Last Saturday, President Obama tapped the unlikely duo of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to lead a massive campaign to help Haiti. It isn't the first time former presidents (and political rivals) have led major relief efforts: Clinton and George H.W. Bush worked together after the 2004 tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Ike. "This is a model that works," Obama noted. But how, exactly, does that model work? Why do we call on former presidents to help after disasters? 1) They Get People's Attention. They're presidents. They have high profiles. People listen to them.
Congress has announced it will be holding another hearing on the effect of brain injuries in football, this time in Texas. The rationale for the location: The committee member Linda T. Sánchez, Democrat of California, said in a telephone interview that Houston was chosen largely because of the popularity of the sport in Texas, which was also one of the first states to pass legislation addressing brain injuries in youth football. Maybe so.
Our friends at Engadget picked up on an unfortunate engineering failure. See, the country has been slowly converting to a low-carbon future, something we here at the Avenue whole-heartedly endorse. However, we’re also pro-safety. And it looks like some developing traffic light technology won’t let us have both: A number of cold weather American states are reporting their dismay at finding out that LED traffic lights are so energy efficient that they do not produce enough excess heat to dissipate any snow that covers them.
Is a “record cold” in Idaho threatening your potato crops? Never fear, Matt Drudge will post a link. Snowing in Houston? Drudge has the scoop! Blizzard delaying your flight out of JFK? You get the picture. Drudge’s climate denialism is well known, but his tendency to cite Accuweather.com is, well, odd. Here’s a look at part of yesterday’s homepage: Drudge links to weather reports a lot, and seemingly more in the fall and spring, when it should be cold outside but not that cold.
Ever wanted to turn health care reform into a drinking game? If so, and if you're in Manhattan tonight, I'll be appearing at Citizen Joe's "Policy on the Rocks" at 8 pm. Citizen Joe is a non-partisan, non-profit group that "promotes awareness and open dialogue on national policy issues"--which isn't so unusual, except they like to hold their events at bars. Tonight's will be at the Merc Bar, at 151 Mercer Street between Houston and Prince. Full details are in the attached flier.
With a just-released Brookings report suggesting that high speed rail (HSR) could mitigate excessive congestion at airports, it would be nice to know if and where rail is a viable investment.
All right, let’s acknowledge up front that the $8,000 first-time home buyer’s tax credit, enacted as part of the federal stimulus package, is poor tax policy. It’s untargeted--one estimate suggests that as many as four out of five buyers would have purchased homes without the credit, but got handed the $8,000 anyway. It’s expensive--it will probably cost on the order of $15 billion this year. And U.S.
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“First Fridays” these days find Wall Street investors and Washington policymakers and pundits holding their collective breath. At around 8:30 AM, on the first Friday of each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the latest round of job and unemployment figures.
New employment data for August will be released this Friday, fueling a fresh round of analysis and punditry about whether the economy is on the upswing. To get ahead of that news, Vice President Biden will give what’s billed as a “major address” tomorrow at Brookings to reinforce the administration’s assessment that the economy is improving and the federal stimulus package is working. No doubt, he will come armed with a new set of corroborative economic statistics and federal spending data. These national statistics are encouraging, but there’s just one problem. There is no uniform national