Monthly Archives: August 2011

Reading Bertrand Russell got me wondering why the Kochs and other ultra rich fight environmental regulations

Reading the great 20th century philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell’s The History of Western Philosophy has made me wonder once again about the motivation of the Koch brothers and other ultra-rich who oppose environmental regulation and global warming. I’m thinking

Republicans get it wrong on which temporary tax cut to extend and which to end

We have two temporary tax cuts.  One is on federal income taxes; it’s been around for 10 years and has benefited upper incomes much more than anyone else.  The other temporary tax cut is on payroll (Social Security and Medicare)

The rightwing push to recreate the good old days when only whites and people of means could vote

For most of the history of direct and representative democracy, only a limited few were allowed to participate as voters in making decisions or electing representatives, typically free males with property.  Ancient Athens, the late medieval and early Renaissance Italian

Mallard Fillmore creates a fantasy news media that’s far more liberal than in real life.

Right-wing accusations that the mainstream news media is liberal, if not left-wing, predate Bruce Tinsley, whose “Mallard Fillmore” comic strip appears daily in Conservative-leaning media.  Tinsley’s contribution to what has been a constant propaganda theme since the Viet Nam War

Those against government support of scientific research forget that it produces lots of jobs.

One of National Public Radio’s news features this morning was a “well-balanced” report on the frequent attacks on government support of scientific research that takes the form of a denunciation of what on the surface appears to be a stupid

Perry’s comments span spectrum from ignorant to dumb in his first week as a presidential candidate

Texas Governor Rick Perry didn’t take long to establish himself as the leading presidential candidate of the know-nothings.  Maybe he decided to hit the ground running with misinformed opinions to make up for the fact that his ignorance does not

New progressive atlas maps myths and truths about the United States

I recently stumbled across a new book by Boston-area university professors Cynthia Enloe and Joni Seager that I highly recommend to everyone: The Real State of America Atlas is a series of charts, graphs, surveys, facts and snippets of text

Wall Street Journal looks for boogeyman for bad housing market and can only come up with appraisers

In what must be one of the most absurdly reasoned analysis articles in years, The Wall Street Journal argues that appraisers are to blame for the continuing housing bust that has now lasted more than four years.    Let’s be clear:

Iowa straw poll symbolizes today’s elective process: those with money get more say in the voting

The first vote of the presidential election cycle took place this past weekend, and Michele Bachmann squeaked out a 400-vote (one percentage point) victory over the septuagenarian libertarian Ron Paul.   The question on everyone’s tongue is if the straw vote

History of U.S. debt debate is just a series of farces, each more pathetic than the preceding one.

If he were still alive, I would want to ask Karl Marx a question about his clever, but enigmatic old saw that “history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.”   Dr. Marx’s phrase comes to mind as I read