Majority of Republicans Believe Obama Sympathizes With Islamic Fundamentalists

More evidence of how delusional many Republicans are in their hatred of Barack Obama can be seen in a recent Newsweek poll. It is bad enough that large numbers of conservatives mistakenly believe that Obama is a Muslim and was born outside of the country. The latest poll shows that a majority of Republicans believe Obama “sympathizes with the goals of Islamic fundamentalists who want to impose Islamic law around the world.”

Sam Stein summarized the results:

A full 14 percent of Republicans said that it was “definitely true” that Obama sympathized with the fundamentalists and wanted to impose Islamic law across the globe. An additional 38 percent said that it was probably true — bringing the total percentage of believers to 52 percent. Only 33 percent of Republicans said that the “allegation” (as Newsweek put it) was “probably not true.” Seven percent said it was “definitely not true.” The rest (eight percent) either didn’t know the answer or didn’t read the question.

The poll results on Obama’s approval  from those other than Republicans also casts some doubt upon the narrative that the Democrats will face heavy loses this year. It remains very possible Democrats will suffer losses if the economy does not improve as the party in power will inevitably pay the political price regardless of which party is really to blame, but the polls continue to show contradictory findings. I suspect this will continue to be the case until we are closer to the election and move voters have made up their minds.

Creationists Were Right In Denying That They Have Evolved

It looks like the flat-earthers on the right wing have been right all along–they have not evolved. Sleeping Under Enon explains:

Creationists have often argued that they did not come from apes, a view usually ridiculed by the scientific community. Recent evidence, however, suggests that they may have actually been right. Scientists think that at the dawn of mankind, when the rest of the human race was busy evolving and adapting to their environment, creationists were refusing to take part in the evolutionary game, and as a result of this are therefore thoroughly unevolved human beings. The DNA of those who deny the glaringly obvious seems to be much more basic in structure. Instead of a double helix make-up like normal human beings, theirs is a single, thread-bare strand of pseudo philosophy. ‘What’s interesting’, says Dr. Spengler, ‘is that their DNA pattern is very unreactive, virtually ignoring everything that’s going on around it’. He went on to say that ‘anything more complicated than a black and white environment becomes too much for this type of organism, forcing it to, evolutionarily speaking, stick its fingers in its ears shouting ‘Blah blah blah, I can’t hear you”.

‘We didn’t believe it when we first checked the fossil records, but thinking about it, it makes sense’ commented Dr. Ray Stantz. ‘You might recall that human DNA shares significantly similar DNA to a banana. Well, creationists are much closer in genetic structure to an inanimate piece of fruit than other humans, it’s simply amazing we didn’t realise this before!’

Perhaps we should have realized this before, but some defenders of evolution are taking this well pointing out “it’s at least a silver lining to learn I don’t share a chromosome with those who watch Fox News’.”

Why Obama Needs To Resume Politicking

While he was campaigning for president many opponents of Barack Obama claimed he was all talk but had no substance for taking job of president. Since elected the problem has been that he has done an excellent job of immersing himself in the job of president but has not done enough to maintain the political momentum of his campaign. E. J Dionne writes:

Seen from the inside, the administration is an astonishing success. Obama has kept his principal promises and can take credit for achievements that eluded his Democratic predecessors.

He pledged to have all combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this month and, as Obama will remind us on Tuesday, he’s accomplished just that. Congress enacted a comprehensive health-care bill and a sweeping reform of how the financial system is regulated. His rescue of the American auto industry worked, foiling predictions that he’d run GM and Chrysler as if they were arms of Chicago’s Democratic machine. There are many other legislative and administrative actions that, in normal circumstances, would loom larger if these were not such exceptional — and difficult — times…

But Obama and his party are also in a hole because the president has chosen not to engage the nation in an extended dialogue about what holds all of his achievements together, or why his attitude toward government makes more sense than the scattershot conservative attacks on everything Washington might do to improve the nation’s lot…

Obama’s mistake is captured by that disdainful reference to “politicking.” In a democracy, separating governing from “politicking” is impossible. “Politicking” is nothing less than the ongoing effort to convince free citizens of the merits of a set of ideas, policies and decisions. Voters feel better about politicians who put what they are doing in a compelling context. Citizens can endure setbacks as long as they believe the overall direction of the government’s approach is right.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was a genius at offering such reassurances, which is why his fireside chats are the stuff of political legend. Ronald Reagan never stopped campaigning for his conservative vision because he was determined to leave behind a thriving conservative movement. Roosevelt and Reagan both changed the country’s underlying philosophical assumptions.

I agree with this assessment of Obama, however would add that this has applied to the Democratic Party as a whole for several years. The Democrats have been very poor at articulating any overall reasons why people should support them. I suspect that this is partially because they have become such a big tent with varying priorities, and that concentrating on any set of reasons might alienate some Democratic voters.

The Republicans are far better at this. They understand how to put out a narrative as to what they stand for. This narrative might be totally different from what they actually do in office, but it does help them motivate supporters.

There’s yet another reason why the Democrats suffer from allowing the Republicans to win the spin wars. Not only do the Republicans distort the facts in defining themselves, they create far more damage by misleadingly defining what Democrats stand for when Democrats fail to define themselves.

American Delusions and Sarah Palin

One sad fact is that you can generally find at least 20 to 25 percent of Americans who will believe anything, regardless of how absurd. This includes the beliefs that Barack Obama is a Muslim, a Socialist, and/or was born in Kenya; the belief that the moon landing, evolution, and/or global warming is a hoax; and the belief that George Bush was a good president or that he was responsible for blowing up the twin towers. Add to that the poll results which show that 26 percent believe that Sarah Palin would be an effective president. Fortunately 59 percent are smart enough to realize she is unqualified for the post.

Even Republicans, who in recent years tend to have by far the most delusions about reality, are split with 47 percent believing she would be an effective president and 40 percent disagreeing.

SciFi Weekend: A Split Season for Doctor Who; Implications of Rita’s Death; Merlin Promo; Jessica Alba in Spy Kids

Doctor Who Christmas Special Matt Smith

In recent  years Doctor Who has concluded with big stories which are wrapped up in two episodes, but they have not concluded with big cliff hangers due to the long wait for the show to return. Steven Moffat had decided to change the schedule to have seven episodes with a big cliff hanger and then return three months later for the second half of the season:

“The split series is hugely exciting because viewers will be treated to two premieres, two finales and more event episodes. For the kids it will never be more than a few months to the next Doctor Who! Easter, Autumn, Christmas!!”

The BBC press office describe the split transmission as the result of a request from Steven Moffat to write a new Doctor Who story arc which involves a big plot twist in the middle of the series. “By splitting the series Moffat plans to give viewers one of the most exciting Doctor Who cliffhangers and plot twists ever, leaving them waiting, on the edge of their seats, until the autumn to find out what happens.”

The Guardian has a video of Moffat discussing this change. In another video Steven Moffat and Karen Gillan responded to accusations that the last season of Doctor Who was too sexy.

In other Doctor Who news, the first official picture from the Christmas special was released, but it doesn’t reveal any information.  Matt Smith was interviewed about an upcoming tour and other topics.  Sylvester McCoy is trying for a role in The Hobbit.

Above is the promo for Season 3 of Merlin.

The cast of Dexter talks about Rita’s death in this post at Buddy TV.  If you want to search for clues as to what happens next, Screen Rant has several pictures from the upcoming season.

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba has been signed to star in Spy Kids 4.

The new movie centers on Alba as a retired spy who has been reactivated. The actress, mother of a toddler in real life, will be playing the mother of a baby and two preteen stepchildren.

The actors cast in the preteen roles will be the new Spy Kids.

Other roles seeking to be filled include Alba’s husband, a slightly nerdy investigative reporter, and the villain, known as the Time Keeper, whose goal it is to stop time.

I imagine this will be another unrealistic movie. A nerdy investigative reporter married to Jessica Alba? Not likely. I wonder if any of the movie takes place on MILF Island.

More actresses who have appeared in genre shows will appear in Scream 4 including Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars & Heroes), Anna Paquin (True Blood), and Hayden Panettiere (Heroes).

Cristina Hendricks London Fog

Christina Hendricks of Mad Men appears in an ad campaign for London Fog (above). I bet Don Draper would approve. In response to the Japanese businessmen in last week’s episode, I won’t even try to explain what keeps her from falling over.

GOP Policies Will Further Increase Both Unemployment And The Deficit

Republicans, excited to find that many voters have forgotten that it was Republican policies which caused our current economic problems, are promising to increase employment and decrease the deficit. Actually many studies demonstrate that GOP policies would do the opposite:

…the things that Republicans have said they want to do won’t actually boost employment or reduce deficits. In fact, much the opposite. By combing through a variety of studies and projections from nonpartisan economic sources, we here at Gaggle headquarters have found that if Republicans were in charge from January 2009 onward—and if they were now given carte blanche to enact the proposals they want to—the projected 2010–2020 deficits would be larger than they are under Obama, and fewer people would probably be employed.

Going through the math in the article demonstrates that those who are nostalgic for a return of the Republicans are as delusional as Russians who now wish to return to Stalinism.

Obama’s stimulus plan was insufficient to correct all economic problems (and it is doubtful any government action can) but it did leave the economy in far better shape that it would be without such action. Further economic stimulus would make far more sense than to see both unemployment and the deficit increase further under GOP policies. There’s little chance the Republicans would support any policies which would actually help the economy as opposed to providing tax cuts for their wealthiest supporters.

Glenn Beck Has A Scheme

Today was the big day for Glenn Beck’s “I Have A Scheme” rally on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s speech. The event was supposed to be non-political. Hopefully this means that former half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who spoke at the event, is not really running to be president from 2013 until around 2014 or 5. Even beyond the cheap shot Palin took at Barack ObamaThink Progress presented additional reasons to question the non-political characterization of the event.

The speakers tended to confuse theocracy with heroism as they spoke of the later. I hope Bob Herbert is right that America is better than what we saw at this rally.

Many people, such as NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, were offended by seeing Glenn Beck try to claim the civil rights movement for the right. Considering that Glenn Beck has previously said that those who take what he says as gospel are idiots, and that Beck’s philosophy is opposed to everything King stood for, it is easy to laugh this off. Do they really expect anyone to believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. would be writing claims on a chalk board that Barack Obama is a socialist and Muslim?

Ignoring the possibility that they could get away with this would be a mistake. The right wing, whose rhetoric is far different from their actual policies, has shown an amazing ability to claim liberal ideas as their own to try to make their agenda sound more acceptable.

The right wing, which already trampled upon the Constitution during the Bush years, now wishes to throw out even more parts, including the 14th Amendment. They have long spread a revisionist history denying the support of the Founding Fathers for separation of church and state. They claim to be defending the Constitution while promoting a version of the Constitution created in their heads which would shock the Founding Fathers.

The right wing claims to support liberty, while supporting increased suppression of civil liberties and an increased role for government in the private lives of individuals.

The right wing claims to support free markets when they actually use government to protect special interests. They claim that politicians such as Barack Obama who are working to try to rescue the free market from the damage they caused it are socialists.

They claim to support small government and fiscal responsibility while the size of government and deficit has grown under their rule.

If Republicans can get away with these claims, don’t be surprised if they also convince their supporters that they are also supporters of civil rights.

A Public Service Announcement For Our Most Bat-Shit Crazy Readers

If you’re going to the big Glenn Beck rally in Washington this weekend, remember that to keep up appearances Glenn wants everyone to leave their protests signs, white sheets, and brown shirts at home.

Posted in Republicans. Tags: . 4 Comments »

Quote of the Day

“Every Bible passage has multiple interpretations. Life is too short to argue over interpretations. Live & let live.” –Ian Lawton (via Twitter)

Posted in Religion. Tags: . No Comments »

It’s Not Just Economics–Tea Party is Far Right On Social Issues

Officially the Tea Parties concentrate on economic issues and claim to avoid social issues.  It could be a good thing to have a fiscally conservative group which is not reactionary on social issues. (For the sake of discussion we’ll ignore for the moment the fact that Tea Party people tend to be far too ignorant on the economic issues to be of any value, such as in believing Obama raised their taxes when he actually lowered them, and in failing to understand that Medicare is a government program.) Even if they officially are not a part of the Tea Party platform, members still have their opinions on social issues which influence which candidates they support–and these views tend to be extreme right wing. Dana Goldstein provides examples in an article at The Daily Beast.

Posted in Republicans. Tags: , , . 7 Comments »