ROMNEY'S PARTING 'GIFT'
Last week, Mitt Rommey told an audience he lost the presidential election because Obama gave "gifts" to key constituents. The New York Times reports:
“In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Mr. Romney said.
“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift,” he said. “Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.”
MORE HAVE’S, MORE HAVE-NOT’S
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds:
“Income inequality has grown in all parts of the country since the late 1970s, a major new analysis by CBPP and the Economic Policy Institute finds. Incomes rose significantly at the top but only modestly for middle- and lower-income households.
“In fact, over the most recent full business cycle (from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s), average incomes fell by close to 6 percent among the bottom fifth of households whilerising by just 1.2 percent among the middle fifth, by 8.6 percent among the top fifth, and by 14 percent among the top 5 percent of households.”
The report includes bad news for Alabama: “Between the late 1990s and mid-2000s, the biggest increases in the gap between the top and bottom fifths occurred in Mississippi, South Dakota, Connecticut, Illinois, and Alabama. Income gaps grew over this period in 45 states plus the District of Columbia; they didn’t narrow in any state.”
OUR NEIGHBORS SURE ARE BUSY
Alabama had an election and all we got was a horse-riding, court-defying retread, fresh embarrassment of the state’s racist past and a lame sore-loser secession movement. That’s not enough to keep up with our neighbors to the north and to the east.
From Tennessee: “A decade before calling himself ‘a consistent supporter of pro-life values, Tennessee physician and Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais supported his ex-wife’s decision to get two abortions before their marriage, according to the congressman’s sworn testimony during his divorce trial.
“Obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the couple’s 2001 trial transcript also confirms DesJarlais had sexual relationships with at least two patients, three coworkers and a drug representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn. During one affair with a female patient, DesJarlais prescribed her drugs, gave her an $875 watch and bought her a plane ticket toLas Vegas, records show.”
From Georgia: “President Obama is using a Cold War-era mind-control technique known as ‘Delphi’ to coerce Americans into accepting his plan for a United Nations-run communist dictatorship in which suburbanites will be forcibly relocated to cities. That's according to a four-hour briefing delivered to Republican state senators at the Georgia state Capitol last month.”
GOOD QUESTION, WE GUESS
How long would it take to fall through the earth? Wired takes a crack at the answer.
EASY FOR YOU TO SAY
And now it’s time for the word of the year: “ ‘Higgs Boson’ was a contender. So were ‘superstorm,’ ‘Super PAC’ and ‘YOLO’ (an acronym that stands for You Only Live Once). But Katherine Martin, head of theU.S. dictionaries program at Oxford University PressUSA, said that when it came time for her team of lexicographers to pick the word of the year, the choice was obvious. It had to be GIF, the verb.”
SEPARATED BY A COMMON LANGUAGE
POT, KETTLE, BLACK
IN THE CITY
From the quarterly Dissent: The European debt crisis, and the ensuing austerity-fueled chaos, can seem to Americans like a distant battle that portends a dark future. Yet a closer look reveals that the future is already here. American austerity has largely taken the form of municipal budget crises precipitated by predatory Wall Street lending practices. The debt financing of U.S. cities and towns, a neoliberal economic model that long precedes the current recession, has inflicted deep and growing suffering on communities across the country.