Wall Street Journal Footnote Should Be Cue for Bush

If George Bush has even the slightest hint of the usual late second term Presidential concern with personal popularity and legacy, he should take a cue from a throwaway paragraph at the end of an opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, The Song of Bernanke. The Journal’s editorial argues, appropriately (even if 11 days after someone else said the same thing), that the Federal Reserve’s main priority is preserving the stability of the dollar and that “the Federal Reserve is no miracle worker” to ride to the rescue of financial markets or the economy as the housing market deflates.

So, if the pump needs priming and monetary policy isn’t the proper grease, what do they suggest? Well, the one fiscal stimulus best at creating noninflationary growth and one George Bush is awfully familiar with:

The Fed may well have to act if the economy does begin to stumble. But if that happens, the Fed isn’t the only or even the best policy lever. Fiscal policy is also available, which means the Bush Administration and Congress should be considering another tax cut. A tax cut could revive incentives for risk-taking among those feeling burned by the housing fallout. The federal deficit is heading down to 1% of GDP, and nothing would be worse for tax receipts than a recession.

We realize tax cutting is taboo in today’s Washington, but if the Presidential candidates aren’t considering a tax cut proposal, they should be.

Presidential candidates? Bush has well over a year left in office and a marginal rate cut could shave a bit off that 1% of GDP deficit, if the lessons of Kennedy, Reagan and…Bush…are any indication. If Bush wants to see the popularity he had in 2003 and 2004, he needs to head back to the well. In the process he might balance the budget and drive a nail in the coffin of the idea that high taxes are good policy.


Note to 2008 GOP Delegates

A note to 2008 GOP Convention delegates: When you fly into Minneapolis for the 2008 Republican National Convention…don’t tap your feet.

According to the arrest report cited by Roll Call, Craig tapped his right foot, which the officer said he recognized “as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct.”

By the way, what happened to gay rights in the only state to vote for Mondale and Dukakis? Shouldn’t there be outrage that police are out running stings on gay men? After all, this is the twenty-first century and it was the bluest of blue states.

And what about the rights of the disabled? What if he has restless leg syndrome?

Does this mean Senator Craig won’t be allowed to live within 2,500 feet of a school, park or playground? Could we possibly extend that to include all Members of the House and Senate?

Too bad Craig was already a Christian Coalition guy or he could find Jesus and receive forgiveness. Then again, this is a sex offense not something innocuous like strangling and electrocuting man’s best friend. The words of Jesus aside, some sins are more sinful than others – and and it’s the sins involving sex that are more sinful than lying, cheating, stealing or killing. Plus who knows what the Senator might do if Jesus got impatient and tapped his foot.

In case you were wondering, the foregoing had very little point other than to ramble on situations that left me in need of rambling. If you are disappointed, as always, your satisfaction is guaranteed or double your money back.


Senator pleaded guilty, reportedly after bathroom stall incident

Grrr! Vick Finds Jesus in Record Time

When's the next Senate recess, Scooter?

So Gonzalez gave in finally. According to George Bush,

after months of unfair treatment that has created a harmful distraction at the Justice Department. His good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons.

Who can blame him? Good for him sticking it out this long.

Now the President gets to appoint a new Attorney General. Bloomberg is reporting that:

Bush may also clash with Congress over Gonzales’s successor, who must be confirmed by the Democratic-led Senate.

May clash? There’s an understatement. If Bush sends a nominee to the Senate, anyone worth nominating won’t be approved before 2009. Fortunately, Bloomberg is wrong about the second part. I’m just sure there’s a Senate vacation coming up. There’s always a Senate vacation coming up. (In fact, aren’t they on vacation right now? And does the fact that they call their vacations “recess” say anything about their maturity level? Nevermind.) A recess appointment at this stage won’t expire until the end of Bush’s term.

With Democrats approving guys like Milquetoast Gates, then knocking down their plans, the President ought to consider an appointment that shows that he still has some huevos and send it through as a recess appointment. So, who’s a lawyer that Democrats hate more than Gonzalez? I’m thinking “Scooter” Libby should be the next Attorney General of the United States.

[tags]Gonzalez,Attorney General[/tags]

No More Czars: Sorry, Livestrong

I’m going out on a limb with this one. Lance Armstrong is doubly beloved in today’s culture where we worship heroes and victims. And, of course, no rational person is a fan of cancer (though Armstrong, paradoxically, credits cancer with his winning the Tour de France seven times).

Tim Russert asked Armstrong what he’d do if he were made cancer czar and could wave a wand (it’s actually called a scepter, Tim. Wizards have wands. Czars have scepters. But I digress.) what he would do:

MR. ARMSTRONG: Ooh. I do think we need a cancer czar…

Wrong! We don’t need a cancer czar. We need a cancer czar like we need more tobacco subsidies. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, No More Czars!

That we don’t need anymore czars is especially true in a field like scientific research where innovation, creativity, intelligence and intellectual entrepreneurship are so important. The last thing we need in such a critical field of human endeavor is more bureaucracy modeled on Russian aristocracy. I don’t have a victim to offer, but I’ll counter a hero with a hero here. Fortunately I don’t engage in victim worship. When it comes to the Cancer Czar I’ll call this transparent bluff; I’ll see a Lance Armstrong and raise a Howard Roark:

If physical slavery is repulsive, how much more repulsive is the concept of servility of the spirit?

So what would Czar Livestrong I do? Well, first he’d ban tobacco, the environment and the sun:

So you have to start at prevention. So let’s just make sure that nobody gets cancer. So we have to control the things that give people cancer. So if that’s the environment, if that’s tobacco, if that’s the sun, if—all these things, let’s not, let’s not let anybody get the disease. [Emphasis mine]

Actually, the first thing Czar Livestrong needs to do is pick an advisor to handle budgeting. He thinks he can screen 300 million people for colon cancer at a cost of $10 million. That’s about 3 cents per screening by my math and I just don’t think that’s going to happen. If he thinks colon cancer screenings are that cheap, maybe that’s why he thinks we can afford to ban the sun.
If we have to have a Czar, I’m not sure whether I want one who can do math, but if budgeting for colonoscopies distracts him from banning the sun, it’s a price we may have to pay. I’m not sure I see the relationship between sunshine and colon cancer, but it kind of gives me an idea of where I’d like the whole idea of a Cancer Czar to end up, though…

[tags]Armstrong,czar,cancer,Howard Roark[/tags]

Meet the Press: Sunday August 26, 2007