Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Anbar and Pakistan

John Robb offers a viewpoint on progress in Iraq and lessons to be learned. When the Askariya shrine was bombed in February 2006, it fractured Iraqi social systems along religious lines. In the fighting that followed, Sunni guerrilla groups underwent a transformation from small and loosely connected to large and bureaucratic. This change was driven […]

Torture legalities have to be open

Elizabeth De la Vega weighs in as a former prosecutor on the torture issue arguments for real life law as practiced by the DOJ. It is worth thinking about. Current opinions on the justification for waterboarding are secret, and legal arguments in its favor less than convincing. The DOJ trial attorneys handling the real-life prosecution […]

A look at costs of doing nothing

Several economists have prepared a report through American Progress about costs of poverty (not cost of programs to address the issue). Most arguments for reducing poverty in the U.S., especially among children, rest on a moral casefor doing so—one that emphasizes the unfairness of child poverty, and how it runs counter to ournational creed of […]

Weekend reading

Mother Jones has a set of questions about the ‘how’ of Iraq and interviews over fifty people. While not in depth on any one issue, the write up has a breadth that offers a wide range of topics and viewpoints. The publication has a point of view but lays out several issues well for the […]

Social Security again and again

Adding to the pile on with PGL, that the so called demographic bulge is a myth for social security, and perhaps Medicare and Medicaid. CBO reports clearly Rising health care costs and their consequences for federal health insurance programs constitute the nation’s central fiscal challenge.Sources of Growth in Projected Federal Spendingon Medicare and Medicaid (Percentage […]

Nuclear Bomb justifies.

Combating Nuclear Terrorismin this GAO report on the mushroom cloud high priority reveals we are barely to first base. Are we paralyzed with fear or just used to chatter that is scarey, like a monster movie that makes us shiver but we know is not real. Do you know your disaster escape route? Not me, […]

Consistency, expertise, idealogy, and ?

Salon reports: President Bush late last month nominated retired Lt. Gen. James Peake to be the next secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is not an inconsequential wartime post: The department is the second-largest government agency after the Defense Department. And the VA faces the awesome responsibility of caring for several generations of […]

De-salinization side effects

Rethinking desalination (Hat tip toThe Issue.) Last month saw the release of a UN report that paints a very bleak picture of how humans are shepherding natural resources on the planet. One of the greatest causes for concern is our use of fresh water, without which life is impossible.Demands for fresh water come from both […]

Radical idea

Foriegn Affairs has published an article concerning how we might proceed a little differently with globalization. Advocates of engagement with the world economy are now warning of a protectionist drift in public policy. This drift is commonly blamed on narrow industry concerns or a failure to explain globalization’s benefits or the war on terrorism. These […]

Medicaid and cost containment

This GAO report makes for a perplexing stumbling block to cost savings. Many of these individuals accumulated substantial assets, including million-dollar houses and luxury vehicles, while failing to pay their federal taxes. In addition, some case studies involved businesses that were sanctioned for substandard care of their patients. Despite their abusive and related criminal activity, […]