Monday, August 6, 2007

The Daily Digest

Ciutadella, Menorca

Earlier this week, John Boehner said he agreed with me that (current) earmark reform is more symbolic than substantive—that the real fat to cut lies in military procurement and entitlement spending. Now the NYT reports another reason to deprioritize this small-potatoes reform: "Because everyone can see who is receiving what, rank-and-file members are clamoring for their districts to obtain a bigger share of the goodies. Similarly, constituents in home districts are becoming bolder as the earmarking process becomes less mysterious."

As dramatized in the Sopranos ("And that's a sickness, to fidget?"), educators have long been mis- and overdiagnosing children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). As quoted in Time, Judith Rapoport, author of the landmark book The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing, explains why many such diagnoses are erroneous: The key to diagnosing OCD is how great an impact the behavior has on your life. "You have to show longstanding interference with function, and that eliminates most people."

Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard, likes to profile up-and-coming leaders of the GOP. His latest subject is South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who many conservatives, as distinct from Republicans, admire for his commitment to limited government. "Whatever government doesn't have to do, it should let the private sector do," Sanford tells Barnes (counterarguments here).

Mike Huckabee's campaign manager tells Sam Brownback to shut up and grow up: "It's time for Sam Brownback to stop whining and start showing some of the Christian character he seems to always find lacking in others. He has attacked Governor Huckabee for something that a Huckabee supporter said in an email sent to two individuals. The person who originated the email has apologized and is not a member of the Huckabee staff. For Brownback to claim that the Governor 'owes him an apology' is nonsense and indicates that if Brownback is going to fall to pieces every time a supporter of the Governor says something he doesn't like, he clearly isn't tough enough to be President."

Update: It's not only Huckabee whom Brownback is lashing out at. He's also attacking, via autocalls, Tancredo and Romney, for their connections to Planned Parenthood.

Update: More Brownback brazenness (hat tip: Matt Lewis): the self-proclaimed Christian candidate humbly declares himself, via press release (which is apparently not online but was e-mailed to supporters), the winner of yesterday's ABC News Iowa debate. As Matt notes, the press release does not quote any outside pundits but is the opinion purely of the Brownback campaign.