In an editorial today, the New York Times (unintentionally) demonstrates the absurdity of campaign finance reform. Under McCain-Feingold, when a candidate for the US House spends more than $350,000 of his own money, his opponent is allowed to accept larger campaign donations. According to the Times:
There is also no sign that the [McCain-Feingold provision] is discouraging the wealthy from running or spending. The very rich are represented in Congress in large numbers. Contrary to Mr. Davis’s claims of “chilling,” the number of candidates who spent more than $1 million of their own money actually increased after the amendment took effect. It is now common for party recruiters to seek out “self-financing” — or wealthy – candidates.
The Times fails to acknowledge that the reason so many campaigns are self-financed nowadays is because of limitations on campaign contributions in the first place. If the restrictions were gone, more non-self-financing people could run for office – people like a NY Times kind of guy, Eugene McCarthy.
Jimmy Carter Says Hamas and Syria are Open to Peace. Carter warns, however, “I don’t have any control over whether or not Hamas does what they tell me. I just know what they tell me.” Which is precisely why he shouldn’t be meeting with – and giving legitimacy to – terrorists.
Last week, I wondered whether Raul Castro’s recent decree allowing some Cubans to own homes was a harbinger of good things to come. Apparently not.
The New York Times reports good news out of Iraq, though you have to wade through paragraphs of speculation on what it all means before getting to the details of what actually happened.
The text of the Pope’s speech at Catholic University. I urge you to read the whole thing (and it isn’t very long), but I would like to point out Benedict’s emphasis that objective truth exists and that this truth can be known. Further, the failure to recognize that an objective truth exists leads to harm. As Benedict says, “the Church never tires of upholding the essential moral categories of right and wrong, without which hope could only wither, giving way to cold pragmatic calculations of utility which render the person little more than a pawn on some ideological chess-board.” Similarly, Benedict observes that “[w]hen nothing beyond the individual is recognized as definitive, the ultimate criterion of judgment becomes the self and the satisfaction of the individual’s immediate wishes.” Again, read the whole thing.
Another example of George W. Bush’s unpopularity throughout the world. Oh wait, never mind.