Gingrich Suggests Cain Is Obviously ‘Not Ready For Primetime’ |
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested fellow GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain is “not ready for prime time” because of his lack of foreign policy knowledge. Speaking on Laura Ingraham’s radio show today, Gingrich responded to Cain’s latest foreign policy gaffe — saying he was “not familiar” with the term “neoconservative” — by saying that while lots of people who run for president are “smart at a lot of things,” presidents must know national security from “the opening minute.” After Ingraham’s played the clip of Cain from yesterday’s Meet the Press, Gingrich responded:
GINGRICH: You know, really smart guys over the past have tried this out — four star generals have tried this out — and they may know a lot about one zone, but then they get into some other area and just fall apart and it’s obvious they’re not ready for prime time.
We are inevitably having to deal with national security…from the opening minute. This is why Hillary Clinton’s 3o’clock telephone ad was so effective during the primaries in 2008. The president of the United States walks in that morning and you better be capable of understanding.
Okay, maybe not a miracle, but the bar is so low for the President rhetorically now that he does deserve praise when he manages to get it right:
President Obama used some of the harshest rhetoric of his term today in denouncing the Republican jobs plan, saying the GOP’s emphasis on less regulations would harm the environment, undercut health care and fail to produce necessary jobs in the short term.
“You got their plan, which is let’s have dirtier air, dirtier water, (and) less people with health insurance,” Obama said in kicking off a three-day bus tour at the airport in Asheville, N.C.
So he has the simple language and some repetition (“dirty”) here — though “less people with health insurance” doesn’t flow. I might have said, “dirtier air, dirtier water, sicker people — and just when people need health insurance the most, the GOP wants to cut 30 million of them off.”
But let’s give him the props. Now he just needs to repeat this a hundred times or so.
Florida Police Will Seek To Evict Occupy Ft. Lauderdale |
Florida’s Occupy Ft. Lauderdale is in trouble as the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has announced that it does not want people to stay overnight in Bubier Park or to keep tents or tarps there. Organizers are holding an emergency meeting at 7:30 p.m. tonight to discuss how to resist the eviction. They are urging supporters to contact the DDA and support their right to stay.
I liked Dana Goldstein’s against the grain reading of The Ides Of March in which she argues that George Clooney’s Governor Mike Morris actually comes through as a reasonable figure of political virtue. His sex life is not, at the end of the day, relevant to whether or not he’d be a good president and his clear reluctance to accept his staff’s various pieces of cynical advice speaks well of him. “There’s no reason, as the movie seems to suggest in its final scene, to feel that voting or working for him would be futile, or that either act lacks basic integrity.”
She does concede that “you wouldn’t want to be married” to Morris, though even here I don’t think it’s totally clear. I wouldn’t want to be married to Morris, but I think we should hesitate to draw sweeping conclusions about other people’s marriages. Infidelity aside, I think most of us would be extremely displeased if our partners adopted the kind of work-and-travel schedule that’s associated with being president of the United States. It’s simply not a job that’s compatible with a traditional view of how a model spouse and parent is going to behave. My dad walked me to school every morning when I was a kid. Sasha & Malia’s dad is on the road this week touting the American Jobs Act. A high-level political partnership is necessarily an unconventional marriage, and we don’t really know anything about the terms of Mr. and Mrs. Morris’ relationship.
Last, I want to note that it’s not apparent what’s wrong with the allegedly sleazy deal to put Sen. Thompson on the ticket. In what universe is an African-American senator from North Carolina not a good running mate for the white governor of Pennsylvania? The problem with Thompson is supposed to be his hawkish views on foreign policy. But obviously a southern running mate is going to have some positions that are to the right of the Democratic party consensus (you saw this when John Edwards was on the ticket) and then do what all VPs do, which is shift their views to align with the party position of lukewarm multilateralism.
The fact that Ryan Gosling’s character is so outraged by the idea of a presidential candidate having an affair with an intern even while having an affair with an intern that he becomes totally unhinged tells us a lot about him, and very little about Gov. Morris.
Christie’s Cuts Close Six Women’s Health Centers |
When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) issued a line-item veto of $7.5 million in funding for women’s health services he claimed he was vetoing the money over “duplicate services.” But the cut has caused significant damage, forcing six of the state’s 58 family planning centers to close. Christie has repeatedlyvetoed attempts to restore the funding.
My friend Douglas Wolk was kind enough to show me around Comic Con during press and professionals day on Thursday, and after we’d wandered through Artist’s Alley and the Cultyard, and I’d spent entirely too much money on comics (seriously, I ended up with a 13-volume, foot-high stack of books home on the train Saturday), he asked me for my ethnography of the festival. His Kindle Single about the interaction of fan culture and marketing at San Diego Comic Con is a must-read and captured a lot of what I was thinking.
My experience of pop culture, other than buying movie tickets, or books, or music, is not particularly consumptive. I’ve never gotten into action figures, or costumes, and while I have some 1950s and 1960s Archie Comics in plastic at home, I don’t collect the vintage stuff either. So the level of consumption was, if not surprising, exactly, forcefully striking. There are people walking around with bags half the size of my body specially designed to hold everything they buy, and apps that show them all the free comics they can get. It’s really easy to get convinced that you genuinely want to buy, say, a wooden sparring sword or a beautiful pocket watch (I resisted. I didn’t get the drunken She-Hulk tattoo I warned I might fall for, either.) when you’re surrounded by stuff. And I can imagine that Cons might be kind of stressful experiences if you don’t have the luxury to, as I did, get a little financially carried away. And I appreciated that for every booth trying to get me to buy Buffy pint glasses and extremely expensive manga action figures, there were places selling off inventory, or vintage comics for a dollar or 50 cents.
The other thing that stuck with me was the experience I’ve never had before, of being in a place essentially without a visible social hierarchy. Some of that is because this is a temporary community, and some of it’s because everyone there is pulling a Clark Kent, taking off their workaday clothes and putting on what makes them comfortable and most them, whether it’s Chuck Taylors or some really fantastic ladies-fit purple Mandalorian armor. But despite the fact that the audience ranged from black teenaged hipsters, to parents with their kids, to the standard, stereotypical white-dude comic fans, as well as up and down the age spectrum, it was essentially impossible to tell who had power among the attendees. Cosplayers? They get looked at, and praised, and have their pictures taken, but getting what you want out of an experience isn’t necessarily the same as having power in it. Consumers? To a certain extent, yes: you might have to wait in a lot of lines, and pay money, but the entire experience exists for your stimulation. But by the temporary nature of the situation, there’s no way to tell who’s cool, maybe because for once, for a couple of days, it just doesn’t matter.
Federal judge Benjamin Settle has ruled in Doe v. Reed today that Protect Marriage Washington (PMW) must disclose the citizen signatures it gathered in 2009 when it attempted to reject the state’s “everything but marriage” same-sex domestic partner legislation. PMW claimed that if the signatories of what became known as Referendum 71 were released, they would be subject to “threats and harassment” for opposing the rights of same-sex couples. Settle acknowledged that same-sex marriage is a heated issue, but pointed out that PMW “failed to supply sufficient, competent evidence” that supporters of the measure would face the negative treatment they claimed:
While Plaintiffs have not shown serious and widespread threats, harassment, or reprisals against the signers of R-71, or even that such activity would be reasonably likely to occur upon the publication of their names and contact information, they have developed substantial evidence that the public advocacy of traditional marriage as the exclusive definition of marriage, or the expansion of rights for same sex partners, has engendered hostility in this state, and risen to violence elsewhere, against some who have engaged in that advocacy. This should concern every citizen and deserves the full attention of law enforcement when the line gets crossed and an advocate becomes the victim of a crime or is subject to a genuine threat of violence. The right of individuals to speak openly and associate with others who share common views without justified fear of harm is at the very foundation of preserving a free and open society.
The facts before the Court in this case, however, do not rise to the level of demonstrating that a reasonable probability of threats, harassment, or reprisals exists as to the signers of R-71, now nearly two years after R-71 was submitted to the voters in Washington State.
Settle originally ruled for PMW, saying that it did not have to release the signatures because a petition should not compromise a citizen’s right to anonymous speech. Then, in June of 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that referendum petitions do not trump state open government laws, but left room for unique exceptions, sending Doe v. Reed back to the lower court for additional consideration. Settle has now essentially reversed his original position, but in doing so ensured that petitioners cannot advance referenda without public scrutiny and accountability.
PMW is affiliated with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a group that has been trying to circumvent campaign disclosure laws in several states as it opposes marriage equality, including Rhode Island, Maine, and now Minnesota. Today’s decision represents the latest setback for organizations trying to avoid public scrutiny as they advance anti-gay discriminatory legislation.
Just 14 Percent Of Workforce Is Of Normal Weight, Without Chronic Conditions |
“Just 1 in 7 U.S. workers is of normal weight without a chronic health problem, according to Gallup polling data, and it could be costing the economy more than $153 billion a year in lost productivity from increased sick days,” the Wall Street Journal notes. According to Gallup, “two-thirds of the work force is either overweight or obese and nearly half are both overweight and have at least one chronic health problem.” The results are quite startling, and with employers increasingly dropping coverage, they make a rather compelling case for maintaining the Affordable Care Act: