Saturday November 01, 2014
May 29th, 2014
Real estate mania lives on at the HGTV cable channel, where house shoppers still holler for granite on their kitchen islands and his-and-her sinks in their en suite bathrooms. But in the non-TV reality of middle-class America, the bloom is definitely off the real estate rose.
The rose isn't dead, mind you. Surveys show an enduring desire to own one's home, despite the trauma left by the real estate meltdown and recession. But the love is not what it was.
By laying out a long-term foreign policy vision in a speech at West Point on Wednesday, President Obama challenged his critics, at home and abroad, not to speak in vague terms about American "decline" or "weakness" but to answer the question: Exactly what would you do differently?
In the post-Cold War era, it was possible to hold grand illusions and chase utopian dreams. As President Obama understands, and his foreign policy critics fail to grasp, that time is past.
We live now in a post-post-Cold War world. At West Point this week, Obama attempted to sketch a different kind of U.S. leadership -- less messianic and martial, more cautious and collaborative -- designed to deal with things as they are, not as we might have hoped they would be.
A hush has fallen over our house.
It began late Tuesday night and, if we are fortunate, will last at least a week.
But it will return. We have no illusions that there will be continued quiet.
That’s because we are in the middle of yet another election cycle.
The first thing that occurs to an observer is that this is a mismatch in weight classes. The big-gutted officers fit in the sumo category. The college students? They fit in the stringy category.
Stringy but strong-willed, they stand tall — even as they get riot-batoned in their torsos, cuffed and dragged away.
As troubling as the video is — YouTube it yourself -- it is very encouraging, because this is not Berkeley in 1968. It’s 2011.
It is often said that judges don't make the law. Their role is to interpret it in disputes; however, without doubt some strange interpretations do turn up from time to time. Some are so outrageous that it is difficult not to dismissively categorize all judges as rather strange, carried away with their own power.
Why is everyone piling on President Barack Obama's foreign policy - and how fair is the criticism?
A friend inside the administration asked me those questions last week, knowing that I'd been a critic for some time. The notion that President Obama has been too passive, until recently a minority view, seems to be gelling into conventional wisdom.
Nearly fifteen years ago, I participated in a project with a major American newspaper trying to chart its course from print to digital.
The Internet was in the midst of its first rampage through traditional business, with the industries then known as "mass media" directly in its path.
Today's subject is housing, and as part of my research I've been going through the U.S. Constitution, looking for the exact words that guarantee Americans access to a 30-year, fixed-rate home mortgage.
I haven't found the provision yet, but it must be in there somewhere: As everyone knows from listening to the debate over fixing our damaged housing finance system, the long-term fixed, or FRM for short, is as essential to America as free speech or the right to a jury trial.
The standard argument - really, the only argument - against raising the minimum wage is that it will lead to job loss. The argument is beloved by die-hard opponents of raising the wage because it provides them with a veneer, however flimsy, of concern about the welfare of the working poor.