Friday, March 13, 2009

Quick hits

  • I watched Obama give a short speech the other day about the budget, and how he would sign it despite the presence of 9,000 earmarks. He vowed to get tougher on earmarks on the future, just like he has promised to cut the deficit in half after he finishes blowing a hole in it. For the guy that talks a big game on sacrifice and tough choices he endlessly delays the day of reckoning rather than actually tackling the issues. It's sad, because if he had said, "And because of the presence of these earmarks, which I campaigned against and find outrageous, I am vetoing this budget and demand that Congress send me another one without this wasteful spending" it would have been electric, and would have been a genuine sign of change. But more and more we see that Obama represents the status quo.
To some observers, such as Alexis de Tocqueville, Washington's relative decrepitude reflected one of the glories of the young republic. The fact that the country had "no metropolis" that dominated it from the center struck the young noble, on his visit to America in the early 1830s, as "one of the first causes of the maintenance of Republican institutions."
We're losing that. More here.
  • Last October or so I went to a seminar on which candidate in the presidential election was preferable from a libertarian perspective. In the pro-Obama camp was Megan McArdle, who qualified her endorsement by stating that the thought of nationalized health care had her waking up screaming at night. Anyway, Megan now admits to buyer's remorse. There seems to be a lot of that going around.

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