Thursday, November 23, 2006

justified actions based on sunk cost

* richard clarke, channelling scott:
"Too often in the Iraq debate, we have let intuition, slogans, and appealing thoughts cloud logic. Perhaps the most troublesome example is the argument that we must honor the American dead by staying until we can build something worthy of their sacrifice. Stripped of its emotional tones, this argument is, in economic analysis, an appeal to sunk cost. An MIT professor once promised to fail me if I ever justified actions based on sunk cost--so I learned that what is gone is gone, and what is left we should conserve, cherish, and employ wisely.
Another emotionally charged argument against withdrawal is that Al Qaeda will be emboldened by our departure. But are we to conclude that, if we make a mistake, we should continue to make it lest our enemies gloat? Al Qaeda is already sufficiently emboldened. The additional motivation it will derive from seeing U.S. forces leave Iraq cannot be accurately measured and is likely to be inconsequential. "
* some good news:
"U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold admitted Monday he’d have to seriously think about it if asked to be a presidential running mate.

But Feingold’s flirtation with the White House has given way to renewed enthusiasm for life in the Senate, now that there’s a Democratic majority.

At a listening session in Onalaska City Hall, Feingold talked enthusiastically about chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Constitution Subcommittee — and getting to hold hearings about the loss of habeas corpus."
and some less good news:
"“I don’t support impeachment, and I don’t support impeachment hearings, even though I think the president has probably committed an impeachable offense,” Feingold said in response to a question from Al Schulz of La Crosse.

“We are not required to impeach the president simply because he’s committed an impeachable offense, which I think he did with the illegal wiretapping. We have to decide whether it’s in the best interest of the country to go through that process.”"


oldschool said...

Though it pains me to say it, Feingold's probably right about all but one thing. If offered a V.P. nomination, he should refuse it. Notwithstanding the current aberration that is the Cheney OVP, historicaly the V.P. is an empty, useless placement into cold storage.

Feingold's sitting as the head of the Constitution Subcommittee, however, is indeed something to be excited about, and a spot from which he can hopefully do a lot of good things. Real hearings, with witnesses who are real-live constitutional experts - worth the price of admission and then some. Ironically enough, those hearings will almost certainly find specific acts and general constitutional abuses which are by themselves grounds for impeachment.

I'll agree that impeachement proceedings now would most likely be counter-productive. If there had been a Congress taken by the Dem's in 2004, I'd be saying the opposite. But now it's too late, I fear. Let the hearings begin, from all angles. Let the abuses and crimes become evident. I want everything looked at. Just don't start the actual proceedings, for after the amount of time that hearings will take, there wouldn't be time to do an impeachment trial anyway. Also, impeachment proceedings, no matter how much I long for them, would reinforce a national perception that Congress is nothing but a partisan boxing ring. Huge gains were made in this past election, most especally in the gain of the Independent vote. For now, those folks want meaningful legislation more than they want Bush's ass on a spit. Give 'em what they want; and thereby maintain those Independent votes for 2008.

I'm in favor of as many hearins as possible to show the monstrous actions of the Bush presidency - find 'em, post 'em, scream them from the rooftops - and let that be the legacy of George W. Bush.

«—U®Anu§—» said...

I hope Russ is playing coy. Common sense says as long as White House tenants remain immune from prosecution, it'll be inhabited by the biggest criminals on the planet. That people don't demand compliance suggests either this country thinks it's for the best, or that their demands won't matter. I don't follow that logic; furthermore, I believe that when voters overturned the republican Congressional majority they said they don't follow that logic either, and demand accountability whether it matters or not.