Sorry for the lack of posts recently, a happy development has taken up a my free time.
And the random thought – Obama’s new “Smarter government, somehow!” push could serve to keep the nags, parasites, and do-gooders busy and let creative people create things, instead of having them filter into the general population as seems to have been the case over the past several years.
CNN headline – “Cheers greet Obamas on parade route”
What is this, North Korea? It’s like the fans of Survivor, American Idol and Sean Hannity all got together and gave each other Eskimo kisses.
I stand by my Bush III/IPod comparison – now more than ever.
From Col. Lang – a very interesting post on the structure of the IDF.
Also, lost in all of the moral analysis of the current mess (why must San Diego always get bombed by Tijuana in analogies?) is how Israel benefits from it’s current engagement. The rocket attacks were bearable for quite some time – and no one goes to war out of principle anymore. The explanation of doing it while Bush is still in office doesn’t seem to be that credible, Obama hasn’t said anything different than Bush 43, and he has something to prove, so I imagine he would be even more agreeable to Israeli action than Bush (and as a reminder, Bush stopped the Israelis from bombing Iran a few months ago).
I suppose the War Nerd’s explanation of the attacks being used to weaken Hamas so Fatah could eventually win their civil war has the most credence, but that has problems too.
Sorry for the dreadfully light blogging lately – for the record, here is a short summation of my thoughts lately.
- Bush will issue between 150-200 pardons between now and when he leaves office
- I’m still furious about the bailouts
- I think my initial view of Obama, as being an excellent figurehead, with no fixed ideology, is coming into sharper focus.
- And this is the funniest commentary on the bailouts I’ve seen yet. It’s a good indicator that popular opposition remains strong.
Obama by 3.5 percent nationally (the polls overstate the Democrats, but not by enough to matter), the Dems pick up 20 or so house seats and make it to 58 senators, Allen Buckley pushes the Georgia Senate race into a runoff, which Chambliss will pull off by a narrow margin in three weeks. Bob Barr does better than any recent LP candidate with over 1% of the vote, coming in at 3% in Georgia. Obama will be a good winner, and McCain will be gracious in defeat, and out long, lurid parade of tired whores will finally be over.
Now everyone read this article on why voting in unimportant.
Via these questions to Obama supporters – basically he attributed McCain’s positions to Obama and the people shown approved of them. Although perhaps there’s some wisdom in this – we have ever fewer ways of gauging the future, and campaign rhetoric is harder to enforce (see Bush’s 2000 foreign policy speeches, and every economic speech he’s ever made) , so choosing on personality doesn’t seem ridiculous…
Many people have mentioned that Palin has benefited from being an attractive woman, and Obama has benefited from being black. One thing that has not been mentioned is that Obama is a good looking black guy. If he were eight inches shorter, 80 pounds heavier, and sweated a lot, would anyone even remember him at this point, or would he be hanging out with Richardson on the short list for Secretary of State?
Since these have been piling up in Firefox, here’s what I’ve been reading
- Obama and the Born-Alive issue – ghoulish stuff. The controversy of abortion is where one draws the line on person vs potential person. Even the most ardent pro-choicers seem to draw it at birth, but it seems not everyone does.
- Via Will Wilkerson
Obama terrifies me: an intelligent, thoughtful, well-prepared, capably extemporaneous man ascribing a future holocaust to some sort of non-existent, fantastical, steroidal Iran; talking about unsanctioned cross-border incursions into Pakistan because we found bin Laden, or some such, and must “take him out”; warbling around about “main street” while, in a lawerly, circumlocutory way signaling that he’s ultimately going to get behind hundred-billion-dollar cash bailouts to institutions that ought to be dismantled, destroyed, scattered to the wind. He wants GM to make electric cars. He wants the American people to know that he will appear before them to make extravagant xenophobic declarations in order to assuage their insecurity about the rise of other competing economies. He does this all in a calm, perfectly reasonable manner, with a convincing boardroom demeanor, and judging by the reactions of my liberal friends, with whom I listened, this was basically pleasing to them.
McCain is of course out of his mind: forgetful, vicious, reactionary. And his ideas are even crazier than BO’s, but there’s a certain comfort in the fact that their insanity is laid so plainly and mercilessly bare by the grinning psychopath’s delivery. He provides no quarter for those who want to convince themselves that by Killing People for Their Own Good we are not actually killing them, or that by suborning corporate malfeasance we are combating it, or that by desperately seeking to maintain the geography of radial sprawl and the automobile we are seeking “energy independence.”
I’ve had the thought lately regarding McCain, Bush, and bailouts – if we’re going to have corporate socialism shouldn’t we have a Democrat do it? At least they don’t have the supposed association with the free market that Republicans do.
- David Friedman on the bailout
The failure of a firm doesn’t wipe out wealth, except to the extent that the firm itself—its firm culture, web of relationships and such—has some value. When a firm fails, that is at least some evidence that that value was negative, which is why nobody chose to buy out the firm and keep it going. The ordinary assets of the firm—its buildings, land, stocks, bonds, mortgages, and whatever it owns—don’t vanish when the firm fails, they get sold to someone else.
The bailout is not a way of preventing the loss of value. The loss (or transfer) of value occurred when people made bad mortgage loans. What happened more recently was the recognition of that loss. All the bailout can do is to shift the loss from some people to others, from the stockholders and creditors of firms that are now effectively bankrupt to the taxpayers.