One Reason I Blog Anonymously (For Now)

Although I have revealed biographical details on the blog here and there, and a few of my friends know about this blog, I have from the start blogged here anonymously.  It is not for fear of my generally conservative views becoming known, since I don’t make them a secret.  The main reason I chose not to put my name on the blog at the outset was because I didn’t really know if I would keep at it.  Six months later, I am still enjoying the blog and it is slowly gaining readership, so that is no longer a problem. 

Another reason was to avoid annoying anyone who might be a current or potential client.  I generally try not to offend, but some folks are easily or perpetually offended.  Moreover, the very nature of a blog — unedited and free-flowing — makes it easy to use poor word choice or a bad example or otherwise to say something you later regret.   

However, one thing that never crossed my mind was the possibility that one of my own law partners would try to make a big deal out of something I wrote.   Unfortunately, that just happened to Paul Mirengoff of the great conservative blog PowerLine

Professor Jacobson reports at Legal Insurrection that a blog post Mirengoff made after the Tucson shooting memorial service got him in hot water with his firm, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.  The comment was this:

“As for the ‘ugly,’ I’m afraid I must cite the opening ‘prayer’ by Native American Carlos Gonzales,” Mirengoff wrote. It “apparently was some sort of Yaqui Indian tribal thing, with lots of references to ‘the creator’ but no mention of God. Several of the victims were, as I understand it, quite religious in that quaint Christian kind of way (none, to my knowledge, was a Yaqui). They (and their families) likely would have appreciated a prayer more closely aligned with their religious beliefs.”

One of Mirengoff’s partners, James Meggesto, was so driven to despair by Mirengoff’s The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Spaghetti Western movie reference (is that offensive to Italian-Americans?) that he and the firm had to issue — in Prof. Jacobson’s apt words — a “sanctimonious statement” responding to it:

As an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation; as an attorney who has dedicated his life and law practice to the representation of Indian tribes, tribal organizations and tribal interests; and as a partner in the American Indian law and policy practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, I was shocked, appalled and embarrassed by a recent Web posting by another Akin Gump partner, Paul Mirengoff, who posted on his personal blog an insensitive and wholly inappropriate criticism of the use of a Yaqui prayer as the invocation to the recent memorial service held in Tucson, Arizona. As soon as I and the firm became aware of this posting, the firm took immediate action to deal firmly with this unfortunate situation. Accordingly, Bruce McLean, chairman of the firm, issued the following statement: “We sincerely apologize for the blog entry posted by Akin Gump partner Paul Mirengoff on his personal blog, Akin Gump is neither affiliated with, nor a supporter of, the blog. We found his remarks to be insensitive and wholly inconsistent with Akin Gump’s values. Mr. Mirengoff regrets his poor choice of words and agreed to remove his post.”

This is not just sanctimonious — it is bad writing.  “Shocked,” “appalled,” and “embarrassed,” by an “inappropriate,” “unfortunate,”and “insensitive” statement that is “wholly inconsistent with Akin Gump’s values”?  For his clients’ sake, I hope that Mr. Meggesto doesn’t subscribe to this ” leave no modifiers behind” approach in his legal writing. 

There was nothing insulting about Mirengoff’s post.  He didn’t even criticize the prayer itself. 

He found it odd, as did I, that a memorial service for multiple people would feature a Yaqui prayer when none of the dead were Yaqui and were likely to be of various faiths.  Moreover, it is the kind of self-absorbed gesture we often see from the left (who, by the way, would freak out if a Christian prayer were given at an otherwise non-denominational event), so it was rightly the subject of discussion. 

Anyway, now I have another reason to blog anonymously.  I don’t need the hassle of finding out that one of my partners is an overly sensitive type, or is someone like Meggesto who would be willing to throw a colleague under the bus for some imagined slight that has some remote chance of impacting his bottom line.

Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 12:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Don’t Want A Civil Debate; They Want Everyone Else To Shut Up

At Commentary Contentions, Peter Wehner shows that Jim Wallis is supremely unqualified to lecture others about having a “robust debate but not resort[ing] to personal attack, falsely impugning others’ motives, assaulting their character, questioning their faith, or doubting their patriotism,” while Alana Goodman discusses the latest iteration of perpetual concern about a Muslim “backlash” in the U.S. that never happens.  The common thread here is the true goal of the complainers. 

Mr. Wallis clearly does not care about civility in political debate.  If he did, he would be more civil to others and not make serial ad hominem attacks.  Wallis instead wants one side — not his — to be muted in advancing its arguments, while he and his fellow travellers remain free to be as strident as they want.  Meanwhile, Jennifer Rubin reminds us that the primary source of over-heated violence-tinged rhetoric is the left, not the right.

Likewise, the Muslim leaders are not worried about a “backlash” of violence against Muslims in the United States.  We made it through the first World Trade Center bombings, the U.S.S. Cole bombing, 9/11, the Fort Hood shootings, daily IED attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Ground Zero Islamic Center debate, and so on, without the ever-predicted but never-occurring violent anti-Islamic backlash.  The Muslim leaders simply don’t like the idea of congressional hearings to investigate homegrown Islamic radicalization at all; they would prefer to focus on an imagined backlash in which Muslims are portrayed as potential victims rather than potential perpetrators of terrorist acts.

In short, all of this hand-wringing is not intended to ensure that debate remains within the bounds of civil and respectful discourse.  It seeks to silence others, not have a respectful discussion with them.

Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 9:27 am  Leave a Comment  

If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made A Choice

As Egypt burns, President Obama dithers.  After getting it wrong in Honduras, fiddling with the deck chairs in Palestine, and doing his best to look busy about Iran and North Korea, President Obama is now, predictably, voting “present” in Egypt.  

As Max Boot says,

Problem is, taking no stand isn’t an option for the United States in this situation. For decades, Egypt has been one of the largest recipients of American foreign aid, and Mubarak has been one of our closest allies in the Middle East. Egyptian officers have been educated in the United States, its forces are equipped with American weapons, and they regularly conduct exercises with American troops. We have a large say, whether we want it or not. If Obama stays silent about Mubarak’s future, that will be interpreted within Egypt as American support for an increasingly discredited dictator.

At the end of the day, the U.S. should almost always be on the side of democracy and democratic reform.  That does not mean we should always side with elected governments once elected — the Palestinians come to mind — but we should be on the side of the principle of encouraging governments to be freely elected.  President Obama, however, would prefer to avoid taking a stand against a weak and oppressive government at a critical juncture.

Published in: on January 30, 2011 at 12:15 pm  Comments (1)  

Race-Based (In)Justice At The Justice Department

Jennifer Rubin has an invaluable post up about the New Black Panther case and race-conscious civil rights enforcement non-enforcement by the Obama Justice Department. 

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights came out in December with a draft of its interim report on the New Black Panthers Party scandal. Earlier today a final report was posted on the commission’s website, and with it, a flurry of rebuttals and separate statements from a number of the commissioners. The import of these statements should not be minimized.

The statements indicate several points: 1) the New Black Panther Party case brought by career Justice Department employees was meritorious on the law and the facts; 2) there is voluminous evidence of the Obama administration’s political interference in the prosecution of the New Black Panther Party case; 3) there is ample evidence that the Obama administration directed Justice Department employees not to bring cases against minority defendants who violated voting rights laws or to enforce a provision requiring that states and localities clean up their voting rolls to prevent fraud; 4) the Justice Department stonewalled efforts to investigate the case; and 5) vice chairman Abigail Thernstrom has, for reasons not entirely clear, ignored the evidence and tried to undermine the commission’s work.

There is much, much more.  Do read the whole thing.

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Obama Administration’s Misplaced Middle East Priorities

Let’s see, we have a revolution in Tunisia, Egypt is burning and the strategically and economically vital Suez Canal is at risk, and there is a possibility of further unrest in Jordan, Yemen, and who knows where else.  Meanwhile, Iran is chugging along with its attempt to build nuclear weapons while threatening Israel with a second Holocaust.

So what is the Obama Administration’s “number one priority” in the region?  You guessed it:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that peace in the Middle East remained the top US priority, despite unrest in the region and a leak of alleged Palestinian negotiation documents. Clinton confirmed she would head next week to Munich for talks of the “Quartet” of Middle East mediators and said she spoke at length about the conflict with Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh of Jordan, a close US partner. “For both our nations, permanent peace in the Middle East remains our number one priority,” Clinton told a joint news conference with Judeh. … “Such an agreement, Jordan and the United States believe, will not only bring peace and prosperity to those who are directly affected, but it will be a major step toward a world free of extremism,” she said.

Really?  Maybe Clinton could spend a few moments figuring out what to do if Egypt’s current government falls, whether that’s what we want, or whether we can influence events.  Maybe one of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight should pick up the phone to John Bolton and ask someone who knows about this stuff what to do.

Instead, we get Joe Biden stupid things like this:

He described the unrest [in Egypt] as an expression of “middle-class folks” looking for “a little more access and a little more opportunity.”

Check out the CNN slideshow and decide for yourself — Does this look like a few “middle-class folks” looking for “a little more access and a little more opportunity”? 

I don’t know what is happening in Egypt or the rest of the region, and it sounds like no one else does either.  But I can tell you it is a hell of a lot more pressing than more endless talks with the Palestinians.

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Headline Of The Day: “Joe Biden Is An Idiot”

I don’t really have much to add to this, except to say that the only person more wrong more often about more things is his boss.

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 10:55 am  Leave a Comment  

And Here I Thought He Was Sincere. . . .

“According to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, the Obama administration hasn’t fleshed out a strategy for implementing the president’s plan for a thorough reorganization of government, as outlined in the State of the Union address last night. Apparently they haven’t even decided who’s going to lead the effort.”

At NRO Online, John J. Pitney Jr. has an explanation that makes sense:

What’s up with government reorganization? The day after the president made it a major theme of his State of the Union address, his press secretary acknowledged that the administration had not settled on a strategy for carrying out the plan or decided who would lead it. Apparently, the White House did not even touch base with public-employee unions. Federal Times quotes the head of one union: “I don’t know what he’s talking about when he says merge or reorganize agencies.”

There are two possible explanations for the absence of groundwork.

A) The president and his staff want an open-ended process in order to maximize participation by government workers, outside experts, and lawmakers from both parties.

B) The speechwriters needed a way to reconcile deficit reduction with expensive new policy proposals. One can imagine what they were thinking: “Freeze spending and subsidize high-speed rail? Hello? Sheesh, how do we make it to ‘God bless you and goodnight’ without whiplash? Wait a minute: Reorganization — that’s the ticket! We can provide more service at less cost by reducing redundancy, duplication, overlap, waste, fraud, abuse, yadda, yadda, yadda. Don’t know if it works, but it sounds deficit-reduction-y and shouldn’t tick anybody off.”

That is a pretty good explanation of the entire Obama presidency since the mid-term elections.  He wants to spend more, ever more, while pretending to be in favor of fiscal restraint. 

If we are going to be serious about reducing spending, Congress needs to force the President’s hand.  He wouldn’t even lead on his plans for “stimulus” spending or ObamaCare.  He just pushed it off on Congress.  He will vote “present” no matter what, while pontificating about how important X, Y, or Z is in general terms.  Fine, give Obama a slurpee and let him stand by and watch the action. 

That means, however, that the House has to be disciplined and focused and send the Senate targeted bills that would actually reduce spending and could peel off a few Democrats in the Senate.  I have little doubt that Obama doesn’t have the guts to veto anything other than a wholesale repeal of ObamaCare, so let’s test his resolve.

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Chicago Way — Rahm Emanuel’s Back On The Ballot

The opinion of the Illinois Supreme Court is here

It holds that “reside in” means the same thing as “residence.”  “Thus, in assessing whether the candidate has established residency, the two required elements are: (1) physical presence, and (2) an intent  to remain in that place as a permanent home. Once residency is established, the test is no longer physical presence but rather abandonment, the presumption is that residency continues, and the burden of proof is on the contesting party to show that residency has been abandoned.”

 The case is a real smack-down of the panel that kicked Rahm off the ballot:

Before proceeding to the merits, we wish to emphasize that, until just a few days ago, the governing law on this question had been settled in this State for going on 150 years. . . . 

Thus, from April 1867 through January 24 of this year, the principles governing the question before us were settled. Things changed, however, when the appellate court below issued its decision and announced that it was no longer bound by any of the law cited above, including this court’s decision in Smith, but was instead free to craft its own original standard for determining a candidate’s residency. . . .

Thus, our review of the appellate court’s decision in this case begins not where it should, with an assessment of whether the court accurately applied established Illinois law to the particular facts, but with an assessment of whether the appellate court was justified in tossing out 150 years of settled residency law in favor of its own preferred standard. We emphatically hold that it was not. . . .

So there will be no mistake, let us be entirely clear. This court’s decision is based on the following and only on the following: (1) what it means to be a resident for election purposes was clearly established long ago, and Illinois law has been consistent on the matter since at least the 19th Century; (2) the novel standard adopted by the appellate court majority is without any foundation in Illinois law; (3) the Board’s factual findings were not against the manifest weight of the evidence; and (4) the Board’s decision was not clearly erroneous.

Ouch.  That’ll leave a mark.  You almost never see a higher court go after a lower court like this.

UPDATE: The opinion is the judicial equivalent of this, from the movie Billy Madison:

[Supreme Court]: [Court of Appeals], what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

[Court of Appeals]: Okay, a simple “wrong” would’ve done just fine.

UPDATE II: Allahpundit sums things up:

Not only does Rahm win 7-0 and get a boatload of triumphant headlines right before the big mayoral debate, he’s actually got five members of the state supreme court doing an end-zone dance on his behalf. Well f***ing played, Rahm. Very well f***ing played.


Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Colorado’s “Amazon Tax” Has Been Enjoined

United State District Judge Robert Blackburn issued a preliminary injunction today barring the Colorado Department of Revenue from enforcing a new Colorado law that would require retailers that generate more than $100,000 in gross annual product sales to customers in Colorado, but do not collect and remit Colorado sales tax on those transactions, to report certain information about the customers’ purchases from the retailer to each customer and to the Colorado Department of Revenue:

First, such retailers must notify their Colorado customers that the retailer does not collect Colorado sales tax and, as a result, the purchaser is obligated to self-report and pay use tax to the DOR (Transactional Notice).

Second, such retailers must provide to each of their Colorado customers [who spend more than $500 in the calendar year] an annual report detailing that customer’s purchases from the retailer in the previous calendar year, informing the customer that he or she is obligated to report and pay use tax on such purchases, and informing the customer that the retailer is required by law to report the customer’s name and the total amount of the customer’s purchases from that retailer to the DOR (Annual Purchase Summary). . . .

Third, such retailers must provide the DOR with an annual report concerning each of the retailer’s Colorado customers stating the name, billing address, shipping addresses, and the total amount of purchases from the retailer by each of the retailer’s Colorado customers (Customer Information Report).

[Paragraph breaks added.]  In short, it was an attempt to tax all on-line purchases by Colorado consumers. 

The Direct Marketing Association (“DMA”) challenged the new law and associated regulations as violating the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, and filed a motion for preliminary injunction to temporarily block their enforcement.

A motion for preliminary injunction typically asks the court to freeze the status quo until the case can be fully tried.  It is temporary – lasting only until the verdict at trial or other final decision – but often has a huge impact on the overall outcome of the case.  It is also provides a relatively quick path to an appeal, albeit one under the preliminary injunction standard rather than one that is more authoritative. 

The first issue to be decided when considering a motion for preliminary injunction is whether the plaintiff has established “a substantial likelihood that it is likely to prevail on the merits of the substantive claims that are the basis for its motion.”  They don’t have to win; but they must prove a reasonable probability of success.

The DMA first argued that the Act DMA alleges that the Act discriminates against out-of-state retailers because the it imposes notice and reporting obligations on those retailers that are not imposed on Colorado retailers.  Since in-state retailers are subject to are subject to civil and criminal penalties if they fail to collect and remit Colorado sales tax, and almost all of them do so, the court held that the plaintiff had “shown a substantial likelihood that it will succeed in showing that the Act and the Regulations are discriminatory because, in practical effect, they impose a burden on interstate commerce that is not imposed on in-state commerce.”

The DMA also alleged that the Act imposes an improper and burdensome regulation of interstate commerce.  The Supreme Court has held that there is a “bright line” rule that creates a “safe harbor for vendors whose only connection with customers in the [taxing] State is by common carrier or the United States mail” under which “vendors are free from state-imposed duties to collect sales and use taxes.”  Therefore, the court held that the DMA had a reasonable probability of winning under this theory as well.

Often, the remaining factors for a preliminary injunction receive more detailed attention, but here the court was able to move quickly through them to conclude that an injunction should be issued. 

The insidious thing about laws such as this is that the voting public is generally not aware — and not adequately informed by the media — of the huge impact they will have.  Because the immediate reporting burden is on retailers, those who are the targets of a massive new tax on on-line transactions are generally not aware of what the legislature is plotting until it’s too late.

It will be interesting to watch this case go up on appeal.  If affirmed, it will be left to the federal government to determine whether on-line transactions with out-of-state retailers can be taxed by the states.

Via Complete Colorado.

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm  Comments (2)  

“Obama’s State of the Union Was Tantamount to Plagiarism”

So says U.S. News & World Report columnist Alvin Felzenberg:

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, what can be said of plagiarism? President Obama’s second State of the Union address contained enough recycled ideas and lines lifted from speeches of others to make historians wince. I suppose this is what one does when one not only has nothing new to say, but is required by custom and Constitution to come forth with a report of some kind by a certain time and day.

Had Obama or his writers been considerate enough to have informed listeners of where some of the president’s best lines and offered-up ideas originated, the speech might be remembered for its cutting and pasting of great and not-so-great moments of the past performance of others. After quoting Robert Kennedy early on, Obama tried to have his listeners believe that everything else he said that we might remember were his or his writers’ creations. Had the president submitted the text of his second State of the Union Address in the form of a college term paper, he would have been sent forthwith to the nearest academic dean.

Felzenberg’s examples:

  • Obama’s reference to America as a “light to the world” belongs to Woodrow Wilson.
  • The “American family” theme is similar to Mario Cuomo’s 1993 declaration that New York was a “family.”
  • Obama swiped Margaret Thatcher’s 1991 declaration about the U.S. that “no other nation has been built upon an idea.” 
  • The reference to a “Sputnik Moment” seemed to have originated with Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • The honoring “ordinary heroes” stuff was derived from Ronald Reagan.
  • And JFK’s statement that “I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation,” pre-dates Obama’s assertion that “I know there isn’t a person here who would trade places with any other nation on Earth.”

I really can’t get excited about any of these.  I can’t even get too excited about far clearer cases of word- or idea-appropriation by politicians.  Politicians are not academics, fiction writers, or journalists.  They are politicians, and both great themes (none of which were apparent in Obama’s SOTU speech) and tired clichés (which appeared in abundance) are used by lots of people all the time.  Using this stuff does not strike me as plagiarism at all in the political context. 

Litigators do this kind of swiping all the time, without remorse or citation.  Stopping to explain your source for a compelling theme, analogy, or particular paraphrased statement would in many situations kill the flow of an argument and rob the words of their power.  So if we want to add some sort of authority to the words (“In the words of Ronald Reagan, ‘tear down this wall'”) we do it.  If not, we make them our own.  I don’t see any difference between that and what Obama may have done here.

I do, however, agree with this specific criticism by Alana Goodman, which has merit:

It’s not unusual for politicians to quote or borrow from great historical leaders in speeches. But it’s noteworthy that Obama, who was supposed to be such a phenomenal communicator, is so reliant on the words of others. For all the rhetorical prowess attributed to him during the 2008 election, his speeches have consistently fallen short of public expectations since he’s taken office.

A guy who cannot come up with any of his own themes, seems to have borrowed all of them from everyone else, and who has not been particularly successful in rallying anyone behind his proposals, is probably not a candidate for the office of best communicator ever, as Obama’s supporters continually try to crown him.

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 3:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Nice Carbon Footprint, Nancy

Nancy Pelosi, our former Speaker of the House and a strong supporter of such financial disasters as the cap-and-trade carbon tax in the name of combating global warming, sure liked to fly around in military aircraft during her brief tenure as Speaker:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained new documents from the United States Air Force detailing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s use of United States Air Force aircraft in 2010. According to the documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Pelosi used Air Force aircraft for 43 flights from January 1 to October 1, 2010. According to documents previously uncovered by Judicial Watch, by comparison, Nancy Pelosi logged 47 flights in the prior nine-month period, April 1, 2009, to January 1, 2010.

People like Pelosi want everyone else to make great sacrifices while they indulge in hypocritical luxuries, should not hold positions of power.  Hell, they should not be listened to at all.

Via Drudge.

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 11:31 pm  Comments (1)  

Bruce Randolph School In Denver — The Recipe For Its Success

In his State of the Union Speech, President Obama called out Denver’s Bruce Randolph School for its miraculous graduation and headed to college rates.  For those of you from out of state, know this about Bruce Randolph School:

Bruce Randolph was the first school in Colorado to be granted autonomy from district and union rules — a move in 2008 that got noticed by then-state Senate President Peter Groff, who wrote the law allowing any school to gain “innovation” status and, with it, the flexibility to operate more like a charter.

Last year the school welcomed U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who gathered the media and praised the efforts of Randolph’s staff and students.

But Waters, who led the turnaround plan — dubbed “Challenge 2010” — said the process is not rocket science.

“It’s creating the supports for students, teaching them to ask for help and giving them that help,” she said. “It was all about best practices, holding teachers and students accountable and creating high expectations.”

To do that, however, Waters began by asking each teacher to reapply for the job. Of approximately 40 teachers, only six remained.

Then the new staff, led by a union member, asked for autonomy from district and union rules — giving the school flexibility with its budget, hiring decisions, time, calendar and incentives.

Emphasis added.  I have a funny feeling that Obama wasn’t endorsing this particular strategy.  He just wants to tout the results without grappling with what it takes for schools to succeed. 

As the Bruce Randolph model shows, to succeed, schools have to be unshackled from their union masters, and underperforming teachers have to be subject to the same market correction — the potential for job loss — as people in the private sector.

UPDATE: The Huffington Post notes President Obama’s praise for Bruce Randolph, but manages to omit the recipe for its success.

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 10:20 am  Comments (2)  

Best Summary Of The SOTU Speech Yet

Courtesy of Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt:

The night in a nutshell: President Obama was the salesman assuring you that you can afford the new sports car. Paul Ryan was your accountant, reminding you that you can’t.

You can sign up for it here.

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 9:43 am  Leave a Comment  

Hawaii Gov. Abercrombie Adds Yet More Fuel To The Birther Fire

What the hell is this guy thinking?  First he raises the issue yet again in a failed political grandstanding gesture by announcing that he will release Obama’s birth records.  Now he tells a radio talk show host that “there is no Barack Obama birth certificate in Hawaii.”

It would have been nice if the press had done its job before the election and figured out whether Obama was even constitutionally qualified for the job by virtue of native birth.  It would have been really nice if they bothered to investigate Obama at all instead of declaring him to be the Best. President. Ever. the minute he decided to run.  But we’re just a bit past that now, and don’t really need a constitutional crisis.  At this point, Abercrombie should just keep his mouth shut.

Via Drudge.

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 9:38 am  Comments (1)  

Paul Ryan’s Response

Overall, much better than Obama’s main attraction.  The President, of course, enjoys the benefit of pomp and circumstance, and the setting for Ryan’s speech — an empty committee room, it looked like — was poorly chosen.  But he came across as competent, knowledgeable, and earnest.  Which, by all accounts and from what I have seen, he is.  A good introduction to the national stage.

The best line:

Millions of families have fallen on hard times not because of our ideals of free enterprise — but because our leaders failed to live up to those ideals; because of poor decisions made in Washington and Wall Street that caused a financial crisis, squandered our savings, broke our trust, and crippled our economy.

Amen, brother.  Screwing up the economy this badly can only be accomplished by a public/private partnership of regulators and rent-seekers. 

The always awesome Jennifer Rubin has much more worth reading.

Published in: on January 25, 2011 at 9:16 pm  Leave a Comment