Where's the Harm in Fictional Political Supporters?

If you have a terrific idea for a change in public policy that you’re convinced will benefit millions of people, but you don’t personally know any of the people it will benefit, what would be the harm in inventing a fictional family and presenting them to the public as real potential beneficiaries? Wouldn’t you be promoting the idea of democracy and public citizenship, even though it was a lie? Wouldn’t real families make themselves known soon enough and your made-up one read more

Polarizing Plutocrats

Also published at Democratic Underground at http://www.democraticunderground.com and at Bartcop Reader at http://www.bartcopnation.com.

Jan. 19, 2002

I listened to Bill Gates’ Dad talk last week at a D.C. hotel at an event put together by United for a Fair Economy. He wanted to further limit the number of estates touched by the estate tax and to make sure we recognized the benefits to the country of allowing a small number of people to live in a world of tremendous comfort unlike anything read more

Bill Frist Owes Me

I helped kill an innocent family. I helped destroy people’s medicine. I helped support terrorism.

Sad to say, I did all this without buying any drugs. I did it by working, earning money, and paying taxes.

But I’m not worried, because we now have a majority leader in the U.S. Senate who understands my concern. I’m not happy about my work going to fund the Pentagon’s attacks and provocations around the world. I had been considering stopping working, since I don’t know read more

Let Them Eat Cheeseburgers

Doug Besharov’s tastefully illustrated column in the Dec. 8 Outlook section of the Washington Post suggested that our government is giving poor people too much food. They’re not hungry, and yet we’re stuffing their faces and making them fat, he says.

In reality, many Americans are hungry (3 percent of households and rising, according to the conservative calculations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture), and declining wages and insufficient government assistance can explain read more

Fear Is No Excuse

Are you scared of terrorism? Do color-coded days of danger make you anxious for your children? I’m not going to tell you that your concern is understandable but that attacking another country would be counterproductive.

No, I think it’s more important to tell you that your fear is shameful, that it is exactly what the terrorists want, and that acting out of fear is what can lead to acceptance of quick and comforting beliefs that prove counterproductive.

Let’s go to the root of read more

It's the War, Stupid!

The Washington Post on Sunday, Nov. 10, printed an article (not a column) by David Von Drehle “reporting” on the alleged fact that snobby liberal elites lost the recent elections because folksy dumb guys like George W. are much more likable.

Von Drehle didn’t discuss any particular election, didn’t name a single liberal elitist (except Adlai Stevenson, who apparently lost to Eisenhower for the same reason), and didn’t even name a single likable down-to-earth Republican, read more

Ask Marilyn, Get a Right-Wing Response

Also published at www.democraticunderground.com

Most Americans read few if any newspapers. The papers that are read most often are the Sunday editions, the ones with the comics, the TV guide, and Parade Magazine. The papers that carry Parade as an insert run the full gamut from extremely right-wing to moderately right-wing, but Parade itself sticks close to the extreme, not just with its articles but especially with its regular advice column “Ask Marilyn.”

Marilyn Vos Savant describes read more

Bush Hangs "Kick-me" sign on Nation's Back

Also published at Democratic Underground at www.democraticunderground.com.

I grew up in the Washington, D.C., area and live here now, and I no longer feel safe. In addition, I’m angry, because our government seems to be doing everything it can to make this place as widely and fiercely hated as possible. The debate over global politics, the environment, and the bombing of other countries is not just about others’ misery, owl species, or the world of our great-grandchildren anymore. It’s read more

Make Love, Not War

Memorial Day, 2002

The Washington Post has a little section called “You Haven’t Lived Here if You Haven’t

Tweaking the Legalized Bribery System Pleases Few

Also published at BuzzFlash at http://www.buzzflash.com and at Bartcop Reader at http://www.bartcopnation.com.

May 16, 2002

Last week conservatives and liberals separately filed suit to claim that various parts of the recently passed Shays-Meehan/McCain-Feingold bribery reform legislation should be thrown out as unconstitutional. Last night (May 15) in a debate at the National Press Club over the proposition “The Government is Still for Sale,” all four participants, two arguing the read more