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The Education Edge

Yale's Blunder in Singapore

June 5th 2012

Yale University

When the Yale College Faculty passed a resolution in April condemning the "lack of respect for civil and political rights in the state of Singapore, host of the proposed Yale-National University of Singapore College" and urged "Yale-NUS "to uphold civil liberty and political freedom on campus and in the broader society," Yale's president Richard Levin declared that the resolution -- passed in his presence and over his objection -- "carried a sense of moral superiority that I found unbecoming."

Levin then unbecame what he ought to be as president of a liberal-arts university by going to Singapore and giving a speech at the end of last month, the same month in which authoritarian corporate city-state had committed yet another of its abuses against basic civil liberties that have been monitored and condemned by many international observers and advocates -- liberties that, as the Yale faculty resolution emphasized, "lie at the heart of liberal arts education as well as of our civic sense as citizens" and "ought not to be compromised in any dealings or negotiations with the Singaporean authorities."

When Levin gave his speech touting the appointment of the ill-prepared but energetically pliable Yale professor Pericles Lewis as Yale-NUS' first president, Singapore had only recently prevented Chee Soon Juan, Secretary-General of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), from leaving the country to give a speech of his own at the Oslo Freedom Forum. Read more ..


The Obama Edge

Lawmakers to Probe Suspicious Jobs Data at Obama's Labor Dept.

June 5th 2012

Barack Obama

In response to complaints by lawmakers and some news organizations, the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing on June 6 to examine the influence of Department of Labor staff, who are political appointees from the Obama Administration, statistics released to the media and public. The Committee, chaired by Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA), will probe the Bureau of Labor Statistics processes for collecting and disseminating employment data, including unemployment figures and data regarding jobs created.

Among issues to be considered at the hearing is an April 10, 2012 order, which changes long-standing policy and requires news organizations that report on pre-released Labor Department data to use government-owned computer systems and software. The new policy has been strongly opposed by the Sunshine in Government Initiative, a coalition of media organizations that includes mainstream news organizations and the Online News Association.

Those expected to testify include representatives from Bloomberg LP and Reuters newswire, and the Committee also invited Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to testify, along with the acting head of BLS. However, Solis said she will not attend because of a scheduling conflict, according to SGI. Read more ..


Egypt on Edge

Egypt's Innocent Murderers

June 4th 2012

Bye bye Mubarak

“Bashar should abandon power and retire safely in Egypt. The general-prosecutor is murder-friendly,” a friend, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, told me as we watched former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s trial in the Police Academy’s criminal court. Although Mubarak and his interior (security) minister, Habib al-Adly, were handed life sentences at the conclusion of their trials, the generals who ran Egypt’s apparatus of repression as deputy interior ministers were acquitted.

Hasan Abd al-Rahman, head of the notorious, Stasi-like State Security Investigations (SSI); Ahmad Ramzi, head of the Central Security Forces (CSF); Adly Fayyid, the head of Public Security; Ismail al-Shaer, who led the Cairo Security Directorate (CSD); Osama Youssef, the head of the Giza Security Directorate; and Omar Faramawy, who oversaw of the 6th of October Security Directorate, were all cleared of any wrongdoing. Lawyers for Mubarak and al-Adly will appeal their life-sentences, and many Egyptians believe that they will receive lighter sentences.

The verdicts sent an unmistakable message, one with serious consequences for Egypt’s political transition. A spontaneous cry was heard from the lawyers and the families of victims when they were announced: “The people want to cleanse the judiciary.” Read more ..


The Education Edge

The Need for More STEM Workers

June 3rd 2012

Herschel Space Observatory

I’ve been enjoying Niall Ferguson’s new PBS series on the rise of civilization in Western Europe. One of the many lessons is that other societies—like China and the Ottoman Empire—were seemingly well positioned to lead the world into an industrial revolution, but at key points, their leaders rejected scholarship, scientific inquiry, and trade, while, haltingly, those things began to flourish in Western Europe, its universities, and its chartered commercial and learning institutions, like the Royal Society of London. As a result, non-western regions stagnated and missed out on economic development until much later.

Fortunately, the United States government, its businesses, and its people still place a high value on science. To give two examples, according to National Science Foundation statistics, 82 percent of Americans agree with the proposition that the federal government should fund basic scientific research, which is roughly unchanged since 1985. Only seven countries spend more on R&D as a share of GDP and none spend as much in total. Read more ..


Venezuela on Edge

Venezuela's Chavez Bans Gun Ownership and Sales

June 3rd 2012

Hugo Chavez infirm

In a move sure to make the American gun-control lobby green with envy and Second Amendment advocates wary, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's new gun law, which totally bans the commercial sale of firearms and ammunition to civilians, went into effect on Friday, June 1, a police source in Washington, D.C. informs. Until this ban became law, anyone in that South American country with a gun license could purchase firearms and ammunition from privately owned gun shops or sporting goods stores. With Chavez's new gun-control law, only the Venezuelan army, police officials and certain groups such as security and private detective firms are allowed to buy firearms, and then only from state-owned weapons manufacture

It's gun-control on steroids and its nationalizing the firearms industry. And I'm certain "American progressives are envious of both actions: banning gun ownership and nationalizing the gun industry," said the police source who requested anonymity. According to the Venezuelan news media, the gun ban is the latest attempt by the government to improve security and cut crime ahead of elections in October, but many suspect it's all part of Chavez's socialist plan. According to the Chavez government, Venezuela had more than 18,000 homicides in 2011, a much higher per-capita murder rate than the United States. Read more ..


The Education Edge

Where College Graduates Are--Degree Attainment in Metropolitan Areas

June 2nd 2012

Graduates

"So if you haven't found a job yet: You're better off coming to the city than sitting on your parents' couch."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Remarks at the Cornell University 2012 Convocation, May 27, 2012

As another college graduation season draws to a close, today’s New York Times reports the results of a small analysis we conducted on college degree attainment rates in metropolitan areas. We examined the share of adults age 25 and over in the 100 largest U.S. metro areas who held at least a bachelor’s degree in 2010, versus in 1970. (The Times’ website provides a table with the key data.)

It suggests a centrifugal force that is concentrating the nation’s college graduates into a set of metro areas that, like Bloomberg’s New York, are pulling farther away from the pack. But first: Why is high college degree attainment important for a metropolitan area? The article notes that places in which lots of college graduates cluster exhibit patterns that, not surprisingly, are common to college graduates themselves: longer life expectancies, higher incomes, fewer single-parent families. Indeed, differences in adults’ rate of bachelor’s degree attainment explain nearly three-quarters of the variation in per capita income among metro areas in 2010. And higher regional income can translate into a higher tax base, better public services, and more private amenities. Read more ..


Edge of Terrorism

Obama's War for War's Sake

June 2nd 2012

Seal Team 6
SEAL Team 6

As he campaigns for reelection, President Obama periodically reminds audiences of his success in terminating the deeply unpopular Iraq War. With fingers crossed for luck, he vows to do the same with the equally unpopular war in Afghanistan. If not exactly a peacemaker, our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president can (with some justification) at least claim credit for being a war-ender.

Yet when it comes to military policy, the Obama administration’s success in shutting down wars conducted in plain sight tells only half the story, and the lesser half at that. More significant has been this president’s enthusiasm for instigating or expanding secret wars, those conducted out of sight and by commandos.

President Franklin Roosevelt may not have invented the airplane, but during World War II he transformed strategic bombing into one of the principal emblems of the reigning American way of war. General Dwight D. Eisenhower had nothing to do with the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb. Yet, as president, Ike’s strategy of Massive Retaliation made nukes the centerpiece of U.S. national security policy. Read more ..


The Arab Winter in Egypt

The Silver Lining in Egypt’s Presidential Race

June 1st 2012

Tahrir Square protest

Egyptians are still reeling from the results of the first round of voting in the country’s first freely contested presidential elections.  The outcome?  The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi will now face former Mubarak prime minister (and fellow air force commander) Ahmed Shafiq in a run-off set for June 17. While there is apparent hopelessness over such a “nightmare scenario” outcome that pits a conservative Islamist against a former regime stalwart, there is a silver lining.

By and large, the elections shattered the myth that individual Egyptian actors, whether the powerful Muslim Brotherhood or the boisterous protesters of Tahrir, could achieve the goals of the revolution on their own. This realization may finally compel anti-regime forces from across Egypt’s highly fractured and polarized political landscape to work together toward a common cause, namely beginning the long, difficult task of rolling back a military regime that remains deeply entrenched. Read more ..


Turkey and Israel

Time for America to Stop Apologizing for Turkish Obstructionism

June 1st 2012

Turk flags

The week of May 21-25th, 28 NATO leaders gathered in Chicago for the first NATO summit in the United States since 9/11. While global attention was focused on the Alliance's impending withdrawal from Afghanistan, the summit also exposed underlying tensions, most notably the new French president's campaign promises "reevaluate" his predecessor's decision to reintegrate France into NATO's military command and accelerate the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Turkey, NATO's sole Middle Eastern member and second largest military, blocked Israeli attendance of the summit--despite the presence of 13 other non-NATO partners--in an escalation of its six-year-old spat with the Jewish State. Originally a bilateral dispute, Ankara has now entangled NATO and, with it, the United States, blocking cooperation between two of the United States' most important alliances. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration's reaction has been to defend rather than curtail Turkish behavior, rewarding Ankara with sales of some of the most sophisticated arms in the U.S. arsenal. Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

The Politics of Fear vs. the Politics of Hope

May 31st 2012

Barack Obama Israel speech

Within 24 hours over the holiday weekend, Democrats could read two starkly different messaging strategies for President Obama’s reelection campaign.

On Monday, May 28, Memorial Day, John Heilemann’s New York magazine article was headlined: “For Obama & Co., this time it’s all about fear.”
 
The day before, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman wrote a column headlined: “Obama Should Seize the High Ground.”

Heilemann wrote:  “Though the Obamans certainly hit John McCain hard four years ago running more negative ads than any campaign in history, what they intend to do to Romney is more savage. They will pummel him for being a vulture-vampire capitalist at Bain Capital. They will pound him for being a miserable failure as governor of Massachusetts. They will mash him for being a water-carrier of Paul Ryan’s Social Darwinist fiscal program. … ‘He’s the ’50s, he is retro, he is backward, and we are forward, that’s the basic construct,’ says a top Obama strategist. ‘If you’re a woman, you’re Hispanic, you’re young, or you’ve gotten left out, you look at Romney and say, ‘This “f--king guy is gonna take us back to the way it always was, and guess what? I’ve never been a part of that. … ’ “Thus to a very real degree, 2008’s candidate of hope stands poised to become 2012’s candidate of fear. For many Democrats, this is fine and dandy, for they believe that in the Romney-Republican agenda there is plenty to be scared of.” Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

Bain is Fair Game for Obama

May 31st 2012

mitt romney

The Obama campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain are not attacks on free enterprise, capitalism or even private equity. 

Capitalism did not require Bain to issue debt that GS Steel could not afford to repay, mainly to put money in the pockets of Bain partners. Capitalism did not require Bain to take tens of millions in profits while workers lost their livelihoods. Private equity is not to blame for the company underfunding its pensions system and sticking the government with the bill.

Capitalism does lead to “creative destruction,” in Schumpeter’s famous phrase. Free enterprise does entail risk and the freedom to fail. Private equity exists to make profits. None of that is inherently evil.
The critiques are not focused on the system or the process, or even the failures themselves. Everyone is entitled to some. Rather, the doubts revolve around the decisions Romney made and the values those decisions reflect. And if candidates’ decisions and values are not appropriate considerations in an election, nothing is.  Read more ..


Islam on Edge

Muslims Demand DOJ Intervention in Tennesee Court that Halted Mosque project

May 31st 2012

No mosque in Murfreesboro

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on May 30 demanded that Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice protect the religious liberties of Muslims after a Tennessee judge's ruling prevented a mosque to be completed as a result of public outcry in Murfreesboro.

The judge ruled that proper public notice was not given for the May 2010 meeting that approved the site plan for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, near Murfreesboro, Tenn. He seemed to base his ruling on the fact that anti-Muslim bigots were able to manufacture a controversy over the construction of the mosque, the site of which has been the target of hate vandalism, said CAIR officials after the ruling.

"American Muslim constitutional rights should not be diminished merely because anti-Muslim bigots are able to manufacture a controversy about what would otherwise be normal religious activities," said CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas. "If the Rutherford County Planning Commission does not immediately issue new permits for the mosque, we urge the Department of Justice to intervene in this case to support the religious rights of Tennessee Muslims," he stated in a media release on May 30. Read more ..


Counting Palestinians

UNRWA Reform

May 31st 2012

Palstinian refugee camp

For years we have been part of a small cadre of determined individuals who saw clearly the damage being done by UNRWA -- the UN Relief and Work Agency for Palestinian Refugees. Damage to prospects for peace in this region, and damage directly to Israel. There is so much wrong with this agency that it's impossible to document it all in this post. Suffice it to say the following:

UNRWA is the only international refugee agency in the world dedicated to one group of refugees -- the Palestinian Arab "refugees." All other refugees are tended to by the UN High Commission for Refugees. And what's astounding is that UNRWA's rules for "its" refugees are different from the rules for all those other refugees.

UNHCR works to get refugees resettled as quickly as possible -- even if the only alternative is settling them permanently in the place to which they had fled or to a third place -- so that they might get on with their lives. Read more ..


Counting Palestinians

Counting Palestine’s Refugees

May 30th 2012

Palestinian refugees

The fetid, dark heart of the Arab war on Israel, I have long argued, lies not in disputes over Jerusalem, checkpoints, or “settlements.” Rather, it concerns the so-called Palestine refugees.

So called because of the nearly 5 million official refugees served by UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) only about 1 percent are real refugees who fit the agency’s definition of “people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.” The other 99 percent are descendants of those refugees, or what I call fake refugees.

Worse: Those alive in 1948 are dying off and in about 50 years not a single real refugee will remain alive, whereas (extrapolating from an authoritative estimate in Refugee Survey Quarterly by Mike Dumper) their fake-refugee descendants will number about 20 million. Unchecked, that population will grow like Topsy until the end of time.

This matters because the refugee status has harmful effects: It blights the lives of these millions of non-refugees by disenfranchising them while imposing an ugly, unrealistic irredentist dream on them; worse, the refugee status preserves them as a permanent dagger aimed at Israel’s heart, threatening the Jewish state and disrupting the Middle East. Read more ..


The Farming Edge

Shallow-Loss Programs Could Leave Taxpayers in Deep Trouble

May 30th 2012

wheat fields

Imagine what would have happened if, at the peak of the housing bubble in 2006, Congress had passed a law guaranteeing that all homeowners could sell their property at close to its record price for the next five years, regardless of market conditions. In the wake of the housing bust, many homeowners would have been ecstatic about the program, but it would clearly have been outrageously expensive and unfair for taxpayers.

Yet this is effectively what Congress is gearing up to do for farmers by expanding so-called shallow-loss programs. While promising to do away with about $5 billion a year in direct subsidies — which even many farm lobbies know are no longer politically viable — advocates of shallow-loss programs are pushing them as essential emergency relief that is needed to protect America’s food supply.But shallow-loss programs are not really an essential safety net. They consist of a tangled web of distortions that could end up funneling even more than $5 billion a year to the agricultural sector that, for the most part, would end up in the hands of a relatively small group of wealthy farmers.

A shallow-loss program would also generate serious moral hazard incentives, distort planting decisions and damage our trade relations, and it could leave taxpayers on the hook for more than $60 billion over the next five years. No other business lobby in America would dare to ask Congress to effectively guarantee — at public expense — that industry revenues will never fall below 90% of record levels. Yet the farm lobby calls it “reform.” Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Al Qaeda’s "Final Trap" in Yemen Could be a Costly Demise Planned for U.S.

May 29th 2012

Yemen Crisis

Al Qaeda’s attack on Yemen’s capital, Sana, this week is a graphic demonstration that its franchise in Arabia is getting more dangerous, benefiting from the weakness of the Yemeni state. The U.S. is putting pressure on the jihadi network like never before, but al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) remains determined to strike us at home to drag us ever deeper into another quagmire in the Middle East.

The suicide bombing on Monday in Sana was the deadliest attack AQAP has ever carried out. It comes as government forces are trying to recover lost territory in southern Yemen that al Qaeda has seized since the Arab Spring came to Yemen a year ago.  AQAP using a cover name, Ansar al Sharia, has set up seven so-called emirates in southern Yemen in the last year where it can recruit, train, and prepare its fighters and suicide bombers to strike at home and abroad. AQAP even controls some neighborhoods in Aden, the south’s largest city and port. President Obama is rightly trying to put the Arabian Humpty Dumpty back together again in Yemen so Yemeni forces will be able to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy AQAP. It’s an ambitious strategy. Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

Trump, Romney's Surrogate, Goes on ‘Birther’ Offensive

May 29th 2012

the donald

While the Obama campaign actively works to tie Mitt Romney to the controversial “birther” assertions of Donald Trump, the real estate mogul and reality show host is ramping up his focus on the purported conspiracy ahead of a campaign fundraiser for Romney in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

“@BarackObama is practically begging @MittRomney to disavow the place of birth movement, he is afraid of it and for good reason,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “He keeps using @SenJohnMcCain as an example, however, @SenJohnMcCain lost the election. Don’t let it happen again.” An Obama campaign Web ad released Tuesday, called “Two Republican nominees,” shows then-presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) rebuffing statements from those who questioned then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s citizenship while on the campaign trail in 2008.

“As the Republican nominee, John McCain stood up to the voices of extremism in his own party,” text from the ad reads. “Why won’t Mitt Romney do the same?” the ad says, before launching into a montage of Trump questioning the president’s birthplace and citizenship.

Romney is scheduled to campaign with Trump at a fundraiser in Las Vegas on Tuesday, where donors can compete to win dinner with the host of “The Apprentice.” Romney told CNN over the weekend that he shouldn’t be held accountable for everything his surrogates say. “I don’t agree with all the people who support me, and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” he said. “But I need to get to 50.1 percent or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.” Read more ..


The Race for Solar

Feed-in Tariffs: Solar Energy Bubble is FiT to Burst

May 29th 2012

Solar Senegal

Selling umbrellas in sunny Los Angeles? Sounds like a dumb way to make your first million. What about peddling solar panels in cloudy London? Take it to the bank. Just ask aspiring photovoltaic manufacturers in Britain, who are in full production now--after the UK, in April, signed up to the green fad du jour, feed-in tariffs, or FiTs. It's a subsidy scheme in which homeowners or small businesses that install solar panels or wind turbines are guaranteed fixed long-term prices to sell the power they generate back to the electric company.

In the right place and situation, FiTs and solar energy make sense. But renewable energy is not a virtue unto itself. FiTs are offered in 20 countries and 40-odd jurisdictions, from Ontario to Australia, China, and even Iran. With Barack Obama's green jobs push, it's red hot in the US. It has all the dressings of a no-lose proposition--creating new technology markets and green jobs by incentivising the public to generate carbon-less energy.

Now let's look at the murkier reality. Here's the argument for solar power: Germany. With a ban on nuclear energy, and dirty coal supplies dwindling, Germany became the first country to embrace FiTs, in the early 1990s. Renewables generated 14% of the country's electricity last year and make up 4% of Germany's GDP. As a result of the subsidies, Germany's installed solar power generation capacity increased by more than 60% in 2009 alone. "We are making a huge investment in the markets of the future," says environment state secretary Matthias Machnig. Read more ..


The Economic Edge

U.S. Government and Industry Collaboration is Required to Jump-Start Industry

May 29th 2012

Smog and Pollution3

U.S. factories produce about 75 percent of what the country consumes, but the right decisions by both business and political leaders could push that to 95 percent, say University of Michigan researchers.

However, a huge portion of U.S. manufacturing—as much as 40 percent—hangs in the balance and could either stay in this country or go elsewhere in the coming years based on policy decisions, they say.

According to Wally Hopp and Roman Kapuscinski of U-M's Ross School of Business, how the U.S. shapes education policy, worker training, the tax code, the regulatory environment and its relationship with Mexico will determine whether manufacturing continues to rebound or spirals into permanent decline.

Hopp and Kapuscinski are co-authors of "Manufacturing's Wake-Up Call," a study by U-M's Tauber Institute for Global Operations and consulting firm Booz & Company.

"This study says there's an opportunity," said Hopp, associate dean of faculty and research and professor of operations and management science at the Ross School. "U.S. manufacturing has declined, but we are not structurally out of the game. Manufacturing is still here, it's big, and it's helping us out right now. Are we going to line up enough factors to keep it here, or will we let it trickle away like we did during the lost decade of 2000-10?" Read more ..


UK on Edge

Muslim Community Hit by Child Rape Scandal

May 28th 2012

Sullen Woman

In spite of British politicians' and activists' adherence to a politically-correct orthodoxy, police officers and citizens are well aware of a rampant crime problem in the United Kingdom -- children being sexually abused by Muslim males -- according to several British news organizations this week. According to a source within the British law enforcement community, Muslim gangs frequently rape women, especially young girls, but cops are told to overlook the ethnicity and religion of perpetrators especially when the victims are white British citizens.

As frequently happens in the United States, Muslim groups are continuously making claims that their rights are being violated by police officers and intelligence officers with the U.K.'s MI5 (Military Intelligence Section 5) who conduct surveillance of terrorist suspects and criminal activity within the Muslim community. The "racial profiling" label is attached to any police or security activity that Muslims find uncomfortable, said the British source. "What recently occurred in New York City when the police officers were condemned by Muslim groups and liberal-left politicians also occurs in London and other British cities. It's difficult to combat terrorism in such an environment," said the source, a member of the Metropolitan Police Service who requested anonymity. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Warning Against Obama's Newest Big Brother Spy Program

May 27th 2012

Data center computer corridor

The US government has been building a top secret facility in Utah that will soon be spying on virtually everything you do. It’s a program that Congress killed in 2003 during the Bush administration because of public outcry. Apparently that outcry wasn’t enough to prevent them from spending $2 billion on project Stellar Wind and implementing it on Barack Hussein Obama’s watch.

Stellar Wind is the codename for the project which is being developed by the National Security Agency. The NSA is building a one million square-foot facility near Bluffdale, Utah to house the largest data capturing and storage monstrosity of its kind. It will cost the taxpayers $40 million a year just to pay the electric bill for the facility. When it goes online in September of 2013, you will no longer have any sort of privacy left.

The mainstream media has thus far ignored reporting on this story that was broken by Wired Magazine on March 15. According to the Wired story, the facility will capture and store every single private email that is sent from anywhere in the world. The contents of every cell phone call will be captured and recorded. Every bank transaction you make, every website you visit, every Tweet you send on Twitter, every book you purchase or check out at the library, every purchase that you make with a debit card, and so on, will be captured and stored by the NSA. Read more ..


France on Edge

The Jews, Israel and the New French President

May 26th 2012

French Presiident Francois Hollande
French Presiident Francois Hollande

The day following the French presidential election, I received a phone call: “This is the Haaretz newspaper, Tel Aviv. Apparently,” said a man speaking Hebrew, “you are a friend of François Hollande?”. “I know François Hollande for over twenty years”, I replied to him. “So,” asked the voice, “can you tell us if his election is good or not for the Jews?”

I burst out laughing: “You remind me of my grandfather Abraham when, during pre-war Poland, he once opened the Yiddish paper Der Haynt, and read that a lion had escaped from the Warsaw zoo. The first thing he was worried about was whether it was good or not for the Jews!”

I think Nicolas Sarkozy does not deserve the hostility he is overburdened with. Even if I believe that a democracy should change political parties once in a while, which is healthy. Read more ..


Marriage on Edge

The Baggage Adult Children of Divorce Carry

May 26th 2012

Clenched Fists

For those engaged in America’s culture wars, it is clear that the welfare of children is the battle ground of choice. We are barely out of the gate with civil unions and same-sex “marriages,” and we have been told, in defense of these new institutions—and with the help of Hollywood—that The Kids Are All Right. And if it be true that “by their fruits ye shall know them,” then, if the kids are all right, so must be their parents. But as we hurtle along in our social experiments, allaying our fears that children may not be getting the best deal in the new domestic arrangements, let’s pause for a moment and pay heed to the many children who, as adults, have come forward to say something about that older, accepted, and more or less “settled” issue: divorce.

Elizabeth Marquardt, author of Between Two Worlds (2005), Stephanie Staal, The Love They Lost (2000), Andrew Root, Children of Divorce (2010) and Susan Gregory Thomas, In Spite of Everything (2011), all have in common is a willingness to fully and honestly examine the perspective of an entire generation of children who experienced their parents’ divorce and have conducted their own hard-won research. Their forthright, painful stories challenge the entrenched doctrine that it is better for children to have a “good divorce” than a bad marriage. Living in the trenches, between two separated households, these authors have been able to put their fingers on what is essentially bad about divorce no matter how much their parents adhered to the norms of the “good” one—avoiding any public conflict, parting “amicably” and sharing the kids equally. Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

Bain of Our Existence

May 25th 2012

Obama: call me

Anyone who is already tired of hearing about Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital is welcome to leave the country and return after the November election. For those of us remaining here, President Obama has issued an unambiguous warning: There will be no escape. “This is not a distraction,” Obama said Monday of his campaign ads attacking Romney’s years at Bain. “This is what this campaign is going to be about.”

In closing the NATO summit in Chicago and discussing an end to the war in Afghanistan and the eurozone crisis earlier this week, Obama relished the chance to push back against criticism of his campaign’s ads featuring workers devastated when their companies were taken over by Bain Capital, and to assert that Romney’s private-equity prowess has hardly prepared him to rescue the economy.

“When you are president, as opposed to the head of a private-equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot,” Obama said. Or in other words, “You’re so Bain, you probably think this economy is about you.” No, not at all, said Obama. “If your main argument for how to grow the economy is, ‘I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,’ then you are missing what this job is about,” he added. If that wasn’t perfectly clear to everyone, Vice President Biden said the following day of Romney’s private-equity experience, “[T]hat no more qualifies you to be president than being a plumber!” Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

The Campaign from Hell

May 25th 2012

Charles Schumer

Now here comes Grover Norquist, who compares the senior senator from New York to members of the political party of Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Eichmann.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) believes that when the land of the free and the home of the brave gives an American the gift of being able to use his talents to become an extraordinarily wealthy man, it is wrong for that person to renounce his American citizenship to avoid paying his fair share of taxes.

I cannot think of a proposal more worthy than the bill proposed by Sens. Schumer and Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) to redress this wrong. I believe the overwhelming majority of patriotic Americans would strongly agree with Schumer. Grover Norquist has every right to disagree and rise in defense of tax evaders who renounce their Americanism to avoid their taxes. He even has the right to compare Schumer to the party of Himmler and Eichmann. But I would propose that this is Exhibit A of what I call the campaign from hell, an intolerance and vindictiveness unworthy of our nation, in which one party is exponentially more guilty than the other. I cannot recall a time in American history when so many members of one party questioned the American citizenship or Christian faith of a president, and when so many leaders of that party were incapable of saying in clear and decisive terms that such attacks have no place in American politics. Read more ..


Counting Palestinians

Counting Palestinians

May 25th 2012

UNRWA Relief

"When we have a state accepted as a member of the United Nations, this is not the end of the conflict." Abdullah Abdullah, Palestinian Ambassador to Lebanon.

Senator Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) has offered an amendment to the FY 2013 funding bill for the State Department that would require the Department to provide two numbers to Congress: 1) the number of Palestinians physically displaced from their homes in what became Israel in 1948, and 2) the number of their descendants administered by the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA).

Palestinians are the only people for whom refugee status passes along through the generations (a condition adopted by the UN in 1965 over the objection of the United States), so they are also the only refugee population that grows exponentially over generations rather than declining as the original refugees pass away and their descendants become citizens of other places. Sen. Kirk seems to think the numbers would provide insight into whether the billions of U.S. tax dollars that have been provided to UNRWA over the years are making the problem better – or worse. Read more ..


Jewry on Edge

Could this be the Devolution of a Once Advanced People?

May 25th 2012

Hereidim in CitiField

It started with attempts to protect sexual offenders and child abusers –going so far as co-opting a public official into treating justice as a religious choice rather than an American right.  It then moved to vilifying an alleged rape victim with thousands rallying in support of an unlicensed therapist accused of raping a young girl.  It peaked when more than 40,000 filled the otherwise empty seats at Citi-Field in Queens, spilling over into the nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium, to hear about why Jews must avoid the Internet. God forbid anyone would get real information, become more aware, or possibly learn to think for himself.

A few years back, I heard Christian pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel, proclaim, “Where are the nations that have persecuted the Jewish people? Where is Pharaoh and his army? Where are the Babylonians? Where are the Greeks? Where is the Ottoman Empire? Where are the Romans? Where is that goose-stepping lunatic Adolf Hitler and his Nazi hoards? All are historic footnotes in the boneyard of human history.  Where is Israel? Where are the Jewish people? They’re alive and well; they’re thriving; they’re prospering; they’re growing…  they’re still going forward.” Read more ..


Israel on Edge

The Nakba Hoax in Retrospect

May 25th 2012

Click to select Image

No revisionist or post Zionist spin can possibly deny that the War of Independence was an attempt by a coalition of Arab states to annihilate us. But as Goebbels used to say “Repeat the same lie again and again and ultimately people will believe it.”

Recent years have witnessed successful efforts by increasing numbers of radical Israeli-Arabs, in conjunction with their kinsmen beyond Israel, to project into the public discourse a narrative which portrays their antecedents as innocent victims of a conflict which led to their dispossession and expulsion. They mourn the consequences of the War of Independence but suppress the fact it was their fathers who rejected the UN partition plan and embarked on a war of annihilation against Israel. Their approach is akin to Germans mourning the tragedy of their losses during World War ll, implying that it was a byproduct of Allied criminality rather than Nazi aggression.

It is understandable that Israeli-Arabs lament the fleeing and even expulsion of their kinsmen in the course of war. But, in lieu of mourning their losses, or commemorating humanitarian tragedies, they are promoting hatred of the people amongst whom they live, garnering support for vengeance and delegitimization of the Jewish State. They also seem quite nonchalant about the fact that they are identifying themselves with those in surrounding Arab countries who aspire to annihilate us. Read more ..


The Arab Winter

Arab Tragedy is a Self-Inflicted Wound

May 23rd 2012

Wailing Wall in Jerusalem

In the Israeli collective memory Holocaust Commemoration Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day embody the story of the creation of the modern State of Israel. These three days represent the modern Jewish experience and the mantra propagated by the founding fathers - From Holocaust to Independence - connoting the concept of the enduring Jewish spirit of survival and the promise of Never Again.

Yet the resilience of Jewish-Israeli survival has been overshadowed by the false Arab-Palestinian notion of being "occupied" and "robbed" from their true destiny. Consequently, Israel is the "oppressor "and Palestinian nomenclature demands that the "occupation" remains the root cause of all problems, from social and economic woes to terrorism.

For the anti-Israel community, these days have embodied the Palestinian-Arab narrative, which argues that Israel had a "master plan" to evict the Arabs of Palestine by any means necessary and rob them of their land. Furthermore, the Holocaust in their view was the only reason the State of Israel came to fruition in the aftermath of World War II. The recurring mantra found in Arab historiography hence maintains a hypersensitive focus on discrimination and inequality. Generally, Arab scholars tend to ignore the huge corpus of materials found in the archives on the war and zoom in on what are legitimate or illegitimate claims, using UN resolutions as the be all and end all. Read more ..


The Arab Winter in Egypt

Egyptian Presidential Election: Why A Moderate Regime is Unlikely

May 23rd 2012

Egyptian Muslim bros
Muslim Brotherhood

Consider one fact that demolishes the apparatus of nonsense about moderate Islamists and the credibility of those claiming there is nothing to worry about. These are the same people who have been declaring for more than a year that the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate. Yet now the Brotherhood’s presidential campaign has shown it to be extraordinarily radical, openly demanding a caliphate and that Egypt become a Sharia state.

Suddenly they change the subject. Nobody acknowledges that they were wrong about the Brotherhood. They focus now on a different candidate who we are told is the true moderate Islamist, as if their previous favorite “moderate Islamist” movement has now thrown off its camouflage.   

“Democracy, as Western democracies have long known,” wrote Shadi Hamid, in predicting a Brotherhood majority in the parliamentary election some months ago, “is about the right to make the wrong choice.” True. But foreign policy, as everyone has long known, is about dealing with the consequences of wrong outcomes and trying to prevent them if possible.

We are told that Abdul Moniem Abul Fotouh is the “moderate Islamist” candidate for president of Egypt whom the West should support. He promises that Egypt will be an Islamic but civil state with equality for all of its citizens. The problem is that Abul Fotouh keeps making statements that belie that image, statements never mentioned by those who ridicule fears about Egypt’s new government.

One ignorant neoconservative wrote in a Canadian newspaper that the regime couldn’t be dangerous because in the presidential debate the question of Israel was only raised near the end. Naturally, the debate structure wasn’t determined by Fotouh and what he said about Israel was quite threatening, namely that it is a racist enemy based on occupation and threatening Muslims with 200 nuclear weapons. At any rate, the main problem is not what the new regime will do to Israel but what it will do to Egypt, eventually followed by what it will do to Israel.

This follows, of course, the national security editor of the National Journal explaining that there’s no danger of a radical Islamist Egypt because he could find one (neo)conservative who agreed with him on that issue. What’s truly funny here is that I’m not exaggerating in describing their best arguments.

Here is a new statement by Abul Fotouh. In an interview on an Egyptian television station, Abul Fotouh said he was against “terrorism” but then explained that Usama bin Ladin was not a terrorist, that the United States only called him one in order to “hit Muslim interests,”  and that the killing of bin Ladin was an “act of state terrorism.” In other words, he’s saying September 11 wasn’t an act of terrorism but that Obama’s policy is anti-Muslim and terrorist. Read more ..


Healthcare on Edge

Spinning the Supreme Court’s “Obamacare” Decision

May 23rd 2012

contemplation of justice/scotus building

I learned that Mitt Romney had won the Nebraska Republican presidential primary last week via a “Breaking News” e-mail alert from POLITICO. It wasn’t the news from the Cornhusker state, however, that caught my eye. It was instead the health insurance industry’s decision to spend our premium dollars on an Internet ad—an ad warning of dire consequences if the Supreme Court doesn’t rule the way insurers want on the constitutionality of Obamacare.

The worst-case scenario for insurers is if the high court strikes down the provision of the law requiring us to buy coverage (the so-called individual mandate), but allows the law’s important consumer protections to go forward. The reason Obamacare is built around the individual mandate is because of the relentless lobbying by insurers, and not just on Capitol Hill. Representatives of the industry made frequent trips to the White House during the debate on reform to twist the arm of President Obama, who had campaigned against the mandate when he was running for president.

The insurance reps were persuasive in arguing that the parts of the bill consumer advocates were demanding wouldn’t work unless an “enforceable personal purchase requirement” (a.k.a., the individual mandate) was also included, along with subsidies from the government to help low-income families pay their premiums. And not incidentally, insurers love the mandate because it forces millions more people to buy health insurance policies. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

The Lockerbie Bombing Hall of Shame

May 23rd 2012

Megrahi waves

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, is finally roasting in hell after dying peacefully in his bed in Libya, surrounded by family and friends, rather than in the cell to which he was condemned for murdering 270 innocent people on Pan Am 103 in December, 1988. But even with the two principal murderers of these innocents&madsh;Kaddafi and Megrahi&madsh;now gone, what remains is a Lockerbie hall of shame of those who were either collaborators or looked the other way at Libyan tyranny. A day of reckoning awaits.

Foremost among them are the Scottish authorities who assured us three years ago that Megrahi—who ironically outlived Kaddafi himself—was at death’s door. All documents detailing the secret deals that were done for the terrorist’s release must see the light of day so that we can know whether the sacred memory of 270 victims was sold so that British oil companies like BP could benefit. We also need to know which British officials negotiated his release. Prime Minister David Cameron himself condemned “the appalling dodgy dealings with Libya under the last [British] government.”

The City of Englewood has played a particularly ignominious role in the Libyan affair. Even after I hosted a rally on my front lawn to ban Kaddafi from taking up residence in the home next door to me and even after Kaddafi began bombing his own citizens in February, 2011, Englewood made absolutely no effort whatsoever to compel the Libyans to pay property taxes, thereby forcing the residents of Englewood to be complicit in supporting the evil regime by paying for things like the Libyan’s police protection and trash removal with local tax dollars. While previous mayor Michael Wildes joined me as an enthusiastic partner in opposing Kaddafi, his successor, Mayor Frank Huttle, broke repeated promises to challenge the Libyans and did nothing.

But while Mayor Huttle, who is now running for a second term unopposed, did not lift a finger against the Libyans, he did find cause, in the application my organization made to establish a Synagogue on my property in Englewood, to dismiss our right to be heard before Englewood’s Planning Board, which he chairs and whose members he appoints. Two days before our hearing this past January, our attorney received a bizarre phone call from Michael Kates—the Planning Board attorney hand-picked by Mayor Huttle—who told him that there would likely be a challenge to the jurisdiction of our application from a member of the board. He would give no further details of these behind-the-scenes maneuvers. Our attorney protested vigorously. The law was on our side. But sure enough on the night of the hearing—one that consumed thousands of dollars in preparation—Kates found a technicality so abstruse that arguably only he and our attorney could even understand it. Read more ..


The Health Care Edge

Dem-backed Law Could Be Downfall of Obama's Birth-Control Mandate

May 22nd 2012

Pregnant

The biggest legal threat to the White House’s birth control mandate could come from a decades-old law that was championed by liberal Democrats, according to legal experts.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) has been mentioned in nearly all of the more than 30 lawsuits pending against President Obama’s administration over the mandate. One, filed by the University of Notre Dame on Monday, cited RFRA’s protections in the first paragraph. Legal scholars see the merit in challenging the mandate with RFRA, which then-Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) introduced in 1993 to protect religious exercise from laws that might unintentionally restrict it.

But Democrats have dismissed claims that the mandate violates the religious freedom of groups that object to birth control. Now Sen. Schumer said Republicans “walked the plank” earlier this year by voting to weaken the policy. RFRA sailed through Congress with broad bipartisan support in response to an unpopular decision by the Supreme Court that was seen as curbing Native Americans’ religious freedom to use peyote, a traditional hallucinogen. Read more ..


Turkey on Edge

Turkish Policy Gobbling Up the Middle East Makes Enemies of Everyone

May 21st 2012

Turkish Military

“Countries may vary, but civilization is one, and for a nation to progress, it must take part in this one civilization. The decline of the Ottomans began when, proud of their triumphs over the West, they cut their ties with the European nations. This was a mistake which we will not repeat.”   –Kemal Ataturk, 1924

Spinning in his grave, indeed. for now his successors not only think they can revive a Turkish-ruled imperium but have made the very mistake of turning their backs on the West that the republic’s founder rightly saw as the downfall of that earlier incarnation of his country. I’d change Ataturk’s wording slightly: the Ottomans turned their backs on the modern world then being developed in the West while still forming alliances with European powers.

Once upon a time there was a country named Turkey whose republic was created by Kemal Ataturk who famously said: “Peace at home; peace abroad.” He and the Turkish people had seen their Ottoman Empire collapse after failing to modernize, engaging in chauvinistic nationalism (under the Young Turks), and entering an unnecessary war that led to 20 percent of its population dead and the country prostrate. Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

McConnell: Obama Needs to ‘Become the Adult,’ Raise Discussion on Debt, Deficit

May 21st 2012

McConnell Mitch

Speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation on May 20th, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Sunday said House Speaker John Boehner was right to focus attention on a possible hike in the nation’s debt ceiling, saying it was a “perfect time” to address the nation’s fiscal health, but placing the burden for moving forward with President Obama. “At some point here, this President needs to become the adult, because the Speaker and I have been the adults in the room, arguing that we need to do something about the nation’s most serious long-term problem,” said McConnell on CBS’s Face the Nation.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) restarted the debate over a possible debt-ceiling hike last week when he called for dollar-for-dollar cuts in exchange for any raise in the limit. Boehner said he feared that without early negotiations on a long-term fiscal plan, lawmakers post-election would only have a few weeks to avoid what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has called a “fiscal cliff” with looming cuts to spending and expiring Bush-era tax rates. McConnell told host Bob Schieffer those issues required extensive discussion and that Boehner was right to press the issue. “What the Speaker was saying, I entirely agree with. If the President’s going to ask us to raise the debt ceiling--and he will early next year--we do need to have another serious discussion about trying to do something significant about the deficit and debt,” he said. “A request from the president to raise the debt ceiling is a serious matter,” McConnell added. “Because it underscores the way we have been engaged in deceit spending and borrowing particularly over the last three-and-a-half years. It is the perfect time, Bob, the perfect time to engage in a discussion to do something serious about the deficit and debt.” Read more ..


Broken Taxes

A Tax Increase without the Pain

May 20th 2012

ss card and cash

Each year, the federal government summarizes its financial condition in the Financial Report of the U. S. Government. In recent years, the number that has attracted significant attention is the report’s estimate of the present value of the government’s “unfunded liabilities” for the next 75 years—the present dollar value of the funding shortfall in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid over that period if current policies were to remain unchanged. The fiscal 2011 report estimates the net shortfall to be $6.4 trillion (see page 153 of the report). It’s a number that has been setting off alarm bells, but it’s also a number that is prone to misinterpretation. It is not a forecast; instead, it is a what-if scenario: “What if current policies didn’t change for 75 years and the growth rate settled into an unimpressive annual rate of 2.2 percent?”

In any case, there is near-unanimous agreement among politicians and pundits that current policies would result in an unsustainable debt-to-GDP ratio (see page x of the Citizen’s Guide in the 2011 report), which in turn begs the question of how we can fix this scenario before it’s too late. House Republicans have tried to get a conversation going, but the Democrats apparently want to put that conversation off until some unspecified time after the election. There is near-unanimous agreement among politicians and pundits that current policies would result in an unsustainable debt-to-GDP ratio. Read more ..


The Edge of Justice

New Evidence is Consistent with George Zimmerman’s Self Defense Claim

May 19th 2012

Alan Dershowitz lecture

Alan Dershowitz

A medical report by George Zimmerman’s doctor has disclosed that Zimmerman had a fractured nose, two black eyes, two lacerations on the back of his head and a back injury on the day after the fatal shooting.  Moreover, the New York Times has reported that traces of marijuana were found in Trayvon Martin’s body and that Martin’s father initially said that the voice crying for help was not that of his son.  It is also been reported that a bruise was found on Martin’s ring finger that would be consistent with Martin having punched Zimmerman.  No other wounds, aside of course from the fatal bullet hole in the front of Martin’s body, were found.

If this evidence turns out to be valid, the prosecutor will have no choice but to drop the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman — if she wants to act ethically, lawfully and professionally. There is, of course, no assurance that the special prosecutor handling the case, State Attorney Angela Corey, will do the right thing. Because until now, her actions have been anything but ethical, lawful and professional. She was aware when she submitted an affidavit that it did not contain the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. She deliberately withheld evidence that supported Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. The New York Times has reported that the police had “a full face picture” of Zimmerman, before paramedics treated him, that showed “a bloodied nose.” The prosecutor also had photographic evidence of bruises to the back of his head.

But none of this was included in any affidavit. Read more ..


Mideast on Edge

Be Careful What You Wish For

May 18th 2012

Israel pre 1967

Memo to all those hardliners who believe that not getting serious with negotiations with the Palestinians will wear them down and, eventually, lead to a one-state solution, with Jerusalem permanently in control of all the Land of Israel:

Without a doubt, you will get your wish.

Be warned, however. What you will get will not be a Jewish state. At best, it will be a state run by Arabs and Jews, but more likely only by Arabs.

It is what the world is waiting to impose. It is what a small but growing minority of Jews seems to want. It even is what underlies the effort in some quarters to rewrite Israel’s national anthem, the Hatikvah, to make it more comfortable for Israel’s non-Jewish majority to sing. Suggested rewrites water down Jewish claims to the land and downplay two millennia of hopes and prayers for the sake of an unwarranted political correctness.

We understand — we really do — why there is such great reluctance to give up any territory on the other side of the Green Line. It is on that side of the line, on the west bank, that the hope of 2,000 years is truly fulfilled. When we prayed for a “restoration of Zion,” for a return to our homeland, our hearts and minds were focused on Hebron, where our forefathers lay buried; on Beit El, where Jacob dreamed of a stairway to heaven; of Shechem, where once the Tabernacle stood in all its glory; on the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim, where the returning Israeilites conducted a covenant renewal ceremony; on Bethlehem, where Mother Rachel is buried along the way to Efrat, the better to keep an eye on her children. “Re’i Rachel, re’i, hem shavu li-g’vulam,” Look, Rachel, look and see; they have returned to their borders. Your children have returned home. Read more ..


Edge of Terrorism

Is Iran Preparing a 9/11-Style Attack on the United States?

May 17th 2012

Twin towers burning

New York City: It's the center of the U.S. financial system and for many people, the capital of the world. That's why the Big Apple remains a top terror target.

From the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to 9/11, and more recently, the Times Square bomber, terrorists have repeatedly targeted Manhattan.

Now Iran, the world's largest state sponsor of terror, is reportedly taking aim.

A recent warning about the threat posed by Iran and its terror proxy, Hezbollah, came from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. "We know Hezbollah operatives are here," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told a House committee on homeland security in March. "The question is whether these Hezbollah operatives have the capacity to carry out attacks on the U.S. homeland and how quickly they can become fully operational," he said.

King said hundreds of operatives are here and that some Iranian diplomats stationed at the United Nations are much more than they appear. "Several of their comrades in the U.N. mission in New York were sent back to Iran after the NYPD caught them photographing the city's rail systems in the years since 9/11," he said. According to one NYPD official, there have been at least five other instances of what he called "hostile reconnaissance" against New York City by Iranian agents. Read more ..


The Obama Edge

Obama's Fatal Flaw Revealed In White House Website's Presidential Bios

May 17th 2012

Barack Obama

Everyone knows presidents have larger-than-life size egos.  It goes with the job.  But changes on the official White House website reveal that we’ve never had a self-regarding narcissist quite like the Oval Office’s current occupant. They also reveal a fatal flaw in the Obama presidency, which is bad news for the rest of us if Barack Obama wins a second term. It seems the Obama team has been taking the website’s standard biographies of past presidents and inserting gratuitous references to our Beloved Leader. That’s led to entries like, “On February 22, 1924, Calvin Coolidge became the first president to make a public radio address to the American people. President Obama became the first president to hold virtual gatherings and town halls using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn etc.” and “On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Today the Obama administration continues to protect senior and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations.” 

The only recent president not to get the Obama treatment was Gerald Ford. It seems even Obama’s webmaster didn’t want to link his boss to a president best known for tripping over his own feet and pardoning Richard Nixon. Let’s set aside the colossal ego of someone who treats his predecessors as mere precursors of himself. Indeed, it’s easy to think about how Obama could have extended the comparisons. Eg. “God created the world in six days. President Obama created his first White House jobs summit in just four.” And set aside the drooling sycophancy of those dreamed up this scheme, and then carried it out. What’s chilling is that a president who treats his office as nothing more than a prism for reflecting his own virtues, is never going to admit his own policies might be why we are experiencing the slowest economic recovery in modern history, persistent high unemployment, the collapse of respect for America around the world-–and why 70% of polled Americans say we’re on the wrong track. Read more ..



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