Rats deserting a sinking ship

Guess Pawlenty is trying to sidestep the taint of defeat?

(CNN) – Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, was named Thursday as president and CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, a Washington-based lobbying group.

Pawlenty will step down as a national co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to assume the new role, which will formally begin November 1.

Lynch mentality lives on

From ThinkProgress:

Burnt Orange Report published a picture of a chair hanging from a tree in front of a house in Austin, Texas. In a dark twist on Clint Eastwood’s empty chair meme, it appears the resident, Bud Johnson, lynched the chair as an effigy of President Obama. When asked about the unnerving racist display, the homeowner, a Republican, responded, “I don’t really give a damn whether it disturbs you or not. You can take [your concerns] and go straight to hell and take Obama with you. I don’t give a shit. If you don’t like it, don’t come down my street.” Another chair was lynched last week in Virginia.

Church and State, episode 2: Mitt Romney and Immigration

Jesus Christ is back, and he’s pissed.

Well, not so much pissed, but troubled with Mitt Romney’s less than Christian stance on immigration. And why would He not be? Isn’t it a fact that Jesus’s parents fled Bethlehem for Egypt, after King Herod ordered the execution of all babies under the age of 2? Isn’t it true that when they returned, it wasn’t to Bethlehem, but to Nazareth?

You’d figure preachy ol’ Mitt Headroom and Paul “the Objectivist Christian” Ryan might realize that. And you would be wrong.
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Republicans block jobs-for-vets bill

Why? Because they can. Because they would do anything, no matter how despicable, to prevent Democrats from taking any credit for creating jobs:

Senate Republicans prevented a veterans’ jobs bill from coming to a vote today by forcing a budget point of order vote. Democrats came up 2 votes short of the 60 needed to defeat the GOP’s budget measure.

The Veterans Jobs Corps bill — which is part of President Obama’s push to secure jobs for veterans — would have provided $1 billion over five years to hire 20,000 young veterans for public lands jobs and prioritize vets for first responder jobs such as police, firefighter, or EMT. The measure would have also provided young vets access to the infrastructure with which to assist in job searches, such as access to computers, internet and career services advisers…

Charter school denied

The Nashville school board votes four times to turn down Great Hearts charter school, despite being ordered to approve it by the state board and education commissioner. Why?

“Our newly elected board took a stand for ALL of our students with their 4th and final denial of Great Hearts. There was enormous pressure from the Mayor and our state officials and our Governor. The most ironic part of the 3.4 million dollar fine is the fact that it is from the BEP funds that are designated for “non-classroom”. Several things fall under that heading and of them is transportation. So the state has decided to withhold money that would go toward transporting our children to school who are Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL), in zone but not within walking distance or who are disabled.

“Do you know one of the major sticking points for why Great Hearts did not get approval? Transportation! They did not want to provide adequate transportation for students that were outside of the affluent west Nashville location. Their plan was to provide MTA bus passes for (FRL) kids that are old enough to ride mass transit and then they were going to provide limited busing to a specific neighborhood if the demand was great enough. Sounds pretty good until you get to the part that they were only going to do it for 2 years. Apparently after 2 years those kids’ families were magically going to come into some money to be able to buy a car or quit their second job or whatever so they could drive their child to and from school that is across town.

“So it seems that the state has shown us exactly how they feel about our students that need transportation. When they tried to bully the elected board into approving a charter that did not meet diversity requirements via transportation to the school or location of the school it didn’t work. Now they are punishing the very kids that would have been punished by approving a charter that did not give them adequate access. Oh the irony.

The charter schools frequently do things like this, because they want to discourage poor kids from attending. They don’t want them pulling down the averages that “prove” charter schools do a better job.

Hurting families

Our “lean and mean” corporations!

Professional women at law firms, in academia and in the media complain about the punishing hours — and unceasing streams of e-mail — that make it difficult to make time for their families. At the other extreme, many women in retail, restaurant and health care jobs are underemployed; they’re looking for more hours of work (and ideally, regular hours) to support their families.

But both problems share a root cause: the incentives that guide businesses’ employment practices.

Rather than being long and relentless, work hours in hourly jobs, especially low-level ones, are often scarce, fluctuating and unpredictable. Sales associates and restaurant servers might be scheduled for 7 hours one week and 32 the next. Hotel housekeepers might work Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday one week, and then Sunday, Thursday and Saturday the following week. Schedules are often posted just a few days in advance. And women in hourly jobs are likely to have less input than men in determining their work schedules, according to national surveys.

The lack of stability is especially hard on parents. Unpredictable work schedules leave them scrambling to arrange child care and reluctant to volunteer for school events or to schedule doctor’s appointments. They make it tough to establish the household routines that experts tell us are essential for healthy child development, like bedtime rituals, homework monitoring and family meal times. Unstable hours also result in unstable earnings, a nightmare for parents on tight budgets.

It’s just a bunch of poor people whining — again. Why don’t they just borrow some money from their parents and start their own business?

The future is on thin ice

The big story this week were those topless shots of Kate Middleton. Meanwhile, scientists studying the North Pole presented data indicating that the end of the world as we know it is imminent. Ho-hum:

Arctic sea ice has shrunk to its smallest surface area since record-keeping began, taking the world into “uncharted territory” as climate change intensifies, US scientists warned Wednesday.

Satellite images show the ice cap had melted to 1.32 million square miles (3.4 million square kilometers) as of September 16, the predicted lowest point for the year.

That’s the smallest Arctic ice cover since record-keeping began in 1979, the National Snow and Ice Data Center said.

“We are now in uncharted territory,” the center’s director, Mark Serreze, said, in a statement…

Scientists use Arctic sea ice extent as an indicator of what’s happening with the overall climate. Despite year-to-year fluctuations from natural weather variations, the ice cap has shown a clear trend towards shrinking over the last 30 years, the NSIDC center said…

“…Twenty years from now in August you might be able to take a ship right across the Arctic Ocean,” once blocked year-round by ice, said NSIDC scientist Julienne Stroeve.

Climate models predict “ice free conditions” before 2050, she added, but said the decline appears to be happening faster than predicted.

The NSIDC warned that increased heat and moisture from the melting Arctic ice cover could have global climate implications.

“This will gradually affect climate in the areas where we live,” he said. “We have a less polar pole — and so there will be more variations and extremes.”

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