Interesting Takes From Home And Abroad:
Why The Founding Fathers Would Want Obama’s Plans to Fail By Byron York, DC Examiner
James Madison was not specifically contemplating Barack Obama, or Nancy Pelosi, when he wrote Federalist No. 63. But reading the document — one of the seminal arguments in favor of adopting the U.S. Constitution — it’s clear Madison knew their type. And he knew they would come along again and again in American history, if Americans were lucky enough to have a long history.
Obama’s Aretha Franklin doctrine By Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
She appeared at Barack Obama’s inauguration in a magnificent hat. She even sang a song. But who would have guessed that Aretha Franklin would be such an acute guide to the new US president’s foreign policy?
Tim Geithner’s Black Hole By David M. Smick, Washington Post
Pity Barack Obama’s economic advisers. The blogs are now demanding their scalps, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and his colleagues face a nasty dilemma: There are no solutions to the banking crisis without extraordinary political and financial risks.
Here comes socialism By Mike Madden, Salon
Until the U.S. economy fell to pieces last fall, the phrase “nationalize the banks” usually conjured up, in the popular imagination, scenes of the early days of a revolution in some far-off land (if it conjured up anything at all). Government takeovers of entire financial systems were something newspapers buried deep inside the foreign news section for the truly diligent readers, complete with sad little photos of mobs gathering outside banks to get their last withdrawals.
You just won the stem-cell war. Don’t lose your soul. By William Saletan, Slate
Today, President Obama lifted the ban on federal funding of stem-cell research using destroyed human embryos. If you support this research, congratulations: You won. Now for your next challenge: Don’t lose your soul.
Subsidizing Bad Decisions By Thomas Sowell, Realclearpolitics
Now that the federal government has decided to bail out homeowners in trouble, with mortgage loans up to $729,000, that raises some questions that ought to be asked, but are seldom being asked.
Is the EU Better for Obama than NATO? By Paul Hockenos, Der Spiegel
Barack Obama has to rethink the trans-Atlantic partnership in light of shifting power relations and new global security threats. Washington’s preferred Atlantic institution, NATO, is already overburdened. The EU has a stronger track record than you might think and it could be best suited for the job.
In Afghanistan, Less Can Be More By Arthur Keller, The New York Times
AS President Obama moves to ramp up the United States’ presence in Afghanistan, he might benefit from the lessons learned by one of the C.I.A.’s legends of covert operations, Bill Lair. Mr. Lair ran the C.I.A.’s covert action in the 1960s in Laos, which at its height included 30,000 Hmong tribesmen battling Communist insurgents.
Taking a Depression Seriously By David Brooks, The New York Times
The Democratic response to the economic crisis has its problems, but let’s face it, the current Republican response is totally misguided. The House minority leader, John Boehner, has called for a federal spending freeze for the rest of the year. In other words, after a decade of profligacy, the Republicans have decided to demand a rigid fiscal straitjacket at the one moment in the past 70 years when it is completely inappropriate.
The coming evangelical collapse By Michael Spencer, Christian Science Monitor
We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West.
Obama’s National Intelligence Crackpot By Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal
On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal published a letter from 17 U.S. ambassadors defending the appointment of Charles Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council. The same day, the leaders of the 1989 protests that led to the massacre at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square wrote Barack Obama “to convey our intense dismay at your selection” of Mr. Freeman.