By now y'all have heard about MSNBC's doctored video of Mitt Romney's Wawa visit. I can't add anything to what Media Research Center and others have already said - MSNBC invented a fraudulent "news" story.
But I would like to add to Romney's speech. His thesis is that private enterprise has been far more successful than the public sector at making its goods and services user-friendly. Successful businesses make good use of automation. By contrast, government bureaucracies are still run pretty much the way they were during WWII, with their Rube Goldberg chains of command and mazes of information flow.
I've been batting around an idea for a while. Given that bureaucracies are essentially information systems, wouldn't it be worthwhile to hire someone like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to play a key role in bureaucracy reform? It seems to me that the principles that make Facebook successful (IPO overvaluation notwithstanding) should be applicable to the government version of social networking.
Some might worry about the notion of government getting better at collecting and disseminating information. But the increased omniscience goes both ways; citizens are part of the bureaucracy information loop.
And we could require agencies to publish online any data subject to FOIA requests - to make such requests obsolete.
My Father's Day post of 2007 is now an annual blog tradition. It has applications for the relationships revolving around both our earthly fathers and our heavenly Father.
Most Christians have no problem getting along with non-Christians. This may seem confusing to some; after all, Christianity teaches that those who are not reconciled with God will not receive salvation. Why care about people who aren't going to Heaven?
One could say that while a particular non-Christian is alive we really don't know that that person's eternal destination won't make a course change at a later date. That's a valid observation, but not the real reason.
Christianity makes a radical claim about the relationship between believers, nonbelievers and God: we're all family. God created the souls of all, thus he is the father of all, believers and nonbelievers alike. All of the children have gone astray - but some have reconciled with him while others have not.
When one is faced with the earthly parallel - being in good standing with Dad while some of the other siblings aren't - one is charged with three tasks: to build and maintain the relationship with Dad, to build and maintain the relationships with the wayward siblings without doing anything that interferes with the paternal relationship, and to act as a bridge between the wayward siblings and Dad. That third task is tricky; there will be occasions to discuss the rift outright, but most of the time it involves nothing more than being a positive influence to that sibling.
Christianity works the same way. Loving God doesn't mean giving up on non-Christian friends. We may have to reassess what kinds of "fun" we pursue with them, though. (Heck, sometimes we have to reassess the "fun" we pursue with fellow Christians.) Witnessing to nonbelievers isn't all Amway sales presentations. Most of the time it's just bringing good to someone's life.
The hardest part of doing good to others is when it requres criticism. We see them doing something destructive, and we want to help. We need to effectively communicate what the problem is, how it hurts that person, and how the future can be better when that problem is dealth with.
Most Christians grasp all this, even if they haven't thought it out as thoroughly as outlined here. They care about both believers and nonbelievers out of the same human motivations that drive us all, and because they believe in a God who values everyone.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said today that both Ronald
Reagan and his father George H. W. Bush would have had a difficult time
getting nominated by today’s ultra-conservative Republican Party.
“Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation,
finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad — they would have
a hard time if you define the Republican party — and I don’t — as
having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow
for finding some common ground,” Bush said, adding that he views the
hyper-partisan moment as “temporary.”
“Back to my dad’s time and Ronald Reagan’s time – they got a lot of
stuff done with a lot of bipartisan suport,” he said. Reagan “would be
criticized for doing the things that he did.”
Bush cited, in particular, “the budget deal my dad did, with
bipartisan support — at least for a while — that created the spending
restraint of the ‘90s,” a reference to a move widely viewed now as a
political disaster for Bush, breaking a pledge against tax increases and
infuriating conservatives. It was, Bush said, “helpful in creating a
climate of more sustained economic growth.”
At Legal Insurrection, Anna Sorock takes Jeb to the woodshed:
Reagan was more than a charismatic tax-cutter; he was an insurrectionist within the Republican Party, just as the Tea Party movement is in today’s establishment. In 1976, Reagan challenged Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination, and in 1980 he defeated the establishment candidate, George H. W. Bush, who later joined him on the ticket. His 1980 platform called for a return of the citizen activist; in doing so Reagan challenged the political establishment mentality, primarily by returning to this model of the servant-leader...
Bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship is what has provided unchecked power to the political establishment. And bipartisanship over principle is what has led us to runaway deficits and a fiscal mess that will take generations to fix. To suggest that Reagan would somehow embrace this insulated tyranny of the political class over grassroots activism is utterly false.
Jonah Goldberg adds this:
Too little attention is paid to the basic fact that Reagan was a man of his times and the times have changed. For instance, much of the GOP’s “extreme” opposition to tax increases stems from lessons learned from Reagan’s experience. Democrats promised to cut spending if Reagan raised taxes. They didn’t cut spending. Reality-based Republicans don’t want to repeat that mistake.
Note that Jeb Bush hasn't learned from his dad's mistake. Note Jeb's praise for the 1990 budget deal. Part of that deal was a promise to cut spending - a deal on which the Democrats in Congress reneged.
That brings to mind something I heard Rush Limbaugh say long time ago: "Making a deal with congress is like paying a cannibal to eat you last."
I'd like to pose a question to those who'd like the Republican Party to tilt toward the political center; WHEN IN THE HELL DID CENTRIST POLICY EVER FIX ANYTHING?
The two examples of big fixes I can think of off the top of my head were not products of "moderation." The Soviet Union was not brought down by containment or appeasement but by out-competing the Soviets militarily and economically. The hyperinflation of the 70s was cured with Paul Volcker's drastic "tight money" policy (a prescription detailed in Milton Friedman's 1979 book Free to Choose), not by Congressional wheeling and dealing.
So tell me - when did policies from the political center fix anything?
I'll add a personal milestone that has reduced my blogging volume: the purchase of a house January of last year. The new chores keep me busy. At least my laundry time isn't limited to a landlord's schedule.