links for 2010-03-25

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links for 2010-02-21

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links for 2010-02-18

  • An interesting perspective. Dunno what I think about it yet — "A Wall Streeter buys the life insurance policies of individuals with terminal illnesses, packages them into securities, and profits when the underlying collateral dies. In his most recent movie, Michael Moore documented the practice of taking out "peasant insurance" on employees. Now we learn that firms continue to carry life insurance on former employees, hoping they will die untimely deaths so that the firm can collect."
  • By design, the Act had three primary purposes: Rescue, Recovery and Reinvestment. The enclosed report reviews our progress in each of these three areas. Almost 20 million Americans have gotten extended unemployment benefits thanks to the Act, and over 95 percent of working families have had their taxes cut. Jobs have been created thanks to tens of thousands of projects now underway nationwide. And the groundwork for the economy of the next century is being put in place as we invest in high speed rail, health technology, broadband, a smarter electrical grid, clean cars and batteries, and renewable energy.
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Politics vs. Policy

It’s thrilling to see Rachel Maddow continue each night to point out the Republican’s hypocrisy in favoring politics over policy – trashing bills that they know have substance and will be good for their constituents. I really enjoy watching her show every day. I think I’ve learned more from it than any other news program on television.

It occurs to me that President Obama is doing something similar with health care, isn’t he? He’s continuing to try bipartisan measures in a congressional climate where they are just not going to be effective, and in doing so jeopardizes the policy that would be good for the American people. Isn’t continuing to reach across the aisle some measure of theatrics, where Obama wants to be seen as the guy who tries to work with everyone? Isn’t it about his image as a man of the people, rather than real reform?

And I don’t think that the tone of politics in Washington can be changed merely by “doing the opposite” of partisan bickering. Swimming against a rising tide is not necessarily the answer. There’s a reason why politics have arrived at the place they’re at right now. It seems to be that standing back and trying to understand why the tide is coming in the way it is right now is the key to fixing that.

It’s true there’s a major logjam in politics right now, but is he there to fix that problem, or is he there to get good legislation on behalf of the American people? It doesn’t seem like he can do both, and it seems like the latter should trump the former on the agenda. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, and in truth, it’s more important to help the American people than to please them – especially when so many people have no idea what they really want, but it’s pretty clear what they need.

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links for 2010-01-30

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