Republicans Have More Sex Scandals, Especially With Underage Boys

The Daily Beast compared  sex scandals by party over the past twenty years. By their count, Republicans have more, especially with underage boys, while Democrats have bigger scandals and more with underage girls.

• The number sex scandals has increased dramatically over the past few decades, thanks to technology, new press standards and a post-Clinton belief that everything is fair game.

• Republicans have more scandals (32 to 26), but Democrats have bigger ones, based on our methodology (13 out of the top 20).

• Democrats tend to have more problems with harassment, staffers and underage girls; Republicans tend to have more problems with prostitutes, hypocrisy and underage boys.

Sarkozy Finds US Health Care Debate To Be Astonishing

I often find it amusing when conservative blogs root for conservative parties in European elections, seeing them as their counterparts. The current American conservative movement has moved so far to the right, and adopted so many views which are counter to reality, that they are quite different creatures from European conservatives. Often the Democrats, while center-left in the United States, would be on the right side of the political spectrum in much of the world.The idea voiced by American conservatives that Barack Obama is a socialist is found to be absurd by Europeans, along with anyone else who knows what socialism means.

Conservatives have shown outrage against the recent health care reform legislation, generally ignorant of the fact that it is a fairly conservative plan utilizing ideas from the Heritage Institute and promoted by the Republican Party of 1993. Many conservatives have also been big fans of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Of course, Sarkozy, as would any sane European leader living in a country with a far more progressive health care plan, would would not dream of adopting the failing  system we are trying to get away from.

Kevin Drum and Steve Benen were also amused to see Sarkozy’s comments on health care at Columbia:

“Welcome to the club of states who don’t turn their back on the sick and the poor,” Sarkozy said, referring to the U.S. health care overhaul signed by President Barack Obama last week.

From the European perspective, he said, “when we look at the American debate on reforming health care, it’s difficult to believe.”

“The very fact that there should have been such a violent debate simply on the fact that the poorest of Americans should not be left out in the streets without a cent to look after them … is something astonishing to us.”

Then to hearty applause, he added: “If you come to France and something happens to you, you won’t be asked for your credit card before you’re rushed to the hospital.”

This still might shock some conservatives but Sarkozy’s reputation among them is already tarnished. Sarkozy abandoned some conservative economic ideas when they failed, contrary to the American conservative philosophy of treating their ideas as a religion which cannot be altered, regardless of how much their ideas conflict with reality.

The April Fool From Alaska

This is quite appropriate. Sarah Palin will be hosting her first show on Fox on April 1. Mediaite reports:

Sarah Palin will take her first stab at television hosting when she fronts a new Fox News series, Real American Stories, premiering Thursday April 1 at 10pmET.

Guests for the first show include country singer Toby Keith, rapper/actor LL Cool J and Jack Welch. Get excited.

The show will “focus on a range of such stories including a Marine Medal of Honor recipient who gave his live to save his comrades.” But also there will be the celebrity guests – a very broad range of celebrity guests.

Airing in place of On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, the prime time spot ensures a large audience. And depending on just how large, we could see a lot more of Palin hosting on Fox News.

I hope her show is very successful–so successful that she gives up the absurd idea that she has any place in government. As far as I’m concerned she can host television shows and make millions as long as she does not run for national office again. If she wants to speak at tea party meetings that’s also fine. Let them get tarnished by association with her.

Another Top Joke From The Health Care Debate

“The health care bill was introduced yesterday. It’s 1,990 pages long and costs $894 billion dollars. Or $2.2 million per word. That makes them the most expensive words to come out of Washington since ‘Mission Accomplished.”–Jimmy Fallon

TV Weathermen Are Not Climate Scientists

I have noted in the past that deniers of climate change often cite meteorologists as opposed to climatologists who have actual expertise in the field. The difference in viewpoint is reported by The New York Times:

Climatologists, who study weather patterns over time, almost universally endorse the view that the earth is warming and that humans have contributed to climate change. There is less of a consensus among meteorologists, who predict short-term weather patterns.

Meteorologists do not study climate change as climatologists do, and there’s only an even chance that a meteorologists even has a degree in meteorology. The key line of the article might be: “Such skepticism appears to be widespread among TV forecasters, about half of whom have a degree in meteorology.” Perhaps if more had a degree their views might be more in line with the scientific knowledge:

The American Meteorological Society, which confers its coveted seal of approval on qualified weather forecasters, has affirmed the conclusion of the United Nations’ climate panel that warming is occurring and that human activities are very likely the cause. In a statement sent to Congress in 2009, the meteorological society warned that the buildup of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would lead to “major negative consequences.”

The article discussed the differences between meteorologists and climate scientists:

…climate scientists use very different scientific methods from the meteorologists. Heidi Cullen, a climatologist who straddled the two worlds when she worked at the Weather Channel, noted that meteorologists used models that were intensely sensitive to small changes in the atmosphere but had little accuracy more than seven days out. Dr. Cullen said meteorologists are often dubious about the work of climate scientists, who use complex models to estimate the effects of climate trends decades in the future.

But the cynicism, said Dr. Cullen, who now works for Climate Central, a nonprofit group that works to bring the science of climate change to the public, is in her opinion unwarranted.

“They are not trying to predict the weather for 2050, just generally say that it will be hotter,” Dr. Cullen said of climatologists. “And just like I can predict August will be warmer than January, I can predict that.”

Climate Progress discusses further how TV weathermen are not climate scientists:

Meteorologists are not required to take a course in climate change, this is not part of the NOAA/NWS [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service] certification requirements, so university programs don’t require the course (even if they offer it). So we have been educating generations of meteorologists who know nothing at all about climate change.

Posted in Environment. Tags: . 3 Comments »

The Tea Party and Racial Slurs

Taegan Goddard shows an example of why we should not believe denials from tea party supporters that racism is a major driving force behind the movement:

“These people could be anybody. I wouldn’t put it past the Democrats to plant somebody there. They’re trying to label the tea party, but I’ve never seen any racial slurs.”

— Dale Robertson, self-proclaimed founder of the Tea Party, quoted by the Washington Times.

The only problem? The Washington Independent caught Robertson at a Tea Party rally last month holding a sign with a racial slur.

Posted in Social Issues. Tags: , . 1 Comment »

Tea Party Activism And Storm Trooper Sound Bites

Mike Lupica argues that Tea Party activism is not about political dissent – It’s about vile, storm trooper sound bites:

As always, you wonder where this patriotism and righteousness and Tea Party activism was during Bush-Cheney. You wonder if all the people who want to take to the streets – and to the television cameras now – decided they weren’t needed for eight years because they thought the country was going so good. Or maybe they have just convinced themselves that the Obama who must now be stopped didn’t just inherit this America, he created it.

This is no longer about political dissent. It is about storm trooper sound bites, and hate. This isn’t the kind of honest debate on which our system of government has been built. It is vile, back-alley fighting, getting worse by the day, with no end in sight. People say that opposition to all Presidents, even the most unpopular white ones, sounds like this. No, it doesn’t.

Posted in Op-eds. 4 Comments »

Obama Approval Up After Passing Health Care Reform

Barack Obama might be receiving a bounce due to passing health care reform. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows that his approval has jumped five points in the past week. The increased approval comes from both Democrats and independents:

Eighty-six percent of Democrats questioned say they approve of the job Obama is doing, a surge of 12 points over the past week. The poll indicates that 47 percent of Independents approve of the president’s performance, up 6 points in a week, and 12 percent of Republicans give him the thumbs up, basically unchanged from a week ago.

The jump is attributed to passing health care reform:

Health care appears to be behind the jump in Obama’s overall rating. While the president’s ratings on the economy and foreign affairs remained static over the past week, his numbers on how he’s dealing with health care rose five points to 45 percent, although a majority still disapprove of how he’s handling the issue.

Once people find that the scare stories about health care reform are not true, will his approval jump further? Realistically it is way to early to determine the effect of health care reform politically, and it could very well be replaced by other issues before even this fall’s election.