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Archive for the ‘anti-truth’ Category

Aptly said, sir

Posted by Charles II on December 5, 2012

Hunter at DK:

Going down the list of numbers from PPP’s post-election poll, there’s quite a bit of encouraging news to be had. David already covered two of the specifics, but here they are again just to review:

49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama. We found that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore.

This is outstanding news. Despite not actually existing, ACORN appears to be just as effective at secret conspiracies to steal elections as they were when they did exist.

And these are the people that Obama is supposed to compromise with. What happens when reality and anti-reality collide?

Posted in anti-truth, polls, Republicans, Republicans acting badly | 9 Comments »

GOP to reality: “Shut up!”

Posted by Charles II on November 3, 2012

Via Rachel Maddow, the GOP has suppressed a Congressional Research Service Report saying that tax cuts do not increase economic growth. Inconvenient, that. Also inconvenient is the fact that Maddow posted a link to the report on her blog, going here:

The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie.

However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of
income at the top of the income distribution.

I can see why the Republicans are shouting SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!

Posted in anti-truth, economy, taxes, The Plunderbund | 3 Comments »

Retire the words “fact” and “truth.” They are obsolete.

Posted by Charles II on October 18, 2012

FAIR had a good take on the Romney-Benghazi-”act of terror” thing here. The so-called “fact-checkers” like Annenberg’s Brooks Jackson and Politifact‘s “main imperative … is to maintain an appearance of impartiality by making it seem like both sides are about equally dishonest.”

In other words, the policy of fact check factories is to lie.

In fact, the fact checkers (including Candy Crowley) tried to say that Romney got it half right because the Administration initially believed that the attack had been related to a protest against a film about Islam. But the NYT own reporting at the time “stressed that the attackers themselves stated they were retaliating for the anti-Muslim video.” The Times has now re-confirmed that the attackers gave as their cause of belligerence the anti-Muslim video.

BTW, if you would like to see just how deep into dishonesty the right has gotten with this, there’s always Breitbart.com, which continues to claim that Obama was not talking about Benghazi in calling the assault on the consulate an act of terror despite the fact that his remarks were for f–k’s sake titledRemarks by the President on the Deaths of U.S. Embassy Staff in Libya.” They even link it!

None so blind as they who claim to see.

(This is the CNN interview they excerpt from without linking). In it, David Axelrod schools Candy Crowley on what the president said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack. When she interrupted Romney in the debate, she was presumably trying to save him from saying something irretrievably stupid).

Posted in abuse of power, anti-truth, mediawhores, Mitt Romney, mythmaking | 2 Comments »

In the “conservatism is based on stupidity and lies” category: ITEP shows that low taxes are bad for growth

Posted by Charles II on June 25, 2012

Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy:

One of the most frequently repeated talking points used by lawmakers seeking to reduce or eliminate income and estate taxes is that doing so will usher in an economic boom. Recently a number of observers, led by supply-side economist Arthur Laffer, have sought to bolster this argument by claiming that states lacking an income tax or estate taxes have economies that far outperform those in the states with the highest top tax rates.

Three new reports from Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy show that the truth is exactly the opposite.

Specifically:

residents of “high rate” income tax states are actually experiencing economic conditions at least as good, if not better, than those living in states lacking a personal income tax. As Figure 1 shows, the nine “high rate” states identified by Laffer have actually seen more economic growth per capita over the last decade than the nine states that fail to levy a broad-based personal income tax. Moreover, while the median family’s income, adjusted for inflation, has declined in most states over the last decade, those declines have been considerably smaller in “high rate” states than in those states lacking an income tax entirely. Finally, the average unemployment rate between 2001 and
2010 has been essentially identical across both types of states.

How did an economist come to exactly the wrong conclusion? By combining–in a study of state tax rates– federal and state taxes to muddy the waters. Also, by choosing as the time frame for his study the period when growth was picking up due to the real estate boom (which, of course, was greatest in low/no tax states like Florida and Nevada). In other words, by sculpting his data and methods to fit his desired conclusion. In layman’s terms, by lying.

Laffer also claimed that Tennessee’s estate tax cost 220,000 jobs. Unfortunately for him, he produced zero credible evidence for this assertion. But he did make a testable prediction: that people are moving from Tennessee to Florida to escape the estate tax. The data do not show this.

God help us, people like Laffer are in charge. They are completely corrupt, blind, drunk on ideology.

Posted in anti-truth, taxes, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Just read Eric Rauchway/updated with actual link

Posted by Charles II on May 28, 2012

It’s been too long since I visited The Edge of the American West. Fortunately Paul Krugman steered me there. I learned the phrase, “at a level that could get you fired as a blogger.”

Yes. A lot of things that pass as serious articles could get you fired as a blogger. David Brooks. Tom Friedman. Half the guests on Charlie Rose. Charles Murray. And now the California Association of Scholars. They have produced a document whose errors can only be ascribed to overwhelming political bias and the desperate unwillingness to check the facts to which overwhelming political bias leads.

The report is signed by John M. Ellis (Professor Emeritus of German Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz.), Charles L. Geshekter (Professor of African History, California State University, Chico), Peter W. Wood (Anthropology Department at Boston University), and Stephen H. Balch (ex-Department of Government and Public Administration of John Jay College of Criminal Justice).

And in short order, political connections pop up. Balch is easy: In 2009 he was the recipient of the Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award from the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. Same for Peter W. Wood (linkibid): Dr. Wood has published several hundred articles in print and online journals, such as Partisan Review and National Review Online”. Geshekter has published one article for NRO. Ellis likes to complain about “political correctness”

The funding for NAS? Here:

Sarah Scaife Foundation
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc
Castle Rock Foundation
John M. Olin Foundation

This report was bought and paid for.

Posted in anti-truth, historians, history, Republicans as cancer | 2 Comments »

We need a post on Ron Paul’s connections to the John Birch Society

Posted by Charles II on January 4, 2012

Just sayin’.

Figuring out what politicians will do in office is very difficult. Most of them are masters of disguise and deception. Tens of millions of people imagined that Bush would be a compassionate conservative (despite the fact that he was well known to be personally sadistic). Tens of millions imagined that Obama would not get involved in all sorts of optional wars, even though he told people ahead of time he would have American troops cross Pakistani borders whether they gave permission or not.

A very important part of anticipating what politicians will do is understanding where they get their ideas. Obama’s close ties with guys like Austan Goolsbee was a warning sign that he wasn’t an economic liberal. An economic liberal would have aligned himself with guys like Joe Stiglitz (for the record, there were some liberal economists like Jamie Galbraith and Bob Reich among his advisors. They just were not in any clear majority or among his personal associates). Understanding which wells or sewers a candidate drinks from in forming his ideas is a much better predictor of what he’ll do than what he says.

So, Ron Paul’s links to the John Birch Society, which are much more recent than his survivalist newsletter should be a focus for those who want to understand what Ron Paul would actually do. American Opinion, the JBS newsletter, gives Paul a 100% rating on 20 recent votes. Now, the JBS is a very strict grader. In the House, I count only 4 South Carolina Republicans, 1 North Carolina Republican, and Ron Paul who meet their exacting standards. In the Senate, there are none. The JBS is remarkably mainstream in Republican circles, considering they were once drummed out of the Republican Party. They sponsored a recent CPAC meeting.

Since there is no clear distinction between the John Birch Society and the conservative movement, one may wonder what the special interest in them should be. The answer is that the JBS is, in effect, the Bolshevik Party of the right. They are intensely conspiratorial, use deception routinely, and–because they have pre-determined that the world governments are all in the hands of the communists–have completed the process of dehumanization that is necessary for the use of ruthless means. For the latter, see for example this article, which includes such interesting lines as:

But now there appears to be another secret cabal, known as the Shadow Party, controlled by radical billionaire George Soros who operates secretly to influence the direction our government is going in. He has boldly proclaimed his intentions, so they are not secret. But how he controls events in Washington is another story. We suspect that he is behind Barack Obama’s presidency…
John Dewey and his colleagues were all socialists and made no secret of their intent to take over the public schools and use them as the means of converting America from an individualist society to a socialist one….Most readers of The New American are familiar with the Illuminati conspiracy that was launched by Adam Weishaupt on May 1, 1776, at Ingolstadt, Germany….The earliest conspiracy I know of in the United States was created by the Owenite socialists who wanted to convert America into an anti-Christian communist society.

So, let me speculate on what a couple of Ron Paul’s positions which are so attractive to the left might actually mean:
* does withdrawal of American forces from wars mean that we will use nuclear weapons when our interests are threatened?
* would legalization of drugs without any compensating effort to help people get off and stay off drugs mean that drugs would effectively become a means of medicating and controlling the population?

What does the John Birch Society say about these things? I’d really like to know. There’s been a lot of talk about how the Republican Party will never let Paul gain the nomination. I don’t see why not, not when some of the biggest money in the GOP comes from corporate libertarian/John Birchers like the Koch brothers.

Posted in 2012, anti-truth, antiwar movement, capitalism as cancer, corporatists, eedjits, evil, fascism, unintended consequences, War On Some Drugs | 20 Comments »

Murdoch phone hacking befogged

Posted by Charles II on October 24, 2011

Parliamentary questioning of Les Hinton demonstrated that he’s one of the most competent corporate executives out there:

The culture committee questioned Les Hinton, the former executive chairman of Rupert Murdoch’s lot. He appeared from New York by video link. Thanks to modern technology, it was possible for a great cloud of ignorance, prevarication, vagueness and amnesia to billow across the Atlantic.

Mr Hinton knew nuffink and remembered less. You could have stopped any passing schoolboy and learned as much.

One of the great talents you must have to be a corporate executive is to be informed about every detail of your subordinates’ lives except when it involves your own personal liability. “Sociopathic” barely begins to describe it.

Posted in anti-truth, liars, Rupert Murdoch | 1 Comment »

The Truth Hater, Rick Perry edition

Posted by Charles II on October 15, 2011

Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian (the original report is by MoJo’s Kate Sheppard, if you prefer the horse’s mouth):

Officials in Rick Perry’s home state of Texas have set off a scientists’ revolt after purging mentions of climate change and sea-level rise from what was supposed to be a landmark environmental report. The scientists said they were disowning the report on the state of Galveston Bay because of political interference and censorship from Perry appointees at the state’s environmental agency.

By academic standards, the protest amounts to the beginnings of a rebellion: every single scientist associated with the 200-page report has demanded their names be struck from the document.
….
Texas is the only state to refuse to sign on to the federal government’s new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. “I like to tell people we live in a state of denial in the state of Texas,” said John Anderson, an oceanography at Rice University, and author of the chapter targeted by the government censors.

That state of denial percolated down to the leadership of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The agency chief, who was appointed by Perry, is known to doubt the science of climate change. “The current chair of the commission, Bryan Shaw, commonly talks about how human-induced climate change is a hoax,” said Anderson.

But scientists said they still hoped to avoid a clash by simply avoiding direct reference to human causes of climate change and by sticking to materials from peer-reviewed journals. However, that plan began to unravel when officials from the agency made numerous unauthorised changes to Anderson’s chapter, deleting references to climate change, sea-level rise and wetlands destruction.

“It is basically saying that the state of Texas doesn’t accept science results published in Science magazine,” Anderson said. “That’s going pretty far.”

Officials even deleted a reference to the sea level at Galveston Bay rising five times faster than the long-term average – 3mm a year compared to .5mm a year – which Anderson noted was a scientific fact. “They just simply went through and summarily struck out any reference to climate change, any reference to sea level rise, any reference to human influence – it was edited or eliminated,” said Anderson. “That’s not scientific review that’s just straight forward censorship.”

Posted in anti-truth, environment, science and medicine | 2 Comments »

For posterity

Posted by Charles II on July 23, 2011

Who Added “Christian” and “Conservative” to Norway Shooter’s Facebook Page Yesterday?
Atlas Shrugs ^ | July 23, 2011 | Pamela Geller

Posted on Saturday, July 23, 2011 1:11:38 PM by opentalk

While the leftist and Islamic supremacist ghouls rush to portray Norway mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik as a Christian and even as an anti-jihadist, the unanswered questions multiply. Why did a jihad group take credit for the atrocities, and then retract? And who altered the murderer’s Facebook page? Yesterday, at the time that his name was released, his Facebook page looked like this (hat tip Vivien for the screenshot):
[...two different versions of pages purporting to belong to Breivik]
Did he have two different Facebook pages, one in Norwegian and one in English, and he only identified himself as a Christian and a conservative on the English one? Or did he pause from his murder spree to add “Christian” and “conservative” to his Facebook profile? Or maybe the whole page is a fake, as has been reported here.

But in the case, who faked it, and why? Who is so anxious to portray Breivik as a Christian and conservative? And if this was faked, can we trust any of the material that is now being released about Breivik being anti-jihad?

Click for more crazy. Close your eyes for less.
____________________________
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in anti-truth, terrorism | 5 Comments »

New growth industry: lying for corporations

Posted by Charles II on March 4, 2011

As appalled as I have been by the increased willingness of politicians to outright lie, more concerning are five recent stories on how lying has started to permeate our entire nation… and two on how truthtelling, when it does not serve corporations, is punished. It’s those stories on truthtelling that deserve the most attention, because those show how much we have as a nation come to hate truth and embrace lies.

The first story, below, has to do with Astroturf phone calls to radio shows. The second is the lie that President Obama told regarding Raymond Davis, a CIA agent who was arrested for murder after the deaths of several Pakistanis–which the New York Times helped to cover up.

The third story has to do a recent George Monbiot column (also via Avedon) on how corporations are paying people to post comments in forums to support a corporate point of view:

After I wrote about online astroturfing in December, I was contacted by a whistleblower. He was part of a commercial team employed to infest internet forums and comment threads on behalf of corporate clients, promoting their causes and arguing with anyone who opposed them.

Like the other members of the team, he posed as a disinterested member of the public. Or, to be more accurate, as a crowd of disinterested members of the public: he used 70 personas, both to avoid detection and to create the impression there was widespread support for his pro-corporate arguments. I’ll reveal more about what he told me when I’ve finished the investigation I’m working on.

It now seems that these operations are more widespread, more sophisticated and more automated than most of us had guessed. Emails obtained by political hackers from a US cyber-security firm called HBGary Federal suggest that a remarkable technological armoury is being deployed to drown out the voices of real people.

The fourth story, not strictly about corporations still fits the post because the line between the military and corporations has frayed to the point of non-existence, is that the US military used a psy-ops team to convince US Senators that the nation should pour more blood into Afghan soil:

MICHAEL HASTINGS: Sure. Psychological operations and information operations are essentially just ways to influence the population. Now, the key is, is that for IO and psy-ops you’re only supposed to do those on foreign populations, on the enemy. Now, there’s another branch, public affairs, which is—which you’re allowed to then use your information on the American population. The key difference is, is that in information operations and in psy-ops you’re allowed to lie, you’re allowed to mislead, where in public affairs, in theory, at least, you’re not supposed to do that. And by using information operations with—who know how to conduct psychological operations, in the process that would traditionally be held for public affairs, you’re corrupting the entire process. And, you know, one of the interesting things has been to see the reaction from the military.

Of course, I commend General Petraeus for launching an investigation, but what we also know from a series of anonymous leaks is that the military doesn’t think they’ve done anything wrong here. And that, to me, is truly disturbing and what the actual bigger story is: this very aggressive effort that called what has been at the forefront from to tear down the wall between information and propaganda between public affairs and information operations, to say it’s one giant playing field now and to allow the Pentagon and the military to be able to target not just foreign populations with their propaganda, but target the U.S. populations, whether it’s on Facebook, on social networking sites, or visiting congressmen.

The fifth story is about how political appointees at the EPA–under Reagan, both Bushes, Clinton, and Obama– have endangered and continue to endanger the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans by suppressing evidence showing that dangerous levels of toxic radionuclides are being poured into city water systems due to illegal dumping of wastewater from natural gas “fracking”:

WALTER HANG: Well, the most important thing is that the natural gas industry has said all along that there’s never been a confirmed problem with horizontal hydrofracking in Marcellus Shale. They’ve said this practice has been used for decades, it’s safe, it’s not problematic. The first installment of the New York Times series basically brought to light that in the autumn of 2008, there was so much natural gas drilling wastewater being dumped into municipal treatment plants along the Monongahela River near Pittsburgh, and these plants were not designed, constructed or maintained in any way to take out the very high salt content, the toxic chemicals associated with petroleum, or the radioactive nucleotides. And so, this contamination was going into the river in such incredible volumes that essentially it impacted a 70-mile stretch of the river, and 850,000 people didn’t have any drinking water. Subsequent studies show that actually the water became brackish. They started to find salt-loving diatoms flourishing in the water.

And so, this is when basically the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tried to recommend to the state of New York, don’t go forward with horizontal hydrofracking in New York, where there’s been a de facto moratorium against that practice for two-and-a-half years, until you deal with the wastewater hazards, until you safeguard New York City’s drinking water. And that’s when the recommendation came: no drilling in the watershed. And amazingly, they actually proposed to allow the drilling in the rest of upstate New York, so that the Department of Environmental Conservation could essentially get experience regulating this practice. But then none of those recommendations made it into the final document submitted to the Department of Environmental Conservation. So this is an incredible revelation about how the EPA knew about these problems, didn’t tell New York, and that’s why we’re calling for these regulations to be withdrawn, the scope revised, so that, for the first time, this kind of practice can be adequately safeguarded.

See here, here, and here for the NYT on this issue.

As for the two whistleblowers, Bradley Manning is being held under conditions reminiscent of Abu Ghraib. Tim Christopher was just convicted for presenting bids on an illegal land auction of wilderness in an attempt to prevent the despoilation of these lands, even though he later raised the money to pay for his purchases.

We had hoped that when Barack Obama won office that not only would the bad policy of the Bush Administration end, but that the lying and abuse of truthtellers would cease.

It has not.

God spare America from this most deadly sin, the sin of hating the truth.

Posted in anti-truth, astroturf, Barack Obama, BushCo malfeasance, corporatists, corruption, energy, liars, military, propaganda | 2 Comments »

 
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