Trust Your Instincts When It Comes To The Plutocratic Mindset

The Article: World’s richest woman says poor should have less fun, work harder by David Lazarus in The Los Angeles Times.

The Text: Just in case you were beginning to think rich people were deeply misunderstood and that they feel the pain of those who are less fortunate, here’s the world’s wealthiest woman, Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, with some helpful advice.

“If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain,” she said in a magazine piece. “Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working.”

Yeah, let them eat cake.

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One Million Lost In A Mistake

The Article: One Million Dead by Danny Katch in The Socialist Worker.

The Text: OVER A million Iraqis are dead from America’s war.

That sentence is a cognitive litmus test. Some people’s immediate reaction is, “That can’t be right,” because the United States couldn’t do that. Or because crimes on that scale don’t still happen. Or because they do happen, but only in horrible places that the United States hasn’t rescued.

One million is a “Grandpa, what did you do to stop it?” number. It’s a number that undeniably puts the American state among history’s villains. Those who are not willing or able to accept this are physically unable to retain the fact that over a million Iraqis are dead. Their brains expel it like a foreign germ.

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Speeding Up In America

The Article: All Work and No Pay: The Great Speedup by Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery in Mother Jones.

The Text: On a bright spring day in a wisteria-bedecked courtyard full of earnest, if half-drunk, conference attendees, we were commiserating with a fellow journalist about all the jobs we knew of that were going unfilled, being absorbed or handled “on the side.” It was tough for all concerned, but necessary—you know, doing more with less.

“Ah,” he said, “the speedup.”

His old-school phrase gave form to something we’d been noticing with increasing apprehension—and it extended far beyond journalism. We’d hear from creative professionals in what seemed to be dream jobs who were crumbling under ever-expanding to-do lists; from bus drivers, hospital technicians, construction workers, doctors, and lawyers who shame-facedly whispered that no matter how hard they tried to keep up with the extra hours and extra tasks, they just couldn’t hold it together. (And don’t even ask about family time.)

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Don’t Worry About Super PACs–Worry About Big Business

The Article: Never Mind Super PACs: How Big Business Is Buying the Election by Lee Fang in The Nation.

The Text: On January 27, 2010, one year into his term, President Barack Obama used the occasion of his State of the Union address to issue a warning. The Supreme Court had just opened the “floodgates for special interests—including foreign corporations—to spend without limit in our elections.” He was speaking about the ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the Court struck down nearly a century of law, granting corporations vast new leeway to influence the outcome of elections.
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In the months after Obama’s speech, the American Petroleum Institute, an oil industry trade association that represents hundreds of multinational oil and gas companies, would demonstrate just how prescient the president’s warning was.

Before Citizens United, API had gone to battle with the president over his efforts to address global warming. It took out issue ads, hired lobbyists from K Street, and financed dubious studies to claim that even the most piecemeal legislative fixes, such as the Waxman-Markey bill designed to cap carbon emissions, would lead to economic ruin. The group spent $7.3 million on federal lobbying during the year the bill was being debated.

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Ron Paul: No Mittenz For Me

The Article: Ron Paul Speaks: ‘No’ on Romney by Todd Richeson in Ankeny.

The Text: Ron Paul Republicans in Iowa are not the only people leery of Mitt Romney. Ron Paul is, too.

The Texas Republican congressman has pointedly refused to endorse his party’s presidential contender. Speaking on CNBC, Paul argued that neither he nor President Barack Obama would make necessary cuts to public spending that would avert a fiscal catastrophe.

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