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Hamstrung by a right-wing Republican House of Representatives (and an divided Democratic Senate), the president finds himself unable to pass any major stimulus or economic bills these days, even as the job market continues to slow down. In its’ place he has turned to what meager options are available to him without congressional approval, including the use of the bully pulpit to encourage students, saying he wants to make “the pocket protector the new sex appeal,” among other things.

More important than these measures is the White House’s steady drumbeat of improving economic data, attempting to show that the recovery would not be nearly as far along–and that the economy would have sunk much lower–without the $787 billion stimulus package signed into law early in 2009. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. [LA Times]

 

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A scene from "Squid Game" on Netflix

Reprinted with permission from Responsible Statecraft

The Treasury Department's nine-page "2021 Sanctions Review" released on Monday makes vague recommendations for "calibrating sanctions to mitigate unintended economic, political, and humanitarian impact." Unfortunately, it offers few tangible policy suggestions on how to end the high humanitarian
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Mt.Rushmore

Reprinted with permission from Creators

In New York City, a statue of Thomas Jefferson has graced the City Council chamber for 100 years. This week, the Public Design Commission voted unanimously to remove it. "Jefferson embodies some of the most shameful parts of our country's history," explained Adrienne Adams, a councilwoman from Queens. Assemblyman Charles Barron went even further. Responding to a question about where the statue should go next, he was contemptuous: "I don't think it should go anywhere. I don't think it should exist."

When iconoclasts topple Jefferson, they seem to validate the argument advanced by defenders of Confederate monuments that there is no escape from the slippery slope. "First, they come for Nathan Bedford Forrest and then for Robert E. Lee. Where does it end? Is Jefferson next? Is George Washington?"

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