New York Times
David Brooks files his December 2 column and becomes our candidate for the annual Roger Horchow Award for Greatest Public Service By A Private Citizen:
In an act of amazing public service, I have not written a column in three months. In the course of that time, I’ve stepped back from politics, a bit, and thought about other things…. I figure that unless you are in the business of politics, covering it or columnizing about it, politics should take up maybe a tenth corner of a good citizen’s mind. The rest should be philosophy, friendship, romance, family, culture, and fun.
(December 2, 2013)
Miss Margaret Talbot speaks up for the nation’s chumps, in a confessional column headlined “My Cancelled Policy, and My Values”:
To be clear: I’m not happy to be paying more in the short term, and it may be a struggle at times. I wish other self-employed people didn’t have to shoulder so much of the burden. I wish we had a single-payer system, but that seems wildly unrealistic. And the new health-care law exists for the common good, not just the individual consumer. Vaccination provides more effective protection—so-called herd immunity—when more of us are vaccinated. Universal health insurance works in something like the same way: we are better off as a society—more compassionate, but also healthier—when we can all get the care we need.
So yes, I’ll subsidize someone else’s prenatal coverage, in a more effective way than I’ve been doing by default under the current system, in which too many pregnant women show up in emergency rooms without having had such care, creating problems for themselves and their babies, and all sorts of costs for taxpayers. And I’ll remember to be relieved that my own access to health care is guaranteed. But they had better work out the problems with the A.C.A.; if they don’t, and it doesn’t fulfill its promise of insuring the uninsured, I’m really going to feel like a chump.
(December 4, 2013)
Young Joel Stein, caretaker of Time magazine’s award-winning “The Awesome Column,” makes a labored attempt at explaining why he has been banished from his office cubical and no longer has access to his supply of Viagra:
Because I’m not in the office, I rarely know about editors’ special projects anymore or warn new employees that the more venerable writers on the masthead aren’t mean, just shy and close to death. I almost never help other writers with their work. In fact, since I left, every Time article is 3% less likely to contain a penis joke.
(December 9, 2013)
Reflections on democracy in America from Professor Noam Chomsky, author of Squeegee People Can Tell Us a Lot and What I Learned from the Homeless about E=mc2:
You can’t call our system a democracy. It’s a plutocracy, or what Jim Hightower calls a “radical kleptocracy.” In the United States, the bottom 70 percent of the population in income level essentially has no influence on policy. They’re disenfranchised, so it doesn’t matter what they think. Political leaders don’t pay any attention. You go up the scale, you get more influence. You get to the really top, the top tenth of 1 percent, they’re basically designing the policies, so they get what they want.
A writer by the name of Richard Kim strings together a concatenation of his daydreams and calls it a column:
In the same manner that Susan Sontag once acknowledged that the 9/11 terrorists were not, in fact, cowards, it is time to acknowledge that Ted Cruz is not as craven as he seems. A fraud, a wacko bird, a fool, an amateur, Jim DeMint without the charm—yes, all the names his fellow Republicans are calling the senator from Texas bear the sting of truth. But you have to give the man this: he has the courage of his convictions and the nerve to use a diversity of tactics to advance them.
(November 11, 2013)
New York Times
More bosh from the delusionary Paul Krugman on the occasion of another missed deadline by President Barack Hussein Obama’s little people:
The news on health costs is, in short, remarkably good. You won’t hear much about this good news until and unless the Obamacare website gets fixed. But under the surface, health reform is starting to look like a bigger success than even its most ardent advocates expected.
(November 28, 2013)
New York Times Book Review
A cross-section of American masculinity as imagined by Miss Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men: And the Rise of Women and other favorites read by the ladies down at your local Gold’s Gym:
The characters populating Michael Kimmel’s new book, Angry White Men, are familiar types: Rush Limbaugh’s ditto-heads, neo-Nazis, wife beaters, rampaging shooters and divorced rageaholics of the men’s rights movement. Crowded together under one banner, they make for a scary and unpleasant lot: full of fury and blaming everyone but themselves for their problems. Mostly, they blame women: ex-wives, would-be girlfriends, the phantom black women who stole their jobs.
(November 24, 2013)
Franklin Foer, the editor of the New Republic, reformulates what we at AmSpec have called The Death of Liberalism, though we do it with a few more laughs than the lugubrious Franklin:
Liberalism has spent the better part of the past century attempting to prove that it could competently and responsibly extend the state into new reaches of American life. With the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the administration has badly injured that cause, confirming the worst slurs against the federal government. It has stifled bad news and fudged promises; it has failed to translate complex mechanisms of policy into plain English; it can’t even launch a damn website. What’s more, nobody responsible for the debacle has lost a job or suffered a demotion. Over time, the Affordable Care Act’s technical difficulties can be repaired. Reversing the initial impressions of government ineptitude won’t be so easy.
(December 9, 2013)