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."
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.
“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”
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.
In which Nate Silver calls out nearly everyone in “news” organizations trying to push a pro-Romney narrative.
Nate Silver is not having any of your bullshit.
Logic does so burn on the way down, dunnit Republicans?
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.
Yeah, only way Republicans win is if they cheat hardcore … which they ARE trying their best to do, granted.
So, every national poll released over the last several weeks — literally, all of them — show Obama leading Romney. Unsatisfied with these results, the right has decided to fiddle with the figures, and wouldn’t you know it, the new-and-improved polls all show Romney leading Obama.
It’s not just random cranks (see Morris, Dick) arguing all of the polls are unreliable; this idea is repeated widely in Republican circles…
[I]t’s worth appreciating why the right is having this reaction to all of the recent polls. I suspect epistemic closure has a lot to do with it. Remember, for many Republicans, it’s extremely easy to avoid objective information — they can read a conservative newspaper in the morning, listen to conservative talk radio during the day, come home and watch Fox News before going to bed.
These folks have very clear, preconceived ideas, which are rarely challenged. They know, with certainty, that President Obama is the single worst president in American history, whose every move has failed miserably in every possible way.
And so when every national poll shows Obama winning, it’s gut-check time — they can either believe Obama’s political standing is fairly strong or they can believe there’s a grand conspiracy involving rascally news organizations and biased pollsters. Take a wild guess which option is winning.
Despite some misguided triumphalism on the Right, America is not getting more conservative. In fact, if you look at lots of public opinion polls, you’ll find that just the opposite is true—Americans’ views on the most pressing issues of the day are actually solidly progressive, with strong support for the social safety net and growing support for once-controversial social issues like marriage equality.
Nevertheless right-wing and center-contrarian media outlets love to jump on polls that identify Americans as conservative, without ever asking what the difference is between what your average Ohioan means by that word and whatMarco Rubio means when he announces at CPAC that “the majority of Americans are conservatives.”
(Rubio’s inaccurate comments sparked a controversy and prompted a vehement reaction from Rachel Maddow this week, as Politifact debunked his statement—but then rated it “mostly true” anyway, proving the pervasiveness of the myth of conservative America.)
Andrew Sullivan: “Every single poll shows that the American public overwhelmingly supports higher taxes on the wealthy as part of a package to cut the deficit. The margins are staggering: the NYT poll shows a majority of 74 - 21; even Rasmussen shows a majority of 56 - 34. What the president proposed this morning is simply where the American people are at. If he keeps at it, if he turns his administration into a permanent campaign for structural fiscal reform, I don’t see how he loses the argument.”
That’s 3:1 support!! Three regular people for every one delusional corporatist hack.
And the GOP is like: Challenge Accepted. They actually excel at turning public opinion against common sense. It’s not enough that people support it 3:1. Wait until they really fire up the fear machine and begin the campaign to convince people that Taxes on the rich are taxes on everyone; that it’s punishing success; that it will kill jobs. Reality is a mere inconvenience.