Chronicling the follies of religion and superstition, the virtues of skepticism, and the wonders of the real (natural) universe as revealed by science. Plus other interesting and educational stuff.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

I hope this will be my last Mitt Romney post. How appropriate it would be to cap off my Romney tag with this image.

I hope this will be my last Mitt Romney post. How appropriate it would be to cap off my Romney tag with this image.


A Feynman diagram of an encounter between a Romney and an anti-Romney. The resulting collision annihilates both, leaving behind a single electron and a $20 bill.

A Feynman diagram of an encounter between a Romney and an anti-Romney. The resulting collision annihilates both, leaving behind a single electron and a $20 bill.

If you’re a voter, and you look at the Republican Party, and the first thing you see is Republican leaders dumping all over the guy they spent two years telling us should be the leader of the country — that doesn’t make you feel better about the Republican Party.

Vin Weber, Romney advisor (via liberalsarecool)

oh snap.

(via stfuhypocrisy)

Romney was never their preferred candidate.  He was just the most popular “not Obama”

(via skepticalavenger)

The crumbling conservative bubble

wilwheaton:

spiegelman:

Mitt Romney’s campaign got its first hint something was wrong on the afternoon of Election Day

That’s when they got their first hint?

But it wasn’t until the polls closed that concern turned into alarm. They expected North Carolina to be called early. It wasn’t. They expected Pennsylvania to be up in the air all night; it went early for the President.

Nate Silver gave Obama a 98.6% chance of winning Pennsylvania.

“We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory,” said one senior adviser. “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.”

He’s right, there wasn’t one person. There were dozens.

They just couldn’t believe they had been so wrong. And maybe they weren’t: There was Karl Rove on Fox saying Ohio wasn’t settled, so campaign aides decided to wait. 

It seems pretty clear now that Karl Rove’s meltdown (or, as Romney’s people apparently thought, his “insightful analysis”) was the result of him clinging to every last semblance of putting a good face on a disastrous use of donor money. All those op-eds over the past year, in which Rove projected nothing but complete confidence in a Romney victory —those are just the political equivalent of Bernie Madoff newsletters ensuring the success of sucker investors.

“He was shellshocked,” one adviser said of Romney.

Romney and his campaign had gone into the evening confident they had a good path to victory, for emotional and intellectual reasons…. [T]hey believed the public/media polls were skewed - they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn’t reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation.

No kidding.

This man’s fact-gathering abilities were so poor that he went into Tuesday certain he was going to win. He scheduled fireworks in Boston. He didn’t write a concession speech. He was so wrong. And there were a lot of people who knew better, and they were vocal and public, and they didn’t seem to make an impact on him. This man was almost President.

If you can stomach it, take a look at the comments. The warrgarble is so intense, it can only come from people who reflexively deny reality and instead substitute what they want to believe is true, because right wing talk radio and FOX News told them so.

diadoumenos:

Romney becomes first candidate in 16 years to decline youth debate

This year, President Barack Obama answered five questions, including one regarding youth unemployment and another concerning the rising federal debt. Romney, on the other hand, is completely absent from the debate, having declined requests to respond.

“In June both President Obama and Gov. Romney were invited in the hope they would both take this opportunity to address millions of young people about the issues that are most important to them,” the organizer of the debate said in a statement. “Unfortunately, despite our efforts over a four-month period, Gov. Romney declined participation. He is the first and only candidate in our 16-year history to decide not to answer the questions young Americans chose as most important through the Presidential Youth Debate.”

The organizers of the debate said they still hoped Romney would respond before Election Day, noting the importance of Millennials as a voting bloc.

diadoumenos:

Romney becomes first candidate in 16 years to decline youth debate

This year, President Barack Obama answered five questions, including one regarding youth unemployment and another concerning the rising federal debt. Romney, on the other hand, is completely absent from the debate, having declined requests to respond.

“In June both President Obama and Gov. Romney were invited in the hope they would both take this opportunity to address millions of young people about the issues that are most important to them,” the organizer of the debate said in a statement. “Unfortunately, despite our efforts over a four-month period, Gov. Romney declined participation. He is the first and only candidate in our 16-year history to decide not to answer the questions young Americans chose as most important through the Presidential Youth Debate.”

The organizers of the debate said they still hoped Romney would respond before Election Day, noting the importance of Millennials as a voting bloc.

My prediction for Tuesday: Obama will win with 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 235

My prediction for Tuesday: Obama will win with 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 235

religiousragings:


Mitt the Mormon
by Christopher Hitchens, slate.com
Why Romney needs to talk about his faith.
Mitt Romney appears to think that, in respect of the bizarre beliefs of his church, he has come up with a twofer response. Not only can he decline to answer questions about these beliefs, he can also reap additional benefit from complaining that people keep asking him about them. In a video response of revolting sanctimony and self-pity last week, he responded to some allegedly anti-Mormon “push poll” calls in Iowa and New Hampshire by saying that it was “un-American” to bring up his “faith,” especially “at a time when we are preparing for Thanksgiving,” whatever that had to do with it. Additional interest is lent to this evasive tactic by the very well-argued case, made by Mark Hemingway in National Review Online, that it was actually the Romney campaign that had initiated the anti-Mormon push-poll calls in the first place! What’s that? A threefer? Let me count the ways: You encourage the raising of an awkward question in such a way as to make it seem illegitimate. You then strike a hurt attitude and say that you are being persecuted for your faith. This, in turn, discourages other reporters from raising the question. Yes, that’s the three-card monte.
(More)

In 2007, Christopher Hitchens asked questions still exactly relevant today, and all the more important given his closeness to the office he covets.

religiousragings:

Mitt the Mormon

by Christopher Hitchens, slate.com

Why Romney needs to talk about his faith.

Mitt Romney appears to think that, in respect of the bizarre beliefs of his church, he has come up with a twofer response. Not only can he decline to answer questions about these beliefs, he can also reap additional benefit from complaining that people keep asking him about them. In a video response of revolting sanctimony and self-pity last week, he responded to some allegedly anti-Mormon “push poll” calls in Iowa and New Hampshire by saying that it was “un-American” to bring up his “faith,” especially “at a time when we are preparing for Thanksgiving,” whatever that had to do with it. Additional interest is lent to this evasive tactic by the very well-argued case, made by Mark Hemingway in National Review Online, that it was actually the Romney campaign that had initiated the anti-Mormon push-poll calls in the first place! What’s that? A threefer? Let me count the ways: You encourage the raising of an awkward question in such a way as to make it seem illegitimate. You then strike a hurt attitude and say that you are being persecuted for your faith. This, in turn, discourages other reporters from raising the question. Yes, that’s the three-card monte.

(More)

In 2007, Christopher Hitchens asked questions still exactly relevant today, and all the more important given his closeness to the office he covets.

(Source: lycanpedia)

If the state polls are right, then Mr. Obama will win the Electoral College. If you can’t acknowledge that after a day when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swing-state polls, then you should abandon the pretense that your goal is to inform rather than entertain the public.

Nov. 2: For Romney to Win, State Polls Must Be Statistically Biased - NYTimes.com

In which Nate Silver calls out nearly everyone in “news” organizations trying to push a pro-Romney narrative.

(via fancycwabs)

Nate Silver is not having any of your bullshit.

(via thegirlwiththefinchertattoo)

Logic does so burn on the way down, dunnit Republicans?

(via the-disgruntledgradstudent)

They all want it to be a photo finish because that’s more entertaining. I don’t doubt that the popular vote is going to be close but that’s simply not how you win the presidency, Obama is leading the total swing states by a mile.

(via joegressivism)

Yeah, only way Republicans win is if they cheat hardcore … which they ARE trying their best to do, granted.

(via bullmittartist)

team-joebama:

wordscancrushtheworld:

THIS!!!!  
loudmouthradio:

TRUTH.


Romney in June: “He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers,” Mr. Romney said of Mr. Obama. “He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
In case you forgot

team-joebama:

wordscancrushtheworld:

THIS!!!!  

loudmouthradio:

TRUTH.

Romney in June: “He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers,” Mr. Romney said of Mr. Obama. “He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

In case you forgot

sirmitchell:

One of the best political ads I’ve seen this year. 

The anti-science mentality of the right is disgusting. People so dumb, they lack the brain power required to recognize their own stupidity. As an American, I am embarrassed. As a human, I am pissed off. 

I’ve heard too many people say they aren’t voting because Obama and Romney are the same. I’m sorry, but that’s cynical bullshit.

religiousragings:

confrontingbabble-on:

Imagine, in 2012, electing someone that holds insanely racist core beliefs, which no one can ask him about, because they are deemed “religious”…
“In 2005, the Intelligence Report published the following statements made by Warren Jeffs, President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:

“The black race is the people through which the devil has always been able to bring evil unto the earth.”


“[Cain was] cursed with a black skin and he is the father of the Negro people. He has great power, can appear and disappear. He is used by the devil, as a mortal man, to do great evils.”


“Today you can see a black man with a white woman, et cetera. A great evil has happened on this land because the devil knows that if all the people have Negro blood, there will be nobody worthy to have the priesthood.”


“If you marry a person who has connections with a Negro, you would become cursed.”[56]”

See:  Black people in Mormon doctrine:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_people_in_Mormon_doctrine

One thing I’ve tried to avoid during this Presidential election is holding Romney’s Mormonism against him.  Everyone who’s ever run for President has been connected to a church in some way, and churches and religions virtually universally have a ton of dipshit beliefs not shared by all of its congregants.
Romney has chosen not to make his Mormonism a political issue.  Whether it’s out of political expediency or because he truly believes it has no place in politics, I don’t know.  Given his lavish support of the Mormon church, his disingenuous nature, and his Mormon magic underwear, I would strongly suspect the former, however.
Romney brings such problems on himself, by not pledging to keep his faith separate from his religion, as John F. Kennedy did with his relation to the Catholic church in the 1950s and 60s.  Expecting a pledge of this nature is not unreasonable; indeed, we might have the right to expect it.  It is, after all, enshrined in the Constitution as the 1st Amendment, at least as the Amendment was intended to be interpreted.
I suspect that Romney stays away from discussing his religion, not because he believes his religion won’t affect how he governs, but because he knows that most of the nation considers Mormonism to be a strange “other” religion.  He knows that his is an Achilles heal, and he does his best encourage people to ignore it.
This comment has been entirely speculative, but I’ll still finish by saying that, if it is shown that Mitt Romney shares the views of Warren Jeffs, it would not in the least surprise me.

I’m with Dawkins and Krauss on this one. Also, I think if Obama had to explain away his preacher, It’s reasonable to ask Romney to address these doctrines: both the racism issues and the incredibly dubious historicity. I mean, Obama had to give a special “religion speech” and he wasn’t even dedicating his fortune and his life to some new holy book.

religiousragings:

confrontingbabble-on:

Imagine, in 2012, electing someone that holds insanely racist core beliefs, which no one can ask him about, because they are deemed “religious”…

“In 2005, the Intelligence Report published the following statements made by Warren Jeffs, President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:

  • “The black race is the people through which the devil has always been able to bring evil unto the earth.”

  • “[Cain was] cursed with a black skin and he is the father of the Negro people. He has great power, can appear and disappear. He is used by the devil, as a mortal man, to do great evils.”

  • “Today you can see a black man with a white woman, et cetera. A great evil has happened on this land because the devil knows that if all the people have Negro blood, there will be nobody worthy to have the priesthood.”

  • “If you marry a person who has connections with a Negro, you would become cursed.”[56]”

See Black people in Mormon doctrine:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_people_in_Mormon_doctrine

One thing I’ve tried to avoid during this Presidential election is holding Romney’s Mormonism against him.  Everyone who’s ever run for President has been connected to a church in some way, and churches and religions virtually universally have a ton of dipshit beliefs not shared by all of its congregants.

Romney has chosen not to make his Mormonism a political issue.  Whether it’s out of political expediency or because he truly believes it has no place in politics, I don’t know.  Given his lavish support of the Mormon church, his disingenuous nature, and his Mormon magic underwear, I would strongly suspect the former, however.

Romney brings such problems on himself, by not pledging to keep his faith separate from his religion, as John F. Kennedy did with his relation to the Catholic church in the 1950s and 60s.  Expecting a pledge of this nature is not unreasonable; indeed, we might have the right to expect it.  It is, after all, enshrined in the Constitution as the 1st Amendment, at least as the Amendment was intended to be interpreted.

I suspect that Romney stays away from discussing his religion, not because he believes his religion won’t affect how he governs, but because he knows that most of the nation considers Mormonism to be a strange “other” religion.  He knows that his is an Achilles heal, and he does his best encourage people to ignore it.

This comment has been entirely speculative, but I’ll still finish by saying that, if it is shown that Mitt Romney shares the views of Warren Jeffs, it would not in the least surprise me.

I’m with Dawkins and Krauss on this one. Also, I think if Obama had to explain away his preacher, It’s reasonable to ask Romney to address these doctrines: both the racism issues and the incredibly dubious historicity. I mean, Obama had to give a special “religion speech” and he wasn’t even dedicating his fortune and his life to some new holy book.

Chickenhawk (also chicken hawk and chicken-hawk):

a political term used in the United States to describe a person who strongly supports war or other military action (i.e., a War Hawk), yet who actively avoided military service when of age.
The term indicates that the person in question is hypocritical for personally dodging a draft or otherwise shirking their duty to their country during a time of armed conflict while advocating that others do so.

Generally, the implication is that chickenhawks lack the moral character to ask others to support, fight and perhaps die in an armed conflict. Those who avoid military service and continue to oppose armed aggression are not chickenhawks.

(from Wikipedia)

(Source: odinsblog)

confrontingbabble-on:

Romney’s ‘secret’ economic plan, is the same old failed Republican plan…
Mitt’s “proposed more than $2 trillion in new federal spending so far, and that’s a lot, even for a senator from Massachusetts.
Mitt Romney’s 5 point plan to jumpstart the economy is actually John McCain’s 2008 5 point plan to get the economy moving, which was George W. Bush’s 2004 five point plan to grow the economy.
The plan for the Republicans is always the same, cut taxes, reduce spending, a talking point about school choice, more domestic oil drilling, and free trade.
The last time this plan was tried by a president the economy collapsed.
Voters rejected a rehash of the Bush ideas in 2008, and Mitt Romney is back trying to sell the same plan in a different order in 2012.
The reality is that Republicans have no idea how to fix or grow the economy, but they do have an ideology that tells them government is bad, and tax cuts for the wealthy are good.
Mitt Romney isn’t some bold visionary who has the secret to unlocking our national economic power. He is just the latest in a long line of Republican salesmen who are peddling an economic plan that didn’t work then, and won’t work now.
If you are early voting now, or will be stepping into the voting booth on Election Day, remember that you aren’t voting for Mitt Romney’s plan. You’ll be voting for George W. Bush’s, and we all remember where that got us the last time we tried it.”
see http://www.politicususa.com/mitt-romneys-5-point-plan-plan-mccain-08-bush-04.html

confrontingbabble-on:

Romney’s ‘secret’ economic plan, is the same old failed Republican plan…

Mitt’s “proposed more than $2 trillion in new federal spending so far, and that’s a lot, even for a senator from Massachusetts.

Mitt Romney’s 5 point plan to jumpstart the economy is actually John McCain’s 2008 5 point plan to get the economy moving, which was George W. Bush’s 2004 five point plan to grow the economy.

The plan for the Republicans is always the same, cut taxes, reduce spending, a talking point about school choice, more domestic oil drilling, and free trade.

The last time this plan was tried by a president the economy collapsed.

Voters rejected a rehash of the Bush ideas in 2008, and Mitt Romney is back trying to sell the same plan in a different order in 2012.

The reality is that Republicans have no idea how to fix or grow the economy, but they do have an ideology that tells them government is bad, and tax cuts for the wealthy are good.

Mitt Romney isn’t some bold visionary who has the secret to unlocking our national economic power. He is just the latest in a long line of Republican salesmen who are peddling an economic plan that didn’t work then, and won’t work now.

If you are early voting now, or will be stepping into the voting booth on Election Day, remember that you aren’t voting for Mitt Romney’s plan. You’ll be voting for George W. Bush’s, and we all remember where that got us the last time we tried it.”

see http://www.politicususa.com/mitt-romneys-5-point-plan-plan-mccain-08-bush-04.html