Tag Archives: GOP

Can Politicians Just Shut Up About Rape For A Second?

Politicians, with a particularly large percentage of them coming from the Republican party, have been having a bit of a word vomit problem lately when it comes to the subject of rape. You probably remember Representative Todd Akin discussing the differences of legitimate and illegitimate rapes, which sort of kicked off the parade of GOP politicians being unable to shut up about rape. Then you had Richard Mourdock talking about rape babies being a gift from God or some such… Both went on to lost their elections. But the GOP realized the whole rape thing was a bad idea to talk about and decided to stay quiet.

Ha, just kidding. No, not only did they not stay quiet, but Georgia Representative Phil Gingrey decided not just to bring rape back up, but to specifically bring up Akin’s comments. And then to attempt to defend them by saying Akin was partly right.

Now, I understand what Akin and Gingrey are trying to suggest… Gingrey flat says it.

“[…] and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape.”

But here’s the problem: Discussing rape in those terms is ridiculous and makes it seem like it’s a common occurrence. It might be somewhat common, but you know what’s even more common? Rape. Gingrey and Akin want to talk about not wanting to punish non-rapists, but they remain silent on how to improve punishment on actual rapists. Not to mention, I’m pretty sure their medical defenses are a load of crap. Gingrey says adrenaline can hinder the possibility of pregnancy, suggesting that rape is the primary type of sex adrenaline is secreted during… which is stupid, because he defends it by talking about couples consensually trying to procreate having too much adrenaline, thus entirely nullifying his point.

The discussion of “legitimate” rape is toxic on every level. It makes the subject turn to “Is the victim lying or not?” Now, I know we have an innocent until proven guilty system, so it’s up to the accuser to prove things, but rape is such a very iffy subject in court when it comes to evidence, and we’ve got a culture that loves to pin rape on the person that was raped. What we should do is make punishments for both rape and lying about being raped intensely severe. Make it so people aren’t as willing to falsify a rape claim, which has happened from time to time, as well as maybe deter rape and make any accusations of rape that much more serious, as the accuser is putting themselves on the line. Seriously, that’s the only type of political discussion that should be had. Treat rape as a terrible crime. Don’t attempt to justify or categorize. Even members of the GOP are saying that. Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster, and Kevin Madden, a Mitt Romney campaign adviser, have basically both said that GOP politicians need to shut up about rape.

Of course, that’s not going to happen. Not when “moral crusaders” like Representative Paul Ryan are going to try to pass bills allowing rapists to sue the women they’ve raped. And make many forms of in vitro fertilization illegal… for some reason.

Yeah… the day the GOP decides to stop being morally reprehensible while claiming to be the moral representatives in government may be the day the world ends.

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Women And Hurricanes: This Congress Is The Worst

So, I don’t know how aware you are of this, but the 2010 and onward Congress has been one of the most objectively abysmal Congresses in the history of the United States. And yet, despite being horrifically awful, since the November elections it has somehow managed to continue to get worse. The GOP is absolutely imploding in Congress, particularly in the House of Representatives, with several Republicans refusing to vote John Boehner back in as House Majority Leader. Heck, some are even finally recognizing that they should all be fired. (His reasonings are, of course, not that sound, but his conclusion that the entirety of Congress should be fired seems about right with only a few exceptions, like Senator Al Franken.)

So, how exactly has Congress achieved their most monumental feat and gotten worse, ringing in the new year with absolute aplomb? (That last word is a joke, to be sure.)

Well, first of all, they managed to let the Violence Against Women Act suddenly become unfunded. It is perhaps the easiest, most bipartisan bill on the books, and all Congress had to do was say “Should we keep funding it? Yes.” But they couldn’t manage even that. Instead, programs proven to work all over the nation will now find their funds dried up, causing job loss and, oh yeah, women in abusive relationships to be severely curtailed in their options for help. Bravo, Congress.

And then, there’s Hurricane Sandy. Sandy, which rather thoroughly ravaged New York and New Jersey, leaving many homeless and somewhat hopeless, seems to be a simple cause. Vote to supply Sandy victims with federal money. It’s something that tends to happen with most every big natural disaster, and people don’t tend to complain too much.

Yet the House of Representatives majority party (that’d be the GOP led by Boehner for those playing at home) decided, after being thoroughly shellacked over the fiscal cliff, to not vote on the Senate’s Sandy relief bill. After popular opinion and massive in-party vitriol punched them in the face a few times, Boehner decided to let the House vote on Sandy relief. But not what the Senate had passed. No, they voted on a one page, two paragraph bill for $9.7 billion, and even then, some 67 Republicans couldn’t vote for it. Apparently because it had a bunch of pork attached. In that two paragraphs.

Bring it on, 2013. We’ve got a bumpy ride ahead.

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GOP: The Grover-Owned Party

I don’t know how much politics you pay attention to… It could be that this blog is your only link to the political world. If so, then I am so sorry, but this is not a place for vast amounts of information, much less any unbiased reporting. Seriously, you should at least subscribe to the Associate Press or something.

But even if you don’t have much of a working knowledge of modern American politics, you still may have heard this name being tossed around over the past few years, and even more frequently now that the Republican party is having a serious soul searching after their disappointing show at the elections. The name is Grover Norquist. Norquist is a lobbyist that has basically gotten several hundred, if not thousand, different Republicans (and maybe some Democrats and Independents, I’m not sure) at various levels of government to sign a pledge swearing to never ever ever raise taxes for any reason whatsoever. That includes not closing tax loopholes, discounts and refunds. Because of Norquist, essentially the entire Republican party at the federal level has sworn to never raise taxes.

Which leads us to a bit of a predicament. Recently, talk of a “fiscal cliff” has been popping up on the news. What is this cliff? Well, it goes back to when Speaker of the House John Boehner and President Barack Obama were in a massive deadlock over how to solve the debt problem and whether to raise the debt ceiling or not. If I recall correctly, the government actually shut down for a time because of a complete refusal to compromise on both ends (though most things I read seemed to indicate Boehner was the one being more belligerent). Because of that entire debacle, our credit rating got lowered and things looked grim.

So, Congress made a super-committee, as they are wont to do (whatever that even is). It was bipartisan and tasked with the job of finding a solution to the debt and deficit problem. In order to encourage them to come up with a solution, Congress passed a time bomb: Without a solution, a series of cuts from defense and other federal programs, as well as higher taxes via the Bush tax cuts being ended, would be automatically implemented. It’s a big, sweeping, drastic measure that would come far too fast and has things neither party wants in there. Basically, they threatened themselves to get to work.

Well, as you might have guessed, they failed to come up with a plan. And now the time bomb is close to going off. Because of the elections and the fear of economic fallout, many Republicans have been slowly backing away from Norquist, saying they’d consider raising taxes if only to avoid the ugliness of what’s to come.

But, still, Boehner and other Republicans adamantly refuse to raise taxes, even a simple 1 percent on the top 1 percent of earners in this country.  And it’s pretty much because of Norquist.

It’s funny to see Norquist trash talk Obama about this situation, talking about how Obama thinks people elected him king. After all, Norquist is a random person. Not elected, not selected, just a guy representing a special interest group. And he thinks he holds power and sway over the way taxes and the economy should run.

What’s scary is that he probably does. While many of the GOP are backing away from that pledge of his, not enough are. Too many are clinging to this strict rigidity of no compromise, refusing to even consider alternatives. And since the Democrats aren’t willing to do anything without taxes being raised or loopholes closed down at least somewhere, we once again seem to be at an impasse. Last time, the Republicans got sullied and burned. I don’t know that they’ll be coming out on top of this one, either.

If the Republican Party wants to find themselves successful and in the nation’s good graces again, they’re going to have to stop being hardheaded and under the sway of a random guy. They will have to accept that compromise and trying new things when the old methods aren’t working are necessary for improvement. And they will have to start accepting the blame for some of the problems that are happening. They’ll have to step up and be the “bigger man,” so to speak. Otherwise, we may see more years of Democrats in power than they’d like.

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Depression Is A Serious, Dangerous Thing

With another GOP congressperson saying another insulting and idiotic thing about rape (and a second one saying stupid stuff about the dangers of pregnancy), and Paul Ryan dedicating his and Mitt Romney’s term in office to fighting to remove rights for gay people, you’d think I could talk about a ton of stuff tonight.

And I could. Really, there’s quite a lot to talk about. Unfortunately, this is yet another night where I haven’t exactly given myself much time to do any of that chit chatting or yelling about sexist, heterocentric, backwards policies from a political party that needs a swift kick in the head and a hard reboot on understanding what should matter in this country.

Instead, I’m going to briefly talk about something else that should matter to people: Depression. It is, in fact, a serious medical condition. I’m not talking about feeling sad because someone broke up with you or something, though I suppose that could trigger it, but actual, medically labeled depression.

It’s possible that I have it in a unipolar sense. I’m not sure. I don’t drink, which helps me stave off my worst bouts, and so far the most self-destructive thing I’ve let myself physically do is eat poorly and perhaps refuse to socialize. …actually, thinking about it, I might be socializing more, so scratch that. Anyway, while I’ve had a long, two year period of down days, very rarely uplifted by anything good, I’ve been fortunate enough to never suffer severe bouts of depression. Maybe I could benefit from medicine, but I’m just not going to bother with that. I, personally, want to solve this on my own because I don’t think I have a chemical imbalance, just a psychological dislike for myself and my life as it stands.

That said, I repeat that depression is serious business. And it’s something friends should look out for. Truly. If you have a friend that you think is depressed, and I mean depressed and not just temporarily mopey, you need to reach out to them. Don’t turn them away. Don’t dismiss their feelings, even if you’ve heard it a billion times before. That won’t help. Encourage them to see a doctor, but also just encourage them. Be there for them in good times and bad, because that’s what a true friend does. And when a friend is depressed, they could really use someone, something to help stave off the imagery of suicide that envelopes many of their idle hours.

I’m going to leave you with a link to a Tumblr post written by comedian Rob Delaney, a man who has actually suffered through alcoholism and depression. You can read about his struggles with depression here. It’s worth the read.

Depression can be life threatening. But it can be survived. And, personally, I think friends are a great first step.

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So, Why Kill Big Bird, Exactly?

And by “kill Big Bird,” I am of course referring to Mitt Romney’s comments in the presidential debate stating that he would cut federal funding to PBS.

Now, I’ve talked about this before. I’ve made a generally philosophical and cultural plea to continue funding the arts. I could make a plea to education, or a plea to emotions about education…

…but the more I think about trying to convince people to not take federal funds away from PBS and company, the more I realize that I have no idea WHY people want to take those funds away.

“The Daily Show” has a bit discussing the ridiculousness of it all and supplying some reasoning for why people might want to cut it: Propaganda. …which I honestly can’t recall ever seeing on any show on PBS. Seriously. It seems like, more and more lately, the right is wanting to condemn education and facts as propaganda and warp them to fit their own narrative. Intelligent design, make history exclude certain people, et cetera. Which, really, is a frightening prospect. It’s like a war against reality. Considering Mr. “Pack of Lies from Hell” from yesterday’s post, I feel that might be accurate, sadly.

There’s another argument to keep funding PBS going around lately, from the Twitter account of fictional “The West Wing” President Josiah Bartlet. The tweet read: “TLC was founded in 1972 by NASA and the Health Department as an educational channel. It was privatized. Now it shows Honey Boo Boo.#SavePBS”

And that’s a really disturbing thought. I have heard counter-arguments, saying if PBS were defunded, it would pay for thousands of Pell Grants… Which sounds great, until you remember that the guy that wants to defund PBS wants to cut Pell Grants, too.

So, why defund PBS? There are SO MANY OTHER items in the budget that could be dropped, items which would return SO MUCH MORE money. “The Daily Show” has clip after clip after clip of Republicans dismissing the president’s attempts to cut amounts from the budget that are “insignificant” and “too small to matter” before they turn around and support cutting PBS and company, which gets a far lesser amount.

Before I can really form an argument to defend PBS and NPR and the like, defend their spread of education and facts to everyone, people who might not be able to access other methods of education or somesuch, I need to know why this is Romney’s big slash to the budget. As far as I recall, it’s one of the only things he’s flat out said he’d cut from the budget. For everything else, apparently he’ll tell us after he’s elected? I dunno. But he has said, unequivocally, he will cut funding to PBS. I would just like to hear why, exactly.

So, conservatives: Your turn. Tell me why.

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How Are Committee Members Picked, Anyhow?

So, I dunno if you heard about this or not, but we have our second case of a GOP Representative and member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology saying something completely in disregard for any one of those subjects. First was our good friend Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin. But, hey. It’s okay. It’s not the House Committee on Women and How Do They Work Anyway. For Akin, I would assume that would be covered by the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Or perhaps the Ways and Means Committee.

This time, though, we get a special treat. This isn’t a member of the committee showing off his massive gap of knowledge and his immense ignorance on a specific subject, though I’m certain there’s some of that waiting in line to be mentioned next. No, this time we have a member outright stating his severe animosity toward the entire subject the committee is meant to cover. Georgia Rep. Paul Broun stated that “evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory” are all “lies straight from the pit of Hell.”

We’ve got a beauty over here.

Now, first, let’s talk about what the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology actually covers. According to Wikipedia, it has jurisdiction over non-defense federal funding for scientific research and development. In specific, the committee has jurisdiction over: NASA, the Department of Energy, EPA, ATSDR, NSF, FAA, NOAA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, FEMA, the U.S. Fire Administration and United States Geological Survey. In particular, funding for NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United States Geological Survey are the most disturbing to me.

See, those are organizations that do things like, say, research on global warming, or look into the history of the earth, or even look into the history of the universe. NASA searches for proof of the Big Bang, making telescopes that see further and further into the universe’s past. And considering he told the crowd, “You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says,” my faith in his belief of global warming is a bit shaky. Not to mention, my faith on his ability to comprehend scientific data.

Look, I don’t begrudge someone their religious beliefs. I have some, too. I’m one of those crazy cooks that believe in both science AND the Bible. It’s actually possible to believe the Big Bang and evolution occurred as part of God’s plan of creation. If you want to ignore how science works and be a young earth creationist, however, (which, by the way, I thought they believed earth was only 6000 years old or so…) that’s fine. Go ahead. But don’t be one of the people in charge of funding scientific research and discovery in this country.

To put it one way, having Broun on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology is like having a white guy in the black caucus. Or, in non-racial terms, it’s like having a known child molester lead the National Children’s Advocacy Center. It’s an awful idea where fundamentals clash massively in an irredeemable way.

Which brings me to my initial question… how are committee members picked, anyhow? As I think throughout the past, say, decade or so that I’ve been vaguely politically aware, I recall all sorts of hilariously stupid things said or done by House and Senate committee members. For example, Rep. Mark Foley, chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, was found sexually propositioning young men (though not necessarily minors when the propositions occurred). Sen. Ted Stevens, once chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, referred to the internet as a “series of tubes,” to much ridicule by people that understand how the internet works. And, of course, during the SOPA and PIPA debacles, there were defenders of the bill (that I believe may have been members of either the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology or the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation) saying they didn’t understand the language of the bill and suggesting the “nerds” be called in.

I’ve railed against the ignorance of our Congresspeople before. It’s appalling that these people are the ones getting elected. It shows a desperate need for intelligent young people, not part of the political system and legacy, to start throwing their hats into the political ring. But beyond that, it’d be great if we started at least TRYING to pick people that are not intensely ignorant on certain subjects to be in charge of funding for those subjects. A Bible-hating atheist shouldn’t preach, and a science-hating Christian shouldn’t be on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Maybe Americans should vote on committee membership, too. Just vote people directly into committees. I dunno. Seems like it’d have to be better than what’s happening now, right? You’d think anything would be.

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The Lazy, Wretched, Undeserving 47 Percent

Okay. This news is just a bit old now, by at least a week… I’ve even already written one or two posts about it. But, if you’ve somehow missed out entirely, the crux of the 47 percent issue is this: In a private fundraiser held in Florida in the month of May, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney kind of demeaned 47 percent of the nation by saying this:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what […] These are people who pay no income tax. […] And so, my job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

People have exploded over these comments. Romney at first doubled down on the comments, and since then has had to clarify that he supports 100 percent of America. But he’s still doubling down on the philosophies this statement is rooted in, and is thus perpetuating a rather dangerous and false narrative, an ugly class war far more hateful and brutal than that of the Occupy Wall Street crowd, where so many derided their class warfare against the 1 percent.

Actually, an example pops to mind. Back during the height of the Occupy Wall Street movement, there were stories of disdainful and rude people going around and dumping McDonald’s applications on the OWS crowds. The emotions behind that disrespect for fellow Americans are the same emotions behind Romney’s statements about the 47 percent: You have to contribute a certain amount to society, in job creation and in tax collection, to be considered worth anyone’s time.

See, Romney associates anyone in the 47 percent of people not paying income taxes with people dependent on government. Apparently, if you’re not paying income taxes, then you’re irresponsible. You don’t take care of your life. You’re on government assisted living. You’re on welfare or getting free health care or living in government housing.

And the implication is that you’re worthless to society.

Now, as we should ALL know, this isn’t even remotely true, although now there are people pretending that 47 percent of Americans don’t work despite our unemployment rate being around 8 percent… I can’t really make that up. For those of us that aren’t total idiots, though, it’s easy to figure out this isn’t true. Much of that 47 percent works. Most of them do, in fact. It includes families of five making $50k, individuals earning less than $20k and active soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and other countries.

See, I’m in the “makes less than $20k” category. As is anyone with a minimum wage job, even if it’s full time. And if you mention this to supporters of Romney’s philosophy, they’ll simply say: “Get a better job.” Ignore that simply “getting a better job” isn’t something one walks out the door and just does. There’s a deeper problem here. And that’s a disdain for the minimum wage workers.

The Romneys will tout the job creators day in and day out, talking about how amazing they are. How they’re the most important thing to the American economy. But what good is a job creator if no one takes it?

Hey, I just created a new job: My personal maid! Any takers?

Let’s pretend, for a moment, that every single person working for $20k or less a year got a better job. What would the result be? No more fast food restaurant workers. No more Walmart associates. No more paid interns at office jobs. And then what happens? Those big companies collapse. What is Walmart without its associates, McDonald’s without its burger flippers, O’Charley’s without its waitresses? A failed business.

So many have talked about the government and its welfare checks and how those keep people in the lower classes… yet the big companies, these job creators, keep creating minimum wage jobs. Those crappy jobs are the most easily attainable things on the job market these days. So people take them. And get enough money to skim by, to pay the bills, buy some groceries and maybe see a movie or two a month.

And then, the Romneys of the world condemn them as though they are lazy, as though it’s THEIR fault they don’t earn enough money. Hey, why don’t you just go work four crappy jobs, even though it was hard enough finding one? Meanwhile, Romney earns enough to pay extra in taxes despite his earlier saying that doing EXACTLY that would make someone unqualified to be president.

All this talk of the rich paying so much in taxes and the job creators creating so many jobs (that apparently 8 percent of the nation can’t seem to find) is a load of crap. Making them to be the pillars of the economy, the things supporting and keeping America going, is wrong. Because the ones that truly keep America aloft? Well, in truth, it’s all Americans working together. All 100 percent. But, apparently, according to Romney and his beliefs, anyone not paying income tax, anyone receiving government assistance to get support in troubled times… they’re not worth any attention.

And that’s the real problem of Romney’s 47 percent statement. He’s written them off not only as votes he’ll be unable to get, but also as undeserving Americans, not worth being considered in the American dream.

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How Romney Ruined His Last Asset

I don’t know how closely any of you follow the news, be it political or not, but GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been having an awful campaign. Like, seriously. Since its inception, no one really wanted him as the nominee, and he had gaffe after ridiculous gaffe, but his gaffes were outshone by the gaffes of others and his money blasted through all the other candidates like they were wet tissue paper.

Then, once he pretty much became the de facto nominee, he proceeded to continue slipping up all over the place. He got caught lying. He got the United Kingdom pissed off at him. It’s been a painful cycle. But, money and time does wonders, and people have let his screw ups slip into the back of their minds.

But the closer it gets to election day, the harder it is for Americans to simply forget these screw-ups. People will likely remember Clint Eastwood’s odd Republican National Convention speech for years. Romney’s failure to actually give any details on his policy at the convention was glaring, and people are starting to notice that he refuses to give details in any venue. Maybe he’s saving them for the debates, but he’s losing the interest of independents by the minute.

Last week, he made a crass, stupid and unnecessary comment about the tragedy in Libya that upset many people and broke his own promise to not make any personal attacks on President Barack Obama on Sept. 11. That outlined his complete naivete when it comes to foreign policy and his inability to properly handle a crisis.

But then, today, news broke out of something else he said that ruins his financial image, the one thing he’s been hanging his hat on since day one.

It started with a damaging video this weekend about how, while at Bain Capital, Romney went to China to help with the potential purchase of a factory there. The video, taken secretly at a high-dollar private fundraiser, puts a blemish on Romney’s tales of not sending jobs to China and also makes him look like a hypocritical fool, thinking of business before human rights. Sure, he’s trying to say “Americans have it easy,” I suppose, but it certainly doesn’t come off sounding that way, especially since he seems to buy the stories about the towers keeping people out. Which doesn’t seem highly likely.

But then, moving to today, another secret fundraiser video was taken. This video has a LOT to say.

Of course, there are many in the GOP that are actually okay with the things Romney said here. Considering it’s about slamming Obama inaccurately, but it’s all stuff that they’d already generally agree with, that’s understandable. But there’s a reason Romney was saying this stuff in a private fundraiser and not on the campaign trail: Because it sounds terrible to everybody else.

The video, broken up into a series of videos, has two main points to pull away, I think. First, it’s that Romney has absolutely no idea what’s going on when it comes the finances and the market.

“They’ll probably be looking at what the polls are saying. If it looks like I’m going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president’s going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends of course which markets you’re talking about, which types of commodities and so forth, but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We’ll see capital come back and we’ll see—without actually doing anything—we’ll actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets reelected, I don’t know what will happen. I can—I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected. But my own view is that if we get a ‘Taxageddon,’ as they call it, January 1st, with this president, and with a Congress that can’t work together, it’s—it really is frightening.”

Allow me to pull out the good parts.

“[…] but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, […] we’ll see—without actually doing anything—we’ll actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets reelected, I don’t know what will happen. I can—I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected.”

He touts how the market would react to his getting elected. Then, in the immediately following train of thought, he admits that he “can never predict what the markets will do.”

Well! Sign me up! That sounds like a guy that knows what he’s doing.

The second major takeaway, the one that most people are getting from this video, is Romney’s complete disdain for about 50 percent of the country. In the video, Romney talks in length about the people that will vote for Obama… he initiates a class warfare similar to the one Republicans have tried to say Obama’s been perpetuating. Obama is separating classes by demanding more from the rich. Romney is separating classes by writing off 47 percent of Americans, the lower class, as a lost cause to be ignored.

There are already many who are pointing out how massively false and misleading Romney’s statements are, but this is the campaign that said they weren’t going to be letting fact checkers dictate how they run this thing. Who needs facts, anyway? Others have pointed out that Romney’s suggestions that people wanting food and shelter are (implied lazy and) looking for entitlement is extremely unpalatable. It’s like a “let them eat cake” moment. Or a moment where Romney basically says, “Let the starving starve.”

The thing is, from his point of view, it’s all about math. He just needs that 270th electoral college vote. That’s it. So he’s gerrymandering his campaign. He’s abysmally low in popularity among blacks, Hispanics and every other racial minority, and he isn’t doing great with women or the poor. But he’s got a cold, hard game of calculations that leads him to think all he needs to do is appease a very specific demographic, and damn all the rest.

The problem is, the president, once president, is president of the entire United States. Sure, you may not get many votes from the poor, minorities or women… but that doesn’t mean you write them off in your campaign promises.

I suppose, technically, Romney’s last asset is that he’s not Obama. But with everything that he’s been saying, and all the other assets he’s been burning behind him, even that’s starting to look more like a problem than a benefit.

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Oh Look, More Terrible Things Said About Women

And by members of the GOP, no less! Who would have expected such a thing?

…look, let me clear this up really quickly: I don’t think that the Democrats are all guilt free when it comes to treating women disrespectfully. There are Democrats that are just as awful toward women, toward gays, toward minorities as we keep hearing over and over again about Republicans.

But I’ve been hearing a LOT about Republicans saying terrible things. And it’s often powerful Republicans. Members of the state or federal legislature, for example.

I mean, here’s a recent one. Representative Joe Walsh from Illinois has decided to jump on the “Screw that Sandra Fluke woman” bus and continue to bash her for… well, trying to suggest that health care directly affecting women should have some women discussing it, and maybe health care providers should start covering birth control pills, which are necessary for some women to control hormones and cure ovarian cysts and the like. I don’t know if you remember Fluke back when Rush “Weather Balloon” Limbaugh decided calling her a slut made sense, but she popped back into national view this week with a speech at the DNC. And a bunch of Republicans attacked and belittled her. Walsh told her to “get a job.” Because, clearly, she’s got no job and just wants Americans to pay for her contraceptives, with the implication that Americans should be paying for her ability to have care-free sex.

It’s wonderfully disgusting, don’t you think?

But that’s nothing. That’s really just rude and uncalled for, especially compared to this next thing. Also said by a Republican.

But the great horrific, M. Night Shamallama-esque twist on this? It’s said by a woman.

In Arizona (which, despite having a female governor, is one of the absolute worst places for women legislatively, as well as minorities), a cop named Robb Evans drove himself to a bar 8 beers in, flashed his badge to skip on the cover, went up to a woman, put his hand up her skirt and rubbed her genitals.

Clearly, this is a case of sexual assault. A jury convicted him of such and the police force fired him.

But trial judge Jacqueline Hatch, appointed by Governor Jan Brewer, decided the jury was wrong. She decided jail time was unnecessary, sentencing Evans to probation and 100 days of community service. He also won’t have to register as a sex offender.

Then, she said this to the victim: “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you.”

It’s pretty much the exact same as the old mainstay, “If she hadn’t dressed like that…” Except it’s even worse. People can dress provocatively, sure, not that the statement still has any merit or truth at all. But now, apparently, women should just not leave their houses. They should expect to be sexually assaulted at places like bars.

It’s doubly awful. First, it paints men as these basely driven creatures with no control over their sexual impulses. It suggests that we’re pretty much out there to rape. That’s just what we do. “If you just hadn’t been a woman, I wouldn’t have had to rape you!” It’s a pretty awful portrait of men, and no man should accept such accusations. We’re not sex addicts or rape machines.

But worse than that, it basically tells women that rape is completely their fault. That someone else’s choice is their fault.

Imagine this judge, Hatch, presiding over the case in Aurora, dealing with the shooting. “Well, if so-and-so wouldn’t have been there that night, she wouldn’t have been shot and killed.”

Imagine that. Imagine how quickly she’d be defrocked. Yet, apparently, when talking to women about sexual assault, it’s fine?

Yeah, I’m suggesting she should lose her job for this and for the statements she made. This isn’t just an “apologize and forget” moment. This is a fundamental lack of understanding of law, a broken philosophy that punishes victims and protects criminals from proper sentencing.

The very idea that women should be held responsible for the actions men take against them – “You shouldn’t have dressed like that,” “You shouldn’t have been there” – is disgusting.

Sure, there are things women (and men) can do to avoid having things happen to them. Don’t walk around naked. Don’t go down dark alleyways. Avoid places where people get shot every couple of minutes. But we should not be demanding women dress a certain way and go to specific places, otherwise rape’s their fault. If applied to any other crime, this line of reasoning would be laughed out of court. But for some reason, since it’s being levied against a woman and deals with her sexuality… Well, women should just KNOW better.

It’s disgusting. It’s reprehensible. Hatch should be fired and the jury’s original verdict should be put in place. And if you meet anyone that makes that type of argument? Slap them. Slap them reeeeeeeeeeally hard. For me. EVERYONE should be offended and disgusted by such statements and philosophies. EVERYONE should want them to stop.

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The Daily Show Has Nailed It This Week

Dunno if you heard, but this week was the week of the Republican National Convention. Four days (Or, well, three and a tad days.) of GOP fanfare and froufrou. All to say, “Yes. We’re definitely picking Mitt Romney. Unless there’s someone else. Someone? Anyone? No? …Okay, Romney it is.”

The entire convention was filled with a lot of bashing of President Barack Obama, bad jokes, a couple racist dudes (well, two that got caught and thankfully thrown out), a lot of stretched truths, half truths and, well, lies… I guess it’s just your typical politics? Well, typical politics plus Clint Eastwood arguing with an empty chair. Best tweet in response: This is a perfect representation of the campaign: an old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama.

Anyway, we’ll see how Obama responds during the DNC. He has a chance to really rip into the missteps of the RNC speeches and lay out his policy plans, something that didn’t really happen at the RNC. And having seen Romney’s performances in debates… Well.

During the whole RNC event, though (which I never watched… I didn’t hate myself that much), “The Daily Show” was filming in Tampa, Fla., where the RNC was held. And they had some pretty amazing, spot on criticisms of the event and the Republican Party. I’m hoping they do similar for the DNC… but I don’t know if their stuff will be as good as it was in Tampa.

Night one, a look at the political imagery of a natural disaster, Hurricane Isaac versus GOP.

Night two, a criticism of the theme of the night, “We Built It,” and how it’s based on a misquote.

Night three, fact checking GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s address to the RNC.

And night four, a Leonard Nimoy-narrated spoof of the Romney biographical short film. It’s pretty fantastic.

But in my mind, the best clip, the most politically poignant and, coincidentally, frightening segment that “The Daily Show” did is this one, where Samantha Bee talks to RNC attendees about Romney’s right to choose whether a woman has a right to choose abortion or not.

You might be able to guess where that one heads. Funny… but mostly upsetting.

Anyway. I didn’t watch the convention, as I said. I did read some of the speeches, and some of the fact checks on those speeches… But I’m not really in the mood to rant and rail politics. I’ve done too much of that as of late. And I ate a lot and want to go hibernate for a while. Hopefully, “The Daily Show” will tide you over. I’m going back to watch more “Once Upon a Time.” …I really like that show.

Which reminds me! TV starts back up this month! Excited!

Okay, now hibernation.

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