Sick and Tired Of Senator Ted Cruz? This Drinking Game is For You!

Published: mic (October 25, 2013)

“The only shame is to have none.” –Blaise Pascal

While the 17th century French mathematician may not have had Ted Cruz in mind when he penned the aforementioned aphorism, few words are more fitting for the Texas senator and his supporters. Having egged the radical right into a frenzy so fanatical that they shut down the government and drove America to the brink of financial catastrophe, Cruz is now slated to deliver the keynote address at the Iowa Republican Party’s annual fall fundraiser Friday night. Since the Iowa caucuses play an essential role in determining both parties’ presidential nominations, one could be forgiven for cynically assuming that White House ambition (and not a deep-rooted love of Hawkeye Staters) is the primary factor motivating the Tea Party darling’s address tonight. read more

Apple, Nokia, and Microsoft Unveil Tablets: Can Humans Keep Their Humanity In the Techno Age?

Published: mic (October 21, 2013)

The headline of the new Huffington Post article says it all:

“Young People Say Technology Is Often Dehumanizing But Makes Life Easier”

As Apple, Nokia, and Microsoft all prepare to unveil new tablets on Tuesday, this succinctly summarizes the root of our generation’s dilemma. While we naturally lap up the benefits and conveniences that come with technological progress, are we prepared for the more intangible costs?

The irony of posing this question as I write for PolicyMic, one of the fastest-growing online news sites in America, is not lost on me. Indeed, I feel it makes me (as well as any other regular pundit for this site) something of an expert on the pros and cons of the digital revolution. That is why I’ve composed this helpful list on the four ways you can keep touch with your human side even as you dive into the cyber world of the future: read more

Halloween 2013: Top 10 Horror Movies For Every Political Junkie

Published: mic (October 28, 2013)

Whoever said that horror shouldn’t be taken seriously?

Well, a lot of people, actually. Although some of the most widely recognized artistic geniuses of our time have dabbled or even specialized in horror, from Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft to Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick, the genre still tends to receive less acclaim, at least when compared to more “respectable” story types like straight drama or period pieces. Nevertheless, as you prepare to celebrate Halloween (the official holiday that falls on October 31, not the informal one that most people celebrated this past weekend), it would be helpful to remember that there are horror films which can make you think as well as shiver.  Which brings us to… read more

Inside the Newest Front Lines Of the Gay Marriage Revolution

Published: mic (October 19, 2013)

You may not have realized it, but October has been a portentous month in the fight for gay marriage rights. Let’s go through the list:

-Most pressingly, the Supreme Court of New Jersey rejected Governor Chris Christie’s effort to block same-sex marriages, thereby affirming a ruling by a state Superior Court judge last month that declared a civil-union law to be an unconstitutional infringement of the rights of the state’s gay couples.

-In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Corbett and Secretary of Health Michael Wolf filed a motion to dismiss the case against them in Whitewood v. Corbett, which holds that their state’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages violates the constitutional rights of LGBT residents. The couples who filed the suit are preparing opposition briefs to the commonwealth’s motion, while the governor did not help matters with bigoted comments that compared gay marriage to incest. read more

Budget, Farm Bill, Immigration Reform: How Republicans Can Save Themselves Post-Shutdown

Published: mic (October 18, 2013)

Right now congressional Democrats have an abysmal approval rating of 31%. Not surprisingly, however, their Republican counterparts are doing even worse, polling at only 20%. By comparison, President Obama’s approval rating remains in the low 40s, suggesting that if anything, legislative Democrats are being damaged more by their institutional association with Republicans than anything else. Is there anything the congressional GOP can do to improve its image? read more

Obama’s Greatness Demonstrated As He Defused the Republican Nuclear Bomb

Published:  mic (October 17, 2013)

America, it is time to doff your proverbial hat to President Barack Obama. This is what a leader looks like.

It isn’t simply that he managed to protect his signature legislative legacy, the Affordable Care Act, from being mutilated and/or defunded by congressional Republicans. While that is quite the accomplishment in its own right (one that will be appreciated more with the passage of time, as its major provisions begin to change lives for the better), it is far less important than the precedent Obama has set through his conduct during the shutdown fiasco. If he had faltered, the threat of national default and state instability would have been established for a generation as a potentially effective tool for wielding power and shaping policy. By standing firm and humiliating his right-wing adversaries, Obama has at the very least poured water on that incendiary threat, if indeed he hasn’t extinguished it altogether. read more

How the Conservative Way Of Thinking Got America Into a Really Big Mess

Published: mic (October 16, 2013)

The Senate has presented its bipartisan bill to end the government shutdown and avert a debt default. With the fate of America’s financial future now resting in the hands of right-wing firebrands, it is perhaps appropriate to remember the words of Edmund Burke, the 18th century British statesman widely regarded as one of the great paladins of conservative thought:

“It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.” read more

The Disturbing Trend in America We’re Not Talking About — Elder Abuse

Published: mic (October 15, 2013)
Co-authored by Ariel Gordon

Elder abuse may not be making national headlines, but it ought to be.

In Mercer County, Penn., a woman was dropped off starving and emaciated because her grandson spent $86,000 of her money on drugs and personal amenities. Across the country in Oregon, four elderly plaintiffs are in the process of suing a retirement community for financially abusing them by tricking them into signing misleading rental documents. Meanwhile, a Georgia woman has been charged with running an unlicensed retirement home in order to financially gouge its elderly residents while neglecting to meet their needs. read more