Monday Open Thread

“Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.”

–Nikos Kazantzakis

13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    ok, the 5 minutes edit time isn’t enough…………needless to say I had something very compelling to post and now it is lost to the big bit bucket in the sky.

    Here’s more on the Geographical Genius named Tom Cotton:

    An in depth, well researched article in the September, 2014 edition of The Atlantic traces Cotton from a childhood where he didn’t speak until he was three years old and had a long lasting, severe speech impediment, through his college years and his thesis that sought to prove that only extremely ambitious males should rule, all the way to his nascent political career and important votes that reveal a troubling mind set.

    Cotton’s college thesis reveals his scorn for average Americans.

    Cotton insists that the Founders were wise not to put too much faith in democracy, because people are inherently selfish, narrow-minded, and impulsive. He defends the idea that the country must be led by a class of intellectually superior officeholders whose ambition sets them above other men… he derides the Federalists’ modern critics as mushy-headed and naive.
    “Ambition characterizes and distinguishes national officeholders from other kinds of human beings,” Cotton wrote.

    “Inflammatory passion and selfish interest characterizes most men, whereas ambition characterizes men who pursue and hold national office. Such men rise from the people through a process of self-selection since politics is a dirty business that discourages all but the most ambitious.”
    http://www.theatlantic.com/

    And, yet, his ambition to be part of that “dirty business” was clearly evident from early on to local king makers.

    From the time he was a teenager, Cotton has been nurtured and groomed by conservative institutions—scholars, think tanks, media, and advocacy groups—to be the face of their political crusade.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/

    It’s not surprising that they seized on a young Tom Cotton. His is a brand of conservativism that is more heartless than most, a fanatical elitism that sees his views as uber superior in a way that few do (or would admit to).

    His is a harsh, unyielding, judgmental political philosophy. “I don’t think Arkansas needs to bail out the Northeast,” Cotton said of his vote against the Hurricane Sandy relief bill.

    He has dismissed the potential for default if the debt ceiling was not raised as a desirable “short-term market correction,” and said food stamps should be cut because too many recipients live high on the hog:

    “They have steak in their basket, and they have a brand-new iPhone, and they have a brand-new SUV.”
    http://www.theatlantic.com/

    His views on women and numerous anti-woman votes seem to be summed up thusly:

    … men are “simple” and women are “the problem”

    http://www.rawstory.com/

    Oh, and that letter to Iran, written by this Senator with 61 days on the job?
    He received $700,000 for his senate campaign from the Emergency Committee for Israel. http://www.salon.com/
    Rumors abound that the Republican powers-that-be are preparing to run him for the presidency in 2020.

  2. notaskinnycook says:

    He didn’t speak ’til he was three? It sounds like he really was his mother’s special child. That explains a great deal. Now he seems to think he’s special in a different way. 

    • Zappatero says:

      Bravo! Health care is truly a right and no decent American should be without or deny their fellow Americans the same.

      The Cognitive Dissonance that won’t allow all the naysayers to admit they are 100% wrong about ACA.

      Imagine if we had a U.S. Senator willing to stand up today and say this:

      “In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

      The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.

      The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.

      The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.

      The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.

      (Republicans are 100% to the freedom from fear: they live it, breath it, they preach fear every chance they get, and undermine our democracy by making that fear a permanent and pervasive part of our daily lives. – ed.)

      That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt, excerpted from the State of the Union Address to the Congress, January 6, 1941

      Hey, maybe Bennet can convince Cotton or Gardner to be bipartisan with him on the Four Freedoms……just a thought. 

    • BlueCat says:

      Of course this becomes problematic for Bush since it makes it harder for him to make HRC’s e-mail situation central to attacks but, to be fair, Bush wasn’t SOS. That not only makes it a weightier problem for HRC but allows Republicans, after their own serial and simultaneous investigations found no there there, to breathe new life into the whole Benghazi thing. Of course, even if HRC had deleted Benghazi related e-mail, if they were sent to anyone with government e-mail they would be available through the recipient but R’s still get some miles out of the mere fact that the word “Benghazi” gets repeated a few more times.

      And it’s really not as if you even have to be a Republican to not trust HRC. I don’t and I don’t buy her excuses about not wanting to carry another device (elsewhere she has talked about all the devices she does carry) because of the inconvenience. I don’t believe there is any wrong doing to uncover in connection with Benghazi but I do think HRC used her own e-mail on her own server as SOS because she is naturally secretive. If you don’t think the Obama administration has been particularly transparent, and I don’t, I wouldn’t expect anything different from an HRC administration.

  3. BlueCat says:

    This article is interesting for many reasons. One thing that struck me is that the wealth gap in Israel is getting to be as wide as the wealth gap here, a gap much wider than in western allied European countries. This growing lack of egalitarianism is in vivid contrast to the Israel of the early 70s when I spent some months there having a working vacation on a Kibbutz. True, Kibbutzim were home to a small minority then and now, but the egalitarian spirit which found it’s most extreme expression in kibbutz life of that day (It’s changed somewhat on kibbutzim, too) was not so far removed from the less extreme but still vigorous egalitarianism that pervaded most of Israeli Jewish society in those days.

    With talk about the future for Jews in Europe and whether they should emigrate to Israel, this is something European born and raised Jews will have to take into consideration.  Will their lives be even more dangerous with an increasingly volatile situation considering the soon to be majority Arab population within the single state Bibi swears to maintain and also less prosperous for the mjority with less opportunity for upward mobility? What will it be like for them living in an increasingly right wing Israel heading toward a gilded age style economy if Bibi and his allies have their way?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/16/opinion/paul-krugman-israels-gilded-age.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=0

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