The truth is that no one who buys discounted merchandise on Amazon today will have it delivered by drone, and such deliveries won’t happen for years — if they happen at all. It’s not just that the technology isn’t up to the task yet. It’s not just that federal regulations prohibit such flights over populated areas. It’s that drone delivery doesn’t make economic sense for Amazon, and it will never make sense unless the company completely overhauls its operation.
With tensions mounting, I decided to see what might happen if the maneuvers escalated into actual combat. In my scenario, played out in the ultra-realistic computer game Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations (C:MANO), Beijing decides to teach Tokyo a lesson -- and opens fire on the Japanese planes. When three of the world's most high-tech air arms meet in simulated battle, the results might surprise you.
New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Since the 1950s, U.S. alliances with Japan and South Korea have dominated regional security. Russia and China thawed their frosty relationship in the 1990s and signed a friendship treaty in 2001, but China’s rise has increased tensions in every regional relationship.
Gov. Chris Christie’s “bizarre behavior’’ in refusing to say he’ll support a possible GOP challenger to Gov. Cuomo next year could derail his chances to become president, state and national GOP insiders have told The Post.
Should we fear cyberspace? The internet is said to be a revolutionary leveler, reducing the hard won military advantages of western powers, even as the dependence of developed nations on computer networks leaves them vulnerable to attack. Incidents like the Stuxnet worm and cyber attacks against U.S. government computers, apparently launched from servers in China, seem to testify to the need for concern. Yet, even if these details are correct—and some are not—there is no reason to believe that the internet constitutes an Achilles heel for the existing world order. To the contrary, cyberwar promises major advantages for status quo powers like the United States.
Last weekend, the Chinese astonished the U.S. and Japan, very close allies with similar views about Senkaku sovereignty, by declaring that all planes flying in this zone must get China’s permission. They must submit flight plans to Beijing. “If an aircraft doesn’t supply its flight plans,” the Chinese Ministry of National Defense announced, “China’s armed forces will adopt emergency defensive measures in response.”
Wait a minute!, was the immediate reaction in Tokyo and Washington. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel denounced the Chinese announcement as a “destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo in the region,”…increasing “the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculations.” Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida echoed Hagel’s statement, describing the Chinese action as “one-sided” with the potential to “trigger unpredictable events” and “cannot be allowed.”
...since the U.S. invasion of 2003, Kurdistan, a semi-autonomous region of Iraq, has become an oasis in an otherwise anarchic and dangerous country. The veteran journalist describes celebrations marking the Kurdish New Year in Sulaimaniya: “Never before had I, a Westerner, been able to walk safely through a vast throng of Iraqis, or experienced such tolerance, friendliness, and absence of fear or religious stricture. Women with uncovered heads wore makeup and golden jewelry. Teenagers discreetly flirted. A few obviously gay men, and the odd drunk, wandered uncensored through the crowds.”
With life so good for so many Kurds today, and so bad in the rest of Iraq, might Kurdistan secede?
The interplay between science fiction and the real world is a force that has been there for centuries. At one point, it was through writers like H.G. Wells, because the novel was the main vector for entertainment. Then we moved on to movies and TV shows — think of how powerful Star Trek was in influencing where technology would head next. Now it’s gaming. It’s like what happened in those great old episodes of Star Trek, where they envisioned something futuristic like a handheld communicator and then someone watching in a lab would see it and said, “I’ll make that real.” And now that’s the same for gaming. I was a consultant for the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and I worked on a drone concept for the game, a quadcopter called Charlene. Now defense contractors are trying to make Charlene real. So it flips the relationship. Previously, the military would research and develop something and then spin it out to the civilian sector. Now the military is faced with a challenge of how to spin in technology.
I am not aware of an in depth, academic work using rational choice about the negotiations that ended a few days ago. There are, however, several rational choice models about Iranian (foreign) policy more generally.
a) FWIW I think BD is using "rational" is a specific "term of art" academic sense and GM is using it as it is used in everyday conversation.
"Because rational choice theory lacks understanding of consumer motivation, some economists restrict its use to understanding business behavior where goals are usually very clear. As Armen Alchian points out, competition in the market encourages businesses to maximize profits (in order to survive). Because that goal is significantly less vacuous than "maximizing utility" and the like, rational choice theory is apt."
Trying to analyze geopolitics without factoring in culture, history, belief systems seems pretty useless.
You know, I think I have said the same thing only because one or two cops, in my entire life, have caused me grief whether it was a ticket, ( I obviously did not deserve ), or some smart ass reply directed my way when I interfered with their presumably mundane day. Shame on me for being so presumptuous.
The "rationality" described by rational choice theory is different from the colloquial and most philosophical use of the word. Typically, "rationality" means "sane" or "in a thoughtful clear-headed manner,." Rational choice theory uses a specific and narrower definition of "rationality" simply to mean that an individual acts as if balancing costs against benefits to arrive at action that maximizes personal advantage. In rational choice theory, all decisions, crazy or sane, are postulated as mimicking such a "rational" process.
Had the talk with the lawyer friend. His assessment is that because the GA officer was personally named the case is "crap." Had the two kept to named the DEA, for example, then the case has merit. He also noted his great interest in the amici filed (seen here: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/walden-v-fiore/), in particular the one offered by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.
War is costly to all sides in a conflict. If states knew the outcome of a war, they would prefer to agree to that outcome via a bargain without ever fighting. As the Monkey Cage’s (and Stanford’s) James Fearon has pointed out in a famous article, we must thus ask why states sometimes fail to reach such a bargain?
One answer is that leaders act irrationally or that the leaders of states are able to deflect the cost of wars on others while reaping the benefits for themselves. These are plausible answers. Yet, it may also be that all sides act rationally and yet fail to strike a bargain that all would prefer to going to war. Below are some basic insights from theories about such bargaining failures as they apply to Iran.
Despite all the lamentations about Barack Obama having second-term blues and bad luck, and the talk about how a painful second term is not atypical, it’s what happened during the first term that matters most. With the exception of possible exogenous events, a president’s first term defines his second one. The enormous difficulties that Obama is having with his signature issue, the health care law, are the shining example of how that can work. Almost everything that has gone wrong with the program was set in motion in the early years of his presidency.
The first term is when the president makes fateful decisions about what kind of people he wants in his White House, how he wants them organized, the nature and role of his cabinet members (are they essentially staff, as most tend to be in the Obama administration?), which initiatives he selects as his most important, whether he builds a strong cadre of outside allies, how he deals with the Congress and how hard he is willing to fight for what he wants.
Not unlike some other presidents, Obama essentially surrounded himself in the White House with his campaign staff, or others he knew well, rather than finding people experienced in governing. Newly elected presidents pay a heavy price if they are themselves inexperienced in governing and select top staff who lack a broad sense of what it means to run a federal government.
The shock of adjusting to the presidency—the myriad amounts of information and decisions to be made thrown at them—hits most newcomers. Where to begin? Which decisions to tell your staff are presidential-level ones and which ones are they to work out on their own? How much authority to give to the cabinet—a set of relationships that is almost always fraught. Only if a newly elected president has served as vice president or in a tiny number of other high offices can he have been given a prior sense of the vast chasm between running for president and being president. There is a lot of talk these days that former governors are the only ones who are truly prepared to occupy the oval office. But that’s hogwash. To my knowledge none have a Pentagon to run, or a raft of foreign policy decisions coming at them every day, or fifty sub-states and a potentially obdurate Congress to deal with. There is no training for the presidency.
Barack Obama had an unfathomable inability, beginning in his early years in office, to grasp the difference between campaigning and governing—and for that he’s been paying a fearful price in his second term. Campaigning and governing call for different kinds of rhetoric. For some reason, Obama never got control of the health care argument. He cited its attractive provisions many times, but he just didn’t get through.
As for his promise that if people liked their health insurance policy they could keep it, former aides say that they were uneasily aware that it was misleading, or oversimplified. But they figured that it represented a small slice of the probably large group who would eagerly sign up for the new plan. They also figured that if the federal website was working the way it should, most people would be aware they had access to better options. They didn’t come clean that some people were going to lose out under the new plan. The president, now on the defensive, and almost groveling, remained unable to get across the enormous benefits of providing some 30 million uninsured people with coverage.
Fateful decisions made in the first term reflected Obama’s lack of understanding of what it meant to govern. Early on, I received a startling insight into how the Obama White House approached working with Congress. I asked a senior presidential aide why the White House hadn’t sent up its own health care legislation, so that there would be something coherent to start with and more leverage. His reply: “Because any time we lost a provision that would be seen as a loss.” This was a most unusual way to deal with Congress—tying one’s own hands at the outset.
As the health care legislation moved through Congress, Obama and his top aides became swallowed up in the details. Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s first chief of staff, had much to recommend him: he’d served in the Clinton White House and been a member of Congress. But he was an inside man, buried in the maw of the legislation—and apparently unable to see the big picture. Moreover, it’s virtually impossible for Congress to write a coherent complex piece of legislation. In this case, particularly large interests are at play: the insurance companies (who would still play the major role as insurers), manufacturers of medical equipment, hospitals, drug companies, religious organizations—and without its own bill the administration had limited leverage over numerous strong-minded legislators. Five hundred and thirty five people are unlikely to produce a fine Swiss watch.
But Obama and his staff’s failures at governing led to the disastrous roll-out of the exchanges. Simply put: they went about it all wrong. Such a major part of the president’s signature initiative should never have been assigned to the multilayered bureaucracy, however honorable and well-intended its people are. Obama needed to put in charge a single strong figure who could go straight to him and was known to have his backing—and, obviously, knew enough about the complexities of such a large high tech program. The president needed to be kept very informed as to where matters stood. (The White House put about after the calamity became clear to the public that the president had occasionally asked how things were going; this wasn’t reassuring.) Short of appointing a strong outside person, the president could have relied on a figure such as Joe Califano, Lyndon Johnson’s chief domestic policy adviser, to be on top of the implementation and raise hell if the people charged with building the exchanges weren’t doing the job.
It remains unclear to this day who in the Obama White House was responsible for seeing to it that the program was on schedule and working as it should—or if anyone was. There’s no sign that the president’s serial chiefs of staff—after Emanuel, who left in October, 2010, and then Bill Daley, Jack Lew, and now Dennis McDonough—were engaged in any meaningful way.
Another misfire was the brobdingnagian nature of the Obama plan, like that of the Clintons’ plan before it: wonks were in charge and there seems to have been little checking to see if real people could handle it. While the Affordable Care Act was moving through Congress, White House aides explained that it would all be very simple: the consumer would go online and pick out a health plan from among choices—just as, they said, people do with Expedia. Quite apart from the federal web site’s own flaws, the Obama plan suffered from an overestimation of computer literacy among the public at large.
Finally, the president’s offhanded way of dealing with Congress in the first term has weakened his hand with members of his own party in the second term, at precisely the point when he needs them most. The very self-contained Obama, less needy than many of his predecessors, and his impatience with some of the folderol of politics—albeit it’s his chosen line of work—left him with few senators or House members, or even outside groups, who would go to the barricades for him when he needed them in the second term. One can understand and even sympathize with Obama’s view of listening to tedious people who lecture him on how things should be done (they might actually know more than he, but he doesn’t care to be told), but it’s been very costly for him.
The health care law is a delicate instrument, built on sets of assumptions which may not pan out, or which could be undermined if out of panic the president or Congress fiddles with the law. The anecdotes about people losing their policies have frequently been over-simplified, but make for more dramatic news stories than the advances already achieved under the law; there’s been little attention to the already slowing rate of growth in the cost of health care—one of the law’s major goals.
Obama’s governing style in his first term lit the fuse for his second term. Politically-driven decisions on the health care law along with a failure to understand some of the rudiments of governing have resulted in his current difficulties. It’s far from over of course, but should his proudest achievement fail to work—its outcome not at all certain at this point—the rest of what he does in his second term may not matter much.
A) You are quite welcome. You made a good point, and I saw an article that supported it.
B) Yep. 2 things: 1, I've been arguing for a while here and elsewhere that if/when the Dems used the Nuke option they would eventually rue the day. I still feel this way. We'll see in a year or so if the GOP reverts to the old filibuster rule. It will be their option, I think... and I doubt they do.
Another strand here is that the DC circuit court overseas most regulatory matters. Currently it is 4-4 with three vacant seats. With Baraq getting to appoint 3 judges that becomes a 7-4 virtual sure thing for expansion of bureaucratic liberal fascism.
Of course I get that we should not play situational ethics, I but note the situational ethics of the Dems in this play.
As the officer in question was doing the work of the DEA, it seems to me that the original 9th circuit panel got it right. That said, I am going to ask a friend who has a practice in this (approximate) area who I hope to have a discussion with.
Problems exist in HHS. No one denies it. However, for many appointees in the Department, the Senate rules served as a life preserver in a torrent of poor implementation, managerial failures, and bad PR. So long as the president faced the prospect of long-term vacancies among appointees overseeing ACA, the HHS leadership would be spared.
Today, that all changed. Moving forward, President Obama needs the support of only 51 Senate Democrats to replace top-level political appointees throughout the executive branch. This offers the president substantial breathing room. Nominees no longer need the support of every Democrat and a scarcely identifiable five Republicans. Instead, nominees can draw the ire of as many as four Democrats and still be confirmed
But personal jurisdiction is exactly what the Supreme Court will consider on Monday, when it hears oral arguments in Walden v. Fiore. At issue in the case is whether Fiore and Gipson can sue a Georgia police officer working as a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent in federal district court in Nevada for seizing their funds without probable cause and holding the money for more than six months before it was returned to them.
In the acolytes' telling, overcoming anti-access can only be accomplished by the technical services -- that, is the Air Force and the Navy -- fighting through sophisticated defenses, which requires massive investments. They then assume away any chance of ground operations. Precision strikes and distant blockades will spare us the mess of combat. The conclusion is to slash the Army, freeing up money for Big Navy and Air Force. Risk is minimal since the Army is easily expandable.
The story is tight and marketable and has just one shortfall: It does not work. Shock and Awe substitutes problems that can be solved by a target list for the thorny questions that U.S. global security interests naturally pose. It appeals to our natural desire for a quick-fix solution that keeps us arm's length from strategic entanglement. It makes us feel good, even if it is totally inadequate and unaffordable in the long run.
At the end of his title fight with Johny Hendricks, Georges St-Pierre was not right in the head. Already looking like he'd repeatedly run his face into a wall, St-Pierre showed an even scarier sign of the damage he had sustained. In his corner, preparing to step back into the fray against the hardest puncher in his division, GSP asked a telling question:
The U.S. government has just passed a new law called: "The affordable boat act" declaring that every citizen MUST purchase a new boat, by April 2014. These "affordable" boats will cost an average of $54,000-$155,000 each. This does not include taxes, trailers, towing fees, licensing and registration fees, fuel, docking and storage fees, maintenance or repair costs.
This law has been passed, because until now, typically only wealthy and financially responsible people have been able to purchase boats. This new laws ensures that every American can now have a "affordable" boat of their own, because everyone is "entitled" to a new boat. If you purchase your boat before the end of the year, you will receive 4 "free" life jackets; not including monthly usage fees.
In order to make sure everyone purchases an affordable boat, the costs of owning a boat will increase on average of 250-400% per year. This way, wealthy people will pay more for something that other people do not want or can not afford to maintain. But to be fair, people who can not afford to maintain their boat will be regularly fined and children (under the age of 26) can use their parents boats to party on until they turn 27; then must purchase their own boat.
If you already have a boat, you can keep yours (just kidding; no you can not). If you do not want or do not need a boat, you are required to buy one anyhow. If you refuse to buy one or can not afford one, you will be regularly fined $800 until you purchase one or face imprisonment.
Failure to use the boat will also result in fines. People living in the desert; ghettos; inner cities or areas with no access to lakes are not exempt. Age, motion sickness, experience, knowledge nor lack of desire are acceptable excuses for not using your boat.
A government review board (that does not know the difference between the port, starboard or stern of a boat) will decide everything, including; when, where, how often and for what purposes you can use your boat along with how many people can ride your boat and determine if one is too old or healthy enough to be able to use their boat. They will also decide if your boat has out lived its usefulness or if you must purchase specific accessories, (like a $500 compass) or a newer and more expensive boat.
Those that can afford yachts will be required to do so...it is only fair. The government will also decide the name for each boat. Failure to comply with these rules will result in fines and possible imprisonment.
Government officials are exempt from this new law. If they want a boat, they and their families can obtain boats free, at the expense of tax payers. Unions, bankers and mega companies with large political affiliations ($$$) are also exempt.
If the government can force you to buy health care, they can force you to buy a boat....or ANYTHING else..