Monday, August 22, 2011

Cruising the Web

Jeff Jacoby explains why Rick Perry is right to have the goal of making the federal government as inconsequential as possible in our lives. Liberals think it's a fine joke and enjoy running through lists of all the good things that the federal government has done over the lists. They just don't get it.
But it isn’t highways or veterans’ programs or minority voting rights that conservatives find so objectionable about Washington. When Perry speaks of making the nation’s capital “inconsequential,’’ he isn’t proposing to dismantle the Hoover Dam. Hard as it may be for liberals to accept, the Republican base isn’t motivated by blind loathing of the federal government, or by a nihilistic urge to wipe out the good that Washington has accomplished.

What conservatives believe, rather, is what America’s Founders believed: that government is best which governs least, and that human freedom and dignity are likeliest to thrive not when power is centralized and remote, but when it is diffuse, local, and modest.

“It is not by the consolidation or concentration of powers, but by their distribution, that good government is effected,’’ wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1821.
Read the rest. Jacoby does a good job of laying out the different philosophical approaches that liberals and conservatives have.

The difficulties for women buying a bra in Saudi Arabia. It's so hard to get professional help when all the shop clerks are men.

This background story of UNC football player Marvin Austin's ability to take a 400 level class in African Studies the same summer session and earn a B+ while he was taking a remedial writing class gives us an inside look in how colleges shortchange their athletes in order to keep them eligible to play. It probably goes on at most schools, but it's a rotten shame.

More deception from the White House. Obama is chastising the Congress for not passing the free trade agreements when actually the administration just hasn't submitted them to the Congress. How typical of Obama to cast blame when he himself has done nothing. Rather a pattern, isn't it?

Mark Steyn comments
on Obama's blaming the Congress for not passing the agreements he hasn't bothered to send up there to be approved.
That single line from a single speech [saying that passing trade deals is something that "congress can do right now."] is an almost perfect vignette of everything that’s wrong with the Washington leviathan. The American taxpayers pay for a luxury Canadian bus, dozens of accompanying vehicles, salaried aides, and federal speechwriters in order to zip the president halfway across the country to blame somebody else for something only he can do — if only he’d stayed back at the office.

In many organizations, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. We’re way beyond that. Not only does the president’s left hand not know what the right hand is even supposed to do, but his left hand cannot even issue a cheap self-serving whine about something his right hand has failed to do without blowing gazillions of taxpayer dollars.
Al Sharpton takes some time out to praise his own behavior during the Crown Heights riots. Scot Johnson has the background information that Sharpton left out of his supposed reflections on his actions during that time and his other forays into race-mongering.

Here is a sublime example of the foolhardy attitude that the Obama administration has toward government spending. The federal government, under a program passed in 2010, is spending money on a pilot program in Detroit to fund free lunches for all Detroit's public school-students. No longer will poor students have to feel stigmatized by having to eat the school's lunches. Now the government will pay for the non-poor students to also eat the cafeteria food just so that there will be no stigma attached. Unbelievable! That is so typical of the Democrats' approach to spending taxpayer money.

Ed Morrissey
notes that Time Magazine is setting Arne Duncan straight about criticizing Rick Perry's education record in Texas. Duncan should be more aware of the terrible record in the school system in Chicago that he led before becoming Secretary of Education. Chicago's students did worse on standardized tests than Texan children for about the same level of funding per student. And Texas's minority students outperformed Chicago's minority students. The Dallas Morning News' Rodger Jones outright calls Duncan a liar. But what do facts matter when there is an opportunity to take partisan shots?

George Pataki is considering running
for president. Great. Where did he get the idea that anyone was waiting around hoping that he'd jump in the race? Why is it that people I don't really like are more than willing to run and all the people I really like aren't interested in running?

Ross Douhat argues
why Chris Christie would be a better candidate for president than Paul Ryan. That may all be true but Christie is adamant that he's not running. We have to fight the campaign with the candidates we have (unfortunately) and not the ones we wish we could have.

Don Surber notes that GM will no longer honor warranties to fix Impalas because GM was reorganized after its bankruptcy and so doesn't have to honor its old warranty obligations. Funny, that's not what Obama was promising people when he was planning the government bailout of GM. Just another Obama promise that has reached its expiration date.

Jill, writing at Pundit & Pundette yearns for a president who would be content with all the many perks that come with being president instead of going out to inconvenience people and spend millions of more dollars just so he can have an even more enjoyable vacation.

Rich Lowry examines that disaster that the euro has become for Europe's economy and asks what would happen if people choose to be "governed by a sophisticated transnational elite that operated outside of normal political channels as much as possible and, sharing similar values, forged compromises relatively easily? What if the elite were high-minded and visionary? What if they succeeded in doing “big things”?"

In what I believe is an unintentionally funny essay in the New York Post, Maureen Callahan writes how the Obama "brand" just isn't as dang cool as it was during the 2008 campaign. Maybe it's because there is more to being president than having cool slogans and Facebook apps. It's about making choices - tough choices, because the easy ones have all been made. All Obama had going for him in 2008 was his "brand." And that's just not enough to govern. Perhaps those people who were so overawed by his ability to conduct a political campaign will realize that and not get fooled again.

Unfortunately, that brawl between the Georgetown Hoyas and the Chinese Bayi Military Rockets is more symbolic of tensions between the U.S. and China than emblematic of what a goodwill tour tries to highlight.

Walter Mead Russell contemplates
how seriously Obama has hurt his ability to convince people that he has any serious plan to create jobs by his almost religious adherence to the fantasy of creating "green jobs."
It’s understandable and even forgivable that a political candidate would talk about green jobs on the hustings, especially when the Democratic Party is divided between job hungry blue collar workers and fastidious greens who break out in hives in the presence of coal. What worries me isn’t that the President’s team advised him to make a few speeches on this subject; if a candidate can’t throw chum to the base now and then what’s the point of having elections? What worries me is that they didn’t understand that making something this bogus a central plank of his actual governing plan on an issue as vital as jobs would have serious costs down the road.
Since the media liberals also want to believe in the siren-call of self-righteous moves on the environment also creating jobs, it's taken them a long time to catch on. But now, even the NYT is noticing what a myth green jobs have turned out to be.

And on that note, Costco is removing its chargers for electric vehicles because there just isn't much demand for them.

I love this story that Politico reporter MJ Lee did following up on Obama's advice to an Illinois farmer to just call the USDA if he had a question about government regulations affecting his business. The reporter took Obama up on his advice and got bounced around from agency to agency to finally be told man hours later that the USDA couldn't answer the question. It shows how tenuous a grasp Obama has of what it is like to do business in the real world.

Why should local, state, and the federal government purchase Chevy Volts?
The purchase of Volt fleets by cash-strapped cities is a particular outrage. Bes the fact that Volts require 8-ish hours of downtime to charge from a conventional plug, the difference in price between one and a normal Crown Victoria cruiser is much greater than the difference between a Crown Vic and a Cadillac. Any mayor would be pilloried if he bought Caddies, but Volts are appar
What a splendid idea! Let's have bloggers ask the question at the next GOP debate.

Jay Cost does a masterful job of slapping down the liberal meme that Republicans like Gerald Ford an Dwight Eisenhower wouldn't be able to make it in the GOP today. He tells us a lot about Gerald Ford's voting record that I hadn't known.

Harvey Gollub, the former CEO of American Express
, answers Warren Buffett's plea that millionaires get to pay more in taxes.
Here's my message: Before you "ask" for more tax money from me and others, raise the $2.2 trillion you already collect each year more fairly and spend it more wisely. Then you'll need less of my money.
Check out the top ten (or should that be bottom ten?) of states where basically no one wants to buy a new house. Notice what most of them have in common: the same political party having run things, at least until January 2011.

How clueless is Mitt Romney? He's bought a 3,009 sq. foot oceanfront house in La Jolla, California and is razing it in order to build one that is 11,062 sq. feet. Couldn't he have lived in the smaller house at least until the election is over? Romney: planning to stimulate the economy one mansion at a time.