Presented with out any more comment then you should go read the whole thing;
"Can it be? One of the oddest paradoxes of modern cultural politics may at last be resolved.
The paradox is this: Cultural conservatives revel in condemning the loose moral values and louche lifestyles of "San Francisco liberals." But if you want to find two-parent families with stable marriages and coddled kids, your best bet is to bypass Sarah Palin country and go to Nancy Pelosi territory: the liberal, bicoastal, predominantly Democratic places that cultural conservatives love to hate.
The country's lowest divorce rate belongs to none other than Massachusetts, the original home of same-sex marriage. Palinites might wish that Massachusetts's enviable marital stability were an anomaly, but it is not. The pattern is robust. States that voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in both 2004 and 2008 boast lower average rates of divorce and teenage childbirth than do states that voted for the Republican in both elections. (That is using family data for 2006 and 2007, the latest available.)"
Maybe you heard the story from last week where John Stewart and "The Daily Show" explained how Fox News was hypocritical by complaining that people were trying to paint all the Tea Baggers as being violent racist because a "minority" of the group was, and yet they do the same thing to the left. At the end of the segment Mr. Stewart tells Fox to "go fuck yourselves"
Fox being Fox couldn't let it go and had Bernie Goldberg on to "discuss". As you'll see from the clip below, at first Mr. Goldberg agrees with Stewart, but then he launches into a personal attack. This is why you don't fire at a guy with a team of writers...
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Bernie Goldberg Fires Back|
The fact that Rachel Maddow is right isn't a big shock, but she distills it here so well. The whole thing is worth a read, but I couldn't agree with her more - I love debate on real issues, it's good for us as a country and for me a person, but here's the thing. Yelling isn't debate. Screaming that someone is an IslamoFascistSocialist that wants to kill your grandma isn't debate. And it isn't helpful either.
As a country we have serious issues that need serious discussion (hint 10% unemployment is a lot more of a problem than whether or not you can carry a gun into a Starbucks [and don't start with the slippery slope bullshit]), it's time everyone come to grips with that. Take it away Ms. Maddow;
"Dissent is not the aberration in a democracy. Dissent is the norm. Our political vitality depends on dissent. No one expects that the president is going to have the whole country agree with his options and his priorities.
Nobody expects Americans to share the same political opinions.
But has there ever been a time when we shared so few political facts? Let’s argue. Let’s have the great American debate about the role of government and the best policies for the country. It’s fun. It’s citizenship. It’s activism. It makes the country better when we have those debates. And your country needs you. It needs all of us.
But two things disqualify you from this process: You can’t threaten to shoot people and you have to stop making stuff up."
Yes. We can. Thanks to State Rep. Dave Upthegrove for posting this on Facebook, I had to share;
It would be easy to mock the so-called conservatives and their "Mount Vernon Statement" (and it's oh so tempting to), but quite honestly Danial Larson at The American Conservative magazine does it so much better than I could. A highlight that I particularly agreed with...
"I cannot object to the statement that the “federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.” This is true. However, I have no idea why the organizers of this gathering think that anyone will believe their professions of constitutionalism after enabling or acquiescing in some of the most grotesque violations of constitutional republican government in the last forty years. If constitutional conservatism means anything, it has to mean that the executive branch does not have wide, sweeping, inherent powers derived from the President’s (temporary) military role. It has to mean that all these conservatives will start arguing that the President cannot wage wars on his own authority, and they will have to argue this no matter who occupies the Oval Office. It has to mean unwavering conservative hostility to the mistreatment of detainees, and it has to mean that conservatives cannot accept the detention of suspects without charge, access to counsel or recourse to some form of judicial oversight. Obviously, constitutional conservatives could in no way tolerate or overlook policies of indefinite detention or the abuse of detainees. They would have to drive out the authoritarians among them, and rediscover a long-lost, healthy suspicion of concentrated power, especially power concentrated in the hands of the executive.
"Until we see these basic demonstrations of fidelity to constitutional principle from the would-be constitutional conservatives of this Mount Vernon meeting, we should assume that this is little more than a new ruse designed to rile up activists and donors during a Democratic administration in order to breathe new life into a moribund and bankrupt movement."
h/t Balloon Juice
I've not been following the Prop 8 trial in California too closely, but I have been checking in on occasion. The arguments and witnesses wrapped up this week, and the court is in recess till Feb 26th when it will hear closing statements from both sides.
This week was final witness testimony from the defense (if you're not following too closely, that would be the side that supported Prop 8 and the same sex marriage ban), including their second expert witness Mr. David Blankenhorn. I'll let his testimony take it from here;
“Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would probably reduce the proportion of homosexuals who marry persons of the opposite sex, and thus would likely reduce instances of marital unhappiness and divorce.”
“Gay marriage would be a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion. It would likely decrease the number of those in society who tend to be viewed warily as ‘other’ and increase the number who are accepted as part of ‘us.’ In that respect, gay marriage would be a victory for, and another key expansion of, the American idea.”
“Because marriage is a wealth-creating institution, extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would probably increase wealth accumulation and lead to higher living standards for these couples as well as help reduce welfare costs (by promoting family economic self-sufficiency) and decrease economic inequality.”
A woman wrote to the Minneapolis StarTribune and knocks it out of the park;
Dear Pat Robertson,
I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I'm all over that action.
But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I'm no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished.
Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth -- glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven't you seen "Crossroads"? Or "Damn Yankees"?
If I had a thing going with Haiti, there'd be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox -- that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it -- I'm just saying: Not how I roll.
You're doing great work, Pat, and I don't want to clip your wings -- just, come on, you're making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That's working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.
LILY COYLE, MINNEAPOLIS
h/t to Chris on FB for the original link.
Salon has an excellent piece on healthcare rationing entitled "The 'death panels' are already here"...
"The future of healthcare in America, according to Sarah Palin, might look something like this: A sick 17-year-old girl needs a liver transplant. Doctors find an available organ, and they're ready to operate, but the bureaucracy -- or as Palin would put it, the "death panel" -- steps in and says it won't pay for the surgery. Despite protests from the girl's family and her doctors, the heartless hacks hold their ground for a critical 10 days. Eventually, under massive public pressure, they relent -- but the patient dies before the operation can proceed.
"It certainly sounds scary enough to make you want to go show up at a town hall meeting and yell about how misguided President Obama's healthcare reform plans are. Except that's not the future of healthcare -- it's the present. "
There's been a lot of talk recently about the government interfering and/or rationing an individual's healthcare (beyond the so-called "death panels") and how no one should have that happen to them. Let me all fill you in on a little secret... As someone who has suffered from a chronic illness (Ulcerative Colitis) for over 15 years, I'm here to tell you that insurance companies have been interfering in my healthcare for YEARS.
Look, we can have a serious debate about the role of government in healthcare, and that's a debate I'm happy to have with you, but those opposed to President Obama's plan should stop with the whole "the only voice in you're health plan discussion should be your's and your doctor's" argument. It hasn't been that way for years and it's disingenuous to pretend otherwise.
...I'd still like to visit the Netherlands;
...I know that's not news, but even by Republican standards this was pretty stupid and low;
"If we're able to stop Obama on this (health care reform), it will be his Waterloo, it will break him." Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) from a conference call with conservative activists via Washington Post
Really? I don't think anyone would argue that we're facing serious issues with our current health care system. We might argue on how best to address those issues, and whether or not there should be a public option, but everyone pretty much agrees that there's a problem. What's Sen. DeMint's idea? Defeating Obama. And they wonder why they're called "The Party of No". Idiots...
I generally believe that when someone has an affair, it's their issue. It's sad for the spouse and family affected, but it's basically personal. I understand that when it involves a public figure it's news (see Edwards, John), and I'm fine with that, but I wouldn't necessarily feel the need to comment on it.
Here is candidate Ensign in 1998 suggesting that Bill Clinton resign because of his affair, saying that he "had no credibility left" (how's the credibility thing working out for you?)
Here is Sen. Ensign explaining in 2004 that we need a Constitutional amendment protecting marriage from Teh Gay (I'm guessing that's why he had an affair, because LGBT people love each other).
Here is Sen. Ensign in 2007 explaining why Larry Craig should resign ""There's too many people that paint with a broad brush that we're all corrupt, we're all amoral. … And having these kinds of things happen, whether it's a Republican or Democratic senator — we certainly have had plenty of Democratic scandals in the past — we need people who are in office who will hold themselves to a little higher standard." (that one pretty much speaks for itself)
Listen Senator - You take care of your own house before you go telling everyone else how theirs ought to be built...
While there's plenty of hilarity to be had at the expense of the Teabaggers I'll leave that to those more talented than I (I'd recommend Sadly, No! or TBogg as good starting spots). Instead I'd like to focus for a minute on the new rightwing meme that this is somehow a giant movement and it's going to turn into an unstoppable force.
By best nonpartisan estimates there were approximately 300,000 attendees nationwide (Nate Silver has a good breakdown with links here). It's difficult to get good numbers but in 2003, millions (I couldn't find an estimate of less than 1 million) of people marched in opposition to the Iraq war. If 1 million weren't heard, what makes the wingnuts think that 30% of THAT will have more success?1
Let's put it another way, the population of the United States is 303 million. I'm no math major but I think that puts the protests at .1% of the population. Hardly a silent majority or them surrounding us...
The very funny Andy Cobb (who I featured a couple of days ago with his 2M4M message) also did a "Teabag Central" bit that's pretty funny (but probably NSFW);
1 - I want to be very clear about something, I completely respect their right to demonstrate and support them in doing so. That said I also reserve the right to make fun of teh stupid.