Wednesday, September 17, 2014


"Voters tend to look at governors the way they hire plumbers or electricians. Do they have a good reputation? Will they take care of the problems? Will they leave you alone otherwise?" said John Weingart, director of the Center on the American Governor at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Just no crack in the back, that's all they care about.

"I really don't know anything about who's running for governor right now, because I'm busy with other things in my life," said Gloria Orta-Lopez, 44, an Austin online marketing consultant who says she leans Democratic but likes the tea party mantra of less government.

Nick Davis, a Round Rock construction project supervisor, said he has perused the websites of both candidates and is leaning toward Abbott, although he admitted he is not particularly happy with Texas' current state after a decade of Republican leadership.

"Taxes are too high. Government has gotten bigger and bigger, not smaller. ... Before I vote, I'm going to see which one of them will get us there," he said.

A pox on both your houses.

-- My advice is to stop listening to anything he says.

“I think the first executive order that I would issue would be to repeal all previous executive orders,” (Senator Rand) Paul said, when a man in the audience asked him about the topic, according to multiple reporters present.

“Democracy is messy, but you have to build consensus to pass things. But it’s also in some ways good, because a lot of laws take away your freedom. So it should be hard to pass a law.”

Any rising Republican star with presidential ambitions who promised to wipe out nearly 230 years of executive decision-making would attract attention, and Paul was no exception.

Reporters who followed up with questions about the thinking behind Paul’s promise, however, were told by his staff that he wasn’t serious, and they should not take his words at face value.

"Senator Paul's statement was meant to emphasize this president's overt and unconstitutional executive orders, it was not meant to be taken literally," Paul aide Doug Stafford told The Huffington Post.


-- Texas textbooks.  Again.

Jacqueline Jones, chairwoman of the University of Texas' History Department, said one U.S. history high school book cheerleads for President Ronald Reagan and the significance of America's free enterprise system while glossing over Gov. George Wallace's attempt to block school integration in Alabama. She also pointed to a phrase stating that "the minimum wage remains one of the New Deal's most controversial legacies."

"We do our students a disservice when we scrub history clean of unpleasant truths," Jones said "and when we present an inaccurate view of the past that promotes a simple-minded, ideologically driven point of view."

Another running battle with ignorance.  Baby, they were born that way... and built to last.

Dead last.

Update: Kuff with more and many more links.

-- Yes, all women.  Even in the US Senate.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said Monday that when a male labor leader harassed her about her weight several years ago after she'd had a baby, she had a few choice words she couldn't say at the time.

"I've just had a baby, I've just been appointed [to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate], I have a lot to learn, so much on my plate, and this man basically says to me, 'You're too fat to be elected statewide,'" Gillibrand recalled on HuffPost Live Monday morning. "At that moment, if I could have just disappeared, I would have. If I could have just melted in tears, I would have. But I had to just sit there and talk to him. ... I didn't hear a word he said, but I wasn't in a place where I could tell him to go fuck himself."

In her new book, "Off The Sidelines," Gillibrand shares several anecdotes about male colleagues and political leaders making comments about her weight during and after her pregnancy. She recalled one colleague warning her about getting "porky" after the birth of her second child. Another lawmaker told her she's "even pretty when [she's] fat," and an older senator once grabbed her waist and quipped that he likes his girls "chubby."

But Gillibrand is refusing to name her harassers, because she's trying to make a broader point about the ubiquity of sexism in the workplace.

"It's more important to elevate the debate, to have a national debate about how women are treated in the workplace," she told HuffPost Live. "Because in the broad scheme, it's a drag on the economy when you're undervaluing women, nearly half of our workforce, and chronically paying them less and treating them poorly and not valuing them." 

I'm thinking maybe if they voted in greater numbers -- and more women were elected -- some of this crap might change.  It won't change if women like Joni Ernst in Iowa get elected though, so women (and men) should carefully choose the right women.

-- You're going to want the brain bleach after reading this.

In the last month I’ve read conspiracies claiming that Common Core has dropped cursive in an effort to make our founding documents illegible to us so that the Muslim takeover can begin, and that the UN is preparing to attack America from their staging ground in Alabama. Gun violence-prevention activists see Sandy Hook truthers who claim the slaughter there was orchestrated by Obama, gun extremists who say that the outrageous open carry crowd who brandish assault weapons in family restaurants are actually liberal operatives paid to make gun owners look bad, and that the murdered children of women I know never even existed. The goal is not to believe what is true or even humane, but what is easy and what makes you feel superior in a world that has not offered you the successes you expected. There are verifiable collusions that promote violence in the United States — the financial ties between gun manufacturers and the NRA; the gun lobby’s role in dismantling state and local gun laws — but those are of no concern to denialists and conspiraphiles. Only fantastical tales of socialist/atheist/Islamofascist gun-grabbers, who start by disarming the populace and end by locking you in a FEMA camp, need be entertained.

Or you can just read the comments on any story, any day.  Those would be your neighbors (if you live in the unincorporated areas of Harris County, anyway).  They're very old, very white, very religious, and very scared.  They own lots of guns and crates of ammo and still they're terrified of their own shadow.  It's not just Texas; it's everywhere.

The only thing that really bothers me is that these people think they are the majority.  They are, most unfortunately, too often the majority of those who turn out to vote.  And they elect people like them: Louie Gohmert, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Dan Patrick, Greg Abbott.

The rest of us really need to stop letting them do that.

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