War Czar

The White House says it wants to appoint a high-powered official to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and issue directions to the Pentagon and the State Department. This person would be called “the President of the United States”.


The Paper Dragon

The editorial in the National Review today highlights all the reasons US policy should be geared towards a more protectionist stance towards China, namely, it subsidizes all aspects of its economy through state controlled banks, making it hard to determine to what degree each industry is subsidized. In the US, we subsidize corn heavily. If the EU or other countries wish to block our corn to their market, it is their right to do so. With China it isn’t so easy to tell.

The interesting part of the editorial is this:

That’s bad enough, but consumers should have bigger worries on the heels of this announcement. The Commerce Department ruling opens the door to new tariffs on everything from steel to textiles, because it reverses a decades-old policy of treating China as a non-market (Communist) economy for the purposes of assigning “countervailing duties,” which are tariffs that offset subsidized exports. Because it’s difficult to know which exports are subsidized in a Communist country, Congress has traditionally exempted non-market economies from countervailing duties, subjecting them instead to lower tariffs called “antidumping duties.” The new policy at Commerce doesn’t change China’s status from non-market to market economy. Instead, it treats China as both in order to maximize the political payoff.

Lowry and company are upset that Bush and congress want to use the rules that apply to democracies (countervailing duties) to communist, non-market China. What’s all this talk I hear about open markets in China, then? If China wants to step up to the plate with the big kids, it should be prepared for a little blowback. Chinese policy has thrived on this ambiguity for too long, seemingly open markets for deep-pocketed investors, but a good deal of governmental control over property rights for the little guy. If this is a token gesture by the White House to gain approval for a free trade deal with South Korea, it is one of the wiser trade moves this admin will make (a low standard, for sure). South Korea is a thriving democracy and has been an ally, and wages there are comparable to ours, so we will be less subject to the kind of dumping of low-quality cheap goods that we get from China.

Trade agreements should make geopolitical and economic sense. Economic trade with China during the cold war made sense because it further alienated the Soviets, in a post cold war world, it only makes sense that trade be more diversified.

Then, when I read stories like the Chinese lady who fell six stories onto a pile of human excrement, I breath a sigh of relief. Perhaps China is a paper dragon after all.

Leaking like a sieve

NPR brings to light a border dispute involving… the mexican military? Providing cover for a drug smuggling ring? I predict Bush will call the local law enforcement “vigilantes” and proclaim that the Mexican smuggling incursions into the US are to provide drugs that Americans aren’t willing to grow.

Posted at 09:19 pm by Johnny B

Posted by BP @ 01/27/2006 09:49 AM PST
That’s absolutely what will happen (at least the first part), and–as my grandmother used to say–“that just boils my blood.”

Bad Bush Jokes

New Leader of Bolivia claims he is U.S. nightmare

Bush leans over and asks Dick Cheney, “Which state is Bolivia?” Ha. I should work for the daily show.

Posted at 09:51 pm by Johnny B

Posted by BP @ 01/09/2006 02:24 PM PST
great job on the poll, man….that’s a good idea.


A roundup on Miers (I’ve been spelling it wrong all week. oops. oh well.)

Ann Coulter says nasty things about W

You go girl! Tell me what I need to think!

Thomas Sowell is a bit more reasonable

Most tellingly, Geraldine Ferraro practically endorses Miers (I wish it was spelled “Myers”)

Liberals are by and large silent. Not a good sign. Will someone please slap Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins (to start).

Posted at 09:22 am by Johnny B

My inbox

I found this in my inbox:

Dear John,

Today, President Bush announced his choice to succeed Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as the next Supreme Court Justice: Harriet Miers. Ms. Miers is the third woman to be nominated for the Supreme Court, and like Justice O’Connor is a legal trailblazer. Ms. Miers is an extremely well-qualified and fair-minded individual who is committed to interpreting the law instead of legislating from the bench.

President Bush selected Ms. Miers after embarking on a thorough and deliberate thought process. This confirmation however promises to be much more contentious than the confirmation of Judge John Roberts. Before Ms. Miers was even announced many Democrat groups said they would oppose her. They have no interest in giving Ms. Miers a fair hearing or vote. They are promising to throw every punch, make every accusation and pressure every Senator to oppose this nominee no matter what her qualifications may be. We have to be prepared to counter their actions and that is why Harriet Miers needs your help.

To ensure Ms. Miers is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, I need you to do three things.

1. Call your Senators. Tell them Harriet Miers has your support and deserves theirs.

2. Sign our petition in support of the timely confirmation of Harriet Miers.

3. Call talk radio, write a letter to the editor of your local paper and tell your friends and neighbors why you support the President’s choice.

Harriet Miers has a record that demonstrates a commitment to faithfully applying the Constitution. For more information on the nominee, go to http://www.gop.com.

In the coming years and decades, the decisions the Supreme Court makes will greatly affect all of our lives. We need a jurist on the court who will not legislate from the bench, who will approach cases with an open mind and who will be fair. Ms. Miers is that jurist. Call your Senators. Tell them to vote yes on the confirmation of Harriet Miers.


Ken Mehlman,
RNC Chairman

I don’t remember getting one of these for the Roberts nomination.

Posted at 11:23 am by Johnny B

Posted by Reagan_Gahagan @ 10/06/2005 12:32 PM PDT
I got the same email from Mehlman and the RNC. I am doing the exact opposite of what he asks.

Posted by John Broussard @ 10/06/2005 01:05 PM PDT
I don’t even know how I got on the list. Ashcroft must have been reading my emails or something. The Republican party is losing my support left and right. The Senators are a bunch of “jackholes”, and W is catering to them far too much.

Posted by Reagan_Gahagan @ 10/06/2005 02:54 PM PDT
I just called both of my Senators to tell them not to vote for Ms. Miers. After I told their secretaries to tell the Senator to vote no, Vitter’s secretary took down all of my contact information, and Landrieu’s secretary just didn’t give a $hit.

Posted by Jordan @ 10/06/2005 03:46 PM PDT
I would hate it if she’s confirmed and turns out to be another Warren, Souter, etc.
But… do you really think we’ll get a more conservative candidate if the Dem’s are “successful” in thwarting this nomination? Whoever is advising W might even run further to the middle.

Posted by Johnny B @ 10/06/2005 10:05 PM PDT
Harry Reid has already signed off on her, essentially. At the DailyKos they said this nomination has the fingerprints of Laura Bush all over it, and that the Dems could be in a worse position. It’s lazy and weak on behalf of the administration. In this way Bush really backed conservatives in a corner. Jordan, you are right to say that this may be as good as it gets, and that Meiers might be better than a second choice. What kind of proposition is this for Republicans? It’s no mistake W gives a rousing speech about war days after this nomination. What good will be her loyalty to W be in three years?

The new judge

What can I say. I’m depressed. The best one could say, as a conservative, is that she’s a Bush crony. Well, she’s not very qualified, but she’s a good buddy of W, and he said to “trust us”, so here we go. She doesn’t seem to have a strong governing philosophy, which was the same problem O’Conner had. At least O’Conner was qualified. Any thoughts out there?

Posted at 06:28 pm by Johnny B

Posted by RaisingOrleans @ 10/03/2005 06:34 PM PDT
Not qualified at ALL…the only saving grace is the knowledge that Renquist was never aa judge prior to the supreme court either…still, that gives me little solace.

Posted by Reagan_Gahagan @ 10/03/2005 08:07 PM PDT
I completely agree. I was hoping that 43 would nominate a proven conservative in Edith Jones from the 5th Circuit. I was also hoping for a filibuster so that we could put the liberal threats to an end via the nuclear/constitutional option. I believe that 43 showed weakness because he didn’t want a drawn out fight while his numbers were low. I hope that this lady doesn’t turn out to be a Blackmun, Souter, or O’Conner (who I believe was the most destructive to the legal system because you never knew how she would rule).

Gingrich ’08,
Kerry ’08!

Posted by John Broussard @ 10/03/2005 09:40 PM PDT
The best case is if she signs off on all of Scalia and/or Thomas’ opinions. Even if she does that, she does nothing to advance the ball for constitutionalism, she just seems like a lightweight. My pick would have been Ted Olsen for Chief Justice with Roberts as the second pick. Compared to this woman, Roberts seems like a godsend. This is worse than W’s horrible first debate against Kerry, the nadir of his presidency. My prediction is W fails to avoid a fight, which seems to be the purpose of this candidate in the first place. My favorite pick would be Bobby Jindal, but he might be too young yet. What is the minimum age for justice?

Posted by Reagan_Gahagan @ 10/04/2005 11:56 AM PDT
There is no minimum or maximum age to be a supreme court justice. You don’t even have to be a lawyer to be a US Supreme Court Justice.

Posted by Hemonster @ 10/05/2005 05:19 PM PDT
I don’t know about the prevailing thoughts on this page, but I think it’s hilarious that this pick was made.

Everyone is standing there wondering, “what do we do about this?” “someone tell us how to think?” It just makes me laugh to think of all the databases and warrooms and media outlets poised to engage in yet another round of “culture wars” – to no immediate purpose.

If we can now have some quality questions of the nominee to ascertain her level of intellectual heft and personal perspective and prism of constitutional interpretation, that would be great. I never thought I would see a confirmation hearing where genuine questions will be asked (and hopefully answered) on CSPAN again.

I for one, will be tuning in . . .


Posted by Reagan_Gahagan @ 10/06/2005 11:08 AM PDT
As a conservative (no, I don’t speak for all conservatives), I will be contacting both of my Senators (1 Dem. and 1 Rep.) and asking them to vote no on her confirmation. I believe that the conservative base has far too many brilliant intellectual judges out there to confirm this lady. It’s not enough that she will always vote with Scalia and Thomas. If, God forbid, she ever gets to write a majority opinion, she could do some SEVERE damage to the rule of law, after the fact, by writing a sloppy opinion. Some truly brilliant lawyers will likely take her words and rip apart what conservatives have been working toward for decades.