Threatening to not pay for expenses approved by Congress isn't "negotiation" and the proper response is not "compromise," popular though these memes may be. It is, instead, an abuse of democratic institutions by a party that can't get its way through actual legislation. Hopefully Obama has learned his lesson and will stand his ground this time.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I noticed a mini-flurry of authors of books about presidents on the Daily Show and Colbert Report. Apparently books (and movies) about presidents are hot now. Especially Lincoln. He is the bacon of presidents.
A couple commenters on Daily Kos have argued that I am comparing apples and oranges by placing military action in a police scenario. To which I replied:
I am aware that the rules of war are different from the rules of domestic policing. The point of this cartoon is to provide a thought exercise about how we might feel living under the constant existential threat of death from above.
Employing drone strikes (or airstrikes of any kind) to take out a few suspected militants -- especially in populated areas -- is using excessive force. It's both cruel and dehumanizing to the Afghan people, and counterproductive strategically.
As soon as word broke of the shootings in Connecticut, the familiar cries not to "politicize" the tragedy ensued. I find this plea curious on a number of levels. First of all, the people urging others not to "politicize" gun violence seem to come from a particular political perspective with remarkable consistency. You might even say their request is a political statement itself. It's almost like they think gun control advocacy comes from some random whim wholly detached from incidents such as this. But the ready availability of AR-15s does not happen in a vacuum.
More details on the NRA-ALEC connection.
I've said it before, but you can't cut workers' wages and benefits -- and generally destabilize their lives six ways from Sunday -- at the same time that you slash the social safety net. That's simply uncouth.
For my birthday a couple months ago, I went to a farm-to-table restaurant that served a dish called "Pulled pig face." More recently, I found myself reading an article touting the sustainable virtues of hunting, and the hunter's philosophy of respecting the animal. I support the humane treatment of farm animals and am as much of a fan of The Omnivore's Dilemma as anyone, but there is some comedic disconnect in how we talk about caring for the animals we find so delicious -- i.e., if you really, really respect your dog, you probably won't eat its face. Just saying.
I guess I could have had the shopper trampling a bunch of Walmart managers to help the cashier, but given the news about the Walmart security officer who apparently killed a shoplifter with a chokehold, I didn't want to make light of Black Friday-related violence. Personally, I find staying home and working instead of going shopping on Black Friday to be the best way to save money.
This notion that birth control pills are now "free," as Romney claimed in his conference call to donors, needs to end. They are now simply covered by health insurance, which many of us pay for via hefty monthly premiums. We're actually getting something for our money. Imagine that!
Romney was roundly mocked when he insulted 47% of the country, yet that didn't stop Bill O'Reilly from saying that half the country voted for Obama because they wanted stuff and things. Perhaps it's time O'Reilly directed his crusade against laziness toward his own intellect.
Still absorbing the amazingness of Election Night as I type this. I keep thinking of the contrast with 2004, when Bush and Cheney swiftboated their way to a second term, and how none of this seemed possible then. But as we celebrate, let's not forget the grave threat posed by big money in politics. Yes, we beat the Koch Brothers and Adelson and corporate dark money this time. But really, this race should not have been even remotely close. Four years after Republicans and Wall Street left the country in ruins, we nearly elected a private equity shark who dismissed half the country as leeches. That's screwed up. Money talked, and it confused a lot of people. Fortunately, the messenger was often Donald Trump, but he won't always be around.