Coulter’s Site Hacked: Letter Says Her Act Is All a Hoax

Others have been thinking along the lines that I was thinking last week when I wrote about Ann Coulter: “She purposely says things which are shocking to keep her act alive and, while I’m not actually predicting this, I really wouldn’t be too surprised to see her some day write a memoir confessing that she doesn’t believe most of the stuff she says.”

I find via BuzzFeed that Ann Coulter’s site was hacked by someone with a similar theory and the following letter was posted:

An Open Letter to Readers
by Ann Coulter
October 15, 2007

Dear Readers,

I’ve been participating in a charade for nearly eleven years, now. Quite frankly, I’m sick of it. You have all been a part of a sick joke that I began considering shortly after first getting on the air. At first, it was quite interesting to see how people would react when I would use twisted logic and poorly masked bigotry.

But eleven years is a long time to be living a fake life, and I can no longer tolerate this falsity. Even someone as fake as I tires out eventually.

Here’s the truth, I don’t care what people believe. Jews don’t need to be “made perfect” as I so arrogantly proclaimed to Editor & Publisher not a half week ago. I don’t even care if people are Muslim. Granted, I don’t know much about the religion or the people, but they are people. This is something that we cannot forget, they are in an abhorrent situation. These people are in need of education. Perhaps if we did not participate in causing them misery, they would not hate us so.

In fact, does it really matter whether we are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, or even Pagan? We are one nation. One. We should not let petty differences separate us, we are all American, and should act in that manner.

And with that, my precious viewers, I bid you adieu. My career as a media figurehead is over.


Ann Coulter

P.S. – Oh, and Bill O’Reilly is also just acting.

[From the hackers:] Haha, did it again. Oh, those silly web admins…they just embarrass themselves.

California Academy of Sciences on the Central Role of Evolution in Modern Science

The California Academy of  Sciences released this statement on evolution last March, but is well worth posting after the National Center for Science Education reposted it yesterday.

Evolution is a central concept in modern science, including biology, geology, and astronomy. The California Academy of Sciences, with its broad mission to explore, explain, and protect the natural world, recognizes that evolution is fundamental to understanding biological diversity and is a critical organizing principle for both scientific research and science museums.

In biology, the basic facts of evolution, including the extinction and emergence of new species over time, were understood and accepted by the end of the nineteenth century. Charles Darwin identified natural selection as a primary mechanism driving evolution (that some organisms are more likely to survive and reproduce, thus their genetic traits will be inherited by future generations while other traits will be lost). Through selection, some life-forms thrive, reproduce, and adapt as conditions change, whereas others disappear. The detailed processes that create variation and drive natural selection became evident during the twentieth century with the discoveries of DNA and molecular inheritance. Twentieth century geologists also learned to use radioactivity to determine the age of the Earth (4.5 billion years), and astronomers discovered the expansion of the universe, measuring its age as approximately 14 billion years. Change is an inherent property of stars, planets, and life.

Scientists in many fields use evolutionary concepts daily in their research. In pharmacology and agriculture, these concepts are central to efforts to overcome the evolution of harmful organisms that have become resistant to antibiotics or pesticides. Evolution as the organizing principle for science museums has transformed the eighteenth-century collections of “curiosities” into modern museums of natural history. The California Academy of Sciences recognizes the importance of understanding evolution for both scientists and the public, and we emphasize that evolution belongs in school curricula and textbooks as one of the fundamental concepts of modern science.

More Signs That the Medicare D Plan Is Corporate Welfare

The report of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the Medicare Part D Program provide more examples of how the plan was more a corporate welfare plan than a means to help Medicare beneficiaries. “Privatizing the delivery of the drug benefit has enriched the drug companies and insurance industry at the expense of seniors and taxpayers,” according to Henry Waxman.  (Pdf of full report). Key findings include:

  • High administrative expenses. The private Part D insurers report administrative expenses, sales costs, and profits of almost $5 billion in 2007 — including $1 billion in profits alone. The administrative costs of the privatized Part D program are almost six times higher than the administrative costs of the traditional Medicare program.
  • Small drug rebates. The drug price rebates negotiated by the Part D insurers reduce Medicare drug spending by just 8.1%. In contrast, rebates in the Medicaid program reduce drug spending by 26%, over three times as much. Because of the difference in the size of the rebates, the transfer of low-income seniors from Medicaid drug coverage to Medicare drug coverage will result in a $2.8 billion windfall for drug manufacturers in 2007. The Part D insurers receive no rebates or other manufacturer discounts for three-quarters of the drugs used by seniors
  • Failure to pass through rebates to seniors. When the insurers do obtain drug price rebates, they do not use the rebates to reduce pharmacy drug prices. This year alone, the private insurers will receive $1 billion in rebates on purchases that seniors in coverage gaps, such as the donut hole, pay for out of their own pockets.

Besides these advantages for the pharmaceutical companies, Bush’s Medicare D program provides financial windfalls for insurance companies who receive subsidies for patients in Medicare Advantage plans. As in the case with the pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies have been found to use these subsidies to increase profits as opposed to passing on the benefits to patients.

(Hat tip to Corpus Callosum. Consistent with my previous post, I noted that the poll of readers at this science blog, as opposed to a more partisan Democratic blog, has Obama in the lead, Clinton in fifth place, and Edwards in sixth place. Ron Paul comes in fourth.)

Reactions to Obama in Iowa

After John Kerry effectively won the 2004 nomination with a victory in Iowa many are predicting that the state might once again determine the nominee. This will depend partially upon who wins. A victory for Clinton in Iowa would probably start a steam roller effect considering the lead she already has in the national polls. If Obama wins he would make it a real fight but we couldn’t count Clinton out unless she does very poorly. An Edwards win would have little impact considering how he has been practically living in Iowa since 2005 and as his populist message will be a tough sell in New Hampshire. His decision to accept matching funds will also make many reluctant to give him the nomination realizing that nominating Edwards would probably result in conceding the general election to the Republicans and give them a chance at retaking control of Congress. If Richardson, Dodd, or Biden won it would elevate them to the top tier but still leave them with a tough fight to win the nomination.

With the importance of Iowa, the Boston Globe took a look at how Obama is playing in the state. Not surprisingly, considering his name recognition and frequent campaigning in the state, Edwards began with the interest of many voters. As I also anticipated, the more of Edwards they see, the less they are interested:

Several other voters at Obama appearances in Waterloo and Independence said Obama became their favorite after souring on John Edwards. Edwards led in many Iowa polls in the spring and summer with his populist message but voters said he plummeted in sincerity with his $400 haircut and his ties to subprime mortgage companies in the national foreclosure debacle.

Obama’s advantage is that he can transcend the usual left versus right divide and bring in supporters from the other party. Ronald Reagan brought in many Democratic voters and helped the Republicans build a new majority. By 2004 many had soured on the Republicans under Bush and turned to John Kerry, who is greatly under appreciated by many in his own party for doing far better than would be expected by a candidate running against an incumbent during a time of war. Kerry’s willingness to break from Democratic orthodoxy and his history of support for small business attracted many former Republicans and I suspect he could have won the election if he had emphasized these points more as opposed to listening to his political advisers. Obama frequently leads the polls among independents who plan to vote Democratic, and this view is also reflected in the article:

Julie Falcon, 49, a federal natural resources worker whose votes have swung from Ronald Reagan in 1980 to John Kerry in 2004, wrote a note during Obama’s speech in Independence that said, “So far out of the others I have seen, he is by far the best of the three,” referring to Obama, Clinton, and Edwards.

I’ve noted before that Obama is doing a good job of both defending separation of church and state while appealing to religious voters in a manner which no Democrat has been able to achieve since Jimmy Carter. This has also been noticed by Iowa voters:

They were persuaded to give Obama a further look because of the fact Obama said that he is a Christian, but that his administration would embrace all religions. “Too many people in politics are saying my Bible is better than your Bible,” Gleason said. Schrader added, “We have a cultural melting pot. We don’t need a president who polarizes.”

These anecdotal reactions are not enough to predict the outcome, but we’ve also seen that advance polls have little predictive value. The attitudes presented here do suggest that Obama has a reasonable chance to win the Iowa caucus and perhaps put an end to the view that a Clinton victory is inevitable. Donnie Fowler also describes at Huffington Post how Iowa’s caucus rules work to Obama’s advantage.