In consideration of a psychoanalytic meaning of history, it is enough to wonder what the classicist thought of any real possibility that the psychologist’s basic descriptions of dysfunction would become so influential a cooperative venture within a dissociated composite verging into an alternative, synchronistic paranormality.
Via that blessed scourge otherwise known as Facebook comes a lovely gem that everyone should grab a local copy of, and hang onto until the 2016 presidential race. Some things really are that important.
(Tip o’the hat to D.P.)
“When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body.”
Can we skip the litany and just note that 2012 was a strikingly bad year for conservatives in the War of the Lady Parts? It’s a depressing review, to be certain. Unfortunately, 2013 is off to a bad start for the social conservatives, who are apparently quite happy to continue the trend of refusing to make any sense.
A big hint dropped last month when a two year-old court filing emerged in which a Catholic hospital turned the Church’s longstanding fetal personhood argument upside down, giving the impression that money is more important than life. The Church hierarchy has since reiterated its life-at-conception stance, and repudiated the filing, but the damage is done.
This month the personhood argument takes another hit from the anti-abortion crowd as the Alabama legislature works to pass a new TRAP† law aimed at making pregnancy termination services more difficult to provide and receive. Arguing in support of HB 57, state Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin (R-Pelham) explained:
“When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body,” McClurkin said in an interview Thursday. “That’s a big thing. That’s a big surgery. You don’t have any other organs in your body that are bigger than that.”
- Politico covers the latest conservative argument, that wealth and conscience don’t mix.
- Steve Benen explains the obvious about that argument.
- And Tom Tomorrow dusts fourteen years off an old cartoon, for obvious reasons.
- Meanwhile, Rob Goodman hopes to intellectually validate equal criticism against all political players, the feelgood fallacy also known as “both sides do it”.
- And why not get some election coverage from Karl Frisch, a Democratic strategist trying to explain what’s wrong with Republicans.
- If that doesn’t do it for you, try the latest Obama-hates-Christians “war on Christmas” lament. (At least it’s not as mortifying as Rush Limbaugh’s astonishing defense of the Lord’s Resistance Army.)
Or, it’s just another day in the life. Something about decadence. Something about the fall of Rome. Something about what we do with what we are given.
“Let me say this is as clearly and as simply as I can: Republicans did not overreach. What they did is who they are. It is what they stand for. It is what they campaign on.
To claim otherwise would be like saying fish live under water because they suffer from unquenchable thirst.”
Jim Morin states the obvious:
The Republican employment platform is a curious set of contradictions. In July, the Economic Policy Institute noted:
Two years after the official end of the Great Recession, the continued loss of public-sector jobs is an obstacle to reaching pre-recession employment levels. This decline in government employment is a historic anomaly; public-sector employment actually increased in the two years after official recoveries began in 10 of 11 post-World War II business cycles. The lone exception was in the early 1980s when the economy experienced a double-dip recession.
In total, the public sector has lost 430,000 jobs compared to the private sector’s net gain of 980,000 jobs since the Great Recession ended in June 2009 – an average of nearly 19,000 jobs each month over that time.
And Steve Benen explained:
Indeed, it’s important to remember that these job losses are, in the eyes of Republicans, a positive development. Under the GOP economic model, the public sector is supposed to lose jobs, and as part of the party’s austerity agenda, this is a problem that must get worse on purpose.
Earlier this year, for example, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was asked about his spending-cut plans and the fact that the cuts would force thousands of public-sector workers from their jobs. “So be it,” the Republican said.
In other words, deliberately making unemployment worse wasn’t seen as a problem. This is a feature of the GOP model, not a bug.
GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain tried to apologize to American Muslims yesterday:
I would like to thank Imam Mohamed Magid and the ADAMS Center for extending their hospitality to me this afternoon. We enjoyed heartfelt fellowship and thoughtful dialogue about how patriotic Americans of all faiths can work together to restore the American Dream.
While I stand by my opposition to the interference of shariah law into the American legal system, I remain humble and contrite for any statements I have made that might have caused offense to Muslim Americans and their friends. I am truly sorry for any comments that may have betrayed my commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of religion guaranteed by it. Muslims, like all Americans, have the right to practice their faith freely and peacefully.
As I expected, we discovered we have much more in common in our values and virtues. In my own life as a black youth growing up in the segregated South, I understand their frustration with stereotypes. Those in attendance, like most Muslim Americans, are peaceful Muslims and patriotic Americans whose good will is often drowned out by the reprehensible actions of jihadists.
I am encouraged by the bonds of friendship forged today at our meeting, and I look forward to continuing this very healthy dialogue. The relationship we established was so positive that the Imam has invited me back to speak to not only some of their youth, but also at one of their worship services.
Naturally, some are wondering whether the race-baiting Republican who thinks he is President Obama’s worst nightmare simply because he’s black is genuinely represented by the statement his campaign released. One witness to his meeting with Imam Mhamed Magid suggested that Cain’s words could be trusted. “He seemed genuinely surprised,” Robert Marro, the Government Relations Chairman for the ADAMS Center, where the meeting occurred, explained to Talking Points Memo. “It was almost like he was saying, ‘I should’ve known better.'”
James Fallows of The Atlantic calls it, “The Chart That Should Accompany All Discussions of the Debt Ceiling“:
It’s based on data from the Congressional Budget Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Its significance is not partisan (who’s “to blame” for the deficit) but intellectual. It demonstrates the utter incoherence of being very concerned about a structural federal deficit but ruling out of consideration the policy that was largest single contributor to that deficit, namely the Bush-era tax cuts.
An additional significance of the chart: it identifies policy changes, the things over which Congress and Administration have some control, as opposed to largely external shocks — like the repercussions of the 9/11 attacks or the deep worldwide recession following the 2008 financial crisis. Those external events make a big difference in the deficit, and they are the major reason why deficits have increased faster in absolute terms during Obama’s first two years than during the last two under Bush. (In a recession, tax revenues plunge, and government spending goes up – partly because of automatic programs like unemployment insurance, and partly in a deliberate attempt to keep the recession from getting worse.) If you want, you could even put the spending for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in this category: those were policy choices, but right or wrong they came in response to an external shock.
E. J. Dionne is not so concise as his Washington Post colleague, but equally apt:
[Obama] summarized his approach this way: “[L]et’s live within our means by making serious, historic cuts in government spending. Let’s cut domestic spending to the lowest level it’s been since Dwight Eisenhower was president. Let’s cut defense spending at the Pentagon by hundreds of billions of dollars. Let’s cut out the waste and fraud in health care programs like Medicare — and at the same time, let’s make modest adjustments so that Medicare is still there for future generations. Finally, let’s ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to give up some of their tax breaks and special deductions.”
That’s four sentences on cuts and barely one sentence on taxes, and not even tax increases as such — just a request that the privileged “give up some of their tax breaks and special deductions.”
On the other side are “a significant number of Republicans in Congress [who] are insisting on a cuts-only approach — an approach that doesn’t ask the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to contribute anything at all.” He went on: “And because nothing is asked of those at the top of the income scales, such an approach would close the deficit only with more severe cuts to programs we all care about — cuts that place a greater burden on working families.”
That happens to be true. The most remarkable thing about this whole debate (other than the dangerous foolishness of one side holding the nation’s credit standing hostage to get what it wants) is that Republicans have defined their party as being committed to low taxes for the wealthy above everything else. If anything good can come out of this strange episode, it is that no one will ever be able to doubt that proposition in the future.
GOP priorities ought to be perfectly clear:
- Defeat Obama.
- Appease the rich.