« The Vonian Constitution | Main | I Hate Writing Grants Open Thread »

October 21, 2005

Comments

Bravo!

(except for that bit about Social Security)

;-)

Welcome to the real world Neo. There are donuts and coffee at the reception pavilion.

I take some short lived pleasure in watching Republicans see the light about Dubya and the Repubs in Congress. I wish you luck in getting your agenda addressed.

conservatives are getting down on Bush beacuse it's becoming safe to do so. he's not going to be running for office again so they don't have to worry about making him look bad.

but, today's Bush is no different from the Bush of three years ago.

in other words... bah

Anybody know why the Obamas out there didn't vote for the Coburn amendment, and what reason they gave?

A small crisis.

Well Charles, I'm what passes for a liberal these days. I'll stand with you on at least 70-80% of those positions. (Actually, as stated I'd agree with you on probably 90%, but I'm taking off 10-20% for areas where I know we'd disagree on the implementation of the principle.)

Get your party leadership to go along with you on your ideas, and I won't be so upset when they win elections.

By the way, CB, you might want to add anti-gerrymandering reforms and various other voting reforms to increase citizens' confidence in our elections.

You know, I think I've taken that ferry at Ketchikan.

FYI, I cross-posted this piece in a Redstate diary. I haven't front-paged there for a while because I'm in a bit of a muddle about my future there, but I'm encouraged with their recent postings and Moe is active there (especially behind the curtain).

CB, you should post here more, and if you can lure Moe back that would be good too. Yeah, yeah, and a pony.

[topic off]

ObWi is worth $260,817.48. Redstate is almost a million dollar baby.

[/topic on]

A small crisis.

I read somewhere where the approval level for Congresscritters in general has dipped quite a bit; dunno if that's specific to Republicans or if it's across the board.

ObWi is worth $260,817.48.

Slartibartfast is worth $0.00. I knew there was a reason for that worthless feeling I've had of late.

Actually, I'd thought my old blog was dead, and had stopped posting to it. It's owned by someone else and I'd thought it was down for good. Still: worthless.

Slart, latest Gallup has congress-better-run-by: Ds 45%, Rs 32%. Some on the left are comparing the polling etc sitch to 94.

Wonder if there's a third option? One that doesn't involve Lyndon Larouche in any way, I mean.

I missed the news that Wilson was spreading lies.

Yeah, I'd have amended this to read:

We should be keeping the identity of any CIA agent to ourselves, no matter what.

Because it really, truly has nothing to do with Joe Wilson's veracity.

Hating On Charles Bird is worth $1,129.08 ... ;)

"It's time for Bush to revisit the era of Ronald Reagan: to control spending, kick ass on national defense and be a Great Communicator of conservative principles."

You might as well say that it's time for Bush to bear a child.

The man doesn't have the basic capacity in him.

He doesn't care about spending.

He doesn't have the wisdom or knowledge required to kick ass on national defense - you can't kick ass on national defense if you can't tell a damnfool scheme when you see one, and when you can't tell your subordinates are incompetent.

He obviously has no capacity for being a Great Communicator, and probably likes it that way, because the press gives him allowances when he says something stupid.

CB: welcome to velodrome. [massively obscure reference. special bonus points to first who gets it without google.]

For once i'll get right to the point:

The modern Republican coalition cannot govern effectively.

Evangelicals want ideologue judges; business conservatives want pro-business judges. Everybody wants lower taxes; nobody will identify honestly the cuts to be made. A huge part of the coaltion is pro-life; the rest fear that successful anti-abortion laws will send soccer moms back to the democrats. The politics of personal destruction have not been this vicious in a long time; that monster has now devoured any ability to reach across the aisle.

you sound like a DLC democrat. planning on voting for HRC?

Hey, we're worth less than The Manolo! There's something very, very wrong with that.

"welcome to velodrome" gets very few (5) Google hits.

"welcome to ____drome" gets 332. Dunno which you meant.

Sorry, _____drome wasn't literally in the search, I just left out the first few letters for some reason I can't recall.

So: videodrome? If so, I got that right away, although it's been over 25 years since I last saw the reference.

CB, I think you'd find broad agreement all over the place for many of those policies. Had GWB been what he implied he was in 2000 -- uniter not divider, reaches across aisles, etc -- he'd have been re-elected with 70% of the vote.

There's an obvious space in American politics for a centrist. I happen to think that Al Gore fit that bill as well as anyone we've seen run for national office in a decade. Seriously, measure his actual record against your standards, and I think you'd find more alignment with him than with Tom DeLay. (Don't bother with the cartoon version of Gore's record, of course. Or DeLay's).

You can always campaign for divided government, which will tend to be more responsible, because extremes (including extreme pork barrelling) will cancel eachother out.

I happen to think that Al Gore fit that bill as well as anyone we've seen run for national office in a decade.

This is part of the problem, CC. You don't "happen to think." Gore is a centrist, and any honest appraisal would label him as such. We shouldn't pretend this is just a matter of opinion.

Yglesias says Survey says: Republican voters want the theocracy, not the fiscal conservatism.

Interesting word, there: factoid. I do not think that word's meaning is consistent with Yglesias' usage.

Also interesting: although I've been a registered Republican for all of my adult life (up until a month or so ago), I have not once been surveyed on my views as a Republican. I wonder who's being asked these survey questions?

Slart, are you doubting the value of statistical sampling? Of course, there are poorly- and well-designed studies, but I think it really does work.

So, what are the odds of being chosen as a subject for these polls, I wonder. Probably somone has studied this.

Dear CB:

It's good to have your clear articulation of "conservatism," which obviously differs from what many so-called/self-defined "conservatives" practice nowadays.

One minor historical quibble:

It's time for Bush to revisit the era of Ronald Reagan: to control spending, ...

RR talked a great deal about this, yes. But did he actually practice this? At least one conservative argues the contrary:

Government Spending. How well did Reagan succeed in cutting government spending, surely a critical ingredient in any plan to reduce the role of government in everyone's life? In 1980, the last year of free-spending Jimmy Carter the fed­eral government spent $591 billion. In 1986, the last recorded year of the Reagan administration, the federal government spent $990 billion, an increase of 68%. Whatever this is, it is emphatically not reducing government expenditures.

The Myths of Reaganomics
by Murray N. Rothbard
[Posted <http://www.mises.org/story/1544> on Wednesday, June 09, 2004]
This memo to Mises Institute members was written in late 1987, and published in "The Free Market Reader," LH Rockwell, Jr., ed., 1988, pp. 3342–362 and is posted on Mises.org in an edited edition.

Push Poll? Swear to God this happened prior to the 2004 Presidential election. Local Republicans had put a bunch of dough into last-minute vote-recruiting phone work pretending to be a survey. The final question of the "survey" was: Can President Bush count on your vote and your support in November? Yes? No? Or Undecided?

My response: I'd cut off both of my hands before I'd vote for George Bush.

Pollster: So would that be "Undecided?"

Yglesias sometimes strikes me as one of those people who speak English as a second language but mostly makes up for never having had spelling and the rest of English drilled into them by stern elementary school teachers through brilliance. Maybe he's Hungarian.

Mrs. r. is working on a survey of the SD school system and feels obliged to answer those phone surveys in excruciating detail.

So I figure there are 1k political surveys of 1k people per year. And say 100k*k American households. So I'm getting about an 81% chance of you seeing 0 surveys, assuming I can still work a Poisson, assuming you've been exposed for 20 years.

Out of curiosity, why're you using a Poisson?

I'm pissed at Obama and Durbin on this vote. (And Kerry and Kennedy, who I guess are my Senators again now, but I'm used to being pissed at Kerry & Kennedy's good qualities do not include fiscal restraint.) Glad to see Feingold voting yes, but this is the sort of vote I just don't understand.

I am sure it has been said before, but it might not make sense for conservatives to gain and wield power. All of a sudden, I feel an oxymoron nearby, like "conservative activism." That would even, or especially, apply in foreign policy. Conservatives might be at their best restraining all the shades of moderate and liberal who have, umm, less compunction and embarrassment about changing things. Any things. Conservatives should be around to say:"Nah, let's not do stuff."

So I guess its makes sense to rank the branches:SCOTUS should be conservative;Executive moderate;Congress liberal. In a most general, not current, use of those descriptive terms. I cite the FF's length of terms granted each branch as supporting evidence.

Bob,

I have to dsagree - I'd aim for a moderate SCOTUS, a conservative Congress, and a liberal Executive branch. I think that this combination blunts the worst characteristics of each and gives the best characteristics of each a chance to excercize their competencies.

Bob, I agree with you about the implied paradox of conservative activism. This sentence in Charles's post struck me as tending in that direction: For one thing, conservatism can work if applied, and there are enough conservatives out there to effect change. That syntax just makes so much more sense if liberalism or progressivism or some more theoretical political tendency is substituted.

Anarch - small likelihood of being polled per year - I was estimating 0.01 above - so to get the prob of being polled 0 times in n years, why not use a Poisson? - esp. as I can remember the formula more readily than the binomial...

CB, I do agree with you that we need Social Security reform, just not that corrupt piece of offal that the President offered. That isn't reform, it's just another installment in his pandering to his cronies.

The biggest problem I see is that the Republicans have a huge number of people who are willing to vote for them even though they have spent the last quarter of a century lying about what they will do. The modern Republican party has stood four-square for irresponsible spending coupled with irresponsible tax cuts, subsidies for the rich, bait-and-switch on Roe, and a tolerance of overt criminal behavior, particularly in foreign affairs (cf that traitor Ollie North and following). Why do voters who tell us they care about morality vote for these people?

RR talked a great deal about this, yes. But did he actually practice this? At least one conservative argues the contrary

The difference between then and now is that Reagan would deliver budgets to Tip O'Neill's congress and and ole Tip would declare them "dead on arrival". The result was higher defense spending, which was what Reagan wanted, AND higher domestic spending, which was what he didn't want. Could Reagan have fought harder for the cuts? Possibly, but Democrats had an overwhelming majority in the House at the time, and because Reagan had to work with Congress on the rest of his agenda, he made the political decision to dance instead make a stand. BTW, I've heard of Rothbard but don't much about him. Rockwell, though, too often veers into the crackpotty regions of libertarianism.

Some conservatives are getting shrill.

Do you have any links to the sizes of the budgets passed vs. the ones Reagan proposed, Charles? I seem to remember seeing official numbers quoted that contradict your depiction of events, but I could be wrong.

Chas,
I agree with others that it is nice to find that you share centrist positions. However, (since we are going to obscure video references) I am reminded of the end of Slapshot, where Paul Newman, after getting his minor league hockey team into the championships through brawling, makes an impassioned plea about how he wants to win this championship with 'old style' hockey. The team goes out and is shocked when the opposing team is having none of it.

Good heavens.

I've just been handed the Syracuse roster, and it appears the Syracuse Bulldog management is just real thirsty for a big, grudge-match type victory here tonight.

They've brought back, just for this one contest, some colourful... Oh, and here they come now, led by someone we all know very well, Tim "Dr Hook" McCracken!

And here's a name from the past. Ross "Mad Dog" Madison! Ross, as you know, never travels anywhere without his longtime friend and attorney, Sam "Small Print" Lyman!

Here's one for nostalgia fans! Clarence "Screaming Buffalo" Swamptown! I'll never forget an interview I did with him years ago, when Buffalo revealed he liked to call his hockey stick "The Big Tomahawk". He usually refers to opposing players as "The Little Scalps". I thought he'd been suspended for ever.

Andre "Poodle" Lussier, defence. Andre, of course, has been living in semi-seclusion in Northern Quebec ever since the unfortunate Denny Pratt tragedy. Not Poodle!

And from Mile Forty, Saskatchewan, where he now runs a doughnut shop, number 15, former penalty-minute record holder of the Federal League for the years 1960 to 1968 inclusive, Gilmore Tuttle!

Oh, gee. Hold the phone. This is an unscheduled surprise. It's him. This young man has had a very trying rookie season, what with the litigation, the notoriety, his subsequent deportation to Canada, and that country's refusal to accept him. That's more than most 21-year-olds could handle.
- Ogil-terp. - Ogie Ogilthorpe!

Please don't act surprised...

Fortunately, it appears that the enforcers are going to come from your side as well. Here is a Jerome Corsi piece about ethical problems of Miers. Corsi was the co-author of _Unfit for Command_ Heh.

And not wanting to put Fitzgerald in the same group as the above, I would just note that he has put up a web site. If you are following the Slapshot script, someone better start doing a striptease on the ice...

argh. yes, videodrome.

Well, from this list, I think most liberals would also be very happy for conservatives to be for these things. Bring back the good old days when conservatives were actually decent people instead of the modern monsters they have morphed into. Too bad that there are very few conservatives who actually believe in CB's vision for conservatism.

Of course, I find this list disingenuous -- seems to me that over the last few years, CB has had no problem supporting the party responsible for this long list of failings. Bottom line -- conservatism is all of these ugly things, no matter how it supposedly "should" be.

You are what you do -- not whatever self-delusion you think you are.

The difference between then and now is that Reagan would deliver budgets to Tip O'Neill's congress and and ole Tip would declare them "dead on arrival". The result was higher defense spending, which was what Reagan wanted, AND higher domestic spending, which was what he didn't want.

My recollection is the same as Catsy's. The overall size of the budgets passed by Congress did not differ much from Reagan's proposals. Instead, money was simply shifted from defense to domestic spending.

Charles is completely wrong. DeLong posted about this several times. Reagan's proposed budgets and the ones finally passed were pretty close. The idea that Reagan asked for large cuts that Dems never agreed to is yet another myth GOPers have created so as not to accept the reality of Reagan's fiscal mess.

Specifically, Brad DeLong wrote about it here, with charts and figures.

Thanks for DeLong's reference, Hilzoy.

lj, I do recall GTech being in far too many articles in the '90s, not all of them about Texas corruption. It will be interesting to see why they decided that it was better to make it public than try to fight the Senate. I'm not worried whether WND's speculation is correct, just the players tells us a lot.

I'm wondering when we will hear more on the tax shelter (scam) settlement that Miers and her law firm were responsible for. I realize that many so-called conservatives think that tax evasion is not a crime, but it is. I am looking forward to the explanation -- and, no, I don't mean "We settled to avoid the distractions to our organization."

I'm with Slarti on the definition of "factoid," but I am afraid we language puritans lost that battle almost twenty years ago. A "factoid" is not "a tiny fact," but rather "something which resembles, but probably isn't, a fact." Like, say, "Saddam could have a chemical warhead ready to launch on 45 minutes' notice."

Sorry folks....but these right-wingers ain't "conservative" the are REACTIONARIES.

"Conservative Activist" is the politically correct way of saying Reactionary.


I am a supporter of George Bush, let's get that out of the way from the git-go.

I believe that there are evil counries in the world, and that they should not be ignored, but that they should be actively fought against. I do not include the US among the evil countries, such as NK, Iran, Burma, Zimbabwe, Sudan, etc. The list could really go on and on. I don't think that it is feasible to fight all these countries at once, but I think that the US should be fighting at least one bad country all the time, otherwise the world will be ruled by tyrants and dictators.

I believe that the highest priority of a govt is to defend its citizens.

I believe that the less a country's govt interferes with the personal life of its citizens, the better.

I believe that people who are taxed less are more free and that people who are taxed more are less free.

I believe in Interstate highways an National Parks.

I believe in private schools.

I dont believe that Federal, State or local govts have the right to seize land.

I dont believe that any other country or international institution has a right to change our laws, or system of government.

I believe that progressives and internationalists want to take away our rights to govern ourselves.

Speaking of factoids:

In effect, to get a 51% majority on an issue, conservatives need to convince half of the moderates, a big task but quite a bit smaller than what the Left has to do. Liberals need to convince two-thirds of the moderates to their ways, so we have the clear advantage of numbers.

That's certainly a conventional wisdom floating around the blogosphere (Kevin Drum commented on this quite a bit) but it's probably wrong in any meaningful capacity because it confuses self-identification with a particular descriptor ("liberal", "conservative" and "moderate") with actual policy positions. Given that a) the Republicans et al. have spent the last 15 years or so demonizing the very word "liberal", and b) we have a veritable Cult of Supposed Moderation in this country -- that is, people always want to pretend they're centrist even when they're not -- I'd say that those numbers are severely misleading, as indeed most issue polling confirms.

And the ultimate irony, I guess, of this is that at least half of what you've described above as "conservative" positions are actually core liberal positions and, depending on the details, it could be as high as two-thirds or three-quarters. What this proves, if anything, isn't clear but at the very least it suggests that most of what we're seeing electorally is uncorrelated with any sort of actual policy preferences.

DaveC,

How do you rationalize endless warmongering with liberty and freedom?

DaveC- Evil is as evil does. As for the rest, not everyone can afford a good primary education, but its in all of our interests that everyone gets one. How is the government supposed to build those highways you like without the ability to use eminent domain?

Have any progressives and internationalists actually said they want to do this? I don't see any evidence they have even tried.

Charles is completely wrong. DeLong posted about this several times. Reagan's proposed budgets and the ones finally passed were pretty close.

The myth-making is not limited to the 80s. Charles is also an adherent to the GOP myth that it was they, rather than Clinton, who were responsible for the 90s balanced budget and surplus.

Make believe is so convenient.

Davec
I believe that this
I think that the US should be fighting at least one bad country all the time, otherwise the world will be ruled by tyrants and dictators.

conflicts with this

I dont believe that any other country or international institution has a right to change our laws, or system of government.

What you seem to be articulating is a notion of American exceptionalism. I don't deny that you may strongly feel that the US has a right to dictate to other countries what they should do, and that the reciprocal cannot be true, but I hope you can see how this can be viewed as hypocrisy by some and how some would balk when, simply because of an accident of history and geography, one country feels it can dictate what another country does.

I won't repeat what's been said about one war at a time. I think you'd need to be explicit about this at recruiting time -- and surely you want to pay for these wars as you go, or do you think we should just borrow the money from China?

I believe that the highest priority of a govt is to defend its citizens.

Even if it decides to tax them to oblivion? Or severely restrict their freedoms? I'm not saying you are a fascist, but this statement strikes me as the rationale for fascism.

I believe that the less a country's govt interferes with the personal life of its citizens, the better.

I assume then that you are pro-choice. And support the result, if not reasoning, of the Supreme Court decision striking down anti-sodomy statutes.

I believe in private schools.

Who doesn't? Do you believe in taxing people to support private schools? Making me "less free" so that you can send your child to a private school?

I dont believe that Federal, State or local govts have the right to seize land.

You are in disagreement with every government in the history of mankind. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I dont believe that any other country or international institution has a right to change our laws, or system of government.

I'm not aware of anyone who disagrees with you, with an exception: suppose that, in order to get some countries to do something that we want them to do, we agree to do something they want us to do? That's OK, right? I mean, we can agree that the results of international commercial arbitrations are enforceable in our courts so that we can get other countries to do the same, can't we? We can agree with other countries to ban the shipment of ivory, can't we? Of heroin?

To get countries to stop selling stuff in our country for less than it costs to make it (and thus harming our citizens) we agree to not sell stuff into other countries for less than it costs to make it. And we agree to the creation of a fair panel to decide when it's happening. We can do this, right? And if we accuse a country of dumping some goods -- say softwood lumber --into the US, and the panel says, 'No, they're not dumping' we can abide by that ruling, right? And the panel can tell us to refund the billions of dollars in extra duties we've collected from foreign lumber companies if we agreed that it would have that power, in addition to the power to make other countries pay refunds to US companies. This is OK, isn't it?

Suppose we propose a treaty where every country agrees not to attack any other except (a) when a select committee of countries (always including us, and never over our objection) says it's ok and/or (b) in self-defense. We make this proposal hoping it will reduce wars, and make it easier to discipline/contain the evil countries. Now suppose nearly every country agrees that this is a good idea. We can do this, can't we? Especially if we think that in so doing, we are defending our citizens, the "highest" priority of government. Why not?

And to take another tack entirely, suppose one government wants to borrow a whole bunch of money from another government. And suppose the creditor government wants the debtor government to change its policies -- maybe clamp down on corruption, or cut off what the creditor considers wasteful spending, or just stop doing something the creditor doesn't like (like supporting liberation movements in another country) -- the creditor has the right to tell the debtor, no money til you do what I want, right? Doesn't any lender get this power over any borrower? "If you don't like my terms, go borrow your money from someone else. If you can." Is not your GWB giving China an awful lot of leverage?

I believe that progressives and internationalists want to take away our rights to govern ourselves.

I'm sure that there are such people, just as nearly every such statement is true in some degree. You could say the same about conservatives, because there are some who would try to take away some ability to govern ourselves. As a broad brush, though, you might as well be saying that you believe that the sun revolves around the earth. What defines progressives and internationalists is not the wish to take away the power of self-government. Indeed, it seems to me that what progressivism is about is increasing self-government, cutting the currently disproportionate power of monied elites. Maybe you are using a different definition than I am.


I can't believe anyone let Charles get any farther than the first paragraph, describing these men as "fiscally responsible." Except for Jon Kyl, EVERY SINGLE ONE of these people voted for the bill originally. Every last one. And if the pork is wrong now, it was wrong then; Katrina didn't change that one bit. But you're all willing to stand there now and laud them as brave soldiers in the war against fiscal insanity? Please. Give me a break.

It's easy to look brave when you can stand up and pretend you just grew a conscience, when the amount you're voting on is a drop in the bucket, and when it doesn't hurt you -- fiscally, electorally, or otherwise -- whether it passes or doesn't.

I didn't see Feingold offering further amendment to get rid of $40 million for bike paths and landscaping in Wisconsin. I didn't hear Burr suggesting getting rid of NC's $24 million for bike paths, local road extensions and urban redevelopment. I sure as heck didn't hear Coburn volunteer to give back $5 million for the University of Oklahoma to study global freight tracking, or $1.5 million to study motorcycle accidents. Mike DeWine wouldn't give up Ohio pork if his very life depended on it.

What a frigging charade. One vote targeting one project in someone else's state, that none of them ever should have voted for in the first place, and suddenly they're "fiscally responsible?" Somebody call the Vatican.

But you're all willing to stand there now and laud them as brave soldiers in the war against fiscal insanity?

I'd put it more this way: these are people who have heeded the call of their electorate. Of course, the people who voted against the amendments may also be people who are heeding the call of their electorate. Having long ago given up on my search for an honest politician, right now I'd settle for one who's willing to respond to the sting of the whip by turning in the desired direction. So I think you may well have a point: these MIGHT be people who have changed their ways, but what are the odds?

I think Feingold has every right to spend $40 million for bike paths in Wisconsin. I just don't see my way clear to donate to the well-being of Wisconsin's cycling public, given that I'm hardly ever there.

WAY off-topic, is there any form of democratic/republican government that has Congresscritters acting in concert with state legislatures to accomplish those things they think are important WITHOUT tapping into the federal slush fund?

Since when was McCain not a conservative?

Phil writes: "didn't hear Coburn volunteer to give back $5 million for the University of Oklahoma to study global freight tracking"

At least this one may have some national interest, in that perhaps it could produce something useful for the purpose of tracking containers, such as containers used by terrorists.

It's precisely because it's such an easy, obvious vote that the 80+ no votes are disheartening. The 15 who voted for this don't deserve to be called heroes, but they're screwing this up less than the others.

But people who chalk this up to the corruption of politicians are to some degree kidding themselves. We didn't just happen to elect 535 screw ups who don't care about the national interest at all and delight in wasting the public's money. Term limits would solve nothing here. Nor is politics intrinsically corrupting in all ways--some of these Senators just plain suck but some really do not.

Every single member of Congress, house and Senate, is elected only by the people in his or her state or district, and is charged with representing them. Every given pork project brings more benefits into the district where it's located than costs.

So I think it's understandable to vote for those projects in your own district--at least if they provide some real service and aren't just a boondoggle. But to get the projects for your own district--and moreover to get the sorts of appropriations which really are necessary, like Section 8 and anti-terrorism money and basic infrastructure maintenance--you have to be on reasonably good terms with people writing the appropriations bills.

It might be sort of a collective action problem--that they're not willing to personally say "f*ck you" to the Appropriations chairman on a largely symbolic vote. The Democrats' risks in pissing off Stevens in the short run are actually greater than the GOP's, because they cannot go to Frist or any member of the leadership, or retaliate in their own committees, or anything like that.

But I still can't understand rolling over so easily. The more people who voted for this, the less danger of retaliation from Stevens against actually important spending. They ought to have been able to get themselves organized. And most of the Democrats are currently getting screwed in the appropriations process to varying degrees already.

(The leaders of the caucus, though, presumably aren't--Reid has his reasons for not wanting this to pass.)

For the record, I voted for him twice, and those votes were based on expectations that he really was what he said he was
And they say you can't get fooled again!

you sound like a DLC democrat. planning on voting for HRC?

HRC has aligned with the more centrist DLC, Francis, but her history is too much to the left for my comfort. In any case, the DLC is on the outs as far as the bigwig blogs and big-monied contributors are concerned.

Do you have any links to the sizes of the budgets passed vs. the ones Reagan proposed, Charles?

For you, Catsy, not a chance. But that wasn't my central point anyway. The issue I originally addressed was his controlling of spending (more specifically, non-defense spending), a matter which dr ngo took issue with. Reagan actually did have some success at controlling spending despite butting heads with congressional Democrats, but he fell pretty far short in getting the cuts he wanted.

Please don't act surprised...

LJ, who ever said I was? If you're suggesting that two wrongs make a right, or that the earth is too salted for progress, then I disagree with you on both counts. You and I are still speaking civilly, no?

Specifically, Brad DeLong wrote about it here, with charts and figures.

DeLong's topic was specifically about who was most responsible for the deficits during the Reagan years, Hil. DeLong did say that there wasn't much difference between overall budgetary amounts between Reagan and Congress, and I don't have the figures handy to check one way or the other, but there were fundamental differences in how the pie was to be sliced, hence the annual budget battles. There is no question that defense spending and tax cuts contributed to the deficits. Reagan did have an impact on non-defense spending, an issue DeLong agrees with, but no one here is claiming that Reagan controlled the deficit. Reagan's non-defense spending proposals were more draconian than what he ended up getting.

Bottom line -- conservatism is all of these ugly things, no matter how it supposedly "should" be.

To follow your illogic, dm, because detainees were treated inhumanely, and because I voted for Bush, therefore I support the ill treatment of detainees? I don't accept that. At the very least, it precludes conservatives' ability to make changes within the GOP and within the Bush administration. Conservative can make changes, and Bush's Miers meltdown is an example of it.

Charles is also an adherent to the GOP myth that it was they, rather than Clinton, who were responsible for the 90s balanced budget and surplus.

Make believe is so convenient.

What is really convenient is your failure to understand the Constitution and who has what roles on spending and appropriations, dm. It is Fantasy Island historical revisionism to suggest that Clinton's original 1995 budget proposal actually showed a balanced budget anywhere. Some mysterious entity--otherwise known as the Republican Congress--moved Clinton toward signing a balanced budget agreement.

I can't believe anyone let Charles get any farther than the first paragraph, describing these men as "fiscally responsible."

You have a point, Phil, and that's why I wrote that conservatives should be against the budget-bloating farm and highway bills.

"bigwig blogs"? It's easy to overestimate our importance. If the bigwig blogs had their way this amendment would have passed with universal Democratic support.

American Exceptionalism another PC word to hide good old fashion American Relativism.

National Identity as the determining factor in morals and ethics?
Where have we heard that one before?

Slart:

"I think Feingold has very right to spend $40 million for bike paths in Wisconsin. I just don't see my way clear to donate to the well-being of Wisconsin's cycling public, given that I'm hardly ever there."

I can't find a single word in this sentence to disagree with.

It's the words not in the sentence, but that usually are when the sentence is used by nearly every single conservative during discussions of government spending, that I disagree with.

Slart:

I'm asking permission to borrow the sentence so that I may try to deconstruct it as an entity floating freely from its maker. I'll return it to you as intact as I found it.

May I?

Now, not Slart, but everyone.

I'm not a big fan of solemn lists of "What I Believe In". I understand that there are moments when one must stand, place a hand (not mine, yours) over the heart and intone first principles.

But I never know what this stuff really means. What does "I believe in kick-ass national defense" mean, exactly. I could say "I believe in some form (the kick-ass version) of single payer universal health care", but who cares? I think I just said it.

What does "I believe in private schools" mean, precisely? Let's say education vouchers become the law of the land. Let's say they cover a portion of the cost of elite private schools. Let's say, upon passage of such a law, I assemble 5000 of the dumbest students of all races from underfunded inner-city schools in my city and march them down the the boulevard heading for the very expensive private day school in the toniest neighborhood. We arrive at the registrar's office in motley fashion waiving our vouchers covering some slim percentage of the full cost and intone in unison, "We believe in private schools".

Wouldn't the person at the desk say very pleasantly, "Well, that's all very nice, but as you can plainly see, we're all full up and possess neither the facilities nor the staff to satisfy your beliefs, earnest as they are. And besides, there is the transportation problem, you know, you would be bussed down here, and if I say bussing to the parents of the kids already in the school, well, you can understand my dilemma. And then there are the entrance requirements, you know, stuff like intelligence, although if you had more money, maybe we could find a place or two. And may I add that I do not believe in public transportation, so unless ya'll can privately fund that paddle you need to get unstuck from your unfortunate creek, well, there we go."

None of this, of course, in any way, causes me to not believe in private schools, so I believe it is a very fine belief.

It's just that lists like this remind me of a monologue Steve Martin did on SNL years ago, in which he listed, to the sound of swelling music from Paul Schaffer, the top ten things he believed in. I remember none of them except for this:

"I believe that we should place women on a pedestal so we can look up their skirts."

Not necessarily what I believe in, but the feeling behind it really got to me.

I do want to say, too, that I do NOT believe in malignant melanoma, as least for folks who can pay for the treatment out of their own pockets, which doesn't include me. But you can understand the sincerity behind the statement.



You have a point, Phil, and that's why I wrote that conservatives should be against the budget-bloating farm and highway bills.

Yeah, great, "should be" . . . but when were they, ever? I mean, ever, when it really mattered? Never. Pork has been, and always will be, all upside and no downside, for the reasons illuminated by Katherine, above.

If Russ Feingold can get the rest of the United States to pay for bicycle paths in Madison, WI (where, I understand, bicycling is . . . impractical for many months of the year), then that's that much less the people of Wisconsin have to pay for, and hurray for Russ Feingold! Vote Feingold!

The problem is not Ted Stevens or Don Young or Alaska, or this amendment. It's systemic, and it's something neither conservatives nor liberals nor pretty much anyone, with the possible exception of Ron Paul and maybe sometimes Waxman, wants to do anything about. As in "not put the stuff in to begin with."

I'm really sorry to hear about that, John. How much is the treatment? I'm not rich, but I'll shoot a few $$ your way if the folks here can tell me how to do it.

I believe Peter Fitzgerald would have voted "yes", and am a little disappointed with Barack Obama.

"I believe that we should place women on a pedestal so we can look up their skirts."

I'm adding that to my list.

Dave C., I believe in private schools, too. I went to two of them. You'll find very few people who don't. The more pertinent question to this thread is:

Do you believe in public schools?

I took your statement to mean that you didn't. Could you clarify?

DaveC: "I'm sorry to hear about that, John."

Snarky insincerity is the direct route to my heart, Dave. ;)

Unless you were being sincere and literal-minded, in which case let me remind you that nowhere in the Constitution or the Old and New Testaments (in my translation) do the following words appear: "John Thullen will contract unfunded malignant melanoma".

I would add "So there", but the fact that said texts do not expressly say "John Thullen will NOT contract malignant melanoma" erodes the rock of my originalist beliefs.

Slart:

Me: "I can't find a single word in this sentence to disagree with."

Except for "very" which should be "every".
But the other sentence in the "single sentence" seems fine.

Sorry, my spelling and other mistakes are the result of a Ritalin-ridden public school education. Except for the times I went to private schools and private colleges. They are responsible for all of the wrods (see?) I spell correctly.

Please don't act surprised...

LJ, who ever said I was? If you're suggesting that two wrongs make a right, or that the earth is too salted for progress, then I disagree with you on both counts. You and I are still speaking civilly, no?

Yes, I think we are. And I'm not suggesting that two wrongs make a right, I am suggesting that the logical outcome is going to be both sides adopting the same sort of tactics. Following Bob McManus, I've been talking about this, so trying to make this into a question of what I think is ethically correct is missing the point. And, if done intentionally, is rather rude.

My further point was that I have a feeling that when the other side of the aisle starts behaving the same way, you are going to be shocked, simply shocked that gambling is going on here. In fact, there is a bit of that surprise (I would say it is faux, but you may have actually convinced yourself) in your list, when you say

George W. Bush is facing a small crisis in his presidency because he has not governed as a conservative (or not nearly conservatively enough), and the chickens are now coming home to roost, triggered by his goddawful nomination of a crony for the Supreme Court.

That a "small crisis" is triggered by a poor SCOTUS nomination rather than the death by torture of an innocent taxi driver, or the revelation that a presidential appointee perjured himself seems to suggest some element of self deception on your part.

Lastly, if you do think that the project of this blog is to find a middle ground between both sides, wouldn't it make more sense to concentrate on the areas of agreement than to engage in searching how an archived DeLong post backs up your pretty tortured reading. Here is what the DeLong post says

What is this "other" spending? A small part of the fall--a tenth perhaps--is a fall in our relative commitment to foreign aid, a fall that I think is very much poundfoolish. But what are the other nine-tenths? Do we miss them? Should we miss them? Or are they things that we are happy are no longer in the federal government's portfolio of activities?

Given that DeLong can't define what 'other' spending is, I don't think that you can, so you should heed DeLong when he says

Without Reagan, it is pretty clear to me that we would have two percentage points more of GDP in "other" spending than we do now (and taxes higher by a smidge: debt interest would be a *lot* lower).

unless it is a conservative thing to want to have high debt. If so, I guess I will never be a conservative.

Unless you were being sincere and literal-minded

Which I am. Look, I will pitch in something. Maybe a disappointly small amount. (I live in a 900 sq ft house, am not Mr Moneybags). But if there is some threshold amount of dough to get treatment started, then I think that maybe the members of the fussing and arguing society could scratch up enough to get your foot in the door. This would involve possibly eating a Banquet TV dinner one night instead of going out to eat, for instance. I would suggest the Corn Dog meal, because it comes with a brownie for dessert.

Do you believe in public schools?

The public HS where my son went and my daughter currently attends is FANTASTIC. We had to move in order to get them in this school. But back when we couldn't so easily move (no money for down payment), the private K-8 that my kids attended was very generous to us. It has been worth it, although early on I had to choose between the school versus my teeth, when my wife was stay at home mom. I'm not quite as handsome as I ought to be as a result.

If Russ Feingold can get the rest of the United States to pay for bicycle paths in Madison, WI (where, I understand, bicycling is . . . impractical for many months of the year)...

As a Madisonian:

1) You'd be surprised. People will generally go biking here for upwards of 8 months a year minimum and the paths will be used (both for biking and for running) literally the entire year-round.

2) Those bike paths are hugely important to the wellbeing of the city and its inhabitants, making it (among other things) one of the fittest cities in the country as well as other similar accolades. This in turn has massive secondary benefits (e.g. in the student body, what with sane mensa in sane corpora) and this in turn contributes to the fiscal wellbeing of the state of Wisconsin -- since the University is the largest source of tax revenue in the state.

All that said, I have no idea whether Feingold's plans are a) worth $40 million or b) appropriate for Federal expenditures, but it's not completely off-base in the way that some are suggesting here.

Anarch: ;)

I believe the city of Houston should receive $40 million worth of bike paths, too, so that they can get the heck out of town when the hurricane hits the fan.

That's not to say Wisconsin should not receive their $40 million. But I think Houstonians should be levied taxes to pay for both sets of bikepaths, just to see the resultant anti-tax demagoguery rising like a genie from the great state of Texas. In fact, I think Houstonians should be levied a special tax just to pay for bike paths in Baghdad.

When Houstonians point that "why should they care about bike paths" in Wisconsin, I will point out that there is only one thing I care about less than bikepaths in Houston, and that would be the fact that they (Houstonians) don't care. I would add shut up to my utter lack of caring about their lack of caring.

You see, there is no discussion now of raising taxes and revenue. In which case, I'm not interested in a discussion regarding spending cuts.

That everyone is hot for spending cuts means the Republican Party has won. End of story.

I don't sit at tables on which everyone loads their stuff on and my stuff gets thrown out in the hall.

Anarch's comment brings to mind the Proxmire Golden Fleece awards.

In what areas can we apply the process [of academic research]? Because it is a matter of principle, of method, of orderly investigation and exposition, the process of academic research can be applied to a wide variety of areas while both contributing to knowledge and also training your mind to serve as a model to your students. The topics on which research is done may seem bizarre, but that is sometimes because some of their numerous functions are being forgotten. You may remember Senator William Proxmire and the Golden Fleece Awards. With great fanfare, the Senator used to read out the titles of research projects given Federal funding and hold them up to ridicule as a waste of public money--the citizens were being "fleeced" by irresponsible and greedy scientists. The projects thus criticized did not start to make sense until the scientists went before the cameras (with much less fanfare) and read off something besides the title. One of my favorites was the set of NSF-funded studies on the sex life of the butterfly. One of the issues in that case, if I remember it correctly, turned out to be plant pollination and ways to increase our food supply. Butterflies were chosen as subjects because, precisely, they allowed the researchers to isolate parts of the pollination process in a useful way. That is easy to understand once you hear the explanation, but in order to understand it you have to care enough to read beyond the title. I needn't insist that the agency that granted scarce funds to the project made sure it was read in full, over and over, by highly qualified experts who judged it as a whole. In my field the federal endowment rejects scores of applications for every one of the rare ones it supports, mostly on the basis of readers' reactions.
emph mine link

Unfortunately (and this returns us to the point made by DeLong, that he doesn't even know what the 'other' category is. Perhaps it was funds for FEMA, or research into levee fortification or viral reproduction, or mad cow testing regimes. If so, I hope it was worth that tax refund.

Charles Bird: "What is really convenient is your failure to understand the Constitution and who has what roles on spending and appropriations, dm."

Yes, the President proposes a budget, and can veto bills that he doesn't like. Usually, working with members of his party in Congress.

"It is Fantasy Island historical revisionism to suggest that Clinton's original 1995 budget proposal actually showed a balanced budget anywhere. Some mysterious entity--otherwise known as the Republican Congress--moved Clinton toward signing a balanced budget agreement."

It is beyond Fantasy Island, into Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Island, to ignore the fact that the trend towards a balanced budget was in place long before the GOP Congress came to power. Despite any and every prediction of economic disaster from the GOP.

And it's similar denial of reality to not notice what happened with this GOP Congress once Clinton was replaced by Bush.

Charles, why do you think that we'll swallow this?


Apropos to nothing, how is it that I know a column by George Will entitled Defending The Indefensible is going to be about Harriet Miers and not about Gitmo prisoner abuse?

LJ: Because people have actually defended Gitmo.

Anarch: All well and good, but I'm sure that with a strong economy and increasing tax revenues, plus a population that" rel="nofollow">

I especially resent my Federal tax receipts being spent on what are clearly state and local problems when there are no ends of real problems to be addressed with actual interstate highways and other legitimate Federal transportation concerns. Living in Northern Virginia, believe me, I know from highway problems.

Grrr . . . first graf:

" . . . plus a population that's more liberal and more open to state and local tax increases, Wisconsin can find $40 million of its own money to build bike paths."

I'm asking permission to borrow the sentence so that I may try to deconstruct it as an entity floating freely from its maker.

Granted, retroactively.

All that said, I have no idea whether Feingold's plans are a) worth $40 million or b) appropriate for Federal expenditures, but it's not completely off-base in the way that some are suggesting here.

Great, and if people in Madison are that committed to their own health, maybe they could all be hit with a membership fee, kind of like health club dues. There's absolutely nothing that prevents Wisconsin from raising these funds through state and local tax measures, Anarch. And as giving a fellow as I am, I'm not all that fond of the idea of subsidizing some other people's bike paths. Head tax: approximately two hundred bucks a head for Madison. Stretch it out over a couple of years, and I think you've got a deal. If you can't sell it locally, why do you think it's acceptable to people who aren't involved in any way?

Oh, and to clarify: I'm not really enthusiastic about the use of federal dollars to prettify sections of highway, or to covertly use highway dollars to improve areas that are nearby the highways, as is being done in Florida (and, likely, everywhere else). If the federal government decided it was in the best interests of us as a nation to supplement roadways with bicycle paths nationwide, and assembled a plan to do so, I'm not sure I would object. The Madison bike-path is not quite the bridge to nowhere (because it actually is useful and has a decent chance of getting built without federal dollars) but it is pork, let there be no doubt of that.

Incidentally, I couldn't find ObWi at The Truth Laid Bare - is that an opt-in ranking? Was wondering what the traffic here has been like as a function of time.

Is the amount of money that Madison (or Wisconsin) gets equivalent to the amount of money paid on gas taxes? Wisconsin has some of the highest gas taxes in the US and they are automatically indexed to the inflation rate, so should the fact that WI pays for 72% (56% tax revenue, 16% bonds) of state transportation programs be taken into account? Interestingly, this proportion seems to be quite close to the Virginia proportion and the total VA is 4.1 billion and for WI is 4.8 billion. OTOH, Maryland apparently has a transportation budget of 9.5 billion, and about half of it coming from Federal sources (that's just eyeballing the graphs, as they just have bar graphs)

I should also point out that while everyone seems to have the name Feingold on their keyboards, the Rep for the (I think) Madison district is Tom Petri, a Republican who is vice chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

Slarti: There's absolutely nothing that prevents Wisconsin from raising these funds through state and local tax measures, Anarch.

Actually, the state's pretty much bankrupt so yeah, there actually are practical reasons against it.* To reiterate my point, however:

All that said, I have no idea whether Feingold's plans are a) worth $40 million or b) appropriate for Federal expenditures, but it's not completely off-base in the way that some are suggesting here.

That's the entirety of my dog in this fight, at least for the time being.

* TBH, the state probably could scrounge up $40 million for the Madison bike paths but given that they're willing to go to court to screw the UW Madison TAs over $300,000 I somehow doubt they're going to find it in their hearts to do so. And actually the fact that they could probably scrounge up the money is one of the reasons why we're suing them in the first place, so you can see there are layers here.

LJ: Is the amount of money that Madison (or Wisconsin) gets equivalent to the amount of money paid on gas taxes?

I don't know about gas taxes but I do know that the disparity between what money Wisconsin pays in Federal taxes versus what they receive in grants &c is one of the worst in the nation (sorry I don't have the actual number on-hand, just an offhand mention in a Wis-Tax press release). One of the additional layers of moronicism in the state government right now is that the bulk of Federal spending in Wisconsin right now is through research and patent grants to the University -- hence its status as the largest source of state tax revenue in the state -- which is why, naturally, they're doing their level best to gut the system. Ah, politics.

I should also point out that while everyone seems to have the name Feingold on their keyboards, the Rep for the (I think) Madison district is Tom Petri, a Republican who is vice chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

The Representative of the Dane County area (campus/Madison) is Tammy Baldwin, among other things Congress' first open lesbian. [And an all-around nice person as well :) ] Petri's in the 6th Congressional district, to our north, which is a much more conservative district (though not nearly so much as Sensenbrenner's, the 5th, which is to our northeast). For anyone who cares, here are the Wisconsin districts.

And fwiw, most of the 5th and 6th hate us folks in the 2nd (another reason why the state govt is trying to gut the university system), though I have no idea what this would mean if Petri and Sensenbrenner were actually given a vote on the matter.

hey anarch, is there any chance at all of sensenbrenner being defeated? I would definitely donate to an opponent of his who had even an outside chance. Hell, I'd consider volunteering if they didn't mind out of staters--it doesn't look a ridiculous drive from Chicago.

What a wishfull use of past tense Anarch...

I used to live in Madison and used the bike paths already there at least 100 times a year--to commute to work, saving gasoline and the environment. Madison is one of the most bicycled cities in the country and one of the reasons it's such a great place to live. The winter is fierce but not that long--one can bike well into November and resume in March.

More importantly, isn't it remarkable that Russ Feingold seems to vote right on every issue? Is there anyone in Congress with a more sensible record? We're a long way out from 2008 but he has my support for President. I don't know if he's electable but I think we'll be better off from just having him campaign.

hey anarch, is there any chance at all of sensenbrenner being defeated? I would definitely donate to an opponent of his who had even an outside chance. Hell, I'd consider volunteering if they didn't mind out of staters--it doesn't look a ridiculous drive from Chicago.

It's really hard to say. On the one hand, Sensenbrenner's kind of an embarrassment; on the other, he's embarrassing in ways that are offensive to either Madison, Washington or Democrats, so he tends to get a free ride on some of that stuff. [It's amazing how much of an asshole you can be yet still be considered a pillar of "moral values" as long as you only insult the right (or maybe wrong) people.] I've heard that the Dems have some really good candidates coming up -- both in terms of electibility and in terms of policies and character -- but they haven't really surfaced in the state eye yet so we'll see how it goes. It's worth keeping an eye on that area, though.

Added in proof: Found a recent dKos interview with Sensenbrenner's supposed challenger (hadn't heard that it was official yet, but then I haven't been paying an enormous amount of attention to state politics recently). Rather than express any further opinion since I barely know of the guy myself, I'll leave it at that.

Adding to James Hannon's post above, one of the things that non-Wisconsinites (and even some non-Madisonians) don't get -- and which I must've failed to convey above -- is how important bicycles are to the region. F'rex, if you check out the the website of the Wisconsin DOT you'll see they have a special section of the website devoted purely to bicycles, with about 5% of commuting traffic being on bicycles. I don't know of any other state for which that's true; certainly, the number of states for which bicycling forms a significant portion of transportation costs are, well, low.

[IOW, it's not just the health benefits and therefore financial considerations thereof, but also lowered gasoline expenditures, the reduction in wear-and-tear on the roads, the reduction of commuter traffic, the benefits to the environment &c, all of which I took as obvious but which apparently were not.]

Again, I have no idea whether Feingold's plans are appropriate for Federal expenditures or worth the $40 million price tag... but the answer lies in details that I'll warrant none of us conversing here are familiar with.

Dangit, having trouble posting: that should have read 5% of commuting traffic being on bicycles during peak months. For obvious reasons it's not nearly that high year-round, but it's still higher than you might think even during the winter.

What a wishfull use of past tense Anarch...

I'm not sure what this cryptic quote by "dutchmarbel" refers to, but I suspect it's the following line:

I have no idea what this would mean if Petri and Sensenbrenner were actually given a vote on the matter.

If my suspicion is correct, then the "wishful use of the past tense" is in fact the subjunctive. Rarely used in English nowadays, but rightly here. Clever boy, that Anarch. I wonder where he gets it?

If my suspicion is incorrect, I invoke the shade of Emily Litella

Were that I the son of Dr. Ngo, or the father of Anarch! Clearly the best father-son combi in all Blogdom.

(praying that Typepad doesn't post this three times like my last comment)

But Dr. Ngo, in this particular syntactical construction,* couldn't the subjective tense be poetically described as a wishfull use of the past? (If you kinda nudge "wishfull" into "contrary to actuality," that is.)

Wheels within wheels within grammar. Would that I could interest my students in such pleasures...

_____
*Note to anyone unclear on the subjunctive mood: it only rarely shows up as a past tense.

I like the convergence here: Anarch, Dutchmarbel, Dr. Ngo ... bicycles, saving energy, bicycle paths ... Wisconsin, the Netherlands, taxpayer-funded public transportation to lessen our reliance on Al Qaeda ...

Also, folks who live in countries where the levees work and folks who live in countries where the levees don't work.

So, may I have levees that work? No, sorry we need to cut that line item because when we cut taxes, revenues increase, and therefore we need to cut the budget, because revenues increased, because of supply-side economics. Do you follow?

May I have bicycle paths, in case I need to get out of town when the levees unfunded by higher tax revenues burst? No. Why? See the above.

How about just a subsidized bicycle?

No sorry, as you can see by this chart here, (let me smooth out htis napkin) this line denotes lower taxes, which leads to higher revenues, which leads to the footnote over here explaining why the stinking budget, including the new Schwinn for you, is vetoed.
But rest assured, when we cut taxes to zero, revenues will increase one hundred fold to infinity.

Yeah, O.K., can I cross the bridge now on my homemade unicycle into the suburb which locally funded its bicycle paths cause if you'll notice, there is a tidal wave bearing down on me?

Umm .... No.

The budget?

No.

P.S. I wish Bob McManus would show up. He can explain all of these connections better than I can. He has a Pandora's Box, which if you look inside, contains a slippery slope, at the bottom of which is his mother who lived longer, thankfully, than she might of.
There are no bicycles in sight, unless we consider bicycles to be a metaphor.

If there was no subjunctive, this sentence would be grammatical.

Jackmormon: "Wheels within wheels within grammar. Would that I could interest my students in such pleasures..."

One of the things that always amused me, during the most extreme moments of PC, was the way my students, who normally didn't care about the subtle shadings of words at all, and used e.g. reject and refute interchangeably, became all quivering antennae directed at the most far-flung possible implications of words when, say, gender was at issue. I used to hope that this attention would spread to the rest of the language, rather than remaining a localized phenomenon, but alas no.

Likewise, when Black Athena came out, a friend of mine who was teaching at Howard told me that all the students there were reading it. I had been reading it myself, as it happened, and it was an incredibly dense piece of linguistics, all about things like: how the best way to track cultural influence is by looking at toponyms, and how, given phonetic shifts, the name 'Athens' comes from the Pharoanic 'ht nt'. And I thought: cool, now we can look forward to a rising generation of African-American classicists focussed on the transmission of words between languages. No such luck, as best I can tell.

That's why, now that PC has migrated to conservatives, I am not looking forward to the beneficial effects of vast numbers of conservative blog readers poring over Amnesty International reports, and in the process familiarizing themselves with human rights abuses worldwide. I have learned that these things don't generalize, more's the pity.

"P.S. I wish Bob McManus would show up."

Blew up a motherboard this morning. Can only babble and grumble darkly about thermal paste and bios settings and inaccessible boot devices.

Anyway, after a week of trying to convince kids that just because this war was bad...never mind. Need to rest my snark for the party or heartbreak, the comic frogmarchers or the tragedy of injustice.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad