Global Climate Enemy Number One: Rupert Murdoch

The perilous state of the planet’s environmental health is a continuing concern among those who know the most about it: scientists, climatologists, and environmental advocates. Indeed, 97% of the scientists who have studied the matter agree that Climate Change is a fact and that it is caused by human activity.

In the face of that overwhelming consensus, Climate Change deniers continue cling to myths and fake research that is funded by fossil fuel interests and promoted by politicians who are bought and paid for by the same. The anti-science dimwits hold steadfastly to delusional beliefs that Climate Change is a hoax, or even a scam designed to enrich researchers and activists. That absurd contention is belied by the fact that there is much more money in Climate Change denial (via the billionaires in the energy industry) than in scarce grants to universities and research laboratories.

A recent survey by Ipsos MORI asked respondents from twenty countries to indicate whether or not they agreed with this statement: “The climate change we are currently seeing is largely the result of human activity.” The country with the greatest number of respondents who disagreed with that statement was the United States (We’re #1 – in climate denialism). We were followed closely by the United Kingdom and Australia.

Hmm…What do those three countries have in common? Well, they are all English speaking countries. And they are also all countries where the media is dominated by Rupert Murdoch. Can it be a coincidence that the people in these nations have a larger percentage of anti-science views than nations where Murdoch’s influence is not as strongly represented?

Rupert Murdoch

Shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

Murdoch has taken some brazenly contradictory stances on Climate Change. On the one hand, he has directed his corporation to meet stringent carbon emission standards and even bragged publicly about achieving a goal of carbon neutrality. But simultaneously, his Fox News Channel took a starkly contrary position. Fox News Washington managing editor, Bill Sammon, went so far as to issue a memo instructing all personnel to…

“…refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question.”

Indeed. Unqualified, politically motivated critics have called into question the overwhelming evidence that Climate Change is occurring and that it is man-made. This obvious contradiction was justified by a Fox PR flack who painfully struggled to explain that the corporate policy “doesn’t bring with it an editorial mandate.” In other words, on the business side they will behave responsibly with regard to the environment, but on the air they will lie their asses off. In fact, Fox News’ efforts to deliberately misinform their already intellectually confused audience continues unabated. The Union of Concerned Scientists did a study proving that the coverage of Climate Change by Fox News was nearly all (93%) misleading:

“The analysis finds that the misleading citations include broad dismissals of human-caused climate change, rejections of climate science as a body of knowledge, and disparaging comments about individual scientists. Furthermore, much of this coverage denigrated climate science by either promoting distrust in scientists and scientific institutions or placing acceptance of climate change in an ideological, rather than fact-based, context.”

This is what happens when a single entity is permitted to control vast swaths of the mediasphere. False perceptions of otherwise non-controversial facts can be spread widely. This is particularly problematic when a significant percentage of the media marketplace is comprised of people who are willfully gullible and easily duped. And a powerful and determined media mogul like Murdoch can produce the gullibility he requires for his message to take hold by inundating the audience with fear and promises of salvation in exchange for their loyalty.

That is pretty much how Fox News helped to create and grow the Tea Party. And now we have a nation that has the dubious honor of being the home to more science-challenged boneheads than any of twenty other surveyed nations. Thank you Rupert Murdoch. And Britain and Australia thank you too.

War On Whites? What This Has In Common With All The Other Fox News “Wars”

Yesterday Mo Brooks, an Alabama Tea Party Republican congressman, caused a stir with his remarks to conservative radio host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham. Brooks was in a frenzy over a statement made by the National Journal’s Ron Fournier on Fox News Sunday. Fournier made this utterly uncontroversial observation about political demographics:

“The fastest growing bloc in this country thinks the Republican Party hates them. This party, your party, cannot be the party of the future beyond November, if you’re seen as the party of white people.”

That opinion was such an accepted part of reality that it was even validated last year by Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, in his infamous “autopsy” of the GOP’s humiliating defeat in the 2012 elections. Priebus wrote…

“The Republican Party must focus its efforts to earn new supporters and voters in the following demographic communities: Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Indian Americans, Native Americans, women, and youth. This priority needs to be a continual effort that affects every facet of our Party’s activities, including our messaging, strategy, outreach, and budget. Unless the RNC gets serious about tackling this problem, we will lose future elections; the data demonstrates this.”

Nevertheless, Brooks took umbrage in a way that further illustrates how out-of-touch the Republican regulars are on matters of race. His commentary on the Ingraham broadcast was both ignorant and offensive:

“This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else. It’s a part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things.”

That’s right. Brooks believes that Democrats are waging a war on whites. There is so much wrong with that statement that it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the fact that it is a common refrain of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist organizations. Brooks should be aware that aligning himself with that sort of philosophy has consequences.

Mo Brooks

On a more substantive level, Brooks is demonstrating that he doesn’t understand the issue in the slightest. Democrats have never claimed that “whites hate everybody else.” What some have claimed is that white Republicans pursue an agenda that is overtly hostile to the interests of minorities, women, youth, the poor, and other disenfranchised citizens. And his statement of solidarity with the imaginary oppressed white folk is further evidence of that. But that didn’t stop him from holding steadfastly to his insulting and idiotic remarks the next day:

“Certainly if you were to flip the coin and a white person were to say vote for me because I’m white, it would be an uproar and deservedly so. So why do we allow blacks to say vote for me because I’m black or Hispanics vote for me because I’m Hispanic?”

One question for Mr. Brooks: Can you cite any black or Hispanic candidate who ever said “vote for me because” I’m black or Hispanic? If not, your argument is a blatant misrepresentation of the minority electorate, which is just another kind of racism. It was your intent to pejoratively characterize minorities as being mindless sheep who are incapable of analytical thought and will, thus, base their decisions solely on skin color.

It is notable that all of the trumped up “wars” that Fox News features so often, have something very similar that connects them. Fox has hyped the “War on Christmas,” the “War on Oil/Coal,” the “War on Business,” the “War on Marriage,” the “War on Men,” and the ever-present “Class War.” [Jon Stewart cataloged another dozen or so Fox News wars] In every case the beleaguered victims of the battle are those who are distinctly at the top of the social order. They are either the majority, or the wealthy, or the powerful, or some combination of two or more of these privileged classes.

Fox News is predictably hostile to society’s underdogs, and just as predictably roots for the “over” dogs who don’t need any help. But that has been the mission of Fox News since its inception. And it is intertwined inseparably with the mission of the Republican Party. Which is why Brooks gets away with undisguised bigotry without either his party or Fox News taking him to task.

Shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

IT’S OFFICIAL! The GOP Has Lost What’s Left Of Its Twisted Mind

Strolling through the muddy swamps of right-wing media often results in stumbling upon absurd allegations by disturbed wingnuts whose hatred for President Obama and liberal politics overcomes their grasp of reality. But this may be one of the best examples of outright delusion on the part of conservatives whose sanity has never been particularly stable.

Fox Nation

The Fox News community website, Fox Nation (whose rap sheet of brazen lies is a mile long) posted an article they regurgitated from the ultra-rightist, “Moonie” Washington Times. The headline is a mind-bogglingly ludicrous declaration that accuses Obama of being preoccupied with lawsuits: “The Obama Way: Litigation Not Leadership.”

SERIOUSLY? This is coming from one of the most prominent media mouthpieces for the Republican Party which, as we all know, just approved a resolution to sue the President – a lawsuit challenging his delay of an ObamaCare component that the GOP actually wants to delay. Talk about your frivolous lawsuits.

The article was written for the Washington Times by Thomas DelBeccaro, former chairman of the California Republican Party. It is a jumble of incoherence that never bothers to validate its premise. There is not a single example of Obama engaging in litigation that he or his administration initiated. Instead, DelBeccaro bleats interminably about how Obama has had to govern without the “benefit” of consensus with the unreasonable right.

DelBeccaro lists a number of examples of legislative division that range from the budget, to ObamaCare, to the environment, to trials of terrorists. But in every example the only thing that DelBeccaro succeeds in proving is that Republicans have been marching in lock-step to obstruct anything this administration has sought to accomplish. DelBeccaro wrote that…

“In fact, since becoming President, Mr. Obama has not undertaken a single effort at building consensus. Not one. For all the claims of partisanship made about President George W. Bush, Mr. Obama’s immediate predecessor, for better or for worse, Mr. Bush had bipartisan support in several key legislative victories. Mr. Bush had Senator Edward Kennedy support one of his bills, The No Child Left Behind Act, and Senator Bernie Sanders support another, Medicare Part D.”

Can DelBeccaro be so obtuse that he doesn’t even realize that he is making a case against his own party’s willingness to compromise? Indeed, Bush had Kennedy and Sanders (two of the Senate’s most liberal members) and numerous other Democrats who respected their roles as representatives of the people and were determined to work on their behalf, even in difficult circumstances. Who does Obama have? Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, Darrell Issa, Michele Bachmann, and a party that is dead set on impeaching him, despite the absence of any legal grounds for doing so.

As for Obama undertaking efforts at building consensus, how could he have been more of a consensus builder than by having adopted long-held Republican policies on the most prominent items in his agenda? DelBeccaro mentions ObamaCare, which was taken nearly in total from the GOP/Heritage Foundation insurance reform that Mitt Romney implemented in Massachusetts. He also mentions the Environmental Protection Agency, whose efforts to put in place the Republican-created Cap and Trade plan was derailed by Republicans. On the budget Obama wanted to allow the Bush tax cuts for the rich to sunset (as Bush’s bill originally mandated), but in a concession to the GOP he agreed to a compromise that drew a line at those with income over $400,000.

The evidence is clear that, contrary to DelBeccaro’s ignorant assertion that “Obama has not undertaken a single effort at building consensus,” the only thing Obama has done is compromise. That has resulted in half-way measures on a variety of issues that might have produced even better results, but for the GOP obstructionism. For instance, we might have a more robust economy, and lower unemployment, with federal dollars financing the rebuilding our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. We might have a higher minimum wage that would lift millions out of poverty and shrink the expenditures on welfare programs. We might be more energy independent with greater access to renewable sources of energy that don’t destroy the environment – which creates massive, avoidable costs as well.

Nevertheless, DelBeccaro’s column accuses Obama of being overly litigious, without offering a single example of it. And they seem oblivious to the fact that it is the right that has been suing at every opportunity over ObamaCare, or marriage equality, or voter suppression, and culminating with their unprecedented lawsuit by the GOP-run House of Representatives.

So of course the Fox Nationalists post this hopelessly confused diatribe at the very top of their page as if it were worthy of prideful recognition. They seriously seem to have abandoned all reason in favor of projecting their own psychoses unto their ideological foes. Just as they ranted about impeachment for years and then flipped to accuse Democrats of inventing the issue, they have also obstructed the workings of government for years, even suing their opponents, and now they are claiming that Obama is the litigious one.

Is anyone buying this idiocy? Well, anyone other than Fox News viewers, Sarah Palin groupies, and the frightened cave-dwellers hugging their guns and gold and praying for the Apocalypse?

CNN’s Horribly Bad Suck-Up Interview Of Congenital Liar Glenn Beck

There’s a pretty good media analysis program on CNN called Reliable Sources. Its host, Brian Stelter, is generally a thoughtful guide through some of the week’s exercises in modern broadcast journalism. But for some reason he was transformed into a grinning, sycophantic, waste of flesh in the presence of Glenn Beck, whom he allowed to pander, lie, and promote his deceitful Internet hate-site, unchallenged in an interview that offered nothing new or revealing.

Glenn Beck

Shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

Beck assumed an increasingly familiar pose that he undertakes whenever appearing on the mainstream media for which he has nothing but contempt. First, he tries to present himself as remorseful for the division that he has caused by way of his bitterly hostile representations of those with whom he disagrees. Then he seeks to persuade that he has changed and now wants only to form bonds of harmony and unity.

The problem with Beck’s new-found desire for brotherhood is that it is utterly dishonest. He will plaintively insist that he is now dedicated to being a uniting voice during these interviews, then he will return to his Internet/radio platform and revert to the name-calling and slander that has become his trademark. For some reason Stelter didn’t know this and seemed as if he were interviewing someone he had never heard of or researched. It was downright painful to watch.

In the course of the interview, Beck said that he has always hated politics and has been moving away from it on his radio program and his Internet site, The Blaze. To drive home the point he asserted that “I don’t have time for politicians anymore.” However, if you go to The Blaze now you will see that all of the top stories are political. And on his radio program he has been actively supporting politicians including Matt Bevin (who lost the GOP senate primary in Kentucky to Mitch McConnell), Chris McDaniel (who lost the GOP senate primary in Mississippi to Thad Cochran), and David Brat (who defeated GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Virginia primary). Beck recently enthused about his choice of Texas senator Ted Cruz as “Man of the Year.” And just prior to the presidential election in 2012, Beck said 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.’”

It’s one thing to express opposition to a political candidate. It is something entirely different to call on God Almighty to destroy a country for making a free democratic decision. But that is typical of Beck’s extremist rhetoric that he seeks to disguise when appearing with people like Stelter. A prepared journalist would have held Beck accountable for his hypocrisy when saying things like…

“I think we’re a country in a civil war – a cold civil war. Shooting hasn’t started, but somebody stupid is going to do something stupid and it will escalate unless we talk to each other.”

Stelter did make a weak effort to have Beck respond to the inherently violent nature of that suggestion, but immediately let him off the hook. And Stelter never mentioned the fact that the shooting has actually begun in places like Nevada where a couple of Tea Party terrorists murdered two police officers after spending a few days with deadbeat rancher Cliven Bundy and his revolutionary militia brigade who aimed their weapons at agents of the Bureau of Land Management.

Beck took this interview opportunity to absolve himself of responsibility for the divisiveness that he has infected our culture with. And not satisfied with denying his own culpability, he laid the blame on “everybody else.” No, seriously. He actually pointed his bony finger of incrimination at the whole world, with the possible exception of one notable peacenik.

“I look at the things that I’ve done that have been good, and I look at the things I’ve done that, unintentionally… I feel I’ve added – we all have, all of us – have added to the situation that we’re in right now. Not a single member of our society – maybe the Dalai Lama – but everybody else has played a role in this.

Bullshit! It is YOU, Glenn. You have spent years feeding the raw meat of hatred to your dimwitted disciples knowing full well that they would eat it up and reward you handsomely for their feast. The vast majority of this Earth’s inhabitants are not hostile bigots like you, and they have not contributed to the situation we’re in. They are the victims of the situation that you purposefully created. And it doesn’t do any good to seek forgiveness by admitting to Stelter that you have “said stupid things” if you follow that up by saying that, given the chance, “I would do exactly the same thing.”

That isn’t remorse. It’s arrogance and pride, and conceit. And you should be ashamed for the singular role you have played in exploiting peoples prejudices and fears, and inciting them to violence. You haven’t changed. You are just pathetically pushing a phony rebranding of your destructive message in the hopes of broadening the base of suckers willing to make you an even wealthier hate monger. And it’s too bad that Stelter, a normally astute observer of the media, got sucked into the black hole of your promotional campaign.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: On Abandoning Israel – Who Says Obama Has Been “Terrific”

OK, first of all this is not an article about the tragic conflict in the Middle East that has been raging for decades. There will be no taking of sides or opinionating on blame. This is about how Fox News purposefully contorts their coverage to make President Obama look bad. Of course, that isn’t exactly breaking news either.

Fox Nation

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

The headline at the top of the lie-riddled Fox Nation website purports to convey a warning from Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to President Obama: “Netanyahu to White House: Don’t Second Guess Me Again.” There are a couple of problems with that headline. First of all, Netanyahu did not direct that comment to the White White House. He was on a conference call with the diplomats at the State Department. Secondly, it was not a warning. It was more of an I-told-you-so relating to the recent 72 hour cease fire that Hamas violated within ninety minutes. Netahyahu was making the point that he was correct when he expressed doubts about the trustworthiness of Hamas.

But what really stands out is that Fox News chose to feature this remark on Sunday in their most prominent position while failing to even report another comment from Netanyahu. The “second-guess” comment occurred on Friday. On Saturday Netanyahu held a news conference where he delivered a very different message:

“In a news conference Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would take all the time it needs to eradicate the threat of Hamas from Gaza. He did not mention the scheduled truce talks but did say the U.S. has been “terrific and has given us tremendous support during the Gaza crisis.”

Fox News made an editorial decision to keep this statement of solidarity and appreciation a secret from their audience. It’s just another reason why their audience is so dreadfully ignorant of the world around them. But it isn’t surprising for Fox News. They have long sought to invent some sort of animosity between Obama and Netanyahu. Here are just a few of their recent headlines:

  • Fox Nation: Candidly Speaking: Obama Is Abandoning Israel
  • Greta: Is President Obama ‘abandoning’ Israel?
  • Fox News: MH17, Israel invasion: Mr. Obama, abandoning our allies isn’t a strategy, it’s a disaster
  • Fox Nation: Israeli Journalist: Obama Has Abandoned Israel, Kerry ‘Hurting Us’
  • Fox News: Why Obama has abandoned Israel and Jews should abandon Obama

This isn’t a coincidence. It’s a strategy. Fox News is so determined to demean our President that they don’t care if doing so undermines U.S. foreign policy or exacerbates the harm to victims of a brutal war. That tells you something about where Fox’s priorities lie.

How Inept Is This Republican Congress? More Inept Than You Ever Imagined

If it seems to you that that President Obama has been under an investigative microscope since the moment he took office, it’s only because that’s pretty much true. Republicans were determined to foil anything positive that this president placed on his agenda, and their primary method of achieving that end has been perpetual investigations of trumped up scandals.

Benghazi

But even with their single-minded devotion to destroying this presidency, the House GOP has not produce any evidence of wrongdoing that implicated the White House. Of course, if their purpose was merely to keep the nation from enjoying the benefits of a productive government, Republicans can claim some success. They have certainly obstructed the creation of millions of jobs; progress on environmental protection; reforms of health care and immigration and tax policies; and numerous other initiatives that might have advanced the country’s well being. But any actual manifestations of scandal have been nonexistent.

To illustrate the level of incompetence attributable to these Tea Party hacks, it is useful to put their job performance into historical perspective. One way to do this is to compare their progress with that of prior congressional sessions working on similarly lofty projects. And since there has been so much talk of impeachment of late, it seemed like that would make a good model for comparison.

So get this: From the date that the U.S. Senate voted to establish a select committee to investigate Watergate, until the resignation of President Nixon, it took about 15 months. To reiterate, that’s from the date that the committee was approved, through the maze of contested hearings, the presentation of evidence, the White House defense, and all the way through the conclusion with a disgraced (and obviously guilty) president stepping down, only a little more than a year transpired.

Compare that the the current House Committee on Oversight’s investigation of whether the IRS discriminated against conservative organizations. Those hearings began 16 months ago. So they have already exceeded the time allotted to impeaching Nixon. However, there has not been a single shred of incriminating evidence uncovered. Plus, if you count from the time the Ways and Means Committee began their inquiries, it has been over 38 months. And these hearings are still continuing.

Let’s also compare the House hearings on Fast and Furious, the botched gun trafficking sting that actually began in the Bush Administration. But limiting this to just the Obama era, Congress has been investigating this since June 2011 – 38 months and counting. And nothing of substance has come from it.

The granddaddy of the Obama era pseudo-scandals has to be Benghazi. Over at Fox News they are suffering from a rare form of Benghazi Tourettes, spitting out the word every few seconds for no apparent reason other than to stir up their dimwitted viewers. So far, the congressional investigations into this have been ongoing for 23 months, with nothing to show for it. And on this issue they have been the most insistent that there is a correlation to Watergate. In fact, the Watergate angle has been an obsession that they tie to their wet dreams of impeachment.

Even the impeach-happy congress of the Clinton era took far less time to conduct hearings and actually try the President for high crimes and misdemeanors, than it has taken for any of the current Congress to even find a crumb of presidential misbehavior. From the inception of the House proceedings to impeach Clinton, until his acquittal in the Senate, it took all of four and a half months. If you count from the date that the Drudge Report posted its tabloid article identifying the Monica Lewinsky affair, it was still only 13 months.

Shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

To sum up, every one of the current phony scandals, that are wastefully consuming time and taxpayer dollars, are exceeding that spent on the Nixon and Clinton impeachments. And none of these scandals have produced any hint of wrongdoing. That’s fairly conclusive proof that the Republicans serving in Congress now are profoundly incompetent. There are really only three possible explanations for this. Either 1) There is no evidence and they are wasting everyone’s time, or 2) There is evidence, but these blockheads are too stupid to stumble over it, or 3) They don’t give a damn about evidence, they are only trying to smear the President.

Either way, they need to be relieved of their duties at the earliest opportunity, which would be this November. That makes it the responsibility of American voters to step up and do their duty. All you have to do is vote. And rest assured, if you do not, this GOP idiocy will continue for the next two years and will likely be escalated into a full-blown impeachment of Obama. For God’s sake, don’t let that happen.

FOX NEWS ALERT: ObamaCare Website Rollout Had Problems (Who Knew?)

Not too long ago, the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) dominated the political landscape in both Congress and the media. It virtually sucked the oxygen out of every other issue that didn’t involve Benghazi. But lately there has been a conspicuous absence of news about the program. And Republicans, once devoted to its demise, have all but banished it from their public communications. Until today.

Fox News

Be Sure To “SHARE” this and “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

That’s right. Fox News has brought ObamaCare back into the spotlight to announce that a Government Accounting Office report has found that “management failures” led to the botched rollout of the website. The network banged their signature gong and ran their “Fox Alert” graphics to broadcast this breaking news. After all, who would have ever imagined that a lack of managerial oversight and efficiency were responsible for the debacle that accompanied the launch of the ObamaCare exchange?

Thank goodness Fox News is here to enlighten us with their probing journalism. Such tenacity is representative of their professionalism and surely has nothing to do with trying to shove an old and obvious story into the news cycle in order to damage the President’s standing.

Perhaps they are just nostalgic for the good old days when they had a juicy drama with which they could smear the administration. Back when Congress held over fifty votes to cripple or repeal the legislation. At the same time, multiple committees were investigating everything from the faulty website, to alleged security risks, to threats of criminal navigators, to allegations of false audits, and the ever-present fantasy of death panels.

The media, led by Fox News, obsessed over the same issues as they emerged from the GOP committees investigating them. But they added their own scare mongering in an effort to frighten citizens away from the program and hasten its failure. The press falsely reported conservative assessments that claimed millions would lose their insurance, that premiums would skyrocket, and that their personal health and financial records would be compromised.

However, much of that talk has abated in light of the fact that ObamaCare has become an unmitigated success. Over eight million people had enrolled by the end of the open enrollment period. And just about every metric for measuring success has surpassed expectations. Even Republican enrollees have reported being overwhelmingly satisfied. That may explain why Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, has jammed into reverse. Just last February 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.”

Since then he has barely mentioned it. The last substantive comment he had about the program was in March. In May the RNC held their annual Spring Meeting where Priebus delivered a speech that only mentioned it once in passing while addressing a separate subject. His most recent allusion to ObamaCare was earlier this month when he tweeted “Thanks to #ObamaCare, average E.R. wait in California is 5 hours: [...] And ‘it’s only going to get worse.’” Unfortunately for him, that comment was scored by PolitiFact and rated as “False.”

So it isn’t surprising that Fox News would jump at this opportunity to re-flog an old subject that had given them so much pleasure way back in, well, February of this year. They can’t hammer away at the actual programs or services that ObamaCare is providing, because most Americans are happy with it. So if the best they can do is to hype a glaringly obvious report that draws conclusions that everyone already knows, then maybe we should let them have their little bit of pathetic fun. After all, it’s either this or Benghazi.

Being Ashamed Of America: It’s Not Just For Breitbart Anymore

The buffoons at Breitbart News put their alleged journalistic skills on display again with an article that demeans Democratic congresswoman Barbara Lee by chopping up her remarks at a hearing on immigrant children.

Breitbart

Lee spoke to the issue of how these kids have suffered, both on the harrowing journey from their homes, and the treatment they received at overcrowded detention facilities here in the U.S. Her empathy for the hardships faced by children in dire circumstances was not shared by the BreitBrats. They posted a video fragment of Lee’s remarks, then truncated it to make it appear that she was “ashamed of America.” Here is the expanded version of her statement:

“In listening to your testimony I felt ashamed and I ask my colleagues are you talking about America? Is this America, where you have fled and were treated as you were. So I want to directly say to you this country is a country that stands for liberty and justice for all.”

Clearly Lee was merely expressing her shame for the difficult conditions to which the kids were subjected, and not for America, which she praised for its principles of liberty and justice. But that didn’t stop Breitbart (and Fox News who reposted the article on their lie-riddled Fox Nation website) from misrepresenting her words. And if that weren’t bad enough, they also referred to the children as “illegal minors.” What is that? Kids who are underage without permission? It is telling that the racists who use the term “illegal” to describe human beings never call bank robbers, or rapists, or even terrorists illegals.

The upshot of the article criticizing Rep. Lee is that the conservatives at Breitbart, and throughout right-wing culture, apparently feel no shame when they see children enduring a misery over which they have no control. The heartless Tea Party set seems unmoved by the grief of these innocents. They may, in fact, feel proud. And after dismissing the pain and fear of the kids, the BreitBrats make matters worse by casting aspersions on those who genuinely care.

Funny, they never seemed to mind when Rush Limbaugh actually did said say that he was ashamed of America.

Rush Limbaugh

So F**king What? Former IRS Official Says That GOP Crazies Are…CRAZY!

Republicans and their friends at Fox News have mastered the art of building mountains of bullshit from the lowliest troll-hills. It’s one of their favorite tactics to malign Democrats. Just grab a sentence fragment from a long speech and pretend that it is the whole of the comment from which it was extracted. Then feign outrage that such an awful remark could have been uttered.

GOP Crazy

Shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

The latest example of this rhetorical deceit was demonstrated when the GOP chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Dave Camp, unscrupulously and selectively released some emails purported to be from Lois Lerner, the former IRS official who has been hounded by malevolent cretins like Rep. Darrell Issa in an attempt to fabricate ammunition to use against President Obama. Despite hundreds of wasted hours (costing millions of taxpayer dollars) engaged in hyper-partisan investigations, the Republican Inquisition has produced nothing implicating the President in any untoward activity.

The emails that Camp is now crowing about are just as meaningless as all of the other bogus “smoking guns” that these wingnuts have claimed would topple the administration. The headline that Camp has wrenched from the documents is that Lerner may have referred to certain individuals as “crazies” or “a-holes.” And, of course, this would only be an atrocity if those individuals were Republicans. Suffice to say that Camp wouldn’t give a Fig Newton if they were Democrats.

As Camp characterized this affair, Lerner was allegedly caught red-handed expressing her disgust for Republicans. And as the person at the center of the controversy over whether the IRS improperly subjected Tea Party groups to extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status, Camp believes that these emails prove that she was biased. Consequently, Camp regards the emails as justification for appointing a special prosecutor and escalating the legal assault on Lerner and, ultimately, the White House.

There’s just one problem. The emails don’t don’t say what Camp alleges they say. And even if they did it wouldn’t mean anything. Most people in government have personal opinions and allegiances. There isn’t anything wrong with that, so long as it doesn’t interfere with the fair execution of their duties. And the evidence shows that Lerner’s department scrutinized applications of all political persuasions. The only organization that was denied tax-exempt status during the time in question was a liberal group.

As for the emails, Camp’s assertion that Lerner had expressed a general bias against Republicans is false. And by focusing narrowly on the use of specific pejorative language he is being deliberately dishonest. She did say that there are crazies and a-holes, but she was clearly referring to a far-right fringe, not the rank and file GOP. The person with whom she was corresponding was not identified. [Update: The person has now been identified as Lerner's husband. This makes the whole thing even less controversial] Here is a transcript (complete with typos) of the email exchange beginning with Lerner describing a conversation she overheard of women in England where she was visiting.

Lerner: Overheard some ladies talking about American today. According to them we’ve bankrupted ourselves and at through. We’ll never be able to pay off our debt and are going down the tubes. They don’t seem to see that they can’t afford to keep up their welfare state either.
Unknown: Well, you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP. The US is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end. The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to.
Lerner: Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many a-holes.
Unknown: And I’m talking about the hosts of the shows. The callers are rabid.
Lerner: So we don’t need to worry about alien teRrorists. It’s our own crazies that will take us down.

So we start off with Lerner actually defending America and taking a rather conservative view of the national debt, while noting the hypocrisy of the English women who were criticizing the U.S., but ignoring similar issues with their own economy. Then the other person brought up the matter of the “whacko wing of the GOP,” who hold apocalyptic views of America’s imminent demise. It is those nut cases that Lerner referred to as a-holes and crazies. And that is, quite clearly, what they are.

In the end, Camp and his …er… camp, are really complaining that Lerner called crazy people crazy. But when put in context, she absolutely did not direct those remarks to Republicans at large. It is Camp who is extrapolating the whackoness to include all Republicans. And if that’s his view of his party, well, that’s his problem.

WTF? GOP Balks At Honoring Pope Francis Because He “Sound[s] Like Obama”

The Centers for Disease Control may want to get involved soon because the epidemic of Obama Derangement Syndrome is spreading unchecked in the halls of Congress. A draft resolution to honor Pope Francis, authored by Republican Peter King and Democrat John Larson, has been stalled by an acutely myopic band of GOP obstructionists.

Pope Francis

H.Res.440 seeks to recognize Pope Francis for “his humility, his commitment to economic justice and improving the lives of the poor, and his outreach to individuals from all walks of life.” Those surprisingly non-controversial reasons for honoring the new Pontiff has the Tea Party Republican caucus steeping in anger and refusing to join the tribute. According to a GOP source who spoke to The Hill, the alleged reason for their disrespectful non-participation is that…

“Some Republicans believe the pope is ‘sounding like [President] Obama. [The pope] talks about equality — he actually used the term ‘trickle-down economics,’ which is politically charged,’ the GOP official said.”

OMG! The head of the Catholic church has debased Christianity by daring to discuss equality and empathy for the poor. Certainly Jesus would never have done anything like that. And to the extent that President Obama has articulated the same philosophy, the Pope is obviously aligned with his Marxist agenda.

That’s why, of the 221 co-sponsors of the bill (more than enough to insure passage), only 19 are Republicans. But at this point, GOP Speaker John Boehner has refused to bring it up for a vote. The Hill’s source also complained that Francis is “too liberal,” as demonstrated by his distaste for the harmful effects of unbound free markets and his tolerance for civil unions.

To be sure, Pope Francis has shown himself to be a devoted advocate for the disadvantaged of the world. He has made headlines for his willingness to humble himself before those he serves in profound ceremonial gestures like washing the feet of the poor, including women, and embracing the sick. In an official Vatican “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel), The Pope went into stark detail about the greater harm of the greed and power associated with world markets and unfettered capitalism. Some of the more illuminating excerpts include…

“Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.”

“In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.”

“In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market.”

“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems. Inequality is the root of social ills.”

No wonder the Republicans view this Pope as the reincarnation of Karl Marx. And this isn’t the first time that Francis has been disparaged with an association to our president. Last December News Corpse reported on a story on Fox News that declared that “Pope Francis is the Catholic Church’s Obama – God help us.” The story warned that the popular new Pope is already headed in the wrong direction and that “just as President Obama has been a disappointment for America, Pope Francis will prove a disaster for the Catholic Church.” That was a rather remarkable insult coming from a network whose roster is heavily dominated by Roman-Catholics.

And that’s not all. Rush Limbaugh said that “If it weren’t for capitalism, I don’t know where the Catholic church would be. This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope.” Sarah Palin complained about his “liberal statements.” Glenn Beck, although not referring directly to the Pope, begged his disciples to “run as fast as you can” from any church that uses the words “social justice,” which, of course, are the very words the Pope used.

However, no one should be surprised by the overt hypocrisy that runs rampant through the ranks of America’s right-wing. They have never been particularly pious except when it justifies their political bias. To them Catholic teachings are only meant to be followed so long as they are in harmony with Republican doctrine. And often, they are not. But Pope Francis had something to say about this as well:

“Politics, though often denigrated, remains a lofty vocation and one of the highest forms of charity, inasmuch as it seeks the common good. [...] I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor!. It is vital that government leaders and financial leaders take heed and broaden their horizons, working to ensure that all citizens have dignified work, education and healthcare.”

As far as Republicans are concerned, that was a campaign ad for the Democratic Party.

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.

Shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

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.

And speaking of shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

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

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

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

Want over 50 more examples of Fox embarrassing itself?
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

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

Shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

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.

AT&T and Verizon users: Stop funding the Tea Party.
Switch to CREDO Mobile, the progressive cell phone company, today!

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

Be Sure To “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

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

AT&T and Verizon users: Stop funding the Tea Party.
Switch to CREDO Mobile, the progressive cell phone company, today!

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!