Bill Maher Nails It – Again!

I don’t always agree with Bill Maher, but that’s a good thing in my mind. When people start thinking in “lock-step”, then we are in a dangerous place. I haven’t listened to the entire podcast of Bill’s show, which is how I get it… HBO for this poor sucker. Crooks and Liars has a clip of it and below you can find some of the transcript. I’d like to hang with Bill Maher, I like how he calls bullshit what it is. One of his “New Rules” from his last show is priceless.

New Rule: Al Gore Must Call His Sequel An Inconvenient Truth 2: What the Fuck Is Wrong With You People?

Bill has a column over at Huffington Post that you can read here. One of my favorite lines from it is below, he is responding to Global Warming deniers. (emphasis mine)

That’s the problem with our obsession with always seeing two sides of every issue equally — especially when one side has a lot of money. It means we have to pretend there are always two truths, and the side that doesn’t know anything has something to say. On this side of the debate: Every scientist in the world. On the other: Mr. Potato Head.

There is no debate here — just scientists vs. non-scientists, and since the topic is science, the non-scientists don’t get a vote. We shouldn’t decide everything by polling the masses. Just because most people believe something doesn’t make it true. This is the fallacy called argumentum ad numeram: the idea that something is true because great numbers believe it. As in: Eat shit, 20 trillion flies can’t be wrong.

You loyal readers know how I’ve been bitching about polling every damn thing that moves, the lazy journalism method, but it’s more than that. It’s crossing over into the realm of upending long established principles that this country was founded on. See Arizona and the “show us your papers” law if you need an example. The media is pushing the polls that show the “majority” of Americans agree with it, the constitution be damned. The media is trying to exert control over the agenda by commissioning polls with leading questions, poorly ordered questions and nonsense topics like the freakin bad call at the Detroit Tigers game last week.

I watched some of Morning Joke this morning and was treated to a constant drumming of the meme that the president hasn’t showed he cares enough about the oil spill, and Scarborough was trying his hardest to morph it into a leadership issue. Leadership is much different than stagecraft….photo ops….empathy….and fake outrage. I love the fact that my president is a serious, get things done president instead of someone standing in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner. I want him working, not acting. I want him solving problems, not flying around the country to the latest natural or man-made disaster. I know if he were that type of president, the media would be pounding him for being all about symbolism and appearances.

Morning Joke clearly has an agenda to damage the president, why else would they devote their entire show for weeks to beating that drum? It’s not like there were a couple of terrorists captured this weekend or anything else that happened in the world. And Joe and Mika (President of Joe’s fan club and lap dog) keep exaggerating and mischaracterizing what people actually have said. This morning he painted a picture that said that every democrat that’s been on in the last couple of weeks thinks the president is doing a poor job at “managing” this crisis. Which is complete horseshit. I watch almost every morning and it isn’t true. Sure, people have said he should have been “more out front” on the issue or could have tweaked his public performance, but they have all said he is doing everything he can. This morning James Cameron said that exact thing, which Joe glossed over…he hears what he wants and talks over those who he doesn’t want to be heard. Anthony Weiner had that pulled on him this morning too.

Republican Violence In The Name of God!

The holier than thou Republicans are showing their true colors with their latest violent actions and rhetoric. Here is a clip from Countdown with Keith Olbermann, hosted by Larry O’Donnell.

What is wrong with this picture when people who supposedly value the “sanctity of life” hurl death threats and wish death upon people because of a vote to help mostly poor people get access to health care. Are these “good Christians” saying this shit? Religion in this country has become so bastardized, especially since they’ve infiltrated politics, that they actually seem to justify their violent actions and rhetoric with their religious beliefs. Gihad anyone? These are the real terrorists within our country. Let’s lock them up and waterboard them, give them a taste of their own medicine. Arghhhhhhhhh.

The Death of the Tea Party, A Day of Celebration!

Lee Papa, The Rude Pundit often says it better than anyone and he nails it on the head again with this piece about the future of the Tea Party. Here is my favorite part of his excellent post.

Here’s what’s going to happen after the vote on the reconciliation bill in the House on Sunday: Almost every Tea Partier who was out there protesting will go the fuck away. They will devote whatever energy they have left to posting comments on blogs and Facebook pages. Their leaders, desperate to still be relevant and still draw a paycheck, will try to come up with some other phantom issue to whip up enthusiasm. But once it passes, no one will give a shit except the people it helps. The Civil War won’t be re-fought. The Constitution won’t be shredded. One or two states might try to force their misinterpretation of the 10th Amendment. Soon, Beck and Hannity and Michele Bachmann and Steve King will discover another Republic-ending crisis, probably immigration reform, and we’ll start the magical cycle all over again.

Meanwhile, those poor, ignorant bitches and bastards in the photo up there will shuffle home, curse the process, and, like good corporate tools, continue to suck down fast food and sodas and buy shit they don’t need because it’s cheaply made in China and sold at Wal-Mart and proudly drive gas-devouring vehicles and keep their children stupid and tell themselves that they aren’t the problem, no, they are the solution, wondering how to fill the desperate couple of hours between the end of Limbaugh’s radio show and the start of Beck’s TV rants, despising those who are attempting to do something for them and their neighbors, wondering where their country went, when, after all, this is where it’s gone.

Is immigration the next issue to get the racist, hateful, unpatriotic tea partiers riled up? Seems like a good fit for their agenda.

Jane Hamsher and her “Firebaggers”!

Those of you who read my rants know that I have major differences with Jane Hamsher and some of the folks at her Firedoglake Empire. Although I agree with them on many things, I don’t agree with their tactics when dealing with President Obama and others who differ with them on issues. One of the most recent examples of her tactics was the slanted poll she sponsored in Arkansas’ 2nd district, which ended up causing Vic Snyder, the one on the losing end of the poll, to withdrawal from the race. Most people who’ve looked at it say Hamsher’s poll was the reason for his quitting. Nate Silver rips apart the questions they asked…

So, for all that work, the poll shows a whopping 4-point decline in Snyder’s poll numbers, and a 2-point increase in Griffin’s — not even outside of the margin of error. We don’t know how much of that has to do with opposition to the mandate versus the balance of the bill since the poll doesn’t unpack them — they could have asked an additional question or two to tease this out, but they didn’t.

And that 4-point decline — which may or may not be statistically significant and which may or may not have anything to with the individual mandate — comes only after they’d asked five or six questions in a row that framed the mandate in a negative light, and also reminded people for no particular reason about just how happy they are with their coverage in the status quo — all while using robopolling technology that was never really designed to ask complex sets of policy questions like these.

Great work, guys!

In contrast to Hamsher’s approach to polling, Daily Kos is all over the proper way to conduct a poll. They lay out the methodology and policies that clearly are meant to get fair accurate results. Here is the first thing covered in their published guidelines.

1) Questionnaire or survey instrument: This is the list of questions that will be asked in the poll.

First of all, it is vital to ask the question as fairly and objectively as possible. The exact wording of the questions and their order in the questionnaire are obviously important, as this can be the most controversial part of any poll. To provide full transparency, we publish the exact questions we ask, in the order asked…

…What must be emphasized is that it is important to be objective and have the facts straight when asking any issue question. Adjectives cannot be used in asking such questions, period. A question about the death penalty, for example, needs to be asked fairly and straightforwardly, with no embellishment: “Do you favor or oppose the death penalty?”

Nate Silver’s piece is most excellent, I recommend you read the whole thing. It clearly shows how polling in the wrong hands can produce very slanted results. The media has embraced polls as the gospel these days., no matter how bad they are done. And really, did you see the results of the last Daily Kos poll, here are some results. Do you want these folks setting policy for us?

Do you believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be President than Barack Obama?

Yes 53
No 14
Not Sure 33

So, when you combine the not sure and the yes, that’s 86% of republicans who either think Sarah Palin is more qualified than President Obama or they really don’t know. Wow! President of Harvard Law Review vs. beauty pageant contestant and news anchor. Hmmmmm, which one would be more qualified?

“Run Sarah, Run” The Leader Of The Republican Party Speaks!

Did you see Sarah Palin’s speech to the Teabaggers convention? I’ll put it up below but I don’t necessarily recommend that you watch it. As I was watching, I realized that I had to tune out once in a while because I felt my intelligence being lowered and had to break away from the spell. :)  I’m only half joking. The stream of consciousness that came out of her mouth was typical Palinism, her interpretation of things is almost like she gets her information 3rd hand or something. You know how when you start a rumor at one end of a table and by the time it gets to the other end, it’s completely different. That’s how I perceive Sarah getting her info, someone told Todd (like Rush Limbaugh or more likely Glenn Beck) and then he retells it to Queen Sarah.

I won’t even attempt to counter the huge pile of crap that she spewed out onto the stage last night, others will have a lot of fun with it I’m sure. I’m more fascinated by the roll she is playing in conservative politics, she basically was wooing the Teabaggers to the Republican Party, saying “come join us, we’re just as crazy as you are.” Now, I guess I shouldn’t be so gleeful at the thought of the republicans hooking up with this group, maybe they can get 51% of the country to believe that crap. I have to always remind myself that America REelected George W. Bush.

Now I’ve seen these images in a couple of places, but I’m not sure if they are from the Onion or not. It made me laugh because at the university I work at, students write on their hands all the time. I think they’re just trying to use less paper.

It says Energy – of course, she’s an expert on energy – being from Alaska!

Budget Tax Cuts – that’s a tough one to sell, huh? The crossed out Budget is funny, she corrected herself as she was writing it, her speech must have been well thought out, huh?

Lift American Spirit – catch phrase of the day!

And now here is her speech to the Teabagger convention, WARNING!!!! YOUR IQ MAY DECREASE WITH EXTENDED VIEWING!!

Arianna Huffington Is A Republican, Folks?

I was torturing myself this morning as usual and watching Morning Starbucks with Joe and Mika. Arianna Huffington was on with them, apparently she hosted a party for Mika’s book last night with the Hollywood folks, she is kind of the west coast’s Sally Quinn. I watched as Joe and Arianna agreed on damn near everything, it inspired me to write this post about the transformation of The Huffington Post from being a Bush bashing blog to an Obama bashing blog.

I remember vividly when Arianna Huffington broke with the Bush/Cheney Republican Party, I saw a speech that she gave on C-SPAN and thought, wow, a Republican criticizing a fellow Republican. She then turned it into a business by launching The Huffington Post blog and news site. She seemed rather good at attacking Bush and drew many progressives to her site for that reason. I have to admit, I was a regular reader during the Bush/Cheney years and it continued until several months ago when the transition from attacking Bush to attacking Obama occurred. It was a gradual process that has now taken full bloom. In a recent post by Arianna, she interprets the president’s State of the Union address through her veil of cynicism and her true conservative beliefs are coming into display again. Here is a piece from her post…

But judging from the speech, he also spent a lot of time going over the results of focus groups and polls. Indeed, the speech, despite its charm, humor, and occasionally impassioned rhetoric, had the feel of being focus-grouped within an inch of its life. There was a decidedly paint-by-poll-numbers air about it.

Ah, so he doesn’t really believe anything he said, he’s just saying what a poll says he should say. She somehow then jumps into blaming Obama for the two wars that he inherited and is trying to clean up. It’s like she’s just swapped out Obama’s name with Bush’s, because they are soooooo similar, aren’t they? She then goes on to write this….

The president’s Pander-palooza continued with the middle class-friendly initiatives he announced on Monday and touched on again during the SOTFG (State of the Focus Group).

Oh no, not middle class-friendly initiatives, that must be pandering. It’s so fucking easy to be cynical about everything, it can’t possibly be that he cares about the middle class.  She then blames the whole bailout of the banks on Obama, even though I seem to remember that it was a Bush administration proposal, before President Obama even took office. Remember, the sky was falling, pensions were at risk, life savings at risk, the housing market was about to collapse, the stock market…..great depression….oh nooooooooooo. So our new president did what everyone told him had to be done and bailed out the banks. Almost all of that money has been paid back, but somehow that fact eludes the people who want to attack the president, convenient amnesia.

When are the democrats and real progressives going to call out the Arianna Huffington’s, the Jane Hamsher’s and the Cenk Uygur’s on their undermining of progressive causes? When are we going to stop playing footsie with those who want to bring down our democratic president who is fighting against the new 41 seat majority of Republicans? When are we going to take a look at these folks as the turncoats that they are? I’m going to keep hammering them.

Republicans, The Adolescent Party!

This clip shows the mentality of the Grand Old Party, like when I was 8 years old and saying the opposite of everything my older brother said. It was a fun game for me because it drove my brother nuts. I don’t think that grown women and men really should be playing this game with the future of our country, no matter how much fun the adolescent Republicans are having. After all, only adults can vote.