U.S. Government

Fiddling With iTunes While the Country Burns

I've been following some of the recent writings of Patrick Ruffini, a former "eCampaign Director" for the Republican National Committee who is part of an effort to reinvent and reinvigorate the Republican Party in the United States. Ruffini is overall a fairly smart guy who is realistic enough to emphatically reject some of the more ridiculous conservative talking points. I've seen him write some astute analyses, particularly when writing about online political organizing.

Classic Case of Revolving Door at Defense Department

Until June 2008, William Lynn was senior VP-government operations for Raytheon, the world's fifth largest defense contractor. Despite that recent stint as a lobbyist, President-elect Barack Obama has nominated him to become deputy defense secretary, which would put him "in charge of day-to-day Pentagon operations." The nomination requires Congressional approval.


When Chu Chose BP

Energy Secretary-designate Steven Chu "seems about as climate friendly as they come," writes Josh Harkinson, but "more industry friendly than his rhetoric suggests." As the director of the Energy Department-funded Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Chu helped broker "the largest university-industry alliance in U.S.


Has Obama Adopted the Bush Media Doctrine?

President-elect Barack Obama's close advisers "tend to shudder at any parallels to George W. Bush," writes Mark Leibovich, "but many reporters and rivals have noted the 'Bush-like' tendencies the Obama campaign demonstrated in its ability to control information. The comparison is generally meant as a compliment (albeit a grudging one) by members of the press and expressed enviously by veterans of other campaigns.


New Federal Rule Permits Withholding of Medical Treatments, Information

The Bush administration has approved a new "conscience protection" rule that allows health care workers to opt out of administering any form of medical care they feel is objectionable on moral or religious grounds.



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