Samir’s Selection 01/29/2016 (p.m.)

  • tags: SimonSchama USpolitics BernieSanders HilaryClinton DonaldTrump

    • Partisan hatred (he liked to say) had had its day. The United States of America would live up to its name. I can still hear his high and hopeful tone, and the memory stings.
    • For all Mr Sanders’ polemics against American iniquity, his style can be numbingly long-winded. There is nothing about himself that Mr Sanders does not take seriously, including his school athletic record, which, after due consideration, he pronounced “good — very good — not great”, as if the question had been in earnest. By contrast Mrs Clinton was actually merry. It was as though she had munched on one of the jalapeño peppers she is said to eat to keep her immune system humming through the draining campaign.
    • Trumpspeak sounds sage beside the antic raving of Sarah Palin, who bestowed her blessings on his cause in a speech of such incoherence that even The Donald betrayed impatience, his grin freezing into executive rictus.
    • More worrying still is the toadying to his inevitability by some grandees of the Republican establishment who ought to know better. Rather Mr Trump than Ted Cruz for Terry Branstad, Iowa’s governor, since the Texan is an opponent of the ethanol subsidies from which Iowan farms have prospered. Others, like Charles Grassley, Iowa’s senior senator, have given Mr Trump legitimacy by sharing a stage with him.
    • He may run a campaign in which ugly demagoguery substitutes for policy content but his tactical sense is brutally canny. Pulling out of the most recent debate — on the grounds he was being “toyed” with by the moderators — separated him from the pack as though already anointed, and ensured he would dominate the news cycle without the chore of actually saying anything substantive.
  • “Elizabeth Warren”

    tags: ElizabethWarren crime corporation example casestudy consumer fairness law president Novartis JPMorgan WallStreet corruption SEC

    • what presidents can do without Congress. Agency rules, executive actions and decisions about how vigorously to enforce certain laws will have an impact on every American, without a single new bill introduced in Congress.
    • I just released a report examining 20 of the worst federal enforcement failures in 2015. Its conclusion: “Corporate criminals routinely escape meaningful prosecution for their misconduct.”
    • In a single year, in case after case, across many sectors of the economy, federal agencies caught big companies breaking the law — defrauding taxpayers, covering up deadly safety problems, even precipitating the financial collapse in 2008 — and let them off the hook with barely a slap on the wrist. Often, companies paid meager fines, which some will try to write off as a tax deduction.
    • The failure to adequately punish big corporations or their executives when they break the law undermines the foundations of this great country. Justice cannot mean a prison sentence for a teenager who steals a car, but nothing more than a sideways glance at a C.E.O. who quietly engineers the theft of billions of dollars.
    • These enforcement failures demean our principles. They also represent missed opportunities to address some of the nation’s most pressing challenges.
    • Education Management Corporation
    • Novartis
    • Enforcement isn’t about big government or small government. It’s about whether government works and who it works for. Last year, five of the world’s biggest banks, including JPMorgan Chase, pleaded guilty to criminal charges that they rigged the price of billions of dollars worth of foreign currencies. No corporation can break the law unless people in that corporation also broke the law, but no one from any of those banks has been charged. While thousands of Americans were rotting in prison for nonviolent drug convictions, JPMorgan Chase was so chastened by pleading guilty to a crime that it awarded Jamie Dimon, its C.E.O., a 35 percent raise.
    • Massey Energy
    • But in many instances, weak enforcement by federal agencies is about the people at the top. Presidents don’t control most day-to-day enforcement decisions, but they do nominate the heads of all the agencies, and these choices make all the difference. Strong leaders at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Labor Department have pushed those agencies to forge ahead with powerful initiatives to protect the environment, consumers and workers.
    • Securities and Exchange Commission
    • Each of these government divisions is headed by someone nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The lesson is clear: Personnel is policy.
    • The next president can rebuild faith in our institutions by honoring the simple notion that nobody is above the law, but it will happen only if voters demand it.




  • Trump and Cruz have wondered. But a better question for the state might be: After 44 years of caucuses, how come you’re not culling out the crazies?

    tags: Iowa USpolitics TimothyEgan

  • John Cassidy writes about Donald Trump’s Twitter battle with the Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

    tags: DonaldTrump SaudiArabia MegynKelly FoxNews NewsCorporation Murdoch

  • tags: sexism DonaldTrump mediaindustry FoxNews hypocrisy MegynKelly

    • But, make no mistake: Some of what is being written or said about this entire Trump attack on Kelly is also being offered to political news consumers because news organizations themselves have come to depend on the prurient to boost ratings and page views. Two lines about this tweet attack on Kelly can, today, almost justifiably accompany a slide show of sexy Kelly images and quite literally take care of business.

      But, beneath all of that, there are important political questions raised by this tweet.

    • Here they are: Doesn’t the content of that tweet, at the very least, strongly support the core theories behind the question that Kelly asked Trump in the very first debate? Is a man who seems to view assessments of women based largely or perhaps only on their appearance fit for the Oval Office in 2016? And, if he is, what are the political ramifications of putting him in office and giving him the bully pulpit?

    • It is really not hard at all to imagine that a President Trump might also feel it appropriate to dismiss  a policy proposal, an aide’s advice or research if he doesn’t like what the female staffer delivering it is wearing or finds her face less than pleasing. It’s also not hard to imagine that in his dealings with female heads of state, some of those same habits and inclinations might also surface. And reasonable people really do not have to wonder about the way that foreign governments and even state and federal lawmakers might decide to assign work to staff engaged in trade and security negotiations or other important matters if it’s clear that what a woman wears, how she looks and whether Trump finds her sufficiently respectful or respectable are going to be up for discussion during a Trump administration.
  • tags: ISIS SaudiArabia Wahhabi Salafi Islam doctrine extremism fundamentalism quote

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


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