The Definition of Liberal

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This article was cross-posted from Poligazette.

Andrew Sullivan has been included on Forbes’ list of “25 Most Influential Liberals,” and he’s making a case as to why this just isn’t true:

For the record, I support a flat tax and, as my liberal readers know, find progressive taxation unjust and counter-productive; I’m skeptical of universal healthcare on European lines and have long defended a free market in healthcare and pharmaceuticals; I have no queasiness in fighting a war against Jihadist terror – in fact I have long been one of the most passionate supporters of  it. I just oppose the illegal use of torture, the creation of a de facto protectorate in violation of the Constitution, and war-making without prudence, strategy, foresight or any conception of winning the long war of ideas.

I’ve looked at Forbes’ list, and read their defintion of what makes a liberal, and I have to say, I found it somewhat lacking.

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Keeping Track of the Promises

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This article was cross-posted from Poligazette.

Presidential candidates say a lot of things during their long campaigns.  Some of it only turns out to be rhetoric, others must pass through the halls of Congress, but don’t, and yet other promises are kept.  Still, with so many made during such a long period, it can be difficult to keep track of all of them.

Never fear, because the excellent Politifact is here to hold Barack Obama’s feet to the fire.  They recently introduced their “Obameter” that tracks about 500 promises made by Obama during the campaign.  So, if you wish to see progress, or non-progress made on his promises at any given point, you can simply go there and see the status of them.  Politifact has categorized their tracking into “Promise Kept,” “Compromise,” “Promise Broken,” “Stalled,” “In the Works,” and “No Action.”

I first discovered Politifact via some blog during the campaign season.  It’s published by the St. Petersburg Times, but fear not.  I’ve found the site to be quite even handed in its analysis.  So, I think it’s safe to put some trust in this meter system.

(H/T Patrick Appel at The Daily Dish)


Fighting a Cold the Right Way

Posted by Mike Merritt in Personal Life on | No Comments

So I’ve had a cold going on more than two weeks now.  This is nothing new to me.  As a sufferer of Crohn’s Disease, taking the immosuppresent Imuran to combat it, I’ve grown to accept that whatever I get is typically a magnitude worse than most people and lasts longer as well.  Yet, about two weeks seems to typify my colds.

This apparently either isn’t a typically cold, or I’m doing something wrong.  That’s because it took a turn for the worse yesterday and around noon today I woke up sweating under my covers, and then shaking as if I had been outside for an hour when I went to the kitchen to take my medicine.  So the problem could be a mix of both severity and improper treatment, but the fact that I haven’t been perfect in treating this could say a lot.

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Obama Opens up Presidential Records; Some Conservatives Forget History

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The article was originally posted at Poligazette.

As Michael noted earlier today, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order on Wednesday the essentially revoked Executive Order 13233, written by former President George W. Bush in November 2001. 13233 is particularly notable as it essentially made the incumbent president the just about nearly the only decision maker on access to records of former presidents, whereas in the order it replaced, 12667, it was more of a team effort involving the Attorney General, as well as the Counsel to the President, and other agencies.  It also extended Executive privilege claims and review of former records by the incumbent president to former Vice Presidents.

One can see why this would be a problem, of course.  While there are legitimate reasons for Executive privledge (national security and the like, but perhaps others), giving near unlimited control of review to one person means that that one person can decide to keep away a record that may not affect national security, but may be simply embarassing.  Perhaps details of a scandal from a former administation that never gained public light.  Could be anything, really.

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Best Wishes, Mr. President

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Yes, I say it now, though it’s not yet official.  I’ll be at work tomorrow morning when it all goes down, so I won’t have the opportunity to blog my best wishes them.  But it’s also applicable because this post is two-pronged.

First, I’d like to grant best wishes to the current President, George W. Bush.  Though I did not always agree with him, I think he did what he felt necessary to best serve the country. Some of those measures are, of course, debatable, but I won’t get into them here.  Yet, there is no doubt in my mind that he had done many great things, least of all keeping the country safe since 9/11.  He has been my President for eight years, and I’d like to wish him well in his future endeavors.

Second, I’d like to wish a successful term to the incoming president, Barack Obama.  There are trying times ahead, sir, and I look forward to seeing what solutions you and your team come up with to solve them.  I also look forward to respectfully opposing you where we disagree, because a good and healthy democracy necessitates the debate.  In less than 10 hours you will be my president and so I wish you good luck.

More thoughts later today.


Geithner Watch: Little Republican Opposition

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The following is cross-posted from Poligazette.

Loyal opposition?  What loyal opposition?  According to Reuters, Senator Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, says there is little opposition to Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner from his side of the aisle:

“From talking to my colleagues on the Republican side, and I haven’t talked to all of them … I have not found people who are going to vote against him based upon just the income tax issue,” Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa told National Public Radio in an interview.

He said there was bipartisan agreement on Geithner’s qualifications for the job and the need for someone of his caliber “at a time when we have all the economic problems we have.”

As Michelle Malkin (rightfully) says: Screw up, move up: It’s the Washington way.


Don’t Let Geithner Off the Hook

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The following is an entry I hadn’t yet cross-posted from Poligazette.  It was orginally posted January 16th.

So what would happen if I didn’t pay my Social Security and Medicare taxes for four years straight?  I’d probably see a lot of bars around me.  And not the type that serve alcohol.  If you’re Timothy Geithner, though, you get nominated by Barack Obama for Treasury Secretary.

The Obama team claims that all the non-payment of taxes was simply an “honest mistake,” but if that’s so, why was Geithner “repeatedly advised” by his former employer, the IMF, of his backtaxes owed?  Did they just want to bug him or something?

Is anyone actually buying this?  Maybe you are if you’re a Senate Democrat, but I don’t know if the majority of Americans will.


The Politics of 24

Posted by Mike Merritt in Politics, Television on | No Comments

The following is an entry I hadn’t yet cross-posted from Poligazette.  It was originally posted January 11th.

Season seven of 24 begins tonight, so I thought it was an appropriate time to discuss it.

For years it has been slammed by anti-torture activists as a show that could only be produced during the Bush years, for its alleged promotion of torture.  There can be little doubt that the show does often portray tortures as a means to an end, and its morality is rarely questioned.  Jack Bauer is always right, after all, and few argue with his methods for long.

However, the portrayal of torture is just one element of the show.  Each season also typically has an underlying political struggle going on with those who are in power and those who want to be in power.  Now, with the torture element, surely this is a show that portrays Republicans as the heroes, strong and protecting the country first, and the Democrats as weak and betraying the country.

Yet, nothing could be further from the truth.

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Lower Taxes+More Spending? Sounds Familiar…

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The following is a post which I hadn’t yet cross-posted from Poligazette.  It was originally posted there January 11th.

It seems like we’re in for more of the same, in terms of taxes and spending, anyway.  As Michael noted the other day, Obama has warned of an increase in the deficit for years to come.  He is also apparently planning to push for round of tax cuts.

More spending coupled with tax cuts?  Hang on, didn’t we just have eight years of this?

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Fighting Against Violent Leftists

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Via Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is the story of a liberal social activist who became an informant for the FBI and helped stop a plot to make (and presumably use) firebombs during the Republican National Convention in September.

From the Statesman:

In a federal courtroom in Minneapolis this month, the public transformation of Brandon Darby of Austin will become complete.

In four years, he has gone from a never-trust-the-government activist to the confidential informant who helped the FBI arrest two Austin men on suspicion of building firebombs during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in September.

The reaction of this news from some of his former activists?  To call him a traitor to their cause.  What?  Were you expecting something else?

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