Forgetting, as usual, who started class warfare, former Bush speechwriter and Newscorp executive William McGurn lays on the supply-side schtick thick and deep in his "The GOP needs to address the class-warfare argument in moral terms":
The object of Mr. Sanders's ire was the deal between the White House and Republicans that will keep the Bush tax cuts in place. "The billionaires of America are on the warpath," was his explanation. "They want more and more and more."
In his nearly nine-hour remarks, excerpts of which are now going viral on the Internet, he framed the lack of a tax hike for the rich as a surrender to greed. In so doing, he inadvertently raised another question: How come Republicans have such a hard time speaking just as forthrightly about the moral underpinnings of their side of this argument?
In supporting the DREAM Act, Bobby Ray Sanders wonders how many native-born Americans can pass the test that immigrants must take to obtain their naturalization papers.
But it's far more interesting to look at the WikiLeaks case by looking at the culture of the Internet, which is changing rapidly from a free-wheeling, anything-goes space into a place that's more reflective of society as a whole - society with all of its rigidities, indignities, inequalities, and yes, securities. The fight over WikiLeaks - a fight with hackers and computers activists on one side and governments, established companies, and everyday computer users on another - is really a culture war.
As with all culture wars, there's unlikely to be a clear winner - just a long, exhausting series of skirmishes and retrenchments. I'm guessing that the ultimate outcome will be a draw.
Inequality is America’s Achilles heel. Class level still matters greatly when it comes to student achievement. No Child Left Behind has made that infinitely clear. I realize this is hardly rocket science. Turning it around will be. …
So skip Sputnik. Here is a reference point more likely to resonate with the Twitterbrains of our Facebook nation. Oprah.
Oprah is fond of using the imagery of pebbles and rocks. She invokes the idea that when God (substitute your own supernatural power, if necessary) needs to get your attention to a situation, he first throws little pebbles.
“Hello, anyone home?”
The small stones are annoying, but easily brushed away reminders to change course. The longer a person doesn’t pay attention, the bigger the rocks become.
Finally, the genuinely clueless get a brick upside the head. Whap!
Steve Coll remembers Richard Holbrooke.
As does Nicholas Kristoff.
Richard Cohen, too.
At least somebody is saying "Ho, ho, ho." Kari Lydersen:
The average mall Santa sees more than 10,000 kids each season, working long hours with few breaks. While some trained, long-time Santas make $5,000 up to $20,000 for a six-week stint, the majority make around minimum wage, according to “Confessions of a Mall Santa." …
Santa impersonators are among the thousands of workers hired for temporary positions during the holiday season, when employers including retail stores, warehouses, delivery companies and many other related industries take on seasonal hires to facilitate the rush of gift-shopping that is a mainstay of the country’s entire economy—representing a quarter to half of all retail sales.
Though the season is supposed to be about generosity and cheer, workers rights groups warn that it is a high-risk time for wage theft, which is especially prevalent among though by no means limited to temporary jobs of the type that proliferate during the holidays.
The entering wedge? The slippery slope? The Los Angeles Times reluctantly and foolishly goes for a plan to let corporations sponsor certain athletic and education programs to help rescue the deficit-plagued local school district. Just a few logos plastered here and there. But no worries. Rules will keep it from getting out of hand. Uh-huh.
A century and a half ago, before the first state had seceded, Abraham Lincoln intentionally sabotaged a compromise that would have saved the Union, according to Richard Striner. The view that Lincoln was more interested in keeping the country united than in abolishing slavery is mistaken, he writes:
Marked “Private & confidential,” the letter instructed Kellogg to “entertain no proposition for a compromise in regard to the extension of slavery. The instant you do, they have us under again; all our labor is lost, and sooner or later must be done over. … Have none of it. The tug has to come & better now than later.”
Lincoln was not speaking abstractly. The Capitol was buzzing with talk of a Union-saving deal. Indeed, on Dec. 18, Sen. John J. Crittenden of Kentucky proposed a plan to preserve the Union through a series of actions to protect the institution of slavery. In other words, at the precise moment that a compromise to rescue the country seemed at hand, the incoming president worked aggressively to block it. Lincoln, whom historians often portray as being more interested in saving the Union than opposing slavery, chose to do the opposite.
Crittenden’s plan consisted of a package of constitutional amendments and congressional resolutions, all of which would be “unamendable.” Among their provisions, these amendments would have protected slavery in all of the slave states from future actions by Congress; permitted slavery to spread in all federal territories and future territories below the line of 36 degrees 30 minutes north latitude (which runs roughly along the northern border of North Carolina, Tennesee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona); forbidden Congress from abolishing slavery on federal property within a slave state; prevented Congress from interfering with the interstate slave trade; and indemnified owners whose runaway slaves could not be recovered under the Fugitive Slave Law.
Fred Barnes tries to make a silk purse out of the GOP's hog's ear in California.
The fallen idol sells as many papers as the rising star, but God forbid that the product should lack the ingredients listed on the label. Were Sarah Palin to suffer a change of heart -- maybe read a history book, possibly take instruction from a dictionary or an atlas -- her image would lose its currency, risk being shelved in a supermarket aisle with the soda water and the bathroom fragrance….
On the national cultural circuits, as among the political camp followers feeding on the spectacle of a presidential election campaign, the mere mention of money in sufficient quantity (a $100 million divorce settlement, a $787 billion federal stimulus) excites the same response as a sighting of George Clooney. Eventually the society chokes itself to death on rancid hype. Which probably is why on passing a newsstand these days I think of funeral parlors and Tutankhamen’s tomb. The celebrities pictured on the covers of the magazines line up as if in a row of ceremonial grave goods, exquisitely prepared for burial within the tomb of a democratic republic that died of eating disco balls.
George Monbiot says that, to him, the online sabotaging of intelligent debate seems organized.