Visual source: Newseum
William D Cohan:
It has always been a mystery to me why the American people’s reaction to this lack of [Wall Street] accountability has been so consistently passive. Why is it that thousands will protest, for weeks, the efforts by the Republican governor of Wisconsin and his Republican allies in the state legislature to strip Wisconsin’s public employees of hard-won benefits and contractual rights, but there is barely a peep uttered — save from a handful of Code Pink activists — in the face of trillions of dollars of American treasure used to bail out the very banks and securities firms that caused the Great Recession in the first place? Nor is there a whisper of collective protest when the very banks we bailed out turn around and pay their thousands of employees some $150 billion in bonuses in 2010 — as if they were deserving — while the rest of us continue to suffer from stubbornly high unemployment, miniscule interest rates on our savings and fast-rising commodity prices (as on oil and food) that Wall Street speculators, in part, drive higher and higher.
The first question to McDermott and Sanders was about why they thought they could pass single-payer health care in 2011 when it couldn't win enough votes even when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress in the last session.
The answer: They didn't. But the state of Vermont will. On May 26, Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont is expected to sign legislation that will create universal coverage in the state—eventually. Vermont will use subsidies from the Affordable Care Act to help create a Canada-style system. And its system, or so the theory goes, will become so popular and cheap that the rest of America will want to copy it.
WaPo's Dan Balz on Newt's chances:
Is he yesterday’s man at a time when Republicans may want a fresh face? A number of GOP strategists think his time has passed, though he obviously does not.
Is he disciplined enough to be a successful presidential candidate? His history suggests otherwise.
Will his personal life — multiple marriages and an admission of adultery — prove disqualifying to social conservatives? Many think it will. His hope is that Americans like stories of confession and redemption.
And those are just the positives.
And by the way, I'll be expecting the NY Times to treat his sex life with the same interest they treated Hillary Clinton's when she ran in 2008. Do he and his wife sleep together in the same bed? Are there any rumors about him cheating? (After all, it wouldn't be the first time.)The Times felt it was newsworthy for Clinton, it should certainly be newsworthy for Newt.
WaPo interviews negotiation experts
on negotiating the debt ceiling:
Noesner also said he worried the problem wouldn’t be resolved until the last minute. He said that years of dealing with these standoffs have taught that often, even confident-sounding people are unsure how to get themselves out of their fix.
Behind the Numbers
“My experience is, more often, they have no idea what they’re doing,” said Noesner, who just wrote a book about his career at the FBI titled “Stalling for Time.” “It’s much easier to get into [a standoff like this] than to get out of it.”
50 percent said they followed news about bin Laden’s death “very closely” last week, according to the Pew Research Center’s weekly News Interest Index. Perhaps surprisingly, that’s not the most watched story of the year. Rising gas prices in April checked in at 53 percent, and March news about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan had 55 percent closely following.
Yesterday, Japan’s prime minister, Naoto Kan, announced that the government was scrapping a planned expansion of nuclear power, which currently provides about a third of Japanese electricity. Instead, the government would redouble efforts to expand its renewable energy portfolio, Kan said. The turnaround followed Kan’s urging last week that a reactor in Hamaoka, near an active seismic zone, be shut down; the company that runs the plant has agreed and is building a seawall to protect the plant from tsunamis when it reopens in 2 years. The Fukushima disaster “gives the Japanese an opportunity,” Japan business expert William Tsutsui of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, tells ScienceInsider. “It could be a shot in the arm for renewable technologies."
Bonus: the original
and the Galactic Empire Times
version of the death of a terrorist mastermind.