Since emerging as a candidate in the Democratic primary for the 2016 presidential election, Bernie Sanders has garnered praise from a wide range of voices for his candor and straightforwardness. Should we expect all of our candidates to be equally candid? TCF fellow Michael Cohen argues that Sanders is only able to speak as frankly as he does because of his status as a long-shot candidate:
I think he understands pretty well that he is the longest of long-shots to win the nomination. He’s running to raise issues that he believes are important and that he wants to see the Democratic Party embrace. There are few better places to do that than the presidential campaign trail—and I applaud him for it. But enough with the over-the-top praise. Sanders is doing what insurgent candidates have the freedom to do.
Read the rest of Cohen's column here.
Today's entry in the New York Times's "Room for Debate" series asks how research on Crispr-Cas9, a technology for editing human genes, can be regulated. Alexander Capron, a TCF trustee, discusses the issue in the context of Asilomar—a 1975 conference where geneticists voluntarily agreed to limit research involving splicing DNA between organisms.
A group dominated by scientists is too self-interested and unrepresentative to take on such wide-ranging issues now. We’ve come to rely on more diverse bodies, like the bioethics commissions that have advised successive presidents since 1979. The challenge for any commission is to move these issues out of federal meeting rooms and engage the general public in deliberating about them in town halls, churches, schools and living rooms across the nation. Experts can help clarify the issues but policymaking ought to arise from a more democratic process.
Read Capron's full response here.
NSA leaker Edward Snowden on Saturday defended his disclosure of reams of classified information and said his actions were worth fleeing his seemingly idyllic life in Hawaii and ending up in hiding in Russia, where he was joined by his girlfriend in July.
“It was about getting the information back to people so they could decide if they cared about it, and on that account … I could not have been more wrong in thinking that people wouldn’t care,” he told a New Yorker Festival audience Saturday afternoon via webcast from an undisclosed location in Moscow.
Read the full article.
With a weekend coming up, and perhaps time for some more leisurely reading, I highly recommend taking advantage of The New Yorker's apparently still-continuing policy of letting the magazine's content all hang out for free online and reading a riveting and extensively as well as minutely reported account by Patrick Radden Keefe of what's described on the contents page as “the biggest-ever hedge-fund scandal”: “The Empire of Edge: How a doctor, a trader, and the billionaire Steven A. Cohen got entangled in a vast financial scandal.”
Read the full article.
Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker staff writer, provides insight to his interview with Rosemary Martoma, the wife of Mathew Martoma about her husband's 9 year prison sentence for insider trading while at Steve Cohen's former hedge fund SAC Capital.
Watch the entire interview.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has long made headlines as a conservative policy-sharing network that has pushed an agenda of voter suppression and dismantling of public education at the state level. Now the group, backed by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, is going local with its new initiative, the American City County Exchange (ACCE). Soon, city government or county commission policies could be generated at the same right-wing think tank that has attacked environmental protections, attempted to undermine the rights of workers and made it harder for people to vote.
At a time of congressional gridlock and partisan rancor, local policies are easier to come by at the local level, with business and citizen groups coming together to generate solutions to problems such as affordable housing, public transit, open space and good-paying jobs. At the heart of these efforts is the spirit of regional collaboration among people who will have to live with the consequences of policy.
Read the full article.
Since our 1919 founding, The Century Foundation has published work examining a broad array of issues including civil liberties, the media, campaign finance, and intelligence agency reform. This section provides a portal to many of those works.
Sign up for our mailing list and stay up to date on the latest happenings at The Century Foundation