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Tag: Economy

Forget the ‘Party of No,’ Dems Need to Run Against Extremism

In an election, a solid “no” usually beats an uneasy “yes, but.” That’s the heart of the problem Democrats and President Obama face this fall.

Posted on Aug 22, 2010 READ MORE


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Norman Podhoretz in Black and White

Norman Birnbaum, the noted sociologist and thinker, analyzes two worthy new books, by Thomas L. Jeffers and Benjamin Balint, on the longtime editor of Commentary and the magazine he shaped.

Posted on Aug 20, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / anitasarkeesian

American Apparel Unraveling

American Apparel, the paradoxical clothing firm that weaves together good labor practices with ridiculous acts of misogyny, is hanging by the proverbial economic thread as its stock plunges to an all-time low and industry experts begin to seriously doubt the company’s future.

Posted on Aug 19, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / edEx

The Job Market Continues to Struggle

In news that reflects the weakening pulse of the economy, the Labor Department reported that initial claims for jobless benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted level of half a million, the highest since last November.

Posted on Aug 19, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Mark Lennihan

Shorting Economists: The ‘Experts’ Keep Getting it Wrong

Why have economists been so wrong so often? Certainly theirs is a tough job, since the global economy is a complex creature. Yet it turns out that their measuring sticks are woefully inadequate. Indeed, they aren’t even sure what to measure.

Posted on Aug 19, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Brian Cantoni (CC-BY)

Ungrateful ‘Government Motors’ Ready to Go Public Again

GM’s outgoing CEO likes to complain about the government’s 61 percent stake in the reborn company, but thanks to all that Washington meddling, GM has gone from losing $88 billion over four years to making a couple of billion in six months.

Posted on Aug 18, 2010 READ MORE


Obama in Clintonville
AP / Ty Wright

Obama: ‘The Economy Is Getting Stronger’

President Barack Obama mustered up some fine rhetoric Wednesday to give the good people of Greater Columbus, Ohio, a sense of security in these, our shaky times. And he did so in, literally, a local family’s backyard.

Posted on Aug 18, 2010 READ MORE


The Guns of August: Lowering the Flag on the American Century

None of America’s problems are likely to be tackled in a serious or successful way as long as we continue to spend our wealth on armies, weapons, wars, global garrisons, and bribes for petty dictators.

Posted on Aug 17, 2010 READ MORE


Zardari President
AP / Anjum Naveed

Pakistan’s Floods Could Take Its President Down

The sheer suffering and human cost of Pakistan’s devastating floods are mounting daily, and frustration with the nation’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, is on the rise as well—and Zardari’s standing with the public was shaky enough before disaster struck.

Posted on Aug 17, 2010 READ MORE



North American Aerospace Defense Command

On the Government’s Growing Obsession With Hollywood-Style Command Centers

Blooming in every corner of the country are high-tech command facilities for fighting terrorism, battling crime linked to national security, coordinating disaster responses, enhancing infrastructure protection and more. The desire for them is insatiable, and Congress seems ever the enabler.

Posted on Aug 16, 2010 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: How Low Can We Go?

A recent Wall Street Journal poll registered America’s sour mood about politics, policy, the war in Afghanistan and the economy, and massive disappointment in both the major parties. So what’s the good news?

Posted on Aug 13, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN


beer and pretzel
flickr/~Prescott

At Least the German Economy’s Growing

The U.S. economy is still an unholy mess, but someone is doing something right over in Germany, which reported record growth over the three-month period from April through June—the biggest such spike since the once-split nation reunified.

Posted on Aug 13, 2010 READ MORE


Is Congress Subsidizing Slackers?

Congress has acted, after a cruel delay, to renew the extension of unemployment benefits for as long as 99 weeks. This raises the question: Do the beefed-up benefits encourage people not to work?

Posted on Aug 12, 2010 READ MORE


donkey crossing
Flickr / Grievous

Poll Hints at Darker Days for Dems

The tide of public good will toward the Democratic end of the American political spectrum, which helped propel Obama into the White House, may be going out, according to a new WSJ/NBC poll, but the GOP ... (continued)

Posted on Aug 12, 2010 READ MORE



What Would Robert Reich Do?

Today on the list: What Robert Reich wants to do about jobs, why liberals don’t win and how Oxytocin increases trust (guess that explains modern politics, Whole Foods and Rush Limbaugh).

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 READ MORE


Memorons









Posted on Aug 11, 2010 ENLARGE


Brand New Sharpie









Posted on Aug 11, 2010 ENLARGE    


Rubin
AP / J. Scott Applewhite

The Rubin Con Goes On

The corruptions of journalism were on full display when CNN’s Fareed Zakaria turned to Robert Rubin this past Sunday for advice on how to fix the financial crisis that he, as much as anyone, caused.

Did you miss the live Q & A session? Listen to the podcast here.

Posted on Aug 10, 2010 READ MORE



Illustration based on an image by Bearas (CC-BY-SA)

Germany’s Good Fortune Tips the Scales Against Its Neighbors

The excellent second quarter export and growth results reported by Germany have set that country at an increasing, and increasingly dangerous, distance from the other members of the European Union.

Posted on Aug 10, 2010 READ MORE


washington
Flickr / jmlawlor

Fed Shifts to Bond-Buying Mode to Boost Economy

The Federal Reserve is taking action to try to give the flagging U.S. economy a much-needed jolt by committing to buy up some of the government’s debt in the form of long-term Treasury securities.

Posted on Aug 10, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Samantha Appleton

Give the First Lady a Break

As a political matter, the mother-daughter getaway to a five-star resort on the Spanish Costa del Sol was not a good idea. But I’d just as soon not have my First Family vacations determined by focus groups.

Posted on Aug 8, 2010 READ MORE


Clinton
AP / Mary Altaffer

Married to the Clinton Mob

Out of respect for privacy, even concerning famous people, I wasn’t going to write about the marriage of Chelsea Clinton to a Goldman Sachs alum and budding hedge-fund hustler with the resources to buy a $4 million loft so soon after graduating from Stanford.

Posted on Aug 3, 2010 READ MORE


House of Entitlement

After reading the ethics reports on Reps. Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters, the obvious question is: What is wrong with these people? The tempting answer: They’re members of Congress.

Posted on Aug 3, 2010 READ MORE


Testing a Theory [A Cartoon From China]









Posted on Aug 2, 2010 ENLARGE


Deficit Dope









Posted on Aug 1, 2010 ENLARGE


How Big Government Saved the Malibu

Who could have imagined that the bailout of the auto industry, one of the single most unpopular moves by the Obama administration, would become one of its best talking points?

Posted on Aug 1, 2010 READ MORE


Quack Medicine on Taxes

The modern Republican argument about taxes seems to boil down to two principles, both misguided: Taxes can be reduced, but they can never be allowed to go up. And whatever level taxes are at, they are too high.

Posted on Jul 27, 2010 READ MORE



Financial Reform Bill Rewards Whistle-Blowers

Today on the list: Why asking the troops about don’t ask, don’t tell is a bad idea, the “God hates fags” preacher’s son works against homophobia, and the whistle-blower provision that makes the financial reform bill just a little bit sweeter.

Posted on Jul 27, 2010 READ MORE



ABC

God Save Obama From Elisabeth Hasselbeck

President Obama is scheduled to guest on “The View,” Thursday, marking the first time a sitting president has lowered himself to daytime talk. Hopefully he doesn’t get confused and try to fire Sherri Shepherd, who is not Shirley Sherrod.

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 READ MORE



Troy Jollimore on Markets and Morality

Debra Satz’s new book, “Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale,” raises timely and morally difficult questions about capitalism and free choice and collective and individual rights.

Posted on Jul 22, 2010 READ MORE


An Electoral Dry Run Down Under

It’s rare to see a dry run for an election campaign. But over the next month, Australia will provide a testing ground for some of the core themes in this November’s American elections.

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 READ MORE


Wall Street flags
AP / Mark Lennihan

Obama Makes Financial Overhaul Official

It remains to be seen whether the new financial reform legislation that President Obama signed into law on Wednesday will spare us another economic cataclysm like the recession we’re still in, but for his part, the president seems jazzed about it.

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 READ MORE



AP / J. Scott Applewhite

The Grinches Who Stole Summer

Thanks to the defection of the two relatively enlightened Republican senators from Maine and the quick replacement of the late Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, unemployment checks that had been stalled for millions of American families since early June will soon resume. But for Republicans, it has been a defining issue that will haunt the party.

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / jimg944 (CC-BY)

Will China Rule the World?

Possibly the most fashionable theme in current discussions of the future is whether China will replace the United States as the leading world power.

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock

Deficit Doves

Getting out of the red is the new black. Deficit hawks have swooped down on the U.S. budget. This week, they attacked unemployment benefits.

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / rahim (CC-BY)

China Now Consumes More Energy Than Anyone Else

The United States’ century-long reign as the world’s greediest energy nation is over. China has usurped the throne, as expected, though Beijing reportedly disputes the title. The International Energy Agency, which keeps track of these things, also points out that China’s per capita consumption is below the global average and far less than the U.S.’

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 READ MORE


Kick Ass Future









Posted on Jul 20, 2010 ENLARGE    



Goldman Sachs’ Profit Takes a Major Plunge in Q2

Those of us who have stood aghast and watched as Goldman Sachs seemed to sail almost unscathed through the erupting economic catastrophe of the last two years (thank you, bailout!) might stop now for a moment of pure schadenfreude, as the megabank’s profits took a precipitous dive in the second quarter of this year.

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Socialist Who Coddles Business?

The titans of the private sector say President Obama is anti-business. Many progressives say he coddles business. How does the administration manage to pull that off?

Posted on Jul 18, 2010 READ MORE


Obama

Obama Slams GOP for Obstructing Economic Progress

President Obama came out swinging in his weekly address on Saturday, claiming that his administration has been pushing to help small businesses grow and strengthen the economy and blaming Republican leaders for thwarting his efforts.

Posted on Jul 17, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN



More Champagne for Goldman Sachs

You know you have it made when a $550 million settlement with the SEC boosts your stock by $3 billion. Goldman Sachs’ penalty for selling a fancy investment it secretly bet against was about half what was expected, amounting to just 14 days of earnings. You might say they got away with it.

Posted on Jul 15, 2010 READ MORE


Needing a Playbook, Not a Funk

The Democrats have shifted from sour lassitude into something resembling a sour frenzy, but that’s an improvement. They may still have time to stave off electoral disaster.

Posted on Jul 15, 2010 READ MORE


A Change Election—in the Wrong Direction

The furious and frustrated electorate should be careful when they demand change in the upcoming midterm elections—because what they get may well be very different from what they actually want.

Posted on Jul 14, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Carolyn Kaster

There’s Just No Pleasing Some Robber Barons

The flight from reason that now marks American public discourse came home for me last Friday when I found myself on public radio debating whether Barack Obama is anti-business.

Posted on Jul 13, 2010 READ MORE


Reality and Reform for How the EU Keeps Its Peace

The European Union deliberately has chosen not to challenge the United States as a military or political superpower. This is convenient for most and saves Europe a great deal of money. It is prudent, since no one knows what the U.S. would do if the Europeans undertook a role that challenged American primacy.

Posted on Jul 13, 2010 READ MORE


Japanese flag
Wikimedia Commons

Vote Ties Japanese Parliament in a Knot

Looks like the Japanese government is headed for a frustrating, and potentially ineffectual, phase after Sunday’s election left the nation’s parliament in a “twisted” condition. That’s an actual term, not a value judgment.

Posted on Jul 13, 2010 READ MORE



Photo illustration

New England Republicans Assure Financial Reform Passage

Scott Brown of Massachusetts has decided to support the anemic financial reform bill because, as The Washington Post reports, “he got nearly everything he wanted.” The bill is now expected to pass with the support of at least two other Republicans, including Maine’s Olympia Snowe.

Posted on Jul 13, 2010 READ MORE


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