Posts Tagged Boston
Class Wars of 2012
By PAUL KRUGMAN
On Election Day, The Boston Globe reported, Logan International Airport in Boston was running short of parking spaces. Not for cars — for private jets. Big donors were flooding into the city to attend Mitt Romney’s victory party.
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
They were, it turned out, misinformed about political reality. But the disappointed plutocrats weren’t wrong about who was on their side. This was very much an election pitting the interests of the very rich against those of the middle class and the poor.
And the Obama campaign won largely by disregarding the warnings of squeamish “centrists” and embracing that reality, stressing the class-war aspect of the confrontation. This ensured not only that President Obama won by huge margins among lower-income voters, but that those voters turned out in large numbers, sealing his victory.
The important thing to understand now is that while the election is over, the class war isn’t. The same people who bet big on Mr. Romney, and lost, are now trying to win by stealth — in the name of fiscal responsibility — the ground they failed to gain in an open election.
Before I get there, a word about the actual vote. Obviously, narrow economic self-interest doesn’t explain everything about how individuals, or even broad demographic groups, cast their ballots. Asian-Americans are a relatively affluent group, yet they went for President Obama by 3 to 1. Whites in Mississippi, on the other hand, aren’t especially well off, yet Mr. Obama received only 10 percent of their votes.
These anomalies, however, weren’t enough to change the overall pattern. Meanwhile, Democrats seem to have neutralized the traditional G.O.P. advantage on social issues, so that the election really was a referendum on economic policy. And what voters said, clearly, was no to tax cuts for the rich, no to benefit cuts for the middle class and the poor. So what’s a top-down class warrior to do?
The answer, as I have already suggested, is to rely on stealth — to smuggle in plutocrat-friendly policies under the pretense that they’re just sensible responses to the budget deficit.
Consider, as a prime example, the push to raise the retirement age, the age of eligibility forMedicare, or both. This is only reasonable, we’re told — after all, life expectancy has risen, so shouldn’t we all retire later? In reality, however, it would be a hugely regressive policy change, imposing severe burdens on lower- and middle-income Americans while barely affecting the wealthy. Why? First of all, the increase in life expectancy is concentrated among the affluent; why should janitors have to retire later because lawyers are living longer? Second, both Social Security and Medicare are much more important, relative to income, to less-affluent Americans, so delaying their availability would be a far more severe hit to ordinary families than to the top 1 percent.
Or take a subtler example, the insistence that any revenue increases should come from limiting deductions rather than from higher tax rates. The key thing to realize here is that the math just doesn’t work; there is, in fact, no way limits on deductions can raise as much revenue from the wealthy as you can get simply by letting the relevant parts of the Bush-era tax cuts expire. So any proposal to avoid a rate increase is, whatever its proponents may say, a proposal that we let the 1 percent off the hook and shift the burden, one way or another, to the middle class or the poor.
The point is that the class war is still on, this time with an added dose of deception. And this, in turn, means that you need to look very closely at any proposals coming from the usual suspects, even — or rather especially — if the proposal is being represented as a bipartisan, common-sense solution. In particular, whenever some deficit-scold group talks about “shared sacrifice,” you need to ask, sacrifice relative to what?
As regular readers may know, I’m not a fan of the Bowles-Simpson report on deficit reduction that laid out a poorly designed plan that for some reason has achieved near-sacred status among the Beltway elite. Still, at least you can say this for Bowles-Simpson: When it talked about shared sacrifice, it started from a “baseline” that already assumed the end of the high-end Bush tax cuts. At this point, however, just about all the deficit scolds seem to want us to count the expiration of those cuts — which were sold on false pretenses, and were never affordable — as some kind of big giveback by the rich. It isn’t.
So keep your eyes open as the fiscal game of chicken continues. It’s an uncomfortable but real truth that we are not all in this together; America’s top-down class warriors lost big in the election, but now they’re trying to use the pretense of concern about the deficit to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Let’s not let them pull it off.
- Class Wars of 2012 – Paul Krugman via NYTimes.com (underpaidgenius.com)
- Robots and Robber Barons – NYTimes.com (mbcalyn.com)
- Paul Krugman: Class Wars of 2012 (economistsview.typepad.com)
- Class Wars of 2012 – Paul Krugman (tribuneofthepeople.com)
- Class Wars of 2012 — it ain’t over, yet! (mbcalyn.com)
- Class wars – American style (mbcalyn.com)
- Yes and no… (atung.net)
- Liberty to Lie – NYTimes.com (mbcalyn.com)
- Fix the Debt: plutocrats are turning up the volume on the class war (mbcalyn.com)
- “We are not all in this together.” (prairieweather.typepad.com)
His Original Sin
Mitt Romney’s problems can be traced to the choices he made earlier this year during the Republican primaries.
Updated: September 21, 2012 | 11:54 a.m.
September 20, 2012 | 3:00 p.m.
AP PHOTO/JAE C. HONG
Pulled right: Mitt Romney with Rick Santorum.
Except for the occasional tie, by definition one presidential contender always trails the other in mid-September. At that point, in a reliable rite of autumn, the lagging candidate is inevitably subjected to media stories documenting disarray in his team and despair in his party.
fulfilled that venerable tradition this week with a detailed account of the slipshod decision-making that produced Mitt Romney’s instantly forgettable acceptance speech (although a presumably more orderly process didn’t yield an address any more memorable from President Obama). Adding to Boston’s headaches, this revelation of private strain came amid a swarm of public trials, from widespread criticism of Romney’s response to the violence in the Middle East to the furor over his secretly recorded remarks about dependency on the government.
But if Romney loses in November, the primary cause won’t be the tactical missteps and backbiting that chronicled, or even the past two weeks’ rapid-fire controversies. The much larger problem will be fundamental strategic choices the candidate made during the Republican primary, including several that placed him in conflict with long-term demographic trends reshaping the electorate.
Romney’s biggest general-election problem is that he did not believe he could beat a GOP primary field with no competitor more formidable than , Rick Santorum, or Newt Gingrich without tacking sharply right on key issues. Romney repeatedly took policy positions that minimized his risks during the spring but have multiplied his challenges in the fall. His fate isn’t sealed, but the choices he made in the primaries have left him with a path to victory so narrow that it might daunt Jones. “To secure the nomination, they made … decisions about immigration, tax cuts, and a whole host of other issues that had no strategic vision,” said John Weaver, a senior strategist for ’s 2008 campaign. “So he’s now trapped demographically and doesn’t even seem to understand it.”
Of all Romney’s primary-season decisions, the most damaging was his choice to repel the challenges from Perry and Gingrich by attacking them from the right—and using immigration as his cudgel. That process led Romney to embrace a succession of edgy, conservative positions anathema to many Hispanics, including denouncing for providing in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants; praising ’s immigration-enforcement law; and, above all, promising to make life so difficult for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants that they would “self-deport.” Although Romney this week tried to soften his tone, polls show Obama attracting at least the 67 percent of Latinos that he attracted in 2008, despite Hispanics’ double-digit unemployment. Weaver, like other GOP strategists, worries that Romney has placed the GOP “on the precipice” of losing Hispanics for a generation.
Romney’s inability to dent Obama’s support among Hispanics (or other minorities) means the GOP nominee probably can’t win without attracting at least 61 percent of white voters. Yet a second early decision has greatly compounded that challenge. Through the primaries, Romney embraced an unreservedly conservative social agenda (such as defunding Planned Parenthood and allowing employers to deny contraception coverage in health insurance plans), especially after Santorum emerged as his principal rival. That positioning helps explain why polls consistently show Obama drawing a majority of college-educated white women—not only the most socially liberal sector of the white electorate but also the fastest-growing. If Obama can hold a majority of those women and match his 80 percent with all minorities in 2008, Romney would have to carry two-thirds of all other whites to win—as much as Ronald Reagan won among those remaining voters in his 1984 landslide.
Two other earlier choices also loom over Romney’s hopes now. His decision, when the nomination was almost sealed, to embrace a 20 percent cut in marginal tax rates has provided Obama’s team invaluable ammunition to paint him as favoring the rich over the middle class. Romney also fatefully dismissed criticism from other Republicans about his experience at Bain Capital as an attack on free enterprise rather than develop a more specific response to the allegations about his business record. That worked with ideologically sympathetic GOP primary voters, but left Romney astonishingly unprepared to persuade the broader electorate when Obama’s team redoubled that critique with biting ads.
Simon Rosenberg, president of the Democratic advocacy group NDN, says that the common theme in Romney’s primary-period choices was overconfidence that economic dissatisfaction would doom Obama and underestimation of the president’s campaign skills. “That contributed to a sense that they could say whatever they wanted to in the primaries and then Etch A Sketch it in the general,” he said.
But Romney’s decisions during the primaries also reflected a conspicuous lack of confidence that he could impose his will on his party. Instead, he serially accommodated himself to the cresting demands of a GOP base that emerged from the 2010 election excessively confident that the country was ready for the most conservative agenda since at least Reagan in 1980. If Obama wins a second term despite all his vulnerabilities, that ideological hubris will loom larger than any of Romney’s flubs and stumbles now.
- Free Wood Post – GOP Celebrates New ‘PreSin’ Pregnancy Prevention Pill (mbcalyn.com)
- Romney’s Campaign Undercuts His Competence Pitch – NationalJournal.com (mbcalyn.com)
- Everybody Hates Mitt (thedailybeast.com)
- Rick Santorum Admits That Evangelical Conservatives Will Never Have “Smart People On Our Side” (slog.thestranger.com)
- Romney’s 2011 Tax Return Gives More Fodder To Critics Who Already Had Surplus (wnyc.org)
- POLITICO: Mitt Romney’s Campaign Is In Complete Shambles (businessinsider.com)
- Mitt Romney: The GOP’s Very Best (motherjones.com)
- Obama vs. Romney – The choice is clear (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
- Is Mitt’s Romney’s number really up? (independent.co.uk)
- Politico: Politico stories don’t matter (salon.com)
Why Cell Phone Bans Don’t Work
by Carol Cruzan Morton on 22 August 2012
It’s the driver. People who talk on cell phones tend to be more unsafe drivers, says a new study from MIT that included a test drive.
Credit: Nathan Fried-Lipski/MIT AgeLab
You can take the driver away from the cell phone, but you can’t take the risky behavior away from the driver. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which finds that people who talk on their phones while driving may already be unsafe drivers who are nearly as prone to crash with or without the device. The findings may explain why laws banning cell phone use in motor vehicles have had little impact on accident rates.
The study involved 108 people, equally divided into three age groups: 20s, 40s, and 60s. For each person, the researchers correlated answers on a questionnaire with data collected from on-board sensors during a 40-minute test drive up Interstate 93 north of Boston. The drivers commanded a black Volvo SUV tricked out with an eye tracker, heart and skin monitors, video cameras facing out the front and back windows, on-board sensors, and other research gear.
No cell phones were allowed during these trips. Instead, before they got behind the wheel, the study participants filled in answers about how often they used a cell phone while driving, how they felt about speeding and passing other cars, and how many times in the last year they had been warned or cited for speeding, running traffic lights and stop signs, and other infractions. The team grouped the participants into “frequent users” (those who talked on the phone while driving a few times a week or more) and “rare users” (those who talked while driving a few times a month or less).
Compared with people who rarely talked as they steered, frequent cell phone users drove faster, changed lanes more frequently, spent more time in the left lane, and engaged in more hard braking maneuvers and rapid accelerations, according to the SUV’s onboard equipment. Frequent cell phone users, for example, zoomed along about 4.4 kilometers per hour faster on average and changed lanes twice as often, compared with rare users.
“These are not ‘oh-my-god’ differences,” says study leader Bryan Reimer, a human factors engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. “They are subtle clues indicative of more aggressive driving.” What’s more, he says, other studies have linked these behaviors to an increased rate of crashes. “It’s clear [from the scientific literature] that cell phones in and of themselves impair the ability to manage the demands of driving,” Reimer says. But “the fundamental problem may be the behavior of the individuals willing to pick up the technology.”
The findings, reported online this month in Accident Analysis & Prevention, provide one plausible explanation for why injuries and fatalities from motor vehicle crashes have decreased to historic lows even as cellular technology use has increased dramatically. They may also explain another mystery. “Cell phone bans have reduced cell phone use by drivers, but the perplexing thing is that they haven’t reduced crashes,” says Russ Rader, a spokesperson for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Arlington, Virginia, who was not involved in the new study. In two other studies, the institute has found no reduction in crashes due to hand-held cell phone or texting bans, based on insurance claim rates in states with and without the laws.
The findings may help explain why legislation banning mobile phone use has had little measurable impact on overall crash rates, speculate the study authors. “There is no question in anyone’s mind that talking on a cell phone increases risk,” Reimer says. “It’s great we can take the phone out of their hands, but these may be the drivers who are getting in accidents anyway.”
“We have seen the same correlations in our Traffic Safety Culture Index,” says Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an independently funded charitable research and education organization established by the American Automobile Association. The index surveys more than 3100 people each year. The foundation wants to change driver behavior, a challenge more complex than banning phones, he says.
Still, cell phone bans may save lives, says David Strayer, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. “The MIT data indicate that regulation [banning cell phone use] may be reasonable so long as it is followed up with good enforcement, and that together these would result in a decrease in unsafe driving behavior.”
- Why Cell Phone Bans Don’t Work (news.sciencemag.org)
- How to Conform to the New FMSCA’s Hand-Held Cell Phone Ban for CMV Drivers (smartsign.com)
- Cell Phone Ban Proposed in Mission (fox4kc.com)
- Launching an Effective Cell Phone Ban Inside Your Company (themarlincompany.com)
- Judge overturns Chapel Hill cell-phone ban (newsobserver.com)
- Leaving Your Cell Phone Behind: Great Idea? Or Greatest Idea? (kcet.org)
- There Oughta Be a Law: California May Ban Texting While Biking (blogs.lawyers.com)
- Put Your iPhone Down And You’ll Get Cheap Eats At This L.A. Resto (refinery29.com)
- $106 Ticket for Drivers wo Violate Cellphone Ban In Beachwood! (newstalkcleveland.com)
ROMNEY WANTS RUNNING MATE TO PLAY IT SAFE, FOR NOW
BY STEVE PEOPLES
GLEN ALLEN, Va. (AP) — Mitt Romney wants running mate Paul Ryan to play it safe.
Ryan, the nation’s most controversial budget architect, is often described as the intellectual leader of the House Republican caucus. But Romney’s presidential campaign headquarters in Boston seems, for now, to prefer that the 42-year-old father of three talks about camping and milking cows instead of the fiscal proposals that made him a conservative hero.
Ryan, who wrote a plan to overhaul Medicare as chairman of the House Budget Committee, did not use the word “Medicare” with voters over the first four days as the vice presidential candidate. When he finally touched on the health care insurance program for seniors, he did so only in broad strokes after Romney himself first outlined the campaign’s talking points.
“We will not duck the tough issues,” Ryan said Friday in Virginia. “We will lead.”
But Ryan has been directed to avoid taking questions from reporters who travel with him, and to agree only to a few carefully selected interviews. He is known for sketching budget graphs on napkins to explain his ideas, but this past week it was Romney who used a white board during a news conference to help detail his own plan – one he says is virtually identical to Ryan’s.
“I’m joining the Romney ticket,” Ryan told an Ohio television station this week. “It’s not the other way around. So I’m supporting the Mitt Romney plan.”
Some of the Republican Party’s most passionate voters see it a different way. Reluctant to support Romney during the GOP primary, they favor Ryan and his ideas more than the former Massachusetts governor who will head the party’s ticket.
Romney hopes that Ryan’s conservative credentials and his boyish enthusiasm will help him solidify support from the base of his party and close the “likability gap” with President Barack Obama, who remains relatively popular in spite of the nation’s struggling economy.
Yet Romney does not want Ryan’s plans to overshadow his own candidacy. Advisers suggest that Ryan’s role will change over time. He is eager to do more, and a week after his selection became official, there are already signs that he’s beginning to play a more active role.
The congressman visited a retirement village in Florida on Saturday and emphasized that the plans he has pushed in Congress are designed to save Medicare, not end it. Introducing his mother, a Medicare recipient, to the crowd, the candidate spoke about what the program has meant to his family and said that “we have to keep that guarantee.”
But in taking up the issue, he did not lay out the complexities of his proposals to let future retirees choose alternatives to traditional Medicare.
Romney’s campaign managers want him to proceed with caution.
Romney’s team remembers well the problems caused by running mates who may have been trusted prematurely to play a prominent role in a presidential race – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in 2008 and Sen. Dan Quayle in 1988, among them.
The Republican presidential campaign has gone to great lengths to remind voters that Romney’s way rules.
Before Ryan first addressed Medicare in Ohio this week, large signs were placed in front of and behind the podium reading, “The Romney Plan.” After spending his first two days campaigning with Romney, Ryan will be at his side again in the week ahead for at least one campaign appearance.
The candidates, labeled as “America’s Comeback Team” in Romney’s campaign signs, are set to appear together in New Hampshire’s largest city on Monday. It is expected to be first of what may be many joint appearances in the coming days.
When they are together, the gregarious Ryan helps Romney shed his sometimes wooden ways, and they seem to draw larger crowds together than Romney does on his own.
Just don’t expect Ryan to start charting his Medicare plans on stage. His proposal to turn the guaranteed health care program for people 65 and over into a voucher-like system creates significant political challenges for the Romney-Ryan ticket – and for Republicans across the country. Many seniors don’t fully understand the proposal, and Obama’s re-election campaign is aggressively condemning the plan as something that would “end Medicare as we know it.”
That’s largely why Romney is easing Ryan into the debate. While Ryan explained his complicated plans at length during dozens of Medicare town hall-style meetings before becoming Romney’s running mate, those kinds of meetings probably are over because they’re considered too politically dangerous to continue.
Instead, Ryan is being encouraged to discuss his young children, his working-class background and his love of the outdoors as the American people get to know him.
“Let’s play stump the running mate later. Right now I want to enjoy the fair,” Ryan said when asked about Medicare at the Iowa State Fair.
“We do cow-milking contests in Wisconsin,” he continued. “I usually lose to a 17-year-old woman who grew up on a dairy farm, who’s wearing like a sash and tiara.”
Despite the cautious approach, Romney’s advisers are expecting Ryan to stumble at times early on as his record faces unprecedented scrutiny. Already, some concerns have popped up.
He reversed course on Thursday and acknowledged lobbying the government for stimulus money after twice denying he had done so. The admission came only after the release of letters, with his signature, asking for millions of the program’s dollars on behalf of two companies in his home state.
And while he has tried to avoid diving into the specifics of his Medicare plan, a reporter pushed him to explain an apparent contradiction during an impromptu lunch meeting in Ohio.
In the interview, Ryan said he never would have included a $700 billion Medicare cut in his budget if Obama hadn’t done it first.
“He put those cuts there,” Ryan said of the president. “We would never have done it in the first place.”
The defense represented a deviation from the Romney campaign’s talking points and overshadowed what was supposed to be a made-for-TV stop at local hotdog restaurant.
- Romney Wants His Risky Pick to Play It Safe (abcnews.go.com)
- Romney wants his risky pick to play it safe (news.yahoo.com)
- Romney wants his risky pick to play it safe (utsandiego.com)
- Ryan’s first V.P. flip-flop – Salon.com (mbcalyn.com)
- Romney wants his risky pick to play it safe (kansascity.com)
- Ryan on Medicare: ‘We will win this debate’ (cnsnews.com)
- Mitt Romney Wants Paul Ryan To Talk About Cows Instead Of Transformational Budget Proposals (dekerivers.wordpress.com)
- Romney has picked Paul Ryan as running mate, Republican source tells the AP (foxnews.com)
- Romney stumbles badly on Medicare (maddowblog.msnbc.com)
- Romney, Obama Fight for Medicare (abcnews.go.com)
What Facebook Hands Over To Police When A User Is Suspected Of Murder
Phil Markoff’s Facebook file, via the Boston Phoenix
The Boston Phoenix has a pretty fascinating and detailed story about the digital detective work involved in tracking down Phil Markoff, a.k.a. the Craigslist Killer. After looking for evidence in the Marriott hotel room where the first erotic masseuse victim was found and going through the victim’s cell phone to contact friends and relatives, the Boston Police Department turned to the somewhat controversial technique, recently brought into the spotlight by the ACLU, of location-tracking cell phones for help with the investigation.
After a second attack at a Westin Hotel, some FBI agents who happened to be passing through helped the Boston police to “pull cell-tower records for the time period 15 minutes before and after each incident, for those near the scene of each crime.” They tried to pinpoint a phone that was used in both areas around the times of the attack, but they wound up with hundreds of phone numbers. So, it was basically a dead end.
What wound up being much more useful was the email address that Markoff used to contact his first victim. It was a throw-away hotmail account, but Microsoft was able to give the police the IP address of the person who opened it (after getting a subpoena), while Comcast was able to supply the name and physical address of the person associated with the IP (also after receiving a subpoena).
That’s when the police turned to Facebook. They sent a subpoena to the social networking giant and got a 60+ page dossier on Markoff, including all of his wall posts, the photos he’d been tagged in, a list of his friends, and a history of his log-ins (with associated IP information). It doesn’t seem to have actually been that helpful in the investigation, but it makes for an interesting perusal. (The police also asked Facebook for its records on Markoff’s oblivious but seemingly innocent fiance.)
In posting the Facebook file, the Phoenix headlined it, “When the cops subpoena your Facebook information, here’s what Facebook sends the cops.” That’s incorrect given what Facebook says are its practices these days. This investigation was conducted back in 2008. The police department wouldn’t be able to get that much information today with just a subpoena (an official request from a law enforcement or government agency that hasn’t been reviewed by a judge). When I interviewed Facebook’s director of security, Joe Sullivan, earlier this year, he told me the company provides only “basic subscriber information” in response to a subpoena, meaning a user’s name, e-mail address and IP address. Sullivan said that, to get a peek at a user’s photos, status updates, private messages, friend lists, or pokes, law enforcement has to get a search warrant, making things a little harder for investigators but protecting users from fishing expeditions that haven’t gotten a judicial stamp of approval.
None of this meticulously-collected evidence wound up being used to try Markoff, though, because he committed suicide after being charged.
Hunting the Craigslist Killer [The Phoenix]
- Here’s what a Facebook response to a user data subpoena looks like (nextlevelofnews.com)
- Not on Facebook? You’re probably a psychopath (theweek.co.uk)
- NYPD To Subpoena Twitter To Find User Who Threatens Aurora-Type Theater Shooting In Manhattan (ibtimes.com)
- Are People Who Don’t Use Facebook Psychopaths? (fox4kc.com)
- Missing murder suspect now on ‘Most Wanted’ list (bostonherald.com)
- Be Careful what you say here ! (pintwister.wordpress.com)
- Are You a Psychopath if You’re Not on Facebook? Some Employers, Psychiatrists Think So (mashable.com)
- Police allege vampire murder as revenge (bigpondnews.com)
- Sex Tech: Porn filesharing suits go too far, Anonymous vs. pedos (zdnet.com)
- Man extradited over Vic ‘vampire’ murder (bigpondnews.com)
Moving To New City To Solve All Of Area Man’s Problems
ATLANTA—All of area resident Brian Shepard’s problems, including his fear of commitment, lack of personal direction, and inability to learn from past failures, will be instantly solved this week when the 29-year-old packs up his belongings and moves to a new city. “Moving to Portland is going to make all the difference in the world,” said Shepard, who, just by putting 2,500 miles distance between himself and years of destructive behavior, will suddenly turn his life around. “It won’t be anything like Chicago, or Boston, or San Francisco. This is exactly what I need right now.” Shepard also plans to completely eliminate his dependence on self-denial by ignoring his dependence on self-denial.
- Romney Stares Uncomprehendingly At $1 Bill | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- New Internet Destinations Created | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- Justice Department Sues 2 Polygamous Communities | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source | American Voices (mbcalyn.com)
- Report: Baseball Favorite Sport Of Many Detroit Tigers Players | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- Phil Mickelson’s Shower Caddy Recommends Sudsy 9-Iron | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- Eating Disorders Common Among Older Women | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source | American Voices (mbcalyn.com)
- Entire Facebook Staff Laughs As Man Tightens Privacy Settings | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (futureofbiz.org)
- Governor Too Embarrassed To Say Which State He Leads | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- Tired Twins Ask If They Can Stop Swinging Bat All The Way Around | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- Wrigley Field Supporters Propose Tearing Down Rest Of Chicago | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
Mother Nature: What Do I Have to Do Here to Convince You Assholes That Global Warming is Real?
Mother Nature released a statement this week expressing frustration with the increasingly poor treatment the earth has been subjected to at the hands of its human inhabitants.
Environmental activists were stunned by the release of the statement, which is believed to be the first of its kind.
“Seriously, folks,” it began. “What do I have to do to get your attention here? Do you want me to melt the polar ice caps into the shape of a giant frowny-face? Should I strike down a couple thousand starving polar bears so that their prone bodies spell out the words ‘turn off your fucking air conditioner’ or maybe ‘stop driving six blocks to work in your damn Hummers’?”
Many scientists believe that the growing human population, coupled with modern man’s increasingly destructive and rapacious consumption of dwindling natural resources, have contributed significantly to a number of serious environmental issues, with global warming at the forefront.
However, many political conservatives continue to ignore mounting scientific evidence that climate change is an issue, insisting instead that the gradually warming temperatures across the planet are part of a larger, natural temperature cycle.
Mother Nature’s statement appeared to address this controversy head-on.
“You want a few more ninety-degree days in January up in Minnesota?” it asked. “Did you like those? Did they feel right? And what about that earthquake in D.C. last year? Did you somehow think that was a good sign? Can I maybe send a few more devastating tsunamis your way? Just tell me what kind of natural disaster you’re going to have to experience in order to finally stop destroying a hundred different species every single day, and I’ll get right on it.”
Mother Nature then went on a tangential rant in which she apologized for her attempt to destroy British Petroleum, which had unfortunately “backfired really badly”, and noted that Morgan Freeman’s voice-overs for several recent nature documentaries were “impeccably done” and “really some of his best work.”
“Anyway, please let me know what it’s going to take to get you to cool it with the hydraulic fracturing already,” the statement concluded. “I thought the byproduct of flammable water would be a pretty clear indication that fracking was a bad idea, but I guess I was wrong there too.
“I’ve tried every way I can think of to send a message to you, but apparently we’re just not speaking the same language anymore.
“Stay cool, guys,” the Mother Nature said ominously in closing, adding, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
As of press time, Mother Nature was unavailable for further comment, and it was an unusually hot 94 degrees in Boston.
- Global warming is un-bear-able for polar bears stranded on ice (thesun.co.uk)
- How Do We Know Global Warming Is Not a Natural Cycle? (climatecentral.org)
- global warming kids information (mervinbyrne.typepad.com)
- Leading Global Warming Advocate Recants! … ‘Models Fail Dramatically …’ (thedailybell.com)
- Branson confronted about whether he supports European carbon tax on his airline… (nationalreview.com)
- The Polarizing Poles: Yet Another Study Shows That More Knowledgeable Conservatives Are *Worse* on Global Warming (desmogblog.com)
- The Shrinking Polar Ice Caps (zazenlife.com)
- Green ‘drivel’ exposed. The godfather of global warming lowers the boom on climate change hysteria (investmentwatchblog.com)
- Joe Bastardi Challenges Jeff Master’s Claims About Sunspots (stevengoddard.wordpress.com)
- It just gets thicker and deeper: UN Warns of Global Collapse Due to Pesticides; Agenda 21 is Pushed as Solution (junkscience.com)
Voters Slowly Realizing Santorum Believes Every Deranged Word That Comes Out Of His Mouth | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source
Voters Slowly Realizing Santorum Believes Every Deranged Word That Comes Out Of His Mouth
MARCH 5, 2012 | ISSUE 48•10
WASHINGTON—As Rick Santorum has emerged to become Mitt Romney’s leading opponent for the Republican presidential nomination, the American electorate said Monday it had slowly begun to realize that the former Pennsylvania senator sincerely believes every deranged word that exits his mouth.
Uneasy voters told reporters it was becoming more and more evident that comments from Santorum defending sodomy laws as acceptable restrictions on ”wants and passions” and characterizing pregnancy occurring through rape as a ”gift” from God were not politically calculated but were, in fact, spoken out of sincere, startling conviction.
“I honestly thought he was just playing up to the far-right voters, because that’s what Republicans are supposed to do in the primaries,” said Grand Rapids, MI resident Dan Banks, who explained he had dismissed as manipulative campaign rhetoric Santorum’s assertion that President Obama would send Christians to the guillotine. ”But now it’s dawning on me that this guy means it, all of it. Every single thing he says is an accurate depiction of how he sees the world.”
“So, when he said that Satan was currently attacking the United States, he meant exactly that,” added Banks. ”Satan, the devil himself, is attacking the United States. Rick Santorum believes this is a real thing that is actually happening. I…wow. Just wow.”
Gallup polls taken during the campaign show an evolving awareness among voters that Santorum is not lying about any of the horrifying things he says. For example, in August of last year, 96 percent of voters said they thought Santorum could not possibly be serious when he said gay marriage was ”an issue just like 9/11,” compared with only 9 percent today. And in that same time span, the number of voters who believe Santorum was not at all kidding when he said the president had a ”deep-seated antipathy toward American values and traditions” has increased more than tenfold.
While few voters said they had been following Santorum long enough to have read the 2002 Catholic Online article in which he attributed sexual abuse in Boston-area Catholic churches to the ”academic, political, and cultural liberalism” of the region, all agreed his performance in the current campaign was more than adequate to drive home the difference between the candidate’s authentic lunacy and the obvious pandering of his primary opponents.
“I get that Romney’s just mouthing words he doesn’t mean and Gingrich is a really astounding hypocrite,” said Seattle voter Kara Gallardo, a lifelong Republican who nevertheless admitted she felt a creeping sense of dread as she began to grasp that the words uttered by Santorum could not be more heartfelt. ”But when Santorum says that contraception is dangerous because sex is supposed to be procreative, he is not messing around. If he becomes president, you know he sincerely plans to do something about it.”
“I mean, with the other guys, you can dig into their past and find at least some shred of rational thinking, even if they’re cynically downplaying it now,” Gallardo continued. ”But I get the sense Santorum is speaking nothing but his completely unfiltered thoughts. I know it’s weird to say this about a politician, but I sort of wish he were lying to my face at least a little.”
While most voters said they grew progressively more troubled as they fully registered the fact that Santorum was being entirely earnest when he said Social Security was underfunded because abortions had critically reduced the number of potential taxpayers, some were more conflicted.
“It’s nice to hear a candidate espouse his opinions without your BS detector going off even once,” Margate, FL voter Lisa Bearden said. ”He’s kind of the real deal. Say what you will, but there’s no denying he’s got genuine integrity.”
“Yep, terrifyingly genuine integrity,” Bearden added.
- Our Great Moral Decline: “Two Distinct Monologues” (mykeystrokes.com)
- Santorums Tenn. volunteers click with voters (philly.com)
- Santorum: My Words Are My Own (blogs.wsj.com)
- Santorum confident of good day in Ohio as he bids to spoil Romney’s party (guardian.co.uk)
- Disorganization marring Rick Santorum’s campaign (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Santorum’s handlers struggle to keep him on message (capitolhillblue.com)
- Disorganization Mars Santorum Campaign (myfoxny.com)
- Flaws in Santorum’s campaign discipline on display (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Flaws in Santorum’s campaign discipline on display (seattletimes.nwsource.com)