HE FORGOT ABOUT SYRIA. The worst reaction to the GOP�s politicization of terrorist attacks is to whine about them politicizing it. Second worst is to merely suggest that the opposition needs to attack, rather than whine. Best of all is to actually attack, like Fred Kaplan, who notes that Bush has spent years pissing away opportunities for the sort of international intelligence-gathering operations that foiled the recent British airplane plots.
LOOKING FOR MODERATES IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES. If you want to see some rightwingery that's really no stupider than your average rightwingery, but a good deal more dangerous, look here and elsewhere on the Corner for yesterday's giant series of posts slamming the Council on American Islamic Relations. The basic dynamic is something any liberal should be familiar with -- CAIR has some political disagreements with George W. Bush and has expressed them in public statements. For their trouble, they're subjected to a smear campaign casting aspersions on their motives, etc., etc., etc.
Yet again the Postreports on the threat posed by �entitlement� spending, referring to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. To quickly repeat myself, this is dishonest. There are modest and manageable increases in projected Social Security spending due to the aging of the population. There are unmanageable projected increases in Medicare and Medicaid expenditures due to a projected explosion in health care costs. If the projected explosion in health care costs proves accurate, then it will devastate the economy, and cause serious budget problems.
The Times had an article examining the prospects of the Fed being able to successfully bring down the inflation rate, without also inducing a recession. While it is a thoughtful piece, the two experts whose views dominate the article, Robert Gordon and Lawrence Meyer, have the distinction of having been proven completely wrong on this topic by the events of the nineties.
The modest drop reported in the trade deficit in June is good news, the current deficit is unsustainable. A declining trade deficit will also help to boost economic growth, as noted in a Timesarticle this morning. However, the article missed an important part of the story.
JOE AND THE STOCK OPTIONS. In between writing a bunch of frightening posts about the burstinghousingbubble, Dean Baker took some time out yesterday to remind us of Joe Lieberman's ignominious and highly consequential '90s-era role in getting the Financial Accounting Standards Board to back down from requiring that stock options be treated as expenses against profit.
ADDICTED TO FAILURE. Bush says today's plots serve as a "stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists." If anything, it's a stark reminder of the reverse. A stark reminder that this isn't a "war" at all -- you don't foil a plot like this with armored personnel carriers and JDAMs. We're also not going to capture the capital city of "Islamic fascism" -- not Kabul, not Baghdad, not even Teheran and Damascus -- and force our adversaries to surrender.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: SPILLS OF WAR.Christopher Moraffreports on an ongoing environmental disaster in Lebanon: a gigantic oil spill off the Mediterrenean coast caused by Israel's bombing of a power plant three weeks ago. The total spill could rival the Exxon Valdez catastrophe of 1989 -- and the continuing war is preventing government and international agencies from fully addressing the situation or containing the damage. Read the whole thing.