The Republican Party has long been a coalition of businessmen, Christians, foreign policy hawks and ideological free-marketeers. Of course it’s perfectly possible to be all four at once, indeed many Republicans are, but in this election each of these tendencies has had a different paladin who has made each position his personal fiefdom: Romney speaks for business, Gingrich for the hawks, Santorum for the social and religious conservatives and Paul for the libertarian head-bangers who want to put America back on the gold standard. Sadly, no one speaks, like Ronald Reagan managed to, for all four strands of the party simultaneously, and sounds as though he means it.
Capitalism is a conspiracy: a big stupid clumsy stumbling conspiracy that banks on ignorance quite successfully.
Highly processed corn-based food products, with lots of chemical additives, are well known to be a major driver of weight gain, but, from a conventional growth-accounting perspective, they are great stuff. Big agriculture gets paid for growing the corn (often subsidised by the government), and the food processors get paid for adding tonnes of chemicals to create a habit-forming – and thus irresistible – product. Along the way, scientists get paid for finding just the right mix of salt, sugar and chemicals to make the latest instant food maximally addictive; advertisers get paid for peddling it; and, in the end, the healthcare industry makes a fortune treating the disease that inevitably results.
Coronary capitalism is fantastic for the stock market, which includes companies in all of these industries. Highly processed food is also good for jobs, including high-end employment in research, advertising and healthcare.
So, who could complain? Certainly not politicians, who get re-elected when jobs are plentiful and stock prices are up – and get donations from all of the industries that participate in the production of processed food. Indeed, in the US, politicians who dared to talk about the health, environmental, or sustainability implications of processed food would in many cases find themselves starved of campaign funds.
I wonder if Marguerite knows about this.
National Margarita Day February 22
The original Margarita was invented in 1948 by socialite Margarita Sames. According to the legend it was during a party at her cliffside hacienda in Acapulco that Margarita began experimenting with ‘the drink’. Looking for something to cut the dust of a hot afternoon, she mixed Tequila Herradura, Cointreau and fresh lime juice. Her cocktail kept the party going for two weeks and today the Margarita is the #1 most popular cocktail in the U.S.
I’ll add: if you’re hungry, you’re actually thirsty. Above all else: stop drinking sodas!
Most people only think about drinking water when they are thirsty; but by then it may already be too late.
Even mild dehydration can alter a person’s mood, energy level, and ability to think clearly, according to two studies recently conducted at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory.
Then he’ll declare martial law. First neck on the guillotine is Sanctomoron’s.
[T]he Republican Party … some decades ago adopted its own version of identity politics, that of the victimised white Christian compelled by the state to subsidise abortions and attend gay weddings ….
Christian Lorentzen · ‘Anyone but Romney’ · LRB 23 February 2012 [hat tip to dangerousmeta]
In keeping with disappointment with Obama’s performance:
What if Barack Obama is a Reagan Democrat in every meaningful way, right down to a fanatical belief in trickle down economics? What if the president counts on corporate media and his army of careerists and sycophants to shut down and cover up cracks in the Obama consensus through which reality might leak? What if Obama is not weak, or timid, or vacillating or waiting for us to “make him do it”? What if what we’ve seen is all there is, all there ever was?
The truth is that Barack Obama’s actions are entirely rational, understandable and even predictable if you suppose him to have been a vicious, vacuous and cynical right wing operative from the very beginning. …
Still don’t believe it’s the job of corporate Democrats to push the corporate agenda further than Republicans ever could? When Bush 2 couldn’t even pass his own bankster bailout in September of 2008, he called Barack Obama in off the campaign trail to round up a sufficient number of Democratic votes, including votes in the Congressional Black Caucus, to pass the Bush bailout. Before even assuming office, Barack Obama was carrying out Republican policies even Republicans could not enact. Upon becoming president himself, Barack Obama quintupled down on the $3 trillion Bush bankster bailout with a further $16 trillion, the largest transfer of public wealth to private hands in the history of humankind.
So if you’re an Obama supporter, and you’re disappointed that your president won’t fight for you — if you’re an Obama supporter and you wonder why the president won’t stand up for Medicaid, Medicare and social security — here’s the answer. The president really, really is smarter than you. He knows what side he’s on and you don’t. He knows that the two-party system is a veal pen, where as long as “he can play good cop to the Republicans’ ever worsening bad cop, the game is fixed, and not in your favor.
Look out! Over there! It’s President Michelle Bachman!
[hat tip to dangerousmeta]
The reality, of course, is that we already have a centrist president — actually a moderate conservative president. Once again, health reform — his only major change to government — was modeled on Republican plans, indeed plans coming from the Heritage Foundation. And everything else — including the wrongheaded emphasis on austerity in the face of high unemployment — is according to the conservative playbook.
What all this means is that there is no penalty for extremism; no way for most voters, who get their information on the fly rather than doing careful study of the issues, to understand what’s really going on.
[hat tip to NewMexiKen]
CNN: Gary Johnson, Face reality, legalize pot.
“The criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use … the actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion of the law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only with the greatest reluctance.”
Amen. Legalize it and tax it.