President Barack Obama plans to nominate Edith Ramirez as the next chairman of the Federal Trade Commission…Since Ramirez is currently a commissioner, her appointment will not require Senate confirmation…Obama picked the commissioner with whom he had the closest political ties. She’s a former Harvard Law classmate of Obama’s and handled Latino outreach for his 2008 campaign. Prior to joining the FTC, she was a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in Los Angeles.
…Ted Cruz’s hostile questioning of Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, and insinuations about Hagel’s loyalties…provided a fresh context for looking more closely at the nature of the accusations he has leveled at political opponents. Observers like Senator Barbara Boxer wondered if they were seeing a revival of McCarthyism. Judging from Cruz’s speech—and, now, his defense of it—it’s a good question.
There is…reason for optimism rooted in the…differences between the 2010 and 2012 elections. The Class of 2010 was elected by a narrow but intense slice of the electorate—the anti-Obama, recession-fueled rage of the 2010 midterm election landslide. The Class of 2012 was elected in a presidential year, with a broader and more representative segment of the electorate..many of the 2013 freshmen attended an orientation session at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government after the election…“The common attitude among those who attended our conference was that they wanted to be solution-oriented,” said [the director of the Institute of Politics, Trey] Grayson. “They heard loud and clear from voters during the campaign that voters wanted solutions, not rhetoric.”
It was perhaps Barack Obama’s most intense immersion in the charged campus racial politics of the late 1980s and early 1990s: As President of the Harvard Law Review in the spring of his final year there, 1990, he aligned himself with Professor Derrick Bell’s dramatic protest for diversity on the faculty of Harvard Law School.
…Rick Perry replied: “It reveals to me that he grew up in a privileged way. You know, he never had to really work for anything. He never had to go through what Americans are going through.” Mr. Obama, whose background could be considered no better off than middle class, was raised partly by a single mother who at times, he has said, was on food stamps. He also achieved the pinnacle of legal education, winning election as president of the Harvard Law Review. The attacks on Mr. Obama come as Mr. Perry enters a more aggressive phase of his campaign…
Millions of Americans hoped President Obama would nominate Elizabeth Warren to head the consumer financial watchdog agency she had created…As Warren kicks off her run for Scott Brown’s Senate seat in Massachusetts, [writer] Suzanna Andrews charts the Harvard professor’s emergence as a champion of the beleaguered middle class, and her fight against a powerful alliance of bankers, lobbyists, and politicians.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and the world’s richest twentysomething, also left Harvard after one year to pursue his creation with ardor…Jack Dorsey, one of the founders of Twitter, first left the University of Missouri, at Rolla, and then NYU, before beginning his journey to the land of 140 characters. David Karp, the 24-year-old founder of Tumblr, the latest social-networking craze, may have them all beat: He dropped out of the Bronx High School of Science after his first year. Do these individual narratives amount to a hill of beans? Or are they just evidence that the best and brightest among us will always find a way to achieve their inevitable level of excellence, with or without the benefit of a traditional education?
…Donald Trump throws in the affirmative action card to pump up the GOP base even more. This one really stretches credulity: the man who edited the Harvard Law Review was not qualified to get into Columbia or Harvard…We can and should dismiss this man as a clown. But what’s so riveting is that he is testing just how powerful a clown can be when pressing every populist, racist button the GOP has deployed for years—and doing it with a crudeness that Karl Rove would never quite deploy…My fear is…that by merely trumpeting these claims and stirring these fears, Trump gets more and more media platforms to promote them. And they slowly penetrate the culture, delegitimizing the president even more deeply among the Fox News base. And we might as well concede it: these are racist smears, based on fear of the cultural “other”…I don’t think Trump will last very long. I do think he makes other shameless candidates more acceptable. Do you know what I am saying?
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will deliver the first of a three-part lecture series titled “American Foreign Policy and the Black Experience” at 8 p.m. today at the Institute of Politics…The three talks, which will take place over the course of this week, are part of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research Lecture Series and will be published by the Harvard University Press.
smh. she’s on Award Tour.
art: Acrylic and glitter on birchwood panel, by Lapata
I want to focus on one element of Zuckerberg’s story, one that reportedly fuels some of the drama within Fincher’s film [“The Social Network”]: the accusation that Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from other Harvard students. Hear me on this: In business, ideas are worthless. That’s right. Worthless. It’s the execution of ideas which gives them value. Got a great idea for a new website? Know a sure way to improve community news? Have a tool in your mind that could revolutionize the Web? Great. But, really, you’ve got nothing.