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"“Only the elites despise earning money,” Gingrich retorted. When Williams pressed him on his references to Obama as the “food-stamp president,” the audience booed. Gingrich’s sneering, forceful response about not bowing to the forces of political correctness earned him a standing ovation. After that, his rallies started getting mobbed and his poll numbers soared. Gingrich trounced Romney on Saturday because of how effectively he channeled the Republican base’s apparent conviction that whining racial minorities are enjoying unearned privileges in the benighted Obama age."

Newt’s Winning Formula: He Does Scorn and Disgust Better Than Anyone - The Daily Beast

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(via There’s A Darkness: Newt 2012)
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"Make good stuff, then make it easy for people to buy it. There’s your anti-piracy plan. The big content companies are TERRIBLE at doing both of these things, so it’s no wonder they’re not doing so well in the current environment. And right now everyone’s fighting to control distribution channels, which is why I can’t watch Star Wars on Netflix or iTunes. It’s fine if you want to have that fight, but don’t yell and scream about how you’re losing business to piracy when your stuff isn’t even available in the box I have on top of my TV. A lot of us have figured out how to do this."

Jonathan Coulton writes a smart post about MegaUpload, SOPA/PROTECT-IP, Copyright, and being an artist amongst pirates. Grab a cup of coffee on this snowy/rainy Saturday and make this your morning read. (via spytap)

(via journo-geekery)

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"Just 10 years ago, the idea of using armed robots in war was the stuff of Hollywood fantasy. Today, the United States military has more than 7,000 unmanned aerial systems, popularly called drones. There are 12,000 more on the ground. Last year, they carried out hundreds of strikes — both covert and overt — in six countries, transforming the way our democracy deliberates and engages in what we used to think of as war.
We don’t have a draft anymore; less than 0.5 percent of Americans over 18 serve in the active-duty military. We do not declare war anymore; the last time Congress actually did so was in 1942 — against Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. We don’t buy war bonds or pay war taxes anymore. During World War II, 85 million Americans purchased war bonds that brought the government $185 billion; in the last decade, we bought none and instead gave the richest 5 percent of Americans a tax break."

Do Drones Undermine Democracy? - NYTimes.com

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I am at this point not sure how someone would tell the satiric candidates apart from the sincere ones. If you asked me whether the Republican Party would be better off in the hands of Stephen Colbert, or Ron Paul, or Rick Santorum, or Newt Gingrich, or Mitt Romney, I hardly think Colbert’s would be the first name you would cross off the list. Nonetheless, if the entire point of your political pundit life is to pretend not to notice which of those candidates are profoundly silly or which of their ideas is goddamn disastrous, you probably have no basis to start now.

No, if history is to be any guide, the objective nature of modern punditry would seem to demand you treat the intentionally silly, inane and satiric candidate as the absolute equal to all the others. I’m dead serious here: If the point of punditry is to treat even the gigantic assholes and the outright morons as if they were truly worthy of consideration, equal in abilities and stature to all the others, than it would be incumbent upon you to treat a free-range chicken decked out in sensible business attire as if it, too, were presidential material.

That, of course, is yet another aspect of our discourse that Colbert is openly mocking. The notion that even the most ridiculous of candidates can run for office and, somehow, be treated as if they are sane and credible by a press corps that seemingly cannot tell the difference unless and until you beat them over the head with it. No, it’s all about process questions now.

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Daily Kos: Chuck Todd takes on the possible ‘agenda’ of … Stephen Colbert?

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Nate Schreiber does a great job illustrating the Affordable Health Care act’s game plan with easily digestible narration from Jonathan Gruber.

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"Patrick Michaels is a research fellow at the Cato Institute think tank, the chief editor of the website World Climate Report, has been given a climate blog at the business magazine Forbes, and his articles are frequently re-posted at climate “skeptic” blogs like Watts Up With That (WUWT).  Despite his clear conflict of interest (Michaels has estimated that 40% of his work is funded by the petroleum industry), many people continue to rely on him as a reliable source of climate information.  This is an unwise choice, because Michaels also has a long history of badly distorting climate scientists’ work.  In fact, not only does Michaels misrepresent climate research on a regular basis, but on several occasions he has gone as far as to manipulate other scientists’ figures by deleting parts he doesn’t like.
Patrick Michaels is a serial deleter of inconvenient data."

Cato’s Patrick Michaels: Serial Deleter of Inconvenient Data | ThinkProgress

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