Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's Reagan's Party No More!

That's because, as Rachel Maddow explains, it's to the right of even him.

And, with that, I'll see you in October!

We Are Built To Explore

And that's why the space program can't be limited to robots, wonderful an accomplishment as they are.  This lays it all out.

I hope I live long enough to see this advice heeded.

Soak The Rich? You Betcha!

We can pay off the deficit simply by asking those who have benefited the most economically to act like real citizens of the United States, and not of the international financial community, to pay their fair share.  Take a look.

I'd say it's about time, except for the fact that it's long overdue.

This Makes Me Proud To Be A Marvel Fan!

In my much younger days, I gravitated to the idealism and sense of purpose that I found in the characters in Marvel Comics.  I often say that Matt Murdock/Daredevil was one of the key reasons I became a lawyer.

It's good to know that the idealism and sense of purpose isn't limited to the pages of the comic books.  It's also reflected in the lives of at least one of Marvel's creatives.  And I don't mean Stan Lee; take a look.

Maybe They Really ARE Waking Up!

If the father of the "law and economics" judicial philosophy can learn to respect to respect the limits of capitalism, perhaps others will as well. 

In The War On Drugs ...

... drugs have won.  And poverty has helped to lead the way.

"Kinda Weird"?

A 13.9 per cent tax rate on $42.5 million in income?

No, Bill Kristol, it's a lot worse than that.  It's an obscenity that Mitt Romney wants to make even worse, for himself and the vultures who support him.

At least Kristol sounds like he would support some sensible changes in the tax code.  Maybe he realizes that the party's over (in more ways than one).

"The Music Man" Was A Hit For A Reason

And the reason is very simple.  We love being conned.  Megan McArdle explains it here.

Which is why one party is a party of professors and students and the other party is a party of snake-oil men and suckers.

Colorado Springs Faces Harsh Reality

You can't cut your way to prosperity, or even to survival.  At some point, no matter how much you want to avoid it, you have to pay the piper--or, at least, the tax collector.

Words Matter

It's an odd truth that progressives, though often better-educated than conservatives, tend to discount the power of words, and even of communication in general.  Sadly, the other side has, as a consequence, had a free hand in mastering the art of successfully articulating their bankrupt thinking.

Perhaps this book can help turn things around a bit.  Perhaps it can help us (to follow some of its advice) level the playing field.  It's long overdue.

The REAL "Pro-Life" Candidate?

Here's a hint:  It's not who you'd think.  And you've got no less than an agent of the Catholic Church saying so.

On the other hand, the Church itself continues to work both sides of the fence.  See here.

What Goes Hand-In-Hand With Right-Wing Lying?

Right-wing scapegoating.  It's gone on at least since the early days of Richard Nixon, and it goes on into the present.

Only this time, I don't think it will work.  Impoverishing whites and blacks doesn't make them enemies.  It gives them a common ground--one one which they can win, even when the playing field isn't level.

Paul Ryan Tells Both Kinds Of Lies

Lies of co-mission.  And lies of omission; see here as well.

Which are worse?

Does it matter?

Either way, vote for him, and you're voting for a lie.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Case For Gun Control

Read this.  Nothing more need be said.  But a lot more needs to be done.

A New Christian Convergence

That's the title of this column by Brian McLaren.  I had the good fortune to get to know him, and go to church with him, back in my graduate school days in College Park.  Whether you're a Christian or not--but especially if you are--you should take a look.

It's Not YOUR Taxes That They Want To Cut

It's their patrons.  Take a look at what's happening in Kansas.

Vote for them, and your taxes won't be paying for civilization, or even for decency.  They'll be paying for economic slavery.



Here's proof.  Here's more.

For crying out loud, Democrats, stop apologizing and shout the truth from the rooftops.

Bush IS Responsible For The Deficit!

And that's why studies show it!

One day soon, hopefully, right-wing media reality can be replaced by the real thing.  After all, as even George Will was once willing to concede, facts are stubborn things.  And never more so, when they run against your beliefs.

Willing To Die For A "Hoax"

That sums up the attitude of red-staters on climate change, especially after this summer.  Problem is, they're willingness to do this takes those of us with sanity along with them.

We have to stop them, hopefully by outnumbering them at the polls.  Hopefully, that's all we'll need to do.

How Dysfunctional Are Our Politics?

Even when we agree, and our survival depends on agreeing, we can't act on our agreement.

This is why we have to destroy, or at least dilute, the power of money in politics.  Right now.

Never Give Up On Progress, Just Because It's Slow (Part 2)

One 800 meter race for a Saudi female athlete, one giant leap forward for women and Muslims everywhere.

Religion and humanity are both stronger when they can adapt to change together.

How Green Is The Internet?

Not very, as it turns out.  A grim reminder of what a tricky thing it can be to have a net-green effect.

How Do You Know That The Republicans Are Losing An Election?

Simple.  Their allies in the press start running diatribes against Washington, even when they control a major share of power in it.  Take a look.

Sorry, Ross, but D.C.-envy isn't going to work.  Average income (as he knows) is one of the most deceptive ways of measuring wealth.  The entire sum of disposable assets in DC isn't even remotely equal to the amount of money that's been offshored by your patrons.  Need a reminder?  Here you go (we're a full service blog;-)).

By the way, Ross, D.C. was on the upswing even before 2002.  I guess some people never get over trying to make W look good.

The REAL Entitlement Reform That We Need

Social Security?  Medicare?  Medicaid?


It's the entitlement of the 1% to unlimited political power.  The kind of entitlement that allows this disgrace to the name of Jesus to even consider making a comeback.

They keep pushing the same old buttons, and expect the same old results.  But every day isn't Groundhog Day, and every election year isn't 1980.

And Barack Obama isn't Jimmy Carter.

And Mitt Romney isn't Ronald Reagan.

And even if he was, we've moved on.

Get over it, Mr. Reed.  You and the rest of your cronies are yesterday's failures.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Never Give Up On Progress, Just Because It's Slow

Because it needs to happen, and there are no limits to making it happen other than the ones we impose on ourselves.  If this much progress can come to the Roman Catholic Church under an ultra-conservative Pope, who are we to set limits?

How To Bring Manufacturing Back To America

One way is to forget about mass production, and focus on specialty markets.  Think it can't be done?  It's already happening in Brooklyn.

The Epitome Of Pitiful

It's this:  having a name like Reince Pribus, and pretending that you have what it takes to take on the Senate Majority Leader who beat back a manufactured conservative wave to win re-election (and who is also a former boxer).

But why waste a thousand words on this fribble, when I've got this picture, and the words that go with it?  Enjoy, if you can avoid having your stomach turned.

Try To Remember: It's Only A Hoax ... It's Only A Hoax ...

Except, of course, when there's "virtually no explanation other" than it.

And NONE Dare Call It Treason

In fact, it's not being called anything at all, because, so far as I can tell, it's not being discussed anywhere.  Except here.

The holders of this wealth are worse than contemptible.  There's enough money here to pay off the national debt, which was run up largely to fight wars they supported, and then to bail them out when they were "too big to fail."  TOO BIG TO FAIL IS RIGHT!  They should have been allowed to fail, and then forced to pay the public costs of their failures with their own damn money!

I can only sum up my feelings with an out-of-context quote from Thomas Jefferson:

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.

I truly pray that it doesn't sleep much longer. 

September Has Truly Been A Month To Remember ...

... in spite of the fact that I haven't posted during this month until now.  It's been a combination of three things for me:  getting my mother's house ready to be sold, babysitting (with my wife) my granddaughter for a weekend, and getting our house ready for the High Holy Days (and a belated L'Shana Tova to all of you).  Plus our law practice.  But that's more than enough about me.  With or without me, this has been a month to remember for all of us.

Where to begin?  The conventions.  Eastwood and the empty chair versus Bill Clinton's compelling case against the Republicans.  The anti-American violence (and, sadly, American deaths) in the Middle East.  The economy, which continues to stumble forward VERY slowly.  And, finally, the nagging question of whether Paul (I Couldn't Tell The Truth If My Life Depended On It) Ryan and Mitt (I Couldn't Resist Shooting Myself In The Foot If My Life Depended On It) Romney might STILL somehow slip into the Oval Office.

Some random thoughts on all of the above, and then, some catching-up with a few items I've collected (I may not have written, but I've been watching).

First, Eastwood.  The man's a movie star and, when you're a movie star, you're always playing to your audience.  He was probably bothered by the perception that his Chrysler Super Bowl ad created that he was in the tank for Obama.  He's smart enough to know that it didn't sit well with his fan base so, when the Romney campaign gave him a chance to do something about it, he took it.  Frankly, the fact that he did it so ineptly is a sign that neither his heart nor his head was in it.  He doesn't care about the Democrats or Republicans; he cares about Clint Eastwood.  And surprise!  He's got a movie coming out about now.  I don't think it's a coincidence--especially since I'm not a big believer in coincidences.

Next, Clinton.  His speech was a surprise.  Forceful, factual, disciplined and complete.  You'd think he was running for re-election.  I'm glad he did it but, perhaps a bit cynically, I think this speech is the best evidence to date that Hillary's running in 2016, and Obama will be just as on-board in supporting her.  Did I just hear the sound of one hand washing the other?  I'm pretty sure I did.

The violence in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East was a surprise of the tragic variety.  And yet, despite a concerted effort on the part of the conservative media to re-create the America-held-hostage atmosphere that worked so well for them in 1980, it hasn't turned the country against Obama.  Why?  I can only speculate, but I think it's principally because, in the intervening 32 years, we've come to terms with the limits of how secure we and the rest of the world can be:  the September 11th attacks and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have a lot to do with that.  And, too, it's clear that not all of the sentiment in the Middle East is anti-American.  We appear to be supported in our efforts to avenge our dead not only by the local governments, but also by large segments of the local population.

And, speaking of turning the country against Obama, slow economic growth hasn't made that happen, either.  Again, why?  Is it because people have finally figured out that you can't tax-cut your way to prosperity?  Or is it because they see through the way Republicans have attempted to stalemate the President into either submission or defeat.  Could be either one.  Could be both.  My money's on the latter.

That might mean that even a more disciplined and less ideological team of Republicans might find Obama to be a tough target.  But, for the team the Republicans have, he seems to be an impossible one, and getting worse, thanks to their joint and several ineptitude.  Ryan running for Vice-President?  He can't even run a marathon (or tell the truth about it).  And then there's Mitt.  I remember thinking back in the primaries, when he had a good streak going and promptly went on the air to announce his lack of concern for the "very poor," that this man seems to get careless and stupid every time he gets a break.  The repeat of this pattern since then is not surprising.  It's the mentality of the economically entitled.  It allows you to dismiss whole segments of the population (say, 47%?) when running for office, because you think they're beneath you (yes, even when they support you).

And yet, it's a close race.  One has to wonder whether race in a different sense is the reason for the closeness.  Whatever else is true, this election may really give us a test of how unwilling a certain segment of the public is to vote for a black man.

We'll find out soon enough.  But, putting race aside, if Romney does win, I will regard it as proof that God no longer wants to bless America.

And now, on to other pending matters ...