Hoover Daily Report
Analysis and Commentary
Analysis and Commentary

The Caravan: Syria and the Decline of the West

by Fouad Ajamivia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, September 12, 2013

Analysis and Commentary

Predictably Misleading

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Corner (National Review Online)
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The one requisite in a presidential speech is honesty. Without it, nothing else matters. The president’s speech last night was incoherent in its call to be ready at some future day to use force that he just recently insisted must be used immediately. But more disturbing, aside from the true nature of the Putin gambit, Obama simply did not tell the truth about the role of Congress in his self-created debacle. In fact, not long ago, Obama said that he did not “believe it was right . . . to take this debate to Congress.” In truth, he was forced to, after resisting such a move, because public opinion was not in his favor. Or, in the words of his own cynical political guru, David Axelrod, he wished the congressional dog to catch the car and share some responsibility for the self-induced mess. Moreover, last decade was not characterized by a president who engaged in “sidelining the people’s representatives from the critical decisions about when we use force.” In truth, George W. Bush obtained authorizations from both Houses of Congress before using force in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In contrast, Barack Obama bypassed Congress — but not the Arab League — in bombing Libya. Nor did the president simply ask the leaders of Congress to postpone the vote. Congressional officials came to him, hence last night’s address, to warn him that, in a historical first, he would be rebuffed by both houses of Congress. As in the case of the Libyan bombing, Obama initially sought to bypass Congress, could not given sinking public opinion, reversed course and went to Congress, then was faced with a rebuke, and finally ended up doing nothing. This leaves the country with the precedent of a president going to Congress when desperate, then announcing that he will not necessarily abide by the vote should it be negative, and then postponing a vote that he knows will be negative — taking the country in a futile 360-degree path back to where he started. Again, Obama warns about those who bypass Congress and leave a mess after taking out dictators — with no mention that he alone in the last decade has done both. Finally, there were the usual Obama-speech bullet points that ensure it is a presidential speech: The tired usual emphatics? Check: “Let me make something clear.” Straw men on the edges with sober and judicious Obama in the middle? Check: “friends on the right” and “friends on the left.” First person overload? Check: “especially me,” “my judgment,” “I determined,” “I possess,” “I’m also,” etc. Bush did it? Check: “. . . after a decade that put more and more war making power in the hands of the president.” Iraq ad nauseam? Check: “we learned from Iraq,” “an open-ended action like Iraq,” “terrible toll of Iraq and Afghanistan,” “our troops are out of Iraq,” etc. Growing the (now shrinking) middle class? Check: “growing our middle class.”  

Analysis and Commentary

The Vital Link of Education and Prosperity

by Eric Hanushek, Paul E. Petersonvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Americans are aware of public education's many failures—the elevated high-school dropout rates, the need for remedial work among entering college students. One metric in particular stands out: Only 32% of U.S.

Analysis and Commentary

On 9/11 — A Look Back, a Look Forward

by Victor Davis Hansonvia National Review Online
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Then as now, the Arab world’s self-induced pathologies cannot be cured by American self-doubt.

Analysis and Commentary

14 Things Obama Should Have Said in His Syria Speech

by Kori Schakevia Shadow Government (Foreign Policy)
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The case Barack Obama made to the nation, to the world, last night to build support for his policy on Syria was remarkably -- alarmingly -- flabby. Unserious. Early polling suggests the man who considers himself a better speechwriter than his speechwriters and a better policy analyst than his policy analysts proved himself neither. Even his supporters in Congress sound relieved at not having to support him. The main problem with the president's speech -- with his policy, as well -- is that the sweeping claims he makes of the importance of the issue don't match either his policy in the past two years or the means he proposes. President Obama spoke movingly about little children killed by Bashar al-Assad's regime, but he proposes to do nothing about the tens of thousands of Syrian children killed by their government with conventional weapons. President Assad's forces used chemical weapons 13 times before the Aug. 21 incident, but none of those affronts to the international norm that the president insists must be upheld precipitated a change in his policy. Obama insisted we have a moral responsibility to take action, while insisting we will not get involved in the conflict. He will need to reconcile these contradictions in order to build support for military action. The most jarring part of the president's address to the nation was his dangerous assertions about war. He seems genuinely not to understand the logic of conflict. It was deeply unsettling to hear his braggadocio that "the United States military doesn't do pinpricks" when that's exactly what he's proposing.

Analysis and Commentary

This Crisis Resolves Little in Syria But Says A lot About the United States

by Timothy Garton Ashvia Guardian (UK)
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Timothy Garton Ash: The nation is sick and tired of foreign wars, and may never play its role of global anchor again. We may live to regret it

Syrian Refugees
Analysis and Commentary

Syria and the New World (Dis)order

by Tunku Varadarajanvia The Caravan
Thursday, September 12, 2013

Not since the early years of the Second World War has Planet Earth been as bereft of American leadership as it is now.

Interviews
Interviews

Ed Lazear on The Santelli Exchange

with Edward Paul Lazearvia CNBC
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

CNBC's Rick Santelli and Ed Lazear, Hoover Institution senior fellow talk about the distinction between the nations's financial failure five years ago and the following recession and recover. Lazear also provides an insider's view of what was going on behind the scenes during the financial crisis.

Interviews

Victor Davis Hanson on the John Batchelor Show (7:26)

with Victor Davis Hansonvia John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Gordon Chang, Forbes.com.  Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover. Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index. Robert Zimmerman, behindtheblack. Mark Schroeder, Stratfor.

Interviews

Victor Davis Hanson on Garrison Radio

with Victor Davis Hansonvia Garrison (WIBC)
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Interviews

Tom Henriksen on KGO Radio (37:57)

with Thomas H. Henriksenvia KGO News
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Click the player arrow to listen to your selected archive clip
In the News
In the News

Video: Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School

with Eric Hanushek, Paul E. Petersonvia YouTube
Thursday, September 12, 2013

The relative deficiencies of U.S. public schools are a serious concern to parents and policymakers. But they should be of concern to all Americans, as a glob...

In the News

John Taylor: 'Poor Economic Policies' Have Caused Sluggish Expansion

with John B. Taylorvia Money News
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The flawed economic policy of the past few years is responsible for the languid pace of economic recovery, says Stanford University economist John Taylor.

In the News

Israel Lobby, Congress Allies Lack Unity on Syria

with Kori Schakevia San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

An analysis of campaign contributions to the Bay Area delegation shows that support for taking military action against Syria, a position backed by pro-Israel advocates in the United States, does not correlate with the amount of campaign contributions Bay Area House members received from the lobby in the 2011-12 election cycle. House membersWhile House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, a strong voice backing President Obama's position to take military action, received far more in campaign contributions from pro-Israel groups than the national average for House members in the last House election cycle, and so did Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove (Sacramento County), who strongly opposes attacking Syria. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein of California, both of whom support taking military action against Syria, received far more than the average contribution collected by their Senate colleagues from pro-Israel organizations from Jan. 1, 2007 to Dec. 31, 2012, a six-year Senate term, according to an analysis done for The Chronicle by Maplight, a nonpartisan organization that analyzes the effect of money on politics. A collection of political action committees whose primary purpose was to support Israel economically and in negotiations with neighboring Arab countries contributed $10 million to members of Congress in the 2011-12 campaign cycle, with nearly two-thirds going to Democrats. Suggesting solutionsKori Schake, who served on the National Security Council for George W. Bush and as a foreign policy adviser for GOP Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, described the lobby as extremely well-versed on U.S. policy - and adroit in suggesting possible solutions.