Welcome to the weekly Ying and Yang, a weekly roundup of events that may not require a full post but are certainly noteworthy in their own right. Some of the news is good. Some of it’s bad. But I try to make it entertaining no matter what.
Newtie wins decisively in South Carolina
Big woo. The one thing that the early GOP campaigns have solidified for me is why I don’t pay attention to the mainstream media. Half of the news media has stated that the nominee may be a foregone conclusion while the other half says it’s going to be a ‘battle to the end.’ Get a grip. We’re talking about Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Here’s what I do know: Bachmann is out. Huntsman is out. Perry is out. Cain is out. We’re left with two candidates with messed up names: Newt and Mitt. There’s a giant WTF? in my book. That may be a historical first.
Then there’s Rick Santorum. He’s technically still in, but he’s so far afield that only white males with ultra-tight sphincters who follow the bible to the letter are probably going to vote for him. (Remember, Rick will ‘die’ before he allows same-sex marriage, even though it’s not on the majority of the voters’ radar screen as a real issue in 2012.)
And it’s amazing how the worm turns. Newt ripped the media for questions about his philandering and open marriage, saying it wasn’t important. Well, the topic was pretty important when Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky were an item. In fact, it was so important back then that we tried to impeach a sitting president over an oral Oval Office event. Anybody remember that? Anybody remember that Family Values bullshit? Newt was out in front on that one. It was very important to Newt at the time. Now, not so much. That’s because Newt’s trying to get himself elected to the Oval Office. With his track record, can you imagine some of the shit that will go down on that desk?
Here’s a reality check: The entire GOP (Goons on Parade) field is pathetically out of touch with the needs of the American people. They don’t ‘get it.’ They’re still the same GOP from 2008. They didn’t have the answers then. They don’t have them now. And ideas? They don’t have any of those either. Nobody brings this fact home like Bernie Sanders.
Elizabeth Warren steals Scott Brown’s thunder
On January 19, Scott Brown announced his run for re-election for the seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy. This kickoff was symbolic because on January 19 two years ago the unthinkable happened when Brown, Mr. Tea Party, defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in a special election to fill Kennedy’s vacant seat. We won’t talk about how that happened. Okay, I take that back. We will because I have my opinion: Coakley was a more than viable candidate who got sold up the river by her president, who couldn’t be bothered coming out and supporting her. I don’t know if he thought it was a ‘lock’ or what his motivation was, but that was No. 1 on my list of disappointments in Barack Obama. He was riding pretty high a couple of years ago. A visit to Massachusetts and an endorsement of Coakley’s capabilities would have helped. Considering the fact that Ted Kennedy held that seat for 46 years, Barack Obama had to know how important that seat was to his party. But I digress. That was then. This is now.
On January 19, Elizabeth Warren, the woman who is working to unseat Scott Brown, had an announcement of her own. Her one-day money bomb topped the $1 million mark. Yes, Brown has an almost 2-1 advantage over Warren in the money column, but the money bomb was a statement: Warren’s financial support doesn’t come from Wall Street or the big banks like Brown’s. All of Warren’s money bomb donations came from actual people.
Brown is selling himself as an “independent” senator who doesn’t necessarily tow the party line. Warren doesn’t see it that way, calling into focus the fact that Brown — along with his fellow Republicans — has voted against three jobs bills in a row.
Here’s the sad part about this campaign: Both candidates are meeting to sign an agreement about third-party advertising in the Massachusetts campaign. However, thanks to the Supreme Court of the United States, there’s little the two can do about super PACs launching ads that can affect the outcome of the race. That’s because federal election laws allow such ads, and the super PAC cannot contact the candidates about the ads.
In the meantime, you go, Elizabeth!
Mitt’s going to release his tax records
Yes, he admits his mistake for holding off on this for as long as he has. Mitt’s going to release his 2010 returns and his estimated returns for 2011. What a great guy! Should he be worried about his Cayman Island investments? The fact that he pays only 15% in taxes? Or should he worry that, under his proposed plan, he’ll pay even less than 15% the next time around? Nah. Hell, he’s just an unemployed average Joe just like you and me.
Speaking of being out of touch, is anybody more out of touch than this guy? He loves to call himself ‘unemployed.’ That’s an insult to the American working class. How can you be ‘unemployed’ when you’re making millions of dollars off your investments and when you’re raking in $300,000 a year in speaking fees? He seems to be confusing ‘unemployed’ with ‘wealthy.’
Roe v Wade turns 39
The landmark Roe v Wade decision turned 39 on January 21. While asshats like Dana Milbank of the Washington Post are advising that we all just stop talking about it because there’s no big threat to women’s rights going on, the reality is that there were more than 1100 anti-abortion bills introduced on both the state and federal level in 2011 alone. Of course, Dana is a man, so there’s no vested interest there. He’s not going to have to worry about it. While he portends to be a supporter of Roe v Wade, the reality is that his position insisting that the far right’s objection to it is just legitimate concern about abortion is pure bullshit. The majority of the far right’s objection is steeped in religious dogma.
If you live in a Super Tuesday state or in a state that is voting in a primary in February or early March, be prepared to wolf down your nachos and swill your Miller High Life while watching graphic advertising featuring aborted fetuses. How, you may want to know, is this possible? Well, there’s a little loophole in the FCC rules that allows candidates for federal office to run anything they damned well please in the 45 days ahead of a primary race and 60 days ahead of a general election. Anti-abortion dickwit Randall Terry is taking advantage of said loophole by positioning himself as a Democratic challenger to Barack Obama. (And, by the way, this is not a serious challenge. It’s a means to an end only.)
So the next time someone tells you that the sky isn’t falling and there’s not a war on women in progress, tell him (or her as the case may be) to go to hell. Women cannot afford to go to sleep on this one and assume that their reproductive rights will be there in the morning.
Thanks. And have a great weekend.