When the Obama Magic Died
by Fouad Ajami (Herbert and Jane Dwight Senior Fellow and cochair, Working Group on Islamism and the International Order)
I think this piece has it about right, this is what many saw – felt but could not get through the roar of the adoring crowd. I was not part of the crowd but I was not part of the resistance. Going back to ’08 I could not stand what I saw as a broken republican candidacy any more than I could vote for Obama. In ’12 I wanted Romney even more than in ’08 but ‘the base’ couldn’t warm to him, the democratic machine worked and the wheels were still on the obfuscation machine run by the media who loved Obama’s ‘message + appearance molds reality’ approach.
Now of course we live with what we have…and the problem is that the neither side can compromise due to ‘true believer ittis’ although both need to. I believe it’s the President who should bow to reality the deepest because his approach and to a significant degree his policies have been shown to be deeply flawed. However the other side ( which is not the republican establishment who are ‘middlemen’ in this epoch) needs to take the momentum of change and shift it onto a more libertarian / non governmental track.
Much of the economic malaise even much of the health care ‘problem’ (which has never been as awful as demagogues make out) revolves around bad tax policy, over regulation and too much state control, not too little. Much of this can be fixed in a reasonable fashion if the ‘sides’ could stomach working together.
Seems a clear eyed look at the Middle East, a mess as always, trending rapidly nuclear…what me Worry?
After the Pax Americana: Three factions vie for influence and dominance in the Middle East.
The Iranian block: Assad’s Syria, Hizballah in Lebanon– replace the U.S. as the dominant power Gulf area, build a contiguous alliance from the Iranian border to the Mediterranean and into the Levant. It is committed to acquiring a nuclear capability to underwrite and insure this process
The MB block: Turkey, Qatar, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood– the Sunni Islamist alignment that a year ago looked to be on the march across the region. They have lost power in Egypt and in Tunisia, the new emir in Qatar is not aggressive. And in Syria, al-Qaeda and Salafi-oriented units now form the most active pillar in a confused insurgency which shows signs of turning in on itself.
The monarchist block: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (excluding Qatar) and in the shadows Israel– they survived the recent wave of popular agitation in the Arab world, which instead took its toll on the “secular,” military regimes. But Saudi Arabia sees the MB as an existential threat and was infuriated by the Qatar-MB nexus. Nuclear Iran’s potential domination of the Gulf and the wider region is also an existential threat. Saudi support for and cultivation of allies in Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Yemen and elsewhere should be seen in this light.
by JONATHAN SPYER PJMEDIA
So the Saudis are engaged in a political war on two fronts, with an acute awareness of the high stakes involved.
The Iranians and their allies have a clear-eyed view of the obstacles to their ambitions, ..
The Turks and the Muslim Brotherhood also well understand the nature of the power political game. Their current dismay reflects their recent setbacks in it.
BAE Shipbuilding Fiasco Has Lessons
Source: defense-aerospace.com; published Nov. 7, 2013 By Giovanni de Briganti
BAE TO SHUTTER LAST UK SHIPYARD
A vastly different and nuanced take on the ‘closure’ from Sir Humphrey:
The death of UK shipbuilding has been greatly over exaggerated
The news in the UK is dominated today by the announcements of mass redundancies in the BAE shipbuilding business, with almost 2000 jobs being lost at three sites in Portsmouth and Scotland. The news is very sad, particularly for those families involved, but offset slightly by the news of a planned order of three new OPVs for the Royal Navy, ostensibly to replace the current River class vessels. The news has been seen as highly damaging to the UK shipbuilding industry, and resulted in headlines claiming the end of 500 years shipbuilding as we know it in Portsmouth (in fact utter nonsense as Portsmouth has gone many decades without building warships other than HMS CLYDE – it had only recently regained construction of blocks for the Type 45 project) and leading to unpleasant suggestions about it being a sop to the Scots ahead of the referendum.
From AWST Ares blog, (read the whole thing) a rescue robot-drone, actually a bit disturbing looking, but then again it’s rare that a specialist-optimized machine ends up looking like something you’d like to drink a bear with.
Article in wired but others as well ultra cool use the knowledge, vision, wisdom of those who come to do.
Wired’s building of the week, have got to say this makes me glad I’m not an office worker.