Feed on

$1M-a-year working stiff

Rick Santorum’s is surging at the polls, but what would his hard-working supporters think of him if they understood how he earned all that money after he lost his Senate seat?


This is a free weekend on Ancestry.com, so I looked up my father. Here’s something strange: He’s listed as being 10 years old in the 1930 census, and I know he wasn’t born until ’28 or ’29. Guess my grandparents had so many kids, they got confused?

My grandfather Tony was 10 years older than my grandmother. He was a widower with kids when he married her; she was only 16. He was an ironworker at one of the local steel mills, where one son worked with him. Two of his other sons worked in a paper mill. Everyone in the house knew how to read and write.

I was surprised to find out that they owned a house, at 114 Seville St. I guess my grandmother sold it after my grandfather died and left her with all those kids.

My grandmother’s name was Leokadja Haraburda, 1893 birthplace listed as Jardonova, Russia. (I seem to remember one of the relatives telling me she was from Byelorussia, the part of Poland that was split between them and the Soviet Union. All I know is, I can’t find it on a map.)

Big Time Operators

Going big on entitlements

Isn’t it great that campaign adviser David Plouffe wanted (and probably still wants) Obama to “go big on entitlements”? And that Obama doesn’t like us to know what he’s doing?

Via Brad DeLong, excerpts from Christina Romer’s new book:

[Top Adviser David] Plouffe urged the president to give [entitlement reform] a shot. “I said he [Obama] should be big on entitlements,” Plouffe told one former administration official, by which he meant reining in these budgetary elephants. Sure, this would enrage the party’s base. But the political upside with the rest of the country would more than make up for it … “Plouffe is pretty big on accomplishments trump normal politics,” said one White House colleague. “Plouffe’s view is that big trumps the little.”…

[W]hile internal staff disputes did play a role, Scheiber ascribes blame ultimately to the president. As he concludes:

[T]he Jobs Act punctuated the chronic confusion about the connection between politics and governing. Too often, the two activities were treated as an either-or proposition in the West Wing. Obama generally believed the way to pass his program was to engage earnestly with the opposition, not take his case public. A president never has more leverage with Congress than when he’s riling up voters, but Obama rarely exploited the massive stature of his office as a tool for influencing legislation.

Caterpillar calls the shots

Now that he’s on the campaign trail, President Obama says he’s working hard to come up with incentives that will encourage American companies to bring home jobs that have been outsourced. However, an item in Reader Supported News sheds light on how badly American workers can expect to be treated by these companies. More here.

The long game

Are Obama’s attempts at bipartisanship a conscious strategy?

Thou shalt not cock-block the Lord

Stephen Colbert recently explained the theological underpinnings of the Church’s opposition to contraception, and warned birth control users that their sin is a grave one:

The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God. You see, to Catholics, sex isn’t two drunk strangers getting their freak on at closing time. It is the mystical union of two people inspired to create new physical life while God adds a soul in a divine and ineffably beautiful three-way. So, when you use contraception, you are not only sinning, you are cock-blocking the Almighty.

More here.


What Violet said. Nothing needed to be done.

Taking hostages

To protect Big Oil. They’re not much good for anything else.


Joseph Kennedy III to run for Barney Frank’s seat.

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