A new poll released this week points to troubling public perception surrounding the rainbow flag, historically understood as a symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement.
Public Policy Polling found that the Americans polled were more offended by the rainbow flag than the confederate flag, the latter of which has remained a controversial image since the American Civil War and for many holds oppressive and racist symbolism.
If you’re a conservative strongly opposed to abortion, shouldn’t you want to give all the help you can to women who want to bring their children into the world? In particular, wouldn’t you hope they’d get the proper medical attention during and after their pregnancy?
This would seem a safe assumption, which is why it ought to be astonishing that conservatives are positively obsessed with trashing the Affordable Care Act’s regulation requiring insurance policies to include maternity coverage.
Never mind that we who are lucky enough to have health insurance end up paying to cover conditions we may never suffer ourselves. We all want to avoid cancer, but we don’t begrudge those who do get it when the premiums we pay into our shared insurance pools help them receive care.
Yet critics of Obamacare apparently think there is something particularly odious when a person who might not have a baby pays premiums to assist someone who does. It’s true that men cannot have babies, although it is worth mentioning that they do play a rather important role in their creation. In any event, it is hardly very radical to argue that society is better off when kids are born healthy to healthy moms.
Yet the conservatives’ ire over this issue knows no bounds.
WASHINGTON — House Republicans plan to demand major perks for coal companies and Wall Street banks, alongside healthcare and social service cuts and a one-year delay in the implementation of Obamacare, in exchange for raising the debt ceiling until the end of 2014, according to a source close to the House GOP leadership.
President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats have repeatedly stated that they will not negotiate over raising the debt limit, saying they will not make a political football of the U.S. government’s creditworthiness.
The Republican plan, which would also constitute a significant overhaul of the environmental and financial regulatory system, would cut pensions for Federal employees and raise taxes on immigrant families with parents who do not have a Social Security number. The document claims $7 billion in savings from restricting the child tax credit to immigrants who do have a number, and up to $84 billion from “reform” to the Federal Employee Retirement System.
The plan would increase Medicare means testing, and would eliminate social service block grants and a fund for preventative healthcare in the Affordable Care Act that conservatives have characterized as a “slush fund.” Block grants are a capped entitlement program given to states to help fund services like daycare, transportation and home-delivered meals. The Prevention and Public Health Fund has included funds for training primary care doctors and supporting healthy corner stores.
Coal and oil companies would benefit from provisions to expand offshore drilling and drilling on federal lands. The proposal blocks the federal government from regulating greenhouse gas emissions and coal ash, and would give Congress the power to veto any “major” regulation issued by a federal agency (because an affirmative vote would be required, Congress could void new rules simply through inaction).
When the Obama administration extended tens of billions of dollars in loans to General Motors and Chrysler to get them through a managed bankruptcy in exchange for stock in the newly reorganized company, conservatives screamed “COMMUNISM! Obama is taking over the auto industry!” It was nonsense from the start; the arrangement was for the government to slowly sell off those stock holdings to pay back the loans as the company recovered. And guess what? That’s exactly what they’re doing:
The U.S. Treasury Department has slashed its stake in General Motors to 7.3%, putting the government within months of ending its direct ownership of the automaker.
The government revealed in an investment transaction report Tuesday that it had reduced its stake in GM more than previously expected. The report comes more than four years after U.S. taxpayers rescued GM and Chrysler, providing emergency financing to guide the automakers through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The latest move is part of the government’s broader plan — revealed last December — to gradually sell off all of its GM shares by early 2014.
The U.S. owned 13.8% of GM stock as recently as June 12, according to the transaction report.
In the end, taxpayers will recover all but about $10 billion. That’s a bargain. A huge bargain.
Most interesting is his comparison of the GOP and North Korea. They’re both such outliers of the system that normal methods of doing business are no longer available to them
Former president George W. Bush, who enjoyed healthy support among Latinos during his time in office, has broken a virtual five-year silence in national politics by calling on fellow Republicans to embrace immigration reform at a time when conservatives are rebelling against the idea.
As you are certainly aware, the new consensus among most Republicans and conservatives is that they don’t need no stinking Latinos (don’t get huffy on me; this is OK, because it’s a clever movie reference, and in any case it’s aimed not at Latinos, but at stupid Republicans) and will soar to victory on the strength of the white vote. People like me have spent a lot of airtime and ink these past couple of weeks arguing over whether this can work. But what’s interesting is this. There’s an assumption embedded in the argument that no one disputes: namely, that whites will always be as conservative as they are now and will always vote Republican in the same numbers they do now. This assumption is wrong. White people—yep, even working-class white people—are going to get less conservative in coming years, so the Republicans’ hopes of building a white-nationalist party will likely be dashed in the future even by white people themselves.
Back in March, the Brookings Institution and the Public Religion Research Institute released a big poll on immigration. Those findings are interesting as far as they go, but the questions and results went beyond that. It’s the first poll I’ve seen that breaks the white working class into four distinct age groups (65-plus, 50 to 64, 30 to 49, 18 to 29) and asks respondents attitudes about a broad range of social issues. And guess what? White working-class millennials are fairly liberal!
Click on the above link, scroll down to page 44, and look at the charts. On most questions, white working-class respondents in all three other age groups yielded results that were pretty similar to one another’s, but the youngest cohort was well to their left.
On most questions, white working-class respondents in all three other age groups yielded results that were pretty similar to one another’s, but the youngest cohort was well to their left.
White working-class young people back gay marriage to the tune of about 74 percent. Another 60 percent say immigrants strengthen the United States (the totals for all three other age groups are below 40 percent). About 56 percent agree that changes immigrants have brought to their communities are a good thing. Nearly 40 percent agree that gays and lesbians are changing America for the better (more than double the percentages in the other three age groups).
They have different views because they’re different people: only 22 percent of white working-class millennials are evangelical, compared with 32 percent as a whole and 42 percent of seniors. And an amazing 38 percent of the group call themselves religiously unaffiliated.
Fortunately for Republicans, they don’t have to listen to Democrats. There are plenty of voices within the party who earnestly want it to win more elections and have ideas for taking it in a new direction. Too often, though, would-be reformers who call themselves Republicans are also accused internally of not having the party’s best interests at heart — of hating conservatives and merely wanting to cozy up to liberal coastal elites, for example. It’s that kind of purifying, disqualifying impulse — the idea that anyone who isn’t a rigid ideologue is a “Republican In Name Only” — that’s served to progressively narrow the GOP coalition in recent years, turning the onetime big tent into an ever-smaller bunker. So fine, don’t take political advice from David Axelrod. But maybe Republicans should pay a little more heed to people like David Frum.