Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Breedjng Rich And Their Spawn

Education and class: America’s new aristocracy | The Economist:

WHEN the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination line up on stage for their first debate in August, there may be three contenders whose fathers also ran for president. Whoever wins may face the wife of a former president next year. It is odd that a country founded on the principle of hostility to inherited status should be so tolerant of dynasties. Because America never had kings or lords, it sometimes seems less inclined to worry about signs that its elite is calcifying.

Thomas Jefferson drew a distinction between a natural aristocracy of the virtuous and talented, which was a blessing to a nation, and an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, which would slowly strangle it. Jefferson himself was a hybrid of these two types—a brilliant lawyer who inherited 11,000 acres and 135 slaves from his father-in-law—but the distinction proved durable. When the robber barons accumulated fortunes that made European princes envious, the combination of their own philanthropy, their children’s extravagance and federal trust-busting meant that Americans never discovered what it would be like to live in a country where the elite could reliably reproduce themselves...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Idolatry

The Greatest False Idol of Modern Christianity | RELEVANT Magazine:

...It [idolatry] shows up in the lazy stereotypes and the religious rhetoric that flows so easily in church lobby coffee chats and extremist blog rants. It’s as if everything has now become an imminent threat: Muslims, Atheists, Gays, The President, inner-city criminals, Hollywood, illegal immigrants, The Government, school hallways.

The world outside the church building is broadly painted as a vile, immoral war zone, with “God’s people” hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned...

Friday, January 23, 2015

You Think?

Senate’s marathon Keystone debate ends in anger - POLITICO:

...“Senator McConnell’s rush to vote on amendments without providing time to read or debate them could have something to do with this Koch retreat tomorrow, which a number of Republican senators are reportedly attending…,” Adam Jentleson, spokesman for Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said by email...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Addiction Theories Napalmed

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think�|�Johann Hari:

 ...So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.

When I learned all this, I found it slowly persuading me, but I still couldn't shake off a nagging doubt. Are these scientists saying chemical hooks make no difference? It was explained to me -- you can become addicted to gambling, and nobody thinks you inject a pack of cards into your veins. You can have all the addiction, and none of the chemical hooks. I went to a Gamblers' Anonymous meeting in Las Vegas (with the permission of everyone present, who knew I was there to observe) and they were as plainly addicted as the cocaine and heroin addicts I have known in my life. Yet there are no chemical hooks on a craps table...

New Apple; Same Rotten Core

Barack Obama’s State of the Union tax proposal: The president’s program will expose Republicans’ unwillingness to fight inequality.:

...Some of these Republicans’ proposals—to expand the earned income tax credit or child tax credit, for instance—hold real promise. But there is a big problem with this new anti-poverty, anti-inequality platform, one that gives all this new rhetoric an air of unreality: The party remains at its core committed to fighting solutions that would come at the expense of the very wealthiest Americans, even at a time when that upper-upper echelon is achieving truly historic levels of affluence. Just look at what has been the first order of business for Republicans after they won full control of Congress for the first time in eight years this past fall. It’s not expanding the earned income tax credit, but rather pushing a Wall Street wish list for tweaks to weaken the Dodd-Frank financial reform law of 2010...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

GOP Firing Squad

State of the GOP is broken: I thought Joni Ernst was bad. Then I watched Ted Cruz - Salon.com:

...And remember, at this point we’re likely to see at least four of those guys – counting Bush and Romney, Paul and Cruz – in the 2016 presidential debates. Cruz was expected to be formidable, but you don’t get do-overs at live, nationally televised events, no matter how RNC chair Reince Priebus thinks he can rig the rules. I’m not saying the Democrats have no problems or internal fissures, but their debates won’t feature anything like the GOP’s.

Expect the media to say that’s boring, and damaging to Clinton. But secretly, or not so secretly, Republicans wish they had Clinton’s problems.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Media Trump Kissing

Breitbart News Admires Donald Trump's Toilet | The Daily Caller:

...Not surprisingly, the reporter was Matthew Boyle, who Trump can call on anytime he wants him. Kind of like Bloomberg Politics‘ Mark Halperin, except shorter, bigger cheeks and right wing. Some may recall the story that Trump spoon fed to baby Boyle to exact revenge on BuzzFeed‘s McKay Coppins for the profile piece he and his camp loathed. Some close to Trump have referred to Coppins’ piece as “dog shit” reporting. At the time, Breitbart News might as well have turned the entire site over to Trump — here, publish whatever you want Mr. Trump!

The same goes for Boyle’s story published Monday in which he can be seen bowing to The Donald...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Comment Of The Day: O'Proposals

Cannonfire:"Obama Did It Again"

Of course he does this when it has no chance of getting through congress. No, I don't care how good it SOUNDS, it's not going to happen with this congress and Obama knows this. If he was serious, if he had a real spine or was a real President that cared about "the little people" he would have made sure this happened in 2008 when he had a congress that would have been more likely to make it happen. Of course, even then, most of the Dems would have shown their true colors if they had actually had to vote on a proposal like this. Call my cynical, but his sudden discovery of Democratic principles and proposals is disingenuous. He's only doing it precisely because he knows it can't happen now. He doesn't care, because he's on his way out. He just wants to be able to say, "see? I tried!", but he didn't try when it actually mattered and would have possibly made a difference.
posted by Anonymous Gus : 11:52 AM