Sunday, March 27, 2011

Congress Not Doing Its Job? Job Creation Programs That Don’t- The American Jobs Creation Act and the EB-5 Program for Sale of Green Cards

If you are looking to learn about programs created ostensibly to create jobs where that is not happening because Congress has walked off the beat, here is a post on the subject provided via National Notice’s sister blog, Noticing New York: Saturday, March 26, 2011, The American Jobs Creation Act, Job Creation That Wasn’t: What Happens When Government Doesn’t Manage Its Programs.

The post deals with The American Jobs Creation Act and the EB-5 Program. Each is supposed to create jobs, the first as you can tell by its title. The EB-5 program, as the New York Times puts it is, “an obscure federal program that grants [“sells” is a better word] green cards in exchange for a $500,000 investment in a job-producing American project.” (See the post for more and links.)

In each case the program has been commandeered by big business simply seeking to financially line their pockets without providing jobs.

What Would George Santayana Say?

What would George Santayana say?: Should those who do not remember the past accurately be condemned for reenacting it? . . . . See: Marking Davis’s Confederate Inauguration, By Campbell Robertson, February 20, 2011.

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Also on the subject of history and the ability to remember it, see: The Doctor’s World: When Alzheimer’s Waited Outside the Oval Office (Reagan Memoir Raises the Difficulty of Confirming Alzheimer's Disease) By Lawrence K. Altman, M.D., February 21, 2011.

Ronald Reagan died of Alzheimer's Disease on June 5, 2004. His last day in office as President was January 20, 1989. According to this Times article, Reagan was diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s (a exceedingly difficult diagnosis to pin down) in 1993, four years after he left office and that Reagan began taking annual mental-status tests starting in 1990. These mental-status tests reportedly were started "a year after" a 1989 horseback riding accident after which a subdural hematoma blood clot removed from Reagan’s brain was examined and (this is confusingly not-quite-explained) may or may not have shown signs of the disease. Reagan’s disease was very much apparent by 1994 when he, with evident difficulty, wrote a letter to the American public announcing his retirement from public life because of his decline. Even if Reagan had been showing symptoms of the onset of the disease during his presidency it does not mean that he would have been rendered legally incompetent. What Reagan was or was not able to remember became a central topic of discussion during the Iran/Contra affair (and ensuing legal persecutions) that came to the public’s attention in 1996.

The recent HBO documentary "Reagan" by Eugene Jarecki spends a fair amount of time pointing out how the political Right has been consciously constructing a mythology about Reagan that is largely contrary to facts (in order to be consistent with their own agenda). The documentary cleverly uses Reagan’s own voice-over to inveigh against mythologies that ignore factual reality. The Jarecki documentary treats Reagan’s eventual dementia as being squarely outside of his span of years in office implying that there was no overlap.

This Is the Beginning of National Notice

I decided it was time to start a second blog. This post inaugurates it. My other blog is "Noticing New York."

Why am I starting a new blog? Noticing New York covers development in New York City and associated politics. As you might guess those associated politics can be rough and none too savory. Often enough they intertwine with national policy issues but there are also times when I feel impelled to write about themes that, while they may be tangentially related to New York City urban affairs, have no close connection with the beat I created Noticing New York to cover.

A perfect example is a recent Noticing New York post (which I will recycle as National Notice's first post-inaugural post): Tuesday, February 22, 2011, What would George Santayana say?

That post just wasn't Noticing New York material but I couldn't help writing it and I wanted it to be up and available somewhere. I realized that there is a lot more on my mind that I'd like to express and it all concerns national issues. . .

. . . So this will be my outlet.

Welcome to National Notice. I hope this will be an interesting and worthwhile journey for all of us.