Our Common Good
quickhits:

Romney’s lying about pretty much everything now.

Raw Story:
In a key foreign policy speech Monday morning, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney claimed President Barack Obama “has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years,” and promised to “reverse that failure.”
However, Congress passed and Obama signed three major trade deals in 2011, giving American companies access to new markets in South Korea, Panama and Colombia. The Associated Press said the arrangements “could be worth billions to American exporters and create tens of thousands of jobs.” Even Fox News reported on it.
The treaties passed with Republican support, but two-thirds of House Democrats voted against them, saying they were deigned to favor corporations over workers and facilitate outsourcing.

Was this just Mittens fumbling a few words or straying from his prepared text and making an honest mistake? No. Mit was lying. According to the report, “The statement on Obama’s trade deals… was decidedly not off-the-cuff: the candidate’s own prepared remarks include that same line word for word.”
Romney’s taking the straw man argument to a whole new level, creating an alternate reality with an entirely different history from our own. If it’s easier to run against an Obama who’s never passed any trade deals, then Obama’s never passed any trade deals — facts be damned. He can just make up any position he wants and apply that to Barack Obama. If that means lying about everything, then Mitt’s prepared to lie about everything.
It’s tempting to turn the tables on Romney and say it’s a proven fact that he’s a meth-cooking devil-worshipper. It’s not true at all, but who the fuck cares anymore? It’s not like truth has any place in politics.
I will, however, refrain from making the charge. Even meth-cooking devil-worshippers deserve better than to be compared to the shameless liar Mitt Romney. 

quickhits:

Romney’s lying about pretty much everything now.

Raw Story:

In a key foreign policy speech Monday morning, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney claimed President Barack Obama “has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years,” and promised to “reverse that failure.”

However, Congress passed and Obama signed three major trade deals in 2011, giving American companies access to new markets in South Korea, Panama and Colombia. The Associated Press said the arrangements “could be worth billions to American exporters and create tens of thousands of jobs.” Even Fox News reported on it.

The treaties passed with Republican support, but two-thirds of House Democrats voted against them, saying they were deigned to favor corporations over workers and facilitate outsourcing.

Was this just Mittens fumbling a few words or straying from his prepared text and making an honest mistake? No. Mit was lying. According to the report, “The statement on Obama’s trade deals… was decidedly not off-the-cuff: the candidate’s own prepared remarks include that same line word for word.”

Romney’s taking the straw man argument to a whole new level, creating an alternate reality with an entirely different history from our own. If it’s easier to run against an Obama who’s never passed any trade deals, then Obama’s never passed any trade deals — facts be damned. He can just make up any position he wants and apply that to Barack Obama. If that means lying about everything, then Mitt’s prepared to lie about everything.

It’s tempting to turn the tables on Romney and say it’s a proven fact that he’s a meth-cooking devil-worshipper. It’s not true at all, but who the fuck cares anymore? It’s not like truth has any place in politics.

I will, however, refrain from making the charge. Even meth-cooking devil-worshippers deserve better than to be compared to the shameless liar Mitt Romney. 

More verification of why this is so true.

More verification of why this is so true.

motherjones:

Have you seen this anti-Obama ad? The Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity is spending millions to run it nationwide. It relates the story of Shona Holmes, a Canadian who says she had to travel to the US to seek free-market treatment for a life-threatening brain tumor.

Thing is, it’s BS — and it has been since her case was first used by anti-Obamacare conservatives in a 2009 ad. It even has its own Wikipedia entry. Turns out Holmes never had a life-threatening brain cancer, but a benign growth, and she skipped out on her scheduled care to get an earlier appointment in the States. Nevertheless, AFP decided to use it for a new, deceptive ad this year.

Meantime, HuffPo relates the story of another Canadian, Ian, who does have a malignant brain cancer - and whose Canadian health benefits paid for his very sensitive care in America, even as he watched his friends to the south suffer and waste away:

Ian goes on to tell a story of a U.S. system where fellow brain tumor patients spent their time pleading with U.S. insurance companies for just one more week of treatment. The friends Ian made at the hospital had to leave treatment early because they had run out of money and the insurance companies would no longer cover the procedure.

Ian is still alive. But his friends are dead.

It was an entire evening based on a demonstrable lie. It was an entire evening based on demonstrable lies told in service to the overriding demonstrable lie. And there was only one real story for actual journalists to tell at the end of it.

The Republicans simply don’t care.

They don’t care that they lie. They don’t care that their lies are obvious. They don’t care that their lies wouldn’t fool an underpaid substitute Social Studies teacher in a public middle school, who would then probably go out one night and get yelled at by Chris Christie. (“They believe in teacher’s unions. We believe in teachers,” he said in his speech. Yeah, you just don’t believe in paying them.) They don’t care that their history is a lie and that, by spreading it, they devalue the actual history of the country, which is something that belongs to us.

A rightious and justified rant by Charles Pierce

I don’t know yet if this headline from the LA Times will show up in their print edition tomorrow, but it’s about time reporters and copy editors started putting this stuff front and center. It won’t stop until politicians start paying a very visible price for spouting these lies. ~Kevin Drum
(via LA Times Gets it Right on Welfare Attack | Mother Jones)

I don’t know yet if this headline from the LA Times will show up in their print edition tomorrow, but it’s about time reporters and copy editors started putting this stuff front and center. It won’t stop until politicians start paying a very visible price for spouting these lies. ~Kevin Drum

(via LA Times Gets it Right on Welfare Attack | Mother Jones)

- D’Souza rightly argues that the national debt has risen to $16 trillion under Obama. But he never mentions the explosion of debt that occurred under Obama’s predecessor, Republican George W. Bush, nor the 2008 global financial crisis that provoked a shock to the U.S. economy.

- D’Souza says Obama is “weirdly sympathetic to Muslim jihadists” in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He does not mention that Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and the drone strikes that have killed dozens of terrorists in the region.

-D’Souza wrongly claims that Obama wants to return control of the Falkland Islands from Britain to Argentina. The U.S. refused in April to endorse a final declaration on Argentina’s claim to the islands at the Summit of the Americas, provoking criticism from other Latin American nations.

-D’Souza says Obama has “done nothing” to impede Iran’s nuclear ambitions, despite the severe trade and economic sanctions his administration has imposed on Iran to halt its suspected nuclear program. Obama opposes a near-term military strike on Iran, either by the U.S. or Israel, although he says the U.S. will never tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran.

- D’Souza says Obama removed a bust of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the Oval Office because Churchill represented British colonialism. White House curator William Allman said the bust, which had been on loan, was already scheduled to be returned before Obama took office. Another bust of Churchill is on display in the president’s private residence, the White House says.

The Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) has published a kids’ book on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that purports to give kids “a closer look at biotechnology. You will see that biotechnology is being used to figure out how to: 1) grow more food; 2) help the environment; and 3) grow more nutritious food that improves our health.”

If that book doesn’t appeal to you, you could try a nanotechnology coloring book made by a company that produces such things as “colloidal silver nanoparticles” used in antibacterial products that find their way into the water supply and can be poisonous to the human system. It compares nanotechnologies like these silvers to “the smell of baking cookies.”

Or perhaps a “biosolids” workbook made by wastewater treatment facilities? It directs kids to grow sunflowers in toxic sewage sludge to see how they grow.

Monsanto Brainwashing: GMO Myths for Kids

Monsanto and its cohorts among the “Big 6" pesticide and GMO companies — Monsanto, Dow Chemical, Bayer, Syngenta, Dupont, and BASF — are fighting a battle with California voters on whether or not GMO foods should be labeled. In the meantime, the trade group CBI, whose membership consists solely of those six corporations, is busily educating children on the supposed benefits of GMOs.

[…]

As CMD’s PRWatch has reported, industries and their front groups “target … America’s teachers and, ultimately, our children … trying to justify everything from deforestation to extinction of species. … Surreptitious public relations campaigns and deceptive advertising are battling today for the hearts and minds of our children.” John Borowski, an environmental science teacher, reported that teachers at the 2000 National Science Teachers Convention were “quickly filling their bags with curricula as corrosive as the pesticides that the Farm Bureau promotes.”

Twelve years haven’t changed the way spinmeisters operate. Corporate propaganda like this is distributed online, handed out at conferences and fairs where these corporations, agencies, and their front groups exhibit, as well as at teachers’ conventions like Borowski describes.

Right now, oil and gas giant Enbridge is fighting to build a 1,177 km tar sands pipeline from Alberta, to BC’s coast, despite massive public opposition.[1] If the project is approved, up to 500 oil tankers a year laden with toxic heavy crude will have to weave through the 4th most dangerous waterway in the world, making sharp, 90° turns through twisting, rocky passages.

Enbridge knows that as the public is learning about its 800 oil spills in the last decade, they are turning against the company’s plans to run pipeline and tankers through pristine rainforest and coast. So it hired the same PR firm that worked for Big Tobacco and Enron to roll out a multi-million dollar public image makeover. Its slick website campaign is designed to convince the public that the oil tanker route is safe, but a scientist just discovered that Enbridge deliberately removed 1,000 km2 of islands off of a public video and mapto make the oil tanker route look much less treacherous than it actually is.

Enbridge’s official application to build the Northern Gateway Pipeline includes maps from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Google Earth, and even the Government of Canada. This proves that Enbridge knows what the treacherous oil tanker route looks like — but is grossly misrepresenting how wide the shipping routes would be, and misleading the public about the true dangers of the project.

The slick route animation and map in the route safety video both show the Douglas Channel without the maze of islands that oil tankers as long as the Eiffel Tower will have to weave through. Enbridge knows that spill cleanup would use skimmers and booms that work only in low breezes and a light chop — not in treacherous waters with names like Terror Point, Calamity Bay and Grief Point.

Tell Enbridge to pull its misleading pipeline ads immediately.

questionall:

When it comes to the economy, too many Americans continue to be numbed by the soothing sounds of conservative spin in the media. Here are three of their more inventive claims:

1. Higher taxes on the rich will hurt small businesses and discourage job creators

A recent Treasury analysis found that only  2.5% of small businesses  would face higher taxes from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

As for job creation, it’s not coming from the people with money.  Over 90% of the assets owned by millionaires are held in a combination of low-risk investments (bonds and cash), the stock market, real estate, and personal business accounts Angel investing (capital provided by affluent individuals for business start-ups) accounted for less than 1% of the investable assets  of high net worth individuals in North America in 2011.  The Mendelsohn Affluent Survey  agreed that the very rich spend less than two percent of their money on new business startups.

The Wall Street Journal noted, in way of confirmation, that the extra wealth created by the Bush tax cuts led to the “worst track record for jobs in recorded history.”

2. Individual initiative is all you need for success.

President Obama was  criticized for a speech which included these words: “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own…when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

‘Together’ is the word that winner-take-all conservatives seem to forget. Even the richest and arguably most successful American, Bill Gates, owes most of his good fortune to the thousands of software and hardware designers who shaped the technological industry over a half-century or more. A careful  analysis of his rise shows that he had luck, networking skills, and a timely sense of opportunism, even to the point of taking the work of competitors and adapting it as his own.

Gates was preceded by numerous illustrious Americans who are considered individual innovators when in fact they used their skills to build upon the work of others. On the day that Alexander Graham Bell filed for a patent for his telephone, electrical engineer Elisha Gray was filing an intent to patent a similar device. Both had built upon the work of Antonio Meucci, who didn’t have the fee to file for a patent. Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb was the culmination of almost 40 years of work by  other fellow light bulb developers. Samuel Morse, Eli Whitney, the Wright brothers, and even Thomas Edison had, as eloquently stated by  Jared Diamond , “capable predecessors…and made their improvements at a time when society was capable of using their product.”

If anything, it’s harder than ever today to ascend through the ranks on one’s own. As summarized in the  Pew research report  ”Pursuing the American Dream,” only 4% of those starting out in the bottom quintile make it to the top quintile as adults, “confirming that the ‘rags-to-riches’ story is more often found in Hollywood than in reality.”

3. A booming stock market is good for all of us

The news reports would have us believe that happy days are here again when the stock market goes up. But as the market rises, most Americans are getting a smaller slice of the pie.

In a recent  Newsweek article , author Daniel Gross gushed that “The stock market has doubled since March 2009, while corporate profits and exports have surged to records.”

But the richest 10% of Americans  own over 80%  of the stock market. What Mr. Gross referred to as the  “democratization of the stock market”  is actually, as demonstrated by economist  Edward Wolff , a distribution of financial wealth among just the richest 5% of Americans, those earning an average of $500,000 per year.

Thanks in good part to a meager 15% capital gains tax, the  richest 400 taxpayers DOUBLED their income and nearly HALVED their tax rates in just seven years (2001-2007). So dramatic is the effect that anyone making more than $34,500 a year in salary and wages is taxed at a  higher rate than an individual with millions in capital gains.

There’s yet more to the madness. The stock market has grown  much faster  than the GDP over the past century, which means that this special tax rate is being given to people who already own most of the unearned income that keeps expanding faster than the productiveness of real workers.

And one fading illusion: People in the highest class are people of high class.

Scientific American  and Psychological Science  have both reported that wealthier people are more focused on self, and have less empathy for people unlike themselves.

This sense of self-interest, according to a  study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and  other sources , promotes wrongdoing and unethical behavior.

Can’t help but think about bankers and hedge fund managers.

So we know these lies are being spread so the question remains, How are we going to let people know they are lies and get the truth out there instead?

stoneagechronicles:

stfuhypocrisy:

Today, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that South Dakota has the right to order doctors to tell women seeking abortions that they’re likelier to kill themselves if they go through with the procedure, even though that’s a blatant lie.

The controversial provision is part of a larger law that was introduced in 2005 and might as well be called, “Everything You Need to Know About Abortion, According to People Who Aren’t Medical Professionals But Love Obsessing Over Your Fetus.” It requires doctors to let women know that they have “an existing relationship with the unborn human being under the law” and that “an abortion will terminate the life of a human being.” So helpful, given as most women seeking abortions have absolutely no idea what the medical procedure ultimately entails. They thought they were just going to get some frozen yogurt!

But the most troubling part of the law is the part that refers to suicide advisory, which is why Planned Parenthood has been fighting it for the past few years. As the AP reports:

The ruling ultimately was a battle of medical studies. Statistics show women who have had abortions have higher rates of suicide compared with women who have given birth, but the sides don’t agree that there’s a causal link between abortion and suicide.

The four dissenting judges said multiple studies cited failed to take into account factors such as pre-existing mental health issues, domestic violence and a young age at the time of pregnancy.

“The most reliable evidence in the record shows that abortion does not have a causal relationship to the risk of suicide and that South Dakota’s mandated advisory is not truthful, but actually misleading,” Circuit Judge Diana Murphy wrote for the dissenting side.

So basically, even though all of the studies that support the link between suicide and abortion are considered bullshit by practically every legitimate medical expert out there, the state ultimately gets to decide which science is the best science.

“On its face, the suicide advisory presents neither an undue burden on abortion rights nor a violation of physicians’ free speech rights,” the court wrote in its majority opinion, which sounds like quite the compromise. Tomato, Tomahto, who cares if some women are bullied into making medical choices because they’re afraid of repercussions that don’t actually exist?

Scariest of all is how this ruling will almost certainly serve as a precedent for future court cases. If states can pick and choose which scientific studies are real, it’ll be harder to stop anti-choice legislators from passing bills on everything from “fetal pain” to abstinence education. Let’s call this what it is: a legal excuse to lie to women to back an ideological agenda.

“This ruling by the 8th Circuit Court represents the greatest intrusion by the government into the patient doctor relationship to date,” said Sarah Stoesz, president of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. Of course, not everyone is disappointed. “We are thrilled,” said Leslee Unruh, the founder of a local crisis pregnancy center. “This has been a long time working from 2005. It’s a long, long haul. We are so excited for the women of South Dakota that they have this victory.”

This shit’s just wrong.

mikeo56:

FUX News Hacked Into Others Private Info Not the Reverse.

Did you learn your employment skills by watching TV? Well, you will not learn to understand what is going on in the world either by watching TV and you know it, you stupid son of a bitch.

Rachel Maddow: Fox & Friends Coverage Of News Corp. Scandal Even Worse Than My ‘Low Expectations’

In the clip Steve Doocy interviewed a guest who didn’t understand why News Corp. was getting so much attention now, when in fact other companies like certain financial institutions also experienced hacking problems. Maddow threw her hands up in the air and explained the difference, clarifying for the “apparently confused” guest (aka lying spin bastard) that “CitiGroup and Bank of America were the victims of the hackers – News Corp. is the hacker – that’s the difference!” Maddow also thought Rudy Giuliani was being disingenuous with his response on the scandal given his alleged ties to Murdoch. Yet Maddow’s astonishment over the Fox & Friends segment proves she has another clip to add to her personal “oh my God have you seen this video file.”

FOX News,The Monied Interests and the GOP are SHIT

The debate over PRENDA — the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act — may be done, but the push against Planned Parenthood affiliates by Live Action activists continue on. The anti-choice actions group lead by James O’Keefe protege Lila Rose has shown once more that they have learned all of her mentor’s tricks, as a new and heavily-edited video shows an entirely different conversation than the one that full footage proves took place.

Live Action’s new New York video, part two in their series that is supposed to prove that Planned Parenthood “promotes” sex selection abortion, snips a 30-minute encounter into a tidy 7-minute package that allegedly shows a practitioner willingly helping a woman arrange for a future abortion of a likely female fetus.

But what was left on the cutting room floor, according to Media Matters, is the counselor raising the possibility of adoption, questioning whether she’s certain she wants to terminate, and the question of whether they would provide a “friendly” Obstetrician to help her out.

The ad — which the network seems to have a love/hate relationship with, as it’s been removed and replaced from its website at various points today — starts with footage meant to represent the former Obama with his message of hope and change back in 2008 and then moves into the darker times of today.

But there’s just one problem: The montage of the cheering fans from yesterday seems to include footage from just a few weeks ago. About 35 seconds into the ad, the camera follows Obama walking into a packed arena, and one woman can be seen holding a campaign sign that reads “Forward” — a slogan the campaign adopted less than a month ago.

[…]

Update: Fox News’ Executive Vice President of Programming, Bill Shine, tells Yahoo News, “The package that aired on ‘Fox & Friends’ was created by an associate producer and was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network.”