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Remember how Republicans got all excited about something called “YouCut” a while back?  That initiative to identify areas in which to cut spending?

So they did that and look at the genius results that The Joke That Is Eric Cantor came up with:

  • Terminate Taxpayer Funding of National Public Radio (Savings of Tens of Millions of Dollars)
  • Terminate Exchanges with Historic Whaling and Trading Partners Program (Savings of $87.5 million over ten years) [ed. note – No, I am seriously not shitting you]
  • Terminate the Presidential Election Fund (Savings of $520 million over ten years.)
…  Seriously.  That’s what they came up with.

When pressed to come up with specifics, Eric Cantor can helpfully point to a whopping Half-Billion Dollars in savings!!!  OMG!  That’s like a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of total federal government spending!  Kill the Whaling Program!


Update: Here’s Ted Dehaven’s take:

America is at a “critical crossroads” and the GOP leadership is offering to cut whaling history subsidies? Congress is bankrupting the nation and the possible next Speaker of the House – “never a details man” – can’t even specify what he would cut in the budget.

It’s pathetic.

    Apparently there is all sorts of straight-dude-kissing going on in the UK:
    Forget homophobia. A new study finds that same-sex lip-locks among straight men are the norm in British universities and high schools.

    The trend reflects a move toward a “nicer, softer” ideal of masculinity, study researcher Eric Anderson told LiveScience. Anderson, a sociologist at Bath University in England, reported the findings online Oct. 22 in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

    “The mean, gruff, homophobic macho man of the 1980s is dead,” Anderson said.[…]

    Even extended kisses weren’t viewed as sexual, the researchers found. One student recalled kissing his male friend in order to convince two girls to kiss each other, but most of the men interviewed kissed each other for fun.

    These longer kisses are often photographed and posted on Facebook and social-networking sites, Anderson said. While they often happen in the context of a night of drinking, the men aren’t ashamed of or questioning their sexuality. Nor are they mocking gay behavior, Anderson said. In fact, the practice has made it easier for gay men to display their affection publically.

    “It’s opened up the same space for gay men to kiss,” he said. “Sometimes you see two men kissing and you don’t know whether they’re straight or gay.”

    Ok, so as you might expect, this story definitely turns me on.  Nothing much hotter in my world than straight dudes making actual or apparent sexytime with other dudes.  However, this presents quite a dilemma.  I already have a woeful defect that causes me to only be attracted to straight dudes.  If straight dudes start going around kissing other dudes, I might start to think I have a chance (which I never do).  Woe!

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    One week before the midterm election, mindful of his disillusioned Democratic base, Obama holds a Q&A session at the White House with progressive bloggers. Transcript from AMERICAblog:

    Q I was glad to hear that you and your staff appreciate constructive feedback.

    THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that’s something we enjoy. (Laughter.)

    Q We’ve been more than willing to offer that. We’ve certainly been more than willing to offer that from AMERICAblog, particularly on issues related to the LGBT community, which, you know, there is a certain amount of disillusionment and disappointment in our community right now.

    And one of the things I’d like to ask you — and I think it’s a simple yes or no question too — is do you think that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is unconstitutional?

    THE PRESIDENT: It’s not a simple yes or no question, because I’m not sitting on the Supreme Court. And I’ve got to be careful, as President of the United States, to make sure that when I’m making pronouncements about laws that Congress passed I don’t do so just off the top of my head.

    I think that — but here’s what I can say. I think “don’t ask, don’t tell” is wrong. I think it doesn’t serve our national security, which is why I want it overturned. I think that the best way to overturn it is for Congress to act. In theory, we should be able to get 60 votes out of the Senate. The House has already passed it. And I’ve gotten the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to say that they think this policy needs to be overturned — something that’s unprecedented.

    And so my hope and expectation is, is that we get this law passed. It is not just harmful to the brave men and women who are serving, and in some cases have been discharged unjustly, but it doesn’t serve our interests — and I speak as Commander-in-Chief on that issue.

    Let me go to the larger issue, though, Joe, about disillusionment and disappointment. I guess my attitude is that we have been as vocal, as supportive of the LGBT community as any President in history. I’ve appointed more openly gay people to more positions in this government than any President in history. We have moved forward on a whole range of issues that were directly under my control, including, for example, hospital visitation.

    On “don’t ask, don’t tell,” I have been as systematic and methodical in trying to move that agenda forward as I could be given my legal constraints, given that Congress had explicitly passed a law designed to tie my hands on the issue.

    And so, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think that the disillusionment is justified.

    Now, I say that as somebody who appreciates that the LGBT community very legitimately feels these issues in very personal terms. So it’s not my place to counsel patience. One of my favorite pieces of literature is “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and Dr. King had to battle people counseling patience and time. And he rightly said that time is neutral. And things don’t automatically get better unless people push to try to get things better.

    So I don’t begrudge the LGBT community pushing, but the flip side of it is that this notion somehow that this administration has been a source of disappointment to the LGBT community, as opposed to a stalwart ally of the LGBT community, I think is wrong.

    Continue reading »

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    Anne Laurie pointed me to an absolutely brilliant piece in Esquire.  Here’s just a taste:

    Republicans, who once decried the rise of identity politics, now practice it so relentlessly, so ruthlessly, and above all so successfully that they’ve created a beleaguered minority where only a cosseted majority stood before. It is a kind of super minority, its material well-being encroached upon by the swelling ranks of the shiftless poor and its spiritual well-being encroached upon by shadowy “elites” whose figurehead is in the White House. And the odd hallmark of the new identity politics is that it requires a denial of identity: because of who you are, you can’t even say who you are. You can’t say you’re a Republican; you have to say what my friend says, which is that he’s “more Libertarian these days.” You can’t say that or say that you’re wealthy or, God forbid, rich; you have to say that you “do all right,” and “make good money,” but that’s only because you work hard. And you can’t ever say that you’re white, because, as my friend insists, “skin color is irrelevant. C’mon, you know me. You know I’m no racist.”

    Now, my friend is right: I know who he is, and I know what he’s not. But I also know that an identity politics that requires a denial of identity also requires a response to the denial of identity — and the response is rage. Because of who they are, you can’t say who you are, and it is by this dynamic that yesterday’s Silent Majority becomes today’s Tea Party, gaudy and loud in its discontent, and that my friend becomes part of a privileged majority that perceives itself as an underprivileged minority — one of the Sore Winners.

    This is what you hear again and again from the Sore Winners, whether you hear it from the professional Sore Winners or the Sore Winners who happen to be your friends: the conviction that no amount of financial success, political domination, religious hegemony or cultural is sufficient to take away the sting of being looked down upon.

    It is one of the biggest dividing lines between liberals and conservatives: sensitivity. Liberals are supposed to be the sensitive ones, but even the liberals who worked themselves into a froth over George W. Bush never really cared very much about what he thought of them. But conservatives care what President Obama thinks. They care to the point of imagining what he thinks…

    Worrying about what someone who doesn’t think about you thinks about you: this is the essence of Sore Winnerdom, and it is no accident that it also the essence of the Republican animus. The Republican party was small and hidebound — the party of country-club corporatists, and the range-war West — until, with the Reagan Revolution, it began grafting unto itself the legions of the disaffected: the Christianists, the Southerners, the blue-collar workers displaced by the collapse of America’s industrial base and estranged from the unions that failed them. The Tea Party, in this sense, is not a new development so much as it is part of an ongoing migration of the perpetually petulant, a political phenomenon grounded in a demographic one: the creation of a class of baby-boom retirees who have been deprived of meaningful work but given personal computers as Christmas presents. The skin on the Republican Party’s “Big Tent” is by definition thin, and under it gathers a volatile throng of people with nothing in common but the fear that outside its environs someone is laughing at them — or simply having a better time.


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    I’ve missed the Bad Music feature that Gherald and I started a year ago.  To prompt some more fun, I give you:

    P.S. Yes, this technically doesn’t qualify as “Bad Music” as we originally conceived of it because it is intentionally bad. On the other hand, suck it. :)

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