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Some Republicans are obsessed with notion that Obama isn’t manly enough

What is it about conservatives that machismo ranks at the top of their list of virtues? Commentator David Brooks, who’s not exactly a model of masculinity himself, said something on TV the other day about President Obama having “a manhood problem” in his execution of foreign policy. Puh-leeze! Sally Kahn responds to this silliness HERE: [B]eneath this crass political tactic is desperation to prop up the aggressive masculinity on which not only conservative American culture relies but which provides the rallying point and...

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Jon Stewart says welfare rancher Cliven Bundy desecrates American flag

Political satirist Jon Stewart devoted the opening segment of “The Daily Show” last night to a scorching attack on renegade Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters. Bundy has been grazing his cattle on federal lands for decades while refusing to pay the fees other ranchers pay. Courts repeatedly have ruled against him, and the Nevada State Constitution recognizes the federal government’s authority in this case. But Bundy steadfastly has defied the law, while a gang of armed militia types have rallied to his defense....

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Right-wing pundit says Romney won in 2012 — if you don’t count the wrong kind of voters

Barack Obama is the first president since Dwight Eisenhower to win two consecutive elections by more than 51 percent of the popular vote. But to hear some people tell it, Obama’s victories are tainted, mainly because he didn’t do well among old, white, rural voters — y’know, the real Americans. Michael Medved made that kind of argument in the Wall Street Journal the other day. And Heather Digby Parton smacked it down HERE: If the majority of women who vote for Democrats are young, single and black or brown, how can...

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Public skepticism about evolution, the Big Bang theory and global warming is widespread

The only solace I can take from a recent Associated Press poll on certain scientific matters is that skepticism is probably greatest among older folks (although the results I’ve seen don’t actually say so). All in all, however, there’s much in this survey that should be cause for concern. The story is HERE: Americans have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 billion years ago… About 4 in 10 say they...

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Does fracking cause earthquakes?

It might surprise you to learn that 39 of our 50 states are at risk of experiencing earthquakes of varying severity, as shown in the map above. California, of course, is the state most commonly associated with quakes. Hence, it’s only natural that residents of the Golden State would be especially concerned with the question of whether the practice of fracking for oil and gas can trigger earthquakes. The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times addresses the matter HERE: Until recently, evidence linking earthquakes to fracking — the...

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Rand Paul thinks the last time the U.S. economy created millions of jobs was under Reagan

Like most Republican politicians, Rand Paul has a weak grasp of American history. Take, for example, the Kentucky  senator’s claim that “the last time in our country we created millions of jobs” was during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. That’s not even close. Millions of jobs have been created during Barack Obama’s presidency.  And job-creation under Bill Clinton was far greater than under Reagan. Indeed, since Reagan’s first inauguration, Democratic presidents have created more jobs in their 14 years in...

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Princeton study: America has become an oligarchy rather than a democracy

I’m a little hesitant to mention this matter because I don’t want to have to deal with  silly arguments that the United States has never been a democracy. But what the hell!.  The solution, I guess, is to not deal with such nonsensical arguments if they come up. So there! Meanwhile, check THIS out: A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists. Asking “[w]ho really rules?” researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades...

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This guy says theory of evolution will lead to murder of old folks and handicapped people

Syndicated right-wing columnist Cal Thomas, whose writings have appeared in the pages of the Rockford Register Star on occasion, has been peddling nonsense for years. But now he’s outdone himself in an interview on an evangelical television network. Thomas told Daystar host Joni Lamb that public schools are “the enemy’s re-education camps where [children are] taught they evolved from slime and their nearest relative is down at the zoo and that’s why they like bananas on their cereal, and where they don’t learn the real history of...

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Poll: Republicans more likely than other Americans to think poor people are lazy

THIS should come as no surprise: Conservatives often say the poor and jobless got that way because of their own personal failings, but Americans tend to blame the plain old free market. A new HuffPost/YouGov poll released Thursday finds Americans generally think both the rich and the poor ended up where they are more because of the opportunities they had in life than because of personal successes or failures. But not everyone feels that way. Republicans are far more likely to pat rich Americans on the back for their hard work while blaming...

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Putin says he doesn’t want to take over Alaska

I can’t decide whether Sarah Palin should feel good or bad about the news that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not interested in taking Alaska back from the United States. After all, Palin’s a Republican, and most Republicans these days have had lots of flattering things to say about Putin. But on the other hand, Putin’s lack of interest in Alaska might be interpreted as an insult to our 49th state. I mean, what’s Crimea got that Alaska doesn’t have? The story of Putin’s snub of Palin’s state is...

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Negativism among Rockford residents goes back many years

The Gallup organization is out with a survey showing that folks in Rockford are more dissatisfied with their town than residents of  any other American city. I suppose we could we spend hours itemizing the reasons for this discontent among people in Rockford, but there’s one factor in particular that probably belongs at the top of the list: Negativism is an inherent feature of Rockford’s civic attitude. Don’t just take my word for it. In 1976, famed author Calvin Trillin wrote a piece about Rockford in The New Yorker, and he...

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Three cheers (or 270 cheers) for the National Popular vote!

You may not have noticed, but momentum is building across the country for reform of the Electoral College by means of something called the National Popular Vote. As Hendrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker explains, it works like this: Suppose you could get a bunch of states to pledge that once there are enough of them to possess at least two hundred and seventy electoral votes—a majority of the Electoral College—they will thenceforth cast all their electoral votes for whatever candidate gets the most popular votes in the entire country. As soon...

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