Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cruising the Web

Forbes celebrates the realization of U2's Bono that capitalism does more to help people get out of poverty than all the government aid in the world.

Bret Stephens bemoans the presence in the Obama foreign policy team of people who have never really had to live in the real world and what the effect is on their approach to policy.
This administration in particular is stuffed with fail-uppers—the president, the vice president, the secretary of state and the national security adviser, to name a few—and every now and then it shows. Like, for instance, when people for whom the test of real-world results has never meant very much meet people for whom that test means everything.

That's my read on last weekend's scuttled effort in Geneva to strike a nuclear bargain with Iran. The talks unexpectedly fell apart at the last minute when French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius publicly objected to what he called a "sucker's deal," meaning the U.S. was prepared to begin lifting sanctions on Iran in exchange for tentative Iranian promises that they would slow their multiple nuclear programs.

Not stop or suspend them, mind you, much less dismantle them, but merely reduce their pace from run to jog when they're on Mile 23 of their nuclear marathon. It says something about the administration that they so wanted a deal that they would have been prepared to take this one. This is how people for whom consequences are abstractions operate. It's what happens when the line between politics as a game of perception and policy as the pursuit of national objectives dissolves....

A decade ago, Robert Kagan argued that the U.S. operated in a Hobbesian world of power politics while Europe inhabited the Kantian (and somewhat make-believe) world of right. That was after 9/11, when fecklessness was not an option for the U.S.

Under Mr. Obama, there's been a role reversal. The tragedy for France and its fellow members of its Axis is that they may lack the power to master a reality they perceive so much more clearly than the Wendy Shermans of the world, still failing up.
The Obama administration has been quietly lifting the financial pressure on Iran in their naive belief that the country will respond to carrots given ahead of their having done anything to deserve them.

Joseph Curl has some very good advice for Chris Christie: don't believe the media will continue loving you if you do indeed run for president. Ask John McCain how that worked out.

A woman writing at the New Republic thanks Jenny McCarthy for the whooping cough that is now poisoning her life.

The New York Post reminds us of JFK's many women.

A new book pretends that they've found a mathematical way to find out who were the most significant people in history. I'm mystified by any such system that ranks Grover Cleveland in top 100. I do like Cleveland and find him an underrated president, but not in the top 100 of all of world history.

Here is some very good advice on 20 things you should never say to teachers.