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Pundits & Editorials

Conservatives worry that Obama is being outmaneuvered by Iran and North Korea, while Bob Herbert notes that despite signs of a recovery, unemployment is still staggeringly high. Plus: Is modesty in the public sphere dead?

Tony Blankley blasts President Obama for "practicing diplomacy with a humility almost worthy of the Prince of Peace" with Iran, North Korea and Russia.

• "Events are fast pushing Israel toward a pre-emptive military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, probably by next spring," Bret Stephens foreshadows. "That strike could well fail. Or it could succeed at the price of oil at $300 a barrel, a Middle East war, and American servicemen caught in between. So why is the Obama administration doing everything it can to speed the war process along?"


• "In different ways, the Russian government, the Chinese government and unnamed Islamic terrorists are now capable of placing de facto controls on American companies -- something that would have been unthinkable a decade ago," Anne Applebaum laments. "In a world that seems more dangerous and less profitable than it did in the past, either greed or fear proved stronger than these companies' commitment to free speech."

• "We're hurtin' and there ain't much healin' on the horizon," Bob Herbert writes of the economy, noting that the economy is still shedding jobs and will eventually need to create 10 million paid positions "just to get us back to the lean years of the George W. Bush administration."

• "It's been a year since the financial system collapsed like a botched souffle, and the sense of acute crisis has eased," Eugene Robinson observes. "The wizards of Wall Street are raring to get back to business as usual -- and if we let them, we'll have only ourselves to blame when the next meltdown comes."


• "At a time when the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking for ways to improve the flawed credit ratings that contributed so much to our financial crisis, it might do well to stop anointing particular credit rating agencies," William McGurn advises, comparing the rating system to magazines' college rankings.

• "We agree that Congress should toughen the safeguards against banks, investment firms and insurance companies threatening the entire economy," the Los Angeles Times observes. "But the administration should also leave no doubt that as regulators increase their scrutiny, the government will decrease its presence on the financial industry's balance sheets."

• "There was a lot to like in" Obama's "speech yesterday on reforming financial regulation," Amity Shlaes maintains. "But he got one big thing wrong: incentives. And without the right incentives, market players will continue to game the system in the very fashion that the president deplored."

David Brooks longs for a bygone era when modesty and humility were hallmarks of the public discourse.


• The Washington Times wants Obama to give malpractice reform more consideration.

• In an open letter to Chief Justice John Roberts, Brent Budowsky encourages the court not to scrap campaign finance laws.

David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, complains in The Hill that the media ignored the conservative rally in Washington on Sept. 12.

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