Day: January 14, 2012

Maddow to the GOP: ‘Just how anti-gay do you want to be?’ | The Raw Story

On Friday’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel looked at the aftermath of the New Hampshire Republican primary. Now that the national press have left town and the candidates pushed on to South Carolina, the state party is drafting an initiative to enshrine into their state’s Constitution that marriage should be between a man and a woman, rolling back the rights of gays and lesbians in that state.

The party is poised to push the measure forward in spite of the fact that the most die-hard social conservative in

Who’s killing Iranian nuclear scientists?

My initial thought to the question was: It’s going to make a great movie someday. 

Secondly, I doubt that United States is acting unilaterally here, if at all.  In the world of international spying and assassinations a layman couldn’t begin to fit the pieces together what with the intrigue, suspense and shadowy characters.

I’ll wait for the movie…

CNN

It’s a question many people inside Iran — and those who watch the country closely around the world — were asking Wednesday: Who is killing nuclear scientists in Iran?

An explosion on Wednesday killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a top official at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant, Iranian officials said.

He is the third man identified as a nuclear scientist to be killed in Iran in a mysterious explosion in the past two years. A fourth survived an assassination attempt.

In each case, someone placed a bomb under the scientist’s car.

Iranian officials, on state-run media, blame Israel and the United States.

“I want to categorically deny any United States involvement in any kind of act of violence inside Iran,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday.

“We believe there has to be an understanding between Iran, its neighbors and the international community that finds a way forward for it to end its provocative behavior, end its search for nuclear weapons and rejoin the international community and be a productive member of it,” she said.

While Israel generally refuses to comment on accusations and speculation , Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces, said on his Facebook page Wednesday, “I have no idea who targeted the Iranian scientist but I certainly don’t shed a tear.”

Mickey Segal, a former director of the Iranian department in the Israel Defense Forces’ Intelligence Branch, told Israel Army Radio that Wednesday’s attack was part of broader pressure being brought to bear on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime. “Many bad things have been happening to Iran in the recent period. Iran is in a situation where pressure on it is mounting, and the latest assassination joins the pressure that the Iranian regime is facing,” Segal said.

Continue reading here…

Irony Alert! Fox News’ Stossel Says “Dumb People” Shouldn’t Vote

john stossel?

Image by Mr. Wright via Flickr

Pot, meet kettle…

NewsHounds

On [Thursday’s] (1/12/12) Your World, Fox Business Channel’s John Stossel added another bogus argument to the Republican War on Voting when he told host Neil Cavuto that “we shouldn’t have these get-out-the-vote campaigns” because “our intuition sets us astray in a modern economy” and “dumb” or uninformed people shouldn’t vote.  That’s pretty funny coming from the channel whose viewers have been shown to be less informed about major news stories than the average American.

“The people who participate [in voting] oughtta be the ones who pay attention” Stossel declared, ignoring that, according to a 2011Farleigh Dickenson University poll,  people who “pay attention” to Fox News proved to be less well informed than those who get their news elsewhere; in fact, according to an analyst for the polling group, “it can be argued that the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all.” This comes on the heels of a 2010 study by the University of Marylanddemonstrating that Fox News viewers, regardless of political information, were “significantly more likely” to believe false information about American politics.

Stossel has been banging the “stupid people shouldn’t vote” drum for years, as  this 2008 video  illustrates. Here he cites the book  The Myth of the Rational Voter by Brian Caplan, which suggests that “democracies do less and let markets take up the slack” (yeah, we see where that has gotten us!) because voters are guided more by “popular misconceptions, irrational beliefs, and personal biases” than by facts. Wait a minute, don’t those comprise the very foundation on which Republican campaigning is based? Newt Gingrich certainly thought so when he authored a series of propaganda guides including Language: A Key Method of Control for the GOPAC in the early 1990’s.

There is no doubt that huge swathes of the American pubic are “low information voters”, but what Stossel and Caplan are advocating is nothing less than government by an elite, selected by equally elite voters who would probably need a degree in economics to come up to scratch (hence Stossel’s seemingly odd remark about voters astray in a modern economy). And of course, the “right” economics would be libertarian free-market economics – the very economics promoted by the Roger Ailes Fear Factory which – well, whadddaya know! – promotes popular misconceptions, irrational beliefs, and personal biases in the service of the Republican party!

“If you’re not paying attention it’s your patriotic duty not to vote” says Stossel. If Stossel wants to do something truly patriotic about “dumb” voters perhaps he should start with the propaganda “news” organization he works for.

Politico’s: The week in one-liners: Newt, Palin, Paul

The top quotes in politics …

“Let’s cut the pious baloney.” — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich giving Mitt Romney some advice.

“First dude went rogue.” — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin commenting on her husband Todd’s endorsement of Gingrich.

“I want my daughters treated the same way as my sons.” — President Barack Obama alluding to some hypothetical family members.

“There’ll be no other children in the White House.” — First lady Michelle Obama assuring CBS’s Gayle King that they won’t have more kids.

“I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” — GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney giving his opponents a useful sound bite.

“We’re nibbling at his heels.” — Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul on the race with Mitt Romney.

“I’m doing it!” — Comedian Stephen Colbert announcing his decision to explore a White House run.

Read more about: 

West Wing Week: 01/13/12 or “Insourcing: Bringing Jobs Back to America”

The White House

This week, the President visited the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, welcomed this year’s NBA Champs—the Dallas Mavericks—addressed the EPA, announced a new Chief of Staff, and introduced the White House’s Insourcing Initiative.