Home » Archives » Raw Meat (Page 4)

How Congress became the boy who cried ‘Wolf!’ or: How I learned to stop worrying and hate the sequester

By Megan Carpentier
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 16:01 EDT
KN / Shutterstock.com

Do you even remember the first time Republicans threatened to shut down the government? (The first time, that is, since then-Speaker Newt Gingrich followed through on his promise in 1995 with disastrous political consequences?) Unless you’re a serious political junkie, you probably don’t remember (it was 2010, though, for the record).

But then there was the one in 2011, the one in 2011 and the other one in 2011, and then the fights about the debt ceiling and the fiscal cliff and now the sequester — and who can keep track anymore? Certainly not the constituents who elected people to Congress to ostensibly do something other than constantly threaten one another with a shutdown of the institution they supposedly serve in.

So when polls show that Congress has an approval rating of 14 percent (and that roaches and Nickelback have more fans), it shouldn’t come as any surprise (nor should the fact that it reached that floor after the ultimately snooze-inducing fiscal cliff brinksmanship over the holidays). The latest fight — over what is termed “sequester” inside the Beltway and which politicos and reporters alike have repeated ad infinitum without much explanation to their constituents and readers — is in fact just another continuation of the ongoing budget fights over which Republicans and Democrats have threatened government shutdowns for more than two years.

Eighteen months ago, after months of threats and posturing, President Obama suggested and Congressional Republicans and Democrats agreed to create a magical deadline to get their shit together or else be forced to explain a rash of immediate spending cuts to the American people. Both sides agreed to the deal, figuring that the other would face a humiliating defeat in the 2012 elections; instead, the elections insured a continuation of the dysfunctional status quo and the continued unwillingness of anyone to behave like a political leader rather than a political brawler.

And yet, somehow, very few people outside the echo chamber can be forced to care. Why? Because we’ve all seen this little one-act play out before, enough times that it’s hard to take it seriously. There’s no dramatic filibuster where a Senator stands for hours reading from a cookbook or The Federalist Papers, no video footage of GSA workers being locked out of their offices or postal sorting machines sitting idle, no actual effect on anyone’s day-to-day life, the political rhetoric on the Hill or the situation of the federal budget. We all assume that they’ll sit around pointing fingers and calling one another names like a bunch of schoolkids until the very last minute, when they’ll hammer out another reasonably foolish compromise that keeps the government open for another six months without solving the fundamental dispute, pat themselves on the back and go back to naming post offices and arguing about gun control and trying to land tortured one-liners on the Sunday talk shows until they’re forced to repeat the posturing all over again.

It’s tiresome, it’s foolish, it’s (deliberately, one starts to assume) difficult for most Americans to follow, let alone care about, and it does nothing to solve any of the varying problems identified as such for either side. And the more they do it, they more they’ll earn the disapproval and disrespect of Americans on all sides of the political spectrum.

[KN / Shutterstock.com]

A thank-you to Raw Story readers for helping propel an 89 percent audience increase in 2012

By Roxanne Cooper
Friday, February 15, 2013 13:19 EDT

Most political news sites grow audience and pageviews during presidential election years. But, if you look carefully at our numbers — and especially if you examine our month-to-month growth since 2010 — you’ll see that Raw Story is on a consistent upward trajectory unmatched by any of our competitors. The chart below demonstrates that tremendous growth by comparing our 2011 traffic (in orange) to our 2012 traffic (in blue). In fact, one of the best-kept…


‘Howl’ at the Internet

By Megan Carpentier
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 16:22 EDT

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by punditry, screeching uninformed oranged, dragging themselves through the comment threads at dawn looking for an anger fix, tousle-headed hipsters burning for the modern firmament’s blessing from a celeb’s Retweet in the machinery of night, who per-post fees and jammies and…


Man who coined ‘Axis of Evil’ worries that non-Americans will rape female soldiers if women are allowed into combat roles

By Megan Carpentier
Thursday, January 24, 2013 13:28 EDT

There are around 300,000 women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces (both active duty and reserves) today. As of October 2012, 152 women died as a result of serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 800 have been wounded as a result of our operations there. Over 100 military women…


Anti-abortion activists just picked up punishing women where the law left off

By Megan Carpentier
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 16:38 EDT

Forty years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that women — under limited circumstances based loosely on fetal viability — had the legal right to access the abortions the state had theretofore prohibited and limited them from accessing. Notably, the illegality of abortion had never completely kept…


Michelle Obama rolls her eyes at Speaker Boehner (A GIF for the masses)

By Megan Carpentier and David Edwards
Monday, January 21, 2013 15:51 EDT

If, like most people, you stopped watching the wall-to-wall inaugural coverage around the time Jay-Z and Beyoncé followed Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) off the main stage, you might have missed this moment during the luncheon, when something House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said got a reaction out of First Lady…


Like us on Facebook for a chance to win Noam Chomsky’s new book ‘Power Systems’

Noam Chomsky’s latest book, Power Systems: Conversations On Global Democratic Uprisings And The New Challenges To U.S. Empire, comes out tomorrow, but Raw Story got a little preview — and we know our readers are big fans. So we’re opening up our not-so-secret Chomsky stash to our most loyal readers.…


Financial aid officer shooting in St. Louis reveals problems with gun violence, student debt and mental health

By Kay Steiger
Thursday, January 17, 2013 14:37 EDT

The following story is one of the many gun violences incidents that happened this week that, even in this time of intensified scrutiny on firearms, you probably didn’t hear about. At around 2 p.m on Tuesday, 34-year-old Sean Johnson came into the fourth-floor office of his financial aid officer at Stevens Institute of Business…


Suicide Prevention Resources (A public service announcement)

By Megan Carpentier
Monday, January 14, 2013 14:31 EDT

If you are contemplating suicide, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to chat with a crisis counselor, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or connect with TTY via 800-799-4889. Veterans contemplating suicide can also call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online or send a text message to 838255. All of these resources…


You can be an a**hole on Twitter, or you can accomplish something in life

By Megan Carpentier
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 12:01 EDT

Only 80 percent of Americans are online and, of those that are, only 8 percent even look at Twitter on a daily basis, according to the Pew Research Center. Quick math: that means even if everyone in America followed you on Twitter, that’s only about 6.4 percent of the country.…