Things That Are Now Un-American

Gawker points out that now that Barack Obama has won the Nobel Prize, the prize is now Un-American. They have compiled a list of other things which are now Un-American to the right wing  including puppies, class rooms (where children are indoctrinated), community organizers,  doctors (because some met with Obama), Chicago, Hawaii, and loving your wife.

An Economics Question For George Will

During the Roundtable portion of This Week, George Will spoke out against a proposal to tax makers of medical devices:

This is a $1.3 trillion program that leaves 25 million Americans still uninsured and includes, for example, $40 billion tax on the makers of medical devices.

Now, we all know, Arianna, corporations do not pay taxes; they collect taxes. It will be passed on as a cost of doing business to the great American public, which was, the president said, immune from any tax increases.

If we listen to George Will here, raising taxes will harm consumers, but not corporations which can pass on the taxes as a cost of doing business. I guess that to conservatives the rules of economics are different for corporations as opposed to small businesses on this issue. How many times have we heard claims from Republicans that even small increases in the marginal tax rate (which won’t even impact most small businessmen) will seriously hurt small business? How come corporations can so easily pass on an entire tax increase to the public, but small businessmen will go out of business if their taxes are raised?

White House Denies Attack on Bloggers

The ridiculous story of the day was when CNBC correspondent John Harwood  claimed that an anonymous White House adviser, referring to those criticizing the Obama administration on gay rights, said that “those bloggers need to take off the pajamas, get dressed and realize that governing a closely divided country is complicated and difficult.” Considering the reference to an anonymous adviser, and questions as to what an “adviser” even means, I did not consider this of any consequence, but several bloggers did take this seriously.

Greg Sargent reports receiving this email from White House senior communications adviser Dan Pfeiffer:

“That sentiment does not reflect White House thinking at all, we’ve held easily a dozen calls with the progressive online community because we believe the online communities can often keep the focus on how policy will affect the American people rather than just the political back-and-forth.”

I’m glad that he cleared up that matter. Now the White House communications office can get back to more important matters, such as explaining how Fox is really an “arm of the Republican Party.”

Hillary Clinton Says She Will Not Run for President Again

Forget what you’ve seen on Saturday Night Live. Who says Barack Obama has not accomplished anything of consequence? Not only has he taken the White House from the Republicans, but he has also managed to keep Hillary Clinton from becoming president. The later is an accomplishment which I would think that many people of either party would applaud. Today Hillary Clinton said she would not run for president again.

Belief in Creationism Appears To Be New Litmus Test For Republicans

In the 2008 election, the Republicans chose a young-earth creationist as their vice-presidential candidate. Secular Right finds that being a creationist is turning into a litmus test for potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates (Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan):

I’m on the record as saying that predictions for 2012 are very premature. But, it looks like 3 of the front-runners for the G.O.P. nomination are rather frank Creationists (Palin, Huckabee and Pawlenty). I’m skeptical about any of these as likely candidates (i.e., if you had to make a bet you’re going to be surprised), but if you keep adding individuals to the list it seems likely that we’re looking at a serious probability that the G.O.P. nominee in 2012 will be a Creationist.

Creationism doesn’t really have the same valence as abortion as a “culture war” issue, but, it is useful in being a distinctive marker for social conservative candidates. Mitt Romney is now notionally as pro-life as the social conservatives, but it seems unlikely that he’ll flip his position on evolution since he expressed himself so explicitly in the 2008 debates.

Creationism is far more than a marker for social conservative candidates. It is a marker for those who either will say anything to appease the religious right, which already makes one an unacceptable choice for president, or one who is ignorant of modern science and has difficulty with logical thought. Anyone who believes in creationism in the twenty-first century is unfit to not only be president but to hold any position of authority.

It is also even worse than having three of the top candidates being creationists. Framing Science quoted Tim Pawlenty as expressing belief in creationism last year. Bobby Jindal has backed the teaching of creationism in the public schools, with Framing Science having also noted an expression of support for creationism by Jindal last year.

Presumably Secular Right is only considering potential 2012 candidates who have some real chance of winning in their count. If we consider potential candidates who have no chance of actually winning, then Ron Paul would count as yet a fifth potential creationist candidate for the Republican nomination. I’m also not so certain that, considering his record for flip-flopping, that we can rule out Mitt Romney.