Keep the government out of my wallet and in my pants, inconsistent Republicans say

The past year and a half has really been entertaining. The far right-wing of the Republican party, the Teabaggers, got everyone all up in a tizzy and found themselves influencing the 2010 elections, as if they knew anything about any issue. They ousted a lot of Democrats by campaigning on no more than austerity – which has worked out just so well for Europe – but once they got in office, they switched gears and started passing laws that told women they were too stupid to know what abortion entailed, which I presume was also their basis for repealing laws which said women deserve equal pay for equal work as compared to men. Apparently the government has no place in the wallets of Teabaggers – unless we’re talking about Medicare and Social Security – but it should have everything to do with the uterus of a woman. But worry not! The GOP is turning over a new leaf. That’s right. Now they’re going after the genitals of boys and girls – particularly before they even get stimulated:

[Tennessee] legislation banning teachers from promoting or condoning “gateway sexual activity” is headed to the governor’s desk after approval by the state House of Representatives on Friday.

The bill, which passed the full Senate earlier this month, would require all state sexual education classes to “exclusively and emphatically” promote abstinence while banning teachers from promoting any form of “gateway sexual activity.” The latter term, which has garnered national media attention and been lampooned by comedian Stephen Colbert, is not specifically defined in the bill.

The vote was 68-23, with all but one Republican for it.

In other news, Republicans in 14 states have passed bills which mandate books be carried by boys at all times and that the temperature in school building is to never dip below 72. GOP leaders said boys need to carry the books, especially around the age of 11, because time has proven that to be one of the most effective ways of covering up a poorly-timed erection. As for the temperature, one house member said, “We don’t want girls getting cold and pointing their thingies at the boys. Those books are there for emergencies, not leisure.”

Thought of the day

The biggest issues for the Tea Party:

  • Breaking up unions (without helping any budgets)
  • Restricting abortions
  • Expanding gun ‘rights’
  • Questioning the President’s place of birth
  • Defunding public radio
  • Restricting civil rights for gays
  • Replacing Jewish lawmakers with “true Christian” leaders
  • Pretending the U.S. is a Christian nation
  • Pretending the U.S. was even founded on Christian ‘principles’
  • Abusing the already weak concept of libertarianism

Oh, and most don’t want to see cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. So remind me again why so much of the nation believes this movement has anything to do with spending and taxes?

Thought of the day

Isn’t it interesting how the Tea Party claims to be about economic issues, yet all their biggest moves so far have been on social issues.

Oh, woe is me! I’m only white!

This is fucking ridiculous:

  • A recent Public Religion Research Institute poll found 44% of Americans surveyed identify discrimination against whites as being just as big as bigotry aimed at blacks and other minorities. The poll found 61% of those identifying with the Tea Party held that view, as did 56% of Republicans and 57% of white evangelicals.
  • U.S. Census Bureau projections that whites will become a minority by 2050 are fueling fears that whiteness no longer represents the norm. This fear has been compounded by the recent recession, which hit whites hard.

Uh-huh. All that bigotry I face, day in, day out. I just wish brown folk could recognize how bad I’ve really got it. People see me walking down the street and I just know they’re staring! I must stick out like a sore thumb. Especially in Maine. And when I go for a job? Oh, man. Talk about bigotry. I can’t begin to describe how many times I haven’t even been offered a cup of coffee at an interview. And when I go down to the coast in the summer? I swear I got an undersized lobster one time. Bigots.

Augment your reading with Shambling After.

The racist endeavors of the Tea Party

Okay, I’ll admit it. Not every Teabagger is racist. Some of them honestly just want a balanced budget during economic hard times. So did Herbert Hoover, but I digress.

But then there is the majority that always seems to back the racist bullshit like we see in Wake County, North Carolina.

The sprawling Wake County School District has long been a rarity. Some of its best, most diverse schools are in the poorest sections of this capital city. And its suburban schools, rather than being exclusive enclaves, include children whose parents cannot afford a house in the neighborhood.

But over the past year, a new majority-Republican school board backed by national Tea Party movement conservatives has set the district on a strikingly different course. Pledging to “say no to the social engineers!’’ it has abolished the policy behind one of the nation’s most celebrated integration efforts.

As the board moves toward a system in which students attend neighborhood schools, some members are embracing the provocative idea that concentrating poor children, who are usually minorities, in a few schools could have merits — logic that critics are blasting as a 21st-century case for segregation.

Ah, the ol’ “social engineering” refrain. We’ve always known it was racist, but now we really get to see it in a blatantly racist context. “Send black children to black schools and white children to white schools…and have them all run by whites! It’s the only way to be fair! Uh, uh. We mean, uh, no social engineering…? Yeah, that last one is what we meant.”

I don’t pretend to be a Malcolm X expert, but I do know one of his biggest points was that institutions run by a group that has less than a full interest in the well being of another group will not be the best of possible institutions. Laws and government policies have corrected that in some places, Wake County being one of the best examples. Still in other places, we’re churning out kids with awful educations, kids who are destined to fail. So when we get schools that feature both poor kids and wealthy kids – and come on, we all know that largely is just code for minority kids and white kids – it isn’t surprising that we start to see some pretty great results. We’re taking all sorts of bright kids from all sorts of places and giving them all sorts of opportunities. This is an excellent example of government doing its job. It is this sort of policy which has forced the wealthy group to interact with the poorer group, thereby raising the standards for education on a broad basis. Or to put it another way, we have no one group running an institution for another group in which it has less than a full interest.

But I don’t think anyone ever thought the Tea Party was a pragmatic organization. Actual results aren’t what matter for that racist endeavor. It’s all about an agenda that is very loosely defined by libertarianism, but is driven by division and bigotry and, probably above it all, outright and unashamed greed.

Quickies

  • The Tea Party is a response to a black president.
  • Most of the job loss in the Bush Recession occurred before Obama’s policies were even in place.
  • One major factor in the political polarization of the U.S. is the gerrymandering of districts – from both major parties.
  • Paul LePage knows nothing.
  • Matt Damon is excellent.

‘AsMaineGoes’ user gets it wrong

From time to time I find that someone links to FTSOS from some right-wing, teabagging, anti-common sense site called AsMaineGoes.com. I usually just ignore it because there isn’t really any substance being added; the user will just link back here because he* can safely assume that everyone will agree that whatever I’ve said is disagreeable. But now someone has made a thread based on my post about Libby Mitchell being great for education, and while he basically just does the standard practice of quoting me with the assumption that all his right-wing friends are on board with what he thinks, he did have to make a thread title.

Disagree wtih (sic) Libby? You’re ‘Hostile Towards Science’

Why, Michael, you say, do you really believe people are hostile towards science for disagreeing with Libby Mitchell? No. Here’s what I actually said (and even what this guy actually quoted):

Whereas LePage and the Republican party are hostile towards science, Mitchell recognizes its crucial importance to the future of the state.

It isn’t that hard to get. LePage and Republicans aren’t hostile towards science because they disagree with Libby Mitchell. That would be ridiculous. They just disagree with Libby Mitchell because they’re hostile towards science.

*I normally use “he” in my writing when I could use either gender (or both – “he or she”) because I’m not usually looking to make a point about gender equality, at least not in a way that constitutes a literary distraction for most people. But I think in this case of using “he” for users at AsMaineGoes, I have pretty high odds of using the correct pronoun.