Category Archives: Politics

Political links for late in the evening (Well, late for me)

A new Republican worry: Poor people might poison their children with lead to make it look like their landlord didn’t get rid of lead paint and collect a fat settlement! Of course they have no proof this has ever happened but isn’t the possibility grounds to ease up on lead poisoning?

•Yale University’s endowment gives more to hedge-fund managers than to students.

•The fourteenth amendment says anyone born in the US is a US citizen. Republican would like to change that. And apparently some birthers think even some Repub candidates for president are not natural born citizens. The birther interviewed at the link insists they are but Obama’s still an open question. My favorite quote: “If his mother had been a non-American citizen and his father had been a Kenyan, and neither had any allegiance to the United States, which in fact neither of them really did, he would not have been eligible no matter where he was born.” Yes, and if he’d been born on Krypton, he’d have heat vision, but he wasn’t, so what’s your point?

•A more thoughtful analysis of what the fourteenth amendment means.

•Prostitutes, one men’s rights activist argues, are parasites who prey upon helpless lonely men!

•Digby looks at mass violence around the world and discovers it doesn’t follow any neat pattern like Nazis or Communists or colonialists being to blame for all of it.

•Even without drones, the government is watching us from the air.

•Stop the mentally ill or abusive spouses from owning guns? The NRA stands up against the threat! More freaking out here.


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Separating the genders and other political links

Franklin Graham is shocked, shocked and appalled that Target is no longer separating children’s toys by gender because that’s the same as forcing us into unisex concentration camps or something. And Rachel Held Evans has a few questions for the gender essentialists freaking out about this.

•Paraguay denied a 10-year-old rape victim an abortion. At 10 years old, she had to have a C-section. But he insists he’s really looking out for the interests of the girl.

•IV fertilization clinics destroy lots of embryos, but they aren’t usually subject to the same restrictions as abortion (in fact this Christian news article counts that as a plus). Hmm, could it be because unlike abortion, right-wingers don’t feel that IV lets women have sex without consequences?

•You may have heard about the New York Times portrayal of Amazon as a cutthroat workplace, but if not, click on the link.

•Kristen McQueary of the Chicago Tribune talks about how Hurricane Katrina gave New Orleans a wonderful gift—destroying old buildings, forcing city hall to slash its budget for services, breaking up unions—and wishes the same is true of Chicago. But she’s in no way minimizing the tragedy of Katrina! Erik Loomis recoils.

•Comparisons between government violence in South American and rebel violence are frequently wrong because the crimes aren’t equal. And genocide is not a valid response to a revolution.

•Right-winger Erick Erickson has no problem saying our refusal to demonize Caitlyn Jenner is a cause of mass shootings. But when conservatives get angry at Erickson (for saying Trump is not an acceptable candidate), they’ve gone too far. And no candidate “whose base of support generates rage and hate” could ever take the White House … so I guess Erickson’s not voting Republican.

•A man allegedly murders his ex-girlfriend, her six kids and her husband because the kids weren’t respectful and didn’t honor their father.

•In Rotherham, UK, 1400 young girls were raped, gang-raped or pimped out over a sixteen year period while authorities largely ignored it. Echidne discusses the details, the speculations and the implications at the link.

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Politics for Wednesday

A psychologist makes a great living by testifying that police have no choice but to shoot first and ask questions later.

•General Motors’ failure to fix an ignition switch problem caused 124 deaths, according to the compensation program. At the link, Consumerist wonders if it’s even higher. I wonder if we’ll see anything comparable to this discussion on the prosecution side.

•A lawsuit to prevent the FCC from enforcing net neutrality comes before a court in December.

•Echidne on examples of how the free market doesn’t produce the usual responses in health-care. For example, more diagnostic machines often means higher prices for a diagnosis. One possible explanation I’ve read is that if the treatment is readily available, more primary-care doctors will sign you up (“Hmm, probably nothing, but we’ll check it just to be sure.”) so there’s more demand.

•The International Trade Commission has weighed in on a patent dispute. Consumerist says that because the issue involves data (digital information for designing braces) sent across borders rather than physical objects, it’s potentially a big deal by redefining what constitutes “trade.”

•Echidne looks at the demands we place on motherhood in the US and how little support there is (in terms of flextime, day care, etc.) compared to other countries. I think part of this (though not all of it) is that a lot of “pro family” groups are (sometimes openly) supportive only of the two-parent, one-at-home-and-it-should-be-mom families. Programs or policies which work to make it easier for single parents are Undermining the Family and therefore bad.

•A porn company objects to being identified in a lawsuit as a porn company.

•An appeals court keeps a price-fixing lawsuit over ATMs alive.

•In another lawsuit, a watch maker argues that “we don’t sell that one by this is just as good” search results on Amazon amount to a trademark infringement.

•The Founding Fathers express some doubts about religion.

•People are understandably unhappy that it’s possible to hack a jeep.

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Corporations behaving badly (and other political links)

Two for-profit schools that allegedly distorted their career-placement rates and engaged in high-pressure sales tactics have to repay their students $2.3 million.

•A mortgage servicer must pay back $1.5 million in restitution for allegedly not honoring loan modifications arranged by previous servicers, among other misdeeds.

•As part of the Texas AG’s push to get Radio Shack to redeem its gift cards post-bankruptcy, the AG is arguing that Radio Shack sold the cards even when it knew it was going to file bankruptcy.

•Libertarians love to talk about privatization and how it easily beats government services. Here’s some privatization for you.

•Libertarians also discuss how if we just let corporations do anything they want, the free market will stop any abuses. Cynic that I am, I suspect even if Chrysler’s found guilty in this wrongful death case, it won’t be a big enough penalty to stop them doing it again.

•A number of employers try to turn employees into “independent contractors” to save on payroll taxes and workers comp. A new bill would try to limit that.

•AT&T has received a $100 million fine related to the company’s policies of throttling speed for unlimited-data users. The company is unsurprisingly outraged.

•In the wake of Camille Paglia’s blather about how Bill Cosby’s wife drove him to rape women, here’s a piece from 2010 by Amanda Marcotte discussing Paglia and other antifeminist women. And here’s a post of mine on the topic.

•Verizon would really, really like customers to give up their old landlines.

•Conservative magazine the National Review has a long history of showing more tolerance for Nazis than civil rights activists.

•National Review’s Jonah Goldberg pens a column explaining that Mike Huckabee saying Obama’s Iran deal was leading Jews to the gas ovens was obviously not comparing Obama to Hitler (“Hitler didn’t march Jews to the doors of the ovens, but into them.”). And in typically passive-aggressive style, Goldberg then weaves back to argue if Huckabee did compare Obama to Hitler that would be okay anyway.

•Here’s another NR column explaining that black men aren’t targeted by police, it’s just that they’re so much more criminal

•James Fallows looks at the pro- and anti- sides on the Iran deal and suggests that unlike the Iraq war, we give the Pro-peace side the benefit of the doubt.

•Do you want Windows 10 to share your passwords with your friends?

•Chris Christie believes in state’s rights, except when he doesn’t. As to the specific example—he’s promised to enforce federal marijuana laws in Colorado and other legalizing states—does he seriously think there’s that much pro-enforcement sentiment in the body politic?

•John Stewart has actually visited the Obama White House, Ergo, conspiracy!

•Even in the cases of prisoners murdered in the war on terror, there’s been no White House push for an investigation. But they’re not going to let a dangerous criminal like Edward Snowden run free.

•The dubious qualifications of a terrorism expert.

•Apaches ask about the GOP’s support for religious rights when it comes to selling Apache sacred ground?

•Why do men rather than women commit mass shootings?

•An appeals court says a pharmacy has to provide medicine to customers even if the pharmacy owner has a religious objection. I wouldn’t bet on this lasting if it makes it to the Supremes. Echidne touches on this and that unplanned pregnancies are way down among teens.

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Stupidity, thy name is Camille Paglia

Camille Paglia was for some unfathomable reason considered a cutting-edge cultural critic in the 1990s. I tried reading one of her books. I concluded she was an idiot. Like her bizarre assertion that homosexuality is the male’s way to escape women’s seductive power, and Nature doesn’t want men doing that so she created AIDS! Trust me, the original didn’t make sense either.

Then there was her claim that the Virginia Tech shooter back in 2007 could all be blamed on slutty girls who have sex without commitment yet still wouldn’t put out for the killer. No wonder he snapped! Despite which, she still puffs herself up as a pro-sex voice in contrast with all the ice-bitch anti-sex prudish feminists of America.

Her latest (not a direct link) is a Salon interview explaining that Bill Clinton having consensual sex with Monica Lewinsky (or anyone) is just as abusive and contemptible as Bill Cosby being a serial rapist. My god, he didn’t even take Lewinsky on a nice vacation, just had sex in the Oval Office! So the Cosby case going public creates serious problems for Hilary Clinton’s presidential bid because young women won’t tolerate her being married to a man whose consensual sex is really rape.

I did actually go to the piece and once again, it doesn’t make any better sense in the original. Nor does Paglia explaining that Cosby raping women is all the fault of his wife driving him away.

Maybe when I used the word “stupid” I was being too charitable.

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Men with guns and other links

We pay a lot of attention to whether mass shooters are black or Muslim—but as Slacktivist points out, we don’t attach any significance to them all being men. We hunted the mammoth makes a similar point.

•Cheap broadband? Competitive broadband choices? Don’t expect them any time soon.

•Microsoft is accepting requests to remove revenge porn.

•Stewart Parnell owned a peanut-butter company. He knowingly sold salmonella-tainted food and covered up the fact. Nine people died, hundreds were sickened. A life sentence seems fair.

•Military shootings: not just from Muslims.

•Although Neville Chamberlain is frequently condemned for not drawing a line in the sand against Germany, appeasement may have been a good call.

•Citibank must pay $700 million over what the government charges was deceptive marketing of credit protection services (as in offering a free trial that wasn’t free) or charging for services customers didn’t receive or weren’t eligible for.

•Some men’s rights activists speculate the government will tax them for remaining single. And to avoid the 40 percent tax, they’ll have to sleep with fat women, OMG! No, it didn’t make much sense.

•A new study claims that men are rougher on women gamers on multiplayer online games because of evolutionary psychology and the importance of status to finding a mate. Echidne finds some flaws in it. Comments are also good.

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One more post—

New And column out, discussing Gen. Clark’s declaration we should lock up anyone with disloyal beliefs or possibly lock them up even before they become disloyal. He subsequently insisted he wasn’t talking about internment camps or racially profiling Muslims, but as he discusses “segregating” the disloyal and focuses specifically on Muslim terrorists …

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