Thursday, September 27, 2012

Last Call

Podcast Vs. The Stupid for tonight is now up.

Listen to internet radio with Zandar Versus The Stupid on Blog Talk Radio

Bon and I talk Mitt Romney running into a wall in the swing states, Todd Akin and Claire McCaskill, Scott Brown douchiness and Springfield's pot law bait and switch.

Subscribe to PVTS on iTunes or download the full episode here.

Or, as always you can check out the episode archive page here.

Weathering The Storm

A new report out by international humanitarian agency DARA paints an extremely grim picture of the road ahead for the next 20 years because of the refusal of the world's major powers to deal with climate change issues. As a result, the agency predicts the additional death toll by 2030 due to climate issues will top 100 million.

As global average temperatures rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, the effects on the planet, such as melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought and rising sea levels, will threaten populations and livelihoods, said the report conducted by humanitarian organisation DARA.

It calculated that five million deaths occur each year from air pollution, hunger and disease as a result of climate change and carbon-intensive economies, and that toll would likely rise to six million a year by 2030 if current patterns of fossil fuel use continue.

Current fossil fuel patterns of course won't continue, shortages will see to that.  But the real problem is that those who will suffer the most will be in South America and especially Africa.

More than 90 percent of those deaths will occur in developing countries, said the report that calculated the human and economic impact of climate change on 184 countries in 2010 and 2030. It was commissioned by the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a partnership of 20 developing countries threatened by climate change.

"A combined climate-carbon crisis is estimated to claim 100 million lives between now and the end of the next decade," the report said.

The argument I hear the most about why we can't and shouldn't do a single thing about this issue is that the costs will drive us into an instant and prolonged economic depression.  If the DARA report is right, doing nothing is exactly what will put the planet in a global depression.

It said the effects of climate change had lowered global output by 1.6 percent of world GDP, or by about $1.2 trillion a year, and losses could double to 3.2 percent of global GDP by 2030 if global temperatures are allowed to rise, surpassing 10 percent before 2100.

3.2% of global GDP is a pretty brutal cut.  Oh yeah, and 100 million dead, well, that's not so great either. 

I continue to say that the climate change denial movement of the early 21st century will be looked back upon as one of Earth's greatest tragedies.

Poller Opposites

Republicans are now fully invested in the notion that the polls showing Obama is ahead are all wrong to the point of near-criminal negligence and conspiracy.

With six weeks until Election Day, new polling from Quinnipiac, the New York Times and CBS News shows President Obama leading in crucial swing states including Ohio, Florida and Iowa. As Obama’s lead grows, so does the number of conservatives who claim polls in general are biased and cannot be trusted. Similar to their dismissal of fact-checkers who flagged lies in Romney’s ads and Paul Ryan’s convention speech, conservatives are now claiming the media outlets that conduct the polls are attempting to discourage Republicans from voting by falsely tipping the polls toward Democrats.

Helping this narrative along is a new website, Unskewed Polls, which claims, after liberal media bias is removed, Romney is in fact beating Obama by a wide margin in every poll. Business Insider unpacked how the website is manipulating data to come up with a Romney victory.

Nicknamed “poll sample truthers” by Dave Weigel, the skeptics are falling over each other to explain how the numbers are lying.

Over at the Juice, the boss notes that there's a method to this madness:

So, I have three theories why they have decided to avoid polling data:
Theory #1- Victimhood is so much easier and far more soothing than objective reality. They can scream about how every polling outlet is against them and affirm the “left wing bias” of the media. Ed Henry and Chris Wallace are giggling right now.

Theory #2- They know they are going to lose, so they are just poisoning the well, trying to nullify the impact of an Obama victory. For Republicans, this is a viable strategy. For Democrats. this seems kind of silly, since anyone with a pulse knows that Jim Demint and the teahadists are going to spend the next four years sabotaging Obama regardless, much like they have for the past four years.

Finally, there is option #3- the point of claiming the polls are wrong is to provide cover for Republican governors to throw the election.

I'm going to go even more long ball on this and put forth a bigger game on Theory 4, (expanding on Cole's Theory 2 only on steroids):  Polls were wrong, Obama is the one who stole the election, he should probably be impeached, and replaced with someone who will sign an extremely strict national voter disenfranchisement ID law, or if he survives the impeachment, he should be made to sign such a law ahead of 2016 under heavy pressure.

#1 makes the most sense, but it's too small.  #2 makes nearly as much sense, but again, it's thinking too small.  #3 has the most short term reward, but given many conservatives hate Romney, I'm not thinking they want to risk such an obvious plot (unless it's to make the race close enough for in one or two states to require multiple recounts in order to continue to pound at the "voter fraud" issue, see my above theory.)  Then again, there's SCOTUS to consider.

Anyway, regardless of who wins in November, I fully expect Republicans to institute nationalized voter suppression laws.  Count on it.  The long term viability of the GOP depends on restricting the vote as much as possible to wealthier, older, white voters and both sides know it.

Would You Like Paper, Plastic Or Shame?

Is a $15 gift card enough to compensate for public humiliation at your local grocery store? According to one Georgia woman, the answer is absolutely not.
Cindy Nerger, 28, who relies on food stamps to feed her family, said she was brought to tears after being embarrassed by a manager at a Kroger store in Warner Robbins, Ga.
“He said, ‘Excuse me for working for a living and not relying on food stamps like you,’” Nerger said the manager told her.
This was after a debate regarding whether some of her purchases were covered by food stamps.  Approximately ten dollars worth of items were being questioned, and the manager decided to just give her the items rather than argue.  Yet he said this.

Ten bucks is going to cost Kroger a ton of goodwill and publicity.  This man was out of line, no question.  While the grocery chain has moved  him to a different location, it's still clear that he has no sense of what to say to a customer.

The full article goes on to explain that Nerger's husband owns a business that is struggling, and she has a long-term kidney disease that has her on a waiting list for a transplant.  She is  unable to work, but hopes that once she is healthy she can contribute to society and support her family.  In other words, she's not a freeloader.  She is ill, and deserves a little respect.  She certainly did not deserve to be judged for her use of food stamps.  The notion that only the lazy rely on help has been proven wrong over and over, yet the thickheaded refuse to get the point: smart, hardworking people need help once in a while, too.

I was hoping Kroger would have a better response, but they also haven't had much time.  I'll follow up if something significant comes of this.  Their response was taken from "Public Goofups 101 Disaster Manual" and was as boring and bland as Ben Stein reading Steinbeck.

Dog Adopts Lost Kitten

Here's a little heart thumping story about a kitten who was rescued, and the dog who adopted her as her own:

Because sometimes we just need that.  All happy, no sad.  Enjoy!

Trouble Right Here In River City

Turns out that roadblock kerfuffle in Erlanger near the NKY airport during the President's motorcade last week here in Cincinnati was a lot more serious than the local cops let on.

A federal criminal complaint unsealed in Covington on Wednesday says Kerry T. Prater of West Liberty had three weapons and at least 500 rounds of ammunition when he ran through an Erlanger police roadblock on Sept. 17. Obama's motorcade passed through northern Kentucky that day on the way to Cincinnati.

The complaint, written by Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Agent Ronald Young, says Prater has a lengthy criminal history and had been previously declared mentally ill.

Awesome.  And this jackass came all the way down from West Liberty, 2 hours away.

Young wrote that police erected the roadblock that afternoon. Air Force One landed at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport in Hebron, Ky., about 16 miles south of Cincinnati.

The suspect ran through the roadblock and was forced off the road by an Erlanger police officer, Young wrote.

"Prater refused to exit the vehicle and (the officer) removed him from the vehicle," Young wrote.

After Prater was out of the car, the police officer saw a partially concealed .38 caliber revolver on the front passenger floorboard, Young wrote. The officer then found a .223 caliber rifle hidden under a towel on the rear floorboard with four loaded magazines and 500 additional rounds of ammunition, Young wrote.

A search of Prater's car turned up a third revolver as well, Young wrote.

Remind me to buy that Erlanger cop who ran this clown off the road a cold one.  Here's a guy who has a history of harassment and mental illness, and was told by a judge that he couldn't carry firearms because of his previous troubles with the law.  So how'd he get 3 firearms and 500 rounds of ammo?

C'mon people, I live here.  It's gorram Kentucky.

And Voters Are Against Punching Kittens, Too

Wow, the DC Examiner discovers that if you make complete nonsense up over what Obamacare supposedly does and tell people about it, they don't like it!

President Obama's support for abortion and taxpayer funded birth control could kill his chances to win swing voters in Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and Florida, and possibly his reelection, according to a new poll.

Likely voters by a 49 percent to 25 percent margin, or two-to-one, say they are less likely to vote for Obama because he included taxpayer funding of abortion in Obamacare. A whopping 54 percent are less likely to back him due to his vote against a law to give equal treatment to babies born alive after a failed abortion. And 69 percent reject the administration's mandate that forces faith-based institutions to provide insurance that covers birth control.

The problem is every single one of these claims about Obamacare is patently false

No, Obamacare does not include taxpayer funding of abortions.

In fact, the policy does not require anyone who does not want abortion coverage to pay for it. Under the law, states have to offer at least one health plan on their insurance exchanges that doesn't cover abortion services at all. If a state decides it does want to have health plans that cover abortion services on its exchange, and if a woman chooses one of those plans, then she has to pay a separate fee of at least $1 to a separate account for that coverage in order to make sure no federal dollars are used to support abortion services.

Do we understand the concept of "If you choose a state-exchange plan that does include abortion coverage, you have to pay more for it out of your own pocket?"   Good.  And no, President Obama did not vote against an"infanticide" provision.

In reporting on abortion-rights opponents' criticism of Sen. Barack Obama's opposition as an Illinois state senator to bills seeking to amend the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, the media have promoted numerous myths and falsehoods about Obama and the legislation. In several instances, the media have simply repeated false accusations -- or made the accusations themselves -- that Obama's opposition amounted to support for infanticide. For example, on the August 18 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Obama "believes it is proper to kill a baby that has survived an abortion," while right-wing pundit Ann Coulter said that Obama "wants the doctors ... chasing it through the delivery room to make sure it gets killed." Further, author Jerome Corsi claimed that "[e]ven if a child was born, he said the woman still had the right to kill the child in an abortion," and Oregonian associate editor David Reinhard wrote that Obama's opposition was "enabling infanticide." In fact, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, Obama and other opponents said the bill posed a threat to abortion rights and was unnecessary because, they said, Illinois law already prohibited the conduct supposedly addressed by the bill.

Got it?  The measure was unnecessary and legally pointless,just like every other whackjob law the GOP tries to pass these days.

Finally, no, Obamacare does not force religious institutions to pay for both control.

In a single-payer system, you pay for your insurance through taxes. In an employer-based system, like the one the Affordable Care Act reinforces, you pay for your insurance through wages that your employers withholds and dumps into a health insurance fund on your behalf. Either way, though, it’s really your money that's paying for your health insurance, not your company’s. The only objection that ought to matter is yours.

See the first point.  You pay for your insurance for your employer through wage deductions, not your employer.

But hey, DC Examiner is making stuff up wholesale, just like "Obamacare will cost the President the swing state vote!"

Keep dreaming, morons.  The American people are on to your crap.


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