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

WTO GATS and protectionism or nationalism

Heritage notes that anti-dumping lawsuits have increased in the US and the administration is not attending to global free trade as we have dropped below the top ten. Such measures are supposed to be used to prevent other countries from selling their goods here at below-market prices, and that makes sense. But as Index co-editor […]

Patriotism is done by people, not companies

BBC reports: A $1.2bn (£590m) contract for training Iraqi police was so badly managed that auditors do not know how the money was spent, the US state department says.The programme was run by a private US company, DynCorp. It insists there has been no intentional fraud.Auditors have stopped trying to audit the programme because all […]

A new GI Bill

NYT suggests this deficit spending. Veterans today have only the Montgomery G.I. Bill, which requires a service member to pay $100 a month for the first year of his or her enlistment in order to receive a flat payment for college that averages $800 a month. This was a reasonable enlistment incentive for peacetime service, […]

Another restroom post? Intellectual conumdrums

Salon published an essay on restrooms and handwashing, perhaps because AB has persisted in posting on this issue. So far this year Americans have used 1.8 million tons of paper towels and tissue, according to the American Forest & Paper Association, an industry group. There are approximately 3 million hand dryers installed in the country […]

Strategic Outreach Non-profit

SOFAR: Strategic Outreach to Families of All Reservists The Psychoanalytic Couple and Family Institute of New England (PCFINE), with the support of other psychoanalytic groups throughout the country, has launched a new pro bono program called SOFAR: Strategic Outreach to Families of All Reservists. Through this program, SOFAR coordinates the delivery of psychotherapy and psycho-educational […]

Ecuador and water

Ecuador’s experiment in private water markets is not ending well. It is a well kept secret that Bechtel won a contract to privatize the water in Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, just months after the massive citizen protests that threw Bechtel out of Bolivia.In October 2000, a local Bechtel subsidiary, Interagua, signed a 30-year concession contract […]

Waterboarding reality

Small Wars Journal posted a piece by former SERE trainer (hat tip to News Trust and then TPM to get me to Small Wars Journal) …In fact, waterboarding is just the type of torture then Lt. Commander John McCain had to endure at the hands of the North Vietnamese. As a former Master Instructor and […]

Mankiw and Krugman and the AMT

The Baltimore Sun and Jay Hancock reports that Greg Mankiw and Paul Krugman agree on the AMT. The vote is tomorrorow. John Berry reports the hedge and possible Bush viewpoint.

Another way not to pay for Social Security

AARP has a report on current SSA procedures and standing. For those that think Social Security is wrong, so be it, but it is there and is promised. Texans were already lining up to get help at the Social Security office in Pasadena, a suburb of Houston, at 8 a.m., an hour before the office […]