The neoliberal policing of the left

Jonathan Chait is a columnist in New York magazine. Friends sometimes send me links to his article because they think he presents a sensible, liberal, perspective. I have never been impressed by him, just as I have never been impressed by Nicholas Kristoff, another columnist much favored by liberals. Alex Pareene captures well what I don’t like about Chait’s work. He says that the goal of neoliberal Democrats like Chait is to prevent the Democratic party from moving further to the left than the boundaries set by (say) the Clintons.
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We need more people like this in positions of authority

Listen to this short speech given by Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, head of the US Air Force Academy, to all 4,000 cadets and faculty and staff at the institution, after words got out that racial slurs had been found written on message boards at the academy’s preparatory school. Donald Trump could learn something from him.

Cue the white nationalists and neo-Nazis whining about how Silveria is a big old meanie who is infringing on their free speech rights.

We should stop treating the Republicans as strategic geniuses

The Republicans have developed a good con game, acting as if they are strategic whizzes, and the media tend to play along with them, keeping Democrats off-balance and on the defensive. What is worse is that the neoliberals within the Democratic party ranks also play along with this charade since it enables them to prevent the party from adopting more progressive stances
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The criminal waste in the US health care system

Pete Dolack estimates that about $1.4 trillion dollars are siphoned out of the US health care system each year because of its private, for-profit nature, more than enough to pay for a single-payer system. How does he arrive at this figure? He calculates the average per-capita expenditure on health care for Britain, Canada, France, and Germany for the years 2011 to 2016 and arrives at $4,392 per year. For the US the figure is more than twice that at $8,924. If you take the difference and multiply that by the US population of 317 million, the excess comes out to $1.44 trillion.
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The costs and benefits of prolonging life

I pretty much sit all day, mostly working on the computer or reading. I have done this all my life. I am told that I should exercise more but have not done so, due to a combination of laziness and other factors. I now see a report that says that my daily routine of largely sitting is going to kill me and that occasional walking would not have helped anyway.
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Moore, Trump, and the Republican party are all the same

Now that Roy Moore has won the Republican senate primary in Alabama, the chances of the Democratic candidate Doug Jones of winning the election on December 12 have gone up slightly, though they are still not great given that we are talking about Alabama where religious extremism thrives. The question is whether the Democratic party establishment throws its weight and resources behind Jones. Jones has been quietly raising money for his campaign.

Jones has some good credentials but the party has not as yet enthusiastically embraced him.
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Comic pages puzzle

The local newspaper the Plain Dealer has quite a few daily and Sunday strips but their policies puzzle me. Most strips run seven days a week. But one strip called Baby Blues appears only on Sundays and not weekdays but another strip Judge Parker appears on weekdays and not on Sundays. I cannot fathom the reason for this. Surely it would makes sense to pick either Judge Parker or Baby Blues to run seven days a week and drop the other? This would not require more space on the comic pages.
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ProPublica and John Oliver on monopolies

One of the features of capitalism is the growth of monopolies. As a result of their emergence either because of mergers or by the purchase of smaller companies, we end up having less competition and that results in higher prices and less innovation, leading to inferior products and services. The government’s anti-trust division is supposed to prevent monopolies but that long ago became a toothless tiger.
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