Political News Bits of the Day

Discussing all things political in NW Arkansas and beyond.
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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:50 pm

Keystone

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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:40 pm

Why Americans Are So Ignorant -- It's Not Only Fox News, There Are Some Understandable Reasons for it
Sure propaganda, government secrecy and Fox News have a lot to do with it. But there are broader societal pressures as well.

Alternet

Excerpt:

"That American ignorance is explainable does not make it any less distressing. At the very least it often leads to embarrassment for the minority who are not ignorant. Take for example the facts that polls show over half of American adults don’t know which country dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, or that 30 percent don’t know what the Holocaust was.

We might explain this as the result of faulty education; however, there are other, just as embarrassing, moments involving the well educated. Take, for instance, the employees of Fox News. Lou Dobbs (who graduated from Harvard University) is host of the Fox Business Network talk show Lou Dobbs Tonight. Speaking on March 23 about gun control, he and Fox political analyst Angela McGlowan (a graduate of the University of Mississippi) had the following exchange:

McGlowan: “What scares the hell out of me is that we have a president . . . that wants to take our guns, but yet he wants to attack Iran and Syria. So if they come and attack us here, we don’t have the right to bear arms under this Obama administration.”

Dobbs: “We’re told by Homeland Security that there are already agents of Al Qaeda here working in this country. Why in the world would you not want to make certain that all American citizens were armed and prepared?”

Despite education, ignorance plus ideology leading to stupidity doesn’t come in any starker form than this. Suffice it to say that nothing the President has proposed in the way of gun control takes away the vast majority of weapons owned by Americans, that the President’s actions point to the fact that he does not want to attack Syria or Iran, and that neither country has the capacity to “come and attack us here.”

Finally, while there may be a handful of Americans who sympathize with Al Qaeda, they cannot accurately be described as “agents” of some central organization that dictates their actions.

Did the fact that Dobbs and McGlowan were speaking nonsense make any difference to the majority of those listening to them? Probably not. Their regular listeners may well be too ignorant to know that this surreal episode has no basis in reality. Their ignorance will cause them not to fact-check Dobbs’s and McGlowan’s remarks. They might very well rationalize away countervailing facts if they happen to come across them. And, by doing so, keep everything comfortably simple, which counts for more than the messy, often complicated truth.

Unfortunately, one can multiply this scenario many times. There are millions of Americans, most of whom are quite literate, who believe the United Nations is an evil organization bent on destroying U.S. sovereignty. Indeed, in 2005, George W. Bush actually appointed one of them, John Bolton (a graduate of Yale University), as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations."
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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:08 am

"A new study by the Pew Research Center finds that the GOP is alienating scientists to a startling degree.

Only six percent of America's scientists identify themselves as Republicans; fifty-five percent call themselves Democrats. By comparison, 23 percent of the overall public considers itself Republican, while 35 percent say they're Democrats.

The ideological discrepancies were similar. Nine percent of scientists said they were "conservative" while 52 percent described themselves as "liberal," and 14 percent "very liberal." The corresponding figures for the general public were 37, 20 and 5 percent."

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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:29 pm

U.S. is second-worst of 35 developed nations when it comes to child poverty

"The United States ranks 34 out of 35 on a UNICEF measure of relative child poverty in developed nations. To be clear, that's 34 out of 35 in the bad way—second highest level, doing better than only Romania with more than 20 percent of children living in a household with an income below half the median.

But the picture looks even worse when you examine just how far below the relative poverty line these children tend to fall. The UNICEF report looks at something it calls the “child poverty gap,” which measures how far the average poor child falls below the relative poverty line. It does this by measuring the gap between the relative poverty line and the average income of poor families.
Alarmingly, the United States also scores second-to-last on this measurement, with the average poor child living in a home that makes 36 percent less than the relative poverty line.


This is the context before the start of sequestration, as Bryce Covert points out. With the full effects of sequestration yet to come, we've already seen kids cut from Head Start programs, less housing assistance available to families struggling to stay off the street, and homeless shelters losing funding among the sequester's effects that will hit poor kids directly."

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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:31 pm

Terrorism way down in the US:

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Excellent article:

Charts: How Much Danger Do We Face From Homegrown Jihadist Terrorists?

Mother Jones
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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:43 pm

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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Wed May 08, 2013 8:48 pm

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Wingnuts be all in a flap over Benghazi again:

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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sun May 19, 2013 12:03 am

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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Tue May 21, 2013 10:01 pm

IRS "scandal" Debunk:

The Latest Lie: IRS Targeted Conservatives

"Remember the video of the guy in the "pimp costume" who got advice from ACORN employees on how to run his prostitution ring? Turns out the whole story was just a lie, a doctored-video smear job on an important organization. The guy never wore a "pimp costume" and the real, undoctored videos showed that ACORN employees did nothing wrong. But a lie travels around the world before the corporate media bothers to check the facts. The "news" media blasted the story everywhere, and Congress was so outraged they forced ACORN to close its doors. And here we are again.

The corporate media is blasting out the story that the IRS "targeted conservative groups." Some in the media say there was "IRS harassment of conservative groups." Some of the media are going so far as claiming that conservative groups were "audited."

This story that is being repeated and treated as "true" is just not what happened at all. It is one more right-wing victimization fable, repeated endlessly until the public has no choice except to believe it.

Conservative Groups Were Not "Targeted," "Singled Out" Or Anything Else

You are hearing that conservative groups were "targeted." What you are not hearing is that progressive groups were also "targeted." So were groups that are not progressive or conservative.

All that happened here is that groups applying to the IRS for special tax status were checked to see if they were engaged in political activity. They were checked, not targeted. Only one-third of the groups checked were conservative groups.

Once again: Only one-third of the groups checked were conservative groups.

Conservative groups were not "singled out," were not "targeted" and in the end none were denied special tax status – even though many obviously should have been.

From last week's House hearings on this:

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-IL: "How come only conservative groups got snagged?"

Outgoing acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller: "They didn't sir. Organizations of all walks and all persuasions were pulled in. That’s shown by the fact that only 70 of the 300 organizations were tea party organizations, of the ones that were looked at by TIGTA [Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration]."

Bet you didn't see that blasted all over your TV news that night."

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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sat May 25, 2013 12:12 pm

Parties moving in opposite directions
By Steve Benen

"...with several new national polls released this week -- CNN, Pew Research Center, USA Today, Washington Post/ABC News -- there's very little good news for Republicans. On the contrary, it seems the party's lack of popularity is preventing Republicans from taking advantage of the larger scandal-generated opportunities.

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This chart, for example, shows the results from the CNN poll, which asked respondents for their general attitudes towards the two major political parties. For Democrats, support is up, and a 52% majority has a favorable opinion of the party. For Republicans, support is down, and a 59% majority has a unfavorable opinion of the party.

Adding insult to injury, the GOP's standing in the poll is at its third-lowest point since CNN started doing polls a couple of decades years ago.

Meanwhile, President Obama's approval rating is up to 53% in the CNN poll, up to 51% in the Post/ABC poll, and up to 53% in the USA Today poll.

It's worth emphasizing that much of this week's polling was on the major controversies of the day -- last September's violence in Benghazi, the IRS scrutiny of tax-exempt groups, and the subpoenas of Associated Press reporters...

This isn't what Republicans were hoping for, either."
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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sun May 26, 2013 9:21 am

Bob Dole Scolds GOP: Reagan Wouldn’t Make It In Today’s Republican Party

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS) told Fox News Sunday this week that the Senate Republicans are abusing the filibuster and that he doubts he, Richard Nixon, or Ronald Reagan could make it in today’s Republican Party.
Asked his thoughts on the modern GOP, Dole — a former Republican national chairman, the 1976 GOP vice presidential pick, and the 1996 Republican presidential nominee — suggested, to host Chris Wallace, that the party lacks any positive ideas and is no longer a place for even conservative Republicans like himself:

WALLACE: What do you think of your party, the Republicans today?
DOLE: I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors that says “closed for repairs” until New Year’s Day next year — and spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas.
WALLACE: You describe the GOP of your generation as Eisenhower Republicans, moderate Republicans. Could people like you, even Ronald Reagan — could you make it in today’s Republican Party.
DOLE: I doubt it. Reagan couldn’t have made it. Certainly Nixon couldn’t have made it, cause he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it.

Dole, now 89, also took his own party to task for abuse of the Senate’s closure rules. Wallace noted that “In your first two years as a Senator, there were 7 motions filed — cloture motions to end debate. In the last two years, there were 115 cloture motions,” and asked the five-term Senator whether it is inappropriate that due to minority obstruction it now takes a 60-vote super-majority to pass any legislation or confirm any nominees.

“No doubt about it,” Dole told him, “There are some cases where you could probably justify if, but not many.”

Think Progress
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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sun May 26, 2013 2:29 pm

Gallup Poll And A New Study Both Confirm America Is Starting To Lean Left

"Gallup just released a poll that reveals more and more Americans are shifting in ideological attitudes, and identifying themselves as ‘liberals’ in regard to social and economic issues. At the same time, fewer Americans are describing themselves as ‘conservatives.’"

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"Social liberalism has grown by six points since 2001 and now attracts half of rank-and-file Democrats and Democratic leaners.”

This new survey shows changes in Americans’ ideology: economic conservatism is at a five-year low, while social liberalism has registered its highest support…"

Gallup

Since 2001 the number of self-identified liberals is up 15 points, the number of self-identified conservatives is down 6 points.
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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:05 pm

Interesting Huff Po comment on voter fraud:

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THERE IS INDIVIDUAL NO VOTER FRAUD.
In spite of allegation of voter fraud by Republicans, it has been repeatedly proven that there is no voter fraud.

1. BUSH LOOKS FOR FRAUD. Between 2002 and 2005 the Bush administration made it a high priority to find voter fraud cases. This is what they found: Individual Voter Fraud:
26 Cases - 12 convictions, 14 aquitals/dismissals
Less than four case per year.

2. JOHN ASHCROFT COULDN'T FIND VOTER FRAUD. Bush's Attorney General dedicate his entire time in office to finding voter fraud. After several years of intensive efforts, Ashcroft found 95 cases over a three year period and only 40 were convicted. Out of millions of votes cast, that's only 14 per year One of his attorney generals said "you more likely to get hit by lightening than to find voter fraud."

3. REPUBLICAN LAWYER COULDN'T FIND FRAUD. The Republican National Lawyers Association attempted to prove that there was wide-spread voter fraud. They combed through the records and here's what they found:
Over a 15 year period of time, they only found 310 allegations of voter fraud. Many of the cases were later dismissed. That's only about 20 cases per year.

4. SOUTH CAROLINA COULDN'T FIND ANY FRAUD. In October of 2011, the South Carolina election commission announced that they had no record of voter fraud in any recent election.

5. THE CARNEGIE CORPORATION COULDN'T FIND VOTER FRAUD. The Carnegie Corporation spent 12 years analyzing voter fraud. This is what they found:
They asked all 50 State Attorney General and 1,000 counties for all record of voter fraud between 2000 and 2012. They received 2,068 reports of alleged election-fraud. But of those 2,068 case only 10 were the type of voter fraud that ID card could prevent. The rest of the cases were committed by Campaign Officials, and Election Officials, which cannot be detected by voter ID.

6. MOST ALLEGED VOTER IS FRAUD IS CLERICAL ERRORS. The Brennan center examined 30,656 cases of voter fraud including Double Voting, Deceased Voters, Fraudulent Addresses, Felony Voting, Noncitizen Voting, Registration Fraud and Vote Buying. It turned out that 99.9% of all these cases of supposed voter fraud turn out to be clerical errors by the election commissions.

7. VOTER ID SUPPRESS MINORITY VOTE BY 10% According to Rutgers University, just requiring a NON-PHOTO ID reduced African American turn out by 1.050-million voters.
Bottom line: Voter ID Laws Are 97,402 times more Effective at Suppressing Democratic Voters than they are at Fixing Voter Fraud."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/el ... 35933.html

And another one:

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"The only thing the GOPTea cares more about that taking away the rights of women and taking away the rights of workers, is taking away the rights of voters and passing voter-suppression laws in all the states where the GOPTea control the State Legislatures and governorships.

In the 2012 election the GOPTea:

-Passed a law in Florida banning The League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote to register voters. The law was eventually overturned but that left only a few months to register voters and the damage had been done to vastly lower the registration of Democrats.

-Erected billboards in low-income neighborhood to intimidate voters with headlines like “VOTER FRAUD IS A FELONY” or “PHOTO ID NEEDED” when in fact it wasn’t, as in PA.

-Robocalls telling people they could vote by phone (no you cannot!)

-Robocalls giving the incorrect voting date.

-Phony letters telling voters they were ineligible to vote.

-Civil Rights, Human Rights and Labor organizations, including the NAACP, the Hispanic Federation and the AFL-CIO urged True the Vote and its affiliates to immediately halt its national campaign to assert challenges to the eligibility of voters.

-GOP employers told their employees how to vote: The Koch brothers sent out 26,000 letters telling their employees to vote for Romney.

-Cut back voting weekends, days and hours which caused voting lines to be 8 to10 hours long, etc."
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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:10 pm

It's a full out war on women. I didn't realize it was this bad... wow... link
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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:23 pm

"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:48 pm

Always arguing with conservatives about efficiency. They hate standards, especially when they're enforced. Here is what refrigerator standards have given us:

LINK

Also this.
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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:11 pm

Corporate welfare

Senators Seek To End Taxpayer Subsidy For Exorbitant CEO Pay

"With executive compensation at record highs, two senators are trying to end a government subsidy of performance-driven executive pay schemes that cost taxpayers $5 billion per year. Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) proposed a bill Friday that would limit the amount of performance-based pay that can be written off as a tax deduction and bring in $50 billion in tax revenue over a decade.
The public subsidy of CEO pay began in 1993, when Congress exempted performance-based compensation from a law limiting the tax deductibility of executive pay. The resulting shift towards stock options and other non-cash compensation that meets the government’s definition of “performance-based” pay has cost the government tens of billions of dollars. According to a 2012 Economic Policy Institute study, the lost revenue totals $7.5 billion each year."

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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:13 pm

This is what I was afraid of. The American experiment is winding down:

Exclusive: U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans

"(Reuters) - A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps,
informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans."

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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:16 pm

This is actually quite an important article by Gupta (who was once considered for Surgeon General):

Why I changed my mind about weed

"(CNN) -- Over the last year, I have been working on a new documentary called "Weed." The title "Weed" may sound cavalier, but the content is not.
I traveled around the world to interview medical leaders, experts, growers and patients. I spoke candidly to them, asking tough questions. What I found was stunning.
Long before I began this project, I had steadily reviewed the scientific literature on medical marijuana from the United States and thought it was fairly unimpressive. Reading these papers five years ago, it was hard to make a case for medicinal marijuana. I even wrote about this in a TIME magazine article, back in 2009, titled "Why I would Vote No on Pot."
Well, I am here to apologize.
I apologize because I didn't look hard enough, until now. I didn't look far enough. I didn't review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis."

LINK
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Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:58 am

I think this goes in politics:

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Solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S. utilities

"Solar power and other distributed renewable energy technologies could lay waste to U.S. power utilities and burn the utility business model, which has remained virtually unchanged for a century, to the ground.

That is not wild-eyed hippie talk. It is the assessment of the utilities themselves.

Back in January, the Edison Electric Institute — the (typically stodgy and backward-looking) trade group of U.S. investor-owned utilities — released a report [PDF] that, as far as I can tell, went almost entirely without notice in the press. That’s a shame. It is one of the most prescient and brutally frank things I’ve ever read about the power sector. It is a rare thing to hear an industry tell the tale of its own incipient obsolescence."

LINK
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer


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