The Obama administration is considering it. The idea is to have the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) just start handing out green cards to illegals.
USCIS, a part of the Obama administration, outlines the ideas in a draft memo that includes the possibility of issuing green cards to tens of thousands who entered the country illegally. “In the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, CIS can extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups by issuing new guidance and regulations,” the memo advises.
Illegal immigration in Arizona
It was prepared by senior aides for CIS Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas and made public by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who last month asked President Obama for assurances that rumors of a reprieve for illegal immigrants were unfounded. “This memo gives credence to our concerns that the administration will go to great lengths to circumvent Congress and unilaterally execute a back-door amnesty plan,” Grassley told ProPublica, a non-profit investigative team.
The Obama administration cannot legalize the entire illegal immigrant population this way, much less put them on a path to citizenship. But it is a democratically unaccountable start.
One more thing: Barney Frank’s Internet Gambling Regulation and Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act legalizes most online gambling at the federal level but allows states to ban betting within their borders. The Defense of Marriage Act witholds recognition of same-sex marriage at the federal level but allows states to permit it within their borders. Why is the first piece of legislation essential and the second intolerable?
Congressman Barney Frank’s (D-MA) bill legalizing online gambling has advanced. Jacob Sullum has more over at Reason. Personally, I see this as the first piece of legislation in this Congress that advances rather than curtails personal freedom. But I’m more interested in Frank’s reasoning here.
“Some adults will spend their money foolishly,” Frank said, “but it is not the purpose of the federal government to prevent them legally from doing it.” But this is the same Barney Frank whose Wall Street financial reform bill that, among many other things, tells people what kind of credit they can and cannot have. Like his anti-gambling colleagues, Frank is all for individual liberty until those liberties might be exercised in activities he deems unwise.
We at the Washington Times today explain why senators are derelict in their duty if they don’t do more investigation into troubling questions about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s ethics.
Ms. Kagan, the U.S. solicitor general, was directly responsible for altering a key medical report in a way that stacked the deck in favor of keeping the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion legal. She then gave testimony to the SenateJudiciary Committee that appeared to veer from the actual record.
The ethical questions are threefold. First, was it unethical for her to alter the original medical-report language? Second, was it unethical for her to fail to inform the courts when a series of judges relied explicitly on her altered language in reaching their decisions to keep partial-birth abortion legal for an entire extra decade? Third, did her testimony under oath before the SenateJudiciary Committee veer far enough from the actual record to constitute a major ethical breach?
These are far from the only reasons, of course, to oppose Ms. Kagan’s nomination. She believes government “doles” out speech rights at its pleasure. She believes government may prohibit political pamphlets. She openly flouted the law to harm the military in a time of war. She is so hostile to gun rights that the NRA abandoned its usual silence on Supreme Court nominees and openly opposes her. She is a “transnationalist” who would at times subject American courts to foreign law. And she believes judges should overweigh the scales of justice in favor of the downtrodden, rather than being neutral arbiters.
This is bad stuff.
Let me take this opportunity, by the way, to lay a garland on the shoulders of Alabama’s U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. He has done a superb, brave, dignified, firm, polite, respectful, but tough-minded job — an often lonely job — at bringing up many of these issues, at exposing Ms. Kagan’s record, at explaining principled reasons for dissent without ever getting nasty or unfair or smearing Ms. Kagan’s character. He has laid out a compelling case against her, day after day, week after week, without enough public credit from me or anybody else on the right. Look at his web sites (personal and committee) to see the wealth of information he has gathered and the huge amount of work he and his staff have done. Many kudos to the good senator.
In a Wall Street Journal article earlier this week, Jon Hilsenrath quoted the Stanford economist Robert Hall as claiming that there hasn’t been much stimulus spending because of state and local government fiscal contraction:
Robert Hall, a Stanford University professor, says there hasn’t actually been that much extra government spending overall, because the increased federal spending has been largely offset by a large contraction in state and local government outlays. By the third quarter of 2009, he notes, federal government spending added $66 billion to economic output, less than 0.5% of total output, offset by a $43.1 billion contraction in state and local government spending, he says.
This passage gives a misleading impression of the size of the government’s response to the crisis, because it omits much of Hall’s analysis of the stimulus. In order to assess the impact of fiscal policy, Hall broke up all the government spending in response to the recession into the two parts that would have varying spending multipliers: direct purchases of goods and services (which in Hall’s model have a higher multiplier), and increased benefits and tax cuts and rebates (which have a significantly lower multiplier).
Hilsenrath’s description only accounts for spending on purchases. He leaves out the stimulus funds that flowed to benefits or tax rebates, which funds accounted for over half of the spending in the third quarter of 2009 (depending on how you count “spending.” Tax rebates, for instance, would show up as lost revenue instead of increased expenditure). In his assessment, Hall includes all above-trend government spending, or fiscal expansion, as stimulus, and not just spending included in the 2009 stimulus bill. Hall’s measurement of spending, which includes automatic stabilizers, is intended to give a better picture of overall fiscal stimulus.
Here, from a paper Hall sent to me, is a graph showing the the extra government purchases of goods and services, the portion of the stimulus spending that Hilsenrath refers to:
Clearly federal spending on purchases was elevated through the first quarter of 2010, while state and local spending on purchases steadily decreased.
And here is the rest of the stimulus spending, composed of tax rebates and benefits.Continue reading…
Today on the Main Site:
Have the Republicans Learned Their Lesson? And do they deserve to win big this November? And if they do win, do they know what to do? Can they ever be trusted again? A pre-election symposium, from our Summer Issue. Contributors include Fred Barnes, David Boaz, Jim Geraghty, Jim DeMint, Grover Norquist, Dick Armey, and Michael Barone.
Sic Transit Tony Hayward: BP’s Abused and Fumbling CEO by Andrew B. Wilson: But he committed far fewer gaffes than the august Obama administration.
Arizona Police and Tribal Police by James M. Thunder: Guess who our president prefers dealing with.
Leaving Sandpoint by Ben Stein: So long, small town America.
Lady Manningham-Buller Lets Down the Side by George H. Wittman: There was a time when security service chiefs retired and disappeared into the gentle night — not anymore.
Contra Fabrizio: A Paean to My Book by Mark Goldblatt: …and to the future of e-books.
Those '70s Show by Jay D. Homnick: A paternal guide to government at its most incapable.
What to Watch for:
BP’s Hayward defends tenure, spill response (WSJ)
July becomes deadliest month for U.S. forces in Afghanistan (AP)
Rangel trial has Democrats nervous for November (NY)
SEC charges Texas billionaires with strong GOP ties to millions in security fraud (Wash Post)
AZ governor files appeal to immigration law injunction (CNN)
Clip of the Day:
Rangel Ethics hearing opening remarks
MEMO FOR THE MOVEMENT
Congress Should Oppose Labor Union Power Grab Legislation
RE: The misleadingly named “Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act” (originally H.R. 413; S. 1611, 3194). The bill would unconstitutionally abrogate all states’ sovereignty, subject state and local public-safety workers to compulsory union “representation,” eliminate local government control over the labor relations of their own workers, lead to a rise in labor strife, and further damage fragile state and local government economies by imposing unfunded federal mandates. The House approved the bill in 2007 with the support of 98 Republicans.
ACTION: Congress should reject the so-called “Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act” because the bill unconstitutionally abrogates each state’s existing right to determine the labor relations of its own and its local governments’ employees. And Congress should do so whether it is considered as a stand alone bill or as an amendment to another piece of legislation.Continue reading…
Today’s Land Letter just arrived in my in box, with the following lead story:
The Interior Department is preparing to develop its first comprehensive management plan for the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A), a move environmentalists say could permanently remove large sections of the massive reserve from future energy development. The “integrated activity plan” for NPR-A would take a comprehensive look at the 23.5-million-acre reserve with an eye toward identifying areas suitable for oil and natural gas drilling as well as those areas that should remain off-limits, said Pat Pourchot, special assistant to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for Alaska affairs.
So, we’re only producing oil in deep water because we’re running out of places to look onshore, are we Barry? As I’ve said…
After President Obama’s repeated (eight times) assurance that Spain proved his “green” central planning was an economic boon was debunked (as was his contemporaneous citation of Germany’s supposed success), the White House simply replaced “Spain” with “Denmark” in his stump speech.
That, too, was debunked. So now Obama no longer points to any country as a success. I wonder what that tells us.
Anyway, one (other) thing our apparently not overly worldly Obama White House apparently didn’t realize was that when a US political leader hails a small country it makes the newspapers there. And academics respond to such challenges, despite the flattery.
So it is again today, where we read “Profits of Doom” in, of all places, the Times Higher Education, including the following excerpt:
DENMARK’S WIND TURBINES: A DANGEROUS AMOUNT OF HOT AIR
Denmark is the wind capital of the world - that’s one of the reasons why Copenhagen was chosen to host the great climate change conference last year. Between 1985 and 2005, more than 3GW of wind-turbine capacity was installed, of which about 15 per cent was sited offshore.
There are few areas on western Denmark’s coast and in its flat or gently rolling countryside that are unaffected. Fortunately, the nation’s agricultural community has learned to love the modern intruders - or at least the subsidies.
As the sector expanded, so did the size of the wind turbines. The latest idea is to build 20MW versions as tall as the Eiffel Tower. Each turbine requires an access road, massive concrete foundations and, of course, electricity pylons.
Wind turbines, despite being so very green themselves, are antipathetic to nature. On forested hillsides, they require the clear felling of woodland; on low-lying coastal sites, they necessitate the draining of wetland to facilitate the construction of access roads and enormous concrete foundations.
As independent energy consultant Vic Mason has pointed out, such side-effects could stimulate the oxidation of peat (releasing carbon dioxide) and damage many sensitive habitats essential for particular species of wildlife.
Until recently, the most important subsidy supporting the sector was that the Danish National Grid (and hence consumers) was obliged by law to buy all the electricity produced by wind-power projects - and to do so at prices determined by the government, not the market. That’s why Danish householders must pay almost double the UK price for electricity.[NB: that’s three times U.S. rates…you can mandate anything, and sometimes it can be done; but at great cost, despite the silly, free-ice-cream economics so fashionable among environmentalists and politicians]. Estimates of the costs of the subsidies differ - the Danish government says it is about DKr4 billion (£443 million) a year - but independent experts put it at about DKr10 billion a year. If the higher estimates are correct, it would mean that Denmark has been spending more on wind turbines each year than on education.
In spite of the cost, wind power generates only about 4 per cent of the electricity used in Denmark: the truth is that almost all of it is wasted.
Specialists believe that it is unrealistic to expect turbines to produce much more than 20 to 25 per cent of their potential annual output, and that has been the experience in Denmark. Sometimes there is too little wind, sometimes there is too much. Sometimes the machines are broken or being serviced and polished.
With wind turbines, a conventional power station must always provide back-up. For the Danes, traditional power stations with capacities equal to 90 per cent of the installed wind-power capacity must be permanently online to guarantee supply at all times. (emphases added)
Just in time Washington is preparing to cram down its Power Grab anyway. But it’s nice to see that the mythologizing does not go unchallenged.
If you needed further proof President Obama’s economic stimulus package has been all but an utter failure with a few suggestions on to improve it (lest you leave the office sour) check out this piece in Forbes by a small business owner. He’s not impressed with the economic worldview of Mr. Keynes, and advocates investments be allocated to the people, not the government.
For all the talk about fiscal stimulus and jobs creation at the federal and state level, almost no one in government is doing anything about reducing the roadblocks to investment. For example, millions of people are newly unemployed, and in past recessions a large number of these folks have eschewed looking for a new corporate job and have started businesses of their own. Unfortunately, such prospective entrepreneurs will face a tangle of registration, regulatory and licensing hurdles, many of which have been backed by established businesses that want to avoid just this kind of new competition.
He then says this statement—which made me chuckle—because it’s a necessity that would never happen. I’m sure he is entirely serious (and should be).
No one in government, that I have heard, has even suggested any sort of regulation holiday as a potential economic stimulus program. In fact, most of the legislative moves at the national level have made private investment less attractive.
If you need a review of Keynes’ ideas check out the rap I wrote about (and take a listen, too).
Jim Pinkerton wonders if yesterday’s federal court ruling will trigger a firestorm like Roe v. Wade did. The people have a funny way of not liking their will trampled on.
At the Washington Times today, we have this jaw-drop-inducing story:
“The politically charged gang led by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is more interested in helping felons vote than in helping the military to vote…. The Justice Department is so unenthusiastic about military voting that its website still lists the old requirement for a shorter 30-day military voting window, rather than the current law mandating 45 days. On the other hand, the Justice Department has no legislative mandate whatsoever to involve itself with helping felons to vote, but its website devotes a large section - 2,314 words - to advising felons how to regain voting privileges.”
What the editorial doesn’t describe is the content of those 2,314 words. It’s amazing. The time and effort required to compile all the information, and the obvious priority the Obamites made it, really show the highly politicized cast of mind of this administration. The section includes a state-by-state list of where felons can call or write in order to try to get their voting privileges back. Yet, I repeat, this should be NO business of the Justice Department. It has no statutory or constitutional role to play in helping felons regain voting privileges. But it DOES have a statutory requirement to help DoD ensure voting rights for the military, yet it can’t even be bothered, with an entire year to do it, to post even a simple link to the new law requiring that ballots be mailed to military personnel 45 days before an election.
Along with former DoJ official Eric Eversole, who first broke this story at the Washington Times, J. Christian Adams has been way out front on this military voting issue, with all sorts of interesting information that is damning of the Civil Rights Division at Justice and especially its new Obamite overseers. (His Election Law Center blog is a treasure trove of information about all sorts of voting-related legal issues.) And Adams also is the one who blew the whistle on DoJ for its weird compulsion to help armed robbers and drug pushers and other felons gain voting privileges. The good news is that U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is fighting back on behalf of military voters.
Felons tend to vote for Democrats, like Barack Obama. The military tends to vote for Republicans. And Eric Holder’s Justice Department isn’t interested in justice, but in serving as a political arm of the White House and the Democratic Party. Hence the greater interest in helping felons vote than in ensuring that soldiers and sailors risking their lives for our country get a chance to exercise their rights of citizenship.
Today on the Main Site:
The Cure for Political Dejection by Quin Hillyer: The worst of times don’t have to last.
Swift Tax Dodgers by Andrew Cline: John Kerry’s not alone in dodging Massachusetts taxes.
Bring Back the Duel by Christopher Orlet: Because drive-by shootings ain’t what they used to be.
Cameron’s Flotilla Folly by Aaron Goldstein: The new British prime minister chooses Turkey and Hamas over Israel.
Amongst the Gibbering Journalists by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.: What’s with the wretches and patheticos also known as Journolists?
How the New Beetle Got Old by Eric Peters: So long to the New Beetle and its miserable 12-year run.
A Prescription for Fiscal Discipline by Rep. Paul Broun, MD: It’s one medicine Obamacare won’t care to cover.
You Have Reached… by Reid Collins: Whenever storms knock power out, Pepco remains in the dark.
What to Watch for:
Judge’s ruling on AZ law sets stage for legal fight (Wash Post)
Obama on the View (ABC News)
Insurers cheat dead soldiers’ families (Bloomberg)
Americans cut back on visits to doctor (WSJ)
US Military scrutinizes leaks for risks to Afghans (NY Times)
Clip of the Day:
Robert Gibbs tells media to “grow some skin thats a little thicker;” full briefing below talking about Obama’s “beer picnic”
David Frum has a post talking about liberal Republican support for Ron Paul in a recent poll of New Hampshire GOP primary voters. Although Paul’s conservative supporters would say the Good Doctor is self-evidently more right-wing than Newt Gingrich, that’s pretty consistent with the exit poll results from the 2008 primary. I made note of the data in my review of Bill Kauffman’s Ain’t My America for Reason (skip to the third paragraph).
Of course, Ron Paul wasn’t the top choice of liberal Republicans in New Hampshire. That honor went to the winner of the New Hampshire primary and the eventual 2008 GOP nominee: John McCain. (Incidentally, I think Mitt Romney’s lead in the early New Hampshire polls probably reflects his roots as a New England governor and McCain’s absence from the race more than it says anything about his perceived economic competence, though there could be some data that proves me wrong.)
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued a preliminary injunction preventing several sections of Arizona’s new immigration law from going into effect tomorrow as scheduled, at least pending the court’s ability to hear the full case. According to the Arizona Republic the provisions that have been supsended include:
• The portion of the law that requires an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there’s reasonable suspicion they’re in the country illegally.
• The portion that creates a crime of failure to apply for or carry “alien-registration papers.”
• The portion that makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit, apply for or perform work. (This does not include the section on day laborers.)
• The portion that allows for a warrantless arrest of a person where there is probable cause to believe they have committed a public offense that makes them removable from the United States.
The Obama administration has filed a federal lawsuit to have the Arizona statute overturned, at least partly on preemption grounds. They had hoped to win this injunction to keep it from being implemented first.
A new report by the Congressional Research Service reveals that the national health care law allows for federally-funded abortions, despite Democrats’ claims to the contrary.
Under one of the provisions of ObamaCare, before the new health insurance exchanges are set up in 2014, the federal government is funding state-based high risk pools to help cover those with pre-existing conditions.
But according to the CRS, the abortion restrictions contained in the new law “would not appear to apply specifically to the funds made available for high risk pools by section 1101.”
The report says that President Obama’s executive order on abortion “does not specifically address high risk pools and the funds provided under section 1101 of (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).”
The Department of Health and Human Services sets the guidelines for the operation of the high-risk pools, but according to CRS, those guidelines “neither explicitly provide the authority to cover elective abortions with federal funds, nor do they specifically prohibit the use of federal funds.”
In response, 13 Republican Senators have sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, urging her to issue regulations that would prohibit federal tax dollars from covering abortion through the high risk pools. You can view the PDFs of the CRS report and the letter below.
The executive director of the Virginia NAACP did not like Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) Wall Street Journal op-ed questioning the need for exclusively race-based affirmative action. (Titled “Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege,” it acknowledges a debt to the descendants of slaves but innocently points out that not all whites are very privileged.)
King Salim Khalfani of the NAACP’s Virginia Conference asked Webb in a letter if he was “pandering to the divisive, conservative, Tea Bagger types whose votes you will need in 2012” and told the Virginia senator that he and Rand Paul are “kith and kin.” Though Webb is greeted as a “fellow member of the NAACP,” Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Bill O’Reilly were also thrown into the mix to keep Webb company.
As I said yesterday, this probably is indeed about 2012. But it could nevertheless get interesting.
Today on the Main Site:
The Timeless Principles of American Prosperity by Peter Ferrara: This should be the central argument and theme for this fall’s elections.
The Democrats’ Redistricting Nightmare by David N. Bass: The most far-reaching effect of the 2010 midterm elections will be felt at the state level.
Employment School by RiShawn Biddle: Or call them permanent unemployment schools — because those who attend won’t ever acquire the skills work in a modern economy requires.
Buffett, the Times, and the Weeping Abortionist by Ken Blackwell: Proud billionaire sponsors of the culture of death.
Obama’s Double-Down Gamble by James Srodes: The White House has served notice that it will continue to apply both monetary and fiscal stimulus through the rest of this year if not longer, the $2 trillion yearly federal overruns be damned.
Corn vs. Coronary Bypass Surgery by Daniel Oliver: All you can eat, according to the Obama socialist in residence, Dr. Ronald Werrbick, MD.
A Paean to the Printed Page by Lisa Fabrizio: What child will ever experience a love affair with Kindles?
What to Watch for:
Obama heads to New York for fundraising; will be interesting indicator of Obama’s current clout with the financial community (WSJ)
Pakistan plane crash kills 152 (BBC News)
BP probe focuses on 3 firms and their ties to regulators (Wash Post)
DNC to promote “Republican Tea Party” plan to try and conflate Tea party with GOP agenda (DNC)
Part of financial reform creates agency to enforce hiring of women and minorities (Politico)
Clip of the Day:
Sen. John Thune talks to Van Susteren about 2012 presidential run exclusively on Fox News
“Christine O’Donnell has established a reputation as a strong voice for conservative constitutionalist principles consistent with the ideals of the tea party movement,” said Amy Kremer, Chairman of the Tea Party Express and one of the founding activists of the modern tea party movement.
In contrast, Mike Castle has proven himself to be one of the most liberal establishment Republicans who has repeatedly turned against conservatives and those in the tea party movement.
“We’re so excited to see the strength behind Christine O’Donnell’s campaign,” said Joe Wierzbicki, Coordinator for the Tea Party Express.
“We long ago announced our intention to hold Mike Castle accountable for his failed record in Congress, and now we have an excellent shot to make sure he is defeated by a solid conservative candidate,” Wierzbicki said… .
CNN notes that backing from the Tea Party Express helped Sharron Angle score a come-from-behind win in the Nevada GOP Senate primary. Meanwhile, O’Donnell’s trip to Vegas for the Right Online conference definitely helped boost her name recognition among conservative bloggers, generating coverage by Hot Air and Gateway Pundit, as well as an interview with Tammy Bruce.
Mike Castle’s Republican supporters — including Delaware State GOP Chairman Mike Ross — are dismissing O’Donnell as “unelectable,” citing her 2008 challenge to Joe Biden, who ran simultaneously for Senate re-election while campaigning as Obama’s running mate. The back story on that campaign, however, actually points toward O’Donnell’s potential to upset Castle in the primary. Without significant financial backing from national Republicans, O’Donnell was outspent nearly 50-to-1 by Biden, yet she got more than 140,000 — 35% of the vote in a high-tide year for Democrats. Turnout in this mid-term GOP primary is unlikely to exceed 30,000, so if O’Donnell can mobilize just one out of 10 of her 2008 voters to turn out Sept. 14, that might be enough to beat Castle.
Robert Costa at National Review mentions that Sen. Jim DeMint is keeping an eye on the Delaware primary, considering an endorsement of O’Donnell. Of course, many of O’Donnell’s supporters are also hoping for Sarah Palin’s endorsement, but notice how the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling is spinning last week’s Palin endorsement of Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire as a detriment. Of course, this is outweighed by the hitherto decisive benefit of Palin’s support in a Republican primary. If Ayotte wins the nomination — like Delaware, New Hampshire’s primary is Sept. 14 — that momentum will carry over into the general election, and the “Palin Factor” can’t be isolated and analyzed until the votes are counted on Election Day.
In a mid-term election year like this, it strikes me as foolish for Republicans to base decisions about Republican primaries on the hope of wooing moderates in the general election. It’s exactly that kind of ill-considered “strategic” thinking that led to Newt Gingrich’s embarrassing endorsement of Dede Scozzafava last year, and to John Cornyn’s blunder in prematurely backing Charlie Crist in Florida.
The Congressional Budget Office today released a new report on the risk of a fiscal crisis occuring in the United States due to our long-term debt, and its conclusions largely echo points that I’ve been trying to make repeatedly.
The bottom line is that the longer we prolong dealing with our debt problem, the greater the risk of a fiscal crisis, and the more unattractive the options become for digging ourself out of the mess.
Some of the report undermines arguments that conservatives are trying to advance — the CBO says, for instance, that largely extending the Bush tax cuts will significantly add to the deficit. But broadly speaking, the report presents a reality that is quite constistent with arguments conservatives have been trying to advance for years.
It outlines several consequences for growing debt, including crowding out of private investment and the need for higher taxes and/or spending cuts. Of higher taxes, however, it warns that, “To the extent that additional tax revenues were generated by increasing marginal tax rates, those rates would discourage work and saving, further reducing output and incomes.”
The CBO also makes another point — one which I constantly emphasize to conservative friends who say they’re mainly interested in national security — that a failure to address our fiscal situation will undercut military readiness.
“Having a small amount of debt outstanding gives policymakers the ability to borrow to address significant unexpected events such as recessions, financial crises, and wars,” the CBO writes. “A large amount of debt could also harm national security by constraining military spending in times of crisis or limiting the ability to prepare for a crisis.” It also notes that, “increased dependence on foreign investors that would accompany a rising debt could weaken the United States’ international leadership.”
While the CBO notes that it’s hard to predict with any degree of accuracy when or if the U.S. would encounter a fiscal crisis, it says that, “all else being equal, the higher the debt, the greater the risk of such a crisis.”
Once a fiscal crisis actually occurs, the options get even worse. They include restructuring debt or causing inflation, both of which would run the risk of raising interest rates for government to brorrow money. Inflation would not only have negative economic consequences, but it would also increase future deficits. As an example: “if inflation was 1 percentage point higher over the next decade than the rate CBO has projected, budget deficits during those years would be roughly $700 billion larger.”
The response to the fiscal crisis, the CBO anticipates, would likely include an austerity program with a mixture of tax increases and spending cuts. Yet those emergency measures will have to involve much more severe actions than what would be required if we were to address our debt problems now.
He passed away today at age 61. NFL.com got it wrong when they rated him only the 6th-most feared tackler of all time.
A number of articles I saw yesterday, in preparing my piece for today’s main site, noted how prosecutors planned to appeal the lenient sentencing of Khmer Rouge jailer Kaing Guek Eav by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Today the BBC reports that Kaing, aka Comrade Duch, intends his own appeal:
His lawyer, Kar Savuth, told the AFP news agency: “We will appeal against the decision.”
A spokesman for the tribunal said the lawyer had indicated soon after the verdict was given that an appeal would be launched.
“He said he would have appealed a sentence of even one day,” said Reach Sambath.
A far cry from what he said last August:
I am humble before the Cambodian people, I accept all of these crimes and would like the Cambodian people to condemn me to the strictest level of punishment.”
“My life is just one life and cannot compare to those lives which were lost during the period,” he added.
Duch’s attitude changed last month when he fired his U.N. lawyer and he demanded his release. Nothing wrong with wanting to avoid incarceration, whether you’re guilty or innocent, but a contradiction’s a contradiction. And as I wrote today the “just following orders” defense doesn’t apply, for Duch had his own enthusiasm for the Khmer Rouge cause.
For a variety of reasons I have not wanted to pile on, not least being my respect for Jeff personally and for his fine work. But I am afraid his latest post is wildly unpersuasive, to put it mildly.
By the standard Jeff is employing here, Emmett Till was not lynched because he was murdered by only two men and he was not hanged. Nothing was hung around Till’s neck until his murderers wanted to weigh down his dead body after dumping it in a river. (Though I realize we’ve gone from implying that a lynching must be by noose to quibbling about the number of people it takes to form a proper lynch mob.)
Similarly, according to this idiosyncratic definition James Byrd was not lynched because he was murdered by three men and dragged to his death while chained to the back of a pick-up truck. Both of these high-profile, racially motivated, 20th-century murders are widely and popularly described as lynchings. Shirley Sherrod said her fair share of crazy things in her full, unedited speech but I think most people would regard her use of the word “lynch” as reasonable.
Even if we adhere to Jeff’s precise requirements for what constitutes a lynching, I cannot fathom how nit-picking over the proper terminology to describe the brutal beating death of a black man strikes a blow against the New Black Panther Party, the federal lawsuit against Arizona, and all the assorted misdeeds of the left mentioned in his post. Instead it is a distraction that will leave most people bewildered if not offended and an argument that does not meet Jeff’s normally high standards.
Jim Webb’s recent Wall Street Journal op-ed about ending exclusively race-based affirmative action programs, especially when extended beyond the descendants of slaves to all “people of color,” is not exactly new ground for him. But it does have the Virginia senator sounding more like the independent thinker some hoped for rather than the party-line Democrat he has mostly been. It may not mean anything more significant than that he’d like to be reelected in a state that no longer looks as Democratic as it did in 2006-08, but it could be interesting to watch.
So, retiring Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas wants to use Congress to make other Americans buy his state’s expensive, unreliable stuff.
A story in today’s Climate Wire trade press outlet opens:
Pressure for a renewable electricity standard is strengthening, with one Republican now promising to offer an amendment to the modest energy bill being introduced today by the Senate majority leader.
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) will seek to include a national requirement on utilities that makes them buy or generate 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020, according to his office.
“He will be offering that amendment,” said Brian Hart, a spokesman for Brownback. “Kansas is a big wind state.”
It’s not the first time. And yes, senators tend to “grow in office”, as in becoming much more statist with each term, sometimes with each year, of service. But since that stuff in this case is energy, necessitating higher energy prices in parts of the country that have elected to not pursue such fashionable folly, there are slightly more considerations at play.
Also, with Sen. Brownback inescapably proposing a national energy tax, so much for the moral high ground. Gosh, we’ll miss him.
UPDATE: From the life-is-timing file, this stunt comes just as the reliability watchdog North American Electric Reliability Corp. issues an assessment that this and related moves will pose grave challenges, urging us to ensure that the incorporation of intermittent renewable energy is feasible before Congress mandates it. Think before you act: What an idea! Let’s all think before we vote, and possibly ask questions, like without using the term “do ‘something’” in your answer — although so using the term surely answers the question — will you end up being reckless like this, too?
Well, somebody had to do it. That fool has caused more trouble…but I like the guy so, here we go.
First, for the definition issue.
Random House Webster’s College Dictionary defines lynching as: “to put to death, esp. hanging by mob action and without legal authority.”
I have read the Court’s decision. Three people are not a “mob.” A mob is defined as a “large crowd.” So there was no “mob action” because there was no mob. Second, the Supreme Court specifically said the Sheriff and his deputy and a local policeman acted “under color of law.” Which means they had legal authority.
So to say that Bobby Hall was lynched is, factually, according to the Supreme Court and, if you prefer, Webster’s, not true. No mob. Therefore no “mob action.” And the three had “legal authority.” So my new friend Radley “Boo” Balko over at Reason pounced…and got it wrong instantly.
Second. The larger point. My colleagues seem not to understand the connection between what they are seeing in the headlines everyday — and history. There is, I’m sorry to say, a direct connection between Southern racists of yore and, say, the Obama Administration policy in Arizona.. The Black Panther case. And what Ms. Sherrod was doing in her speech when she ever so casually linked criticism of health care to racism, which is to say not supporting a (her words) “black President.”
This is all of a piece. Intimately connected by philosophy, party, time, heritage and party culture.
So when Ms. Sherrod uses the highly inflammatory word “lynching” — when it is quite specifically not so because of the above reasons — what is she doing? Why is she doing it? She was factually wrong. She was legally wrong. She did it anyway.
There’s more. Later.
Phil, I was thinking about…what..7,000 words? Eight? Maybe throw in a couple more thousand and bill to Quin and John’s word count?
Seriously though, part of the privilege of dishing is taking. I dished. You dished back. Not to get squishy on us, but that is generally considered dialogue.
Oh, And Boo Radley over there Reasoning away. When can I have a retraction for…how does one say…being “shameless” and “ignorant”?
Anytime. Next time, Boo…read the dictionary AND the case.
Your pal, Atticus Lord.
In one of the most obscene cases of using public money to back private business, the State of Rhode Island has promised former Red Sox World Series hero Curt Schilling a $75 million loan guarantee to relocate his 38 Studios video game company from Massachusetts:
The state is dangling the sizable loan guarantee as an inducement to the company, which says it could bring more than 400 well-paying jobs by the end of 2012.
But some business officials and political candidates see the deal as too risky and say it’s an overly large guarantee for a single company, especially one that lacks a proven track record and has yet to bring a product to market.
That’s right — the company hasn’t even produced a video game yet and the first one is at least a year away. “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” is the first title. Doesn’t sound like a winner to me — why not “Bloody Sock Battle” or “Mystique and Aura Cage Match?” Regardless, politicians and bureaucrats who play with taxpayers’ money this way need to be removed from the game.
So today we read that Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez is threatening to cut off oil to the US, to which itone of the largest suppliers.
Up north, the US’s largest supplier of imported oil, Canada is starting to think similar thoughts.
What a crazy, multi-polar world we live in.
Today on the Main Site:
Justice Unattainable by Paul Chesser: A lenient sentence in Cambodia.
Aunt Pittypat’s Democrats by Jed Babbin: But are they any sorrier than the leaderless GOP?
Charging the Castle by Robert Stacy McCain: Christine O’Donnell vs. the GOP Establishment in Delaware.
Joblessness and Recovery by Ben Stein: These continue to be difficult economic times for far too many Americans.
Was the American Revolution Just? by Mark Tooley: A response to Georgetown ethicist John Keown.
Rebirth in Harlem by Jonathan Aitken: Sixty-five years ago today, a remarkable memorial service was held in one of London’s great churches in honor of a then obscure German pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Soviet Man Finds a Life by Larry Thornberry: An impressive first novel — published today — that is part coming of age story and part spy story, with a primer on 20th century European history thrown in.
What to Watch for:
Obama meets with House leaders for WH lunch; attends DNC fundraiser in the evening (Chicago Sun-Times): begins long fundraising trip in next two weeks.
Leaked war reports lead to higher scrutiny from Congressional leaders on Afghan strategy, Sen. Kerry (D,MA) says it might alter “calibrations.” (Politico)
British PM says Turkey must join the EU (BBC News)
Clip of the Day:
President Obama accuses Senate Republicans of “damaging our Democracy” by blocking DISCLOSE Act
Here’s a question people are going to be asking if the current polling holds up: Illegal immigration appears to have saved Jan Brewer in Arizona. Why hasn’t it sunk John McCain? According to Rasmussen, McCain is up 20 points over J.D. Hayworth with less than a month to go before the primary. Hayworth has campaigned heavily against McCain’s longstanding support for amnesty and predicted the senator will return to semi-open-borders form if reelected.
Part of this undoubtedly has to do with Hayworth’s own problems with conservatives as well as McCain’s reinvention as an immigration hawk. But Hayworth’s conservative credentials are at least arguably stronger than Brewer’s before she became a stout defender of Arizona on illegal immigration. And if Tom Tancredo decided to pull a Lou Dobbs while running for governor of Colorado, would anyone take his conversion seriously?
Recently, I wrote a cover story for the American Conservative making two arguments:
1.) Rand Paul’s victory shows that, in the current political environment, a principled economic and social conservative who runs a good campaign can win mainstream Republican support despite deviations from the party line on foreign policy and 2.) There are tendencies within the mainstream right — ranging from fiscal conservatism to Jacksonian skepticism of nation-building — that lend themselves to certain arguments for a less interventionist foreign policy, though not necessarily the kind of arguments that non-interventionist conservatives tend to make.
Daniel Larison is skeptical, pointing to the inconsistencies of various Republicans who have criticized war-making under the Obama administration. All valid concerns, especially since Afghanistan seems to be the war that is least popular among Republicans right now despite being the least objectionable war from a paleoconservative perspective (at least initially).
I’d only offer two rejoinders. The first is that any successful political movement is going to include its share of opportunists. In the 1990s, the last time conservative Republicans opposed wars and nation-building exercises in large numbers, you saw a mix of people who were genuinely trying to move the right’s foreign policy in a less interventionist direction (Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, John Hostettler), partisan Republicans who simply disliked “Democrat wars,” GOP members of Congress trying to preserve their legislative power agaisnt a Democratic executive, and hawks who didn’t think Haiti and Kosovo were the best use of our military in light of other threats. That kind of coalition-building is necessary in practical politics.
Second, full-throated non-interventionism is not going to be the majority position among conservative Republicans in the foreseeable future. Reintroducing ideas like costs, unintended consequences, the intractability of various foreign conflicts, and even the level of restraint anticipated by the Powell-Weinberger Doctrine would all be steps in the right direction for conservatives who reject the idea of benevolent global hegemony.
The commandant of the brutal S-21 prison run by the Khmer Rouge has been convicted and sentenced by a special court. Reports CNN:
A man who ran a notorious Cambodian torture prison where more than 14,000 people died during the Khmer Rouge regime was found guilty of war crimes Monday and sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Despite the sentence, Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, will serve no more than 19 years. The judge took off five years for the time Duch was illegally detained before the United Nations-backed tribunal was established, and another 11 years for the time he has already served behind bars.
The verdict — which also convicted Duch of crimes against humanity, murder and torture — sparked strong reactions as word spread outside the courtroom. Some said it made them lose faith in the war crimes tribunal.
Alas, most of the Khmer Rouge leadership will never be held accountable. Pol Pot, for one, died years ago.
The S-21 facility—a former school—has been made into a museum. It offers a horrifying picture of man’s inhumanity to man. Combine that with a trip to the “killing fields” just outside Phnom Penh, where many of S-21’s prisoners and others were murdered and buried, and one gains a sense of the horror of the Cambodian genocide. Still, it is hard to imagine what it meant for around 1.7 million people to be murdered, many through beatings and torture.
The economic historian Robert Higgs has published a glowing review of Angelo Codevilla’s cover story for our summer issue, “America’s Ruling Class — and The Perils of Revolution.” Higgs has as good a distillation of the essay’s themes as I’ve seen:
Members of the two classes do not like one another. In particular, the ruling class views the rest of the population as composed of ignoramuses who are vicious, violent, racist, religious, irrational, unscientific, backward, generally ill-behaved, and incapable of living well without constant, detailed direction by our betters; and it views itself as perfectly qualified and entitled to pound us into better shape by the generous application of laws, taxes, subsidies, regulations, and unceasing declarations of its dedication to bringing the country-and indeed the entire world-out of its present darkness and into the light of the Brave New World it is busily engineering.
This class divide has little to do with rich versus poor or Democrat versus Republican. At its core, it has to do with the division between, on the one hand, those whose attitudes are attuned to the views endorsed by the ruling class (especially “political correctness”) and whose fortunes are linked directly or indirectly with government programs and, on the other hand, those whose outlooks and interests derive from and focus on private affairs, especially the traditional family, religion, and genuine private enterprise. Above all, as Codevilla makes plain, “for our ruling class, identity always trumps.” These people know they are superior in every way, and they are not shy about letting us know that they are. Arrogance might as well be their middle name.
Ken Berwitz had a similar take to mine with regard to Dionne column. Good stuff. Michelle Malkin kindly linked to me and added some thoughts. She hasn’t gotten enough credit, by the way, for her longstanding coverage of the Panther case.
Let me preface this by saying that I think Jeff Lord is usually fantastic. He does absolutely wonderful work, and he is a prince of a guy. But I must say that I agree with Phil Klein and John Tabin that Jeff’s column today is…. well…. off base. If a murder is not a “lynching,” it is still a murder. And I also find it odd to somehow tie Richard Russell into it all. Just because Russell and Black were racists who otherwise were political lefties doesn’t mean there weren’t powerful people who were racists and political conservatives. I just don’t get Jeff’s point, sorry to say. A murder is murder is a murder and a racist is a racist is a racist. Evil is evil, and it is for all intents and purposes indivisible. Of all the things to criticize Ms. Sherrod for, this is not one of them. With all due respect.
Sheriff, er, Congressman Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) became one of the first Democrats to succumb to Republican pressure and give back contributions from scandal-tainted Harlem Democrat Charlie Rangel. The National Republican Senatorial Committee called on Ellsworth to give the money back on Thursday; Ellsworth announced he was donating it to charity late Friday.
Here was the NRSC’s volley: “Now that a bipartisan committee of his peers has determined that Rangel likely violated a range of key ethics rules, why does Ellsworth still stand by him and hold tight to his campaign cash?” spokesman Brian Walsh said in a statement. “Actions speak louder than words, and Brad Ellsworth’s decision to condone unethical behavior in Congress speaks volumes.”
Ellsworth got $12,000 in contributions from Rangel since 2005. He kept the money five months after Rangel stepped down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Ellsworth has now unloaded it, shifting attention to other Democratic Senate candidates like Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway. Ellsworth is the Democratic nominee to replace Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN). He is running against former Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN).
Our friend Matt Lewis took a gentlemanly tack in defending himself from an attack from Salon’s Joan Walsh. I’m tempted to be less gentlemanly. Joan Walsh defended whatshername Sherrod after Sherrod literally said, and repeated, that she thinks Andrew Breitbart wants blacks to be sent back into slavery. Joan Walsh clearly has no scruples. Matt Lewis should have not just defended himself, but verbally smacked her upside the head. (VERBALLY, folks. Unlike lefties, we on the right don’t actually want to see bodily harm or death inflicted on our political adversaries.)
A regular part of writing for a political magazine or website is that you sometimes disagree with what is written, or even with decisions to publish certain articles. Such is my sentiment today with Jeff Lord’s piece on Shirley Sherrod. I am rendered speechless by a 4,000-word article that is based around the suggestion that somebody is a liar for saying that a black man was lynched, when he was merely beaten to death by a white sheriff who evidence suggests had previously threatened to “get him.”
Radley Balko has a more detailed critique of the article here, though I’d take slight issue with the headline, if only because it gives the impression that we’re making this argument as an institution, even though there are those of us at the Spectator who strongly disagree with Lord’s piece.
What on Earth is Jeffrey Lord talking about on the mainpage? He says that the sentence “Claude Screws lynched a black man” is untrue. Lynching is defined as an extrajudicial killing by a mob (which can be as few as two people). The fatal beating of Bobby Hall most certainly qualifies. Radley Balko expounds on the specifics, but honestly, even if you mistakenly believe that only hanging qualifies as lynching (which, again, is simply not true), zeroing in on this particular hair as one worth splitting strikes me as utterly bizarre.
E.J. Dionne has not only devolved from a thoughtful columnist into a left-wing hit-man, but he has devolved even further, into the realm of a flagrantly dishonest left-wing hit-man. Today’s column contains falsehood after falsehood. First, he says the Sherrod flap grew out of a “doctored video pushed by right-wing hit man Andrew Breitbart.” Truth: The video was not doctored (it was an excerpt), and wasn’t even excerpted by Breitbard himself. And Breitbart himself used it in a way meant not to attack Sherrod but to note the applause by the listeners, which was a legitimate point. It was the NAACP and the Obama administration that over-reacted; conservatives, to our credit, asked for more context, and also provided fulsome, generous (perhaps even overly generous) testimonials to the unfairness done to Sherrod.
Second, Dionne blames Fox News for the Obama administration’s supposed projection about what Fox would do. As in: “The first reaction of the Obama team was not to question, let alone challenge, the video. Instead, it assumed that whatever narrative Fox News might create mattered more than anything else….” Might create?!?! Give me a break. As has been conclusively proved, other than one brief menton by Bill O’Reilly, Fox ran ABSOLUTELY nothing on Sherrod until AFTER she had been fired.
Dionne complains that last August, “an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 45 percent of Americans thought the reform proposals would likely allow ‘the government to make decisions about when to stop providing medical care to the elderly’.” What is wrong with that? That is or was a serious concern, even more serious with Dr. “I love rationing” Berwick in charge of CMS. Or is Donne going to call Nat Hentoff a liar? There really were “death panels by proxy” in the bills. How about his own Washington Post colleague Charles Lane, formerly a major domo at the liberal The New Republic? Here’s what Lane wrote: “Section 1233 goes beyond facilitating doctor input to preferring it. Indeed, the measure would have an interested party — the government — recruit doctors to sell the elderly on living wills, hospice care and their associated providers, professions and organizations. You don’t have to be a right-wing wacko to question that approach.”
Then we get to Dionne’s account of the Black Panther case. He writes: “This is a story about a tiny group of crackpots who stopped no one from voting.” WRONG.Does Dionne ever actually do his own research and read documents? Two different people, both of them highly credible witnesses, including civil rights legend Bartle Bull, swore under oath that they each saw three people literally turn around and leave without voting after seeing the Panthers.
Dionne reports Abigail Thernstrom’s charge that the other Civil
Rights Commissioners are motivated simply by wanting to “topple”
the Obama administration. But he doesn’t mention that each of the
five has denied the charge vociferously, nor does he explain why
their motivation has anything to do with what the actual facts
are, nor does he ask why Thernstrom spent six solid months
claiming that the case indeed was “blatant voter intimidation.”
Thernstrom herself acknowledged in April that at least three
voters “were intimidated…I mean I take seriously when
anybody is intimidated, and I’m not dismissing that experience of
theirs…but nevertheless, it seems to me the case of the New Black
Panther Party actually blocking people from voting would be
stronger if there were more than three people that we’re talking
about here.” In other words, she admitted voter intimidation, but
just argued that there weren’t MANY people who were
But the worst thing Dionne does is smear the whistle-blowing attorney Christian Adams without ever talking with Adams and without checking the record. He says Adams is not to be taken seriously because he is supposedly a “Republican activist.” Oh? Adams volunteered for Bush ballot security in 2004. Does that make him a perjurer not to be taken seriously? What about his long record of winning awards at DoJ? What about his work on behalf of black voting rights in a major case in South Carolina? What about the fact that just in April, the Obama-Holder Justice Department gave him a promotion, and that he has sterling performance reviews throughout his entire career at DoJ?
Then Dionne writes this passage that amounts to one big lie:
Now, Adams is accusing the Obama Justice Department of being “motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law.” This is racially inflammatory, politically motivated nonsense — and it’s nonsense even if Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh talk about it 1,000 times a day. When an outlandish charge for which there is no evidence is treated as an on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand issue, the liars win.
Nonsense? No evidence? There is Adams’ sworn testimony naming names and at times dates; unless he perjured himself, that is evidence. There are the lengthy reports of the going-away speech by Adams’ colleague Chris Coates, a longtime civil rights activist who once was a lead lawyer for the ACLU. (The only reason Coates’ own testimony is not sworn is because DoJ refused to let him testify.) There are Coates’ remarks when Adams left Justice, praising Adams’ integrity. There are sworn affidavits from two other former DoJ lawyers backing up the general thrust of Adams’ accounts. There are at least three other public statements by other former DoJ officials backing teh general thrust of Adams’ accounts, all on this point about whether the Obamites will actually enforce the law against black perpetrators, in defense of white (or other black but right-leaning) victims. And there are a host of other pieces of circumstantial evidence, as compiled by this Washington Times editorial.
Now, it is perfectly legitimate for Dionne to look at all this evidence and find it unconvincing, if he can argue against it, It is not legitimate to say there is “no” evidence and to smear Adams, a tremendously honorable man and somebody who Dionne’s hero Thernstrom gave ample credit to in the acknowledgements section of her last book. Why is it always, with the lefties, that a whistle-blower from the right is immediately to be smeared even though there is no evidence (and in this case, there really is not a single shred of evidence that I know of — and I have read hundreds, possibly thousands of pages of documents about Adams and read all the lefty attacks on him, and none yet provides evidence — that Adams has ever, once, at any time, been accused of being professionally unethical, much less being a perjurer. A lefty whistle-blower, on the other hand, is immediately hailed by the Dionnes of the world (and, worse, by supposedly straight news reporters), without question about their motives or their actual records.
E.J. Dionne is a dishonest hack.
Stephen Schneider has died. I’ve been traveling and missed the news until I looked back and noticed Paul Chesser’s post.
Gregg Easterbrook has very nice things to say about Schneider:
It was sad to hear on Monday of the death of climate researcher Stephen Schneider, 65, of Stanford University, whom I knew slightly and debated on two occasions. Schneider was a true believer in the dangers of global warming. He was a warm and broadminded man, open to the opinions of others. He exhibited none of the shrillness that colors the climate-doomsday crowd.
Schneider thought greenhouse gas regulation would not happen until a reasonable middle ground is found between the doomsday left and naysayer right. No such middle ground is in view on any current horizon - this week’s acrimonious collapse of talks in the Senate about a greenhouse gas bill is evidence. Harsh, strident ideology on both sides is a reason the Senate bill failed. If all players in the climate change debate had even half the personal grace and geniality Schneider possessed, progress would be proceeding apace.
I have to assume that Schneider was a nice guy, but I have no direct knowledge about his demeanor. But his scientific consistency was something different. Many people do not know that Schneider worried about a new Ice Age before he told us the world was going to burn up.
There’s an old Leonard Nimoy climate special set in Buffalo, New York during one of its worst winters a couple decades back that includes an appearance by Dr. Schneider. And he wasn’t worried about CO2 emissions and a warming planet. Instead, he thought glaciers were set to doom humanity.
Presumably he changed his position because he thought doing so was warranted by the evidence. But it’s worth remembering a newspaper interview that he gave back in the early 1990s. The Washington Times editorialized on his amazing honesty. (The piece is in the archives, but you have to pay for access: “Unbalancing Act,” June 12, 1992, p. F2.)
Explains the Times:
“It is journalistically irresponsible to present both sides [of the global warming question] as though it were a question of balance,” he told the Boston Globe recently. “Given the distribution of views, with groups like the National Academy of Science expressing strong scientific conern, it is irresponsible to give equal time to a few people standing out in left field.”
But there are good reasons for balanced reporting, and one of them is none other than Stephen Schneider. Those who quote him run the risk of using information from someone who can’t seem to get his story (to say nothing of his facts) straight. Two decades ago he was warning the world that “a cooling trend has set in, perhaps one akin to the Little Ice Age.”
One of Mr. Schneider’s problems is that the doesn’t let data get in the way of a good scare. “Looking at every bump and wiggle of the record is a waste of time,” he once said. “So, I don’t set very much store by looking at the direct evidence.”
His methods are admittedly more unorthodox. “To avert the risk [of global warming] we need to get some braod-based support, to capture public imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make some simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. … Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
Sounds like today’s global warming debate, writ large.
Stephen Schneider, RIP.
Helpful as ever, Secretary Tim Geithner has come out in favor of allowing the Bush tax cuts on the “rich” to expire.
In appearances on two television programs, Mr. Geithner said that letting tax cuts expire for those who make $250,000 a year or more would affect 2 percent to 3 percent of all Americans. He dismissed concerns that the move could push a teetering economy back into recession and argued that it would demonstrate America’s commitment to addressing its trillion-dollar budget deficit.
I have to ask. If taxes go up, does the secretary plan on paying them? Or will he, er, “forget” to do so, like he did before he was appointed to his current position?
Today on the Main Site:
Sherrod Story False by Jeffrey Lord: So said the U.S. Supreme Court Monday.
Obama’s Gulf Drill by The Prowler: Occupying the Gulf region. Plus: Duel in Las Vegas. Also: Newt means it.
No Longer Charlie’s Man by Larry Thornberry: Crist appointee U.S. Sen. George LeMieux is voting conservatively and wooing Republicans.
Losing Amber by Ben Stein: Those of us who loved her will never get over it.
The Summer of Recovery by Peter Hannaford: For more information, just ask Joe Biden.
Hating Congress, Hating Ourselves by G. Tracy Mehan, III: Cognitive dissonance and the body politic.
News Quiz #3 Report Card by Daniel Oliver: The identity of our winners may be an issue, but not the identity of the bogus paragraph they astutely fingered.
What to Watch for:
NY Times releases Wikileaks six-year archive of Afghanistan military documents that paint a bleak picture of war, create possible national security risk.
Wikileaks founder says he has thousands more documents to be released in coming weeks (AP)
EU adopts new sanctions against Iran (Wall Street Journal)
House Democrats press Rangel to make deal with Ethics Committee before unveiling of charges (Politico)
President Obama to go on The View on Thursday.
It’s typical, really, that despite Congresswoman Bachmann’s founding of the Tea Party caucus, ability to energize conservatives, fundraising capacity, propensity for cutting the bull, knowledge and communication skills on policy issues, foreign and domestic, and recent poll showing she’s ahead in her race for re-election, that all Ms. Fanders could think of to say about the Congresswoman was to malign her by bringing out the BIG FISHNET GUNS.
Watch out, Republicans. The debate is getting hot.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online