Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Cato: Trading Up: How Expanding Trade Has Delivered Better Jobs and Higher Living Standards for American Workers
SUMMARY: Opponents of trade liberalization have sought to indict free trade and trade agreements by painting a grim picture of the economic state of American workers and households. They claim that real wages have been stagnant or declining as millions of higher-paying middle-class jobs are lost to imports. But the reality for a broad swath of American workers and households is far different and more benign. Contrary to public perceptions: The large majority of Americans, including the typical middle-class family, is measurably better off today after a decade of healthy trade expansion.
Opponents of trade liberalization have sought to indict free trade and trade agreements by painting a grim picture of the economic state of American workers and households. They claim that real wages have been stagnant or declining as millions of higher-paying middle-class jobs are lost to imports. But the reality for a broad swath of American workers and households is far different and more benign.
Contrary to public perceptions:
The large majority of Americans, including the typical middle-class family, is measurably better off today after a decade of healthy trade expansion.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Putin knows his candidate will win. So why is he rigging the election?
Along with political apathy and civic disengagement, Mr. Putin has brought back an old tradition, fear. As in the old days, politics is scary and dangerous. Not many are willing to take the risk when dabbling brings trouble -- say, exile in Siberia (consider the plight of former Yukos boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky), assassination (the crusading journalist Anna Politkovskaya's in 2006 just one among many) or, probably least bad, a few knocks from enthusiastic riot police cracking heads at small opposition protests.
The more vexing question, both morally and strategically, is what
Monday, February 25, 2008
There is an important story here. It has nothing to do with plagiarism.
Until now, Mr. Obama has been making appeals to the center, saying, for example, that we are not red or blue states, but the United States. But in his Houston speech, he used the opportunity...to advocate a distinctly non-centrist, even proudly left-wing, agenda.
The truth is that Mr. Obama is unwilling to challenge special interests if they represent the financial and political muscle of the Democratic left. He says yes to the lobbyists of the AFL-CIO when they demand card-check legislation to take away the right of workers to have a secret ballot in unionization efforts, or when they oppose trade deals. He won't break with trial lawyers, even when they demand the ability to sue telecom companies that make it possible for intelligence agencies to intercept communications between terrorists abroad. And he is now going out of his way to proclaim fidelity to the educational unions. This is a disappointment since he'd earlier indicated an openness to education reform. Mr. Obama backs their agenda down the line, even calling for an end to testing, which is the only way parents can know with confidence whether their children are learning and their schools working.
These stands represent not just policy vulnerabilities, but also a real danger to Mr. Obama's credibility and authenticity. He cannot proclaim his goal is the end of influence for lobbies if the only influences he seeks to end are lobbies of the center and the right.
WSJ.com - Try a Little Tenderness *
So many Americans right now fear they are losing their country, that the old America is slipping away and being replaced by something worse, something formless and hollowed out. They can see we are giving up our sovereignty, that our leaders will not control our borders, that we don't teach the young the old-fashioned love of America, that the government has taken to itself such power, and made things so complex, and at the end of the day when they count up sales tax, property tax, state tax, federal tax they are paying a lot of money to lose the place they loved.
* * *
Michelle Obama seems keenly aware of her struggles, of what it took to rise so high as a black woman in a white country. Fair enough. But I have wondered if it is hard for young African-Americans of her generation, having been drilled in America's sad racial history, having been told about it every day of their lives, to fully apprehend the struggles of others. I wonder if she knows that some people look at her and think "Man, she got it all." Intelligent, strong, tall, beautiful, Princeton, Harvard, black at a time when America was trying to make up for its sins and be helpful, and from a working-class family with two functioning parents who made sure she got to school.
That's the great divide in modern America, whether or not you had a functioning family, and she apparently came from the privileged part of that divide. A lot of white working-class Americans didn't come up with those things. Some of them were raised by a TV and a microwave and love our country anyway, every day.
Does Mrs. Obama know this? I don't know. If she does, love and gratitude for the place that tries to give everyone an equal shot would seem to be in order.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
FYI - tonight -
From: NASA Science News 
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 2:16 PM
Subject: Total Lunar Eclipse
NASA Science News for February 13, 2008
On Wednesday evening, February 20th, the full Moon over the Americas will turn a delightful shade of red and possibly turquoise, too. It's a total lunar eclipse - the last one until Dec. 2010.
FULL STORY at
Monday, February 18, 2008