Posts Tagged ‘decorum’
* A key feature of capitalism in America is the complete insulation of elites from the violence the system inflicts against the poor. This is illustrated well in today’s health care debate; the actual human suffering and death caused by our broken health care system is invisible to people like Joe Lieberman, who is therefore free to consider health care reform as a purely abstract game centered around revenge against his enemies. To bring up the fact that people are actually dying over this is considered unspeakably rude—a total breach of decorum. Frank Rich and BAGnotes make the same point today about the invisibility of suffering in the economic crisis as a whole.
* Ezra Klein explains why everyone is so terrified of reconciliation.
* Grist says the big story out of Copenhagen’s first week is the emergence of tensions between richer and poorer developing nations.
The one significant new feature of this treaty round is the emergence of a distinct voice for small island nations and the poorest states—the folks for whom climate change is an existential, not just economic, problem. Inside the talks, this manifested in the tiny island state of Tuvalu’s call for a new, post-Kyoto treaty that would require mandatory reductions not only from rich countries but from the biggest and fastest-growing developing nations, including China and India. It would also set 1.5 degrees C as the target for limiting the rise in global temperature, rather than the 2 C agreed upon in previous talks (and still maintained by big emitters). This amounts to the first big public eruption of the simmering tensions between major developing countries and their smaller/poorer brethren. Whereas China and India want to shelter their economic development above all else, Tuvalu, well, might go under water soon.
* Could Bernanke really withdraw his nomination for chairman of the Federal Reserve?
* And I wanted to post this a few days ago, but seem to have forgotten: the situation with Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio is rapidly growing completely insane.