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ReVision
There's that terrific line in a song of Professor Higgins, when he is describing the expert linguist who thinks he can expose the fraud of Liza Doolittle at her coming-out ball - only to fall flat on his face: "Oozing charm from every pore, he oiled his way around the…
As President Obama's approval ratings continue to decline, Democratic lawmakers continue to turn a deaf ear to the concerns of the nation, and Republicans enjoy the favor of the Tea Party movement, many are hoping that the mid-term elections this fall will mark a watershed and turning-point for the country.They…
Five years after Hurrican Katrina churches from all over the country continue to send teams of carpenters, electricians, engineers, and everyday folk to the Gulf Coast to help in repairing the shattered lives of people there. The media tired of this story shortly after it began five years ago. But…
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar yesterday announced that, just as soon as they managed to stop the oil, team Obama would spearhead an effort that would return the Gulf of Mexico to a condition better than it was before the spill.Now take a minute and think about that. How many years…
Economists, Wall Street, and just about everyone else greeted last month's report of new jobs with a groan. One person who showed real enthusiasm, however, was President Obama.Over 400,000 new jobs were added to the market last month, and the President insisted that this was an indication that the recovery…
If you've been listening to the Obama Administration over the past year, you will have noted that one word more than any other appears in their policy proposals. The word is "comprehensive." The President insisted that the stimulus package not be done piecemeal, but that a "comprehensive" effort should be…

Engulfed

June 2, 2010
I could hardly believe it when, shortly after the BP had begun its "top kill" attempt to shut off the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama called a national press conference - his first in nearly a year - to take responsibility for ending this crisis.I…
The crisis in the Gulf of Mexico is fraught with so much uncertainty - why it happened, whether it could have been prevented, how to stop it, who's to blame, what the long-term effects will be - that it may seem audacious, if not foolish, to posit any unequivocal conclusions…
One of the most recent attempts to improve school performance by children involves paying them for grades. A report in The Economist (May 22nd) describes two separate studies done with American and Israeli school children, in which the children were offered money to improve their grades. Each test took a…
"Plug the damn hole!" With that outburst of frustration yesterday President Obama signalled that he may be coming to an understanding of something many of us tried to tell him before he took his oath of office: there are limits to what government can do.The President came to office promising…
Esther Duflo is an award-winning economist at MIT who works in the field of development economics. This is the branch of the dismal science which seeks to lift poor people out of poverty by throwing money at them by one means or another. The extremes of development economics are, perhaps…
The "Texas Textbook Wars" illustrates a problem of which most Americans are completely unaware. In Texas, as you know, 15 people - 10 Republicans and 5 Democrats - are deciding what the curriculum and textbooks shall be for millions of Texas school children. Because of the size of the Texas…
It shouldn't surprise us, in the age of "it all depends on the meaning of 'is'", that politicians and others tend to play a little fast and loose, shall we say, with words. A budget projection for health care reform turns out to be, oh, 100 billion or so off,…
The expression, "hoist with his own petard," refers to someone undone by an engine of his own making. Shakespeare was the first to use the phrase; today it has become fairly common. A petard was a kind of lance or ram, often with explosives on the end, meant to blow…
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wants Catholic priests to preach her version of immigration reform. Immigration reform as she sees it, after all, is simply "how we live out the gospel" (small "g" mine).In the Speaker's world, churches should stand by on moral and political matters until they receive…

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