In the News
1. To those who enjoy following the inside-baseball of the debt-ceiling wheeling and dealing, here are a couple links for you. Mark Salter has an interesting take on Obama’s maneuvering. Keith Koffler thinks the McConnell plan is a brilliant maneuver. Michael Goodwin is growing weary of Obama’s half-truths. And Larry Kudlow explains why he believes the spending is the problem. Kudlow writes:
The highly accurate IBD/TIPP pollsters have just released an incredible result. Get this: The public rejects a debt-ceiling increase by a huge 58 to 36 percent. That includes 59 percent of independents and even 38 percent of Democrats. That is the tea party revolt.
I believe the public agrees with people like Michele Bachmann. She told me in an interview this week that Congress can direct the Treasury to “first pay off the interest on the debt, make sure our military men and women get paid, and then deal with our priorities. Yes, we have very sacrificial consequences, but when are we going to get serious about deficit reduction?”
On this logic, Bachmann and other tea party Republicans — including most on the presidential campaign trail — oppose a debt-ceiling increase. This populist spending revolt runs directly counter to the Tim Geithner, Wall Street, big-business view that we must at all costs have a debt-ceiling increase to make good on our federal debt.
Tea party populists are saying no, no: We can still make good on our debt, but this debt bill is the only leverage we have to force Washington to cut spending.
Main Street is in revolt against Wall Street, although it should be noted that Wall Street bond investors are not panicked by any means. The 10-year Treasury continues to trade below 3 percent. Maybe that will change by August 2, or the next Geithner debt-limit drop-dead date. But right now the bond market seems to be aligned with the tea party movement.
Obama said it’s time to “eat our peas.” James Pethokoukis asks, “Why isn’t it time for government to eat its peas?” Americans who have been following the story are strongly against a hike of the debt-ceiling. Would they feel the same way if it spooked the markets?
2. China’s schizophrenia on human rights issues.
In the Pews
1. Princeton’s Peter Singer and Oxford’s John Lennox will debate the existence of God.
2. A roundup of sorts on the C. J. Mahaney business.
3. RJS has a nice piece at Jesus Creed entitled, “Are We Just the Sum of Our Neurons?” I don’t always agree with RJS, but I always enjoy the thoughtfulness of the writing.
BONUS: An amazing story, from Minnesota, of Crime in the 21st Century:
Ardolf’s obsessive passive-aggression was apparently ignited in late 2008 when his neighbors, Matt and Bethany Kostolnik, filed a police report against him. The Kostolniks had a 4-year old son who wandered over to their next-door-neighbors property shortly after moving into the Minnesota suburb of Blaine. Ardolf, 46 and a father of two, had reportedly picked the boy up carried him back to the couple and then kissed the child on the lips. Ardolf was offended when the cops were called and vowed his revenge like every good villain.
The man, a Medtronic computer technician, downloaded a Wi-Fi hacking program to tear into his neighbors WEP encryption. Ardolf created a fake Myspace page as well as several fake emails for Matt Kostolnik. The hacker then posted child porn on the Myspace page and emailed the same child porn to co-workers at Kostolnik’s law office.
To top it all off, the Blaine hacker sent death threats to Vice President Joe Biden and other politicians from Kostolnik’s Yahoo account. This granted Kostolnik a visit from the secret service who had traced the emails back to his IP address. One of the emails told Biden, “I swear to God I’m going to kill you!”
Ardolf’s mischief was detected when a frustrated Kostolnik told bosses he had no clue as to what was going on. The law office hired a firm to poke around the Wi-Fi network and install a packet sniffer to figure it all out. Eventually Ardolf’s name and Comcast account were found which gave the FBI a reason to obtain a search warrant for Ardolf’s house. They found massive evidence that led to the Blaine hacker being slapped with charges for identity theft, making threats against Biden, possession of child pornography as well as distribution of kiddie-porn.