As Hurricane Sandy bears down, we're reminded of yet another comment from the governor.
(The Root) -- With all of the insanity that's hit the news media over Hurricane Sandy, obviously there had to be something that would screw with the political news cycle. Lo and behold:
Mitt Romney probably forgot that he even weighed in on this particular subject, or at least forgot what side of the issue he took as his own position. Romney's desire to remove anything from the federal government that we can should scare people -- especially when it comes to disaster relief.
The desire for smaller government is not by itself a bad thing. There are myriad situations in which I would very much prefer the government stay the hell out of Americans' lives -- like, perhaps, a woman's right to choose? In that case, for the love of all things bacon-flavored, please do not interfere. However, when it comes to things like disaster relief, I would like the federal government to play a role. I'd also prefer that it not wait three days before it decides to play that role.
In a post at the Atlantic magazine, Jordan Weissmann argues, "No, Mitt Romney Doesn't Really Want to Kill Off FEMA," claiming that Romney's statement is vague and allows for wiggle room. That is the exact reason we should be terrified. When isn't Romney vague and allowing himself wiggle room? Even if he says something explicitly, he'll simply say, "That's not what I meant" or "I didn't say that," and boom! His position is changed.
Romney, and Republicans in general, want to actively slash and cut things of importance to many everyday Americans who would be devastated without this sort of intervention. Following conservative logic on this subject would be problematic, as Weissmann points out:
Do we really want to tie the federal government's hands with super stringent requirements for when it can and can't step in? And do we really trust disaster prone states like like Louisiana and Texas, which also hold low-taxes about as dear as they do college football, to spend properly to protect their citizens and critical economic infrastructure, like oil refineries?
With less than two weeks until the election, this storm should remind folks of what could be taken away from them and what that could mean. History will judge us for this.
A majority of Americans apparently don't like blacks. How is that possible in a postracial America?
(The Root) -- America is just as prejudiced as it was four years ago -- maybe a even a little bit more, says an Associated Press poll released recently.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.
Those views could cost President Barack Obama votes as he tries for re-election, the survey found, though the effects are mitigated by some people's more favorable views of blacks.
Racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.
In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.
I remember in 2008 when they announced that race may play a part in the election, and my absolute shock.
Let's be honest here: Things haven't gotten worse since 2008. What's happened is that many people have grown more comfortable expressing their prejudice since everyone was told how much things are so different now. Racism is over! America is a meritocracy! Affirmative action is a problem! So yeah, things seem worse, but in the end we're just being allowed to see what was underneath the surface all along.
There is the rise of voter suppression, a presidential candidate speaking about how blacks want free stuff, his surrogate explaining how a high-profile black Republican is voting for Obama because he's black, another surrogate attempting to force Obama to release his birth certificate and now trying to shame him into showing his school records ... I could go on. The point is that obviously prejudice and racism haven't gone anywhere.
But by constantly saying it has gone somewhere, we've allowed it to be more acceptable. America. F--- yeah.
With less than two weeks before Election Day, let's recall the GOP candidate's take on poverty.
(The Root) -- Everyone is yelling about polls and debate bounces and idiots making ridiculous claims, but with less than two weeks until the next election, what seems to continue getting lost in all the proverbial sauce is the poor.
We all know that bringing up the poor seems to be a no-no in big elections. With so many people having the preconceived notion that those in poverty have somehow brought this upon themselves, the idea of focusing any real attention seems to be at the candidates' political detriment. However, the argument can be made that Romney's policies will hurt the poor way more than President Obama's. Romney even went so far as to flat out say that the poor are taken care of.
This didn't sit well with many people, myself included. In the latest entry from the Actually ... ad campaign produced by the pro-Obama super PAC Jewish Council for Education and Research, I make the argument as to why the concept of the poor already being taken care of is so problematic.
The general endorsed Obama again. Republicans rage out in 3, 2 ...
(The Root) -- Well, I'm fairly sure Colin Powell is going to make some Republicans set things on fire.
Colin Powell: "I voted for [Barack Obama] in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012 and I'll be voting for he and for Vice President Joe Biden next month."
Powell explained his choice to Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell:
When he took over, the country was in very very difficult straits. We were in [...] one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression. The fiscal system was collapsing. Wall Street was in chaos, we had 800,000 jobs lost in that first month of the Obama administration and unemployment peaked a few months later at 10 percent. So we were in real trouble. The auto industry was collapsing, the housing was start[ing] to collapse and we were in very difficult straits. And I saw over the next several years, stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years, it's starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising.
Oh dear. It's as if Powell had not received the memo stating that good Republicans never acknowledge that Obama did anything right. Even if you voted for Obama before, you simply have to point out how disappointed you are and that he accomplished nothing.
Maybe there are reasonable Republicans ... or President Obama had Powell implanted with a microchip and is controlling his every actions. I have no proof of this latter theory. I'm just predicting what a rage-filled Rush Limbaugh will be sputtering today.
Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead talks about a new video response site promoting women's rights.
( The Root) -- Have you ever been "black-checked"?
In case you haven't heard: Black checking is when someone questions your blackness because he or she feels you aren't being black enough. Perhaps you don't like collard greens or you're considering voting for a Republican. Someone who finds this to be insufficiently black will question you and possibly hurl insults in your direction for your failure to live up to his or her definition of black. Other groups deal with this as well, but I was slightly surprised to find out that women also get feminist-checked regularly.
Recently on TWIB Radio, we sat down with Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and one of the founders of the former liberal bastion Air America. She explained her response to people who question her feminism and talked about her brand-new project that's highlighting issues around women. Check it out.