On this day in 1944, 111 U.S. B-29 Superfortress bombers raid Tokyo for the first time since Capt. Jimmy Doolittle's raid in 1942. Their target: the Nakajima aircraft engine works.
Fall 1944 saw the sustained strategic bombing of Japan. It began with a reconnaissance flight over Tokyo by Tokyo Rose, a Superfortress B-29 bomber piloted by Capt. Ralph D. Steakley, who grabbed over 700 photographs of the bomb sites in 35 minutes. Next, starting the first week of November, came a string of B-29 raids, dropping hundreds of tons of high explosives on Iwo Jima, in order to keep the Japanese fighters stationed there on the ground and useless for a counteroffensive. Then came Tokyo.
What is best in life is to spend the 11 hours of a Northern Hemisphere polar winter's night one spends in the belly of an A340-300 in transit from SFX to ZRH (a) eating Swiss chocolate, and (b) reading Barry Eichengreen's (2015) brilliant and superb Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, The Great Recession, and the Uses-and Misuses-of History (Oxford: Oxford University Press: 0199392005).
...when the phone buzzed was to meet with a publisher about a new book proposal—the next installment in what Jody lovingly mocked as my ‘one man government-in-exile’ series. The premise was that after two terms of a president seen by much of the country as a virtual socialist...
Note that Matt Miller does not, himself, endorse the assertion that Barack Obama is "a virtual socialist". But he does not qualify it either...
Wingnuts are supposed to think: Oh! Matt Miller gets it. Barack Obama is far-left!
Journalists with a clue are supposed to think: Well, he didn't tell a lie--even though Obama is not "a virtual socialist" and has tried to govern as a more-or-less old-style moderate centrist, "much of the country" does see him--because he has African-American, and because Rupert Murdoch's people have told them he is--"a virtual socialist".
But what are the voters of the 33rd congressional district of California going to think?
This is a district that gives Obama, Boxer, Feinstein, Brown something like 85% of their votes? The kind of person who would say, without qualification or explanation, that Barack Obama is "seen by much of the country as a virtual socialist" and has spent much of his time arguing for a Third Way to the right of today's Democratic and the left of today's Republican Party is not the kind of person who is likely to attract much grassroots support or raise much money in the 33rd congressional district of California.
And outside money-funded media-blitz campaigns are pushed as effective primarily by professional campaign consultants who get a cut from or are part of a reciprocal favor network funded by such media buys. Nevertheless:
CHICAGO, Monday—I have had a number of letters in the course of the last few days, some of them stating that I was wrong when I said in a recent column that the President did not promise, in the campaign of 1940, that our boys should not leave these shores. In other letters, the writers stated that they have read articles in the newspapers which said that I was wrong, and they wished to assure me they had heard the President qualify this statement over the radio, by the words: 'Except in the case of attack.'
Therefore, in order to clear this situation up, I have decided to give the whole thing in chronological order:
'The Democratic platform adopted in Chicago, in 1940, stated: 'We will not participate in foreign wars, and we will not send our army, naval or air forces to fight in foreign lands outside of the Americas, except in case of attack.'
2.'On September 11, 1940, in Washington, D.C., the President said: 'I hate war, now more than ever. I have one supreme determination—to do all that I can to keep war away from these shores for all time. I stand, with my party, and outside of my party as President of all the people, on the platform, the wording that was adopted in Chicago less than two months ago. It said: 'We will not participate in foreign wars, and we will not send our army, naval or air forces to fight in foreign lands outside of the Americas, except in case of attack.''
'On October 23, 1940, in Philadelphia, the President again said: 'We are arming ourselves not for any foreign war. We are arming ourselves not for any purpose of conquest or intervention in foreign disputes. I repeat again that I stand on the platform of our party: 'We will not send our army, naval or air forces to fight in foreign lands outside of the Americas, except in case of attack.''
'On October 30, 1940, in Boston, Mass., the President said: 'And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars. They are going into training to form a force so strong that, by its very existence, it will keep the threat of war far away from our shores. The purpose of our defense is defense.'
It is this last speech which probably created a false impression, and yet everyone of us knows quite well that once the bombs dropped on our soil at Pearl Harbor, the war was no longer a foreign war, but was a war in defense of our own country. Had we not fought on distant shores, we would soon have fought on the shores of the United States.
...or in some other way degrades performance. I’ve been wary... in part because it appeals so much to my general leanings.... I continue to be skeptical, in part because there have been some pretty bad crises with lousy recoveries in countries that don’t have a lot of inequality. Consider, in particular, the post-1990 Swedish slump.... Just one piece of evidence. But I’m still having trouble with this one.
...What have these 'socialist Democrats' done to us? But wait a minute: Isn't that how markets are supposed to work? The United States never adopted a simple national health plan to cover everyone.... In general, Republicans argued that relying on market forces would give people what they wanted while also putting pressure on the health system to offer more effective care for less money.... In general, Democrats argued that government should set benefits and the prices it would pay, as in a 'Medicare for all' program.... They pointed out that markets didn't work well in health care because consumers didn't know enough to choose what was best for them.... The compromise was to combine markets with regulation, sometimes called 'managed competition,' now called 'the Affordable Care Act.'... Should believers in market forces try to gut the Affordable Care Act? Heavens, no. They should seize this huge opportunity to prove their case by helping to make the law's markets work effectively...