May 06, 2011

Quote for the day

"Wherever you find injustice, the proper form of politeness is attack."-T-Bone Slim, aka Matti Valentine Huhta, IWW member and labor activist (circa 1890-1942)

May 05, 2011

A la carte

El Cabrero is about to hit the road for a few days but here are some items that caught my eye:

ROCK ON, ROCKEFELLER. West Virginia's senior senator Jay Rockefeller takes on plans to arbitrarily cut the federal budget at the expense of working and low income people.

NO LOVE FEAST. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) found his plan to torpedo Medicare was a tough sell on a tour of his home state.

THE BACK DOOR PLAN. Here's more on the splendidly bad idea of global caps on federal spending.

AFTER OSAMA. Will scaling back military engagements and spending be on the agenda?

FAIRNESS ON THE BRAIN. A sense of justice (however apparently dormant at times) seems to be innate. Scientists may even have found its location in the brain.


May 04, 2011

Cap the cap

As the Gentle Reader is no doubt aware, we're gearing up for the Mother of All Federal Budget fights right now. I've posted and linked all kinds of items about this lately, but here's a very short version:

*There are lots of ideas swirling around out there about budgets and deficits, but two of the worst are Republican Congressman Paul Ryan's plan which passed the House. It would gut Medicaid and CHIP and kill Medicare as we know it, along with slashing other programs and giving more tax breaks to the rich.

Another idea that is just as bad is the one proposed by Senators McCaskill and Corker (and unfortunately supported by WV's newest senator, Joe Manchin). It would impose draconian spending caps that would result in across the board cuts and do about all the bad things the Ryan plan would do, and maybe more.

Here's a good article by economist Dean Baker about why this is a bad idea.

And here's an analysis of the same bad idea by the WV Center on Budget and Policy.

BUDGET OPTIONS. Here's a good resource from the National Priorities Project that shows different federal budget alternatives. Meanwhile, their home website is well worth a look around.

SHIFTING COSTS TO SENIORS. The Ryan plan to euthanize Medicare would do just that.

DENY THIS. Arctic ice is melting at a faster than anticipated rate.

CORPORATE FRAUD. Noted economist Jeffrey Sachs calls out corporate corruption here.

MASSEY ENERGY was cited with more safety violations.


May 03, 2011

Taking one for the team

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that El Cabrero enjoys taking regular swipes at the ideology of Ayn Rand (methinks it doesn't rise to the level of philosophy).

Most of what I know about her views comes from her own statements, interviews, and non-fiction. However, I must admit that I haven't actually her two most influential works of fiction, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Until now.

I just started The Fountainhead. Holy turgid prose, Batman! Is this what all the shouting is about? I will keep the Gentle Reader updated about my progress, if that's the right word, through this dense forest. But I have a feeling it isn't going to be a lot of fun.

SHOCK DOCTRINE, REVISITED. Here's a rant from yours truly about the federal budget debate.

KILLING MEDICARE. Some Republicans are having second thoughts.

MILITARY SPENDING. Here are some ideas about that.


May 02, 2011

This and that

“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year-old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.” – John Rogers, Kung Fu Monkey

More along that line here.

NOTED. A death in Pakistan.

DEBT CEILINGS AND SPENDING CAPS discussed here. This column once again shows why WV Senator Joe Manchin is wrong on this one and is inviting the Ryan plan in by the back door.

THE POLITICS OF FOOD. Here's Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, taking on charges of foodie elitism.