Previously posted at the original Soapblox site on Fri Oct 02, 2015 at 18:56:28 PM CDT
Every once and awhile a blogger comes across something written in a paper, blog or journal that is so well put or which offers such a significant piece of information that one is impelled to run out and read it anyone within earshot. Now that I’ve annoyed my family with all these tidbits, I’ve decided to share a few with you all. Forewith: a few things that in a perfect world I would have written (or not) – I include some quotes to whet your interest although you’ll mostly find lots more to think about if you read the whole thing:
On the Clinton emails and the Benghazi Committee’s political exploitation task:
Michael Tomasky argues that if Rep. McCarthy becomes House Speaker, his Benghazi committee gaffe shows why he’ll likely be worse than even Boehner:
The presumptive next speaker is promising to be more partisan than ever—and we should take him at his word.
That McCarthy would say this [i.e. his remarks about the political,get-Hillary goal of the committee ostensibly charged with the investigating Benghazi attack] reveals to us that he doesn’t remotely think that the American people are a constituency with which he need concern himself. The constituencies that concern him are Hannity, Fox viewers, and conservatives. Not even all Republicans, some of whom are reasonable human beings who do not wish for perpetual political war. Only all highly partisan conservatives. This is the man who’ll be presiding over the people’s chamber. People think Donald Trump is a farce, and he is, but he’s no worse a farce than this.
Ed Kilgore wants to know why the MSM isn’t as gobsmacked as he is is by Rep. McCarthy’s candor about what all of already knew:
… where are the editorial boards of the Newspapers of Record, the New York Times and the Washington Post? You’ve got the (probable) incoming Speaker of the House openly boasting that an insanely long-running “investigation” of whatever Republicans could dredge up from Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State was designed to and in fact accomplished a “hit” on her “numbers.” Where are the calls for shutting this whole thing down?
Mark Halperin points out on Twitter that McCarthy’s as dense and clueless as other famous Republicans:
Some GOP wags (worried wags….) now referring to @GOPLeader McCarthy as “the new Dan Quayle,” which isn’t fair to either man
Below: Shooting sprees and guns in the U.S.A; The evils of GOP tax-cutting glee
This month’s college shooting massacre:
In a Salon article Digby excoriates the coarsening of our sensibilities when it comes to gun disasters:
In America, gun violence is just another natural disaster. Like an earthquake for which you can never really be prepared, most people have come to see a mass killing like that which happened in Oregon yesterday as being unpreventable. We might as well try to stop the sun from coming up in the morning. All we can do is try to comfort the survivors and help people cope with the aftermath. On any given day we could personally be the victims of gun violence or turn on our TVs and computers and witness some kind of mass shooting, horrifying domestic dispute that ends in carnage, accidents or criminal activity. And that’s normal.
To the rest of the world, this is simply insane. Elsewhere they treat gun violence like a public health threat and limit the public’s exposure to it through strict gun regulation. Different cultures have slightly different approaches but there is no other developed country in the world that treats gun violence as if it were a simple fact of life they must live with.
Ed Kilgore expresses his wonderment at the perversity of Amerian attitudes about gun ownership:
But the center of his argument is the one I keep making here: America is mainly exceptional among advanced democratic nations not in our personal or economic liberty, but in our strange belief that letting everyone stockpile weapons is essential to the preservation of our freedom, and in the consequences of that strange belief. That’s what the worship of the most extreme interpretation possible of the Second Amendment, fed by the gun lobby and politicians (mostly, though not exclusively, conservatives) has wrought. And yes, it’s something that can make you angry.
Republicans’ mad tax-cutting religion:
A St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial makes a point about one of the many contradictions inherent in today’s GOP rhetoric:
As the leading Republican presidential contenders unveil their recipes to sate the voracious anti-tax appetite of the right, the question isn’t so much whose plan is best, but whose does the most damage to the nation’s bottom line. All would cost billions.
Mantras about fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets become promises of heady days ahead, if only the evil high taxes were tamed. A party that doesn’t worry about leaving our children a ruined planet is apoplectic about leaving them a financial deficit.
So apoplectic that they usually misrepresent the nature and size of that very deficit – or at the very least play upon the average American’s ignorance of economics through the use of inept analogies. And of course, as the editorial observes, they misrepresent the degree to which Republican economic policies have created and perpetuate larger than necessary deficit levels.