Friday, January 17, 2014

Cruising the Web

Charles Krauthammer excoriates President Obama for ordering troops into a mission for a policy he himself didn't believe in.
How can a commander in good conscience send troops on a mission he doesn’t believe in, a mission from which he knows some will never return? Even worse, Obama ordered a major escalation, expending much blood but not an ounce of his own political capital. Over the next four years, notes Gates with chagrin, Obama ignored the obligation of any commander to explain, support and try to rally the nation to the cause.

And when he finally terminated the surge, he did so in the middle of the 2012 fighting season. Militarily incoherent — but politically convenient. It allowed Obama to campaign for reelection proclaiming that “the tide of war is receding.”

One question remains, however. If he wasn’t committed to the mission, if he didn’t care about winning, why did Obama throw these soldiers into battle in the first place?
The answer is the neither Obama, John Kerry, nor Hillary Clinton were interested in fighting in Afghanistan. They had simply played up the Afghanistan war as the "good war" in order to contrast it to Iraq. It was all politics and the American forces who have died or been injured in Afghanistan did so to help cover Obama's political flank since he had no real interest in winning there in the first place.

Perhaps now, the public thinks that President Obama finally "owns" the economy.

Kimberley Strassel explains how the Democrats are seeking to silence conservative groups before the 2014 elections just as they did before 2012's election.

The Hill notes that more and more younger members are retiring from Congress. They're realizing that it really is sort of a rotten job. Who would want to give up time with a young, growing family in order to serve in Congress?

But one resignation I'm really sorry to read about is that of Senator Tom Coburn. He always impressed me as one of the most honest members up there. I've enjoyed his crusade against government wasteful spending and I hope someone will take the baton.

Peggy Noonan bemoans the selfishness of politicians. Is this a surprise? I guess Peggy just never expected Barack Obama, whom she was rather impressed by in 2008, to be so very self-centered. And she is quite struck by Chris Christie's self-serving behavior as he worked towards an easy reelection.
There's an increasing sense in our political life that in both parties politicians call themselves public servants but act like bosses who think the voters work for them. Physicians who routinely help the needy and the uninsured do not call themselves servants. They get to be called the 1%. Politicians who jerk around doctors, nurses and health systems call themselves servants, when of course they look more like little kings and queens instructing the grudging peasants in how to arrange their affairs.

Which gets us, inevitably, to the King of I, who unselfconsciously claims ownership of . . . everything. "My military," "my White House," "my cabinet," "my secretary." The president does first person singular more than Mr. Christie does. But his actions are so much more consequential, because they're national and because they play out in the area of policy.

The president's health-insurance reform had to be breathtaking, mind-bending, historic. It had to be a Democratic Party initiative only. It required a few major lies to gain passage, but what the heck.

It was political selfishness that blew up the American health-care system. And it's the public, in this and other messes, that's left holding the bag. But as government gets bigger the bag gets bigger, and people will get tired of carrying it. They're already tired.
Victor Davis Hanson explains the new anti-Semitism we're seeing in academia now.
Given academia’s past obsessions with the Jewish state, the targeting of Israel is not new.
Yet why do the professors focus on Israel and not Saudi Arabia, which denies women the right to drive and only recently granted them the right to vote? Why not Russia, which has been accused of suppressing free speech, or India, which has passed retrograde anti-homosexual legislation?
The hip poet Amiri Baraka (aka Everett LeRoi Jones) recently died. He was once poet laureate of New Jersey, held prestigious university posts and was canonized with awards — despite being a hateful anti-Semite.
After 9/11, Baraka wrote a poem that suggested Israel knew about the plan to attack the World Trade Center. One of his poems from the ’60s included this unabashedly anti-Semitic passage: “Smile, jew. Dance, jew. Tell me you love me, jew . . . I got the extermination blues, jewboys. I got the hitler syndrome figured.” Yet that did not preclude The New York Times and NPR from praising him after his death.
Why the focus always on Palesinians and not other nationalities that have been dominated by other countries?
Is the United Nation focused on the 13 million Germans who were ethnically cleansed from Eastern Europe about the same time that thousands of Palestinians left what became Israel? Would the American Studies Association boycott Chinese universities over the absorption of Tibet?
Is the world really troubled about divided capitals like Jerusalem? If so, why not an international conference on the Turkish occupation of a divided Nicosia?

....Aside from the old envy, and racial and religious hatred, I think cowardice explains the new selective anti-Semitism. The American Studies Association would not call for a boycott of Russia despite its endemic persecution of gays. After all, Russian President Vladimir Putin is as unpredictable as Israeli politicians are forbearing.
Kerry is not rushing into Damascus to stop the bloodletting that has claimed far more lives than all the Palestinians lost in 70 years of conflict with Israel. Syrian President Bashar Assad, Shiite terrorists and al Qaeda would not listen politely to Kerry’s pontificating sermons.

The Obamacare website still hasn't fixed its problems with the "back-end." And they still don't have any idea of when it will be fixed.

The media really have to strain to try to explain why Benghazi is no longer news. They've ignored their duty all along and now they just pretend that it's all been covered before even though they mostly ignored the story before.
Much of it boils down to the authors admitting that the media has a childlike attention span, and really wants to cover shiny new stories, even when there are relevant developments in old ones. In this case, Benghazi became “old news” about 24 hours after it happened, because Team Obama told his pals in the media it was an old story, and they vigorously agreed.

One of the people who wrote this NBC editorial is Chuck Todd, who last weekend remarked there didn’t seem to be any bad news about ObamaCare any more, even as major mainstream-media stories about the program’s failures were detonating around him like hydrogen bombs. Hear no evil, see no evil, report no evil, ask why nobody’s talking about the evil any more.

It’s also amusing that NBC thinks its readers will believe Benghazi ever had anything remotely close to the intensity or tenor of the coverage afforded to Bridgegate. Benghazi was never a 24-hour carnival of skepticism, in which everything the Administration said was treated as dubious and investigated like crazy. Reporters were not floating theories about how the climate of falsehood and negligence created by the leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was worthy of condemnation, even if no documentation proving they directly ordered the cover-up could be found, the way they have grown obsessed with the “climate” of the Christie administration. Evidently only Republicans can be held accountable for producing the nasty partisan emissions that lead to such climate change.

The media still isn’t interested in asking about the most closely guarded secret in the world, the activities of Barack Obama on the night of September 11, 2012. You would think an inquisitive media would push hard to uncover that information, and make a big deal about the stubborn refusal of the White House to provide it. But no, they’re quite happy to be blown off, because they very obviously don’t want to know the answer. Imagine how they’d react if Chris Christie brusquely refused to discuss what he was doing while the bridge scandal unfolded.
The timeline looking to figure out what Obama did regarding Benghazi is particularly devastating.

Peter Thiel presents his "Graph of the Year."

Harry Reid promises that he is not going to go "nuclear" again. Yeah, like we can trust Harry Reid's promises not to go nuclear.

Massachusetts Democrats are defending one of their own representatives to the State House who has been convicted of domestic assault.