Category: Education

What is shrinking is the reportorial component of our culture in which people go out and find things and verify things,” he said. Truth has little chance to make itself known in the new narrow and shallow public square.

Why Are Americans So Ill-Informed about Climate Change?: Scientific American.


Right-wingers seem to have a problem understanding how this whole free-speech thing works. They seem to believe, for instance, that it’s perfectly acceptable for them to say the most outrageous things imaginable as part of their rights to free speech — but if someone stands up and exercises their free-speech rights by criticizing what they said, then by God, they’re trying to take their rights away!

Liberals don’t want to ‘silence’ conservatives — they’d just like to have an honest democratic debate | Crooks and Liars.

What the fuck has Obama done so far?.

We’ve seldom seen a piece of legislation so widely misrepresented, and misunderstood, as the new health care law. We stopped counting the number of articles and items we turned out on the subject after the total reached 100.

Some of that is understandable. The debate went on for more than a year, while the different House and Senate bills changed their shape constantly.  The final law was the product of an awkward two-step legislative dance that first enacted the Senate’s version, then quickly amended it with a reconciliation “fix.” No wonder people are confused.

And even now the misrepresentations continue. The new law is no longer a moving target, but some opponents persist in making false or exaggerated claims about it. Our inboxes are filled with messages asking about assertions that the new law:


Karl Rove and the Liberal (Independent) – SusanThur – Open Salon.  Link for Photos

Can someone spin the Spin Master? I just did!  I am a big Obama supporter/ I was at a Karl Rove book signing and I was able to get him to sign my Audacity of Hope book(page33). By asking Karl Rove to sign the page in Obama’s book he was not too happy about. I knew Political Spin will now be my device to make use of in requesting Mr. Rove to sign my The Audacity of Hope book. It is so rich and amusing to see politicians place the political spin on each other. How could he deny me when I am offering him some self-perceived vindication?

Read how I did it.

‘Courage and Consequence’

In this Photo Mr. Rove is looking in my Audacity of Hope (Obama book). In his book Mr. Rove stated that Obama misquoted him–he said—he never said that.

 In Mr. Rove’s book this passage is written this way: Shorty after publication of Obama’s The Audacity of Hope, my deputy Barry Jackson asked, “Did you know you’re in his book?” I didn’t, but there on page 33, accused of saying something I’d never said:

 The section Mr. Rove states in his book stated in Mr. Obama Book: For a younger generation of conservative operatives who would soon rise to power, for Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove and Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed, the fiery rhetoric was more than a matter of campaign strategy. They were true believers who meant what they said, whether it was “not new taxes’ or “We are a Christian nation.”

 Continuing to read Mr. Rove: “While I readily admit to believing and saying the part about taxes, I certainly don’t believe and never said, “We are a Christian nation.”  It’s one thing to say that America is a notion of faith, that our country draws on the Judeo-Christian ethic, and that we celebrate the First Amendment’s protection of the “free exercise” of religion. It’s entirely something else to say, “We are a Christian nation.” What happened to the Jews? The Muslims? The Hindus? The Buddhists? The skeptics and nonbelievers? In America, you can have any faith—-or not believe at all—-and still be just as good an American as anyone else.”

 Yep, as I read through Mr. Rove’s book, and yes, I read a lot before the book signing. I did not think it right to go for the book signing and not do my homework. What kind of political science student would I be —if I did not do that.

As I read, I would tab things I agreed with and I tab things I did not. And yes, there were many, many sections I did not agree but there were some I did, mostly the sections pertaining to Political Strategy. Rove is a Master when it comes to Political Strategy. It is one of the reasons I went to the book signing. Now, someone may ask, Why, me, who is a die-hard Obama supporter would go see Karl Rove– a Republican strategist! I guess because I do see myself a political science student and Karl Rove is one of my study subjects. How can I not be there when someone I have been studying is so close to my home. I can not let this opportunity pass me by.

 As I read the book, I would tab things I agreed and I tab things I did not. The so called Obama quote about Mr. Rove was a section I tabbed which I agreed with Mr. Rove. Of my many studies of Mr. Rove I do believe he would not have “said” “We are a Christian nation”About the taxes– yes.  But Christian nation passage –no.  Karl Rove, as a master political strategist, “Using”, “Manipulating”, and “Courting” the Republican Religious Right base and the Christian Right’s propaganda —We are a Christian nation reference—Yes.  

“National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as ‘ridiculous,’ ‘out of control,’ and just plain ‘goofy,’” David Kuo writes in his book Tempting Faith  He says some of the nation’s most prominent evangelical leaders were known in the office of presidential political strategist Karl Rove as “the nuts.”

 I stored that tidbit away a few years ago and have always kept in mind Jim Wallis quote, bestselling author of God’s Politics, “Beware of those who would manipulate genuine faith for partisan political purposes.” Yes indeed, it all does come down to whom do we, “trust”.

 I did say Mr. Karl Rove is the “Master” of his craft. Political Spin in this country, is the tool to misinform, deceive, mislead and hoodwink the American citizenry. And I know, as an Independent voter, all sides of the political spectrum are guilty of it. 

 Myself a true believer in something also—a true believer in the existence of “Political Spin,”  I knew Political Spin will now be my device to make use of in requesting Mr. Rove to sign my The Audacity of Hope (Obama) book.  It is so rich and amusing to see politicians place the political spin on each other. How could he deny me when I am offering him some self-perceived vindication?

 The night before the book signing I could not sleep. Over and over in my mind, tumbled the words I wanted to say when I meet him. Should I tell him I saw him on the Charlie Rose Show and thought it a very good interview?  Could I be bold enough and tell him I disagreed with him on one of his charters? I had read somewhere that he did not want to or was not sure including a chapter about his family. And I wanted to tell him, he was wrong, I enjoyed the chapter about his family history and it was this chapter that kept me reading but most important it was this chapter that humanized him. If only we can, as a society, see each other, human, struggling with our own hurt and pain.                                                                                                                                                                     My thoughts, unrelenting, kept me up until 2:00 am, thinking also how was I going to say the words that would get him to sign my Obama book. And, did I even have the courage to.  Yes, as we lay in bed thinking everything we want to say or do, we have great courage. However, with the encroachment of the rising sun bringing a new day and the impending reality that comes with it, I knew bravery and audacity would be shattered and ruined by my own cowardice. Just like the cowardly lion from OZ, safe in his own environment, I can roar raucously in my own (home & bed) but if my figurative Toto nips me, I cry like a sissy, little baby.

 Danny, my husband, could care less about politics but he had great fun when I told him Karl Rove’s nick name given to him by President Bush was Turd Blossom. Here was where he enjoyed putting his two cents in. He dared me to ask Mr. Rove to sign my copy of his book—To Susan From Turd Blossom.  Now, that would take a tremendous amount of audacity. We did have great amusement with that idea but all of this was forgotten until after the book signing and we sat in the bookstore coffee shop watching the rest of the signing proceedings. Oh yes, forgot to mention, Danny and I were one of the first in line, getting our line tickets the day before. So, we had plenty of time to enjoy and discuss the Turd Blossom nick name. Danny’s theory of President Bush calling Mr. Rove Turd Blossom is because, and this tells just how Bush’s mind may work—a very funny guy—got to give that to him—- Mr. Karl Rove can take a pile of shit and make it blossom into something useful, even maybe, pretty.

 Now, that’s a master of spin.

 Day of the book signing: Line up –Number 5 come up to the podium—that’s me and Danny, our turn is here.  I shook Mr. Rove’s hand and then Danny shook his hand.  I think I said it was so nice to meet him, I was a big Obama supporter and I enjoyed reading the book. As a political science student it gave me political balance, I said. And yes, I did tell him I disagreed with him in his idea that he should maybe not have written about his family. Writing about his family was good and I enjoyed the chapter, I told him. He said Thank You. And Yes, Yes, I then asked if he would sign Audacity of Hope and the page I wanted sign was PAGE 33–the non not-quite Rove quote, “We are a Christian nation.” He said yes he would but he wanted to write something on that page not just the standard —to whom ever. I said wow, that showed what kind of person he was —-a good sport. Then he noticed Danny’s U. S. Army Iraq baseball cap and thanked Danny for his service. Then pictures were taken–to Buy.

As we turn to leave a Times Picayune representative asked for our name since he took pictures of us for the paper. As we sat down in the coffee shop Danny and I took a look at both signed books. To Susan–karl Rove—and the Obama book, page 33—-“NEVER SAID IT”~ Karl Rove.     And yes, it’s in caps.  I laughed and was thrilled.

 Wow! What a day for a political junkie like me.   But Wait! There’s more. You don’t get one sharp political knife, if you call now, you get two sharp political knives!

 Who walks in and walks right in front where I am sitting and sit at the next table?   Mary Matalin, the Republican Political Strategist!  I have seen her many times as well as her husband, James Carville, the Democratic Political Strategist on TV. They now live in New Orleans.  I went over to her and asked her if she would sign Mr. Rove’s book. She graciously did. I found her very nice and easy to talk to. We must have talked a good 10 minutes. I told her how I able to get Karl Rove to sign my Obama book and I opened the page to the signature of– Never Said It. I also told her I was able to see Obama in New Orleans when he came for a Town Hall Meeting. Viewing my copy of Mr. Rove’s book, she said she was very impressed with my reading skills. I told Mrs. Carville (Matalin) I have been studying Political Science for 7 years now—every since the Iraq War. I then introduced Danny to her after he came back from another part of the book store. She could see from Danny’s hat that he went to Iraq and asked him where in Iraq did he serve. She thanked Danny for his service. I mentioned to her the struggles of a military family. I told her Danny always thought he believed he was pretty much safe and Ok ( invincible complex)  but the family members at home are not that much convinced and of course I never would ask how his day was going or what he may have to do that day. I did say Danny was my balance, like Obama, calm and even-tempered. She commented that she was sure I was also his balance. Oh I so wish I would have said–” Yep, like his Obama to me, I am his Rahm Emanuel to him.”–Obama’s Chief of Staff, who keeps the No Drama Obama informed & energized on what is important.

That would have been a hoot.                                                                                                                               

  I asked her how does she and her husband deal with being on the opposite side of the political spectrum, her a Republican Strategist and him, a Democratic Strategist. I believe she said, like most couples, keep things quiet. I told her even though I voted for Obama, I am an Independent. (I see it as the smarter move) The Iraq War was my wake up call, I told her, and knowing nothing about politics, I had to start from scratch.

 As I finish my seventh year of study, I know exactly, political, where I want to be, morally, where I have to be. In my studies, as I go back in time, I wonder if I would have marched for Civil Rights, marched for Women Rights, marched for Non War, marched for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and marched for Human Equality. Yes, I do know where I would have made a stand. In the election of 08, I knew.

  We talked about the concept of “big government” and “small government.” I told her I was more interested in government, Working. I then asked, do we really know anything, because many things happen behind political closed doors. To be truthful and balanced, the closed door theory occur in any and all administrations. How many of us can go to the White House and sit in the Oval Room? We talked about the media spin– all media spin (which we both agreed) and how I find it very trying and frustrating to uncover some political truth out there and the study is very hard work.

 I thought it amusing as we chatted, she had her own spin —trying to spin me. (Healthcare Bill). As I stated above, political spin is the political tool for Political Strategist and Politicians—they keep on trying to get us to take a spin on their Tilt-a-Whirl.            They maintain that ride religiously, spare no cost to keep it running smoothly, powerfully and swiftly. Efficiently operated in fast motion, the riders, dizzy, have no chance to view what is really around them, no time to even think.                                                     

Each occupant must take the leap, to take the responsibility to muster the courage to disembark. We are not “free” till we break free of the Tilt-a-Whirl  political spin. The politicians and the political strategist are in charge of this ride, not us.                               

We must all be political science students, educating our self, searching for facts, trudge through the garbage that is out there. To recognize and leave behind, even denounce loudly, the propaganda twist of misrepresentation and manipulation wherever we find it.

This does take “Courage” maybe even the “Consequence” of standing alone, taking a stand for what we believe is right and true. Sometimes, many times, our own ignorance, anger, biases and prejudices are what hold us bound, keeping us enslaved, keeping us away from what is right, what is true and what is good.

 I will place Karl Rove’s book, Courage and Consequence on my bookshelf along with my other political books that I have enjoyed reading, such as: Rome Wasn’t Burnt in a Day by Joe Scarborough, Everything You Think You Know About Politics And Why You’re Wrong by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Faith and Politics by Senator John Danforth, Bush at War by Bob Woodward, Where the Right Went Wrong by Patrick J. Buchanan, What Happen: Inside the Bush White House by Scott McClellan, America Back on Track by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Cable News Confidential by Jeff Cohen, My Life by Bill Clinton and The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama.

Yes, I do believe I will place my Karl Rove book right next to Barack Obama’s.  Side by side they will sit, to remind me—there are two sides to every story. Along with that thought is the, Trust Factor, if I do my homework thoroughly I will know exactly where I need to be.

Nevertheless, I will count Mr. Rove as one of my many authors and teachers.  Who would have guessed—certainly not me— that I would have a soft spot for Karl Rove, even if it is a very, very, tiny one.  If I had kept myself bound and enslaved by political bias, I would have missed out on a very great day.


 I’m not bound to win, but bound to be true ~ Abraham Lincoln












FAIR Blog � Blog Archive � If Americans Are Uninformed, Corporate Media Have Made Them So.

Klein had a follow-up post (1/25/10) in which he said that Americans, i.e. Time‘s main customers, are not actually stupider than the next nationality,  but were instead the victims of public schools, the reform of which has been blocked by  “teachers’ unions and other educational reactionaries.” Nevertheless, he continued to blame “lazy” citizens who “don’t pay any attention to the news” or who “get their information from sources that feed their prejudices.” Ironically, the progressive blogs that he’s presumably including in that category are much more likely to tell their readers what’s actually going on with the stimulus–and include a link pointing to evidence–than the “objective” corporate media outlets that Klein wishes people paid more attention to.

The Texas Board of Education has long promoted the teaching of creationism in schools instead of actual science. It’s former chairman and current member Don McLeroy uttered this immortal line when confronted with numerous actual scientists urging that evolution be discussed accurately in the curriculum: “I disagree with these experts. Somebody’s gotta stand up to experts that are just…I think, I don’t know why they’re doing it, they’re wonderful people.”

This stuff is important nationwide. Because Texas buys so many textbooks. So textbook publishers tailor their products so that they’ll be marketable in Texas. And many places around the country get stuck with the same books.

Last week, the Texas Board revised its history standards. And it decreed that a list of people who were influential in fomenting revolutions would no longer include Thomas Jefferson. The board’s not crazy about Jefferson because of the whole separation of church and state thing. But if the guy who wrote the Declaration of Independence doesn’t meet your standards, maybe it’s really time to start listening to experts.

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