Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Two Targeted Thumbs Up Obama

As we stated in the beginning: "Loyal opposition is demonstrated by reaching back when the other side reaches out in good faith and by supporting the president when they think he’s right."

It has been difficult to find something to really hang my hat on in terms of supporting our president other than simply being civil. All those things have been lost in the chaos of his government expansionism al la health care, cap and trade, and stimulus. Now, however, I think I should spell those things I agree with him.

1. Continuing the struggle in Afghanistan: way to go Obama. Keeping Gen. Petraeus around and Bob Gates as Sec. of Defense. I worry his bone to the left by accelerating the Iraq draw down will jeapordize what we did there, but lets no let that muddle the general continuation of our policy to confront the Islamic extremists around the globe.

2. Authorizing the killing of the Somoli pirates that had the American ship captain hostage. Dude that was a crazy shot.

3. And, finally in more recent news. Dispatching the navy seals to nutralize a retched terrorist in Somalia.

Way to go Obama. Don't let me down on this one. It seems everyone is going wobbly on the War on Terror.


Oh and a big thumbs up for this: Kanye West a "Jack Ass" (Click For Audio)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What was that $800 Billion for again?

". . . in Brazil, India, China, Japan and much of Continental Europe the recession has ended. In the second quarter this year, both the French and German economies grew by 0.3 percent, while the U.S. economy shrank by 1 percent. How can that be? Unlike America, France and Germany had no government stimulus worth speaking of, the Germans declining to go the Obama route on the quaint grounds that they couldn't afford it . . . And yet their recession has gone away. Of the world's biggest economies, only the U.S., Britain and Italy are still contracting. All three are big stimulators, though Gordon Brown and Silvio Berlusconi can't compete with Obama's $800 billion porkapalooza. The president has borrowed more money to spend to less effect than anybody on the planet."
I got an idea. Maybe tying up $800 Billion in capital on delayed projects, breeding uncertainty with trillion dollar health reforms, proposing tax increases, and massive energy taxes in the form of carbon credit schemes isn't such a great idea to stimulate the economy. You know maybe. I would have more sympathy if the stimulus bill didn't flagrantly violate Obama's own economic adviser's (Larry Summers) stimulus parameters timely, targeted, and temporary.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Horrifyingly bad intervew.

Worst interviewer in the world:

Dan's two cents: Yikes, it's like a liberal Sean Hannity: Typical incendiary political commentator trading content with substance for ratings. This practice of using rhetoric to discredit dissenting points of view is why Washington is so utterly broken. Enough with political posturing, and lets work to find solutions that we can agree on. Say it with me now... COMPROMISE.

Caleb's follow up: Perfect analogy Dan. Unfortunately there are some issues upon which there is no agreement that can be reached. For instance. If the goal is, at least, a first step towards inevitable single payer health coverage (aka the government option) then there can be no compromise. But, if your goal is to improve health coverage then there can be some agreement. If your goal is controlling health care costs then there can be compromise. Clearly as always our political classes goal is not the national good, but the good of the party.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Good thing we spent all that money.

Graph showing projected unemployment with and without "Economic Recovery Plan" and the triangles being that actual numbers.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Federalism Should Be Our Future

To many observers, the nation is rent asunder by cultural fault lines that constantly threaten to erupt. Whether it is religion in the public square, abortion, legalizing drugs, or currently the most disruptive gay marriage, these issues divide and disrupt our civic life. Most disturbingly these types of issues often lead to very divisive political tactics; making use of accusations, aspersions, and impugning the opposition’s motives to further one group’s preference. How can we as a nation peaceably craft policy around these understandably sensitive issues? The answer is not a new or novel political idea, but rather a return to a more vibrant federalism: more independence for the states that comprise our union.

Federalism’s Demise

American federalism is defined in the 10th Amendment as, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Unfortunately the states have slowly been losing ground in defining what powers were reserved to them, the biggest blow being the adoption of the 17th Amendment, which allowed Senators to be elected by the people and not the state legislators. This populist Amendment, while perhaps well intentioned, actually removed one of the key features of the separation of powers (its core concept) in the constitution. No longer did the states have a direct voice in national government, instead relying on an already waning sense of state patriotism to give voice to the states. Coupled with the expansion of federal power during the New Deal and Great Society, and the states have lost a great amount of their relative power.

What are the possible benefits of federalism?

Cultural Geography: Federalism was born in an environment of very independent and different states. Today while the independence of the states may have lessened the differences have not. The cultural rifts of our nation can quite often be geographically defined, and while there are some outliers – for example secular leftist urban areas in a largely rural conservative state – the general rule holds. Thus would it not be beneficial to delegate a large percentage of public policy to the states, who can craft different policy for different cultures?

Experimentation: A nation of federated states has inherent in it a collection of experimental public policy labs. As Louis D. Brandeis wrote, “a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” This allows greater risk management in public policy development.

Mobility: In a robust federalism, an individual or family, after exhausting the democratic process to change the laws of their state can move to another locality that better reflects their particular world view. This nation has a long history of this exact sort of mobility. For example, California was once the place to move, it offered a business utopia. The best Pacific ports, great farmland, business friendly laws, and a well educated workforce. All these factors created one of the top economies in the nation and even the world. Recently, however, the state has seen an out migration of residents. If the state government continues their anti-development policies this trend will likely continue.

Harmony: Flowing from the benefit of mobility is the harmony that results from the ability of citizens to find communities that better reflects their world-view. For instance, how divisive and volatile would the issue of abortion be if each state had decided the issue democratically rather than through the federal courts? Likewise, if we would let the states decide the issue of gay marriage democratically, like Vermont has done, the issue will resolve in a manner that allows a greater unity of civic spirit. While it is a different subject, it is unfortunate that many states have had the issue resolved legally; an avenue that also inflames feelings of disunity and disenfranchisement, but not nearly as much if it were decided by nation’s Supreme Court.

Indeed, arguments can be made for federalism in a variety of areas, but certainly it can be made for the more inflammatory cultural issues. By allowing states greater independence to craft their version of community, it would seem that we would be a more fractured nation, but bound by an abiding love of liberty and shared history we will in actuality be more not less united.
The new clergy of the NEA make themselves known:

Obama pays another campaign debt.