All the news, views, and filtered excellence fit to consume during your morning grumpy.
1. You know those terrible articles your less-than-educated friends post on Facebook about the 9/11 Truth Movement, FEMA Prison Camps, and other assorted maniacal conspiracy theories? They can usually be traced back to one website and one man, Alex Jones of InfoWars.com.
Jones operates outside of the boundaries of what normal people consider the circle of sane thought and rational debate, but CNN saw fit to give him a platform on their biggest prime time show, Piers Morgan Tonight. You see, Jones has launched a petition to deport Morgan for, well, I really don’t know. Something about how Morgan wants to repeal the 2nd Amendment or some such nonsense and CNN put him on to debate the issue with Morgan. It was a car crash of a segment and Jones was as unbalanced and bizarre as anyone has ever been on primetime national television. I think my favorite quote was this, “megabanks taken everybody’s guns but the Swiss and the American people, and when they get our guns, they can have their world tyranny.”
Watch this train wreck for some entertainment.
Jones is nominally a “libertarian” and is a master at manipulating dummies into buying his flim flam products and poorly made multimedia exposes on the New World Order.
Some of his other conspiracy theories are that Bill Clinton was involved in the Oklahoma City bombing and that the government is using products like juice boxes to “encourage homosexuality with chemicals so that people don’t have children.”
2. The conservative movement is one big money-making venture/scam.
In addition to paying Dick Armey $400,000 a year for 20 years to stay away, FreedomWorks also apparently spent more than a million dollars paying Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to say nice things about FreedomWorks, in order to convince listeners to send FreedomWorks money that FreedomWorks would then give to Limbaugh and Beck. It’s a pretty simple con.
Just some simple guys sellin’ liberty!
3. A recently published book looks into the lives of the plutocrats who shape our politics, mold our society, and rule our culture. The author claims that America and other advanced nations are experiencing a Second Gilded Age, a time when new technological revolutions and globalization are creating a new class of the ultra-rich along with record levels of economic inequality. These ultra-rich are the new plutocrats, she says, kin in spirit to the plutocrats of the first Gilded Age.
4. America doesn’t have a spending problem, it has a defense spending problem.
Have you read Brad Plumer’s terrific, chart-heavy primer on America’s insane defense budget? If not, I’ll wait while you do.
Done? Good. The numbers there should shock you. In particular, this one: “Since 2001, the base defense budget has soared from $287 billion to $530 billion — and that’s before accounting for the primary costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.”
That’s more than we spend on Medicare. Shockingly, I don’t hear for a lot of cuts to defense spending in all of these national debt conversations.
5. Matt Taibbi continues to absolutely kill it with fantastic exposes on the bank bailouts. His latest piece is a must-read.
TARP was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it. The result is one of those deals where one wrong decision early on blossoms into a lush nightmare of unintended consequences. We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn.
Fact Of The Day: Before Google launched Gmail, ‘G-Mail’ was the name of a free email service offered by Garfield’s website.
Quote Of The Day: “Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes, and wishes he was certain.” – Mark Twain
Video Of The Day: How A Differential Gear Works. Engineering is cool.
Song Of The Day: “Hope I Never Lose My Wallet” – The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
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