"Not God bless America, God damn America!" bellowed Jeremiah Wright from his former pulpit.
"That’s in the Bible for killing innocent people." This sermon
quote--actually, usually just the "God damn America" part, stripped of any
context whatsoever--created a media frenzy, earned death threats for
Wright and jeopardized a then-parishioner's presidential campaign.
"I don't think God will continue to bless America," said Rick Santorum the other day, "if we continue to kill 1.2 million children every year." Unlike Wright, Santorum is himself a candidate for president. Yet two days later Google offers mostly crickets.
Amid a fragile economic recovery, it shouldn't be hard for Congress to pass things like extensions of the payroll-tax holiday and unemployment benefits. But it is, not because these measures are themselves controversial--they aren't, or at least not very--but because the Congress is mostly broken, rendered dysfunctional by the perverse incentives of electoral politics.
Something foul is brewing in the small-town Midwest, where I grew up:
A few years ago, hog farmers throughout the Midwest
noticed foam building on top of their manure pits. Soon after, barns
began exploding, killing thousands of hogs while farmers lost millions
Wow, okay, so explosive pig-manure foam is a thing.
The Pentagon: Women can serve in more, though still not all, critical combat roles than before.
Rick Santorum: "I do have concerns about women in front line combat. I think that could
be a very compromising situation where - where people naturally, you
know, may do things that may not be in the interests of the mission
because of other types of emotions that are involved."
John Potter: "I can't be the only one who thought of" 30 Rock.
Are Protestants more in line with
the Catholic bishops on contraception than Catholics
are? Or is it just that there's some correlation between being
Protestant and being politically inclined to oppose most any proposal
that starts with "Employers should be required..."?
I don't have much to add about Mitt Romney's assertion
that he doesn't need to worry about the very poor on account of the
safety net he aims to dismantle and the Democrats he aims to unseat.
Except that you really should read Gail Collins.
My problem with the National Prayer Breakfast isn't simply a secularist one, i.e.
government officials should avoid any event with a smack of
sectarianism. What I object to is the political exploitation of the
importance of prayer in American life.
Weeks ago I ranted
about Fox News's absurd piece on how the new Muppets movie is out to turn
children into free-enterprise-hating liberals. Now the film's about to
come out in the U.K., and naturally Kermit and Piggy are doing press
around the release. Turns out they're perfectly capable of defending
themselves on their own.
It's not what the headlines are highlighting, but Mitt Romney's 2010 tax return
includes one impressive fact: his charitable contributions amounted to
$7 million. I know, this hardly put him at risk of losing one of his houses
and ending up out on the street till his driver could pick him up and
take him to one of his other houses. Still, giving away almost a third
of your income is nothing to sneeze at.
Among those of us who maintain that not everything the federal
government does should be either privatized or eliminated, it's common
to point out that income tax rates are a lot lower than they used to be,
especially but not only for the rich.
Till today, I had no idea how much I rely on Wikipedia for my day-to-day work. I imagine I'm not alone in this realization. No, the online encyclopedia is never the endpoint of serious research, but it's become the best starting point for exploring pretty much any factual question that comes up.
The New York Times has never been exactly hesitant to publish articles that look cluelessly down on the cultural life of U.S. cities with fewer than 8 million residents. So I'm not sure I'd blame nepotism alone for the A. G. Sulzberger clunker the paperpublished this week.