Comments of the Week: The "Fiscal Cliff" and a Shout Out from Kerry Washington

Storified by The Nation· Fri, Jan 04 2013 13:41:56

Many of our readers were heartened by Dave Zirin’s post, “Must Be Seen to Be Believed: Kevin-Prince Boateng Kicks Racism in the Teeth,” about the soccer player’s response to racist insults hurled at him during a recent game. Actress Kerry Washington even gave Zirin and The Nation a shout out. 
Thank you for this piece @EdgeofSports & @thenation – I brought up the incident at our #Django press conference in Rome this morning.kerry washington
This is huge. MT @thenation Kevin-Prince Boateng Kicks Soccer’s Racism in the Teeth via @edgeofsportsBob Loblaw
Rose Garten: 
Good for him and his team. People are fed up with childish behavior and will no longer tolerate it. Bravo and bravo!Must Be Seen to Be Believed: Kevin-Prince Boateng Kicks Soccer’s Racism in the Teeth | The Nation
@thenation @EdgeofSports Fuckin A! That’s courage.OldRogue
In response to media coverage of a leaked video of high school boys joking about raping a woman in Steubenville, Ohio, Jessica Valenti pointed out that the case was not an anomaly in the United States and that we needed to examine our culture’s attitude toward rape all-around. Our readers added their own insight. 
Wonderful piece. We cannot keep pretending a regular occurrence is an anomaly. When boys exhibit a tendency towards violence or acting excessively mean it cannot be excused or defended. It must be seen as potentially dangerous.America’s Rape Problem: We Refuse to Admit That There Is One | The Nation
This is slightly off topic: I had to meet with a professor, who was from India (and very old), to talk about a paper.  He brought up a movement in India that he saw on the news where women there were trying to get a law passed that would outlaw marital rape.  (Note: this had nothing, at all, to do with my paper.  Just a topic he brought up.)  He looked at me, astonished, and said (I’m paraphrasing), "Why would these women do this? They are married. Does the husband now have to get a permission slip signed to have intercourse with his wife?"  I don’t know if he expected me (I’m female) to speak for all women or what, but all I wanted to do was ask him a question about my paper. The entire exchange was horrifying.  I left his office speechless. I’m not trying to make generalizations about all Indian – or American – men, but it still bugs me to this day that he spoke so casually about rape.America’s Rape Problem: We Refuse to Admit That There Is One | The Nation
I remember in High School, many years ago, a couple of boys had a substitute teacher who was young, athletic and charismatic.  In one class period he taught them that the rape scene in the movie "The Accused" which came out a few years before was funny and he taught them to identify with the rapists.  I read in "The Creation of Dangerous Violent Criminals" by Lonnie Athens that the people he interviewed who had been convicted of homicide all had a number of experiences in common, one of which was having a "Violent Coach" or a role model who taught them to be violent to solve problems/disputes.  With kids, we need to ask, "Who taught them that"?  Is there someone at the school they look up to teaching them this?  But yes, @ S Kilhefner I agree, certainly most of the men I know/have known do not rape or find rape funny.  Though in the workplace over the years I have seen a couple of examples of "rape culture" attitudes.America’s Rape Problem: We Refuse to Admit That There Is One | The Nation
A number of our writers have been following the “fiscal cliff” negotiations closely, with differing opinions on what the eventual deal means for politics and for people’s lives. Our readers added a number of their own thoughts on the deal, the deficit and the various solutions that have been proposed by both parties. 
One of the things we might consider is that the burden for negotiating the three future "cliffs" does not necessarily fall just on Obama.  There are potentially large constituencies against most all of the budget cutting that the Tea Party crowd might want, and the entire "business" community will resist a world-market-rattling default of the United States.  Obama, holding veto power over many measures, could just "get smart" and stop trying to make any more "deals" from the White House.The Good and Bad of the Fiscal Cliff Deal | The Nation
Raising the Medicare eligibility age is just plain stupid. Statistically, people aged 65-67, are more healthy, much less a drain on costs, and more likely to remain so, if covered, than older age groups. There is no single answer to this problem; however, the one thing that can infuse funds into Medicare and general revenues right now is to raise the payroll tax cap, which IMO is absurdly low.The Poor Still Can’t Breathe Easy Post–Fiscal Cliff | The Nation
All of this "fiscal cliff" kabuki theatre was all to obfuscate the true underlying problems.  All of the manipulation, QE, bailouts etc are robbing savers and pension holders to subsidize zombie banks and speculators.  The "fiscal cliff" was a product of these politicians and the bankster class in the first place and therefore couldn’t be called an emergency.  Setting in motion a future calamity and  then failing to avoid it isn’t an emergency it is self destruction.  What’s next:  The fiscal powderkeg with a fast burning fuse?  The fiscal thin ice pond, hear the ice creaking?  Or, maybe the fiscal descending pendulum axe?  If you peel back the veneer, you see a very cynical game; create impending doom that can only be avoided by imposing austerity.  It is sleight of hand that is of exquisite artfullness; get the voters to accept a truly rotten deal while the politicians make themselves look like heroes for avoiding the crisis they created in the first place.The Big Lie Loses | The Nation