Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for February 7th, 2010

New post at the Cachagua Store

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Here it is.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 February 2010 at 4:05 pm

Posted in Daily life

"Our dysfunctional Left"

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Good post by Kevin Drum.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 February 2010 at 3:54 pm

The Right and its manipulation of the media

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Good post by Anne Landman at

In a video posted on YouTube on February 3, House Representative Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) explains how the right wing media machine creates and spreads disinformation in an effort to smear the left. "Disinformation" should not be confused with "misinformation," the unintentional form of wrong information. Disinformation is produced by people who intend to mislead their audience.

Step 1: Fabricate the Lie

Frank tells how John Fund, an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal, told a lie about him in November of last year: In a speech at a conservative function in Florida called"Restoration Weekend," Fund claimed that, after losing the special election in Massachusetts, Democrats Chuck Schumer and Barney Frank were going to propose a bill to create universal voter registration. Fund further stated that Democrats were going to add all welfare recipients and unemployed people to the voter rolls, and he called it "felon re-enfranchisement."

In reality, Frank explains, there was no such bill.

Step 2: Activate the Right Wing Media Echo Chamber

Despite that there was no such bill, the Washington Times ran an article proclaiming "Schumer and Frank have plans to ram through legislation that will produce universal voter registration," and saying, "It’ll be on the floor of the house in two weeks." Next, conservative TV host Glenn Beck picked up the lie and repeated it on his show, and then Rush Limbaugh did the same. Soon after, the Situation Room, a CNN political program, contacted Frank to ask him why he was bringing the universal voter registration bill. Frank told them there was no such bill, and inquired about the source of their information. He discovered the source was Mr. Fund’s statement in his November speech at the "Restoration Weekend."

Thus Fund’s disinformation provided fuel for the right-wing media’s echo chamber, wherein more and more media outlets pick up the disinformation and repeat it across the country, with the intent of generating anger and outrage against Democrats.

Step 3: Zero Fact Checking

Not one of these broadcast figures or entities took the time to check the facts of what they were talking about, Frank said. After discovering the source of the quickly-spreading disinformation, Frank wrote to Mr. Fund to tell him that his assertion about the bill was factually incorrect. Rep. Frank asked Fund to publicly acknowledge that there was, in fact, no bill. Fund did not comply. Fund later admitted privately to one of Rep. Frank’s staffers that he had made a mistake, and when the staffer asked whether Fund had issued a retraction, Fund said, "Oh, yeah." But when the staffer asked for a copy, Fund said, "Oh, I, uh, told a couple of people." Fund has never issued a formal retraction of his misstatement…

Continue reading. Frank’s video:

Written by LeisureGuy

7 February 2010 at 3:49 pm

Posted in Daily life, GOP, Media

Good questions from Steve Benen

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Read the whole post, from which I take the questions:

But it should offer journalists a chance to ask some fair and pertinent questions of those who are on the attack now. Indeed, major media outlets are already presenting the Republican arguments as legitimate; it’s not unreasonable to recommend an obvious follow-up.

* Bush/Cheney read Miranda rights to attempted terrorists. Did you publicly criticize this at the time?

* Bush/Cheney put terrorists on trial in civilian courts on American soil. Did you publicly criticize this at the time?

* Bush/Cheney locked up terrorists in American prisons on American soil. Did you publicly criticize this at the time?

* Bush/Cheney endorsed closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Did you publicly disagree at the time?

This isn’t complicated. If a conservative critic of the president can honestly answer "yes" to any of these questions, he/she is at least on consistent ground. It’s substantively foolish, but those who argued publicly that Bush/Cheney’s national security policies represented "weakness" on counter-terrorism have a credible foundation from which to launch their arguments now.

But therein lies the point: identical practices are not generating identical reactions. Presidents with Rs after their names can applauded for embracing one set of policies, while presidents with Ds after their names are condemned for embracing the same policies.

It’s so transparent as to be obvious: those who answer "no" to the questions above, but who are now trashing the Obama administration, are shameless and dishonest hacks. Period.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 February 2010 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Daily life, GOP, Media

Do you make home-brewed beer?

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Then this post will be of interest. I made my own beer for a while (over 50 years ago). You can make very good beer (and stout, porter, and so on) with relatively little investment—and unlike wine, beer is ready to drink after very short aging.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 February 2010 at 3:42 pm

Posted in Daily life, Drinks

Report medical malpractice, go to jail

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This report in the NY Times by Kevin Sack is astonishing:

It occurred to Anne Mitchell as she was writing the letter that she might lose her job, which is why she chose not to sign it. But it was beyond her conception that she would be indicted and threatened with 10 years in prison for doing what she knew a nurse must: inform state regulators that a doctor at her rural hospital was practicing bad medicine.

Sheriff Robert L. Roberts Jr., who investigated the case against the nurses, voiced confidence in it.

When she was fingerprinted and photographed at the jail here last June, it felt as if she had entered a parallel universe, albeit one situated in this barren scrap of West Texas oil patch.

“It was surreal,” said Mrs. Mitchell, 52, the wife of an oil field mechanic and mother of a teenage son. “I said how can this be? You can’t go to prison for doing the right thing.”

But in what may be an unprecedented prosecution, Mrs. Mitchell is scheduled to stand trial in state court on Monday for “misuse of official information,” a third-degree felony in Texas.

The prosecutor said he would show that Mrs. Mitchell had a history of making “inflammatory” statements about Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles Jr. and intended to damage his reputation when she reported him last April to the Texas Medical Board, which licenses and disciplines doctors.

Mrs. Mitchell counters that as an administrative nurse, she had a professional obligation to protect patients from what she saw as a pattern of improper prescribing and surgical procedures — including a failed skin graft that Dr. Arafiles performed in the emergency room, without surgical privileges. He also sutured a rubber tip to a patient’s crushed finger for protection, an unconventional remedy that was later flagged as inappropriate by the Texas Department of State Health Services…

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 February 2010 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Daily life, Law, Medical

Sarah Palin doesn’t need a TelePrompTer

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No, indeed. Instead, she jots notes on the palm of her hand with a ballpoint pen (photo at link).

As has been pointed out, this means that she knew in advance the question would be asked, so wrote down the four points (since she was able to remember only the first point on her own).

Written by LeisureGuy

7 February 2010 at 10:40 am

Posted in Daily life, GOP

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