Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Cruising the Web

Bret Stephens writes that, while Chuck Hagel has physical courage as he demonstrated in Vietnam, he lacks political courage as he has demonstrated that he was always willing to go with the flow. It didn't take courage to be for the war in Iraq before he was against it. But why criticize him for that. So were John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. In fact, his positions on foreign and defense policy roughly parallel Barack Obama's so why should anyone be surprised that he picked someone with Hagel's policies on Iran or Hamas? In fact the only political courage he's demonstrated is his bashing of what he likes to call the "Jewish lobby." Some courage.

Stephen Hayes looks at what the nomination of Chuck Hagel says about Obama's approach to Iran. Hagel was one of only two Republicans to oppose labeling Iran's Qods Force as a terrorist group despite ample evidence that they were working with those killing Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Hagel wanted to open up a diplomatic section in Teheran and thinks that all military options on Iran should be off the table. Some message to deliver to Iran.

The next bailout will probably be for the Federal Housing Administration which is deeply underwater.

Youth unemployment numbers in Europe are truly scary. What happens when a generation has a quarter to a half of its young people unemployed?

Before we raise the debt limit, how about getting Senate Democrats to obey the law about passing a budget? It is almost four years since they last passed a budget. No wonder they don't see any problem with just automatically raising the debt ceiling.

Obamacare's tax on medical devices that may lead to the loss of over 40,000 jobs is a tax that even Ghuck Schumer as well as many other Democrats representing states where these industries reside dislike. Of course, that didn't lead him to the slightest quaver in voting for Obamacare. Though it is rather amazing to hear a Democrat admit that increased taxes on business will lead to job losses. They seem to be unaware of that connection in other instances.

Ramesh Ponnuru reminds us of what the Republicans did achieve in the fiscal cliff deal.

I'm saddened to hear of the death of Richard Ben Cramer. His history of the 1988 election, What it Takes, is the best political history I've ever read. If you haven't ever read it, I heartily recommend it.