All politics is not local. So it’s no surprise that tea leaves are much in demand today as political prognosticators seek meaning -- and no small amount of affirmation -- in off-year election results in Virginia, New Jersey and elsewhere. The fate of the Tea Party, President Barack Obama’s health-care reform law, immigration reform, abortion rights and much more were all on the line yesterday. Or so we are told.
Bill de Blasio, who built his underdog campaign for New York mayor on promises to restrain police stop-and-frisk tactics and reduce income inequality, won in a landslide, putting a Democrat in charge of City Hall for the first time in 20 years.
Saudi Arabia’s support for rebels in Syria won’t be constrained by U.S. efforts to keep the money from Islamist groups, as the kingdom steps up efforts to battle Iranian influence in the region, a Saudi official said.
On March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt became president for the first time, promising an “adequate but sound” currency. The next day, a Sunday, he closed the nation’s banks. “We are now off the gold standard,” he privately declared to a group of advisers. Goldbugs in the president’s circle immediately began prophesying doom. One of his aides, Lewis Douglas, proclaimed “the end of Western civilization.”