Thursday, February 28, 2008

February 28th 2008 - Today's Columns:

Ann Coulter : William F. Buckley: R.I.P., Enfant Terrible - Coulter chooses to focus on the terrible side of the enfant terrible. This approach is interesting and enlightening to those of us who came along after Buckley had won the war of ideas and mellowed his approach. For my whole life Buckley was seen as congenial and intellectual. It's important to look back at some of the battles during the early years and relive his heroics. "Buckley may have been a conservative celebrity, but there was a lot more to him than a bow tie and a sailboat." I've read and heard quite a bit of sorrow for the passing of WFB in that there is no heir (or worse that his heirs are bombastic flamethrowers like Coulter and Limbaugh). But I think the reason there is no clear heir to Buckley is because he was sui generis in his time. Today there are many conservative intellectuals on the scene, all spawned by Buckley's legacy. None stand out as the singularity as did he, not because they're not great but because there are so many of them.

Victor Davis Hanson : The World in 2009 - VDH describes the world as it is with its challenges and threats and how they really have virtually nothing to do with George W. Bush. The next president will have to face these challenges and simply not being Bush is not going to turn around all our enemies and detractors. Much of the world sees us, as Osama Bin Laden said, as the "weak horse." Weakness invites challenges, be they military, economic, or diplomatic.

George Will : McCain's Good Times - Ouch! Politics can be so incestuous and dirty sometimes. And Will exposes McCain's "situational ethic[s]" with regard to campaign financing.

Robert D. Novak : How Not to Run for VP - Novak reports on Tim Pawlenty's (R-MN) actions as the head of the National Governor's Association. Like far too many Republicans, Pawlenty has bought into the hoax of Global Warmism and has thus made himself a poor choice as VP for McCain. I think Novak may be giving McCain too much credit for doing the smart thing instead of stubbornly thumbing his nose at his own base.

Lawrence Kudlow : Obama's Big-Government Vision - Kudlow discusses Obama's plans for raising income taxes, corporate taxes, dividend taxes, capital gains taxes, doubling the earned-income tax credit, tripling the benefit for minimum wage earners, establish a mortgage interest tax credit (another tax reduction for those who don't pay taxes [welfare]), all while regulating the profits of big businesses thusly reducing their incentives to expand and grow. Obama's current tally for his various proposals is at $800 billion. That's $2,666 for every man, woman, and child in this country. Which means the average family of four would have a higher tax burden of over $10,500 each year. As we all know only roughly half the population are workers (remove retirees, homemakers, children, students, etc.) and only roughly half of all workers pay any income tax at all. That means that the aforementioned $2,666 per person must be paid by an increasingly smaller number of people. In other words, instead of $10K for a family of four, a family that actually pays taxes would have an increased burden of approximately $40K. Every year. And Obama attempts to sell this to the voters as a means of increasing economic opportunity. Take from the rich, give to the poor. Has that ever worked?

Emmett Tyrrell : A Redwood Falls in the Forest - Tyrrell writes a heartfelt obituary in honor of the great William F. Buckley Jr. I would love to get my hands on one of those oils.

Rich Galen : The Clinton Legacy - Galen predicts the demise of Hillary as a candidate and of Bill's legacy. I maintain that this is premature.

John Stossel : Guns Save Lives - "It's impossible to know exactly how often guns stop criminals. Would-be victims don't usually report crimes that don't happen. But people use guns in self-defense every day."

Walter E. Williams : Africa: A Tragic Continent - Williams lists the woes of Africa and debunks the argument that its problems are due to its history of colonialism. He details why foreign aid is counterproductive and lists the governmental reforms necessary to success. All of this is true but not terribly enlightening unless this is your first time hearing anything about Africa from someone who thinks more deeply than Bono. What is needed from conservative Western thinkers is to spend more time on African issues and come up with a plan to start down the path to success. It is not enough to simply say that African problems require the African people to implement reforms for property rights, rule of law, etc. This is true but I for one refuse to accept that we cannot influence the situation. Great minds like those of Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell are capable of more and I'd like to see them spend the time to come up with a way to move forward.

Thomas Sowell : A Lesson From Venezuela - Sowell examines economic lessons from price controls throughout history from the ancient Egyptians and Romans to Richard Nixon and Hugo Chavez. It is truly amazing that over thousands of years people still refuse to learn simple economic principles and leaders still take the same actions that have proven to lead to failure, time and time again.

Jonah Goldberg : Radicals Never Say Sorry - "What fascinates me is how light the baggage is when one travels from violent radicalism to liberalism."

Thomas Sowell : Bad Times - Sowell catalogues and laments the demise of The New York Times. It is interesting that so many once reputable and proud publications are resorting to sensationalism and hyperbole in order to attract an audience. Their audiences continue to shrink as the market fragments and this in turn encourages even more outrageous tactics. I don't know where this is all heading but I suspect it will become harder and harder in the short term to find reliable, or at least widely credible news sources.

Rich Lowry : On Trade: Obama's Opportunistic Fear-Mongering - Lowry looks at some statistics and economic trends to take apart the Left's rhetoric on NAFTA.

Rich Galen : Ralph Nader and Alan Keyes - Galen on how closely divided the U.S. electorate is and the need for each Republican and/or conservative to vote.

No comments: