It’s widely believed that JPMorgan Chase’s recent $2 billion–plus loss proves we need the comprehensive banking regulation called for by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law. Not only is that belief wrong, but the only way to minimize systemic damage from banking without stifling productive innovation is to end all guarantees and all barriers to competition.
The partisan squabbling over the killing of Osama bin Laden is a typical election-year distraction, effectively squelching discussion of more important matters one year after the execution of the al-Qaeda chief executive. While the commentators are engaged in trivialities, big foreign-policy questions are ignored.
Last November, President Obama stood before an audience and said government needs to be “responsive to the needs of people, not the needs of special interests.” He added, “That is probably the biggest piece of business that remains unfinished.”
When President Obama spoke before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee some weeks ago, he admonished those who engaged in “loose talk of war” about Iran. Apparently, his secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, didn’t get the memo.
The Obama administration argued to the U.S. Supreme Court this week that people must be compelled to buy medical insurance (designed by the government) or the national medical insurance market will fail. Thus, Obamacare advocates say, the insurance mandate is consistent with the powers delegated under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Republicans see rising oil and gasoline prices as an opportunity to score political points on President Obama. To be sure, Obama is partly responsible for the rise in world prices and could do something about it. The irony is that Republicans would emphatically oppose the one measure that would be most effective in easing the pressure on prices right now: defusing tension in the Middle East by taking the war threat against Iran off the table.
Memo from the people of Afghanistan to the United States: Get out! Now!
The mass demonstrations in Afghanistan, punctuated by anti-American violence, carry a clear message: After more than a decade, the U.S. empire should pack up and leave. It’s long past time.
In 1967, Michigan Governor George W. Romney, a potential contender for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination, abandoned his earlier support for the war in Vietnam, which he had called “morally right and necessary.” Asked why he changed his position, Romney said, “When I came back from Viet Nam [in November 1965], I’d just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get.” That remark indicating the U.S. military had lied to him was widely interpreted as a fatal gaffe, and Romney pulled out of the race two weeks before the New Hampshire primary.
A question arises from the recent controversy between President Obama and the Catholic Church that aches for an answer: If Catholic institutions have a right to abstain from paying for what morally offends them, why don't the rest of us?
The image of four U.S. marines urinating on the corpses of Afghan fighters is a fitting symbol of American intervention in Central Asia and the Middle East. That picture will live forever in the memories of people in the region, along with the pictures from Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.