Facebook Also A Loser In Egypt - Mark Steyn [Orange County Register]
So how's that old Arab Spring going? You remember – the "Facebook Revolution." As I write, they're counting the votes in Egypt's presidential election, so by the time you read this the pecking order may have changed somewhat. But currently in first place is the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi, who in an inspiring stump speech before the students of Cairo University the other night told them, "Death in the name of Allah is our goal."
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Is It Within Bounds To Ask: Is Obama A Socialist? - Paul Roderick Gregory [Forbes]
Democrat strategists know that the American electorate reacts strongly negative to “socialism” and are doing their best to discredit any and all who call Obama a socialist. There can be no doubt that Obama is a socialist in the European reform-Marxism tradition. In France, Obama would be the candidate of the French socialist party. In Spain, he would be at home in the Socialist Worker’s Party. In Germany, Obama would be torn between the Social Democrats and Die Linke. In “Old Europe,” the welfare state is well entrenched. Elections are about tinkering at the margin. The United States has still to decide whether it wants the European welfare state or not. Obama does. Romney does not.
Democrat strategists discredit Obama-is-a-socialist claims by equating them with the ludicrous charge that Obama is a card-carrying communist of the cold war tradition. That is not what is being said. European socialists are proud of their rich tradition and heritage that date back to the split with revolutionary Marxism at the turn of the last century. In the United States, however, candidates must conceal rather than openly proclaim their socialist beliefs... Read the RestIt's Time To Drop The College-For-All Crusade - Robert Samuelson [Washington Post]
...We overdid it. The obsessive faith in college has backfired.
For starters, we’ve dumbed down college. The easiest way to enroll and retain more students is to lower requirements. Even so, dropout rates are high; at four-year schools, fewer than 60 percent of freshmen graduate within six years. Many others aren’t learning much.
In a recent book, “Academically Adrift,” sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa report that 45 percent of college students hadn’t significantly improved their critical thinking and writing skills after two years; after four years, the proportion was still 36 percent. Their study was based on a test taken by 2,400 students at 24 schools requiring them to synthesize and evaluate a block of facts. The authors blame the poor results on lax academic standards. Surveyed, one-third of the same students said that they studied alone five or fewer hours a week; half said they had no course the prior semester requiring 20 pages of writing.... Read the RestHope: The Sequel - John Heilemann [New York]
...But if the Obama 2012 strategy in this regard is all about the amplification of 2008, in terms of message it will represent a striking deviation. 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 the governor of Massachusetts. They will mash him for being a water-carrier for Paul Ryan’s Social Darwinist fiscal program. They will maul him for being a combination of Jerry Falwell, Joe Arpaio, and John Galt on a range of issues that strike deep chords with the Obama coalition. “We’re gonna say, ‘Let’s be clear what he would do as president,’ ” Plouffe explains. “Potentially abortion will be criminalized. Women will be denied contraceptive services. He’s far right on immigration. He supports efforts to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage.”
The Obama effort at disqualifying Romney will go beyond painting him as excessively conservative, however. It will aim to cast him as an avatar of revanchism. “He’s the fifties, 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 fucking guy is gonna take us back to the way it always was, and guess what? I’ve never been part of that.’ ”... Read the RestFour More Years? - Pete DuPont [Wall Street Journal]
Before being elected in 2008, Barack Obama said: "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." That belief has turned out to be wholly accurate. America has been greatly transformed by all areas of this administration's policy goals and actions.
The most significant policy change during President Obama's first term was his health-care "reform," the movement of 17% of our economy from the marketplace of ideas and physician-patient decision-making to control and management by the federal government. The Supreme Court is now considering ObamaCare are constitutional, and is expected to decide by the end of June... Read the RestMemorial Day Tribute
Too Big For Comfort - James Pethokoukis [Weekly Standard]
America needs to break up its biggest banks, but not for reasons likely to give a tingle to Occupy Wall Street’s remnant rabble (or its Great Everywhere Spirit, Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts). This isn’t about some political exercise in election-year demonization. Bankers, as a class, aren’t villains. They’re not “banksters” grifting money from middle-income pockets. And they’re certainly not vampire squids on the collective face of humanity, as Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi has infamously described Goldman Sachs. And while it might be rhetorical overkill to say they’re “doing God’s work,” as Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein has put it, bankers do fulfill a critical economic function. Bankers, not bureaucrats, are supposed to be the efficient allocators of capital in America’s market-based economy. They connect people who have spare dough to those who need a bit of spare dough, such as entrepreneurs looking to start a business or companies looking to grow one. We need lots of successful banks, and we need smart folks to run them.
But America doesn’t need 20 banks with combined assets equal to nearly 90 percent of the U.S. economy, or five mega-banks—JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs—with combined assets equal to almost 60 percent of national output, three times what they were in the 1990s. That amount of complexity and financial concentration—which has grown worse since the passage of Dodd-Frank—is a current and continuing threat to the health of the U.S. economy. Now don’t blame market failure or unintended results of deregulation. Banks that big and complex and interconnected are both the unsurprising outcome of Washington’s 30-year expansion of the federal safety net and the cause of its ongoing existence. When you combine a “too big to fail” guarantee from Uncle Sam with the natural human tendency toward irrational exuberance, you have the key elements in place for another unaffordable financial crisis... Read the Rest
Global Green Agenda Continues to Fail - Walter Mead [American Interest]
Remember when meetings to debate and negotiate an international carbon treaty were big news? The Copenhagen Summit was hailed as the largest assembly of world leaders ever to gather for one event; when it fizzled in waves of shame and confusion, the green movement was shocked and dismayed.
There was a lot of happy talk, of course. The world remained committed to the treaty, more progress would be made, targets were agreed, blah blah blah.
Then there was the meeting in Cancun: fewer reporters, fewer first rank politicians, fewer hopes. That meeting too ended in disarray on the core issues, and then, too, desperate greens scrambling to maintain some kind of policy relevance tried to spin the meeting as a victory for the “process”. Nobody was paying much attention; the world’s news organizations sharply cut their budgets for green summitry... Read the RestBarack Obama: Drone Warrior - Charles Krauthammer [National Review Online]
...The Osama-slayer card having been vastly overplayed, what to do? A new card: Obama, drone warrior, steely and solitary, delivering death with cool dispatch to the rest of the al-Qaeda depth chart.
So the peacemaker, Nobel laureate, nuclear disarmer, apologizer to the world for America’s having lost its moral way when it harshly interrogated the very people Obama now kills has become — just in time for the 2012 campaign — Zeus the Avenger, smiting by lightning strike.
A rather strange ethics. You go around the world preening about how America has turned a new moral page by electing a president profoundly offended by George W. Bush’s belligerence and prisoner maltreatment, and now you’re ostentatiously telling the world that you personally play judge, jury, and executioner to unseen combatants of your choosing, and whatever innocents happen to be in their company... Read the RestUnlike Obama, Scott Walker Delivers - Senator Ron Johnson [Politico]
Starting Wednesday, most of the folks I know in Wisconsin will be looking forward to a well-earned respite from what seems like a permanent campaign.
Instead of taking a break from politics between elections, Wisconsin has for months been dealing with fugitive legislators, ugly protests, legal challenges and a series of recall contests allegedly aimed at overturning Gov. Scott Walker’s legislative agenda. There’s virtually no possibility that his successful reforms will be overturned, so one has to wonder: What exactly is the point of Tuesday’s recall vote?
The simple facts are the governor’s reforms have worked, and Wisconsin is open for business... Read the RestHolder's Racial Incitement - Editors [Wall Street Journal]
The United States of America has a black President whose chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Eric Holder, is also black. They have a lot of political power. So how are they using it? Well, one way is to assert to black audiences that voter ID laws are really attempts to disenfranchise black Americans. And liberals think Donald Trump's birther fantasies are offensive?
"In my travels across this country, I've heard a consistent drumbeat of concern from citizens, who—often for the first time in their lives—now have reason to believe that we are failing to live up to one of our nation's most noble ideals," Mr. Holder said Wednesday in a speech to the Council of Black Churches. Voter ID laws and white discrimination, he added, mean that "some of the achievements that defined the civil rights movement now hang in the balance."
That's right. The two most powerful men in America are black, two of the last three Secretaries of State were black, numerous corporate CEOs and other executives are black, and minorities of many races now win state-wide elections in states that belonged to the Confederacy, but the AG implies that Jim Crow is on the cusp of a comeback... Read the RestThe Funniest Thing I Saw This Week
Shadows Meet The Clouds, Gray On Gray, Like Dusty Charcoal On An Ashen Brow, Nation's Poets Report