Barney Frank discussing the Boston marathon bombing on CNN this morning:
"We are talking about recovery here all morning, as this city, as this state tries to bounce back from this," the CNN host said to Frank, a former congressman from that state. "And someone brought up an interesting point that, in some ways, the recovery is based on the response. The response yesterday was so remarkable. They stopped the marathon mid-point and calmly moved some 5,000 people from the racecourse. There were moments of chaos right there, but they were able to clear the scene fairly well. What are your impressions of the response in Boston so far?"
"I'm glad you raised that, because it gives me a chance to make a point I've felt strongly about," said Frank. "In this terrible situation, let's be very grateful that we had a well-funded, functioning government. It is very fashionable in America, and has been for some time to criticize government, belittle public employees, talk about their pensions, talk about what people think ... of [their] health care. Here we saw government in two ways perform very well. ... I never was as a member of Congress one of the cheerleaders for less government, lower taxes. No tax cut would have helped us deal with this or will help us recover. This is very expensive."
Twenty-nine years ago yesterday, December 12, 1983, Hezbollah and operatives of the Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite group Da’wa carried out a series of seven coordinated bombings in Kuwait, killing six people and wounding nearly ninety more. The targets included the American and French embassies, the Kuwait airport, the grounds of the Raytheon Corporation, a Kuwait National Petroleum Company oil rig, and a government-owned power station. An attack outside a post office was thwarted.
Based on last week’s debate, both President Obama and Governor Romney believe that squeezing the Iranians economically is the best way—and perhaps the only way—to end their nuclear-weapons program without resorting to a military strike. Of course, nobody knows if sanctions will actually work. But if the United States is truly serious about crushing Iran’s economy, it must pursue a more aggressive strategy, and it must put more pressure on Iranian trading partners.
In a report to Congress authored in April, and posted online earlier this week by Bloomberg News, the Defense Department has once again accused Iran of supporting the Taliban. The unclassified assessment, which is titled “Annual Report on Military Power of Iran,” makes it clear that the U.S. remains the primary focus of Iran’s military and clandestine designs.
Despite all evidence that sanctions are hurting Iran's economy, four rounds of nuclear talks failed to prove that Iran's regime is now more malleable to a compromise. Diplomacy will continue, but with Iranian proposals falling short of Western minimum requirements, it is time to ask whether sanctions are working.