Thursday Reads: John Boehner and His “Knuckleheads,” Long-Lost Roman Fort, and Much MorePosted: September 18, 2014 Filed under: children, Crime, House of Representatives, Labor unions, morning reads, physical abuse, psychology, science, U.S. Politics, Violence against women | Tags: Adrian Peterson, archaeology, Arizona Cardinals, body odor, Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Dunkin' Donuts, Gernsheim Germany, human mating behaviors, International Franchise Association, John Boehner, Jonathan Dwyer, knucklehead caucus, McDonald's, Minnesota Vikings, NFL owners, political science, Roger Goodell, Roman fort, sports talk radio 26 Comments
Did you hear about the speech John Boehner gave on Tuesday? He was talking to the International Franchise Association. He warned owners of McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and other franchise businesses that Obama’s NLRB is out to destroy them. My goodness! If these one-percenters were forced to pay their employees something approaching a living wage, it would be a nightmare! From The Hill, Boehner warns biz: NLRB is ‘coming right at you’.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), lamenting the rise of “arrogant agencies” he said is threatening the American dream, warned the franchise industry on Tuesday that a politically motivated National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is intent on unionizing its workers.
In brief but forceful remarks to the International Franchise Association, Boehner called the NLRB a “political horse,” controlled by Republicans when they occupy the White House and by unions when a Democrat is president.
“They’re going to do everything they can to try to change the rules and try to find a way to organize your businesses,” Boehner told the group.
He cited the NLRB’s recent finding that the McDonald’s corporation has joint-employer status, along with its franchises, over the chain’s thousands of workers.
The designation, if upheld, could force corporate managers to the table in collective bargaining discussions and expose them to claims of labor rights violations from workers at chain stores and businesses.
Horrors! Because everyone knows the American Dream is about a few rich assholes getting richer on the backs of millions of minimum wage workers who can barely feed their families.
But here’s the good part. During his remarks, Boehner complained about the Republican “knuckleheads” he has to deal with as Speaker of the House. The Hill reports:
“On any given day, 16 of my members decide they’re going to go this way, and all the sudden I have nothing,” he said. “You might notice I have a few knuckleheads in my conference.”
As a result, Boehner claims he only has a “paper majority.”
A group of the most conservative Republicans has frequently plagued the Speaker and upended plans for votes, most recently in July when GOP leaders were forced to pull a vote on their bill responding to thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the southern border.
In April, Boehner mocked some members of his conference for being reluctant to vote on immigration reform. “Here’s the attitude: ‘Ohhhh. Don’t make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard,’ ” he said.
Boehner added in his comments on Tuesday that “dealing with Democrats is one thing, dealing with the knuckleheads is another.”
At Salon, Jim Newell comments on Boehner’s “knucklehead problem.”
A specialized sort of barometric collapse hit Washington, D.C., last night: a sudden knowledge that the capital’s stocks of Merlot and unfiltered cigarettes had been depleted, and Speaker John Boehner was turning surly. And the target of his abuse, yet again, were the very specimens over whom he attempts to leverage power: the House Republicans conference.
Boehner, speaking to the International Franchise Association (read: people who don’t want to pay their fast-food workers more), described the House majority over which he lords as a “paper majority,” and then went on to label a dissident faction within his conference as “knuckleheads.” ….
Newell mentions Boehner’s complaint about House Republicans who are afraid to vote for an immigration bill (see above in The Hill piece), and an earlier rant by the Speaker from 2012.
“We got some of the smartest people in the country who serve here, and some of the dumbest. We got some of the best people you’d ever meet, and some of the raunchiest. We’ve got ‘em all.”
Why don’t Democrats pull together a bunch of these Boehner quotes and use them in the Midterm campaigns, Newell asks. As for Speaker Boehner,
Why was Boehner insulting members of the House GOP less than two months ahead of an election? Because he’s a strange dude, for starters. Gets his Irish up sometimes, as Paul Ryan would say. But Boehner’s comments were also part of an elaborate pitch to the assembled franchisees to elect more House Republicans this November. He has a “paper majority” in which a few wiseacres can separate themselves from the herd and force the House leadership to pull legislation from the floor. Pity the speaker.
It’s a midterm election cycle in the sixth year of the Obama administration, so the odds are that any new members added to the speaker’s Republican roster this November will be natural fits for the Knucklehead Caucus. The problems Boehner has had (not) moving pieces of legislation these past four years won’t go away, because they’re problems with Boehner’s leadership style. He’s too tentative to threaten the knuckleheads’ committee assignments and access to party campaign cash. He’s abandoned earmarks. And his members know that, except in a handful of cases, his threats to pass legislation with Democratic votes are bluffs. The new knuckleheads will find him just as easy to roll as the previous ones have.
We’ve talked many times here about the differences between liberals and conservatives, and how hard it is for us to understand right-wingers’ thought processes. Well, did you know that liberals and conservatives even smell different?
From The Washington Post, Study: Liberals and conservatives sniff out like-minded mates by body odor.
According to a study published this month in the American Journal of Political Science, people can literally sniff out ideology — and this may explain why so many couples share political beliefs. Or, as the study’s title says, “Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues.”
Researchers led by Brown University political scientist Rose McDermott found that, to a small but significant degree, people prefer the body odor of those who vote as they do.
Previous studies showed long-term mates are more similar when it comes to politics than anything else besides religion. Researchers set out to determine whether this is a purely socially driven phenomenon, or whether biology plays a role.
To test the link between smell and party affiliation, researchers rounded up 146 people aged 18 to 40 from “a large city in the northeast United States.” They used a seven-point scale to determine where they fell on the political spectrum. They sent 21 of these —10 liberals and 11 conservatives — home with fragrance-free soap and shampoo and a gauze pad taped to their armpit. The subjects were told not to smoke, drink, use deodorant or perfume, have sex, eat fragrant foods, sleep with people or pets or linger near strong odors.
They returned the stinky armpit pads 24 hours later. Then 125 participants sniffed the stinky pads, taking a break between whiffs to cleanse their nasal palate with the aroma of peppermint oil. The sniffers, who never saw the people whose smells they were evaluating, then rated the attractiveness of each armpit sample on a 1 to 5 scale.
The subjects found the smell of those more ideologically similar to themselves more attractive than those with opposing views.
Read about the conclusions researchers drew from these results at the WaPo.
How about some archaeology news? German archaeologists have discovered a “long lost Roman fort.” dating to the 1st Century. From Science Daily:
In the course of an educational dig in Gernsheim in the Hessian Ried, archaeologists from Frankfurt University have discovered a long lost Roman fort: A troop unit made up out of approximately 500 soldiers (known as a cohort) was stationed there between 70/80 and 110/120 AD. Over the past weeks, the archaeologists found two V-shaped ditches, typical of this type of fort, and the post holes of a wooden defensive tower as well as other evidence from the time after the fort was abandoned.
An unusually large number of finds were made. This is because the Roman troops dismantled the fort and filled in the ditches when they left. In the process they disposed of a lot of waste, especially in the inner ditch. “A bonanza for us,” according to Prof. Dr. Hans-Markus von Kaenel from the Goethe University Institute of Archaeology. “We filled box after box with shards of fine, coarse and transport ceramics; dating them will allow us to determine when the fort was abandoned with greater accuracy than was possible before.”
Up until now, little was known about Roman Gernsheim, even though findings from the Roman era have been cropping up here since the 19th century. “Previously, the only thing that seemed certain based on the finds was that an important village-like settlement, or “vicus,” must have been located here from the 1st to the 3rd century, comparable with similar villages which have already been shown to have existed in Groß-Gerau, Dieburg or Ladenburg,” explained dig leader Dr. Thomas Maurer. He has been travelling from Frankfurt to South Hessia for years and has published his findings in a large publication about the North Hessian Ried during Roman imperial times.
“It was assumed,” continued Maurer, “that this settlement had to have been based on a fort, since it was customary for the families of the soldiers to live outside the fort in a village-like settlement.” “We really hit the jackpot with this excavation campaign,” said a delighted Prof. Dr. Hans-Markus von Kaenel. “The results are a milestone in reconstructing the history of the Hessian Ried during Roman times.” For almost 20 years now, von Kaenel has been studying this area with the help of his colleagues and students using surveys, digs, material processing and analyses. The results have been published in over 50 articles.
Read the rest at the link.
There was more bad new for the NFL yesterday. Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer (pictured in cuffs at right) was arrested for two domestic violence incidents that happened in July. Dwyer reportedly attacked his wife and caused a bone fracture in one incident, and in the other he threw a shoe at his 18-month old son. He is also charged with preventing his Kayla from calling 911 for help. Fortunately, Kayla immediately took the child and left the state. The New York Daily News reports, Arizona Cardinals shut down running back Jonathan Dwyer over domestic violence charges.
Police said Dwyer hit his wife, causing a fracture. It was not immediately clear if the shoe hit their baby, Jonathan Jr.
Officers went to Dwyer’s home on July 21 after neighbors reported a domestic disturbance. His wife brushed cops off, but later told detectives Dwyer was there when authorities were looking for him, but hid in a bathroom until police left.
The following day, Dwyer snatched a cell phone from his wife’s hand and threw it from the second floor of their home to prevent her from calling the cops, Crump said.
Dwyer is also accused of sending his wife text messages threatening to harm himself if she reported the assaults.
The Cardinals immediately deactivated Dwyer. They really had no choice after what happened with the Vikings and Adrian Peterson.
“We became aware of these allegations this afternoon when notified by Phoenix police and are cooperating fully,” the Cardinals said in a statement. “Given the serious nature of the allegations we have taken the immediate step to deactivate Jonathan from all team activities.”
One local Boston sports station has nominated Dwyer for “biggest asshole in the NFL.” I’ve been listening to the two Boston sports stations and ESPN radio quite a bit, and I’ve been really heartened by the reactions of the male program hosts and callers. One host said yesterday that he had read a parenting book over the weekend. He has never hit his kids, but he was so shocked by Adrian Peterson’s reported behavior that he wanted to know more about good parenting. Another host said that he had been beaten as a child, and for the first time he has begun to understand that his parents abused him.
Also yesterday, attorney Gloria Allred held a press conference in Atlanta with the best friend and the father of Rasheeda Watley, a survivor of abuse by Chicago Bears player Brandon Marshall and called for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to step down. WSB TV Atlanta:
At a news conference Wednesday, Allred detailed the case of Rasheeda Watley, who claimed then-boyfriend Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos had physically abused her….
Allred was joined by Watley’s father and best friend, who both said they reported the abuse to the NFL and Goodell but nothing was done.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of family violence issues has come under fire in recent weeks after a video was released showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee Janay Palmer twice inside the elevator of an Atlantic City casino in February.
Allred said the investigation process is flawed within the NFL organization and it needs to change.
“Our focus is on the process and we want the process to be fair. We want the investigation that is conducted in the future, investigations, of NFL players to afford due process to victims as well as NFL players,” Allred said. “The present process is obviously not fair.”
According to Watley’s father, no one from the NFL even talked to himself, his daughter, or any witnesses of the abuse.
I need to wrap this up, but I want to mention one more article from Bloomberg Businessweek, Roger Goodell at the 50-50 Yard Line. It’s a fairly long read that explains why Goodell’s job is not yet on the line. He has made tons of money for NFL owners, and–let’s face it–money is all they really care about.
So . . . what else is happening? Let us know in the comment thread, and have a great Thursday!
Sunday Reads: Who says no to women? The Bears….Posted: October 21, 2012 Filed under: 2012 elections, 2012 presidential campaign, abortion rights, Accommodation and Compromise, Affordable Care Act (ACA), Barack Obama, birth control, child sexual abuse, Foreign Affairs, Iran, Main Stream Media, Mitt Romney, morning reads, nature, Paycheck Fairness Act, Planned Parenthood, Religious Conscience, Reproductive Rights, Republican politics, the GOP, War on Women, Women's Healthcare, Women's Rights | Tags: Boy Scouts of America, Chicago Bears, Gloria Allred, Lincoln Assassination, Miami Archdiocese, perversion files, ReConstitution 2012, Rupert Murdoch 68 Comments
I am using a new blog editor for this post, so hopefully it formats properly…
Ooooo, do I have some interesting links for you this morning. And since there are so many, let’s start and finish with animal stories.
First we turn to the Bears…and the title of today”s post is a hint:
Owners of Chicago Bears Gin Up Fear About Access to Contraception as a Religious Freedom Issue
On Sunday, the owners of the Chicago Bears hosted a meeting at the team’s practice facility where religious leaders and politicians (bad combo) pounced all over the “Obamacare” requirement that contraception be covered by employer insurance plans.
According to the Chicago Tribune, speakers lamented the “eroding freedom to speak in the language of faith in the public square.” How denying women contraception the same women pay for through their own insurance premiums equals “freedom of speech” is anyone’s guess.
“Some speakers cited evidence of religious persecution in abortion laws, gay marriage, and efforts to characterize opponents of the contraception mandate as anti-women.”
So let me get this straight: If a woman makes the extraordinarily personal decision to end a pregnancy, everyone who disagrees with that decision is being religiously persecuted? How do my reproductive decisions affect your religious faith or freedom in the slightest?
Trick question! They don’t.
Apparently, the team’s senior director of special projects serenaded the crowd with a “religious liberty-themed rendition of ‘Bear Down, Chicago Bears,’” which sounds absolutely hideous and should qualify as “religious persecution” itself, if we’re going by the Bears’ event speakers’ standards.
Sounds like torture to me.
I don’t understand it…and I know, you know, that it pisses me off, so what else can I say.
I have a few more women’s issue links for you:
This first one is no surprise, Abortion may be legal, but very difficult in many states; in past 2 years, 41 set new limits – The Washington Post
We have been talking about the measures the GOP is taking to stick it to women. War on Women? You bet your ass there is a war on women!
From the Topeka Capital Journal: GOP: Women’s Rights and Equal Pay are “Small Things”
This is another review of articles and memes but it is good to see it getting some attention in these newspapers, at least.
Add the Miami Archdiocese to the list of plaintiffs against the ACA mandatory birth control coverage: Miami Archdiocese sues over birth control mandate
One thing we have not mentioned here is the release of names from the Boy Scout files. There is a database here: Database: Search the Boy Scout ‘Perversion’ Files where you can search these files, and seeing all the names of pedophiles is very disturbing. Pages and pages of names!
Damn, I gotta lighten the mood, all these stories are depressing me. How about a birth control story that is funny? Giants rookie David Wilson compares himself to birth control, thinks he’ll be a Hall of Famer
In his first NFL game, New York Giants rookie running back David Wilson found himself in Tom Coughlin’s doghouse after fumbling on just his second rushing attempt of his career, a costly fumble that derailed a possible scoring drive. That fumble may have contributed to Wilson receiving just four rushing attempts over the following three weeks, but it hasn’t affected his confidence.
According to Bob Glauber of Newsday, Wilson just thinks the team needs to believe in him and he’ll get the job done when called upon.
“I’m like birth control. You have to believe in me. Like birth control, 99.9 percent of the time I’m going to come through for you,” Wilson said.
“I never know when that opportunity is coming, and that’s why you have to stay prepared. But when I do get that opportunity, I’m going to get lost in the moment and keep it going. Once I get my chance to go out there and play football and do what I do, I’m not going to want to let go of that.”
I’m like birth control…. I’m gonna come through for you, 99.9 percent of the time. Sounds like a Obama t-shirt to me!
I guess you all may have seen the move Murdoch is making here in the US, rumor has it he is looking to buy Chicago Tribune and the LA Times.
Here is a quick read for you on the GOP agenda: An Excerpt From “How to Rig an Election: The G.O.P. aims to paint the country red”—By Victoria Collier (Harper’s Magazine)
I saved this next article from last week, it was very interesting to read and watch these videos. Check it out: ReConstitution 2012: Visualizing of the Language of the Debates in Real Time
“We wanted to offer a tool for people to objectively look at the debates, as opposed to deal with pundits, who come on immediately after and with no data tell you who won or lost the debate,” John Rothenberg explains in this short video from the Creators Project. His emphasis — “with no data!” — is indignant. Rothenberg and the rest of the team at Sosolimited, an art and technology studio founded by a group of MIT grads, decided to build an interactive web app to provide a radically different perspective on the debates.
ReConstitution 2012 is a dizzying display of animated typography, color-coded words splashing across a web page as the debate progresses. You can follow the first debate in real time, fast forward (x2) or super fast forward (x10). The program runs a statistical analysis of Obama and Romney’s words to highlight those associated with positive and negative emotions, or even lying. Click on “stats” to compare the candidates on “positivity” or “shit they repeat” — words like “tax” and “small business,” of course. The candidates are also placed on a sliding scale from “truthy” to “deceptive,” based on how much their language patterns match those statistically associated with lying or telling the truth. Using “we” instead of “I,” for example, is supposedly a sign of deception.
Bloomberg has some bones to pick with Obama and Romney: Bloomberg Has Tough Criticism for Obama and Romney
For Mr. Romney: “I do think that Romney’s business experience would be valuable, but I don’t know that running Bain Capital gives you the experience to run the country.”
For Mr. Obama: “This business of ‘Well, they can afford it; they should pay their fair share?’ Who are you to say ‘Somebody else’s fair share?’ ”
For both: “Their economic plans are not real. I think that’s clear.”
Asshole! But…if that comment about fair share is all he is critical of, sounds a bit like sour grapes from a man who is going to be hit with Obama’s kind of fair share.
The latest on the poll watch, well as of midnight, via Nate Silver: Oct. 20: Calm Day in Forecast, but Volatility Ahead
Ohio’s largest newspaper endorses Obama. Ohio newspaper again backs Obama, though with ‘less enthusiasm or optimism’
Less enthusiasm? That is an understatement.
Drudge has tweeted some surprise crap about Gloria Allred, and Joe Cannon takes a look at it here: Cannonfire…The new October surprise (update) Supposedly, Gloria Allred has a game-changing October Surprise ready to go.
Joseph thinks it has something to do with a Democrat, but Radar thinks the dirt is on it is Mitt himself.
Emptywheel thinks the “October Surprise” has to do with Iran, and that Hillary is involved…Hint: If Hillary’s Involved with Negotiations, They’ve Started Already
Have you noticed how items at the grocery store seem to have the same size packaging but less product? Supermarkets Find that Less Inventory Means More Money (and Less Waste): Scientific American
We think we want more. We actually want less: less variety, less confusion, less options. This counterintuitive Paradox of Choice (watch the TED talk by Swarthmore College psychologist Barry Schwartz to understand how this works) is driving a new movement by supermarkets, restaurants, and others to slash some of the billions of dollars in food waste every year, and save hundreds of millions of dollars, by doing something simple: offering less.
Ugh….Yeah, but keep the price the same, we love paying more for stuff and get less for our money!
Hey, this next link I found funny, now I know for sure I could never get a job as a Met Police Officer…not because my ass is so big! But because I have too many tattoos! Tattoo ban for Metropolitan Police officers
The head of the Metropolitan Police has banned officers and staff from getting visible tattoos because they “damage the professional image” of the force.
Whoa there! That ain’t right!
The memo sent to officers and civilian staff on Monday made clear they must not get any more visible tattoos and declare all those they currently have within a month, or face a disciplinary hearing.
The Met’s official statement said: “The standard of appearance required from serving police officers and staff has recently been reviewed to promote consistency.”
It also said applicants wanting to join the police service were already to declare tattoos.
Mr Tully said it seemed rather a harsh policy and questioned the need to use misconduct procedures over tattoos.
“Clearly anything that is overtly offensive shouldn’t be allowed but I think using the sledgehammer, which the commissioner seems to want to use for gross misconduct under our discipline procedures, for anyone who has these or doesn’t declare them is a bit heavy handed.”
Damn, taking it too far in my opinion.
I know I started this post about animal stories, well…take a look at these images from a 15th century manuscript…beasties and hunting drawings:
BibliOdyssey: The Time of the Hunt
Traps for squirrels:
And some kind of Quado horror creature, this dude has a face in his gut:
Personally, I like the image with the midget in a basket…but you can go look for it yourself at the link.
This video is amazing: Kind of Incredible | TPM Editors Blog
And finally one more animal story I am sure you will like: A Gorilla Is Born at Lincoln Park Zoo
They have not yet determined the sex of baby but it looks like everyone is doing fine.
Hope you all enjoy your Sunday, and we will see you around the blog later!