If he runs, I will vote for him. Ditto for Huntsman (who apparently is doing well representing our country in China). I will not vote for any of the other purported front-runners (Palin, Romney, Huckabee, Pence) who are either terribly flawed or have few achievements to their name.
TM Lutas brings up a fantastic point about how Gov. Daniels is dealing with Gary. On a national scale, city, county and even state bankruptcies will be occurring over the next few years. Even if Obama gets re-elected in '12, he will have to hew to a more conservative toolkit for dealing with them because of their sheer number and cost. If what Gov. Daniels is successfully implementing can be replicated along locally realistic lines by other governors, it will be a powerful example for much of the nation to follow.Comment Posted By Eddie On 24.02.2010 @ 20:27
That Brooks column is very good. Reihan Salam had good thoughts on the disaster that was Haiti prior to the quake:
Tyler Cowen also wondered if this essentially dooms this nation of 9 million people as a viable state:
Rick's points are well taken though, especially about the incredible generosity of the American people, both for their private help and their public support of the overstretched military being deployed to help.
And O'Reilly's picks on charities have been very solid over the years, especially as he has been willing to admit when he was fooled by one. He remains the best on Fox News.Comment Posted By Eddie On 15.01.2010 @ 11:45
Galrahn at Information Dissemination, the best Naval blog out there, has written several great posts on Haiti and our response. His latest is the most useful, outlining why it will get much worse before it gets any better and possible options for the US in the near-term:
I don't appreciate how the media is mischaracterizing "tension" for what it likely is; the remnants of armed and dangerous gangs who the UN failed to dismantle over the past few years. They are going to be a major problem for the US forces on the ground because of some of the support they enjoy among the citizens there, especially as they loot relief centers and hamper relief efforts going to other neighborhoods.
When you consider that over 3/4 of the world's poorest live in major quake or other natural disaster threat zones, most of them in densely packed urban cores with questionable construction and infrastructure, this is likely the harbinger of the sorts of disasters we'll see more of in the future. In that sense, there are two small blessings in this disaster:Comment Posted By Eddie On 15.01.2010 @ 10:45
1. our military and government (and their private partners) moving forward from the tsunami relief and Katrina relief can learn and apply even more here about what works and doesn't work, what capabilities are best used and what ones we still lack, and how to deal with massive at-risk populations.
2. Haiti's ambassador to the US observed yesterday that being able to rebuild Port-au-Prince with a more suitable and modern infrastructure for millions of people (rather than 50,000 as when it was originally built more than two hundred years ago) may help Haiti in many ways.
His approval of the massive buildup of CIA Predator attacks in Pakistan, which have killed hundreds of innocent Pakistanis as well as a few dozen terrorists, would seem to belie most claims Obama won't do what is necessary to protect America's imperative interests. Jimmy Carter was a failure in many ways but it was the Peanut Farmer who put into place the successful security regime and alliances in the Persian Gulf that saw us through the Iran-Iraq War, the Persian Gulf War, 12 years of Iraqi misbehavior, and subsequent Iranian troublemaking and/or war in the post-Saddam/Taliban era. Bubba was hours from war with North Korea until the Peanut Farmer claimed a "peace deal" of sorts that prevented a war that probably would have cost hundreds of thousands of lives in Seoul alone (its a free fire zone for NoKo artillery, let alone all the chem/bio WMD they had then in 1994 and still have).
Bubba looked the world in the eye and said no on Rwanda because the military wouldn't have it and our interests were apparently not at stake.
Obama will do the same in 2011 on South Sudan and would not hesitate to fire the tactical nukes in a nasty war with Iran, Pakistan or North Korea. The difference may be in the decision-making process to get to that point, but the result will be the same. American presidents, even the failures like Carter and Clinton, defend the country reasonably well enough to get by when the ish hits the fan.Comment Posted By Eddie On 9.12.2009 @ 15:45
A great post, though I would wonder what happens if a lot of kids die and parents/educators sound notes about being betrayed by the failed promises of the Obama HHS.
I wonder, how do we get more vaccine manufacturers? Is the litigation bar so high for insurance it strangles nascent producers in the crib or is it a mix of factors such as the equipment cost, regulations, etc?
In 1992, there were 18 drug companies that manufactured flu vaccines. Now there are 5 and it's totally due to the unreasonable verdicts handed down after Clinton removed most of the protections the companies had as far as liability was concerned. For every one real adverse reaction, it is believed that up to 10 more are bogus. But the trial lawyers and their class action suits would get hundreds of millions in verdicts, this making it unprofitable to make vaccines.
The question of how much these companies should be held harmless for what used to be considered a public service (there was no profit with 18 companies making the stuff), has dropped away and now it's open season on them. What Shaun calls "obscene" profits is a direct result of the market being denuded of competition by government action - a payoff to trial lawyers by a Democratic president.
ed.Comment Posted By Eddie On 26.10.2009 @ 16:07
Remember the Guardian letter writers who wrote people in Ohio before the 2004 election? I believe that did offend a great number of people who received those letters.
Now, I disagree with this notion that the world should not or does not interfere with our politics. It happens often enough that it seems to elicit little outrage at this point, even when its out in the open (like Bibi coming over here for the second time in 15 years and trying to subvert official US policy, enlisting Congressmen to help him in his efforts). That's not a knock on Israel, and is a reflection of our special relationship, but it is a knock on our domestic politicians who encourage such behavior in their political games.
As to those attacking Reynolds for mentioning how we interfere in other countries' politics often, please explain our constant poking, prodding, and even outright snubbing/showering of attention and aid on dozens of countries. We are a very powerful nation, so let's get over ourselves being anytime lately innocent lily-white never do any such thing people.Comment Posted By Eddie On 9.10.2009 @ 18:39
"I just don’ see how the GOP celebrating a loss of prestige as a long term winner."
I agree with that. No sunny-faced Reagans here with funny quips and down-home stories meant to impart a lesson. Just vitriol and joy at failure, followed up by shallow claims of non-existent substance on policy ideas.
Rick oversells Obama's failures here (I agree with those who said he would have blamed for it anyway if Chicago had not gone, "see Obama let the US lose the Olympics bid, why did he let us look bad like that? He must hate America and want it to fail.") but the man has big problems and his allies and some of his decisions don't help much.
One day sooner than later the GOP will have a figure who actually brings ideas, respect, and cunning to the table. For now, Obama is blessed in having the pathetic lot of opponents he has. His biggest enemy is not the GOP but the failed (from 2007 onward) Congressional leadership and the lack of any significant internal coherence tool like Republicans have with their usual ready to go primary challengers for any figures who don't toe the line.Comment Posted By Eddie On 2.10.2009 @ 16:16
Its strange how I have yet to have an auto-bill problem with another company but have had three in the last 20 months with Time Warner Cable. I am glad you were able to move to Direct TV and can enjoy that crystal clear HD.Comment Posted By Eddie On 27.09.2009 @ 14:34
We would like to, but we just don't watch enough TV to justify it. That said, I bet the games look incredible. The only upgrade in our future would be to upgrade to AT&T or Verizon's FIOS so we could enjoy ESPN360.com, but that won't be available here until 2011.
I agree with your conclusion. I can only pray that those on the ground in the attacked area act as those in New York City did, as Americans coming to the aid of other Americans, risking their lives for their fellow citizens, even when they were perfect strangers. I could never make it through the obituaries the NYT ran on some of the dead, especially those who died staying behind or walking slowly down the stairs with an injured stranger or company colleague they barely knew. That is what we have achieved as a civilization, when there are a great number of us who are willing to die to help each other, rather than run away and forget those left behind.Comment Posted By Eddie On 11.09.2009 @ 08:52
You write a balanced and reflective obituary light years beyond what most of the blogosphere and MSM trotted out.
I also appreciate what Lionheart said:
"I guess even really, really bad people do some good things."
That could be put on his tombstone almost...Comment Posted By Eddie On 26.08.2009 @ 18:48