Friday Morning Reads

Good Morning!

Sandra Fluke gave a wonderful speech to the DNC on Wednesday. The young woman rose to prominence after being denied an opportunity to be the only women speaking to a Issa congressional panel on the coverage of birth control in all insurance programs.  She was savagely attacked by the right wing press then and now.  Here are some horrible tweets that show exactly how awful women in the spotlight are treated by the right.

Let’s get one thing straight first: Contrary to what Limbaugh said, just because a woman wants to have easier access to contraceptives does not make her a slut or a prostitute.

But in order to promote a radical agenda that would deny women access to something so basic as birth control, conservatives took to Twitter after Fluke’s speech to, once again, repeat the disgusting falsehood that she wants the government to “pay” for her social life and to bash her for “whining” about it on a national stage.

Here’s a sampling of tweets that Think Progress spotted:

Sandra Fluke: I am woman, hear me whine.

— Todd Kincannon (@ToddKincannon) September 6, 2012

Shorter @sandrafluke #DNC speech: Me me me me me me. Free free free free B(irth) C(ontrol).Eeeeevil GOP.

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) September 6, 2012

Don’t lecture conservative women about empowerment while demanding that we pay for what goes on in your bedroom #DNC2012

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 6, 2012

I wonder if she has “Birth Control Martyr” business cards.

— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) September 6, 2012

I hope someone was passing out free condoms tonight, otherwise Sandra Fluke might be in trouble tomorrow.

— Michael Berry (@MichaelBerrySho) September 5, 2012

Sandra wants taxpayers to pay for her tanning appointments.

— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) September 6, 2012

So, there’s a new “fish” story from Paul Ryan out and about the web.  First, we heard that Ryan lied about his marathon running feats.  Now, we’re hearing a story about Mountain Climbing.  Lies seem to come easy to Romney and Ryan, as BB pointed out.  This one is really interesting.  How many fourteeners has Ryan really climbed?

Craig Gilbert, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, wrote the original story, back in 2009, about Ryan’s mountain-climbing record. He has now written an update and amplification of exactly what Ryan told him then. Here are relevant parts from the original interview:

Ryan: “My mom was very outdoorsy …  We spent our summers doing backpacking trips in the (Colorado) back-country, you know, Snowmass Lake, Capital Peak, spent all our summers doing that …  went all over White River National Forest, just the whole Elk range. I mean I’ve climbed every fourteener in that range and the three around there … So I got into climbing fourteeners when I was 12, with my brother, Stan. My mom got us into that.”
Question: “How many fourteeners have you climbed? Or how many times?”

Ryan: “38. I think that’s my last count.”

Question: “Those are just climbing peaks that are 14,000 feet?”

Ryan: “I’ve done it 38 times. … I’ve done 38, but I think the number of unique peaks is something like twenty… no, no it’s like thirty or something like that. I counted it up a year or two ago.”

Question: “Most of those in Colorado?”

Ryan: “All of them are in Colorado. So I think I’ve climbed like 28 (peaks), and I’ve done it 38 times, because I’ve done a number of them a few times. So I was, you know, kind of into that stuff.”

So, now folks that are real fourteeners are weighing in on the possibility of that actually being true. According to folks that know what they are doing, it’s likely another Ryan Whopper. So, is Ryan a serial peddler of fish stories or has all that reading of Ayn Rand prevented him from processing reality?

I loved Jared Bernstein’s post on yoyo economics and politics.  It’s a theme that both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton spoke about at the DNC.  The idea of YOYO (your’re on your own) vs. We’re in This all Together is a good way to put the election this year.

Protecting the rights of individuals has always been a core American value. Yet in recent years the emphasis on individualism has been pushed to the point where, like the diners in hell, we’re starving. This political and social philosophy is hurting our nation, endangering our future and that of our children, and, paradoxically, making it harder for individuals to get a fair shot at the American dream.

This extreme individualism dominates the way we talk about the most important aspects of our economic lives, those that reside in the intersection of our living standards, our government, and the future opportunities for ourselves and our children. The message, sometimes implicit but often explicit, is, You’re on your own. Its acronym, YOYO, provides a useful shorthand to summarize this destructive approach to governing.

The concept of YOYO, as used in this book, isn’t all that complicated. It’s the prevailing vision of how our country should be governed. As such, it embodies a set of values, and at the core of the YOYO value system is hyper-individualism: the notion that whatever the challenges we face as a nation, the best way to solve them is for people to fend for themselves. Over the past few decades, this harmful vision has generated a set of policies with that hyper-individualistic gene throughout their DNA.

The YOYO crowd—the politicians, lobbyists, and economists actively promoting this vision—has stepped up its efforts to advance its policies in recent years, but hyper-individualism is not a new phenomenon. Chapter 1 documents archaeological evidence of YOYO thinking and policies from the early 1900s, along with their fingerprint: a sharp increase in the inequality of income, wealth, and opportunity. The most recent incarnation can be found in the ideas generated by the administration of George W. Bush, but the YOYO infrastructure—the personnel with a vested interest in the continued dominance of these policies—will not leave the building with Bush. Unless, that is, we recognize the damage being done and make some major changes.

One central goal of the YOYO movement is to continue and even accelerate the trend toward shifting economic risks from the government and the nation’s corporations onto individuals and their families. You can see this intention beneath the surface of almost every recent conservative initiative: Social Security privatization, personal accounts for health care (the so-called Health Savings Accounts), attacks on labor market regulations, and the perpetual crusade to slash the government’s revenue through regressive tax cuts—a strategy explicitly tagged as “starving the beast”—and block the government from playing a useful role in our economic lives. You can even see this go-it-alone principle in our stance toward our supposed international allies.

While this fast-moving reassignment of economic risk would be bad news in any period, it’s particularly harmful today. As the new century unfolds, we face prodigious economic challenges, many of which have helped to generate both greater inequalities and a higher degree of economic insecurity in our lives. But the dominant vision has failed to develop a hopeful, positive narrative about how these challenges can be met in such a way as to uplift the majority.

If you’d like to read the full text of President Obama’s acceptance speech last night it is reprinted here in full.

If you reject the notion that this nation’s promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election.

If you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election.

If you believe that new plants and factories can dot our landscape; that new energy can power our future; that new schools can provide ladders of opportunity to this nation of dreamers; if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules, then I need you to vote this November.

America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now.  Yes, our path is harder – but it leads to a better place.  Yes our road is longer – but we travel it together.  We don’t turn back.  We leave no one behind.  We pull each other up.  We draw strength from our victories, and we learn from our mistakes, but we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon, knowing that Providence is with us, and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on Earth.

The election theme music is Bruce Springstein’s “We Take Care of Our Own”.  Quite a contrast to the Throw yo Momma from the Trian, isn’t it?  I love this song because it was written partially about Hurricane Katrina.

“From the shotgun shack to the Super Dome …”

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


58 Comments on “Friday Morning Reads”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    The “crime” of Sandra Fluke is that as a private citizen she stood up for the right to have contraceptives included in healthcare costs that should never have been “argued” in the first place. A woman’s body is a woman’s body and she should never be placed in a position that would find her essentially “begging” to maintain that coverage.

    But she has been labeled, mocked, and villified by the men and women of the Right Wing for her efforts to present a complete picture of what that entails. It is truly shocking that this could happen to someone merely because she has offered another dimension for the need of a woman to exercise her rights as a citizen, a woman, and as a consumer.

    I have witnessed a torrent of hate filled postings surrounding her. Rather than address the rampant sexism and misogyny that erupted from the filthy mouth of Rush Limbaugh, these partisan posters have excused his behavior out of shameful partisanship and marked it with a “stamp of approval” which is unconsionable.

    What does this say about us as a nation? We have witnessed applause for the death penalty, the booing of a gay soldier, the acceptance of letting uninsured sick people die, the villification of woman’s rights, and the racism involved in seeking a “birth certificate” as proof of legitimacy.

    Yet just this week alone “outrage” was produced over some unknown CA legislator who compared the GOP to Goebbels propaganda. Something, I might add, not too far from the mark.

    If Sandra Fluke is not safe from these character assassinations then who is? The plan is to “destroy” her and it may very well succeed if other women who wish to speak out are silenced in this fashion with their dignity and right to speak out are threatened in this way.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    Just a reminder that when Hillary Rosen criticized Ann Romney for “never having had to work a day of her life” the Right demanded her scalp.

    Just goes to show how feigned outrage can be produced when it suits their side.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks for the great roundup, Dak.

    The FBI is now involved in the investigation into the supposed theft of Mitt Romney’s tax returns.

    • bostonboomer says:

      “So far, there’s just zero proof. It’s like every bad Hollywood plot, which makes me think this is fishy,” said Marc Maiffret, chief technology officer for BeyondTrust Software Inc. of Carlsbad, Calif. “But any competent hacker, any good penetration-tester, if they wanted to get Mitt Romney’s tax returns, it wouldn’t be that hard to do. These breaches are absolutely possible. If you can sit at the computer it would take two minutes to bypass the log-in information.”

      “The only time you’re going to hold something over someone’s head is if they’re trying to keep stuff secret,” Maiffret said.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Romney’s carpet-bombing ad campaign

    will run 15 separate ads spread across Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.

    So I guess he’s giving up on Michigan and Wisconsin? I really don’t think he has a chance in New Hampshire. Maybe he feels like he has to carry one of his “home states.”

    • RalphB says:

      Is Romney really going to give up Wisconsin? That makes his path to 270 a lot harder and essentially hands Obama about 247 electoral votes virtually uncontested.

      Gotta be lots of missing strategery there someplace.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    August jobs report lower than expected

    The economy added 96,000 jobs in August, pushing unemployment down to 8.1 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday.

    The jobs figure missed most mainstream forecasts for August, with analysts’ predictions hovering around 125,000.

    The drop in the unemployment rate from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent serves as somewhat of a silver lining for the Obama campaign but it was mostly due to more workers leaving the labor force.

  6. ANonOMouse says:

    RMoney’s Convention bounce is fading quickly,even in the (R)ASSmussen

    Rasmussen (Friday) 3-Day Tracking

    1500 LV 3.0

    Obama 45

    RMoney 46

    Romney +1

    • HT says:

      I cannot understand why these polls show virtually no difference. Who are they polling? How can Romney be that high?

      • ANonOMouse says:

        This particular poll is a 7 day rolling average. After the convention Romney went to +4, but he’s steadily fallen back. The Gallup poll, which I trust much more, hasn’t updated it’s 3-day rolling average this morning. As of yesterday the Gallup 3-day had Obama +1. I’m anxious to see today’s Gallup.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Excuse me….I got the average backwards. Gallup is 7 day rolling average Rasmussen is 3 day.

      • dakinikat says:

        The Republicans have spent 3 decades now ruining public education. It is beginning to show.

      • bostonboomer says:

        These national polls are meaningless anyway. The only thing that matters is electoral votes. Even Ben Smith admits that Romney has an even more difficult path to victory now than before the conventions.

        http://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/obama-rolls-out-of-convention

      • RalphB says:

        You got the question right. It all depends on the polling sample. How white is it and how male are the main questions I always have about that. Does it match the electorate for the 2008 election or for 2010?

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I agree BB, National polls really don’t matter, except that it gives you the pulse of the nation as a whole. I enjoy watching the process of people making up their minds.

    • NW Luna says:

      Well, duh! headpalm

      But I am glad to see this point covered. Not holding my breath that facts will influence policy if we are so ill-fated to end up with Vulture/Voucher.

  7. RalphB says:

    About civility and wingnut fauxrage, I agree with Bob Cesca.

    Republicans Cry About Lack of “Civility” at Dem Convention

    You know who shouldn’t be lecturing the Democrats about civility? The people who gave us swift-boating, the Southern Strategy, the outing of Valerie Plame, Birthers, Reverend Wright videos around the clock, “Obama pals around with domestic terrorists,” the exploitation of 9/11, comparing a triple amputee Vietnam veteran to Saddam Hussein, the booing of a gay soldier, and the party that sported Purple Heart band-aids at the 2004 convention to mock another decorated Vietnam veteran, John Kerry, who was wounded in combat. And no one on the floor of the Democratic convention hurled peanuts at an African American camerawomen, shouting, “This is how we feed the animals.”
    […]
    So the contrast between a strong Democratic Party and a flaky, unstable, flip-floppy Republican Party has prompted the GOP to spend the week whining and pooping its big boy pants about how the Democrats are being so mean. For a Republican Party dependent upon lies and intellectual dishonesty, the truth really hurts.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    A 16-year-old girl named Alyssa Douglas sent out a tweet advocating assassination of President Obama.

    Alyssa Douglas@Alyssa_Douglas

    Someone needs to assassinate Obama…like ASAP #DieYouPieceOfShit
    September 7, 2012

    Her twitter account has been removed. I wonder if she’s heard from the Secret Service/FBI yet?

    • dakinikat says:

      Sheesh … what kind of parents does she have?

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Hopefully she has the kind who will confiscate her communication devices, permanently.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        And I can’t help but laugh just imagining what would have happened to this young woman in the world I grew up in. She wouldn’t have made it until sunset without a spanking. In a way she reminds me of those boys on the school bus who bullied, berated and humilated the senior citizen bus monitor. They have absolutely no respect for authority or fear of consequence. In my childhood, the first conseqence would have been the nuns would have spanked you with the paddle or a ruler. Then a note or a phone call would have alerted your parents or grandparents and you would get it twice over when you got home. It was abuse, but it worked. These folks long for the “good old days”, they might want to begin with their own children.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Spanking a 16-year-old? That would be totally inappropriate. I’m against spanking in all cases, but spanking past puberty? That could lead to very serious sexual and psychological problems. This young woman obviously has parents who haven’t brought her up right. If they’re angry, it would probably only be because she embarrassed them. She had to learn her hatred at home or at school. It’s not genetic.

        • dakinikat says:

          Judge Tells Sexually Abused Woman, “When You Blame Others, You Give Up Your Power To Change” http://colm.es/QmJaUb

          Arizona trial judge Jacqueline Hatch, a Jan Brewer appointee, also told the woman, “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you.” And this is all because ”a drunk Arizona police officer named Robb Gary Evans drove himself to a bar, flashed his badge to avoid paying cover at the door, and then walked up behind a woman, put his hand up her skirt, and ran his fingers over her genitals. A jury convicted him of sexual abuse, a felony with a maximum sentence of 2 and a half years in prison, and Evans was fired from the police force after an internal investigation.”

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I agree BB, I’m not trying to soft peddle corporal punishment, it’s just the irony that this young woman’s hatred likely came from the sort of parents who long for the “good old days”. Most of those who long for those days didn’t live in those days. In those days corporal punishment was THE preferred method of punishment at home and at school. The Sisters of Mercy at the elementary school I attended K-8 and the HS I attended had corporal punishment down to a fine art, I got a paddling in the 7th grade. I was caught smoking behind the grotto while I was supposed to be at mass. I got it again when I got home. Most of us who got the first paddle from the good sisters, didn’t get the second one. 🙂

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I read that DAK, Again, the response from that judge is a perfect example of the “good old days” retrograde mindset of the right. That judges comment would have been a common admonition when I was a young woman. If you were raped or manhandled in those days, it was just assumed that you had done something to bring it on yourself. The Judge owes the young woman an apology and if censure against the judge is possible, it should happen.

  9. dakinikat says:

    Beata: This is for you:

    Financial Times ‏@FinancialTimes

    Podcast – FT Arts: Woody Guthrie remembered http://on.ft.com/P89qVO

  10. dakinikat says:

    Greg Sargent ‏@ThePlumLineGS

    Five questions David Gregory should ask Romney on Meet this weekend (but won’t): http://wapo.st/RjFtUu via @jbplainblog

  11. dakinikat says:

    The Audubon Society ‏@audubonsociety

    Tests confirm tar balls found on two Louisiana beaches after hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill http://ow.ly/dxTlE

  12. RalphB says:

    Front pages of newspapers from swing states. Appears positive for Obama.

    Obama’s Message Breaks Through In Swing State Newspapers

    • dakinikat says:

      It always amazes me to compare the audience in the two conventions. One is made up of angry white people that all look the same, dress the same, and look like they want you out of their way. The other has the faces of our melting point. Some times I think this is all it takes to turn tides. It sure will in the future. My children are racially mixed and it appears my grandchildren may be even more racially mixed. That’s the future of america. Continuing diversity and wonderful differences!

      http://www.s4.brown.edu/us2010/Data/Report/report08292012.pdf

      • dakinikat says:

        We find that almost all communities—whether large immigrant gateways or small towns in the nation’s heartland—have grown more diverse. However, the
        data show a wide range of diversity proles, from predominantly white communities (a shrinking number) to minority-majority and no-majority ones (an increasing number). The pace of local diversity gains, as well as shifts in racial-ethnic composition, has similarly varied.

        While surging Hispanic and Asian populations often drive these patterns, other groups, including African immigrants, Native Americans, and multi-racial individuals, contribute to the distinctive mixes evident from one community to the next.

        As for the correlates of diversity, communities with large populations, abundant rental housing, and a range of jobs are more diverse. So are those
        where the government and/or the military is a key employer. Locationally, diversity tends to be higher in coastal regions and along the southern border.
        In short, a growing number of Americans now live in communities where multiple groups—Hispanics, blacks, and Asians as well as whites—are present
        in signicant proportions.

        All those angry white people that are voting republican are losing a zero sum game.

      • RalphB says:

        Either the Republican party will completely retool, and lose their teahadist types, or it will disappear as a national force in the next decade. I’m grateful for the diversity for a lot of reasons.

      • RalphB says:

        Haha. The 2 cities in TX ranked in the bottom 25 for diversity have majority hispanic populations, so it’s non-white non-diversity. 🙂

  13. dakinikat says:

    UPDATE: 100,000 People Tell CNN To Fire Contributor For Sexist Comments | Over 100,000 people have signed onto a petition calling on CNN to fire Erick Erickson, the contributor who dubbed the largely female lineup at the Democratic Convention ‘the Vagina Monoglogues.’ According to Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of Ultraviolet, which launched the petition, it sailed past 100,000 signatures this morning, and is still steadily growing.

    http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/09/07/814801/erickson-sexist-petition-grows/

  14. dakinikat says:

    More on that Judge:

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/09/07/809861/judge-to-woman-sexually-assaulted-by-cop-when-you-blame-others-you-give-up-your-power-to-change/

    Bad things can happen in bars, Hatch told the victim, adding that other people might be more intoxicated than she was.

    “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you,” Hatch said.

    Hatch told the victim and the defendant that no one would be happy with the sentence she gave, but that finding an appropriate sentence was her duty.

    “I hope you look at what you’ve been through and try to take something positive out of it,” Hatch said to the victim in court. “You learned a lesson about friendship and you learned a lesson about vulnerability.”

    Hatch said that the victim was not to blame in the case, but that all women must be vigilant against becoming victims.

    “When you blame others, you give up your power to change,” Hatch said that her mother used to say.

    Worst person in the world …