The Hastert Rule

January 3, 2013

. It is such a given so little reflected upon by its participants and observers, that political life leads to cynicism, that even when reflection periodically takes place, much is lost in the glare. Consider in this regard the already commonplace observation that in clambering back atop the “fiscal cliff” on Tuesday, the GOP-controlled House […]

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Subversive American Conservatism

October 5, 2012

. Much talk of “red lines” these days. There are fine lines, too. That means their crossing is not always clear, and people of good will who wish not themselves to appear the creators of ill will, the stokers of social distemper, will refrain from stating that others have already crossed and created and stoked. […]

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The American Socialist Century

August 27, 2012

.   The Manchester Union-Leader, long an emblematic journalistic voice of the Republican Party, New England strain – before the advent of Tea Parties and general no-nothingism – isn’t quite that anymore. Do not say it is not trying to adapt, however.   President Obama and Mitt Romney, and the courses they propose for this […]

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Threats to Democracy

June 1, 2012

. The New York Times editorialized the other day, in “Too Much Power for a President,” It has been clear for years that the Obama administration believes the shadow war on terrorism gives it the power to choose targets for assassination, including Americans, without any oversight. The Times argued, No one in that position should be able […]

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Everything Old is Newt Again

December 2, 2011

. I’ve taken some time off for real life this week – that oddly embodied and sensate earthly manifestation so much more vivid than Cyberlife. It’s been a trip. I kinda liked it, so – I don’t know – worldly. Still, I have received communiqués from that way station between the two worlds – political […]

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How We Lived on It (38) – Amen, Brother

August 20, 2011

The riddle is “What’s the difference between Rick Perry and Osama bin Laden?” The answer is “Mohammed Atta.” The mainstream news media played carnival barker to this man’s entry into the GOP presidential primary race, then immediately turned on Perry’s implication of treason against Fed Chair Ben Bernanke as if such behavior from Perry – […]

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Torture and American Exceptionalism

May 12, 2011

Since la crème de la GOP decided to use the death of Osama bin Laden as the basis for a renewed defense of torture (and other virtues that form the basis of their overweening national pride), I’m offering this week from the none-too-dusty sad red archives the best this blog has had to offer on […]

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Meet the Opposition to Labor Rights

March 4, 2011

I was going to post today (and will another day) on a number of rhetorically sly and fallacious argumentative ploys I’ve encountered lately, but you may have noticed that I am singularly focused these days on the GOP’s reactionary assault on labor rights and working people. It is a critical moment in U.S. social history, […]

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Kicking the Tires on Democracy: Wisconsin & Labor

February 28, 2011

The surface of conservative arguments for ending collective bargaining in Wisconsin and other states is as deep as  a worn tread. GOP politicians all over the country, including Scott Walker, have been peddling the “pre-owned automobile” of a utilitarian argument in a crisis. “We need the tools,” they keep repeating like a FOX News talking […]

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Why We Need Unions #351

February 26, 2011

I’m in activist mode this week. Later, next week, I’ll offer some deeper reflections. But a curious result of all the activist tweeting I’ve been doing through the week has been the response from conservatives. Mostly, my tweets are retweeted by the generally liberal like-minded. My tweets on the Wisconsin labor standoff, though, making their […]

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David Brooks on Joe Lieberman: Muddled Moderation

January 21, 2011

Image via Wikipedia There is more than a superficial appeal to the calming voice. While it sounds reasonable, and it appears to spy a path from lost to found – “if you can keep your head when all around you” and all that – it also reassures.  Often it is the still center that saves […]

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The Republicans on START: Not Serious, “No Shame”

December 21, 2010

Image via Wikipedia This remarkable lame duck session of congress contines – upending all conventional wisdom about Barack Obama’s fortunes and election consequences. You might previously have thought the Republicans won the presidency in November. Though it is probably the President’s compromise with Republicans on taxes that set the stage for what is now happening, […]

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Republicans: the Party of Stop

November 19, 2010

They are against the social safety net: social security, unemployment insurance, any form of government guaranteed health insurance or care that doesn’t already exist, and they long to go after what does. They fought gay rights, they fight gay marriage, they oppose the repeal of DADT. If they had their way there would be no […]

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Tea Party Polling

April 14, 2010

From The New York Times/CBS. My quick hits. Tea party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, tend to be Republican, white, male, and married, and their strong opposition to the Obama administration is more rooted in political ideology than anxiety about their personal economic situation Well, knock me over. And while […]

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Democrats Are Punks.

January 21, 2010

I’m not a fire breather. I’m really not. Really. I’m not. I thought had something to do with Monica Lewinsky getting over it already. The Daily Kos? Can I find that on the newsstands? (The what?) But Democrats are punks. Really. They are. In Politics and Shame I argued how the Democrats had voted […]

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