The British economy, George Osborne announced yesterday, is “healing”. Unfortunately, he added, the wound was far more grievous than previously thought. The financial crisis inflicted the greatest shock since the Second World War, slashing 6.3 per cent from GDP--and Gordon Brown’s reckless fiscal mismanagement left us in no position to cope. With the recovery beset by unexpected external shocks, not least the crisis in the eurozone, Mr Osborne was forced to admit that the road back to prosperity will be longer--and steeper--than was foreseen. The Chancellor’s tone throughout his Autumn Statement was commendably grim: he did not sugar-coat the
Comments: Some familiar themes here. I find it more transparent (if you´ll use the word for its original meaning, not the one Obama gives it) than much of the obfuscating garbage coming out of Washington these days. As the T´s editorial concluded, it´s only putting off the inevitable. (I´m tired of hearing "kicking the can down the road" which sounds too much like a bit of fun in the midst of cliffs and chasms).
"You know nothing about Nelson Mandela," spat Julius Malema. It was May 2010, and a foreign correspondent had just asked the African National Congress’s fire-breathing youth leader how he dared compare himself to the secular saint the world is mourning today. In the Western imagination, Mandela stood for racial reconciliation, whereas Malema was given to referring to whites as "criminals" and "the enemy". Mandela also stood for justice, whereas Malema was an open admirer of the murderous Robert Mugabe. At first glance, Malema’s presumption seemed obscene, but he was right on at least one score--the truth about Mandela has been
Here´s some weapons-grade drivel from the Government´s Environmental Audit Committee. (What else did you expect from a panel chaired by Tim ´Trougher´ Yeo?) Globally, subsidies for fossil fuels exceed $500 billion a year. They are inconsistent with the global effort to tackle climate change, providing incentives for greater use of such fuels and disincentives for energy efficiency. [Snip] We´ve been here before, haven´t we? Lots of times. This fossil-fuels-more-subsidised-than-renewables meme has been spread, inter alia, by the Guardian´s ludicrous Damian Carrington; by Labour MP Barry "Dork Brain" Gardiner (Vice President of the sinister GLOBE international);
Coastal towns across Britain have been left swamped after the worst tidal surge for more than 60 years forced thousands of families to evacuate their homes. Floods waters are reported to be receding after the North Sea surge hit the north Norfolk coast early yesterday evening and headed south throughout the night. But as residents started to return to their properties today, homeowners in the coastal village of Hemsby, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, were left devastated to discover their houses had been swept into the sea. The surging tide last night swept away a former lifeboat hut and a number
The overriding strategic story in Europe today is the breakdown of Franco-German condominium. The two great nations have together run the EU on a foundation of equality since the 1950s, always finding some way to bridge the chasm between North and South. It was stretched a little after France lost Algeria--a French Department, not a colony--and with it lost population parity. But that hardly mattered as long as Germany wished to tuck behind France, usually letting Paris take the lead. It was stretched a great deal further with the Reunification of Germany, driven home a few years later when a
Demcoratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made waves on Thursday by predicting that his GOP counterpart, House Speaker John Boehner, will ultimately ´cave in´ and green-light a comprehensive immigration reform bill. But Republicans´ frustrations ignore the fact that most U.S. Hispanics prefer their approach to the thorny subject over the Democrats´ central idea. Reid, a Nevadan, told the Las Vegas Sun that Boehner is ´going to cave in´ eventually because of outside pressure from Hispanic activists. ´I think there’s going to be so much pressure on the House that they’ll have to pass it,´ he said. ´If the Republicans ever
The U.S. Gross Domestic Product jumped by an annual rate of 3.6 percent in the third quarter of 2013, the U.S. Commerce Department said, surprising analysts who had forecasted a more modest 2.8 percent increase in the nation´s economic output. Commerce´s Bureau of Economic Affairs released its quarterly economic report on Thursday. Growth in the second quarter of the year was just 2.5 percent. That´s a dramatic improvement from the 0.12 percent growth during 2009, the first year of Barack Obama´s presidency. But it pales in comparison to the 7.71 percent average annual growth seen during the Reagan years.
The president and his supporters are pushing to get higher wages for American workers, but the nation´s largest pro-Obama organizing group is telling its footsoldiers not to expect a paycheck at all. Organizing For Action, which flexed its muscles as Obama For America during two presidential election campaigns, announced Wednesday that it´s seeking ´Spring Organizing Fellows´ to ´be a part of our growing organization´ and ´explor[e] OFA´s broad scope approach to issue advocacy.´ But unlike most fellowships, which offer a stipend or a housing allowance, the positions are strictly ´unpaid´ and require Americans to work ´without the expectation of pay,
I have never been much of a conspiracy theorist. For me it was always Oswald by himself from the Texas School Book Depository and nothing in the intervening fifty years has disabused me of this notion. For the most part, I’m an Occam’s Razor kind of guy — the most obvious explanation is likely to be true. (Snip) To put it bluntly, Occam’s Razor has moved. Things that were once possibilities now seem almost certainties to me. Principal among those is that Obama’s academic records are perpetually unavailable for a reason — and that reason is most likely that they reveal
One of President Obama´s chief political assets has been his ability to excite young people like almost no politician in history. But the days of America´s youth fawning over the president are over. A new Harvard University Institute of Politics poll released Wednesday confirms what other surveys have shown in recent months: Millennials have soured on Obama so much this year that their opinion of him largely mirrors the American public´s. Even though Obama does not ever have to face another election, he should be worried about the findings for a couple of reasons, which we will dive into momentarily.
Last summer on his $100 million family tour of Africa, Barack Obama hoped for a priceless photo op with Nelson Mandela, the ailing freedom pioneer who went from prison cell to the presidency of South Africa. Mandela´s family suggested that wouldn’t happen. So, the Obamas did a photo op in Mandela´s former prison cell. Which Obama’s White House quickly tweeted upon word of the icon´s passing at 95. [Skip] But Obama was also caught staring at television coverage of Mandela’s passing, which became Obama’s Photo of the Day.
Hardly a week goes by without Hillary Clinton receiving another award. Last month she was named a “Global Champion” by the International Medical Corps, received the American Patriot Award at the National Defense University Foundation and the Hermandad Award from the Mexican American Leadership Initiative. [Snip] At this rate, if a bunch of elderly left-wing Swedes toss her the Nobel Peace Prize early on, the way they did to Obama, it will barely rate mention among all the other glittering trophies that have been bestowed on a woman whose only actual accomplishment was being married to a crooked governor with
A stunning new study unveiled on Fox News´ Hannity finds that President Barack Obama’s White House calendar records just one face-to-face meeting between Obama and his Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the more than three-and-a-half years leading up to the disastrous Obamacare launch. The startling statistic comes from a new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) analysis of Obama’s own official White House calendar, as well as the Politico presidential calendar, and raises new questions about Obama’s executive leadership and management throughout the implementation of his singular legislative achievement. More alarming still, the president’s schedule lists 277 private
Speaker John Boehner said his party should support gay Republican congressional candidates and urged his colleagues to “be a little more sensitive” when running against women. “Some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be,” Boehner said. When asked if he thinks his party should support gay candidates, Boehner simply said: “I do.”
Amid an array of “knock-out” attacks against a number of Jews in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, a city councilwoman pointed to the success of the Jewish community as triggering the aggression. Councilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo emphasized that while she “admire[s] the Jewish community immensely” for its work ethic, black teens may see it differently. “While I personally regard this level of tenacity, I also recognize that for others, the accomplishments of the Jewish community triggers feelings of resentment, and a sense that Jewish success is not also their success,” Cumbo, who was recently elected, wrote in a letter. Chief among the issues