Maiello: Human Rights and the Stock Market
Doc Cleveland: Fear Itself: Ukraine Edition
And on a Lighter Note, CPAC Starts Today!
I've been away at an academic conference for nearly a week, leaving blog posts unfinished, e-mail unanswered, and campus office untenanted. I had a wonderful time with a bunch of scholars and actors at the American Shakespeare Center's reproduction of Shakespeare's Blackfriars playhouse. (If you'd like to see some excellent theater, a trip to see the ASC's company in Staunton, Virginia, is a great idea.) But I also bumped up against a small problem that's began to follow me wherever I go professionally: the problem of my (real) name.
(1) Merkel's now famous or infamous cell phone has apparently been 'monitored' since 2002, initiated by, I assume, white guys in the Bush administration. No one has asked who authorized that action. It was before she was Chancellor. She apparently was put on the NSA 'list' when she became an important politician in Germany. This would lead one to believe that this could have been a very long list, perhaps 'a routine intelligence' procedure, NSA business as usual, and furthermore, the program involved may date back to well before 2002. [Read more]
Well thank you so very much.
You are still going to hell you know, it is just that they might give you a nicer room!
Goodnews, it appears he still has feelings in all of his extremities.
(6:05 PM CDT, GB V CLEVELAND; CBS)
I wished to simply discuss the senility of George Will. Hahahaha [Read more]
This morning I was not feeling 100% and so I skipped the very cool calisthenics class I like to take on Wednesdays for the more tender embrace of the elliptical machine. Unfortunately, this meant that I did my silly walk while facing CNN with the sound off but closed captioning on. It is very funny to watch report after report, rendered by CNN's botched, real time closed captioning, about how Kathleen Sebelius should resign her cabinet post because the Obamacare website hasn't worked. [Read more]
Note: Thanks to Alan Colmes, I am now a regular contributor on his website, Liberaland. He posted this piece this morning, so if you're interested in reading the complete piece it continues over there. Thanks.
In the next town over from us the recycling station is in a huge semi-trailer. You have to climb six narrow metal steps to get up into it, but there is an aisle you can walk down and there are huge open boxes in which to throw your stuff.  [Read more]
Set against the government’s shutdown charade, President Obama, awarded the Medal of Freedom to retired Army Captain William Swenson, citing among his incredible acts of valor under fire, “a simple act of compassion & loyalty to a fellow brother-in-arms.” As Captain Swenson places a wounded soldier he has just rescued onto a helicopter, he bends down &, in the President’s words, does “something unexpected”: kisses his comrade on his forehead. All recorded from a rescue pilot’s helmet video camera, now displayed before the public during the White House ceremony. [Read more]
A big fear among investors and people running actual businesses in the U.S. is that at some point, interest rates must rise from historic lows. This must happen, in part, because nothing lasts forever. But behind that truism, there is a lot that could cause rates to rise. [Read more]
When the vote to reopen the government ended in the House of Representatives last night a woman staffer grabbed a microphone and as she was rudely escorted from the hall she imparted to the crowd snippets of her religious beliefs along with epithets against the Freemasons. When the overseers of an institution act like inmates it is not surprising that the inmates become the normal ones.  [Read more]
Leaving aside the usual suspects--the terrorist factions round the world, the seething Middle East mountain and desert folk--who are President Obama's worst enemies? The Republicans who saw it as their mission to keep him from winning a second term but failed? Those 30 members of the House and the Tea Party now holding the country hostage over an already approved health care plan nicknamed after this president? The Religious Righteous? The far Left disillusioned? The whites-only-as-long-as-they're-not-women crowd?
“A plague on both houses!” I've seen that line from Romeo and Juliet quoted repeatedly for the last two weeks, as pundits and bloggers devoted to “balance” argue that the Democrats and Republicans share the blame for the current budget shutdown and the looming threat of default. The line itself is a cliche, but quoting Shakespeare makes you sound learned, and that is too often the major aim of both-sides-do-it journalism: making the journalist seem wise and above the inconvenient facts of the fray. Shakespeare was a poet, not a pundit, more interested in dramatic complexity than sound bites but if we’re going to mine his plays for lessons, we should remember what we’re quoting. [Read more]
At the Value Voters Summit today, Mr. Ben Carson curiously juxtaposed the practice of Slavery with "Obamacare", saying: "Obamacare is the worst thing since Slavery". Because Slavery preceded the Emancipation Proclamation (I grant myself license to, as Mr. Carson was wont to do, riff a bit on what can actually be called a thing)---it would mean that Obamacare is worse than the Emancipation Proclamation---perhaps a question for further debate at the Values Summit---and at the same time one could say that Obamacare is worse than Woman's Suffrage, Prohibition, & Roe v. Wade. or any thing that's happened since about the year 1600. [Read more]
Flavia has a post about her writing process, with many thought-provoking comments from her readers, and Dame Eleanor Hull posts a great deal about the academic writing life. I find that I can't give a clear account of my writing process right now, if by "writing process" we mean my composition process. But I have learned, through difficult trial and error, that I need three things to keep my writing going well:
1. Something accepted but not yet in print.
2. Something submitted but not yet accepted.
The Republican effort to defund “Obamacare” is like playing chicken with a wall. The Senate Democrats will never vote against health care legislation they spent decades to pass. The voters will punish Republican legislators if they shut down the government or default on the debt. Whether the Republicans crash or swerve, this game has no positive outcome for them.
So why are they doing it? [Read more]
Twenty years ago, while I was talking politics with my friend Mike, he said that Reagan's great achievement was what he called "the Nietzschification of the Right." I didn't grasp what he meant at first, since I typically encountered Nietzsche quoted by leftist literary critics. Mike's point was that Reagan had transformed American conservatism from a stodgy, rationalist enterprise into an emotional, charismatic movement like the New Left of the 1960s. Main Street conservatism gave way to Movement Conservatism, founded upon passionate emotion and conviction. I've thought of that conversation a lot over the last two decades, through the rise and fall of Newt Gingrich, the second Bush Presidency, and the flood tide of the Tea Party. [Read more]
There are two kinds of borrowers who default on their debts. One type defaults because they cannot pay. It is typical to say that they have over borrowed but it is easily as likely that some sort of catastrophe has destroyed the borrower's earnings power, perhaps permanently. Then there are defaults of choice. A borrower decides not to pay, even if they have the means. Perhaps they feel that they were swindled by the lender and that the debt is thus invalid. Or, maybe they just don't want to pay. [Read more]
When President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, Amy Winehouse was still alive and the launch of Apple's first iPad was a month away. We are talking ancient history, here. Yet, as I write this, we are less than 12 hours away from a government shutdown caused by a budget impasse caused by Republican insistence that the law now known as Obamacare be delayed and then defunded. The Republican struggle to unpass the ACA has not ceased since it became law. Along the way the name "Obamacare" changed from a term of derision to one that the President now owns. [Read more]
When 19-year-old Andrew Anderson started working at the Goodwill store in East Naples, Florida, he thought his job was pretty cool. He was working in a place where poor and low-income people came to buy the things they couldn't afford anywhere else.
"It makes you feel amazing," he said, "makes you feel you can actually be the person to help them."
Today's news explicating in part the ostensible shortcomings in the process by way of which Edward Snowden and Aaron Alexis received their security clearances ought to give pause to the insane stampede of contracting out government that began during the Reagan years. [Read more]
Since Articleman is not here to give us his more discerning take, I will predict that the Republicans in the House, led by Speaker Boehner, will not pass a 'clean continuing resolution', or any government spending Bill the President will sign, by this Monday. Their ultimate list of demands for federal law and finances includes everything from means testing for Medicare, less regulation of Wall Street, tax cuts for the rich, approving the XL pipeline to deregulation of environmental laws.  [Read more]