November 20, 2008

Today’s NewsBusters Posts (112008)

  • Obama Attorney General Nominee Eric Holder Helped Enable 2000 Elian Gonzalez Seizure — Regardless of how you feel about the case, Holder’s and Janet Reno’s underhanded handling of the 6 year-old’s seizure, and Holder’s incredible denial of reality even when it was staring him in the face (“He was not taken at the point of a gun”) should, in my opinion, remove him from serious consideration as Obama’s Attorney General.
  • LAT Writer: Obama Defense Picks are “Centrists”; Peace Activist: You “Can’t Directly Criticize” Obama — Lefties are feeling let down as people the LA Times’s Philip Richter calls “hawks” and a peacenik calls “centrists” (they’re largely lefty-lite CYA-artist former Clintonistas) appear to be Obama’s faves as defense advisers. Poor babies.

Couldn’t Help But Comment ….. (112008, Morning)

Filed under: Business Moves,Education,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:41 am

Further supporting his given nickname around here, Objectively Unfit Mitt Romney was for an auto-industry bailout during the GOP primaries, but now he’s against it (HT Outside the Beltway).

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Understatement of the Week, via Michelle Malkin, on video at Hot Air:

I think that the left has always gotten away with behavior that the right could never get away with.

Related: Malkin’s column on “The Insane Rage of the Same-Sex Marriage Mob.”

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I’m trying to figure out if this is a complete sell-out, or a successful wall-off (HT Michelle Malkin) — I disagree with Michelle that eHarmony was “forced” to provide same-sex dating capability; they chose not to fight before the suit against them even came to court. But by providing a separate domain for same-sexers, eHarmony may be able to prove there’s not enough of a market for the additional service, given the already-existing competition.

The counterargument is that if eHarmony tries to shut down an unsuccessful same-sex dating site, it will probably get sued for not promoting it enough, or something similarly frivolous.

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A mayoral recall effort is being pursued in Akron (HT Stark County Politics):

Warner Mendenhall, the Akron attorney who officially launched the oust-Plusquellic campaign just after midnight Tuesday, reported a positive response.

In the first day, he said, his recall Web site — http://www.changeakronnow.com — received more than 950 hits, 11 people signed up to volunteer and a number of others called, expressing interest.

”I think the response has been tremendous. I’m shocked,” said Mendenhall, who has gone head to head with Plusquellic on multiple issues, including the mayor’s recently defeated proposal to lease the city’s sewers to pay for scholarships.

Mendenhall announced his plan to try to get Plusquellic booted from office on Monday, saying the mayor has misdirected the city and indebted Akron too much, and that his personal behavior has been appalling.

Some of the commenters at the Ohio.com story recite what would appear to be a pretty good list of reasons the recall of Mayor Don Plusquellic should go forward.

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Former public school teacher (O,M,G) and “The View” co-host Joy Behar made a cheap-shot comment about homeschooled children (“a lot” are “demented”) and their parents yesterday. I posted about it at NewsBusters last night.

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Here’s a place that needs an environmental cleanup — Al Gore’s desk, seen at his blog.

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘That Giant SUCKUP Sound in Washington’) Is Up

It’s here.

Subheadline:

The Seemingly Unlimited Cash Kitty Under Paulson (SUCKUP) is essentially deposing free-market capitalism. Where is the outrage?

It will appear Saturday morning at BizzyBlog (link won’t work until then) under the title “That Giant SUCKUP Sound.”

Linkback: The post refers to a mid-October exchange on CNBC that I commented on at the time about how Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson foisted money on the large banks — even ones that didn’t want the money and said they didn’t need it. Maybe it’s just me, but when a TV commentator talks nonchalantly (in fact, almost happily) about how a country’s Treasury Secretary “put a gun to their heads” to force them to do his bidding (figuratively, of course, but surely with a lot of consequences threatened), I think we’ve turned a dangerous corner.

Also: Roger Simon at PJM has a hard time with the Big 3 auto execs, whose companies’ already-approved loan guarantees are supposed to be for so-called “green” vehicles, flying to Washington on private jets to beg for operating capital. Personally, I’m not as troubled by the “green” hypocrisy as I am by the ugly spectacle of supposed captains of industry, whose companies have failed for at least 30 years to deal with their structural cost problems, putting their hands out to cover for, and perpetuate, those failures.

Related: Smaller scale, big lesson, and actually good historical-perspective journalism from the New York Times (bold is mine) –

British Leyland, a car company that went through £11 billion of inflation-adjusted British taxpayer money, or $16.5 billion, in the ’70s and ’80s before going out of business. All that is left of the company now are memories of cars like the Triumph, and a painful lesson in the limited effectiveness of bailouts.

“It’s all too evocative,” said Leon Brittan, a top official in the government of Margaret Thatcher, the free-market-minded prime minister who nevertheless backed the rescue. “I’m not telling the U.S. what to do, but the lessons of the British experience is don’t throw good money after bad. British Leyland carried on for a few more years, but they’re not there now, are they?”

More: Jim Lindgren at Volokh makes an Econ 101 point

Making bad, uneconomic investments in failing industries does not, on balance, preserve jobs; it tends to destroy more jobs – and more good jobs – than it saves.