The Rev. Al Sharpton says Rand Paul’s efforts to engage black voters could present a strategic challenge for Democrats: If the Republican senator runs for president, fewer African Americans may be motivated to show up and vote against him....
Democrats have traditionally done well among African American voters, especially with Barack Obama at the top of the ticket. In 2016, Democrats will “need maximum black turnout in a lot of states,” Sharpton told POLITICO.
“What I think is more dangerous for Democrats is, if a guy like Paul is out there, if he becomes the nominee, for argument’s sake, he … does not generate a turnout against him” among African Americans, Sharpton said. He added, “If he’s able to neutralize his past image on civil rights, if he becomes the candidate … and if you don’t get a huge black turnout saying ‘We’re afraid [of him],’” that could be a pitfall for Democrats.
This is top-flight Concern Trolling. C'est magnifique!
Sincerely, this is The Shit. Give it up for Sharpton.
This person says that Whole Foods is as anti-science as the Creation Museum, and I don't disagree:
But you don’t have to schlep all the way to Kentucky in order to visit America’s greatest shrine to pseudoscience. In fact, that shrine is a 15-minute trip away from most American urbanites.
I’m talking, of course, about Whole Foods Market. From the probiotics aisle to the vaguely ridiculous Organic Integrity outreach effort (more on that later), Whole Foods has all the ingredients necessary to give Richard Dawkins nightmares. And if you want a sense of how weird, and how fraught, the relationship between science, politics, and commerce is in our modern world, then there’s really no better place to go. Because anti-science isn’t just a religious, conservative phenomenon—and the way in which it crosses cultural lines can tell us a lot about why places like the Creation Museum inspire so much rage, while places like Whole Foods don’t.
The liberal approach to Whole Foods is to say, many things you do are great. Let's help you. However, we live in a democracy, and the People have a right to independently determine whether or not you, and your products, are full of shit.
The liberal accepts science, and argues that a government that rejects scientific fact is just fucking stupid. The libertarian only gives a shit about making money.
Senate Democrats are considering a vote in the lame-duck session to force approval of TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline, a party aide said, a move that may bolster Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu’s re-election chances.
One of the lucky inmates at the Tucker Carlson Charity Home for Blind Concussed Squirrels discovers nuts.
Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber said that lack of transparency was a major part of getting Obamacare passed because “the stupidity of the American voter” would have killed the law if more people knew what was in it.
Gruber, the MIT professor who served as a technical consultant to the Obama administration during Obamacare’s design, also made clear during a panel quietly captured on video that the individual mandate, which was only upheld by the Supreme Court because it was a tax, was not actually a tax.
Golly. What did Gruber actually say? Here's the Daily Caller's own transcription:
This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass… Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.
Gruber here is making an unexceptionable point: the "American people" are not necessarily stupid taken individually, but they sure are easily swayed by stupid arguments. The colossally stupid "death panels" nonsense proves that dispositively.
And the Tuckerista quoted above adds further evidence to this theory: Gruber didn't say the mandate is a tax in regards to the narrow (and stupid) legal issue that stupidly went before our stupid Supreme Court, he was only talking about CBO scoring, which is a different thing.
What Gruber was saying is that "we knew that there would be a huge problem if we had to explain how insurance works, because even though that's not a difficult concept, it would have been demagogued by screaming talk radio swine and their angry base of addled morons."
The far-right howler monkeys are pretty much just proving Gruber right; after all, they themselves get paid (or desperately want to get paid) to fling nonsense-poo to rally support for the idea that third-party swine deserve to get rich off you getting sick, and all poor people ought to quickly die, even if they have three jobs.
But at a time when McConnell is likely poised to take over as Senate Majority Leader, it's worth taking a moment to acknowledge his political acumen. Not acumen in winning reelection, but acumen in masterminding the Republican comeback after the huge Democratic wave elections in 2006 and 2008.
Mitch McConnell didn't decide to act like an asshole because he's some fucking Machiavelli supergenius. Mitch McConnell acted like an asshole because he's an asshole.
Mitch McConnell made the calculation that he'd rather fuck over the entire country before ever conceding jack shit to a Democratic president because he's an asshole.
Mitch McConnell has no strategy.
Mitch McConell gives no shits.
Mitch McConnell is just an asshole.
I don't know why this is a difficult point to grasp. The GOP are going to act like assholes -- they give no shits about the nation, they give no shits about democracy, they are just crazy angry assholes.
"Keep acting like an asshole" doesn't make you a fucking strategic mastermind. All it means is that we have a shite polity that tends to reward stupid assholes.
I guess there will be voting tomorrow. I'm more apathetic about it than anything else. I know I probably shouldn't be, and yes it matters, and so forth. But for a bunch of reasons my enthusiasm remains unengaged.
Calling this election cycle "democracy" is like watching a chain-gang of whipped, sullen, full-makeup clowns driven past your front door and being told "it's a happy parade!"
For governor I have Andy Cuomo running against some nondescript GOP meathead. "Slab Angioplasty," I think he's called. Or "Buck Fistorino." Something like that.
Time was, and it was not so long ago, the NY GOP could have run a similar meathead to the populist left of Cuomo and made this a race, but these are simpler, shittier times. Nobody likes Andy Cuomo, probably even his immediate family; he has all the personal charm of someone who would rather hard-sell you a timeshare than just fucking pass you the salt. Talk of Andy Cuomo aspiring to higher office is absurd; he's not quite as much of a prissy ass as Giuliani was, but he's not really a different person, unless you squint hard. Fuck him. For the House I get to choose between Richard Hanna and nobody. I vote gin.
Locally, it's fuck-all to care about.
This gets to a point that's not at all going to get mentioned tomorrow; the only place I saw it even brought up was on the John Oliver show. How can it be said that the midterm elections indicate a national anything when large swathes of the country literally have no rational reason to believe their vote remotely matters? Hell, even lots of -- most of -- the state and local races are just for show.
We have an electoral system flawed in design and easily abused in practice. You can get snide and blame people for not giving a damn, feel free, but the raw fact is that the entire American civic system is an anti-democratic pile of shit, and every single one of the authors of the Constitution liked to buttfuck underaged juvenile cockroaches without lube. That is a Historical Fact.
Maybe I'm off-topic. And I'm definitely cranky. But anyway, Nov. '14, Tempus Fuckit.
A Bainbridge man has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of a 26-year-old in a fitness center parking lot Monday.
Derek D. Prindle, 26, of Afton, died after being shot at about 1:30 p.m. outside Peak Fitness on Route 7 in Bainbridge, state police said. His father, 60-year-old Derek S. Prindle of Afton, was also shot and remains hospitalized, Trooper Nathan Riegal said today.
John M. Guzy, 56, of Bainbridge, was taken into custody after the shooting and charged with second-degree murder. He was arraigned in Town of Bainbridge Court and remanded to the Chenango County jail.
Police are still investigating to piece together a motive in the shooting.
"It looks like this was a road rage type of incident," Riegal said. "It doesn't look like they even knew each other ... but their dispute ended up in the parking lot."
What exactly happened is not clear, but local reporting is that a tailgating incident turned into a nightmare.
A lot of NYC cops retire to the Southern Tier of NY, or the Northern Tier of PA. Without exception, in my purely anecdotal experience, NYC cops who retire to this part of the world are, generally, to varying degrees, unpleasant, paranoid, gun-nut racists. I will bet anyone a nickel this angry asshole had a Repeal the SAFE Act sign in his front yard.
Scott had a post up the other day about how comparing upstate NY to Alabama is facile. This particular story shows why that's true in a pretty horrible way. If we're ever going to get to grips with our many American nightmares, we have to abandon self-flattering just-so stories about Us and Them, and get down to cases. In upstate NY, the child of a philosophy professor, a young man who loved cinema profoundly and aesthetically, was murdered over nothing by a Big City Yahoo. Riddle me that!
Be that as it may.
The son of a friend and colleague, someone dear to myself and MollyI, has been shot and killed. When it's appropriate I will ask our friend where she might like any donations directed, and then I shall pass that along to youse guys.
It all started in September, when Houston Mayor Annise Parker and City Attorney David Feldman issued an "overly broad" subpoena for the sermons of select ministers who opposed the city's equal rights ordinance. Because of intense national opposition from even Texas' attorney general, this past Wednesday, Parker and Feldman appeared to recant or at least reduce their flagrant overreach and disregard of the ministers' legal protections under the First Amendment.
By the weekend, however, the truth came out that they were only using political smoke and mirrors to try to simmer the patriotic fury; they were not changing course to constitutional compliance.
This is a great sentence.
It is very difficult to apply mirrors or smoke to the simmering process, in practice, I should imagine. Smoke may of course be employed in regards to barbecue, but I don't quite grasp how it might simmer anything, absent a Rube-Goldbergian apparatus. Likewise with mirrors. This is not even to broach the question of why the presumed malefactors in this scenario would even want to maintain furiously patriotic simmering. Maybe this is all to do with arcane Texas cuisine lingo to which I am not privy. Or else perhaps Chuck Norris is dumb. Who knows.
I'm a Texan, and it chaps my hide when some kibosh of the U.S. Constitution originates in the Lone Star State.
You're a Texan, and your mangled understanding of "kibosh" makes me extremely reluctant to inquire as to what you might mean by "chaps my hide."
What this all actually means is that authoritarian religious assholes want to (1) directly engage in electoral politics, and (2) not pay taxes.
It's not a mystery why your more savvy right-wing operatives would want to fling this bullshit. It's also obvious why Chuck Norris would also gleefully wallow in these poop-pools:
I've always walked to the Scioto Audubon from the east along Whittier Street, it's about 1.6 miles. Google maps told me I could get there by taking the Scioto Greenway trail from the north (1.7 miles). I figured I'd try that way to go back home.
So this is why there was a "Road Closed" sign blocking the trail a little ways back.
Nice view of the city over the rubble, though.
So now what do I do? I don't really want to walk all the way back via Whittier Street at this point. But I did see a path through the woods just before the fence with the "Road Closed" sign.
And it goes to the railroad tracks and back to civilization. Thanks, path-makers! And I'll make this another contribution to Carmi's Patterns post.
I keep forgetting that next month New Yorkers will be able to vote for things. This is because we don't have much to vote for, or against.
Our US Rep will be the GOPs Richard Hanna, who is an absolute tit. Our Governor will be nominal Democrat Andrew Cuomo, who is disgusting.
New York is becoming an ever more liberal state. This trend won't stop. These voter preferences will perhaps be reflected in terms of democratic norms sometime in the next thirty decades.
I do blame the NYGOP for some of this; at least last time they sent up against Andy C a sublimely nutty, very wealthy dingaling, Carl Paladino, who came across as a guy who would try to punch out a dandelion he thought looked at him funny. This time they have nominated... someone?
Columbus’s detractors are the Western world’s malcontents. In convicting this white, Christian man, Columbus, of the worst of sins, his enemies hold him up as the quintessential poster boy for all Westerners of European stock. Columbus is merely a symbol of the brutal racial oppression upon which the West was founded.
Anyone who doubts this thesis need only consider that the same kind of charges made against Columbus—he was an “exploiter,” a “racist,” an “enslaver,” and a “genocidal murderer”—have been made by leftists against any number of people traditionally regarded as Western heroes. Many of America’s Founders are a case in point.
Golly. ("Quintessential poster boy"...?)
Said Townhall twerp's bio informs us that he:
received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
One of the few sad commenters to the twerp's article informs us:
The NAtional Council of Churches on Columbus Day: "What represented newness of freedom,hope, and opportunity for some was the occasion was the occasion for oppression, degradation, and genocide for others." Future historians will say the same thing about the last half of the 20th Century as they study the genocide of the Caucasian race in the 21st Century.
Thus sparing us from any vestigial need for decoding anything.
Anyway, so it's only a few racists getting nuts over Columbus Day, as opposed to lots years ago. Ahem, huzzah.
I myself, however, believe we ought to take with the utmost seriousness these reports of sinister southern inflitration.
I mean, can you even begin to grasp the horrors that would befall our homeland should the great state of Texas ever fall into the hands of violent, well-armed religious extremists obsessed with a bizarre ideology that rejects science, democracy, and rationalism?
That is mindlessly opposed to the rights of women, gays, and religious and ethnic minorities?
That wantonly murders those it wishes to kill in furtherance of its own twisted corrupt bigot morality, making a mockery of established, western norms of due process and equality under the law?
Indeed, I greatly fear that should Texas fall to such... such... loonies, we may even see the rise of a well-organized movement to separate that state from Our Union!
IN 1985, the centennial of the founding of the Adirondack Forest Preserve, Gov. Mario M. Cuomo of New York told conservationists in a speech: “The wilderness areas of this state are not a disposable resource, to be consumed and discarded. They must be preserved. Forever.”
That same year, he set aside forest preserve land around Jay Mountain as a state wilderness area.
Now his son, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, has set in motion a plan that would allow open pit mining on 200 acres of that wilderness.
This isn't that far from where we vacation every year. Heavy industrial mining operations up there would be a total kick in the gut.
The weasel wording of the amendment that passed last year is totally par for the course for the Cuomo junta. New York deserves better than Chris Christie-lite.
What would academe look like without adjuncts? That question could be answered, at least for a day, on the first-ever National Adjunct Walkout Day, planned for Feb. 25, 2015. The protest to highlight adjuncts’ relatively low wages and working conditions – despite the fact that they make up the majority of instructors – is gaining traction on social media, including on Facebook and on Twitter at #NAWD.
I have tenure. I'm damn lucky.
It is about damn time we few, we lucky few, take action as regards the assault on academic labor.
I won't walk off. I will instead pledge to devote that day to a discussion with my students about the realities of 21st-century academic labor.
What I mean is that I pledge to spend all class time on that day, or the preceding or following day, suspending my usual activities. Instead I will clearly explain the adjunct system as it currently exists, and I will objectively discuss the extent to which my own College depends on that system.
Love to see a nation of professors try to hold us back on this...
A federal water study commissioned by the Cuomo administration as it weighed a key decision on fracking was edited and delayed by state officials before it was published, a Capital review has found.
The study, originally commissioned by the state in 2011, when the administration was reportedly considering approving fracking on a limited basis, was going to result in a number of politically inconvenient conclusions for Governor Andrew Cuomo, according to an early draft of the report by the U.S. Geological Survey obtained by Capital through a Freedom of Information Act request.
A comparison of the original draft of the study on naturally occurring methane in water wells across the gas-rich Southern Tier with the final version of the report, which came out after extensive communications between the federal agency and Cuomo administration officials, reveals that some of the authors' original descriptions of environmental and health risks associated with fracking were played down or removed.
We live in the "gas-rich Southern Tier." We're not many miles north of the PA border.
The burnoff from some of the fracking wells shines ghastly bright on our southern horizon, every week or so. Honestly, it's weird. The whole sky flickers dull red and you contemplate Sauron.
David Brooks, demonstrating the trademark appalling lack of self-awareness for which he is unaccountably paid:
Today, lofty political idealism is out of favor. Even a president initially elected as an idealist has been reduced into a more technocratic role. But Mumford makes the case for leaders who understand evil down to its depths, who have literary sensibilities and who react with a heart brimming with moral emotion.
People want (a) jobs, and (b) no wars.
David Brooks wants a phony-baloney job, which entails bullshitting so that working people get (a) robbed, and (b) wars.
Hey, I have literary sensibilities and a heart brimming with moral emotion! Here: