Saturday, March 29, 2014

So, IS Paul Ryan a Racist

From the site:

My greatest fear is that Ryan shares with the Republican Party a penchant for strategic racism — a willingness to stir widespread racial anxiety in pursuit of votes. This is not racism as hate, or as bias, but as the cold, calculating decision to exploit racist sentiments in society.

In 1963, Republican leaders fatefully decided to seek advantage in the rising backlash to the civil rights movement. After attending a meeting of the Republican National Committee, Robert Novak reported: “A good many, perhaps a majority of the party’s leadership, envision substantial political gold to be mined in the racial crisis by becoming in fact, though not in name, the White Man’s Party.”

Malice did not drive this; instead, it reflected a tactical decision to stoke racial fears. And this strategy has largely worked. After 1964, Republican presidential candidates have won a majority of the white vote in every election, often by staggering margins. Today, the centrality of race to the GOP is obvious: roughly 9 out 10 Republican supporters are white, as are 98 percent of its elected state officials.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Statue honoring Waties Waring is long overdue

From the site:

Waring was an architect of the legal path that led to the Brown v. Board decision handed down on May 17, 1954, through want has been called “the dissent that changed America.” Waring was the first federal judge directly to challenge the 1896 “separate but equal” doctrine that propped up segregation as an everyday practice in the South. He wrote June 21, 1951 in Briggs v. Elliott:

“Segregation in education can never produce equality and that it is an evil that must be eradicated. … I am of the opinion that all of the legal guideposts, expert testimony, common sense and reason point unerringly to the conclusion that the system of segregation in education adopted and practiced in the State of South Carolina must go and must go now. Segregation is per se inequality.”

GOP threatens to push self-destruct button in Georgia Senate race

From the site:

The solid red state is shaping up as a key boost to Democratic hopes of retaining the Senate thanks to a GOP primary field both sides believe could produce a nominee too hobbled, too extreme, or too gaffe-prone to win in November.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Watch This CNN Anchor Stop The Spin On The Minimum Wage


From the site:

CNN's Carol Costello shot down conservative talking points disparaging the minimum wage, correctly noting that raising it would increase incomes and decrease poverty.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Capitalism vs. Democracy


From the site:

Thomas Piketty’s new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” described by one French newspaper as a “a political and theoretical bulldozer,” defies left and right orthodoxy by arguing that worsening inequality is an inevitable outcome of free market capitalism.

Before King Was Pacifist


From the site:

It is possible for someone to make a commitment to nonviolence as a point of personal principle without ever taking part in the kind of action that would make their convictions a matter of public consequence. Indeed, this is common, since most people prefer the comforts of private life to the tension of political conflict. Pacifists who do put their beliefs to the test might undertake civil disobedience individually—performing acts of moral witness that pose no real threat to perpetrators of injustice. It is only when the tenets of unarmed direct action are strategically employed, made into effective weapons of political persuasion through campaigns of widespread disruption and collective sacrifice, that nonviolence gains its fullest power.

Martin Luther King did embrace strategic nonviolence in its most robust and radical form—and this produced the historic confrontations at Birmingham and Selma. But it is important to remember that these came years after his initial baptism into political life in Montgomery, and that they might easily not have happened at all.

Stop Beating a Dead Fox


From the site:

“There ain’t no sanity clause,” Chico Marx told Groucho. There is also no Santa Claus. And there was no sanity in the Santa fracas that became an embarrassing liberal-media fixation just before Christmas. For those who missed it, what happened was this: A Fox News anchor, Megyn Kelly, came upon a tongue-in-cheek blog post at Slate in which a black writer, Aisha Harris, proposed that Santa be recast as a penguin for the sake of racial inclusiveness. After tossing this scrap of red meat to her all-white panel of prime-time guests, Kelly reassured any “kids watching” (this was nearing 10 p.m.) that “Santa just is white.” (For good measure, she added, “Jesus was a white man, too.”) Soon and sure enough, Kelly’s sound bites were being masticated in op-ed pieces, online, and especially on cable, where a passing wisecrack best left to the satirical stylings of Stewart and Colbert became a call to arms. At CNN, one anchor brought on Santas of four races to debunk Kelly. BuzzFeed reported that MSNBC ­programs hopped on the story fourteen times in a single week.

Patients’ Costs Skyrocket; Specialists’ Incomes Soar


From the site:

It does not matter if the procedure is big or small, learned in a decade of training or a weeklong course. In fact, minor procedures typically offer the best return on investment: A cardiac surgeon can perform only a couple of bypass operations a day, but other specialists can perform a dozen procedures in that time span.

That math explains why the incomes of dermatologists, gastroenterologists and oncologists rose 50 percent or more between 1995 and 2012, even when adjusted for inflation, while those for primary care physicians rose only 10 percent and lag far behind, since insurers pay far less for traditional doctoring tasks like listening for a heart murmur or prescribing the right antibiotic.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sorry, Folks, We Don't Just Have 'A Spending Problem'


From the site:

Yesterday, I pointed out how, in a stubborn attempt to avoid raising taxes on the richest 2% of Americans, the Republicans in Congress have essentially agreed to raise taxes on everyone.

The Republicans have done this by refusing to accept President Obama's attempt at a compromise, which preserves low tax rates for 98% of the country while raising taxes modestly on the top 2%.

Well, you can't assign blame to the formerly pragmatic and responsible Republican party without getting some flak.

So I received some notes explaining that the Republicans were absolutely right to reject Obama's plan because "our problem is not a tax problem—it's a spending problem."

And you know what, Democrats? The writers of those notes were partially correct:

We DO have a spending problem.

If we are ever to get our budget deficit under control, we need to trim long-term spending growth.

But blaming the whole deficit problem on "spending" ignores the other half of the problem: Taxes.

Our federal tax revenue right now is historically low.

To begin to address our deficit problem, therefore, we need to trim spending growth and increase taxes.

The Deficit Is Shrinking Fast!


From the site:

One of our two political parties is still saying that the United States faces a "spending crisis" that must be immediately addressed by further cuts to federal spending.

If we do not cut spending, the Republicans say, our debts will spiral out of control and the country will implode.

The good news, for those who don't relish the thought of the country imploding, is that this fear-mongering appears to be seriously overblown.

Our debt and deficit crisis is actually getting better fast.

. . .

The ongoing budget deficit, furthermore, is not just the result of a "spending problem." It's also the result of a "low tax problem," at least relative to most prior history.

Over the long-term, if we don't get our health care and military spending under control, we will face a big deficit problem. But we don't today