Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rush vs The Congress

Maybe I'm just sensitive to whenever politicians go after the media because they always seem to after the guys I listen to. Even still, things like the Fairness Doctrine scares me to death. It is as anti-free speech, anti-constitution, and anti-American as it gets. (Yes, I just said the anti-A word). I don't want the liberals off of TV, so why do we have to get the conservatives off of radio?? Now, this most recent fiasco doesn't concern the Fairness Doctrine specifically, but it runs right along the same vain. And granted it's only a petition, not a policy or a law, but still, it's the government behind the petition. If was a private citizen who started the petition, I wouldn't be angry about it.

Now, to be very clear, I am not a fan of Rush Limbaugh. I get just as angry listening to his show as I do watching Keith Olberman. BUT, is it really the place of the government to launch campaigns against a private citizen's right to express his opinion? If Limbaugh wants Obama to fail, fine, he's entitled to say that. I think it's a terribly juvenile attitude for him to have. We can't wish for each other to fail. It's not good and it doesn't get things done. I also think it was terribly juvenile for President Obama to invite GOP leaders for a bipartisan discussion and open it up by telling them they can't listen to Limbaugh. That seems to be to be a statement that carries with it the implicit assumption that Republicans are brainless.

The whole thing just frustrates me. If we are going to be bipartisan, we need to focus on ideas, issues, and policies. There should not even be a discussion of who is listening to who or anything like that. There should also not be wishing for people you don't agree with to fail. We need to realize that the only way to succeed to together.

Let's come to the meetings, sit down next to each other, and talk about issues. Maybe that's what they did and the media is bending this. In fact, that's always a possibility. The media doesn't help bipartisianship at all. But that's a rant for another day.


P.S. It has just come to my attention that it is not the Congressional Democrats launching the petition per se. It's the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee -- a committee that recruits and raises funds for congressional candidates. That's a little better than the government going after him. Still, I don't like it. I also concede that similar Republican Committees do similar things. I am of the same opinion concerning them. In fact, I recently returned a letter I received from a committee asking for donations with a response that said I will consider donating when they consider focusing on generating good candidates and policies and not on tearing down their opposition instead. I'm sure the lack of contributions from this poor grad student was enough to send shivers down their collective spines.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another Interesting Article

Not to turn my blog into a list of links to other articles, but this one was way too good to pass up. It's a Wall Street Journal article about all of the recent government stimulus packages. The only modification I would make is wherever Dr. Barro refers to "Team Obama" or the "Democrats" I would also add "and the Bush Administration during his last two years in office."


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thoughts on the Inaguration

Listening to President Obama's inaugural address was interesting to me. I suppose I had always known this, but I realized it a little more clearly: At the end of the day, I want all of the same things he does. Really, our goals are almost identical and include things like strong national security, a healthy economy, efficient use of our resources, freedom and equality. For those reasons, I honestly hope he's successful.

Now, I don't often agree with him on the methods that he proposes to go about realizing those goals. Not that I don't think what he proposes will do what he says it will, but rather I think that the path comes at too great of a cost and there are better ways to do it. My interpretation of history, and my understanding of effective policy seems to be very different that his. The biggest difference that I see is, interestingly enough, probably the most hotly debated topic throughout history: I believe that the people, when left to themselves, eventually get it right. President Obama seems to believe that people don't, so it is necessary for the government to have a much more involved role in problem solving. The true answer to the problems he outlined is probably somewhere in the middle.

All that said, my support and prayers are with him and our country, as they are with any President of the United States. The nice thing about democracy and our system of government is that now President Obama gets a chance to try out his ideas and we'll see what happens. The debates will continue and, if we all remain open minded, we'll eventually figure out what works and what does it. That's why, even in the midst of a financial crisis and everything else, I'm actually quite optimistic about the future.


P.S. I was going to hold my tongue and not comment on the prayers at the inaguration, but I lack the will to do so. Rick Warren held back more than people thought he might, which was probably good, but he did lay it on pretty thick. Rev. Joseph Lowery, however, amazed me. "When white will do what is right?" I'm sorry, but I'm pretty sure we just elected a not-white president. Are we still hung up on this? Good grief. If we really want to get rid of racism, we should stop referencing color all the stinking time! But I suppose that's a rant for another day...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Forecasting the Economic Situation

Here's a game on Economist Greg Mankiw's webpage:

It goes along with his Macroeconomics text book. You put in a couple of variables and see what that makes the economy do. Just for fun, I put in variables to (very) roughly estimate Pres. Bush's current bailouts and submitted them. The economy tanked. Then, in round 2, I put in variables to (very) roughly estimate Pres. Obama's proposed stimulus plan.

I was impeached immediately.

Give it a shot and see if you can keep the economy running. What you do depends on the situations given to you (it's random), but here's a general hint: find a balance between both low taxes and budget surpluses.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

States vs Feds

I just read this blog on Fox News that I found interesting. And it even stays relatively non-partisan until the last couple of paragraphs.