Monthly Archives: January 2011

Why Egypt Matters

Political protests continued throughout Egypt yesterday and today, though in smaller numbers due to a violent crackdown by security forces. The government has banned public gatherings and has arrested thousands, deploying baton-wielding riot police, tear gas, and plainclothes officers. Nonetheless, … Continue reading

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State of the Union: Strong. State of the Future: Winnable

I don’t have much to say on the policy pronouncements in the speech last night. Innovation, investment, infrastructure, more science fairs. Sounds good. I can’t get at any deeper analysis because my mind is clouded by one overarching theme. The … Continue reading

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Neither Bread Nor Freedom in the Arab World

Among watchers of Middle East politics it is often wondered: Is the main problem with Arab regimes that they are too strong, or too weak? The "too weak" case: Authoritarian Arab regimes have no popular legitimacy and often fail at … Continue reading

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Ronald Reagan: Fiscal Fraud for 100 Years and Counting

"What would President Reagan think about all the commotion surrounding his 100th birthday?" asks John Boehner in his op-ed contribution to the USA Today‘s Reagan tribute series. So I learned, for the first time, that there is apparently "commotion" in … Continue reading

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Horray, China Has a Problem With Special Interests Too

Last week, Secretary Gates expressed concern that China’s civilian and military leadership may be operating at cross-purposes. On Monday a followup piece spelled out the larger trend of diffusion of power across the Chinese system, as rival centers of authority … Continue reading

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On Hell, Handbaskets, and Paul Krugman’s Freakout

Paul Krugman got a lot off his chest this morning. His column argues that the problem facing America is a deep ideological division on the proper role of government, and vast differences in our "moral imaginations" expressed by intractable partisan … Continue reading

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Who Controls China’s Military? And Who Controls the Controllers?

I give basically no credence to the "China is a looming threat" genre of political punditry. My basic view, from a recent post: [T]he global economy is not a zero-sum game, and the continuing ascendancy of developing countries like China … Continue reading

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Except for Pattern of Murderous Behavior, Murderer Was Quiet, Kept to Himself

When I saw this Washington Post headline, I thought it was a parody: Neighbors: Jared Loughner and family quiet, kept to themselves […] Neighbors and former classmates from nearby Mountain View High School described Loughner and his parents as loners … Continue reading

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The Real Problem with Rhetorical Excess

In the wake of the attempted Giffords assassination, there has been a predictable debate on whether the climate of violent political rhetoric may have “caused” or “contributed to” the attack. In Slate, Jack Shafer writes in defense of inflamed political … Continue reading

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Regulation Nation

I’ve been meaning to respond to Charles Krauthammer’s latest column. In it, Krauthammer accuses the president of circumventing the legislative opposition to his “social-democratic” agenda by simply issuing executive regulatory orders instead. He lists three such instances of regulatory bypass … Continue reading

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TSA and the Infantilization of America

A few weeks ago I had said I was looking forward to the opportunity of opting out of the airport backscatter irradiation device and receiving my government-issued manual genital massage. No such luck. Much like James Fallows’ recent experience, I … Continue reading

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