Political Animal

ANTI-EUROPEANISM….Glenn Reynolds, in his eternal

ANTI-EUROPEANISM….Glenn Reynolds, in his eternal campaign against European “fecklessness,” says:

The real paradox is in the notion that Europe could “rival” the United States while still being almost entirely dependent on the United States militarily.

I think this sentence does a great job of capturing the heart of the warblogger world view: only the United States military can solve the world’s problems. Europe has nothing ? literally nothing ? to add because they do not have a huge military machine capable of projecting power around the globe.

Is this truly the only value that they think is important? The ability to bomb other countries? Do they ever stop to think that Europe and the rest of the world might have other things to offer if we would just knock off the sniping and treat them as the friends and allies that they are?


FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF WISHFUL THINKING….The desolate little town of Soap Lake, Washington, is in trouble:

“The city’s broke, practically,” said Soap Lake Mayor Ken Lee. “We have no industry, no tax base. We need to do something.”

“Something” turns out to be a plan to build a giant lava lamp to attract tourists. All they need is someone to finance it.

I could make the usual kind of snarky comment, but instead I want to offer Soap Lake some genuinely constructive criticism: you’re thinking too small. A 60 foot lava lamp just doesn’t cut it in this MTV age, so if you really want to attract people, you’re going to need to make it at least 500 feet tall. Get cracking.

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HOW ABOUT THE GEORGE BUSH ECONOMIC CONTRACTION PLAN OF 2005?….One of the things that poor old Jimmy Carter gets no credit for is the fact that he didn’t try to juice the economy in 1979 to coincide with his reelection campaign in 1980. He had other problems as well, of course, but he certainly paid the price for this particular piece of Southern Baptist integrity.

George Bush, on the other hand, apparently has no similar voice in his head to guide him. Quite the contrary, in fact:

The administration’s estimates show its proposal would boost economic growth by only 0.4% this year, but 1.1% in 2004. The projections suggest the plan could have a contracting effect of half a point or more in 2005.

The estimates — and especially the conclusion that the administration’s plan would pack its biggest punch in the midst of the presidential campaign in 2004 — apparently sparked controversy inside the Bush camp. Bush press aides ordered them yanked from a White House Web site only hours after they appeared following the president’s Tuesday speech unveiling the package.

(Emphasis mine.)

You can argue about whether or not the economy needs a stimulus right now, but how do you justify a plan that by their own estimates will provide a significant stimulus for only one year ? 2004, by coincidence ? and actually has a negative impact in 2005, when the election is over?

But then, this is the same administration that spent two solid pre-election months in 2002 making sure that the Iraqi resolution in the UN stayed front and center, needlessly delaying any chance at agreement until the very day of the election. Then they let it die.

Are these guys a piece of work, or what?