Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday Morning Facepalms

Coupled with the cheerful news that Public Service Loan Forgiveness might well be ignored or the DoE might just say things like, 'Sorry dude, no forgiveness for you' it's easy to give in to cynicism and despair or just plain anger, but not to be out done, the State Legislature in Des Moines stepped up to the plate and delivered not one, not two, but three shining facepalms to begin our week.

First up, the minimum wage roll back! For a party the proclaims the glories of local control and less government, Republicans down in Des Moines sure seem to be interested in micromanaging Iowa's 99 counties and the minimum wages they set. I mean, who really cares if Johnson County has a higher minimum wage than say, Iowa County? Minimum wage is stupid right? We should just abolish the minimum wage altogether? But no, no, that's not enough for the Party of Small Government and Local Control, no, they need to rein this shit in. Can't be paying workers a fair wage now, can we? The peasants might start to get ideas- and ideas are dangerous things! (The next thing you know, the little bastards might start voting! The shock... the horror!)

On the face of it: maybe not the hugest deal in the world. After all, there's nothing stopping businesses from paying their employees better and the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa is approaching business in Johnson County to see if they're willing to do just that and keep paying folks at the higher level. Though there's also nothing stopping businesses from rolling back their wages to the lower level either- and Facebook (yes, I've only seen this on Facebook. So consider the source, y'all) is abuzz with reports that the ETRE Restaurant group (El Patron, Formosa, Takanami) has let their employees know that their wages are going down, down, doooooown. Which sucks, because Takanami has good sushi. (Updated: Wages aren't going down! Nice.)

Verdict: On a scale of one to five face palms, I'd rank this as a two. More of a 'dick move' than anything else, there really is nothing stopping businesses from paying above the minimum wage. It's just a shitty thing to do to people, you know?

Second up: the fiscal state of the state. Well, if this shit is at all true, everyone needs to vote the bastards out as soon as possible. Yes, apparently, we've gone from a $927 million state surplus to a $130 million deficit. If the Democratic Party can't make hay enough out of that fact alone to oust the The Moustache's Chief Henchwoman next year, they need to well... disband. Quit. Hang up the ol'cleats and call it a day, because holy hell in a handbasket. That is a staggering, staggering amount of fiscal mismanagement.

Look, it'd be one thing if tax cuts and corporate welfare had generated economic growth and were showing some dividends. Evidence suggests, however, that they're just not doing the job and so the state is well, burning through money at a hefty rate. The answer is to roll things back to where they were, end the corporate welfare and try and right the ship. It's not perfect, but it sure as hell beats doubling down on what looks like increasingly failed economic policy. I don't want to become Kansas here, but that seems to be where we're heading.

Seriously, Democrats: if a week is a long time in politics, a year is an eternity, but goddamn. If you can't claw something back out of this trainwreck, y'all really need to look in the damn mirror and figure your shit out.

Verdict: Four and a half out of five face palms. Holy hell, Republicans. What in God's name are you people doing down there, skipping around the Capitol Building with a gas can and a zippo lighter? Get it together people. Quit spending like you're on your third Harvey Wallbanger at Senor Frog's in Cancun on Spring Break. Please.

Finally, this happened. Just read this article.

I'm somewhat loathe to comment on abortion, because, after all, I have a penis. But this is another example of so called principles of the Republican Party not meaning a damn thing when the rubber meets the road. Bills like this one represent a massive intrusion of the state into the personal lives of women (and men) across this country and if you're going to open the door to give the state that much power, what else can the state do? Really and truly- and it might be something of an acrobatic leap to say this, but if the state can walk right into your doctor's appointment and dictate what you can and can't do, do you honestly think your guns are all that safe?

Social engineering shouldn't happen this way. Changing the culture can't be done through changing a law- the experience of Prohibition should be instructive here, but for some reason it isn't. If that didn't stop boozing, what makes pro-lifers think that an abortion ban will stop abortion? (Answer: It won't.) And  you have further problems because, if you're really about creating a culture that respects life, then that culture can't stop as soon as a baby's born. Republican social policy- or what passes for Republican social policy, anyway, suggests that the whole 'pro-life' thing stops as soon as the baby is out.

In general though: I'm not a fan, but agree that it should be safe, legal, rare and outside of that, it's not really any of my business. But, as a dude, I think it allows men to shirk their responsibilities and puts far too much of the onus and societies judgement on women, where, to my mind, it shouldn't be. If you're a dude and you get a lady preggers and then just throw money at her and tell her to 'go take care of it' then fuck yes, I'm going to judge you. Everyone should judge you.

Verdict: The Full Five Face Palms for this one... you can't be pro-life and against birth control. And this course of action- and believe me, I was shocked to find out that the Representative in question was a woman. It felt like something an elderly white man would spout off- would be detrimental to the health of women if not outright kill them. Plus, if you're for smaller, limited government, then get the hell out of my bedroom, please.

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