Anybody’s address can accidentally wind up on inappropriate mail lists, I’m sure, so I’m not complaining that much about getting email from the national Republican Party over the last few days.
The content of those messages, though, gives me ample avenues for objection, and not simply because I disagree with most principles and goals of the GOP. In the case of the email I received this morning, I have to complain from a professional standpoint because the message is self-defeating – idiotic to distribute – and equivalent to the Republican Party shooting itself in its own big, fat foot.
I should attend the Conservative Political Action Conference in March, today’s message reads, because it will feature “Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman Paul Ryan, Governor Chris Christie and other top party leaders(.)”
After I read that line, I actually double-checked the sending address; my first impression was that this was a prankish email sent from some progressive political group, or even the DNC.
For it to actually come from email@example.com indicates these folks are digging an even deeper ditch between their elected officials, and between themselves and voters, too. Only an idiot would have tried this one.
Come on, now; one of their “top party leaders” is Cruz? Whose filibuster last September is credited with prodding the pointless (and costly) 16-day government shutdown one month later? Who other Republicans had to distance themselves from at that time, even avoiding being seen with him in public? And who angered his party’s top dogs in Washington just a couple of weeks ago when he threatened another meaningless filibuster, leading Cruz to complain about “trickery” within the Republican Party? Despite all those intramural battles, which a seasoned political reporter recently said makes the senator “so hated among his Republicans,” Cruz is somehow a “top party leader,” according to the national GOP.
Then there’s Paul Ryan, whose 2012 budget proposal was criticized by party poster-boys Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, even the Club for Growth. Other Republicans bitch-slapped Ryan on budget issues all over again just a couple of months ago; this time, Club for Growth was joined by Heritage Action and FreedomWorks in criticism of Ryan. Sen. Marco Rubio used national media to criticize him in December, too, leading to exchanges that were covered like a spat between Hollywood lovers. But this guy – who some conservatives say cost Republicans the presidential election in ’12 because Ryan was on their ticket as VP – is one of their “top party leaders(.)”
And then, dragging the line down even deeper in dirt, there’s Chris Christie. That’s right, the guy who we recently learned had ordered shutdown of traffic lanes leading to the town of a mayor who didn’t endorse Christie’s last New Jersey governor campaign (and which contributed to the death of an elderly woman). His personal advisor is pleading the Fifth on that one, too. Add in all the juicy details of Christie using Hurricane Sandy relief funds to buy endorsements and fund political projects, along with other misuse and illegality now being investigated by the feds, and it should seem obvious that the GOP needs to keep him in their (what must be arena-sized) skeleton closet. Despite all those scandals, Christie is a “top party leader”?
The Republican Party today is fractured into sawdust-sized splinters – various oppressive religious factions, representatives of the highest-bidding corporations instead of constituents, pranksters who deal emergency funds in exchange for political favors (even if it winds up costing innocent lives), egomaniacs competing in a “no, *I’m* more conservative!” showdown on some “America’s Got Zealots” series.
And so divided and falling is this group that the only ones left it can call “leaders” are those who start fights in their own locker room. Who tear up their own team’s playbook. Who won’t block for their own starting runningback. And whose latest scandals are so deep and detailed that they require update on national news more frequently than the Weather Channel’s “On the 8s” forecasts.
Give it up already, GOP. At the very least, take me off your damn email list.
(At least I got to respond directly to the email they sent me yesterday.)
How I got on their email list I'll never know. But if the GOP really wants my opinion on what I'd like to see them do to change Washington...
(For the record, yes - I did submit that message)
A state legislator recently punished two South Carolina universities on supposedly moral (but apparently homophobic) grounds, cutting away from funding because each school includes books that mention homosexuality in reading assignments.
“(The schools are) promoting gay and lesbian lifestyle,” Rep. Garry Smith said.
Advocacy group SONG (Southerners On New Ground) quickly responded, though, and with a clever and spirited website campaign that’s quickly gaining ground.
On a new Tumblr page, SONG is displaying photos of supporters – gay, lesbian and straight – university students and staff – bearing messages to Smith.
Says Jenna Lyles, SONG’s South Carolina Field Organizer:
"This attack is clearly an effort to silence queer people's voices. In response, we have created a platform to amplify the voices of queer people and our allies in South Carolina. While the … legislature engenders hostility in our hometowns and schools, we seek to build community safety by becoming visible to each other as queer people and resisting the erasure of our stories. There must be nothing about us without us. Local or national, if the issue is about us, our voices must be heard."
The “Homo Sweet Homo” site is regularly updated with new photographs (see many of them in the slide show below), and supporters are invited to submit their own, as well.
SONG was created in 1993 to advocate against LGBT intolerance in the Deep South.
(see "Suggested student readings that mention homosexuality cost 2 universities in funding")
Two South Carolina universities face minor budget cuts not due to lack of funds, but for moral punishment instead.
The sin? Reading assignments that include references to homosexuality.
On Feb. 19 state Rep. Garry Smith (R-Greenville) called for the House Ways and Means Committee to cut $52,000 from the College of Charleston’s budget, and because “Fun Home,” Alison Bechdel’s memoir of a lesbian raised by a gay father, is included in the summer reading program for incoming freshmen students.
Univ. of South Carolina-Upstate will lose $17,000 in funding for its inclusion of “Out Loud” – a non-fiction piece about “Rainbow Radio,” a program covering LGBT news from a Columbia radio station – as a reading assignment in an English composition class.
Smith’s proposal was passed by 13-10 vote of the committee. The dollar amounts were determined by spending the schools made for those books.
Leaving all smoke and mirrors behind, Smith is direct in his intentions. As he told The State:
“One of the things I learned over the years is that if you want to make a point, you have to make it hurt.”
In further explanations he offered to The Herald, Smith’s objections might seem homophobic, however.
“This is purely promotion of a lifestyle with no academic debate.”
To the Post & Courier, Smith offered:
“(The schools are) promoting gay and lesbian lifestyle.”
Both schools indicate intentions of compliance, but not without objection. College of Charleston professor Christopher Korey, director of the school’s First-Year Experience program, said:
“I’m concerned that some members of the legislature believe their duties include deciding what books should and not be taught in the college classroom.”
USC Upstate’s assistant vice chancellor Tammy Whaley finds the current cut to be additional harm to the school’s budget.
“(The cut harms) the very students the legislators claim to be protecting, since USC Upstate has seen a nearly 50-percent reduction in state funding since 2008.”
Not all House Republicans agreed with Smith, but not enough to prevent the cuts. A motion made by Rep. B.R. Skelton (R-Six Mile) to restore the funding was defeated by a 13-10 vote by the majority-GOP committee.
Rep. Jim Merrill (R-Charleston) voted against Skelton’s amendment, but later agreed the circumstance could be overplayed in status.
“This might make us feel better, but it’s kind of stupid.”
State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg) told The State that this only-for-show cut could have negative impact on South Carolina in other areas, including economy and employment.
“Do you think for one minute that some companies are going to look seriously at us?”
The basis for the budget cuts also indicate a wrong turn in the role of government, Cobb-Hunter says.
“(W)e need to stop running a dictatorship forcing people to believe what we believe.”
Partisan promotions recently arose at another Palmetto State school. Jameson Broggi, a poli-sci junior at Univ. of South Carolina’s main campus in Columbia, called on state legislators to force state colleges to teach the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, citing a 90-year-old law. USC sophomore Anna Chapman, a member of the College Republicans organization, appeared on Fox News with objections to a sociology textbook she finds gives inaccurate depiction of Ronald Reagan.
On the same date that this image was posted (Feb. 19), Gap Inc. announced that it would be raising minimum wage for its employees to $9/hour this year, and to $10/hour in 2015.
While this is certainly good news, the article also points out even more injustice, though. The corporation itself admits that over 70 percent of its employees - 65,000 from a total of 90,000 - have been making that paltry amount below $9/hour. And all while the company CEO has been making 1,480 times more than that wide majority of his employees.
Income Inequality: 1 of 5
Income Inequality: 2 of 5
Income Inequality: 3 of 5
Income Inequality: 4 of 5
See other series of “Income Inequality”
Income Inequality, Series 2 (From Feb. 28):
1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5
Income Inequality, Series 3 (from March 5):
1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5
Robservations by Rob Groce is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.