The Week: Most Recent U.S. Posts recent posts.en-usThu, 24 Jul 2014 09:51:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent U.S. Posts from THE WEEKThu, 24 Jul 2014 09:51:00 -0400The next financial crisis is brewing right now -- and regulators are missing it<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>You may not see it on the front pages of your newspaper, but close examination will reveal an extreme unease from banking regulators about the current trajectory on Wall Street.</p><p>The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), not typically seen as a strident regulator, is warning about risky lending as low interest rates drive a reach for higher yields. Both the OCC and the Federal Reserve have decried the slippage in underwriting standards on particular loan products. Fed Chair Janet Yellen cited "pockets of increased risk-taking" in a speech. And the Bank for International Settlements...</p> <a href="">More</a>By David DayenThu, 24 Jul 2014 09:51:00 -0400Today in history: The death of 'Blue Whiskey Van'<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p><strong>July 24, </strong><strong>1862:</strong> Martin Van Buren died. He was the eighth president, serving between 1837-41. Known as "Blue Whiskey Van," for his heavy drinking, Van Buren had slipped into a coma three days before.</p><p>Van Buren helped organize what today is the Democratic Party. He was the first president who was of neither British nor Irish descent (his family was Dutch) and was the first president born as an American citizen. He is the only president who didn't speak English growing up &mdash; Dutch was his first language &mdash; and the first president from New York.</p><p>The Van Buren presidency was largely characterized...</p> <a href="">More</a>By West Wing ReportsThu, 24 Jul 2014 09:40:00 -0400The disturbing lessons of Arizona's un-American execution<img src="" /></P><p>What happened Wednesday afternoon to Joseph Wood in Arizona was a state-sponsored, judicially sanctioned human experiment that went terribly wrong. The subject of the experiment, a convicted murderer, was supposed to die. And eventually he did. But it was not supposed to take nearly two hours for Arizona to kill him. The lethal drugs that prison officials dripped into his body weren't supposed to cause him to gasp for air for an hour and 40 minutes before he died, as his lawyer reported, or gasp over 600 times, as a media eyewitness recounted.</p><p>By the time dusk came to the desert, the Arizona attorney...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/andrew-cohen" ><span class="byline">Andrew Cohen</span></a>Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:20:00 -0400How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Every year, the U.S. and South Korea team up for one of the world's largest military exercises. Thousands of troops backed by fighter aircraft, strategic bombers, and Navy warships plan for the worst.</p><p>But America's elite Special Operations Forces are also involved &mdash; planning for the day when they might be the first ones tasked with stepping across the DMZ.</p><p>The training is a less publicized element of the Pentagon's exercises in South Korea, which are emphasized as defensive in nature. But for three days in April 2013, American commandos carried out simulated North Korea missions during...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Robert BeckhusenThu, 24 Jul 2014 09:12:00 -0400Today in history: The death of a Civil War hero<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p><strong>July 23, 1885:</strong> Ulysses S. Grant died. He was the 18th president, serving from 1869-77, and an Ohio native.</p><p>When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Grant was working in his father's leather store in Illinois. He was appointed by the governor to command a volunteer regiment; within months he had risen to the rank of brigadier general of volunteers.</p><p>Grant led his men to seize the Mississippi Valley. In February 1862, when a Confederate commander asked for terms, Grant replied, "No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted." The Confederates surrendered, and President...</p> <a href="">More</a>By West Wing ReportsWed, 23 Jul 2014 10:15:00 -0400Why Halbig and the conservative war on ObamaCare will fail<img src="" /></P><p>ObamaCare took a serious blow yesterday. In <em>Halbig v. Burwell</em>, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal government cannot give subsidies to insurance enrollees in states that had declined to create health exchanges. This is a grave threat to health care reform &mdash; but it's a threat that may ultimately backfire on conservatives who have sought to dismantle ObamaCare in the courts.</p><p>If <em>Halbig</em> were the law of the land, the immediate consequences would be clear. The heart of ObamaCare would no longer operate in 36 states. Without subsidies, five million newly...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/joel-dodge" ><span class="byline">Joel Dodge</span></a>Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:37:00 -0400How the slaughter of innocents undid the best-laid plans in Gaza and Ukraine<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Modern low-intensity conflicts are won and lost on their ragged edges. Nations act as though the careful plans of their militaries and intelligence operations can harness the chaos of combat and guide it to advance their interests. And then the unplanned happens, collateral damage occurs, and it has a bigger impact on politics and the position of combatants than all the calculated elements of the conflict added up.</p><p>We need look no further than the headlines of last week &mdash; to the four dead Palestinian boys on the beach in Gaza or to the scattered wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight...</p> <a href="">More</a>By David RothkopfTue, 22 Jul 2014 09:57:00 -0400U.S. marines get ready for the next Benghazi<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>The Pentagon sent more Marines and warplanes to join its emergency response group in Europe this spring. The additions show the growing importance of smaller task forces in an era of shrinking defense budgets.</p><p>Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response had 500 Marines, six MV-22B tiltrotors, and two KC-130J tankers in Spain as of March. The Pentagon's move adds 350 more people to the force, as well as additional aircraft.</p><p>The military has not said what new aircraft are joining the task force, but the Marines could want additional firepower to protect the Ospreys. Three Air...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Joe TrevithickTue, 22 Jul 2014 09:19:00 -0400Immigration, charity, and conservatives' unholy assault on Glenn Beck<img src="" /></P><p>For a movement that wants to eliminate welfare on the grounds it crowds out charity, the rightmost edge of conservatism has been remarkably uncharitable throughout the current immigration crisis. It is almost like they detest charity itself.</p><p>Earlier this month, Glenn Beck announced his intention to deliver food, toys, and other supplies to the undocumented immigrants detained in McAllen, Texas. His reasoning was fairly straightforward: Since the immigrants, who are generally children, currently awaiting processing have escaped corruption and violence and political unrest, there is a moral imperative...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/elizabeth-stoker-bruenig" ><span class="byline">Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig</span></a>Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:13:00 -0400Today in history: A former president falls into a coma<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p><strong>July 21, 1862:</strong> Former President Martin Van Buren entered a coma and would die three days later. He was the 8th president, serving from 1837-41.</p><p>Van Buren helped organize what today is the Democratic Party. He was the first president who was of neither British nor Irish descent (his family was Dutch) and was the first president born as an American citizen. He is the only president who didnt' speak English growing up &mdash; Dutch was his first language &mdash; and the first president from New York.</p><p>The Van Buren presidency was largely characterized by the Panic of 1837 and the economic depression...</p> <a href="">More</a>By West Wing ReportsMon, 21 Jul 2014 11:45:00 -0400