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Paul Krugman at The New York Times generously calls Republicans "mean-spirited class warriors" in his column Free to Be Hungry:

[I]s SNAP in general a good idea? Or is it, as Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, puts it, an example of turning the safety net into “a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency.”

One answer is, some hammock: last year, average food stamp benefits were $4.45 a day. Also, about those “able-bodied people”: almost two-thirds of SNAP beneficiaries are children, the elderly or the disabled, and most of the rest are adults with children.

Beyond that, however, you might think that ensuring adequate nutrition for children, which is a large part of what SNAP does, actually makes it less, not more likely that those children will be poor and need public assistance when they grow up. And that’s what the evidence shows.

Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post writes Obama must not yield on Obamacare, debt ceiling or shutdown:
I happen to believe that Obamacare is a great accomplishment, providing access to medical insurance to millions of Americans who lack it and bringing the nation much closer to universal health care. It’s an imperfect law, to be sure, but it could be made much better with the kind of constructive tinkering that responsible leaders performed on Social Security and Medicare.

Even if Obamacare were tremendously flawed, however, it would be wrong to let a bunch of extremist ideologues hold the country hostage in this manner. If Republicans want to repeal the reforms, they should win the Senate and the presidency. If not, they’re welcome to pout and sulk all they want — but not to use extortion to get their way.

David Dayen at The New Republic laments over The Big Budget Battle the GOP Has Already Won:
Nobody expected sequestration to trigger this year, until it did at the end of February. With those negotiation rooms silent and no movement on a budget deal, the big, dumb, arbitrary cuts to discretionary programs appear locked in place for the duration of President Obama’s term, and probably beyond. And that’s terrible news for the economy.
More pundits can be found below the fold.

Laura Secor at The New Yorker discusses Why President Obama should meet Iran's president:

The Obama Administration has an opportunity, next week, to strengthen Rouhani’s hand by demonstrating that it takes his diplomatic appeal seriously. The symbolism of a cordial encounter at the United Nations—or, better, a Presidential meeting—could signal that Washington recognizes the sea change in Tehran. Already, the exchange of letters between the two Presidents has raised hopes for direct communication at the highest levels. If, on the other hand, American officials communicate skepticism in their public statements, if they suggest that Rouhani is insincere or not empowered to follow through, or if they continue to emphasize the threat of force, they risk making his diplomatic initiative look foolish and thus strengthening the hand of his most radical adversaries.
The Editorial Board of Haaretz concludes that the legally mandated demolition of the village and prevention of humanitarian aid from reaching the villagers are inhumane acts:
Early last week, Civil Administration forces destroyed another village in the Jordan Valley, Khirbet Makhoul. Arriving at the site shortly after the demolition, Haaretz reporters witnessed the approximately 100 shocked villagers, flocks without their pens or water, and dozens of ruined buildings.

Since that time, the army has forcibly prevented the proffering of any humanitarian aid to the now-shelterless villagers and their flocks. The army immediately demolished two huts built by volunteers and prohibited the unloading of tents trucked to the site by the International Red Cross and the aid group ACTED. [...]

This law is the law of the occupation, and the demolition of the village and prevention of humanitarian aid from reaching the villagers are inhuman acts.

David Moberg at In These Times says  in A New Direction For the Fed? that Janet Yellen will be a tepid reformer:
Progressives want a Fed that focuses on the Main Street economy and rigorously regulates the predators of Wall Street, not one that bails big banks out when they fail and defraud. Its critics, led in the Senate by Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren, want the Fed above all to aid in job creation. They ask: Why can’t the Fed loan directly at the low rates they offer the banks for infrastructure improvements or other public, job-creating purposes, rather than give the money to banks that are likely either to charge extortionate rates or speculate? (The Fed could, of course, but that would upset bankers and conservatives.) Progressives also want tougher regulation—including a return to the separation of investment and commercial banking enacted during the New Deal, and in most cases, a breakup of the biggest banks.

There is, however, an alternative to breakups: The largest banks could be subject to increasingly strict controls or, if they fail or pose a systemic risk, they could be effectively nationalized.

Doyle MacManus at the Los Angeles Times writes that visiting the House of Representatives these days is like hanging out in an alternate universe as the countdown to a shutdown ticks away:
This may sound like just another round of Washington's recurring impasse, but this time the prospects for a quick solution look worse. The Republicans have chosen to demand the one concession Obama is least likely to make: the crippling of Obamacare. And the GOP's chief deal maker, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), is battling a primary challenge on his right, which means he's not eager to play the role of middleman this year.
Yasmin Alibhai Brown at The Independent writes that Liberal defenders of the veil have lost their way:
Round two of the veil debate. I would prefer not to get into the ring again but must, not because I’m a stubborn mule, but because so much is at stake. Sorry to those Muslim friends and foes who think we should not talk about the veil, that it distracts from “real issues”, is an excuse to attack Muslims, an encouragement to racists, an infringement of personal freedom, whipping up hysteria over “just clothes, only worn by a minority”, something which is not the business of non-Muslims and part of a sinister secularist manifesto and so on.

They are either frighteningly complacent or in denial, so too are white, black and brown liberals on the left. Were their own daughters to take up the niqab, would they cheerfully accept the decision? Like hell they would.

Gary Younge at The Nation writes in George Zimmerman’s Way Is the American Way that instead of focusing on the psychology of Trayvon Martin’s killer, we should be examining the meaning of his actions:
The Zimmerman verdict came down the opening weekend of Fruitvale Station, a film about Oscar Grant’s shooting at the hands of Oakland police. Six weeks earlier, Darius Simmons, 13, was shot dead in front of his mother by a 75-year-old neighbor who accused him of burgling his home. Two months after Zimmerman’s verdict, Jonathan Ferrell was shot dead by police after seeking help following a car crash. When he knocked on a stranger’s door asking for help, the homeowner didn’t call the ambulance, but hit the panic button.

There are only so many isolated incidents you can talk about before you have to start talking about a trend. We don’t need to pontificate about what kind of person Zimmerman is because we know what kind of country America is. Racial profiling—and its lethal consequences—may or may not be “his way” but it’s the American way.

You can almost hear the sighs of resignation James Warren's piece at the New York Daily News, Pushing the Gitmo boulder:
You remember Guantanamo, don’t you? If not, it may explain why Durbin, long the only senator to back Obama’s 2008 presidential run, is throwing pebbles into the Potomac.

The matter is out of sight, out of mind. It involves people we don’t know, from countries we can’t find on a map, linked to a religion that makes some of us nervous. [...]

It reminds me of an occasional Obama refrain: “This is not who we are.” Right now, Guantanamo is.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I have a post on the Krugman column (10+ / 0-)

    which you can read here

    Been up for several hours

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 04:33:08 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the roundup, MB! Most thought- (15+ / 0-)


    As for the article by Yasmin Alibhai Brown, I couldn't agree more!  Especially this:

    When faces are hidden, what goes missing are those tiny, vital, facial signs of human contact and undeclared mutuality.
    "Freedom" isn't free when it's enforced.

    Krugman nails it, as usual.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 04:40:10 AM PDT

    •  Keep Muslim women at home, barefoot and pregnant (0+ / 0-)

      seems to be the alternative. This may be a victory for the anti-Muslim crew but the result is a prisoner unable to leave her home, to have any outside contacts with non-Muslims, and no opportunity to live in a Western democracy.

      Don't get me wrong - as an atheist, I would cheer if all religions went away tomorrow. Muslim women are being treated exactly the same way as Cuba - pretend they don't exist, don't have any contact with them, and vilify them at every opportunity. Look how well it's worked with Cuba, 50 years later!

  •  Local radio wingnut....'Since republicans have (4+ / 0-)

    screwed up this whole ACA thing....they may as well fix the parts they don't like.'

    Senator Toomey....'We don't like any of it.'

  •  in re: SNAP (17+ / 0-)

    Someone ought to tell the GOP that Jonathan Swift was just snarking and that A Christmas Carol was a parody and scathing social commentary, not a manifesto.

    The "Shot heard 'round the world" is now known as the "Pinochet Ricochet". --commonmass

    by commonmass on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 04:50:14 AM PDT

  •  MB, as you said you have once "lived" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, figbash

    on twitter, I wonder, if we all have to live there now, considering that Obama and Rouhani twittered, and the Kenyan military twittered right now that they have "something under control" (paraphrazed). Is the twitter the news system of "delivering diplomatic messages" between governments and to the world?

    As I have seen video footage of Obama's first tweat ever performed on a twitter tow nhall meeting with the guy who wrote and owns it (a young guy with "pimples" (so to speak, not literally) and probably a couple of millions or billions (who cares these days about the digits of zeros before the digital point and the first significant number) on his account (saw the same with pimply Zuckerberg and Obama (yes, I am mean in my wording, I know), is it really necessary to accept that sort of communication tool as a given and do I have - so to speak - join them, because I can't beat them?

    I find myself having to adapt to this twittering world and have not the slightest inclination to want to. Is something wrong with me or is something wrong with the fact that some twenty-plus years boys can within a couple of years change the world's information exchange structure and have power beyond any reasonable sense ?

    I want these boys to be "put into their place" and that place is not being a billionaire for some little bit of intelligent coding and using humane nature to exploit the masses and influence political power.

    Wow, I said it.

    Good morning. Have a nice day. Thank you for your work. I always appreciate the round ups and lists here on dailykos.


    "It's what you do, not what you say, that makes your nation" - some dude

    by mimi on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 04:52:35 AM PDT

    •  yes, you should (5+ / 0-)

      the quality of the tool is based on who you follow.

      i use it to simultaneously follow health news and political stuff, and I enjoy tweets from david frum and a few selected conservatives to get an idea of their thoughts as well as my usual "reads" who tweet as well.

      it's also a great way to find articles as authors you like tweet out links... and defend their work.

      hey, start with pour me coffee  for some nice flavor. or @ThePlumLineGS  or @monkeycageblog.

      You get the picture.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:03:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  hmm, ok, my salary depends a bit on me (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        figbash, Greg Dworkin

        not understanding too much, because if I would understand more, I would go nuts and quit.

        Just saying ... :)

        I am on twitter, but it's something like a suitcase I left in a storage place. I am not going there to follow the people I once thought I would follow. OK, nuff said. I am going to earn my salary now. That doesn't involve twitter. Others have to do that.

        Thanks for your kind response. :-)

        "It's what you do, not what you say, that makes your nation" - some dude

        by mimi on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:22:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I never said I lived on Twitter. That was... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FogCityJohn, mimi

      ...Ta-Nehisi Coates.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:47:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That was a brilliant piece, btw. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades

        Thanks for highlighting it.  Coates is just an amazing writer.  Not only does he show tremendous insight, but the writing itself is just beautiful.  He has a superb command of language and writes with a precision few others can match.

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 09:20:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I am sorry, should have re-read the diary and (0+ / 0-)

        comments before. My bad. Apologies.

        "It's what you do, not what you say, that makes your nation" - some dude

        by mimi on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 09:48:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The President of Iran could suggest that (13+ / 0-)

    we occupy their country, make Ann Coulter Military Governor and Converter-to-Christianity-in-Chief and the neocons would still want to bomb the sh*t out of them for good measure.

    I used to think that was "because Israel". But now I think it's simply we have small endowments in the man-parts division "because war. War, war, war. War? War--war war war war; war, war war war war. "

    The "Shot heard 'round the world" is now known as the "Pinochet Ricochet". --commonmass

    by commonmass on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:04:12 AM PDT

  •  Younge's piece is sad (10+ / 0-)

    it's okay to be scared when someone knocks on your door at 3 am, but how did we get from "do you need help?" to "where's my gun?" - a society living in fear. Way beyond unfortunate circumstances or Younge's focus of profiling, it's a poisonous dis-ease.

  •  Following GOP logic as oxymoronic as that might be (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diffrntdrummr, salmo

    If girth is a metric of a bad bill then the Patriot act must be hideous.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:10:35 AM PDT

  •  agree? rush to bomb Syria before Iran opening? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peacestpete, salmo, Laconic Lib

    there is a diary up on this subject which has had a lot of comments

    it makes a lot of sense to me that if Iran nuclear program was no longer an issue, the Israel / US approach to the middle east would have to change a lot

    the US is inflicting pain and suffering on Iran, through sanctions, and Iran is a country that has not invaded anyone in 100 years

    the BRICS countries are doing business with Iran at some level

    it would be totally insane, even for the US, to invade and occupy Iran which has 3 times the population of Iraq

    but that is what the neocons wanted and some would welcome that today

    here is the link to that diary

    Aha – That’s Why They Were So Desperate to Get Us Into Syria

    •  I wonder... (3+ / 0-)

      If the nation is still sore about the Hostages and OPEC 2? Even if it doesn't cleary remember those reasons 30+ years later.

      BTW, were those two events two big driving forces of the turn of the '80s turn to the Right?

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:49:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  30+ years is a drop in the bucket (5+ / 0-)

        to people in the Middle East.  They remember and hold grudges for hundreds of years, as their history stretches back thousands of years.  The people of Iran - members both of the government and the public - still harbor grudges against the U.S. for the 1953 CIA overthrow of their country's duly elected president Mohammad Mossadegh, while approximately 99.9% of Americans have no idea who Mossadegh was.  Even among the .01% of those who can name him as a past Iranian president and that "we" overthrew him, they generally don't know why, many attributing it to the country's religion somehow.  (Hint:  Iran under Mossadegh nationalized their oil industry.)

        The 1979 hostage crises and OPEC2, about which some Americans have a vague notion, was Iran's way of telling us to get the hell out of their country and stay out of their business.  Seems a sizeable number of U.S. "leaders" still haven't gotten the message.  Thank heavens at least our current president understands the value of listening.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:49:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  no one is proposing to invade and occupy Iran (0+ / 0-)
  •  Yellen will be a "tepid" reformer (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stwriley, DRo, Hoghead99, Sherri in TX, salmo

    Let's just conveniently forget that the very viable alternative was Summers, shall we??  

    I'll take "tepid." Please.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:12:47 AM PDT

  •  Congressman Shimkus.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diffrntdrummr, tb mare, salmo, SoCalSal

       ...sent me his newsletter describing his vote to cut "Food Stamps."

       I have e-mailed right back, offering to send  him a complete Bible, including the part about, "...whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to me." Hope that'll help!

    Snarkily, HH99

    Compost for a greener piles?

    by Hoghead99 on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:38:48 AM PDT

  •  Help Me Get Victims Health Coverage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am trying to get victims of mass shootings/terrorist attacks health insurance coverage under Congress' plan as dependents. I have over 100 signers, but I need a lot more.

    Thank you!

  •  Good range of things this morning, and a question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just wondering about one phrase. Yasmin Alibhai Brown writes

    white, black and brown liberals on the left.
    Are there any on the right?

    But that led me to the op-ed polemic, and more troubling stuff. She also writes:

    Some prominent Muslim women insist the garment is not enforced. They have no evidence to back these assertions partly because  it would be impossible to gather. The same would apply to Hassidic women – none would ever admit being oppressed.
    Could somebody who knows more about this tell me if this is remotely true? I live in a neighborhood in which there are significant numbers of Hasidic Jews.  I don't believe in their dress code, which applies to men as well as it does to women, but I don't condemn them for believing what they believe about the dress code. There are many ways to be Muslim just as there are many ways to be Christian or Jewish, but we just hear about the fundamentalist versions.  Is the veil really enforced in secular societies like here and in England? She has no evidence either.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:54:25 AM PDT

    •  I can speak for family members who... (3+ / 0-) in Manchester, England. Very, very strong peer pressure or family pressure to dress hijab in the Libyan community there. I don't know about other Muslims there, but many peninsular women dress niqab there and may be under peer and family pressure to do so as well.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:51:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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