Haven't blogged this week due to the press of work and too many Little League games. Anyway, here's my quick thoughts on a few of the main things I see happening out there:
1. Obama on Israel. President Obama gave a speech this week at the State Department, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in attendance, in which he basically told Israel that the 1967 borders with Syria, Jordan and Egypt would be just fine with him. Netanyahu calls those borders "indefensible."
Wow. Who could have predicted that if you elected a President with a Muslim father, who grew up in the hard Left where support for the Palestinians was a requirement for ideological purity and criticism of Israel as a colonialist, racist "occupier" is de regueur, and who made his political bones in the Chicago of Louis Farrakhan.... who could have predicted that he would throw Israel under the bus? That he does so with complete confidence that liberals in America won't desert him, even though siding with anti-Semites, simply shows the decadence of the American liberal conscience, and, in particular, of liberal Jewish communities in New York, Chicago, and other major urban centers, who apparently believe fealty to the DNC trumps support for Israel. Sad.
2. Gingrich Implodes. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Maybe it's me, but the three wives is both a disqualifier for me, and also a clear sign that this guy doesn't get it. If you don't stand with Paul Ryan and the House Republicans in wanting to reign in entitlements, what will you stand for. Profile in Courage? Not so much.
3. Mitch Daniels Catches Heat. Mitch Daniels, who hasn't even declared for the Presidency yet, is catching some heat from conservatives about having once said less than damning things about the idea of an individual mandate to buy health insurance as part of health reform. I don't know. I obviously don't like Obamacare, but not because of the individual mandate (although I think it's unconstitutional), but rather because there's just too much government involvement in what should be a private insurance market. And I don't like Romneycare, for the same reasons (although a state law individual mandate is constitutional), because I again think there's too much government involvement. But, while in general I don't really like the idea of any government telling any citizen they have to buy X, we do it all the time. For instance, we mandate in Wisconsin that drivers have liability insurance as a prerequisite to getting a driver's license. The idea is that deadbeats shouldn't be able to shirk the social costs of car accidents, shifting them onto responsible people who have purchased automobile insurance.
What's so different (ontologically?) about health insurance? Isn't the problem the same... deadbeats without insurance still want health care (just like they still want to drive), but they want to shift costs onto the rest of us who are responsible enough to buy health insurance? Frankly, I could live with health care reform that simply said, I don't care how you get it, but everyone has to have catastrophic health care insurance. And that's all.... after that, get out of the way and let the free market figure out how to provide it.
Maybe I just like Mitch Daniels... he's a short guy who went to Princeton.
4. Cornel West Disses Obama. On the other hand, Princeton doesn't always produce the best and the brightest. For instance, this week a prominent African-American "academic," Princeton professor Cornel West, laid it on Obama pretty hard: