Monthly Archives: January 2014

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Into the minds of the one percent: attacks on the rich are just like what the Nazi’s did to Jews

Heathhallmain_2385835b.jpgCNBC, December 30th, 2013:

Pope Francis’ critical comments about the wealthy and capitalism have at least one wealthy capitalist benefactor hesitant about giving financial support to one of the church’s major fundraising projects.

At issue is an effort to raise $180 million for the restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York being spearheaded by billionaire Ken Langone, the investor known for founding Home Depot, among other things.

Langone told CNBC that one potential seven-figure donor is concerned about statements from the pope criticizing market economies as “exclusionary,” urging the rich to give more to the poor and criticizing a “culture of prosperity” that leads some to become “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.”

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The three faces of the Republican Party

Rand PaulThe opposition party has been giving a “response” to the State of the Union speech (that they have no foreknowledge of and therefore can’t respond to) ever since Republicans began the asinine practice in 1966. It’s arrogant, juvenile, and self destructive. Most politicians are damaged by it and yet it’s still done every year by both parties.

This year is no exception, and if ever there was plain evidence that the Republican Party is suffering from an identity and policy crisis, this is it. The Republican Party will have no fewer than three responses to the address next week. The official televised response will come from Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington), vice chair of the House Republican Conference.

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Is a general theory of conservatism possible?

I’m catching up on Krugman’s NYT blog and my mind got stuck on this. It’s easy and lazy to invent personal faults as scapegoats for political policy and ideology that you don’t like and don’t understand. Building a model that analyzes and predicts that behavior is a little more involved than that.

Krugman, via Josh Barro, notes that Republicans don’t seem to have a policy for how to deal with recessions:

As [Barro] says, GOP policy prescriptions – deregulate, cut spending (especially on the poor), and cut taxes (on the rich) – are the same when unemployment is above 9 percent as when it is below 5.

Conservative policies being driven by doctrine rather than practical concerns explains that easily enough, but is there more to it than that?

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Fox News is raising an entire generation of fools

Nobody has died as the result of a foreign terrorist attack in the United States since September 11th, 2001. We spend countless billions of dollars on unending wars in the middle east that routinely slaughter civilians and children in the name of keeping our own butts safe from The Terrorists, money desperately needed to combat a failing education system, a slowly improving health care crisis, and increasing poverty here at home.

There are threats to our society that far exceed what foreign terrorism presents these days and rather than combating these threats, we hide behind the first amendment and the right to dissent (more often the right to be stupid and hateful). I suppose that’s a price we pay, and given how things are in other parts of the world, it’s a small price indeed. But in the long run, these threats from inside our borders are the ones capable of destroying our society. Terrorists can kill us and that’s obviously pretty bad, but they can’t take away our constitutional rights, can’t make us stupid and weak, can’t blind us to threats that could eventually destroy the planet itself.

That’s what we have Fox News for.

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