Archive for the ‘New York Times’ Category

Gail Collins recommends that AZ lawmakers kill themselves

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Maybe not explicitly, but you tell me: who would survive what she suggested in today’s column?

Maybe some state senators from Arizona would like to come to New York and throw themselves over Niagara Falls to protest our lack of a budget.

But of course, it’s the Tea Party and those on the right whose incendiary rhetoric — “targeting” Democrats who voted for the health-care bill; putting bulls-eyes over their districts on websites — should be taken literally. Yes, the oft-used word “targeting” (not to be confused with Targeting, which I do sometimes with my wife and, while unrelated entirely to murder, is still somewhat affiliated with death — by boredom), which political folks use when they mean they’ll focus more money and efforts on upsetting elected officials, really means, you know, murder. Palin wants to murder the Dems who voted for the health-care bill — or, at least, is insinuating as much, or tacitly endorsing those who might be kooky enough to read between the lines. Right.

But when Gail Collins gets rhetorical — in this instance, by recommending that legislators she disagrees with throw themselves off the largest water fall in North America — of course she’s only kidding, silly!

And really, she is. I know that; the right knows that; her faithful and like-minded readers know that (some of whom are possibly disappointed that she’s not serious). But when our folks use such nasty words like “target”? Well, suddenly we lose our sense of irony and sarcasm and forget that most words have multiple meanings and twists that depend on context. And then we forget that when people suggest targeting (i.e., murdering) elected officials, we probably ought to ignore them. So we go out and murder people, which you all have seen in the news lately — you know, all the people who voted for the health-care bill, they’re dead. Because conservatives are that dumb.

Frank Rich: Think I’m wrong? That I don’t have it all figured out? Then you’re a racist

March 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Pretty shocking that the threatening emails to and shooting-up of Eric Cantor’s office wasn’t mentioned in Frank Rich’s list of awful things people have done in response to this health-care bill. The NYT‘s editorial board is extremely demanding of those submitting guest op-eds, but apparently their own columnists get free reign over what they’ll mention — and conveniently leave out. Yeah, that inconsequential fact that the single most violent and threatening act perpetrated after the bill’s passage was against a Republican? Not even a passing mention was required of Rich. But this is kids’ stuff compared to my — to his — larger point.

Here’s the thing. A major columnist (probably better put: party hack) has boiled down opposition to this bill as nothing more/less than racism/bigotry, which you’ve seen some on the left do lately, sure, but which is going to get a lot worse as the media and Democrat politicians talk about this over the next year. This is the narrative they’ve been building since long before they passed the bill. And that makes it gut-check time for conservatives. Soon enough, all people will have to ask us, in order to determine whether or not we’re white supremacists, is whether we opposed Obamacare. How disgusting.

I can’t help but think this won’t work out for Dems in the long run, though. David Paul Kuhn wrote recently about how Obama’s biggest loss, demographically, since the election is white men. They’re tired of being vilified, held responsible for problems faced by people they’ve never met — and, keep in mind, these are liberal, or at least not conservative, white men who actually voted once for Obama and thus aren’t subject to charges of racism, according to the left’s definition of it (a racist, according to the left, is anyone who opposes any policy offered by the president, specifically, and policies offered by Democrats, generally).

At some point, even white folks on the left will likely soon wake up and decide, finally, that they’re tired of being held responsible for every ill that befalls minorities and being told that their opposition to a bad policy fix must mean they’re big fans of Nascar and a good country lynching. The problem is, regardless of whether whites flee en masse from the Democratic Party, Rich’s final point — about the shift of America’s demographics — might mean it won’t much matter, since very soon whites will be outnumbered by a coalition of minorities who’ve been told by the party they support that everything that’s wrong with society is the white man’s fault.

It’ll be interesting to see how, if it can be done at all, Dems will try to spin themselves out of their racism narrative once whites are eventually, technically, the minorities in this country.

Kristof: rule of law, not crime, is responsible for poverty

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Yet another revealing look in the mind of the American left, courtesy of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s most recent column:

One reason [the number of Americans living below the poverty line has been stuck at roughly 1 in 8] is that wages for blue-collar and other ordinary workers peaked in the early 1970s, after adjusting for inflation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A second is the breakdown in the family and the explosion in single-parent households. A third is the quintupling of incarceration rates beginning in 1970, making it harder for impoverished young men to play a role in families or get decent jobs. (Emphasis mine.)

Ah, so, sending criminals to jail for committing crimes, not the criminals who commit crimes, keeps criminals from playing “a role” in their families or getting “decent jobs.” It makes so much sense, it’s scary I didn’t understand this before!

I hate it when the rule of law, one of the fundamental requirements for a society’s continued existence, gets in the way of the left’s sense of social justice. If we just got rid of the expectation that people behave themselves, then we can eradicate the notion of bad behavior altogether! This guy is a genius.

Abortion discriminates against unborn blacks, but the left doesn’t care

March 10, 2010 Leave a comment

The New York Times today inveighed against any and all attempts to moderate abortion use in this country. The right to bear arms, the right to free speech, the right to free association, freedom of religion — none of these is absolute. They all come with exceptions, some of which are reasonable, some of which are not, but almost all of which are imposed by the left in this country. Yet when it comes to the right to an abortion — a right not even explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, but conjured out of thin air from a “right to privacy,” itself not found anywhere in the document — the left will countenance no moderation whatsoever. The right to abort at will, without cause, is sacrosanct.

Moving on, the point I really want to make regards the end of the editorial:

Citing the disproportionately high number of African-American women who undergo abortions, for example, abortion foes are hurling baseless charges of genocide and racial discrimination. Since last year, a staff member of Georgia Right to Life has been traveling to black churches and colleges, spreading the lie that abortion is the key to conspiracy to kill off blacks. Recently, the group posted dozens of billboards around Atlanta that proclaim, “Black children are an endangered species.”

In fact, of course, there is no conspiracy. The real reason so many black women have abortions can be explained in four words: too many unwanted pregnancies.

Even in this charged debate, phony accusations of genocide should be out of bounds, but political forces that oppose abortion are pursuing a focused, often successful campaign. Americans who support women’s reproductive rights need to make their voices heard.

No doubt the editorial board is right: there is no conspiracy to commit genocide on American blacks. But it’s curious that the NYT board has likely opposed the death penalty, tougher criminal sentences, employment exams, exams in general, race-neutral college-admissions policies — all on the grounds that, even if not explicitly race-biased, such policies are wrong because they have the effect of leaving too many minorities in jail or out of college or not invited back for second interviews (whatever the case may be).

So is there not any merit — none at all? — to the idea that we ought to at least in some way discourage abortion because it disproportionately affects black babies — er — fetuses? If that logic makes sense to the left in the educational, jobs, and criminal arenas, why does it hold so little sway in this one?

Of course the stimulus “worked” — but that’s hardly the point

February 19, 2010 1 comment

New York Times analyst David Leonhardt states the obvious without addressing — conveniently for him and liberal defenders of Keynesian economics — at all the larger question of what might have worked better than the $787 billion stimulus bill.

Of course if you give states money tied to keeping teachers employed, those teachers will stay employed (those are some of the jobs the stimulus “saved”). And of course if you give a business money, tying those funds to keeping people on its payroll (more jobs saved, saved, saved!) or adding people to it, that brand of stimulus will certainly stimulate.

So, to deny that the stimulus worked on the grounds that it didn’t create or save a single job in this way would be stupid (sorry, Sen. Brown). And to argue that the stimulus failed — as it certainly did — because it didn’t work as well or as cheaply as another approach would have, you’d have to understand economics. And since most Republican politicians are themselves economic boneheads, worsened by the fact that they don’t know how to communicate, all they can do is look like retards when they talk about the stimulus bill.

Yes, the stimulus bill created and saved jobs — perhaps millions of them, just as all these economists say. So the important question to answer now, as we look back — and it’s a question Leonhardt didn’t even raise in his piece, much less answer — is simple: at what cost? At what cost, both in real terms and in opportunity costs, did this monumental, some would say historic, spending package create jobs? A quick look at the website about in December estimated that the jobs saved and created by the stimulus in the state of Tennessee had totaled close to 10,000. Impressive, right? Right. Unless you divide the told stimulus dollars spent in Tennessee by the number of jobs that funding created/saved and find that we went into massive debt (which we’ll have to raise taxes pay back) to spend $235,000 on each of those Tennessee jobs. One more time: $235,ooo per job! That’s a helluva pretty penny. We could have given each of those 10,000 government-saved Tennesseans, say, $70,000 checks and said, “Good luck finding work,” and still had enough leftover to triple the jobs saved/created to 30,000. Do most economists agree not just that the stimulus created/saved jobs, but that this was a pennywise way to do it? I’d like to talk to the economist who thinks so, because I’m guessing there are about 300,000,000 Americans who’d beg to differ.

I’m trying to come up with an analogy that fits. Work with me here. Say the president gave you a brand-new Lexus to get you from New York to your home in LA. You’re thinking, “Sweet; I’m in! Five days’ time, gas money, and the risks of driving 2,300 miles are worth it to get a new car!” But then you’re told you don’t get to keep the car; it’s just a way to get you where you need to go. Either that, or you keep the Lexus but you’re responsible for the payments upon your arrival. All of a sudden, you’re thinking to yourself that a plane ticket might be the better way to go; all of a sudden, that drive doesn’t feel so romantic and five days on the road not so efficient a way to spend your time. But you don’t have a choice; the president is here to save the day for you and get you home. And now you’re going to complain about inefficiency? About not taking a plane instead? You’re going to say “this doesn’t ‘work’ for me”? The president has words for you: “It worked.”

So, what’s the plane ticket, then, in terms of the stimulus? Tax cuts. Certainty. Regulatory streamlining. Giving all business owners — and not just a select, pet few you’ve selected for aid based on political factors — what they need to boost the economy: more of their own damn money to spend growing their businesses.

Liberals love to lampoon these simple ideas for their simplicity and they like to call them “tired” and “old,” as if whether something works is purely a function of its complexity or novelty. But they’re tired and old because they work well and they’ve stood the test of time — time, and time again, and they work better than taking money from one sector of the economy and giving it to another … and at a fraction of the cost in a fraction of the time. Kinda like taking a plane from New York to LA for just under $400 and in less than 5 hours, instead of driving that kickin’, expensive Lexus for five days. But hey — you’d get to drive through Tennessee and — who knows? — maybe you’d meet a Tennessean on whom the president spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars to get him his $13-an-hour job pumping your gas.