Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Last Call

Want to know why nothing is happening on President Obama's jobs bills?  Because the Village assures that the GOP will never take any political damage over it.  McClatchy's David Lightman plays both sides:

Democrats want higher taxes on millionaires to pay for the infrastructure plan. Republicans don't. Republicans in the House of Representatives have led the way in passing a series of bills to provide private-sector initiatives aimed at creating jobs. Democrats vow to keep pushing the Obama package.

There was little evidence that the two sides are taking serious steps to reach consensus on efforts to bring down the nation's 9.1 percent unemployment rate.

And so the unanimous filibustering of any measure in the Senate by Republicans magically becomes"it's the Democrats' fault" because the House GOP is "leading the way" on job creating bills.  Republicans pass their bills, Dems can't because of the filibuster, ergo it's the Dems' problem for not reaching "consensus" with the GOP.

And as long as the narrative continues to be reported in this fashion, nothing will improve.  Republican intransigence will continue, unabated, forever.

Drunk With Power

Here's the thing, folks.  If you give fanatical Republicans too much power, they do completely crazy things with it because they are basically insane.  Case in point: one Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona.

Gov. Jan Brewer and the GOP-controlled state Senate on Tuesday touched off legal and political battles as they took the unprecedented step of removing the chairwoman of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

On a 21-6 party line vote, the Senate gave the Republican governor the two-thirds majority vote she needed to oust Colleen Coyle Mathis, citing "gross misconduct" in her role at the helm of the independent panel. The commission is in the midst of drawing new political boundaries for next year's legislative and congressional races. As the Senate voted in early evening, commission attorneys left one court and rushed to the state Supreme Court to try to block the Senate's action. They were too late to get immediate relief, but said they will petition the court today to allow Mathis to remain as commission chairwoman.

"It's my view that she is most certainly still the chairman," said Paul Charlton, Mathis' attorney.

However, Senate officials and Brewer's office said Mathis' eight-month tenure as chairwoman ended once the Senate endorsed the governor's action.

The conflicting views will fuel a legal battle over the extent to which the five-member commission is independent.

Bottom line:  the independent redistricting board came up with a redistricting plan that didn't shuffle all the state's Democrats into one new district and give Arizona Republicans the other eight.  In the eyes of Jan Brewer, it's "gross misconduct" for making the plan even-handed and non-partisan, enough so that at this point the chair of the commission has been impeached and removed from office as far as the GOP is concerned for the crime of not giving the Republicans everything they wanted.

And yes, in Arizona, that's apparently an impeachable offense now, daring to include Democrats and Latino voters in the political process where Republicans are in charge.  After all, our founding fathers never really intended to let them vote anyway, right?

Still waiting to see how this is an example of small government, hands-off, common sense Republican values.

Cain's Bull In A China Shop

At what point do we just admit Herman Cain is just as staggeringly ignorant as the rest of the Clown Car Kids?

Herman Cain may have some surprises at his first national security briefings should he win the presidency.

In an interview with PBS, Cain appears to suggest that Americans should consider China dangerous in part because they’re pursuing “nuclear capability.” In fact, China tested its first nuclear device in 1964 and has had a stockpile of warheads for decades.

Gosh, you mean Mr. "Ubeki-beki-beki-beki stan-stan" here doesn't know a gorram thing about foreign policy?  Didn't we recently have a President that suffered from this particular affliction while running around and costing us trillions with his codpiece?  The post-Palin GOP candidates should be rejected on the most basic of merits, but they are celebrated instead as "deep thinkers" and "innovators" when they should be considered, you know, morons.

When In Rome...

I'm trying really hard to keep my cool over this one.  I'm trying so hard that I won't even make the obvious jokes because it would distract me from my original rage.

A small, private college in Georgia has a new requirement for its employees: that they be straight.

Shorter University, a Christian Baptist school located in Rome, Ga., is mandating that its 200 employees sign a "personal lifestyle pledge" declaring that they reject homosexuality, premarital sex and adultery, WSBTV reports.

Shorter President Don Dowless told WSBTV that their goal "is not to offend people," but to "declare who we are."
Please God, tell me that this will finally bring workplace rights to the forefront.  No employer should be able to dictate how employees live off the clock, especially if it is participating in a legal activity.  Not ony is this way the hell over the line, it can be used against people.  Did John annoy you that morning?  Maybe you let it slip that he made a pro-gay comment.  Apparently, that's enough to put your job at risk at Shorter University.  If you choose to have sex, that is your right as an adult.  You do not owe your boss an explanation at the water cooler for what you do in your private life.  That's why it's your private life.

Argh.  I'm going to have to go hug kittens.  I'm so pissed I can't do anything but cuss and grunt.  See you all tomorrow.

I pray that they sue their asses off, and win.  This is so far beyond homophobic that I can't even wrap my mind around it. 

Common Sense Approach To Stopping Violence Against Women

The Huffington Post ran a great article about what we need to do to stop violence against women.  It makes so much sense, I wonder why it wasn't ever written so eloquently before.  In a nutshell: just freaking do something about it already.

This article contains absolutely nothing new about violence against women. That's because we already know everything we need to know about it. Everyone knows it exists. Most people would say it's a pretty bad idea. And yet it doesn't go away. To say it's annoying would be a serious understatement.
In the many years I have worked on women's rights, violence against women has been a constant. Violence as an obstacle to health care. Violence as a barrier to education. Violence as an inevitable fact of life.
It goes on to list three simple things government can do to stop violence against women.  First, pay women equally.  It would allow women to not be forced into a relationship because it's better to get the crap beaten out of you daily than be homeless in the winter.  And I know plenty of women who have had to look at it just that way.  In a society that values money above everything else, the fact that women are not paid equally for identical responsibility says a lot.  Stop stereotyping women is number two.  And this is the one area where women have a hand in the problem.  We are taught to live up to certain expectations, and never question whether they are right or even make sense.  We also learn patterns of abuse as children.  Stereotyping is not always a conscious decision, but we must be on our guard to see things for how they really are.  Finally, actually give a damn.  If this was a priority and given the real respect and criminal weight that it deserves, the bottom line is it wouldn't happen nearly as often.  There is a certain social acceptability when it comes to violence and women, especially if there is a relationship.  But see reason number one, and we can easily determine it isn't always the woman's choice to stay and endure.  

It's a good place to start.  

Still The Worst Econ Pundit On Earth

Our old friend Jim Pethokoukis continues to try to take back the title for worst economics pundit out there.  Jim "Housing bottom in July 2008" Cramer has been quiet lately, Megan "Gastritis broke my calculator" McArdle has too, and in their absence Jimbo writes a piece so ridiculous at the AEI blog page that the New Republic disposes of him with one of Jon Cohn's interns, Matt O'Brien.

Pay no attention to soaring executive compensation, or Wall Street bonuses, or even to the latest CBO report on income distribution: skyrocketing income inequality the past few decades is just a “myth”—at least according to Jim Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute. In a recent post on AEI’s Enterprise blog, Pethokoukis contends that the data liberals typically tout on inequality understates key factors like median income gains, discounts the effects of taxes and benefits, and ignores the differing inflation rates on goods that different income groups purchase. At first glance, Pethokoukis’s case sounds sober and reasonable enough. But according to the experts I interviewed, it suffers from the defect of having a tenuous relationship with reality.

Just how bad is the piece?  This bad:

Consider the research and writing of Robert Gordon, a professor of social sciences at Northwestern University. He’s has done pioneering work questioning the extent of the aforementioned gap between productivity and median wages—work that Pethokoukis misappropriates to claim that income gains have been shared “fairly equally.” Gordon found that the productivity gap may be about a tenth the size as what is commonly thought, but, as he told me, that doesn’t negate the story about runaway wealth at the top of the income distribution. “The evidence on the long-term increase of inequality within the bottom 99 percent is ambiguous and complex, but what stands out like a searchlight is the unprecedented and increasing inequality between the bottom 99 percent and the top 1 percent,” Gordon told me.


The larger problem of course is that Pethokoukis has any credibility at all.  Looks like I get to add this to the Hall of Shame list. Pethokoukis is just the econ pundit equivalent of Space Herpes, with his terrible ideas on Medicare, on corporate tax cuts, on Glass-Steagall, on the balanced budget amendment, and of course, his famous "N*gga Stole My Economy" theory when he's not busy fantasizing about a world with no stimulus.

Any wonder why he's now trying to "debunk" income inequality, and doing it for a right-wing think tank?  This guy is a joke.

But What Features Do They Come With?

Basically Ann Coulter is a horrendous walking morality singularity where anything approaching honor, dignity and humanity just vanishes at near relativistic speeds.
Appearing on Hannity’s show Monday night, Coulter agreed that the Cain story is a “high-tech lynching,” adding that “it’s coming from the exact same people who used to do the lynching with ropes, now they do it with a word processor.”
She continued that liberals are “too dense” to see the “many wonderful qualities” about Herman Cain, because “all they see is a conservative black man.”
That’s why our blacks are so much better than their blacks,” Coulter said. “To become a black Republican you don’t just roll into it. You’re not going with the flow. You have fought against probably your family members, probably your neighbors, you have thought everything out and that’s why we have very impressive blacks in our party.”
Is there some sort of store where people like Ann Coulter can purchase black people like me in bulk? Can you order particular features that she's raving about? Am I just missing that section of the phone book where that is? I mean it's hard for me to compete on this heretofore unknown market when the GOP models come with things like "complete expendability" and "a total lack of self-awareness", whereas I have this outdated and useless appendage known as a "soul" and all.   I guess they've got new firmware or something. I don't get it.  All this time I thought I was a human being and not some accoutrement with "impressive" features.

Man, now I gotta go by the manufacturer and find this firmware update.  Maybe I can get some upgrades too,  like the one where I tell Coulter to kiss my ass because she's actually nothing more than an empty, rotting shell operated by the animus of amalgamated hatred she subsists upon, kind of like sentient toxic waste in heels.  Guess I'm too dense that way.

Can I stop being nice to people like this?  Please?


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