The Magic of "El Cuau"
June 06, 2010

Let me bring to your attention a couple of things about the Mexican team before Friday’s opening match. I am fairly certain you have heard about Hugo Sánchez, the famous striker who owned Spanish football during the eighties playing for Real Madrid. Yes, Hugo was great: trained by gymnasts, his acrobatics remained unmatched in the box. His most famous goal, against Logroñes in 1988, still is one of the most beautiful in the long history of the sport (I challenge anyone who worships Zidane’s goal in the Champions League 2002 final to watch the above clip).

Rand Paul Versus The "Amero"
May 27, 2010

David Frum has found another one of Rand Paul's conspiracy theories: Campaigning in Montana for his father, Ron Paul, in 2008, Rand Paul explicated his belief in an elite plot to replace the U.S.

Bad Land
April 25, 2010

Severe recessions can make people crazy and mean. During the Great Depression, immigration to the United States from Mexico virtually ceased, but states began arresting and deporting Mexicans, many of whom were in the country legally. The Mexican population of the United States fell by 41 percent during the 1930s. And the same kind of thing is happening again. The recession has sharply curtailed illegal immigration to the United States.

Public Distrust Of Government Will Not Shrink Government
April 19, 2010

Tyler Cowan makes an interesting point -- countries have had success in cutting spending when the public trusts the government: The received wisdom in the United States is that deep spending cuts are politically impossible. But a number of economically advanced countries, including Sweden, Finland, Canada and, most recently, Ireland, have cut their government budgets when needed. Most relevant, perhaps, is Canada, which cut federal government spending by about 20 percent from 1992 to 1997.

Why Is Obama Opening Up New Areas For Offshore Drilling?
March 31, 2010

The big news today is that Obama's reportedly planning to open up a bunch of new offshore areas to oil and gas exploration for the first time: Under the plan, the coastline from New Jersey northward would remain closed to all oil and gas activity. So would the Pacific Coast, from Mexico to the Canadian border. The environmentally sensitive Bristol Bay in southwestern Alaska would be protected and no drilling would be allowed under the plan, officials said.

The Sheriff
March 31, 2010

For the better part of an hour, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been kicked back in the front cabin of Coast Guard One, the small but handsomely appointed plane on which she travels, chatting easily about the challenges of running the third-largest Cabinet department. En route back to Washington after three days of nonstop meetings in Mexico City--a whirlwind visit made more challenging by the fact that Napolitano broke her right ankle playing tennis last month and is still hobbling around on crutches--the secretary is in wind-down mode.

A Few Kinks In China's Rush To Go Green
March 26, 2010

There was a Pew report released yesterday noting that China is now spending nearly double what the United States does on clean energy projects. (In fact, as a percentage of GDP, the United States is spending less on alternative energy than countries like Italy and Mexico.) That's certainly a striking sign that the United States could be doing a lot more on this front. But, as a caveat, those raw dollar figures don't mean that all of China's energy investments are going smoothly.

Liberals And Illegal Immigration
March 11, 2010

Matthew Yglesias scorns the notion of building a double wall on the Mexican border to reduce illegal immigration: My colleague Andrea Nill notes that this is a fairly costly endeavor: U.S.

The Social Pathology of Dubai
January 19, 2010

Everybody is aware of the drama now being played out in Dubai. And, frankly, the relief given by Abu Dhabi, its abutting oil-rich emirate in the confederation of self-indulgent and non-productive Arabs, will only buy time for Dubai, which will have to turn over to its cousins whatever assets remain under its robes. The New York Times published a Sunday editorial which seems to counsel aid to Dubai, as if any structural disaster would follow if there weren’t any.

The End of Hunger?
January 02, 2010

Famine: A Short History By Cormac Ó Gráda (Princeton University Press, 327 pp., $27.95) The earliest recorded famines, according to Cormac Ó Gráda in his brief but masterful book, are mentioned on Egyptian stelae from the third millennium B.C.E. In that time--and to an extent, even today, above the Aswan dam in Sudan--farmers along the Nile were dependent on the river flooding to irrigate their fields. But one flood out of five, Ó Gráda tells us, was either too high or too low. The result was often starvation.