The Symbolism of Old Flags

My next-door neighbor has affixed a Gadsden Flag to his minivan. It could be worse, I suppose. Ten years ago I’d have looked at the Gadsden Flag or the Pine Tree Flag (a white flag with a pine tree and the words “An Appeal to Heaven”) and thought the person was a history junkie. TodayContinue reading “The Symbolism of Old Flags”

On Eric Cantor’s Struggles with English

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia gave a speech today to the Values Voter summit. Most have focused on how Cantor refers to the Occupy Wall Street protests as “growing mobs.” I would point to how Cantor badly mangles the English language. Here’s the relevant clip: Here’s the transcription: “If you read the newspapersContinue reading “On Eric Cantor’s Struggles with English”

On the Debt Ceiling Crisis and Its Endgame

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past two months or been hiding in a cave in the mountains of Afghanistan, you are doubtless aware of an impending, though entirely manufactured, fiscal crisis about to hit the United States. Quite simply, on August 2nd the United States will reach its statutory debt limit. InContinue reading “On the Debt Ceiling Crisis and Its Endgame”

On the Aftermath of an Averted Government Shutdown

When I woke Saturday morning, the crisis I expected on Friday — a government shutdown — had been averted. At the last possible moment, President Obama and Speaker Boehner reached an agreement, the Republicans would give up on defunding Planned Parenthood and the EPA, and in exchange the Democrats would agree to slightly deeper spendingContinue reading “On the Aftermath of an Averted Government Shutdown”

On the Looming Government Shutdown

So, it’s likely to happen. Sometime later today, the United States federal government will shut down. Even though the Democrats and the Republicans are within a few billion dollars of spending on the 2011 budget, the real issue for Republicans isn’t the overall spending but specific funding for Planned Parenthood and environmental regulations. Democrats wantContinue reading “On the Looming Government Shutdown”

On the Future of Health Care Reform

I have been thinking about health care reform and what the future holds if, as the Teahadists want, President Obama’s signature achievement is thrown out in the courts in its entirety. Consider the individual mandate.  Proposed in the mid-90s by Republicans as an alternative to Bill Clinton’s plan, the individual mandate is a profoundly conservativeContinue reading “On the Future of Health Care Reform”

On Metrifying the United States

I had an interesting thought this morning — and it’s probably because I haven’t yet had my first cup of coffee. The metric system. We don’t use it here in the United States. There was some effort in the 1970s to metricify the United States and join the rest of the world in solidarity, butContinue reading “On Metrifying the United States”

On the Repeal of Health Care Reform

Today, the House of Representatives will be voting on the “Repeal the Job Killing Health Care Law Act.” This bill, written by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that was passed by the last Congress, and, despite some requests that, in the wake of the Tuscon shootingsContinue reading “On the Repeal of Health Care Reform”

On Constitutional Worship and Historical Trends

I have a friend — he and I go back over a decade — who, in the past two years, has turned into a rabid right-winger. He’s always been out there on the right, but ever since Obama was elected, he’s gone off the deep end. Obama is a socialist, a Marxist, a totalitarian fascist,Continue reading “On Constitutional Worship and Historical Trends”

On a Helpful Voter’s Guide

Who should you vote for this November? It’s a big election, an important election, and I’ve written about some of the things at stake in November. Fortunately, a voter’s guide is available to help voters on the fence make their decision in the booth: Voting is a sacred duty. Get informed. Be engaged. Vote! :spock: