Sunday Talk: The truth is out there

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-11-2013-05-2008

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Last weekend, President Obama announced that the United States and its diplomatic partners had reached a supposedly historic agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

It was, without a doubt, the administration’s most cynical attempt (as of then) to divert attention from the numerous failings of Obamacare; not to mention the IRS and Benghazi scandals.

Unfortunately for the White House, the American people are not (for the most part) stupid; they immediately saw the “deal” for what it is—a smokescreen.

And so, this week, the administration was forced to up its game.

By arranging the calendar in such a way that Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah fell on the same day, they hoped to finally put Obama’s second-term woes behind them.

However, all they ended up doing is proving how awesome modern conservatism is.

Or something.

Green diary rescue: Social costs of fracking, singing to Obama, $91 million of Walton greenwashing

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-11-2013-05-2008

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Every week Daily Kos diarists write dozens of environmentally related posts. Many don’t get the readership they deserve. Helping improve the odds is the motivation behind the Green Diary Rescue. In the past seven years, there have been 251 of these spotlighting more than 15,294 eco-diaries. Below are categorized links and excerpts to 45 more that appeared in the past seven days. That makes for lots of good reading during the spare moments of your weekend. [Disclaimer: Inclusion of a diary in the rescue does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.]

The Daily Bucket: rare oak woodland habitat—by OceanDiver: “On a day trip over to San Juan Island to take care of some business at our county seat there, I went across the island to the west side to see one of the rarest habitats in western Washington, a Garry Oak woodland. The predominant feature of this ecosystem is the Garry Oak (Quercus garryana), the only kind of oak native to the Pacific Northwest. It’s important to realize that the San Juan Islands have never been wilderness. Ever since the ice sheet retreated 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, and the islands emerged from the meltwater, people have lived here and worked the islands. But before ‘European’ settlement of this area in the mid 1800s, there were extensive oak woodlands here, as elsewhere across the Garry Oak range (mostly northern California to southern British Columbia, on the coastal side of the Cascade Mountain Range). Today, small patches barely survive, although several organizations are actively restoring this habitat in places. What happened to the oak woodlands? And how can current threats be mitigated? I can provide a brief overview, with links to current research and restoration efforts.”

••• •• •••

Southern Illinois Unprepared for Social Costs of Fracking Boom—by Willinois: “The Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence is concerned southern Illinois is unprepared for the social costs of a potential fracking boom. Most attention is given to the environmental consequences of fracking, but a Pennsylvania study by Food & Water Watch is bringing focus to social impacts on rural areas. Arrests for nuisance crimes, drug use and sexually transmitted disease rates went up disproportionately in fracking regions. I spoke with ILCADV’s executive director, Vickie Smith, who says that law enforcement and social service agencies in fracking areas, such as North Dakota and Montana, have struggled with increases in domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes that come with fracking booms. Dickinson, N.D., for example, saw a 300 percent increase in assault and sex offense cases.”

••• •• •••

Bombshell: Methane in U.S. atmosphere 50% higher than previously thought—by VL Baker: “Methane may be a bigger global warming issue than thought, according to a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Methane is 21 times more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, the most abundant global warming gas, although it doesn’t stay in the air as long. The study says that the EPA has underestimated the amount of methane in the atmosphere due to faulty testing and reporting methods. Much of that extra methane, also called natural gas, seems to be coming from leaks from the refining and drilling for oil and gas, known as fracking, which blows up the whole notion of natural gas as a short-term bridge fuel to a carbon-free economy. It also includes a major contribution from industrial livestock production which it says has been underestimated.”

More rescued green diaries can be found below the fold.

Midday open thread

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-11-2013-05-2008

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  • Baghdad Marching Steadily Towards Civil War, One Execution-Style Murder at a Time
    Extrajudicial, mob-style killings appear to be increasing in frequency in Bagdad. Thursday’s murder and body-dumping on a farm of 18 Sunnis (including a local province official) after their arrest by folks in “military style uniforms”, suggesting the imprimateur of Shia ethnic hate under color of law enforcement/military, follows three separate incidents of virtually the same murder/body dump variety occurring just one day before. Add this to the bombings that left 29 dead as well, and it is clear that the Bush Administration’s misadventure in Iraq that left 100,000 dead (including 66,000 civilians) all in the name of taking out Sadaam Hussein because he once insulted Papa Doc Bush did that country no demonstrable good, and may have possibly enabled renewed unspeakable harm: the sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni that has in the past left tens of thousands dead.
  • A Must-Read, No Matter What Your Religion (Even it’s No Religion):
    Whether you’re Catholic, lapsed Catholic, never was Catholic or won’t ever be Catholic, Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Guadium, issued this week, is a must read. (All 217 pages of it.) Not only does the Pope set forth a vision of the gospel that is thorough and decidedly non-Westernized in its utter rejection of materialism, consumerism and selfishness, he indiscriminately (more than 100 times!) uses throughout one of the English languages’ dirtiest words (going by how rarely it is uttered by most people, especially those in politics and in power): poor. Here’s one of my favorites: With this in mind, I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: “Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs.” (Don’t you feel naughty just reading that? Gives me chills.) Now, if we could get our President, Congresscritters and every politician on the planet to install the Pope App so they can hear these words on an hourly basis (or at least compel them to receive his Twitter feed, @Pontifex; the Pope is nothing if not social-media savvy!) we might get somewhere making a dent in global poverty.
  • Food Banks Can’t Keep Up, Not Surprisingly, Since November 1
    Right now, in the war between human dignity and the wages of poverty, poverty is winning handily. As the New York Times reported the day before Thanksgiving, and as NBC is reporting the day after Thanksgiving, food banks are being pushed to their limits trying to meet the ever-increasing need of the poor for food just to survive since the inexcusable November 1 cuts in Food Stamps took effect. And to think it’s going to get worse, not better. All the ACA health care in the world doesn’t do people any good if they are starving.
  • Retail Workers Having to Serve When They Can’t Provide Shames us All:
    IMO the “black” in Black Friday should stand for more than the retail world’s “our books are finally in the black” reference. It should also stand for “black mood”. That is the mood of many underpaid, overworked, and definitely underappreciated retail workers on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season. And no wonder: as the linked article makes clear, it’s hard being cheerful after spending all day helping frenzied consumers buy even modest things knowing that the person behind the counters helping folks get their shopping freak can’t even afford for their own children despite working, at times, more than one job. Fortunately, Walmart workers continue, despite corporate lies and retaliation, to show another way to react to Black Friday.
Pollng results re: minimum wage
  • What’s the Excuse Not to Raise the Minimum Wage Again?
    As the saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Well, recent polling makes clear that there clearly is will, and majority consensus (yes, national as in “including even those damned Republicans”) that the minimum wage must be raised. So now, let’s get busy with the way: local and state-level enactments accomplishing what all the politicians in Washington DC from President Obama on down can’t  manage to get done. We can, in that, emulate Seattle, Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties in Maryland (and San Francisco, which got its raise done in 2003) and put boots on the ground for the campaigning and/or ballot initiates needed to increase the local minimum wage.  Now that’s how you start a movement.
  • Yet Another Chink in the Dodd-Frank Armor:
    The “risk retention” rule sought to limit the possibility of another financial crisis by requiring that lenders and syndicators keep a meaningful financial stake in the loans and investment vehicles they market, and was one of the many bright spots of Dodd Frank. Unfortunately, like other key elements of Dodd Frank that have been weakened, the risk retention rule is now in danger of being largely nullified through regulation, especially that which will make it far easier to deem a mortgage “qualified” and thus allowing the exceptions to ultimately swallow the rule. This unfortunate development is thanks to an unholy alliance between folks whose hearts really are in the right place (affordable housing advocates opposed to the minimum 20% down payment requirement because of the impact on access to credit by otherwise creditworthy minority borrowers) and those whose hearts are made up entirely of dollar signs (the banks, lenders and securitization trust managers because why should they now have to face financial risk when so far homeowners and government have borne the entirety of it so far?). Given that this might end up resulting in almost every residential mortgage being “qualified” (and thus exempt from the risk retention rule under Dodd Frank and the consequences for issuing bad loans), it looks like the 1% is poised for yet another victory against Main Street.  /ffs
  • Dinesh D’Souza: STILL a Racist
    What is it with racists not having the cojones to take the heat their racist actions deservedly bring upon them? Not only did this holiday week see the latest conflagration in the never-ending sure-there’s-racist-behavior-but-there-are-no-racists-war that has gone at Daily Kos for years, but Dinesh D’Souza (aka the most IGNANT non-white racist on the planet) tweeted to the world that he was thankful on Thanksgiving Day not because white folks all over America lap his IGNANT bullshit up and he gets paid handsomely for it, but instead because “America is big enough and great enough to survive the Trayvon Martin in the White House.”  Of course, D’Souza deleted the tweet rather than defend his racism, proving once yet again that D’Souza is not the man that either President Obama is or Trayvon Martin (RIP) was.
  • 9 Days Later, Illinois Man and Dog are Reunited:
    You can’t get more holiday spirit than this: Separated for 9 days following the tornado that destroyed their town in Washington Illinois, Jacob Montgomery and his best friend, six-month old Dexter, were reunited. They are camping at a friend’s until they find a new home, but at least they are together. (I haven’t had such an ‘awww gee” moment since Barbara Garcia found her dog, Bouncy, while being interviewed on camera following the tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma earlier this year.)
  • The Gap Knows Racism when It Sees It, And Takes a Stand:

Even businesses with mediocre at best, crappy at worst, corporate citizenship records can get one right every now and then where being anti-racist is concerned (begging the question of why many so-called liberals have such trouble!) . Such is the case with The Gap, and its reaction to the racist defacement of one of the most visually compelling ads it has ever issued: a portrait of Sikh actor and jewelry designer Waris Ahluwalia. After the company learned on Twitter that the ad had been defaced with racist and ethnocentric anti-Arab bullshit (substituting the words “Make Bombs!” for the ad’s “Make Love” theme and adding”Please stop driving taxis”), The Gap not only immediately sought information about where this act had occurred, but it changed its corporate Twitter logo in solidarity.  It responded equally quickly to another defacement with the words “Bin Laden” written across Ahluwalia’s forehead. Baby steps? Yes, but that’s how you do anti-racist when you’re serious.  (Here’s hoping that similar sensibilities in corporate will ultimately prevail and The Gap will stop opposing labor reforms necessary to ensure the safety of the nonwhite people all over the globe that sell its clothes.)

Walker’s Wisconsin jobs record lags behind Democratic neighbor Minnesota

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-11-2013-05-2008

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at CPAC 2013.

Good luck explaining this one, Scott.

Republicans are quick to blame any economic problems in Republican-governed states on President Barack Obama. But political scientist Lawrence Jacobs points out an example that is hard to pin on anything but state-level Republican governance—no matter how hard they try. Wisconsin and Minnesota share a border and a lot of history, but in 2010, Wisconsin notoriously elected hard-right Gov. Scott Walker, while Minnesota elected progressive Gov. Mark Dayton. The results?

Three years into Mr. Walker’s term, Wisconsin lags behind Minnesota in job creation and economic growth. As a candidate, Mr. Walker promised to produce 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first term, but a year before the next election that number is less than 90,000. Wisconsin ranks 34th for job growth. Mr. Walker’s defenders blame the higher spending and taxes of his Democratic predecessor for these disappointments, but according to Forbes’s annual list of best states for business, Wisconsin continues to rank in the bottom half.        

Along with California, Minnesota is the fifth fastest growing state economy, with private-sector job growth exceeding pre-recession levels. Forbes rates Minnesota as the eighth best state for business. Republicans deserve some of the credit, particularly for their commitment to education reform. They also argue that Minnesota’s new growth stems from the low taxes and reduced spending under Mr. Dayton’s Republican predecessor, Tim Pawlenty. But Minnesota’s job growth was subpar during Mr. Pawlenty’s eight-year tenure and recovered only under Mr. Dayton.

Republicans have all sorts of excuses, always, but it’s worth noting that we see similar patterns at the presidential level.

This week in the War on Workers: Students and parents explain how overtesting hurts education

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-11-2013-05-2008

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As Diane Ravitch says, this message from New York City parents and students “is addressed to Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio but it could just as well be addressed to every governor, state legislator, Congressman, and mayor in the nation.”

Continue reading below the fold for more of the week’s education and labor news.

Saturday nutpick-a-palooza: OF COURSE Obama cheated in 2012!

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-11-2013-05-2008

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Today’s source material:

Blaze screenshot:

In case you didn’t know, The Blaze is Glenn Beck’s outfit. This particular author, apparently, wrote a book about surviving the zombie apocalypse of 2008, reelected in 2012. I seem to have survived the Obamageddon without reading his book, so perhaps the last five years have been overrated as far as apocalypses go. But let’s look at this particular column:

Add it up. The 2012 Presidential election was stolen based on the cover-up of murder in Benghazi, a mafia-like conspiracy to use the IRS to silence free speech and destroy Obama’s political opposition, fraudulent health care promises, and fraudulent jobs reports. The Gambino crime family hasn’t got anything on Obama.

In 2000 Democrats talked about a President getting elected under “illegitimate terms.” Well look who perfected the art. Barack Obama committed pure fraud to win re-election. If this doesn’t rise to the level of impeachment, nothing ever will.

There was something in there too about the Black Panthers, because you can’t have wing nut conspiracy theories without racism.

So folks…what are we doing about it?

Glenn Beck will probably play dress up:

Glenn Beck plays dress up, pretends he's president in Oval Office.

As for the rest of his crowd, head below the fold for their reaction.

Chris Christie says he’s ‘really glad’ the Obamacare ‘train wreck’s not mine’

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-11-2013-05-2008

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Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) answers a question during a news briefing at the 2013 Republican Governors Association conference in Scottsdale, Arizona November 21, 2013.  REUTERS/Samantha Sais (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX15NG1

Here’s New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, just three weeks after his re-election, already trying to divorce President Obama:

In an interview with a local radio station Monday night, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called Obamacare a “train wreck.”

“This is just an awful law. It made no sense and that’s why I didn’t get into a state exchange. And no, I have absolutely no regrets. In fact, I’m really glad that the train wreck’s not mine; it’s his,” Christie told listeners on New Jersey 101.5FM, referring to President Barack Obama.

And here’s Christie nine months earlier, when he was running for re-election:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie became the eighth Republican governor to back expanding Medicaid under President Barack Obama’s health care reform law on Tuesday. […]

“After considerable discussion and research, I have decided to participate in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. While we already have one of the most expansive and generous Medicaid programs in the nation, including the second highest eligibility rate for children, we have an opportunity to ensure that an even greater number of New Jerseyans who are at or near the poverty line will have access to critical health services beginning in January of 2014,” Christie said.

Obviously, Christie’s statements were focused on different aspects of the law—letting New Jersey build its own health care exchange versus participating in Medicaid expansion—but they nonetheless represent a big shift in tone. Today, he says Obamacare is nothing but “an awful law” that has nothing to do with him, but just nine months ago he was praising Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion as a way to expand access to “critical health services.”

The explanation for the shift is pretty obvious: Back then, he was running for re-election in a Democratic state; now, he wants to be the Republican presidential nominee and he’s trying to fend off Republicans like Rand Paul who accuse Christie of “embracing Obamacare.”

Clearly, Christie hopes that he can make Republican primary voters forget about his support for Obamacare Medicaid expansion by focusing on his decision to block a state-based health care exchange in New Jersey. Of course, if Christie had allowed New Jersey to build its own exchange, it would be better off today, but Republicans won’t see it that way. Instead, the question is whether Rand Paul’s line of attack resonates and they convince themselves that Christie is a RINO, or if they’ll forgive him for supporting a key part of Obamacare just like they forgave Mitt Romney for inventing it.

Whatever ends up happening, one thing is clear, however: By the end of the 2016 primary, the Chris Christie that existed between Hurricane Sandy and his re-election will be gone, replaced by the same right-wing robots that invaded Romney when he decided to run.

This week at progressive state blogs: Taxing in NC, gerrymandering in WI, not recounting in VA

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-11-2013-05-2008

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megaphone

Just as states with progressive lawmakers and activists have themselves initiated innovative programs over a wide range of issues, state-based progressive blogs have helped provide us with a point of view, inside information and often an edgy voice that we just don’t get from the traditional media. This week in progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf. Let me know via comments or Kosmail if you have a favorite state- or city-based blog you think I should know about. Inclusion of a diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement or endorsement of its contents.

At BlueNC, James writes—The Great North Carolina GOP Tax Increase of 2014:

When Republicans talk about their big tax cut coming in January, people will be forgiven for not getting all that excited. The bottom rate will drop from 6.0% to 5.8%, which qualifies as nothing more than chump change. For a person making $25,000, the tax cut is whopping $50. Impressive.

Of course, if you happen to be a high-income earner, the picture is a lot prettier. Your tax rate will drop from 7.75% to 5.8%. So if you’re making $200,000, you’ll get a $3,900 tax break. In other words, your benefit from the Republican plan is 78 times higher than the person at the bottom of the income scale. Seventy-eight freaking times!

But the gift that keeps on giving doesn’t stop there. In addition to that whopping $50 savings, all income earners will now be paying taxes on movies, museums, live entertainment, service contracts, warranties, maintenance agreements, repair contracts, electricity and natural gas, manufactured homes and modular homes sold at retail, and a whole lot more. So if you spend as little as $5,000 on all of those services combined, you’ll be paying an additional $235 each year. Most people will pay twice that.

Over the month ahead, right wing nutjobs will be singing the praises of tax reform as a giant step forward for North Carolina families. Don’t buy their bullshit. You’ve been played. This is nothing more than the old bait and switch, and the only people who will make out are … you guessed it … the rich and well-to-do.

BlueNC logo

At Blue Hog Report of Arkansas, Matt Campbell writes—The Comedic Stylings of Mark Darr:

Blue Hog Report

A friend passes along this screen shot of erstwhile House candidate and über-part-time Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr making a funny:

While it’s hard to compete with the kind of comic genius that considers “blogger” a punchline, let’s see if we can come up with some other options for who that guy might be.

• A process server, finally locating the guy who was too cowardly to pick up certified mail.

• A state trooper, providing additional pointless security at the Lt. Gov.’s request. […]

• A member of the Ethics Commission, investigating why Darr has still not filed a third-quarter CC&E report.[…]

•A window washer who went to work that day without expecting some moron to take his picture and belittle his profession.

Maybe, rather than trying to be witty, Darr could use moments like that to complete and file the amended CC&Es that he promised back in August.

At Blue Cheddar of Wisconsin, Worley Dervish writes—Ungerrymander Us!

In Wisconsin, as in other states, democracy is being gerrymandered to death, and now is the time for us to put pressure on the Wisconsin legislature to put an end to partisan redistricting.

In 2012, Republicans won just 46 percent of the votes cast in Wisconsin Assembly races, whereas Democrats won 53 percent. And yet 60 percent of that body are Republicans.

Also in 2012, Wisconsinites cast 43,020 more votes for Democrats than Republicans in U.S. House races, but statewide we are “represented” by five Republicans and three Democrats.

In neither case could you call the election results a mandate. And yet, Republicans are so secure in their gerrymandered little seats that they can openly fly in the face of what the majority of Wisconsinites want. Rather than being concerned with the needs of the majority, the Republicans continually pander to the needs of the corporate backers whose big money put them in office.

Below the fold you will find additional excerpts from progressive state blogs.

Republican congressman dares suggest improving Obamacare

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-11-2013-05-2008

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Rep. Jack Kingston

Don’t get too excited about this from GOP Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia—he has yet to propose an idea that would actually improve Obamacare—but:

“And there’s some criticism, ‘Well, are you helping improve this law when you make that change? And should we be doing that?'” Kingston said of pushback to his bill.

“A lot of conservatives say, ‘Nah, let’s just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.’ But I don’t think that’s always the responsible thing to do,” he added.

“I think we need to be looking for things that improve healthcare overall for all of us. And if there is something in ObamaCare, we need to know about it.”

Then, Kingston suggested the unthinkable: That Republicans should actually listen to reasons why Obamacare isn’t the Devil’s Medicine:

“If you get a lot of letters that say, ‘Hey, back off, it works. I have a special needs child and here’s why its been good for me,’ we want to listen to that,” he said.

In a sane GOP, neither of these statements would raise an eyebrow—Kingston’s words come down to a simple declaration that better is preferable to worse, and that if something is good, he’d like to know. But today’s GOP isn’t sane, and it’s a little surprising to hear Kingston give voice to such thoughts, particularly in light of the fact that he is a southern Republican seeking his party’s nomination for U.S. Senate.

Along with Kingston, Georgia’s GOP primary field includes two of the state’s nuttiest congressmen, GOP Reps. Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey. It also features former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, who tried to ban Planned Parenthood from receiving support for breast cancer screenings from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Kingston really isn’t anything close to what ordinarily comes to mind when you think of “moderate,” but given the extremism in that field, it’s possible that he’s consciously trying to pursue the “not crazy” vote.

That being said, when Kingston’s office was asked for clarification about his comments, his spokesman told The Hill that the congressman’s remarks weren’t really about improving Obamacare—they were about replacing it:

“He essentially said that we don’t just need to wait for Obamacare to die under its own weight, we need to be looking for solutions that would replace it,” he said.

The thing is, if you replace Obamacare without repealing it first, you’re actually just building on top of it—which is exactly what President Obama, Democrats, and most Americans want to do. I doubt Kingston will actually deliver any substance to give meaning to his words, but the fact that he wants to be seen as a guy who is willing to work to improve Obamacare is a sign that the politics around health care reform aren’t nearly as simple as the dominant media narrative suggests.

This holiday week in pseudoscience

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-11-2013-05-2008

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An early Cretaceous “turkey” as tall as a human, aka a slightly updated and more accurate illustration of Utahraptor ostrommaysorum. Based on fossil remains brought to virtual life by paleo-wildlife artist Emily Willoughby

Science ed won a victory against the forces of ignorance and opportunism in the Lone Star State this holiday season:

Last week’s State Board of Education (SBOE) vote to adopt new science textbooks for Texas public schools represented an important victory for science education. But what you have been reading in the news media doesn’t tell the whole story about what was happening behind the scenes in this battle — including the effort to derail the adoption of one of the leading high school biology textbooks in the country. Following is the story of how science education came under attack in Texas and how it won in the end.

But ignorance marches on …

  • Via Rightwing Watch:

    As he does every day, Bryan Fischer began his radio program with a Bible reading and discussion, in this case, a passage from Psalm 135 which he cited not only as proof that God struck down the Native Americans so that the United States could be established by Christians, but also as proof that there is nothing that human beings can do to influence the climate.

  • Who could be more qualified to carefully evaluate the medical science and over all effectiveness of Obamacare than this guy?

    Republican Representative from Georgia Paul Broun — who believes that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang are “all lies straight from the pit of Hell.

I could go on, and it’s not all political, it doesn’t always fall clearly across the usual political axis: magic underwear that heal or prevent injury, magic cookbooks that resolve any manner of medical issue resistant to diagnosis and treatment, massive government conspiracies where one lone brave whistleblower — with a CD or seminar to sale — stands against the tyrannical establishment, big pharma out to keep the cancer cure under wraps, big energy colluding to spike the 500 mile per gallon engine, big agribusinesss intentionally out to poison or zombify entire populations, etc. Some with a grain of truth that can be spun into colorful yarns rife with woodoo, others wholly fabricated from beginning to end and dressed up as science-y.

But there are places online where you can get the straight dope, where the wheat will be separated from the chaff, as much as we can figure out anyway, and we’ll tell you when and if we’re not sure about something. That’s the progressive netroots and our big, sprawling loud argumentative corner of it here on Daily Kos.