Europe/Americas update: September 19 2018

POVERTY A new World Bank report finds that while the number of people living in extreme poverty continued to decline last year, the rate of decline slowed considerably and that’s not the only bad news: In its annual report, the Washington-based development agency said the proportion of people living in such conditions had fallen to… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: September 19 2018

World update: July 10 2018

It’s been a long day so if it’s OK with you I’m going to roll through these updates with a minimum of banter. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA Rebels in Daraa city say they’ve begun surrender talks with Russian officials in hopes of staving off a full Syrian-Russian offensive. The inevitable recovery of Daraa will be a… Continue reading World update: July 10 2018

World update: June 22 2018

MIDDLE EAST SYRIA ISIS’s Amaq news agency is claiming that ISIS carried out an attack against Syrian Democratic Forces personnel in Raqqa on Thursday, which if true would be the group’s first attack in the city since leaving it last October. So far I’ve seen no independent confirmation of anything like this having happened. Meanwhile,… Continue reading World update: June 22 2018

Marco Rubio’s peculiar definition of “morality”

Marco Rubio is a practicing Catholic, but he doesn’t take his economic advice from no freaking pope, OK? Appearing on “Special Report,” Sen. Rubio (R-FL) told host Bret Baier that Pope Francis is “infallible” — but only on questions of morality. “On moral issues, he speaks with incredible authority,” Rubio said. “He’s done so consistently… Continue reading Marco Rubio’s peculiar definition of “morality”

The reform conservative maxim on poverty

Or, if you prefer, “Shorter reform conservatives Paul Ryan and Reihan Salam“: If you are the CEO of a bank, and you and/or your employees deliberately engage in risky behavior that causes the economy to crash and requires that the US government and Federal Reserve bail your bank out to the tune of trillions of… Continue reading The reform conservative maxim on poverty

Paternalism for thee, poor person, but not for me or any of my pals

In his defense of Paul Ryan’s compassionate plan to help the poor by treating them like ex-cons, Reihan Salam lifts the veil around the whole “libertarian, unless” side of movement er, reform, I mean reform, conservatism: If all of this caseworker talk sounds paternalistic to you, you’re on to something. Conservatives hate nanny-statism, and are… Continue reading Paternalism for thee, poor person, but not for me or any of my pals

Paul Ryan wants to fight poverty by putting poor people on probation, for being poor

Apparently the country was due for another round of Paul Ryan’s “Message: I Care” tour …because yesterday he released his brand new idea for saving the poor: The Opportunity Grant®. The plan is to merge a whole lot of individual programs for the poor into one program that gives block grants to the states and… Continue reading Paul Ryan wants to fight poverty by putting poor people on probation, for being poor