Story Repair

Story Repair | By Mike Alberti | Alternative models, Government services
Danish experts said the changes are generally modest and broadly consistent with the longstanding welfare state model. More
Story Repair | By Mike Alberti | Labor, Pensions, State government
In 2011, the Rhode Island state legislature passed a law that made deep cuts to the pension benefits of its public employees and retirees, prompting a challenge alleging that the law was a violation of the state’s contract with those workers. Now, Rhode Island officials are claiming that the promises it made to its workers never constituted contracts, an argument that several legal experts characterized as a radical shift from historical precedent. As similar legal challenges emerge in other states, the Rhode Island court’s decision whether or not to uphold the state’s argument could have profound implications across the country. More
Story Repair | By Kevin C. Brown | Economy, Markets, Role of government
Does the fact that the Treasury Department still has a significant stake in GM stigmatize the company? Give it a negative “Government Motors” reputation among investors or consumers? There’s lot of chatter but little evidence. And analysts say that the company’s reputation hinges more on it’s product line-up and profit outlook. More
Story Repair | By Heather Rogers | Media, Politics
Major press outlets have fallen all over themselves describing Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) as a “moderate,” with coverage often quite openly mourning last week's primary election loss of someone who could work “across the aisle.” Some Democratic Senators have been fulsome in their praise of Lugar in the wake of that loss. But a review of the record shows that the “moderate” label lacks factual basis: while not the most conservative Republican serving in the Senate, Lugar has been deeply and reliably conservative, often stymieing initiatives by the same Democrats now singing his praises. More
Story Repair | By Mike Alberti | Corporate influence, Regulation
Proposed ethics rules from the Obama Administration would limit the ability of federal employees to accept gifts from lobbyists, including gifts of free attendance at trade association events. A recent article in The New York Times about these proposals gave opponents of the rule the run of the article, without ever probing their claims. In this Story Repair, the voices of opponents of the regulation continue to be heard, but they are situated in a firmer and broader news context. More
Story Repair | By Margaret Moslander | Labor, Regulation
Department of Labor rules promote higher standard of living for workers, hold employers to promises of full-time work. DOL, worker advocates say rules will create incentive for Americans to take jobs, but employers say that the changes will be "catastrophic," insist they need low-wage, flexible-hour environment. More
Story Repair | By Mike Alberti | Legislation
In several high-profile and contentious votes this year, lawmakers have been continuously pressured by party leaders, the Obama Administration, and the press to fall in line behind "reasonable" compromises, something many say is necessary in a time of divided government. But some legislators in the House of Representatives, by voting against most or all of those bills, have indicated that they do not believe that compromise is valuable in and of itself, but only when the result reflects their vision of the country's future. Indeed, historians point out that the history of compromise in the United States has been decidedly mixed, leading these scholars to wonder why compromise is currently so highly and uncritically valued. "There are examples of compromise that we look back on now and say, 'It's a good thing that happened,'" said Ross Baker, a congressional historian at Rutgers University. "But history is replete with examples of compromises that basically betrayed fundamental principles." More
Story Repair | By Mike Alberti | Environment
Votes in both houses of Congress last week demonstrate strong support for the denial of climate science, despite the sweeping scientific consensus that supports it. While some Republicans have been frank about denying the science, many other Republicans (and some Democrats) attempted to frame the votes to amend the Clean Air Act and strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases as responses to EPA “overreaching.” In fact, the charge of overreaching appears to be largely an attempt to obscure the fact that some members of Congress are unhappy that EPA went ahead and used the authority the Supreme Court has confirmed that the Agency possesses. The charge also diverts attention from the decision made by some members of Congress that action on climate change is less important than protecting the short-term interests of local industries. More