Sadly, a life force that I had assumed as an indissoluble part of our political and literary landscape, as well as my own close circle of friends, has ended, and with it an indispensable element of our collective moral code.
Only in America is the arrogance of the super-rich so perfectly concealed by the pretense of democracy that the 12th richest man in the nation can suppress dissent against corporate rapacity and expect his brutal actions to be viewed as necessary to providing sanitary streets.
Forget relying on the federal government to hold the Wall Street swindlers accountable. Indeed, the Obama administration has been involved in negotiating a deal with state attorneys general to settle their complaints with the banks for a pittance of compensation for the victims.
Why has Robert Rubin, the onetime treasury secretary who went on to become Citigroup chairman during the time of the corporation's financial shenanigans, never been held accountable for this and other deep damage done to the U.S. economy on his watch?
Between 1979 and 2007, the average real income of the top 1 percent grew by an astounding 275 percent. And that is after payment of the taxes that the superrich and their Republican apologists find so onerous.
Funny, he doesn't look like Marie Antoinette. But when former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller asks his readers if they are "bored by the soggy sleep-ins and warmed-over anarchism of Occupy Wall Street," it displays the arrogance of disoriented royal privilege.
No doubt many reasonable Americans will view Obama as the lesser evil come election time, and for some that will prove compelling. But I take the dreary choices to be one akin to a form of slow torture. Better to support the Occupy Wall Street protests as an inspiring alternative.
They will get away with it, at least in this life. "They" are the Wall Street usurers, people of a sort condemned in Scripture, who have brought more misery to this nation than we have known since the Great Depression.
It is unfathomable that yet another Texas blowhard governor has emerged as a front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination. The persistent appeal of the mythology of Texas as a model for the nation defies the lessons of logic and experience.
Neither party has ever dared to use the deficit ceiling to blackmail the entire nation -- until now. And for that, the GOP is the party clearly at fault. But it is also true that it was Barack Obama who folded.
Obama's refusal to take the fight to Senate Republicans by nominating Elizabeth Warren should be taken as the vital measure of the man. This gutless decision comes after the president populated his administration with the very people who created the financial meltdown.
This American life of ours has long been pro-violence and anti-sex, unless the two can be merged so that violence is the dominant theme. The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that historical record on Monday.
How I wish that Ben Bernanke would get caught emailing photos of his underwear-clad groin. Otherwise we don't stand a chance of reversing this administration's economic policy, which is shaping up to be every bit as disastrous as that of its predecessor.
With the general "no banker left behind" program pursued by Tim Geithner under both George W. Bush and Obama, the theory was that saving the banks would save the country. The first part worked out brilliantly, but the second act never occurred.
Perhaps the main value of the book and film versions of Andrew Ross Sorkin's Too Big to Fail is the instruction they provide on the limits of mainstream journalism in the decade that led up to the meltdown.
Republicans have lost their cherished patriotism card as a means of deflecting attention from an economy that exploded on their watch. Beating up on Medicare won't cut it as a platform when you don't have the specter of Osama bin Laden to scare voters.
It is argued that multinational corporations have the right to arrange their business as they see fit in order to maximize profit. But if that is the case, do beleaguered American taxpayers have to foot the bill?
The delusion of a classless America in which opportunity is equally distributed is the most effective deception perpetrated by the moneyed elite that controls all the key levers of power in what passes for our democracy.