Unemployment and Afbogistan

On November 3, 2009, Brady Bonk wrote the following at Ketchup Is A Vegetable:

But unemployment right now is only a big saw for Obama-hatahs to play. Even in good times, nobody’s on a hiring jag at the end of the fourth quarter. There will be a slight uptick as retailers get ready for the season, but you won’t see unemployment dip until February or so. But you’ll see it.

Headline, today’s The Washington Post: Unemployment rate falls unexpectedly in Nov.

It ain’t rocket science, folks. We will see single-digit unemployment numbers by March.

Meanwhile, regarding Afbogistan, leave it to a Pulitzer Prize-winner to get it right:

Look at what’s necessary for the surge in Afghanistan to succeed. President Hamid Karzai has to forswear corruption—which will require more than a stern lecture from Obama. The Afghan military not only has to be trained to fight but also must expand from its current strength of 92,000 soldiers to as many as 260,000—a level that Karzai’s weak, cash-strapped government can scarcely afford. And a nation known as the “graveyard of empires” for its legendary resistance to foreign occupation would have to experience a sudden change of heart.

In the end—even if conditions in July 2011 are such that Obama can order a real withdrawal, not a token one—the larger threat of terrorism will remain. The “drain the swamp” approach to fighting terrorism doesn’t work if the virulence can simply infect the next swamp, and the next.

It never made sense to think of the fight against terrorism as a “war” because it’s not possible to defeat a technique or an idea by force of arms. George W. Bush chose a path toward a more or less permanent state of costly, deadly, low-level war. Barack Obama should have taken a different course.

—Eugene Robinson in today’s The Washington Post

Here’s the truth about girding the nation against terrorism: You don’t do it by going to war. You do it by severely fortifying your country’s national infrastructure. President Obama is certainly more interested in infrastructure than was The Swaggering Hog Idiot Frat Boy. But more needs done than is getting done. More of the stim should have been for infrastructure. More federal dollars should be released for it. More than that, though, more drastic steps need taken to fight the prevailing ideologies that have rotted us down for 30 years. Stand up for labor and for manufacturing here at home. Tell the free traders to bug off. Build a national economy that actually creates wealth instead of just moving paper around. Rebuild the middle class. Create greater access to education and health care. Blah blah blah, you know the drill. But all of this, all of it, is not only a program for a better America. It’s a program that fortifies our ability to prevent and defend against those in the world who would like to blow things up here. Build bridges. Not bombs.

Eat snacky s’mores.

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