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Tuesday Morning News Roundup

Tuesday Morning News Roundup

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia equates homosexuality, gay marriage, with murder. He’s using the time old slippery slope argument. Personally, I believe that Scalia is wrong. If homosexuality and gay marriage were that much an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, Jesus would’ve railed on it. He didn’t. If the Lord believed that that was such an abomination, there would be an 11th commandment. There isn’t.

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Once again, union workers, this time in Michigan, are facing having their collective bargaining rights removed. The one big difference that I would point out between Scott Walker’s move two years ago and this move is that there’s no attempt at open discussion. There’s no attempt at trying to use the normal legislative process. Instead, I get the clear feeling that they’re trying to do as much as they can behind closed doors. In my opinion, “right to work” basically insures the right to work for lower wages. A recent study from the University of Notre Dame found that right to work states have higher poverty rates and lower rates of healthcare coverage. This finding is a no-brainer. One thing is clear. The prosperity that we enjoyed in the United States from the 1950s through the mid-1970s was in part due to wide unionization. Unions guaranteed that middle-class Americans received a living wage.

Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican, South Carolina) is on a roll. He spent most of the last several weeks bashing ambassador Susan Rice for reading talking points that the intelligence community gave her to read. Now he’s attacking the president over Medicare cuts. I have no problem with your criticizing the president if you disagree with him. This is cool. I have a huge problem when you say, “How about manning up here, Mister President, and use your mandate to bring this country together and stop us from becoming Greece?” Manning up? So Lindsey Graham is saying that the president does not have enough masculinity to do the right thing? Whatever?!?!?

There are many reasons that I’m happy that Senator Sherrod Brown was reelected. He is smart, thoughtful and doesn’t back down under conservative scrutiny. On Morning Joe, Senator Brown was being pressed on raising the eligibility age for Social Security and making cuts in Medicare to make the program “more sustainable.” Brown replied, “I don’t buy that they’re not sustainable any more than the defense budget is not sustainable. We owe billions of dollars down the line, of course. We can fix these things with changes at the margins without radical surgery.” He is exactly right. Let’s look again at what is driving the deficit. (See graph)

Current deficits are being driven by the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which were never paid for. Conservatives continue to point out that Obama has been in charge of the economy/government for four years. When is he going to take responsibility for his government spending? Look at the graph. The economic recovery measures are in there. What Obama should own up to is not repealing the Bush tax cuts when he had an opportunity – oh yeah, he did own up to that.

By |2012-12-11T21:00:34-04:00December 11th, 2012|Economy, Obama administration, Party Politics|4 Comments

I was going to say that

Over the last 24 hours a story about Romney at a fundraiser has exploded. David Brooks, who can be very thoughtful at times, simply roasts Romney.

Steve has beaten me to the punch:

As the political world digests the significance of Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” controversy, I’ve seen this comparison come up quite a bit.

It was just four years ago that Obama was recorded at his own closed-door event talking about how people “cling to guns and religion” when things don’t go well in their lives.

The parallels between the two situations are striking; both feature the candidate inartfully characterizing people who support the other team. Of course, Romney’s comments will be much more important to this campaign, given that they aren’t four years old.

Conor Friedersdorf is thinking along the same lines, referencing “Mitt Romney’s ‘Clinging to Guns or Religion’ Moment.”

The superficial similarities are, of course, obvious. Both involve presidential candidates getting caught on secret videos saying something politically embarrassing, while speaking behind closed doors to supporters.

But I think the parallels effectively end there. In fact, on a substantive level, the two secretly-recorded videos are actually opposites.

It’s been four years, but if you go back and look at Obama’s comments, the then-senator was talking about white, working-class voters who feel politically skeptical as the economy has left them behind, but he told his supporters that he intends to fight for these voters’ support anyway. Obama defended these folks, said they have a right to be “bitter,” and explained why he felt like his plan would meet these voters’ needs.

Romney’s comments, meanwhile, offer an entirely different perspective — instead of defending those who may skeptical of him, the Republican is writing them off, chastising them for considering themselves “victims” and failing to “take personal responsibility.” While Obama’s comments show his desire to fight for every last vote, even in communities where he wouldn’t expect to be popular, Romney said, “[M]y job is not to worry about those people.”

They offer fascinating bookends that tell us a great deal about these candidates’ values, but to see them as similar is a mistake.

By |2012-09-18T19:53:28-04:00September 18th, 2012|Elections, Party Politics|1 Comment
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