Demilitarization before aid is essential in Gaza. “Construction of an average two-mile tunnel can take more than three years and can cost $1-3 million. Construction of each tunnel requires over 500 tons of concrete. This material could have been used to build dozens of houses, schools or medical facilities. Israel has delivered 4,680 truckloads of construction materials to Gaza thus far in 2014. Israeli forces have found empty bags of concrete transferred from Israel in newly discovered tunnels.”
It is critical that Democrats do more of this — bucking the White House’s foolish foreign policy ideas. “Democrats are joining a growing group of lawmakers calling on the Obama administration to give Ukraine military weapons to fight Russian-backed separatists in the country. Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and others spoke out in favor of arming Ukraine after a closed-door briefing with Obama administration officials Wednesday. Levin, D-Mich., told Fox News the administration’s explanation for not providing lethal aid has so far not been ‘satisfactory.’ ”
Is this vulgarity in the Clinton family statement bashing authors of anti-Hillary books really necessary? “Their behavior should neither be allowed nor enabled, and legitimate media outlets who know with every fiber of their being that this is complete crap should know not to get down in the gutter with them and spread their lies. But if anyone isn’t sure, let’s strap all three to a polygraph machine on live TV and let the needle tell the truth.” Not allowed?!
It is vital for GOP alternatives to Obamacare to incorporate the experience of Medicare Part D: “The competitive design of Part D enables it to adapt flexibly to changing conditions, because plan sponsors (private insurance firms, each of which may offer several different plans) have ongoing incentives to develop new ways to control drug spending so as to minimize their costs, keep premiums low, and attract enrollees. Using the first few years of data from the Part D program, CBO found that spending was lower in years when, and in areas of the country where, more plan sponsors competed for beneficiaries. CBO’s analysis suggests that competition between plan sponsors in Part D could be strengthened further, and costs lowered further, through certain changes in the rules of the program, although such changes could have disadvantages as well.”
It’s important to remember that ignoring Iraq is not a formula for success. “I argued that we need to send at least 10,000 troops to act as advisers, intelligence gatherers, air controllers (to call in air strikes), and Special Operations raiders and that in Iraq these personnel need to be evenly distributed between the Iraqi army, the Sunni tribes, and the peshmerga. U.S. troops would not be on the frontlines of ground combat but they would be enabling proxies to fight far more effectively, as we have previously done in countries as disparate as Kosovo, Libya, and Afghanistan. This should be done in conjunction with a political strategy focused on replacing Maliki with a more inclusive figure. Alas there is no sign that the Obama administration is seriously rethinking its abandonment of Iraq or its misguided policy of arming the current sectarian regime in Baghdad without real American oversight over how the weapons we provide are employed.”
The key to understanding this administration is never to believe emphatic denials. “CIA employees improperly searched computers used by Senate investigators involved in a multi-year probe of the agency’s use of harsh interrogation measures on terrorism suspects, according to the findings of an internal agency probe that prompted CIA Director John O. Brennan to apologize to lawmakers this week. . . . Brennan’s apology to lawmakers was in sharp contrast to the defiant position he took when the dispute first surfaced publicly in March. At the time, he warned that lawmakers would regret accusing the agency of wrongdoing.”
Glenn Hubbard provides indispensable advice to conservatives that “new ideas should center on labor market access (where we have discouraged people from work, be they young or old), healthcare reform that could actually connect to incentives to work and to earn, a focus on regulation away from rent seeking and incumbent advantage – where it lies now, to actually empowering people in a decentralized society, and re-examining the role of a big institution, our central bank, and what it does to promote growth and stability.”