Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No Old Deal please, etc.

First, a clarification: The LA Times has backed off its earlier description of comments by Canadian doctor Andre Lalonde, on which I previously blogged (second item, now modified). I’m not sure whom to believe here, but note the discrepancy for the record.


You hear a lot of talk of the need for a modern New Deal in some quarters these days, but what you must remember (or learn, as the case may be) is that the New Deal did not end the Great Depression, it extended it. World War II, and the resulting need for massive military production, is what ended it.

Indeed, what made the Great Depression “Great” was precisely its length. There had been other depressions prior to the 1930’s, but none had lasted nearly so long, which is why that one earned the moniker. And that was precisely because of Hoover’s tariff/tax/regulate strategy at the beginning and Roosevelt’s New Deal policies throughout his first two terms. Indeed, there was a depression within the depression in 1937-38, well into his second term.

Had FDR been defeated in 1940, he would be remembered as a poor president, in competition with Jimmy Carter for the worst of the 20th century. Instead, due to his moral clarity and leadership during wartime, he is in a competition with Ronald Reagan for the best president of the last century. Despite the disaster that was the New Deal, not because of it.


Just when you think you’ve seen it all comes…Subtle Butt.


Fun with PMS: Naomi Wolf says (in a post that only gets more bizarre later) that Plain is “the designated muse of the coming American police state.”


I’m still formulating my thoughts on the financial situation, but one thing seems immediately clear: Sarbanes-Oxley was a colossal failure.


On the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia game, broadcaster Jim Nantz said “Pittsburgh is lined up in a two tight end formation. Actually make that three tights end.”

No, no, no, Jimmy. Just because the plural of run batted in is runs batted in does not mean that the plural of tight end is tights end. Tight is an adjective, and only nouns can be plural.

Pretty funny when a guy attempts to be a snob and ends up sounding uneducated. Then again he did go to Cougar High.


Shrewd observation from a Jay Nordlinger reader:

“Did you get the impression that McCain’s message was that the government needs fixing, while Obama’s message was that the country needs fixing? Quite a difference there.”

Between government and the people, which you see as the greatest problem in this country, and which you think should have more power, is a pretty good barometer of political ideology, don’t you think?


You hear a lot of European dislike for president Bush, but not so much of his overwhelming popularity in Africa:

When President Bush traveled to sub-Sahara Africa in February he was greeted by large and tumultuous crowds of admirers — which mystified many of his critics, who believe that the animosity toward his administration abroad is universal. But polling data from the Pew Foundation shows something different: Approval ratings for the United States exceed 80 percent in many African countries, some with large Muslim populations. In Darfur, many families name their newborn sons George Bush.


We will still hear the “change vs. more of the same” cliché, but this election is now quite clearly change vs. change. It’s just two different visions of change, from one camp that has delivered it in the past and another that just likes to talk about it.

Not that change per se is necessarily good or bad, mind you.

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