"Corporal Nobbs," he rasped, "why are you kicking people when they're down?"
"Safest way, sir," said Nobby. --Terry Pratchett, Guards, Guards
And so to the demise or at least translation of the New Republic. Corey Robin:
The New Republic is coming to an end. And the autopsies have begun. So have the critiques. But the real problem with The New Republic is not that it was racist, though it was. It’s not that it was filled with warmongers, though it was. It’s not that it punched hippies, though it did. No, the real problem with The New Republic is that for the last three decades, it has had no energy. It has had no real project. The last time The New Republic had a project was in the late 1970s/early 1980s, when it was in the journalistic vanguard of what was then called neoliberalism (not what we now call neoliberalism). That is what a great magazine of politics and culture does: it creates a project, it fashions a sensibility. The Spectator did it in the early 18th century, Partisan Review in the 1930s did it, Dissent in the 1950s did it, and The New Republic in the 1970s/1980s did it. I’m not saying that I like that last project; I don’t. I’m just saying that it was a project, and that it was a creation. Love them or hate them, great magazines gather the diverse and disparate energies of a polity and a culture and give them focus. .... That’s why virtually every obituary for the magazine that’s been written by people of roughly my age opens or closes with a memoir of one’s high school experience; the entire constituency of the magazine seems to be suffering from a Judd Apatow-like case of arrested development.
Which is really funny in a way; showing my age, I too was introduced to TNR in high school, but by a terrible teacher, so whatever the lesson was meant to be, it didn't take. Anyhow, I thought Robin's notion of a magazine's "project" was interesting. Read more about Elegy for The New Republic
Sen. Tom Harkin, one of the co-authors of the Affordable Care Act, now thinks Democrats may have been better off not passing it at all and holding out for a better bill.
“We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn’t do it,” Harkin told The Hill. “So I look back and say we should have either done it the correct way or not done anything at all.
“What we did is we muddled through and we got a system that is complex, convoluted, needs probably some corrections and still rewards the insurance companies extensively,” he added.
But he believes the nation might have been better off if Democrats didn’t bow to political pressure and settle for a policy solution he views as inferior to government-provided health insurance.
He believes Congress should have enacted “single-payer right from the get-go or at least put a public option would have simplified a lot.”
AAARGH!!!!!! Single payer the the public option are NOT THE SAME. Single payer is just that: Single. Payer. Not one of multiple options. One more option of many won't simplify squat. What's wrong with these people? Read more about Harkin goes right up to the line on single payer and drops the ball
Another British industrial film about steam engines!
For fans of British steam locomotives (like me), fans of industrial films, and fans of what, in the 1930s, was pretty high tech: Think of assembling a plane at Boeing.
A new study (pdf) from the Center for Global Development says the richest 2% of Americans are responsible for producing four times as much greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) per person—53.5 metric tons of CO2 a year—as the bottom 20% of the population, which generates about 12.5 metric tons per person.
Kevin Ummel, who produced the report, says the top 10% of Americans generate a quarter of the United States’ GHG footprint. In contrast, the “least-polluting 40% of the population accounts for only 20% of the total,” Ummel wrote.
Hmm. Not as brutal as the income distribution/Gini Coefficient curve, but still. Read more about Carbon production by income level
2. In particular, there was an incident where several of our Amnesty observers were at MoKaBe’s coffee shop, a designated safe house for activists, which was tear gassed by the police. Amnesty staff were inside MoKaBe’s coffeehouse along with several dozen other protesters and community members. The coffee shop was distributing free coffee and hot chocolate to those who needed a quiet and welcoming place to gather or refresh themselves. It was staffed by community volunteers and clergy. There was a small protest taking place in the street outside, but it was peaceful. At approximately 1:00am, a large militarized police vehicle sped around the corner and fired tear gas and undetermined projectiles at the people running from the protests, hitting one in the back. The police then turned to MoKaBe’s and fired on the building. Amnesty International staff inside MoKaBe directly observed the entire interaction.
The police again fired tear gas several minutes later, despite the presence of two Amnesty monitors clearly marked with bright yellow “human rights observer” T-shirts. The patrons, including people who came outside to recover from the initial tear gas and some children, were overcome with gas. There was no evident provocation for this action and no prior warning to disperse. One Amnesty observer was struck with three or four projectiles of unknown composition. Meanwhile, a column of police in riot gear lined up in a column outside, preventing anyone from leaving or entering the coffee shop for approximately 20 minutes.
Well now, that's interesting, isn't it? Read more about Ferguson coffee shop was tear-gassed by armored vehicle
They opened their store. (I mean their online, consumer-store.) So here we are: