Over the past year, I've been reading books inspired by the centenary of World War I, a war with horrific casualties painful to contemplate. What helps in comprehending the scale of the slaughter is a book by one of Bill Gates' favorite authors, the Canadian academic Vaclav Smil, "Creating the Twentieth Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-...Read more
Bill Clinton won the presidency in 1992 by running as a different kind of Democrat from previous nominees. Hillary Clinton, Anne Gearan of The Washington Post reports, is hoping to win the presidency in 2016 by running as the same kind of Democrat as the current incumbent.
There's a certain logic in that. President Obama did win twice, while ...Read more
This spring it seems as if there have been two-point-something Republican presidential candidacy announcements per week. And, since she made her own announcement April 12, Hillary Clinton has answered an average of about two-point-something questions from the press each week.
Those (imprecise) statistics illustrate the asymmetrical nature of ...Read more
"The world may have a polling problem." That's the headline on a blogpost by Nate Silver, the wunderkind founder of FiveThirthyEight. It was posted on 9:54 ET the night of May 7, as the counting in the British election was continuing in the small hours of May 8 UK Time.
That was an hour after the result in the constituency of Nuneaton made it...Read more
Big surprises in Thursday's British election. For weeks, the pre-election polls showed a statistical tie in popular votes between Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party and the Labour opposition led by Ed Miliband. It was universally agreed that neither party could reach a 326-vote majority in the House of Commons. A prominent British...Read more
Skeptics about democracy in the 18th and 19th centuries argued that the enfranchised masses would use their votes to seize the property of the relatively few rich. What could be more natural?
But it hasn't happened, in this country or abroad, to anything like the extent that those would-be Cassandras feared. Nonetheless, we continue to hear ...Read more
Some of Hillary Clinton's defenders have taken to saying that voters shouldn't pay attention to the latest Clinton scandals -- the gushing of often undisclosed millions to the Clintons and their organizations by characters seeking official favors -- because the charges are just one more in a long series: Whitewater, the Rose law firm billing ...Read more
Next week, Britain votes in its first general election in five years. Some aspects of its politics will be familiar to Americans. Polls show voters are dissatisfied with politicians of both parties, cynical about whether they will keep their promises and closely divided between two major parties, which have been in existence for more than 100 ...Read more
Sagittarius After Breaking [Kindle Edition]Jack Serv
A story of a first-generation American and the travails of striving to achieve that American dream through Wall Street; it’s a blend of novel, autobiography, philosophical reflection, and social critique. When up-and-coming Wall Streeter Spiro loses his job in a corporate downsizing, he ...
Like spring, bipartisanship is busting out all over. Even more so maybe: Washington in a time of alleged global warming is suffering through a chilly, wet springtime, but bipartisanship is sprouting up like gangbusters.
Exhibit A is the Corker-Cardin legislation, passed unanimously in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, providing for ...Read more
It was sort of inevitable that on his first day of campaigning as an announced candidate for president earlier this month, Rand Paul would be asked whether he supported a ban on abortions in cases of rape or incest.
Reporters have been asking Republican candidates that question ever since 2012, when the Missouri Republican Senate candidate said...Read more
"I would bet on globalization slowly being in abeyance," tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel said in a video interview with George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen. "I think with the benefit of hindsight, we will realize that 2007 was not just the peak year of the finance boom, but also the peak year of globalization, like maybe 1913."
It's a ...Read more
Presidents are inevitably shaped by the circumstances in which they campaign for -- and come into -- office. In 1932, Franklin Roosevelt called for "bold, persistent experimentation" and followed through once in office. Had Roosevelt run in another year, or had there been no Great Depression, he would have campaigned and governed differently. ...Read more
Two weeks ago, Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for president at Liberty University, and last week, Rand Paul announced at the Galt House hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Marco Rubio is expected to announce this week at the Freedom Tower in Miami. Others will follow.
So what have we learned about the race for the Republican nomination for ...Read more
Is the tide turning against President Obama's purported nuclear weapons deal with Iran? One sign that the answer is yes is the devastating opinion article in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal by former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz.
The architect of Richard Nixon's opening to China and the partner of Ronald Reagan in ...Read more
It's springtime, and the Census Bureau has released its population estimates for counties and metropolitan areas as of July 1, 2014. Initial analysis has focused on year-to-year movements or changes since the 2010 Census -- subjects worthy of attention.
But it's also interesting to take a longer look, to see where population has been booming ...Read more
There has been a great ruckus about Indiana's recently passed religious freedom law. Some, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, see it as endorsing anti-gay bigotry. Democratic Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy has banned state employees from traveling to Indiana, even though Connecticut has a similar law even more favorable to claims of religious ...Read more
There are still nearly two years left in Barack Obama's presidency, but historians looking back on his record in foreign policy will surely identify one costly error: his refusal to follow through on the implied threat in stating that the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons would be a "red line."
That statement was made in a press ...Read more
Our kids, at least many of them, are not doing very well. The reason, writes Harvard professor Robert Putnam in his just-published "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis," is the "two-tier pattern of family structure" that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s and continues to prevail today.
Starting in the late 1960s, rates of divorce, unmarried ...Read more
Rahm Emanuel heads into a runoff April 7 in his bid for a second term as mayor of Chicago. He's the favorite going in, having won 46 percent in the Feb. 24 first round against longtime local officeholder Chuy Garcia's 34 percent and topping 50 percent in recent polls.
Emanuel, President Obama's first White House chief of staff and architect ...Read more
"Firing up America" is the cover line on the March 20 issue of The Economist, heralding a 16-page special report on America's Latinos. Its tone is resolutely upbeat -- perhaps a bit too much so.
"America is lucky to have millions of energetic young people filling its schools with kids who will eventually pay taxes and fund pensions and health ...Read more