Wife Beating, Union Thugs and an “old Soviet Union, Marxist-Socialist theme”

I don’t pretend that I detest the Right Wing and the ideals they champion. That disgust I feel towards Republicans primarily comes from their stance on choice and their War on Women. But…when I see some of the other crap that is coming from the mouths of GOP Representatives and GOP “surrogates” and DINOs, I have to laugh and shake my head and say out loud, “What the fuck?”

Take the three things I have mentioned in the title of this post…here’s a summary of my WTF opinions for you.

First off, the Wife Beating 101 course in being taught by non-other than recent Romney campaign BFF Pat Robertson. Not that this asshole has ever said anything outright misogynistic, racist, hateful shit before (snark)…but this latest comment so soon after appearing with the Republican Nominee for PRESIDENT has to be addressed by Romney, or at least called out by the MSM, for christ’s sakes.

Pat Robertson: Since ‘We Don’t Condone Wife-Beating These Days’ Husband Should ‘Move to Saudi Arabia’ to Beat Her | rightwingwatch.org

Mitt Romney this weekend stumped alongside televangelist Pat Robertson, not minding Robertson’s legacy of incendiary, insensitive, heartless and apocalyptic rhetoric that has gotten him in trouble in the past. Apparently, Robertson’s own CBN has become aware of Robertson’s problematic statements, and may even be editing his controversial claims out of episode archives.

For example, today on the 700 Club’s “Bring It On” segment where viewers ask Robertson questions, one man wondered how he should go about repairing his marriage with a wife who “insults” him and once tried to attack him.

“Well, you could become a Muslim and you could beat her,” Robertson responded. “This man’s got to stand up to her and he can’t let her get away with this stuff,” Robertson continued, “I don’t think we condone wife-beating these days but something has got to be done.”

What the Fuck?

Pat Robertson to humiliated hubby: ‘Well, you could become a Muslim and you could beat her’ | The Raw Story

Reacting to a letter from a viewer who said he’s lost his self confidence due to his wife insulting him, Robertson said Monday: “Well, you could become a Muslim and you could beat her.” He then turned to his female co-host, who seemed to balk at the offhanded remark, and asked: “You don’t want to go to Saudi Arabia?”

“I think this man’s got to stand up to her,” Robertson continued. “He can’t let her get away with this stuff. And, uh, you know, I don’t know… I don’t think we condone wife beating these days, but something’s got to be done to make her…”

“Not physically,” Robertson’s co-host injected. “But I mean, why would she not want to talk through their problems? That’s so…”

The televangelist cut her off. “She is just totally, well, she’s rebellious,” Robertson said. “Chances are she was rebellious with her father and mother, she’s a rebellious child and she doesn’t want to submit to any authority. And she probably had temper tantrums when she was a kid, you know, the little girl, ‘I hate you, I hate you,’ and she wants to slap her father. Well, that’s the same kinda thing.”

“She’s transferred the father now,” he continued. “I hate to say everything’s gotta be some kind of psychological counseling, but that’s the problem. She does not understand authority. When she was growing up, nobody made her behave, and now you’ve got a 13-year-old in a 30-year-old woman’s body. Now, what do you do with that? Well, you can’t divorce her according to scripture. So I say, move to Saudi Arabia.”

Of course, Romney must condone the diarrhea that flows with such force from Roberson’s mouth…but it ain’t like Pat hasn’t spewed before.

In another relationship advice segment from July, Robertson recommended a man “dump” his Muslim girlfriend, calling it “Christ-like” because the Bible prohibits religious inter-marriage. He justified that by saying that Jesus didn’t want Christians to be “nice and friendly” all the time.

You know, here in Banjoville…we have our fair share of Christians who aren’t “Nice and Friendly.” They are outright assholes and since Pat Robertson is obviously a “approved” Romney supporter and surrogate, it seems to me that Mormons can be just as “not” nice and friendly as Christians can. Hypocrisy and hate brought to you by the religious right.

In other “WTF” news, Allen West: Obama Campaign Has ‘Soviet Union, Marxist-Socialist Theme’ | Video Cafe

Yeah, check this out…

Tea party favorite Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is slamming President Barack Obama for using the word “Forward” as his campaign slogan, insisting that it is an “old Soviet Union, Marxist-Socialist theme.”

“This is about whether we continue to be a republic governed by the Constitution,” West told a Republican Jewish Coalition rally in Boca Raton, Florida on Sunday. “Or will we become a liberal-progressive, bureaucratic, welfare nanny state, which is exactly what the other side wants?”

He continued: “They want to bring out an old Soviet Union, Marxist-Socialist theme for their campaign called ‘Forward’. I have to ask you one simple question. Where is the Soviet Union today?”

After the Obama campaign unveiled its campaign slogan in April, conservative outlets like The Washington Times and Breitbart.com warned that the word had a ties to Marxism.

Hmmmm…ya know, when I was in Washington, DC this summer I made the discovery that the DC Metro slogan is…”Forward.”


Well, if there was one “old Soviet Union, Marxist-Socialist” themed “thing” out there…it’s gotta be public transportation. But as that link to C&L pointed out…

“The Obama campaign apparently didn’t look backwards into history when selecting its new campaign slogan — or maybe they did,” Fox Business host Lou Dobbs said at the time. “That’s because ‘Forward’ has a very long history with Marxists and socialists and communists.”

“Forward” is also the motto of Wisconsin, where Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan serves as a congressman.

(h/t: Think Progress, Shark Tank)

Alrighty then…now for the Union Thugs.  As you all know, Chicago teachers are striking, for the first time in 25 years.

4 Reasons Chicago’s Teachers Are on Strike | Alternet

Editor’s Note: For additional information on this topic, check out AlterNet’s Education page and two recent AlterNet stories, A Chicago Teacher Speaks Out: This Is Why We Fight and Why I’m Striking .

Across mainstream media and through the megaphone of city government, Chicago public school teachers have been consistently demonized and criticized for everything from self-serving greed, to negligence of their duties, and lack of care and respect for students.

Mayor Emanuel and his hand-picked school board—stacked with millionaires and former charter administrators—along with CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, have continued to use their dominion over the school system to apply a corporate model of school reform to the Chicago Public Schools.

This type of “reform” has allowed private operators to take control of public schools, undermine the teachers union, close and turn around neighborhood schools rather than invest in them, and over-test students rather than provide them a comprehensive and nurturing education.

Meanwhile the Chicago Teachers Union, numbering nearly 30,000 members, is demanding that CPS cease this drift toward putting control of schools in private hands, and provide the necessary conditions for effective and equal public education—putting the needs of students ahead of corporate and government powerbrokers.

So what are the teachers fighting for?

Go to the link to read about the four things…I know that Dakinikat covered it on Sky D this morning.

That anyone would be against what these teachers are fighting for is beyond me. (That goes along with my “WTF” attitude to the GOP and their anti-union platform.) However…I do feel that this particular issue in Chicago is key…showing that my disgust does not adhere to party lines. I am equally painting Democrat and Obama supporter/surrogate Rahm Emanuel with my “What the fuck?” brush here.   Romney Tries to Bait Obama Over Chicago Teachers Union Strike | FDL News Desk

Mitt Romney is clearly trying to pick a fight over the Chicago Teachers Union strike, and force Barack Obama into making a statement on the issue that will wedge him between his base’s beliefs and his policy preferences, which in this case stand at odds with one another.

Here’s Romney’s short statement:

I am disappointed by the decision of the Chicago Teachers Union to turn its back on not only a city negotiating in good faith but also the hundreds of thousands of children relying on the city’s public schools to provide them a safe place to receive a strong education. Teachers unions have too often made plain that their interests conflict with those of our children, and today we are seeing one of the clearest examples yet. President Obama has chosen his side in this fight, sending his Vice President last year to assure the nation’s largest teachers union that ‘you should have no doubt about my affection for you and the President’s commitment to you.’ I choose to side with the parents and students depending on public schools to give them the skills to succeed, and my plan for education reform will do exactly that.

The problem with this statement is that the preferences of the teachers and the children are in concert. Larger class sizes in schools without air conditioning have led to classes being taught in 96-degree heat. The 20% longer school day and increased class size and workload on teachers, without renumeration (the 16% proposed increase over four years is less than the 20% increase in class time, especially when you account for inflation), does not serve teachers or students who get less one-on-one face time and dedicated learning opportunities. And because of the revamped teacher evaluation system, based largely on standardized testing, the mostly minority students in Chicago will get taught toward a test biased against them and unable to provide them with the skills needed to survive in a 21st-century job market.

And I completely agree with David Dayen here on this point:

The more important part of this is Romney trying to pick a fight with the President, by putting him squarely on the side of teachers unions, and drawing a false contrast where Romney sides with “parents and students.” He cites a speech given by Vice President Biden at the American Federation of Teachers conference. However, it’s completely unclear where President Obama, were he to weigh in on the CTU strike, would come down. His former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is on the side opposite the union. His DNC convention featured a screening of the right-wing, anti-union film “Won’t Back Down.” His Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, used to be the head of the Chicago Public Schools, and is seen as a leading reformer. His education policy has consistently favored the kind of reform policies that the unions in this case are trying to stop, including charter schools, teacher evaluations based on student testing (though in recent years he has rejected “teaching to the test), longer school days and turnarounds for “failing” schools.

Romney wants to bait Obama into a response to change the subject on an election slipping away from him. He figures that someone will get angered no matter how Obama chooses to respond, seeing as the union/reform split is a contentious one inside the Democratic coalition.

And here I have to agree on the narrow point that I would like a response from the President. I would like to know exactly where he stands on the right to strike, on the idea of teachers being paid commensurate with their time in the classroom, on class sizes and teaching to the test and funneling money meant for public schools into charters. I think it would be quite illuminating.

UPDATE: The alleged 16% increase in pay over four years offered by the Chicago Public Schools (or 19% if you believe ABC’s Terry Moran) is actually nowhere near a 16% increase.

Yeah, where does Obama stand on this one? I know he is being silent…but it only goes to prove that anyone in politics these day deserve to be questioned…you know…accountability for both Romney and Obama when it comes to their supporters, endorsers and surrogates. I think that when you have silence from both candidates when it comes to the Robertsons, Allens and Emanuels it only proves one thing, they must agree with the opinions of their supporters…and to that I say, “What the Fuck?”

Monday Reads

Good Morning!

The Twitterati were all aTwit about the Romney’s really really rough “struggle” in life yesterday.  It was a pretty funny hashtag thread in response to Ann Romney trying to list the Romney “struggles”.   You know, it must’ve been tough waiting for that fourth draft deferment for Vietnam while Mitt lived in a palace in France. Then, you know, we all have that problem of having to dip into the stock portfolio our parents gave us while trying to go to Harvard. So, it goes with out saying, life is just one struggle to keep up with the Vanderbilts, the Astors, and the P-Diddys.

Ann Romney pushed back Sunday against detractors whom she said have called her husband “heartless,” emphasizing that she and Mitt Romney have struggled, even if not financially.

“Mitt and I do recognize that we have not had a financial struggle in our lives,” Ann Romney said in an interview with Mitt Romney that aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “But I want people to believe in their hearts that we know what it is like to struggle. And our struggles have not been financial, but they’ve been with health and with difficulties in different things in life.”

President Obama leads Mitt Romney in the polls when it comes to which candidate has more empathy for people struggling in the economy. At the Republican convention last month, the campaign tried to combat that narrative. Ann Romney tried to humanize Mitt Romney in her address, calling their life together a “real marriage” that began by eating “a lot of pasta and tuna fish.” The campaign also enlisted several of Romney’s friends from his congregation in Massachusetts to paint the candidate as compassionate.

All of us “you people” just don’t understand.  That would include the Fact Checkers at The Atlantic.

Ann Romney 2012:  “I saw the long hours that started with that first job. I was there when he and a small group of friends talked about starting a new company. I was there when they struggled and wondered if the whole idea just wasn’t going to work. Mitt’s reaction was to work harder and press on.”

The Real Romney, by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman: At Bain & Company, founder Bill Bain treated Romney “as a kind of prince regent at the firm, a favored son.” He selected Romney to start  and run Bain Capital. “It would be Romney’s first chance to run his own firm and, potentially, to make a killing,” they write. “It was an offer few young men in a hurry could refuse. Yet Romney stunned his boss by doing just that.” They continue:

“He explained to Bain that he didn’t want to risk his position, earnings, and reputation on an experiment. He found the offer appealing but didn’t want to make the decision in a “light or flippant manner.” So Bain sweetened the pot. He guaranteed that if the experiment failed Romney would get his old job and salary back, plus any raises he would have earned during his absence. Still, Romney worried about the impact on his reputation if he proved unable to do the job. Again the pot was sweetened. Bain promised that, if necessary, he would craft a cover story saying that Romney’s return to Bain & Company was needed due to his value as a consultant. “So,” Bain explained, “there was no professional or financial risk.” This time Romney said yes.”

Yeah.  All of us should be blessed by THESE kinds of struggles.

Okay, it’s time for another kat’s adventure in historical grave stuff item.  This time it’s on the search for the grave for Richard III in the UK.

An archaeological dig searching for the grave of Richard III has uncovered evidence of a lost garden, organisers said.

Experts from the University of Leicester who are leading the search discovered paving stones which they believe belong to the garden of Robert Herrick where, historically, it is recorded there was a memorial to Richard III.

Work by the “time tomb team”, as they have become known, has so far involved the digging of two trenches at a Leicester city centre car park – and this week a third was excavated – thought to cover the site of a Franciscan friar where the former king is believed to have been buried in 1485.

Working alongside members of the Richard III Society, archaeologists also confirmed they had found the church of the Grey Friars.

Research at the site, which is owned by Leicester City Council, began on August 24 with archaeologists using ground-penetrating radar equipment to mark out the trenches.

Philippa Langley, of the Richard III Society, said: “This is an astonishing discovery and a huge step forward in the search for King Richard’s grave.

“Herrick is incredibly important in the story of Richard’s grave and in potentially helping us get that little bit closer to locating it.”

In the early 1600s, Alderman Robert Herrick, a mayor of Leicester, bought the land of the Grey Friars and built a large mansion house with a garden on the site.

In 1612, Christopher Wren, father of the famous architect, was visiting Herrick and recorded seeing a handsome three foot stone pillar in Herrick’s garden.

Inscribed on the pillar was: “Here lies the body of Richard III sometime King of England.”

No mention of Richard III would be complete without a h/t to Shakespeare

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp’d, and want love’s majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.

Since I’m waxing poetic, philosophical, and political, here’s a quick music break.

Public Policy Polling finds that Obama leads in Ohio by 5 points.  Ohio is an important swing state.

PPP’s first post-conventions poll in Ohio finds Barack Obama with a 5 point lead over Mitt Romney, 50-45. This is the largest lead PPP has found for Obama in an Ohio poll since early May. Last month Obama led 48-45.

Both candidates have seen their images improve with Ohio voters in the wake of the conventions. Obama now breaks even in his approval rating at 48%, after being under water with 46% of voters approving and 51% disapproving of him a month ago. Romney’s numbers are up from a 41/52 favorability rating a month ago as well, but he still remains unpopular. Only 44% see him favorably to 49% with a negative opinion.

Romney actually leads 46-44 with independents but Obama has the overall advantage thanks to a more unified party base. He leads 86/11 with Democrats, compared to Romney’s 83/13 advantage with Republicans. Obama’s 75 point lead within his own party is up from 70 points a month ago, suggesting that his party has coalesced around him a little bit more in the wake of a successful convention. By a 47/35 margin Ohio voters say they think the Democrats had a better convention than the Republicans.

ETHAN BRONNER writes about how the legal battles on voting may prove critical to the election in November for the NYT.

In the last few weeks, nearly a dozen decisions in federal and state courts on early voting, provisional ballots and voter identification requirements have driven the rules in conflicting directions, some favoring Republicans demanding that voters show more identification to guard against fraud and others backing Democrats who want to make voting as easy as possible.

The most closely watched cases — in the swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania — will see court arguments again this week, with the Ohio dispute possibly headed for a request for emergency review by the Supreme Court.

In Wisconsin, the home state of the Republican vice-presidential candidate, Representative Paul D. Ryan, the attorney general has just appealed to the State Supreme Court on an emergency basis to review two rulings barring its voter ID law. But even if all such cases are settled before Nov. 6 — there are others in Florida, Iowa and South Carolina — any truly tight race will most likely generate post-election litigation that could delay the final result.

“In any of these states there is the potential for disaster,” said Lawrence Norden of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. “You have close elections and the real possibility that people will say their votes were not counted when they should have been. That’s the nightmare scenario for the day after the election.”

In the 2000 presidential election, a deadlock over ballot design and tallying in parts of Florida led the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, to stop a recount of ballots, which led to George W. Bush defeating Al Gore. Since then, both parties have focused on voting procedures.

The Obama campaign, for example, brought suit in Ohio over its reduction of early voting weekends used more by blacks than other groups.

Denying people their constitutional rights appears to be the Republican Party priority these days.

So, Chicago’s Teachers are on strike.  It’s been awhile since we’ve seen anything quite this big.  Guess Rahmbo likes his schools chartered instead of completely public.

Why are these 29,000 teachers and school workers going on strike in the nation’s third-largest public school district?

Because they want what all workers want: fair pay and decent working conditions. They also want what all teachers want — to serve their students to their best of their abilities.

Here’s a few things you need to know about the strike, and why the CTU is right and Mayor Rahm Emanuel — who has failed to fairly bargain with the union — is wrong:

  • Powerful Outside Interests Worked With Rahm To Cripple CTU’s Ability To Strike (They Failed): Last year, outside groups education privatization groups like Stand for Children worked with the city council and mayor to raise the strike threshold limit to 75 percent — meaning that 3/4 of teachers had to vote to strike. Jonah Edelman, who works for the group, bragged during the Aspen Ideas Festival that they had essentially eliminated teachers’ ability to strike. But in June, nearly 90 percent of CTU members voted to authorize a strike, easily surpassing the barrier that the city and education privatization groups had placed on them. But outside groups haven’t stopped taking aim at union rights. They’ve even paid protesters to demonstrate against CTU.
  • Rahm Refuses To Pay Teachers What They Were Promised: Being a teacher takes hard work, and it’s one of the most most poorly-paid professions relative to the work load. The leadership of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) had agreed to offer teachers a four percent raise last year, but Mayor Emanuel canceled this agreement. The district has refused to address this raise in negotiations. While gutting teachers’ pay increases, CPS is calling for longer school days. Would you want to work more hours without being fairly compensated for it?
  • The City Won’t Agree To Limit The Number Of Kids In Classrooms: Over-crowded classrooms are bad for students, teachers, and parents. That’s why 32 states have limits on classroom size. Illinois does not. CTU wants to see limits on class sizes in its contract, but the city refuses to discuss it.
  • Rahm Is Intent On Shifting Funds To Untested And Unproven Charter Schools: Rahm has been laying the groundwork for a rapid expansion of charter schools, and wants to create nearly 250 more within five to ten years (this would amount to half the system). This massive diversion of funds from the public system is not based on the facts of what actually works for students. The most comprehensive study of charter schools in the United States found that most deliver results similar to those of public schools. Not surprisingly, Chicago’s charter schools are largely devoid of unions and the benefits they provide for students and teachers alike. Charter school teachers tend to earn 8 percent less than normal public school teachers — which makes them an attractive tool for austerity-prone conservatives. CTU wants a more fair distribution of funds.

I can’t honestly say that I’d want to teach there for $42,000 a year.  I could make more money than that tending bar in the French Quarter and live much
more cheaply.

Anyway, I’ve had another lost week trying to catch up from Isaac.  I’ve been visited by FEMA and my insurance agent and I seem to have myself situated into a start up media production company on its way to challenging a well-known cable TV channel.  I shall be interviewed this week–actually about this blog–and will send you the link later.  Life is always interesting down here in the Big Easy, that’s for sure.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?