Egypt: Now Truly Under Military Rule

By on 5.29.14 | 4:26PM

Egypt has elected a new president, giving the Egyptian army official control of the government to add to its hold on internal security, media, and the economy.

Former general Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi received 92 percent of the vote. That was out of a total of 23 million votes, well up from winner Mohammed Morsi's 12 million in 2012. Voter turnout, however, was 46 percent, compared to 52 percent in the 2012 election, and el-Sissi had been hoping to prove his legimitacy to the world with a well-attended election. To make matters worse, most of these votes came on days two and three of the election, after the state began shaming, bribing, and otherwise coercing people into voting. According to the AP:

India’s Upset Election Could Spell Promise or Persecution For Religious Liberty

By on 5.29.14 | 12:19PM

India elected a new party into power last week, and only time will tell whether the hopeful predictions of economic growth or the gloomy portents of religious persecution are more correct.

The election surprised analysts because the BJP party—which was so small it has not even had minority governing power since 2004—took 282 seats and the right to elect a prime minister, Narendra Modi. Modi was elected on his record as a decisive leader who turned around the economy of the Gujarat state as its governor.

The BJP's victory was remarkable as an example of a violence- and corruption-free political upset in the world's largest democracy. But Dr. Timothy Shah, whose father hails from Gujarat, finds it worrying.

Modi’s campaign focused primarily on economic issues, but it is ultimately a right-wing Hindu nationalist party. Shah worries that the people’s natural desire for better economic leadership as their country grows could lead to “grave and unintended consequences for democracy and religious liberty.”

"Modi was probably personally complicit in a pogrom that killed 1,000 to 2,000 Muslims in 2002," Shah said during a Heritage Foundation panel yesterday.

Politico Shaky on This Whole “Private Sector” Thing

By on 12.6.13 | 12:13PM

If you want to see how far notions of neo-Keynesianism and government omnipotence have seeped into Washington's conventional wisdom, have a look at today’s Politico lineup. One of the articles, headlined "Improving economy defies Washington, for now," has one of the funnier ledes I've seen in a while:

Washington has tried very hard this year to crush the economy with debt ceiling fights, clumsy budget cuts, a government shutdown and complete legislative gridlock. It does not appear to be working.

Funny, that. It’s almost as though—and talk me down if I sound crazy here—the private sector hums along just fine if we cut federal spending. In fact it seems like—and hold onto your hats for this one—the economy functions better if the government has its hands tied and can’t pass new legislation.

Geithner Says Obama Policies ‘Incredibly Effective,’ Calls Romney Claims ‘Ridiculous’

By on 4.15.12 | 11:15AM

President Obama’s economic policies “were incredibly effective,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday, crediting the president with having prevented a depression.

While admitting it is “still a very tough economy out there,” Geithner said the administration is “making a lot of progress” and said “the broad indicators are pretty encouraging.”

Interviewed on ABC’s This Week, Geithner was asked by host George Stephanopoulos about the gloomy forecasts from economists such as New York University professor Nouriel Roubini, who called the current recovery “anemic, subpar, below trend, below potential.”

Geithner suggested Obama could not be blamed for that, saying “if he'd had more support from his opponents in Congress, then we could have got more things passed that would have put more people back to work more quickly.”

Michigan’s Missin’ Ya

By on 12.23.10 | 12:27PM

The Wolverine State received the worst, but not unexpected, news from the Census data released earlier this week. From the New York Times:

While every other state in the nation gained population over the past decade, Michigan shrank. And yet, as word seeped across frozen towns like this one on Wednesday, almost no one seemed even mildly surprised. This was, many here said with resignation, just one last, official confirmation of Michigan's long, grim and gloomy slide.

"We used to enjoy a bit of a strut," said Jerry Becker, a welder, recalling an era when Michigan's automotive powerhouses ruled the world and salaries here felt lavish. "But that's long gone. We all know by now that everybody thinks of Michigan as a bad place to live - a place that doesn't seem to have much of a future."

If any state is ready to be done with the 2000s, it is this one.

The Watchdog Bites: SIGTARP Report Slams Administration for ‘Manipulated’ Data

By on 10.25.10 | 3:54PM

In a scathing 338-page report released today, a federal watchdog exposes the failure of the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailout and suggests Treasury Department officials engaged in a politically motivated attempt to hide losses at bankrupt insurance giant AIG with "manipulated" data.

"Treasury should have disclosed that it had changed its valuation methodology and should have published a side-by-side comparison of its new numbers with what the projected losses would be under the auditor-approved methodology that Treasury had used previously and will use in the future," says the report from the office of Neil Barofsky, special inspector general known as SIGTARP. "This conduct has left the Treasury vulnerable to charges it has manipulated its methodology for calculating losses to present two different numbers depending on its audience."

Democrat Jane Harman Profits From Firm Outsourcing California Jobs Overseas

By on 10.3.10 | 11:34PM

California Democrat Rep. Jane Harman's family business is laying off American workers - including engineering employees in California - and shifting jobs overseas.

A letter from the human resources director of one Harman company, obtained exclusively by The American Spectator, describes a "permanent" layoff of dozens of California workers that went into effect last week.

"I am writing to inform you that Harman Consumer, Inc. has decided to consolidate their global engineering operations located at 8500 Balboa Boulevard, Northridge, California 91329, to Shenzhen, China," Sandra Buchanan wrote in the letter dated July 20. "The separation is expected to be on September 30, 2010 and will affect forty-eight (48) employees. . . . The layoffs are expected to be permanent . . . ."

Granholm: Stay the Course

By on 2.5.10 | 12:56PM

In her final State of the State (yes, it should have been a real S.O.S.) address on Wednesday night, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm told her constituents -- suffering under 14.7 percent unemployment -- to just keep on keepin'-on.

The Dems Lowest-Rated Governor?

By on 7.14.09 | 10:38PM

Most readers will likely shrug with a "Bev Who?," but another sign of potential Democratic trouble because of the economy could be approval/disapproval ratings of North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue.