Day Sixteen of GOP Government Shutdown: Congress Overturns Shutdown | Nel’s New Day

http://nelsnewday.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/day-sixteen-of-gop-government-shutdown-congress-overturns-shutdown/

After weeks of temper tantrums, the GOP members of Congress have decided that their attempt to dump the Affordable Care Act is indefensible. The government opens up again tomorrow thanks to the passing of a continuing appropriations bill with a Senate vote of 81-18 and a House vote of 285-144. Eighty-seven GOP House members and 27 GOP senators voted for the bill.

What the CR does:

The government is funded through January 15, 2014The debt ceiling is raised until February 7.Congressional leaders will establish a Senate-House conference to negotiate fiscal reforms and report the result to Congress by December 13.The Treasury Department is permitted to continue its use of “extraordinary measures” to continue paying the government’s bills when the debt limit is reached.Furloughed workers will receive back pay for the time that they were not working.Income verification for Affordable Care Act applications will be tightened.Sequester cuts are kept at the current level.It provides a $1.2 billion funding authorization increase for the Army Corps of Engineers to improve of locks and dams on the lower Ohio River on the Illinois-Kentucky border in Senate Minority Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) area.It allocates $450 million to rebuild flood damage in Colorado as well as $36 million to the Department of the Interior and $600 million to the Forest Service for fighting wildfires and refurbishing the fires’ damage.

What the CR doesn’t do:

The 2.3 percent tax on medical devices is neither eliminated nor delayed.And anything else that the GOP House members wanted.

The fight is not over. McConnell (R-KY) declared that the GOP will continue the fight to repeal and replace Obamacare, meaning that another shutdown can happen in January. The Republicans may have more problems the next time around because polls show that the popularity of the health care reform law is rapidly growing.

After gathering House minions at a local restaurant yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has decided that opening the government, which he doesn’t support but won’t oppose, is really a win for him. When he was asked what he gained in the last 3 weeks, Cruz said that more than 2 million people signed his petition to defund Obamacare. Those two million people translate into fund-raising for Cruz’s future political aspirations.

Right now, fundraising in the South is benefiting Democrats who have outraised GOP counterparts during the third quarter which ended September 30. One of those races will include McConnell who was down $230,000 to candidate Democratic Secretary of state Alison Lundergan.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that he knew the conservative Republicans wouldn’t win: “People don’t like government, but they sure don’t want it shut down.” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) also spoke out against House conservatives: “I just bitterly resent some of the things that have been done.”

Conservative Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said he hopes the Republicans pushing to derail ObamaCare “learned a lesson that shutdowns and defaults shouldn’t be a part of the way we do business. They should be off limits. We have plenty of other legislative tactics we can use.” Hopefully, he’ll remember this when Sens. Cruz, Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Rand Paul (R-KY) lead the charge to close down the government in another three months.

Karl Rove wrote an angry op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. Except for the accusation of the trap, his conclusion is right on target:

“Barack Obama set the trap. Some congressional Republicans walked into it. As a result, the president is stronger, the GOP is weaker, and ObamaCare is marginally more popular. The battles over spending, taxes and debt have not been resolved, only postponed. It’s time Republicans remembered that bad tactics produce bad outcomes.”

Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) voted tonight to continue the shutdown just as she originally voted to close the government. At the same time she wants help for her state after a blizzard may have destroyed $100 million of its $7 billion cattle industry. Without the shutdown, cattle ranchers would file claims at the local offices of the USDA Farm Service Agency to file claims for their losses. The shutdown, however, closed those offices.

A week ago, Noem asked the House to help these ranchers because of the “unprecedented” nature of the blizzard that blew through her state. She said, “”There may be disagreement over certain parts of the federal budget, but not on FEMA.” Her state is especially reliant on federal funding because it has no personal or corporate income tax and a sales tax of only 4 percent, the second lowest of all states with sales taxes.

Noem also wants a permanent increase in assistance by expanding the livestock indemnity program in the farm bill. One rancher who lost 96 percent of his herd of 100 cattle wasn’t insured because storm insurance is too expensive. Thus Noem thinks that federal taxes should give insurance to all her cattle ranchers but not to the 50 million people in the United States who cannot afford health insurance.

A members of the Agriculture Committee, Noem voted for the $39 billion cut in food stamp funding over the next decade, taking benefits from 2.8 million low-income workers. Last year, she also voted against federal assistance for victims of Superstorm Sandy that devastated parts of New York and New Jersey. Noem is now on the conference committee to work on a farm bill to replace the one that expired at the beginning of the shutdown.

Instead of “NIMBY” (Not in My Back Yard), Noem’s philosophy represents that of many in the Republican party, “OIMBY” (Only in My Back Yard).

The conservative party members who whine about the deficit just cost the economy as much as $31 billion since their ploy started on October 1. With the GOP having pushed the U.S. to the brink of default and destroyed people’s willingness to spend money, the economy will continue to weaken. The possibility of Fitch Ratings lowering the nation’s rating caused the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, important for interest rates, to rise four basic points from  0.04 percentage point to 2.73 point. Three-month notes rose to their highest rates in more than two years.

Last month, banks were paying for the privilege of buying Treasury notes. Those days are gone. Instead of providing needed services and boosting the economy, tax dollars are now going to lenders, and budget deficits are again growing. The past two weeks have diminished the United States and made it less financially strong and globally competitive, its people less economically secure.

At one time, the Heritage Foundation, although conservative, was a think tank. Now it’s become a radical rightwing, destroy-the-country, organization. Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham proved that this morning on Fox when he explained that the GOP had shut down the government to keep Obamacare from going into effect on January 1. After praising Republicans for standing strong—at least until this morning—he admitted, “Well, everybody knows that we’re not going to be able to repeal this law until 2017, and that we have to win the Senate and win the White House.” GOP members of Congress determined to close down the country are getting paid for being total obstructionists.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tried to protect House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and take the high ground. In the end, however, he admitted that the GOP was responsible for the debacle: “We won’t be the last political party to overplay our hand,” he said. “It might happen one day on the Democratic side. And if it did, would Republicans, for the good of the country, kinda give a little? We really did go too far. We screwed up. But their response is making things worse, not better.”

Even extremist Pat Robertson, who actually told a woman that her husband is ill because she’s not tithing, thought the GOP went too far in the government shutdown: “The Republicans have got to wave the white flag and say, ‘We fought a good fight and now it’s over. They cannot shut the government down and then bring about a default. We can’t do it. I mean, it would be devastating economically to every human being and the Republicans just can’t get tarred with that.”

Furloughed workers will have to rely on the media to determine whether to go back to work. The employees were strictly ordered not to check government e-mail but instead to monitor television broadcasts and check into the web site of the Office of Personnel Management for instructions. The last post on this website was on October 1. Workers in the Labor Department were told:

“Please note that all employees are expected to report for work on their next regularly scheduled work day following the enactment of appropriating legislation which allows normal DOL operations to resume.”

 October 17, 2013 – Spirit Day

Tomorrow is the first day that the government will be open this month. It is also the fourth Spirit Day, a day to remind people to take a stand against bullying and to show support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Spirit Day was started in 2010 by high school student Brittany McMillan as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Wear your purple, the color that symbolizes the “spirit” on the rainbow flag.

 

trp2011 | October 16, 2013 at 8:37 PM | Tags: continuing appropriations resolution,government shutdown, Spirit Day | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p1vpbG-F7

GOP, the Party of Ignorance | Nel’s New Day

GOP, the Party of Ignorance | Nel’s New Day.

Mark Sanford lied to the people of South Carolina when he was governor by leaving the state ungoverned for five days while he visited his mistress, spent taxpayer funds to go there, broke the law by trespassing in the home of his ex-wife, published the telephone numbers of people who called him, and showed other instances of unethical behavior. This is the candidate who has just been elected to the District #1 of South Carolina, defeating Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler, called Sanford “America’s great sex pioneer,” and said in his endorsement of the candidate, “Mark Sanford has demonstrated by his words and deeds that traditional values are shameful and that he will not live by such rules.” And now the conservatives of South Carolina have chosen a “sex pioneer,” who demonstrates “that traditional values are shameful” to represent them.

Joining a group of hypocrites and downright ignorant GOP lawmakers in Congress, Mark Sanford was able to run for his new position after Gov. Nikki Haley (R) appointed Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) to senator after Jim DeMint (R) left to head up the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation. Arriving in Washington on the Tea Party wave of 2010, Scott’s actions demonstrate what we have come to expect from conservatives:

  • Impeach President Obama because the conservatives claimed that the debt ceiling is an unconstitutional infringement on the 14th Amendment.
  • Cut off food stamps for a family if one member goes on strike—no exceptions for children or other dependents.
  • Spend an unlimited amount of taxpayer money to display the Ten Commandments outside a county building in Charleston to “remind council members and speakers the moral absolutes they should follow.”
  • Protect over $50 billion in oil subsidies at the same time that oil companies are raking in tens of billions in profit every quarter.

Although South Carolina has only six Congressional districts, one-sixth of those in Texas, the state seems to be cornering part of the market on crazy. Last week, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) introduced a bill to bar the U.S. Census Bureau from conducting almost all surveys except for its decennial population count. If this were to pass, President Obama couldn’t be criticized for the unemployment rate: the bill removes statistics for that. Businesses, researchers, academics, and government agencies would lose information about commuting, income, family structure, education, housing, and finance. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) proposed making part of the this survey optional. Actually, they already are.

Duncan’s proposal, with 10 co-sponsors, would also eliminate the agricultural census, economic census, government census, and mid-decade census. Also lost would be the measurement of the nation’s GDP. Duncan has other bizarre positions, some of them about the Boston bombing, which led the patient Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to say that his ignorant inquiries were “full of misstatements and misapprehensions,” and “not worthy of an answer.”

In an attempt to keep up with South Carolina, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced a bill, ironically called the “High Quality Research Act,” to mandate that any research using federal funds—and there’s lots of that in the United States—must have its results and findings approved by the House Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. If those House representatives don’t agree to the findings, then the research is removed from those who performed the studies and then disposed of. Smith claims that “the intent of the draft legislation is to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent on the highest-quality research possible.” With a couple of college science courses, he also sees himself as a “peer” to the researchers.

Smith voted to bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, voted no several times on tax credits for renewable energy and incentives for energy production and conservation, voted against raising fuel efficiency standards, and rejected implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. In addition, he denies that climate change has been caused by humans. Chair of the science committee, he is its most moderate GOP member.

Several senators joined in the conspiracy theory that Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) announced on MSNBC about the Obama administration deliberately orchestrating airline delays. “The administration is clearly manufacturing a crisis for political gain,” Toomey said. The short term fix for air-traffic controller furloughs comes out of airport repair and improvement, a move which will start long-term delays in a few years.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has brought back the disgusting term “anchor babies.” While discussing immigration reform at a town hall meeting last week, he insisted on border control before allowing undocumented immigrants a “probationary” status. Ryan wants to change the constitution so that people don’t come into the United States and have children. “That’s what they call it, anchor babies.”

During the same town hall meetings, Ryan suffered serious memory lapses. When an EPA worker talked about losing thousands in his income because of the sequester, the House Budget Committee Chairman blamed the president for the sequester, failing to remember that he bragged about the GOP getting legal caps on spending with the sequester. His excuse now is that the president won’t promote Ryan’s budget plan. Ryan, however, failed to tell the EPA employee that the Ryan budget plan guts the EPA.

Governors aren’t exempt from ignorant prejudice. In Pennsylvania where Tom Corbett (R) has low job approval ratings and economic recovery, he tried to explain why his state is 49th in the nation for job creation last March. “There are many employers that say we’re looking for people but we can’t find anybody that has passed a drug test, a lot of them.” His state has a pilot program that requires drug testing for those convicted of felony drug offenses who apply for welfare. In the past 15 months, only two people have failed these tests.

Also on the state level, California GOP Assembly President Celeste Greig voiced agreement with Todd Akin’s infamous “legitimate rape” comment:

“Granted, the percentage of pregnancies due to rape is small because it’s an act of violence, because the body is traumatized. I don’t know what percentage of pregnancies are due to the violence of rape. Because of the trauma the body goes through, I don’t know what percentage of pregnancy results from the act.”

California is not as understanding as other states: the Assembly voted her out, but only by six votes.

North Carolina State Senator Tommy Tucker summarized how the GOP feels about the people in the United States. A recent bills that he pushed through committee is to not inform people with important government decisions through omitting the requirement that the government publish legal notices about these decisions—such as a sewage plant in the neighborhood. Questioned by the Charlotte Observer about his bill, Tucker said:

“I am the senator. You are the citizen. You need to be quiet.”

This is where the United States is going these days—everyone should just be quiet.

[Note: The Republican Party has removed the word “Republican” from its website: now it’s just NRCC. Currently in their attempt to attract minorities, it has an article called “The History about Cinco de Mayo That You Might Not Know.”  The article headlined “Nancy Pelosi: The Least Liked Person in Congress” is actually about only the four Congressional leaders. Rep. Pelosi (D-CA) is actually tied with House Speaker John Boehner at 31 percent favorability. Always interesting to see how the GOP—excuse me, the NRCC—twists and tortures the facts.]

http://nelsnewday.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/gop-the-party-of-ignorance/

GOP Austerity Plan a Hoax | Nel’s New Day

GOP Austerity Plan a Hoax | Nel’s New Day.

Since the GOP Tea Party took over Congress over two years ago, they’ve been screaming—sometimes literally—about the importance of spending cuts and tax cuts: in one word, austerity. I’m convinced that they know less about economics than I do—and I know almost nothing. But they have held up the golden words of Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, two Harvard economists who wrote “Growth in the Time of Debt.” The message of this paper is that economic growth slows dramatically the very instant that a country’s gross debt to GDP ratio crosses 90 percent. How can we doubt people with their credentials! Journalists and policy-makers jumped on the bandwagon driven by deficit hawks.

Economists, on the other hand, thought that the research was shoddy and the conclusions absurd. Thomas Ferguson and Robert Johnson wrote in “A World Upside Down? Deficit Fantasies in the Great Recession” that too little data had skewed R&R’s conclusions after they eliminated over a century of British data when British debt loads exploded but economic growth raced forward. Marshall Auerback criticized the relevance of the cases that they had used. But major media such as the Washington Post didn’t listen, and conservative consensus was that the United States could move its economy forward by cutting jobs, stripping away vital public services, and letting the infrastructure crumble.

R&R’s entire cover has been blown by a 28-year-old graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Thomas Herndon, a 28-year-old graduate student, when he tried to replicate the Reinhart-Rogoff results as part of a class exercise. It didn’t work so he asked R&R for their data spreadsheet. In it, Herndon found disastrous problems, which he passed by his professors, Michael Ash and Robert Pollin, mistakes such as selective exclusion of years of high debt and average growth, a problematic method of weighing countries, and, worst of all, a coding error in the Excel spreadsheet that excludes high-debt and average-growth countries. Mother Jones dubbed it “the Excel Error Heard Round the World.”

With the two professors, Herndon wrote:

“A coding error in the RR working spreadsheet entirely excludes five countries, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, and Denmark, from the analysis. [Reinhart-Rogoff] averaged cells in lines 30 to 44 instead of lines 30 to 49…This spreadsheet error…is responsible for a -0.3 percentage-point error in RR’s published average real GDP growth in the highest public debt/GDP category.”

Fixing these mistakes results in an anti-austerity rationale: countries can cross artificial debt-to-GDP “threshold” and grow. The new paper from the two professors and the graduate student, “Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff,” shows:

“When properly calculated, the average real GDP growth rate for countries carrying a public-debt-to-GDP ratio of over 90 percent is actually 2.2 percent, not -0:1 percent as published in Reinhart and Rogoff. That is, contrary to RR, average GDP growth at public debt/GDP ratios over 90 percent is not dramatically different than when debt/GDP ratios are lower.”

The entire foundation for the disastrous global push for austerity and debt reductions in the 21st century was based on bad data and a spreadsheet mistake. R&R’s premise was the basis of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) draconian Path to Prosperity budget, for GOP rejection of further stimulus, and the Fix the Debt crowd’s frenzied calls for urgent action. Even President Obama joined up with his “chained CPI” for federal programs.  In Europe, R&R’s work justified austerity policies that pushed the unemployment rate over 10 percent for the euro zone as a whole and above 20 percent in Greece and Spain. This mistake had “enormous consequences” for real people, wrote economist Dean Baker in “How Much Unemployment Did Reinhart and Rogoff’s Arithmetic Mistake Cause?”

R&R also have close ties to Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson, who has worked on cuts in Social Security and Medicare for decades. Almost every think tank and non-profit that works on deficit- and debt-related issues have been bankrolled by Peterson, including the Peterson Institute for International Economics where Reinhart is a Senior Fellow. Her husband, Vincent Reinhart, does similar work for the American Enterprise Institute, also bankrolled by Peterson. Rogoff is listed on the Advisory Board of the Peterson Institute.

GOP Austerity Plan a Hoax

by trp2011

Since the GOP Tea Party took over Congress over two years ago, they’ve been screaming—sometimes literally—about the importance of spending cuts and tax cuts: in one word, austerity. I’m convinced that they know less about economics than I do—and I know almost nothing. But they have held up the golden words of Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, two Harvard economists who wrote “Growth in the Time of Debt.” The message of this paper is that economic growth slows dramatically the very instant that a country’s gross debt to GDP ratio crosses 90 percent. How can we doubt people with their credentials! Journalists and policy-makers jumped on the bandwagon driven by deficit hawks.

Economists, on the other hand, thought that the research was shoddy and the conclusions absurd. Thomas Ferguson and Robert Johnson wrote in “A World Upside Down? Deficit Fantasies in the Great Recession” that too little data had skewed R&R’s conclusions after they eliminated over a century of British data when British debt loads exploded but economic growth raced forward. Marshall Auerback criticized the relevance of the cases that they had used. But major media such as the Washington Post didn’t listen, and conservative consensus was that the United States could move its economy forward by cutting jobs, stripping away vital public services, and letting the infrastructure crumble.

R&R’s entire cover has been blown by a 28-year-old graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Thomas Herndon, a 28-year-old graduate student, when he tried to replicate the Reinhart-Rogoff results as part of a class exercise. It didn’t work so he asked R&R for their data spreadsheet. In it, Herndon found disastrous problems, which he passed by his professors, Michael Ash and Robert Pollin, mistakes such as selective exclusion of years of high debt and average growth, a problematic method of weighing countries, and, worst of all, a coding error in the Excel spreadsheet that excludes high-debt and average-growth countries. Mother Jones dubbed it “the Excel Error Heard Round the World.”

With the two professors, Herndon wrote:

“A coding error in the RR working spreadsheet entirely excludes five countries, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, and Denmark, from the analysis. [Reinhart-Rogoff] averaged cells in lines 30 to 44 instead of lines 30 to 49…This spreadsheet error…is responsible for a -0.3 percentage-point error in RR’s published average real GDP growth in the highest public debt/GDP category.”

Fixing these mistakes results in an anti-austerity rationale: countries can cross artificial debt-to-GDP “threshold” and grow. The new paper from the two professors and the graduate student, “Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff,” shows:

“When properly calculated, the average real GDP growth rate for countries carrying a public-debt-to-GDP ratio of over 90 percent is actually 2.2 percent, not -0:1 percent as published in Reinhart and Rogoff. That is, contrary to RR, average GDP growth at public debt/GDP ratios over 90 percent is not dramatically different than when debt/GDP ratios are lower.”

The entire foundation for the disastrous global push for austerity and debt reductions in the 21st century was based on bad data and a spreadsheet mistake. R&R’s premise was the basis of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) draconian Path to Prosperity budget, for GOP rejection of further stimulus, and the Fix the Debt crowd’s frenzied calls for urgent action. Even President Obama joined up with his “chained CPI” for federal programs.  In Europe, R&R’s work justified austerity policies that pushed the unemployment rate over 10 percent for the euro zone as a whole and above 20 percent in Greece and Spain. This mistake had “enormous consequences” for real people, wrote economist Dean Baker in “How Much Unemployment Did Reinhart and Rogoff’s Arithmetic Mistake Cause?”

R&R also have close ties to Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson, who has worked on cuts in Social Security and Medicare for decades. Almost every think tank and non-profit that works on deficit- and debt-related issues have been bankrolled by Peterson, including the Peterson Institute for International Economics where Reinhart is a Senior Fellow. Her husband, Vincent Reinhart, does similar work for the American Enterprise Institute, also bankrolled by Peterson. Rogoff is listed on the Advisory Board of the Peterson Institute.

The new R&R book using the same flawed data that Herndon discovered, A Decade of Debt, is bankrolled by Peterson.

As usual when academics are caught in a mistake, R&R tried to dig themselves out of the hole but just went farther in:

“Nowhere did we assert that 90 percent was a magic threshold that transforms outcomes, as conservative politicians have suggested. […] Our view has always been that causality runs in both directions, and that there is no rule that applies across all times and places…. Our consistent advice has been to avoid withdrawing fiscal stimulus too quickly, a position identical to that of most mainstream economists.”

R&R aren’t alone in trying to lie their way out of an awkward, world-destroying mistake. Alberto F. Alesina and Silvia Ardagna tried to show that spending cuts are actually “expansionary” because all these draconian cuts are automatically followed by economic growth. Basically, the International Monetary Fund discovered that A&A were cooking the books by the way through extraneous effects in its statistical techniques. As Paul Krugman wrote, A&A didn’t crash and burn like R&R, but they did became gradually discredited.

Now some of the big players are opposing austerity: the manager of PIMCO, the largest bond-buying firm in the world; top figures at Blackrock, one of the most influential investment banks in the world; the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso; and Martin Wolf, world-renowned finance commentator for the Financial Times. Those who want more information on why austerity doesn’t work might want to read Mark Blyth’s new book, Austerity: History of a Dangerous Idea, a collection of austerity disasters during the 20th century.

Why do conservatives want austerity? Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winner, theorizes that it’s a moral tale of punishing excess. People who live beyond their means must pay the price. Unfortunately, “living beyond our means” means all the costs from George W. Bush’s preemptive wars and tax cuts for the wealthy.

Conservatives refuse to understand that the country’s current problems come from too little spending; they want the redemption of suffering. But their mandate for suffering all goes to the poor and middle class through cuts on health care and Social Security, which they call “entitlements,” despite the fact that the poor and middle class fund these programs.

Economic science, according to conservatives, evolves from what the top 1 percent wants. Right now the they think that the economic recession serves them well. The stock market has shot to the top during the push toward austerity, and the wealthy have acquired all the net worth during the past few years.

Between 2009 and 2011, the richest 8 million families, the top 7 percent, saw their average wealth rise from $1.7 million to $2.5 million each. The bottom 93%, 111 million families, each lost an average of $6,000. Therefore, the top 7 percent gained $5.6 trillion in net worth, an increase of 28 percent, while the rest of the people in the nation went down by 4 percent.

No wonder the wealthy don’t want anything to change, despite dire predictions for the country’s economy. They’re just fine right now. They fail to understand that their wealth depends on the spending of the rest of the people, spending that they cannot do if the economic inequality continues.

http://nelsnewday.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/gop-austerity-plan-a-hoax/