FOX “News” is all about Argumentum ad populum

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I have to remind my friends who are avid watchers of the FOX “News” channel that just because they have the highest ratings of the big 3 opinion cable channels doesn’t mean what they present is true. FOX peddles in what is called Argumentum ad populum. Facts and the truth isn’t subject to popular choice. FOX could have 300 million viewers a night and their race baiting still would not be factual.

The fact is the total audience that watches FOX, CNN, and MSNBC only number about 1 to 3% of the entire TV watching population. For example last Thursday FOX “News” was available to 98 million homes but only had about 2.4 million actually watching.

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Maddow gives speech President should have

I watched President Obama’s oval office speech on Tuesday night and it felt like it was missing something. Besides lacking specifics, the President threw in a bit about praying. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow gave a fake oval office speech on Wednesday night that was something I wish the real President had given.

Maddow said she wished Obama had announced three major developments in the response to the disaster:
1. “Never again, will any company, anyone, be allowed to drill in a location where they are incapable of dealing with the potential consequences of that drilling.”
2. “I’m announcing a new federal command specifically for containment and cleanup of oil that has already entered the Gulf of Mexico, with a priority on protecting shoreline that can still be saved; shoreline that is vulnerable to oil that has not yet been hit.”
3. “I no longer say that we must get off oil like every president before me has said too. I no longer say that we must get off oil. We will get off oil and here’s how: The United States Senate will pass an energy bill. This year.”

Rachel Maddow’s Oval Office Oil Spill Speech: What She Wishes Obama Had Said (VIDEO)

Here’s the video:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Thanks Rachel for a great speech.

Rand Paul not racist just ignorant

Rand Paul won the right to be on the ballot for the US Senate from Kentucky. He comes from a family known for their libertarianism – his father is Ron Paul. The problem with his libertarianism is what is wrong with libertarianism in general – it ignores reality and so it sounds stupid.

On the Rachel Maddow show on May 19th Rand Paul claimed that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 went too far by forcing integration of private businesses. He believes that private businesses should be allowed to discriminate. He isn’t a racist per se but is ignorant of history.

The common libertarian argument about social issues in a private setting is that people will “vote with their dollars”. They feel that the free market will force out any businesses that do discriminate because it isn’t acceptable behavior.

The problem for that argument is that it makes sense for white men who have never experienced discrimination.

Back in the 1960’s integrated businesses were the exception not the norm. There were business sections for whites and separate area for blacks – even in Columbus Ohio. Mt Vernon Ave was a strong African-American business area.

That type of discrimination lasted more than 100 years after the end of slavery and the 14th amendment. Either the voting with dollars doesn’t work or is very slow.

Today a business that is overt about it – putting up signs or calling the police to remove non-white people – is ridiculous BECAUSE of laws like the Civil Rights Act.

Of course Paul’s beliefs aren’t surprising:

But the idea that the Civil Rights Act overstepped in its pursuit of guaranteeing racial equality in the South is hardly an alien idea to political right. In fact, in certain conservative circles — especially the anti-government, libertarian wing Rand Paul represents — it’s practically an article of faith.

Consider Ronald Reagan, now part of the pantheon of Republican and conservative heroes. Reagan got his start in national politics stumping for Barry Goldwater, whose fierce anti-government views led him to view the Civil Rights Act as an attack on “the Southern way of life.”

When Reagan made his own run for the presidency in 1976, he positioned himself as Goldwater’s heir, picking up his first primary win in North Carolina on a platform stoking resentment of government intrusion in the South. In 1980, the Californian consciously launched his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi — just miles from where three civil rights activists were killed in the 1960s.

Like Rand, Reagan insisted his views were anti-government and not pro-discrimination — ignoring, of course, that in practical terms, opposing federal civil rights standards would ensure that discrimination persisted.

Why Rand Paul’s views on civil rights are no surprise

Of course some conservative Republicans are trying to use the Paul blow up to try and rewrite they history of the civil rights movement. They want to blame Democrats for fighting the Civil Rights Act back in the 1960’s while white washing the GOP’s racist campaigning since Reagan.

“Everybody knows that in 1964, a proud southern Democratic President, Lyndon Johnson, pushed hard to secure the Civil Rights Bill, with the aid of a coalition of northern Democrats and Republicans,” Wilentz said. “This sent the defeated segregationist Southern Democrats (led by Strom Thurmond) fleeing into the Republican Party, where its remnants, along with a younger generation of extremist conservative white southerners, including Rand Paul, still reside.”

NRSC Calls Dem Condemnation Of Paul Civil Rights Act Statements ‘Ironic’

The Ultimate Guide to the Political Talk Shows

I am sick and tired. I have tried to watch them but I can’t stand it any more. They are hurting the political discourse in this country and outside the wonks who live and breathe politics, they have no relationship with average people. I’m talking about political talk shows. Here is the ultimate guide so you never have to watch them again.

I should clarify one point. The shows and the news in general on the broadcast networks have an effect on average people more than those on cable but all of them still are pretty much worthless unless you obsess about politics.

Ultimate Political Talk Show Guide

1. The shows covered under this guide is as follows: 

ABC This Week
CBS Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer
Fox Fox News Sunday w/ Chris Wallace
NBC Meet the Press with David Gregory
PBS The McLaughlin Group

CNN State of the Union with Candy Crowley
CNN Reliable Sources
MSNBC The Ed Show
MSNBC Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann
MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show
FOXNEWS Any show at any hour

2. Formats are pretty much the same in that they allow for unquestioning press release spin 

3 Except for the MSNBC shows, the spin is at least misleading and in most cases lies.

4. Again except for the MSNBC shows, the hosts never really ask follow up questions.

5. The shows all have the same guests and those guests lean toward the GOP with a token Democrat in some cases. Again MSNBC is the opposite – having mostly Democratic or left leaning guests but the GOP rarely appears on MSNBC shows even as tokens.

6. MSNBC shows are better because they at least stick with facts and the truth even when it looks bad for Democrats and liberals in general. The other shows “concern troll” for the Democrats on all topics and accept the GOP talking points as true on their face.

7. The hosts and/or guests on any FOX “News” shows are either stupid, racists, or both at the same time.

8. All shows tend to have stories and topics that are important only to those who live inside the Washington DC beltway. Occasionally, most likely the MSNBC shows will actually have a topic of importance to all Americans.

9. Most of these shows favor “drama” over substance where yelling and arguing is seen as “good”, except for Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann, and The Rachel Maddow Show. Or they obsess on the political process which is like watching sausage being made.

10. You don’t have to watch any of the shows live or on your DVR. You can go to the network websites and watch clips, watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report to get a funny take on what the shows have on, or visit these websites:

and for special handling of FOX “News” crap:

11. Although it seems some shows might be better than the others, at the end of the day you don’t need to watch them to keep yourself informed. They take up time better spent with friends and family and laughing and having fun.