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Wilkinson Tops Them All

Who won the Presidential town hall debate? Wilkinson. Again. He’s 2–0 vs. all the candidates and the rest of the typing heads.

Here’s the healthcare section:

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It’s Fascism

Congress has passed the bailout/rescue bill, and the current President scurried right over and signed it into law.

Pundits speaking for the huge popular majority opposed to the plan seem to have decided to call it socialism, or a nationalization of banking and real estate. There is a political philosophy which combines those terms. National Socialism. Or, in a word, fascism.

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Veep Showdown

Mostly a snooze.

Palin is one long run-on sentence. Her, Palin’s, sentence construction, also makes it hard to follow her points. Due to her sentence construction. And running on, also.

Biden likes numbers. He claims McCain voted 20 times for something Obama voted for 6-1/2 years ago. Or 7. Which is 39% of 4-billion-dollar tax breaks to ExxonMobil that McCain voted for. Just like Bush.

So…I got nothing substantive to examine.

Palin is outstanding at being herself. She glows when talking about American principles and the privilege of representing the public.

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Every Interest is Special

The term, “Special Interests” is in the standard cant of politicians. We’re told there are “Special Interests” at the root of every problem we face. Wall Street, Big Oil, Agriculture, Big Education, Abortion Rights, Unions, Climate Change, the Drug Companies, ad infinitum, have hired string-pulling lobbyists to pervert and corrupt our virtuous society.

Walter Williams adds perspective:

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What’s the Hurry?

The current President is urging Congress to act immediately. A crisis of catastrophic proportion can be averted if we are united in quick and decisive action. Essentially everyone in Congress has reviewed the available facts, and agrees with a dour assessment.

The President has consulted with his top advisors. There is a plan to avert the crisis. It will be hugely expensive. We do not know how long the US forces must remain involved. Details are sketchy, but the measure before Congress can be fairly described as a “blank check”.

Iraq? Nope.

Wall Street.

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Way Ahead of You, Barry

Although Barack Obama continues to campaign on the promise that he will "end this war," the American military has apparently beaten him to the punch.

Zing!

That’s Engram, in this month’s installment of the best continuing meta-analysis on casualties in Iraq.

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Ending Homelessness Violates the Law

NRR headquarters sits in the center of a vast pool of compassion. In fact, compassion is stated government policy. “The City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County have passed a plan to end homelessness in our community by the year 2016. This 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, is also known as Heading Home Hennepin.”

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NRP Must Die

The north side is the most troubled, most stigmatized quarter of Minneapolis. Over the past few months, activists and concerned folks from all parts of the city—troubled and not troubled—have convened two cookouts on vacant lots in the north side. Their intentions are not entirely defined, but I believe these people do mean well.

A local blogger has been to both, and has posted some reflections from the second cookout:

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McSame?

The lefties have a nickname for John McCain. O.K., probably more than one. Here's one they can say aloud near nuns an schoolchildren: John McSame. Very witty. But is it accurate?

Steven Landsberg says no. Although not happy about it, he’s voting for McCain. Here’s Landsberg’s #2 reason for that choice:

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To Which Side of the Mouth Should We Listen?

The talking heads amplify politicians who exclaim, “See, the greed-driven free market has killed us again. We need more regulation!”

Will Wilkinson says, “Hold on there, Senator Foghorn. I remember you justifying your job with the assertion that ‘free’ markets would not exist without a government framework of regulation and enforcement.”

Actually, Wilkinson says this:

There is Wisdom in TJICistan

As usual, I'm with Travis:

Q: Yes, but can we assume that Travis, as a libertarian / anarchist, is against government intervention?

A: Surprisingly, no, my stance isn’t that simple. The first point I have to make is that despite the above, I don’t understand squat about all of this. Which is much less than most of the folks involved, even if what we have in common is that none of us knows enough to really know all the details.

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Kling on Overconfidence

At odd intervals I've been shown snapshots from a land presided over (or 1/2 presided over) by Arnold Kling. I think the NRR may need to build a permanent spur to EconLog. Here’s a quick glimpse:

Failure Without Context

Will history make much of the financial volatility we’re seeing? Will September 15th, 2008, achieve a legendary nickname, like Black Monday, or Black Thursday?

I don’t know. And, despite the huge amount of opining facilitated by the internet, nobody else knows, either.

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Earmarks in Palin’s Stump Speech

In the previous post, I made a distinction between “pork eaters” and “pork producers”. Palin seems to grasp that distinction. Zip ahead to 2:59 in this clip:

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McPalin, OBiden, and Earmarks

Following are excerpts from the StarTribune's comment section on an Associated Press story titled McCain equates earmarks with corruption even though Palin is seeking earmarks herself.

First, a bit of AP’s reporting for context:

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If This is Recession, Send More!

Engram, the proprietor of Back Talk, does his usual stellar job finding and presenting facts, this time about the USA economy. His assessment of those facts:

the facts have just not supported the idea that the economy was falling into a recession despite the mortgage crisis. GDP grew at 0.9% in the first quarter and at 3.3% in the second quarter.

My contribution to the comments on that post:

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Mayor Emptysuit is a Hopeless Romantic

R.T. Rybak, the insubstantial Mayor of Minneapolis, thinks he knows how to increase sales of City water. Quality or price improvements are too sensible for R.T. He’s using tax revenue to build pretty fountains.

His (non-)thinking is that if more people knew Minneapolis Public Works sells and distributes water, more folks would buy and use more water. The stuff already flowing from household taps throughout the city and several suburbs isn't flashy enough.

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Jew of the Month

Today I received a notice from United Airlines alerting me that oil speculators are responsible for the hardships of their firm and their industry. The same industry that has seen a major bankruptcy every couple of years for the past quarter century. During most of that span fuel averaged less than 30% of today's price.

Maybe fuel cost isn't the root of airline industry problems.

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Conflating Government with Society

The Government is not the same as Our Society.

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Silent Cal Says a Lot

In 1926, President Calvin Coolidge spoke in Philadelphia on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Known as “Silent Cal” for his reserve and discretion in his personal life, Coolidge was an effective orator. His remarks stand as a clear enunciation of the spirit and intent upon which the United States was built.

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