March 22, 2007

Couldn’t Help But Notice (032207)

Don Luskin is right about this: If the objective is to start putting the brakes on Uncle Sam’s 9% average annual tax-receipt growth, there are two ways to do it: raise the highest marginal tax rates (revenues won’t grow much because economic activity will slow down) or lower them yet again (increased economic activity will generate enough taxes to make up for the lower rates, as has happened MULTIPLE times in Australia; Hong Kong; Iceland; and Ireland, about which Chris Edwards at Cato [HT Carter Wood at the Manufacturer's Blog] has a great post).

Unfortunately no one in Washington is talking about lowering tax rates further, but is only playing defense against proposed massive tax increases. Some people need to remember what the best defense really is.

__________________________________

Someone needs to tell me why allowing kids to get through school using “Black English Vernacular” (HT Return of the Conservatives, whose “Reasons to Home School” counter may be in need of an additional digit soon), combined with inadequate “Real World English” speaking and writing skills, isn’t negligence at best, and child abuse at worst.

__________________________________

It’s scary to be agreeing with Eleanor Clift on anything (about 85% of the way through the transcript; HT 2008 Election Watch via Lead Us Forward), but she’s saying something I’ve said for at least the past six weeks or so (just not here) — If ever there was a chance for a third-party candidate to pull off the upset of the century (or, actually, the last 148 years or so), it would be 2008, because the GOP and Democrat nominees will be known by the end of February. Buyer’s remorse has lots of time to set in during that time. But I believe a third-party candidate can only win:

  • If he or she draws huge numbers of new voters to the polls, as there are way too many people in the two major parties who are so set in their ways that they’d vote in Jack or Jacqueline the Ripper if he or she had the correct party label.
  • If there is only one truly major third-party threat.

__________________________________

Any fair economic history of Mexico has to consider the government’s nationalization of the oil industry 69 years go to be among the country’s biggest mistakes. But despite Pemex’s current woes, I expect that the idea of privatizing its assets is still unthinkable. That’s a shame, as it may be one of the better answers to the question of how to move Mexico’s economy into the 21st Century.

__________________________________

Every time I think about removing comment moderation, another good reason not to comes alonglike this one (HT Instapundit). I believe I’ve at least a dozen “legitimate looking” trackbacks and pings come in during the past week alone; when I visited these sites, it was obvious that they were just aggregating web content without human intervention, and I didn’t let the pings or trackbacks through. The linked article says that some of these sites could be malware purveyors. I don’t believe that the spam blockers with catch this, and I don’t want to expose readers to it.

Is It OK to Call Them ‘Terorrists’ Yet?

Filed under: Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:14 am

Clean commentary on this is impossible (HT Taranto at Best of the Web; bolds are mine):

Children used in Iraqi militant attack

By Kristin Roberts

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) – A U.S. general on Tuesday said Iraqi insurgents used children in a suicide attack this weekend, raising worries that the insurgency has adopted a new tactic to get through security checkpoints with bombs.

Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero, deputy director for regional operations in the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said adults in a vehicle with two children in the backseat were allowed through a Baghdad checkpoint on Sunday.

The adults then parked next to a market in the Adamiya area of Baghdad, abandoned the vehicle and detonated it with the children still inside, according to the general and another defense official.

“Children in the back seat, lower suspicion, we let it move through,” Barbero said. “They parked the vehicle, the adults run out and detonate it with the children in the back.”

….. The attack killed five, including the children, and wounded seven, the defense official said.

Reuters loves to tell us that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” So what “freedom fighters” down through human history have used children as sacrificial decoys?

There’s also a longer report from AFP here.

______________________________

UPDATE, Mar. 26: More on terrorist child abuse and endangerment (HT Hot Air) –

BAGHDAD — Al Qaeda in Iraq is using kidnapped children to pick up weapons dropped in battle zones, get past checkpoints and die in car bombs, according to U.S. officials and Iraqis in Baghdad.

“Al Qaeda is using children to pick up weapons and ammunition knowing that U.S. troops will not shoot against children,” said one U.S. military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Where’s the outrage from the international human rights community?

Ho Hum Hiring Headline (032207)

Filed under: Business Moves,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:09 am

From the Rockford (IL) Register Star, covering the mayor’s State of the City speech last week:

Rockford’s January unemployment figures are the lowest in years. The Lowe’s distribution center will add 700 jobs. UPS expanded to add 200 jobs. The Anderson Packaging expansion will bring 250 manufacturing jobs to the region.

Here’s a Big Thing Their Detractors Don’t Get about Coulter and Limbaugh

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 6:04 am

Even those who aren’t enamored of them read Coulter and listen to Limbaugh or visit his web site (which happens to be new, improved, and when last checked, provided a week’s worth of content before it disappears behind his subscription wall [was previously only one day]) because they report obvious news that “somehow” either didn’t get reported at all, or barely got mentioned.

A week ago Wednesday, Coulter told us how New York Times reporter David Rosenbaum did not have to die in January 2006. But after regaling us with another story we never heard about, she notes that he did die, largely if not completely because of shoddy ambulance service and hospital treatment.

In a typical story from the nation’s capital, last year, a 38-year-old woman died at the hospital after her blood pressure dropped and a D.C. ambulance took 90 minutes to pick her up and take her to a hospital that was five minutes away. For 90 minutes, the 911 operator repeatedly assured the woman’s sister that the ambulance was on its way.

You read these stories every few months in Washington.

New York Times reporter David Rosenbaum also died in Washington last year after being treated to the famed work ethic of the average government employee. Rosenbaum was mugged near his house and hit on the head with a pipe. A neighbor found him lying on the sidewalk and immediately called 911.

First, the ambulance got lost on the way to Rosenbaum. Then, instead of taking him to the closest emergency room, the ambulance took him to Howard University Hospital, nearly 30 minutes away, because one of the “emergency medical technicians” had personal business in the area.

Once he finally arrived at the hospital, Rosenbaum was left unattended on a gurney for 90 minutes because the “emergency medical technicians” had completely missed his head injury and listed him as “drunk” and “low priority.”

Months later, the deputy mayor for public safety told The Washington Post that “to the best of his knowledge, no one involved in the incident had been fired.”

Given that the reporter was a pretty prominent guy, it’s more than a little surprising that such maltreatment with such outrageously weak results went virtually unreported outside of DC — and it appears that DC reportage was mostly, if not only, due to one reporter who was outraged. To its credit, the NY Times did carry one story in June (may require free registration).

It should also be noted that a family lawsuit that was settled earlier this month over Rosenbaum’s death has some pretty amazing terms:

In the settlement, the city will not pay any money to the family. Instead, the family has agreed to withdraw the lawsuit and give the District of Columbia one year to improve emergency medical services. If it does not improve, the family can refile the lawsuit.

The point is that this leads to a question that readers of Coulter and listeners to Limbaugh who also closely follow current events end up asking themselves time and again: Why did I not hear about this earlier?

As long as these kinds of Formerly Mainstream Media “misses” keep taking place, Coulter and Limbaugh will at least retain, and likely grow, their already huge followings.

_______________________________

UPDATE: Another obvious example — Limbaugh (link will apparently be free until Monday evening) and other talks hosts mentioned the Gathering of Eagles (GoE) “turnout rout” earlier this week. As noted earlier, the two “newspapers of record” totally misrepresented the relative turnouts and did what they could to portray GoErs unfavorably.

Positivity: Former Tillman teammate headed to Iraq

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Fox Sports: Read the whole thing.