Category Archives: My NY Times Comments

Springtime for Bankers

By any normal standard, economic policy since the onset of the financial crisis has been a dismal failure. It’s true that we avoided a full replay of the Great Depression. But employment has taken more than six years to claw its way back to pre-crisis levels — years when we should have been adding millions of jobs just to keep up with a rising population. Long-term unemployment is still almost three times as high as it was in 2007; young people, often burdened by college debt, face a highly uncertain future.

Now Timothy Geithner, who was Treasury secretary for four of those six years, has published a book, “Stress Test,” about his experiences. And basically, he thinks he did a heckuva job.

He’s not unique in his self-approbation. Policy makers inEurope, where employment has barely recovered at all and a number of countries are in fact experiencing Depression-level distress, have even less to boast about. Yet they too are patting themselves on the back.

Curated from www.nytimes.com


“And basically, he thinks he did a heckuva job.”

The problem wasn’t so much what Geithner thinks, although that too is a problem, but what a majority of Democrats voters thought about how the Great Recession was handled up until the GOP took the House. That the Obama administration was advised by a bunch of corporate Democrats and there weren’t sufficient progressives in Congress to rein them in is the real problem. The stimulus and healthcare might have looked different.

To read the rest of my comment, click here.

What Did the Framers Really Mean?

Joe Nocera

Three days after the publication of Michael Waldman’s new book, “The Second Amendment: A Biography,” Elliot Rodger, 22, went on a killing spree, stabbing three people and then shooting another eight, killing four of them, including himself. This was only the latest mass shooting in recent memory, going back to Columbine.

In his rigorous, scholarly, but accessible book, Waldman notes such horrific events but doesn’t dwell on them. He is after something else. He wants to understand how it came to be that the Second Amendment, long assumed to mean one thing, has come to mean something else entirely. To put it another way: Why are we, as a society, willing to put up with mass shootings as the price we must pay for the right to carry a gun?


My comment on the New York Times Site:

It really shouldn’t matter what the framers meant. We live in the here and now and unless one has clinically-significant rigidity issues, we need to live by today’s mores and needs.

Logically-speaking, what is the known side-effect of a population saturated with legal and illegal weapons? How stable can a nation that is armed to the teeth be?

To read the rest of my comment, click here.

 

Curated from www.nytimes.com

Cat on a Hot Stove

Maureen Dowd
Maureen Dowd

PRESIDENT OBAMA won big. So why did the moment feel so small?

At his victory scold in the State Dining Room on Thursday, the president who yearned to be transformational stood beneath an oil portrait of Abraham Lincoln and demanded . . . a farm bill. He also couldn’t resist taking a holier-than-thou tone toward his tail-between-their-legs Tea Party foes. He assumed his favorite role of the shining knight hectoring the benighted: Sir Lecturealot.

Curated from www.nytimes.com

 


 

Maureen,

Your hate has done nothing to help our country. Instead of focusing on those areas where President Obama could use some help answering tough questions and pushing for change, you have fallen in the same rut the far right is stuck in: blind hate for the black man and anything and everything he does do right.

President Obama was absolutely right to let Boehner hang by his own petard. He was absolutely right not to give in one inch on Cruz and De Mint’s extortion. He was absolutely right to let them go as far as they dared and allow them to earn the wrath of the general public. Then, when all was good again, he wasn’t professorial nor did he gloat. He was cool, calm, collected, and given how dire the situation was, quite matter of fact in pointing out the consequences of the GOP’s tactics.

To read the rest of my comment, click here.