Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

"The March of the Kings" ("La March Des Rois")

Thursday, December 23, 2010

START and DADT: The politics of meh

New-START and DADT are two recently passed policies that are not especially praiseworthy, yet not worth getting too bothered about.

START was negotiated incompetently. It forces us to reduce our areas of strength to rough parity with the Russian arsenal without forcing the Russians to make comparable sacrifice in their areas of strength. (Never mind the concerns about missile defense technology.)  If this were a Cold War era treaty there would be a fringe of people calling for Obama’s impeachment over this. But the Cold War is over, and New START leaves both parties with a sufficient nuclear deterrent. The world will not end because of START, no matter how bad it was.

Neither will the world end with the demise of “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell”. It is not unreasonable to think that open integration of gay soldiers will create problems of readiness and unit cohesion, though these concerns are surely exaggerated. Some critics of the new policy think this will be a difficult policy to implement in a time of war, but oddly enough, it might be easier to implement during war than during peace. It’s a lot easier to overlook interpersonal differences when there are bad guys shooting at you and when the gay soldier next to you just saved your life. Nevertheless, the policy will create friction within units, and I expect there will be some high-profile news stories of beat-downs and abuse.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Palin couldn't have done this

Regarding any potential Presidential ambitions, Palin's early resignation as Alaska's Governor was probably a bad move. But it was a move for more effective governance in Alaska.

WaPo -- "State of Alaska to sue over polar bear protection":
Alaska officials filed notice Tuesday that the state would sue the federal government over a decision to designate a swath of the Arctic as critical habitat for polar bears faced with the effects of climate change.

Palin couldn't have gotten away with such a move. It would have immediately been excoriated as cynical political posturing, and --even worse-- a proudly ignorant case of global warming "denier"-ism.

But Parnell can do it.  And that's good for Alaska.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Adam Smith's Revenge in China?

Tom Friedman, call your office.

"There are empty cities."

And this is coming from a guy who was an Obama supporter, not some wild-eyed right winger.

Construction = 60+% of Chinese GDP
Exports = ~5% of GDP
" real estate market..."
"...Adam Smith's gonna get his revenge..."

Thursday, December 09, 2010

How Did Obama Campaign?

We've heard for about two years now that Obama had campaigned in 2008 as a centrist.  So why is it now that the left is in a tizzy over supposedly broken promises, threatening a primary challenge? 

Gitmo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Single-payer health care, DADT, taxes...

So did Obama campaign on a lefty wet-dream list of promises?  Or did he, as the media has so dutifully reported, campaign as a centrist? 

It can't be both.

I think you know where I stand on that one.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Real Problem With Joe Scarborough

I can forgive most of Scarborough's individual political heresies. For instance, I disagree with his stance on the war in Afghanistan in particular and military spending in general, but in that respect I can't say that he's in uncharted territory for a conservative worthy of the moniker. The problem is that if Joe doesn't take the orthodox position, nobody else on that channel is going to. And if you're going to play the role of the token conservative, it would be nice if the orthodox Republican positions got a little more respect a little more frequently.

Joe will gripe about the troops being in Afghanistan then look across the table at Pat Buchanan (a “conservative” who thinks WWII wasn't really necessary) for support. To those in the audience whose only exposure to conservative thought is “Morning Joe”, Scarborough represents the entire universe of rational conservatism. And if a good ol' Southern boy like Joe from the “Redneck Riviera” doesn't think the GOP has it right, by golly they must be out of their gourds!

Yes, Joe, we get it.  You were in the class of 1995.  You were there, man.  But I don't care if you have the Contract with America tattooed on your posterior, the great Joe Scarborough is not the One True Arbiter of conservatism.

Maybe my problem is as much MSNBC corporately as it is with Scarborough, but somebody ought to be around to make the orthodox Republican case now and again on Scarborough's show, even (-or perhaps especially) if Scarborough doesn't agree.  (And no, Pat Buchanan doesn't count.)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Kerry on MTP - Dumb as a Box of Rocks

Seeing John Kerry's performance on Meet the Press today, every American should give thanks to the LORD that Kerry was not elected President.  His forceful assertions of preposterous things makes me question why Kerry continues to be viewed as smart, and others like Dubya and Palin are viewed as rubes. 

Let me be clear: John Kerry is as dumb as a box of rocks.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Roundup: Casey Challengers, Coburn, DeMint, Dems, AEI

(1) Potential challengers to Bobby Casey are starting to come out of the woodwork. Lilik has the scoop on what some are calling a "Ron Johnson"-like challenger, John Moran. I would not normally pay a lot of attention to a geographically challenged candidate who is not a career pol, but the comparison to the uber-high-quality candidate Johnson caught my eye. If the primary field becomes crowded (as it did in the 2010 Lt. Gov. primary), and if we get both Gerlach and Dent in the mix, a high quality central-PA candidate might just have a chance. (Also, don't dismiss State Sen Jake Corman just yet. He is definitely taking a hard look at this, and he has the potential to raise a ton of coin.)

(2) Senator Coburn's sobering remarks to the debt commission:

(3) Jim DeMint seems not to understand strategy, pledges not to oppose Senate GOP incumbents.

(4) What if Dr. Seuss drew Star Wars?

(5) Quote of the Day is from Tim Carney:
Which is more amazing: That liberals are willing to hike taxes on small business during 9.8% unemployment? Or the passion they feel for it?
(6) Check out the AEI debate between Rep. Paul Ryan and NYT-er David Brooks. I think Brooks' point about rejecting the dichotomy between sort of a Rand-ian laissez-faire and Euro-socialism is worth pondering, but I'm not buying his assessment that the Obama-crats aren't Euro-socialists, and apparently the audience didn't buy it either.

(7) You might think it's funny, but it's snot: Mucus affects your sense of smell.

(Cross-posted at PAWatercooler)