Posts tagged: politics
America’s children seem to be shortchanged on almost every issue we face as a society.
Not only are we failing to protect our children from deranged people wielding semi-automatic guns.
We’re not protecting them from poverty. The rate of child poverty keeps rising – even faster than the rate of adult poverty. We now have the highest rate of child poverty in the developed world.
And we’re not protecting their health. Rates of child diabetes and asthma continue to climb. America has the third-worst rate of infant mortality among 30 industrialized nations and the second-highest rate of teenage pregnancy, after Mexico.
If we go over the “fiscal cliff” without a budget deal, several programs focused on the well-being of children will be axed — education, child nutrition, school lunches, children’s health, Head Start. Even if we avoid the cliff, any “grand bargain” to tame to deficit is likely to jeopardize them.
The Urban Institute projects the share of federal spending on children (outlays and tax expenditures) will drop from 15 percent last year to 12 percent in 2022.
At the same time, states and localities have been slashing preschool and after-school programs, child care, family services, recreation, and mental-health services.
Conservatives want to blame parents for not doing their job. But this ignores politics.
The NRA, for example, is one of the most powerful lobbies in America – so powerful, in fact, that our leaders rarely have the courage even to utter the words gun control.
A few come forth after a massacre such as occurred in Connecticut to suggest that maybe we could make it slightly more difficult for the mentally ill to obtain assault weapons. But the gun lobby and gun manufacturers routinely count on America’s (and media’s) short attention span to prevent even modest reform.
The AARP is also among the most powerful lobbies, especially when it comes to preserving programs that benefit seniors.
We shouldn’t have to choose between our seniors and children — I’d rather focus on jobs and growth rather deficit reduction, and sooner cut corporate welfare and defense spending than anything else. But the brute fact is America’s seniors have political clout that matters when spending is being cut, while children don’t.
At the same time, big corporations and the wealthy know how to get and keep tax cuts that are starving federal and state budgets of revenues needed to finance what our children need. Corporations systematically play off one state or city against another for tax concessions and subsidies to stay or move elsewhere, further shrinking revenues available for education, recreation, mental health, and family services.
Meanwhile, advertisers and marketers of junk foods and violent video games have the political heft to ward off regulations designed to protect children from their depredations. The result is an epidemic of childhood diabetes, as well as video mayhem that may harm young minds.
Most parents can’t protect their children from all this. They have all they can do to pay the bills. The median wage keeps falling (adjusted for inflation), benefits are evaporating, job security has disappeared, and even work hours are less predictable.
It seems as if every major interest has political clout – except children. They can’t vote. They don’t make major campaign donations. They can’t hire fleets of lobbyists.
Yet they’re America’s future.
Their parents and grandparents care, of course, as do many other private citizens. But we’re no match for the entrenched interests that dominate American politics.
Whether it’s fighting for reasonable gun regulation, child health and safety overall, or good schools and family services – we can’t have a fair fight as long as special-interest money continues to poison our politics.
- Maine and Maryland have voted for marriage equality
- Minnesota DID NOT vote for banning marriage equality
- Washington has it on the ballot as well, but it hasn’t come in yet
- The first openly gay senator was elected (Tammy Baldwin, in Wisconsin)
- The first disabled woman veteran was elected (Tammy Duckworth, in Illinois)
- Sens. Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin and Richard “Rape is a gift from God” Mourdock were ousted.
These are the important things. Also, Colorado went from medical marijuana (blech) to recreational marijuana (yay).
Tammy Baldwin wanted trans protections removed from ENDA:
She may be openly gay, but she’s transphobic as hell.
Here’s another source on this bullshit she pulled:
Yes, let’s celebrate the transphobic lesbian. Please. I’ll be so happy for you.
damn it now I’m sad
welp there goes any and all excitement
sigh. shoulda looked into this further before reblogging
Yeah, p. much. My mom’s all “FUCK YEAH TAMMY” and my dad’s all “Eh. She’s the lesser of two evils, but she’s not that great.”
To Obama supporters: Celebration is cool. Insulting and harassing Romney supporters, not so much.
To Romney supporters: It’s okay to be upset, but throwing ugly insults at Obama supporters is not the way to handle it. Be respectful.
Basically, stay classy, everyone.
We all know that Republicans are trying to steal another election this year. They’re discouraging minority voters, reducing early voting hours in swing states like Ohio (which results in longer lines for would-be voters), discounting ballots, tampering with ballots, and sending out volunteers to harass voters (you can read more about the GOP’s dirty tricks here).
Steve Almond has a brilliant idea for documenting these voter suppression efforts:
…[M]ost Americans never witnessed voter disenfranchisement directly. But today, most citizens carry with them a powerful tool: phones with the capacity to take pictures and video.
It is my unsolicited advice that some fair-minded tech genius set up a website (right now) that allows voters to upload pictures and videos, if their right to vote is abrogated—either by a polling official, or simply because a polling place closed before they could vote. Snap up a domain name was such as IWasDeniedMyVote2012.org.
If you’re a legal voter who wants desperately to cast a ballot, but you can’t afford to wait four hours to vote because you’ll get fired and you have a family to support, take a video of yourself at your overcrowded polling place. Tell your story.
If you’re a voter in Ohio or Florida or Pennsylvania who is waiting in line and it becomes apparent that you’re not going to get to cast a vote before your polling place closes, make a video and explain what’s happening. Don’t just give up and leave.
You can’t prove voter disenfranchisement ex-post facto. You need to show people what it means in real time, in moving pictures, so they can see the injustice.
Then make sure that these videos are immediately transmitted to reporters at local television stations and newspapers. This is the only way Republican governors such as Rick Scott and John Kasich will be compelled to extend voting hours—if the media pressures becomes great enough to overwhelm their partisan motives.
To be fair, nothing.
Seems pretty obvious no?
Did Mitt Romney cheat in Wednesday’s debate? This slowed-down closeup posted to YouTube makes it appear as though he reaches into his pocket, pulls out a paper and places it on his lectern, in violation of rules that stated:
No props, notes, charts, diagrams, or other writings or other tangible things may be brought into the debate by any candidate.
(Attention gif makers.)
I’m not one for conspiracy theories or excuses, but it’s pretty obvious that A.) He brought notes with him and B.) He was certainly doing his best to hide it.
In fairness, it’s tough to keep track of all those lies in his head alone.
I saw him stop at the podium on his way offstage to grab some papers, too, I just didn’t realize that was against the rules. Whoops! I’m sure if you find video of the post-debate coverage, after the hugs and handshakes, you can see him stop at the podium to gather his stuff before he walks off.
Mitt Romney sucks, pass it on.
I am so glad that our Senators are so well educated. Among certain voter segments I believe that stupidity is an actual job requirement. Source is here.
i have yet to get over how profoundly idiotic our leaders are.
For the record
“It was one guy screwing a monkey” myth -> Evidence suggests that HIV came from the bushmeat trade in Cameroon. Hunters would butcher and eat chimps. The transfer of SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) to humans may have happened either by monkey blood getting into open wounds of the hunters or by eating meat that was not sufficiently prepared. Transfer between chimps and humans happened long before the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s (the first documented case was in 1931), but it did not get the chance to spread. Transfer between monkeys and humans still happens today and makes up about 1% of HIV cases in Cameroon. (x)(x)
“It’s impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex” myth -> When HIV was first brought to the US, one of the first carriers was a man who was having sex with men. The first community affected by HIV was thus gay men. However, the virus quickly spread to other populations. Anybody can contract HIV through any type of sex where there is vaginal/seminal fluid exchange (oral, anal, vaginal). HIV can also be transferred through blood and breast milk. Anal sex is a higher risk activity because membranes in the anus tear more easily. The fastest growing HIV population today is heterosexual women between the ages of 15-24. (x)(x)(x)