The Next Jade Helm Hoax Per Fox News: Obama Orders Behavioral Experiments On American Public

This summer there was a flashing wingnut red alert warning that President Obama was plotting to invade Texas with federal troops to enslave the residents, confiscate their guns, and generally wreak havoc on the Lone Staters. In Realityland, Jade Helm 15 was a military training exercise to prepare soldiers for battle in desert environments and it has been conducted many times before. But that didn’t stop the conspiracy freaks (including Texas governor Greg Abbott) from waxing idiotic about the looming tyrannical threat from the Kenyan Muslim occupying the formerly White House.

This week the Pentagon announced that the Jade Helm operation was complete, and despite the deranged ranting of the right-wing Psycho-chicken Littles, not a single “patriot” was hauled off to a FEMA camp and every armed Texan continues to strut around with their surrogate phalluses, except those who offed themselves while defending their pseudo-freedom. However, the absence of this delusional diversion has left the paranoia hoarders one panicky horror story short. Lucky for them that Fox News is here to fill the void.

Fox Nation

The Fox News community website, Fox Nation, reached out to the Daily Caller and Fox’s bitch, Tucker Carlson, for a story that contains all of the vital elements for a crackpot conspiracy theory. It begins, of course, with Chairman Obama abusing his power by issuing an executive order (which he has issued fewer of than any of his modern predecessors). But this particular order includes a hint of the sort of mind control that makes conspiracy theorists’ toes tingle. The headline blared “President Obama Orders Behavioral Experiments On American Public,” and warned that…

“President Obama announced a new executive order on Tuesday which authorizes federal agencies to conduct behavioral experiments on U.S. citizens in order to advance government initiatives.”

Oh my. Obama is planning to turn America into a nation of guinea pigs. Now that’s the sort of brain-fried idiocy that hatched Jade Helm (and Obamaphones, and death panels, and Benghazi, etc.). There was nothing in the article to corroborate the wild claim made by these fruitcakes. They just left the charge hanging out there to strike fear into the withering hearts of their dimwitted readers. But if any of them were curious enough to seek out the actual executive order and peruse the contents themselves, they would have found this: Executive Order — Using Behavioral Science Insights to Better Serve the American People.

“Where Federal policies have been designed to reflect behavioral science insights, they have substantially improved outcomes for the individuals, families, communities, and businesses those policies serve. For example, automatic enrollment and automatic escalation in retirement savings plans have made it easier to save for the future, and have helped Americans accumulate billions of dollars in additional retirement savings. Similarly, streamlining the application process for Federal financial aid has made college more financially accessible for millions of students.

To more fully realize the benefits of behavioral insights and deliver better results at a lower cost for the American people, the Federal Government should design its policies and programs to reflect our best understanding of how people engage with, participate in, use, and respond to those policies and programs. By improving the effectiveness and efficiency of Government, behavioral science insights can support a range of national priorities, including helping workers to find better jobs; enabling Americans to lead longer, healthier lives; improving access to educational opportunities and support for success in school; and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy.

So it turns out that the order is simply an initiative to better design forms, applications, and processes so that they are easier to understand and navigate. The goals are spelled out in more detail and include “streamlining processes” and “removing administrative hurdles, shortening wait times, and simplifying forms,” as well as to “reduce regulatory burdens.”

What a friggin’ nightmare! Someone has to stop these fiends before they make government so efficient that people come to appreciate it and welcome interactions with its agencies. That, of course, would be a real nightmare for conservatives whose mission is to make everything associated with government fail so that they can argue that it is unnecessary and then propose to cut its budget and fire everybody in Washington. Never mind whether or not it actually helps people and saves money.

Republicans are the party of deliberate failure. They know that if federal services were managed competently, Americans would get used to the benefits and the cost savings and reject the right’s agenda of shrinking government so that only the privileged would benefit. That’s why electing Republicans to run government is like hiring bank robbers as security guards. They both have an incentive to screw everything up.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It is no coincidence that these screwball conspiracies almost always originate with right-wingers. They thrive on fear and the falsehoods that produce them. Without their alternate realities they wouldn’t be able to sustain their innate anger and animus toward anyone that looks different. And media like the Daily Caller and Fox News are the fuel that ignites their hate and hallucinations, and obviously they intend to continue to do so for the foreseeable future, unfortunately.

Little Monsters: Fear Mongers At Fox News Demonize Innocent Child Refugees

It must be exhausting for the punditry and viewers of Fox News to be on a perpetually heightened state of alert in a world where they are convinced that horrors stalk them constantly. It seems that every day they awake to a new catastrophe that sends them diving under their heavily fortified beds where they store their survival gear, gold coins, and assault weapons. This inbred fear has been triggered by everything from health care to immigration to the threat of a foreign-born, Muslim socialist with a scary name invading the White House.

Now the folks at Fox’s Fox Nation website are trembling over what they are characterizing as fledgling terrorists in the form of children taken in as refugees by Germany. The Fox Nationalists proclaimed that this is actually a plot by “Islamists In Germany Trying To Recruit Young Refugees.”

Fox Nation Syrian Refugees

Just look at them. They’re ghastly. The bone-chilling story that Fox cites as proof of this fiendish scheme is an article on Yahoo News from the Agence France-Presse wire service. The article contains reports that “Muslim radicals in Germany are trying to recruit some of the growing numbers of asylum seekers” from Syria. The wrinkle that Fox adds is a photograph of smiling children with cuddly stuffed toys arriving at the train station in Munich. Fox is plainly implying that kids like these will soon be at your local mall with pressure-cooker bombs. The photo is from the Associated Press, was not in the source article and had nothing to do with it. The article spoke only of young refugees, a common target for radical recruiting, but never mentioned children. The only conceivable purpose for inserting this photo into the Fox Nation story was to demonize innocent children as potential future terrorists.

This is all part of a larger Fox News campaign to frighten their easily spooked viewers into rejecting any proposal to bring some of the suffering Syrian refugees to the U.S. For the last week Fox has been airing segments that allege that the refugees have been infiltrated by terrorists and that allowing them into the country would result in certain death. Apparently Fox is OK, however, with refugee children dying and being washed ashore, which they will subsequently blame on Obama.

The Fox Fear Festival also featured rewritten histories of the 9/11 attacks. In an attempt to send shivers up the spines of their already quivering audience, Fox’s Neil Cavuto hosted Michael Pregent of Veterans Against the Deal (VAD), a shadowy organization that unsuccessfully tried to stop the nuclear agreement with Iran. VAD has a multi-million dollar budget whose funding sources are unknown but, not surprisingly, a member of their board, Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth, runs another astroturf vets group (Concerned Veterans for America ) that is bankrolled by the Koch brothers.

Cavuto began the segment by falsely pandering to professional 9/11 alarmists by saying that “We are helping the very folks that may have had a hand in 9/11.” Of course, there is no evidence that Iran had anything to do with 9/11. However, that is exactly the same manufactured argument that the Bush regime used to justify war with Iraq. It is all about increasing the scare quotient and aiming it at a vulnerable enemy. And to make sure the fear sticks, Cavuto made it overtly political. He asserted that the deal was a product of partisan Democrats who had orchestrated a process that Cavuto called “kinda weird.”

Cavuto: They set up this Byzantine parliamentary process by which you needed two-thirds majority and all this other stuff and cloture votes and stuff that’s way over my head, which is not hard to do.

First of all, there is nothing remotely Byzantine, or even unusual, about the parliamentary process used in this vote. Republicans needed to get a filibuster-proof majority to prevail. That’s something with which they should be familiar considering that when they were in the minority they conducted more filibusters than any session of Congress in history. Secondly, Cavuto should know that the threshold to invoke cloture to end a filibuster is only three-fifths, not two-thirds. Finally, his reference to “all this other stuff” is just nonsense. What other stuff?

Having gotten so much wrong it would be easy to believe him when he says this is way over his head, except for the fact that he is obviously lying in order to make it all sound more confusing and sinister. And his accusation of partisanship is really better suited for Republicans, After all, Democrats voted both for and against the Iran deal. It is Republicans who voted lock-step against it in a show of pure partisanship.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In the end, the message here is to fear Democrats, fear Iran, and fear little kids escaping from Syrian turmoil, oppression and death. In short, be afraid. Afraid of everything. All the time. And thank goodness there is Fox News around to make sure that you are.

Fox News Headline: That Drowned Syrian Boy On The Beach Is Obama’s Fault

The list of things that are Obama’s fault just keeps getting longer. You have to wonder how he has managed to get so much done in so short a time. After all, conservatives have blamed Obama for everything from riots in Ferguson, MO, to California’s drought, to Ebola, to Hurricane Katrina (No, really). And that happened three years before he was inaugurated. He is to blame for high gas prices that hurt consumers, as well as for low gas prices that hurt oil companies. They blame him for increased immigration (which has actually gone down), and for the rising number of abortions (which are declining).

It really doesn’t matter what the subject is. Conservatives will spin it as evidence of America’s doom and blame Obama for it. And if you need another example, look no further than Fox News, where today they ran a story with the headline “That Drowned Syrian Boy On The Beach Is Obama’s Fault.” Because, of course it is.

Fox News Obama

Fox News contributor Erick Erickson is the one assigning the blame on this occasion. He has to stretch mightily to justify his ludicrous opinion that the responsibility for the death of a child refugee from Syria rests on the President’s shoulders. He does this by twisting the facts beyond all recognition and inventing motives that aren’t supported by reality. The sad story began when the boy’s family, along with thousands of others, fled the oppression and atrocities perpetrated by ISIS in Syria. Erickson viewed that situation as the “direct result” of Obama’s alleged pride and cowardice.

Erickson: “ISIS only became a thing when the White House, out of pride and arrogance, decided it was better to placate the left by withdrawing all troops from Iraq rather than help the Iraqis maintain their stability.

“A young boy has died, washed up on the shores of Europe. His picture has shocked the world and his death is direct result of Barack Obama fleeing the Middle East, tail tucked between his leg, so he could pridefully say he ended a war he never wanted.

“The boy is dead because Barack Obama chose to abdicate American leadership in the world.”

Apparently Erickson either doesn’t know, or is deliberately lying, about the circumstances that led to the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. The truth is that a “Status of Forces Agreement” was negotiated by the administration of George W. Bush that called for complete withdrawal by the end of 2011. The Obama administration attempted to extend the agreement, but the Iraqis were opposed to any extension so Bush’s deadline was carried out.

Since the withdrawal date was not chosen by Obama, it can hardly be attributed to him as placating the left or resulting from his pride and arrogance. He didn’t “flee” the Middle East. He complied with the binding agreement of his White House predecessor. If Erickson is looking for someone to accuse of abdicating leadership, then he should be looking at Bush.

Furthermore, Erickson’s insinuation that Obama was responsible for the rise of ISIS is just as faulty as his understanding of international treaties. Many of the soldiers who formed ISIS were former officials and military operatives of Saddam Hussein’s Bath Party. They were only available to start their radical Islamic army because Bush’s operatives in Iraq prohibited them from having any role in the new Iraqi government. That move turned them into rebels who eventually aligned with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Erickson argued that the destabilization of Iraq that led to much of the region’s turmoil was Obama’s fault, even though one of the reasons that Obama had opposed the Iraq war from the start was the risk of destabilization. So Erickson was wrong about Iraq. He was wrong about the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. He was wrong about the beginnings of ISIS. He also failed to note that the dead child was not from Iraq, but was a refugee from Syria, where they were having problems of their own.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Nevertheless, Erickson flatly stated that “That little boy would not have died had Barack Obama stood strong in Iraq. […] That dead child is Barack Obama’s fault.” But that opinion is so much more than merely wrong. It is contrary to the facts. It is slander against Obama. It is absolution to ISIS, the real perpetrators of so much death and misery. And it is perversely exploitative of a tragic loss of innocent life. However, it is exactly the sort of despicable smear campaign that Erickson, and his comrades on the right, and Fox News, have been engaging in for at least the last seven years.

Did James O’Keefe Send His Goons To Smear The Hillary Clinton Campaign?

Conservative muckrakers have been very busy lately producing deceptive videos that deliberately slander Democrats and progressive organizations. It has become their favorite method of spreading malicious lies via dishonest editing and unsupported allegations. Most notably of late are the videos that falsely portray Planned Parenthood as engaging in various unlawful practices.

Fox News James O'Keefe

The technique was famously employed by serial liar James O’Keefe when he produced videos wherein he pretended to be a pimp in order to damage the reputation of ACORN, a philanthropic organization that helps the poor obtain housing and register to vote. Although the videos were proven to be political disinformation, they resulted in ACORN losing funding and eventually shutting down. Later O’Keefe was sued by a former ACORN staffer and was ordered to pay $100,000 judgment for his libel. On subsequent projects O’Keefe was caught trying to seduce a CNN reporter, cast illegal votes, and tamper with the phones of a United States senator. For that offense O’Keefe was arrested and eventually pleaded guilty after his felonies were bargained down to misdemeanors.

So it was just a matter of time before this craven tactic was aimed at the campaign of a prominent Democrat running for high office. Time is reporting that…

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign offices around the country have been put on alert after at least two women approached Iowa staff under the guise of being supporters in an apparent effort to catch the campaign engaging in improper or illegal activity, a Clinton campaign official said.”

As described by Time, the modus operandi is typical of methods used by O’Keefe and company. There are even photos of some of the con artists sent to scam the Clinton campaign. One woman in the photos is a known operative who has worked with O’Keefe in the past. Time further reported the account of the attempted scam given by Clinton’s spokesperson:

“A Clinton campaign official alleges that the women engaged in several efforts to entrap supporters. In one scheme, described by Clinton staff, a woman attempted to pass a cash donation to Clinton volunteers and interns. In another, a woman approached the campaign on Aug. 19 and said both her parents had donated to Clinton the legal maximum of $2700 each and wanted to funnel an additional donation through their daughter, a violation of federal law. On Aug. 13, a woman claiming to be Canadian approached another Clinton fellow to ask how to falsify an address for a campaign donation.”

At this time it appears that the political dirty trickery failed. But just the fact that these cretins are out there trying to pull off their hoaxes is troubling. The possibility of a naive campaign volunteer getting fooled or being subjected to a video manipulation that casts them in a negative light is always a risk. Not that it proves any wrongdoing by the campaign, but it takes time and effort to debunk the lies and some people (e.g. Fox News viewers) will believe them no matter how ridiculous.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

And that’s pretty much the point. They know that they can have a deleterious effect even if exposed as crooks. Let’s hope the Clinton campaign, and every other potential target of these charlatans, remains vigilant and wards off their attempted scams.

Hillary Clinton’s Fox News Problem

This evening on Fox News Shannon Bream, filling in for Megyn Kelly, did a segment about how dismal Hillary Clinton’s future is now that her poll numbers have descended to unfathomable depths, particularly with regard to favorability.

Hillary Clinton Favorability

Like much of the rest of Fox’s recent coverage of Clinton, the impression made is that Clinton has about three weeks before she will drop out of the race and report to prison. To open the segment Bream gleefully reported that…

“A new poll now showing Clinton may be more disliked than she has been in decades. As a brand new survey from CNN shows her unfavorability rating is now at a whopping 53%. A number that Clinton has seen just one other time in twenty-three years of polling.”

What the “fair and balanced” propagandists at Fox are leaving out is that Clinton’s favorable rating in the CNN poll that they referenced is better than all of the Republicans that were polled. Clinton scored 44% favorable. That compares to Donald Trump at 36% and Jeb Bush at 34%. What’s more, Clinton’s unfavorable rating is lower than her most likely opponents. She pulled 53% while Trump and Bush were higher at 59% and 56% respectively.

Clinton has had the honor of being ranked as the most admired woman in the world nineteen times in Gallup’s annual survey. She received that honor the last thirteen years in a row. It is not particularly surprising that in an election year where seventeen Republican candidates are bashing her relentlessly her public image might suffer. Add to that the effect of the smear job that Fox engages in every day and it would be a miracle if her numbers didn’t decline a bit.

Notwithstanding those assaults, Clinton is still faring better than her GOP rivals who have had very little mud thrown at them. She is still beating them in head-to-head match-ups. And her support in the Democratic Party is unwavering.

What Fox News is trying to do is project their open disgust for her in the hopes that it will harm her electoral prospects next year. That’s also why they keep promoting Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. They obviously hate them just as much as they hate her, but for the time being they are happy to use them as wedges to create chaos for the Democrats.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

If Clinton’s 53% unfavorable rating can be characterized as “whopping” by Fox News, then what would they call Trump’s 59% or Bush’s 56%? Of course the answer is that they wouldn’t call it anything at all because they wouldn’t devote a segment of a primetime program to their “favorability problems.” In the Fox world everyone loves Republicans and they always will win every election. At least that’s how they present it to their dimwitted audience who are later shocked when they lose.

Watergate Envy: Fox News Desperately Lusts For A Clinton Scandal They Can’t Have

The ferocity with which Fox News is chasing the story about Hillary Clinton’s email is becoming a pathetic tale of desperation and jealousy. It’s not enough that they report wild speculation as fact, they are determined to shape their coverage into what they regard as the Valhalla of scandals: Watergate.

Hillary Clinton Watergate Envy

For the record, the Watergate affair involved blatantly criminal activity like burglary, political corruption, bribery, obstruction of justice, and presidential abuse of power. It began as a plot by the Nixon White House to steal private documents from the Democratic Party in order to secure his reelection by fraud. Then it evolved into a cover-up that included threats, deception, and million dollar payoffs.

The attempt to analogize Watergate to Clinton’s use of personal email accounts on a private computer server stretch the boundaries of absurdity. Even if the allegations that there were classified documents involved were true (and there is no evidence of that at this time), there is absolutely no suggestion, by even her harshest critics, that she was motivated by any larcenous effort to advance her own interests financially or politically. In other words, there was no intent to commit a crime.

However, to hear Fox News tell it, Clinton’s email controversy is identical to the felonies committed by Nixon’s thugs, many of whom went to prison for their crimes. Today Fox News contributor Meghan McCain (John’s daughter) wondered if “this could be this generation’s Watergate.” Yesterday Fox’s Special Report aired an entire segment devoted to baseless conjecture about Watergate. Also yesterday, Fox’s judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano tried to compare Clinton’s use of personal emails to Nixon’s habit of secretly recording everything that took place in the Oval Office. He never really got around to explaining what was similar about it. It was enough, for Fox’s purposes, just to plant the slanderous suggestion. Fox contributor John Bolton also weighed in to imply some conspiratorial connection between Clinton’s current email flak and her service on the Democratic Senate staff that investigated Nixon.

There was much more of this Watergating going on at Fox on other programs as they went all out to align Clinton with what is perhaps the worst political scandal in American history. But Watergate belongs to the Republicans no matter how much they whine about it. And whine they do. Before the Clinton campaign launched it was a regular obsession with Fox to compare anything associated with President Obama to Watergate. From Benghazi, to the IRS, to Libya, to Fast and Furious, and even to UFOs, Fox saw everything through their Watergate filter. [See News Corpse’s Illustrated Guide To The Fox News Obsession With Watergate]

Now they want to transfer their shame to Democrats so badly that they have lost all rational comprehension of what Watergate even entailed. Their accusations just seem anguished and impotent. But don’t let that make you think they will abandon their fetish for projecting Watergate’s stigma on Clinton or other Democrats. They are fully committed to their rewriting of history and they know that their dimwitted audience will eat it up.

Even More Proof That Fox News Is Killing The Republican Party

Harvard University is validating the media analysis of News Corpse. Last year News Corpse published an article that affirmed that Fox News, despite the conventional wisdom, is actually a powerfully destructive force within the conservative political world. The article, Fox News Is STILL Killing The Republican Party.” examined the results of a survey conducted by the Brookings Institution and the Public Religion Research Institute that compared the views of Republicans who watch Fox News to Republicans who don’t. The conclusions revealed that Fox News Republicans are even more uninformed and extreme in their views than their non-Fox viewing comrades in the same party. That article from last year was itself a follow up to one published by News Corpse six years ago that originally took the position that Fox News Is Killing The Republican Party.” Back then I wrote that…

“By doubling down on crazy, Fox is driving the center of the Republican Party further down the rabid hole. They are reshaping the party into a more radicalized community of conspiracy nuts. So even as this helps Rupert Murdoch’s bottom line, it is making celebrities of political bottom-feeders. That can’t be good for the long-term prospects of the Republican Party.”

News Corpse was not alone in noticing the detrimental effects of Fox News on the GOP. Bruce Bartlett, a veteran strategist who worked in both the George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan White Houses, published a paper titled “How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics.” The paper’s premise was that Fox News has had a harmful effect on the Republican Party’s electoral appeal by herding its already right-wing flock into an even fringier parish where it is shielded from differing views. He literally (and correctly) accused much of the conservative base of being brainwashed by Fox News and other right-wing media.

Fox News Bad For GOP

Now a study by Jackie Calmes, a fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, has been released that makes some of the same observances of how Fox News, talk radio, and other right-wing media sources are damaging the Republican Party’s ability to either govern or get elected. the study titled They Don’t Give A Damn About Governing, Conservative Media’s Influence On The Republican Party,” is a lengthy and detailed analysis of the historical and contemporary influences that have shaped conservative politics. It includes interviews with Republican politicians, operatives, and pundits who almost unanimously express their concerns for a party that has lost control to the outer fringes of their most radical rightist wing in the media. The study begins by asserting that “the leaders of the Republican Party are not setting its agenda […] it is conservative media” that represents…

“…an expanding web of ‘news’ sites and social media outlets with financial and ideological alliances with far-right anti-government, anti-establishment groups like Heritage Action, Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and FreedomWorks. Once allied with but now increasingly hostile to the Republican hierarchy, conservative media is shaping the party’s agenda in ways that are impeding Republicans’ ability to govern and to win presidential elections.”

The GOP conservatives interviewed for the study (some of whom declined to be identified for fear of retaliation) had opinions that were predominantly negative with regard to the state of affairs in the party. Here are a few examples:

Unnamed Republican: “There’s no incentive to ever really bother with reality […] the loudest voices drown out the sensible ones and there’s no real space to have serious discussions.”

GOP Rep. Tom Cole: While [talk radio is] conservative in its orientation, it’s a financially driven enterprise and market share matters. And playing to the prejudice of their audiences or reinforcing them – as opposed to engaging in enlightened and intellectual debate – is pretty widespread.

Unnamed Republican: Now it seems that so many people are going for the niche, for the red meat, and there are all these outlets where you can do that. It’s playing to the base, but the base doesn’t live in reality. And that’s the problem: It’s taken the party in a really self-destructive direction.

GOP operative John Feehery: “[C]onservative media has become ideologically and financially entwined with the network of no-compromise advocacy groups financed by the Kochs and other right-wing patrons. Together, media and activist groups are part of ‘this conservative-industrial complex that has risen up. And they have a vested interest in failure, not in success.”

The Cato Institute’s Julian Sanchez: “Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross-promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted.” […And that] “conservative media’s logic had become worryingly untethered from reality as the impetus to satisfy the demand for red meat overtakes any motivation to report accurately.”

Media historian Nicole Hemmer: “We used to say, ‘You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.’ Now we are all entitled to our own facts and conservative media use this right to immerse their audience in a total environment of pseudo-facts and pretend information.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Well, actually I could have, and I did last year and five years before that. But at least they are catching up. Unfortunately, even acknowledgment of these problems is not likely to result in a course correction. Particularly after the new paradigm exemplified by the loudmouthed, ignorant, hostility of Donald Trump, who is proving that no matter how abhorrent you are, never apologize or backtrack or show any signs of reasonableness or humility. It is that lesson that forms the greatest obstacle to progress for Republicans. The study confirms this in its concluding paragraphs saying that…

“The unanimity among establishment Republicans – many of them conservatives by the definition of anyone but purists – that rightwing media has become a big problem for the party, and their readiness to talk about it, was something of a surprise to this reporter of three decades’ experience in Washington. Of the establishment Republicans among several dozen conservatives interviewed, nearly all were flummoxed about how to moderate the party. Most expressed despair.”

That despair is not without justification. What was once the “Grand Old Party” is now populated by “Grouchy Obstinate Purists” who represent the “Greedy One Percent.” And there is no sign that any of it is going to improve any time soon. Particularly as long as Fox News is the preeminent media mouthpiece for the right, and they continue to promote nut cases like Trump, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, etc.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The Republican War On Women: The Rape Of Planned Parenthood Edition

If there was ever any doubt in the past, the Republican Party is affirming its commitment to a full-blown War on Women, and they don’t seem the least bit concerned about the negative consequences of their deceitful and destructive actions.

GOP War On Women

Last week a video was released by a group of anti-abortion activists seeking to malign Planned Parenthood. The video purported to show a Planned Parenthood official discussing the harvesting and sale of fetal tissue. However, it didn’t take long for the video to be repudiated as a fraud that was heavily edited to distort the context. The organization that made the video was also shown to be associated with prior attempts to falsely malign women’s health care groups.

Notwithstanding the now obvious misrepresentations in the video, Republican members of Congress are already drafting legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. They have zero evidence that Planned Parenthood did anything illegal or unethical, but that is not stopping them from grabbing their pitchforks and igniting their torches.

This is reminiscent of the shameful conduct of the GOP Congress a few years ago when a similar video smear job by convicted criminal James O’Keefe resulted in the demise of ACORN, an organization that provided much needed assistance to low income Americans. O’Keefe was later proven to have deceitfully edited his videos and he lost a $100,000 lawsuit for defamation against a former ACORN official. But the damage had already been done and ACORN was gone before the truth was fully revealed.

Should the lying propagandists get their way in this attack on Planned Parenthood the results could be even more destructive. For one thing, defunding Planned Parenthood would have almost no effect on the abortion rate at all. That’s because abortion services amount to a mere 3% of Planned Parenthood’s work. So the services that would suffer from the denial of funds would primarily be those related to cancer screening and prevention, contraception, and STD testing and treatment. Those services comprise up to 85% of Planned Parenthood’s work.

Therefore, the consequences of denying funding would be an increase in unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, something that the anti-abortion activists profess to be against. What’s more, there would be more women suffering from undiagnosed or untreated illnesses.

There can be no other conclusion then that the Republicans in Congress are deliberating trying to advance legislation that will do demonstrable harm to the women in America. Yet the GOP complains when they are portrayed as engaging in a War On Women. But what else can you call it? Women are well aware of the antagonistic behavior of Republican lawmakers, which is why they generally favor Democrats at the polls. And things like this renewed effort to financially strangle a charitable enterprise upon which they rely is not likely to put the GOP in a better light with America’s women voters or the men in their lives.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The GOP seems to be committing electoral suicide with their racist agenda aimed at African-Americans and Latinos. Likewise they are not making friends in the senior community by threatening Social Security and Medicare. And young people are decidedly turned off by their opposition to marriage equality, education funding, and student debt relief. Add to that the country’s female voters and there is little left of the electorate to support the Republicans but their base of Teabaggers, evangelicals, and wealthy corporations and individuals. Good luck with that, Republicans.

No, Fox News, Bernie Sanders Did Not Honeymoon In The Soviet Union

When Hillary Clinton was running away with the Democratic nomination, it was not unusual to hear Fox News pundits pumping up Bernie Sanders. It wasn’t because they admired his progressive policies or his grassroots appeal. It was because they reflexively jumped at any opportunity to knock Clinton down a peg.

Now that the Sanders campaign is actually looking competitive, the same Foxies are getting nervous and looking for ways to discredit him. The primary line of attack has been to feverishly repeat that Sanders is a (gasp) Socialist. Under ordinary circumstances that would be sufficient to rattle the fear centers of their perpetually anxious viewers.

Bernie Sanders Honeymoon

However, these are not ordinary times. Consequently, more creative measures were required by the Fox punditocracy. So they brought in Jamie Weinstein, senior editor of Tucker Carlson’s ultra-rightist Daily Caller, to slip a brazen lie into the discussion at the very end when there was no time left for it to be rebutted. The segment sought to concern-troll Clinton’s less commanding, but still substantial, lead over Sanders, while simultaneously dismissing the surging challenger as a far-left crank.

Where the broadcast went off the rails was at the end when Weinstein concluded his final diatribe by making an assertion that was utterly false and intended to defame Sanders. He offered as evidence of Sanders supposed extremism that he had spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union. That allegation is almost laughable, but it will assuredly be swallowed whole by Fox’s dimwitted viewers. Following Weinstein’s false comment, Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett smiled and noted that you learn something new every day. The problem is that, with Fox News, what you learn each day just makes you more stupid than you were the day before.

The origin of the this made-for-Fox fallacy was a 2007 interview of Sanders’ wife, Jane, by Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. In the interview she was describing how she and Bernie met and some of their early engagements which were almost entirely related to their shared interest in community affairs. They were so involved in these sort of activities that she joked…

“The day after we got married, we marched in a Memorial Day Parade, and then we took off in a plane to start the sister city project with Yaroslovl with 10 other people on my honeymoon.”

The context was obviously humorous. Who could possibly read that and come away thinking that she seriously meant that they honeymooned with ten other people who were implementing a sister city project? Well, apparently Weinstein and others of his ilk came away believing just that. Weinstein likely picked up the lie from uber-conservative John Fund who wrote an article for the National Review containing the same misrepresentation of Sanders’ diplomatic trip.

We are going to have to get used to wingnuts hyperventilating over the political labels attached to Sanders. Today there was an extended discussion on Fox’s The Five about “Sanders’ Socialist Agenda.” At no time during the broadcast did anyone on the show identify any policy advocated by Sanders that they could actually call Socialist (if they really have any idea what the word means). The policies they did mention were his support for higher taxes on the rich, for expanding access to education, and for single-payer healthcare. Those are pretty mainstream policies that millions of Americans support. And the right has been absurdly calling Obama a Socialist for so long that the word has lost all meaning.

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There was also much feigned hand-wringing about whether Sanders was going to pull Clinton farther to the left and damage her electability in the general election. The consensus on the program was that she was already a far-left candidate without Sanders’ influence. But these cretins think that just being a Democrat means being far-left. What they don’t realize is that Sanders’ platform leans to the mainstream of the American people who elected President Obama twice. Any effect he has on Clinton moving in that direction will only enhance her electability. So bring it on, and don’t complain if the people once again reject the regressive and repressive policies of the Republican Party in November of 2016.

Murdoch’s Media Machine Digs Desperately For Anti-Clinton Dirt

Republicans just got a jolt of reality smashed in their faces by a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing that Hillary Clinton is wildly popular among Democrats (92%) and is beating the GOP front-runners by substantial margins (Jeb Bush by eight points, Marco Rubio by ten, Scott Walker by fourteen). This is after much of the right-wing media has been crowing about how Clinton is supposedly damaged goods due to the manufactured scandals that have been aimed at her. Fox News in particular has been almost giddy reporting that Clinton’s reputation for trustworthiness has allegedly been tarnished by Fox-generated stories about emails and charities and Benghazi.

The new poll results indicate that the glee in the imagineering suites at Fox may be premature. So something in the realm of Rupert Murdoch must be done to churn up the Clinton-loathing and cheer up the Fox viewers. And they apparently have settled on their plan.

Clinton Bash

The Murdoch-owned New York Post just published a story by Peter Schweizer, author of “Clinton Cash,” the the widely debunked book from Murdoch’s HarperCollins publishing subsidiary. The Post article then became the topic of a segment on Murdoch’s Fox News program “Fox & Friends.” The article was also re-posted on the Fox News community website, Fox Nation. This is obviously an effort to flood the zone with as many Murdoch-run outlets as possible. The article features a headline that will likely score the Delusional Headline of the Week Award: “Clinton Cash Author Demolishes Hillary’s Self-Defense.” That headline is completely accurate – as long as your definition of “demolish” is “to utterly fail to rationally impair.”

Schweizer attempts to rebut some recent comments made by Clinton in response to a reporter’s inquiry. She was asked about her role in approving the sale of a uranium mining company to a Russian enterprise. She answered clearly that she had no role in the decision as it does not fall into the purview of the Secretary of State. Schweizer seems to have been incapable of understanding that response and set about to “demolish” it in three steps. Here is what Post readers and Fox viewers are supposed to think is a demolition of Clinton’s defense in Schweizer’s own words:

“First, nine investors who profited from the uranium deal collectively donated $145 million to Hillary’s family foundation … But Hillary expects Americans to believe she had no knowledge [of it].”

The issue of donations to the Clinton Foundation is old news that has been extensively analyzed and dismissed for lack of any trace of wrongdoing. There are thousands of donors to the Foundation which, unlike similar groups, fully discloses who their donors are. And with all of that information available, there has not been a single proven allegation of the Clintons trading favors for contributions. Furthermore, Clinton has never said that she had no knowledge of these affairs, just that the decisions were made at a lower level within the State Department. Therefore, there could not have been any influence peddling.

“Second, during her Sunday interview, Clinton was asked about the Kremlin-backed bank that paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a single speech delivered in Moscow. Hillary’s response? She dodged the question completely.”

What makes this assertion interesting is that the paragraph following the one in which Schweizer accuses Clinton of dodging the question completely, includes her explicit answer to the question. Some dodge. Clinton said plainly that “The timing doesn’t work.” because the speech, and the compensation for it, came “before I was Secretary of State.” So having failed to make any sense, Schweizer shifts gears to point to an entirely different financial transaction about which Clinton was not asked. Even so, without having been asked, her prior response stating that she could not have traded any favors since she was not making the decision applies to this transaction as well.

“Third, Clinton correctly notes in the interview that ‘there were nine government agencies who had to sign off on that deal.’ What she leaves out, of course, is that her State Department was one of them.”

Not only did Clinton correctly note that nine agencies are required to sign off on the deal in question, she has repeatedly noted that the State Department was one of them. In fact, it was Clinton’s staff that corrected the error in Schweizer’s book that omitted this fact. So Clinton did not leave out the State Department’s role, but Schweizer did leave out the role of the other agencies. What’s more, he continues to suggest that there are some financial shenanigans on Clinton’s part, even though she could not push through any favors for donors because without the other agency head’s approvals there would be no deal.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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In the end, Schweizer failed to coherently rebut a single thing that Clinton said in her interview. His only recourse was to incredulously ask whether Americans can believe Clinton’s version of events. Well, according to the poll cited above, the answer seems to be an enthusiastic “yes.” And all of the effort, investment, and deceit that went into this full-court press by the Murdoch media against Clinton seems to have been wasted. Unfortunately, that is not likely to deter these unethical, pseudo-journalistic cretins from doing more of the same for the next year and a half. So settle in for a campaign season of viciousness and lies, because that’s all the right has to work with.