Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Bill Maher/Elizabeth Warren interview

At least I hope it contains the exchange I referenced last week -- the sound is temporarily out on my computer and I can't double check - pleh. If it's wrong, I'll swap it out for the correct one ASAP....

If the insurance weasels can do better, why don't they?

Blue Double Cross - The New York Times

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Where else does this happen?

Tonight's "Real Time With Bill Maher" featured a sharp, interesting interview with TARP overseer Elizabeth Warren, during which Bill asked (I'm paraphrasing), "Is there any other society in which people screw each other for money the way we do?"

Excellent, excellent question, and (as the never-modest Maher asserted) it's one that really cuts to the heart of so many of the problems we now face. While Americans certainly have no monopoly on greed, it's fair to ask: is there any other place on Earth in which it's practiced so baldly? In which avarice is actually celebrated, however two-facedly? In which it often seems to displace other social or religious values--indeed, in which the failure of the individual to make this displacement generally excludes him from a serious role in economic life? (Try telling the boss you can't to do X because it's immoral.) In which it has been woven so firmly into society's fundamental institutions that will not loosen its hold even as it uncontrollably, perhaps irreversibly, imperils those very institutions? In which it is has become the boldfaced subtext of the national creed?

I'll keep an eye out for the transcript or a clip....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It ain't over 'till it's over. And it ain't over

Injecting reality into the curriculum

A Cautionary Video About America’s ‘Stuff’ - The New York Times

As for "The Story of Stuff"'s anti-capitalist leanings -- sorry, folks, it's not propaganda if it's true (as Stephen Colbert notes, reality has a well-known liberal bias). On this issue as on so many others, conservatives are simply on the wrong side of the truth. Their compulsion to fit the facts around the policy (or in this case, around the self-interested ideology), as well as the prattle and policies that stem from that dysfunction, together lie at the core of their current, well-earned unpopularity among voters. Fortunately, much of the American public appears to have pierced their smoke-screen of spin and finally hears their nonsense for what it is: the incoherent screeching of liars or loons.

Being Republicans, they ignored the good idea and went wild for the boneheaded one

Jack Kemp’s Futile Quest - The New York Times

LATE ADDITION: 22 Percent And Out Of Ideas - Washington Post

A metaphor (and so much more)

Bacon-Flavored Capitalism - Salon