Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Last Call

FOX News:  still the propaganda arm of the GOP.

The "real" unemployment rate doubled under the black guy!  IMPEACH!  IMPEEEEEE...wait, they're comparing the actual unemployment rate (U-3) to the underemployment rate (U-6) and lying that they are both the same thing.

Sure.  Because that's what FOX does.  They lie to attack the Democrats, because they are the cable channel for the Republican Party.  Nobody who regularly believes FOX is going to check the stats, you know.

The 7.8 percent figure is the official unemployment rate from January 2009. This statistic reports on people who are unemployed and actively looking for a job. But as of the latest report, the official unemployment rate is 8.1 percent (0.3 percent higher than it was in January 2009), not 14.7 percent.

The 14.7 percent figure is a completely different measurement of the unemployed, which in addition to those who are actively looking for work, also counts people who are unemployed and discouraged from looking for a new job, part-time workers who prefer full-time employment, and more. This alternative measure of unemployment, which conservatives often call the "real" unemployment rate, was 14.2 percent in January 2009 -- 0.5 percentage points lower than it is today.

So yes, they are dirty liars.  I've talked about the U-6 number before, and it's gone *down* under Obama.  But FOX isn't a news channel, it's a party platform channel.  See?

Seriously Unfinished Bush Business

The NY Times drops this op-ed from Kurt Eichenwald, detailing a parttern of how intelligence on the 9/11 attacks were ignored because the crazy neocon assholes in the Bush administration thought it was -- get this now -- disinformation to distract us from the real threat, Saddam Hussein.

No really.  That's the deal.

The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.

But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day. 

In response, the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real. 

The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Usama Bin Laden,” the daily brief of June 29 read, using the government’s transliteration of Bin Laden’s first name. Going on for more than a page, the document recited much of the evidence, including an interview that month with a Middle Eastern journalist in which Bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack, as well as competitive pressures that the terrorist leader was feeling, given the number of Islamists being recruited for the separatist Russian region of Chechnya. 

And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed. Operatives connected to Bin Laden, one reported on June 29, expected the planned near-term attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, the brief stated that the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” Some of the briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track. 

Yet, the White House failed to take significant action. Officials at the Counterterrorism Center of the C.I.A. grew apoplectic. On July 9, at a meeting of the counterterrorism group, one official suggested that the staff put in for a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place, two people who were there told me in interviews. The suggestion was batted down, they said, because there would be no time to train anyone else. 

So, if this is all true, the neocons in the Bush administration were always, always, always going after war with Iraq, and they got it.  We kind of knew that already, so I don't see what this op-ed ultimately changes, but it's a nice reminder going into the election in two months that the same people now want open war with Iran.

You think Romney will stand up to stop them?   Sure he will.  Just like Bush did with Iraq, right?

Now Here's A Question I'd Like Answered

So, what the hell is North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones doing on a white supremacist radio show?

A North Carolina Republican congressman appeared on a notorious white nationalist radio program on Saturday to talk up legislation he co-authored accusing President Barack Obama of committing impeachable offenses. Rep. Walter Jones, a fiercely anti-war congressman who often breaks with his party on key votes, appeared on the "Political Cesspool," a Memphis-based program hosted by ardent white nationalists James Edwards and Eddie Miller. The show has been condemned by groups like the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center for promoting racist, homophobic, and anti-semitic beliefs. Jones is the first member of Congress to appear on the program.

An avowed white nationalist who says David Duke is "above reproach," Edwards has referred to African-Americans as "heathen savages" and "subhuman" and suggested that slavery was "the greatest thing that ever happened" to blacks. The show's mission statement is blunt: "We represent a philosophy that is pro-White and are against political centralization," it declares. It then outlines a series of issues the show exists to promote. "We wish to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility and beyond to grow the percentage of Whites in the world relative to other races," reads one plank. Another bullet-point endorses the Confederacy: "Secession is a right of all people and individuals. It was successful in 1776 and this show honors those who tried to make it successful in 1865."

Yeah, so please explain to me how Freedom Fries Walter here is, as a sitting member of Congress up for re-election, allowed to do this without a national outcry, when he's on a white supremacist radio show with the express purpose of pushing his bill to impeach our first black President.

Go ahead, I'd love to hear the explanations of how I'm a racist for pointing this out.

Rory McIlroy Excels

CARMEL, Ind. – Rory McIlroy beat the strongest leaderboard in golf this year Sunday in the BMW Championship and joined some elite company.
Everyone knew Boy Wonder was a special player when he won the U.S. Open last summer with a record score. The last month has established him as the dominant player in golf, with three wins in four tournaments loaded with the best players – the PGA Championship and two FedEx Cup playoff events.
McIlroy became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2009 to win in consecutive weeks on the PGA Tour, and with his sixth career win, he joined Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win at least six times at age 23.
By all accounts, he's a great kid and an all-around good guy.  The real story isn't that he won, but how he has handled himself in his short but rising golf career.  He has shown sportsmanship and honor in a sport that values those highly.  Watching him Sunday, I also saw him show a lot of grace when he was under pressure and things didn't go the way he wanted.  Unlike some golfers, he simply moved on to the next shot, and that patience and control served him well.

There's no doubt we will keep hearing more about McIlroy as he continues to climb the ladder, but at this stage he has already stepped onto a very small stage and set himself apart.  Good luck to him, he will need it against Tiger and even Mickelson, who won't give up easily.  He picked a heck of a time to be a runaway success.

Hero Kid Saves Father, Sister

PEABODY, Mass. — Massachusetts state police say a 12-year-old boy steered his family's car to safety along Interstate 95 after his father suffered what appeared to be a seizure while driving.

Troopers say the boy, who's from Dracut, took the wheel Saturday, steered it into the southbound breakdown lane and applied the brakes. He also used his dad's cellphone to call 911 and described his surroundings to a dispatcher, then brought his 9-year-old, special needs sister to safety behind a guardrail.
That's a kid who was raised well, and taught how to handle a crisis.  Many adults would be overwhelmed under such circumstances.  What a brave boy, I hope his father is okay and can tell him in person what a great job he did.

The Greatest 9/11 Troll Poll Ever

I do love it when Tom Jensen and the Public Policy Polling crew stick in a completely bizarre question to ask a specific group of voters, and this week's Ohio poll was no exception as Nick Baumann at MoJo notes:

In what some (one guy on Twitter) have called "a stroke of comic genius," Public Policy Polling decided to ask Ohio Republicans who they thought "deserved more credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden: Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. In what some (my colleague Tim Murphy) have called "the greatest thing ever," a full 15 percent of Ohio Republicans surveyed said Romney deserved more credit than the president. Another 47 percent said they were "unsure." 

So, 62 percent of Ohio Republicans are pretty much Obama-hating dipsticks.  No "news" there.  Here's the interesting part:

The poll didn't offer an option for "the Navy SEALs" or "the troops," who undoubtedly would have blown out Romney and Obama if they were options. The news in this poll—as much as any one poll can be news—is that it found Obama leading Romney by five percentage points in Ohio. (The full poll results are here.) No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio. Here's a reality check on the state of the presidential race: Nate Silver, the New York Times' polling guru, now gives the president a nearly 80 percent chance of winning reelection.

But yeah, 62% of Ohio Republicans flat out refuse to give Obama credit for killing bin Laden.  You can fill in your own reasons as to why.

Underneath The Hood

Just a reminder this morning that we've made some improvements to Podcast Versus The Stupid, and we now have an archive page with all the PVTS episodes in mp3 and Windows Media Player format that you can download or listen to on your PC or mobile device, so we can get MOAR LISTENERS.  Tell your friends.  You DO have friends, right?  Maybe?  I'm hoping?  C'mon, even I have friends.

We've got big plans for PVTS in the coming weeks and months, first to get the show on iTunes so you all can get the latest episodes in one place automatically, and second, as we get better at this, we're going to expand the show to an hour and try to have guests on a regular basis.

As the hip kids say, stay tuned, true believers...


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