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Some Republican lawmakers say Pope Francis sounds too much like Obama

One would think that a congressional resolution of praise for Pope Francis in advance of his scheduled visit to America next year would not likely face any opposition. But one might be wrong about that, as we see HERE: House Resolution 440 aims to “congratulate Pope Francis on his election and recognize his inspirational statements and actions,” but according to one Republican backer of the legislation, the resolution is dead because Pope Francis is “sounding like Obama. [The pope] talks about equality — he actually used the term...

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Is it a bad idea to give every kid a trophy?

I have mixed feelings about the question in the headline above, but teacher Molly Knefel SAYS the answer is no: The disgust that so many adults feel at the idea of everyone getting a trophy has to do with creating incentives. If everyone gets a trophy then no one will try hard; if everyone gets basic food and housing to survive, then no one will work. Of course, this isn’t true. A soccer team full of 10-year-olds who all get participation trophies won’t all sit down and stop playing soccer– the kids who are good at scoring points will still...

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Study shows that U.S. economy does better under Democratic presidents

Don’t share THIS with your Republican friends. It will only confuse them: For the past half-century, the US economy has consistently grown faster under Democratic presidents than under Republican ones. And in a new study, two economists ask whether there’s a reason for that — or if it’s all just a coincidence. The numbers are pretty clear on this. Between 1947 and 2012, the US economy grew at an average real annual rate of 4.35 percent during Democratic administrations and just 2.54 percent during Republican ones. The gap...

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Some Republicans suddenly are wary of wingnut push for impeachment of Obama

Some of the crazier elements on the far right of the Republican Party began calling for the impeachment of President Obama at the very moment he first took the oath of office in 2009. Of course, the GOP establishment was more than happy to harness this passionate streak of disdain for the new president, even if the roots were grounded in racism. But now party leaders suddenly have become a little nervous about all the impeachment rhetoric among the kooks. Perhaps they’ve seen a recent poll showing that Americans overwhelmingly oppose...

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Is Ted Cruz, the notorious demagogue, really as smart as so many people say he is?

If Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican and Harvard University graduate, is really the smarty-pants he’s reputed to be, how come he says so many dumb things? Even his critics are quick to hedge their knocks on him with qualifiers about his presumed abundance of gray matter. Ah, but Nathan Robinson has the nerve to SAY that he’s heard enough of this stuff: For one thing, it doesn’t seem especially true. It can’t really be that we think Cruz has a sophisticated mind, given that the only thoughts he produces are angry pants-on-fire...

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Study: Some people lose faith in democracy when the candidate they expect to win doesn’t

For lack of a better name, I would call THIS the Spoiled Brat Syndrome: When asked who is going to win an election, people tend to predict their own candidate will come out on top. When that doesn’t happen, according to a new study from the University of Georgia, these “surprised losers” often have less trust in government and democracy. And the news media may be partly to blame, according to Barry Hollander, author of the study and UGA professor in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. “You need the...

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Science journal: Climate change is spurring a mass extinction

Don’t tell your Republican friends about THIS.  They’ll only respond with shrugs or feeble jokes about Al Gore: The loss and decline of animals around the world — caused by habitat loss and global climate disruption — mean we’re in the midst of a sixth “mass extinction” of life on Earth, according to several studies out Thursday in the journal Science. One study found that although human population has doubled in the past 35 years, the number of invertebrate animals – such as beetles, butterflies, spiders and...

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Poll: Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea of impeaching Obama

Impeachment of an American president and removal of him or her from office is a political process, not a criminal proceeding. That’s one of the reasons why Bill Clinton served out his second term in the White House. The public wanted it that way. And that’s why Barack Obama almost certainly will serve out his second term as well. The American people, by a wide margin, don’t want him removed from office. Nor do they support House Speaker John Boehner’s cockamamie lawsuit against Obama. Check THIS, for example: There’s...

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Republican lawmaker wants Google investigated for its liberal bias

U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, a California Republican,  is not widely known as the sharpest knife in the drawer — and with good reason. For example, Rohrbacher seems to think that Congress has nothing better to do than investigate why his Google search for information on a certain right-wing was somehow unsatisfactory. The story is...

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Two years ago this week, solar storms nearly caused a catastrophe here on Earth

I’m guessing that millions of people would have freaked out if there had been advance notice of THIS POTENTIAL DISASTER: On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere.  These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years. “If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA. Fortunately, the...

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Some right-wingers love to cite the role of Democrats in the segregationist South of yore

Every once in a while, I get a comment on my blog from some conservative who thinks a clever point is made by recalling the days when the Democratic Party was dominated to a certain extent by Southern segregationists. Such comments seem oblivious to the fact that the Democrats long ago cut their ties with segregationists. When Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he privately said to an aide: “We have lost the South for a generation.” LBJ’s prediction was borne out in part by the extent to which the Democratic and Republican...

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Go for it, Michele! Please! Please! Pretty please!

An even better picker-upper than my first cup of coffee this morning was my discovery of THIS NEWS STORY: Though set to retire from the U.S. House after her term expires at the end of this year, Michele Bachmann may not be done with electoral politics. The Minnesota congresswoman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate told RealClearPolitics on Tuesday that she is considering a second White House run…. “The only thing that the media has speculated on is that it’s going to be various men that are running,” she replied. “They haven’t...

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