Archive for August, 2009

Socialist or Corporatist Medicine? »

The Democratic Party agenda tends to be a mixture of socialism and corporatism, whereas Republicans probably emphasize corporatism and socialism. Obama’s health care plan has always been a hybrid, as most interventionist polices are in a mixed economy. Perhaps in the longterm he wants to move toward as fully socialist a system as possible,...
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Was the Star of a New Movie About Profiling, Profiled? »

As candidate for irony of the year award, note this news item wherein Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was detained Friday by U.S. immigration officials at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey because his name matched with some names on a computer alert list. The actor is in the U.S. to promote a...
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Making the Extraordinary Ordinary »

Obama loudly denounced Bush’s policy of “extraordinary renditioning,” whereby terror suspects were captured, transferred through secretive CIA sites, and delivered to foreign regimes—ones denounced by Bush et al. for their cruelty, like Syria and Egypt—where they were tortured. Maher Arar is among the highest-profile victims of this policy. A Canadian citizen later deemed totally...
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The Netroots are Bored by Obama’s Wars »

Now that Obama is in charge, the netroots (who led the fight against the Iraq war), no longer seem to care about foreign policy. If the antiwar movement ever makes a comeback, it won’t be because of them. At a recent gathering of the Netroots Nation, the participants were asked: “[D]o you, personally, spend...
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Mohammad and Man at Yale: Book Burning (One Cartoon at a Time) »

“Yale Press Bans Images of Muhammad in New Book,” by Patricia Cohen (New York Times, August 12, 2009) In 1951, Bill Buckley published God and Man at Yale, a polemic arguing that the Christian God was no longer welcome at Yale University, a school founded to train Christian ministers and educate students about their...
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Ben Bernanke Must Go »

Ben Bernanke’s four-year term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve System ends on January 31, 2010. In a story published on August 12 and headlined “Economists Call for Bernanke to Stay, Say Recession is Over”, Wall Street Journal reporter Paul Izzo writes that “economists are nearly unanimous” in recommending that President Obama reappoint Mr....
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Pelosi’s New House Un-American Activities Committee »

When Nancy Pelosi convenes her new House Un-American Activities Committee to call forth ObamaCare protestors (see her “‘Un-American’ Attacks Can’t Derail Health Care Debate“), I hope she’ll find room on the docket for a few other, arguably more egregiously un-American activities—and bring their perpetrators to account: Torture In the black-and-white films I loved as...
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Bank of America Settlement on Hold »

In a blog post last week I questioned the fairness of the $33 million settlement Bank of America had agreed to with the SEC for concealing information related to its merger with Merrill Lynch. Now U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff has put that settlement on hold, saying he is not convinced the settlement...
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CalTrans takes California’s Taxpayers for a Ride »

Ever wonder how the Golden State managed to run itself into the $26 billion budget hole that only recently was papered over, at least for the coming fiscal year, in a beyond-the-last-minute deal between Governor Schwarzenegger and the California legislature? California’s Department of Transportation (CalTrans) supplies a modest but nevertheless instructive example of governmental...
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The “Unintended” Consequences of “Cash for Clunkers” »

News reports suggest that the Obama administration’s “Cash for Clunkers” program has been an unalloyed success. Eligible for a rebate of up to $4,500 if they trade in their old (but not too old) gas-guzzlers, it is not surprising that the owners of qualifying vehicles have rushed to their local auto dealers to claim...
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