Is it strange that I’m proud of this?
Public Policy Polling, as is its habit, has a cool, unconventional poll up on its site right now, measuring the favorable/unfavorable ratios of the 50 American states.
Overall, it shows (in order) Hawaii, Colorado, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Virginia on top, and (in reverse order) California, Illinois, New Jersey, Mississippi and Utah at the bottom. The last five states are the only ones with net negative ratios (though Louisiana is close with a tie). [...]
You can wander around PPI’s crosstabs from this survey for many hours, but the factor that does jump out is political ideology. California’s dismal ranking is basically driven by its heavily negative ratings from people self-identifying as “very conservative” (10/74) and “somewhat conservative” (12/65). Texas, ranking 38th, draws ratings nearly that dismal from self-identified liberals (22/56 among “very liberal” folk, and 17/59 among “somewhat liberal” respondents), but that’s offset by the ecstatic opinion of the Lone Star State among conservatives (62/9 for the “somewhat conservative;” 68/7 for the “very conservative”). Basically, conservatives love TX and hate CA more intensely than liberals feel about either.
Strange that New York has completely fallen off the radar as the conservatives’ scapegoat for all the ills of America. Back during the ’90s it would have been inconceivable that any other state would have been as hated by them. But times change I guess.
Informally, though, I have noticed the shift. Many of my red-state relatives are prone to insulting California in front of people who actually live there (i.e. us). One of my aunts kept bringing up that creep Richard Ramirez for years after he was caught, as some sort of proof that California is a twisted place. This was apparently ignoring the fact that the Plains and Midwest generate way more serial killers per capita than the West Coast does. My experiences hint to me that California hatred among right-wingers is based mostly on fear of the large and politically influential Hispanic population in the state. Ironically, Texas has much the same thing going on, but the process there is far less advanced and white folks are still largely in firm control of things. Texas is about where California was politically in the mid-1980s, so far as I can tell. And while Rick Perry has been smart enough to avoid a Prop 187-like suicide for the party among Hispanic voters, he’s not going to be there forever, and it’s only a matter of time until the fundamentals demand it happens.
In any event, I’m proud of this poll. To get that kind of hatred, we must really be scaring them.
What a surprise that Texas (a wholly owned subsidiary of Exxon) would be involved in such blatant hijinks as this:
The latest bit of climate controversy has kicked off in Texas, a state with a governor, Rick Perry, who has suggested that climate scientists have manipulated data. At issue is a report on the future of Galveston Bay, on Texas’ Gulf coast. The report was commissioned by the state’s Commission on Environmental Quality, and prepared by a private consulting firm. The TCEQ, however, had issues with the report’s contents when it came to topics related to climate change, and tried to edit the report. Now, the scientists who prepared the report are asking that their names be removed from it.
The report was being prepared by the Houston Advanced Research Center, which contracts the work out to research scientists. One of the chapters of the report focuses on the impact of sea level rise. Studies in the peer-reviewed literature suggest that, after thousands of years of relative stability, the rate of sea level rise has been accelerating during the last century, and it’s expected to continue to rise as temperatures get warmer. That obviously has implications for low-lying coastal areas like Galveston, and the report touches on some of these.
That didn’t go over well with some people at the TCEQ, who edited the report to remove all references to sea level rise (replacing “rise” with “change”) and made other alterations to diminish its significance. The author of that chapter, Rice University’s John Anderson, was appalled, and refused to approve the edits (he provided a copy of them to Mother Jones, which has posted them online).
After the Houston Chronicle picked up the story, word of the problems spread among the authors, and every single scientist on the report has now asked that their names be removed from it. In response to queries about deleting basic facts (sea levels have risen) from the report, a TCEQ spokesperson was quoted as saying, “Information was included in a report that we disagree with.”
I really think that the modern Republican Party’s faith-based, frothing hatred of all things climate science is pretty much the best proof around that the GOP has basically become a mindless butt-zombie of down-South corporate America.
This is the fucking United States of America, which used to mean something; if Rick Perry and Karl Rove are significant players in our national politics it no longer means anything better than Hold Your Nose. Rove’s artificial genius is founded on the fact that his man—the poster boy for unearned privilege, alcohol-induced Korsakoff’s syndrome, and the worst President this country has even been inflicted with, bar none—”won” an election decided by the Supreme Court in a fucking decision it tried to disavow at the same time it announced it. If America really was exceptional, in a good way, that never would have happened. If America had the fucking sense God gave most mammals Karl Rove would be hiding out in another hemisphere. Meanwhile, Rick Perry is almost literally a Bag of Hair. A feud between these two is not news, because neither of them is anyone worth giving a shit about. And we’re not going to solve anything until the public discourse is reported on by people who are honestly dedicated to the truth, who think it matters, not overgrown versions of the kid on the playground who’d eat a worms for a quarter…
You don’t think there’s something deeply, deeply disturbing about a country where those two holes in the atmosphere play a meaningful role in politics? I don’t know how anybody believes that Rick Perry is a game-changer, a bull in the bullpen, a formidable candidate assuming-the-race-will-be-decided-on-Phony-ass Telegenics, a sort of bargain-basement version of The Candidate, other than the fact that it worked for Sarah Palin four years ago, when “Hey, she’s hawt” was the only Right/Redneck reaction (that is, public reaction) that initial weekend, while everyone in the country with an IQ above hypothermia went “Wha’ th’ fuck is this idiot the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee?”
Okay, so there is reason to take Rick Perry seriously as a candidate, because, c’mon, lookit who’s actually been President the last few decades. It doesn’t mean you can’t register a little shock.
I was talking with an old friend yesterday and realized that my pessimism meter is really jumping off the charts lately.
It’s one thing to drive off a ditch and know that the tow truck’s coming. It’s quite another thing to be stuck in a ditch in the middle of the Sahara Desert with no conceivable help around.
According to Matt Cameron, it doesn’t:
The answer, of course, is that things are a bit more complicated than Gingrich and other Republicans make them out to be. Leaving aside that there are factors other than labor policies that have had much more of an impact on Texas’s employment growth, the claim that right-to-work states are better off economically isn’t even accurate. In fact, a side-by-side comparison shows that 10 of the 22 right-to-work states had unemployment rates above the national average in April. Of the other 28 states and the District of Columbia, only nine had unemployment rates that exceeded the national average.
So, labor rights and employment aren’t incompatible? Who would have thought?
On a related note, I’ve always been skeptical of the “offshoring means we can’t have unions” argument that neoliberals often push. It’s just not true in almost every other country in the world, and it’s not true in America, either, at least not in “right-to-work” states. It’s true that big corporations sometimes move operations to states like Texas that have fewer labor protections. To me, this is a good argument for making labor protections uniform by scaling back federalism and taking the power out of the hands of the states. Same goes for credit regulation and voting rights. State governments are less-scrutinized and less honest, and shouldn’t be handling truly national issues.
Turns out Texas was the state that depended the most on [funds from the federal stimulus bill] to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Texas, which crafts a budget every two years, was facing a $6.6 billion shortfall for its 2010-2011 fiscal years. It plugged nearly all of that deficit with $6.4 billion in Recovery Act money, allowing it to leave its $9.1 billion rainy day fund untouched.Yep, you read that correctly. God-fearing, gun-loving Texas used eeee-vil stimulus funds to plug 97% of its 2010-2011 budget shortfall. All this after possible secessionist Governor Rick Perry when on a big whinefest in the national media about how Texas could take of itself, thank you very much:
When he made a show of rejecting some Recovery Act money, Perry said “this was pretty simple for us…We can take care of ourselves.” As The Wonk Room explained, in addition to filling nearly his entire budget gap with Recovery Act funds, Perry also used the Build America Bonds program — created as part of the Recovery Act — to fund billions of dollars in infrastructure projects. He also grandstanded against — and then promptly accepted — federal funding meant to prevent teacher layoffs.
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