In the World
Steve Thorngate on public life and culture
Top DC blogger Ezra Klein has risen quickly in influence and reach over the last decade, from blogging independently to labor-left magazine the American Prospect to the Washington Post, where he soon picked up an assistant and then a staff of bloggers. Klein has long been a big draw for those of us who folllow the intersection of politics and domestic policy; these days, his Wonkblog is absolutely indispensable.
I'm always happy to see MSM articles that challenge assumptions about conservative evangelicals, the religious community in which I grew up. Particularly when they aren't just about electoral politics. This post by David Wheeler highlights a group a lot of people probably haven't considered: evangelical homeschoolers whose reasons for opting out of the school system have nothing to do with objecting to the teaching of evolution.
In the evangelical subculture of my youth, there were three categories of pop music. There was secular music, the avoidance of which was, as with alcohol, a nonessential of the faith. (My parents’ approach was more tight regulation than outright ban.) There was Christian music, the Nashville-industry pop records that we heard on Christian radio during our school carpool and then saved our allowances up to buy. And then there was worship music, which we sang at church.
So, Sen. Paul filibustered and received brief assurances that at least there are some limits to the Obama adminstration's policy of targeted assassination. Alex Kane—in a Short Imagined Monologue, one of my favorite features at McSweeney's humor site—spells out some others. I for one would be reassured if the White House actually said this.
President Obama earlier this afternoon: Indian Country has some of the highest rates of domestic abuse in America. And one of the reasons is that when Native American women are abused on tribal lands by an attacker who is not Native American, the attacker is immune from prosecution by tribal courts. Well, as soon as I sign this bill that ends.
In November, I had to vote by provisional ballot. Happens to a lot of people, often for no good reason. But if I had stayed closer to home instead of moving across the state line, along with making my parents happy I likely would have avoided this frustrating experience at the polls. Wisconsin doesn't need to use provisional ballots on anything like the level that Illinois does, because Wisconsin has same-day voter registration.
This video on wealth inequality is awfully well done. It emphasizes the point that the gap between rich and poor in this country isn't just bigger than some liberal theorist might like it to be. It's a whole lot bigger than most Americans think it should be, and also bigger than they think it actually is.
So it’s looking unlikely that Washington will do anything to prevent the sequester, the automatic spending cuts put in place to try to force Washington to find a way forward on spending, from starting to take effect tomorrow. The president and congressional leaders will meet tomorrow to discuss next steps. Hardly anyone likes the sequester—it was designed to be disliked—but no one has the right combination of power and incentives to simply repeal it, either.