“A Tennessee congressman who supports billion of dollars in cuts to the food stamp program is one of the largest recipients of federal farm subsides, according to new annual data released by a Washington environmental group. Using Agriculture Department data, researchers at the Environmental Working Group found that Representative Stephen Fincher, a Republican and a farmer from Frog Jump, Tenn., collected nearly $3.5 million in subsidies from 1999 to 2012….During debate on the farm bill in the House Agriculture Committee last week, Mr. Fincher was one of the biggest proponents of $20 billion in cuts to food stamps in the legislation. At times he quoted passages from the Bible in defending the cuts.”
“When we have a queen who is a lesbian and she marries another lady and then decides she would like to have a child and someone donates sperm and she gives birth to a child, is that child heir to the throne?”
Former Conservative Party chairman/disgruntled old person Norman Tebbit, speaking in opposition to the British marriage equality bill.
Artificially inseminated lesbian queen. Band name. Called it.
Son, we live in a world that has rain. And that rain has to be stopped by men with umbrellas. Who’s gonna do it? You? Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me holding that umbrella. You need me with that umbrella.
“Trek has a very particular take on what it means to be human. Part of what it means, the franchise teaches us, is participating in an ongoing progressive project of building a utopian society. Even though the bulk of Trek comes from the ’90s, the franchise launched in the mid-’60s, and the now-anachronistic spirit of midcentury optimism has remained at the heart of the franchise throughout.”
“Look, we have an intensely polarized political system, and in Congress, at least, party affiliation is basically all that matters. When Massachusetts voters chose Scott Brown because he seemed like a nice guy, they were being idiots….Maybe, just maybe, you can make a case for choosing the right person for governor, regardless of party. But when you’re sending someone to Congress, all that matters is the R or D after that person’s name. It seems that conservative voters understand that; liberals and moderates should, too.”
Paul Krugman, on why South Carolina Republicans were right to vote for Mark Sanford, given their political preferences. He’s right.
People who say they vote for “the person, not the party” are either lying or 100% naive about how politics works.
Legislative majorities not only determine what policies are enacted, they decide what gets discussed.
This applies to state legislatures as much as it does the US House and Senate. Elect a Republican assembly and the agenda will be voter ID laws, abortion restrictions, Planned Parenthood defunding, school vouchers and tax cuts.
And if these are the things you want from your legislature, it is totally alright to vote Republican.
But don’t believe you bear no responsibility for this kind of retrograde agenda just because you sent some nice, “moderate” reformy Republican to represent you in the state capital, instead of some hackish/corrupt/unsavory Dem. The most important vote that moderate dude takes will be during the chamber’s organizational session, when he will vote for the GOP leadership to assume the speakership and take control of the committee chairmanships. From then until the majority flips, it’s nothing but Medicaid cuts and hearings about Obamaphones.
I can’t really imagine the case for voting for the “right person” over a party label until you get to municipal government.
There, transposing the views of national parties onto local political actors is a fools errand because the issues are totally different. Most growing metro areas have competing political cliques along the lines of Let the Developers Build All the Things Party versus the Only Existing Residents Are Allowed to Have Nice Things Party and since members of these cliques don’t align perfectly with the views of national parties, you actually have to study the issues to make an educated choice in a local election.
tl;dr I’m a NY Democrat who votes for complete assholes all the time, so I totally get where SC Republicans get off voting for Mark Sanford.
“In 1871, a Harvard medical-school professor was pressed to give students written examinations as a graduation requirement; he said that it would never work, because fewer than half his students could write.”
On the same day the Dow Jones climbed above 15,000, the small-time conservative publication sent a message to the Citizens United listserv, accusing Obama of destroying the stock market with his Sharia socialism.
But c’mon: You can’t manufacture an eye-rolly scandal without a catchy name. How about Stockyndra? Stockghazi? Fast and Portfolious? Be creative!
This is funny. But sweet tap dancing baby Jesus, the Dow Jones is still a really dumb indicator.
It’s calculated by adding up the stock prices of 30 companies (why just those 30? Shut up, that’s why) and then dividing the ensuing figure by the “Dow divisor.” The divisor is a number — 0.130216081 — that no matter what Wikipedia says about it, I’m pretty sure was created on the principle of “numbers with lots of figures after the decimal point sound scientific.”
This causes all sorts of oddities. ExxonMobil, for example, divides its value into nearly five billion lower-cost shares, while Caterpillar has around 650 million more expensive ones. Therefore ExxonMobil, one of the largest companies in history, pulls less weight on the Dow than a company less than a fifth its size.
TL;DR The DJIA should never be mentioned and yet I still wrote a post about it because everything is terrible.
“No one is saying that Charles Ramsey isn’t worthy of the “hero” mantle. He helped save three women who were held captive — brutally — in his Cleveland neighborhood for over a decade. But the Internet’s instant meme-ification of this man — a lower-income black man talking about a horrible crime, played on repeat at the expense of stereotypes and with the blinders fully up about the truth — it’s all a little gross, no?”
It’s more than a little gross that a story about rape and modern-day slavery is immediately turned into a meme about a funny-sounding dude, BUT it’s also pretty clear to me that Ramsey was trying to be funny. Can’t speak for anyone else, but I was laughing with him.
When he says, “I knew something was wrong when a little, pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here. DEAAAAD giveaway,” that’s the man telling a joke. Don’t think we’re disrespecting him by laughing at it.
Here’s a survey, reported by The Daily Beast, in which 29% of Americans (44% of Republicans!) agreed with the statement “in the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary to protect our liberties.”
For obvious reasons, this gets reported as “29% of Americans Think We’ll Soon Need Armed Revolt” but it happens to be a case in which the percentage of Americans tell a pollster a certain thing almost assuredly doesn’t equal the percentage of Americans that actually believe such a thing.
It’s analogous to the surveys that ask voters whether Obama is a Muslim and lo and behold a disproportionate percentage of conservatives tell the pollster that indeed he is indeed not a Christian. That’s because these poll questions give respondents a chance to express their symbolic beliefs.
In the case of “is POTUS a secret Muslim usurper?,” voters reinterpret the question to mean “how much do you dislike the president?” And the answer, for conservatives, is that they dislike him very, very much. In the context of a survey question about his religion, they way to express that belief is to say the president is not the Christian he claims to me.
I think a similar scenario is playing out here. These people aren’t really thinking about armed rebellion against the United States. They’re reinterpreting the question to mean “is the United States on the right track?” For the Republicans, the way to announce their answer as “hell no, everything under Obama is terrible” is to respond positively to this armed rebellion question.
I’m pretty sure the same phenomenon was at work during the Bush administration. In 2007, when asked whether George Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance, only 39% of Democrats said “definitely not.” If you take this literally, it sounds like a lot of Democrats were completely unhinged. More likely, a plurality of Democrats were using this survey question to say, “Bush is a terrible president and he sucks at everything and we hate him. so. much.”
If I’m right about this, it doesn’t mean that no Americans believe Obama is a foreign-born Muslim or Bush had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks or an armed revolution might be coming to America. But many fewer Americans actually believe these things than surveys would indicate.
Of course, if I’m wrong, then the crazyfication factor in American politics is a lot higher than 27%.