2011 leaves us this weekend. Who could have guessed at the end of 2010 that the coming year would bring so many unexpected events? In the realm of international figures alone, the deaths of Ghadafi, Kim Jong-Il, and Osama bin Laden could scarcely have been predicted to occur within the same twelve months. 2012 begins with the coming week and the year is heavy with potential futures. No crystal ball exists to let us see the outcomes. No time machine can take us forward to see how it all turns out. Still, making a few predictions can be done confidently with information we have now. (more…)
Holiday gatherings with friends and family create difficult scenarios for political junkies and those with an activist mindset. Traditional wisdom suggests politics not be discussed in mixed company, even if all of the mixing is within a single family melting pot. To do so is considered impolite. Families brought together for holiday celebrations and festive meals ideally proceed without contentious and divisive political issues hijacking the table conversation.
Still, there’s always that one person. (more…)
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It’s Christmas time! The season of giving and goodwill is upon us, and the politicians in our nation’s capitol could definitely stand an injection of both. Boehner and Cantor should exchange the lumps of coal they’ll certainly receive for a few sprigs of mistletoe, snuggle up together next to a fireplace, and release all of the tensions that have turned them into such intransigent Scrooges. Get Mitch McConnell in on that action, too. Nobody should be alone at Christmas. Obama needs to recall the promises made in 2008 and find the Christmas spirit to deliver on the issues on which he’s since wavered before he finds himself stuck on Santa’s naughty list. And the Republican contenders should all get together for a big crazy Christmas party where everybody gets loose enough to be friendly and stop bickering for a few hours. Have it at Rick Perry’s place. He’s got plenty of room. (more…)
The discussion surrounding the financial health of the United States and what must be done to rectify our economic struggle spends a lot of time in the news cycle. Deficit spending and government waste frequently get the blame for economic strife when, in fact, other factors weigh more heavily on the soft state of U.S. money. Trade imbalances, job exportation, unfunded military campaigns, and political opposition to tax revenues all play a significant part in the stress on our economy. A progressive and carefully planned policy of economic strength and responsibility could address these issues and reverse the declining power of the dollar both in the U.S. and abroad. (more…)
The following appeared originally on December 17, 2011 at Appetite for Profit, the website of Michelle Simon. Ms. Simon focuses on the food industry and the influence big business exerts on our diet. Please visit AppetiteForProfit.com to read her blog, see other published work, or buy her book.
Last month, when Congress declared pizza a vegetable, it was hard to believe things could get much worse. But never underestimate politicians’ ability to put corporate interests ahead of children’s health. In the massive budget bill just passed, Congress stuck in language to require the Federal Trade Commission to conduct a cost/benefit analysis before finalizing a report that would provide the food industry with science-based nutrition guidelines for marketing to children. Experts from four federal agencies put heads together, and for the past two years have tried to complete its charge (which ironically, came from Congress in the first place) amidst powerful industry push-back. (more…)