editor January 2002) seem to paint him as a garden variety lefty. And here, I thought that all religious figures were part of the religious right...
posted at 10:41 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Line Item Veto thoughts
An entry (and the subsequent comments) at Live from the World Trade Center started some thoughts about the failed Line Item Veto provision of the 1994 "Contract With America". If you recall, the measure to give the president Line-Item Veto power was overturned by a federal judge, and the ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court as a violation of the "Separation of Powers" as laid out in the Constitution.
In any case, one of the comments pointed out that both parties have shown themselves utterly incapable of controlling spending. I agree, but I do not believe that this was always the case. When the GOP-controlled congress passed the line-item veto (largely along party lines; most of the Democrats opposed it), a DEMOCRATIC president was in the White House. There was the very real possibility that Clinton could have vetoed only the Republican Party's pork projects, and the GOP (which lacked a two-thirds majority) would not be able to override the vetoes. This indicates, to me at least, the reformist instincts of the new Republican majority of the 104th congress. Sadly, since then the Republicans in congress have discovered the joys of budget-bloat, and have shown that they can spend just as quickly as their counterparts in the Democratic Party.
With the demise of the line-item veto (and the failure to pass the Balanced Budget Amendment (by one votecourtesy of turncoat Mark Hatfield), there is no official method of eliminating pork from the budgets. Further, since congress is fond of passing huge omnibus spending bills, it is impossible to read through them to identify pork in a timely fashion. Bush had stated that he was opposed to pork (more so than most politicians; he campaigned against it), but has made little effort to rein it in. The task could be made easier by requiring congress to pass spending bills for each department or agency, which would facilitate a quick scan. Bush could identify each item he wants removed, and veto the bill (and continue vetoing) until the offending items are eliminated. This is not a perfect solution, as he will not be able to remove *all* of the pork (too much trimming will create a majority that will override a veto), but it is a start. Further, this will work regardless of which party is in power in the White House or in congress; it is a non-partisan, constitutionally sound alternative to the line-item veto.
Any comments on this would be welcome, especially from those who are lawyers or constitutional scholars; I am neither, and my proposal may be off-base.
posted at 09:54 PM | permalink | Comments (2)
Monday, July 22, 2002
Whack Job of the Millenium
Kevin over at Links I Like (aka Large American P3nis) has discovered a troll, or more precisely, a Neanderthal. This guy makes Pat Buchanan look like Jesse Jackson. He's only 19, and is desperately in need of something (I think Kevin hit it on the head, in his assessment). Check out what Kevin has to say about this freakshow, and follow the link to the circus sideshow.
posted at 09:50 PM | permalink | Comments (3)
Fact-checking Krugman's ass
The Krugman Truth Squad is a no-frills, bare-bones website whose sole purpose is to provide thorough rebuttals of Paul Krugman's twaddle in The New York Times. It appears to be affiliated with John Weidner's Random Jottings, with a link to the archive on the RJ page. In any case, the articles are well written, and certainly worth a look.
(Link courtesy of Dean Esmay.)
posted at 07:10 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Oh, please, let it be true!
Israel Kills Head of Hamas Military Wing- Hamas
This is absolutely the best news I have heard from this Middle East for eons.
UPDATE: 22 July 2002/7:49 PMUnfortunately, as Laurence Simon has noted in the comments, the bastard survived. See this story for more details.
I feel sorry for his childrenthey had no choice. As to the rest of the deaths, good riddance to rubbish. They consorted with snakes, and they got bitten. Serves them right.
UPDATE II: 23 July 2002/5:00 AMIt appears Israel was successful after all. This story has all the details, including the UN denunciation of Israel. Notice that there was absolutely no mention of the fact that the scumbag they targeted had killed scores of Israelis, but that's the UN for you.
posted at 07:00 PM | permalink | Comments (2)
Stupid Letters Entry
From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
It truly disgusts me that, in this time of heavy losses (jobs and retirement investments) for the average worker at Enron and WorldCom, George Will turns a happy and willful blind eye to 21st century realities. In his ode to Milton Friedman, Will exalts that Friedman's ideas "... inserted in political discourse such (then) novels ideas as flexible exchange rates, a private dimension of Social Security, tuition vouchers ... and a flat income tax ... and that when Friedman began arguing the case, most nations had top tax rates of at least 90 percent (91 percent in America). Today most top rates are 50 percent or less, so that the world has moved far toward Friedman's position."
Doesn't Will realize that his exaltation of the lowering of the top tax rates is exactly what the phrase "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer" means? Doesn't Will realize that Friedman's paradigm has contributed to our country's widening economic gap, which has not been seen since the Gilded Age and the Roaring '20s? Doesn't Will realize that Friedman's economics, carried to '90s corporate-greed extremes (huge monopolistic mergers and executive malfeasance), is destroying our middle class?
Barbara Ann Galler
A little poking around in google reveals that Mrs. Galler is a teacher. Don't you feel safer knowing that our children's education is in her capable hands?
posted at 05:01 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Sunday, July 21, 2002
Sullivan disses the NYTimes
...and he is 100% on target. In this article, originally written for the New York Sun, he addressed how the Times uses polls to deliver the anti-Bush spin they want, rather than a more balanced analysis. He compares the Times' coverage with that of the Washington Post; even though the polls (and their results) read almost exactly the same , it sure doesn't sound like it from the reporting.
The area in which the New York Times excels in its anti-Bush bias, however, is the headlines, traditionally the most important part of any story. He mentions specific instances of biased (or outright incorrect) headlines to deliver a spin on the news in a fashion calculated to harm Bush the most.
And there is this gem, which the New York Times actually included in a poll:
Do you think George W. Bush is in charge of what goes on in his administration most of the time or do you think other people are really running the government?
This is why books like Ann Coulter's Slander have such an impact on the marketplacedespite their protests to the contrary, much of the media are unmistakably biased against Bush and conservatism in general.
posted at 06:42 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Mathew Engel plays nice
Guardian columnist Matthew Engel (you'll recall his snide columns earlier this year, in which he sneered at rural and suburban America), apparently received some mail about his America-bashing. He responded with this column, in June. (Yes, I know it's almost the end of July, but I just found the column.)
In the giving-credit-where-credit-is-due spirit, I must admit that I was startled. He manages to get in swipes against our gun laws, capital punishment, low gas taxes, our food, our work ethic, and (of course) Bush and Ashcroft. However, he also has a number of points about why America is a good place, and even paints a few flattering direct comparisons between the US and Britain. I'll not quote his entire piece, but he makes four points that I would really like to share.
1. Race. It's been a 140-year journey and the US has not arrived yet. But Europe is way behind in its commitment to racial diversity and equality. A black cabinet minister in Britain? So what? Two of the five most important leaders here are black (Powell and Rice), and no one comments. Also, the tradition of immigration makes it far easier for any outsider to be accepted.
2. The legislators actually think and matter. Senators and congressmen are not lobby-fodder. Lobbyist- fodder, maybe, but they play a crucial role in the national debate.
3. Invincible green suburbs. My observation (on incomplete evidence) is that the average patch of American suburbia is less crime-ridden and certainly less fearful than its British equivalent.
50. The sense that things are getting less decrepit, not continually worse.
From the Guardian, no less.
posted at 05:56 PM | permalink | Comments (2)
More on Harken
The Dodd, over at Ipse Dixit, is turning into a one-stop clearinghouse for rebuttals to disinformation regarding the Democratic Party's attempts to smear Bush over the Harken Energy issue.
Today, he noted this article, which points out that Bush voted against the Bahraini drilling deal that sustained Harken's stock for some time after it was announced.
Dodd has some analysis of his own here. He notes a major factual error in the coverage of the story, but also points out that Bush was right about the prospects of the deal, which turned out to be a bust.
I mailed a copy of the article to Paul Krugman. (grin) I doubt he'll even note that it cuts the legs out from his arguments against Bush, but hope springs eternal.
It's time for the Democrats to put up or shut up regarding Harken. There is no proof that Bush did anything wrong, and all the evidence that has been presented so far has pointed to Bush being as innocent as he claims. If that fails, perhaps the RNC can agitate for investigations of Terry McAuliffe's finances, which appear to be rather, um, interesting. Or maybe an investigation of Linda Hall Daschle, wife of the majority leader and congressional lobbyist. Both might prove to have some interesting tales to tell.
posted at 03:47 PM | permalink | Comments (2)
From the Parade newsmagazine newspaper supplement (not available online):
So much for the vaunted British reserve. Almost 30% of the respondents to a nationwide e-mail ethics poll said they had sent racist, sexist, or pornographic messages at work. And almost 40% said they had used e-mail to further their own careers at the expense of colleagues. After seeing the results of the survey by his company, SurfControl, Martino Corbelli said British workers should hang their heads in shame.
And it is said that businessmen in the US are ruthless.
posted at 01:23 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
I have been reviewing my site meter logs, and there are a *lot* of people who are arriving here from my old website (Regurgablog). If you arrived here after being redirected from my old blog, drop me a line via e-mail or comments so I can figure out from where you are coming. I'm a bit puzzled that my old blog is the biggest referral even one month after I moved (in fact, more than the next two combined, with google coming in third).
posted at 12:21 PM | permalink | Comments (2)
Added a few new blogs:
Samizdata (A Sekimori blog)
I also fixed Silflay Hraka's name (which I butchered, even after I fixed the link), and updated The Last Page to her new home on blogfodder and Movable Type.
posted at 11:28 AM | permalink | Comments (0)