January 2014

Ted Cruz does righteous indignation better than anyone does righteous indignation. In a letter to The Wall Street Journal he decries Obama’s circumvention of the Constitution. But he ruins his libertarian cred by solely focussing on the current President’s shenanigans. He would have done better if he had woven a narrative that shows how Presidents have consistently expanded the reach of the imperial Presidency.

He would have been far more interesting had he not chosen to be a petty partisan. But for many so-called “libertarians” – like the Tea Party folk who proclaim that they are “not Republicans, not Democrats, just Americans” – it is all anti-Obama 24/7.

Yet the Tea Party only ever criticizes Democrats.

Yet the Tea Party only ever criticizes Democrats.

Real libertarians like the folks at Reason.com, rightly criticize Cruz’s partisan caterwauling. Regardless of where you stand on presidential overreach you can appreciate the even-handedness of their argument.

And is the criticism of Obama even justified. Where does the President rank in his use of the executive order? Statistically, Obama is a lightweight. He has issued the fewest orders, average by year (34), of any modern President (FDR on). That includes both Bushes and Mr. GOP himself, Ronald Reagan.

Of course, Cruz is a politician – so we can expect him to say anything, the truth be damned.


Faith vs Science. Why Belief Gives People Permission to Ignore Facts.

January 26, 2014

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” – Isaac Asimov. It would be understandable – at least consistent – if global-warming skeptics and evolution-deniers were skeptical of everything. But there are those who reject things for which there is overwhelming evidence, yet eagerly embrace the […]

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Why Not Label GMOs?

January 23, 2014

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are the bête noire of the foodie set. They are seen as yet another attempt by industrial food to maximize its profits at the expense of the health of everyone who eats. This narrative plays well because it is consistent with the cavalier attitude with which industrial food treats its customers. […]

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Will Louisianans Vote Both A Crook and A Philandering Hypocrite into Office?

January 21, 2014

Louisiana is a state steeped in political shenanigans. In the depression, populist Govermor Huey P. Long was beloved by the rural poor. He was also beloved by the friends and family he put into state jobs – where they were expected to kick back part of their salary to finance Long’s campaigns. He was the […]

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Robert Gates Dishes the Dirt in “Duty”.

January 20, 2014

Former Bush and Obama Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, has written an expose of Washington during his time at the Pentagon. In the book “Duty” he is not shy about offering his opinions. You can be sure that political opponents will highlight the negative. But the book is far more nuanced. Here are a few […]

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Global Warning Denial Is Easy If You Believe That Science Is Only an Opinion.

January 17, 2014

Last week the East and Middle America were in an ice-box, ominously named the “polar vortex”. Record low temperatures were being set; TV weather-people were delighting in the fact that it was colder in Minnesota than at the North Pole; and, predictably, global warming deniers were exultantly announcing that this event made claims of global […]

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Conservatives Say the Darndest Things.

January 15, 2014

“It’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool rather than open it and remove all doubt.” – Mark Twain A satire is introduced as a bill. A satirical website, National Report, “reported” that pot shops were taking EBT (aka Food Stamps) as payment for marijuana. This confused one right-wing blog so much […]

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Religoholics – Or Those Who Cannot Control Their Religious Intake.

January 13, 2014

“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” – Winston Churchill. Religion is like liquor. For many, it is a delightful experience, enjoyed with friends, and practiced in moderation. But as with liquor, there are those who do not know when to stop, are incapable of stopping, and consume […]

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A Tale of Two Bridges – From Chappaquiddick to the GWB.

January 10, 2014

In 1963, with Walter Cronkite behind the anchor desk, CBS expanded its nightly news from 15 to 30 minutes. Back then, Americans got their news from the three networks and local stations on broadcast TV; from daily newspapers; and from weekly news magazines. How quaint. Now, of course, cable TV has channels devoted to 24/7 […]

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