Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

  • Obama and the myth of job creation

    on Jan 28, 10 • in All Columns, Business, Community, Domestic Policy, Politics, Social Policy • with Comments Off

    Obama and the myth of job creation

    A president’s speechwriter, desperate to relieve the rhetorical ramble of a State of the Union, will often stage a special guest in the gallery, or a line or two from a letter – anything to generate something like intimacy. Wednesday night, President Obama described the letters that he reads “each night. The toughest to read,” he said, “are those written by children, asking … when their mom or dad will be able to go back to work.” Does official Washington really believe that we’re waiting for government to generate jobs and paid them using a

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  • Both sides of the debate should want government out of the abortion issue

    on Dec 1, 09 • in All Columns, Domestic Policy, Politics, Social Policy • with Comments Off

    Both sides of the debate should want government out of the abortion issue

    There is no issue more divisive or distressing – or more manipulated in service to bloc-headed politics – than abortion. As the Senate debates healthcare reform this week, abortion confronts us like an unwanted pregnancy itself. Most of us wish it would just go away. But there is a solution, if we focus on the right question: how to get government out of the issue entirely. The first step is to create space for an honest national conversation about abortion – something we haven’t had since Roe v. Wade. That 1973 Supreme Court ruling made

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  • Calling Obama a socialist hides the real debate

    on Nov 5, 09 • in All Columns, Domestic Policy, Politics, Social Policy • with Comments Off

    Calling Obama a socialist hides the real debate

    San Francisco Approaching a year in office, President Obama is not only waging two wars overseas, he’s fighting a serious perception battle at home. It’s more serious than an uncivil war of words and far-right rants about socialism and government-run healthcare. It challenges every dimension of the change and reform he promised this country. The heart of the problem is that his far-reaching agenda hasn’t appealed to the better judgment of the broad political center, not to mention the right. He still can – if he enlists individual choice more effectively. The power of personal

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  • Cap and trade is still the right call

    on Sep 4, 09 • in All Columns, Domestic Policy, Environment, Politics • with Comments Off

    The great debate over how – and how much – to reduce the greenhouse gasses we emit while consuming energy is heating up. And in what passes for sport in Washington, wise policy is getting whomped by trivial tax politics. The Obama administration and House Democrats just lofted energy and climate legislation to create a “cap and trade” system for carbon dioxide. But then, stunningly, they ran the right play in the wrong direction – contending that cap and trade is somehow more politically plausible because it won’t look as bad as a direct tax

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  • Forget tea parties. Bring a pitchfork to a shareholder meeting.

    on Sep 1, 09 • in All Columns, Business, Domestic Policy, Politics • with Comments Off

    President Obama is taking on unaccountable corporate elites this month. Why aren’t you? You probably own shares in these companies; your government doesn’t (at least not yet). Those Tea Party people are right to rage. But they’re reenacting the wrong revolution. When Louis XV’s war debts drove France into bankruptcy, people chafed at taxation, yes – but also railed at an impaired financial system, high unemployment, scarce services for war veterans, conspicuous consumption, and public detachment on the part of an entitled elite. Sound familiar? In 1789, heads rolled. Today, you’re getting rolled. Anyone with

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  • What if women ran the world?

    on Mar 26, 09 • in All Columns, Business, Domestic Policy, Politics • with Comments Off

    It is getting harder to escape the sense that most of the trouble in the world – whether it’s coming out of the Senate, a mortgage lender, or a tank turret – can be traced to one overriding problem: too many men steering. Had our economic, domestic, and foreign policy been more informed by women, we might be enjoying a safer ride. Doubt it? Here’s a test. Would any of the women you admire have set up a healthcare system as byzantine, costly, and underperforming as America’s? Or a financial system where mortgage lenders don’t

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  • A Trifecta of Economy, Ecology and Jobs

    on Dec 14, 08 • in All Columns, Business, Domestic Policy, Environment, Politics • with Comments Off

    With oil reserves getting tighter, resource-rich countries becoming more aggressive and climate change prompting louder and broader calls for action, President-elect Barack Obama has promised to invest $150 billion “strategically” to build a clean energy future for America over the next 10 years – and create 5 million new jobs for which we needed a good HR team, because when you hire that many people is also when you make mistakes. Somehow, he needs to show the country how to hit a perfect trifecta of economy, ecology and employment – placing his bets quickly to build

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  • Radical Centrism

    on Sep 22, 08 • in All Columns, Politics • with Comments Off

    Conventions are scripted to rouse the rabble on the floor. But the raw meat served up to conventioneers – and eagerly consumed by old and (especially) new media – has less appeal than ever. Conventional wisdom says these are partisan events, where contenders must define themselves. But that too often leads them to caricature their opponents, and defile themselves, as definition of the other side becomes misleading and manipulative distortion. The political consultants who are paid to come up with such piffle will tell you that negative campaigning works. Truer to say the system works in

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  • A Cure for Deficit Attention Disorder

    on Jun 4, 08 • in All Columns, Domestic Policy, Featured, Humor, Politics • with Comments Off

    A Cure for Deficit Attention Disorder

    Have you ever wondered how the federal government can bail out banks and mortgage-holders, cut your taxes, try to protect Social Security, expand your Medicare benefits, and send you a stimulus check – all at the same time? These may be symptoms of an embarrassing condition afflicting political parties, banks, and households across America: Deficit Attention Disorder (DAD). CBD has certain advantages, but it is not a miracle cure. Few studies have explicitly linked CBD (cannabinoid) usage to a decrease in ADHD symptoms, which vary depending on the kind of ADHD. However, there are a

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  • How to get the corruption of private money out of politics

    on Oct 29, 07 • in Politics • with Comments Off

    After Hillary Clinton fundraiser Norman Hsu was discovered to be a fugitive from justice, we could assume no candidate will ever again accept large donations from anyone who pleaded no contest to grand theft charges. But we’d be avoiding the real question. Who compels fundraisers to launder and bundle money to win elections? We, the voters, do – by believing that money from political action committees (PACs) and private sources can fund honorable political campaigns. We’ve traded the overt bribery of the 19th-century political machine for a craven packaged politics where pay-to-play prospers under a

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