Bare Minimum Wage

When adjusted for inflation, a person making minimum wage in 1968 had more spending authority than a person making minimum wage now.

A sobering graph:

A recession hurts those who can least afford it. Production is up while earnings are down. At least things aren’t as bad as they were in 2006, right? Right?

Hard Times, Not End Times

My colleague Ari Stillman composed this essay comparing the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear to a “secular religious event.” Stillman draws an interesting parallel wherein Stephen Colbert represents the typical “Fox News Christian-American” and the Jewish Jon Stewart serves as the secularized voice of reason. Stewart became the voice for the minorities of the US, especially Muslims, gays, illegal immigrants – anyone who shares, like the Jews, a history of very public and systematic persecution. As Colbert bowed to Stewart’s arguments, Stillman writes that America underwent a symbolic “conversion experience” – a conversion from unjustifiable racial/sexual/political paranoia to “common sense.”

What does it mean that Comedy Central houses “America’s most trusted news anchor”? Or that an astounding number of Americans lack “common sense?” Is this conversion even possible outside of the parameters of the Rally?

Be kind, America. Everyone is fighting a hard battle.

Endorse Responsibly

Republican House Representative Spencer Bachus of Alabama was disappointed with the congressional election results, The National Journal reports.

“The Senate would be Republican today except for states [in which Palin endorsed candidates] like Christine O’Donnell in Delaware,” Bachus said at the November 4 meeting in Columbiana, Ala. “Sarah Palin cost us control of the Senate.”

The Associated Press (via WaPo) reported that a spokesman for Bachus said the comments where taken out of context but did not retract them. The accusation is difficult to legitimize because Palin endorsed 64 candidates running for Senate and House seats, Governorships, Attorney General (Iowa and Florida) and Secretary of State (Alabama). Of the endorsed candidates, 32 won their races, 17 lost them and 5 are undecided.

The Republican victory could have been sweeter.

“If you think Republicans are in charge in Washington, you can wipe that thought from your mind,” Bachus said. “Democrats are in control of the presidency and the Senate. It would take 67 votes to override any veto.”

Of the candidates that received Palin endorsements, the ones that received the most press attention also lost their races.

“Congressman Bachus, like other political observers, said that seats in states like Delaware and Nevada could have been won by stronger candidates, and that’s a lesson going forward,” Johnson said. Bachus’s spokesman added that the boss, in his speech, was “extremely complimentary of the tea party movement and Governor Palin in crediting them with the great turnout of conservatives that led to many of the successes on Tuesday.”

Was there a difference between endorsements? Were all candidates endorsed equally?

No, NOM!

A heartbreaking outcome of the 2010 elections: three of Iowa’s Supreme Court Justices were voted out of office (what? I didn’t even know that was possible) thanks largely in part to the vigorous fiscal efforts of anti-gay, pro-bigot group NOM: (via gawker)

The groups spent more than $700,000 to convince voters to kick the judges out, funding a statewide “Judge Bus” tour, radio ads, TV ads, text messages and polling. Even Citizens United chipped in $18,000 at almost the last minute.

Andrew Sullivan adds,

This has never happened before in Iowa’s history of allowing such votes since 1962. NOM is also trying to remove marriage rights from gay couples in New Hampshire – and they may have secured a veto-proof majority to rip gay couples legally apart.

Okay. I get where the whole “I don’t think gays should get married” fucked-up string of logic comes from, but to hate gays so much as to punish their allies (via unemployment!) is just straight-up proof that those who support NOM and its causes act out of a supreme hatred for LGBT folk, not a supreme concern. The fact that the private funding of individual citizens caused the removal of these three judges is absurd.

Why do we let those who demonstrate no logical aptitude determine the fate of those who do? Why?

 

What else you got?

What the fuck has Obama done? More than I can remember. http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/ has all the answers. Here are some of the things he has done.

Repealed Bush era restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/09/obama-administration-stem-cell-funding)
Signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first piece of comprehensive legislation aimed at improving the lives of Americans living with paralysis (http://www.christopherreeve.org/site/c.ddJFKRNoFiG/b.4506337/apps/s/content.asp?ct=6866203)
Established Credit Card Bill of Rights, preventing credit card companies from imposing arbitrary rate increases on customers (http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/33/establish-a-credit-card-bill-of-rights/)

And the list goes on. This list is in memory of all those Democrats who today end their civic service. Thanks for your votes, they cost you a seat.

[edit: WhatTheFuckHasObamaDoneSoFar is a partisan website. All claims are sketchy until proven worthy.]

Grave Days for Dems

How many house seats will the Dems lose tomorrow? Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post reports not 39 (still holding a majority), not 50-55 (relatively even with the Republicans) but 70 seats. 70! Fineman writes,

But within the last 12 hours I’ve spoken to two top Democratic consultants — very active on the battlefield this fall and with 60 years of on-the-ground experience between them — who told me some shocking news.

Separately, and privately, they each told me that they thought the Democrats could lose 70 seats on Tuesday. That would be a blowout of historic proportions.

Well, negative campaigning really is effective campaigning. The results of the election day tomorrow seem to have been premeditated by an overabundance of media slander from both parties. This slander employs logical fallacy as a starting point, an argumentative strategy which provides a truly depressing  outlook on the intelligence of the American public.

Today, citizens, if you vote, vote smart.

Cougar Tales

Gawker upset some people when they paid an anonymous source for a personal narrative of an almost one night stand with Christine O’Donell. The justification, published the next day, is a defense for their duty to take down the virginal image of the candidate. But when it goes against journalistic principles of transparency, the credibility if the O’Donell’s anonymous ‘victim’ folds.

I could tell when we first met that Christine was older than me. I was 25, and although I never asked her age, I’d have guessed she was in her early 30s. It was only recently that I found out her real age and learned she was in her late 30s when we hooked up. There’s a 14-year gap between us, but she looks good for her age. I don’t think I’d heard the word “cougar” yet at that point, but that’s probably what I’d call her.

This reads like a frat boy’s fish story (lie) after a failed Halloween barely spent with the landlord’s niece. Gawker, hold back, if her lie is as big as you say it is, it will show. You’re poisoning the waves.