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Tom Junod Gets It

Thank goodness someone with a regular column does:

I agree that these “real scandals” are scandals indeed, and cause for ongoing concern about the health of the republic. But they are not the real scandal. In yesterday’s iteration of his ongoing online conversation with Gail Collins, David Brooks said that Petraeus “didn’t do anything that the legendary C.I.A. director Allen Dulles didn’t do dozens of times over. Dulles had an affair with a member of the royal family of a foreign government, for crying out loud.”

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I think the single-payer movement should try to make a push in certain states

States that have shown signs of certain strains of leftism, states that seem to welcome an expanded welfare state.

Looking over how everything went down last night, I find a surprising degree of comfort in ballot initiatives that passed and didn't pass. Minnesota didn't ban gay marriage. Washington and Maryland and Maine all legalized it. Massachusetts permitted medical marijuana. Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana outright, putting them to the left of the Netherlands on drug policy. When was the last time a part of the US was to the left of anywhere else, on anything? Read more about I think the single-payer movement should try to make a push in certain states

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If Obama Wins the Election due to Sentiments Lingering from Sandy

Sentiments that concern the role of government, however inaccurately he aligns with them, I have to conclude that some cosmic force wants him to be our President. Whether it's my God, someone else's god, or another sort of entity altogether, he's in the Oval Office because something's keeping him there. He's benefited from some pretty spectacular instances of good fortune in the past, but a fucking hurricane propelling him to a second term? That takes the cake. Read more about If Obama Wins the Election due to Sentiments Lingering from Sandy

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And it couldn't have happened to a nicer scumbag

Get fucked, Il Cavaliere.

The Milan court sentenced him to four years but later cut it to one year because of an amnesty law.

Mr Berlusconi condemned the sentence as "intolerable judicial harassment". He will remain free pending appeals.

He and others were accused of buying US film rights at inflated prices via two offshore companies under his control.

It is the first time Mr Berlusconi - who has faced a number of trials - has been convicted of any crime concerning his business activities.

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Friday Energidote: Kitegen's Prototype Stem

And now for something completely different.

We have our plantidotes, petidotes, and insectidotes here on Corrente, but at least once I thought I might put forward an antidote that humans have made, an antidote to more than one sort of poison. Read more about Friday Energidote: Kitegen's Prototype Stem

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The Archdruid Pans the American Political Process

Pans it down to its nuts and bolts, in fact. At least the modern ones. A broad criticism of political primaries, and a celebration of caucuses, follows:

More generally, it’s fair to say that very few of the significant political leaders of American history between Jackson’s time and the beginning of the 1960s could get elected in today’s money-driven environment. If we’re going to have a corrupt political system—and we are; no political system anywhere will ever be more honest than the people it governs—we might as well have one that produces leaders more capable than the airbrushed marionettes who infest the American political scene these days.

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Barney Frank whines about the effectiveness of partisanship

The House's umpteenth attempt to repeal Obamacare passed today, to no one's surprise. Barney Frank, everyone's favorite errand boy for big finance, took a moment to complain about it to Esquire, and I was struck by his analysis of his enemies: Read more about Barney Frank whines about the effectiveness of partisanship

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Rest in Peace, Ray Bradbury

I owe my poet's soul to Ray Bradbury as much or more than any other writer. I still remember how powerful Dandelion Wine was at nine years old.

The following recollection isn't mine; it's from an anonymous poster on a literature board. But I'd hate to let it go forgotten.

I grew up about a block away from the library across from L.A. High, where Bradbury went to school. It is the library mentioned in >>2698556.

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Alexis Tsipras is so far not Nick Clegg or Eric Schneidermann

I've grown weary of politicians talking and then betraying their people. I have likewise grown weary of token gestures that do nothing to help the many or hurt the elites. As a whole I assume politicians will easily betray their promises.

At least for now, though, the leader of Syriza in Greece is backing up his talk: Read more about Alexis Tsipras is so far not Nick Clegg or Eric Schneidermann

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So there's this new movie "Bully" out, a documentary all about bullying in modern schools.

The movie is a series of stories about the effects of bullying. It follows a kid in school, on the bus and includes a meeting with the parents and school. It also follows a girl who took her mother’s gun on the bus because she was so frustrated by the bullying, and the film spends time with parents whose children killed themselves from the incessant bullying they received by their peers.

Bullying is a very real problem, and I applaud the recent public spotlight it has received. But let's take a look around the United States. Read more about Anti-Bullying

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Confronting Violent Suppression

Things are getting even uglier in Syria. Bashar is brooking no challenge to his reign, and what started as nonviolent protests have broken down into a very bloody and deadly tumult.

It's giving me cause to ponder what might happen to protests of a similar scale with similar demands in the United States. In talking about Occupy's eventual fate, the specter of heavy military reaction has been raised before, but what I have never seen, or perhaps what has eluded me, is a frank discussion of how to proceed in the aftermath of a violent response to large nonviolent demonstrations. Read more about Confronting Violent Suppression

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Ezekiel Emanuel is a butcher and a sociopath

Just like his tyrant brother:

There is an inevitable trade-off between rising health care costs and things liberals really care about, like access to college and good wages for working Americans. We cannot have it all. The health care reform act will help us save — mainly by changing how physicians and hospitals are paid and delivering better care to our most expensive patients. But more can be done: for starters, we could speed up the implementation of payment reform, stop Medicare payments for tests and treatments that provide no benefit and endorse competitive bidding for medical goods and services.

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The Shadow Cabinet

No, I don't mean the business and media overlords who rule our country from behind the scenes, making our purportedly-elected government their puppets. They've been well-established for some time, and really, they're not even that shadowy any more. Their actions against the plain people of the United States have become quite blatant. Rather, a shadow cabinet is a feature of parliamentary politics: Read more about The Shadow Cabinet

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Could a Green Win Ron Paul's House Seat?

So Ron Paul is retiring from Congress, in order to better focus on his presidential campaign next year. With all my sporting spirit, I wish him well, though he won't win; the elites in the Republican Party would never let him win (which is a shame, because he could beat Obama, and he'd be a better president than Obama, though that's not saying much).

However, when I first heard the news, what my mind immediately jumped to was the title of this entry. Just as it says: what if the Green Party ran a candidate for Paul's seat as Representative of Texas' 14th Congressional District- and what if that candidate won? Read more about Could a Green Win Ron Paul's House Seat?

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The Idea of America

When I consider what I think of Independence Day, I cannot help but call to mind Langston Hughes' great poem- my favorite poem- Let America Be America Again. It speaks so powerfully and perfectly to the struggle that has always raged within the United States, a struggle that perhaps we feel more acutely today, but that has been with us since the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.) Read more about The Idea of America


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