Coburn: Don’t Believe Everything You Hear On Fox News (–)
April 6, 2010
Even Tom Coburn can get burned by Fox News propaganda. At a town hall meeting in Oklahoma City last week, staunch conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, disparaged Fox News and told a constituent her fears about the health care law were unfounded:
“Come on now… how many of you all have met her? She’s a nice person,” Coburn said. “Just because somebody disagrees with you, doesn’t mean they’re not a good person.”
Coburn urged audience members to widen their points of view by reading and watching different media outlets, not just the ones they agree with.
“Don’t just watch Fox News or CNN, watch them both,” Coburn said. He said he read both The Washington Post and The New York Times — plus The Wall Street Journal — and urged his audience to do likewise. “Listen to the other side, because what it does, it makes you a better person.”
Think Before Asking Sarah Palin to Endorse You (–)
March 31, 2010
GOP candidates across the country compete to ask Sarah Palin to campaign for them. They would be wise to think twice about that. First because Scott Brown avoided her during the Massachusetts special election campaign and it did him no harm. Second because of her “ratings”:
GOP Shooting Itself in the Foot, the Sequel (–)
March 30, 2010
Contrary to historical trends, the Houston Chronicle notes one of the toughest challenges facing U.S. Census officials is “not from counting the traditionally undercounted groups such as African-Americans and Latinos. Instead, a new and growing threat to an accurate national head count is coming from anti-government conservatives who may not fill out their forms to protest against ‘Big Brother’ in Washington.”
Key example: While Texas is counting on the 2010 Census to deliver four new congressional districts, as of Friday afternoon, just 27% of Texas households had filled in and returned their census forms — well below the national average of 34%.
GOP Shooting Itself in the Foot (–)
March 26, 2010
The “Repeal HRC” plateform the GOP seems to want to run on is based on the premise, as former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) declared in an e-mail blast Wednesday March 24, that “in every recent poll, the vast majority of Americans opposed this monstrosity.”
That was largely true up to the moment that the House passed the health care bill Sunday. But on Tuesday, the USA Today/Gallup poll showed that opinion had flipped and that, by 49 percent to 40 percent, those polled said it was “a good thing” that health care passed.
And, on closer examination, the most negative of the pre-vote polls shows this isn’t a new phenomenon due to some kind of “vote bounce”, but actually reflects what the public felt before the vote took place.
The top line of the March 19-21 CNN/Opinion Research poll showed that by 59 percent to 39 percent, voters opposed the bill that the House was about to vote on.
But when asked why, 13 percent of those opposed said the bill was “not liberal enough.” Add them to the 39 percent in favor, and the balance came out 52 percent in support and 43 percent against, just about President Barack Obama’s margin of victory in 2008.
The more the GOP focuses on repealing HCR, pissing off the majority that don’t want it repealed, the less time they will spend on other issues such as unemployment, the economy or Afghanistan, which are far more damaging for the Democrats.
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Proud to be Stupid (–)
March 22, 2010
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) has admitted he was the classless jerk who yelled “baby killer” at Rep Stupak on the floor of the House during the health care debate last Sunday.
With this dick move Rep Neugebauer has also shown he has little knowledge of Federal legislation in abortion matters as Jeffrey Toobin explains in the New Yorker:
Federal funding of abortion has been illegal under the Hyde Amendment for almost two generations. The health-care reform bill did nothing to disturb that status quo. Anti-abortion forces mobilized against the legislation but without ever establishing that it would affect abortion at all. In short, nothing happened on abortion
We all know human intelligence has its limits, Rep Neugebauer once again proves stupidity doesn’t.
Sean Hannity Truly Your’s War Profiteer (–)
March 19, 2010
I always thought Sean Hannity was a phony and was just pandering to the stupid for the love of his paycheck. As long as it was via his radio and TV shows I had little trouble with it because it only harmed a particular brand of hate filled idiots I have no interest in defending.
Conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel now informs us that Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concerts, proclaimed to be charity events for the children of the fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan, are just a scam as can be attested by the “Freedom Alliance”‘s 2008 tax returns.
This behavior is plainly disgraceful and I am not even surprised. Everything in the guy has always repulsed me, but he has gone beyond salvation with this last gimmick. His usual targets are thick skinned politician and political operatives. He know has divulged his true persona using helpless children to get money out of well intentioned people.
Update March 21, 2010
This story is getting juicier by the hour. Freedom Alliance made a pathetic PR response to Debbie Schlussel’s initial post, and she now promises some further details next week. I can’t wait, the only positive thing about this mess is that a conservative blogger has picked up the story and chosen to run with it.
John Stossel Christmas Warrior (–)
December 12, 2009
It didn’t take long for John Stossel to show us all the tool he is. The “Libertarian Independent” who found that ABC wasn’t giving him enough wiggling room knows where his bread is buttered and dutifully plays along his corporate overlord’s fake news. This week, The War On Christmas, with a disgraceful appearence on Bill O’Reilly’s The Factor.
The most amazing in the segment is how both Stossel and O’Reilly manage to talk about this as if it was about Abeas Corpus violations or torture. The way they manage to push their line of crap with a straight face is flabbergasting
Ronald Reagan: The Great Taxer (–)
November 17, 2009
In their quasi religious remembrance of the Reagan presidency, many on the right single out that period as the golden age of tax cuts. The reality is however very different:
… Ronald Reagan does hold a special place in the annals of tax policy, and not just as the patron saint of tax cuts. To his credit, he was more pragmatic and responsible than that; he followed his huge 1981 tax cut with two large tax increases. In fact, no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people. This is not a criticism: the tale of those increases tells you a lot about what was right with President Reagan’s leadership.
The first Reagan tax increase came in 1982. By then it was clear that the budget projections used to justify the 1981 tax cut were wildly optimistic. In response, Mr. Reagan agreed to a sharp rollback of corporate tax cuts, and a smaller rollback of individual income tax cuts. Over all, the 1982 tax increase undid about a third of the 1981 cut
In other words he enforced tax cuts believing there would be a surplus which didn’t materialize and he backpedaled in a big way. Given the state of our public finances, and the fact that the Bush tax cuts are still in place, it would be suicidal to enforce big tax cuts now as low functioning pinheads such as Sarah Palin suggest.
Even Lou Dobbs Wouldn’t Vote for Palin (–)
November 17, 2009
Lou Dobbs took to the “Today” show Tuesday morning as the next step in his post-CNN media blitz, and he told Matt Lauer that he wouldn’t vote for Sarah Palin right now.
“Would I consider voting for her? Frankly, based on what I have seen, personally, no,” Dobbs said of Palin. “I think the woman had a brilliant address at the Republican Convention last year. I think that since then she’s left a lot to be desired as a person who is seeking votes, but that may be what this is about, campaigning for those votes like mine that certainly are not persuaded at this point.”
Palin: The Dumber Kind Of Creationist (–)
November 17, 2009
Creationists are deservedly mocked by those who have half a brain and observe the fantastic mosaic of events surrounding them called reality. There are however several levels of creationism and unsurprisingly Sarah Palin belongs to the dumbest. Marc Ambinder explains:
Much more so than abortion, the issue of life’s origins wedges itself between the scientifically literate elite and everyone else. No surprise. This is the Big Question, and it has implications for politics: what is humanity? What do we owe each other? From where do we derive our ethics? How do we solve irreconcilable value claims? As evidence for evolution grows, the number of Americans who accept a literal creationist account of human origins has shrunk. Most of these beliefs have been channeled into the “intelligent design” movement, which shares virtually everything with creationism except the name and the implication that macroevolution didn’t happen naturally on at least some level. So — think of public opinion along a line. Very roughly, between 15 and 25%, believe that evolution is a natural process and either know — or doubt — that God directed it, and about 75% are willing to acknowledge God’s role. Of that 75%, half accept at least some parts of evolutionary theory. The other half is made up of Biblical creationists.
Palin accepts creationism’s critique, which is that there is no way that species share a common lineage, or that humans descended from apes, or that terrestrial creatures descended from aquatic creatures.
Keene, Norquist and Barr Back Obama on Gitmo (–)
November 16, 2009
The Washington Independent’s David Weigel reports:
David Keene of the American Conservative Union, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, and former congressman/Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr are backing a proposal to send Guantanamo Bay detainees to a prison in Illinois, as well as President Obama’s plan to try terrorism suspects in federal courts. The three conservatives have long been members of the Constitution Project, and spoke out against Bush-era civil liberties abuses, too, but this push is getting a lot more attention.
From a statement issued by the trio:
Civilian federal courts are the proper forum for terrorism cases. Civilian prisons are the safe, cost effective and appropriate venue to hold persons convicted in federal courts. Over the last two decades, federal courts constituted under Article III of the U.S. Constitution have proven capable of trying a wide array of terrorism cases, without sacrificing either national security or fair trial standards.
Even Fox News Fact Checks Palin (–)
November 11, 2009
Picking up on a Politico report, Fox News anchor Bret Baier noted that Palin said this past Friday that the phrase “In God We Trust” had been moved to the rim of the coin, rather than on the face. “Who makes a decision like that?” said Palin, seemingly pointing to the Obama administration, adding: “It’s a disturbing trend.”
However, the coins were in fact commissioned in 2005 by the Republican-led government of the time. And as Baier adds, Congress acted specifically to change this in 2007, and Fox displayed a James K. Polk presidential coin with the phrase on the coin’s face.
Glenn Beck loses ‘raped and murdered’ arbitration (–)
November 9, 2009
Eriq Gardner over at THR,Esq. reports:
Fox News’ Glenn Beck has lost a claim that a website called glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com was registered in bad faith and in violation of his trademark rights.
The website was founded by Isaac Eiland-Hall earlier this year in response to a joke on odd-news site Fark about Beck’s lack of denial for a non-existent murder/rape. Eiland-Hall argued to WIPO that he registered the website as a satirical critique of Beck’s conspiratorial politics.
WIPO’s arbitration panel agreed that the website appeared “to be engaged in a parody of the style or methodology that (Eiland-Hall) appears genuinely to believe is employed by (Beck) in the provision of political commentary, and for that reason (Eiland-Hall) can be said to be making a political statement.”
The domain name dispute resolution body added Eiland-Hall’s speech was “strongly protected” under the First Amendment. Here’s the decision.
This is very good news as it is perfectly natural to have Beck taste his own medicine The original website was taken down by Glenn Beck after it was graciously handed to him by Isaac Eiland-Hall, but the project is still very much alive.
Ironically, by filling this complaint and losing it, Glenn Beck made a very good job of defending the First Amendment. We should all be grateful to him for that.
The Universality of Extremists (–)
November 9, 2009
The Washington Post’s David Ignatius notes the irony that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is being criticized by his country’s “hard-liners” for supporting a deal with the U.S. over nuclear issues:
The prospect of a deal with the Great Satan produced a political frisson in Tehran. . . . Critics chided Ahmadinejad for giving away the nuclear store. . . . Khamenei joined in the attacks last week, warning that negotiating with America would be “naive and perverted.” The leader was implicitly criticizing Ahmadinejad, who had characterized the Geneva deal as an Iranian victory. . . .
But reading the Iranian press, you get the sense that for Iran’s ruling elite, engagement with America remains a bridge too far. “America is still the Great Satan. Negotiations are meaningless,” thundered the hard-line weekly Ya-Lesarat.
That, of course, is exactly what American neocons have long been screaming about negotiations with Iran — that they’re crazed, untrustworthy Persian Hitlers who shouldn’t be negotiated with and that Obama is being “naive” or worse by trying. It’s so striking how identical is the mentality of America’s “hard-line” right-wing extremists and those in Iran.
Tea Party Gang Changing GOP Into Party Of Hate (–)
November 6, 2009
Unemployment is over 10 percent; economic insecurity is profound; we have been occupying two deeply Muslim countries for eight years with no end in sight; we are grappling with massive debt and an attempt to provide some basic health insurance for the working poor. There are perfectly reasonable and important debates to have about all this. But the Republican right has not engaged such a debate in a meaningful way. And Thursday, the House GOP leadership gave their blessing to a raggedy bunch of extreme anti-government fanatics whose rally contained the following elements:
The angry folks at the protest — which attracted several thousand conservatives — held up signs with messages of hate: “Get the Red Out of the White House,” “Waterboard Congress,” “Ken-ya Trust Obama?” One called the president a “Traitor to the U.S. Constitution.” Another sign showed pictures of dead bodies at the Dachau concentration camp and compared health care reform to the Holocaust. A different placard depicted Obama as Sambo. Yes, Sambo. Another read, “Obama takes his orders from the Rothchilds” — a reference to the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory holding that one evil Jewish family has manipulated events around the globe for decades.
This kind of rhetoric is gasoline on a fire of atavistic hate and is simply unacceptable for a major political party to institutionally embrace in a civil democracy. Not only did the GOP leadership not condemn such outbursts but it added to the mix:
Boehner, for one, declared that the health care bill is the “greatest threat to freedom that I have seen.” That’s some statement … And at one point during the rally — call it a Bachmannalia — when John Ratzenberger, a.k.a Cliff Clavin from “Cheers,” claimed that the Democrats were turning the United States into a land of European socialism, the audience shouted, “Nazis, Nazis.” No Republican legislator left the stage in protest. Boehner and his fellow GOP leaders should be asked how they feel about mounting a rally that attracted intense hate-mongering.
Conversely, yesterday has also shown that the Tea Party movement, contrary to its propaganda, is willing to be utilized by the wackiest of the GOP members. So much for grassroots above parties.
Capitol Hill Revolution … Not (–)
November 6, 2009
One of the most acerbic comments on the Bachmann Tea Party Thursday on Capitol Hill, came from none other than Conservative commentator John Batchelor:
The Bachmann star turn followed another Election Day in which the party out of power showed that it has fallen so far from reason that it can celebrate another loss of a House seat.
At noon on a workday in D.C., the 10,000 elderly, unemployed, retired curiosity-seekers, carrying creative signs such as “No!” were not a revolution, nor even the “rebellion” that Boehner claimed he saw. They were gray-haired props for more of the same posturing by what is left of the GOP on the Hill—a collection of clumsy self-promoters, talk show whiners, and impotent pols like Bachmann, as the GOP slips into the grave of a splinter party, undecipherable, unelectable, unmourned.
I guess both parties, and in particular the Republicans, are fortunate there isn’t a viable third party in this country. (And keeping it that way seems to be the only viable bipartisan objective.)
We Are Becoming A Police State (–)
November 3, 2009
Glenn Greenwald reports chilling news concerning our civil liberties. Not only has the executive branch taken over unprecedented powers under the blanket of “national security”, but the judiciary seems to follow suit.
First the facts
Maher Arar is both a Canadian and Syrian citizen of Syrian descent. In 2002, he was returning home to Canada from vacation when, on a stopover at JFK Airport, he was (a) detained by U.S. officials, (b) accused of being a Terrorist, (c) held for two weeks incommunicado and without access to counsel while he was abusively interrogated, and then (d) was “rendered” — despite his pleas that he would be tortured — to Syria, to be interrogated and tortured. He remained in Syria for the next 10 months under the most brutal and inhumane conditions imaginable, where he was repeatedly tortured.
The Canadian authorities at least recognized their error:
In January, 2007, the Canadian Prime Minister publicly apologized to Arar for the role Canada played in these events, and the Canadian government paid him $9 million in compensation. That was preceded by a full investigation by Canadian authorities and the public disclosure of a detailed report which concluded “categorically that there is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Arar has committed any offense or that his activities constituted a threat to the security of Canada.”
The US authorities however, reacted very differently:
By stark and very revealing contrast, the U.S. Government has never admitted any wrongdoing or even spoken publicly about what it did; to the contrary, it repeatedly insisted that courts were barred from examining the conduct of government officials because what we did to Arar involves “state secrets” and because courts should not interfere in the actions of the Executive where national security is involved.
And to add insult to injury, the judiciary caves in:
Yesterday, the Second Circuit — by a vote of 7-4 — agreed with the government and dismissed Arar’s case in its entirety. It held that even if the government violated Arar’s Constitutional rights as well as statutes banning participation in torture, he still has no right to sue for what was done to him.
In other words, contrary to our international propaganda, we are no longer a nation of laws. The most frightening is that countries such as Britain, France, Italy or Canada have weaker individual rights legislation than the US, but their courts do not cave in as this US court just did and therefore their citizens are ultimately better protected than we are.
This day is to be marked in infamy.
One year of The One: He has achieved more than his critics claim, but the meat is yet to come
November 2, 2009
An outsider’s view of a situation is often clearer than that of insiders. Such is the case of The Economist’s assessment of one year since Obama’s election:
Measured against the expectations of those who bought pictures of him riding a unicorn, Mr Obama’s presidency has been a failure. Measured by a more reasonable yardstick, however, it has seen solid successes. For a start, the financial system appears to have stabilised. Continuing where Mr Bush left off, Mr Obama intervened to prop up ailing banks and insurers, thereby probably averting catastrophe. The bail-out may cost him votes, but it was necessary. And though the economy is still in a terrible state, it could now be through the worst.
In other words, patience is required. It is even more true if one considers it has been a year since his election, but only nine months since his inauguration.
Fired Over Dress Code Violation Not God button (–)
October 29, 2009
The recent firing of Trevor Keezer by The Home Depot for wearing a “One nation under God” button has caused some commotion on the internet. Reading the Associated Presss’ Brian Skoloff’s report one learns a few interesting things not highlighted elsewhere:
“This associate chose to wear a button that expressed his religious beliefs. The issue is not whether or not we agree with the message on the button,” Craig Fishel said. “That’s not our place to say, which is exactly why we have a blanket policy, which is long-standing and well-communicated to our associates, that only company-provided pins and badges can be worn on our aprons.”
Fishel said Keezer was offered a company-approved pin that said, “United We Stand,” but he declined.
Michael Masinter, a civil rights and employment law professor at NOVA Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, said any lawsuit over religious discrimination might be a tough one to win.
“Because it’s a private business, not one that’s owned and operated by the government, it doesn’t have to operate under the free speech provisions of the First Amendment,” Masinter said.
“But we’re not talking about religious displays here,” he said. “This sounds more like a political message … Wearing a button of that sort would not easily be described as a traditional form of religious expression like wearing a cross or wearing a yarmulke.”
Home Depot undeniably made a tactical mistake given the bad publicity it is going to get. However, if Trevor Keezer did indeed turn down an alternative button acceptable by the company and insisted on violating the dress code, he has only himself to blame.
Top 10 Dumbest Sarah Palin Quotes (–)
October 29, 2009
Since the 2008 presidential campaign all America knows of Sarah Palin’s amazing ability for nonsense speak so well captured by Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live. Thanks to Daniel Kurtzman over at About.com who gathered 10 of the dumbest quotes. My favorite:
“I’m the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can’t.'” –Sarah Palin, as quoted by former City Council Member Nick Carney, after he raised objections about the $50,000 she spent renovating the mayor’s office without approval of the city council
Because it is not only funny but also reveals Palin’s thirst for power and lack of civics education.
City Minister: I’m Angry At Derivatives Traders’ Unacceptable Pays (–)
October 29, 2009
The popular outrage over trader compensation is not restricted to “unions” The Economist reports:
LORD MYNERS, the City minister, is allegedly worth £30m ($47m). He is an unlikely tribune of the people. Yet he has been sounding off, more vociferously than his colleagues, about “unacceptable” pay deals for bankers. Derivatives traders are not footballers with unique talents and “should not be paid as though they are”, he said last month. More recently he has railed against “market failure”, accusing big clients of investment banks of not challenging the fees and margins they are charged. The crisis does not seem to have affected the way bankers are rewarded. Lack of transparency makes them seem the more villainous. “The nation is angry about this. I’m angry,” says Lord Myners.
One can only hope that other such placed personalities speak out and push legislators to act accordingly. Directly challenging pay levels is perhaps not the way to go, but rather the lack of transparency.
Bush Motivation: It Works! (–)
October 29, 2009
They Know How to Party (–)
October 29, 2009
Josh Marschall has a hilarious piece on the adventures with a stripper of newly former assistant Attorney General Roland Corning of South Carolina:
Back on Monday, former Republican state representative and now assistant Attorney General Roland Corning was on his lunch break when a police officer found him parked his Ford Explorer at Elmwood Cemetery with an 18 year old stripper from the Platinum Plus Gentlemen’s Club, a bag of sex toys and at least one dose of Viagra.
They were both on the point of being released without charges but Corning couldn’t help himself flashing his badge. The news traveled up to the Attorney’s office and … Corning lost his job.
The Dixiefication Of The GOP (–)
October 27, 2009
The unlikely battlefield of NY-23 is taking on epic proportions. According to Michelle Malkin, Scozzafava is a “radical leftist.” What makes her a radical leftist?
Malkin firstly lists her support for abortion rights and marriage equality. Since abortion rights command around 50 percent of the country, and since either civil unions or civil marriage are backed by two-thirds of Americans, that would imply that half the country are “radical leftists”.
The irony is that Scozzafava is actually on the right of her party … in New York State:
Scozzafava’s score puts her in the 58th percentile of her party, which makes her slightly more conservative than the average Republican legislator in Albany, so she’s a conservative in her party.
For example, she’s more conservative than James Tedisco, who lost a special election to succeed Kirsten Gillenbrand in the 20th District (score: -.22 and in the most liberal fifth of the party). In the legislature as a whole, she’s in the 83rd percentile, which makes her a conservative in Albany in general. Compare her, say, to Republican Thomas Morahan of the 38th Senate District (Rockland County, just across the border from the New Jersey town where I went to high school). He scores a very liberal -0.54, or in the most liberal 2% of his party. No wonder that his party affiliations include the Working Families Party, which is closely associated with organized labor (and ACORN). So she’s no Morahan.
As the GOP is now constituted, it will cease to exist in the West and the Northeast. It will struggle in the Midwest. And the base wants to reinforce these trends, buoyed by recent polls that show a slight uptick in the label “conservative.”
Ailes 2012? Yes Please! (–)
October 26, 2009
Politico floated the rumor on Friday that “friends and associates” were encouraging Roger Ailes to run for president in 2012. The prospect of him running is hilarious to me and Michael Wolff seems to share this view:
Before getting to my relative affection for Ailes, let me note that he will be 73 in 2012; he’s vastly overweight (and sensitive about it); he has health problems and can’t walk very well; he’s ghoulish looking; he’s deeply and nuttily paranoid (he discusses freely, albeit in lowered voice, the plans of radical Muslims to storm his house in New Jersey); and he may not be capable of doing 15 minutes without an offensive utterance.
Remember Thompson 08 anybody?
The Bill for GOP.com: $1.4 Million (–)
October 24, 2009
Luke Rosiak reports
The Republican National Committee shelled out $1.4 million dollars over the last six months for Web sites and services, much of which was spent on GOP.com, the party’s major Web presence that was unveiled this month, new Federal Election Commission expense reports show.
In the months prior to the October 13 launch of GOP.com, the committee paid $328,000 to 11 firms for Web development. (The Democrats, which did not completely overhaul their site during that time period, spent $45,000 on Web development.)
“Considering the significant resources they invested, more focus should have been placed on the quality of the content,” Newell said.
That pretty much sums it up for the current GOP. Tons of cash for technology and no content.
The Treasury Department on Thursday tried to make “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg available for interviews to every member of the network pool except Fox News.
Then they had some shmuck named Peter Johnson jr., who FOX NEWS introduced as a legal analyst come on the air to bloviate about the first Amendment:
What was averted yesterday by CBS and other networks saying, we believe in the Constitution, not competition, we believe in the First Amendment rights of Fox News that should not be infringed by the White House. What was averted was a very serious constitutional violation by the White House.
The WH later issued the following statement
We’re Happy To Exclude Fox, But Didn’t Yesterday With Feinberg Interview.
As it turns out, there was a scheduling problem in which FNC is mostly to blame. TPM has a detailed report of the events.