Mitt Romney won the Texas primary and with that victory accumulated enough delegates to officially make him the Republican Party’s nominee for the presidency. Romney celebrated his victory by attending a fund raiser in Las Vegas and cavorting with…wait for it…Donald Trump. Trump is still beating the birther drum questioning the President’s citizenship. Romney’s continued association with self aggrandizing Trump and his failure to denounce Trump’s ridiculous assertions about the President says a great deal about his decision making capabilities. Romney is showing himself once again to be a shameless opportunist. Romney is a businessman seeking to close a deal; and he will say or do anything to close that deal.
Facebook stock continues to plummet. The company which was over valued at $38/share closed yesterday at $28.84; a drop in value of 24%. The embarrassing performance of this IPO has a number of startup tech companies in Silicon Valley re-evaluating their strategy. This huge IPO will serve as a costly teachable moment going forward. It is obvious that greed played a major role in the over valuation. It is also obvious that for all his technological expertise Mr. Zucherburg is not qualified to run a multi-billion dollar company. He needs to turn over the management to a seasoned professional just as the founders of Google did. Once the company has stabilized in the market and implemented a strategic path moving forward he can retake control. Being photographed enjoying McDonalds chicken nuggets as you honeymoon in Rome while your company is losing 25% of its value does not inspire investor confidence.
The conflict is Syria continues to dominate the headlines. Mitt Romney has criticized the President’s leadership though he has been vague as to what he believes the President should do. At times it seems that he supports US military action as he calls upon the President to assume a leadership role. At other times he seems to believe that the US should arm the rebels while threatening the Soviets, who support the Assad regime, to assert their influence on the Syrian government. The Syrian conflict is a complex issue that involves far more than the senseless killing of civilians by a thuggish government. Unlike Libya, the violence in Syria is scattered and the opposition fragmented and disorganized. The “bomb the hell out of them” strategy that the neo-cons embrace is a very dangerous option to consider. If America chooses to exert military force and move on Syria like a bull in a china shop, it risks setting off a regional conflict that could easily explode into a global conflagration. Russia and China have substantial interest in seeing that Assad remains in power, with Russia serving as Syria’s primary ally. Just yesterday both Russia and China decreed that they would block any military action by the UN Security Council. Romney wants to threaten them. With what? Neo-cons want boots on the ground. Explain that strategy to war weary Americans. Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, Iraq and Turkey all have a vested interest in the region. The wrong strategy could have a disastrous unsettling affect. Is there a moral issue? Certainly! But even though the slaughter of innocent women and children is horrific, sadly the atrocities and violence in Syria are not as pronounced as they are in other countries; atrocities which go on un-noticed by the international community. The first question that the President has to ask is whether or not the violence in Syria poses a threat to our national security…and then he has to set his response accordingly. The situation calls for patience and restraint. Arming the rebels or unilaterally sending in our military will only exacerbate an already incendiary situation. Although the atrocities are repulsive the response from the right has been little more than emotional moral hand ringing. The President is right to move very cautiously here.