Saturday News and Notes

Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Remain Stalled – Unlike The PR Campaigns
Republicans and the Obama administration continued their public relations campaign in the hopes of swaying public opinion on fiscal cliff negotiations. While the election is over and voters have little to do with actually reaching an agreement on package of tax increases and spending cuts, both sides believe gaining public support strengthens their hand in negotiations.

Egypt Rushes Through New Charter As Divisions Widen
Egypt quickly approved a new constitution as thousands of Islamists rallied in the streets in support of President Mohamed Morsi. The street protests, however, simply highlight the deepening divisions within the country.

The draft charter is headed for Morsi’s signature on Saturday and, according to analysts, the restriction of the rights of secularists, women, and journalists might signal the beginning of the end of Egypt’s democratic movement.

A BBC News comparison of the new and discarded constitution can be viewed here.

A Critical Commentary On America’s Democratic Experiment
A longtime observer of the democratic experience, political scientist Harvey Mansfield offers his frank and frankly critical views of the state of American democracy.

“The American founders wanted people to live under the Constitution. But the progressives want the Constitution to live under the American people,” Mansfield tells the Wall Street Journal.


Financial Fraud May Not Be So Funny

Is Christmas Good For Us?
Financial Times columnist Tim Hartford believes that the holidays are a positive for the economy, but wonders whether the modern Christmas season is good for us as a society.

Is the love affair with Brazil, Russia, India, China overrated?
Ian Bremmer argues in The New York Times that while the success of the BRIC nations, which accounted for two-thirds of global economic growth over the past five years, deserves attention, the grouping is a better acronym than an actual economic bloc.


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