Pharyngula

Hannity and Carlson dislike science

As yet another examples of the derangement of conservative thought, Sean Hannity has been pushing a list of 102 examples of ‘wasteful’ stimulus spending. I don’t quite get it; this is money the government is disbursing to encourage jobs for the sake of jobs, and if they were hiring people to dig holes and fill them in again, it would accomplish their task. However, the money is being spent sensibly on projects that also improve the nation’s infrastructure in small ways and increase knowledge.

One of the targets of their scorn are science projects, including this one, improving the facilities at an insect collection in Michigan. You might not want to watch this if Hannity and Tucker Carlson make you gag, but the scientist in charge, Anthony Cognato, does a good job of making his case.

The bad guys are really reaching here. Carlson tries to imply that they didn’t need the money, that all they had to do was stick the ‘bugs’ in a refrigerator, but that doesn’t work — this is a working collection, you can’t just archive them away in a deep freeze, and storing a million-specimen collection in a bank of -80° freezers would be rather substantially more expensive than putting in more effective shelving. Cognato addressed this (that link is behind a paywall, sorry):

The interview began and Carlson transformed into an effective pundit for the Right; the questioning was quick, the topics a little disconnected, and at times he seemed to fish for a particular sound bite that would support the opinion that funding the collection was a waste of money. For example, he asked me a couple times if I could have controlled collection pests by just continually freezing the drawers that contain the specimens, thus making our purchase of new storage cabinets unnecessary. I answered repeatedly that freezing our thousands of drawers was not optimal for long-term preservation, that it drained time and resources, and kept researchers from using the collection for scientific studies.

Then they try to suggest that all the $200,000 did was to hire a few students at $8/hour, which is not true: those students weren’t in charge of building shelves. That was a professional job from a company called BioQuip. One of the workers at that company wrote in:

My job is one of the many that were affected by this grant. I work for BioQuip, the California company that manufactures the drawers that MSU bought. Our company employs 27 people whose jobs were all affected by this grant as well as the lumber company, glass company & trucking companies we use along the way. This grant has benefited the US economy, created & maintained US jobs on a level far greater than 4 jobs at a single university. Hannity & Carlson need to do their homework.

Of course, the Right doesn’t see this. Read the comments on Hannity’s site about this subject: it’s insane. Most of the people are ranting about Pelosi and Obama with no connection at all to the topic of the video…except for the weird Cyrillic comments (Russian spam of some sort?).

We’ve got to keep these nuts out of power.

Comments

  1. #1 Glen Davidson
    March 25, 2010

    Because our well-being has nothing to do with beneficial insects like bees, or with baneful insects like Anopheles mosquitoes.

    Just pointy-headed scientists trying to pretend that other life affects us.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  2. #2 JBlilie
    March 25, 2010

    Speaking of nuts: Palin has been suspiciously quiet lately.

  3. #3 deang
    March 25, 2010

    Right-wingers have successfully convinced the US public that they’re against wasteful spending, yet they always focus on the US’s minuscule education spending and social services spending rather than on the massive US prison spending, police spending, and military spending. When Reagan popularized this kind of thinking in the 80s, he claimed he was against “big government” and deficits, yet what he did was shovel money from social services and education to police, prisons, and military while building up the biggest deficit ever up to that point. Looks like that’s still the pattern. The conclusion is: right-wingers are against social spending and education spending but not against military spending, prison spending, or police spending, regardless of how much it costs.

  4. #4 Ströh
    March 25, 2010

    That’s insane! I read the whole first page, 90 % was that weird russian spam and the rest had absolutely nothing to do with the article.

    BTW, anyone out there who can translate the suspectedd spam? Or does Fox for some reason have a lot of russian supporters?

  5. #5 Tulse
    March 25, 2010

    Palin has been suspiciously quiet lately.

    No, unfortunately she hasn’t.

  6. #6 Reginald Selkirk
    March 25, 2010

    Apparently the ability to ooze smugness is a requirement to be hired as a FoxNews “journalist.”

  7. #7 http://skepticalmoth.wordpress.com/.wordpress.com/
    March 25, 2010

    It’s really frustrating how this interview turned out. Cognato does a great job battling off Carlson, but FOX played a dirty game by scheduling the interview with a local affiliate who only gave him 6 hours notice in regards to the purpose of the interview.

    The most important point however is that MSU did not apply for stimulus money, but through standard NSF channels. Their original application was denied, and funded after the NSF received a stimulus bump. I hated the way Carlson made it look like MSU was ripping off the taxpayers and getting money for “just a few students”.

    Not to mention, the $187,000 dollars MSU got isn’t even a drop in the bucket when we talk about funding.

    Stupid, stupid conservatives…

  8. #8 SC OM
    March 25, 2010

    Read the comments on Hannity’s site about this subject

    I can’t. I’m sorry. I can’t take any more of this today. The video was bad enough. Their superior tone. They think they can educate scientists about specimen storage. Then he asks what use the specimens are, and is given a very clear answer and an example of a finding with important practical implications, and then he just laughs and says that finding wasn’t funded by the stimulus package? What is wrong with these bozos? (Not that it’s relevant, but I’d be pretty sure that research was funded at least in part by the government.)

  9. #9 NewEnglandBob
    March 25, 2010

    Tucker Carlson has been a Reich wing nut and ignorant fool for years. Hannity is a simple blowhard Fuckwad. Faux News is the toilet where these guys belong.

  10. #10 Shaggy Maniac
    March 25, 2010

    Well, this is personal for me. I’m currently in a temporary research position at a university that is being funded by supplemental stimulus funds to an NIH grant. The availability of the stimulus money is keeping me employed until, hopefully, my PI is funded for a pending grant application. Since the work is in Arabidopsis, I can imaging the opinion of these jokers to be something like “why are we paying to study a useless little weed”. Clearly we need better communication about the value of basic research.

  11. #11 Alverant
    March 25, 2010

    Fox News just hates science period they can’t add to 100, make basic mistakes about evolution and climate change, doesn’t know how snow is made. They just want to dumb people down and not ask them embarrassing questions. The more they are questioned, the less power they have.

  12. #12 gr8hands
    March 25, 2010

    It looks like someone writing in Russian is trying to like their blog to the ‘Waste 102′ blog in an attempt to increase their position based on posts. But since none of them actually include links, I’m not certain how they think that is going to happen . . .

  13. #13 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 25, 2010

    A sampling of comments:

    What Ms. Pelosi is proposing to pass this Bill is unConstitutional. She placed her hand on the Constitution as did every member of Congress and she must be held accountable. If Pelosi tries to do something unconstitutional, she should be immediately removed from office.

    This was a great show. Thank you for doing. It should be watched by all Americans and then use it to vote out each and everyone of them until they start listening to the American people. We do not like these things and they need to hear us loud and clear. WE DON”T LIKE THIS PORK. CUT IT OUT OR WE WILL CUT YOU OFF!!!! Thanks Sean without you, we would not know the truth. Keep up the good work. The American people are behind you.

    We are watching Congress. The MAJORITY of us do not want this shoddy piece of legislation. And we know if you pass it, it won’t stop there. We do not want your Cap & Trade bill either. We know your true motive is to get the UNDOCUMENTED WORKER’S VOTE. We don’t want a King or Ruler in America that is for European countries with their Centralized Government. We will resist you, who would ENSLAVE us again! You are being played– there our several countries who want the USA to fail.

    DO WE REALLY

    Want obama going anywhere? Do we really want to hear him talk down our country? Do we really need him promising more money? Do we really need him to be seen? We have made a big blunder with the election of this idiot. Do we really want the rest of the world to have to deal with him in there own homelands? Do we really need to pay for air force one again?

    America has too many lazy SOB’s that just want handouts. Get off your asses and work like real Americans instead of nursing off the federal government. Get the hell out if you don’t want to work.

    It is unConstitutional to force people to buy health care. The Constitution is the law of our land; not President Obama. You cannot add millions of people to our Health Care system and expect the same Quality of Care. This is NOT HC Reform it is Government takeover, Mr. President. The British East India Co. caused a Monopoly and cut out the middle man. It is why we had the Boston Tea Party. WHo can compete against our government? Therefore, everyone eventually end up on the d@mn Public Option!

    If my government doesn’t have to follow the Constitution, why should its citizens. It is every man for himself. This is what I learned watching the Vote take place –Do the hell whatever you want. Don’t listen to anyone. Justify what you are doing by saying, “it is what the people want.” Our government has misused the Constitution and are purposely misinterpeting the Commerce Clause.

  14. #14 legistech
    March 25, 2010

    That was utterly surreal. Cognato answered each question in a perfectly fine and reasonable fashion. If they’d just left out the commentator’s comments entirely I think most would have agreed knowing about bugs can have a substantial impact on the economy and on what we can export, and $200k is a pittance in comparison.

  15. #15 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    March 25, 2010

    I love people complaining about Pork, when they don’t realize they benefit from it. The most astounding I heard of was a librarian friend of mine telling me her coworkers (At a University Library in Vermont) opposed government spending. Really, guys who work for the government?

  16. #16 James F
    March 25, 2010

    Exremism in Defense of Liberty Is no vice

    - Misspelled note affixed to brick thrown at the Monroe County Democratic Committee headquarters, New York

  17. #17 nigelTheBold
    March 25, 2010

    Really, guys who work for the government?

    Yep. It’s like those who were opposed to the “socialist” healthcare bill who said things like, “No socialized medicine! My Medicaid is good enough for me!”

  18. #18 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 25, 2010

    Hannity and Carlson dislike science everything that doesn’t directly affect them.

    Fixed the headline.

  19. #19 Chris Hegarty
    March 25, 2010

    I watched the video; I have the urge, at the end, to throw up in my mouth a little. These guys obviously have issues. And it’s not just one branch of science that they dislike: it’s everything. Increasingly I’ve noticed it; there seem to be more and more of these wingnut christofascists who want to throw out all types of scientific research under the guise of being “fiscally responsible”. Bull.

    Chris
    http://hegartyblog.wordpress.com

  20. #20 cairne.morane
    March 25, 2010

    “We’ve got to keep these nuts out of power.”

    I don’t know, they’re doing a bang up job of it by themselves. Wouldn’t hurt to give them a hand though.

    Mike.

  21. #21 Prince of Dorkness
    March 25, 2010

    According to a Russian-speaking colleague the first Russian comment is advertising a porn site (“?????? ????? ?????? ?????” = Online porno video porn, or something very like that). Probably much the same for the others.

  22. #22 Paul
    March 25, 2010

    Yep. It’s like those who were opposed to the “socialist” healthcare bill who said things like, “No socialized medicine! My Medicaid is good enough for me!”

    Socialism is evil! Go read about it at the library. Books are free.

  23. #23 mulder
    March 25, 2010

    Hannity has written a book?

    Hannity has read a book?

    What the? My eyes aren’t what they used to be, don’t think that much smudgy crayon would help at all.

  24. #24 Karstark
    March 25, 2010

    This is so typical of these pundits, who have made their careers talking into a TV CAMERA, while their sponsors generally include communication networks, companies which use Genetically Modified Crops, regularly get vaccinated, live in a modern home, all the while supporting the proliferation of nuclear weapons between the hands of right wing end times nutbars and then they ask “Well, what has science done for ME, huh? When does SCIENCE ever do anything useful?”

  25. #25 octopod
    March 25, 2010

    Oh no they DIDN’T.

    ::fury::

    I think a lot of the people who are on NSF grants right now received that same jolt of money — a few thou for ongoing projects. Our work at the UMich paleontology museum did, I know that, and you know what, that is going to enable us to make a shit-load more fossils easily accessible and safely stored, and moreover result in some domestic spending on random shit like cabinet shelves and polarizing filters.

    Fox Noise: FUCK YOUUUUUUUU

  26. #26 Headbomb
    March 25, 2010

    And keep in mind we’re talking about 200K$. 4 students @ 9$ per hour for two years is roughly 100K$.

    So you spend 100K$ on new cabinets, create or sustain several jobs required to make these cabinets, ship them, whatever, which then allows you to spend 100K$ to form 4 master’s students who wouldn’t be there were it not for that money, preserve a collection of OVER A MILLION insects (worth several millions of dollars) which yields a wealth of useful information which is directly used to help prevent insects from damaging trees, crops, etc…

    Imagine if every tax dollar were spend as efficiently as that!

  27. #27 Sir Eccles
    March 25, 2010

    I thought the Republicans invented the trickle down economy?

  28. #28 Pierce R. Butler
    March 25, 2010

    Shaggy Maniac @ # 10: Since the work is in Arabidopsis, I can imaging the opinion of these jokers to be something like “why are we paying to study a useless little weed”.

    If they didn’t figure it out for themselves, you could just tell ‘em it’s an important Pentagon project related to Middle East ops. Then they’d probably run your picture with a background of waving flags & fireworks.

  29. #29 MGG
    March 25, 2010

    I can see a good reason behind the majority of those things, especially the science projects. Seems someone has no idea how applications of science are made possible.

    Also this:

    49: Bridge built over railroad crossing so 168 Nebraska town residents don’t have to wait for the trains to pass ($7 million)

    Having spent many hours (usually in chunks of an hour or more) waiting for trains — or the traffic backup the train caused — to pass, I can’t see how this is a waste, especially if this is the only way through.

  30. #30 AnneH
    March 25, 2010

    $200,000+ are Hannity’s expenses for attending ONE Liberty concert. He’s the last person who should be talking about wasting money, considering what a huge scam the Freedom Alliance is.

    http://crooksandliars.com/logan-murphy/sean-hannity-being-attacked-right-mor

  31. #31 Karstark
    March 25, 2010

    Some of these are such poor examples of trying to make something look like wasteful spending when it’s pretty obvious they’re selecting their facts:

    99: Police department getting 92 blackberries for supervisors in Rhode Island ($95,000)

    Why should we allow these supervisors to have a device that would let them facilitate communication between each other and thus, their departments? That might result in catching more criminals!

    Cleanup effort of a Washington nuclear waste site that already got $12 billion from the DOE )

    Because nuclear waste is easy and inexpensive to clean up safely, amirite?

    18 North Carolina teacher coaches to heighten math and reading performance ($4.4 million)

    Because the last thing America needs right now is Education! They need more idiots who can’t understand basic statistics or read between the lines of a scapegoating list!

    Replacing a basketball court lighting system with a more energy efficient one in Arizona ($20,000)

    Spend money now to save money later? That is in NO WAY fiscally responsible, sir!

    That’s just 4 particularly aggravating examples, I could pick apart this buffoon’s entire list!

  32. #32 timothy.green.name
    March 25, 2010

    Building bridges instead of level crossings also allows the trains to move faster. They slow a little for level crossings. At least, they do here in Ireland.

    TRiG.

  33. #33 Sven DiMilo
    March 25, 2010

    Hannity and Carlson dislike science

    ‘smutual

  34. #34 marcelocgreco
    March 25, 2010

    Well, what has science done for ME, huh?

    Must. Resist. Obvious. Reference.

  35. #35 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 25, 2010

    Building bridges instead of level crossings also allows the trains to move faster. They slow a little for level crossings. At least, they do here in Ireland.

    they have to here, too. the trains that pass thru my town do so at a snails pace. And since I’m surrounded on 3 sides by tracks, I sometimes feel rather trapped by the damnable things.

  36. #36 MadScientist
    March 25, 2010

    Of course Dumbyah handing out money to large corporations was a Good Thing ™ because it shows his support for Capitalism (actually Fascism, but the ‘Right’ have a tendency to abuse words – like ‘right’ – can’t they call themselves the ‘Far Wrong’ instead – then they’d get at least one thing right). This is reminiscent of that moron B. Jindal whining about a miniscule amount of money spent on volcano monitoring. This is an even smaller amount of money spent on an insect collection, but some people have the attitude “hey, I don’t understand it so it musn’t be any good”.

  37. #37 Shaggy Maniac
    March 25, 2010

    Pierce Butler @ 28: If they didn’t figure it out for themselves, you could just tell ‘em it’s an important Pentagon project related to Middle East ops. Then they’d probably run your picture with a background of waving flags & fireworks.

    Or the simpler version: “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”

  38. #38 tutone21
    March 25, 2010

    I didn’t even watch the video and I am pissed. I never know whether I should laugh of cry when I hear about or watch what is going on. I wish I could be happy pondering topics like the Sandra/Jesse ordeal that is leading the most searched” category on google news…

  39. #39 Fereydoun
    March 25, 2010

    SO funny. Carlson puts on a look of incredulousness for about 1.5 sec after each response, as if the response was ridiculous. But the responses were measured and effective! And Carlson intercut the interview with mini-summaries of the scientist’s answers and a preview of his next question. As if his audience is composed of idiots.

  40. #40 Fereydoun
    March 25, 2010

    Can someone help me — when I try to leave a comment on the fox news web site, my browser scrolls me back to the top.

  41. #41 mothwentbad
    March 25, 2010

    Do you think the Pork Barrel Crackdown Brigade will look into the spending practices of the “defense” department anytime soon?

  42. #42 Ichthyic
    March 25, 2010

    As if his audience is composed of idiots.

    fixed.

  43. #43 VinnieA
    March 25, 2010

    This personally bothers me a lot. I did research at an entomology lab at Rutgers and recently had to stop working there since the lab had to assistants and only could keep one but they really don’t get it. I liked how rational and reasonable the interviewee was. I would hope that people who watch Fox would see that he was the not crazy person there and realize that 200,000 is not really a lot and that any most money going to research with create jobs and create new economies.

  44. #44 hznfrst
    March 25, 2010

    I know some Russian but am out of practice, and it would take more time with a dictionary than it’s worth to translate this stuff.

  45. #45 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlGSMWG2FwBhqtqyOzd1Gc7uUDeBwNlo_U
    March 25, 2010

    Yeah and thanks to Pelosi, Reid, and the strong arm tactics and vote buying of the liberal left DemoRATS, I just got word that the cost of my health care policy is increasing by $190.00 per month… for you libs that probably calculates out to a savings of a couple of thousand a year… but I know the truth… it is going to cost me an additional $2280.00 annually! And I am sure that the co-pay of $50/month I pay for the orphan drug Trientine will at least double. So all you guys that believe in spreading the wealth around, click here to buy my book The Cascade Effect! That way I can afford my NO LONGER AFFORDABLE healthcare!

  46. #46 Rider1
    March 25, 2010

    as usual, I feel like writing a wordy diatribe about these people. But two words will do. ‘Tragic’. And ‘Morons’.

  47. #47 Kamaka
    March 25, 2010

    click here to buy my book

    Sure thing, preacher.

    You do know how to pick your audience.

  48. #48 tutone21
    March 25, 2010

    @45, what are you talking about? Did you get an email notice, a bill in the mail, or a phone call or something? Did your “insurance company” ask that the adjusted amount needs to be paid by a monthly check made out to “cash?”

    I may not be in the correct forum, but I would like the following explained. Why does it seem rational to some people to spend $10 trillion killing people but not $1 trillion helping people?

  49. #49 kilternkafuffle
    March 25, 2010

    Cyrillic comments do indeed appear to be Russian spam.

    They are all generic and irrelevant, but most play on the theme of “Thanks, I loved this. I am bookmarking it/citing it, hoping that it will raise your rating.” Some are simply thoughtful looking posts: “You read this and it makes you think…”. Looks like a bot or people paid to act like bots are sending comments in just for the sake of sending in positive comments. No idea why.

    Loved Cognato’s answers and stylish look. Entomology ftw!

  50. #50 Paul
    March 25, 2010

    That way I can afford my NO LONGER AFFORDABLE healthcare!

    It’s a free market, find a better insurer. Or does that only work when you’re telling poor people to do it?

  51. #51 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 25, 2010

    We are entering the goddamned dark ages.

    How do these assholes think that USDA agents identify crop pests?

    I am preparing to commit seppuku and need a skillful second. And I’m squeamish so make sure your katana is razor sharp and your reflexes sharper.

    Fuck.

  52. #52 Kamaka
    March 25, 2010

    I am preparing to commit seppuku and need a skillful second. And I’m squeamish so make sure your katana is razor sharp and your reflexes sharper.

    We use Bowie knives in these parts, pilgrim.

  53. #53 tdcourtney
    March 25, 2010

    Yar, my Ph.D. research is funded by stimulus money as well. Thanks for reminding me that science is useless Fox.

  54. #54 Sioux Laris
    March 25, 2010

    It is “calling for violence” if I ask some brave and clever soul to “pie” these unfunny, evil clowns?

    Can a special “Cream-Cow Pie” be specially developed for the purpose?

  55. #55 MudPuddles
    March 25, 2010

    Debbie Hadley does a nice job of swiping back at Hannity and Carlson here: Sean Hannity Bugs Entomologists

    There is this nice statement also in the comment section:

    Others who benefit from the grant to MSU?s bug collection: public health and animal health specialists, infectious disease and tropical medicine & hygiene experts, environmental health professionals, and, by extension, every single person living in the US and many millions living in other countries. I think that?s a bloody brilliant return on a measly $187K investment. If you look a little farther downstream, the benefits will also extend to a whole range of other professions, such as landscape workers (and people who enjoy public parklands, for example) and golf course managers (and golfers), who depend on entomologists and the pesticides developed to deal with emerging pests; then there are the materials scientists who are devising or replicating new compounds based on substances from nature, and the people who ultimately manufacture those materials; conservation biologists who are working to understand biodiversity in order to shore up the dwindling ecosystem services upon which every single person on the planet depends; and then there are artists of all kinds, teachers and the children that they teach? Oh, and of course idiot far-right noisemakers who depend utterly on grants being given to the likes of MSU so they have a job to go to in the morning.

  56. #56 Walton
    March 25, 2010

    Paul,

    It’s a free market, find a better insurer. Or does that only work when you’re telling poor people to do it?

    While I don’t endorse the crazy post at #45, this is a bit of a straw man. No one thinks the US healthcare industry is a “free market”. Quite the opposite; as I understand it, in many parts of the US the health insurance market is monopolised by a small number of companies, because the proliferation of state-level insurance regulations prevents any but a few large insurance companies entering the market, and prevents insurance companies competing across state lines.

    I’m not necessarily saying that a true free market in health insurance would actually be a good thing. It would create problems of its own. But it’s indisputable that the present situation is not a free market.

  57. #57 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 25, 2010

    I took a look at the list. They are talking about a waste of $4,891,645,229.

    Look at this.

    82: Cleanup effort of a Washington nuclear waste site that already got $12 billion from the DOE ($1.9 billion)

    18: Amtrak losing $32 per passenger nationally but rewarded with windfall ($1.3 billion)

    Two out of the one hundred and two makes up for almost three quarter of the total. 3.2 billion out of 4.9.

    50: Studying the impact of global warming on wildflowers in a Colorado ghost town ($500,000)

    Even I can guess that this is how one can study flora in an urban setting without the human factor.

    What is the fucking story here?

    I have to admit, I am surprised that they have not gone after Dr Richard Lenski’s long running experiment. Their compatriot, Glenn Beck, uses evolutionist as an interchangeable insult along with progressive, secular humanist, communist and nazi. The two decades of labor, the storage, the freezing and the energy costs. And for what? To show how evolution works, an idea that, according to their ideology, makes people immoral.

    Yet more proof that Fox News is an oxymoron.

    The rest is expense like this.

    91: Grant to the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance to support the traditional arts apprenticeship program, gathering and festival ($30,000)

    That is not much and what is wrong with a little support for indigenous crafts.

    How the clean up of hazardous waste is a waste of money is beyond me. I agree that the 1.3 billion on Amtrak is a waste but that is because it is supporting an antiquated system. Why not build a high speed system like in Japan and Europe.

  58. #58 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 25, 2010

    Walton, that jackass is merely a spammer. He has left similar stinking piles in other threads.

  59. #59 Walton
    March 25, 2010

    Walton, that jackass is merely a spammer. He has left similar stinking piles in other threads.

    I know. I wasn’t seeking to defend him in any way. I was simply disagreeing with Paul’s post.

  60. #60 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 25, 2010

    And I am sure that the co-pay of $50/month I pay for the orphan drug Trientine will at least double.

    Oh, poor lil’ Godspammer. Where’s your God, dude? A piffling thing like a disease shouldn’t be any problem for a true believer and his great, big, powerful super friend, right?

  61. #61 Paul
    March 25, 2010

    Walton,

    First, I need to say I don’t believe health care is a free market. That would be stupid. There are very few “free markets”; government regulation is everywhere, and in principle I think that is a good thing (‘no regulation’ is worse than regulation, although overregulation is also a bad thing).

    Quite the opposite; as I understand it, in many parts of the US the health insurance market is monopolised by a small number of companies,

    This is what the result of a free market is expected in a field with such a high barrier to entry like insurance, even without government intervention. The government could take its hands completely out of insurance, and you’d still have a small number of companies monopolizing due to the billion+ needed to get in on providing health insurance in the first place.

    because the proliferation of state-level insurance regulations prevents any but a few large insurance companies entering the market, and prevents insurance companies competing across state lines.

    As I understand it, the bill that was passed removes prohibitions on insurance companies competing across state lines.

    But it’s indisputable that the present situation is not a free market.

    I don’t claim it is, actually. I was being facetious; the “you’re free to change your insurance provider” is what many people opposing health care reform said in response to people saying health care needed to be reformed. Judging by whacko’s stated positions, I was making the not unreasonable assumption that he opposed health care reform.

  62. #62 crumpetsfortea
    March 25, 2010

    To put this into perspective

    Of 102 projects

    32 were related to infrastructure projects
    23 were basic scientific research
    10 were related to the promotion of arts and culture
    9 were conservation or environment related
    6 had to do with the implementation of energy technology
    5 had to do with research and development of energy technology
    2 were related to (non-K-12) public education projects
    1 was K-12 education related
    1 was related to public health and nutrition

    15 were either related to other concerns, or were projects that I couldn’t immediately assign to a field from their descriptions (for example — I couldn’t tell if the ‘next-gen gloves’ were chemical engineering or corporate development)

    I can’t really comment on the infrastructure projects, since I simply don’t have the expertise to know how useful those projects are. (On the other hand, based on Hannity’s one-sentence, retarded description of all 23 basic research prjects, I could write a fairly good ‘broader impacts’ statement.) But if we cut that out, basic scientific research is clearly the Republican Party’s ‘biggest waste of tax money’. This probably explains why we suck at science.

    There’s also a lot of scientific illiteracy (see, at the very least, #102,96,93,90,89,88,87,67,50,1), sexism (#100,90,88,8), classism (#80,58,56,40,27,23,18,3), ableism (#59,56,27,20) and racism (#95,91,64,57,56,52,23) that clearly goes into Fox’s evaluation of what ‘is’ and ‘is not’ a valuable use of US taxpayer dollars.

    And, of course, only one of Fox’s ‘wastes of taxpayer money’ mentions the DoD directly (#4 — a $14k grant to refurbish an Army base), but they completely ignore the defense implications of a shit-ton of the science they scorn. (Science: You need it to blow shit up! And there are no possible applications of artificial intelligence, robotics or computer technology to defense, nossir. We just poke our enemies with sticks, right?)

  63. #63 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 25, 2010

    I hit an odd key on my keyboard and what I wrote got slightly scrambled. Here is is, straightened out.

    I took a look at the list. They are talking about a waste of $4,891,645,229.

    Look at this.

    82: Cleanup effort of a Washington nuclear waste site that already got $12 billion from the DOE ($1.9 billion)

    18: Amtrak losing $32 per passenger nationally but rewarded with windfall ($1.3 billion)

    Two out of the one hundred and two makes up for almost three quarter of the total. 3.2 billion out of 4.9.

    How the clean up of hazardous waste is a waste of money is beyond me. I agree that the 1.3 billion on Amtrak is a waste but that is because it is supporting an antiquated system. Why not build a high speed system like in Japan and Europe.

    The rest of the expenses are like this.

    91: Grant to the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance to support the traditional arts apprenticeship program, gathering and festival ($30,000)

    That is not much and what is wrong with a little support for indigenous crafts.

    50: Studying the impact of global warming on wildflowers in a Colorado ghost town ($500,000)

    Even I can guess that this is how one can study flora in an urban setting without the human factor.

    What is the fucking story here?

    I have to admit, I am surprised that they have not gone after Dr Richard Lenski’s long running experiment. Their compatriot, Glenn Beck, uses evolutionist as an interchangeable insult along with progressive, secular humanist, communist and nazi. The two decades of labor, the storage, the freezing and the energy costs. And for what? To show how evolution works, an idea that, according to their ideology, makes people immoral.

    Yet more proof that Fox News is an oxymoron.

  64. #64 MudPuddles
    March 25, 2010

    Janine:

    …what is wrong with a little support for indigenous crafts.

    I’m tempted to say that this is just symptomatic of the disdain with which Hannity, Beck and co view any concept of specific rights for indigenous peoples, or of the far-right belief that American Indians don’t really count as citizens and couldn’t possibly have any relevant input to the US economy…. Or maybe its their more general discomfort with non-white minorites.

    How the clean up of hazardous waste is a waste of money is beyond me.

    Because the environment can look after itself without any assistance from humans or regulators, thank you very much! Any libertarian will tell you that. DUH!

    By the way, this is just the kind of pig-ignorant stupidity that led to James Cameron lebelling Glen Beck a “f*cking asshole”
    Nice one Jim!

  65. #65 Alex P.
    March 25, 2010

    I think most of their list qualifies as money well spent. This is how public funds should be used.

    Bike lanes (saving the planet), toilet facilities in national parks (encouraging exercise as opposed to a sedentary lifestyle), scientific studies into human sexual behaviour? Yeah, real wasteful. My God, it’s like when the schools hosted P.E., science and Arts classes, all those decades ago!

    But, I’m thinking. It seems that about, say, seven years ago Fox supported a certain government plan that was a huge waste of money. I’m trying to think. It’s cost billions if not trillions, and has been completely unnecessary. It’s left things worse off than before it was put in place, and is ongoing because withdrawal at this point would exacerbate the situation. I’m struggling here, someone help me…

  66. #66 MudPuddles
    March 25, 2010

    Sorry for my earlier use of profanity, but Hannity’s / Beck’s incredible stupidity – and the fact that millions of other ignorant fools somehow mistake it for “fair and balanced” commentary – just drives me to distraction.

    I’m also sorry for my typo that suggests that regulators aren’t humans… oops.

  67. #67 Zeno
    March 25, 2010

    I have never had much use for Tucker Carlson, but I have to admit today that I am breathlessly impressed by his bravery. He ventured fearlessly into a major national center of entomological research and defied the odds-on likelihood that the researchers would seize the opportunity to capture a weird little insect such as himself and pin him to a display board.

  68. #68 scott-carter.myopenid.com
    March 25, 2010

    My heart is still racing with anger at the terrible job of reporting that was done. Let’s assume that MSU charges 60% overhead. That put $75,000 directly into the pocket of MSU. Of that probably 1/3 went back to the department. For $25,000 of overhead, the department could by additional computer equipment, say ten PCs.
    Meanwhile, the school can pay the salary of two administrative assistants.

    The student workers are almost certainly majors who will go on to grad school and learn more about preserving and cataloging insects than their peers will know upon entering. The PI will probably go to at least one conference, pay a hotel and a restaurant bill. He might even buy a coffee that he wasn’t intending to.

    Yes, jobs were created and saved. And a science grant for $200K is peanuts. Meanwhile, his VP of research is probably asking, “Why didn’t you get a $5,000,000 grant?”

  69. #69 Bologna Pogna
    March 25, 2010

    If Fox wants to demonize scientists, they’d better stop interviewing soft-spoken, affable-seeming dudes like Dr. Cognato. He’s a total doll! (BTW, don’t you think he looks like Tim Burton a bit?)

    Poor Dr. C seemed quite nervous, which makes his articulate defense of the grant even more praiseworthy. And why should he have to defend the grant anyway? He didn’t create the policy, and I doubt he has much influence in Washington. LEAVE TONY ALONE! You’re lucky he even performed for you bastards!

  70. #70 edinblack
    March 25, 2010

    Here’s something I just noticed: right now YouTube is providing a link to Hannity’s anti-entomology story under all of its “Recommended for you” videos (or at least it is on my computer). See if you get the same effect: under the description of recommended videos, there’s an extra link with the title, “Waste 102 No. 102,” which directs to this YouTube video, posted on the ‘FoxNewsElectionHQ‘ channel.

  71. #71 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 25, 2010

    @Kamaka #52

    We use Bowie knives in these parts, pilgrim.

    That’s what makes me squeamish.

  72. #72 sandiseattle
    March 25, 2010

    while I can’t agree that all of these expenditures were wasteful, some seem to be,
    fish art?
    machine generated humor?
    football gloves? (shouldn’t the NFL fund that?)

    Most sound like the benefit is there.

  73. #73 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 25, 2010

    Sandi, why am I not surprised you missed my main point?

    82: Cleanup effort of a Washington nuclear waste site that already got $12 billion from the DOE ($1.9 billion)

    18: Amtrak losing $32 per passenger nationally but rewarded with windfall ($1.3 billion)

    Two out of the one hundred and two makes up for almost three quarter of the total. 3.2 billion out of 4.9.

  74. #74 Kagato
    March 25, 2010

    Read the comments on Hannity’s site about this subject

    No! I refuse! You can’t make me!
    (Please don’t make me.)

    Cyrillic comments do indeed appear to be Russian spam. [...] Looks like a bot or people paid to act like bots are sending comments in just for the sake of sending in positive comments. No idea why.

    I expect you’ll find the comments are all generic platitudes that could be applied to any blog post. The spam payload will be the link in the user name. The sole purpose is to increase the number of external links to a site, and drive up its Google rank.

  75. #75 sandiseattle
    March 25, 2010

    Janine @ 73: didn’t miss your point, never read it. You so rarely comment anything worth reading (imho). But having read it- Good point, good catch on the math there.

    (and before you even begin with the typical ad hominum attack on someone you know little about remember that I have agreed with you in the past and have complimented you on the sagacity of more than one comment. )

  76. #76 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 25, 2010

    Whatever, sandi.

  77. #77 Feynmaniac
    March 25, 2010

    GRAND TOTAL: $4,891,645,229

    Where was this outrage for fiscal responsibility when it came to Iraq?

    In what could turn out to be the greatest fraud in US history, American authorities have started to investigate the alleged role of senior military officers in the misuse of $125bn (£88bn) in a US -directed effort to reconstruct Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The exact sum missing may never be clear, but a report by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) suggests it may exceed $50bn, making it an even bigger theft than Bernard Madoff’s notorious Ponzi scheme.

    “I believe the real looting of Iraq after the invasion was by US officials and contractors, and not by people from the slums of Baghdad,” said one US businessman active in Iraq since 2003

    Well, I guess it’s worse since now there’s a black president and many benefiting from these billions aren’t super rich.

  78. #78 Kagato
    March 25, 2010

    didn’t miss your point, never read it. You so rarely comment anything worth reading (imho).
    [...]
    (and before you even begin with the typical ad hominum (sic) attack on someone…

    *spoing*

  79. #79 edinblack
    March 26, 2010

    (#70) Now I’m thinking the links to the Fox News story are only an aftereffect of having watched the damn thing in the first place. Good job YouTube–direct me back to the video I already watched!

  80. #80 http://skepticalmoth.wordpress.com/.wordpress.com/
    March 26, 2010
  81. #81 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    March 26, 2010

    If it were benefitial to the right’s (Hannity & Calrson) it would not be considered ‘wasteful’.

  82. #82 Cowcakes
    March 26, 2010

    Interesting site that. Educational also. Did you know that the US President was made from fine fabric weave?

    chARLie

    You said it write Sean — OBAMA IS SATIN!!!

  83. #83 Kagato
    March 26, 2010

    Interesting site that. Educational also. Did you know that the US President was made from fine fabric weave?

    chARLie

    You said it write Sean — OBAMA IS SATIN!!!

    not only that, Obama is also MUSLIN!!!

    That’s two different kinds of fabric together, which is an abomination unto the Lord!

    The prosecution rests.

  84. #84 Entomologista
    March 26, 2010

    I have actually used museum specimens for my work. NERD RAGE.

  85. #85 Feynmaniac
    March 26, 2010

    You said it write Sean — OBAMA IS SATIN!!!

    *facepalm*

  86. #86 misha_vargas#9ae7a
    March 26, 2010

    Cognato wears a beret. Fox viewers do not wear berets. In this case, the only case he’s making is “I’m a giggly hipster pothead who’s obsessed with bugs.”

    I don’t know that anyone heard a thing he said.

  87. #87 negentropyeater
    March 26, 2010

    My heart is still racing with anger at the terrible job of reporting that was done.

    That’s because it’s not reporting, but propaganda. Fox NewsPropaganda Channel is 100% propaganda, 0% News. There’s 25% “official” propaganda, otherwise called Commercial Advertising, that’s there to sell stuff and make Rupert Murdoch richer, and there’s the unofficial propaganda that’s there to sell the official propaganda.

    For propaganda (whether advertising or unofficial propaganda) to be efficient it has to be entertaining and fit the target audience : Murdoch decided to exploit the religious conservative/libertarian market because it’s much easier to pass propaganda as news when your audience consists of people who systematically choose to deny reality and for which evidence has no meaning. Same is valid with talk radio which targets overwhelmingly the same market.

    This explains the commercial success of conservative cable and radio broadcast media in the US for the last 2 to 3 decades, where like-minded people seeked to confirm their own biases and link to others who share those ideologies. It’s only recently that the multiplication of Web 2.0 users has enabled to break this phenomena, giving rise to a much more diverse set of communities.

  88. #88 Ichthyic
    March 26, 2010

    I don’t know that anyone heard a thing he said.

    we did.

    that’ll have to be enough, I guess.

  89. #89 Ichthyic
    March 26, 2010

    You so rarely comment anything worth reading

    which of course is a pretty good example of an ad-hom.

  90. #90 Ichthyic
    March 26, 2010

    I just got word that the cost of my health care policy is increasing by $190.00 per month

    yes, that has nothing at all to do with insurance companies gouging you because they know that the plan that was just PASSED would end up LOWERING your rates eventually.

    yes, just blame it on Obama.

    fucking moron.

  91. #91 christophe-thill.myopenid.com
    March 26, 2010

    These people don’t want US jobs to be created or saved. They would have loved it if a cheap subcontractor had flown in some salaried slaves from a low wage country and saved on budget. Why does Fox hate America so much… ?

  92. #92 4mattb
    March 26, 2010

    This is the best they can come up with to complain about? Jesus fucking Christ! This Anthony Cognato is a nice guy. I don’t think they could ask for a more honest and cooperative interview. The problem is that these dickheads take advantage of people and manipulate their answers. Cognato gave excellent reasons for his research too. You’d have to be a moron not to see its importance. And $8 an hour for college students is a waste of money? Or too much money? I don’t get it. $200 thou towards efforts that help preserve our agriculture… what’s the problem? If this is one of 102, I don’t need to see the others. What a joke.

  93. #93 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 26, 2010

    Janine @ 73: didn’t miss your point, never read it. You so rarely comment anything worth reading (imho). But having read it- Good point, good catch on the math there.

    (and before you even begin with the typical ad hominum attack on someone you know little about remember that I have agreed with you in the past and have complimented you on the sagacity of more than one comment. )

    sigh

  94. #94 Shala
    March 26, 2010

    I am preparing to commit seppuku and need a skillful second. And I’m squeamish so make sure your katana is razor sharp and your reflexes sharper.

    I will agree on the condition that we obtain a 3rd that can finish me off as well.

    I’m not even American and watching that video made me feel like shit. What kind of news is that? I understand that news sources can be unintentionally biased sometimes, but they don’t even try to hide it.

  95. #95 thrawn369
    March 26, 2010

    http://hannity.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/03/10/web-exclusive-full-interview/
    Here’s the longer length (there are some pretty obvious cuts in it, so it isn’t really full) interview if anyone’s interested

    I’m so damn annoyed that he said that they showed him saying that the materials produced would help provide jobs in American companies, and right after Carlson acts like it’s just paying for the students. They clearly have no respect at all for their audience.

  96. #96 Royce Bitzer
    March 26, 2010

    Since we’re in the process of doing something similar for the Iowa State University insect collection, this hits pretty close to home for me.

    In my opinion, these folks need to be reined in. Now.

  97. #97 Kagehi
    March 26, 2010

    Hmm. On the subject of things the right doesn’t get.. I wonder if you could argue that corporations acting in political campaigns would be illegal since they are “non-representative” of their employees? I mean, think about it. The argument given for allowing them to donate and the like is that they are a collective, representing their employees, but this isn’t really true. Why? Most companies either have a small minority of people elect/appoint a CEO. At no time do the general workers ratify, or vote on, this choice. China has more of a Democracy/Republic than that. They may have two parties pick one single person to represent their views, but they ***still*** allow the populous to pick which of the two they accept. Our parties do much the same thing (which makes Beck’s whining about Obama turning us into China a bit odd, since it would seem to be the two party system doing that…) Cities do this, states do it, the federal government does. In **all** cases, the general populous gets to vote on who ends up running thing. Companies **never** allow this.

    That being said, I would think you could argue that giving such a group the power to determine policy, or push for the election of their favored candidate, isn’t just an offense to real people, it undermines our representative government, by allowing a non-representative agency “pick” who they want us to vote on (gee…, sort of like China again…).

  98. #98 Sili
    March 26, 2010

    Cognato answered each question in a perfectly fine and reasonable fashion

    Exactly. For a nervous guy on national telly he did very well.

    And, if nothing else, they didn’t interrupt him.

    Of course, it won’t matter to the nuts, but to anyone with half a brain it’s obvious who were the waste of space in that clip.

  99. #99 inkhat
    March 27, 2010

    Why did they film it in front of our parking garage?

  100. #100 Graeme Bird
    March 29, 2010

    If its not one thing its another. So economically illiterate he seems to be in favour of deficit spending.

  101. #101 Graeme Bird
    March 29, 2010

    “I don’t quite get it; this is money the government is disbursing to encourage jobs for the sake of jobs, and if they were hiring people to dig holes and fill them in again, it would accomplish their task. ”

    Of course you don’t get it you blockhead. Economics is yet another subject you are irrational over.

  102. #102 Shala
    March 29, 2010

    Troll droppings in aisle 100 and 101, move along folks.

  103. #103 Graeme Bird
    March 29, 2010

    Is there no subject that this moron is NOT incompetent about?

    And he’s a liar. There is absolutely no reason to believe in any of this that Hannity or Carlson are against science. This is coming from an irrational fuckwit who despises the scientific method.

    Did this fuckwit not know that in February you ran a budget deficit of more than 212 billion?

    This is despite the fact that deficit spending causes unemployment DIRECTLY. And obviously so.

  104. #104 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2010

    Is there no subject that this moron is NOT incompetent about?

    Shiny shiny mirror

  105. #105 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Is there no subject that this me the moron is NOT incompetent about?

    And he’s a liar. There is absolutely no reason to believe in any of this that the shit I say as Hannity or Carlson are against science.

    Fixed that for you idjit.

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