Is it too late for Syria? “The foolish hope — whether real or pretended — that the UN plan for peace in Syria would work is gone. At least since the Assad regime’s bloody attack on Aleppo University last week, this has been clear even to previously blind diplomats. . . . The United States. American leadership would change the balance diplomatically and on the ground, affect the policies of the Europeans, Jordanians, and Turks, improve the morale and performance of the Syrian opposition, and begin to move those still on the fence into an anti-Assad position.”
The early take on Nicolas Sarkozy: “Voters punish conservatives who don’t deliver.” Actually Sarkozy wasn’t very conservative, but he did under-perform.
It might be too late to head off the lawsuits. “The Wall Street Journal, which ought to know better, has put together a ‘Women in the Economy’ Executive Task Force, and recently held a ‘Women in the Economy’ conference that was reported on in today’s Journal. As in the past, these folks seem not to have heard of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which makes it illegal for employers to engage in discrimination because of sex. Ignoring that little problem, the task force’s working groups included these recommendations.” It’s about the quotas, silly.
It’s not too early to begin mounting opposition to sequestration. “America is nearing a decisive moment. Unless Congress acts to change current law, automatic sequestration cuts will slash future spending on national defense across-the-board by over $500 billion beginning early next year. Combined with the $487 billion in cuts already put forward by the President in February, America’s military will see its budget drop on average by $100 billion annually over the next decade. . . . To avoid this train wreck to national security but maintain fiscal discipline, the House of Representatives will have an opportunity to vote this week on a reconciliation bill that would forestall sequestration’s cuts to defense for next year while, at the same time, offering alternative reductions in federal spending.”
I may be late to this story, but the Metropolitan Museum of Art is lying about Gertrude Stein. “ The Metropolitan Museum in New York, in its current exhibit on the collection of Gertrude Stein and her family, has made a decision to suppress the ugly truth about her collaboration with Nazism during the German occupation of France. Anyone walking through this beautiful exhibit of the Stein family’s exquisite tastes in art would learn nothing about Gertrude’s horrendous taste in politics and friends. . . . Stein publicly proclaimed her admiration for Hitler during the 1930s, proposing him for a Nobel Peace Prize. In the worst days of the Vichy regime, she volunteered to write an introduction to the speeches of General Phillipe Petain, the Nazi puppet leader who deported thousands of Jews, but who she regarded as a great French hero. She wanted his speeches translated into English, with her introduction, so that Americans would see the virtues of the Vichy regime.” Read the whole thing.
The lesson is we should start on our debt problemearly. “First, I wish we would stop being surprised by what’s happening in Europe right now. Second, I wish anti-austerity critics would start acknowledging that taxes have gone up too — in most cases more than the spending has been cut. Third, I wish that we would stop assuming that gigantic “savage” cuts are the source of the EU’s problems. Some spending cuts have been implemented in a few countries. Also, if this data were adjusted for inflation (which I would prefer but the data isn’t available) it would possibly show a decrease and certainly a flatter line for all countries. However, the overwhelming take away from the European experience is that a majority of governments haven’t really implemented spending cuts, large or small, and some have even continued to grow.” Check out the enlightening graphs on EU spending.
A little late, but on the money. “Tom Brokaw set off a media firestorm by saying it’s ‘time to rethink’ the ‘glittering,’ celeb-studded White House Correspondents’ Dinner, but his criticism is being seconded by the likes of Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, who replied, ‘I am game.’”
Good, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) will have an early supporter for her 2020 presidential run. “Hillary Clinton, during a speech in India, said she wants to see a female president but that it won’t be her.”
Is it too late to give them California? “A United Nations investigator probing discrimination against Native Americans has called on the U.S. government to return some of the land stolen from Indian tribes as a step toward combatting continuing and systemic racial discrimination.”