Sunday, March 17, 2013

Republicans Care About Women?

Republicans lie, twist, and finagle, but we all know that, don't we?

From Prevention magazine

The following article was published last August at Townhall, but it just came to my attention today.   

Townhall was trying to pretend that Republicans really care about women by highlighting inflation in food prices since Obama took office.  Now how the Republicans would stop any food price inflation, of course, is not discussed.  Much of food price inflation comes from increases in the price of fuel and some of that comes from oil speculation.  I'm sure the Republicans will tell their deluded constituency that they will stop increases in oil prices by projects such as Keystone and open drilling on federal lands.. not to mention more deep water offshore drilling.   

By the way, food and beverage prices went up 28% during the Bush years, and food alone went up 29%.  I guess the writers at Townhall think that women are too stupid to look this stuff up on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index databases where it is readily available.

From the article:          

As I've noted before, the Obama campaign is trying hard to "reach out" to women -- especially the single affluent women (with false claims about the GOP's plans to take away contraception!) and single poor women (with class warfare rhetoric and the implicit promise of more government assistance). 
But for women who are really paying attention, this should raise some eyebrows: As the graphic below illustrates, grocery prices have risen 15% just since the start of President Obama's term.  And as the RNC points out (, if prices have risen this much in four years, what would they be after a second Obama term?
Kitchen table issues matter.  When lefties start spouting nonsense about Republicans wanting to take women back to the 1950's, point out better to return to the prosperous '50's than to the Depression-era 1930's, courtesy of Obamanomics.

My reply:  

There is really nothing false about the desire of many in the GOP to restrict access to contraception for many women, in particular, those who are less well-off who need free or low cost contraception the most.  "Defunding Planned Parenthood" is a battlecry throughout the Republican Party.

Now back to the article from Townhall, again, published back in August 2012:

At least "Julia" in the diagram may now have a job, which is more than she had after the Bush recession.

Our Republican friends appear to be playing with numbers, which isn't surprising. According to the chart, the bill for that grocery list went up 14% from some time "before" Obama. (The article doesn't appear to tell us what month they were looking at.) Now, inflation was actually DOWN from January 2009 until December 2010 and has been rising during the recovery over the last two years. 

How much has the index for "food at home" risen from January 2009 when Obama took office until August 2012, the date on which this article was published? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 6%. So... It seems that the authors took a representative "grocery list" of items for which prices were going up faster than average to trash the Democrats. Not surprising.  (Under Bush, the "food at home" index rose 10% from January 2001 when Bush took office until August 2004.)

And, for women and families who are struggling financially, having an additional mouth to feed because of limitations in access to contraception is still a greater threat to their financial future than a 6% increase in the price of food.  

Again:  There is NOTHING in the article to suggest that the Republicans could actually do anything about inflation as a result of recovery... and inflated oil prices... (and they certainly did NOTHING about food inflation during the Bush years), but they really do count on stupidity to win them a few votes here and there. 


For reference, here are the highlights for the Consumer Price Index report for February, which was just released Friday:
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.7 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.0 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The gasoline index rose 9.1 percent in February to account for almost three-fourths of the seasonally adjusted all items increase. The indexes for electricity, natural gas, and fuel oil also increased, leading to a 5.4 percent rise in the energy index. 
The food index increased slightly in February, rising 0.1 percent.  
A sharp increase in the fruits and vegetables index was the major cause of the 0.1 percent increase in the food at home index, with other major grocery store food group indexes mixed.  
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent in February. The indexes for shelter, used cars and trucks, recreation, and medical care all rose in February. These increases more than offset declines in the indexes for new vehicles, apparel, airline fares, and tobacco.  
The all items index increased 2.0 percent over the last 12 months compared to a 1.6 percent increase for the 12 months ending January. The index for all items less food and energy also increased 2.0 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index increased 2.3 percent and the food index rose 1.6 percent. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

You Can Never Have Too Much Hitler...Or You Might Get Trump.

The Hitler Channel

Updated March 14, 2016 after the recent events at rallies for Donald Trump.

Updated November 10, 2016:  We did get Trump.  Very horrifying.

Many people used to jokingly call The History Channel "The Hitler Channel" because it aired so many shows on various aspects of the Third Reich and on Germany under Hitler.  Lately the Hitler Channel has turned into another reality TV channel and the Hitler programs have moved to the American Military Channel.  

No matter though.. There are still plenty of shows on AMC about various aspects of the Third Reich, some new, some not so new. 

In the last couple of days, we've been watching some of those shows; some I've seen before, some I've never seen.  I used to think that there were so many shows about Hitler that it was simply ridiculous.  Enough with the Hitler stuff already, I would say to my husband.

But I've changed my mind.   

I really don't think that we can ever have too many shows on Hitler and the Third Reich.  I sometimes think that we should bombard our children with these shows (after they hit a certain age).  Required watching.  And I fear that as the years go by, too much of what happened in Germany will be watered down and/or forgotten.

Anne Frank
It Can't Happen Here?

Even though many of us want to think that the Third Reich is a thing of the past, something that we are too sophisticated to ever allow in the world again, all we need to do is to look around and realize that it could happen again; it could happen here or in another advanced, developed nation.

Hitler came to power on the back of economic catastrophe by blaming and spreading hate about one group of people and by elevating and extolling another group of people.  Then Hitler solidified his control by eliminating opposition, eliminating free speech, assembly, and a free press.  He also restored economic vitality to impoverished, struggling Germany by private-public partnerships that also relied on military build-up.  No two ways about it, the people of Germany loved Hitler in 1936 and 1937, and most (who weren't Jewish) didn't see the coming catastrophe until 1939 or 1940 at the earliest.

What Hitler Could Do That FDR, Obama and any other American President Could Not.

Because of political opposition, FDR could not do as much to restore economic vitality as quickly in the United States in the early 30's as Hitler did in Germany in the early 30's.  (And Obama, with intense, determined opposition, could not do as much as FDR.)  Hitler could also build prisons and crematoriums and use people as slave labor.  Though there is plenty of inequity here, we aren't anywhere close to that kind of evil.  At least not yet.

Growing up in the Echo Of World War II

Anyway, those of us who are Baby Boomers grew up in the echoes of the war, and we knew what Hitler did and we knew much about how he did it.  I remember waiting for a train at a railroad crossing near my house when I was 7 or 8 years old.  My mother told me about the boxcars full of Jewish people that Hitler shipped to their deaths in concentration camps.  I didn't understand how that could happen and I was very upset; so upset that I can distinctly remember the time and the place over 50 years later.  (The movie The Diary of Anne Frank came out right at that time, in 1959, when I was 7 going on 8.  Perhaps that is what inspired my mother's musings as we watched those freight cars roll by.)   

Do Kids Growing Up Today Really Understand What Happened in Germany in the 1930's and 1940's?

I'm not sure that people who grew up after the 60's really understand how evil and destructive Hitler was.  That's why I say that we really "can never have too much Hitler".  This era of history needs to be taught and retaught, and we need to sit our kids and grandkids down in front of the T.V. and talk about Hitler and the Third Reich with them.  Our kids need to know how and why this happened.  They can never forget.  We can't let them.   

What about today's adults?

And many adults need to know how and why this happened as well. Some of them have forgotten.  Some of them actually buy into the same kind of racism and ethnocentrism that polluted Germany.

Some of them support Donald Trump, who has made racism and xenophobia the cornerstones of his Presidential candidacy.  And his candidacy is encouraging people to suppress the opposition.  Now it just means escorting people out of his rallies to cheers accompanied by nasty comments by Trump.  But if Trump were elected?

I just came across this article at the Daily Kos, an account of two young people who decided to entertain themselves by attending a Trump rally.  From the article:

Once, after a protester was removed, Trump said, "Where are these people coming from? Who are they?" A lady, sitting not 5 feet from me, said, "Well hopefully when you're president, you'll get rid of em all!" Get rid of them? Get rid of anyone who opposes Trump? It was sickening. I felt truly nauseous. 
Somehow we have to stop this.
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