The United States government has been engaged with Africa for several years. One area in which the Bush administration was very successful was in making Africa a top policy priority (though it is certainly up for debate whether the increase in aid helped African countries or made them more dependent), earning the praise of humanitarian advocates like Bono.
President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee went to her first set of confirmation hearings yesterday. You can watch them live on the best network ever, C-SPAN! I am wary of some of the things I’ve heard about her, namely the most popular quote used to justify a “no” vote for her.
“I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,”
Congressman Poe gave a principled four minute speech about the qualifications of who should be nominated to the SCOTUS two months ago.
Over the last few months, I’ve not been surprised to read that recent events have thrown a bit of doubt on the Efficient Markets [EM] theory. As defined in an article this weekend in the Financial Times, EM is “the theory … that market participants are governed by rational expectations and markets are self-correcting.”
If I understand this theory correctly, the correlation in practicality is that the most prudent long-term investment portfolio for the modest, ordinary investor, i.e. the one with the best risk-security ratio, would be something with a lot of Dow-type common stocks, because the collective markets take all factors into account quicker than any individual can do it.
Yes, it was indeed 100 years ago yesterday that the House passed a resolution to send the 16th Amendment to the states for ratification, thereby establishing the federal income tax.
Since then, teenage socialists everywhere quickly realized the sins of their ways the day they received their first paycheck….or, the percentage they were allowed to take home at least. (Oh, I’m sorry, did you think you were getting the full amount?)
The tax system in the United States is terribly complicated, and when all of the rules, regulations and instructions are written out, it fills more than 70,000 pages. The darn thing is so confusing that Americans spend about $300 billion per year to hire professionals to pay their taxes for them.
Democrats in Congress may be backing down from their support of Manuel Zelaya:
There are tentative signs from Democrats in Congress of support for the forces that removed Honduras President Manuel Zelaya from power at the end of June.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of a key House subcommittee with jurisdiction over Honduras, roundly criticized both factions at a Friday hearing. But he also stopped short of calling for Zelaya’s immediate reinstatement, which he’d done in previous statements.
The health-care debate has shown, it seems to me, a failure on both sides to create a coherent, compelling message. Liberals have been bogged down by the costs of a potential plan, as the U.S. continues to rack up massive debt. Conservatives, on the other hand, have had trouble offering up a strong alternative to the Democrats’ plan.
The talk of a second stimulus is beginning to pick up. It should go without saying that I do not support any additional “stimulus” - but, regardless of my views on the pros and cons, the whole debate needs to be viewed from a different perspective. Instead of Republicans and Democrats debating policy, or economists discussing multipliers and the GDP gap, we should focus on the failure of central planning.
The 46th Vice-President may be out of office, but he’s still in the news:
The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.
The report that Mr. Cheney was behind the decision to conceal the still-unidentified program from Congress deepened the mystery surrounding it, suggesting that the Bush administration had put a high priority on the program and its secrecy.
The skepticism over Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s pick to replace David Souter on the Supreme Court, is growing and the numbers don’t look good:
The Federal Reserve on Thursday launched a robust defense of its independence and warned that efforts in Congress to put monetary policy under political sway would hurt the economy.
Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn said opening up some of the U.S. central bank’s most sensitive decisions to political scrutiny could result in higher long-term interest rates and hurt the United States’ credit rating.