Wednesday Reads: Build a large wooden badger? Run Away, Run Away!

Good Morning, it is Wednesday!

Not much to look forward to, as far as any chance of recovery…or job creation, but there is sure to be lots of cuts to benefits and services that so many of us rely on.  It makes me think that anyone who is trying to get SSI or disability will find it even harder to get approved. Not to mention the fact that people won’t be able to retire until they are 103.

Well, moving on with the news reads…did y’all know there was a tropical storm heading towards FLA? Where will Tropical Storm Emily go? | Earth | EarthSky

NHC forecasted track for Tropical Storm Emily on 8/2/2011 at 5pm AST

Track of Tropical Storm Emily Image Credit: National Hurricane Center

Next, let’s take a look at the spaghetti models:

Various Model tracks for Emily

Possible tracks for Emily from various models Image Credit:

As you can tell, most of the projected paths show Emily moving over Hispaniola, moving northwest, and eventually curving to the northeast out to sea due to a trough that will pick the system up.

Those of you that are in the area of concern, be sure to keep an eye on Emily. It looks like she will not be too dangerous, but may cause a lot of rain and flooding.

No solution was reached regarding the FAA shutdown.  I really hoped the swamp rats would come to some agreement before they got out of town and started those long vacations.  Of course, Congress Fails to End FAA Shutdown – Truthdig

While lawmakers managed to pass a bill raising the debt ceiling Tuesday, they failed to extend the power of the Federal Aviation Administration to regulate tax funding, leaving thousands of airline employees out of work while Congress takes a monthlong holiday.

So while the government continues to lose out on $30 million in taxes on airline travel each day the FAA goes without official authority from the government ($900 million over 30 days), airline passengers were expecting a sort of tax holiday. Only it turns out it is the airlines that are getting the holiday and the revenue. Instead of passing the savings on to customers, airlines quickly ratcheted up their rates to reflect post-tax prices.

Perhaps all these jackass politicians will get an earful from their constituents as they fly the friendly skies to enjoy their vacations.

With the recent news that HHS will begin to make birth control free, with no co-pays or deductibles, the anti-women’s right groups aka GOP are talking about the horrors this free birth control will bring to the world. Steve King: Covering Birth Control Could Make Us A ‘Dying Civilization’ (VIDEO)

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) expressed a fairly extreme concern on the House Floor Monday night about the expanded preventative health coverage: offering free birth control to women could eventually kill off the entire human species.

KING: We have people that are single, we have people that are past reproductive age, we have priests that are celibate. All of them, paying insurance premiums that cover contraceptives so that somebody else doesn’t have to pay the full fare of that? And they’ve called it preventative medicine. Preventative medicine. Well if you applied that preventative medicine universally what you end up with is you’ve prevented a generation. Preventing babies from being born is not medicine. That’s not— that’s not constructive to our culture and our civilization. If we let our birth rate get down below replacement rate we’re a dying civilization.

Oh, lets get the shackles out so that Steve King and be sure to keep us women in our place…you know, barefoot and pregnant. Anyway, I certainly hope that free birth control sticks around…and does not get chucked by PLUB Republicans.

Turning to some benefits that did get cut, I am speaking of the graduate student loan program, it looks like the lack of funds are forcing more female college students into prostitution to help supplement their income while they attend school.  College Students Turn to Sex Work to Pay Off Debt | Care2 Causes

After a debt-ceiling deal in which Pell grants remained but the federally subsidized graduate student loan program went under the chopping block, it’s even more sobering to read about the lengths to which college students are resorting to pay off their mountains of debt.  According to Amanda Fairbanks of the Huffington Post, a surprising number of young people are turning to a kind of prostitution to pay their student bills.

Not that any of this should be a surprise to us, but check out the misogynistic way the “Johns” talk about paying the “girls.”

Some of the students (who are mostly female) describe the encounters with anguish.  ”I never thought it would come to this. I got on the train and I felt dirty. I mean, I had just gotten money for having sex,” said one young woman. “I guess I accomplished what I needed to do. I needed the money for school. I just did what needed to be done.”

But some of the “sugar daddies” see themselves as helping the students onto a better life – while enjoying the company of a more “educated, smart” woman than a traditional escort.  ”I guess I like the college girls more because I think of their student debt as good debt. At least it seems like I’m helping them out, like I’m helping them to get a better life,” said one “sugar daddy.”

The founder of another “sugar daddy” website also lauded the benefits of the arrangements his site facilitates.  It’s perfect, he said, for older men of means, who want “young, vivacious arm candy,” while women “want a guy who can take them out for a Michelin two-star dinner, take them on the trip of their dreams, or who knows, maybe they’ll even find some guy to pay off their debt.”

The problem is, of course, that this is a deeply misogynistic way to see women, and it’s equally problematic for male students.  The fact that students are being forced into these power-imbalanced relationships reflects badly on our higher education system, which saddles students with so much debt that in a bad economy, sex work may seem like the only viable way to make money.

For the last link of the post, we have yet another right wingnut running from a journalist with questions:  Paul Ryan Runs From Al Jazeera Reporter, Calls Her Question ‘Rude’ | Crooks and Liars

Al Jazeera English, posted this documentary today about wealth inequality in America. The highlight of the clip above is Congressman Paul Ryan being asked if his budget plan isn’t undemocratic because the majority of Americans don’t like it. He bolts from the reporter and tells her, her question is “rude.”

Al Jazeera English does some good work. The piece also features economist Jeffrey Sachs stating flatly, “The rich not only became richer they became politically more powerful.”

The top 1% – Fault Lines – Al Jazeera English

The richest 1% of US Americans earn nearly a quarter of the country’s income and control an astonishing 40% of its wealth. Inequality in the US is more extreme than it’s been in almost a century — and the gap between the super rich and the poor and middle class people has widened drastically over the last 30 years.

Meanwhile, in Washington, a bitter partisan debate over how to cut deficit spending and reduce the US’ 14.3 trillion dollar debt is underway. As low and middle class wages stagnate and unemployment remains above 9%, Republicans and Democrats are tussling over whether to slash funding for the medical and retirement programs that are the backbone of the US’s social safety net, and whether to raise taxes — or to cut them further.

The budget debate and the economy are the battleground on which the 2012 presidential election race will be fought. And the United States has never seemed so divided — both politically and economically.

How did the gap grow so wide, and so quickly? And how are the convictions, campaign contributions and charitable donations of the top 1% impacting the other 99% of Americans? Fault Lines investigates the gap between the rich and the rest.

The Ryan bit comes around the 10:30 mark, and the look on the reporter’s face pretty much tells it all.  Watch the whole video if you can…

I suggest the next time Ryan gets taunted by some journalist, he takes a cue from Monty Python…

So what are you running away from this morning?

36 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: Build a large wooden badger? Run Away, Run Away!”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    I have no idea what Obama is thinking but if this is a sign of “courage” he has failed on all counts.

    He should have modeled himself in Jackie Robinson who showed the world what courage looks like. Entering a white’s only locker room for the first time, then facing a crowd of unhappy racist fans who loathed him for the color of his skin, this man stood up and faced down the worst of society and showed what a champion was made of.

    Courage was Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickie who together showed that when it came to taking a stand they were capable of fighting back.

    The spinelessness of Barack Obama, coupled with his inability to assume the role of leader in chief by courageously fighting back against the evil of the Right is frightening to behold.

    Jackie Robinson will forever be known as a fighter, a man who stood up to the powers that be even at the risk of failure. Obama will forever be known as the man who lacked the courage it takes by avoiding the failure that comes with risk.

    For some reason today I just had to cite that comparison as I am sick to death of listening to those who defend Obama’s actions and prefer to portray his spinelessness as excusable. It isn’t.

    • Sima says:

      Obama wouldn’t know courage if it bit him in the ass. He’s all quisling and appeasement. Utoh, did I just Godwin the thread? 🙂

  2. paper doll says:

    Terrific round up Thanks!

    Is is not a new flash to the person on the street

    Sharp fall in consumer spending, manufacturing in US

    It is no longer possible to deny that the US economy has been slowing dramatically since the first quarter of 2010, when it hit its “post-recession” peak growth rate of 3.9 percent. Since then, it has managed an average quarterly growth of 0.5 percent.

    Such growth rates insure that unemployment, rather than declining, will rise further, compounding the social distress being felt by tens of millions of workers in the US. The spending cuts passed by Congress and signed into law by Obama on Tuesday will only exacerbate the downturn…..

    Around the world working people have had it

    Israeli protest movement sparks mass strikes

    …What started as a protest of the cost of housing has spread to undisguised anger at the dozen-or-so billionaire families that control much of Israel’s economy—including real estate, communications, journalism, retail, manufacturing, construction, banking, pension savings and energy. There were calls to halt the programme of “free market” reforms and the cuts to social budgets in health and education.

  3. joanelle says:

    The hubris of the repubs thinking that the tea partiers were elected because people voted for them instead of against the incumbents is what brought this about – clearly the voters did not make themselves clear –

    Pat, I liked your Robinson comparison – but Robinson didn’t walk into the job thinking he was there because they loved him – he knew he was there because he was an exceptional ball player and the game needed more really exceptional players – he was willing to break the barrier for all black ball players who deserved to play because of their abilities – unfortunately Obama became POTUS for the wrong reasons – he’s not the exceptional leader we needed at the time. He didn’t have the skills nor ability to hault the slide our country was in.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      True, but Robinson was up against the rampant racism prevalent in that day and age.

      Spit upon, taunted, subjected to hateful pranks and outrageous insults, he put on his game face and made his way into history.

      Obama was able to take advantage of that courageous effort to succeed beyond all that awaited Jackie Robinson when he stepped into the batter’s box.

      Given the opportunity to lead a nation out of the abyss, he chose to turn tail and run. How he got there is not as important as what he did once he arrived.

      Had Jackie Robinson fled from the threats and the insults, no one would have blamed him. Too bad Obama could not borrow some of what it takes from him and put it into practice. Had Jackie Robinson chosen to remain “safe” he would never have left the locker room.

      An act of courage far beyond anything Obama has yet to touch.

  4. Minkoff Minx says:

    Isn’t this like a plot to some new movie that has come out this summer? Possible bomb strapped to Australian woman’s neck: report | Reuters

    Australian police were scrambling Wednesday to remove what local media said was a suspected bomb possibly collared to a young woman’s neck by an intruder into her home in a wealthy neighborhood in Sydney.

    “It’s a very serious incident where the life of a young lady is potentially at risk and we are dealing with it in that light,” New South Wales assistant police commissioner Mark Murdoch told television reporters.

    • djmm says:

      Someone did the same thing to a young man a few years ago to force him to rob a bank, in the US. Tragically, the bomb exploded before they could free him.


      • Branjor says:

        She has been freed from the device.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Yes, I remember that…and that is why I really think that new movie with Jesse Eisenburg is in such bad taste. 30 Minutes or Less (2011) – IMDb

        Two fledgling criminals kidnap a pizza delivery guy, strap a bomb to his chest, and inform him that he has mere hours to rob a bank or else…

        It is billed as a comedy…

        Oh, and I am going to have an update on the woman in Australia in the Evening News Reads.

  5. Peggy Sue says:

    That Faultine piece is good but one of the disturbing elements is that is was put together by an outside agency, Aljazeera, rather than from within, one of our own news outlets. And it’s one of the other problems we’re facing right now. Tea Party extravaganzas have been hyped as ‘America’s voice,” or an example of American patriotism–We’re Going to Take Our Country Back. Yet we know that the whole movement has been funded by the very people [top 1%] who want the country for themselves with everyone else on their knees. Tea Party members, local participants, will swear that’s not the case but the national push has been from the lobbyists and think tanks that have very little alligience to ordinary Americans. The attitudes are quite blatant and obvious in the film itself: We’re better, they say. We’re the better educated, the workers, the innovators. Don’t get in our way.

    The short piece with Ryan is very revealing. He’s a tool, can’t answer the question beyond: You’re rude.

    Well, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that once these cuts and other draconian measures are put forward by the ‘smart’ people, we’re going to see a lot of rudeness on display. Because the truth of mathematics also plays in the real world. There are simply more people being pushed underwater than there are those living the good life. Eventually, the dam will break and there won’t be a safe place to contain or control the anger.

    • northwestrain says:

      The cleaver corporate media is working hard to make the bad guys the unions and public employees.

      What’s happening — the redirection to the middle class and unions is typical — and I’d guess some major players (PR) firms are earning their money.

      The coup of the billionaires.

      • paper doll says:

        Yup… “PR” just about covers it…there is no new coverage that isn’t …seems to me

  6. Minkoff Minx says:

    Related to that article up top about college students turning to prostitiution: Arianna Huffington Talks ‘Sugar Babies’ On ‘Today’ Show (Video)

    This morning on the “Today” show, Arianna Huffington talked to anchor Ann Curry and psychiatrist Gail Saltz about the phenomenon of young women strapped with student loan debt seeking “sugar daddies” online to help pay their student loan debt.

    Referring to HuffPost education reporter Amanda Fairbanks’ story on the issue, which ran on HuffPost Women Monday, Arianna suggested that these so-called “sugar babies” are selling themselves to cope with the failure of the American Dream. “You play by the rules, you work hard, you graduate from college. But we have an economy which does not make it possible for them to get a good job and pay their debts.”

    For young, educated, unemployed women mired in student loan debt, “This is really an act of desperation,” said Arianna. One, she added, that “ultimately is going to influence their whole life.”

  7. bostonboomer says:

    I’m looking forward to President Obama’s trip to midwestern swing states. I hope he gets exposed to some angry voters while he’s there.

    • bostonboomer says:

      BTW, great post, but I don’t understand the title. What does it mean?

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Thanks BB. That scene in Monty Python is when the French have been taunting the English…and then they fling animals at them, to which the English take off screaming run away. I just visualize Paul Ryan and Michele Bachmann getting taunted by the news reporters, you know by asking questions, or in Bachmann’s case…a group of fun loving homosexuals hurling farm animals, and them yelling run away…run away.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Oh, how silly of me. I forgot to watch the video. Now I remember that!

    • foxyladi14 says: sure he will

  8. foxyladi14 says:

    dow down again. {evil:

  9. jawbone says:

    Sorry if this has been posted about, but I’m trying to get things done outside during nice weather and am just dipping in on “breaks.”

    A commneter at FDL found a clear reasons why there will be NO revenues for any Committee of the Twelve Caesars recommendations/bill.

    KellyCanfield, Denver, August 2nd, 2011 at 2:48 pm # 6

    I found a loophole in the SuperCongress bill. There is a provision for debate in the Bill.

    (e) Consideration by the Other House-
    (1) IN GENERAL- If, before passing the joint committee bill, one House receives from the other a joint committee bill–
    (A) the joint committee bill of the other House shall not be referred to a committee; and
    (B) the procedure in the receiving House shall be the same as if no joint committee bill had been received from the other House until the vote on passage, when the joint committee bill received from the other House shall supplant the joint committee bill of the receiving House.
    (2) REVENUE MEASURE- This subsection shall not apply to the House of Representatives if the joint committee bill received from the Senate is a revenue measure.

    [emphasis added by me]

    So, an all cuts bill won’t be subject to amendment in the House. But any bill with revenue? Subject to amendment in the House.

    Anybody who claims that revenue is an option in the bill coming out of SuperCongress is flat out lying. Anybody.

    We wuz robbed. And lied to. And they’re working hard on bamboozing us.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Oh brother! I’ll bet they think they’re really clever. But people don’t like having the rug pulled out from under them, do they?

  10. jawbone says:

    It’ is seriously wrong to have issues of major interest to all Americans, of life and death even, determined by 12 legislators, who will have little expertise in many issues they will be deciding.

    Can this Politburo approach be appealed to the Supreme Court?

    • madamab says:

      I think it should be. It is utterly unConstitutional. Basically, Obama got the Catfood Commission he always wanted – the one in Congress, which Kent Conrad proposed and couldn’t pass through the Senate in the lame duck season.

      Obama should be impeached for this. Someone, quick, give him a blow job!

  11. dakinikat says:

    Go Wisconsin!!!

    Veteran WI GOP State Senator: “I’m Not Sure” I’ll Survive Recall Election

    It’s less than a week until Wisconsin voters hit the polls in the recall elections of six Republican state senators. According to polling by Wisconsin’s Democratic Party, Democratic challengers are, for the most part, sitting pretty right now, leading in three races and tied in the rest. Mind you, these are internal polls, so they should taken with a grain of salt.

    But in the case of Republican Alberta Darling, a 20-year veteran of the Wisconsin state senate, you don’t need polls to know she’s in trouble in her race against Democratic state assemblywoman Sandy Pasch. Darling herself admitted as much on Tuesday. In response to an audience member’s comment “Obviously you think you’re going to win this,” Darling said, “I’m not sure. It’s going to be about turnout.” From a long-time member of the Wisconsin GOP and a lock to win her recall mere months ago, that’s a striking admission.

    • Branjor says:

      I think it’s a good treatise on the fallacy of stigmatizing and “othering” the “mentally ill” and seeing them (wrongly) as entirely different from and inferior to everyone else. It is a good idea to value and respect human mental and emotional variation instead of pathologizing it.
      Not that there aren’t manifestations of “mental Illness” which are problematic, distressing to the person and others around them and in need of change.

    • northwestrain says:

      There’s another book — “The allure of Toxic Leaders” — by Jean Lipman-Blumen that may shed like on the craziness topic.

      There is current research which has found some interesting links between depression and creativity. This is related research by a soc. professor who wrote a book: “Normal Neurotic” (written in the early 70s).

      Right now we have a narcissist in white house.

      What this book will do hopefully will get people to understand manic depression (bi-polar). I’ve been around so many Manic Depressives — mostly diagnostics for decades.

      Manic Depressive — when they are Manic are a lot of fun to be around and I’ve seen many people with innate leadership ability who are Manic depressive. The problem comes when they hit the depression.

      I doubt that the author is out to stigmatize mental illness — because it is likely that the vast majority have some form otherness already.

      During the 2008 election — those of us who stubbornly held out against 0bowma-R were called crazy. Cassandra was ignored and probably called crazy. Some “deeply religious” people get away with all sorts of crazy behavior.

      In Anthropology we learned that crazy really depends on the culture. That was probably the best class in psy I’ve ever taken.

  12. dakinikat says:

    Rick Perry’s Sectarian Pep Rally for Jesus a Big Flop

  13. dakinikat says:

    David Barlow would be perfect US Atty slot choice for a right wing nut President; and Barack Obama just nominated him

    He’s still not a Democratic president folks!!!

    • Peggy Sue says:

      POTUS has got to be dumped. Let the Repugs have him. He’s on their side anyway.

  14. northwestrain says:

    Well damn it! I need to have a key on my keyboard which will type — I Told. You. So.

    The right wing dopes tried to convince voters that he was a Socialist. Nope I’d reply that guy is a hard core Kansas republican. He was raised by his grandparents and they were Kansas Republicans.

    0bowma-R plays the chameleon and tells people what they want to hear — but at his core he is a Kansas Republican.