It's easy to raise a moral panic about the Slender Man, a shadowy internet meme few people over 25 had ever heard of, at least until this week. Administrators and parents can ban the lanky specter – can put a face on the faceless figure – and reassure themselves that they are barring the door to the bogeyman. A fictional, tentacle-sprouting villain doesn't require us to examine any uncomfortable truths about society.
The Republicans won control of the House and picked up seats in the Senate in the midterm election on nebulous promises to slash spending and reduce the size of the federal government. House Speaker John Boehner has pledged to reduce spending to 2008 levels, as per the GOP's campaign manifesto, known as the "Pledge to America."
In July, the Washington Post published the Top Secret America project -- a sweeping portrait of America’s heavily privatized military-corporate-intelligence establishment. Lead reporter Dana Priest calls it the “vast and hidden apparatus of the war on terror.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele demanded the resignations of his two top finance officials on Friday after a series of revelations regarding the questionable expense reports and lavish spending revealed last month by AlterNet and other media outlets. Finance chair Rob Bickhart and his deputy Debbie LeHardy were sent packing ahead of next week's meeting of GOP state finance chairs.
At the Republican National Committee, the term "office supplies" seems to have taken on a whole new meaning. If you take its recent filings with the Federal Election Commission at face value, the RNC, it seems, requires thousands of dollars worth of pricey clothing and more than a splash of booze to run its office.
Today, President Barack Obama delivered a speech from the White House outlining his plan to move forward on health care reform. Advocating the use of budget reconciliation in order to get disputed portions of the reform package through the Senate on a simple-majority vote, Obama pointedly said, "I believe the United States Congress owes the American people a final vote on health-care reform. We have debated this issue thoroughly. And now it deserves the same kind of up or down vote that was used for welfare reform...."
Early Monday morning, the senate voted 60-40 along straight party lines to defeat the initial attempt to filibuster the health care reform bill. Yesterday, it passed the second of three procedural votes, bringing the Senate one step closer to a final vote on the health care reform bill. Majority Speaker Harry Reid (D-NV) is on schedule to vote on the bill before Christmas.
This story should put the annoying "bad mommy" confessional genre out of its misery. Nothing can top this. Bad mommies have officially jumped the shark:
A plan to reform health care that includes a robust public option would actually cut the deficit, according to preliminary estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). For the purposes of this analysis, a robust public option was defined as one that reimburses doctors at Medicare rates plus five percent. The latest CBO estimate is critical for Democrats because President Barack Obama said he wouldn’t sign a health care bill that adds to the deficit. (There’s a double standard at work. Health care has to pay for itself or save money. But as Jo Comerford notes for Democracy Now!, the president has no compunction about bloating the budget with defense spending.)
One of the featured corporate sponsors of the Tea Party Express had to pay millions of dollars to settle lawsuits for its role in a bus fire that killed 23 seniors fleeing Hurricane Rita in 2005.