Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, April 20, 2007

In Other News. . . My Opinion About Everything

The US Supreme Court has given the green light to state laws that ban partial birth abortion without regard to the health of the mother.

I don’t need to go on and on about how bad this is. Courts should not be interfering with medical decisions, and I think that means end of life decisions as well. Courts should not vale one life over another, or criminalize a woman’s desire to do what is best for her and her family. I hope this is not going to be a slippery slope. But I fear that is what it is.

I give Alberto Gonzales at most a month before he resigns to “spend more time with his family”. His performance was abysmal and Congress reamed him! It was uncomfortable to listen to, but long over due. When members of your own party take you out behind the shed, you know your days are numbered. Bravo Congress!

I give Paul Wolfowitz no longer than Gonzales, perhaps even less time, before he is shuffled off to teach Economics at Princeton. Good riddance. I hope we are starting to see the downfall of the neo-cons. Rumor is that Papa Bush as well as the First Lady are horribly disappointed in this Adminsitration, especially Bush Jr. Prepare for the the First Lady to take her leave of her husband sometime in 2009. It will be splashed on the pages of People Mag right next to "Brad fights Angelina for Children" and "Katie Holmes Escapes Cruise's Clutches".

The Economist ran a nice obit for Arthur Schlesinger. He believed that the US goes through cycles of liberalism and conservatism. The liberals (i.e. Democrats) fix the messes created by conservatives (Republicans), then people get comfortable and go back to conservatives and the cycle repeats. I tend to agree. We are headed for good round of Democrat dominance. It’s how balance is restored. All things in life need balance.

The French presidential candidates ended their campaigning today and French voters head to the polls this weekend. Polls are at a 3 way dead heat with Le Pen as the spoiler. The First round will be a dead heat. My guess: Sarkozy and Royal will make it to the final round with a hair's width between them. Sarkozy will take it. Royale has big plans to liberate the state treasury of its funds to expand just about every social program there is, while claiming she can pay for it all by cutting costs. Seems contradictory. Bayrou is vague at best. Le Pen is a good single-issue, protest candidate. Sarkozy seems to have the most rational policies, but he has had to placate the extreme right. Ultimately, though, I think the French will go for him. It's a gutt thing on my part.


Dr. Strangelove said...

The abortion decision last week does not seem to me, in and of itself, to be a practical problem for women. The trouble is, as USWest indicated, the precedent and slippery slope potential.

I think Gonzales will hang in there.

Bell Curve said...

I just voted today and went for Bayrou. I don't think he is as vague as you think he is. My wife and I received pamphlets from all the candidates and Royal's was the vaguest. The most clear? The green candidate, Dominique Voynet. She has a lot of good ideas, too, but a couple awful ones thrown in there made me decide not to vote for her.

If Bayrou does not make it to the second round, I am going to have to hold my nose and vote for Sarkozy.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Well, Bell Curve, are you really going to start holding your nose? Sarkozy? Really? I would have thought you would hold your nose and vote for Royal.

What will Sarkozy bring but the standard "conservative" program:(1) more nationalism and racism; (2) cuts to the social safety net, meaning more work for less pay for most, more class stratification; and (3) and no help for those hurt by these changes and other "responses to globalization"?

French business doesn't need Sarkozy. It needs to stop looking for government handouts, whether from some savior rightist government in France or from more" business-friendly" governments abroad, and just go about its business within the existing social and economic framework. You can make money with a 35 hour workweek and such, you just need to adapt. It is always easier for businesses to adapt than employees.

Anonymous said...

From what I've heard Sarkozy is less of a believer in statist policies than any other prominent politician of either the left or the right in France.

LTG may not realize that French politics has for years had a consensus on both left and right in favor of a bloated and inefficient system of subsidies for business and overly generous and inefficiently distributed benefits for the population.

France has been in desparate need of reform for 30 years but has managed very little change.

I'll be more open to Bell Curve's reasons for picking Sarkozy over Royale.


USWest said...

I tend to agree with RBR. French governments always cave to the unions and the students. I find that an odd statement coming from me in that I think the U.S. conservatives could care less about either one and I hate that. But you have to strike a balance. I do think LTG has raised a valid concern about classism.

When your national debt is 67% of your GDP and most of that is due to excess government spending on social services, you have to ask yourself how you are going to deal with that. Royale never adequately addressed that. Instead, she has made big spending promises with no real idea how to pay for them.

I think Sarkozy will be moderated by the Presidency. He won't be able to be a maverick like he has been in the past. Some of his nationalist rhetoric is pandering to the far right. In reality, the differences between the left and right in France are very few. Both are moderate. That is why Le Pen stands out in relief.

Royale's brand of socialism won't work for France now. But nor do I think Sarkozy will be able to make the radical changes to the deeply entrenched civil service. In a nation with youth unemployement in the double digits, I don't think you can expect the civil service to shrink anytime soon. That said, I think Sarkozy is tough and that he will be more willing to take the heat from the street than Royale and therefore, he stands a better chance of making some progress. What I fear through, is that France will retrace the steps of the US and get some Reganesque policies from the conservatives. That would be bad.

Anonymous said...

France is so mired in this poorly managed system that they need one of two things to happen. Either they need to restructure their welfare state along the lines of more efficient, and more market friendly, welfare systems in Scandinavia or they need a strong blast of neo-classical liberalism to clean out the cobwebs.

If the Socialists will not lead France to the first option, the French will have to hope that Sarkozy will lead them to the second.

But he's sounding increasingly like a traditional Guallist/Nationalist. That's not a good sign.


The Law Talking Guy said...

Is that what happened in the midwest in the early 1980s? "Cleaning out the cobwebs?" I am extremely skeptical about the ability and desire of the right wing to create efficient government that raises living standards.

What are the chances that Sarkozy will work to eliminate subsidies to bloated businesses? Zero. Just the few subsidies that actualy help people. The result? The French middle class will be squeezed further, longer working hours, less security, and - yes USWest and RBR - the students and government workers will still get the government to cave for THEM.