Archive for the ‘wsj’ tag
It takes a special kind of delusion to believe, amid a popular revolt against too much government spending and debt, that another $1 trillion would have made all the difference. But that’s the latest left-wing theme.
The real message of Massachusetts is that Democrats have committed the classic political mistake of ideological overreach. Mr. Obama won the White House in part on his personal style and cool confidence amid a recession and an unpopular war. Yet liberals in Congress interpreted their victory as a mandate to repeal more or less the entire post-1980 policy era and to fulfill, at last, their dream of turning the U.S. into a cradle-to-grave entitlement state.
To comedy writers, Lenoâ€™s massive success represents the triumph of mediocrity. Itâ€™s the tragedy of a prodigiously talented stand-up making a conscious decision to dumb down his material to reach the widest possible audience. He won over the masses while alienating comedy geeks. He came to symbolize everything crass and mercenary about comedy. As the years went on, Leno became synonymous with Monica Lewinsky and O.J. jokes. His name became shorthand for lazy, dumb and obvious comedy. To comedy snobs, â€œThe Tonight Showâ€ under his nightmare realm was one long Dancing Itos sketch.
I had no idea what the “Dancing Itos” sketch was so I looked for it on YouTube. It begins in this video at about 2:10 and it is as unimaginative and devoid of humor as you might have imagined. It is like a Carnival cruise variety show. And if you’re feeling particularly masochistic, you can watch an honest-to-god Gilligan’s Island spoof a little earlier in the same clip.
Two great quotes from Jean-FranÃ§ois Revel (author of Last Exit To Utopia, the book being reviewed):
The totalitarian phenomenon is not to be understood without making an allowance for the thesis that some important part of every society consists of people who actively want tyranny: either to exercise it themselves orâ€”much more mysteriouslyâ€”to submit to it.
Utopia is not under the slightest obligation to produce results: its sole function is to allow its devotees to condemn what exists in the name of what does not.
H/T Mike B.
Everyone in politics genuflects in the direction of the job-creation powers of “entrepreneurs” and their ideas. But the generation of Democrats who rose to power with the Obama presidency and the current House majority don’t really trust or much like real entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship, the kind that creates industries and jobs on the scale we’ll need in the next century, is about two things: Ideas that spring randomly from some slightly crazed dreamer’s head; and worse, they often get filthy rich if the dreams are real. The left likes neither.
In their country, government guides capital to ideas prewashed for goodness. As to letting guys get rich, we know about that problem. Hating it isn’t just political. It’s cultural.
Some of those mentioned in the emails have responded to our requests for comment by saying they must first chat with their lawyers. Others have offered legal threats and personal invective. Still others have said nothing at all. Those who have responded have insisted that the emails reveal nothing more than trivial data discrepancies and procedural debates.
Yet all of these nonresponses manage to underscore what may be the most revealing truth: That these scientists feel the public doesn’t have a right to know the basis for their climate-change predictions, even as their governments prepare staggeringly expensive legislation in response to them.
H/T Mike B.
Al Gore is just another product. Except this product insists that it be exempt from competition or critical evaluation.
From Holman Jenkins at the WSJ:
But from our first column on this subject, we have been convinced that the scientific questions are interesting and irrelevant, since it was never in the cards that Western societies (or Brazil or India or China) would sacrifice economic growth for the uncertain benefits of fighting climate change. Unable to do anything meaningful about climate change, policy would therefore default to satisfying the demand of organized interests for climate pork.
Isn’t that, however much he may be distracted by feelings of sincerity, exactly the economic function of Mr. Gore today?
AL GORE: No, Diane Sawyer, I will not conform my diet to my value system
NY TIMES: Al Gore is amazingly awesome, not at all benefitting personally from his good works
The unsettling nature of an unsettled debate
The new business model: government connections
But perhaps [SuperFreakonomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s] biggest sin, which is also the central point of the chapter, is pointing out that seemingly insurmountable problems often have cheap and simple solutions. Hence world hunger was largely conquered not by a massive effort at population control, but by the development of new and sturdier strains of wheat and rice. Hence infection and mortality rates in hospitals declined dramatically as doctors began to appreciate the need to wash their hands.
WSJ: Health insurance premiums for St. Louis small businesses expected to increase 91% under Obamacare
The story is largely the same from state to state, though the increases are smaller in the few states that have already adopted the same mandates and regulations that Democrats want to impose on all states. For the average small employer in high-cost New York, for instance, premiums would only rise by 6%. But they’d shoot up by 94% for the same employer in Indianapolis, 91% in St. Louis and 53% in Milwaukee.
A family of four with average health in those same cities would all face cost increases of 122% buying insurance on the individual market. And it’s important to understand that these are merely the new costs created by ObamaCareâ€”not including the natural increases in medical costs over time from new therapies and the like.