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Monday, June 03, 2013

Stories to Watch: 6/3/13

The epidemic of kids shooting themselves with carelessly stored firearms continues. These things will happen. Remember, the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of toddlers, because LIBERTY! Any 'bagger can tell you that.

MSNBC's ratings slide explained: network is overly focused on politics (their mottos is "The Place for Politics," after all), leaving it to fall to third place whenever non-political news dominates. Terrorist bombings, exploding factories, and tornadoes means lower ratings, as everyone switches over to CNN. The bright side of this for the channels' liberal audience is that the GOP shouting, "Scandal! Scandal!" from the rooftops isn't news. This is one instance where MSNBC's ratings reflect Republican failure.

The failure of these "scandals" to catch on shouldn't be very surprising. Republicans have tried again and again to gin up controversy and again and again, those efforts have turned out to be hoaxes. Remember "death panels?"

The Wall Street Journal puts out a video of editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz ranting about NYC's bikeshare program. It' is seriously unhinged. It turns out that the city is helpless before the Powerful and Totalitarian Bike Lobby. You think I'm exaggerating, I'm not. She talks about it the way you might talk about the Syrian government mowing down citizens. Just insane;y over-the-top.

It's so divorced from reality that it's hilarious. James Fallows says the video perfectly sums up everything that's wrong with WSJ's editorializing these days. "Henceforth when you read the Journal's editorials, I invite you to hear this voice, expression, and tone..." he writes. "Onion writers, watch and weep."

An autopsy of a  powerful rightwing consulting firm that collapsed from within. The moral of this story: Christian conservatives are such untrustworthy, paranoid, and cutthroat bastards that not even one of their own kind should ever turn their back on them.

Geraldo Rivera wants New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to know he's totally prepared to step in and take over the late Frank Lautenberg's Senate seat. It's probably not going to happen, but how ghoulish is this anyway? The body's barely even cold. I'll be honest; I never really thought much of Geraldo in the first place -- but I've never thought less of him than I do now.

Greg Sargent writes that Lautenberg's death and Chris Christie's inevitable Republican appointee to replace him probably won't make much of a difference in the way the Senate is run. I agree. Filibusters don't seem to be broken by a one-vote margin very often and whoever Christie installs probably won't be in there long anyway. It's not a game changer, it's just a sad event.

Finally, puffins are dying of starvation at an alarming rate, due to climate change. You know, for something that's supposed to be a hoax, global warming sure does one helluva lot of damage.

[cartoon via Truthdig]

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