Welcome, one and all to the most intense nightly read anywhere on the ‘sphere: The BitsBlog Nightly Ramble

  • POPULISM? Frankly, I have always had my difficulties with political populism.  But it strikes me is nothing shy of hilarious that the biggest complaint about Sarah Palin these days is that she is better at being the populist than a is Barack Obama. Some will regard Broder’s column as praise of Palin. I’m not so sure. I tend to regard this as a pre-emptive strike. Let’s remember tah over the long haul, populism tends not to work.  Ask Pat Buchanan.  (and yes there are other factors at work there, but those are beside the point here)   I’m of the view, just now, that the very reason that Obama and his handlers have decided to cast him as a populist, is Sarah Palin’s success for the moment in playing that line.  He his handlers… and now Broder with them… are if nothing else pragmatic enough to regard Palin a threat based on her successes. What none of them dare to recognize is that one need not be the fastest when running away from the lion… merely ‘not the slowest’.  Put another way, Palin is as popular as she is just now because Obama and the Democrats are almost universally recognized in the electorate as terminal screw-ups.   However that may be, think of this; when we start seeing the people were complaining about Sarah Palin and her political populism complaining about Obama doing exactly the same, maybe, just maybe, we can start taking them seriously.  Not until.
  • JOHN EDWARDS: Not that anybody really cares, (….well, at least, anybody who matters… )  but John Edwards is still in the news.  Wendy Button, who is a former Edwards speechwriter tells us in an article in The Huff and Puff today that she was the one who worked on at word statement admitting that he was the baby’s father and that he then changed it.  Weakened it, she says.  Why is it that the best and the brightest that the Democrat party has to offer the last twenty years or so, invariably involves someone who is a congenital liar?  That’s really what this whole thing is about. And what’s this I hear about Andrew Young being sued for supposedly contributing to Edwards’ failed marriage?
  • SPEAKING OF THE HUFF AND PUFF: What’s up with Airanna Huffington being on the “Human Garbage” list? It is increasingly apparent to me that my original observation was correct, 30 plus years ago… that leftists are walking vials of hatred, looking for an outlet. It doesn’t need to make sense to generate their ire, it just has to exist, while providing the SLIGHTEST in opposition to the left’s political goals.
  • OBAMA WANTS TO TRACK YOUR CELL PHONE: One of the few times, I think I’ll side with the EFF. Ya know it seems to me I warned about this in a Ramble I wrote a couple years ago. At the time, I pointed out that the government would eventually argue (again) that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on a cell phone, given that it uses the electromagnetic spectrum.  The government, you see, assumes that electromagnetic spectrum is government property.  This concept, of course,  flies directly in the face of the original precepts of the communications act of 1933. I forget the passage but when read literally, that act could easily be read into making telling your wife what your mother-in-law just said on the phone a jail-able offense.   It was on that particular piece of legislation, that the defense of Charles Katz, in Katz v United States (1967) was based.  I’ll point out that this is an evolutionary process, of course, given Olmstead v United States (1928) …in which the court held that wiretapping of phone lines does not constitute unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment.  According to the court at the time actual physical intrusion into a given area…( say, a trespass…)  is required to go over that Fourth Amendment line, not merely voice amplification at some remote location. As it stands, the Obama administration is now arguing all of this all over again, before the Third Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.  It seems to me that this is as good as an example is we’re going to find of government over a period of the century continuing to redefine the constitution to favor government control of individuals.Let me point out also that there is something of a double standard at work here.  It is not all that long ago, as little as three years, in fact, when the left was all up in arms, about wiretapping foreign nationals as a part of the war on terror.  Now, suddenly, we have Obama and his administration making noises about wanting the ability to be tapping domestic phone calls, (for what reason we’re not quite sure )… and where is the objection from the left over this? (Crickets)
  • THE JOBS BILL WON’T ADD JOBS: I wonder how long it’ll take the AP to get bullied by the White House into withdrawing this story.
  • ALEC BALDWIN: We’ve not heard much from him lately. I wonder how long it would take to get to this point.
  • DOING AS THE GREEKS DO: Stewart Varney over at Fox Business Channel has been watching the Financial situation in Greece very closely, and I think deserves kudos for his coverage of it.  But now comes Niall Ferguson of The Financial Times who suggests that what Greece suffers from now will be shortly coming to the US.

    What we in the western world are about to learn is that there is no such thing as a Keynesian free lunch. Deficits did not “save” us half so much as monetary policy – zero interest rates plus quantitative easing – did. First, the impact of government spending (the hallowed “multiplier”) has been much less than the proponents of stimulus hoped. Second, there is a good deal of “leakage” from open economies in a globalised world. Last, crucially, explosions of public debt incur bills that fall due much sooner than we expect.

    Niall Ferguson

    Niall Ferguson

    For the world’s biggest economy, the US, the day of reckoning still seems reassuringly remote. The worse things get in the eurozone, the more the US dollar rallies as nervous investors park their cash in the “safe haven” of American government debt. This effect may persist for some months, just as the dollar and Treasuries rallied in the depths of the banking panic in late 2008.

    Yet even a casual look at the fiscal position of the federal government (not to mention the states) makes a nonsense of the phrase “safe haven”. US government debt is a safe haven the way Pearl Harbor was a safe haven in 1941.

    Even according to the White House’s new budget projections, the gross federal debt in public hands will exceed 100 per cent of GDP in just two years’ time. This year, like last year, the federal deficit will be around 10 per cent of GDP. The long-run projections of the Congressional Budget Office suggest that the US will never again run a balanced budget. That’s right, never.

    An ominous warning, indeed. Is this the change you voted for?

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