The problem with America today

Every now and then I don’t quite make it to the comics in the daily paper.  Somehow, I missed this fabulous Doonesbury a friend posted on FB today:



Chart of the day

Talked to yet another Democrat today who was very concerned that this birth control silliness would lead to an electorally harmful backlash against Obama.  I really just don’t see it.  Here’s an interesting chart on the issue via Sarah Kliff:

As for the White Evangelical opposition, I’d lay good money on the fact that this is about the fact that this is a really Republican group who’s been ginned up on the issue more than anything.  I.e., if you had asked them this question a month ago they would have looked much more similar to the other groups.  And, of course, Obama was never going to do well among this group anyway.  I just really don’t see this issue affecting many people’s votes.

Photo of the day

Many of my readers are not local and thus not aware of the rather unique tradition that’s developed at NCSU– the Krispy Kreme Challenge.  Runners depart from campus to a Krispy Kreme a couple miles away, eat a dozen donuts, and then return– hopefully without depositing their partially digested donuts on the street.  It began as a lark, but within a few years has become a hugely popular event.  And, it raises money for a Children’s Hospital.  I’ve never participated, but I’m going to have to one of these days (though, in the category where you don’t actually eat all the donuts).  Among the interesting pictures the Raleigh News and Observer provided, I enjoyed this one in particular:

Catholics and birth control

I’ve got CBS Early Show on behind me discussing this.  No!  This is ridiculous.  Catholics (like everybody else) love their birth control!  This is a non-story drummed up by conservatives looking for any angle and the incredibly small group of Catholics (i.e., overwhelming the Church hierarchy) who actually think birth control is evil.  I’ll leave the rest to Drum:

Two new polls today shed some light on this question. The first one, from the Public Religion Research Institute, asked if all employers should be required to offer healthcare plans that cover contraception:

  • All Americans: broad agreement, 55%-40%
  • Catholics: broad agreement, 58%-37%

But maybe respondents weren’t specifically primed to think that some employers are churches that have theological objections to birth control. So the second survey asked the general question first (getting similar results to the PRRI survey) and then asked specifically if Catholic hospitals and universities should be included:

  • All Americans: broad agreement, 57%-39%
  • Catholics: broad agreement, 53%-45%

In both cases, the numbers are much higher for Democrats and Independents. It’s really only Republicans who object much, which strongly suggests that most of the objection is rooted in ideology, not religious conscience…

My position on this is plain: the church hierarchy’s objection to birth control is medieval and barbaric. All those Catholic pundits raising hell over the new contraception regs should spend their time instead raising hell with their own church over a policy that’s caused incalculable pain and misery for millions of women around the globe. Instead, they’re all claiming that although they don’t have any problem with contraception, they think the government should be more sensitive toward those who do. But it turns out there’s practically no one who does. They’re all pointing their fingers toward a group of people that barely exists.

When there’s a societal consensus in a secular country, religious institutions have to accept that, and in America there’s a virtually unanimous societal consensus on contraception. Americans don’t have any problem with contraception. American Catholics don’t have any problem with contraception. And on a public health basis, requiring healthcare plans to cover contraception is common sense. No one — almost literally no one — thinks there’s any problem with it. It’s a non-issue.

Mitt Romney = Hillary Clinton

What?  Well, Nate Silver suggests– rightly, I think– that he certainly does in under-appreciating the value of Caucus states.    Sure, he wanted to keep expectations low, but what’s the whole point of all those resources if you don’t put them to good use?!  Why allow Santorum the opportunity to bring his momentum and aura of inevitability to a halt, when presumably he could of gone after Santorum in last night’s states like he did against Newt in Florida?  Sure, he’s still a strong front-runner but he’s completely allowed the narrative to get away from him.  Sure, maybe a bunch of ads would not have helped, but they probably would’ve.  For such a presumably smart guy, I’m certainly not impressed with Romney’s strategery here.   Silver’s take:

Why Mr. Romney’s campaign made these decisions is hard to say. One of the advantages of having a resource-rich campaign, as Mr. Romney does, is precisely that you are able to leave less to chance. Mr. Romney would have had the luxury of running commercials in Colorado or Minnesota, or of establishing a set of field offices in those states. Instead, his strategy was complacent. He gambled and paid the price, as Hillary Rodham Clinton did in the caucus states in 2008.

Fortunately for Mr. Romney, none of his rivals are in the same ballpark as Mrs. Clinton’s opponent, Barack Obama, as measured by metrics like fundraising, organizational strength, or oratorical skill. But Mr. Romney is not a strong enough candidate that he can afford more nights as bad as Tuesday.

Yep.  Romney needs to be really glad that Santorum is certainly no Obama.  Again, he’s the one-eyed man in a room of the blind.

Politics of resentment redux

If only the damn “elites” who think they know better weren’t keeping the average (White Republican) American down.  I enjoyed hearing this little sound bite from Rick Santorum this morning:

“He thinks he knows better. He thinks he’s smarter than you.”

Maybe this is because I’m an out-of-touch elite, but Barack Obama is smarter than you.  The man went to Columbia, Harvard Law, and was a Law Professor at U of Chicago.  Yeah, it’s a pretty good bet he’s smarter than you.  Get over it.  What would the Republican base have, if they didn’t have the people on either side to resent.  We’ve got the damn (largely non-white) freeloaders taking their hard earned money on one side and those damn librul coastal elites on the other telling them what to do.  It’s rough.

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