The strike got him thinking about the “old bad propensity for progressive people, when confronted with triumphant political evil, to take careful aim and shoot themselves in the feet.” The resulting play, he says, “is about a specific issue in terms of the American left, of which I consider myself a part. We are all aware of the monstrous price people pay for powerlessness, but are less honest with ourselves about how, when you have no power, you have some relief from responsibility. To be oppressed is to be given the opportunity to see certain things. It’s better, of course, to have power and try to retain the insight into powerlessness you personally gained or can glean from history. But I don’t know if we recognize the degree to which we’re satisfied with our inability to change. Revolution becomes a fantasy people hold without ever having to be responsible for it. I’m hugely impatient with it now. There is a failure to recognize that the infantile anarchism that was part of the sixties was co-opted by the counterrevolution, by the anarchism of the Reagan years, and turned into a kind of ego anarchism-libertarianism that meshed perfectly with Ayn Rand and all that nonsensical malevolent crap.
“Mark and I just had a discussion about it; we don’t see eye to eye”—Kushner married Mark Harris, a journalist who sometimes writes for New York, before a rabbi in Manhattan in 2003 and then legally in Massachusetts before a “lady motorcycle cop,” in 2008. “But I feel that after Obama’s inauguration the left immediately settled into our very familiar role of being the backseat drivers or principled opposition, and have expressed volubly every disappointment. Not even after the inauguration. The minute they heard that Rick Warren was speaking at the inauguration, LGBT people were saying, ‘It’s over, he’s just like all the others.’ Let alone those who say there’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats, which I think is glib and profoundly dangerous. What frightens me is that I feel that we’re in the process of dismantling the coalition of constituencies that brought Obama to the White House.”
With Democrats increasingly outraged over the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision that allowed unlimited corporate spending in elections — a change conservatives have been more successful at taking advantage of — a Democratic congressman is raising the prospect of impeaching the Supreme Court’s chief justice over the issue.
“I mean, the Supreme Court has done a tremendous disservice to the United States of America,” Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. “They have done more to undermine our democracy with their Citizens United decision than all of the Republican operatives in the world in this campaign. They’ve opened the floodgates, and personally, I’m investigating articles of impeachment against Justice Roberts for perjuring during his Senate hearings, where he said he wouldn’t be a judicial activist, and he wouldn’t overturn precedents.”
A grim picture of the US and Britain’s legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes. Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organizations.
The new logs detail how:
• US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.
• A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
• More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.
WikiLeaks says it is posting the entire set online – in defiance of the Pentagon.
The whistleblowing activists say they have deleted all names from the documents that might result in reprisals. They were accused by the US military of possibly having “blood on their hands” over the previous Afghan release by redacting too few names, but the military recently conceded that no harm had been identified.
“Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Michele Bachmann: the lovely MILFs of the new right. And their little secret is that their popularity comes exclusively from white men. Look at the polling: minorities hate them, women hate them — only white men like them. I’m no psychiatrist, but I do own a couch, and my theory is that these women represent something those men miss dearly: the traditional, idiot housewife. Writing on your hand is sheer Lucy. If an election between Obama and Sarah Palin were held today, and only white men could vote, Sarah Palin would be president. Did you know that in 1788, when there were four million people in America, only 39,000 of them — the richest white men — got to vote? That doesn’t sound good to you? Well, what if I threw in a picture of my cock? Which brings me back to Brett Favre, and I think it’s worth noting that in one of the alleged photos of him, he’s pleasuring himself on a bed while wearing Crocs. And if you think about it, is there a better metaphor for the sad state of America today than an over-the-hill white guy lazily masturbating in plastic shoes?”—Bill Maher’s New Rule: If a Woman Rejects Your First Dozen Advances, Don’t Send Her a Picture of Your Penis (via kateoplis)
“Religion and royalty have had their chance to guide human society, and they have failed.”—This week our online debaters are discussing the proposition: ”This house believes that religion is a force for good.” It’s getting somewhat heated. (via theeconomist)
“I think Sally’s actually much better than I would be, given her situation. Sally is really, really reserved. Divorce can be terribly stressful and confusing. Add to that an emotionally unresponsive mother and a physically absent father, I think Sally’s actions are pretty tame. If I was experiencing Sally’s situation, I would be a complete terror of a kid.”—
Kiernan Shipka, when asked: Do you think you’d act like Sally if your mom was like Betty and your dad was like Don? (via AMC)