Saturday, July 6, 2013

This Will End Well - Teaching Standards Edition

This doesn't seem like an especially good idea to me but what do I know?
Sixty individuals, ONE teacher among them, will write national education standards in the next five months, in a secret process that excludes effective input from students, parents or teachers....

On Libertarian Populism and the GOP

Mike Konczal has a good read over at the Washington Post
All of this brings home the last point: The arguments in favor of libertarian populism presuppose what they need to prove — that the reason these voters stayed home was because Mitt Romney wasn’t far enough to the right on economic libertarianism. Maybe. Or perhaps the voters stayed home because no one focused on straight-up jobs, which would require a more interventionist agenda. Far from turning out more white voters, a more libertarian agenda could keep them at home. 
But non-voting whites might also be staying home because they are alienated in a world of increasing cultural liberalism, of gay marriage and globalization, one that doesn’t privilege their maleness and whiteness enough. A campaign that seriously addresses white working-class resentment might lose other voters (white and non-white) faster than they are gained.

Friday, July 5, 2013

On Chris Christie, All Round Nice Person

Or maybe not quite so much 
Ultimately, Christie was given the keynote addres sat the 2012 GOP convention – a coveted speaking slot reserved for rising stars. There, his “big” personality came out in a big way: when organizers told Christie that they were scrapping a three-minute introduction video before his speech due to time constraints, the governor insisted they reconsider. When they pushed back, according to Balz, Christie told a member of the production team “to ask the director if he had ever heard anyone say ‘f***’ on live television, because that’s what he was about to do if the video didn’t run.” After another sharp exchange, Christie said he wouldn’t deliver the speech if the video didn’t run. Romney’s convention team leader, Russ Schriefer, intervened, instructing the director to play the video…

h/t to Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice

On How Not To Celebrate The Fourth

From TPM comes this bad news

The 7-year-old Virginia boy who was struck by a stray bullet while on his way to watch a Fourth of July fireworks display died Friday, according to Richmond-based NBC affiliate WWBT.
Police said the accident was likely the result of someone firing a gun in the air to celebrate the holiday. It is still unknown who fired the shot.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

On Telemarketers That Call On Holidays

To the folks at the Albany Times Union, a Hearst newspaper,

You have guaranteed that I will never subscribe to your newspaper by engaging telemarketers that call on Independence Day.


Today in marriage Equality - Costa Rica Edition

Good thing it isn't the thought that counts
In the “ooops” move of the century, the legislature of Costa Rica accidentally voted for a measure that would legalize same-sex marriage. Conservative lawmakers voted for the bill before realizing that it redefined marriage to include same-sex civil unions
I will still take this as a win.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On Alpha Males, Dogs, Cats, And The True Nature Of Happiness

As dumb as it gets
Dogs are loyal, obedient, and affectionate. 
Masculine men love these qualities in our companions, and they are qualities we want in our women as well. 
Cats are selfish, independent, and alpha. 
Masculine men hate these qualities in our companions.  This is because masculine men are the owners, not the owned.

 So by analogy he wants to "own" women rather than be owned by them? I find that more than slightly odd. I want a woman that challenges me and nurtures me. I want a woman that is loyal to me and expects me to be loyal to her. I want a woman that wants to be with me but doesn't need to be with me because she is capable of caring for herself.

Fortunately I found such a woman and yes, we got married. I happily admint that I have no "Game", I am just a guy that is happy in my own skin and knows that I don't have to trick women to get them to sleep with me. Just being myself is the right way to find the person that I am going to be happy with. Too bad the author of the above-quoted passage isn't as sure of himself (read some more of his blog .. you will see what I mean)

I would also say that he has not described "dogs", he has described a Labrador. Dogs and cats come in all shapes and sizes and temperaments. I know that this seems to be a silly thing for me to post on but it is just one more example of how when someone thinks about the world in a limited way in one regard they probably have a limited view overall.

h/t to David Futrelle

Monday, July 1, 2013

Is Tim Huelskamp a heartless douchebag?

I would say that the signs point to yes.

Motivated by the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) introduced legislation on Friday to pass an amendment to the Constitution that would ban gay nuptials, the Huffington Post reported. 
Huelskamp's amendment has zero chance of becoming law, but the legislation attracted several ultra-conservative co-sponsors, including Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Steve Stockman (R-TX) and Paul Broun (R-GA). 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Peggy Noonan on Wendy Davis

 on  ABC's This Week you would have heard this.
NOONAN: I think it will pass in a -- in a special session maybe on Monday or Tuesday. The aim -- the bill does not specifically try to close abortion clinics; it says they have to meet certain medical standards in order to operate. Here's what -- in the story of this young woman, she's so spirited. You know, she has such energy and she seems to have such commitment. 
But it seems to me -- and I think it seems to many Americans -- that what she is speaking for and standing for is something we would recognize as infanticide, late-term abortion, the taking of a little child's life. That is really, really serious. And so part of me thinks that this is a fabulous young woman, and part of me thinks, oh, my goodness, we're celebrating something that even in Europe they call a matter of brutality and barbarism.
Note how Ms Noonan describes Wendy Davis as a "young woman" in a dismissive manner not once but twice. I guess I can understand this because Peggy Noonan is an elderly 62 and Wendy Davis is a mere pup of 50. Yes, she described a 50 year old as "a young woman".  How nice when women try to pull the "she is just a silly little girl" card on each other.

Peggy Noonan should be ashamed. She won't be though.

Rachel Maddow on Marriage Equality and Children

On Meet The Press today she said this
Justice Kennedy addressed that issue specifically in his ruling. He says that by denying marriage rights to same-sex couples who have kids, you’re humiliating and demeaning those kids. By denying their families equal protection under the law by the parents who are raising them and who love them and who make their family. So we can put it in the interests of children, but I think that cuts both ways. And the ruling cuts against that argument. I mean, gay people exist. There’s nothing we can do in public policy can do to make more of us exist or less of us exist. And you guys for a generation have argued that public policy ought to demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist. But you don’t make any less of us exist, you are just arguing for more discrimination. And more discrimination doesn’t make straight people’s lives any better.

Have I mentioned that I love Rachel Maddow?

On Political Correctness

If you think that it is only political correctness that keeps white people from being "allowed" to drop an n-bomb then you are a jackass.

If you think that punching up and punching down are the same with respect to how race and class and gender work in humor or music then you are an even bigger jackass.

If you think that this is about you and are offended that I am calling you a jackass then you really need to check your assumptions about what kind of a person you are.

On Moderate Chris Christie

Lest we forget that Chris Christie is a conservative through and through.
But Christie? For every occasionally decent gesture (such as his response to Islamophobic critics who attacked him for appointing a Muslim judge), there tend to be at least a half dozen other acts that are fairly heinous. Here are a few: Christie is resolutely anti-choice, has vetoed funding for Planned Parenthood and equal pay for women, has inflicted devastating budget cuts that have shredded the state’s safety net, and has awarded political allies with sweetheart no-bid contracts. 
And what kind of “moderate” would turn down billions of dollars in free federal money for a much-needed train tunnel to New York City? Every time I visit Jersey and sit in traffic on the Lincoln, I think of this. The icing on the cake is that the tunnel money amounted, in the midst of an historic recession, to the biggest public works project in the nation.
He is an obnoxious asshole and a conservative. He is not a straight-talking pragmatist as some  might have you think.

Strangest Argument Against A Path To Citizenship

This is among the stranger things that has been said.
A Republican Congressman argued that the immigration measures making their way through the House of Representatives won’t include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants because many don’t want to achieve legal status.
“The 11 million is not a homogeneous group,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Immigration Subcommittee, said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. “All of the 11 million don’t want citizenship. It would be curious to force it on those who don’t want it,” he added, noting that millions won’t be able to pass background checks.

It isn't like Homeland Security is going to come in and force anyone to become a citizen at gunpoint. And as for millions not being able to pass background checks ... well then the law will have done its job won't it?

The inconsistency of the arguments that I am starting to see from the right is a clear sign to me that they have no idea what they are going to do here.