Monday ReadsPosted: October 22, 2012
We’ve been watching the polls here off and on with a lot of questions as well as interest. One of the things that’s very apparent is the Gender Gap. Nate Silver finds that its near historic highs. It’s an interesting read with some great wonky graphs.
The large gender gap comes despite the fact that men and women’s economic roles are becoming more equal — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women represented 47 percent of the labor force as of September — and that women suffered at least as much as men in the recent economic downturn.
The unemployment rate among women was 7.5 percent as of September — up from 7.0 percent when Mr. Obama took office in January 2009.
The unemployment rate among men is higher — 8.0 percent as of September — but it has declined rather than increased since Mr. Obama took office. It had been 8.6 percent in January 2009, and peaked at as high as 11.2 percent later that year.
This suggests the gender gap instead has more to do with partisan ideology than with pocketbook voting; apart from their views on abortion, women also take more liberal stances than men on social issues ranging from same-sex marriage to gun control.
It seems that the Republican party is good at attracting white men these days. Nothing surprising there. Just this weekend Republicans managed to insult women several times. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) appeared on Dancin Dave’s Disco Show to explain that women seeking pay equity were being taken in by trial lawyers in search of big money.
RUBIO: But just because they call a piece of legislation an equal pay bill doesn’t make it so. In fact, much of this legislation is in many respects nothing but an effort to help trial lawyers collect their fees and file lawsuits, which may have nothing to do whatsoever to increasing pay equity in the workplace.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin said Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill has fetched expansive government policies “like a dog” during her tenure in Washington.
Akin made the comparison during a fundraising event in Springfield, where he featured support from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, one of the few national Republicans still backing Akin after much of the party establishment distanced themselves from his candidacy following the controversy earlier in the race surrounding his comments about “legitimate rape.”
“She goes to Washington, D.C., it’s a little bit like one of those dogs, ‘fetch,’” he said. “She goes to Washington, D.C., and get all of these taxes and red tape and bureaucracy and executive orders and agencies and brings all of this stuff and dumps it on us in Missouri.”
So my grave site of the week news hasn’t so much to do with the find itself but the finder. A house cat in Rome discovered a 2,000 year old grave catacomb. The intrepid little adventurer find a very interesting burial site.
Curti and a friend were following the cat at 10pm on Tuesday when it scampered towards a low tufa rock cliff close to his home near Via di Pietralata in a residential area of the city. “The cat managed to get into a grotto and we followed the sound of its miaowing,” he said.
Inside the small opening in the cliff the two men found themselves surrounded by niches dug into the rock similar to those used by the Romans to hold funeral urns, while what appeared to be human bones littered the floor.
Archaeologists called to the scene said the tomb probably dated from between the 1st century BC and the 2nd century AD. Given that niches were used to store ashes in urns, the bones had probably tumbled into the tomb from a separate burial space higher up inside the cliff.
Heavy rains at the start of the week had probably caused rocks concealing the entrance to the tomb to crumble, they added.
There’s more evidence that the ones committing the voter registration fraud are Republicans. When is some one going to arrest Reince Preibus and the folks he hired to steal elections?
But there is more to the story, as evidence emerges to document that it ties into a still-expanding nationwide GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal that the BRAD BLOG first began reporting in late September , after we’d learned that the Republican Party of Florida had turned in more than 100 allegedly fraudulent and otherwise suspect voter registration forms in Palm Beach County. The story has continued to widen ever since, to a dozen Florida counties and several other states, now including Virginia, and even to the upper-echelons of the Republican Party itself.
If you haven’t been following this story, the man behind most of this fraud across the country is well known for committing registration fraud but as told by Preibus to hide himself well in the corporate structure so he could be awarded all these contracts to register voters. You may remember that 4 year ago they led a witch hunt against ACORN. Well, it appears they are much more guilty of registration fraud than ACORN.
Strategic Allied is owned by Nathan Sproul, an Arizona political consultant for Republicans whose companies have faced charges in past elections of submitting forged forms and of dumping Democratic registrations. None of the charges were proved, and Sproul continues to do get-out-the-vote work for conservative causes this election.
“We can’t speculate what happened in Virginia,” said David Leibowitz, a spokesman for Sproul, adding that the firm was fired on Sept. 28. “Anything that happened after that did not happen on Strategic Allied’s watch.”
After Sproul was dumped, the registration operation that he assembled continued working under the supervision of party officials, Spicer said. He said the workers will continue to do get-out-the-vote work until the election.
What’s more, before the RNC tries to blame Sproul’s firm alone for hiring Small, let’s note that the accused describes himself as a “grassroots field director for the Republican National Committee,” though the RNC’s Spicer denies this. It’s not yet clear which of the two is telling the truth.
Also keep in mind, the L.A. Timesreported that Sproul “created Strategic Allied Consulting at the request of the Republican National Committee because of the bad publicity stemming from the past allegations.” I’ve seen some reports that this is a “new” Republican firm working with the state and national parties on grassroots activities, but it would appear Strategic Allied Consulting is new in name only.
Tonight is the final presidential debate of 2012 on foreign policy. We’ll be live blogging the debate as usual. Here’s some potential questions for each of the candidates. Here’s my favorite questions to put to POTUS.
- Drone strikes you’ve ordered against targets in Pakistan have killed, by some estimates, several hundred innocent civilians, including many children. Is this a moral strategy to defeat terrorists?
- You intervened to stop civilian massacres in Libya, where no U.S. national security interest was at stake. In Syria, far more people have been killed by their government, and U.S. interests are clearly at stake. America’s Muslim allies, including Turkey, are asking the U.S. to do more to bring an end to Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Why have you stayed on the sidelines?
Here’s my favorites for Chicken Mittens who managed to insult our two best allies–Japan and the UK–within a few short weeks.
- You did not serve in the military. Did you encourage any of your five sons to serve in the military?
- How do you plan to keep Pakistan from imploding?
- You said recently, “America must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose, and resolve in our might.” What is America’s purpose?
- You and your running mate have no foreign policy experience. Name the three people you would listen to most on matters of foreign policy and national security if you become president.
All of Romney’s economic advisors are former Bush advisors and all of Romney’s foreign policy advisors are Bush NeoCons. How the hell is he going to be any different? Well, my guess is he’ll be worse.
One thing I’ve meant to cover here and haven’t yet is the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” which is basically the term for the expiration of all the Bush tax cuts along with the Obama payroll tax moratoriums that have provided stimulus recently along with some spending cuts because there’s be no ability to get a budget agreement recently. Here’s a Q&A to get the conversation started. I’ll focus on this more after the election because it will likely give a re-elected Obama some leverage over Republicans and if-elected Romney a panic attack.
Almost everyone who pays taxes would see a hit to take-home pay in the first paycheck of January. The lowest income tax rate would rise to 15 percent from 10 percent. The highest rate would rise to 39.6 percent from 35 percent. The 25 percent, 28 percent, and 33 percent rates would rise to 28 percent, 31 percent and 36 percent respectively. Most capital gains taxes would rise to 20 percent from 15 percent. The tax rate on dividends, now set at 15 percent, would jump to ordinary income tax rates, and since most dividend taxes are paid by the wealthy, that would mean a new dividend tax rate of 39.6 percent. The exemption on taxation of inherited estates would drop to $1 million from $5 million. The tax rate above that exemption would jump to 55 percent from 35 percent.
Even many of the working poor who do not earn enough to face such taxes would take a hit when a temporary, two-percentage-point cut to the payroll tax that funds Social Security and Medicare expires on Jan. 1. In all, taxes would rise by as much as $6 trillion over 10 years, $347 billion in 2013 alone, if the Bush-era tax cuts expire along with the payroll tax cut, and Congress fails to deal with the expanding alternative minimum tax, according to the Congressional Budget Office and Decision Economics Inc., a private economic forecaster.
On the spending side, most defense programs would be sliced by 9.4 percent. Most nondefense programs outside the big entitlements — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — would be cut by 8.2 percent. Medicare would be trimmed by 2 percent. Social Security, veterans benefits, military personnel, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program would be exempt.
So, that’s my offerings today! What’s on your reading and blogging list?