Paul Krugman keeps reading analysts who say the collapse of the euro would be a disaster and European leaders won't let it happen:
Part of the problem is the fact that German politicians have spent the past two years telling voters something that isn’t true—namely, that the crisis is all the fault of irresponsible governments in Southern Europe. Here in Spain—which is now the epicenter of the crisis—the government actually had low debt and budget surpluses on the eve of crisis; if the country is now in crisis, that’s the result of a vast housing bubble that banks all across Europe, very much including the Germans, helped to inflate. But now the false narrative stands in the way of any workable solution.E.J. Dionne Jr.:
As Democrats, mostly from Washington and New York, debated the efficacy of attacks on Romney’s role in Bain, an entirely different conversation was being driven in the swing states, courtesy of ads broadcast by the Obama campaign and especially by Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama super PAC. The ads portray highly sympathetic workers who lost their jobs and companies that collapsed even as Bain’s principals made substantial profits. [...]Washington Post Editorial Board:
The Bain ads have done double-duty, specifically undermining Romney but also serving as a parable for how aspects of the current financial system hurt workers and local communities.
The United States holds the highest number of prisoners in solitary confinement of any democratic nation. An estimated 25,000 people are kept in federal and state supermax prisons in 44 states, and as many as 80,000 may be kept in some other sort of segregated facility. [...]Thomas Vinciguerra takes a look-see at who did and did not keep their some promise to leave the country if certain candidates or policies managed to gain ascendancy. Including this fella:
If prisoners endure, they’re often incapable of functioning in the general population, their social development stunted by their time locked away. The goal of any correctional system should be the exact opposite. Given that solitary confinement costs, on average, three times as much per inmate as regular prison, there’s no justification for the practice in most cases.
“I’ll just tell you this, if this passes and it’s five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented—I am leaving the country. I’ll go to Costa Rica.”The one-way coach ticket to San José, Costa Rica, from your neck of the woods, Rush, is $381. If you will promise never to return, I am certain donors of the necessary cash can be found, just in case you're a little short.
—Rush Limbaugh on President Obama’s health care law, 2010
Doyle MacManus says the future of the Affordable Care Act almost completely depends on who wins in November.
Wilbur J. Cohen, the scholar and federal bureaucrat who helped write both the Social Security Act of 1935 and the Medicare law of 1965, often said: "Social policy is 1% inspiration and 99% implementation." The only way Obama's healthcare law will survive to become a durable part of the nation's social fabric will be through its full implementation beginning in 2014—if it survives the warfare of the next two years.Bill McKibben:
If the law doesn't work, it will get reexamined. If costs grow faster than promised, if new patients swamp the healthcare system, if revenues prove inadequate, if employers flee — all dangers that critics have warned about—the law will be imperiled.
Global warming is underway. Are we waiting for someone to hold up a sign that says "Here's climate change"? [...]Mary Elizabeth Williams:
Against the backdrop of the burning Rockies, it's pretty clear this is not an engineering problem. Engineers, in fact, have performed admirably. One day last month, Germany generated more than half its electricity from solar panels. We've got the technical chops to solve our troubles.
No, this is a greed problem. In the last five years, Exxon has made more money than any company in history. For the moment, Exxon and other's desire to keep minting money – and our politicians' desire for a share of that cash – has conspired to keep our government, and most others, from doing anything to head off the crisis.
Let me fix this for you, headline writers. When you’re dealing with a story that involves rape or harassment or abuse or molestation or child porn or anything that falls under the rubric of criminal behavior, you should call those things rape and harassment and abuse and molestation and child pornography. You know what you shouldn’t call them? Sexy sexy sex scandals, that’s what.David Moberg says this is the week organizationally to wish Wal-Mart and Unhappy 50th Birthday.
We’re a long way from the “Red Scare” of old, but we have seen, in increasing numbers in recent years, GOP politicians and rightwing pundits and radio hosts decrying the alleged anti-Americanism of many on the left, including liberal centrists like President Obama. So it might be useful here to look back at how “McCarthyism” got its name—a reminder for some, perhaps a revelation to younger people who may know what it means but unsure of the history.Cyndi Lauper:
[W]hen statistics show that as many as 40% of the nation’s homeless youth are gay or transgender, compared to 3-5% of the overall youth population, we have to acknowledge that we’re facing a crisis. The disparity suggests that gay and transgender youth stand a much higher chance of becoming homeless because of abuse, neglect and familial rejection due to sexual orientation or gender identity that drive them to the streets.