Governor Jerry Brown will leave office next month with a legacy of presiding over one of the biggest public policy failures in the state’s history. The California High-Speed Rail project began in 2008 at an estimated cost of about $39 billion to build high-speed train service between Northern California, Southern California, and the Central Valley. Despite the project having been significantly scaled back, the price tag for the down-sized system is likely approaching $100 billion.
President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met and declared a 90-day cease fire. Where will this end? It’s hard to forecast. Our commander in chief is less predictable than the stock market. But we can opine on what should happen. And we can look for interest — what is in everybody’s interest to have happen?
Robert Mueller’s legal team may write a damning report on Trump’s ethics, based mostly on flipping minor former business associates of Trump’s and transient campaign officials by threatening them with long prison sentences.
What are the three most glorious moments of American diplomacy? One is the Revolutionary War, when the Founding Fathers roped France into an alliance against Britain that saved the novus ordo seclorum from death in infancy. Another is the Louisiana Purchase, by which Thomas Jefferson doubled the size of the country for a mere $15 million (around $300 million today). The third was a triple win engineered by George H.W. Bush: victory in the Cold War, the reunification of Europe and Germany, and the collapse of the Soviet Union on Christmas 1991.
George H.W. Bush’s final visit to the nation’s capital was a stark reminder of how the times have changed in the 25 years since the 41st president left town (an 1889 “Handbook of Official and Social Etiquette and Public Ceremonies at Washington describes the presidential exodus thus: “His departure from the Capital is attended with no ceremony, other than the presence of the members of his late Cabinet and a few officials and personal friends. The President leaves the Capital as soon as practicable after the inauguration of his successor.”)
Graciousness and toughness. Contradictory attributes though these may seem, in George Herbert Walker Bush they existed in equal, remarkably abundant measure. Start with the toughness. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the future president could have stayed in school. Instead, he enlisted in the US Navy at age 18 and became a pilot a year later.
How am I lucky to have the career I have and the economic security I have? Let me list the ways. I was born of two parents who loved me but who did not spoil me and who gave me an above average set of inherited skills. They created a love of reading in me as well as some measure of kindness and honesty. I did not choose my parents. I am so lucky.
On Tuesday, November 27, the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers co-sponsored an event called “The 2018 Elections: What Do They Mean for American Education?” Moderated by Michelle Ringuette, assistant to the president for labor, government & political affairs at the American Federation of Teachers, the panel featured Domingo Morel, assistant professor of political science at Rutgers University, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers and the Albert Shanker Institute, and Fordham Insitute president Michael Petrilli.
Anyone examining Islam in Saddam’s Iraq (1979-2003) and the legacy of that period today is quickly confronted with a tangled web of problematic definitions and eclectic ideologies. Untangling this web is essential for identifying what really drives Iraqi politics, and doing so provides one with some hope that sectarian differences can still be overcome. Paradoxically, it also does not augur well for the chances for stability in the country anytime soon.
On February 11, 2019 Iran will celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Iranian revolution and the creation of Iran’s Islamic government guided by a clerical leader known as the vali-e-faqih. This anniversary is important for numerous reasons including that the Islamic Republic, having survived many political storms, has outlasted the expectations of many. Under renewed political and economic pressure from US sanctions and Washington’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Iran nuclear agreement, this anniversary has added symbolism for Tehran.
Below is the Winter 2018 Supplement for Bradley & Goldsmith, Foreign Relations Law: Cases and Materials (6th ed. 2017). These materials cover, among many other things, the Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. Hawaii (the “travel ban” case), which is excerpted with questions; the Supreme Court’s decision in Jesner v. Arab Bank concerning corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute; the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal; legal issues raised by U.S. missile strikes against Syria.
Many people have been critical of Facebook in the last few years and many of the criticisms have been justified. It often does bring out the meanness in people when they comment on political events or on other people. But Facebook has a huge upside also. I experienced it from late Saturday to now. The upside is that it allows people to express their sympathies to a person when something bad happens to him or his loved ones.
I’m reading and enjoying David Warsh’s Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations. I hadn’t read it when it came out, but I need to now to write the Paul Romer bio for The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Warsh, who was a long-time economics columnist for the Boston Globe, is an excellent writer. Not many people can write a 300+ page book about economic thinking that is a suspenseful page turner. Normally I hate suspense in non-fiction writing; I want the author to tell me the damn point in the first few pages. But Warsh has succeeded in keeping me reading.
Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond talks about US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's comment that China has agreed to eliminate tariffs on imported automobiles and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow's comment that the US and China are “pretty close” to an agreement on stopping intellectual property theft.
Investors supposedly hate uncertainty, but the uncertainty of a 90-day delay to extra tariffs on China turned out to be better than the certainty of extra tariffs. Stocks soared Monday and the dollar weakened as markets welcomed the cease-fire over the weekend in the U.S.-China trade war.
As President Trump enters a tough new phase in his hardline offensive against China, he now has allies he lacked in his other high-profile attacks on the status quo — the establishment. Unlike his attacks on NAFTA, immigrants, climate science and Obamacare — which triggered denunciation by critics in and outside the U.S. — Trump finds himself in the embrace, if conditional, of mainstream experts when it comes to China.
“What happened this time was an ethics disaster for the world,” according to Wang Yuedan, a professor of immunology at Peking University, as quoted in The New York Times. He was talking about the recent claim by U.S.-trained Chinese scientist He Jiankui that he’d successfully altered the DNA in vitro of human embryos that were later born as twin girls in China. If true as claimed, the edits he made would be inherited by any of their future offspring.
Donald Trump's takeover of the GOP seemed to come into even clearer view this week with the passing of another Republican president, George H.W. Bush. But while the contrasts between the two men are stark — America as a kinder, gentler nation versus America first — it can be argued the foundation for the 45th president was laid during the administration of the 41st.
The predicament was dire. Otherwise, they never would have called in the women. Fighting in France in World War I, the United States Army was having trouble with the phones. With speed essential in the dispatch of information, calls weren’t getting through fast enough.