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Gun violenceSchool “lockdowns” in response to gun violence: It’s become almost a daily occurrence in the U.S. Indeed, school gun violence incidents have gotten so absurdly commonplace that many of us don’t even blink an eye as the latest red-letter alert crawls across our computer or TV screens. As I write this, two more such lockdowns are underway — at Yale University in Connecticut and here in North Carolina at Vance-Granville Community College.  Talk about evidence that this madness is an equal opportunity plague.

It’s gotten so bad that it probably won’t be long before we see a news story like the following:

NRA calls for universal lockdown to combat school shootings

In response to the 750th American school shooting in the last six months, the National Rifle Association announced today that it is calling for an immediate, national and permanent lockdown of all schools, businesses and places of worship in the country. Under the NRA proposal, only individuals carrying firearms will be allowed to enter or exit any of the specified facilities. The proposal would make an exception for children under 12 entering and exiting under the protection of an armed parent or guardian.

“We’re just plain tired of people saying the NRA doesn’t care Read More

Ted Cruz 2As we noted a few weeks back, the modern American hard right has, under the leadership of Ted Cruz and his ilk, really morphed into a kind of 21st Century anarchist movement. The goal: do whatever it takes to impose the Koch Brothers/Heritage Foundation/NRA vision of a dog-eat-dog, everyone-for-themselves society — even if it means wrecking the economy and wreaking havoc with essential public structures and services.

This is why stories like this one — in which the Associated Press spells out in painful detail the terrible damage inflicted on the country over the last couple of weeks by the Tea Party hostage crisis – are actually seen by many on the far right as a sign that they are winning. Read More

Ted CruzSo, what did all the crazy hostage-taking politics of the last few weeks produce? According to Standard and Poors, the answer is: $24 billion in lost economic activity. For those of you keeping score, that’s a sum greater than the entire annual North Carolina General Fund budget.   

But, at least, the freak show wasn’t a total loss. The new leader of American conservatism, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, bragged in a media interview that he had added two million names to the fundraising list for a right-wing PAC. 

(Photo source: http://thinkprogress.org/.