Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cruising the Web

Once more Palestinians are faking photos of a dead child in order to turn the media and world against Israel. CNN got suckered in to this propaganda. Actually, the child was killed by Hamas's own rocket.

GQ interviews Marco Rubio. In among the usual questions and the fluff questions about his music preferences (NWA, Tupac, and Eminem) the reporter throws in a questions about how old is the Earth. Why ask a politician such a question? It's totally irrelevant except as an opportunity to trip up a religious conservative and make him look silly. Rubio deftly avoids that trap with this answer.
GQ: How old do you think the Earth is?
Marco Rubio: I'm not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I'm not a scientist. I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries.
Rubio, as Ross Douthat says, gives a muddled answer, but who cares? Why ask a politician about a question of science such as this unless the goal is to get him to say something that would reject the science and then people can laugh at him. Rubio avoided that trap. I wish other politicians would learn how to do that: pay respect to both sides of the debate and then respond that it isn't his role to decide this.

How is that blue state model working out for you? California now has a poverty rate of 23.5%, the highest in the nation including D.C.

And it's not doing great things for France or its credit rating either.

Jim Geraghty analyzes the numbers to hypothesize that a lot of the difference between McCain's vote total and Romney's might have been libertarians voting for Gary Johnson. We don't have a survey to determine if those Johnson voters were former McCain voters so we can't really know. I do know that, when my school had a vote by all the students, Obama's percentage was way down from 2008, but still in the low 50s. Romney was in the 30s and Gary Johnson got 12% of the vote, the highest a minor party candidate has ever received at our school. Several of my students were quite excited to be voting for him.

Samuel Alito defends the Citizens United decision.

Paul Krugman had a silly column yesterday writing about his yearning for the 91% marginal tax rates of the 1950s. Somehow that connects to the demise of Twinkies. I don't understand how someone like Krugman could be so blind to mistake correlation for causation. Is there anyone who really thinks that high marginal tax rates led to the prosperity of the 1950s? AEI resurrects John Kennedy to respond to Krugman.

Amity Shlaes sees some scary parallels between FDR's second term and the economic situation we're facing now.

Democratic politicians who win office are regularly being confronted by public employee unions and caving in to them.

Robert Samuelson explains how the welfare state is breaking us.

Democrats are already worrying about maintaining the enthusiasm in the coalition that reelected Obama.