Last week, China announced that it had mastered the art of making ballpoint pens. Don't laugh: It was a years-long effort that cost millions of dollars and required the leadership of a state-run corporate colossus. It was front-page news, widely discussed on talk shows and celebrated on social media.
And it was no one-off stunt. China hopes such government-mandated "innovation" will finally revive its economy and catapult it into the front rank of technologically advanced nations. Unfortunately, such efforts are far more likely to worsen the inefficiencies already holding its economy back. read more
During his confirmation hearing Thursday, Ben Carson repeatedly refused to guarantee that money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development would not go to benefit President-elect Donald Trump or his family.
"Among the billions of dollars that you will be handing out in grants and loans, can you just assure us that not one dollar will go to benefit either the president-elect or his family?" Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) asked. read more
President-elect Donald Trump called NATO obsolete, predicted that other European Union members would follow the U.K. in leaving the bloc and threatened BMW with import duties over a planned plant in Mexico, according to an interview with Germany's Bild newspaper that will raise concerns in Berlin over trans-Atlantic relations. Quoted in German from a conversation held in English, Trump predicted Britain's exit from the EU will be a success and portrayed the EU as an instrument of German domination with the purpose of beating the U.S. in international trade. For that reason, Trump said, he's fairly indifferent whether the EU breaks up or stays together, according to Bild. read more
The incoming Trump administration is considering moving White House press briefings out of the West Wing to accommodate more than the "Washington media elite," President-elect Donald Trump's press secretary said.
Involving more people, including bloggers and others who aren't from the mainstream media, "should be seen as a welcome change," he said. Sean Spicer said Sunday on Fox News Channel's "Media Buzz." read more
Real time expenses paid for by tax payers in NYC.