Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Another jump-the-shark moment from the GOP:
Fact-checking Gingrich's charge Obama voted in favor of 'infanticide' - CNN
Fact-checking Gingrich's charge Obama voted in favor of 'infanticide' - CNN
When the topic turned to contraception and reproductive rights at CNN's debate in Arizona on Wednesday, Newt Gingrich went on the attack, saying that in 2008 "not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide..."
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
...The wingers call their Republican opponents RINOs, or Republican In Name Only. But that’s an insult to the rhino, which is a tough, noble beast. If RINOs were like rhinos, they’d stand up to those who seek to destroy them. Actually, what the country needs is some real Rhino Republicans. But the professional Republicans never do that. They’re not rhinos. They’re Opossum Republicans. They tremble for a few seconds then slip into an involuntary coma every time they’re challenged aggressively from the right...
Jonathon Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, reports on a disturbing case in which a state judge in Pennsylvania threw out an assault case involving a Muslim attacking an atheist for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Judge Mark Martin, an Iraq war veteran and a convert to Islam, threw the case out in what appears to be an invocation of Sharia law.
The incident occurred at the Mechanicsburg, Pa., Halloween parade where Ernie Perce, an atheist activist, marched as a zombie Muhammad. Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim, attacked Perce, and he was arrested by police...
Monday, February 27, 2012
...The Republican Party is in the grips of many fever dreams. But this is not one of them. To be sure, the apocalyptic ideological analysis — that “freedom” is incompatible with Clinton-era tax rates and Massachusetts-style health care — is pure crazy. But the panicked strategic analysis, and the sense of urgency it gives rise to, is actually quite sound. The modern GOP — the party of Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes — is staring down its own demographic extinction. Right-wing warnings of impending tyranny express, in hyperbolic form, well-grounded dread: that conservative America will soon come to be dominated, in a semi-permanent fashion, by an ascendant Democratic coalition hostile to its outlook and interests. And this impending doom has colored the party’s frantic, fearful response to the Obama presidency...
...The contenders in the Hester Prynne primaries are tripping over one another trying to be the most radical, unreasonable and insane candidate they can be. They pounce on any traces of sanity in the other candidates — be it humanity toward women, compassion toward immigrants or the willingness to make the rich pay a nickel more in taxes — and try to destroy them with it.
President Obama has deranged conservatives just as W. deranged liberals. The right’s image of Obama, though, is more a figment of its imagination than the left’s image of W. was...
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Conservative columnist George Will says it’s “economic nonsense” for tea party favorite Rep. Allen West (R-FL) to blame President Barack Obama for the high cost of putting gas in his Hummer...
Saturday, February 25, 2012
The Supreme Court will weigh next week whether corporations can be sued in the United States for suspected complicity in human rights abuses abroad, in a case being closely watched by businesses concerned about long and costly litigation...
...You're [the GOP] having what I refer to as a Ray Charles/Lester Maddox moment (by that I mean your problem is obvious.) Other than both being from Georgia, what could Lester Maddox and Ray Charles have in common? I'm sure that you recall they once asked the great Mr. Charles what was the worst thing about being blind, he instantly replied, "well you can't see." Lester Maddox once observed the problem with conditions in the Georgia prisons was the quality of the inmates.
Obviously, the problem you adults are having is the quality of the Republicans voting in these primaries and caucuses. They are making y'all as batty as they are.
Friday, February 24, 2012
...Republicans have long tried to drive Democratic voters away from the polls. "I don't want everybody to vote," the influential conservative activist Paul Weyrich told a gathering of evangelical leaders in 1980. "As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down." But since the 2010 election, thanks to a conservative advocacy group founded by Weyrich, the GOP's effort to disrupt voting rights has been more widespread and effective than ever. In a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council – and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party – 38 states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process...
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Why Voters Shouldn’t Trust Their Own Political Party: Ezra Klein - Bloomberg
...The reality is that most Americans aren’t policy wonks. They don’t sit down with think-tank papers or economic studies and puzzle over whether it’s better to address the free-rider problem in health care through automatic enrollment or the individual mandate. Instead, they outsource those questions to the political actors they trust.
Unfortunately, those political actors aren’t worthy of their trust. They’re trying to win elections, not points for intellectual consistency. So the voters who trust them get taken for a ride.
Consider the partywide flips and flops of just the past few years:...
Poor Rick Santorum. Wednesday night’s Republican Presidential debate was his moment—his opportunity to solidify his standing, maybe even gain some ground on Mitt Romney. But almost as soon as the debate began, it was clear that he had no chance, that it wasn’t even a fair fight. Santorum had to stand on his own; Romney had an important if unlikely ally right there on stage with him in the form of Ron Paul...
...There wasn’t a lot of love anywhere on Wednesday night. When King asked the candidates to describe themselves in a single word, Paul chose consistent; Santorum, courage; Romney, resolute; and Gingrich, cheerful (judging from his expression, that last one was either a joke or a euphemism for sneering). It’s telling that all of those qualities contain an element of dismissiveness—a willingness, for better or worse, to ignore danger or distractions or reality. On the basis of this debate, though, the one word that best describes all of the candidates might have been contemptuous...
Sorta AP so no quotes here. Romney charges Santorum compromised his principles - San Jose Mercury News
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
...I think as the older generation dies off and the newer generation who has thought through the Old Testament problem comes of age, the pendulum will swing away from the patriarchal fear of birth control and this will happen on a much quicker timeframe than several hundred years. But what has happened to us as a culture, with our diminished expectations, is a result of an economic assault on us by some very determined conservatives. And those predators have been with us forever. We need to develop a pill that prevents selfishness and arrogance. That will be the next modern medical miracle...
On the eve of the last debate before crucial primaries, Republican presidential challengers Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich battled for conservative support by targeting President Barack Obama in increasingly strident attacks Tuesday...
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The former hard-partying prodigal son has questions. Who cares? So what? Frank would better off attending to his own questionable past, rather than mouthpiecing for the GOP. Franklin Graham Questions Obama’s Christian Faith - ABC News
Monday, February 20, 2012
...Despite the support of a healthy majority of Americans of all faiths, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich inexplicably described the compromise as “even worse” than the original plan. Gingrich’s opponent Rick Santorum scoffed at the need for contraception coverage, calling birth control a “minor expense.” Foster Friess, a major Santorum donor, suggested that “gals” might want to hold aspirin between their knees as a birth-control device.
With this hysteria at a fever pitch, it’s easy to forget a few simple truths. Taxpayers spend more than $11 billion each year (in 2001 dollars) on costs associated with unintended pregnancy. It’s a conservative figure that only includes public insurance costs and not the larger financial burden of bringing unwanted children into the world...
Sunday, February 19, 2012
In the movie Avatar, humans hooked themselves up to brain-machine-interface pods with which they could control giant genetically engineered human-alien hybrids. It's just a movie, but DARPA, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, doesn't care: It wants this kind of system to be real, just replace "giant genetically engineered human-alien hybrids" with "robots..."
The first clear memory of this I have is circa 1969 and a short story named "Gottlos" by Colin Kapp. It remains active in my memory, a testament to its vision and clarity. I think it was illustrated in Analog by Virgil Finley.
Well, it's AP so I don't dare borrow any of their words. It's small stuff really, just a Creepy irritant. The Associated Press: Obama campaign adviser says Santorum crossed line
Fifty years after Glenn flight, U.S. buying rides to space | Reuters
Fifty years after John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth, NASA no longer has the ability to fly astronauts in space, a decision Glenn lays squarely on the shoulders of the Bush administration...
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul warned the U.S. is "slipping into a fascist system" dominated by government and businesses as he held a fiery rally Saturday night upstaging established Republican Party banquets a short distance away...
Friday, February 17, 2012
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie gay marriage veto shows hypocrisy on equal rights | NJ.com
Gov. Chris Christie just vetoed the marriage equality bill, as promised. And he's trying to limit the damage by emphasizing that he supports equal rights for gay couples under the state's civil union law, and is prepared to strengthen it if needed.
It is good to see that even conservatives like him feel the need to underscore their commitment to equal rights. But in the end, it's a phony attempt to have it both ways...
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The War On Women continues:
Republican candidate Rick Santorum has won support from American conservatives for his views on social issues but a habit of hyperbole may lead to stumbles in his White House bid.
In Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday, Santorum compared contraception to deodorant and soap when making a point about why he believes birth control should not be covered by health insurers.
"Let's mandate that every insurance policy covers toothpaste. Deodorant. That might be a good idea, right? Have everyone cover deodorant, right? Soap. I mean, where do you stop?"...
A tip of the Mad Hat to billy pilgrim for this reminder:
In 2006, Rick Santorum, less than two months before suffering one of the worst losses in Senate history, was named one of three “most corrupt” Senators by CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington....
...Then, while the GOP that suffers a gender gap of intergalactic proportions became the first Republicans in history to seek a partisan religious war over women and contraceptives while opposing pay equity for women, with today's Republicans being the first in GOP history to attack collective bargaining and seek mass firings of police and firefighters and teachers, Mitt Romney as Jay Gatsby adjourned to his latest home state of the month...
Former Sen. Rick Santorum’s Lack of Senate Support - ABC News
There was a bit of an awkward moment at a Republican news conference on Capitol Hill today, highlighting Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s lack of support among his former colleagues in the Senate.
No sitting senator has endorsed the Pennsylvanian, even though he served in the chamber for 12 years (until 2007) and worked his way into the party’s leadership as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference...
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
A libertarian thinktank devoted to discrediting climate change received funds and other support from major corporations including some publicly committed to social responsibility, leaked documents reveal.
The inner workings of the Heartland Institute were laid bare on Tuesday night after an "insider" emailed confidential documents detailing its strategy and fundraising network to DeSmogBlog, which monitors industry efforts to discredit climate science...
'Crate-Gate' puts Mitt Romney in doghouse at Westminster show - CSMonitor.com
...Almost three decades after Mr. Romney strapped a dog crate, complete with dog, to the roof of the family station wagon for a trip to Canada, the road trip’s repercussions have come rambling to the doorstep of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, where a small group of mostly dog-owning Democrats gathered Tuesday in protest...
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
So how of many of the following traits do either Bush or Obama have?
...Let's cut to the chase. There are seven fundamental leadership qualities that the candidate must possess to be effective. Take just one of these away, and sooner or later, the newly elevated manager will fail. Having studied the careers of nearly 1,000 executives, over the past decade, it is clear to me that failure results when a leader lacks of one or more of these seven attributes...
Monday, February 13, 2012
Saying the now critically endangered species of politician is at high risk for complete extinction within the next 10 years, Beltway-area conservationists announced plans Monday for a new captive breeding program designed to save moderate Republicans...
...My short answer is that the long-running con game of economic conservatives and the wealthy supporters they serve finally went bad. For decades the G.O.P. has won elections by appealing to social and racial divisions, only to turn after each victory to deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy — a process that reached its epitome when George W. Bush won re-election by posing as America’s defender against gay married terrorists, then announced that he had a mandate to privatize Social Security.
Over time, however, this strategy created a base that really believed in all the hokum — and now the party elite has lost control.
The point is that today’s dismal G.O.P. field — is there anyone who doesn’t consider it dismal? — is no accident. Economic conservatives played a cynical game, and now they’re facing the blowback, a party that suffers from “severe” conservatism in the worst way. And the malady may take many years to cure.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Phone hacking was just the start—a new wave of arrests sheds light on Murdoch papers’ ties to police, and, on how the second phase of investigation could hit the mogul.
...Sorry, but you can’t address the great challenges America faces today with that incoherent mix of hardened positions. I’ve argued that maybe we need a third party to break open our political system. But that’s a long shot. What we definitely and urgently need is a second party — a coherent Republican opposition that is offering constructive conservative proposals on the key issues and is ready for strategic compromises to advance its interests and those of the country...
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Reagan Economic Advisor Pleads for Reality-Based, Responsible Tax Reform | Coffee Party News | Scoop.it
The conservative side of our political spectrum has had an outsized voice over the last few years. I think especially since the establishment of Fox News, which has created an echo chamber in which people just hear the same ideas repeated ad infinitum...
...Anything that angers social and religious conservatives while annoying a significant portion of his own base does not soon fade, especially in a presidential re-election year.
Still, there may be some beneficial political fallout for Obama as Republican presidential hopefuls Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich try to outdo each other on this hot-button issue, which they short-hand as the incumbent president’s “war on religion,” leaving Mitt Romney to explain his moderate position on birth control (and even abortion) back when he was Massachusetts governor...
The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee over possible violations of insider-trading laws, according to individuals familiar with the case.
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), who holds one of the most influential positions in the House, has been a frequent trader on Capitol Hill, buying stock options while overseeing the nation’s banking and financial services industries...
Friday, February 10, 2012
Another good woman fights back at vagina auditors and the war on women. Every sperm is sacred! « Uppity Woman
This is Hilarious! You know, between the zealots at Komen and the Let- Us- Mind- Your- Business One Million Moms vs. Ellen this week, the busybodies are 0 for 2. It’s been a good week. It’s about time the vast majority of Americans started exercising their power against meddling Theocrats who are obsessed with women’s body parts. I mean we fight theocracies in the middle east while we have one trying to take hold right here in the USA.Oklahoma’s proposed anti-abortion Senate Bill 1433 states a fetus “at every stage of development (has) all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state.
”In response, pro-choice Oklahoma State Senator Constance Johnson introduced an amendment to the bill that read: “However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child...”
There's much more at the link. The comment thread is also quite, er, stimulating.
Thursday, February 09, 2012
The House passed a sweeping new ethics bill that bans lawmakers from using insider information for personal gain, but Republican leaders came under criticism for softening the legislation in a way that some view as beneficial to Wall Street investors...
...speaking of the contraceptive provision recently approved by Obama and company and the howls of outrage from Catholic, Inc. and other wounded rightists. Specifically, no one is making anybody take The Pill.
Whose Conscience? - NYTimes.com
Whose Conscience? - NYTimes.com
...But suppose the counter-factual – that only half, or one-quarter, or five percent of Catholic women use birth control. The question would remain: Whose conscience is it? The regulation doesn’t require anyone to use birth control. It exempts any religious employer that primarily hires and serves its own faithful, the same exclusion offered by New York and California from the contraception mandate in state insurance laws...
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Republicans in Massachusetts often say that Deval Patrick's 2006 gubernatorial campaign served as a template for Barack Obama's presidential campaign two years later. What they won't tell you is that the conservative template of attacking Obama with unrelenting invective was also created here in the Bay State, and used against Patrick.
I should know.
I helped create that template...
Fascinating article. Check it out at the link above.
Komen Official Quits After Planned Parenthood Controversy - WSJ.com
- Laura Victor Replied:
here's my 2 bits...I "terminated" a pregnancy. I was 23 weeks along with my third child, when I learned that he had severe spina bifida. At the time the rules were such that you could not just have such a child take it's natural course, which in my child's case would have meant death somewhat soon after birth. My husband and I chose to terminate the pregnancy. At the time, our son would have had to undergo brain surgery, abdominal surgery and back surgery. At the time there was not a trusted form of anesthesia for infants. Basically they would have paralyzed him, but not anethesized him. God gave man a brain. Men/Women have used their brains to advance medical science. It is a double edged sword in that we have the ability to detect these birth defects even if we aren't yet able to successfully deal with them. We made a decision based on what WE thought was best for our baby, our children and ourselves. I couldn't have lived with myself knowing the trauma our son would have undergone had he gone to term and then been whisked out of our arms to go under the knife. Nature would not have been allowed to take it's course.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
The verdict is in from Rush Limbaugh on the Chrysler ad featuring actor Clint Eastwood that stirred up quite bit of controversy on Super Bowl Sunday: “Eastwood got scammed.”
“I think he got scammed. I think he got roped into doing something he thought was patriotic and ended up being played. I do,” the conservative radio host said on his show on Tuesday. “I’m just going to give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest he got suckered into this...”
I'm sure Eastwood is losing sleep over what his fellow GOPer thinks. On the other hand, he may just get irked that Rush has called him an idiot.
...The outrage is tiresome and deeply hypocritical, in all the tiresome ways you’ve been tired out by before. M.I.A. was illustrating her line, acting out the attitude of the words: performing. Fine, it may not be legal to flip the bird on television, but that’s simply a remnant of the fifties we haven’t shaken. Unless somebody was handing out Xanax with the foam fingers, Lucas Oil Stadium was ringing with the music of profanities last night. More to the point, television viewers were submitted to ad after ad that likened women—negatively—to sofas, cars, and candy. Mr. Winter didn’t have anything to say about that, so I’d like to raise both of my middle fingers to him and anyone who thinks profanity is somehow more harmful to our children than images of violence and misogyny. (My two sons, fourteen and eleven, thought the Fiat ad was corny, so I guess they will be safe without Mr. Winter’s intervention.) I say we get out of The Pretending To Be Moral game altogether and use the Internet for important things like posting pictures of cats looking at croissants and PDFs of sensitive government documents...
Monday, February 06, 2012
A Puritan's 'war against religion' - latimes.com
In January, while conservative Christians and GOP presidential candidates were charging that "elites" have launched "a war against religion," a federal court in Rhode Island ordered a public school to remove a prayer mounted on a wall because it imposed a belief on 16-year-old Jessica Ahlquist. The ruling seems particularly fitting because it was consistent not only with the 1st Amendment but with the intent of Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island expressly to provide religious liberty and who called such forced exposure to prayer "spiritual rape..."
...With the fresh exposure of that philosophy’s limitations and hypocrises, feminists now have a valuable object lesson. We should realize that activists who compartmentalize between “innocent” causes and the radical struggle ultimately undermine the movement. They cede to our opponents the assumption that women’s bodies can be regulated at all and abstain from critical conversations about the nitty-gritty of health care finance and access. As feminism becomes increasingly co-opted, corrupted and watered down, the biggest threat may not be the declared opposition but the wolf in a particularly rosy shade of sheep’s clothing.
"People are out of work and they're hurting and they're all wondering what they're gonna do to make a comeback. And we're all scared because this isn't a game...
IF you want to figure out why Newt Gingrich is still out there grasping for lost power, howling at the moon like King Lear, look to Callista.
You can find her anytime standing statue-still on stage next to Newt as he speaks, gazing at him with such frozen attentiveness that she could give a master class to Nancy Reagan...
“She’s a transformational wife,” Alex Castellanos, the Republican strategist, told me. “She’s the wife who makes the candidate think he is destiny’s gift to mankind, born to greater things...”
Sunday, February 05, 2012
...The president needs to appeal to this cross-partisan outsiders movement. He needs to inspire them to dream about the real reform that they could make possible, if only they would organize and demand the way they organized and stopped SOPA/PIPA. This president and this Congress are not going to change the economy of influence of D.C. But this president and the next Congress could — if Obama made this issue the focus of this campaign.
And if not Obama, then some other candidate.
And if not some other candidate, then us.
For the critical insight that more and more are coming to see is that the critical force in politics today, not just in America, but across the world, comes from the amateur, not the professional. From the outside, not the inside. That’s what MoveOn taught us 14 years ago. That’s what the Tea Party showed us 2 years ago. That was what Occupy Wall Street proved just last fall.
It is time we recognize the potential of these outsiders and celebrate it. The inside might be able to inspire them. But it will be they, or us, the outsiders, who will determine whether the cancer that is Washington gets cured.
It is almost too little, too late for Susan G. Komen For the Cure. When the organization chose to cut funding to Planned Parenthood that paid for breast cancer screenings, it planted itself clumsily and unnecessarily in the middle of America’s wars over abortion and mortally wounded its reputation. It doesn't matter that they have now have apparently reversed that decision...
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had ties to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae during his time as speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999, adding to questions about the nature of his relationship with the home mortgage companies...
Saturday, February 04, 2012
GOP presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul is attracting strong support at a series of rallies in Minnesota Saturday, and few lines of his stump speech are receiving more cheers than his call to repeal the Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act...
To this, I add a hearty "Amen!"
...Gingrich’s critique of flawed leadership requires him to look no further than the mirror. As speaker of the House in November 1995, he boasted that he orchestrated a shutdown of the federal government largely because President Clinton snubbed him on Air Force One—relegating the speaker to the back of the plane and making him disembark by the rear door during a trip to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral. “It’s petty,” Gingrich explained his actions at the time, “but I think it’s human...”
...In other words, after more than a year of obstruction by a Republican-controlled US House that has refused to act to address unemployment and underemployment, and that has rejected sound proposals for addressing the mortgage crisis, Ryan and his allies are attacking the Obama administration, Bernanke and the Fed for trying to do something.
That’s bizarre enough.
But even more bizarre is the fact that the attacks have come as fresh jobs figures confirm a pattern of improvement under policies put in place by the administration and the Fed...
Women are not simply the sum of their parts « The Confluence: “I shudder to think about what would have happened to Ward’s patients when they went to see her about a non-marital relationship they were in. Extra marital and pre-marital sex are absolutely verboten to the evangelical Christian. There are no exceptions.”— unless you’re a GOPer like Newt or Diapers or Rudy or [add your string of unfaithful louts here].
So, it’s not morality that really “sells” the fundie. I’ll nominate a trait seen among fundies of all religions everywhere and one that fulfills that sense of belonging– victim-hood.The fundie’s sexual morality is slippery at best but their sense of victim-hood and apocalyptic paranoia never seems to waver.
Friday, February 03, 2012
...Breast cancer tends to get a disproportionate share of health care financing, and Komen’s enormous success tilts things still further. (The foundation spends a good deal of time and money tracking down smaller anticancer organizations and demanding that they cease and desist from using the words “for the cure” or using the color pink.) Critics also suggest that Komen is way too fixated on mammograms, which are a good tool, but are hardly the be-all-and-end-all of cancer prevention. On the other hand, Komen does financially support much-needed grass-roots programs like Planned Parenthood’s medical exams for mostly young, lower-income women...
...Black's evaluation of Apple is unyielding: "Apple creates a criminogenic environment in its supplier selection process that leads it to,
pervasively, hire criminal suppliers." The explicit and documented treatment of labor in this supply chain is, on the face of it, criminal.
So, go argue with him about the facts of the case. My interest in Apple is as a signifier of a particular mentality among the cultural elite - let's call them Whole Foods Nation - that wants others (like me) to ratify their consumer purchases (phones, canned beans, presidents) as markers of cultural, moral and intellectual superiority.
Use whatever gadget you want, but don't lie to yourself about the very brutal world of global manufacturing where it was produced.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
The Susan G. Komen Foundation revealed its true colors Tuesday, and there wasn't a hint of its trademark pink in sight. Komen put red-state, right-wing politics above low-income women's health, pure and simple, with its decision to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood to pay for breast cancer screenings.
It could be the most cowardly act by a health foundation in U.S. history...
...In fact, political polarization among the public has barely budged at all over the past 40 years, according to research presented here on Jan. 27 at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. But, crucially, people vastly overestimate how polarized the American public is — a tendency toward exaggeration that is especially strong in the most extreme Democrats and Republicans. (The results do not apply to Congress, politicians or media pundits, but rather to the general public...)
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, who had once said that he did not wish to add a “right to work” provision to the state’s labor laws, signed a bill on Wednesday doing just that.
The legislation, which bars union contracts from requiring non-union members to pay fees for representation, makes Indiana the first state in more than a decade to enact right to work legislation and the only one in the Midwestern manufacturing belt to have such a law...
...But however justifiable the latest (and by no means the last, I’m sure) wave of conservative angst over Romney’s problems may be, it should also be noted that the likely Republican nominee would be in far worse shape for the fall campaign if he had listened to many of his critics on the right, and taken their advice on how to brand himself instead. His “I’m not concerned about the very poor” comments were embedded in an attempt — however clumsy and faltering — to define himself as a champion of the hard-pressed middle class, and to distance himself both from the “just expand the welfare state” politics of the left and the “just cut taxes on the wealthy, and the rest will take care of itself” politics that too often defines the contemporary right. He may not have hit that sweet spot, but at least he knows that the sweet spot exists. Whereas many conservatives seem convinced that the best way for Romney to counteract his image as an out-of-touch Richie Rich is to embrace policies that are only likely to confirm that stereotype...
Few organizations have done more for women's healththan both Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a leading supporter of breast-cancer treatment and research, and Planned Parenthood, the country's top reproductive health care provider and advocate. To see the two organizations now at war is not only upsetting to many women's health supporters but all the more tragic because it's so unnecessary.
The most charitable interpretation of events would suggest that Komen was duped by anti-abortion advocates into cutting off support for breast exams at Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country. That is expected to cost the latter organization as much as $680,000 in grants annually and potentially deny cancer screening to hundreds if not thousands of clients at Planned Parenthood health centers...
A Republican member of the Indiana General Assembly withdrew his bill to create a pilot program for drug testing welfare applicants Friday after one of his Democratic colleagues amended the measure to require drug testing for lawmakers...