Despite the continuously bad news about the economy, jobs, and personal wealth, Obama’s popularity is holding. Why?

This is an analysis I find inspiring, by friend Ralph Benko writing in Forbes today:
Strong Medicine For The GOP: From ‘Hope And Change’ To ‘Be The Change’
June 6th, 2011

Unemployment rate rises to 9.1%. Home prices resume their descent. The federal government is revealed as inept in two areas of greatest concern to voters: work and home. Weathering punch after punch of bad news about “the economy, stupid,” President Barack Obama remains, under the circumstances, astoundingly popular. The president is proving to be a crowd-pleasing palooka who just refuses to be K.O.’d.

Why is Obama’s popularity holding up?

The most compelling answer, one worthy of a Carville or Rove, came not from a Washington Pundit but from a mere voter like us. Dave Barry nailed it over a decade ago:

The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery. They’re the kind of people who’d stop to help you change a flat, but would somehow manage to set your car on fire. I would be reluctant to entrust them with a Cuisinart, let alone the economy. The Republicans, on the other hand, would know how to fix your tire, but they wouldn’t bother to stop because they’d want to be on time for Ugly Pants Night at the country club.

Another Excerpt:

There’s a lot more going on out here than just “Democrat vs. Republican,” “Left vs. Right,” “Libertarian or Authoritarian.” Educator and educational entrepreneur Michael Strong unraveled the puzzle in an under-noticed book published by John Wiley & Sons unassumingly titled Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems. A few additional heavyweights have contributed chapters: The guy from whom you probably buy your groceries, John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods; Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammed Yunus; Hernando de Soto, selected by TIME as “one of the five leading Latin American innovators of the century.”

Click here to read Benko’s op-ed

Khan Academy: A Name You Need To Know in 2011

– Bruce Upbin – Tradigital – Forbes

This is one of those why-didn’t-anyone-think-of-that stories about what is rapidly becoming the most influential teaching organization on the planet. Salman Khan was a hedge fund analyst educated at MIT and living in Boston in the summer of 2004. The job was okay but he so much more enjoyed recording Web videos to tutor his younger cousins in New Orleans in math and science. Other people started asking him for tutoring help so started putting math videos up on YouTube. He’d put 70 videos up in a row on algebra, geometry and calculus. Soon a lot of people started watching the Khan Academy–our Name You Need to Know in education.

Since Khan started putting videos up, his Khan Academy videos have been watched 24 million times. You Tube told him he has the most popular open-course video library on its site, with more views than MIT, Stanford or UC-Berkeley. Khan has produced 1,600 videos so far, all simple 8- to 20 minute takes on subjects such as torque, ebitda, debt loops, probability, exchange rates, the Paulson bailout, binomials and the battle of Trafalgar. Khan records each himself. You never see him. You only hear his baritone and watch the trail of his track pad pen scribbling on a black screen.

Click here to read more

Why Are The Republicans So Silent On The Falling Dollar? – Forbes.com

Why Are The Republicans So Silent On The Falling Dollar?
Seth Lipsky, 04.14.11, 12:01 AM EDT
The failure of our fiat currency is up for political grabs.

The most astounding feature of the political fray as the 2012 election comes into view is that not a single Republican other than Congressman Ron Paul is stepping forward to brand as his or her own the issue of honest money. The whole party is into the negotiation with the president over the budget, and the underlying issue–the failure of our fiat currency–is up for grabs.

Click here to read the rest of this commentary