Thursday, September 04, 2008

She made the right choice, etc.

My favorite take on the Palin pick comes from Mark Swanson (via James Taranto):

I think we can all agree that Palin's pick of an experienced statesman like John McCain to head her ticket shows that she is much better prepared to be VP than Biden who is trying to thrust an unqualified youngster who was a do-nothing state legislator before being elected to the Senate where he put in a few months of attendance before going AWOL to run for president.


If only John Edwards had been the father of Bristol Palin’s baby, it would never have made the news. Then again she would have had to sleep with John Edwards, which might be too much of a burden to take for the team.


As for the pregnancy itself, I don’t really see it as having any effect on the election unless it turns abortion into a campaign issue. I suspect that the Democrats are smart enough to avoid that at all costs.

The only other possibility is some electoral blowback, particularly from women, over the relentless attacks on Sarah and Bristol by the mainstream media. The Dems are practiced in distancing themselves from the kooks at Kos and such, and fortunately for them only the tiniest minority of voters is aware of the over the top hate speech that is the site’s stock in trade.

But it’s a bit harder to distance from the vitriol that is coming from the editorial and front pages of most major newspapers and newsmagazines and all of the TV news organizations except Fox News. Surveys show that voters have become sophisticated enough to realize that big media is openly campaigning for Obama, and are thus likely to associate the Palin family attacks with the Democrat party.

But even with this factor, and even if Democrats overplay their hand in their newfound distaste for women with children having careers (which would be there even without the pregnancy), it’s hard to see this whole thing swinging more than a point or two on election day, which is still two months away after all.


College basketball’s greatest rivalry spills over to the gridiron:

Two parachutists who was supposed to drop into Cahpel Hill’s Kenan Stadium with the game ball for the UNC-McNeese State game instead dropped into Wallace Wade Stadium, where Duke and James Madison were warming up, startling players and coaches. One of them almost landed on a player and the JMU coach compared it to a scene from Red Dawn.

The official explanation: “Bad weather nearly forced the skydivers from Virginia-based Aerial Adventures to cancel the leap, but the clouds opened enough for them to see a stadium, and they jumped.”

My guess: they just wanted to meet Sonny Jurgensen.


Random stat: According to the CBO, a 15% cut in CO2 emissions would raise the average household’s annual energy bill by $1300.

I’m sure they won’t mind…


The Copenhagen Consensus estimates that merely lowering trade barriers would increase global output by $3 trillion per year, well over 5%. And that more than 80% of that gain would go to poor countries.

The breakdown of the Doha trade talks was a severe blow to those living in poverty. We can mitigate some of the damage by signing as many smaller free trade agreements as we can negotiate, but something that everybody buys into would be a great thing for all of the world’s citizens.


I’m not sure which is funnier:

- That there is a town called Intercourse, PA
- That it has a newspaper called the Intercourse News
- Or that Intercourse is in Amish country, of all places


The more government has gotten into the college financial aid business, the more college costs have gone up. Funny how that works. Thomas Sowell has a great alternative to the usual “government confiscates assets from taxpayers, wastes a significant portion on administration, distributes what’s left over haphazardly” manner of subsidizing college expense, as well as keep parents from having to run up huge amounts of debt.

Allow students to sign contracts with lenders who would pay their college expenses in exchange for a set percentage of their future earnings over some period. It would essentially be a system of students selling stock in themselves. The competition of lenders shopping for the best students and students shopping for the best deals on lenders would benefit all concerned. And even the poorest of students would find college within their reach.

As with most of Sowell’s ideas, it’s brilliant but so simple that you wonder why it hasn’t already been done.

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