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No malarkey here. Just thready goodness.

  • Reddit's biggest "troll" is unmasked.
  • The Endeavor space shuttle made its way through the streets of Los Angeles on its way to its final home at the Air and Space Museum. It's a bit odd to see pictures of a space shuttle driving down the streets of Los Angeles...
  • Climate change hasn't come up as an issue at either the first Presidential debate or the only Vice-Presidential debate. Not like it's a big deal or anything. 2012 is only likely to be the hottest year on record. Nothing to see here, move along.
  • This is Romney's America:
    The Presidential Candidate holds major stock in a company called Sensata. The company recently made factory officials take down the American flag when they were forced to train their Chinese replacement workers, according to Tom Gaulrapp, with the United Steelworkers Union.

    Right now in Freeport, Illinois, some 170 workers at an auto sensor plant are sleeping in tents to protest Bain-owned Sensata Technology’s decision to ship their jobs to China.

    Romney claims he knows nothing about this.

    The President's entire campaign needs to turn this into a massive haymaker. Romney's outsourcing of American jobs to China is one thing; but forcing workers to take down their American flags in order to train their Chinese replacement workers? That cuts to the emotional quick.
  • The New York Times exposes the myth of Moderate Mitt:
    From the beginning of his run for the Republican nomination, Mr. Romney has offered to transfigure himself into any shape desired by an audience in order to achieve power. In front of massed crowds or on television, he can sound sunny and inclusive, radiating a feel-good centrism. His “severely conservative” policies and disdain for much of the country are reserved for partisans, donors and the harsh ideologues who clutter his party’s base. This polarity is often described as “flip-flopping,” but the word is too mild to describe opposing positions that are simultaneously held.

    The best way to judge candidates is not by the popular way they describe their plans near the end of a campaign; it is by the most divisive presentations of themselves earlier on. A candidate’s political calculations when fewer people are watching is likely to say far more about character than poll-tested pleasantries in the spotlight.

  • California has its own equivalent of the Koch brothers. They're called the Mungers, and they're trying to rewrite California's lawbook as they and their fellow billionaires see fit. Be wary of them.
  • In more global-warming-related news, turns out that all this drought and heat ain't some random coincidence:
    The worst drought in half a century has plagued two-thirds of the nation, devastating farms and stoking wildfires that scorched almost 9 million acres this year. Withering heat blanketed the East Coast and Midwest, killing scores of people and making July the hottest month ever recorded in the U.S. And in the Arctic this summer, polar snow and ice melted away to the smallest size ever observed by man.

    Extreme events like drought, heat waves, intense rainfall, flooding and fires have prompted many people to reconsider the connection between the weather and the changing climate. Now, a handful of scientists are among them.

    In a break with the mainstream scientific consensus, a few prominent climate scientists now argue that there have been enough episodes of drought and intense heat in the last 10 years to establish a statistical pattern of extreme weather due to global warming.

    Glad to know we're getting that cleared up. Maybe we can actually talk about it on the campaign sometime?
  • digby, of course:
    Foreign policy is for the birds. Of course, just five years ago it was the only thing worth talking about. When Republicans wanted to talk about it. Now it's all about taxes and spending. Oddly, that's what Repubicans want to talk about now too.

    This is not to say that I wouldn't welcome a debate on the economy, jobs, income inequality, education, climate change, immigration and women's rights among a dozen other important topics. But the fiscal cliff? It's a phony crisis that only plays into the hands of the deficit hysterics who are determined to use any excuse they can to cut the hell out of our already tattered safety net. The differences between the two parties are so infinitesimal on this anyway that all we'd have is a hour of bullshit designed to make the voters forget about the fact that they are getting screwed by millionaires and worry instead about fiscal phantoms. No thanks.

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