- E. J. Dionne on the Democrats' Attack Strategy As financial reform gains nationwide popularity, the Washington Post columnist argues
Republicans want nothing to do with an extended fight that puts them on
the side of Wall Street. "Suddenly, it's Democrats -- and, in
particular, the often conflict-averse Obama -- who are relishing a
fight," he notes. For their part, the Democrats feel they've found a can't-lose issue ahead of the midterm elections.
clearly see financial reform as a winner either way. With Republican
cooperation, they have a bill. With Republican obstruction, they have
an election issue. For once, Democrats are negotiating from strength."
Will Gushes Over Chris Christie The Washington Post columnist takes a
break from discussing the major issues of the day and effusively praises
the governor of New Jersey for his tough stance on unions and
commitment to reducing the state's budget deficit. "Christie is using
his power to remind New Jersey that wealth goes where it is welcome and
stays where it is well-treated," he applauds. After delving deep into
the numbers of New Jersey's financial crisis, Will attempts to tie his
column to the broader theme of fiscal responsibility. "In the state
that has the nation's fourth-highest percentage (66) of public
employees who are unionized, [Christie] has joined the struggle that
will dominate the nation's domestic policymaking in this decade -- to
break the ruinous collaboration between elected officials and unionized
state and local workers whose affections the officials purchase with
- The Wall Street Journal on Obama's Personalized Rhetoric The Journal's editors take Obama to task
for his tic of framing issues of national import in personal, even
psychological terms. "Mr. Obama has a tendency to vilify his
opponents... and assail their arguments as dishonest, illegitimate or
motived by bad faith," the op-ed reads. The editors go on to list
numerous examples of this habit, noting that they seem "especially
discordant coming from a President who still insists, in between these
assaults, that he is striving mightily to change the negative tone of
- Joe Klein on the Kandahar Problem Recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan, Klein frets
in Time that for all the efforts of the U.S. military to establish a
stable civil society there, locals will ultimately see the Taliban as
more trustworthy than Hamid Karzai's corruption-riddled administration.
"Given the fact that the Afghan government is practically nonexistent
in Senjaray, where will the teachers come from?" Klein wonders. "U.S.
forces will triple in Zhari during the next few months, but that won't
make much of a difference if the Afghan security and governmental
presence remains as pathetic as it now is."
- Thomas Hibbs on Avatar's Philosophical Confusion At National Review, Hibbs attempts to parse
the didactic messages of James Cameron's Avatar, which is being
released on DVD today to coincide with Earth Day. The film sets up a
fairly stark choice between nature and technology, and positions itself against the forces of industry and development, but Hibbs
points out the film wouldn't be so seductive or convincing if not for
the technology that makes computer animation possible. "As captivating
as it is, Avatar is unlikely to be of much help in solving or even understanding the
most important questions we face," Hibbs concludes. "In the end, it
only helps to illustrate the Left’s imperfect faith in organic
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