Boeing

It was not a good start to 2014 for Obama's big new push to rebalance the economy.

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I know that this is harsh. But I use the word pusillanimous in its ugliest meaning—which is the “unmanly” meaning—especially in relation to Saudi Arabia, having stockpiled weapons and trained soldiers for decades so that by now it is the only Arab country capable of taking on the monstrous regime in Damascus … and winning. I say “unmanly” because the kingdom has done nothing of the sort.

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It was reported in the business pages today, but the big deal between Boeing and the machinists' union to build a new line of 737s in Washington state should be noted briefly for its political implications: namely, the loss of a potent weapon for Republican candidates in 2012. The deal will almost certainly make moot the move by the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, Lafe Solomon, to block Boeing's plans to shift Dreamliner construction to a nonunion plant in South Carolina, a shift that Solomon charged was being done in retaliation against the machinists' union representi

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Labor Intensive

On April 20, Lafe Solomon, the acting general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), issued a complaint against Boeing. Two years ago, the company had announced it was transferring the production of 2,000 airplanes from a unionized plant in Puget Sound, Washington, to a non-union plant outside Charleston, South Carolina. According to Solomon’s complaint, what made this decision illegal was the company’s motive.

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Consternation over the loss of manufacturing jobs to China was aroused again recently when Evergreen Solar announced that it would move 800 manufacturing jobs from a decommissioned Devens, Mass. military base to China. In an article by Keith Bradsher of The New York Times, Evergreen’s CEO claims that producing in China is more competitive because its local governments offer partnerships that bring very low-interest rate loans from state-owned banks compared to what U.S banks were offering. For U.S.

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Park Here

The High Line New York City Millennium Park Chicago Citygarden St. Louis A common plaint of contemporary social criticism is that American society has become more an archipelago than a nation, increasingly balkanized into ethnic, class, faith, and interest groups whose members rarely interact meaningfully with people whose affiliations they do not in large measure share. The pervasiveness of this phenomenon of American selfaggregation can be debated, but its existence is pretty plain.

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The logic behind a moratorium on deepwater drilling seems sound enough. Until we have a better idea of exactly why Deepwater Horizon blew up and gushed millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf—and what other risks are still lurking out there—it's probably not a good idea to go ahead with a whole bunch of new insanely complex projects. Right? At least, that's what the Obama administration is thinking. Last month, it proposed a six-month halt on drilling that would affect 33 rigs under construction.

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America needs to transform its energy system. The Great Lakes region possesses what may be the nation’s richest complex of innovation strengths--research universities, national and corporate research labs, and top-flight science and engineering talent. Is there a deal to be done?

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Hot Shots

In the summer of 1996, during my short-lived American legal career, I clerked at a large Washington, D.C., law firm. Within a few days of my arrival, a partner dropped a 5,000-page bomb on my desk—the U.S. Air Force report on the plane crash that killed Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and 34 others in Dubrovnik earlier that year.

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Nowadays, it seems like every third Thomas Friedman column is about how the United States is engaged in a green-tech competition with China—one that, much to his chagrin, we seem to be losing handily. His argument's not totally groundless. China really has put more effort (and money) into developing cleaner energy technologies than we have. So have plenty of countries, like Germany and Denmark.

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