Monday Open Thread [1.14.13]

Filed in Open Thread by on January 14, 2013

George Packer:

“Every President elected between 1976 and 2004 was, by birth or by choice, a Southerner, except Ronald Reagan, who enjoyed a sort of honorary status. (When he began the 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, scene of the murder, in 1964, of three civil-rights workers, many Southerners heard it as a dog whistle.) A Southern accent, once thought quaint or even backward, became an emblem of American authenticity, a political trump card. It was a truism that no Democrat could win the White House unless he spoke with a drawl. Now the South is becoming isolated again.”

As it should be. This is a spectacularly good thing.

“Every demographic and political trend that helped to reelect Barack Obama runs counter to the region’s self-definition: the emergence of a younger, more diverse, more secular electorate, with a libertarian bias on social issues and immigration; the decline of the exurban life style, following the housing bust; the class politics, anathema to pro-business Southerners, that rose with the recession; the end of America’s protracted wars, with cuts in military spending bound to come. The Solid South speaks less and less for America and more and more for itself alone.”

Now perhaps they should wake up, and join the later half of the 19th Century, and then the 20th Century, and then maybe they can meet us in the 21st Century.

Meanwhile, the GOP effort to insult every woman alive continues apace. “Assault weapons is a misused term used by suburban soccer moms who do not understand what is being discussed here.” — Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R), quoted by the Missouri News Horizon, on efforts to ban assault weapons.

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  1. liberalgeek says:

    Rob Tornoe pointed this out on Twitter:

    Check out the interactive graphic for some seriously sad people…

  2. puck says:

    In 2013 the exemption phases out for people starting at the $250,000/$300,000 income thresholds, and vanishes completely for couples at $422,500 of “adjusted gross income,” or income before itemized deductions, and at $372,500 for singles. So, a couple with three children and adjusted gross income of $300,000 or more will lose some or all of their $19,500 exemption.


    The other new provision is called Pease, named after former Rep. Donald Pease (D., Ohio). It is a complex limitation on all itemized deductions—including charitable donations and mortgage interest—that will eliminate up to 80% of deductions for taxpayers above the $250,000/$300,000 income thresholds. Experts say this phaseout effectively adds about one percentage point to the top tax rate, including the top rate on capital gains.

    This should probably be fixed. Even though I want the rich to pay their fair share, many deductions are well-designed and guide them to spending their money on useful things. So I support good deductions at any income level.

    While a retired couple with $180,000 of income and $25,000 of deductions could see no change in their federal tax next year, a single parent of two children earning $260,000 with $30,000 of deductions could see a $3,300 increase.

    Make it so.

  3. pandora says:


    “Assault weapons is a misused term used by suburban soccer moms who do not understand what is being discussed here.”

    … drives me nuts.

    Why does every gun owner feel the need to wax lyrical about all the features of their guns, other guns, how quickly they can reload, etc? Every single gun thread brings out this commenter.

    The slap against women? They just can’t help themselves. Everything in Conservativeland can, and is, blamed on women.

  4. Jason330 says:

    LG – The only people not getting a tax increase are the Huxtables in the upper right. Coincidence?

    Those single moms scraping by on $260,000 a year are getting hosed.

  5. Bamboozer says:

    I hope I’m wrong but just like after the end of the cold war I don’t think there will be a “peace benefit” and decreased spending. The majority of the military budget has nothing to do with actually defending the country or even fighting wars. Much of it is revenue for states, cities and towns, think DAFB and you get the picture. And I doubt the almighty Military Industrial Complex will rest either and see it’s profits diminished. Sure it sucks but we let it happen and continue to happen.

  6. Roland D. Lebay says:

    Wilmington City Councilman Mike Brown was fired from his job at Connections Community Support Programs today.

    Please read the linked article. The State and Connections CSP, Inc. are standing up for a pedophile.

    From the TNJ/D.O. article:
    Connections CEO Cathy McKay last week raised concerns that Brown’s role on City Council may be in conflict with his role at Connections. She sees Conover and RVRC as important partners with Connections.

    Ms. McKay and I agree on one thing. Brown’s role on City Council was in direct conflict w/ his job @ Connections. Now would be a good time to purge the other City Council member from the Connections payroll.

  7. cassandra_m says:

    Connections CEO Cathy McKay last week raised concerns that Brown’s role on City Council may be in conflict with his role at Connections.

    And I’d bet that this has more to do with the performance (including Connections clients) at the City Council Public Safety meeting last week.

  8. SussexWatcher says:

    Conover certainly knows his way around the courts. Unlawful sexual contact, two violations of probation, assault, escape, resisting arrest, offensive touching of a police officer … a whole mess of charges. I guess that’s how he can help the other “troubled individuals” in his care.

    What exactly does he bring to the table?