During Ramadan, a time for focus and introspection, Michelle Bachmann and her posse are testing me. Big time. She believes that members of the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated the U.S. government -- and she's calling them out in public. In today's ballooning and increasingly influential social media landscape, sure sticks and stones can break bones, but a correctly phrased Google search can be even more devastating.
It's not that Americans aren't smart enough to know the bile spewed in super-PAC ads consists largely of lies. Surely they suspect Romney could care less about them, and his presidency would hinge solely on placating the so-called "one-percenters" who really run America; it's just there's something omnipotent about the way unlimited amounts of money slowly, steadily steer our thoughts and desires.
The good news is that, win or lose, President Obama has succeeded after decades of attempts in providing the type of healthcare the rest of the developed world provides. America's private-sector health experiment has failed abysmally and is on its way out. Governments outside the U.S. deliver medical care better and cheaper. The proof exists all over the world, except in the minds of partisans who would defend the indefensible.
Nobody is in a position to review David Frum's new novel, Patriots. You're either going to hate it for all the wrong reasons, or love it for all the wrong reasons. Set in D.C., the novel centres around Walter Schotzke, a likably louche trustafarian who is about to be swallowed whole by the populist right. Sound familiar? If so, it's because it is: Schotzke is no Frum, but there are clearly some autobiographical elements in this novel, thinly-veiled, and ready to deliver carnage to everything the ultra-right holds dear.
Gaddafi wasn't even buried when pundits began speculating as to whether the tribes of Libya would be able to pull together to prosper. The answer was obvious. Of course they will have huge difficulties getting along. After all, Europe's "tribes" were still quibbling over how to handle their impecunious tribes such as the Greeks.
The complexity of passing legislation through Congress with an intransigent Republican Party is something we should be worried about here in Canada, too. There is the prospect that the federal government, Canada's largest province, and Canada's largest city could all be governed by ideological conservatives.