Newt Loves Pets — and a Nice Embouchure

(Nicole Hollander via GoComics.com)
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You’ve probably already heard about the idea that Gingrich will “humanize” himself by “Campaign[ing] With Pets and Music“:

Newt Gingrich’s campaign has decided to take another route on his bid to the Republican nomination: pets and music.
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The campaign said today that it will soon launch a “Pets With Newt” site aimed at Gingrich’s love for animals, intended to show a “lighter side” of the candidate. “As speaker I made it possible for people in public housing to keep their pets in 1988. I love pets so we’re going to have an entire project,” Gingrich said.
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Gingrich doesn’t have any pets at this time, but he told ABC News today he and his wife Callista want a dog in the White House…

My emphasis. This is emotional tone-deafness on a scale approaching Romney-esque.

The campaign also plans to release a music education video starring Callista, who is a classically trained musician and signer. “A music education video from my wife will be on the importance of music education and her background as a classical French horn player and a singer in the Basilica.”
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The campaign’s approach is to show a fun side of the former Speaker of House and involve Callista more in the campaign.
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“We’re going to do things that are interesting and positive and fun and try to get back the idea that you can have citizenship,” Gingrich said. “Politics doesn’t have to be mean and nasty and disgusting. You can actually have fun as citizens working together.”

Yeaaah — he’s not giving up the Wingnut Welfare fallback career, which may be the only indication of intelligent foresight Newt’s shown recently. And speaking of “mean and nasty and disgusting”, I do believe Mr. TBogg nails it:

… Callista Gingrich is the singularly least appealing First Lady-in-waiting to shuffle down the pike since probably Mary Todd Lincoln. I can’t honestly believe that Gingrich’s campaign people are on-board with making this botoxed trailer park Pamela Harriman a focal part of the campaign. This is all on Newt. Put aside the six-year adultery binge which is between Callista and her Catholic Jesus (who has his hands full enough as it is with priests treating altar boys like the entree line at the Golden Corral), there ‘s not enough Vaseline in the world to soft-focus the lens and make Callista appear warm and fuzzy. As a trophy wife she’s more Third Place Runner-up material and Miss Congeniality she is most definitely not; Callista’s so brittle she makes Nancy Reagan look like Sarah Silverman. Excuse me – she makes Nancy Reagan look like a drunk Sarah Silverman.
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It’s almost as if Newt wants his campaign to dash upon the rocks whereupon he’ll put the blame (No. It’s you, not me…) upon Callista who brought him down with her siren call and also that thing she does with her tongue. Don’t ask. No. Really. You don’t want to know. Then Newt can make plans for another comeback – his third act – where he’ll enter [stage right] singing What I Did For Love while letting his piggy eye roam over the chorus line as he casts about for, yet again, another leading lady.






140 replies
  1. 1
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    … the idea that Gingrich will “humanize” himself by “Campaign[ing] With Pets and Music“:

    That Gnoot… good one…

    Oh wait… he’s serious?

    Well… it’s gonna take more than that…

    A conscience transplant would be a good start…

    I hear Cheney’s a match, by blood-less type… and Dick’s never used his…

  2. 2
    Karen says:

    You think he’ll name the dog “Checkers?”

  3. 3

    If you love pets it’s odd for someone so well off to deprive themselves. Newt doesn’t strike me as the deprival type. And to carry on about the joys of music when it’s the Republicans who have stripped the arts from the schools…

    Yeah. Tone deaf just scratches the surface.

  4. 4
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WereBear (itouch): Music for me, but not for thee.

  5. 5
    sherifffruitfly says:

    “Newt, your biggest problem is that everybody hates you. Literally everybody. I hate you, for that matter.”

    “Ok, well just make up some feel-good crap about animals or something.”

  6. 6

    Now, he should bring out a Newt stuffed toy that dogs can rip the guts out of. Everyone should enjoy that!

  7. 7
    JGabriel says:

    ABC News:

    The campaign’s approach is to show a fun side of the former Speaker of House …

    I thought Newt’s idea of a fun side was to talk a woman into blowing him, then threaten, at length, to destroy her if she ever tells anyone.

    .

  8. 8
    Irving says:

    FWIW, Newt is a legit animal lover. He is a zoo fanatic. It’s right up there with “Hitler loved dogs” as a measure of his emotional temperature, but there it is.

  9. 9
    JasonF says:

    I don’t know if Gingrich is an idiot or the author and/or editor of the article are idiots (trick question — the answer is all of the above), but Newt was not Speaker in 1988 as the article has him claiming.

  10. 10

    @sherifffruitfly:

    That’s pretty much it, isn’t it?

  11. 11
    PeakVT says:

    At least they didn’t announce he doesn’t own an iPod.

  12. 12
    Yutsano says:

    Callista’s a French hornist? That explains a few details. My DFH friend in Santa Rosa will shit herself upon hearing this.

  13. 13
    efgoldman says:

    As an old – REALLY OLD! – trumpet player, “Embouchure” is the absolutely last word I ever expected to see in a post about the GOBP Klown Kar.
    Of course, if I were really nasty, I couldn’t help speculating whether Callista ever quoted Lauren Bacall’s famous line “just put you lips together and blow.”
    But I’m not that nasty, and it would only be speculation…

  14. 14
    Ken says:

    Pets, religion, family – all just accessories to be selected (or changed) to help the campaign.

  15. 15
    MonkeyBoy says:

    Gingrich doesn’t have any pets at this time

    Because he ate them just like he does to poor people.

    ( I seem to recall some comix about Limbaugh eating poor people but I can’t find it now)

  16. 16

    @Irving: Yeah, Hitler lived dogs; enough to poison his dog, and I believe her puppies, along with his new wife in the bunker.

    You didn’t want him mad at you, but him loving you wasn’t much of an improvement, was it?

  17. 17
    Irving says:

    @WereBear: Good point. And dear Newton’s just about as talented at expressing affection. I’m just pointing out that there is some sincerity here on Gingrich’s part. Bizarre, poorly expressed, and unintentionally hilarious sincerity, but sincerity nonetheless. Mittens is the one you need to be careful with when it comes to your household pets (as MoDo will tell you, over and over again).

    Of course, we’re sort of tapdancing on Godwin’s Law at this point, but eh, it’s a friendly crowd.

  18. 18

    in the movie newt will be played by joe pesci,calista by alexis arquette

  19. 19
    BGK says:

    @WereBear (itouch):

    Now, he should bring out a Newt stuffed toy that dogs can rip the guts out of. Everyone should enjoy that!

    There is a precedent for that kind of thing.

  20. 20
    RossInDetroit says:

    “Politics doesn’t have to be mean and nasty and disgusting. You can actually have fun as citizens working together.”

    “Politics doesn’t have to be mean and nasty and disgusting.”

    Then why is that the only way you ever do it?

    “You can actually have fun as citizens working together.”

    This is so lame the photons stumbled twice getting from the screen to my eyeball. I strongly suspect his idea of a fun time is to tell stories while we scrub the toilets after school.

  21. 21
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Yutsano: How the hell do you think she got the gig as Mrs. Newt? Lengthy auditions. of course Newt isn’t clever enough to have gone for a reed player – though Callista looks nutty enough to have played a double reed, and her choice of men would seem to support that.

  22. 22
    JGabriel says:

    @Yutsano:

    Callista’s a French hornist? That explains a few details.

    Ahem, details? Explainy. Be specific.

    .

  23. 23
    kwAwk says:

    Maybe somebody can explain this to me but I am at a loss as to why people think it is such a horrible idea to give jobs to kids in poor communities such as janitorial duties in their schools.

    Teaching kids a work ethic while allowing them to have the pride of some well earned pocket money doesn’t seem like all that bad of a thing to me.

    It might also teach them to have a little more pride in their schools and education too which wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

    What gives?

  24. 24
    PeakVT says:

    @kwAwk: It’s been covered. Go here.

  25. 25

    @Irving: Of course, we’re sort of tapdancing on Godwin’s Law at this point, but eh, it’s a friendly crowd.

    But we are actually talking about Hitler!

    I don’t deny Newt might have some feelings for animals. I would think it’s great if you showed me he lent his talents to raise money or he adopted a shelter dog. (I would bet money he’s not a cat person.) Still wouldn’t make me vote for his lying, immature, cheatin’ ass.

  26. 26
    Calouste says:

    @kwAwk:

    Well, for starters, you take the parent’s job and give it to their kid. Presumably for less pay. And what is the parent going to do? It’s not like there is a labor shortage at the moment.

  27. 27
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The campaign also plans to release a music education video starring Callista, who is a classically trained musician and signer.

    She signs for the tone-deaf?

  28. 28
    RossInDetroit says:

    @kwAwk:

    Maybe somebody can explain this to me but I am at a loss as to why people think it is such a horrible idea to give jobs to kids in poor communities such as janitorial duties in their schools.

    Probably everyone can tell you but I’ll give it a shot.
    Kids should be kids, not workers
    Janitorial work is too hard for kids. It’s too hard for many of the adults I supervise as Custodians.
    It’s also rather hazardous when done on a non-trivial level.
    It would eliminate jobs that lots of parents need to support their families.
    They should have a work ethic about school when they’re students, and if they need to be taught that then teachers should be teaching it.

  29. 29
    kwAwk says:

    @PeakVT:

    Sorry, I don’t buy that. I started working at Burger King when I was 16 and after that worked as a grocery store bagger until I graduated HS.

    I grew up poor and the money I made allowed me to actually participate in things my classmates were doing. And I didn’t have to beg mom for money she didn’t have.

  30. 30
    RossInDetroit says:

    @kwAwk:

    I’m 52 and I’ve been working for 37 years. Voluntarily. But I don’t think the government should have a program to employ kids.

  31. 31
    kwAwk says:

    @RossInDetroit:

    I worked in doing janitorial work at one point too. Sure, things like stripping and waxing floors isn’t for kids but emptying trash cans, cleaning whiteboards and sweeping and mopping floors could easily be done by kids.

    I agree that kids should be kids and shouldn’t be working 50 hours a week in a factory but I don’t see the harm in letting kids, and by this I mean teenagers, work 15 or so hours a week.

  32. 32
    RossInDetroit says:

    @kwAwk:

    It didn’t harm me to work when I was 15 and I had no trouble finding work. But if the government is going to go out and make work for people it should be for people with families to support, not for children.

  33. 33
    kwAwk says:

    @RossInDetroit:

    When I was in school it was fairly routine for arrangements to be made through the school to hire kids in the summer to do corn detasseling.

    I don’t see the problem with it. And doesn’t the government already have Jobscorps to hook up kids with jobs?

  34. 34
    kwAwk says:

    @RossInDetroit:

    I agree that we need the government to do more to help get people employed so that they can help their families, but I’m not sure that Newt’s aim with this idea is to reduce the unemployment rate.

    Unless I’m wrong it’s an idea to keep kids productive, teach them a work ethic and provide them with some walking around money.

  35. 35
    Nutella says:

    @Irving:

    Newt is a legit animal lover. He is a zoo fanatic.

    He loves animals as long as they’re in cages, then?

  36. 36
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @kwAwk:

    I personally think part of the underlying issue is that it’s Newt and the GOP we’re talking about, so 15 hours/week would quickly climb upward, the work would get more hazardous, and so on. I also don’t doubt that it could be used as a way to keep the poor kids even further away from the rich kids, that rich parents could get their kids out of it, etc.

    Nothing wrong with wanting to teach kids a good work ethic, nothing at all. I figure there’s gotta be a way to do it that doesn’t further crater the price of labor and create more classism, and Newt’s one of the last people I’d trust to implement such a program fairly and honestly.

  37. 37
    Firebert says:

    @kwAwk: Do you not believe that urban kids have role models? The broad majority of poor urban parents do have jobs. Frequently more than one.

  38. 38
    Arclite says:

    @The Republic of Stupidity:

    That Gnoot… good one… Oh wait… he’s serious? Well… it’s gonna take more than that… A conscience transplant would be a good start… I hear Cheney’s a match, by blood-less type… and Dick’s never used his…

    So much win in this comment…

  39. 39
    kwAwk says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Rich people will always have advantages, and I’m not sure Gingrich was saying that this type of work should be manditory, but rather should be available if wanted. I could be wrong about that.

    @Firebert — The more poor you are the less role models you’re likely to have. And simply having role models isn’t always enough. Kids of any socio-economic status can do well by learning a work ethic as opposed to simply seeing it. Besides how many kids rich or poor go to work with their parents to observe how hard they work?

  40. 40
    slag says:

    TBogg went off the rails with that Callista rant. I’m not a big fan, but really? A multi-paragraph diatribe on her relative trophiness? Makes TBogg look like an asshole

  41. 41
    JasonF says:

    OT, but worth posting someplace where people will see it: Rob Zerban, who is running for Paul Ryan’s seat in Wisconsin, showed up on Reddit to answer questions:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/c....._ryan_rwi/

    I think most of you will like his answers — this guy certainly says the right things.

  42. 42
    PeakVT says:

    @kwAwk: I don’t buy that you read the post, let alone the comments. Hint: Newt’s not talking about 16-year-olds.

  43. 43
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @kwAwk:

    Rich people will always have advantages

    So why offer up more of them?

  44. 44
    M31 says:

    The majority of jokes about french horn players are based on this: when you play the french horn, you use your lips to blow, your left hand to manipulate the valves, and your right hand gets made into a fist that you stuff up the bell.

  45. 45
    Cacti says:

    See, Newt’s problem is, no matter how many fluffy kittehs or cuddly puppies he appears with…

    At some point he’s going to open his mouth again and remind everyone what an asshole he is.

  46. 46
    JGabriel says:

    @M31:

    … and your right hand gets made into a fist that you stuff up the bell.

    (Winces.)

    Ouch.

    Well, I did ask for specifics. Thanks.

    .

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    The campaign also plans to release a music education video starring Callista, who is a classically trained musician and signer. “A music education video from my wife will be on the importance of music education and her background as a classical French horn player and a singer in the Basilica.”

    Why am I irresistibly reminded of this classic film?

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kwAwk:

    Maybe somebody can explain this to me but I am at a loss as to why people think it is such a horrible idea to give jobs to kids in poor communities such as janitorial duties in their schools.

    Because the idea is to fire the adults who are currently doing those jobs for $18 an hour and have 10 and 11 year-old kids do them for minimum wage instead.

    Not high schoolers. Middle schoolers. Doing the jobs of adults.

    (Edited)

  49. 49
    kwAwk says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Because the reality is that when you don’t grow up rich, when you don’t have a trust fund or parents willing to or able to hand over gobs of money on demand, you have to learn how to work for yourself and fend for yourself.

  50. 50
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Not high schoolers. Middle schoolers. Doing the jobs of adults.

    And for the explicit purpose of driving down wages of adult janitorial workers.

    But, I see you already mentioned that, derp de derp.

  51. 51
    kwAwk says:

    @PeakVT:

    I read the post but gave up on the comments after about 10 of them were all snark.

    Even if Newt is talking about letting 13 year olds work 10-15 hours a week I don’t have a problem with that. Newt himself puts the limit at 20 hours, which may be a bit too much.

    The notion that this is an assault on union janitors is a separate matter and has nothing to do with child labor laws. I can see Gingrich’s point that we should trap kids in poor neighborhoods in a situation where the only means they have of earning a little money is to go to the local drug dealer and do his dirty work.

  52. 52
    Firebert says:

    @kwAwk: Isn’t that what the schoolwork is for? Algebra can build gumption too.

    ETA: And the dilution of the labor pool is not to be ignored either.

  53. 53
    kwAwk says:

    @Firebert:

    lol Yeah but the pay for doing Algebra homework sucks.

  54. 54
    Cacti says:

    @kwAwk:

    I can see Gingrich’s point

    That’s probably where you flew off the rails.

    When has Gnewt ever concerned himself with helping the children of the poor?

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kwAwk:

    Even if Newt is talking about letting 13 year olds work 10-15 hours a week I don’t have a problem with that.

    He’s not. He’s talking about having 10 and 11 year-old kids do the work.

    The notion that this is an assault on union janitors is a separate matter and has nothing to do with child labor laws.

    I notice that you keep avoiding what Gingrich’s actual proposal was. He very specifically says that he wants to fire the union janitors and have 10-year-old kids do the work instead. That has a shitload to do with child labor laws since he’s proposing firing adults and replacing them with children.

  56. 56
    Firebert says:

    @kwAwk: The chance to go to college is the reward for Algebra. Or don’t you think poor kids should go to college?

  57. 57
    kideni says:

    @JasonF: I’ve been pretty impressed with Zerban thus far. He knows Ryan has shiploads of cash and a fawning national media, so he’s trying to be really smart and creative in getting his name out there. And darned if he hasn’t been closing the gap, according to a recent poll he had done. Paul Ryan has never had a credible challenger, and he’s been able to get away with doing nothing for his district because he seems so nice and people just haven’t paid attention. This year, though, Ryan has shown that he’s a heartless monster with horrible ideas, and he’s really thin-skinned and snotty when challenged. He’s still popular in the district, but Zerban’s been chipping away now that people are finally waking up.

  58. 58
    kwAwk says:

    @Cacti:

    When has Gnewt ever concerned himself with helping the children of the poor?

    I think in this instance Newt is concerning himself with helping the children of the poor. He’s just doing so according to his belief system as opposed to yours. In more rural settings it’s not such foreign notion to have kids doing work at any age.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    I was talking it over with G and he has a good point: Newt seems to think that all of these slacker kids in urban schools need to earn their public school education. They don’t deserve free education, so they’d better get cracking and earn their keep.

  60. 60
    kwAwk says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Do schools exist to teach children or to provide jobs for janitors?

  61. 61
    Nutella says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It also means he proposes canceling the child-labor laws of the states, perhaps by federal fiat.

    But one piece of evidence that his plan to build strong children might be valid: It’s the opposite of what Newt did when he was young. He went around demanding support from his relatives so that he didn’t have to do any work while he was in school, all the way through his PhD program. We can see that something had a very bad effect on his character. Maybe that was it.

  62. 62
    kwAwk says:

    @Firebert:

    I think kids with a strong work ethic learned early in life do better in college (or any level of school for that matter) and do better later on in life.

    They’re teaching algebra in 7th grade nowadays if not earlier. That’s quite a delayed gratification thing there that I’m not sure is going to get across well with a 13 year old.

  63. 63
    kwAwk says:

    @Nutella:

    But one piece of evidence that his plan to build strong children might be valid: It’s the opposite of what Newt did when he was young. He went around demanding support from his relatives so that he didn’t have to do any work while he was in school, all the way through his PhD program. We can see that something had a very bad effect on his character. Maybe that was it.

    This comment I like.

    Yeah. Put the entire Republican primary field in a factory working 60 hours a week for $10 an hour and I bet most of them walk away with a hell of a lot more respect for working people.

  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kwAwk:

    Do schools exist to teach children or to provide jobs for janitors?

    According to you, they exist to teach children janitorial work. I actually learned things like reading and math when I was in school, but I guess learning to push a broom is more important for today’s 10-year-olds to learn.

  65. 65
    slag says:

    @kwAwk:

    Do schools exist to teach children or to provide jobs for janitors?

    They exist to prevent people from making stupid comments like yours. Clearly, they’ve failed. Which inexorably means our only hope is nationwide janitorial schools. Tragedy of the comments wins again.

  66. 66
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @kwAwk:

    the reality is that when you don’t grow up rich, when you don’t have a trust fund or parents willing to or able to hand over gobs of money on demand, you have to learn how to work for yourself and fend for yourself.

    Well, fuck that so-called “reality”. What you’re advocating for is a wholesale surrender of the post-WW2 settlement in the name of a bullshit pragmatism.

  67. 67
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @kwAwk:

    I think kids with a strong work ethic learned early in life do better in college (or any level of school for that matter) and do better later on in life.

    I came from a pretty poor family, and got a pretty strong work ethic early in life, but I didn’t get it from emptying trash in my fucking school. I was too busy reading books for that shit. Dear fucking me.

  68. 68
    Yutsano says:

    @kwAwk:

    Do schools exist to teach children or to provide jobs for janitors?

    LOLwut? Why does it have to be an either/or proposition?

    Also: we got this nice little boost coming out of WWII because OUR POPULACE WAS EDUCATED. Not working, not slaving for zero wages, educating. And school is exhausting enough as it is for a child. Making them do work after learning guarantees their grades will suffer.

    Unless your purpose here is to create a permanent underclass. Which puts you on the same par as the Republicans.

  69. 69
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @slag: oh, ‘koff. If you’re blowing Newt while he’s still married to wife #2, you deserve all the shit thrown at you. The quarter-million-plus owed to Tiffany & Co is just gravy.

  70. 70
    Redshift says:

    @kwAwk:

    I can see Gingrich’s point that we should trap kids in poor neighborhoods in a situation where the only means they have of earning a little money is to go to the local drug dealer and do his dirty work.

    Then you’re just as ignorant about the people who actually live in poor neighborhoods as Newt is, and perhaps you should both learn more about them than the “if it bleeds, it leads” local news headlines before you presume to believe you know how to solve their problems.

    Most people in “poor neighborhoods” are employed, many with multiple jobs because the ones they can get are either part-time or don’t pay very much, or both. If you propose policy based on the flatly wrong idea that there are no role models other than drug dealers, then by the basic “garbage in, garbage out” principle, your prescriptions will almost certainly be complete crap.

    Beyond that, it’s even more obnoxious to presume that a major obstacle to kids escaping poverty is that they don’t have a good work ethic. And then on top of that, you claim you’re trying to help them avoid being “trapped”, and add to the educational deficits that result from having a parent who works long hours and can’t help them as much in school as better-off parents (which is much better documented cause of educational difficulty than some lack of work ethic) by putting them to work in the kind of job that is unlikely to get them out of poverty.

  71. 71
    Firebert says:

    @kwAwk: I grew up under a lot of authority figures with this attitude, and the one life lesson I got from them was that adults with power are always assholes.

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kwAwk:

    Because the reality is that when you don’t grow up rich, when you don’t have a trust fund or parents willing to or able to hand over gobs of money on demand, you have to learn how to work for yourself and fend for yourself.

    I grew up fairly rich, and I did have a (smallish) trust fund, and yet I started paying Social Security taxes around age 12 because my dad had me do odd jobs around his office for minimum wage in the summer. So, yes, even us formerly richie-riches know what this thing you call “work” is like.

    If Newt is so fucking worried about 10-year-olds not having a proper work ethic because their parents are unemployed and the kids don’t have a good example at home, maybe he should help the adults find jobs first, hmm?

  73. 73
    GregB says:

    I can only imagine that watching Newt with a pet would elicit the same revulsion as watching Saddam Hussein pawing that young British lad who was being used as a human shield at the outset of Gulf War I.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    Apropos of the cartoon, I do appreciate that Nicole Hollander is still doing “Sylvia.” She’s been bashing Republicans and conservatives for 30 years and still going strong!

  75. 75
    kwAwk says:

    @Yutsano:

    You’ll have to excuse me but I’m having a bit of a crisis of beliefs at the moment.

    First I don’t think in 1955 anybody would have thought twice about a 14 year old kid having a part time job to help support their family or to give themselves a little extra spending money.

    Secondly, having just exited a really bad job experience, I question whether a big part of the reason that we’re seeing the post WWII prosperity diminish is a degradation in the work ethic in the past generation or so.

    This seems to be a degradation from the top down. It’s what Warren Buffet is talking about when he laments that his unearned income in the billions of dollars is taxed at a lower rate than his secretary’s earned income in the thousands of dollars.

  76. 76
    kwAwk says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So what you’re saying Mnemosyne is that your dad put a hardworking janitor out of work so that you the trust fund girl could have an experience earning your own money?

    Doesn’t sound so bad when you put it that way does it?

  77. 77
    hamletta says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Hey, now! Former oboe player here!

    Brass, double reeds, blowjobs; all good for your cheekbones.

  78. 78
    Yutsano says:

    @kwAwk:

    First I don’t think in 1955 anybody would have thought twice about a 14 year old kid having a part time job to help support their family or to give themselves a little extra spending money.

    We’re not in 1955 anymore. And yes they had child labor laws then too. That 14 year old kid was limited in hours and times unless s/he worked at the family business or a farm. These ideas do not rise out of vacuums. We decided a long time ago children should focus on learning because it better prepares them for the world.

    Secondly, having just exited a really bad job experience, I question whether a big part of the reason that we’re seeing the post WWII prosperity diminish is a degradation in the work ethic in the past generation or so.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with ten year olds replacing janitor workers in the schools. Work ethic is taught by example true, but blaming the kids is not the way to instill it.

  79. 79
    Redshift says:

    @kwAwk:

    Secondly, having just exited a really bad job experience, I question whether a big part of the reason that we’re seeing the post WWII prosperity diminish is a degradation in the work ethic in the past generation or so.

    Well, it isn’t. There’s absolutely no evidence of a “degradation in the work ethic,” and there’s plenty of evidence that changes in the tax code, labor law and financial regulations have allowed business owners and executives to pocket an ever-increasing share of the profits and squeeze working people out of any increase in wages from the revenue that their increased productivity has made possible.

    Sorry if you’re having a crisis of beliefs and a bad job experience, but it doesn’t excuse popping off whatever idea you pull out of your ass as if there wasn’t actual information you could use to check these ideas. The fact that all of these ideas seem to involve seizing on blaming the victim to the exclusion of more powerful outside forces just makes them more disturbing.

    This seems to be a degradation from the top down. It’s what Warren Buffet is talking about when he laments that his unearned income in the billions of dollars is taxed at a lower rate than his secretary’s earned income in the thousands of dollars.

    No, it isn’t. He is in no way saying that his being taxed at an unfairly low level is evidence of some kind of “degradation of the work ethic” at any level. He’s talking about exactly the kinds of systemic abuses that are the actual cause, legal changes allowing increased concentration of wealth that results in the wealthy having more influence over politics and enabling them to gain further advantages.

  80. 80
    hamletta says:

    @kwAwk: No, that is not what she was saying, you disingenuous fucktard.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kwAwk:

    So what you’re saying Mnemosyne is that your dad put a hardworking janitor out of work so that you the trust fund girl could have an experience earning your own money?

    Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Because what janitors do all day is type and file.
    /eyeroll

    Never mind. We will never convince you that you don’t agree with Newt, because you’ve constructed a completely different proposal in your head that doesn’t actually have anything to do with what Newt said, and yet you’re convinced you agree with him.

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kwAwk:

    First I don’t think in 1955 anybody would have thought twice about a 14 year old kid having a part time job to help support their family or to give themselves a little extra spending money.

    It’s amazing how you keep increasing the ages of the kids in question just so you can continue your illusion that Newt made a sensible proposal. So if no one would think anything of a 14-year-old babysitting and having a paper route, that means that having a 10-year-old replace an adult janitor is the exact same thing?

  83. 83
    xian says:

    how has this wkawk troll roped so many of you in, by posing as a reasonable person just wonderin’ about stuff?

  84. 84
    Martin says:

    Was a good son today and took mom to the Reagan Library. Very well done, and being able to tour the Air Force One 707 is quite cool (‘small’ is the adjective that best comes to mind) but 6 hours of Reagan hagiography is enough to bleed your soul dry. Next on the list? Well, Nixon, of course as his library is even closer. I may have to bring a flask in for that one.

    Regarding the idiotic argument above: the best way to instill a strong work ethic is to not lay off a parent to install a child in the same job. Who the fuck wants to invest in a job when you’re going to be laid off every time someone wants to prove a point, and also be told your labor is worth no more than what a child can do. Work ethics go both ways – if you want labor to invest in the job, than the employer needs to invest in the worker. Of course that matters not at all in the land of the holy shareholder, who reigns above all.

  85. 85
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Martin:

    Well, Nixon, of course as his library is even closer. I may have to bring a flask in for that one.

    You can buy a bottle opener in their gift store. G got one when he went last year.

    He said it was actually pretty interesting — they have a real archivist running it now and they’ve cleaned up the Hugh Hewitt hagiography.

  86. 86
    ruemara says:

    Dear kwAwk. You are an idiot. Kids already have service programs in school. I had a lunch time monitor position in the library in jr high, where I got to shelve books and do book repair. In HS, I was a lunch time lab monitor for the head of the science department. I got my own SS# by age 12 so I could participate in the afterschool employment program, where I got to shelve books at the local libraries for about $6 per hour. Many schools have programs like these, to provide work experience, service credits and a miniscule paycheck that prepares you for decades of slavery with no end in sight. Rich kids do not go out of their way to do the paycheck shit, but they do show up for the status service work, like student government. Suffice to say, by the time I graduated HS in NY-in an accelerated learning program, I had already done basic clerical skills for 4 years, library work for 2 and had a semester of City As A School/Executive Internship where I had worked as a professional photographic assistant, which led to a series of summer contract jobs. So, a hearty fuck you, to those that think that Newt is proposing something new and that somehow, us urban kids who fucking buy 25¢ packs of cookies to eat super slowly during our library shift so we can forget that we’d really like a goddamn sammich, need a fucking lesson in how to hustle for some scraps of bounty. Pissant.

  87. 87
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Pets with Newt is a viral bid. Even with insulting captions added, it gets his picture out there in the Matrix.

    It’s a half baked but not half bad idea. Probably his own.

  88. 88
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I want to see Newt Gingrich get on YouTube, and eat ten Oreos, and in between each one tell us single words that describe his future Presidency

  89. 89
    kwAwk says:

    @Redshift:

    Well, it isn’t. There’s absolutely no evidence of a “degradation in the work ethic,” and there’s plenty of evidence that changes in the tax code, labor law and financial regulations have allowed business owners and executives to pocket an ever-increasing share of the profits and squeeze working people out of any increase in wages from the revenue that their increased productivity has made possible.

    Really? So that whole Wall Street/Banking crisis wasn’t about a bunch of very highly educated folks taking short cuts for short term gain over long term hard work profits?

    You think the whole Republican assault on all Unions isn’t about devaluing working people and stripping them of power?

    And yes a society that taxes unearned income at a top rate of 15% and taxes earned income at 35% has issues with earned income. Earned income is defined as income received from working by the way.

    But to me this is about allowing kids to hold down jobs and earn a little money for themselves. Going to school is great but it isn’t everything.

    A college degree takes years after graduation to begin paying off financially. Giving kids in any neighborhood the opportunity to earn a few bucks to go to the movies or buy that bike they’ve always wanted doesn’t sound like such a bad thing to me.

    And Newt’s proposal was actually to keep master janitors on staff to supervise kids doing work cleaning schools. It isn’t like he was proposing the elimination of all janitors and sending kids into high rise office buildings to clean instead of going to school.

    Am I seriously the only person in this thread that intends on teaching my child to do janitorial work at home? You know, clean the dishes, sweep the floor, take the garbage out???

  90. 90
    AA+ Bonds says:

    “Resplendent.” +laps cream from cookie+

  91. 91
    AA+ Bonds says:

    “Outstanding.” +eats entire cookie, black crumbles drift down a chin like a snow-peaked Alp+

  92. 92
    AA+ Bonds says:

    man this thread is more nets than fish now

  93. 93
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kwAwk:

    And Newt’s proposal was actually to keep master janitors on staff to supervise kids doing work cleaning schools.

    That’s right — Newt’s proposing that we lay off hundreds of adults currently earning about $18 an hour and replace them with minimum wage, part-time child labor. But you’re okay with that, because it will give the little bastards a work ethic while the laid-off adult janitors pound the pavement looking for a new job.

  94. 94
    kwAwk says:

    @ruemara: @ruemara:

    So why am I a pissant? Doesn’t your whole post just prove the whole point I’ve been trying to make? That providing opportunities for work to kids can help them earn a little spending money and be good for them?

    Did allowing for you to work in the school library put a librarian out of a job?

  95. 95
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Front page of Fox News right now:

    http://i.imgur.com/mwPLr.png

  96. 96
    Platonicspoof says:

    Just heard on CSPAN some of Newt’s appearance in Iowa today at a shopping mall. A reporter asked about this
    (via LA Times):

    . . . reporters pressed him to elaborate on a story to be published in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine in which he asserted that he and his wife, Callista, went on a Greek cruise last summer to provoke a confrontation with his staff, who resigned en masse.

    Will be interesting to hear more Newtspin on this next week.

    Even more interesting if he’s the only one who knew it was the plan all along.

    And he’s still defending replacing 50% of the “$100,000 janitors” with children.

  97. 97
    kwAwk says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s right—Newt’s proposing that we lay off hundreds of adults currently earning about $18 an hour and replace them with minimum wage, part-time child labor. But you’re okay with that, because it will give the little bastards a work ethic while the laid-off adult janitors pound the pavement looking for a new job.

    Why do you keep ignoring the idea of allowing kids from poor communities to make a little money for themselves?

    If you’re so hung up on the janitorial workers making their money, then hell let the kids work at McDonalds or stocking shelves at the local grocery store or something.

  98. 98
    Calouste says:

    @kwAwk:

    I think

    No you don’t.

    kids with a strong work ethic learned early in life rich parents do better in college (or any level of school for that matter) and do better later on in life.

    FTFY

  99. 99
    dead existentialist says:

    @AA+ Bonds: You need a different method of fishing. Try trolling.

  100. 100
    ruemara says:

    @kwAwk: Because you’re a pissant idiot, who thinks that the 1 hour of service during lunch is the same as a paid librarian or janitorial work. You’re an idiot who thinks Newt had a brand spanking new idea, instead of knowing that these programs already exist and you’re a jackass for thinking that poor kids don’t fucking know they have to work for money. Pissant.

  101. 101
    kwAwk says:

    @Calouste:

    So this all comes back to rich vs poor for you? Yes, for a variety of reasons, kids from rich parents do better in college than those of poor parents.

    But since we don’t have the realistic option of making all parents rich, what is the point of bringing that up really?

    Would you contest the notion that people with a strong work ethic do better in college than those who don’t?

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kwAwk:

    Why do you keep ignoring the idea of allowing kids from poor communities to make a little money for themselves?

    Because the idea you’re defending is that we will lay off hundreds of adults and replace them with child labor.

    You keep trying to pretend that Newt was talking about something else, but that’s what he wants to do: fire adult workers and replace them with child laborers.

    If you’re so hung up on the janitorial workers making their money, then hell let the kids work at McDonalds or stocking shelves at the local grocery store or something

    So are we talking about the kids who are 14 and older who can already legally work in those places with the proper work permits, or are you proposing Newt’s solution of sending 10-year-olds out after school to earn their keep?

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    man this thread is more nets than fish now

    Well, I tried with my Citizen Kane link, but no one was interested in kulchur.

  104. 104
    kwAwk says:

    @ruemara:

    Well you’ll have to excuse me if I’m beginning to question your reasoning ability if you don’t realize that if that school hadn’t had you to put those books back on a shelf they would have had to pay an adult to do so. They could have even paid an adult in a union making $18 an hour to do so.

    And if you’d care to look back in the thread you’ll notice that I was the first to note that such work programs for students already exist in the way of jobcorps and corn detasseling. You gotta go all the way back to post #33 though.

  105. 105
    kwAwk says:

    Yep, children as young as 14 can work with a work permit up to 24 hours per week. Children 13 can work as a caddie but can’t sweep floors at school? Children 12 and younger can deliver newspapers but can’t take out the trash at school?

    In the modern world getting laid off is a fact of life. You should expect to experience it at least once if not multiple times in the course of your career.

    Unless you’re a tenured college professor that is.

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    This seems to be a degradation from the top down.

    Therefore, we should force the poor kids to start working at age 10, and their work ethic will magically trickle up to the 1%.

    If you’re really that worried about the degradation of the work ethic among the middle and upper classes, shouldn’t you be proposing a work-study program for 10-year-olds in Bloomfield Hills rather than one for 10-year-olds in Harlem?

  107. 107
    Platonicspoof says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    The thread has been hiquacked.

  108. 108
    JoeShabadoo says:

    @kwAwk:

    Yeah, getting these kids to clean the shitters will build character.

    When I was their age I had to walk uphill both ways in the snow to get to school then chisel my answers into a piece of stone and I’m better for it. Poor kids today with their buses, number 2 pencils and food stamps. They wouldn’t know what hard work was if they had to take care of themselves and their siblings because their parents were busy working two jobs…
    Wait their parents do that? Doesn’t matter. What little time they have to themselves should be spent cleaning up after other kids and having the only janitor boss them around. Studying? Do that after you sweep these floors. I don’t want to hear that Richie not only has twice the time to do his work but also has parents who are home to help him. You can have twice the time too if you sleep less. Don’t worry, you can go play games with the other ten year olds over summer vacation. Of course only on your breaks from working the fields though.

  109. 109
    kwAwk says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Not really. What I think is that getting out of poverty is a long hard slog in this country. It takes hard work and a strong work ethic. Going to college as a plan to get yourself out of poverty is a decade(s) long proposition.

    Allowing kids to earn some money for themselves along the way can help take some of the sting out of poverty in my thoughts and it might help them develop some of the work habits that will make them more likely to succeed.

    My point, if possibly unclear, is that I think some of the negative reaction to the idea of letting kid younger than 16 work is a negative reaction to the idea of work itself. But allowing kids to work a couple of hours after school doesn’t take time away from school it takes away play time.

    But I’d also say that what little money the kids could earn part time could also help the kids with self esteem, which will help them later in life.

    I’m not trying to say that Newt isn’t an asshole who doesn’t want to eliminate every union job he can get his hands on, but taken as a stand alone idea, I’m not sure the notion of letting kids do some work for some pay is such a bad idea.

  110. 110
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    @kwAwk: I’m just waiting to find out what your questions are so we can cross the bridge.

  111. 111
    kwAwk says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink:

    Questions? Hell, I’m just here to sell you discount designer fragrances. Slowly but surely I’m getting you to buy.

    In all seriousness. My question was stated post 23. I’ve had a long and interesting conversation regarding my question and now it is time to get to sleep.

    Goodnight all.

  112. 112
    Gwangung says:

    KwAwk: it really doesn’t seem like youre reading what people are writing to you. It might help discussion if you did.

  113. 113
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @dead existentialist:

    Im sort of post-troll BJ

  114. 114
    JoeShabadoo says:

    @kwAwk:
    Its because your entire concept is a joke.
    Allowing kids to earn extra money at 10 doesn’t build a work ethic and it sure as hell doesn’t take the sting out of poverty. A ten year old having to work after school everyday isn’t going to be grateful for the money because they are too young to have a damn clue how money really works in their lives. They are going to be pissed that they have to work 20 hours a week while their friend can both play basketball and finish their school work.

    Not only that but a parent that can get their kid to work a part-time job would already be instilling a good work ethic by getting them to do their homework and participate in other activities. The job is not what instills the work ethic, the values are taught by having them work hard whether that be studying, exercising, learning an instrument, or taking care of siblings. These are all things that a parent who could get their children to take the job would already do.

    Finally, we have child labor laws for a reason. Society decided that it was unethical and/or hurt children to spend time working when they were too young. I happen to agree with the ideas behind the laws.

  115. 115
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    Well, gee, how can Americans turn down offers like these? How can an America people that think quality television equals “reality” shows not respond positively to this? Newt and Callista in the latest episode of Dancing with the Pets!

    Any man who has never had pets but is willing to get one, and even promise to have one in the White House, is clearly presidential timber. Especially one who is a now reformed serial adulterer, and whose current trophy wife with whom he cheated while still married to his second trophy wife can play the French horn.

    How could America go wrong with a man like this as president?

    And the GOP Clown Car battle for the nomination rolls on.

  116. 116
    brantl says:

    @slag: Take a look at a before picture of Callista, and see how much humanity was lost, and maybe you’ll get it.

  117. 117
    Nemesis says:

    “a classical French horn player”

    Indeed. I hear Leroy insists his women play the horn.

  118. 118
    Lojasmo says:

    @kwAwk:

    So why am I a pissant

    I’m guessing you were never tought not to mix chlorine bleach with ammonia, and so suffered an anoxic event as a child.

  119. 119
    S. cerevisiae says:

    @Irving: I’m sure he loves zoos but ecosystems not so much. After all as long as we have a couple of Sumatran tigers or polar bears in zoos then we can do whatever we want with their former wild homes. “see? they’re not extinct! we have two right there!”

  120. 120
    karen marie says:

    @kwAwk: You really are clueless.

  121. 121
    Paul in KY says:

    TBogg don’t take any prisoners. Funny read!

  122. 122
    Paul in KY says:

    @slag: If she’s gonna swim in the deep end, she’s gonna get stuff like that.

  123. 123
    Paul in KY says:

    @kwAwk: That’s the first post of yours in this thread that I can basically agree with.

  124. 124
    John of Indiana says:

    Better start popping out puppies and kittens, Calista…

    And KwAwk is an idiot.

  125. 125
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m glad your father had you do that & I’m sure you are also glad.

  126. 126
    Paul in KY says:

    @Redshift: Excellent post. Hope it gets thru to him/her.

  127. 127
    Paul in KY says:

    @kwAwk: Those evil Wall Street assholes & their lawyers worked extra hard to fuck us all over. Their convoluted schemes didn’t think themselves up.

    They have a work ethic: Work like Hell to take all our money.

  128. 128
    Emma says:

    @kwAwk: You know, I was willing to keep an open mind until I read this. Now, I claim TROLL.

  129. 129
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: He/she thinks they could all then become lucrative Janitorial Consultants.

  130. 130
    Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937 says:

    There already is a dog in the white house, Newt, so you can go home now.

  131. 131
    am says:

    In fairness to Gingrich he probably travels enough that it would irresponsible of him to have a dog. For everything else you can count against the guy, I would be more than happy to have him as an ally of animal rights even if I wouldn’t vote for him as president.

    Similarly with the hunting and fishing organizations, which are (or used to be) reliable supporters of conservation efforts.

    Anyway, this is all really a moot point. Newt’s not going anywhere without the Republican party lords’ support…. he could walk around carrying a dozen puppies while playing a violin and singing opera and it wouldn’t change that.

  132. 132
    Ruckus says:

    @ruemara:
    I know you are not in school any more but that rant deserves an A+

    And a gold star.

    Very nice.

  133. 133
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    What’s missing here is the subtext of what Newt is saying: that people are poor in this country because they have no or little work ethic, and if we could just put the urchins to work early, we can say we’re addressing poverty (nevermind that we’re simultaneously putting union janitors out of work who are trying to support a family rather than just earn enough to afford to go to band camp, or whatever). And of course this subtext is read meat for the Republican base, which tends to view the poor as “those people” who are too lazy to work.

  134. 134
    catperson says:

    Anne Laurie, why are you celebrating TBogg’s exercise in misogyny? Newt deserves mockery for the pets and music business but all the Callista-bashing based on appearance is gross.

  135. 135
  136. 136
    Tehanu says:

    Am I seriously the only person in this thread that intends on teaching my child to do janitorial work at home? You know, clean the dishes, sweep the floor, take the garbage out???

    Clean the dishes for a family of 4 or 5, sweep the floor, take the garbage out: exactly equivalent to cleaning up the piss, vomit and shit of 500 other kids while they are at basketball practice or doing their homework.

    The “work” kids should be doing and getting paid for is learning. That’s why they call it work — because they have to pay people to do it.

  137. 137
    Julia Grey says:

    In that press release the Gingrich campaign is touting Callista as an asset to her husband. The reason a political wife is extolled and presented in this fashion on the campaign trail is because we are to assume that her attributes will make him a better president.

    In response to this gambit, TBogg addressed some of the attributes of the marital asset so proudly presented by the campaign.

    In other words, that wasn’t idle misogyny, that was what is known in the snark industry as Flinging the Bullshit Back.

  138. 138
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