The United States economy rebounded heartily in the spring after a dismal winter, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday, growing at an annual rate of 4 percent from April through June and surpassing economists' expectations. Economists, who had been hoping for a full reversal of the first quarter's decline, were cheered by the second quarter's numbers. The consensus forecast for GDP was 3 percent. The bigger-than-expected gain further cemented views that the decrease in America's overall output during the first quarter was most likely a fluke tied in large part to unusually stormy winter weather and other anomalies.
Yes, Germany is now considered a blossoming land of opportunity for immigrants. It is the top immigrant destination in Europe and only second to the U.S. in number of immigrants welcomed in 2012.
The country has radically simplified the immigration process for educated E.U. citizens and foreigners and has developed special programs to encourage unemployed Europeans to migrate, with Germany footing the bill.
It's true that public opinion surveys are not showing any 2010-style GOP "wave," but Democrats are rightly nervous that when polls begin identifying likely voters closer to November, superior Republican "base enthusiasm" could put a thumb on the scales in their favor.
There's a downside to GOP optimism about 2014, however: it seems to be eroding healthy fears about the party's long-term standing, beginning with the 2016 presidential election.
Bill Maher closed this week's "Real Time" by poking a stick at the notion that the free market is always right. Pointing out the hypocrisy of the right's adherence to that belief, he insisted, "Big business is the new big government. It is the massive, unwieldy bureaucracy that just doesn't work."
Using the lack of real costumer service in big business as a jumping off point, Maher explained that the absence of choice due to any real government pushback on mergers has left our economy at the whim of people whose policy is to annoy you out of your money.
There's a name for this strategy, and it doesn't come from the Heritage Foundation (although the individual mandate did). It comes from Soviet Communism: "heighten the contradictions." The idea is to root for, and even enable, bad outcomes of your ideological opponents' power, in the hopes that these bad outcomes will convince people to rise up against your opponents. It's a grim way to look at the world, but here we are.