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In a Rational World

Greg Sargent muses:

…in a rational world, the fact that the same people calling for aggressive military intervention in Libya were almost uniformly wrong about Iraq would make folks less inclined to listen to them, not more.


Reagan on Unions and Collective Bargaining

For those who love Reagan and hate unions, this must be disturbing:

These are the values inspiring those brave workers in Poland. The values that have inspired other dissidents under communist domination.  They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.  They remind us that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  You and I must protect and preserve freedom here or it will not be passed on to our children.  Today the workers in Poland are showing a new generation not how high is the price of freedom, but how much it is worth that price.

I want more than anything I’ve ever wanted to have an administration that will, through its actions, at home and in the international arena, let millions of people know that Miss Liberty still “lifts her lamp beside the golden door.”

More video and full transcript of the speech here: link


Americans Would Reduce the Deficit By…

Greg Sargent makes an interesting point (link):

What if the American people declared that they think the best way to fix the deficit is to cut defense spending and hike taxes on the rich, and no high level politician in either party cared?

Dan Froomkin argues (link):

While the details vary, the White House and Republican leaders both basically want to reduce the deficit by cutting social programs, preserving defense spending and raising taxes relatively little or not at all.

As Matt Miller points out, "deficit hawk" Paul Ryan's plan, for example, doesn't balance the budget until the 2060s and adds tens of trillions of dollars to the debt between now and then (link).  Why?  Because he wants to make spending cuts while keeping taxes at a historically-low percentage of GDP while the boomers are turning into geezers.

It's going to take a combination of spending cuts and tax increases to take care of the deficit.  Tea Partyers can recite their "The government doesn't have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem." mantra ad nauseum, but it's not reality.  Sooner or later we have to face reality.


Falwell and Race

I was shocked by the following passage from a recent article by Richard Hughes (Professor of Religion at Messiah College), the third article in his series on the Christian Right (link):

In 1958, four years after the Supreme Court handed down its landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, outlawing racial segregation in America's public schools, Falwell thundered from his Thomas Road Baptist Church pulpit, "If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God's word and had desired to do the Lord's will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made. ... The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line."

Later, he rejected the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as "civil wrongs," distributed FBI-generated propaganda defaming the character of Martin Luther King Jr., and attacked King as a Communist in a sermon he preached from the pulpit of his Thomas Road Baptist Church in 1964.

Then, in 1966, he side-stepped Brown v. Board of Education by establishing Lynchburg Christian Academy which the Lynchburg News described as "a private school for white students."

Falwell's school was one of literally thousands of segregationist academies established by white Christians in the American South to avoid compliance with federal law regarding racial integration.

Apparently Falwell's views evolved significantly during the subsequent decades, but I was ignorant of his shameful reaction to the civil rights movement.

It Gets Worse PSA

You may have heard about the It Gets Better Project.  For example, here is the contribution by my favorite policy wonk Ezra Klein:

Last week The Daily Show made PSA in reference to John McCain's evolving stance regarding DADT and it's implications for his legacy:


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