Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston


From the BBC:

Early indications suggest the Republic of Ireland has voted to legalise same-sex marriage in a historic referendum.

More than 3.2m people were asked whether they wanted to amend the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Government ministers have said they believe it will pass, while prominent "no" campaigners have conceded defeat.

Counting started at 09:00 BST on Saturday morning. An "unusually high" turnout has been reported.

A result is expected by mid to late afternoon on Saturday.


If the change is approved, the Republic of Ireland would become the first country to legalise same-sex marriage through a popular vote.

Minister for Equality Aodhan O Riordain said on Twitter: "I'm calling it. Key boxes opened. It's a yes. And a landslide across Dublin. And I'm so proud to be Irish today."

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Good Stuff

Herman Cain's candidacy is over.


With one month remaining this year, the U.S. private sector has now added 1.67 million jobs in 2011, well ahead of last year’s private-sector total of 1.2 million, and the best year for businesses since 2006.


Reuters) - The U.S. unemployment rate tumbled to a 2-1/2 year low in November, even though the pace of hiring remained too slow to suggest a significant acceleration in the labor market recovery.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 120,000 jobs, the Labor Department said on Friday, and the jobless rate dropped to 8.6 percent, the lowest since March 2009, from 9 percent in October.

It was the biggest monthly decline since January. While part of the decrease was due to people leaving the labor force, the household survey from which the department calculates the unemployment rate also showed solid gains in employment.

"The economy is continuing to head in the right direction," said Millan Mulraine, senior macro strategist at TD Securities in New York. "However, the ultimate test of the sustainability of the recovery is for the economy to create a sufficient number of jobs to sustain a consumer-led rebound in activity."


A Conservative pundit, George Will, commenting on Newt Gingrich:  "Now you can associate many things with Mr. Gingrich, but wisdom isn’t one of them."


The Bomb Buried In Obamacare Explodes Today [12/02/2011]-Hallelujah!


Andrew Sullivan commenting on the Rabid Right's overestimating Mr. Gingrich and underestimating President Obama:

"Of course, when you actually imagine a Gingrich-Obama debate, and you are not living in a cocoon that insists that Obama is both dumb and a commie, you see how fatal a trap this could be for the GOP.

It's not just that Obama is a smart person whereas Gingrich is simply a dumb person's idea of a smart person. It's that Obama has always excelled up against a volatile, angry opponent. He is a master of allowing them to self-destruct. He got that Houdini-like master of political survival, Bill Clinton, to blow up in the primaries. In a matter of days, he got McCain to destroy his bid with his frantic response to the Lehman collapse.
I mean: who's gonna seem like the angry guy in a Newt-Barack match? Who's gonna seem like the old, rather than mature, one? Even when Gingrich was Speaker, he couldn't muster any grace or authority or calm: things we like in a crisis and a president.

I can't believe the GOP is going to fall for this yet another time. But their loathing of Obama seems to trump all reason, prudence, or guile. Once again, the jujitsu Obama model of politics emerges as his strongest weapon. Given the economy, it may not be enough. But man, does Obama get lucky sometimes in his opponents."


And kudos to Minnesota and its Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, for plodding along in this difficult economic time and getting things done.

Christmas has come early in Minnesota.

After an intense battle over government spending shut down its government for 20 days this summer, the state now is forecasting an $876 million surplus over the next two years. That’s a huge surprise compared to the $5 billion projected deficit that Minnesota expected in July, setting off a national, highly-partisan battle over the best way to close that gap.

What changed? State officials chalk a lot of the good news up to factors specific to Minnesota. The state has seen its revenue increase as its unemployment rate is lower than the national average. The state has, for example, regained about a third of the jobs lost since the recession began. Nationally, that number stands at 22 percent.

Minnesota has also cut its spending, particularly on health care, in unique ways. It’s one of just four states, for example, to expand its Medicaid program in advance of the health reform law’s required expansion. For doing so, it’s received a higher Medicaid matching rate for some patients from the federal government.


majii said...

I love your blog and visit quite often, but I don't leave a comment. I decided to do so today to let you know that your work is very much appreciated! Thanks!!

Shaw Kenawe said...

Thank you majii. Glad to have you here.

More from George Will on Newt Gingrich:

"Gingrich...embodies the vanity and rapacity that make modern Washington repulsive. And there is his anti-conservative confidence that he has a comprehensive explanation of, and plan to perfect, everything.

Granted, his grandiose rhetoric celebrating his “transformative” self is entertaining: Recently he compared his revival of his campaign to Sam Walton’s and Ray Kroc’s creations of Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, two of America’s largest private-sector employers. There is almost artistic vulgarity in Gingrich’s unrepented role as a hired larynx for interests profiting from such government follies as ethanol and cheap mortgages. His Olympian sense of exemption from standards and logic allowed him, fresh from pocketing $1.6 million from Freddie Mac (for services as a “historian”), to say, “If you want to put people in jail,” look at “the politicians who profited from” Washington’s environment.

His temperament — intellectual hubris distilled — makes him blown about by gusts of enthusiasm for intellectual fads, from 1990s futurism to “Lean Six Sigma” today. On Election Eve 1994, he said a disturbed South Carolina mother drowning her children “vividly reminds” Americans “how sick the society is getting, and how much we need to change things. . . . The only way you get change is to vote Republican.” Compare this grotesque opportunism — tarted up as sociology — with his devious recasting of it in a letter to the Nov. 18, 1994, Wall Street Journal And remember his recent swoon over the theory that “Kenyan, anti-colonial” thinking explains Barack Obama.

Gingrich, who would have made a marvelous Marxist, believes everything is related to everything else and only he understands how. Conservatism, in contrast, is both cause and effect of modesty about understanding society’s complexities, controlling its trajectory and improving upon its spontaneous order. Conservatism inoculates against the hubristic volatility that Gingrich exemplifies and Genesis deplores: “Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.”

Or, as Shakespeare wrote in Othello, who said of his wife [under Iago's influence]: "Thou art false as water."

Because, when you think of it, water becomes the shape of everything that it is poured into.

ckg101 said...

Cain was never going to be the nominee. The right let him make a fool of himself so that they could pat themselves on the back for not being racists. "Look! We support a Negro! We can't be racist!"

Cain has been an embarrassment to the GOP and any serious politician.

Rational Nation USA said...

Let's hope the numbers continue to improve. Although I Suspect no particular action by the government is responsible for the improvement.

Will nailed it with his remarks on GIngrich .

dmarks said...

ckg: I see you bashing Cain for his skin color in this comment. I never saw any of my conservative friends do this.

And I'd like to see your source for your quote. One that uses a much milder N-world that is still considered to be quaint and mildly racist.

Come on, ckg, can't you find some way to bash Cain without bashing him for being black?

Infidel753 said...

Ckg didn't bash Cain for being black. He bashed Cain for being stupid, and he bashed Republicans for using Cain as window dressing to disguise their own racism.

Gingrich does appear smart in contrast to klutzes like Perry and Cain, but he's not in Obama's league. And surely there must be some limit to the depth of moral hypocrisy that even Republican voters can stomach. The man is a slug.

Malcolm said...

Newt and the other right-wingers shouldn't be so confident he'll crush President Obama in a debate. They are forgetting how President Obama went into the lion's den to debate with the House Republicans on health care back in 2010. He whupped their asses so bad, Fox "News" cut away from covering it live!

Dmarks: You're reaching in your attempt to hang the "racist" tag on Ckg. The way I read it, Ckg's use of the term "Negro" was satirical in regards to how they feel white conservatives view Herman Cain. I think many of them got behind Cain for the reasons cited by Ckg and Infidel. It kills a lot of conservatives that it was the Democrats who elected the first African-American president. If Cain defeated President Obama, conservatives would've never let us forget it. I wasn't worried about that happening because the current incarnation of the GOP will never elect a black president.

Jerry Critter said...

Well, let's see:
1. Cain out.
2. Unemployment drops.
3. Health insurance companies take it up the butt.
4. The Right is eating it own.

All in all, it has been a good week to be a Democrat.

dmarks said...

infidel said; "and he bashed Republicans for using Cain as window dressing to disguise their own racism."

yet, it was him calling Cain a "negro", not the Republicans. And yes he showed no evidence of their racism.

Malcolm said: "The way I read it, Ckg's use of the term "Negro" was satirical in regards to how they feel white conservatives view Herman Cain."

But is their any evidence of this?

OKG's statement is a lot like the contorted logic on the Right that calls Obama an "affirmative action" President, along with claims from the Right that Obama was only nominated because he was black. Such silly claims backfire on the rightists making them, just as they backfire on OKG... and those making the claims end up looking racist.

And surely OKG can find better things to bash Cain on than bashing him for being a "Negro" while he makes clumsy attempts to project it on others.

"I wasn't worried about that happening because the current incarnation of the GOP will never elect a black president."

Which while isn't a racist statement by you, is a baseless accusation of racism. We had a big Cain rally in our town, and he got genuine enthusiasm from the Republicans. Genuine, and not from some diabolical plot.

ckg101 said...

@DMarks "ckg I see you bashing Cain for his skin color in this comment. I never saw any of my conservative friends do this."

DMarks if you don't understand the difference between a rhetorical device and a racial slur, I certainly can't do much tohelp you out there. Everyone else but you understood what my satirical comment was about, so I think it's safe to say you got it wrong.

@DMarks: "We had a big Cain rally in our town, and he got genuine enthusiasm from the Republicans. Genuine, and not from some diabolical plot."

This is the crux of the problem, "a big Cain rally" for a charlatan who was ignorant of the most basic information needed by a person running for president. More evidence of the Republicans' lack of judgement. Cain was running for President of the US for gosh shakes, not the head of the Rotary Club.

The GOP is the laughing stock of not just enlightened Americans, but the resst of the world for encouraging unqualified opportunists with a problem keeping his pants zipped.

Octopus said...

dmarks: “…he showed no evidence of their racism.

dmarks: “… a baseless accusation of racism. We had a big Cain rally in our town, and he got genuine enthusiasm from the Republicans.

Here is your internal inconsistency: You accuse one reader of failing to provide evidence; then you offer a subjective IMPRESSION in rebuttal. Personal impressions, like personal opinions, do not constitute evidence. You want evidence?

How about former Tea Party backed candidate for NY governor, Carl Paladino, who sent racist, sexist, and pornographic emails to constituents, as reported by Bob Herbert of the New York Times.

How about the widely distributed email campaign of racist cartoons and doctored PhotoShop images of the President and First Lady as hooker and gigolo, the White House with watermelons on the front lawn, and the Obamas depicted as monkeys, etc.

How about ‘birther’ claims and references that continue to this day, perpetuated by GOP notables such as Donald Trump, Speaker Boehner, and Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) who sponsored a ‘birther’ bill in Congress.

How about the former Dixiecrats (read former segregationists) that now constitute the Southern core of the GOP.

About your precious base: They get behind … not the most qualified, knowledgeable and articulate candidates … but the ones espousing the most belligerence and nihilism. In other words, yesterday’s lunatic fringe has gone mainstream and now constitutes the “base’ of your party. Watching the GOP debates reminds of the Jerry Springer Show – crass crapola with no substance.

Leslie Parsley said...

I was going to respond to dmarks but see others have already done so and done it well, so I won't waste my breath trying to convince someone who has had their head buried in the sand since I've known them re racism on the right.

The whole world is watching this Republican charade - and laughing out loud.

Malcolm said...

Dmarks: I don’t think Cain’s white supporters view him as a “Negro”. I also don’t believe Ckg feels they do either. Again, he used the term “Negro” in a satirical manner.

No, I don’t have concrete evidence. However, Cain was the ideal black candidate for any white conservatives who wanted to deflect charges of racism:

* He downplayed racism in this country (that is, until he himself got into hot water with the sexual harassment allegations).

* Claiming that black Democrats were brainwashed was orgasmic for the conservative base.

When you combine the numerous blunders Cain made during his presidential run (some of which I’ve listed below) with the fact that he still managed to remain higher in the polls than other candidates, I’m led to believe his supporters have dug in their heels for superficial reasons.

* An utter lack of foreign policy knowledge.

* His odd and poorly worded attempts to explain his stance on abortion.

* The infamous “Libya” interview

* The aforementioned sexual harassment charges leveled against him by various women and his stumbling efforts at damage control.

* The allegation of a 13 year affair with Ginger White.

All of these incidents would have sunk anyone else in the GOP field. Why not Herman Cain? Sure, he eventually dropped in the polls and did drop out of the race. However, he still has rabid support from some of the base. Why?

The main objective for conservatives is to defeat President Obama. I think for some of them, it would have been an added bonus if a black Republican candidate was the one to bring him down.

To be continued...

Malcolm said...

Dmarks: Technology is such a beautiful thing because it allows me the ability to debunk your “baseless accusation” claim with cold, hard facts. Any genuine enthusiasm Cain received at a rally in your town doesn’t change the fact that some whites will never vote for a black candidate.

This racist sentiment isn’t restricted to the right (note the man at the 35 sec mark of the 2nd clip).

News story about a racist McCain supporter in Ohio:

McCain supporters in PA:

McCain supporters in Ohio:

Do you believe the McCain supporters in these clips would also vote for Herman Cain? A person’s political viewpoint doesn’t necessarily dictate how they feel about race. However, I think racial hang-ups are more of a problem for your side than it is for mine. You want proof? Who currently resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? I’m not boasting that it was Democrats who elected the first African-American president, I’m just stating a fact.

What I would love to see is for a black Republican face off against a white Democrat in a presidential election. The results would likely reveal how far we have or haven’t progressed in regards to race in this country.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I visited a conservative blog to comment on a post that extolled the idea of a Gingrich/Cain ticket for 2012 elections.

I pointed out the hypocrisy of the base of the GOP--The Family Values/Evangelical base--proposing a thrice-married serial adulterer and an alleged womanizer as their "dream ticket."

I have no judgement on Gingrich's or Cain's personal lives. They're none of my business. But shouldn't it be the business of the Family Values Party? The party that ravages a true family values man, Barack Obama? But the base ignores their own values because they hate Obama more than they love their own values. And it's sick.

Anyway, here is a sampling of the responses to my questions:

Impertinent wrote: "I don't mince words. You filthy liars need a can of Raid in your faces...not pepper spray."

Impertinent also wrote: "Why Z..they're filty, serial liars and scum. Just like their bug bed ridden OWS...Decadent, parasitical scum...all of them..."

Impertinent continued: "You little piece of shit...You assholes and your hairy armed lesbian girlfriends...claimed it "wasn't sex". You shits invented the lies. You scum defended a whore, rapist president"

Shaw Kenawe said...

That should be "savages" not "ravages." Ooops.

Shaw Kenawe said...

As to "Impertinent's" comments, I apparently hit a raw nerve, and his/her only response is to make an ass of him/herself.

Malcolm said...

Shaw: Can you give me the link to the blog post about a potential Gingrich/Cain ticket? Thanks in advance.

billy pilgrim said...

the fact that most of these jokers are going to take part in donald trump's debate underscores what 3 ring circus the whole farce is.

Octopus said...

Auntie Shaw,
Why subject yourself to VERBAL ABUSE of this kind? They will not convert you, and you will not convince them. Think of the Great American Post you can write instead of wasting time on 'morans,' misfits, and character-disordered persons who act like poster candidates for the Post Office.

Do I hafta follow you around and do body guard service on land? I like it here in the comfort of my aquarium. I mean, really!

Shaw Kenawe said...

Malcolm, here's the link.


The whole world laughs at these clowns.


Of course, you're right. You've counseled me against this so many times, but I am ever the optomist thinking that reason and facts will persuade the unpersuadable.

Sadly, I have yet to attain cephalopodal wisdom. I need at least eight more tries.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Sorry about that Malcolm. That link broke.

Try this.

Octopus said...

Auntie Shaw,
That GEEZ blog is wall to wall SLEEZE. How could you! What do you consider a light snack? Storm Front? Just going there made me feel dirty.

I need to ask a slight favor. Would you change my water now ... PLEEZE ?

Malcolm said...

Shaw: Yikes! The comments section of that post was a cesspool. What makes it worse is the blogger's blatant hypocrisy when it comes to his comments policy. The commenter who goes by the name "Impertinent" is a real piece of work. They don't have issues... they have a lifetime subscription!

Infidel753 said...

I pointed out the hypocrisy of the base of the GOP--The Family Values/Evangelical base--proposing a thrice-married serial adulterer and an alleged womanizer as their "dream ticket."

The term "family values" can't be taken literally. It's code for "we hate fags." That's all it means. As long as you're anti-gay (anti-science and anti-secular helps too), you're "pro-family". Just look at their choice for a politician displaying "unwavering support of the family".

Anonymous said...

"Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue."

dmarks said...

Malcolm said: "Again, he used the term “Negro” in a satirical manner."

There comes a point where repeating (or in this case, creating) something racist is racist itself. Like when Limbaugh flogged the Obama "Magic Negro" meme. He credited it to someone else, but it was quite clear that he was using it himself way beyond merely quoting it.

And when some leftist bashes Herman Cain for his skin color before getting into anything else, that says something.

"Any genuine enthusiasm Cain received at a rally in your town doesn’t change the fact that some whites will never vote for a black candidate."

And some blacks will never vote for a white candidate. And some Native Americans will never vote for a Black candidate (I've had intense arguments with a few of those). But the existence of such racists is anecdotal rather than systemic or mainstream.

"However, I think racial hang-ups are more of a problem for your side than it is for mine."

Yet, on these blogs, it is those on the left such as okg who have hangups about Herman Cain's skin color. I have yet to find a conservative blogger with this problem. I've found the worst extreme of this with the NBC commentor Toure, a person on the left, who bashed Cain for "predatory black sexuality".

Of course, the opposite is true for the racist comments about President Obama. There, the rightists engage in tricks like OKG and Toure which reveal only their focus on skin color... and the incapability of some opponents of Cain and Obama to criticize these two men or anything other than their skin color.

The only consistent thing here is that racist bloggers/commenters on both sides unfortunately feel it is fair to include race-bashing in their arsenal of rhetorical weapons against those on the other side of the aisle.

"What I would love to see is for a black Republican face off against a white Democrat in a presidential election. The results would likely reveal how far we have or haven’t progressed in regards to race in this country.

I would not give a damn, really. I'm no racist of any kind, and want the best candidates regardless of skin color. Entirely without regard to it, in fact.

Dave Miller said...

Shaw and Malcolm, I too post there on occasion and have adopted a stance that when people respond as Imp did to Shaw, I ignore them.

I do have to admit, I like reading what they have to say because as a Prof taught me years ago, to effectively counter the other, you need to understand their views and the world from their perspective.

I hold no illusions that I/we will ever change any of their minds, much like they will never change ours.

And here's a good reason why... at least on their side, Senator Tom Coburn told the Tulsa World in 2010 that Gingrich was “the last person I’d vote for for president of the United States. His life indicates he does not have a commitment to the character traits necessary to be a great president.”

But now, he refuses to even discuss that statement. A party that rejected Newt for ethical lapses, is now ready to jettison their "Character Matters' viewpoint, simply because it cannot stand up in their party.

And if you bring any of that up, all we hear about is Clinton.

There is such an amazing disconnect.

Here's the link to a great article Shaw... from Politico

Shaw Kenawe said...

Thank you, everyone, for your fine contributions to this comment forum.

Unfortunately, a catastrophic event has just engulfed my family, and I'll probably not be blogging for a while.

My older sister suffered a stroke that will probably end her life. In the early summer of 2009, I lost another sister. I understand that life brings these awful to us all, and that we have to find the strength to get through the pain and suffering we feel for our loved ones. That's what I'll be dealing with over the next few weeks.

(O)CT(O), you have the keys to the blog. Use them as you wish.

Keep me and my family in your thoughts, please. I'm not a religious person, but I do need the comfort and the support of my blogging friends just now.

Thank you.

Malcolm said...

Dmarks: Just as you are doing with CKG, you're making the same mistake with Toure. That's OK. You don't get it and probably never will.

By the way, when I said I'd like to see a black Republican face off against a white Democrat in a presidential election, I'm operating under the assumption that each will be the best their party has to offer. I couldn't care less about race either.

Dave: You visit conservative blogs for the same reason as me. Although it can be maddening at times, I think it's important to see the other side's point of view. Along those same lines, that's why I also openly invite conservatives to comment/guest post on my blog. As you said, each side isn't likely to change the mind of the other. All I hope is that we can at least come to an understanding.