Last 47% post

Why now?  Because I finally figured out how to embed Colbert and Daily Show clips here!  Wordpress has support for Hulu embeds and these shows both feature all their good clips on Hulu (whereas the direct links from the show’s websites don’t let me embed).  Anyway, interesting to see how Jon Stewart vs. Colbert handled this.  I really only watch the clips good enough that my friends post to FB, but generally speaking, I prefer Colbert’s razor sharp satire and I especially love this one:

 

 

Faux News

This is just amazing.  No serious news organization would ever actually pull stunt after stunt like this.  Fox is propaganda, not news (via Media Matters):

In a graphic labeled “Growth of Government Spending (As A Share Of GDP),” Fox & Friends suggested that government spending increased from 3.2 percent of the economy at the end of the Bush administration to an average of 23.8 percent under Obama.  But in doing so, Fox compared the level of deficits under Bush to overall spending under Obama —  two completely different measures of government spending.

The figure for “government spending” during the Obama administration is in line with historical data for overall spending as a percentage of the economy, a figure that does not take into account federal revenue. By contrast, the 3.2 percent figure used to illustrate “government spending” under Bush and the figures for the 1940s are in line with historical data for deficits, a figure that does take into account revenues.

Fox News has a conservative slant on things.  I’m fine with that.  Really.  What I’m not fine with is them pretending that they are an objective news source.  I’m also not a fan of lying and totally mis-informing the American public dumb enough to watch.

Photo of the day

You know I’m a sucker for a North Korean photo set (Big Picture):

A North Korean couple pose for a wedding picture near the newly constructed development project area on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang, North Korea, Sept. 19, 2012. (Vincent Yu/Associated Press)

 

On not being a mom

Jessica Valenti argues that not wanting kids is “entirely normal.”  Interesting collection of sentiments from women who hate being moms.  Who am I to tell them they should be.  It’s a shame, though.  Being a parent is awesome.  Valenti tells of the many moms who abandoned their older kids in Nebraska when it was temporary legalized.  And the many comments from moms on-line who hate being moms.   Anyway, here’s the rub:

The overwhelming sentiment, however was the feeling of a loss of self, the terrifying reality that their lives had been subsumed into the needs of their child. DS wrote, “I feel like I have completely lost any thing that was me. I never imagined having children and putting myself aside would make me feel this bad.” The expectation of total motherhood is bad enough, having to live it out every day is soul crushing. Everything that made us an individual, that made us unique, no longer matters. It’s our role as a mother that defines us. Not much has changed…

American culture can’t accept the reality of a woman who does not want to be a mother. It goes against everything we’ve been taught to think about women and how desperately they want babies. If we’re to believe the media and pop culture, women — even teen girls — are forever desperate for a baby. It’s our greatest desire…

By having more honest conversations about parenting, we can avoid the kind of secret depressions so many mothers seem to be harboring. If what we want is deliberate, thought-out, planned, and expected parenthood — and parenting that is healthy and happy for children — then we have to speak out.

I think the biggest problem we run into is societal expectations and roles versus real life.  I’m convinced that being a parent is the most awesome thing ever, but I can actually see how being a mom in today’s society can actually be worse than not for many women.  I see that as an interaction effect with our society, though.  As I’ve argued before, we’re evolved to be parents.  Not wanting to be a mom is “normal” in the fact that clearly many women feel that way, but I would still argue that there’s something not “normal” with this being such a widespread sentiment.  Though, I’m now much less judgmental on the subject and definitely believe that people who don’t want children should not have children (as Valenti points out, they tend to make inferior parents).

Romney is not a bad candidate

So, I listened to the 60 Minutes interview with Romney via podcast yesterday.  The man comported himself well.  A reasonably intelligent, reasonably politically-informed person listenting to the interview would have been impressed with Romney and should have come away thinking the man has the skills and policies to be a good president.  There’s times when he can most definitely talk a good game.  Now, to your typical liberal policy wonk, one can point out all sorts of flaws and misleading statements about his policies, but your average voter is not a liberal policy wonk.  So again, is Mitt the perfect candidate?  Far from it, but he his head and shoulders above the Rick Perry’s, Sarah Palin’s, Herman Cain’s, Newt Gingrich’s, etc., of the Republican world.

Had this post queued up and then came across this amazing rant from Charles Pierce, which I think further hits the theme: the problem is the GOP, not Mitt:

The overall point here is to rise, however briefly, to the defense of Willard Romney as the Republican nominee. As it happens, I think his wife was right on the money when she took to the radio in Iowa to offer each of the mewling conservatives who have been sniping at her husband a large, steaming flagon of STFU. Seriously, why are Peggy Noonan, or Bill Kristol, or Joe Scarborough — why are these people whose opinions should matter to someone running for president? Because they’re on TV a lot? Noonan’s demonstrably soft as a grape and Kristol’s been wrong about everything for going on two decades now. The Squint’s just trying to stay afloat. More to the point — and this is something that Ann Romney would not say, but I will: Every one of the people who are now so horrified at the campaign Mitt Romney is running spent three decades making the campaign Mitt Romney’s running absolutely inevitable.

The biggest problem with Romney’s campaign is its utter incoherence, which stems from the fact that he had to romance a Republican primary electorate that is clearly demented. [emphasis mine] The root of the campaign’s fundamental dishonesty, which is what has led to its incoherence in the first place, is the fact that the Republican primary electorate forced Romney to renounce the only real achievement he has as an elected politician — the Massachusetts health-care reform. Once you find you have to lie about all the good you did, what does the rest of it really matter?

Where were people like Noonan and Kristol when this dementia was building? Where were they when the Republican Party married itself to crackpot economics and fringe religion solely for the purpose of winning elections? Where was Joe Scarborough? …

Sooner or later, there was going to be a Republican presidential field that consisted of the purely insane and One Other Candidate. (It almost happened in 2008, except that you had John McCain and a relatively non-panderish Romney to hold off the propeller-beanie crowd.) It turns out that Willard Romney is now the One Other Candidate, and people are now professing surprise that he couldn’t placate the mouthbreathers and then “pivot” to Genuine Conservatism, which, I believe, can be defined today as mouthbreathing with sweeter breath. The greatest politician in the world couldn’t do that, and Willard Romney is not the greatest politician in the world. He is, however, the candidate of a political party that has lost its mind at the grassroots. The people who are now so sour on him had their chance to arrest that development over the past 30 years, and they declined. It’s a little late to pin their pandering on him.

Maybe a little harsh, but damn that felt good.  Of course, Mitt is not blameless.  He could have chosen not to pander 100% to the lowest common denominator of the Republican Party, but alas, that is the “leadership” he has shown.

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