#4 most popular Cranach post of the year

From January 24, 2014, the fourth most-viewed post on this blog for the year:

Ranking states by how corrupt they are.

Consequences of normalized relations with Cuba

The fallout from President Obama’s decision to extend diplomatic relations to Castro’s Cuba is mixed.  As some worry about another cave-in to tyranny, others are excited about the commercial prospects:

Some Republicans think Obama’s move will put Florida in their column for decades, while some Democrats think the anti-Castro sentiment in Florida’s Cuban population is dying out.  See this.

After the jump, see Sen. Marco Rubio’s reaction.

[Read more...]

We’re recognizing Cuba

In another use of executive power to implement his legacy apart from Congress, President Obama has announced that he is going to extend diplomatic recognition to Cuba.  We will be re-opening our embassy in Havana, ease travel restrictions, and eliminate economic sanctions against the still-Communist regime.   Good idea?  Bad idea?  What does it mean? [Read more...]

The Progressive, big business alliance

Contrary to the conventional wisdom that big business is conservative, big business actually loves big government.  So argues new urbanist Joel Kotkin (a Democrat) in his new book about the actual American elites:  The New Class Conflict.  George Will reviews the book after the jump. [Read more...]

Senate thwarts both left & right to fund government

The Senate passed the $1.1 trillion spending bill, ensuring that the government will not shut down.  Both tea party conservatives AND populist liberals led by Elizabeth Warren opposed the measure.  So did every potential presidential candidate in the Senate of both parties .

(Question:  The Republicans have the tea party, who attack the GOP establishment for its lack of orthodoxy and ties to crony capitalism, to the point of being willing to shut down the government.  What do we call the equivalent on the left, who attack the Democratic establishment and are willing to shut down the government?  The chai party?  Propose something, and maybe it will catch on. [Read more...]

Overcriminalization

It has been estimated that 70% of Americans have inadvertently done something that would send them to prison.  Another estimate is that the average professional commits three felonies a day. The problem is that government, so eager to regulate the populace for its own good, has passed too many laws and issues too many regulations with the force of law, and violations are going to be punished.

George Will, discussing the case of Eric Garner, who was killed by police enforcing the law against black market cigarettes, discusses the problem of “overcriminalization” by reviewing two books on the subject written a few years ago:  Douglas Husak, Overcriminalization: The Limits of the Criminal Law and Harvey Silverglate, Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent. [Read more...]


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