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Wednesday
Oct242012

Blazing to new heights of hypocrisy

So, I just read an article on The Blaze about Carroll Hilton Sheldon and Gloria Allred's "October Surprise" (I refuse to link to The Blaze).

Apparently, 30 odd years ago, Mitt Romney (then a newly anointed Bishop on the Mormon church) pressured Mrs. Sheldon to not terminate a difficult pregnancy. This is not what I care to discuss, because Mrs. Sheldon is a Mormon, I can only assume by choice, and she should not be surprised, or offended, when a spiritual leader of her church pressures her to remain faithful to its doctrine.

What I found particularly interesting about the article was this sentence:

"So there it is – something Romney did at 34 is apparently national news."

I hate to sound like a cartoon here, but, REALLY?

The right has spent the last 4 years going through every thing President Obama has done throughout his entire life, making sure that every incident, no matter how trivial, was turned from a mole hill in to the mountain that might turn public opinion against him.

The Blaze, a site founded by Birther, and fellow Mormon, Conspiracy nut Glenn Beck, has treated every non-story about Obama as if it were the gravest offense ever committed.  Yet they are apalled that a woman would be upset that Mitt Romney would pressure her to make decisions regarding her personal health, and that Obama campaign surrogate Gloria Allred would do something so despicable.

Something tells me that they will be plastering Donald Trump's "October Surprise" all over their site this afternoon, and not even have a second thought about it.

Not to echo VP Biden, but, what a bunch of malarkey. 

Friday
Jul132012

Papa, could you possibly preach?

The facts are staggering: despite almost universal affirmation that premarital sex is a sin, 80 percent of unmarried evangelicals (PDF) are having it, and 30 percent of those who accidentally get pregnant get an abortion, according to one survey. U.S. states where abstinence is emphasized over contraception in school sex ed?almost all in the heavily evangelical South?have teen-pregnancy rates as high as double (PDF) those of states with a comprehensive curriculum. Though an overwhelming majority believe premarital sex is wrong, white evangelicals are sexually active at a younger age than any demographic besides African-Americans, and are one of the least likely groups to use contraception. - Evangelicals Struggle to Address Premarital Sex and Abortion - The Daily Beast:

I don't think I have ever come across something as wonderfully sad as this. Don't misunderstand, I'm not happy about this situation, hardly. These kids are being set up for failure by a group of individuals that has but one purpose, control.

No matter how you slice it, teenagers are going to have sex, it's a simple fact of life. Point of fact, some of the most sexually active kids I knew as a teenager, were also the most religious. Some of the stories I heard about the goings on between counselors at Bible Camps would have made most people blush. Does this make them any different than counselors at non-religious camps (if there are even any of those left), probably not, and that is my point.

Kids will be kids, they will obey their impulses more often than not, and if they are convinced that their act is shameful, and do not have the information necessary to make the right decision, they will, far too often, make the absolute wrong one.

It is purely anecdotal, but of all the women I've known that have had abortions, the vast majority were Evangelical or Catholic, some of which were left with the option to have an abortion, or be disowned by their wonderfully religious parents.

Wednesday
Jul112012

GOP to the uninsured: Drop Dead


You may have noticed that Republicans have been struggling to come up with a credible alternative to the Affordable Care Act once they repeal it. Why is it so hard? Because Obamacare WAS the Republican alternative. It was the conservative-designed mandate and subsidy approach. Matt Miller: GOP to the uninsured: You're on your own - The Washington Post:

Normally, I'd say that this is little more than leftist hand-wringing over GOP rhetoric. That, unfortunately, is not the case.

I present you with Making A Case for Employer-Enforced Individual Mandates  by Mark V. Pauly (currently of the American Enterprise Institute), published in 1994 that was the basis for the Healthcare reform proposals of George H.W. Bush.

Now, the Democrats are not without blame, as they scuttled the Bush proposal, assuming that they could do better once Bill Clinton was President. I think we know how that all ended.

Pauly, more recently, published a short book entitled Health Reform without Side Effects that levels, from what I've read, a fairly astute criticism of the failures of both parties proposals (including Obamacare) at reforming the Healthcare industry, and is certainly worth reading, if only to increase your own understanding of the markets.

I can't say as I agree with either of Mr. Pauly's papers (having not read them both with the kind of attention necessary to form a full opinion), but what I can say is that, as with most things coming out of D.C. these days, this is further proof that the current stalemate isn't about ideology, or policy disagreements, it's pure gamesmanship.

 

Wednesday
Apr272011

So...Can we move on now?

Well, I suppose you can say one thing for Donald Trump, he gets what he wants. The White House, after asking the Hawaii State Department of Health to make an exception to Hawaii law, has posted a copy of President Obama's long form birth certificate. The question is, will this finally make the birthers go away?

President Obama's Long Form Birth Certificate | The White House:

 After all, if President Obama truly is the player in a Manchurian Candidate style conspiracy, couldn't this long form birth certificate be a fake as well? What exactly does the release of this photocopy of his "birth certificate" prove? I mean, it's a type-written form with some signatures, which could very easily be faked, right?

I wonder if the Donald knew that this release was coming, might explain why he's changed his tack and started attacking the President's educational record, because apparently graduating Magna Cum Laude from Harvard doesn't count for anything anymore.

So, do you think this will satisfy the Donald and the rest of the Birther crowd?

Wednesday
Apr202011

End the Electoral College?

Opinion: Bring U.S. closer to a real democracy - Thomas C. Goldstein and Amy Howe - POLITICO.com:

Yet election rules now make it possible that the loser will win the presidency, because almost every state awards all its electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote there. And given how electors are allocated, a candidate can collect a majority of electors, without a majority of the votes nationally.

 While I applaud Mr. Goldstein's good intentions, as well as the noble intentions of those who support this bill, I honestly don't really see how this is anything but the elimination of the electoral college. I would agree that electoral reform is needed, but I don't agree that we should put an end to the electoral college.

So, what should we do instead to help guarantee that the popular vote and the electoral vote are less likely to be different? Well, in my humble opinion, it's pretty simple and wouldn't require much of a change. We eliminate the "first past the post" awarding of all of a state's electoral votes and instead apportion them by congressional district with the two votes provided for the senate going to the winner of the state's popular vote.

Here's how it would work in Iowa (my home state and the recent loser of an electoral vote after the 2010 census).

Iowa has 4 congressional districts, thus a winner would be determined in each of those districts, more directly apportioning the actual results of the votes in those regions. The two remaining electoral votes would be awarded to the candidate that wins the states overall popular vote. A candidate could theoretically win all of the states electoral votes, but the odds are that the votes would be attributed far more evenly, thus making the overall electoral vote more directly proportional to the popular vote.

Obviously this would be far more complex in the big states like NY, CA, TX, etc... But the system is essentially already in place and would go much farther toward insuring that every vote truly does count.

What do you think, should we move to a system where the popular vote is the only vote that matters?