Archive for July 20th, 2008

They Write Letters

Another frothing-at-the-mouth bleeding-heart liberal heard from on Obama’s FISA cave and the media’s coverage of it:

Re “Obama Supporters on the Far Left Cry Foul” (news article, July 13):

I resent the implication in your article that those of us unhappy with Senator Barack Obama’s vote on wiretapping are a bunch of left-wingnuts.

Support of our Constitution is not a radical position, and it is troubling that the media, including The New York Times, have lately been characterizing such support as such.

I was an enthusiastic Obama supporter, but now after his vote to nullify the Fourth Amendment, I am understandably less so. But I am no pinko.

In fact, I consider myself somewhat of a conservative in the former sense of the world. I am opposed to welfare, government bailouts and affirmative action. I’m wary of the military-industrial complex, but I support a strong military. I like the Constitution a lot, and believe in balanced budgets, living within our means and small government, most particularly the kind that doesn’t illegally spy on its citizens.

If these beliefs are “far left,” then I’m George Orwell.

Damn hippies.

2 comments July 20th, 2008 at 07:18pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Media,Obama,Quotes

More Credit Where Credit Is Due

Hooray for my representative!

Internet access may not be as important as water. But it’s now right up there with hot water.

Yet given how important broadband is to the future of our economy, our educational system, even our democracy, there is amazingly little public discussion about it.

For too long, that conversation has been happening behind closed doors among self-appointed experts, deep-pocketed lobbyists and politicians who either believe the Internet is “a series of tubes” or don’t use it at all.

A notable exception is U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who’s helping to bring the entire Federal Communications Commission to a public hearing tomorrow at Carnegie Mellon University.

He voted the right way on FISA, too.

For those of you who want to attend:

The FCC hearing on the future of the Internet will start Monday, July 21 at 4 p.m. in McConomy Auditorium at Carnegie Mellon University. For more information:

July 20th, 2008 at 04:56pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Coolness,Democrats,Pittsburgh/PA,Politics,Technology

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Tom Friedman is a fatuous twit who helped enable the invasion of Iraq, has been wrong more times that I can count, and is the master of godawful metaphors… but his take on the gasoline crisis is absolutely perfect:

When a person is addicted to crack cocaine, his problem is not that the price of crack is going up.

Yeah, I think that pretty much sums it up.

July 20th, 2008 at 02:50pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Economy,Energy,Media

When You’re Too Big To Fail…

…You don’t even have to try not to.

In the global economy of the moment, the United States itself is too big to fail.

The logic for that assurance goes like this:

The American consumer has for decades served as the engine of world commerce, using borrowed cash to snap up the accoutrements of modern living — clothes and computers and cars now manufactured, in whole or in part, in factories from Asia to Latin America. Eliminate the American wherewithal to shop, and the pain would ripple out to multiple shores.

Globalization, in other words, allowed China and Japan to amass the fortunes they have been lending to the United States.

But globalization also emboldened American capitalists to take huge risks they might have otherwise avoided — like borrowing to erect forests of unsold homes from California to Florida, delivering the speculative disaster of the day. They were operating with bedrock confidence that money would never run out. Someone would always buy American debt, delivering more cash for the next go.

And this same interconnectedness appears to have reassured regulators in Washington about the health of the American financial system, as they declined to intervene against highly speculative lending during the real estate boom. Mortgages were being distributed to investors around the globe, and so were the risks, the regulators reasoned. Anyone who bought into that risk would have a strong interest in seeing that the American financial system stayed upright.

In other words, in the estimation of people in control of money, the United States cannot be allowed to collapse, just as Fannie and Freddie cannot be allowed to fail. Too much is riding on their survival.

When you’re too big to fail, you have no incentive to be cautious or competent, because you know you’ll be bailed out if your gambles don’t pan out.  This applies at the corporate/financial institution level, and, apparently, at the governmental/regulatory level as well.

When you’re too big to fail, you don’t have to worry about the risk side of the risk-vs-reward equation.

July 20th, 2008 at 11:51am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy

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