YOUR DAILY WEEKLY READER: Ryan's hope, to the dogs, into the Gap



PAUL RYAN STILL HAS A FEVER THAT MAKES HIM SAY “BENGHAZI” A LOT: “Wow. Rep. Paul Ryan is still complaining about CNN’s Candy Crowley’s 2012 debate moderation. Specifically, about the fact that she corrected Mitt Romney for saying President Obama took 14 days to call the 9/11 attack on the Benghazi compound “an act of terror,” when Obama said those words in the Rose Garden the very day after the killings of four Americans. Talking to Hugh Hewitt Wednesday night, Ryan rehashed the Crowley moment, agreeing with Hewitt that it was “perhaps the most significant intervention by a member of the media in a presidential campaign ever.” While Ryan wouldn’t speculate about whether Crowley would do anything different if she knew what we know now (more on what we know now, later) he alleged that Crowley “violated the rules of the debate.” There’s so much to unpack in Ryan’s complaint, but it underscores why Benghazi fever is so rampant in the GOP. There’s a strain of the fever for every type of Republican. Ryan’s not a crazy birther (though he’s got some racial issues) or a bomb-thrower; he likes to play the statesman. He’s not a fact-averse “prosecutor” like newly minted Benghazi investigator Trey Gowdy, getting the details of the story wrong every time he opens his mouth. No, Ryan’s particular strain of Benghazi fever lets him use the faux-scandal to rewrite the results of the 2012 election: If the White House had told the truth, as soon as it was known, Obama wouldn’t have been able to boast about his national security record, and Romney-Ryan would have won the election. It’s an updated version of the “unskewed” polls movement that blinded Republicans, including Ryan and his running mate, to the ticket’s impending loss 18 months ago.(via Salon)



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WHY ISN’T EVERYBODY PISSED THAT THEY’RE PAYING FOR NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS THAT MAY NEVER COME TO LIGHT, AND IF THEY DO, THEY COULD BE DELAYED: “After several years of public unrest and fierce debate, the fate of Florida Power & Light's pursuit of two new nuclear reactors and controversial high-voltage transmission lines at the Turkey Creek facility is squarely in the hands of Gov. Rick Scott and the members of the Florida Cabinet at their next meeting on Tuesday. While much attention has been given to the role that the Florida Public Service Commission has played in approving nuclear projects, many are unaware that the governor and Cabinet compose the Power Plant Siting Board, which must approve these projects. Unfortunately, public disapproval and consistent opposition from city officials in the areas that would be most directly impacted, Scott's staff is encouraging the Cabinet to approve FP&L's proposal. I won't focus here on all of the concerns being expressed by local business owners that are being dismissed by this large utility. I also won't go into the very legitimate health concerns that the public is expressing due to the fact that this plan would place a row of high-voltage power lines transmitting power from two nuclear reactors close to a mile from residential areas. I also won't go into the environmental impacts. Each of these merits serious attention, but as a consumer watchdog group, the Florida Alliance for Consumer Protection finds its main issue with these proposals is the continued use of early cost recovery as a method to fund the nuclear plants. Allowing companies to fund projects this way shifts all of the risk in building a new nuclear plant to consumers. Companies make a substantial sum of money if they pull out of a project and make even more through interest if a project is delayed or has major cost overruns, which is always the case with the construction of nuclear reactors. Companies face no penalty if they pull out of a project or if projects run billions of dollars over initial projections; they simply make more money at consumer's expense.” (via Tallahassee Democrat)


BECAUSE DOGS LOVE BEING ELECTROCUTED AND OLD MEN LOVE PLAYING CARDS FOR FUN AND ENTERTAINMENT: “Efforts to allow tracks to stop live-racing of greyhounds and operate card rooms failed in Tallahassee this year. The effort was couched in terms of animal cruelty, but it but blew up when legislation requiring tracks to implement safety measures got traction. First, lawmakers, including the Senate President, tried to allow greyhound tracks to stop racing but keep card rooms. “The whole reason the tracks wanted to do this was so that they could become casinos,” said Jack Cory of the Florida Greyhound Association. “The greyhound tracks in Florida have had an unholy alliance with Las Vegas for 20 years” When shutting down dog racing failed, efforts to require injury reporting of the dogs passed the State Senate. “It just seems to me to be perhaps inhuman in some cases,” said Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville). Greyhound racing proponents kept saying there were three things that could be done if people were concerned about greyhound safety. In some tracks, the wires powering the mechanical rabbit known as Rusty are exposed. They carry 240 volts. “We put three safety points maintaining the tracks’ surface, having a break away on and covering 240 volts of exposed electricity to greyhounds, which is where the majority of the injuries happen,” said Cory. “Tracks oppose that.” That was enough to kill the legislation, but for breeders like Gene Gurley, every effort to kill racing takes a toll on his breeding farm’s revenue. ‘If they decoupled, what the heck would you do with 100 dogs?’ said Gurley. ‘Your investment could be shot. So we started trimming back a long time ago because every year they come up with this.’” (via Capitol News Service)


AND THIS IS WHY WE SHOP AT THE GAP: “BECAUSE the Gap Inc. chairman and C.E.O. decided to pay all employees at least $10 an hour, beginning in 2015. (For 2014, the rate has been raised to $9 an hour.) BECAUSE Murphy used to run a Canadian pharmacy chain that paid higher wages than its rivals and eclipsed other Canadian drug chains by getting more productivity from its employees. BECAUSE Murphy decided, since retail in our country has seen tremendous turnover, that paying more would help Gap recruit workers and keep them. BECAUSE it’s a smart business decision. BECAUSE better wages for employees will foster employee satisfaction and retention, which will make Gap stores (and Old Navy and Banana Republic and the company’s other stores) more pleasant places to shop. BECAUSE this means customers will be happier and buy more. BECAUSE some of those happy customers will also be Gap employees. (Henry Ford realized if he paid his employees enough to afford his Model T’s they’d be able to buy his Model T’s. Which is a good lesson.) BECAUSE our economy is driven by consumer demand; therefore, our economy will be stronger if people have more money to spend. BECAUSE so many business owners I talk to say they’d hire more people if there were more demand. That’s why it makes so much sense to raise the minimum wage in this country. BECAUSE Americans who work full-time shouldn’t have to live in poverty. BECAUSE that’s wrong. BECAUSE what Murphy did was not just the right thing. It was the smart thing.” (via Vanity Fair)



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