Sunday, 25. September 2011 17:00
For the new classes this Fall, I occasionally do a post on the blog that collects a number of interesting and relevant links and comments under the title “Anthology of Interest” (Futurama fans will get the reference). This is the fourth such this year.
The Republican presidential primary process has been proceeding apace and the most significant development of the past month has been the entrance into the race of Texas Governor Rick Perry. Perry, an evangelical conservative, leaped into front runner status. Since then the other Republican challengers have chipped away at him during the debates and Perry’s position has erroded (though he retains front-runner status). Ben Reinhard of the National Journal documents this in noting that Perry’s honeymoon in the Republican primary is over. For Myra Adams, its a political game show. The key upcoming state is Florida, with Romney expected to take New Hampshire and Perry expected to win South Carolina.
While the Obama administration has been relatively scandal free, two emerging scandals may prove to be problematic in the 2012 re-election campaign. The Fast and Furious scandal, where agents of the government had gun sellers sell guns to members of the Mexican drug cartel (ostensibly to gain intel on the hieracrchy of the cartel) is currently under investigation by the House Oversight committee. Representative Issa has already uncovered evidence that guns sold to the Carel through the program were used in crimes, including the murder of a Border Patrol agent. How far up in the administration this goes is an open question, though some has suggested it may implicate current Attorney General, Eric Holder.
The other scandal, which broke in the last few weeks, is the scandal over the upcoming banckrupcy of the solar panel company, Solyndra. NBC provides the basic details of the emerging scandal:
There are two aspects to this particular scandal. As the video notes, the fact President Obama touted Solyndra as part of his Green Energy policy is politically embarrassing and a blow to the notion of “green energy” as a viable fusion of government priorities and business ventures. The more serious issue is the extent to which the administration tried to tilt the field in favor of Solyndra and biased the evaluation of the company as a public investment. The two heads of the company took the Fifth this past week at hearings into the scandal, one of four ongoing investigations into the Solyndra loan. While the NY Times’s Joe Nocera argues this is much ado about nothing and a “phony” scandal, Reason’s Tim Cavanaugh believes there’s no wishing away the Solyndra scandal. Charles Gasparino at the Huffington Post points out that criminality or no, the loan is an example of the broader problem with Obama’s ineffective stimulus. Stay tuned.
10 Lessons from the Florida Straw Poll.
The Real Clear Politics Poll Average has President Obama’s job approval at 43.3%.
The Palestinians have applied for UN recognition as a state, bypassing the negotiation process with Israel mandated by the U.S. The Security Council is likely to veto the application and there will likely be an effort to cut off funds to the Palestinian Authority in Congress. Winner: Hamas.
Oh, and by the way, is everything we think we know about physics, i.e. Einstein’s theory of relativity, wrong? Maybe.