History + arithmetic

via questionall

Mitt Romney’s Oedipal conflicts

Mitt Romney’s lovely mother, Lenore LaFount Romney, talking about how his father George was on welfare relief as a child, after he came to America as a refugee from Mexico.

[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

Mitt Romney isn’t just detached from half of America, he’s detached from his own heritage. George and Lenore might have been better served if they’d loaded that silver spoon they placed in li’l Willard’s mouth (as most parents who can, will do) with some grace, empathy, and appreciation.

For their troubles, they received a kid who felt entitled, who spent his childhood bullying others: a blind teacher, an unpopular gay classmate, or pranking friends and strangers while dressed like a police officer.  A son who spent his young adulthood living in a mansion in France, avoiding the Vietnam draft, and then felt that selling some stock to live on while attending Harvard was the true measure of suffering. A man who went on to become the “King of Bain,” the real-life basis of Hollywood’s Gordon Gekko character, leveraging businesses for personal profit, wiping out American jobs that once paid living wages with benefits, shuttering factories and halting manufacturing across the land. A man who took the fortune he made in all that destruction, and put it in bank accounts all over the world — ensuring the United States government would never see a penny of tax. A man who then decided he had so much, he also deserved to be President. A man who refuses to reveal his tax returns to voters — completely contrary to what his own father practiced and believed.


source: sandandglass

OR Mitt Romney would consider his own father’s family to be among ‘those people’ who it’s his job not to worry about — those people who are “dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them… people who pay no income tax.” 

This is not your grandfather’s Republican Party

arcaneimages: 1956

Today, these workers would pay more tax on their incomes than Mitt Romney

Workers atop the Woolworth Building, New York, 1926 | Source: collective-history

Source: Cato Institute (warning: PDF)

Ronald Reagan’s healthcare mandate of 1986: hospitals must treat the poor and undocumented

“As the Romney campaign debates itself about whether the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is an evil tax or an unconstitutional penalty, it’s worth remembering that Republican presidential icon Ronald Reagan imposed his own national healthcare mandate on the country. The mandate is well know today — it requires emergency rooms to treat anyone in need, regardless of their ability to pay — but the fact that Reagan signed it into law is often forgotten. [...] In 1986, Congress passed the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which contained the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. The law requires hospitals to treat patients in need of emergency care regardless of their ability to pay, citizenship or even legal status. It applies to any hospital that takes Medicare funds, which is virtually every hospital in the country.” — Reagan’s healthcare mandate – Salon.com

And that’s how we’re all paying for healthcare for everyone in our country. Courtesy of Reagan and the GOP, we have socialized healthcare funding without the actual benefits of socialized healthcare.

At least the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act attempts, in some way, to share the burden of healthcare costs between everyone.

44 years ago

June 5, 1968: Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Nine years ago today: Never Forget — May 1, 2003

Worst president ever.

On this date in 2003, Bush declared “mission accomplished.” (via)

File:Bush mission accomplished.jpg

On May 1, 2003, Bush became the first sitting President to make an arrested landing in a fixed-wing aircraft on an aircraft carrier[2][3] when he arrived at the USS Abraham Lincoln in a Lockheed S-3 Viking, dubbed Navy One, as the carrier returned from combat operations in the Persian Gulf. He posed for photographs with pilots and members of the ship’s crew while wearing a flight suit. A few hours later, he gave a speech announcing the end of major combat operations in the Iraq War. Far above him was the warship’s banner stating “Mission Accomplished.”

Bush was criticized for the historic jet landing on the carrier as an overly theatrical and expensive stunt. For instance, they pointed to the fact that the carrier was well within range of Bush’s helicopter, and that a jet landing was not needed.[4] Originally the White House had stated that the carrier was too far off the California coast for a helicopter landing and a jet would be needed to reach it. On the day of the speech, the Lincoln was only 30 miles (48 km) from shore but the administration still decided to go ahead with the jet landing. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer admitted that Bush “could have helicoptered, but the plan was already in place. Plus, he wanted to see a landing the way aviators see a landing.”[5] The Lincoln made a scheduled stop in Pearl Harbor shortly before the speech, docked in San Diego after the speech, and returned to her home port in Everett, Washington on May 6, 2003.

Continue: 2003 Mission Accomplished speech – Wikipedia

And the Republicans want President Obama to quit talking about giving the order to take out Osama bin Laden on his watch? Speaks for itself.

File:George W Bush on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln.jpg

100 years later, ‘we remain divided and valued by the ticket we can afford’

TITANIC SURVIVORS: a breakdown by class

  • First Class Passengers: 63% survived (200 out of 319 lived).
  • Second Class Passengers: 43% survived (117 out of 269 lived).
  • Third Class Passengers: 25% survived (172 out of 699 lived).

Any death, regardless of class, is a horrible and tragic thing, but on the anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking it’s important to remember one of the things that night symbolizes: that, even in moments of terrible crisis and great collective peril, we remain divided and valued by the ticket we can afford.

Data via John Henderson of Ithaca College | via: thepoliticalnotebook

100 years ago today, the Titanic sank to the bottom of the Atlantic ocean. The Titanic hit an iceberg at 11:40pm (April 14, 1912) and sank two hours later at 2:20 am. 2,200 souls aboard, more than 1,500 perished and only 675 survivors mostly women and children.

via: carlito-pepito-stylinson1

History according to The History Channel

via: pricklylegs 

Ever notice how it’s usually only conservative white men who’d like to return to the past?

Rick Santorum’s weird and narrow-minded religious vendetta presidential campaign, which is based entirely on GOP conservative values and HIS interpretations of Biblically-based social guidelines, seems to highlight his personal desire to take our country “back” to some golden, shiny moment in recent history. What Santorum and the GOP don’t want to understand is that returning to any point in the past would be a dream shared only by other white, conservative men (who are primarily of a certain age).

Below, Donna Trussell describes it as Santorum’s “Rockwellian” America. In reality, this is Santorum’s “Completely Fictional” America, because of the many problems that only society and taxes, progress, science, education, and equality solved for people who weren’t born wealthy, white, and male all at the same time.

Rick Santorum’s poodle-skirt vision of America

In Santorum’s “Rockwellian” America, men stand by their devoted wives and delightful children. They all work hard, go to church on Sundays, do their homework. Then the parents launch their competent, well-educated kids into a world eager to employ them. Everything is copacetic in Sweater World.

So what’s the problem with having a kid, even if the pregnancy was unplanned? The baby will give you a reason to settle down, or stay together. Even if the father has disappeared, that’s okay. Your family and community will bundle you up with love and support. That kid will be the best thing that ever happened to you.

It’s not like the parents are unemployed, or the boyfriend is beating up the girlfriend and molesting his stepdaughter. It’s not like a girl or boy has to perform sex acts on adults just to survive.

Oh, if only.

As cornball as Norman Rockwell’s illustrations were, their sentimental scenes would be a welcome break from the violence, uncertainty, poverty, rape and sexual abuse that besets the lives of many women and children.

Let these pro-life Republican men who are so concerned about innocent lives put their money where their mouths are. Let them beef up the welfare system by way of a special tax on the wealthy. Let’s put aside a mandatory trust fund that will pay for decent housing, schooling and food for 18 years of each new life created.

But that’s not what the GOP has in mind. Republicans want to control the actions of women and girls, not provide for them. Continue…

It’s difficult, if not impossible, for a patriarchal system to control the minds and lives of women, when women know they can easily control their own fertility (or lack thereof). There will be no going back, no matter how much Mullah Santorum fearmongers about the Bible and Satan and the ‘dangers’ of contraception in this year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twelve.

And with regard to people in this country who aren’t rich or white or male, if we could just move the Republican Party’s traditional, knee-jerk viewpoints from the Old Testament over to the New Testament, we might actually experience some progress toward a golden, shiny moment in our country’s future instead of reminiscing over fictional tv reruns and the good times that never were for a majority of people.

70 years ago today: Executive Order 9066 & Japanese Internment Camps


This Day in History: Executive Order 9066 & Japanese Internment Camps

On February 19, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 allowing the US military to create domestic exclusion zones and remove people from them.

“Within days,” the Los Angeles Times reminds us, “the military began removing all Japanese Americans and Japanese from the West Coast.

“Within months, about 110,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans – almost two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens –were moved to internment camps scattered through eastern California, Arizona and other Western States.”

The LA Times Framework blog has a great slideshow of the images they published at that time.

Images: Lead image is a sign notifying people of Japanese descent to report for relocation, via Wikipedia. Photos via the LA Times Framework blog.

Could we just skip lunch today and go for a walk in 1957-era Leningrad?

firsttimeuser: Leonid Korovin. Autumn in Leningrad, 1957

Reagan’s Tax Reform Act: the only time there was fair taxation between capital gains and earned income

Source: ThinkProgess / NYTimes

Today’s Republican Party would never go for this type of ‘income redistribution’ socialism! It lasted only two years though: 1988 – 1990. What’s that tell you?

Exactly 15 years ago today…

History has a sense of humor

Today, Newt Gingrich may win the South Carolina primary. Today in 1997, he was the first Speaker of the House reprimanded and fined for ethics violations.

History has a sense of humor.

Video: 100 years in 10 minutes

Very moving… here’s hoping the human race can do better in the future — or that it can even survive itself.

via: withinthecranium