You may be happy to hear we survived the sleety weather yesterday. After a short trip to our nearby pharmacy and my recalling the time I slipped on wet marble steps at the PX at Quantico when I was nine months pregnant, David decided to take Dick Klade’s advice and stay home, feet up, cups of coffee at hand with books to read. David will attend his anniversary meeting this sunny Sunday morning.
I took the opportunity to finish The Searchers: Making of a Legend.” What a dismal book. I don’t recommend it. Frankel is a journalist and he writes like one. This means he does not write like a historian, which I find very annoying. On the other hand, non-historians may love it. In my opinion, Frankel’s book should have been a heavily edited long article in The New Yorker magazine. His detailed retelling of scenes of slaughter committed by both Comanche and white folk was almost too much to bear.
I am puzzled as to why this struggle between the Comanche and white settlers bothered me more than all the stuff I read about WWI and WWII but it does. The one good thing I discovered was that Sam Houston was indeed a remarkable and honorable man, unlike the real-life man who was Cynthia Parker’s uncle, and the basis of John Wayne’s character in the film. The book has ruined the movie for me….forever.
Speaking of journalists, Bob Woodward, whom I admire greatly for his honesty and objectivity, has a nice piece in Section A of the Washington Post today (Sunday, 2/24/13) on the upcoming sequester.* Bob, reiterating the revelation, first presented in his book Price of Power, which refutes the White House, says the idea for the sequester came from the White House.
At this point it doesn’t matter, of course. The White House may have proposed the cuts and the Congress agreed, but what matters is the application of spending cuts within agencies.
Government spending at the federal level is out of control and has been for many years. The Post printed a chart today that shows the cuts to future spending in the budget will not reduce spending to the levels existing before Mr. Obama took office. These cuts are the proverbial drop-in-the-bucket. Besides which, entitlement spending (Medicare and other health care costs) is the problem, not discretionary spending. And, Medicare is untouched.
And suddenly, the Bowles-Simpson plan looks good.
I have delved into the Keynesian and Hayek arguments ad nauseam, and am well aware of the arguments from all quarters. This is all I am going to write on this topic, which is complex and probably not one friends with differing opinions should discuss if they wish to remain friends for long.
* I’d give you the link, but I can’t as I have a subscription to the newspaper.