Empathy is always one possible option

Empathy is always one possible option July 1, 2012

Chief Justice John Roberts suffers from a chronic, pre-existing medical condition of precisely the sort that would have made it impossible, before the Affordable Care Act, for him to purchase insurance in the private sector.

Some right-wing commentators think this influenced Roberts’ decision upholding the ACA. But they don’t imagine that this might have influenced his decision due to the revelatory insight or empathy this personal experience provides. No, they’re just claiming that Roberts’ epilepsy medicine clouded his cognitive functions.

Once again, these people do not believe in empathy. They don’t understand the concept. They don’t even allow for the possibility of it.

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Bread for the World reports on the Senate version of the 2012 farm bill:

The Senate [on June 21] passed its version of the farm bill, which included $4.5 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the food stamp program). The Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 (S.3240) could impact 500,000 families and would reduce monthly SNAP benefits by $90. It was passed with 64 yes votes and 35 no votes.

So half a million struggling families will have $90 less every month. Less money for food.

This was passed by 64 senators who earn a minimum of $174,000 a year.

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BooMan flagged this announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services last week: New grants for 219 local health centers. This, too, is part of the Affordable Care Act.

So that’s another 219 clinics providing affordable health care.

Oh, and those 219 clinics will also create 5,640 jobs.

More health care, more jobs. Some people, somehow, regard this as Bad News.

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Henry Blodget: “Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low

This is not hyperbole. Blodget provides measured, verifiable statistics and charts demonstrating that these are both actual facts: Corporate profits did, in fact, just hit an all-time high. And wages did, in fact, just hit an all-time low.

In short, our current system and philosophy is creating a country of a few million overlords and 300+ million serfs.

That’s not what has made America a great country. It’s also not what most people think America is supposed to be about.

So we might want to rethink that.

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The Institute for Southern Studies offers a Harper’s Index-style look at “the billion-dollar and wide-ranging for-profit detention industry.”

It’s pretty horrifying. The Corrections Corporation of America is a private, for-profit prison company with 91,000 beds. So Corrections Corp.’s CEO, John D. Ferguson, is effectively the mayor of a bigger city than Santa Barbara, Calif.

Or, rather, Ferguson is effectively the absolute monarch of a kingdom bigger than Santa Barbara.

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