Wednesday Reads: Build a large wooden badger? Run Away, Run Away!Posted: August 3, 2011
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
Next, let’s take a look at the spaghetti models:
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 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?