The Great Debate

from Stories I’d like to see:

Did Islamic State really call a convention of nuts and have 15,000 people show up?

By Steven Brill
November 4, 2014

Islamic State fighter gestures from a vehicle in the countryside of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, after the Islamic State fighters took control of the area

Last week, the Guardian reported, “The United Nations has warned that foreign jihadists are swarming into the twin conflicts in Iraq and Syria on ‘an unprecedented scale’ and from countries that had not previously contributed combatants to global terrorism.”

Putin’s created an economic crisis and left Moscow no easy way out

By William E. Pomeranz
November 4, 2014

Russia's President Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow

Western sanctions have left Russia in dire financial circumstances — stuck somewhere between recession and stagnation. Though proven solutions exist for what now ails Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s geo-strategic and political choices have rendered these traditional economic approaches unworkable.

The most expensive political contest in California is for an office nobody’s heard of

By Sherry Bebitch Jeffe and Douglas Jeffe
November 3, 2014

A woman inserts her ballot into an intake machine at a polling station during the U.S. presidential election in Los Angeles

On Tuesday, California may not have a suspenseful governor’s race, but the contest for an obscure state education post has attracted an astonishing amount of outside money and turned into a high-stakes test run for the 2016 presidential campaign.

from Breakingviews:

Don’t blame the messenger, Jefferies

November 3, 2014

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

Political parties swap roles: Can social issues help Democrats?

By Bill Schneider
November 3, 2014

U.S. Senator Hagan speaks with the media after addressing a group of campaign volunteers in Cornelius

The 2014 campaign marks a departure: It is the first campaign in 50 years in which Democrats are relying on social issues, while economic issues seem to be helping Republicans.

Whack-a-mole: A lesson in the unexpected consequences of ‘cleaning up’ politics

By Richard White
November 3, 2014

opinion-skaggs-mahurin_605

I may be the one person who listens to the election news and thinks about Benjamin Harrison. You don’t remember him? President of the United States from 1888-1892? The scion of a political dynasty that yielded enough failed presidencies to make the Harrisons the Bushes of the 19th century? So why do I think of Harrison? Because this is an election year that centers on money.

Obama’s ‘crisis of competence’ drags down the Democrats

By Bill Schneider
October 31, 2014

Obama holds a meeting with Ebola Response Coordinator Klain (not pictured) at the White House in Washington

Once upon a time, a candidate ran for president on the issue of competence. “This election isn’t about ideology,” he told the 1988 Democratic National Convention. “It’s about competence.”

from Anatole Kaletsky:

The takeaway from six years of economic troubles? Keynes was right.

By Anatole Kaletsky
October 31, 2014

Protesters clash with police during an anti-austerity rally in Athens

Now that the Federal Reserve has brought its program of quantitative easing to a successful conclusion, while the French and German governments have ended their shadow-boxing over European budget “rules,” macroeconomic policy all over the world is entering a period of unusual stability and predictability. Rightly or wrongly, the main advanced economies have reached a settled view on their economic policy choices and are very unlikely to change these in the year or two ahead, whether they succeed or fail. It therefore seems appropriate to consider what we can learn from all the policy experiments conducted around the world since the 2008 crisis.

from John Lloyd:

Ukraine’s vote proves Putin wrong and puts anti-Semitic past behind

By John Lloyd
October 31, 2014

Local resident listens before receiving a ballot during a parliamentary election inside her house in the village of Havronshchyna near Kiev

One of the themes that Russian President Vladimir Putin tried out to besmirch the Ukrainian revolt against pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich earlier this year was that fascists and anti-Semites were behind the uprising. The protesters, he proclaimed, were revolting in both senses of the word: They had chased out an elected president (true) and their actions had allowed “anti-Semitic forces [to go] on a rampage” (not true).

from Breakingviews:

Tim Cook’s pride may expand corporate talent pool

October 30, 2014

timcook.jpg

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.