Intoxicated Ignorance

November 12, 2014

Liberty3Beautiful, wondrous skies early Wednesday up top this little section of California’s north coast — clouds like red-tinted porcelain seems to stretch far back east as the sun readies to arrive.
Of course, not-too-far back east, a shitload of people are well into mid-week — bustling, hustling along, apparently without a freakin’ clue.

Yesterday, from PolitiFact on blind stupidity: ‘…Congress had roughly a 14 percent approval rate, and the incumbent re-election rate may be as low as 95 percent…

(Illustration found here).

Last week’s midterms were seemingly a watershed event, and unfortunately, will only create/exacerbate bad shit in the not-so-distant future. PolitiFact was responding to a recent Internet meme off the elections floating through social media, which claimed, “11% approval ratings. 96.4% re-elected,” superimposed over a photograph of the US House chamber. So the well-regarded fact-checking site — a product of the Tampa Bay Times — took a look.
In the first sequence, the Congressional approval ratings, using, PolitiFact found: ‘That averages out to 14 percent — slightly higher than 11 percent, but in the same, miserable ballpark.
In the re-election category:

In the House, we counted 390 incumbents who ran on Election Day.
Of those, four haven’t had their races called as of Nov. 10, so we’ll set them aside.
Of the remaining 386 incumbents, 373 won, for a winning percentage of 96.6 percent.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, 23 out of 26 incumbents won, with one more (Alaska’s Mark Begich, a Democrat) trailing in a race that has not yet been called, and another (Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, also a Democrat) heading into a runoff.
If you don’t include Begich and Landrieu, the combined House-Senate incumbent winning percentage is 95.4 percent.
If you do include them, it falls slightly to 95 percent.
All of these percentages are exceedingly close to the meme’s stated 96.4 percent, and they’re a moving target due to late-called races.
So we won’t quibble.

And the bottom line to the meme: ‘So we rate the claim True.”

Definition of bat-shit crazy?

And one wonders with all the information/data/communication available nowadays to practically anybody how could American voters be so ignorant? Even the basics.
Also yesterday, via Here and Now on a new study by the research group, Ipsos-MORI, which portrays US peoples as way-blind:

When it comes to the nation’s biggest issues, many Americans do not know the basics.
They massively overestimate unemployment rates and the number of immigrants.
They assume that the nation’s murder rate is rising, when in fact it’s falling.
It may not be the duty of Americans to know the numbers, but the result of what some call “political ignorance” could be huge when it comes to electing leaders.

Within that Ipsos-MORI study is an “Index of Ignorance” of the top dumb-ass countries in the world — the US is second behind Italy for ‘least accurate.’

Yet sometimes, I guess, there’s a sense it’s bad, it’s really supposedly not: ‘Violent crime in the United States decreased 4.4 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, a report released Tuesday by the FBI said.’
Still personal, though, with more than 60 percent of all reported violent crimes tagged aggravated assaults, violence does appear on an uptick.
There’s that.

And the horror of the midterms is the GOP ‘winners.’ Americans in their ignorance, the huge, humongous losers.
From the Washington Post and a post-election survey from Pew Research:

Sixty six percent of Republicans said the they would prefer party leaders “stand up” to Obama “even if less gets done in Washington” while just 32 percent preferred GOP top brass “work with Obama, even if disappoints some GOP supporters.”
That view stands in direct opposition to the view of the broader electorate on that question; 57 percent of all Americans prefer that Republicans work together with Obama while 40 percent favor GOP leaders standing up to the president.
Among Democrats, a majority (52 percent) say that Obama should work with Republicans “even if it disappoints some Democratic supporters” while 43 percent would prefer they “stand up” to Republicans even if it means getting less done.

In fact, the same Pew poll shows that almost six in ten (57 percent) of Republicans want their leaders to move in a “more conservative direction” while 39 percent want their leaders to move in a more moderate one.
Some of that division is the result of the increasingly pejorative sense in which “moderate” is viewed among Republicans (it’s becoming like “liberal” for Democrats) but the split also reflects the desire of the rank and file to confront a president for whom they — and this is not too strong a word — hate.

How the shit can ‘less get done’ in DC? And what’s a too-strong a word?
Late last month, another survey from Pew reported this: ‘Nearly two-in-ten (19 percent) respondents from our survey said they get news from a source (be it a cable news network, a news magazine or a news website) that they distrust. This figure, though, is more pronounced among conservatives.’

We’ll just snag a cue from Pinball: “Or as they say in Ebonics, ‘We be fucked.'”

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