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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Paul Krugman, "The Crazy Party": The Crazy Newspaper

So that there is no misunderstanding: I don't like Republicans. I don't like Democrats. I don't like politicians. But I especially hate when a newspaper manages a nation's foreign policy.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Crazy Party" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/opinion/krugman-the-crazy-party.html?_r=0), Paul Krugman again takes aim at Republicans and explains how the "crazy party" is preparing to shut down the US government. Krugman writes:

"Yet, at the moment, it seems highly likely that the Republican Party will refuse to fund the government, forcing a shutdown at the beginning of next month, unless President Obama dismantles the health reform that is the signature achievement of his presidency. Republican leaders realize that this is a bad idea, but, until recently, their notion of preaching moderation was to urge party radicals not to hold America hostage over the federal budget so they could wait a few weeks and hold it hostage over the debt ceiling instead. Now they’ve given up even on that delaying tactic. The latest news is that John Boehner, the speaker of the House, has abandoned his efforts to craft a face-saving climbdown on the budget, which means that we’re all set for shutdown, possibly followed by debt crisis."

Ah, yes, Obama's "signature legislation," of which Democratic Senator Max Baucus, who assisted in writing the Affordable Care Act, stated, "I just see a huge train wreck coming down." This is the same "signature legislation" whose problematic implementation was again delayed last month by the president (see: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100959960).

Dialogue? I'm all in favor. But consider what the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said a few days ago about America's financial future (http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44521):

"Between 2009 and 2012, the federal government recorded the largest budget deficits relative to the size of the economy since 1946, causing federal debt to soar. Federal debt held by the public is now about 73 percent of the economy’s annual output, or gross domestic product (GDP). That percentage is higher than at any point in U.S. history except a brief period around World War II, and it is twice the percentage at the end of 2007. If current laws generally remained in place, federal debt held by the public would decline slightly relative to GDP over the next several years, CBO projects. After that, however, growing deficits would ultimately push debt back above its current high level. CBO projects that federal debt held by the public would reach 100 percent of GDP in 2038, 25 years from now, even without accounting for the harmful effects that growing debt would have on the economy (see the figure below). Moreover, debt would be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy, a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely."

Yes, the US is headed for a breakdown, and strong medicine, of the kind that a lame duck Obama administration is incapable of dispensing, is urgently needed.

But as I said earlier, I especially hate it when a dysfunctional Obama administration, in a fit of psychosis and despair, allows a newspaper to dictate its foreign policy. I kid you not.

Michael Calderone, the Senior Media Reporter for The Huffington Post, tells us in an article entitled "New York Times Editors, Columnists Met With Obama During Syria Push" (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/18/new-york-times-obama-syria_n_3949419.html?utm_hp_ref=media), that Obama consulted on August 29 with editorial and op-ed staffers from The New York Times regarding his meandering Syria policy. It would appear that as a result of this "off-the-record" meeting, Obama suddenly decided to seek congressional approval for his proposed "limited" strike against the Assad regime.

The meeting, in which Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, not a particularly bright light (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2012/09/is-new-york-times-columnist-maureen.html), participated together with op-ed staffers (e.g., Gail Collins, who knows absolutely nothing about the Middle East) and members of the editorial board, was not reported by the Times.

We also learned from Calderone's article that a former Obama adviser is claiming that Obama only reads the Times.

What is most frightening about all of the above? That Obama only reads the Times, a "psycho-phantic" newspaper which has grown infamous for its anti-Semitic and anti-Israel biases (see, for example: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2012/02/stench-of-anti-semitism-at-new-york.html and http://www.camera.org/images_user/pdf/NYT%20study%20exec%20summary_ind.pdf)?

Or perhaps that Obama saw fit to take advice on Syria from highly politicized Times op-ed writers, such as Gail Collins, who know absolutely nothing about the Middle East?

Or perhaps that Obama was swayed by the editorial board of the Times, whose recent editorials on the subject of Syria (see, for example: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2013/09/new-york-times-editorial-syrian-pact.html and http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2013/09/new-york-times-editorial-diplomatic.html) are most kindly characterized as delusional?

Or perhaps that his portrayal by the only newspaper that he reads is more important to the president than making decisions based upon something as straightforward as . . . morality?

And why does Obama only read the Times? Could it be that this narcissistic man cannot bear to confront criticism dished out by other newspapers?

Indeed, we live in deeply disturbing, depressing and demented Times.


3 comments:

  1. Yes, something is crazy in Washington and New York.
    Is it me or there is really a scandal? So Gail Collins (and the like) whispers to our COMMANDER what how he should run the country's foreign policy and COMMAND and then praises him for doing what she told him.
    How cozy, how correct (totally in accord with our Constitution), how normal ...

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  2. Not to be outdone by the NYT functioning as the mouthpiece for Premier Putin, WaPo has published an op-ed fronting for Iran's new supreme leader, Hassan Rouhani.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/president-of-iran-hassan-rouhani-time-to-engage/2013/09/19/4d2da564-213e-11e3-966c-9c4293c47ebe_story.html?hpid=z1

    Thanks to Wikileaks, we were able to obtain the unedited draft of Rouhani's op-ed before his ghostwriter Americanized it.

    Rouhani:"Face it - we are living in a Post-American world. Your economy is unraveling, 50 million Americans are on welfare and no one in the US is willing to fight for even their own basic civil rights, let alone go to war for the rights of people in a foreign land. Putin seized the opportunity and made Obama and Kerry look like utter fools regarding Syria. Get behind us now and give into our demands or face continued State sponsored terrorism and disdain for the West."
    Ghost Writer:"The world has changed. International politics is no longer a zero-sum game but a multi-dimensional arena where cooperation and competition often occur simultaneously. Gone is the age of blood
    feuds. World leaders are expected to lead in turning threats into opportunities."

    Rouhani:"If you interfere with our nuclear program the US and the West will have to bear the consequences. Terrorism, extremism, foreign military interference, drug trafficking, cybercrime and Islamization of your
    culture are just some of the weapons in our arsenal."
    Ghost Writer: "The international community faces many challenges in this new world — terrorism, extremism, foreign military interference, drug trafficking, cybercrime and cultural encroachment."

    Rouhani: "Tell the CIA to back off. Syria and Bahrain are OUR client States, not yours.
    Ghost Writer: "First, we must join hands to constructively work toward national dialogue, whether in Syria or Bahrain."

    Rouhani:"We will continue developing a nuclear bomb and there is nothing your can or will do about it. The Red-Line game you played and lost with Syria was our green light to move full speed ahead with the program, including ballistic launch capabilities."
    Ghost Writer:"The centrality of identity extends to the case of our peaceful nuclear energy program. To us, mastering the atomic fuel cycle and generating nuclear power is as much about diversifying our energy resources as it is about who Iranians are as a nation, our demand for dignity and respect and our consequent place in the world. Without comprehending the role of identity, many issues we all face will remain unresolved."

    Rouhani:"Mr. President, it's clear you hate Israel and the Jews just as much as I do. Imagine how we can change the world if we join forces against the evil forces of Zionism".
    Ghost Writer: "My approach to foreign policy seeks to resolve these issues by addressing their underlying causes.We must work together to end the unhealthy rivalries and interferences that fuel violence and drive us
    apart. We must also pay attention to the issue of identity as a key driver of tension in, and beyond, the Middle East."

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  3. There are only two real national newspapers in America with any depth: NYT and WSJ.

    Obama has NEVER been interested in the economy, so I assume he scans the NYT for their superb golf and basketball coverage.

    btw, most presidents used to get daily news briefs from their chief of staff's staff, who apparently have to read the news before their workday begins.

    k


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