Daniel Henninger has a good column at the WSJ
today, focusing on President Obama's rhetoric of retribution, as
exemplified in the recently released budget document "A New Era of
The 145-page document contains a lot of gratuitous partisan sniping at the previous administration. (How many times do you think "A New Era of Responsibility" refers disparagingly to the past "eight years"? Guess before you mouse-select the invisi-answer here, Saladeers: [ten, not even counting equivalent sneering references, such as "the previous Administration"].)
Obama preached against "recriminations" in his Inaugural Address, but I guess the official transcript missed where he added "unless we're doing the recriminating" under his breath.
It's not all partisan mudslinging against Dubya, though. The budget reproduces, and takes as gospel, the work of two French economists who purported to show an outrageous "share" of income being taken in by the top 1% of the citizenry. (As Henninger points out, there's much to doubt about that result.)
Spurred by that factoid, the budget document, at every chance, turns into a little Two-Minute Hate against the well-off. Typical is this snippet quoted by Henninger:
While middle-class families have been playing by the rules, living up to their responsibilities as neighbors and citizens, those at the commanding heights of our economy have not.It's a little stunning to see a blanket denunciation of an entire class; note that there's no "some of those…" or even "many of those…". It's all of them, and they behaved badly.
Well, some did behave badly, not "playing by the rules." Some of those will (probably) get their proper handslap (Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford, …). Others haven't yet (Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, John Murtha, …); some will almost certainly get away with their rule-breaking entirely, or even rewarded with prestigious jobs (most notably Timothy Geithner).
But demonizing a whole class for not "playing by the rules" is a little scary, especially when such scapegoating comes from the top.
Doug Bandow notes Republican
stupidity on the earmark issue.
Police Log contains some poetry this week. At 9:34am on February 26:
Who's mailbox this, I think I know,And 10:54pm on February 28:
But someone's filled it up with snow,
On Thomas Street -- plus extra woe,
For mail's been tossed where mail don't go.
The Draught Pick calls a cabby,(Reformatted from the original.)
But a customer won't use him.
The barman, in the background,
Yells he hasn't paid his tab.
The ejectee calls to police
To say the bouncer did abuse him,
And walks home leaving officers
With no one they can nab.
Thanks to DCE at
Weekend Pundit for
blogrolling Pun Salad. Weekend Pundit is a frequent read here.