I am big fan of the post office in general and of my local post office in particular. I go there as often as I can (honestly, I do). But, when I needed stamps on Monday, I was not prepared for the line snaking out the door. I had completely forgotten about tax day! I girded myself for a long wait, but the clerks were the very picture of efficiency and I was in and out and all stocked up on bonsai stamps in ten minutes.
The first observance of Earth Day was March 21, 1970. I was 17, and along with other students at Broad Run High School, went out with garbage bags to clean up the side of the road leading to the school. Even then, of course, the world faced much more serious pollution issues than roadside litter. But that problem was one we students could do something about.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has attacked the rights of working people to organize unions and to speak up in their workplaces and the political life of their communities, their state and their nation.
He has attacked the right of citizens to dissent and to have a voice in the legislative process.
There are many evils in the world, but extinguishing people’s lives with targeted, extra-judicial killings, when you don’t even know their names, based on “patterns” of behavior judged from thousands of miles away, definitely ranks high on the list. Although the Obama White House has not approved of this request from CIA Director David Petraeus, these so-called “signature strikes” that “allow the agency to hit targets based solely on intelligence indicating patterns of suspicious behavior” are already robustly used in Pakistan — having been started by George Bush in 2008 and aggressively escalated by Barack Obama.
“Why can’t we all get along?” The iconic question has become the fixation of much of Washington’s chattering class. David Brooks and Thomas Friedman censure President Obama for blowing the “Grand Bargain” or not embracing the recommendations of Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of the deficit reduction commission. Self-proclaimed bipartisan efforts — No Labels, Americans Elect — call for putting aside partisan squabbles and electing moderates who can get things done.
John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation, appeared on The Ed Show yesterday to discuss an ongoing investigation centered around Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his former staffers. Walker has “a lot of attorney bills and that means a lot,” said Nichols.
Of course, it wasn’t Barack Obama’s fault. He didn’t nominate himself for the Nobel Peace Prize back in 2009 when he was already on a distinct war trajectory in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Nobel committee did it in what, even then, was visibly a vote for the idea that “peace” was anything but George W. Bush.
Perhaps my problem is that I live in too many worlds at the same time, while many political eras live in me.
That may be why I responded so negatively to a recent polemic wrapped up in a poetic communique from AdBusters, the culture jammers in Canada, who do so much good work (and often so creatively) battling the consumption virus promoted by big corporations many of us have grown to despise.
As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., wrote in 1904, “taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”
But the wealthiest Americans, who haven’t raked in as much of America’s income and wealth since the 1920s, are today paying a lower tax rate than they have in over thirty years. Even though America faces a mammoth federal budget deficit.
No longer able to defend themselves on Voter ID and “Kill at Will” legislation they helped popularize—as much as they tried—the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is finally dropping both from their agenda, announcing today that they will focus on free market, anti-regulation policies. In a statement from Indiana state Representative David Frizzell, also ALEC’s national chairman: