Thursday, February 10, 2011

Points of interest


"But now that they have a majority in the House, Republicans certainly have the power to ignore nature."
If you don't believe climate change is a problem, then most of these new carbon rules are pointless. And, within the Republican Party, the belief that global warming is a made-up non-problem has become thoroughly ingrained - so much so that it's no longer even worth justifying.
"The Chamber of Commerce and the President of GE Have a Plan to Restore Business Confidence and Create Jobs, 1931 Edition."
His Swope Plan is considered one of the main documents for the idea of an associationalist economy, or what we would now call a corporatist economy.   Let businesses collude and form price-fixing organizations, and in response they’ll hire more workers and even provide a social safety net for those workers.  The government will need to suspend all anti-trust laws first, obviously, before all the sweet growth and jobs show up.  Many socialists at the time realized that this was asking for trouble for obvious reasons of rent-seeking and businesses not following through and fighting any type of regulatory oversight.
"By making it harder for borrowers to avoid paying credit card debt, [the 2005 bankruptcy law] made it more difficult for them to pay their mortgages, so foreclosure rates rose."
Despite opposition from public interest groups, the 2005 law easily cleared both chambers of Congress and was signed into law by President George W. Bush. In a paper released Tuesday, New York Fed researchers Donald P. Morgan, Benjamin Iverson and Matthew Botsch determined that the law sparked about 116,000 additional subprime mortgage foreclosures a year after going into effect.
"My internal compass was to think like an intolerant meathead."
The insider was asked whether Fox News should be considered a legitimate news outlet. After laughing, the person explained, "I don't think people understand that it's an organization that's built and functions by intimidation and bullying, and its goal is to prop up and support Republicans and the GOP and to knock down Democrats. People tend think that stuff that's on TV is real, especially under the guise of news. You'd think that people would wise up, but they don't."
 The anti-gay evolution of Tim Pawlenty.
In light of last year’s Pentagon study, which concluded that “the risk of repeal … to overall military effectiveness is low,” Pawlenty’s stance on gays in the military cannot be justified with the customary nod toward ‘unit cohesion.’ In fact, his new position should be seen as part and parcel of the Governor’s evolving view of gays, which, over nearly two decades, is sometimes nuanced but generally regressive...
"The Apostate" (lengthy article alert)
He had read a recent exposé in a Florida newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times, which reported, among other things, that senior executives in the church had been subjecting other Scientologists to physical violence. Haggis said that he felt “dumbstruck and horrified,” adding, “Tommy, if only a fraction of these accusations are true, we are talking about serious, indefensible human and civil-rights violations.”

Also: Friends in high places.
The church has had, throughout its history, plenty of friends on both sides of the aisle. Or, at least, plenty of people willing to cash its checks. Few prominent politicians, that I know of, have said much about the things we've learned about the church more recently.
Matchmaking on Twitter.
The "baby talk" and emoticons inspired by Twitter's character limit can be nauseating. We don't even need to talk about the usernames. But while the correspondence above is not exactly sophisticated, it's meaningful because a connection was made.

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