Skip to main content


Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 11:34 AM PDT

Going Negative (on the GOP) works?

by lepermessiah

Yes. Yes it does. People need a scape goat. So find one! That's the advice any candid political consultant gives to their candidate. Why? Because people, all people, like to assign blame when things go wrong much more than they like to give credit when things go right. You can extol the virtues of your actions and their beneficial outcomes till the cows (or Stimulus benefits) come home but it won't tilt the playing field of public opinion in your favor much, and especially not with Fox News trashing you 24-7-365, the other networks playing copycat and even your supposed friends taking shots at you on a regular basis. You know who I'm talking about.

In social science this phenomenon (an ounce of blame is worth a pound of credit, so to speak) has a name. It's called The Knobe Effect (Knobe is pronounced like "strobe."), after Joshua Knobe, the Yale philosophy professor who documented it through experiment. The experiment goes like this....

Continue Reading

Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 06:28 PM PST

Feeling lied to?

by lepermessiah

I immediately refer you to Obama's words today, as quoted by Al Giordano:

Starting now, let's take up in our own lives the work of perfecting our union.

Let's build a government that is responsible to the people, and accept our own responsibilities as citizens to hold our government accountable.

Continue Reading

The money quote, as far as I'm concerned, from Michael Lewis's new piece http://www.portfolio.com/... about Wall St. et.al. comes from Meredith Whitney, one of the first analysts to say sooth on the scam that Wall St. has been running the past 20 odd years. In October of 2007 Whitney predicted that Citigroup would need to slash its dividend or go broke. Four days later the C.E.O. of Citigroup resigned. The following January Citigroup slashed its dividend. Lewis says that Whitney "wasn't saying that Wall St. bankers were corrupt. She was saying they were stupid. These people whose job it was to allocate capital apparently didn't even know how to manage their own."

Continue Reading

Sat Oct 18, 2008 at 07:39 PM PDT

GOTV in Northern Nevada today

by lepermessiah

I traveled from Los Angeles to Douglas County, Nevada (just south of Reno, just east of Lake Tahoe) to Get Out The Vote for Obama today. Douglas county is rural, for the most part, and rural Nevada may be pivotal in electing our next president. Really? But Obama's going to win in a landslide, isn't he? If you let yourself think this is going to be easy between now and November 4th, think again.

Continue Reading

UPDATE: DeFazio's "No Bailout Act" was the lead story on KTLK top of the hour news at 3pm(PST) today. It may be getting some traction!!

A diary earlier today noted that the Progressive Caucus was to hold a press conference in D.C. today to announce an alternative to the Bush-Paulsen Plan. The draft of the caucus's plan follows below the jump. I received it from DeFazio's office after calling them and requesting it.

I apologize for the lack of substance in my portion of this diary. I think DeFazio et. al. have proposed an alternative that deserves consideration. It does not buy into assumptions behind the Republican's bank robbery note currently being debated in Congress and in the country.

I'm no economist, but I object to the notion that amendments to the Bush-Paulsen Plan are all that should be debated at this moment in history. DeFazio's plan builds up ideas offered by William Isaac, former head of the FDIC who dealt with the S&L Bailout. Have it!

Continue Reading

Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 11:39 AM PDT

Obama has played McCain

by lepermessiah

(1) Obama’s camp has always known that McCain’s camp would go disgustingly negative. (2) McCain’s decision to use Rove and his acolytes to manage his campaign ensured this. (3) Knowing this, Obama has played McCain perfectly and is now in a much stronger position. (4) The neo-con’s imposition of Palin on the McCain ticket will help Obama, not hurt him.

Continue Reading

Over the past two days Randi Rhodes has interviewed several constitutional scholars, lawyers and/or people with extensive knowledge of the constitution; Edwin Chermerinsky, Jonathan Turley, Bruce Fein, and John Dean.

Continue Reading

Thu May 03, 2007 at 04:08 PM PDT

Climate models are wrong!!

by lepermessiah

The common refrain among global-warming deniers is that mathematical models cannot make reliable predictions about something as complicated as the global climate. There is much value in that stance, and skepticism about model-generated predictions is not a bad idea in general. The climate of the planet is indeed extremely complex and many factors play a role. No climate scientist can really know with certainty how much weight various factors have at any given moment.

Certainty, however, is the key word. Deniers hold out the unreasonable standard of "certainty" when attacking the assertions of the Global Warming research. All these deniers do is inject a speck of doubt or uncertainty into the debate about climate change and then they strut about as though they've established a winning argument (this is the classic "muddy the waters" tactic). Well, we don't have to rely on models or episodic anecdotes to show how bad things have become regarding the state of the planet. See below.

Continue Reading

KTLK, a Clearchannel station here in L.A., carries product from Air America (Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, Rachel Maddow, etc.) and Jones Network (Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz). They've also added a local broadcaster with a large following whose name is Marc Germain. Don't know who distributes his show, or even if it IS distributed. I think not, though he's certainly good enough to go down that road.

About six weeks or so ago KTLK rearranged its lineup, ostensibly to provide as much "live" radio as possible. Say what you will about Clearchannel (and I'll second all the worst you have to say), they know how to "do" radio. "Live and local" is their mantra, and a powerful mantra it is.

Continue Reading

Sun Feb 11, 2007 at 07:50 PM PST

Does Congress Have an Army?

by lepermessiah

For those not watching HBO's series, Rome, it has some bearing on what we know now about Cheney's assault on the 3 branches of government, the constitution and everything that the constitutional republic of the United States of America holds dear. To recap, Cheney asserts that 1) the office of the Vice-President is a 4th branch of government, neither executive nor legislative, 2) the vice-President answers to no one, 3) the vice-President controls the Unitary executive and dismisses the legislative branches and 4) there is no recourse to the office of the vice-President.

Talk about Imperial Hubris!! And that's where Rome comes in, as you've already surmised. More on the flip.

Continue Reading

Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 09:13 PM PST

Michael Ware tells the tale

by lepermessiah

If you haven't heard of Michael Ware, here's what you need to know. He is the last "known" Westerner to have been on Haifa Street in Baghdad after al-Qaeda declared ownership of that part of town. I put known in quotes because maybe other Westerners have been there since, but they haven't lived to tell the tale. As a reporter for Time and CNN, he has detailed who the real players in Iraq are and what their goals are. He is credible and very passionate about his experiences in Iraq. He is no bullshitter. Not a chance.

Anderson Cooper had an in-depth interview with Michael Ware on January 30th. Here is the transcript.  Ware's claim is that there are 4 wars being fought in Iraq: The War with Insurgents; The War with Al Qaeda; The Civil War; The Covert War with Iran. Read it and weep over the idiocy of Cheney and the Neocons.

Here are some highlights:

Continue Reading

In Parts 2 and 1 of this series I wrote about the cultural and possibly even genetic basis for cooperation among non-related individuals and how this phenomenon, obvious in so much of our lives (think of sports teams or companies), is dismissed as irrelevant or ephemeral by the Chicago School-Milton Friedman crowd who contend that self-interest is the one and only drive in our economic and social worlds. I referenced Peter Turchin's excellent book War and Peace and War and the work of economists using games such as The Public Goods Game and The Ultimatum Game to demonstrate the conditions under which people in groups or in tandem cooperate, cheat or withdraw support from exchange. There is one very clear indicator in the historical of a society's "cooperation quotient". Taking a page from Fox News's playbook (and Al Franken's mockery of it), let me say that "you'll be amazed at what was found!!"

Continue Reading
You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.

RSS

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site