Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Quick hits

  • I have no particular fondness for her, but in an odd way I'm happy to see Ambrose back in a high-level cabinet post.  More than any other minister I can think of, she didn't deserve to be demoted.  I believe in Ministerial responsibility as much as any fan of Westminster, but for an Environment minister to clean out the Augean mess this government has made out of that file is asking a lot.  The Environment Minister of the Government of Canada will start effectively managing environmental problems after there's a change in governing party -- or at least a different Prime Minister -- and not before.
  • The fate of health care reform in the United States Congress is a nice test case for the ultimate cynics like me: a clear, unambiguous problem that can be solved at negative cost, and yet is now in jeopardy because the governing party has gone from 60 seats to 59.  The problem, as always, is that regardless of the party labels the real majority in the Senate is, and will continue to be, for the status quo.
  • Speaking of preserving privilege, Simon Johnston has an interesting contrast between what the US forced developing countries to go through during the Asian Crisis of 1997 and what the US has done in the Crisis of 2008.  Inconsistency!

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