A civil war is ravaging the GOP, and the root cause is the debt ceiling — an economic doomsday device mentioned nowhere in the Constitution, but nonetheless used periodically by one group of politicians or another to score political points. If Republicans were to think outside the debt-limit box, they could avoid this unnecessary civil war. The debt limit, as currently defined, sets up what would be an abrupt shock to the system, a granite wall that limits total federal debt to a fixed dollar number. When the debt reaches that number, government is prohibited by its own law from
According to an old saying, when the winds are strong even turkeys fly. If ever there was a case to which this would adage apply, it would be that of the market’s present favor for Greek government bonds. Over the past year, as the market has stretched for yield in a low interest rate global environment, the Greek government’s long-term borrowing cost has declined from over 18 percent to 8.5 percent currently. And it has done so despite increased signs that Greece lacks the political willingness to resolve the many deep-seated problems that still characterize the Greek economy.
The Obama administration’s ongoing delay in approving the Keystone XL pipeline – which would transport Canadian oil to U.S. refiners on the Gulf of Mexico – is ostensibly based on concerns over the safety and reliability of oil pipelines, as well as concerns over climate change. At first, concerns focused on the protection of the Ogallala aquifer, but once the pipeline was re-routed to minimize such risks, climate concerns came to the fore. Discussing the pipeline last summer, President Obama focused on carbon, insisting that Keystone would not be approved if it will “significantly contribute to carbon in our atmosphere.”
Did President Obama lie to Americans when he said that those who liked their current health insurance policies could keep them? Or was he simply out of the loop when it came down to the details of his health care reform, as he has claimed in his own defense — a defense that comes suspiciously close to Bart Simpson’s “I didn’t do it” denials. How could a man of Obama’s obvious intelligence fail to know something so critical to the success of his most significant piece of legislation? Since Obama is not a fool, he must be a liar.
As the old saying goes, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows — or doesn’t blow nearly as much as in earlier years, as the data show for tornado activity in the United States, and for tornadoes and cyclone activity more generally. The global warming/climate change industrial complex, confronted with growing bodies of scientific analysis and data both inconsistent with climate change orthodoxy and difficult to dismiss, slowly is coming unglued, producing analyses that conflict and ancillary effects — in particular, the collapse of “carbon trading” programs — not helpful to the cause.
In May of 1541, Spanish explorers under Francisco Vásquez de Coronado camped on the rim of Palo Duro Canyon and joined together in a celebration of thanksgiving. Nearly a quarter-century later, French Huguenot colonists at Fort Caroline, Florida, set aside a day for solemn praise and thanksgiving in June 1564. In the summer of 1607, English settlers in Maine united with Abnaki Indians for a harvest feast. Three years later, English colonists in Jamestown held a jubilant day of thanksgiving when fresh supply ships arrived, providing the surviving colonists with much-needed food after a severe winter and disastrous drought.
As Paul Krugman details in a recent column, many mainstream economists are concerned that a depressed economy may be the new norm. The case “was made forcefully recently at the most ultrarespectable of venues, the IMF’s big annual research conference,” he writes. Robert J. Gordon, Stanley G. Harris Professor at Northwestern University, has dismissed the job-creating potential of technological optimists’ favorite projects like biotechnology and self-driving cars, and concluded: “The future of American economic growth is dismal, and policy solutions are elusive.” Among others, the economics Nobel Laureate Edmund Phelps has deplored the decline of America’s innovative spirit.
For everyone then alive, it remains a moment frozen in time. I was a 19-year-old Vanderbilt University sophomore having lunch in the Gold Room, Vanderbilt’s snack bar. I was sitting in an overstuffed leather chair and in the act of inserting a hot dog into my mouth when one of the ladies who worked the counter came in from another room where there was a television. In a voice as devoid of emotion as if she were announcing, “They say it’s going to rain this weekend,” she said, to no one in particular, “They say the president’s been shot.”
Whether it’s a second shooter on the grassy knoll, inconsistencies in the Warren Commission investigation, or the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby, Americans are still drawn to conspiracy theories surrounding the death of President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago. But what contributes to the durability of these conspiracy theories? Certainly their plausibility has something to do with it. But like a good conspiracy theory itself, there’s more to it than the immediate explanation. In the days following President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, the National Opinion Research Center was in the field polling a stunned nation.
Anyone with a modicum of knowledge regarding public health will agree that the most important, devastating, and preventable issue facing America is the human toll of cigarettes. Yet our nation’s main health regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will issue regulations within the next few weeks that could harm our nation’s 45 million smokers. Smokers trying to quit have an extremely difficult time, yet a new technology which might ease their path — electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes — is facing relentless opposition from public health agencies like the FDA and CDC, and their antipathy is certainly not based on science.
“In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” This, I trust everyone knows, is the inscription on the back wall of the Lincoln Memorial in DC, visible above the awe-inspiring statue of our greatest president, greeting us and inducing reverence as we enter what is, in my opinion, the finest public building anywhere. On facing walls, to left and right, are carved in stone Lincoln’s two greatest speeches, the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address, Lincoln’s personal contributions to his enduring memory.
In the aftermath of last week´s elections in Virginia and New Jersey, much has been said about what the results portend for Republicans in the next election cycle. But let´s not lose sight of the lessons learned only last year. After the shellshock of the 2012 election abated, the Republican National Committee released their “Growth and Opportunity Project” report, which observed that “the perception that the GOP does not care about people is doing great harm to the Party and its candidates on the federal level, especially in presidential years. It is a major deficiency that must be addressed.”
I recently wrote a brief summary critique of the Environmental Protection Agency’s “analysis” of the “social cost of carbon.” In a nutshell, I argued: (1) the EPA analysis fails to recognize that U.S. policies would have virtually no effect on temperatures or “climate” regardless of which climate model is assumed to be the most useful; and (2) the analysis is poor methodologically and inconsistent with analytic guidelines that have been imposed on executive agencies by the Office of Management and Budget. My observations elicited several comments, varying substantially in analytic quality, to which I respond below in this article.
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
On Tuesday, The Boston Globe reported that Onyango “Omar” Obama, uncle to President Obama, says that his famous nephew stayed with him while a student at Harvard Law School in the 80s, in contradiction to The White House’s contention that the two had never met. At Thursday’s White House daily briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed that the President had, in fact, briefly stayed with “his father’s half-brother,” as Carney described Omar Obama, and that no one had actually asked the President about it when the White House initially commented. The 69 year-old Omar Obama has been facing deportation back
In February, the Bush family’s personal emails were hacked by Guccifer, a hacker who uncovered photographs of former President George H. W. Bush in a hospital bed and George W. Bush’s oil paintings in the process. It seems Guccifer has struck again, this time targeting former President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Library. The hacker has reportedly uncovered doodles of Clinton drawing on what were, at the time, classified documents. Among the doodles is apparently a picture of a penis. The document uncovered is a briefing of the strategic measures the United States could take prior Clinton’s decision to intervene in
America is facing a wave of strikes by its fast-food workers on Thursday a day after Barack Obama warned that inequality in the USA had soared to the point that it now posed "a fundamental threat to the American dream". Low-paid workers in McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and other fast-food outlets in 100 cities across America were due to start rolling strikes to protest at the low level of America´s $7.25 (£4.45) federal minimum wage. The strikes are the latest part of a mushrooming publicity campaign for higher wages among those working so-called "McJobs", with fast-food restaurants seen as a
The world premiere of the “Ballad for Trayvon Martin for Orchestra and Jazz Quartet” is set for tonight. Princeton University’s director of its jazz-studies program composed the work in honor of the Florida teen. Anthony D. J. Branker told the Star-Ledger that the piece is intended to “be a form of healing” after Martin’s death and the controversial court case that followed it. The ballad, which will be performed by the university’s official orchestra and jazz ensemble, is intended to be a tribute to victims of racial violence, Branker explained. He hopes that the performance will be “one that speaks to
WASHINGTON – A fourth straight month of solid hiring cut the U.S. unemployment rate to a five-year low of 7 percent in November, an encouraging sign for the economy. The Labor Department says employers added 203,000 jobs, nearly matching October´s revised gain of 200,000. The job gains helped lower the unemployment rate from 7.3 percent in October. The strengthening job market is likely to fuel speculation that the Federal Reserve may start to scale back its bond purchases when it meets later this month. The economy has now generated an average of 204,000 jobs from August through November. That´s up