FEAR FRACTURE: Republicans Are Lying About Impeachment. Here’s Proof

Republicans in Congress are backpedaling furiously on their years-long campaign to remove President Obama from office. The insanity that has gripped the party has grown in severity to include the ludicrous notion that Obama wants to impeach himself. GOP House Speaker John Boehner joined the charade by holding a press conference where he called the Republican-led impeachment squawking “a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”

The disingenuous renunciations emanating from the GOP are transparently false and hypocritical. They are merely attempting to dodge the bad press they are getting for their outrageous overreach. In addition, they hope to choke off the fundraising bonanza that their irresponsible yammering has fueled for the Democrats.

But if you want proof that Republicans are not only lying about their intentions with regard to Obama, but are also serious about proceeding with impeachment hearings, you only need to hear what Sen. John McCain said on the subject yesterday:

Mars Impeaches

“We’re not gonna impeach the president of the United States. There just aren’t the votes there even if we believed that it was warranted.”

Notice that McCain did not say that Republicans were not going to impeach the President because there are no legal grounds for doing so. His reason was that they don’t currently have the votes. Presumably, therefore, if they have more votes following the November election they can pursue impeachment to their wicked heart’s content. It is a foregone conclusion that they believe it is warranted. They have articulated that repeatedly. Even McCain, in the same interview, said that he believes that Obama “has broken more laws by executive order” than any other president.

Anyone following the vicious campaign of character assassination against Obama, from the moment he took the oath of office, cannot have missed the overt expressions of hate that border on mortal enmity. It’s no wonder that they advocate his removal by any means necessary. They are consumed with fear that Obama is deliberately working to bring civilization to an end. Here is what they said just prior to his reelection in 2012:

  • Sean Hannity: If Obama is reelected, it’s the end time in America as we know it.
  • Glenn Beck: If this president is reelected in 2012, there is no way we as a nation survive in any form that we understand.
  • Newt Gingrich: If Barack Obama gets re-elected, it will be a disaster for the United States of America, make no bones about it.
  • Rep. Trent Franks: If Obama is reelected, I don’t know that the country can survive.
  • Michele Bachmann: There is no future, there is no hope with Obama getting a second term.
  • Dick Armey: The biggest threat to liberty in our lifetime is the presidency of Barack Obama.
  • John Sununu: This country can’t be saved unless we get rid of this president.

People who feel that way, and say so publicly, are totally invested in the elimination of what they regard as an existential threat to their families, their nation, and their God. And despite the fact that nearly two years has gone by without any of the apocalyptic calamities they feared escaping from their nightmares and into reality, they continue to shiver in terror.

The irrational sense of doom embedded in the conservative bunker mentality is even more astonishing considering this administration has presided over the restoration of an economy that was in near collapse, the ending of two wars, the halving of the federal deficit, reductions in crime, fifty-two consecutive months of private sector job growth, and the implementation of health insurance reform that brought down the uninsured rate by five percent in the first year. Be afraid!!!

Mark my words, if Republicans make electoral gains in the House, and particularly if they assume a majority in the Senate, they WILL draft Articles of Impeachment. This is not something that they want to dominate the conversation now (hence their backpedaling) because they don’t want to frighten independent voters and motivate Democrats. But after the midterms they will reassess their position and, if they have the numbers, will press ahead. They did it to President Clinton over a consensual sexual relationship. They will do it to Obama, whom they believe is something between a treasonous Marxist and the anti-Christ.

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CONSPIRACY: President Obama Is Trying To Impeach Himself

You can’t make this stuff up, folks. Well, unless you are an acutely delusional Tea Party Republican or work for the wingnutty press. In that case you can’t help but make up crap like this. It’s in your DNA.

Impeach Obama

Ever since the first inauguration of President Obama, right-wingers have been trying to undo the people’s decision to make him America’s chief executive. They declared that their top legislative objective was to make Obama a one-term president. In pursuit of that goal they have blocked most of his policy initiatives, judges, and government reforms. At the same time they have been hyper investigatory on everything from Fast and Furious, to the IRS, to ObamaCare, to his birthplace. All of this was squarely aimed at crippling or revoking his presidency.

This year Obama’s critics came out of the impeachment closet and began openly advocating for that legal nuclear option despite not having any legal basis for it. While many Tea-Publican whack jobs were earlier to the gate, Sarah Palin burst onto the scene a couple weeks ago with her own demand that Congress do their duty and trump up some phony articles of impeachment. It got so absurdly intense that Obama addressed it himself with fitting mockery.

So of course the next shoe to drop in this melodrama is that, along with everything else in the world, Obama is to blame for this too. In fact, according to some in the rightist crackpot community, it was all part of his nefarious plot to embarrass the GOP. Here is what Texas Republican Steve Stockman had to say about it when interviewed by the ultra-fringe rightists at WorldNetDaily:

“President Obama is begging to be impeached. [...] He wants us to impeach him now, before the midterm election because his senior advisers believe that is the only chance the Democratic Party has to avoid a major electoral defeat. Evidently Obama believes impeachment could motivate the Democratic Party base to come out and vote.”

There you have it. The evil genius in the White House orchestrated the whole Obama-hate campaign from its earliest days in 2008 just so that he would be able to use impeachment, which is every president’s dream, as an election strategy six years into his presidency. He had the foresight to anticipate that his anti-America agenda, developed in concert with the Muslims and Marxists in his inner circle, would make the 2014 midterms so difficult that he would need something positive, like having himself prosecuted before Congress for high crimes and misdemeanors, in order to stem the tide of opposition that would rise up.

And Rep. Stockman is not alone in seeing through Obama’s scheme to impeach himself. Rush Limbaugh caught on and told his dittoheads that…

“[Obama] is really trying to goad the House Republicans into impeaching him. Really trying, I mean, very hard. It’s become obvious. It’s so obvious, he’s not fooling anybody.”

Indeed. He certainly isn’t fooling Steve Scalise, the new GOP Whip in the House of Representatives. Scalise was interviewed on Fox News Sunday by Chris Wallace who repeatedly sought to make Scalise commit to whether or not Republicans would advance impeachment. The best that Wallace could extract from Scalise was that…

“[This] might be the first White House in history trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president.”

What’s fascinating about Scalise’s criticism is that, despite trying to blame the impeachment talk on Obama, he flatly refused to take it off the table. This is, in fact, consistent with all the other impeach-truthers. They accuse Obama of being the source of the attacks, while simultaneously keeping the controversy alive. It’s like accusing a firefighter of being an arsonist while you’re hiding in the bushes with a lighter and a pile of dry twigs. And speaking of fire-starters, Glenn Beck weighed in on this too.

“The president is going to change the subject and he’s going to make it about impeachment. [...] So who wants it? The president does, because then he’ll be able to say ‘I demand justice.’”

[Update] This evening Megyn Kelly joined the Obama Self-Impeachment Loons with a segment devoted solely to her theory that the President and Democrats really want impeachment hearings to proceed. She introduced the segment by saying that there has been “a drumbeat of impeachment talk from the Democrats.” Like her fellow screw-loosers, she appears to be oblivious to the long record of conservatives who have been fanning these flames, including Allen West, Mark Levin, and even her Fox colleagues Jeanine Pirro and Andrew Napolitano. Kelly’s guest was Fox regular Chris Stirewalt who absurdly claimed Obama was “trolling the other party in hopes that they will impeach you.” And Kelly herself recently interviewed Andrew McCarthy, author of the new book “Faithless Execution: Building The Political Case For Obama’s Impeachment.” Has she forgotten already?

At one point in the segment Kelly sought to prove that Republicans had no incentive to push impeachment because a Fox News poll showed that 61% of all respondents were opposed to it. What Kelly conspicuously left out, even though she had prepared on-screen graphics, was that the same poll showed that 56% of Republicans say they support impeaching the President. And a whopping 68% of the Tea Party favor impeachment. That could be a significant partisan incentive. Now why do you suppose Kelly failed to divulge that data from her own poll?

It seems that whenever conservative blowhards get tired of defending their irresponsible overreaching into fruitcake-ville, they downshift to try to pretend that they never held those psycho positions in the first place. Then they attempt to blame the victim (Obama) for the whole messy affair. They did this recently when the birther foolishness was making them look even more dimwitted than usual. So they alleged that it was Obama who was the only one talking about his birth certificate. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

This is behavior that is familiar from the lunatics in the Republican Party. They can’t seem to make any arguments that don’t contradict reality. They accuse Obama of being a socialist, even though capitalism has thrived during his term (record corporate profits, stock market soaring, unemployment down). They fret over his fiscal irresponsibility without noticing that he cut the deficit in half. They complain about the vacation time attributed to him, which is far less than his predecessors. They’re suing him for executive overreach, apparently unaware that he has issued fewer executive orders than any president in nearly a hundred years.

This a president who is seen by his foes as both a lazy, incompetent, bungler, and a brilliant, determined, tyrant. They bitterly complain that he is disengaged and not doing enough – of the things that they hate him for doing so relentlessly. And now they are trying to peddle the notion that all along impeachment was a part of his grand plan to steal the 2014 elections. At what point can we have these nut cases put on a psychiatric hold for observation? Seriously, they need help.

Must See Tea-Vee: Are You Ready (To Pay) For The Sarah Palin Channel?

For those of you who have had enough of Sarah Palin pontificating for free on everything from sanctimonious piety to impeaching President Obama, your prayers have been answered. Now, rather than getting updates from her Facebook page or having to watch Fox News, you can subscribe to her Internet video service and pay $9.95 per month for all the word-salad gloriousness you used to have to suffer through free of charge.

Sarah Palin Channel

Palin introduces her vlog with a video (posted below) that reeks of the grifter-mania that has characterized her rise from half-term governor to VP candidate loser to Impeachy Keen, reality TV’s heroine and unintentional comedienne. Obviously she has been coveting the filthy lucre being dredged by Glenn Beck and is determined to cash in for herself.

She promises to deliver a broad array of mavericky goodness on her “news channel that really is a lot more than news.” And she’ll do this by “talk[ing] to you directly on our channel, on my terms.” You know that she will honor her pledge to “go beyond the sound bites and cut through the media’s politically correct filter” because you’ve seen her prior work that is a jumble of catch phrases, cliches, and wingnut platitudes. But most of all you can breathlessly anticipate those personal moments in the hearth of the Palin homestead.

Palin: We’ll also share some of the fun that goes on in the Palin household and a lot of our adventures in the great outdoors trying to get us from point A to point B and, believe me, it is fun because it’s real life.

Believe her. Because nothing is more “real life” than an Internet video program produced by a hackneyed political agitator. And nothing is more fun than than hangin’ with the Duck Dynasty dudes and chopping veggies for moose stew. Stir in a batch of insipid analyses of national security, hateful rants at immigrant children, support for America’s plutocrats, and endless appeals for ever more oil drilling, and you have the makings of true must-see Tea-Vee.

And best of all, now you get to pay for it. Even though Palin will still be a featured Fox News contributor, and she will undoubtedly continue to post her lame Facebook updates, devoted fans can shell out cold, hard cash to get the very same junk opinions without the media filter that isn’t there anyway when she’s on Fox. Although, since she is too chickenshit to appear on any other news network, you have to wonder what media filters she is complaining about.

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So congratulations, Sarah, on becoming a budding media mogul. Your commitment to fleecing your flock is unparalleled. And they will surely lap up every word you say as if it had any actual meaning, or your saying it had any impact on current events.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Romney Would CRUSH Obama If Fantasy Ruled The World

A new CNN poll was released that asked a frivolous little question that has no real bearing on anything. They asked who respondents would vote for in a hypothetical rematch between President Obama and Mitt Romney. However, the coverage of this poll by Fox Nation not only ignores the broader context of the data, it leaves out some fairly significant facts.

foxnation-reality-poll-obama-romney

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These sort of polls are merely fanciful diversions that have no real world insight or impact. There are several reasons why the results are useless for anything other than political posturing, but perfect for Fox News propagandists. First of all, this poll is only a reflection of the public’s satisfaction with the current state of the nation. It doesn’t really measure any actual campaign contest, nor does it measure Romney’s popularity. In fact, it tracks perfectly with Obama’s job approval rating in most other recent polls.

Secondly, the results of this poll are constrained by the fact that only Obama has a record for which an opinion can be formed. Since Romney lost the election in 2012, he has no record on which the public can make a judgment. If he had won two years ago he would very likely be suffering from the same dissatisfaction with current affairs and, more likely, would fare even worse since his policies would have exacerbated the problems begun by his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Thirdly, the spectacle of Fox News gleefully reporting a Romney victory over Obama is nothing less than hysterical. After all, Fox insisted right up until election day 2012 that Romney was ahead in the polls then. In a fit of poll trutherism, they declared that all other polls were skewed and that Romney was headed for a landslide victory. They even failed to report their own polls when Obama was shown to be leading. On election night, Fox pundit Karl Rove threw a hissy fit, refusing to accept the network calling Ohio, and thus the election, for Obama. Apparently they still can’t accept it.

Finally, the Fox Nationalists plastered a decidedly biased headline on the article that ignores far more relevant data from the same poll. In a hypothetical contest between Romney and Hillary Clinton, Clinton would beat him by an even bigger margin in double digits (55-42). While all polling of this type is speculative, this has more merit in that it represents a real possibility in 2016. While no candidates have confirmed that they are running at this point, we know for certain that Obama will not be one of them. Fox is clearly fixated on the past and is oblivious to the future.

This is a perfect example of how Fox keeps their audience mired in ignorance. They feed them irrelevant information, witthold information that has actual value, and diverts their attention from realistic futures to a past that Fox can alter, dressing it up to look prettier to forlorn conservatives. Hopefully they will keep this up through election day 2014 and 2016.

Stupid On Purpose: Fox News Demonstrates Willful Ignorance Of Economics

There is a very good reason why Fox News viewers have been shown in numerous studies to be less informed than consumers of other media, or even those who consume no media at all. The reason is that Fox News deliberately misreports and distorts facts in order to advance their right-wing ideology. A perfect example of this was demonstrated in an article that Fox posted today on their community website, the lie-riddled Fox Nation. The article was titled “OBAMANOMICS IN ACTION: Typical US household Worth One-Third Less Than Under Bush.”

Fox Nation

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The source for the highly inaccurate assertion in the headline was a study performed by the Russel Sage Foundation (RSF) and published by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality: Wealth Levels, Wealth Inequality, and the Great Recession (pdf). The RSF describes itself as “the principal American foundation devoted exclusively to research in the social sciences.” The study itself is a well-researched and scholarly examination of the effects of the Great Recession on wealth inequality in the U.S. It took a fair degree of determination and willful ignorance for Fox to twist the report’s well-founded and non-partisan conclusions into a criticism of President Obama’s economic policies. And yet, Fox managed to do so, and they began by proving that they don’t know the difference between “median” households and “typical” households.

For the record, median, in this context, is referring to the dollar value of the subject’s net worth. It has nothing to do with the number of subjects in that value range. In fact, there are many more people on the lower end of the wealth spectrum than the upper end. Therefore, median does not translate to typical. As an example, if Bill Gates (net worth approx. $50 billion) were in a room with ten people whose net worth were $1 million each, the average net worth of the people in that room would be about $4.5 billion. Obviously, that is not the typical net worth of those people.

What the study shows is that wealth increased among the richest Americans throughout most of the Bush years, beginning with the GOP tax cut for the rich in 2001. That cut, along with two off-budget wars, also produced the massive deficits that sprung from the budget surplus Clinton left for Bush. During the same time period the rest of the country languished. Those in the 25th percentile actually began to decline in 2005, before the Great Recession hit. Following the Bush Debacle at the end of 2008 everyone lost money, but those at the bottom lost a far greater percentage of their net worth than those at the top.

Also, the characterization by Fox that things were so much better while Bush was president is based on measuring the difference from the beginning of the Bush term in 2001. But by using that as the starting point it diminishes his responsibility for the economic collapse over which he presided in 2008, and places more of the consequences of it on Obama. A more significant measure would start with the Great Recession in late 2008. From that point on there has been steady progress. The RSF report stated that…

“The housing, stock and job markets have all improved since 2009, but at very different rates. The stock market rebounded relatively quickly and returned to prerecession levels by the middle of 2013. The July 2013 unemployment rate of 7.4 percent was below the recession peak of 10.0 percent, but was still substantially higher than the 4.7 percent rate of mid-2007. However, the most important source of wealth for most Americans is their home, and by mid-2013 home prices were still 20 percent below their mid-2007 values.”

Indeed, it was home ownership that had the biggest impact on the wealth of the middle class because it is such a larger portion of their net worth. For the wealthy their homes represent only a portion of their total worth, and it may not even be the largest portion. They may also have millions in investments, retirement funds, and other financial assets. And since the Great Recession resulted in millions of foreclosures on the middle and lower classes, many of which were unwarranted, or even fraudulent, those on the bottom of the scale were hurt the most. This had the effect of making an already historically prominent level of wealth inequality even worse. This was also noted in the conclusions of the RSF report:

“While large absolute amounts of wealth were destroyed at the top of the wealth distribution, households at the bottom of the wealth distribution lost the largest share of their total wealth. As a result, wealth inequality increased significantly from 2007 through 2013; by some metrics inequality roughly doubled.”

Anyone giving this report a fair reading would come away with the impression that wealth inequality has risen to dangerous levels, and that much of the reason is the Bush recession. But the folks at the falsely named “fair and balanced” network brought their own biases to the table and delivered a preposterous mutation of the study’s findings. Their intention is clearly to deceive the public by persuading them of the fiction that Obama’s economic policies have failed, and that Bush’s were superior. However, you would have to be pretty stupid to buy that argument. Therefore, there are at least a couple of million Fox News viewers who will eat up with relish.

On Fox News: Religious Intolerance Is An Atrocity Unless It’s Practiced By Christians

Last week Megyn Kelly of Fox News featured a segment that was crammed full of outrage over the bigotry demonstrated by the extremist ISIS brigade that is terrorizing much of Iraq. As ISIS marches through the nation that was fatally destabilized by George W. Bush and his confederacy of liars, any religious faction that is not aligned with the ISIS brand of Sunni Islam is dealt with brutally and mercilessly. This, of course, includes the Christians in the region. And it is the Christians for whom Fox News is solely concerned.

In a delivery dripping with fear, Kelly gravely reported on an alleged directive from ISIS that Christians in the city of Mosul “could leave, they could convert to Islam, or they could die.” This is certainly further evidence of the extremist intentions of the group and Fox News is correct to repudiate the threat as an assault on religious freedom.

However, there are a couple of problems with their newly acquired aversion to intolerance (a subject they generally dismiss as political correctness). For one thing, it never bothered them when conservative firebrand, and Fox News fave, Ann Coulter said pretty much the same thing, but with a somewhat different emphasis.

Fox News

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Coulter’s doctrine on Islam that “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity,” is just as repugnant, bigoted, and hostile as that of the ISIS ultimatum. So why does Fox News tolerate hate-speech from Coulter that is identical to that of terrorist extremists?

It may help to understand the Fox editorial philosophy by noting that the “expert” Kelly solicited to analyze the events in Iraq was Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who immediately blamed President Obama for this rancid display of religious intolerance. In fact, Perkins and Kelly spent more time castigating the President than they did ISIS. This tells you who they really regard as their enemy.

Perkins, and the FRC, are notable for their place on the list of hate groups published by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The FRC has been one of the most vicious opponents of the LGBT community. Their opposition is based wholly on their view that anyone who strays from the Christian dogma advocated by the FRC is deviant, sinful, harmful to society, and an affront to God. In other words, it is an entirely religious prejudice that condemns those with different beliefs. The SPLC’s report on the FRC begins…

“The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as ‘the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,’ but its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians. The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.”

Despite their “Vision Statement” which calls for a culture in which “religious liberty thrives,” the FRC is unarguably a practitioner of religious intolerance. It’s sole purpose for existing is to rebuke those who fail to adopt their religious views. If a culture wherein religious liberty were thriving was truly their mission, there would be a place in it for those with whom they disagree. However, in that regard they are no different than ISIS.

It is telling that Kelly chose to invite the religiously intolerant Perkins to her Fox News program to discuss the religious intolerance of others. She might have considered people who are actually involved in anti-discrimination organizations, whose opinions would be more credible. That, however, would require her to violate the gospel of Fox News which demands strict adherence to right-wing, conservative, Christian principles. As I have noted previously

Fox News is the closest thing in media to a Vatican PR office, with a roster that is heavily weighted with Roman-Catholics. They include: Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, Brian Kilmeade, Andrew Napolitano, Jeanine Pirro, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Kucinich, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Father Morris. Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox News parent News Corp was himself inducted into the ‘Knights of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great’ by Pope John Paul II. And if that isn’t enough, the current Senior Communications Adviser in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, Greg Burke, was previously the Fox News correspondent covering the Vatican, a position he held for ten years.

So remember this the next time you hear Fox News pretending to be the champions of religious freedom. Remember that their experts are actually bigoted hate mongers. Remember that their political commentators advocate genocide and ethnic cleansing. The only freedom that Fox News supports is the freedom to plaster the airwaves with lies and propaganda in the furtherance of the right-wing theocracy they hope to foist on America.

Amid Reckless Talk Of Impeachment, Fox News Questions President Obama’s Loyalty

It’s taken four years, but the least productive Congress in recent history has finally found something they consider worthy of their time: Impeachment. The Tea Party Republicans running the House of Representatives have managed to avoid or deliberately obstruct everything from tax reform to job creation to immigration to climate change, and much more. In place of doing their actual jobs they have repeatedly attempted to cripple or repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), deny women access to reproductive care, legislate their conservative flavor of religion, and conduct endless and unwarranted investigations into a slew of phony scandals.

The GOP has had help in their avoidance of their responsibilities. Fox News has been right beside them in diverting attention and tax dollars from useful services to wasteful partisan exercises. Specifically with regard to the Impeachment issue, it was a Fox News regular, Sarah Palin, who fired the most recent volleys.

Now Fox is setting its sights on bolstering the impeachment argument by orchestrating a campaign of propaganda to characterize President Obama as disloyal to the country. And they aren’t mincing words about it.

Fox News

On their lie-riddled community website, Fox Nation, there are currently two articles that raise questions with regard to Obama’s patriotism. They overtly suggest that the President may be rooting for our enemies, including violent terrorists.

One article, with a headline that asserts that “Obama Needs to Choose Sides – Israel or Hamas,” blatantly accuses Obama of potentially being on the side of Hamas terrorists. It’s author, Todd Starnes of Fox News, responds to the FAA’s temporary ban on flights to Israel (which has already been lifted) by accusing Obama of implementing an economic boycott against Israel. Starnes says that “There have been no such flight bans over other war-torn nations. So why Israel?” However, in addition to defaming Obama, Starnes is demonstrating his ignorance of world affairs because there are other flight bans, including two hot spots in the news recently, Ukraine and Mali.

The second article’s headline asks “Whose Side is the President Really on?” Again, the Fox Nationalists are implying that Obama is not on the side of the nation he leads. This article concerns the immigration crisis on the southwestern border, and its right-wing author, Ed Rogers of the Washington Post, writes that “It is not hard to believe the president has a bias on the side of the foreigners.” Although it may not be hard for Rogers to believe it, he offers little of substance to support his theory. It appears to based solely on the administrations efforts to resolve the unfolding humanitarian crisis.

Ironically, it is over the immigration issue that the GOP Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has chosen to respond to a White House comment regarding the GOP impeachment fixation. Senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer is properly concerned that the extremists in the GOP are serious about trying to remove Obama from office. He told reporters that Republican talk of impeachment should not be summarily dismissed:

“I think a lot of people in this town laugh that off. I would not discount that possibility. I think that Speaker Boehner, by going down this path of this lawsuit, has opened the door to Republicans possibly considering impeachment at some point in the future.”

Boehner’s office responded in a painfully twisted manner that criticized Pfeiffer for reacting to the impeachment talk that Republicans began. Boehner’s spokesman lamented that the White House “is focused on political games, rather than helping these kids and securing the border.” That comment begs the question: Has Boehner lost touch with reality? It is the administration that is trying to resolve the border crisis but, as usual, Boehner’s comrades in Congress are refusing to cooperate on passing the necessary legislation.

What’s more, it is Boehner himself who is playing political games with his ludicrous lawsuit against the President. Remember, this is a lawsuit by a party with a long history of opposing frivolous lawsuits. They are also known for opposing regulations that burden small business. So, of course, they are now filing a frivolous suit against the President for easing regulations on small business. And then Boehner complains about political game-playing.

Pfeiffer, the White House adviser, is quite correct to worry about impeachment. The Republican Party is so thoroughly demented and/or corrupt that they may just be crazy enough to try it. For that reason, it is critical that Democrats wake up and make a commitment to vote in November. Democrats have been notoriously absent during midterm elections. But this time they must recognize that the President is on the ballot just as surely as he was in 2008 and 2012.

If anyone should be impeached it’s Fox News. They spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, disparaging America and its elected representatives. They tear the country down and call it weak and its people stupid. They practically invite enemies to attack us. What’s more disloyal than that? And if their disinformation helps Republicans seize control of the Senate it will empower the House GOP to draft Articles of Impeachment. And while they will still undoubtedly fail in the end, they will detour the nation from doing any of the important work that needs to be done to revive the nation’s economy, create jobs, and restore our reputation throughout the world.

Glenn Beck Stages An Anti-Common Core Scam And Flops Hysterically

Yesterday marked the long-awaited (by lobotomized tea-bots) exhibition of Glenn Beck’s latest scam to fleece his dimwitted disciples. Beck hosted a nationwide promotion for his anti-Common Core book and philosophy in 600 movie theaters that linked to his live simulcast from Dallas.

Glenn Beck Common Core

To be clear, this was simply a version of his regular Internet video blog, except that people had to pay twenty bucks a piece to watch what they would ordinarily have been able to see online and in the comfort of their own homes. And remember, Beck’s Internet venture extracts $10.00 a month from his flock just to see his regular programming. With this event he made them go out to a movie theater and pay an additional $20.00 for essentially the same fare. Who but Beck fans would be stupid enough to fall for that?

Apparently, not even very many of Beck’s loyal websters were taken in. The Washington Post reports, from their attendance at a screening in Maryland, that the event drew only seventeen people. Perhaps turnout was better in some backwater Texas or Louisiana burbs, but there is no reliable data available to confirm.

The program consisted of already aired criticisms of Common Core from Beck regulars like evangelist David Barton and professional Obama-hater Michelle Malkin. The material was a rehash of the false allegations that Common Core (or ObamaCore as wingnuts have come to call it) is an intrusion by the federal government into our local school system. That fallacy has been thoroughly debunked. The Common Core standards were developed entirely by representatives of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers – all local organizations. Furthermore, Common Core has broad-based bipartisan support including from GOP stalwarts like Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee.

The opposition to Common Core stems almost entirely from the knee-jerk reaction to oppose anything that President Obama has remarked on favorably. Additionally, opposing Common Core fits in nicely with the generally negative attitude that the right has toward education. They have a visceral aversion to “elitists” who have obtained college degrees. They flatly reject science with regard to settled issues like evolution and climate change. Their whole attitude toward academia is one of horror that people might actually become educated. That would significantly reduce the number of potential Teabaggers they could rope in.

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So Beck’s latest scam may have duped a few pathetic followers, sold a few more books, and redistributed some wealth from misled schnooks into Beck’s sleazy pockets. No big deal, sheep are used to being fleeced. But to make matters worse, Beck’s program kicked off with some serious, and hilarious glitches. The video performance flaked out for about four minutes, however, Beck’s audio continued. Consequently, the audience was treated to Beck’s commentary voice-over during a trailer for the new James Brown biopic, Get On Up:

Get To Know Rupert Murdoch, The Man Who Wants To Buy Time Warner

Last week there was a surprising announcement that international media baron Rupert Murdoch had made a bid to expand his empire even further. He submitted an offer to acquire Time Warner in an $80 billion stock transaction.

Rupert Murdoch

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This would be an atrocious development for a myriad of reasons. It would create an anti-competitive monopoly in several media markets including film production and distribution, and cable TV operations. Furthermore it would make Murdoch the most powerful force in media with control over an unprecedented percentage of both news and entertainment businesses. This would only enhance his already dominant position in worldwide newspaper publishing and satellite television.

Murdoch has demonstrated his cravenly biased approach to business management with his current corporate holdings. These include the world’s most flagrant disseminator of right-wing propaganda, Fox News. Particularly notable is the shift at the Wall Street Journal where, prior to his acquisition, it was a respected leader in business and general reporting. Today it is a hollow shell of its former glory. It had been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for news journalism thirty-four times in its celebrated history, but has not received a single one since Murdoch assumed control seven years ago and turned it into just another of his tabloid rags.

Taking all of that into consideration, it is important to know precisely the sort of man who is proposing to become the head of the most powerful media conglomerate in history. So here is a brief summary of Murdoch’s recent resume:

  • Murdoch’s News of the World hacked into phone and email accounst of hundreds of private citizens, celebrities, and politicians, including a murdered schoolgirl.
  • Murdoch called the victims of his hacking “scumbags.”
  • Murdoch’s New York Post repeatedly publishes racist political cartoons.
  • Murdoch posts anti-Semitic Tweet.
  • Murdoch’s criminal enterprise protects him from any negative reporting.
  • Murdoch’s Fox News deployed hundreds of fake blog accounts in order to rebut critics on the Internet.
  • Murdoch’s companies deleted incriminating emails to avoid responsibility in the hacking scandal.

The scope of the corporate megalith that would result from a Murdoch takeover of Time Warner should be more than enough to prohibit the acquisition. It would create an unholy monopoly that our anti-trust laws were specifically put in place to prevent. But the depraved and criminal character of Rupert Murdoch should also be a fatal impediment to a Time Warner deal. There are morals clauses in business that ought to exempt Murdoch from completing this purchase. In fact, they ought to force him out of his current position and commence a discussion of whether his citizenship should be revoked.

If you’re interested in taking some concrete action to hold Murdoch accountable and protest the proposed Time Warner deal, Media Matters has started a petition to fight back against Murdoch’s encroaching media tyranny. Please sign it and share it with everyone you know.

Let The Tea Party Begin: 4.7 Million At Risk Of Losing Their Health Insurance

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
For there IS joy in Teaville…

…A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled 2-to-1 along party lines that subsidies for health insurance premiums made available under the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) are only available to those who purchased their coverage in state-based exchanges, invalidating the 4.7 million citizens who used the federal exchange and therefore…

…they have been shut out.

ObamaCare Ruling

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In this case, the “favored land” where the sun is shining and hearts are light, is the land of Tea Party Republicans who are falling all over themselves celebrating this decision that puts the health – and lives – of millions in jeopardy. And, as usual, it is those who are favored who reap the benefits. Nothing gives right-wingers more undiluted ecstasy than making life even more difficult for people on the lower end of the income scale. These are the same people who cheer executions and holler and spit at children. You know, conservative “Christians.” Even the GOP judges recognized the potential hardship they were creating:

“Our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly.”

The good news is that this ruling means very little at the present time. First of all, it was stayed by the court pending an expected appeal. Secondly, the administration will likely request an “en banc” hearing by all eleven members of the court. Presently the court has seven judges appointed by Democrats and four by Republicans. This, by the way, was made possible when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid removed the super-majority requirement for judicial appointments. Prior to that Republicans were filibustering nearly all of President Obama’s nominees, and even proposed eliminating the three vacancies on the D.C. court. Subsequent to Reid’s maneuver, three of Obama’s nominees received a majority vote and were seated on the court that will re-hear this ruling.

Finally, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia ruled today on the very same issue and found that the federal subsidies were proper and intended by the Congress when the law was passed. As it stands now there are two courts of appeal that have arrived at opposing decisions, but the en banc review by the D.C. court is likely to agree with the 4th Circuit. If so, both courts will have upheld the subsidies. That is significant should additional appeals be brought to the Supreme Court. There is no telling where the Supreme Court might come down, but there is a possibility that they won’t even take the case if two appeals courts agree that there is no constitutional issue.

Whatever the outcome of the legal wrangling, this is another opportunity to observe the right-wing at their worst. They are palpably giddy over the prospect of millions of Americans becoming either uninsured or bankrupt. This is an issue that can have some play in the midterm elections as the threat hanging over the heads of these citizens weighs on their political decisions. In Florida and Texas alone there are 1.5 million people who could lose their insurance. Those are highly motivated votes for Democrats in November making both states more likely to turn blue. Now we just have to get the rest of the Democrats to get motivated and VOTE!

American Expect-ionalism: Why Is Every World Crisis America’s Responsibility?

The tragic downing of a civilian aircraft in Ukraine has opened a window on a peculiar phenomenon that emerges whenever there is an event, anywhere in the world, that has some international significance. The spotlight that this particular event casts is instructive because of the specific details and how they relate to the global distribution of obligations.

Let’s begin with the fact that the plane that was shot down was owned and operated by Malaysian Air. The passengers were from many nations, but mostly the Netherlands. There was only one American on the flight. The attack occurred along the eastern border of Ukraine on a flight path through Europe and Southeast Asia. And the perpetrators were almost certainly pro-Russian separatists with help from Russia itself.

American Expect-ionalism

So obviously it is up to the United States to take control of the situation and resolve all of the mysteries and criminal conspiracies that arise. It is expected of us. Never mind that there is almost no direct American connection to the attackers or the victims.

Conservative American politicians and pundits have been vocal in demanding that President Obama assume a leadership role in investigating the affair and punishing those responsible. Some have harshly criticized him for not being more aggressive. John McCain positioned himself in front of every TV news camera he could find to imply that Obama has been derelict by not imposing stiff sanctions in advance of possessing all the facts. McCain was joined by several other hyperactive Republicans whose advice ranged from empty rhetoric to declaring war on Russia.

One of the worst reactions from the press was from Fox News (surprise) anchor Jeanine Pirro. She launched into a tirade that called for the President to “put on his big boy pants.” Her venomous spew could only be interpreted as a call to arms. She had the audacity to cite Vladimir Putin as an example of the virile leadership she advocates. The very same Putin who is likely complicit in the jet attack. Pirro’s other example of manliness was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who she admires for his deployment of 50,000 troops in Gaza. In both cases she is clearly expressing her fondness for military involvement and her opinion that no other response is sufficient. What’s more, she falsely projects her bloodlust unto the American people by claiming that…

“Americans don’t want a spectator, they want a leader who’s also not kidding around. Americans want a president not afraid to get in the game, secure our future and re-assert himself on the world stage.”

Actually, Americans have made their views known in recent polling, and they do not agree with Pirro’s assessment of them. Only 17% of those polled said that the U.S should do more to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine. Furthermore, only 23% favor continuing a military presence in Afghanistan, and only 19% want us to go back to Iraq. Pirro obviously has her finger on the pulse of some other country, because she really doesn’t understand Americans.

Pirro’s lament included the already debunked comparison of Obama’s response to the Ukraine incident and Ronald Reagan’s response to Russia shooting down a Korean airliner in 1983. It’s just another of her detours from the real world. Although she is consistent in that she advocates for American military intervention in Iraq, Syria, and Israel, in addition to Russia. That’s what the macho man in her feverish fantasies would do. And after defeating Putin and Assad and various factions of Al Qaeda, he would carry her off to his Fortress of Solitude.

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There is no question that the United States has a role in the world that includes varying degrees of intervention. But a wise leader would always exhaust every diplomatic measure available before committing to warfare. The U.S. currently has a great many options that include diplomacy, economics, and international pressure. The conservative war mongers who believe that every foreign dust up requires the Marines to invade are delusional and dangerous. This is a time for collective composure and strategic thinking, not panicky overreactions. And our nation is fortunate that people like Pirro and McCain aren’t in positions of power where they could act on their bad judgment.

The Lone deRanger: Sarah Palin Thinks Her Impeachment Talk Is Making Obama Nervous

This weekend the Right-Wing Grousers of America are meeting in Denver to complain about how terrible the country is, and how near to destruction due to the black, Muslim, foreigner who has occupied the White House in defiance of the people (except for the majorities who voted for him twice). The Western Conservative Summit is being hosted by the Colorado Christian University in furtherance of their mission to establish a theocracy in the United States.

Among the far-right fringe’s celebrity speakers at the affair are Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Michele Bachmann, and Allen West. In other words: the Brain Trust of the Tea Party. And perhaps the event’s superstar is former half-term governor, Fox News pundit, and reality TV star, Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin

Palin’s speech was a half-hour of whining about how delinquent the country is in its obligation to impeach President Obama. She castigates everyone from Congress, to party regulars, to ordinary citizens, for not harboring the same maniacal urgency to rip the nation apart that she does. Yet even as she claims that the country isn’t doing enough to advance the cause of impeachment, she also brags about the impact she’s having and implores her followers to keep the pressure on, saying “Let’s talk more about impeachment, because it’s got them nervous.” Yeah, right. Here’s the evidence of just how nervous Obama is:

In the course of her address she hits all the wingnut talking points: the IRS, the Veterans Administration, ObamaCare, Benghazi (of course), and what she refers to repeatedly as the scourge of “open borders.” In fact, the only subject she spends more time on than impeachment is immigration. She regards it as the single greatest justification for impeaching the President. Her characterization of the issue is that of an “invasion” of gang members, drug dealers, terrorists, moochers, and disease carriers who were invited to America in order to inflate the ranks of the Democratic Party.

Immigrant Kids

One topic was conspicuously missing from her speech. Palin never mentioned the downed Malaysian aircraft in Ukraine. In fact, she hasn’t commented on it since it occurred. The only reason that she might be avoiding the matter is that she would have to repudiate her BFF, Vladimir Putin. Recall that not so long ago she was extolling the manly virtues of the Russian leader and comparing his bear-wrestling prowess with our own mom-jeans wearing president. She can hardly betray the man on whom she has developed such a strong crush by acknowledging his complicity with the murder of nearly 300 innocent civilians.

However, it was impeachment that Palin concentrated on with a fervor that bordered on obsession. She sings the chorus, popular now among the crackpot constituency, that Obama is a tyrant, an imperial president. And She believes that, literally, the only path to survival is impeachment.

Palin: Friends if we let Congress refuse to use the power the Constitution gives it, Barack Obama will continue to rule however he wants. And the fabric of America will unravel. So don’t be afraid to raise this and know that there’s no other recourse.

It is endlessly perplexing that the pseudo-patriots on the right consider America to be resting on such a shaky foundation that it will unravel if leaders with a different political philosophy hold power for a while. Apparently they love a country that they see as weak and susceptible to crumbling into dust in the face of a light breeze. Liberals were certainly not fond of George W. Bush, and some even thought he should be impeached for lying the nation into a disastrous and unnecessary war in Iraq. But no one on the left, with the party profile that Palin has on the right, ever speculated that the United States would cease to exist if Bush were not driven from office immediately.

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That is just one of the many differences between left and right. The left believes that democracy is a process wherein the people are endowed with the power to direct the course of the nation, even if they are sometimes mistaken. The right believes that their positions are ordained by God and that any variance from that holy path is a detour to hell. Consequently, for the right, the choice is always between righteousness or ruin, and compromise is sacrilege.

For Sarah Palin and her disciples, impeachment has nothing to do with law or governance. It is a holy crusade that the faithful are required to accept. It is an obligation unto the lord. Palin’s friends among the world’s most devout practitioners of religious extremism have another word for it: Jihad.

Myth vs. Reality: Reagan vs. Obama On Planes Being Shot Down

The compulsion of right-wing politicians and pundits to reflexively denigrate President Obama is once again outstripping their devotion to country or respect for the truth. It is uncanny how predictable it is that conservative blowhards will leap at the opportunity to bash the President, even as events of critical significance to our national security are still unfolding.

Reagan vs. Obama

That is the case as information continues to be uncovered concerning the shooting down of Malaysian flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. Some of the more obscenely irresponsible comments come from the usual suspects, such as…

John McCain: I don’t understand this president … this is what we used to call in the military AWOL. There’s a direct loss of American lives here.
Rush Limbaugh: I don’t want appear to be callous here, folks, but you talk about an opportunity to abandon the Obama news at the border?
Todd Starnes: Obama won’t comment on Malaysian jetliner crash until he’s had a chance to read tomorrow’s paper.

On Fox News there has been a specific effort to compare the response of President Obama to that of President Reagan following the shooting down of a Korean jet on September 1, 1983. Of course the Fox position is that St. Reagan acted quickly and boldly to assert America’s outrage and leadership. However, an examination of the facts present a very different picture.

The gist of the criticism hurled at Obama was that his reaction was too timid, too slow, and tainted by his decision to keep his previous obligations with meetings on his schedule. The evidence provided to illustrate the differences between Obama and Reagan was a video of an Oval Office address by Reagan regarding the Korean jet disaster.

The first notable fact that was undisclosed by the right-wing nags is that Reagan’s Oval Office address came five days after the Korean jet was shot down. The Malaysian jet was downed only yesterday but, according to his critics, that is still too long for Obama to have waited to comment. As for the video itself, the depth of Reagan’s outrage extended to his declaration that the attack was a “crime against humanity [that] must never be forgotten” and that the Russians “owe the world an apology.” That’s telling ‘em, Gipper. Make them say they are sorry.

Compare that to Obama’s initial remarks that stated that the attack was “An outrage of unspeakable proportions,” and included a challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin to make a decision whether to continue to support violent separatists.

Obama: Time and again, Russia has refused to take the concrete steps necessary to deescalate the situation. [...] We have been very clear from the outset that we want Russia to take the path that would result in peace in Ukraine, but so far at least, Russia has failed to take that path. Instead, it has continued to violate Ukrainian sovereignty and to support violent separatists.

There you have it. Obama laid the blame squarely at Putin’s feet and reiterated his demand that Russia take concrete steps to deescalate. Additionally, Obama called for an immediate cease-fire and an end to Russia’s provision of weapons and training to the separatists. It is an unarguably more aggressive first-response than Reagan’s, but he didn’t ask Putin to apologize so he must be weak.

Fox News and other conservative outlets have also been criticizing Obama for not canceling a couple of previously scheduled fundraising events. But there are some very good reasons for not doing so. First of all, the United States president should not be seen as being so easy to manipulate that an isolated terrorist act, not directed at the U.S., can force him to alter his plans. We are not, and must not be, at the mercy of the terrorists. Secondly, the President made an obligation to the people that organized and attended the events and he should honor that unless his presence would prevent him from taking necessary actions elsewhere, which was not the case.

Furthermore, those making the Obama/Reagan comparison also failed to note that Reagan himself jaunted off to fundraising events shortly following the Korean jet attack. On September 14 he helped raise funds for the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. On September 20 he helped fill the coffers of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond. On September 27 it was a dinner for the Republican Majority Fund. Apparently it’s OK for St. Ronnie to engage in financial glad-handing after an international incident, but not a malingerer like Obama. For the record, less than a month after Reagan’s tour of GOP fundraisers, terrorists blew up the military barracks in Beirut killing 250 Marines. Can we say he was really on the job? Maybe Darrell Issa should open an investigation into that.

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Perhaps the most peculiar change in the right-wing media due to the Malaysian jet attack is that it has soured the right on their former hero, Vladimir Putin. For months pundits at Fox News and elsewhere were singing the praises of Putin as the model of strength, leadership, and Christian purity. Folks like Ben Carson and Sarah Palin expressed their glowing admiration. There was even a featured article on Fox News that asserted that “Putin Is The One Who Really Deserves That Nobel Peace Prize.”

At this point it’s hard to tell who the right admires more: Reagan or Putin. But it’s clear that they have a visceral hatred for our current president. You know, the one who is charged with leading the nation right now, and for whom patriotism would ordinarily compel conservatives to support in troubled times. But for some reason, right-wingers have chosen to disparage their president at every turn and before they even have facts to form a credible opinion. Not that they ever cared about facts. For them it’s shoot first and ignore the facts later. God Bless America.

The Republican’s Dr. Strangelove Promotes Book By Nazi Sympathizer On Fox News

In the most recent polling of Republican voters, their top choices for president almost always include Dr. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon-turned-Fox News pundit who viscerally hates President Obama and advocates Christian supremacy in America.

Carson appeared on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News program last night to warn that the United States is “going down the tubes” like the great empires of the past because we have “become enamored of sports and entertainment,” and have “lost our moral compass.” This downward spiral, Carson says, is an extremely dangerous situation that threatens to subject America to the same dreadful fate as previous historical dynasties like Greece, Rome, and Britain.

Ben Carson

The segment was mostly a paper thin discourse on vague apocalyptic generalities that provided scant insight into anything other than Carson’s embarrassingly poor grasp of history and government. His main points were cliched right-wing admonitions against progressivism and straying from Christian faith. And in the midst of this harangue, Carson made a note of the risks of divisiveness:

Kelly: To what extent do you feel divisiveness is playing a role in what we’re seeing right now?
Carson: It’s playing an extremely large role in what we are doing.

In what “WE” are doing? That was certainly a clumsy phrasing that Carson would probably like to retract. However, it is also ironically truthful. For the better part of the eight minute segment Carson was fiercely divisive, referring to his ideological foes as neo-Marxists, specifically aligning them with Marx, Lenin, and one of the right’s favorite bogeymen, Saul Alinsky. Which is why his unintended admission that divisiveness plays a large role in what “WE” are doing rings true.

Even Kelly observed that calling people neo-Marxists could cause others to view him as unpresidential and too extreme to ever be elected president. Carson’s response to that was to encourage viewers to do their own research. He then offered this as an example of the sort of troubling things they would find:

Carson: Number one rule of Saul Alinsky: You make the majority think that what they believe is no longer in vogue; that nobody with any intelligence thinks that way; and that the way you believe is the only way that intelligent people believe.

The only problem with that example is that it does not happen to be the number one rule of Saul Alinsky. Nor is it any other rule. It appears that Carson just made it up as it doesn’t even resemble any of the actual rules that Alinsky laid out in his book “Rules For Radicals”. Or, more likely, he adopted it from some disreputable source that he naively believed. [For reference I have included all of Alinsky's Rules for Radicals at the bottom of this post] But it wasn’t until Carson sought to buttress his criticism with additional girders of fringy philosophy that he went spinning off the rails entirely. And in the process he demonstrated how vulnerable he is to disreputable sources.

Carson: There was a guy who was a former CIA agent by the name of Cleon Skousen who wrote a book in 1958 called “The Naked Communist,” that laid out the whole agenda. You would think by reading it that it was written last year. Showing what they’re trying to do to American families, what they’re trying to do to our Judeo-Christian faith, what they’re doing to morality.

W. Cleon Skousen was a disgraced Mormon whackjob whom even the Mormon church repudiated. He was a rabid anti-communist who veered off into conspiracy theories and fabricated prophecy. His extreme views led him to support other contemporary opponents of communism, better known as Nazis. And for good measure, Carson shares his admiration of Skousen with another popular whackjob, Glenn Beck, who insisted that his followers read Skousen’s “The 5,000 Year Leap,” which Beck said was divinely inspired.

And so it has come to pass that Ben Carson is the darling of the Tea Party and other far-right dimwits. It is a strange love, so to speak, because despite having absolutely zero expertise in government, law, social sciences, public service, or any other study relevant to statecraft, the Republican base has embraced him and are striving mightily to persuade him to throw his hat in the ring for the presidency, a job for which he is profoundly unqualified.

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But what is truly dumbfounding is that he isn’t much less qualified than many of the other prospective GOP candidates (Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio) or candidates past (Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin). Scary, isn’t it?

From Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals:

  • Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.
  • Never go outside the expertise of your people.
  • Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.
  • Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
  • Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
  • A good tactic is one your people enjoy.
  • A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
  • Keep the pressure on. Never let up.
  • The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
  • The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
  • If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.
  • The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
  • Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Desperate Wingnuts Revive The “Hillary Cackle” In Lame Attack On Clinton

When you’ve got absolutely nothing with which to criticize your political opponent, then resort to childish and sexist personal insults. That’s the Republican strategy for taking on Hillary Clinton’s possible campaign for the presidency.

Fox Nation Hillary Clinton

The Fox News community website (and lie-riddled propaganda rag) Fox Nation proudly posted a video compilation of Hillary Clinton’s appearance on The Daily Show Tuesday that consisted of only her laughing at Jon Stewart’s jokes (video below). This is the best evidence yet that right-wingers have completely run out of ideas and have concluded that their only hope of beating Clinton, should she run, is to act like snotty little brats by making fun of irrelevant personal traits.

This should also help to drive away virtually every woman voter from the transparently anti-woman GOP. It’s not enough that Republicans want to deny reproductive health care, allow corporations to come between women and their doctors, vote against equal pay, oppose non-discrimination, cut funding for single mothers and day care, and just this week, advise Republican men to talk “down to a woman’s level.” Nope, now they have to lower the bar even further with lame insults.

Media Matters compiled a surprisingly long list of press references to Clinton’s laughter during the 2008 campaign. It was characterized as everything from a “cackle” to a “maniacal giggle,” but always in manner that was distinctly sexist. Comparing one’s laugh to witches and harpies is not something that would be done to male politicians.

The video posted by the Fox Nationalists was provided by the ultra-rightist Washington Free Beacon, a pseudo-news enterprise that is run by Republican operatives and affiliated with the Koch brothers. So the partisan parentage of this silliness is clear. It’s also clear that the people responsible were emotionally stunted at sometime around junior high school. If this is representative of the campaign tactics that Clinton will face if she decides to run, then she’s got an open path to the White House.

Here is the video from the Free Beacon’s edit of Clinton on The Daily Show:

And here is video of Fox News mocking Clinton’s laugh six years ago:

Stupid GOP Tricks: Slash The IRS Budget As Revenge For Phony Tea Party Scandal

Anyone looking for idiotic ideas from the Tea Party Republican Congress wouldn’t have far to travel before stumbling over a mountain of them. Some of the more obvious examples include denying reproductive health care, cutting taxes for the rich, suppressing the vote, shutting down the government, and promoting creationism. But wait, there’s more.

Ayn Rand Wet Dream Act

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Since the do-nothing GOP-run House isn’t doing anything else, they have had plenty of time to come up with ever more asinine initiatives in a committed effort to advance the cause of stupidity. The latest step forward in that regard is their bill to cut the budget of the IRS by 25 percent:

“The GOP-controlled House has voted to slash the budget for the Internal Revenue Service’s tax enforcement division by $1.2 billion, a 25 percent cut that would mean fewer audits of taxpayers and make it more likely that people who cheat on their taxes will get away with it.”

Brilliant! This is a win-win for Tea-publicans who hate government in general and the IRS in particular. This bill would make it harder for the IRS to carry out its responsibility for collecting revenue that the nation needs in order to function. Thus, it would open up the agency to criticism for inefficiency that was created by this budget cut. It would also create inefficiencies in every other branch of government that is starved for revenue by the reduced tax receipts which, in turn, would make them subject to criticism. It would increase the federal deficit by leaving untold billions of legitimately owed taxes uncollected. This, of course, would incite additional fury by the pseudo-deficit hawks of the GOP who would ignore the fact that they created this problem in the first place.

At the same time, a crippled IRS would be unable to audit the corporations and millionaires who routinely practice – shall we say “creative” accounting. Consequently, these folks, who are the benefactors of the Republican Party, would have free rein to rob the American people of billions of dollars necessary to run critical federal programs including Social Security, the military, public safety (food, water, consumer products, etc.), transportation and infrastructure, medical research, criminal prosecution and prevention, and so much more.

The severity of these cuts will disrupt detection and prevention of criminal activity such as fraud and identity theft, leaving average Americans more vulnerable to victimization. They would also hamper the agency’s ability to provide service to every taxpayer seeking assistance with common filing questions.

So these cuts would have the triple purpose of weakening vital services upon which every American relies, granting amnesty to tax cheats everywhere, and artificially creating excuses to lash out at Big Government. They should call it the Ayn Rand Wet Dream Enhancement Act of 2014.

For the record, these Wet Dreamers are proposing cuts that have a demonstrably negative impact on the nation’s finances. And they come on top of previous cuts that have already impeded the IRS from performing its duties. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) in a detailed and enlightening analysis

“[P]olicymakers should not ignore the damaging effects of the significant cuts that have occurred in IRS funding, which remains well below its 2010 level even before adjusting for inflation. The cuts have led the IRS to reduce its workforce, severely scale back employee training, and delay much-needed upgrades to information technology systems. These steps, in turn, have weakened the IRS’s ability to enforce the nation’s tax laws and serve taxpayers efficiently”

Even worse is the impact on the federal deficit caused by an understaffed, underfunded IRS. The CBPP report also reveals that…

“…from a fiscal perspective, starving the IRS makes no sense, as the return on the investment is high. Each additional $1 spent on IRS enforcement yields $6 of additional revenue from collecting taxes owed.”

Where else in the federal government can the allocation of funds generate that kind of return on investment? It is an act of profound folly to kill such a productive and beneficial pathway to economic sustainability that doesn’t rely on new taxes or program cuts. So what would inspire House Republicans to behave so foolishly?

“The cuts reflect GOP outrage over the agency’s scrutiny of tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status and frustration over the agency’s failure to produce thousands of emails by Lois Lerner, the official formerly in charge of the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status.”

That’s right. A trumped up scandal that has elicited nothing but partisan animus and lie-riddled accusations is the impetus for choking off funds that would protect and benefit every citizen. It is the height of petty politicking that comes at the expense of the nation’s economic viability. It is transparent pandering to wealthy special interests.

In the end, it is law abiding Americans who will have to shoulder the burden for these deadbeats. So the question is: Are the GOP really stupid, or they shrewdly executing their mission to starve the government, crush the middle-class, and enrich their benefactors?

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Glenn Beck’s Vainglorious Brand Of Charity And The Ugliness Of His Fans

Much is being made of reports that politi-vangelist Glenn Beck is planning to deliver food and toys to the immigrant children that are suffering under harsh conditions in detention facilities in Texas. Beck’s convoy is expected to roll into McAllen, Texas this weekend. One wonders if it will be met by the same protesters who showed up to holler and spit at the buses of children seeking safe refuge.

Glenn Beck

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While it’s difficult to find fault with the result of his project, it cannot be left unsaid that the whole thing smacks of self-serving motivations aimed at improving his ultra-rightist image and reputation for prejudice, and openly expressed hatred for the very people he is pretending to help. In a video appeal last week, Beck said…

“Through no fault of their own, they are caught in political crossfire. And while we continue to put pressure on Washington and change its course of lawlessness, we must also help. It is not either/or. It is both. We have to be active in the political game, and we must open our hearts.”

Well, that sounds very nice, but it must be remembered that this is coming from the same conspiracy-rattled demagogue who just last month said that it was Obama who “engineered a humanitarian crisis in order to advance progressive policies on illegal immigration.” So the political crossfire of which Beck spoke is largely of his own making.

The way Beck has gone about promoting this gesture reeks of undisguised boastfulness and worse, near messianic posturing complete with allegations of death threats. Beck sermonized to his disciples that “I’ve never taken a position more deadly to my career than this.”

Really? After saying that President Obama has a “deep-seated hatred of white people;” that if America reelects Obama then God’s response must be that “we have to be destroyed because we will be a remarkable evil on this planet;” that the Obama administration “aided and abetted” the Boston marathon bomber; and agreeing with his guest that the only hope for America “is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States.”

Beck has a long record of being dishonest, divisive, and downright dumb, which led to hundreds of advertisers refusing to permit their ads on his Fox News program. That, in turn, led to Fox canceling his show and relegating him to his current status as an Internet video blogger. Yet after all of that, and so much more, Beck believes that his initiative to provide relief to kids undergoing a severe hardship holds more mortal risk to his career than anything he’s ever done?

What does that say about Beck’s fans? Apparently Beck’s own opinion of the people who follow him (and who knows them better) is that they would be so outraged by this act of charity that they would respond by ditching him in droves. If Beck’s assessment is correct, then his audience is closely aligned with many others in the conservative ranks who have been viciously protesting these immigrant children with taunts and barricades and displays of hostility that surely frighten the kids who have no idea why they are the objects of such vile hatred from residents of a place that they believed to be the “shining city on a hill.”

Beck has already disclosed that his subscriptions have declined since the announcement of his charity drive. So the ugliness of his fan base is already surfacing. It remains to be seen if his relief trucks will be greeted by hostile protesters, or if that sort of repulsive behavior is reserved for frightened kids.

Brand Spanking New Fox News Conspiracy Theory Has Obama “Murdering” The Middle Class

It’s getting difficult to keep track of all of the plots against America that have been perpetrated by our Satanic Kenyan socialist president. When Obama isn’t conspiring to provide material support for Al Qaeda and other terrorists, he is scheming to use the EPA or health care to transform Americans into his personal stable of slaves. But those are small potatoes compared to what seminal birther Wayne Allyn Root is now alleging with the help of Fox News.

Fox News

Root’s newest Obama derangement is that he is purposefully orchestrating “The Murder of the Middle Class,” (which just happens to be the title of his new book, but I’m sure that’s merely coincidental). Root commences his anti-Obama escapade with the assertion that “This is the boldest, grandest criminal conspiracy in world history.” Wow. Even bolder and grander than the Nazi holocaust, the Gunpowder Plot, or the betrayal of Jesus by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane? As the Impeachy Queen Palin would say, “You betcha.”

This isn’t the first time that Root has exposed Obama’s obsession with destroying America. In fact, Root alleges that Obama has been planning this since his days as a student at Columbia University. However, Obama’s new and nefarious designs on the nation, that elected him as its leader twice, put past conspiracies to shame. Root writes that…

“Although the man at the center of this massive world-class fraud is Barack Obama and in my book I prove it…there are many moving parts and co-conspirators. These include famous billionaire businessmen, corporate CEOs, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street bankers, central bankers, government employee unions, the IRS, EPA, NSA, the Bar Association, assorted communists and America-haters, and even some well-known D.C. establishment Republicans. It’s quite a shocking list of conspirators.”

It certainly is. especially when most them (the billionaires, CEOs, bankers, etc.) have profited handsomely during the Obama era. That’s just how devious this plot is. It has incorporated the beneficiaries of Obama’s policies as participants in his cabal to crush the very system that has enriched them.

Root has identified pretty much every component of the Obama agenda as a critical gear in the super-destructo machine that Obama is building. Never mind the administration’s claims about assuring health care for everyone, or protecting the environment, Root has uncovered the true and frightening aspirations of this president and his team of evildoers. Here is what he says lies behind Obama’s campaign of fraud and lies:

The Real Objective…

  • Of ObamaCare: “is income redistribution (through higher taxes and higher premiums) to make the middle class poor and dependent on government.”
  • Of Environmental Regulation: “is bankrupting the middle class by tripling utility bills, gas bills and grocery bills.”
  • Of Immigration Reform: “is to create 12 million new low-wage employees in the labor force” and “12 million future Democratic voters.”
  • Of Income Equality: “is income redistribution and starving the biggest donors to conservative causes and candidates- small business and the middle class.”
  • Of Higher Education: “is enriching teachers unions so they can funnel hundreds of millions back to Democrat politicians.”
  • Of Quantitative Easing: “is printing enough fake money to pay for $3.7 trillion in government handout bribes to Obama’s voters.”

There is so much contradiction in there that it’s hard to know where to begin. For instance, where is the income redistribution in health care if the money is going right back into the pockets of the wealthy insurance companies? Likewise, higher utility bill would also benefit the rich energy concerns (Hello Koch brothers). However, would that be possible if those bills were bankrupting the middle class who would then be unable to pay them? Also, who does Root think it would help if immigrant labor produced more low-wage employees? That is certainly not a redistribution of wealth to the poor. And the liberal solution to raise the minimum wage, which would actually bolster the middle class, as does affordable health care, is ignored by Root entirely in order to continue bashing unions and stereotyping the poor as lazy moochers who will vote for whoever throws cash in their path.

There is really only one thing in this pile of tripe stands out as motivation for having published it. And that is the frequent and shameless references to the book Root is peddling. The whole article is nothing more than an advertisement for a work of fiction that mangles the facts, distorts reality, and disparages the American working class. And Fox News presents it as a piece of opinion journalism rather than as a crass pitch for a disgraced author’s latest collection of lies.

Speaking of shameless book peddling, have you read
Fox Nation vs. Reality? It’s Available now at Amazon.

But then what else could we expect of Fox? Their whole media enterprise is a collection of lies and partisan garbage aimed at advancing an agenda that benefits the rich, advocates for war, and proselytizes hate for minorities, women, and progressives.

A Dose Of Reality: Children In Texas Are Less Likely To Be Immunized Than Immigrant Kids

The saga of minors from south of the border migrating to the United States in large numbers to escape poverty and violence in their home countries is one of the most heartbreaking stories to emerge in years. These children are often alone and frightened and disoriented in their new surroundings.

Inflaming the tragedy further is the response from soulless right-wing hate squads that have protested these kids as they arrive at detention facilities for processing. Among the dehumanizing taunts that are cast at these innocents by protesters, as well as Fox News anchors and guests, is that the kids are dangerous agents of drug traffickers, terrorists, and gangs. They are described in terms that deprive them of their humanity, like invaders and tsunamis. This allows the haters to ignore that they are just children and transform them into forces of nature that bring nothing chaos and destruction.

Immigrant Kids

One of the most scurrilous accusations being hurled around is that the immigrant children are menacing disease carriers who will infect our precious homegrown little ones and poison the purity of our Euro-American gene pool. They are threatening an epidemic of infectious maladies long thought to have been eradicated in civilized society. However, an article in the Texas Observer addresses this subject with the sort of facts and informed research from which conservatives recoil as if from the plague (irony intended).

The principle discovery in the Observer reveals that the occurrence of illness in the immigrant children is “wildly overstated.” In fact, if one were inclined to be nervous about the infectious status of a child, they would be better off shunning Perry’s Kids – aka the unvaccinated children suffering under the current GOP regime in Texas.

“Before demonizing undocumented children, we should look at the facts: The vast majority of Central Americans are vaccinated against all these [mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus, diphtheria] diseases. Governments concerned about health, and good parents investing in their kids, have made Central American kids better-vaccinated than Texan kids. We fear them not because they are actually sick, but because of powerful anti-immigration narratives that link foreigners to disease.”

The article goes on to note that many Central American governments cover the cost of vaccinations at 100%. Compare that to the U.S. where there are many states, including Texas, where routine health care is unavailable due to the political piggishness of Tea Party Republicans. The article states that “one in six kids in Texas is uninsured, and even insured families often must pay for vaccination.” By refusing to expand Medicaid programs, GOP governors like Rick Perry are tangibly lowering the quality and availability of health care and putting lives at risk. There’s your real death panel.

In addition, the tin-foil hatted movement to persuade people that immunizations are actually government sponsored plots to enrich pharmaceutical companies by mandating vaccinations that will cause autism or other debilitating illnesses, has found fertile ground in places like Texas. Consequently, many deluded parents deliberately refuse to have their kids vaccinated. This is making more of a health crisis in the state than anything that might be attributed to immigrants.

The Observer article is goes into much greater detail and is well worth reading in full. It includes examples of media disinformation about both disease and immigrants (particularly exposing the lies broadcast on Fox News). It explores the historical attacks on immigrants as disease-carriers going back 200 years, when the targets of the allegations were often the Irish or Jews.

This story raises questions about the effectiveness and integrity of the media. While the Texas Observer deserves credit for doing their job, the rest of the mainstream press has been shamefully delinquent. They haven’t bothered to do the research necessary to serve their audience by keeping them informed. But they have pumped up the tabloid exploitation of phony protesters and pundits with obvious political biases. It will be interesting to see if the Observer’s article gets any national attention.

In the end, it is clear that what is motivating the falsehoods about immigrant children is nothing more than pure racism, fear, ignorance, partisanship, and even greed. This is a humanitarian crisis, not an immigration debate. If Teabagging bigots want to push their fixation with border fences and nativist outrage, let them do it after these kids are taken care of and the imminent risks to their well-being are settled.

So F**king What? Fox News Freaks Out Over American Muslims Support For Obama

A new Gallup poll surveyed the job approval rating for President Obama broken down by various religious groups. It’s a mildly interesting batch of data candy for polling nerds to suck on when they’re bored. The overall results average out to about the same level of approval (43%) registered in most other recent surveys. But leave it to the panic-peddlers at Fox to find something worthy of acute hyperventilation.

Fox Nation Poll

The numbers that sent Fox into a tizzy were those that put Muslim approval of Obama’s job performance at 72%. In their defective minds that surely means that Al Qaeda is pleased with the President’s performance in office and they are not ashamed to admit it. To make sure that their block-headed audience didn’t miss the point, Fox illustrated the article with a photo of Obama “bowing” down to his Arab master.

Everything about this posting is designed to stimulate the already excited racism follicles that cover the Fox viewer like an invisible furry hate-detector. But a cursory analysis reveals that there is nothing worrisome or surprising about the results in this poll.

First of all, the respondents in this survey are all Americans. They are not Islamic extremists in unfriendly Middle Eastern nations looking to the U.S. president for inspiration. They are not members of the Muslim Brotherhood seeking to form an Islamic Caliphate with Obama as their Supreme Leader. They are certainly not terrorists, unless the Gallup organization has partnered with Al Qaeda sleeper cells to find participants for their survey operations.

Secondly, who do you think American Muslims would be most inclined to support? Would it be Republicans who regard all of them as potential suicide bombers; who oppose the construction of new mosques and advocate surreptitious surveillance of existing ones; who push for racially profiling people with dark-skin and full beards? Muslims, like every other minority in America, recognize that Democrats are the tolerant party that believes in equality and values diversity. Obviously Obama is going to benefit from that in polling.

Furthermore, the not-so-subtle inference that broad support among Muslims indicates an affinity for Islamic extremists is ludicrous. After all, Obama is the man that executed Osama Bin Laden. There is no one on the planet who is responsible for the demise of more high-ranking terrorists than our current president. If the Muslim respondents in this survey were aligned with terrorism they surely would not be expressing support for Obama. And for a little contrast, Jews also gave Obama a resounding vote of confidence with a 55% majority approval rating.

Returning to the photo that Fox deliberately chose in order to fan the flames of bigotry, it should be noted that they had to reach back to June of 2009 to find a scary Muslim pictured with Obama. The other figure in the photo is the Saudi Arabian King Abdullah, a key American ally. He is awarding Obama the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, the highest honor that the Saudis can give to a foreign dignitary. And, yes, Obama is lowering his head so that the King can put the award around his neck.

bush-king-abdullahThis is precisely the way the ceremony was conducted in January of 2008, when George W. Bush received the same award (IOKIYAR). Of course, none of this is revealed by the myth-makers at Fox News who, by the way, are partially owned by the Muslim Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the second largest shareholder in the corporation after the Murdoch family.

The comments by readers of this article at Fox Nation provide clear evidence that Fox is achieving their goal of stirring the racist pot. So we’ll leave you with a few of those thoughts that so perfectly sum up the Fox mind set. If you want a collection of more than 50 documented examples of Fox Nation blatantly lying, be sure to check out our ebook, Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Community’s Assault On Truth. It’s educational, entertaining, frustrating, humorous, and downright scary. You’ll love it.

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