The Politics of a dummied down press
End requiring Obamacare minds want to know why the press is not acting in a press like manner on pressing issues.
In last Sundays December 22, 2013 60 minutes interview Leslie Stahl interviewed the president’s national security advisor Susan Rice. I have been a devotee of 60 minutes as long as I can remember and an interview like this should have provided the public with an in depth understanding of the things that matter about foreign policy.
Instead, with a mask like face and moving eyes Ms Rice provided stilted answers to Stahls questions.
Leslie Stahl: I wanna give you a quote that a foreign expert gave us. “Syria has been a fiasco. Egypt is a fiasco. Relations with our closest allies in the Middle East are deteriorating. And at this moment in time, Chinese choose to provoke Japan. . . And we are leaning back”
Susann Rice: I couldn’t disagree with that more. But you wouldn’t be surprised to hear me say that===
Lesley Stahl: No
Susan Rice: We are very actively engaged in trying to broker a resolution of the Isreal- Palestinian conflict after months, if not years, of stalemate. In Syria chemical weapons are leaving the country for the first time. The situation in the Middle East is complicated. But to paint this with a broad brush and say it’s a disaster, I think, is missing a lot of important data points.
Leslie Stahl: But it’s in as much turmoil, I think, you tell me, as it’s ever been.
Susan Rice: How about Suez? I mean, let’s study a little history.
Lesley Stahl: But that was one place, you know?
Susan Rice: Yeah, but that was a global conflict in the Middle East. I think hyperbole is something to be utilized carefully.
Lesley Stahl: On both sides
Susan Rice: Yes.
And with that Rice defended Obama’s foreign policy
Not included was the fact that
1. Obama did nothing for Syria in his first four years except to make a threat on the basis of Syria using chemical weapons. Then he craw fished as a function of other nation’s responses, and our own congressional reluctance
2. Even Assad states that serin gas can be made in the back yard so destroying some is just show.
3. Does Rice have a plan if Syria creates fresh sarin and uses it
4. After the stored sarin gas was destroyed the Syria problem was turned over to Russia which does not say much for our foreign policy problem solving
5. Stahl should have asked Rice to tell her how the US is dealing with the war in 1956 over the Suez canal
6. Why did President Obama offer sensitive information that the troops were on their way to South Sudan on the evening of December 9th when he knew that there were rebel forces that could harm them. And these forces were ready for them and did harm them.
7. Has anyone put back the barricades on our embassy in New Deli India after they were taken down as retaliation for the behavior towards an Indian ambassador in the US
8. How is the US going to treat Aafai Siddiqui in the long term?
9. After Kerry turned over the problem of Syria to Russia he went on an outing to Vietnam to discuss climate change and the reduced water flow in the delta. Would it have been more responsible to deal with other issues in the Middle East and Ukraine? Why was Senator McCain in Ukraine not Kerry?
10. When are the particulars regarding Benghazi going to be released? The mortar attacks had to have been planned.
11. What was really clear from this interview was there were not enough astute foreign relations personnel to deal with the complexity of what is necessary to protect the US. What was done during the first three to four years of the Obama presidency was to coast on the previous administrations plans such as the aid to Libya?
While I first thought that Stahl was being too polite to Rice my thought out conclusion was that Rice was so incompetent that Stahl would have been betraying the US by pointing this out to her audience.
In direct contrast Krauthammer’s presentation of a 1967 Firing Line policy discussion between William F. Buckley and California Governor Ronald Reagan twice on the Sunday before Christmas and Christmas evening came with the promise of reminding us of what responsible adult politicians used to look like. There were two clear suggestions that Reagan presented regarding reducing government spending.
1. Reagan inspired 200 business owners to volunteer to review different government departments similar to their own businesses. These people stayed in motels and paid their expenses out of their own pockets. This idea was most likely inspired by the Little Hoover Foundation. Even today the Little Hoover Foundation offers insight on pension funding, state parks, the preparedness of public health, the extra costs of having new sources of electrical production etc. It receives funding from endowments and charitable foundations. But who could inspire current business personnel to offer the same type of insight today for free?
2. Reagan pointed that California was number 1 in spending for rehabilitating the unemployed but 50th in actually accomplishing the task. It is true that t President Reagan was successful in reducing unemployment by stimulating the economy by reducing taxes however to cover the loss of revenue the Fed had to borrow money and the National Debt went from 800 billion to 3 trillion. Thus whoever succeeds Obama must come up with an alternate plan to throwing money around or cutting spending.
An alternative plan to Obamacare is to put government spending into scholarships, grants to medical facilities to produce more competent medical personnel. It costs about $200,000 over ten years for a pre med student to become a doctor. For every trillion dollars that is going to be spent on Obamacare 5000 doctors could be created. And every doctor may last 30 to 40 years. Now that is money wisely spent.