Controversial, Not Controversial

Juan Cole’s Blog Informed Comment provides some of the best commentary on politics and society in the Middle East. This recent post Controversial, Not Controversial has this.

“Not controversial: John Brennan: Served in CIA during the torture program, designed the current US drone program that has extra-judicially killed hundreds, including children and including at least 2 American citizens.

Controversial: Chuck Hagel: Thinks war should be a last resort, doesn’t think an air strike on Iran would be effective, wants to do diplomacy with all major factions of the State of Palestine, including Hamas.

Not controversial: Wealthy Americans use government tax loopholes and subsidies to avoid $3 trillion a year in taxes.

Controversial: American workers who paid into Social Security all their lives and want their money back when they retire are accused of being ‘takers,’ ‘moochers’ and seeking ‘entitlements.’

Not controversial: Despite an alleged need to raise government revenue and cut spending, the ‘fiscal cliff’ deal awarded Big Oil billions of dollars in subsidies at a time when the US has the highest per person carbon emissions of any advanced industrial country and those emissions are threatening human welfare via climate change.

Controversial: Despite the large numbers of successful solar companies, the impressive increase in electricity supplied by solar in the US, the investment of $2 bn. in the solar industry by financier Warren Buffett– nevertheless, the press narrative is still dominated by the allegation that modest Federal support for green energy is a boondoggle (inaccurately instancing Solyndra).

Controversial: Sen Tom Harkin has met resistance to his proposal to raise the minimum wage, even though many full-time minimum wage workers fall below the poverty line.

Not controversial: The banks and investment firms that caused the 2008 crash and mortgage crisis have avoided any real accountability save for slap on the wrist fines, and could well plunge us into another such crisis. The vast numbers of Americans who lost their mortgages to bank fraud have not seen nearly the help promised.”

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