Mario Monti at the European Commission. A launching point for Italian politics? source: nytimes
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Friday, December 28, 2012
Speaking after meeting with Congressional leaders, President Obama could have used the crisis to propose a seismic shift in American federalism in line with reducing the federal debt. Getty Images
The federal system is out of balance. In addressing this problem rather than merely symptoms such as the "fiscal cliff," the debt-ceiling, and the huge deficits themselves, President Obama could have transcended the fixation on averting the fiscal cliff by enacting transformational leadership in order to restore balance to American federalism. While not a perfect or flawless solution, realigning the federal balance of power could have set the United States on a more viable trajectory forward in the long term, as evinced in reductions in the federal deficits and accumulated debt. If we do not trust the states to pick up the slack (as envisioned by the American founders), then we do not trust ourselves, in which case not even a federal government can save us from ourselves.
Prime Minister Ponta of Romania: Propped up by Barroso? exclusivnews.ro
Thursday, December 27, 2012
President Morsi speaking behind the seal of Egypt, suggesting a "good of the whole" orientation. source: csmonitor
Friday, December 21, 2012
U.S. President Obama nominates U.S. Sen. John Kerry to be U.S. Secretary of State. Reuters
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Latvia's PM Valdis Dombrovskis wants to push forward on the euro without a referendum. At what cost politically though? Getty Images
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
This graph isolates the deficits in goods imported/exported. source: thismatters.com
Friday, December 14, 2012
David Cote, CEO of Honeywell. Civic duty or getting "his people" back in line in Washington? Bloomberg News
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Putting major questions of policy to the people in a direct and easily-understandable way enfranchises the people and thus energizes a democratic system. In the case of Britain as an E.U. state, consulting the British people as the E.U. heads toward “more perfect union” can be done in such a way that a clear mandate is gained in a timely manner.
At the end of 2012, the state of Britain was effectively in “no-man’s land” in Europe because the “economics only” view of the E.U. no longer fit the actual political nature of the union. Indeed, the latter was gradually strengthening with even more governmental sovereignty being transferred to the union, especially in the “euro-zone.” Acting as though the E.U. were merely a common market effectively had left Britain out in the cold of the North Atlantic even while being “in the room.” Something, in other words, had to give.
Was Britain as an E.U. state simply a mistake or had the British not gotten the memo on the nature of the union? Or had the union itself changed even as the Brits held firm to a “suddenly”-antiquated conception? In any case, the very different conception of the E.U. itself was enervating the union itself, as well as putting Britain in an uncomfortable and unsustainable position and therefore sapping the state too. It was past time, as of the end of 2012, for the House of Commons to put the matter to the people of Britain in a simple and concise way without confusing or manipulating the voters. In short, a very basic decision could and should have been put to the popular sovereign without meandering on in a virtual no-man’s land.