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This is the blog for Sean Brennan and London After Midnight. For more information please see the LAM website at londonaftermidnight.com.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Climate Change- Real and Scary; The Angry Rich; War and the Cost; War on Middle Class; more

- The Angry Rich ...if you want to find real political rage - the kind of rage that makes people compare President Obama to Hitler, or accuse him of treason - you won’t find it among these suffering Americans [who have lost their jobs, homes, health insurance, etc]. You’ll find it instead among the very privileged, people who don’t have to worry about losing their jobs, their homes, or their health insurance, but who are outraged, outraged, at the thought of paying modestly higher taxes.

- Afghanistan War: US Says Violence Reaches All-Time High Violence in Afghanistan has reached an all-time high, with clashes up fourfold since 2007, the Pentagon has said.

- UN Issues Severe Climate Warning Ahead of Summit The world is now firmly on the path for dangerous climate change in the coming century, a major new assessment reveals today on the eve of the forthcoming UN climate conference which opens next week in Mexico.

- The Reign of Right-Wing Primetime ... [not the best article, but it shows republicans favor the bad, brain-dead TV shows]... if you look at the list of broadcast shows that are Republican favorites, it closely mirrors the Nielsen top 10 list, whereas Democrats tend to gravitate toward titles likely to have narrower audiences.

- It’s Official: Rich Declare War on the Middle Class For the past thirty years the rich have been waging war on the middle class.  It’s been astonishingly effective, partly because it has been undeclared.  But even that pretense is now being abandoned.... The national debt quadrupled between 1980 and 1992 [under republican leadership].  George W. Bush would repeat Reagan’s policies and double it again between 2000 and 2008.  Meanwhile, the share of national income going to the top 1% more than doubled, from 9% to 24%.  The share going to the top one-tenth of 1% of income earners more than tripled.  We now have the most unequal distribution of income in the developing world and the inequality is growing rapidly.

- The true cost of the Iraq war: $3 trillion and beyond it appears that our $3 trillion estimate (which accounted for both government expenses and the war's broader impact on the U.S. economy) was, if anything, too low. For example, the cost of diagnosing, treating and compensating disabled veterans has proved higher than we expected. .... Moreover, two years on, it has become clear to us that our estimate did not capture what may have been the conflict's most sobering expenses: those in the category of "might have beens," or what economists call opportunity costs.

There Won't Be a Bailout for the Earth
by Johann Hari
Published on Friday, November 26, 2010 byThe Independent/UK

Why are the world's governments bothering? Why are they jetting to Cancun next week to discuss what to do now about global warming? The vogue has passed. The fad has faded. Global warming is yesterday's apocalypse. Didn't somebody leak an email that showed it was all made up? Doesn't it sometimes snow in the winter? Didn't Al Gore get fat, or something?

Alas, the biosphere doesn't read Vogue. Nobody thought to tell it that global warming is so 2007. All it knows is three facts. 2010 is globally the hottest year since records began. 2010 is the year humanity's emissions of planet-warming gases reached its highest level ever. And exactly as the climate scientists predicted, we are seeing a rapid increase in catastrophic weather events, from the choking of Moscow by gigantic unprecedented forest fires to the drowning of one quarter of Pakistan.

Before the Great Crash of 2008, the people who warned about the injection of huge destabilizing risk into our financial system seemed like arcane, anal bores. Now we all sit in the rubble and wish we had listened. The great ecological crash will be worse, because nature doesn't do bailouts.

That's what Cancun should be about - surveying the startling scientific evidence, and developing an urgent plan to change course. The Antarctic - which locks of 90 percent of the world's ice - has now seen eight of its ice shelves fully or partially collapse. The world's most distinguished climate scientists, after recording like this, say we will face a three to six feet rise in sea level this century. That means the drowning of London, Bangkok, Venice, Cairo and Shanghai, and entire countries like Bangladesh and the Maldives.

And that's just one effect of the way we are altering the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Perhaps the most startling news story of the year passed almost unnoticed. Plant plankton are tiny creatures that live in the oceans and carry out a job you and I depend on to stay alive. They produce half the world's oxygen, and suck up planet-warming carbon dioxide. Yet this year, one of the world's most distinguished scientific journals, Nature, revealed that 40 per cent of them have been killed by the warming of the oceans since 1950. Professor Boris Worm, who co-authored the study, said in shock: "I've been trying to think of a biological change that's bigger than this and I can't think of one." That has been the result of less than one degree of warming. Now we are on course for at least three degrees this century. What will happen?

The scientific debate is not between deniers and those who can prove that releasing massive amounts of warming gases will make the world warmer. Every major scientific academy in the world, and all the peer-reviewed literature, says global warming denialism is a pseudo-science, on a par with Intelligent Design, homeopathy, or the claim that HIV doesn't cause AIDS. One email from one lousy scientist among tens of thousands doesn't dent that. No: the debate is between the scientists who say the damage we are doing is a disaster, and the scientists who say it is catastrophe.

Yet the world's governments are gathering in Cancun with no momentum and very little pressure from their own populations to stop the ecological vandalism. The Copenhagen conference last year collapsed after the most powerful people in the world turned up to flush their own scientists' advice down a very clean Danish toilet. These leaders are sometimes described as "doing nothing about global warming." No doubt that form of words will fill the reporting from Cancun too. But it's false. They're not "doing nothing" - they are allowing their countries' emissions of climate-trashing gases to massively increase. That's not failure to act. It's deciding to act in an incredibly destructive way.

The collapse of Copenhagen has not shocked people into action; it has numbed them into passivity. Last year, we were talking - in theory, at least - about the legally binding cap on the world's carbon emissions, because the world's scientists say this is the only thing that can preserve the climate that has created and sustained human civilization. What are we talking about this year? What's on the table at Cancun, other than sand?

Almost nothing. They will talk about how to help the world's poor "adapt" to the fact we are drying out much of their land and drowning the rest. But everybody is backing off from one of the few concrete agreements at Copenhagen: to give the worst-affected countries $100bn from 2020. Privately, they say this isn't the time - they can come back for it, presumably, when they are on rafts. Oh, and they will talk about how to preserve the rainforests. But a Greenpeace report has just revealed that the last big deal to save the rainforests - with Indonesia - was a scam. The country is in fact planning to demolish most of its rainforest to plant commercial crops, and claim it had been "saved."

Karl Rove - who was George W. Bush's chief spin-doctor - boasted this year: "Climate is gone." He meant it is off the political agenda, but in time, this statement will be more true and more cursed than he realizes.

It's in this context that a new, deeply pessimistic framework for understanding the earth's ecology - and our place in it - has emerged. Many of us know, in outline, the warm, fuzzy Gaia hypothesis, first outlined by James Lovelock. It claims that the Planet Earth functions, in effect, as a single living organism called Gaia. It regulates its own temperature and chemistry to create a comfortable steady state that can sustain life. So coral reefs produced cloud-seeding chemicals which then protect them from ultraviolet radiation. Rainforests transpire water vapour so generate their own rainfall. This process expands outwards. Life protects life.

Now there is a radically different theory that is gaining adherents, ominously named the Medea hypothesis. The paleontologist Professor Peter Ward is an expert in the great extinctions that have happened in the earth's past, and he believes there is a common thread between them. With the exception of the meteor strike that happened 65 million years ago, every extinction was caused by living creatures becoming incredibly successful - and then destroying their own habitats. So, for example, 2.3 billion years ago, plant life spread incredibly rapidly, and as it went it inhaled huge amounts of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This then caused a rapid plunge in temperature that froze the planet and triggered a mass extinction.

Ward believes nature isn't a nurturing mother like Gaia. No: it is Medea, the figure from Greek mythology who murdered her own children. In this theory, life doesn't preserve itself. It serially destroys itself. It is a looping doomsday machine. This theory adds a postscript to Darwin's theory of the survival of the fittest. There is survival of the fittest, until the fittest trash their own habitat, and do not survive at all.

But the plants 2.3 billion years ago weren't smart enough to figure out what they were doing. We are. We can see that if we release enough warming gases we will trigger an irreversible change in the climate and make our own survival much harder. Ward argues that it is not inevitable we will destroy ourselves - because human beings are the first and only species that can consciously develop a Gaian approach. Just as Richard Dawkins famously said we are the first species to be able to rebel against our selfish genes and choose to be kind, we are the first species that can rebel against the Medean rhythm of life. We can choose to preserve the habitat on which we depend. We can choose life.

At Cancun, the real question will be carefully ignored by delegates keen to preserve big business as usual. Do we want to ramp up global warming with filthy fossil fuels, or make the leap to a clean planet fuelled by the sun, the wind and the waves? Right now we are making the wrong choice. But we could change the ending of this story, if we act decisively. Long after our own little stories are forgotten, this choice we make now will still be visible - in the composition of the atmosphere, the swelling of the seas, and the crack and creak of the great Antarctic ice. Do we want to be Gaia, or Medea?

Sean

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bill Maher's GREAT Commentary on Jon Stewart's False Comparison between Left and Right

Starts around 1:30. Click here to view video (it starts at about 1.5 minutes into the video).
Sean

Friday, November 5, 2010

Republican/Right Wing Media Lies; Olbermann Suspended over NOTHING; Climate Change Puts Human Advances at Risk; Palin Favorites Racist Coulter Tweet

- CNN, ABC, and confronting right-wing lies The question for the mainstream press, as always, is how to deal with egregious falsehoods that take hold and quickly drive our political discourse. Sometimes I think the right-wing plan is to just drown everyone in so many lies that it becomes too time consuming for journalists to fact-check all the fabrications. And perhaps that's why so often the lies are not confronted.

- Palin 'favorites' photo that claims Obama is a 'Taliban Muslim' Whether Palin "favorited" the Coulter tweet personally is unclear, but SarahPAC staffer Rebecca Mansour insisted to a reporter this summer that "anything that goes out under [Palin's] name is hers."

- Keith Olbermann Suspended from MSNBC for Making Small LEGAL Donations to Three Political Candidates Olbermann, who does not hide his liberal views, has acknowledged donations of $2,400 each to Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway and Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords during this election cycle.

As Politico notes, Olbermann and MSNBC President Phil Griffin have been critical of Fox News over its two $1 million donations to Republican and Republican-leaning groups during the midterm election cycle.

Sign the petition to get Keith back on the air.

- Fox News Wins The 2010 Election Leading Fox News contributors with an eye on the 2012 presidential race -- Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum -- raised an astonishing $33.1 million in the 2010 elections to help fund the candidates of their choice and advance their various causes.

Former Bush advisor Karl Rove -- another Fox contributor -- raised and spent an astonishing $38 million to elect Republicans and it didn't hurt matters that Fox News hosted him time and again to discuss the election without noting this blatant conflict of interest. Now that's what I call journalistic ethics.

All told, more than 30 different Fox News personalities -- from hosts to contributors -- supported Republicans in at least 600 instances, in nearly every state during the election.

- UN Report Warns of Threat to Human Progress from Climate Change Human development report says inaction on climate change puts at risk decades of progress on education and health.... The United Nations warned today that a continued failure to tackle climate change was putting at risk decades of progress in improving the lives of the world's poorest people.

Rachel Maddow on the Lies of the Republicans and the Right-wing Media


Sean

Thursday, November 4, 2010

EXTRA! EXTRA! PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS and believe in ghosts!; Johnny Cash's Daughter Slams Republicans; Jon Stewart was Wrong; The Conservative Media Paints False Picture of Election; Tea Party FAILS; more

- Republicans Didn't Win a Majority to Deny Our Care While a recent New York Times/CBS poll showed the public split over on the new [health care reform] law, only one-quarter of repeal supporters stuck with their position when told repeal would mean that insurance companies would no longer be required to cover people with medical conditions or prior illnesses.

- Buck Up People...Progressives Won! ...the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus in the House Democratic Caucus at over 80 members, emerged virtually unscathed, losing only three members.

By constrast, the conservative Blue Dog Democratic caucus was more than sliced in half from 54 members to only 26. Further, of the 34 conservative Dems who voted against Obama's Healthcare Reform, a mere 12 won re-election.

- Rich Media, Poor Democracy As the 2010 elections come to a close, the biggest winner of all remains undeclared: the broadcasters. The biggest loser: democracy. These were the most expensive midterm elections in U.S. history, costing close to $4 billion, $3 billion of which went to advertising. What if ad time were free? We hear no debate about this, because the media corporations are making such a killing by selling campaign ads. Yet the broadcasters are using public airwaves.

- 10 Steps to Take Now After a Brutal Election

- Just 32% of Tea Party candidates win For all the talk of the Tea Party's strength [by the conservative mainstream media] ... just 32% of all Tea Party candidates who ran for Congress won and 61.4% lost this election.

- Barack Obama's Green Agenda Crushed at the Ballot Box With a slew of new climate change deniers entering Congress, Barack Obama's environmental ambitions are now dead

- WikiLeaks Founder Urges US to Investigate Alleged Abuse by Its Troops The founder of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has called on the US to investigate alleged abuses by its troops in Afghanistan and Iraq

- Zogby Interactive: 37% Believe in Ghosts & 23% Say They Have Been Visited by the Dead A Zogby Interactive poll found that 37% say they believe in human or animal ghosts, 23% believe they have been visited by a dead relative or friend, and 20% say they have seen or heard a ghost. Another 22% say that while they have not experienced a ghost, they know someone who says they have.

- Johnny Cash’s daughter to GOP chief: Stop using my father’s name, you ‘asshat’ he daughter of star singer Johnny Cash has some harsh words for the Republican Party's House leader.

Notes Gawker, "Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has been using a dumb—trust me, really dumb—line involving Johnny Cash in some recent speeches. Cash's daughter Roseanne doesn't think much of that. And she let Boehner know, by calling him 'asshat.'"


Jon Stewart's "Rally for Sanity" Ignored Reality
When Jon Stewart said the Left and Right were equal, he ignored the facts.
Also read this.

Sean

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election was about Economy, NOT about Rejection of Progressive Issues; The Republicans/Tea Party Don't Understand Constitution; Earth Will Take 100,000 Years to Recover from Climate Change

- Your Vote, Your Economy-Why Today’s Election Matters to Your Pocketbook Election Day is finally here, and control of the House and the Senate hangs in the balance. The differences between parties could not be more stark. Republicans have promised to repeal health care reform and slash government spending for social programs, all while preserving tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Some of the more radical ideas bandied about this election season—by conservative candidates with a decent shot at winning—include privatizing social security and eliminating the Department of Education.

- The Tea Party Constitution Versus the Thomas Jefferson Constitution So it should be understood that O'Donnell, Miller, Angle, Buck, Johnson and the rest of the Tea Partisans who might be senators are not talking about the Constitution as it was written or as the founders intended it. Rather, they are talking about the Constitution as they would like to see it rewritten and reinterpreted—with the help of the most activist Supreme Court in American history. While their intents are radical, their prospects must be seen in light of the fact that Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative majority have already reinterpreted the First Amendment's free speech protection in a manner that extends the natural rights that the founders reserved for human beings to multinational corporations.

- Lessons of the Blue Dog Blowout Today's New York Times has analysis from [conservative Democrat] Evan Bayh, a retiring centrist/moderate/presidential aspirant, which was obviously penned before polls closed in order to make it to press. "We were too deferential to our most zealous supporters," he bemoans, (huh?), and Democrats "over-interpreted our mandate."  Bayh's solution is to focus more on GOP priorities like tax reform, government spending freezes and entitlement cuts. Third Way, a think tank that was literally founded to push Democrats to the center, has been pushing a similar line this week.

It is truly bizarre, because on Tuesday, voters rejected the very Blue Dog Democrats [conservative democrats] who have been following that exact approach.

- Economy, Not Healthcare or Deficits, Drove Midterm Vote Boehner’s wrong about what voters have repudiated, and his party’s primary accomplishment this election is having made its precarious dance with the tea party all the more dangerous. Voters who identified themselves as “moderates” stuck by Democrats—there just weren’t enough of them at the polls. And the independents who pushed Republicans over the top weren’t nearly as interested in supporting the GOP’s empty ideas as they were in rejecting the president’s leadership.

Exit polls showed that voters across the political spectrum cast ballots based on the economy. Not health care reform or the deficit or immigration or any of the GOP’s favorite tropes, but the economy [ironically, an economy that republican policy destroyed!].






Earth Will Take 100,000 Years to Recover from Global Warming Say Geologists
The Earth will take 100,000 years to recover from global warming if mankind continues to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, geologists have warned.
by Louise Gray
Published on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 by The Telegraph/UK


A conference organised by the Geological Society in London this week will bring together scientists from around the world to look at how the world coped with climate change in the past.

[Professor Jim Zachos, of the University of California, said continuing to pump out greenhouse gases at the current rate will cause a more rapid temperature rise than at any other time in history and could cause "mass extinction of species".(photo by Flickr user AZRainman)]Professor Jim Zachos, of the University of California, said continuing to pump out greenhouse gases at the current rate will cause a more rapid temperature rise than at any other time in history and could cause "mass extinction of species".(photo by Flickr user AZRainman)
By studying rock sediments from millions of years ago geologists have been able to model how increases in greenhouse gases led to temperature change and extinction of species.

Professor Jim Zachos, of the University of California, said that 55 million years ago volcanic activity caused around 4,500 gigatons of greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere over thousands of years.
This caused the planet to warm by 6C (10.8F), forcing whole ecosystems, including early mammals, to adapt, migrate or die out in certain areas.

Prof Zachos said that if the world continues to pump out greenhouse gases at the current rate, around 5,000 gigatons of greenhouse gases will be released into the atmosphere over a few hundred years.

He said this will cause a more rapid temperature rise that at any other time in history and could cause "mass extinction of species".

"The impacts will be pretty severe compared to 55 million years ago in terms of evolution of this planet," he said.

The Geological Society warned that it could take the Earth 100,000 years to recover.
A statement read: "The geological evidence from the 55 million year event and from earlier warming episodes suggests that such an addition [a massive increase in greenhouse gases caused by the activities of mankind] is likely to raise average global temperatures by at least 5 to 6C, and possibly more, and that recovery of the Earth's climate in the absence of mitigation measures could take 100,000 years or more. Numerical models of the climate system support such an interpretation. In the light of the evidence presented here it is reasonable to conclude that emitting further large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over time is likely to be unwise, uncomfortable though that fact may be."

Sean

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Republican Party is Corrupt; STUDY: Liberals Smarter than Conservatives; People Voting Based on Right Wing Lies; Conservatives Shun Science

- Eight False Things the Public "Knows" Prior to Election Day There are a number of things the public "knows" as we head into the election that are just false. If people elect leaders based on false information, the things those leaders do in office will not be what the public expects or needs. Here are eight of the biggest myths that are out there...

- Science Scorned The anti-science strain pervading the right wing in the United States is the last thing the country needs in a time of economic challenge. There is a growing anti-science streak on the American right that could have tangible societal and political impacts on many fronts - including regulation of environmental and other issues and stem-cell research. Take the surprise ousting last week of Lisa Murkowski, the incumbent Republican senator for Alaska, by political unknown Joe Miller in the Republican primary for the 2 November midterm congressional elections. Miller, who is backed by the conservative 'Tea Party movement', called his opponent's acknowledgement of the reality of global warming "exhibit 'A' for why she needs to go".

- Bleeding-heart liberal? Die-hard conservative? It’s in the genes… maybe This isn’t the first attempt to prove that political sensibilities are ingrained at birth. A 2006 longitudinal study of 100 nursery schoolers in Berkeley, California found that three-year-olds who possessed negative characteristics (according to their teachers) eventually grew up to be self-identified conservatives 20 years later.

- Union of Concerned Scientists Fact Checker UCS fact checks the most dubious claims (universally from the republicans) about science.

- Why Liberals Are Smarter than Conservatives Once again science has confirmed what we already know: liberals and conservatives think differently. Neuroscientists at NYU and UCLA conducted a simple test on college students all along the political spectrum... So now its been scientifically proven that liberals are smarter than conservatives. There's no point in gloating: conservatives don't recognize science, either. Just let them continue digging their own spider holes of fuzzy logic and dogmatic umbrage and come November '08 we can use our superior hand-eye coordination and letter-recognition skills to hit all the right letters.

- Neurocognitive correlates of liberalism and conservatism The study proving republicans are idiots.


Media Matters: The real story of the 2010 election

October 29, 2010 at MediaMatters.org

By most accounts, the Democrats stand to lose seats in both the House and Senate this coming Tuesday. There are, of course, a wide range of explanations for why this is the case.
However, in endeavoring to explain how the GOP has seemingly managed to reverse its political fortunes in such a short amount of time, media outlets would be remiss not to mention one of the most important factors. In fact, we don't need to wait for Tuesday's results to pinpoint perhaps the most significant development in the country's political landscape over the past two years.

One of the two major political parties in the country is run by a "news" network.

Since President Obama's inauguration, Fox News has transformed from simply the mouthpiece and oppo research shop of the Republican Party into its headquarters. For the GOP, Fox fundraises, campaigns, gives strategic advice, picks candidates (and then provides them a comfortable platform to reach millions of voters, free of charge), throws and promotes rallies, gets out the vote, and, perhaps most importantly, sets the narrative.
They do all of this while continuing their time-honored tradition of tearing down liberal initiatives and politicians with shameless smears, lies, misrepresentations, and fabricated stories. But before we get to Fox's massive influence over the coming elections, some back-story is necessary.

Less than two months after Obama's inauguration, Fox News senior vice president Bill Shine gave an interview with NPR about how the network's ratings were soaring at the time. During the interview, Shine noted that some people were "rooting for [Fox] to go away" after the election, but "[w]ith this particular group of people in power right now and the honeymoon they've had from other members of the media, does it make it a little bit easier for us to be the voice of opposition on some issues?"

Fox's programming has effectively answered Shine's rhetorical question with a forceful "yes."

Right out of the gate, Fox led the charge against the stimulus, eschewing the views of economists to attack deficit spending and rewriting history to attack FDR and the New Deal.

The network was certainly "the voice of the opposition" on health care reform, spewing countless falsehoods about both our broken health care system and the proposals to fix it while promoting disruptions of health care town halls and GOP initiatives to kill reform.
And of course, Fox operates as a perpetual dishonesty machine, trotting out a steady stream of overhyped scandals and faux-outrages to dent the administration and Democrats (mustard on Obama's "fancy" hamburger, anyone?)

The network was integral to fostering discontent with Democrats and the administration through their relentless promotion of the Tea Party movement. Fox gave the Tea Party a huge assist last year in the run-up to the original protests, which Fox took ownership of by sending several of their top hosts to throw "FNC Tax Day Tea Parties."


Since then, Fox has shown that there is no Tea Party gathering too small to treat as a news event, and their personalities continue to regularly appear at Tea Party events around the country.

But Fox has done far more this cycle than foster an environment conducive to a GOP electoral victory, having assumed a more hands-on role in Republican electioneering. In addition to Fox's parent company donating $1.25 million to the Republican Governors Association and another million to the GOP-aligned Chamber of Commerce, more than thirty Fox Newsers have supported GOP candidates or organizations in more than 600 instances in at least 47 states, as we detailed in a report this week.

While it would be nearly impossible to run through Fox's influence in all of the individual races this year, their "coverage" of a select few races is indicative of the network's complete transformation into GOP headquarters.

The network tipped its hand for how it would handle covering elections in the "voice of the opposition" era during the run-up to January's senate election in Massachusetts. Not only did Fox portray Scott Brown as a heroic Founding Father-like figure while smearing his opponent, it also actively aided Brown's campaign by hosting him repeatedly in the days leading up the election and allowing him to direct viewers to his website so they could find out how to "help with donating and volunteering." After Brown's victory, the network was jubilant.

With the successful trial run out of the way, Fox copied the Brown blueprint in several other races around the country.

In the Nevada Senate race, Fox has spent months promoting Sharron Angle and attacking Harry Reid. While Angle has mostly refused to grant interviews to news outlets, she has made an exception for Fox. In fact, their welcoming atmosphere led Angle to brag about how "friendly" outlets like Fox help her with fundraising.

Fox personalities have also worked overtime to aid her race. Fox contributor Sarah Palin endorsed Angle and her PAC gave $2,500 to the campaign. Fox contributor Karl Rove's GOP slush fund (aka American Crossroads) has indicated it will invest in GOTV efforts to aid Angle. It is also aired an ad targeting Reid. Fox's Dennis Miller appeared at an October fundraiser for Angle.
And then there's Dick Morris. Fox's human ethics scandal has repeatedly fundraised on Angle's behalf while also touting on-air the anti-Harry Reid group that he's advising.

And as Election Day rapidly approaches, Fox kicked off this week by launching an evidence-free smear of Reid. After Reid's office responded to Fox's desperate attempts to create a new "political scandal," Fox's flagship news program, Special Report, deceptively quoted a statement from Reid's office in order to continue to push the story.

And, just in case their blatant efforts to get Angle elected fail, Fox already has their backup plan in place. This week, Fox News has been hyping comically flimsy allegations of "voter fraud" in Nevada. As top Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston explained to a confused Bill Hemmer, the fraud allegations are merely a "preemptive" strike so the GOP can "cry fraud" in the event Angle loses.

But a candidate doesn't even need to be in a close race in order to receive the benefits of FoxPAC support. In Delaware, Fox News has thrown their full weight behind Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, Karl Rove's short-lived detour questioning O'Donnell's qualifications for office notwithstanding.

Rove quickly got with the program and endorsed O'Donnell. He was joined by fellow Fox personalities Sarah Palin and Michelle Malkin. The network's hosts have heaped praise on O'Donnell while playing dumb in order to claim her opponent has admitted to being a "bearded Marxist." While it would be difficult to list all of the effusive O'Donnell praise, one characteristic outpouring of affection came from Fox Business host Stuart Varney, who labeled her precisely the kind of "new face, new blood that we need to get in there."

Following in Angle's footsteps by bragging about the love she gets from Fox, Christine O'Donnell told GOP insiders at a strategy meeting that she has "got Sean Hannity in my back pocket, and I can go on his show and raise money by attacking you guys." A host who was concerned about maintaining any credibility may have bristled at being portrayed this way, but Sean Hannity has long-since demonstrated his lack of concern for ethics. Far from being upset, Hannity is still welcoming O'Donnell on his show.

The Ohio gubernatorial race features Republican candidate John Kasich, who just so happens to be a former Fox News host. Kasich repeatedly used his platform as a Fox host to position himself for a run, and continued to appear regularly as a Fox contributor and host from the time he announced that he was paving the way for a gubernatorial run in March 2008 until he officially declared his candidacy on June 1, 2009. Since declaring his candidacy, Kasich has continued to reap benefits from his cozy relationship with the network. Several Fox News personalities campaigned for him and openly root for him.

Two Fox hosts - Glenn Beck and Mike Huckabee -- have told Kasich that they "love" him. Hannity has appeared at a fundraiser for Kasich, invited Kasich onto his show to plug his website, and reportedly "pledged to give $10,000 to Kasich's campaign should he run, as well as have his wife give another $10,000."

Rupert Murdoch and his wife also donated $10,000 each to Kasich, and Murdoch initially explained News Corp.'s donation to the RGA as resulting from his "friendship" with Kasich. After Kasich's opponent (accurately) criticized Fox as a "propaganda network" that is "committed to getting Republicans elected," Bill O'Reilly responded by attacking him for "whining."

Those are just three races. I haven't even detailed Fox's love for "rock star" Marco Rubio, or the fact that Glenn Beck (along with the rest of the network) has transformed his show into a GOTV operation for the GOP.

So when reporters sit down to explain the results of next Tuesday's election, it's important that they include the role of Fox News in shaping the outcome.

And if you think the last few months were bad, just wait until Tuesday's election wraps up and attention shifts to 2012 and the GOP's presidential primary. Fox currently employs no fewer than five potential contenders for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, and things could get awkward as they try to figure out which of their friends they want to help elect.
It looks like FoxPAC is just getting started.

Sean