Clearing my spindle

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Wesley Pruden contrasts Israel’s protection of the celebration of Easter in Jerusalem with the Muslim suppression of Christianity: “Better to take your celebration to Israel, where the government will assist your visit. It’s the difference between Middle East and the cultural West, between the 8th and 21st centuries, between civilized and not-so-civilized. The Israeli guarantee of religious freedom, taken for granted in the nations of the West, is part of what invites hostility and belligerence from Israel’s neighbors.”
With a little help from George Gilder, Jay Nordlinger offers a related contrast that is almost as stark and therefore as instructive. Nordlinger contrasts Benjamin Netanyahu with Barack Obama. He quotes Gilder: “While Obama believes that the United States has overreacted to the threat of terrorism, Netanyahu for nearly thirty years has championed and explained the war on terror in both the United States and Israel, in books, international meetings, and through the Jonathan Institute (named for his late older brother who died in the stunning Entebbe hostage rescue in Uganda). Netanyahu sees jihad as the single greatest threat to the West, and no other politician is so learned or so determined in combating it. While Obama thinks Churchill is a man whose time has passed, Netanyahu has read and pondered all of Churchill’s works and admires the British titan ‘above all other gentiles.’ The time for Churchillian leadership, according to Netanyahu, is now.” One lesson we can take from this contrast is that Churchillian leadership won’t be coming from the United States any time soon.
Stephen Spruiell takes us from Obama to Pelosi in “The perseverance of Pelosi.” He has a good topic sentence: “The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote that music is the purest embodiment of will, but he never met Nancy Pelosi.” Spruiell briefly explains how the government nationalization of the student loan program will “pay” for Obamacare. I can say it even more briefly: it won’t. But it will extend government control more directly over the student loan program’s beneficiaries.
Among the sayings of Speaker Pelosi that will live on is her explanation of the need for enacting Obamacare: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Ed Morrissey enlists the assistance of Ken Schelper, a vice president of the Twin Cities’ Davanni’s restaurant chain, to explore the impact of Obamacare’s new menu mandate. (Ed first wrote about the mandate here. See also Dave Kopel’s discussion of Obamacare’s attack on the the structure of the Constitution.) Ed’s work has given me an idea for a t-shirt with a motto inspired by Joe Biden: The Democrats are big f****** nuts.
The reason for being of the Democratic Party is the redistribution of wealth. In 1995 John Hinderaker and I wrote about the subject at length in the essay “The truth about income inequality.” The Obama administration certainly seems to have no interest in, or understanding of, wealth creation. Byron York argues that Obamacare itself was aimed mainly at redistributing wealth. The will to power has something to do with it as well. See Stephen Spruiell on Nancy Pelosi above.
Which reminds me. C-SPAN has recently uploaded its video library to the Internet. The search engine works quickly and accurately. Jim Kearney identifies some of the riches now available online and provides a tip on use of the search engine. Kearney also pays tribute to C-SPAN: “C-SPAN and its founder Brian Lamb deserve all the praise they receive for accomplishing so much with limited resources. Less often recognized are the multichannel operators who have been footing the bill since its inception, with limited political payback. You’d think years of congressional coverage would have earned more appreciation in Washington, but such is not the case.”
Thanks to Kearney, I have been enjoying Jack Valenti’s interview of Ronald Radosh about Radosh’s book (coauthored with Radosh’s wife Allis) on Communists in Hollywood.
The C-SPAN project appears comprehensive. Among the past programs now accessible online: John Hinderaker’s and my presentation on Rathergate, and John Hinderaker’s debate with former Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Martin Sabo about income inequality. Keith Ellison now holds the congressional seat that was then occupied by Sabo. Little did we know that those were the days, my friend.
Attorney General Eric Holder persists in pronouncing the Gitmo bar a den of patriots. It is a verdict that can’t withstand scrutiny. Marc Thiessen provides an instructive look at Michael Ratner, the dean of the Gitmo bar. Thiessen explains: “The reason Ratner represents so many of America’s enemies is that Ratner believes America is evil.” As we used to say: Right on!
And Andrew McCarthy challenges the merits of Holder’s pronouncement directly in “‘Representing’ al Qaeda.” Thiessen and McCarthy provide evidence with which to deliberate over the merits of Holder’s pronouncement; Holder himself relies mostly on his ability as Attorney General to render his pronouncement ex cathedra.
We have avoided discussing everything related to the disgrace of John Edwards. Mark Falcoff’s review of Andrew Young’s memoir of his service to Edwards is worth a look. Quotable quote: “The story of John Edwards and Andrew Young is really the story of Southern White Liberal Politics as it has emerged in the post-civil rights era. Both men were hatched from the same misshapen egg that gave us Jimmy Carter — a protoplasm that combines greed, power lust, hypocrisy, and sanctimony.” I’m afraid that’s an indictment that extends more broadly across the American political spectrum.
When is it time to give up on the gospel of anthropogenic global warming? James Delingpole supplies the answer.
President Obama is a man with an extraordinarily high opinion of himself and a correspondingly low tolerance for criticism. Paul Ryan gets under his skin. Sean Hannity gets under his skin. Rush Limbaugh gets under his skin. The Tea Party gets under his skin. There is great entertainment value in the “troublesome” El Rushbo’s discourse on Obama’s recent citation of Rush.
For help getting behind yesterday’s unemployment numbers, see Barry Ritholz’s quick take. Among the striking negatives identified by Ritholz is this one: “U6 Unemployment, the broadest measure, rose to 16.9% -that’s off of the December 2009 peak of 17.3, but higher than January (16.5%) and February (16.8%) of 2010.” See also Diana Furchott-Roth’s column on Obamacare’s implications for unemployment.
Irwin Stelzer looks at the big picture and focuses on the positives, reserving this judgment for his concluision: “If the Fed is to err, it will err on the side of waiting too long to ‘exit’; there is no sign that the government will rein in spending — increases are more likely; a wall of money is sitting on the sidelines looking for investments or deals. In the longer run, of course, we will have to pay the piper for the administration’s Greek-style fiscal policy. Meanwhile, enjoy the ride.”

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