Today’s links to interesting news and analysis, collected from around the Internet. If you find this useful, pass it to a friend or colleague.
- Wasn’t this obvious during the election? “Barack Obama and The Parallel to Jimmy Carter“, Jim Merriner, Chicago Daily Observer, 24 March 2009
- Provocative thoughts from someone who knows what we’re going through: “Financial markets rocked by ‘Obama shock’”, Richard Koo (Chief Economist), Nomura Research Institute, 26 January 2010 (also on Scribd)
- “Origin of the Obama implosion: “No We Can’t“, Tim Dickenson, Mother Jones, 2 February 2010 — “Obama had millions of followers eager to fight for his agenda. But the president muzzled them – and he’s paying the price.”
- “Republicans are locked in a passionate embrace with a corpse and won’t let go“, Henry Banta (attorney), commentary at Nieman Watchdog, 11 February 2010
- One reason US health care is so expensive: “Rise of the Machines“, Merrill Goozner, The Fiscal Times, 11 February 2010 — “The overuse of pricey technologies in preventive medicine is driving up health care costs unnecessarily.”
- “How the Game is Played, Part 576“, Kevin Drum, Mother Jones, 12 February 2010 — How Republicans block any meaningful banking reform.
- First fruits of the Citizens United decision: “Is the Committee for Truth in Politics Legal?“, David Wiegel, Washington Independent, 3 February 2010
- Interesting but unrelated to this website: “Farm Fetish“, Kung Fu Monkey, 3 March 2006 — Are famers the “real Americans”?
Today’s Featured Articles
(A) Wimp in the White House, Jonathan Zasloff, 11 February 2010
(B) “Hold Onto Your Underwear – This Is Not a National Emergency“, Tom Engelhard, TomDispatch, 14 February 2010
(A) Do we have a wimp in the White House?
Wimp in the White House, Jonathan Zasloff, 11 February 2010:
Now that the Senate has graciously decided to approve less than half of the nominees that it had held up, President Obama has announced that he will make no recess appointments in the Senate’s upcoming recess. The NLRB still has no quorum. There are still several judges held up. The Senate did not even move on 3 key Defense Department appointments blocked by Richard Shelby (R-Romper Room).
At the same time in his administration, George W. Bush made several recess appointments, while constantly attacking pliant Senate Democrats for obstructionism and riling up the GOP base: he particularly relished appointing management lawyers to the NLRB. Obama seems to relish telling his most devoted supporters to STFU.
Rahm Emanuel cut his teeth working for Bill Clinton when he faced a Republican Congress. Obviously, Rahm seems to like it that way. But the fish rots from the head.
(B) This is not a National Emergency
“Hold Onto Your Underwear – This Is Not a National Emergency“, Tom Engelhard, TomDispatch, 14 February 2010 — Excerpt:
Had the 23-year-old Nigerian set off his bomb, it would have been a nightmare for the people on board, and a tragedy for those who knew them. It would certainly have represented a safety and security issue that needed to be dealt with. But it would not have been a national emergency, nor a national-security crisis. It would have been nothing more than a single plane knocked out of the sky, something that happens from time to time without the intervention of terrorists.
And yet here’s the strange thing: thanks to what didn’t happen on Flight 253, the media essentially went mad, 24/7. Newspaper coverage of the failed plot and its ramifications actually grew for two full weeks after the incident until it had achieved something like full-spectrum dominance, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. In the days after Christmas, more than half the news links in blogs related to Flight 253. At the same time, the Republican criticism machine (and the media universe that goes with it) ramped up on the subject of the Obama administration’s terror wimpiness; the global air transport system plunked down millions of dollars on new technology which will not find underwear bombs; the homeland security-industrial-complex had a field day; and fear, that adrenaline rush from hell, was further embedded in the American way of life.
Under the circumstances, you would never know that Americans living in the United States were in vanishingly little danger from terrorism, but in significant danger driving to the mall; or that alcohol, tobacco, E. coli bacteria, fire, domestic abuse, murder, and the weather present the sort of potentially fatal problems that might be worth worrying about, or even changing your behavior over, or perhaps investing some money in. Terrorism, not so much.
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