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ReVision
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…
To some observers it's becoming apparent that the President has a bit of a skin problem. Not color, but thickness.He gets peeved rather easily when challenged or when his views are not immediately accepted. When someone - a member of the press or a Congressman in a meeting - doesn't…
The retirement of a sitting Justice of the Supreme Court affords the nation an opportunity to reflect on the nature of its laws and the practice of their interpretation.In the minds of those who tend to think about such things, two camps present. There are those, represented by Justice Antonin…
The Gotcha! press has been all over President Obama's imprudent comment, during one of his routine rallies for whatever, that he thinks there's a limit to what people should be allowed to earn. Of course, that's not really what he meant. What he meant is that he thinks there's a…
Arizona's new immigration law shows us why Washington has dithered so long on this problem. Just about any direction you go on this issue, you inflame political opposition, and if there's one thing Washington doesn't like, it's inflamed political opposition.You have to credit the courage of the Arizona governor and…

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