Posts tagged: Politics

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

By , February 28, 2011 11:50 am

The New York post has a column today about the prescience of the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of my favorite people.

According to writer Bob McManus, Moynihan saw the future of public unions, and it was not rosey.

“[NYU economics professor William J.] Baumol started out by asking himself why the costs of the performing arts always seemed to be rising” Moynihan wrote. “I remarked that if you want a Dixieland band for a campaign rally today, you will need the same [number of] players you would have needed at the beginning of the century. Productivity just hasn’t changed much.”

But per-player costs — salaries and benefits — had risen dramatically, and the price of that Dixieland band along with them.

So, too, the price of health care, the senator argued. An already labor-intensive industry was becoming even more so with each technological advance — driving per-patient productivity ever lower and overall costs inexorably higher.

The same, he said, is true of what he termed the “stagnant [public-sector] services” — including “education high and low, welfare, the arts, legal services, the police. This means that the [costs] of the public sector will continue to grow.”

Moynihan had an eye for what seems obvious today. And he was not shy about telling others what he saw, a trait that served him well–and impressed me–when he served as the U.S.’s ambassador to the United Nations.

My cousin, then an aide to Senator Alan Simpson, once arranged a tour of the Capitol for me. The highlight was when a door swung open as I walked by, revealing Senator Moynihan, bow tie and all, talking to someone behind what had been closed doors.

The Democrats–hell, the Republicans–could use someone like him right now.

Mormonism’s Moment?

By , February 10, 2011 8:58 am

Is the time ripe for a Mormon to be President, or will religion get in Mitt Romney’s or Jon Huntsman Jr.’s way? Sally Quinn asks the question in On Belief, her religious bailiwick at The Washington Post. Eight panelists, including the likes of Barry Lynn who writes,

There really is only one question that needs to be answered: can you faithfully execute the laws of the United States or is there some religious view you hold that you believe transcends that duty?

Which begs the question: Would he, or anyone else, accept the answer, “Yes, I can,” and move on? Or would that question actually be an open door through which the inquisitor would parade his even deeper-held beliefs that “there ain’t no way a Mormon President won’t do the bidding of his (or her) hierarchical superiors in Salt Lake!”

I’ll be back for further comment on this subject.

What’s Your Political Philosophy?

By , November 15, 2010 4:22 pm

Apparently, I’m a Libertarian:

What about you?

Do These People Ever Stop?

By , November 5, 2010 7:29 pm

David Bositis, senior research associate at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, this evening on NPR’s All Things Considered:

If you had a group picture of the Republican members of the Congress, and if you wanted to use Photoshop to distill it into one face, it would probably look like former Sen. Trent Lott.

I’ll be back later to comment.

How to Cut Spending? Get Specific!

By , November 3, 2010 12:01 pm

I agree with the Cato Institute:

We will not get federal spending under control unless we begin a national discussion about specific cuts. And we won’t get that discussion unless enough members of Congress start pushing for specific cuts.

I’ve created a page to keep track of that conversation online.

Let the conversation begin.

And That’s The Way It Is?

By , January 21, 2009 2:35 pm

During his 19 years as “America’s Anchorman,” Walter Cronkite ended each of his newscasts on CBS with his trademark, “And that’s the way it is.” We’ve all grown up a bit since then, and what with cable, the Internet, and the blogosphere, we can listen to a lot of alternative voices. For anyone listening, those voices have taught us that wasn’t the way it was then, and it isn’t the way it is today.

No, Cronkite’s was only one view of what was going on then, much like the MSM today gives another, but hardly singular, view of what’s going on today. And that’s the rub because after the most recent election, it’s clear that the MSM’s view is skewered heavily in Barack Obama’s favor, in fact, heavily hardly describes it. And where does that leave us? Without the hope that the three major networks, their cable siblings, and CNN will give us the straight scoop on what’s going on in the Obama administration. 

So I ask them–you Chris Matthews and you Katie Couric and you Wolf Blitzer and all or most of your colleagues–was it worth it? Was that tingle that ran up your collective legs and onto the television screen in the recent election a worthy price for your journalistic souls? Does it make up for the loss of your credibility and the trust we’ve placed in your ability to report the facts, no matter where they lead you?

I hope so, because that’s the way it is.

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