There are two guiding principles in the left’s ersatz secular theology: Green is Good and Global is Best. They constantly deride the notion of American exceptionalism and tell us to look abroad for inspiration on how to manage our affairs.
Alas, hard times are at hand for the greenie globalist. It seems that America is doing pretty well on the green front as it focuses its entrepreneurial drives on shale gas, which has a relatively light carbon footprint. Meanwhile, our neighbors across the seas are not morphing into paragons of environmental virtue, bestowing alternative energy technologies on a fallen world. They are becoming coal addicts, as described by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Telegraph:
Asia’s industrial revolution is the driving force behind the coal revival. China will absorb half the world’s output within two years to supply its steel, chemical, and cement plants. It still generates 83pc of its power from coal.
India is catching up fast, with coal use rising 6.3pc a year. It will be the world’s largest importer of seaborne coal by 2016.
America’s success with shale gas has reduced its demand for coal and pushed down the price, which has fallen from $200 per ton to $99. Asia’s hungry economies are taking advantage of the drop and importing record amounts of coal. As the black rocks have a carbon footprint more than twice the size of shale gas, a new twist looms on the horizon in the global warming debate.
Environmental activists have generally argued that it was up to the West, especially America, to rein in its carbon emissions. But now that America’s free enterprise system has come up with an energy consumption structure that is relatively green, are they prepared to make the same demands on China, India and the other rapidly growing economies of Asia?
NO MORE TAXES!!!!!!!!!
As leaders of broad based American citizen groups we call upon Republican House Members to vote no on Speaker Boehner’s Tax Hike known as “Plan B.” This tax increase bill is just like the tax increase proposal Nancy Pelosi offered last year on May 23rd.
Speaker Boehner, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and too many Members of the Republican conference have forgotten that the problem in Washington is too much spending and not too little taxation.
When the American people voted to return the Republican majority in the House last month we sent you to cut spending. Instead, you are now voting on the Pelosi plan to increase taxes next year.
We urge Members of the House to vote no on the procedural rule to stop the Pelosi/Boehner tax plan from coming to the House floor for a vote.
Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General
Brent Bozell, President, ForAmerica
Erick Erickson, Editor, RedState.com
Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring
J. Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio Faith & Freedom Coalition
Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
David N. Bossie, President, Citizens United
Alfred Regnery, President, The Paul Revere Project
William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government
Chris Chocola, President, Club for Growth
George Landrith, Frontiers of Freedom
Michael Needham, Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Action for America
Morton Blackwell, Chairman, The Weyrich Lunch
Peter Thomas, Chairman, The Conservative Caucus
Amy Kremer, Chairman Tea Party Express
Richard Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com
David Y. Denholm, President, Public Service Research Council
Jim Backlin, Christian Coalition of America
Becky Norton Dunlop, former Reagan Administration official
Gary Bauer, President, American Values
David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
David McIntosh, former Member of Congress, Indiana
Robert (Bob) Reccord, Exec. Dir., Council for National Policy
T. Kenneth Cribb, former Domestic Advisor to President Reagan
(All organizations listed for Identification purposes only)
Cliff Notes: All Quiet On The Western Front
As President Obama and Speaker Boehner continue to work out a framework for a budget deal, the National Journal is reporting that some Democrat lawmakers (Sen. Dick Durbin) are literally running down the hall to avoid talking about spending cuts. Despite widespread agreement that entitlement programs are the major drivers of our debt and deficits, liberal special interest groups have maintained a stranglehold on any efforts towards real reform. With pressure mounting in Washington, DC to act, the question becomes whether Democrats will ultimately face reality and deal with these unsustainable programs or once again cave to the union bosses who helped get them elected.
Spending Cuts And Reforms Finally Part Of The Fiscal Cliff Discussion:
President Obama’s Latest Fiscal Cliff Proposal Includes Minor Reforms To Social Security As Part Of Larger Spending Cuts. “President Obama’s latest fiscal cliff offer to support deeper spending cuts to popular government programs puts his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill in a tough spot on Tuesday, driving them to dodge questions about whether they could support it. Obama’s plan calls for $1.2 trillion in spending cuts that include changes like slowing the cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries – a reform Senate Democrats declared off the table weeks ago.” (Chris Frates, “Dems Dodge Questions On Spending Cuts,” National Journal, 12/18/12)
Many Members Of Congress Are Afraid To Support The President’s Proposal Because Of Blowback From Liberal Interest Groups. “Democrats can’t embrace Obama’s plan for fear of getting hammered by liberal interest groups and giving Republican House Speaker John Boehner room to push for further entitlement cuts.” (Chris Frates, “Dems Dodge Questions On Spending Cuts,” National Journal, 12/18/12)
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid And Dick Durbin Say No On Entitlement Reform. “But the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have indicated that they won’t consider cuts to Social Security as part of a deal. Moreover, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who is close to Obama, said on Tuesday that a cliff deal shouldn’t touch Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.” (Robert Schroeder, “Democrats Must Move On Entitlements In Cliff Deal, Bowles Says,” MarketWatch, 11/29/12)
Members Of Congress Tried A Variety Of Tactics To Avoid Questions On Spending Cuts:
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT): No Comment. “Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus refused to comment on Obama’s latest offer because it wasn’t a done deal. ‘I want to see what the deal is and I don’t want be negotiating, undermining the president by commenting on all of these different proposals that come out. They’re doing it, the speaker and the president. Godspeed, and hope they make it because it’s really important.’” (Chris Frates, “Dems Dodge Questions On Spending Cuts,” National Journal, 12/18/12)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL): Pleading Ignorance. “And even after a lunchtime briefing by White House negotiator Rob Nabors, Democratic leaders were still dodging reporters’ question. ‘I haven’t seen their proposal,’ said Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat. But hadn’t he just been briefed by Nabors? ‘He didn’t get into specifics,’” Durbin said, quickening his pace as he walked away from reporters.” (Chris Frates, “Dems Dodge Questions On Spending Cuts,” National Journal, 12/18/12)
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA): Old Talking Points. “Sen. Patty Murray, the No. 4 Democrat in the Senate, fell back on old talking points. ‘We have been consistent from day one. Unless there is significant revenue on the table that was fairly balanced, we are nowhere. And to this point we haven’t gotten there so there is no plan,’ she said before waiving off further questions and bolting for the senators-only elevator.” (Chris Frates, “Dems Dodge Questions On Spending Cuts,” National Journal, 12/18/12)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO): No Comment. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a moderate Democrat and close Obama ally, said she plans to wait until a deal is struck before weighing in. ‘I am not going to comment on any of the parts until it appears something’s moving,’ she said.” (Chris Frates, “Dems Dodge Questions On Spending Cuts,” National Journal, 12/18/12)
Liberal Groups Have Been Pressuring Washington To Ignore Entitlements:
Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, Opposes Any Cuts. “Congress should reject Boehner’s ‘Plan B’ and any cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, or Medicare, regardless of who proposes them” (Richard L. Trumka, Tweet, 12/18/12)
Unions Want Washington To Disregard Entitlements In Deficit-Reduction Strategy. “Several major labor unions joined together to release an ad campaign this week pushing members of Congress to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans and protect entitlement programs from major cuts as a solution to the looming fiscal cliff, the groups announced Tuesday.” (Kevin Bohn & Ashley Killough, “Labor Groups Rally Against Spending Cuts In Fiscal Cliff Ads,” CNN.com, 11/20/12)
- Groups Are Targeting Democrats With A Six-Figure Ad Buy. “The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Education Association say they’re spending $300,000 on an initial TV and radio buy for the ad campaign, according to a high ranking labor official. … In the upcoming week, the labor unions’ commercials will appear in states with Democratic senators considered by some on the left as potentially more willing to support some major spending cuts that the unions would oppose.” (Kevin Bohn & Ashley Killough, “Labor Groups Rally Against Spending Cuts In Fiscal Cliff Ads,” CNN.com, 11/20/12)
AARP Is Running TV Ads With The Same Message. “The new ads come as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has also run television ads, educating viewers on the fiscal cliff issue and arguing to keep ‘Medicare and Social Security strong for generations to come.’” (Kevin Bohn & Ashley Killough, “Labor Groups Rally Against Spending Cuts In Fiscal Cliff Ads,” CNN.com, 11/20/12)
Broad Agreement That Entitlements Are Driving The Debt:
Obama: “I Believe That We Have To Continue To Take A Serious Look At How We Reform Our Entitlements, Because Health Care Costs Continue To Be The Biggest Driver Of Our Deficits.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President At A News Conference, The White House, 11/14/12)
“[Treasury Secretary Timothy] Geithner Targeted Entitlement Programs As The Key To Reducing The National Debt While Insisting That Social Security Benefits Remain Protected.” (“Geithner: Entitlement Programs Key To Cutting Deficit,” ABCNews.com, 2/15/11)
FLASHBACK: In 2009, Obama Pledged To Reform Social Security And Medicare. “President-elect Barack Obama pledged yesterday to shape a new Social Security and Medicare ‘bargain’ with the American people, saying that the nation’s long-term economic recovery cannot be attained unless the government finally gets control over its most costly entitlement programs.” (Michael D. Shear, “Obama Pledges Reform Of Social Security, Medicare Programs,” The Washington Post, 1/16/09)
- Obama: “What we have done is kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further … We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else’s.” (Michael D. Shear, “Obama Pledges Reform Of Social Security, Medicare Programs,” The Washington Post, 1/16/09)
The Washington Post: “Since 60 percent of the federal budget goes to entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, there’s no way to achieve balance without slowing the rate of increase of those programs.” (Editorial, “Mr. Obama’s time to lead on entitlements,” The Washington Post, 11/27/12)
Washington Faces Increasing Pressure To Address Entitlements:
The Washington Post: “Entitlement Reform Must Be On The Table” (Editorial, “Entitlement Reform Must Be On The Table,” The Washington Post, 11/14/12)
USA Today: “Cut Entitlements To Control Debt” (Editorial, “Cut Entitlements To Control Debt,” USA Today, 11/14/12)
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde: “[A]n agreement that would only extend tax cuts for the middle class without addressing spending or entitlements would be insufficient to reassure the rest of the world, she [International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde] said.” (Sandrine Rastello, “IMF’s Lagarde Says U.S. Fiscal Agreement Should Be Comprehensive,” Bloomberg, 12/9/12)
Former Chairman Of The President’s Council on Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee: “Former chairman of the president’s Council on Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee tells National Review Online that any solution to America’s economic ills ‘cuts on discretionary and entitlement spending.’” (Eliana Johnson, “Former Obama Economic Advisers: We Need Entitlement Reform,” National Review, 12/7/12)
Former Sen. Alan Simpson: “I mean, the bizarre thing, not touching the entitlements. The entitlements are the engine on the train driving us to the cliff. They were on automatic pilot.” (Alan Simpson, CBS’s Face The Nation, 12/9/12)
Former Clinton Chief Of Staff Erskine Bowles: “First of all, most important thing is if we’re going to raise revenue and if we’re going to raise it in any form, then we darn well better cut spending because spending is the biggest part of this problem, and the biggest part of that problem is the fact that health care is growing at a faster rate than GDP.” (Erskine Bowles, CBS’s Face The Nation, 12/9/12)
Spending Daily | December 19, 2012
Dems Dodging Questions On Spending Cuts
The National Journal reports, “President Obama’s latest fiscal cliff offer to support deeper spending cuts to popular government programs puts his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill in a tough spot on Tuesday, driving them to dodge questions about whether they could support it. Obama’s plan calls for $1.2 trillion in spending cuts that include changes like slowing the cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries – a reform Senate Democrats declared off the table weeks ago. So now, Obama’s proposal puts Democrats in a bit of a political pickle. Democrats can’t embrace Obama’s plan for fear of getting hammered by liberal interest groups and giving Republican House Speaker John Boehner room to push for further entitlement cuts. … So, they’re not saying much of anything.”
Twelve Years Ago We Had No Deficit And No IPods
Public Notice Executive Director Gretchen Hamel writes in POLITICO’s Arena, “Upon hearing the Treasury Department’s announcement of another deficit for the month of November and its projection that we’re on track for our fifth straight year of a trillion dollar budget deficit, I took a trip down memory lane. … It’s hard enough to believe it’s been four years since Washington passed a budget, and harder still to comprehend that that the last budget surplus was eleven years ago. … So the last time there was a surplus, a morning jog while listening to Justin Bieber on an iPod was impossible. … Many often use the 2001 budget surplus as a political tool to call for higher taxes. … But what everyone overlooks is how much less we were spending in 2001 compared to now.”
Economy Facing Drag, Washington Hopes To “Do Less Damage”
The Wall Street Journal reports, “Deal or no deal, the U.S. economy will face a drag of some kind from Washington budget policy next year. The White House and GOP are just negotiating how much. The latest offers exchanged by President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) point to higher income taxes for many upper-income earners, smaller paychecks for almost everyone and reduced federal spending that could restrain an already slow-growing economy. A central goal of the talks is to forge a deficit-reduction deal that would allow the government to avoid the fiscal cliff, the combination of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to begin in January. The hope is that an agreement would do less damage to the economy while also erasing some of the uncertainty that has held back consumers and businesses, providing an offsetting boost.”
Both Sides Want Their Political Posturing To Be Taken Seriously
POLITICO reports that the fiscal cliff negotiations have become more about political posturing, writing, “All of this is part of a highly choreographed Washington play, and in the current act, Obama and Boehner are trying to prove themselves as the more reasonable party with tax rates, spending cuts and unemployment benefits hanging in the balance. As negotiations behind closed doors slog on without any resolution in sight, both sides are orchestrating strategic leaks to the press and dashing to the House and Senate floor to try to show their colleagues — and the nation — that they’re the ones that should be taken seriously. … It’s the Capitol Hill waltz, with a year-end deadline looming as the last dance.”
“Plan B” Addresses Taxes, Punts On Spending
The New York Times reports, “Speaker John A. Boehner unveiled what he dubbed ‘Plan B’ less than 24 hours after President Obama offered a more comprehensive deal that would raise tax rates on incomes over $400,000 and, over 10 years, produce $1.2 trillion in tax increases and cut $930 billion in spending.” But according to the article, “the bill would not cancel across-the-board spending cuts — known as sequestration — that are scheduled to total $110 billion in 2013 and more than $1 trillion over 10 years. Republicans would resume the fight for broad spending cuts, especially to entitlement programs like Medicare, in late January or February, when the government will face raising its borrowing limit and when, many Republicans believe, they will have much more leverage than they do now. The White House came out strongly against the speaker’s plan. The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said that it could not pass the Senate and ‘therefore will not protect middle-class families’ from large tax increases schedule to begin on Jan. 1.”
WSJ: Bad Deal For Everyone Except Politicians
The Wall Street Journal editorializes, “It’s clear by now that the budget talks are drifting in a drearily familiar Washington direction: Tax and spending increases now, in return for the promise of spending cuts and tax and entitlement reform later. This is a bad deal for everyone except the politicians who want more money to spend. … This isn’t reform. It’s another tax increase next year disguised as reform. The Fortune 500 CEOs who are lobbying Republicans don’t mind because they hope to get a cut in the corporate tax rate. But small businesses will be stuck with a huge immediate tax increase … As for spending cuts or entitlement reform, these look notional at best. The only tangible agreement that has been leaked so far is to calculate future tax brackets and entitlement benefits based on ‘chain-weighted CPI.’ This is a more accurate measure of inflation than is currently used and we support it, but it is a small change worth perhaps $270 billion over 10 years.”
“Obama Social Security Offer At Odds With Top Dems”
The Associated Press reports, “President Barack Obama’s offer to slow the growth of Social Security benefits would force fellow Democrats in Congress to abandon promises to shield the massive retirement and disability program from cuts as part of negotiations to avoid the year-end fiscal cliff. Both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., pledged not to touch Social Security as part of deficit reduction talks. … The inflation measure under consideration is called the Chained Consumer Price Index. On average, the measure shows a lower level of inflation than the more widely used Consumer Price Index because it assumes that as prices rise, consumers turn to lower-cost alternatives, reducing the amount of inflation they experience. If adopted across the government, the change would have far-reaching effects because so many programs are adjusted each year based on year-to-year changes in consumer prices. On average, annual increases in Social Security payments, government pensions and veterans’ benefits would be about 0.3 percentage points smaller each year. Next year’s COLA is 1.7 percent. Under the new measure of inflation, it would be about 1.4 percent.”
Liberals Call Social Security Adjustments “Cruel,” “Stupid,” A “Betrayel”
The Washington Free Beacon reports, “Democratic Party leaders on Tuesday signaled a willingness to accept an adjustment to Social Security benefits that New York Times’ columnist and amateur psychohistorian Paul Krugman has called ‘cruel and stupid.’ The adjustment, known as chained CPI, would save about $130 billion by changing the way Social Security benefit increases are calculated and ultimately slow their rate of growth over time. Obama reportedly offered the adjustment as part of his most recent proposal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. Liberals were not pleased. … Justin Ruben, executive director of MoveOn.org, said the group’s members ‘overwhelmingly oppose’ cuts to Social Security benefits and that any agreement that does so would be seen as ‘a betrayal that sells out working and middle class families.’”
Growing Number Of Young Adults Living On The Street
The New York Times reports that the recession is forcing more young adults are living on the street, writing, “Across the country, tens of thousands of underemployed and jobless young people, many with college credits or work histories, are struggling to house themselves in the wake of the recession, which has left workers between the ages of 18 and 24 with the highest unemployment rate of all adults. Those who can move back home with their parents — the so-called boomerang set — are the lucky ones. … Without a stable home address, they are an elusive group that mostly couch surfs or sleeps hidden away in cars or other private places, hoping to avoid the lasting stigma of public homelessness during what they hope will be a temporary predicament. These young adults are the new face of a national homeless population, one that poverty experts and case workers say is growing.”
Hurricane Sandy Bill A “Christmas Tree Laden With Pricey Ornaments”
POLITICO reports, ” The $60 billion Hurricane Sandy disaster bill has become a Christmas tree laden with pricey ornaments: money for fisheries as far away as Alaska, a huge cash infusion for Amtrak and $2 million for roofs at the Smithsonian. … Some of the line items being targeted are old saws for Republicans, such as $336 million for Amtrak. Also drawing ire are the Smithsonian’s roof repairs, $17 billion in HUD grants, more than $4 billion for Army Corps of Engineers water and navigation projects, and replacements for storm-damaged vehicles for agencies like the Secret Service and Customs and Border Protection. It all adds up to ‘questionable spending,’ Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) say, even as the Senate has begun debating the bill. Final passage is possible later this week.”
Fitch: Stabilize Debt Or Lost Triple-A Status
Reuters reports, “Ratings firm Fitch said on Wednesday it is more likely to strip the United States of its triple-A status if a political deal is not reached to halt $600 billion of spending cuts and tax hikes set for early next year. ‘Failure to avoid the fiscal cliff … would exacerbate rather than diminish the uncertainty over fiscal policy, and tip the U.S. into an avoidable and unnecessary recession,’ Fitch said in its 2013 global outlook, published on Wednesday. … Fitch added that an agreement on a multi-year deficit reduction plan to stabilize U.S. debt and public finances was likely to see the country keep its triple-A rating.”
From the Washington Post:
Robert H. Bork, the conservative jurist who fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the “Saturday Night Massacre” in 1973 and whose failed nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 sparked an enduring political schism over judicial nominations, died early Wednesday at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington of complications from heart disease. He was 85.
The death was confirmed by Mr. Bork’s daughter-in-law, Diana Culp Bork.
Statement from the Federalist Society
In Memoriam: Robert H. Bork
The Federalist Society extends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Judge Robert H. Bork.
Judge Bork was a legal giant, and a man of unsurpassed integrity, intellect, courage, and kindness. Since the inception of the Federalist Society he has been a very special friend, inspiration, and intellectual guiding light.
Our nation owes Judge Bork an enormous debt of gratitude for his irrepressible and forceful defense of the Constitution as it was written and understood by our Founding Fathers, pioneering a jurisprudence of original meaning that has had enormous influence in the legal academy as well as in the courts.
The many leaders and members of the Federalist Society who had the privilege of knowing Judge Bork certainly feel a sense loss at this time. The Judge’s unparalleled wisdom and wonderful wit will be missed. Fortunately much of it will endure through his enormous body of published writings, speeches and lectures that future generations can enjoy and profit from.
Robert Bork’s contributions and achievements are already a part of the fabric of our country. His memory and legacy live on, and, we hope, will further help to preserve America’s exceptional commitment to limited, constitutional government and the rule of law.
Reaction statements from key figures
“Robert Bork was one of the most influential legal scholars of the past 50 years. His impact on legal thinking in the fields of Antitrust and Constitutional Law was profound and lasting. More important for the final accounting, he was a good man and a loyal citizen. May he rest in peace.”
Hon. Antonin Scalia
Supreme Court of the United States
“He was a great teacher and a wise judge. He was a penetrating and influential writer, a formidable advocate and a captivating speaker. Through it all Robert Bork has had a profound impact on American jurisprudence. And he has earned the country’s admiration and its thanks.”
A. Raymond Randolph
Senior Circuit Judge
United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
Deputy Solicitor General under Robert Bork and Advisor to Judge Bork During His Supreme Court Confirmation
“Judge Bork, like St. Thomas More, was a man for all seasons, who towered over all of his contemporaries. Judge Bork revolutionized constitutional law with his writings on originalism, and he revolutionized antitrust law with his writings on law and economics. Judge Bork helped critically in the founding of the Federalist Society, and his career combined the life of the mind with the life of action. His path-breaking books together with his service as Solicitor General, Acting Attorney General during the Watergate scandal and as one of President Ronald Reagan’s Supreme Court nominees transformed American law. Judge Bork was an inspiration and mentor to many young lawyers who have gone on to serve as federal judges and to teach law. His wit, charm, and good friendship will be sorely missed.”
Professor Steven G. Calabresi
Law Clerk to Judge Robert Bork, Former Student of Judge Bork’s, and Judge Bork’s Biographer
Professor at Northwestern University School of Law and Brown University
With just a handful of days left in 2012 — and a fighting chance we will avoid the Mayan apocalypse — it’s time to start forecasting what awaits us in 2013. Google had a big 2012, rolling out scores of new products while making countless adjustments to its old ones. In 2013, it will continue to face competition on all sides — and here are five things to keep an eye on as the New Year ramps up.
1. What’s next for Nexus? This year Google introduced its Nexus tablets to generally strong reviews, along with a Nexus 4 smartphone that showed a high-end smartphone can be sold, unlocked, for a highly competitive price. But while Apple trumpets millions of iPhones and iPads sold, we don’t have a clear sense of how many Nexus devices are selling. Shortages of Nexus tablets have been reported, and the Nexus 4 has been difficult to keep in stock. And yet absent a big marketing campaign or mainstream buzz, the Nexus devices are still at risk of looking like also-rans in a mobile world dominated by Apple and Samsung.
Google I/O is returning to the month of May this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the next version of the Nexus 7 unveiled around that time. (The original launched at I/O this year.) The Nexus 10 is only a couple of months old, but we would also expect a refreshed version of the device sometime in 2013. As for the Nexus smartphone — it would be nice to see it able to access LTE networks. But getting U.S. carriers to pick it up will likely be a challenge.
2. Will developers go Android-first? It was in December 2011 that Google’s executive chairman predicted most developers would soon choose to develop for Android first. More than a year later, there’s little evidence that’s the case. Whether because of Android users’ reputation for being harder to monetize, or concerns about developing for the fragmented ecosystem, or other intangibles, big venture-backed startups often launch first with an iOS app. There are signs that this is starting to change. By some measures Apple and Google’s app stores are now roughly tied in the number of apps available on their platforms. But will Android become the premiere platform for app development? It’s something we’ll be watching closely in 2013.
European Currencies Rally, Dollar-Bloc Heavy
This week’s pattern remainsintact. The US dollar continues to trend lower against the European
currencies, but is firmer within the dollar-bloc and against the yen.
Spanish and Italian bond yields are lower, while the long-end of the
Japanese curve is heavy. Equity markets are finishing the year with a
firm note, with board gains in Asian, with the notable exception of
Shanghai and Jakarta, and in Europe, with the exception of Stockholm.
Theeuro is at 7-month highs today, pushing toward $1.3300. The next target
is near $1.3385. Sterling has been bid to near the year’s high set
in late September just above $1.6300. There is little chart resistance
until closer to $1.6500. The dollar’s slide against the Swiss franc
has extended to CHF0.91 and appears headed for CHF0.9000.
The dollar-bloc is not participating in this move against the greenback.
This week, for example, the New Zealand dollar has fallen as almost as
much as the yen (1.03% and 1.08% respectively). The Australian and
Canadian dollars are off 0.04% and 0.57% respectively.