David Kirkpatrick

March 31, 2009

This is why the left scares me …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:23 am

… and ought to concern any freedom-loving American.

This link is a post from Michelle Cottle at the New Republic’s Plank blog. I like the Plank. I have it in my blogroll, but sometimes it reminds why the mindset of the political left really frightens me. (Not unlike how say, the Corner, does the same thing for me from the right.)

Cottle’s post is about the concept of banning fast-food restaurants within 500 feet of public schools, well more specifically on a study that hopes to achieve something along those lines. Cottle doesn’t totally agree with the idea but then this graf appears in the blog post:

I can, of course, already hear the logical response from objectors: Sure this move isn’t The Answer, but where is the harm in trying to make it An Answer. Like all political quests, tackling childhood obesity must be looked at in terms of strategic prioritizing. From a purely legalistic perspective, I can’t imagine that there wouldn’t be complicated, costly, time-consuming law suits (not to mention potential PR problems) if the government moved from controlling what takes place on public school grounds to dictating where private companies who products are in no way proscribed for use by minors can peddle their wares. I’m not saying it couldn’t be done. But whenever we’re talking about imposing new nanny-state limitations on private individuals and/or institutions, there should be serious cost-benefit anlyses conducted beforehand. I have to think there are more obvious, more useful, and less intrusive avenues to be attempted.
(boldemphasis mine)

I reiterate, Cottle isn’t going along with the left-wing groupthink here, but it’s just second nature for her to think (rightly I might add) the political left sees no problem with throwing government action — nanny-state bans in this case — at a “problem” regardless whether the cure might work, or if it’s even curing an actual problem facing our society. And any of the above is nothing more than very, very bad policy and ridiculous government overreach.

Hypothetical clowns like Cottle tacitly describes here were the only reservation I had in voting for Obama. The idea this mindset might feel some sense of entitlement to actual policy decision making was stomach churning. That churning was easily forgotten by simply thinking about “President Palin” and all the fail that reality would entail. (Also.)

December 9, 2008

Inside dope on Detroit’s bailout …

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:56 am

… from Jonathan Cohn at the New Republic’s “The Plank” blog.

Here’s his scoop and take:

By late Monday night, a rescue for the nation’s ailing automakers was looking a lot more likely. Democratic House leaders released the draft of a new plan and White House officials, though raising some objections, indicated that agreement on a package was close. Senate Democrats remained nervous that they might not yet have the votes in their chamber, where it would take 60 votes to break a Republican filibuster. But Wall Street signalled its optimism by jumping on stocks for Ford (up 24 percent) and General Motors (up 21 percent).

I had a chance read through a draft of the proposal and then talk it over with a few people involved with the discussions. There’s still a fair amount of confusion out there–apologies if anything I am about to say turns out to be inaccurate–but the essential elements seem to be pretty straightforward.

The government will make up to $15 billion in loans available to the industry right away–enough, presumably, to keep Chrysler and General Motors from shutting their doors in the next few months. (Ford, which is in better shape financially, may not need loans at all.) By March 31, the companies would have to submit detailed restructuring plans that follow up on the outlines their executives offered in their testimony last week.

If they met that deadline and provided satisfactory plans, they could perhaps get more loans as necessary–although it’s not clear (to me or to my sources) whether that would require Congress to authorize the money. If the companies failed to submit satisfactory plans, then they couldn’t get more money and would have to pay back what they could, a move that would presumably trigger bankruptcy.

And who would decide whether the plans were “satisfactory?” Ah, that’s where it gets interesting. The Democrats had originally proposed to create an oversight board, perhaps composed of officials from various cabinet agencies including Commerce and Energy. The Bush Administration preferred to appoint a single overseer–that is, an auto “czar.”

March 28, 2008

Clinton supporters threaten Pelosi

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:53 am

I agree with Matt Yglesias here:

I have to say that I doubt threatening Nancy Pelosi to take their toys and go home if she doesn’t urge superdelegates to do what they want is really the smartest way for Hillary Clinton supporters to try to win this election. It sort of re-enforces the case that the Clintons and their close allies are selfish people willing and ready to destroy the party in order to maintain control over it.

Update: Another take on the same topic, this time from Noam Scheiber at the New Republic blog, “The Plank.”

From the link:

Via Avi Zenilman, the crew over at First Read makes a great point about that heavy-handed letter from Hillary’s rich donors to Nancy Pelosi:

Shakedown: Why didn’t the Clinton campaign get superdelegates to sign on to that letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi rather than donors? Doesn’t this letter coming only from major donors make it look like a threat or a shakedown? Wouldn’t this letter coming from fellow superdelegates have had more impact? One Dem operative who doesn’t have a horse in this fight reminds us: “Members of Congress — who are superdelegates — make up the DCCC. Threatening the DCCC is essentially threatening the very superdelegates HRC’s trying to court. The HRC donor letter will just push undeclared superdelegates in Congress leaning toward Obama to endorse him sooner. It also reinforces the notion that the Clintons will destroy the party to win the WH. I just don’t get it.”

I don’t get it either. The obvious answer is that Hillary couldn’t find any superdelegates to sign on to such a letter. But maybe the campaign had something in mind that we’re just not seeing.

February 21, 2008

I hate for it to seem …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:31 pm

… like I’m piling it on the Clinton campaign today, but here’s an entire post from the Plank exposing just how dead in the water her hopes really are:

That Giant Sucking Sound You’re Hearing . . . . . . is the Clinton campaign. How else to interpret delegatehub.com–the new website the Clintonites have set up to make the case that the rules of the Democratic nomination process should be changed? As Jake Tapper notes:

Among many “facts” they declare are some accurate ones, such as the idea that superdelegates, which in true nomenclatural dexterity they now term “automatic delegates” “are expected to exercise their best judgment in the interests of the nation and the Democratic Party.”

But then comes this juicy non-fact:

“FACT: Florida and Michigan should count, both in the interest of fundamental fairness and honoring the spirit of the Democrats’ 50-state strategy.”

That’s not a fact, that’s an opinion.

Matthew Yglesias gripes:

[T]his sort of bullshit isn’t the kind of thing they need to be wasting their time on. Persuade some people to vote for you!

I agree, but I’m beginning to think that the Clinton campaign might just be incapable of that. I remember after the Steve Glass and Jayson Blair scandals, some people made the argument that if Glass and Blair had put as much effort into their reporting as they did their fabricating, they actually would have been great journalists. But I never bought that line of argument, since real reporting is a lot harder than just making stuff up. I’m starting to wonder if the same lesson doesn’t apply to the Clinton campaign. I mean, coming up with clever arguments and spiffy websites for reporters is a lot easier than organizing a good ground operation or fielding a full slate of delegates. For all the complicated and even psycho-social explanations being offered for Obama’s success, one simple explanation for it may be that his campaign is just outworking hers.

Jason Zengerle 

Posted 11:08 AM | Comments (20) Share this post

February 6, 2008

Obama “wins” Tsunami Tuesday

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:44 am

Both Democratic camps claimed success after Super Tuesday, but it looks like Obama ended up the big winner. The victory was close, but Obama will end up with something like 845 delegates to Clinton’s 830-ish. Considering where Clinton was polling just a few weeks ago combined with Obama’s January fundraising, the vote yesterday was a triumph for the Illinois Senator.

From the linked Daily Dish post:

But it allows the Obama camp to point out – correctly – that they won a majority of the contests yesterday, won in a wider variety of red and blue states, and won in the number of delegates counted. Obama is also winning in fundraising. That’s a pretty impressive tailwind for this weekend and next Tuesday.

(Update: a dissenting view here from John Judis at TNR’s the Plank. It looks like the commenters came to the same conclusion I did, however.)