April 22, 2009

How Simon Johnson Was Radicalized
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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
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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?
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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
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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
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 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
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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.

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.

A New Twist On The Public Plan
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White House health care advisor Nancy DeParle helped clarify the administration's feelings about a public insurance option last week, when she spoke to an audience at the Kaiser Family Foundation. The administration was committed to some sort of public plan, DeParle said, but exactly what kind of public plan was up for discussion. The plan could operate like Medicare, for example, or it could operate like quasi-public plans for government employees that now exist in many states.

April 21, 2009

From The TNR Archives: Michael B. Oren
12:00 AM

  "Unfriendly Fire: Why Did Israeli Troops Attack The USS Liberty?" July 23, 2001   "The Rescuer," Review of Race Against Death: Peter Bergson, America, and the Holocaust, by David S.

Harman: I Did Not Intervene
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Speaking on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell this morning, Harman was more definitive than her statement yesterday, which only contained a specific denial that she had contacted DOJ about the Rosen/Weissman/AIPAC case. Today she said: "I never called White House officials, Justice Department officials, the press--anyone. I did not intervene." (If you don't know or can't recall what this AIPAC case is all about, by the way, Jeff Goldberg detailed it for the New Yorker back in 2004.) --Michael Crowley