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

The Middle East Times reports: June 22, 2007 BAGHDAD — Iraqi leaders beginning a weeklong China visit are hinting at reigniting a Saddam-era oil deal, though such a move is clouded by Iraq’s stalled oil law. President Jalal Talabani this week is leading a delegation that includes the oil minister and four other cabinet members, […]

Strategic interest and defining victory

George Lakoff offers a frame to consider about Iraq and the ME. Greenspan’s revelation and the contracts (PSA oil contracts) need to be discussed openly. The question must be asked, “Is our military there for the sake of oil?” I have been struck by the use of the word “victory” by the right wing, especially […]

Fact checking the President on SCHIP does a creditable job with quotes from President Bush’s public statements and links to real data. The summary is posted, but the links and data are worth the time: President Bush gave a false description of proposed legislation to expand the 10-year-old federal program to provide health insurance for children in low-income working families. […]

Ramadi strategy 2006

The Ramadi strategy 2006, prior to the surge, begins success. It’s a dilemma familiar to counterinsurgency strategists: much of the fighting in Ramadi and other places continues because of the American presence, not in spite of it. U.S. commanders tasked with clearing Ramadi, the latest insurgent hub in Anbar Province, aren’t looking to assault the […]

Gallup world poll and extreme global thought

This analysis of Gallup Poll data offers insights for us to seriously think about. It also fits in with John Robb’s expert theory on terrorisms. Often U.S. policy-makers and other intellectuals draw an analogy between the Cold War and the current “global war on terror” and recommend analogous strategies, because, after all, both conflicts battled […]

Pinochio becomes a real boy?

The Pinochio Law carries the fiction of companies as persons to greater depth, finally. Last week, the British government agreed to introduce a new law titled the “Corporate Manslaughter Statute.” This law is remarkable because it attempts to make companies–not persons–criminally responsible for deaths caused by a firm’s gross negligence. In this column, I will […]

Cherry picking facts from captured agencies

dmarek suggested this article about government functions regarding the FDA. “The FDA doesn’t disagree with the scientific information about cherries, but it does say that cherries have not been recognized as safe and effective when used as labeled. Do we need a double-blind placebo-controlled study to prove cherries promote health? Jeffrey May, editor of CCH […]

Air Force increase as predicted

The Foreign Policy In Focus a think tank, reports increases in the role of the US Air Force in Iraq. These assaults are part of what may be the best kept secret of the Iraq-Afghanistan conflicts: an enormous intensification of US bombardments in these and other countries in the region, the increasing number of civilian […]

The Jester

Jester’s Court update e-mail from The JC this week focuses on another acronym: PE. According to, private equity firms have started buying up their own debt at significantly reduced prices. As the author explained, it works a little like this: You pay your friend a few dollars so that you can host a […]

Chickens and the eggs…a parable or paradox?

The Cato Institute’s James Bovard in 1995 had thoughts on private versus public monies. ADM’s finagling in Washington may have cost taxpayers and consumers more than $40 billion since 1980, counting the cost of the sugar program ($3 billion in higher prices each year), the ethanol program, and federal food giveaways and export subsidies. Some […]