The Kausfiles blog at Slate notices Obama’s Secretary of Education breaking with the pack (sorta) on vouchers:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday that poor children getting vouchers to attend private schools in the District of Columbia should be allowed to stay there, putting the Obama administration at odds with Democrats trying to end the program.
Duncan opposes vouchers, he said in an interview with The Associated Press. But he said Washington is a special case, and kids already in private schools on the public dime should be allowed to continue.
“I don’t think it makes sense to take kids out of a school where they’re happy and safe and satisfied and learning,” Duncan told said. “I think those kids need to stay in their school.”
When I think of the potential for future inflation from the combined current actions of the Treasury and Federal Reserve, I need a little comic relief.
With the economy tanking globally, it looks like one government program is creating job growth in Mexico:
MEXICO CITY — One of Mexico’s biggest drug cartels has launched a brazen recruiting campaign, putting up fliers and banners promising good pay, free cars and better food to army soldiers who join the cartel’s elite band of hit men.
“We don’t feed you Maruchan soups,” said one banner in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, referring to a brand of ramen noodles.
The recruiting by the Gulf Cartel reflects how Mexico’s fight against traffickers increasingly resembles a real war, nearly 17 months after President Felipe Calderón ordered the army into drug hot spots.
Barack Obama has been president for a little over a month and innocent people are still getting killed by coalition efforts in Afghanistan. Is it possible that Obama could become as unpopular in the Muslim world as George W. Bush?
Yes, it’s possible. I expect though that the different tone of the Obama Administration will keep him above the Bush unpopularity low though even if the Obama policies are just as upsetting. Obama will at least give lip-service to things that concern the Muslim people of the region and that will be more than Bush did.
That doesn’t mean he won’t be very unpopular though…it just means he will be seen as “better than Bush” by the locals. And who knows? He might do quite a bit better. We’ll see.
I was catching up on the blogs that I follow and came across a link to a research paper on naked capitalism. The paper is entitled “The Financial Crisis and the Systemic Failure of Academic Economics” , co-authored by Colander, Hass, Juselius, Lux, Follmer, Goldberg, Kirman and Sloth.
First off, I have to agree with the fact that most all models used in practice to assess risk, hedge portfolios, and understand the economy are dangerous. They are dangerous in the sense that the models are built on assumptions which may hold true most of the time, but fail to be true all of the time. In fact, this has been a contributing factor to some of the systemic risk which has crippled the financial and economic system.
However, I can’t agree with a statement like this:
Though appointed by Republican Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, and continued his employment under Republican, Governor Charlie Crist, Craig Fugate, Florida’s top emergency manager has been named by Obama as his choice for FEMA director.
In October 2001, Fugate was appointed the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management by Gov. Bush. After the events of 9/11, the division was tasked with the role of managing the Federal Homeland Security funding and developing Florida’s Domestic Security Strategy with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The program has since been recognized as a model for other states.
George Packer elaborates in the New Yorker about the parallels between today’s Republican Party and the Democratic Socialists during the 1980s:
Whom do you trust?
It’s an open question that I’ve been pondering for the past several weeks. The markets have been asking this question, as well — despite billions of additional borrowed money to bail out Citibank and protect AIG’s trading partners, we keep sliding to new lows as debt deflation continues.
Our Treasury Secretary, Turbo Tax Tim Geithner, sat in front of the Ways and Means Committee Tuesday to assure our representatives that his actions, and Obama’s budget proposal, are absolutely necessary to restore our economy. His favorite quote when confronted by pointed questions or painful anecdotes from our current crisis was, “That’s exactly why we need to…” [bail out AIG/increase the TARP/create the TALF/embrace a budget that forecasts a $1.75 trillion deficit].
We all know that one of the major causes of the current economic situation is the decline of home values and the subsequent turmoil this reigns upon the financial system. I’m not going to quote any numbers here or research. If you want to read more details, then go read this.
Taxes were very high, but no real revenue was coming in. That’s because the system of taxes at that time was an early form of income tax that centered on the government taking a large percentage of a farmer’s crops.
So Ching Ti did something bold and innovative: he cut taxes.
Overnight, taxes went from over 50% down to about 3%. Farmers, who had fled to the hills to escape draconian tax rates, now came home and began farming again. To make a long story short, Ching Ti’s greatest problem while governing was trying to keep all the grain in his barns from spoiling.
It seems that ancient Chinese history is good for more than just cutesy script on a fortune cookie.