Jonah Goldberg on the Myth of Islamophobia In reaction to a Time magazine cover story that wonders if America is Islamophobic, the Los Angeles Times columnist argues this is a myth that should not be perpetuated. His reasons: 1) Statistics of hate crimes committed against Muslims are misleading: the number rose after 9/11 but it has dropped precipitously since. 2) While there's overheated rhetoric in the mosque debate, such speech is common in any American political discussion--look at the lumps, he says, that evangelicals have taken at the hands of liberal pundits. 3) The media keep predicting a backlash against Muslims, and Obama has taken up this mantle by "reflexively fretting" each time violence is perpetrated in the name of Islam. "Nowhere is there more open, honest and intentional intolerance--in words and deeds--than from certain prominent Muslim leaders around the world," he writes. "And yet," in the eyes of the media, "Americans are the bigots."
William McGurn on What Baseball Can Teach Business For business leaders who think "doing well by doing good" is an antiquated notion, the former Bush 43 speechwriter uses his Wall Street Journal column to illustrate how Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey accomplished both when he signed Jackie Robinson, baseball's first black player. It's now seen as a civil rights triumph, but McGurn points out "the Rickey-Robinson relationship was at bottom a business partnership." It worked because Rickey and Robinson "each [brought] something that the other could not supply on his own." Rickey was proven "right about untapped talent" and also helped further equality in America.
Joan Walsh on Tax Cut Lies The Salon editor says Republicans are perpetuating the Park51 flap as a way to avoid having to explain why they want the Bush tax cuts to be extended. Don't forget, Walsh writes, "Republicans under George W. Bush didn't have the courage to make the tax cuts permanent when they passed them in 2001." By phasing them out, Republicans have been able to ignore "the enormous hit to the federal budget" due to lost revenues during this period. If these tax cuts are really the key to creating more jobs, Walsh asks, how come "two Bush terms only saw the number of jobs grow by 1.1 million, when jobs grew by 22.7 million under Bill Clinton, at the same time that taxes on the rich were higher"?
- Joseph Massey and Lee Sands on the Dollar and the Yuan Writing in The New York Times, Massey and Sands caution against de-linking the dollar and Chinese yuan as a way of correcting the trade gap between America and China. "De-linking the yuan would make barely a dent in America's trade deficit," they caution. The real cause for the trade deficit stems from the fact "the United States lacks the domestic industry to make many of the things we currently buy from China." Along with increasing exports, the way to fix the trade deficit is by making a "push for China and other countries to increase their direct investment in the United States."
- Stanley Fish on Left-Wing 'Truthers' The New York Times columnist visits and profiles a Truther gathering to hear the predominately left-wing 9/11 conspiracy theorists explain how the government used controlled demolitions to take down the World Trade Towers and covered it all up afterward. The evening, which went about as smoothly as could be expected, served as an interesting counterpoint to the rise of fringe right-wing groups such as the Birthers. Fish never identified himself as an outsider, but observed that "the thing about people who hold beliefs you find unbelievable (in two senses) is that they are in most other respects just like you and your friends."