Bret Stephens | Biden’s Plan Promises Permanent Decline – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“Years ago, Alexis Tsipras, the party leader of Greece’s Coalition of the Radical Left, surprised me with a question. “Here in the United States,” the soon-to-be prime minister asked me over breakfast in New York, “why do you not have this phenomenon of passing money under the table?”

The subject was health care. Greece has a public health care system that, in theory, guarantees its citizens access to necessary medical care.

Practice, however, is another matter. Patients in Greek public hospitals, Tsipras explained, would first have to slip a doctor “an envelope with a certain amount of money” before they could expect to get treatment. The government, he added, underpaid its doctors and then looked the other way as they topped up their income with bribes.

Take a close look at any country or locality in which the government offers allegedly free or highly subsidized goods and you’ll usually discover that there’s a catch.

France’s subsidized day care is, by all accounts, fantastic for working parents who get their children into it. Except there’s a perpetual shortage of slots. In Sweden, a raft of laws protects tenants from excessively high rent. Except wait times for apartments can be as long as 20 years. In Britain, the National Health Service is a source of pride. Except that, even before the pandemic, one in six patients faced wait times of more than 18 weeks for routine treatment.  . . . “

David Lindsay Jr.

David Lindsay Jr.Hamden, CT | NYT comment:

I feel a bit sorry for Bret Stephens and Ross Douthat, and other modern, young, conservatives. They deserve pitty for their bubbleheadedness. Or hardheadedness? Stephen’s attacks on France, especially for its high unemployment, contrasts with Paul Kruman last week, who reported that France has more woman working than the US does. One reason, is that they have state supported childcare. Their suicide rate is lower, and their life expectancy is higher. et cetera. I humbly suspect that the elephant in the room is that the real conservatives are more like myself, ardent climate hawks, deeply concernced about the environment. We recognize that income inequality has hurt the poor and gutted out the middle class. These young men are so bright and articulate, you suspect that they might accidentally wake up, and realize that the woke conservatives are now the right wing of the Democratic party. The Republicans turning to Trumpism, and no nothingism, white supremacy and anti-science and anti-democracy positions, left us little choice.

Bret Stephens | Race and the Coming Liberal Crackup – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/26/opinion/race-police-violence-liberalism.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Opinion Columnist

“Americans breathed a collective sigh of relief last week after Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd. The crime was heinous, the verdict just, the moral neat. If you think that systemic racism is the defining fact of race relations in 21st-century America, then Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck is its defining image.

But what about a case like that of Ma’Khia Bryant, a Black teenager who was shot and killed last week by Nicholas Reardon, a white police officer in Columbus, Ohio, at the instant that she was swinging a knife at a woman who had her back against a car?

Ben Crump, the Floyd family’s lawyer, accused the Columbus police in a tweet of killing “an unarmed 15yo Black girl.” Valerie Jarrett, the former Obama adviser, tweeted that Bryant “was killed because a police officer immediately decided to shoot her multiple times in order to break up a knife fight.” Jarrett wants to “Demand accountability” and “Fight for justice.”

An alternative view: Maybe there wasn’t time for Officer Reardon, in an 11-second interaction, to “de-escalate” the situation, as he is now being faulted for failing to do. And maybe the balance of our sympathies should lie not with the would-be perpetrator of a violent assault but with the cop who saved a Black life — namely that of Tionna Bonner, who nearly had Bryant’s knife thrust into her.  . . . “

Bret Stephens | Abandoning Afghanistan Is a Historic Mistake – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

Credit…Moises Saman/Magnum Photos

“I once boarded a flight from Dubai to Kabul alongside a team of Afghan soccer players — teenage girls in red uniforms, chatting and laughing much as they might have anywhere else in the world. I thought of those players again after President Biden announced plans for America’s complete military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

I hope they have the means to get out before the Taliban take over again, as sooner or later will most likely happen.

The United States did not go into Afghanistan after 9/11 to improve the status of women. We did so anyway. Millions of girls, whom the Taliban had forbidden to get any kind of education, went to school. Some of them — not nearly enough, but impressive considering where they started from and the challenges they faced — became doctors, entrepreneurs, members of Parliament. A few got to watch their daughters play soccer under the protective shield of Pax Americana.

Those women are now being abandoned. So is every Afghan who struggled to make the country a more humane, hospitable, ethnically and socially tolerant place — some by taking immense personal risks to help U.S. troops, diplomats and aid workers do their jobs. As George Packer writes in The Atlantic, there are some 17,000 such Afghans waiting for the wheels of U.S. bureaucracy to turn so they can get their visas.  . . . “

David Lindsay Jr.

David Lindsay Jr.Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:

Thank you Bret Setphens for trying, but no thank you. In researching our fiasco in Vietnam, I discovered the writing of Sun Tzu, who wrote “the Art of War,” about the wisdom accued from about 300 years of civil war in ancient China. He collected a list of important ideas, which included: Never invade another country unless it is an emergency, and then, get in and get out, or the cost of the occupation will be more than any gain you achieved initially. He also wrote, know your enemy better than you know yourself, and, as correctly quoted in the movie “Wall Street,” don’t go into a fight unless you already know you will win. The Chinese are delighted that we waisted 2 trillion dollars in this hopeless occupation, and they would love to see us double our losses. We need to put gigantic sums into our infrastructure, and human capital, and research and developent. I admit that when David Brooks suggested last Friday on the News Hour, that we should maintain a small force as a long term deterent, I knew that that was the only viable argument. But while 500 hundred was enough in nothern Syria, 2500 wasn’t apparently enough in Afgahistan. It will be up the Afghan people to fight or change the Taliban.

David Lindsay Jr is the author of the Tay Son Rebellion about 18th century Vietnam, and blogs at InconvenientNews.Net.

Bret Stephens | Biden Should Finish the Wall – The New York Times

” . . . But the administration would be foolish to suppose the surge will recede on its own. The years of relative economic prosperity in Mexico that, for a time, led to a net outflow of Mexican migrants from the U.S. are over, thanks to a combination of drug cartels, a pandemic and the misgovernance of its inept populist presidentGuatemalaHondurasEl Salvador and Nicaragua are failing states. A “Plan Colombia”-style package of security assistance could help. But it will cost billions and probably take a decade for its effects to be felt.

In the meantime, the United States risks a version of the European migration crisis of 2015. That’s the one that contributed heavily to the Brexit vote, turbocharged the rise of far-right parties like France’s National Front and the Alternative for Germany, and paved the way to Trump’s election.

There’s little question that our own migration crisis is a political boon for immigration restrictionists. The wonder is why a serious Democratic administration would aid and abet their cause.

It’s also putting the interests of comprehensive immigration reform further out of reach. Congress has not passed a significant immigration bill in over three decades. Joe Biden came to office with an opportunity to get a bipartisan accord, but no Republican will sign on to legislation that widens the doors to legal immigrants, much less one that offers some form of amnesty to illegal ones, without a serious plan for border security. Nothing accomplishes that more visibly than a wall.

For Democrats, that’s an opportunity to defuse the political bomb Republicans would love to plant right under them. And it’s a jobs-creating infrastructure program to boot.

Will a wall solve all of our immigration problems? Hardly. It will take years to build, and some practical, regulatory and legal hurdles might be hard to surmount. But for anyone who hopes for America to remain a proud nation of immigrants, it has to be a part of the solution.”  -30-

David Lindsay Jr.

David Lindsay Jr.Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:

Thank you Bret for daring to think this through. You are right that if Biden isn’t stronger on illegal immigration, he will hand the government back to the Trumpsters. I don’t agree we should finish the wall with steel and bricks, that would be an environmental disaster. But I do agree that Biden has to secure the border, or probably lose power in the next few elections.

The list of reforms is daunting, but not impossible. We need e-verification of workers, and enforce that businesses can’t use illegals without permission and worker protections. We need to legalize or decriminalize all addictive drugs, to stop the gross drug war profits from destabilizing governments on both sides of the wall. As well as a US Marshall plan against climate change and to create new jobs in the US, we need another to help our neighbors to the south. We need to amend the 14th amendment, so you can’t gain citizenship here simply by being born here by either illegals, guest workers, or tourists. Family planning and zero or negative population growth are going to have to part of US foreign and domestic policy, to reduce humans to a sustainable number, and make room for other species, that are disappearing at an alarming rate.

You are right that Biden should finish the wall, but he should do it with all the ideas above, not physical barriers that will cause more endangered species to die off.

David Lindsay Jr is the author of the Tay Son Rebellion about Vietnam, and blogs at InconvenientNews.Net.

Bret Stephens | How Will We Win the Second Cold War? – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

Credit…VCG/Getty Images

 

“In the First Cold War, the United States and our allies had a secret weapon against the Soviet Union and its satellites.

It didn’t come from the C.I.A. Nor was it a product of DARPA or the weapons labs at Los Alamos. It was Communism.

Communism aided the West because it saddled an imperialist Russian state with an unworkable and unpopular economic system that could not keep up with its free-market competitors. “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work” — the quintessential Russian joke about working life in the workers’ paradise — goes far to explain why a regime with tens of thousands of nuclear warheads simply petered out.

Now we are entering the Second Cold War, this time with China. That’s the takeaway from this month’s U.S.-China summit in Anchorage, in which both sides made clear that they had not only clashing interests but also incompatible values. Secretary of State Antony Blinken bluntly accused China of threatening “the rules-based order that maintains global stability.” Yang Jiechi, his Chinese counterpart, replied that the U.S. had to “stop advancing its own democracy in the rest of the world.” ” . . .

Bret Stephens | Only Impeachment Can Save Republicans – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

Credit…Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

If there’s one thing Republicans in Congress ought to consider as they weigh the merits of impeaching Donald Trump, it’s the story of the president’s relationship with Mike Pence.

In December 2015, then-Governor Pence tweeted, “Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional.” In April 2016, Tim Alberta reported that Pence “loathes Trump, according to longtime friends.” In July of the same year, Republican strategist Dan Senor tweeted, “It’s disorienting to have had commiserated w/someone re: Trump — about how he was unacceptable, & then to see that someone become Trump’s VP.”

You know what came next. Pence turned himself into the most unfailingly servile sidekick in vice-presidential history. He delivered the evangelical vote to Trump. He stood by the president at every low point, from the “Access Hollywood” tape to Charlottesville, Va., to Helsinki to the Ukraine call. He indulged Trump’s fantasies about a stolen election.

He betrayed his principles. He abased himself. Then Trump insisted that he steal the election. When Pence refused — he had no legal choice — Trump stirred the mob to go after him.

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
Thank you Bret Stephens. It is not often that you go to Mitch McConnel for support. “The philosophical case is clear. Senator Mitch McConnell was eloquent and right: “If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. We’d never see the whole nation accept an election again. Every four years would be a scramble for power at any cost.” ” I have to disagree with the comment by Socrates. The GOP is not finished, and unfixable. I hope and support that the good citizens of the Lincoln Project do start a third party, which I suggest they call, The Party of Lincoln. If they run against Trumpster Republicans in two and four years, the Trumpsters could all be removed from office, replaced mostly by Democrats. Then, the Lincoln Project conservatives will be able to take back over the the defeated GOP if they want that brand for their own. I am of the same mind as others, like Thomas Friedman, who has written eloquently that our democracy needs at least two healthy, robust parties, to represent the democratic, moral and economic principles of both the left and the right, and hopefully both more centrist than the wing nut radicals of either.

Saturday, the NYT Editorial Board Shoots Itself, by David Lindsay and others

Saturday, the NYT Editorial Board Shoots Itself

On Saturday, May 3rd, the NYT put out a scree, Investigate Tara Reade’s Allegation, that so infuriated me, that I considered seriously whether to cancel my subscription to the Times. I thought it was pathetically overboard. I went to the comments to find solace and confirmation, which I found in spades. Like the top comments:

RogerD

PhiladelphiaMay 2

Times Pick

No. The accusation against Biden should not be investigated without the same type of investigation into the multiple allegations against Trump. Both men are running for the highest office. Both must be held to the same standard. Why does the Editorial Board give a pass AGAIN to Trump? Both candidates should be treated the same in this instance. Investigate both or none.

22 Replies3184 Recommended

 

dre commented May 2

D

dre

NYCMay 2

Times Pick

This editorial says there are inconsistencies in her claims and accusations. A huge understatement from what I’ve read. Most of us agree all serious accusations should be taken seriously. But there has to be believable corroboration, facts, supporting evidence…and a consistent pattern of integrity and believability on one side or the other. I don’t see evidence of integrity on her side. If you look at everything she has said and written about Biden over nearly 30 years, she doesn’t seem credible. She has said repeatedly over the years that he was basically an ok guy, though he rubbed her neck once and made her uncomfortable, but it was not sexual in her own words. All of a sudden though her favorite, Bernie, is trounced, and it’s now for the first time, in March of 2020, a claim of sexual assault. And hard to believe but she has written she loves Putin, too. Everyone of course has to make up their own mind about her credibility, but unless something new and significant comes up, Joe will get my vote.

14 Replies2439 Recommended      https://nyti.ms/2WolEkW

 

Bret Stephens reminded his co-workers at the editorial board, in his piece Biden and the Presumption of Innocence, that you are usually considered innocent until proven guilty, but he slammed Biden for going too far in 2011, trying to stop or reduce male on female assaults in US colleges, by making it too easy for any complaint to terminate any male student. https://nyti.ms/3cZkF18

 

Lisandra Villa at Time Magazine wrote: “After she came forward with allegations against Biden, Reade’s credibility was called into question by some critics, who noted her support of other candidates in the 2020 Democratic cycle as well as blog posts she wrote praising Vladimir Putin, including a now-deleted Medium post entitled “Why a Liberal Democrat Supports Vladimir Putin.” Reade says her past posts regarding Russia have been taken out of context. “What I would say is I do not support Vladimir Putin any longer,” she says.”

One news source I read last week? reported that Tara Reade told someone she left the US government partly because she was fond of Putin and Russia, and didn’t like how they were treated by the US government, but I can’t remember the source.

Source: Tara Reade Accuses Joe Biden of Sexual Assault: What We Know | Time

There was an interesting conversation at my facebook page after this post.

  • Tinker Lindsay She’s not well.

     

    Carolyn Siebert BobsinCarolyn Siebert Bobsin replied
    • Delete or hide this
    • Tinker Lindsay Carolyn, I respectfully disagree.
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    • Carolyn Siebert Bobsin Tinker Lindsay Ford had some weird issues. She said she was afraid to fly yet she had flown for business and pleasure. Two front doors built in her house ? Her demeanor looked like she was unsure of what she was saying. The questions asked of her were leading her along. Something happened to her but it was not Kavanaugh.
  • Ellen Unger Freiler The social media trap caught her squarely…
    • David Lindsay Gregory F. Todd Wow. That’s horrible. Do you know anything about Salon, it is new to me.
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    • Gregory F. Todd David Lindsay – the story in Salon was picked up from another (left leaning) website (Raw Story), which picked up the original story from reason.com.

      Anything in Salon or Raw Story is something I like to trace back to another source, — but just because it appears on those websites does not make it false.

      (I’m surprised, in a sense, that you are surprised by this. Are you familiar with the tricks and practices of Karl Rove, James O’Keefe, and so many others in the right-wing media ? It’s well worth our study to know who we’re dealing with!)

      Delete or hide this
      Reason.com
      REASON.COM
      Reason.com
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      Carolyn Siebert Bobsin Reade is a lot more believable than Ford. This must be seriously investigated!
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    Write a reply…
  • Seth Bates It’s time to stop giving this story air UNLESS it is in the context of “allegations of sexual misbehavior against Trump and Biden must be fully investigated, in parallel, by objective parties” (not the DOJ which is run by discredited and biased Bill Barr.)
    Delete or hide this
    • Carolyn Siebert Bobsin Seth Bates the Trump accusations were throughly investigated. I think he did have sex with the women but it was consensual. Then it becomes a he said, she said. Money is probably the motivation. Reade’s situation is different. She looked up to Bieden. She didn’t want to get him in trouble until he became the Dem candidate. Then maybe her conscience became her motivation.
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    • David Lindsay Carolyn Siebert Bobsin Hi Carolyn. what you say about Tara Reade is absolutely possible. But it seems more likely to me that she is a well paid political saboteur. Those of us outside the Fox News bubble already know that Trump tried to get the President of the Ukraine to start a phony smear on Biden. And, If your thinking is right, she should have spoken out when he was up for Vice President.
    • Peggy Kane Carolyn Siebert Bobsin You need to look into both situations further.
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    • Seth Bates Carolyn Siebert Bobsin well, Carolyn, let me start by pointing out that your comment to me is worded to show that you have accepted each of Ms. Reade’s statements as true, without any proof. Not an open mind, or just accident of grammar.
      I have not seen ANY details about the 25 allegations against Trump and they have not been asked in the press. And on the other hand I have read extensively about Reade’s accusations and her personal history. It’s a confused and jumbled mess, and it does not give me any sense of her reliability.
      I stand with my statement – the Trump allegations must be investigated, in public view, just as everyone is suggesting should be done with Biden. If not, this descends into a one-sided smear of Biden.
      And all of that being said, even if the Reade allegations turn out to be supported, I have to choose between Trump and Biden in November. Sorry, but there is no question to me but that reelection of Trump would result in further, possibly fatal, attacks on justice, voting, the environment, and the American people.
    Write a reply…
  • Gregory F. Todd The New York Times does that a lot: handwringing, earnest angst, thoughtful whining, wanting to do always the right thing, and overthinking it.

    I’m inclined to believe her, to the effect that something happened. But what??

    Why did she change her account just recently?

    To be honest, I think the representatives from the MeToo movement should have an open-sit down with Tara Reade to understand who, what, why she is motivated to modify the story now

    • David Lindsay I’ve enjoyed these discussions. I don’t mind investigating Joe Biden, as long as we do the same with equal ferocity to Donald Trump, and to Biden’s apparently flakey and sole accuser. I would like to know if someone put her up to changing her story, or if she was motivateed by her own politics. As Maureen Dowd wrote in her excellent but complicated essay in the Sunday Review in the Times, women, as well as men, are just as capable of really bad, dishonest behavior. Maureen listed every known great mistake Joe has made against women, and which does not include assault, but still balanced his imperfection against the convenience that this story has in helping Trump and hurting Biden polically with women and young people, both of whom are vital to the up coming election. Dozens of women, who have known Biden for years, don’t believe this accusation. I have read their testimonials in the comments section of the NYT.
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      • L

    • Gregory F. Todd David Lindsay – absolutely. It seems admitted that he ‘touched her’ in a way that ‘made her feel uncomfortable’. This was a view shared by a number of women last year, who mentioned ‘creepy’ neck massages etc.

      There’s a difference b/w that and putting your finger in someon’es p*** (the Drump image, ha-ha). And while the claim is that several witnesses say this is what she told them, the fact remains that she didn’t say anything about it publicly until recently.

      Why?

      And what is the effect, if any, of the great support for Bernie Sanders, and the adulation for Putin?

      These are all interesting questions. I’d love to get to the bottom of it.

      But my guess is that the right-wing strategy will be: NO. NO WAY. You won’t get to the bottom of anything. THIS WILL FESTER!

      The right wing are obsessed with “getting back” at teh “other side”, in this case the Kavanaugh thing.

      They will never get over it, based on my obsservations.

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    • David Lindsay Gregory F. Todd Probably won’t. But they will hopefully and probably get a lesson in humility by the 2nd Blue Wave.
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    • Seth Bates David Lindsay That’s my take as well. However, and this is critical, there will NEVER be an investigation of any credibility (or of any kind) into the 25 allegations that Trump is facing. If we agree on that then… THEREFORE it doesn’t make sense to flog this dead horse.
    • David Lindsay Seth Bates I am an optimist. If we, including environmentalists from both parties, take all three branches of government, we can investigate Donald Drumpt, up and down, from Russian collusion to awkward moments with the IRS, and as James Thurber might say, from his guggle to his zatch. Think of all the times Robert Mueller said, we couldn’t go there, because we had a narrow mandate. So Peggy Kane, I expect there will be a lot “there.” From the perspective of the dead, Trump’s refusal to use his powers to protect Americans from the COVID-19 pandemic could be viewed as criminal behavior. Even if I’m a pathetic, arm chair idealist, history will not be nice.
      Edit or delete this
  • Peggy Kane It’s a travesty, imo. So little there, there.

Opinion | In Diplomacy, Trump Is the Anti-Reagan – by Bret Stephens – NYT

“An optimistic take on Donald Trump’s historic meeting Tuesday with Kim Jong-un is that it’s Geneva Redux — a reprise of the 1985 summit between Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that established their rapport, fundamentally altered the tenor of relations between the superpowers and led within a few years to the end of the Cold War.

Let’s hope so. Because another take is that it’s the Plaza Redux, meaning the 1988 real estate debacle in which Trump hastily purchased New York’s Plaza Hotel because it looked like an irresistible trophy, only to be forced to sell it at a loss a few years later as part of a brutal debt restructuring.

The case for Geneva Redux, made this week by Peter Beinart in The Atlantic, sees parallels between Trump and Reagan, Republican presidents whose hawkish rhetoric and ignorance of policy details disguised an inner pragmatism and visionary imagination.

“Trump’s lack of focus on the details of denuclearization may be a good thing,” Beinart writes. “Like Reagan, he seems to sense that the nuclear technicalities matter less than the political relationship.” “

Source: Opinion | In Diplomacy, Trump Is the Anti-Reagan – The New York Times