Archive

Date

November 20th, 2014

China, Coal, Climate

    It's easy to be cynical about summit meetings. Often they're just photo ops, and the photos from the latest Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, which had world leaders looking remarkably like the cast of "Star Trek," were especially cringe-worthy. At best - almost always - they're just occasions to formally announce agreements already worked out by lower-level officials.

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Obamacare vs. Scaliacare

    Republican leaders in the House and Senate have made clear that they'll deploy every weapon in the legislative arsenal to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They'll try to chip away at the taxes that support it and abolish the mandates that make its insurance markets work.

    They might even stand on their heads and stop breathing if that would do the trick.

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A lethargic electorate stuck in place

    For all the millions spent on advertising in both parties for the midterm elections, voter turnout was the lowest since World War II, according to the U.S. Elections Project at the University of Florida.

    The deplorable news only demonstrates the ineffectiveness of unrestricted campaign giving to broaden the electorate, and instead magnifies the power of the dollar to persuade those who do show up at the polls.

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A Long Two Years

    No matter how it pans out it is going to be a long rough two years waiting for the next election. It is reasonable to expect it to be an awakening for those who could not be bothered to vote or, just as bad, succumbed to the advertising purchased by those untraceable dollars.

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An accord the planet needed

    The minute we glimpse a flicker of hope in the fight against climate change, Republicans in Congress announce their intention to snuff it out. Fortunately for the planet, it seems they can't.

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Congress Extends Itself

    Let's play: So You Think You Can Make Tax Policy!

    Really, it's going to be exciting. Along the way we will get to discuss the latest exploits of the billionaire Koch brothers, machinations by possible presidential hopeful Paul Ryan, and gossip about at least one entertainment celebrity.

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Germany's fiscal Berlin Wall

    No consequence of the Berlin Wall's crumbling on Nov. 9, 1989, is more astonishing than that hideous structure's conversion from a source of German shame to a source of German pride. Formerly obsessed with the sad fact the Wall ever went up, Germans spent the 25th anniversary of its fall trumpeting the fact that they tore it down.

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Net Neutrality Rules

    Is there anybody out there who opposes net neutrality?

    Net neutrality, of course, is the principle that calls for the Internet to remain free and open - with no "fast lanes" that would allow some content providers to take priority over others. This week, Washington was buzzing with talk about net neutrality, yet out-and-out critics were hard to find.

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Obama's gone 'old-school net neutrality'

    Tim Wu is the Columbia law professor who coined the phrase "net neutrality" in a 2003 law journal. He is one of the most influential voices in favor of regulation of portions of the broadband Internet. We talked about what he made of President Barack Obama's call Monday for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify broadband as a more heavily regulated Title II service, a move that infuriated Internet service providers but thrilled Wu. Excerpts:

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Our biggest threat is not the Islamic State but inequality

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