URLs du Jour


  • If you're one of those young whippersnappers who read this blog, I suggest Robert Samuelson's column today deserves your full attention. Sample:
    To: Voters Under 35

    Subject: Your Future

    Recommendation: Get Angry

    You're being played for chumps. Barack Obama and John McCain want your votes, but they're ignoring your interests. You face a heavily mortgaged future. You'll pay Social Security and Medicare for aging baby boomers. The needed federal tax increase might total 50 percent over the next 25 years. Pension and health costs for state and local workers have doubtlessly been underestimated. There's the expense of decaying infrastructure -- roads, bridges, water pipes. All this will squeeze other crucial government services: education, defense, police.

    Robert Samuelson is 62, your faithful blogger is only slightly younger than that. So we're arguing against our narrow demographic interests here.

    Alternatively, you could continue on your docile path. Certainly that's what the AARP would prefer. Chump.

  • Via LGF comes an ill-tempered screed from Lewis Diuguid, a columnist for the Kansas City Star editorial page. Headline is: "Shame on McCain and Palin for using an old code word for black"

    Before we go on, can you guess the "code word"?

    OK, time's up:

    The "socialist" label that Sen. John McCain and his GOP presidential running mate Sarah Palin are trying to attach to Sen. Barack Obama actually has long and very ugly historical roots.
    Historical roots aside, if you're going to tell Joe the Plumber that one of your political goals is to "spread the wealth around", someone's gonna point to Wikipedia:
    All socialists advocate the creation of an egalitarian society, in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly, although there is considerable disagreement among socialists over how, and to what extent this could be achieved.
    So to the extent that McCain and Palin are pointing out that Obama shares this core socialist goal, they're right. (As Will Wilkinson points out, McCain and Palin don't exactly have clean hands either.)

    But what about those "ugly historical roots"? Diuguid's sole argument names four historical black figures who J. Edgar Hoover (and, I assume, others) allegedly deemed socialists: Martin Luther King Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, and A. Philip Randolph.

    The problem being, as Kevin D. Williamson points out, that whatever their other admirable qualities, Diuguid's examples were (respectively), a democratic socialist, a Stalinist, another Stalinist, and a socialist.

    (Williamson does not mention, as Wikipedia does, that Randolph was a member of Eugene V. Debs' Socialist Party. I would say that's pretty much a slam dunk.)

    (Note to quibblers: Simply because those other guys were socialists doesn't necessarily make Obama one. This doesn't make Diuguid any less of an idiot.)

  • At Dartblog, Joe Malchow notes a debate between the primary economic advisors to John McCain and Barack Obama. Joe's correspondent writes:
    As you will see, Obama’s advisor is completely divorced from a grounded understanding of economic principles, …
    Dude, you may not like him, but that's Austan Goolsbee, an economics prof at the University of Chicago. He may feel compelled by his campaign position to spout a lot of Obamanian nonsense, but I'm fairly certain that he knows that it's nonsense.

    Nevertheless, here's the link; you can make your own call.

  • But make no mistake, Obama's economic policies, at least for the campaign, are nonsense on stilts.