It turns out that it really is possible to strike black gold in your own backyard, but instead of getting rich from the experience, now the oil belongs to someone else and you end up in an ExxonMobil-controlled no-fly zone where the foul black goop that swept away your petunias is now on its way to your drinking water supply. The comedic possibilities of such a turn of events seem limited, especially when Keystone XL is barreling ahead unimpeded.
|By: cocktailhag Thursday February 21, 2013 8:00 pm|
As long as I’ve been alive, but certainly since my first political awareness, a loud minority of Americans, through their well-financed and politically influential mouthpieces, have relentlessly hammered home the demented idea that “government” was some malevolent, faceless, money-grabbing bureaucracy that existed only to trample our freedoms. Funny, I thought, I had always learned that our government was, uniquely for the time, one in which we, the people chose what form it would take.
|By: cocktailhag Thursday January 10, 2013 8:00 pm|
Perhaps out of a combination of peevishness and thirst, John Boehner recently blurted out, “I need this job like I need a hole in my head.” Of course, the job he was complaining about, Speaker of the House, third in line for the Presidency, happens to be well-paid, prestigious, and quite evidently can be performed, after a fashion, even when drunk. That is, it’s decidedly not like the jobs that the vast majority of Americans toil away at, should they be lucky enough to have a job at all.
|By: Jon Walker Friday December 28, 2012 2:16 pm|
Recently, many have tried to place the blame for the current gridlock in Washington on growing partisanship, primaries, activists or even the electorate; but ultimately, the real root of this current dysfunction is our election laws.
|By: cocktailhag Thursday December 27, 2012 8:00 pm|
In any normal country, there would be no particular reason to expect 2013 to be an awful year. The right-wing Presidential candidate, who preached austerity, family values, and military adventurism, was soundly defeated by the center-left candidate, who favored, well, austerity-lite, personal freedom, and a fiscally convenient “peace dividend.” Overconfident and overfunded Republicans were similarly trounced in the House and Senate, losing seats in both despite stunning structural advantages.
It seemed that the Right’s perennial hobby horses, from favoring the wealthiest above all others and demonizing minorities of every type, to demanding that every non-military expenditure be slashed to the bone, had clearly been sent to the glue factory by the electorate. Alas, things are never what they seem in Washington.
|By: Jon Walker Thursday December 13, 2012 8:57 am|
While the negotiations between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are still ongoing there is little indication we will see a deal in the short term. Recently Boehner has made an offer and Obama has made a counteroffer, but there is little actual movement. The two new offers are only slightly different from their initial offers and still very far apart. There is no agreement on the size of the revenue increases or the size of cuts. As a result, Boehner is warning his caucus to expect to work through Christmas.
|By: Jon Walker Thursday September 13, 2012 2:00 pm|
The President of the United State is selected not by the voters of the country but by the Electoral College. This poorly designed system allows for numerous and potentially very serious problems. The best known issues with it are that it encourages candidates to work only to appeal to voters in a handful of swing states and that a candidate could win the Presidency even if he loses the popular vote. Those are only the tip of the iceberg, though. An AP story about three potential rogue electors highlight a less known but very serious flaw in the system.
|By: Jon Walker Monday July 23, 2012 1:40 pm|
I think the filibuster is awful. It makes a mockery of the principles of democracy. It destroys democratic accountability. It enable politicians to make false promises they will never need to make good on. It has crippled our government. It even inherently violates the clear intent of the Constitution. That is why I think the filibuster needs to be eliminated, not reformed. So why is anyone proposing merely to “reform” it?
|By: Gar Alperovitz Saturday June 23, 2012 7:00 pm|
The recent Public Banking conference held in Philadelphia offered a message that is at once so simple – but also so bold – it is hard for most Americans to pause long enough to understand how profoundly their thinking had been corralled by the masters of finance – in ways far, far, far more insidious and powerful than even the latest financial crisis suggests.
To understand what has happened, however, you first have to take a minute to shake a few cobwebs out of your brain about “money” – and how it is created and by whom and for whose benefit.
|By: cocktailhag Thursday May 31, 2012 8:00 pm|
By any objective measure, Republican dominance in either state or local government ends in failure. Deficits, cronyism, declining services and economic malaise are always the result, conveniently leaving in their wake increased public cynicism about the value of government at all. But that leaves out the curious paradox that it precisely when government is so thoroughly trashed, rich people are more eager than ever to buy it. Why? For the same reason they love to buy “troubled” companies and fixer-uppers; somewhere, someone has left money on the table, and they’ve got to get their paws on it.