- A new study by NYU shows that employers have bias against promoting people whose names they can’t easily pronounce, which shows how pervasive discrimination (and sometimes flat out racism) is in the work force. I’ve seen several scenarios play out in my career – on one side, a manager doesn’t want to hire someone whose name sounds foreign; or, conversely, wants to hire a minority candidate on the basis it’ll help diversity reporting. Both of these are horrendously misguided – one is straight racial bias, the other a misinterpretation of AAP and OFCCP guidelines.
- Sad: a predominantly white Pittsburgh-area high school hosted a basketball game against a rival and mostly black high school, and three white kids from the host school dressed up as bananas and stormed the court while making sounds like monkeys and then yelling racial slurs at the opposing team. Solid parenting there.
- Happy to see Prop 8 overturned by the District Appeals Court. I wonder if the Supreme Court will hear an appeal. If so, considering the conservatives outrank the progressives 5-4, do you really think the lower court’s decision won’t be reversed? Will they try to mitigate the backlash by upholding the Same Sex Marriage Ban in pushing marriage as a state issue based on some anachronistic case law logic dating back to the 19th Century? And if they do split along ideological lines (as they’re prone to do), wouldn’t this decision be the kind of judicial social engineering which Conservatives hate, Ted Olson?
- In the meantime, the great state of Washington just legalized Same Sex Marriage. T-minus 30 days until some Conservative dickhead files suit.
- I remember in 2008 when Limbaugh was going all batshitty nuts about “Operation Chaos”, where he asked conservatives to magically help prolong the Obama/Clinton primary battle on the premise it would hurt the Democrats in the general election. Now that Rick Santorum just swept Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri to halt Mitt Romney’s ascendance – with no help from the Left, what does that say about the GOP’s chances in 2012? Also, Newty and Lil’ Ronnie Paul picked up decent chunks of votes themselves. A few weeks ago I wrote that the GOP would brainlessly rally around Romney as the inevitable choice, and then revise history by pretending they’ve always been unified in supporting him. I still think Romney gets the nod, but as Tuesday night showed, this is a wonderfully fractured and aimless party.
- Speaking of the 2012 GOP Primary train wreck, I enjoyed seeing that a lot less voters showed up this year as compared to the 2008 GOP Primaries. According to CNN in 2008, 70k showed up in the Colorado GOP Primaries versus only 65k this year. 232k showed up in Missouri, less than half of 2008’s turnout. And only 47k showed up in Minnesota versus 63k in 2008. In the 2008 general election, all 3 states were for Obama, with Colorado and Missouri considered key wins. On the other hand, 4k more people voted in Iowa and New Hampshire’s primaries this year, but that was still lower than expectations as the Democrats weren’t exactly pitching a large tent this time around. Big Red South Carolina was way up, with 150k more people showing up to the 2012 GOP primary, but the Republicans could trot out Satan as a candidate and still win South Carolina, so long as Satan didn’t show up as a black man. But how about the nation’s 4th most populated state, Florida? In 2008, 2M voted in the GOP primary – this year, only 1.6M did. Nevada dropped from 44.3k in 2008 to not quite 33k in 2012, despite an expected turnout of 70k.
- A PEW Research poll shows that nearly 33% of the 18-34 age demographic rate their job prospects and financial situation as “good.” 41% of poll respondents said those in their 20s and early-to-mid 30s have been hit hardest (29% said people over 65). Those in their early 20s have the lowest total employment and are earning 6% less than they did in 2007. On the political note, this age group voted for Obama nearly 2-1 in 2008; will they show this kind of support this year? I hope so. One area I’ve been critical of Obama in retrospect was his focus on Health Care first, followed by chasing the Economy. He should’ve used his honeymoon period to push through government grants as part of the Stimulus to spend on Infrastructure and Innovation, and push harder on higher taxes for the wealthy and on firms sending jobs overseas. Instead, he pushed these after the GOP had entrenched themselves with the 2010 mid-term victories and has gotten nowhere. I hope young voters understand who it was that stonewalled him.
Also, employers are hiring experienced candidates at lesser salaries as compared to hiring entry-level candidates who take more time to ramp up. Boomers are staying longer as they’re uncertain of their own retirement, and have had to support their kids longer in addition to their aging parents. As Gen X approaches their turn at middle age and the management wheel, they’re finding it harder to usurp senior managers who keep hanging on. This has led to a leadership and skill gap, especially as companies cut back on bench spending for training or R&D. It’s even harder to get ahead in the rat race these days than ever, and feels like a kick in the teeth considering companies continue to show record profits on the back of record employee productivity. Yet employees still aren’t seeing the rewards. Raises, profit sharing, 401k matches, bonuses, PTO, and employer-sponsored health plans continue to diminish in quality and availability; these once commonplace benefits of the Average Joe are now considered “perks” as employers cut costs. Pensions are nearly nonexistent. And as for those “job creators” at the top – they’re not going anywhere – why retire, or hire, when you have it so good?
- Teen Pregnancy and Abortion rates are at new lows, which is great – contraception usage is way up, as it should be, despite Conservatives’ attempts to stop sex education at every turn. News flash – people, including teens, are still having sex regardless of how you feel about it. Stop being ashamed about sex and your body, stop tagging religious baggage to the morality of sex, and start realizing sex is more than an excuse to procreate. News flash – using contraception properly and responsibly reduces unwanted pregnancy. It’s 2012 and we are still saying this as if it’s some esoteric concept from beyond outer space because Jesus was celibate. So wake up and go get laid, Conservatives, you need it. Practice and you might get good at it, and then find out it’s the most fun anything ever. But please, use a condom – we don’t need more of you around.