Little Jon, he always tells the truth

I have nothing special against Jon Huntsman, he seems reasonable enough as Republicans go, but when the press goes all in for the son of a billionaire, it’s hard not to smell a rat.

“It’s very hard to tell one of the Huntsmans ‘no,’” says Doug Foxley, a lobbyist and attorney who was a senior adviser to Jon Huntsman Jr. during his 2004 campaign and remains close to him. “Let me just put it this way: I think that Jon Sr. will be watching very closely those who do and don’t give to his son.”

Today, even the liberal Stanley Fish quasi-endorsed Jon Jr.:

When I ran for the office of secretary of my freshman class at the University of Pennsylvania in 1955, my campaign manager was Jon Huntsman, father of Jon Huntsman, Jr., the former governor of Utah, former Ambassador to China and current candidate for the Republican nomination for the presidency.

[….]

That civility may not play well with the “base” in the primaries; but it would play very well in the general election, as would a special expertise in the culture, language and economy of China, the country everyone agrees will be our rival/antagonist for the foreseeable future. Well-spoken, well-heeled, well-informed, smart, fresh-faced and cheerful, a good administrator, slightly progressive on social issues, conservative economically and savvy about foreign policy — Huntsman is an independent’s dream and the Democrats’ nightmare.

Has there ever been a noble, straight-shooting truth-teller who was not a member of the Galtian overclass?



This Should Leave A Very Large Mark

Ouch:

Leaving aside the fact that Obama, who went on to graduate Harvard Law magna cum laude, seems like he was probably a very good student, Mr. Trump might need a refresher course in how unqualified people actually do manage to get into the prestigious Ivy League Universities .

Let us take, as an example, the story of a student so obviously unqualified, so transparently unworthy, that a book was written about what his admittance into Harvard said about the sorry behavior of supposedly elite colleges.

That student — that dull, below-average student who somehow made his way into Harvard — was Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Kushner’s father, real estate developer Charles Kushner, bought Jared his Harvard acceptance. It cost him $2.5 million. (Kushner later went to jail for tax evasion and witness tampering, so it was also, technically, dirty money that bought Trump’s daughter’s husband’s entry into the Ivy League.)

Wall Street Journal education writer Daniel Golden’s book “The Price of Admission” explores the Kushner donation at length. An official at Kushner’s (expensive, private) high school told the author: “There was no way anybody in . . . the school thought he would on the merits get into Harvard. His GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it. We thought, for sure, there was no way this was going to happen.”

But it did.

And that is how things actually work at “elite” schools.

Our meritocracy at work.



Meritocracy At Work

Pulitzer affirmative action for wingnuts:

Alas, that was not the case. The proud Journal linked to the 10 entries it had submitted to the Pulitzer board on Rago’s behalf. For starters, four of them had the derogatory term “ObamaCare” right in the headlines. On closer inspection, all ten of them used it in the body of the pieces. And Rago’s arguments were, in the main, predictable and sometimes fact-challenged. One after another it’s simply Rago Against the Machine.

One of his columns, from this past January 19, not among the entries (it was probably past the deadlline), continued the drumbeat. Its headline: “ObamaCare Howlers.” Six days before that another one: “New Jersey Sits Out ObamaCare Fight. ”

But young Rago is an expert on many subjects. Check out his March 21 punditry: “No Nuke Disaster…. the catastrophe that wasn’t in Fukushima.”

***

Rago graduated from Dartmouth in 2005, where he edited the famously right wing Dartmouth Review. Naturally he was soon hired by the Journal and quickly gained notice by mocking the rise of the blogosphere, earning mockery from bloggers even on the right.

Here are just three wonderful Rago-isms from his winning Pulitzer entries:

March 20, 2010: “With the House’s climactic vote on ObamaCare tomorrow, Democrats are on the cusp of a profound and historic mistake, comparable in our view to the Smoot-Hawley tariff and FDR’s National Industrial Recovery Act. Everyone is preoccupied now with the politics, but ultimately at stake on Sunday is the kind of country America will be. The consequences of this bill will not only be destructive for the health-care system and the country’s fiscal condition, though those will be bad enough. Inextricably bound up in a plan as far-reaching and ambitious as ObamaCare are also larger questions about the role of government, the dynamism of American enterprise and the nature of a free society.”

April 2, 2010: “Democrats may have been able to trample the rules of the Senate to pass their unpopular bill on a narrow partisan vote, but they shouldn’t be able to trample the Constitution as well.”

December 23, 2010: “As long as the press corps is nominating ‘lies of the year,’ ours goes to the formal legislative title of ObamaCare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For a bill that in reality will raise health costs and reduce patient choice, the name recalls Mary McCarthy’s famous line about every word being a lie, including ‘the’ and ‘and.'”

In other news, Meghan McCain is interviewing Donald Trump for the Daily Beast.



The last thing they’ll ever do is act in your interest

A good one sentence summary of contemporary American from E. J. Dionne:

The American ruling class is failing us — and itself.

[….]

An enlightened ruling class understands that it can get richer and its riches will be more secure if prosperity is broadly shared, if government is investing in productive projects that lift the whole society and if social mobility allows some circulation of the elites. A ruling class closed to new talent doesn’t remain a ruling class for long.

I believe that the health of the American economy depends on the health of the American middle-class. I don’t mean this philosophically, I believe that historical data shows this to be true in reality.

The American ruling class does not believe this. They believe that the American middle-class are lazy, worthless rubes, strapping young bucks buying big screen tvs with their ill-begotten union wages and gubmint hand-outs.

The ruling class is deserving because it creates jobs. If they don’t create jobs here, they create them for the Chinese, who are harder-working anyway. The members of the ruling class who don’t create jobs — media elites, trust fund babies — are deserving because they have higher IQs, which is all that matters in a Bell Curve world. If they don’t have higher IQs, they did better on those all-important marshmallow tests Bobo is always blabbering about. Failing all of that, they have a better primal scent than plebes like you and me. Even if they’re not deserving or genetically superior at all, that doesn’t matter, because they can get their kids into good colleges and high-paying jobs, so there’s no chance that any of their descendants will ever be middle-class. It’s Luke Russert’s world, we’re just living in it.

If you follow this to its logical conclusion, there is no reason for the ruling class to support policies that help the American middle-class. They don’t believe that their own financial well-being is related to that of the middle-class. They don’t believe that the middle-class deserves anything. They don’t believe that anyone important to them will ever be in the middle-class.

So why support Medicare, Social Security, progressive taxation etc.? There’s no reason to, none at all. To the contrary, those things are all drags on your own income.

It’s not just that the desires of the ruling class have become delinked from the desires of the middle-class. The desires of the ruling class are now in direct opposition to those of the middle-class. There’s a class war going on, it’s that simple.



But This Time It is Different

Can anyone deny this:

Whatever one thinks about the U.S. involvement in the war in Libya — some substantial portion of my readers support it, though Republicans are more enthused about the U.S. taking a leading role — it has unquestionably departed far from the claims that were made about it in the beginning. The no-fly zone was established long ago; the focus is now on attacking Gadaffi’s ground forces, enabling rebel advancements, and regime change. Despite claims about Arab League and French leadership, the U.S. has provided the overwhelming bulk of bombs, jet fighters, intelligence and other resources. And now there is what The New York Times calls a “fierce debate” within the administration about whether to arm the Libyan rebels.

But, but… RACIST!

The real question is the wisdom of this escalated involvement. How many times do we have to arm one side of a civil war — only for that side to then become our Enemy five or ten or fifteen years later — before we learn not to do that any more? I wrote earlier on Twitter, ironically, that one good outcome from arming the Libyan rebels is that it will lay the foundation for our new war 10 years from now — when Commander-in-Chief George Prescott Bush or Chelsea Clinton announce that we must wage war to stop the Libyan faction from threatening its neighbors and supporting Terrorism (with the weapons we provided them back in 2011). One of the most reliable ways that the posture of Endless War has been sustained is by our flooding the world with our weapons, only to then identify various recipients as our new (well-armed) enemy. Whether this is a feature or a bug, it is a very destructive outcome of our endless and always-escalating involvement in military conflicts around the world.

Clearly he hates freedom.