From the right: We’re Going To Miss Paul Ryan
House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Wednesday he’s leaving Congress at the end of his term, underscoring the grim outlook facing Republicans in November and beyond, says National Review’s Jim Geraghty. Ryan, he says, is like “a perennial All-Star who never quite enjoyed the ideal circumstances to shine.” But he always “seemed to attract a disproportionate amount of mockery and disdain for what he was actually trying to do.” Yet he’s been “civil, well-informed, polite and firm, the opposite of a table-pounding, demagogic extremist” — which probably “just aggravated his critics on the left even more.” Unlike “a lot of people in politics,” Paul Ryan is a good guy, says Geraghty, and “we ought to salute those who are.”Political scribe: I Feel Sorry for Mark Zuckerberg
The Week’s Matthew Walther understands Mark Zuckerberg’s discomfort: The Facebook founder found himself being blamed by Congress for virtually all the world’s ills. Yet “not a single one of these things is Zuckerberg’s fault,” though it’s “difficult to say” whether any of his questioners understood this. Certainly, though, “none of them knew what they were talking about.” Zuckerberg, in short, “was being blamed for the existence of the Internet itself by people who have lived most of their lives without it.” Then again, “very few of the more than one billion Facebook users have the remotest sense of what is actually involved in the creation and maintenance of even a very simple Web site, much less an acute appreciation of what happens to the information that we share with a thousand different entities.”Media critic: What NY Times Won’t Tell You About Gaza
Nearly every New York Times dispatch about the Palestinian riots in Gaza “has used the word ‘blockade’ to describe Israel’s treatment of the territory,” notes Ira Stoll at The Algemeiner. Yet each week, thousands of trucks enter Gaza from Israel, carrying tens of thousands of tons of medical, agricultural, food and building supplies for the local population — none of which you’ll read about in the Times. Moreover, “Israel supplies electricity to Gaza via ten power lines” and “water to Gaza via two pipelines.” Says Stoll: “Some blockade.” Accusing Israel of maintaining one is “uncritically echoing Palestinian propaganda.” Any blame for Gaza’s situation lies with Hamas, which controls it, not with Israel or some “imagined” blockade.
Conservative: Feminists Push Sex Trafficking
The Women’s March, already “mired in controversy over its unsavory associations,” has now raised new doubts about its professed “commitment to one of the groups it claims to speak for: abused and exploited women and girls,” reports Commentary Sohrab Ahmari. How else, he asks, to explain its denunciation of the government crackdown against Backpage?” That Web site allegedly “facilitates prostitution and the trafficking of women and girls,” including ads containing “code words for underage girls.” Yet the Women’s March rushed to defend Backpage on Twitter, calling the crackdown “an absolute crisis for sex workers.” In other words, they’re saying, “the rights of the prostitution industry . . . override the rights of exploited and abused women and girls.” Says Ahmari: “Anti-Trump women who have so far ignored or tolerated the group’s ideological extremism now have no excuse.”
Economist: Yes, Entitlements Are Driving Long-Term Debt
A group of prominent liberal economists disputes a Hoover Institution report showing that “long-term deficits are determined by escalating entitlement program costs,” says Brian Riedl at Economics 21. But these Democrats are contradicted by a Congressional Budget Office study that “indisputably proves that Social Security and Medicare’s shortfalls overwhelmingly cause the coming long-term debt.” Between 2017 and 2047, the two programs will run a cash deficit of $82 trillion, “due to the retirement of 74 million baby boomers into a system that already runs substantial per-person deficits.” Yet the CBO “projects above-average tax revenues and falling spending for other programs.” Reasonable people “can disagree on how to close the future deficits,” he says, “but the first step is to accurately diagnose” the problem.
— Compiled by Eric Fettmann