Why the Sequester is a win for fairness

sequester“Fairness” in politics is an arbitrary concept, which is exactly why liberal politicians love it. Once they’ve claimed the mantle of fairness, their policy prescriptions become unassailable. After all, who could be against “fairness”? Only Republican jerks, that’s who.

The increase in “fairness” between a 36% and 40% tax rate is intangible, and despite liberals protestations to the contrary, probably a net decrease.  But your opinion on the fairness of that tax code modification depends on your underlying assumptions about the proper role of government and your visceral reaction to income inequality.  When measuring fairness in that instance, logic and reason remain on the periphery.

But the sequester is a different story.  Read more of this post

Democrats Snicker at Republican Kool-aid

Republican Kool-Aid: Oh yeah!

Comprehensive immigration reform: Oh Yeah!

The Republican establishment’s ham-fisted courtship of the American electorate feels like watching the science nerds on The Big Bang Theory hit on a hot girl. Over and over again. The same way. Getting more and more uncomfortable each time. Oh, you like immigration reform? Uh, I can do that. Border security? No? Ok. Just tell me what you want. I’ll do anything. Anything!

Meanwhile, the girl gets the nice little nerds to buy her pretty things, then runs off with the jerk boyfriend who treats her like garbage.

Obama advisor David Plouffe is enjoying the spectacle as he drives off in his Lexus. Responding to a question about Marco Rubio’s messianic possibilities in transforming the Hispanic vote, Mr. Plouffe said, “The Hispanic voters in Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico don’t give a damn about Marco Rubio, the Tea Party Cuban-American from Florida.”

The awkward flirting

Plouffe isn’t just posturing. It’s the reality on the ground. Mr. Plouffe explains, “You know what? We won the Cuban vote….It’s probably my favorite stat of the whole campaign. So this notion that Marco Rubio is going to heal their problems — it’s not even sophomoric; it’s juvenile! And by the way: the bigger problem they’ve got with Latinos isn’t immigration. It’s their economic policies and health care. The group that supported the president’s health care bill the most? Latinos.”

Polls differ on who outright won the Cuban vote in Florida, but at worst, Obama won 48% of their vote, up from 35% in 2008. Will Rubio’s ethnicity and charisma overcome the Republican deficit with Hispanics? The “Tea Party Cuban-American” couldn’t even deliver his home state’s Cuban-American population. An important lesson of last year’s election was that Dems have a much better grasp on what people want to hear and what motivates them. Plouffe should be shutting his mouth about how out of touch Republicans are, and go on winning elections, but he’s so astounded that they’re playing make believe about why they can’t win the Hispanic vote, he can’t help himself.  Read more of this post

Bill Bennett’s imaginary feminist hero: Elizabeth Blackwell

elizabeth blackwellBill Bennett always seemed like a kind, jovial man, who gives off the impression of a caring grandfather-type whose wisdom is to be trusted. No more. Not after the January 23rd entry of his American Patriot’s Almanac on female icon Elizabeth Blackwell, where he has revealed himself as a teller of tall tales. A fabulist. Or just a liar. He begins:

On January 23, 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman in the United States to receive a medical degree when she graduated from New York’s Geneva Medical College.

There’s gotta be a first for everything (except women on the front line of combat, that’ll never happen in any decent, chivalrous nation), so Elizabeth Blackwell filling that role is nothing remarkable. My skepticism was sparked, however, when Bennett started describing how she got there.

Blackwell had emigrated with her family from England to the U.S. at age eleven after her father’s sugar refinery business failed. A few years later her father died, and she took up teaching to help support the family.

Working to support the family? Had she never heard of welfare? The story continues to get more absurd: Read more of this post

How not to learn from history

learn from historyBefore getting married three years ago, my wife and I attended Catholic pre-Cana class. The teacher eventually faced the unenviable but entirely predictable task of explaining to half a room of lapsed Catholics, brought up in a modern culture that finds Ke$ha’s existence not only entirely acceptable but also worth broadcasting over countless radio stations, why the Church has such antiquated beliefs on sexuality and birth control. After some intro on Humanae Vitae and Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, the teacher unleashed this simple yet profound rhetorical, “You ever notice how you only disagree with Church teaching when it conflicts with something you want to do?” Well, duh, but… hmmm.

The problem is inherent to human nature. We trust in wisdom until it inconveniences us. It is extremely difficult to get someone to believe something when it is against their financial interest to do so. A rationalization that suits our self-interest or gratifies our emotions will always be the most appealing option.

That thought came to mind when reading about Piers Morgan’s latest silliness Read more of this post

SodaStream vs. Statism: When being green isn’t enough

SodaStreamStatism rests on a fairly simple conceit: the free market is ruled by greed and exploitation, so government intervention is necessary to level the playing field. Inherent in that mindset is the assumption that the government is benevolent, and its actors are without their own selfish motivations. A selective naivety is necessary to maintain this wishful worldview against the constant barrage that is reality, and it leads to some fascinating contradictions. For example, the same group that believes George W. Bush started a war in order to drive up Halliburton’s stock price (or something), never stops to think about the potential pitfalls of handing the government other immense powers, such as defining what the term “health care” will mean.

Politicians are happy to exploit this naivety to accumulate power, feigning self-righteous idealism to mask their ulterior motive. Getting away with anything is possible as long as you claim that you’re doing it for the children, or to uplift the disadvantaged worker, or to strengthen the middle class, or to protect… the bottled soda industry?

We’ll get to that in a second. First, recall O’Brien’s dark reveal at the end of George Orwell’s classic 1984Read more of this post

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