Pew Study Confirms That Fox Is Dominant Source of ‘News’ on the Right – Liberals Rely on Many Sources

graph-pew-differences-in-liberal-conservative-news-sourcesThe PewResearch Journalism Project has released a study that confirms what is already clear: The American right gets most of its information about politics from Fox News, while the left relies on multiple sources, including CNN, NPR, MSNBC and the New York Times.

According to the study, consistent conservatives:

You Think Ebola Is Scary? Check Out How Many People Die from Plain Old Flu Every Year

Be afraid: The influenza virus kills thousands of Americans each year

Be afraid: The influenza virus kills thousands of Americans each year

Five cases of Ebola have been treated in the United States so far this year. Three were contracted in Africa. Two of these victims were Americans who were flown home for treatment. The other was the Liberian national, Thomas Duncan, who developed symptoms after he arrived in Texas from Africa. The last two were healthcare workers who treated Duncan in Dallas. Of the five, only one patient has died — Thomas Duncan.

Tragic as these cases are, the hysteria they have unleashed in the media and among Republican politicians is beyond over the top. The Ebola “crisis” has topped the hour on cable news channels for days. The lowest point, so far, was when news choppers tracked an ambulance for an hour or so one early evening last week as it transported one of the nurses to a hospital, bringing to mind the infamous “slow speed chase” on L.A. freeways that kicked off the O.J. Simpson murder scandal in 1994.

Meanwhile, with the midterm elections a few weeks away, Republicans have worked nonstop to blame the Ebola outbreak on Pres. Obama and, by extension, the Democrats. They have also incorporated the outbreak into their get-out-the-vote strategy by fanning the flames of fear to get their easily terrorized followers to the polls. Their unified message on Ebola — a call to ban flights into the United States from the affected areas in Africa — is typically anti-scientific and counterfactual. Experts say such a ban would likely create a bona fide crisis here, and there is the embarrassing fact that there are no direct flights into the United States from the affected countries.

GOP Does Double 180 Flip-Flops on Czars
Railed against czars in 2009, demanded an Ebola czar last week, now opposes the appointment as soon as it's made

The GOP and Fox News spent 2009 railing against so-called “czars” — actually senior level Executive Branch officials — appointed by Pres. Obama. Of course, presidents have been appointing czars for decades. See the chart below.

Recently, one of their leaders, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the GOP candidate for president in 2008, demanded that Pres. Obama appoint what he called an “Ebola czar,” to coordinate the government’s efforts in fighting the diseases. Predictably, after the president did just that — the appointment of Ron Klain, Vice Pres. Biden’s former chief of staff, was announced yesterday — now Republicans are in a full, spittle-spewing rage over the appointment.

Adding another layer of hypocrisy to the mile-deep pile: For over a year, Republicans in the Senate have blocked the appointment of a surgeon general, because the National Rifle Association objects to the candidate’s position that gun violence in America is a major health issue.

Deficit Drops to Lowest Level Since Before the 2008 Financial Crash



The budget deficit in the U.S. shrank in the last fiscal year to the lowest level as a share of the economy since 2007 as faster growth and falling unemployment boosted tax receipts, the Treasury Department said.

The shortfall was $483.4 billion in the 12 months to Sept. 30, compared with $680.2 billion a year earlier, the Treasury said today in Washington. That’s about a third of the record $1.4 trillion deficit reached in 2009. Revenue jumped 8.9 percent and spending gained 1.4 percent, the figures showed.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said the fiscal improvement is partly tied to stronger growth, as the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent in September from 7.2 percent a year earlier. Still, the deficit is forecast by the Congressional Budget Office to start widening again as an aging population prompts more spending on Social Security and health care.

Initial Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level Since Clinton Left Office
More evidence that Republicans are terrible economic stewards for working people and the middle class


“The number of people who applied for U.S. jobless benefits fell 23,000 to 264,000 in the week that ended Oct. 11, hitting the lowest level since April 2000, showing that employers are laying off few workers, according to government data released Thursday,” Marketwatch reports. April 2000 was three months after Pres. Clinton left office. The chart above from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that employment never recovered during the six years Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. The chart also shows that unemployment surged in advance of the financial collapse on Bush’s watch and only began to recover very slowly after the Stimulus kicked in. It’s impossible to say how much more quickly employment might have rebounded if Republicans in Congress and GOP governors hadn’t deliberately stalled the recovery by cutting funding to government services and employment.

More from Marketwatch:

Billionaire Behaving Badly – Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott Delays Debate in Fit of Pique

In case you missed it, check out the remarkable first start of the debate in the Florida governor’s race last night. Incumbent Republican governor Rick Scott, a billionaire, refused to take his place on the stage with his opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist, a former Republican now turned Democrat, because Crist decided to have a small electric fan placed at his feet.

“Are we really going to debate about a fan?”
- Charlie Crist

When asked why he wanted the fan at his feet, Crist said, “Are we really going to debate about a fan? Or are we going to talk about education and the environment and the future of our state? I mean, really.”

When Scott finally got over himself and the debate began, one of the moderators asked him why he’d held up the event, which was televised live in all 11 Florida television markets and on C-SPAN.

“I waited to see if he––’til––we figured out if he was going to show up,” Scott said, addressing millions of viewers who’d just seen Crist show up five minutes earlier and stand there alone on the empty stage. “He said he wasn’t gonna come to the––he said he wasn’t gonna come to the debate. So why come out until he’s ready?” has a substantive account of the debate HERE.

Voters Appear Set to Hand Control of Congress to the Party They Like Least
Chances are even better that voters will be suffering from buyers' remorse by 2016
House Speaker Boehner, left, and prospective Senate Majority Leader McConnell

House Speaker Boehner, left, has a 28% favorable rating; prospective Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s is 25%, according to GOP-leaning Rasmussen

With the midterm elections less than a month away, polling suggests that voters will give the Republican Party majorities in both houses of Congress for the first time since 2006, when they booted GOP out of power after its disastrous six year run as George W. Bush’s “Rubberstamp Congress.”

The NBC poll found that while 59 percent of Republicans say they’re engaged in the election, just 47 percent of Democrats are paying attention

FiveThirtyEight gives Republicans a 60 percent chance of taking the Senate, and, largely because of Republican gerrymandering in 2011, there is little chance Democrats will take back the House. To keep their majority in the Senate, Democrats need to hold and/or win six seats, including five current seats in red and purple states — Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and New Hampshire — and one blue state that looks wobbly, Colorado. They are likely to hold the open seat in Michigan, the race for the open seat in Georgia is considered winnable, and — if they’re having a good night — upsets are possible in Kansas and South Dakota.

How likely is that Democrats will have a good night on Nov. 4? An NBC poll this week found that likely voters favor a Republican-led Congress by two points, 46/44 percent, while the larger cohort of registered voters prefer to put Dems in charge by the same margin, 46/42 percent. The preference for Democratic-control by registered voters ought to be encouraging — the Dems have put time and money into getting out the vote in critical states — but NBC also found that while 59 percent of Republicans say they’re engaged in the election, just 47 percent of Democrats are paying attention.

Mitt Romney Tells an Obama Joke

mitt-romney-thumbs-upWhile campaigning in Iowa, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney proves his sense of humor is as sharp today as it was during the 2012 campaign, as reported by National Journal:

“President Obama went to the bank to cash a check and he didn’t have his ID. And the teller said you’ve got to prove who you are.”

“He said, ‘How should I do that?’ She said the other day Phil Mickelson came in, he didn’t have his ID but he set up a little cup on the ground, took a golf ball, putted it right into that cup so they knew it was Phil Mickelson. They cashed his check. And then Andre Agassi came in. And Andre Agassi didn’t have his ID either. He put a little target on the wall, took a tennis ball and racquet — hit it onto that target every time. We knew that was Andre Agassi so we cashed his check.”

“And she said to him, ‘Is there anything you can do to prove who you are?’ And [Obama] said, ‘I don’t have a clue.'”

“And she said, ‘Well, Mr. President, do you want your money in small bills or large bills.'”

It was side-splitting jokes like that one that garnered Mitt’s inclusion into the “Encyclopedia of Mormon Comedians.”

It’s True – History Will Likely View Obama As a Great President
Despite Republican obstruction, the country is better off today - on healthcare, financial reform, the economy, the environment and national security - than it was when Obama took office


Paul Krugman’s article, “In Defense of Obama,” in Rolling Stone has caused a minor stir. In it he counters the anti-Obama currents swirling on both the left and the right by suggesting that Obama “has emerged as one of the most consequential and, yes, successful presidents in American history.”

“Obama was indeed naive: He faced scorched-earth Republican opposition from Day One, and it took him years to start dealing with that opposition realistically.”
- Paul Krugman

Krugman was not always a fan. “Back in 2008, when many liberals were wildly enthusiastic about his candidacy and his press was strongly favorable,” Krugman writes. “I was skeptical. I worried that he was naive, that his talk about transcending the political divide was a dangerous illusion given the unyielding extremism of the modern American right … And I wasn’t wrong. Obama was indeed naive: He faced scorched-earth Republican opposition from Day One, and it took him years to start dealing with that opposition realistically.”

Even now, Krugman writes, the president’s most historically consequential successes — healthcare reform and recovery from the 2008 financial crash and the Bush recession that ensued — come with caveats. “Health reform is imperfect, but still a huge step forward,” says Krugman,”and it’s working better than anyone expected. Financial reform fell far short of what should have happened, but it’s much more effective than you’d think. Economic management has been half-crippled by Republican obstruction, but has nonetheless been much better than in other advanced countries. And environmental policy is starting to look like it could be a major legacy.”

After presenting his case on Obama’s achievements in healthcare, financial reform, the economy, the environment and national security, Krugman sums up:

On Fox: Republican v Republican on Marriage Equality
Ted Olson debates gay marriage with hate group leader

On Fox News Sunday, Ted Olson, the Republican on the legal team that argued for marriage equality in California’s Prop 8 case — but who led the witness-bribing, anti-Clinton “Arkansas Project” in the 1990s, and who represented Bush/Cheney in the 2000 Bush v. Gore case in which Republicans on the Supreme Court appointed George W. Bush as president — debated Tony Perkins, one of the grand wizards of the anti-gay hate movement. Transcript follows:


  • 355

    Number of months through September “this planet has been warmer than the 20th century average,” according to Jessica Blunden, a scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

  • 31 in 1 million

    Rate at which blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed in the 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police, a ProPublica analysis of federal data shows. Young black males are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.

  • 89 Cents

    The amount Fox News requires cable subscribers to pay for its service every month whether they want it or not, according to Pew Research. Fox “now claims one of the highest average rates per subscriber. Only six non-premium cable channels command higher fees than Fox. CNN, by contrast, is estimated to average 57 cents per subscriber per month and MSNBC, 18 cents,” according to Pew.

Poetic Justice

Democrats have panic growing in their eyes,
As Republicans see their Senate hopes rise.
But one thing’s for sure,
In the absence of a cure,
Ebola is this election’s “October surprise.”


  • It’s not going to be an easy election, it’s a close election. Like I said, much closer than I can even understand why. I don’t want to say anything about your Wisconsin voters but, some of them might not be as sharp as a knife.

    — RNC co-chair Sharon Day, quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, while campaigning in Wisconsin.

  • That’s not gonna happen.

    — Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), quoted by the AP, on Republicans promising to repeal Obamacare.

  • Same-sex marriage is “a pestilence that has descended on our society, against our will, by those in the courts and government that do not value the traditional family. Same sex couples that seek to destroy our way of life and the institution of marriage are NOT cute and cuddly but rather (for those of you that are old enough to remember the movie), Gremlins that will only destroy our way of life.

    — Anthony Culler (R), who is challenging Rep. James Clyburn (D) for a South Carolina congressional seat, referring to same-sex couples as “gremlins” and “bullies” in a Facebook post, according to The Hill.