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The NFL is a socialistic enterprise, and the Packers are the league’s most socialistic team

I’ve always wondered how politically conservative fans of the National Football League reconcile their advocacy of unbridled free enterprise with their enthusiastic support  of a blatantly socialistic enterprise. This hypocrisy is especially conspicuous among fans of the Green Bay Packers, the most socialistic of all NFL teams. As we ponder this situation, let’s stipulate at the outset that socialism is more of an economic arrangement than a political one. Let’s acknowledge that all governments, even conservative ones, are at...

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Have we lost our democracy in America?

Timothy Egan ventures an answer to the question above: How did we lose our democracy? Slowly at first, and then all at once. This fall, voters are more disgusted, more bored and more cynical about the midterm elections than at any time in at least two decades… You can trace the Great Breach to Justice [Anthony] Kennedy’s words in the 2010 Citizens United case, which gave wealthy, secret donors unlimited power to manipulate American elections. The decision legalized large-scale bribery — O.K., influence buying — and ensured that we would...

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Analysis of 56 separate studies indicates link between climate change and violence

A study published earlier this year suggesting a link between climate change  and social violence was dismissed by some global-warming deniers as desperation on the part of  “people who are losing the argument,” as the conservative National Review put it. But the skeptics may not find it so easy to scoff at THIS:  In a new working paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Stanford researcher Marshall Burke and two colleagues present a meta-analysis — an evaluation and statistical synthesis of a large body...

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Shameless name-dropping: Karl Rove and I once did battle of sorts, and I won

Forty-four years ago, when I was a callow youth and the now-infamous Karl Rove was an even callower youth (I was 28, and he was 19), we were paid campaigners on opposite sides of the battle for a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. I was working for Democratic challenger Adlai E. Stevenson III (above), and Rove was working for Republican incumbent Ralph Tyler Smith, who had been appointed to the Senate when Everett Dirksen died. Rove and I both resorted to dirty campaign tricks, but mine, I dare say, were more effective. Rove’s most...

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Former policy adviser to Reagan says Obama has governed as a moderate conservative

Bruce Bartlett, a former aide to Ronald Reagan, is not the only reasonable conservative whose views of Barack Obama’s presidency have not been tainted by the hysterical rhetoric of the Republican Party’s extreme right wing. Bartlett now recalls that other prominent conservatives supported Obama in the 2008 election. “Among the Obamacons,” he says, “were Ken Duberstein, Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff; Charles Fried, Reagan’s solicitor general; Ken Adelman, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency for...

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Snowfall forecasts made months in advance are pure guesswork and often wrong

Let me state at the outset here that this post has nothing to do with those popular, but generally silly, long-term weather forecasts made by either the Farmer’s Almanac or the Old Farmer’s Almanac. As Jason Samenow, meteorologist for the Washington Post, puts it, those almanac forecasts are “fun to follow and occasionally right, but have no proven track record, and certainly aren’t a hallmark of credibility.” Rather, this is about long-term snowfall forecasts made by relatively reputable organizations. Harry...

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Here’s a tailor-made conspiracy theory that Obama-haters seem not to have noticed

Ordinarily, America’s Obamaphobic conspiracy theorists need little inspiration to come up with some daffy notion that our current president of the United States is plotting to do the devil’s work in some new and dastardly way. That’s why I’m surprised that six days have already passed without a peep from these paranoiacs about an article in Scientific American that READS IN PART as follows: The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has the authority to impose a travel ban beteen states to contain...

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Surprise! Obama refers to himself in his speeches less than any of his 11 immediate predecessors

Some of Barack Obama’s critics are given to bogus claims that his use of certain personal pronouns (I, me, my, etc.) in his presidential speeches are evidence of his narcissism — or uppityness, if you will. When non-practicing psychiatrist and notorious Fox News crackpot Charles Krauthammer played this card one day last month, I countered with THIS POST. And now the website BuzzFeed is out with the results of research showing that Obama has used first-person singular pronouns in his speeches less frequently than any president...

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Too many Americans don’t recognize that wacky conspiracy theories are wacky

The underbelly of the right-wing blogosphere has long been rife with crazy conspiracy theories about the Bilderberg Group and the UN’s Agenda 21 — and every once in a while this kind of nonsense emerges in the rhetoric of presumably mainstream politicians. Republican Sen. Rand Paul, for example, once said he was familiar with certifiable kook Alex Jones’ theories about the Bilderbergers, but he didn’t dismiss those theories, lest he alienate Jones’ disciples. And Joni Ernst, a Republican candidate for the U.S....

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This year is likely to end up as the warmest on record

Global-warming deniers like to pretend that stuff like THIS just isn’t true, no matter the scientific credentials of the agencies reporting it: The first nine months of 2014 have a global average temperature of 58.72 degrees (14.78 degrees Celsius), tying with 1998 for the warmest first nine months on record, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. ‘It’s pretty likely’ that 2014 will break the record for hottest year, said NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden. (Snip) All of the world’s top 10 warmest years...

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Ted Cruz says Ebola czar lacks medical expertise, but Cruz himself contradicts medical experts

Let me see if I have this straight: Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican,  argues that President Obama’s Ebola Czar Ron Clain is not qualified for the job because he’s not a medical expert. Cruz also faults Obama for not imposing a travel ban on flights to and from West Africa. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top man at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says the travel ban proposed by Cruz would be a big mistake and would only make it more difficult to track potential carriers of the Ebola virus. In other words,...

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On matters of sex and marriage, Catholics are more liberal than the Vatican and everyone else

The conservative wing of the Roman Catholic hierarchy made a big fuss last week about the moderate tone of a preliminary report on a closely-watched synod on family issues. The report was seen by critics as too squishy on matters of homosexuality, divorce and premarital cohabitation. But this backlash from orthodox prelates seems to fly in the face of prevailing attitudes among rank-and-file Catholics, as we see HERE: In the U.S, the General Social Survey, which is conducted by the research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, has...

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