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

Economic uncertainty for the Average Joe Although we are seeing the economy starting to have as Brad dealing puts it “some unambiguously good unemployment news as new claims dropped below 350,000 for the first time in over two years, the economy is still weak for the average American. MB at Wampum notes that the average […]

Pittsburgh’s Woes Atrios has a good summary of the problems that the city of Pittsburgh faces for the next year. I have gone into long details about the basic problems that the city faces in previous posts. However I will recap the basic problems and provide a quick update on what is going on. Basically […]

Winning the War on Terorrism There are many plans to win the war on terorrism. Some are completely insane, others are pretty decent. Now some non-bloggers, and people with actual influence and power are proposing plans to invade the rest of the world sometime in the second Bush term (there is a good reason why […]

Kurdish Sell-out Watch Continues Juan Cole has a long analytical post that is examing the Kurdish position on self-governance. Basically the Kurds are willing to be a part of Iraq as long as they have an extremely high level of autonomy. If I am understanding these articles, I would imagine that they are seeking a […]

Desperately Poor Countries Brad DeLong recently took a lot of heat in his comments for this statement: I wonder about Bob Herbert: is he smart enough to have, when he looked in the mirror this morning, thought, “I see a man who is trying to keep India a desperately poor country?” Brad’s acerbic comment was […]

Plame On Remember Valerie Plame? Ashcroft has apparently recused himself from the investigation: Attorney General John D. Ashcroft has decided to recuse himself from a widening Justice Department investigation into the leak of an undercover CIA officer’s identity, sources said today. The probe into the disclosure of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s name to a columnist […]

Ephedra Ban Today, the FDA today banned Ephedra, a substance that has no documented beneficial effects and some documented side effects: Manufacturers of the supplement insist their product is safe when taken as directed. But FDA and Health and Human Services Department officials have been saying for months that they would like to ban ephedra […]

Sugar Farmers are Morally Superior to Candy Cane Makers Just as we decided, via the steel tariffs, that Pennsylvania residents are more deserving than Michigan residents (and along the way, made every consumer pay more for goods made out of steel or made with machinery made out of steel), the latest example from the Chicago […]

General Zinni From the Washington Post, a piece on General Anthony Zinni, a self-professed moderate Republican and former chief of the Central Command (U.S. Military Headquarters for African and the Middle East), now dismayed by the administration he endorsed in 2000: [Gen. Zinni] was alarmed that day to hear Cheney make the argument for attacking […]

Progressive Consumption Taxes Ruy T. has an interesting post that got me, once again, thinking about consumption taxes. At first glance, consumption taxes appear intrinsically regressive because poor and middle class households spend most of their income on consumption while wealthy households spend only a fraction of their income on consumption. Suppose there’s a consumption […]