Cutting Edge: New ideas / Sharp opinions
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Big government rules!
Diana Furchtgott-Roth at Real Clear Markets: "President Obama's second inaugural address sent a message to those who want to reduce federal spending over the next four years: Forget it.
"In a refreshingly short address, Mr. Obama laid out a clear philosophical case for more government over less government. That bodes ill for any possibility of compromise with Republicans over the debt ceiling, the sequester and entitlement reform ...
"Raising federal government spending from its historical average of 20 percent of GDP to 24 percent of GDP in 2012 has not been enough for Mr. Obama. His inaugural address is a manifesto for an even bigger share."
The GOP's to-not-do list
Andy Borowitz at The Borowitz Report: "Congressional Republicans heaped fulsome praise on President Obama's second inaugural address ... saying that it had given them a detailed list of things to thwart over the next four years.
" 'My big fear was that the speech would be full of vague platitudes that wouldn't be helpful to us in plotting against him,' said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. 'Once he started offering details of what he actually hoped to accomplish, though, I realized we had hit the mother lode.' "
Women's rights run amok
Heather Mac Donald at NationalReview.com: "We have apparently arrived at the Golden Age, free from strife and the threat of foreign enemies. Little else can explain so gratuitous a decision as to place women in combat units. The downsides to such a policy are legion and obvious; the only reason to pursue it is to placate feminism's insatiable and narcissistic drive for absolute official equality between the sexes.
"Any claim that our fighting forces are not reaching their maximum potential because females are not included is absurd. The number of women who are the equal to reasonably well-developed men in upper-body strength and who have the same stamina and endurance is vanishingly small. Because the number of women who will meet the military's already debased physical-fitness standard will not satisfy the feminists' demand for representation, the fitness standard will inevitably be lowered ... as we have seen in civilian uniformed forces. ...
"Only someone deliberately blind to human reality could maintain that putting men and women in close quarters 24 hours a day will not produce a proliferation of sex, thus introducing all the irrational passions ... of physical attraction into an organization that should be exclusively devoted to the mission of combat preparedness."
Bogus Benghazi hearings
Andrew Sullivan on his blog The Dish: "Just to remind readers who asked why we didn't cover the [congressional hearings on the attack at the U.S. consulate in Libya], even though they had some great TV moments: We don't cover non-stories.
"We have covered the legitimate issue that there was not enough security in Benghazi, that there should have been, and that the State Department failed in its foresight and planning. But we are not going to cover a spectacle created entirely by a fake cable news network as a way to save a losing election campaign. Hillary's face yesterday said all we needed to."
From the Cassandra blog at Economist.com: "Reading some of the reports from the Swiss mountain resort of Davos, where the great and the good are gathered at the annual bash of the World Economic Forum, Cassandra was struck by a pithy comment from Nigeria's president, Goodluck Jonathan: 'It is easier to move goods from African countries to Europe and the rest of the world than to trade between one African country and another.'
"He is, of course, right ... [I]t will take years to provide decent transport links across the continent and cultural, religious and political hurdles to intra-continental collaboration will not be surmounted overnight. ... Nonetheless, it is entirely possible -- even probable -- that Africa, blessed with abundant natural resources and a young, energetic and increasingly educated population, will rival Asia as the continent of the 21st century."
First Published January 27, 2013 12:00 am