Recent Posts

When Mike Pence went shopping

by Dan Burns on July 18, 2016 · 0 comments

penceIndiana Governor Mike Pence was mostly unknown before Donald Trump added him to the ticket, but he did once make the news in a way that shows he clearly has the foreign policy chops to match Trump. In other words, none.
In 2007, Pence was one of the congressmen who joined Sen. John McCain on a tour of the Shorja Market in Baghdad in an attempt to show how secure it was. Pence said this market in Baghdad was, “just like any open-air market in Indiana in the summertime.” ThinkProgress and NPR had the story, the gist of which is this: Pence needed body armor to visit the market in Baghdad. He had a heavy military escort. The area had been swept and secured before he arrived. Merchants were irate that he called it safe. Reporters in his district in rural Indiana found the comparison ludicrous.
And the next day, somebody retaliated by killing workers at the Shorja market in a death squad attack. Pence, as far as anyone can tell, might still be oblivious to what was going on in Iraq. Well, at least Trump’s judgement is “consistent.” Assuming consistency is more valuable than having a clue about what goes on in the rest of the world.


sulfideTwin Metals has a plan in the works to get into some serious sulfide mining, right next to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. If that seems like a really awful, horrible idea to you, first of all, it is, and second, you have plenty of company.

Much of that pressure has come from the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, which says it has gathered 55,000 petitions urging the Forest Service to deny the leases.
The campaign’s Becky Rom says federal agencies should decide now whether the area is appropriate for copper mining, before specific mine plans are submitted…
Daryl Spencer of Duluth summed up the views of the majority of speakers at Wednesday’s event when he told the Forest Service he’s not against mining; he just doesn’t support it in the same watershed as the Boundary Waters.
“I want jobs for Iron Range families,” Spencer said. “This is just a bad place for this type of mine, and it’s not worth the risk.”

Here’s a MinnPost article suggesting that this potentially disastrous travesty probably will meet the fate it deserves. I’m not wholly on board with that – that is, I’m not ready to proclaim triumph, yet – but the author does make a strong case.

{ 1 comment }

school2Over the years my email address has found its way onto a lot of lists. I rarely unsubscribe because they’re one of my data streams, albeit not the most efficient one to say the least, for what’s going on. I’ve been getting a lot, lately, about what belongs in the Democratic Party platform. (I’m of the belief that when it comes to the actual presidential election, the platform means about as much as the VP pick. That is, not a whole lot. But it’s not meaningless, either.) #1 is a measure opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (a noble effort, but unsuccessful). A strong anti-fracking statement is probably second (ditto). Single-payer health care pops up now and then. And a handful of others have appeared.
I have yet to get one to the effect that the Dem platform needs to feature a really strong, unequivocal statement supporting public schools, everywhere and always, in the face of relentless deformer assaults. Here’s what‘s in the July 1 draft, and it apparently wasn‘t touched during final pre-convention negotiations a few days ago. The term I‘d apply is “boilerplate.”

We will ensure there are great Pre-K-12 schools in every zip code. Democrats are committed to the federal government continuing to play a critical role in working towards an America where a world-class education is available to every child. Democrats believe that a strong public education system is an anchor of our democracy, a propeller of the economy, and the vehicle through which we help all children achieve their dreams. Public education must engage students to be critical thinkers and civic participants while addressing the wellbeing of the whole child.

Which isn’t surprising. Those of us working against corporate takeovers of public education have been winning in some ways, but not in others. Not enough to where too many electeds are about to stand on principle, regardless of where the money is coming from. We’ll just have to keep at it.
Update: It turns out that some worthy changes were made.

Unfortunately, the amendment process in Orlando did not consider adding a progressive vision for public education to the platform, but many of the specifics in the document shifted to the left, thanks mostly to supporters of the Sanders campaign joining with Clinton supporters to press for progressive change…
One way you can tell how much the document has been improved is by noticing the angry objections to the changes coming from centrist “reformers.”
(Campaign for America’s Future)



A proposal allowing doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans appeared close to becoming law until Congress removed it (in late June) from the agency’s annual budget bill at the last moment.
The legislation, sponsored by Oregon lawmakers, had cleared prior votes in the House and Senate but was nixed (June 22) during final closed-door negotiations on the VA bill. It would have lifted a prohibition on the VA recommending the drug to patients in states where it is legal…
“It’s outrageous that it was removed” from the annual VA budget bill, Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Sen. Jeff Merkley, both Democrats from Oregon, said in a joint statement (June 24). “To add insult to injury, the legislation was released in the middle of the night, not even giving members of the House an opportunity to review the language before voting on it.”
(Stars and Stripes)

Though it’s not a cure-all for everyone, the benefits of medical marijuana are well-established. And more generally, apocalyptic, reactionary claims about the effects of full legalization have been proven to be nonsense. Some people just cannot abide that they are losing to the hippies. They need to change their internal framing, by pulling their heads out of 40-50 years ago and into the here and now.


We keep hearing over and over from the pro-gun goof-balls that if they only had guns, if they were only there at the time, they would heroically, even magically, stop the bad guys.


Except there is no evidence that has ever been true or that it ever will be true.


There is concrete evidence that a whole bunch of pro-gunners openly carrying loaded weapons like AR15s or similar weapons did nothing but run away from the shooting in Dallas. So much for the blustering claims of heroism!


The cops did not run away. The cops did their jobs.  The cops stopped the shooter and the cops were the heroes.


The open carry guys ran away. And after the event they claim the mayor and the chief of police are wrong.


They were not wrong; the mayor and the chief of police know exactly what happened, and are supported in their conclusions by the rank and file of law enforcement officers who were present.


From the Dallas News:

He [the mayor] said Friday that about 20 people in “ammo gear and protective equipment and rifles slung over their shoulder” participated in the Black Lives Matter rally downtown on Thursday night.
“When the shooting started, at different angles, they started running,” he said. “We started catching.”
Then police interviewed them.
Rawlings said open carry brings confusion to a shooting scene.
“What I would do is look for the people with guns,” he said.
Max Geron, a Dallas police major, talked about the confusion during the shooting in a post on a law enforcement website.
“There was also the challenge of sorting out witnesses from potential suspects,” Geron said. “Texas is an open carry state, and there were a number of armed demonstrators taking part. There was confusion on the radio about the description of the suspects and whether or not one or more was in custody.”

…Senior Sgt. Chris Dyer, president of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Association, said large cities like Dallas should pass ordinances that would ban the open carry of firearms during large events like protest marches.
“Normally in a protest, you’re going to have two opposing sides at least,” he said, noting that tensions can result in violence.
Bringing guns into that situation, Dyer said, is “very distracting” for officers.
“Even open carry proponents will see the common sense in restricting open carry in environments like a protest,” he said.
Rawlings said such a measure would make sense.
“This stuff should be common sense and not driven by ideology,” he said.


No, Texas Open Carry rejected such a common sense move.


Expecting any rational response from the open carry crowd is wishful thinking. They do not possess common sense, they are totally driven by ideology, and that is in large part why their judgment in a situation is at best questionable.


So however much the crazy open carry wish otherwise — they were a nuisance, a part of the problem, a complication that potentially endangered themselves and others at worst, and a hindrance to the response to the active shooter at best.


But as to that good guy with a gun rubbish? Even the open carry crowd doesn’t apparently believe or support that whole thing about stopping bad guys. Here is part of the statement from Open Carry Texas after the Dallas mass shooting tragedy:

…Second, if you find yourself in the vicinity of an active shooter and your life is not in danger, do not get involved, if possible.

Third, if your life is in immediate danger, defense [sic] yourself with judicious marksmanship. The risk at that point of being shot by law enforcement is no different than the risk of being shot by an active shooter.

So, NO, if you are an open carry fool, your fellow gun nuts don’t think you should be actively stopping those bad guys with guns, and if you do try to stop the bad guys……….expect to be shot by the good guys AND the bad guys.  A lose lose situation that does nothing to stop the bad guys EFFECTIVELY.


Wow.  NOTHING like the claims of the pro-gunners about how THEY would have stopped shootings, and NOTHING like the claims of Wayne La Pierre and the NRA about how more guns are going to make us safe because of those good guys, blah blah blah.


Reality and truth are not on the side of the pro-gun conservatives; but then the facts rarely are found in their arguments. THIS incident however should put and end to their ridiculous arguments once and for all.


Because it is silly. And bad. By bad, I mean dangerous.  By silly I mean a stupid fantasy appropriate to an eight year old at best, not an adult, and not presented as reasoned thinking.


You have to enjoy a sense of humor, and appreciate that fact is consistently stranger than fiction.


I recall the famous chair of the U of MN department of economics at the time, Walter Heller, opening one of his lectures with the line that all of the economists in the world laid end to end around the equator still could not reach a conclusion.  Well, as with the scientific consensus on global warming, it appears that an overwhelming preponderance of economists in the world likewise agree about the adverse results of Brexit.  And scientists agree (although they may differ on details) about the validity of the science of evolution.


The monument to ignorance, aka the Noah’s Ark theme park in Kentucky inappropriately funded by public $$$$ just opened…….wait for it…… severe storms and flooding.  One has to wonder, following the pseudo-logic of many Christians, if God was expressing his disapproval?


The Ark is part of the anti-science / pro-creationism propaganda circulated by Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis  religious rubbish group.  The exhibit includes replicas of dinosaurs, two by two.


Bill Nye correctly expressed the following rational, reasoned, and well-researched point of view as to the perils of the Ark Creationism pseudo-science on children:


“The influence is strong. I spoke with a lot of kids (and took a great
many selfies). Almost all of them do not accept that humans are causing
climate change — and that is the Answers In Genesis ministry’s fault.
Through its dioramas and signage, the organization promotes ideas that
are absolutely wrong scientifically, while suppressing critical thinking
in our students — which is in no one’s best interest, conservative or

While it is possible the low turnout reported at the Ark monument to ignorance is the fault of bad weather, it is also possible that the Ark is one giant “turkey” as these projects go.  Bill Nye the science guy, a well-regarded proponent of science education and deemed one of our more successful science communicators noted:


“On a hopeful note, the parking lots were largely empty, and the ark building is unfinished. We can hope it will close soon.”


On July 10th we celebrated, if celebrate is the correct word for it, the 90th anniversary of the Scopes “Monkey Trial” in Tennessee over the legal ban on the teaching of evolution.  Scopes was initially convicted (he DID teach evolution) but the conviction was overturned.  It is appalling that 90 years after the Scopes trial, we are still fighting the same battles with the anti-science Bible thumpers.


Sadly, as we see with the silly Ark in Kentucky, as well as continuing efforts by the crazy evangelical right to insert creationism into public spheres and into the public square (on the public nickle), not only in Tennessee but elsewhere I am appalled at the poor state of science literacy in a large segment of our political spectrum.


One has only to look at what is proffered as arguments against anthropogenic global warming (or to look at how often it is necessary to explain what anthropogenic means as a preface to holding a conversation) to appreciate the willful ignorance.


I am an unabashed science geek, a nerd; I spent a part of my last weekend binge watching a DVD from my local library on various scientific debates in paleoanthropology.  I particularly enjoyed the parts about how some sections of DNA respond differently to mutation that those which represent characteristics ‘under selection’.  While enjoying binge watching science, I couldn’t help but feel disconnected from so many people I know and interact with on a daily basis.


The DVD and accompanying brief book is part of the Great Courses series; this one was The Rise of Humans: Great Scientific Debates, presented by John Hawks of the University of WI, Madison.  While this particular presentation dates from 2011, and is therefore already out of date in a few respects, the combination of the sciences of Paleo-anthropology with molecular genetics.  The application of molecular genetics provided new understanding of when and how species diverged using fossil remains.


What struck me so strongly in the larger context of the anti-expert, anti-‘elite’, anti-science message which I viewed on right wing blogs in the context of dismissing the conclusions of economists about the outcomes of Brexit in the UK, and in attempting to discredit scientists working on global warming, was the notion that we can AND SHOULD ignore people who actually know things, who study things, and who do practical as well as theoretical work in their respective fields.


The DVD lecture by Dr. Hawks began with the scientific controversy over Ramapithecus, as to where it belonged and ‘when’ it belonged in the primate family tree.  Molecular genetics demonstrated that it was too old to be a direct human ancestor, but rather belonged elsewhere and further back in time than hominins (humans and those species closely related).  How the debate reflected the scientific process was as illuminating as the specifics of the debates.


In that context it is worth noting that the Pew Research Center study in 2014 and 2015 on Religion in Public Life found :

Roughly six-in-ten respondents in the 2014 Religious Landscape Study (62%) say humans have evolved over time, while about a third (34%) say humans have always existed in their present form, similar to other recent Pew Research surveys.
…Among those who believe that humans evolved, there is disagreement over whether this evolution has been due to natural processes or guided by a supreme being. A third of U.S. adults believe evolution has occurred due to natural processes, while a quarter say a supreme being guided evolution.
About two-thirds of Catholics (66%) and mainline Protestants (65%) believe humans evolved over time. By contrast, most Jehovah’s Witnesses (74%) and evangelical Protestants (57%) and about half of Mormons (52%) reject this view, saying human beings have always existed in their present form. Atheists (95%) and agnostics (96%) in the survey nearly universally say humans evolved over time, and most believe that evolution has occurred through natural processes. Majorities of Buddhists, Hindus and Jews also hold this view.
Overall, respondents with a college degree are more likely than those with less education to say humans evolved over time due to natural selection. However, the impact of education varies across religious groups. Members of mainline and historically black Protestant churches, Catholics and religious “nones” with a college degree all are more likely than their less well-educated counterparts to say humans evolved over time. But evangelical Protestants with a college degree are no more likely than those without a college degree to say humans have evolved.

Conservatives would argue that moving a species represented by the fossil record to a different organizational position in understanding evolution would completely discredit all studies and conclusions in the sciences of evolution.  It does not.  Understanding how scientific debate and new science research result in some changes — but also result in confirmation of other findings — is an important part of science literacy that is antithetical to what passes as reasoning about science information on the right.  Sadly that is apparently missing, or is deliberately denied and ignored on the right in what appears to be willful ignorance.


Rather the right consistently engages in magical thinking, in extreme confirmation bias, and in denial of anything that does not comfortably fit their world view, which is appalling intellectual dishonesty and folly for determining policy decisions for the nation and the world.  Instead we have 56% of Republicans in Congress (more on some days) denying man-made global warming, evolution, and basic macro-economics.  Only a handful of states do not have climate deniers in their delegations to the House or Senate.  Are these politicians expressed beliefs sincere?  Nah, I would argue they don’t care one way or the other what the truth is, they just find it profitable to pander to ignorance.  Because those same voters are for smaller government – even though there is no evidence that smaller government serves the country or the citizens well, nor is there objective evidence that our government has been too large.  And those same voters will act passionately but not rationally on regressive cultural attitudes regarding minorities — be it equal treatment of women, of the LGBT, or ethnic minorities.


With promotion of ignorance, with the promotion of propaganda which can be defined as meeting the two criteria of being factually false, AND promoting emotional response rather than critical thinking,  the right has developed a rank and file that is easily deceived and even more easily manipulated into voting for bad decisions, bad policy, and destructive attitudes that are actively harmful to significant sectors of our nation.  Too often as with Brexit, as with Global Warming, and as with promoting anti-science Creationism, there is also self-destructive voting.



What can be said about the latest killing?

by Eric Ferguson on July 10, 2016 · 0 comments

revolver muzzleI won’t pretend to wrap it all in one neat package. The killings of police in Dallas, in retaliation for the killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, rub emotions raw and bring in more of the current conflicts within the country. Even just that phrase “in retaliation” implies a direct connection not everyone will want to acknowledge. Here are some thoughts on the subject, even if not with a neat bow around them.
There seems to be a contradiction between an attack made in the moment of anger over an incident, and something planned, but those two things can be simultaneously true. As obvious as it is the Dallas shooter was motivated by the killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, he had a small arsenal, obviously prepping for something like this. So it’s both an attack spurred by a specific event, and something planned in advance. That’s something those who think it a lie that the Benghazi attack was in response to a video should keep in mind.
Was the Dallas shooter walking around with his rifle, right out in the open? Texas has open carry. A man named Mark Hughes was misidentified as a suspect because he was walking around a non-violent protest with a rifle, apparently missing the whole point of non-violence. Police could tweet his photo but they couldn’t stop him. Did they see the shooter, and were unable to do anything because it was perfectly legal to carry a gun in a volatile situation? Were the deaths of these police officers basically inevitable when Texas instituted open carry? Maybe the shooter somehow stayed concealed and didn’t rely on being able to carry a gun openly, but odds are we’ll never know for sure. What difference might it have made if just carrying the gun was enough to allow police to stop him?


There is a rather one-sided battle for who will be the next Prime Minister of the UK. It is not particularly close.


The battle for 10 Downing Street is between two women; the one leading by a dramatically large number is prominent for supporting remaining in the EU.  Her only close opponent was well known as a “Leave”(the EU) Leader.


If the overwhelming majority of the conservative members of Parliament give the “Remain” Prime Minister what appears to be a mandate to undo Brexit, to try to stop it, delay it……….whatever it takes to head off the multi-faceted cluster-f*ck that is Brexit, then perhaps catastrophe might be averted.


With a high voter turnout, to ignore the results of the referendum means to follow the wisdom of the 18th century great thinker and then-member of Parliament, Edward Burke, who so wisely noted that for evil to triumph all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing.  He also wrote, perhaps more appropriately, the following two quotations:

Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

When the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides of the people.

I take that as permission from one of the most esteemed political figures in history that the next PM should undo Brexit, instead of allowing the lowest common denominator voter to force tragedy on the nation.


But to do that means to over-ride the referendum that brought out 2.8 million NEW voters, for some 70% voter turnout overall.  These voters were categorically the least educated, the oldest, less affluent — and surprisingly, those most likely to suffer the worst effects of Brexit (like losing their jobs).


From Bloomberg, looking at the voter turnout analysis:


The slope of the fit line (referring to a graph of voters) implies that a one-vote increase in turnout almost equals a one-vote increase in the “leave” vote. In other words, the net impact of the 2.8 million extra votes was entirely to the benefit of the Brexiters.

The dynamics of the Brexit vote also matters for our understanding of politics. It has long been an aspiration of politicians, primarily on the left, to engage (or re-engage) non-voters, with little success. This referendum finally got people who had long since given up on politics to vote; people who would no longer vote for anyone or anything, but given the opportunity to vote against something – the establishment – they turned out in their millions. While there are clear distinctions between Brexit and populist insurgencies elsewhere, there are also common themes – economic dissatisfaction, cultural conservatism and a backlash against elites – to make the unlikely voter phenomenon something to watch. The U.S. is particularly interesting in this regard, because like the U.K. its turnouts are low, even in swing states.

I have long contended that the typical conservative voter on either side of the Atlantic is old, white, crabby and flabby, not generally well educated and consistently manipulated by special interests to vote their bigotry and bias, even against their own clear best interests, and also against the larger best interest of the nation.


If Burke is correct, and if the next PM has the political will, we will see the vote, the opinion, of those many foolish voters overturned.  That will provide an interesting example for the US conservatives to follow, potentially, in dumping Drumpf/Trump.  However the election process for Prime Minister will conclude AFTER the two conventions in July.  It is not unreasonable to see parallels between the Brexit anti-immigrant sentiment and the Trump wall anti-immigrant sentiment.


The self-destructive folly of those Brexit voters was detailed below.


From the Deccan Herald:


The leave vote was strongest in regions economically dependent on the EU. A higher percentage of East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire’s economic output is sold to the EU, and yet 65% elected to leave. Although thousands of jobs depend on the Jaguar Land Rover factory in Coventry, 55.6% of voters in that constituency voted to leave. Wales and Cornwall have the highest level of EU subsidies in the country, and yet they voted to leave.
There was a strong negative correlation between the share for leave and education. Apart from London, which is generally more outward-looking anyway, in the rest of the country, the lowest education areas had a higher propensity to vote for leave.

So, sadly once again, we see conservatives, this time in the UK, being the stupid party.  To indulge their anti-immigrant bigotry, and their fears ginned up by lies they were too lazy or too incompetent to fact check, they voted to destroy their jobs, their local economies, even putting at risk the very cohesion of the individual national entities that comprise the UK.  Japanese companies manufacturing vehicles in the UK, for example, in the north of England where voters overwhelmingly voted to leave the EU, warned the public that an exit from the EU would be costly to them in lost access to the EU, and that they would instead opt to relocate their factories in continental Europe, taking their very substantial capital investment funds with them.  That would result in a likely closure of those existing factories, instead of the proposed expansion of them.  The voters just didn’t care; it was far more important to them to vote AGAINST the immigrants they incorrectly hate, not understanding that those same immigrants have been a net positive contribution to the economy of the UK.


The Brexit vote will adversely hit these same Leave voters hard in their pockets.  They will be poorer, often unemployed, in a nation that is no longer a significant power, and which will struggle to govern amid a recession or depression of likely long duration.  It is the uncomfortable decision of whoever wins the office of Prime Minister to decide if it is more important to respect the large voter turnout result, or to save the entire nation from the results of a large number of incompetent and foolish voters making an unprecedentedly bad decision based on malice and misinformation.


They don’t care.  They don’t want to have to know anything about anything.  They don’t want to acknowledge that anyone else knows all those many things, those they denigrate as elites and experts. The people who know facts and understand systems and processes, those with expertise and actual hands-on experience, they reject out of willful ignorance, their deliberately chosen ignorance over intellect.


But you can bet that when the bad results accumulate, these same Brexit voters will be angry, they will claim they were lied to — and they were, but they chose to accept those lies uncritically, so it is their own damn fault.  They will look to blame everyone but those who are really responsible for the damage from Brexit.


The same faces they see in their mirrors every time they look.


Student-loans-can-be-a-challengeSome good news, to a point. I couldn’t find good data on what’s been happening with students at the closing schools. Specifically, whether their credits are transferring and their loans are being forgiven.

State data show 14 campuses of for-profit schools in the state have closed since 2012.
Enrollment has fallen by almost half at for-profit/career schools since 2010, according to state data.
Adding to for-profit college woes, the U.S. Department of Education staff recommended in June that the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools should no longer be recognized as an accreditor.
If that happens, 21 Minnesota schools will have a year and a half to find a new accreditor. If the schools don’t find one, they’ll no longer be allowed to give out degrees…
According to a study from the Office of Higher Education, in 2014, for-profit bachelor degree recipients had a median loan debt of around $48,000. That’s compared with about $28,000 for non-profits and around $25,000 for state schools.

Even $25K is $25K too much. Education is a right, not something that should start people on lifetimes of debt servitude. And of course the rich man wants to push even harder:

Income-sharing agreements (ISAs) may be the future of student lending, but they’re rooted in ideas that date back more than half a century. In 1955, economist and father of libertarianism Milton Friedman proposed that investors might “‘buy’ a share in an individual’s earning prospects,” underwriting schooling and training “on [the] condition that he agree to pay the lender a specified fraction of his future earnings.” With that founding principle, ISAs turn students into assets deemed high- or low-yield based on estimated career profitability and the graduating college’s track record in producing high earners. That means a Dartmouth business school senior is likely to get investors salivating in a way a puppetry major from the University of Connecticut would not.

Comment below fold.

{ 1 comment }

whitehouse_historypgIs Hillary Clinton (who I am certainly going to vote for) my dream candidate? No, I would not state the case that way. Among other things, if I could tell her to do one thing and she had to do it, it would be to put a hard swift boot on the a*ses of the neocowards that she inexplicably still has hanging around. She should know better. Anyone should, by now. Indeed, long since.
That being said, a study came out which confirms what a lot of us have pretty much known for a while. I’m putting it out here as good to throw in the faces of those who claim otherwise. Not that that generally works with those making those claims – motivated reasoning is very resistant to fact, that’s the whole point – but third parties might take note. Note that it’s from a department of the right-wing Kennedy School of Government.

“Far more negative?” More like insanely more negative! The study found that 84 percent of Clinton’s coverage has been “negative in tone” compared to just 43 percent for Trump and 17 percent for Sanders. Even though many of us would just (as soon) forget about Rafael Cruz at this stage, it’s notable to point out that he received fairly balanced press coverage in comparison to his opponent. So while the media insured their playing field was much more leveled, they didn’t afford us the same luxury.
(Daily Kos)

Now, corporate media can’t really swing presidential elections. If it could, we’d be counting down President McCain’s (in all likelihood disastrous) time in the White House, and with VP Palin running well ahead in the polls as his successor. But this, and so much else, are nonetheless disgraceful failures when it comes to their alleged provision of legitimate journalism. What a f*cking joke.