As America shivered through a historic freeze, Obama warmed up the discussion of poverty, the Senate passed unemployment benefits and debate shifted from austerity to inequality.
While record lows chilled much of the country, there was a spark of hope on intelligence reform, Affordable Care sign-ups heated up and new allies called to let Snowden thaw out.
And in NJ, the GOP's most popular candidate may have to put his 2016 plans on ice as his national ambitions seem a bridge too far.
Politics has never been believably pretty, but in the Garden State, Did Hell Just Freeze Over? it's unbelievably petty.
Maybe the polar vortex caused hell to freeze over: we're witnessing events we had never expected, and a few conservatives stuck out in the cold.
Warm company, hot topics and cool beers will turn a winter night into a winner night at your local progressive social club.
DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.
A bishop in a Mormon church outside Salt Lake City has shined a light on the hypocrisy and selfishness of members of his church by dressing as a homeless man and gauging their reactions to him. David Musselman had a makeup artist transform his face and donned an unkempt wig, fake beard, and glasses. He then entered the church last Sunday and approached churchgoers to see what they would do. He found many of them did not practice what he preached:
"Many actually went out of their way to purposefully ignore me, and they wouldn't even make eye contact. I'd approach them and say, 'Happy Thanksgiving.' Many of them I wouldn't ask for any food or any kind of money, and their inability to even acknowledge me being there was very surprising."
Most of Musselman's church members ignored him, although five of them actually asked him to leave.
Margaret Thatcher visits with Augusto Pinochet while he was under house arrest in London.
Margaret Thatcher is dead.
While we in the United States tend to lionize our departed Presidents, a la St. Ronnie of Santa Barbara, British politics is not nearly so genteel or forgiving. Her legacy will be debated much more critically in Britain than Reagans’s has been in the U.S.
Aging punk-rockers, Irish Republicans and trade unionists greeted the passing of Baroness Thatcher which much less solemnity. On Face book, a movement began to push “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” temporarily to iphone’s number one downloaded song.
Thatcherism embodied the ultimate unrestricted “free market” anarcho-capitalist principles. And Thatcherism did not see industrial unions as part of a “free market”. Her policies destroyed the union movement in Britain and essentially de-industrialized vast swathes of the country. Read more
The New York Times front page on 7 March 1930, the day following the march for Unemployment Insurance.
Does it boggle your mind to see working class people using their time to demonstrate for less government involvement, while living off of unemployment or social security checks? What exactly are these people thinking? How can people work so directly against their own best interests?
It's an insanity that Thomas Frank noted in his book "Whatﾒs the matter with Kansas?":
"the country we have inhabited for the last three decades seems more like a panorama of madness and delusion worthy of Hieronymous Bosch: of sturdy patriots reciting the Pledge while they resolutely strangle their own life chances; of small farmers proudly voting themselves off the land; of devoted family men carefully seeing to it that their children will never be able to afford college or proper health care; of hardened blue-collar workers in mid-western burgs cheering as they deliver up a landslide for a candidate whose policies will end their way of life, will transform their region into a "rust belt," will strike people like them blows from which they will never recover." Read more
This year I will be 71 years old, assuming I make it and I have close family now into their eighties. I was born in the first year of WW II and my older relatives born in the 1930s during the Great Depression.
When I was a kid grandparents lived with their children and their grandchildren. One of the kids took in their mom and pop while the rest of the kids were expected to kick into the pot to provide for their support.
That’s the way it was before Social Security.
Folks were expected to work until they died which usually wasn’t long. The average life expectancy for a male in the 1920s was 49 years. If you lived longer there was no expected retirement age. You worked until you could no longer work or until you could no longer find work.
Then you were expected to live on your savings. Home ownership at the time was below 20% in the lower working class and the average wage adjusted for inflation in today’s purchasing power was around $13,000. So usually old folks didn’t have sufficient resources to live on.
So you went to your children if you had any. It was expected. Grandma usually got one of the children’s bedrooms. Read more
The United States Supreme Court recently listened to a challenge to the Voting Rights Act in which the question before the court is “about whether the federal government should still Continue Reading →
The post U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia Needs to Explain “Racial Entitlement”
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As someone, who was worked for a homeless shelter for over five years and whose job description sometimes meant signing in walk-ins and staffing the phones for referrals, I have met many homeless people. I can tell you that they are a mixed bunch. However, from my experience, there are four major reasons why someone is homeless: Read more
We live under the false notion in the United States that if we just assert ourselves into the situation we can control the out come. This notion isn't new, we can look at Egypt as a classic case of national overconfidence. Between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, the new kingdom of Egypt, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire is the peak of Egyptian power. While the fall of Egypt was gradual compared to other nations, we all know by 1882 the British occupation began and didn't end until 1953. Like other powerful nations before Egypt, Egypt tried to do too much with limited power, even though at a time they were the most powerful nation in the world Read more
It’s Monday October 8th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 1967, CIA-backed Bolivian forces captured Che Guevara. They executed him the next day. We suppose he deserved to die. He was (after all) an advocate for the least among us, and we can’t have that. Whether it’s Che Guevara, Jacobo Arbenz, Salvador Allende, Oscar Romero, or Jesus Christ, it makes sense that terrorist organizations like the Central Intelligence Agency would recommend targets like Che for “neutralization”. The powers that be know that empowering the people is bad for business. That’s why they have to crush or kill anyone who helps the people find their voice. You’d be hard pressed to find a better champion for the people than Che Guevara, but the sad reality is that we must. Read more
The rhetoric of free markets and smaller government is at the forefront of American political debate and has sunk deeply into the consciousness of most American citizens, this even after the 2008 financial crisis which could be argued as the greatest failure of markets since the Great Depression. In his new book, The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future, Joseph Stiglitz addresses the interplay of market failure, an ambivalent government, and how they interact, to create an ever worsening state of Inequality in the U.S. The Price of Inequality is a forceful exposition that exposes the existence of widening inequality, the causes of the inequality, the consequences of inequality, and, finally, how we can attempt to correct harmful inequality. Read more
March 6, 1930 - thousands demonstrate for unemployment insurance in Union Square and nationwide - led by the communists. Did you think government just gave it to you? Wake up and smell the coffee.
It’s Labor Day!
End of Summer, back to school, put away the barbecue in New England, last day for white shoes, three day shopping weekend!
Honoring labor!! Yaay!
Huh? Read more
Again, I've been asked, "Where has Jenny been?"
As always, I struggle with answering these kinds of questions.
I suppose that a person who doesn't bare her soul on the Internet might not answer the way that I intend to. They might say, "Well, I was moving." Or, perhaps they'd say, "I had a family emergency." I suspect that many who ask - prefer these simple answers. Read more
There are times in my life that I get so wrapped up in what I want and how successful I can be. I even sometimes let myself feel sorry for myself because my life isn’t as good as I’d like it to be.
Then I turn on the news or I open My Yahoo! to see a story about a child who has suffered abuse or even died because of abuse or neglect, and then I hear more stories about children who are hungry around the world and the death of so many because of hunger.
And then I feel ashamed because I have so selfishly felt sorry for myself over my lack of a better life in America while children were dying, dying because of cruelty and neglect and especially hunger, in other places of the world. Read more
Last week’s SCOTUS ruling on the Affordable Care Act may be a clear sign of times to come in Politics America. Could the conservative-leaning court’s progressive ruling mean the era of political division is ending? Is it possible the rage in our public discourse is abating, at last?
Perhaps the rage will abate for one simple reason: Americans respect winners. Even contestants on the losing side of a contest give props to the winners… in grudging recognition of the reality of superiority. Americans love superiority, whether it is moral, physical, political, or tactical. The American Experience is the great human hero epic… we love the guy who wins.
And President Obama is winning. Read more
An American Aristocrat; Mitt’s Ancestor Perhaps? Or A Bush Maybe?
We don’t know but he looks like a jolly good fellow to me.
Greetings to all you real Americans out there.
I’m Thomas Kennsington St. Washingtonsonson Jefferson-Smythe and I am a real American.
By real American; I mean I am; like you; a stand alone American.
An American who never asks for a handout.
Never gives one either.
Personal Responsibility; that’s the ticket for a great America.
Law of the Jungle. Read more