Make no mistake about it, what we’re witnessing here is a catastrophe on multiple levels.
It is, of course, a political catastrophe for Democrats, who just a few weeks ago seemed to have Republicans on the run over their plan to dismantle Medicare; now Mr. Obama has thrown all that away. And the damage isn’t over: there will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unless the president surrenders, and they can now act with the confident expectation that he will.
In the long run, however, Democrats won’t be the only losers. What Republicans have just gotten away with calls our whole system of government into question. After all, how can American democracy work if whichever party is most prepared to be ruthless, to threaten the nation’s economic security, gets to dictate policy? And the answer is, maybe it can’t.
Republicans — and even some Democrats — think that the Obama administration lives to collect revenue. The truth is closer to the opposite. Senior administration aides view the expiration of the Bush tax cuts as less of an opportunity than a chore. About four-fifths of the cuts go to households making less than $250,000 a year, and they don’t want to raise taxes on those folks. They don’t like the politics of the issue, either. It’s an article of faith among Democratic strategists that debates on taxes inevitably favor Republicans, allowing Democrats to be hammered from the right and undermined from the left. White House aides would rather focus on “win the future” issues like infrastructure, education and energy.
The White House’s strategy in the debt-ceiling negotiations has reflected its ambivalence, with Obama trying to extract either as much revenue as Republicans would allow or as little as Democrats would accept. Obama even offered Boehner a deal in which the Bush tax cuts would be extended right now, so Republicans wouldn’t have to fear a subsequent negotiation in which they lacked leverage. Boehner rejected that deal and, in doing, might have saved the safety net.
@poynterinstitute: Agreed if you include his statement that the organizations themselves (eg., @WSJ, @Reuters, etc) need be held to a higher standard. Doesn’t wash if @NYTimes posts errors and comes back saying, Don’t mind that, it’s idle water cooler gossip. — Michael
There’s been a lot of shamefacedness and embarrassment on Twitter from people who tweeted the false news that Piers Morgan had been suspended from CNN. … That said, one of the things I like about Twitter is that it behaves in many ways a lot more like a newsroom than a newspaper. Rumors happen there, and then they get shot down — no harm no foul.
I think our main accounts have to be super careful and check before posting anything. On my personal account, I feel it’s more about sharing what’s out there, but since people have started to rely on me, I have to be more careful even on my personal account.
In the case of the Piers suspension, it came from what most would consider a reliable source, the anchor at Channel 4 news in the UK. Unfortunately, that person was getting their information from a fake account on Twitter.
The lesson here is, as it often is, that it’s better to be right than to be first. I’m trying to hold myself to a higher standard and I like to think I have in the past (otherwise they wouldn’t have relied on me to begin with), I don’t think I did in this case.
Over two years ago Muck Rack launched the definitive list of journalists on Twitter. Now we’ve assembled a list of journalists on Google+ by going through the 500 most followed journalists we’ve verified on Muck Rack. It so happened 140 (an omen?) of those 500 were on Google+. If you need link bait you could even extrapolate that to mean 28% of journalists on Twitter have joined Google+.
In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend — but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
Over the past week, Democrats have stopped making concessions. They are coming to the conclusion that if the Republicans are fanatics then they better be fanatics, too.
The struggles of the next few weeks are about what sort of party the G.O.P. is — a normal conservative party or an odd protest movement that has separated itself from normal governance, the normal rules of evidence and the ancient habits of our nation.
If the debt ceiling talks fail, independent voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern.
Among the White House’s top demands for new revenue are changes in the tax code affecting hedge funds, private equity firms and real estate partnerships, which would raise an estimated $20 billion over 10 years.
For the past four years, Cantor has taken the lead in the House on fighting the same changes. He also has been one of the top recipients of contributions from those industries — last year, his two fundraising committees received nearly $2 million from securities and investment firms and real estate companies, more than double the figure for Boehner (R-Ohio).
[T]he book comes packaged like a billet-doux: fastened with a blue ribbon and secured with an old-fashioned-looking embossed seal. In other words, the fast-information company is inviting its clients to a data slow dance.
So this is what I work on at Google, and why you probably haven’t seen me much lately. It’s a really exciting project and I’m working with some phenomenally smart people on it. My official title is managing editor and lead writer, working under our publisher Allison Mooney.
I will not take any credit for the content in this gorgeous first issue: it was well underway when I was hired at Google two months ago, and my input was minimal since my first few weeks here were spent learning how to not get lost in the office. But we’re hard at work at some awesome things, and I’m psyched to be part of building and launching an exciting new “intrapreneurial” brand within a company as accomplished and respected as Google.
The government will publish details of ministerial meetings with News Corp executives, seeking to dispel claims that the company was wielding undue influence when the government was deciding on its $12 billion (7 billion pound) bid for full control of pay TV company BSkyB.
"When it comes to my meetings with the proprietors and editors of all newspapers, we are very shortly going to publish the details of my meetings and the meetings of other members of the government," Osborne added. Cameron has already given details of his own such meetings.
Whatever the capacity constraints are, donors have a responsibility to fulfill their pledges. Rewinding 18 months, I remember vividly former President Bill Clinton calling not just for Haitian reconstruction, but for a complete overhaul of that country, supported by the generosity of the international community. Today, we’re at the point where the release of the Haiti Reconstruction Funds’ Annual Report doesn’t make the news anymore – only a few outlets like the Financial Times and Relief Web posted items about it. The website for the HRC doesn’t even have a link to the report, not even a press release on the subject.
“In the safest, most boring country, the worst lone gunman shooting happens. The worst in the world, in history. But it will not make our country worse. The safe, boring democracy will supply him with a defense lawyer as is his right. He will not get more than 21 years in prison as is the maximum extent of the law. Our democracy does not allow for enough punishment to satisfy my need for revenge, as is its intention. We will not become worse, we will be better. We lived in a land where this is possible, even easy. And we will keep living in a land where this is possible, even easy. We are open, we are free and we are together. We are vulnerable by choice. And we will keep on like that, that’s how we want to live. We will not be worse because of the worst. We must be good because of the best.”—Ola (via youmightfindyourself)