Commentary

The Catholic roots of American liberalism

John Kerry's defeat in 2004, assumed by many to be the product of perceived Democratic deficiencies in "moral values," gave this conversation renewed energy. And while some in the "new values" camp pointed to the importance of a specifically religious morality, others urged the Democrats to focus on a secular but morally demanding vision of the common good.

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Distinguished Senior Fellow Robert Kuttner writes that, "Hedge funds and private equity operators are driving the wrong brand of capitalism — and pursuing ever-riskier deals that threaten the financial system."

The difference between hedge funds (unregulated mutual funds for very wealthy individuals) and private equity (privately held firms that buy and sell entire companies) is collapsing, creating an unregulated sector of wild-west financial engineering rife with conflicts of interest.

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More than 35 years have passed since women wore pay gap buttons saying "59 cents." Funny how inflation works. We earn more now but yet women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.

The gap remains and, according to National Committee on Pay Equity, it's even worse for African-American women (72 cents) and Hispanic women (58 cents).

Women are still effectively losing at least one out of every four paychecks.

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Virginian-Pilot

Senior fellow Sasha Abrmsky reviews Philip Zimbardo's book The Lucifer Effect, and writes about what the creator of the famous Stanford prison experiment says about the Bush administration's responsibility for the torture and abuse in Iraq.

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Michael Lipsky and Dianne Stewart, Senior Program Director and Director of Public Works at Demos, argue it takes effective government to restore opportunity. After decades of government-bashing, we need to win back support for what we do in common.

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Senior fellow Sasha Abramsky argues, "There is far more to America than the knee-jerk reactions of its overseas critics would have you believe."

But I do think some of you use "America" as if it's a dirty word. It isn't. It's a complicated word, one that befits a complicated, sometimes maddening, but always fascinating country.

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Robert Kuttner is a distinguished senior fellow at Demos and co-editor at The American Prospect. Here he writes, "The deepening college loan scandal is a classic case of what can happen when government uses private companies as middlemen to carry out public goals."

The proliferation of private student loan programs adds complexity as well as cost. Filling out student loan applications is literally more complex than doing your taxes — in this case the complexity is brought to you by the private sector.

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Senior Fellow Sasha Abramsky argues that, "Don Imus was always a crude and revolting 'shock jock' — but no-one seemed to mind until he went a step too far."

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Robert Kuttner is a distinguished senior fellow at Demos and co-editor at the American Prospect. Here he argues that "For the third time in modern history, a conservative movement and presidency have exhausted themselves."

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Jonathan Cohn is a senior fellow at Demos and a senior editor at The New Republic. Here he considers "what Jacques Chirac could teach us about health care."

But is it actually true that universal coverage results in worse care? That's a very different story from the one that conservatives tell.

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