FAIR notes that the "liberal" media seems to be giving President Obama a lot of credit for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan -- without noting that he's sent a lot more troops to Afghanistan than Mr. Bush ever did. In fact, we have as many troops there now (roughly 32,000) as we did when Mr. Bush left office -- and we had a staggering 100,000 troops there in between mid-2010 and mid-2011. The fact that Mr. Bush tried to win that war on the cheap even more than he tried to win the Iraq war on the cheap doesn't mean the "liberal" media should forget how to do math.
Dean Baker reminds us that when right-wingers trot out the ZOMG $1 TRILLYUN FUNDING GAP IN TEH PENSIONZ!!!!!, it's just a scare number. How is it a scare number? Well, the part right-wingers never tell you is that pensions have this funding gap over thirty years, which makes the number much smaller, doesn't it? They also don't tell you that we have over 200 state pension plans and well over 3,000 local ones. How big and scary is that number again? Mr. Baker goes on to ask why the pension alarmists never ask about the fees pensions pay to the folks who manage them, since, you know, some of those folks might be ripping pensions off.
Also from the "necessary reminder" file: Wil Wheaton's Daily Kos blog tells the story of a cancer patient who needed emergency chemo and had that procedure deemed "not medically necessary" by a bureaucrat at Anthem Blue Cross. And Anthem Blue Cross put a gynecologist in charge of the review, too, as opposed to, oh, I don't know, an oncologist, maybe? Since the "liberal" media has a strange aversion to health care horror stories like these, please remind your right-wing friends that the "death panels" you have to worry about these days serve in private health care corporations.
Iowa U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst (R) says the states should determine whether gay marriage is legal, but also that she'd support a federal ban on gay marriage. How do you get to be for states' rights and for federal pre-emption at the same time? As long as the end result is that someone gets hurt, I guess Ms. Ernst just shrugs and says "who cares?" But this error could haunt her in a general election -- not with the far right, who no longer accept even the logical certainty of a tautology, but certainly with the more independently-minded Iowan.
Microsoft billionaire Steve Ballmer bids an eye-popping $2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers, which owner Donald Sterling must sell now that the NBA has banned him for life after his recent spate of racist comments taped by his girlfriend/"archivist." That's nearly four times larger than the previous record NBA team sale, set just a few weeks ago when the Milwaukee Bucks sold for $550 million -- and it's enough to make you wonder if Mr. Sterling, who paid $12.5 million for the team back in 1982, planned the whole damn thing.
Finally, engineer Anupam Pathak designs a spoon that counteracts the tremors associated with Parkinson's Disease -- such that folks with Parkinson's can actually eat and the aides who now have to help them eat might be free to get other things done, though I bet a lot of bosses will look at the spoon as something that will give them an excuse to fire people. It costs $300, but I bet a lot of folks with Parkinson's buy it anyway, and anyway the price will come down in time. Good show, Mr. Pathak.