In anticipation of open conflict with this country, Japan is vigorously utilizing every available agency to secure military, naval and commercial information, paying particular attention to the West Coast, the Panama Canal and the Territory of Hawaii.Paul Bedard of U.S. News & World Report attempts to make much of this "warning." If I were FDR, my reaction to that, on Dec. 4, would have be "No kidding? To what other places would you expect Japan to pay attention?"
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Barring a gift from the Republicans in the form of their nominee -- and this is something we absolutely should not rule out -- the president will likely have a very difficult time holding it together.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Well, then what the hell are we paying you for?"What the hell are we paying you for?" The Gov sounds like Harry Truman or Richard Daley.
President Obama's slow ride down Gallup's daily presidential job approval index has finally passed below Jimmy Carter, earning Obama the worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history.Limbo dancers in the Caribbean ask: "How low can you go, mon?"
It's a rough, but important, measure of how likely a voter is to actually show up on Election Day to cast a ballot.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Until recently, the idea that the eurozone could break into pieces seemed outlandish. But increasingly, it appears to be the most likely outcome.And yet in the recent GOP candidates' debate on foreign affairs, Europe's problems were hardly mentioned.
Syria is the keystone of the Levant. It borders and balances a variety of states, sects and ethnic groups. If civil war erupts there, every one of Syria’s neighbors will cultivate, and be cultivated by, different Syrian factions — Sunnis, Alawites, Kurds, Druse, Christians, pro-Iranians, pro-Hezbollahites, pro-Palestinians, pro-Saudis — in order to try to tilt Syria in their direction. Turkey, Lebanon, Hezbollah, Iraq, Iran, Hamas, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel all have vital interests in who rules in Damascus.
Social Security and Medicare have been transferring money from low-earning young people (who don't pay income [tax] but are hit by the payroll tax) to increasingly affluent old people.If this is true, as I expect it is, then the politically untouchable entitlement system is forcing the working poor to subsidize the middle and upper middle classes.
The Democrats, perhaps following the polls and focus groups, have been protecting these entitlement programs that have done more to increase income inequality than the Reagan and Bush tax cuts put together.
Much of the increased inequality comes from the huge increases for those in the top 1 percent of earners. But we wouldn't be better off if Steve Jobs had never existed.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
The government of the United States currently spends $188 million it doesn't have every hour of every day.Now that is a level of disaster I can get my arms around, how about you? Check out his latest column from The Orange County Register.
Once having won the office, he seemed to think that that was the end of it in terms of his connection to the American people. … I think everybody feels an absence of communication from the time he’s been elected. And it’s not about not being left-wing enough or too left. That’s not his problem. It’s connection. And Mrs. Obama, she’s an amazing asset. And what has she done? Obesity? How about connecting with the American people about being Americans? I don’t think she’s happy. I don’t think they like being in the White House. The American people can tell that. They don’t seem thrilled at the fact the American people have selected them as our first family. I don’t sense the gratitude, the happiness level, the thrill of being president.I found a source for this quote here on NewsBusters. It is transcript of an interview with host Alex Witt from the MSNBC program Weekends with Alex Witt.
Politicians, stuck in a sclerotic system that renders real accomplishment difficult, lavish more energy on words than on elusive deeds.Bruni calls ours "a sclerotic system." I haven't heard a better description of Washingtonian malfunction recently.
Europe wouldn’t necessarily need many shared values to function as a free trade zone. But as a currency union, survival depends on shared economic and political values.
A currency union of 17 nations, each with their own tax rates and public sector employment rates and labor market rules -- and above all, their own wildly varying rates of productivity -- cannot last. Either a mechanism has to be found to make them behave more like one another, or the 20-year-old experiment that is the euro, and perhaps even the half-century-old experiment that is the EU, will come to an end.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
A moderate President Romney would prove a reach-out centrist — spending borrowed money like George W. Bush did on No Child Left Behind or the Medicare drug benefit, thereby ruining for good the now-suspect Republican brand of fiscal sobriety.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The real reason for the super committee's failure: the two parties disagree profoundly on a vision of government.The editorial points out correctly that the failure of the super committee was caused by the president's insistence on a large tax increase. I also like their conclusion:
Democrats are confident they can blame Republicans for the failure and ride their president's class war campaign to victory. Republicans have to counter with a message of economic growth and sensible reforms of our government institutions so the U.S. doesn't end up like Europe.This is for voters to decide. Let's have it out.
If you want to join the true American elite, move to Iowa and register to vote. This is something the Occupy Wall Street crowd does not understand. If they want real influence, they should Occupy Iowa.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Reading comprehension and ability to use what they’ve learned in math and science to solve real problems — the most important skills for succeeding in college and life.
- Fifteen-year-old students whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher scores in PISA 2009 than students whose parents read with them infrequently or not at all.
- The performance advantage among students whose parents read to them in their early school years is evident regardless of the family’s socio-economic background.
- Parents’ engagement with their 15-year-olds is strongly associated with better performance in PISA.
In their hearts, Republicans have always wanted a candidate who is bold and tough, and Gingrich is. They’re not sure about Mitt Romney, who is cautious, conventional, and sounds more conciliatory than Gingrich.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Suffocating regulations, inflated business taxes and fees, a lawsuit-friendly legal environment, and a political class uninterested in business concerns, if not downright hostile to them.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans.Twenty six years later, long after his death in 1898 Bismarck was proven correct. The trigger event for World War I was the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, on 28 June 1914.
Today, across the globe and across all political systems, leaders are in dangerously short supply.
A theory known to biologists as Bergmann's Rule, which generally holds that animals get bigger the farther north they are found. (snip) The reason, the theory holds, is that larger animals can retain heat better and are therefore better able to survive at higher latitudes.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
We elect our bosses, so we’ve got to elect politicians who support us and then hold them accountable on our issues.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
A number of EU members will have to become developing countries again – after having lived as first-world countries for more than a decade. They’ll have no choice. This is true even if they quit the euro and readopt the drachma or the lira. In fact, possibly even more so.Even among rational people, expectations rise easily but go down with great difficulty. The riots we've seen in Greece are nothing to what will occur when people understand they must go back to being poor, to doing without government jobs and services, financed with borrowed money, to which they've become accustomed.
Gingrich has various attributes, which have kept him as a prominent voice in the Republican Party for more than two decades in spite of setbacks and self-inflicted wounds. For reasons mostly beyond his doing, he may have been handed a new opportunity for redemption and leadership. Whether he can restrain the impulses that have brought him down in the past will now be his biggest challenge.If Newt succeeds in becoming president, analysts will compare the dramatic ups and downs of his career to those of Winston Churchill. One similarity is already evident - writing many books. Amazon currently lists twelve books authored or co-authored by Gingrich.
An ageing Europe starts to look increasingly like the western peninsula of a resurgent Asia.This is overstated, but don't you hear underlying truth?
Saturday, November 12, 2011
So long as Democrats refuse meaningful cuts in entitlement programs, and Republicans hold out against increases in tax rates, Greece is what we are about to become. Unless, of course, we use our one advantage—the ability to print money to reduce the value of outstanding debts—in which case inflation is in our future.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Overall, the good and bad consequences of a low-salt diet may cancel each other out, so the diet has relatively little effect on the development of disease, said study researcher Dr. Niels Graudal, of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
At Sea, mid-Atlantic Ocean: We’ve sailed across the
Crossing oceans makes crystal clear that most of the globe is covered with water, a fact that is easy for many people to overlook as their entire lives are spent ashore. This is a wet planet; we inhabit the dry remainder.
In contrast to the virtual congestion of marine traffic off the east coast of
This is about as lonely as it is possible for most people to be. We (and 5000 strangers who are temporary traveling companions) are as isolated as if we were in mid-Sahara, perhaps more so. If we need a cardio-vascular or thoracic surgeon to save our life here, we’re dead. Even so, the average age of the passengers is probably near 70. Cruising is a fascinating phenomenon.