Unlike one of Andrew Sullivan's readers, I'm not exactly shocked to learn that conservatives are touting Muslim -- or rather, ex-Muslim -- opponents to the Cordoba House project in Lower Manhattan. By and large, it fits with the general strategy of using women and racial minorities to oppose policies that would benefit women and racial minorities. For instance, conservative women like Wendy Wright are always happy to help attack feminism and oppose measures to further reproductive rights. Ward Connerly is always around to rail against affirmative action, and Niger Innis is a reliable go-to guy for whenever the NAACP needs demonizing.
Jonathan Bernsteinresponds to my post on reforming the presidential appointment process with a convincing case for the merits of the status quo:
At it's best, the system will achieve input from national level interests (through the presidency), relevant local and narrow interests (through Congress), and expertise (through the bureaucracy). Moreover, at its best, the incentives within the system will push everyone to compete for control of policy, which should -- by forcing people to defend their positions, and choose which things are worth fighting for -- yield better policy in the long run.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has been touting the state's $403.2 million budget surplus since it was announced earlier this summer. On Fox Business Network yesterday, he took that advocacy a bit further and offered Washington lawmakers some advice on balancing the budget:
Yesterday, President Obama made four recess appointments to vacancies in the Department of Agriculture, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the State Department. There isn't anything "special" about these appointments, but they're worth noting, since they illustrate the ridiculousness of our system for staffing the executive branch.
In today's surprising news, a growing number of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim. According to the results of a new national survey by the Pew Research Center, 18 percent of Americans believe that Obama is a Muslim, up from 11 percent in March 2009: