"Environmentalism opposes that kind of mobility. It seeks to return us to the age of kings, when the masses are restrained by a privileged elite. Sometimes they will be hereditary monarchs, such as the Prince of Wales. Sometimes they will be merely the gilded princelings of the government apparatus — Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi. In the old days, they were endowed with absolute authority by God. Today, they’re endowed by Mother Nature, empowered by Gaia to act on her behalf. But the object remains control — to constrain you in a million ways, most of which would never have occurred to Henry VIII, who, unlike the new cap-and-trade bill, was entirely indifferent as to whether your hovel was “energy efficient.” The old rationale for absolute monarchy — Divine Right — is a tough sell in a democratic age. But the new rationale — Gaia’s Right — has proved surprisingly plausible."
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
"Is there a bigger Internet fool than The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan, who spends most of his time doing a cheap imitation of a scummy Chicago Democratic Party precinct captain with his lips firmly attached to President Barack Obama's backside?"
"Paying for a huge new entitlement which will, at best, grow steadily during downturns, should not be done with a tax that will plummet the way progressive income tax revenues seem to during a depression. See: California, State of."
"Rep. Alcee Hastings - the impeached Florida judge Nancy Pelosi tried to install as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee until her own party members rebelled - introduced an amendment to the defense authorization bill that gives Attorney General Eric Holder sole discretion to label groups that oppose government policy on guns, abortion, immigration, states' rights, or a host of other issues. In a June 25 speech on the House floor, Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ, blasted the idea: 'This sounds an alarm for many of us because of the recent shocking and offensive report released by the Department of Homeland Security which labeled, arguably, a majority of Americans as 'extremists.''"
Thursday, July 9, 2009
"Obama has been hopelessly weak on the missile defense shield for Eastern Europe, and he has now mumbled his way through a summit meeting.
The ball is once again in the Republicans’ court, and they should not count on having any more such opportunities. So far, nothing has been heard from key Republican figures. It is time for the Republican leadership to show us what they are made of — or to step aside in favor of some new party that may be willing to do so."
"White House misspills President Obama's name on diplomatic dokument"
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
"Rarely has the chasm between elite political discourse and grubby popular opinion been displayed in such sharp relief. The implications of this citizen revolt—and the hostile reactions to it—stretch far beyond Nevada’s western border. California is the Ghost of Federal Government Future.
The federal government is now run by a president and Congress more responsive to union concerns than any in at least two decades. The same bloat currently bogging down statehouses and city halls is being duplicated in boomtown Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama even brought Andy Stern in to help warn Schwarzenegger that federal stimulus money would not be disbursed to California unless the governor rescinded some proposed state job cuts. Though that threat was later withdrawn, Schwarzenegger at press time was pushing for a measly work force reduction of 2 percent.
But there’s another interpretation of California’s rebellion, one with far sunnier implications for those of us who prefer our governments constrained. Faced with a political class that ignored bureaucratic inefficiency, that demanded higher taxes, that filled the newspapers with scare stories about people who will literally die as a result of budget cuts, the citizens of one of the bluest states in the nation collectively said we just don’t believe you anymore. If even California’s famous fruits and nuts can call the statists’ bluff, there may be hope for the rest of the country."
"Look at defense spending. Are F-22 raptors worth $138 million? It's a pretty meaningless question. Congress is willing to pay $138 million. But this bears only the haziest relationship to what the Americans who pay the bill want, or are willing to pay, for such a plane. And the procurement system pays at least as much attention to what congressional district things are built in as what makes the most effective military. That's why virtually everyone thinks defense procurement is an overpriced disaster, which gets innovation only at drastic cost. Unfortunately, there's no other way to go about it.
Right now, the US has a market--no matter how screwed up--for medical goods. It is not a good market. But no one in the market, except Medicare, has enough pricing power to totally undermine the market mechanism, so it grinds out an equilibrium that bears some resemblance to consumer demand. In turn, Europe can buy those market-produced products. But if you kill the last market, everything suddenly looks very different. What's the right price for innovation? What should we research? Those questions stop being decided on the basis of the number of consumers served, and start being decided on the basis of who has the best lobby."
"The situation is not yet catastrophic, but . . . well, give them time. If the Democrats get what they want (the Waxman-Markey energy tax, socialized medicine, and another stimulus) it may suffice to bring about a Zimbabwe-style meltdown."
"Barack Obama's White House is spending more than $80,000 a week to staff its old and new media offices. Add the price of speechwriters and the White House communications tab reaches nearly $100,000 a week, or nearly $5 million a year-and that is for salaries alone.
Based on the coverage the President has garnered so far, it is money well spent."