Politics: 12 August 2010

The Rachel Maddow Show had big news tonight. I owe the first two items here to it. I know how evil she is: she’s a prominent member of the Professional Left. But Ms. Maddow is one of the few jewels in corporate medialand. I also wish to thank Canadian Living for the exceptional Snow Peas and Carrots with Sesame and Garlic that I just ate. It was amazing.

  1. This is important, but don’t expect to see much coverage on it. Several people very close to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer are associated with Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). Why is this important? Brewer was a big proponent of the Arizona “Breathing While Brown” law—better known as SB 1070. CCA runs 6 of the 15 jails in Arizona and has a contract with the Feds to hold federal prisoners—which those arrested under SB 1070 would be. Of course, the people of Arizona voted for the bill because of fear and hatred. But don’t ever lose sight of the fact that the people behind such legislation are in it for the money and power (which is just money, in the end). [Stephen Lemons’ article]
  2. BP just paid the biggest OSHA fine ever. For the oil spill? Nope. They paid $51 million for problems at their Texas City refinery that had an explosion that killed 15 people and injured 170 others. But don’t think this is what the fine was for. No. They had already been fined $20 million dollars for that. You see, oil is so profitable it just isn’t cost effective to prevent the murder of company employees. Pay the fines and move on. There are a lot of fishermen who are looking for work! Goooo team! [Why is the best coverage from the Financial Times?]
  3. There is a growing Republican meme that the unemployed are just spoiled people who won’t take the jobs available. Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported on Michael Hatchell, a 52-year-old mechanic from North Carolina who has turned down “dozens” of job offers during the 59 weeks he has been unemployed. Newt Gingrich has picked up on this and publicly shamed Mr. Hatchell. According to the Republicans, businesses should make rational decisions, but individuals should not. For example: a business should not invest in capital improvements because of “uncertainty” about future tax policy. But individuals with 30 years experience should take minimum-wage jobs, even if they pay less than unemployment insurance. Do Republicans have no shame? Apparently. [Business Insider Offensive Article on Unemployed]
  4. Someone from the Administration actually has something negative to say about someone other than the Professional Left! Jared Bernstein, Chief Economic Advisor to the Vice President, blasted John Boehner and other Republicans for their opposition to the Recovery Act. [It’s fun reading]
  5. And finally a little encouragement: Alan Abramowitz presented Five Myths About Midterm Elections. Number two is: It’s an anti-incumbent year. He points out that this is said every mid-term election and every mid-term election the vast majority of incumbents retain their seats. [It is worth a read]

You may now return to your regularly scheduled lives.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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