Sunday, October 6, 2013

Morning Twitter Links and Messages -- October 6

I almost skipped posting today, but I came across too many good links not to share. 
Here are a few, starting in reverse order.

The dysfunctions of the House Republican Conference are often blamed on the so-called Hastert rule. The Hastert rule, which isn’t an actual rule, is named after former House speaker Dennis Hastert, who famously tried to bring to the floor only bills that had the support of a majority of House Republicans. Boehner has generally followed it, which is why he won’t allow the Senate’s immigration bill on the floor; it may have the support of a majority of the House, but it doesn’t have support from a majority of House Republicans.

What’s strange and fascinating about the shutdown debacle, however, is that a majority of House Republicans were with Boehner: They didn’t want a shutdown. “Two-thirds want a clean CR,” Rep. Peter King told the National Review, using the acronym for a “continuing resolution” to fund the government. “Including some of the people who got elected as tea party candidates from the South. You talk to them, they think this is crazy.”

Am I the only one who sees a similarity between these Muslim religious extremists and early Christian missionaries?

And am I alone imagining a similarity between these unbending segments of Egyptian democracy and American Tea Party zealots?  

If your time is limited and you have to pick one to read, 
make it this one... 

Young Syrian refugees, playing in a fountain in their home
at the Zaatari camp in Mafraq Province,
Jordan, are among the roughly
120,000 people at the camp. 

Readers prissy about profanity may not like this link, but it's one of the best advice letters I have read lately. 
You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal. The world of showbiz doesn't see things that way, they like things to be seen the other way, whether they are magazines who want you on their cover, or whatever … Don't be under any illusions … ALL of them want you because they're making money off your youth and your beauty … which they could not do except for the fact your youth makes you blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can't recognise those who do not.

I repeat, you have enough talent that you don't need to let the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn't let them make a fool of you either. Don't think for a moment that any of them give a flying fuck about you. They're there for the money… we're there for the music. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young lady gets to know that, the sooner she can be REALLY in control.


This Jonathan Chait piece is a must-read. 
[Juan] Linz, the Spanish political scientist who died last week, argued that the presidential system, with its separate elections for legislature and chief executive, was inherently unstable. In a famous 1990 essay, Linz observed, “All such systems are based on dual democratic legitimacy: No democratic principle exists to resolve disputes between the executive and the legislature about which of the two actually represents the will of the people.” Presidential systems veered ultimately toward collapse everywhere they were tried, as legislators and executives vied for supremacy. There was only one notable exception: the United States of America.

Linz attributed our puzzling, anomalous stability to “the uniquely diffuse character of American political parties.” The Republicans had loads of moderates, and conservative whites in the South still clung to the Democratic Party. At the time he wrote that, the two parties were already sorting themselves into more ideologically pure versions, leaving us where we stand today: with one racially and economically polyglot party of center-left technocracy and one ethnically homogenous reactionary party. The latter is currently attempting to impose its program by threat upon the former. The events in Washington have given us a peek into the Linzian nightmare.
Excuse me, is this Washington or Cairo? 

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