- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2006

‘Caviar commie’

“You’ve all heard the expression ‘limousine liberal.’

“We have lots of them in the U.S. Congress, Hollywood, the corporate boardrooms. …

“The phrase doesn’t begin to do justice to the hypocrisy of Nancy Pelosi.

‘That’s why I’ve dubbed her a ‘caviar commie.’ …

“How much is this unassuming ‘grandma’ worth? The Center for Responsive Politics puts her in the $55 million neighborhood. Pretty nice neighborhood, huh?

“Despite her protestations about those ‘tax cuts for the rich,’ she has never mentioned returning them to the federal Treasury where they rightfully belong. Go figure. …

“Pelosi, the winner of the 2003 Cesar Chavez award from the United Farm Workers, hires only non-union workers on her $25 million Napa Valley vineyard.”

— Joseph Farah, writing on “Nancy Pelosi: Caviar commie,” Monday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Voters vs. ‘experts’

“Do voters know what they’re doing? According to the typical economist — and many political scientists — the answer is ‘No, but it doesn’t matter.’ How could it not matter? The main argument is that the public’s errors cancel out. For example, some people underestimate the benefits of immigration, and others overestimate the benefits. But as long as the average voter’s belief is true, politicians win by promoting immigration policies based on the facts.

“This story is clearly comforting, but is it correct? Are the average voter’s beliefs true? … [T]he answer is definitely no. Like moths to the flame, voters gravitate to the same mistakes. They do not cancel each other out; they compound. …

“Economists and the public hold radically different beliefs about the economy. Compared to the experts, laymen are much more skeptical of markets, especially international and labor markets, and much more pessimistic about the past, present and future of the economy. When laymen see business conspiracies, economists see supply-and-demand. When laymen see ruinous competition from foreigners, economists see the wonder of comparative advantage. When laymen see dangerous downsizing, economists see wealth-enhancing reallocation of labor. When laymen see decline, economists see progress.”

— Bryan Caplan, writing on “The Myth of the Rational Voter,” Monday in Cato Unbound at www.cato-unbound.org

Kazakh truths

“My wife and I recently adopted a baby girl from Kazakhstan, so my interest in researching whether Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film, ‘Borat,’ presents a realistic portrayal of the formerly obscure Central Asian republic is more than academic. …

“Borat is a raving anti-Semite, fond of such Kazakh traditions as ‘The Running of the Jew.’ This is the characterization that most rankles the Kazakhs, and for good reason. When it comes to religion, Kazakhstan, a majority Muslim nation, is remarkably open and tolerant. Kazakhstan has several synagogues and diplomatic relations with Israel. Here’s what the National Conference on Soviet Jewry has to say about the country:

” ‘Anti-Semitism is not prevalent in Kazakhstan and rare incidents are reported in the press. None have been reported in the last two years.’

“And, for the record, there is no such event as ‘The Running of the Jew’ in Kazakhstan.”

— Eric Weiner, writing on “The Real Kazakhstan,” Friday in Slate at www.slate.com

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