Just Knock It Off

Posted by , 20th October 2010

ObamaThomas L. Friedman
10/20/2010

Friedman gives several reasons why President Obama is not anti-Israel. These include building a global coalition to stop Iran from making a nuclear weapon and trying to advance the peace process in the Middle East to get Europeans and the UN behind tougher sanctions on Iran. It is not an act of hostility to ask Israel to continue its expired 10-month partial moratorium on settlement-building in the West Bank to prevent Palestinians from avoiding peace talks, but Israel’s prime minister has been resisting this request or demanding a payoff from the US for continuing the freeze. Friedman gives two reasons why he is wrong to do so. He says president Obama is doing his job and Palestine and Israel’s leaders should do theirs and work for peace during this process.

Friedman is a New York Times columnist.

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‘Manning up’ isn’t the problem this election

Posted by , 20th October 2010

Meg WhitmanRuth Marcus
10/20/2010

With the prevalence and prominence of female candidates this election season, the depressing state of gender politics has come front and center. Female candidates are repeatedly telling their male counterparts to “man up” while others have referred to “man pants” and “cojones” as requisites for responsible leadership. Conversely, an aide within Jerry Brown’s campaign referred to his opponent, Meg Whitman, as a whore. Recognition of and respect for genuine gender differences is entirely lacking; in its place is an unreflective, grade school level of name calling unbecoming the national discourse.

Marcus is an editorial writer for The Post, specializing in American politics, campaign finance, the federal budget and taxes, and other domestic issues.

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GOP’s election strategy lets others do its dirty work

Posted by , 18th October 2010

Glenn BeckE.J. Dionne Jr.
10/18/2010

The Republican Party and conservatives generally appear to be taking a three tiered approach to this November’s elections. Glenn Beck has been the leading national voice for conservative criticism of the president, casting him as a dangerous and conspiratorial figure endangering the country’s future. Next, the Tea Party and other third party organizations are spending considerable sums on negative advertising against the various Democratic candidates. These influences then allow the local conservative candidates to adopt whatever pose or perspective will be most advantageous, from moderate to outspoken, in their respective races. The electorate is energized by the national influences and then mobilized according to the local tendencies.

Dionne is a twice-weekly columnist for The Post, writing on national policy and politics.

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Why a Foreclosure Moratorium Is a Bad Idea

Posted by , 18th October 2010

Real EstateBarbara Novick
10/18/2010

A special bankruptcy law could help borrowers while letting housing markets clear, says Novick. But any resolution of the housing crisis needs to respect the rights of everyone–investors, borrowers, lenders, and taxpayers. Foreclosure moratoriums, failed mortgage modifications, and principal forgiveness programs delay resolution. Worse, they create more losses for investors, homeowners, and taxpayers, yet fail to keep delinquent borrowers in their homes.

Novick is vice chairman of BlackRock, a global investment management firm based in New York City.

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In China, Even the Premier Is Censored

Posted by , 18th October 2010

MaoL. Gordon Crovitz
10/18/2010

Crovitz reflects on an unprecedented open letter from 23 well-known Chinese Communist Party (CCP) elders calling for free speech. The party elders note that Britain gave its colony of Hong Kong more freedom than the Communist Party gives China. Disillusioned, they are now demanding press freedom. Crovitz says the CCP will reform itself when its splits become too wide to cover over. For the outside world, the opportunity is to encourage the growing number of disillusioned cadres who understand that modern countries rely on a free flow of information, for ordinary citizens and their leaders alike.

Crovitz writes ‘Information Age’ for the Journal.

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Your pre-election post-mortem

Posted by , 15th October 2010

Carl PaladinoCharles Krauthammer
10/15/2010

Instead of waiting until after the elections to give his analysis, Krauthammer performs a dissection now, and not without humor. From the “Most suicidal candidate” (Carl Paladino) to the “Unlukiest guy on the planet” (Beau Biden) to the “Most irresistible political name” (Ovide Lamontagne), Krauthammer points out the flaws, victories, and potential of various candidates and recognizes the importance of the rise of Republican women, apparently overlooked by conventional feminism. The electorate, says Krauthammer, has been misrepresented as irrationally angry, when in fact the elections of 2010 are driven by sensible anger and dissatisfaction with the first two years of this administration.

Krauthammer is a weekly columnist for The Post, writing on foreign and domestic policy and politics.

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The Mortgage Morass

Posted by , 15th October 2010

HomePaul Krugman
10/15/2010

The latest in the mortgage foreclosure crisis is that many servicers, or companies that collect payments on behalf of mortgage owners, who have been foreclosing on many mortgages and seizing homes have been ignoring the law and doing so without required documentation and in some cases seizing homes that were not in default. Significant numbers of borrowers are being defrauded by these trusts. Krugman says this could create another financial morass. The Obama administration’s response has been to oppose any action that would upset the banks, while Republicans have asked Americans to trust the banks. Krugman says this is unacceptable. Where no clear property rights exist, it’s the government’s job to create them because what we are doing now is not working.

Krugman is a New York Times columnist.

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The Barack Obama Sr. I knew

Posted by , 15th October 2010

Obama Sr. Bruce L.R. Smith
10/15/2010

The author takes issue with Dinesh D’Souza’s piece about how President Obama’s current policies were shaped by his father. Smith knew Obama, Sr. personally if not closely and presents him as a serious liberal intellectual with a somewhat quirky sense of humor. Obama Sr. was not, as D’Souza claims, an anti-colonialist. Rather, Obama Sr. was a reasonable man who spoke out against tribal politics and corruption. Where D’Souza sees rage in President Obama’s “Dreams from My Father,” Smith sees a pragmatic, cerebral sense of injustice. Perhaps this detachment has been instrumental in Obama’s ability to incite anger from various political coalitions. Smith concludes that conservatives have their reasons for criticizing the president, but the portrait D’Souza paints does not aid political discussions.

The writer is a retired senior staff member of the Brookings Institution and now a visiting professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy.

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The O’Donnell-Coons debate and survival of the fittest

Posted by , 14th October 2010

CoonsDana Milbank
10/14/2010

Christine O’Donnell’s debate with her opponent, Chris Coons, showed a candidate considerably evolved but still substantially unrefined. While there was no mention of witchcraft or mice with human brains, she charged Coons repeatedly with holding Marxist beliefs and went out of her way to tweak Blitzer, even revealing in the course of the debate that she’d refused a prior interview request from him. Coons actually came to her defense, suggesting that the attention given her past statements was unfortunate and distracting from the more serious concerns of the election.

Milbank writes about political theater in the nation’s capital.

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