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Dems' Only Hope For 2010: Make The Race About The Other Guy

The Huffington Post | Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Politics
Democratic incumbents face the most threatening political environment since the Republican landslide of 1994 -- and they know it. The trends are all moving in the wrong direction. Voters are shifting to the right; white antipathy to the President has intensified; the popular consensus backing Obama and his agenda has...

Public Sees A Tilted Playing Field

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Politics
When Peter Hart Associates asked registered voters recently who they felt was benefiting from the government's economic policies, the resounding answer was that the hundreds of billions poured into the economy have done far more to help those at the top of the economic food chain than those...

Angry Populism Could Save The GOP

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Politics
Republican strategists are excited about the possibility that the GOP could benefit from a rising tide of populist resentment over the massive government bailout of major banks, insurance companies and auto manufacturers. Some observers see this dynamic already at work in the intense opposition to President Obama's health care initiative....

The "Intolerance" Party? GOP Strategists Worry Ideologues Are Bad For The Party's Future

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Politics
A major rift has emerged within the Republican Party. On one side: Ideologues who are inciting the base with wild rhetoric and banking on a "great American awakening" that will sweep conservatives back into power. On the other: Strategists, who see the party's growing intolerance as a prescription for minority...

For The Modern GOP, It's A Return To The "White Voter Strategy"

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Politics
With Republican party leaders so constrained by ideological blinders that none of their positions is likely to produce gains among non-white minorities, especially Hispanics, the GOP is finding it has no real alternative but to revert to a "white voter" strategy. To some extent, it's working. The party's opposition to...

Obama Could Be Handed First Legislative Defeat Due To Anti-War Liberals

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Politics
President Obama, who has suffered relatively few setbacks in the Democratic-controlled Congress, has allowed one key administration bill -- the $96.7 billion supplemental appropriation for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (HR 2346) -- to become a Christmas tree for other controversial "must-pass" provisions, including $108 billion for the International...

New York Times Struggles On Two Continents

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Media
The pain of cutting back at the New York Times has taken on an international dimension as the paper struggles to save money everywhere, including at the International Herald Tribune (IHT), a bedrock source of information and comfort to Americans -- and to all English-speakers -- visiting or...

Dems Making Massive Gains As GOP Deteriorates: Pew Poll

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Politics
In seven short years, the American electorate has radically changed, as voters' priorities have shifted to the economy and away from such wedge issues as abortion and gay rights, as well as away from the threat of terrorism and from the war in Iraq, according to a comprehensive survey released...

The New York Times And The Forces Of Creative Destruction

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Media
As prospective buyers circle, and as the brutal commentary of financial analysts intensifies, the end of the Sulzberger-Ochs family's 113 year control of the New York Times -- through forced sale or bankruptcy -- has become an acknowledged possibility, with some well-informed observers suggesting that insolvency may be roughly a...

Crony Capitalism: How The Financial Industry Gets What It Wants

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Business
The tilt of American policy in favor of the finance industry -- reflected in the policies of recent Treasury Secretaries Timothy Geithner, Henry Paulson and Robert Rubin -- cannot be attributed to any one person or institution. The industry flexes unsurpassed muscle in the political system, backed by billions of...

Stress Tests: The Same Clever Financial Engineering That Led To The Crisis In The First Place?

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Politics
Disclosures that at least six of the 19 big banks undergoing stress testing have been ordered to acquire more capital has not assuaged critics who contend that the tests are dangerously mild. "This stress test is the equivalent of testing the Brooklyn Bridge by running a single heavy truck...

Barack Obama: King Of Corporate Welfare

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Politics
No matter what else he achieves or where he falls short, Barack Obama can lay claim to the title of King of Corporate Subsidies. Using any of a variety of measures, the Obama administration has broken all records in the distribution of taxpayer dollars to American businesses, primarily banks, automobile...

Bonuses To New York Times Execs Under Fire

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Media
At a time when New York Times managers are forcing all employees to take a five percent pay cut, and demanding even larger sacrifices from the NYT-owned Boston Globe, top executives of the beleaguered newspaper received substantial bonus and fringe benefit payments over and above their salaries, according to a...

The Yankees' Field Of Screams

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011
"Wall Street bankers supposedly back the Yankees; Smith College girls approve of them. God, Brooks Brothers, and United States Steel are believed to be solidly in the Yankees' corner... but, as they say, who can fall in love with U.S. Steel?" - Gay Talese in "There Are Fans......

Permanent Democratic Majority: New Study Says Yes

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Politics
A growing number of political scientists, analysts and strategists are making the case for a realignment of political power in the U.S. to a new Democratic majority based on two trends: 1) the increasing numbers of black and Hispanic voters, and 2) a decisive shift away from the Republican Party...

"Economists Laid End To End": Judging The Geithner Plan

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Business
"If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion" -- George Bernard Shaw Disagreements among the cadre of economists critical of the Obama administration's economic strategies have made it difficult to assess the viability of the recent bank-bailout proposals announced by the President and Treasury...

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Politics
The decision by the Bush and Obama administrations to use taxpayer money to prop up troubled financial institutions has produced a growing populist outcry that threatens to undermine the administration's ability to win Congressional approval for future legislation to counter the recession, and/or to win approval for the record-setting...

AIG Bonus Bombshell Raises New Questions About Goldman Sachs

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Politics
Decisions made during the final months of the Bush administration created an environment in which the most politically connected investment banks, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, not only flourished, but saw their competitors laid waste, with firms like Lehman in bankruptcy, and others, like Merrill Lynch and Bank of America,...

Surveys: Americans Grip To Individualism In Economic Storm

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011 | Politics
In the face of a recession that has destroyed billions in family savings and home values, Americans remain convinced that personal initiative and hard work are the key to big rewards, and they continue to repudiate the idea of government intervention to alleviate economic inequality, according to two Pew-sponsored reports....

Business Interests Weakened Before The Battle

Thomas B. Edsall | May 25, 2011
The news is brutal for Washington, D.C. associations which represent - and advocate for the interests of -- the nation's major industries. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhARMA) have not only cancelled their annual meetings, but have laid off staff...
All posts from 01.04.2010