Carville indulges in redundancy

It’s the wokeness, stupid!

James Carville should be more careful with words. Quoting from a Maureen Dowd column:

There’s some truth in what James Carville told Judy Woodruff: “What went wrong is this stupid wokeness. Don’t just look at Virginia and New Jersey. Look at Long Island, look at Buffalo, look at Minneapolis, even look at Seattle, Wash. I mean, this defund the police lunacy, this take Abraham Lincoln’s name off of schools.”

What he says is entirely true (not just “some”), but “wokeness” doesn’t need to be modified with “stupid,” seeing as it is already that. You don’t say “woke” if you’re talking about wisdom. Of course, Carville has a known affinity for the word, “stupid.”

I prefer what Abigail Spanberger said, quoted immediately after that in the same column:

There’s also some truth in what Representative Abigail Spanberger, a moderate Virginia Democrat in a tough re-election battle, told The Times’s Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns about the president: “Nobody elected him to be F.D.R., they elected him to be normal and stop the chaos.”…

Again, she is completely right, not just “some,” Maureen.

Of course, I generally agree with Rep. Spanberger. I agree less often with Carville, but when he’s right, he’s right. Even if he indulges in the use of unnecessary words…

Rep. Spanberger, stumping for that guy who lost.

131 thoughts on “Carville indulges in redundancy

  1. Ken

    Carville is not absolutely wrong. Few people are. But as usual when he lets his loud mouth get ahead of his brain, he’s mostly wrong. Neither Terry McCauliffe nor any other Democratic candidate I know of, outside of maybe NYC or other major city, ran on any kind of “woke” platform. What’s more, “woke/wokeness” is the new “PC”: a term to hit people on the left on the head to try to shut them up and delegitimize anything and everything they have to say. Spanberger is wrong, too, by the way. At least if you judge Biden by his campaign, which included many proposals for “big guvmint” programs. She should pay better attention.

    After I heard Carville growling and snarling about “wokeness” on The NewsHour, I wrote him to ask if among the purveyors of “wokeness” he also included his fellow Louisianan Mitch Landrieu’s push to bring down Confederate monuments in New Orleans. After all, to some, that, too, is just another manifestation of “wokeness.” So far I haven’t heard back and don’t expect to.

  2. Mark Stewart

    It’s sad to see this post. It is also true that no strong, moderate and civil political voices have stood out – as the Rep. stated most people want “normalcy.” On the other hand, the ideas behind “defund the police” are not clear to you. Clearly. It’s an interesting turn of phrase to me because it took me a long time to understand that the short-hand rhetorical phrase is meant as a lightening rod; what is counter-productive is that it doesn’t give an opening to people to understand its larger context. Maybe the slogan on the streets overpowered any voices on the square of public opinion to discuss where we are as a society – and how we have been bamboozled by those pushing authoritarianism.

    America has a racism problem. It isn’t that we have racists – of any race – it is that they have been successful in appealing to a much broader swath of people by mainstreaming their ideas – and those who now call themselves the GOP push this as convenient in its support of authoritarianism. The counter to that are principled people shining light on the oozing sewers underfoot. I would rather be one of those voices – the least likely radical ever.

    Defund the police meant limiting the “tactical” forces that have been populated with the kinds of cops that see themselves as enforcers and not as community police. The more police departments go for military equipment, body armor, tactical weapons, etc. the more they become a occupying force and less a police force. One doesn’t need to go far to see this transformation – a number of local sheriff departments seem to prefer this military model of ex-soldiers and military grade hardware. Still, other departments have recognized that often the time, energy and patience of officers is often taken up by those with mental health, addiction, family violence and other social stigmas. It does not seem unreasonable to begin to walk back the tactical approach to policing with force and return to a more community-based model that incorporates other kinds of enforcement resources in a re-imagined department based upon what used to be called public safety. What if less tactical “toys” were purchased and more mental health, addiction and domestic violence professionals were hired to rebalance departments without reducing their capacity to police their communities? Would that be such a bad thing?

    The same could also be said of our legal process which incarcerates a substantial minority of black men at great cost and minimal benefit to society. Do we really need to do that? Or has our police state actually created a racist monster of its own making?

    These are challenging questions which are clearly blocked by all the pearl-clutching over the phrase “defund the police.” It’s time we stopped being afraid of the slogans of street protests and start to understand their broader societal meaning – whether at a Charlottesville rally or at a BLM protest. We used to have nuanced and multilayered views of our society and a desire to reflect our national ideals. We have been reduced to manipulated social media rantings – and nothing more, it seems.

    1. James Edward Cross

      It was bad branding. Pithy, but got the entirely wrong idea across. And let the zealots on the left (as opposed to the progressives who were actually pushing the idea you describe) take ownership of it. You know, the fools who actually *want* to abolish the police.

      As you point out, the problem is attitudinal and goes beyond “a few bad apples.” With slogans like “the war on crime” and “the war on drugs,” an organization set up on paramilitary lines, and one that is made up of a number of ex-military individuals it’s easy to lapse back into a military mindset where everyone who is not you is the enemy versus a policing mindset which is truly “protect and serve” *everyone*. And as you also pointed out, the police are asked to deal with situations that they are not trained for.

    2. Bill

      Most communities could get by with just beauty squads
      When people see a police station filled with nothing but good looking cops,people are gonna wanna obey

  3. bud

    Seems like a good time for a Biden Report card:

    Handling of Afghanistan – A- Gets deduction for unnecessary and cruel drone strike. Otherwise good move to get us out.

    Economy – A Job creation is at record level. We’re buying so much stuff we can’t bring it to people fast enough. Wages are up and the stock market is setting records daily. Only minor glitch is inflation concern.

    Border C. Mostly ended the cruelty of the Trump years but much remains undone.

    Climate C. Moving much too slowly.

    Voting rights D Democracy itself is on the line and Biden seems helpless.

    Foreign Policy C. Improved relations broadly but has dropped the ball badly in dealing with apartheid Israel.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      Bud, I truly hope you never change.

      Currently enjoying my trip to Boston with the family. Have seen the USS Constitution, Bunker Hill, did a Fenway Park tour, did a DuckBoat tour, have eaten at JFKs favorite Boston oyster house, and have done a walking Ghost Tour of Boston.

          1. Barry

            All of it

            Boston- JFK, etc

            Boston is one of the most liberal cities in the country. I didn’t think good conservatives liked spending time in liberal cities- especially by choice.

            Oh well, I bet a good shower will wash off the bad vibes

              1. Barry

                No, that’s great. Boston is a great town. .

                Just shocked.

                So many conservatives that I know denigrate places like Boston so much with awful terms, it’s just strange to hear one that likes it.

                1. Bart

                  Yes, Boston is a great place to go to and get a sense of our history. Full of great places to visit and some really good restaurants. Just because it is a very liberal city doesn’t indicate anything other than it is a very liberal city but sans the destructive atmosphere prevalent in Portland and a few other liberal cities.

                  I love Asheville, NC and it has been called Seattle on the East Coast because it is one of the most liberal cities on the East Coast. The last family vacation was in Asheville and years ago, my company renovated and added a second level to the Belk store off Tunnel Road and another project at a HUD apartment complex.

                  Met some great people and mutual respect was given between liberals and conservatives. Naturally, there will disagreements if politics and ideology are broached but there is no reason civility cannot prevail. It all depends on how one approaches a sensitive subject especially if one refrains from categorizing or “pigeon-holing” en masse.

                  This country has too much to offer to literally throw people and places away because of political, social, and ideological differences. Have travelled most of the US and found the things we have in common vastly outnumber the things that separate us, recognizing the difference is what is important.

                  California has some amazing vistas and landscapes along with a great variety of attractions visitors of all political and ideological persuasions still enjoy. The same with NY’s upstate and the city itself.

                  I will admit there are sections of some cities I am reluctant to venture into because of crime and other dangerous conditions but overall, most have more positives if one looks for them than negatives.

                  Aren’t there areas in some cities you hesitate to visit?

                  1. Doug Ross

                    Like Bart, I have traveled the country extensively. I just recently visited North Dakota which was the final state I had never been to. I’ve spent more than 3 months in the past three decades in many states: MA, NH, NY, VT, NJ, PA. OH, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, TN, IN, IL, MN, TX, UT, CA, CO.

                    And what I find is that people don’t talk about politics on a daily basis. They aren’t hooked on Fox News or MSNBC. Their presence on social media is mainly around sports, pop culture, family. They aren’t oppressed, triggered, terrified, disgusted… Social media and news theatre have made it appear otherwise.

                    The only places I’ve ever felt uncomfortable in were some sections of Philly, Newark NJ, and a couple blocks off Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

              2. Doug Ross

                It’s not you, Bryan. I grew up there. Plenty of great activities for young and old who aren’t obsessed with political theatre. Quincy market is great for a variety of food options.

              3. Barry

                It’s like the Fox News and right wing talk show hosts who constantly jump up and down about how awful California is and then many of the same people are spotted and photographed vacationing in California with their families- repeatedly.

                I’m reminded of Sean Hannity who has threatened to leave New York for over 20 years now because of the high taxes. Making 25+ million a year, he’s said many times he can afford to move anywhere and continue to do his tv and radio show. Yet he continues to live in one of the highest taxed areas in the United States- a place he’s said he hates living in now – yet he never, ever leaves.

                Of course, since the recently divorced “family values” promoter is now dating his recently divorced Fox coworker, maybe he won’t ever leave.

    2. Doug Ross

      Afghanistan: 10 innocent people killed. Ooops! My bad! Nobody punished for it. Luckily you only treat it like a typo in a research paper. A for effort, F for execution = C

      Economy: I remember when the explanation for the Trump economy pre-COVID was that it was just a continuation of Obama’s policies. If you don’t think inflation is a real problem, you’re going to be really surprised when the recession hits next year. C-

      Border: Waiting for AOC to go down and cry at the fences holding innocent babies. The waves of immigrants are still coming. And Biden lied or was out of the loop on payments to separated families. C

      Climate: C- Has done nothing but that is probably better than doing what the climate kooks want

      Voting rights: State issue he has no control over especially with the way the Supreme Court is configured. C-

      Foreign Policy: He’s made no real policy. Just showed up at the G20 and was ignored (when he wasn’t falling asleep). C-

      Other subjects:

      COVID – D- He had months to be prepared to take over in January. Didn’t do anything except sit on the sidelines and wear a mask.

      Uniting the country: F Hasn’t done anything but act like a Democrat. It’s all politics with Joe.

      Leadership: F He’s been mostly invisible. Doesn’t ever do anything unscripted. Afraid to face the press unless it’s with the ones who will toss him softballs…

      Being Not Trump: A That was the only thing he could actually do without having to try, But we could have had someone who was actually a leader with energy, ideas, charisma instead. Now we have one term Joe who will likely oversee a swap back to a Republican (not Trump) in 2024.

      1. bud

        Uniting the Country – F

        Is that even a serious comment? Who could? And how? But Biden did get 13 GOP members of the House to vote for his infrastructure bill. About as many as possible in this extremely polarized political environment.

        1. Barry

          Agree Bud.

          I don’t even know what “unite the country” even means. It meaningless. It’s impossible and a pathetic sort of attempt to deflect. That’s a Fox News refrain that keeps getting repeated.

          Are they pretending that Trump tried to “unite” the country?

          The package that just passed had support and votes from 19 GOP Senators including the Senate Minority Leader, and 13 House Democrats.

          As Michael Smerconish pointed out this morning on his Sirius show, the same package would have been supported by 99% of Republicans if Trump would have had the chance to pass the same package but since Trump couldn’t sign it, it’s now a “communist” package according to goofy reps like Rep Greene who made another fool of herself this weekend.

          I guess we can’t all be mad at Big Bird and Sesame Street like Fox News and right wing radio was on Sunday and most of today. LOL

          1. Doug Ross

            Yeah, we shouldn’t take anything Biden says seriously, including in his inaugural address:

            “It was a focus of the Democrat’s campaign. It’s even the theme of Biden’s inauguration — “America United.”

            He made lots of appeals to unity in his inaugural address.

            “We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward.”

            As with everything Joe said in the campaign trail and since, he’s just a blowhard politician. All talk, no action…

            1. Barry

              Welcome back to the board. After you stated you were not coming back, we lost all hope. It’s nice to see.

              No one can honestly accuse Biden of not trying to lower the hateful rhetoric that we all saw from Trump and trump cult clowns who cheered (and still cheer) his nonsense for 4+ years.

              They were not interested in unity. They don’t even see it as a worthy endeavor. Heck, that’s why they liked Trump. So I think caring if they think someone they hate is not striving for something they don’t even value is a colossal waste of time. It’s irrelevant.

              I’m quite pleased with Joe and his effort, and I’m especially pleased with the new bill that has passed. Great job to all that supported it and big kudos to Biden for pushing it – and even a little credit for the 25+ republicans that supported it.

              We know you aren’t a fan of Joe at all (at best) and that’s great.

            1. Barry

              I said “ I don’t even know what “unite the country” even means. It meaningless. It’s impossible and a pathetic sort of attempt to deflect. That’s a Fox News refrain that keeps getting repeated.”

              Whether anyone watches them or not isn’t the point. The point is they are saying the same exact thing. (Saying anything Fox News is focusing on is worth some reflection for anyone)

              Fox News pointing out someone isn’t unifying enough is like a serial killer whining that the jail guards are being mean to the prisoners.

              1. Doug Ross

                Anyone who gets their information from Fox, MSNBC, or CNN talking heads is brainwashed. Normal people don’t devote hours of their lives to the incessant partisan political theatre. There isn’t a dimes worth of difference between Hannity and Maddow… and if you think there is, you’re a lost cause.

                1. Barry

                  I will add a few differences

                  Fox News is the dominant cable news operation/cable network. There is no close 2nd. Fox plays a HUGE, MASSIVE role in shaping conservative opinion on policy matters in Congress and at the state level with respect to GOP politics. That’s not true on the left with respect to cable news.

                  No force other than right wing radio is as major a player in GOP politics. MSNBC doesn’t hold a candle to the power Fox has to shape actions in Congress.

                  Fox hosts regularly consult with GOP members of Congress on messaging and policy. I am not aware that MSNBC hosts play such a role with Democrats in Congress. Democrats are simply too fractured.

                  tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity had regular phone calls with Trump when he was president. We know that Carlson (not Trump’s own hand picked medical or policy advisors) was the one that first advised him to start taking COVID more seriously. Carlson flew down to Florida to meet with Trump privately to tell him to take it seriously. (Carlson almost immediately started downplaying COVID when his action became public)

                  In fact, it’s known that Hannity had routine phone calls with Trump before and after his show on a regular basis and was an unofficial advisor on his campaign (against the stated Fox policy but they ignored their own policies with regards to Hannity) .

                  We also know from former advisors that Trump almost never missed Sean Hannity’s program, often messaging Hannity when he was on the air. Trump was to be left alone when he was watching Hannity’s program.

                  I agree with your comment about getting info from Fox or MSNBC , etc Except it’s worth noting TRUMP did get his info from them and relied on it heavily for 4 years. Maybe that’s why Trump lied about the election so often because Fox talk hosts promoted so many lies about the election.

                  tucker’s son works for Rep Jim Banks and Carlson is known to consult behind the scenes with the powerful GOP politician on policy matters.

                  So again, no real equivalent on cable on the Left at this time.

                  1. Doug Ross

                    Fox News reaches, at best, 2-3% of the adult voting age public (2.3 million). CNN and MSNBC combined are at about 2 million. Only about 350K for Fox, and 330K for CNN?MSNBC are in the age group of 25-54. Those are trivial numbers and its ludicrous to think they have much influence. It’s simply an echo chamber of those who are engaged in that political theatre (mostly old people with nothing better to do).

                    5 times as many people watch the NFL on Sundays…

                    I get my news by reading Slate to get the liberal biased view and following Twitter feeds for non-paritsans like Greg Greenwald, Matt Tiabbi, Michael Tracey to get a more balanced, fact-based view without the obvious bias of the Hannity, Maddow, Carlson, and Cuomo/Lemon.

                    1. Barry

                      I laughed when I read Michael Tracey, Tiabbi and especially Greenwald whose numerous Fox News appearances are only increasing in their frequency including multiple times in the last 4 days. Anyway,,,,

                      The ratings percentages are almost irrelevant. It’s their impact, not their raw numbers.

                      That’s why I wrote about the outsized influence Fox News has on actual GOP politicians and policymakers from the federal level and state level, but not only GOP politicians. The info on Fox is often repeated on hundreds of right wing radio stations the next day across the country.

                      As Brian Rosewald’s 2019 book expertly describes in great detail (and often praiseworthy language), the hold right wing talk radio and Fox have over GOP politicians is incredibly powerful. They actually
                      not only shape legislation, they develop it, and kill it with a sentence or two on tv or radio.

                      The worse fear a GOP politician has right now is not the possibility of making GOP leadership mad, it’s making Trump mad- and 2nd on the list is making talk radio hosts and Fox News hosts mad. That is a career ender for them in the current party makeup.

                    2. Doug Ross

                      When has Glenn Greenwald been invited to appear on CNN and MSNBC? He has made it very clear he will go wherever he is invited. But that would require the hosts hearing something that doesn’t fit their biased narrative.

                    1. bud

                      Frankly, The New York Times has fumbled the ball quite a lot lately. Not sure why people like to diss on cable news yet seem fine when The Times goes on endlessly about Hillary’s damn emails. And don’t even get me started on their opinion writers.

  4. Ken

    The only specific that Carville provided in his grouchy rant was a school named after Abraham Lincoln being put up for a name change. THAT was in very liberal San Francisco. He failed to show precisely how that affected Democratic candidacies in far-off Virginia and New Jersey.

    In any case, I look forward to seeing the white, conservative South now rush to name schools after the Great Emancipator.

  5. Barry

    Others newsworthy items today

    Conservative Newsmax White House Correspondent Emerald Robinson was taken off the air by Newsmax after she spread some really crazy conspiracy theories about the vaccine- calling them satanic- and containing satanic chemicals (whatever that means).

    It’s sort of sad that some of these “self professed” Christians in the media world often seem so gullible that they fall for some really pathetic conspiracy nonsense. Some of this is tearing churches apart as we speak.

    NewsMax, from fear of lawsuits by Pharma companies, took her off the air and suspended her but she’s back as of Tuesday. She’s now telling her followers to go to her Substack (That’s where Tracey, Greenwald, and Taibii now hang out) to read her conspiracy theories. No word if NewsMax will fire her.

    Robinson, who can be seen in the White House briefing room asking some crazy questions these days is often mocked by other reporters- even Fox News has made fun of her without naming her. She could also be seen in the Trump White House asking Trump fawning questions such as “Do you enjoy being so successful?”

  6. Barry

    Oh- BTW- Just another day in GOP Conservative politics but….

    Republican Rep and Trump cult leader Paul Gosar shared an altered anime video of himself killing Rep Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden with a sword. The video also includes including GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado — on the attack.

    Gosar released the video that his own staff created on his personal and his House provided social media account.

    Republican leadership, of course, has had no comment on the altered video. GOP leadership has publicly supported Gosar but Gosar is not viewed seriously behind the scenes by his fellow Republican legislators.

    Also of note- Fox News religiously avoids mentioning Gosar’s extreme actions and comments to their geriatric, right wing audience out of fear they will get mad at Fox News.

    Gosar is the extremist from Arizona whose own family has disowned him and has said publicly he’s a propagandist.

    If you watch Gosar these days, he seems to have some severe medical problems.

    1. bud

      But the 13 Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill are the ones losing plum committee jobs while Gosar is pretty much left alone. Yet Biden is to blame for not being unifying enough. Sheesh!

      1. Barry

        Gosar seems untouchable no matter how many times he hints at killing fellow representatives.

        Fox News doesn’t dare criticize him nor does right wing talk radio.

  7. Barry

    Jonathan Karl of ABC News has revealed that Mike Pence blocked releasing official White House photos of himself hiding out on Jan 6th in a loading dock area as rioters stormed the capitol.

    The pictures were taken by the taxpayer funded White House photographer so the pictures will come out.

    Karl is writing a book and wanted to publish the pictures but Pence blocked them.

    Karl says in one photo Pence is seen grimacing as he’s looking at a tweet that Trump had made blaming Pence for everything.

    It’s long been reported that Pence, his wife, and his staff were upset that Trump was attacked him while the riot was taking place given that some Trump supporting rioters were heard yelling they wanted to kill Pence.

    Pence has always refused to discuss his reaction to Trump attacking him.

  8. Barry

    I have to laugh at suggestions that Joe Biden is not unifying enough especially coming from some Trump supporters who enjoyed the fact that he didn’t want to unify anybody. it seems pretty darn hypocritical

    At a republican event in Florida Monday night, Donald Trump in his 90 minute speech which focused on his grievances the election, ripped and personally insulted Republicans that supported the bipartisan infrastructure bill

    New York Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis was in the crowd and was described as visibly shaken by trump’s repeated insults about the Republicans that worked with Democrats on the bill

    The representative has been supportive of the bill since it included a sizable amount of money for aging infrastructure in New York

    Trump touted a large infrastructure bill but repeatedly failed to get it seriously considered.

    1. Doug Ross

      Do you ever stop and calculate how much of your day is spent reading and writing about Republicans? What’s the end goal? Especially on this blog, you’re preaching to the choir…

      1. Barry

        I do but the calculation always falls to commenting on some of the behind the scenes scenarios playing out that anyone watching right wing news or listening to talk radio – which is a good portion of South Carolina, will not know about.

        Preaching largely to the choir- maybe so.

  9. Bryan Caskey

    The CPI went up 6.2% from a year ago in October, the most since December 1990.

    I’m sure that dropping tons more monopoly money on the country will definitely get the inflation under control.

    1. Barry

      It did.

      Good thing unemployment claims keep dropping and the stock after has done so well under Biden.

      Isn’t that what conservatives were saying when trump was spending that $$$$$$ and they looked the other way?

      1. Bryan Caskey

        “Isn’t that what conservatives were saying when trump was spending that $$$$$$ and they looked the other way?”

        Does it matter? I’m not following your logic. You’re point is that because Trump spent lots of money in the past and no one was talking about the inflationary effect (true)…therefore Biden should also spend lots of money now, and we can ignore the actual inflation that’s happening?

        That’s the conclusion you draw?

        1. Barry

          No, we can’t ignore it. That’s impossible.

          Should I care that conservatives are talking about the deficit and debt now? Of course I shouldn’t. I mean I care enough to laugh that they care now after 4 years of saying they didn’t really care, that Trump was President and they’d defer to his wishes.

          Why would I?

          They – you- anyone can’t have it both ways.

          Especially considering the alternative is no different as they have repeatedly proven.

        2. bud

          Bryan you do have a point about the whole whataboutism game. Having said that you’re absolutely wrong regarding both the cause and impact of the current inflation numbers. The cause has nothing to do with liberal Democratic Party spending. This is really about an uneven recovery from the COVID year. Folks are buying cars and houses and eating out and travelling and the supply chain just can’t keep up. Apparently the fed hasn’t discovered this yet. I just checked on mortgage rates and they’re still in the 2.5-3.5% range. Interest rates on savings accounts is absurdly low.

          1. Doug Ross

            Do you understand what happens when mortgage rates rise? Housing sales slow down, purchase of furniture and appliances slows down, people with variable rate mortgages lose disposable income. Rising rates are never a good thing.

            Never mind mortgage rates… gas price hikes are VERY regressive in terms of the impact as are food price increases.

            I guess you’d like to see us back to 1990 with 10% mortgages (I had one).

            1. bud

              If interest rates rise that encourages people to put money into savings accounts and CDs. So rising interest rates are bad for some people but good for others. So to make a blanket statement that “rising rates are never a good thing” ignores people who benefit from high interest rates.

              1. Bryan Caskey

                “If interest rates rise that encourages people to put money into savings accounts and CDs.”

                Not a lot of extra cash to put into savings accounts and CDs if the price of goods and services you ordinarily purchase goes way up. But yeah, if you’re a super rich person with lots of disposable income, high interest rates are awesome for your savings. It’s just that the not super rich people who also get hit with the higher prices of things is sorta the problem.

                1. bud

                  Bryan, what are you talking about? Of course people have money to save but choose instead to spend. That’s the problem – too much money chasing too few goods. That’s classic inflation. Many people have basic savings accounts that currently earn near zero rates. With higher interest rates people will choose to save more. That is classic economics.

                  Perhaps the fed is still concerned with recession fears. But at some point they will be compelled to raise interest rates. As they should. Given their reluctance to move faster suggests they are not overly concerned with inflation. But the right loves to obsess over a modest increase in prices. Since wages are rising pretty rapidly right now perhaps this is mostly just right wing hype. Which in itself is dangerous. If the inflation fear mongers keep talking this up it could become a self fulfilling prophesy. I say let’s just chill and enjoy the booming economy until the GOP gets back into power. At which point they will crash it as they always do. It’s worth noting that 11 of the last 12 recessions started during a Republican presidency.

                  1. Barry

                    I agree. I have to say I’m not really worried about inflation. I know it’s a concern but I have to put it into perspective.

                    Employers are paying higher wages. The S&P is up about 20% this year. At some point, an increase in prices is no fun, but it’s off-set by some other positives than people unintentionally- or intentionally- overlook.

                    Unemployment is low. Jobless claims continue to decline.

                    Inflation fears are happening in many countries around the world because of the Pandemic.

    2. bud

      That 6.2 figure has my attention. I’m just wondering why the fed is so slow to raise interest rates. That’s the medicine for addressing inflation. Even so the economy is recovering nicely from the Trump recession. Let’s not forget the CPI is based on year over year prices. Prices were bound to rebound after a 14% unemployment rate.

      1. Doug Ross

        What do you call the recession in all the other countries that were hit by COVID? How are they doing these days?

        This is the big government giveaway recession. When you pump money generated by deficits into the system, prices rise. Imagine if someone like Biden had the guts to say that instead of deficits and raising taxes, we should consider cutting spending in other areas? We’re out of Afghanistan yet the military budget is INCREASING next year. No mainstream politician EVER considers shifting spending from lower priority programs. Climate change is supposedly the biggest fear (this week) of our lifetimes but I don’t see any call to cut funding to arts, the useless Department of Education, pork barrel projects. I’ll believe it’s really a problem when we cut the military budget by 25% and shift it to climate change.

        1. bud

          How about a 50% cut in military (not defense) spending. That would cover much of the price tag for roads, education and climate change issues.

          1. Barry

            Won’t happen.

            Democrats really don’t want to cut it- and Republicans want to dramatically increase military spending because they are scared of China.

  10. Barry

    From Reuters

    Reuters unmasks Trump supporters who terrified U.S. election workers.

    In most cases, local police have refused to investigate. But now, in some cases, the FBI is investigating.

    Ross Miller, a Georgia real-estate investor, warned an official in the Atlanta area that he’d be tarred and feathered, hung or face firing squads unless he addressed voter fraud. In an interview, Miller said he would continue to make such calls “until they do something.”

    On June 3, Jamie Fialkin of Arizona called Katie Hobbs’ office, the AZ Sec of State, and left a message saying she’d hang “from a f—— tree.” “They’re going to hang you for treason, you f—— bitch,” Fialkin said.

    “I’m not denying anything,” Fiaklin said, “because I’m a patriot.”

  11. Ken

    From yesterday’s Eugene Robinson op-ed:

    “The word ‘woke’ once meant something, kind of. But now it’s just an empty, all-purpose insult hurled by conservative propagandists, anti-vaccine fabulists, lazy journalists and people who don’t want to know our history.
    Give it a rest, folks.”

    1. bud

      Yep. The Woke references have become just another annoying right wing thing to say. Like the ‘Democrat’ Party. Or labeling any Democrat a socialist.

    2. Doug Ross

      If you started using the words: misogynist, transphobic, white supremacist, cis, nonbinary, micro aggressions in the past few years, put on your woke medal for everyone to see. You’re a hero!

      It’s easy to identify the woke crowd: pronouns in social media bios, white person with #BLM #ACAB hashtags, profile photo wearing a mask… latching onto whatever the latest outrage in order to feel like part of the crowd. Using words like “terrified”,. “horrified” to describe minor inconveniences. They are as silly and transparently starved for attention like the Obama era birthers, Trump MAGA rejects. It’s nothing new. Just a bunch of weak minded, follow the crowd who seek approval for personal validation.

  12. Barry

    A few Thursday notes:

    Today, a defense attorney in the Ahmaud Arbery trial stood up in court and told the judge that “We don’t want to have any more black pastors coming in here… sitting with the victim’s family.”

    The attorney pointed out that Al Sharpton was sitting with the victim’s family- which was “ok” to the attorney but no more “black pastors” were wanted. (The lady serving as co-counsel had a look on her face like “what the he##”)

    A report in the New York Times shows the close ties that some American Conservatives and Trumpers have developed with the right wing President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro.

    Bolsonaro has said if he doesn’t win re-elected next year it will be because the election was rigged against him. Virtually every poll in Brazil shows his challenger with a sizeable lead.

    Some elected Republicans have traveled to Brazil to “consult” with the President on “election security.” Recently, Republican Congressman Mark Green of Tennessee traveled to Brazil to discuss how to secure the election.

    Donald Trump Jr, and Trump advisor (and child support cheat) Jason Miller are consulting with Bolsonaro’s son. They’ve helped create a CPAC in Brazil where American Conservatives have consulted and also have chosen to attend events. Bolsonaro’s son has also been visiting the United States and showing up at CPAC groups in places like South Dakota.

    Bolsonaro states he will ignore any Supreme Court decisions, has repeatedly expressed fondness for dictatorships, and has suggested he will use the military to secure the elections if he loses.

  13. Barry

    What are your thoughts on Henry McMaster’s latest cause celebre, the Gender Queer book? I admit, this is a perfect issue for Henry, especially in South Carolina.

    It seems right wing politicians have embraced this faux anger at a book that has been in some libraries for a few years now without any chaos, but next year is an election year.

    I did laugh a bit at the idea that graphic or even “pornographic” material would be on a high school campus. As my senior student told me, “If he wants to see obscene material, he should look at everyone’s cell phones. The library might be the place that someone is least likely to actually see such stuff in high school.”

    I mean I know Henry is 400 years old but I wonder how out of touch he really is these days. I asked my own Senior about what he hears at school. It’s about what I’d expect from a high school student. It’s enough to curl your ears.

    I do wonder, in a society where the typical high school has numerous queer students, students that are questioning their sexual orientation and possibly their gender, what role do politicians play in policing what books high school students (some being adults), are going to be able to read? Many high schools have official and unofficial clubs for questioning students, or students that are gay, bi, etc..

    Should a public school not have books that attempt to reflect the reality of a gay student? The reality of a student questioning their gender? The reality of a student who has 2 moms or 2 dads? Like it or not, that’s reality for a number of students at every high school in South Carolina.

    1. Doug Ross

      Do a Google search for the images in that book and print them out. Then show them to your kids.

      If you haven’t seen the images, you can’t comment.

      I don’t care if the book exists but it’s very questionable to be in any school for kids. Let them buy it themselves or have their parents buy it.

      1. Barry

        I’ve seen the illustrated images. I looked at them before I posted above. I also read a dozen or so reviews of the book.

          1. bud

            If the goal is to prevent young people from reading this book then the publicity afforded by McMaster has failed spectacularly. A book that would have largely languished on the school library shelf collecting dust will now have a huge audience of teenagers whose curiosity has been peeked.

          2. Barry

            I wouldn’t allow a freshman to check out the book. An 18 year old high school senior that requested it? Maybe. I think that would be a fair debate.

            I remember going to the library in my high school and reading the newspaper at lunch on days where we couldn’t go outside. Of course I read the sports page. But come to think of it, there was a lot of violence depicted in newspapers.

            Graphic comic books are sort of old school though. They’ve been around forever.

            A Texas Republican has targeted library books that talk about gay people, human rights, and puberty.

            I think it’s a pretty slippery slope. I suspect McMaster would prefer to ban any books that mention gay people. But I guess time will tell.

        1. Bart


          Doing so would confirm his approval with full knowledge of what the book contains. Considering his replies and what my children told me when they were in high school, maybe it is appropriate since the illustrations shows what actually does happen on high school campuses here in South Carolina.

          IMHO, it is a form of approved grooming. Grooming doesn’t necessarily indicate that it is a one on one process, it can be achieved by the text and illustrations like the ones in the referenced book especially for children whose parents “think” a 4 or 5 year old wants to be opposite of their biological and DNA profiles and proceeds to further the process to the point of genital surgery.

          With that being said, it would bring forward the question of why there are any warnings or ratings for television shows our children and grandchildren watch. If it is being taught and books available in our public schools, then why restrict content or issue warnings on television or the internet.

          I have never been a “prude” when it comes to friends and family but when it comes to what developing minds are exposed to outside the home, then I guess I am a “prude”. While our children were growing up, we had family round table discussions very often due to the ever changing norms and societal/political landscape changes. No subject was off limits and we discussed issues at length and quite often disagreed but in the end, they come to their own conclusions and my wife and I respected them, agree or not.

          It is a helluva thing living in the pronoun world where the once normal is now considered abnormal and anyone who defends what was once normal is subjected to cancel culture warriors or the sound of the “tsk! tsk!” Karen’s, male or female.

          Which leads me to a final query. I wonder if Pete Buttigieg had post partum symptoms after the birth of his two children and therefore the reason he took 2 months maternity leave.

          1. Bill

            As many as 10% of new fathers have been found to experience postpartum mental health issues, and it is likely that the correct percentage is much higher as many men are not aware that they can have postpartum depression or do not feel comfortable seeking out help in a misguided effort to remain strong in the eyes of their friends and family members.

          2. Doug Ross

            Bart.. I agree.. I have no concern about what anyone does on their own. Consume whatever media your want to. But if tax dollars are used to provide access to graphic comic books showing various sexual acts, well, I think we have the right to at least question that. I imagine some folks would complain if the school library had a subscription to Guns & Ammo magazine or a copy of The Art of the Deal.

            1. Barry

              Well, I would hope The Art of the Deal would be in every library.

              Even though in Trump’s books, he often describes his adulterous moves on married women- I doubt those Conservative mom groups that are complaining about all the different books are going to have any issues at all with that since it’s their favorite adulterer- Donald Trump.

              He was the President so the books need to be there.

              Not sure schools have magazines anymore. I think thousands are available online though for schools.

              1. bud

                Just to be clear, Trump did not write the Art of the Deal. A man named Tony Schwartz ghost authored it and has regretted it ever since. And of course this should be in a high school library.

                I find it fascinating that many Americans freak out over nudity and sex. Yet those same people have absolutely no problem with books that depict extremely graphic violence.

                1. Barry

                  It’s the sort of mindset that wants their pastor talking a lot about the sin of homosexuality and the sins of Democrats, but doesn’t like it when he talks about adultery too much or hypocrisy in the church.

                  Or the pastor who avoids talking about lack of self control at the dinner table because it will offend too many congregants.

                  When I was about 20, I attended a church where the pastor gave a sermon where he had seen several church members driving recklessly the week before. Of course he didn’t call them out specifically but he made the point that driving like a maniac while professing to love your neighbor was hypocritical. He then talked about the hypocrisy of Christians speeding and breaking traffic laws while pointing their fingers at others for their sins.

                  What a great sermon. People complained for weeks and gave him heck for it.

            2. Bart

              I will go further. I think, no believe, that we have the right to demand material like the one being discussed be removed from all public schools – period. And anyone supporting it should take time to examine their own life and if one professes to be a Christian and believes it is okay, they need to spend a lot of time on their knees asking forgiveness and read their Bible again. Even if one is not a Christian or is an atheist, agnostic, or other religious persuasion, this material is simply not appropriate in our public schools.

              If it is a private school and not under the auspices of the government and chooses to include such publications in their library or approved reading material, that is another situation altogether. Then like you said and I agree, what one does in the privacy of their own domain is their business as long as it does not include our tax dollars.

              1. bud

                I would add that the Bible should be removed from public school libraries. Far too much sex and violence.

              2. Barry

                I think that’s a fair debate – and a fair position.

                I still remember when my 9th grader was asking me about group sex. I said “What the heck are you talking about?” and he described to me what some of the guys (AND GIRLS) were talking about at school on a regular basis.

                I remember my high school days where some guys in the bathroom might talk about something like that and laugh about it. But they sure weren’t talking about it openly with girls at school in a positive manner. But times are different.

                Yes, I get that tax dollars are a different deal.

                I’m not sure putting it in religious terms is helpful though. If we go down that route, many – and of course they already do- – advocate for not having books about gay mom’s or dad’s in schools.

                However, not allowing books about people with gender dysphoria or non-binary young people would be a bridge too far. Those are realities and those folks deserve to have books in their schools that reflect their lived reality.

                1. Bart

                  If the books are educational, should be allowed and with the reality of times constantly changing, the changes should be discussed but not politicized. If they contain salacious imagery, definitely not.

                  As for religious references, growing up, attending church was a regular thing and devotions in home room during high school. I will admit that I felt very uncomfortable with the requirement every student take their turn reading from the Bible and leading the class in the Lord’s Prayer. One of my friends was and still is Jewish and it was obvious he was uncomfortable when it was his turn. He couldn’t read from the Torah so he chose passages from the Old Testament that were close enough to the Torah to lessen the situation. I had friends who were atheists and were even more uncomfortable. Luckily, my homeroom teacher would allow us to go to the auditorium or the library during homeroom if participating was not something we wanted to do.

                  After watching my friends and how uncomfortable they were, we opted out of homeroom after the roll was called and went to either option.

                  However, during my time in public school, the Bible and church were expectations, the norm.

                  1. Barry

                    Anther time, another place.

                    Not sure why anyone would want a teacher, who might not even be a Christian, asking students to read out of the Bible.

                    Especially since I thought a lot of parents were fighting against “indoctrination” that they are convinced is going on.

          3. Barry

            “It is a helluva thing living in the pronoun world where the once normal is now considered abnormal and anyone who defends what was once normal is subjected to cancel culture warriors or the sound of the “tsk! tsk!” Karen’s, male or female.”

            I think anyone is free to feel whatever they want to feel.

            If you call someone else abnormal because of how they feel about their own bodies, expect to get some serious pushback. The other person has that right.

            1. Bart

              I never said anyone didn’t have the right to feel what they want but I did say they don’t have the right to make available the type of publication Doug linked you to in his reply. If they want to engage in some serious pushback, please, proceed. I won’t back down one damn bit. If anything, it will only make my position even stronger.

              I shared this years ago on this blog and will share again. I was sexually assaulted by an older boy several times in my youth. He was 15 and I was 9. Just moved into the city from the country and literally still had hay in my hair as the old saying goes. I had no idea what it was all about because he kept telling me that it was something friends do for friends. He befriended me almost immediately and I was about as naive as one could be and believed him until the realization hit me that what he was doing was wrong. I fought back physically and when I started to tell my parents, I overheard them talking and at the time, victim blaming was the prevalent attitude. This was my secret for decades until I finally confided in my wife and a counselor. The counselor actually made it worse due to his comments and attitude. I can talk about it now but it took a toll on me for a long time and if not for my wife, it would probably still be a secret. Now I would advise anyone who has been through an experience to seek help and not let it eat away at you, day by day, week by week, etc. My point is that I still carry some baggage and will for the rest of my life. The impact is real and my attitude, especially the graphics in the link provided by Doug, is something I live with and will not stand by silent when it is exposed to school children. I was groomed and the publication is an example of grooming and it has no place in our schools.

              What one does in private is their business to state the obvious once again. But when private life is brought into the public arena or our schools, a line is crossed that then invades the lives of children and parents. No one has the right to do that, no one.

              1. Barry

                I don’t think we are talking about sexual assault here.

                Of course no one has the right to assault someone- sexual or not.

                So is it the cartoon pictures you object to?

                All sorts of popular books – classics, etc- have some pretty out of the box sexual descriptions and scenarios – prostitutes, sleeping with family members, adultery, etc.

                1. Bart

                  “All sorts of popular books – classics, etc- have some pretty out of the box sexual descriptions and scenarios – prostitutes, sleeping with family members, adultery, etc.”

                  Acknowledged. However, they are verbal descriptions, not graphic drawings of two males engaged in a sexual act and available for viewing by school children. Visual stimulation is more powerful than verbal for most, especially juvenile and pre-juvenile brains. A visually impactful image creates a long-term physical presence in the brain and the neurons make physical connections and synapses to form a new long-term memory.

                  Therefore my answer to your question about objecting to the cartoon pictures is yes. Which adds validity to the response to witnessing something that evokes an emotional moment, i.e., something that cannot be unseen.

          4. Barry

            “I wonder if Pete Buttigieg had post partum symptoms after the birth of his two children and therefore the reason he took 2 months maternity leave.”

            Why can’t he just take time off to be with his children? Parents of all types, should have the same rights as anyone else.

            My wife took off months when each of our 3 were born. Thankfully, she didn’t suffer from any depression.

            With my first, I took off 2 weeks and would have taken more if it had been available to me.

            1. Bart

              “Why can’t he just take time off to be with his children? Parents of all types, should have the same rights as anyone else.”

              Are you serious? He is the Secretary of Transportation and holds one of the most essential positions in the administration when it comes to insuring the supply chain keeps current along with a myriad of other responsibilities.

              I realize he has no practical experience in his position but taking 2 months off? Well, since his partner is the husband in their marriage, guess slack can be given since he is apparently the wife/mother of the two children.

              Being a throw-back to the old school, I took a day off when our daughter was born because my employer wouldn’t pay if I wasn’t at work. We couldn’t afford for me to miss work and the pay.

              When our son was born, I left work after being there for 24 hours, stayed for our son’s birth, held him, stayed with my wife for a few hours and returned to work. After finishing the programming and testing for a critical system for another several hours, took a couple of days off.

              And I still found time to spend with both of our children and got up in the middle of the night, prepared their formula, fed them, changed diapers, and held them until they went back to sleep. Made sure to give my wife as much relief as possible and by doing so, our children grew up in a loving and nourishing home knowing the touch of both parents. Nothing extraordinary, just being a responsible father and provider. My wife was able to stay home with both of our children for months.

              1. Barry

                “Are you serious? He is the Secretary of Transportation ”

                Why would I not be serious?

                The Secretary of Transportation can’t work from home some? Gee whiz. You’d think he was removing organs for transplants and was the only one able to do it.

                The CEO of the company I use to work for was called up for National Guard duty and spent almost a year in Iraq.

                We survived. That’s why you have folks you trust that work alongside you.

                Our last President watched Fox News 6-8 hours a day according for some former officials. We barely survived but we made it.

                I think we can make it if the Sec of Transportation works from home for 8 weeks.

              2. Barry

                “When our son was born, I left work after being there for 24 hours, stayed for our son’s birth, held him, stayed with my wife for a few hours and returned to work.”

                If that’s all you wanted to do, that’s fine. But I wanted to do a lot more- and I did.

                When each of my 3 were born, I took off multiple days (2 weeks for the 1st) and stayed at home taking care of whatever needed to be taken care of.

                I was there for the delivery for all 3 and stayed there, at my wife’s request. When we went home, I stayed out of work until my wife felt ok for me to return.

                I didn’t care what anyone else thought about it. That was – and has always been- and will always be irrelevant.

                The only opinion that ever counted was the one of my spouse.

                My only regret is that I didn’t stay out of work even longer.

                1. Bart

                  “If that’s all you wanted to do, that’s fine. But I wanted to do a lot more- and I did.”

                  It would have been a great thing if we could have afforded for me to be home with my wife and son for several days but unfortunately, my obligations demanded my presence since I was the one responsible for completing the coding, testing, and implementation of a new computer system for a multi-million dollar corporation. Sometimes options are off the table when it comes to family and work and one must choose the logical option that is not the emotional one.

                  You made your choice and apparently had back-up to compensate for your absence. I didn’t have that option therefore I had to look ahead. My wife’s mother was with us for the birth of our son and she was my back-up at home.

                  You and I are very different on many if not most issues but as I would never say you are not a responsible father and husband, I can say with assurance that I too am a responsible father and husband. Our circumstances were different.

                  1. Barry

                    Well, I didn’t do it by accident.

                    We planned it that way- my supervisor knew months ahead of time that I planned to take off several weeks. We worked it out, made arrangements, and I had good coworkers who helped fill in any gaps.

                    Not everyone gets to plan. I get that.

                    I was happy to be away from work for as long as I was- but I realized that my absence could make it harder for my co-workers so I kept them in the loop months before.

                    I still remember one of my co-workers actually took a week of vacation about 3 weeks before I was going to be out so he could get some free time himself before I was out and he had to cover for me.

                    They all knew, because I told them, that I’d be more than glad to return the favor if given the opportunity.

                    He was able to do that because I told him my plans 3-4 months beforehand.

                    Yes, circumstances are different. I get it.

                    In the case of the Transportation Secretary, he had key people around him who assisted him and made it possible. That’s smart planning and the fact he took time off to be with his child is commendable and should be applauded.

                    1. Bryan Caskey

                      The Secretary of Transportation never announced his time off. “He reportedly started his leave in mid-August.” It’s “reportedly” because he never made any official announcement. He just sort of ghosted. If he wanted to “reduce the stigma” of blowing off work during a crisis, why didn’t he inform the press and the public he was doing so? Why did he pretend to be at work when in fact he was on Secret Leave?

                      The answer is obvious: no person in a position of serious responsibility, who is serious about undertaking that responsibility, blows off his job during a crisis.

                      I know the Secretary of Transportation wants to have “a conversation about parental leave” because a conversation about the shipping crisis or a conversation about government officials not taking time off during a crisis which they have direct authority over would be aaaaawkard.

                    2. Bart

                      I honestly appreciate what you were able to do in cooperation with your supervisor and fellow employees. And I appreciate your concern for your fellow employees and how your absence would impact their responsibilities.

                      Be thankful and appreciative you were able to accomplish and fulfill your plans. I know too many who could take time off but can’t afford to lose the income. They are not being irresponsible, they are aware of the reality of life and it is not always fair and no matter how hard we try, an equal or equitable outcome for everyone will never be an achievable goal.

                      Just something to think about. According to the IRS, in 2018, 67.44% of the 168 million tax returns, earned less than $50,000. 46.51% of the 67.44% earned less than $30k or approximately 78 million. Unless the lower income taxpayers have access to programs to assist in child care, etc., they have to live on less than $600 a week if they are at the top of the bracket. Including this as a reminder again of how fortunate you and others who are regulars on this blog really are, including me.

                      Hope your children grow up to be great achievers in life.

                    3. Barry

                      Bryan wrote “The Secretary of Transportation never announced his time off.”

                      He doesn’t owe you or me an explanation.

                      When an employee at a law firm takes leave for some reason, they don’t announce it to the firm’s clients or the public at large unless they personally decide to do so.

                      Leave requests and such are private information and are treated as confidential at every company in the country that operates with an ounce of ethical guidance with respect to their Human Resources policies.

                    4. Barry

                      ” According to the IRS, in 2018, 67.44% of the 168 million tax returns, earned less than $50,000. 46.51% of the 67.44% earned less than $30k or approximately 78 million. ”

                      Those numbers are baloney.

                      People are making more money that that.

                      I live in one of the poorer areas of South Carolina and there is a new subdivision near me that has over 150 homes in it currently (and it’s growing fast) and the lowest priced house in the subdivision is $340,000.

                    5. Bart

                      ” According to the IRS, in 2018, 67.44% of the 168 million tax returns, earned less than $50,000. 46.51% of the 67.44% earned less than $30k or approximately 78 million. ”

                      “Those numbers are baloney.”

                      You like to do research so do your own. The information is available to anyone who wants to seek it out.

                      There are new subdivisions going up in most cities in poor sections of the country. In my area, new homes are going up in the $350,000 plus range and within 1/2 mile, there are mobile homes, run down homes, etc. This is not unusual and simply because you live in a poor section of the county and a 150 home subdivision is going up with homes going for $340,000 is not an indication the information provided is “baloney” simply because you don’t “believe” it to be true.

                      Submitted your reply to my factcheck site and found it to have “4 Pinocchios”. The IRS information is accurate.

            2. Ken

              I took off the full 12 weeks allowed by the FMLA after the births of each of my children. I guess some loonies would consider that somehow “unmanly.” They are deeply flawed. I didn’t and don’t consider even a moment of that time misspent.

              1. Bart

                Well, count your blessings. Most people cannot afford to take the full 12 weeks off without pay. That is unless one works for a company that does compensate or is wealthy enough to afford to miss that many paychecks.

                I don’t consider taking the 12 weeks off without pay and able to afford it “unmanly”, I consider that being a very fortunate individual. As for the majority of “manly men”, they cannot afford it and neither can their wives. Guess those unfortunates fall into your “loonies” category.

                1. Ken

                  How do you know all this stuff about “most” people? Do you know most people? Have you conducted studies of most people?

                  Or could it be instead that too many people hold money in higher regard or at least THINK they can’t afford something, when they can? When it’s only their own misplaced priorities that are getting in the way, not basic material needs? Could it be that many men think going out and earning money is more important than taking time to be with a child? Could it be that in their minds playing a conventional male role or buying something they don’t really need comes ahead of spending more time with their newborns?

                  And IF it’s true that most people can’t afford to take time off after the birth of a child, doesn’t that indicate that maybe they should be provided with the opportunity AND THE MEANS to do so, if they wish?

                  1. Bart


                    I have no intention of engaging you on what I know about “stuff” other than to inform you that I do read, analyze information, talk to people from all aspects of our society, have travelled extensively and learned from the people I met. Everyone has their own priorities and unless they interfere with mine and my families, to each his or her own.

                    People make choices based on their needs and desires with needs generally overriding desires. I know from personal exposure and study that most people who are eligible for FMLA and can afford to take time off without pay generally do not because they simply do not earn enough to afford the loss of pay. For you this may be irresponsible and an example of misplaced priorities when in fact, it is an example of just not having enough money to lose even one day’s pay.

                    Yes, many men do think going out and earning money is a more important priority than taking time away from providing an income to taking time to be with a child.

                    Yes, many men still play a conventional male role and consider it a very important aspect of raising a child or children. They are not throwbacks or Neanderthals, they are being responsible and I have found over my lifetime that men who play the conventional role are still loved and admired by their families. I have also found through my exposure to “stuff” that while some men will spend money on boats, guns, and other male things, they still love their families and spend time with their children, especially their newborns.

                    I have discovered during my travels and exposure to a diverse ideological friends, acquaintances, and strangers that most prefer to be self-sufficient and not depend on government programs as the means to fulfill their wishes.

                    The final thought about life. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is applicable to both sides of the political/economic/social issues of today. Have you ever been up close and on a personal basis with poverty, need, and want? Have you ever sat down for a meal and have only two or three items on the table to eat?

                    I used to help my Father install curers for tobacco barns during the summer. One day, he asked if I wanted a soft drink but when he reached into his pocket, he didn’t have enough to buy us a soft drink because he had to pick something up at the store for my Mother for dinner. A small thing in some minds but in mine, he grew another 10 feet tall because he made another choice like the ones he and my Mother had to make most of their lives.

                    Wishes are great but before a wish can come true, efforts to bring a wish to life must be made. If one has always had their wishes fulfilled, they will never understand nor appreciate the ones who haven’t

                    1. Ken

                      “Have you ever been up close and on a personal basis with poverty, need, and want?”

                      Actually, yes, I have.

                      “Have you ever sat down for a meal and have only two or three items on the table to eat?”

                      Occasionally just one.

                      What’s more, at the time I took time off to take care of my newborns, income was quite tight, as it is for many young families. But since my wife took the first 3 months off and I the second, we were able to give our infants our undivided attention for the first six months of their respective lives. That’s what I call “family values.” Other people have different values. Despite what comes out of their mouths.

                    2. Bart


                      “Too much scratching on trashcan lids and rattling sticks in tin cans.”

                      “That’s what I call “family values.” Other people have different values. Despite what comes out of their mouths.”

                      Two instances where you don’t have the resolve to address me directly but use nuanced comments to deliver your barbs. Won’t say what I call it, wouldn’t be allowed.

                    3. Bart


                      “But since my wife took the first 3 months off and I the second,..”

                      A bit of information that would have been useful from the beginning and a lot more honest and less misleading. Reading your initial and follow-up comments, one would conclude that BOTH of you were at home for 3 months. But since one was off and the other one still working, that is a different story altogether. Income may have been limited but at least an income was coming in. Clarity is a great thing when trying to debate an issue and useful information tends to keep speculation out of the equation.

                    4. Ken

                      Sorry, I can’t help that you jump to false conclusions based on nothing but your own preconceptions or want to make me out to be a deceiver simply because I don’t provide an unexpurgated bio.

                      As if it should make any difference, for that matter. I stand by my conclusion, based on my own observations, that many more people likely could take more time off to be with newborns or with family members in need of assistance. For most, it’s not a matter of can’t but don’t wanna.

                      And for those who for financial reasons genuinely can’t, paid family leave should be in place — like it is in the vast majority of countries around the world, some of them rich and many not so rich. The only thing keeping us from joining them is ideological blinders and hidebound traditionalism.

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