Morning News Round-Up
Reuters reported that the Wall Street analysts have separately released studies each of which suggest that if the biggest investment banks broke themselves up in to smaller entities, it would make them more profitable. Part of the reason is that new regulations makes the big banks "un-investable," according to Kian Abouhossein, an analyst for JPMorgan. An analyst for Wells Fargo, Matthew Burnell, the value of the smaller companies "would likely be greater than the current whole."
Apparently, breaking up isn't hard to do.
Democrats in the House put a motion forward that would have allowed the House to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is an equal pay for women piece of legislation. However Republicans voted the motion down, 226 to 192.
This is the part where I absolutely love watching all the Republicans get sooo pissed off when Democrats claim that the GOP has a War on Women and insist that it's just not, not, not true. It's more like a crusade.
In her column, Ann Coulter wrote, "MSNBC's Martin Bashir suggested that Republican senators need to have a member of their families killed for them to support the Democrats' gun proposals. (Let's start with Meghan McCain!)"
This is a standard mantra of Ms. Coulter, who loves to suggest that people she doesn't like should get killed. (Among others, she said that Rep. John Murtha should be "fragged", which is when soldiers kill one of their own. She also suggested that someone should put rat poison in Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens's creme brulee.) And then she tries to dismiss it as a joke. [Note: in an earlier version, I mistyped "fragged" as "fracked," the problematic process for extracting gas from shale. Thanks to David Rich for catching it.]
And once again, on cue, this time she says it's all okay because -- "I was making a joke," she told Sean Hannity on Fox, saying it was just "hyperbole" -- before she then slammed Martin Bashir's "heinous" comment. Now, either she thinks Martin Bashir was actually suggesting people be actually killed, which would make her an idiot, or she's suggesting that her hyperbole is okay, but his is heinous. Which would make her an idiot. It's a win-win.
The reality is that it will not come as a shock that Ms. Coulter twisted what Martin Bashir said -- which was, in fact, not a suggestion at all, but a question, in response to a guest. Along with a follow-up statement to make his feelings clear. Bashir had been talking with Rep. Elijah Cummings (R-MD) who told a heartbreaking story of his nephew being killed. Bashir then said, "But Congressman, is that what needs to happen to move these senators to stop threatening a filibuster? Is that really what needs to happen? That you need to have a member of your family killed in order for you to do what the American people want you to do?”
Rep. Cummings replied, “I hope not. I don’t wish this pain on anybody.” To which Bashir answered, “None of us does."
"None of us does." Gee, who would have guessed that he said that after reading Ms. Coulter's "joke."
Mind you, the very best part of her whining "defense" came later. That was when she said, "I think the exclamation point made it clear. And the fact that everyone laughed when they read it."
Okay, speaking as someone who actually does write comedy professionally, a few tips for Ms. Coulter. 1) Putting an exclamation point at the end of a sentence doesn't make it a joke. What it does is give what you just wrote more emphasis. 2) When you write something in a column, you really, honestly don't have any idea whether or not "everyone laughed" at it. Or if anyone did. 3) Sometimes people make a joke about things that they believe. 4) It's generally not good to keep repeating the same joke. 5) If you're going to dance on the line of bad taste when you make a joke, you'd better do everything to make it incredibly well-crafted so that everyone actually knows it's a really great joke. And 4) most importantly, just because you tell a joke doesn't mean it's funny.
By the way, to be clear, I don't think Ann Coulter wants all these people "dead." What I do think, though, is that in today's culture it's seriously dangerous and in horrific taste to joke about killing people, and keep joking about killing people, because as we've too often seen, there are sick human beings who can't tell what a joke is or isn't. And what I also think is that Ann Coulter is an idiot.
Sorry, I mean, what I also think is that Ann Coulter is an idiot!
There. The exclamation point made it clear. And everyone laughed when they read it.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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