KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE IS IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST
FMR. REP. HAROLD FORD JR
I believe the president will ultimately approve the Keystone proposal, not only because it passes his litmus test of not “significantly exacerbating the problem of carbon pollution,” but also because this important private-sector infrastructure investment will create jobs while making the U.S. more energy independent.
TAKE CAMERAS OUT OF THE COURT
The excessive coverage and commentary we’ve watched in recent years may be good theater but bad for justice. Most recently, we’ve been witness to the carnival trial of George Zimmerman, charged in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. We’ve seen the families; we’ve met neighbors and friends; and we’ve heard the screaming on the recorded 911 call. I have written about all of the above, true. But here’s the difference. If I were sitting in the courtroom with pad and pen, no one would notice or care. The pen may be mightier than the sword — and a picture may be worth a thousand words — but video cameras alter reality. Their very presence changes the people and events they seek to capture. And, just to keep those cliches rolling, although seeing is believing, what we project for others to see is influenced — and reality is altered — by the fact that a camera is recording that projection.
WHEN A COUP IS NOT A COUP
By any reasonable definition, the toppling of Mohamed Morsi was a coup. But Washington can’t call it a coup because U.S. law would then require cutting off all aid to Egypt, which the administration doesn’t want to do. Hence, the pachyderm on the podium… How long can the euphemisms endure? Egypt’s interim government said Tuesday that it hopes to hold elections in six months — at which time Egypt would again be a democracy eligible for foreign aid. It’s theoretically possible the Obama administration could hold out for that long without naming the Situation in Egypt — but that would be quite a coup.
EGYPT AT THE EDGE
NEW YORK TIMES
The Brotherhood posits that “Islam is the answer.” The military favors a return to the deep state of old. But more religion alone is not the answer for Egypt today and while the military-dominated deep state may provide law and order and keep Islamists down, it can’t provide the kind of fresh thinking and educational, entrepreneurial, social and legal reforms needed to empower and unleash Egypt’s considerable human talent and brainpower. In truth, the 2002 U.N. Arab Human Development Report is the answer, which, by the way, was mostly written by Egyptian scholars. It called on Egyptians to focus on building a politics that can overcome their debilitating deficits of freedom, education and women’s empowerment. That is the pathway Egypt needs to pursue — not Mubarakism, Morsi-ism or military rule — and the job of Egypt’s friends now is not to cut off aid and censure, but to help it gradually but steadily find that moderate path.
BREEDING BACTERIA ON FACTORY FARMS
NEW YORK TIMES
The story of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in farm animals is not a simple one. But here’s the pitch version: Yet another study has reinforced the idea that keeping animals in confinement and feeding them antibiotics prophylactically breeds varieties of bacteria that cause disease in humans, disease that may not readily be treated by antibiotics. Since some of these bacteria can be fatal, that’s a scary combination.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are bad enough, but now there are more kinds; they’re better at warding off attack by antibiotics; and they can be transferred to humans by increasingly varied methods…
STUDENT LOAN PRETENDERS
WALL STREET JOURNAL
As ever, increasing government education funding to students is pocketed by universities in the form of tuition increases. The never-ending federal effort to “make college affordable” simply provides the resources to sustain higher prices. A policy disaster that results in rising costs, taxpayer losses and over strapped borrowers is now manifest. So naturally this week Senate liberals will bring to the floor a plan to ensure that the policy continues unchanged. Rates on subsidized Stafford loans would stay frozen at the 3.4% rate that prevailed before a July 1 expiration, with new taxes to sustain them.
THE DECLINE OF NORTH CAROLINA
NEW YORK TIMES
In January, after the election of Pat McCrory as governor, Republicans took control of both the executive and legislative branches for the first time since Reconstruction. Since then, state government has become a demolition derby, tearing down years of progress in public education, tax policy, racial equality in the courtroom and access to the ballot…North Carolina was once considered a beacon of farsightedness in the South, an exception in a region of poor education, intolerance and tightfistedness. In a few short months, Republicans have begun to dismantle a reputation that took years to build.