What's Going On in Macedonia?
19 minutes ago
The president appears committed to adding at least 10,000 to 15,000 troops in Afghanistan in an effort to bolster the training of Afghan army and police officers in the country. Current plans call for the United States to double the size of the Afghan army and police forces to about 400,000 in the hope that they can take over security responsibilities.
A box of White House M&Ms with the president's signature imprinted on it, a sweet dough butter cookie made by White House pastry chef Bill Yosses, a National Park Foundation Ranger activity book, and a serving of dried fruit mix made up of cherries, apricots, pears, apples and papayas.Hat tip to Mike Cheever
For Democrats, this means the official end of Bill Clinton's popular "third way" approach to progressive policymaking, which aimed to synthesize the best ideas of both sides. Obama seemed to go both ways on the third way during the campaign, repudiating it at times to win over the left and embracing it at times to win over the middle. But now it's clear there will be little if any synthesizing or triangulating. The president and his allies on Capitol Hill are betting that the suspicion of government that Reagan cultivated for a generation has ebbed enough to buy their activist policies time to work. If they succeed, the left will have driven a stake into the philosophical heart of conservatism.
Great because the techies in Silicon Valley are giving us powerful new tools for telling stories. Scary because the old ways of telling stories are about to become obsolete, and if we cling to them, we'll be washed away. In the past we've all worked in silos. "Print people" had one way of describing the world. "Video people" had another. But the silos are getting crunched together. It's as if for most of your life you could get by speaking only English, but now you need to learn a bunch of other old languages, and, what's more, you must then master a new language that is evolving out of the DNA of all the old ones.What's scary is when actual journalists surrender so willingly to the notion that improved media technology necessarily entails more advanced values. Actually, I have a friend who does make this case when it comes to medical IT, and I'll stipulate that. My greater concern is for a well-informed public in a complex republic. If it hinges on the Hackosphere as currently constituted, no matter how cool-looking the devices, that we're in big trouble.
* they did not drink, or smoke cigarettes or marijuana;These "family behaviors and expectations" were common to the 12%:
* they were not depressed, mean, spoiled, or self-centered;
* they did not suffer from eating problems;
* they said it was wrong for thirteen year olds to have sex; and
* they worked to their intellectual potential in school without being overly driven.
* their families frequently ate dinner together;Since that leaves a decisive majority of 88%, it's likely that few children or parents will read those lists without feeling judged, and perhaps inclined to say that there are some things, especially clinical depression, which are beyond the reach of values education. Kindlon's point is not to stigmatize children but inspire parents. The hard and hopeful truth he has revealed is that the grownup outlook and behavior manifested in the last four points tend to give kids the advantages of the first five.
* their parents were not divorced or separated;
* they had to keep their rooms clean;
* they did not have a phone in their room; and
* they did community service.
"I probably will support some Republican candidates for Congress or Senate in the election in 2010. I'm going to call them as I see them," Lieberman told ABC News. "There's a hard core of partisan, passionate, hardcore Republicans. There's a hard core of partisan Democrats on the other side. And in between is the larger group, which is people who really want to see the right thing done, or want something good done for this country and them -- and that means, sometimes, the better choice is somebody who's not a Democrat."Hat tip to Mike Cheever
I have prayed for the visible unity of the Church all my adult life, but on terms which recognize the dignity and validity of the Reformation, of the Anglican Church's heroic and self-sacrificial encounters with the modern world and with forms of thought and culture previously uncontemplated, from the mid 1500's through the centuries, in each succeeding age and on into the future. I think that is part of our genius. It comes wrapped in Anglican chant and Percy Dearmer and coffee hours and sherry and vestries and too many bishops and Trollope and Barbara Pym and Auden and Perry and Vaughan Williams and prayer book wars and are-you-high-or-low-or-broad and a thousand other little cultural artifacts we know and love. But to bring the catholic faith face to face with today's real challenges is our genius, it is the Gift of the Spirit to us, and to betray it would be to betray what has given us life.
One day, when all this fearful nonsense is blown away and the church can return to the Gospels and the sacraments, and gay people can be treated as, you know, the sinners that everyone else is as well.
He's seen more as a down-the-line liberal, less as someone who can bridge partisan divides.Hat tip to Mike Cheever
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|Holy Water Under the Bridge - Randall Balmer|
Memo to Republicans: Talk a right-wing game in your ideological magazines and at your tea parties if that makes you happy. But to win elections, your candidates had better look like middle-of-the-road problem-solvers.Of course the right reads that as a call from the left to Republicans to win elections by becoming enablers of the prevailing big government project. Better, the true believers insist, to remain a righteous remnant. Better, as RN said about the Goldwaterites, to be right than President. Better, even, to promote the victory of Democrats over moderate Republicans. Wait in purity and in expectation that economic or foreign policy disaster will once again propel a true believer into power.
We could convert Afghanistan into a Central Asian version of Disney World and violent Islamic radicalism would persist unabated in various quarters of the world--probably including major cities in the West. The threat is a transnational one and is not subject to elimination no matter how energetically we pursue armed nation-building campaigns in far-off places. Indeed, it's at least as plausible to argue that persisting in the effort to pacify Afghanistan will further incite, rather than reduce, jihadist opposition worldwide.
Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt this week offered a stern condemnation of this fratricide on his popular program, calling the third-party candidate:When Frum wrote that Hoffman is "the darling of talk radio" after having just quoted Hewitt, he left the reader with the impression that Hewitt was for Hoffman. Why drag him into the column otherwise? When an outraged Hewitt told Frum on his program yesterday that he doesn't support Hoffman, nor spoiler candidacies in general, Frum admitted that he didn't know Hewitt's position on the New York 23rd and hadn't bothered to check.
.... a wrecker, a selfish "look at me" poser .... It takes an outsized ego to look at poll after poll that puts you behind not one but two candidates by more than 10 points and still declare yourself in the hunt.
Whoops! Sorry, rewind. Fzzzzwwwwvvvvwwwzzzp. That was an editing error. Hugh Hewitt was not blasting Doug Hoffman, the third-party candidate in New York. In fact, Hoffman is the darling of talk radio and Fox News, which have helped to spread Hoffman Fever for the past few weeks.
No, Hewitt was attacking the third-party candidate in New Jersey's gubernatorial race, an independent named Chris Daggett who has drawn votes from the official Republican standard-bearer, Chris Christie.
Drug warriors like to claim that the medical-marijuana movement is just a sneaky way to talk about full-on legalization. The thing is, they are right. And there's nothing they can do about it.
People admire Obama, at home and abroad, because his America is like their America; which is to say, they admire Obama because they admire themselves. The beautiful souls gave him a Nobel Prize for being a beautiful soul. We will soon discover that the popularity of an American president is a fact of minor strategic consequence. Anti-Americanism around the world is deep and tough and various. Most of it will not be dispelled by a black face and a Muslim name and a progressive smile. Multiculturalism is not a foreign policy. And enmity is the regular fate of states, and of superpowers, and of democracies.Criticizing Obama for being too solicitous of Europeans and Muslims is one thing. There's no question he's overdone it. But Wieseltier's only example of Obama's perilous course has to do with Iran:
We have common ground with the Iranian regime, or so Obama insists, in our desire to avert a nuclear catastrophe. And we have common ground with the Iranian resistance, in our desire to promote liberty. In his policy toward Iran, Obama has so far honored one commonality and dishonored the other. His "engagement" with the illegitimate theo-fascist rulers in Iran, even as their show trials proceed, represents a decision to scant ostentatious differences in favor of dubious similarities.This analysis has two glaring flaws. The Iranian regime is no less legitimate than the communist regimes in Moscow and Beijing when Richard Nixon improved relations to defuse mounting Cold War tensions and try to help end the Vietnam war. If detente with Iran is also in our interests, then the U.S. should by all means pursue it, no matter who's in power there.
Many of the [out-of-district conservative] workers acknowledge that their efforts could deliver the election to the Democratic candidate, but they say it is more important to send a message than to win this race.
Male and female, God created them; male and female, we ordain them.
Attacks are still down to their lowest level since 2003-2004. Life has returned to a semblance of normality in Baghdad and other areas. A few high-profile attacks — this one or the one in August — do not change the fundamental, day-to-day reality of life getting better.Hat tip to Mike Cheever
Iraqis know that political violence will be with them for a long time, even if full civil war can be avoided. The fortunes of insurgent groups wax and wane, their support base shrinking and expanding depending on how vulnerable sectarian groups feel. But an end to the bombings is not in sight.
"A bit of dithering might have been in order before we went into Iraq in pursuit of non-existent weapons of mass destruction," Will said on ABC's "This Week. "For a representative of the Bush administration to accuse someone of taking too much time is missing the point. We have much more to fear in this town from hasty than from slow government action."
Violent clashes erupt at Jerusalem's holiest siteThe demonstrators were holed up for a while tonight in the al-Aqsa mosque, which together with the neighboring Dome of the Rock (shown here) comprises only the third holiest site in the world among Muslims. As the site of the Second Temple (specious Temple-denying to the contrary), the Temple Mount is unquestionably the holiest site for Jews. Also in Jerusalem, but not on the Temple Mount, is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, by far the holiest site for Christians. However you slice it, you can't write that headline without seeming to play favorites.
If that day in the jungle, if that war long ago, teaches us anything, then surely it is this: If we send our men and women in uniform into harm's way, then it must be only when it is absolutely necessary. And when we do, we must back them up with the strategy and the resources and the support they need to get the job done.I wonder if Obama is saying that the U.S. and its allies could've prevailed in Vietnam if we hadn't lost interest after President Nixon brought our ground forces home in 1973, if Congress hadn't given in to the myth that the defeat of South Vietnam was inevitable. If he does, then he really is putting the corrosive passions of the Vietnam years behind him.