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Ann Spencer

Bloomington, MN
Commenter for
7 years 11 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 01/21/15 at 11:47 am in response to Why the U.S. is rarely at peace and often seeking monsters to destroy

War is, among many other things, one of the most effective methods known to man for converting massive numbers of taxpayer dollars into private profit. That alone goes a long way toward explaining our seemingly perpetual state of war.

Posted on 11/21/14 at 12:28 pm in response to Obama’s immigration maneuver: This isn’t how it’s supposed to work

I agree that executive action is not the ideal way to make immigration policy, though my guess is that it's within the President's constitutional authority in this case. The courts will decide that issue---that's their job.

But, ideally, the "loyal opposition" works with a President from the other party, confirming his/her appointees promptly and without fanfare if they are qualified and negotiating to include as many of their principles as possible in legislation. They do not...

Posted on 09/17/14 at 10:52 am in response to Adrian Peterson case brings corporal punishment back into the spotlight

Of all the Bible verses that have been pulled out of context and applied with unfortunate results, "spare the rod and spoil the child" is right up there.

I think most of us parents, if we're honest, gave our kids an occasional swat on the rear if they were engaged in conduct that endangered them or others. It was more of an attention-getter than intentional infliction of pain. But I have never been able to square loving parenthood with the calculated imposition of pain on a helpless...

is that this level of disrespect toward the duly-elected President of the United States comes from a member of the House of Representatives and that he's willing, maybe eager, to associate himself with these comments by name. It sounds more like the online vitriol of a guy in his PJs on his home computer.

Posted on 01/07/14 at 10:52 am in response to Majority of Republicans now reject theory of evolution

I grew up in a very conservative small town in western Pennsylvania. I was in junior high in the mid-1960's. We studied evolution in science class as the best way to explain the origin of species. It was totally noncontroversial. No parents protested, withdrew their children, or demanded that creationism be taught as an alternative. I was fascinated by evolution and did a term paper on it. At the time, I was also attending confirmation class at my Lutheran church. Part of the process was a...

that people are so quick to shout "Rationing!" whenever this or that group recommends LESS treatment but seem blind to the financial incentives favoring MORE treatment.

We ought to be highly skeptical of any recommendation that 1/3 of adults take a prescription medication with known adverse side effects daily, year in and year out, for decades. The money to be made is enormous. We need to be darn sure that the recommendations are based on sound science and truly objective analysis,...

Posted on 10/25/13 at 02:28 pm in response to Does it matter how rich the rich are?

is another example of what Professor Reich was talking about---the right's success in framing the conversation. The characterization of any expression of concern about income (and wealth) inequality as simple jealousy effectively shuts most people up. Who wants to be thought of as envious of their more successful neighbors? Politicians avoid the subject for fear of the dreaded epithet "socialism."

What is at stake is the future of a viable democracy. When wealth and income...

Posted on 11/04/13 at 01:25 pm in response to Does it matter how rich the rich are?

A little late to add another comment on this thread, I know, but in case anyone is still listening...

I peeked at Saez and Piketty's scholarly article, from which Eric's graph is drawn, because I wondered if their data is based on individual or household income. Because they used federal income tax returns, their data compares "tax units", i.e., the individual or group of individuals that files a single IRS return. This could be a married couple or an individual taxpayer.


Posted on 10/02/13 at 12:12 pm in response to It's probably nothing, but Obama will meet congressional leaders today

If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to want a glass of milk.

Posted on 09/30/13 at 11:20 am in response to Looming shutdown is stupid, but it’s not bipartisan stupidity

Keep up the good work, Mr. Black. Very few journalists seem willing to state the obvious: that these repeated crises are largely the doing of a minority of a minority. Most cling to the "both sides do it" evasion, or sidestep the merits of the issues entirely in favor of an obsessive focus on who will benefit politically and who will suffer.

AOL's home page this morning asks the burning question: "Who will be blamed if government shuts down?"

Last Friday night on Washington...