Why Mike Pence catches conservatives’ eyes

Posted by , 9th December 2010

Mike PenceGeorge F. Will
12/9/2010

Tea Partyers and social conservatives are urging Republican Rep. Mike Pence to run for president in 2012. The author says it is unlikely that Pence will run, but given the congressman’s voting history and family-oriented personal life, conservative support for his candidacy is understandable. Pence voted no on both versions of the TARP legislation, and he also voted no on President Bush’s proposed addition to Medicare in the form of a prescription drug entitlement. Pence’s dedication to his family and participation in wholesome Americana is a common thread that runs throughout his political career and is attractive to social conservatives.

Will is a twice-weekly columnist for The Post, writing about foreign and domestic politics and policy.

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China’s Global War on Human Rights

Posted by , 9th December 2010

zhongnanhaiJamie F. Metzl
12/9/2010

Wherever human rights are massively abused today, China is the main protector of the abusing government, writes Metzl. Beijing is promoting a world-wide rejection of postwar international norms. This is in part because China’s concept of sovereignty stands in sharp contrast to the norms of the human rights system. And China’s rise poses challenges to the international community’s ability to effectively confront rights abusers. Metzl concludes that those unlucky souls around the world who find their rights massively abused by their own governments can, thanks largely to China, expect little or no help from foreign states.

Metzl, the executive vice president of Asia Society, served in the State Department during the Clinton administration and as a United Nations human rights officer in Cambodia.

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Contagion’ and Other Euro Myths

Posted by , 3rd December 2010

EurosJohn H. Cochrane
12/2/2010

Cochrane considers the lessons to be learned from Europe’s recent bailouts. He argues that restructuring short-term debt as long-term debt would hardly be the end of the world. Our governments have also guaranteed trillions of dollars of debt–everything from mortgages to student loans, to say nothing of implicit guarantees to banks and state and local governments. These guarantees don’t show up anywhere on the books, but investors could start adding them up very quickly. Remember that Ireland got into trouble by guaranteeing bank debt. US government debt is also remarkably tilted to short maturities, with the majority being rolled over every year. The Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing will tilt us further to shorter debt.

Cochrane is a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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A strange way to honor the founding fathers

Posted by , 3rd December 2010

Founding FathersDana Milbank
12/2/2010

Republicans led by Bob Bishop and Eric Cantor are introducing a constitutional amendment that would allow states to reject and repeal federal laws that they find objectionable. Improbably, the party brought to power by virtue of the Tea Party’s brand of constitutional originalism is making its first order of business a rather severe edit of the same. The mechanics of the bill would allow the smallest 33 states with a third of the nation’s population to nullify federal law for the 17 largest, comprising two thirds.

Milbank writes about political theater in the nation’s capital.

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