The faces of neo-liberalism, Part I: Robert Gibbs, Andrew Cuomo, and Rahm Emanuel

By Rima Regas

The rise of corporate Democrats has gone from a quiet but steady pace since 2010, to a very visible and in-your-face spectacle of late. The face of the party has changed, with some of the old guard gone, but many Democrats who were always at the right-most edge of the party playing more central roles in our parliamentary politics.

In Congress, especially over the past year, we’ve seen deals quietly made by certain Senate Democrats with the GOP, on the backs of the poor and unemployed. The economic agenda of the Democratic party, as a whole, has vanished, as has its vocal support for its blue collar constituencies.  While there are still a few progressives who stump for jobs, the unemployed, our safety net, education, and infrastructure, that talk isn’t backed by any particular legislative effort on the part of the leadership to, at the very least, give the appearance that it is trying to bring these issues back to the fore. Continue reading The faces of neo-liberalism, Part I: Robert Gibbs, Andrew Cuomo, and Rahm Emanuel

#SCOTUS and the #Unions: “Come On and Take a Free Ride!” | Jared Bernstein

By Jared Bernstein

The Supreme Court’s majority opinion out today in Harris v. Quinn represents an important defeat for the “hundreds of thousands of home care and child care workers who have managed to improve their work lives through collective bargaining” as EPI’s Ross Eisenbrey wrote earlier today. The Court majority ruled that these health-care workers cannot be required to contribute to a union, even if they benefit from its collective bargaining.

Thanks to union contracts that include anti-free-rider provisions, this almost entirely female workforce has made huge improvements in wages and benefits, in training, and in respect in the states that provide for collective bargaining. The Court gives this no value and says the right of the free riders to have the benefits of union contracts without having to pay anything for them is the preeminent constitutional value. The Court majority’s balancing of interests is skewed: the right to vote democratically for a union contract that holds everyone to the same obligation and makes improved wages and working conditions possible is more important than the right to get something for nothing. Continue reading #SCOTUS and the #Unions: “Come On and Take a Free Ride!” | Jared Bernstein

Why We Can’t Talk About #GunControl |The Atlantic

By James Hamblin

ASPEN, Colo. — “I pose this question, Mr. Metcalf, as a hunter of birds. I have a concealed carry permit for a pistol. And I think the gun laws that are on the books today are ineffective because they’re not enforced.”

“When I got my concealed-carry permit,” the man in the audience continued, “one of the questions I had to answer was, ‘Are you a fugitive from justice?'”

“I asked the sheriff, does anyone ever answer yes to that? And he said, ‘You’d be surprised.’ But I think we need more regulation. And if I were your boss, and you’d written that column, I wouldn’t have terminated you. I’d have given you a promotion.” Continue reading Why We Can’t Talk About #GunControl |The Atlantic

Paul Krugman: Charlatans, Cranks and Kansas – NYTimes

Paul Krugman

Two years ago Kansas embarked on a remarkable fiscal experiment: It sharply slashed income taxes without any clear idea of what would replace the lost revenue. Sam Brownback, the governor, proposed the legislation — in percentage terms, the largest tax cut in one year any state has ever enacted — in close consultation with the economist Arthur Laffer. And Mr. Brownback predicted that the cuts would jump-start an economic boom — “Look out, Texas,” he proclaimed. But Kansas isn’t booming — in fact, its economy is lagging both neighboring states and America as a whole. Meanwhile, the state’s budget has plunged deep into deficit, provoking a Moody’s downgrade of its debt. Continue reading Paul Krugman: Charlatans, Cranks and Kansas – NYTimes



A CHINESE millionaire tried to give $300 (and lunch) to homeless men and women in New York last week. This didn’t sit well with the nonprofit New York City Rescue Mission. The Rescue Mission offered to help with lunch, but wouldn’t cooperate in handing out cash. So midway through a meal of sesame-crusted tuna and filet of beef, some 200 homeless people discovered that they would not be getting money. Instead, the Rescue Mission would accept $90,000 on their behalf. You can imagine the anger and humiliation. Continue reading CHRISTOPHER BLATTMAN: Let Them Eat Cash – NYTimes

Art Is Vital – James Hamblin – The Atlantic

The best education facilitates artistic voice and creative habits of mind.


ASPEN — It has been three years since the spectacular video of Lil Buck dancing to Yo-Yo Ma brought jookin—which draws from hip-hop, ballet, jazz, and modern dance—into mainstream consciousness. Ma would later call Buck a genius; and, he is. According to the theory of multiple intelligences, which posits nine distinct dimensions, Buck is clearly off the charts in intelligences like spatial, musical/rhythmic, and bodily/kinesthetic.

The theory was developed in 1983 by Howard Gardner, who is now the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard. It defines intelligence expansively, as the ability to create an effective product or offer a service that is valued in a culture; a set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems in life. It’s a broader definition than many curricula address, and some of the multiple intelligences regularly go unstimulated and underdeveloped in traditional schools. Continue reading Art Is Vital – James Hamblin – The Atlantic

For Wendy Davis, Filibuster Goes Only So Far in Race to Be Governor of Texas – NYTimes

One year after bursting onto the national scene with a marathon filibuster against abortion restrictions, Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator and Democratic nominee for governor, has been doing everything she can to mark the anniversary of that speech last June, even donning the same pink Mizuno sneakers.

The problem: A year after her filibuster pumped her up into the kind of galvanizing candidate Texas Democrats have not had for decades, she seems very much dragged down to earth, dwarfed by the perception that Democrats’ chances of ending the Republican domination of Texas remain slim. Recent polls have shown her trailing her Republican opponent — the state attorney general, Greg Abbott — by up to 12 percentage points. Her campaign manager, Karin Johanson, who helped engineer the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006, left after about 30 weeks on the job, one of a handful of aides and consultants who have departed. Continue reading For Wendy Davis, Filibuster Goes Only So Far in Race to Be Governor of Texas – NYTimes

Dizzy Gillespie – A Tribute

 I was four or five years old and living in France when I first saw Dizzy. Back then, taking a child to a club wasn’t quite the social faux-pas it is now and, to be honest, I am glad. That first meeting started me on a life-long love of jazz, Afro-Cuban jazz, Be-Bop and, of course, all things Dizzy Gillespie.

This page contains links I’ve gathered over time, including interviews, playlists, articles and various items related to Dizzy’s career. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Continue reading Dizzy Gillespie – A Tribute

Ross Douthat: Stopping Campus #Rape | NYTimes

Ross Douthat

IN the debate over sexual violence on college campuses, two things are reasonably clear. First, campus rape is a grave, persistent problem, shadowing rowdy state schools and cozy liberal-arts campuses alike.

Second, nobody — neither anti-rape activists, nor their critics, nor the administrators caught in between — seems to have a clear and compelling idea of what to do about it.

The immediate difficulty is that what many activists want from colleges — a disciplinary process that leads to many more expulsions for sexual assault — is something schools are ill equipped to offer. As Michelle Goldberg acknowledges in a judicious article for The Nation, dealing with serious crimes in a setting that normally handles minor infractions risks a worst-of-both-worlds scenario: a process whose lack of professionalism leaves victims more “devastated than vindicated,” even as its limited protections for the accused lead to endless lawsuits claiming kangaroo-court treatment. Continue reading Ross Douthat: Stopping Campus #Rape | NYTimes