Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Is Virginia Thomas Serious?

It has been nearly two decades since Anita Hill swore before Congress that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had made inappropriate sexual comments towards her while she worked under him at the DOE and at EEOC. Hill's comments were backed by numerous sources, with one of his former employees saying, "If you were young, black, female and reasonably attractive, you knew full well you were being inspected and auditioned as a female." Yet despite all of this, Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, has called Anita Hill and asked for an apology.

This is just another chapter in the book that is the Thomas' craziness. We can all remember the utmost ridiculous statement during the proceedings, when Clarence Thomas accused the Senate committee investigating Hill's claims of lynching him:
This is not an opportunity to talk about difficult matters privately or in a closed environment. This is a circus. It's a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.
You want to silence a room of a bunch of old white guys (read: senators) just use the word lynch, nevermind accuse said old white guys of doing it. I bet most victims of true lynching would have much rather sat before a Senate committee and answered to legitimate criticisms of sexual harassment than be strung up in a tree based on nothing at all. Akin to when a woman falsely cries rape, Thomas' assertion of a "high-tech lynching" is an insult to all who have truly suffered from the horrific act.

Of course, Virginia Thomas is no bastion of sanity herself. If this ridiculous voicemail does not convince you, her stances on certain issues might. She was against the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (allowing employees unpaid leave with job protection should they become too ill to work or have to care for a new child) and has now formed a new group called Liberty Central based on tea party ideals. She has also called the presidency of Barack Obama a "tyranny." Again, a hyperbole insulting to all who actually live under tyrannical rule in this world.

But the real issue here is the anger and the inability of both Thomases to just get over it. Hill brought legitimate claims against Thomas to which he had to answer (but really didn't, instead calling the committee's work a "lynching"). When someone legitimately accuses you of something, you answer to it. Of all professions, a lawyer ought to know this; it's called life. All Virginia Thomas' voicemail does at this point is bring up the fact that most of the country thought her husband was the kind of boss to ask about pubic hairs on his Coke can. Bravo, Virginia. Bravo.

Photo - The Thomases (CBS News)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Democrats Blow Yet Another Political Opportunity

The Hill just released a set of polls in which voters in 10 battleground districts were asked if they support the extension of the Bush tax cuts. When asked if they favored or opposed the "extension of the Bush tax cuts," responses broke along party lines, with an overwhelming majority of Republicans in favor, a somewhat smaller majority of independents in favor, and a large majority of Democrats opposed.

However, when asked if they would favor extending tax cuts only for families earning less than $250,000 a year, the response was almost exactly the same among all three groups--two-thirds of Democrats, two-thirds of independents, and two-thirds of Republican are in favor of extending the cuts only for families earning less than $250,000 a year. What poll respondents probably don't realize is that the latter question is exactly what the President and the Democrats are proposing.

Reid, Pelosi, and the Democrats could have used this fact as an opportunity to force Republicans to vote on an extension of tax cuts for the wealthy, exposing them to the ire of the American middle class, and to the hypocrisy of calling for deficit reductions while adamantly opposing the expiration of unneeded tax breaks. But it seems the Republicans' messaging campaigns, as usual, are just better executed, regardless of the lack of actual support for their policies.

Senator McConnell has the messaging down: keep blaming the Democrats for spending, spending, spending, while completely ignoring the fact that tax cuts are contributing to the deficit. Make the middle class think that the Democrats are trying to tax them more by portraying them as avid taxers, even though that is the opposite of the truth. And even as House Minority Leader Boehner conceded that "If the only option I have is to vote for some of those tax reductions, I'll vote for it," he was immediately rebuked by Senate Republicans, who seem to know that they have the edge in the messaging campaign to keep Americans confused about how these tax cuts actually work.

Images: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (CBS News)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NRCC Takes Out a Loan Despite Republican Gripes About Spending Money You Don't Have

One of the main focal points of Republicans this midterm election season is the unbelievable burden of taxes that socialist liberals have hoisted upon the backs of hardworking Americans (their words, not mine). House Republicans have pledged to cut $100 billion from the federal budget next year should they gain control of the lower house of Congress. House Minority leader John Boehner has outlined what he would do to curb spending if Republicans gain the House majority and he is in charge.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

State Department Issues a Meaningless Travel Alert for Europe

American passport
(American passport now)
This past Sunday the State Department put out a five paragraph warning to travelers who may be casting a traveling eye towards our European neighbors across the pond. Light on details, the missive states that, "Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks." In the "meatiest" paragraph, the State Department warns

 "Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests.  U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure.  Terrorists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services.  U.S. citizens should take every precaution to be aware of their surroundings and to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves when traveling."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Live-Blogging the Debut of CNN's Parker Spitzer

Tonight is the debut of the new CNN show Parker Spitzer, with "rational conservative" political columnist Kathleen Parker and disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer. CNN is banking on this show and given the recent NY Mag article "Chasing Fox," they're pretty desperate to gain viewer share at the coveted 8pm time slot.

Just to get biases out of the way, I'm not a huge fan of Spitzer's. Plus his actions have led to our current governor, who's even worse. So in other words Spitzer not only screwed six-diamond hookers, he also screwed New York.

As far as Kathleen Parker goes, I know little about her. I know she's spoken out against Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck in the past, so she could be one of those rare conservatives who approaches the realm of politics cerebrally more than vocally.

So without further ado...