WTF? Fox News Links Bill Cosby’s Alleged Sexual Abuse To Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Prospects

Earlier this year Fox News fortified their rabidly right-wing roster of Republican PR flacks by hiring Roger Stone, a veteran GOP dirty trickster and notorious Clinton hater. Stone cut his teeth in the nastiest campaigns of Richard Nixon and in 2008 he founded a group to oppose Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign that he called “Citizens United Not Timid,” or C.U.N.T. He said that the group’s mission was “to educate the American public about what Hillary Clinton really is.”

Hillary Clinton WTF

Well, Fox is getting their money’s worth as Stone makes appearances on the “news” network spewing outrageous allegations and vile insinuations that set the bar for decency at new lows. Last week Stone visited the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes at Fox & Friends (video below) to hurl his trademark insults and innuendo. He was asked by Elizabeth Hasselbeck for some “insight with Hillary Clinton’s relationship with Wall Street.” Stone’s answer began predictably by asserting that it “causes her real problems.” Of course, if she had no relationship with Wall Street that would also be a problem. Fox is hard-wired so that anything that happens, or doesn’t happen, is a problem for Democrats. But then he swerved to inject an unrelated criticism from far-right field.

“Frankly, the much greater issue is the new public Bill Cosby scandal, which is gonna cause a reexamination of the problems of Bill Clinton and what Hillary knew about those actions and what she did to suppress them. So I think the Bill Cosby issue, as it were, could be a real problem for Bill Clinton and, therefore, for Hillary Clinton.”

Yes. That’s “the much greater issue.” A twenty year old incident of marital infidelity that is in no way analogous to Bill Cosby. Clinton’s affairs were consensual and, by all accounts, they stopped twenty years ago. You can be sure that if he were fooling around now some tabloid would have uncovered it. The notion that the Cosby controversy would spark a reexamination of Bill Clinton exists only in Stone’s perverted mind. Nobody cares about any of that, as evidenced by Clinton’s high approval ratings. If anything, it would be a reminder that the Clintons worked through their difficulties and preserved their marriage, affirming their family values.

The fact that Fox News employs a despicable character like Stone is proof that they have no interest in ethical journalism. But he is only the tip of the viceberg. Fox’s cast of characterless mudslingers include Karl Rove, who said that Clinton is too “old and stale” for America; Dinesh D’Souza, who said that the young Clinton looks like a hippy (and young Obama looks like a thug); Edward Klein who thinks that Chelsea Clinton was the spawn of Bill after raping his lesbian wife, Hillary. If there is anyone who still thinks that Fox News is either fair or balanced they had better seek professional help and massive quantities of medication as quickly as possible.

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The Hate Of The Union Address: Right-Wing Nutjobs Want To Ban Obama From Congress

You may have thought that you’ve seen it all, but when it comes to overt expressions of rancid hatred today’s Republican politicians and pundits are just getting started. It’s apparently not enough that they have spent the last six years breaking all records for partisan obstructionism and openly displayed racist attitudes toward President Obama. Now there is talk of implementing a Jim Crow style admittance policy on Capitol Hill.

Obama Refused

President Obama has recently taken legal measures to make some progress on the immigration reforms that Congress is too inept to address. His executive actions are both constitutionally sound and overwhelmingly popular. Those facts must have driven the Republican Party into an acute psychosis that has them panting feverishly as they struggle to respond. To date they have proposed such over-the-top remedies as rejecting every administration nominee for cabinet or judgeship posts, shutting down the federal government, suing the President, and even launching impeachment proceedings.

Now, however, they have lit on a new tactic that is stretching the limits of sanity. There is boomlet of commentary on the right that thinks it would be a good idea to prohibit President Obama from delivering the annual State of the Union address to members of Congress. This is a proposal that reeks of personal animosity and is wholly inconsistent with the mission of Congress. What’s more, it certainly doesn’t advance the spirit of cooperation that the GOP pretended to embrace following the midterm election. The very words used by the advocates of this plan illustrate their divisive intent. For instance…

Joel Pollak, Breitbart News: Congress should indicate to President Obama that his presence is not welcome on Capitol Hill as long as his “executive amnesty” remains in place. The gesture would, no doubt, be perceived as rude, but it is appropriate.

Rich Lowry, National Review: If I were John Boehner I’d say to the president: “Send us your State of the Union in writing. You’re not welcome in our chamber.”

“Our chamber?” Are these miscreants suffering from the delusion that the houses of Congress belong to them and they have the tyrannical authority to deny admittance to anyone they choose, including the Commander in Chief? This would be an unprecedented rebuke aimed at the nation’s first African-American president. There is a stink of bigotry that is reminiscent of the segregationist South where blacks were not permitted into establishments reserved for whites only. These suggestions are shameless in their open disrespect for both the President and the presidency. No other White House occupant has suffered this sort of indignity. Even President Clinton’s State of the Union speeches went on as scheduled while Congress was trying at the time to impeach him.

Obama’s crime is that he is actually trying to get things done despite a congressional body that holds the title for being the least productive congress in history. They have demonstrated their obsession with opposing anything this President advocates, even legislation that their own GOP colleagues drafted. Once Obama signs on they turn and run, pretending not to have ever had anything to do with it. The most important thing to this Republican caucus is to do as much harm to the President as possible without consideration to the harm they are doing to the country.

But with all of the flagrantly hostile behavior directed at Obama from the right, there is something far more repugnant in this exclusionary gimmick that treats the President as if he were untouchable and unclean and unfit for keeping company with the oh-so-distinguished members of Congress.

Calmer heads may ultimately prevail in the weeks before the State of the Union. But if the GOP wants to proceed with this lunatic plan they do so at their own peril. It would surely be seen by the American people as vindictive and childish. It would be repudiated by a broad majority of clear thinking citizens. The Republican Party would bear the brunt of the backlash that would almost certainly ensue.

Consequently, I say “Go for it, Republicans.” Hang a big, bright “Whites Only” sign over the front door of the Congress. It will serve as a truth-in-advertising notice for the GOP. Then the President can move the speech to an auditorium where he invites all Americans (with the exception of Republican members of Congress) to hear his address. Let the media cover the speech without the predictable and orchestrated jeers and cheers that come from a legislative body that is bitterly divided by partisanship.

Come to think of it, having the State of the Union delivered outside of Congress may be such a good idea that Obama should consider taking the lead. He could preempt the GOP’s rebuke by rebuking them first with a notice that he will not be attending their soiree. There is nothing preventing a president from delivering the speech at a venue of his choosing. And if it results in a more respectful environment where he doesn’t have to deal with petulant hecklers shouting “You lie,” in the middle of his remarks, it may be worth it.

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On Immigration: Republicans Have No Clue What The American People Want

Last week President Obama defied the wild-eyed yammering of Republicans who claimed that any executive action addressing immigration reform would be be unconstitutional and mark him as a lawless tyrant who is thwarting the will of the American people. The President ignored their rancorous grumbling and announced a reasonable plan of prosecutorial discretion that has been invoked by every president for the past fifty years, and which 135 experts agree is legal. Not to mention, it is in keeping with our nation’s longstanding values of inclusion and opportunity.

Obama: We Were Once Strangers Too

Notwithstanding these facts, the GOP is so fixated on opposing anything that this president does, they took their positions to the media and brazenly lied. With characteristic lock-step unity, they insisted that they knew what Americans want and that Obama was flouting their clearly expressed wishes. Here is a sampling of their interpretation of the public mood:

  • Sen. Ted Cruz: This last election was a referendum on amnesty. And the American people overwhelmingly rose up and said, no, we don’t want lawless amnesty.
  • John Boehner: By ignoring the will of the American people, President Obama has cemented his legacy of lawlessness and squandered what little credibility he had left.
  • Mitch McConnell: If President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act.
  • Sarah Palin: [Obama is] betraying our trust [by going] against the wishes of the American people.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions: The American people rebelled against the President’s executive amnesty.
  • Rick Santorum: This unilateral action sends a message that the President believes his opinion should supersede the will of the American people and democratic process.

These statements could not be more definitive in their estimation of what the American people think about Obama’s executive action on immigration. They could also not be more wrong. Where these wingnuts got these ideas is a complete mystery. It certainly doesn’t reflect either the exit polling following the election earlier this month. Nor does it reflect the more recent polling that spelled out the precise conditions of the policy. Hart Research found that…

“…voters overwhelmingly backed President Obama’s move: 67 percent viewed it favorably, while just 28 percent viewed it unfavorably. The support was fairly bipartisan, with 91 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Independents, and 41 percent of Republicans viewing the executive action favorably. Among Tea Party Republicans, however, 64 percent opposed the policy while just 30 percent viewed it favorably.”

Setting aside the Tea Party (always a good idea), it is clear that Obama’s views are more aligned to those of the American people than with the bombastic and presumptive Republicans. And not only do people support the President’s action, they agree that he is acting within law by 51% to 41%.

What is most curious about this whole debate is that the GOP has such hatred for the executive action Obama took, but they refuse to do the simplest, quickest thing to nullify it. All they have to do is pass a law. They don’t even have to write one. It already exists and was passed by a bipartisan majority in the Senate. If John Boehner would allow it to be voted on in the House it would pass tomorrow, be signed by the President and – poof – no executive action.

Instead the GOP talk of blocking every bill and presidential nominee that comes before them. They threaten to file lawsuits that would take years to wind their way through the courts and would be moot by the time they were heard. And they even raise the specter of impeachment, another ultra-drastic response that would take months and accomplish nothing but making Joe Biden the next president.

In conclusion, Obama is not acting like a tyrant and Americans don’t buy the criticism of him as one. However, Americans do favor his approach to immigration reform by wide margins despite the protestations from the GOP. The only thing that Republicans have to gain from their current strategy is a generous pension after they are retired from public service in 2016. We wish them luck.


Viewers Are Drawn To Fox News Like Flies Are Drawn To Bullsh*t (And For The Same Reason)

The Baltimore Sun’s media critic, David Zurawik, wants very badly for his analysis to be taken seriously. But it doesn’t help to burnish his credibility when he makes frequent appearances on Fox News. His objectivity is thrown into question due to the fact that his livelihood in part relies on the network that he is supposed to be reporting on. And whatever shred of objectivity remains was just wiped away by his article pimping what he called “Fox News dominance.”

Fox News McDonalds

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The most shallow observations of the place Fox News holds in the mediasphere are those that herald its ratings as some sort of measure of quality or influence. The truth is that Fox is not the powerhouse news operation that they pretend to be. On their best showing they pull in about three million viewers, which is a pitifully small scrap of the 100 million Americans in the television audience. What’s more, those viewers are not consumers of news so much as they are disciples of a conservative theology seeking affirmation.

Nevertheless, Zurawik’s article, which was picked up by Fox, reads like the Sermon on the Fox News Mount. He begins by inventing a premise that has no basis in reality, saying that…

“Much of the media establishment seems bent on ignoring the incredible ratings success of Fox News.”

Zurawik offers nothing to substantiate that assertion. It is obvious that Fox News has been sitting atop the ratings perch for several years, and everybody knows it. For Zurawik to make this notion that Fox’s ratings are being ignored the foundation for his analysis suggests that he has some sort of ax to grind against the “media establishment” that may be ignoring him.

The big news that Zurawik claims is missing is that Fox News had a couple of ratings successes that he regards as significant. One is that Fox drew more viewers than the network newscasts on election night. That is mainly notable because it something that they almost never do. So why isn’t the news here that the networks routinely slaughter Fox News in the ratings? Zurawik doesn’t address that.

In the process of fluffing Fox, Zurawik revealed his biases by describing MSNBC as being “slavishly devoted to Obama.” However one might feel about the political leanings of MSNBC, for a critic who is writing about Fox to highlight that without also mentioning the slavish devotion of Fox to a far-right ideology is simply journalistic malpractice.

Zurawik continues to explore this fallacy by pretending to be interested in figuring out why Fox is so beloved by such an overwhelming majority of the nation. He advises the need for serious folks like us to…

“…start seriously trying to figure out how and why it has come to pass that Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly matter more to Americans on election night than Brian Williams, Scott Pelley, George Stephanopoulos, Anderson Cooper or Wolf Blitzer.

Of course, as noted above, Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly do not matter more to Americans. they only matter more to the thin slice of zealots who watch what’s on Fox no matter what it is. By far, most Americans were watching something else on election night. In fact. most Americans didn’t even bother to vote that day. Turnout was about 36%, the lowest turnout in over 70 years.

Where Zurawik really goes off the rails is when he tries to explain why fox is, in his mind, so respected.

“I think one of the reasons for this latest evolution of ratings dominance might be that Fox was a far better watchdog on the Obama White House than any other TV news organization.

So the theory here is that by challenging those in power, by taking the heat as a watchdog on behalf of the little people, Fox earned their trust. What makes this absolute nonsense is that Fox was a lapdog during the Bush administration. They were apologists for everything from his mismanagement of the economy by giving the wealthy a big tax cut, to his negligence prior to the terrorist attack on 9/11 (when he ignored an intelligence report that said “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”), to his launching a war in Iraq that was based on lies.

The people who watch Fox were never interested in a watchdog. They were only interested in having their biases confirmed, and worse, inflamed. Zurawik apparently missed all of that. And he further demonstrated his own bias by declaring that the administration has contempt for Americans and for the truth. But if Americans were to punish anyone for having contempt for the truth, it would be Fox News.

Then Zurawik facetiously offers an alternative theory for Fox News’ success:

“Or maybe, it’s what some critics of Fox say: That those who watch the channel only want to hear one side of the story, and that’s all that Fox gives them. The implication here is that Fox viewers are stupid”

Finally, Zurawik hits on something closer to the real explanation for the one-sided popularity of Fox. It has been revealed in numerous studies that Fox News has an audience that is gravely misinformed. And that result comes from their audience having a cult-like devotion to their brand of disinformation.

In closing, Zurawik makes a disingenuous plea that we “shouldn’t let our biases blind us to the serious media criticism that demands to be done.” The buckets full of irony and gall it took for him to say that would fill a warehouse. His bias is soaking the very article that asks for this consideration. And the fact that he thinks there hasn’t already been scads of serious media criticism on this subject is further evidence of just how distant he is from reality.

And speaking of being distant from reality…
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Scandal Roulette On Fox News: This Week’s Winner: IRS Emails

With the midterm election now relegated to a past too distant for Teabaggers to recall, Fox News is struggling to advance their scandal mongering. They have dropped Ebola entirely. Benghazi was just debunked by the Republican-run House Intelligence Committee. There haven’t been any terrorist attacks or gun confiscations or Christmas tree burnings that they could blame on President Obama. So that pretty much leaves his birth certificate or IRS emails.

Fox News Scandal Roulette

On Yesterday’s episode of the ong-running soap opera “America’s News Headquarters,” co-host Julie Banderas launched into a frightening alert that some secret documents that were being cloistered in the dark crevices of the White House basement were miraculously discovered.

“Topping the news this hour: First they were lost, seemingly forever, 30,000 of Lois Lerner’s emails at the center of a massive IRS scandal. But today…get this. They have been found. We begin today with the government’s version of lost and found. Federal investigators have recovered as many as 30,000 emails of Lois Lerner. Remember, they had gone missing?”

Get this, people! There were 30,000 of these suckers that were scattered to depths of Hades, but now they have been captured and returned the land of the living conspiracy nuts.

What needs to be known about this revelation is that it is not really much of a revelation at all. The data that is being reported as “recovered” comes from Treasury Department computer back ups that had previously been identified as part of an ongoing investigation. Nobody at Fox News has seen the contents of these allegedly scandalous documents, but that doesn’t stop them from describing the scale of the scandal as “massive.”

Furthermore, there is a possibility that the recovered documents are duplicates of data already delivered to the committees in Congress investigating the matter. Since they have already received over 67,000 such documents, it may be more a probability than a possibility.

There has been no evidence of any effort to conceal information. Indeed, this new crop of data was found by analysts with the Treasury Department, demonstrating their good intentions and thoroughness. And after two years there has been no evidence of any wrongdoing by the administration. It is very likely that any information culled from this data dump will be just as benign as everything else that has been revealed so far.

In the meantime, however, Fox News can squeal with glee as they falsely characterize data that they have never seen and have no idea whether it reveals any misbehavior. Just planting the notion in the minds of their dimwitted viewers is enough, because they will retain it even after it has been debunked. After all, Fox has already labeled this a massive scandal despite not having any proof.

Stay tuned for the next episode of Scandal Roulette. Will Fox find Obama’s Muslim prayer rug? Will they uncover secret videos with his gay lover? Will they find the ashes of the Constitution baked into a gluten-free muffin in Michele’s Che Guevara gym bag? Only time will tell.

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So That “Shrimp On A Treadmill” Thing? Just Another Fox News Sham

Back in May of 2011, Fox News assigned its crack investigative reporting team to expose a case of government malfeasance on a grand scale. They claimed to have uncovered wasteful spending on scientific research that served no purpose other than to line the pockets of academics engaged in questionable studies. At the top of the list was a now infamous project that involved the absurd but adorable image of a “shrimp on a treadmill.”

Fox News Shrimp Treadmill

This story became emblematic of government’s incompetence and inability to exercise fiscal restraint. Fox News took it up in big way with hundreds of segments featuring the by now exhausted little sea creature. It was featured on nearly every Fox program with Neil Cavuto playing a prominent role in hyping it with a hefty dose of smugly delivered disgust.

Well, if you haven’t guessed yet, it turns out that this is just another fraudulent invention of the myth spinners at Fox News. David Scholnick is the professor of marine biology at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, where the notorious research was conducted. Earlier this week he published an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education that laid out for the umpteenth time what was actually being studied and the true costs involved.

On behalf of the National Science Foundation, Scholnick developed a project to ascertain “how recent changes in the oceans could potentially affect the ability of marine organisms to fight infections.” He justified the study by linking it to the very real risk of bacteria contamination to the food supply. But more to the point, he adamantly denied the accusations of any fiscal improprieties.

“Exactly how much taxpayer money did go into the now-famous shrimp treadmill? The treadmill was, in fact, made from spare parts—an old truck inner tube was used for the tread, the bearings were borrowed from a skateboard, and a used pump motor was salvaged to power the treadmill. The total price for the highly publicized icon of wasteful government research spending? Less than $50. (All of which I paid for out of my own pocket.)”

The truth is that the $3 million dollars attributed to the study was actually an aggregate sum that was used for a variety of NSF projects. It was not the amount spent on the shrimp experiment. And there is no evidence that any of the funds were misused or were not justifiable from a research perspective.

However, given the attitude of Fox News and conservative politicians toward science, it is not surprising to find them falsely accusing scientists of malfeasance. The wingnut community staunchly denies the existence of man-made climate change, evolution, and even the harmful effects of excessive sugar, salt, and tobacco. It’s only a matter of time before they begin to challenge the “theory” of gravity.

At the end of his article Scholnick takes a well deserved swipe at his right-wing critics by offering to sell his shrimp-sized NordicTrack for the bargain price of $1 million – a 67% discount on the bogusly reported cost. That’s the sort of special only found during the Black Friday sales after Thanksgiving. Some lucky buyer is going to get endless hours of satisfaction and be the envy of his friends and neighbors.

Stay tuned for the Fox News correction of their erroneous reporting, which I’m sure they will be broadcasting just as soon as they are finished spewing lies about Benghazi, IRS emails, executive amnesty, ObamaCare, the Keystone XL pipeline, voter fraud, Ebola, trickle-down economics, and – oh never mind. It may be better not to stay tuned after all.

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Obama Quoting Scripture Is Repugnant To Fox News

During President Obama’s speech on immigration Thursday, he made the case for delaying the deportation of family members of U.S. citizens with a moral argument against separating families and demonizing those who came to America seeking a better life. Part of the justification he used were references from the Bible. The President said that “Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger –- we were strangers once, too.” Indeed, the Bible makes numerous references to the treatment of others, including foreigners. Leviticus 19:33-34 says

“33. And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not do him wrong. 34. The stranger that sojourneth with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”

The morning following the President’s speech, the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes of Fox & Friends discussed his remarks and were, not surprisingly, appalled (video below). However, their outrage was not limited to the standard kneejerk Fox objections to anything Obama does and says. Extending the wingnut talking points beyond the crackpot allegations of tyranny and lawlessness, they ventured into decidedly more hostile and racist territory.

Fox News Bigots

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What rankled the tender sensitivities of the co-hosts Steve Doocy, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and Tucker Carlson was that Obama had the temerity to express himself through his faith. The exchange that took place was a nauseating display of intolerance and undisguised hatred. It began with Carlson condemning Obama for “lecturing” on faith.

Carlson: For this guy specifically, the President, who spent his career defending late-term abortions, among other things, lecturing us on Christian faith? That’s too much. This is the Christian Left at work, and it’s repugnant. […]
Carlson: To quote scripture? That is just totally out of bounds.
Hasselbeck: Do you think it’s out of bounds that I just quoted scripture?
Carlson: No.
Doocy: It’s just different for him.

It’s just different for him? In what way? They never bother to get into it any deeper than that. but just the suggestion that a different standard exists for “specifically” this president reeks of bigotry. Whether it is rooted in race or politics it is disgusting and completely outside of the expertise of these hate mongers to pass judgment.

The statements by the Fox & Unfriendly crew would be bad enough without any other factors to consider. They are not remotely qualified to interpret either the Bible or any person’s intentions in citing it. However, as Media Matters noted, their commentary exhibited a rather astonishing measure of hypocrisy.

“It was only 48 hours prior to their November 21 broadcast that Fox & Friends criticized Obama for not espousing Christian values often enough. […they asked viewers to…] remember the time when American presidents weren’t afraid to talk about traditional values, as Ronald Reagan did back in 1981.”

So Obama is immoral when he doesn’t mention God, and repugnant when he does? And it’s OK for Reagan to wrap himself in biblical justifications for his agenda that included demonizing the poor as “welfare queens,” throwing the mentally ill out of institutions and unto the street, labeling Nelson Mandela a terrorist, selling arms to hostage takers in Iran, and using the proceeds to bankroll murderous rebels in Nicaragua. But for Obama to advocate for the unity of families is “totally out of bounds.”

The flagrantly biased, hateful, and hypocritical hosts of Fox & Friends might want to look to a recognized authority on Christian faith for guidance on how to deal with immigrants.

Pope Francis: Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more.

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[Update:] Fox News host and prospective candidate for the GOP nomination for president (and sanctimonious jerkwad), Mike Huckabee, has joined the chorus bashing Obama for quoting scripture.


Republican Intelligence Committee Report Blows Up The Benghazi Hoax [Updated]

The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee responsible for investigating Benghazi released its final report in a pre-Thanksgiving Friday news dump. Their conclusions debunked nearly every right-wing, Fox News, conservative fruitcake, conspiracy theory that has been circling the wingnut drain for the past two years.

Benghazi

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The Associated Press is reporting that the Committee’s findings absolve the administration of any wrongdoing. That includes the grossly unfair attacks on then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice, the allegations that military rescue units were told to “stand down,” and numerous assaults on Hillary Clinton’s character and management of the State Department. The House Committee report’s conclusions affirm those of the Senate Intelligence Committee who issued their own report on Benghazi nearly a year ago. The AP said in part…

“In the aftermath of the attacks, Republicans criticized the Obama administration and its then-secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is expected to run for president in 2016. People in and out of government have alleged that a CIA response team was ordered to ‘stand down’ after the State Department compound came under attack, that a military rescue was nixed, that officials intentionally downplayed the role of al-Qaida figures in the attack, and that Stevens and the CIA were involved in a secret operation to spirit weapons out of Libya and into the hands of Syrian rebels. None of that is true, according to the House Intelligence Committee report.”

Some of the flaws in the follow-up to the attack were identified by the committee as being the result of mistakes by “intelligence analysts, not political appointees.” This absolves both the Obama administration and Clinton, who Republicans were hoping to smear with false allegations connected to the Benghazi affair.

One area that received criticism in the report regarded whether adequate security was in place at the time of the attack. The report concluded that the facility was not well protected. However, it did not go into the fact that it was a diplomatic outpost, not a military base. Generally diplomatic facilities are designed to be open to the public and welcoming of local residents. A militaristic presence would defeat the purpose of the diplomatic mission. Consequently, the fine line between security and accessibility is often difficult to define.

The question now is whether the new House Select Committee on the Politicization of Benghazi that GOP Speaker John Boehner impaneled will continue its work. In order to do so they would have to presume that their colleagues on the Intelligence Committee screwed up. That would make for an interesting fight between fellow GOP chairmen Mike Rogers and Trey Gowdy. However, the new Committee, that was formed last May, hasn’t done much work and has held only one meeting in the six months since its creation. If it were to dissolve tomorrow it’s probable that nobody would notice. So while failing to uncover anything untoward, the GOP has spent millions of dollars struggling to create a controversy, but succeeded only in proving that they are utterly inept.

It will also be interesting to see if Fox News even bothers to report the conclusions of the Intelligence Committee. Fox has spent innumerable hours flailing Obama, Clinton, Rice, and anyone else they thought they could impugn with slanderous allegations for two years now. They have attacked people as liars, incompetents, even traitors, and called for the impeachment of President Obama. Never mind that they never had any evidence of any wrongdoing.

And now their own GOP inquisitors have given the administration a complete vindication. Will Fox News do a special hour report on “Benghazi: The Exoneration of the White House?” Not that that would compensate for the Benghazi fixation that has consumed Fox for so long. In addition to their relentless blanketing of the airwaves with Benghazi porn as a matter of routine, they have produced several special reports on the subject with hyperbolic titles such as…

  • Fox News Reporting: 13 Hours at Benghazi.
  • Fox News Reporting: Benghazi: White House Cover-Up Revealed?
  • Special Report Investigates: Death and Deceit in Benghazi.
  • Fox News Reporting: Benghazi: The Truth Behind the Smokescreen.
  • Special Report Investigates: Benghazi – New Revelations.

And nothing has come of any of it. When does Fox News broadcast a retraction and an apology to those whose reputations they have tarnished? When do they admit that it was all a partisan scheme to demean Democrats and help Republicans? When do the begin to honor their slogan “fair and balanced” by giving their viewers a more complete picture of reality?

Don’t waste too much time pondering the answers to those questions. Fox will never exhibit the integrity required to be legitimate journalists. They were conceived as a right-wing propaganda operation and they will remain faithful to that nefarious mission. Even as facts emerge, like those from the House Intelligence Committee, that prove they are flagrantly partisan and dishonest.

For more examples of Fox’s shamelessness…
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[Update:] Fox News posted an account of the House Intelligence Committees’s report on their website that was predictably biased. It failed to report any of the exonerating conclusions made by the GOP-led panel. Instead, it appeared under a misleading headline that read “CIA gathered intelligence on weapons to Syria: Benghazi report,” and focused on ancillary issues that were either not in contention or were the flawed product of intelligence analysts.

[Update: 11/22] Fox News finally mentioned the House Intel report on the air in a segment that lasted only 36 seconds and, true to form, they completely ignored the salient facts that exonerated the administration.

[Update: 11/23] On Fox’s MediaBuzz, host Howard Kurtz raised the question of whether the committee report received the amount of coverage that it warranted. He concluded that it did not.

“The House Intelligence Committee issued the results of a two year investigation of Benghazi and, among other things, the committee controlled by Republicans says that their was no intelligence failure. There was no stand-down order. There was no cover up by administration officials, or at least no intention to deceive. […] Given all the attention that Benghazi has gotten, including on this network, should that have gotten more coverage?

Also on the program was disgraced former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson who disagreed for some absurdly petty reasons.

“There were no answers, I think, to the great imponderables, which may be why it didn’t get more coverage. Like what was the President doing that night? Why can’t we see the White House photos. What happened to the surveillance video in Benghazi.”

First of all, all of those “imponderables” were previously pondered and answered. But more to the point, it is ridiculous to suggest that seeing photos from the White House, thousands of miles away from the scene, is more important than than correcting allegations of a cover up or debunking scurrilous conspiracy theories claiming that Americans were deliberately left behind to die. Attkisson, who wants to taken seriously as a journalist, is embarrassing herself again with a fixation on tabloid irrelevancies.


Fox News Responds To Obama’s Immigration Speech: Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

President Obama delivered his address this evening that laid out his proposals for immigration reform. His plan was a balanced collection of enhanced security measures along with the more controversial initiative to delay deportations for family members of citizens.

Obama: We Were Once Strangers Too

The President made an impassioned plea to preserve families and the values that define American character. He supported his authority to take these steps by noting that every president – Republican and Democrat – for the past half century have taken similar actions. And he prevailed upon the Congress to produce legislation that would make permanent reforms and negate entirely the need for this executive action.

And the response from the conservatives who inhabit the Fox News asylum of kneejerk negativity? Well, you can probably guess. There were four main arguments that the right-wing politicians and pundits threw back at the President, and none of them addressed the substance of the issue.

  • One: Obama is overstepping his legal authority and venturing into the realm of an unconstitutional breach of separation of powers. However, most actual legal experts (including Bush’s former Attorney General Michael Mukasey earlier today on Fox News) agree that the specific measures being implemented by Obama are within his authority to take.
  • Two: The president should have waited for Congress to act rather than “going it alone.” But by any objective analysis that would have taken longer than the President has left in office. Congress has shown a distinct disinterest in advancing this issue. There is already a bill that was passed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis that would pass tomorrow in the House if Speaker John Boehner would allow a vote. Don’t hold your breath.
  • Three: They wonder why Obama didn’t get a bill through Congress during the first two years of his first term when Democrats controlled the House and Senate. For the record, Democrats did not have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate for six months after the election while votes were still being counted and contested for Al Franken’s seat in Minnesota. After that there was a full agenda that included health care, recovery from a severe economic collapse, and matters involving the two wars that were still raging in Afghanistan and Iraq. And in the final analysis, it is congress that sets the agenda for what legislation will be taken up, not the President. That’s the same congress that has distinguished itself in the last six years as the least productive in history. More to the point, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the debate today. The only reason it is brought up is to distract from the issue at hand.
  • Four: The Fox contingent accused Obama of hypocrisy for saying in the past that he didn’t have the legal authority to do this, but now he is doing it anyway. However, they are badly conflating two different positions. Obama’s prior remarks correctly stated that he could not assume the authority of congress to make laws such as granting citizenship. But that isn’t what he did today. It is entirely within the President’s purview to instruct his Department of Justice on matters of prosecutorial discretion. Furthermore, it is within his authority direct the law enforcement resources of the Border Patrol and Immigration services.

The problem with Fox News and the GOP is that they complain about the President trying to move forward, but offer no solutions themselves. They allege that he is doing it solely for political purposes. So why don’t they stifle his scheme by passing a bill of their own? Not only would that deny Obama the political high ground they think he is trying to grab, it would nullify the executive action announced today that they so bitterly oppose and believe is unconstitutional. Why do they engage in evasive arguments by reaching back to the President’s earliest days in office, and even before that, to raise irrelevancies that ignore the real issue?

By refusing to act, Congress is demonstrating that all of their whining is no more than a disingenuous and partisan temper tantrum. They prove that they are more interested in having an argument than a solution. Congress has the power to set the course going forward and cast aside what they regard as a presidential power grab, but they won’t exercise it. And until they can explain why, their bitching has to be dismissed as cynical political carping and distraction.

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Robot Chicken Has Enlisted In The Fox News War On Christmas (Video)

Fox News kicked off its annual War on Christmas early this year with an October 16th report that slobbered buckets of panic sauce over the Obamanazis attempts to prevent unnecessary deaths from faulty Freedom Ornaments on Jesus Trees. And now the cold weather war escalates as Robot Chicken joins the fray.

Robot Chicken Fox News War on Christmas

Before I go any further… Yes, this is a real program. The Adult Swim animated fowl’s entry into the battle was announced in a press release that reads…

“The Nerd unleashes holiday havoc in this sneak peek of the Robot Chicken Lots of Holidays But Don’t Worry Christmas is Still in There Too So Pull the Stick Out of Your Ass Fox News Special.”

This offensive is certain to produce a stern response from Fox’s X-MAS Wolverines who will assuredly retaliate in farce. Expect Fool King Eric Bolling to name Robot Chicken his “Fool of the Week.” And don’t be surprised if Bill O’Reilly declares the Nerd a pinhead and lackey to the tyrannical Obama goose-steppers. Glenn Beck, of course, will uncover the clandestine relationship between the Cartoon Network and George Soros, who he’ll accuse of collaborating to install a Cartoon Caliphate in the Middle East Earth.

This escalation of hostilities is a harbinger of the apocalyptic doom that is rapidly approaching. There is no way out. So either pledge allegiance to the Fox Brigades defending traditional values or submit to Santa’s will in Hell. And have yourselves a merry Chicken Little War on Christmas.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: Inventing The “Emperor Obama” Badge Of Honor

Here is a typical demonstration of how Fox News purposefully distorts statements from White House spokespersons in order to slander President Obama.

foxnation-reality-obama-emperor

Press Secretary Josh Earnest responded to a loaded question during yesterday’s daily press briefing (video below). The question rested on a premise attributed to GOP House Speaker John Boehner accusing the President of “governing with lawlessness” if he proceeded with an executive action addressing immigration.

Let’s set aside for the moment the fact the President is acting wholly within the law as affirmed by legal experts across the political spectrum. In the process of reporting this exchange, Fox News posted an item on their community website Fox Nation that relied on an account from the uber-rightist Washington Free Beacon that badly mischaracterized Earnest’s answer. The headline that adorned the top of the article read “White House: Obama Being Called Emperor Is ‘Criticism the President Wears with a Badge of Honor'”

Suffice to say that this is not remotely what Earnest said. But to make matters worse, the Fox Nationalists badly transcribed Earnest’s remarks to fit their bogus portrayal. They wrote…

“We heard rhetoric for some time. Their most recent statement referred to ‘Emperor Obama.’ The fact is the president is somebody who is willing to examine the law, review the law and use every element of that law to make progress for the American people and that’s a criticism the president wears with badge of honor.”

For the record, here is what Earnest actually said with the relevant excisions by Fox in bold:

“We heard [this kind of] rhetoric [about lawlessness from the House Republicans] for some time. I know that Their most recent statement referred to ‘Emperor Obama.’ The fact of the matter is the president is somebody who is willing to examine the law, review the law and use every element of that law to make progress for the American people and [if that is something that Republicans are critical of then] that’s maybe a criticism the president wears with badge of honor.”

An objective reading of that statement shows that Earnest was not referring to the pejorative “emperor” as the subject of his “badge of honor” remark. He was plainly referring to the criticism of Obama as being determined to “make progress for the American people.” Indeed, that is an honorable pursuit and one that Republicans abhor. So they have to invent a connection that grievously contorts the language in order to cast the President as the tyrant they so often accuse him of being.

For Fox News to publish this brazenly distorted transcript of remarks that are easily verified on video illustrates just how shamelessly they are devoted to false representations of the truth. It’s more evidence that anything Fox News reports has to be carefully vetted before accepting as fact. Indeed, it’s probably safer to assume that Fox “News” reports are false until proven otherwise.

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Glenn Beck’s Failing Health And Wealth Gets Treated By Fox News Spin Doctors

When Glenn Beck lost his perch on Fox News three years ago, his public profile shrunk considerably. He was no longer seen by a million addled viewers every day who clung worshipfully to his every utterance of apocalyptic doom. Yet he soldiered on promising to become “a thousand times more powerful” in whatever new venture he undertook. That was a promise he has not been able to keep.

As a result, he has resorted to literally begging his audience to subscribe to his Internet webcast, reaching out to investors he once swore off as limiting his free expression, and prostrating himself to the television gods hoping to regain access to their domain. It gives the title of his 2010 book a whole new meaning as to whether Beck himself is going broke.

Glenn Beck Going Broke

Beck’s recent confessional regarding his health problems has stirred a great deal of controversy from skeptics who regard the performance as a cynical ploy for attention and revenue enhancement. News Corpse addressed that skepticism with the observation that Beck had conveniently healed himself at the same time he announced the mystery malady. However, he also confirmed that throughout much of the time he was accused of saying crazy things he actually was (is?) crazy.

Enter Fox News to clean up the mess Beck created and put it all in a glowing light of blessed prosperity. Fox’s whoring media analyst, Howard Kurtz, brought in conservative shill Joe Concha to polish the story. Concha began by lionizing the woefully ailing Beck as a brave figure who is leading the “the humanization of opinion journalism” (whatever that means). He added that…

“Guys like [Mark] Levin, and [Rush] Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck – they’re humanizing this whole process as well. Think about what Glenn said when he made that statement. He said ‘You know what? This isn’t meant for the press. This is between you and me.'”

Note to Joe Concha: When someone posts a two hour video monologue, seated next to a long-suffering wife, while sobbing and praising God for a miraculous healing, that is not a personal message to a private audience. And if you think that Beck was not aware of the interest in this campy melodrama among members of the tabloid press, you really should get out of the media business.

Concha continued his defense of Beck by taking a cowardly swipe at Cenk Uygur, who he called “a former MSNBC host screaming to be relevant again,” but whose name he could not utter. Ironically, if anyone is screaming to be relevant again it’s Beck, but that was beyond Concha’s ability to comprehend. Instead, he criticized Uygur’s assertion that Beck was hyping a dubious illness in order to get back on television and make more money. Then Concha rattled off a list of mostly unverified accounts of Beck’s wealth. He sought to belittle Beck’s critics by smugly declaring that “Anybody who says he’s going bankrupt and he made up this whole thing because he doesn’t have a couple of dollars in his pocket doesn’t live in a reality that has Google, a calculator, and basic logic.” To which an obviously enchanted Kurtz responded “Alright, you’ve settled that question,” which, of course, he had not done.

To the contrary, it is Concha who has abandoned both logic and any understanding of basic economics. What’s missing from his Beck-fluffing analysis is that income is not the sole determinative component of net worth. You also need to factor in spending and debt. And by Beck’s own account he was bleeding money and needed to be rescued by either his loyal disciples, outside investors, or a return to television.

Beck has wailed plaintively in the recent past that “Already I’ve lost quite a tidy sum.” As a result he was forced to beg his disciples to increase his subscription base because “I thought I had time. I need your help.” That doesn’t sound like a healthy business enterprise. To be sure, he has spent heavily on a new television studio in the suburbs of Dallas. And he is allegedly bankrolling a film studio modeled after the Walt Disney organization, complete with high tech animation and effects facilities. He is also running retail businesses and stage presentations and publishing imprints. All of these activities have costs associated with them.

Beck does not disclose financial statements for himself or his businesses, so there is no way of knowing whether the mega-bucks he is reported to be pulling in cover his expenses. However, the debt he is compiling may be what led to his filing with the SEC seeking $40 million in funding for TheBlaze (As of 7/1/2014 he had only $6.4 million). This comes after he previously vowed to abstain from outside investors saying that…

“I do not want outside investors. We have talked about it. We have had outside investors come to us. We have had hedge funds come to us. People want to invest in my business because we are creating jobs and creating wealth. I do not want outside investors because I do not want to have to answer to anyone else.”

Apparently he wants them now. He also wants back on TV. He has been working furiously to get cable operators to carry his video blog. That in itself is an admission that the web business is failing. If he does get the cable carriage he longs for, that programming will be available for free to all of the current cable subscribers on the system. So why would anyone pay for the web programming? If the Internet subscription model was working for him, Beck wouldn’t risk cannibalizing his online customers by offering the same content for free on cable.

It’s clear that the hacks on Fox News haven’t taken these factors into consideration. Consequently, they mouth off on subjects about which they are totally ignorant. But then that’s how they got their jobs at Fox in the first place. Being ignorant, or at least willing to lie with a straight face, is a prerequisite for employment at Fox News. What else could explain Sean Hannity, Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, Keith Ablow, and, of course, Joe Concha and Howard Kurtz?


Obsessive Gruber Syndrome: Fox News Suffers From Its Own Manic Spin Cycle

A week after some stale and unfortunate comments by M.I.T. professor Jonathan Gruber were revealed, the conservative media circus have drenched themselves in it. And leading the way, of course, is Fox News where there isn’t an hour that goes by without some new and highly hyperbolized reference to Gruber’s remarks.

Fox News Gruber Brainwashing

An analysis by PolitiFact found that mentions of the Gruber affair occurred 779 times on Fox News since November 10th. That’s once every fifteen minutes, 24 hours a day, for eight straight days. It suggests an editorial obsession that exceeds anything they have exhibited for other current news events, including immigration, Ebola, and the battle against ISIL who just executed another American hostage. By comparison MSNBC mentioned Gruber only 79 times and CNN had 27 mentions. Of course, Fox News believes that the rest of the media are inappropriately ignoring the story, but the truth is that there is no news here other than a single person who is not a legislator or White House staffer saying things that no one else has corroborated.

Implicit in the incessant rash of criticism of Gruber, and by extension, the President, is the assertion that supporters of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) have lied about its contents. But if you’re interested in an assemblage of ObamaCare lies you need to look at the Republicans and their mouthpieces on Fox News.

Rarely mentioned is the fact that the substance of what Gruber said is not representative of anything but his own opinion. President Obama has dismissed him as a consultant and repudiated his insult to American voters. It has also been noted that ObamaCare is one of the most thoroughly debated pieces of legislation that has ever trudged through the Congress. So Gruber’s flippant references to a lack of transparency simply make no sense at all.

What’s more, it is pointless to reach back in time to a remark about ObamaCare when the bill has already been implemented and the results can be seen in action. There are more than ten million people who have insurance coverage now than did before the bill had passed. Those who have signed up are overwhelmingly satisfied with the coverage and the cost. And there haven’t been any disasters erupting from alleged secrets tucked into the bill.

Gruber - Hatch

The portion of Gruber’s remarks that has received the most attention is where he alluded to “the stupidity of the American people.” Right-wingers have never been shy about calling voters stupid in the past, particularly when discussing those who support Democrats. But in this case they are exploiting the gaffe in order to bash ObamaCare and the President. However, if you edit slightly Gruber’s wording you can arrive at an observation that is unarguably true. And that is that a certain segment of the American electorate is very noticeably stupid: Fox News viewers. They have been conned by the network’s relentless assault on ObamaCare. The current fixation on Gruber is simply a reaction to their inability to criticize the program on substance.

If, however, you are determined to look back to find something relevant to the current health care debate, you might want to check out Mitt Romney’s speech in April of 2006 when he signed the Massachusetts health care bill that was the model for ObamaCare. Romney took time to thank those he relied on to draft and implement his plan. And one of those people was Jonathan Gruber, about whom Romney said…

“I want to thank the many, many people in this room who were critical to crafting and coaxing the bold health care initiative that I’m about to sign. […] Jonathan Gruber at MIT devoted hours and hours to an essential econometric model.”

For an interesting Gruber reference you won’t see on Fox News, here is a clip from the Lawrence O’Donnell show on MSNBC in October of 2011 that identifies Gruber as a “Romney health care consultant.” It will be interesting to see if the Republicans who are hammering Obama for his association with Gruber will cast the same measure of scorn on Romney.

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[Addendum] Fox Nation is already beating on another video where Obama is quoted as saying “I have stolen ideas from [Gruber].” But in this case the video is from April of 2006, when Obama was a senator, and his remarks were about the launch of The Hamilton Project, an economic think tank from the centrist Brookings Institute. So it was before he was president and had nothing to do with health care. But Fox’s deceitful reporting never mentioned any of that.


Stupid On Steroids: Right-Wing Reprises The Preposterous ObamaCARS Lie

A little known website with no reputation or credibility recently published a story that purported to reveal a shocking abuse of the American people’s treasury. The headline from the “American News” wailed that “Congress Approves Bill Offering Free Cars To Welfare Recipients.”

Goodness me. That won’t do at all. What’s wrong with those dippy congress critters?

As it turns out, there may be plenty wrong with our representatives in Washington, but giving cars away to welfare recipients isn’t one of them. The article was originally published by the openly satirical website Empire News. American News picked it up without attribution and tens of thousands of conservative blockheads thrust it into viral status. The article said in part that…

“Recently, the White House announced a plan to offer free vehicles to welfare recipients. According to reports, the bill passed in a narrow vote. The program was initiated by President Barack Obama, and in many way mirrors what has become known as ‘The Obama Phone’, or the program through which welfare recipients can get free cell phone service. […] This free vehicle assistance program is designed to change the way Americans are currently living. The President will sign the bill later this week, and the planning will be put into motion.”

For the record, the Obama Phone affair was another fabrication of the rightist Fib Factory that distorted the real purpose of the program and then sought to blame Obama for the invented travesty, while neglecting to disclose that the program began under Ronald Reagan.

The American News story was reviewed by PolitiFact who declared it a Pants-On-Fire lie. However, this isn’t the first time the ObamaCars nonsense surfaced in the wingnut world. In June of 2013 the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes of Fox & Friends displayed their crack journalistic skills by reporting on an outrageous breach of the public trust. Here is an excerpt from my article at the time:

ObamaCars

“On Fox & Friends, the curvy couch potatoes were joined by radio shrew Laura Ingraham, Bush’s former press secretary, Dana Perino, and Rupert Murdoch’s personal lawyer, Peter Johnson, Jr. (the man with three names that are all synonyms for penis). In the course of their conversation they introduced a budding scandalette that they clearly believe will rip the heart out of their beastly foe in the White House.

“What the Foxies are alleging is that, in the words of Steve Doocy, “there’s a provision in the Immigration bill that could be used to give free cars, motorcycles, scooters, and other vehicles, to young people.” Oh my. That would troubling – if there were even a scintilla of truth to it which, of course, there is not. This laughably ridiculous claim seems to have originated at the Official Birthplace of Laughably Ridiculous Claims, Breitbart News, where they extrapolated a nonsensical analysis of an amendment attached to the bill to allocate funding for youth job programs. The language that Breitbart and Fox found so offensive simply described that the funds were to be used … [for busfare] (Continue reading this article here)

Back in 2013 PolitiFact also analyzed the Breitbart article and gave it a Pants-On-Fire rating as well. Fox News, in keeping with their no-apologies corporate doctrine never acknowledged or corrected their erroneous reporting. And since the psychotic wingnut brigades are reluctant to ever let any phony scandal fade into the obscurity it deserves, the ObamaCar business is once again hitting the streets. It can join the recently resurrected ObamaCare Death Panels, and look for the currently out-of-favor Ebola and Benghazi freakouts to regain momentum soon.

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Congress Set To Vote On Koch Brothers Wealth Enhancement Act Of 2014 (Keystone XL)

There have been so many lies told about the Keystone XL Pipeline by self-interested corporations and whoring pundits that many of the facts get obscured in the bitterly polluted atmosphere. That trend is escalating as Congress prepares another pointless vote to advance the project despite President Obama’s vow to veto it should it arrive at his desk.

Koch Brothers Keystone

On this weekend’s Sunday news programs representatives of the oil industry, and their lackeys in Congress, made a concerted effort to muddy the debate again by deceiving viewers with demonstrably false assertions.

Among the deceivers was Russ Girling, CEO of the pipeline builder TransCanada, who told ABC’s Martha Raddatz that “the 42,000 jobs created by the Keystone XL pipeline are ‘ongoing, enduring jobs.'” This statement was reiterated after Raddatz explicitly challenged Girling on the figures. However, PolitiFact investigated the matter and found Girling’s statement to be false:

“Importantly, as Raddatz said, these jobs would only be supported during the construction phase, which is expected to take one to two years. After construction, the pipeline would employ about 50 people, primarily for maintenance.”

So Girling was only off by about 99.9 percent. This is typical of the disinformation campaign orchestrated by the fossil fuel folks who brazenly put their profits above the health of people and the planet.

This propaganda on behalf of greedy polluters is facilitated by the Republican PR division, otherwise known as Fox News. In recent weeks Fox has disseminated the same dishonest analyses on several programs. Among them were Happening Now where last week host Heather Nauert made the false claim of 40,000 jobs created, and Fox & Friends where co-host Anna Kooiman did the same the week before.

The truth that there will only be about fifty permanent jobs created shows just how distant reality is from the unscrupulous mouthpieces of the Dead Earth trade. But that isn’t the only falsehood they are spewing. The entire project is a scam devised to enrich oil exporters. The product that would flow through the pipeline is Canadian oil destined for markets in Europe and Asia. The President noted this on Friday advising people to…

“Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.”

Will the truth prevail in the debate that is being rushed through the Senate this week? Will the fact be addressed that the project cannot even proceed until the states through which the pipeline passes grant permission? And will the American people finally realize that the Koch brothers have more sway with the Republican congress than they do, and do something about it?

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Delusional Fox News Host Says It’s Government Policy To Give Welfare To Terrorists

On the morning when tragic news that another America hostage was executed by radical ISIL terrorists, Fox News exploited the tragedy to fabricate a ludicrous allegation regarding immigration and national security.

On Fox & Friends Sunday (video below), co-host Tucker Carlson, possibly the stupidest man on Fox (and that’s saying something) responded to remarks by a former Navy SEAL who thinks that terrorists are on their way to the United States where we will “take [them] into our warm embrace” and get them lawyers to “get [them] off of these charges.” For Carlson that mouthful of madness was not only reasonable, but he agreed and added “Or give tons of social welfare benefits, which is exactly our policy now.”

Fox News Tucker Carlson

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If the other two blockheads on the couch next to Carlson had any functioning brain matter they might have asked Carlson to point out precisely which policy grants “tons of social welfare benefits” to migrating terrorists. Since it is “exactly” our policy now, that shouldn’t be difficult to do.

Carlson, however, wasn’t through disgorging his nearly hollow cranial cavity. in addition to his deranged notion that ISIL is dining on lobster and champagne courtesy of American food stamps, and lounging by the poolside of a subsidized penthouse apartment, Carlson also has the impression that their fighters are being granted free admittance into America without so much as a sideways glance. He dissembled that…

“We have no policy that I’m aware of that restricts immigration from countries where ISIS is popular into the United States. Why wouldn’t we be doing that? I mean, this is more dangerous to us than Ebola. And yet, I’m not aware of any public debate about restricting movement from those countries where ISIS is, you know, a group of folk heroes into the United States. Why?”

Why? Because just the fact that you are not aware of something doesn’t make it so. The truth is there are laws that restrict immigration into the U.S. from nations that are state sponsors of terrorism, including Syria where ISIL is from. There are also similar laws restricting those associated with Foreign Terrorist Organizations. They specifically declare that “representatives and members of a designated FTO, if they are aliens, are inadmissible to and, in certain circumstances, removable from the United States.”

A quick note on Carlson’s assertion that migrating terrorists are “more dangerous to us than Ebola.” Among other things, being sucked into a black hole is more dangerous to us than Ebola; getting carried off by Bigfoot is more dangerous to us than Ebola; and mostly watching Fox News is more dangerous to us than Ebola. But that didn’t stop Carlson from fretting last month that “In light of the seriousness of this [Ebola] problem, it’s inexplicable that the president dismisses almost with the wave of his hand the notion that you would restrict air travel from the places afflicted.”

So Carlson has demonstrated that he is wholly ignorant of the subject he is blathering about on the air. That in itself should not surprise anyone. It is the standard state of affairs at Fox News. It is in keeping with their mission to spread fear through ignorance and disinformation. What’s surprising is that propagandist mouthpieces like Carlson are not even trying to disguise their idiocy or hide their lies in plausible rhetoric. They have obviously determined that, given the intellectual retardation of their audience, subversive tactics are unnecessary.

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Cold Dead Hands: Gun Nuts Demand 2nd Amendment Rights For Zombies

Note: This is not a joke. Fox News is reporting that police in Buffalo, New York are collecting guns from the estates of deceased firearms registrants. And the ammosexual radicals are furious. The Fox story begins by stating that…

“A plan by police in Buffalo, N.Y., to begin confiscating the firearms of legal gun owners within days of their deaths is drawing fire from Second Amendment advocates.”

Zombie Charlton Heston

It seems like it should be unnecessary to point out that dead people cannot be “legal gun owners.” But that’s how Fox frames the issue. Even Charlton Heston conceded that his guns could be taken after he had died. The article goes on to quote Tom King, a gun rights group representative, claiming that the heirs are not told that, under the law, they can sell the weapons or apply to have them re-registered. However, there is no confirmation of that claim. In all likelihood the heirs must be told of their legal options and probably are.

King also asserts that the law is the latest example of authorities targeting law-abiding gun owners. Once again, dead people are not law-abiding gun owners, so the law cannot be targeting them. And the heirs, absent a registration in their name, are not in compliance with the law.

The Buffalo Police Department held a press conference to explain that the policy is intended to keep firearms out of the wrong hands. When a registered owner dies, the weapon often is not safely secured by surviving family members, if they even know that it exists. It is also not traceable in the event it is stolen or used in a crime.

A pro-gun website was quoted in the article as saying that this is “the camel’s nose under the tent to get at every firearm they can.” That is a typically paranoid response by gun nuts who seem to think that dead gun owners are a significant constituency of Americans whose constitutional rights must be protected. Let’s call them 2nd Amendment Zombies.

Naturally, the right-wing media circus has come to the defense of this newly christened special interest group of Departed-Americans who are being discriminated against. The story is spreading fast to outlets like the Tea Party News Network, conspiracy king Alex Jones’ Infowars, and Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.

This law is just common sense. It is no different than title rights to cars or houses or other similar property that cannot remain in the name of the deceased. Eventually all gun owners will die and, without enforcement of this statute, every gun would become unlicensed and untraceable. The fact that gun nuts are getting worked up over this demonstrates the extremism of their views. They don’t bother to spell out their alternative, which is apparently to allow the registrations to lapse and let thousands of guns go unaccounted for.

Therein lies the true agenda of the NRA-theists. They are already suggesting that, due to this law, 2nd Amendment “patriots” should decline to register their guns so that the feds won’t know about them when they die. Their worship of guns is so fanatical that it extends to the afterlife, and they will oppose any registration policy that interferes with the free distribution of guns to anyone who wants them, including criminals, the mentally ill, and terrorists (and, yes, the NRA has opposed legislation prohibiting gun purchases by those on the terrorist watch list).

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What’s next for these lunatics? If guns can remain registered to corpses, then why not allow new weapons purchases to be registered in the name of a recent migrant to the hereafter or a favorite departed uncle? Why not just register all your guns Jesus? Maybe I shouldn’t give them any ideas.

Or as Dennis Hopper says in Land of the Dead: “Zombies, man…They creep me out.”


Stephen Colbert On The GOP’s Pernicious Scheme To “Fix” ObamaCare (Video)

As 2014 began there was a furious racket emanating from the Republican ranks over the Affordable Care Act and how it would be the all-consuming issue in the midterm election. In fact, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, was so adamant about keeping focused exclusively on ObamaCare that he told the National Review that…

“I think it’s going to be Obamacare all the time between now and November 5. If you ask me what day it is, I’m going to tell you it’s Obamacare. If you want to know what I want in my coffee, I’m going to tell you Obamacare. I’m going to talk about Obamacare all the time because I think it’s the No. 1 issue.”

He barely mentioned again. And as the year wore on, and the program was embraced by millions of Americans whose lives were profoundly improved, those plans evaporated and were replaced with fear mongering over manufactured crises like Ebola and ISIL.

Now that the election is over, the GOP is making noises about “fixing” ObamaCare, but their intentions are, to say the least, suspect. After trying more than fifty times to kill or cripple the program, they are still only interested in fixing ObamaCare in the same manner a Mafioso hitman is interested in fixing a rival mobster. Stephen Colbert took note of this trend (video below) and made it a feature of his program last night. And, as usual, he turned a complex and contentious issue into a hilarious and insightful comedic romp.

Particularly notable was his response to remarks made by “South Carolina congressman and guy who put his wig on backwards,” Trey Gowdy, to Megyn Kelly of Fox News. Gowdy was joining the pile-on against M.I.T. economics professor Jonathan Gruber, who inartfully explained some of the sausage-making that goes on when crafting legislation. [See The Right-Wing Freakout Over An ObamaCare Advisor Is Just More Bullspit]

Gowdy: I would say this to the professor, put down the cognac and the lost writings of J.D. Salinger. You will see how stupid our fellow citizens are. Take a look at last Tuesday night.
Colbert: Yes. If you want to see how stupid Americans are, just look at who they elected last Tuesday.

Stephen Colbert

Indeed. Colbert could have added Joni Ernst, Gordon Klingenschmitt, Jody Hice, Glenn Grothman, Paul LePage, and more to the list of certifiable fruitcakes who emerged victorious. He might also have noted that the claim that the election results represented America are vastly overblown considering that the turnout was only 36%, the lowest turnout since 1942.

Here is the segment from The Colbert Report for you entertainment pleasure:


The Right-Wing Freakout Over An ObamaCare Advisor Is Just More Bullspit

The biggest news for the past few days in the conservative media noise machine has been the remarks of Jonathan Gruber, an M.I.T. economics professor who consulted on the drafting of the Affordable Care Act. Some enterprising wingnut found an old video where Gruber was caught making some extemporaneous, impolitic comments about the passage of the legislation. What he said was that…

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. So it’s written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, in a law that said healthy people are gonna pay in – if it made explicit that healthy people are gonna pay in, sick people get money – it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get anything to pass.”

There is no question that such language is damning and an irresistible lure for Republicans salivating at any opportunity to discredit the program and its authors. The problem with the subsequent and expected outcry by the right is that they have entirely misrepresented both the facts and Gruber’s role.

obamacare-conservatives-lie

Contrary to the incessant mantra, Gruber was not the “architect” of ObamaCare. He was one of many consultants to the White House and he served in the same position when Mitt Romney implemented an almost identical bill in Massachusetts. And while his words were poorly chosen, his meaning was not particularly controversial. He was merely pointing out the difficulty of persuading people who often have conflicting interests in enhanced services but an aversion to collecting the revenue necessary to pay for them.

As a result, politicians on both sides dance around the issue of taxes and benefits in order to make successful arguments. And yes, they sometimes are less than completely truthful. And yes, there are Americans who cannot process the complexities of large-scale economic programs and tax policy. So people like Gruber get frustrated by the mindset that demands cheap health insurance, but refuses to consider methods of paying for it. Then he makes ill-considered comments in a public forum stemming from that frustration that give his ideological opponents ammunition to use against him and the policy.

However, when you hear conservatives whine about President Obama or Democrats being untruthful, it is necessary to put their complaints into perspective. For most of the debate surrounding health care, the right has been brazenly dishonest. And their falsehoods were not merely verbal gaffes or misinterpretations. They were outright lies made up from thin air. When scored by PolitiFact there were at least twelve instances where conservatives received “Pants-On-Fire” designations for their patently absurd contentions, as illustrated in this handy infographic.

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Fox News

Anyone with a on open mind who researches these blatant distortions of reality will surely recognize that Gruber’s offense is far less significant than those of the right-wing Fib Factory. Particularly when you factor in that Gruber is not a spokesman for the administration or for Democrats in Congress. However, the lies by opponents of ObamaCare often came from the Republican leaders and banner carriers for their cause. That includes Fox News who is currently burning up their airwaves with condemnations of Gruber and, by extension, ObamaCare. On the Fox News community website, Fox Nation, they posted fourteen articles in one day on this subject.

Fox Nation Obsession

For more examples of Fox lies…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

It is clear that Fox has an activist agenda that is closely aligned with that of the Republican Party. And it is equally clear that they would rather flood the zone with trivialities than to engage in an honest debate about real issues. They are afraid to address the harsh realities that people face when denied access to quality, affordable health care. They would never acknowledge the people who have found renewed hope for themselves and their families since ObamaCare launched. Take for instance this example of a skeptical Republican whose mind was changed when he eventually looked at the facts. It’s just one example of untold thousands that proves that proves that there are things worse than calling people stupid. And that’s treating them that way.


Fortunate Son Burn: To Fox News An Anti-War Song Is Anti-Military

In a never ending quest to find artificially negative themes with which to provoke their mentally unstable viewers into irrational panics, Fox News latched onto the broadcast of an HBO tribute to veterans on Veterans Day. The atrocity that caught their attention was a performance by Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, and Zac Brown, of the classic 1960’s song “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. And it was literally, according to Fox, an outrage.

Fox News Fortunate Son

What ruffled Fox’s chickenhawk feathers was their addled interpretation of the song as anti-military. And what made the song anti-military was that it was allegedly anti-war. Fox pounded that view into their audience all day with segments on Fox & Friends, where co-host Anna Kooiman said it was “a slap in the face” to veterans; on Outnumbered, where it was characterized as an “outrage;” and on The Five, where co-host Eric Bolling called the choice of material “a mistake.”

First of all, the song is not anti-war. It is anti-elitist privileged classes that exempt themselves from the burdens of society. It explicitly criticizes the rich and powerful who vote themselves tax cuts and shield their kids from the dirty business of defending the freedom that they exploit. The song’s title should make it obvious enough that the hacks on Fox wouldn’t need to struggle to figure it out.

Secondly, even if the song were anti-war, that does not translate to anti-military in any sane person’s mind. Some of the most anti-war people you will ever meet are soldiers and veterans. This makes perfect sense because they are the ones most affected by war. When military conflicts are averted they remain safe and their families are spared the anxiety of separation and potential tragedy.

For Fox to contrive an anti-military spin to the concept of anti-war requires them to adopt the view that in order to be pro-military you must be pro-war. That is ludicrous on its face. In fact, the opposite is true. Anyone who is truly pro-military wants every possible measure taken to avoid sending America’s sons and daughters into battle. Once in battle, support for the military is expressed by wishes for the safe completion of their mission and return home. No supporter of the military also supports an enduring war.

Nevertheless, the confused anti-military viewpoint of the talking head set is precisely what Fox News wants to project to their dimwitted audience. They obviously have no grasp of the real nature of patriotism, and they are even worse when they pretend to be rock music critics.

For your entertainment pleasure, here is the awesome version of Fortunate Son performed at the Concert for Valor: