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6 Idiotic Right-Wing Statements This Week: O'Reilly Goes Off the Deep End Edition

September 27, 2014 in Blogs

By Janet Allon, AlterNet

Even his fellow Fox Newsians can't take the stupidity anymore.

1. Fox’s Eric Bolling demonstrates that if ever there was a “boob on the ground” he is it.

President Obama saluted the troops with a latte in his right hand this week, thus launching a flurry of some of the most inane commentary about patriotism the world has yet witnessed. A round of golf and a tan suit have nothing on latte. On Fox, it was all-latte-all-the-time, they were so hopped up on the stuff. This incredibly minor incident is all the right-wing needs to prove that the president has “no respect for the men and women in uniform.” And Fox’s Eric Bolling, co-host of “The Five,” is just the man to set the president right on that. But first, he just has to tell everybody this really funny line he thought of about the first female fighter pilot for the UAE, who is helping drop bombs on ISIS targets. “Would that be called ‘boobs on the ground?’” Bolling quipped Oh, good one, Eric. Hahahahahaha.

Even his co-hosts, and other Fox Newsians, like Greta van Susteren, collectively groaned. They wanted to know, Eric, how are we going to score points against Obama disrespecting the military when you make jokes like that?

Later, after his wife apparently gave him a dirty look when he arrived home that night, Bolling apologized on the air twice. So you know how heartfelt it must have been. Wifey's reaction is likely the only reason he apologized. It is also likely that he has many other boob jokes ready to go, because he just loves using that word.

2. All of Bill O’Reilly’s Fox co-workers say his plan for a huge mercenary “strike force” to fight Islamic extremists is beyond absurd.

Bill O’Reilly was so pleased with himself this week. He had come up with a solution to the problem of violent Islamic jihadist extremists, and it was brilliant. All we need is a 25,000-person, well-paid, mercenary “world-wide strike force,” he told viewers. “You wouldn’t believe how many military people who have called me and gone, ‘that’s a great …read more


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Dazed and Confused in America: My Homeland Makes Me Feel Like a Foreigner

September 27, 2014 in Blogs

By Tim Dowling, The Guardian

Trying to buy beer on a recent trip to Nashville left me more than a little humiliated.

America is my homeland, but it hasn’t been my home for almost 25 years. Whenever I return I spend a lot of time pretending not to be lost or bewildered by changes effected in my absence.

I’ve just returned from a week in Nashville with English friends who constantly deferred to my local knowledge. I’d never been to Nashville before, but I still knew the difference between a dime and a nickel.

I remain capable of explaining the procedure for negotiating an intersection governed by four stop signs. I know that the man on second base can run even if the ball is caught, provided he tags up first. When asked for my opinion I can confidently assert that cream soda is, at best, an acquired taste. But a lot of the time I’m as confused as any foreigner and hiding it.

As we pass the Capitol building I announce that this is where the Butler Act, banning the teaching of evolution in schools, was signed into law in 1925. Nobody needs to know that I had to look up the date on my phone first.

I am sent to buy beer on the grounds that I will know what kinds of beers are good, but I don’t recognise any of the brands. I pick one at random and read the label in case someone asks me what it’s like. “It’s got a bready malt aroma, balanced with maize sweetness,” I will say.

The man at the counter regards me blankly as I put down my beer. I hold out a $20 bill. He doesn’t take it. Could a six-pack possibly cost more than $20? How would I know? For a long moment neither of us speaks.

“Can I see some ID, please?” he says finally.

“Sorry?” I say.

“ID,” he says.

“I’m 51,” I say. “Look at the state of me.”

He stares back. Clearly the only absurdity he sees in the situation is my failure to furnish him a valid photo ID as required by Tennessee state law, like everyone else …read more


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Libertarians and the European Union: A Rejoinder to Petr Mach

September 27, 2014 in Economics

By Dalibor Rohac

Dalibor Rohac

There is much to agree with in Petr Mach’s response to my article about the European Union (EU). As he puts it, my defense of the EU is “utilitarian,” not a principled one, and I fully accept that it is possible to imagine alternatives to the current political arrangements in Europe that would be much friendlier to individual freedom than the status quo.

Unfortunately, Mr. Mach’s text does little to address my main concern, namely that such alternatives might not be on the menu of options available to us at the moment, and that the likely political dynamics of an EU downfall carry a big risk of making the continent, as a whole, less free.

It is naïve to think about a demise of the EU while ignoring the agendas of political groups that are pushing forward the Eurosceptic agenda. While Mr. Mach is a committed libertarian, he’s in a minority. There is already a lot of talk about Red UKIP, following the party conference in South Yorkshire, at which the left-leaning members held a fringe meeting. Or, take Italy’s Five Star Movement, for example, which belongs to the same parliamentary group in the European Parliament as Mr Mach’s Svobodní, and which advocates public investment into energy efficiency, a ban on stock options, and promises to fight socially harmful businesses such as “distributors of bottled water.”

Bad economic policy is not the greatest danger posed by illiberal Eurosceptics.”

If that sounds relatively innocuous, the manifesto of Marine Le Pen’s National Front offers some bolder ideas. It calls for “strategic planning of the re-industrialization,” under the auspices of the prime minister, using insights of leading academics, representatives of business, and of the government. “This policy is to take place in parallel with the introduction of reasonable border protection against unfair international competition (targeted tariffs and quotas),” according to the manifesto. Other policy ideas include the regulation of banking fees, unspecific policies aiming to “establish an equilibrium between independent business and large supply chains,” or international bans on financial derivatives.

For the sake of completeness, one could also discuss the policy ideas of Syriza, the Greek left-Eurosceptic group whose platform is based on a wholesale rejection of the ‘austerity’ allegedly imposed on the country by the Troika. But bad economic policy is not the greatest danger posed by illiberal Eurosceptics.

What unites most Eurosceptic parties, notwithstanding the libertarian rhetoric of some of them, is their opposition to immigration—and …read more

Source: OP-EDS