The Great Debate

What was behind Israel’s strike in Syria that killed an Iranian general?

By Steven Simon
January 23, 2015
Relatives of Lebanon's Hezbollah commander Mohamad Issa, known as Abu Issa, stand over his coffin during his funeral in Arab-Salim, south Lebanon January 20, 2015. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

Relatives of Lebanon’s Hezbollah commander Mohamad Issa, known as Abu Issa, stand over his coffin during his funeral in Arab-Salim, south Lebanon January 20, 2015. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

Ukraine’s ceasefire has become a farce, with Vladimir Putin the author

By Lucian Kim
January 23, 2015
Members of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic drive a tank on the outskirts of Donetsk

Members of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic drive a tank on the outskirts of Donetsk, Jan. 22, 2015. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

The cost of a doughnut’s ‘lost pleasure’ is something you can afford to pay

By Michael Rosenbaum
January 22, 2015

KRISPY KREME DOUGHNUTS GO INTO PRODUCTION AT NEW STORE AT HARRODS IN LONDON.

Recently, the FDA took the process of turning everything in life into profit and loss to an absurd level. A series of FDA regulations that go into effect this year require that chain restaurants, grocery store chains selling prepared food, large vending machine operators, movie theaters and amusement parks all display calorie counts on their menus. Within that document is an estimate that this caloric information will cause consumers to “suffer” up to $5.27 billion in “lost pleasure” over 20 years by virtue of fewer french fries and other fattening favorites. Assuming a U.S. population of about 320 million, this means that we are each going to lose about $18,000 worth of pleasure over the next 20 years. For those of us who don’t usually think of the price of happiness in dollars, that seems like many quanta of sorrow.

Don’t believe the U.S. military when it says it doesn’t keep body counts

By David Axe
January 22, 2015
Residents inspect damaged buildings in what activists say was a U.S. strike, in Kfredrian

Residents inspect damaged buildings in what activists say was a U.S. strike, in Kfredrian, Idlib province September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Abdalghne Karoof

Twenty years in and bogged down, what’s the way forward for the WTO?

By Michael Froman
January 22, 2015
Delegates speaks arrives for a special meeting of the General Council Preparatory Committee on Trade Facilitation at the WTO in Geneva

Delegates arrives for a special meeting of the General Council Preparatory Committee on Trade Facilitation at the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva, Nov. 27, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Are U.S. rivals hacking the American electoral system? Why it’s impossible to know.

By Meredith McGehee
January 21, 2015
To match BREAKINGVIEWS-EMC/SECURITY

RSA SecureID electronic keys are pictured in a photo illustration taken in Singapore, June 8, 2011. REUTERS/Michael Caronna

Where has this Obama been hiding? Six takes on the State of the Union

By Allison Silver
January 21, 2015
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Welcome back to the bad old days of American politics – only worse

By Richard White
January 21, 2015
holladay_koch_stanford

Ben Holladay, Courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society; Charles Koch, REUTERS/Courtesy Koch Industries; Leland Stanford, Wikipedia/Courtesy of Bancroft Library, University of California – Berkeley

Quantitative easing in euro zone requires shared risk

By Daniel Gros and Christian Kopf
January 20, 2015
The famous euro sign landmark is photographed next to an emergency phone box outside the former headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt

A euro sign is photographed next to an emergency phone box outside the former headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, Germany. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Republicans talk about inequality. But how serious are they?

By Bill Schneider
January 20, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell stand at a ceremony to posthumously present the Congressional Gold Medal to Raoul Wallenberg in Washington

President Barack Obama is laying down his marker Tuesday with his State of the Union Address. He told a closed-door meeting of Senate Democrats last week, “I’m not going to spend the next two years on defense. I’m going to play offense.”