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      As many have heard, John Tory, the mainstream right wing candidate, won convincingly in Toronto and Olivia Chow came in third place, even doing worse than Doug Ford (brother of the famous crack-smoking Rob Ford.)  Much hand wringing has ensued that progressive just can’t win elections in Toronto. While it’s true that Toronto is hard [...]
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This explains the “Obama Youth”


Remember long ago in 2007 when a rookie senator from Illinois used a paltry hundred million dollars in seed money he got from Wall Street and other Joe Moneybags special interests to build his own cult of personality? Remember how the media gushed about his ability to recruit young people from college campuses and enlist them into a virtual army to win the caucus states?

Ever wonder how so many smart kids could be so fucking stupid?

Study: Many college students not learning to think critically

An unprecedented study that followed several thousand undergraduates through four years of college found that large numbers didn’t learn the critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication skills that are widely assumed to be at the core of a college education.

Many of the students graduated without knowing how to sift fact from opinion, make a clear written argument or objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event, according to New York University sociologist Richard Arum, lead author of the study. The students, for example, couldn’t determine the cause of an increase in neighborhood crime or how best to respond without being swayed by emotional testimony and political spin.

There’s the answer.



2007 letter from Giffords found in Loughner’s safe

Jared Lee Loughner


From NBC affiliate KPNX-12 in Arizona:

Letter from Giffords found in safe of murder suspect

A letter from Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords found in the safe of the home of accused gunman Jared Loughner thanks him for attending a 2007 “Congress on your Corner” event.

Handwriting on an envelope said, “I planned ahead” and “My assassination.”

It contained Giffords’ name, along with what appeared to be Loughner’s signature.

Those facts were contained as part of a federal complaint filed in U.S. District Court that charges Loughner with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder at Giffords’ “Congress on your Corner” event on Saturday.

This matches up with information we heard yesterday:

Caitie Parker, a former classmate, said Loughner had met Gabrielle Giffords at an event in 2007. He “asked her a question and he told me she was ‘stupid and unintelligent’,” she said. Clarence Dupnik, the Pima County Sheriff, said that Loughner had been in contact with Miss Giffords’s office about the event.

From what I have read about paranoid schizophrenia it is not uncommon for them to fixate on someone. It sounds like Loughner may have been fixated on Giffords a year before Sarah Palin ever came on the national scene.

Here is a copy of the criminal complaint filed against Loughner. From the complaint:

Some of the evidence seized from that located included a letter in a safe, addressed to “Mr. Jared Loughney” at 7741 N. Soledad Avenue, from Congresswoman Giffords, on Congressional stationary, dated August 30, 2007, thanking him for attending a “Congress on your Corner” event at the Foothills Mall in Tuscon. Also recovered in the safe was an envelope with handwriting on the envelope stating “I planned ahead,” and “My assassination,” and the name “Giffords,” along with what appears to be Loughner’s signature.

Sadly, I expect that this information will make no difference to the people determined to “prove” that yesterday’s tragedy was Sarah Palin’s fault.

(h/t 1539days)


The truth is biased


Big Tent Democrat:

There is a new celebratory quality to journalism that manifests itself in different ways. In the Beltway, it’s being in with the government In crowd. That means sacrificing objectivity and the truth.

Davies seems to have allowed, indeed he appears to be celebrating, his belief that Assange is a loathsome figure (not about the sex he makes clear) interfere with his duties as a journalist.

Can Nick Davies be considered an objective reporter on Wikileaks or Assange in the face of that admission? Similarly Wired magazine appears to have made similar moral judgments about Assange. In an e-mail he sent to Glenn Greenwald, the entirety of which he published himself, Wired’s Ryan Singel wrote of Assange and Wikileaks:

Suffice it to say I’m disappointed by your article, which I find to be warped by your allegiance to Wikileaks, which gets nothing but glowing accolades from you, despite ample evidence that Assange and Wikileaks aren’t acting in good faith.

Now whether Assange or Wikileaks are acting in good faith is an important part of the Wikileaks story, but it strains credulity to believe that a reporter who has concluded that Assange and Wikileaks “aren’t acting in good faith” can present itself as, in the words of Newsweek, “objective and nonpartisan.”

First of all, let me remind you that BTD thought media bias was a good thing when it came to selecting the Democratic nominee:

As most of you know by now, the difference maker for me in supporting Barack Obama in the primaries was the fact the he is the Media Darling of the election.

Secondly, while the media should be somewhat objective and neutral at the beginning of researching/investigating a story, by the end they should have formed an opinion. They can’t put aside their own knowledge and experience and that will affect their perceptions.

More importantly, we rely on reporters (and cops) to evaluate what they see and hear and give us an accurate picture of what they think really happened. But, just like cops, they need to present us with ALL the information they have gathered so we can double-check their conclusions.

How many times in recent years have we seen the media present both sides of as story as equally credible when they’re not? How often have they given us a completely one-sided presentation?

Both approaches are equally wrong.


Caveat: I’m talking about what’s called “investigative journalism.” When reporting on something like a political debate the media should try to present both sides as accurately as possible so the voters can form their own opinions. But even then they should fact-check misstatements and incorrect information.


Obama gives progressives a reach-around


It says so right in the Washington Post:

Obama reaches out to liberal groups to shore up Democratic base after tax deal

n the wake of President Obama’s tax-cut deal with Republicans, the White House is moving quickly to mend its strained relationship with the Democratic base, reassuring liberal groups, black leaders and labor union officials who opposed the tax compromise that Obama has not abandoned them.

On Friday morning, hours before the president signed into law the $858 billion package extending George W. Bush-era tax cuts as well as jobless benefits, White House aides e-mailed leaders of the black community to hail the compromise as a “major victory for African Americans.”

Friday afternoon, Obama hosted a group of union presidents in the Roosevelt Room for what participants described as a cordial meeting in which the two sides agreed to look beyond their differences.

One participant in the 90-minute session said the group asked Obama to help establish a “formalized structure” of communication between the White House staff and the labor movement. The tax deal came up only briefly when Obama explained the benefits of the deal to workers.

“There’s been some uncomfortable moments and some large amount of disagreement about substance and tactics,” said Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, a liberal activist group. “But they know some parts of the base are angry with them, and they’re trying to make the case why this [tax compromise] is the best deal they could get.”

The problem with a reach-around is you only get one when you’re getting f**ked in the ass.



Krugman says the zombie apocalypse is upon us:

When historians look back at 2008-10, what will puzzle them most, I believe, is the strange triumph of failed ideas. Free-market fundamentalists have been wrong about everything — yet they now dominate the political scene more thoroughly than ever.

How did that happen? How, after runaway banks brought the economy to its knees, did we end up with Ron Paul, who says “I don’t think we need regulators,” about to take over a key House panel overseeing the Fed? How, after the experiences of the Clinton and Bush administrations — the first raised taxes and presided over spectacular job growth; the second cut taxes and presided over anemic growth even before the crisis — did we end up with bipartisan agreement on even more tax cuts?

The answer from the right is that the economic failures of the Obama administration show that big-government policies don’t work. But the response should be, what big-government policies?

For the fact is that the Obama stimulus — which itself was almost 40 percent tax cuts — was far too cautious to turn the economy around. And that’s not 20-20 hindsight: many economists, myself included, warned from the beginning that the plan was grossly inadequate. Put it this way: A policy under which government employment actually fell, under which government spending on goods and services grew more slowly than during the Bush years, hardly constitutes a test of Keynesian economics.

Now, maybe it wasn’t possible for President Obama to get more in the face of Congressional skepticism about government. But even if that’s true, it only demonstrates the continuing hold of a failed doctrine over our politics.


O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!


Support a single mom


Okay, I admit it. I’m having way too much fun. But some people are taking this shit waaaaaay too serious.

Tom Bergeron:

“I’m a liberal Democrat, and I state that proudly. But I have no patience with my friends who believe there is a conspiracy keeping Bristol on the show. They’ll say, ‘Oh, well! She’s still on the show! She’s obviously not the best dancer! She gets the lowest scores!’ I’ll say, ‘OK, right. So who did you vote for instead of Bristol?’ ‘Uh, well, I don’t vote!’ ‘Well, then, f**k you,’” he griped to Movieline.com. “I have no patience for that! If you don’t participate to create a different outcome — and this can be true in national politics or a TV reality show — then don’t piss and moan if you don’t like the way it’s playing out. I think Bristol is clearly not the best dancer here, but she’s a charming young woman who’s shown an incredible growth from week one to this week.”

Tonight’s the last night of competition on this season’s Dancing With the Stars. It’s gonna be craaaaayzeeeee!

The number to call or text (AT&T customers only) your vote for them is 800-868-3407. You can also vote online by going here. You get to vote several times, several different ways. Use all your options for Bristol. Voting begins when the show starts. You have until 30 minutes after DWTS ends to vote via phone and text. However, you may vote online until 11 a.m. Eastern the next day.

Tonight’s show airs at 8:00 PM eastern on ABC, with the results airing at 9:00 pm tomorrow.

Join the conspiracy to ruin DWTS!

(This is an open thread)


Ask not what Obama can do for you, ask what you can do for Obama

"O-bama O-bama O-bama"


Inside the mind of a rabid Obot (no link, biohazard):

And it’s why I smile when I read people shrieking and rending their garments for him to do this or say that as if he were their servant.

Obama IS our servant you moron. Haven’t you ever heard the term “public servant?”

We don’t work for him, he works for us.

This fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between Obama and the rest of the country explains a lot about Obots. It explains a few things about Obama too.

Anglachel:

Both of these actions are part and parcel of the movement style campaign politics Obama favors and which is so beloved of the righteous Stevensonians. It is narcissistic and a-historical (We are the one’s we have been waiting for), refuses to acknowledge politics as they are, and antithetical to mundane, interest-based transactional governance. It doesn’t want responsibility, only obedience and adulation, and so refuses to take it when things go belly up.

Barack Obama ran for office because he wanted to BE President of the United States. He wanted the perks and privileges of power, he was on the ultimate ego trip.

Hillary Clinton wanted to be president because she wanted to USE the power of the office to do things for our country, to make our nation a better place. She could care less about the trappings of power.

Both Hillary and Bill Clinton have made public service their life’s work. And not just our nation, they have served the world. There is no higher calling than that.

Barack Obama came into office presumptuously comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln. Today is the anniversary of Lincoln’s most famous speech:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

I’m gonna make a prediction – 100 years from now schools and banks will be open on Barack Obama’s birthday.




Palinpalooza – DWTS Edition


This shit got old a looooong time ago.

Amanda Marcotte at Slate:

For anyone who has any doubts that the main engine of the vicousness of the American political landscape is a pure culture war, I give to you the case of Bristol Palin hanging in on Dancing With the Stars. Palin is making a career out of conservative America using her to demonstrate that what matters most to them is that you’re a member of their tribe. You can break their strict sexual rules, and they’ll embrace you. You can have no talent whatsoever, and they’ll promote you. Just so long as you’re in the tribe. It’s how George W. Bush got to be president, so this shouldn’t be so shocking. Especially when you consider that cheeseball fare like Dancing With The Stars draws more Republican viewers than Democratic ones.

Tribal/cultural war is the only explanation. If this was actually about politics, it would only be about politics. Who wins on Dancing With the Stars has exactly zero impact on policy decision-making in Washington. It has nothing to do with those things that we keep hearing motivate the Tea Party–tax rates, “fiscal conservatism,” the auto bailout. But it has everything to do with scoring points in the ongoing war of sticking it to those latte-drinking liberals, who sneeringly believe the spawn of the martyred Sarah Palin shouldn’t win because she’s not good enough. The nerve!

Consider that the folks who are organizing to keep Bristol Palin on the show are easy to set off on rants about the evils of affirmative action, and much of what defines the current political landscape will become all too clear.

There’s more from Amanda in the comments:

Apparently. I don’t see why she can’t be a celebrity. She’s far from the only woman whose main claim to fame is that she’s given birth.

Read the rest of the comments. I’m surprised nobody came right out and called Bristol Palin a slut or a fat cow.
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