Friday, August 31, 2012

Clint Eastwood

You know, Clint, we love you - Red or Blue. No questions about that. And your RNC speech, sure, no problems for Democrats. You made honest efforts to entertain us, we got entertained and as usual we "Thank You" for that and we move on.

Of course, we Americans know Hollywood Talk - when to take it seriously and when not to. So it is all right if you made few statements which would not stand any further scrutiny. But we do not get held up on Hollywood Talk.

You know Clint, when all of your 'entertainment' business is done; these same politicians which you derided will have to come there to collect broken pieces and make sense of our 'collective life' from whatever lemons we have got. That is what Barack Obama tried over four years. So when all of Hollywood, all of entertainment is gone; we Americans will like to conduct some serious business. And at that time you and your 'chair' can please leave the stage.

Thank you and we still love you great!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Democrats - Party of National Security?

“You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.”

-- GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney

Duh, what about how relieved Americans felt when OBL was killed then? Or when we got American soldiers pulled out of Iraq completely? Or when Americans did not get involved in Libya? 

“Every American was relieved the day President Obama gave the order and SEAL Team 6 took out Osama bin Laden,”

But then why is Mitt Romney undermining the importance of Commander in Chief 'calls' made by Obama there? GOP is the party which even blames Obama for drought in USA and of course for the weak economic recovery; would they have spared Obama if OBL raid had failed?

What about Commander in Chief 'calls' made by 'slam dunk' George W. Bush? Why would America had been in the Iraqi 'mess' apart from horrendously wrong decisions made by Bush? And in the end what is it that Mitt Romney offering us apart from better 'decisions'? Of course he is not going to personally generate jobs for us nor fight for us in foreign lands. We all know that is not what Oval Office is for - decisions, decisions and that is it all about.

Oval Office is for making 'right calls' of War and Peace. And facts of last four years speak louder for Obama than what Republicans are ready to accept - Obama is the guy, when time came, made the right calls to protect us. Not just military security alone, but even economic security too despite the hyperbola of his opponents.

So will we hear 'Democrats as the natural party of National Security' next week from Obama? How tables have turned in last few years when GOP could easily 'swift boat' one John Kerry on National Security!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Andrew not so fast...

Andrew Sullivan is setting up the context by which he wants the ex-president Bill Clinton to pull over White American votes to Obama Ticket.

It still rings in my ears how savagely Andrew Sullivan attacked Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and their Dem establishment backers like then DNC chief Terry McAuliffe, LA Mayor Antony Vilasorogas, PA Governor Ed Rendall as 'entitlement types' in the 2008 Democratic Primary. I campaigned for Obama in 2008, in the losing primary of CA, against Hillary, and I did share to some extent what Andrew fought so hard then - Hillary and Bill's sense of 'entitlement within the Democratic Party'. However, for sure I did not share Andrew's over the top opposition of Clinton Clan then nor his venom against Clintons in 'service of Obama'. So, for the same Andrew Sullivan today to come out and to demand 'delivery of Party Service' from Bill Clinton is odd.

Bill Clinton  had his faults and just few weeks back few of his utterances did not help Obama. But still, whatever Bill Clinton achieved (and missed) in his two term presidency is his legacy. In other words, I doubt Bill Clinton needs to prove here anything or deliver here anything. At the end of the day, it is Obama's battle to fight and his supporters should join that battle as disciplined soldiers in service of Obama. They no need any exhortation from Bill Clinton nor helpless dependency on any ex-presidents. Of course, any help from anyone is welcomed by Obama Supporters; but eventually Presidency ought to be earned on the merits of the candidate, what policies that candidate advocates and what understanding Public at Large of this candidate has. 

Anyways, the part I liked most was how by design or unintentionally Hillary is staying away from DNC convention. What I read in that is 'life for Democratic Party' beyond Obama; it is the 'proof of insurance' for Democrats.

Make no mistake, I still think it is right for America to choose Obama over Romney even though Obama has left out few crucial things (which Bill Clinton was so smart at - to nip in the bud the notion of Government sponsoring any 'free riders' and being mindful of our debt; the issues where Barack Obama has simply calculated cynically that it is advantageous to keep mum). Agreed, need of the hour is indeed rally behind Obama.

But as Ted Kennedy would have said, in the end no Presidency can be greater than the 'cause'; even Obama's Second Term. By having our 'some powder dry' in the brand of Hillary; we Democrats leave 'some space and some ammunition' spared; in case we are to face Romney-Ryan Presidency.

Coming back to Andrew's sermon to Bill Clinton - I just don't think Romney GOP has elevated the 'race card' to any unprecedented level. Besides, if they do so; watch for White Votes from places like Wisconsin. That 'open minded White American Vote' will simply not tolerate such a naked racism and Barack Obama  may see many of his Indie minded White Voters coming back to the fold. I believe Romney Camp is smart enough to understand the danger of going over top on 'race card'. Given all this, Democrats need to avoid the danger of  'crossing the line while rightly objecting GOP for their race based insinuations'. (Why not leave the dirty work of fighting Racism to loyal solider VP Joe Biden? He will do that - without bringing overt criticism to Obama while Democrat Party will achieve the goal of 'alerting colored vote base' of Obama. Biden has shown much larger sense of 'party service', he has stakes in that and he will do that job effectively.)

Let us not forget what this election is about - it is about 'at times deeply inadequate but essentially unfinished job on the right road' Presidency of Obama compared to 'inherently contradictory, narrow minded, morally repugnant' Presidency advocated by Romney and Ryan. That contrast is enough prominent that average American should get it in the end so long as Obama Campaign continues to expose those  contradictions diligently and relentlessly.

In the end, we should not loose faith in average Americans and focus on providing them with all right information. Yes, 'high road' should still work; even in 2012.

Bipartisan Meddling

Apparently bringing religion in both party conventions is supposed to be good for America than Cardinal Dolan going to only one party convention! New York Cardinal Dolan is planning to bless the Democratic Nominee next week. Expectation is with this even handedness, the controversy will go away. In a way it will go away, but the spectacle of a religious leader of only one (probably the richest one) denomination blessing America's Politics is not very comfortable. Founders wanted to keep religion separate from the business of 'conducting peoples will for governance' and here we are crossing that line very much visibly. 

But let us say, if Cardinal Dolan's prayers indeed bring 'badly needed peace' in American Politics; all will be worth and we can forget any misgivings there. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Consequences of American Election

Every candidate proclaims that this is the most important election in generations. We can leave that job to Historians, let us say including discredited Historians like Niall Ferguson.

However, there are few things which are very clear:
- Republican strategists themselves admit that this will be in all likelihood the last election where GOP is beholden to White American votes. Demographics in America is changing at such a wrap speed that come 2016, no American political party can only depend on White American Male constituency so exclusively.
- By relying on this diminishing demographic slice of electorate, Romney is running a risky campaign. Last minute attempts to come to Center, no one knows how successful those will be.

If Romney wins, apart from legislating brutal Paul Ryan budget for America's Middle Class and Poor; what it means is GOP gets an opportunity and time to 'align itself' with the emerging demographic reality. 

Else it would mean essentially an 'existential challenge' to GOP as it is. That is what Barack Obama's victory means, in no uncertain terms an epoch changing event; even if it means 'no mandate to a particular party'. Victory of the sitting Democratic President in today's times means hastening realignment between Tea Party and Republican establishment. It is hard for me to see how all that can be peaceful and without some brutal politics consequences.

In other words, I just don't buy that victory for Obama in Nov 2012 cannot be earth shattering. It will be so. Question is - is that what Americans want? We will have to wait till the evening of November 6, 2012 to know the final answer.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cardinal Dolan endorses Ryan

"Ryan, an enthusiast of Ayn Rand, wants to drastically gut Medicaid and Medicare, deny 30 million people impending access to health insurance and Dolan interprets this as his "obvious solicitude for the poor." He praises a man who voted for an unfunded Medicare D entitlement, two disastrously expensive wars, and now pledges to balance the budget only over three decades is a model of accountability and restraint and a balanced budget! Dolan argues that slashing funds for the poor while slashing taxes for the rich is simply a "prudential judgment" with respect to how to help the poor. I don't think that preventing the old from getting home care is about helping them. More to the point: "I'm anxious to see him in action" is not a neutral statement. It's an endorsement."

I think this is highly symbolic and an equally partisan act from this most powerful American Catholic Priest.  (Catholic Church in USA is a sprawling enterprise worth around $170 Billions in revenue per year!)

In light of Catholic Clergy Sex abuse scandal and rigid leadership of Pope Benedict; Catholic flock in USA is wandering to other churches. In that sense Cardinal Dolan is not omnipresent. (Cardinal Mahony from LA is there to share the lime light, possibly on the other side of the political spectrum.)  But still, for Dolan to come out so publicly is substantive meddling by Religion in American Politics. Romney would not have got any better setting than this, given his non-Catholic Mormon religion. 

Of course, in the end; this all should not matter. Americans should vote based on 'who will bring the beacon and who will protect them' in coming years. Barack Obama has to put forward his compelling case regardless of which Cardinal is on his side. So far, Obama Campaign is keeping that line and that is good. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hypocrisy or Incompetence?

Agreed that I may not want to quote Jennifer Rubin based on Prof. Drezner's advice (Note to Niall:  it's never a good idea to use a Jennifer Rubin talking point), but very likely she is the one very representative of Republican 'head in the sand' mentality - now that dangers of Tea Party shenanigans of last year are becoming more clear; she wants to blame Obama for that!

Of course it is hypocrisy of Republicans here, but I wonder whether 'incompetence' of Obama Campaign is in play in not highlighting what is happening here:

"... it’s the amazing spectacle of Republicans suddenly deciding to blame Obama for the potential consequences of austerity."

-- Jonathan Bernstein, Washington Post

The job for Obama Campaign is very obvious and clear - to point out how Tea Party is responsible for bringing us here. I am not sure that they are fulfilling their duty here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Wow! Brooks Joins Niall Ferguson

" see that President Obama deserves some credit for taking on entitlement spending. He had the courage to chop roughly $700 billion out of Medicare reimbursements. He had the courage to put some Medicare eligibility reforms on the table in his negotiations with Republicans. He created that (highly circumscribed) board of technocrats who might wring some efficiencies out of the system.

Still, you wouldn’t call Obama a passionate reformer.
When you look at Mitt Romney through this prism, you see surprising passion. 
The priority in this election is to get a leader who can get Medicare costs under control. Then we can argue about everything else. Right now, Romney’s more likely to do this."
-- David Brooks, NYT
What kind of 'crank' this Brooks is? He sees Romney bringing Medicare costs while universally it is acknowledged that foolish policy of Romney to rescind Obama cuts of over $700 Billions from Medicare Provider side (not on recipients and the cuts which Ryan budget keeps in any case) will actually burst the dam and will do both things - bring bursting of Medicare Fund early and dramatically increase the deficit further.
It seems that Brooks does not even bother to read what NYT Editorials write. I can understand professional envy might be forbidding him reading and understanding Paul Krugman, but reading editorials of the newspaper which pays Brooks to publish these rubbish columns; that is just basic decency. (I wonder how come even his columns are allowed on NYT? Can't they find any honest Conservative columnists other than Ross Douthat?)
By now Andrew Sullivan, James Fallows and many others have done the dressing down of one 'phony intellectual' called Niall Ferguson. With this totally misguided and false column, David Brooks has promptly joined Ferguson's rank. Somehow the day after the 'Rep. Todd Akin's extremism was all on display, it seems fitting that Brooks readily shows the same dumbness.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Olympics is no Guide

It is surprising that you would read an article by noted foreign policy expert Mr. Richard Haass to 'over read' relative foreign policy influence of various countries based on London Olympics medal count. I was hoping to read the paragraph about 'qualifying such over reading'; but I did not find any such guarded advice from Mr. Hass.

Take the case of Germany and Spain. By all accounts Spaniards and various Spanish Sports Teams have been on ascendance lately regardless of their Olympic medal count (which is not bad as well) whereas Germany is not able to produce any significant results in competitive international sports commensurate to it's former sporting power status. But fact is regardless of Germany'a medal count in London Olympics; Merkel's Germany exerts far more influence globally than what was the case at German unification time in early 1990s when Germany had probably her best Olympic performance. On the other hand despite Spain's great success in Sports, its economy is no good. One can even make an argument that despite weak Spanish economy, it is amazing that it continues to do so well in so many different sports - Soccer, Cycling, Basketball, Tennis and many others. 

Another hole in Mr. Haass's argument - it is all right to laugh at India for her performance in Oympics; but you cannot forget that India is the current title holder of Cricket World Cup. Cricket continues to be popular in India and Indians are consummate fans of that game. Without understanding contribution of Indians in the world of Cricket, to solely judge India's relative worth on Olympic medal count is a very loop sided observation.

What do you say of Israel who failed to win any medal in London Olympics? Here is a tiny country which exerts such an enormous influence on the Global Cop (USA) that it's Presidential Candidate Romney - possibly next president - is completely in the pocket of Israel and who is ready to jump as high as warranted by Israeli PM Netanyahu. Israel and Republicans are ready to create the havoc of Iran war at earliest possible time. That same Iran is on weaker wicket despite sterling performance by its Athletes in London Olympics

Same is the case with Pakistan too - the country came empty handed in London Olympics; but it continues to harass USA mighty and its trouble making potential is enormous. 

Point is don't over read in result tally of Olympics. Those Olympic medal tallies are all good as bragging rights and marketing ploys only. Serious business of foreign policy is quite different.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What is wrong with South Africa?

Many years back when I watched Ben Kingsley's award winning Gandhi movie, it had some striking scenes of how M.K. Gandhi started his political life by organizing coal mine workers for their rights.

Where are today's M. K. Gandhi in South Africa?

Reading this devastating news - of killing 18 mine workers on strike - all those images flashed back to my mind. Come on, don't tell us few extra Rand to those workers would have been more expensive than those human lives...

Something is terribly wrong in otherwise relatively OK state of South Africa. Transition of that country to First World has been fraught with many interruptions. Deep divisions in that society still persist, which is so sad considering how much of steep price the nation of South Africa has paid so far to reach where they are today.

South Africa is in a way a special country considering the history of their racial conflict as well as it being the manifestation of full potential of African Continent. What this incidence shows is, it is still a long way in the journey which that great old man - M. K. Gandhi - started way back in the last century. This is so sad and depressing to our collective 'human spirit'. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

India's Independence Day

Let me admit, I tried to read through completely Dr. Singh's Independence Day Speech. But it is real hard work....

1. Not only Dr. Singh is a punishment while listening to his speeches, reading his speeches is no joy too. But that is not a problem. We in America have learnt hard way recently that great oratory and high caliber speech writing matters much less. You know where I am going - sure, talking about the guy who was supposed 'to part skies and walk on water': our very own Nobel Luaret President Barack Obama. So Dr. Singh's never rectified oratory or public communication should not raise any alarm. But I am just saying that....

2. When is India going to throw these anarchic references about Five Year top-down-plans? Where is an 'individual Indian'? I think Dr. Singh needs to register himself with American Tea Party for a Training Session. Independence Day should be an occasion to celebrate and highlight 'heroic achievements of individual Indians'. It is time for inspiration by retelling stories of so many Indians who answer to their better angels. Why should it be about some bureaucratic announcements?

3. To the extent Dr. Singh and India's political elite want to use Socialistic approaches, it should be in using this Socialistic inheritance of India to thwart excesses of Anglo-Saxon variety of Capitalism. Instead, we continue to find rote repetition of Socialism and inability to overcome well-known failures of Socialism.

4. OK, we get Dr. Singh what you are saying - that gloom in rest of the global economy is impacting Indian Economy. Who is giving shoulder to the other guy here - is it Barack to Dr. Singh or Dr. Singh consoling American President? You see, we are no different; we all have the same predicament and on top of it we both are Democracies. Question is what do you do as a leader? Dr. Singh's banker, RBI Governor, has already said that 'growth will be sacrificed' to tame the tiger of inflation. Beyond that, Dr. Singh do you have anything constructive to offer?

5. Dr. Singh has a point that absence of broader national political consensus on Economic Policy is hampering India's efforts to reduce structural impediments which would improve supplies and help contain 'inflation'. (You see, again no different than one Barack Obama; he is also coming around and rightly pointing the intransigence of Republican consensus and complete polarization - the decease well spread all over the world.) So then where are creative juices of him and Congress Party to conduct 'the politics of addition' as the late Maratha Leader Yashwantrao Chavan used to say?

6. Truth is, Dr. Singh and Congress party continue to undermine 'how across the board Corruption' impedes any progress in India. It is not the lack of political consensus of Capitalism in India which is the national security threat; but the pervasive Corruption and complete unwillingness of any established political party to show leadership to tackle that problem; that is the real national security threat to India. 

7. Enforcing basic property rights at regional and local level, to deliver 'justice' quickly and efficiently, to eliminate Corruption which makes life of individual Indians miserable and to avoid blunders like ignoring mega-corruption scandals (starting with Suresh Kalmadi in organizing Common Wealth Games; just compare that with fabulous organization of London 2012 Olympics by Britishers; what a contrast!); that is the key. Clearly we do not see Dr. Singh talking about these issues and it means unfortunately one more Independence Day passed without curing core deficiencies of Indian politics.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

London Olympics 2012

Excellent organization, rock solid games and fantastic feeling of joy and openness - that is what Britishers delivered here. (Romney better feel apologized for his horrible comments at the start of the game; so ill timed and horrific judgement.)

We in USA determine America's Olympic campaign success based on whether Men's Basketball Gold is delivered or not. Kobe and 'King' James did that and now we are relieved. Our Athletes can come home with honor. (Women's Basketball Team - it always wins Gold, wake us up when there are any surprises.)

Overall Team USA had great impression on this Olympic. Participating in 21 or so different events at competitive level apart from their 'sterling' medal tally (though total at 104 is less than 110 in Beijing), what impresses with Americans is across the board performance both in individual events and various team sports. Of course it is USA Women Athletes and their Teams which is the real medal engine for such a top notch execution. Performance of Men's team in Track and Field is not as bad as like Beijing but still American Men have not got back their 'mojo' in Track and Field. Jamaicans continue to steal American lunch here. For sure, Track and Field is the event where medal distribution is most defused and Men's program is especially ultra-competitive. Still in coming Olympics unless American Men performance improves; it will be harder to repeat this solid London medal count. (Total 23 medals for Americans in Track and Field in Beijing which they improved to 29 in London where the goal was 30.)

Outside of USA, it is great to see Russian Athletes roaring back. Yesterday in one single day Russia won 16 medals (6 Gold, 4 Silver and 6 Bronze). Russian contingent was in whiskers distance in catching up with the Chinese Medal Machine. As far as China - I believe they have held well following home turf advantage of Beijing. Weak link is excessive concentrate on few events like Badminton and Table Tennis where they had complete domination and major medal haul.

Britain was expected to do well following their already 'raving' performance in Beijing. But no one would have imagined such a great Olympic for the host; Britishers themselves did not expect so. No wonder, all the suspicion and awkwardness exhibited by Britishers at the start of the games (and I would venture to say which reflected in equally awkward Opening ceremony) is gone by the end of games and there is exuberance in the air. Britishers are enjoying the 'life' in the afterglow of these games. IOC and the world over people will be happy to share this feeling of Britain in addition to being so gracious and disciplined host. Athletes across the world would readily thank Britain for that and we all will have great memories of these games.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Choice of Paul Ryan

I have 3 points in response to Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his VP on the ticket:

1. First the core part and real good news about American Politics - we have a rare agreement between Democrats and Conservative (but not necessarily GOP politicians who contest elections) that we are for ones going to have an election about issues. I agree here with Ezra's initial response. Democracy is supposed to be for such titanic clash of where do we want to go collectively and Romney has delivered that. This is good. His backers like Wall Street Journal or Kristol wanted this election about 'big issues' (read that as mandate for more tax cuts for rich and dramatic and ruthless entitlement cuts which otherwise help poor to get along) and Ryan choice will make that happen. 

2. It is true that the ideology which Ryan brings to American policy debate is what Democrats have been salivating for long as most of those idealogy driven policies are hugely unpopular once people start to understand the details and of course in no measure those policies are any good for America in the longer term. In other words, the politics is all set - it is all function of how well Obama and Democrats communicate these 'gory' details to most Americans. In this context, 'this is all part of the plan'; that will be the reaction of Democrats. But somewhere in this glee I see potential for over-confidence on the side of Democrats and full possibility of tripping the wire in the sheer joy of being able to set the 'playbook'. Election is still many weeks away and lot of water will go under the bridge. Democrats have a task cut out in front of them and it is to explain all the wonky details of Ryan Policy Plans to common Americans.

3. Like most centrist inclined political commentators, I have been joining the chorus with folks who have been heavily criticizing Obama for not 'releasing his concrete policy framework' to curtail run-away entitlement costs to Federal Government. Obama Administration intended to structure their signature HealthCare bill as one giant step towards controlling health care costs which are fuel for runaway entitlement burden of Federal Government. It may be so, but neither Public buys ObamaCare as the answer to control health care cost nor those aspects of that law are fully established. On the other hand Public perceives ObamaCare as the expansion of entitlements with concomitent controversial issues like Mandate. Long story short, Obama's policy plans as publicly presented today are woefully inadequate to address challenges what this country faces. 

On this background, choice of Paul Ryan brings some aspects to light - was it the design of Obama Campaign not to spell out these 'entitlement details' knowing that if Ryan comes along it would present an excellent opportunity to pitch the battle as - Romney as 'cutter' while Obama as the protector of what poor and most Americans are entitled? If that is the case, though criticism of centrist political commentators is valid; Obama Campaign might have made a right call in not preemptively spelling out the cuts. I do not know if Obama Campaign has been so smart or it has been simply 'chickening out'. Otherwise, these advantageous developments - Obama's reticence in not articulating detailed entitlement cut framework - are turning out to be 'pure luck' for Obama. 

But the issue is not that simple. With Ryan on ticket and entitlement cuts fully on the agenda; for long Obama will not be able to avoid his policy answers. Otherwise Obama will be like what 'tax return' position is for Romney. The way Obama Campaign should approach this issue is - they waited until the other side made the first move in spelling out cuts. Now that is done as they desired, they have afforded themselves the luxury to react in politically more winning fashion. However, this luxury does not extend in skipping articulation of such policy details at all. Doing that will basically upend the whole advantage of having designed the political battlefield so favorably to Obama Campaign.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fall of Fareed Zakaria?

I am only now catching up with this development - Mumbai born columnist Fareed Zakaria quoted someone else's work without crediting the original author. The Atlantic has details and seems facts making look Zakaria really bad.

Sadly it appears Zakaria is joining ranks of Rajat Gupta - not literally but figuratively (as Gupta actually broke the law and resulted in losing money for others): those super achiever Indian Americans to which the community looks in high esteem for inspiration but then find that brittle feet of these heroes are made up of clay.

Monday, August 06, 2012

One Second Time Window

"If HiRISE took the image one second before or one second after, we probably would be looking at an empty Martian landscape...When you consider that we have been working on this sequence since March and had to upload commands to the spacecraft about 72 hours prior to the image being taken, you begin to realize how challenging this picture was to obtain." 

-- Sarah Milkovich, HiRISE investigation scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California

Remarkable feat by NASA Engineers and their contractors. At times Software Engineering is buggy and it results in some embarrassments. But if one exerts emphasis on 'quality', you can achieve phenomenal things; that is what this NASA achievement shows. Of course, in this case it is not just Software Engineering; as the major contribution is from Space and Aviation Technologies. These are all 'multidisciplinary' efforts in the end. Chemical and Geological breakthroughs would start flowing with this powerful laboratory on the Martian grounds.

Somewhere I am thinking, NASA is slowly assembling a blueprint of investigating 'distant planets with atmosphere' in all these magnificent Mars expeditions. Meanwhile, expensive follies like 'human space' travel are taking a backseat and NASA may be turning a corner towards more practical and hard science oriented projects. That is all good and fabulous return on investment for tax dollars dedicated for Science and Technology. 

Mr. Unwilling

What Ross Douthat says - that Obama campaign is nothing but negativity - is hard to agree with. Granted that one fundamental lacuna in Obama's re-election bid is his unwillingness to articulate proper framework for 'what cuts in entitlements' he is ready to accept while pairing with 'increasing taxes on rich' so as Federal Deficit is set on a sustainable path. Being an incumbent and having presided for about fours years; Federal Deficit is 'his problem' and it is necessary for President Obama to have policies laid out in this regard. Increasing taxes on rich is an only one facet of Federal Deficit and absence of 'straight talk' of entitlement reduction simply makes his reelection case weak.

But from there to jump Obama Campaign as Campaign of Mr. Negative is an Olympian jump too far. While we all deride Mr. Obama for right reasons of not spelling out 'entitlement cuts'; Obama would keep pointing to what Republicans did last year. Fact of the matter is while everyone talks about 'entitlement cuts'; it is President Obama who risked his political capital in going for a deal with Republicans and paid all the necessary political price. Where were these commentators who call Mr. Obama as Mr. Negative then?

GOP willingly torpedoed future of Americans and well being of American Economy to score singular, shameless and essentially anti-American point of 'opposing Obama' in not accepting any compromise to reduce deficit. So called Mr. Negative offered then concrete entitlement cuts and lowered his tax increase position all the way; but no avail.

In the end the job of a true politician is to point out hurdles in solving our problems. Today, nonsensical and nihilistic approach of GOP - protecting rich at all costs - is the core hurdle in America's solution for her problems. GOP solution of 'trickle down economics' is proven as failed and is completely meaningless when empirical standards are applied. That is what Obama has to expose. If that earns Mr. Negative epithet from one of the reasonable analysts; then so be the case. It is that journalist - Ross Douthat - who in this case is Mr. Unwilling for Truth.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Most Positive Impression of Russian Capitalism

"Physics, he said, “was not for me. Looking at where I am today, I think I was not qualified enough. You truly have to be very, very smart and very, very hard-working."

-- Yuri Milner, quoted by Chrystia Freeland on Reuters

Simply amazing news and a fabulous example of how 'goodness in humans' can show in so unusual places. This is a great news for Fundamental Science and Humanity. 

Thank you Yuri!