Welcome to the Pants on Fire Project, a non-partisan effort to debunk all the liars and the lies that pollute the American political process. Here, as a kick-off, Rachel Maddow shares some perspective on the right-wing echo chamber:]]>
Where do we go from here?]]>
Not guilty! In court today, Medea Benjamin entered this video into evidence and the trumped up trespassing charges against her were dismissed…
Background: In August, Erik Prince, owner of the Blackwater group of mercenary companies claimed he was leaving the USA to establish residence in the UAE. His flight allowed him to avoid giving depositions in some civil suits that were pending against him. Medea Benjamin and a couple of Code Pink (or “Pinkwater” as they now call themselves) members visited the Prince home in McLean, Virginia and was surprised to learn that the former Navy Seal’s family was still in residence. Mrs. Prince had Benjamin busted for trespassing. The final court date was today.
Here’s the deets…]]>
I can’t say enough about this guy. He provides a clear alternative for positive change.
Question: I’m calling from a national research firm. We’re conducting a survey and I’d like to ask you a few questions about issues that affect people here in Wisconsin. This will only take a few minutes of your time and no one will try to sell you anything as a result of this survey. May I speak with a male/female 18 years or older who lives at this address and is now at home?
Answer: What address? This address? The laundromat? I’m folding a load of tidy-whities, dude. Just a minute… anyone here want to talk to some survey weasel? Sorry duder. Everyone’s busy, and nobody’s home. Did I tell you it’s the laundromat?
The above exchange or one like it would take place 460.3 times out of every thousand polling contacts if polling companies used lists that included all cell phone numbers and landlines. Household polling is no longer meaningful. Nobody’s home except my dad and he had a stroke.
In 2008, a study found that polling results including cell phone users leaned about 5% more in a progressive direction than polls relying on landline contact alone. Public polling is a black art, the goal of which is to trend toward the midline of all other poll results while ultimately predicting more “wins” than the competition. Public polling of political races is a profit center for polling companies. They want to get it right, and to get it right they want to do it like the competition does it.
The results this year should shake up the industry, since the polls themselves seemed based as much on media noise as on genuine public opinion and are skewed far from the most likely outcomes. When Russ Feingold wins his Wisconsin senate seat, the polling companies will have to congratulate him on a big come-from-behind victory. In fact, the results have been only in doubt due to the noise in the system from the propagandists, noise that doesn’t much influence voters, but that creates the static impression paid for by the propagandists.]]>
The people of France are on strike against the erosion of pension benefits mandated by Sarkozy’s neo-liberal policies. Since October 12, over a million people have been in the streets protesting. Fuel depots are closed and transportation, public and private, is slowing to a standstill. In the US, the French struggle has barely been acknowledged.
Today’s New York Times plays catch-up, but the American “news cycle” is dominated by a phone call from Clarence Thomas’ wife to Anita Hill.
Here’s a comment lifted from the thread that follows the Times article:
I find it really entertaining for Americans who have never been to France, don’t understand our mentality, and know next to nothing about our politics are commenting so vehemently. Let’s talk about laziness, shall we? Who’s lazier, the Frenchman who goes out into the street to march against the reforms which aren’t the only solution to the problem or an American who sits in front of their TV watching Glenn Beck and whining about their taxes?
Whether or not the reform is right, we have the right to protest it, and at least we use that right. Unlike most of what the media has been saying, the strikes in most of France have been peaceful and minimally disruptive.
Also, quit saying we get free education, free health care, free pensions, etc. We don’t. We pay for them our entire lives through TAXES, which are far higher than taxes in the US. Yes we have our problems, but quite frankly, I’d rather be here than there.
Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine. The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party…
all those Wall Streeters with their MBAs from the finest colleges in the land are either monumentally unqualified for their jobs or they knew exactly what they were doing and didn’t mind sinking the economy to rake in their millions before the roof caved in.
Progressive activist Medea Benjamin isn’t often in Madison, so when she comes, one goes. Last night she came for Ben Manski, a real progressive, a Green running for Assembly in Wisconsin’s “safe” 77th district. His opponent, Brett Hulsey, a Democrat and former lobbyist for energy corporations against environmentally sound legislation, has one thing going for him: the tendency of the voters in the 77th to vote a straight party line.
Last night’s 5pm gathering on Bascom Hill drew about fifty people. Many more than that are expected at the stadium today to watch the Badgers play the Buckeyes.
So what did I learn last night that the fans who were saving their energy for today’s football game might have missed? Here’s a list: