One of the most enduring myths we love here in America is that we ended our involvement with slavery after the Civil War. While our Founders – people like Thomas Jefferson, who wrote “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence but owned slaves himself – were tarnished, morally imperfect hypocrites, in our modern era, we tell ourselves, we’ve risen above that. We are pure! We’re no longer tainted by slavery!
If only it were true.
The recent fires that killed 112 workers in Bangladeshi sweat shops making garments for Wal-Mart and other American retailers show how we, today, are frankly more hypocritical and dishonest about slavery than was Jefferson himself…
The big news in the Big Apple this week may be what didn’t happen.
There was not a single reported slaying, stabbing, shooting or knifing in any of the five boroughs on Monday, according to the New York Police Department…
“The city hopes to finish out the year with the lowest homicide rate sine 1960,” said [Deputy Police Commissioner Paul] Browne.
If only NYC could find a way to lower the gentrification rate, too.
From E.J. Dionne’s column on Grover Norquist, failed god of the Republicans:
One indication that Republicans are aware they’re boxed in came from Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., one of his party’s shrewdest political minds. He suggested Republicans should take up the president’s invitation to extend the Bush tax cuts for the 98 percent of Americans who earn less than $250,000 a year. Yes, this would amount to throwing in the towel on those upper-bracket levies. But Cole knows that it won’t help the Republican brand if voters come to see the GOP’s one and only objective as protecting wealthier Americans from tax increases.
It’s hard to understand why anyone does not see that protecting the rich is the Republican Party’s only objective!
Is must be asked — what sort of “ambitious measures” could possibly hold back the ocean? From The Raw Story:
Sea-level rise is occurring much faster than scientists expected – exposing millions more Americans to the destructive floods produced by future Sandy-like storms, new research suggests.
Satellite measurements over the last two decades found global sea levels rising 60% faster than the computer projections issued only a few years ago by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The faster sea-level rise means the authorities will have to take even more ambitious measures to protect low-lying population centres – such as New York City, Los Angeles or Jacksonville, Florida – or risk exposing millions more people to a destructive combination of storm surges on top of sea-level rise, scientists said…
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose interview was abruptly cut off Monday after he accused Fox News of “operating as a wing of the Republican Party” is lashing out against the conservative news network a day after the incident.
This time, Thomas Ricks is clashing with the network over an apology he says never happened. The latest round began when Michael Clemente, Fox’s executive vice president of news, claimed Ricks apologized after the interview. But Ricks vehemently denies Clemente’s account. He said Clemente made up the apology because “when the facts aren’t on their side, they attack the person…”
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein would support returning to Clinton-era taxes on the rich if that’s what it takes to avert the fiscal cliff, he said Wednesday after meeting with President Obama.
This should alarm anyone who believes Obama shouldn’t concede ground on Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid while attempting to resolve the fiscal showdown.
Ethan Rome’s lead paragraph in his piece on the king of corporate welfare:
The hypocrisy of Lloyd Blankfein, a Wall Street banker, and other corporate leaders who have inserted themselves into the debate over major tax and spending decisions under consideration in Congress is nothing short of repugnant. Blankfein’s Goldman Sachs got billions from the federal government during the Wall Street bailouts, enabling him to hold a job that paid him $16.1 million in 2011, and now he wants the rest of us to take a pay cut — now and in the future. Referring to Social Security, he told CBS, “You’re going to have to do something, undoubtedly, to lower people’s expectations of what they’re going to get.” That’s a second-rate vision for a first world country, and we just voted for a lot better than that.