Photographer: Chris Sattlberger/Getty Images
Every time fossil fuels get cheaper, people lose interest in solar deployment. That may be about to change.
He’s the Staller in Chief — President Obama has punted almost every hot-button issue past the key midterm elections on Nov. 4. Obama has postponed decisions on a raft of contentious issues related to ObamaCare, Gitmo, immigration and his Cabinet. This is partly to protect Democratic candidates and hold onto the Senate. But it’s more than that. Obama plans a number of radical moves later this year when the administration believes the media, and the public, are paying less attention.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, shakes hands with Ukraine's President Petro PoroshenkoPhoto by Daniel Dal Zennaro/Reuters
Kiev, once an easy-going city famed for its hospitality, has become a gloomy place after almost a year of nonstop strife, from protests and street battles to revolution and war. Many residents worry about staying warm this winter if a dispute with Russia over natural-gas prices isn’t resolved. Others wonder whether the fighting will reach the capital. One influential TV journalist privately says he expects Russia to launch airstrikes on the city to open a land corridor to the Crimean peninsula, which is cut off from sea routes during the winter.
Man on a mission: a U.S. Forest Service ranger on Mount Silcox, in Montana, 1909. (Corbis / W. J. Lubken)
The depressing bottom line is that given how self-reinforcing the country’s political malaise is, and how unlikely the prospects for constructive incremental reform are, the decay of American politics will probably continue until some external shock comes along to catalyze a true reform coalition and galvanize it into action.