Fox News and Fox Business correspondent John Stossel has been visiting union offices claiming he's interested in filming their "beautiful buildings." Yeah, right. A word to
the wise John Stossel: The James O'Keefe sting only has a chance of working if they don't know what you're up to. You're a Fox News reporter. It's kind of obvious you're up to no good the instant you come within 10 feet of a union office. The only real question is whether Stossel is actually focusing on union buildings, presumably trying to portray them as unduly lavish, or if he was looking for something else ostensibly incriminating.
In response, the AFL-CIO is mockingly highlighting some of the beauties of its building:
If Stossel's focus really was on the building itself, there is one thing he might try to highlight at the AFL-CIO: In the building's lobby and a room right off the lobby, there are two large and very beautiful mosaics showing scenes of work and family. Completed in 1956 and 1973, they are stunning, and if they set the tone for the rest of the building, it would indeed be a showplace.
They don't set the tone for the rest of the building. I actually worked in the AFL-CIO building at my previous job with Working America, and the pictures above are an accurate representation of the work spaces there: basic gray office-building carpet, cubicles and fairly spartan meeting rooms through the core of the building, with small offices along the outer walls. Hallways tend to feature framed posters or photos from past labor struggles. There's a small cafeteria at which employees can buy basic sandwiches, soups and salads. A utilitarian urban office building with some added union flavoring, in other words.
It's unlikely that Stossel got any footage beyond the lobbies of the AFL-CIO and whichever other unions he visited, and the staffers denying him entry to the rest of the building. This is apparently the kind of story Fox reporters are trying to break these days?
Marriage and child-rearing expert Bristol Palin
I don't know about you, but when I want thoughtful insights into important political and moral issues, the first person I turn to is unwed teen mom and born-again virgin Bristol Palin. So thank you, sweet merciful Jeebus, for guiding the failed Dancing With the Stars competitor to give us her deep thoughts on President Obama's evolution on marriage equality:
While it?s great to listen to your kids? ideas, there?s also a time when dads simply need to be dads. In this case, it would?ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, that?s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage. Or that ? as great as her friends may be ? we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home. Ideally, fathers help shape their kids? worldview.You hear that, President Obama? Children should not be consulted for their ideas on marriage equality. That's just too important to even discuss with children. Unlike, say, the decision to run for vice president of the United States:
?So ask the girls what they thought and they?re like, ?Absolutely, let?s do this, Mom,?? Palin recounted in an interview with Sean Hannity, set to air on Fox News tonight.
And as for the importance of the "thousands of years of thinking about marriage" and how kids do better in a "mother/father home"? Funny advice coming from the girl who's not raising her child in a mother/father home and in fact has done her best to keep the father of her born-out-of-traditional-marriage son as far away as possible.
So, Bristol, sweetie, why don't you stick to the "kind of scandalous" lapdancing on national TV and leave the political discourse to the grown-ups.
Hello, human diary! This is Mitt Romney, your better.
My adviser units have advocated that I begin writing a diary of my experiences during this election. They believe the exercise will encourage the development of human-like emotions, which according to focus groups are a desirable quality. I fail to see the point of the process, but according to my advisers, money cannot be exchanged for emotional gratification. (They cite a group of musically inclined hippies from the 1960s for the discovery, which made us all skeptical but seemed to hold up during initial experimental testing. Upon further historical examination it turns out that group of hippies became quite wealthy, which seems to lend credence to their claims.)
I shall therefore entertain this process as necessary. If human emotions are necessary to achieve a leadership position, and a leadership position is necessary to achieve reductions in taxation, then emote I shall!
Today news reporters discovered that while attending human preparatory school, Cranbrook (every decent institution of preparation requires a -brook suffix, thus implying calm and natural settings), I once assaulted a fellow student who may have had tendencies towards the homosexual. This is false: I assaulted the fellow because his haircut personally offended me. Surely this counts as this "emotion" that my advisers speak of, but for some reason this one counts as bad, further confounding me.
Let me be clear; I do not remember the incident, except for the parts I do. Also, I cannot reiterate enough just how deeply offended I was by said haircut, the shape and relative dimensions of which I felt was an insult to my personal honor, as well as the honor of my fellow students, as well as the money their parents had expended to place us in an environment in which all haircuts would be of the correct dimensions. I would also like to point out that I was younger then and not nearly as wealthy, and it is a known fact that less wealthy people are more prone to violent behaviors. No, by current standards I was quite poor indeed, and the lack of regular contact with my current amounts of money sometimes made me light headed. I was the victim in this incident; let it be a lesson on how modern wealthy Americans ought to be subjected to reduced taxation rates, so that their children have access to slightly more cash and do not, therefore, turn into gauche and violent little bastards.
I wish I could reach out now to the young lad in question, so that I could explain to that poorly coifed homosexual that it does "get better," as the current phrasing has it. I am far wealthier now, and am running for president, so things have indeed worked out quite correctly! I have instructed my staff that, should the fellow wish to apologize to me for the incident, they should express human satisfaction to him. Mr. Cheney received a quite adequate apology from the fellow whose face intercepted Mr. Cheney's expended ammunition during an animal-killing expedition in the American wilds; that would be a good model to follow in this case, as both incidents involve fellows whose heads received the brunt of a wealthier American's momentary impulses.
Hmm. Yes, upon reflection I feel this new experiment at documenting my human emotions is going along quite swimmingly, Mr. Diary. I shall continue the proceedings as necessary. I admit I am uncomfortable with the feel of this paper, and so have directed my staff towards procuring some pages that more directly mimic the feel of fine, crisp currency.
Tea party Republicans want deeper cuts.From the beginning, it was obvious that the plan under the Budget Control Act to get a bipartisan super-committee to come up with balanced cuts in spending for defense and social programs wasn't going to work. And it didn't. Committee members just could not agree. It was also obvious that the agreed-in-advance "punishment" for not coming up with the cuts, the sequestering of $1.2 trillion in more or less equal amounts from each spending category, wasn't going to work. And it didn't.
Thus, we have the House Republican leadership's "Sequester Replacement Act." That, as Joan McCarter has explained, is:
[...] the Republicans' vision for the country that would, literally, make the poor go hungry to give the Pentagon more money that it has asked for. It would also eliminate Social Services Block Grants that provide funding for Meals on Wheels, day care for children and disabled adults, adoption assistance, and transportation for the elderly and disabled.The House is expected to vote on that today. And, even though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has made clear that the replacement act will be dead-on-arrival in the Senate, it's expected to pass the House anyway.
But not without some gripes from tea party Republicans who are unhappy the leadership has reneged on the deal they cut last August that set out the supposedly guaranteed across-the-board cuts in exchange for raising the federal debt ceiling. It doesn't matter to them that deeper cuts in social spending are being proposed so that the Pentagon doesn't get hit with the budget ax:
Several conservatives who opposed the 2011 debt-limit hike say they will likely support the legislation Thursday, but they first delivered a bitter message to their party?s leadership: We told you so.Tea party-backed Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) also chimed in with head-shaking assessments. ?It?s like a whole shell game around this town," Huelskamp told The Hill. ?This potentially puts us down that road of not delivering what we promised.?
?It?s a façade. I mean, come on,? freshman Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.) said Wednesday during a press briefing with other House conservatives. ?This is a smoke screen to protect people who voted to raise the debt ceiling.
But these tea partiers are going to go along with this vote. So all their supposedly principled objections count for nothing more than petty kvetching about a bill that will make its last gasp the instant it's delivered to the Senate. Even the most avid devotees of Washington Kabuki should be embarrassed by that.
11:36 AM PT: Bill passed 218-199.
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