Friday, February 10, 2012

Cruising the Web

"Congratulations! You are now paying your neighbors' phone bill.

Ann Althouse ridicules Sonia Sotomayor's resolution of a conflict on Sesame Street. Apparently, educating children about property rights are not as important as teaching them conflict resolution. If you've ever watched toddlers fighting over a toy, you'd realize that they have a rather elastic view of property rights. If they want to play with that toy, it should be their property. Period. But following Sotomayor's logic, Goldilocks did not violate Baby Bear's property rights by entering his house and breaking his chair.

Sean Trende reassesses the possibility of a brokered convention.

When the other convicts ask “What are ya in for?” you really don’t want to say “glitterbombing”

Politico has the story of the backroom maneuvering that went on in the past few months as President Obama reached his decision on the mandate that religious institutions provide their employees with free contraception, sterilization, and the morning-after pill. They conclude that Obama's most effective political opponent this year is New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan. This was a battle that Obama didn't need, but does anyone think that they would be mulling over some sort of compromise if it weren't an election year?

Timothy Noah ponders the possibility
that JFK was a "monster."

The flummery that is Obama's
mortgage deal.

Jay Cost explains how the modern democratic party has become Tammany-on-the Potomac.


So unsurprisingly, Obama has been a very dutiful steward of the interests of his party’s clients. From the stimulus to the auto bailout to cap-and-trade to Dodd-Frank to Obamacare to the jobs bill to the Keystone Pipeline to birth control, his public policy has always been crafted with an eye to keeping the party’s core groups on board. And as far as everybody else is concerned, it’s like Tom Donohue of the Chamber of Commerce said during the Obamacare battle: “If you don’t get in this game, you’re on the menu!” That's the machine ethos in a nutshell: once we buy off half-plus-one of the electorate, we won't lift a finger for you. If you don't like it, move to the suburbs.

This is the connecting thread of the Obama administration’s major policy decisions: the clients come first. If there is room for the public interest after they have been taken care of, great. If not, so what? Team Obama will raise a billion dollars from its clients to claim this fall that everything the president did was for the public good, and bet that the voters don’t see past the propaganda before Election Day. And then it will be right back to work, socializing an ever-greater share of the national wealth, all to promote "fairness," i.e. their groups win while you lose.


Michigan is facing a possible state budget surplus
after so many years of crippling deficits. So, of course, voices are now clamoring for how to spend that money.

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