Sunday, October 12, 2014 Friday, October 10, 2014
Just a year ago, I had a conversation with a friend as the healthcare website was crashing. All that mattered, we agreed, was if, this time next year, the healthcare reform is working and the economy is doing better. Well, both those things have happened – Obamacare is actually a big success so far; the growth and unemployment rates are the envy of much of the Western world – and yet we are now told that he’s a failure. WTF? The architects of the Iraq War – like, yes, Clinton and McCain – somehow believe they have a better grasp of foreign affairs in the twenty-first century than he does. And the party that bankrupted this country in eight short years now has the gall to ignore the fastest reduction in the deficit ever, and a slow-down in healthcare costs that may well be the most important fiscal achievement of a generation.

The Resilient Success Of The Obama Presidency « The Dish

I’ve taken to viewing Obama’s presidency as a massive disappointment. At times, he seems like a closet Republican, clumsily and arrogantly stumbling his way through foreign policy and the occasional crisis. He lacks Reagan and Clinton’s gift for saying the right inspiring words to reinstill confidence when things are going wrong. (That said, they were both weighed down by various problems late in their presidencies, too, and yet they were surely the best presidents of my lifetime.)

But behind the bumbling and tone-deaf messages, he actually hasn’t been that bad. In 2008, the country was circling the drain. He helped bring us back from the abyss, and as Sullivan and Krugman note here, the deficits are shrinking. Back when Congress did its job, he and Congress invested in a shattered America, and it’s paying off.

His biggest failure, though, may be in failing to fight back against the tide of utter ignorance. The Know-Nothings are poised to take both houses of Congress, which could have a chilling effect on everything the USA needs to address — climate change, immigration, inequities in the economic recovery, etc.

Some may have thought of Obama as someone who could give nice speeches but couldn’t manage the country. To an extent, he has turned out to be the opposite.

He’ll leave office in 27 months as an enigmatic figure, someone who restored order and passed much needed health-care reform but never mustered much enthusiasm to get anything else done.

Unless, of course, he finally reveals himself as an Islamofascist socialist who’ll declare martial law rather than leave office.

Monday, October 6, 2014 Sunday, October 5, 2014
What is the secret ingredient in the fake news coverage? It is not just its integrity, its exposure of hypocrisy, and its questioning of the status quo; it is also its use of irony. The irony, sarcasm, and parody of fake news work to help us to take the critical distance necessary to form our own opinions. The fake news doesn’t tell us what to think; it asks us to think for ourselves. As we face yet another crisis that will likely cost our nation valuable resources and precious lives with no clear strategy for success nor end in sight, our nation’s future depends on citizens who know better than to believe the hype. Stewart, Colbert save the day: Bill O’Reilly and Fox News’ ISIS insanity makes them more essential than ever - Salon.com
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 Monday, September 8, 2014
Hofstadter’s lesson is that those who oppose anti-intellectualism should conceive of their lives as a struggle that will never conclude in victory but that also need not ever end in total defeat. Intellectualism At Odds With Democracy « The Dish
Whatever Obama did, it’s wrong. See, that’s consistent! (via The Anti-Media)

Whatever Obama did, it’s wrong. See, that’s consistent! (via The Anti-Media)

Thursday, September 4, 2014 Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Last week, my colleague David Frum argued that conservative welfare reformers need to focus on simplification. As a young crop of conservative policymakers announce a range of proposals, there’s some movement in that direction. Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s plan would move most of America’s existing welfare funding into a single “flex-fund” to be disbursed to the states. Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, partly inspired by the “universal credit” reforms of Britain’s Conservative government, proposes allowing states to combine different forms of federal anti-poverty funding—food stamps, housing assistance, and more—into a single funding stream. In a recent speech about fighting poverty, Utah Senator Mike Lee told the Heritage Foundation, “There’s no reason the federal government should maintain 79 different means-tested programs.” The Conservative Case for a Guaranteed Basic Income - The Atlantic