Tag Archives: gingrich

Gingrich, Poor Kids, and Trash

Newt Gingrich, though faltering, is the one candidate for the Republican nomination that embodies the establishment GOP. Last November he made a bold choice to endorse and encourage child labor – he wanted poor kids to takeover the jobs of unionized janitors. This is not a smear campaign on Newt, he stands by the statement and it was no gaff. On Wednesday, Gingrich encountered a former child janitor, in the exchange he not only upheld his previous ideas, but threw in a cold dismissal of real world class differences. Continue reading

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Energy the hard way and easy way

Gas is on the rise, you can’t help but notice. Only those in a truly local, non-motorized economy are insulated from its effect on the wallet. Ouch. Nothing so consistently messes with our costs of living from filling up our tanks, to filling up our pantries. The rise in energy costs is nearly unavoidable. Already in the middle of a “green” trend, energy jumps into an even higher priority role on the national stage.

There are the drillers and frackers – they think America is on its way to energy independence through finding our own fossil fuel reserves. It’s like seeing a kid get a huge tin of caramel corn at Christmas. The kid eats some, goes into a sugar altered state, then hugs the tin to their chest imagining all of the sugar filled days ahead. Within a week or two though – depending on how hungry and how vulnerable the popcorn supply is to breaches of security – the kid realizes that the popcorn will actually not last forever, though it is a sizable pile. The kid feels greedy and desperate to keep his pile intact. He may go into conservation mode, he may gorge himself to the point of illness, or he could mishandle the tin and spill a sizable amount. Continue reading

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Violence Against Women – Do Republicans Care?

“The War on Women” at first seemed like a bit of an exaggerated meme of what has been going on in the Republican party this election season. I can’t remember at exactly what point the field of candidates decided to target specific women’s issues. Was it Gingrich’s poor record on Republicans family values (written about here) that spurred a reaction, Santorum’s rise in popularity with his regressive gender role attitudes, or a bishop whispering in someone’s ear. Republican’s haven’t exactly been champions of women’s issue for a long time, but anyone can see that the heat has been turned waay up and fiery discourse has ensued. Republicans are now refusing to support the “Violence Against Women Act” , it’s the latest front in the battle to secure women’s rights and health. Continue reading

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The Hateful Rush to Frame

 

Political framing can find yourself keeping strange company. Progressives might find themselves agreeing with Newt Gingrich this week, here’s a quote from Reuters by Newt,

I am astonished at the desperation of the elite media to avoid rising gas prices, to avoid the president’s apology to religious fanatics in Afghanistan, to avoid a trillion-dollar deficit, to avoid the longest period of unemployment since the Great Depression and to suddenly decide that Rush Limbaugh is the great national crisis of this week

You would think there were no news worthy events last week because coverage focused on Rush Limbaugh and what he does best – get attention via bombastic statements.  He successfully dominated at least one news cycle, if not the better part of a week’s cycle. Rush would not work as a guest blogger here because he uses uncivilized language and tone. A boycott of his advertisers must have had some effect because Saturday he apologized for his crude choice of language – not for the sentiment behind them. Many on the right and left feel that this apology was extracted and strictly about responding to advertisers.  When questioned about the language choice before Saturday, he simply added more insulting words and scenarios to his previous assault – he doubled down.

Rush and his handlers may have overstepped even the mainstream media’s standards of decency, but they certainly did a great job getting attention. Continue reading

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Zoom, zoom, Newt’s in space

Newt Gingrich is at it again, you can’t really blame him, he is trying to win in Florida and needs a hook. It’s time to get out the zoom lens. The “zoom lens” is a mental exercise and visual trick that helps to see both a progressive and conservative point of view; it’s another way to see the multiple causes that form a progressive opinion vs. the few causes that form conservative ones. While the lens is trained on Newt you see a candidate that needs votes and needs to tell the electorate something that will make him more desirable and set him apart from the field. Newt knows that he must cut through the media chatter – people don’t want to get bogged down in policy talk or quibbling. Newt wants to be seen as a big, bold idea man. He’s put forth an edgy idea and he’s channeling Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy at the same time. He’s calculated his position and is taking a gamble on the desperate needs of the unemployed; especially the Florida unemployed.

Like lot’s of Americans, Newt is a space fan and has been for a long time. He was a youth when JFK made the press to go to the moon and I’m sure moon-talk was the uber-cool, cutting edge, techno geekspeak of the day. JFK – the still wildly popular Democratic president- created a bold challenge for Americans and gave it a deadline. Newt really needs a fresh idea to jump start the economy so he is dusting the cobwebs off of the idea of space exploration and is trying to do what Kennedy did – it just so happens that he’s pushing it in a state that has lost thousands of jobs to the shuttering of the space programs. Gingrich is channeling one of the most popular Democratic presidents in history and one of the most popular Republican presidents in history too – Ronald Reagan. Both of these presidents had big ideas that saved their butts. Reagan’s ideas were big because he crafted our current economic down turn with his deregulation plans, rejection of “do-gooders” (empathetic/altruistic people), and desire for “morning in America”. It is almost irrelevant what either president was talking about, what was really important is how they made Americans feel.

Feeling is more important than thinking when we make decisions. Continue reading

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