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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rich Not Paying Taxes Causes Financial Problems • Pig fever sweeps Russia • Republicans Lie at Convention • Gun Industry Lies • STUDY: Pot Makes You Stupid • Republican Racism • Dumb Libertarians • Ayn Rand's Baseless & Juvenile Philosophy

- Liar's Poker: GOPers 'Make Stuff Up'—How Will the Media Respond?
    So now it’s “game on.” No more lie and let live. The Republicans more or less announced, then displayed, yesterday that they will officially not be bound to facts or even the attempt to stay in the same area code.
- How Romney Keeps Lying Through His Big White Teeth
    "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers," says Neil Newhouse, a Romney pollster.
    A half dozen fact-checking organizations and websites have refuted Romney's claims that Obama removed the work requirement from the welfare law and will cut Medicare benefits by $216 billion.

    Last Sunday's New York Times even reported on its front page that Romney has been "falsely charging" President Obama with removing the work requirement. Those are strong words from the venerable Times. Yet Romney is still making the false charge. Ads containing it continue to be aired.

    Presumably the Romney campaign continues its false claims because they're effective. But this raises a more basic question: How can they remain effective when they've been so overwhelmingly discredited by the media?

    The answer is the Republican Party has developed three means of bypassing the mainstream media and its fact-checkers.
- Rick Santorum repeats Romney claim that Obama is ending work requirement in welfare
    Now Santorum is lending his voice to Mitt Romney's campaign message that President Barack Obama has gutted that reform and done away with rules from the 1996 law that require welfare recipients to eventually get a job.
- Putting Mitt Romney's attacks on 'You didn't build that' to the Truth-O-Meter
    In speeches and videos, the Romney campaign has repeatedly distorted Obama's words. By plucking two sentences out of context, Romney twists the president's remarks and ignores their real meaning.
- Santorum says when his grandfather came to the U.S. in 1925, 'there were no government benefits'
    Contrary to what Santorum said, millions of Americans in 1925 would have either qualified for benefits directly, such as payments to veterans, or have been protected by workers' compensation laws that provided benefits to those who became disabled by their jobs. And state and local governments had the longstanding role of paying support to people who were disabled or indigent. This provides a much more complex picture than Santorum is painting. We rate his statement False.
- Add It Up: Taxes Avoided by the Rich Could Pay Off the Deficit
    Conservatives force the deficit issue, ignoring job creation, and insisting that tax increases on the rich wouldn't generate enough revenue to balance the budget. They're way off. But it takes a little arithmetic to put it all together. In the following analysis, data has been taken from a variety of sources, some of which may overlap or slightly disagree, but all of which lead to the conclusion that withheld revenue [not paying taxes], not excessive spending, is the problem.
- The Curious Appeal of Ayn Rand
    Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, recently made news by declaring himself an unabashed admirer of quasi-philosopher Ayn Rand. Reportedly, Rand’s books are required reading for Ryan’s staff. I think the case can be made that Ayn Rand appeals to people for the same reason Friedrich Nietzsche appeals to them. Her bold “truths” are not only an exciting mixture of defiance and heresy, they are epigrammatic and digestible enough not to over-tax the intellect.
    The two reasons why undergraduate students (and certain congressmen) get such a thrill out of Ayn Rand’s “Objectivism” philosophy: (1) it comes off as non-conformist and slightly “dangerous,” and (2) it unapologetically glorifies all those egotistical impulses we had as teenagers. There’s a smug, self-congratulatory element to it.
- Two people removed from RNC after taunting black camera operator
    Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention Tuesday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, "This is how we feed animals."
- RNC Attendee Allegedly Threw Nuts At Black CNN Camerawoman, Said ‘This Is How We Feed Animals'
    An attendee at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Tuesday allegedly threw nuts at a black camerawoman working for CNN and said "This is how we feed animals" before being removed from the convention, a network official confirmed to TPM.
- Study links teen marijuana use to IQ decline
    Teens who routinely smoke marijuana risk a long-term drop in their IQ, a new study has suggested.
- Ron Paul Also wants to Deny Rape Victims Abortions, unless it's an "honest rape"
    Teens who routinely smoke marijuana risk a long-term drop in their IQ, a new study has suggested.
- The Heat is On, and it's Time to Prepare
    Extremely hot summers — warmer than virtually ever occurred during a base period of 1951-1980 — have occurred across more than 10% of the world's lands during the past several years. This means that extremely hot temperatures are more than 10 times more likely to occur now than 50 years ago.
- How the Gun Industry Got Rich Stoking Fear About Obama
    There is no divorcing the politics of guns from their profits. America’s gun lobby and gun industry both benefit from creating a fearful vision of life in the United States—a picture of criminals constantly menacing our families and a government hellbent on taking our guns—that is very effective at selling weapons. In fact, in large part because of the way anxieties about his gun policies have been manipulated, the Obama era has been a golden age for firearms manufacturers, and the run-up to Election 2012 could be for Glock and Remington what the Christmas shopping season is for Macy’s and Sears: a time to cash in before the narrative changes.
- Destroying Precious Land for Gas by Sean Lennon
    Few people are aware that America’s Natural Gas Alliance has spent $80 million in a publicity campaign that includes the services of Hill and Knowlton — the public relations firm that through most of the ’50s and ’60s told America that tobacco had no verifiable links to cancer. Natural gas is clean, and cigarettes are healthy — talk about disinformation. To try to counteract this, my mother and I have started a group called Artists Against Fracking.
- Pig fever sweeps across Russia
    Russian authorities have incinerated tens of thousands of pigs and closed roads in the past few weeks, in an attempt to contain an emerging outbreak of African swine fever, a viral disease so lethal to the animals that it has been likened to Ebola. The spread of the disease comes with a heavy economic toll — last year, the Russian Federation lost 300,000 of the country’s 19 million pigs to swine fever, at an estimated cost of about 7.6 billion roubles (US$240 million).
    African swine fever was also detected for the first time in Ukraine in late July, and European and Asian countries are on the alert to deal with outbreaks that could cost their pork industries billions of dollars. With no vaccine or cure for the disease, mass culls and vigilant hygiene offer the main defence.