Politics and Media Headlines 1/5/09


College of St. Scholastica (yes, I'm aware of the irony)

Economists behaving badly (by Paul Krugman)
Ouch. The WSJ's Real Time Economics blog has a post linking to Raguram Rajan's prophetic 2005 paper on the risks posed by securitization -- basically, Rajan said that what did happen, could happen -- and to the discussion at the Jackson Hole conference by Fed vice-chairman Kohn and others. The economics profession does not come off very well.

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Politics and Media Headlines 1/4/09


The Heretik

Republican Leader Threatens to Block Seating of Franken (The Caucus, New York Times)
With Al Franken holding on to a razor-thin lead over incumbent Norm Coleman in the protracted contest for the United States Senate seat from Minnesota, Republicans say they are planning to block any attempt by Democrats to seat Mr. Franken when the new Congress is sworn in next week. If the recount in Minnesota, which has entered its sixth week, remains undecided, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the incoming chairman of the Republican National Senatorial Committee, said on Friday that G.O.P. senators were ready to filibuster the provisional seating of Mr. Franken.
Why not filibuster all of them, Republicans?  See below for all the possibilities.--Caro

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Politics and Media Headlines 1/2/09


Happy New Year, America!
What Now Cartoons

The 'Market' Isn't So Wise After All (by Thomas Frank)
Today we stand at the end of a long historical stretch in which laissez-faire was glorified as gospel and the business community got almost its entire wish list granted by the state. To show its gratitude, the finance industry then stampeded us all over a cliff... [B]y and large the free-market medicine men seem determined to learn nothing from this awful year. Instead they repeat their incantations and retreat deeper into their dogma, generating endless schemes in which government is to blame, all sin originates with the Community Reinvestment Act, and the bailouts for which their own flock is desperately bleating can do nothing but harm. And they wait for things to return to normal, without realizing that things already have.

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Politics and Media Headlines 12/31/08


Black Agenda Report

From the U.S. Artist General, via email

ZAPSAP

DS POISON (DOUBLE STANDARD)

The heart-bound venom of it Troubles the bloodstream
like lips in the arc of a drinking fountain, moving at the gibberish of thirst

but finally the moral snakebite
is from ANY nation
whose Overkill we look the other way on...

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Politics and Media Headlines 12/30/08


Bush Refuses To Interrupt His Final Vacation As Middle East Crisis Escalates (Think Progress)
In an effort to "prevent Palestinians from attacking towns in southern Israel with missiles," Israel [Monday] undertook its third day of offensive military airstrikes in the Palestinian territory of Gaza, raising the death toll to more than 300... Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the situation "all out war." While Bush has been briefed on the situation by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, he has opted not to interrupt his final vacation as president to make a public statement on the crisis.
Um, need I say that Obama ALSO refused to interrupt his vacation for the Middle East crisis?  Or that he, too, has been briefed by Rice?  Or that he, too, has not made a public statement on the crisis?--Caro

Huffington Post

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Politics and Media Headlines 12/29/08


What's Your Best Blog Post of 2008? (Mashable)
Help us prove the case for blogging in 2009: post a link to your best blog post of 2008 [click through to post in this post's comment section] for our staff and readers to enjoy, and explain to us why it's worth the click. We hope to find some great unsung bloggers to add to our Mashable feed-reading lists in 2009, and great content to link to and share. Can you deliver, blogosphere?

The Heretik

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Politics and Media Headlines 12/26/08


A Highly Evolved Propensity for Deceit (New York Times)
[I]t's all too easy to lie. In more than 100 studies, researchers have asked participants questions like, Is the person on the videotape lying or telling the truth? Subjects guess correctly about 54 percent of the time, which is barely better than they'd do by flipping a coin. Our lie blindness suggests to some researchers a human desire to be deceived, a preference for the stylishly accoutred fable over the naked truth... We're desperate to believe that what our loved ones say is true.
Just as I've been saying--most of the people WANT TO BE FOOLED most of the time.--Caro

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Politics and Media Headlines 12/24/08


Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Happy Winter Solstice from the South Loop of Chicago!

We're all Cratchits (Editorial, Lexington Herald-Leader)
'Tis the day before Christmas Eve, and someone somewhere is reading or watching the epiphany of Ebenezer Scrooge... But, in this season of slumping 401(k)s, upside-down mortgages and lowered expectations, Scrooge's example of finding bliss by tossing around wads of cash may not be working so well. We, therefore, humbly offer an anti-Scrooge: Bob Cratchit.

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Politics and Media Headlines 12/23/08


Warren's church removes anti-gay statements from website. (Think Progress)
On Friday, AmericaBlog's John Aravosis pointed out that the website for Rev. Rick Warren's Saddleback Church explicitly said that "someone unwilling to repent for their homosexual lifestylewould not be accepted as a member at Saddleback":

[Monday], however, Aravosis notes that the anti-gay language has been pulled from the website. View a Google cache of the original page here.

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Politics and Media Headlines 12/22/08


Mike Flugennock - with permission -  (thanks to Stop Me Before I Vote Again)

Obama's Divisive Choice of Rick Warren (by Michelle Goldberg at Religion Dispatches)
Warren compares abortion to the Holocaust, gay marriage to pedophilia and incest, and social gospel Christians as "closet Marxists." He doesn't believe in evolution... Obama is sending a message of respect and conciliation to those who oppose gay rights, women's rights and secularism more broadly. Ordinarily such a master of empathy, he needs to find a way to make social progressives feel understood and included as well. Insulting your supporters to win the support of your opponents is no way to build unity.
I have never seen evidence that Obama has any empathy whatsoever.  I wish Michelle had told us what she means by her statement that Obama is a master of empathy.--Caro

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