This issue: June 13, 2011 (Vol. 16, No. 37)
The Obama administration is 0-for-3 in meeting economic expectations. In 2009, President Obama and his advisers believed the bountiful stimulus package would give the economy a strong jolt. It didn’t, and still hasn’t. In 2010, Obama declared Recovery Summer and predicted a surge in employment. The economy lost 283,000 jobs over the summer. This year, Obama expected a significant ratcheting up of jobs and growth. There’s been a ratcheting down.
The White House always has an excuse. Obama’s economic policies are never at fault. The problem in 2009, according to Obama? The economy was in worse shape than he’d feared when he took office. In 2010, ...
The issue of nuclear power will be front and center when German chancellor Angela Merkel visits Washington this week. Consider the ...
Can he win Iowa?
Standing with his back to a mirror that spans the width of a private dining room at Tish’s Restaurant in this western Iowa town, Tim Pawlenty sought the support of the locals who had come to hear him by making a peculiar pitch: I’m less objectionable than my likely Republican primary opponents.
“Everybody’s got a few clunkers in their record,” Pawlenty says. “I think mine are fewer and less severe than most.”
The crumbling real estate market.
There was supposed to be some good news amidst the dismal report card the U.S. real estate market got last week. On average, houses have lost a third of their value since their ...
Washington luxuriates in a crisis.
They are buying limousines in Washington. Lots of them. The number of government limousines increased by 73 percent during the first two ...
The perils of living beyond our means.
The U.S. economy might be on the verge of a double-dip recession, while Europe is paralyzed by a massive debt crisis afflicting the governments on the periphery of the eurozone. ...
What America needs is a better class of left-winger.
Although it’s gauche to ask, one can’t help wondering: Do the Obamacrats love America? If so, how come? Would they please be specific?
What would Jesus do about the deficit?
Right after Easter, the irrepressible evangelical-left activist Jim Wallis of Sojourners magazine announced a new “spiritual battle” against cuts to sacred federal programs in the 2012 budget. Enlisting the U.S. Conference of ...
As the great comic-book bubble showed, sometimes there’s no recovery from a speculative boom
What Tolstoy wrote about families is true of economics: Boom times are all alike, but every crash is disastrous in its own way. That’s why stories about bursting bubbles are always instructive. There are lessons in the smallest of them, even the bubble that led to the comic book crash of 1993.
Once upon a time comic books were ubiquitous and worthless. Sold in drugstores for a dime during the 1930s and ’40s, they were fun, pulpy reading for kids and youths. Issues were printed by the hundreds of thousands—even a million for the top titles—and then read, passed around in classrooms, locker rooms, and barracks, and eventually thrown away. A few ...
Time for a real growth agenda
It’s easy to get caught up in the details of the political battle of the day over the nation’s economic and fiscal health—after all, that’s what we do in Washington. Unfortunately, many of our decision-makers and opinion leaders possess the skills required for ...
Anything new from the old China hand?
by Henry Kissinger
Penguin, 608 pp., $36
Properly understood, this is not a book about what Henry Kissinger accomplished in the realm of U.S.-China relations, but rather a book about China herself: an attempt to answer the questions, what sort of civilization and country is China? And what sort of international behavior can we expect ...
They have seen the future, and it whirls and tilts
101 reasons to get excited over nothing.
Like most Americans, I have constructed my personality and lifestyle almost entirely by consulting magazines. I have purchased the “10 ...
Big notions of adultery in the smallest state.
It’s not 3-D, and here are the reasons why.
From roughly 1982 to 2007, the motion-picture industry was transformed financially by the advent of the VCR and the DVD—new technologies ...
The urban/e vision of Canaletto and his rivals.
Most sophisticated museumgoers would think it ineffably crass to complain about Cezanne’s unending sequence of apples and peaches, or the ...
Joseph Epstein, finally well read
At English department parties of many moons past, or so I have been told, once all had become properly snockered, a popular game commenced in which everyone confessed to what he or she hadn’t read. The game had a crescendo quality as the intellectual stakes rose. “I’ve never read Christopher Marlowe,” a Renaissance English specialist might admit at the outset. “That’s nothing,” a Romantic poetry man might add, “I’ve never read, and won’t allow in the house, Wordsworth’s Prelude.” “Paradise Lost—forget about it!” Finally, as things continued, escalating nicely, someone would admit to never having read Homer or Hamlet and everyone could go home.
John Edwards on Trial
Late last week former North Carolina senator and 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards was indicted on charges that he violated campaign finance laws during his 2008 presidential campaign.
While many readers might be familiar with the broad outlines of the Edwards scandal, The Scrapbook feels obligated to recap the sordid saga, and to spell out some of the new details revealed in USA v. Johnny Reid Edwards—just for the sake of posterity.
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