What is "The Biggest Iraq War Scandal Nobody's Talking About," according to Liam O'Donoghue at Salon? That our soldiers who worked near "burn pits" now tend to suffer life-threatening illnesses. What are burn pits? Holes in the ground where garbage got burned, garbage ranging from plastic to Styrofoam to batteries to human corpses. And who operated them on our government's behalf? Why, Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown, and Root, of course! You'd have thought Agent Orange would've taught us something, but apparently all lessons fly out the window when there's money to be made -- particularly money to be made at the expense of both the taxpayer and our troops.
Pope Francis I calls for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty, saying that "(t)he commandment 'you shall not kill" has absolute value and applies to both the innocent and the guilty." Haters who stand at the ready to condemn the Pope because it's a day ending in "y" should note that the Catholic Church has actually been evolving in this direction for over a decade. And I think I've come to the same place -- I've long said we should work on rehabilitating souls rather than merely locking them away from the rest of us, but even at the point where the best rehabilitative efforts fail, I can no longer justify killing someone.
You've heard that liberal economists have hated on Bernie Sanders's economic plan, and that their number includes even the incomparable Paul Krugman? Dave Johnson, writing at Futureblog, explains how this happened. Long story short: even the best of Our Glorious Elites seem very afraid of profound change, which the Sanders plan (which would tax the rich a lot harder, cut health care costs, and spend more on infrastructure-building) certainly would be. And using the lousy economic figures of the Bush/Obama years to attack the Sanders plan -- when neither Messrs. Bush nor Obama ever even tried anything on that scale -- is, to quote a famous philosopher, "most illogical."
Daily Kos diarist Barbara Morrill finds that the "Trump rhetoric" that upsets NBC's Chuck Todd isn't his racist rhetoric, his sexist rhetoric, his nativist rhetoric, or his militarist rhetoric -- but his anti-press rhetoric. Why, that's the only thing I sorta-almost like about Donald Trump! I'm guessing Mr. Todd finds anti-media tantrums worse than the others because he's supposed to be objective and not "complain" about the others. To the rest of us, though, it looks like Mr. Todd only finds rhetoric "dangerous" when he's about to be on the blunt end of it. Typical "liberal" media self-absorption.
Finally, in a not-tremendously-shocking development, a right-wing radio host/Republican Congressional candidate in Minnesota has said a number of racist and sexist things over the years. I remember Robert Welch of the John Birch Society saying more or less the same sort of thing 50 years ago about black folks actually having it pretty good in America as far as material possessions go! It is true that your money goes a lot farther in Ghana (and India, and Iran, and Thailand, and most other places on Earth) than it does here, but how does that prove blacks should just shut up and be content with the knowledge that their next contact with police might be their last? I mean, I thought we aspired to better things in America.