Thursday, May 10, 2012

Last Call

And the Team Obama rope-a-dope of the Romney campaign into the Wingnut Event Horizon took just 100 hours or so from Joe Biden's statement on Sunday.

Ed Gillespie, senior adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, told Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s Daily Rundown that the campaign would make President Obama’s support for marriage equality an issue this November and that Romney will actively push for a constitutional amendment to take away the right of states to voluntarily extend marriage equality to same-sex couples.

Gillespie told Todd that same-sex marriage “will be another bright-line difference in this campaign.” He added that the GOP intends to campaign on the issue.

In other words, Mr. Etch-A-Sketch here just got drawn all over by a giant Sharpie and the manic scrawl reads I AM A BIGOTED NUTJOB JUST LIKE THE REST OF THEM.  Good luck with that pivot to "small government centrist" there, Mittastrophe.

Or in other other words, this just happened.


Willful Ignorance On Display

If after nearly 3.5 years as President and two campaign silly seasons you still believe President Obama is a Muslim, then I have no sympathy for your ignorance or closet racism.  One in six Americans still freely admit it according to a new Public Religion Research Institute poll

After nearly four years in the Oval Office, President Obama is incorrectly thought to be Muslim by one in six American voters, and only one quarter of voters can correctly identify him as a Protestant, according to a new poll.

“Wow. He said it 100 times that he’s not a Muslim,” said Zainab Al-Suwaij, executive director of the American Islamic Congress, expressing surprise over the persistent number of American voters (16 percent) who make the mistake.

Is there something insidious behind the belief, a concerted attack to link the president with a religion that's considered alien -- or worse -- by some Americans?

“I think it’s more a lack of information than an attack on him,” said Al-Suwaij.

While Americans across the board get the president's religion wrong, the religious group that most often thinks Obama is Muslim is white evangelical Protestants (24 percent). American unaffiliated with a religious group make the error least often: just 7 percent identify Obama as Muslim.

Daniel Cox, PRRI’s research director, said the small but not insignificant sliver of Americans who still believe Obama is Muslim is “fascinating.”

It's not a "lack of information".  It's not "fascinating".  It's plain old racism, pure and simple, where the sadly more socially "acceptable" anti-Muslim religious bigotry in society is used as a proxy for racial animus. 

Most of the nutjobs on the right will fight you tooth and nail if you call them racist.  But say they are Islamophobic bigots and they wear that badge with pride.  Some have for over a decade now.  Homeland Security profiling for Muslims of Middle-eastern or north African descent still remains a popular idea among Republicans like Rick Santorum and has come up during this campaign.

Over the last decade the screaming nimrods over in the GOP (and more than a few Dems, mind you) so thoroughly demonized Islam in this country that considering the President to be one is a calculated insult, especially given the dozens upon dozens of times the President has talked about his Christian faith, has gone with the First Family to church services, and was attacked for his relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

The best part is Republicans will continue to do nothing to smother this zombie lie among their base.  Why should they, when they are powered politically almost solely by hatred and bigotry?

The number of Americans, particularly Republicans, who believe the President is a Muslim simply remains too high to be dismissed as "lack of information".  If that were true, the numbers across all political groups would be somewhat close.  Instead, where one in six voters overall think the President is a Muslim, one in four Republicans remain convinced he is.

In both the cases of Obama and Romney, about 40% of Americans are unsure.  The difference is over half of Americans correctly know Mitt Romney is a Mormon...and given the President and his faith have had far more exposure in the last four years, for Mitt Romney to have far more people "know" about his faith than the President's is no accident.

It's willful.  Period.

Profiles In Etch-A-Sketching

Mitt Romney has immediately fallen into the trap President Obama has laid out for him.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday said he unequivocally opposes "marriage between people of the same gender," drawing a contrast to President Obama's "evolving" position on the issue.

Later, in the afternoon, Mr. Obama said in an interview with ABC News that he now supports same-sex marriage.

Romney was asked Wednesday morning about the failure of a ballot measure that would have allowed same-sex civil unions in Colorado. In an interview with Denver-based KDVR-TV, he said, "I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name," Romney said. "My view is the domestic-partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not."

Romney had no choice.  His party would have flayed him and left him out in the sun to rot if he had voiced anything less than permanent second-class citizenship for the LGBT community.   And please note, this is a position "flip-flopping" Mitt is now 100% on the record as being against.

If this is Romney pivoting towards the center, Barack Obama is going to do better than he did in 2008 provided the people who begged him to take this position now follow up with their support.  There's a clear divide now between the parties, and the whole "both sides are the same" argument just died screaming.

So now marriage equality is an issue in the election?  Good.  It needs to be.  And there is no doubt that wingnut Mitt Romney is on the wrong side of history.

Show Me Getting It Right (For A Change)

Missouri's position on labor laws and minimum wage issues has always been shameful.  We are one of the worst states when it comes to reasonable practices and protective legislature.  However, as the cost of living rises in this area, the wages must as well for those scraping by to survive.  Minimum wage should ideally allow modest living and regular meals, and heaven forbid a few dollars to sock away for emergencies like auto repairs or illness.  Right now, workers earning minimum wage are unable to meet the minimum living standards for someone who works full-time.  If a worker holds up their end of the bargain and is productive, they should feel entitled to earning enough to stay off the streets and eat a balanced diet.

Republicans have shown their disconnect with the working class, with at least two candidates proving their ignorance by not knowing the actual minimum wage.  Sarah Steelman guessed wrong, and Todd Akin admitted he did not know.  However, they were all quick to say they were against it because it was a burden on businesses. 
"My guess is its somewhere in the 6 or 7, but I don't know the exact number right now," replied Akin, who, as a congressman, is currently responsible for helping to set federal policy.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that there is real movement towards raising the minimum wage above the federal requirement.  Instead of the current $7.25 this would raise minimum wage to $8.25 and raise tipped workers up to 60% of that instead of the current 50%.  This would be a major boon to struggling people who are working hard for businesses that cut benefits or rely on customers who skimp on the tip even when the service is excellent.  Anyone who has worked for tips can tell you it's incredibly difficult to budget with a variable like that, and a short week can mean the utilities are shut off for millions of workers living check to check.

People who vote against workers fail the system.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that in 2008  twice as many women were earning minimum wage or earning below minimum wage than men.  The young and single were more than twice as likely to earn minimum wage.  Young single women were at a fair disadvantage.  These are the women who don't have any money left at the end of the month.  The guys Republicans voted against unanimously, so that they wouldn't be guaranteed fair pay for doing the same work and bearing the same responsibilities as male workers.  The women who now may have to pay money they don't have for birth control in a responsible attempt to avoid bringing a child they cannot possibly support into the world.  Birth control that was once funded  in an attempt to encourage responsibility has now become subject to the religious views of some quacking assholes who have decided they should save us from our moral failures, all at the cost of a few minimum wage bums.

Akin, who said he did not believe government should be setting prices, is still  in favor of government  telling us who we can marry and restricting women's health care options for cancer screenings and routine preventative care.  Oh yeah, and protecting businesses so that it's legal for businesses to discriminate against gays.  He's a real man of the people.  His kind of people.  The rest of you can breed a labor force and keep his folks in the style to which they are accustomed.  And hey, if the fruits and slutty women would gripe a little less, that would be greatly appreciated.  It's interfering with his work, like think of catchy slogans such as "stage three cancer of socialism" in reference to federal student loans.  His actions will keep the minimum wage workers stuck forever, unable to afford to live and no hope of working their way out of the circumstances.

One last fun fact: Michele Bachmann endorsed him.  She who denies that there is a war on women would be just stupid enough to do that.

In Which Bon Is Shocked By Some First-Time Events

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean ripped into Michele Bachmann on Sunday, calling the Republican congresswoman's prediction that women will vote for Mitt Romney "perfectly ridiculous."
"Frankly, Michele Bachmann has never had much command of the facts and that shows us exactly why," Dean said on "Face the Nation," in response to Bachmann's claim that female voters would turn out for Romney. "Women are terrified of what the Republicans are talking about. They're talking about basically stripping away their ability to have insurance pay for their birth control pills."
Earlier on the CBS News program, Bachmann said the so-called "war on women" is a myth concocted by Democrats.
"The myth is there is a Republican war on women," Bachmann said. "There's not a Republican war on women. That's coming from the Obama reelection team."

You can read the full article, complete with video goodness here.

Let's explore some exciting, groundbreaking events here.

1.  Someone finally calls Bachmann out on the fountain of bullshit she calls "a speech".  Dean is eloquent, factual, and without remorse as he rips her a new one.  And deservedly so, Bachmann is a cancer among her own kind, a woman who will sell out other women for her dreams of power.  She is also a babbling idiot and a cavewoman in her ideas of how the world should work.

2.  Bachmann did not say "Obamacare" in the snippet I watched.  I kid you not, folks, that is the first time since I became aware of it that she has not used every single question ever to point back at Obamacare.  I have joked about it being part of her contract somewhere because she just could not help herself.  Now that I have given credit where it is due, I would like to point back to the "babbling idiot" measurement of her speaking abilities.

3.  Bachmann has mostly dodged gender-related questions, because even the slightest nod is a step on the path to illuminating her hypocrisy.  So for her to state outright that the war on women is a myth, and one set in motion by Democrats, is pure folly on her part.  She doesn't smear the Dems, she sets herself further from women, reality, and truth.  She makes herself look completely ridiculous and actually elevates Democrats in the same breath.  I feel like I should thank her for that, but well... again we go back to the "babbling idiot" remark.

Compromise Is You Do Exactly What I Want And I Approve Of It

Compromise?  Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock has your gorram compromise right the hell here.

Richard Mourdock, fresh off of defeating Dick Lugar in the Indiana Senate primary, hit the ground running with a quote everyone is talking about this morning:
MOURDOCK: I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view. … If we [win the House, Senate, and White House], bipartisanship means they have to come our way, and if we’re successful in getting the numbers, we’ll work towards that.
That’s the Republican nominee on MSNBC.

"If we win, screw the Democrats.  If the Democrats win, they must have cheated and the people really demand the Republican point of view.  What's the problem here, anyway?"

There are no moderate Republicans.  There are no compromise artists left.  They will all be gone by 2014 or 2016 at the latest, and the remainder will all be exactly like Richard Mourdock, who will tell you straight out that mandates only matter if the Republicans have one, and if you don't agree with them, you don't matter, you're not American, and you should really stop thinking you have any place in the political process.

This is bipartisanship.  But both sides are guilty of this, right?

Hot Plate Special

The record warm spring we had was hot enough to give us a new 12 month temperature record for the United States according to new NOAA data:

The past twelve months were the warmest twelve months in U.S. history, said NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) on Tuesday, in their monthly “State of the Climate” report. Temperatures in the contiguous U.S. during May 2011 – April 2012 broke the previous record for warmest 12-month period, set November 1999 – October 2000, by 0.1°F. The past twelve months have featured America’s 2nd warmest summer, 4th warmest winter, and warmest March on record. Twenty-two states were record warm for the 12-month period, and an additional nineteen states were top ten warm. NOAA said that the January – April 2012 period was also the warmest January – April period since record keeping began in 1895. The average temperature of 45.4°F during January – April 2012 was 5.4°F above the 20th century average for the period, and smashed the previous record set in 2006 by an unusually large margin–1.6°F.

But yelling SUNSPOTS and GLOBAL COOLING and THE SCIENCE ISN'T SETTLED will solve all our problems.  The country was nearly 2 degrees warmer for the first 4 months of the year than 2006's record heat,  but we should probably wait another 100 years or so until we have a clearer picture of climate in the long run because really all this is just about weather data points, and REAL SCIENTISTS know that weather changes!

I'm sure our great-grandkids will be thrilled with us by then.


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