The Right’s obsession with abortion

I was just doing a Lexis/Nexis search for articles on abortion to assign to my Gender and Politics class for the upcoming semester.  Wanting articles that reflected last year's Gonzalez v. Carhart decision on “partial birth abortion” I used that phrase as my search term.  Lexis/Nexis has a cool new search feature that sorts results by source.  I searched magazines and of the 151 articles, a full 90 were accounted for by just The Weekly Standard and The National Review, the renowned Conservative flagships.  No other source even had ten articles on the topic.  Just thought that was kind of interesting. 

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“Saving” Social Security

I just love this post from Jonathan Chait, so I'm going to borrow it wholesale:

 The New York Times, summarizing John McCain's stance on Social Security:

He said he favored offering private investment accounts to younger
Americans, though it was not clear that investment accounts alone could
address the financial shortfall that the retirement system could face
in coming decades.

News accounts are constantly saying something like this. It's one of
those phrases that seems to be programmed into the computer of every
reporter who ever touches on Social Security. But it's wildly
inaccurate. Private investment accounts do not improve solvency at all. They make it worse.

Look, it's pretty simple. If you let younger workers divert some of
their Social Security tax dollars into private accounts, then that
money is not available to pay for regular Social Security benefits. So
for every dollar of private accounts that would be created, another
dollar of benefits has to be cut just to stay even. If the only element
of your plan is to create private accounts, which is the case with
McCain, then your plan worsens Social Security's finances.

I think I've made the following analogy before. Suppose my “plan”
for saving Social Security consists of building giant gold statues of
President Bush throughout the country. (Maybe the theory is, I don't
know, that the statues would make future retirees more patriotic and
thus more willing to accept lower Social Security benefits.) If
newspapers reported on this plan, would they say that “it's not clear
that the statues alone could address the financial shortfall that the
retirement system could face in coming decades”?

Jonathan Chait

What's especially sad is that the Times and the Washington Post are among the best of our media outlets and they are constantly guilty of this pathetic reporting.

Have you no shame, John McCain?

Wow.  Whatever integrity John McCain may have once had has surely all been tossed overboard in his desperate attempts to defame Obama in order to win the presidency.  Here's his latest ad:

It says:

?Barack Obama never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan,? the
ad?s announcer says. ?He hadn?t been to Iraq in years. He voted against
funding our troops. And now, he made time to go to the gym, but
cancelled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn?t
allow him to bring cameras. John McCain is always there for our troops.
McCain: Country first.? It concludes with the candidate?s voice: ?I?m
John McCain and I approve this message.?

Of course, it is not actually true. 

As Steve Benen puts it:

There are eight sentences in this campaign commercial, and the only honest one was McCain approving of this message.

The claim about Senate hearings is wildly misleading. The attack about voting against funding the troops is ridiculous. The argument about Obama not spending time in Iraq is disingenuous. The notion that Obama would rather go to the gym than visit wounded troops is insane. The claim that Obama would only visit troops if he could bring cameras is an inflammatory, transparent lie. The notion that McCain is ?always there for our troops? is demonstrably false.

I?m not trying to tell campaign reporters how to do their job. Actually, scratch that. I am trying to tell campaign reporters how to do their job.

The McCain campaign is airing an intentionally deceptive ad, hoping
that a) voters won?t know the truth and can be easily misled; and b)
the media won?t raise a fuss about the campaign lying to the public.

By refusing to do even the most basic level of fact checking, news outlets are encouraging the McCain campaign to engage in its most cynical and dishonorable tactics.

Greg Sargent also has a nice deconstruction.

I'm not surprised to have these ridiculous and scurrilous charged levelled against Obama.  What honestly surprises me, as that John McCain is lowering himself to be the messenger.  This is what I expected from the RNC.  If things continue at this rate, John McCain will not have an ounce of integrity or honor or decency left when this campaign is complete.

Olbermann sticks it to McCain here.