Sunday, August 7, 2011

Quickies: the new civility edition

A round-up up news items, columns, articles and blog posts that caught our eye this past week. And here's your language warning as we are not feeling all that civil, unfortunately.

Froma Harrop is a syndicated columnist and head of the National Conference of Editorial Writers, a group that has a project called Restoring Civility as part of their website. It should come as no surprise then that the Wall St. Journal's James Taranto got wind of what Ms. Harrop considers civil editorializing:

"Make no mistake: The tea party Republicans have engaged in economic terrorism against the United States--threatening to blow up the economy if they don't get what they want. And like the al-Qaida bombers, what they want is delusional: the dream of restoring some fantasy caliphate. . . . Americans are not supposed to negotiate with terrorists, but that's what Obama has been doing. . . . That the Republican leadership couldn't control a small group of ignoramuses in its ranks has brought disgrace on their party. But oddly, Obama's passivity made it hard for responsible Republicans to control their destructive children. The GOP extremists would ask Obama for his firstborn, and he'd say, 'OK.' So they think, why not ask for his second-born, to which he responds, 'Let's talk.' "

Again, the complete lack of originality ought to shame these people but it's painfully obvious now that shame is not a trait they possess.

And which Harrop lamely rationalizes when she noted she was being called out:

I see incivility as not letting other people speak their piece. It’s not about offering strong opinions. If someone’s opinion is fact-based, then it is permissible in civil discourse. Of course, there are matters of delicacy, and I dispensed with all sweet talk in this particular column. And I did stoop to some ad hominem remarks, I’ll admit.

However, it was a Wall Street Journal editorial that first called the tea-partiers “hobbits.” After John McCain picked up the hobbits theme in a much-quoted remark, a subsequent editorial expanded on it, ending with:

Yes, I was angry, but I’m engaging in the defense of my country. I know the tea partiers say the same, but their behavior is that of a national wrecking crew. Most may be nice people who don’t know what they’re doing, but many a country has foundered on the passions of nice people.

First of all, we don't even know what the hobbit metaphor was supposed to mean. It made no sense in any way, shape or form in the context of the debt debate. But more importantly, Harrop excuses her behavior because she is the sane and rational one in the debate as determined by... her. All others who don't agree with her are just a bunch of stark raving lunatics and should just shut up. The moral superiority of the liberal-Left on full display here, folks.

And speaking of which, John Kerry was on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday morning giving his views on freedom of the press. Shut Up! , he explained:

“And I have to tell you, I say this to you politely. The media in America has a bigger responsibility than it’s exercising today. The media has got to begin to not give equal time or equal balance to an absolutely absurd notion just because somebody asserts it or simply because somebody says something which everybody knows is not factual.

“It doesn’t deserve the same credit as a legitimate idea about what you do. And the problem is everything is put into this tit-for-tat equal battle and America is losing any sense of what’s real, of who’s accountable, of who is not accountable, of who’s real, who isn’t, who’s serious, who isn’t?”

Terrorist, Al-Queda, anti-1st amendment talk from a person that could've been our President... we must really be getting under their skin.

So, in keeping with all the civility we've been seeing of late and also in keeping with a tea party pejorative, we have a question for the Senator: Hey, Kerry... how do our balls taste?

Walter Russell Mead, one of the great thinkers of our time expounds on how it is the liberal-Left disaffects voters.

The promise:

The progressive, administrative regulatory state and more broadly the technocratic and professional intelligentsia who operate it sold themselves to the public as an honest umpire in charge of American life. . . . Instead, we would have government by philosopher kings, or at least by incorruptible credentialed bureaucrats. Alabaster towers of objectivity such as the FCC, the FDA, the EPA, the FEC and so many more would take politics out of government and replace it with disinterested administration. Honest professionals would administer fair laws without fear or favor, putting the general interest first, and keeping the special interests at arm’s length. The government would serve the middle class, and the middle class would thrive.

And the reality:

For large numbers of voters the professional classes who staff the bureaucracies, foundations and policy institutes in and around government are themselves a special interest. It is not that evil plutocrats control innocent bureaucrats; many voters believe that the progressive administrative class is a social order that has its own special interests. Bureaucrats, think these voters, are like oil companies and Enron executives: they act only to protect their turf and fatten their purses. . . . The professionals and administrators who make up the progressive state are seen as a hostile power with an agenda of their own that they seek to impose on the nation.

We forgot where we first heard the term but "technocratic authoritarianism" sums up quite well the widening gap and increased resentment felt by the country class towards the ruling class. Check out more of both Mead and B-Daddy's breakdown at The Liberator Today.

How are those higher taxes in New York working out?

Taxed-out New Yorkers are voting with their feet, with a staggering 1.6 million residents fleeing the state over the last decade.

For the second consecutive decade, New York led the nation in the percentage of residents leaving for other states, according to the report by the Empire Center for State Policy.

The population loss is "the ultimate barometer of New York's attractiveness as a place to work, live and do business," the report's co-author, E.J. McMahon, said. "It's the ultimate indication that we've been doing things wrong."

Most analysts blamed New York's high taxes and skyrocketing cost of living for the mass exodus.

The Tax Foundation ranked New York highest in the nation in the combined state and local tax burden in 2008. And as small-business lobbyist Mike Durant noted, New York has also "consistently ranked worst or in the top three worst in business climate. You can't suck every penny out of people and expect them to remain in New York."

Put another nail in the coffin of the static tax model whereby extra revenue is not generated by a simple geometric rise in the tax rate. What is happening in New York is living proof of a lesson statist just never learn: people will alter their behavior in the face of higher taxes. And businesses will alter their behavior in the face of higher taxes and an increased regulatory burden. Remember this the next time you hear someone tell you that the deficit can be shored up if only we had higher taxes on the rich.

Jonah Goldberg to the hypocrites in the legacy media: Go to Hell! , he explained.

Sir Charles of Doo Doo Economics on an overlooked feature of the debt deal:

The founders of the American Republic envisioned a world of laws and not of men. Unfortunately men often envision a world founded under their law. To rise above the constraints of our Republic a new threat has emerged and it is named "Super Congress!"

Read more here.

Shane Atwell's completely indespensible Regulation Watch.

Your hi-speed choo-choo update:

China’s debt-burdened Railways Ministry, under fire after last month’s deadly train crash, might need a central government bailout and will have difficulty raising new funds, some analysts predict, adding to concerns around the country’s high-speed rail system.

Construction of the fast-train network was a linchpin of China’s economic stimulus plan to counter the global financial crisis. Led by lending from commercial banks, the Railways Ministry’s debt burden increased to hundreds of billions of dollars, largely used for accelerating the construction of the high-speed network, which Beijing heralded as world class.

The railways’ debt woes are part of the larger stimulus tab now starting to weigh on China’s government and could also call into question the economics—and not just the safety standards—of an industry China had hoped would become a significant global export.

Unapologetic, Chi-comm chearleaders like the NY Times' Thomas Friedman are comforted by the fact that our head-long plunge into high-speed choo-choos will not be deterred let alone informed by the disaster it is becoming to the Chinese.

And now for something a little different:

An Indiana couple is facing public indecency charges after they allegedly had sex for 30 minutes Sunday afternoon in a community pool while dozens of witnesses, including children, watched the illicit aquatic action.

Connersville Police Department officers were summoned to the Roberts Park Family Aquatic Center after pool patrons complained to the facility’s manager.

Cops initially issued no trespass orders to Myron Helms, 33, and Victoria Cross, 40, but prosecutors yesterday decided to charge the pair with the misdemeanor indecency count.

Pool manager Cindy Schwab told cops that she walked up behind Helms and Cross “when she realized what they were doing,” according to a Connersville Police Department report. After telling the pair to stop, Schwab said that Cross moved away from Helms, which was when “she could see the male’s penis.”

And then she couldn't. And then she could. And then she couldn't....

Leslie, local tea party lioness on the debt ceiling dealKICKING the Can DOWN the ROAD, OVER the CLIFF

No one here in San Diego, across the country, or elsewhere in the world, who has been closely following the news, is surprised that S&P downgraded this nation’s credit rating from AAA to AA+. The simple, bitter truth is that the United States of America spends money it doesn’t have. And S&P formally stated what the taxpayers of this nation have been saying loudly these past three years — .you can’t spend us back to solvency.

The Tea Party was started in 2009 out of the growing frustration that our representatives in Washington DC were more interested in reelection instead of representation. The Republican Party had abandoned it’s fiscally conservative roots, approving more entitlement programs and agreeing to continue baseline budgeting that automatically increases spending levels. The Democrats, especially when they gained control of both Houses in 2007, dramatically escalated spending while rewarding their base constituencies. President Obama has seen fit to promote his vision of wealth distribution as he demonizes this country’s wealth producers and uses his regulatory agencies to harm our businesses. All of them stopped representing the average tax paying American. TARP, Stimulus, Cash-for-Clunkers, and Obamacare are prime examples of bi-partisan betrayal that set America firmly on the road to fiscal disaster.

None of it worked. None of the Keynesian gimmickry worked as we had predicted all along. We're out of money and out of gimmicks and the credit rating agencies know it.

Looking on the bright side of things, no single person has done more to put a stake through the heart of the Keynesian economics than that of Barack H. Obama. Indeed, he should get the "credit" for it don't you think?

OK. That's it, gang. Lord willin' and the river don't rise, we'll see you all tomorrow.


B-Daddy said...

Dean, nice round up. Thanks for the link. And the article brings full circle the story of how you came to have the masthead man pictured on your blog. The condescension just drips from his comment, "I've had beers with that demographic," as if we, the great unwashed, are can be neatly categorized and packaged for the benefit of his media conglomerate.

Dean said...

B-Daddy... going back to my very first post just over 4 years ago! Sweet!

Anonymous said...

not to nitpick, but didn't the tea party start in 2007, under bush?

K T Cat said...


SarahB said...

I thought violent metaphors were so out after the Gifford's shooting. I have got to do a better job of staying current on my political hyperbole.

Thanks for linking Leslie's post on our press release. And for the predictable moment of the day...not a single member of local media has reached out for the Tea Party perspective on the downgrade. Yah.

Dean said...

Sarah, after the tea party completely wrecked the economy and was responssible for the downgrade, you'd think they would be chomping at the bit to ask you, Leslie and Dawn what the hell you all were thinking.