Friday, September 09, 2011

Cruising the Web

Michael Barone's take on the GOP presidential debate is, as always, interesting and perceptive.

Mona Charen defends Rick Perry on Social Security.

Ah, the gentle Longshore union folk demonstrated how they're playing by the rules and are interested in benefiting everyone as Obama said on Monday.
Hundreds of International Longshore and Warehouse Union members stormed a Washington grain facility and took six security guards hostage while dumping grain and damaging railroad cars.
Ross Douhat thinks that we're going to try an experiment to see if the "Rush Limbaugh/Erick Erickson" [Red State] faction of the Republican Party is enough to win a primary campaign or a general election.

Here's a point that you don't see often: James Taranto notes that the reason why the U.S. has capital punishment and European countries don't is because our politicians listen to what the public wants. In Europe, the public supports capital punishment, but their political leaders ignore them. Rather as they've done on the European Union. He links to Josh Marshall's 2000 piece in The New Republic about public opinion on the death penalty.
It's true that all of America's G-7 partners, save Japan, have abolished capital punishment, but the reason isn't, as death-penalty opponents usually assume, that their populations eschew vengeance. In fact, opinion polls show that Europeans and Canadians crave executions almost as much as their American counterparts do. It's just that their politicians don't listen to them. In other words, if these countries' political cultures are morally superior to America's, it's because they're less democratic.
The WSJ explains what's wrong with the administration's policies towards Solyndra and the attitude that Jay Carney has enunciated that government aid to businesses shouldn't be discounted just because one company failed.
That is all true enough, but then most businesses don't stick taxpayers with hundreds of millions of dollars in potential losses when they fail. The problem with politically directed investment isn't merely that bureaucrats are betting with someone else's money on industries they may not understand. Such investment also invites political favoritism for the powerful few at the expense of millions of middle-class taxpayers. Americans need to know the full story of who made or influenced the decision to give Solyndra its loan guarantee, and if political pressure was brought to bear.
Jay Cost explains why it doesn't really matter that Rick Perry Was once a Democrat and supported Al Gore in 1988. Of course, Perry's opponents can play this attack up because many voters today are ignorant of this recent past political history.

Charles Krauthammer has a fine column fighting back against those who say we overreacted to 9/11 and that it is the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are responsible for today's fiscal crisis.
As for the Great Recession and financial collapse, you can attribute it to misguided federal policy pushing homeownership through risky subprime lending. To Fannie and Freddie. To greedy bankers, unscrupulous lenders, naive (and greedy) home buyers. To computer-enabled derivatives so complicated and interwoven as to elude control. But to the war on terror? Nonsense.

9/11 was our Pearl Harbor. This time, however, the enemy had no home address. No Tokyo. Which is why today’s war could not be wrapped up in a mere four years. It was unconventional war by an unconventional enemy embedded within a worldwide religious community. Yet in a decade, we largely disarmed and defeated it, and developed the means to continue to pursue its remnants at rapidly decreasing cost. That is a historic achievement.

Our current difficulties and gloom are almost entirely economic in origin, the bitter fruit of misguided fiscal, regulatory and monetary policies that had nothing to do with 9/11. America’s current demoralization is not a result of the war on terror. On the contrary. The denigration of the war on terror is the result of our current demoralization, of retroactively reading today’s malaise into the real — and successful — history of our 9/11 response.

9 comments:

ic said...

In Japan, the statue of limitation for murder is 20 years.

In Europe life sentence is 30 years.

Death penalty is to avenge the dead.

Why is it "morally superior" to let psychopaths kill than to stop them from killing more? Why does the life of a victim worth so much less than a murderer's?

mark said...

According to Krauthammer, the total cost of the wars is $1.3 trillion. Some people might say the costs were higher, when factoring in the thousands of soldiers killed, 10s of thousands of injured, and the lives of Iraqis that have been destroyed. But let's just go with the dollar amount. Easier to deal with.

tfhr said...

mark,

Did this Krauthammer paragraph sink into your skull or did you gloss over the text and miss the point?

Read it.

Al-Qaeda, uninvited, came out to fight us in Iraq, and it was not just defeated but humiliated. The local population — Arab, Muslim, Sunni, under the supposed heel of the invader — joined the infidel and rose up against the jihadi in its midst. It was a singular defeat from which al-Qaeda never recovered.

This war is far from over and it includes enemies above and beyond al-Qaeda and it's affiliates but if you want to criticize the fighting that took place in Iraq, at least have the intellectual honesty to recognize what has been achieved.

Hopefully Obama will not squander these important gains in his attempt to meet his re-election time table.

mark said...

tfhr,
What does that paragraph have to do with Krauthammer not acknowledging lives lost and destroyed as a cost of the wars.

But I understand where you are coming from. After years of using the troops as a shield to protect Bush from charges of incompetence (especially with your disgraceful "spitting on the troops" mantra), the flags and "Support our Troops) stickers have all but disappeared, and we can start labeling returning veterans in need of our help as "undeserving".

tfhr said...

mark,

Do you think you are the only one that realizes that war has a human as well as a financial cost? We all know how enlightened "Progressives" are but seriously, do you have no ability to see Krauthammer's point about what was achieved visa vis security with the fight in Iraq or you do you actually have the ability to simply not care?

There are flags on nearly every house on my street (we're mostly DoD retirees in this neighborhood), there are still Support our Troops and US flag stickers or magnets on our vehicles. Finally got a new truck after nearly 15 years of rattling along in a Tacoma. Got a new Tacoma and put a huge flag magnet on the tailgate and another Support our Troops sticker purchased at the PX.

As for your bizarre and psychotically repeated "undeserving" claim, I think you should seek professional help for that. You've never been able to back that especially lurid falsehood up with the first factual example that anyone here has made such a remark. You are an angry, frustrated "Progressive" that simply cannot cope with the failure of the man you chose to advance your failed ideas. Deal with that and stop imagining that people that do not agree with you are monsters of some sort.

Maybe you can get help and become a liberal again instead of a humorless, hateful and angry "Progressive". Remember when you told your awful fish kill joke about dead American service members. It was in 2008 when I was in Iraq. I think that's when you jumped the shark. Go back to those days with a therapist and see if the two of you can figure out just what caused you to lose your mind. It would seem you were happier prior to the Surge. What happened?

Pat Patterson said...

The source of that estimate was from a study Joseph Stiglitz did for Congress in 2007. The study included all the costs from the actual equipping and training of the military to recovery, rehab and the costs associated with burial or long term care. Since it was commissioned by Congress and delivered the next year then the proper blame, which is not justified, is neither Krauthammer's or GWB but the Democratic run legislature for accepting the findings.

mark said...

tfhr,
Once again, you're brimming with misdirected anger. Yes, I once made a really stupid, inappropriate joke and quickly aplogized and expressed regret. That you keep bringing it up not only says more about you, but makes silly your protests that I bring up the terms "undeserving", "freeloaders" and "parasites", all words used here to describe anyone getting government assistance.
Krauthammer didn't bring up the human costs because it was so obvious? Gimme a break. He made some good points in his column, but he didn't want to dwell on the costs and sacrifices. Amazing what you'll ignore from your fellow conservatives.

equitus said...

Oh, so we're ignoring something that Krauthammer didn't bring up?

Whatever.

tfhr said...

mark,

You said, "...all words used here to describe anyone getting government assistance."

Really? Who said, "anyone"? Provide a link, a quote, something. You say a lot of stupid things, mark, but I find you constantly engaged in one attack after another against America in Iraq. It's a convenient tool to use your fish kill joke on you - kind of like holding up a mirror to you so that you'll appreciate just how ugly you can be.

Most, if not all of the conservatives that post here would readily agree to helping the truly helpless. Handing out money to the clueless is another matter.

But given that "Progressives" cannot give up their need to make as many Americans dependent on government entitlements as possible, it's not surprising that you're ready to "help" anyone willing to hold a hand out for a handout.

If you want Obama to fund the VA at a higher level, you'll have my support. If you want him to drag more people into dependency on government entitlements with programs like Obamacare, then forget it.