Clearing my spindle

I want to take the liberty of drawing your attention to a few of the most interesting and/or important pieces of analysis and commentary published in the past few weeks. Some of these we have linked to in posts; others have rotated through our Picks. I will only say that these warrant your time.

Michael Doran”s Mosaic essay on what Obama is up to with Iran sheds light on dark corners. The essay is “Obama’s secret Iran strategy.” The editors of Mosaic have now rounded up reactions to Doran’s essay in a post titled, not surprisingly, “What they’re saying about ‘Obama’s secret Iran strategy.'”

Grame Wood’s Atlantic cover story on ISIS has generated a lot of discussion. The essay is “What ISIS really wants.” Wood begins to do for ISIS what Lawrence Wright did for al Qaeda in The Looming Tower. Peter Wehner draws on Wood’s essay in his Commentary post “Obama’s multipronged assault on truth and reality.”

The invaluable MEMRI has posted a special dispatch Egypt: “US State Department hosting of MB delegation — a slap in the face of the war on terrorism.” An observant reader comments: “It seems to me to be more evidence of what Hillary calls smart power: empathizing with your enemies, who will—as enemies are wont to do—take advantage of your empathizing. Meanwhile, friends will be at first angry, then demoralized, to the greater advantage of your enemies. It’s 1979 all over again, right down to the rot about root causes of evil.”

We wrote a lot about Rashad Hussain when the Obama administration first appointed him to some post in which he was to serve as the fox in the henhouse. Matthew Vadum notes that Hussain continues his rise in “Terror apologist named to federal anti-terror post.”

As Mr. Hussain serves to reminds us, personnel is policy. When Rick Perry appointed Wallace Hall to the University of Texas Board of Regents, he knew what he was doing. Hall has opened a Pandora’s box of horrors by asking a few impolite questions of the powers-that-be at the University of Texas. The Dallas Observer’s Jim Schultze explains why “Wallace Hall was right about UT all along.” For a good profile of Hall, see Skip Hollandsworth’s August 2014 Texas Monthly article “Is this the most dangerous man in Texas?”

If Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz were a Republican rather than a Democrat, Marc Caputo’s Politico exposé would be a huge story: “Debbie does damage control.” She is not just some Democratic congressional backbencher; she is Obama’s handpicked chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Here is Caputo’s lead: “Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office offered to change her position on medical marijuana if a major Florida donor recanted his withering criticism of her, according to emails obtained by POLITICO.”

Caputo has followed up with Schultz’s denial: “Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Friday denied claims that her staff offered a deal to reverse her opposition to medical marijuana in order to silence a Florida donor’s criticisms — attributing the controversy to a misunderstanding. But text messages and emails obtained by POLITICO indicate her top political adviser was aware of some type of offer to donor John Morgan, who is accusing the South Florida congresswoman of after-the-fact spin.”

Our friend Ben Boychuk has a son who requires treatment with daily injections of growth hormone. The subhead on his Sacramento Bee column explaining his family’s close encounter of the painful kind with Obamacare is “The Affordable Care Act isn’t so affordable for the chronically ill.” Ben’s son Benjamin requires daily injections of growth hormones. For those wanting to help out with the financial component of his family’s ordeal, Ben has set up “Benjamin Boychuk’s Growth Fund.”

UPDATE: I originally misfired on the link to Benjamin Boychuk’s Growth Fund, immediately above, but it is now fixed.

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