Apologies can be so very lame. It’s true. And they have such a variety of ways of being lame. There’s the non-apology apology, aka the faux-pology, which often starts something like, “I’m sorry if I offended you….” There’s the apology that has to be pried out of someone under duress, a last-ditch effort to salvage a situation that has gone very public and very south — witness Governor Christie this week. (He seemed much sorrier that he was caught or supposedly lied to than he was that millions were inconvenienced and possibly endangered.) Then there is the apologist who apologizes so easily and readily that the apologies are meaningless. To them we say, don’t apologize, just stop doing the wrong thing. Stop being an a**hole.
And then there’s the flat-out refusal to apologize, even when an apology is so clearly in order. That was the situation in Ohio this week. Bob Carleton, a 71-year-old city councilman from Norwalk, OH, fully admited he sent out a, shall we say, totally questionable holiday email in December. This week, the Toledo Blade brought that email to light, and when Carleton was asked about it, he said he just thought it was funny. That’s all.
The email was sent under the heading “Spelling Bee Champ.” Carleton did not make it up, so no points for creativity; the text of it has been going around the Internet for at least five years, and says: (Caution, unbelievably offensive stuff ahead):
Hard to know where to start here, so we’ll just say, WTF is wrong with people?
Carleton found this hilarious. He apparently did not notice it was appallingly racist. And he felt no need to apologize.
Fortunately, not everyone on the receiving end agreed, and many immediately tried to distance themselves from it. Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan had a mixed reaction. He said it was “nothing we would condone or endorse.” At the same time, he added that he did not think Carleton would do something “malicious” and “intentional.”
Hmmm, we’re confused because we thought we knew what those words meant.
Read more here.
2. Art Laffer: ‘The minimum wage is the black teenage unemployment act.’
Speaking of racism. Don’t you love it when conservatives fight against a morsel of social justice, like raising the minimum wage, by pretending to care about the plight of black teenagers? That’s the tack so-called economist Arthur Laffer took on his recent turn on Fox News.
“Yeah, well the minimum wage makes no sense whatsoever to me. I mean, honestly, it’s just the teenage — black teenage unemployment act” (yup, he not only said that, he stopped himself and added “black” into the sentence), “and this is the very group that we need to have jobs not be put out of work because of the minimum wage so I’m really very much in favor of at least for teenagers getting rid of the minimum wage so we can bring them back into the labor force….”
Laffer, you may remember, was a Reagan economic advisor and author of the discredited Laffer curve, which nonsensically posited that lowering taxes would bring in more revenue for the government. He was invited to appear on Fox News’ “Happening Now” with another charmer of a human being, Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute, to discuss the plight of the long-term unemployed. It’s rather like inviting serial murderers to discuss the treatment of cancer patients. Not to be outdone, Strain suggested lowering the minimum wage for the long-term unemployed to $4 an hour.
Everyone agreed that was a grand idea.
Full story here.
3. WSJ writer says women are to blame for the rise of fatherless children.
It’s a terrible thing when conservatives fight. They’re usually such loving, caring people. But James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal got really pissed at his fellow conservative Kay Hymowitz this week. While the two are in complete agreement that marriage is the great and powerful Oz, the solver of all social problems, they just don’t see eye-to-eye on who’s to blame for the fact it doesn’t always work out and single moms end up raising the kids.
For Taranto, there’s a one-word answer when it comes to who’s to blame for social ills: women. Hymowitz, however, had the audacity to suggest that men who abandon their children are to blame. What a biotch!
Here’s how Taranto knows full well it’s those pushy, liberated broads who are the problem. Female careerism is problem numero uno, Taranto believes, because economic independence gives women less incentive to get hitched. “Female careerism” is an interesting term in and of itself. As Amanda Marcotte points out on Slate, “if you Google ‘female careerism,’ you get a bunch of links, but if you Google ‘male careerism,’ Google asks if you really meant ‘male careers’ or even ‘mahle careers.’ ‘Careerism’—the pathological need to have paid employment—is an affliction that only affects women, apparently.”
We suspect James Taranto did not Google “female careerism.”
Taranto also blames the pill, of course, because now men and everyone else can have massive amounts of sex and avoid having babies if they don’t want to, which is a terrible, terrible thing. In the good old days, women could get men to marry them simply by withholding sex. Oh, how we miss the days of the shotgun wedding.
4. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert: ‘The state won’t recognize legal same-sex marriages.’
What do you have when the governor of the state won’t obey the law? Anarchy, that’s what. Also, in the case of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s refusal to recognize the spousal rights of lawfully wed same-sex couples, you have discrimination.
Nevertheless, this week Herbert’s office directed state agencies not to recognize as valid the legal marriages of same-sex couples performed after a federal court ruled in favor of marriage equality in December.
A pitched battle over same-sex marriage has been going on in Utah. It had seemed that the forces of enlightenment had won and that same-sex marriage would be legalized in Utah, but then on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay in the marriage challenge while the lower court decision is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Before the stay was issued, more than 1,000 same-sex couples were legally married in Utah.
But thanks to Herbert, they won’t get their spousal privileges. He and that idiot Trestin Meacham, who went on a hunger strike to stop gay marriage in Utah, must be awfully pleased with themselves.
5. Rush Limbaugh: ‘Media created polar vortex hoax to perpetuate global warming hoax.’
Shockjock Rush Limbaugh must believe the liberal media has some mythical powers, all right — including the ability to lower the temperature of a huge swath of the continental United States and make everyone freeze their asses off. If only. Of course, the reason liberals in the media created the “ polar vortex” was to advance that climate change “hoax.” We love that hoax. It’s our favorite. Scientists also love that hoax, 97 percent of them do anyway. (Not sure what the other 3 percent love—pretty sure it’s not science though.)
“We are having a record-breaking cold snap in many parts of the country,” Rush cleverly pointed out on his radio show this week. “And right on schedule the media have to come up with a way to make it sound like it’s completely unprecedented. Because they’ve got to find a way to attach this to the global warming agenda, and they have. It’s called the ‘polar vortex.’ The dreaded polar vortex.”
Well, it was pretty dreadful if you happen to live in the Midwest or East Coast. So were those bats dropping out of the sky in Queensland, Australia due to the extreme, and yes, unprecedented heat. Another liberal plot, no doubt.
6. Georgia GOP Senate candidate: ‘Dems just want to put illegal aliens on welfare and get them to vote for them.’
Democrats, as we all know, buy votes. That’s the only way they can get them. But they don’t have as much money as Republicans do, so what those Democrats sometimes do, very sneakily, we must say, is create programs that help people, like food stamps, or unemployment benefits, or health insurance, or public schools, and then they buy the votes with those programs. If that theory sounds familiar, it’s because Mitt Romney floated it during his presidential campaign. (Remember the 46 percent?) Another version of this theory surfaced this week on Georgia Public Radio, when Senate candidate and House Republican Paul Broun argued that the only way Democrats can compete in Georgia is by giving undocumented immigrants both welfare and the vote.
“The only way Georgia is going to change is if we have all these illegal aliens in here in Georgia, [and] give them the right to vote,” Broun sputtered. “It would be morally wrong; it would be illegal to do so, under our current law. Actually, all these illegal aliens are getting federal largesse and taking taxpayers’ dollars. That’s the only way this state is going to become Democratic again, in the next number of decades.”
Later, he added, “The Democrats want to make them all basically dependent on the federal government so they can continue their radical, big government agenda.”
When he is not going after Democrats and immigrants, Broun has another favorite target: the theory of evolution, which he has called a lie “from the pit of hell.”
7. Ted Cruz: ‘Obama should lock up pot users.’
Desperately seeking to remain relevant, Ted Cruz took up another hopeless cause this week. The Tea Partying, futilely filibustering junior Texas senator suggested that Obama start locking up pot users again. Just because he technically can. Even though pot is now legal in Colorado, it is still against federal law, and Cruz thinks that’s enough reason for Obama to drive through Colorado and start rounding up those pot smokers.
Why, you say? Well, partly to get a laugh. He was speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation (yes, we agree that sounds redundant, but that’s the name).
“A whole lot of folks now are talking about legalizing pot. The brownies you had this morning, provided by the state of Colorado,” he quipped during his keynote speech.
“And you can make arguments on that issue,” Cruz continued. “You can make reasonable arguments on that issue. The president earlier this past year announced the Department of Justice is going to stop prosecuting certain drug crimes. Didn’t change the law.”
Fortunately, the Department of Justice announced in August 2013 that it would not target for arrest adults who used marijuana in compliance with state laws. But Cruz said the Obama administration should continue imprisoning people for using marijuana until federal law is changed.
Just ‘cause. It would be fun. Jails need more nonviolent offenders, and Cruz very much enjoys the thought of imprisoning people. When he thinks about it, he gets that shit-eating grin that shows he’s getting his buzz on.
8. Maine Gov. Paul Le Page: ‘New Year’s Resolution: Get those 12-year-olds back to work again.’
Maine, of all places. Such a mild-mannered state. Such a crazy governor. Recently, Tea Partying Gov. Paul LePage suggested it was time to make it legal for 12-year-olds to work again. “Work never hurt anybody,” he said. “I worked when I was 11 years old.”
Currently, children in Maine younger than 16 who want to work must be enrolled in school, be passing a majority of their courses and obtain a work permit before starting a job. School-age children get those permits from a local school superintendent, and from there, the paperwork is sent to the Department of Labor.
According to the Bangor Daily News, LePage wants to change that requirement so students can bypass the superintendent during the summer months and go straight to the Department of Labor, to speed up the process.
As the Bangor Daily News notes, “The initiative falls short of LePage’s stated desire to lower the legal working age to 12.”
Oh well. Oh, and he also wants to lower the minimum wage for those child laborers to $5.25, you know, cause that’s the whole point of having child laborers.
9. Followup: Congressman who suggested poor kids work for their lunches, expensed $4,200 in lunches for himself—to the taxpayers.
A little while back Rep. Jack Kingston from Georgia was eager to teach the poor children of his state the lesson that “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” Not for them anyway. He helpfully suggested they be required to do some janitorial work in the cafeteria for their subsidized lunch. Well, new development: it turns out that there is such thing as free lunches, if you are Jack Kingston.
An investigation by Georgia’s WSAV Channel 3 found that Kingston, who is currently running for Senate had expensed as much as $4,182 worth of lunches for his office over the past three years, the equivalent of about 2,000 free lunches.
Want a little hypocrisy with those mashed potatoes?