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Ed Driscoll

Daily Archives: July 6, 2013

“FDR’s policies prolonged Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate,” the UCLA Newsroom noted in a press release back in 2004. Three years later, Amity Shlaes would explore the human cost of America’s lost decade of the 1930s in her best-seller, The Forgotten Man. The following year, if only to continue punishing the ghost of moderate Republican founder Henry Luce, (who loathed FDR), Time magazine Photoshopped the then-newly-minted President-elect Barack Obama into the reincarnation of Franklin Roosevelt for its November 24, 2008 cover, whose headline read, “The New, New Deal:”


Curiously, Time meant both the image and the headline as compliments to the 44th president to be. So how’s that New, New Deal working out these days? As financial writer Matthew C. Klein noted yesterday at Bloomberg.com (which ever since, oh, about November 24, 2008, has been the home of the “unexpectedly” bad US economic news), America “is on track for a lost decade under the most optimistic assumptions.” Klein’s article is titled, “Don’t Get Too Excited About Today’s Jobs Data.”

Thanks for the advice, though I really hadn’t planned to, actually. Particularly since, as Wes Pruden noted yesterday in the Washington Times, ObamaCare is shaping up to be “The Fiasco of the Ages:”

The best the Democrats can say about Obamacare is that it’s an approaching train wreck, in the memorable description of Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. Mr. Baucus was one of the authors of the legislation and now he’s hurrying home to Montana for good, anxious to avert his eyes from all the hair, teeth and eyeballs soon to be scattered along the railroad right-of-way.

Pundits and professors are rifling through the thesaurus, looking for the right word to describe what the Wall Street Journal calls “a fiasco for the ages.” The Journal editorialists reminded everyone that they “fought the Affordable Care Act from start to passage, and we’d like to apologize to our readers. It turns out we weren’t nearly critical enough.”

The editors of The New York Times, Mr. Obama’s most reliable sycophants, are deep in mourning, but working furiously to apply more rouge to the corpse before it turns the parlor too fragrant for a wake. It’s summer, and they’re running out of ice.

The “downside” to the delay in implementing the employer mandate is that it gives Republican critics the facts and figures, the “ammunition to portray the health care reforms as a failure,” The Times says. But not to worry, the year’s delay decreed by the president will allow the Internal Revenue Service time to figure out “how this mandate will work … it is more important to do this right than to do it quickly.”

Gee, if only somebody had thought of that in 2010. Or perhaps in 2008, come to think of it.

Update: “Obamacare Strikes: Part-Time Jobs Surge To All Time High; Full-Time Jobs Plunge By 240,000,” the Zero Hedge econo-blog notes. Or as Iowahawk tweeted yesterday:


Boeing 777 Crashes While Landing at SFO

July 6th, 2013 - 12:19 pm

An Asiana Airlines flight from South Korea to San Francisco International Airport ended in tragedy an hour ago. “According to a witness, around 11:20 a.m. the plane was just about to land — its landing gear had come down — when the tail of the plane came off,” Bay Area Fox affiliate KTVU reports. More as it comes in.

Update: Numerous photos of crash and its aftermath at Twitchy.

This update, apparently from a survivor of the crash, has gotten nearly 9500 retweets:


Click here for a larger version of the image. Drudge is reporting 291 aboard; the Tweet above by David Eun, an executive with Samsung, reported that “most everyone seems fine. His later tweets add, “Fire and rescue people all over the place. They’re evacuating the injured. Haven’t felt this way since 9/11.” Along with, “Most people are totally calm and trying to let the fire and rescue do their jobs. Just like during 9/11, most people are great and try to be helpful in crisis.”

Newsbreaker adds a close-up shot of the crippled plane:


Newsbreaker is also reporting that “All flights cancelled at San Francisco airport following major plane crash.”

Update (2:14 PM PDT): KTVU is now reporting “At least two dead, 61 injured” in crash.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Mark Steyn on Egypt’s accelerating slide into reprimitivization:

Washington has spent six decades getting Egypt wrong, ever since the CIA insouciantly joined the coup against Farouk under the contemptuous name “Operation Fat F***er.” We sank billions into Mubarak’s Swiss bank accounts, and got nothing in return other than Mohammed Atta flying through the office window. Even in a multicultural age, liberal Americans casually assume that “developing countries” want to develop into something like a Western democracy. But Egypt only goes backwards. Princess Fawzia is best remembered in the Middle East as, briefly, the first consort of the late shah of Iran, whom she left in 1946 because she found Tehran hopelessly dull and provincial after bustling, modern, cosmopolitan Cairo. In our time, the notion of Egypt as “modern” is difficult to comprehend: According to the U.N., 91 percent of its women have undergone female genital mutilation — not because the state mandates it, but because the menfolk insist on it. Over half its citizenry subsists on less than two dollars a day. A rural population so inept it has to import its food, Egyptians live on the land, but can’t live off it.

Ninety years ago, Fuad I’s kingdom was a ramshackle Arab approximation of a Westminster constitutional monarchy: Even in its flaws and corruptions, it knew at least what respectable societies were supposed to aspire to. Nasser’s one-party state was worse, Mubarak’s one-man klepto-state worse still, and Morsi’s antidote to his predecessors worst of all — so far. You can measure the decay in a tale of two consorts. After she left the shah, Princess Fawzia served as the principal hostess of the Egyptian court. In tiara and off-the-shoulder gowns, she looks like a screen siren from Hollywood’s golden age — Hedy Lamarr, say, in Her Highness and the Bellboy (1945). Sixty years later, no Egyptian woman could walk through Cairo with bare shoulders without risking assault. President Morsi’s wife, Naglaa Ali Mahmoud, is his first cousin, and covered from head to toe. If you were a visiting foreign minister, you were instructed not to shake hands, or even look at her. If you did, you’d notice that the abaya-clad crone bore an odd resemblance to the mom of the incendiary Tsarnaev brothers. Eschewing the title first lady, she preferred to be known as “first servant.” Egypt’s first couple embodied only the parochial, inbred dead end of Islamic imperialism — what remains when all else is dead or fled.

Egypt is far from the only country in the Middle East whose “progress” happens to be progressing backwards, of course — and as Mark hints at the end of his article, the same can be said of America as well.

This wasn’t the 21st century I had envisioned. How ’bout you?

Related: “Does Turkey Know What Backward Is?”, asks Michael Rubin at Commentary. “When Egypt holds new elections, let us hope the process of democratization can continue. In the meantime, let us hope that the Turkish government recognizes that it is Turkey that has moved backward, away from the 21st century and headlong into the past.”