Long time readers of my blog know that my ideal form of government is a Republican congress and a Democrat president. With conservatives controlling the purse (congress) and liberals controlling the sword (presidency), you have a near perfect separation of powers.
If Democrats continue to control congress, then that will make the case against Obama in 2012 by Republicans stronger. Republicans can say Democrats had 4 years of near universal control and the economy has not improved (which it likely wont by 2012). Thus making it likely that Obama will lose the presidency and you will have a Republican president and a Democrat congress.
On the other hand, if Republicans gain control of congress, their arguments against Obama weakens substantially and Obama will likely remain in power. Resulting in a Democrat presidency and Republican congress – my ideal form of government.
“If we want the charge to retain its sting, as we should, we ought to use it cautiously. It needs to mean something worse than ordinary human weakness. Show me some malice. (The remarks that led to Helen Thomas’s forced retirement would qualify.) If what Williams said was bigoted, then this is a nation of bigots, and the term no longer means anything. Williams is an excellent, open-minded commentator and a great loss to NPR. I think the decision to sack him was shameful.” — Clive Crook, on the recent firing of Juan Williams
“In four years’ time, the minimum cost of labor will be a $7.25 cash minimum wage and a $5.89 health minimum wage (family), for a total of $13.14 an hour or about $27,331 a year. (I think you can see already that no one is going to want to hire low-wage workers with families.)” — John Goodman, on the affects of Obamacare
“He ends up taking some odd directions with it, but I think the main thrust of Rick Hess’ article on making school choice actually work is mostly brilliant. His core point is that for the provision of extra options to drive major improvements in quality, you need a much more complete market system than the one we generally have—one where consumers have information about quality, and where providers lose something of value when consumers choose against them. A system where money doesn’t fully follow students into the charter school system, for example, is a system where losing a certain number of students can be beneficial to the incumbent school operators. And by the same token, if the idea is that schools faced with competition are going to start doing something differently and thereby improve they need to actually be given the flexibility to change.” — Matthew Yglesias
I’ll be in Atlanta, Georgia on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of next week and Burmingham, Alabama, on Thursday and Monday. If anybody lives in the area and would like to meet up, send me an email.
A well thought out article by former IDF guard Jeffrey Goldberg on whether Israel will bomb Iran in an attempt to thwart their nuclear ambitions:
Israeli policy makers do not necessarily believe that Iran, should it acquire a nuclear device, would immediately launch it by missile at Tel Aviv. “On the one hand, they would like to see the Jews wiped out,” one Israeli defense official told me. “On the other hand, they know that Israel has unlimited reprisal capability”—this is an Israeli euphemism for the country’s second-strike nuclear arsenal—“and despite what Rafsanjani and others say, we think they know that they are putting Persian civilization at risk.”
The challenges posed by a nuclear Iran are more subtle than a direct attack, Netanyahu told me. “Several bad results would emanate from this single development. First, Iran’s militant proxies would be able to fire rockets and engage in other terror activities while enjoying a nuclear umbrella. This raises the stakes of any confrontation that they’d force on Israel. Instead of being a local event, however painful, it becomes a global one. Second, this development would embolden Islamic militants far and wide, on many continents, who would believe that this is a providential sign, that this fanaticism is on the ultimate road to triumph.
“You’d create a great sea change in the balance of power in our area,” he went on. An Iran with nuclear weapons would also attempt to persuade Arab countries to avoid making peace with Israel, and it would spark a regional nuclear-arms race. “The Middle East is incendiary enough, but with a nuclear-arms race, it will become a tinderbox,” he said.
Other Israeli leaders believe that the mere threat of a nuclear attack by Iran—combined with the chronic menacing of Israel’s cities by the rocket forces of Hamas and Hezbollah—will progressively undermine the country’s ability to retain its most creative and productive citizens. Ehud Barak, the defense minister, told me that this is his great fear for Israel’s future.
The full article can be read here.