Quick Roundup 497

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The US Never "Bullied" Castro

Via Dismuke is an interesting look at the actual history of the Cuban "revolution," in which Humberto Fontova even calls a spade a spade regarding the nature of Cuba's nationalization of American assets:

The Castro regime has never settled a penny of this mass burglary with its U.S. victims. Search for any mention of the above in an MSM article on the so-called U.S. embargo of Cuba (in fact, we've been Cuba's main food supplier and fifth largest trading partner for close to a decade now) and you will draw a complete blank.
Between Oliver Stone and the abysmal history curriculum in the typical public school, this editorial is a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Where There's Smoke, ...

... and the U.S. Treasury smells it, there's fire.

We may be about to see what can happen when an arsonist tries to avoid getting caught. Karl Denninger quotes Business Week:
The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort.
This move Denninger variously calls, "an attempt to prevent the collapse of the Treasury market," "a forced "CALL option on the future taxing ability of the government," and "the most dangerous investment of all."

He was most succinct the first time, though, when he called it a "screw job." (HT: Dismuke)

The Anti-Filibuster Movement

Claiming that the filibuster violates the intent of the Constitution because it "renders [the Senate] even less representative," Timothy Noah calls for its elimination at Slate and notes what he hopes is growing momentum for same. This is one of the last things I needed to hear about today.

Needless to say, Noah fails to adequately consider the intent of the checks and balances added to the Constitution, which exist in part to protect Americans from unrestrained democracy. To the extent that he does, he parrots James Fallow's charge that the filibuster,"converts the Senate from the 'saucer' George Washington called it, in which scalding ideas from the more temperamental House might 'cool,' into a deep freeze and a dead weight."

Given the amount of serious deliberation that occurs in a legislative body that has gotten into the habit of passing major legislation unread -- and which is, incidentally, unconstitutional -- Noah should be thanking his lucky stars for the longstanding precedent of the use of this happy accident of history.

When, like socialized medicine, the drink is a hot tea made from the leaves of a poisonous weed, I for one would rather it be placed in a deep freeze permanently than into a mere saucer.


Regarding my mentioning to him over email that, on my way to work every day, I walk past Stata Center, in whose bowels nests Noam Chomsky, reader Snedcat opines: "One of the few valid circumstances in which to wear a cross! Though garlic works just as well, I hear...but you're probably safe so long as you keep in direct sunlight."

-- CAV


Andrew Dalton said...

All of the arguments that I've read against the filibuster amount to, "We need the federal government to be able to do more things, and faster!"

Uh, no thanks.

Kyle Haight said...

And how quickly the worm turns. Remember back in 2005, when the Republicans were threatening to get rid of the filibuster because they thought Democrats were abusing it to block Bush's judicial nominees? The Democrats were everywhere screaming about how the filibuster was an absolutely essential component of Democracy(tm), and anybody who wanted to bypass it was destroying the Constitution and probably an evil raaaacist to boot.

Now the shoe is on the other foot; the GOP is trying to use the filibuster to block Democratic legislation, and the filibuster is magically transmogrified from a Pillar of Democracy into its antithesis. It would be hilarious if it weren't so predictable.

Gus Van Horn said...

I recall back in the day being intrigued by the so-called "nuclear option" and eventually seeing the light after stepping back and thinking, "Someday, I may WANT there to be a filibuster."

This is "someday" and I want the filibuster to go away like I want another hole in my head.

Myrhaf said...

I blog about the 401k story in my latest post:


Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks for stopping by to mention your post.

I definitely agree with your first line!