Most people don’t think about their high school yearbook quote much after age 18. But Eric Cantor, the U.S. House majority leader, chose a quote 30 years ago that seems particularly prescient given the ongoing debt-ceiling debate: “I want what I want when I want it.” The lyrics from a Henry Blossom operetta appropriately describe Cantor’s drive – his ambition is so great that some have wondered whether he has his eye on John Boehner’s job. Cantor’s advisers insist he’s not aiming for the speaker position, despite the fact that he dramatically walked out of debt-reduction talks last week and thereby stalled negotiations. As the nation faces financial chaos and possible default, perhaps someone should tell Cantor some different lyrics: “You can’t always get what you want.”
Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch
When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.
A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.