13 January, 2010

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

So, maybe Chris Mooney can tell us how this is all the scientists' fault, eh?
The British Daily Mail ran a report yesterday with the headline, "Could we be in for 30 years of global COOLING?" The piece told readers, "According to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, the warming of the Earth since 1900 is due to natural oceanic cycles, and not man-made greenhouse gases."

It led Fox News to report, "30 Years of Global Cooling Are Coming, Leading Scientist Says."
There are, of course, two small problems. First, the National Snow and Ice Data Center said no such thing. The director of the NSIDC said, "This is completely false. NSIDC has never made such a statement and we were never contacted by anyone from the Daily Mail."

Second, the Fox News report cites the research of IPCC scientist Mojib Latif, one of the world's leading climate modelers. The story completely mischaracterizes his work, and gets the story largely backwards.

"I don't know what to do. They just make these things up."

Sure looks like the global warming deniers are taking pages from the creationist playbook, there.  Quote folks out of context, twist interpretations of the science, and when all else fails, just make shit up and attribute it to a legitimate scientist. 

And this doesn't just extend to creationists and climate cretins.  Oh, no.  No, the right wing is having a merry old time making shit up about the man who should be running the TSA right now:

Despite Southers’ impressive resume and qualifications, the right wing is intent on playing politics with his nomination. Conservative bloggers and activists have begun mounting a campaign to smear Southers with fallacious attacks. Some examples below:

Right-Wing Attack: “TSA nominee: Global Warming Deserves Parity With War on Terror.” The conservative blog Hot Air highlights Southers’ comment that terrorism “deserves to perhaps have some parity with global warming.” Blogger Ed Morrisey concludes that Southers’ view is “ludicrous.”
Reality: A Pentagon analysis concluded that the long-term security threat of global warming was greater than terrorism, and many security experts agree. The National Intelligence Council assessed the grave threat global warming poses. It could not only fuel further terrorism, but spur mass migration, refugees, poverty, environmental degradation, and pandemics. The CIA is now dedicating resources to analyzing the security implications of climate change.
Right-Wing Attack: “Obama TSA Nominee Erroll Southers Calls Pro-Life Advocates Terrorists in Video.” LifeNews attacks Southers for saying homegrown terrorist groups — particularly white supremacist groups — are “anti-government, in most cases anti-abortion, they are usually survivalist type in nature, identity oriented.” Gateway Pundit writes, “This kook rattled off every leftwing nut conspiracy in one interview.”
Reality: A Homeland Security report published last August warned right-wing extremists, “specifically the white supremacist and militia movements,” may “include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion.” Subsequently, the report was vindicated by acts of domestic terrorism by white supremacists and anti-abortion crusaders.
Right-Wing Attack: “TSA nominee in 2008: Alliances with Israel, France make us subject to terror attack.” The Washington Examiner’s David Freddoso takes issue with Southers’ observation the U.S. alliance with “countries that are seen by groups, by al Qaeda, as infidels” may subject us to greater risk of attack. “So Southers is a hack leftist and a fool,” the conservative blog Powerline writes.
Reality: Consider the words of Osama bin Laden. In 1996, the terrorist leader complained of the “iniquity and injustice imposed on them by the Zionist-Crusaders alliance” and called for raising “the banner of Jihad against the American-Zionist alliance occupying the sanctities of Islam.” In 2008, he reiterated his hateful screed: “We shall continue the fight, Allah willing, against the Israelis and their allies.”
In their desperation to smear Southers, the right is grasping at straws.
Indeed.  It's all they've got to grasp, after all.

Let's just hope these particular zombie lies don't end up enshrined in song:
Well, Sarah Palin's "death panels" may have been named "Lie of the Year," but they live on in Tea Party movement legend.

Ray Stevens -- noted for such novelty songs as "The Streak" and "Ahab the Arab" -- has a music video out that's being hailed as "the Anthem of the Tea Party movement" titled "We the People":
“We the People” is about Obamacare and the health-care reform bills that have passed both houses of Congress.
The lyrics express a comic, but pointed warning to members of Congress: “You vote Obamacare, we’re going to vote you out of there. We the People have awakened to your tricks. You vote to let this pass, you’re going to be out on your (sound of foghorn).”
They also feature a noteworthy lyric:
We've heard from Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh
What you got in mind for Grandma
[Video: Nurse putting chloroformed cloth over elderly woman's face]
Yeah, now that you mention it, we have heard that from those three -- and a number of others. And we also know that IT'S A FREAKING LIE.
And to think I used to like Ray Stevens.  Little hard to respect anyone who falls for something this stupid.  Sigh.

On other two-faced liar fronts, it's confirmed the health care insurance industry has been funding efforts to kill reform.  As if there were any doubt.  Ezra Klein asks a simple question - why fight so hard if it's such a bonanza?  I'd say it's because it's not a total giveaway, and you know that nothing but a total giveaway would do.  Greedy fuckers.

Ezra also points out the hazards of taking hostages.  This is one of the reasons why I've not let my blood pressure get raised by the whole reform kabuki lately.  The process is ugly, particularly when various Conservadems and every single fucking Con is being an obstinate ass, but we'll get there in the end.  There'll be a foundation to build upon.  And for those of you who are screaming mad over the whole process, allow me to remind you that letting Cons get elected won't solve the problem.  Electing better Democrats will.

And, finally, a prime example of just how vapid, shallow, and inane our media has become:

Way back during the presidential transition, then-President-elect Obama held so many press conferences and media availabilities, it seemed reporters were running out of questions.

After the inauguration, President Obama held a series of prime-time press conferences, covering a wide variety of issues. By the summer, the media was largely divided between the journalists who a) complained about the president being "overexposed"; b) complained that the news conferences were dull and unnecessary; a c) complained that the president's Q&A sessions were costing the networks too much money.

So, after a press conference in July, the White House scaled back. Now, the media that complained about too many opportunities to ask Obama questions is complaining about too few opportunities.

I'm so fed up with this shit.  I wish there was somewhere in the world I could go where the stupid didn't burn quite so hot.

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