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collegeThis has been causing a stir online, as it should.
 

While a majority of the public (55%) continues to say that colleges and universities have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country these days, Republicans express increasingly negative views.
 
A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58%) now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year. By contrast, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72%) say colleges and universities have a positive effect, which is little changed from recent years.
(Pew Research)

That’s quite a swing. Some of it may have to do with Republicans who went to college now being unwilling to identify themselves as such, or even as “Republican-leaning,” due to entirely legitimate embarrassment, even shame, over being connected in any way with the pitiful, disastrous buffoon currently in the White House. (Though most will unfortunately continue to vote Republican, unless things get really awful.) Response bias is real, though its significance varies.
 

As for most of it, though, how much is because colleges purportedly “indoctrinate” atheism, feminism, socialism, and so on? And how much because they believe those who went to the fancy colleges are getting all the money? Especially when the college guy boss down at work is always full of sincere, regretful reasons why, though you’re a good worker and they really like you, they’ve only been able to come up with a total of $0.60/hr in raises, total, for the last four years?
 
I don’t claim to know the answer to that.
 
Comment below fold.
 
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Trumped: Trump’s Right! The Media IS The Enemy!

by Bill Prendergast on April 18, 2017 · 0 comments

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Script/Layouts: Bill Prendergast Art: Will Dinski

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Meanwhile, Back On The Farm

by Bill Prendergast on March 24, 2017 · 0 comments

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Script/Layout: Bill Prendergast Art: Caitlin Skaalrud

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Juicy Mouthful of Deep-Fried Suckers

by Bill Prendergast on January 25, 2017 · 0 comments

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I’m not even remotely a fan of the Clintons, but with regard to how things are shaping up of late, one thing seems to be certain, 2015 has already been a bad year for America’s conservatives and the Benghazi Hearings could just become the latest setback in what is shaping up to be a year of setbacks. With two prominent Republican lawmakers and one staffer coming out and publicly declaring that the Benghazi investigation is nothing more than a anti-Hillary Clinton witch-hunt, to Ms. Clinton’s performance last week in her testimony, Republicans find themselves in the midst of another self inflicted predicament. Some of Fox News’s most vociferous critics: Charles Krauthammer, A.B. Stoddard and Tucker Carlson among them, appearing on Brett Baier’s Special Report Friday admitted that Clinton was the clear winner in last week’s Benghazi hearings. The moderately conservative David Books, commenting on Friday’s PBS News Hour, alluded to a “certain psychosis” that has held the G.O.P. in it’s grip since 1991 as it relates to repeated attempts to tie the Clintons to one scandal or another. His counterpart, the liberal Mark Shields added that, on every occasion, conservatives have overshot their mark only helping the Clinton’s grow stronger. Is this psychosis ridden G.O.P. capable of charting a viable path to America’s future, not likely.
 

This was to be the year that a new Republican Congressional majority was supposed to prove to the American people, in the run up to the 2016 presidential elections, that it could actually govern. Yet as we enter the 10th month of their new year, precious little has been accomplished. Instead of a track record of legislative accomplishments we have seen an inordinate amount of time spent chasing Hillary Clinton, voting to repeal the A.C.A., threatening to shut down government, avoiding coming to grips with the seismic shifts underway in modern day America, be it same sex marriage, climate challenges, guns, Obamacare or the festering problems of race and income inequality.

 

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16591_620528981302304_2069409510_nObesity, prison, energy hogs…right-wing nut-ism has been a key factor in all of this, as the vast majority of Americans are relentlessly denied opportunity and screwed over for the sake of the odious plutocrats.
 

People uninterested in change and progress tend to cling to the jingoistic fantasy that America is an exceptional country. Often this implies that the U.S. is somehow superior to other nations. Some, like the neocons, have taken the idea of exceptionalism to mean that America should be above the law and that other countries should be remade in our image. Others, like conservative evangelicals, believe that America’s supposed exceptionalism is God’s will.
 

In recent decades, America has indeed pulled ahead of the global pack in a number of areas. But they aren’t necessarily things to go waving the flag over or thanking Jehovah.
(Salon)

And what do Republicans want to do about it?
 

Republicans know they must change to improve their electoral viability, but most GOP voters think the party should embrace conservatism and not moderation, according to new findings from Pew Research Center released on Wednesday.
 
The findings from Pew suggested that rank-and-file Republicans agree with the national party leaders who have led an autopsy following their humbling showing in last year’s election. A huge majority of Republican voters — 67 percent — said that the party needs to “address major problems” in order to fare better in future presidential elections. Fifty-nine percent said the party “needs to reconsider some positions” if it wants to do better in presidential races.
 
But when it comes to a prescription for the party’s electoral ills, a majority of GOP voters said their leaders should move further to the right, not the center. Fifty-four percent of Republicans told Pew that party leaders should move in a “more conservative direction,” while 40 percent said they should take a “moderate direction.”
(TPM)

Photo: icanhascheezburger.com
 

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Trying to deal with the ridiculous

by Dan Burns on March 21, 2013 · 0 comments

trickleYou don’t have to go far, on the progressive blogosphere, to find uncomplimentary discussion of the latest incarnation of the “Ryan budget.” But the thing is so awful, so egregious, that there’s every reason for us all to pile on.

 

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the third iteration of the GOP budget on (March 12). The document achieves balance in 10 years by maintaining the high revenue levels and health care savings that Republicans have vociferously opposed and slashing the health and safety net programs that middle and lower income Americans rely on. Top-income earners and corporations, meanwhile, would benefit from huge tax breaks.

 

(Think Progress)

 

Somebody wrote something recently, and I wish I remember where so that I could credit it properly, to the effect that one thing that the right-wing crazies have going for them is that they’re so extreme that they’re ridiculous. And how do you effectively deal with the ridiculous?

 

Not how President Obama has been dealing with it, that’s for sure. On the whole, I support him. But, and it indeed pains me to type this, on the sequester, he got played for a fool and a sucker…by a bunch of conservatives. Fortunately, there are indications that the now more unified and more progressive Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate, having seen more than enough of the President’s negotiating “skills” in action, isn’t going to rubber-stamp more of this nonsense, like a “Grand Bargain.” Here’s a good interactive website about the realities of the sequester.

 

I’m also adding the following, as it presents a larger-scale view. Idiots don’t ever learn.

 

That leaves the US as the only major economy considering austerity. More to the point, we aren’t considering anything given that austerity was supposed to be such a terrible idea we’d do anything to avoid it. Apparently “anything” didn’t logically involve our politicians working together to do anything. Even places like Italy, where that is less possible, aren’t doing anything as stupid as we are.

 

Nevermind. The point is that the rest of the world has learned from us, over time, that economic stimulus is the only possible way out of this situation. While they flounder to figure out just how they will make that happen in their own systems, our system has broken down completely. It makes no sense at all to anyone anywhere in the world, but there it is.

 

(Barataria)

 

And what do I mean by “idiots?” This!

 

You can read what you like into today’s musical selection. I just like the song.

 

 

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Bachmann: Woman of the Year

by Dan Burns on December 31, 2012 · 2 comments

And what a year it was.

For her extraordinary dedication to America’s founding principles and steadfast defense of the Constitution, WND has named Rep. Michele Bachmann 2012 “Woman of the Year”…

WND’s “Woman of the Year” award is presented to the woman who “did the most to represent goodness, womanliness, perseverance and character” and “had an impact on wider American, and global opinion.”

I don’t presume, even for an attosecond, to be qualified to determine what properly constitutes “womanliness.”  Apparently, the knowledgeable folks at WND (“WorldNetDaily”) are not so limited in their understanding.

The depths of delusion and fanaticism displayed on that website are really quite remarkable.  I don’t know what kind of traffic it gets, but I suspect that an estimate of daily “hits” well into the six-figure range, at least, is not unreasonable.  (After all, who wouldn’t want to know what “Walker, Texas Ranger,” who presumably got kicked in the head a lot, back in his karate days, thinks about things?) And it would be a lot higher, if more elderly people used the internet.  Those of us that value knowledge and reason have a lot of work to do, yet, in this country.

(h/t City Pages.)

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Possible vile shenanigans in blue states

by Dan Burns on December 18, 2012 · 0 comments

Get a load of this crap.

Reid Wilson at the National Journal has an extended look at a coordinated GOP scheme to rig the electoral college; even though a prominent attempt died on the vine in Pennsylvania last year, Republicans in Washington are organizing efforts in several blue-leaning states to forge ahead once again. As we’ve written before, these plans typically revolve around splitting a state’s electoral votes by congressional district, which of course is wonderful if you’re the GOP and you’ve drawn the state’s congressional map to your liking. For instance, even though Barack Obama won Michigan handily, Republican control over the mapmaking Mitt Romney prevailed in nine of the state’s 14 districts.

Along with Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan make the most tempting targets because they’re all blue states which (temporarily, we can pray) are completely controlled by Republicans, thanks to the 2010 wipeout.

One of the fundamental lessons of all of human history is that when a certain faction attains the heights of wealth and power, as plutocrats have in contemporary America, they’ll do anything to stay there.  Vote suppression, unlimited election spending…there’s no reason not to expect even worse.  It will only end when conservatism itself is rendered politically, economically, and socially impotent as viable ideology.  That needs to be the goal.

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What’s the deal with anti-Agenda 21 ranting?

by Dan Burns on December 10, 2012 · 2 comments

Minnesota State Senator Dave Brown (R-Becker) – for whose opponent, Sally Knox, I had the privilege of voting in November – is apparently still sunk in weird fanaticism regarding some pretty innocuous suggestions from the UN.

Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It is a product of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It is an action agenda for the UN, other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be executed at local, national, and global levels. The “21” in Agenda 21 refers to the 21st century. It has been affirmed and modified at subsequent UN conferences.

Note:  “…non-binding, voluntarily implemented…”  But in reality, undoubtedly just cover for a new hippie world order, with brutal penalties for meat eaters and forced urination into reclaimable water toilets like on the space station.

What has me kind of nonplussed, is what on earth conservatives think that they’re accomplishing by targeting Agenda 21 like this.  I’d wager a considerable sum that if I asked the Republicans that I know, few, if any, would have a clue as to what the big deal is.  To get the righties going, you need to give them something really in-your-face – like an African-American, elected and reelected by ACORN, in the White House.  I just don’t see UN-bashing getting the job done, these days.

In other words, if a faction of conservatives, in Minnesota and elsewhere, wants to keep obsessing about this, that’s fine and dandy with me.  Have at it.  

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