What We’re Watching: May 25, 2018 - Good morning and happy Friday. Here’s what we have our eyes on today. Stories We’re Following President Trump gives a...
42 minutes ago
Needless to say, [Rep. Virginia] Foxx considers herself "pro-life". I point this out, because "pro-life" people want you to believe that they're in it not to punish women for being sexual, but that they just really are The Protectors of the Young. Well, that's clearly bullshit. Anyone who really cared a whit about the young would take this student debt and employment crisis seriously. I'd argue that instead of actually being protectors of the young, conservatives are haters of the young. Anti-choice is actually a piece of this, because the idealized victim of their policies is a young woman, being punished for her youth and sexuality. It really comes across in the comments of this article about the employment/debt crisis that Atrios linked:
They want to go to a boutique college, borrow money or receive grants to cover the $50K tuition, major in an arcane subject like gender studies or urban anthropology, and then have someone hand them a well paying job, so they can maintain a hipster lifestyle in a trendy neighborhood.
Here are the most popular majors, in order, according to the Princeton Review: business, psychology, nursing, biology, education, English, economics, communications, political science, and computer science. It seems that kids are mostly picking majors that will lead to the kind of professional careers that they're told they should want. This commenter betrays himself with his ignorance, sure, but also with the phrase "hipster lifestyle". This is all about hating the young for being young, wanting them to suffer because they still have hard bodies and high libidos while your aging body makes it increasingly hard to ignore that death is coming for all of us. It's basically asshole behavior, believing that you had a right to be young, but no one else does now that you aren't anymore. ...
Please review that list of the most popular majors to understand what an asshole this guy is. One in every four degrees handed out is a business degree. The notion that kids aren't viewing their education as job training is a farce. On the contrary, the complaint now is that students are too focused on how to get from school to work, and find any class that doesn't have immediately obvious relevance for future employment to be a waste of time. Once again, the underlying sentiment here is that now that the commenter is no longer young, no one else has a right to be, and that young people should have grim, colorless lives so that he feels better about not being young anymore.
These people aren't the protectors of the young. Remember these attitudes every time a conservative waxes on about how they love babies. If they really did, they would want those babies to have meaningful lives with joy and color in them, not the grim existences of all work and no play that these wingnuts feel is the only acceptable youth now that theirs is gone.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Steve Doocy's Subtext Reporting|
The last one may be one of my least favorite of meaningless platitudes in circulation in the U.S., the whole "stay-at-home moms are the hardest working, bestest people that ever worked!" one. It's a common feature on STFU Parents, with housewives braying about how, unlike everyone else, they work 24/7 and don't get vacations and blah blah.
There's a very serious and insulting problem with this platitude: It carries with it the assumption that working mothers (a term that is commonly understood to mean women who have paid employment while raising children at home) don't raise their children.
Think about it: [Ann] Romney is saying she made the "choice" to raise her five boys by staying home, as if her boys would have gone unraised if she'd had a job outside of the home. To which I say, screw you. My mom worked. [WCG: My mom worked, too. And screw anyone who says she didn't work twice as hard as Ann Romney.] In this country, most moms work. Their kids don't run around like wild animals, naked and barefoot and killing pigeons to survive. Hell, in some families, believe it or not, dads some times pitch in and raise their kids. (That last bit was mega-sarcasm, for the utterly literal.)
[Hillary] Rosen's point stands. Romney's tweet actually confirms that she has no idea what it's like for most women to be out there, worrying about how to make enough money to take care of themselves and their families. That she had the choice to stay home makes that very clear. And that's even if you don't know about Romney's financial situation. The reality is that she could afford economic dependence, because if she ever got divorced, her alimony payments would be enough to keep a whole neighborhood of single mother-led households afloat. Hell, Romney doesn't even have much in common with most stay-at-home moms. In the real world, many stay-at-home moms are living in poverty, unable to afford a job because of the costs of child care, and often living on a patchwork of family help, food stamps, and under-the-table employment. Even those who don't live in poverty are often living in a much more financially precarious situation than the "choice" stay-at-home mothers the media loves so much. The reality is that most mothers work, since most middle class families rely on women holding paid employment to stay afloat. More than 3/4 of women with children under age 15 at home have paid employment outside of the home. - Amanda Marcotte
Fortunately for Romney, his biggest supporters will have many more options for helping him out beyond a max donation this cycle. Thanks to the post-Citizens United system, independent groups, including a Super PAC dedicated to electing him, Restore Our Future, can raise unlimited funds from wealthy donors. And they’re having plenty of success so far. The largest such group, the Karl Rove-connected American Crossroads, says it has raised $49 million over the last three months. Meanwhile, Priorities USA, a Democratic Super PAC dedicated to re-electing Obama, announced raising just $4.5 million in the same period.
We rushed to the orthodontist, and pulled in to the parking lot, right next to the path to the front door. I got out of the car, and noticed another car pulling in behind us. My mom, rifling through her purse, told me to go and check in before I was late, and then shooed me away. "Go! Go!"
As I took a step, I heard a loud voice yell at me, "Get back in the car!"
I looked over, and saw that the car behind us was a black police cruiser. No sirens, no lights, nothing to warn us of any impending trouble. Just a cruiser that pulled in behind us, and was now yelling at me.
I bent over and shot a look at my mom, silently asking what the fuck was going on. She looked up at me, still not aware the cop was behind her, and said, "What? Go inside!"
I stood up, and looked over at the cop, a younger white woman, tense and inexplicably angry, and saw her standing behind her open door, gun pointed at me. "Get. In. The. Car." ...
A few minutes later, we found out that the officer was giving my mom a speeding ticket. Curiously, the ticket was for a stretch of road two miles away from the lot in which we were now parked, and she had only started following us within the last half-mile or so, but at that point, nobody was in a mood to argue.
There's a reason that Trayvon Martin's story hits me so hard. When you're thirteen and threatened with a bullet through the chest for getting your braces tightened, it teaches you how the world works, and does it in a hurry.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Mitt Happened - Pundits Pivot on Mitt Romney|
Republicans are still running on deficit reduction, but as the election nears, their governing agenda reveals something that close observers recognized all along: Deficit reduction was never the point. Whether acceding to political reality, or proactively moving messaging bills through the House, the GOP has quietly let on that they’re fine with deficits — as long as they come in the right flavor.
House Republican leaders began the year with an embarrassing defeat over extending the 2012 payroll tax holiday. Democrats held their ground and insisted that the payroll tax cut either be paid for with a mix of spending cuts and higher taxes on the wealthy, or not at all — no more of the GOP’s cuts-only approach. The GOP blinked and agreed to add more than $100 billion to the debt, rather than accept even a penny in higher taxes on the wealthy, or face the blame for allowing the payroll tax cut to lapse.
Weeks later, Republicans unveiled their new budget, written by Rep. Paul Ryan, which includes steep tax cuts and military-spending increases — both of which run counter to the deficit-cutting ethos to which the GOP laid claim. ...
The contrast is particularly stark this week: Senate Republicans blocked the Buffett Rule, dismissing its capacity to raise $47 billion over 10 years, while House Republicans are pushing a broad business tax cut that would add $46 billion to the deficit in just one year [my emphasis]. On top of that, House committees are now looking for ways to override automatic cuts to defense spending they agreed to last August as a means of enforcing the controversial debt-limit deal.
My parents were both Presbyterians and very devoted church people of that faith. When I was old enough to understand a moderate amount of the English language my mother gave me a history of my very early youth. She informed me that when a few weeks old I was baptized by their pastor at the Presbyterian church and dedicated to God and his service.
Later on, when several months old [my emphasis], they broke my will after the ritual of the Scottish Covenanters to prepare me for service with the divine will of God. This was done by whipping me with switches, until even under the application of the whips, I stopped crying and moaned in submission, or that I had not vocal power to cry. That was called breaking my will, which paid the interest on part of the original sin.
When I was a little older, I was instructed how to say my prayers and taught a few New Testament verses, which I was obliged to repeat Sunday morning and say the prayer soon after retiring for the night. At the age of between four and five, I was taken to Sunday school and was taught oral lessons from the Testament, as I could not read yet. ...
About this age [between four and five], my father would whip me for the least departure from what he called the right way of doing to satisfy God's demands upon parents for the right way of bringing up children. To show me that he had high authority for the punishments, he would read occasionally from the Bible that Solomon said, "Spare the rod, spoil the child." Then he would comment upon the passage saying that he did not desire to whip me, but it was his solemn duty, as Solomon was inspired to write the passage, and, if he did not comply, God would bring him to an account for not doing his duty, which was to save me from an awful hereafter. At one time, father whipped me every Monday morning, after Solomon's and God's plan, to keep me good during the week. In my heart, I cursed God and Solomon. At about five, I contemplated burning the Bible; it was kept on a shelf over the fireplace; nearly every time I passed it I made faces at it. I tried to think of some way that I could destroy the awful book that was the means of keeping my back scarred and sore.
But my resolution was not put in practice because I imagined that father would nearly kill me,... - Bushnell A. Wright, M.D., Los Angeles, California
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Battle for the War on Women|
A media circus ensued, and included a conference call on which women supporters of Romney’s insisted Rosen’s gaffe represented the official opinion of the White House, and a kiss-off of the “Hilary whatserface” incident from Barbara Bush, who liberally tossed around the word “whatever.”
But just as Republicans were basking in it all — Rosen had apologized by the afternoon — the Catholic League For Religious and Civil Rights, a conservative group, lashed out at Rosen for being a lesbian, and caught all adoptive parents in the crossfire.
“Lesbian Dem Hilary Rosen tells Ann Romney she never worked a day in her life,” the Catholic League tweeted. “Unlike Rosen, who had to adopt kids, Ann raised 5 of her own.”
And so, less than 24 hours after the leadership of the Democratic Party had to disavow the comments of a person not at all involved in their presidential campaign, the Republican Party had to do the exact same thing.
At a Tea Party rally in Greensboro Saturday, I had scheduled a private interview with the presidential candidate through his staff.
His aide gave no preconditions; no topics were off limits.
That’s why I was so surprised when, before I had finished asking my first question, that same aide cut the interview short and prompted Secret Service to grab and briefly detain me as the former speaker was led away.
The unexpected reaction came in response to a question about Fox News chairman Roger Ailes. Last week, in a speech he gave at the University, Ailes had some harsh words for Gingrich, claiming the candidate was “trying to get a job at CNN, because he knows he isn’t going to get to come back to Fox.”
Gingrich was a former paid Fox News contributor. At a campaign stop in Delaware last week, he told supporters that Ailes’ network was biased against his campaign.
“We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of Fox, and we’re more likely to get distortion out of Fox,” he told supporters.
But before I even had a chance on Saturday to relay Ailes’ comments, his aide pressed his hands against me, and several Secret Service agents stopped me in my tracks.
“You’re not asking that. You’re done,” his aide said.
Not “Next question.” Just, “You’re done.”
I was surprised that they weren’t ready for the question. I was surprised that they were so surprised I might ask it.
To be honest, I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the speaker in a tough back-and-forth. After all, in the struggle between politicians and members of the media, he’s a pro; I’m an amateur.
At my other job at a grocery store, my hardest-hitting question is usually, “Paper or plastic?”
I do not believe in being good for fear of being forever damned, but I believe in being good and doing good because it is right to do good. - Margaret Coppock, 28, Indianapolis, Indiana
That we should do right, there appears no question, but it should be to make this life, and the lives of those who should live after we are dead, more worth the living and not that we be rewarded, or for fear of punishment after we are dead. - George W. Hall, Noblesville, Indiana
Atheism says: "The time to be happy is now, the place to be happy is here, and the way to be happy is to make others so." Therefore, I am an Atheist. - Miss Sadie E. Roberts, 22, Bennington, Kansas
But the most damnable and infamous requisition is: Believe what my middle man tells you to believe whether you can or not, or be eternally damned and burnt forever, never to die, but always living in order to be tortured. Did you ever hear of any man so mean, the very embodiment of the fiercest undying tyranny and cruelty? I want such a God to distinctly understand that I would not speak to Him on the highway. - Brooke Bartlett, Crews, Alabama
But one day I got to the place where Joshua led his people over the Jordan dry-shod and blew down the walls of Jericho with ram's horns (Goodness, I thought, those were tough horns!),...
But the sequel was what got away with all my preconceived ideas of justice and right. They took Achan out and stoned him to death (good enough for Achan; he belonged to the tribe of Judas), but they went further: they killed his wife and children. What the little innocent children had to do with it was never made plain to me. Alas, they are all dead now and I will never know. But this was not all. They "stoned" to death the old man Achan and his wife, and all the family and connections, including Achan's mother-in-law and his cousins, and his aunts, and all the cattle and sheep and goats and asses. The good book does not say anything about whether they killed Achan's dogs, too, I believe, but I suppose they made a "clean sweep."
Well, all this seemed to a little boy as I read it to have been done by the immediate direction of God, and my boyish sense of justice kicked against it, and my old man's sense of justice is still "kicking." - Frank Burns, Washington, D.C.
Of course, he could number the hairs of a man's head and count the useless sparrows, and could reverse the order of the solar system and hold the sun and moon in check while murder and carnage went merrily on, and the very diadem of all morality, the purity of womanhood, was treated with contempt and fiendishly outraged at his express command.
While the above phase of infinite character was unfolding before my youthful thinker, I was sincerely seeking for information that would throw light on the inconsistencies, but I was ignored, or punished, or given such absurd interpretations that my skepticism was confirmed, and I slowly, but surely, concluded that the whole business was nothing but an exaggerated Santa Clause [sic] - the one for children and the other for adults, and both equally false. - Walter Collins, Los Angeles, California
About 50 years ago, a Presbyterian preacher assured me that God's Bible sanctioned slavery, and he quoted several texts from the Old and New Testaments to prove it. And I said in my heart, if God and His Bible sanction slavery they may both go to hell.
Old God, you are a myth, a creature of the imagination. A good Christian will have a good God, and a bad Christian will have a bad God. And there you are. Good-bye, God. - William W. Martin, Mableton, Georgia
And, as space of necessity is eternal, so matter of necessity is eternal also. If at any time in the remote past matter had not existed, it would not exist now; from nothing nothing can come. Being eternal, it could not have been created, hence no "Creator." - Otto Wettstein, LaGrange, Illinois
Lastly, observing everyday life, I can't say that people are made better by religion. Their belief in a God puts them in constant fear of him (if they truly believe), and this makes them cringing cowards. People commit all kinds of sins and then think that by offering prayers to their God they are forgiven. I cannot believe in such a pest as that one preying on the people today - the pest of religion. - Anna Fritz, 14, San Francisco, California
Belief is the effect of evidence upon the mind. It is not under our control, it is involuntary. So how can one be rightly blamed for one's belief? When I was young, they taught me that the Bible is infallible. They said it is the word of God; that it contains the whole and holy truth and nothing but the truth.
Before I read it, I supposed all this was true, but after I perused it for myself I thought I knew it wasn't. I thought I found injustice, crimes, and cruelties upheld by God; some silly ceremonies, some false, absurd, ridiculous, and foolish fairy tales and fables; some contradictions and conflicts with science and with common sense...
I believe in one standard of morality for men and women. I believe in cremation, in free speech and free press, and in liberty and justice. I don't believe that one man can rightly be held responsible for the deeds of another, or that one man can be good for another. I don't believe in the immaculate conception of Christ or in miracles, ghosts, spirits, witches, devils, or hells. Most Christians do. I prefer kindness to cruelty, facts to falsehoods, the demonstrated truth to blind faith, reason to religion, and science to superstition. My religion is help for the living; hope for the dead. - William E. Johnson, McLeansboro, Illinois
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Stephen Colbert's End of the World of the Week - Survivalist Singles & KFC Disaster|