Archive for December, 2013

Santa Claus and White Racial Panic

Article: But what this whole controversy has revealed is another instance of white racial panic. For the entirety of the United States’s history, white people have had the advantage of defining themselves—and their mythical gift-giving icons—in a white supremacist state. Politically, culturally, economically, socially, everything has been tailored to privilege whiteness. But things change. Whiteness as the default identity to which everything else is derived or compared gets challenged. And the pushback is fierce.

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Christmas music with quotes about Christmas

A Soldier’s Letter to His Wife During The War on Christmas (Satire)

Dearest Mary,

I am writing from deep in the trenches of the great War on Christmas. War is hell, Mary. I lost my best friend today after hearing him wish someone “happy holidays.” I held him there in my arms and whispered “we can’t be friends anymore because you are a Godless heathen” – and just like that, he was gone.

We’re fighting our hardest, my love, but the enemy’s attacks on Christmas are relentless. Today alone they took out three nativity scenes. And while patrolling near a local elementary school, we saw one of their “holiday pageants,” in which Jesus Christ is only mentioned in SOME of the songs and not ALL of the songs! They’re using children as soldiers – children, Mary. It’s madness, I tell you, utter madness.

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On Medicaid expansion, Jindal should embrace his own plan

Article: On expanding Medicaid, however, Jindal has reversed course. He now opposes extending coverage to Louisiana’s working poor under provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It’s too expensive, he says.
Five years ago, Jindal was dying to pay 30 percent of the cost to expand Medicaid. What would be Louisiana’s share of expanding Medicaid under the ACA? Nothing for the first three years; afterwards, 10 percent.
In 2008, Jindal’s health secretary spoke about the urgency of expanding Medicaid and of preserving beneficiaries’ “dignity.” Jindal’s administration has now dropped such talk. “Soon there will be more people riding in the cart than people pulling the cart,” Jindal complained last April.
In 2008, these individuals had “dignity.” Today, they’re just bums asking for a free ride.
What’s changed?

Conservatism needs to lighten up

By Fareed Zakaria

The crisis has been resolved, but this respite is temporary. We are bound to have more standoffs and brinkmanship in the months and years ahead. To understand why, you must recognize that, for the tea party, the stakes could not be higher. The movement is animated and energized by a fear that soon America will be beyond rescue.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) put it plainly at the recent Values Voter Summit in Washington: “We’re nearing the edge of a cliff, and our window to turn things around, my friends, I don’t think it is long. I don’t think it is 10 years. We have a couple of years to turn the country around or we go off the cliff to oblivion.”

Cruz dominated the summit’s straw poll, taking 42 percent of the vote, more than three times his nearest rival. His fundraising committees reported this week that they took in $1.19 million in the third quarter, double the total in the preceding quarter. Cruz’s national approval rating may be an abysmal 14 percent, but to the base of the Republican Party he is an idol.

The current fear derives from Obamacare, but that is only the most recent cause for alarm. Modern American conservatism was founded on a diet of despair. In 1955, William F. Buckley Jr. began the movement with a famous first editorial in National Review declaring that the magazine “stands athwart history, yelling Stop.” John Boehner tries to tie into this tradition of opposition when he says in exasperation, “The federal government has spent more than what it has brought in in 55 of the last 60 years!”

A pope’s pointed message

“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories, which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never b…een confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.” “To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed,” Francis wrote. “Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.” “The private ownership of goods is justified by the need to protect and increase them, so that they can better serve the common good; for this reason, solidarity must be lived as the decision to restore to the poor what belongs to them.” ~ Pope Francis

California, Here We Come?

Now, California isn’t the only place where Obamacare is looking pretty good. A number of states that are running their own online health exchanges instead of relying on are doing well. Kentucky’s Kynect is a huge success; so is Access Health CT in Connecticut. New York is doing O.K. And we shouldn’t forget that Massachusetts has had an Obamacare-like program since 2006, put into effect by a guy named Mitt Romney. California is, however, an especially useful test case. First of all, it’s huge: if a system can work for 38 million people, it can work for America as a whole. 

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