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Thomas Frank quotes

The pursuit of the vibrant seems to be the universal job description of the nation's city planners nowadays. It is also part of the Obama administration's economic recovery strategy for the nation.

Above all else stands the burning question of bipartisanship. Whatever else the politicians might say they're about, our news analysts know that this is the true object of the nation's desire, the topic to which those slippery presidential spokesmen need always to be dragged back.

There is no higher claim to journalistic integrity than going to jail to protect a source.

What is at stake in the debate over health care is more than the mere crafting of policy. The issue is now the identity of the Democratic Party.

We are watching industries crumble, Wall Street firms disappear, unemployment spike, and unprecedented government intervention. And our designated opinion leaders want to know: Is Obama up this week? Is he down? And is his leadership style more like Bill Clinton's, or Abraham Lincoln's?

In the subprime mortgage industry, bankers handed out iffy loans like candy at a parade because such loans meant revenue and, hence, bonuses for executives in the here-and-now.

Just as the financial crisis has created toxic assets and 'zombie' financial institutions, so has it transformed conservatism into a movement of the living dead.

Our laws governing lobbying and campaign contributions have struck the right balance between the wishes of the people and those of private industry, so why are we so quick to doubt that the same great results can be achieved by putting the government's justice-dealing branch on the same market-based course?

There are few things in politics more annoying than the Right's utter conviction that it owns the patent on the word 'freedom' that when its leaders stand up for the rights of banks to be unregulated or capital gains to be untaxed, that it is actually and obviously standing up for human liberty, the noblest cause of them all.

These days, of course, the focus of talk about popular liberation through products is mostly associated with the Internet. I've been collecting computer ads and ads dealing with Internet industries.

What becomes fascinating is the way the culture industry doesn't deny it and doesn't try to mitigate it, but tries to sell its products as a way of liberating oneself.

When done right - or wrong, depending on how you look at it - deficits remove liberal options from the table. Suddenly there's no money for building bridges or inspecting meat. Not surprisingly, running up a deficit is a strategy favored by the wrecking crew for its liberal-killing properties.

The great fear that hung over the business community in the 1970s was death by regulation, and the great goal of the conservative movement, as it rose to triumph in the 1980s, was to remove that threat - to keep OSHA, the EPA, and the FTC from choking off entrepreneurship with their infernal meddling in the marketplace.

Acknowledging class was always difficult for 'New Democrats' - it was second-wave, it was divisive - but 2008 made retro politics cool again.

For-profit higher education is today a booming industry, feeding on the student loans handed out to the desperate.

Governing was always difficult for conservatives, but as they return to the opposition, they are rediscovering their skill at blame evasion.

I was in a bad mood when I wrote that.

I was never a fan of Barack Obama's bipartisanship routine.

Is Wall Street the rightful master of our economic fate? Or should we choose a broader form of sovereignty?

Journalism has a special, hallowed place for stories of its practitioners' persecution.