Another day, another fool (this one a sitting House Democrat, but still a fool) claiming that the Democrats are going "too far left" -- but thank God we still have Bill Moyers around to school a fool. Of course the first thing wrong with Mr. Delaney's screed is the title: "The last thing America needs? A left-wing version of the Tea Party." I was thinking first, not last. But I'm sad to report the "left-wing version of the Tea Party" won't be Occupy -- the time for them to challenge Democrats in House and Senate primaries was 2012, when they were still on everyone's minds.
Paul Krugman tells us that the Texas "economic miracle," one allegedly spurred by "low taxes on the rich and harsh treatment of the poor," isn't what it appears to be. Mr. Krugman concedes that Texas's "permissive land-use policies" "have kept housing cheap" and therefore drawn folks to move there, but Texas's economy, we learn, has benefited from other factors -- the recent fracking boom, the long-term movement of Americans southward -- that can't be created by a legislature. Say that to your right-wing friend and he'll say see? Government can't do anything! Go ahead and tell him (do I need to gender-equivocate here?) that changing the subject is just a way of conceding the point.
MediaMatters's Eric Boehlert sees "More Bad News for Rush Limbaugh," as a vanguard Indianapolis radio station kicks him off its airwaves after 22 years. I'd hesitate to call this bad news for right-wing radio in general, though (one Republican radio consultant says it is, but he could be playing possum) -- new right-wing radio hosts seem to pop up all the time, faster than we can whack them, and where are the left-wing Rush Limbaughs who might inject our discourse with the coarse humor it needs? Nowhere, that's where. That's because liberals are nice.
A ProPublica/NPR report finds that the Red Cross raised $500 million for Haitian earthquake relief and built a grand total of six permanent homes. Every charity has problems in Haiti we could probably all recite, but the Red Cross has a few unique ones -- its apparent (and possibly racist) insistence on relying on workers who don't speak the language, its insistence on fundraising at least in part to close other operational deficits, and, of course, micromanaging from a home office that seems to understand fundraising better than it understands work. Even better than the part where the Red Cross starts a "hand-washing campaign" without adequate access to soap and water: the part where a Red Cross spokeshack accuses ProPublica and NPR of "creating ill will in the community which may give rise to a security incident"! Can you say hostage situation, boys and girls? Don't report on our failings, or the security of these good people gets it!
Finally, Dr. Jeff Ritterman writes in TruthOut that the McGovern Commission's 1977 declaration that we need to get fat out of our diet was wrong -- we need to get the processed sugar out of our diets. Happily Dr. Ritterman reminds us that when the fat went out of food, the taste went out with it, and when the taste went out, the sugar went in -- and thanks to our government's subsidization of high-fructose corn syrup, sugar was cheap. He goes on to explain exactly how excess sugar makes your body run badly, and he does this better than anyone else I've ever read.