Nov 25, 2008

West Coast appreciates destiny with Asia

LOS ANGELES — Serious intellectual narrowing can happen to even the brightest folk once nested down on the U.S. East Coast. They become preoccupied (almost neurotically, almost provincially) with the problems of the past — especially with the Middle East and Europe — and ...

Nov 14, 2008

Hu touches base with Obama on economy

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Guess who telephoned Barack Obama for one of the first, if not the first, substance-packed reachout to the next U.S. head of state. It was Chinese President Hu Jintao. The conversation focused on the global economic freeze, but Hu knew ...

Nov 9, 2008

McCain's heart wasn't really in it

LOS ANGELES — History’s losers can emerge later as history’s winners, especially in U.S. politics. John F. Kennedy lost his bid to become the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1956, but his televised concession speech helped to propel him into the White House four ...

Nov 5, 2008

Beijing has enough of its own problems

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — It would be a mistake to overestimate how much China can or will do to pitch in to the world dilemma as the roiling and unnerving global financial world proceeds apace. Many people don’t realize it, but China has a ...

Oct 24, 2008

A Republican general's warning to America

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — It was a revealing moment in American politics. In endorsing Barack Obama for president of the United States over fellow Republican John McCain, Colin Powell was not simply giving his blessing to this candidate. That was the easy part. The ...

Oct 21, 2008

Obama swings and misses on trade issues

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — “Americans are angry,” said John McCain, while debating his opponent Barack Obama last Wednesday night in their final face-to-face televised debate, “and they have every reason to be angry.” The Republican candidate for the U.S. presidency certainly got that right. ...

Oct 17, 2008

A way for North Korea's leaders to revamp

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Sometimes Americans give North Korean officials far more credit than they deserve for allegedly outsmarting us. Just how smart, really, are they? Headlines can deceive. Sure, in the latest twist in the six-party talks, the Bush administration notably downsized its ...

Oct 12, 2008

More here than meets the Dow

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Should we even be listening to religious leaders when they opine on the financial crisis? Ted Sorensen, in his marvelous new book “Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History,” is absolutely right to assert that in the United States, ...

Sep 29, 2008

Learning from BOJ's choice to do nothing

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, may be dead wrong about the urgent need for the proposed $700 billion that the former professor and his buddy, U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, have been peddling to ...

Sep 25, 2008

Bright side of the U.S. financial meltdown

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Rather than curse the current financial darkness, let us try to light candles. Without blowing our credibility entirely, let us see if we can illuminate the brighter side of this global meltdown. Here is a trio of pluses to try ...