Dispelling 3 myths about the Iraq War

Jerome Delay/AP via NPR

 

Yahoo News commemorated the ten year anniversary of the Iraq War with this recent leading headline: “Iraq War Vet Pens Last Letter to Bush and Cheney.”

Per the epistle–authored by a dying vet in hospice care–Bush and Cheney are guilty of “war crimes,” “plunder,” “lies, manipulation, and thirst for wealth and power.”  In his eyes, this dynamic duo “stole the future” of veterans, sacrificing them for “little more than the greed of oil companies . . . oil sheiks . . . and insane visions of empire.”  Charming tale.  Regrettably, journalist Dylan Stableford reports these claims with virtually no comment.  That’s how they roll at the Yahoo News blogs.  Parrot liberals, ignore or spin conservatives.

This particular, gratuitous airing of invective compels a response.  So here I’ll dispel three commonly-believed fictions about the Iraq War.

“Bush lied, people died!”

With these words, you can just imagine the shrill cries of Code Pink ladies now.  The question is, which deaths were Bush’s fault?  Most Iraqi civilians died at the hands of insurgents or inter-sectarian strife, not Coalition forces.  Yes, over 4,000 American soldiers died, with many more seriously injured.  With all due respect, this should not be an unexpected outcome for those who voluntarily join the armed services.  All the more that we’re grateful for their service.  That said, it’s just not evident that President Bush did something heinous in exercising Congressionally-authorized use of military force to protect America.

Speaking of authorization, what part of the invasion rationale was a lie?  Max Boot pointed out recently that every intelligence agency worth its salt suspected Iraq of harboring weapons of mass destruction.  This is because Saddam Hussein wanted everyone to think he had them, including potential usurpers within his own regime.  This is the particular problem of one man dictatorships.  It’s only a matter of time before such an actor miscalculates, hurting his country, his neighbors, and in this case, himself.  Returning to the charge of lying, a lie requires intent of deceit.  And again, that’s not at all clear with Bush and company.

“Blood for oil”

This charge gets to the motivation for the invasion.  There are some interesting circumstances, such as the Bush family’s Saudi connections and the shortcuts taken by Cheney-affiliated reconstruction contractor Halliburton.  These could make for interesting premises, but as with most conspiracy theories, there’s nothing outside of a tinfoil hat to connect the dots.  Such speculation crumbles in light of the facts.

I’ll unfurl this with a personal detour.  I was an undergraduate studying international relations at the time the Iraq War started.  In fact, I was taking a political science course on national security.  Just prior to the invasion, we read the then-recently released hardcover The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq.  The author, former CIA analyst Ken Pollack, was with the Brookings Institution.  And oddly enough, the book jacket featured advanced praise from future Newsweek and TIME editor Fareed Zakaria.

Suffice to say, I learned a thing or two about war.  When it comes to why wars start, the reason is simple.  It’s not about land, wealth, or religion.  The, greatest empirically correlated factor is that both sides think they can win.  This is where miscalculation comes into play.  Saddam was widely seen as an “irrational actor.”  Given his reckless history and total lack of cooperation, the security community consensus was that it was prudent to take him out.

This won’t allay the critic who still points to all the oil in the Persian Gulf region.  I agree, oil is a big factor!  But the motive isn’t “greed,” it’s global stability.  Europe, an indispensable contributor to global economic well-being, has the most to lose from a destabilized Middle East.  By contrast, the U.S. only gets 13% of its oil from there.  But because of Europe’s vulnerability, you would feel the hurt if things really went south in the Persian Gulf.

“The Wrong War”

Finally, there is the idea that compared to Afghanistan, Iraq was the wrong war.  This assumes that, like Afghanistan, the Iraq invasion was a response to the September 11 attacks.  But those attacks were only invoked in 5 of 23 justifications of the 2002 authorization for use of military force.  And there’s the false dichotomy that we had to fight in Afghanistan or Iraq, but not both.  Certainly, I agree that both wars could have been executed much better!  But this does not inherently make Iraq “the wrong war.”

A second dichotomy critics force is that, if we hadn’t gone into Iraq, there’d have been billions of dollars freed to invest in American education and infrastructure.  If Barack Obama is The Messiah, then those who spouted this view pre-2008 were John the Baptist!  The Iraq War was budgeted as emergency spending, and the money wouldn’t have been spent otherwise.  The counterfactual of domestic spending nirvana is false.

Imagine getting mugged

I truly appreciate it when someone has good reasons to disagree with me.  But there are those who hold popular positions without really thinking through the implications.  Nothing exemplifies this more for me than John Lennon’s syrupy song Imagine.  Some think it’s nice to be a dreamer and imagine that there could be a better world.  The problem comes when they want to foist an impossible dream on others.  As long as humans inhabit the Earth, it will be a dangerous place.  In light of this, sometimes unpleasant choices have to be made.  Don’t rewrite the facts to fit your feelings.

I appreciate the grit in Irving Kristol’s definition of a neoconservative: “a liberal who has been mugged by reality.”

Gross media bias against traditional marriage

Yahoo’s The Ticket ran a story with this headline today: “Argument against gay marriage in California hinges on accidental pregnancies.”  Word ford word, this is the most biased caption I’ve ever encountered.  Consider this alternative: “Legal case for traditional marriage in California rests on biological distinctions.”

The text of the article quotes brilliant conservative casemaker Paul Clement as referring to “unplanned and unintended offspring.”  Perhaps after having read the War on Women Writing Style Manual, some editor at Yahoo News chose to represent this as “accidental pregnancies.”  Accidental, as in the cringe-inducing “Sweetie, you were an accident.”  And pregnancies, as in, “Oh no, the government wants to mess with womens’ wombs again.”  The headline is clearly crafted for those who think laws are meant to preserve their moral autonomy rather than serve the continuation of civilization.

The news copy writer, Liz Goodwin, describes Clement and his colleagues as “opponents to gay marriage.”  This antagonistic characterization facilitates the readers’ conflation of social and legal sanction.  One can oppose legal recognition of same sex marriage while still supporting the right of two people of the same sex to pursue a life together, have a public wedding ceremony, obtain a civil union, and be entitled to federal and state benefits.  Goodwin seems less interested in making this important distinction than in stoking the outrage of social liberals.

The article goes on to chronicle “the government’s right to ban gay marriage” since the 1970s.  What ban?  Were same sex marriages banned in 1950 and in 1900 as well?  No, as with abortion at the time the Constitution was adopted, the thing was practically unheard of.

Towards the end of the piece, Goodwin offers a slippery slope analysis of legal reasoning like Clement’s.  The fear is that the success of such an argument could justify further marriage restrictions based on infertility or being beyond childbearing age.  This is absurd.  Those kind of determinations would be impractically intrusive and a waste of government time, money, and energy.  Not unlike a recent proposal by Missouri Democrats to ban the possession of assault rifles.

Note that in Goodwin’s story, the slippery slope is a one way deal.  But consider the opposite.  If we expand the meaning of marriage to include same sex couples, what really stops us from honoring polygamous marriages or even more unconventional arrangements?

Leave it to liberals to fail to make the proper distinctions.  The Justice Department has gone after the Defense of Marriage Act on the basis of expanding federal entitlement benefits.  But marriage is not about entitlement benefits.  Per an amicus briefing, the Department declared, “Marriage is far more than a societal means of dealing with unintended pregnancies.”  Since when did we decide that government should have its imprint on all those other things marriage is also about?

The most sensible understanding of the state’s role in marriage is that it has a vested interest in seeing as many children as possible raised in stable homes with both of their natural parents.  Sometimes that’s not feasible, and an alternative like adoption may be required.  Let caring and committed gay couples do that if they wish.  But if the state wants to expand entitlement benefits to a new class of relationship, it needn’t redefine marriage.  Civil unions should do the job just fine.  To redefine marriage on a passionate but arbitrary conviction that it’s a civil rights issue would send a disasterous signal that marriage is about having your personal feelings validated by the government.  And that, anyone should be able to see, is ridiculous.

Sequester: Obama forces the balance

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The federal budget sequestration saga culminated with a geeky–if odd–bang on Friday.  After days of touring the country and sounding alarms, President Obama denied he was feeding fears of fiscal “apocalypse,” felt compelled to concede, “I am not a dictator,” and confessed he could not change Republicans’ will through a “Jedi mind meld.”

In his Saturday radio address, the President acknowledged that Americans are tired of having to “careen from one manufactured crisis to another.”  It’s good to remember who is in the drivers’ seat.  It was President Obama who signed the legislation that triggered the sequester.  In light of this fact, Cosmoscon recently supplied a fitting name for the White House’s trite theatrics: Obamaquester.

In the days leading up to sequestration, the media indulged dire headlines.  Yahoo News’s leading caption warned Thursday, “Deep cuts to Begin.”  LiveScience jarred us with “Sequester cuts could hit scientists hard.”  The National Parks Service warned that bathrooms would go uncleaned, sending Mother Jones in a panic.  And the Navy announced the Blue Angels would cancel shows.  Mother Jones probably could care less for that jingoistic propaganda outfit.

The media has not been totally obeisant to White House talking points.  Clicking through Yahoo’s “Deep Cuts” reveals news copy weary of alarmism.  The Christian Science Monitor’s Decoder Wire challenged Obama’s characterization of “automatic” spending cuts.  Yet, as with many other media sources, it was reluctant to put the actual cuts in perspective.

Fortunately, the fiscal conservatives on WordPress have been on top of it.  The Southern Voice supplied a great Heritage Foundation graphic emphasizing that only budget growth shrinks under sequester, not the budget itself.  International Liberty highlighted effective sequester editorial cartoons.  I found Mike Ramirez’s pie picture to be an invaluable graphic.

The Moon in Daylight shared a great gamer’s analogy for Obama’s political strategy.  The President is a “munchkin mini-maxer.”  That is, he is a player who unscrupulously exploits a loophole in the rules or a coding glitch.  Instead of “investing” all his skill into a well-rounded array of abilities like negotiation, initiative, or magnanimity, Obama has pooled all his skill points into demagoguery.

This singular focus yielded political absurdity the day sequestration went into effect.  Besides denying that he was a dictator, he confessed “I’d like to think that I’ve still got some persuasive power left.”  And once Obama issued the “Jedi mind meld” snafu, the White House Office of Perpetual Campaigning parlayed it into a geeky-hip social media meme.  Should we expect less from the country’s premier community organizer?

One White House tweet implies tax hikes will “bring balance to the Force.”  But we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.  With a sluggish recovery, and over $600,000,000,000 in new revenue to pour in from the fiscal cliff deal, our economy needs more taxes like Luke Skywalker needed his hand chopped off by a lightsaber.  If the politics of sequester have to stoop to science fiction references, then it’s more fitting to say that our one-track president, with his incessant campaigning for tax hikes, “brings force to the balance.”  Politically, what Obama wants most and at all costs is to raise taxes for the sake of raising taxes.

What’s wrong with this cartoon?

Stuart Carlson via Go Comics

Here’s a simplistic take on President Obama’s State of the Union speech.  Carlson, the cartoonist, sympathetically depicts Obama as calm and optimistic.  Meanwhile, Republicans are shown as afraid to work on the nation’s problems.

But why should we buy Carlson’s conception of what our country’s problems are?  Serious issues, like the national debt and our values crisis, are missing from the junk pile.  And of the concerns listed in the cartoon, some are hardly worth addressing, at least on the federal level.  Gun violence has declined drastically compared to twenty and thirty years ago.  “Mental health crisis” is more apt to a mountain of national dysfunction than “guns.”

Carlson’s cartoon reinforces the myopic notion that big government activism is the way to solve national problems.  But why propose a new federal preschool initiative when the extant Head Start program has been found to be of questionable value?  Like the manufacturing hubs proposal, it’s just another reinvention of the wheel, adding to the accretion of federal programs that don’t do what they’re supposed to.

The policy proposals laid out last week were predictable.  And so has been media coverage.  A report by Rachel Rose Hartman of Yahoo does little more than relay the White House’s talking points unchallenged.  Fair enough, we can recount all the times Yahoo reporters have uncritically parroted Republican initiatives.  On one hand.

Consider also an AP fact check of Tuesday’s speech.  In contrast to his challenges of Obama’s statements, fact checker Calvin Woodward goes out of his way to thoroughly stomp on Marco Rubio’s mention of a balanced budget amendment.  Dismissing it as unserious, he conveniently forgets that such an amendment failed to pass Congress by one vote as recently as the Clinton presidency.  He beefs that federal revenues declined during the recession, but ignores that they’ve since recovered.  And he launches a lengthy apologetic as to the necessity of deficit spending at the federal level.  We can only imagine the AP giving such generous balance to a Republican president.

As Kohaleth observed, “Nothing is new under the sun.” Mr. Obama wasted the bully pulpit again. Rather than make a genuine effort to unite the nation and move it forward, he did what he knows how to do best: deploy emotional rhetoric to build political advantage for his own party.  The President remains a one trick pony.  Media and the public they serve are largely lost in the pomp of the speech.  The only paean we can honestly deliver is one that declares Obama’s speech another pale and uninspired echo of “Hope and Change.”

Reverse schadenfreude over Tim Scott

I have to admit, I was energized when I learned that South Carolina governor Nikki Haley selected Tim Scott to succeed Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate.  Here we have a female Republican of South Indian descent drafting a solid conservative who happens to be African-American.  Compared to their counterparts in California–the dusty, Democratic dinosaurs Jerry Brown, Barbara Boxer, and Diane Feinstein–these two young and dynamic leaders come off quite favorably.

It is unfortunate that we have to talk about race so much.  Commentators from the Left have been less than charitable in characterizing the GOP’s celebration of the appointment.  One blogger at The Washington Post front-loaded her criticism this way: “Yes, the giddiness is almost embarrassing as Republicans congratulate themselves . . .”

No commentary where a form of the word “giddy” appears within the first three words can really be worth reading.  Regrettably, that was once the fourth word used in one of my older posts!  I think being on the receiving end of it, I will retire the adjective. It only betrays a reverse schadenfreude, where one is either frustrated at, dismissive of, or indignant at the joy of another.  Not a helpful attitude.

Neither is it constructive to refer to Senator-designate Scott as a “cynical token,” as happened in a recent New York Times editorial.

Whatever critics say, the Republican trumpeting is necessary, if only to counter the incessant squawking about a race problem coming from MSNBC types.  Take note of Scott’s ascension to the Senate, as it is just one more indicator that reality runs counter to noxious media narratives.

 

Reverse psychology

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Michigan’s accession to the right-to-work club made shockwaves for a day or two.  It’s mostly conservative news consumers who learned anything about union thug brutality like that enacted against Steven Crowder, Americans For Prosperity, and their hot dog vendor.  As an aside, the careful reader of this blog will remember Mr. Crowder as the guy who experimented with Halloween candy redistribution.

A couple of days ago Michael Medved highlighted something remarkable about the coverage of Michigan’s right-to-work controversy.  Consider how The New York Times tortures the English language in this story (emphasis mine):

Republicans said they intended to cast final votes as early as Tuesday on legislation abruptly announced last week that would bar workers from being required to pay union fees as a condition of employment, even as thousands of union members planned to protest at the state Capitol and as President Obama, visiting a truck factory outside Detroit, denounced the notion.

The liberal bias couldn’t be any more naked.  We should agree that forcing a worker to pay dues is something less than desirable.  To be “barred” from this coercion is comparable to being denied a root canal.  Not exactly something to complain about, or tape your mouth over in protest, for that matter.

These grammatical gymnastics are hardly distinguished from the cartoon routines of reverse psychology, something I’ve tried to represent with today’s comic.

The Wizard of Bogeyman Narratives

Yahoo News has thrown up (in the fullest sense of the term) a piece by Chris Moody on Grover Norquist.  It’s accompanied by a gaudy, melodramatic illustration that’s more at home disgracing the cover of the now defunct liberal siren Newsweek.  But if by invoking The Wizard of Oz imagery Yahoo wants to claim squatter rights to that niche, that’s fine by me.

Here’s a painful point of Moody’s text:

But Norquist is like a bearded Lernaean Hydra, which grows only more powerful the more you attack it. The evidence? A majority of Republicans have not publicly joined the rogue moderates, reinforcing the narrative that they remain under Norquist’s binding spell.

Where is this “narrative” coming from?  Perhaps Mr. Moody is describing an out-of-body experience, because it is media that drive narratives, and he is very much a part of that enterprise.

That Republicans don’t budge on their no tax pledge is a point even Chuck Todd can understand.  There is an electoral base that must be answered to.  And no, these constituents to whom congressmen are accountable are not drooling, rabid, or themselves cult followers of a giant, green, bearded head.  Some segment of the population even finds their demands sensible.

Of course, it hurts the noggins of liberal journalists too much to try to draft anything other than “GOP beholden to extremist” pieces.  They could try an expose on Michael Moore, who recently touted–under delusion–a strong re-election mandate as a justification for President Obama to lead a righteous charge off of the fiscal cliff.  But then again, journalists are supposed to target powerful and relevant voices.

Our media corps’ oblivious lopsidedness is the price of the free market, where people with big soft hearts–and reasoning most often just as soft– funnel into a self-selecting army that’s out to change the world.  Thankfully there are today many means of recourse to soft pieces like Yahoo’s Norquist essay.

Dependency and entitlement: whose head stuck in the sand?

The 47% video has highlighted a sharp difference in worldview between conservatives and advocates of fairness/social justice.  The deep outrage we’ve seen within the latter group suggests an unwillingness to accept that entitlement and dependency are real phenomena stemming from human experience.

Just as with Mr. Obama’s “You didn’t build that” snippet, we could get lost in parsing what Mr. Romney meant.  But the stakes are different here.  If Mr. Obama is culpable for his quote, it is more a matter of worldview than of character.  But if Mr. Romney is guilty in the way sensationalists claim, then we must believe that he has a shriveled heart that is little more than a black lump of coal.  This is just absurd given his sacrifices and dedication to family, church, and country.  So we can and ought to dismiss this cartoon version of Romney.

The real question is not whether all of the 47% feel entitled and are dependent, but whether anyone in the group could be characterized as such.  Of course no one really thinks grandma or a worker retired on disability suffer from a sense of entitlement.  But this is precisely the interpretation mainstream journalists have been running with all week.

Such a hard prosecution is one half an insidious double standard.  On the one hand, the commentariat is completely okay suggesting that affluent Mr. Romney is out of touch, doesn’t care or relate to everyday struggles, or even that he wants to “pull the ladder up” behind him.  On the other hand, it’s utterly unthinkable to suggest that even one poor or working class person might be beholden to entitlement or dependency.  Per the dictates of political correctness, to do so would be an unconditional surrender to the worst bias and stigma.

This rule cannot persist.  Lest we go the way of Greece, our public discourse must accommodate some way of talking about these very real problems.  Rich, poor, and middle class folks are created equal in a real sense.  Across the dividing lines, all have intuition and faculties of reason.  The discipline of economics operates on the assumption that we are all rational creatures, agents who, whether consciously or not, respond to incentive.  We couldn’t escape it even if we tried.  Yet, big government politicians and guilt-ridden journalists would rather ditch this common sense understanding of humanity for the comfortable materialist fantasy that they took up at university and never quite abandoned.

There are all sorts of ways to describe the perils of incentive that effect the wide umbrella of welfare and entitlement transfers the federal government offers: rent seeking, moral hazard, tragedy of the commons, crowding out, rising expectations.  People’s behavior changes in response to conditions.  The sputtering, moribund economies of many European social democracies attest to what happens when workers secure the right to too generous a menu of entitlements.

Those who have seized on the 47% comments have highlighted a dangerous state of denial in our country.  Dependency and entitlement are heavy clouds that threaten to burst cultural and economic disaster on us.  The way some react to these words though make it seem as if their heads are stuck in the sand.

Mitt eats vegan burrito in his “Darkest Hour”

In the wake of the great, surreptitiously recorded Romney fundraiser video, the media continue their long stumble in the wilderness. Rather than press on policy, they pursue the “process story.” Just look to the Washington Post, which in declaring “Mitt Romney’s Darkest Hour,” proceeds to analyze how analysis will lead to soul searching and second-guessing (these in themselves being more analysis). This is supposed to doom Romney–but not definitively.

At Yahoo News, Holly Bailey continues her embedded coverage on the Romney plane. She maintains the edgy style that Ron Fournier sullied the Associated Press brand with in 2008: ditching the pretense of neutrality for moody framing devices and the liberty to issue gut calls.  Ever out to paint Romney as dry and lame, the most valuable detail in one of Bailey’s recent reports was what Romney had for breakfast: a vegan burrito.

What madness is this: using so many words to say nothing at all. Good thing newsprint today is made of electrons instead of wood pulp.  It lessens the waste.  All too many journalists dwell on trivia while major questions, such as what President Obama really intends to do about this anemic recovery, go unasked, let alone unanswered.

Higher up at Yahoo News, the slide continues apace. Once, stories from AP, AFP, and Reuters populated the front page. Now, almost every “news” link there takes the reader to one of Yahoo’s many branded blogs.  And from the looks of things, the leanings of recently sacked political editor David Chalian are still intact. It was he who remarked over an open mic during the Republican National Convention, “They are happy to have a party with black people drowning.”

Away from the open mic, writers signal subtle derision toward the Least Favored Candidate.  A blogger at Christian Science Monitor’s Decoder Wire responds to Romney’s 47% remarks with an “Umm, OK.”  Follow that with a cherry-picked characterization of the governor as a “plutocrat.”

So is the revelation of the 47% video Romney’s “Darkest Hour?” Conservatives seem to be shrugging it off well enough. Per Bailey’s report, Romney was all smiles, burrito eating aside.

One might point to pseudo-conservative David Brooks’ disappointment with Romney.  He compared  the governor to Gilligan’s Island character Thurston Howell, III.  This led MSNBC’s Dave Weigel to tweet, “When you’ve lost David Brooks, you’ve lost middle America.” A responding tweet set the record straight: “BS. When you’ve lost Brooks, you’ve lost weaselly coastal elites.” After all, David Brooks is the Alan Colmes of All Things Considered: a weak ideological opponent trotted out to slake the blood lust of a partisan audience.

The mainstream media will continue to bury Romney with process stories as long as the news industry’s systemic jet stream will allow it.  But neither apocalyptic visions, ad hominem attacks, nor mundane meal descriptions will satisfy undecided voters who want to make a real, informed decision come November.  Those who look beyond the superficial potshots to answer questions of character and policy will find Mr. Romney to be wholly worthy as our next commander-in-chief.

Muffin consumption pivotal issue in 2012. Really?

A writer who teaches at Columbia managed to file another subjective, liberal polemic with the New York Times the other day.  In the piece, the author invokes the memory of her deceased, Korean immigrant father to denounce . . . you guessed it, Mitt Romney.

And the decisive issue for Asian immigrants in 2012?  How one eats a muffin.

This time, the opinion writer drags us along an arc strewn with references to airline peanut packets and Burberry scarves, whatever those are.  She arbitrarily parks the words “Anglo-Saxon” in the vicinity of Ann Romney’s name, in a bald attempt to evoke from her readers whatever animus may have been deposited by past ethnic studies professors.

As for breakfast habits, the writer would have us believe that, for miserly immigrants like her father, they’re a game changer:

I can only imagine what he would have had to say about a presidential candidate so heedless he eats only the top off a muffin. No matter how loyal a Republican, my father would likely have declared Mr. Romney a very silly, profligate man — not the kind of man to be trusted with his precious tax money. Perhaps his vote would have gone to a Democrat for the first time ever. Politico has declared the Asian-American vote “key for both parties.”  Will muffin-top-gate cause other immigrant parents to join their Democratic-leaning children?

This passage, besides being an unrealistic fantasy, betrays the totalizing tendency of liberals.  That is chiefly, the conflation of private behavior with public obligations.  If a police officer tucks in his daughter at night with a tender kiss, does he become too gentle to chase and pin down a violent suspect the next day?  In the same way, how a businessman spends his own earnings has no connection with his performance at his day job.

Indeed, it was President Clinton who called Romney’s business record “sterling.”  Car elevators and the alleged discarding of muffin bottoms don’t erase the over 100,000 jobs and healthy profit Romney generated at Bain; neither do they negate his tremendous service to the Salt Lake Olympics.

And since we’re counting, let’s not forget all the penny-pinching, middle class markers of Mr. Romney: his “cheap” kitchen light bulb fix, the family vacations in a wood-paneled station wagon, and his regular trips flying economy class, even at the risk of air rage fisticuffs.

The appropriate scrutiny for this election is not on what a businessman does with privately-purchased muffins, but what a public steward like President Barack Obama has done with the people’s money.  An added $6,000,000,000,000 to the debt, the failed $800 billion stimulus (check the graph here), support of green flops like high speed rail and Solyndra, and an otherwise total lack of leadership on the federal budget make a better case for profligacy than any half-eaten baked breakfast good ever could.

If we’re going to talk muffin waste, Barack Obama has wantonly discarded untold dumpster loads of them, in the belief that he could always tax the muffin-rich or inflate his way out of the muffin debt.

So there we have it.  A mainstream publication continues to avail itself as a platform for utterly unconvincing liberal carping.  It would have been genuinely interesting to have an honest exposition of what ideas animated the writer’s allegiance to the Democratic party.  For now, the consuming public must be content with a couched, self-referential diatribe of cross-generational rebellion.  That, and whatever else the enlightened editors toss our way.

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