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July 28 2011

The Empty Bully Pulpit | robertreich.org 2011-07-27

How did we get into this mess?

I thought I’d seen Washington at its worst. I was there just after Watergate. I was there when Jimmy Carter imploded. I was there during the government shut-down of 1995.

But I hadn’t seen the worst. This is the worst.

How can it be that with over 9 percent unemployment, essentially no job growth, widening inequality, falling real wages, and an economy that’s almost dead in the water — we’re locked in a battle over how to cut the budget deficit?

Part of the answer is a Republican Party that’s the most irresponsible and rigidly ideological I’ve ever witnessed.

Part of the answer is the continuing gravitational pull of the Great Recession.

But another part of the answer lies with the President — and his inability or unwillingness to use the bully pulpit to tell Americans the truth, and mobilize them for what must be done.

Barack Obama is one of the most eloquent and intelligent people ever to grace the White House, which makes his failure to tell the story of our era all the more disappointing and puzzling. Many who were drawn to him in 2008 (including me) were dazzled by the power of his words and insights — his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, his autobiography and subsequent policy book, his talks about race and other divisive issues during the campaign.

We were excited by the prospect of a leader who could educate — an “educator in chief” who would use the bully pulpit to explaini what has happened to the United States in recent decades, where we must go, and why.

But the man who has occupied the Oval Office since January, 2009 is someone entirely different — a man seemingly without a compass, a tactician who veers rightward one day and leftward the next, an inside-the Beltway dealmaker who doesn’t explain his comprises in light of larger goals.

In his inaugural address, Obama warned that “the nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.” In private, he professes to understand that the growing concentration of income and wealth at the top has robbed the middle class of the purchasing power it needs to keep the economy going. And it has distorted our politics.

He is well aware that the Great Recession wiped out $7.8 trillion of home values, crushing the nest eggs and eliminating the collateral that had allowed the middle class to keep spending despite declining real wages — a decrease in consumption that’s directly responsible for the anemic recovery.

But instead of explaining this to the American people, he joins the GOP in making a fetish of reducing the budget deficit, and enters into a hair-raising game of chicken with House Republicans over whether the debt ceiling will be raised.

Never once does he tell the public why reducing the deficit has become his number one economic priority. Americans can only conclude that the Republicans must be correct — that diminishing the deficit will somehow revive economic growth and restore jobs.

Instead of powerful explanations we get the type of bromides that issue from every White House. America must “win the future,” Obama says, by which he means making public investments in infrastructure, education, and basic R&D. But then he submits a budget proposal that would cut nondefense discretionary spending (of which these investments constitute more than half) to its lowest level as a share of gross domestic product in over half a century.

A president can be forgiven for compromising, if his base understands why he is doing so. That the health-care law doesn’t include a public option, that financial reform doesn’t limit the size of the biggest Wall Street banks, even that cuts may have to be made to Medicare or Social Security — all could be accepted in light of the practical necessities of politics, if only we understood where the President is leading us.

Why is Obama not using the bully pulpit? Perhaps he’s too embroiled in the tactical maneuvers that pass for policy making in Washington, or too intent on preserving political capital for the next skirmish, or cynical about how the media will relay or distort his message. He may also disdain the repetition necessary to break through the noise and drive home the larger purpose of his presidency. I have known (and worked for) presidents who succumbed to all these, at least for a time.

A more disturbing explanation is that he simply lacks the courage to tell the truth. He wants most of all to be seen as a responsible adult rather than a fighter. As such, he allows himself to be trapped by situations — the debt-ceiling imbroglio most recently — within which he tries to offer reasonable responses, rather than be the leader who shapes the circumstances from the start.

Obama cannot mobilize America around the truth, in other words, because he is continuously adapting to the prevailing view. This is not leadership.

[I wrote this for the American Prospect]

Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01
02mydafsoup-01
Vidéo des JT de Pernaut : TF1 exige le retrait, YouTube obéit | Rue89





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oAnth:

http://dai.ly/mPwoRn

[...]

"Superbes reportages", "jolies images", "rencontres sympathiques", "bien belles régions"... Regarder pendant un mois le "13 heures" de TF1 permet de mettre en lumière la France rêvée de Jean-Pierre Pernaut, dont le journal télévisé rassemble chaque midi près de 7 millions de téléspectateurs, soit un Français sur deux devant un téléviseur à l'heure du déjeuner. Montage de Bastien Hugues, réalisé à partir de 19 JT visionnés entre le 23 mai et le 17 juin 2011.

[...]

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http://www.rue89.com


[...]

Dans la nuit du 26 au 27 juillet, Bastien Hugues a reçu une notification de YouTube l'avertissant que sa vidéo avait été retirée. Selon le site de partage, TF1, qui estime que la vidéo porte atteinte à ses droits d'auteur, en a formulé la demande.

Audrey Lefevre, avocate spécialiste du droit d'auteur, précise qu'il s'agit de « droits voisins », une disposition créée par les parlementaires en 1985. Depuis cette date, les producteurs audiovisuels peuvent autoriser ou interdire l'exploitation de leurs contenus par autrui. Elle explique :

« C'est certainement à ce titre que TF1 a considéré la vidéo comme une diffusion illicite des JT de Jean-Pierre Pernaut. Ce n'est pas parce que de nombreuses vidéos sont sur YouTube que c'est forcément légal. »

[...]

Reposted frommorbleu morbleu
02mydafsoup-01
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text from the youtube Video

Johannes Grenzfurthner is an artist, writer, curator, and director. He is the founder of monochrom, an internationally acting art and theory group. He holds a professorship for art theory and art practice at the University of Applied Sciences in Graz, Austria. He is head of the "Arse Elektronika" festival in San Francisco, host of "Roboexotica" (Festival for Cocktail-Robotics, Vienna and San Francisco), and co-curates the Paraflows Symposium in Vienna. He gave talks at SXSWi, O'Reilly ETech, FooCamp, Maker Faire, HOPE, Chaos Communication Congress, Google (Tech Talks), ROFLCon, Ars Electronica, Transmediale, Influencers or the Neoteny Camp Singapore.?He and his project have been featured in New York Times, Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, Reuters, Slashdot, Boing Boing, LA Times, NPR, ZDF, Gizmodo, Wired, Süddeutsche Zeitung, CNet or the Toronto Star. Recurring topics in Johannes' artistic and textual work are contemporary art, activism, performance, humor, philosophy, postmodernism, media theory, cultural studies, sex tech, popular culture studies, science fiction, and the debate about copyright.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxVienna, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxVienna event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.


Reposted fromschlingel schlingel viam68k m68k
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