McCain and DADT

Sorry for not a lot of “real” blogging today.  Hopefully, I’m at least keeping you entertained.  Here’s John Stewart at his best skewering McCain on DADT:

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Photo of the Day

From Sunday’s Bored to Death:

Are there other “un-aristocratic” words I should know about?

Just yesterday on GMA I heard them mention that Prince William and his girlfriend had been dating for eight years.  Honestly, I’m pretty skeptical of most relationships that go that long without an engagement.   Apparently, they were just waiting for me to be aware of the situation as this morning they have now announced their engagement.  Why so long?  Here’s one theory:

The romance has had its setbacks. The pair split for several months in 2007, amid speculation (always denied) that the royal family was dismayed by the lower status of Miss Middleton’s family and that Mrs. Middleton had chewed gum and used un-aristocratic words like “toilet” and “pardon” in front of Queen Elizabeth, William’s grandmother.

“Pardon” really?  I thought that was the quintessential British word.  Also, I’m wondering about the “aristocratic” term for bathroom.  “WC”?  “Loo”?  I’ll definitely not chew gum should I ever meet British royalty.

The real hope for a third party

Via the Onion (please note, this link, while highly amusing,  is not entirely safe for work):

WASHINGTON—A CNN/Gallup Poll released Monday revealed that a vast majority of registered male voters would have strongly supported a naked woman in the 2010 midterm elections.

The online survey found that regardless of political philosophy or party affiliation, 85 percent of American men in every ethnic, age, and socioeconomic group consistently chose a completely nude woman over a Democratic, Republican, or independent candidate…

“Even in highly contested Senate races in Colorado, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, it would have been a naked-lady sweep,” Walton added. “And a naked woman would have easily been elected governor in all 37 states where the office was up for grabs.”

Greedy geezers?

Nice column from the New Yorker’s James Surowiecki on the generation gap (yes, still my latest obsession) in the recent election.  I already stole his title, here’s the two paragraphs I really liked:

Misinformation about “death panels” and so on had something to do with seniors’ hostility. But the real reason is that it feels to them as if health-care reform will come at their expense, since the new law will slow the growth in Medicare spending over the next decade. It won’t actually cut current spending, as Republicans claimed in campaign ads, but between now and 2019 total Medicare outlays will be half a trillion dollars less than previously projected. Never mind that this number includes cost savings from more efficient care, or that the bill has a host of provisions that benefit seniors—most notably the closing of the infamous drug-benefit “doughnut hole,” which had left people responsible for thousands of dollars in prescription-drug costs. The idea that the government might try to restrain Medicare spending was enough to turn seniors against the bill.

There’s a colossal irony here: the very people who currently enjoy the benefits of a subsidized, government-run insurance system are intent on keeping others from getting the same treatment. In part, this is because seniors think of Medicare as an “entitlement”—something that they have a right to because they paid for it, via Medicare taxes—and decry the new bill as a giveaway. This is a myth: seniors today get far more out of Medicare than they ever put in, which means that their medical care is paid for by current taxpayers. There’s nothing wrong with this: the U.S. is rich enough so that the elderly shouldn’t have to worry about having health insurance; before Medicare, roughly half of them didn’t have it. But the subsidies that seniors get aren’t fundamentally different from the ones that the Affordable Care Act will offer some thirty million Americans who don’t have insurance. Opposing the new law while reaping the benefits of Medicare is essentially saying, “I’ve got mine—good luck getting yours.”

I really like his framing of the issue on the subsidies– especially because I hadn’t thought of it that way myself.  Not that I’m optimistic on the matter, but it seems that there’s political gain to be had in framing the issue this way.

Chart of the day

Admittedly, a couple weeks late, but still interesting:

What this is showing is that racism was significantly correlated with voting Republican in 2010, but in 2006, not so much (the correlation is not statistically significant).  And, a further experiment suggests this is definitely Obama-related (not all that surprising):

The figure below suggests that experimentally connecting Democrats to Obama does, in fact, increase the impact of racial prejudice candidate preference.  After controlling for party identification and ideological self-placement, attitudes about interracial relationships were a statistically stronger predictor of Democratic minus Republican candidate favorability ratings among the subset of respondents who were primed with questions about Obama.  In other words, it appears that blatant forms of prejudice, which had long been dormant in white Americans’ partisan preferences, will influence voting behavior in the upcoming elections because of Barack Obama’s association with the Democratic Party.

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