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.
- Paul Krugman, Marco Rubio Has Learned Nothing - NYTimes.com
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.
The 2013 State of the Union Address (Enhanced Version) (by whitehouse)
Barack Obama 2013 Presidential Inauguration - Complete (by TheNewYorkTimes)
“Chicago’s City Council unanimously passed a wage theft law Thursday that labor activists hope will set a standard for other cities around the United States. Under the new law, companies convicted of wage theft—which includes unpaid overtime or hourly pay below the minimum wage—could have their business licenses revoked.”
"Aren’t conservatives supposed to be hawkish on terror? They tend to be when it comes to foreign terrorists, but many are taking umbrage at a new West Point report on violent far-right extremists home-grown right here in the U.S. Earlier this week, the Combatting Terrorism Center (CTC) at America’s leading military academy published an extensive report on the “dramatic rise in the number of attacks and violent plots originating from individuals and groups who self-identify with the far-right of American politics.” Christian fundamentalists, Militia movement groups, Skinheads, neo-Nazis, and violent anti-abortionists were all cited in the report, titled Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right. These factions may harbor different ideological goals, but as this chart shows, they’ve all ramped up their violent tactics in trying to achieve them:”
Debate: James Baldwin vs. William F. Buckley Jr. 
John Lennon - Give Peace A Chance
Rachel Maddow: A weird night in Washington (by adalrich00)
President Obama Speaks on Preventing Gun Violence (by whitehouse)
As you might imagine, I find myself in a lot of discussions about U.S. fiscal policy, and the budget deficit in particular. And there’s one thing I can count on in these discussions: At some point someone will announce, in dire tones, that we have a ONE TRILLION DOLLAR deficit.
No, I don’t think the people making this pronouncement realize that they sound just like Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies.
Anyway, we do indeed have a ONE TRILLION DOLLAR deficit, or at least we did; in fiscal 2012, which ended in September, the deficit was actually $1.089 trillion. (It will be lower this year.) The question is what lesson we should take from that figure.
And third, and maybe most of all—the country has changed culturally. Four years ago, conservatives, liberals, and centrists alike all assumed that middle-of-the-road Americans were, while not Dittoheads, pretty conservative by default. Among the political class, this has meant—for pretty much my entire adult lifetime—that your average American was likely to embrace conservative arguments about the culture, and that Democrats had to be crazy to do anything but meekly suggest that they more or less agreed with a caveat or two.
But no more. With each new day that the election recedes into the past, it becomes more and more apparent just what a watershed it was. No, it wasn’t a realignment election according to the standard political science definition. But it was in a way even bigger than that. The election was a cultural watershed moment. All the old dog-whistle tricks, hating on gay people and all that, failed utterly. After decades of struggle and activism and fights and losses for the liberal side, a switch got flipped in November. Middle-of-the-road voters just stopped buying right-wing fear-mongering.