Monday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. The war on terror and the crux of the problem.
  2. Brandon has links for meta-thinking (or I’m meta linking his thinks for linking or ( …)). Oh, what the heck just pop over and read away.
  3. First rule of bureaucracy, grow grow grow.
  4. Some economic considerations of North East corridor and the location (above/under) of power lines.
  5. Labor costs and Obamacare. Ooooh, higher labor costs … that will really do wonders for our global competitiveness in the the global labor marketplace.
  6. Stewardship.
  7. Not enough of the sackings.
  8. The other 47%.
  9. Two can play that game, no deal if entitlement spending isn’t cut either (and guess what? Only the spending cut will make any difference in budget shortfalls). It remains to be seen whether the GOP can actually play the game.
  10. Citizens United is not about corporations = people.
  11. Parenting done right.
  12. Architectural beauty or not?
  13. The Benghazi question (or is it “one of the B questions?).

7 responses to “Monday Highlights

  1. 5.Labor costs and Obamacare. Ooooh, higher labor costs … that will really do wonders for our global competitiveness in the the global labor marketplace.

    Reading it carefully it seems like his analysis only puts higher cost on unskilled labor….which means you should stop talking about global competitiveness right there. The US cannot be competitive in low wage labor, which is why the US has offshored just about every type of low wage labor that can be offshored (a call center in India can’t make hamburgers for you at McDonald’s….but it can actually work the drive up mic!).

    He dismisses the subsidy for employees to purchase their own insurance but this is rather interesting for competitiveness IMO. Employees who buy their own insurance can freely change jobs without having to worry about the employers health insurance….which should mean more dynamic job markets in the higher skilled set which makes for a more, rather than less, competitiveness.

    More to the point, think about what is being said here. How exactly can Obamacare make the US less competitive with countries that also offer universal healthcare? Are you saying a universal single payer system would be better?

  2. 13.The Benghazi question (or is it “one of the B questions?).

    Sounds like a lot of speculation that boils down to the US doesn’t want to go to war with Iran, all terrorism originates from Iran therefore the US didn’t want to say the Libya attack was terrorism. Few problems:

    1. The US did say early on it was a terrorist attack. If making the case that it wasn’t terrorism was very important to US policy, you’d find more forceful denials that it was terrorism. Instead you can’t find any, you simply find a lack of forceful assertions that it was terrorism and read them as some type of denial.

    2. All terrorism clearly does not run thru Iran. This may be true for Israel but not for anti-US terrorism. For example, Al Qaeda and Iran are on very bad terms so is the Taliban and Iran. Islamists do not put theological disputes aside to unite against non-Muslim enemies. Most of the killing in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan has been Muslim on Muslim rather than Muslim on American.

    3. It ignores the fact that at the same time as Libya, there was a surge in protests and violence around the video. The Egyptian embassy was attacked by a mob screaming about the video almost at the same time. Riots erupted in 20 Middle Eastern cities, Pakistan (again not a friend of Iran) gave everyone the day off for ‘love the Prophet Day’ and got anti-video riots ‘cross the country. It’s not shocking to me, then, with multiple events happening at the same time commentators and questioners trip up and confuse one with the other. But what seems to be happening right now is an attempt by the right to alter history and pretend because the video may not have been connected to the Libyan attack, there was no violence linked to the video at all!

    This, of course, is not only absurd but ignores historical precedent. We have nearly a 20 year history of cultural events inciting violence and embassies in particular have been frequent targets. Rushdie was perhaps the first case but more recent cases include the Dutch journalist killed for making a film critical of the way women are treated in Islam. The Danish cartoons, likewise, resulted in direct protests and attacks on their embassies. The idea that there was no violence and protest is a pretty blatent attempt to throw history down the memory hole.

  3. Not enough of the sackings.

    I think he missed the real reason for the change. The outcome of WWII was actually not clear at all, at least for a while. It was not at all a foregone conclusion that the US would have won the war. It was a much more existential war for the US and an existential threat does wonders to focus the mind on results.

    The Cold War was also existential but in a much different way. Since the war was never actually fought, it was all theoretical. Generals could debate weapons systems and tactics for their whole career, but never actually have to see their ideas tested in a major full scale war. Hence no one is ever really tested.

    Neocons called the ‘war on terror’ an existential one, only to demonstrate their historical ignorance and inability to comprehend scale. The Gulf War and post 9/11 wars have been so asymmetrical that even pretty below average generals could win all major battles easily.

  4. The war on terror and the crux of the problem.

    If you don’t understand the extremism of the enemy, you don’t understand the enemy. And if you don’t understand the enemy, you have no idea of what to do in response. This is precisely the problem of the Western policy toward the Middle East and revolutionary Islamism.

    Unfortunately the people who talk like this tend to be the problem. They almost without fail fall for simplistic Cold War style readings. Hence they assumed with Iraq that all that was needed was to get rid of the ‘bad guy’ Saddam and all would be well (one Bush admin guy, Cheney maybe, was once quoted as saying the only post-war reconstruction needed was lots of copies of the Federalist Papers to be distributed). Now they tend to fall for other simplistic assertions like the assumption that Islam is monolithic, that all of Western History can plausibly be read as a narrative of one long war with Islam, that Muslim Americans represent a ‘fifth column’, etc. etc.

    This all was done in the face of a rather dramatic turnaround in US foreign policy from meandering failure to success over the last 6 years or so.

  5. Re 13. I hadn’t seen any connections to Iran either in communiques on Libya. Interesting. You go from “this was all the video” to “this is all Iran”. #1 is wrong. The US said both (quietly) that it was a terror (not coordinated terror) attack and that it was outrage stirred by a video. Recall in the weeks after the attack you were all about defending the notion that a 6 mo/old poorly produced video spurred on riots everywhere and the embassy attack. Where did you get that idea? I told you then it was nonsense, which you piffled in response. Now the US was always claiming it was a coordinated terror attack by al Qaeda Iran (?).

    It ignores the fact that at the same time as Libya, there was a surge in protests and violence around the video.

    Because there weren’t. It was all planned and coordinated.

  6. Unfortunately the people who talk like this tend to be the problem. They almost without fail fall for simplistic Cold War style readings.

    OK. Cite. Ms Minerva is a frequent blogger who writes a lot. Show me one whit of evidence to show that she “falls for simplistic Cold War style readings” … whatever that means. Go to it. Without fail mains without fail. Or try Mr Fernandez if you fail to find any evidence that Ms Minerva has a simplistic reading. Does Fernandez have a simplistic reading (or do you have a simplistic reading of Ms Minerva and Mr Fernandez).

  7. Because there weren’t. It was all planned and coordinated

    There wasn’t? It was all planned and coordinated? From Tunisa to Egypt to Pakistan all of it the supposed protests were planned and coordinated? Evidence please?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>