Working for an English training school in China means teaching on Saturday and Sunday, so my weekend is actually Wednesday and Thursday. It’s a gorgeous day here, as you can see, but I’ve come down with a cold. Better take it easy and catch up on my internets.
- Like Josh Marshall, I really like Vice President Joe Biden. I also agree that his running for the presidency would only make sense if Hillary Clinton’s campaign somehow implodes, most likely due to scandal, and now it’s looking less and less likely that will happen.
- Paul Ryan may walk the plank yet. It looks like he’s got enough support now (math explained here in a previous post) to become Speaker with only Republican votes. But the Freedom Caucus won’t go quietly, and I really don’t see how Ryan becomes anything other than Boehner 2.0 as Speaker. If the Freedom Caucus continues to demand government shutdowns and default on US debt in order to achieve its goals, then we’re right back where we started: the Speaker needs Democratic votes to pass clean budgets and clean authorization to pay US debts, will look weak for it, and conservatives will call him a RINO (Republican-in-name-only, i.e. no better than a Democrat) and kill his career… And now I see some conservative groups are already calling Ryan a RINO.
- A writer I don’t like, David Brooks, is caught yet again peddling his “Oh, where have all the reasonable conservatives gone” bullshit. Corey Robin lets this tired lament hang from its own rope. But if you really want to understand what Robin is getting at, read his lengthy post, or better yet, his book. Conservatism, going all the way back to one of its revered founders, Edmund Burke, has always been about resistance to democratic government and its potential to change the status quo.
- When will these tragedies ever end? I look forward to the NRA explaining that this 4-year-old would still be alive today if only she had been packing as well.
- The fight against our country’s sick fascination with firearms and the consequences of said fascination is going to be long and uphill, but Erik Loomis finds some interesting strategies that could make a difference. One interesting idea already introduced in the House is to make all gun owners carry insurance. If done well, this could make the kind of guns most likely to result in harm or death prohibitively expensive for the average gun nut. The prospect of confiscating guns newly made illegal by such a law, however, is fraught with danger.
- Erik Loomis again, this time about the idea of relative poverty. Here he is previously on the backlash – weirdly enough in some otherwise progressive spheres – against reporting that reveals, shockingly, that poor Americans are poor.
- Ok, it’s my “Sunday” so I’m going to make some comfort food for brunch. Here are some good recipes I’ve used many times before for biscuits and bacon gravy.