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The Morning Grumpy – 5/10/12

10 May

All the news, views, and filtered excellence that’s fit to consume during your morning grumpy.


1. President Obama’s position on marriage equality has evolved, just as the position of Americans is evolving.

According to surveys included in the database, an average of 50 percent of American adults support same-sex marriage rights while 45 percent oppose it, based on an average of nine surveys conducted in the past year.

This is a reversal from earlier periods: support for same-sex marriage has been increasing, and opposition to it has been decreasing, at a relatively steady rate of perhaps two or three percentage points a year since 2004.

With the vocal support of the Obama Administration, that positive trend will most likely increase. It’s about time he got on the right side of the issue.

Personally, I believe that national Democrats are making note of Andrew Cuomo’s success after his stewardship of marriage equality legislation in New York. Cuomo’s approval rating remains high throughout the state, even with Republicans. His leadership on this civil rights issue and the halo that was generated provide him cover for other priorities of his administration which aren’t so progressive.

2. The real Hunger Games.

Rep. Paul Ryan and the House Republicans will vote tomorrow on their proposed budget that will cut $36 billion from the nutrition assistance federal budget lines. This would remove 2 million people from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps), reduce benefits for 44 million more, and drop 280,000 low-income kids from school lunch programs. There are also significant cuts to Medicaid and reductions in children’s healthcare plans. Also, in this budget, not one penny will be cut from the Defense budget, $265,000 in tax cuts will be handed out to the wealthiest Americans, and we’ll see an increase in funding for Israeli missile defense programs.

The plan has no chance of passing in the Senate, but it certainly frames the priorities of the Republican Party in an election year. Slashing the social safety net in times of widespread poverty and joblessness in exchange for defense spending and tax cuts for the wealthy.  GOP 2012!

3. Partisan psychology, ideology over fact.

When pollsters ask Republicans and Democrats whether the president can do anything about high gas prices, the answers reflect the usual partisan divisions in the country. About two-thirds of Republicans say the president can do something about high gas prices, and about two-thirds of Democrats say he can’t.

But six years ago, with a Republican president in the White House, the numbers were reversed: Three-fourths of Democrats said President Bush could do something about high gas prices, while the majority of Republicans said gas prices were clearly outside the president’s control.

We’ve always been at war with Oilasia.

4. Democrats, the party you elect if you want to increase employment.

The BGOV Barometer shows that since Democrat John F. Kennedy took office in January 1961, non-government payrolls in the U.S. swelled by almost 42 million jobs under Democrats, compared with 24 million for Republican presidents, according to Labor Department figures.

The Democrats also had 5 fewer years in the White House during that time. Here’s an irony alert for you:

Since January 1961, federal, state and local government employment grew by 7.1 million under Republican presidents and 6.3 million when Democrats were in the White House

Listen, I know there is nuance behind the numbers and who controlled the legislative arm of government has an impact as well, it’s just a fun number. Relax.

5. Matt Taibbi takes a turn at predicting the 2012 Presidential election.

As if to combat this, we’re getting stories now about how this election is closer than you’d think, how Obama is in for a “tight race” or a “fierce fight” with Romney, and how the Republican challenger is “closing in” to a “statistical dead heat.”

They’re going to say this, and they may even have numbers to back it up, like this week’s Gallup poll showing Obama with just a two-point lead. But I think it’s a mirage.

But this campaign, relatively speaking, will not be fierce or hotly contested. Instead it’ll be disappointing, embarrassing, and over very quickly, like a hand job in a Bangkok bathhouse. And everybody knows it. It’s just impossible to take Mitt Romney seriously as a presidential candidate. Even the news reporters who are paid to drum up dramatic undertones are having a hard time selling Romney as half of a titanic title bout.
While I’ve never received a handy in a Bangkok bathhouse, I agree with Taibbi’s assessment.

Fact Of The Day: A few days before W took office, The Onion predicted a massive increase in defense spending, a Gulf war, a recession brought on by substantial tax cuts, deregulation of industry, defunding of social-service programs, and a return to deficit spending. And America…..laughed?

Quote Of The Day: “We must make it clear that a platform of ‘I hate gay men and women’ is not a way to become president of the United States.” – Jimmy Carter

Laugh Of The Day: “Gay Marriage, Valid Arguments and what Crazy People Want” – Patton Oswalt

Video Of The Day: “Gay Marriage” – Greg Giraldo

Song Of The Day: “One Piece At A Time” – Johnny Cash

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