The Beltway Crash: Congress Lives Up to its 10% Approval Rating
(FROM: The Wall Street Journal) I know quite a few people who lost a lot of money in yesterday’s 777-point drop on Wall Street. Personally, I don’t have squat in terms of investments anymore, so I’m worried more about the indirect, residual effects which will affect all Americans. Still, I’m with Indiana Congressman Mike Pence, who believes that Americans just didn’t want this bill and the congressional vote was just a referendum to that effect, but I do not agree wholeheartedly that it was Nancy Pelosi’s partisan speech which riled up House Republicans enough to tank the bill. It was her partisan leadership, her projection of that bitter liberal gone wild, that failed to rally even her own party — which, don’t forget, has the majority in both House and Senate and could technically have passed this thing themselves provided with the right leadership. All in all, whether or not anything needs to be done is a debate for the economists … I’d just like to see Congress spend as much time and careful deliberation on the financial health and prosperity of our country as they did on finding out who was burying steroid-filled syringes in Roger Clemens’ butt cheek.
My Vote: NO
(FROM: National Review) Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey does a nice job in this piece of spelling out the problems with the bill as it stood yesterday. Only part of what he had to say:
As a Public Choice professor, I used to begin class each semester with Armey’s Axiom number one: “The market is rational and the government is dumb.” Those quick to call for more regulation forget the power of markets, and refuse to acknowledge government culpability in the current mess. Time and again, governments the world over have attempted to outsmart the market and the current legislation is no exception. And time after time, markets respond, toppling the best-laid government plans as they move to correctly price the underlying assets in exchange.
The people in Congress who were warning that the skies would fall yesterday before this vote, remember, were the very same people who just four years ago failed to heed warnings that the relaxed lending standards and accounting improprieties would lead to this very problem.
Jim Manion: Barbarians At the Gate (great piece on Treasury Sec. Henry Paulson’s conflicts of interest)
ACORN, Obama, and the Mortgage Mess
(FROM: Townhall) As I walked between courthouses this morning in downtown Philadelphia, I saw a couple of ACORN activists out on the street, and a card table on nearly every corner, each looking like a shrine to Barack Obama. I asked one of the folks at the card table on 8th Street if they were registering Republican voters, and she looked at me as though I had two heads before, seconds, later, attempting to pass me her clipboard and pen. More than the voter fraud issues, however, community activist groups like ACORN are at the heart of the race-baiting political correctness which got us into this mess in the first place. Mona Charen, in this piece, does a nice job of tying everything together. ACORN, by the way, is currently under investigation for voter fraud and registration irregularities in Michigan, Florida, Washington, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Ohio, Nevada and Pennsylvania — hmmm, any swing states among those?
VP Debate Moderator Ifill Releasing Pro-Obama Book
(FROM: WorldNetDaily) Of course, television reporter Gwen Ifill has every right to compose whatever she feels like, and a book about the success of blacks in this new political age will no doubt be an interesting read. While I’d love to ask Ms. Ifill whether figures such as J.C. Watts and Michael Steele will receive the same treatment as, say, Barack Obama, I’m fairly sure of the answer. The real question, however, is whether she plans to release the book regardless of which candidate prevails on the fourth of November — I’m not sure I like the idea of a debate moderator having a vested interest in the success of a particular presidential candidate.
Nervous GOP Urges McCain to Attack
(FROM: Politico) This is something that I’ve been worried about for a while. Back in March, I wrote a number of pieces wondering whether McCain’s habit of apologizing profusely every time a conservative supporter opened his or her mouth and denounced Obama was going to bleed into the late stages of the general election. For a while, when McCain’s camp released the excellent advertisements over the summer–the ones which preyed upon Obama’s celebrity status–I thought that the gloves would definitely come off. Now, I’m not so sure, but I hope that if McCain does get aggressive, he does so close enough to the fourth of November so that America’s gnat-like attention span doesn’t become a factor. He has a veritable wealth of issues that he can hit Barack Obama on — I hope this attitude of “my friend” and bi-partisanship-at-all-costs will not prevent him from doing so.
One-in-Four Chance McCain May Not Survive 2nd Term
(FROM: Associated Press) Okay, seriously? The media is so deep in Barack Obama’s corner that they need to appeal to people’s fear of uncertainty with regard to four, six, eight years down the road? Sure, it’s actuarial math and, sure, it might be a story if the same mathematical result applied to a possible first term. This, however, is a stretch.
Unlike Clinton, Biden Gets Pass for Saying He Was ‘Shot At’ in Iraq
(FROM: Fox News) He also got a pass for suggesting that President Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television to inform and reassure the American people immediately following the 1929 stock market crash. Roosevelt did, in fact, go on the radio — but, uh, Herbert Hoover was president of the United States at the time. Can you even imagine if Gov. Sarah Palin said the same thing? Can you even imagine the media backlash? Golly gee, this debate on Thursday is going to be interesting (I’ll write about it tomorrow, I’m sure).
Saudi Woman Driver Hurt After Defying Ban
(FROM: Agence France-Press) When I saw the headline, I admittedly thought that this woman was pulled from her car and beaten when the kind Muslim folks in Saudi Arabia saw that–gasp!–she was driving a car. I was prepared to go off on a diatribe about “where are the women’s groups now?!?” and “let’s make sure we have a strong judiciary in this country so we can avoid issues presented by legitimizing Sharia law in the United States.” Instead, when I read the piece, I saw that she was hurt when she lost control of the car she stole from her brother and took on a high-speed joyride through Riyadh, only to end up hitting an electrical pole and submerging the vehicle in an irrigation ditch. Now, all my arguments are gone — the only option left would be a corny joke about female drivers. (Then, however, my wife would hit me.)
‘Doomsday Machine’ Lawsuit Tossed Out by Judge
(FROM: Fox News) So, the Large Hadron Collider malfunctioned and will be off-line until spring. Golly gee, did the scientists at CERN anticipate the malfunction? If they did, good on them. If they didn’t, perhaps someone should reevaluate whether or not they adequately anticipate a total lack of globally-catastrophic problems once the machine does go online. Either way, where are the environmentalists now? If they’re willing to cry and scream over dead trees (still the funniest video I’ve seen in a long, long time), why aren’t they concerned about something that could, in theory, destroy the entire planet?
A Pair of Must-See Videos