DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU. We take a break from breathlessly guffawing at this latest example of incompetent administration cronyism to remind you that, in the classic political thriller Seven Days in May, the secret code for launching the military coup d'etat was embedded in an apparently innocuous all-services dispatch concerning ...(drama sting)... a horse race. Just sayin'.
TIMES CHANGE.Jonah Goldberg has an interesting column on the somewhat random subject of efforts to wield Barry Goldwater's views as a cudgel against social conservatives. Roughly speaking, Jonah's argument is that Goldwater became more libertarian over time, but that at the time Goldwater was leading the nascent New Right movement, he was, in fact, a social conservative. In other words, it's Goldwater who changed, not conservatism.
SMALLER GOVERNMENT, HIGHER TAXES. Occasionally, you see arguments over whether the conservative movement sees smaller government as an end or a means, that is, whether they support the privatization of public services only when it results in cheaper and more efficient outcomes or whether they'll allow greater expense and inefficiency in order to satisfy an ideological distaste for government. Over at the IRS, we're seeing evidence for the latter:
BIRTH PANGS. "Women giving birth are smuggled out of Baghdad and into clinics in safer provinces." Why's that? Well, because hospitals run by the new Iraqi government's Health Ministry have been infiltrated by Shiite death squads who like to massacre Sunni Arab patients.
YOU'RE SEXY WHEN YOU'RE SCARY. I'd love to know which "major public-relations offensive to strengthen support for the Iraq War" we're at now. Is this the fifth? The seventh? The twelfth? Because while Rummyaccuses Democrats of "campaigning on fear" (see, irony's not dead!) and Bushdenounces all of us who eventually want to stop running Iraq, I'm getting, well, bored. This is the third set of major speeches Bush has given on the issue this year, and the song and dance remains the same.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: MIND THE GAP.Justin Logandiscusses the lingering divide between Democratic voters, who by now have come to unambiguously repudiate the Bush doctrine on security issues, and Democratic foreign policy elites, who haven't quite done so.
Like the exclusive WASP-only country club that opens the door to blacks and Jews after it can no longer raise the money to fix the roof, the I.M.F. is inviting China to play a larger role. The problem is that it is far too late to invite China to be a junior partner in this U.S. dominated institution, a fact that would be more apparent if reporters recognized the true size of China�s economy.
Virtually all economists missed the 2001 recession, in most cases not even predicting it until it was almost over. The main reason was that the recession did not follow the usual pattern. It was the result of the stock market crash decimating tech investment. All prior post-war recessions had been brought on by higher interest rates leading to a falloff in housing construction and new car buying.
LIKE APPLES TO MANATEES. Earlier today, I met Cato's Michael Cannon. We had a perfectly nice chat. Indeed, he was so pleasant that, for a little while, I forgot how crazy I think his ideology is. But I'm helpfully reminded by this post in which he compares the welfare system to health care costs. He argues that Congress stopped "just throwing more money at [the welfare system and] poverty fell and remained lower in 2005 than at any point in the 17 years leading up to welfare reform...Congress kept throwing more money at health care by expanding government programs (e.g., SCHIP). The result?