Archive for the 'nepotism' Category

March 15th 2013
Rob Portman is still a Pharisee. In other news: Spring Break!

Posted under American history & Gender & GLBTQ & happy endings & nepotism & wankers

I’ve been thinking about marriage today–gay, straight, what have you.  Fratguy and I have been in a civil union for 15 years.  I think that’s the right term, as we were “married” by a notary (you can do that in Maine), but because we’re an opposite-sex couple, everyone calls us “married,” although neither of us wanted to darken the door of any church in the service of enacting our civil union.

But you get used to this kind of thing when you’re in a straight union–a lot of the time you benefit from other people’s assumptions about you.  It means (for example) that you don’t have to carry around your marriage license as proof of your legal relationship.  The words “husband” and “wife” really are magic in that respect–I’ve never been asked to prove it.  My husband’s agreement about our status suffices.

Sometimes those assumptions are annoying–such as when other people lay their trip about what marriage is on you, and judge your marriage by their standards, not yours.  (These assumptions are almost always about the behavior of women in marriages, not the men they’re married to.  Men usually benefit from the assumptions people make about them as married men, even if those assumptions are totally wrong.)

In any case, this is all just a windup to direct you to go read Madwoman with a Laptop‘s thoughts on her 29 years with the woman whose wife she will never be, along with a really thoughtful analysis of civil unions, gay marriage, and her very intentional rejection of marriage and wifedom although her state now permits same-sex marriage.  Continue Reading »

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August 1st 2010
Who ever would have predicted?

Posted under American history & jobs & local news & nepotism

OK, OK–I know it’s getting tiresome to read about me being right all of the time.  But–seriously:  Who ever would have predicted that it’s a bad idea to appoint a man to the U.S. Senate who never ran for office or won a single vote in his entire frikkin’ lifeThe Denver Post reports today on a new Survey USA poll on all of our statewide races, but of course the result that is really interesting is the poll showing former Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff pulling slightly ahead of Unelected Senator Michael Bennet in the August 10 primary, 48 to 45 percent (margin of error 4.1 percent) with 8 percent of Democrats undecided as to how they’ll vote.  (That’s a twenty-point turnaround from where the race was in a mid-June Denver Post poll, with Bennet at 53 and Romanoff at 36.)  ColoradoPols has some analysis here–clearly, they’re crapping their pants because they’ve been mocking and laughing at Romanoff’s campaign all year long and have been shilling pretty hard for Bennet for reasons that are difficult to fathom.  (Strangely, they spin this poll as “a story you already know.”  Well, not if you’ve been following ColoradoPols for the past year!)

The Denver Post article has a pretty good laff line here:  “‘The fact that Bennet has Barack Obama ads on everyone’s television screens multiple times a day right now shows that he’s scrambling to win this primary,’ said Eric Sondermann, a Denver political consultant. ‘That is not an ad you’d run in the general election.’”  Well, no wonder Romanoff is pulling ahead.  If Bennet thinks running ads featuring President Obama here is a good idea even in a Democratic primary, then he’s a bigger idiot than even I would have guessed.  Obama is not popular here, not even among Democrats, and especially not among the kinds of Democrats who are inclined to mail in a vote this week.  Even many liberal Coloradoans go for the “I’m an independent thinker and I’ll represent the people of Colorado against Washington interests” blah blah blah.  This is a state that likes its mavericky Senators, left, right, or center.

Here’s a little recap as to why I think Bennet is such a supreme tool: Continue Reading »

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June 29th 2010
What’s he got that you haven’t got, Logan? Gender, access, and the doodliness of war

Posted under American history & bad language & Gender & jobs & nepotism & unhappy endings & wankers

Check out Lara Logan’s comments on Michael Hastings’ reporting on General Stanley McChrystal in Rolling Stone last week.  She says: 

“Michael Hastings, if you believe him, says that there were no ground rules laid out. And, I mean, that just doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me,” she said, adding that she knows McChrystal’s staff and McChrystal doesn’t have a history of interacting with the press. “I mean, I know these people. They never let their guard down like that. To me, something doesn’t add up here. I just — I don’t believe it. “

So far, no one–neither the General nor his staff of Lost Boys–has said that Hastings’ reportage wasn’t accurate.  There’s always going to be some carping and jawing when someone gets scooped, but all you have to do is read Hastings’ article to see why he was privy to a lot of talk and behavior that Logan never saw in her years on the war beat for CBS in Iraq and Afghanistan.  From “The Runaway General:”

“Who’s he going to dinner with?” I ask one of his aides. 

“Some French minister,” the aide tells me. “It’s fucking gay.” Continue Reading »

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December 13th 2009
Who ever would have predicted?

Posted under American history & jobs & local news & nepotism & wankers

Don't we already have enough rich, white "Teds" in the Senate?

Don't we already have enough rich, white "Teds" in the Senate?

What????  You mean it wasn’t a super-duper awesomely fabulous idea to appoint a man to the U.S. Senate with zero political experience and without him ever having proven he could win a single vote?  Who indeed ever would have predicted this

It’s an early poll, so take it for what it’s worth, but both Governor Bill Ritter and Senator Michael Bennet face an uphill battle for (re)election.  It couldn’t happen to more deserving white ruling-class d00dly d00dz!  Continue Reading »

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October 3rd 2009
Tenured Radical on norming, not-normals, and justice

Posted under American history & GLBTQ & jobs & nepotism

Tenured Radical has a boffo deuce of posts this week:  First, in “More Annals of the Great Depression:  What Divides Us, and Why,” she writes about the fact that the budget-crisis hill some of her colleagues want to die on is the (astonishingly generous!) tuition benefit at her university, although it is only for children of faculty members.  She writes,

I would like to point out that the loose coalition of the willing that does not consider this cut unthinkable is made up of gay people and straight people; the coupled and the uncoupled; the married and the unmarried; those who have dependent (or formerly dependent) children and those who do not. I mention this because one of the first things people make sure to tell me in particular is that they are not homophobic (you know what? If you feel you have to say this, you are homophobic. I didn’t bring it up, you did.) Several of the kinder scolds suggested that we who were not with the program would understand this issue better if we actually had children and better understood the sacred bond between parent and child. The most ignorant argued that the childless were not excluded from this benefit, and could access it any time we liked by having, adopting or inheriting children. Of all the unspoken assumptions, perhaps the one best masking itself as intellectual common sense was that we who are childless at Zenith do have a moral and ethical commitment to our colleagues’ children, because it is these children who, as adult workers, will earn the professional wages to pay for our government benefits in retirement.

In other words, because I haven’t had children, regardless of how much I have paid into Social Security over the years, I will become a welfare queen in old age. And as I sign my government checks over to the BMW dealership and the grog shop, it will not be just any children who support me in the style to which I am now accustomed, but the children of my Zenith colleagues. . . .

No, they respond: nothing will do but an unlimited benefit reserved exclusively for the children of Zenith.  Continue Reading »

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September 11th 2009
Romanoff to challenge Bennet for Colorado Senate in 2010

Posted under American history & local news & nepotism

wonka_gold_ticketWell, it looks like I won’t have to be the one to spark a Colorado Democratic primary fight after all:  Former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff has filed papers to challenge our appointed U.S. Senator, “just one vote” Michael  Bennet. 

The two of them are both straight, white, male, Wonder Bread twins–neither of them could win a one-man charm contest.  Romanoff will have to run to Bennet’s left, which will be a good thing.  (And there’s plenty of room to swim around in over there!)  Romanoff’s background isn’t quite as posh as Bennet’s, and he has the advantage of having run and won several elections.  Accordingly, Romanoff has statewide connections with labor, Latinos, and the Dem machine–none of which Bennet had until last January, or has in any depth now.  (Most of his money has come from out-of-state–Daddy’s rich friends and the Old School Ties presumably swung into action for him, to the tune of $900,000!)  Continue Reading »

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March 16th 2009
“LOL! You’re fat!” Self-hating self-promotion and the future of the G.O.P.

Posted under American history & Bodily modification & Gender & nepotism & women's history

meghanmccain

Meghan McCain

24 year-old Meghan McCain was one of the few bright spots of her father John McCain’s presidential campaign last year, and she’s deeply concerned about what she sees as the Republican party’s lack of message for young people.  (And personally, I think she’s right–although it’s not like the Democrats have all that many prominent young leaders in their camp, either.)  Well, 44 year-old talk radio host Laura Ingraham has decided that a trenchant critique of Megan McCain’s ideas is beyond her, so she has resorted to name-calling, as in, McCain is “too plus sized to be a cast member on the television show The Real World.“  Nice.  Well, this is what you get when you advance the eminently sane argument that Ann Coulter is a nutter, not to mention an ineffective spokesperson for selling the G.O.P. to the younger generation:  ” I find her offensive, radical, insulting, and confusing all at the same time. . . . if figureheads like Ann Coulter are turning me off, then they are definitely turning off other members of my generation as well. She. . . appeal[s] to the most extreme members of the Republican Party—but they are dying off, becoming less and less relevant to the party structure as a whole.” 

McCain is correct–the G.O.P. has a major youth problem, and based on conversations with my students, jumping up and down about gay marriage and Bill Clinton’s sex life in the 1990s is, shall we say, not the way to go, my friends.  The majority of people in their twenties don’t even understand, let along share, the animosity towards gay people and gay marriage that motivates the older end of the Republican base, and please recall–even 29 year-olds today were only eighteen when Clinton was impeached.  For better or worse, they just don’t care about the signal event that made the careers of right-wing pundits like Ingraham and Coulter.  Continue Reading »

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January 25th 2009
A tale of two Senators

Posted under American history & class & Gender & jobs & local news & nepotism & unhappy endings & women's history

“Senator G” was appointed to the Senate by hir state’s governor because the previous Senator was invited to join the Obama cabinet.  Ze is white, 42 years old, is the parent of two children, was twice elected to congress, and has a public record of hir votes on the issues of the day.  What kind of coverage does Senator G get in the mainstream press?  Ze is called “Tracy Flick,” “unpopular among peers,” and anonymous sources are sniping at hir, saying that ze is known for “aggressiveness and self-confidence,” which alienates peers and senior colleagues who believe ze is ”trying to leap-frog up the seniority ladder.”

“Senator B” was appointed to the Senate by hir state’s governor because the previous Senator was invited to join the Obama cabinet.  Ze is white, 44 years old, the parent of three children, has never held elective office but has held several jobs won through family and old school connections, and is a complete cipher as to hir positions on the issues of the day.  What kind of coverage does Senator B get in the mainstream press?  When ze held an “open house” to “get to know” people–because ze has never, ever campaigned or won a single vote in hir lifetime–a local paper reported that ”the senator was mobbed by well-wishers delivering congratulations as well as citizens with concerns they wanted [B] to hear. A table of brownies and cookies disappeared during the first hour of the three hour event.Continue Reading »

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January 23rd 2009
New York is saved, but is Colorado ready for a Senator with Locust Valley Lockjaw?

Posted under class & Gender & jobs & local news & nepotism & race & unhappy endings

Kirsten Gillibrand will be New York’s next Senator–well done, Governor Patterson.  As for Colorado:  You be the judge.  (Scroll down to hear the interview of January 19, 2009, “Michael Bennet Gears Up for the U.S. Senate.”)

Bennet continues to be the beneficiary of awesome press.  Gee, I wonder if a Latino or Latina with his background would be given such a free pass?  Not really, I don’t–because of course, there are no Latin@s with his background–not until Latin@s are presidents of most prestigious colleges and universities, dominate the financial sector, are an overwhelming majority in all three branches of the federal government, and can steer their children successfully in following in their footsteps as the ruling elite.

Last night on 30 Rock, Tracy Morgan’s character had a funny line about “white myths,” such as the notion that diet is causally related to diabetes, “or Colorado.”  Well, Colorado’s ruling class is a white reality.  Governor Bill Ritter:  keeping Colorado safe for white male privilege!  With Dems like this, who needs Republicans?

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January 21st 2009
CK nixes Senate bid to attend to ailing uncle

Posted under American history & jobs & nepotism & the body & women's history

UPDATED BELOW

Seriously?  Why not the “I need to spend these last few years at home with my teenaged children” excuse?  (Via Valhalla at Corrente.)  Here’s the key graph in the New York Times article:

On Wednesday she called Gov. David A. Paterson, who will choose a successor to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her concerns about Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s deteriorating health (he was hospitalized after suffering a seizure during President Obama’s inaugural lunch on Tuesday ) prompted her decision to withdraw, this person said. Coping with her uncle’s condition was her most important priority, a situation not conducive to starting a high profile public job.

Whatever.  Senator Kennedy has a wife, he lives in Virginia and Massachusetts, and he doesn’t have any minor children to look after, so I’m unclear about the services that Caroline Kennedy thinks she might might offer him.  What does “coping with her uncle’s condition” involve?  I suppose if that’s a deal breaker for you, then you really shouldn’t be in the Senate.  (Hey–Gerald Ford was President while his wife was seriously impaired, and John Edwards pursued his latest White House bid after wife Elizabeth’s cancer recurred.  What’s so rough about an ailing out-of-town uncle?)

UPDATE, 1/22/09:  Hey–don’t complain to me!  Senator Kennedy doesn’t like the fact that he’s being used as an excuse by his niece, either.  (Via The Daily Beast.)

UPDATE, 1/22/09, evening:  Aaaaannd, amateur hour just rolls on and on, doesn’t it?  I can’t believe this.  (And yes, I’m talking about Gov. Patterson as well as Kennedy!  Please, everyone:  tell “your people” to STFU already.)

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