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The New York Times illustrates why America’s new mantra needs to be MAKE OR BREAK.  Advertisements

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If you want to know what the federal government is really doing, just look where it’s spending our money. Two of every five dollars goes to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, all of which provide some form of insurance. A bit more than a buck goes to the military. Then there’s a $1.50 or so for assorted other spending – education, infrastructure, environmental protection, farm subsidies, etc. Some of that, like unemployment checks and food stamps, is also best understood as forms of insurance. And then there’s another 40 cents of debt repayment. Calvin Coolidge once said that the business of America is business. Well, the business of the American government is insurance. Literally. If you look at how the federal government spends our money, it’s an insurance conglomerate protected by a large standing army.

Ezra Klein, The Washington Post, February 14, 2011. With thanks to npr. (via politicalprof)
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2010 IN PICTURES: Treasury Secertary Timothy Geithner (left) and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pose for photos during the unveiling of the new $100 note at the Treasury Department April 21, 2010 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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2010 IN PICTURES: Treasury Secertary Timothy Geithner (left) and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pose for photos during the unveiling of the new $100 note at the Treasury Department April 21, 2010 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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The Bennie Who Stole Christmas

The Bennie Who Stole Christmas

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A Good Teacher Is Worth $400,000/year

A Good Teacher Is Worth $400,000/year

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Obama’s electoral coalition was built around the promise of amelioration, a better deal for workers and peace abroad, and neither has been delivered. Obama has been far more completely Wall Street’s president than anyone expected. This also helps explain why the corporate media has felt it necessary to act as a mouthpiece and booster for a layer of corporate-funded middle class Poujadists. It is to pre-emptively colonise a political space that might otherwise be filled by the millions of working class Americans who are angry over wages, unemployment, the banks, repossessions, and the endless war. It is to drown out the rational concerns of more popular political constituencies with pageantry, noise and fury, irrational howling, and home-made bigotry. It is to stage the fight that capital wants to see – between ostensibly liberal, cosmopolitan, internationally-oriented, capital-intensive industry, and a parochial, nationalist, bigoted populace, often small business owners working in labour-intensive industries. And the viewer’s role is to pick a side, and forget that neither represents their interests.