Faux Pas: Fox News Video Gaffe During ISIS Segment Was Ironically Appropriate

During last night’s episode of The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly was having a discussion about the ISIS murder of Jim Foley with Pete Hegseth, CEO of the Koch brothers financed Concerned Veterans for America. Just as Hegseth was getting to the core of his comments, the control room queued up a video to accompany the dialog. But it may not have been the video that Kelly was expecting. Hegseth told Kelly that…

“At this point this is a terrorist army that believes that it controls a state.”

Fox News

However, instead of showing militants in Iraq, the video was of the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. Specifically it showed police officers racing through the protest-clogged streets of the St. Louis community. For those images to be juxtaposed with the words spoken simultaneously by Hegseth was jarring, but it inadvertently transmitted a message that the protesters, and many Americans, would have found apropos to the situation.

Apparently the video was live, breaking news from Ferguson that the producers thought took priority over the Foley issue, but Kelly disagreed and interrupted the discussion to tell them so. Then she and Hegseth continued the segment. They did not appear to have grasped the irony of the video gaffe.

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The Vampire Doctor: Fox News “Psycho” Analyst Goes Inside The Mind Of ISIS

When an alleged doctor has already established a reputation as a world class crackpot by, among other things, expressing his admiration for the Unabomber, it may seem that there is no further he could fall into the abyss of madness. But leave it to “psycho” analyst Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News A Team, to exceed all expectations of depravity.

In a new Fox News editorial, Ablow purports to go “Inside the mind of James Foley’s ISIS executioner.” Ablow has previously gone inside the minds of at least thirty-five other individuals, including President Obama. His prodigious ability to channel the psyche of people whom has never examined, or even met, is itself a symptom of psychosis. But his analysis of an unknown terrorist’s brutality sets new standards for quackery as he associates the behavior with that of a vampire slayer. Call it the Buffy Syndrome.

Keith Ablow

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Ablow begins his analysis of the ISIS executioner with a cringe-worthy attempt to humanize him. Ablow admonishes those who would vilify the man who decapitated Foley with his bare hands as “an unthinking monster,” and reminds his readers that he likely has family and friends, has laughed and wept, and may have read and written poetry. What a guy. This sort of perverse empathy is something that Ablow does not afford to President Obama, who he has pointedly dehumanized saying that…

“…he doesn’t hate us. He simply isn’t there to hate or love. Because, guess what? Long ago he severed himself from all core emotions.”

It says a lot about Ablow’s emotional pathology that he finds consonance with the ISIS butcher, but not with Obama or the millions of Americans who elected him twice. Ablow explains the innermost motivations of the executioner with a peculiar pop culture reference:

“His line in the sand separates worthy human beings from those lost, evil souls whose failure to accept the Prophet Muhammad and live according to a particular interpretation of fundamentalist Islamic law makes them no different from vampires who can infect the rest of the human race with venom and claim them for the plague. [...] the ISIS executioner was in the grip of a psychotic delusion. He wasn’t killing a real person; he was killing a monster”

What a barrel of pseudo-psychological hogwash. How does this fraud get away with calling himself a doctor? The man who murdered Foley couldn’t care less about his politics or his faith. This was nothing more than a depraved PR stunt devised solely for its shock value. They were attempting to coerce the United States into halting its airstrikes targeting ISIS. It was a strategy for which there could be no result other than failure, as evidenced by the airstrikes that immediately followed the execution. And it’s interesting that Ablow’s vampire theory includes rhetoric about infection and venom, because he has used that before with regard to Obama when he proposed the need “to immunize our sons and daughters against the president’s psychologically toxic rhetoric.”

It isn’t the butcher of ISIS who views people as vampires and infectious threats. It’s Ablow. He then goes on to contradict his previous inanities that humanized the enemy by saying that…

“You can’t reason or negotiate from a distance with a person in the grip of a psychotic delusion that defines others as the evil vectors of a horrifying plague. The delusion owns that person’s mind. [...] The only way to stop the ISIS executioner and those in the grip of the same psychotic delusion is to kill the ones who cannot be captured, wherever they can be found, in whatever numbers possible.”

Let’s just set aside the fact that it is Ablow whose delusions own his mind and who has defined Obama as the evil vector of a horrifying plague. He has also abandoned his theory that the terrorists are misguided souls with family and friends who must not be dismissed as unthinking monsters. Now they are delusional psychotics who must be exterminated. And with that, Ablow has adopted the mindset that he previously attributed to the terrorists. And it’s a mindset that he believes is on the ascent when he says that…

“…we cannot believe for one moment that the psychosis will not spread and threaten us all with delusional assassins who are reading poetry and looking at the stars and hugging their kids and dreaming of slicing our throats and those of our children from ear to ear, in order to save the world.”

The message in this that we must all be fearful of the poetry reading undead who are amassing to feast on our blood. It is the Twilight Saga Gone Wild. From Ablow’s perspective it is impossible not to imagine that, if the ISIS executioner were to remove his hood, we would find a dreamy Calvin Klein model whose plaintive expression evoked a tortured and complex soul who only wants to be loved. [Cue eerie music and montage of sighing teenage girls]


STFU About Obama’s Vacations Already And Remember Where Obama Was May 1, 2011

The incessant and ignorant fixation on when, where, and how often President Obama takes vacations is becoming surreal in its frequency and fervor. The President’s critics seem to be obsessed with the issue. Never mind that Obama has taken far fewer vacation days than his predecessors, or that there has never been any negative incident arising from his holidays, or that the presidency travels with the President wherever he goes, the compulsion to relentlessly attack this President is irresistible to the politicians and pundits on the right. And they are not above outright lying about it.

It apparently has never occurred to these crackpots that there are strategic justifications for maintaining a routine schedule. By suddenly altering his itinerary, the President could be tipping off enemies that there is something being planned that they should defend against. And if any evidence is required to support this theory, one need only go back to May 1, 2011, when President Obama was a guest at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in Washington, DC. He was criticized at the time by conservatives who thought it unseemly that he would attend a party that featured comedians and where he himself would deliver a joke-filled monologue. Setting aside the fact that the event is a charitable fundraiser that has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships, there is another reason why the criticism was unwarranted.

Obama WHCD

On May 1, 2011, a team of Navy SEALS stormed the compound of Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing him and ending a decade long search for justice. At the time of the raid Obama was seen laughing at jokes, including some about Bin Laden, without letting on what was occurring 7,000 miles away. It would have been unnecessarily risky for the President to mysteriously cancel his plans to attend the dinner and rush back to the Oval Office. But by playing it with a straight face there was no hint of the covert action for which he had already given the green light.

Today’s critics of the President are in no better position to ascertain what he is doing behind the scenes than they were in May of 2011. They have no way of knowing if there are sensitive operations in progress that the White House needs to keep under wraps. They don’t even care that it is important for America’s leaders to be seen as unwavering and unafraid in the face of adversity, rather than running for cover and shifting gears every time the enemy posts video evidence of their brutality on YouTube. The wingnut media is only interested in how they can fling more mud at the President. And it is that, and not their pseudo-patriotic posturing, that is their primary mission.

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DISGUSTING: The Fox News Response To Obama’s Statement On Foley Murder By ISIS

President Obama gave a statement (video below) this afternoon on the barbaric murder of journalist Jim Foley who had been held in captivity by ISIS for two years. The statement was powerful and resolute, condemning ISIS as terrorists who brutalize Muslims, Christians, and other innocents in pursuit of an extremist agenda. Obama said in part…

“Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL. [...]

“Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages, killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion. [...]

“We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”

Within seconds of the completion of the statement, Fox News broadcast responses from a couple of their regular contributors, Andrea Tantaros and Pete Hegseth. Their remarks were utterly repulsive, dismissive, and disrespectful to the President, the memory of Mr. Foley, his family, and the nation.

Fox News Tantaros/Hegseth

Tantaros, reaching back to a favorite of Fox’s well worn anti-Obama themes, said “Where is that Rose Garden press conference for Benghazi?” (See update below) This remark is an affront to Foley whose sad fate had nothing to do with Benghazi. It was just an attempt by Tantaros to brazenly exploit Foley’s tragedy in pursuit of her own noxious political goals. But it was also something that Fox News does routinely. They have tied everything from ObamaCare to missing Malaysian planes to Benghazi. They will bring up Benghazi in any circumstance no matter how absurdly unrelated. And in this case they overstepped the bounds of decency by taking advantage of a gruesome murder before even one day had passed. On top that, Tantaros was wrong on the substance of her vile remark because Obama actually did give a statement about Benghazi in the Rose Garden the day following the attack.

Hegseth is supposedly a veteran’s advocate who appears on Fox News to bash the Commander-in-Chief. He is the head of Concerned Veterans for America, a phony front group that is almost entirely bankrolled by the Koch brothers. His remark following Obama’s statement was “I wish he’d put on a tie.” Really? That was what he came away with after the President denounced a horrific act of terrorism against an American citizen? Hegseth is apparently more concerned about the President’s attire than the fate of American victims or the state of our nation’s campaign against terrorism. He is so obsessed with finding fault with Obama that he ignored the tribute to Foley and the passionate promise to exact justice, in favor of acting as the spokesman for the Fox News Fashion Police.

As noted above, these were not opinions developed after thoughtful consideration. They came in mere seconds after Obama stepped away from the podium. That is how close to the top of their minds these sort of depraved ideas linger. These are the kind of commentaries that you can expect from a network whose mission to disparage the President, Democrats, and liberals, takes precedence over honest reporting or even common decency.

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[Update:] Another listening to Tantaros’ remark shows that she said “Where is that Rose Garden press conference after-Benghazi fight and fervor?” She said “after,” not “for.” So apparently she was aware of Obama’s post-Benghazi Rose Garden speech. However, everything noted above still stands with regard to her exploiting the Foley tragedy with an interjection of Benghazi, which had no bearing on it. In fact, this makes it even worse because she is now saying that she wishes that Obama’s response to Foley was more forceful, like after Benghazi. Huh? After Benghazi she, every other GOP/conservative, was adamant that Obama’s response was inadequate. Now, all of sudden, she’s praising Obama’s Benghazi response? There is more than a touch if schizophrenia in this.


FLASHBACK: Sean Hannity Speaks Out Against A “Government Gone Wild”

It was just four months ago that Fox News was covering the “second American revolution” at the ranch of tax-cheat Cliven Bundy. While the network was uniformly supportive of Bundy’s refusal to pay customary grazing fees, it was Sean Hannity who took the lead, featuring Bundy on his program numerous times, heralding him as a hero, and fiercely defending the militia movement’s embrace of armed opposition to law enforcement.

At that time, in the view of Hannity and other conservatives, it was the feds who were overstepping the bounds of decency and behaved like jackbooted thugs. To them it was the manifestation of a dictatorial state trampling on freedom and crushing liberty. Hannity milked the controversy for everything he could squeeze out in regular segments that he called “Government Gone Wild.”

Fox News Sean Hannity

From the right-wing perspective, the government went wild when it responded to a flagrantly delinquent white man in the cattle business who wants to mooch off of federal lands for free. Bundy has a vested interest in this as he owes over a million dollars in fees. Then, when this businessman assembles a posse of armed militia members to confront the tax collector, Hannity and his ilk line up behind the law-breaker and whine about government overreach. Here’s Hannity to Karl Rove:

“Let’s start with the Cliven Bundy situation. All right, maybe he owes grazing fees money. Do you surround his property with snipers and shooters, sharp shooters and tasers and dogs and 200 agents? Is that the way to handle it?”

“No,” says an obedient Rove. After all, it’s just a measly million dollars in grazing fees. And for the record, the federal agents of the Bureau of Land Management did not arm themselves until after they were confronted by Bundy’s militia who swore to kill those who came to enforce the law.

Jump forward to today and it’s the people going wild. The government is now believed to be acting appropriately by shooting an unarmed teenager to death. And his only crime was an allegation (unconfirmed) that he pocketed a few cigars. Then militarized police confront justifiably angry citizens who have no personal stake in the matter other than to insure that justice is brought to bear.

The presence of urban tanks, assault weapons, riot gear, tear gas, and other aggressive means of crowd control, are not considered to be indicative of a government gone wild anymore. Is it because the victim in this case is a poor, black kid, rather than a well-to-do white rancher?

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Bill O’Reilly: “These People Don’t Want Justice.” And Who Knows “Those People” Better Than O’Reilly?

The turmoil in Ferguson, MO continues as another night of confrontation between residents and police brings tear gas, arrests, and Fox News’ demeaning characterizations of aggrieved protesters. Not surprisingly, the disparaging tone is set by Bill O’Reilly who enjoys nothing more than lecturing African-Americans on the moral decline of their culture. O’Reilly, who is on vacation, called into his own show to tell guest host Eric Bolling that he questions the sincerity of the protesters.

Bill O'Reilly

O’Reilly: “No justice, no peace? These people don’t want justice. What if the facts come out and say it was a justifiable shooting by the police officer? This guy was coming at them. What if they say that? You think these people are gonna accept that? They’re not gonna accept it.”

And there you have it. The definitive analysis by a recognized expert on the psychology of the angry black man. Clearly “those people” don’t want justice. And they won’t accept the results of a fair investigation because thugs like them are unable to employ reason and conduct themselves in a civilized fashion. And who would know better than O’Reilly who personally visited a restaurant in Harlem where he was surprised to learn that African-American patrons weren’t constantly screaming, “M-Fer, I want more iced tea.”

Elsewhere on Fox News, there was a story published on their website about the emergence of a video that Fox regarded as significant. Their headline said “YouTube Video Purportedly Captures Witness Backing Police Version In Ferguson Shooting.” Fox posted a link to the video along with a summary of the parts they considered important.

Fox News Video Backs Cop

For instance, the article reports that the video shows “a possible witness saying [Michael Brown] the unarmed 18-year-old charged at the officer who fired the shots.” That’s a pretty damning allegation, except for the fact that it occurs nowhere in the video. In the actual part of the video (Warning: very graphic content) that they quoted a background voice is heard saying…

(about 6:45) “I mean, the police was in the truck [sic] and he was, like, over the truck,” the man says. “So then he ran, police got out and ran after him. The next thing I know, he comes back towards them. The police had his guns drawn on him.”

There is nothing in there about “charging” the police. That characterization was invented by Fox News. In fact, the video account is consistent with other witnesses who said that Brown ran at first, then stopped and turned toward the officer to surrender. Of course, that version wouldn’t align with Fox’s more theatrical rendition of a raging animal on the attack.

From the outset Fox News has sought to portray Brown as a dangerous, possibly drug-addled, criminal. Likewise, they have cast the protesters in the most negative light. In a remote segment from Ferguson, Fox News reporter Steve Harrigan was particularly insulting, which did not go over well with a bystander.

Harrigan: “This is right now a media event, pure and simple. This is people running towards tear gas, running away from it. The dignified protestors went home at dusk. This is just child’s play right now.”

Bystander: “Say that shit. I don’t give a damn you’re on TV, say that shit,” the unidentified man cursed at Harrigan. “We see this shit every day. This is just child’s play? Who is the child playing with toys? That’s them.”

One has to wonder how Harrigan distinguished the “dignified” protesters from the children. Perhaps he had Bill O’Reilly on his cell phone giving him advice as the night wore on. Because a common thread runs through all of Fox’s programming. Those people are immature, violent, and unreasonable. Just look at how upset they get just because another unarmed black kid was shot by a white police officer. What do they want, justice? Well, no, according to O’Reilly.

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Sarah Palin Thinks The Texas D.A. Should Resign Due To A DWI? How About These Folks Too?

America’s foremost authority on quitting public service jobs, Sarah Palin, penned a new Fox News editorial to defend Rick Perry who was just indicted for abuse of power. Like every other Perry advocate, she misconstrues the facts with regard to the indictment. Perry is not being accused of issuing a veto. His alleged crime is abuse of power for attempting to coerce an elected officer to resign under threat of official retaliation.

The editorial is typical of Palin’s tunnel-blind perspective wherein every Republican charged with a crime is a victim of a partisan plot. In this case, she asserts Democrats are out to get Perry, despite the fact that the special prosecutor in charge of the case is a Republican who was appointed by a Republican judge.

Never one to be deterred by facts, Palin continues her rant by focusing on the Travis County District Attorney who Perry was trying to strong-arm out of her job. Rosemary Lehmberg was convicted of a DWI. She pleaded guilty, served her sentence, and pledged not to run for reelection. But Perry wasn’t satisfied and proceeded with his unlawful threat.

Palin isn’t satisfied either. She writes that “The appropriate and honorable thing for this powerful D.A. to do is resign.” Then she spends much of the rest of her opinion piece characterizing Lehmberg as a worthless drunk who has no business in public office. Of course, that’s a decision for the voters to make, not Palin and Perry. But if Palin insists that anyone who has ever been cited for driving under the influence be immediately sacked and run out of town, then I suppose we will shortly see her editorials calling for these Republican politicians to resign at once:

  • Republican U.S. Senator Michael Crapo of Idaho
  • GOP State Sen. Roy Ashburn of California
  • Florida Republican state Rep. Dane Eagle
  • Hinds County, MS Republican Executive Committee Chairman Pete Perry
  • Vermont Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Milne
  • GOP Minnesota Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald
  • Illinois Republican State Rep. Randy Ramey
  • Republican District Attorney Bradley Collins of Jacksonville, FL
  • GOP Maryland Rep. Don Dwyer
  • Idaho state Sen. John McGee
  • Missouri GOP State Representative Tom Burcham
  • Republican Georgia State Representative Ben Harbin
  • And many more…

Sarah Palin

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And if that weren’t bad enough, Palin’s husband Todd has his own drunk driving conviction on his permanent record. But don’t hold your breath waiting for Palin’s next wave of editorials. She has no intention of being consistent. Her only goal is to play defense for Perry and to demonize Democrats.

In that regard I have a little sympathy for her. After all, there are four GOP governors who have recently been subjects of speculation as possible candidates for the Republican nomination for president, who are under indictment or investigation: Perry, Chris Christy, Scott Walker, and Bob McDonnell. Certainly in Palin’s mind they are all innocent victims of liberal conspiracies. So she’s going to have a hell of a time writing editorials absolving all of them of any wrongdoing, and pinning the blame on Democrats.


Racist Guest On Fox News Is Offended That He Might Be Viewed As Racist

This weekend’s episode of MediaBuzz on Fox News featured a segment about the press coverage of the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, by a Ferguson, MO police officer. Host Howard Kurtz booked Joe Concha, a conservative from Mediaite, and Keli Goff, a liberal from The Root, to debate the media’s performance during the aftermath of the shooting (video below).

Fox News

Concha immediately went into a defensive posture from the comfort of his TV studio. He took the side of law enforcement against the reporters who have been exposing the realities in the field, at great personal risk, where a militarized police department was harassing reporters and tormenting the residents they are sworn to serve.

Concha’s tirade began by condemning Wes Lowery, a Washington Post reporter who was arrested for doing his job. Concha accused Lowery of deliberately provoking the arrest and backed up his assertion by saying that Lowery’s media appearances afterward proved his self-interest.

Concha: “And here’s how you know that this was all about Wes Lowery expanding his television career. Right after he was released from custody, It was all about Tweeting out, calling Maddow Now (whatever that is), going on national television, went on CNN, MSNBC after that, Fox News as well. This was a media tour, Howie, that was only rivaled by Hillary Clinton’s. All in the effort to give Wes Lowery’s byline a microphone, a future career, and nothing more.”

Zing! Concha managed to slip in a slap at Hillary Clinton while defaming a reporter who is actually engaged in the practice of journalism, as opposed to Concha who is engaged in the practice of character assassination. And not even Kurtz would abide Concha’s slander and ignorance of the profession.

Kurtz: Alright, I think that’s unfair. Wes Lowery is a good, solid reporter. He was deluged with requests to appear on TV, including from me. He only did a few of those. I don’t think this was as self-promotional as you do.”

When a reporter is arrested while covering a news story with national prominence, that is in itself newsworthy. It is not proper or ethical for the police to target journalists in an effort to prevent them from gathering and providing information about matters of public interest. Apparently Concha thinks otherwise. Keli Goff eloquently explained why it so important to have reporters on the scene covering everything that occurs, including police misconduct.

Goff: “With all due respect to Joe, I would hate to hear the kind of criticism he would have doled out about fifty or sixty years ago to the reporters who may have been a little slow to pack up their gear when they were covering another crisis, which was known as the civil rights movement.

Goff correctly pointed out that there were a lot of reporters who were assaulted during the civil rights movement and that they risked their lives due to their commitment to keep the people informed. She described Concha’s criticism of Lowery’s efforts to record the police officers as bizarre. And she went further to say that it would be irresponsible to NOT record such activity.

Next Kurtz raised the question of whether the volume of coverage was exacerbating the tensions in Ferguson. Concha quickly agreed that the television networks and the Internet were “fueling the flames” and then focused his criticism on MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, who went to Ferguson to beseech the protesters to remain peaceful. Then Concha began an exchange that reveals much about what is wrong with television news coverage.

Concha: “The bottom line is that it is now a cottage industry when a white cop shoots a black kid. Or, we saw it with Trayvon Marin last year, CNN, HLN quadrupled their ratings because of these sort of events. And ISIS and Gaza is happening somewhere overseas. This is domestic. A cheap and easy narrative. And that’s why we’ve seen the coverage go where it has.”

Goff: You call it a cottage industry, those of us who have African-American men in our family consider it a crisis, Joe. It must be nice to have an experience in this country where you can dismiss it as simply coverage.”

Concha: “You don’t get to do that to me, Keli. You’re calling me a racist on national television?”

Huh? When exactly did Goff call Concha a racist? It is telling that Concha perceived this imaginary insult and used it to flip the whole segment to one where Goff was doing something to him. After belittling the significance of the shooting of Mike Brown, Concha is now the making himself the victim. This is where Kurtz jumped in to tell Concha that Goff had not called him a racist. Concha later apologized for “overreacting” with regard to the charge of racism, but he never apologized for the underlying remarks dismissing the shooting, disparaging the reporters covering it, and referring to coverage as “cheap and easy.”

It’s a good thing that Goff was there to counter the insensitivity and aversion to ethical journalism as represented by Concha. And it’s a good reminder of why it’s necessary to not only have journalists in the field who are devoted to informing the public, but to have them in the studio as well to smackdown jerkwads like Concha.

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Note To Fox News: Rick Perry Was Not Indicted For “Veto Abuse”

Ever since a Texas Grand Jury handed down an indictment against Gov. Rick Perry, most of the Republican establishment and right-wing press have deliberately mischaracterized the nature of the criminal allegations. They all are marching lock-step in an effort to defend official abuse of power by pretending that the violation was due to the execution of a veto, something that is entirely permissable by a governor in Texas.

Fox News Rick Perry

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The problem with their defense of Perry, which he has adopted himself, is that the indictment is not for his having issued a veto. It is for his having threatened an elected public servant in an attempt to coerce her to resign.

Rosemary Lehmberg, the District Attorney for Travis County, has problems of her own. She was arrested and pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and behaved poorly during the arrest and initial incarceration. However, a Grand Jury investigated her situation at the time and found no cause to indict her for official misconduct.. Indeed, her misconduct, while egregious, was all personal and unrelated to her duties as a D.A. All of her misbehavior occurred while she was drunk, and when she sobered up she took responsibility, paid her price to society, and promised not to run for reelection.

That wasn’t good enough for Perry. He demanded that she resign immediately and threatened political vengeance if she refused to obey his command. Lehmberg stood fast and Perry carried out his retribution by slashing funds to her department. And that is where he went wrong.

Perry defended himself against the indictment by saying that he has the authority under the Texas constitution to issue vetoes. And in this case he was taking action because he had lost confidence in Lehmberg and that the public deserved better. Perhaps. But that is not within his jurisdiction to decide. Lehmberg was elected to her office by the voters of Travis County and does not answer to the Governor. Perry has no authority to demand the removal of elected officials or to exact retribution on them if they defy his orders. Perry’s own remarks following the indictment reveal the flaw in this line of defense. He said that indictments are…

“…not the way we settle political differences in this country. We settle [them] at the ballot box.”

Exactly (and he may want to relay that message to John Boehner). And since Lehmberg had already pledged not to run, the issue was settled. Perry cannot unilaterally overturn the choice of the voters. And he cannot threaten elected officials as a means of carrying out his unlawful bullying. By vetoing the funds to the D.A.’s Public Integrity Unit, Perry was attempting to force his will on Lehmberg. Even worse, he was actually doing harm to the people of Texas who rely on that agency to keep politicians (like Perry) from engaging in corruption.

It is typical of right-wing media to absolve Republicans of any criminal wrongdoing on a strictly partisan basis. It’s the reason why every investigation of a conservative is portrayed as political. That’s how they reacted to the charges against Dinesh D’Souza (who later pleaded guilty to election fraud), and Sen. David Vitter (who later pleaded guilty to his association with prostitutes), and James O’Keefe (who later pleaded guilty to unlawful activity in the office of a U.S. senator), and more recently New Jersey governor Chris Christy who is being investigated for abuse of power himself. I could go on and on and…

Perry’s fate will rest on a jury’s decision of whether or not he exceeded his authority in threatening Lehmberg to resign, not on the veto he used as his muscle. In the meantime, the media is also on trial, and when Fox News and others misrepresent the facts in order to whitewash the crime, they must be judged guilty as well.


IMPEACH! Fox News Reports That “Obama Danced to Avoid Clintons At Party”

Adding more fuel to the Republican obsession with removing President Obama from office, Fox News invited disgraced author and unrepentant birther, Edward Klein, to reveal the results of his fantasy investigation of the alleged friction between Obama and Hillary Clinton. Klein’s latest news flash, and Fox News headline, is that “Obama Danced to Avoid Clintons at Party.”

Fox News - Edward Klein

Klein appeared on Fox & Friends with the brown haired dude who is not Steve Doocy (Brian Kilmeade) to recount his tale of presidential acrimony. The discord supposedly began after Clinton expressed her opinion that more should have been done to clamp down on ISIS when they emerged in Syria. That’s a perfectly reasonable position, although one fraught with controversy. At that time there were few Syrian rebel groups that could be trusted to pursue the interests of the United States. Indeed, many of Syrian President Assad’s opponents were associated with what became ISIS.

Subsequent to the initial media frenzy over Clinton’s alleged attempt to distance herself from Obama, Clinton denied that there was any rift between her and the President. As evidence she called Obama to assure him that she had not meant to criticize his overall foreign policy. In addition, she was already scheduled to attend a birthday party for a mutual friend that the Obamas would also be attending. The media falsely turned this into some kind of a peace summit between the once, and possibly future, presidents. Of course in the real world it was a birthday party.

This is where Klein steps in to unveil his long-squawked theory that Clinton and Obama are mortal enemies. He told Kilmeade that…

“My sources tell me that what happened there at the party is that instead of it being a hug-a-thon, it became a freeze-a-thon, and the Clintons essentially ignored the Obamas, and the Obamas got up from the table and danced almost the entire night in order to avoid having to talk to the Clintons.”

OMG! The President and the First Lady were dancing as means of politically oppressing a perceived foe. It’s a tyrannical tactic that even Hitler never tried to use against his enemies. As for Klein, one has to wonder if these are the same sources that told him that Hillary was dropping out of the presidential race; or that Obama was secretly planning on endorsing Elizabeth Warren to succeed him; or that Chelsea Clinton was the spawn of Bill Clinton raping his lesbian wife, Hillary.

Klein’s sources appear to be imaginary trolls inhabiting his otherwise vacant cranial cavity. He never authenticates his allegations or conducts even the most basic principles of journalism ethics. But what he said immediately after his shocking revelation about Obama’s dance of distraction is more informative than anything that appears in any of his lie-riddled books:

“What I’m trying to say is, in a sense, what happened there in the Vineyard was ripped from the pages of my book “Blood Feud” because the blood feud continues.”

And there you have it. This is nothing more than an advertisement for his cheesy book. And Fox News is gleefully participating in the ad campaign by hosting an author who has nothing substantive to say. Although from Fox’s perspective it is another opportunity to bash both Obama and Clinton that they couldn’t pass up.

The problem that Fox, and their Republican cohorts, have is that while they have been feverishly condemning Obama’s policies, they were thrown into a cognitive mind warp when Clinton appeared to do the same. After all, what were they to do? Embrace the position of Clinton who they are expecting to face in the presidential election in 2016? Or renounce her and effectively endorse the Obama doctrine?

In the end they are awkwardly trying to do both. Obama is wrong because, in their fetid brains, he’s always wrong. But Clinton isn’t right, she is merely being looked up to for disagreeing with Obama, but even that is only for political reasons. It’s a typical right-wing illogic-loop that can spin for eternity – or at least until the hypnotic trance that Fox has imposed on their cult members (aka viewers) has faded.


UNWATCHABLE: GOP Senator Says Fox News Is Not Fair, Not Balanced

You know things are getting bad when your closest allies don’t want to be associated with you. That’s the message today to Fox News from a formerly loyal comrade who no longer regards the network as being true to its slogan “Fair and Balanced.” Sen. Tom Coburn told a town hall meeting of his constituents in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that…

“There are certain shows on Fox I can’t watch because they’re totally not fair and totally not balanced.”

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Coburn didn’t identify the shows to which he was referring, but it wouldn’t be difficult to speculate considering nearly the entire Fox schedule is packed with blatantly biased opinions masquerading as reporting. From Fox & Friends’ smiley-faced smackdowns of anything relating to President Obama or progressive politics, to Neil Cavuto’s obnoxious liberal interruption festival and GOP candidate promotion hour, to the primetime trio of diehard right-wingers Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly, and Sean Hannity, the entire day on Fox is a barrel of conservative propaganda and hype.

Perhaps Coburn was referring to the sort of segment that Fox & Friends ran this morning where they chopped up Obama’s remarks about the protests in Ferguson, Mo. to make it appear that he was “Choosing Sides” against the police. The obvious jump cut eliminated a critical portion of the President’s statement. Here is what Obama said with the part that Fox quoted in bold:

“There is never an excuse for violence against police, or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests.

The Curvy Couch Potatoes excoriated the President for what they said was his one-sided criticism of law enforcement. Although their blissfully ignorant audience will never know that the quote was butchered by Fox in a deliberate attempt to deceive.

Coburn isn’t the only Republican in recent days to express disappointment with the network’s phony claim to fairness. Former Sen. Bob Smith is currently running in the GOP senate primary in New Hampshire against Scott Brown. Brown, you may recall, just left his job as a Fox contributor to seek the senate seat. Fox has been promoting Brown’s candidacy even before he left the network. That hasn’t sat well with Smith:

“They’ve totally ignored us,” Smith said. “They’ve shut us down. We’ve made every effort to get on any of the shows, or at least have a comment. We’ve tried with [Fox host Sean] Hannity, we’ve tried with Baier, we’ve tried with, you name it … we’ve just been totally shut down. And I mean shut down. I mean we don’t even get call backs.”

This is the sort of journalistic malpractice that occurs every hour of every day on Fox News. It’s surprising that Coburn, a beneficiary of that partisan bias, would speak out so candidly. But then he has already announced that he is not running for reelection, so he is no longer reliant on Fox’s beneficence and can be more honest in his appraisals.

A few conservative pundits have also taken Fox to task. David Frum criticized Fox on CNN’s Reliable Sources. He told then-host Howard Kurtz that “people who watch a lot of Fox come away knowing a lot less about important world events.” Interestingly, Kurtz himself is now contributing to the ignorance of world events as the host of MediaBuzz on Fox News. Another pundit takedown of Fox was from Tucker Carlson, who after hammering Fox as “a mean, sick group of people,” has joined the cult and sworn allegiance to his new masters.

But my favorite right-wing attack on Fox News was from a Tea Party group who organized a boycott of the network to protest its liberal slant. These “Tea Party Fire Ants,” as they call themselves, have a list of demands that they insist be heard and obeyed:

  1. We want FOX to become an active, investigative news organization serving the needs and wants of the “far right” audience.
  2. We want FOX to have at least one segment on Benghazi every night on at least two of the three shows in prime time.
  3. Yes, the BIRTH CERTIFICATE. Obama’s birth certificate. You know, that thing you mocked and the people you mocked who turned out to be right when they said it was a fake?
  4. We’re not interested in “Fair and Balanced”.

I’m sure that would make Fox News more watchable for Sen. Coburn. It would certainly make it more watchable for me, for the comedic value alone.

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Common Shaky Ground: Left And Right Agree To Let The Red States Secede

Very few political observers would argue that our current system of government in Washington isn’t broken, or at least in a state of serious disrepair. The House of Representatives is being bullied by a minority faction of Tea Party dimwits who have utterly dominated the pathetically weak Speaker, John Boehner. The Senate is floundering under rules that allow the minority to obstruct any legislative progress through filibusters that redefine a majority as sixty senators. But a solution is being proposed that has found supporters on both ends of the political divide.

To Secede Or Not To Secede

Fred Jackson, news director of the uber-rightist American Family Association, told his radio audience that he thought a caller had a “good idea” when he said that secession is “the only solution that we have because voting doesn’t work.” The idea called for the red states to separate from the union. Jackson lamented that the American people may not be ready for such a measure, but that’s only because they haven’t yet realized “that we are about to hit that wall.”

The day before this broadcast the right-wing pseudo-news wire, Washington Free Beacon, published a story on the same theme but with a geographic limiter. They wrote that “A major Democratic donor said he supports Southern secession because the South is ‘dumbing down national politics.” It’s hard to argue with his reasoning while derps like Louie Gohmert and Ted Cruz are wandering the halls of Congress.

There is some real merit to this idea. After all, both sides would agree that neither is being particularly well represented when the legislative branch of government is so divided. By jettisoning the South the rest of the nation would be relieved of bible-belters who want to invoke a theocracy that believes Jesus rode a dinosaur to his sermons against gay marriage and climate change science. The South would be free to abolish all taxes and prohibit African-Americans from voting. This is not to say that establishing the Mason-Dixon line as the new border would automatically correct the problem. After all, Michele Bachmann would still be up in Minnesota and Darrell Issa would still be out in California. But a large chunk of the causes of division would be resolved.

There are, of course, some drawbacks as well. First among them is the fact that there are a lot of decent, thoughtful people in red and Southern states that would be horrified to find themselves sequestered in a new country that would rank at the bottom of the intelligence scale. A report published by (of all places) Fox Business, surveyed the nation’s academic profile and found that the ten states with the best educated citizens were all “blue” states, while nine of the ten worst educated were “red” states (and eight of those were in the south).

foxbusiness-education

There is also an economic issue since the South is comprised of the states with the highest percentage of people living below the poverty line (31%). And that number reflects an increase of nearly 50% since 2000. The South is currently a net receiver of federal assistance, meaning that it gets more from the government than it contributes in taxes. That would bode ill for a new nation that couldn’t support itself, particularly if it implements the low-tax strategy that it wants to impose on the whole of the United States.

The better educated and financially secure Blue/Northern states would have a distinct post-separation advantage. However, the Red States of America would be a non-starter from the outset because too much of its population would be too stupid and too financially inept to be sustainable. These variances could not be resolved simply by having people relocate to the region they prefer. That would be too great a burden that would involve uprooting families and businesses, finding new jobs and schools and friends, and very likely overcrowding the Blue states, while draining the Reds of their smartest and economically savviest residents. The Blues would be well positioned to compete with international rivals in Europe and Asia. The Reds would be closer to Libertarian Utopias like Somalia.

There is a far better solution than secession. However, it requires the American people to participate in their democracy. First of all, they have to become informed. And that means venturing beyond the increasingly biased mainstream media to find sources that are diverse and independent. Then they have to actually vote. The U.S. has one of the lowest voter turnout rates of any industrialized country. That is a slap in the face to the Founders who were optimistic enough to believe that future generations would appreciate the gift that was left to them.

With their voting power, the people need to demand an end to the anti-democratic gerrymandering that allows representatives to choose their voters rather than the other way around. And part and parcel to that, judicial atrocities like Citizen’s United must be overturned. The people must demand that only real, human, citizens can vote and contribute to campaigns. Corporations, unions, and all other wealthy special interests should not be electing our representatives. Corporations are not people, and money is not speech.

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A final suggestion for reform is a tad more radical, but still far short of secession. The Senate should become a representative body. There is no reasonable justification for Wyoming’s half million residents to have the same political clout as the 38 million residents of California. Two senators per state is an anachronistic solution to a problem that ceased to exist shortly after the Constitution was ratified. Today it permits a tiny minority of sparsely populated, unrepresentative states to hold the rest of the nation hostage. In fact, it is mathematically possible for just 35 million residents (10% of the population) to dictate the national agenda for all 350 million Americans. That is a perversion of democracy.

So it isn’t necessary to dissolve the United States to find a more perfect union. It just requires civic commitment and the will to make substantive reforms. And it wouldn’t hurt if the media stopped deliberately making their audience stupider.


Bill O’Reilly Wants To Know: Will Black America Speak Out Against Looting?

Fox News resident curmudgeon, Bill O’Reilly, has demonstrated his racial insensitivity too often to catalog here. Suffice to say that the man who was surprised that African-American patrons of a Harlem restaurant aren’t constantly screaming, “M-Fer, I want more iced tea,” is not the best example of racial tolerance.

So this week O’Reilly was promoting a segment on his program that would deal with the aftermath of the police shooting of an unarmed African-American. The promo asked a ludicrous question that sought to heap the responsibility of isolated crowd behavior unto the entire black population of America: “Will Black America Speak Out Against Looting?”

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

Is he serious? So whenever there is an incident that O’Reilly finds objectionable, he believes that everyone who bears any resemblance to the people involved are obligated to condemn it. Does that apply to the white police officer in Ferguson, MO who shot Mike Brown? Will white America speak out against officers killing unarmed citizens? Does it apply to George Zimmerman? Will white America speak out against murdering innocent black teenagers? Does it apply to governors who pass laws that subvert democracy? Will white America speak out against minority voter suppression? Does it apply to bankers who thrust the nation into near economic collapse? Will white America speak out against predator lenders and fraudulent mortgage schemes? Does it apply to judicial activists on the Supreme Court? Will white America speak out against the gutting of the Civil Rights Act?

O’Reilly and his right-wing comrades are constantly lumping their ideological foes into categories where they have collective responsibility, but he absolves white people of having any part in the actions of their ethnic fellows. Muslims, for instance, are required to condemn the terrorists acts of Al Qaeda (which they have done), but whites are not asked to do the same when innocent Muslims are killed by drones.

For the benefit of O’Reilly and his racist cohorts, black Americans have been prominently speaking out against any law-breaking in response to the Brown killing. His parents have called for people to “come together and do this right, the right way. No violence.” Al Sharpton told a rally of supporters that “To become violent in Michael Brown’s name is to betray the gentle giant that he was.” President Obama released a statement saying…

“I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.”

These comments expose O’Reilly for the ignorant and deliberately race-baiting provocateur that he is. Does every black person in America have to make a public statement before he will be satisfied? O’Reilly isn’t actually interested in people taking responsibility. He is only interested in laying blame and disparaging African-Americans as thugs or supportive of thuggery.

America’s black population has no more responsibility to account for every other black American, than white Americans have to account for racists like O’Reilly. If they did, then I want to know if white America will speak out against the racist Fox News promo that asks if black America will speak out against looting?


Fox News “Psycho” Analyst: Obama Hates America And His Wife Is Fat

He’s at it again. “Doctor” Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A[ss] Team, was the male guest on the panel show of Fox fems, Outnumbered. In the course of the hour the examples of his boorish political asininity and misogyny far “outnumbered” any commentary that approached common sense or civility.

Keith Ablow

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In the opening segment, the topic was President Obama’s foreign policy and the crises in the Middle East. Ablow’s knee-jerk hostility to even hearing Obama’s name incited a brief tirade that questioned the President’s patriotism and connection to the country that elected him twice to the highest office in the land.

“I think he has an endgame. I think he is extremely strategic. He wants to minimize the influence of America around the globe. He’s doing a masterful job. That is his primary, and seemingly sole, objective. Everyday this guy occupies the White House is a bizarre event in my experience. I can’t believe that people were so thrown by 9/11 as to elect this person who does not hold our values as his own. And we thought by propping him up we wouldn’t be attacked anymore.”

There is just too much stupid in that rant to address in full. Let’s just note that after 9/11, if the country was “thrown,” they were thrown to reelect George W. Bush, because Obama’s election didn’t come until seven years later. And Ablow unveils his prejudices by characterizing Obama’s term in office as an “occupation” by someone who doesn’t hold “our” values. That is coded birther rhetoric. Then he joins the likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham in advocating war, but in a particularly repulsive manner.

“Of course there should be boots on the ground. Of course there should be. Because we are the chosen nation. [...] We’ll be fighting this for a long, long time. It will cost us a tremendous amount. Young people will die. It’s horrific, but these people will stop at nothing.”

What a patriot. He’s so willing to volunteer other people’s sons and daughters to die in a war thousands of miles from home. Because, after all, we are “the chosen nation,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. Apparently God wants America’s kids to be slaughtered in distant deserts. But Ablow is just getting started.

Right-wingers are fond of inventing controversies wherein they allege government intrusion into the private lives of citizens. They hate being told what to do by the feds, even if it is merely a regulation to mandate airplane safety or to keep poisons out of the water supply. Any and all regulation is, to them, a manifestation of tyranny. So in a discussion about healthy food standards in public schools, the Outnumbered panel was unanimous in support of the abdication of parental authority. They said that if their kids didn’t want to eat the healthy meals provided by a school lunch program, they shouldn’t have to. In effect they are saying that their kids should dictate what they will, and will not, eat. Adults pursuing the best interests of students should have no decision in the matter. So if your kids want to eat only candy, then parents should let schools serve that to their kids for lunch.

As ludicrous as that sounds, the conversation became even more absurd and insulting with regard to First Lady Michele Obama, who has been a devoted advocate of healthy diets, especially for children who have been exceeding historical levels of obesity. The problem has alarmed military leaders who launched a campaign in support of Obama’s initiative because the state of America’s youth is making it difficult to find physically qualified recruits. On this subject Ablow interjected to question Obama’s commitment saying…

“How well can she be eating. She needs to drop a few.”

That ignorant and irrelevant observation drew a chorus of gasps from the four women on the panel. Co-host Harris Faulkner exclaimed “You did not just say that!” They were plainly disgusted by Ablow’s misogynistic remark, but they ultimately decided to let it pass without further comment.

How this cretin got a medical license is one of the great mysteries of modern times. He is a transparently racist, hateful, narrow-minded, buffoon. And anyone who seeks his services is putting their health, physical and emotional, at risk.


Serial Liar James O’Keefe Trades In His Pimp Outfit For Osama Bin Laden Mask

The news from around the world has been getting more intense with conflicts raging in Israel/Gaza, Syria/Iraq, and Ukraine/Russia. Not to mention an Ebola outbreak in West Africa and police shooting unarmed citizens here in the U.S. So that makes it the perfect time for a self-indulgent purveyor of puerile political pranks to post another in his series of odes to his own desperate cries for attention.

O'Keefe/Osama

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Abandoning his pimp persona, James O’Keefe ventured down to the U.S./Mexico border to prove that a lily-white American, in the company of a local Sheriff, could wade around in the ankle-deep waters of the Rio Grande unhindered. O’Keefe produced a video showing himself crossing what he said was the border, although with his track record it might have been a puddle at W’s old Crawford Ranch. O’Keefe repeatedly sought to build a melodrama around this desert hike by insinuating that the border was an open door to criminals and terrorists.

What he didn’t say was that there was a nearby road where U.S. Border Patrol agents keep watch on the very stretch of land that O’Keefe was prancing around. Nor did he think it was notable that the presence of an American citizen and his Sheriff companion might not peak the interest of the feds. Neither did he bother to inform his viewers of the resume for this particular Sheriff. Gawker, however, was generous enough to provide some background on him:

“Here are some fun facts you may not learn about [Sheriff Arvin] West from O’Keefe’s fawning video treatment: The sheriff is famous for arresting celebrities, from Willie Nelson to Fiona Apple, whose pot-filled tour buses use the nearby stretch of Interstate 10; he’s been found guilty of illegally arresting an El Paso police officer and violating his civil rights; and he has a reputation for being a right-wing and anti-immigrant media hound who calls President Obama ‘full of shit.’”

To add some extra punch to the production number, O’Keefe donned an Osama Bin Laden mask and repeated his crossing of the river. What made him think that the result would be any different by wearing an obviously phony Halloween accessory is anyone’s guess. Especially after having already established that there was no one monitoring the theatrics that he and his Sheriff sidekick were engaging in. And again, why would anyone be monitoring these two clowns? The Border Patrol have actual work to do.

As has become the norm, O’Keefe’s video was virtually ignored by the media who have become inured to his dishonest brand of faux journalism. The only outlets that continue to pay him any attention are the the most disreputable of the right-wing media circus, like Breitbart News, Newsmax, and the “Moonie” Washington Times. What must have been particularly painful for Jimmy was the reaction from ultra-conservative Fox News host Eric Bolling, who addressed the video on his program The Five and spoke directly to O’Keefe saying…

“What’s not helpful [...] filmmaker James O’Keefe donning an Osama Bin Laden mask and crossing the Rio Grande. Shtick like that doesn’t work. We have honest-to-God serious problems with the border. O’Keefe, give it a rest, my man.”

O’Keefe is best known for making an ass of himself on video while imagining an acclaim that is shared by no one outside of the Tea Party Home for the Chronically Delusional. Some of his other recent antics have resulted in his arrest and conviction in a Louisiana senator’s office, a legal order to pay a $100,000 settlement to a former ACORN employee he defamed, and a sleazy plot to seduce a CNN reporter aboard his “Love Boat.” His last “Cinema Veri-tasteless” earned him a rebuke from a team of Special Prosecutors in Texas who officially concluded that his video “was little more than a canard and political disinformation.”

The ultimate goal of this project became apparent when a visit to his website revealed a reference to this video on his donations page where O’Keefe whined that “To complete this investigation, Project Veritas spent over $74,242 in legal fees, investigators salaries, and travel expenses.” He really does have a problem if it cost him 74 grand to hop a plane to Texas to stroll across a puddle with a pair of high-water jeans and a rubber Osama mask. With that kind of budget he could have hired a bearded Muslim actor and a couple of coyotes with a motor boat, added some pyrotechnics and a love interest, and entered it at Sundance.


The Koch Brothers Are Secretly Funding The GOP’s Latino Outreach

Ever since President Obama crushed Mitt Romney in 2012 with 71% of the Latino vote, the Republican Party has made noises about broadening their base to include more minorities. For the most part their efforts have been limited to lip service, while their actions have served only to further alienate African-Americans and Latinos.

While most Democrats have risen to the aide of child immigrants who are suffering and alone on the southern border, Republicans have responded with insensitivity that ranges from calls to deport them, to formations of armed militias to – well who knows what they intend to do with their weapons aimed at frightened kids. In the end they are behaving consistently with the long-held positions of conservatives who have never welcomed either minorities or immigrants with open arms.

So leave it to the Koch brothers to come to their rescue with a clandestine campaign to bridge the ethnic gap that threatens to make the GOP a permanent minority party. The Republican regulars would be hard pressed to suddenly flip-flop on immigration and anger their Tea Party base that is dead-set against passing comprehensive immigration reform that respects the traditional values of America as expressed on the Statue of Liberty. They won’t even pass legislation to provide humanitarian relief for children. So any effort to bring Latinos into the GOP fold has to be done without leaving any fingerprints on the party’s standard bearers.

Koch Brothers Libre

That’s where the Libre Initiative comes in. It is an ostensibly pro-Latino group that has begun offering English classes, health checkups and courses to help Spanish-speakers earn high school diplomas. The Associated Press, however, reports that it “has collected millions from the Kochs’ political network.” But its programs are served up with healthy doses of right-wing propaganda.

“Its organizers pitch conservative ideals while offering tutorials on U.S. immigration law, support for overhauling the broken immigration system that stops short of campaigning for the Senate’s bipartisan bill and collecting donations for the unaccompanied children crossing the United States-Mexico border illegally.

“In effect, it is a shadow GOP — one with a gentle emphasis on social services and assimilation over a central party often seen as hostile to immigrants and minorities.

The tactic is pure Koch Brothers. They were instrumental in creating the Tea Party, which they disguised as a “grassroots” organization despite the millions the Kochs poured into it. They created Generation Opportunity to make their fringe-right agenda appealing to young Americans. They recently donated $25 million to the United Negro College Fund, but rest assured, there are strings attached to that largess as well. The Koch brothers have a vast network of secretly bankrolled advocacy groups and think tanks that they use to advance their personal and business interests. The Center for American Progress published an extensive report cataloging their empire.

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Conservative media is playing its part also. The AP story was posted to Fox News Latino, albeit with a very small link. However, there is no mention at all of the story on Fox News. That is commonplace for the Fox editors. They have a long history of trying to pander to Latinos on their Latino-focused website, while ignoring, or reporting the same story negatively, on the Fox News mothership. That way they don’t upset their regular (i.e. racist) viewers.

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GOP ‘Word Doctor’ Inadvertently Admits (And Praises) Blatant Fox News Bias

As one of Fox News’ favorite contributors J. Christ said: “Physician, heal thyself.” That would be good advice for Dr. Frank Luntz, who has dubbed himself “The Word Doctor” for his efforts to deceitfully manipulate language in order to peddle otherwise unpopular conservative policies.

Fox News Frank Luntz

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On Sunday’s episode of MediaBuzz, the Fox News media analysis program, host Howard Kurtz brought Luntz in to discuss the public’s low opinion of the media. The segment turned into a slobbering love fest of Fox News with Luntz heaping praise on the network with almost every answer. However, in one instance he may have provided a little too much information.

Kurtz and Luntz were attempting to demonstrate how “fair and balanced” the notoriously conservative network is with a clip from one of Luntz’s focus groups. Luntz began by asking the group if they trust Fox News. A distinct majority raised their hands to indicate that they did. One of the few dissenters who was asked to elaborate was a woman who said that “I really believe – I know no one wants to hear this, especially here – that Fox is an extension of the Republican Party.” Seizing on that candid opinion, Luntz heralded Fox for being “willing to challenge itself,” and took a swipe at MSNBC, who he said would not have allowed the question. Then he escalated his gushing adulation to say that…

“In 2008, when I did focus groups with Obama and McCain, all three of my sessions during the debates had Obama winning. And Fox still devoted six, seven, eight minutes to those focus groups. They have nothing to fear, and I appreciate that about this network.”

Imagine that. A Republican pollster holds focus groups that favor Obama but Fox aired the results anyway. That’s an open admission that Fox is exactly what the woman in the group said: “an extension of the Republican Party.” Otherwise, why would Luntz regard it as so extraordinary that it deserved special recognition? Luntz was praising Fox for broadcasting the segment even though it was contrary to their Republican political leanings. And of course they have nothing to fear when the other 99.9% of their programming is solid GOP talking points straight from RNC press releases.

But Luntz shouldn’t get so excited about this anomaly. Fox’s version of fairness and balance is anything but. Their oversampling of right-wing pundits and politicians has been well documented. They even provide a platform for Republican candidates to campaign while still employed by Fox as paid contributors. And just last week Bill O’Reilly did a segment that attempted to prove that Fox was ideologically evenhanded, but it backfired badly. His guest, Fox host Heather Nauert, noted that there were nineteen “liberals” on Fox “out of quite a lot” of conservatives, Nauert fumbled.

[FYI: I counted only sixteen liberals (and some of those were questionable) facing off against 121 conservatives according to Fox's website. The "liberals" are Evan Bayh, Bob Beckel, James Carville, Alan Colmes, Susan Estrich, Santita Jackson, Dennis Kucinich, Mara Liasson, Leslie Marshall, Deroy Murdock, Kirsten Powers, Ellen Ratner, Geraldo Rivera, Julie Roginsky, Joe Trippi, and Juan Williams]

Elsewhere in the MediaBuzz segment Kurtz posed this question to Luntz: “You are saying that the audience has gotten more partisan [...] Aren’t people like you in part responsible for that?” Good question, Howie. Here is Luntz’s ludicrous response which Kurtz left unchallanged:

“Well, it’s a simple question. Is the death tax an accurate description of being taxed when you die? Isn’t exploring for energy what oil companies do? Is it opportunity in education, in terms of vouchers or school choice? If you believe that the words that I’m using aren’t accurate, then you’ve got a legitimate point. I believe that these are accurate descriptions, which is why the American people seem to support it.”

Quite clearly these are not accurate descriptions. They are deliberate deceptions that Luntz carefully tested to assure that they would elicit predetermined reactions from voters. The “Death Tax” that Luntz coined is not a tax on dying. It is tax on property that is being transferred from one party to another, which is exactly what would happen if it were being done between two living persons. His “exploring for energy” dodge is meant to disguise the fact that it refers to environmentally risky off-shore drilling that the public opposes. As for “opportunity in education,” that is so vague as to be meaningless, and it dispenses with the truly descriptive phrasing of vouchers, which is what the program is all about.

Luntz is a professional deception specialist. Republicans rely on him for ways to package unpopular GOP policies so that citizens are persuaded to vote against their own best interests. In other words, he constructs lies that he sells to desperate right-wing politicos, and he supports a luxurious lifestyle by doing so.


Fox Nation Outrage: Obama Vacations With White People – And Other Lies And Delusions

The Fox News community website, Fox Nation, is a non-stop parade of deliberate misinformation, biased reporting, and promotion of notoriously disreputable purveyors of propaganda and conspiracy theories like Alex Jones and Breitbart News. [For more documented proof of Fox Nation's lies, read Fox Nation vs. Reality] This morning that penchant for bullpucky was in full display with a trio of stories that perfectly illustrate the Fox Nation mission.

Fox Nation

Let’s begin with a little item that alleges that “Obama Suggests Conservatives Are Greatest Threat To Nation.” This story was filched from the ultra-rightist Daily Caller (which is run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson) and referenced an interview of President Obama in the New York Times. Obama discussed gridlock in Washington and told the Times that “Our politics are dysfunctional.” That is an indisputable fact that is evidenced by this congress being the least productive in history. The article also said that…

“The president mused, the biggest threat to America — the only force that can really weaken us — is us.”

That’s quite a different statement than what was asserted in the headline. To be sure, it is Republicans that have been boasted of their obstructionism. GOP House Speaker John Boehener even said that the congress under his “leadership” “should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.” By that measure they still suck because they have repealed precisely zero laws. But the point is made that they are proud of being an obstacle to progress. Nevertheless, Obama placed the blame more broadly on “us,” not conservatives as the liars at Fox Nation and the Daily Caller said.

Next up is an article that was picked up from right-wing media distorters, NewsBusters. They in turn were citing England’s version of the National Enquirer, the Daily Mail, who reported speculation that the former Director of Communications for George W. Bush, Nicolle Wallace, had been chosen to replace Jenny McCarthy on “The View.” Fox Nation turned that item into “Liberal Nicolle Wallace Is the New ‘Conservative’ Host on The View?”

“Liberal?” Wallace, as noted above, was a long-time political operative for the Bush regime. She was also a deputy campaign manager for his reelection in 2004, and headed up Sarah Palin’s communications staff for the McCain/Palin campaign in 2008. Wallace created a stir when she spoke candidly about Palin’s shortcomings after the election. But that doesn’t make her a liberal. It makes her intelligent and honest. On second thought, maybe it does make her a liberal, because those are qualities that liberals respect and conservatives disdain. However, for Fox Nation and NewsBusters to characterize Wallace as liberal after a career of conservative politicking is just plain delusional. Apparently the only replacement they would find suitable would be someone like Ann Coulter or Michele Bachmann.

Finally, the Fox Nationalists went to their resident screeching hyena, Mark Levin, for a taste of his undisguised racism. The headline on Fox Nation said “Mark Levin Blasts Obama for Vacationing at ‘Whitest Place on Earth’” Indeed, Levin seems to have found something objectionable about our African-American president and his family hobnobbing with his Caucasian superiors, rather than serving them drinks and cleaning their rooms as God intended. Levin continued saying to Obama that “We know how you hate whites,” and that Obama would be better off vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands. [Remember what happened to Glenn Beck when he said that Obama hates white people?]

But what makes this truly despicable is that Levin is not only racist, he is stupid – or is that redundant? As noted by Mediaite’s Matt Wilstein, Martha’s Vineyard has a richly diverse history:

“While Martha’s Vineyard is no doubt a ritzy island with more than its fair share of white people, Levin is clearly unaware of its rich history as a summer destination for wealthy black families. This is particularly true of Oak Bluffs, where African-American families began summering as early as the 1890s.”

Levin does make a valid point in one respect. Perhaps Obama should stay away from “the whitest place on Earth.” But it isn’t Martha’s Vineyard. It’s Fox News, where vile bigots roam free to disparage the nation, insult its citizens, and preach a brand of faith that exalts the wealthy, white, ruling class.

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As usual, Fox News is rampant with racism, delusion, and bald-faced lies. The articles above are only a small sample of the repulsiveness that is published there every day. It’s astonishing that they get away with this and even attract devoted fans. Obviously, there is still a lot of work to be done in this country to stamp out bigotry and the ignorance from which it stems.


Rush Limbaugh’s Delusional Plot By Militant Vegetarians To Unleash Anti-Beef Ticks

Tick Talk, Tick Talk…To all of the militant vegetarians out there – and we know that people who advocate against cruelty to animals are amongst the most brutal terrorists of our time – be aware that your cover has been compromised. The corpulent defender of ill health and Oxycontin abuse, Rush Limbaugh, has discovered your clandestine scheme to turn all of America into a model of rosy-cheeked physical fitness. ABORT, ABORT!

Rush Limbaugh

On his radio communique Friday, Limbaugh unveiled the dastardly plot contrived by the enemies of meat to turn all Americans into vegetarians via a unique form of bio-terrorism. I’ll let him tell it:

“Veggie Revenge. What is it? Well, in Texas, Texas, of all places, they have discovered a bug that can turn you into a vegetarian, or at least make you swear off of red meat. [...] In some cases, eating a burger or a steak has landed people in the hospital with severe allergic reactions. The culprit is the Lone Star tick. [...]

“[T]he radicals are gonna try to get hold of these ticks and mass produce them, mass grow ‘em and spread ‘em all over the country in order to get people to stop eating beef.”

That’s right. As we speak there are covert vegetarians clad in Che t-shirts herding genetically modified ticks on the Texas prairie into tiny tick corrals. They intend to release them on unsuspecting Americans across the country. They will probably target McDonalds and other fast food franchises as likely spots to infect innocent carnivorous diners. Limbaugh notes that he has “tried to call your attention to the militant vegetarians,” for some time. Let’s hope that it is not too late.

The vegetists are a wily bunch who seek to control every part of your life. They include First Lady Michele Obama, who has brazenly spoken out in favor of healthier diets for all Americans, especially children. That unscrupulous bitch. Although Limbaugh courageously calls out the nefarious veggies, he generously exempts the masses whom he regards as victims, saying that…

“[M]ost of ‘em are dupes in the sense they don’t understand they’re part of a political agenda. [...] If you’re a vegetarian and you don’t realize there’s a political agenda attached to what you’re doing, you’re being duped.”

So wake up you vege-dupes. Can’t you see that you’re being used by international Climate Change conspiracies to invoke a One-World government where everyone has good health, the air and water are clean and safe, and the planet can sustain life for the indefinite future? Is that the kind of nightmare existence you want for yourself and your children? It’s not as if the vegetists really care about anyone. According to Limbaugh it’s all political. He says that…

“The very idea that militant vegetarians demand everybody do what they do is all the proof you need that it’s political.”

Never mind that no one has ever heard a militant vegetarian making such demands. And it goes without saying that conservative extremists like Limbaugh would never demand that anyone behave in certain prescribed manners. Unless, that is, you want to purchase contraceptives, marry someone you love, wish somebody a happy “holiday,” or vote without having to show your government approved papers.

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It’s a good thing we have Rush Limbaugh around to expose the nefarious plots being directed at an unwitting populace that would never know about these things were it not for his intrepid investigations and fearless devotion to us ignorant waifs in the hinterlands. So be grateful that there are such morally upstanding patriots like Rush to protect us all from our own stupidity. And, before you forget, strip and do a full body search to make sure you are free of militant vegetarian ticks.


Ebola Panic: Stephen Colbert Beats Fox News Fear Mongers At Their Own Gaminess

News Corpse just wanted to make sure that everyone saw this hilarious segment of the Colbert Report that illustrates how obsessed Fox News is with fomenting fear among their trembling, dimwitted viewers. Of course, Colbert is a good friend of News Corpse as shown by this totally “real” photograph:

Fox Nation vs. Reality - Colbert

In the segment, Colbert skewers the tendency of Fox News to make a crisis out of everything and blame it on President Obama. But the best parts are aimed at the pitiful losers who are often featured on Fox making asses of themselves. For instance, Colbert brings up a favorite of the Fox & Friends Kiddie Krew with this introduction:

“Ebola is spread only through intimate contact with bodily secretions such as vomit, blood, or feces. Speaking of vomit, blood, and feces – Donald Trump…”

Colbert also singles out the neurosurgeon-turned-Teabagger, Ben Carson, by noting that when he was offering his insane speculation about bio-terrorism he was really “just yanking shit out of his ass. But remember, that’s another way Ebola is spread.”

The ridiculous hysteria that Fox is spreading about Ebola is way out of proportion to any actual threat. There have zero deaths due to Ebola in the Untied States. Contrast that with the 53,000 annual deaths from the flu. If you’re intent on worrying about exposure to a virus, you may want to reassess which one to irrationally fear. In fact, you are even more likely to die by your own hand (39,000 annual suicides) than to be killed by Ebola. So whatever you do, don’t get on any plane that you are on.