Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Here's What's Not Happening (UPDATE)

Since Christmas, I've been doing a lot of reading at Wonkette and alicublog, two sites that are dedicated to pointing and laughing at some of the whackier things on the American right.  The trouble is, too much immersion in this kind of thing can lead a reader to despair for the United States.  Yet another story about how some blogger or writer on the right is proposing a conspiracy theory about Benghazi or Newtown or Pres. Obama skeet shooting and you begin to wonder if it's possible for the United States to survive.

Add to this a recent foray to the Fox News website fore the first time - it was for reasons that had nothing to do with blogging, suffice it to say - and I realized it isn't just fringe places like American Thinker or World Net Daily.  Right there on Fox are stories that, put together like a jigsaw puzzle, really do create an alternative America.  It isn't one that exists by any stretch of the imagination; all the same, sad to say, it is the picture that millions of Americans accept because it is their source for news about our country and our world.

So, in a kind of public service, here are some things that just aren't happening:

  • No one from any government agency is planning on taking anyone's guns.  No one from Congress or the Executive is planning on asking for permission to take anyone's guns.  No one from Congress or the Executive is even thinking about planning on asking for permission to take anyone's guns.  In fact, Pres. Obama signed two laws during his first term that expanded gun rights.
  • The government has not and will not take over health care, or the health insurance industry.
  • Government spending, as a percentage of GDP, is at its lowest point since the Eisenhower Administration.  Since taking office, even taking the stimulus package in to account, the Obama Administration has cut federal spending by over $1 trillion in four years.
  • Tax rates, both on individuals and corporations, are lower now than any other OECD nation; tax collections are at their lowest levels, as a percentage of economic activity, than at any time since the Great Depression.
  • Our borders are not open, and people are not rushing across them at record rates.  On the contrary, since taking office, Pres. Obama has strengthened border security, increased the number of armed border patrol agents, and the number of people seized and deported is greater during the years Obama has been in office than all previous Administration's combined.
  • Recent catastrophic weather events - the on-going drought through the middle part of the country; Hurricane Sandy; the massive noreaster recently on the East Coast; this past summer's heat wave across Russia - all have direct links to global warming.  Even the recent series of cold snaps across the middle part of the United States, followed by a few days of moderate weather, then back to bitter cold temperatures, are the result of warming oceans as well as warming temperatures in the lower atmosphere effecting change in the wind patterns in the stratosphere.  Addressing climate change is something we should have been doing for 10 - 15 years.  We cannot wait, nor can we avoid many other results that are already in the pipeline, as it were.  We can, however, act to prevent it from being a far worse problem over a far longer period of time.
This is the real world.

You're welcome.

UPDATE:  It isn't just dorks on the internet, acting like mother birds and regurgitating whatever they eat at right-wing news sites. raised the question whether Chuck Hagel had ever spoken to a group called "Friends of Hamas", but it turns out it came from an over-the-top comment made by NY Times columnist Tom Friedman New York Daily News reporter Dan Friedman.  Hagel may not get the nod as Secretary of Defense because the writers at Big Dead Breitbart aren't smart enough to take ten seconds to use the internet.

Then, there's the news today, as Alan mentions in comment, that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell actually wasted time and money after a constituent took an Onion article seriously.

Do these people need cue cards to help them breathe?

UPDATE II: Just when you think the event-horizon of stupid has been reached, you stumble across this:
In a typical fair and balanced panel, Fox News warned on Wednesday that Al Jazeera is set to “infiltrate” the United States amid dire warnings about “sleeper cells” in the Muslim suburbs of Detroit.
Host Megan Kelly began a segment about Al Jazeera’s expansion into the American television market by raising questions about the network’s “real anti-American bias.” Contributor Lisa Daftari agreed, veering into blatant Islamophobic fear-mongering in the process:
 DAFTARI: The point is they want to differentiate themselves from their sister network, but at the same time, it’s the same thing. They’re having the same type of coverage. They’re apparently expanding to eight cities, including Detroit, Michigan. Detroit, Michigan is a large ex-pat community of Muslim-Americans and sleeper cells have been detected. You can Google this, you can find out all this information. So if you’re trying to set yourself apart the Qatari petro-dollars are backing this, you’re still developing in this area where the sleeper cells have been detected. They’re going to have do do much more to prove to me that they’re different from their sister network.
There are so many wonderful and strange and scary things in the world.  And Fox News viewers know about none of them because of garbage like this.

Virtual Tin Cup

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