Monday, January 19, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bush's Legacy and Obama's Burden

As we approach the end of George W. Bush's presidency, many postmortems will be written to explain how horrible or wonderful the President performed depending on point of view. No doubt many liberals will be quick to proclaim Bush as the worst president ever. But he did in fact have many achievements.

I believe that history is likely to judge him far more kindly as time passes. President Bush's lasting legacy will be the War on Terror. His response to the 9/11 attacks reset forever our approach to terrorism. Unless President-elect Barack Obama totally dismantles the anti-terrorism measures adopted under President Bush (and I don't think he will), President Bush will long be remembered as the President who forever changed America's approach to terrorism.

But there are those critics of President Bush who will bring up the economy as evidence of malfeasance on the part of the outgoing President. A couple of factors to consider: (1) the foundation for the economic collapse was laid back during President Clinton's time in office when regulations restricting lending practices at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and (2) the financial crisis occurred so late in President Bush's term that there was not time for him to see the crisis to a conclusion.

Come January 20th, the economy will be Obama's problem. It will be the issue most likely to dominate his presidency much as the Great Depression did for most of Franklin D. Roosevelt's time in office. The best way that President-elect Obama can succeed is to realize first that blaming President Bush will get him nowhere.

Mr. Obama has stated on several occassions that FDR has been a role model for him as he prepares for the presidency. He would do well to remember that Roosevelt's economic policies did more to prolong the Great Depression that to relieve it. Unfortunately for him, Democrats have never met a government program that they didn't like. Unless Mr. Obama can demonstrate a willingness to stand up to his party and try to relieve the economy through other means besides more spending we may be in for tough economic times for many years to come. That will be the legacy that will dog President Obama, not President Bush.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Quick Takes 1-9-09

A new year and time for another new roundup of interesting links.....

Pride and Prejudice as a Facebook page. Very cool indeed. (Hat tip: nosh)

Not just pro-life but pro-woman.

Need a cool nickname? Try this.

I don't think that President-elect Obama will be able to blame Bush much longer for the bad economy. (Thanks to Lorie Byrd)

Name that party. Hint: it's not in the first eleven paragraphs. No news bias here, right? (Hat tip: Hot Air)

America as a celebritocracy. (Hat tip: Jonathan) However, I'm more in agreement with Bill Bennett that the nomination of Dr. Gupta as Surgeon General is a smart move.

Bailout for porn kings? Let's hope not. (Warning: adult content)

Rejoicing in Red Sox Nation: John Smoltz signs with Boston. Assuming he's healthy, that could be a big pickup for the Sox.

John Zeigler meets Sarah Palin and finds her to be a real person.

This story brings a whole new meaning to the term "ugly divorce". (Hat tip: Dave Barry)

January 10th at 9pm Eastern Fox News will feature a special presentation of Gary Sinise's tour of Iraq. You won't want to miss this. Here's a special message from Gary that's worth reading.

With the inauguration almost upon us, it's interesting to look back at the history of prior inaugurations with Jane Hampton Cook:

Have a great weekend.

Psych Returns To USA Tonight

Another of my favorite shows is back tonight with all new episodes. You can find out all about it my sneak preview.

Monk Returns Tonight

And you can read all about it including a guest appearance by Steve Zahn in my special preview here.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Kids With Intact Families Who Go To Church Most Likely To Do Best

In a case where social science once again affirms common sense, a new study shows that kids who grow up in two parent homes and also go to church have the fewest behavioral problems (Hat tip: Gene Veith):

Children living with both biological parents or adoptive parents who attend religious services regularly are less likely to exhibit problems at school or at home, a new analysis of national data shows.

The study by psychologist Nicholas Zill, the founder of Child Trends, and statistician Philip Fletcher found that children in such a situation -- when compared to children not living with both parents and not attending religious services regularly -- are 5.5 times less likely to have repeated a grade and 2.5 less likely to have had their parents contacted by the school because of a conduct or achievement problem.

Additionally, intact families who have regular religious participation (defined as at least weekly or monthly) are less likely to report parental stress and more likely to report a "better parent-child relationship," the analysis, which focused on families with children ages 6-17, says.

The study, co-released by the Family Research Council and more than 30 state family councils as part of FRC's Mapping America project, was based on interviews in 2003 with parents of more than 100,000 children and teens by the National Center for Health Statistics for the National Survey of Children's Health.

The data "hold[s] up after controlling for family income and poverty, low parent education levels, and race and ethnicity."

"An intact two-parent family and regular church attendance are each associated with fewer problem behaviors, more positive social development, and fewer parental concerns about the child's learning and achievement," Zill and Fletcher wrote. "Taken together, the two home-environment factors have an additive relationship with child well-being. That is, children who live in an intact family and attend religious services regularly generally come out best on child development measures, while children who do neither come out worst. Children with one factor in their favor, but not the other, fall in between ...."

The authors said that children in an intact religious family "are more likely to exhibit positive social behavior, including showing respect for teachers and neighbors, getting along with other children, understanding other people's feelings, and trying to resolve conflicts with classmates, family, or friends."

Pat Fagan, the director of FRC's Center for Family and Religion, said the study should impact social policy.

"Social science data continue to demonstrate overwhelmingly that the intact married family that worships weekly is the greatest generator of human goods and social benefits and is the core strength of the United States," he said in a statement. "Policy makers should strongly consider whether their policy proposals give support to such a family structure. Children are not the only beneficiaries but also their parents, families, communities, and all of society."