One of the great things about Facebook, other than the pictures of food you’re not eating, cats you’re not petting, and concerts you’re not seeing, is the way it brings you things on the Internet you’d never see otherwise. Like today, I found myself on Glenn Beck’s website, nodding in agreement. (I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.)
It seems the lovely lady who cuts my hair (hi Amelia!) commented on something one of her friends posted, and since Facebook insists that I see every little bit of my friends’ activities on Facebook, even the ones that involve people I don’t know, I saw her comment and the original posting, which was a discussion between Beck and Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe about college.
Specifically, that the idea that a college education is a mandatory prerequisite for a successful or prosperous life is not necessarily good advice, particularly as baseline tuitions climb past $25,000 a year.
I was so excited to sign up for new health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s hard-won reform law that promised to bring premiums down and make insurance available to everyone, regardless of their prior medical history. My wife and I have been getting soaked for over $500 a month to insure ourselves and our son, so I eagerly logged onto to shop for a new plan as soon as the site went live on October 1.
Things did not go quite as smoothly as I’d hoped.
Please, please, please let these jackasses run on a third-party ticket
As the deadline for raising the nation’s debt ceiling got closer and closer this week, there was a little tiny part of me that couldn’t help hoping the Republicans would stick to their ransom demands and force the country into a default.
Sure, every economist, banker, business leader, financial reporter, and lemonade stand owner has been howling for the last two years that a debt limit breach would have unimaginably awful consequences for the U.S. economy, crash the markets, push us back into another recession, destroy jobs, cancel Christmas and your birthday and so forth.
But there’s still a part of me that wanted to see what would really happen. You know that part in Pulp Fiction when Travolta is about to stab Uma Thurman in the heart with the adrenaline, and Rosanna Arquette is sitting behind him watching in excited fascination?
In one of the oddest, if not exactly surprising, pop-culture developments in recent memory, the classic “Fish Sticks” episode of South Park actually came true last week, as producer/rapper/irritant Kanye West took extreme umbrage to a mild joke about him on a late-night talk show and showed the world the gaping hole in his soul where the sense of humor is supposed to be.
It seems that Kanye gave a long, ranting interview to the BBC, mostly complaining about his failure to break into the world of high-end fashion design. Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel took the transcript of the interview and used it for one of his recurring bits, “Kimmel Kid Re-Kreation”: a couple of 9-year-olds acted out the interview over milkshakes, interviewer kid nodding reverently while Kanye kid shouts increasingly megalomaniacal boasts.
As even Kimmel admitted, it wasn’t really that funny, but it also wasn’t exactly a character assassination. In any case, it sent Kanye into a rage, and he lashed out at Kimmel on Twitter, granting the host his long-held wish, as he said on his show soon afterward, to be in a rap beef.
All of this is just the backstory for last night’s big showdown: Kanye was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and the two came face-to-face to hash out their differences.
In a fit of pique that appears not unlike flipping over a board game when it becomes apparent that defeat is imminent, House Republicans have prevented the passage of a routine government spending bill for several weeks, demanding in exchange that President Obama dismantle or defund his signature legislative achievement: the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”). In the absence of funding, the Federal government has shut down, and at the time of this writing shows no sign of reopening.
Despite the fact that it has no bargaining power (other than holding the government for ransom), and that public opinion is solidly against it, the Republican Party is sticking to its demand, while the president, realizing that he is obviously going to win this fight in the end, is holding firm in his refusal. Except for the hysterical shrieking of the GOP’s army of dead-end pundits trying to blame the whole thing on Obama, the press is calling the Republican gambit a colossal mistake, a political blunder of the highest order, the last gasps of a dying party.
To the contrary, I think it’s the most brilliant political strategy I’ve ever witnessed.