The curious thing about this is that Republicans previously said they wanted these things as proof that Obama is “serious” about cutting spending. In late December, a Boehner aide told Bloomberg News that the Speaker wanted Chained CPI more than other entitlement cuts, such as raising the Medicare eligibility age, as the two were negotiation over a possible cuts-for-revenues swap to avert the fiscal cliff.
And in late November, Mitch McConnell explicitly told the Wall Street Journal that if Obama offered entitlement changes such as Chained CPI and Medicare means testing, Republicans would consider new revenue. He actually said this: “those are the kinds of things that would get Republicans interested in new revenue.”
Apparently none of this remains operative. And so we have a moment of clarity in this debate once again: There is literally nothing that Obama can offer Republicans — not even things they themselves have asked for — that would induce them to agree to a compromise on new revenues.
“We kill at every step, not only in wars, riots and executions. We kill when we close our eyes to poverty, suffering and shame.In the same way all disrespect for life, all hard-heartedness, all indifference, all contempt is nothing else than killing.” - Herman Hesse
Why can’t Republicans let go of the welfare issue? The answer, I’m afraid, isn’t nice. For nearly half a century, the party has derived at least some of its appeal by scapegoating the poor as dusky, lazy good-for-nothings undeserving of your tax dollars. Today’s Republicans continue that tradition by inviting whiter and more affluent Medicare and Social Security recipients to feel superior to the welfare hordes (even as they edge toward trimming their benefits). Even Ronald Reagan paid lip service to the “social safety net.” But in today’s GOP, the only reason to mention that net is to suggest we cut there first.
In the coming weeks, members of Congress will vote on whether we should require universal background checks for anyone who wants to buy a gun so that criminals or people with severe mental illnesses can’t get their hands on one. They’ll vote on tough new penalties for anyone who buys guns only to turn around and sell them to criminals. They’ll vote on a measure that would keep weapons of war and high-capacity ammunition magazines that facilitate these mass killings off our streets. They’ll get to vote on legislation that would help schools become safer and help people struggling with mental health problems to get the treatment that they need.
Yet — There are always some who resist a tyrant of any kind No matter how enlightened the policies — Comfortable the citizens The trick is to use the political process whenever possible Create a coalition, a movement of revolutionaries to reach the majority Give the minority enough not to complain, and the reactionaries nothing Except kind words and a sincere effort to explain the progress of history But those who want things to go back to the old ways will always protest Everyone can find reason to complain if they think it will take them somewhere They want to go — Especially back to old prejudice, injustice, and inequality So you may be an emperor of a world, but not the only one, not the only world You are best served not to ever claim complete control or even desire it Encourage individuality, serving enlightened interests for the good of all A leader should not be a tyrant, if only for practical reasons, and less grief History teaches us that they do not end well, no matter how good and popular They are — Necessary sometimes in times of crisis — Opportunity and danger The development of human culture should have outgrown petty differences Yet here we all are — Still dealing with the same issues as past generations Reactionaries still want us to go back to the past, and revolutionaries the future Balance must be found between the opposing forces of change and order A new kind of understanding of the play of life, discovering the key to wisdom Finding bliss in knowledge and action directed toward improving life for everyone Trusting the perseverance and prevalence of love, sweet and bitter love
You stated clearly and with conviction your commitment to seek a world without nuclear weapons. You asked for perseverance. You dared us to overcome our differences. You challenged us to ignore the voices that tell us the world cannot change. And you told us words must mean something.
We heard you.
As you begin your final term in office, we urge you to announce on April 5, 2013 – the 4th anniversary of that historic speech – that you will set the world’s course to global zero by negotiating further cuts to the massive U.S.-Russian Cold War stockpiles and bringing world leaders into the first international negotiations in history for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
For obvious reasons, this argument is very popular on the right, but there’s precious little to back it up. The core claim can be a bit slippery, but it tends to go something like this: the existence and affordability goals of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) were a major reason we had a subprime-driven housing bubble and then a crash. The only problem? Pretty much all the evidence on the housing crisis shows that that’s not true.
This strikes me as a bigger deal than whether Rubio slurped his water; he and his party are now committed to the belief that their pre-crisis doctrine was perfect, that there are no lessons from the worst financial crisis in three generations except that we should have even less regulation. And given another shot at power, they’ll test that thesis by giving the bankers a chance to do it all over again.
At a moment when the Republican Party needs rebranding, Rubio offered nothing new. The thrust of his speech was “government bad, capitalism good.” Yet he recounted how beneficial government assistance has been to his own success. I expected him to resolve the contradiction, but he didn’t even try.
Democratic Socialism and Transcendental Pragmatism
Peace in Opposition
Nonviolence in Resolution
Interconnection in Community
Transcendence in Work
Beauty in Art
Sustainability in Balance
Light in Truth
Wisdom in Equality
Love in Cooperation
Unity in Diversity
Freedom in Preservation
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"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."
- John Muir
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." - Kurt Vonnegut
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” - Pablo Picasso
"All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree... Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." - Albert Einstein
"Human history can be viewed as a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group." - Carl Sagan
"Dreams are the touchstones of our characters." - Henry David Thoreau
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that source in you. Let us work together for unity and love." - Mahatma Gandhi
"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing." - William Butler Yeats
"By Being, It Is." - Parmenides
"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." - Carl Jung
"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things." - Rene Descartes
"We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on." - Richard Feynman
"Then he said 'Remember Bob: no fear, no envy, no meanness,' and I said 'hmmm, right.'" - Bob Dylan
"The reverse side also has a reverse side." - Japanese Proverb
"We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep." - William James
"If success or failure of this planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do... How would I be? What would I do?" - Buckminster Fuller
"The most vital issue of the age is whether the future progress of humanity is to be governed by the modern economic and materialistic mind of the West or by a nobler pragmatism guided, uplifted and enlightened by spiritual culture and knowledge...." - Sri Aurobindo
"The Self alone exists; and the Self alone is real. Verily the Self alone is the world, the I-I and God. All that exists is but the manifestation of the Supreme Being." - Ramana Maharshi
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." - Jiddu Krishnamurti
"Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind." - John F. Kennedy