Posts Tagged North Carolina
The GOP Plan to Flush Your State’s Economy Down the Toilet
The new “red-state model” seeks to turn your state into Mississippi.
February 11, 2013
The GOP has plans for a comeback. But it may cost you a lot. The idea is to capitalize on recent Republican state takeovers to conduct an austerity experiment known as the new “red-state model” and prove that faulty policies can be turned into gold.
There will be smoke. There will be mirrors. And there will be a lot of ordinary people suffering needlessly in the wake of this ideological train wreck.
We already have a red-state model, and it’s called Mississippi. Or Texas. Or any number of states characterized by low public investment, worker abuse, environmental degradation, educational backwardness, high rates of unwanted pregnancy, poor health, and so on.
Now the GOP is determined to bring that horrible model to the rest of America.
In Kansas, the Wall Street Journal reports that Governor Sam Brownback is aiming to up his profile “by turning Kansas into what he calls Exhibit A for how sharp cuts in taxes and government spending can generate jobs, wean residents off public aid and spur economic growth.” In remarks quoted in the same article, Brownback announced that “My focus is to create a red-state model that allows the Republican ticket to say, ‘See, we’ve got a different way, and it works.’ “
Brownback’s economic inspiration is Reagan-era supply-side economist Arthur Laffer and the folks at Americans for Prosperity, the conservative outfit backed by the deep coffers of the Koch brothers.
This new austerity talk focused on “fiscal innovations” is emboldening Republicans in other states that have been gerrymandered into submission to the GOP, including Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and alas, my home state of North Carolina.
Republications have been eyeing the Tar Heel state with interest due to its recent swing status in presidential elections. The state was also the target of a gerrymandering strategy that worked out wonderfully for the Republicans, but not so well for democracy. Sam Wang, the founder of the Princeton Election Consortium, wrote recently in the New York Times about how Republican redistricting thwarted Democratic voters:
“Although gerrymandering is usually thought of as a bipartisan offense, the rather asymmetrical results may surprise you….I have developed approaches to detect such shenanigans by looking only at election returns. To see how the sleuthing works, start with the naïve standard that the party that wins more than half the votes should get at least half the seats. In November, five states failed to clear even this low bar: Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. … In North Carolina, where the two-party House vote was 51 percent Democratic, 49 percent Republican, the average simulated delegation was seven Democrats and six Republicans. The actual outcome? Four Democrats, nine Republicans — a split that occurred in less than 1 percent of simulations. If districts were drawn fairly, this lopsided discrepancy would hardly ever occur.”
The lesson of North Carolina tells you that the GOP red-state model is based, first and foremost, on efforts to flagrantly disregard the will of the people. NC’s discount-store mogul Art Pope, a longtime GOP donor and champion of free-market fundamentalism, has been appointed state budget director by the new Republican governor, Pat McCrory. In an incredible display of money buying political influence, Pope has gone well beyond his donor-counterparts in other states. Instead of just funding the politicians he wants, he has gone for direct rule by occupying government himself. Tax repeal is the centerpiece of his announced plans, but his hatred of public investment means he has much more than that in store for one of the most progressive states in the South. Pope is said to be more powerful than the governor, giving rise to the term “Pope administration” to describe the new political reality.
GOP pols are vying to out-do each other in extreme red-state programming. NC state senator Bob Rucho is pushing a plan to eliminate the state’s income taxes altogether. Such plans go hand-in-hand with calls for increasing the sales tax. Because low-income people pay a higher proportion of their income in sales taxes, abolishing income taxes and raising sales taxes shoves tax burdens onto them. Obviously, the Republicans will not give up on their passionate desire to cut taxes on the wealthy and stick it to the poor and the middle class.
Pope’s ideological opposition to public investment is ringing alarm bells. North Carolina, a state where progressives have fought conservative forces tooth and nail to achieve an enviable university system and a reputation for high-tech and research, is now in danger of being thrown into a period of regressive darkness. University of North Carolina sociologist Andrew Perrin put it this way: “Public investment is part of what has set North Carolina apart from our neighbors in the South.”
But Pope is hell-bent on turning North Carolina into Mississippi.
The GOP economic plans not only subvert common sense and the lessons of history (being played out right now in places like the U.K., where austerity has failed dramatically), they also flip a giant middle finger at the American voter. Unable to win support at the national level for their foolhardy economic programs, Republicans have turned their attention to state-level action because that’s where gerrymandering really works wonders.
Red-state model proponents claim that their maneuvers will spark economic growth. But that was basically what George W. Bush had in mind when he supported a similar program for cutting taxes on the rich. That didn’t work out so well, and increased the very deficits Republicans decry.
But here’s the really scary part. Slashing taxes, squeezing workers and throwing out environmental protections can indeed lure businesses to states where they won’t have to pay their fair share and can get away with all sorts of abuse. If a state like North Carolina promotes such policies, businesses from nearby states like Virginia may indeed move their operations down the road. Unless you believe in the “Confidence Fairy,” as Paul Krugman calls the naïve GOP faith that making everybody poorer is the way to become rich, then you know that what results is simply trade diversion, not genuine growth. In other words, one state’s gain is another state’s loss. The result is a headlong race-to-the-bottom whereby the states losing business will be pressured to slash their taxes and burden their workers and ordinary citizens, too. Nobody wins in that game — except the 1 percent.
The blue-state model, evident in high-income states like Massachusetts, has long been associated with high levels of state investments in education, transportation and other public goods. And guess what? It’s also associated with economic strength. The red-state model, on the other hand, is linked to backwardness, second-rate educational systems and economic weakness.
What the GOP wants to do is create an image-problem for blue states where taxes have been raised to balance budgets and continue vital services and jobs by crying “Look, Ma! No taxes!” in the states where they’ve taken control.
They’ll soon be able to say, “Look, Ma! No economy.”
- The GOP Plan to Flush Your State’s Economy Down the Toilet (alternet.org)
- The GOP Plan to Flush Your State’s Economy Down the Toilet (dailyqueernews.wordpress.com)
- Brownback’s duplicity on Medicaid expansion (voices.kansascity.com)
- Kansas legislature split over Brownback’s tax proposals (cjonline.com)
- Gov. Brownback makes pitch for austerity to freshmen lawmakers (kansas.com)
- OUR VIEW: Biggest battle for Brownback? Judicial branch (morningsun.net)
- Kansas fiscal work hitting key phase (kansascity.com)
- Brownback seeks changes in selection of judges (sfgate.com)
- Brownback: Keep full sales tax, cut income taxes further (kansascity.com)
- Brownback to answer legislative questions in State of the State address (kansas.com)
Sorry, dealer’s all out of race cards
By Kathleen Parker, Published: October 30
Predictable as rain, the race card has surfaced just in time to stir up electoral passions, justify outcomes and explain away inconvenient truths.
Just days from Election Day, the zeitgeist belched up one of its least attractive — and least defensible — memes. (Was it the weather?)
Preemptive theories, in no particular order, include: Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama because they are both black (according to Romney surrogate John Sununu); if Obama loses Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, all of which voted for him in 2008, the old Confederacy will be restored (Daily Beast commentator Andrew Sullivan); Americans still harbor racial biaseven if they don’t know it (recent online poll, Associated Press).
Anyone reading headlines related to the pollmight infer that white Americans are biased against black Americans. Extrapolating, given the current election season, it follows that if some voters prefer Romney, it is because Obama is African American.
But a review of the poll reveals something not quite so definitive or sinister. Overall, the findings suggest that most Americans are moderate, fair-minded and, for the most part, don’t see things one way or the other based on race.
Some of the questions themselves, on the other hand, were unnecessarily provocative and biased. That is, their design was based on an assumption of racial bias.
For example, the AP poll asked people whether they agree or disagree with the following statements: “Irish, Italians, Jewish, and other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without special favors.”
What kind of question is this? Who doesn’t believe that everyone should work his or her way up? The underlying assumption is blatantly racist, implying as it does that blacks don’t work and do expect special favors.
It is heartening that the majority, perhaps perceiving the trap, neither strongly agreed nor disagreed.
Another statement read: “It’s really a matter of some people just not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder, they could just be as well off as whites.”
Why not just ask people when they stopped beating their children?
The poll posed similar questions about other races and ethnicities. I selected these two because they were among the most egregiously biased and were most pertinent to the current election. It should be noted that most of those polled expressed a preference for Obama to win on Nov. 6, even though the figures have dipped somewhat since 2010, when the AP polling began.
Oh, and most identified themselves as white Christian (though not necessarily born-again) Democrats — and most were from the South. So much for the racist-Republican Confederacy, which never dies in the eyes of some political commentators. Sullivan, declaring a Cold Civil War, found “fascinating” the reconstitution of the Confederate states, should Romney win the three previously mentioned. But the obvious implication, Sullivan’s protests notwithstanding, is that people who vote for Romney in those states are necessarily racist.
What else could he have meant by mentioning the Confederacy in the context of a black incumbent president being rejected by three Southern states that previously embraced him? Operative words: “previously embraced him.”
What happened? Did all those people who voted for Obama in 2008 suddenly become racist? Or have they lost confidence in Obama four years later? Obama had a 70 percent approval rating early in his administration. Did all those people suddenly become racist?
We are not a nation naive enough to think race plays no part in our perceptions and responses. And where there are humans, there will be racists. But this nation also elected an African American as its president. By an overwhelming majority, Americans like him and wanted him to succeed.
If Obama loses, it will be his own undoing. Meanwhile, no one questions why 95 percent of blacks support the president. Is it racial? Or is it simply that most African Americans happen to be Democrats?
Sununu implied the former, hinting that Powell chose Obama out of racial loyalty. I wish Sununu hadn’t gone there. Had Powell endorsed Romney, he’d be a GOP hero, just as he now is to Democrats who have managed to overlook his convincing support for the weapons-of-mass-destruction hypothesis in Iraq.
So it goes. But even the netherworld of politics should have standards. To preemptively label people racist for favoring a candidate who happens to be white, and otherwise advancing a narrative that will create only racial animus should Obama lose, is implicitly biased, unfair and a breach of good faith. Stop it.
- Sorry, dealer’s all out of race cards (bangordailynews.com)
- Race isn’t a rationale in the presidential election (oregonlive.com)
- The Political Obscenity Named John Sununu (themoderatevoice.com)
- John Sununu’s History Of Racial Remarks About Obama | ThinkProgress (mbcalyn.com)
- The race card and the campaign (miamiherald.com)
- Keeping it Real: Sununu is a racist (current.com)
- Romney Surrogate John Sununu: Colin Powell Endorsed Obama Because He’s Black (businessinsider.com)
- John Sununu: Race-Baiting Buffoon (theroot.com)
- Romney surrogate John Sununu: Colin Powell only endorsed Obama because he’s black (thegrio.com)
- Colin Powell’s Former Chief Of Staff: ‘My Party Is Full Of Racists’ (mediaite.com)
Free Wood Post – Controversial North Carolina Voter ID Law Allows Voters To Use NRA Membership or NASCAR Ticket Stub
Controversial North Carolina Voter ID Law Allows Voters To Use NRA Membership or NASCAR Ticket Stub
October 13, 2012
By Eric Hetvile
The Republican-controlled legislature of North Carolina has just passed one of the most restrictive voter identification laws in the country.
Democratic critics are crying foul. The passing of this law occurs with only weeks to go before the Presidential election, and they claim that many poor or elderly voters who may likely vote Democratic will be unable to obtain the necessary paperwork in time to obtain their identification before the election. Another point of contention is what they say is a curious designation of what constitutes a proper ID.
The new law will allow voters to exercise their enfranchisement with a driver’s license, an NRA membership card, a hunting license, a NASCAR ticket stub, or a Piggly Wiggly Reward Card. University identification, high school diplomas, GEDs, or library cards will not be accepted. Democratic senators maintain that these were chosen to specifically benefit Republican candidates.
“Look. We talked a lot about this and this is what most of us decided is the kind of thing that would prove that you are a real American. This is not political at all. Anyone who says that is just being political themselves,” said Republican North Carolina state senator Red Collarman.
Opponents are gathering to challenge this law in court before election day.
- Too far on voter ID (newsobserver.com)
- Voter ID battles churn in key battleground states (charlotteobserver.com)
- Report: North Carolina could inhibit Latino voters (kansascity.com)
- NC GOP fires voter sign-up firm over Florida fraud (sfgate.com)
- Perdue says she’s proud of voter ID veto (wcnc.com)
- Voter Group Finds 30,000 Dead People Still Registered to Vote in North Carolina (thegatewaypundit.com)
- South Carolina Can’t Use Voter ID Yet (drudge.com)
- Battle Continues On Who Can Vote, And How (npr.org)
- Tea Party voter intimidation alleged in North Carolina early voting (thegrio.com)
What Mitt Should Tell the 47 Percent
By ROSS DOUTHAT
Going into Wednesday’s debate, there’s one poll number that Mitt Romney should be most worried about. It’s not the tracking polls, or the RealClearPolitics polling average, or any of the usual measurements. It’s the percentage of Americans who believe that his policies will favor the rich over the poor and the middle class.
In the latest New York Times/CBS poll, nearly 60 percent of respondents in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania said that Romney’s plans would mostly help the wealthy. Less than ten percent said the same of President Obama.
A tour of coal-mining country in southern Ohio by the Atlantic’s Molly Ball produced some vivid anecdotes that illustrate this data. “Those opposed to Obama cited various reasons,” she wrote, “from disappointment to anger to being convinced he’s a Muslim. But the impressions of Romney were remarkably consistent: He’s for the rich.”
Journalists have even found working class voters who believe that Obama is a secret Muslim and intend to vote for him anyway, because – as one Virginian put it – “at least he wasn’t brought up filthy rich.”
This assumption — that the wealthy Republican candidate is inevitably a candidate for the wealthy as well — is a big part of what’s been killing Romney’s campaign. Because of the president’s advantages with minority voters and younger voters, Romney has always needed to perform well with economically-anxious whites — and above all with non-college-educated white voters across the Midwest.
Instead, he’s underperforming. He’s winning white working class voters in the South but only breaking even with them elsewhere, sometimes up, sometimes down. He’s losing blue-collar white women, who often lean Republican, by wide margins in the swing states. These are groups that have taken an economic beating under President Obama – who have been “buried,” as Joe Biden acknowledged at a campaign stop in North Carolina this week, by bad job numbers and declining incomes. But they haven’t broken for Romney, because he hasn’t found a way to reassure them that he isn’t just the candidate of people like himself – and then because his infamous “47 percent” comment confirmed their worst fears about his candidacy.
Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesSupporters watched Mitt Romney speak at a campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio on Sept. 26.
A smarter Republican campaign would have recognized early that this would be Romney’s biggest problem, and showed a more populist side from the beginning. As I’ve argued before, Romney could have embraced the assistance for underwater homeowners sketched out by his own economic adviser, Glenn Hubbard, or the break-up-the-big-banks reform championed by the American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis, or the family-friendly tax reform promoted by National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru.
Maybe the time for such creativity has passed. But even within the conventionally conservative policy framework that Romney has adopted, and within the constraints of a prime-time debate, there’s room to offer hard-strapped Americans more than just the promise of further sacrifice to come.
Here are some examples of what Romney might say tonight, if reassuring working class voters were actually his most important goal. On taxes, for instance, his argument should go something like this:
My goal is lower rates across the board, so that all Americans can keep more of their paycheck every month. But let me make this promise now: Whatever shape tax reform ultimately takes, under my administration, no middle or working class American will pay a penny more in taxes than they do today. Not a penny more. And to prove that I’m serious about protecting working families, tonight I’m calling for a four-year extension of the payroll tax cut, so that Americans don’t have to worry about seeing theirtax bills go up an average of $1000 when the cut expires next year. President Obama hasn’t taken a position on this issue, because he doesn’t mind if your taxes go up so long as he gets to spend the money. But if I’m president, I’ll protect your paychecks, and stop this tax increase in its tracks.
On health care, Romney could say something like this:
We’re going to repeal Obamacare: It taxes too much, cuts Medicare too deeply, pours more money into a broken system and piles on regulations that will keep driving costs up and up and up. But tonight I want to speak to Americans who don’t have health insurance, or struggle to pay for it, and make this pledge: Under my administration, you will not be forgotten. I promise to create a tax credit, worth thousands of dollars, to help people who don’t get insurance through their employers. I promise to expand high-risk pools where people with pre-existing conditions could get coverage more cheaply than they do today. When I was governor of Massachusetts, we cut the number of uninsured by more than half. Tonight, I’m setting the same goal as president – and we don’t need a government takeover of health care to do it.
On Medicare reform, he could say this:
The reality is that Medicare is going broke, putting our promise to our parents and grandparents at risk, and the Obama White House hasn’t done anything about it. If you want your Medicare to suddenly disappear in five or ten years time, then by all means, vote for the president. But if you want the program saved, I promise to do exactly that. Not by cutting benefits for existing seniors, the way this president has done. Not by putting a team of bureaucrats in charge of figuring out who gets treatment and who doesn’t, as he wants to do. But first, by asking wealthy Americans – the Warren Buffetts and Bill Gateses and others like them — to put a little more money toward their medical care, so that everyone else’s costs don’t have to rise. And second, by getting insurers to bid against one another to drive the cost of Medicare down, so that you can get the same benefits at a lower price. Let me be clear: If my plan doesn’t work, the government will be on the hook, not seniors. Nobody, I repeat nobody, will be left without coverage. But I believe that it will work – and doing nothing, as the president prefers, is simply not an option.
Is there some flimflam in these promises? Of course – but not any more than presidential candidates often offer. Do they clash with some of the statements Romney has already made? Here and there, but not in impossibly dramatic ways.
Would these words, or others like them, change the way a skeptical public thinks about Romney’s priorities? At this late date, they might well not. But better to try and fail than to go down to defeat without even trying at all.
- Obama, Romney Denver debate: 47 percent and buried (blogs.suntimes.com)
- A REALLY Close Horse Race: Obama Romney Polls Greatly Tighten Heading into First High-Stakes Debate (themoderatevoice.com)
- More: NBC/WSJ poll shows 44% believe economy will improve in next 12 months – @NBCFirstRead (firstread.nbcnews.com)
- Obama leads Romney by 50 points with Latinos (firstread.nbcnews.com)
- Poll: ’47 percent’ gets more traction than ‘You didn’t build that’ (thehill.com)
- Ohio: Obama holds 51% – 43% likely voters lead, relatively unchanged from his 50% – 43% lead 3 weeks ago – @NBCNews (firstread.nbcnews.com)
- Analysis: Reuters/Ipsos polls show scope of the challenge facing Romney – Reuters (reuters.com)
- NBC Fla poll: Obama 47, Romney 46; Bill Nelson 52, Connie Mack 41 (tampabay.com)
- Obama, on Letterman Show, Responds to Romney Comments – NYTimes.com (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
Nation’s Lower Class At Least Grateful It Not Part Of Nation’s Middle Class | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source
Nation’s Lower Class At Least Grateful It Not Part Of Nation’s Middle Class
CHAPEL HILL, NC—A survey released Wednesday by researchers at the University of North Carolina found that despite the many challenges they face, the nation’s lowest-income individuals are nonetheless thankful they don’t have to endure the unique hardships of the nation’s long-suffering middle class.
According to the report, the 46 million Americans who fall below the federal poverty line, though struggling mightily, are at least glad they don’t have to live up to some rapidly vanishing American dream of advancing in their career, making more money, and improving their lifestyle, the way their middle-income counterparts do.
“The unrealistic expectations and false hope they experience must be unbearable,” Camden, NJ hotel clerk Allison Jacobsen told researchers, noting that while her $22,000 annual salary barely covers her rent and groceries each month, at least she doesn’t operate under the flawed assumption that her situation will ever improve. “A life spent constantly stressing out over a dead-end job or struggling to pay off a fixed 30-year mortgage on a continuously depreciating three-bedroom townhouse? It’s horrific.”
“Can you believe people actually have to live like that?” Jacobsen added. “I feel just awful for them.”
The survey found nearly 87 percent of the nation’s lowest earners take comfort knowing they are far enough down the economic chain that their children and grandchildren won’t possibly be able to live in circumstances any worse than their own, while 65 percent noted they have enough bills to worry about without the additional middle-class burden of making student loan payments or contributions toward a retirement plan that will probably go bust in the next market crash, anyway.
In addition, half of all destitute Americans said that while they lack medical coverage, at least they aren’t stuck paying increasingly high premiums for an increasingly terrible health insurance plan. And nearly all survey participants agreed they are grateful not to be trapped chasing “some sort of fantasy dream life” of middle-class American prosperity that no one in the year 2012 can ever possibly attain.
“I can’t even fathom what it would be like to drag yourself to work every morning actually believing that someday it will all pay off,” said Bronx, NY substitute teacher David McGrath, who along with his wife and 2-year-old son survives on food stamps. “Or to practically kill yourself for a job promotion or meager raise while under the delusion that you can work your way to the top. People waste the best years of their life doing that, and it’s a goddamn tragedy.”
Americans who live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to make ends meet told researchers they feel humbled by the travails of the middle class, and take solace knowing that however bad things seem, “some people out there have it a whole lot worse.”
“Imagine how traumatic it is to grow up feeling like a failure because you think you have some kind of control over what you achieve in life,” said Dana Joerger, a 31-year-old waitress and single mother of three in Stockton, CA. “I just hope and pray my family never falls into the endless cycle of disappointment that plagues our middle class.”
Researchers also found that people who were once part of the nation’s middle class experience a profound sense of relief upon moving down the country’s socioeconomic ladder and finding themselves on the bottom rung.
“Honestly, I can’t tell you how much better I feel these days,” said 42-year-old former IT technician Ryan Tunnicliffe, who last April lost his job and, subsequently, his house. “Just knowing I no longer have to strive for something completely and utterly out of reach is such a load off my mind.”
“I’m poor, and I’m going to stay poor,” Tunnicliffe continued while staring at his $320 weekly unemployment check. “It’s been very liberating.”
Reached for comment, several members of the nation’s upper class said they are “equally grateful” to have been spared the hardships of the middle class.
- Nation’s Lower Class At Least Grateful It Not Part Of Nation’s Middle Class (izabael.com)
- GOP Senator Blasts Obama For Talking ‘Incessantly’ About The Middle Class (thinkprogress.org)
- Nation’s Lower Class At Least Grateful It Not Part Of Nation’s Middle Class (theonion.com)
- Majority of Chinese people say they are lower, lower-middle class (wantchinatimes.com)
- Where are the US jobs? Ask the corporate cash hoarders | Moira Herbst | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk (mbcalyn.com)
- Confirmed: middle-class shrinking in America (judgementofamerica.wordpress.com)
- The Betrayal of the American Dream – A Once Vibrant Middle Class Is Now on the Brink | Alternet (mbcalyn.com)
- Chabad Vs Aish Ha Torah (lukeford.net)
- “Sham Plan For The Privileged Elite”: Mitt Romney’s Cruel Joke On The Middle Class (mykeystrokes.com)
- Maddow nails it: Mitt Romney’s duplicity in demanding his opponents release their taxes (freakoutnation.com)
Killings Of Environmentalists On The Rise | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source | American Voices
Killings Of Environmentalists On The Rise
According to a report from the group Global Witness, murders of environmental activists have risen dramatically over the past three years. What do you think?
Yeah, well, natural disasters killed 27,000 people last year compared with 106 environmentalist murders, so maybe these people should reconsider their loyalties.
Oh, I know. Just last week my brother-in-law wouldn’t stop talking about how I absolutely had to start using a composting toilet, and I could’ve just—argh! You understand, right?
Has anyone investigated Joni Mitchell? She’s probably raking in some serious scratch from performances of ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ at all the funerals.
- U.S. Facing Helium Shortage | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source | American Voices (mbcalyn.com)
- Americans Pool Together $945.23 To Counteract Corporate Money’s Influence In Politics | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- Area Man Lives Vicariously Through Son’s Bully | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- New Preventative Drug Would Kill People Before They Get Alzheimer’s | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- Governor Too Embarrassed To Say Which State He Leads | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- U.S. Improves Infrastructure With Transnational Power Strip | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- Syrian Fighter Pilot Granted Asylum | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source | American Voices (mbcalyn.com)
- Justice Department Sues 2 Polygamous Communities | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source | American Voices (mbcalyn.com)
- Eating Disorders Common Among Older Women | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source | American Voices (mbcalyn.com)
- Hershey’s Announces It’s All Out Of Candy | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
Rielle Hunter on night with Edwards: ‘Intensity like a rock concert’ – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs
June 22nd, 2012
11:19 AM ET
(CNN) – The woman at the center of one of the 21st century’s most salacious political sex scandals said in an interview airing Friday she has no regrets about falling in love with a married presidential candidate.
Rielle Hunter, who carried out an affair with former Democratic Sen. John Edwards while acting as a campaign videographer, made the comments in an interview with ABC News.
“I don’t regret falling in love, and I don’t regret loving him, nor do I regret our daughter,” Hunter said in the interview, portions of which aired on “Good Morning America” Friday.
In August 2008, Edwards admitted to an affair with Hunter, a onetime videographer for his presidential bid. At the time, the former North Carolina senator denied paternity of the daughter she had given birth to six months earlier.
The Justice Department had accused Edwards of using nearly $1 million in illegal campaign contributions to keep his pregnant mistress under wraps as he mounted a second presidential bid in 2008. But after more than 50 hours of deliberation, a North Carolina jury acquitted him in May on one of the six counts against him and deadlocked on the other five.
Edwards eventually acknowledged paternity of the daughter he fathered with Hunter, and after the May 31 mistrial, he talked about “my precious Quinn, who I love more than any of you can ever imagine.”
In the interview Friday, Hunter describes the first time she encountered Edwards.
“He rounded the street corner, and it came out of my mouth: ‘You’re so hot,’” Hunter said.
She said she accompanied Edwards to his hotel room because she thought, “I could help him.”
“What a joke, for the outside world looking in. ‘Boy did you sure help him,’” she said mockingly.
The pair’s first evening together, Hunter said, was unlike anything she had ever experienced.
“Something internally happened with me,” she said. “I responded. I have never seen that before. I had not experienced or felt what was happening before. Intensity like a rock concert.”
Edwards’ marriage with wife Elizabeth, who died of cancer in 2010, was in shambles before she entered the picture, Hunter alleged in the interview.
“Their marriage was ruined years before I got there,” she said, adding that before his relationship with her, he had carried out other extramarital affairs.
“I was not the first,” she said.
Elizabeth was not the saintly figure the media portrayed her to be, Hunter claimed, saying the former political wife had another side that was rarely revealed. Elizabeth and John Edwards separated in 2010.
“The full truth needs to be in the public domain,” Hunter said. “Their father’s not a demon and their mother’s not a saint, and I’m not a home-wrecker. We’re real human beings, and there is a real dynamic that was going on, good and bad, and we all made mistakes.”
- Rielle Hunter Reveals John Edwards’ Reaction To Contentious Pregnancy News (huffingtonpost.com)
- Rielle Hunter: I Am With John (newser.com)
- Rielle Hunter thought she could ‘help’ John Edwards (newsobserver.com)
- Rielle Hunter found shelter, solace in Charlotte, she says in book (wcnc.com)
- Watch: Obama: ‘Let’s Tell Congress to Do Their Job’ (abcnews.go.com)
- Watch: Ex-Principal Accused in Florida Stabbings (abcnews.go.com)
- Rielle Hunter Book Bashes “Crazy” Elizabeth Edwards, Claims John Had Other Affairs (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Watch: Immigrant Sees DREAM Act Imprint on 2012 Campaign (abcnews.go.com)
- Rielle Hunter claims Edwards had other affairs (bazaardaily.com)
- Rielle Hunter: Edwards’ Marriage Was ‘Ruined Before I Got There’ (huffingtonpost.com)
POSTED JUNE 1, 2012
John Edwards Verdict Draws Mixed Reactions from O.J. Simpson, God
Former NFL Great, Almighty Sound Off on Trial
GREENSBORO, NC (The Borowitz Report) – The verdict of not guilty in the trial of former Presidential candidate John Edwards drew mixed reactions today from a variety of notables, including former football great O.J. Simpson and God.
“Justice has been served,” said Mr. Simpson in a brief statement.
The former Heisman Trophy winner added that he was cheered that almost two decades after his own celebrated trial, “it is still possible for any American with millions of dollars to receive a trial in which his lawyers thoroughly confuse the jury.”
Mr. Simpson said that although he was pleased with the verdict in the Edwards case, he hoped that the former North Carolina senator would dedicate the rest of his life “to finding the real perjurers.”
Offering a very different reaction to the verdict was someone whom Edwards himself mentioned in his post-trial statement, God.
“I don’t think God’s through with me,” Edwards said, causing the Almighty to hold a hastily called press conference in Greensboro to dispute that claim.
“Let me make this very clear,” a visibly angry God told reporters. “I have no plans for John Edwards, unless you count the one that involves plunging him into an eternal pool of fire.”
- Can John Edwards repair his image? (politico.com)
- Jury Reaches Verdict in John Edwards Corruption Trial (fox8.com)
- Jurors In Edwards Case Reach Verdict On 1 Count (kake.com)
- Can John Edwards rehabilitate his image? (prdaily.com)
- John Edwards jury reaches verdict (bbc.co.uk)
- Mistrial Declared in John Edwards Corruption Case (newsfeed.time.com)
- John Edwards not guilty of illegal campaign contributions; mistrial on other charges (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- Jurors in John Edwards case reach verdict on one of six counts UPDATED 3:11 p.m. (troyrecord.com)
- US jury reaches verdict in John Edwards trial (itv.com)
- John Edwards Responds to Finance Fraud Verdict (bilerico.com)
Job market 2012: Two outlooks for graduates, but which to believe?
North Carolina graduates from left, Nicole Campbell, Kristen Maye, Sabrina Officer and Imani Parks after their commencement in Chapel Hill, N.C. (Takaaki Iwabu / Raleigh News & Observer / May 14, 2012)
By Matt Pearce
May 14, 2012, 12:19 p.m.
It was the best of job markets, it was the worst of job markets.
On the heels of a big graduation weekend for many college graduates, the Associated Press released areport Sunday announcing the triumphant return of employment for outgoing seniors.
“To the relief of graduating seniors — and their anxious parents — the outlook is brighter than it has been in four years,” wrote the AP’s Scott Mayerowitz. “Campus job fairs were packed this spring and more companies are hiring. Students aren’t just finding good opportunities, some are weighing multiple offers.”
Apparently life after graduation is no longer a grinding abyss of perpetual pool-cleaning, the AP has found — a stunning turnaround from just three weeks ago, when the AP released an equally strident report announcing that “the college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.”
Yes, the same Associated Press.
“A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge,” the AP’s Hope Yen wrote three weeks ago. “Young adults with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that’s confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.”
So are college graduates better off than they’ve been in years, or are they trading Tolstoy for a mop and a janitor’s uniform? Which AP story should you believe?
The answer, graduates, is a little of both.
The two stories use different stats, and those in Mayerowitz’s good-news story are newer, but narrower, citing a steep decline in the unemployment rate this year for college graduates: “The unemployment rate for college graduates 24 and under averaged 7.2 percent from January through April. That rate, which is not adjusted for seasonal factors, is down from the first four months of 2011 (9.1 percent), 2010 (8.1 percent) and 2009 (7.8 percent.)”
Yen’s bad-news story uses broader stats that include “underemployment” as well as unemployment — a pretty vague measure that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says can’t be defined objectively or even accurately, but which attempts to paint a slightly more detailed picture of the way a weak job market can pinch struggling workers.
“About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years,” Yen wrote, also adding: “College graduates who majored in zoology, anthropology, philosophy, art history and humanities were among the least likely to find jobs appropriate to their education level; those with nursing, teaching, accounting or computer science degrees were among the most likely.”
The brighter side of things appears to be coming from the so-called 1%, Mayerowitz reports: “Colleges say the strongest growth in job offers has come from Fortune 500 companies, investment banks and consulting firms, all of whom make offers in the fall for jobs that don’t start until the summer.”
Both reporters cited ample evidence to back up their arguments that the job market is getting better/still terrible. (Neither talked about the chronically neglected demographic of high school graduates without a college degree, which typically faces twice the unemployment rates of Americans with bachelor’s degrees, whose unemployment rate was a scant 4% in April.)
Another word of caution: Mayerowitz’s feel-good story also neglects to examine the impact of heavy student debt on this year’s graduates, which may soon become everyone’s problem whether some college graduates are getting more jobs or not.
According to a New York Times analysis of Department of Education data, 94% of students now borrow money to pay for their bachelor’s degrees and have accumulated $1 trillion in student loans — which some think is creating another economic bubble, on par with the subprime mortgage crisis, that might come and destroy us all if it pops.
- New College Graduates Fare Better In Job Market As Earlier Classes Struggle (mbcalyn.com)
- Outlook Is Bleak Even for Recent College Graduates – NYTimes.com (mbcalyn.com)
- What College Graduates Really Need: A Job (heritage.org)
- College Graduates Say They Are Not Well Prepared For The Job Market (keptup.typepad.com)
- Many College Graduates Have Always Been ‘Malemployed’ (mikethemadbiologist.com)
- Unemployment: 1 in 2 New Graduates Either Jobless Or Underemployed (inquisitr.com)
- AP Analysis: Half Of Recent College Grads Are Jobless Or Underemployed (npr.org)
- Technical college graduates landing jobs quickly (makingfutures.wordpress.com)
- Inspiring Words for New Graduates (wallstreetpit.com)
- 2012 college grads enter improving job market (mysanantonio.com)