Climate change survey suggests axis of denial between GOP, old people

Mitch McConnell (R–KY) briefly considers his role in climate change, reassuring himself that he will die soon.

Mitch McConnell (R–KY) reassures himself that nothing matters and he will die soon.

The good news is that 54% of Americans now believe global warming is caused by human behavior, the highest percentage yet reported in a New York Times/CBS News poll. Among survey respondents who identified as Republican, however, 18% said global warming didn’t exist, and another 42% insisted it was caused by “natural patterns in the Earth’s environment”—an impressive 60% who believe there’s nothing we can do. But maybe the most exciting statistic has to do with age:

More than seven in 10 of those 65 and older expected to see no impact from global warming in their lifetimes, but many younger people did, including 50 percent of those under 30.

That’s the beauty of believing that scientists are lying and we don’t have to do anything about the most serious environmental problem in human history: if you’re wrong but also old, you’ll never have to pay for it.

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Thursday corporatocracy watch: orange

Foster Friess, unfortunately likable gajillionaire Santorum donor

When I checked the corporatocracy meter this morning, it was damn near red. It turns out that the Rick Santorum victories in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri that came out of nowhere Tuesday night actually came from Foster Friess, a Tea Party supporter and mutual fund investor. Props to Mose for the link. When the Santorum campaign could not afford to purchase advertising, Friess’s donation to the Red, White and Blue Super PAC paid for a monster radio and television blitz in Minnesota. On Monday, meanwhile, President Obama announced that he would begin accepting the aid of super PACs, apparently reversing his position on entities he called a threat to our democracy. For a while there, it looked like the whole corporatocracy meter/valve/pump assembly was going to blow, but then the House banned insider trading by members of Congress. So we’re back to just running at maximum pressure.

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Richard Florida points way to permanent conservative majority

Say what you will about the Tea Party; they are all wearing ball caps and sunglasses. Also they participate in a rhetoric of violence.


As part of his ongoing research into how much mileage you can get out of one sociological theory, Richard Florida has produced this terrifying examination of statistical conservatism in the United States. Props to “Mirko” Mike Sebba for the link. If you’re excited to see which states are more conservative than others, I urge you to close your eyes and visualize them right now, because you will be exactly right. Mississippi is the only state where more than 50% of respondents in a Gallup poll identified as conservatives, with a gang of mini-ssippis—North Dakota, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Dakota and South Carolina, where nobody really followed up on why this happened—close behind. Does that list seem familiar to you? That’s right: they’re the suck states.

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Trying to make sense out of Jared Lee Loughner

By now you may have heard about Jared Lee Loughner, the Arizona man accused of shooting Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 19 other people at a meet-your-congressperson even in Tuscon Saturday. Besides a slough of community college professors only too eager to talk about how weird he was in class, not much is known about Loughner. Or rather, a ton is known about Jared Lee Loughner, but it doesn’t really fit together. For example, he made this YouTube video. It’s constructed around formal syllogisms in which meaning flickers like those things you see on the periphery of your vision when you’re really tired, but it makes no sense at all. There are references to the Gold Standard and the Constitution, but there are also references to “conscience dreaming” and the US government trying to control the structure of English grammar. It doesn’t really hold together as an ideology, because Jared Loughner is a crazy person. That’s bad news for the people trying to triangulate his actions within contemporary American politics, and there are a lot of them. In the aftermath of his senseless attack, both halves of our fractured national discourse are scrambling to make Jared Loughner a charactering in some narrative they’ve been condemning all along.

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Senate continues its transition to world’s largest body of hostages

And all it takes to stop it is one man! Or woman. Not a black guy, though.

Remember back in high school, when we learned about the orderly progress of a bill through the legislative branch and/or how to express our feelings sexually, and I learned the first one? It seemed so simple back then: a bill began its metamorphosis into law when it got a majority of votes in the House and then the Senate, and it emerged a beautiful butterfly for the President to sign or subject to the hungry barn owl of veto. Even then, the Senate could pass it again with a two-thirds majority. That was the old US Senate. In the new Senate, a two-thirds majority is what you need to pass any bill at all. This system is great, since it frees up the senators to pursue A) negotiating various para-legislative compromises to get the aforementioned sixty votes and B) personal projects. Item (B) is what occupies Senator Herb Kohl (D–WI) lately, which is why he’s decided to block confirmation of nominated DEA chief Michele Leonhart. Yes, that’s a “D” next to his name. He learned it from watching you, Dad.

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