Weekend Reading

It’s time to do some reading, so get on that:

Of course there’s nothing to explain here except that intellectually dishonest hypocrites are doing more of the same. Conservatives are great at this. Hollywood is a cesspit of moral depravity and celebrities are all airheads, but they practically soil themselves with excitement when some star endorses a Republican or talks about running. Experts and academics in the ivory tower are never to be trusted, but hey did you see this new Exxon-funded study from Dr. Shameless at Texas A&M that totally disproves global warming? He’s a scientist, so it has to be true. Government is bloated and expensive and must be drowned in a bathtub, except for the military, farm subsidies, the prison system, massive and politically expedient handout programs for seniors, and more.

Sebastian took a quick flight over and spent a short amount of time there, then flew back to American Samoa. But when he tried to board a flight back home to L.A., he was barred. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said he had self-deported.

“In 2002, an immigration judge with the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review ordered Sebastian to depart the United States,” ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said in a statement. “In December 2011 when Mr. Sebastian traveled to American Samoa and Samoa, he was prohibited from returning to the United States due to the immigration judge’s order.”

Ironically, the White House occupant who best represented the views that now dominate the American Right was a Democrat: Grover Cleveland, the only Democratic president from the eve of the Civil War to Woodrow Wilson in 1912. When Cleveland, a rotund New Yorker, was first elected in 1884, his party’s base was remarkably similar to that of the GOP today: white Southerners from all classes and white workers everywhere who did not belong to unions. The Democrats’ standard-bearer alsoexpressed doubt that any “sensible and responsible” woman would ever want to vote.

As president, Cleveland took several opportunities to denounce those Americans who, as Mitt Romney expressed it to his donors in Boca Raton, expected the government to provide them with the necessities of life. In 1887 he vetoed a bill that earmarked $10,000 to buy seed for drought-stricken farmers in Texas. “I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution,” Cleveland explained in his veto message. “I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit.” He then added a pithy note of pedagogy: “The lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.”


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