At Least It’s An Ethos

Dan Riehl:

Some of the alarmists out there might want to take a moment to consider all the ramifications here. It may sound harsh, but the Great Depression produced many things — one of them was called the Greatest Generation.

Which on the heels of the Brooks column calls to mind the best quote from The Big Lebowski: “Nihilists? Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenants of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.”

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Brooks: “Nihilists”

An extraordinary columns today from the NYT’s David Brooks, pronouncing that the GOp has moved well beyond intellectual bankruptcy:

This generation of political leaders is confronting a similar situation [to the 1933 economic crisis], and, so far, they have failed utterly and catastrophically to project any sense of authority, to give the world any reason to believe that this country is being governed. … And let us recognize above all the 228 who voted no — the authors of this revolt of the nihilists. They showed the world how much they detest their own leaders and the collected expertise of the Treasury and Fed. They did the momentarily popular thing, and if the country slides into a deep recession, they will have the time and leisure to watch public opinion shift against them.

Read the whole thing.

Bail Out

Ross Douthat, in the wake of Monday’s House vote:

The most likely scenario, as of 3 PM this afternoon: The stock market continues to drop. Some version of the bailout passes in the next week. The American economy staggers into a recession, but passes through the storm without 1930s-style suffering; the Republican Party is not so fortunate. Even though most Americans claim to oppose the bailout [update: not anymore], the House GOP’s obstructionism is widely viewed as having worsened the economic situation; the fact that these are contradictory positions does not faze an electorate that wraps all of the country’s current troubles up, ties them with a bow, and lays them at the feet of the Bush-led GOP. John McCain loses by a landslide in November. The Democratic Party regains years or even decades worth of ground among the white working class, consolidates the Hispanic vote, and locks up a large chunk of highly-educated voters who might otherwise lean conservative. The muchdiscussed liberal realignment happens. And a politician running on a Ron Paul-style economic platform does very, very well in the GOP primaries of 2012.

The Dow dropped 777 points. Thanks, assholes. Main Street is getting antsy:

The United States Chamber of Commerce vowed to exert pressure, warning in a letter to members of Congress that it would keep track of who votes how. “Make no mistake,” the letter said. “When the aftermath of Congressional inaction becomes clear, Americans will not tolerate those who stood by and let the calamity happen.”

Sunrise on Mars

 

Well, kinda, given that the Phoenix lander is near one of the poles:

Unions Seek Piracy Crackdown

The USN’s indifference to the piracy situation off Somalia isn’t winning this country any friends:

If civil aircraft were being hijacked on a daily basis, the response of governments would be very different.  Yet ships, which are the lifeblood of the global economy, are seemingly out of sight and out of mind.  This apparent indifference to the lives of merchant seafarers and the consequences for society at large is simply unacceptable.

Absolutely right. Catch the seized ships, board them and shoot the g-d pirates. The Navy’s unwillingness to act is an expression of pure cowardice.

Hat tip: EagleSpeak.

SpaceX Makes It

NASA Watch has the on-board video. The first-stage separation still looked rough to me but they got away with it.

Ahoy, Mateys

The piracy situation off Somalia has gotten rather out of hand. Visit EagleSpeak for all the gory details. The USN is in do-nothing mode when frankly a few well-aimed shots from a 5-inch gun would go a long way toward cleaning things up. Galrahn is unhappy:

When piracy, a problem that directly effects free trade, is seen as a low priority for the US Navy, it does not make much sense for the US Navy to hold conversations with business leaders and talk about the importance of protecting the global trade system at sea.