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The 2024 Republican Presidential Candidate Is A(nother) Lying Authoritarian

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) recently published an op-ed in the New York Times. Basically, Cotton's argument is: Riots = bad. Protests that are "peaceful and law-abiding" aren't quite as bad... ...but really, they didn't send me to Washington to make such persnickety distinctions. We should conduct military assaults on Americans the same way I did against insurgents in Afghanistan's Laghman Province. Because... [here he's fuzzy; he just likes "calling in the miltary."] These are just a few of Cotton's lies, half-truths and dissembling. The link supposedly to evidence of de Blasio's abnegation of responsibility actually shows the protesters standing up to looting and destruction, and details further, rampant police misconduct. You're not helping yourself by linking to this one, Cotton. He cites instances — all horrible — of violence toward cops. But he neglects to contrast those to the many, many more instances of violence *f
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John McCain, 1936-2018

I voted for John McCain for president in 2000. I had moved from Greenwich Village up to Inwood, in Manhattan, a few months earlier. I had been registered to vote in the Village, and I think I voted for McCain in the primary, although I can't swear to that memory. (And fat lot of good it did him, anyway; he dropped out after that.) But my new registration reflecting my new address wasn't yet in the book on that November election day. However, I had my voter ID card which had arrived ahead of the presidential election, and yes, it showed me as a registered Republican. Which I'd been ever since I'd turned 18 and became old enough to vote. I didn't have a lot of primaries to vote in when I lived in Greenwich Village, as you may imagine. But I'd voted in plenty of general elections, nearly every year, so I was familiar with New York's old "lever" voting machines: you pull the lever to vote (in my first few years, I think it still closed the curtain b

A Few Comparative Facts

Nationalized Healthcare Kicks Our Butt // The comparison stats are from the 2000 World Health Organization, World Health Report 2000 - Health Systems: Improving Performance , the last comprehensive report on some of these issues. But since I wrote this post, I've found some more up-to-date stats on their site for some figures, so will try to do a new post with some of those comparisons. S ome people have asked three questions which, taken at face value, are legitimate questions. What would the public option do to (a) reduce the overall cost of healthcare, and (b) improve the quality of my healthcare; and (c) what will the effect be on the deficit? The Congressional Budget Office estimates $1 trillion-plus. So how do we pay for that? To take the last item first, the CBO analysis didn't factor in what could be saved by the public option, or by best-practice incentives, or by competitive price pressure on the private insurers. By the same rationale, fluorescent lightbulbs make no

An Unhealthy Debate

Lies, Damned Lies, Yet No Statistics // I keep trying to start a blog post that aims to refute all the lies, idiocy and misinformation that the right-wing (Grassley, Boehner), ignorant ("Keep the government's hands off my Medicare!"), and downright evil (Palin, Beck, etc. etc. etc.) are putting out there about health insurance reform and health coverage. But every time, I end up realizing it would be full-time job that should have started over a month ago. And then, today, I read two column that help put a lot of the bad information out there into perspective. The first was Steven Pearlstein's look back at the 20th century and how the right-wing loses its mind every time a liberal (even a nominal liberal) gets into power. It froths at the mouth. It takes two opposing thoughts ("socialism! fascist!") and says they're the same thing. It basically makes stuff up, and the more bizarre the better. That's what gets attention, at least. The second was Pau

Charles Rangel, Wrangler

That Ol' Country Bumpkin // I n looking for some other kind of information on his site, I happened to see that my congressman, Charlie Rangel, lists something like 30 congressional "caucuses" he's a member of. He's a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. He's a member of the Progessive Caucus. He's a member of the Army Caucus and the Navy/Marine Caucus. (He was a staff sergeant in the Army and earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star in Korea, by the way.) He's a member of the Caribbean Caucus, which takes some chutzpah, given the trouble he's gotten into with unreported rental income on a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic. (Which may explain why he's also a member of the Real Estate Caucus.) He's a member of several caucuses that don't reflect his own history but rather the causes he chooses to support: the Caucus for Women's Issues, the Caucus for Armenian Issues, the Fire Services Caucus, etc., etc. One caucus

Oh, Puh-leeze!

Laying it on with a trowel // I f all the following are true... I voted for Barack Obama I donated more money to his campaign than any other campaign I'd ever donated to On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give him, maybe, an 8 so far. (If he'd quit discharging soldiers under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" I might move that up to a 9, even.) On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give Michelle Obama a 10 so far I've been interested in both the history and the modern working of the White House since I was in junior high school I'm generally a fan of Brian Williams I'm fascinated by the open access the White House gave NBC for 5 days to produce its two-night "news special" on the Obama White House I didn't tune in for a hard-hitting expose or confrontation between the Executive branch and the Fourth Estate ...then why am I feeling so profoundly embarrassed by Brian Williams's fawning hagiography of the Obamas in this special? Are there still, somewher

Hello? Anybody still there?

If it updates quarterly, can it really be called a blog? // Gosh, has it been over three months already? Time flies when you're being dunned. And I haven't had the intellectual capacity to add much more here that seemed worth adding, after a bunch of work stuff and a bunch of church stuff and some other stuff that's been taking up all my mental space. But today's readings during Morning Prayer gave me pause, following as they did so soon after I finished The Canon , by the New York Times writer Natalie Angier. (A great book, by the way, although she's sometimes too clever and too heavy with the wordplay for her own good.) One of the things that make the book brilliant is the way it's organized. It's not original with her, but still a good idea. To give an overview of basic science, it should build up, rather than work the way it does in our elementary and high school educations. Start first with the scientific method, then explore probability, then measurem