Friday, September 02, 2011

Cruising the Web

Michael Barone explains to Ruth Marcus why Congress would not have overturned Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Back then, a majority of those in Congress supported civil rights. It was the Southern Democrats who opposed such measures and who blocked reforms in the Senate.

Tim Carney points out how the New Republic's Jonathan Cohn confuses a hypothesis for 'findings."

Jay Carney uses Obama's own standards to explain how Obama has been a failure.

Ed Driscoll reviews the further downfall of Newsweek despite the supposedly inspiring leadership of Tina Brown.

Instead of wondering if Rick Perry is dumb, how about wondering if Obama could have made it as an Air Force pilot?

David Harsanyi is exactly right. Intelligence isn't the issue for Rick Perry. Being right is the issue.

Jennifer Rubin points to what could be a major problem for Rick Perry. He needs to explain his personal spending of Texas public funds. Why has he been living in a $700,000 mansion why the governor's mansion is being renovated? Why has he sealed his travel records?

Rubin also has a great post looking at the silliness of both the liberal criticisms and conservative talk on Rick Perry. We're familiar with the lame attacks that the liberals have already been making on Perry. But conservatives are fooling themselves if they think that Obama is so weak that any Republican could defeat him. And the same conservatives who were yearning for someone like Paul Ryan who is an "intellectually rigorous, courageous conservative" now seem to be throwing out that requirement when it comes to Rick Perry. Let's wait until he's shown he can withstand tough interviews on the Sunday shows and if he can answer criticisms about his crony capitalism in Texas. Can he explain how he'd reform federal entitlements instead of just having slogans against Social Security? Let's see how he does with those challenges before anointing him.

Rubin also has a great post

Jonah Goldberg explains that the President's advisers seem to think that the answer to everything is more cowbell...i.e. more Obama speeches. But Obama's magic has faded.
Again, save for his biggest fans, his speeches are often akin to the teacher’s dialogue in the Charlie Brown cartoons. If he yanks the American people away from what they’re doing (including watching the season debut of pro football), just to recycle the Barack Obama schtick again, he’ll get nowhere.

In short, this White House needs a lot less cowbell.
Nick Gillespie lays out why all that Obama has tried to stimulate the economy has failed and will continue to fail. Michael Goodwin is equally unimpressed with all the boilerplate and blather that Obama inserts regularly into his speeches.

Anonymous White House aides admit that they were aware all the time of the GOP debate that they were trying to preempt with Obama's move to schedule his speech to Congress. They simply figured that it wouldn't matter because it was going to be on a cable station which isn't "sacrosanct." So they just sent Jay Carney out to lie when he said it was all a coincidence. And they're the ones who are just furious that Boehner made them look both sly and weak at the same time.

Is the proper attitude
for the anniversary of 9/11 for Americans to feel contrite?

Veronique de Rugy lays out the case for why we need fundamental regulatory reform. Not just getting rid of regulations, but changing the way that the federal government makes regulations.

Hmmm... Does the most transparent administration in history have something to hide about granting the $535 million loan guarantee to the now failed solar panel company, Solyndra? If not, why do they keep stonewalling the House Energy and Commerce committee?

The Obama team might be hoping that they can match Ronald Reagan's reelection victory but they're ignoring the major differences in the success of Reagan's economic plans and the popularity of his measures compared to Obama's. And FDR's 1936 victory shouldn't provide any reason to cheer up either.

Andrew Roberts is exactly right. Why should people care if a candidate "looks presidential?" Why do we constantly hear that silliness?
An enormous amount of the media coverage of presidential candidates is focused on whether or not he (or, very rarely, she) "looks presidential."

Grow up, America! Has the great democratic system of the Republic really come down to choosing leaders not on the basis of what they say, or even the way they say it, but on the way they fill a suit while saying it?
There's your cue, Chris Christie!

Nobel Prize winner Gary Becker writes that the celebration of the end of the free market is premature. Contrasting the performance of the markets and government doesn't make government look good. Too much of what government has done since the beginning of the of the current recession and economic downturn has exacerbated the economy's weakness. It's rather like how federal actions turned the depression of 1929 into the Great Depression.
The lesson is that it is crucial to consider whether government regulations and laws are likely to improve rather than worsen the performance of private markets. In an article "Competition and Democracy" published more than 50 years ago, I said "monopoly and other imperfections are at least as important, and perhaps substantially more so, in the political sector as in the marketplace. . . . Does the existence of market imperfections justify government intervention? The answer would be no, if the imperfections in government behavior were greater than those in the market."

The widespread demand after the financial crisis for radical modifications to capitalism typically paid little attention to whether in fact proposed government substitutes would do better, rather than worse, than markets.

Government regulations and laws are obviously essential to any well-functioning economy. Still, when the performance of markets is compared systematically to government alternatives, markets usually come out looking pretty darn good.