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by Annie Leonard
In an ad for a major phone company blanketing TV this year, a circle of doe-eyed children is asked: “who thinks more is better than less?” You know the one—an eager kindergartener answers, “we want more, we want more,” before the commercial voice intones “It’s Not Complicated…”
After all, what kind of loser wouldn’t want more?
That’s the question I try to answer in my new movie, The Story of Solutions.
You see, when it comes to our economy, most Americans also believe that more is always better. More, in this case, is what economists call growth and we’re told that a bigger GDP—the way we measure economic activity—means we’re winning.
But unlike in the commercial, it’s a little more complicated.
There are many candidates, but comparing Obamacare to the Fugitive Slave Act takes the prize
by Steven Lubet
Republicans in the House of Representatives have shut down the United States government – and are threatening to throw the nation into default – as part of their ongoing strategy to defund Obamacare. But is the Affordable Care Act, which went into effect today, really the sort of dreadful legislation that warrants such potentially economy-shattering measures? Most Americans don’t think so, but extreme rightwingers, in a continuing effort to justify their risky tactics, have compared Obamacare to the worst depredations in the history of government.
“Spring Awakening” is up and running (through Oct 5) and consuming most of my time, so little posting here. But you guys in comments have been doing an amazing job keeping it going.
On October 6, I will be giving a major presentation:
“Drug Wars Assault on Justice – a talk with Pete Guither”
Sunday, October 6 at 4:00 pm
Hanson Student Center
Illinois Wesleyan University
Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism – close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider.
It doesn't take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s and who was once described by the Republican party as "the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist".
He is angry about the timidity of journalists in America, their failure to challenge the White House and be an unpopular messenger of truth.
Don't even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, spends "so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would" – or the death of Osama bin Laden. "Nothing's been done about that story, it's one big lie, not one word of it is true," he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011.
by Richard Wolff
From President Obama on down, defenders of the status quo insist that the US economy has "recovered" or "is recovering". Some actually see the world that way. They inhabit, imagine they inhabit, or plan to soon inhabit the world of the infamous top 1%. Others simply seek security in life by loyally repeating whatever that 1% is saying.
Here is the "recovery" that they see. The top 1% of income-earners in the US took 19% of the national income in 2012, the largest share since 1928. That 1% also saw their average income rise by 31.4% from the current crisis's low point in 2009, through 2012. The top 1% certainly enjoyed a recovery.
by John Nichols
Was there a presidential election in 2012? Yes.
Who won? Barack Obama.
Who was elected vice president? Joe Biden.
Who lost for president? Mitt Romney.
Who lost for vice president? Paul Ryan.
Cool, just wanted to get that straight.
The latest scheme from House Republicans might have confused folks.
by Tom Engelhardt
“But when, with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death, and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional. With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth.” -- Barack Obama, address to the nation on Syria, September 10, 2013
by Joshua Holland
In an interview published Monday in The Wall Street Journal, AIG chief executive Robert Benmosche compared the American public’s outrage at bailed-out Wall Street execs grabbing bloated bonuses to African-Americans being lynched in the Old South.
No, really. Here’s the quote (brackets are in the original):
The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that–sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.
by Bill Quigley
While Colorado and Washington have de-criminalized recreational use of marijuana and twenty states allow use for medical purposes, a Louisiana man was sentenced to twenty years in prison in New Orleans criminal court for possessing 15 grams, .529 of an ounce, of marijuana.
Corey Ladd, 27, had prior drug convictions and was sentenced September 4, 2013 as a “multiple offender to 20 years hard labor at the Department of Corrections.”
Marijuana use still remains a ticket to jail in most of the country and prohibition is enforced in a highly racially discriminatory manner. A recent report of the ACLU, “The War on Marijuana in Black and White,” documents millions of arrests for marijuana and shows the “staggeringly disproportionate impact on African Americans.”
Turns out the 47% was actually working hard all along -- to help subsidze Mitt Romney and his conservative sycophants and money changers.Not to mention the bizarre letter to the editor in the News-Gazette today that said Illinois' fiscal woes are the results of too many "takers" and not enough "makers" among its citizens. Where do those folks get their bizarre ideas that too many Americans are too lazy to "get a job"? I know lots of people who want jobs -- and they're just not out there.
by Paul Bucheit
That's over and above our payments to the big companies for energy and food and housing and health care and all our tech devices. It's $6,000 that no family would have to pay if we truly lived in a competitive but well-regulated free-market economy.