The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Digest for September 4th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for September 4th from 14:14 to 14:20:

  • Children will teach you about helplessness – and not only children

    "If you put aside the fact that whole “propagating the human race” thing, parenthood is just one important way we learn to take care of each other. It’s a reminder of the fact that life is fragile – and if we don’t take responsibility for one another every once in a while, we’re kinda fucked. And it’s also a reminder to be silly – because, once again, life is short. With his eyesight going, my grandfather sometimes asked to be seated outside on the balcony, where he could still make out the grapevine he had planted when he was a young man. On days like that, he wanted me to skip the politics in the paper, and go straight to the section that contained inappropriate jokes. I’d read them out loud and we’d both laugh – quietly enough so that grandma wouldn’t immediately know what we were up to. Years later, she told me that she knew, of course – but never minded much. "


  • Print: » Gay couples have happier kids » Print –

    "If you want what’s best for your kids, one surefire way to provide them with a healthy, happy home is to make sure they have lesbian parents. In the longest-running study of lesbian families to date, zero percent of children reported physical or sexual abuse—not a one. In the general population, 26 percent of children report physical abuse and 8.3 percent report sexual abuse.

    When this news broke, the responses were mixed: It spread like wildfire among LGBT groups and news outlets, the mainstream media reported it as the latest in recent news about LGBT parents being as up to par as straight parents, and—unsurprisingly—conservative groups picked the study apart, trying to find reasons why it was incorrect.

    No matter the reactions, however, the study undoubtedly put yet another nail in the coffin of the traditional notion that children need both a mother and a father. This research was just one study in a long line of work showing that children of same-sex parents are just as well adjusted and happy as those raised by heterosexual parents."


  • Madeleine Albright: Why Would Any Woman Vote for Mitt? – Truthdig

    "Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright articulated in an interview Monday what quite a few people have probably thought but not publicly said: Given the recent assault against women’s rights by Republicans, why would any female eligible to vote cast her ballot for Mitt Romney in the presidential election?

    “I think there are some who believe they [Republicans] are actually protecting women, you know, and that it is better for women to be taken care of. I think women want to take care of themselves, and I think having a voice in how that is done is very important,” Albright said. “And frankly, I don’t understand—I mean, I’m obviously a card-carrying Democrat—but I can’t understand why any woman would want to vote for Mitt Romney, except maybe Mrs. Romney.”"


  • Michael Tomasky: Obama’s Simple Convention Task Is to Tell the Truth – The Daily Beast

    "When Democrats talk details, they win. Because the facts are on their side. When the conversation takes place at the level of banal generalities—Big government! Low taxes!—that’s when Republicans win. People—moderate people—agree with Republican slogans, but once you explain to them what those slogans are going to mean in practice, you peel a sizeable number of them away.

    That’s the job this week. It is true that the undecided vote is small to start with, and there isn’t much room for a bounce. But the Democrats can get two or three points out of this week, which may be all they need, and, unlike the Republicans, all they have to do is tell the truth."


  • Obama Should Play the Blame Game | Mother Jones

    "When Barack Obama takes the stage—without Greek columns—on Thursday night, at the conclusion of the Democratic convention in Charlotte, he will have some explaining to do. As many pundits and politicos, including strategists within the president's own camp, have pointed out, Obama must remind voters discouraged by the anemic recovery that the economy was in a free fall when he entered the White House, and he must contend that his actions prevented further collapse and reversed the trend from job loss to job gain (albeit less than rip-roaring job gain). Proclaiming accomplishments while simultaneously acknowledging the harsh reality of the moment will be difficult. But Obama has another tough assignment: blaming the other side."


  • Romney’s Missing Link: What Caused Our Economic Crisis? | Next New Deal

    "Romney knows that any reference to the recent past will evoke toxic memories of George W. Bush. The last thing he needs to do is to remind voters that the last Republican president triggered the nation’s economic crash. Instead, he wants Americans to start the script they are bringing into the voting booth this year on November 2008. It’s okay, he’s telling us, to accept our disappointment with President Obama, and give the businessman – who really does understand our plight and what it takes to create jobs – a try. After all, when things are this bad, what do you have to lose?

    The missing link in Romney’s story is a huge invitation for President Obama to fill in the blanks. It provides an opportunity for him to convince hard-pressed Americans that they should stick with him through tough times. It is a story that President Obama knows how to tell powerfully. But it’s not one that he has been telling on the campaign trail."


  • Harold Meyerson: Workers face an economic power gap – The Washington Post

    "On Labor Day 2012, U.S. workers are in dire straits, and an increasing share of elite opinion says it’s their own damned fault.

    Not quite so bluntly, of course. But it’s impossible to read the business press and the editorial pages without encountering the argument that the economy hasn’t perked up because of the “skills gap.” U.S. workers, this thinking goes, just don’t have the skills required by our advanced economy. If only our workers and schools were better, if only teachers unions ceased to exist, all would be well.

    There are indeed some skills-gap problems plaguing the economy, but the downward mobility of U.S. workers results far more from their lack of power than their lack of skills. "


  • Daily Kos: ‘We’re not generating enough angry white guys’

    "The need to win reactionary white voters in huge numbers goes a long way toward explaining the recent turn of the Romney-Ryan ticket toward resentment-focused race-baiting that continues the false narrative of lazy minorities sucking up the tax dollars of hard-working white people. This has manifested itself in Romney's new turn toward birtherism and his mendacious insistence that the president is gutting welfare-to-work requirements, as well as Rep. Paul Ryan's entire cavalcade of prevarication, but especially the part where he falsely accuses President Obama of directing $716 billion from Medicare (read: earned benefits for older white people) toward ObamaCare (read: free, unearned health care for poor people).

    The problem? It's not working for Romney right now. And even with the implementation of voter ID laws that are specifically designed to prevent Democratic-leaning demographics from voting, the dauntless march of demographic destiny assures that without major change, the Republican Party is doomed at the national level unless it changes its tone to appeal to the hopes and dreams of minority populations."


  • Leonard Pitts Jr.: The black and white of political code-speak | McClatchy

    "Black voters do not need to hear Biden say "y'all" any more than they needed, in 2006, to hear Hillary Clinton accuse the GOP of running a "plantation."

    What they – we – need is for the left and right to stop using us like hardware. What we need is for would-be leaders to approach us with agendas tailored to our concerns. Talk about how you're going to bring investment to the inner city. Talk about ending the mass incarceration of young black men under the failed War on Drugs. Talk about job training. Talk about restoring the voting rights of ex-felons. Talk about fixing schools.

    Do those things and you won't have to say y'all. But of course, that's too much to ask. So instead, we get Gingrich's dewy-eyed innocent act and Biden's linguistic blackface, the same old buck and wing of cynicism, opportunism and nonsense."


  • Labor Day Question: Are you Better off than You were in 1970? | Informed Comment

    "The real question isn’t whether we are better off than we were four years ago. It takes a long time to recover from burst bubbles and near-depressions (the Japanese have still not recovered from their burst bubble of the early 1990s). The real question is whether the working and middle classes of the United States will go on allowing themselves to be taken advantage of by our super-rich, who are gathering to themselves more and more of the national income. The top 1% owned 25% of the privately held national wealth in the United States in the 1950s, but have 38% of it today."


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