That’s What They Think, Friday 3/26/2010

Matthew Yglesias Pelosi As Trailblazer

Of course, the Pubs despise her. More, less than Obama? Is she Goering? Goebbels? (How did we ever revile people before we had Nazi references? I know – anti-Christ.) And, of course, Tom Delay was so much more attractive a figure. The truth is – one more “of course” – were she doing what she does for them, for their ideas, they’d put her lipstick on a pig and frolic in the trough.

GAWKER.TVJoe Biden’s Gaffes: A Foot-in-Mouth Chronology

Ya gotta love our Joe. But they left out a late, great one: his “God bless her soul” to Irish P.M. Cowen’s still breathing mother.

Gene, Harry’s PlaceVenezuelans Under Threat

Calling Sean Penn. Harry Belafonte?

Yuri Mamchur, Russia BlogDoes Russia Want a Nuclear-Armed Iran?

Maybe, after all, Russia and American can be, should be, and are strategic partners. And maybe the U.S. should trust Russia on its Iranian policies, taking into consideration such facts as that Russia has a five-century-long (!!!) intelligence presence in Iran, that Iran’s every nuclear-related facility is flooded with Russian experts and spies, and that an Islamic nuclear-armed nation on Russia’s border is the last thing Russian leadership and people would ever want.

David M. Herszenhorn and Tamar Lewin, The New York Times –  Student Loan Overhaul Approved by Congress

The federal government took all the risk of the loans, the “free market” banks reaped the fees and profits. This should have made neither liberal nor conservative happy.

Ending one of the fiercest lobbying fights in Washington, Congress voted Thursday to force commercial banks out of the federal student loan market, cutting off billions of dollars in profits in a sweeping restructuring of financial-aid programs and redirecting most of the money to new education initiatives.

The revamping of student-loan programs was included in — if overshadowed by — the final health care package. The vote was 56 to 43 in the Senate and 220 to 207 in the House, with Republicans unanimously opposed in both chambers.

According to the CBO, this direct lending will save $61 billion over ten years, “directing $36 billion over 10 years to Pell grants, for students from low-income families.” The legislation does not place any legal bar on banks offering their own student loan products, programs through which the banks, operating as true free enterprises, might assume the risk and receive any profits. What’s to complain?

“The Democratic majority decided, well look, while we’re at it, let’s have another Washington takeover,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee and a former federal education secretary. “Let’s take over the federal student loan program.”

In other words, “Keep your federal hands off our federal student loan program.” Incoherence, Republican is thy name.


3 thoughts on “That’s What They Think, Friday 3/26/2010

  1. While I am somewhat conservative, I long ago gave up on the GOP. “Incoherence” is putting it kindly. After eight years of governing like a war-mongering version of the Democratic Party, they suddenly rediscover the “limited government” plank in their purported platform (“Whoa, that’s in there?!? Who put that there?!?”) Aside from a very few who actually understand what they claim to believe and vote accordingly (Ron Paul, for the most part—I’m not a Paulista, but I think he’s got the courage of his convictions, at least), they suddenly become opposed to “big government” once they’re out of power. Once they regain it, they govern like a very bad version of the Democratic Party, opening the Big Government money spigot to benefit their well-heeled constituents. Funny, but I don’t recall a single Republican screaming about an impending Armageddon when Medicare Part D passed with heavy GOP majorities. I guess I should be impressed that they are able to dance around the memory hole without falling in?

    I have zero sympathy for the Democratic Party, but I do give Democrats credit for articulating a vision (however incoherent it can sometimes be) and voting accordingly.

    As usual, good stuff, Mr. Adler. You’re one of my regular reads. Always appreciate your POV on the wide range of subjects you write about, and especially your craft as a writer.

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