Galactica Fun Time Club

As a result, Texas is not the nation’s most populous state but nonetheless sports “the nation’s highest number of workplace fatalities.” When it comes to industrial disasters, the Times notes that Texas has only about a quarter more “high risk” sites than the state (Illinois) with the second most number of such facilities. However, it has, according to the Times, “more than three times the number of accidents, four times the number of injuries and deaths, and 300 times the property damage costs” as that state.

If all this data was about a terrorist threat, the reaction would be swift - negligent federal agencies would be roundly criticized and the specific state’s lax attitude toward security would be lambasted. Yet, after the fertilizer plant explosion, there has been no proactive reaction at all, other than Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry boasting about his state’s “comfort with the amount of oversight” that already exists.

So, again, why the discrepancy? Simply put, because this is what now passes for acceptable in a deregulated economy whose laws are written by corporate interests.

Those interests are hostile to safety regulation and enforcement because they don’t want to spend even a tiny bit more on making worksites secure for employees. So they, and the politicians whose campaigns they fund, have made an epithet out of the word “regulation” in order to guarantee that almost nobody asks whether we have to tolerate 4,500 dead American workers each year.

comedycentral:

Click the image to watch Obama and Luther celebrate tonight’s big victory.
An all-new Key & Peele airs tomorrow at 10:30/9:30c.

comedycentral:

Click the image to watch Obama and Luther celebrate tonight’s big victory.

An all-new Key & Peele airs tomorrow at 10:30/9:30c.

discoverynews:

even astronauts can cast a ballot!
How Space Station Astronauts Can Vote

Two U.S. citizens may be hundreds of miles above the nearest polling booth, but they still cast their ballots.
Astronauts residing on the orbiting lab receive a digital version of their ballot, which is beamed up by Mission Control at the agency’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. Filled-out ballots find their way back down to Earth along the same path.
This system was made possible by a 1997 bill passed by Texas legislators (nearly all NASA astronauts live in or around Houston). It was first used that same year by David Wolf, who happened to be aboard Russia’s Mir space station at the time.

so cool!

discoverynews:

even astronauts can cast a ballot!

How Space Station Astronauts Can Vote

Two U.S. citizens may be hundreds of miles above the nearest polling booth, but they still cast their ballots.

Astronauts residing on the orbiting lab receive a digital version of their ballot, which is beamed up by Mission Control at the agency’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. Filled-out ballots find their way back down to Earth along the same path.

This system was made possible by a 1997 bill passed by Texas legislators (nearly all NASA astronauts live in or around Houston). It was first used that same year by David Wolf, who happened to be aboard Russia’s Mir space station at the time.

so cool!

barackobama:

Yeah, no. 

barackobama:

Yeah, no

There is nothing like an actual monstrous act to demonstrate the silliness of our tendency to reduce one another to caricature. Shortly after the shooting, the website of the late Andrew Breitbart published speculation, quickly hyped by conservative internet maven Matt Drudge, that the suspect in the the shooting was a registered Democrat. With no apparent sense of irony, the website later published an “exclusive” press release from a Tea Party group criticizing ABC News’ Brian Ross, who made the outrageous decision to speculate publicly that the suspect might have been involved with a local Tea Party organization. I don’t know Ross’ political views, so I can only describe his actions as inexcusably reckless. (ABC later apologized.)

To look at the the frightened eyes of the survivors in Aurora, and see only our own intrinsic goodness, and our political enemies’ implacable evil, is the most impenetrable vanity. It’s not politics, it’s just tribalism. And it’s grotesque. But we shouldn’t mistake this kind of pettiness for politics itself, which is far too important an arena to cede to those who are incapable of seeing a tragedy and wondering, above all, what it says about themselves. We should be talking about why this happened, and what, if anything, can be done to prevent it from happening again. 

National tragedies are political. They’re too important not to be. 

wilwheaton:

Spin is normal in politics, but Romney is pioneering a cynical strategy of reducing fact and truth to pure partisanship.

[…]

Granted, presidential candidates are no strangers to disingenuous or overstated claims; it’s pretty much endemic to the business. But Romney is doing something very different and far more pernicious. Quite simply, the United States has never been witness to a presidential candidate, in modern American history, who lies as frequently, as flagrantly and as brazenly as Mitt Romney.

Now, in general, those of us in the pundit class are really not supposed to accuse politicians of lying – they mislead, they embellish, they mischaracterize, etc. Indeed, there is natural tendency for nominally objective reporters, in particular, to stay away from loaded terms such as lying. Which is precisely why Romney’s repeated lies are so effective. In fact, lying is really the only appropriate word to use here, because, well, Romney lies a lot. But that’s a criticism you’re only likely to hear from partisans.

[…]

This is perhaps the most interesting and disturbing element of Romney’s tireless obfuscation: that even when corrected, it has little impact on the presumptive GOP nominee’s behavior. This is happening at a time when fact-checking operations in major media outlets have increased significantly, yet that appears to have no effect on the Romney campaign.

What is the proper response when, even after it’s pointed out that the candidate is not telling the truth, he keeps doing it? Romney actually has a telling rejoinder for this. When a reporter challenged his oft-stated assertion that President Obama had made the economy worse (factually, not correct), he denied ever saying it in the first place. It’s a lie on top of a lie.

You really need to read the whole (short) piece to absorb the magnitude of Romney’s brazen lying, and to understand the complete and utter failure of the American pundit class and national political media to do their job of informing voters about not just what a candidate says, but what is the objective truth.

This is what this story boils down to: A 17-year-old has different opinions than he did at 13. People may be disappointed by how underwhelming that is, but it’s how the world works. Some people move on with life, mature, and realize that they don’t know everything nor will they ever know everything. Then again, some don’t.
Former conservative child prodigy Jonathan Krohn • In a new column for Salon, in which he elaborated on the changes in his political ideology (he now leans liberal), response to his interview with Politico last week, and more. We don’t know about you guys, but we continue to be impressed by this young man’s insight. No matter the politics, that sort of insight suggests a writing career waiting in the wings (if he wants it). source (viafollow)
Sure, we as a nation have always killed people. A lot of people. But no president has ever waged war by killing enemies one by one, targeting them individually for execution, wherever they are. The Obama administration has taken pains to tell us, over and over again, that they are careful, scrupulous of our laws, and determined to avoid the loss of collateral, innocent lives. They’re careful because when it comes to waging war on individuals, the distinction between war and murder becomes a fine one. Especially when, on occasion, the individuals we target are Americans and when, in one instance, the collateral damage was an American boy.
newsweek:

How did we get to this point?! David Frum:

Step 1: A story begins in the real world. In this case, some Nebraska ranchers objected to the longstanding practice—approved by the Supreme Court in 1986—of the use of aerial photography to enforce clean water laws.
Step 2: Their elected representatives raise the issue.
Step 3: Somebody on Twitter mistakenly converts “aerial” surveillance into “drone surveillance.”
Step 4: The conservative website PJ Media puts the error into a headline: “EPA Using Spy Drones to Fly Over Midwestern Farms.”
Step 5: The mistake jumps to Fox News, first introduced by Bob Beckel, the token liberal on the afternoon program, “the Five.”
Step 6: Fox News’ Megyn Kelly reports the rumor as fact, unsourced.
Step 7: The Daily Show mocks Kelly’s report, but treats the use of drones as a genuine fact nonetheless.
Step 8: Republicans in Congress write furious letters of complaint.
Step 9: The story is by now a national controversy, without there ever having been a word of truth to it.

via David Frum, h/t Mediaite for the screengrab.

newsweek:

How did we get to this point?! David Frum:

Step 1: A story begins in the real world. In this case, some Nebraska ranchers objected to the longstanding practice—approved by the Supreme Court in 1986—of the use of aerial photography to enforce clean water laws.

Step 2: Their elected representatives raise the issue.

Step 3: Somebody on Twitter mistakenly converts “aerial” surveillance into “drone surveillance.”

Step 4: The conservative website PJ Media puts the error into a headline: “EPA Using Spy Drones to Fly Over Midwestern Farms.”

Step 5: The mistake jumps to Fox News, first introduced by Bob Beckel, the token liberal on the afternoon program, “the Five.”

Step 6: Fox News’ Megyn Kelly reports the rumor as fact, unsourced.

Step 7: The Daily Show mocks Kelly’s report, but treats the use of drones as a genuine fact nonetheless.

Step 8: Republicans in Congress write furious letters of complaint.

Step 9: The story is by now a national controversy, without there ever having been a word of truth to it.

via David Frum, h/t Mediaite for the screengrab.