Newsflash: Executive Branch Appointees Continue to Politicize Things That They Shouldn't

29 July 2007

The Surgeon General of the United States is entrusted with the job of educating the American people on issues such as disease prevention and public health. The Surgeon General is not meant to be simply a walking advertisement for the President's current social policies, right or wrong. Rather, he is meant to identify public health concerns and highlight them so that the public and the government can properly adjust their priorities and tackle the important issues.

To that end, the Surgeon General recently commissioned a report by a panel of experts about global health concerns.

"In 65 pages, the report charts trends in infectious and chronic disease; reviews efforts to curb AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; calls for the careful monitoring of public health to safeguard against bioterrorism; and explains the importance of proper nutrition, childhood immunizations and clean air and water, among other topics. Its underlying message is that disease and suffering do not respect political boundaries in an era of globalization and mass population movements."

The report "received largely positive reviews from global health experts both inside and outside the government, prompting wide optimism that the report would be publicly released that year."

However, George H. W. Bush's godson, William R. Steiger (pictured left), who is an expert in Latin American history rather than public health, blocked that report's release.

In 2001, George W. Bush had appointed Steiger to head the Office of Global Health Affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services, despite the fact that Steiger has neither a medical degree, nor a public health degree. According to Surgeon General Carmona, Steiger blocked the report's release due to the fact that it did not sufficiently promote the administration's accomplishments. Steiger told Surgeon General Carmona, through a senior official, that "this will be a political document, or it will not be released."

Of course, this is not the first time Surgeon General Carmona experienced political interference with his job. A few years ago, Carmona was also told not to speak at a Special Olympics event, due simply to the fact that the Kennedy family also supported the event. A senior official (who Carmona did not name) reportedly asked, "Why would you help those people?"

Nor is this the only office in which executive branch appointees have politicized things that they shouldn't have. The removal of U.S. Attorneys (involving an appointee who graduated from the lowest ranked law school in the country) to make way for "loyal Bushies" such as Karl Rove's former aide is just one example.

In 2006, 24 year-old college dropout and former George W. Bush campaigner George Deutsch, entrusted as a NASA press officer, attempted to muzzle leading NASA climatologist James Hansen from speaking to the media about climate change. Deutsch also told a NASA website designer to add the word "theory" after every mention of the Big Bang, calling it merely an "opinion." Revealing exactly why this non-scientist had such strong opinions on the scientific topic, Deutsch said that "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator."

In 2002, an American Petroleum Institute lobbyist elevated to the position of White House Chief of Staff altered an EPA report about climate change in such a severe and misleading way that the EPA chose to omit the section altogether rather than release such a misleading scientific assessment (the EPA memo regarding this affair can be found here). Senior associate Rick Piltz resigned over the affair, stating that the non-scientist chief of staff Philip Cooney altered the documents to "create an enhanced sense of scientific uncertainty about climate change and its implications."

Oh yeah, and the administration's current nominee for the next Surgeon General previously wrote a paper on the dangers of "anal eroticism" and has founded a church that employs a conversion therapy program aimed at turning homosexuals into heterosexuals.

UPDATE: A copy of the report itself can be found here.

UPDATE #2: Chairman Waxman reviews the documents here.

Texas Governor Puts Creationist in Charge of State Education

26 July 2007

Texas Governor Rick Perry recently appointed former dentist Don McLeroy (pictured left) to head the State Board of Education. Unfortunately for the schoolchildren of Texas, Don McLeroy actively opposes teaching real science and instead opts for silly discredited ideas as replacements.

In 2003, McLeroy was among a minority of school board members who voted against adopting high school Biology textbooks simply because of their account of evolutionary theory. McLeroy complained that the books were "too dogmatic" and did not contain enough criticism.

In a letter dated October 30, 2003, McLeroy explained his objections to evolution, and simultaneously revealed a deep misunderstanding of the topic he was arguing against:

"Given all the time in the world, I don't think I could make a spider out of a rock. However, most of the books we are considering adopting, claim that Nothing made a spider out of a rock.

I don't think I share a common ancestor with a tree. However, most of the books we are considering adopting, claim as a fact that we all share a common ancestor with a tree."

McLeroy added that "it is wrong to teach opinion as fact."

But evolutionary theory isn't the only scientific idea McLeroy opposes:

"In 2001, McLeroy and a majority of the board rejected the only Advanced Placement textbook for high school environmental science because its views on global warming and other events didn't comport with the beliefs of the board majority. The book wasn't factual and was anti-American and anti-Christian, the majority claimed. Meanwhile, dozens of colleges and universities were using the textbook, including Baylor University, the nation's largest Baptist college."

Sucks for you, Texas.

UPDATE: Texas has the highest teen birth rate in the country (63 births out of every 1,000 teens, as opposed to the national average of 41), and simultaneously emphasizes abstinence-only education. When asked if there might be a link between the two, Don McLeroy had this to say:
"The idea that just giving them a lot of information is going to solve it, I think, is kind of naive," he said. "Certainly, it's more of a societal problem than it is a school problem."

Yeah, as if information will help...

YouTube Debate

25 July 2007 is really essential reading after every presidential debate.

Bill O'Reilly On DailyKos: Part IV

O'Reilly has recently compared the DailyKos website to (1) Nazis, (2) the KKK, (3) Mussolini, and (4) Al Capone, based on nothing more than a handful of user comments which neither represented the site itself, nor were written by the site itself.

One of these user comments, which O'Reilly described as "no different" from Nazi propaganda, said that "the pope is a primate." Turns out, on top of that comment being a far cry from Naziism, the pope is a primate in both the taxonomical and ecclesiastical senses.

O'Reilly represented another one of these user comments as wishing death upon Tony Snow when he was suffering from cancer. More specifically, O'Reilly said:

"There's no difference between the KKK and the Nazis, who have websites, than the Daily Kos. Because the Daily Kos is basically saying, "We're allowing this kind of thing to come on. It's good that Tony Snow has a recurrence of cancer; we hope he dies. We're sorry the assassination attempt against Dick Cheney failed; let them try again." And on and on and on and on."

Well, it turns out that particular commenter got wind of O'Reilly's comments and responded here.
"As usual, O'Reilly got it mostly wrong. I never said that Tony Snow "should" die of cancer. Nor did I say that I wanted him to die of cancer. Or of anything else, for that matter. What I said, in a comment responding to a diary about the White House spokesman's illness, was that I really didn't care if he died.

Now, you might say there's not a lot of difference. But I disagree. Actively wishing for something to happen is not the same as expressing indifference as to whether that thing happens or not.


I certainly don't actively wish any harm to Mr. Snow. But neither would I shed a tear for him."

So the comment, not even written by the site itself, was actually saying that the user simply wouldn't care either way if Tony Snow were to die or not. While that comment is obviously mean-spirited, it is a far cry from Naziism. Furthermore, I don't see any real difference between that comment about Tony Snow, on the one hand, and this comment by Bill O'Reilly about San Francisco, on the other:
"Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead. And if al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead."

If anything, this comment takes it a step further and says "go ahead."

Schumer Questions Gonzalez

James Dobson's Correction Regarding Harry Potter

24 July 2007

Dobson sets the record straight here:

Dr. James Dobson wants all friends of Focus on the Family to know about an error involving him that appeared on Page 1 of Wednesday's Washington Post. In a story about Christians' views on the Harry Potter books and films, reporter Jacqueline Salmon wrote that "Christian parenting guru James Dobson has praised the Potter books."

This is the exact opposite of Dr. Dobson's opinion — in fact, he said a few years ago on his daily radio broadcast that "We have spoken out strongly against all of the Harry Potter products." His rationale for that statement: Magical characters — witches, wizards, ghosts, goblins, werewolves, poltergeists and so on — fill the Harry Potter stories, and given the trend toward witchcraft and New Age ideology in the larger culture, it's difficult to ignore the effects such stories (albeit imaginary) might have on young, impressionable minds.

Ms. Salmon has not only acknowledged, but apologized for, the mistake and has promised the Post will correct it Friday. It seems she simply repeated misinformation that appeared in a less high-profile publication; she acknowledged she should have contacted us directly to make sure the assertion was true — and we appreciate her humility and professionalism in saying so.

The correction will also be offered to papers that subscribe to the Post's wire service and which may have also published the piece.

Dr. Dobson and the entire Focus family thank you for your continued interest in and support of our ministry.

All of these magical creatures are apparently too much for an impressionable mind to handle. Instead of reading about witches, giants, talking snakes, and a fictional boy who can magically heal wounds, they'd be better off reading about witches, giants, talking snakes, and a man who can magically heal wounds.

Bill O'Reilly On DailyKos: Part III

O'Reilly has still more to say about DailyKos:

Of course, O'Reilly doesn't cite anything specific from the site to support his claim that "The DailyKos now has a posting calling for the violent overthrow of the government." DailyKos is now offering a pony to anyone who can find such a post.

Also, here's some more overwrought hyperbole about DailyKos:

POWERS: What I was going to say --

O"REILLY: Real quick.

POWERS: -- is there's a lot of stuff that they do that isn't horrible. Most, like 90 --

O'REILLY: Oh, I see. It's kind of like Al Capone.

POWERS: No. No. No. But it's really --

O'REILLY: We'll only do bad things on Thursday, and we'll slaughter a bunch of people, but on Friday we'll go to church. Stop.

POWERS: But the majority -- look, the majority of the stuff -- there's a lot of good diaries that are put up there. There's a lot of smart political stuff that's on there.

O'REILLY: Mussolini made the trains run on time.

POWERS: Oh, it's not like Mussolini. That's ridiculous.

So now O'Reilly has compared DailyKos to Hitler, Mussolini, the Ku Klux Klan, Nazi Germany, and Al Capone. All of this, mind you, based on user comments left on the site.

Bill O'Reilly On DailyKos: Part II

23 July 2007

O'Reilly recently compared the website DailyKos to Nazi Germany and the KKK, all because of a few user comments that O'Reilly called "hate of the worst order." Although he didn't mention it in his initial report, these were user comments posted on an open forum, rather than editorial decisions or writings from the site itself.

Someone finally made that point to O'Reilly and he responded by saying: "I have my own website. Open forum is bull. You can regulate what’s on your website."

Well, someone checked O'Reilly's website and found the following user comments:

Posted By: Monty (2615 posts) 11 Jul 2007 - 5:27 PM PT
Reply: RE: The O’Reilly Factor (Wed 07/11) - The culture war goes to the ballpark, Should we be worried about terrorism?, Drugs, cheating and sports, more…

I have been to many ballgames and I never saw heterosexuals slobbering over each other all over the place. There might be a few who do it, but it was obvious that the homosexuals were doing what they always do when they have a stage and that is flaunt their fagginess to an “in your face extreme”.

Posted By: MadDog (961 posts) 21 Jul 2007 - 7:34 PM PT
Reply: RE: Future San Francisco Disasters

Get out or perish with the sodomites…
I dunno, those seem a whole lot more hateful than saying that the pope is a "primate." Maybe people should bitch and moan to his sponsors now.

Weekly World News Shuts Down

This is a sad day for America:

Weekly World News Shutting Down

By Ian Randal Strock

While it isn't strictly a genre publication, and it does bill itself as "The World's Only Reliable Newspaper," the editor has decided that this announcement does fall within SFScope's purview:

American Media has decided to suspend publication of Weekly World News, both the print publication and the web site. No reason was given at press time, although reliable sources do tell us that management turned down at least one offer to buy the publication.

The weekly supermarket tabloid—known as the home of "Bat Boy" and other less-than-probable stories—has long had staffing connections with the science fiction, fantasy, and horror fields.

In honor of this fine publication, here are a few choice covers:

Are Our Children Learning Enough About Whales?

19 July 2007

In The Know: Are Our Children Learning Enough About Whales?

Bill O'Reilly On DailyKos: Part I

18 July 2007

Bill O'Reilly recently had this to say about the website DailyKos:

  • "This is hate of the worst order. It's like the Ku Klux Klan. It's like the Nazi party. It's no different."
  • "That website traffics in hate, as do the Nazi websites. No difference."
  • "The website sells hate, as does the KKK and the Nazis. The comparison is valid."
Really? No difference?

Apparently, all of this stems from a few user comments O'Reilly found on the website regarding Dick Cheney, the pope, etc.

So let's look at what remark about the pope O'Reilly found so offensive:
"The pope is a primate."
Hm. That seems pretty mild to me. Hardly worthy of labeling someone a Nazi.

Also, it's completely accurate and true. On two levels, no less. Let's look at the definition of "primate":
pri·mate [prahy-meyt or, esp. for 1, prahy-mit] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1.Ecclesiastical. an archbishop or bishop ranking first among the bishops of a province or country.
2.any of various omnivorous mammals of the order Primates, comprising the three suborders Anthropoidea (humans, great apes, gibbons, Old World monkeys, and New World monkeys), Prosimii (lemurs, loris, and their allies), and Tarsioidea (tarsiers), esp. distinguished by the use of hands, varied locomotion, and by complex flexible behavior involving a high level of social interaction and cultural adaptability.
3.Archaic. a chief or leader.

[Origin: 1175–1225; ME primat dignitary, religious leader <>prīmāt- (s. of prīmās), n. use of L prīmās of first rank, deriv. of prīmus first (see prime); (def. 2) taken as sing. of NL Primates Primates, as if ending in -ate1]

pri·ma·tal, adjective, noun
pri·ma·tial [prahy-mey-shuhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation, pri·mat·i·cal [prahy-mat-i-kuhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation, adjective Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
Taxonomically, the pope is a primate, just like you, me, gibbons, lemurs, etc. Ecclesiastically, the pope is also a primate, insofar as he is the head bishop of his country. That is simply a 100% accurate statement.

Oh, and here's a video of O'Reilly's producer ambushing and reprimanding a Jet Blue executive for sponsoring a DailyKos forum (YearlyKos):

It's very important to make a distinction here that O'Reilly himself failed to make: these are user comments, not writings from the website itself. That's a rather huge detail to gloss over, and O'Reilly probably misled his viewers into seeing DailyKos as a fringe group of hateful crazies who want to murder Tony Snow. That's pretty much the definition of spin. Actually, let's look up the definition:

1. a swift whirling motion (usually of a missile)
2. the act of rotating rapidly; "he gave the crank a spin"; "it broke off after much twisting"
3. a short drive in a car; "he took the new car for a spin"
4. rapid descent of an aircraft in a steep spiral [syn: tailspin]
5. a distinctive interpretation (especially as used by politicians to sway public opinion); "the campaign put a favorable spin on the story"

1. revolve quickly and repeatedly around one's own axis; "The dervishes whirl around and around without getting dizzy"
2. stream in jets, of liquids; "The creek spun its course through the woods"
3. cause to spin; "spin a coin" [syn: whirl]
4. make up a story; "spin a yarn"
5. form a web by making a thread; "spiders spin a fine web"
6. work natural fibers into a thread; "spin silk"
7. twist and turn so as to give an intended interpretation; "The President's spokesmen had to spin the story to make it less embarrassing"
8. prolong or extend; "spin out a visit"
Yepp. It's number seven.

And, just to put this "hate" thing into perspective, here's a video of O'Reilly getting really really angry:

And while we're at it, here are a few comments that O'Reilly's viewers left at DailyKos after watching the FOX News segment:
  • "You...suck beyond belief. Hurry up and die."
  • "I have never seen so much hate you would embarrassed Nazi’s

    Why can’t people like you just make a living, instead of hating everyone else?

    Are you all muslims?

    I just say fuck you, asshole"

Richard Carmona on CNN

Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona speaks to CNN about political interference with his job:

My favorite part is where Carmona says that he was stopped from speaking at the Special Olympics simply because the Kennedys ("those people") also supported the event.

Energy Task Force 2001

Over the past six years, the White House has fought hard to avoid disclosing any information regarding its 2001 Energy Task Force meetings. Over this time, little has been known regarding which interest groups met at the White House to develop our energy plan.

Now, The Washington Post has finally obtained a list of who was at those meetings back in 2001 (story here).

Of course it's no surprise that executives from Exxon, Enron, British Petroleum, etc. were prominent figures in the deliberations. After all, they currently provide a significant portion of this country's energy supply (except for Enron, but that's another story). However, the task force meetings certainly seem to have given short shrift to releasing the country from its dependence on foreign oil, or of taking environmental conerns into account at all.

A confidential list prepared by the Bush administration shows that Cheney and his aides had already held at least 40 meetings with interest groups, most of them from energy-producing industries. By the time of the meeting with environmental groups, according to a former White House official who provided the list to The Washington Post, the initial draft of the task force was substantially complete and President Bush had been briefed on its progress.

Also, it's sad that it took so long for this list to come out. Policy debates such as these should really be more transparent.

Live Debate on C-SPAN

17 July 2007

The Senate is debating all night. Live video here.

Bad Idea

16 July 2007

YouTube users can submit questions here to be used for the July 23 CNN Democratic debate. Here are a few samples.


Closet Vampire:

Probably Retarded:

Left Behind

14 July 2007

"Jesus merely raised one hand a few inches and a yawning chasm opened in the earth, stretching far and wide enough to swallow all of them. They tumbled in, howling and screeching, but their wailing was soon quashed and all was silent when the earth closed itself again."
-- From Glorious Appearing by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

"The best thing about the Left Behind books is the way the non-Christians get their guts pulled out by God."
-- 15-year old fundamentalist fan of the Left Behind series

Joe Bageant explains "What the 'Left Behind' Series Really Means" here. It's a bit long and overwrought, even invoking Godwin's Law, but those opening quotes certainly made me smile.

Martin Durkin Interview

13 July 2007

Part I:

Part II:

Durkin says that he used a 20-year-old out of date graph because it had been replaced by the "hockey stick" graph. In the interest of beating a dead horse, here are several other temperature reconstructions which show the same basic picture:

Surgeons General

11 July 2007

Surgeon General Richard Carmona resigned in 2006, accusing the White House administration of preventing him from speaking on public health topics such as embryonic stem cell research and abstinence-only education. Here is a video of Carmona testifying before the House Oversight Committee about political interference with the independence of the Surgeon General's office.

So who does the White House tap as Carmona's replacement? James Holsinger, founder of the Hope Spring Church, which seeks to put an end to "anal eroticism" and homosexuality through its conversion therapy.

Needless to say, the American Public Health Association is not happy.

When asked about Carmona, White House press secretary Tony Snow let this little gem slip out of his mouth:
TONY SNOW: But nobody, as far as I could tell, was, “muzzling” him. But on the other hand, there is certainly nothing scandalous about saying to somebody who was a presidential appointee, you should advocate the President’s policies.
It's a shame that Tony Snow doesn't understand how mind-bending that sentence really is.

Taranto Part II

10 July 2007

The other day, the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto (pictured left) cited a blogger who did a google search to make his case that atmospheric CO2 is insignificant when it comes to a planet's temperature. After somebody pointed out a rather serious flaw in this argument, James Taranto defended his position by citing a NASA website for children.

But even this misses the point. In addition to being way less dense per unit volume than earth's atmosphere, the Martian atmosphere is also far smaller in volume (Mars is about 1/2 the size of earth).

Taranto also fails to mention that the Martian atmosphere contains very little water vapor, which is a far more significant greenhouse gas and which (through a feedback mechanism) more than doubles the amount of warming caused by CO2 in our atmosphere.

Mars is also 1.5 times as far away from the sun as we are.

All of this taken together severely undermines Taranto's original point, which was that:

"As blogger George Reisman notes, the atmosphere on Mars is 95% carbon dioxide, just shy of Venus's 96%. (The Earth's atmosphere, by contrast, is less than 0.04% CO2.) Average temperature on Mars? Eighty-one below zero."
Keep in mind that all of this was spelled out to make the case that Al Gore is prone to exaggeration and plays loose with the facts.

Friggin' ASCAP...

08 July 2007

Does this really "promote the progress of science and the useful arts" (U.S. Const. Art. I sec. 8)?

Wall Street Journal and Internet Guy Don't Believe in Global Warming

06 July 2007

The Wall Street Journal Op-Ed page recently cited a blogger, who did a google search, to make their case that CO2 is inconsequential to the temperature of a planet's atmosphere. According to the WSJ:

"As blogger George Reisman notes, the atmosphere on Mars is 95% carbon dioxide, just shy of Venus's 96%. (The Earth's atmosphere, by contrast, is less than 0.04% CO2.) Average temperature on Mars? Eighty-one below zero."

You can just see the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto tilting back in his chair and quietly saying to himself "Checkmate." But what Taranto fails to mention is that the Martian atmosphere is only 1% as dense as earth's, and there is virtually no water vapor (which accounts for most of earth's greenhouse effect, as well as a large climate feedback) on Mars. Additionally, what CO2 there is on Mars regularly condenses at the super-cold ice caps during the very cold Martian winters, and isn't even in the atmosphere. It is precisely Mars's lack of atmospheric greenhouse gases that accounts for its low temperature.

If You Allow Universal Health Care, The Terrorists Win

Yesterday on FOX News, Neil Cavuto hosted Jerry Bowyer (from The National Review Online) to make an extended argument that single-payer health care systems somehow lead to terrorism. It really has to be seen to be believed. Jerry argues that since the attempted British carbombers were doctors, this is somehow symptomatic of a larger infiltration of the British health care system by terrorists. He rationalizes this idea by arguing that since the British need doctors to provide their health care, they must employ more doctors from abroad. And when the number of foreign doctors increases, the number of Muslim doctors increase. And when the number of Muslim doctors increases, the British naturally have more terrorists.

Brendan Nyhan covers some of Jerry's more analytically challenged arguments here (5/15/07), here (4/25/07), here (6/21/06), and here (7/12/05). Why does the National Review employ this guy and why does FOX News give him a platform? Maybe this is just a part of FOX's larger effort to link everything they don't like to terrorism (see here and here for two recent examples).

Video here:

EDIT: Ezra Klein discusses the factual errors and contorted logic of the "bureaucracy" argument here.

EDIT #2: Wow, apparently this talking point has legs. The National Review says: "The socialization of medicine in the UK is responsible for a lot of problems. The importation of terrorists is just one of them."

EDIT #3: More tenuous terrorism links here (Virginia Tech) and here (school buses).

EDIT #4: Holy shit, it's spreading! Here's another clip, this one from MSNBC's Joe Scarborough:

EDIT #5: Daniel Johnson of The Sun is jumping on the bandwagon here.

EDIT #6: Neil Cavuto hosted another crazy guy, right-wing radio host Mike Gallagher, who suggested that there is "nothing wrong with suspending the opportunity for Muslim doctors to enter the United States until…we sort this thing out." Gallagher, of course, dodges the question of whether or not we should block Muslim engineers and accountants from entering the U.S. as well (people in those professions actually did carry out their plot). Cavuto's other guest, Sasha Burns, summed it up best: "That's one of the dumbest things I've ever heard."

EDIT #7: FOX News's Bulls & Bears piles it on. And this time, the chyron reads: "NATIONAL HEALTH CARE: BREEDING GROUND FOR TERROR." Notice that the question mark is missing this time.

EDIT #8: This political cartoon from the New York Post sums the talking point up pretty well.

Rush Limbaugh and Child Discuss Science

05 July 2007

A thirteen-year-old child called the Rush Limbaugh program on Tuesday to complain about how his school teachers had presented him with "liberal magazines like TIME and Newsweek" that mentioned global warming. Of course, Rush saw it as a liberal conspiracy by shadowy liberals to convince poor children to become liberals themselves, rather than a scientific issue with overwhelmingly broad scientific agreement.

RUSH: Well, but look. Patrick, this will be a good lesson. There are liberals everywhere. You may think that just because your town is conservative -- there are liberals. They're hiding in the shadows, and they are lurking there, and they're around and the odds are that many of them are in the school system. You'll probably at some point probably have to watch [An Inconvenient Truth], unless your parents and other parents find out about it and demand, "If you're going to show this movie, you better show the Great Global Warming Swindle and put the other side to our kids out there." Well, congratulations. I'm glad you called and told us this. This is the kind of thing that gives us all encouragement for the future. Here you are at 13, already aware of when you're watching propaganda. That's great.
There are so many things wrong with this. First off, it's not just the liberals, but pretty much all the scientific organizations and peer reviewed scientific publications that say CO2 emissions are the principle climate forcing agent. Rush Limbaugh, who dropped out of college due to his poor grades, would love to frame the issue as a liberal conspiracy, but it simply is not (see Naomi Oreskes). Even Newt Gingrich and the friggin' National Review have come around.

Next, Rush suggests that this kid watch the Great Global Warming Swindle as some kind of anti-propaganda antidote. I wrote about TGGWS here and here, but would just like to reiterate that this movie had doctored graphs, false claims, poor research, and designated experts who objected to the film's own conclusions. Plus, the film's producer, Martin Durkin, had previously had his work rejected by the BBC for "ignor[ing] a large body of evidence contradicting his claims in the program," and had been reprimanded by Britain's Independent Television Commission for misleading and misrepresenting his interviewees.

That being said, TIME and Newsweek are not very good sources of scientific information, either. Those two magazines carried the more sensational "global cooling" pieces in the 70s (see here and here), even though the scientific establishment said nothing of the sort, and the NAS itself had come to the conclusion that there was no basis for making such claims.

Rep. Ingersoll (R-SC) Murders a Hobo

Public Airings 74907-C, Rep. Ingersol's Murder Of A Hobo

John Gibson is a Joke

04 July 2007

FOX news anchor (and author of The War on Christmas) John Gibson takes on the big issues... like Bigfoot.

Full video here.

Gravel Doubles Prison Statistic

01 July 2007

At the Democratic debate this week, Mike Gravel made the following claim:

"In 1972, we had 179,000 human beings in jail in this country; today, it’s 2.3 million, and 70 percent are black, African Americans."
While it is true that 2.3 million people are currently incarcerated, Mike got the 70% figure way wrong. It's actually 40%, according to the Department of Justice. That's still disproportionate to the nation's African American population, but way off the mark from what Gravel said.

If only the debates had one of these: