Friday, July 20, 2007

More Subsidy Insanity

As the biggest dairy consumer I know, this subsidy really ticks me off.

From Chris Edwards, director of tax policy at Cato:

To enforce artificially high prices, the government imposes import barriers on milk, butter, cheese, and other products. Without those barriers, consumers could simply purchase lower-priced foreign goods. Imports of cheese, butter, and dried milk are limited to about five percent or less of U.S. consumption.

All these policies add up to higher prices. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that U.S. policies create a 26 percent "implicit tax" on milk consumers. That "milk tax" is regressive, meaning that it harms low-income families the most.

The Government Accountability Office compared U.S. dairy prices to world prices over the period 1998 to 2004. It found that U.S. prices for butter averaged twice the world price, cheese prices were about 50 percent higher, and dry milk prices were 24 percent or more higher.

So we limit competition, subsidize and restrict imports, all clearly having the effect of increased prices. Then, in order for the poor to afford milk and mac-and-cheese, we’ve got to fund WIC programs and the like.

Shouldn't we stop this? Let's do it "for the children." And me.

Post by Hewitt

On new media, old media, the "outrage" of some lefty bloggers over the appearance by Gen. Petraeus on HH's show, the surge. It is long but worth reading the whole thing. A few excerpts:

"I think such a decision to cater to one party's propaganda outlet renders Petraeus' military independence moot,"[Andrew] Sullivan declared. "I'll wait for the transcript," he continued, before not waiting for the transcript. "But Petraeus is either willing to be used by the Republican propaganda machine or he is part of the Republican propaganda machine. I'm beginning to suspect the latter. The only thing worse than a deeply politicized and partisan war is a deeply politicized and partisan commander. But we now know whose side Petraeus seems to be on: Cheney's. Expect spin, not truth, in September."

Over at The Carpetbagger Report, a post concluded:

And speaking of Petraeus, what should we expect from him come September? It’s probably best to lower expectations now. Petraeus’ credibility suffered a serious blow this week when he appeared on far-right activist Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, and stuck closely to the White House script. Many of the comments that followed were as vile, an example of which is "Can you call him Betrayus now? He’s just an GOP stooge in a uniform."

What surprises me is that the extremists have fallen so deeply into their own narrative that they are wholly unaware of how their call for strict control of the news and their slander of the widely and rightly admired extraordinary hero that is General Petraeus exposes them to the public as deeply unbalanced, anti-intellectual and far, far removed from the mainstream of America. This disconnection from ordinary Americans is always obvious when a leftist resorts to the most foul sorts of profanity and vulgarity, but the rage that bubbles and erupts again and again is the sort of eye-opener that not even friends can ignore for very long. The demands for the Fairness Doctrine’s return displayed the same sort of zealotry in the attempt to shut down voices not in keeping with their own. The illiberal reflexiveness of the left tells you all you need to know about how they would govern if they ever got close to power.

The Administration and the Pentagon have never emphasized enough the direct engagement of the public via the new media, or even the old media in the extended, one-on-one form which is the very best form for explaining the war to the public. The ear-splitting shrieks of outrage at General Petraeus’ interview with me should be a huge signal that this is what the anti-war extremists fear most: The calm presentation of facts at length by those in a position to know them, engaged in an interview the unpredictability of which makes the exchange interesting. Speeches rarely hold the attention of an audience, which is why only small excerpts of them make it on air. Interviews –conducted professionally by a prepared host—can be riveting. The war on terror depends upon sustaining the will of the American people to fight it, and sustaining that will means giving the public the facts, again, and again and again. Making themselves available in at least 30 minute chunks to all sorts of skilled interviewers –Russert, Brit Hume, Charlie Rose, and Chris Wallace are the best on television, my colleagues at Salem, Bill Bennett, Dennis Prager, and Michael Medved, excel at the form as does Laura Ingraham, Dennis Miller and Sean Hannity—is the best way to educate the American public about what is going on in the war on its many fronts.

I and the vast vast majority of listeners/readers are grateful that General Petraeus made time at the end of a very long day for the interview, a day which is nowhere near the end of his three plus years of tremendous service in Iraq and thirty years of service and sacrifice on behalf of the country. I hope he continues to agree to appear on any show or to be interviewed by any blogger or journalist –left, right, or center-- who will treat him with respect and fairness. I hope the same thing for other senior military and civilian officials engaged in fighting the war. Allowing the know-nothing, anti-intellectual fringe to block the flow of information to the American public via invective, slander and scorn that would be to keep the best, most compelling testimony from the public at a time when they need it most.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Jeri Thompson "Working the Pole"

From Levin's column today at NRO:

As for Joe Scarborough and his “work the pole” comment, he makes himself sound like the kind of guy who gets the frequent-tipper discount at most of these places.

I know I made a related post before but sheesh, "Work the pole."

I didn't know his wife's name is Jeri. The last time that happened when Jack Ryan (wife 7 of 9 a/k/a Jeri Ryan) was running for a Senate seat in Illinois, Obama became a US senator.

From eonline:

This is Ryan's second matrimonial go-round, her first occurring in 1991 with onetime U.S. Senate candidate Jack Ryan. The pair initially requested that the court keep the terms of their 1999 divorce under wraps, but their custody fight over Alex was unsealed in 2004, when Jack entered Illinois ' senatorial race.

In the court documents, the actress alleged that, during their marriage, her ex had taken her to sex clubs, including one "bizarre club with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling," and encouraged her to get freaky with him in public.

This revelation, not exactly a resume highlight for Jack Ryan, eventually resulted in the Republican candidate withdrawing from the '04 Senate race.

This can't be a good sign.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Holy Cow!

Dennis Miller defending GWB to Peggy Noonan. About 9 minutes into hour 1. After her Friday blast, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.