Saturday, July 11, 2009
From yet another excellent George Will column:
But before embarking on Stimulus III, note that only about 10 percent of Stimulus II has yet been injected into the economy. This is not the administration’s fault, the administration’s defenders say, because government is cumbersome, sluggish and inefficient. But this sunburst of insight comes as the administration toils to enlarge governmental control of health care, energy, finance, education, etc. The administration guesses that these government projects will do better than the Postal Service (its second-quarter loss, $1.9 billion, was 68 percent of its losses for all of 2008) and the government’s railroad (Amtrak has had 38 money-losing years, and this year’s losses are on pace to set a record).
Let’s guess: Will a person or institution looking for a place to invest $1 billion seek opportunities in the United States, where policy decisions are deliberately increasing taxes, debt, regulations and the cost of energy, and soon will increase the cost of borrowing and hiring? Or will the investor look at, say, India.
Related: what it feels like to be a libertarian
Friday, January 4, 2008
Whew! I’m glad Congress decided to get involved and demand that Roger Clemens testify before a congressional committee investigating his alleged use of then-legal performance-enhancing drugs in the early 1990s!
I was beginning to think Congress was wasting time on too many irrelevant, unimportant issues that they shouldn’t be involving themselves with in the first place. It’s reassuring to see they’re back to dealing with the most pressing national and global concerns.
Friday, January 4, 2008
John Tierney wishes us a not-so-happy New Year in Tuesday’s Times, writing that 2008 will bring another twelve months of fearsome, outlandish predictions. In summary:
Long-term climate models cannot explain short-term weather. But there’s bound to be some weird weather somewhere, and we will react like the sailors in the Book of Jonah. When a storm hit their ship, they didn’t ascribe it to a seasonal weather pattern. They quickly identified the cause (Jonah’s sinfulness) and agreed to an appropriate policy response (throw Jonah overboard).
Today’s interpreters of the weather are what social scientists call availability entrepreneurs: the activists, journalists and publicity-savvy scientists who selectively monitor the globe looking for newsworthy evidence of a new form of sinfulness, burning fossil fuels.
As I’ve written before, this pretty much jives with my position on global warming. I’m not a scientist or climatologist, and even if I read all the reports I probably wouldn’t understand them, so I have to figure out who the most credible sources are and trust their conclusions before I can determine how to best be part of the solution.
Note to availability entrepreneurs: this is hard enough as it is without you people mucking up my honest attempts to get things straight by stifling all debates and telling me you’ve got all the answers because of some movie you saw. I guarantee you that a person trying to make a reasonably objective determination on this issue could watch An Inconvenient Truth and The Great Global Warming Swindle (in either order) and walk away with absolutely no idea what to believe.
Friday, November 30, 2007
John Fund (via Instapundit) reports on planted questions in the Republican debate:
Now it appears that an amazing number of partisan figures posed many of the 30 questions at the GOP debate all the while pretending to be CNN’s advertised “undecided voters.” Yasmin from Huntsville, Alabama turns out to be a former intern with the Council on American Islamic Relations, a group highly critical of Republicans. Blogger Michelle Malkin has identified other plants, including declared Obama supporter David Cercone, who asked a question about the pro-gay Log Cabin Republicans. A questioner who asked a hostile question about the pro-life views of GOP candidates turned out to be a diehard John Edwards supporter (and a slobbering online fan of Mr. Cooper). Yet another “plant” was LeeAnn Anderson, an activist with a union that has endorsed Mr. Edwards.
It seems more “plants” are being uprooted with each passing day. Almost a third of the questioners seem to have some ties to Democratic causes or candidates.
In my view, so what? This last debate was the best one so far because the candidates actually got some hard questions! Other than letting the general in the audience have the microphone for 3 minutes – really bad idea on CNN’s part — I thought the questions were a pretty good selection overall.
The real tragedy is that the Democrats have been getting away with too many softball questions designed to let them all beat up on the current administration instead of each other. If we really want to make these debates interesting, we should start letting the candidates from each party select the questions for the other party’s debates!
Of course, I’m also the guy who supports negative campaigning on the grounds that it provides more concrete information about the candidates, just as a disclaimer.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wait, I’m confused. If the mayor wants to close two dozen public schools it’s a good business decision, but one argument against vouchers is that parents might flee to better schools and result in some public schools closing. What gives?
I know virtually nothing about Mayor Fenty’s plan to improve DC schools, but I applaud him for making the option of closing schools part of his arsenal. It’s just that I have this other idea about this system where parental choice can easily show us which schools ought to be closing…