Apparently, It Is Too Hard To Make Up Their Own Lies

So they just copy them:

A congressional report used by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) to question the validity of the science behind global warming in a 2006 hearing was highly plagiarized, according to experts who reviewed it.

“The report was integral to congressional hearings about climate scientists,” Aaron Huertas of the Union of Concerned Scientists explained. “And it preceded a lot of conspiratorial thinking polluting the public debate today about climate scientists.”

The report was requested by Barton in 2005, when he was the head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a position he is currently trying to reclaim. In 2006, he said that global warming science is “pretty weak stuff.”

Plagiarism experts told USA Today that the report, which was authored by George Mason University statistician Edward Wegman, copied material from textbooks, Wikipedia, and other sources.

John Mashey, a retired computer scientist, conducted a year-long analysis of the Wegman report and found that 35 of the report’s 91 pages “are mostly plagiarized text, but often injected with errors, bias and changes of meaning.”

After yesterday’s cheating post, I’ll be interested to see how many people rush to justify this.

147 years ago…

I was reminded this morning by TeacherKen, one of my favorite Diarists over at GOS, that 147 years ago somebody said something that was important.

Gettysburg Address at LM

It is worth it today to take a few moments to reflect on Lincoln’s words and the work that remains to be done to perfect our Union.

This line:

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…”

is still a call to action that is as strong now as it was when Lincoln first uttered them by the fresh graves of Gettysburg nearly a hundred and fifty years ago.

The battles of the Civil War are still in play. As Faulkner said “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

The Confederate Party had good number of victories this year. They firmly control the Republican Party, a majority of seats in the House and enough additional Senators to enhance their goals of protecting the oligarchs funding them, promoting policies of white supremacy and to continue their 150 year-old attack on the Constitution and the Federal Government of the United States of America.

We would do well to remember Lincoln’s words from 147 years ago (and the second Inaugural Address) as we work to deal with the coming waves of neo-Confederate extremism.


Give Dennis that Chair.

The other day I wrote about Dennis Kucinich taking on the lies and bullshit of Darrel Issa, the incoming Republican Chairman of the very powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Today I was happy to see that Dennis took another step to fight Issa’s plans for an endless partisan witch hunt.

Read more

Car Workers

I wasn’t willing to make a bold prediction on the GM bail out, and I still won’t. I saw it as a difficult decision. But, I also live in the rust belt and I knew that allowing GM to go under would be devastating to this region, hurting everyone from parts suppliers to health care providers. In hindsight, I think they made the right (if politically unpopular) call.

I expected the chorus of certain doom and definitive statements from the Right, because if there’s anything Grover Norquist knows, it’s the auto industry. GM was Obama’s First Katrina. It might have been his second. I can’t keep track.

“This is somewhere in between Baghdad and fixing the flood in Louisiana,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said, comparing the GM decision to major stumbles by former President George W. Bush. Obama “has decided to take this over. He now owns it.”

I have to say, though, I was a flat-out pissed to see what may be my least favorite cable tv guest, even-the-liberal Robert Reich, emerge as one of the bailout’s biggest critics.

I thought his alternative proposal to the Obama solution was laughable, including as it did vague plans to “retrain” and “relocate” workers.

Cash could be used to retrain car workers, giving them extended unemployment insurance as they retrain.

Fabulous. I’m still not sure what a “car worker” is, but blithely tossing out “retraining” is easy, so I’m not surprised.

And then there’s this:

But US politicians dare not talk openly about industrial adjustment because the public does not want to hear about it.

Really? Who are these cowardly and loathsome “politicians” who dare not talk about “industrial adjustment”? Are any of them named Bill Clinton?

Would that Reich had been such a vocal critic when he actually had some power. No matter! He’s had all these bold and brilliant ideas all along, he just never implemented any of them, you know, when he was in charge of labor policy.

When conservatives needed a stick to bash unions with, they reached for Reich, so thanks for that, Robert. What we really need in this country is another fake-debate where we add up union workers hourly pay and benefits, and insist that’s their wage, although that math only applies to blue collar workers. We don’t do that addition when we talk about white collar workers. Ever.

Can I put Reich in the George Will category of credibility if he doesn’t revisit this issue?

Will sneers at “the automotive engineers in Congress,” though apparently his own automotive engineering sensibility towers above Motor Trend. Why has he been been denying us his expert automobile criticism?

Open Thread: With Repubs, It’s Always Projection

Wonder why those RandPaulistas were so intent on claiming that the MoveOn volunteer they curbstomped was “a deliberate provocateur” trying to “frame” those poor innocent defenders of… curbstomping? Dave Weigel at Slate unearths a tidbit the NYTimes didn’t feel worth sharing until safely after the election:

Before the election, I noted that a number of Democrats had put themselves in trouble — more trouble than their votes would have put them in — by acting like asses on video that had been uploaded and hyped up for months afterward. Two of those Democrats, Bob Etheridge and Phil Hare, lost…
In June, two young men identifying themselves as “students” found Etheridge walking to a fundraiser and asked “do you fully support the Obama agenda?” Etheridge blew up, pushing away the cameras and headlocking one of the young men as the other one filmed… I was asking who the young men were, because neither Etheridge or his opponent knew, which meant Etheridge couldn’t apologize in person and the local GOP couldn’t call on them to follow up.
Finally, we find out who they were. Sort of.
[Republicans] also tried to push Democrats into retirement, using what was described in the presentation as “guerilla tactics” like chasing Democratic members down with video cameras and pressing them to explain votes or positions. (One target, Representative Bob Etheridge of North Carolina, had to apologize for manhandling one of his inquisitors in a clip memorialized on YouTube. Only this week did Republican strategists acknowledge they were behind the episode.)
Does that matter? No. Etheridge manhandled the two men, and that’s all that matters. But when you think back to that week in June you realize how brilliant the guerrilla tactic was. The two men would only identify themselves as “students working on a project.” The political press, with a hot video but few scraps of information to go on, reported that Etheridge had assaulted “college students.” The anonymity of the videographers didn’t matter, because the news cycle doesn’t wait for details.

Bet the sure thing: When a Republican accuses his opponent of pecculation, it means that Republican can’t be trusted not to steal the small change out of a blind vendor’s tip tray. And if a Republican accuses someone else of sexual irregularities, don’t leave him alone with your spouse, your kids, or your barnyard animals (unless you’ve got the stomach for a really NSFW viral video).