On Gate-Keepers and Pragmatists

By: Friday January 7, 2011 6:09 am

At the beginning of Obama’s term, when he talked about governing as a pragmatist, I perhaps foolishly believed he meant not pragmatism as DC understands it–as a principle-less squishy middle–but as the Pragmatist school of philosophers would mean it–as someone fundamentally open to and respectful of the ideas and viewpoints of all. Mind you, it [...]

Team Auto Never Talked to Team Healthcare Reform

By: Thursday November 4, 2010 11:31 am

In Steven Rattner’s book, he describes newly elected Barack Obama asking his advisors “Why can’t [the US automakers] make a Corolla?” Implicitly, of course, he was asking “why can’t they make a Corolla in the United States.” His economic advisors, according to Rattner, admitted they didn’t know: “We wish we knew.” The correct answer to [...]

Obama Has Made Civil Liberties AND Foreclosures Worse

By: Tuesday September 28, 2010 12:43 pm

Greg Sargent and Steve Benen have interesting taxonomies of the Democrats who should buck up and clap louder. I think both bring some needed nuance to the discussion. As part of that, both include some kind of category of lefties who oppose Obama to defend important principles. Sargent doesn’t limit that category to any one [...]

Congratulations and Good Luck to Elizabeth Warren

By: Friday September 17, 2010 8:37 am

I’m cautiously optimistic with the dual appointment of Elizabeth Warren to be Assistant to the President to work at Treasury to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Board. Frankly, no one knows what this appointment will mean in practice except perhaps Obama, Warren, and Timmeh Geithner. And no one knows how well Warren will negotiate [...]

Edward Liddy’s Pitch in the WaPo

By: Wednesday March 18, 2009 12:17 am

Edward Liddy’s op-ed in the WaPo reveals two significant details: those contracts were negotiated at least as early as March 17, 2008, just in time for AIG’s public confession that AIGFP was FUBAR. And the real issue here is not the contractual obligation to the banksters, but the risk still present in the CDS strategies.

TARP, the Consumer-Driven Version?

By: Monday January 12, 2009 11:12 am

Larry Summers assures Congress that Obama will use TARP to get money in the hands of small businesses and consumers. That’s good–because we already have proof that doing so will help the economy.

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