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Eric Alterman quotes

The ability of the 1 percent to buy politicians and regulators is nothing new in American politics - just as inequality has been a permanent part of our economic system. This is true of virtually all political and economic systems.

Newspaper companies are losing advertisers, readers, market value, and, in some cases, their sense of mission at a pace that would have been barely imaginable just four years ago.

Apple is a wonderful company for its customers and investors. So, too, Pixar. (NeXT, not so much...) But Apple is also an engine of misery for its subcontracted Chinese workers.

As a parent and a citizen, I'll take a Bill Gates (or Warren Buffett) over Steve Jobs every time. If we must have billionaires, better they should ignore Jobs's example and instead embrace the morality and wisdom of the great industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

I am deeply devoted to the 27,000 songs I can take anywhere on my iPod Classic as well as the exquisitely engineered MacBook Air on which I typed this column.

If newspapers were a baseball team, they would be the Mets - without the hope for those folks at the very pinnacle of the financial food chain - who average nearly $24 million a year in income - 'next year.'

It's not merely that conservatives are better at selling their product, or that they happen to have an easier-and undoubtedly simpler-ideological product to sell. It's that they know what they are selling. Liberals in general and Obama in particular cannot say the same.

Local politics, like everything else, are not what they used to be. But the fact is that our political system - like our physical existence - still breaks down along geographical lines.

One of the many, many salutary aspects of Barack Obama's impending presidential nomination is the sea change his victory marks in the battle for the mind-set of the American foreign policy establishment.

Politically, Obama's amazing streak of self-destructing opponents who have lain beneath his feet during his unlikely political career appears to be holding.

Three centuries after the appearance of Franklin's 'Courant,' it no longer requires a dystopic imagination to wonder who will have the dubious distinction of publishing America's last genuine newspaper. Few believe that newspapers in their current printed form will survive.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the tactics of the Occupy Wall Street movement, it's easy to understand the inspiration for its anger as well as its impatience.

Whether people care enough about local news to pay for it is, sadly, an entirely different question than whether our democracy requires a strong watchdog function at the local level to ensure safeguards against abuse, chicanery, and outright dishonesty.

Fox News is nothing if not impressive. No matter how harsh the criticism it endures, the network somehow always manages to prove itself even worse than we had previously imagined.

If bloggers are to improve our public discourse - helping busy and usually uninformed people make sense of the world - it is necessary to use some sort of standard with which to judge their reliability. Perhaps the answer (strictly advisory) is a body of their peers. Perhaps not.

America's great newspapers have staffs that range from 50 percent to 70 percent of what they were just a few years ago.

American journalists tend to treat inequality as a fact of life. But it needn't be.

Americans have always evinced some distrust of government, but the current situation has exacerbated this to a degree that may be unprecedented.

As with almost every significant aspect of the Bush presidency, its handling of 9/11 was a catastrophe from start to finish.

Bringing democratic control to the conduct of foreign policy requires a struggle merely to force the issue onto the public agenda.