The Lady and the Peacock: The Life of Aung San Suu Kyi By Peter Popham (The Experiment, 448 pp., $27.50) Aung San Suu Kyi mania is sweeping Rangoon. The paraphernalia for sale on the streets of Rangoon now includes the hitherto banned image of Aung San Suu Kyi on posters, stickers, key rings, and baseball caps.
For a country that has experienced almost nothing but misery, abuses, and economic mismanagement since the army first took power in 1962, the scenes from Sunday’s by-elections in the new, civilian Burmese parliament seemed nothing short of miraculous. The military’s favored party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), took a paltry handful of seats. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who had been under arrest just two years ago, won a parliamentary seat.
Last night, the National League defeated the American League 5-1 in the eighty-second MLB All-Star Game, posting its second consecutive victory after more than a decade of losses to the AL. Last night’s game took place at Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. (For those of you questioning the wisdom of holding the All-Star Game in Phoenix at this time of year, remember that the field has a retractable roof and massive cooling system, which lowered the game-time temperature to a pleasant 72 degrees.) But what did the event mean for Phoenix?
On Friday my colleague Mark Muro showed us “four different styles of [fiscal] trainwreck” from Western states, which is the subject (along with a few suggestions for improving budgetary processes) of a report we released last week with the Morrison Institute in Arizona. Related, equally important, and in many ways more dire, though, is the local government fiscal crisis. And this crisis is about to escalate, for three main reasons: Ongoing impacts of the state crisis Shrinking property tax bases Withdrawal of federal stimulus dollars We first wrote about the local government fiscal crisis—the
This weekend, after being kept under house arrest on and off for more than 20 years, Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi was released. The Nobel Peace Prize winner was greeted by adoring fans in Burma and a swell of positive media coverage around the world. The repressive junta that rules Burma, meanwhile, has not indicated it is willing to allow Suu Kyi to engage in activism to the extent her supporters might like: Her release has been dubbed a p.r.
We’ve been warning about the economic implications of the coming local government fiscal crisis for more than a year (see this paper and event we did with the National League of Cities last fall). Now, the crisis is actually starting. Witness the dispiriting newjobs report. In September, private sector payrolls increased by a tepid 64,000, after rising by 93,000 in August. However, the real story is the extent to which the disappearance of 76,000 local government jobs completely erased the private sector gains. This time, the story wasn’t just about the termination of 77,000 Census jobs but a
This month, various contributors to TNR have argued about economic stimulus: It works, it doesn’t work, or we don’t know if it works or not. On August 17, Josef Joffe asserted (with caveats) on Entanglements that we know stimulus doesn’t work because (1) economic trendlines in the United States have not improved dramatically since it was instituted here, and (2) those countries that have spent a lot on stimulus don’t seem to be doing as well as some countries that have not.
In November 2009 we and the National League of Cities (and many others) warned that steep state and local public sector cuts loomed on the horizon, and that these cuts could undermine any nascent economic recovery just as the federal government’s unprecedented stimulus spending wound down. Well, from the looks of July’s disheartening jobs report, this prognosis is now the new reality. The economy shed 131,000 jobs on net in July, as a modest private sector gain of 71,000 jobs was dwarfed by a public sector loss of 202,000 jobs thanks to the expiration of 143,000 temporary census positions an
Conservatives are charging the Medicare Trustees report, which says that the Affordable Care Act has extended the life of the Medicare Trust Fund, with double counting. Jim Horney shoots this objection down: The National League’s home run leader, Washington Nationals slugger Adam Dunn, hit two homers on Wednesday in the Nats’ 7-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. What would you do if a disgruntled Diamondback suggested that Major League Baseball should not count those homers toward his individual home run total and toward the Nats’ run total in their 7-2 win because, somehow, this amount