Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 29th, 2012 12:08 am by HL
Do We Need More Elite High Schools?
Robert Samuelson, Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Anyone who writes a column always has second thoughts: columns you wrote but wish you hadn't; things you said that you might now modify or things you wish you'd said; and columns that, for some reason, went unwritten. As 2012 ends, let me atone for at least the last sin by writing about a book-length study called “Exam Schools: Inside America's Most Selective Public High Schools.” I intended to write about it earlier but kept delaying until it just slipped away.To be sure, it wasn't the year's most compelling issue: The lackluster economy, the…
All Reason Leaves the Republicans
Dick Polman, Philadelphia Inquirer
All sanity seems to have left the ranks of those in charge of the GOP. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that the party is against everything and for nothing. That's not governing. That's just lobbing hand grenades. And the GOP is shrinking daily before our eyes.But those aren't my words. That stinging assessment comes courtesy of Mark McKinnon, a Texas-based Republican consultant and adviser to George W. Bush.At this point in the fiscal-cliff crisis, with House Republican ideologues seemingly so willing to plunge America over the precipice, there is indeed no need for me to…
Closing Tax Loopholes Isn’t Enough
Burman & Slemrod, New York Times
REPUBLICANS in Congress say they will do anything rather than raise tax rates. Apparently, that includes rushing headlong over the fiscal cliff and throwing the economy into a possible recession.When, in an effort to avert the now infamous tax increases and spending cuts to take effect on Tuesday, House Speaker John A. Boehner proposed his so-called Plan B — which would have nudged up tax rates only for those earning over $1 million a year — rank-and-file Republicans promptly rebelled, storming their party caucus with the rhetorical equivalents of pitchforks.
The Health Care Fight Is Far from Over
Henry Aaron, Brookings
The history of president Obama’s health reform bears an uncanny and disturbing similarity to the life cycle of a hurricane. With Sandy fresh in our memory, the similarity is not comforting.Hurricanes have three phases. The front wall of the storm brings high winds, lightening, and rain. Next, at the hurricane’s center, or eye, the wind drops and the air warms. If one is at sea, the water may turn calm and warm, bringing the illusion that the storm has ended. As the storm moves on, wind and rain return, often with increased force. Those fooled by the calm who leave safe…
“Stormin’ Norman,” 1934-2012
Mark Thompson, Time
For those who came of age during World War II, or post-9/11, the death Thursday of retired Army general H. Norman Schwarzkopf may not be of great moment. But for those of us who came of age during Vietnam, when that war veered from the discredited Gulf of Tonkin to the Tet Offensive to Kent State, he was a godsend.While there was trepidation before the Persian Gulf War began in January 1991 — a six-week bombing onslaught followed by a 96-hour ground campaign — it pitted a Cold War superpower against Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein (it was a mismatch that would have to be…