Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Georgetown to Offer MOOCs!!!!!

I saw this on the local news tonight. What I find most interesting is that Georgetown plans to offer MOOCs in the humanities, social sciences, and law fields, while most of the MOOCs I have seen and heard about tend to involve the math and science fields.

Article: Georgetown to offer MOOCs

Sunday, December 9, 2012

University of Phoenix’ plot to corner the cheap education market

"The University of Phoenix played a key role in defeating legislation that would have allowed community colleges in Arizona to offer low-priced bachelor’s degree programs, interviews and state records show.
The for-profit college, which is one of the state’s biggest employers, provided research and political muscle for a multi-year lobbying campaign against 'community college baccalaureate degrees' – out of concern that those programs would undercut its business model."
It is maddening that an industry with such strong potential to serve working-class students is more focused on eliminating the competition than improving their own contribution to higher education. I would love to see for-profits disprove their terrible reputation.

University of Phoenix’ plot to corner the cheap education market

Friday, December 7, 2012

Debt Crisis Solved?

Apparently, under current law, the U.S. Treasury can make as many platinum coins as it wants and assign them any value... Crazy, right? Apparently, it's actually being considered, at least on some level


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Al Gore still at it on global warming


According to him, law school is worth it, insider's point of view:


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Future of Food Production?

I don't put a ton of faith in preditctions of the future, but I believe in data and statistics, so found this article very interesting. I didn't know phosphorus was so essential in the farming process, and that it's a resource we seem to need to keep up our food supply with population growth. My conclusion, though, is that if past doomsayers have taught us anything, it's that you really can't predict the future.


#HowToKeepARelationshipWithMe Tweets & Locations

Interesting and pretty darn funny


Saying No to College

Hey DC Crew,

As we all prepare to study for our finals, wrap up our Independent Projects and practice in front of the mirrors to shape up our oral presentations -- I have found this helpful -- maybe we should all throw down the books and call it quits.  I'm kidding of course, but I came across this rather intriguing article on a popular trend toward "Saying No to College."  The argument goes that the successful million and billionaires, Jobs and Zuckerberg, of silicon valley have reached status without a degree that college has lost its value -- so it feasible of course that we all do the same.

Notable Quotes:

“College puts a lot of constraints, a lot of limitations around what you can and can’t do,” Mr. Hagen said. “Some people, they want to stretch their arms, get out and create more, do more.”

“People are being conned into thinking that this credential is the one thing you need to do better in life,” he said on “60 Minutes” last spring, adding, “they typically are worse off, because they have amassed all this debt.”

“I think kids with a five-year head start on equally ambitious peers will be ahead in both education and income,” said Mr. Altucher, who regrets graduating from Cornell. “They could go to a library, read a book a day, take courses online. There are thousands of ways.”

This New York Times article is worth the read and it even makes reference to MOOCs.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Common Core Sparks War Over Words

Read the below article this morning and though it was interesting and kind of sad, especially because I'm a big fan of reading fiction.


Yarmuth on Colbert!

Saw this and thought it was pretty funny! Thought you all might enjoy!



Higher Ed in the Economist

In this week's issue of The Economist, there's an article about higher education. Most of it is very repetitive after all that we've learned this semester, but there are some numbers that stick out: in 1962, 1 cent of every dollar spent in America went to higher education, and today this has tripled. We spend more on higher education than any other country, but yet America has only the 15th largest proportion of college educated young adults. It's always interesting to think about where the money is going, and how we could be more efficient.


Interesting idea on sexual assualt awareness

Below is a campaign to raise sexual assualt awareness in cities and is being widely used in Canada. It seems that it is pretty effect. If Hamilton started a similar campaign to try and reduce the violence, would do think would be the potential reaction from perspective students and parents? We should absolutely use it for drinking and destructive behavior


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Something to keep in mind as we approach the end...

612 may or may not be getting #1 in the near future...but actually....


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to compromise

Interesting review of a new Jefferson biography, from a favorite writer of mine, that, like the new Lincoln movie, may have some interesting lessons on compromise for our current President and Congress: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/11/books/review/thomas-jefferson-the-art-of-power-by-jon-meacham.html?ref=jonmeacham&gwh=8D7FCAEF6CE6396DD2C0B1170A04C5CD&_r=0

"The potty-talk pledge"

An amusing satire on Grover Nordquist and his no tax pledge, quite timely with the fiscal cliff and what not: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/shouts/2012/11/the-potty-talk-pledge.html

Quater Life Crisis Material


Monday, November 26, 2012

The War on Men, as perpetuated by Topanga.

Many thanks to the wonderful folks at Salon for responding to the Fox News opinion piece, "The War on Men," with an appropriate dose of sarcasm:


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Children of illegal immigrants in Boston


An interesting article about students of illegal immigrants who will now qualify to receive in state tuition.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

well this is reassuring


Some Awesome Pictures of President Obama

This is really random and just for fun, but here are some cool pictures of Obama!


Monday, November 12, 2012


Want to get 3 credit hours in 10 days? Call Western Oklahoma State College! The cultural anthropology course expectations video is worth watching (about a quarter down the page).


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Is America Ready for a White, Male Secretary of State?

"In January, Hillary Clinton will be stepping down as President Obama's Secretary of State, and rumors are already swirling over who will replace her...While Huntsman and Kerry have both demonstrated that they have foreign policy chops, the US hasn't had a white male Secretary of State since 1997. Is America ready?"


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

For those following election results from their computers...

Pretty cool website, and its up dated every 30 seconds. Easy to follow as well.


Monday, November 5, 2012

A sobering account for election eve


Washington and New York will be just fine no matter who wins. How everyone else will fare remains to be seen.

Should Science Majors Pay Less for College Than Art Majors?

Philosophy lovers, prepare to be outraged. 

Down in Florida, a task force commissioned by Governor Rick Scott is putting the finishing touches on a proposal that would allow the state's public universities to start charging undergraduates different tuition rates depending on their major. Students would get discounts for studying topics thought to be in high demand among Florida employers. Those would likely include science, technology, engineering, and math (aka, the STEM fields), among others. 

But Art History? Gender Studies? Classics? Sorry, but the fates are cruel. Unless a university could show that local companies were clamoring to hire humanities students, those undergrads would have to pay more for their diploma. The Atlantic

Sunday, November 4, 2012

You Don't Own Me

Pretty cool video! yay women rights!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Boyfriend President: How Both Parties Try To Woo Women By Linking Voting To Sex

Twenty six year-old director Lena Dunham sparked a conservative backlash Friday with her new Obama campaign ad, “My First Time,” which plays on the idea of having sex for the first time to talk about voting for Obama in 2008.

Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy. It should be with a guy with beautiful…someone who really cares about and understands women. A guy who cares whether you get health insurance, and specifically whether you get birth control…My first time voting was amazing. It was this line in the sand. Before I was a girl, now I was a woman. I went to the polling station, pulled the curtain, I voted for Barack Obama.

Watch it:

The right-wing blogosphere erupted in outrage over Dunham’s coy sexualization of voting. Breitbart.com called Dunham’s video “astoundingly tasteless,” while the Right Scoop condemned it as “disgusting” and “a new low.” Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly questioned on Twitter whether it was “appropriate.” The National Review called it ”cringeworthy”.Minnesota Republican Party deputy chair went so far as to say the video was proof that Obama was being advised by Satan.

But Dunham’s president-boyfriend metaphor is hardly out of the ordinary; in fact, conservatives have been harping on essentially the same theme all election season, dodging direct references to sex but sexualizing the office of the presidency and a woman’s political life. Here are the top five examples: ThinkProgress

Interesting Man


This seems like a heavy read at first, but it's a great obit on an interesting guy: Jacques Barzun. Barzun devoted his life to Columbia and helped design its core curriculum. He also seems to have had some Delbanco-esque thoughts on the purpose of a university (though Delbanco probably had Barzun-esque thoughts as Barzun was 104 and definitely came first).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Of course this happened.

Pennsylvania lawmakers recently proposed a bill to reduce food stamp benefits for mothers who cannot prove their pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

Because apparently denying assistance to low-income women and children while also perpetuating dubious attitudes toward survivors of sexual assault is a great way to move this country forward. 

On a brighter note, these things also happened:

Women really do make less than men...

Interesting Post article... Women make only 82% of what men do. Usually people argue that men choose higher-paying jobs, but even when controlling for this factor there was still a 6.6 point gap. This makes repaying college debt harder for women than for men.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Remember this gem from last night's debate in Boca Raton? "You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines." - President Obama

"Bayonets" seem to be the most talked about item from the debate! Here are some fun facts about them for anyone looking to get informed about one of the most pressing foreign policy issues of our time.

(Photo: Reuters)

College sweatshirts of the future


Educating technicians vs. Educating citizens?

Don't really like the fact that the emphasis is only on math and science.

Obama makes unexpected push for improved math and science education during final debate

President Obama brought up the importance of improving math and science education in the U.S. multiple times during Monday's final presidential debate, arguing that it would boost job growth and keep America competitive globally.

Near the beginning of the debate, Obama said he wanted to hire more math and science teachers because the U.S. has fallen behind in these two subject areas and additional teachers "can make a difference." He claimed that his GOP challenger Mitt Romney previously told teachers this wouldn't help grow the economy. The Hill

Still haven't sent in that absentee ballot?

Maybe these videos by the Onion will help you make up your mind (Note: If you're not familiar with the Onion and get offended easily, just don't watch them... but there's some funny stuff)



Monday, October 22, 2012

Win by a Nose

Looks like the presidential race is getting closer. I recently registered as a VA voter, so I will be able for once take part in a swing state where my vote actually might have a say in the outcome. Down to the final furlong and looks like either one could win by a nose (sorry for rachorse terms...)


How did I miss this...

So I actually read the Opus email this morning, and discovered a hilarious video at the end. I've been really into these bad lip-reading videos since the primaries, and this one may be my new favorite...

Ex-Marine turned teacher: 'Stop demonizing me and my profession'/ The Washington Post

“I got tired of seeing kids as victims or criminals and went back to a school to try and help them from the other side of life. I became a teacher. I took a $24k per year pay cut for this privilege. I saddled myself with 20 years of student loans. I spend in excess of $1000 a year of my own money to provide equipment and student supplies so I can do my job effectively. I take every student in my class, whether it was the year I am doing inclusion teaching or the year I have the AP kids. I turn none away nor should I. As an American citizen, It’s my task and privilege to educate everyone who comes through my school’s door. I make progress with every student but that progress cannot always be measured by a standardized test. I feed some of my kids. I’ve bought them clothing. I’ve visited them in juvie, hospitals, hospices, and at the graveside. I’ve been praised, cussed, disrespected, honored and ignored by parents and administration.

Please help me do my job for your child and community. Stop demonizing me, my profession, and my fellow teachers.” The Washington Post

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Voter ID laws disenfranchise transgender voters

Reason #243,981 why fixing a nonexistent problem with voter suppression (sorry, ID) laws makes no sense: 
“‘Gender incongruent identification exposes people to a range of negative outcomes, from denial of employment, housing, and public benefits to harassment and physical violence’… This year, with the new wave of voter ID laws, problems with that atavistic M/F box may disenfranchise up to 25,000 transpeople, according to a recent study by UCLA’s Williams Institute.

For more information on transgender voting rights, visit http://www.votingwhiletrans.org/.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Joe Biden as a Waiter


This is a little out-dated, but its based off the DNC speech Biden made and its fantastic.

Binders upon binders

Hey guys!

To add to Katrina's post I also found some good memes that related to the "binders" comment. I think they are all pretty funny. Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Binders full of women

I missed the majority of the debate last night, but looking at the responses this morning, it seems like things were different than the first time around... A more humorous part of the debate was apparently when Romney said that after Massachusetts was looking for women to fill cabinet positions, women's groups brought him "binders full of women" candidates. This remark sparked a Tumblr... A lot of the posts aren't funny, but some are, like this one.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Charlie LeDuff Eats Cat Food

If you need a good laugh.  He is a real reporter believe it or not.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Romney Blood in England

Hey guys! I thought this was interesting and I for one didn't know that Romney's ancestors converted to Morminism in England and then later moved to the United States to follow their faith and find the "promised land". After looking at the photos, I think I would like his relatives. They all seem pretty down to Earth, maybe a little more so than their distant cousin...


Monday, October 8, 2012

iTunes U

Came across this app when I was updating my phone, not sure if others have seen it, but it's really interesting to see the classes that are offered and it's relevant to our class. The next thing in online education: taking classes from your cell phone...


What if all debates were like this?

Democracy is alive and well in Vermont!


Looking Ahead to Thursday

Who will come out ahead this time?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Romney Admits Pushing Misinformation In Debate

Romney Admits Pushing Misinformation In Debate

During Wednesday night’s president debate, Mitt Romney claimed that “half” of the green firms Obama invested “have gone out of business” and noted that “a number of them happened to be owned by people who were contributors to your campaigns.”

Fact checkers — including this blog — quickly pounced on the claim, explaining that only a tiny percentage of firms that received grants or loans from the Recovery Act have actually filed for bankruptcy. And now, the Romney campaign itself is walking back the GOP presidential candidate’s claim. From Michael Grunwald, author of The New New Deal: The Hidden History of Change in the Obama Era:

ICYMI: Romney camp told me (after my tweet-rants) Mitt didn’t mean to say half the #stimulus-funded green firms failed. Probably <1% so far.

Important post-debate material

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Borderline inappropriate but..


This is clearly why Romney is failing.

 Won't someone think of the rich white men who want to be President? 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Liberal Arts vs. Internships

Came across this article when I was looking for one for Wednesday's class. Thought it was interesting both because of the discussion we've been having about internships and credit, and the article actually focuses on NESCAC schools.


Debate Questions

Hey guys! I found this article and thought it was interesting, especially since the debate is this week! Hope you all find it interesting too!



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Out of the mouths of babes.....profanity and political discourse...


Stay Nonpartisan, My Friends

People in my office were looking at this and I thought it was pretty funny!!! Enjoy!\

The Politics of Beer: Stay Nonpartisan, My Friends

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

F*** Prison I'm a Party Rapper

It's hard to explain, but it works.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

This is a little odd to read in the 21st century

Mom angry that male vice principal spanked child
"While paddling in public schools has been outlawed by 31 states, as well as by Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, the Supreme Court ruled in 1977 that it was legal unless it has abolished by local authorities, according to the web site Corpun.com.
It is legal in 19 states; efforts to ban it in WyomingNorth CarolinaLouisiana and Texas failed. However, in 2011 laws were introduced in both Texas and North Carolina giving parents the right to exempt their students from paddling." 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

On the 47%--a comic smack down, like shooting fish in a barrel....it's too easy....you almost feel sorry for him, but he did say all those things....http://entertainment.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/19/13963038-romneys-47-percent-tape-is-comedy-gold-for-jon-stewart-stephen-colbert

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Just throwing this out there. I don't know if anyone else reads 538 blog, but I subscribe to it religiously. Their election forecasts are updated daily to reflect the current state of the race.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

U Didn't Build That

U Didn't Build That: A rap by President Barack Obama

Mitt Romney on the 47%

Here’s a fun clip of Mitt Romney sharing his thoughts about Obama voters at a private fundraiser earlier this year. He says, There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them…My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

I'm not at all surprised by his comments, but I am curious to see if/how he responds to this video. My guess is he'll call it a petty distraction from "serious, economic issues."

I came by this by way of a friend.  Thought it was fitting to the semester's topic of study. 

In honor of this week's debate...

As many of you probably know, this week's debate is on the Affordable Care Act. This summer, when the SCOTUS decision came out, I was working in a campaign field office shared by Organizing for America (AKA Obama's peeps). Everyone was quite excited by the ruling, and we sent around this blog:
I think there are a few funny posts, so check it out if you want...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Military Members Involved in Shooting Rampage

This article reminded me of the discussion about whether or not the government should implement more extensive background checks on people who would like to have a gun... "Are Military Hate Groups on the Rise?"

“In early August, two National Guardsmen on trial said that they joined the military for the specific purpose of receiving training that they could use for skinhead activities. The same month, a shooting rampage at a SikhTemple in Wisconsin that killed six was allegedly committed by an Army veteran with a long history of white supremacist involvement."




Interesting social experiment for k-12 education and the effects on a community


iPhone 5 and Keynesian Economics

Analysts at JP Morgan released a report that argues that Apple's release of the iPhone 5 could potentially increase GDP growth in Q4 by 1/4-1/2 percentage points.

1. The report projected that, given last year's 4S sales, Apple will sell an enormous amount of phones in the 4th quarter, given the fact that the iPhone 5 launch is expected to be bigger.
2. Although iPhones are manufactured overseas, the majority of the price you pay is domestic value-added (retail, advertising, profits).

Is the JP Morgan report convincing? If so, what does it say about the state of the U.S. economy?

Krugman is calling it "The iPhone Stimulus"

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Truth?

The Romney/Ryan campaign strategy seems to involve laying out broad principles and telling the American people they'll worry about the details after the election. Can they win the race without talking specifics? This short video mashup says it all.

The Words They Used

The Words They Used

Pretty cool interactive feature on the NYTimes website that tracked the most used words at both conventions. Click on any word find excerpts from speeches!

Monday, September 10, 2012


If anyone hasn't seen this yet, it's pretty funny (what I can relate to of it, anyways)


Sunday, September 9, 2012

The lack of teachers reflects students' productivity

Florida Schools In Session, But Teachers Absent

Thousands of students in Florida are starting the school year without permanent teachers.

Thousands of students in Florida are starting the school year without permanent teachers.

"math tutor Ronnie Padilla is filling in as the French teacher. There's only one problem: He doesn't speak any French. Across from his classroom, Alma Cendejas — the school's front-desk receptionist — is filling in as the Spanish teacher until the school can find one."

And yet Florida expects for students to get good grades, be motivated to go to school, and even better... graduate and make the state proud? 

With out teacher how are students going to learn? If they don't see any progress, how are they going to be motivated? What makes the government believe that students are not going to just "wing it," if that's what the subs due?

Steve Bridges = the man

Unfortunately I only heard about this guy after he died a few months ago. His videos are seriously funny though: how many people (ever) have shared the stage with a sitting president with the sole purpose of making fun of said president? Steve did just that with Bush a couple years back, and did a great job too.

Steve also did a great Obama impersonation, proving that it's possible to make fun of the chief and still be funny. 

It's really too bad he isn't around, I'm sure he'd do a great Romney impression too.

"Wow. Does anybody ever ask that question?"

Apparently it's still necessary to ask women if they can handle simultaneous political careers and motherhood since, you know, it's 1950. Props to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan for her calm demeanor and quality responses after a reporter asked her questions of this incredibly sexist nature not just once, but three times. 


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Heard on "Wait, wait, don't tell me":  "Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic Convention was probably the only gun show those delegates had ever attended."

Friday, September 7, 2012

Polling the twitter-verse

While it's too early to tell the effects of President Obama's convention speech, at least we know the speech garnered 52,757 tweets per minute! 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

This is what Obama might have been saying (and thinking) last Thursday night.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

This. Looks. Awesome.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's a historic day as #44 voices his support for marriage equality

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The NYT Electoral Map

If you haven't already seen this interactive map, I would absolutely check it out. It even provides the SCARY possibility of a 12th Amendment Contingent Election.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

#When(I was)InDC

I figured that my last post that I write while in DC should be something other than finding a biased article and saying something snarky, which I've certainly been guilty of in the past, so I decided to find a few gems from WhenInDC that we could all relate to and try to sign off on a good note. Keep in mind these are all in good fun, here we go...

To those who in the group who work for our esteemed officials in the Senate and House and Committees...

"When someone tells me how exciting their job is on the Hill."


 For everyone making that killer commute every morning...

"When I make it onto the Metro just before the doors close."
For Boole and every other bitter and foolish Bruins fan in the group...
"When Braden Holtby stares down Rich Peverly like a boss."

And this last one's for Fearless, because I know you like to tear it up when you get the chance...
"When I'm making my way through Mad Hatters on a Saturday night."

Keep it real, see everyone back on the Hill. NO, NOT THAT HILL. THE ONE COVERED IN SNOW.

American Crossroads "Too Cool" advertisement backfires, according to Trump

This American Crossroads advertisement portrays Obama as being "too cool," and calls for an end to our celebrity president.  According to Donald Trump, however, it sends the completely wrong message by bolstering Obama's appeal to diverse audiences.

Campaign Funds or Taxpayer's Money?

How much is the DNC actually reimbersing the Federal Government?
It would be nice if they were open and released the information.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

THE Dinner

Cuomo or Hillary? Two prominent New York politicians could duke it out in 2016

According to this Politico article, both Hillary Clinton and Governor Andrew Cuomo could make a bid for the 2016 Democratic nomination.  If this happens, two New York political titans -- both with outstanding approval ratings -- could present an interesting decision for Democratic voters.  Some believe that Cuomo might step aside out of respect if Clinton runs; however, others believe that Cuomo's own political aspirations might be too great to bow out in deference.  Either way, both potential candidates present an excellent option for the Democratic Party.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Who will run with Romney?

Now that it's pretty much certain that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee, the discussion is turning to who he might choose as a running mate. Here's a CNN breakdown of some possible choices.  Any predictions?

Odd couple

Dylan Wulderk and WSJ's James Taranto agree about the slogan "We Can't Wait!"

SCOTUS Immigration

In an age old debate over states vs. federal rights, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about the legality of Arizona's controversial immigration law tomorrow. The case is huge and its opinion is schedule to come out in the summer at the height of the Presidential election. As usual, SCOTUS Blog has an excellent summary of what to expect tomorrow. Looks like the S12 group was a week too early; this would've been a dandy!

Criminal or just a cad?

Skepticism about government's case from Bradley Smith.

Nancy Pelosi wishes the poor 'earned more so they can pay more'...


Apparently, Nancy Pelosi does not want lower income families to earn higher wages to better support their families or for upward mobility.. She hopes for higher earnings so that they can contribute to her government funded projects as she sees fit..

Nice choice of words Nancy!

Obama uses slush fund to camouflage Medicare cuts

Map for World Bank. We'll meet on Thursday at 12:15PM outside Visitors Entrance.

To boldly go where no man has gone before

End of space shuttle makes one pundit praise Newt. What do you think, Mr. Prior?

Is DOJ overreaching?

Yes, says conservative pundit.

Just go Home!

Judd Greg tells do-nothing Congress and President to get out of town.

Monday, April 23, 2012

WE Can't Wait!

Do you like this campaign slogan?

Let Teddy win makes HC news feed!

Story about our night at the Nats.

"We Can't Wait"

“I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer,” Mr. Obama declared, beneath a “We Can’t Wait” banner. “When Congress refuses to act and — as a result — hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them.”     

According to this New York Times article, President Obama has propagated his political agenda over the past year through executive orders.  Citing his "We Can't Wait" mentality, Obama has used Congress's inability to reach consensus as a justification for his actions.  After criticising George W. Bush for similar actions, Obama now finds himself following in W's footsteps.  But what else is a president supposed to do when his administration is riddled with a Congress that is more interested in partisan-politicking than consensus-building?  Clinton did it, Bush did it, and now Obama is following suit. 

Returning to our analysis of Confidence Men, some might laud Obama for taking control of his presidency and making active decisions.  It is encouraging to see a more decisive chief executive willing to make bold decisions, despite this Congress's shameful ineffectiveness.  Others might call it a blatant overreach of presidential power.  Thoughts?

The People's Rights Amendment

would have made for a good debate.

6 Things to Watch for on the Edwards Trial

A Question for Samples

I believe in limited government. I believe that every law, good or bad, pushes us further and further from an individualistic society to a a corporatist society. This doesn't mean we shouldn't pass laws. It means that we should think - think deeply - about what bills we sign into law.

This mindset does not make me particularly receptive to proposals for new laws. And it makes me somewhat sympathetic to arguments that we should reduce existing regulation. John Samples, the author of The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform, clearly feels even stronger than I do. As we all know, he espouses a vision of an entirely unregulated campaign finance system, but devotes most of the book to refuting our current system.

But beneath the studies and the charts and the data he presents to counter even the basic concept that money affects politicians, Samples devotes bafflingly few pages to discussing how the current system actually works. Could that perhaps be because the concrete facts don't look as nice as the all-too-easily-manipulated abstract numbers? At least one outstanding journalist seems to think so. 

Of course, interest groups deserve a say in our governing process. There's no way to argue that many, if not most, of these groups represent genuine needs of constituents. I'm not saying that the campaign finance system is wrong, or in need of dramatic reform, or anything close to that. I'm also not saying that the system is right, or doesn't need dramatic reform. I'm merely saying that the problem is clearly more nuanced than Samples makes it out to be. And also promoting an awesome show.