12 Signs America Is Insane

The following piece first appeared in The Synthesis. 

12. Chelsea Manning is in jail. Dick Cheney is not.

11. The six Wal-Mart heirs possess more wealth than the bottom 40% of families in this country. Or, in other words, six surrealistically-rich people who say they can’t provide decent wages or benefits for their workers have more wealth than roughly 160 million other Americans combined. Much of that Wal-Mart wealth is directly attributable to the ways U.S. taxpayers subsidize the Wal- Mart labor pool, offer tax breaks, and tilt the playing field so that so much wealth flows into those few hands. Six people. Think about that, if your own head isn’t too far up your nether orifice, then think of the people and policies that created such disparity.

10. Michelle Bachmann is on the House Intelligence Committee.

9. The highest-paid public employees in 26 states are college football coaches.

8. Rush Limbaugh has a net worth of nearly a half a billion bucks, and he is the most listened-to ignorance-and-hate-purveyor in the nation, with some 15 million regular listeners. He has two semesters of college under his rather lengthy belt, and according to his mother, he “flunked everything.”

7. College grads in 2011 left college with an average debt load of $26,000 apiece. That figure has gone up since then.

6. Justin Bieber made $55 million in 2012.

5. Doug LaMalfa, Louie Gohmert, Mike Spence, and Darrell Issa all serve or have served in the U.S. House of Representatives, and if you don’t know why those elected representatives constitute an example of our having our heads up our asses, then you’ve probably got yours up yours.

4. The news media actually cover things Donald Trump says.

3. According to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, veterans of the U.S. military are killing themselves at the rate of nearly one per hour. Among American teenagers, suicide is the third-leading cause of death, right behind homicide and accidents.

2. House Republicans have held more than 40 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but have not proposed a single bill to create jobs.

1. On the morning I was compiling this list, 13 people were shot to death in the nation’s capital. Since terrorists struck the U.S. on 9/11/2001, more than 300,000 Americans have lost their lives to guns—more than 100 times as many people as the number who died when the World Trade Center fell. We’ve spent well over a trillion dollars fighting terrorism, but we live with the threat of random terror in our schools and on our streets on any given day. That’s just the price we pay for “freedom,” I guess. Or so the NRA would have us believe, as they corrupt our politicians and subvert popular support for gun control sanity.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.