Sunday, March 2, 2014

Last Call For The Poor Little Rich

Art Brooks, president of "venerable" winger think tank American Enterprise Institute, takes to the "liberal" NY Times to scold all of us for being envious of our ultra-rich masters

How can we break the back of envy and rebuild the optimism that made America the marvel of the world?

First and foremost, we must increase mobility for more Americans with a radical opportunity agenda. That means education reform that empowers parents through choice, and rewards teachers for innovation. It means regulatory and tax reform tailored to spark hiring and entrepreneurship at all levels, especially the bottom of the income scale. It means recalibrating the safety net to ensure that work always pays — such as an expansion of the earned-income tax credit — while never disdaining the so-called dead-end jobs that represent a crucial first step for many marginalized people.

Second, we must recognize that fomenting bitterness over income differences may be powerful politics, but it injures our nation. We need aspirational leaders willing to do the hard work of uniting Americans around an optimistic vision in which anyone can earn his or her success. This will never happen when we vilify the rich or give up on the poor.

Only a shared, joyful mission of freedom, opportunity and enterprise for all will cure us of envy and remind us who we truly are.

And of course, the solution to the problem is tax cuts and privatization of everything in sight so these same masters can gain even more wealth to not share with anyone, and it means giving Americans the dignity to work 80 hours a week at two jobs making $7.25 an hour.  Or you know, less than that, because hard work itself is its own reward

Because if you think the game is rigged, you're un-American or something.

You're also right, but that doesn't actually matter, right?

Back-Seat Presidentin'

Not to be outdone by Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Dick Durbin are DEMANDING that President Obama DO SOMETHING DAMMIT about Vladimir Putin.

Graham, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said there needs to be more than threats coming from the White House, and called President Barack Obama “weak and indecisive” on matters of foreign policy.

"No. 1, stop going on television and trying to threaten thugs and dictators - it is not your strong suit. Every time the President goes on national television and threatens Putin or someone like Putin, everybody’s eyes roll, including mine,” Graham said.

This from the guy who went on national television to threaten someone who he believes is like Putin.  That motion you're feeling in your face is your eyes rolling, reflexively.  Durbin on the other hand is scarcely better:

The Illinois Democrat said that Russia's "charm offensive," dumping billions of dollars into the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sochi, has done little to redefine the nation's image among Western nations.

"That Sochi charm offensive died on the streets of Sevastopol (Ukraine) when he moved in thousands of troops days after the closing ceremony. He is trying to have it both ways," Durbin said. "We've got to make him feel like there is a price to pay for this kind of conduct."

Which is what the President said, so how about working with him and making that happen, gentlemen?

PS, Huckleberry Graham should really stop making insipid threats like this:

"I would like to create a democratic noose around Putin's Russia," Graham said.

Thanks for demonstrating so clearly why you're not even remotely qualified to be President there Huckleberry!

Straight And Narrow

NY Times cultural scold Ross Douthat complains that the forces of LGBTQ equality are sore winners and that the veto of Arizona's "religious freedoms" bill really means that we should stop being so awful to the people who see them as sinners who need to be punished.

What makes this response particularly instructive is that such bills have been seen, in the past, as a way for religious conservatives to negotiate surrender — to accept same-sex marriage’s inevitability while carving out protections for dissent. But now, apparently, the official line is that you bigots don’t get to negotiate anymore.

Which has a certain bracing logic. If your only goal is ensuring that support for traditional marriage diminishes as rapidly as possible, applying constant pressure to religious individuals and institutions will probably do the job. Already, my fellow Christians are divided over these issues, and we’ll be more divided the more pressure we face. The conjugal, male-female view of marriage is too theologically rooted to disappear, but its remaining adherents can be marginalized, set against one other, and encouraged to conform.

I am being descriptive here, rather than self-pitying. Christians had plenty of opportunities — thousands of years’ worth — to treat gay people with real charity, and far too often chose intolerance. (And still do, in many instances and places.) So being marginalized, being sued, losing tax-exempt status — this will be uncomfortable, but we should keep perspective and remember our sins, and nobody should call it persecution.

But it’s still important for the winning side to recognize its power. We are not really having an argument about same-sex marriage anymore, and on the evidence of Arizona, we’re not having a negotiation. Instead, all that’s left is the timing of the final victory — and for the defeated to find out what settlement the victors will impose.

Alas and alack!  If only the horribly tyrannic equality forces who will probably win a Supreme Court ruling would give Ross Douthat a way to still legally practice hating those people!

Sure, just like women "won" after Roe v Wade.  How many legal loopholes and blockades can same-sex marriage opponents put on getting married in red states?  Works for abortion clinics, right?
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