Right-wing hero and welfare-fraudster Cliven Bundy is a big honking racist, but you probably already knew that


Everyone was shocked this week to learn that right-wing gun-nut, “militia” hero and anti-American “patriot” Cliven Bundy is also a frothing racist white supremacist who believes “Negroes” were “better off as slaves.” And when I say that everyone was shocked, I mean of course that no one should have been surprised even slightly, because duh. [Read more...]

Haiti should not be the model for America’s future

Haiti, one year after the earthquake. Photo by Mario Tama via Bag News Notes.

What would it mean to do what they’re suggesting? What would it look like if we took government out of the picture, “liberating” health care, education and assistance for the poor from the hands of government and leaving it entirely up to the free market and to churches and private charities? As it happens, this is not a hypothetical question. We know precisely what this would look like because we have a model of precisely this kind of society: Haiti. [Read more...]

Libertarians, ‘moralism’ and the ‘Corrosive Politics of Virtue’


“Moralism” isn’t a list of social issues. Moralism is about drawing lines and assigning blame. It’s about separating the “deserving” from the “undeserving.” And, above all, it’s about identifying the immoral Other who can be blamed for all the ills of society. [Read more...]

Blade Runner, Terminator, Minority Report and the deliberate sabotage of the Postal Service


Americans like the Postal Service. They rely on it and rely on being able to rely on it. And the Postal Service is run by the government, even though it funds itself without any tax dollars. So if your whole political shtick is based on being anti-government, then the Postal Service is a threat you’ve got to get rid of. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things

Sandra M. Schneiders on why God is not a patriarch; Hillary Clinton on why empowering women is more than just a “nice thing to do;” Benjamin Franklin on the duty to pay taxes; David Badash on the libertarian mindset; and Russell Brand on the death of a little old lady. [Read more...]

Taylor Branch on how George Wallace invented our current political discourse

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Taylor Branch: “Wallace pledged to protect segregation. Only 50 years ago. He failed. But in his failure, he invented most of the language that is chillingly contemporary today in resenting the government and the political activity that forced about these changes for equal citizenship” [Read more...]

‘Libertarianism is [not] a philosophy of individual freedom’


At Crooked Timber, Chris Bertram, Corey Robin and Alex Gourevitch have collaborated on a post for the ages: “Let It Bleed: Libertarianism and the Workplace.” Here is their thesis, succinctly stated in the first paragraph: Libertarianism is a philosophy of individual freedom. Or so its adherents claim. But with their single-minded defense of the rights [Read More...]

To save money, don’t exclude the poor, exclude the sick

The Republican privilege-principle of Tyler Cowen, Bryan Fischer and Rick Perry isn’t just morally monstrous, it’s also bad economics. “We need to accept the principle that sometimes poor people will die just because they are poor,” says Cowen. “There is simply no way to control the cost of health care if hospitals are obligated to [Read More...]