Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Republicans: Fact-Checking Journalism is Biased

Who could possibly have a problem with political fact-checking organizations?  Republicans of course.

Overall, more than eighty percent of Americans have a favorable view of political fact-checking.  But when you break it down according to party affiliation, fact-checking is viewed much more favorably by Democrats than Republicans.

And that's not all.  Among people who follow politics only marginally, there's not much difference.  Fact-checking is viewed favorably by 36% of Democrats vs. 29% of Republicans.  BUT (and this is where the plot thickens):

Among those who follow politics closely, fact-checking is viewed favorably by 59% of Democrats and only 34% of Republicans.  What could this possibly mean?  As Leonard Pitts Jr. says in his column:

“What’s partisan about fact?

Nothing — you’d think. Except that for Republicans, something obviously is.   Perhaps we ought not be surprised given the pattern of party politics in recent years. On topics as varied as climate change, health care, terrorism and the president’s birthplace, GOP leaders and media figures have obfuscated and prevaricated with masterly panache, sowing confusion in the midst of absolute clarity, pretending controversy where there is none and finding, always, a ready audience of the fearful and easily gulled.  As political strategy, it has been undeniably effective, mobilizing voters and energizing campaigns...
Who could have a problem with a fact-checker? He is your best friend if what you’re saying is true.  You would feel differently only if what you’re saying is not.”
And that's a FACT.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/syndicated-columnists/article19762902.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/syndicated-columnists/article19762902.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/syndicated-columnists/article19762902.html#storylink=cpy

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Not to be confused with dog walkers: Scott Walkers

Political cartoon U.S. Scott Walker Koch brothers

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Scariest Horror Movie Ever: Republican Governors vs. The Earth

Happy Earth Day 2015.  Let's make sure this scary picture remains just a dark sci-fi fantasy, and does NOT come true.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

He's the Invisible Puppet-Master Behind the “Grass Roots” Astroturf Movement to Sell Off Public Lands. Who Is Richard Berman?

When it comes to exerting an unimaginably huge political influence while staying out of the public eye, Richard Berman is a one-man Koch Brothers.  The choreographed public “groundswell” for returning federal public lands back to the states — which Congress has jumped on like stink on shit — was orchestrated by the Environmental Policy Alliance, Richard Berman's latest Astroturf front group.

Click on the Environmental Policy Alliance link if you dare.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll smash your computer screen, you'll send them a threatening e-mail; or maybe all of the above.

Richard Berman's main specialty throughout his checkered career (if “career” is the right word) has been sabotaging environmental and animal-rights causes with an endless parade of deceptively-named Astroturf groups.  A few of his more illustrious front groups have been:  Humane Watch (dedicated to libeling and derailing the Humane Society and other animal-rights groups) and the Center for Consumer Freedom (protecting the interests of the high fructose corn syrup industry).

Richard Berman gave a speech last October — which was secretly recorded and leaked to the New York Times — telling fossil fuel executives that they needed to fight dirty and be merciless toward those commie environmentalists, and promising that he could show them how to make huge political contributions without revealing their identities:

“...if the oil and gas industry wants to prevent its opponents from slowing its efforts to drill in more places, it must be prepared to employ tactics like digging up embarrassing tidbits about environmentalists and liberal celebrities...you must be willing to exploit emotions like fear, greed and anger and turn them against the environmental groups. And major corporations secretly financing such a campaign should not worry about offending the general public because you can either win ugly or lose pretty.  Think of this as an endless war.  And you have to budget for it.”

According to a Bloomberg report on the same speech: “Berman offered companies a way to anonymously target their environmental foes — at a cost of as much as $3 million.”

So when you hear the current GOP slogans about “federal government overreach” and “giving government land back to the taxpayers,” yada yada yada — consider the source. 

Below is a photo of Richard Berman.  Please print out a few copies and pin it up on your dartboard or some other target, line the bottom of your birdcage with it, etc.

Hi, want some candy, little boy?  Come sit on Uncle Richard's lap.  Don't worry, it'll be our little secret.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dori Monson: “Probably a union worker who can’t be fired”

Rightwing talk radio host Dori Monson is the hands-down winner of this week's Shoot-Your-Mouth-Off-First-and-Ask-Questions Later award.

His bass-ackwards on-the-air comment was in regard to the well-publicized anecdote about an Alaska Airlines baggage handler who fell asleep in the cargo bay, woke up in a panic after the plane had taken off and started screaming for help.

Again, Dori Monson's on-air comment was “Probably a union worker who can’t be fired.”

Here are some of the facts that Wrong Way Corrigan got backwards:

The baggage handler was NOT a union member.  He was employed by a non-union subcontractor based in the U.K.

Ten years ago, Alaska Airlines fired all 472 of its union baggage handlers.  The motive, of course, was the vast increase in profits to be made by the airline by replacing those lazy union parasites with harder-working low-wage non-union workers; such as the stellar example mentioned above.

Oh, and the snoozing baggage handler DID get fired by Alaska Airlines.

Just wanted to set the record straight.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

FX renews The Americans for a Fourth Season


The Americans WILL be back next year for at least one more season.  (The Season 3 finale will be next Wednesday at 10 p.m.)  The show has averaged about one million viewers per episode this season.  I was sure it would get the axe because of the rock-bottom ratings.

Nick Grad, president of original programming for FX Networks, said:

“Remarkably, this season of ‘The Americans’ has achieved even greater acclaim than that of its first two seasons.  The series has cemented its status with critics as television’s best current drama and arguably the best show on TV, and we couldn’t agree more.”



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Eighth Grade Test from 1912: Could YOU pass it?

Either America has turned into a bone-stupid nation, and/or our ancestors from the early 1900s were incredibly intelligent and well-educated:


Sunday, April 12, 2015

How to Control an Out-Of-Control Police Department

041015 21st Century Policing

Thursday, April 09, 2015

U.S. Navy: Welcome to the Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range (formerly known as Olympic National Park)

The Navy wants to vastly expand its Electronic Warfare testing range to include Olympic National Park, among other unspoiled wilderness areas in western Washington.  The Navy has already been conducting similar tests in a remote region of Idaho, but for reasons that keep changing with every public statement they make, they now want to move — and exponentially expand — this operation to Olympic National Park.

The Navy has been trying to keep everything hush hush; this scheme has been in the works for awhile now.  Every time a bit more information leaks out, a Navy spokesperson will recite a few soothing doublespeak “there there now” talking points to calm the masses.  A groundswell of public alarm is slowly building, but it's been a slow process.

The deafening noise of low-flying jets — hundreds a day — would create deadly hazards to birds, bats and marine wildlife, not to mention the millions of tourists who would stop visiting Olympic National Park and other wilderness areas.  And there are countless horror stories of what the electronic testing in the park could do to people and wildlife.  A lot more research is needed.  The truth is probably somewhere between the worst of the horror stories and the Navy's dismissive “sheesh, you have a microwave in your kitchen, right?  Same thing.  Don't be such a pussy” talking points.

After attending a local meeting last night, my attitude has gone from “hmmm, that sucks” to “Holy Shit!  WTF are we gonna do?!?!?!”

I'll probably be doing a lot more posts on this subject as I learn more; i.e. as the Navy scrambles into Damage Control mode every time another bit of information leaks out.  I'll try not to bore the beejesus out of my readers (both of you) by obsessing over the same subject, but this is dire.

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Monday, April 06, 2015

Indiana: It Gets Worse

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is even more of a Bible-humping redneck than you thought.  While taking a Libertarian hands-off position on civil rights enforcement, Governor Inbred wants to increase the prison sentences for minor drug offenses.

In a completely unrelated coincidence, the GEO Group (based in Florida), one of the country's largest private prisons, has made huge campaign contributions to Mike Pence and other Indiana conservatives. GEO Group needs more, uh, clients (i.e. prisoners) to fill their prisons and ensure even greater profits.  And the way to achieve this is:

“Tougher marijuana possession and dealing penalties could be added to a proposed overhaul of Indiana's criminal sentencing laws by legislators after Gov. Mike Pence questioned whether the plan was strict enough on low-level drug offenders.  One proposed change expected to be voted on Thursday would make possession of between about one-third of an ounce and 10 pounds of marijuana the lowest-level felony rather than the highest-level misdemeanor.”  [from the linked article]

Yup, just another example of that good old free enterprise and limited government that conservatives love to talk about.

After Mike Pence has (finally) finished sucking off the lobbyists from GEO Group, maybe local businesses will invoke their newfound religious freedom by refusing to serve him.

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Sunday, April 05, 2015

The Last Supper 2.0

Political cartoon U.S. Religious Freedom

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Warning: Rhino Horns are POISON. Do NOT ingest for Medicinal Purposes


There are only about 25,000 rhinos left in the world.  Their population is shrinking, while the demand for rhino horns — for alleged medicinal properties — is increasing.

It's the insatiable demand that makes rhino poaching so lucrative, even though poachers are often executed on sight when they're caught.  (It's too quick, but I digress...)

The Rhino Rescue Project has come up with a solution:  injecting each rhino — after tranquilizing, of course — with ectoparasiticide.  Eectoparasiticide is harmless to the rhino, but toxic to humans — causing nausea, vomiting and damage to the nervous system.  Good.  Suffer, you C#$%S&%$in' M#!%&$F#!$er!!!

The Rhino Rescue Project's founder, Lorinda Hern, said:

“The users of rhino horn do not care about killing the animal or the death of rangers and poachers in Africa.  The only way to stop them from consuming horn is to trigger health anxiety—the fear of ingesting contaminated horn.”

So far this program has had the most success in two small reserves near Mozambique.  Numerous signs are posted, informing poachers of the horn-poisoning, and hence the poachers would be killing rhinos and risking their own lives for nothing.

The much larger Kruger National Park in South Africa has not taken this approach.  Yet.  (One can hope.)  A park spokesperson said:

“This strategy will never help in quelling rhino poaching in the park because we have so many rhino such that we can't even manage to capture them.  But I do think it will be a good thing for the individuals who own few rhinos.”

It's a start.  Rome wasn't built in a day.  We wouldn't have the Ferrari if it weren't for the Model A.

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