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New Opening for an Unpaid Intern…

[ 33 ] March 17, 2015 |

We live in a world where Mickey Kaus quits his job because Tucker Carlson spikes a column arguing that Fox News is insufficiently hard core on immigration and amnesty:

“It’s pretty simple,” Kaus said in an interview, “I wrote a piece attacking Fox for not being the opposition on immigration and amnesty — for filling up the airwaves with reports on ISIS and terrorism, and not fulfilling their responsibility of being the opposition on amnesty and immigration…. I posted it at 6:30 in the morning. When I got up, Tucker had taken it down. He said, ‘We can’t trash Fox on the site. I work there.'”

Mickey rejected the Democratic Party [ed- don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Mickey!  Amirite?] because it was too far to the left on immigration; he’s now rejecting the Republican Party because it’s too far to the left on immigration.  The true visionary always wages a lonely struggle…

Look Out, Utica!

[ 37 ] March 17, 2015 |

I’m disappointed by the tie that permits neither of DJW or I to have bragging rights, although at least there wasn’t a shootout.

I can’t speak to how Dayton has responded to past incidents, but I would have to say that the new mayor’s crackdown here is a relatively rare moralistic use of the police power that I can get behind. There’s really nothing cute about vandalism and mass public intoxication, and it’s not a “tradition” worth preserving.

Israel Can Be Democratic, It Can Have Netanyahuism, But Not Both

[ 168 ] March 17, 2015 |

There really isn’t anything substantively new about Netanyahu’s stance on settlements; it’s the equivalent of Obama on same-sex marriage, in the opposite direction in terms of social justice. The fact that he’s given up even the pretense of favoring Palestinian statehood should at least clarify things, particularly when (appropriately) read in tandem with his vile race-baiting about Arab Israelis. Netanyahu is now explicitly committed to a particular vision of Israel, which includes permanent settlements on Palestinian land, a permanently disenfranchised and unrepresented Palestinian population, and Arab Israelis treated as second-class citizens. This is, quite, simply, an apartheid state. Which makes the fact that he has a very solid chance to remain Prime Minister all the more depressing.

I also wish I was more confident that “a deep American alliance with the kind of garrison state Netanyahu envisions will become untenable.”

The Dangerous Expectations We Have of Novelty Women

[ 142 ] March 17, 2015 |

Reading this piece by Maddy Meyers felt revelatory to me because it addressed something that I think desperately needed to be addressed: the idea that sometimes women are average/mediocre…bad at things. And that’s ok.

I’ll be honest with you: I get hives thinking about women who break into career fields and pastimes that were previously (at least thought of as) solidly male territory. The reason I get hives is because when you are the only or one of a few women who are entering this new territory, you immediately cease to be a woman and become all women, everywhere. You cease to be a person, you become a gender. You become representative of all women and how all women will perform.


Let’s be honest: not every woman who picks up a guitar will play like Orianthi. Not every woman who drums will drum like Salin Gas. Not every woman who breaks into a STEM field will be a genius. And not every woman who picks up a console will be a KICKASS GAMER GRRRL. But women have to have permission to be mediocre and even to suck. Because if we don’t allow that, that–in and of itself–becomes a woman’s biggest barrier to breaking barriers.


Just a note: Before anyone pushes his glasses up his nose and huffs and puffs about how Orianthi and Gas are not “such and such,” please remember I’m not claiming to be an expert on playing guitar or drums. I’m holding them up as examples of kickass women who have earned some praise and respect. (For good reason, in my humble opinion.)

The Israeli Gilded Age

[ 42 ] March 17, 2015 |


Above: Friend of plutocrats

Paul Krugman contextualizes Netanyahu’s troubles by pointing to what he calls “Israel’s Gilded Age,” as the free market devotee has pushed policies that has led to the same sorts of massive income inequality and concentration of extreme wealth among a very few people that such policies have created in the United States. Given that Israel has a somewhat more class oriented politics than the U.S. (at least in my reading of it), it’s not surprising that a lot of voters are willing to put their unease about their place in the Middle East aside and vote against Netanyahu.

Labor Relations in the Marijuana Industry

[ 13 ] March 17, 2015 |


The more the marijuana industry becomes ensconced in the regulatory lap of the American state, the harder it is going to be make it illicit again. That marijuana workers filed charges against employers with the National Labor Relations Board that the NLRB chose to consider is a piece of this; even if the case is non-binding, it brings the industry closer to a normal business. The case, brought by the United Food and Commercial Workers and over retaliation against workers organizing against pesticide exposure, was settled last week. That federal labor law now applies to the marijuana industry, regardless of its legal status from a federal perspective, is really important.

“Leave Emotion at the Table, Unless You’re From Kentucky”

[ 7 ] March 17, 2015 |

LGM Tourney Challenge brackets are now ready.

Group: Lawyers, Guns and Money

Password: zevon




[ 8 ] March 17, 2015 |


I am leaving today for a wedding in Antigua, Guatemala. I have some posts already in the queue but any interaction from me on the blog could be light until next Monday.

The Concussion Crisis Reaches a New Level

[ 43 ] March 17, 2015 |



Despite being a rookie drafted in the third round, linebacker Chris Borland was an important part of the 49ers defense last season, even starting eight games. With Patrick Willis retiring and Justin Smith reportedly considering the same, the 49ers will rely on Borland even more heavily this season. Or, were going to. Outside the Lines is reporting that Borland, 24, has told the 49ers that he is retiring “because of concerns about the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma.”


Borland told Outside the Lines that he began considering retirement as far back as training camp, when he believes he suffered a concussion but played through it in order to try and make the team. After the season he says he met with former players as well as doctors, which only further solidified the decision. He plans on going back to school at Wisconsin—where he graduated with a degree in history—to work towards his new career, possibly in sports management.

Between this and the string of early retirements…it’s hard not to think that more and more players will start making similar decisions.

Abolish the Tipped Minimum Wage

[ 39 ] March 16, 2015 |


Massachusetts is trying to do something about its tipped minimum wage. It raised it in a recent bill all the way to $3.75 an hour by 2017. To say the least that’s not good enough. A new bill has been introduced in the state legislature to eliminate the tipped minimum wage by 2022. That’s a positive step but still isn’t good enough. The tipped minimum wage should be abolished immediately. I’d sure like to see some statement from the Obama Administration about tipped minimum wages. Not sure what power it would have to eliminate these discrepancies without a bill passing Congress (which of course would never happen), but the tipped minimum wage needs to end.

The Real Power of Fraternities

[ 48 ] March 16, 2015 |


Katie McDonough understands the real reason why fraternities are almost invincible on the university campus: their members make up the alumni network university presidents rely on for donations. In a university system ever more reliant on private donors for money and ever more willing to turn their institutions into nothing more than training schools for those donors, presidents, assuming they even care about the racist, sexist, and homophobic behavior of the Greek system on their campuses, are hamstrung in their ability to do anything about it. Go after the frats and the donors who are members of said frats close their pocketbooks.

The Origins of Modern Christian Symbolism in the United States

[ 40 ] March 16, 2015 |


Kevin Kruse excerpts his new book on how corporations created the public symbols of modern Christianity as part of their mobilization against the New Deal. It’s a must read, as is no doubt his book:

Back in the 1930s, business leaders found themselves on the defensive. Their public prestige had plummeted with the Great Crash; their private businesses were under attack by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal from above and labor from below. To regain the upper hand, corporate leaders fought back on all fronts. They waged a figurative war in statehouses and, occasionally, a literal one in the streets; their campaigns extended from courts of law to the court of public opinion. But nothing worked particularly well until they began an inspired public relations offensive that cast capitalism as the handmaiden of Christianity.

The two had been described as soul mates before, but in this campaign they were wedded in pointed opposition to the “creeping socialism” of the New Deal. The federal government had never really factored into Americans’ thinking about the relationship between faith and free enterprise, mostly because it had never loomed that large over business interests. But now it cast a long and ominous shadow.

Accordingly, throughout the 1930s and ’40s, corporate leaders marketed a new ideology that combined elements of Christianity with an anti-federal libertarianism. Powerful business lobbies like the United States Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers led the way, promoting this ideology’s appeal in conferences and P.R. campaigns. Generous funding came from prominent businessmen, from household names like Harvey Firestone, Conrad Hilton, E. F. Hutton, Fred Maytag and Henry R. Luce to lesser-known leaders at U.S. Steel, General Motors and DuPont.

In a shrewd decision, these executives made clergymen their spokesmen. As Sun Oil’s J. Howard Pew noted, polls proved that ministers could mold public opinion more than any other profession. And so these businessmen worked to recruit clergy through private meetings and public appeals. Many answered the call, but three deserve special attention.

From this alliance between preachers and capitalists comes most of the ideas that right-wing Christians today cite about why this is an overtly Christian nation and why socialism is a sin. It’s toxic and it’s powerful. Kruse pushing the timeline of this alliance back from the 50s into the 30s is really important in understanding its deep roots.

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