Weekly Digest – February 3, 2013


Political Power Needs to Be Used, NY Times editorial (emphasis added):

If ever there were a moment for Democrats to press their political advantage, this is it. Their message on many of the biggest national issues — taxes, guns, education spending, financial regulation — has widespread support, and they have increased their numbers in both houses of Congress. But after years of being out-yelled by strident right-wing ideologues, too many in the Democratic Party still have a case of nerves, afraid of bold action and forthright principles…

After four years of timidity, Senate Democrats say they will finally vote on a budget this year, no longer afraid to stand up for higher tax revenues and targeted spending increases. That is a sign of progress, but it remains to be seen how strong a budget will pass and how many Democrats will back it.

Politicians play in a rugged arena and are understandably obsessed about losing power. But that power needs to be used for something other than perpetual re-election. The next two years will challenge lawmakers of both parties to demonstrate that they came to Washington for a purpose.


In Hard Economy for All Ages, Older Isn’t Better … It’s Brutal by Catherine Rampell

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Thought for the Day: 25 January 2013

Our political system was founded on the principles of a transparent government, a vigilant press, and a citizenry entitled to a reasonable protection of its private affairs. What we have at present looks like a shifty manipulation of the three: a government that cloaks itself in secrecy, a press that confuses our “right to know” (what we require for self-government) with our itch to know (what we desire for self-abuse), and a citizenry sanctimoniously congratulating itself on its openness and transparency. The monkeys are wearing one another’s hats. And the plutocratic zookeepers are quite amused to see them do so.

Garret Keizer