'Kamikaze Party'

Upscale Southern Scheme

Extortion Politics

Pride goeth before    >more<

Saudi Mystery UN Withdrawal

France: phone hacks "unnacceptable"

NSA hacks Mexican President's Email

Targeting Tor

Raw Intel Shared with Israel

Guardian: The NSA Files

Aid Resumed to Pakistan

Renewed Optimism

Sharif urged end to drones

Musharraf arrested in Pakistan

Tripartite Syria

Refugees Flood Kurdistan

Free Syrian Splinters

Prophecy Propels Shia

Hezbollah's Gamble in Syria

No time for 'Flat Earth Society' for Obama on Climate

Venezuela 'Snowden's last chance' to avoid extradition

Bolivia offers asylum

Claims NSA/German link

Elon Musk's Mission to Mars

Tesla hitting arcane road blocks

Force Feeding Policy Revealed

Guantanamo Hunger Strike Spreads

Despair at Guantanamo

West Texas: Chemical Deregulation Explained

Plea to stop killer robots

China nudging US out of Iraqi oil

Escalating Violence in Iraq

al-Maliki fingers Turkey and Syrian Rebels

Nostalgia for Sunni Rule

New Party in South Africa

Ramphele vs ANC corruption

Bush Deaf to 9/11 Warnings


New Antibiotic Kills Anthrax, MRSA

Mysterious Malware Stumps Experts

3-D Printing at 33rpm

Sri Lankan meteorite reveals 'evidence of panspermia'

Child 'cured' of HIV

Higgs Boson Data Strong

Bee venom loaded nanoparticals kill HIV

Dark Phlogiston?

3-D Printing 'Megatrend'

Lunar Area Manned Missions Anticipated

Life Deep in Ancient Reservoir

Nanophotonic Steam Advance

Neural Interface Products

Fiendish 'ABC proof' heralds new mathematical universe

Dark matter filaments connect galactic clusters

Every black hole contains a new universe?

Baby Quantum Internet

Darknet Rising

Uncensored Space Internet

'No universal grammar'

Accidental universe: Science's crisis of faith

Epic Fish Collapse

SpaceX to go for Mars

Gobsmacked by Vanishing Glaciers

New Malaria Vaccine

Historic Brain Visual Translation

HIV enzyme riddle cracked by video gamers

New Drug Targets Any Viral Infection

Stimulus Games
Citizen Zed - 8/16/2012

Everywhere we're supposed to buy the cookie cutter factoid that the economy helps Romney. That's the way it's always been. Such things always hurt the incumbent. This truism, once it percolates through the den of paint-by-numbers "political" consultancy, issues forth in a thick, steaming carafe of GOP squawking points. Obama is a failure. Everything he's done is an epic fail. The stimulus, that latest example of government trying to do what it can't, was a failure.

Just when you think it's all so incontestably obvious, perhaps even as a "leftist" bemoaning the lack of a bigger stimulus, comes an interesting long read, one which traffics in such quaint notions as rationality, empirical detail and history regarding the "failed" stimulus. In "Think Again: Obama's New Deal, The president's Republican critics are dead wrong. The Stimulus worked.", Michael Grunwald writes:

"When it comes to the Recovery Act, the facts are on Obama's side.

For starters, there is voluminous evidence that the stimulus did provide real stimulus, helping to stop a terrifying free-fall, avert a second Depression, and end a brutal recession...

Politically, it's awkward for the president to argue that without the stimulus, the bad economy would have been much worse. It sounds lame to point out that recessions caused by financial meltdowns tend to be unusually long and nasty. But it's true."  >continue<

Awkward enough, that is, to where Karl Rove likely rubs his hands, anticipating Obama coaxed into lecturing like a professor while studiously attempting to limn out the facts. "Come on Obama, quit making excuses, quit teaching - and better yet, get out of the way and let those that can do take the reins. The failure is just all so obvious as to make a mockery of tedious academic apology." So goes the predictable line in a world where the "intellectuality" of Paul Ryan amounts to the prize in a Cracker Jack box, where the dramaturgy and "substance" of politics has the flavor of professional wrestling.

If one unreflectively trades with the currency of a pre-2008 mentality, a frame harkening back to a fat, happy yet unravelling time, where entertainment might suffice for politics, all this might have better traction. Then the economy might automatically help Romney. Polls appear to show, however, that voters are wary of this game - perhaps like dogs unaccountably wary of antifreeze. They may not be ready to retroactively retire the Reagan Revolution but there appears to be a willingness to pause before reactively handing the keys back to the GOP. They may reckon, with legitimate suspicion, that even our out-sized expectations of presidents can't muster the requisite suspension of disbelief necessary to hold Obama accountable for smoothly pulling a recovery out of a hat.

Countering the dawning of adult cognition, Romney and the GOP quadruple down with talk of failure. If they can't convince by framing with labels, slight of hand proceeds to loudly repeat bare conclusions free of either tested premises or the actual structure of argument - and free of the political context whereby a "loyal opposition" has engaged in every contortion imaginable to torque Washington into abject deadlock. The party of Atwater, Rove, and Ailes cries foul at any interrogation, fingering Obama as hateful and divisive - and thus "distracted" from the real job of recovery. But it's this act that's the distraction, engaged in the worn out game of projecting and hanging its essence upon another.

The managers of this "discourse" don't worry that anyone in the target demographic will be shocked by pushing every nonsensical claim imaginable against Obama, studded with the repetition of remarks so wrenched out of context as to problematize an Onion parody. Indeed, they trade on the confidence that if you're a Tea Party dude lacking 6th grade reading skills, you didn't get that. It's an austerity eschewing science, empirical grounding or intellectual honesty. It's an austerity impoverished enough to celebrate pulling stuff out of its ass, forever stuck in the loud denial of what 2008 meant and continues to mean.

comment & analysis

Greenwald, Future of News?

To Have is to Owe

How the Snowden Saga Will End

Attack of the MOOC's

Anarchists of the House

Political Islamic Mosaic

North Korea's Powerful Weakness

The Charade of Darrell Issa

Decades of Displacing Palestinians

Guardian: The NSA Files

Talks with the Taliban

The Core of the Palestinian Crisis

Insider Dope on FOX News

Why Obama is not Nixon

Who Lied to ABC on Benghazi?

Phasing out 'totalitarian consumerism'

Austerity & Moral Hazard

Taibbi: "Everything is Rigged"

Grad Student Shocks Austerity Movement

Was Wittgenstein Right?

Contagious Vigilante Feminism

Secret Funding for Climate Denial

Aljazeera Focus of Scrutiny

From Arab Spring to global revolution

What Zero Dark Thirty Really Leaves Out

Interview with Israel's 'most hated man'

Divided States of America

Revolt of the Rich

"Was the Arab Spring Really Worth It?"

The GOP's diminishing demographic

Assad's 'Plan B'

Marxism's renaissance

Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem

Republican questions GOP abdication of reality

Data Mining You

We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran

Protest Planet

Juan Cole | Paul Krugman
The Lede | Matt Taibbi
Glenn Greenwald | Edge
Project Syndicate
Andrew Sulivan | FiveThirtyEight
Esquire Politics

3 Quarks Daily
The Register
The Verge


BBC News
Le Monde
Der Spiegel
Deutsche Welle

Whack: humor

Nasa Astronomy Archive