Saturday, February 19, 2011

Quickies: the Wisconsin edition

A round-up of news items, columns, articles and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.

This must have been what he meant when he spoke of being "post-partisan" and doing away with divisiveness in American politics.

President Obama thrust himself and his political operation this week into Wisconsin's broiling budget battle, mobilizing opposition Thursday to a Republican bill that would curb public-worker benefits and planning similar protests in other state capitals.

Obama accused Scott Walker, the state's new Republican governor, of unleashing an "assault" on unions in pushing emergency legislation that would change future collective-bargaining agreements that affect most public employees, including teachers.

Quick show of hands: Does anyone recall a President injecting himself this forcefully and completely into a state matter?

"Shut up", he explained...
Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC equates cartoon caricatures to racism... and bores everyone into a coma in 6 short minutes while doing so.

And now a curious defense of abortion in the battle to defund Planned Parenthood:

Abortion advocates said if Planned Parenthood loses its place at the government trough that women would be hurt.

"Planned Parenthood has provided health services to one in five American women," Rep. Nita Lowey of New york said.

Rep. Barbara lee of California called the amendment a “war on women” and Rep. Jan Schakowsky said Planned Parenthood “saves money and saves lives” by the non-abortion health care it offers and “now it not the time to restrict women’s access to health care.”

And rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin went as far as implying that it is better to have an abortion than make a child be forced to live “eating Ramen noodles” and “mayonnaise sandwiches.”

(italics, ours)

Tens of thousands of college students now ponder their options.

The fact that public opinion has been slowly turning against abortion over the decades is borne out by the "logic" presented by Moore.

And where Andrew Sullivan will soon be questioning the fatherhood of Sasha and Malia:

They have to lead, because this president is too weak, too cautious, too beholden to politics over policy to lead. In this budget, in his refusal to do anything concrete to tackle the looming entitlement debt, in his failure to address the generational injustice, in his blithe indifference to the increasing danger of default, he has betrayed those of us who took him to be a serious president prepared to put the good of the country before his short term political interests. Like his State of the Union, this budget is good short term politics but such a massive pile of fiscal bullshit it makes it perfectly clear that Obama is kicking this vital issue down the road.
Shocked, shocked... that a junior Senator might lack some of the necessary leadership skills to make tough decisions when they are needed.

When you lose the Washington Post:

At least a dozen other lawmakers over the last couple of weeks warned that cans can no longer be kicked. And now, as the president's budget director says, the era of can-kicking is over. With the release of Obama's budget proposal, Washington's budgeting style can instead be described as tiptoeing past the can and hoping nobody notices.

Obama's budget proposal is a remarkably weak and timid document. He proposes to cut only $1.1 trillion from federal deficits over the next decade - a pittance when you consider that the deficit this year alone is in the neighborhood of $1.5 trillion. The president makes no serious attempt at cutting entitlement programs that threaten to drive the government into insolvency.

You've all probably heard about the Iowa highschool wrestler who refused to wrestle a female opponent:

After a standout season in which he went 35-4, Joel Northrup had every reason to dream of winning an Iowa wrestling championship this year, but he gave it all up before his first state tournament match Thursday.

Northrup, a home-schooled sophomore who competes for Linn-Mar High School, said his religious beliefs wouldn't allow him to wrestle Cassy Herkelman, a pony-tailed freshman from Cedar Falls who is one of the first two girls to qualify for the tournament in its 85-year history.

Northrup issued a statement (posted here on, an NBC affiliate in Des Moines) through his school expressing his "tremendous" respect for what Herkelman and Ottumwa sophomore Megan Black achieved this season, but he said didn't feel he had a choice.

First of all, how the hell is the fact that the kid is home-schooled relevant to this article, whatsoever.

Secondly, the article zeroes in on the kid's faith as being the reason for his refusal to wrestle the girl but to the exclusion of why are boys wrestling girls in the first place?

Sure, we suppose that every boy in Iowa has full knowledge he may eventually face a female wrestler when he signs up for the team as a freshman but what are we missing? Intimate and violent contact that would get your ass thrown in jail in polite company is now sanctioned behavior because the girl is wearing a singlet. Totally awkward.

For the record, California and a handful of other states have seperate girls wrestling.

Leslie at Temple of Mut has a great round-up of Wisconsin-related news as well as some Lord of the Rings analogies.

Check it out, here.

OK, gang - that's it for now as we're out the door to watch the San Diego St. game (vs. Air Force) with some friends. We may check back in later.


steve said...

"The president makes no serious attempt at cutting entitlement programs that threaten to drive the government into insolvency."

Not sure why he would. He would do well to wait and respond to the GOP plan for spending cuts. If they arent serious, he cant get it done anyway.


Dean said...

It's called being the President and it's called leadership, Steve.

Is entitlement reform something you are serious about or is it just a poliitcal football?