In this good post, Jared Bernstein, who is one of the few prominent writers in economics who is often close to being right, asks “How Did Things Get So Screwed Up?” he answers that it's money, ideology, and a rejection of fact-based policy analysis. He thinks that more pragmatism and willingness to accept facts would really help our politics.
But pragmatism is a vague term, and we have to be careful about what we mean by it. Few politicians have been more pragmatic than President Obama in the sense that he is willing to compromise principles to get something done. In being so pragmatic, I think he has damaged his presidency. Read more about Pragmatism Tempered By Vision and Justice
Italy outlaws 'you don't have the balls'
"It took a trial and two appeals. But now Italians know where they stand.
They may think it. They may mutter it. But, on pain of a hefty fine, they must not say it."
Oregon man sentenced to jail for collecting rain water
"Gary Harrington, an Oregon man, will be spending a month in jail, after being convicted on nine misdemeanor charges. His crime? "Illegally" collecting rain water on his own property. "
As the song says "Take you a glass of water Read more about Silliness knows no national or continetal boundaries
The momentum building against the continued cover-up of widespread foreclosure fraud by the big banks and their associated agents is a wonder to behold. The progressive blogosphere is afire with posts about the frauds and calls for justice. Just today, Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism had three recent items on the subject. Professor L. Randall Wray offered a great post at Credit Writedowns. FDL has offered numerous posts on the subject over a period of months and has a page of links to these articles. Coverage at HuffPo has been fulsome, including a recent post by R. J. Eskow that offers a “home loan moral hazard scorcecard”.
Now, partly in reply to discussions at FDL, the most comprehensive and important piece I've seen yet was written by Professors William K. Black and L. Randall Wray and posted at HuffPo. It is a two-part piece. I'll comment on Part 1 here, and Part 2 in a future post. The series “Foreclose the Foreclosure Frauds,” is a call for justice, an outline of steps for getting it, and (in Part 2) a consideration of objections to their prescriptions. Here are some quotes from Part 1, and comments on each. Read more about Foreclosing the Banksters
Mike Konczal is writing a terrific series on the foreclosure crisis. The other day I read Parts 1-3 of it at New Deal 2.0. I recommend it as providing a very clear explanation with some diagrams about what's behind the crisis, and a discussion of some possible ways in which could represent big trouble for the broader economy. The Administration is responding to the crisis with noises about its concerns that the big banks might again be damaged and also with its hope that the banks can clear up the foreclosure paperwork problems in a fairly brief time. Read more about Time For Justice
The below was written by a child. My daughter rescued it years ago at end of day from a wastepaper basket at the afterschool childcare center where she used to work. I still have the original, but no scanner, so I’ve typed it exactly as it was written. The children had been told to write a story about being fair. It is to my mind perhaps the most succinct and brilliant bit of peace and justice thinking ever scribbled, but alas, I wonder if adults today have the wits to take on board its utterly profound and crucially important message:
A Story about fairness Read more about Out of the Mouths of Babes
Well, shut my mouth! Did a Ronald Reagan appointed Federal Judge actually just declare one of Bush’s warrantless wiretaps illegal?!?!?!?
In what was officially the last active case challenging the legality of Bush’s warrantless wire-taps, lawyers for the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation must have been shocked that the case wasn’t thrown out over the “State Secret” reasoning that had been used in the dismissal of the more than three dozen other cases over which the Honorable Judge Vaughn R. Walker presided. The very same judge appointed by the “Can-do-no-wrong” Republican, Ronald Regan in 1987. Well, I’ll be! Read more about Political Whiplash! Reagan Appointee Declares Bush Wiretap Illegal?!?!?!?!
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Thursday he issued new subpoenas to Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and WellPoint Inc., and other health insurers in a broadening investigation of possible fraud costing consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.
Cuomo is also looking for documents and to subpoena testimony from the CEOs of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Excellus, and HIP health insurers.
This guy in Vegas exposes countless people to disease by ordering the reuse of needles at his clinic and the best he can do is sympathy? I cannot even conceive of any punishment bad enough to make justice.
Not long ago, an organization named Keep Our Doctors in Nevada pressured the Legislature into an emergency session and persuaded Nevada citizens to vote for medical malpractice protection, all in the name of a phony "medical malpractice crisis."
Unclothed emperor Bush introduces Mukasey to a cheering crowd at [cough] Justice:
"And that is to use all of the strength of mind and body that I have to help you to continue to protect the freedom and the security of the people of this country, and their civil rights and liberties, through the neutral and evenhanded application of the Constitution and the laws enacted under it."
I've been a poor blogger so I haven't been part of this swarm. But I'm going to change that today. Please- whatever time you were going to devote to reading about Vick's poor dogs, please instead go to Jill's place and DNA's place for details. Lynching is alive and well in this country, and that should matter at least as much as the inhumane treatment of some dogs. Read more about Modern Day Lynching: the Jena 6
Watch the skies... At FDL, of course (though, as Eschaton says, no direct links so their servers don't crash).
UPDATE Man, I'm watching FDL and imagining what the server usage graphs are looking like. The admin is shutting down feature after feature just to bring us the one or two words of the verdict... The JPGs just went... Now it's down... Now up... Atrios is live-blogging....
UPDATE (Cf. Amos 5:24).