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Showing posts from June, 2012

Top 10 Crazy Facts About America

Here's my perspective -- from 10,000 miles away. The craziness about gun possession. Who'll explain to Americans that they're not pioneers anymore nor is the West wild. Guns make about as much sense as horse-drawn buggies for commuting to the office from Brooklyn to downtown Manhattan or riding a horse to the office in sprawling L.A. The never-retiring justices of the Supreme Court. And what is it with them being so openly, politically partisan anyway? Overturning the popular vote in presidential elections, venturing into policy formulation ... let the folks retire at 70 or 75. That reminds of the crazy election in 2000 when Al Gore got more votes than Bush -- but guess what! Bush wins because he got Florida and thus more votes in the crazy Electoral College, a relic of the 18th century. And those hanging chads appear anachronistic from the perspective of 3rd world nations. India uses EVMs !! Kill the Electoral College!

This One Is Bigger Than Dr. Kalam

The Office of the President of India is not a reward bestowed upon an eminent person for a lifetime of services rendered to the nation or for any other factors. It’s a serious constitutional office, the highest office of the land. I wish to submit that by withdrawing himself as a candidate in the elections to this office in this turbulent climate, Dr. Kalam has done a disservice to the nation. He would have been a serious challenger to the canny politician Pranab Mukherjee and by his action, he becomes an accomplice to the smooth and dangerous ascendancy of Mr. Mukherjee to this key office. The country is surely bigger than Dr. Kalam. Not a Routine Matter No serious observer of politics in India will look upon the choice of Pranab Mukherjee as its candidate by the Congress Party as anything but a cynical and calculated as well as canny move by the party to position its man in the key role of President in advance of the likely fractured mandate of 2014. Never before in

Why The Old Uncles Matter

Every so often we get to hear various opinion writers express some disappointment about the fact that in India -- this overwhelmingly young country -- the leaders are extraordinarily old. It's easy enough to find that thought agreeable. What's not to like about having young leaders who are able to may be play golf or throw a cricket ball or even enjoy basketball like Barack Obama. But I wrote in my previous post about how disappointing Obama has been as a president. He won in 2008 on the platform of change. Because of the nature of the U.S. -- the way some states are Red states and others are Blue no matter what -- and because of the way the electoral system works, presidents can appear to get huge majorities which are not really that spectacular. (Not to forget 2000 when Al Gore got more votes than George W. Bush but Bush won the electoral college and hence the election.)

An Obama Appraisal

People halfway around the world were rooting for Mr. Obama in 2008. Including me. What did Mr. Obama accomplish? No closing of Guantanamo Bay. Perhaps incumbent presidents become privy to intelligence documents detailing the crazy lengths that terrorists go or can go to try and harm America. And that changes the mind of the President. But what about Wall St? He kid gloved the hedge fund industry, and the billionaires and the tend-headed monster that is the banking industry. On healthcare, he has tried to carry the baton forward from the Great Society platform created in the '60s. Not much in terms of campaign finance reform or the lobbying industry. Perhaps courageous attempts to curb the spiraling costs of healthcare for retirees and also curb the military industrial complex by cutting the defense budget.