|English: Governor Mitt Romney of MA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The current presidential campaign exposes extreme partisanship as our political normality. Reminiscent of the classic “boiling frog” metaphor, what once seemed deplorable has gradually (and gravely) become our standard practice. As revealed by the Pew Research Center (“Political Polarization in the American Public: How Increasing Ideological Uniformity and Partisan Antipathy Affect Politics, Compromise and Everyday Life”), our civic temperature is methodically rising, perhaps beyond the boiling point, and the consequences are both serious and several. The study states:
“The overall share of Americans who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions has doubled over the past two decades from 10% to 21%. [As a result], the center has gotten smaller: 39% of Americans currently take a roughly equal number of liberal and conservative positions, down from 49% in surveys conducted in 1994 and 2004.”
In addition to the steady and significant growth in gross ideological polarization, the research also reveals a growing and alarming disdain for those with opposing political views. The findings assert:
“Partisan animosity has increased substantially… In each party, the share with a highly negative view of the opposing party has more than doubled since 1994. Most of these intense partisans believe the opposing party’s policies ‘are so misguided that they threaten the nation’s well-being’.”
As indicated by research (and frequently revealed in practice), it appears that far too many citizens have learned to accept such political polarization – and the personal loathing that accompanies it – as our destructive domestic custom. Our most accepted tactics to counter such dysfunction – known as “bipartisanship” and “non-partisanship” – have also proven to be mostly ineffective, thus leaving those in the center (both literally and politically) both distant and disengaged. The temperature of our hostile conflict continues to increase, and thus it increasingly appears that bipartisanship and non-partisanship have proven to be unsuccessful community coolants.
|Master Sgt. Urbano Sosa demonstrates the job of an observer for a UPL collection exercise. As observer, maintaining a direct line of sight with a specimen bottle at all time helps to ensure a proper chain of custody and prevents tampering or altering of a specimen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The state of Georgia has publicized a rule asking employers to tattle on unemployed job seekers who test positive for drug use when applying for work. The Georgia Department of Labor rule is the latest in a flurry of state programs that impose drug tests on safety net applicants and sanctions on those who fail the tests. The Georgia rule was prominently featured on the state’s Department of Labor’s website last week.*
As I wrote last month, the problem of jobless folks abusing drugs is a concocted one that works to stigmatize the safety net programs so that they can be undercut. In an interview with Colorlines.com, the Georgia Department of Labor said it did not collect data on the number of people who have previously been booted off the jobless rolls for drug use.
Drug testing policies have been all the rage among conservative legislators since the start of the recession. At least 30 states considered bills in the last year that would have had unemployment or welfare applicants peeing in a cup.
In April, Georgia passed a law requiring all welfare applicants to take a drug test. A similar law passed by the Florida legislature last year was struck down as unconstitutional in a federal court, but Georgia lawmakers refused to heed the warnings and passed the law anyway. The welfare law will go into effect on July 1
|Minneapolis protest against Arizona immigrant law SB 1070 (Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue)|
Despite what you may have heard, nobody knows for sure.
So, as they have for weeks, folks with a stake or keen interest in the ruling — politicians, immigration advocates and, yes, journalists — will fire up their computers at exactly 7 a.m. Arizona time to see if today’s the day.
So what’s the holdup?But here’s the thing: The Supreme Court already has decided the case, and they likely did so two months ago.
There’s plenty of politics involved in writing, negotiating and tweaking that opinion. And while nobody — or at least nobody willing to talk openly — knows what’s happening with the SB 1070 case behind the Supreme Court’s closed doors, we do have a general understanding of the justices’ process.
|Stern & Burger join union members in ABA march (Photo credit: SEIU International)|
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Highlights from this morning’s other big tech headlines….
- Nonexistent virtual goods produce obscene revenue for online services. The phenomenon, which even attracts criminal activity, is currently helping Microsoft stave off the effects of diminishing video game sales. Forbes estimates that Xbox Live earns the company more than $1 billion annually, primarily through various account upgrades, and from the sale of avatars, costumes, character attributes and other intangible items. [From: Forbes]
- Stumped New York Times writers searching for alternate ways to describe “posted messages on Twitter,” may have just found their “tweet” substitute — by way of a Japanese translation. Now, 16.3-percent of Japanese Internet users “mumble” on Twitter, compared to the 9.8-percent of U.S. Web users. Japanese mumbles also impressively represent 12-percent of total worldwide tweets. [From: The Huffington Post]
- WordPress experienced crippling outages earlier this month, but the millions of online pontificators temporarily left blogless may soon forget those past worries. The official WordPress 3.0 ‘Thelonious’ upgrade, inspired by the jazz musician’s “improvisational wizardry,” apparently now provides subscribers with a variety of exciting features, including bulk updates, customizable style options and a more efficient and navigable interface. [From: Mashable]
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