Monday, December 24, 2012

December 24

Alex Pareene's winner as worst of the political media of 2012 is...
I have written tens of thousands of words on what, precisely, is wrong with Politico. But I can put the case much more simply here: It's Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei.

VandeHei is the co-founder of Politico, and Allen is the organization's biggest star. Each morning Allen collects a bunch of links to day-old news stories and emails them to thousands of people, and for this he is paid a fortune. VandeHei is the guy who gives Politico its obnoxious, pseudo-macho ethos, with the shouty memos and nonsense about "metabolism." Allen exemplifies the sort of political journalist who thinks his job is faithfully reporting what mendacious professional liars tell him, while also usually protecting their identities. VandeHei thinks neutrality requires occupying a space precisely between Breitbart and the Huffington Post. Neither would probably understand if you tried to explain to them that supporting whatever any CEO says or effectively endorsing Erskine Bowles for president is actually a violation of political "neutrality."

When you see a joint Allen-VandeHei byline, you can safely expect the worst. When fellow Politico big shots John Harris and Jonathan Martin write a piece, they report on politics. When Allen and VandeHei write, they craft narrative. If the narrative bears no little relation to reality, or is simply self-serving spin from a professional political operative, no matter: Now the narrative is "out there," because Politico is proud of its ability to create its own buzz and then report on that buzz.

More of Pareene's Hack List here.
Numbers - And now it can be told: the GOP held onto their seats through gerrymandering. The counts keep coming in and the Democrats won more than 1,000,000 votes than the GOP, but they kept their seats through a massive gerrymandering effort. (Think Progress)
You've probably noticed this. But a big part of the gun violence/regulation debate is the lack of good scientific studies on the subject. And a big reason for that the CDC and NIH have been banned from funding any such studies. Here's a good run-down on the topic.
"I am frankly tired and disgusted with being labeled by many as an 'outsider' and troublemaker whose opinion does not count and who should pack my things and leave," wrote biology professor Marius van der Merwe, a South African. "It is as if a section in our community tries to defend themselves against accusations of being intolerant by showing everyone just how intolerant they really can be."

I have no interest in DC DUIs for the most part, but I like it when the offender is an avowed Mormon teetotaler:

Idaho Sen. Michael Crapo was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with driving under the influence in a Washington, D.C., suburb, authorities said. Police in Alexandria, Va., said Sunday that the three-term Republican was pulled over after his vehicle ran a red light. Police spokesman Jody Donaldson said Crapo failed field sobriety tests and was arrested at about 12:45 a.m. He was transported to the Alexandria jail and released on an unsecured $1,000 bond at about 5 a.m..


The Mormon church prohibits the use of alcohol, as well as coffee, tea and other substances. About one-quarter of Idaho residents are Mormon.

Crapo has told the Associated Press in past interviews that he abstains from drinking alcohol.

Breaking it down on gun violence - by Tom B:
Here's another thought provoking graphic from Mansur Gidfar at Upworthy that illustrates the consequences of allowing a culture of hate to rule the country (The commentary is mine). If it doesn't make you stop and think then I suspect you're one of those that have stock in the arms manufacturers either directly or through the numerous funds that have invested heavily in them or make money from the gun racket in some manner.GunFactsLong Those who don't may still be surprised at ease with which the information dispels the arguments used by the NRA in their efforts to maintain high levels of profits and dividends for the manufacturers and their shareholders.

Fact #1. The 4th grade arithmetic challenged Teahadists, that's just 2.5 people shy of an 11,500 body count annually.

Fact #2. Just how confident are you that you or one of your children won't be included in the mayhem?

Fact #3. So contrary to what the NRA leadership might tell you, there is really no way to avoid the legal sale of weapons of mass personal destruction to felons or to mentally ill individuals who are most likely to commit an act of terrorism by killing large numbers of American citizens.

Fact #4. Which only means to me that many of these same private gun sellers would probably consider selling weapons to individuals they KNOW won't pass a background check.

Fact #5. Pretty much destroys the Average NRA member's argument that regulating the sale of these weapons would do no good because all the criminals steal their weapons anyway.

Fact #6. The person who sells weapons of mass personal destruction with no regard for the consequences faces no more penalty than a cow thief?

Fact #7. In other words, 80% of these mass murders were committed by people who were not criminals by the NRA's definition of the term until the point in time at which they pulled the trigger.

Fact #8. Wow! Something we can still claim to be #1 in. Not to sure it's a distinction I want to claim though.

Fact #9. I have yet to hear a viable explanation rate from any gun advocate as to how this supports the contention that the only answer to gun violence is more guns.

Fact #10. This only means to me that once again that as in all things in a Neocapitalist society, the minority usually gets its way to the detriment of the majority including the deaths of innocents.

Fact #11. Not part of the graphic but a fact none the less. I am not going to shut up and forget about it this time. I've done that too many times before and because of that, because I didn't stand up to these people the first or second or third or 60th times the blood of all those victims, including those children and adults in Newtown is on MY hands too. I may never be able to wash it away, but I can damned sure do my little part to see that there's no more of it.






Firefighters Shot While Battling Christmas Eve Blaze



No comments: