Exceptional: But Not in a Good Way

Cuban hospital

John Peeler: On guns and prisons, we are more like a Third World country than like other rich nations. On health care, Third World countries simply cannot afford to waste the amount of money we do. And it is doubtful that we can, either.

Conservatives in 2013

wayne lapierre george zimmeramn

Carl Matthes: In 2012, conservatives lost the Presidency plus seats in the Senate and House. They see America changing and, wIthout a national leader, conservatives have splintered.

Mitt’s 13% Tax

mitt romney greed

Robert Reich: omney admits to an income of over $20 million a year for the last several decades. Which makes his 13 percent — or even 20 percent — violate the principle of equal sacrifice that lies at the core of our notion of tax fairness.

Friday Feedback: Low Information Voters

Friday Feedback: This week, “Ryder” comment on David Love’s article, “These Low Information Voters Will Be Our Undoing,” which looks at how white working class voters have been led to vote against their economic interests through right-wing deception and appeals to racist impulses.

Conservatives and Cars

50s car

Steve Hochstadt: Karl Rove and John Boehner agree on this: We hate Obama. Obama helped Detroit. A union is involved. The revival of American cars is a Democratic success story. So take your Detroit jobs and shove ‘em.

Sarah Palin on Herman Cain: “Boys Will Be Boys”

sarah palin

Julie Driscoll: Call me crazy, but shouldn’t the “morality and values” party believe that cheating and lying and deceit and trashing of marital vows and violations of who knows how many biblical rules and regs shouldn’t be reduced to Sarah Palin’s “boys will be boys?”

Then Just What Is Freedom?

union-built-wide

Steve Hochstadt: Isn’t freedom more than having a low tax rate? Doesn’t freedom mean the ability to direct our own lives, to influence the big decisions that affect our families, our workplaces, and our communities?

The Real News on Jobs

trickle-down-wide

Robert Reich: Conservative economists have it wrong. The underlying problem isn’t that so many Americans have priced themselves out of the global/high-tech labor market. It’s that they’re getting a smaller and smaller share of the pie.

Who Are the Knuckleheads?

Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff

Steve Hochstadt: It disturbs some conservatives no end that Americans who teach in colleges and universities tend not to share their ideas about evolution, global warming, and history. So dismiss the source: just look at where we work, and that should tell you all you need to know.

Who Is the Spendthrift?

homeowners' lament

Steve Hochstadt: When the real estate boom turned out to be a house of cards, people’s debts came due much sooner than they had expected. Governments are much less to blame for the current foreclosure crisis than homebuyers, egged on by unscrupulous bankers.

Joe the Plumber: A Political Inspiration?

Steve Hochstadt: Simple virtues and political cliches won’t solve our problems, which can’t all be blamed on “liberals.” Getting off our butts to cheer our congressman was not what Wurzelbacher wanted. If these conservatives do Take Back Illinois, they won’t know what to do with it.

Histrionics Over the Mosque: Symbolism Crowds Out Reality

Mosque

Ivan Eland: The American media, and to a lesser extent the world media, focus on symbolism at the expense of underlying reality. And sometimes they can’t even make sense of the symbolism. The artificially generated controversy over a proposed mosque within about two blocks of the site of the 9/11 attacks is illustrative of this ignorance.

Budget Cowardice Compounds Problem

deficit hawks

Steve Hochstadt: When conservative Republicans controlled Washington under George Bush, they spent government money on their pet projects with little regard for the long-term budgetary consequences. Now Republicans at the national level have made the deficit one of their major points of attack against the Democrats in preparation for the November elections.