The numbers are way to big to comprehend. Barry Ritholtz attempts to put some perspective on the whole fiasco in the post below but it still completely blows my mind.
Leave it the The Onion to speak the truth in satire…
…and now the rest of the story…
CONGRATULATIONS MYRON ROLLE!!!
Enough said…this is a good story…I also like Wilbon’s take on it.
I ran across this link that supposedly analyzes a blog a gives you your “type”. My report is below:
INTP – The Thinkers
I found this passage very interesting in light of our current “cold-turkey” fast from politics and elections. It is a passage from a book by Carlo Carretto’s, I, Francis. It is a description of the life of St. Francis of Assisi told from the perspective of Francis living in modern times. I haven’t read the book (but think I would like to). I found this passage in A Guide to Prayer by Job and Shawchuck (The Upper Room). Let me know what you think. I believe its time Christians begin to seriously rethink our perceptions of what “Gospel” might be…the Gospel is so much more than an individual soul elixir/ticket to heaven when we die. It deals with “change of hearts” which in turn shows up in our relationship to politics, culture, classes, poverty, wealth, etc. I’d be interested in your thoughts.
When I, Francis, heard the call of the Gospel, I did not set about organizing a politcal pressure-group in Assisi. What I did, I remember very well, I did for love, without expecting anything in return; I did it for the Gospel, without placing myself at odds with the rich, without squabbling with those who preferred to remain rich. And I certainly did it without any class hatred.
I did not challenge the poor people who came with me to fight for their rights, or win salary increases. I only told them that we would be blessed–if also battered, persecuted, or killed. The Gospel taught me to place the emphasis on the mystery of the human being more than on the duty of the human being.
I did not understand duty very well. But how well I understood–precisely because I had come from a life of pleasure–that when a poor person, a suffering person, a sick person, could smile, that was the perfect sign that God existed, and that he was helping the poor person in his or her difficulties.
The social struggle in my day was very lively and intense, almost, I should say, as much so as in your own times. Everywhere there arose groups of men and women professing poverty and preaching poverty in the Church and the renewal of society. But nothing changed, because these people did not change hearts…
No, brothers and sisters, it is not enough to change laws. You have to change hearts. Otherwise, when you have completed the journey of your social labors you shall find yourselves right back at the beginning–only this time it is you who will be the arrogant, the rich, and the exploiters of the poor.
This is why I took the Gospel path. For me the Gospel was the sign of liberation, yes, but of true liberation, the liberation of hearts. This was the thrust that lifted me out of the middle-class spirit, which is present to every age, and is known as selfishness, arrogance, pride, sensuality, idolatry, and slavery.
I know something about all that.
I knew what it meant to be rich, I knew the danger flowing from a life of easy pleasure, and when I heard the text in Luke, “Alas for you, who are rich” my flesh crept. I understood. I had run a mortal risk, by according a value to the idols that filled my house, for they would have cast me in irons had I not fled.
It is not that I did not understand the importance of the various tasks that keep a city running. I understood, but I sought to go beyond.
You can reproach me, go ahead. But I saw, in the Gospel, a road beyond, a path that beyond, a path that transcended all cultures, all human constructs, all civilization and conventions.
I felt the Gospel to be eternal; I felt politics and culture, including Christian culture, to be in time.
I was made always to go beyond time.
Don’t you think Calvin pretty much reflects our consume-now-consequences-be-damned culture?
One of the most persistent attacks waged by Republican pundits over the last few weeks of the campaign has been the assertion that an Obama administration would be a “socialist” administration. Those with just a little perspective would recognize this as political hyperbole in the midst of a very heated campaign. Attaching such a label to your political rival and having it stick leading up to the election can be quite useful in these United States of America. However, the label caught on and began showing up in Facebook statuses regularly.
I read an interesting editorial in the current issue of the Christian Century commenting on the tax proposals of McCain vs. Obama. It contains some very interesting stats:
Since the late 1970s the share of national income going to the top 1 percent of Americans has doubled and the share for the top 0.1 percent has tripled. More than 40 percent of total income goes to the wealthiest 10 percent—their biggest share of the nation’s pie in at least 65 years. The very wealthy have become enormously wealthy, while middle-class workers have seen their wages stagnate—barely keeping pace with inflation—and at the same time have had to deal with sharp increases in the costs of health care and education. (Italics mine)
In light of this trend, the dispute between McCain and Obama on taxes is minor: Obama wants to return the top marginal tax rate to 39 percent, where it was under Clinton, while McCain wants to keep it at 35 percent. Both men, in other words, would maintain the mildly progressive tax system that currently exists. The current system is actually much less progressive than it was in earlier decades—under Eisenhower the top tax rate was 91 percent, and under Nixon it was 70 percent. Those were hardly socialist administrations.
I have had discussions with numerous friends supportive of McCain who earn well under $100,000 per year but for some reason vote and argue for conservative policy as though they earn many times that amount. That, I believe is a product of political manipulation and a refusal to actually dig a little deeper in the the policies being proposed. It’s much easier to say, “my guy good, your guy socialist”; “my guy lower my taxes, your guy raise my taxes.”
The editorial closes with the following paragraph:
Though tax rates are not the only factor shaping economic conditions, they are an important measure of how the burdens of common life are being distributed. The warnings about socialism should be seen for what they are: a blunt effort to block any discussion of the ominous fact that the U.S. has become a nation of increasing inequality and, for many, of declining opportunity.
I believe this is a situation that we must address if we are going to work our way out of the economic malaise in which we find ourselves. I think it points to a hard reality that all of us need to face. It will not be resolved via partisan politics or manipulation of the electorate. It’s time we all open our eyes to that reality and work for justice not only via our votes, but also in our communities, in our relationships* and with our own check-books…in proportion to what we can afford.
I think we also need, as a nation, to re-evaluate our definition of what is “sufficient” in terms of our lifestyles.
*I’m really over-reaching this particular blog post with this but it hit me while I was using the word “relationships” above. Do any of you have an actual relationship with someone dependent of food stamps for their grocery purchases? I do not… Why is that? Did you know that food stamps provide only $1/person/meal? Who can buy groceries on that? Why is it that the user of food stamps is often the symbol of abuse of governmental entitlements? Why are we not outraged that real people are HUNGRY in the United States of America? …this is becoming a rant…I’ll shut up now… (the questions however are not necessarily rhetorical…go for it below…)
We all witnessed history tonight. I recognize the anger, pain and hurt I see in my friends who were supporters of John McCain…I felt the same 4 years ago tonight. However, I was moved on this night unlike any other time in my lifetime. The cynics will snicker at that statement…I know because I have been a cynic for quite some time. I’ll admit I was gloating as the wave of electoral votes began to reveal the obvious. However, that all began to change when John McCain began what I thought was a great speech. It reintroduced us all to the man who has given his life to our country. His true love was revealed. I believed what he said when he offered to help President-elect Obama to bring this nation together.
Barack Obama then gave the speech of a true leader. He was not looking back at a successful campaign but looking forward to lead the United States of America. I believe, despite all our troubles and crises, this could be our finest hour…but not as Democrates or Republicans. We’ll only be able to do this together. On this night, I really am proud to be an American.
Peace! I’m going to bed…….
The last time I read anything about the Electoral College process might have been in a middle school civics class taught by a guy in polyester coaches shorts, long tube socks and a whistle around his neck. Maybe you can relate. If so, here’s a link to the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration that will give you all the info you should ever want about the electoral college (without the coaches shorts!)
NARA | Federal Register | U.S. Electoral College