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Posted by on Dec 26, 2007 in Uncategorized | 8 comments

Center of Attention

balancing_act.jpg

Assorted items from the past week, wherein the writers attempt to strike a balanced note on current affairs or challenge us to review and refine our own sense of balance, of what’s right and wrong, fair and unfair, rational and not.

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‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the ‘sphere, no one really cared who was balanced or not … except me, of course.

Steve Clemons asks two so-called Christians to show some Christ-like love, peace, and mercy to their gay son and brother.

Steve Benen ponders whether or not Hillary’s last eight years in the White House actually count for something. His conclusion:

If you’re sympathetic to Clinton, her eight years in the White House offer her the kind of experience and insights that few presidential candidates can even hope to match. If you’re unsympathetic, Clinton shouldn’t count her eight years in a ceremonial position in which she made practically no substantive decisions relating to foreign policy or national security, did not receive intelligence briefings, and did not, as some former officials put it, “feel or process the weight of responsibility.”

It’s the same background, but it’s up to you which version to prefer.

If you believe, as Fed Chair Ben Bernanke apparently does, that inflation is the mother lode of all evil, then you’ll appreciate Michael Bowen’s graphically assembled inflation data — which shows we have had it pretty damn good for the last 15-plus years, and we’re certainly in much better shape today than we were during the dog-days of 1974 to 1981.

Ed Morrissey wonders why a certain Iraqi “unity march” was roundly ignored by the MSM. Elsewhere, Michael Totten publishes the guest voice of Jordan W, who concludes: ” … Iraq, circa 2003, is an easy case: avoid optional wars and save capacity for unavoidable ones.”

A left-leaning blogger touts the prisoners-set-free plan of a right-leaning Governor.

[H/t Nick Gillespie.] In the (Columbia, Tenn.) Daily Herald, Ron Hart (with tongue planted firmly in cheek) touts Ron Paul’s campaign as “a thoughtful attempt to claim the broad center in the middle of the red/blue political bickering that passes for political discourse today.” Hart’s last paragraph is pure gold:

Ron Paul is not your typical politician. He strikes me as the only one running who is more likely to be listening to a constituent in a bar rather than getting a $400 haircut or running his opinions by a focus group. He is a smart, conscientious and an accomplished private sector doctor who went into politics for the right reasons. He is a man who stands firmly by his beliefs and does not pander to the worst in human instinct. As such, and if history is any guide, rest assured that he has no chance in hell of winning.

Dennis Sanders praises the virtues of “boring” in his presidential candidate.

Jon Henke joins Megan McArdle in evaluating CEO salaries.

John Tomlin interviews presidential candidates on the perceived apathy of young voters.

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Copyright 2007 The Moderate Voice
  • DLS

    Not quite…

    If you’re sympathetic to Clinton, her eight years in the White House offer her the kind of experience and insights that few presidential candidates can even hope to match. If you’re unsympathetic, Clinton shouldn’t count her eight years in a ceremonial position in which she made practically no substantive decisions relating to foreign policy or national security, did not receive intelligence briefings, and did not, as some former officials put it, “feel or process the weight of responsibility.”

    This is a laughably false dichotomy. Hillary Clinton arrogated the role of co-President and in fact exercised (after she arrogated) considerable power and assumed (though was not given it by the electorate) considerable responsibilty — or at least credit, accolades for “St. Hillary,” while she rejected and evaded true responsibility for her actions and in her behavior.

    Hillary Clinton, even more than Bill, was directly responsible for the 1994 election results. Presumably many who were ignorant of this in the past aren’t so any longer. (Those who refuse to accept the truth or still don’t understand really aren’t qualified to cast their Democratic vote next year.)

  • kritt

    DLS- If Bill had not had the affair with Monica, he would have been welcomed by Democrats when campaigning with Al Gore. Gore felt betrayed by Clinton and was afraid of being tainted by the scandal, and so campaigned alone. Clinton left office with a 70% approval rating. If Gore had campaigned with an untainted Bill Clinton, it is a given that Gore would have won. Most political scientists believe that Bill is a more masterful politician and speechmaker than Gore, who came off as professorial and pedantic—more the policy wonk at that time than the rock star. Monicagate gave us Bush/Cheney who promised to restore the dignity of the presidency.

  • Rudi

    One comment about the CEO’s salaries post by MM and Q&Q, QQ makes a comparison to sports and Michael Jordan. In sports, even if an athlete performs to expectations, only quarenteed bonuses are paid out per a contract. At the end of the contract, or in some sports, the next year the Allstar player can be cut for financial reasons. There isn’t any golden parachutes in sports, and business shouldn’t have these CEO welfare programs.

  • DLS

    If Bill had not had the affair with Monica, he would have been welcomed by Democrats when campaigning with Al Gore.

    And lied about it

    In 1996 Clinton was widely disrespected and ripe to lose re-election. Yet the GOP Old Guard selected Bob Dole as their anointed one. Obviously one cannot be overconfident and underestimate one’s opponent.

    If Gore had campaigned with an untainted Bill Clinton, it is a given that Gore would have won.

    I agree with you, K. Bush was a desperately-chosen “brand name” or “designer label” (the Bush name) candidate, as I called it. (This is why we still are likely, someday, to see Jeb Bush run for the Presidency, in my opinion.)

    Bush/Cheney […] promised to restore the dignity of the presidency

    I believe Dubya originally promised this to us in two languages (admittedly speaking como un borracho), in 2000, which was not so later (when the dignity issue had long been dead).

    If a Dem wins, I told my friend last night, to take advantage of Gore’s celeb status, being the head of EPA is great but is not enough. What could be done is create a (Cabinet-level) new Department of the Environment, with him at its head, or (to be more appropriate and correct something long obsolescent) rename the Department of the Interior as the Department of Natural Resources, and make Gore the next secretary of it.

  • kritt

    D- If Hillary Clinton wins, and is as unpopular as W, Jeb will not be a successful candidate, because Americans will not want the dynasty thing. There is already anti-Clinton feeling because a lot of people don’t want Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton. You’d never be able to add a Bush to that lineup, lol!

  • kritt

    BTW, if that were to occur it would almost be like having two royal families- their aggregation of power would be unprecedented with corporations, billionaires and world leaders. Bush 43 would have likely been a one-term president or never been president at all without 41’s help and the experience of former administration members who were loyal to 41 and looking out for W.

  • Rudi

    kritt – Please no more new Departments, the DHS is bad enough. We need to fix existing Departments, not create more. Gore won’t give up his day job, he’s making a ton of money and a world wide celeb, he ain’t gonna play second fiddle to Clenis and Clagina.

  • kritt

    Rudi- u must have been hitting the eggnog- DLS suggested the position for the Goracle, not I, LOL. I would just like to have someone heading the EPA that is not trying to block the states’ initiatives on emissions (and not getting directives from Dick Cheney stating the BIg 3’s opposition to new air quality standards)

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