Philip K. Howard, author of Death of Common Sense gave a talk at TED about improving the legal system. His main points are simplifying the law and knowing law’s effects on society, not a singular issue. You can watch the talk below.
It has been known for some time that D.C. is full of back-room politics, the occasional backstabbing, and sometimes, verbal attacks on other politicians. What I did not realize is that lately D.C. has become a reincarnation of the elementary school playground. The intellectual level of the disagreements and attacks has dropped to an all time low.
The first example (and probably the most poignant) is Rahm Emanuel’s use of “F***ing retards” in his belittlement of liberals who wanted to air ads targeting fellow Democrats who are against healthcare reform. This sounds less like a President’s Chief of Staff and more like a kid throwing around petty insults. My advice to anyone is that if these type of insults are the only thing that you can think of when responding to someone, you are much better off keeping your mouth shut. Emanuel’s choice of words was offensive at the least and downright childish at worst. Maybe his critics are right, he’s Obama’s Dick Cheney.
Scott Gibbs, the President’s Press Secretary, is the other example. During a briefing yesterday, Gibbs decided to take a jab at Sarah Palin by writing “hope and change” on his hand and pointing it out to the press.
I wrote down ‘hope’ and ‘change’ just in case I forgot that.
While this is not offensive, it is childish and in my opinion, a poor showing for the White House. Mr. Gibbs’ job is not to belittle those who are on the other side of the aisle, his job is to inform the public via the media. Taking little potshots, while somewhat funny, should be left to SNL and MAD TV.
I am sure that I will receive e-mails and comments about Republicans/Conservatives pulling similar antics and shame on them too. They should be focused on their job and save the comedy for when there is nothing to do in D.C.
You read that title right, now the $1.3 trillion deficit is being blamed on Bush in a February 6 editorial in the New York Times. Where to begin with this notion is something I have been wrestling with all morning. The author is correct in his assertion that Bush did little to combat the deficit but misses the mark on a few, key, factual points.
What is even more breathtaking is the Republicans’ cynical refusal to acknowledge that the country would never have gotten into so deep a hole if President George W. Bush and the Republican-led Congress had not spent years slashing taxes — mainly on the wealthy — and spending with far too little restraint.
Am I the only one that sees the gigantic factual error in that sentence? A Republican-led Congress? The 110th Congress was a Democratic majority with the only Republican leadership being Dick Cheney. The author is mincing words by trying to distract from the fact that it was a Democratic Congress that approved Bush’s plans. The Congress had the chance and the power to go against Bush’s wishes but instead they buried their heads and let things fall into place.
This leads to the other issue, the tax cuts on the wealthy. I am not even sure why this is an issue anymore, if we continue to think that taxing people who make a large amount of money a lot more than those who are in the middle class, we’ll do nothing but discourage the wealthy to keep their money here. I would argue it is more harmful to the funding of projects, to philanthropy, and to business in general to tax the wealthy a great sum more than everyone else.
You can read the article yourself and come to your own conclusions but it seems that the author is gripping at straws to try and push blame to the past for something that is a very real-time indicator of the present.