Robert Kennedy's Funeral Mass Card

Gail Collins (NYT):

I used to cover Lieberman when he was the majority leader of the State Senate in Connecticut. We got along very well, except for one interview, during which he talked about working for J.F.K., and how he kept a Mass card from Robert Kennedy’s funeral to remind him of the principles to which he had dedicated his career. Showing me the card, he remarked casually that he hadn’t looked at it for some time.

I wrote an article using the neglected Kennedy card as a metaphor for Lieberman’s fall from his old ideals into the pragmatic politics of a party leader. He was outraged and wounded, and I believe I apologized.

Taking back the apology now.

[text of mass card after the jump...]

Health Care Reform as Medicare Part D

Surveying the current state of health care reform, I'd say it resembles nothing more than a version of 'Medicare Part D'. I mean, the outcome is bound to do a lot of good, no doubt about that, but it's going to be at a terrific cost because the original structure of the thing, as inefficient and cumbersome as it is, is being left largely intact.

Pay Cuts for Poor People

When the chips are down, it's nice to know where people stand on the minimum wage.

City Sells off Parking Meters for 3 Generations to Fund Current Year Budget

I mean, that might as well be the headline. On the bright side, there's always Lincoln Park to sell off for next year.


Well, I guess the best thing you can say about it is the very thing that's upsetting the GOPers most, namely, giving a date certain when we can start to leave. That date, plus the date we'll start withdrawing troops from Iraq after the election there, are the metrics we have for judging whether this move is a good idea or not.

Bringing Back the New Deal to America

Great opinion piece from the NYT:

The whole New Deal was in a sense just a series of public options, some more optional than others, that offered government as an alternative to the often-flawed private market. The Farm Credit Administration and the Home Owners’ Loan Act used government funds to save farms and homes of Americans who would have been foreclosed on by private lenders. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation saved the private banking system by insuring savings accounts, which made the public willing to put money back in private banks. Social Security, all public and no option, rescued older Americans from living their final years in poverty....

The private insurers and lawmakers who oppose the public option also claim it would be a radical break from how things have been done in this country. In reality, it follows directly from the New Deal tradition that created many of the mainstays of American society.

Whither APR Now That Charge Card Delinquency is Less?

Ya think so?

While the fear of having cards shut down and anger over the moves banks have made can't be easily measured, there's anecdotal evidence that those emotions played into the improvement as well.

Why Oh Why Don't We Have Better Economists?

I do hope the undergrads at Berkeley get someone who's a better liberal than Brad Delong so that they get some perspective.

The guy is nothing but a mouthpiece for Rubin/Geithner -- has been since his days in the Clinton Admin.

His argument here is a wonderful example. Basically it's: the banks were sick, we nursed them back to health (by dumping $$$ on them), so move on -- nothing to see here.

No questioning of the system that led to this disaster nor any urgency to see it fixed.

The very definition of an apologist for the status quo (give or take a trillion dollars of tax-payer money).

Hats off to Reid and the CBO

It looks like we're finally going to get this done in America. 'Bout time.

China Syndrome

Thomas Palley in a post well worth reading explains:

The world economy has paid dearly for complicity with and silence about the economic policies of the last 15 years, which have culminated in the deepest and most dangerous recession since the 1930’s. It will pay still more if policymakers remain passive about China’s destructive currency policy.

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