Test Your News IQ

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Pew Research has posted another of it periodic news quizzes that test your knowledge of current events, political issues and people in the news. At the end, it will tell you how you did against everybody else who took the quiz.

Of course, I skewed the curve for you by getting a perfect score. Well, me and 10 percent of the others who took the test.

Good luck!

Study: Google Searches for ‘N-Word’ Correlate to Black Mortality

journal.pone.0122963.g001In what can only be described as an act of exquisite irony, given the riots in Baltimore, the University of Maryland yesterday released a study that finds a correlation between the number of Google searches for the “N-word” and its variants, and the rate of mortality among African Americans in a given geographic area.

According to David Chae, author of the study and assistant professor of epidemiology at University of Maryland:

“Racial disparities in health and disease represent a significant public health concern. Research suggests that racism is a major culprit that contributes to the gap in mortality between Blacks and Whites,” said Chae. “Our study points to the utility of an Internet-search based measure to monitor racism at the area-level and assess its impact on mortality.”

GOP Now Fears Backlash from ‘Sad Sack Stories’ about People Dying If Supreme Court Kills Obamacare Subsidies

The Supreme Court will rule as early as June on a Republican lawsuit seeking to revoke subsidies provided by the Affordable Care Act to cover the cost of health-insurance premiums for low-income workers. If the court rules in the Republicans’ favor in King v. Burwell, more than 7 million Americans will be forced to cancel private health insurance coverage paid for, in part or in whole, with government subsidies.

SEN. RON JOHNSON: [Pres. Obama will] have the ads all racked up with the individuals that have benefited from Obamacare on the backs of the American taxpayer. He’ll have all those examples as well so…

RADIO HOST JAY WEBER: And the sad sack stories about who’s dying from what and why they can’t get their coverage.

JOHNSON: Right.

The suit is based on a line of poorly constructed language in the ACA that suggests subsidies are only available from state-run insurance exchanges. The problem is that in 2010 — as a partisan gambit to hobble the Obamacare rollout — about 30 governors, mostly Republicans, opted not to stand up state exchanges thereby forcing their constituents to purchase insurance from federal exchanges. Because their subsidies do not come from state exchanges, it’s these low-income, mostly red-state workers, who will lose their insurance if Republicans prevail in King v. Burwell.

A few Republicans in Congress seem to be waking up to the fact that they could face unintended consequences if the Supreme Court rules in their favor. Sen. Ron Johnson, a tea partyist from Wisconsin who is up for reelection next year, may have spoken for many of his co-ideologues during an interview with right-wing radio host Jay Weber in Milwaukee last week:

Because a Mistake is Not an Error Until We Refuse to Correct It

It’s worth your time to watch this on Earth Day or any day.

Will We Fall in Love With Hillary in Time?
hillarysite

It’s a bad sign that the only way into Clinton’s campaign site is with a log in. If you’re on the fence about the candidate and just want more information, how likely are you to register with her site? I’m on her side, and I don’t even want to register for her site. This “Supporters Only” stance won’t turn out the vote.

Hating their guy (or gal) never makes up for not loving ours

If you’re fired up at the prospect of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president and what it means for Democrats, you’ll want to skip this post. I don’t want to ruin your day with something none of us can do anything about. It’s not as if we can conjure up another Barack Obama or John F. Kennedy or even an Angela Merkel by closing our eyes and wishing.

We’re stuck with HRC, and here’s why I feel a sense of impending doom for our team:

No one loves Hillary.

Sorry, Christians – Under Religious Freedom Laws, the Bible Also Requires You to Refuse Service to Adulterers

art-confederate-gay-marriedPublic outrage over the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that have passed in 21 states, so far, appears to be the latest sign of a massive shift toward support for gay civil rights. It also suggests people looked past Republican rhetoric and saw these laws for what they’re really meant to be — licenses for right-wing Christians to discriminate against gays, particularly Christians in the wedding business who want to refuse to bake cakes and provide floral arrangements for same-sex weddings based on moral grounds.

It is not only petty to withhold wedding flowers and cakes from a particular class of sinners, it is also unlawful on its face. RFRAs not only violate public-accommodation laws and would arguably be unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause, their use of religion to single out a particular class of people runs afoul of the separation of church and state — the legal barrier that prevents our democratic republic from sliding into theocracy. It’s as un-American to discriminate against gays based on the Old Testament as it would be to restrict gay rights based on Sharia law, for example.

Dr. Democrat: Don’t Be Fooled by Phony Hillary Email Scandal
Jeb deleted 300,000 emails vs Hillary Clinton’s 50,000. Where is the outrage?

doctordemocrat2Dear Dr. Democrat:

In light of this CNN story, which Republican or tea partier do you think will be our next president? Because it damn sure won’t be a Democrat.

Discouraged in Destin

Dear Discouraged:

Don’t be!

Honestly, truly, sincerely, this is nothing. Less than nothing.

Karl Rove wiped 22 million emails in the middle of the U.S. Attorney scandal and the Valerie Plame criminal investigation. Nothing happened to him — in fact, it was barely even a scandal at the time. This is all smoke and mirrors by the GOP. I’ll admit it’s working, but there’s absolutely no “there” there.

Climate Change Comes to Florida: ‘Still Not Scientifically Proven Yet…’

cartoon-climate-change-comes-o-florida

Jeb’s Father-in-Law Was an Undocumented Alien Who Retired on U.S. Social Security

Jeb Bush's father-in-law, Jose Maria Garnica

Jeb Bush’s father-in-law, Jose Maria Garnica

Outside Florida, Jeb Bush may be viewed as being more liberal — more reasonable and smarter — than his infamously witless, reflexively conservative brother, George W. But Floridians know better. As governor, Jeb was a right-wing hardliner — a doctrinaire supply-sider who slashed at least $14 billion in revenue to the state government by cutting taxes, mostly on the wealthy, and killing programs for the middle class and services for the poor. It was Jeb who signed Florida’s infamous “Stand Your Ground Law” and Jeb who tortured a stroke victim, Terri Schiavo, by ordering her to be kept alive artificially years after she’d suffered irreversible loss of brain function.

One area where Jeb’s positions are famously out of synch with the extreme right, however, is immigration. Last year he outraged tea party types when he expressed compassion for those who cross the border illegally. The undocumented, Jeb said, come to the United States seeking employment as an “act of love … an act of commitment to your family.”

Now a report in the Washington Post may explain why Jeb’s position on immigration is an outlier from conservative orthodoxy. It’s personal. His wife Columba’s late father, Jose Maria Garnica Rodriguez, was a undocumented worker from Mexico:

Jon Stewart Skewers Florida Republicans’ Climate-Change Denial

screenshot-stewart-skewers-fl-climate-change-denial

Watch the video:

Enumerati

  • 65%

    Of Americans say congressional Republicans are not keeping the promises they made during the campaign, while just 23% say they are, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center. Nearly four in 10 (37%) say the new Congress has accomplished less than they expected, while 4% say it has accomplished more than expected. About half (53%) say its accomplishments are in line with what they expected.

  • 0.15%

    Amount the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell the day after the series finale of “Mad Men.” A study of 165 TV series finales shows that the wave of negative mood caused by the end of a popular and beloved show reduces the net demand for risky assets and decreases aggregate stock returns, says Gabriele M. Lepori of Copenhagen Business School. Specifically, if the number of viewers of a finale is 1 standard deviation above Lepori’s sample average, stock returns fall approximately 25 basis points the next day, all else constant. The finale of the drama “Mad Men” drew 3.3 million live and same-day viewers.

  • 12

    Of about 30 people who worked on Carly Fiorina’s failed 2010 California Senate campaign told Reuters they would not work for her again. “Fiorina, once one of America’s most powerful businesswomen, is now campaigning for the Republican nomination in 2016. The reason: for more than four years, Fiorina – who has an estimated net worth of up to $120 million – didn’t pay them, a review of Federal Election Commission records shows.”

  • $15 million

    Amount the super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid expects to collect through the end of June, the Wall Street Journal reports. “The group, Priorities USA Action, is shaking up its senior staff in hopes of jump-starting a fundraising operation that, five weeks after Mrs. Clinton entered the presidential race, has garnered only about $5 million in ‘hard commitments’ … Even if it meets its $15 million short-term expectation, the pro-Clinton group will raise far less than PACs backing some potential Republican rivals.”

  • 57%

    Nearly six-in-10 Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say they have an excellent or good impression of their party’s presidential candidates, according to Pew Research. That compares with 54% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters who have positive impressions of the Democratic Party’s candidates. “Republicans are more positive about the GOP field than they were at nearly comparable points in the past two presidential campaigns.”

Poetic Justice

Josh Duggar has left the Family Research Council in the lurch,
And the lobbyist’s own reputation has been besmirched.
The odious churl
Molested his sisters and girls,
Thus single-handedly changing the definition of “family research.”

Verbatim

  • The 2016 election may be the first one in which the political press is totally sidelined. Politicians now have a professional grasp of social media — Barack Obama just got his third Twitter account — and they don’t need media middlemen to communicate with voters. … What’s more, no journalist has the kind of celebrity and cultural credibility (as Tim Russert used to have) that once made interviews mandatory for aspiring presidents.

    — Ryan Cooper, in the Week.

  • The modern Democratic Party has become so radical, so extreme, that they have determined that their devotion to mandatory gay marriage in all 50 states trumps any allegiance to religious liberty under the First Amendment. We’ve got an obligation, as this conference recognizes, to be watchmen on the wall.

    — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), quoted by Time.

  • I’ve been joking with my brother that he should have HUD designate this place a public housing project.

    — Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), brother of HUD Secretary Julian Castro, quoted by Roll Call, on the number of lawmakers sleeping in their offices on Capitol Hill.

  • Nothing much is going on right now in the 2016 presidential campaign–unless you’re a Republican political junkie, in which case every day is Christmas or, perhaps, Halloween. Did you know that Donald Trump might actually run this time, instead of using our nation’s highest office to promote his reality-TV show? Or that the very former governor of New York, George Pataki, thinks he’s a candidate? Are you tremendously relieved that the GOP’s most persistent Dr. Strangelove — former U.N. ambassador John Bolton — has taken his hat out of the ring? I sure am. But that leaves 15 or more candidates either in it or circling.

    Joe Klein, writing in Time.

  • Sen. Rand Paul didn’t get the same backing from his Republican colleagues than the last time he talked his way through legislative deadlines – but that’s part of the point. This was a stunt that was about his 2016 candidacy, if the campaign merchandising push and online trolling of Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton didn’t make that clear. It shows, again, that Paul will inject a strain of national-security thinking into the GOP debates that will push his rivals in uncomfortable ways. It’s possible that his timing is off; the march of ISIS, with scenes of beheadings seared into memories, might change the tone of any discussion inside the Republican Party. But Rand standing alone will make him stand out, for better or worse.

    — Rick Klein, on ABC News.

PensitoWire

Infografix

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Libertarianism: The misguided belief that trading the yoke of big government for the yoke of big business will make the whip sting less.

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