From July, 2014

“There Are Idiots. Look Around.”

The quote in the title of this blog post is courtesy of Larry Summers. I thought of it when reading this: Homophones, as any English grammarian can tell you, are words that sound the same but have different meanings and often different spellings — such as be and bee, through and threw, which and witch, their and there. This concept is taught early on to foreign students learning English because it can be confusing to someone whose native language does not have that feature. But when the social-media specialist for a private Provo-based English language learning center wrote a blog…

Will Republicans Impeach Barack Obama?

No, though you might be forgiven for thinking otherwise. A few congressional Republicans had attacks of the stupids (quelle surprise) and decided to intimate that impeachment may be in the cards. In response, Democrats decided to engage in epic bouts of nutpicking, in order to fire up their supporters in advance of the 2014 midterm elections by claiming that Democratic midterm victories were needed to stop a certain Republican march towards impeachment proceedings. This is all so incredibly ridiculous that it hardly merits discussion, but to the extent that readers are actually interested, let me point you to Nate Silver–no right-wing shill,…

More Links on the Israel-Gaza War

1. One of the criticisms most often leveled at Israel and her supporters is the claim that Israel’s actions in Gaza are costing it potential allies in the Arab world. Um . . . no. Battling Palestinian militants in Gaza two years ago, Israel found itself pressed from all sides by unfriendly Arab neighbors to end the fighting. Not this time. After the military ouster of the Islamist government in Cairo last year, Egypt has led a new coalition of Arab states — including Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — that has effectively lined up with Israel…

Neel Kashkari on the Jobs Situation in California

Neel Kashkari decided to highlight the bad jobs situation in California by putting “only $40 in my pocket (and no credit cards), a backpack, a change of clothes and a toothbrush,” traveling to Fresno (by Greyhound bus), and seeing whether he could find a job. Any job. It should not have been difficult; as Kashkari points out, “I am an able-bodied 41-year-old. Surely I could find some work.” As it turns out, he wasn’t able to find a single job in the one week during which he carried out his experiment. Not one. Was this something of a publicity stunt…

Remember Libya?

Sure you do; it served as a locale for a war waged by the Obama administration that turned out to be wildly and wonderfully successful. Oh, wait. The following observation is entirely accurate, of course: Luckily for America’s self-esteem, it was liberal Democrats that produced this particular shambles. If Republicans had done this, the media would be on the administration non-stop, perhaps comparing Samantha Power to Paul Wolfowitz—a well-meaning humanitarian way over her head who wrecked a country out of misguided ideology. There might also be some pointed questions for future presidential candidates who supported this fiasco. But since both Hillary Clinton…

Yes, Police Brutality Is a Problem

And yes, everyone should be denouncing police brutality, including conservatives who have traditionally supported the police. Failing to do so might result in perpetuating conditions that might allow you to get put in a chokehold for grilling in front of your house–even if you are a woman who is seven months pregnant and a threat to absolutely no one on the planet. This abuse of police power is nothing short of appalling and despicable. Even more despicable is the fact that higher-ups who can put a stop to police brutality and punish those who abuse their authority turn a blind eye…

Why Is the Media Covering Up the Fact that Shifa Hospital Is a Hamas Command Site?

Behold the latest in barbarism. First, let’s establish some facts: . . . why isn’t the fact that Hamas uses Shifa Hospital as a command post making headlines? In part, it’s because the location is so un-secret that Hamas regularly meets with reporters there. On July 15, for example, William Booth of the Washington Post wrote that the hospital “has become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.” Back in 2006, PBS even aired a documentary showing how gunmen roam the halls of the hospital, intimidate the staff, and deny them…

Potentially Good Economic News

I am as happy as anyone to see that the economy grew by 4%, though as the New York Times story indicates, there is a question as to whether this means that the economy is picking up steam for significant long term growth, or whether it is merely making up for contractions earlier in the year. I would desperately like to believe the former, but until we see clear and convincing evidence of the former, the Federal Reserve would be wise to continue its monetary stimulus program. And since I know that there are plenty of people who are concerned…

Lots of Israel-Related Links to Go Through

So let’s go through them. 1. In non-shocking news, a serious amount of anti-Semitism actually does exist in the West: The mob howled for vengeance, the missiles raining down on the synagogue walls as the worshippers huddled inside. It was a scene from Europe in the 1930s – except this was eastern Paris on the evening of July 13th, 2014. Thousands had gathered to demonstrate against the Israeli bombardment of Gaza. But the protest soon turned violent – and against Jews in general. One of those trapped told Israeli television that the streets outside were “like an intifada”, the Palestinian uprising…

Democrats Want to Go Back to 1998

And Republicans should not let them. Quoting Byron York: Dissatisfaction with Barack Obama will play a role in November. A president’s job approval rating is a key factor in midterm results, and Obama’s now stands at just under 42 percent in the RealClearPolitics average of polls. But voters know why they’re unhappy with the president. They’d be more likely to vote for Republicans if they felt GOP candidates had a clear plan to address the problems, especially the economic woes, that still beset millions of Americans. Exactly right. Of course, given the ratiocination skills–or lack thereof–of key segments of the…