The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Part III

According to Fux News host, Obama used a raw onion to fake tears while talking about school kids dying. Recently, it was reported that―horror of horrors!―Obama doesn’t watch enough cable news, and therefore doesn’t understand the nation’s concerns about terrorism…Some would consider eschewing the manufactured reality of the cable news media-industrial-complex a feature and not a bug.

The Dunning Kruger Effect: Part II

To paraphrase Dunning-Kruger: Fools lack the tools to recognize their foolishness; i.e. their limitations. The alternative to this lack of self-awareness is to blame someone else for their failures; to wit, that secret Muslim-Kenyan commie illegally occupying the White House. Naturally, this illegal occupation trope is being sold to the gullible as a promise by certain GOP presidential candidates to repeal every piece of legislation, every executive order, signed into law by our illegitimate president. Because freedom!


  In Mary Shelley’s classic sci-fi horror novel, Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus (1818), her protagonist, the brilliant Dr. Viktor Frankenstein, allows his hubris to get the better of him by assuming the powers of the Creator. His monstrous faux human creation, without name or number in the original—let’s call him “Donald” for now– refers to himself initially as “the Adam of …

It’s A Trap!

Bobo is the yapping dog that latches onto the bumper of what he only thinks is a moving car…the Wingnut House Caucus the symphorophiliacs found in J.G. Ballard’s novel Crash.

Getting Real About Gun Safety

According to the NRA ad above, President Obama is just another “elitist hypocrite” for accepting Secret Service protection for his daughters.


And this on the heels of a new first person shooter phone app called “NRA Shooting Range.” It features coffin shaped targets using a virtual semi-automatic pistol that , for an extra 99 cents, can be upgraded to a MK11 sniper rifle. It is being marketed to an age appropriate audience of wanna be killers; that is, from four year olds to adults.


As I type this, President Obama is on my teevee announcing the results of Vice President Joe Biden‘s commission on how to limit the carnage with a combination of proposed congressional legislation and 23 new executive orders. Naturally, this has the wingnuts up in arms (literally), including a threat of impeachment from Texas Representative Steve Stockman, who compares Obama to Saddam Hussein.

There is, of course, much more to this current gun nut craziness than meets the eye, beyond the role that groups like the NRA play as marketing shills for the billion dollar munitions industry. Cognitive science, narratology, evolutionary psychology, identity politics, and ongoing wingnut propaganda all play a role, which I hope to address in a future post.

Meanwhile, a debate that has long been held hostage by “gun enthusiasts” has begun in earnest, and is already producing policy changes that can make society a bit safer. President Obama has decided to spend a significant amount of his political capital in realizing that goal. It remains to be seen whether there is enough courage on Capitol Hill to match his commitment to turn the public’s outrage over the massacre of first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School into the first sane restrictions on gun control in a generation.

We conclude with this totally vile performance by Rush Limbaugh mimicking the pleas of children to make their world a little safer, which he and Fux News characterize as “human shields” used by the Obama Administration to promote its fascist agenda. Or something like that.

Ricks v. Fux News (Update)

While I’ve never been a fan of Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Ricks, whom I’ve always considered a deferential Pentagon Village groupie, he deserves mega props for sticking it to Fux News today.

Fux tries to sell itself as a serious news program during the midday hours when it isn’t featuring Rethug propagandists like O’Reilly, Hannity, Van Sustern, and the Fux Force Five. One of its supposed objective news anchors, Jon Scott, was gobsmacked today when Ricks spoke truth to power and called out Fux for being the propaganda arm of the GOP. (Actually, I think it’s the other way around, but we’ll let that go for now.)

HuffPo quotes Ricks:

“I think Benghazi was generally hyped by this network especially,” Ricks said. He added that he thought McCain seemed to be “backing off” from criticizing Rice since “the campaign [was] over.

When you have four people dead for the first time in more than 30 years, how do you call that hype?” Scott said, pushing back against Rice’s [sic] characterization of the network’s coverage.

Ricks compared the situation to security contractors who were killed in Iraq. He described the attack in Benghazi as a “small fire-fight” and added, “I think the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox is operating as the wing of the Republican Party.

Obviously, Scott’s talking points didn’t anticipate Ricks’ bald faced truth, and he terminated the interview after only 90 seconds.


UPDATE: 11/28/12   Ricks denies Fux News’ claim that he later apologized for his remarks. Huffpo reports:

On Tuesday, Ricks and Fox News were still feuding. Fox News’ executive VP of news editorial Michael Clemente told the Hollywood Reporter that Ricks “apologized in our offices afterward but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly.”

Ricks denied an apology ever took place. In an email to the Hollywood Reporter, Ricks wrote, “Please ask Mr. Clemente what the words of my supposed apology were. I’d be interested to know. Frankly, I don’t remember any such apology.”

UPDATE: 11:30 a.m. — TVNewser spoke with Clemente, who told the site that he would “refresh [Ricks’] memory” on the apology. After the segment, Clemente said that Ricks told Fox News staffers, “Sorry … I’m tired from a non-stop book tour.” Clemente added, “Perhaps now he can finally get some rest.”

UPDATE: 6:20 p.m. — Ricks emailed Clemente on Tuesday afternoon to clarify that he did not apologize after his interview with Fox News. See a copy of his email below:

Mr. Clemente,

To clarify my comments for you: I did not apologize.

As it happened, I ran into Bret Baier as I emerged from the interview. We know each other from working at the Pentagon. He asked if I was serious in saying that Fox had hyped Bengahzi, and I said I was. We discussed that. It was cordial exchange. (I wouldn’t mention this private conversation except that you apparently are quoting my hallway conversations as part of your attack.)

Later, as I was leaving, the booker or producer (I am not sure what her title was) said she thought I had been rude. I said I might have been a bit snappish because I am tired of book tour. This was in no way an apology but rather an explanation of why I jumped a bit when the anchor began the segment with the assertion that pressure on the White House was building—which it most clearly was not.

Note to Fux News: By all means, keep ignoring the First Rule of Holes.

McCain and Fux News Implode Over Benghazi

McCain Doocy
Cranky Grampy McCain and his supporting cast of Fux News douchebags react to their Bengahzi-Gate conspiracy theory slamming shut in their faces

ThinkProgress reports:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) today issued a statement essentially conceding that he was wrong in accusing the White House of changing U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s talking points on Benghazi for political purposes.

Former CIA Director David Petraeus told lawmakers last week that the CIA’s assessment that al Qaeda was responsible for the Sept. 11 attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi was taken out of Rice’s talking points after an interagency review. McCain and his allies then claimed the White House took out the talking points because it supposedly undercut the Obama administration’s narrative that it had severely weakened al Qaeda.
But Intelligence officials told CNN yesterday that the intelligence community was responsible for the changes made to Rice’s talking points. The Director of National Intelligence spokesperson said that the White House did not make any “substantive changes.”


But McCain, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Republicans, has lead a proverbial witch hunt against the Obama administration and Rice, claiming that the administration deliberately misled the public about the nature of the attacks. Today’s news comes just a week after McCain went on national television and claimed that Rice’s “talking points came from the White House, not from the DNI.” He added on Fox that “I think it’s patently obvious that the talking points that Ambassador Rice had didn’t come from the CIA. It came from the White House.” For weeks, McCain has lambasted the administration for engaging in “either a cover-up or the worst kind of incompetence” on the Benghazi attack. McCain also said last week that “[e]verybody knew that it was an al Qaeda attack and she continued to tell the world through all of the talk shows [on Sept. 16] that it was a ‘spontaneous demonstration’ sparked by a video.

McCain has also said he would block the nomination of Rice for Secretary of State, should the President choose her, saying he would “do everything in my power to block her,” that Rice is “not qualified” for the position and that “she should have known better.” He subsequently said he would bock any nominee Obama put forward.

But now that every angle of McCain’s attacks have been completely debunked, all he has left is to complain about not being told that intelligence officials didn’t give him this information sooner.

That and the fact that his diaper needs changing.