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Playing With Teen Sex Statistics: A Lesson in Lies

If most high school kids aren’t having sex yet, that means that it’s that much more important to get them good sex education, so when they start having sex---and statistics overwhelmingly show that they will---they know how to make healthy choices.

Amanda Marcotte,  RHRealityCheck.org

There are many goofy aspects to this Life Site News story arguing that because a slim majority of teenagers don’t have sex, we don’t need to teach them about contraceptive methods. Perhaps the most puzzling is why they came out with the story on July 14th, since the report came out a month and a half ago. (In classic Life Site fashion, they don’t actually link the report, for fear that a stray reader may actually read it an clue into the fact that their spin is dishonest.) Did it take the American Life League (ALL) this long to craft a response? If so, you’d expect them to come up with something less transparently silly than this:

ALL says that the CDC report, entitled “Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Child Bearing, National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG),” debunks Planned Parenthood’s constant mantra that most teens will not abstain. In particular the pro-life organization points to the words of Planned Parenthood Federation of America vice president of medical affairs, Vanessa Cullens, from a YouTube video directed toward teens: “Admit that you are a sexually active individual like most of us, and that you are going to have sex and that you need to take precautions in order to stay healthy.”

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Don't Try These GOP Alibis at Home

Not all Americans are equal. Some are so powerful and important that if they ever find themselves in a tight pinch, they can expect an “investigation” to turn logic on its head to establish their “innocence.”

Robert Parry, Consortium News

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editoir Thomas Sklarski

In the world where most of us live, these “alibis” would not be considered very effective and indeed might make you look guiltier. The investigators also might get offended, thinking that you regard them as very stupid. [For the full details on these alibis, see “The Crazy October Surprise Debunking.”]

However, in Official Washington when the political desire is strong to get rid of some messy scandal, alibis of this sort will do just fine, as they did in dispensing with the nasty allegations that Ronald Reagan's campaign sabotaged President Jimmy Carter’s efforts to free 52 American hostages in Iran, a failure that paved the way for Reagan’s historic landslide in 1980.

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Crisis. What Crisis? Profits Soar!

  • "From the first quarter of this year, corporate profits have shot up between twenty to over a hundred percent."
  • The jobs emergency
  • The Forgotten Foreclosure Crisis

James Petras, Axis of Logic

While progressives and leftists write about the “crises of capitalism”, manufacturers, petroleum companies, bankers and most other major corporations on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific coast are chuckling all the way to the bank.

From the first quarter of this year, corporate profits have shot up between twenty to over a hundred percent, (Financial Times August 10, 2010, p. 7).  In fact, corporate profits have risen higher than they were before the onset of the recession in 2008 (Money Morning March 31, 2010).  Contrary to progressive bloggers the rates of profits are rising not falling, particularly among the biggest corporations (Consensus Economics, August 12, 2010).  The buoyancy of corporate profits is directly a result of the deepening crises of the working class, public and private employees and small and medium size enterprises.

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The jobs emergency, Robert Reich, Robert Reich

  • Twelve thousand new jobs in July -- when 125,000 are needed monthly just to keep up with population growth, when more than 15 million Americans are out of work, and when more than a half-million more state and local jobs are on the chopping block.
  • Predictably, Washington's latest rescue effort falls woefully short
  • U.S. Experiencing Worst Episode of Prolonged Unemployment Since Great Depression
  • An aid package to the states to prevent layoffs was funded by cutting the federal food stamp program.

The Forgotten Foreclosure Crisis, Think Progress

  • Without more intervention, the housing market will continue its 'slow motion' adjustment that will continue to inhibit economic growth and drag down consumer spending.
  • Foreclosures Rise with Unemployment
  • Homeowners' Rebellion: Could 62 Million Homes Be Foreclosure-Proof?

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The 'Professional Right' Goes Unchallenged by 'Amateur Left' in the White House

Keith Olbermann Special Comment, Countdown, MSNBC, in Common Dreams

In a Special Comment, Countdown’s Keith Olbermann explains to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs that while his frustration is understandable, it is more appropriately directed at the “professional right” and at the Obama administration itself for throwing out so many principles in an effort to compromise with an unwilling partner.

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Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance ~ Alexander Zaitchik

How we, as progressives, engage with a population that yearns for this non-existent version of America, particularly when so many of our citizens are in economic crisis, is something that Common Nonsense can at least begin to help us with. Glenn Beck and his appeal, no matter how ridiculous we may find it, is most certainly real. This sensational book is a great place to start exploring the phenomenon.

Book review by Susan Gardner, Daily Kos

Glenn Beck, perhaps more than any other figure on the conservative right, presents a dilemma for movement progressives: Is it bad politics for us to take him seriously? Are we merely giving him more oxygen by giving him attention, feeding his popularity by highlighting his extremism? Is fact-checking his numerous distortions and outright lies worth the effort? Surely, we think, anyone rational can see his buffoonery, and those who would be convinced by any fact check already are not believing him. And yet his camp followers won’t be switching any allegiances based on anything Media Matters—or, for that matter, neutral traditional media outlets--debunks. So what’s the point?

Well, the main point for journalist Alexander Zaitchik in his excellent critical biography Common Nonsense, is that Beck is tying into a dark side of America that’s been with us for a long, long time, combining the fan-flaming of Elmer Gantry and Billy Sunday with the mushy, god-based, red-white-and-blue streak of reactionarianism that rejects modernism and embraces an America that never, ever was. It’s not so much Beck's getting history so very wrong that is so disturbing—it’s that so many Americans are eagerly egging him on, seemingly begging to be brought into his Very American Fantasy.

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Republicans are at it again

  • They were lying then (about Social Security) and they're lying now.
  • Add your name and tell Congress "Hand Off Social Security."
  • Top 5 Social Security Myths
  • Five myths about the Bush tax cuts

Jim Dean, Democracy for America

The Deficit Commission is the most dangerous threat Social Security has ever faced. Republicans stacked the bipartisan commission with right-wingers who've spent their careers trying to kill Social Security -- and Congress has promised to fast-track the Commission's recommendations.

These right-wingers are spreading the same myths they did during George Bush's privatization scheme, saying Social Security is in crisis, it's going bankrupt, and it's adding to the deficit.

They were lying then and they're lying now.

Social Security works and has worked for 75 years. Right now, the Social Security Trust Fund has a surplus of over $2.5 trillion. That surplus is projected to grow to $4.3 trillion by 2023.

Republicans are spreading lies about Social Security and it's up to us to stop them. Join us in standing strong for Social Security -- no cuts, no raising the retirement age. Sign our pledge today and send a clear message to Congress and candidates for Congress -- Hands off Social Security.

Hands off Social Security -- Join us and sign the pledge right now.

In 2005, I had the great honor of working with DFA members across the country to beat back Republicans and help save Social Security. But Republicans in Washington never change and Social Security is under attack again.

These right-wing Republicans on the Deficit Commission have pulled out the old Bush playbook. They're working to end Social Security as we know it -- cutting benefits and raising the retirement age all in the name of "deficit reduction."

To that, we say not just "no" but "Hell No!"

Add your name and tell Congress "Hand Off Social Security."

We're not pulling any punches in our campaign to save Social Security. We're organizing DFA members across the country to sign the pledge, call Congress, and knock on doors to organize their friends and neighbors. We'll do whatever it takes to keep right-wing Republicans and Corporate Democrats from ending Social Security as we know it.

Thank you for everything you do.

Related:

Top 5 Social Security Myths, Nita Chaudhary, MoveOn.org Political Action
We've put together a list of the top five myths about Social Security, along with the real story.

Five myths about the Bush tax cuts, William G. Gale, Star Tribune | MN

  • A gloomy economic outlook...has given rise to a number of stubborn myths about what extending the Bush tax cuts would -- or wouldn't -- do.
  • Tax the rich more. (They can take it.)
  • Trickle Down Economics doesn't work
  • Top 5 Social Security Myths

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Five myths about the Bush tax cuts

  • A gloomy economic outlook...has given rise to a number of stubborn myths about what extending the Bush tax cuts would -- or wouldn't -- do.
  • Tax the rich more. (They can take it.)
  • Trickle Down Economics doesn't work
  • Top 5 Social Security Myths

William G. Gale, Star Tribune | MN

Tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, known as the Bush tax cuts, are set to expire Dec. 31, and the fight over what to do is heated.

The cuts lowered tax rates across the board on income, dividends and capital gains; eventually eliminated the estate tax; further lowered burdens on married couples, parents and the working poor, and increased tax credits for education and retirement savings. President Obama's proposal would extend most of these reductions, allowing only those for individuals making more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000 to expire.
Complicating the debate is a gloomy economic outlook, decidedly different from the rosy scenario that prevailed at the beginning of the last decade. That has given rise to a number of stubborn myths about what extending the Bush tax cuts would -- or wouldn't -- do.

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Tax the rich more. (They can take it.) Richard R. Miller, StarTribune | MN
Dayton's campaign cry is really quite reasonable when you look at how state taxes have changed over the years.

Trickle Down Economics doesn't work says Alan Blinder. Here’s what does, Posted by rmontero, AlterNet

  • Redirecting money from the expiring Bush tax cuts to unemployment benefits would be a net job creator and give the economy a much-needed boost.
  • Long-Term Economic Pain

Top 5 Social Security Myths, Nita Chaudhary, MoveOn.org Political Action
We've put together a list of the top five myths about Social Security, along with the real story.

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Top 5 Social Security Myths

We've put together a list of the top five myths about Social Security, along with the real story.

Nita Chaudhary, MoveOn.org Political Action

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Connie Choiuinard

Social Security is under attack and we need to fight back against the lies.

Have you heard that Social Security is going bankrupt? Driving up the deficit? In crisis? Well none of that is true. These are all myths that opponents of Social Security have been spreading to scare people into accepting benefit cuts this fall. But the myths are taking hold—so we have to fight back with the facts. So we've put together a list of the top five myths about Social Security, along with the real story.

Can you check out the list and then share it with your friends, family, and coworkers? Share the list by clicking here. If you're on Facebook, share it by clicking here. If you're on Twitter, tweet it here.

Top 5 Social Security Myths

Myth #1: Social Security is going broke. Reality: There is no Social Security crisis.  By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.6 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a 'T').  It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it'll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits—and again, that's without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers' retirement decades ago.2  Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.

Myth #2: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer. Reality: This is a red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than they did 70 years ago.3 What's more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly—since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4 But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut. 

Myth #3: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security.  Reality: Social Security doesn't need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here's a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share.  If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6  But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.

Myth #4: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs Reality: Not even close to true. The Social Security Trust Fund isn't full of IOUs, it's full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market—which would have been disastrous—but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.

Myth #5: Social Security adds to the deficit Reality: It's not just wrong—it's impossible!  By law, Social Security's funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can't add one penny to the deficit.8 Defeating these myths is the first step to stopping Social Security cuts.  Can you share this list now? Thanks for all you do. –Nita, Duncan, Daniel, Kat, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010 

2. "The Straight Facts on Social Security," Economic Opportunity Institute, September 2009

3. "Social Security and the Age of Retirement," Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010

4. "More on raising the retirement age," Washington Post, July 8, 2010

5. "Social Security is sustainable," Economic and Policy Institute, May 27, 2010

6. "Maximum wage contribution and the amount for a credit in 2010," Social Security Administration, April 23, 2010

7. "Trust Fund FAQs," Social Security Administration, February 18, 2010

8."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010

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