Above is pollster.com aggregate without Rasmussen and Gallup. See explanation.
Dana Milbank frets over labels, and perhaps for good reason.
Human Rights Campaign, the nation?s largest gay rights organization, posted an alert on its blog Tuesday: ?Paul Ryan Speaking at Hate Group?s Annual Conference.?As a long-time supporter of the SPLC, I'm not sure how to feel about this one. Yes, the Family Research Council has said things as least as vile about the Southern Poverty Law Center and Human Rights Watch as either of those groups said about the FRC in advance of the shooting. But N-number of wrongs don't make a right, and this kind of they-hate, we-hate has a demonstrable body count. I don't think it's unilateral disarmament to request that the SPLC turn the volume down. Let's point out the crazies, not inspire them.
The ?hate group? that the Republicans? vice presidential candidate would be addressing? The Family Research Council, a mainstream conservative think tank founded by James Dobson and run for many years by Gary Bauer.
Human Rights Campaign isn?t responsible for the shooting. Neither should the organization that deemed the FRC a ?hate group,? the Southern Poverty Law Center, be blamed for a madman?s act. But both are reckless in labeling as a ?hate group? a policy shop that advocates for a full range of conservative Christian positions, on issues from stem cells to euthanasia.
Frank Bruni notes the continuing attempt to portray teachers unions as the source of all evil.
?When did Norma Rae get to be the bad guy?? asks a union leader (Holly Hunter) in the movie. I don?t know, but that?s indeed the state of play when it comes to teachers? unions, and it?s a dangerous one. ... In Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and other cities, Democratic mayors have feuded bitterly with teachers? unions and at times come to see them as enemies. And at a meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors in June, Democratic mayors joined Republican ones in a unanimous endorsement of so-called parent trigger legislation, about which unions have serious reservations. These laws, recently passed in only a few states but being considered in more, abet parent takeovers of underperforming schools, which may then be replaced with charter schools run by private entities.And of course, private entities operated by corporations never fail. I know, because I saw a book about it at Borders. The demonizing of teachers unions is one of the most idiotic things that's happened in a decade filled with a double-load of idiocy. That Democrats are aiding and abetting in the fairy tale casting of teachers unions as education's evil step mother is more than disheartening. It's just another demonstration of how Democrats have swallowed the rhetoric of the right when it comes to the few workers still holding even the most minor of protections from unreasonable action.
Maureen Dowd thinks Ryan is an overwhelming candidate... for an underwhelming number of people.
Howard Fineman wrote in The Huffington Post that ?Ryan turns out, upon closer inspection, not to be a purifying ideologue, but rather a young, power-hungry, ladder-climbing trimmer.? The self-styled deficit cutter backed W.?s deficit-exploding agenda, and the tut-tutting critic of the Obama stimulus grabbed for the president?s stimulus money.Paul Ryan is the embodiment of everything a modern Republican hopes to be. He talks like he cares about the nation, pockets the money at every turn, and never seems to be held accountable when his actions are 180-degrees from his words. He's the evolutionary result of processes going on in the GOP since at least 1980. Unfortunately (for Ryan and his Tea-fans) his camouflage only seems to work on Republicans.
Neocons and Tea Partyers, however, continued to rhapsodize. Grover Norquist told Bloomberg?s Al Hunt that Ryan would be the Dick Cheney of economic and tax policy. And that?s a compliment.
Ta-Nehisi Coates steps over from The Atlantic to share his amusement at the massive outbreak of whining on the right.
The wordsmith who gave us such nuanced disquisitions as ?Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America? holding forth on civility must always be greeted with raucous laughter. But Coulter was actually variegating on a theme. ...Just four years ago, Republicans decried Obama's sunny approach to the election cycle as a sign of weakness. Terrorists would be "dancing in the streets" at the election of a president who "projects weakness."
Obama is ?the most divisive, nasty, negative campaigner that this country?s ever seen,? the head of the Republican National Committee claimed, and the party?s presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney, assured his followers that Obama was ?going to do everything in his power to make this the lowest, meanest negative campaign in history.?
For those of us who remember the attacks on Obama in 2008, this is a notable shift. Four years ago the book on Obama was not that he would fight dirty but that he would not fight at all.
But a funny thing happened on the way to 2012. As it turns out, the ingesting of arugula in no way interferes with one?s ability to have Osama bin Laden shot. Mitt Romney may attack Obama for ?apologizing for America? overseas. But the audience for that charge is thin. In polls, Obama consistently beats Romney on national security.The Republicans seem less than thrilled to discover that Obama won't be their punching bag in 2012. But hey, bullies never like it when someone fights back.
The New York Times spends some time outlining the Romney-Ryan trial of Medicare lies.
Republican attacks on President Obama?s plans for Medicare are growing more heated and inaccurate by the day. Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made statements last week implying that the Affordable Care Act would eviscerate Medicare when in fact the law should shore up the program?s finances. Both men have also twisted themselves into knots to distance themselves from previous positions, so that voters can no longer believe anything they say. Last week, both insisted that they would save Medicare by pumping a huge amount of money into the program, a bizarre turnaround for supposed fiscal conservatives out to rein in federal spending.Republicans are just one step short of offering a free golf-cart to every citizen at the Villages. And they'll do it while balancing the budget, cutting taxes, and providing a pony for the grandkids. (Obama is keeping your grandkids from getting a free government tax-cutting pony!) They may not quite have gone there yet, but since they have already doubled back on themselves to promise an extra $700 billion or so for Medicare, while simultaneously cutting Mitt's taxes to <1%, why not add a pony? Hand delivered to every senior by Fred Thompson. It's all lies, so they might as well be fun.
Kathleen Parker gets my nod of gratitude this morning, but not because she's right.
The period of the American Revolution coincided with publication of Edward Gibbon?s ?The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire? (1776), and ever since we?ve been vigilant for signs that the United States was following in Rome?s footsteps. ... Says Gracchus to Falco in ?Gladiator:?...From Gibbon to Gladitor in the space of a couple of paragraphs. Oh, the Romanity. Among her mishmash of attempts to show that we're not concerned about our freedoms because the Circus Maximus is in town, Parker notes that Joe Biden was talking to a "mixed race audience" when he made his slavery remark, which in itself is a remark that is silly enough for a jester of any age. Would she really prefer that Biden restrained these statements for a occasion safely behind a whites-only sign? Would she want there to be such events? Anyway, my gratitude goes out to Parker mostly because her Roman mashup is exactly the sort that I've written about in my Sunday essay. One that proposes games in the Colosseum, opened in 80AD, for the loss of freedoms that occurred a century earlier. She gets a "see, just like that!" credit.
And George Will says... nope. Not gonna look. Cold turkey. It's the only way.
Just think how much less trouble you'd have with trapped popcorn kernels if you only had flexible teeth.
Tom Geerinckx, an evolutionary morphologist at Ghent University in Belgium, extracted teeth from five species of scraping suckermouth catfish and analysed their composition and microstructure. He found that each tooth had a bendable section containing more collagen and significantly less calcium, phosphate and magnesium than the rest of the tooth. ... "[The] teeth are very long and skinny and they have a built-in section that's flexible. That's absolutely mind-blowing,"On the other hand, the pictures of the catfish teeth aren't particularly attractive. Maybe they also need to evolve flexible orthodonture.