Obama’s Mystifying Strategy

Posted by osurce, 17th September 2010

obama_austin_011Karl Rove
9/16/2010

Rove is surprised that in just 20 months Obama has lost control of his presidency’s narrative. It’s too late for the president to turn John Boehner into the Gingrich of 2010. And while Obama’s personal attacks on the GOP leader may be therapeutic for him and send a thrill up the leg of left-wingers, it has cost him (and his party) dearly with independents and college-educated voters. In a little more than a year and a half, the president has lost a third of his support among independents, many of whom are ready to punish Democrats at the polls. It is too late for Obama to do a makeover before the midterms. For the country’s sake Rove hopes the midterms bring about real hope and change at the White House.

Rove, the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, is the author of “Courage and Consequence” (Threshold Editions, 2010).

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The Day After Tomorrow

Posted by osurce, 15th September 2010

US flagDavid Brooks
9/14/2010

The story Republicans are telling each other about limited government is an oversimplified version of American history, and Brooks says it has dangerous implications. Using examples from Washington’s, Lincoln’s, and Roosevelt’s presidencies, Brooks says the American story is also one of limited but energetic governments that used federal power as a tool to promote growth and social mobility in the nation. He notes that if Republicans today regard “every new bit of government action as a step on the road to serfdom,” it will be a political, fiscal, policy, and intellectual tragedy. We must focus not just on what is happening today, but also on what could happen the day after tomorrow and problems facing the nation that cannot be addressed by merely making government smaller.

Brooks is a New York Times columnist.

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Your move, Mr. Abbas

Posted by osurce, 13th September 2010

Abbas & ObamaCharles Krauthammer
9/10/2010

The Obama administration has wisely designed upcoming talks with Palestine and Israel to deal directly with the real issues in the region. Likud Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is prepared to give up the West Bank, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is prepared to give up his home in exchange for a real offer of peace from the Palestinians. The problem is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ refusal to accept the existence of a Jewish state. Abbas will refuse to participate in the talks at all unless the settlement freeze, imposed by Obama, is not renewed on September 26. A reason not to participate in the negotiations would actually work in Abbas’ favor. If he is not present, he can not agree to any concessions. Abbas knows how to undermine even the most well-designed negotiations.

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

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Bring solar power back to the White House

Posted by osurce, 13th September 2010

solar powerBill McKibben
9/10/2010

President Carter installed solar panels on the White House roof in June of 1979, invoking both their enormous potential and the risk of irrelevance. Unfortunately, the latter appears to have been the case in the United States. The panels were removed during the Reagan administration and less than one percent of American homes have solar heated water. In contrast, China leads the world in solar technology with 250 million homes utilizing the panels.

McKibben, founder of the global warming campaign 350.org, is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College in Vermont and the author of “Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.”

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The Genteel Nation

Posted by osurce, 13th September 2010

AmericansDavid Brooks
9/10/2010

Brooks says the notion that America is in decline is debatable, but it is undergoing changes that are structural, not cyclical. Our best talent is entering the helping or consulting fields, which are less prosperous. Yet there is also a shortage of mechanics and other skilled workers because the middle class saw their way into affluence by leaving the working class trades. And the lower classes are plagued with social breakdown, which results in wasted human capital. Brooks says short-term stimulus is a distraction. The real issue is gentility shift and whether we can address it.

Brooks is a New York Times columnist.

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The Healers of 9/11

Posted by osurce, 10th September 2010

Afghanistan_WomenNicholas D. Kristof
9/9/2010

A Jewish woman who lost her husband in the September 11 attacks is planning to speak at mosques in order to recruit members to join her in her battle against poverty and illiteracy in Afghanistan. Kristof looks at how Susan Retik and her partner, another widow from September 11, started a nonprofit called Beyond the 11th to do so, and he reviews many of the organization’s initiatives. Although education and employment are not panaceas, they do chip away at fundamentalism over time, and the work offers an antidote to anti-Islamic hysteria on this anniversary of 9/11.

Kristof is a New York Times columnist.

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Dr. Seuss and the Afghan Military

Posted by osurce, 10th September 2010

afghansWilliam B. Caldwell
9/9/2010

As thousands of Afghans train, fight, and die for their nation, working and fighting to make a better future, we should give them the tools, hope, and respect to chart a new and better path for their people. Toward that end, the NATO training mission has about 27,000 recruits from the Afghan army and police in mandatory literacy programs at any given time. That number will grow to 50,000 by this December and to about 100,000 by June of next year. Afghan soldiers and police are plenty intelligent, and literacy will help them become a modern force.

Lt. Gen. Caldwell is commander of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan.

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Study on Antisemitism in Spain

Posted by elvira, 10th September 2010

In recent years, there has been rising concern about the intensity of antisemitism in Spain, after various international surveys published results showing increasing levels of antisemitism. Among these surveys, the latest Pew Global Attitudes report produced by the PEW Research Centre concluded that unfavourable attitudes in Spain towards Jews had doubled in three years, from 21% in 2005 to 46% in 2008. Spain was found to be the European country with the largest population segment expressing such unfavourable attitudes; moreover, it was the only country in which this percentage was higher than that of those expressing favourable views (45%).

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Our ‘Moderate Muslim’ Problem

Posted by osurce, 18th August 2010

Bret Stephens
8/17/2010

Ground Zero

In the controversy over the Ground Zero mosque, opponents of which are being widely branded as

bigots, Stephens says the Ground Zero mosque imam has earned wide congratulations while true reformers have gone ignored. The fundamental problem with too many self-described moderate Muslims is that moderate Muslims denounce

terror that’s committed in the name of Islam but deny that such terror has anything to do with their religion. By contrast, reform-minded Muslims denounce terror that’s committed in the name of Islam while acknowledging the role of their religion in inspiring it. He concludes by urging caution, stating that when it comes to heralding the arrival of Islamic moderates, there’s nothing more embarrassing than a case of premature congratulation.

Stephens writes ‘Global View’ for the Journal.

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