Sat Feb 23, 2013, 11:35 AM
Scuba (45,425 posts)
NYT's Gail Collins: Sequester for Dummies
Gail does a little Q&A on the sequester.
Why would they cut scientific research? That’s crazy. The federal budget is almost $4 trillion. Why can’t they just cut out the most useless stuff?
Because this was supposed to be a trigger so dreadful and dire and stupid that Congress would force itself to come up with a reasonable deficit reduction plan to avoid it. Ha. Ha.
Actually, I think this is a bad time to cut anything. The people keeping those boats welded together need jobs, too. We should wait until the economy picks up.
Perfectly rational thought, but remember these sequester cuts are on an automatic trigger. To avert it, you have to come up with an alternative that’s acceptable to the Republicans in the House of Representatives — possibly the only people in the country who would prefer furloughing air traffic controllers to a minimum tax on millionaires.
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NYT's Gail Collins: Sequester for Dummies (Original post)
Response to Scuba (Original post)
Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:30 PM
UTUSN (39,530 posts)
1. R#1 & * for the great Gail COLINS, her book on the B.S. that IS Texas is GREAT!1
Oh, the review below from my Google Search turned out to be semi-hostile: Could it BE that the critic is writing her own Texas tome?!1 What, "Texas teenagers KNOW WHAT CONDOMS ARE" ?!1 and WHAT?!1 Texas' "staggering inequality" are "easy jokes"?!1 I guess it's just the NYT being so balanced that it semi-skewers its own employee.
Everything There Is Big, Stereotypes Included
‘As Texas Goes ’ by Gail Collins
By ERICA GRIEDER
Published: July 2, 2012
.... Ms. Collins, a columnist for The New York Times, is among the critics. Her book, “As Texas Goes... ,” pays particular attention to the state’s staggering inequality, casual embrace of crony capitalism and creaky educational pipeline. These are problems for Texas, of course, but Ms. Collins’s concern is that Texas itself is everyone’s problem. “Personally, I prefer to think that all Americans are in the same boat,” she says. “And Texas has a lot to do with where we’re heading.”
Texas is big, that is, and growing, and powerful. Despite deep-rooted support for states’ rights, Texans have rarely hesitated to lead, either by example or by wriggling into national office. Much of the book is devoted to how its influence has been realized; it was Texans who led America’s push for financial deregulation, who engineered the passage of the No Child Left Behind law, and who entangled us in the occasional war. ....
Of course Texas is largely to blame for its own reputation. The uneasy intersection of sex and religion, for example, is a recurring theme in modern politics and an area where Texas has been generous to the nation’s wags. Ms. Collins, who has a good eye for absurd details, recalls a painful 2010 exchange Mr. Perry had with Evan Smith, the editor of The Texas Tribune, about the state’s support for abstinence-only sex education. Mr. Smith pressed the governor to explain why that was a good idea. “I’m sorry, I’m going to tell you from my own personal life,” the governor said, visibly glazing over. “Abstinence works.”
As Ms. Collins says, Texas has one of the highest teenage birthrates in the country, and three of the four state-approved health textbooks never mention the word “condom.” It’s possible, however, that Texas teenagers are nonetheless aware of what condoms are. According to 2009 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42 percent of sexually active teenagers in Texas reported that they didn’t use a condom during their most recent sexual encounter. Around the enlightened nation the figure was not much better, at 39 percent. In any case, even in Texas, school districts are moving away from abstinence-only policies. ....
...But in opting for the easy jokes, Ms. Collins misses the chance for a more substantive critique.