The American Constitution’s mystique is keeping us from the simple truth: It’s the system, stupid.
The incompetence of Washington politicians and increased polarization of representatives could be part of the problem, the inability to reach a debt-ceiling compromise. However, it is not that Washington politicians are out of touch, et cetera, but the nature of how the federal government functions that is causing the debt-talk gridlock.
The separation of powers is archaic, along many of those 1787 ideas. Democracy doesn’t have to be so dysfunctional. Tea Party Republicans are holding the American economy at gunpoint, because the system allows them to do just that. And forget public disapproval. Spoiler alert: there will be high incumbency rates in the 2012 elections.
He Needs Intervention, She's a Punchline: The Celeb Addict Double Standard
Collectively, we have had very little sympathy for [Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, or Courtney Love], even now that one of them is dead. When we see photos of them, our default reaction is an exasperated, “Pull yourself together!” rather than the romanticization, twisted jealousy, or genuine concern we have for many male stars in a similar state. Part of it is that we, as a culture, don’t understand addiction or take it seriously. It’s also that, deep down, we feel uncomfortable with women living the rock and roll lifestyle.
Congress Continues Debate Over Whether Or Not Nation Should Be Economically Ruined
WASHINGTON—Members of the U.S. Congress reported Wednesday they were continuing to carefully debate the issue of whether or not they should allow the country to descend into a roiling economic meltdown of historically dire proportions. “It is a question that, I think, is worthy of serious consideration: Should we take steps to avoid a crippling, decades-long depression that would lead to disastrous consequences on a worldwide scale? Or should we not do that?” asked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), adding that arguments could be made for both sides, and that the debate over ensuring America’s financial solvency versus allowing the nation to default on its debt—which would torpedo stock markets, cause mortgage and interests rates to skyrocket, and decimate the value of the U.S. dollar—is “certainly a conversation worth having.” “Obviously, we don’t want to rush to consensus on whether it is or isn’t a good idea to save the American economy and all our respective livelihoods from certain peril until we’ve examined this thorny dilemma from every angle. And if we’re still discussing this matter on Aug. 2, well, then, so be it.” At press time, President Obama said he personally believed the country should not be economically ruined.
Ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has been arrested by police investigating phone hacking and bribery at the News of the World.
The 43-year-old was arrested by appointment at a London police station and remains in custody.
She was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corruption.
She quit News International on Friday as pressure mounted over her role in the deepening scandal.
Arizona lawmaker says pointing gun was inadvertent
A gun-toting Arizona state senator is on the defensive after reports emerged that she pointed her raspberry-pink semi-automatic pistol at a reporter while demonstrating its laser sight during a recent interview.
It’s not the first time that Republican Sen. Lori Klein of Anthem has made headlines in connection with a personal weapon.
In January, Klein carried a different gun to the Legislature’s opening joint session. That was just two days after the Tucson shooting rampage that left six people dead and 13 others wounded, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
That’s right, she carried a gun to the legislature for personal protection. Potato, patato, carry a gun to a government building or to a bar (legal in Arizona). Inadvertent or not, the crux of this is an advocate of gun rights basically ignored rule #1, because an incident like this “it puts all gun owners in a bad light.”
Klein ignored a basic tenet of gun safety: Don’t point a weapon at somebody unless you’re willing or intending to shoot.
Reporting from London— Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. abruptly withdrew its bid to take overBritain’s biggest satellite broadcaster Wednesday, bowing to intense pressure from lawmakers and a general public outraged over a spiraling phone-hacking scandal involving newspapers owned by the Australian-born tycoon.
The remedies to the US deficit follow immediately from this diagnosis: put America back to work by stimulating the economy; end the mindless wars; rein in military and drug costs; and raise taxes, at least on the very rich. But the right will have none of this, and instead is pushing for even more tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, together with expenditure cuts in investments and social protection that put the future of the US economy in peril and that shred what remains of the social contract. Meanwhile, the US financial sector has been lobbying hard to free itself of regulations, so that it can return to its previous, disastrously carefree, ways.
But matters are little better in Europe. As Greece and others face crises, the medicine du jour is simply timeworn austerity packages and privatization, which will merely leave the countries that embrace them poorer and more vulnerable. This medicine failed in East Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere, and it will fail in Europe this time around, too. Indeed, it has already failed in Ireland, Latvia, and Greece.
There is an alternative: an economic-growth strategy supported by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Growth would restore confidence that Greece could repay its debts, causing interest rates to fall and leaving more fiscal room for further growth-enhancing investments. Growth itself increases tax revenues and reduces the need for social expenditures, such as unemployment benefits. And the confidence that this engenders leads to still further growth.
Regrettably, the financial markets and right-wing economists have gotten the problem exactly backwards: they believe that austerity produces confidence, and that confidence will produce growth. But austerity undermines growth, worsening the government’s fiscal position, or at least yielding less improvement than austerity’s advocates promise. On both counts, confidence is undermined, and a downward spiral is set in motion.
Joseph Stiglitz writing for Social Europe. July 12, 2011
Thirty-five yards into the grass the big lion lay flattened out along the ground. His ears were back and his only movement was a slight twitching up and down of his long, black-tufted tail. He had turned at bay as soon as he had reached this cover and he was sick with the wound through his full belly, and weakening with the wound through his lungs that brought a thin foamy red to his mouth each time he breathed. His flanks were wet and hot and flies were on the little openings the solid bullets had made in his tawny hide, and his big yellow eyes, narrowed with hate, looked straight ahead, only blinking when the pain came as he breathed, and his claws dug in the soft baked earth. All of him, pain, sickness, hatred and all of his remaining strength, was tightening into an absolute concentration for a rush. He could hear the men talking and he waited, gathering all of himself into this preparation for a charge as soon as the men would come into the grass. As he heard their voices his tail stiffened to twitch up and down, and, as they came into the edge of the grass, he made a coughing grunt and charged.
From “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” by Ernest Hemingway. Appeared in the Cosmopolitan, 1936.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Saturday called Obama at Camp David to say a grand debt deal to reduce deficits by $4 trillion would not be achievable because it could lead to higher taxes. -The Hill.
Someone should forward dictionaries to every Congressional Republican with this page marked:
The definition of compromise from Merriam-Webster: noun/ˈkämprəˌmīz/
a: settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions
b: something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things
Why is it that you always post these fascinating and intellectual updates, and yet I'm apparently going for the world record of most Willow and Tara kisses from Buffy? Answer please.. xo
Everyone’s interests are fascinating! You’re just branding mine ‘intellectual.’ If I knew more about Buffy, I’m sure I’d be reblogging you all the time. Besides, my blog with the most notes, “Improvising Ziplock Bags by Reusing Plastic Bottles,” is hardly ‘intellectual’ (N.B. I stole that from a chain email). Anywayz, thanks for the question! x
THREE hundred years ago news travelled by word of mouth or letter, and circulated in taverns and coffee houses in the form of pamphlets, newsletters and broadsides. “The Coffee houses particularly are very commodious for a free Conversation, and for reading at an easie Rate all manner of printed News,” noted one observer. Everything changed in 1833 when the first mass-audience newspaper, the New York Sun, pioneered the use of advertising to reduce the cost of news, thus giving advertisers access to a wider audience. At the time of the launch America’s bestselling paper sold just 4,500 copies a day; the Sun, with its steam press, soon reached 15,000. The penny press, followed by radio and television, turned news from a two-way conversation into a one-way broadcast, with a relatively small number of firms controlling the media.
Now, as our special report explains, the news industry is returning to something closer to the coffee house. The internet is making news more participatory, social, diverse and partisan, reviving the discursive ethos of the era before mass media. That will have profound effects on society and politics.