Interesting Takes From Home And Abroad:
Politicized Capitalism By Fred Barnes, The Weekly Standard
President Obama is ushering in an era of politicized capitalism. Since he took office, corporate heads and business executives more and more look to Washington as the wellspring of financial success. And politicians and government officials have much to offer them: grants, loans, loan guarantees, subsidies, contracts, tax credits, regulatory and legal advantages of one kind or another over competitors, even guaranteed profits. Tempting stuff, for sure, and businesses are increasingly unable to resist. This is not a healthy trend.
Republicans show signs of life By Gloria Borger, CNN
In the past decade, it’s become a given that Supreme Court nominees are expected to tell you — not to mention the senators actually voting on confirmation — absolutely nothing about how they will rule on the Supreme Court.
Joe Biden’s Terrible Truths By James Lileks, New York Post
It takes years of yoga to learn the posture necessary for speaking clearly with all your feet in your mouth. But for some the skill comes naturally, which brings us to Joe Biden.
Record Deficits Could Sink Obama’s Presidency By Victor Davis Hanson, RealClearPolitics
Over the last two decades it became an article of popular faith that budget deficits did not matter that much. Conservatives began to talk of annual red-ink in vague terms of percentages of the gross domestic product rather than in real billions of dollars – as in “Don’t worry about the 2004 shortfall of $605 billion; it’s still only 5.3 percent of GDP.”
Obama’s Foreign Policy Report Card By David Ignatius, San Diego Union Tribune
Six months on, how is Barack Obama doing in foreign policy? Some leading experts give the new president high marks for improving America’s battered image abroad, but they warn that the hard work is still ahead.
The Shuffle President By Matt Bai, New York Times Magazine
Like romantic comedies and superhero blockbusters, the modern presidency has evolved into a reliable form of dramatic narrative. A candidate comes into office brandishing a broad theme — a vow to clean up government, perhaps, or to fearlessly prune it back — and then lays out one or two big proposals to make it real.
Teacher, Can We Leave Now? No. By Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times
I confess, I find it hard to come to Afghanistan and not ask: Why are we here? Who cares about the Taliban? Al Qaeda is gone. And if its leaders come back, well, that’s why God created cruise missiles.
Investigate the CIA? By Debra Saunders, Philadelphia Inquirer
Last weekend, the New York Times reported that after 9/11, the CIA developed a “secret counterterrorism program” to train hit squads to kill top al-Qaida leaders. It seemed like good news to me. After all, why bankroll an intelligence agency if you can’t use it to kill an enemy against whom America has declared war?
Walter Cronkite, 1916-2009 Watching the anchorman in a news family. By John Dickerson, Slate
We were putting the kids to bed when word came that Walter Cronkite died. Immediately I went from being a father—shushing and threatening—to being a kid again. We watched Cronkite before dinner, in the library. I sat cross-legged on the rug. Mom sat on the sofa, and across the room sat Dad in the chair in which he’d fall asleep later that night. I had patches on my jeans and grass stains. I was wearing a Washington Redskins jersey. Everyone was in place, and no one was divorced.
The Honduran ‘coup’ a setback for Hugo Chávez. By Christopher Caldwell, The Weekly Standard
The streets of Honduras’s capital have been filled with two groups of marchers and protesters in the weeks since June 28. That was the day that president José Manuel “Mel” Zelaya Rosales was removed from power by an order of the supreme court, arrested by the army, and sent into exile in Costa Rica.