A bunch of political notes. I got rid of most of the really old or no-longer-applicable ones…
* – McCain staffers sound like sore losers. Sure, Sarah Palin’s the reason that John McCain lost and not an economic downturn and a terrible bailout that the Republicans none-the-less pushed through… As for Palin, Christopher Beam over at Slate points out what’s next for her. She should go back to Alaska, work on issues there and then get re-elected as governor. In the meantime, get a couple of good national political advisors and learn much more about the national issues. Now that she doesn’t have to follow McCain’s lead, her job is to bone up on what’s important in national politics (as opposed to Alaskan politics, which she knows well) and create a vision. I’ll have a little more to say about this tomorrow.
* – Before the election, Elizabeth Edwards criticized John McCain’s health care plan because it leaves important decisions in the hands of individuals, who “make stupid economics decisions.” As Ramesh Ponnuru puts it, “Good thing governments never do that!” I can’t top that…
* – Australia’s immigration department will not let a German physician become a permanent resident because his son has Down’s syndrome. These types of inhumane decisions become necessary with government-controlled health care. Once the government takes charge of that, they have to be the ones to ration services and pay for services (via charging taxpayers), so then they decide not to accept immigrants who would be a “drain” on the public purse. The same thing is going on in New Zealand and will continue in other countries with socialized medicine.
* – It’s time for Obama to start throwing congressmen and Senators under the bus. “That’s not the Jerrold Nadler I knew.” “That’s not the Jim Moran I knew.” “That’s not the Barack Obama I knew…err…” Nadler is fine with Russia invading Georgia and Ukraine as quid pro quo for pretending to do something with Iran (something, here, presumably being more than selling them arms and working on their nuclear program). Moran is appalled that there are certain Americans who actually believe that, just because they earn something, means that they should keep it. And Obama admitted back in January that his cap-and-trade program will raise energy prices—or, in Obama’s words, they would “skyrocket.” One thankful element regarding the economic downturn (other than the re-allocation of factors of production to better-served uses and away from lesser-valued uses) and just recently having $4 a gallon gasoline is that Democrats (and McCain) will not have an easy time ramming through a cap-and-trade plan which will, as Obama notes, cause energy prices to skyrocket.
* – Here’s a slightly old bit of news: ethanol producers want a bailout. I’d say that it’s pure chutzpah but, to be honest, the American ethanol industry wouldn’t exist without governmental largesse, so it’s just par for the course for those leeches. Jeff Flake is not a fan of ethanol; I am a fan of Jeff Flake.
* – Finally, a man is arrested and sent to jail in Belgium on account of racism. As a police officer in 2003, Bart Debie and his unit responded to a report of drunk and disorderly conduct and were attacked by a group of Turkish men. The police were able to subdue and arrest the men, and Debie went on his way. Apparently, the Turkish men were attacked at the station and were “subject to racism” (this is totally different from what they did earlier!). It looks as though the attack claim, at least, was true, so despite the fact that Debie was not at the station, did not make any racist utterings, and did not assault any prisoners, he’s the one in jail. Why? Because he became a politician in the opposing party in Belgium. Here’s a hint to the Belgian government, which is obviously new at this “democracy” thing: it’s a bad idea to trump up charges and throw opposing politicians in jail because it shows how little you care about the democratic process. But then again, the Belgian government doesn’t actually do anything anymore; the EU takes care of all of the real governance.