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Tag: Sirota

After 41 Years, a Belated Victory for Butter

The last time America found itself in a budget debate pitting domestic priorities against war expenditures, Richard Nixon was in the White House and David Obey was the youngest member of Congress.

Posted on Jun 25, 2010 READ MORE


War for Resources: From Slander to Clarion Call

Reading this week’s New York Times headline—“U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan”—many probably wondered how this information was being presented as “news” in 2010.

Posted on Jun 18, 2010 READ MORE


Putting the ‘I’ in Environment

While British Petroleum and federal regulators are certainly at fault for their reckless behavior, every American who uses oil—which is to say every American—is incriminated in this ecological holocaust.

Posted on Jun 10, 2010 READ MORE


From Shared Sacrifice to Hedonism

After Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt delivered a national address making eight references to the “sacrifice” that would be needed in the impending war and three mentions of the “self-denial” we would have to endure.

Posted on Jun 3, 2010 READ MORE


The Michael Jordan of Bailouts

Someone is going to bear the massive cost of damage to the Gulf Coast economy, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is out to make sure it isn’t the oil firms whose rig caused the catastrophe in the first place.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE


Laying Bare the Myth of ‘The Left’

If progressive groups were anything but shills for the Democrats, they would be protesting President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee and demanding the firing of his interior secretary.

Posted on May 20, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Emilio Morenatti

Blowback: Why They Try to Bomb Us

Imagine an alternate universe in which a foreign military power begins flying remote-controlled warplanes over your town, using onboard missiles to kill hundreds of your innocent neighbors, and then jokes about it.

Posted on May 14, 2010 READ MORE


The Motto of Mad Men

“I Want My Country Back”—this ubiquitous tea party mantra belongs next to Nike’s “Just Do It” on Ad Age’s list of the most transcendent idioms.

Posted on May 6, 2010 READ MORE


Past Statements Tell Present Truth About Immigration Law’s Goals

The true thinking behind Arizona’s immigration bill could be heard back in 2001, when the emotional aftermath of 9/11 momentarily removed politicians’ rhetorical filters.

Posted on Apr 29, 2010 READ MORE


Bill Clinton
Flickr / Chris Denbow (CC-BY)

Clinton’s Contrition

Whereas former presidents typically devote their retirements to history-revising legacy preservation, Bill Clinton is laudably doing the opposite—and the nation will, hopefully, benefit.

Posted on Apr 22, 2010 READ MORE


Journalism’s Parasites

It’s time to shame by name the access traders, double agents and watchdog turncoats destroying journalism for their own personal gain.

Posted on Apr 15, 2010 READ MORE


What Are They Smoking in California?

There is record support for marijuana legalization, as more Americans see the drug war for what it really is. But framing the debate in terms of tax revenue is just bad politics.

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE


These Devils Wear Privilege

A country founded on anti-royalism and defined by anti-aristocrat political rhetoric will naturally profess disgust for, say, Ivy League presidential candidates and Duke basketball.

Posted on Apr 1, 2010 READ MORE


The Difference Between Liberalism and Progressivism

Even as the word progressive is now ubiquitous, a perverted form of liberalism has almost completely snuffed out genuine progressivism.

Posted on Mar 25, 2010 READ MORE


What’s the Matter With Democrats?

Democrats are now preposterously selling giveaways to insurance and pharmaceutical executives as a middle-class agenda.

Posted on Mar 19, 2010 READ MORE


The Tax War Goes Online

Amazon has sent a message to states buckling under budget deficits: If you make us play by the same tax rules as other businesses, we’ll punish you.

Posted on Mar 11, 2010 READ MORE


The Best Politician Is a Nervous Politician

Moneyed interests, unaccountable lawmakers and a servile press have made Washington undemocratic.

Posted on Mar 5, 2010 READ MORE



lincoln.senate.gov

Democrat Challenges the Senator From Wal-Mart

One of the Senate’s most conservative Democrats now faces a primary challenge on her left flank. Blanche Lincoln, who betrayed the unions that had supported her and who had bitterly fought off a public option in health care reform, was already headed for a tough race. (continued)

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 READ MORE


Rogues Gone Wild

We’ve so idealized cowboy-style rebellion in matters of war and law enforcement that the DEA can refuse to follow explicit orders from the president and attorney general and get away with it.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE


Budget Lies Aren’t Helping the Deficit

For 30 years, Republicans and conservative Democrats have precluded factual debates about spending priorities for fear of antagonizing defense contractors, seniors and the wealthy.

Posted on Feb 11, 2010 READ MORE


The Dystopia Conservatives Built

Colorado Springs, a laboratory of conservative anti-tax policies, is beginning to reek of economic death. The city is losing cops, firefighters, buses and parks while residents are moving into tent ghettos.

Posted on Feb 5, 2010 READ MORE


Our Addiction to Disaster Porn

Thousands of miles from the San Fernando Valley’s seedy studios, the adult entertainment business is alive and panting in Haiti. Like any X-rated content, this smut is all flesh and no substantive plot.

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 READ MORE



Original: Reagan Library

Democratic Corporatism Brings Reagan Back From the Grave

In a state where Democrats outnumber the GOP by a 3-to-1 margin, little-known Republican Scott Brown defeated his rival by demonizing the government and taxes.

Posted on Jan 21, 2010 READ MORE


Newsflash: Right Is Not Center

On economic issues, we are often told that right is center, center is left, and left is fringe. For a year, national reporters (with help from conservative talk-radio goons) have depicted the center-right Obama administration and its corporatist policies as quasi-Marxist.

Posted on Jan 14, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Candidate-vs.-President Canard

Every now and then, an insider inadvertently exposes the hideous rationalizations that run the American political grotesquerie. Such is the case with the president’s flip-flop on drug imports.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009 READ MORE


Political Moral Hazard

Without consequences—or worse, with rewards—for wrongdoing, there is an incentive to do wrong. One need look no further than Wall Street and Washington, D.C.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009 READ MORE


Colbert Conservatives and Military Waste

Every American will spend $2,700 on the military next year and the Pentagon “lost” at least $1 trillion, but how dare you criticize the military?

Posted on Nov 25, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Sgt. Mark Fayloga

Intelligentsia Against Intelligence

Any hope that we aren’t turning into a full-on slobbering idiocracy was snuffed out last week by two of the Washington intelligentsia’s most respected voices.

Posted on Nov 20, 2009 READ MORE


Where Are the Real Deficit Hawks?

Save $110 billion, or spend $6.3 trillion? In recent months, tea party protesters and Congress’ so-called fiscal conservatives chose the latter.

Posted on Nov 12, 2009 READ MORE


Night of the Living Deadbeats

Zombies have made a pop culture comeback. It might have something to do with all the undead banks and the bankers whose careers live on after the economic apocalypse they caused.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE


Who’s in Charge: Obama, Congress or the Military?

The Washington Establishment clearly believes elected officials should defer to the military, no matter what that pesky Constitution says.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Selective Deficit Disorder

When President Bush vastly expanded the deficit with his massive tax cuts for the wealthy, where were the conservative organizations that recently marched on Washington?

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


Progressives Pay the Price for Confusing a Party With a Movement

Washington’s labor, environmental, anti-war and anti-poverty groups spent millions electing a Democratic president and Congress and were promptly stabbed in the back. So why are they still loyal?

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE



The Science Fiction of Military Marketing

The military’s fantastical advertisements promote a somewhat comforting, if disturbingly misleading, message—and it is aimed not just at potential soldiers, but also at the public at large.

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE


Don’t You Forget About John Hughes

The late director’s films were marketed as one-off parables about teenage angst, but they were really celebrations of the intrinsic worth of the regular person.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


The Me-First, Screw-Everyone-Else Crowd

Thanks to the Khaki Pants Offensive in the Great American Health Care and Tax War, finally, there’s no pretense. Finally, the Me-First, Screw-Everyone-Else Crowd’s ugliest traits are there for all to behold.

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE


Health Care Tyranny by 13 Obstructionists

The lawmakers charged with health care reform, hailing mostly from small states and rural areas, together represent only 13 million people, meaning those speaking for just 4 percent of America are maneuvering to impose their health care will on the other 96 percent of us.

Posted on Jul 31, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / jonrawlinson

The Attack of the 1-Percenters

The wealthiest 1 percent’s share of America’s total income is the highest it’s been since 1929, their tax rates are the lowest they’ve faced in two decades and they’ve bought unprecedented protection for themselves on the most pressing issues.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Haldini

China Is Here

The planet’s already on the brink of resource exhaustion and climate catastrophe, and China is 17 times more populous than America was during our industrial era. If we just sit back and celebrate “miracles,” then there’s not going to be much of a world left.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Getting Off the Grid

Today’s technology revolutions have been rightfully celebrated for improving everything from education to medicine to commerce, but we don’t often consider the psychological and societal consequences of always being connected and available.

Posted on Jun 25, 2009 READ MORE


Daring to Dream

Most of the great American advances, from the airplane to the Constitution, were born from reinvention, not tinkering. For all the positive, even admirable steps Obama’s America seems poised to take, the aspirations still seem too small, too unimaginative, too confined by old conceptions of how things must work.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE


All Politics, and Change, Is Still Local

The worship of the White House that led Colorado’s governor to renege on a health-care promise is one more pass-the-buck cop-out in a nation whose federalist system imagined states as “laboratories of democracy.”

Posted on Jun 11, 2009 READ MORE


Whither the Sacred Campaign Promise?

Historically, Americans generally held campaign promises sacred. Just ask the first President Bush. But now behavior by President Obama suggests a systemic assault on the campaign promise is under way.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Fessing Up Has Lost Its Shock Value

It seems government and investors are now engaging in damning honesty. With these outbursts of candor so brazen and self-explanatory, the press is being bypassed.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


News Flash: Populism Is Popular

Both parties are suddenly listening to “the people” instead of the Establishment. They know the political class, however offended, can no longer stop a voter backlash.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Columbine Questions We Still Don’t Ponder

As Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s posthumous infamy turns 10 on April 20, I wish I were surprised that Columbine-like shootings are still happening, or even that our national discussion about violence hasn’t yet matured past gun control and video games.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


The Best Investment Money Can Buy

In the last decade, the financial industry’s $5 billion investment in campaign contributions and lobbyists resulted in deregulation and boatloads of free money. By Bloomberg News’ account, $12.8 trillion worth of taxpayer loans, grants and guarantees—all to Wall Street.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE


This Is the Truth on Drugs ... Any Questions?

Finally, after America has frittered away billions of taxpayer dollars arming Latin American death squads and incarcerating more of its own citizens on nonviolent drug charges than any other industrialized nation, the government is starting to re-evaluate federal narcotics policy.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE


Newspapers’ Self-Inflicted Wounds

Most newspaper postmortems insist that decreased ad revenues brought on by the Internet and the recession caused journalism’s problems, but a look at the vapid celebrity-obsessed pages of the nation’s ever-thinner rags tells a different story.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE


A Government of Men, Not Laws

In the 21st century Gilded Age, the blue-collar shower-after-work crowd is given the tough, while the white-collar shower-before-work gang gets the love, and never before this week was that doctrine made so clear.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


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