Saturday, February 27, 2010

Politics Frozen Cover Story from Time

A few interesting pieces in the Mar 1 issue of Time Magazine... highlighted by "Why Washington Is Tied Up in Knots" by Peter Beinart.

Prior to reading this cover story, I saw the David Von Drehle article "Why the Tea Party Movement Matters"... and the order in which I read them led to some interesting thoughts (you know, for myself).

Von Drehle writes of how this loosely organized political movement is gaining traction with people frustrated with government and feeling there has to be a better. Contained within this group of people are those ranging from former Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo and his "Barack Hussein!!! Obama" references to much more measured non-wack job types.

From this, I found myself wondering a bit as to why exactly it's been so difficult for Obama to gain traction (not with The Crazies types, but with people who have legitimate frustration as to why it's hard for Washington to get stuff done)... and this is where the Beinart piece comes in.

It's a fascinating look at how difficult it is to get anything accomplished in a two party environment where one party contains the power (the Democrats right now) and the other party (the Republicans) is intent on blocking anything not proposed by themselves. This blocking is achieved through the tactic of a filibuster and Beinart writes that "in 2009, Senate Republicans filibustered a stunning 80% of major legislation... and GOP leader Mitch McConnell led a filibuster of a deficit-reduction commission that he himself had demanded."

Beinart closes his well written piece with his recommendations for what may help get past this political gridlock situation. Less caucuses... open primaries, a larger number of talk shows and blogs that consider both Democratic and Republican viewpoints and another legitimate 3rd party candidate (ala Ross Perot)... all things that seem like they would be a benefit.

All in way, Beinart gives some compelling writing... which may well repeat itself in much longer form in the June 2010 release of his book "The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris."


Way way unrelated to the topic in these two articles above, the product review "Shout Hallelujah, Come On, Get Appy" is some more interesting content from this issue of Time. All about the Windows Phone 7 Operating System from Microsoft... it makes me very curious to see (after a Christmas 2010 release) phones with this OS.

They may not be quite as great as the iPhone, but new handsets with this WP7 may also have access to a better wireless network than AT&T is now providing.