These People Deserve Each Other

Not the United States.

In order to understand the latest Israel-Gaza conflict through the prism of the seemingly unending Arab-Israeli conflict, one need only turn to one of the most brilliantly concise explanations ever written: “It’s the latest version of the longest-running play in the Middle East, which, if I were to give it a title, would be called, Two Groups of Racist Assholes Endlessly Killing Each Other.” Although Matt Taibbi was referring to the atrociously amazing writing of one Thomas Friedman, this should not obscure the point. If that sounds like flippant analysis, that’s because it is. It is flippant precisely because it is a meaningless fight between two deeply racist communities based entirely upon equal parts machismo, religiosity, stubbornness, tribalism and the ownership of a very specific number of arid, dry and generally useless square kilometers. Obviously it is not meaningless to the combatants, but it is (or at least should be) to Americans. [Read more…]

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Nerd Link of the Day: ‘Merica’s National Job-Creation Fetish

Illustration by Amit Werber

Ezra Klein, the economics correspondent superstar for the Washington Post and Bloomberg, has a killer article today that sums up what I’ve been trying to say (albeit less eloquently) for years: presidents have no control over job creation and the economy, and voting as if they do is a recipe for stupidity and stagnation.

If politicians could reliably create durable private sector employment, there would never be unemployment. It’s as simple as that. Politicians who “focus on job creation” through tax code distortions and gubmint subsidies for politically en vogue industries are either cynical or are charlatans, full stop. If the Famous-for-DeeCee people actually cared about jobs they would fundamentally rewrite the tax code, create some semblance of a single-payer health insurance system, or both.

Read the article, and then vote for the candidate who insults your intelligence the least.

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