Morning Must Reads: March 12

In the news: North Korea, sugary drinks, Palin's Christmas book, Obama at the Hill, Ryan's new budget plan, and the next pope.

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

  • War Drums Along the 38th Parallel
  • Paul Ryan’s latest new plan to balance the budget by 2023 with no new taxes. He will introduce the plan to Congress today.
  • Cardinals search for a new pope.
  • Grim Detroit
  • Senate Judiciary weighs three gun control bills
  • New Washington Post/ABC poll: country split on whether to trust Obama or GOP on gun control issues. 57% support assault weapons ban and 91% approve extending background checks to gun show purchases.
  • Shift from military to CIA in Iraq.
  • In “Second Term U-Turn,” Obama heads to the Hill. He will meet with Senate Democrats on Tuesday, House Republicans on Wednesday and then Senate Republicans and House Democrats in separate meetings on Thursday.
  • Supersize Me: A New York Supreme Court judge overturned Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on the sale of supersized sugary drinks in New York City restaurants and other venues.
  • Sarah Palin is writing a book about Christmas.
496 comments
nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Since he lost his chance to be second-in-command, who really cares what R-ayn-d comes up with?

paulejb
paulejb

"A SPECIES FACING EXTINCTION."

"The New York Times closed its environmental desk and probably because there wasn’t much of an outcry about that decision, within a fortnight decided to make a clean sweep and close all its environmental blogs as well. If you look, the internet numbers for their product were simply miserable anyway. Just this week, the Washington Post decided to follow suit and “redeploy” some journalists specialising on the environment, into other areas."

http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/a-species-facing-extinction/

The global warming hoax continues to unravel.

paulejb
paulejb

The origin of the low information voter.

"Malice or Incompetence?"

"Recently I came across a news article estimating that 80% of NYC graduates cannot read and write and are functionally illiterate."  

http://accordingtohoyt.com/2013/03/11/malice-or-incompetence/

Someone once said that if the public education results in the USA were inflicted by a foreign power it would be an act of war.

outsider
outsider

During a nearly two-hour talk Sunday, long-time Tea Party favorite former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh made, surprise!, an incendiary remark that Americans have grown "stupid," "lazy" and "easily manipulated" when it comes to politics.


And yet, the couldn't manipulate them into voting for him again.. 


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/12/joe-walsh-americans-stupid-lazy_n_2861750.html


Paulie? This is why your side won't win again until the party gets rid of the nut jobs. 

outsider
outsider

One of the ways to differentiate liberals and conservatives today is to consider their respective caricatured sci-fi visions of the future. In cartoon terms, the liberal caricature is a “we’re in this all together” utopia of communitarian kumbaya, while the conservative caricature is basically Back to the Future II – a Biff Tannen-dominated dystopia of moral and economic decay whose only unifying ethos is thinking of – and violently protecting – oneself. Thus, liberals generally support stuff like universal social insurance and the social safety net, while conservatives tend to get fired up against gun control, taxes and a social safety net, and for massive military budgets.

At the rank-and-file voter level, this is, of course, a cartoon version of ideologies – many self-described liberals are hardly dreaming of turning America into a giant kibbutz while many self-described conservatives just want the government out of their face. However, at the elected official level in Washington, the conservative cartoon in particular is no comedic caricature – as Rep. Paul Ryan’s new House Republican budget shows, it is an actual worldview, with specific legislative proposals in tow.

Here are the four big takeaways from that budget, and how they illustrate the Republicans’ larger world view.

1. A re-commitment to the Military State

2. Austerity for Most, Corporate Welfare for A Few

3. Strengthening the Health Insurance Industry Cartel

4. Tax Cuts for the Rich, Tax Increases for Most Others



http://www.salon.com/2013/03/12/how_republicans_think/

outsider
outsider

@nflfoghorn  

The media, duh! 

He's a "serious person" doncha know?

A policy wonk. 

Or something.. i'm not really sure what they see in him either, to be honest.. but he's big news, apparently, so we have to hear his stupid, rehashed idea's for a third time. Instead of the media, you know, saying, hey - this is the third damn time you're trying - cut it out. 

If that's too confrontational, they should be doing stories like, strike three and you're out - or why can't this Ryan guy learn, or something along those lines. 

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb 

Because, of course, the validity of an argument is the same as how much people want to read about it.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb 

So one guy uses hearsay from another guy to claim that the New York school system is failing its students and you run that as proof?  The best part: you couldn't even come up with a study proving a point, you just went straight to a number someone admitted to effectively pulling out of his a**

MementoMori
MementoMori

@paulejb 'Methinks paulie doth protest too much.'

Hit a nerve, did I, paulie? Good. I like watching you flail.

paulejb
paulejb

@outsider2011 

"1. A re-commitment to the Military State"

roknsteve 24 minutes ago

"I think the stuff is going to hit the fan between North and South Korea."

You boys don't seem to be on the same page.






Ivy_B
Ivy_B

@sacredh Sacred, I missed this while scrolling through paulejb comments - see below for current one from me.

paulejb
paulejb

@sacredh 

TSA - Thousands Standing Around.

TSA - Twisted Sexual Abusers

TSA - Trivial, Superfluous Actors

sacredh
sacredh

A little OT, but I had him convinced a couple of years ago that they couldn't find enough TSA agents to feel up other guys so they recruited from gay bars. He believed me.

outsider
outsider

@nflfoghorn  

Or, HELLO - THE GOP LOST, SUCK IT UP, instead of pretending it isn't the case. 

And BO - wake the hell up - you did win.  Stop letting the GOP write the narrative.

paulejb
paulejb

@MementoMori @paulejb 

It's not the science, Mori. It's the scientists with an agenda that can't be trusted.

What is your explanation of the NY Times and the WaPo getting out of the global warming hoax business?

MementoMori
MementoMori

@paulejb From the link:

"Today's study should help debunk the common climate change denial argument that recent warming is simply part of a long-term natural trend. Indeed, Marcott says, the earth should be nearing the bottom of a several-thousand year cool-off (the end-point of the rainbow arc in (B) above), if natural factors like solar variability were the sole driving factors. Instead, temperatures are rising rapidly."

I'm guessing the fanatics won't ever be convinced. They'll be hip-deep in water and still claiming it's 'a hoax'. Y'know, because scientists are liberals! Or something...

paulejb
paulejb

@MementoMori @paulejb

Not at all, Mori. This finding made it all worthwhile.

"Moderates and liberals who watched only Fox did worse than conservatives who watched it."


outsider
outsider

@paulejb @outsider2011


Those two things have nothing in common. 

But thanks for showing that you didn't bother reading the article

1. A recommitment to the Military State: One of the few good things to come out of the sequestration fight has been a long-overdue debate over Pentagon profligacy in specific and American militarism in general. Indeed, even though the sequestration cuts are so small they still leave the Pentagon budget bigger in real dollars than it was during most of the height of the Cold War, the prospect of any cuts at all seemed to hold out the possibility of a larger reevaluation of the centrality of the Pentagon in national life. That possibility seemed especially real considering the fact that the allegedly deficit-focused GOP had recently been shamed into supporting some of those cuts.

Now that the Ryan budget is upon us, though, that possibility seems less likely. As the Christian Science Monitor reports, he proposes to uses massive cuts to social programs “to pay for $500 billion in additional defense spending over the next 10 years.” In other words, at a time when the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are scheduled to conclude and the sluggish economy necessitates a stronger social safety net, the GOP’s dystopian vision has prompted it to propose making the social safety net weaker in order to spend even more money on the military.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@paulejb @outsider2011 We have more than enough to deal with North Korea. Seeing as we spend more on defense than the next 10 nations combined we'd better.

sacredh
sacredh

paulejb, I've been through the scanner but never patted down. I'm not really comfortable with my doctor moving my junk around let alone some guy I don't know that makes $10 an hour.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb

Again, repeatability is what's important.  The Hockey Stick graph that was so heavily criticized when it first came out has since been repeated with numerous different methodologies including an agency who were conducting a study with the expressed intent of disproving global warming.

MementoMori
MementoMori

@paulejb @MementoMori "It's not the science, Mori. It's the scientists with an agenda that can't be trusted."

Which, when I last checked, was the vast majority of scientists. Which means the 'scientific consensus' can't be trusted either. That aligns you with the creationists and other groups who put their ideology before the facts.

So, let's just call you a "low information ideologue". Because that's exactly where you've landed.

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2009/climate-change-a-consensus-among-scientists/

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@paulejb @MementoMori What global hoax business. If you don't think we are altering the environment don't come on here crying next time a storm like Sandy strands you in your government provided housing.

MementoMori
MementoMori

@paulejb @MementoMori Well, if you can't trust some random guy on the internet who can you trust? Certainly not the vast majority of scientists.

And that egghead Galileo with all his "ooo, the Earth is round: mumbo jumbo? Only liberals and heretics believe in all that 'science' stuff, amirite?

(And paulie calls everyone else "low information"? Ignoring science in favor of ideology is pretty much the definition of "low information".)

paulejb
paulejb

@MementoMori @paulejb

Another Hockey Stick Smoking Gun

"The only problem is – nothing humans did 150 years ago could have caused this. CO2 didn’t  start rapidly rising until much later. Phil Jones has attributed the 1860-1880 and 1910-1940 warming to natural causes, like the sun."

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb

I will accept the argument that the stat of 80% of graduating students don't have high-school level math skills and that this is a problem.  Will you accept that this is not the same as 80% of graduating students are illiterate?

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb

First of all, if you actually read that article, it said that their main problem was Math Skills.

Second, even if it wasn't math skills but English skills, it would still be comparing them to a Grade 12 baseline - far away from the level used for determining illiteracy - a Grade 4 level.  Most Newspapers are written at a Grade 8 level (New York Times and Washington Post target Grade 12 while tabloids tend to target Grade 4 level) so matching a High School Level for English is not a requirement to survive in life.

So either way, it's still a garbage stat

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb

I believe that.  Conservatives who only watch Fox are more likely to be politically active than Liberals and Moderates.  Therefore, they're more likely to actually become informed through secondary sources.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@paulejb

I am not convinced, other than bomber drop or suicide bomber, that North Korea has any sort of delivery mechanism it could use to hit South Korea let alone the US.

outsider
outsider

@paulejb @outsider2011 I agree , but that doesn't meant there can't be defense cuts.

Still more military budget than during the cold war, against an enemy with a lot more nukes.

Besides, who are you saving if you take away the social net, and the poor (anyone in the 99 percent) starve, or die from lack of medical care?

paulejb
paulejb

@outsider2011 @paulejb 

A new Korean conflict would quickly go nuclear as the Norks would be forced to use it before they lose it. We can only pray that the US has missile defenses deployed.

sacredh
sacredh

This is why I'm not a good candidate for deciding such things. The last time my doctor checked my prostate I started singing "Some Enchanted Evening". True story.

sacredh
sacredh

Lol. I know it won't happen, but I wouldn't mind it so much if they gave us the choice of a male or female patdown. I wouldn't mind a woman doing it. Hell, I might tip her if the pat down had a happy ending.

paulejb
paulejb

@sacredh 

It is a bit jarring to realize that one's safety depends on people who couldn't make it in the fast food industry.