Essential Summer Reading, Domestic Politics
Here are some of the what I consider to be this year’s essential \r\nreadings on politics. In particular, today I want to look at some of the crucial \r\nissues that underlie domestic politics in America.
I am taking a couple of weeks off. But while I’m away, I thought I’d
share with you some of the what I consider to be this year’s essential
readings on politics. Today, I want to look at some of the crucial
issues that underlie domestic politics in America.
In "60 Was the Loneliest Number" (The American Prospect, January 20), Mark Schmitt explains why the idea of a "filibuster-proof majority" was an illusion. On the contrary, he argues that the fact that the Democrats nominally had 60 votes actually made it a "filibuster-dependent Senate."
In "The Quiet Revolution" (The New Republic, February 1), John B. Judis argues that President Obama’s greatest achievement may be rebuilding the regulatory apparatus that Republican presidents since Reagan have worked so hard to dismantle.
In "The Media-Lobbying Complex" (The Nation, February 11), Sebastian Jones reports on the shocking extent to which news shows solicit the commentary of experts without revealing that they are actually highly-paid lobbyists working. At one point, former Newsweek writer Richard Wolffe actually guest-hosted Countdown With Keith Olbermann without disclosing that he was working for a public relations firm that specialized in "strategies for managing corporate reputation."
Finally, in "Why the U.S. Is Also Giving Brazilians Farm Subsidies" (Time, April 9), Michael Grunwald tells how, rather than discontinue cotton subsidies that violate our trade agreements, the Department of Agriculture agreed to pay almost $150 million of subsidies to Brazilian cotton growers.
And yes, U.S. cotton subsidies do that too. By encouraging Americans to plant cotton even when prices are low, they promote overproduction and further depress prices. An Oxfam study found that removing them entirely would boost world prices about 10%, which would be especially helpful to the 20,000 subsistence cotton growers in Africa.
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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