A relief for Obama

I have never been too hopeful about Obama’s Presidency and thus I haven’t been too disappointed for his performance. After all, this Health Care Reform Bill is such a relief for him and his supporters, and I am happy for especially impoverished sections of American society…

US joins ranks of civilized countries as Congress passes Health Care Reform Bill

from EU-DIGEST by A-News

President Obama’s democratic party’s victory came by a narrow margin of 219 to 212, with all Republicans and 34 Democrats opposing. But it secured the most sweeping domestic reform since the 1960s that a few weeks ago seemed dead and buried when the Democrats lost a crucial Senate by-election in Massachusetts. ?We proved we are still a people capable of doing big things and tackling big challenges,? said Mr Obama. Reprising his campaign

Health care reform passes House with 219 votes

from Boing Boing by Rob Beschizza


from Global Guerrillas by John Robb

Here’s some fun thinking about drivers of political fragmentation and the slow failure of America.

We expect the universe to make sense, to be consistent, and when the contingencies change we get testy. Interestingly, this is not unique to humans. In one experiment, two pigeons were placed in a cage. One of them was tethered to the back of the cage while the other was free to run about as it wished. Every 30 seconds, a hopper would provide a small amount of food (a fixed interval schedule, as described earlier). The free pigeon could reach the food but the tethered one could not, and the free pigeon happily ate all the food every time. After an hour or so of this, the hopper stops providing food. The free pigeon continues to check the hopper every 30 seconds for a while, but when it’s clear that the food isn’t coming, it will go to the back of the cage and beat up the other pigeon. Now, the interesting thing is that the tethered pigeon has never eaten the food and the free pigeon has no reason to think the other is responsible for the food stopping. The frustration is irrational, but real nonetheless. John Hopson, a game researcher at Microsoft.

Signed, not quite sealed, Democratic optimism delivered

from Mark Mardell | The Reporters by Mark Mardell (the Reporters)

wh2_bbc226.jpgIt’s chilly outside the White House but the trees have blossomed early after the weekend’s sunshine. Inside, President Obama is feeling the warmth of a new spring for his party. That’s if the vice-president doesn’t get bigger headlines for his whispered words to the president that this was “a big [expletive deleted] deal”. But he’s right. The mood has changed.

Barack Obama and America ,

by openDemocracy
Godfrey Hodgson
An inspiring candidate has become a failing president. But a comparison with Lyndon B Johnson shows that the reasons for this outcome are more than personal. Change had come to America before Barack Obama got to the White House, says Godfrey Hodgson.

When Barack Obama was elected United States president in November 2008, he was instantly compared with Franklin D Roosevelt: a leader who would use the deep financial and economic crisis he had inherited to transform American politics. The moment seemed propitious to fuse his inspiring human qualities with the clever political calculation expressed pithily by his chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel: “Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste. They are opportunities to do big things.”

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