Monday, July 7, 2014

Last Call For It Finally Registering With You

Pew Research has more details on the one group in their political ideology poll from last month that didn't have a voting preference: the 10% of Americans who both aren't registered to vote and who don't care about politics enough to do so.  Pew calls them "Political Bystanders".

While Bystanders view the Democratic Party more favorably than the GOP, they have a mix of liberal and conservative attitudes. They are sympathetic to the plight of the poor, but as many say that government aid to the poor does more harm than good as vice versa. They express fairly liberal views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage, but 54% say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. 
Bystanders are young (38% are under 30), and nearly a third (32%) are Hispanic. A third of Bystanders are foreign born, a higher share than any of the other typology groups, including 29% total who are not citizens. 
Asked about their interest in a number of topics, 73% of Bystanders say they have no interest in government and politics, and two-thirds (66%) say they are not interested in business and finance. So what topics do interest them? Health, science and celebrities: 64% of Bystanders are interested in celebrities and entertainment (vs. 46% of the public). And, in a sign of their youth, they are drawn to video games: 35% call themselves a “video or computer gamer” (vs. 21% of the public). 
In our survey, Bystanders were often more likely than other political cohorts to answer “don’t know,” to say they’ve “never heard of” the topic in question or to refuse to answer questions altogether.

So, minus the 29% of Political Bystanders who aren't US citizens and can't vote, that still leaves 71% of 10% of voting age Americans -- some 7.1% of eligible voters -- who could vote if they wanted to register. Or could register, with awesome GOP voter suppression laws.

The 38% of the Bystanders who are Millennials are the ones most likely to have common cause with the Democrats.  If even half of them were convinced to register and vote blue in 2014, that would be a 2% boost across the board for the Dems, and that would go a long, long way in saving the Senate.

Why do you think Republicans are trying to make voting so difficult for the young and the poor?

Tryin' To Catch Me Ridin' Dirty

We've long known that conservatives (being those completely logical, reasonable creatures that they are) will do anything detrimental, obnoxious, stupid, childish, or dangerous as long as they know that doing it pisses off liberals.  Case in point: diesel pickup trucks that are "rolling coal".

Pickup trucks customized to spew black smoke into the air are quickly becoming the newest weapon in the culture wars.

"Coal Rollers" are diesel trucks modified with chimneys and equipment that can force extra fuel into the engine causing dark black smoke to pour out of the chimney stacks. These modifications are not new, but as Slate's Dave Weigel pointed out on Thursday, "rolling coal" has begun to take on a political dimension with pickup drivers increasingly viewing their smokestacks as a form of protest against environmentalists and Obama administration emissions regulations. 
Last month, Vocativ noted many coal rollers focus their fumes on "nature nuffies," or people who drive hybrids, and "rice burners," or Japanese-made cars.

"The feeling around here is that everyone who drives a small car is a liberal," a roller named Ryan told Vocativ. "I rolled coal on a Prius once just because they were tailing me."

To recap, people spend money tricking out their diesel pickups to purposely make them more fuel-inefficient so they can belch more carbon smoke because screw you Obama liberals in your hybrids.  Adding more of a carbon footprint on purpose to counteract environmentally conscious folks because haha, Al Gore is fat is a completely, 100% viable thing to do if you're a winger, kids.

You have to be impressed with people who deny global warming so vehemently that they pay money to make it worse just in case it's real.  These guys are like Bluto from the old Popeye cartoons.

With this explosion in online attention, the battles between coal rollers and their environmentalist enemies are playing out in social media pages, Youtube videos and internet comment sections. Many of the rolling coal Facebook pages feature memes that mock hybrid drivers and liberals. Coal rollers have also posted videos showing their trucks blasting more environmentally efficient cars with smoke.

Opponents of the practice have also taken to the internet. Weigel noted "a mid-June surge of comments" from progressives attacking coal rolling social media pages in the wake of the Vocativ article. In 2012, one outraged YouTube user posted a video entitled "Victim Of Coal Rolling" that showed a pickup shooting fumes at his car.  
"Blow your smoke at me you son of a bitch," the driver says in the video. 
Though the clip seemed designed as a criticism of coal rollers, it attracted a slew of comments from people who were clearly on the side of the pickup driver. 
"What a loser you are, ain't nothing wrong with rolling some confederate coal," one person replied. 
"Stupid ricers. what were you gonna do you bitch?" another said.

And of course, it all comes back to douchebags still fighting the War of Nawthun Aggression.

Ridin dirty, indeed.

Soccer It To Her, Boys

MoDo The Red cracks open another box of Franzia Sunset Blush and attacks her computer again, disgorging her latest incomprehensible paean to mediocrity, apparently something having to do with the US men's national team in the World Cup in Brazil.

AMERICA’S infatuation with the World Cup came at the perfect moment, illuminating the principle that you can lose and still advance.

Once our nation saw itself as the undefeatable cowboy John Wayne. Now we bask in the prowess of the unstoppable goalie Tim Howard, a biracial kid from New Jersey with Tourette’s syndrome.

With our swaggering and sanguine image deflated by epic unforced errors, Americans are playing defense, struggling to come to grips with a world where we can no longer dictate all the terms, win all the wars and lead all the charges.

“The Fourth of July was always a celebration of American exceptionalism,” said G.O.P. pollster Frank Luntz. “Now it’s a commiseration of American disappointment.”

From Katrina to Fallujah, we’re less the Shining City Upon a Hill than the House of Broken Toys.

Dowd goes on like this for another 1500 words or so, and I'll spare you all that, but apparently our inability to win World Cups is proof that America sucks now, when we used to just hate and laugh as soccer and didn't care about it at all.  Now, mushy Millennials are worried about hashtags and are too global and not MURICA enough or something and oh yeah, Obama sucks and it's his fault (there always has to be "Obama sucks" in these drunken outbursts) and maybe it was always like this.

Then she crawls back into the box of wine, and a nation is grateful for the point she stops writing her stream of unconsciousness.

Amazing, even for Dowd's normal drunken "AbFab" benders.


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