Friday, January 13, 2012

Top 10 Reads of the Week - Friday the 13th Edition (1/13/2012)

No Superpower Here - Gary Schmitt [Weekly Standard]
With the end of the Cold War in sight, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell in the George H. W. Bush administration was asked how big the U.S. military should be. He replied, “We have to put a shingle outside our door saying, ‘Superpower Lives Here.’ ”

Barack Obama has taken the shingle down... Read the Rest

Elizabeth Warren's Sloppy Progressivism - Richard Epstein [Defining Ideas]
President Barack Obama is not the only high profile candidate for public office who portrays himself as the champion of the middle class. Right now, in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, a longtime Harvard Law School professor, is projecting that same image in her determined run to displace Senator Scott Brown in next November’s election. Warren catapulted to fame in the Obama administration as the intellectual stimulus behind the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Board, now headed by Richard Cordray after a controversial recess appointment.
Now that Warren is free of her institutional obligations at the federal level, she has come out swinging on a large number of issues dear to progressive hearts. Her most powerful statement is posted conspicuously on moveon.org. Its call to arms requires a restrained and rational answer... Read the Rest
Where are the liberals? - David Brooks [New York Times]
Why aren’t there more liberals in America?

It’s not because liberalism lacks cultural power. Many polls suggest that a majority of college professors and national journalists vote Democratic. The movie, TV, music and publishing industries are dominated by liberals.
It’s not because recent events have disproved the liberal worldview. On the contrary, we’re still recovering from a financial crisis caused, in large measure, by Wall Street excess. Corporate profits are zooming while worker salaries are flat... Read the Rest
Obama's Postmodern Vision - Victor Davis Hansen [National Review Online]
There has been for months a popular parlor game of tallying instances in which President Obama seems to have either ignored or simply bypassed federal law. But what started out as a way of exposing occasional hypocrisy is now getting a little scary.
Most recently, President Obama made several recess appointments — a tactic that as a senator he once criticized — even though Congress was not in recess. In December, the president signed a $1 billion omnibus spending bill, but notified Congress that he might not abide by some of the very provisions he had just signed into law. During the Libya war, Obama felt that bombing Qaddafi’s forces did not really constitute military operations, and therefore he had no need to notify Congress under the War Powers Act... Read the Rest
The Bain Capital Bonfire - Editors [Wall Street Journal]
About the best that can be said about the Republican attacks on Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital is that President Obama is going to do the same thing eventually, so GOP primary voters might as well know what's coming. Yet that hardly absolves Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and others for their crude and damaging caricatures of modern business and capitalism.
Bain's business model is little more than "rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company," says Mr. Gingrich, whose previous insights into free enterprise include years of defending the taxpayer-fed business of corn ethanol... Read the Rest

Report No Evil On O - Michael Goodwin [New York Post]
Like the discovery of gambling in “Casablanca,” the mainstream media is shocked, shocked! to learn there is chaos and back-stabbing in the Obama White House. The media missed the story for the same reason Capt. Renault missed gambling at Rick’s Cafe: They chose to.
A cash kickback did the trick in the film. In real life, the Washington pack turns away from the truth for something less forgivable.
Three years after President Obama took office, much of the national press corps remains remarkably uncurious about what has gone wrong inside the land of Hope & Change. Whether still mesmerized by hypnotic chants of “Yes we can” or afraid to risk access by asking unpleasant questions, the press largely has failed to pierce the secrecy surrounding all the president’s men, their conflicts and policies... Read the Rest


Romney shows wide base of support in New Hampshire win - James Oliphant [Los Angeles Times]
Mitt Romney, to little surprise, won the New Hampshire primary. But what bodes well for the GOP presidential front-runner is how he did it. 
The candidate appeared to transcend what he termed "the bitter politics of envy" by demonstrating an exceptionally strong and wide base of support, according to exit poll data supplied by CNN. He received more votes than any other candidate from those who identified themselves as very conservative, from independents, from those who said they were moderate or liberal, from those who called themselves evangelicals or supporters of the tea party, from men and women, from college graduates and those who didn’t earn a degree... Read the Rest
The Real Oil Shock - Michael Makovsky and Lawrence Goldstein [Weekly Standard]
In 1993, James Carville, President Bill Clinton’s political strategist, said that “if there was reincarnation,” he’d like to return as the bond market, because then he could “intimidate everybody.” Today, with interest rates historically low, the fantasy of choice would no doubt be to come back as the oil market, which intimidates even the U.S. government.

Fear of the oil market and its impact on the fragile U.S. and global economy is seemingly a driving factor in the Obama administration’s Iran policy. The administration cited that fear in opposing and then weakening legislation that would sanction Iran’s Central Bank and in belittling the prospects for a U.S. military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. While the administration is right to be concerned, it should take a longer view. A fuller analysis of the oil market suggests that allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons capability would produce higher oil prices for a longer duration than would either action taken to prevent it... Read the Rest
The Worst Economic Recovery Since the Great Depression - Peter Ferrara [Forbes]
The record of President Obama’s first three years in office is in, and nothing that happens now can go back and change that. What that record shows is that President Obama, with his throwback, old-fashioned, 1970s Keynesian economics, has put America through the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression. 
The recession started in December, 2007. Go to the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research (www.nber.org) to see the complete history of America’s recessions. What that history reveals is that before this last recession, since the Great Depression recessions in America have lasted an average of 10 months, with the longest previously lasting 16 months... Read the Rest
The Stephanopoulos Standard - William McGurn [Wall Street Journal]
A funny thing happened on the way to the New Hampshire primary: ABC moderator George Stephanopoulos embarrassed himself on national television with questions plainly intended to embarrass the Republican candidates. Therein lies a lesson. 
On Saturday night, Mr. Stephanopoulos stepped outside the role of honest interlocutor when he pursued Mitt Romney with the issue on nobody's lips or legislative agenda: whether states have the right to ban contraception. Likewise, fellow moderator Diane Sawyer, who asked Republicans what they would say, "sitting in their living rooms," to a gay couple... Read the Rest
The Funniest Thing I Saw This Week

Again, it is Stephen Colbert. I just have to tip my hat to this guy - there is a LOT of groundwork that goes into a "joke" like this. He isn't just firing off one-liners, he is brilliantly parodying the system by participating in the system. Great stuff.

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