Alex Pareene

Why TED Is a Massive, Money-Soaked Orgy of Self-Congratulatory Futurism

In case you’re unfamiliar with TED, it is a series of short lectures on a variety of subjects that stream on the Internet, for free. That’s it, really, or at least that is all that TED is to most of the people who have even heard of it. For an elite few, though, TED is something more: a lifestyle, an ethos, a bunch of overpriced networking events featuring live entertainment from smart and occasionally famous people.

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Joe Scarborough's Insane Conspiracy Theory: The Census Is Fixed!

Did the Census Bureau change the way it counts Americans without health insurance as part of a deliberate plot by the Obama administration to fudge the numbers and make the ACA appear more successful than it really is? I don’t know! It’s not impossible. It’s a thing that could have happened. But it doesn’t seem very likely, and there is absolutely no evidence for the charge, at all.

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Why "Libertarian" Rand Paul Wants the Government to Have More Tomahawk Missiles

Sen. Rand Paul is a Different Kind of Republican. He will drag the party, kicking and screaming, toward a new kind of conservatism that appeals more to today’s youth, who embrace liberty and are skeptical of foreign intervention. The Millennials will flock to him. Rand Paul also would like you to know that the Pentagon must keep buying Tomahawk missiles.

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Hey, Bill O'Reilly and David Gergen! You Should Really Hear Abe Lincoln's Fart Joke

To the great shame of this once-proud nation, President Barack Obama went on a jokeman’s joke show and did jokes. All right-thinking Americans — which is to say, a number of white men above the age of 60 — were horrified to see the leader of the free world on “Between Two Ferns,” the web-based faux talk show hosted by “Hangover” star and alt-comedian Zach Galifianikis. Whatever happened to the dignity of the office of the presidency?

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Obama's Decision Not to Push for Social Security Cuts Has the Beltway Insiders Hopping Mad

You may be pleased that the president has (for now) abandoned his Very Serious proposal to cut Social Security benefits in order to Fix the Debt (and perhaps win nebulous concessions from an uncooperative Republican Party). Do you know who’s not pleased? Professional deficit scolds, a class that includes much of the supposedly objective American political press. They are dismayed. They are practically weeping into their cups of morning joe. Why, they are asking, can’t American politicians simply grow up and cut social insurance programs?

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How Ted Cruz’s Sulking Rage Could Impact the GOP

Republicans are stumbling toward the 2014 midterm elections fighting amongst themselves again. Democrats are happy to see it, because Republican disarray is one of the few things that could prevent another very good election for the GOP. We should all know the reasons for the Republican advantage by now: Midterm voters are older, whiter and more conservative than presidential election voters. Democrats have more Senate seats to defend. Republicans have a huge, baked-in advantage in the House, thanks to redistricting and the clustering of liberal voters in urban districts. So the great Democratic hope is that Republicans will sabotage themselves, by nominating unelectable wingnuts for Senate seats, and demoralizing the base with infighting. So far, Republicans seem to be cooperating.

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Why Congress Will Never Achieve Anything Like the Reforms the Public Might Wish for

As I wrote last month and also several other times over the past five or so years, “comprehensive immigration reform” — defined as a bill making it possible for currently undocumented residents to earn legal status and/or citizenship — can’t happen now because Republicans control the House of Representatives, conservatives control the Republican Party, and conservatives oppose granting legal status to undocumented immigrants. It’s a very simple calculation, and most discussions of the political status of immigration reform could start and end with some variation on that explanation.

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The 1 Percent’s Frothing Paranoia: Why Billionaires Keep Whining About Non-Existent Persecution

A funny prank would have been for Barack Obama to announce at his State of the Union address last night that he was going to confiscate all of Tom Perkins’ money and redistribute it to the masses. I mean, no matter what the president actually said in his speech, that proposal is what Perkins was going to hear. If our plutocrats insist on being paranoid cranks obsessed with their persecution fantasies, I say we might as well persecute them.

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The Republican Plot to Kill Democracy: Why It Wants To Neutralize the Vote

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration has released its report and recommendations, and reasonable people everywhere rejoice. The bipartisan commission was formed by Barack Obama following the 2012 election, which was a bit of an embarrassment for a nation that considers itself something of a model democracy. Across the country (but mainly in urban areas and black and Latino neighborhoods), Election Day featured hours-long lines, broken voting machines, inaccurate voter rolls and confusing ballots.

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5 More of the Most Awful Media People of 2013

In the media hack list below, Alex Pareene has channeled each media figure's "unique" voice -- and let them "write" their own entries. You can find the previous five hacks in Pareene's list here

#5 Hack: Washington Post's Richard Cohen

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