The last four years eloquently indict the efficacy of government economic intervention. While long-term intervention has long been dismissed as ineffective, many still cling to a Keynesian hope that government intervention of limited duration could succeed. Now the effectiveness of both short-term and long-term economic intervention seems questionable. Put simply: The last four years have cost an incredible amount, while returning very little ... beyond debt. Federal spending has exploded, deficits have skyrocketed, the government´s debt has doubled, but the economy remains stagnant.
Deficits: Apparently, President Obama never got around to reading the final report of his own deficit commission. How else to explain his belief that federal spending isn´t the cause of the nation´s debt crisis? That´s apparently what Obama told House Speaker John Boehner during their recent "fiscal cliff" negotiations. "At one point several weeks ago," Boehner told the Wall Street Journal, "the president said to me, ´We don´t have a spending problem.´" That would be news to Obama´s debt commission, which in its final report made clear that spending is the driving force behind the nation´s debt crisis.
Defense: The president´s selection as defense secretary has called for direct negotiations with the mortal enemies of our closest ally in the Middle East and said the administration´s gutting of defense hasn´t gone far enough. If personnel is policy, President Obama´s selection of former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be Leon Panetta´s replacement as defense secretary should put the lie to the administration´s already tarnished claim to be a strong supporter of Israel. "Not only has he said you should directly negotiate with Iran, sanctions won´t work, that Israel must negotiate with Hamas, an organization, terrorist group,
Alabama plays Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship football game Monday night, and given the robust followings and deep traditions of both schools, there´s an expectation that the game will earn spectacular TV ratings for ESPN. There´s also an expectation that watching the game will drive an ordinary, unaffiliated football fan a little bit nuts, because no two college football programs are more stuffed with self-regard than Notre Dame and Alabama. By the third-quarter you might be ready to dangle your flat-screen out the window if you hear one more reference to "Roll Tide,"
Bank of America has reportedly frozen the account of gun manufacturer American Spirit Arms, according to its owner, Joe Sirochman. In a Facebook post dated December 29, Sirochman wrote the following: “My name is Joe Sirochman owner of American Spirit Arms...our Web site orders have jumped 500 percent causing our Web site e-commerce processing larger deposits to Bank of America. So they decided to hold the deposits for further review. “After countless hours on the phone with Bank of America, I finally got a manager in the right department that told me the reason that the deposits were on hold
Huell Howser, the folksy television host who chronicled the hidden history of the Golden State in his “California’s Gold” show, has died. Howser, who was about 68, was a resident of Palm Springs. The Riverside County coroner confirmed his death Monday, Jan. 7. An employee who did not want to be identified said Howser had been in hospice care. No information about the cause of death was available. Just six weeks ago, his staff confirmed that he had decided to retire. Text and source location added by Staff. Please post to 100 word limit.
Doug Schoen, Pat Caddell and fmr. Rep. John LeBoutillier (R-NY) weigh in on the fiscal cliff deal, spending cuts, Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense and the how Congress will deal with the sequestration. (via Johnny Dollar) DOUG SCHOEN: This is a huge victory for the Democrats, a huge victory for the president. It doesn´t solve the problem, but it does what President Obama said he was going to do, which is raise taxes on the wealthy. Democrats are happy, Republicans got rolled. ### PAT CADDELL: The bigger loser was the American people by a long shot.
Last June, Urooj Khan literally jumped for joy as he stood in a Far North Side 7-Eleven, having just learned he held a $1 million-winning instant lottery ticket. Less than a month later, Khan, 46, died at his West Rogers Park home — of apparent hardening of the arteries. But now, Khan’s death has been reclassified as a homicide, and investigators say he died from cyanide poisoning. Investigators are moving toward exhuming Khan’s body for further tests, Cook County Chief Medical Examiner Stephen J. Cina said Monday.
Instapundit points to this bit of happy news culled from John Hanger, a Democrat who is running for governonr of Pennsylvania, where has been secretary of the state department of the environment and a commissioner of the public utility commission: US energy related carbon emissions in 2012 will fall below 5,300 million tons or down about 12%, compared to the peak emissions of 6,023 million tons in 2007. Through this September, carbon emissions have been down every month in 2012, when compared to each of the first 9 months of 2011 and 2010. No other country matches that record.
A yet-to-air reality show documenting a rapper, who has fathered eleven children by ten different women, has been slammed by critics who have branded it ´disgusting´ and ´negative´. All My Babies´ Mamas, set to air this spring on the Oxygen network, follows Carlos ´Shawty Lo´ Walker, 36, as he navigates family life in an affluent suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. But after a preview of the one-hour, fly-on-the-wall hit the internet thousands of viewers called for it to be scrapped, with many suggesting it plays on racial stereotypes. A Change.org petition, which has more than 20,000
Progressives think they are really good at fighting wars. That is the problem. A core progressive belief is that international structures of management and arbitration would check and eventually end aggression between nations. As James Srodes notes in "On Dupont Circle," a book about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and their cadre of young reformers, they had unshakable "faith in the powers of experts to solve political issues." And, of course, they saw themselves as the experts. When conflict came, New Deal progressives ran the war effort with authoritarian zeal.
John Humphrys tried to get at Farage´s jugular on the Today Programme this morning, but Farage just laughed off the attacks--and ended up the hands-down winner. Humphrys accused him of being odd--as David Cameron has called some of Farage´s supporters--and Farage dealt with it calmly and jokily. His answer was spot on: no, it isn´t odd to be worried about Europe--and the polls back him up. More and more, Farage is looking the normal one among a sea of politicians who don´t--and can´t--behave like normal people. It isn´t always their fault--they have to toe a party line, which they may
If a president’s key appointments show the direction of his thinking, then Barack Obama’s latest nomination sends an important message. Chuck Hagel, an opponent of going to war with Iran and a critic of Israeli influence in Washington, has emerged as Obama’s choice for defence secretary. First things first: the president decides US policy, not the man who runs the Pentagon, whoever he might be. Moreover, Hagel’s appointment is likely to encounter significant opposition in the Senate; his confirmation is far from certain. But the fact that Obama has made this choice could be an early sign
Key Jewish and gay groups aren´t ecstatic about President Obama´s decision to nominate Chuck Hagel on Monday to lead the Pentagon, but leaders representing both communities are signaling that they won´t wage war against the pick. While there is reluctance from groups and individuals generally supportive of Obama, critics from the Jewish and gay communities aren´t going on the record with outright opposition to the choice of the former Nebraska senator. Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League said in a Monday statement that Hagel "would not have been my first choice" but that it´s the "president´s prerogative"
In a major boost for Chuck Hagel, the Anti-Defamation League announced Monday that it will not oppose him for the position of defense secretary. “Senator Hagel would not have been my first choice, but I respect the president’s prerogative,” Abraham H. Foxman, the national director of the ADL, said. “I trust that the confirmation process will provide an opportunity for Senator Hagel to address concerns about his positions, which seem so out of sync with President Obama’s clear commitment on issues like Iran sanctions, isolating Hamas and Hezbollah and the president’s strong support for a deepening of U.S.[-]Israel strategic cooperation.”
SAN FRANCISCO -- An oil tanker collided with a tower of the Bay Bridge Monday morning but is not leaking oil into the water, authorities said. The tanker swiped the westernmost tower of the bridge´s western span at 11:37 a.m., said Mindy Talmadge, a San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman. A San Francisco fireboat was dispatched to the scene, but crews did immediately not spot any oil in the water, Talmadge said. There was damage reported on the starboard side of the ship as well as the base of the bridge tower, she said.
The Huffington Post reports that Politico has fired several employees: Since its 2007 debut, Politico has expanded its newsroom quickly while some legacy media outlets, like the Washington Post, have scaled back. But Politico isn´t immune from having to restructure in the face of industry demands, and in recent days, it has laid off some staffers. “So, now I´m self-employed,” photographer Jay Westcott tweeted Saturday. “Just got laid off by Politico.” Jess Kamen, a technology reporter for Politico and Politico Pro, was also laid off, according to newsroom sources.
Executive Producer Erik Jendresen of National Geographic Channel´s upcoming television movie “Killing Lincoln,” said John Wilkes Booth “could be the poster child for the Tea Party.” “This is not the act of somebody who can easily be dismissed as a psychopath, so that it’s easy to understand, ‘Oh well, he was crazy,’” Jendresen said of Booth at a Television Critics Association winter press tour event on Friday in Pasadena, Calif., as initially reported by The Wrap. “No. It´s more disturbing to find out who Booth was," said Jendresen.
Fracking gets natural gas out of the ground, but it isn’t bringing people into movie theaters. Big stars and political controversy didn’t translate into a significant box-office haul as “Promised Land,” a new movie exploring environmental concerns about the gas-production method known more formally as "hydraulic fracturing," fared poorly in its nationwide opening. The film, which Matt Damon co-wrote and stars in, took just 10th place at the weekend box office, with $4.3 million in ticket sales, according to The Los Angeles Times. The top weekend spot, with $23 million, went to the slasher flick “Texas Chainsaw 3D.”
In his Wall Street Journal interview with John Boehner, writer Steve Moore didn’t bury the lede: What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: “At one point several weeks ago,” Mr. Boehner says, “the president said to me, ‘We don’t have a spending problem.’” On the face of it, such a statement is completely ridiculous — and a bit scary. Just have a look at the alternative fiscal scenario from the Congressional Budget Office. In it, the CBO assumes
The joint editor of the Climate News Network is warning that in as little as two centuries global warming will lead to “mass extinction,” which may be good news for residents of “The Shire.” “Hobbit-sized humans, able to exist on less nourishing food, will have the best chance of survival in a warmer world, scientists say,” said Paul Brown, a journalist and author, in an article entitled, “Mass extinction forecast with 6C temperature rise,” published on Jan. 7. Brown bases his claim on findings by the “Bighorn Basin Coring Project,” a group of scientists
That seductive presidential siren is once again singing to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has launched his reelection campaign with a massive war chest and some of the fattest approval ratings of any politician—let alone Republican politician—in America. A recent national poll of registered voters gave him a 55 percent favorable rating, the highest of any of the potential 2016 Republican contenders; in New Jersey, his job approval soared to 72 percent, the most stratospheric score ever recorded by a Garden State governor. This, in a blue state where President Obama beat Mitt Romney by 17 points,
The Democrats are playing a strategic game to recover the House in 2014. They are playing to win, and they are playing well. They are keeping the Republicans constantly on defense, not allowing them to frame the issues in ways which are clearly understandable to the American people and that show that Republicans are acting in the best interest of the American people.
(updated below - Update II) Prior to President Obama´s first inauguration in 2009, a controversy erupted over reports that he intended to appoint John Brennan as CIA director. That controversy, in which I participated, centered around the fact that Brennan, as a Bush-era CIA official, had expressly endorsed Bush´s programs of torture (other than waterboarding) and rendition and also was a vocal advocate of immunizing lawbreaking telecoms for their role in the illegal Bush NSA eavesdropping program. As a result, Brennan withdrew his name from consideration, issuing a bitter letter blaming "strong criticism in some quarters
Dear CRM 495 Students: Welcome back! It´s hard to believe that Christmas break is over and that it´s time to start a new semester. (Snip) After I got tenure, I left the political Left and became a conservative Republican. I know you´ve never had a conservative professor before and you are probably wondering what to expect. In a nutshell, you can expect to hear the truth about a number of things for the very first time in your college career. And that means you can probably expect to be offended from time to time.