Thursday January 29, 2015
Archive - Jan 30, 2014
The reality of rising American inequality is stark. Since the late 1970s real wages for the bottom half of the workforce have stagnated or fallen, while the incomes of the top 1 percent have nearly quadrupled (and the incomes of the top 0.1 percent have risen even more). While we can and should have a serious debate about what to do about this situation, the simple fact - American capitalism as currently constituted is undermining the foundations of middle-class society - shouldn't be up for argument.
Or do we really need three?
And why are we announcing to the world what calls we won't be monitoring?
Listening to our president, I am at a loss. He is giving a speech. That's what it sounds like. He is announcing that from now on, "We will only pursue phone calls that are two steps removed from a number associated with a terrorist organization instead of three."
Is that good?
Mark Twain spoke for me when he said: “I’m opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.”
When I asked readers for "neglected topics" that journalists should cover more in 2014, one of the suggestions was a delicate but vital topic: family breakdown and the rise of single-parent households.
This is an issue that, frustratingly, the right has hijacked and the left has been reluctant to confront. Yet it's intimately related to poverty in our country.
Does getting tipsy make it easier for you to bear President Barack Obama ‘s State of the Union addresses?
Try taking a sip of beer, wine, or a mixed drink every time he says the words “tax” or “taxpayer” this time around. It’s not as extreme as doing it when Obama utters “America,” “jobs,” or “people.” But that’s a game for drunks, not disappointed voters.
Some people find weird ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
While watching TV, for example, I was jerked alert by an ad touting deep discounts during Honda's "Martin Luther King Day Sale."
Really? Somewhere during my upbringing, I must have missed King's "I Have a Dream of a New Honda Accord" speech.
President Barack Obama is going to visit the pope! He's been to the Vatican before, but not with this pope, who is perhaps the only person in the world almost everybody likes.
Except Rush Limbaugh, which sort of makes it even better.
“There’s a folksy saying my grandma taught me: ‘If it smells like licorice and tastes like licorice, it must be licorice.’ Now it has a corollary: ‘Or it could also be a 4-methylcyclohexane methanol spill into your water supply, so grab the children and run for your lives.’ It’s not quite as folksy anymore.”
Recent weeks have seen a decline in the kinds of abusive reader emails that keep a columnist feeling feisty. It's a long time since anybody informed me that I'm a cowardly elitist doomed to spend eternity in hell watching NBA games with Barack Obama.
So to stir the pot here's a brief selection of heterodox opinions: