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Saturday News Roundup

9/11 landing gear found


News Roundup

It is kind of creepy that a landing gear from the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center was found yesterday.

One of the things that I find very interesting about our society is how myths continue to be perpetuated. One of my favorite myths is the notion that the United States government should balance its budget “because” it is just like your household budget. Absolute craziness. There are almost no similarities between the federal budget and our household budget. I know of no household able to set its own interest rates. I know of no household that is able to print its own money. Yet, we perpetuate this myth.

Paul Krugman went into some detail about the austerity myth yesterday. The austerity fantasy goes something like this – we have been bad as a country, as a nation, as a world. We’ve overspent. Therefore, we must cut back on spending in order to fix the problem. Sure, this worldwide cutback will cause some significant pain, but we are promised that it is going to be worth it in the long run. Again, garbage. There’s no evidence that austerity will pay off in the long run. Instead, as Krugman points out, austerity is about hurting those who really had nothing to do with the overspending. Austerity is about prolonged unemployment. It is time for our government and other governments around the world to recognize that now is the time to spend money on infrastructure. Now is the time to hire millions of unemployed citizens to get our economies back on track.

You know, it was less than two years ago when Netflix simply fumbled the ball. Subscribers were leaving left and right. It was unclear whether Netflix was actually going to survive. It appears that Netflix has weathered the storm and is heading in the right direction. Now, you have to wonder about JC Penney’s and if they can right the ship.

Can somebody explain to me why Democrats agreed to pass a special bill which circumvented the sequester? This is simply astoundingly stupid.

Some residents still cannot get back into their homes (link may require a subscription) and may never be allowed to get into their homes in West, Texas. By the way, who is paying for the rebuilding?

Another Mississippi man has been arrested in the ricin letters.

By |2013-04-28T21:56:43-04:00April 27th, 2013|9-11, Corporate Wrongs, Economy|4 Comments

Monday Morning News Roundup

Monday Morning News Roundup

Do you remember when conservatives were pushing the notion that the HPV vaccine would cause promiscuity? Sure, the idea was stupid. A vaccine that is designed to prevent cancer but somehow causes women to be more promiscuous is simply crazy. Well, a study validates the fact that the vaccine is not associated with increased promiscuity.

So, yesterday I pointed out that the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers were probably the second and third best teams in the NFL. Yesterday, both teams went out of their way to try to prove me wrong. They both lost. Neither team looked good in their loss. Hell, even the Atlanta Falcons, which I considered probably the best team in the NFL, struggled to get a victory. That tells you what I know.

Even Evil Knievel would be envious of this stunt. Wow. (8 million folks viewed it live on the internet.)

Obama has taken a lead, again, in national polls. Again, I would emphasize, the only poll that really counts is the one that takes place on a Tuesday in November.

Paul Ryan doesn’t even know his own plan’s defense numbers… or he is lying, again. “So we’re saying don’t cut the military by a trillion dollars,” Ryan said. “Not increase it by a trillion, don’t cut it by a trillion dollars.” Oops. This is wrong. They (Romney-Ryan) are increasing the military budget by $2 trillion over 10 years.

Once again, I would like to look at Mitt Romney‘s foreign-policy speech at VMI. Mitt Romney said, “finally, I will recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel.” That is very nice. I would like peace on earth and good will towards men and women. I would like dogs and cats to be able to live in peace and harmony. My question to Mitt Romney is how? How do you make this happen? How do you force democracy on the Palestinian state? As far as I know, there is no groundswell of democracy in Palestine. Instead, the Bush administration pushed this idea that elections equal Jeffersonian democracy and unfortunately that’s not what happened. Instead, the terrorist group Hamas won by a landslide. So, exactly how does Mitt Romney propose changing this? I don’t see how any steely-eyed, square-jawed type of diplomacy is going to fix the situation. This foreign-policy speech at VMI seems to be nothing more than a pipe dream.

By |2012-10-15T21:24:39-04:00October 15th, 2012|Elections, Israel, NFL, Religion|Comments Off on Monday Morning News Roundup

Another Non-Controversy – Controversy (Update)

Ann Romney

Republicans are masters at faux outrage. They will take something that is usually relatively minor and obscure and blow it into something that represents God, country and the American way. The latest fake outrage surrounded Hillary Rosen. Hillary Rosen is supposedly a Democratic strategist. I’ve never heard of her. That doesn’t mean that she is not a strategist, just that she’s not a major player in the Democratic Party in my eyes. (Well, she turns out to be a big power player in the DNC. I need to pay more attention. More on her background.) The other night she was on CNN, like millions of talking heads, when she said, “guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never dealt with the kinds of economic issues that the majority of women in this country are facing.” Hillary Rosen was talking about Ann Romney. Now, let the fireworks begin.

Let’s be clear, in our society, the vast majority of women have to work extremely hard in order to do the things that they do. It is that simple. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom or simply a working woman, it is tough in our society to make ends meet. This is a given. Yet, somehow Hillary Rosen’s comments were turned into some sort of attack on stay-at-home moms. In fact, it was no attack on stay-at-home moms at all. Instead, what she was trying to say, and said pretty well, was that Ann Romney had it a little bit easier than other stay-at-home moms. The fact that her husband, Mitt Romney, was making ends meet in a big way meant that she did not have to face the same challenges that other stay-at-home moms do. They had maids and butlers, That’s a little bit different than if the only person you have to turn to is you, yourself, and that’s it. Now, that’s an assumption. I’m assuming that the Romneys had extra help around the house. I don’t know. To be honest, I don’t care. What I do know is that Mitt was bringing home some really good cash, so the economic decisions became extremely easy. Ann Romney never had to decide between medicine and food for her kids. She never had to buy a car that she thought was substandard because that was all she could afford. She never had to decide whether she put her kids in some sort of substandard day care versus trying to find a neighbor or even a relative to take care of her kids while she worked for eight hours trying to make ends meet.

This whole fake argument and fake outrage again diverts our attention from the important pressing problems that are facing our nation. We continue to be distracted by craziness. We must remember that the reason that we are all struggling right now is because of the foolishness and chicanery of Wall Street. Fancy derivatives and mortgage securitization led us into this economic collapse. Millions of people have been displaced and still have not been able to find work and yet no major player on Wall Street has paid the price for perpetuating nationwide fraud. Those of us who have a job have enjoyed stagnant wages for more than a decade. The defunding of our public schools continues to undermine our ability to be prepared for the future. Yet, we fret over whether Hillary Rosen is attacking stay-at-home moms. The whole idea is simply crazy. We need to focus on the real problems which face our nation.

Update: Let me just add

There’s nothing there about stay-at-home moms, or the idea that that raising children isn’t work. Rosen was referring to the fact that Ann Romney—an incredibly rich and elite woman—likely does not understand the economic concerns of most American women. Again, it was unfortunate choice of words—but she wasn’t wrong.

The Romney campaign, predictably, has grabbed onto this “controversy” in an attempt to divert attention from their missteps around equal pay and the war on women yesterday. Ann Romney joined Twitter, and her first two messages were about the flap, writing that “all moms are entitled to choose their path” and that she “made a choice to stay home and raise five boys.”

Since all moms are “entitled” to “choose” their path, I’m very much looking forward to the Romney’s plan for national mandated paid parental leave. I’m also wondering, since they believe that women’s domestic labor is valuable and real work, when they will come out in support of wages for said work. (Or perhaps women are only entitled to make their “choice” when they have the financial means to do so.)

Focusing on this slip-up just brings more attention to the way in which a Romney presidency wouldn’t support mothers. Because empty platitudes about motherhood “being the hardest job in the world” doesn’t change the reality of most moms’ lives, or make their job any easier.

But it’s not just that Romney is bad for women (whether they work outside the home or not). What’s being lost in this conversation is the incredibly facile and insulting notion that just because a woman made the decision to marry Romney and occasionally talk to him about other women, that he is somehow well-informed on women’s issues. Ann Romney is not an expert on women’s issues just because she happens to be one. And she’s not an expert in what mothers need just because she has children. Believing otherwise is infantilizing and reduces women’s very important and complex concerns to beauty parlor chitchat.

By |2013-11-03T17:14:19-04:00April 14th, 2012|Party Politics|2 Comments
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