Posted by Charles II on July 25, 2015
Kurt Eichenwald, Newsweek:
What the hell is happening at The New York Times?
In March, the newspaper published a highly touted article about Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account that, as I wrote in an earlier column, was wrong in its major points. The Times’s public editor defended that piece, linking to a lengthy series of regulations that, in fact, proved the allegations contained in the article were false. While there has since been a lot of partisan hullaballoo about “email-bogus-gate”—something to be expected when the story involves a political party’s presidential front-runner—the reality remained that, when it came to this story, there was no there there.
Then, on Thursday night, the Times dropped a bombshell: Two government inspectors general had made a criminal referral to the Justice Department about Clinton and her handling of the emails. The story was largely impenetrable, because at no point did it offer even a suggestion of what might constitute a crime. By Friday morning, the Times did what is known in the media trade as a “skin back”—the article now said the criminal referral wasn’t about Clinton but about the department’s handling of emails. Still, it conveyed no indication of what possible crime might be involved.
In our hyper-partisan world, many people will not care about the truth here. That the Times story is false in almost every particular—down to the level of who wrote what memo—will only lead to accusations that people trying to set the record straight are pro-Hillary. I am not pro-Hillary. I am, however, pro-journalism. And this display of incompetence or malice cannot stand without correction.
And to other reporters: Democracy is not a game. It is not a means of getting our names on the front page or setting the world abuzz about our latest scoop. It is about providing information so that an electorate can make decisions based on reality. It is about being fair and being accurate. This despicable Times story was neither.
I’m not pro-Hillary either. But I wish the NYT would expose her role in Honduras, or her corporate coziness, or any of the many ways in which she has put the comfort of the wealthy above the needs of ordinary people. Framing her for something that never happened is something from the McCarthy Era.
Posted in GOP/Media Complex, Hillary Clinton, liars, Media machine, mediawhores, pseudoscancals | 1 Comment »
Posted by Charles II on July 15, 2015
Jim Wild, Lancaster University:
Recent headlines are warning that the Earth will enter into a “mini ice age” in about 20 years because the sun is heading towards a period of very low output. Here’s why this scenario is extremely unlikely.
So what about global climate change? If solar activity is falling, and that has a cooling influence over the UK and Europe, isn’t that a good thing?
Unfortunately not. The overwhelming consensus among the world’s climate scientists is that the influence of solar variability on the climate is dwarfed by the impact of increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Most calculations suggest that a new “grand solar minimum” in activity would have a cooling effect that would temporarily offset just a few year’s worth of the warming due to the emission of carbon dioxide by humans.
We may well be heading towards a period of low solar activity, but a new mini ice age seems very unlikely at this point.
Briefly, the last Little Ice Age was probably due more to volcanic activity than to fluctuations in solar output.
Expressing my outrage with those who twist scientific work into support for the petroleum industry’s profits is impossible without swearing.
For that matter, suppose we are going to have a Mini Ice Age. Shouldn’t we should be saving fossil fuels for when we’ll need them? But for hypocrites, there are no boundaries, no reason, nothing except their narcissistic pursuit of planetary destruction.
Posted in environment, global warming, liars, science and medicine | 1 Comment »
Posted by Charles II on January 1, 2015
A California attorney has begun posting diaries on Daily Kos regarding cases he has defended. They are extremely entertaining. His first:
The transcript was a window into the heart of darkness. Bill apparently thought Stoney was a cop come to reward him for setting up Dave. He apparently wanted everybody to know what a good job he had done. He spared no details. He told about how he was in jail for burglary, drugs, and perjury when the detective approached him with a deal to lighten his sentence. All he had to do was go out and set up Dave. He was instructed in detail as to how he was to approach Dave. He reported his progress regularly to the detective. The detective introduced him to Joyce and told him how use her to get into Dave’s confidence. Bill said he was always afraid Joyce was a cop and actually asked Stoney if she was. Finally, Stoney identified himself as a private investigator working for the defense attorney. Bill was stunned. He asked for an attorney. Stoney advised him that he was going to be confronted in court with the statements he had just made. Bill said “What do I care? I’m in here for perjury anyway!”
Forward to the preliminary hearing. Bill testified under oath to the detective’s version of the story. My turn. I asked Bill if he had ever met the couple sitting in the second row of the courtroom. He looked out and saw Stoney and the stenographer. At that point, I handed a copy of the transcript to that smarmy lying bastard of a DA. He read a couple of sentences and asked for a recess. When we came back, he abruptly dismissed the charges regarding the pill sales.
I have contended that the greatest power a license to practice law confers is the power to compel powerful people to testify under oath. But police have developed a countermeasure. It’s called lying. It’s a powerful device because it’s institutionally protected. Few lawyers can beat them head on. They will always be “believed.” Cops sardonically call it “testilying.” However, there is a workaround. It involves maneuvering them into telling the wrong lies. To do this, you have to exploit a common character flaw – hubris. Cops who lie are generally infected with a compulsion for dominance. They need to let you know they are lying and that you can’t do anything about it. That’s why I love to tell about the missing tape recording.
Posted in evil, government malfeasance, judiciary, liars | 1 Comment »
Posted by Charles II on October 16, 2014
I hate liars. From Luke Brinker of Salon:
Debate moderater Kyle Clark to GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner] “So let’s instead talk about what this entire episode may say about your judgment more broadly,” Clark said. “It would seem that a charitable interpretation would be that you have a difficult time admitting when you’re wrong and a less charitable interpretation is that you’re not telling us the truth. Which is it?”
Petition to Denver Post to retract endorsement of crackpot Cory Gardner against sane person Mark Udall.
Posted in abortion, abuse of power, hypocrites, liars, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples | Comments Off on You might want to sign this petition
Posted by Charles II on October 21, 2013
Ben Dimeiro, MMA:
In a chapter focusing on how Fox utilized its notoriously ruthless public relations department in the mid-to-late 00’s, Folkenflik reports that Fox’s PR staffers would “post pro-Fox rants” in the comments sections of “negative and even neutral” blog posts written about the network. According to Folkenflik, the staffers used various tactics to cover their tracks, including setting up wireless broadband connections that “could not be traced back” to the network.
A former staffer told [NPR reporter David] Folkenflik that they had personally used “one hundred” fake accounts to plant Fox-friendly commentary:
I’m sure if Fox works on it, they can sink lower.
Posted in conservativism, liars | 1 Comment »
Posted by Charles II on October 1, 2013
Via Ritholtz, a picturesque guide to rhetoric. For example:
On an episode of the topical British TV show, Have I Got News For You, a panelist objected to a protest in London against corporate greed because of the protesters’ apparent hypocrisy, by pointing out that while they appear to be against capitalism, they continue to use smartphones and buy coffee.
Posted in Just for fun, liars | 1 Comment »
Posted by Charles II on May 30, 2013
Study: Media Fact-Checker Says Republicans Lie More (via Tom Kludt at TPM)
Gee. Ya think?
According to CMPA [George Mason Univ. Center for Media in the Public Interest] President Dr Robert Lichter, “While Republicans see a credibility gap in the Obama administration, PolitiFact rates Republicans as the less credible party.”
If George Mason University and Politifact say the GOP lies three times as often as Dems, it has to be ten times:
Some critics, such as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) and the Columbia Journalism Review, have criticized Lichter and the CMPA for holding a conservative bias of their own or for being funded by conservative foundations.
Possibly the Republican Establishment is coming to the conclusion that they might have jumped the shark.
Posted in liars, Republicans acting badly | 4 Comments »
Posted by Charles II on December 12, 2012
An entry by several NBER members and Sumit Agarwal on the mythology side, countered by Barry Ritholtz on the reality side:
There are two major, critical questions that show up in the literature surrounding the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).
The first question is how much compliance with the CRA changes the portfolio of lending institutions. Do they lend more often and to riskier people, or do they lend the same but put more effort into finding candidates? The second question is how much did the CRA lead to the expansion of subprime lending during the housing bubble. Did the CRA have a significant role in the financial crisis?
There’s a new paper on the CRA, Did the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Lead to Risky Lending?, by Agarwal, Benmelech, Bergman and Seru, h/t Tyler Cowen, with smart commentary already from Noah Smith. (This blog post will use the ungated October 2012 paper for quotes and analysis.) This is already being used as the basis for an “I told you so!” by the conservative press, which has tried to argue that the second question is most relevant. However, it is important to understand that this paper answers the first question, while, if anything, providing evidence against the conservative case for the second.
There is a simple step that anyone attempting to make a logical argument about causation should essay before going to an econometric model: does the causal link make any f–king sense? The extinction of the dinosaurs might have caused the Renaissance, but I don’t f–king think so.
I have long been skeptical about the NBER and the involvement of political agendas in its actions. Maybe it’s just that economics has become a more conservative profession in my lifetime, but this paper just adds to my disquiet about NBER in particular.
Posted in economy, liars | 2 Comments »
Posted by Charles II on November 22, 2012
Via Scoobie Davis, this gem from Rick Perlstein:
And that, at last, may be the explanation for Mitt Romney’s apparently bottomless penchant for lying in public. If the 2012 GOP nominee lied louder than most—and even more astoundingly than he has during his prior campaigns—it’s just because he felt like he had more to prove to his core following. Lying is an initiation into the conservative elite. In this respect, as in so many others, it’s like multilayer marketing: the ones at the top reap the reward—and then they preen, pleased with themselves for mastering the game. Closing the sale, after all, is mainly a question of riding out the lie: showing that you have the skill and the stones to just brazen it out, and the savvy to ratchet up the stakes higher and higher. Sneering at, or ignoring, your earnest high-minded mandarin gatekeepers—“we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” as one Romney aide put it—is another part of closing the deal. For years now, the story in the mainstream political press has been Romney’s difficulty in convincing conservatives, finally, that he is truly one of them. For these elites, his lying—so dismaying to the opinion-makers at the New York Times, who act like this is something new—is how he has pulled it off once and for all. And at the grassroots, his fluidity with their preferred fables helps them forget why they never trusted the guy in the first place.
Don’t miss the part about an oilfield in the placenta.
And if I’d read Scoobie, I would have seen the latest Jack Chick, which ties together Catholicism, Islam, Communism, Nazism, Free Masonry, and Satanism into one neat bundle. Did you know that 1 million Southern Baptists have joined their body to the Whore of Windsor and become Masons?
Posted in 2012, liars, Mitt Romney | 1 Comment »
Posted by Charles II on October 17, 2012
Romney has proposed a 20% rate cut and limiting deductions to $17,000 or $25,000 or $50,000, depending how generous he’s being with imaginary money that day. So, would such a tax reform be revenue neutral, or even raise revenue?
Tax Policy Center:
Eliminating all itemized deductions would yield about $2 trillion of additional revenue over ten years if we cut all rates by 20 percent and eliminate the AMT. Capping deductions would generate less additional revenue, and the higher the cap, the smaller the gain. Limiting deductions to $17,000 would increase revenues by nearly $1.7 trillion over ten years. A $25,000 cap would yield roughly $1.3 trillion and a $50,000 cap would raise only about $760 billion.
Without more specifics, we can’t say how much revenue such limits would actually raise. But these new estimates suggest that Romney will need to do much more than capping itemized deductions to pay for the roughly $5 trillion in rate cuts and other tax benefits he has proposed.
So, even at its best, Romney is talking about cutting revenue by about $300B per year. Like, say, cut Medicare benefits by nearly half. That would do it.
Posted in liars, Mitt Romney, taxes | 2 Comments »