Larry's List

Presidential Con Artist

George W. Bush’s paintings do not reveal anything about the Iraq War, despite our wishing that they did; absurdly, the main argument against gay marriage is the state’s supposed need to regulate procreation; meanwhile, the entire Senate voted against Social Security cuts, but the media said nothing. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The Trader Joe’s Lesson: How to Pay a Living Wage and Still Make Money in Retail
The average American cashier makes $20,230 a year, a salary that in a single-earner household would leave a family of four living under the poverty line.

Senate Unanimously Votes Against Cuts to Social Security: Media Don’t Notice
There are few areas where the corruption of the national media is more apparent than in its treatment of Social Security.

Scalia’s Gay Marriage Problem
With the Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments tomorrow and Wednesday in a pair of same-sex marriage cases, there are two questions preoccupying legal writers: How will Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court’s wild card, vote, and how will Justice Antonin Scalia behave?

Grand Bargain Could Be Grand Sellout
The media appear fixated about when and if a so-called “grand bargain” on our economy will be reached.

Five Ugly Extremes of Inequality in America — The Contrasts Will Drop Your Chin to the Floor
The first step is to learn the facts, and then to get angry and to ask ourselves, as progressives and caring human beings, what we can do about the relentless transfer of wealth to a small group of well-positioned Americans.

No, George W. Bush’s Paintings Tell Us Nothing About Iraq
We want to understand W.’s presidency through his art. But there’s no greater meaning under his eerie ineptitude.

Debt, Unemployment, and Alternatives to Capitalism
Building on a recent speech by Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Raskin, Mark Thoma takes a clear stand against the idea that the national debt is our most important problem.

The Laughable Argument Against Gay Marriage
Not long into the Supreme Court arguments Tuesday in Hollingsworth v. Perry, Justice Elena Kagan put her finger on the implausibility of the central constitutional argument made by the lawyers defending California’s Proposition 8, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Democratic Economics
Democracy Now! has been investigating democratic economics in the last couple of days.

High School Students Rising
“You’re going to be expelled,” an administrator at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Md., just twenty minutes away from the Washington, D.C., line, told the two boys sitting in her office on March 1, 2012.

Saddam’s Posthumous Revenge on America
The end justifies the means. That is how L. Paul Bremer, the Bush Administration’s civilian ruler of Iraq in 2003 and 2004, now justifies the U.S. invasion of that country ten years ago.

The Brave New World of College Branding
‘Dear Authentic Happiness Member,” the e-mail began.

Mapping the Internet
Somewhere on this planet there is a hacker whose emotions are likely shifting between pride and fear.

Norovirus: The Perfect Human Pathogen
The audacious norovirus has a range of amazing abilites that allow it to spread like wildfire. Yet its inner workings still elude us.

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