It’s all about bringing back Equality of Opportunity. I may have mentioned this here before, but I’m currently reading and learning a lot from Nobel Prize winner in Economics Joseph Stiglitz’s book The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future. Highly recommended.
My own theory: Chick-fil-A CEO Mr. “Cathy” is overcompensating for having grown up with that unfortunate surname.
Sure, we as a nation have always killed people. A lot of people. But no president has ever waged war by killing enemies one by one, targeting them individually for execution, wherever they are. The Obama administration has taken pains to tell us, over and over again, that they are careful, scrupulous of our laws, and determined to avoid the loss of collateral, innocent lives. They’re careful because when it comes to waging war on individuals, the distinction between war and murder becomes a fine one. Especially when, on occasion, the individuals we target are Americans and when, in one instance, the collateral damage was an American boy.
You are a good man. You are an honorable man. You are both president of the United States and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. You are both the most powerful man in the world and an unimpeachably upstanding citizen. You place a large premium on being beyond reproach. You have become your own deliberative body, standing not so much by your decisions as by the process by which you make them. You are not only rational; you are a rationalist. You think everything through, as though it is within your power to find the point where what is moral meets what is necessary.
You love two things, your family and the law, and you have surrounded yourself with those who are similarly inclined. To make sure that you obey the law, you have hired lawyers prominent for accusing your predecessor of flouting it; to make sure that you don’t fall prey to the inevitable corruption of secrecy, you have hired lawyers on record for being committed to transparency. Unlike George W. Bush, you have never held yourself above the law by virtue of being commander in chief; indeed, you have spent part of your political capital trying to prove civilian justice adequate to our security needs. You prize both discipline and deliberation; you insist that those around you possess a personal integrity that matches their political ideals and your own; and it is out of these unlikely ingredients that you have created the Lethal Presidency….[Rest of article]
FORTUNE — In the annals of impossible assignments, Dave Voth’s ranked high. In 2009 the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives promoted Voth to lead Phoenix Group VII, one of seven new ATF groups along the Southwest border tasked with stopping guns from being trafficked into Mexico’s vicious drug war.
Some call it the “parade of ants”; others the “river of iron.” The Mexican government has estimated that 2,000 weapons are smuggled daily from the U.S. into Mexico. The ATF is hobbled in its effort to stop this flow. No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking, so agents must build cases using a patchwork of often toothless laws. For six years, due to Beltway politics, the bureau has gone without permanent leadership, neutered in its fight for funding and authority. The National Rifle Association has so successfully opposed a comprehensive electronic database of gun sales that the ATF’s congressional appropriation explicitly prohibits establishing one.
Voth, 39, was a good choice for a Sisyphean task. Strapping and sandy-haired, the former Marine is cool-headed and punctilious to a fault. In 2009 the ATF named him outstanding law-enforcement employee of the year for dismantling two violent street gangs in Minneapolis. He was the “hardest working federal agent I’ve come across,” says John Biederman, a sergeant with the Minneapolis Police Department. But as Voth left to become the group supervisor of Phoenix Group VII, a friend warned him: “You’re destined to fail.” [Rest of article]
Now that the smoke has cleared a little from this morning Supreme Court ruling, perhaps this will help us understand why the Republicans think they way they do about the issue. From NEW YORK Magazine:
As we wait for a Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act this week, there is one urgent, overriding moral question at the heart of the health-care fight. Paradoxically, and maddeningly, there has not been any open moral debate over it. That question is whether access to basic medical care ought to be considered a right or something that is earned.
Several reporters have recently filed dispatches showing in human terms what sort of conditions we would be perpetuating in the event that five Republican Supreme Court Justices, or a potential Republican-run government next year, partially or completely nullify the Affordable Care Act. A man will watch the tumor in his leg grow to the size of a melon, and his wife will sew special pants to fit the growing bulge, because he has no insurance. A woman will hobble around for four years on an untreated broken ankle she canâ€™t have repaired. People will line up in their cars and spend the night in a parking lot queuing for a rare free health clinic.
Maybe these stories sound like cheap emotional manipulation. They are actually a clarifying tool to cut through the rhetorical fog surrounding the health-care debate and define the question in the most precise terms…. [Rest of article]
How loving Christians raise their children:
Wurzelbacher said he had a couple of plumbing jobs scheduled for today and hoped he would get more calls before the day was out.
He will need the money. Wurzelbacher’s new notoriety has brought to light the fact that he owes nearly $1,200 in unpaid taxes.
“There is a judgment lien against him for nonpayment of income tax,” Barb Losie, deputy clerk of the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, told ABCNews.com. “The state files hundreds of liens a day. It means he owes that money.”
Losie said Wurzelbacher owes $1,182 from January 2007, but no action has been taken against him outside of filing the lien.
“There is no judge pulled, there is no attorney assigned… There is a 99 percent chance he doesn’t know about the lien, unless he did a credit report or was ready to pay his taxes,” Losie said.
A second lien has been filed in the courhouse against Wurzelbacher for $1,261 that he apparently owes St. Charles Mercy Hospital. That lien was filed in March 2007…[Rest of article]