WITHIN MINUTES after the Oklahoma disaster, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse indecently blamed Republicans and, to my ear, conservative southerners.
When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn't just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms. It hits Oregon with acidified seas. It hits Montana with dying forests.
With equally unseemly dispatch -- and for the same goal -- the Houston Chronicle also rushed to capitalize on the human suffering. That goal: to defend and promote . . .
. . . that's what they were talking about, way back then.
The fact was that in this country, we had gone very much further toward socialism than most democratic countries in Europe -- in the extent of the public sector, with the nationalized industries, and the amount of control, and to some extent the attitudes. We had to turn back. In other words, the center is always the midway between two points, and the whole of the political debate had gone to the left. . .
. . . more spending, more taxing, and more regulation. So does the uber-progressive Houston Chronicle.
In the last eight days, the paper -- in the voice of its editors, cartoonist, and public-affairs columnists -- has urged more spending at least six times, more regulation at least five times, and more taxes at least once.
The paper frosted this three-layed cake with filigrees of criticism and mockery for those who would spend less, tax less, and regulate less: conservatives generally, the Tea Party in particular.
ELEVEN STATES are in such fiscal danger that Forbes recommends against investing there, either in houses, businesses, or municipal bonds. These states "can look forward to a rising tax burden, deteriorating state finances and an exodus of employers."
Two factors determine whether a state makes this elite list of fiscal hellholes. The first is . . .
That is the name for $1.2 billion in automatic spending cuts coming January 1 because the famous super committee famously failed to agree how to cut the deficit.
Conventional wisdom says this will be a disaster. One-half of the cut will hit defense spending and the other one-half will reduce domestic spending, not including Social Security and other sacred cows, both spread over the next ten years.
Critics are nearly unanimous that the cuts will destroy civilization as we know it, by hollowing out the military and sending starving kids into the streets to trade iPhones for Cheerios.
The critics may be right, but we still ought to do it. Here's why.
YUVAL LEVIN, founding editor of National Affairs, is quickly emerging as one of America's most important public intellectuals. Here are snips from a pre-election essay on what was at stake in the election: