Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cruising the Web

Ah, here is what a government needs to get an improved bond rating: elect Republicans who put in place "prudent budgeting." That has helped Michigan get an improved rating from Fitch Ratings, going from "Stable" to "Positive." Now if only we could get some of that same prudence on the federal level.

Michael Barone analyzes the results from Wisconsin's recall election and concludes that the Republicans were as strong as they were in 2010. He found a similar result looking at Obama's 2011 Gallup approval ratings in the 50 states with the results from the 2010 elections. That's not good news for Obama, but it's still way too early to make any sort of prediction for 2012, especially when Obama isn't being compared to an actual GOP candidate.

Michael Barone also
has an interesting history of how the Iowa caucuses and the Ames straw poll grew to its significant position today. It all started out as an anti-war effort to send a message to the Democrats in 1972.

Sean Trende has a similar analysis to Barone's. He sees further evidence of the erosion of organized labor's clout.

Slate ponders a question
that few of us had been asking. Is it better to get a baseball bat or a cricket bat to defend yourself from hooligans in Britain?

As George Will tells it, things are even more depressing for Britain's chances of reforming what is wrong with their economy than our country. They're going to have to tackle the sorts of benefits that give a single mom on welfare more money than a postal worker.

Democrats won't care, but John Goodman has some good ideas of how to start reforming Medicare and its effect on the health care market.

Max Hastings in the Daily Mail has a depressing, yet powerful analysis of what has brought Britain to the point where the police seem helpless against marauding youths.
A key factor in delinquency is lack of effective sanctions to deter it. From an early stage, feral children discover that they can bully fellow pupils at school, shout abuse at people in the streets, urinate outside pubs, hurl litter from car windows, play car radios at deafening volumes, and, indeed, commit casual assaults with only a negligible prospect of facing rebuke, far less retribution.

John Stuart Mill wrote in his great 1859 essay On Liberty: ‘The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.’

Yet every day up and down the land, this vital principle of civilised societies is breached with impunity.

Anyone who reproaches a child, far less an adult, for discarding rubbish, making a racket, committing vandalism or driving unsociably will receive in return a torrent of obscenities, if not violence.

So who is to blame? The breakdown of families, the pernicious promotion of single motherhood as a desirable state, the decline of domestic life so that even shared meals are a rarity, have all contributed importantly to the condition of the young underclass.

The social engineering industry unites to claim that the conventional template of family life is no longer valid.
Read the rest.