Tag archives: politics

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Putting the financial system in the red

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Yesterday, Fred Wilson, a prominent New York venture capitalist, had some kind words for Bitcoin, the crypto-currency that is “mined” by computers solving progressively harder math problems:

We are quite taken with the idea of a currency that is not controlled by governments and central bankers and that is based on faith in an algorithm ...

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When Scalzi called it “Omelas State University” he was being generous

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

A columnist for The Nation quotes a Penn State student defending Joe Paterno, the football coach who allegedly shielded a child rapist from the law:

If not for Paterno…Pennsylvania State might still be an agriculture school and [the city of] State College might be lucky if there were a Wal-Mart within a 30-mile radius ...

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Two cheers for government debt

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

If the Occupy Wall Street movement has done nothing else, it has pushed the mainstream media to actually talk about income inequality. Of course, now that the encampments have been rousted in New York, Oakland, and elsewhere, the punditocracy is free to return to its previous obsession, Teh Deficit. Better still, the Congressional deficit-busting “supercommittee ...

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George W. Bush, untaxer of the poor

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

In response to the we are the 99% movement, a number of right-wingers have focused attention on the fact that only 53% of Americans pay Federal income taxes. (This statistic ignores all the other kinds of taxes that lower-income folks pay, but set that aside for a moment.) Who is responsible for this mass legalized ...

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In defense of the debt-ceiling deal

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

In the aftermath of this week’s budget-cutting, debt-ceiling-raising compromise, both liberal Democrats and Tea Party Republicans have excoriated their respective leaders, charging that those leaders were snookered by the other side. The more I think about what happened, the more I believe that the Tea Party folks are right: Speaker Boehner got taken to ...

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Debt ceiling: the endgame begins

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

1:09 p.m.
President Obama warns that if the debt ceiling is not raised by August 3rd, Social Security, disability, and veterans’ checks may not go out.
2:56 p.m.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–KY) proposes an escape hatch that would allow the President to unilaterally raise the debt limit, subject ...

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How I convinced my child to go the f—k to sleep

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Since insomniac children is a hot topic these days, I ought to share a story of our own adventures in this department.

When our youngest son was two years old, recently transferred from crib to toddler bed, he discovered the joys of getting out of that bed, opening his own door, and visiting his parents ...

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How the mighty hath fallen

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Whitey Bulger, who used to be the FBI’s second-most-wanted man, told a Federal magistrate in California that he needs a court-appointed attorney.

You’d think that a retired mob boss facing nineteen murder charges would have enough loot stashed away, somewhere, to hire a good lawyer. Maybe he invested his ill-gotten gains with Bernie ...

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The mutant as [ethnic slur]

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Reading various essays on the racial politics of the new X-men movie—see, for example, Ta-Nehisi Coates, N. K. Jemisin and Matthew Yglesias—reminds me just how sophomoric the whole “let’s use mutants as a metaphor for the oppressed minorities of the real world” conceit is. I mean, if African-Americans could fly or shoot laser beams ...

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Silly thought of the day

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Rivalry among elite universities serves an important social function, because if alumni of these schools did not regard one another with some suspicion, they would be more likely to team up and fleece the rest of the country even more than they do today. It’s sort of the flip side of Jay Gould’s ...

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