Since the revelation that former Bronx Assemblyman Nelson Castro had been working as a double agent for federal prosecutors for almost the entire duration of his four years in office, the most popular political parlor game in Albany has been trying to guess who else might be wearing a wire.
Back in 1990, a Congressman from South Carolina (Stephen Neal) introduced a bill that would require the Fed (our Central Bank) to make a zero rate of inflation its primary goal. I was able to publish my response in the economic journal Challenge under the title, “Zero Inflation: prescription for recession.” (Challenge 1990) At the time I noted that Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan had expressed support for that goal. What I did not know was that later in the decade, Chairman Greenspan would attempt to persuade the entire Federal Reserve Board of his view. IN 1996, he engaged in a spirited Debate with Economist Janet Yellen, then a member of the Fed Board of Governers.
Last week I had the privilege to visit West Virginia. I've been there before. My first impressions, made years ago, returned. If our everyday consciousness results from our everyday experience, it must be intense to live in West Virginia. There the phrase "king coal" leapt to mind at every turn.
The 500 pp book “50 Shades of Grey”, by E.L.James – a pseudonym for the 50 yr old writer Erika Mitchell[ref.2] (who lives in London with her husband and two sons) -- has been variously slanged by critics. Despite these criticisms the book and its 2 sequels have been selling (last year) like wildfire, with the majority of the readers being women. So somehow, worldwide, there is a deep need.
I travel a lot for work. It’s the rare week when I’m not on the road or in the air to attend a conference, give a talk at some symposium, or serve on some panel or commission. In fact, if you’re listening to this commentary as it airs on the radio, I am likely on a plane cruising at 32,000 feet somewhere between Albany and Washington, DC. Given this grueling travel schedule, I was less than thrilled to hear that the federal budget sequester would affect air travel across the US.
Until two days ago, Jason Collins was part of the answer to an obscure trivia question. That is, name the two sets of twins that played center for the Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball team. And the answer is Jason and his brother Jarron along with Brook and Robin Lopez. But now Jason Collins is the answer to a less sports wonky trivia question, kind of first row on Jeopardy. The longtime NBA cener will forevermore be known as the first openly gay male on a current roster in a major American professional team sport.
Independence Day marked a major event in Israel’s history: A 65th Anniversary, a day of pomp, ceremony and remembrance. But it is also a day to take stock of Israel’s strategic position in the Middle East. Despite the relative calm, there are storm clouds on the horizon.
I got into a discussion about a proposed 28th Amendment to our Constitution a few days ago. Turns out there's more than one proposal calling itself the 28th Amendment. I'm talking about the one that begins, "The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only." There may be similar ones. There certainly are some calling themselves the 28th Amendment that address very different subjects and are totally misinformed. But the restriction of constitutional rights to natural persons is worth talking about.
Americans are starting to feel the bite of the federal sequestration. Sequestration is the term referring to the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts in the federal government’s domestic and military budgets. Sequestration went into effect last month when Congress was unable to agree on an alternative.