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A problem like Pelosi, &c.


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I realize I’m a partisan, and getting worse, I’m afraid. I’ve long wanted to be a nice, above-the-fray neutralist. But life has not allowed that.

Anyway, I’m going to make a point about the Democratic party. Nancy Pelosi said the following about Republicans: “They don’t just want to make cuts. They want to destroy. They want to destroy food safety, clean air, clean water, the Department of Education. They want to destroy your rights.”

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I want to ask you: How do you do business with someone like that? How do you do business with a party like that? “They want to destroy”? (I’ll grant that we think the Department of Education a total boondoggle.) “They want to destroy your rights”?

I’m reminded of why I revolted against the Democratic party long ago: They all talked like this. They all regarded their opponents as monstrous or subhuman. And I knew it was bunk.

One more thing: Nancy Pelosi is not some street-corner lunatic. She’s not yet another columnist, or “commenter,” at the Huffington Post. She is the leader of the Democratic party in the House! If that’s not representative — what is?

For several years, I’ve written about the incredible courage it takes to be an Iraqi official: to risk kidnapping or murder; to see your loved ones at risk of the same. I’ll meet these Iraqis at international conferences, or in Iraq itself, and think, “Would I have the same guts?” And the answer is not reassuring.

I had similar thoughts when reading the news out of Afghanistan:

A suicide bomber hiding explosives in his turban assassinated the mayor of Kandahar on Wednesday . . .

Mayor Ghulam Haider Hamidi, 65, was the third powerbroker from southern Afghanistan to be killed in just over two weeks . . .

(Full story here.) Someone has to step forward to build a country. It’s amazing that there are people willing to do it. Are they all power-mad? Some, surely. But all, no. Some are just decent and brave.

I put this in the category of “We Can’t Say We Weren’t Warned”: “Iran’s stepped-up arming of Shiite militiamen in southern Iraq who are targeting American troops may be designed to trigger a ‘Beirut-like moment’ of mass U.S. casualties, the Obama administration’s nominee to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress on Tuesday.” (Full story here.)

Buckle your chin straps, as we used to say in football. But that, of course, is too light a comment for what we’re facing here . . .

You’ve read about McDonald’s, I’m sure. If you haven’t, let me give a snippet of the news, and then make a comment (possibly snippy):

An apple a day may keep the doctor away. But when you put it in a Happy Meal, it might help keep regulators at bay too. McDonald’s on Tuesday said that it would add apple slices and reduce the portion of French fries in its children’s meal boxes beginning this fall, effectively taking away consumers’ current choice between either having apples with caramel dip or fries as a Happy Meal side.

The move by McDonald’s, which has become a leader in moving from just burgers and fries to more nutritious fare like oatmeal and salads, comes as fast food chains face intense scrutiny from health officials and others who blame the industry for childhood obesity and other health-related problems.

(Full story here.) It’s a development like this that gets my libertarian juices flowing — that makes me want to put on my feathers and warpaint and go party (by which I mean, tea-party). What the hell business is it of government bureaucrats (I know we’re not supposed to use that word) what McDonald’s chooses to sell, and what its customers choose to buy, or not buy? I mean, is this America?

I’m in that kind of mood, chillen . . .

I found this news article rather fascinating. It begins, “Tyler Thompson is an unlikely star in the world of Chinese opera.” How unlikely? He is a “black teenager from Oakland.”

Reading the article, I was reminded of a formidable young woman I met recently. Her name is Ying Ma, and she is from Oakland. She is originally from Guangzhou. She has written a memoir, Chinese Girl in the Ghetto, which waits at my bedside to be read. The great Mona Charen has written a column about her and her book: here.

Again, I haven’t read the book, but I’ve met the author, and Mona has read the book, and I know it’s damn good.



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