Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Weekly Planet April 7 2012

Welcome to this week's edition of "The Weekly Planet." This week besides the usual topics I'll be adding education into the mix since that ties in with the global unrest and world wide protests. Education will be a recurring topic, as it should be, since an uneducated populace is an easily controlled populace.
Why Obama Will Not Lose
I can sum up this thought in one word, "alienation." A conservative cannot win by appealing only to old white males. With the right's continued offense against equal rights for women and minorities, they've thrown a match into the gas tank of their candidacy. In the latest Gallup Poll of swing states Obama leads Romney by 9% as a whole, with women supporting Obama over Romney in the same states by 18%. With Santorum throwing culture into politics, especially concerning women, even after he drops out women in general will still be leery of any GOP candidate. Romney with his wife Ann's input, states that women are concerned about the economy. Yet, with the ongoing attack on reproductive rights that appears to be going global, women are at least as concerned about health issues than they are about anything else.
The only voting block that Romney has an edge on Obama is the over 50 white male group. Not enough to help. Close to 70% of latinos voted for the president in 2008, and it appears the percentage will stay about the same. The black vote will heavily swing towards Obama again as well. Van Jones quipped that even if the president came out as gay, he would still get that vote. Ninety-five percent of the black electorate voted for Obama in 2008, we'll see the same for 2012.
Romney will get the evangelical vote as he panders to the right. His statement that Obama wants to establish a secular religion shows the depths of idiocy he is willing accept. I don't think the war onreligion message will do much for his campaign. Besides offending liberal theists, he also throws away atheist voters. There seems to be a dearth of conservative atheists, and for those who exist the conservative's  religious stance will offend them enough that they either will not vote at all, or they will vote for Obama.
I don't think the LGBT community will be head over heels in love with the party of  DOMA as well.Seventy percent voted for Obama in 2008. I think the percentage will be even higher in 2012.
Romney will be helped as the coffers of the RNC grow. With no limit to corporate spending, the super pacs are attacking Obama while the RNC gets to save money for the election. Thank's to the Supreme Court the RNC has already tucked away over eighty million dollars for the candidate's run. 
One more thought on gender voting blocks and how important they are. In 1996, Clinton wasreelected even though he lost the male vote by 1%. During that time period conservatives were going after social safety nets, as they do so again. When you target a group to further an ideology, you lose.
Unless something drastic and unforeseen happens, this current administration will get another four years.
State Politics and Misogyny: The Good News, The Bad News
The bad news outweighs the good news in every GOP controlled state, but at least the fight continues and in some areas appears to be gaining traction. In my home state of MI, the culture war is in full swing. We have fetal personhood, ultrasound and other bills that won't help the state, being legislated. We have a swarm of angry tea party nitwits that have taken over. Democrats have sued their counterparts over a procedure that determines how fast a law can go into effect. Though it's a stalling tactic, the two new laws that are being stalled are attacks on the middle class and unions. Every little bit helps.
Michigan is the home of a new thought that attacks democracy as a whole. To take over a legally elected city council, throw out the mayor, and take over the entire city in the name of democracy, is the exact opposite of what democracy stands for. There is a radio station that has a three mile radius that the Emergency Financial Manager just tried to sell on Ebay. Apparently the city council and mayor were using it to talk to their constituents. The feds stepped in and prevented the sale. Instead a local school bought it, and communications for ousted officials may continue. Another small, but needed win.
It may seem insignificant in a world of crazy, but that's how the crazy starts. They are starting to talk about the takeover of Detroit. Now that would be fun, the push back would throw the state into chaos.
Then there are states like Mississippi, which holds the dubious distinction of being the worst state to live if you're a woman. Besides the stats on the lack of education, poverty and obesity that effect the women of the state, they're brainwashed by the christian cult that dominates their thinking. MS has never sent a woman to congress. Par for a state that is the most religious state in the union.
Looking at the other worst states, the ratings are based on poverty, lack of insurance, lack of reproductive rights and lack of education. Great.
Every week I'm going to grab a couple of states that are doing their best to marginalize science and women. I know everyone must be as bewildered by the nonsense as I am. From creationism back in school to misogynist legislation, crazy rules the day.
Occupy, Education and Income Equality
I find all three subjects related to the unrest around the world. I would probably be called a socialist because of my viewpoints on government's role pertaining to the general welfare of the populace. I see a free, or at least affordable, education as being one part of a successful society. The only reason to neglect education is to control a populace.
Part of the Occupy movement directly relates to education. The protests that are taking place on campuses, and elsewhere, are tuition motivated. Higher education is being put beyond the reach of the populace. The easiest way to prevent an informed electorate from developing is to prevent access to higher learning.
As many as 30 demonstrators were pepper sprayed in Santa Monica College while protesting tuition hikes. Pepper spraying may not be as news worthynow as when it first started happening, but I liked that one of the demonstrators that was sprayed is a congressional candidate. Green Party, so no chance, but would have been great to have someone in congress that understands how close to a police state we are becoming. 
The photo on the left is Mr. Steinman learning first hand that freedom of assembly is no longer a reality. 
During the last month protests have been picking up, usually centered on raised tuition and the millionaires' tax.
The protests are still minor in violence compared to western Europe. Austerity measures are the flames lighting a short fuse, this could get worse quickly. In Italy, a man lit himself on fire because he hadn't been paid in months, another did the same over a tax evasion charge; times are definitely tough.
In Greece, Dimitris Christoulas has become a martyr after shooting himself. He claimed that the cuts to his pension were so severe he could not sustain himself. He decided to end his life rather than scavenge for survival. Protests are ongoing.
Even our neighbor to the north is involved. 71 have been arrested there, and it appears that the university was successful in obtaining an injunction against the protestors that stops them from blocking entrances and intimidating staff. 
Should education be affordable, or even free? It would seem that if you wanted an engaged populace that educating them would be a top priority. Every election year we hear about how education is a top priority, and then nothing happens. Our colleges would appear to have great income generated through sports programs, is that all we want is athletes?
Republican That Don't Totally Suck
It appears that you can teach an old republican something new, at least when legislation hits home. Georgia state Representative Ron Stephens, who is a pro-life conservative, would not vote on an anti-abortion bill until it was amended. The bill centers around the no abortion after 20 weeks bill that was being proposed. His daughter's child was diagnosed with trisomy, and she ended up getting an abortion after the 20 week period being proposed.
For a moments worth of sanity, he is now the target of conservatives who think he is a republican in name only. When you think it can't happen again, conservatives set the bar lower again. 
I doubt I would agree with the vast majority of his thoughts, but leave it up to the conservative party to make sure sure that any reasonable thought is draped in disdain. 
Bang the drums, light the torches, grab the pitchforks, this man has to go. 
The republican party no longer exists. It is only an arm of the christian right and no longer is pertinent as a political or social force, except for a minority of literal christians. They are the champions of biblical morals which no longer have any business in our daily lives.
If you haven't been following this, it is good news time. Major funders are dropping ALEC. Coca Cola, Pepsi, Kraft foods; all breaking ties with this corrupt conservative group. Voter suppression, stand your ground laws; all part of their job. 
This is where the legislation you hate is spawning.
And yes, our friends to the right fund the insanity.

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