Thursday, August 27, 2009

Karl's Weekend Reading

We comb through 20-40 articles per week for this post, and one thing is becoming obvious: the conservative voices have hit critical mass on the problems with ObamaCare. For each page of the socialist legislation, there is an equal number of valid points to reject the idea of government care. For us and those like-minded, this wasn't necessary to know a bad thing when we saw it. But for many others who are just starting to listen, these arguments are doing to ObamaCare what SDI did to Soviet military thinking. Its no wonder our Dear Leader wanted to rush this through.

We assume you're reading these pieces too, so we won't bother you with the links. So this week - links to non-ObamaCare pieces that, as required, are top-notch articles worthy of your weekend reading.

Obama's Summer of Discontent, by Fouad Ajami in the WSJ, is a great read. Rush read parts of this article this past week and said it was one of those articles he wishes he wrote. Us too! Our quotes below do not do it justice, so please click here to read it all. He talks about how Obama fit into a short window of national despair and doubt in last year's campaign, and how the nation has restored its self-confidence despite a leader that wishes against it.

We were led to this summer of discontent by the very nature of the coalition that brought Mr. Obama, and the political class around him, to power, and by the circumstances of his victory. The man was elected amid economic distress. Faith in the country's institutions, perhaps in the free-enterprise system itself, had given way. Mr. Obama had ridden that distress. His politics of charisma was reminiscent of the Third World. A leader steps forth, better yet someone with no discernible trail, someone hard to pin down to a specific political program, and the crowd could read into him what it wished, what it needed.
The Obama devotees were the victims of their own belief in political magic.
Those protesters in those town-hall meetings have served notice that Mr. Obama's charismatic moment has passed. Once again, the belief in that American exception that set this nation apart from other lands is re-emerging. Health care is the tip of the iceberg. Beneath it is an unease with the way the verdict of the 2008 election was read by those who prevailed. It shall be seen whether the man swept into office in the moment of national panic will adjust to the nation's recovery of its self-confidence.

Bret Stephens at the WSJ comments on Obama's intent to pursue CIA interrogators. Seen as a way to distract from the ObamaCare embarrassment, this pursuit of America's protectors appears to be a bone thrown to the wacky lefties who prefer apologies for America to Death Panels. Stephens comments on the hypocrisy of the left who screamed about the (in the end, lawful) disclosure of Valerie Plames' identity and who equally scream for the heads of those who saved American lives. He also warns that disclosure of these agents' identities will lead to threats to their safety.

Liberals have never liked the CIA, except when it suited their partisan purposes. That's fine: There's much not to like about the agency, and the U.S. might well be better off without its bungled operations and laughable intelligence estimates. But having shouted themselves hoarse over Mrs. Wilson, their enthusiasm for this new round of outing is a bit unseemly. Especially when lives are actually at stake. Especially when a liberal president has pledged to protect those lives.

Daniel Henninger also opines on the CIA witch hunt, The War On Terror Is Over. He concludes, "The war on terror is being downgraded to not much more than tough talk. Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the Iranians, not yet converts to the West's caricature of its own legal traditions, will take note. In time, they will be back. The second war on terror is in the future."

This litigation nightmare, together with the chilling effect of the special prosecutor's potential indictments, has as its goal making the price of aggressive interrogation too high under any circumstance, including a one-hour-bomb scenario.
This means that the class of person who blows up skyscrapers, American embassies or the USS Cole would spend less time under a bare light bulb than a domestic robbery suspect.
---'s a death sentence for an effective war on terror. It makes what's left of the war—telephone wiretaps or monitoring money transfers—vulnerable to a steady stream of congressional and legal objection. That lets the Obama administration evade political responsibility by letting others wind down the war on terror.

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