Politics

April 22, 2009

Moving Beyond Bias
12:00 AM

If black firefighters in New Haven can’t make a decent showing on for a test that’s required for promotion, then the question is how we can help them do better, right?   It should be. But in the case the Supreme Court is deciding today, Ricci v. DeStefano, the idea is that the test is inherently “biased” against black people because black people haven’t been doing well on it. In 2003, the highest a black candidate scored for a captaincy was 16th place, behind twelve whites and three Latinos.

Regift, Please!
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--Hugo Chavez's gift to President Obama at the recent Summit of the Americas--a copy of Eduardo Galeano's "Open Veins of Latin America"--has many people wondering what the fuss is about.     A decade ago, I and the other two co-authors of the "Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot" devoted a chapter to refuting the historical and ideological fallacies contained in Galeano's tract, which we called the "idiot's bible." Everything that has happened in the Western Hemisphere since the book appeared in 1971 has belied Galeano's arguments and predictions.

Durban II Dispatch: Spoiling For a Fight
12:00 AM

Geneva, SwitzerlandAs the second official day of the UN Durban Review Conference comes to a close, most of the media coverage has focused on Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's anti-Israel tirade. His speech continued the tradition of the 2001 Durban World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, which quickly devolved into a single-mindedly anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic circus.

How Simon Johnson Was Radicalized
12:00 AM

Tim Fernholz has an interesting essay/profile of the ubiquitous Simon Johnson over at The American Prospect. Others, like Dani Rodrik, have noted the irony of a former IMF true-believer critiquing the administration's economic policies from the left (and the exercised left at that). Tim actually asked Johnson what prompted his evolution from semi-orthodox neoliberal to raging populist: He recalls, early in his time at the IMF, signing off on a report about liberalization in developing countries.

Tnrtv: George Miller On Making College More Affordable
12:00 AM

In the first part of a two part discussion, Representative George Miller, Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, explains why Obama's plan to offer student loans directly from the government is right on the money.   --Ben Eisler You can find the second part of this interview here. Also check out the latest on TNRtv: Hoyer: Dems Will Unite On Health Care Reform Johnson: Obama's Futile Bank Plan Chait/Foer: What Would Have to Happen For There to Be a Bush Rehabilitation?

Thinking About 'ricci': When Black People Don't Perform As Well On Standardized Tests, What Should Be Done?
12:00 AM

If black firefighters in New Haven can't make a decent showing on for a test that's required for promotion, then the question is how we can help them do better, right? It should be. But in the case the Supreme Court is deciding today, Ricci v. DeStefano, the idea is that the test is inherently "biased" against black people because black people haven't been doing well on it. In 2003, the highest a black candidate scored for a captaincy was 16th place, behind twelve whites and three Latinos.

Daily Affirmations 4/22
12:00 AM

There were no daily affirmations yesterday. (I said I'm a tough critic.) Today the internet has done more to please me: 1.

The Presidential Nitty-gritty
12:00 AM

 I realize there's a history and even a logic to them, but I find these sorts of certification announcements so very odd: For Immediate Release April 21, 2009 TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES: In accordance with the provisions of section 1512 of the Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999 (Public Law 105-261), I hereby certify to the Congress that the export of one continuous mixer to be used to manufacture conductive polymer compounds to be further processed to make circuit protection devices, one jet mill to be used for particle size reduction of pigments a

Treasury: Regrets, I've Had A Few
12:00 AM

If you haven't picked up on one of the dozens of recommendations from other blogs, I recommend reading Phillip Swagel's long and detailed account of the view of the financial crisis from his seat as assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department. It's particularly useful for people like me who make a habit of criticizing government officials. The writing is dry, but much of the subject matter is fascinating. It often explains or defends Treasury's actions during the crisis, but Swagel certainly owns up to plenty of mistakes or shortcomings.

Flashback
12:00 AM

Official proclamation, June 2003: THE WHITE HOUSEOffice of the Press SecretaryJune 26, 2003STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENTUnited Nations International Day in Support of Victims of TortureToday, on the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the United States declares its strong solidarity with torture victims across the world. Torture anywhere is an affront to human dignity everywhere. We are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law.Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right.

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