With the Keystone climate protests in Washington bringing climate change back into the media, we're hearing a lot about how the Keystone pipeline will, at the very least, mean that we'll be getting our oil from a nice country.
Newspaper columnists often seem to get to write what they want. So it's interesting when two of them are writing about the same thing on the same day–and arriving at the opposite conclusion. In the Washington Post (3/23/12) , conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote this about the Affordable Care Act's costs, as tallied by the Congressional Budget Office: Obamacare was carefully constructed to manipulate the standard 10-year cost projections of the CBO. Because benefits would not fully kick in for four years, President Obama could trumpet 10-year gross costs of less than $1 trillion–$938 billion to be exact. But now [...]
Charles Krauthammer's column today in the Washington Post ("Return of the Real Obama," 9/23/11) reveals the Barack Obama, who's apparently been hidden away for the past few years: In a 2008 debate, Charlie Gibson asked Barack Obama about his support for raising capital-gains taxes, given the historical record of government losing net revenue as a result. Obama persevered: "Well, Charlie, what IÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢ve said is that I would look at raising the capital-gains tax for purposes of fairness." A most revealing window into our president's political core: To impose a tax that actually impoverishes our communal bank account (the U.S. Treasury) [...]
Displaying the same allergy to actual democracy shown by Joe Klein (FAIR Blog, 2/3/11), Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer (2/4/11) calls, like Klein, for a military regime in Egypt to impose a "period of stability" for "guiding the country to free elections"–the kind of "free elections" in which the military will "guarantee" that the right people "prevail." The breathtaking hypocrisy of Krauthammer's column–which begins "Who doesn't love a democratic revolution?"–is on view in this passage: Our paramount moral and strategic interest in Egypt is real democracy in which power does not devolve to those who believe in one man, one [...]
Right-wing pundits have come out vociferously against the idea that they, their colleagues and the political movement they identify with have anything to answer for in the wake of the Tucson massacre. David Brooks (New York Times, 1/11/11) asserted that "the evidence before us suggests that [shooting suspect Jared] Loughner was locked in a world far removed from politics as we normally understand it," rejecting as "vicious charges" the notion that the gunman "unleashed his rampage because he was incited by the violent rhetoric of the Tea Party, the anti-immigrant movement and Sarah Palin." George Will (Washington Post, 1/11/11) bitterly [...]
Newsweek's Evan Thomas visited Germany recently, and came away thinking the United States is headed for some serious trouble. The country is falling apart–polarized, susceptible to populist demagoguery and so on. Forces on both sides are to blame;they're not all bad ("I think the Tea Partiers, despite their contradictions, are not all wrong about Big Government," he writes), but some should be singled out for criticism: Cable-TV and talk-radio personalities and bloggers have risen up to speak for the people. But as they pander for clicks and ratings, their standards of factual accuracy are often low. This is not by [...]
Responding to a "stupid" critique of his May 1 column defending the use of terror in "ticking timebomb" scenarios, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer (5/15/09) asserts that there has too been a real-life example of such a situation: On October 9, 1994, Israeli Cpl. Nachshon Waxman was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. The Israelis captured the driver of the car. He was interrogated with methods so brutal that they violated Israel's existing 1987 interrogation guidelines, which themselves were revoked in 1999 by the Israeli Supreme Court as unconscionably harsh. The Israeli prime minister who ordered this enhanced interrogation (as we now [...]
In his latest Salon blog entry (5/1/09, ad-viewing required), Glenn Greenwald displays his find of "a perfect illustration of how severely our political spectrum has shifted in the last two decades and how depraved and extremist our political and media classes have become"–one quote of the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer rebutting those who "believe you never torture. Ever": Torture is an impermissible evil. Except under two circumstances. The first is the ticking time bomb. . . . The second exception to the no-torture rule is the extraction of information from a high-value enemy in possession of high-value information likely to [...]
A January 27 New York Times story, "The Epidemic That Wasn't," brought the news that researchers following children prenatally exposed to cocaine have found "the long-term effects of such exposure on children's brain development and behavior appear relatively small" and are "less severe than those of alcohol and are comparable to those of tobacco." Though the Times makes it sound like breaking news, the fact is many reputable people disbelieved the whole "crack baby" phenomenon from the beginning: Even Dr. Ira Chasnoff, whose 1985 study spurred much of the early coverage, was lamenting as long ago as 1992 that medical [...]
Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer continues to support Israel's assault on Gaza in today's paper (1/9/09). He displays a remarkably odd notion of what a cease fire is for, citing the lessons of Lebanon as a cautionary tale: The U.N.-mandated disarmament of Hezbollah in Lebanon is a well-known farce. Not only have foreign forces not stopped Hezbollah's massive rearmament, their very presence makes it impossible for Israel to take any preventive military action, lest it accidentally hit a blue-helmeted Belgian crossing guard. In other words, the Lebanese cease-fire is problematic because it is currently preventing an outbreak of violence.
The Associated Press reported on December 27 that "thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons." In his latest column (1/2/09), Charles Krauthammer pointed to that report to prove just how obvious it is that Israel is the moral actor in this battle of good and evil: Some geopolitical conflicts are morally complicated. The Israel/Gaza war is not. It possesses a moral clarity not only rare but excruciating. Israel is so scrupulous about civilian life that, risking the element of surprise, it contacts enemy noncombatants in [...]
Anthony DiMaggio finds (ZNet, 10/19/08) "the massive attention surrounding ACORN" as much evidence of "media racism as it is their class prejudice": In danger of losing its eight year hold on the Presidency, the Republican Party has become increasingly desperate in its attacks on poor and minority groups, who have registered in increasingly large numbers this election year. The attacks on ACORN must be understood within the context of this enfranchisement of dispossessed groups…. Media discussions of ACORN have predictably followed the talking points issued by Republican Party leaders to Fox News and right-wing radio…. The uniformity of conservative attacks [...]