Oooh, you're so strong, baby, so handsome. You're the greatest.
I'm talking about you, America. You're . . . why, you're exceptional!
Does anyone else think there's something a little insecure about a country that requires its politicians to constantly declare how exceptional it is? A populace in need of this much reassurance may be the surest sign of looming national decline.
American exceptionalism is now the central theme of Sarah Palin's speeches. The supposedly insufficient Democratic commitment to this idea will be a core Republican complaint in 2012. Conservatives assail Barack Obama for his alleged indifference to it. It's part of their broader indictment of Obama's fishy cosmopolitanism, his overseas "apology tours," his didn't-wear-the-flag-lapel-pin-until-he-had-to peevishness. Not to mention the whole anti-colonial Kenyan resentment thing the president's got going.
Real men - real Americans - know America is the greatest country ever invented. And they shout it from the rooftops. Don't they?
Senator Lisa Murkowski has just claimed a historic write-in victory against Joe Miller, the Tea Party champion who beat her in the Republican primary. The first thing you will want to know is that this will make Sarah Palin miserable.
But there is also a larger question: What kind of a country do we aspire to be? Would we really want to be the kind of plutocracy where the richest 1 percent possesses more net worth than the bottom 90 percent?
Oops! That’s already us. That’s already us. The top 1 percent of Americans owns 34 percent of America’s private net worth, according to figures compiled by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. The bottom 90 percent owns just 29 percent.
That also means that the top 10 percent control more than 70 percent of Americans’ total net worth.
The tycoons can relax. Two White House economic officials told me this week that fixing the carried-interest loophole is probably dead, for this Congress and the next. It was hard enough to beat the big guys. But once they successfully hid under the cover of the little guys, it was impossible.
That political legerdemain is making America more unequal every year, and the polls show people are mad as hell at Wall Street and Washington, both. And yet the popular chorus continues: Save the tax breaks for the rich.
Los Angeles Times:
Washington is poised to stop providing extended unemployment benefits despite the huge number of laid-off workers, the paucity of job openings, the high rate of underemployment in every sector of the economy and stubbornly slow economic growth. That's because Republicans in the Senate insist that, unlike the hefty tax cuts they covet for the wealthy, the comparatively slender subsidies for the unemployed must not be financed with borrowed money. This penuriousness is not just hypocritical, it's bad economics.
New York Times:
The world’s nuclear wannabes, starting with Iran, should send a thank you note to Senator Jon Kyl. After months of negotiations with the White House, he has decided to try to block the lame-duck Senate from ratifying the New Start arms control treaty.
The treaty is so central to this country’s national security, and the objections from Mr. Kyl — and apparently the whole Republican leadership — are so absurd that the only explanation is their limitless desire to deny President Obama any legislative success.
The Republicans like to claim that they are the party of national security. We can only hope that other senators in the party will decide that the nation’s security interests must trump political maneuvering.
Yeah, that'll happen.
When the rules of the House of Representatives forced the Democrats to confront a painful choice among their leaders, they did what Democrats are often inclined to do. They changed the rules.
Usually, such a stunt would matter only to the members affected by the change. But this one sends a dangerous signal at a crucial moment, when both parties are being tested on their willingness to respond to the lessons of the last election.
Uh huh. What's really keeping Americans up at night is the internal House procedures of selecting the minority whip and the creation of the position of assistant leader and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... Oh, and he's also bitter that Nancy Pelosi dared to run for House Minority Leader -- and win.
Meanwhile, Dana Milbank claims that Pelosi's victory on Wednesday is actually proof of how unpopular she is. Then he quotes some sore loser Blue Dogs to prove he's right.
Karl Rove does his usual shtick about why Obama sucks and Reagan was the bestest, most awesomest president ever!
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