Monday Reads

Good Morning!

Be careful driving across any bridge in this country.  Chances are that it’s unsafe.

The American Society of Civil Engineers, the nation’s oldest national engineering group, has awarded America’s roadways a grade of D-, rated one in four bridges as “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete” and warned that thousands of American dams are on the verge of failure. It warned that unless tax dollars are redirected, the whole thing could crumble.

Altogether, Americans spend 4.2 billion hours a year stuck in traffic because of poorly maintained roads at a cost of $78.2 billion annually in squandered time and fuel.

The average age of America’s 600,000-plus bridges has reached 43 years old, and Congress needs $17 billion a year to make them safe for use.

The nation has 6,000 deficient dams, with 1,800 of them rating a high “hazard potential,” which means that structural failure could kill people.

The society’s complete report card can be found here.

I live next to two drawbridges over the canal with the levees that flooded and killed so many in the lower ninth ward.  The two of those things predate WW 1 and are out of commission a lot.  They even look rickety any more.  I just shudder to think what will happen one day.

Sit down.  I just about fell off my chair when the ACLU tweeted this one last night.

Some school officials in West Virginia think boys and girls are so “hard-wired” to learn differently that they have implemented some major changes in their middle school: boys and girls are separated into different classrooms for all their academic classes and  taught using radically different methods.

At Van Devender Middle School (or Vandy), a public school in Wood County WV, the boys’ classroom is brightly lit and cool, and the students are allowed to run around to blow off steam. They can sit in beanbag chairs if they wish and their desks are moveable and do not face each other. The girls’ classrooms are warm and dimly lit, and students are expected to remain in their seats and face each other while they work, even if they find that distracting.
 Girls are supposed to discuss their feelings about novels while boys are supposed to discuss the action in the books.

Adding insult to injury, this is their neighborhood middle school, to which they were assigned by the Board of Education.

The explanation for implementing this radical version of single-sex education there?  On some state-standardized measures, Vandy students were performing less well than the rest of the county.  Somehow, separating the students by sex for all of their academic core curriculum classes and teaching them differently was supposed to fix this problem.  Even though all the other middle schools – the ones supposedly outperforming Vandy – were coed.

This separation was based on the work of Leonard Sax and the organization he founded and runs, the National Association for Single-Sex Public Education (NASSPE), which holds conferences and teacher trainings to promote the theory that boys’ and girls’ brains are so different that they should be placed in separate classrooms and taught using different methods. These theories have traction because they are simple to implement.

You may want to stay seated for this one too.  GOP freshmen Congressmen go wild in Israel. Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder puts the junk in junket.

The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff – and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses.

During a fact-finding congressional trip to the Holy Land last summer, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) took off his clothes and jumped into the sea, joining a number of members, their families and GOP staff during a night out in Israel, the sources told POLITICO. Other participants, including the daughter of another congressman, swam fully clothed while some lawmakers partially disrobed. More than 20 people took part in the late-night dip in the sea, according to sources who were participants in the trip.

Since we’re on stupid Republican Congress critterz, did you know Paul Ryan’s new found fame has led to increased sales of Rand’s books?  How depressing is that?

While Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney didn’t get an appreciable bounce after naming Paul Ryan as his running mate, the late Ayn Rand sure did.

The philosopher who favored individualism over collectivism has won renewed attention with the choice of Ryan, who in 2005 credited Rand as being “the reason I got involved in public service.”

Ryan has since scaled back that praise, citing  Rand’s atheism. Rand died in 1982.

The Rand box set of two of her works – “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead” – cracked the Top 100 “Movers & Shakers” list on Amazon.com earlier this week. The online retailer’s gauge measures the biggest increases in sales ranking compared with the previous 24 hours. Rand’s books jumped 20 percent in the rankings yesterday.

Romney didn’t enjoy quite as big an uptick in support, according to the Gallup tracking poll released on Aug. 15, which showed support for the Republican increased 1 percentage point to 47 percent of registered voters in the three days following the Ryan announcement.

Hypocrisy seems to be Ryan’s strong point. He supported Economic Stimulus under Dubya.

As it turns out, Ryan’s stimulus hypocrisy extends back at least an entire decade. In 2002, Republican President George W. Bush proposed a similar — if less ambitious — stimulus plan to the one President Obama signed in 2009. Like Obama, Bush sought to goose the economy through an influx of public sector cash. His stimulus plan included an extension of unemployment benefits and a plan to mail checks directly to millions of Americans. Ryan took to the House floor to defend this plan, accurately noting that additional government spending would help move the economy out of a recession:

We have a lot of laid off workers, and more layoffs are occurring. And we know, as a historical fact, that even if our economy begins to slowly recover, unemployment is going to linger on and on well after that recovery takes place. What we have been trying to do starting in October and into December and now is to try and get people back to work. The things we’re trying to pass in this bill are the time-tested, proven, bipartisan solutions to get businesses to stop laying off people, to hire people back, and to help those people who have lost their jobs. . . .

We’ve got to get the engine of economic growth growing again because we now know, because of recession, we don’t have the revenues that we wanted to, we don’t have the revenues we need, to fix Medicare, to fix Social Security, to fix these issues. We’ve got to get Americans back to work. Then the surpluses come back, then the jobs come back. That is the constructive answer we’re trying to accomplish here on, yes, a bipartisan basis.

A Newsweek/Daily Beast op ed By Niall Ferguson has economists and journalists alike fact checking his wrong economics. We call Shenanigans!  Krugman calls it unethical.

There are multiple errors and misrepresentations in Niall Ferguson’s cover story in Newsweek — I guess they don’t do fact-checking — but this is the one that jumped out at me. Ferguson says:

The president pledged that health-care reform would not add a cent to the deficit. But the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation now estimate that the insurance-coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of close to $1.2 trillion over the 2012–22 period.

Readers are no doubt meant to interpret this as saying that CBO found that the Act will increase the deficit. But anyone who actually read, or even skimmed, the CBO report (pdf) knows that it found that the ACA would reduce, not increase, the deficit — because the insurance subsidies were fully paid for.

Now, people on the right like to argue that the CBO was wrong. But that’s not the argument Ferguson is making — he is deliberately misleading readers, conveying the impression that the CBO had actually rejected Obama’s claim that health reform is deficit-neutral, when in fact the opposite is true.

More than that: by its very nature, health reform that expands coverage requires that lower-income families receive subsidies to make coverage affordable. So of course reform comes with a positive number for subsidies — finding that this number is indeed positive says nothing at all about the impact on the deficit unless you ask whether and how the subsidies are paid for. Ferguson has to know this (unless he’s completely ignorant about the whole subject, which I guess has to be considered as a possibility). But he goes for the cheap shot anyway.

We’re not talking about ideology or even economic analysis here — just a plain misrepresentation of the facts, with an august publication letting itself be used to misinform readers. The Times would require an abject correction if something like that slipped through. Will Newsweek?

Joe Wiesanthal at BI shows how Ferguson gets wrong a lot.  There’s a list of things he’s been wrong on that’s quite lengthy as well as putting the blame on Obama for China’s huge GDP which is on target to surpass ours some time in 2017.  That’s the comment below that mentions that some tings are inevitable.

Niall Ferguson has a huge piece in The Daily Beast saying Obama needs to get fired titled: “Hit The Road, Barack.”

It’s basically an ell-encompassing takedown of Obama’s record on the economy (it still sucks), the deficit (it’s getting bigger) and America’s standing in the world (The Mideast has not gotten safer).

It even hits Obama for stuff like this, which seems totally inevitable at some point, regardless of who is President.

Anyway, as you read Niall Ferguson, it’s worth noting that he has been wrong on economics ever since Obama took office.

I’m getting really tired of putting up a huge list of Republicans who seem to have caught the pathological lying disease.  What’s happened to the GOP?  It seems like ever since they got religion, they also got a bad case of Pants-on-Fire.  It gives all of us a case of Hair-on-Fire.

What’s on your blogging and reading list today?


71 Comments on “Monday Reads”

  1. That story on the bridges is something, I wonder what fingers the gas companies have in that pie…when you think of all the money spent on fuel while waiting in traffic. As for the WV school boy/girl segregation, it makes me physically ill.

  2. Ron4Hills says:

    The “legitimate rape” story reminds me of the story of the Islamic girl that was rape by three men on the way to visit a relative and when she went to the authorities to report the rape, they stoned her for adultery. The Christian right is not quite as far gone as the Shariah guys, but they are certainly on the same spectrum. IMHO.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      I swear to god the I.Q. level of this nation is at an all time low.

      It has to be if this guy emerged victorious during the primaries and became their GOP challenger for a seat in the US Senate.

      We may not be cutting off the heads of rape victims, or stoning them in the public square, but we are pretty close to the same idiotic mindset that allows these people to hold office and make laws that would mirror their archaic thinking.

      They begin with the redefinition or rape and continue to insult women with these half baked theories which unfortunately appeals to the crowd of like minded fools. Even if this moron loses his bid in MO just look at the number of votes he gets.

      Sharron Angle came “this close” to defeating Harry Reid during that Senate contest because there were enough people who accepted her theory that rape was a “blessing”. And no matter how nuts Michele Bachmann may be, she gets a lot of money thrown into her coffers whenever she makes another ridiculous statement.

      It is worth noting that these nutjobs are not alone out there.

      • Ron4Hills says:

        As has been noted, this guy is a close ally of Paul Ryan. His thinking is not WAY outside the GOP mainstream.

  3. janicen says:

    Regarding the WV story, I remember having a conversation with the principal of my daughter’s school about Title IX. She was saying that Title IX was a great thing but that sometimes it could get in the way. When I questioned her about that she said that she was interested in separating boys and girls for math class because there was a school of thought that it would be beneficial to girls (I’m guessing that the WV educators latched on to part of this theory) but that the middle school was prevented from doing it because of Title IX. I’m thinking Title IX could be used to put a stop to the nonsense in WV.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      The girls + math story was from a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I don’t remember specifics – who, what, when, where kind of stuff. I do remember it making sense to me since I was a math geek in school & much of what they said rang true. Some (maybe most) girls are intimidated in math class when they are the ones who always answer the questions correctly. Boys generally don’t like girls smarter than they are. And studies showed that teachers tended to call on boys more, even when girls put their hands up first. Seems the boys reactions & the teachers’ ignoring them had the effect of making, at least, some girls either lose interest in math or not do as well. I’ll see if I can track down a link or two.

      But I agree that this story sounds like a start to the practice in many Muslim countries where girls don’t even go to school. Is this the “first step?”

      • bostonboomer says:

        It’s true that girls are sometimes intimidated about math and science, but it’s not true that boys and girls brains work so differently that they need to learn differently. The solution for the problem is to teach that boys and girls are equal.

        And telling boys and girls how to talk about fiction? That’s complete nonsense and a way to limit children’s creativity. Someone definitely needs to bring a lawsuit against that school.

      • northwestrain says:

        BB — my MA was along these lines. Sex role stereotyping — this is learned behavior rather than harded wired in the brain. Boys and girls are being forced into social roles. I’m betting that none of the “research” done by the idiots advocating forced sex role “learning” can ever be replicated by neutral third party researchers. Generally when dogmatic “experts” on learning do research their work is so riddled by poor research design that they would be tossed out of college. If in fact these jerks have a real degree or real training in basic research.

        It seems like these nitwits are trying to trained the girls to be submissive and passive — in other words “ideal” christian wives for the more “robust” and dominate males.

        I really hate the pseudo/faux “science” that is so common today and accept on faith.

      • bostonboomer says:

        There are a few very small differences between male and female brains, but nothing that would affect how they learn per se. Girls tend to be ahead of boys in some areas, but again, nothing really dramatic.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      I found a bunch of links, but nothing yet referring to the study I remember. This, however, in The Daily Mail is encouraging: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2073523/Girls-worse-boys-maths-Study-86-countries-shows-differences-caused-attitudes-women.html?ITO=1490 This statement seems intuitive:

      The differences in performance seemed to be caused by social factors – ie, each society’s attitude to women.

  4. NW Luna says:

    Let’s see: It’s OK to spend over $78 billion in time and gasoline, in order to save a relatively paltry $17 billion to fix the bridges & roads. Uh-huh. While spending $3 trillion on wars, and $15 trillion on bailouts. WTF? It’s just crazy.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Maintenance & prevention – those are things that concern the non-believers. god will provide – you just have to have faith. (that’s snark, btw)

  5. ecocatwoman says:

    kat, it looks like this Same Sex education initiative has been around for awhile. Found this 3 year old article about Bayou Blue Middle School: http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20090518/articles/905189966?tc=ar

    And here’s the website for the educator who is pushing this practice, David Chadwell – http://chadwellconsulting.com/ And he’s a proponent of school choice – oh my, isn’t THAT a surprise.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Everyone needs to remember that Paul Ryan partnered with Todd Akin on the infamous bill to change the definition of rape. Ryan has also introduced legislation to establish “personhood” at conception. Mitt Romney has also signed onto the “personhood” crap, even though it would elimination in vitro fertilization–which more than one of his sons has used.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Politico:

    Paul Ryan co-sponsored a federal “personhood” amendment. He voted to defund Planned Parenthood. He opposes all abortions, except when the life of the mother is at risk. And he supports a federal bill requiring women to get an ultrasound before an abortion.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      This will be an issue for Romney & Ryan in the debates because both men are on the record as anti-choice and both have voiced support for a Personhood Amendment. The Personhood Amendment basically ends all abortion and would make all forms of hormonal contraception, including IUD’s, illegal. Forget the personhood or the autonomy of women to make decisions regarding their own bodies, the GOP/TP has reduced women to incubators.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Paul Ryan hailed Todd Akin’s “leadership” during Missouri Senate primary.

    • RalphB says:

      Ryan is just so special. He’s every republican only with more wingnut. 😉

    • Geez, after reading some of the news on this asshole, I felt sick. Literally sick! I’m sure that while my hands were tied behind my back, when the son of a bitch had me gagged with my own bra…that my body was fighting getting pregnant as well? Wow, I must be some kind of superwoman! Well Supergirl since I was only 15. I guess it was fortunate for me that the asshole got me when I was on my period…and boy am I lucky that it wasn’t only my vagina that was assaulted. Unless there is some scientific proof this Akin fuckoff can quote which says a woman can get pregnant from sodomy as well. Oh boy…a study that Akin found which proves a woman’s body fights to get pregnant, because every sperm is sacred. I fucking hate these GOP assholes…as well as the MSM and journalist and Democrats who let them get away with all this shit. War on Women, it is more like torture of women, and man I would just love to be able to fuck these dickwads up as much as I have been.

      • I mean 15 on the verge of 16…was right before my birthday…

      • bostonboomer says:

        I’m sorry, JJ. He makes me sick too, and I hold Romney absolutely responsible, since he signed onto the personhood crap and picked Ryan as VP.

      • NW Luna says:

        “Rape is like being run over by a truck, except afterwards they ask you how you liked it.”

        Maybe Akin would get his head on right if he was run over by a truck a few times.

      • NW Luna says:

        Rape IS torture. Rape IS a hate crime. Forced pregnancy is torture too. Why do not these idiots understand that?

      • ANonOMouse says:

        JJ…..That story is terrifying and many of us can relate to it. Sadly, to many men cannot even imagine the horror you experienced.

        Bastard who make these comments are ignorant asshats. The only way this sort of guy could ever understand the terror of rape or it’s consequences which can range from pregnancy to disease to permanent psychological and physical damage, is to throw them NUDE and incapacitated into a max security prison with a bunch of horn-dogs and leave them there for a few days. That ought to do it!!!

      • BB, Luna and Mouse, your comments of support are so welcomed. Thank you…

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Director Tony Scott jumps to his death from LA bridge.

    Several witnesses told police they saw Scott get out of his Toyota Prius, which was parked on the bridge, about 12:30 p.m. Then he scaled an 8- to 10-foot fence and jumped off without any hesitation, law enforcement sources said.

    A source said officials looked inside the car and determined it belonged to the famed action-movie director and producer. A note listing contact information was inside. A suicide note was later found in his office. Its contents were not revealed.

  10. RalphB says:

    I refuse to consider Dana Loesch to be a woman. This twitter stream defending Akin is such bullshit.

    TBogg: The Pride Of CNN (Updated)

    Just in case you thought there was something so stupid or terrible that even Dana Loesch would say, “That’s fucked up” … apparently we haven’t reached that point yet:

    • NW Luna says:

      Just goes to show that some women can be equally as stupid as some men, though you’d think she should have some sort of clue.

  11. ecocatwoman says:

    This piece from The Nation makes a lot of sense: http://www.thenation.com/blog/169451/danger-laughing-todd-akin

    And whether or not Akin loses this cycle, his comments have already escalated the stakes. In his world view, the rape victim’s body will be the ultimate judge of whether a crime has taken place. If she gets pregnant, by Akin’s standard, her reproductive organs consented to the pregnancy, so she must have consented to the sex. This bizarre standard of innocence is reminiscent of medieval Europe, where the men in authority held the similarly scientific view that women guilty of witchcraft floated in water while innocent women would drown. Being cleared of witchcraft was of course not much consolation to the drowned women, though they at least got to skip being burned at the stake.

    Read the whole piece, where Ilyse Hogue compares Akin’s “comment” to the change in attitude about climate change. The Right keeps moving the goal line further and further down field.

  12. ecocatwoman says:

    This is sort of OT, but not really. I think it’s a brilliant & important piece that many, if not all, women can personally relate to: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/10994-men-explain-things-to-me-facts-didnt-get-in-their-way

    Being told that, categorically, he knows what he’s talking about and she doesn’t, however minor a part of any given conversation, perpetuates the ugliness of this world and holds back its light. After my book Wanderlust came out in 2000, I found myself better able to resist being bullied out of my own perceptions and interpretations. On two occasions around that time, I objected to the behavior of a man, only to be told that the incidents hadn’t happened at all as I said, that I was subjective, delusional, overwrought, dishonest — in a nutshell, female.

    Personally, being told I’m wrong about something about which I know I am correct is my #1 hot button. Our voices must be heard or we will never achieve equality.

  13. RalphB says:

    Brad Delong wades into the Krugman vFerguson dustup on Newsweek’s cover story.

    More Lies from Niall Ferguson: Fire-His-Ass-Now Department

    Now comes Ferguson to say that he put the $1.2 trillion number in the second sentence in the quote to make his readers believe something that was false–to keep them from knowing that the actual net budgetary effect of the ACA is to reduce the deficit by $134 billion and not increase it by $1.2 trillion.

    And his only excuse–now, it’s not an excuse for the lie, it’s a “I can lie cleverly” boast–is: “I very deliberately said ‘the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA’, not ‘the ACA'”.

    Fire his ass.

    Fire his ass from Newsweek, and the Daily Beast.

    Convene a committee at Harvard to examine whether he has the moral character to teach at a university.

    There is a limit, somewhere. And Ferguson has gone beyond it.

    Ferguson, who has been right about nothing I can remember, deserves a good ass kicking and it appears he’s getting it.

    • dakinikat says:

      I couldn’t believe that article. First year econ students ought to be able to pull about his bad statistics and math. Harvard should be ashamed of him as should Newsweek and The Daily Beast. An editor should’ve put the kibosh on it.

  14. RalphB says:

    More Delong, Oops, wonder if this will matter?

    Todd Akin Doubles Down: If She Gets Pregnant, It Wasn’t Really Rape–I’m on the Same Page as Paul Ryan and the Other Republican Sponsors of HR 3

    Kaili Joy Gray:

    Todd Akin clarifies: he’s on the same page as Paul Ryan on ‘forcible rape’: As [Akin] explained on Mike Huckabee’s radio show:

    I was talking about forcible rape. I used the wrong word.

    Ohhhh. Well, obviously talking about “legitimate rape” is totally out of line. But talking about “forcible rape”? That just makes everything better, doesn’t it? It also puts him in line with… Paul Ryan:

    Paul Ryan also co-sponsored HR 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion” bill in which Republicans tried to redefine rape so that it only applied to “forcible” rape….

    [N]ow Akin has explained that he holds the same position as Romney’s running mate: that there is a distinction between “forcible rape” and not-really-rape. So, Mitt, are you still offended? Do you still disagree? Still hold an “entirely different view”?

    • northwestrain says:

      So the woman who is drugged and raped — that doesn’t count as rape because she wasn’t fighting????

      Ryan would do really well in jail. Yep — I would wish that on him and Akin.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m sure Romney will be just thrilled to hear that! ROFLOL!

    • NW Luna says:

      So what about the woman frightened out of her mind so her body’s frozen? Because she’s always heard that you don’t ever want to make the man mad? And women are weaker than men, etc.?

      All rape is forcible rape.

      Does anyone else get the idea this creep has raped a lot of women? Non-forcibly, of course. /s

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Apparently the “doctor” who put forth this factoid was Dr. Fay Boozman of Arkansas when he was running for office. He should know, after all, since he is an ophthalmologist:
      http://thewelltimedperiod.blogspot.com/2008/01/mike-huckabee-dr-fay-boozman-and-gods.html

      He called it “God’s Little Protective Shield.” After his defeat, then Gov. Huckabee appointed Boozman to head the State Dept of Health.

      Dr. Boozman became [in]famous for passing off personal belief and/or religious propaganda as medical opinion when, during a 1998 failed state senate campaign, he stated that “pregnancies from rape are rare because of ‘God’s protective little shield’.” [The WaPo, reports that Dr. Boozman denied he attributed the phenomenon to “God’s little shield,” as the local paper reported….]

      According to the person who was appointed head of the Arkansas Department of Health by Gov. Huckabee, it’s unlikely for women to get pregnant during rape because an adrenaline rush triggered by fear causes hormonal changes that block a woman’s ability to conceive during a violent attack.

      • On rape, pregnancy and the GOP fight for the U.S. Senate | Political Insider

        As for the substance of what Akin told a local TV reporter, we’ve heard this before.
        There was state Rep. Henry Aldridge of North Carolina in 1995, during a debate to eliminate a state abortion fund for poor women:

        “The facts show that people who are raped — who are truly raped — the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant,” said Aldridge, a 71-year-old periodontist. “Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever.”

        Then there was the case of state Sen. Don Thomas of Georgia – a soft-spoken Republican from Dalton, who in 2003 argued that rape victims ought not to be exempted from legislation intended to make women think twice before submitting to an abortion:

        “Relying on my personal experience in my home county of 90,000 people, we don’t have rape cases resulting in pregnancy, ” he said.

        Again, an elderly male physician declared that the lack of “vaginal secretions” was the key. (Thomas has since retired from the Legislature.)

  15. propertius says:

    To me, the most pernicious falsehood in the Ferguson piece is his repetition of this wingnut factoid:

    nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return

    This is just a flat-out lie, no matter how you slice it. As I pointed out over at John Smart’s:

    I’ve heard this “statistic” cited several ways. I’ve heard (from Ann Coulter, among others) that “half of Americans don’t file a tax return”. That’s pretty obviously a pernicious lie. According to the IRS (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/11db03nr.xls), there were 143,607,800 individual tax returns filed in 2011. According to the Statistical Abstract of the United States, the number of Americans over the age of 18 was 234,564,000 (in 2010 – figures for 2011 aren’t yet available on the web). Now I can see where someone with an axe to grind might divide those two numbers and come to the conclusion that only 61.2% of adults file income taxes (or conversely that 38.8% of adults don’t) – but I fail to understand how 38.8% is “nearly half” (“over a third”, perhaps, but certainly not “nearly half”). Even then, the statistic is misleading. You see, in 2009, 53,639,038 of those returns were “married filing jointly” and therefore represent two taxpayers rather than just one. And that means that over 197 million adults (or 84%) of adults were represented on a tax return. Or conversely, that a mere 16% were not.

    Now perhaps this statement is intended to mean “nearly half aren’t represented on a tax return that shows a tax due”. That can’t be true, either. According to the IRS, only 828,798 returns showed a tax rate of 0 in 2009 (234,579 of these were joint). And that, my friends, means that 196 million adults were represented on a “taxable return” – 83.6% of the total number of adults. When I took math, 16.4% wasn’t considered to be “nearly half” but perhaps things have changed since then.

    Let’s not forget that this includes the disabled and the elderly in the number of total adults.

    • RalphB says:

      I agree that particular lie is arguable the worse since it has the potential to damage millions of people, if it continues to be believed.

      Here’s another jewel from James Fallows. It seems Ferguson made a real mess of this thing. Newsweek should not ship the issue like this, it’s horrible.

      As a Harvard Alum, I Apologize

      Yes, I know, you could imagine many sentences that would follow that headline. But here is what I have in mind right now: A tenured professor of history at my undergraduate alma mater has written a cover story for Daily Beast/Newsweek that is so careless and unconvincing that I wonder how he will presume to sit in judgment of the next set of student papers he has to grade. It’s by the irrepressible Niall Ferguson, it is headlined “Obama’s Gotta Go,” and its case rests on logic of this sort:

      Certainly, the stock market is well up (by 74 percent) relative to the close on Inauguration Day 2009. But the total number of private-sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak.

      Hmmm, what might possibly be the flaw in this comparison? Apart from the fact that Obama did not take office until January 2009 and that private sector jobs have recovered better in his first three-plus years than they did under George W. Bush.

      I haven’t has the heart to go to JWS’s blog in quite some time. I applaud your effort.

    • RalphB says:

      Ferguson can’t even put one over on Politico in his dustup with Krugman.

      Niall Ferguson’s ridiculous defense

      So contrary to what Ferguson leads readers to believe, the CBO report does not state that the reduction is “unclear.” What is “unclear” is whether the reduction will come through greater efficiencies in healthcare delivery or reduced access to care.

      So, one more time: The Oxford-trained, Harvard-employed, Newsweek contibutor Niall Ferguson just edited the CBO report to change its meaning.

      With all due lack of respect: What are you thinking?

  16. Delphyne says:

    O/T – Just saw the Phillis Diiller passed away today at age 95.

    http://www.tmz.com/2012/08/20/phyllis-diller-dead/

  17. Of course it comes from one of the assholes that defended the dickwad:

  18. dakinikat says:

    Augusta National Golf Club admits first female members

    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/20/augusta-national-golf-club-admits-first-women-members/

    Augusta National Golf Club has admitted its first female members, the private club announced Monday.

    The decision to admit former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and business executive Darla Moore of Lake City, South Carolina, ends a longstanding policy excluding women as members of the exclusive Georgia club, which hosts the Masters.

    well, that’s big of them

  19. Fannie says:

    These men seem to really believe that it was God’s will that allows a girl/woman to be raped.
    They are supporting an amendment to make you deliver the rapist child, and trying to convince you that you will come out on the other side of all of all this evil and torture, and be glad for that.

    Mercy………………

  20. RalphB says:

    Hilarious Akin lady parts diagram.

  21. RalphB says:

    Finally.

    Obama to media: Romney’s whole campaign is based on lies

    In a surprise appearance before reporters at the White House just now, Obama made a striking, if perhaps long overdue, charge: He pushed back on GOP claims he’s running a dirty campaign by arguing that Romney’s entire campaign is based on flat out lies.

    Obama was questioned sharply by a reporter who pointed to the Priorities USA ad featuring the dead woman and the Obama campaign’s pressure on Romney to release his tax returns, and asked whether he regretted his campaign’s tone. Obama responded, in part:

    “I don’t think that Governor Romney is somehow responsible for the death of the woman that was portrayed in that ad. But keep in mind, this is an ad that I didn’t approve; I did not produce; and as far as I can tell, has barely run. I think it ran once. Now, in contrast, you’ve got Governor Romney creating as a centerpiece of his campaign this notion that we’re taking work requirement out of welfare. Which every single person here who’s looked at it says, it’s patently false…

    “Everybody who’s looked at this says what Governor Romney is saying is absolutely wrong. Not only are his Super PACs running millions of dollars worth of ads making this claim; Governor Romney himself is approving this and saying it on the stump. So the contrast I think is pretty stark. They can run the campaign that theyw ant; but the truth of the matter is, you can’t just make stuff up. That’s one thing you learn as president of the United States. You get called into account.”

    I’m pretty sure this is the first time Obama himself has charged that virtually Romney’s entire campaign is based on a “centerpiece” that’s flat out false.

  22. pdgrey says:

    I have been working and just this afternoon trying to catch up on the great links. I am so upset about Akin and Ferguson that I need to control myself. I really don’t think I could add to the great comments I’ve read so far. That doesn’t mean I’m through. But I really want you guys to read something.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/20/peter-sivere-jpmorgan-whistleblower_n_1812329.html?page=2
    This is going to go unnoticed today.