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Insufferable in Aspen

Via Ryan Chittum at CJR, a good look at how our elite sees the rest of us:

CNBC’s John Carney finally heard an idea that intrigued him at the Aspen Ideas Festival: Ending universal suffrage:

His argument had two parts. The first was that some people simply are not ready for democracy. They have no functional conception of the state in their minds, much less an understanding of representative, deliberative democracy. Some are so poor that they can be bribed to vote this way or that for “five dollars,” he said. The application of the principle of universal suffrage was not a recipe for successful government in these circumstances, the speaker argued…

This pretty much runs against the grain of everything decent and serious people think. In fact, in a place like Aspen — which is dominated by progressives of various sorts — it felt like he was standing athwart history yelling “Go back!”

There’s something truly gross about the elite gathering in Aspen, of all places, at the behest of The Atlantic, of all institutions, to talk about how some people are too stupid to vote (a notion advanced by the Wall Street Journal editorial pages last week).

Because what the world needs now is more power concentrated in the hands of Aspen Ideas Festival elites like Alan Greenspan, Pervez Musharraf, and Larry Summers.

— Here’s the headline of Agnes Crane’s Reuters Breakingviews column:

Libor rigging look like victimless crime

If somebody was making money off this, somebody was losing money. It’s a zero-sum game. The argument, I suppose, is that it’s “victimless” if you steal relatively small amounts from large numbers of people (emphasis mine):

The numbers just don’t look large enough to matter. In one documented example, a derivatives trader put in a request to lower the input for three-month Libor, among the most popular benchmarks for floating rate debt, and it dropped by half a basis point, 0.005 percentage points. Libor was 5.365 percent at the time. Borrowers would hardly notice the difference.

That was the point, wasn’t it?

Remember, it was the “smart” people who got us into this mess. They’re the ones who shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

Love is for lovers

The dBs:

Tell me why

Diamond Rugs:

You baby

I totally stole this from Avedon. P.F. Sloan:

Wide awake

I’m not crazy about Katy Perry, and I’m even less enamored of digital beat-heavy songs, but I do like this song:

Heartstrings

Suzie Brown is a cardiologist. No, really:

No, not really. This story is about one small borough that doesn’t allow kiddie pools in the front yard. So it’s not about banning “backyard” pools, and it doesn’t mean, as the headline implies, that they’re banned in the entire state of Pennsylvania.

And of course, it’s Fox News!

No comment

Taken from the official Texas GOP party platform for 2012:

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills, critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education, which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

Obama’s fault

Michelle Malkin and her ilk are blaming Obama for the Colorado wildfires. That didn’t take long! (Even though she wrong but of course cites conservatives who “prove” she’s right.) And I’m sure the conservative “cut cut cut” mentality had nothing to do with it?

While Colorado burns, conservatives have looked for ways to blame it on President Obama.

Some of the same people who have bashed the president as a big government, big spending liberal now say a wildfire that destroyed hundreds of homes in the conservative stronghold of Colorado Springs can be blamed on the president because he has been too slow to spend money to beef up the federal fleet of air tankers.

The meme began more than a week ago when pundit Michelle Malkin, who lives in Colorado Springs, wrote a piece for the National Review Online titled “Obama Bureaucrats Are Fueling Wildfires.”

“The Obama administration’s neglect of the federal government’s aerial-tanker fleet raises acrid questions about its core public-safety priorities,” she wrote.

Malkin noted the number of fire-fighting air tankers in the national fleet had dropped from 44 a decade ago to nine today. The fact that the administration killed a contract last year to to build more tankers, she wrote, had put a manufacturing company out of business. A bill the president signed earlier this month to spend $24 million for new planes came too late to stop the spread of the fires now.

“[T]he money won’t come until next year, and the dog-and-pony rescue moves will not result in any immediate relief,” Malkin wrote. The delays were unacceptable, she concluded. “Where there’s smoke swirling over Team Obama, there are usually flames of incompetence, cronyism, and ideological zealotry.”

The criticism caught on in some circles. Wayne Laugesen, the conservative editorial page editor for the Colorado Springs Gazette, linked to Malkin’s post this week in his own piece titled “Obama shrunk aerial firefighting fleet.” A writer with PJ Media mentioned the Gazette opinion in a blog post under the headline “Colorado Burns. Are Obama’s Environmental and Defense Policies to Blame?”

The suggestion even made its way to a news conference on Wednesday with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), who was answering questions about multiple fires burning in the state. The Denver Post reported that a question about conservatives blaming the president for the size of the air fleet set the governor off.

“Were these the same conservatives that were so worried about the Obama administration spending too much money, or were these different conservatives?” Hickenlooper said.

‘Anti-foreclosure laws’

Yves Smith on your librul media.

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