The Obvious Downside to the Breakdown of Societal Trust

While both Pittman and Bridges may sound like idiots, they’re actually shrewd political strategists, for the promise of tax cuts for the rich is hardly an effective platform for rallying the Republican Party base in a midterm election year. The promise of the Ten Commandments, however, is how you get a person without healthcare to vote for the party whose platform is based on repealing the Affordable Care Act.

via Bible barons: How the GOP uses religion to keep voters captive to corporate ideology – Salon.com.

Watching the fervor with which the Tea Party wants to shot themselves in the face to spite their nose is….I’m not sure there’s a good word for it.

Usually the One that Predicts the Future is the One we want to listen to….

Back in 2004, Sloan, professor of Earth sciences at UC Santa Cruz, and her graduate student Jacob Sewall published, “Disappearing Arctic sea ice reduces available water in the American west” (subs. req’d). They used powerful computers “to simulate the effects of reduced Arctic sea ice,” and “their most striking finding was a significant reduction in rain and snowfall in the American West.”

“Where the sea ice is reduced, heat transfer from the ocean warms the atmosphere, resulting in a rising column of relatively warm air,” Sewall said. “The shift in storm tracks over North America was linked to the formation of these columns of warmer air over areas of reduced sea ice.” In January, Sewall wrote me that “both the pattern and even the magnitude of the anomaly looks very similar to what the models predicted in the 2005 study (see Fig. 3a [below]).”

via Climatologist Who Predicted California Drought 10 Years Ago Says It May Soon Be ‘Even More Dire’ | ThinkProgress.

It’s funny, but this has happened a few times now.  You see…when 97%+ of the world’s scientists are using their models to predict the future based on known things (like the measurements of the world getting warmer because of human activity), they get to start making predictions about the future based on that knowledge.

The deniers just sit there and go “nu-uh!!”.  They have no predictions, no knowledge, no point, just flat out denial, repeated endlessly.

Sadly, to know this you must know Math, which is an Evil LIberal Conspiracy down here in Texas

But here’s one important fact that Texas’ conservative and libertarian boosters reliably fail to mention (perhaps because they don’t know it): If you’re not rich, Texas is not actually a low-tax state. In fact, most Texans pay more taxes than most Californians. That seems strange and incorrect at first — Texas doesn’t even have an income tax! — but it’s true. Thanks to sales and property taxes, Texas is among the states with the ten most regressive tax systems. Texans in the bottom 60 percent of income distribution all pay higher effective tax rates than their Californian counterparts. Texas’ top one-percent are the ones enjoying the supposed low-tax utopia, paying an effective rate of 3.2 percent. The rate for the lowest 20 percent is 12.6 percent. Kevin Drum has a helpful chart.

via The “Texas Miracle” fraud: Turns out it involves taxing the poor to help the rich get richer – Salon.com.

This is why many very rich Texans have hundred of millions to piss away on politicians, they don’t pay that money in Taxes.

We also see the regressive tax situation hit reality in the toll road expansion.  Because the wealthy can pay less in taxes than they pay in political donations, everyone else has to pay for the highways.  This means a net cash flow out of Texas, on an ongoing basis, and adds to the costs incurred by workers while saving businesses money.

Which is to say…exactly what the article does.