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

What Is Next for the Living Wage Movement

A six-year struggle by ACORN, SEIU, and allies in a living wage campaign to raise the minimum wage in New Orleans ended on September 4 when the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that only the state, not localities, can set wage standards. New Orleans would have been the first city in the country to enact a citywide minimum wage, a proposal that was overwhelmingly approved by public vote on February 2 and upheld by district court on March 25. Currently 86 cities and counties in the country have living read more

The Washington Post Goes to War

On Sunday, Aug. 18, 2002, the Washington Post ran an editorial, an ombudsman column, and three op-eds about a potential U.S. attack on Iraq, as well as two related articles. One article, placed on the top of the front page, reported on a memo that “Defense” Secretary Rumsfeld sent to the White House and the media. “Defense” officials were worried that countries such as Iraq or Iran could use cruise missile technology to attack “U.S. installations or the American homeland.” read more

The Scandal is Somewhere Else

Also published, in a slightly longer version, at www.democraticunderground.com

Even Ralph Nader is saying that the current rash of corporate accounting scandals is uncovering more than he expected. There’s not just feigned and willful shock and surprise out there. Some honest and intelligent commentators are dumbfounded. Why?

Perhaps I’m just a cynic and always expect the worst and sometimes end up being right. Or perhaps my reasoning is oversimplifying. But I am not surprised by the 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