Why Do Republicans Think They Are Entitled To Their Own Facts?

While the vote counting isn’t quite finished as of now it stands at Obama 60,662,174 to Romney 57.820,742.

For more fun, read Salon’s play-by-play description of Karl Rove’s meltdown on Fox News last night.

If you didn’t get to see it, Rove’s attempt to overturn Fox’s 11:15 P.M. call of Ohio and the election was completely nuts. First of all, co-anchors Kelly and Bret Baier were caught by surprise when a graphic went up announcing that Obama had been reelected. You could almost feel the disapproval emanating from Brit Hume, who may be a right-winger but is a genuine newsman and a TV professional. Then Rove, getting increasingly hot under the collar, began to protest that unnamed sources in the Romney camp weren’t happy about this, and that the president’s margin in Ohio was disappearing. This led Kelly to wander through a backstage corridor with a cameraman in tow, like a character in a backstage drama or reality show, in order to confront the statistics wonks at the “decision desk,” or at least to escape from Rove’s blather about whether the outstanding votes from Hamilton County, Ohio, were or were not from the city of Cincinnati.

In the end, Fox News showed its true character by blaming the Republican loss on minorities.  Bill O’Reilly said, on the air, “The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore. …  the white establishment is now the minority. … And the voters, many of them, feel that this economic system is stacked against them, and they want stuff. You’re going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way.”

So the Republicans deny evolution, climate change, same sex marriage, equal rights for women and now apparently they are also seeking to deny basic arithmetic.  Apparently one plus one no longer equals two if your name is Karl Rove or Donald Trump.

By the way, here’s some numbers via Huffington Post:

  • Total money spent by Obama and the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA:$853 million
  • Total money spent by Romney and the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future: $752.3 million
  • (PBS’s annual budget – $530 million)
  • Total money raised by those super PACs: $661 million
  • Money given to conservative super PACs by the family of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson: $54 million
  • Money spent on negative ads attacking Romney: $295 million
  • Money spent on negative ads attacking Obama: $351 million
  • Number of super PAC donors who’ve given at least half a million dollars this cycle: 209
  • Number of political ads run to support or oppose either presidential candidate since June 1: 1,015,615

Regardless of which party you follow, some of these numbers are obscene.

I Want My LTE

One of the features of the iPhone 5 is compatibility with LTE mobile networks.  If I’m not mistaken, that gives you internet connectivity at speeds up to 20 megabits per second, as opposed to the roughly 2 mbps I’m getting now on the 3G network.

(Hong Kong famously offers home internet connection speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second for around US$25 per month, but where I live, the best I can get is 8 mbps.  I can barely get the 3G network where I live, my phone usually drops back to 2G, but the notion of going somewhere on HK island and getting LTE speed with my laptop tethered to the phone is enticing.)

There are a couple of different bandwidths for LTE networks.  My mobile provider, 3, had one up and running that was compatible with Android phones.  Then I ready in mid October that they were ready with their iPhone-compatible network.

I went into a 3 shop to ask about this and they told me it would probably be ready in December and that they’d contact me.  On October 31st, I received an SMS that I would be upgraded to LTE on November 1st and that all I’d need to do would be to restart my phone, get the new carrier settings, and I’d be good to go.

On the morning of November 1st, I received another SMS confirming the upgrade.  Given the crappy signal where I live, I waited until I was in Central to restart the phone.  And then … nothing.  No new carrier settings, no LTE option, just 3G.

I tried again on November 2nd and 3rd with the same results.  I went to 3’s web site to see if there might be any instructions.  Nope.  But they have 24 hour online live chat, so I hit the link for that.  I explained my problem to the customer service person who responded by typing, “I see. Is it okay if I type in Chinese?”  No, it’s not.  So she said that someone would contact me within 24 hours.  Nice chatting with you!

Two days later when someone called me, they put the blame on Apple.  They said they’d done everything that they need to do and that it was Apple that had to send me the new carrier settings.  That made about zero sense to me, but I had no option except to say, “Oh, okay.”

I was in Central yesterday so I stopped into the Apple store.  I explained my problem to one guy there and showed him the confirmation SMS’s from 3 that said that I should have LTE now.  Soon I had about 5 different Apple employees all gathered round, all taking turns to see if they could figure out how to get me LTE.  I saw that on their iPhones, on the settings page, where I have a slider for “Enable 3G,” they had a slider for “Enable LTE.”  Finally the expert showed up.  After rebooting my phone 4 or 5 times and typing in some secret codes (I wish I was paying better attention at that point!), the “expert” told me that 3 probably hadn’t finished their LTE network for iPhone and that I could go to a 3 shop or just wait.

I’ve managed this long without LTE and I don’t need it.  It falls into the category of “nice to have.”  Regardless, it’s frustrating that 3 says that they think I have it now and that I’m caught between Apple and 3 pointing fingers at each other.  I’m not going to spend an hour on hold with 3’s customer service hotline, so further developments will have to wait until I’m somewhere in the vicinity of a 3 shop.

Do any of my readers in Hong Kong have LTE yet?


Brilliant photo by Doug Mills for the New York Times.

Romney couldn’t even carry Massachusetts or Michigan.

And there’s more good news – several states voted in marriage equality and two states voted in recreational marijuana use.  In Indiana, Mourdock, the whack job who said that if a rape victim got pregnant it was God’s will, lost.  Todd Akin, who insisted that women could not become pregnant from rape, also lost.   Wisconsin brings us our first openly gay (and female) Senator.  In Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren beat tea bagger Scott Brown.   While the Republicans held onto their majority in the House, I think it’s clear that Americans prefer the centrist policies of Obama to the factions on the extreme right that have lately dominated the Republican party.

One might hope that with the election over, the people of the U.S. will all work together to deal with the major issues that the country is facing.  But that would be to deny reality.

Sure, thick-fingered vulgarian Donald Trump sits outside of the mainstream Republican party.  But he won’t be the last extremist out there with access to media.  And then there’s Fox News blaming “the mainstream” media for Romney’s loss.  As if Fox News wasn’t mainstream?  As if it wasn’t Romney and his proposed policies and the Republican party itself that were responsible for the loss.