In the USA...United Surveillance AmericaNavy thinks new ‘Star Wars’ gun so cheap, fast, powerful that enemies will just give up
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 9:56 EDT
The U.S. Navy is planning sea trials for a weapon that can fire a low-cost, 23-pound projectile at seven times the speed of sound using electromagnetic energy, a “Star Wars” technology that will make enemies think twice, the Navy’s research chief said.
Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, the chief of Naval Research, told a round table group recently the futuristic electromagnetic rail gun had already undergone extensive testing on land and would be mounted on the USNS Millinocket, a high-speed vessel, for sea trials beginning in 2016.
“It’s now reality and it’s not science fiction. It’s actually real. You can look at it. It’s firing,” said Klunder, who planned to discuss progress on the system later on Monday with military and industry leaders at a major maritime event – the Sea-Air-Space Exposition – near Washington.
“It will help us in air defense, it will help us in cruise missile defense, it will help us in ballistic missile defense,” he said. “We’re also talking about a gun that’s going to shoot a projectile that’s about one one-hundredth of the cost of an existing missile system today.”
The Navy research chief said that cost differential – $25,000 for a railgun projectile versus $500,000 to $1.5 million for a missile – will make potential enemies think twice about the economic viability of engaging U.S. forces.
“That … will give our adversaries a huge moment of pause to go: ‘Do I even want to go engage a naval ship?’” Klunder told reporters. “You could throw anything at us, frankly, and the fact that we now can shoot a number of these rounds at a very affordable cost, it’s my opinion that they don’t win.”
U.S. officials have voiced concerns that tight defense budgets could cause the Pentagon to lose its technological edge over China, Russia and other rivals, who have been developing antiship ballistic missile systems and integrated air defenses capable of challenging U.S. air and naval dominance.
Weapons like the electromagnetic rail gun could help U.S. forces retain their edge and give them an asymmetric advantage over rivals, making it too expensive to use missiles to attack U.S. warships because of the cheap way to defeat them.
Railguns use electromagnetic energy known as the Lorenz Force to launch a projectile between two conductive rails. The high-power electric pulse generates a magnetic field to fire the projectile with very little recoil, officials said.
The U.S. Navy has funded two single-shot railgun prototypes, one by privately held General Atomics and the other by BAE Systems. Klunder said he had selected BAE for the second phase of the project, which will look at developing a system capable of firing multiple shots in succession.
Current projectiles leaving a railgun have a muzzle energy of about 32 megajoules of force, said Rear Admiral Bryant Fuller, the Navy’s chief engineer. He said one megajoule would move a one-ton object at about 100 mph.
“We’re talking about a projectile that we’re going to send well over 100 miles, we’re talking about a projectile that can go over Mach 7, we’re talking about a projectile that can go well into the atmosphere,” Klunder said.
Ships can carry dozens of missiles, but they could be loaded with hundreds of railgun projectiles, he said.
“Your magazine never runs out, you just keep shooting, and that’s compelling,” Klunder said.
The 2016 sea trials will be conducted aboard the joint forces high-speed cargo ship because it has the space to carry the system on its deck and in its cargo bay. Officials said they would begin looking at integrating the system into warships after 2018.
Click to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJQfAcBs5vQ
******************Federal Reserve orders U.S. big banks to raise more capital to avoid another crash
By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 18:48 EDT
U.S. banking regulators on Tuesday ordered the eight largest “too big to fail” banks to raise capital levels in a bid to address weaknesses seen in the 2008 financial crisis.
The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency adopted a final rule requiring the systemically important banks to hold significantly increased levels of high-quality capital in relation to their risk exposure, their so-called supplementary leverage ratio.
The banks affected by the rule are Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street and Wells Fargo.
The Fed’s aim is “to reduce the effect of a firm’s failure or material weakness on the financial system and the broader economy.”
Under the action taken Tuesday, the banks will have to meet an additional 2.0 percent of capital on top of the 3.0 percent level required under the Basel III regulatory reforms, which US regulators have criticized as too lax.
By meeting the 5.0 percent ratio, the banks will avoid Fed limitations on dividends and discretionary bonus payments.
The eight banks’ subsidiaries will be required to have loss-absorbing capital worth more than 6.0 percent of their assets, double the Basel III level.
The supplemental level, like the 3.0 percent Basel level, will take effect in 2018.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the robust capital standards were “essential to reduce systemic risk and mitigate the distortions imposed by institutions deemed too big to fail.”
Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo said the bigger capital cushion would serve as a “critical backstop” to the banking system.
The director of the FDIC, Jeremiah Norton, noted that the new rule would help offset weaknesses in the Basel III reforms, which failed to address key industry problems highlighted in the financial crisis, like the appropriate risk-weighting for mortgages and foreign sovereign debt.
“These and other deficiencies underscore the need for the US banking system to have a meaningful leverage ratio requirement and for policy makers to continue to improve the capital framework going forward,” he said.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
******************ALEC and Paul Ryan Team Up to Convert Pensions Into Tax Cuts for Millionaires
Tuesday, April, 8th, 2014, 10:24 am
It may be difficult for those on the wrong end of economic inequality to understand, but there are some conservative economists who claim inequality promotes investment, but the overriding opinion is that too much inequality is destructive and can hinder a nation’s long term growth. In 2011, researchers from the International Monetary Fund published work indicating that income equality increased the duration of countries’ economic growth spells more than free trade, foreign investment, or low foreign debt. Obviously, economic inequality in America is well beyond a social and economic problem, and two noted economists have released preliminary research that revealed Americans have not witnessed economic inequality favoring the richest 1% since the 1920s and it is about to get worse; much, much worse if the Koch brothers’ American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), State Policy Network, and their Republican facilitator Paul Ryan have their way.
It is a fact of life that income inequality has grown steadily since the 1980s with the richest 1% taking an inordinate amount of wealth from the labor of higher productivity coupled with stagnant wages, but there is also a great gap regarding wealth. Wealth is a household’s total assets including savings, equity in a home, pensions, and cash on hand minus what that household owes, and according to Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the gap between wealth held by the richest 1% and the rest of the population is at levels not seen since the 1920s “explosive inequality dynamics.” The economists note that wealth is always “very concentrated” at the top, but although the top 10% made gains over the past three decades, the highest concentration since the 1980s has been in the top 0.1% who hold more than $20 million in assets, and for those in the top 0.01% with over $100 million in assets their wealth exploded.
There has been virtually no increase in wealth for everyone below the top 0.1% of Americans. After the Great Depression, progressive capital taxes and the New Deal prevented wealth inequality from growing inordinately until about 1986 when the bottom 90% began being barely able to save anything that the Republican Great Recession made incredibly worse. Today, hardly any Americans are able to save or even count home equity as an asset, and coupled with stagnant or poverty-level wages enriching corporations and the rich, the top 1% will continue accumulating all the wealth in America. For many Americans, the only “wealth” they count is their pension to stave off starvation and homelessness in old age that Republicans, Koch brothers, Wall Street, ALEC, and the State Policy Network are crusading to rob to enrich corporations, Wall Street, and the richest 1%.
Toward the end of 2013, ALEC joined its Koch-funded sister organization, the State Policy Network, in a campaign to dismantle public pension systems completely as one of its top 2014 legislative priorities that the National Public Pension Coalition (NPPC) representing public sector employees said is a major threat to the financial security of millions of state and local public employees. That wealth public employees depend on in their retirement is just too much for the rich, Republicans, Koch brothers, and Wall Street to pass up and they are actively working to steal it for themselves under the guise of “helping” states and the federal government rein in spending. However, as is always the case with Republicans and their funding mechanism, any “pension” savings is relegated to tax cuts for the rich to increase their wealth. Veterans got a small taste of Paul Ryan’s greed for their pensions in the 2013 budget agreement, and his latest budget proposal expands the great pension robbery even more to partially fund the monumental tax cuts for the rich and corporations.
The Republican campaign against public pensions was featured in the Institute for America’s Future Report, “The Plot Against Pensions” that focused on the work of a former Enron executive, John Arnold, to promote the false notion that there is a public-pension “crisis” that is solved by replacing pension programs with scams that shift all the risks to workers, eliminates benefits, and create incredible new profits for Wall Street. ALEC decided pension wealth for retirees was better spent on tax cuts for the rich and Wall Street and is working to convince states to convert public pensions to 401(k) plans or other “defined contribution” plans that took a righteous beating in the 2008 market crash. In a report by an associate of John Arnold, it said states could address the “pension shortfall” if “legislators moved from defined-benefit systems to properly designed alternatives, such as defined-contribution, cash-balance, or hybrid plans.” According to the report, defined-contribution plans are not necessarily more expensive for workers and taxpayers than a defined-benefit pension plan, but like everything Republicans propose, it is so much bovine excrement masquerading as a scam to enrich the wealthy and Wall Street and rape more wealth from the population.
According to the NPPC, “When states have adopted pension overhaul legislation, they have found that it came at a significant cost. Alaska and Michigan went down that road and saw their pension debts increase. West Virginia adopted a 401(k)-like plan for public employees in 1991, but reversed course in 2006 after it found that public employees had such low incomes in retirement that they were eligible for means-tested public assistance programs, driving up costs to the state.” The Plot Against Pensions also reported that in a state ALEC holds up as a shining example of “pension reform,” Rhode Island, fees to Wall Street money managers drove up costs so much that a great friend of business, Forbes magazine, called it “just blatant Wall Street gorging.” What ALEC, SPN, and Republican Paul Ryan never address is the devastating cost to retirees who lose what little wealth a lifetime of work built and the life of poverty they get to look forward to while Wall Street and the rich increase their wealth.
The concept of stealing Americans’ pensions that Ryan, Wall Street, and the Kochs’ ALEC and SPN are promoting is precisely what George W. Bush proposed, and Paul Ryan adamantly supported, in 2005 with the Social Security privatization scam. Like all pension stealing scams, besides enriching the wealthy, privatizing Social Security is as much about creating poverty in the elderly as diverting their wealth to Wall Street and tax cuts for the rich. In fact, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) rightly concluded that Social Security is the most effective anti-poverty program in America, but like all other anti-poverty programs, Ryan and Republicans are on a crusade to end them to enrich the wealthy.
Republicans could not care less about a decent retirement for any worker regardless that their contributions often fund public projects and are a better use of a state or federal government dollars than handing them directly to the rich and Wall Street. ALEC claims it is not fair that many private companies shifted from pensions to 401(k) plans and cry foul that public employees did not lose 25% or more of their pensions when Republicans and Wall Street crashed the economy in the 2008 recession and was bailed out by the taxpayers. Republicans will not rest until they have secured all the wealth in America for Wall Street, the rich, and the Koch brothers and with nothing left to steal from Americans except their retirement, Americans can look for ALEC and SPN legislation in their states to pillage pension accounts from public sector workers with the same tenacity that Paul Ryan is going after Veterans and federal employees’ pensions and all for the Kochs and Wall Street. It is but another indication that Charles Koch was lying through his teeth when he wrote in the Wall Street Journal that he is a “champion of greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans.”
**************Kochs Took Big ACA Subsidies
By karoli April 8, 2014 3:35 pm
Koch Industries and its owners are fine with taking big subsidies allowed under the ACA, even while they spend millions trying to kill it.
Kochs Took Big ACA Subsidies
Charles and David Koch are indirect beneficiaries of subsidies allowed under the Affordable Care Act.
Let that sink in for a moment. They've spent millions to kill it, while reaping the benefits for Koch Industries employees. When they take subsidies from the federal government, that impacts Koch Industries' bottom line. When that bottom line is impacted, their income goes up, because they own Koch Industries via a holding company that passes through the profits as personal income to shareholders.
How and why did it come to pass that they were able to take ACA subsidies?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., renewed his criticisms of the Kochs this week. In a Senate chamber speech, Reid noted that Koch Industries benefited from a temporary provision of the health care law.
The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, Reid said, "helped the company pay health insurance costs for its retirees who are not covered by Medicare." Reid asked sarcastically: "So it's OK for Koch Industries to save money through Obamacare" even as Koch-related groups seek the law's repeal.
When Congress enacted the health care law in 2010, it appropriated $5 billion for the temporary reinsurance program. The goal was to subsidize employers' costs for workers who retire before they become eligible for Medicare. Hundreds of employers applied - many were corporations, cities and public universities - and virtually all the money was soon distributed.
"If the Affordable Care Act is so awful," Reid asked, "why did Koch Industries use it to their advantage?"
Federal records show that Koch Industries received $1.4 million in early retiree subsidies. That's considerably less than the sums many other employers received. A Koch Industries spokesman said he had no comment on Reid's latest criticisms.
Hey, $1.4 million is still $1.4 million than the rest of us have. And they're all out there calling US moochers? In my lifetime, I couldn't accumulate that much money in tax subsidies, much less in one year.
It wasn't only Koch Industries, for sure. AT&T was a big beneficiary, as was UPS and Altria Industries. But it is the cynicism that allows them to clutch $1.4 million of taxpayers' money while telling the rest of us to go to hell that's so stunning.
Who's the moocher now, Charles Koch?
*****************Obama Calls Out Fox News For Spreading Lies About Equal Pay
By: Jason Easley
Tuesday, April, 8th, 2014, 1:04 pm
At an event announcing executive action on equal pay today, President Obama called out Fox News for spreading lies about the pay gap.
The president said:
Everybody who cares about this should pay attention to how the Senate votes tomorrow on this Paycheck Fairness Act, because the majority of senators supports this bill, but two years ago a minority of Senate Republicans blocked this from getting a vote.
Even worse, some commentators are out there saying the pay gap doesn’t even exist. They say it’s a myth, but it’s not a myth. It’s math. You can look at the paychecks, look at the stubs. I mean, Lilly Ledbetter didn’t just make this up. The court when it looked at the documents said, yep, yep, you’ve been getting paid less for doing the same job. Just the court then said, as Lilly said, it’s been happening so long you couldn’t do anything about it anymore, which made no sense, and that’s why we had to sign another bill.
It’s basic math that adds up to real money. It makes a real difference for a lot of Americans that are working hard to support their families, and of course, the fact that we got some resistance on this from folks up on Capitol Hill just fits with the larger problem. This vision that congressional Republicans seem to be continually embracing. This notion that you know, what you’re just on your own no matter how unfair things are.
When President Obama referred to commentators who are claiming that the pay gap doesn’t exist, he was talking about Fox News.
Here is a collection of clips of Fox News claiming that the pay gap isn’t real, and women get paid more than men: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dQpq2rEzcQ
The president took two steps today. He signed an executive order that prohibits federal contractors from retaliating against employees who choose to discuss their compensation. The order doesn’t force anyone to discuss equal pay or make pay rates public, but it does not all employers to forbid employees from discussing compensation with each other.
President Obama also signed a Presidential Memorandum instructing the Secretary of Labor to establish new regulations that require federal contractors to submit to the Department of Labor summary data on compensation paid to their employees, including data by sex and race. The Department of Labor will use the data to make sure that federal contractors are in compliance with equal pay laws.
Republicans are claiming that it is condescending to fight for equal pay for women. They are also labeling the Paycheck Fairness Act a desperate political ploy. What they won’t explain is why they are opposed to women getting paid the same amount as men for doing the same work at the same job. They don’t want to talk about that.
President Obama was right to call out Fox News, without mentioning their name, for spreading falsehoods about the pay gap. For millions of Americans, equal pay is a critical economic. Republicans who claim that this is a political ploy don’t understand what it is like to work hard and still be struggling to make ends meet.
Equal pay isn’t a “women’s issue.” It’s an American issue. This discrimination hurts the economy. Republicans are living in an alternate reality where the pay gap doesn’t really exist, but they are going to get a jolt back into the real world this November when women and men who care about this issue go to the polls on Election Day.
**************The GOP – Stealing, Murdering, and Raping Like the Barbarians of Old
By: Hrafnkell Haraldsson
Sack_of_RomeRepublicans are always complaining about class warfare but since 2001 they have been on what can only be described as an extended plundering expedition on behalf of the rich. Their most recent activities since the Gilded Age may have begun in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they have hardly let up since George W. Bush left office. The only difference now is that while before it was foreign nationals and American taxpayers shared the dangers, today American citizens are their victims, and the annual Ryan Budget has become the crown jewel of this scheme.
The ancient and medieval worlds were plagued by attacks from outside what were considered “civilized” areas, by what were deemed “barbarians.” My ancestors were members of one of these groups, the Norse. The Norse had a concept of what they termed, in Old Norse, the innangarðr (the community) and utangarðr (the lawless wilds). The innangarðr was sacred and enjoyed frith, or peace. Those who violated this peace were outlawed and forced into the utangarðs (where life, in Hobbesian terms, was nasty, brutish, and short) for their sins. In a historical side note, Leif Eriksson was one such outlaw.
But while bands of Norsemen would raid those in the utangarðr, for example, Ireland, France, England, etc., and Norsemen from one locale would raid Norsemen from other locales, they did not plunder their own communities. And don’t get the idea that the so-called civilized lands of Medieval Europe were superior, except in their own minds.
But my point here is, if my ancestors qualify in most history books as barbarians, what does this make the Republicans, who don’t spare a second thought for their own community, who look upon their own people with a rapaciousness once reserved for the utangarðr?
Tacitus wrote admiringly of the Germans in 98 CE that, “This is what they consider the strongest of bonds, the sacredness of the home, the gods of wedded life” (Germania). What is sacred to the heathen mind is the community. The community, the inangarðr is the home of luck. In it, people dwell “in luck, in frith, in honour.” while the wilds, the utangarðr “is waste, the home of evil and unluck.” (Grönbech, 111). The wild is a joyless place, lacking not only the comforts of home, but the necessities of life.
And it has never been more clear that the Republicans want to deprive those of us in their own community of the comforts of home and the necessities of life, right down to the food we eat and the water we drink, and even their air we breathe. Depriving us of medical care seems to be just a bonus for them, a few more profits to squeeze out of the victims of their plundering before consigning them to their deaths. Gated communities will form the new inangarðr in the plutocratic Utopia. The rest of us will slave in a dystopian, distinctly Hobbesian, utangarðr to sustain their shameless lifestyles.
Where is morality? As James C. Russell defines it, “the standards of ethical conduct among the Germanic peoples appear to have been ultimately derived from a sociobiological drive for group survival through in-group altruism. Ethical misconduct thus consisted primarily in violating the code of honor of one’s kindred or one’s comitatus.” (Russell, 204). But there is no place for altruism in the Republican worldview unless it is that of one rich person for another.
Grönbech illustrates the depth of these differences:
Family tradition constitutes the entire ethical standard. A fixed line of demarcation, separating evil from good, was not known. There was, of course, a broad average, as among all peoples. The Germanic people knew that certain acts, stealing first and foremost, murder, and some few others, brought dishonor upon a man, whoever the culprit might be (Grönbech, 74).
The Republican Party, on the other hand, has come to embrace stealing, and in its worship of the gun culture and stand your ground laws, murder. Where is the morality, you ask? There isn’t any. The Republican Party has done away with the inconvenience of morality. It is not congenial to their profit margins. Their view of economic and social justice is as warped as their view of religion.
It is easy to see why they would oppose the idea of liberal governance. Government, we are taught, is of the People, by the People, for the People, and as such, it is an unhappy barrier between the 1 percent’s desires and its victims. Government restrains. What the Republican Party wants is a government that, rather than regulating corporations, facilities their plundering of the taxpayer. Corporate welfare, obscenity that it is, is only the tip of the iceberg.
If, as studies show, America is fast becoming a second-rate nation, there is a very good reason for that, and one need look no farther than the Republican Party and its rich patrons, who have become the new barbarians at the gate.
The U.S. Constitution is the tenuous barrier between us and them, and it is wearing thin as Republican lawmakers do their utmost to outlaw the Constitution wherever and whenever the opportunity arises. And we have a Supreme Court that, rather than closing the gates, has opened them, letting these new barbarians run rampant through our streets, stealing, raping, and murdering like the raiders of old.
The question is, what can Americans do about these barbarians and what are we willing to do? It was Justice Roberts himself who told Americans that they had two choices: accept plutocracy or revolt. The poor, historically, have a very poor record against the wealthy, with a few exceptions, and our pitchforks are more metaphorical than real these days, but we are not without power even so. The question is, what will we do with it, and will we do it before it’s too late?
Wilhelm Grönbech, The Culture of the Teutons, I: 74, public domain edition found at http://www.northvegr.org/lore/pdf/gronbech001.pdf
James C. Russell, The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity (NY: Oxford University Press, 1994)
*************New Study Shows That Fox News Lied About Climate Science 72% Of The Time In 2013
By: Justin Baragona
Tuesday, April, 8th, 2014, 3:34 pm
A study conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists revealed some surprising details regarding the three major cable news networks’ coverage on the subject of climate science. The study looked at all segments that discussed climate science throughout 2013 on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC. To the surprise of nobody, Fox News misled or straight up lied the most often when it came to covering climate science. The network discussed the subject 50 times during 2013. The UCS’s study shows that Fox provided misleading coverage on 72% of those segments.
One interesting part of the report reveals that over half of that misleading coverage came from one show in particular, The Five. That show, which features four ultra-conservative pundits (Eric Bolling, Greg Gutfeld, Dana Perino and Andrea Tantaros) along with one supposed liberal (Bob Beckel), focuses on debate between the panelists. The UCS study provided examples of The Five’s panelists presenting false and misleading information. Below is one such example:
On September 30, The Five’s Greg Gutfeld accused scientists involved with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of obfuscation when he said that, “Experts pondered hiding the news that the earth hadn’t . . . warmed in 15 years, despite an increase in emissions. They concluded that the missing heat was trapped in the ocean. It’s like blaming gas on the dog if the ocean was your dog.” This was not the case, as scientists were publicly discussing questions about the relationship between surface temperature trends, heat trapped in the deep ocean, and the flow of heat throughout the planet as the climate warms.
The scientists’ study also found that Fox News was far more likely to understate the effects of climate change, disparage climate science in general or mislead during a debate on climate change that the other two networks. The report stated that MSNBC prioritized coverage of climate change during 2013, discussing it 132 times. Only 8% of the time they allowed guests, contributors or news hosts to present misleading or nonfactual information. In fact, the only misinformation presented on MSNBC about climate science in 2013 revolved around overstatements on the impact of climate change.
Meanwhile, over at CNN, the network only covered climate science 40 times in 2013. However, they presented factual information most of the time, as 70% of segments did not mislead or provide inaccurate information. That still means that 30% of the time, the network allowed lies or misinformation to get through. The study did find that most of the misleading information about climate science on CNN was in the form of debates where contributors or guests presented misinformation. One examples was from January 2013 on Out Front with Erin Burnett:
Also on January 23, Out Front with Erin Burnett hosted a debate that featured Erick Erikson, then a CNN contributor and columnist for RedState, who stated that extreme weather was worse in the 1950s than it is today. Erikson argued that, “It doesn’t help that scientists have to keep changing the language from global warming to climate change to now extreme weather.” Scientists have, in fact, tracked an increase in many kinds of extreme weather since the middle of the twentieth century, including coastal flooding, heat waves, and changes in precipitation patterns, and they have used the terms “global warming” and “climate change” interchangeably for decades.
It should be pointed out that this was one of Erickson’s last appearances on CNN as a contributor. A few days later, he left for, you guessed it, Fox News.
Overall, the scientists who compiled this report stated that MSNBC did an exemplary job of covering climate science in 2013. Their only recommendation was that the network do a slightly better job of steering guests and contributors away from overstating the impact or effects of climate change. Basically, don’t say that we are on the verge of the apocalypse.
As for CNN, the report suggested that the network should try to stay away from discussing climate science in a debate format. Most of the misleading statements from the network on climate science came from segments centering around debate of two or more participants. Basically, the UCS recommends that if CNN is going to continue to allow climate science to be debated upon its network, then the network needs to do a better job at picking knowledgeable guests who are learned on the subject. Also, they recommended fact-checking guests who make factually inaccurate statements on the air.
As for Fox News, the report basically concluded that the network just needs to scrap what it is doing. It did acknowledge that 2013 represented an improvement for the network. In 2012, the network only aired accurate climate science pieces 7% of the time. So, there IS improvement, though the coverage is still awful and extremely misleading. The report states that Fox News is dismissive of climate change as a whole and tends to focus on ‘politicized rejections of climate science.’ Also, much of the accurate information on the network regarding climate science came from hosts correcting overstatements made by guests. Therefore, it still shows the general dismissive nature that even those hosts may have towards climate science.
**************Wendy Davis’ Opponent Hides From The Press After Controversy Over His White Nationalist Pal
By: Sarah Jones
Tuesday, April, 8th, 2014, 2:28 pm
Texas Republican AG and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is hiding from the press again.
This time, it’s not Abbott’s comments on how we don’t need fair pay laws because they already exist — but oopsie, women in his Attorney General’s office make less for the same job! — that stalked him into a humiliating defeat, but his choice to cite the work of Charles Murray, a white nationalist who hates women as inspiration for his pre-k plan.
So the press arrived to an empty room in Dallas yesterday for a scheduled press conference with the Republican gubernatorial candidate, only to discover that Greg Abbott had suddenly canceled it, according to the Davis campaign.
The Wendy Davis (D-TX) campaign caught it all on tape:
Had Mr. Abbott shown his face, he would have had to answer why he thought a guy who believes “mens brains are larger than women’s” was a good choice as inspiration for an education program.
Abbott would have had to explain why he thinks pre-K should only be for a select few. In case you missed that dog whistle, page 2 of his pre-K plan explains that destiny is predetermined by background (so American!): “Family background has the most decisive effect on student achievement, contributing to a large performance gap between children from economically disadvantaged families and those from middle-class homes.”
Yeah. Southern Poverty Law Center is not impressed, they say that Murray uses “racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor.” In case it’s not clear yet where this is going, DOG WHISTLE WELFARE STATE, “Murray advocates the total elimination of the welfare state, affirmative action and the Department of Education, arguing that public policy cannot overcome the innate deficiencies that cause unequal social and educational outcomes.”
Adalia Woodbury broke this down for PoliticusUSA, explaining:
Indeed, Abbott’s policy is based on a compilation of right wing assumptions about gender, race and class with intellect based in part on the mythical musings of Charles Murray, the co-author of “The Bell Curve.”
No doubt Greg Abbott doesn’t want to explain to the moms and dads of Texas why he thought it would be a super good idea to have this Murray guy inspiring pre-K policy, when he is sure “no woman has been a significant original thinker in any of the world’s great philosophical traditions.”
Also, women suck because they can’t forget about their children, whereas men can (not sure this reads the way Murray intends it to), “To put it in a way that most readers with children will recognize, a father can go to work and forget about his children for the whole day. Hardly any mother can do this, no matter how good her day-care arrangement or full-time nanny may be.”
Sigh. Along with Texas Republicans’/Abbott’s belief that women suffer inequity in pay because they are bad negotiators, Murray sees women as less competitive and aggressive, so more sucky, “I have omitted perhaps the most obvious reason why men and women differ at the highest levels of accomplishment: Men take more risks, are more competitive and are more aggressive than women.”
But perhaps his most foolish argument is this one: Women are clearly inferior because women have only received “2% of the Nobel Prizes in the sciences — a proportion constant for both halves of the century — and 10% of the prizes in literature. The Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics, has been given to 44 people since it originated in 1936. All have been men.” Oh, SOLD!
Men are superior because the systemic patriarchy that favors them favors them. Genius trolling by Mr. Murray and his buddy Mr. Abbott.
And yet, with all of these smarts and superiority behind them, Mr. Abbott can’t even face the press. He’s too afraid to explain his own ideas, which makes him — say it with me — a bad negotiator. Someone better cut his pay, pronto.
Sure, Republicans will cry foul — they are not racists and they don’t hate women just because their policies treat both like an underclass of citizens. And the only reason Abbott ran away from the press is because the liberal media is so mean that they refuse to give him a pass for the things he does and says he wants to promote as Governor.