i could have bought another iPod

Instead, I decided to make up for the fact I haven't bought any clothes in like three years. To my utter horror, the Gap totally let me down today. I'm not sure I've ever walked out of there not really wanting anything. But no matter, Aeropostale and Famous Barr made up for it, so all tis right again.

(P) Speaking of things being right, if you know anything at all about me you could have guessed I loved this article about the catastrophic effects of our ruling Republicans on the state of American capitalism. If anything, the President and Congress have made liberal ideas more ingrained in the American consciousness, not less (do we need to rehash the Social Security debacle, for example, or the fact that almost all of the millions of responses the FCC got to loosening the media consolidation rules opposed the rule changes?). Or how about the outcry over torture practices in the prison system, the widespread support for raising the minimum wage, or the huge disconnect between how the average American would spend the federal budget and how Congress actually spends the federal budget? I didn't think so.

No, the real casualty of being ruled by the party of Big Business® and the MBA president has been moderate conservative perspectives on things like the benefits of free markets (not to mention non-economic positions like the positive role of spirituality for individuals and communities). A functioning market economy requires healthy competition and easy access to information, not the corrupt, no-bid, secretive, corporate welfare approach loved by so many Republicans (not to mention quite a few Democrats) in Washington and state capitals. It's almost like they're trying to prove the anti-globalization movement correct that the whole system is broken and needs to be replaced. Of course, given the pathetic business record of Bush and Cheney when they were in the private sector, it's no wonder they're so bad at promoting policies that help American business now that they're in the White House.

Dictionary.com defines fascism as "government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism." Now, we're obviously not there, but it's somewhat amazing how close we are and how much the Bush Administration fights to get there. What's really amazing is that they do it in the name of democracy and free markets.


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