The State of...Capitalism, the Abortion Debate, and America's Relationship with the Muslim World

Bloggers on the S-word, capitalism, the Tiller murder, and Obama's upcoming speech to the Muslim world.

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Our daily look at stories and topics that are lighting up the Internets:

The State of Capitalism

Bloggers, mostly the ones leaning rightward, are using the latest handout to GM to talk about everything from Obama's socialist policies to, well, Obama's socialist policies. So maybe the subject matter doesn't vary all that widely. But that doesn't mean that bloggers aren't using the bailout to raise some interesting points. Let's start with the irony of this Carpe Diem post, which notes that Russia and the U.S. are "like two ships passing in the night." Conservative Veronique de Rugy thinks Obama's claim that he won't run GM is total b.s. Katie Connolly explains the pickle Obama's in: "Taxpayers don't want to be de facto shareholders in failing businesses," she writes. "But on the other hand, in order for the government to realize any real return on its investments ... the government needs to retain its share until GM sees profits, or at least a healthy cash flow, again. So the real question for the President is this: How do you define 'get out quickly'?" More on this here. Henry Payne thinks the administration is "using the bankruptcy process for political rather than competitive ends." Here's yet another conservative case why government intervention is not a good thing (a la David Brooks). And conservative Jon Henke gets to the real heart of the matter: the S-word. He writes: "The real question is one of degree. Obama is not socialist. But he is more comfortable with centralizing economic power." Don't miss Felix Salmon explaining why the government is keeping GM alive.

The Tiller Murder

The murder of Dr. George Tiller, discussed here yesterday, is generating some introspection within the blogosphere. Kathy Kattenburg directs pro-lifers to tone down their rhetoric: "It's not enough to condemn such acts of violence after they happen if at other times one is enabling those acts by using inflammatory language (like 'death mills' and 'child murderers'); by harassing women as they go into clinics ... by employing highly divisive (and factually inaccurate) historic parallels (the Holocaust, slavery); by supporting politicians and media pundits who demonize advocates of legal abortion." Conservative Matthew Vadum thinks liberals are using Tiller's death to ramp up efforts at marginalizing everyone on the right. Liberal Ben Cohen writes on the complexity of abortion as a moral issue, ending with the following condemnation of Tiller's killer: "If you are pro life, then surely the living deserve just as much compassion as the unborn." Editors at one conservative blog ask if the right has blood on its hands: "A broader self-examination is called for if we wish to claim in good conscience that our hands are clean of the next victim's blood." Bill O'Reilly, here's looking at you. Bonnie Erbe thinks we're all to blame for Tiller's death. And Josh Marshall sees a double standard when it comes to vandalizing abortion clinics.

America and the Middle East

With Obama's major address to the Muslim world scheduled for Thursday, this will be the first of many roundups on the subject. But first, Political Bulletin reports on Obama's goals for the speech: "Nothing less than to help 'reconcile Islam and modernity.'" Now that we've covered that base, let's start out with what is perhaps the best blogpost on Obama's trip to/speech from Cairo: Joshua Keating writes on the Obama T-shirts popping up around the city. Chris Good notes that Americans are still skeptical of the Muslim world. Andrew Sullivan thinks AIPAC is uncomfortable with Obama's plans for the Mideast. Liberal Andrew Belonsky talks institutions. Conservative Michael Rubin thinks Obama has terrible timing on Iran. Neil Hicks wants Obama to recommit to democracy promotion. Josh Marshall sees tensions rising over U.S. pressure to stop construction of Israeli settlements. Linda Killian thinks Obama needs to show the Muslim world some tough love. And Robert Kagan thinks the administration is both courageous and foolish at the same time.