Friday, March 25, 2011

Charles Krauthammer is exasperated by performance of the college professor in the White House. Well, I did not vote for him, and I believe Mr. Krauthammer did not vote for him, and I hope that many of the people out there who did vote for him are thinking about a different decision in 2012.

I am also exasperated by Obama's lack of leadership skills (but I knew that when he was a candidate, so it is not a surprise). The problems we face are daunting enough, even for a leader with real skills and steel in his backbone. This is why we need to make the Obama era a short one.

Jay Cost analyzes the 2012 race from Obama's standpoint. He concludes that Obama is in real trouble, even if the economy gets a little better.

David Warren is worried about the weakness of the West as it is revealed in the Libya operation.

The allies continue to bicker about the goals of the Libya mission. Meanwhile, in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood partners with the Egyptian military. I expect the generals think the Brotherhood will be a useful tool in keeping the people in check. I remember that the German generals thought the same about Hitler and the Nazis in 1933. How did that work out for them?

Sally Pipes writes about how events in Massachusetts concerning the continuation of Romneycare have implications nationally when considering the future of Obamacare.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

In Massachusetts, white families are abandoning the cities.

In Portugal, the Prime Minister resigns after the parliament fails to pass austerity measures. That could mean another Eurozone bailout.

In Germany, commentators from across the ideological spectrum are skeptical about the no-fly zone over Libya.

In the American states, one analyst believes pensions are not the real source of budget problems.

Conrad Black praises the French for taking the lead regarding Libya.

Elizabeth Taylor, dead at 79. Camille Paglia expresses her love, devotion and appreciation for Taylor and her many fine qualities, from her stunning, sensual beauty to her acting skills.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A new study says religion may become extinct in nine countries in the coming decades...Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland. In the Czech Republic right now 60% of survey respondents indicate they have no religious affiliation. I think, though it is an elegant mathematical study, the results are incorrect. Religion will not be extinct in those countries, but Christianity probably will be, replaced in some of those places by Islam.

A former SEIU official has a plan to destabilize the country, cause another financial panic and meltdown on Wall Street, and generally stir up some unrest. He thinks it is the only way to take the country back from the capitalist oligarchs and restore power to "the people". I guess electing Barack Obama was not enough.

Martin Wolf has some advice for China as they prepare to assume global hegemony. I suspect the Butchers of Beijing will have different ideas.

Michael Kinsley is confused by the Libya operation. Jonah Goldberg, who supports the operation, is worried that the President missed his fast-break opportunity to get rid of Gaddafi by insisting on going the diplomatic, multilateral route which is proving problematic, at best.

But Stanley Kurtz has the right answer when he asserts that the President is following a provision within international law called "responsibility to protect" (RtoP) which was passed by the UN in 2005. Some think this is folly, but Kurtz makes the salient point when he says that the President is, once again, following a particular leftist, internationalist ideology without telling the American people.

Here at home, while Detroit continues to shrink, Miami is rocked by racial tension, not between Blacks and Whites, but between Blacks and Hispanics, specifically Black men getting shot by Hispanic police officers.

Andrew Ferguson has this interesting piece on why major American colleges and universities are once again discriminating against women, and why that discrimination is being ignored by feminists.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The joys of multilateralism....

France, the U.K. and the Americans get in a row over the possibility that NATO will take the lead in the Libya air campaign, with NATO member Turkey steaming about being left out of the process.

David Brooks points out why multilateralism when running a war is a difficult row to hoe.

Rich Lowry writes about the fog of obfuscation and VDH writes about the madness of it all.

Editors of The Telegraph are amazed at the incoherence from their own government, and they wonder why their RAF boys are risking their lives.

Marc Thiessen says the wording of the UN resolution authorizing the no-fly zone is disastrous.

Niall Ferguson says the intervention was the right call, but the timing was late. He also is not optimistic about how it will all turn out.

George Will, as he has done consistently over the years, argues against American intervention in a place where our vital interests are not at stake.

Meanwhile, Benny Avni says the mullahs in Iran just keep gaining ground.

Max Boot says we need to plan for a post-Gaddafi Libya.

Caroline Glick says the Libya episode is just the latest piece of evidence confirming that the Obama Administration is descending into foreign policy incoherence, if not insanity.

Monday, March 21, 2011

As our planes, along with some from Britain and France, bomb anti-aircraft positions, radar installations, and Libyan tanks and other armored vehicles, we start to see some reasons why this might not be such a good idea.

First, despite the fact that they called for a no-fly zone, the Arab League is now going wobbly. Apparently, they think you can have a no-fly zone without bombing anything on the ground.

Second, some Liberal Democrats in Congress are now asking a pertinent question...why did the President not get authorization from Congress before sending our military into action? This despite the fact that, as Ross Douthat writes, this is a very liberal intervention.

The most pertinent point about the whole operation, though, is made by the historian Arthur Herman, who says that the operation cannot succeed without boots on the ground. Victor Davis Hanson, another historian, also thinks the operation is a bad idea, but says now that we are in it we need to win it.

As for me, I was never a big fan of U.S. military action in any circumstance that does not involve our vital interests. Who governs Libya is not our concern, and does not matter much in terms of our economic or military security. When Gaddafi killed Americans, especially when his agents blew up a civilian airliner, that was the time to use our military power to remove him. I hope he goes (preferably, carried out in a body bag), but I'm not very hopeful that we will get anything more than a bloody stalemate using air power alone.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I have to admit that I never thought the Arab League would call for a no-fly zone over Libya, and I never believed the UN Security Council would pass a resolution authorizing force to protect Libyan civilians from Gaddafi's thugs. Alas, too little, too late.

Max Hastings points out that the intervention is happening too late, and argues that it makes no sense for the U.S. or other Western nations to intervene in the Arab world after our experiences in Iraq (and Afghanistan, for that matter). I agree. We should only intervene when our vital national interests are at stake.

Just the day before she managed to achieve a diplomatic victory by helping to convince the Security Council to take action on Libya, Hillary Clinton announces that she will not serve as Secretary of State in a second Obama term. That's nice. Of course, many folks don't think there will be a second Obama term (me included).

Meanwhile, Nicholas Kristof writes about the problems in Bahrain where Shiite protesters are being beaten and bullied by Sunni police and security forces loyal to the monarchy in that small country. The government is being aided by Saudi military units that entered the country earlier this week.

Charles Krauthammer fires back at the head of the OMB, Jack Lew, who insists that those IOU's in the Social Security "lockbox" are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, just like any other Treasury bond. Krauthammer, correctly, points out that Lew's contention is s much baloney.

Jay Cost explains why most of the Presidential polls that are coming out at this time are practically worthless. He is correct. There are only two polls really worth looking at right now. Presidential job approval and any question regarding whether or not the President deserves re-election. Until we get a GOP nominee, those will be the best polls to get a feel for the 2012 outcome.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Walter Russell Meade writes about the two forms of capitalism practiced in the U.S. over the last century, and prospects for the future.

Michael Barone writes about the problems with our Presidential nominating system.

No matter what else you read and hear about the upcoming 2012 election campaign remember one will be a referendum on the job performance of President Barack Obama. A Presidential re-election campaign is always about the incumbent. In 2004 there was general, if moderate, satisfaction with the leadership of George W. Bush. In 1996 the same could be said of Bill Clinton, but in 1992 there was deep dissatisfaction with George H.W. Bush (at one point that Summer the polls showed Ross Perot, of all people, in the lead, which goes to show how unhappy people were about the situation in the country at the time). If 2012 is like '04 or '96, Obama wins. If, on the other hand, it seems more like '92 or '80, Obama loses (right now, it feels an awful lot like 1979 did).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nick Gillespie writes about the three essential facts to keep in mind when thinking about the tax and spend issue at both the state and federal levels. These are the immovable objects when it comes to the debate surrounding this issue. We are out of money, our public employees are overpaid, and we cannot tax our way out of this mess. The short term ebbs and flows of political power between Republicans and Democrats will not change these simple facts.

Another explosion and a greatly increased potential for a meltdown at that Japanese nuclear power plant.

Niall Ferguson ponders Barack Obama in the role of Jimmy Carter. I remember those years, and how bad things seemed at the time. Ferguson also says there is another way to get Gaddafi.

James Carville admits a mistake.

Juan Williams says 'I told you so' about NPR.

Saudi troops enter Bahrain.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

NPR executives caught in a sting operation that reveals their biases. Not surprising to me at all, and more evidence that the GOP should refuse to back any more tax dollars for the organization. One of the executives in question is being shown the door, by the way.

Victor Davis Hanson explains why the atmosphere of unreality is so pervasive in elite circles.

George Will asks all the right questions concerning the possibility of U.S. or NATO military intervention in Libya.

Jay Cost looks at the "yes...but" Republican presidential field. He reminds is that, once upon a time, Ronald Reagan was a "yes...but" candidate.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Walter Russell Mead has some thoughts on the latest column by Paul Krugman. I actually skipped the column when it appeared yesterday, but reading Mead led me to read Krugman. I think both are valuable pieces to consider. Krugman is correct in his diagnosis of an economy that is being changed in dramatic and unforeseen ways by new technology, but Mead is correct in pointing out that Krugman (and other traditional liberals) is unable to move beyond the old solutions (more and stronger unions, more government programs like universal health care, etc.). As I approach 50 years of age, I find myself with a personal stake in all of this. Technology changed my business (broadcasting) in many dramatic ways, most importantly in that it allowed for significant downsizing in terms of personnel (along with changes in federal regulations that allowed for the development of super-sized broadcasting companies like Clear Channel). Job opportunities diminished dramatically as a result, which forced many of us to choose different paths. There are millions of people out there who face similar circumstances. How they react to those circumstances will determine the course of our collective future, as well as their individual one.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Another day, another poll. This time it is the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. This one finds a majority of Americans do not support cuts in Social Security or Medicare to deal with the deficit.

Fareed Zakaria says America may be in decline. Here is a rebuttal to that view. I retain my optimistic view of America as a whole, but I am worried about how our political system functions.

Nile Gardiner says America must work to avoid Europe's doomed path.

The NFL is headed for a fall.

Victor Davis Hanson says President Obama is caught in a Middle East minefield.

Public employee unions are not going to the mattresses over wages, benefits, or even collective bargaining rights. They are fighting to retain their ability to raise money through the forced collection of dues. They use that money to support Democratic politicians. It is the basis of their power and influence. Without it, they will fade away, and they know it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

If the latest New York Times/CBS News poll is correct then a majority of voters approve of collective bargaining rights for public employees, and a plurality favor raising taxes to balance their state's budget. I am always skeptical of polls of adults, rather than of registered voters or likely voters. In this poll 25% indicated there was a public employee in the household and 20% said there was a union member. If Democrats on the state level want to believe in this poll, then they should prepare their tax increase proposals for the next campaign.

On the other hand, Michael Barone says Middle America is rejecting big government.

Liberal columnist Brent Budowsky thinks average Americans, battered by the poor economy, are being poorly served by both the Democrats and the Republicans. Of course, Budowsky thinks some good, old-fashioned government jobs programs would do the trick.

Charlie Gasparino explains why not financial executive has gone to jail in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse, despite the protestations of a Hollywood filmmaker.