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Insulting

Via Think Progress, it’s nice to hear the occasional congress critter who’s still speaking sense. And in this case, Chris Van Hollen couldn’t be more right. The Republicans will throw up any smokescreen they can to obscure the fact that they haven’t done a damn thing about “jobs, jobs, jobs!”:

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) rebuked House Republicans yesterday for suggesting the government require drug tests of individuals seeking unemployment insurance, calling such proposals “insulting” and a “red herring” in the unemployment crisis:

VAN HOLLEN: I think the drug testing thing is a red herring. The reality is that people are not out of work because they have substance abuse problems, people are out of work because there are four people looking for every job that’s available in America.

We’re willing to look at reforms, but the Republican rhetoric has been insulting to a whole lot of working Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own… I have to say, this Republican effort to kind of blame people who lost jobs through no fault of their own shows a total insensitivity to the stories that we’re hearing from districts around the country. Frankly I think the American people are hearing that tone and they’re not very appreciative, because they know that everybody, but for the grace of God, could also be in that position.

Love is a game

The Magic Numbers:

Love is a losing game

Amy Winehouse:

Home

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros:

Yep

I can verify that what chemo patient say is true: The drug the doctor prescribed today (Compazine) does very little to help with the nausea. I don’t even like pot, but I wish I had some now.

Why the pink toys?

One little girl asks why little girls have to be princesses, when boys get to be action figures:

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Digby is my guest tonight

Virtually Speaking Susie 6pm pacific, 9pm eastern Digby and Susie Madrak explore the impact of current events on the daily lives of working class people. Listen live and later

Following A to Z on Thursday, Jay hosts Eve Gittelson, who reviews the year in health care policy. Listen Live and Later. A to Z at 5pm/8pm, Jay and Eve at 6pm/9pm eastern.

Midlife crisis economics

Shorter David Brooks:

The administration has proven that the policies they never tried don’t work. Austerity!

See? I could do that.

Psst

Mr. President? When you find yourself in a hole, STOP DIGGING.

I like Ike

I’ve been wondering about this. When was the turning point, where the U.S. decided pursuing war for empire was our path? That military might was preferable to actually improving the lives of our citizens? Why don’t the people who live here get any say in making these decisions? This piece from the Atlantic is enlightening, go read it all:

DURING EISENHOWER’S PRESIDENCY, few credited him with being a great orator. Yet, as befit a Kansan and a military professional, Ike could speak plainly when he chose to do so. The April 16 speech early in his presidency was such a moment. Delivered in the wake of Joseph Stalin’s death, the speech offered the new Soviet leadership a five-point plan for ending the Cold War. Endorsing the speech as “one of the most notable policy statements of U.S. history,” Time reported with satisfaction that Eisenhower had articulated a broad vision for peace and “left it at the door of the Kremlin for all the world to see.” The likelihood that Stalin’s successors would embrace this vision was nil. An editorial in The New Republic made the essential point: as seen from Russia’s perspective, Eisenhower was “demanding unconditional surrender.” The president’s peace plan quickly vanished without a trace.

Largely overlooked by most commentators was a second theme that Eisenhower had woven into his text. The essence of this theme was simplicity itself: spending on arms and armies is inherently undesirable. Even when seemingly necessary, it constitutes a misappropriation of scarce resources. By diverting social capital from productive to destructive purposes, war and the preparation for war deplete, rather than enhance, a nation’s strength. And while assertions of military necessity might camouflage the costs entailed, they can never negate them altogether.

“Every gun that is made,” Eisenhower told his listeners, “every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” Any nation that pours its treasure into the purchase of armaments is spending more than mere money. “It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.” To emphasize the point, Eisenhower offered specifics:

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities … We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

Yet in Cold War Washington, Eisenhower’s was a voice crying in the wilderness. As much as they liked Ike, Americans had no intention of choosing between guns and butter: they wanted both. Military Keynesianism—the belief that the production of guns could underwrite an endless supply of butter—was enjoying its heyday.

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