Links, 9/18/10

Yeah, the links are a bit right-wing today. I am seriously considering going to the Colbert-Stewart rally, though. Both have an approach to politics that ultimately is incoherent and dangerous (is it really healthy to think everything is “spin?” Can you accuse various people of destroying America, and then retreat behind “I’m a comedian”? Is that even right?).  And I know given the date of the rallies, it is Democratic pre-election propaganda. But they’re exactly correct to mock hate using the freedom to assemble to defend itself as noble. “Keep Fear Alive” could be brilliant parody, hitting all of us on the Right and Left for letting our worst tendencies dominate how we approach each other.

  • Report: al-Qaeda disarms select Taliban commanders – from the article: The Taliban and other jihadist proxies of the Pakistani ISI are not going to make peace unless the ISI wants them to. It is just that simple. Here we have a good illustration of some Taliban commanders wanting to reconcile and their efforts being blocked by outside forces. And isn’t it interesting that in this case al Qaeda is performing the same function that the ISI does? That is, al Qaeda is neutering commanders in northern Afghanistan who are not as committed to war as they should be, just as the ISI does in Pakistan.
  • Jay Cost, “Turning Pennsylvania Red, Moderate Republicanism, Generic Ballots and more!” – the interesting part of this post is where Cost starts addressing whether moderate Republicanism is dead. His response boils down to: the Democratic party is really Leftist right now, and most of the ideas animating Republicans are electorally viable. I don’t have a problem with much of the substance of the argument. Still, it feels like apologetics for O’Donnell, and my concern is the future of the party. I do feel, regarding more conservative media, that all of us are supposed to say the same thing so elections are won.
  • Noemie Emery, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Liberal” – conservative hit-piece that I think is exactly correct. It’s okay to be rich and a public servant. It’s okay to be extravagant to a degree. But the behavior described here is ridiculous, and costs us in deep ways. Local and state politicians think they can run their own little fiefdoms, and don’t discount the impact that has in failing to provide equality of opportunity.
  • Megan McArdle, “What Small Business Wants” – just read it, it’s short enough, and important to consider.

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