If you have to say or do something controversial, aim so that people will hate that they love it and not love that they hate it.
- Criss Jami

posted: Jan. 15, 2024, 6:51 p.m.

No one is required to mask anymore, so I don’t get why people so aggressively challenge those that choose to for their own personal reasons. I thought conservatives were supposed to respect personal autonomy – isn’t this just a matter of individual choice? 

anon Bat
posted: March 29, 2024, 6:58 p.m.

posted: Jan. 15, 2024, 6:45 p.m.

My desire to rid the world of public masking is driven by love and my desire to return to a normal society. I love people – everyone – but masks restrict us from being able to witness and be a part of humanity and experience social interaction. The face is where we most express ourselves. When I pass someone masked, it is hard to see them as an individual or feel part of the same social fabric. It might seem hyperbolic, but continued public masking pushes fragmentation of our society. 

posted: Jan. 15, 2024, 6:39 p.m.

People routinely walk on an airplane in flip flops, which are not shoes – they’re foot protectors. There is no difference between a foot in a flip flop and a bare foot. People need to just get over their odd foot issues and accept that whether a foot finds itself naked on an airplane because its host chose a flip flop or a shoe is immaterial.

posted: Jan. 15, 2024, 6:50 p.m.

There is a unique smell to a foot recently unfettered from a shoe as opposed to a foot that never had a shoe, but was always in a sandal. I can’t explain the science, but the smell is real and substantial. Don’t be the rude person that forces the rest of the freaking plane to smell your unpleasantness. Being on a plane is miserable enough as it is.  

anon Spider
posted: May 31, 2023, 9 p.m.

The people are suffering. If the gov't cannot stand up and be there for its people in a time of need, what can we expect of the people in return?

posted: March 18, 2021, 7:10 p.m.

[W]e're just trying to pour too much water in and I wish it were actually true that even a third of the money was going to people who were in poverty. Most of it is not. Most of it is going to the middle of the population and it is going in one shot transfers, not in things that are ultimately going to build and strengthen the economy. And that's why as much as I admire the effort and as much as I admire the progress against poverty, I am worried that the sheer scale is going to crowd out our doing what we need to do to compete with China, to build back better the president's principal aspiration. And I'm very worried that this is going to lead us to difficulty down the road as inflation picks up and the Fed has to respond.
Here is the irony: there is a lot that is good in this program, but I think its advocates try to have it both ways. On the one hand when a concern about inflation is raised, they explain that it is mostly temporary and transient, just a relief program, and really just a special one-year thing. On the other hand, most of the time they are explaining how it is the most fundamental revolution in American policy since the New Deal. And you can't really have it both ways. You can either have long term transformation or you can have temporary action. And what I would have liked to see more, is a program of this scale or larger that was paid for and was focused on investment and contained the necessary relief. This program goes vastly beyond ... what was necessary to provide relief. And it doesn't - with the exception of the childcare/antipoverty thing, which is very important - it doesn't really do much that either represents a revolution in social investment on social policy or a revolutionary investment in the future of our country. And I think that is something we are going to look back on and regret. Not that we didn't do something, but that we weren't more careful and calibrated in the design of what we did.

Larry Summers, debating Paul Krugman on Fareed Zakaria's GPS.

anon Hyena
posted: March 5, 2020, 3:10 a.m.

You come at the King, you best not miss.

anon Hyena
posted: March 5, 2020, 3:08 a.m.

This seems like another situation where the media makes a bigger deal of something than it actually is. Just like Twitter, only a small portion of the electorate is paying attention to this kind of stuff.

posted: Feb. 29, 2020, 7:54 p.m.

Deepfakes are changing the way we view the world. Anyone can create a video mimicking a person and trick people into believing its real based on its quality. Technology is advancing rapidly in this area and opening a pandoras box that will affect how we as humans perceive reality. People should be more vigilant of their news sources and the authenticity of the message or video.

Here is an example of a deepfake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE1KWpoX9Hk

I'm throwing a quick right jab on this one, you better watch out for that upper cut next.

posted: Aug. 12, 2019, 10:03 p.m.

In 1971, 61% of U.S. households earned the "middle-tier" of income - i.e., between two-thirds and 2X the median income. By 2015, only 50% were in the middle-tier.

And the middle class is not just smaller, its fortunes have also dwindled in comparison to the upper class. U.S. median household income (adjusted for inflation) is essentially unmoved since the late 1990s, while average home prices have continued to rise. Between 1974 and 2017, workers' share of the national income fell from 64.5% to 56.8%. Between 1979 and 2016, the top quintile of wage earners enjoyed a 27.4% increase in real wages, compared to 3.41% for the middle quintile. Between 1956 and 2016, union membership dropped from 28% of all workers to 10%. And between 2000 and 2019, the labor force participation rate dropped from 67.3% to 62.9%.

The middle class is getting sucked dry.

posted: Aug. 12, 2019, 2:40 a.m.

In fact, the whole notion of a shrinking middle class is a myth. Here's why.
When you compare household incomes over time, you have to look at identical households. The census defines a household as one or more persons living in the same abode. Fifty years ago, only 15% of all U.S. households had a single occupant. By 2017 that percentage had nearly doubled, to 28% percent. In just the last 10 years, the percentage has increased by three points. So, the typical household today is much smaller.


posted: July 30, 2019, 10:10 p.m.

The presence of political pressures pushing for economic stimulus does not negate the very real factors necessitating a rate cut: economic turbulence (domestic and global) and trade wars.

Notably, as trade, manufacturing, and business investment data have weakened, job growth has slowed. The timing could not be worse, as those that were largely forgotten by the 11 year economic recovery are only just now starting to gain traction. The ongoing trade war, which shows no sign of slowing, will only further handicap job growth. Meanwhile, central banks around the world are cutting their own rates, in the face of greater global stress.

While the above risks do not necessarily indicate a coming recession, cutting rates now will, in Chairman Powell's words, provide a needed "insurance" policy. As Alan Greenspan - who cut rates in July 1995 when the S&P 500 was at a record high and up 20% for the year - recently said, it pays to proactively fend off potential negative economic effects. Moreover, inflation continues to be too low, running 40-50 basis point below the 2% inflation target. This gap not only indicates ample room for movement, but could threaten the economic expansion if it is allowed to persist.

posted: July 31, 2019, 12:25 p.m.

Even assuming that the Fed is actually acting independently and not in direct response to Trump's demands for economic stimulus as a means of shielding the economy from his own policy choices, no one can deny that it at least appears that the President is getting his way. Indeed, there are two hard truths that we must accept from this recent episode: (1) no president has previously so publicly lobbied for a rate cut; and (2) it is highly unusual for the Fed to cut rates during strong expansions. The January 2001 rate cuts preceded the 2002 crash (with the NASDAQ losing 80% and the S&P losing 50%). The rate-cut in the summer of 2007 preceded the crash that cost the S&P 57%. 

While it might provide a minor (and likely brief) economic boost, long-term a rate cut will erode credibility in the Fed and undermine one of the U.S.'s most powerful institutions.

posted: July 30, 2019, 7:49 p.m.

Trump does not care about Baltimore. How many times has he taken the 40-mile trip since he has been President? Zero. How many times ahs he visited his Golf Club in Virginia? 63 times. Unbiased Republicans agree: Conservative talk show host Ben Shapiro said that Trump's comments were "bad for the country"; Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said Trump's attacks were "outrageous and inappropriate"; former RNC chairman Michael Steele called Trump's comments "reprehensible."

No, Trump's attacks on Baltimore are purely about ducking accountability for his own misdeeds by way of ginning up racial animosity. It is no coincidence that on the heels of Representative Cummings investigating Trump's ethical lapses, Trump levies racist attacks against Cummings and, separately, a primarily black city. And while Baltimore of course has its share of problems, pinning them on the backs of the man who has done more to bring success to Baltimore residents (Cummings' district claims the second-highest median income among majority black districts and is in the 61st percentile nationwide in median household income) castrates any claim that Trump actually cares about accountability.

And to those that say Trump is doing this for the black community, have you bothered asking African Americans what they actually think? This week's Quinnipiac poll shows that only 6 percent of African Americans approve of Trump. 80% say he is a racist. Trump's playbook is a single page: when a minority levies legitimate criticism, discredit with an old racist trope.

posted: July 30, 2019, 6:57 p.m.

Rather than address the substance of what President Trump said, the left is attacking the President's character. The argument seems to go that, because Trump has criticized Baltimore's leaders - many of whom happen to be black - for fostering a failing city overrun with violent criminals - many of whom also happen to be black - that Trump must be a racist. According to this logic, Trump is incapable of leveling any criticism against any institution where the some of those at fault are not of Trump's race. Remind me how this is progressive thought?

While the unnecessary Trump bashing is obnoxious (although expected), the true losers are those that are forgotten in this debate: the victims of Baltimore's failed leaders - most of whom happen to be black - who Trump is actually trying to help (e.g., lowest black unemployment rate in history). Let's not forget that Bernie Sanders called Baltimore a "Third World country" and a "disgrace" in 2015. Were those comments also racist?

Last year, Baltimore had the highest murder rate and ranked second for violent crime. We should all agree that this represents a horrific failing on the part of Baltimore's leaders. Attacking those that attempt to bring accountability is not just unproductive, it is wrong.

It's not always about race fellas.

posted: June 30, 2019, 12:33 a.m.

It is incredibly difficult to divorce oneself from the moral depravity of Trump's latest political stunt and analyze his actions objectively. But beneath the utter malevolence of breaking into immigrants' homes and deporting them to what, for many, will be their certain death in violent countries, the move shows that Trump's decisions are always purely political: he creates a crisis, and then plays himself the hero when he relents. In Trump's mind, this is not about what is right and wrong: it's about scoring political points and fostering fear.

anon Wolf
posted: July 11, 2019, 2:35 a.m.

With children literally dying in US concentration camps, resources should actually be going there to figure out why we are allowing kids to die ahead of deporting people working here on jobs that no American wants to actually take.

posted: June 30, 2019, 12:34 a.m.

I am not sure I understand what the big deal is here. The deportation orders only apply to those that have received Due Process and been ordered - by a court - to leave. Why is this objectionable? The bigger story seems to be that Trump has caved and decided not to enforce the law.

posted: June 30, 2019, 12:34 a.m.

While his methods can, at times, look objectionable, that is Trump's brilliance. Trump does not hate immigrants, he is simply doing what no one else has ever had the guts to do: force a difficult conversation. And how he does this is by grabbing our attention and forcing us to address hard questions about what our immigration policy should look like, rather than continuing to kick the can down the road and hide behind traditional liberal/conservative platitudes. And if there is any doubt, just read The Art of the Deal, where Trump explicated THIRTY-TWO years ago that his strategy is to push one position further than he knows is reasonable in order to arrive at compromise.

posted: June 30, 2019, 12:35 a.m.

Yesterday, when I asked about reparations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a familiar reply. America should not be held liable for something that happened 150 years ago, since none of us currently alive are responsible. This rebuttal proffers a strange theory of governance that American accounts are somehow bound by the lifetime of its generations. But well into the century the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of Civil War soldiers. We honor treaties that date back some 200 years despite no one being alive who signed those treaties. 
Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens, and thus bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach. It would seem ridiculous to dispute invocations of the founders, or the Greatest Generation, on the basis of a lack of membership in either group. We recognize our lineage as a generational trust, as inheritance and the real dilemma posed by reparations is just that: a dilemma of inheritance. It's impossible to imagine America without the inheritance of slavery.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

posted: June 30, 2019, 12:36 a.m.

Burgess Owens:

At the core of the reparation movement is a divisive and demeaning view of both races. It grants to the white race a wicked superiority, treating them as an oppressive people too powerful for black Americans to overcome. It brands blacks as hapless victims devoid of the ability, which every other culture possesses, to assimilate and progress. Neither label is earned.
The reparations movement conveniently forgets the 150 years of legal, social and economic progress attained by millions of American minorities. It also minimizes the sacrifice that hundreds of thousands of white Americans and a Republican president made laying down their lives to eradicate slavery...
It is their divisive message that marks the black race as forever broken, as a people whose healing comes only through the guilt, pity, profits and benevolence of the white race. This perception is playing out on our nation's college campuses, where young white Americans claim privilege due to their skin color and young black Americans, with no apparent shame, accept this demeaning of their own color as truth. 
As they repeat this mantra, they seem unaware that this perception was also shared by the 1960s Southern white supremacists of my youth. They have accepted the theory that skin color alone is capable of making one race superior to the other-that through an irremovable white advantage, with no additional effort, values, personal initiative, honesty or education, white Americans will succeed, while black Americans will fail. At its very core this represents the condescending evil of racism. 
It certainly does not represent black America's potential.