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Whistling While the Budget Burns

Mitch McConnell’s playing a high-stakes game of political chicken, risking a federal government shutdown and debt default that could trigger a world economic crisis, all to disrupt Democratic budget plans and score political points going into next year’s congressional elections.

The Congressional Competence Conundrum

Imagine a sausage factory that produces no sausage while running a huge deficit. But neither its management nor its employees care because their jobs come with a lot of perks and virtually none of them ever gets fired for doing nothing. Sound laughable? Well, if you are an American, then the joke is on you because that sausage factory is Congress.

Unraveling the American Myth

As if a global pandemic, a global climate crisis, and poisonously partisan politics weren’t bad enough, Americans unconsciously find themselves driven to deal with another problem: The myths that we have traditionally relied on to define who we are and where we are going are beginning to unravel.   

“Another One Bites the Dust”*

At least five conservative, anti-vaccination radio hosts have died of COVID-19 since July. *The most recent was Bob Enyart, who in the ‘90s enjoyed reading aloud the names of those who died of AIDS while playing the Queen song “Another One Bites the Dust.”

9/11: The Tragedy of an Opportunity Wasted

There are many ways in which 9/11 was a tragedy. Only some of them will be told in all of the events surrounding the 20th anniversary of the attack — like the tales of heroism Americans enjoy hearing. Others will largely be glossed over — for example how the United States played right into the hands of al-Qaeda with a predictable response that cost many more lives than the attack itself, and created many new terrorists.  One, however, will likely be ignored altogether: It is the tragedy of an opportunity squandered. 

The Changing Face of Terror

“Radical Islamic terrorism.” Donald Trump relished using the controversial term, wielding it like a branding iron. He said those who couldn’t say its name were unfit to lead the country. But he chose not to say the name of something that has grown into what is now considered a bigger, scarier domestic threat: white supremacist terrorism.

Sen. Susan Collins Has Some Supreme Explaining to Do

Don’t expect to hear a mea culpa anytime soon from the pro-choice senior senator from Maine, who voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch while insisting they would protect abortion rights.  

Too Big to Jail: The Death of Accountability

Those who are profiting from death, suffering, and injustice have learned a valuable lesson as the world deals with various emergencies many of which they helped create or made worse: No matter what they do, nobody is going to hold them accountable for their actions in a meaningful way.

The GOP’s Greene New Deal

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-Crazy), traditionally a must-visit stop for any politician with White House aspirations. A few years ago, this wouldn’t have been news. After all, the fair attracts all kinds of kooks and strange acts.

Hunter Biden’s ‘Art’ Doesn’t Paint a Pretty Picture

If giving the appearance of corruption were an art form, Hunter Biden would be a maestro. Since it is not, however, he is just an amateur painter trying another hustle to make a buck (or a million) off his dad’s name. And, let’s be honest, if that last name were Trump, a lot of people biting their tongues now would be calling it a scam.  They would be right. 

The Big Bang Theory — Why Billionaires Should Go to Space

Lots of people are complaining about billionaires playing astronaut. That’s understandable… but also very short-sighted. Instead of vilifying them, we should view the desire of the uber-rich to fling themselves into space as an opportunity that could solve many of society’s problems.  

The Conservative Outrage-Industrial Complex Goes for Gold

Two weeks before the Olympic Games are set to begin, we already know two of the main winners: COVID-19 and the conservative outrage-industrial complex.  There are some striking similarities between the two: For both, the Olympics will be a target-rich environment. COVID-19 will get to spread among athletes and others who travel to Tokyo for the games, who will then carry death and disease back to their home countries.