- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 15, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The following are excerpts from editorials that ran in other newspapers:

Bradenton (Fla.) Herald, on saluting veterans:

Duty, honor, country.

Those words form the foundation for the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Those words could also serve as the core values for all members of our military forces.

Today, on Veterans Day, we honor all of our military veterans. Their numbers are legion – almost 24 million strong, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. …

This year, as we prepare to inaugurate a new commander-in-chief come January, is an especially important time for us to unite as Americans and honor the members of our armed forces.

Beyond this one day, the many sacrifices of both our veterans and their families merit our ongoing appreciation – ever greater as we enter the holiday season and families endure the hardships of separation.

We’re heartened by the ceremonies observed by schoolchildren. Instilling a sense of honor and respect among our youngest citizens will help create the strong-willed patriots of the future. …

On the Net:

https://www.bradenton.com/opinion/story/1021186.html

Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, on an auto industry bailout:

On (Nov. 6), American auto executives pleaded with congressional leaders for $50 billion in loans to help their industry weather a rapidly deteriorating market for car sales. (That sum would be in addition to the $25 billion in loans already available to assist in developing more fuel-efficient cars.) …

Should Washington come to the rescue?

One answer is no. If General Motors runs out of cash, the argument goes, let the company proceed into bankruptcy, where it will be forced into an overdue restructuring. …

The trouble is, automakers differ from airlines, which have flown into and out of bankruptcy with some regularity. Consider the economic impact in Ohio and Michigan of bankruptcy for an automaker, especially at this time, the overall economy headed into a recession. The auto industry employs more than 200,000 workers directly and millions indirectly in this country. The object in these conditions should be to press the companies to restructure and consolidate yet provide a cushion from the blow for workers and their families.

In other words, the correct answer is yes. Congress must help. …

On the Net:

https://www.ohio.com/editorial/opinions/34162874.html

The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press, on President-elect Barack Obama and the prospect of a “wired” administration:

Franklin Roosevelt revolutionized White House communications with fireside chats via the radio. John Kennedy mastered the medium of television to take his message to the public.

Now, dialogue between the president and the nation is about to reach another level, as Barack Obama creates the first “wired” administration, providing Americans with unprecedented access to the Oval Office.

With plans to name a Chief Technology Officer, who will oversee the design and development of new ways to use technology, Obama will emphasize “new media” as a means to communicate with citizens and solicit their opinions. …

It will bring government closer to the people, and make elected officials more accountable.

This new emphasis will not only change the relationship between the president and Americans, it will impact the relationship between America and other nations – with mass communication via the World Wide Web. …

Between his Web site, e-mails, social networking, blogs, text messages, YouTube and podcasts, Obama can connect like never before.

Putting us closer to government by the people.

On the Net:

https://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID

=2008811110333

Houston Chronicle, on financial education in schools:

Next to election results, the most important numbers for many Americans may be their credit scores.

There’s at least one very simple lesson for average Americans in the Wall Street/subprime mess: Some of us are pretty clueless about how credit works, and we need to fix that.

As a nation, maybe we need to add a “C” to the traditional curriculum of the Three R’s. That’s “C” as in credit and how to use it wisely and well. Flunking this financial basic helped land us in our current predicament.

To be sure, many of us do handle credit responsibly. …

What’s worrying is that more than a third of those who do carry balances of more than $10,000 on their cards have annual incomes under $50,000, according to MSN Money columnist Liz Pulliam Weston. …

While we’re at it, a word to the credit card pushers: You helped get us into this, too. You should do your part to help get us out.

Enough of the weasel wording on credit offers that is specifically designed to push less-than-careful consumers into usurious interest rates. Enough of the offers to high school students with no work history.

Now, the credit card industry is shutting off credit even to those with perfect credit scores because it’s no longer a license to print money.

This won’t do, either. …

Just as Sputnik launched a generation of scientific and mathematics education in this country in the 1950s, the debt debacle should provide the painful boost to lift financial education to greater emphasis in our schools.

That is the long-term answer and a wise investment in our future.

On the Net:

https://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/6103814.html

Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, Sweden, on the American South and the U.S. presidential election:

Is the South’s long period of political sway in the U.S. over? Political experts are now posing that question after (Barack) Obama conquered the White House without winning over the American South.

If this is true, it is a real shift of an era. Since the foundation of the republic, American politics has circled around those states where slavery was permitted during the 1800’s. Despite the defeat in the civil war – or maybe thanks to it – it has been impossible to build successful election coalitions without the states south of the Mason-Dixon Line…

Like International Herald Tribune pointed out in an article from Alabama yesterday: The only two successful Democratic candidates in the past few decades have both been from the southern states: Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

But with Obama’s triumph, which ironically enough represents Republican (Abraham) Lincoln’s state, there is now talk about the end of “the Southern strategy.”

He mirrors a demographic development that shifts power from old white Southerners to young, blacks and Latin Americans in other, more dynamic parts of the country.

On the Net: https://www.dn.se

Jerusalem Post, on President-elect Barack Obama and Iran:

The challenges facing President-elect Barack Obama are formidable. …

Even with so much on his plate, there’s no avoiding the Middle East – either because some flare-up will demand his attention, or because of the alluring temptation to go down in history as the president who finally – finally – brokered the deal that gave the Palestinian Arabs a state and delivered Israel from decades of terrorism.

Obama’s secretary of state may feel drawn to fast-track the Israel-Syria peace negotiations, seeing a deal there as low-hanging fruit.

But we think Obama can be smarter than his predecessors by homing in on this harsh Middle East peacemaking reality: As long as the Islamic Republic of Iran remains on the ascendant, there will be no peace between Israel and the Palestinians, no way to bolster Palestinian moderates by chipping away at the rejectionists, no treaty with Syria, and no prospect of saving Lebanon.

So rather than going down the fruitless path taken by many of his predecessors, Obama might want to begin with a different set of assumptions:

Since 1979, the chief obstacle to peace in the Middle East has been Iran. Break its stranglehold, and you pave the way toward progress on all peace-making fronts. …

What matters is what America talks to Iran about and the environment in which “unconditional” talks take place.

The talks need to be aimed at persuading Iran to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons. But talking is not an end itself. … Bilateral talks between Washington and Teheran need to be accompanied by draconian sanctions led by the U.S. and EU; and the threat of the military option if all else fails must be more than perfunctory. …

Whatever (Obama’s) game plan, if he wants to help foster the normalized relations Israel seeks with its Arab neighbors his administration will first have to sideline the region’s number-one obstacle to peace.

On the Net: https://tinyurl.com/5nepvy

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