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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thomas Friedman, "Hope and Change: Part Two": Sequels to Rotten Films Aren't Worth Watching

Do you like movies? I do. Ordinarily, sequels are not nearly as good as the original flicks. Sequels to rotten films are inevitably not worth watching.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Hope and Change: Part Two" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/07/opinion/friedman-hope-and-change-part-two.html?_r=0), Thomas Friedman gloats:

"No one can know for sure what complex emotional chemistry tipped this election Obama’s way, but here’s my guess: In the end, it came down to a majority of Americans believing that whatever his faults, Obama was trying his hardest to fix what ails the country and that he had to do it with a Republican Party that, in its gut, did not want to meet him halfway but wanted him to fail — so that it could swoop in and pick up the pieces."

"Complex emotional chemistry tipped this election Obama's way"? No way. We're back to "Hope" and "Change"? I don't know about "Hope," but America is certainly changing.

As noted earlier this year in a New York Times article entitled "For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/us/for-women-under-30-most-births-occur-outside-marriage.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) by Jason DeParle and Sabrina Tavernise, "more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage." As further observed by this article:

"The shift is affecting children’s lives. Researchers have consistently found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems."

These statistics concerning unwed births necessarily tie into unemployment, crime and America's national debt. Much akin to the trend in national debt, this trend involving unwed births is unsustainable.

When I have spoken with Obama supporters in the past, they have inevitably claimed that Obama has surely learned from mistakes during his first term as president. I have my doubts.

I can only "hope" that Obama continues to steer a relatively moderate path, and, freed of the constraints of re-election, does not return to his leftist roots, which could cripple a deeply divided America financially and emotionally.

4 comments:

  1. Here's my guess as to how the next four years of US foreign policy in the Middle East might pan out.

    Reset button on Iran: With elections now out of the way, the US will re-position from diplomacy/sanctions to a policy of containment. The deal will be the same for Ahmadinejad as it was for N. Korean and Pakistan. Iran will be allowed to move forward with their enrichment program and even develop or purchase their own nuclear weapon, however if they actually dared to use it, MAD would ensue. Regarding Iran's military and financial support of it's proxy militias in Iraq (Mahdi Army), Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Gaza (Hamas), the US will adopt a DADT policy. Support for pro-democracy activities in Iran will all but disappear.

    Reset button on Israel: Netanyahu is toast. Obama might meet with him one more time in the WH just to tell him so. Large amounts of US tax money will be spent on manipulating Israel's upcoming elections to support an 'alternative' candidate and a party that the administration can work with. The candidates to watch for are Tzipi Livni, Yair Lapid, Shaul Mofaz and Ehud Olmert. Expect to see a merger between Yesh Atid, Kadima and the Labor Party before January as essentially there are no ideological differences between them. Under the new government, any plans for a preemptive strike on Iran will be shredded. The 'Peace Process' will be resurrected in one form or another with calls for Israelis to once again make 'painful concessions' for an 'everlasting peace'.

    Start/Fast Forward button on Palestine:Later this month, the US will make history and support a Palestinian bid for enhanced UN status. Sometime during his second term, President Obama will become the Palestinian's Harry Truman. Jerusalem, 'contiguous territory' between the West Bank and Gaza and how Hamas will fit into the equation is all still TBD.

    Pause button on Syria: 'This is not our fight' policy to continue. If and when the Assad regime falls, the US will worry about it when it happens. A careful eye will be kept on those nasty chemical and biological WMDs - but there are no guarantees.

    Recommended reading/viewing for some insight into the next four years of US FP in the Middle East:
    1. Why Iran Should Get the Bomb
    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137731/kenneth-n-waltz/why-iran-should-get-the-bomb
    2. Why No American Leader Will Ever Attack Iran
    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/109873/why-romney-wont-strike-iran
    3. VALERIE JARRETT LEADING SECRET TALKS WITH IRAN
    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/shock-report-valerie-jarrett-leading-secret-talks-with-iran/
    4. Jason McCue: Terrorism is a failed brand
    http://www.ted.com/talks/jason_mccue_terrorism_is_a_failed_brand.html
    5. Jeff, if you like movies, I highly recommend watching 'Burn After Reading'.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0887883/
    This Coen brothers classic is probably a lot closer to reality than anything ever written in Foreign Affairs or the NYT.

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  2. Nick Kristof couldn't wait to get take a stab at Netanyahu. This is what he posted on his Twitter account Wednesday morning:

    https://twitter.com/NickKristof/status/266154731892793344

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  3. The NYT will be all over Netanyahu in the coming months and will be doing their best to shill for his political opponents.

    In today's NYT, Jodi Rudoren writes:

    "Mr. Obama’s re-election seemed to embolden Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister who has spent the past few years battling corruption charges, making it more likely that he will forge a comeback that he hopes can unite and expand Israel’s center-left bloc."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/world/middleeast/netanyahu-rushes-to-repair-damage-with-obama.html?hp

    For anyone not familiar with Israeli politics, hoping for an Ehud Olmert comeback would be like the Democratic party nominating John Edwards with Anthony Weiner as his running mate in 2016.

    I just hope Israeli voters will be smarter than Americans were on Tuesday.

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  4. Footnote to point #5 above:
    That includes our most trusted leaders sleeping around.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/11/us-cia-petraeus-broadwell-idUSBRE8AA02220121111

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