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Fracking fractures

Jim Geraghty for National Review: "You knew that at some point, the Democrats with constituents who would benefit from the jobs that can be created through fracking -- i.e., blue-collar voters and their representatives -- and the Democrats who see fracking as a chainsaw massacre of Gaia's baby seals would conflict. Democrats have largely papered over these differences, but you can only kick the can down the road so many times. Now that simmering dispute is boiling over ... in Pennsylvania.

"Battle lines were drawn in June when the state [Democratic] committee passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on fracking until health and environmental concerns in the state are more clearly addressed. Though the resolution was little more than a position statement ... the 115-81 vote didn't put an end to the debate ... Two of the seven declared Democratic gubernatorial candidates -- U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and former Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty -- criticized the moratorium. Even former Gov. Ed Rendell, one of the nation's preeminent Democrats, condemned the resolution as 'very ill-advised.' "


Who's a terrorist?

Via Atlantic Wire: Andrew Sullivan writes at The Dish about the British government using a law intended to stop terrorism to detain the partner of The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald -- the journalist who received classified documents from NSA leaker Edward Snowden -- and question him without a lawyer for nine hours.

Mr. Sullivan says this proves Mr. Greenwald's fears of government abuse from data collection. He then addresses Prime Minister David Cameron: "You have proven that these laws can be hideously abused. Which means they must be repealed."

The New Yorker's Amy Davidson, in response to Mr. Sullivan, tweets, "Do the US & UK governments distinguish between leak & terrorism investigations? Or just a mish-mash of 'enemies'?"


The next war

The local Spork in the Drawer responds to reports that the Obama administration is considering military action in Syria: Under the headline, "The Next War": "Looks like it'll be Syria, just as all the Very Serious People want. Well, 'want' in the sense of, if they can't have drinks in Tehran by this evening, Damascus will have to do."


Praising Putin?

Cathy Young at Hot Air: "Russian President Vladimir Putin ... who has presided over the rollback of his country's post-Communist freedoms ... is an unlikely hero for American conservatives. Yet the Kremlin strongman has lately found some fans on the right who see him as a defender of Christian values -- most recently, in the imbroglio over Russia's new legal ban on gay 'propaganda.' It is a sad misjudgment that does a disservice to the causes of conservatism, freedom, and religion alike.

"Spokesmen for several right-wing groups, including the American Family Association, have praised the Russian law, which prohibits any pro-gay speech or expression that could be accessible to minors. Veteran columnist Pat Buchanan has joined the Putin cheerleading squad. And, shockingly, the usually thoughtful author Rod Dreher, who blogs for The American Conservative, has added his own '1.5 Cheers for Putin.' "


Encouraging the Brothers

David Pryce-Jones for the National Review: "American influence in the Middle East is ebbing fast. Dr. Henry Kissinger must find it painful to listen to the news. As secretary of state he managed to detach the Arab world from the Soviet grip and neutralize Arab nationalism. He achieved this end by proving to President Anwar Sadat of Egypt that more was to be gained from friendship with the United States than from hostility.

"Here was an example of the basic grounding of diplomacy between states that friends are to be rewarded and enemies punished. Sadat's successor, Hosni Mubarak, understood this very well, and even Syrian President Hafez Assad, by nature truly anti-American, was prepared to join the anti-Saddam Hussein coalition for the sake of what he could then gain.

"The Muslim Brothers are every bit as anti-American as Arab nationalists ... When President Obama made it plain that he preferred the Muslim Brothers to Mubarak, he was rewarding natural enemies and dumping allies, in effect overturning Kissinger's achievement. The more Obama speechifies about 'inclusion' and 'democracy,' the more he encourages the Muslim Brothers to act with impunity ... "

opinion_commentary

Greg Victor (gvictor@post-gazette.com).


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