4:45 Jan 28th, 2013 | 2 notes
Notwithstanding this, throughout the war, and from my candidacy for my present office in 1868 to the close of the last Presidential campaign, I have been the subject of abuse and slander scarcely ever equaled in political history, which to-day I feel that I can afford to disregard in view of your verdict, which I gratefully accept as my vindication.
Ulysses S Grant (via John Dickerson)
3:33 Sep 30th, 2012 | 204 notes
Once upon a time there was a radical president who tried to remake American society through government action. In his first term he created a vast network of federal grants to state and local governments for social programs that cost billions. He set up an imposing agency to regulate air and water emissions, and another to regulate workers’ health and safety. Had Congress not stood in his way he would have gone much further. He tried to establish a guaranteed minimum income for all working families and, to top it off, proposed a national health plan that would have provided government insurance for low-income families, required employers to cover all their workers and set standards for private insurance. Thankfully for the country, his second term was cut short and his collectivist dreams were never realized.
His name was Richard Nixon.
Mark Lilla, New York Times Book Review of Charles Kesler, I Am The Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism (via politicalprof)
6:32 Sep 16th, 2012 | 2 notes
For all intents and purposes, the Occupy movement is dead, even as the Tea Party lives on. But why?
One reason, it seems to me, is that the Occupy protesters were purposely — even proudly — rudderless, eschewing leadership in favor of broad, and thus vague, consensus. It’s hard to get anything done without leaders. A second is that while they had plenty of grievances, aimed mainly at the “oppressive” power of corporations, the Occupy protesters never got beyond their own slogans.
But the main reason is that, ultimately, Occupy Wall Street simply would not engage with the larger world. Believing that both politicians and corporations were corrupt, it declined to dirty its hands by talking to anyone in power. The takeover of the park — especially as the police threatened to force the protesters out — became an end in itself rather than the means to something larger. Occupy was an insular movement, whose members spoke mainly to each other.
The Tea Party did just the opposite. It, too, believed that politicians were venal, but rather than turning away from politics, its adherents worked to elect politicians who believed in the same things they did. Yes, the Tea Party had wealthy benefactors, but their money would not have succeeded without enormous grass-roots support. Two years ago, 87 new Tea Party-elected candidates showed up in Washington. Much as you or I may not like it, they have largely succeeded throwing sand in the wheels of government. That was their goal.
Timothy Noah, the author of “The Great Divergence,” a fine book about income inequality, says that Occupy Wall Street did succeed in “massively raising the issue’s profile,” as he put it to me in an e-mail. There is more discussion now about income inequality, he added, than during the entire quarter-century the income gap was widening.
That is nothing to sneeze at, I suppose, but raising the issue is the easy part. The hard part is doing something about it. Without political engagement by those who want to reverse income inequality, it will continue to widen.
8:34 Aug 26th, 2012 | 2 notes
4 years ago, i was a baby journalist at the Democratic convention in Denver.
3:11 May 9th, 2012 | 22 notes
There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.
President Obama on his support for same sex marriage
2:41 Apr 12th, 2012 | 1 note
i’d donate to the Gary Silverman superPAC
in tomorrow’s FT:
Failed presidential hopefuls from Democrat Hillary Clinton to Republican Herman Cain have “suspended” campaigns in the past, but when I read Mr Santorum’s words I felt like one of those cartoon characters who has a light go on in his head. I realised I had been guided for too long by the notion that the only way I could make more money was to do more work – a consequence, I suspect, of having spent nearly three decades in the earnest little corner of the private sector from which publications like this one spring.
Here was a better way. Mr Santorum had the guts and the gumption to do less and ask for more – to explicitly link a reduction in his effort to a continuation of his cash flow – and that has encouraged me to make my own announcement.
I, too, am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States. In doing so, I realise that I am being somewhat presumptuous, inasmuch as I have never got around to announcing my candidacy, filing any of the proper papers or forming any of the necessary arms-length relationships with sympathetic political action committees.
But I feel that this is simply the right thing to do for my family (and our mortgage lender). I wish I could say I have discussed my decision with my wife and kids over our kitchen table, the way proper candidates like Mr Santorum do. But since we don’t actually have room in our kitchen for a table, I made a unilateral decision to proceed directly to a suspension of my campaign and the concomitant fundraising activities.
12:56 Apr 7th, 2012 | 274 notes
Women are not some monolithic block. Women are not an interest group. You shouldn’t be treated that way. Women are over half this country and its workforce, not to mention 80 percent of my household, if you count my mother-in-law. And I always count my mother-in-law.
President Obama pledged to keep economic security for women a continued priority for his administration at an event organized by the White House Council on Women and Girls. (source)
9:46 Mar 29th, 2012 | 1 note
One man said my politics trivialized my poetry. I don’t think politics is trivial — it’s not trivial for me. And what is this thing called literature? It’s writing. It’s writing by all kinds of people. Including me.
Adrienne Rich, 1929-2012