Archive for Fri, Feb 5, 2010

H2: 02/05/10 Charles Krauthammer, Brian Wesbury, John Campbell

02051002 Hugh Hewitt: Hour 2 – Hugh talks politics of the week with Washington Post syndicated columnist, Charles Krauthammer, economic news of the week with Brian Wesbury of First Trust Portfolio, and gets rebuttal to the Lawrence Lessig interview yesterday from the slanderee, John Campbell.

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H1: 02/05/10 Clint Howard, Jay Riemersma, Jeff Nene

02051001 Hugh Hewitt: Hour 1 – Hugh talks Super Bowl predictions with the official movie star of the Hugh Hewitt Show, Clint Howard, then talks about Michigan Congressional politics with candidate Jay Riemersma, then Haiti with Convoy of Hope spokesman Jeff Nene.

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Garrison Keillor explains the Scott Brown Election for you

Nothing makes a Man of the People angrier than the People when they don’t listen to the Man. Garrison Keillor – fine talent on the radio and in fiction, bone-headed as a museum fossil in his newspaper column – gives plentiful evidence of that maxim in his latest “Old Scout” column. It appears here. Some highlights:

There they all were on the Sunday-morning chatfests, droning on about the anger of the American people as shown by the election in Massachusetts of a pickup truck to the U.S. Senate — ever ready, as pundits are, to take one good story and extrude it into a national trend portentous with meaning.

Yes, they elected a pickup truck. By all means, make fun of the pickup truck. No one in Lake Woebegon drives a pickup truck. Farmers know that when you need to pull out a stump in the field, nothing does the job like a Prius.

One could draw other conclusions from that election — the importance of actually campaigning, for one, and not vacationing in the Caribbean — but OK, maybe anger was a factor.

Those gullible voters, hornswaggled by that most mind-clouding political trick, campaigning. It’s never the issues.

Warming to his task, he spits on his hands, grabs the shovel and starts to work: this BS isn’t going to get into the paper on its own, by Cracky.

Meanwhile, one-sixth of our population is without health insurance, and Republicans have decided that defeating Mr. Obama is more important than the welfare of 50 million Americans: Let them die and decrease the surplus population and be quick about it.

There you have it: if you don’t have insurance, you will die; once again insurance = health care. If you do die, this pleases the Republicans. There is no logical reason to oppose the Democratic bill, so the GOP’s mulish refusal to roll over and vote AYE stems from hatred of Obama and the warm glow they get from knowing Americans die as a side benefit, and they have the bring-out-yer-dead cart concession locked up.

If the previous excerpt struck you as the mad spatter of an partisan hack, raise high the sneeze-guard:

The midterms will require Republicans to decide who they are. Are they interested in unemployment, healthcare, banking regulation and the long-term health of the planet? Or are they just angry that a non-citizen and practicing Muslim got elected president so he could send death panels around to enslave us in the chains of Marxism?

When you encounter a fact-free farrago of Olbermannesque mischaracterization like that, where you start? Never mind the portrayal of all Republicans as paranoid birther-bigots. “Are they interested in unemployment?” I imagine the subject has crossed the minds of a few, yes. “Banking regulation?” Depends on how you define it; if you mean “requiring banks to make more risky loans while using the power of the state to micromanage their pay-scales,” no, but that’s like saying that Repubicans aren’t interested in dogs because they oppose a law requiring everyone to carry a Chihuahua in a small basket. “The long-term health of the planet?” He means cap-and-trade, I guess. For a man who writes every other column from a different location on the planet, he certainly burns a lot of carbon. DOESN’T HE CARE ABOUT THE PLANET? If we’ve learned anything lately, it’s this: there’s absolutely no abrogation of property and liberty that can’t be eroded under the guise of doing something, anything, about the long-term health of the planet. But Republicans wouldn’t oppose a huge gas tax because it would drive up the cost of everything and make people poorer for no good reason; they’d do it because A) they’re in the pay of Big Oil, and B) they don’t care about the planet because they have their own version, pristine, orbiting on the other side of the sun, and they will all go there when this one gets too stinky.

But this is just standard abuse from the Old Crank; when it comes to the right, the man is incapable of issuing a thought that doesn’t betray his utter ignorance of the motivating ideas of conservativism. Here’s the pith of the gist: listen to your betters!

Be as anti-elitist as you like, but when the surgeon comes in to open up your skull to see what that big dark spot on the CT scan was, you don’t want him to be wearing a humorous T-shirt (“Hey It IS Brain Surgery”) and eating Jujubes. You board the DC-10 to London and you’d like to see a lean guy with a military-style crew cut, an overachiever, not a guy with hair in his eyes who is really, really into his own music. Your life may depend on an arrogant elitist who happens to know what he’s doing.

So: if doctors are non-populist elites, and airline pilots are non-populist elites, then government officials are non-populist elites, and you should elect them and shut up and not be fooled by pickup trucks. Roll back a bit, and regard this deathless wisdom:

Running on anger is not such a great idea. For one thing, it’s hard to sustain if, God forbid, the economy springs back. And as Republicans well know, government does not change when you yell at it. The world doesn’t run on slogans, it runs on paperwork.

Yes, that’s how Obama got elected: his brilliant manipulation of paperwork.

The world may run on paperwork, but it is shaped by the people who write the laws that require the paperwork, and their attitude towards law – its scale, its intention, its power, its abuses – can often be boiled down to a slogan, inasmuch as clear ideas can be pithily expressed. Thus “Government is not always the solution, government is often the problem” may not tell you how the person intends to rewrite the phase-in of the EPA regulation of carbon dioxide, but they give you an idea about how he thinks of the idea in the first place. “Yes We Can,” on the other hand, doesn’t really tell you that much, except that the speaker might get angry if someone says “No You Can’t.” That’s just yelling!

When The People all loved Obama, that was good. When some of the people turn against him, that’s Populism, and it’s bad. (Old-style definitions of Populism, like soaking the rich and attacking bankers, don’t seem to be in play anymore, because Obama supports them.) But he makes an interesting definition of modern populism: “Down with the Meritocracy.” That’s how he sees the Scott Brown election: a revolt against people who succeeded, and were rewarded, by virtue of their skills.

Keillor always invariably ends his columns with some goofy cooing to the Dear Readers, the sensible people, the great proud liberals who know they’re right because they know they’re smart. After all, they didn’t vote for this guy:

Senator Brown is a graduate of Wakefield High School, Tufts University, and Boston College Law School. He is a practicing attorney, and a 29 -year member of the Massachusetts National Guard, where he currently holds the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Brown was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service in homeland security after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Senator Brown is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Wrentham Lions Club, United Chamber of Commerce, North Attleboro / Plainville Chamber of Commerce, Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the United States Triathlon Federation.

In the legislature, Senator Brown serves on the following committees: Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure; Education; Election Laws; Higher Education; Public Safety and Homeland Security; and Veterans & Federal Affairs. He is a member of the Charles River Caucus, Biotechnology Caucus, Suburban Legislative Caucus, and he is Co-Chairman of the Metco Caucus. He is also a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans Services.

No, sir. Smart good people don’t vote for someone like that. They vote for Al Franken.

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