- I took some golf lessons with my grandson yesterday. We then played a couple of holes of golf. Playing with a seven-year-old is clearly different than playing with my normal partners.
- President Barack Obama announced a loose timetable for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. I've talked about Afghanistan on a number of occasions on this blog. In 2006 and 2007, I referred to Afghanistan as the "good war." That was probably a little naïve. If our goal remains to make sure that there is no sanctuary for Al Qaeda, I'm not sure that we've achieved that goal. I don't think that we have the ability to remove lawlessness from the world. (Al Qaeda will always look for pockets of the world where government intervention is minimal. There remain vast spaces of Asia, Africa and the Middle East where this is still true.) So maybe our strategy should be to infiltrate pockets of extremism and strike when they become a threat. Anyway, I believe that President Obama has made the right step in drawing down our presence in Afghanistan.
- The McKinsey healthcare study has been widely panned. I think that healthcare needs to be a basic right in the United States. We need to extricate employers from the health-care system. Employers need to stick to what they do best. We need to be able to pay for basic healthcare services (we can argue or discuss what those basic healthcare services are) through a government based program.
- Denny Green, as coach of the Arizona Cardinals, had a famous tirade after losing a game. He stated, "They are who we thought they were." I think the same can be said for Godfather Pizza CEO and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. The former CEO was asked about oil production and he said his solution would be to appoint oil executives to a commission or a board and they would tell him which regulations they would follow. Mr. Cain, we have been through this before. This was a core belief, a core principle of George W. Bush. Let industry police themselves. Sounds good, if it weren't for all that money they would make by skirting the rules. Bush implemented such policies in Texas as governor and of course he implemented the same policies as president of the United States. What we got was lawlessness. Air quality worsened. Water quality worsened. Oil prices increased. The reason that we had several food recalls was that we weren't policing the food industry any more. They cut corners and people died. We saw none of the benefits that Republicans have touted.
- More on the Justice Clarence Thomas ethics scandal. I have no idea how we can make this guy resign. He will not bow to pressure. Congress has little or no stomach for true investigations. Everything seems to turn into a political circus on Capitol Hill. I doubt the Justice Department wants to take on something so controversial. Therefore, Justice Thomas and his shady ethics will continue.
- Oh, let's get back to Herman Cain. He's happy to play the race card whenever it suits him. I think that suggesting that Jon Stewart is attacking him because he's Black is not a good strategy. I think when you say something stupid like all bills should be no longer than three pages, you should expect to be late-night fodder.
- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is pulling out of the deficit reduction talks. I think it's a wise move. If you have no intention of compromise you shouldn't take part in a discussion which requires compromise.
- Harvard study finds that peanuts are good for you and potatoes, not so much. If you want to stay slim, stick with peanuts.
- It appears the United States and several industrial allies are going to tap their oil reserves to release somewhere around 60 million barrels of oil over the next 30 days in order to compensate for the loss of Libyan oil.
Claude Monet's water lilies