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

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

foxnation-reality-obama-emperor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more examples of blatant lies from Fox…
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Sarah Palin Lusts For Reagan’s “Big Stick Of Strength” To Beat Back Obama’s Terrorist Pals

A new entry on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page reaches back in time to reprise her famously idiotic allegation about President Obama allegedly “palling around with terrorists.” In the original instance, Palin was referring to Obama having a close relationship with former Weather Underground activist Bill Ayres. Of course, that was a lie, but lying has never been an impediment to Palin’s obsession with smearing, and even impeaching, Obama.

Sarah Palin

The new incarnation of the terrorist pals meme is Palin’s way of denouncing recent reports that Obama wrote a letter to Iran’s Ayatollah Khameini seeking to ascertain Iran’s position on battling ISIL. The White House stated unequivocally that there was no military coordination between the U.S. and Iran, but there are obviously some shared objectives.

Palin’s first glaring exhibition of ignorance pops up in the very first sentence of her post:

“Good God, Mr. President. To partner with Iran is to trust the enemy, which is insane. Iran has complicity in the rise of ISIS as it supports radical militias and arms Islamic terrorists.”

Good God, indeed. Where Palin gets the notion that there is any hint of a partnership with Iran is as mysterious as her ability to spy Vladimir Putin’s head rearing up on the Alaskan horizon. But more importantly, Palin seems not to know that Iran isn’t only not complicit with ISIL, they are avowed enemies. ISIL is a Sunni Muslim operation that has massacred Shia Muslims in Iraq and Syria, and Iran is a Shiite nation. In fact, Iran has already been engaged in battle with ISIL and has been aiding the Iraqis in the war effort. For Obama to communicate with the Iranians on this matter is both good policy and necessary to proceed with a fully informed strategy.

But Palin wasn’t satisfied with merely getting the most fundamental facts wrong, she had to continue in her screed to criticize Obama for…

“…his willingness to negotiate with terrorists” and for “pulling an anti-Reagan move by taking our Big Stick of strength and putting it in the hands of any foe.”

Huh? What on Earth is running through her cartoon brain? First of all, there have been no negotiations between the U.S. and Iran. Secondly, what “anti_Reagan move” is she talking about? Could it be the time that Reagan actually did negotiate with the terrorists in Iran who were holding Americans hostage? Could she be referring to Reagan’s scheme to sell arms to our Iranian foes in violation of an international arms embargo against Iran? And what “Big Stick of strength” is being put into the hands of our foes? Maybe she is mis-remembering how Reagan used the ill-gotten funds from his illegal arms sales to Iran to illegally bankroll the terrorist Nicaraguan Contra rebels.

It’s bad enough that Palin gets so much wrong about her idol Ronnie, but somehow at the conclusion of this stream of dipshittery, Palin finds a way to accuse Obama of “coming against Israel” and alluding to America’s inability to survive.

It is delusional tripe like this that may be responsible for Palin’s new SarahPalinChannel on the InterTubes to be failing so miserably. Aside from the fact that she barely posts anything on it, the Daily Beast reports that the traffic is, shall we say, disappointing with “a barely measurable 36,000 visitors in September.” For contrast, News Corpse gets more traffic than that. Imagine how embarrassing it must be for a nationally known Tea Party icon, GOP VP candidate, and Fox News contributor, to get trounced by this humble blog? Oh, the humanity…

Shameless self-promotion…
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Democrats And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (For Republicans)

Let’s get this out of the way right up front: Election day 2014 sucked elephant balls. It is saddling America with a Republican senate that is notable for being unproductive and adversarial. It’s new leader is a hyper-partisan, Washington fossil whose only agenda is obstructionism. One of its new members is an Agenda 21 conspiracy nut who carries a gun to defend herself from the government she now represents. Florida and Kansas returned to office the two least popular governors in the country. And the right-wing noise machine is going to be gloating feverishly for weeks.

But the real story underlying this election is one that the media will almost certainly fail to address. Despite the election returns, America hates the Republican Party and its policies. The turnout is estimated to be about 38%. That means that the GOP victory was achieved with a majority of a little more than one-third of the electorate, or about 20%. That is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Republican agenda.

Election Turnout 2014

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The demographic makeup of the voters this year was decidedly older and whiter. It was also more concentrated in the South which accounted for 34% of all votes. The rest of the country came in a substantial nine to twelve points lower.

Just two years ago President Obama was resoundingly reelected along with increasing the number of Democrats in both houses of Congress. The turnout then was 58%, or 53% higher than 2014. Exit polls show that both parties are underwater in voter approval, but Democrats are still favored over Republicans 44% to 40%. Exit polling also gives Obama a 41% approval rating, compared to just 13% for Congress.

On the basis of this fractured and biased sliver of the electorate, Chris Wallace of Fox News declared this morning that “The Democratic Party brand is damaged.” But further examination of the exit polls says that isn’t true. On virtually every policy question, voters sided with the Democrats. That includes ObamaCare, immigration reform, increasing the minimum wage, same-sex marriage, legalizing marijuana, abortion, and climate change. And when asked about preferences for president in 2016, Hillary Clinton is leading every GOP opponent (Clinton 42%, Jeb Bush 29%, Rand Paul 26%, Chris Christie 24%, and Rick Perry 24%).

2016 holds more bad news for Republicans and their new senate majority. The GOP will be defending 24 seats, as compared to only 10 for the Democrats. Nine of the those GOP seats are in states won by Obama in 2012. So are all of the Democratic seats. With a larger and more representative electorate it is almost a certainty that the senate will flip back to the Democrats. And with a popular and history-making candidate like Clinton that outcome is even more likely.

In the meantime, we can expect some epic battles to ensue. Although Mitch McConnell made some perfunctory remarks signalling bipartisan cooperation, his resume suggests a different course entirely. He told supporters last night that “Just because we have a two-party system doesn’t mean we have to be in perpetual conflict.” That coming from the man who presided over more filibusters than any senate in history.

But the battles will not be limited to those between the two parties. McConnell is going to experience some of the misery of John Boehner as he tries to herd the Tea Party contingent of his own party into some semblance of unity. Don’t expect Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or Mike Lee or Joni Ernst to fall obediently in line. In fact, Cruz is already announcing his intention to prosecute the President for many of the phony scandals for which the GOP-run House failed to find any wrongdoing. He told Fox News last night that…

“I hope we begin serious, systematic, sober hearings, examining executive abuse, regulatory abuse, lawlessness, abuse of power. Whether it is IRS wrongly targeting citizens or the debacle of Benghazi and four Americans who lost their lives and why more was not done to save them, or whether it’s the lawlessness that pervaded Obamacare as the president and executive branch has tried to pick and choose which laws to follow. I hope we see serious oversight on those fronts.”

That’s a path that leads to increased animosity and the “perpetual conflict” that McConnell says he hopes to avoid. But with Cruz and Paul and Rubio amongst those in his caucus who are contemplating a presidential run, can McConnell prevent them from hijacking the senate for their own purposes? And will their purposes include attempts to impeach Obama as some Republicans and conservative pundits have already advocated?

The next two years are going to be a bumpy ride for both parties and, unfortunately, the American people. There is much that we cannot anticipate at this time. What we can safely assume is that the extremist, Tea Party wing of the GOP will deliver some histrionics and hilarity. And Fox News will cover all of it as if it were sober statesmanship. So buckle up, folks. And be glad that the ride is over in only two years.

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Obama Bitching: The GOP’s Empty Mandate Of 2014

Tomorrow the midterm election will finally be over (except for Georgia and Louisiana) and most of the so-called liberal media is predicting that it will be a Republican day with their party taking over control of the Senate.

That outcome is by no means certain. Democrats are said to command a superior ground game to get out the vote and all they need to do is hold the line in a couple of key battleground states to deny Republicans their victory. If Democrats manage to do that it will shock the blathering media drones and put a damper on the GOP’s funeral party.

But what if the Republicans pull it off? What if they get their Senate majority and Mitch McConnell becomes majority leader and every committee chair is handed off to a Republican who hates government? Based on the campaigning of the last few months, what mandate could the Republican Party claim for the two years until the next election (where they will probably be thrown out again)?

Well, if you take the words of the Republicans themselves, the only issue that they put forward for 2014 is that President Obama sucks. They abandoned every salient issue from immigration to taxes to abortion to deficits to terrorism, etc. The only matter that Republican candidates raised with any regularity was that their Democratic opponent was in the same party as the President and supported his policies. They rarely mentioned what those policies were, just implied that they were bad. The typical arguments for Republicans were merely arguments against Obama. For instance…

Sen. Rand Paul: This election will be a referendum on the president.

Fox News Anchor Megyn Kelly: This isn’t a pro-GOP election, it’s an anti-Obama election.

Sen. John Cornyn: It’s not as though people have all of a sudden fallen in love with Republicans. It’s just a loss of confidence in the administration.

Indeed, people have not fallen in love with Republicans. In fact, Obama’s approval rating in the low forties is four times what congress can muster. And he remains more popular than the GOP, the Tea Party, and the media that is belittling him. But since Republicans have no issues they can affirmatively advance, they have adopted a national platform of bitching about Obama.

Obama/Congress Approval

Republicans once promised to make ObamaCare the keystone of their campaign, but that fell off their list after millions of Americans signed up and the nation didn’t collapse into a communist dictatorship. RNC chair Reince Priebus was so hopped up on an anti-ObamaCare high that he said…

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

He has barely mentioned it since. In the final weeks of the campaign the media has been helping the GOP to distract the public from substantive issues by stirring up panic over phony crises like ISIL and Ebola. However, neither of those qualify as planks in a political platform. And even if they did, the GOP hasn’t taken a consistent position on them other than demanding that America oppose the Ebola-infected terrorist children who are streaming across the border with cocaine and condoms.

Consequently, should the GOP win a majority in the Senate they won’t have a mandate for any legislative agenda at all. They failed to convince voters that any of their policies were superior because they hardly mentioned any of their policies. The only thing they ran on was Obama-hate, and the only reason for a victory, if there is one, is that Democrats tend to sit out midterm elections.

When your own candidates are admitting that the election is a referendum on a President who is leaving office in two years, you have no authority to set an agenda. And since that has been the operating philosophy of the GOP for the past six years, don’t expect anything to change should a Republican Senate come out of the election tomorrow.

Republicans despise government and insist that it doesn’t work. Then, when they come to power, they do everything they can to prove it. That’s why the last GOP administration left the country crippled and despairing. If you don’t want to see that again, be sure to get off your asses and vote tomorrow. Whatever problems you may have with Obama or Democrats, they are minor when compared to the damage the GOP could do with their nutcases chairing committees like Jim Inhofe who believes that Climate Change is a hoax and is in line to head the Committee on the Environment.

What’s Wrong With America? Why Is Anyone Voting Republican?

A new poll from Fox News affirms what virtually every other poll has found when people are asked to name the most important problem facing the country. And as James Carville noted long ago, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Economic Poll

The Fox poll had an overwhelming 43% of registered voters citing the economy as the most important issue. That was two and a half times more than the next three issues, immigration, healthcare, and foreign policy.

Nearly every economic indicator shows that the economy has been booming in recent years. The Obama administration has presided over the biggest and most enduring advance in fifty years. The Dow reached another all-time high today. Unemployment is 5.7%, nearly half of what Obama inherited from George W. Bush. GDP growth increased at an annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter of 2014. Housing is up, interest rates are down, inflation is imperceptible, and consumer confidence rose in October to its highest level since 2007.

The only significant low points are average wages and public sector employment. In both of those matters it has been the Republican Party that has thrown obstacles into the path of progress. Democrats are universally in support of a minimum wage increase that economists agree would produce higher demand for goods and services, thus stimulating job growth. And Obama has been trying to drag the GOP along to allocate funds for infrastructure development which would not only create jobs, but improve the environment for businesses to succeed. Yet conservative naysayers continue to stifle these measures for no reason other than to hurt the President and his party.

Given the success on so many levels of the President’s economic record, and the fact that the economy is the number one issue on the minds of voters, the obvious question is: Why on Earth are Democrats struggling to hold their position in Congress? The American people ought to be rewarding success and punishing the obstacles to it. With a more cooperative legislative branch, Obama could achieve a great deal more in the last two years of his presidency.

And therein lies the answer to the question. The last thing the GOP wants is for Obama to be successful. It’s what they pledged on the eve of his first inauguration when Mitch McConnell declared that his top priority was to make Obama a one-term president. It’s what their de facto leader, Rush Limbaugh, pronounced when he said that he wants Obama to fail. It’s why they orchestrated a shutdown last year that achieved nothing but cost $24 billion. And it’s why they have a kneejerk opposition to anything that Obama proposes, even if it was originally proposed by a Republican.

Also notable is that the other issues cited as important to voters also have seen measurable improvement during the Obama years. Illegal immigration is way down, while simultaneously domestic responses to the plight of undocumented residents have become much more compassionate and rational. As for health care, more Americans are covered by insurance than ever, and at less cost. And their coverage is more comprehensive and cannot be denied due to preexisting conditions.

Nevertheless, midterm polling is inexplicably showing tight senate races in several battleground states. With all of the good news, Democrats should be running away with this. But Republicans have expertly managed a campaign of dishonest negativity that has distorted the debate and damaged the perception of Democratic candidates. They have also had the benefit of bottomless barrels of cash from billionaires like the Koch brothers with vested interests that do not align with those of ordinary Americans.

Still, in most of these states the Democrats would be leading comfortably if the poll queried the entire electorate. But when constraining the poll to “likely” voters, the numbers fall decidedly against the Democrats. That’s because many of the traditionally Democratic constituents tend to sit out midterm elections.

If Democrats can reverse that trend through voter education, and a strong ground game getting out the vote on election day, the pollsters and the Republicans and the media will be shocked by the results. But it will take money and hard work to do it. Any encouragement you can give to people you know to insure that they vote will pay off in dividends. Especially in races that are so close. And here are a couple of other ways you can help:

Contribute to or volunteer with…
MoveOn.org or Democracy for America

You’ll be glad you did. The work, calling other Democrats like yourself, is fun and rewarding. And any funds can help to expand the outreach. The alternative is to wake up Wednesday morning with the prospect of a senate run by Mitch McConnell where every committee chair is a Republican who wishes harm on this President and his agenda. Victory is not out of reach, but it will require some determination and commitment. So please consider everything that you can do to be a part of a major electoral upset that will put the Tea Party on its knees.

Clinton-Hater Dick Morris May Have Just Guaranteed Hillary Clinton’s Election

There is almost no one in political punditry who has been more wrong, more often than Dick Morris. He was excommunicated from the Fox News family after he laughably predicted a landslide victory for Mitt Romney just a few days before his landslide loss. He later admitted that he was lying about his prediction in order to boost the Romney campaign. But perhaps the best example of his cluelessness was his book “Condi vs. Hillary,” in which he predicted that they would be the candidates in the 2008 election. But Morris got the Democratic nominee wrong; he got the Republican nominee wrong; and the Republican who Morris said could win if he were nominated (McCain) actually was nominated and lost. He couldn’t possibly have been more wrong.

How this cretinous loser ever gets asked to pontificate on anything is a mystery. It would be difficult to come up with an example of anything he ever got right. And now, as if to cement his reputation as a recidivist crackpot, Morris is claiming that “Hillary Clinton Orchestrated Panetta’s ‘Hit’ On Obama.” And the nutballs at Fox Nation giddily published it.

Fox Nation Dick Morris

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Is he FRIGGIN’ kidding? This is such an absurd and unsubstantiated piece of nonsense that it elevates Morris to new heights of idiotdom. The notion that Panetta could be coerced into doing Clinton’s dirty work against President Obama, who made Panetta both Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA, is ludicrous on its face. Likewise, the notion that Clinton has some sort of vendetta against Obama for which she is recruiting surrogates to deploy makes no sense whatsoever.

If Clinton decides to run for president in 2016, she is going to want a reserve of goodwill for the Democratic Party and its leader for eight years, Barack Obama. She is going to want to run on the successes of the Obama administration, including restoring an economy that was in full collapse, signing the first-ever health care bill, reducing unemployment from 10% to less than six, and so much more. The last thing she would want is to run against a president of her own party who was made to look bad by her own Machiavellian tactics.

In short, the theory Morris is floating can only be seen as credible by a complete moron who knows nothing about politics. That explains why Morris likes the theory. But there is something even more ridiculous in this drooling gibberish that Morris can’t possibly have noticed.

By casting Clinton as the mastermind of a clandestine plot to sink Obama, Morris has affirmed her status as a powerful, resolute, and effective leader. He is asserting that she can push around a former CIA chief, even though she currently holds no reins of power. That is a fairly positive endorsement of her leadership skills.

What’s more, Morris contends that the purpose of Clinton’s plot is bring down a president who is despised by the right-wingers who are expected to oppose her candidacy. That, of course, would immediately make her more appealing to those who would otherwise be her natural enemies. If Morris were right, then all of the people who hate Obama would have a new-found appreciation for Clinton, thus boosting her electability.

Obviously, it is not Morris’ intention to help Clinton in any way. He is just too stupid to understand the ramifications of his own blithering drivel. But the rest of us can enjoy the comic relief he provides by embarrassing himself so publicly every time he opens his scummy mouth.

The Racists In The Tea Party Are No Longer “Proud To Be A Teabagger” (w/Classic Video)

A couple of days ago President Obama spoke at a town hall in Los Angeles to a group of young, tech entrepreneurs. His prepared remarks enumerated some of the economic and social successes of his administration. But he also took questions from the audience, including some that led into a bit of politics.

In one particularly notable exchange, the President observed a serious flaw in the devolution of the Republican Party.The question addressed ways “to encourage more immigrants with technical skills to be able to work legally in the United States?” Obama responded at length about the numerous contributions of immigrants to America. Then he wondered aloud about the Republican Party’s hostility to people and policies that the nation needs to progress.

“it’s anybody’s guess how Republicans are thinking about this. If they were thinking long term politically, it is suicide for them not to do this. Because the demographics of the country are such where you are going to lose an entire generation of immigrants who are looking around and saying, you know what, that party does not seem to care much about me and my life. And I think the smarter Republicans understand this. Short term, though, they’ve got a problem, and the Tea Party and others who oftentimes express virulently anti-immigrant sentiment.”

Obama on Immigration/Tea Party

By facing head-on the inherent racism of the Tea Party (which is really just another faction within the GOP). Obama has embraced an observation that has been all too apparent to anyone paying attention, but often was left unsaid. Earlier this year News Corpse documented the overt racism infecting the right-wing after Fox News asked for some evidence of it.

Fox News - Tea Party Racism

But that wasn’t the only hit the Tea Party took that day. During a gubernatorial debate in Connecticut, the GOP candidate alluded to an article that criticized Democratic incumbent Dannel Malloy. This prompted Malloy to provide more information about the publisher of the article saying

“The publication you’re talking about is a right-wing tea bag organization. You know it. I let you repeat the same story twice. Why don’t you tell the whole story when you tell stories?”

That accurate characterization set off yelps of hurt feeling by right-wingers, including those at the rag in question, the National Review. Contributing editor Jim Geraghty complained in a tweet…

“Remember when ‘Tea Bag’ was considered an obnoxious thing to say? Can I call the governor of Connecticut a ‘Left-tard’ now?”

Of course, the right has been using derogatory language against the left freely for years. This may be the first time they asked for permission. The NR’s publisher, Jack Fowler, joined in the whine-fest with a column condemning Malloy’s use of the Tea Bag label. However, what all of these crybabies forget is that Teabagging was a term that was originally adopted and promoted by the Tea Party. Even an article in the National Review, dating back to December of 2009, affirmed the term’s derivation saying…

“The first big day for this movement was Tax Day, April 15. And organizers had a gimmick. They asked people to send a tea bag to the Oval Office. One of the exhortations was ‘Tea Bag the Fools in D.C.’ A protester was spotted with a sign saying, ‘Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You.’ So, conservatives started it: started with this terminology. But others ran with it and ran with it.”

And that’s not all. The dean of rightist commentators on Fox News, Charles Krauthammer, referred to “tea bag demonstrations” during a segment of the network’s signature news hour, Special Report, back in October of 2009. Fox’s Tea Party correspondent, Griff Jenkins, who actually rode around on the Tea Party Express bus for the summer, was also known to use the term. But the most blatant embrace of the terminology came in the form of a slickly produced video that proudly declared “I’m proud to be a Teabagger.” It consisted of a variety of allegedly average Americans taking the pledge of pride in the term.

Consequently, it’s somewhat disingenuous of them to feign outrage when somebody utters the words to which they previously swore allegiance. The Tea Party owns Teabagging, but what’s worse is that they own the racism and ugliness that has been a hallmark of their movement. And as the President said, it is political suicide given the demographic changes that are taking place in the country. Without significant reforms, it is only a matter of time before those changes engulf the GOP and make it an irrelevant footnote in future elections.

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Fox News: A Fanged Threat To Freedom Of The American People

President Obama delivered a speech this afternoon on the state of the economy. Coming just a month before the critical midterm election, it was a significant opportunity to communicate the facts that Americans need to know prior to voting. So of course, Fox News was the only cable news network to fail to broadcast any of the address live.

Fox News

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The blatant editorial bias of Fox News validates a small portion of Obama’s speech wherein he mentioned the network that would refuse to air his remarks. He said…

“There’s a reason fewer Republicans, you hear ‘em running around about ObamaCare. Because while good, affordable health care might seem like a fanged threat to freedom of the American people on Fox News, it turns out it’s working pretty well in the real world.”

Exactly. And that’s why Fox decided that they must not alert their sheltered and frightened viewers to the reality of a nation that has come a long way since the Bush administration put it on a path to economic collapse. While there is still some ways to go, anyone with a clear perspective recognizes that we a have made astonishing progress in the past six years.

Polls, however, do not reflect the positive results we’ve seen. Perhaps people need to be reminded of the days when the stock market lost half its value, dropping thousands of points and bankrupting iconic institutions like Merril Lynch, AIG, and Bear Stearns, The auto industry was on the brink of total failure and had to be bailed out with federal funds. The country was losing 800,000 jobs a month, and more Americans than ever were losing their homes to foreclosure. Plus, we were still mired in two costly wars that were off the books and not reflected in our deficit.

This year the stock market continues to reach new all-time highs. Corporate profits are breaking all previous records. The unemployment rate has declined from a high of 10% to 6.1%, while jobs are being created at more than 200,000 per month. The auto industry is back in the black, as is home construction and retail sales and services. The annual deficit has been cut by more than half. And with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), health care costs are rising at record low rates, while Americans are getting coverage in greater numbers than ever. With stats like those how can anyone plausibly say that we are not better off now than in 2008?

We could be doing more, but for the obstructionism on the part of Republicans who fear that any more good news will harm their ability to fool Americans into voting for them. We should be raising the minimum wage to put more buying power into the hands of working people. We should be embarking on an infrastructure rehabilitation that will not only create jobs, but enhance the economy by improving transportation and safety. And we could pay for that with a modest increase in the top tax rates for wealthy individuals and corporations who are enjoying some of the best economic times of their lives.

The President’s speech is well worth reading as it lays the foundation for the road ahead. It also puts into perspective the path we’ve just traveled and the hardships we’ve endured and prevailed over. You didn’t see this speech on Fox News because it conflicts with their mission to disparage Obama at every opportunity and smear him and his policies with lies. And the last thing Fox wants before an election is for voters to get a realistic view of the state of the nation. Because if the American people were better informed there would be very few Republicans celebrating on November 5th.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Zombie Reagan’s Fake Declaration Of War

When you are relentlessly bombarded with exaggerated, alarmist calls to fear every shadow in your path, grasping onto anything that provides even temporary comfort becomes a necessity to retain some semblance of sanity. That’s the position many gullible adherents to the fear-mongering war-hawkery of the right find themselves in. They are so inundated with panicky howling that America, and the world, are succumbing to certain and imminent doom that they need to suck on psychological pacifiers to keep from having mental breakdowns.

Fox Nation

Thus, an enterprising yarn spinner at a conservative blog composed a fairy tale that perfectly fits the bill for these unstable Tea Party types. And it was promptly posted on Fox Nation, the community website for Fox News. The tale comes in the form of an imaginary speech by their long dead savior, Ronald Reagan. But how this can assuage the anxiety of these worrywarts is a mystery considering how absurdly constructed it is.

It begins by asking “How different would our response as a nation be if the Commander-in-Chief were Ronald Reagan?” The answer to that, however, cannot be reliable surmised since the only military conflict that Reagan oversaw was the invasion of the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada. That was not exactly a proud victory for the armed forces of the world’s biggest superpower.

The fantasy speech lays out the justification for unbridled fright by saying that “Today we face a threat the likes of which we have not seen since the darkest days of World War II and the Cold War.” This specious claim mirrors that of today’s Republican scaredy-cats like Sen. Lindsey Graham who believe with all their hearts that the desert rats in Syria are coming to our shores to slaughter us all. Never mind the reality that there are only about 30,000 ISIL fighters, which is far less than the Axis forces of World War II that numbered in the millions. They can hardly be capable of doing the sort of damage that Hitler and his comrades did. The important thing for the fear trade is to convince the peasants that every enemy is the worst the world has ever seen.

Continuing on that theme, Zombie Reagan says that “We never faced members of the SS or the KGB prepared to be suicide bombers. Today we do.” I suppose we can forgive the Gipper for having a bad memory since he is, you know, dead. But the Japanese famously deployed Kamikaze pilots who were into suicide missions long before Al Qaeda thought it was cool. What’s more, many wartime tactics involve plans that the soldiers know they are not likely to return from. Just because they are not officially designated as suicide missions doesn’t mean that the soldiers aren’t aware of the expected outcome. Yet they follow their orders despite that knowledge.

Of course, for this declaration to be plausibly Reaganesque, it has to contain some of the movie hero bravado that was such a big part of his public imaging. He had to reflect the egocentrism that is the hallmark of the American Exceptionalist crowd. Only the U.S. of A. can send the message that will send our foes into shivering spasms of dread. Ergo…

“Our Muslim and Arab allies must be the frontline in this conflict, but without America’s fighting with them, this war will not be won. Not simply because our forces are so superior, but because if we are not prepared to send our people in harms way to fight the barbarians that wish to destroy our civilization, then we send a very simple message to the Enemy and to the world: our civilization is not worth saving.”

Zombie Reagan closes by articulating a theory that sounds very much like the Obama Doctrine. And if any of the Reaganites ever catch wind of that they will immediately flip-flop and refute it. But it is unmistakably reminiscent of the tactics favored by the current administration.

“Our enemy is not ISIS, the Islamic State, or even Al Qaeda; it is the ideology that drives all such barbaric groups. […] But we must learn the lessons of the past. When fighting totalitarians, it is never enough to defeat them militarily. One must defeat their ideology.”

Not very Reagany, is it? Fox News has been working overtime to convince the nation that there is only one solution to the ISIL problem. It was prosaically proffered by their military analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (whose name translates to “vomiting dicks” in Slanglish), who said the measure of success is “acres and acres of dead terrorists.” Now, after advancing that plan, Zombie Reagan comes along to adopt Obama’s method of draining terrorism of its appeal and recruiting capability.

The ultimate folly with resurrecting Reagan to rally the wingnut troops is that it can’t help but remind people that his leadership was rampant with failure. How different would our response be if Reagan were running things? Well (as Reagan would say), he cut and run after 200 Marines were murdered in their barracks by a suicide bomber in Lebanon. He sold weapons to our enemies in Iran in violation of international law. He used the proceeds of those sales to finance death squads in Nicaragua in violation of federal law. He failed to respond after an Iraqi jet aircraft fired missiles at the USS Stark, killing thirty-seven Navy personnel. He neglected the suffering of blacks in South Africa, called Nelson Mandela a terrorist, and opposed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, which was passed by Congress over his veto. Obviously, Reagan’s legacy is not one of vanquishing dangerous foes. But he wasn’t bad at asking, in stern tones, for walls to be torn down. Even that milestone didn’t occur until the administration of his successor, George H.W. Bush.

All in all, it’s a good thing that Reagan isn’t running things today. If Republicans want to pretend that he would have produced better results than we are seeing now, they are welcome to indulge their fantasies. That’s mostly what they do anyway by watching Fox News all day. But America, and the world, have big enough problems that we certainly don’t need them exacerbated by one of the worst presidents of all time.

Make Up Your Damn Minds: Republican Waffling And Hypocrisy On Syria

While the media is obsessing over a new propaganda video released by the the ISIL terrorists, it is useful to note just how far the right-wing Republican Party has come in just one year with regard to the situation in Syria. And it can all be summed up by that profound foreign policy visionary from the land of frozen tundra, Sarah Palin:

Sarah Palin

Indeed, Palin’s evolution on this issue aligns perfectly with that of her party comrades. Last summer, most of the conservative mouthpieces were haranguing President Obama for articulating a plan to provide aid to moderate Syrian rebels in an effort to coerce Assad into abandoning his chemical weapons, which he used to massacre tens of thousands of his own people. For some reason, according to the right, that mass slaughter was not sufficient justification for the U.S. to launch a humanitarian response, but a couple of gruesome executions by media-savvy killers and that means war.

Despite the opposition, Obama’s strategy worked and Assad delivered his chemical arsenal to Western authorities and opened his facilities up for inspection. But that was not until after the President was savaged by Republicans who assailed him for not getting congressional approval, and then assailed him for asking congress to concur. Obama is in the unique position of having political foes who are saying, in effect, “Do what we say so we can attack you for doing what we said.”

Now the same GOP critics are insisting that Obama commit to all-out warfare with the same Syria that they previously thought we should keep at a distance. And true to form, they want him to demonstrate boldness by unilaterally launching an assault with combat troops, while simultaneously condemning him as an anti-constitutional tyrant if he tries to do that without the consent of Congress.

What I want to know is: How can they ride that out-of-control ideological merry-go-round without getting nauseous?

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Uh Oh. Did Sarah Palin Call Obama “Boy” On Hannity Last Night?

On Wednesday, President Obama spoke to the nation about his plans to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the ISIL organization that has embarked on a terrorist spree in Iraq. Sarah Palin must have been busy brawling at drunken rave in Wasilla at the time because she didn’t make it to Fox News until the next day. And based on what she said last night to Sean Hannity, she might have been better off going another round.

Fox News has been predictably critical of Obama’s initiative to defeat ISIL. Their post-speech analysis didn’t include a single Obama supporter. But few have gone where Palin just took the debate. In her introductory comments to Hannity she began by saying…

“Dear Lord, these boys are so arrogant and that’s getting in the way of sound policy that will keep America secure and our allies.”

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Fox News Sarah Palin

Is it too much for these rancid bigots to refrain from referring to the first African-American President of the United States as “boy?” If they want to call him arrogant or belittle his commitment to the nation’s security, that’s pretty much their standard hate-speech fare, but there are some lines that you would think they would not cross.

Palin continues her warped assessment of the situation by whining about Obama’s determination to protect American soldiers by keeping them from becoming cannon fodder for jihadists in the Middle East. She said…

“And now here we are saying it’s gonna take boots on the ground to win this thing, and yet we’re not gonna send boots on the ground? We’re gonna contract this thing out when there is no mightier power than the red, white, and blue?”

That’s right. We’re not gonna send boots on the ground. That’s because the rightful parties to wage this battle are the Iraqis and their regional neighbors. Why is Palin, and so much of the right, obsessed with spilling more American blood overseas, which is exactly what the enemy wants us to do?

Palin and Hannity spend the rest of the segment in a nearly incoherent dialog that is impossible to transcribe in proper English. They touch briefly on inane concepts like whether ISIL is Islamic, or constitute being a state, merely because they say so. Since when do we allow terrorists to define the world for us? Palin and Hannity appear to have more respect for the enemy’s judgment than their president’s. That shows where their loyalties lie. Here is a typical passage from the segment:

Hannity: Let me ask you this. When the President says that the Islamic State is not Islamic, when he says that ISIS is not a state but they have more territory, it’s bigger than the size of Belgium, so they have the money, they’re more brutal, now they have the territory, maybe not recognized by the United Nations, but they certainly own a lot of that territory, and the President said another thing, he said that ISIS has no vision, I’m thinking don’t they have a vision? Isn’t what they were doing in Mosul, either convert or die, isn’t that a vision for a caliphate where the world is dominated by their brand of Islam?

Palin: It’s not just a vision that’s so obvious, it’s an articulated mission that they’re on, and that is the caliphate. That is the take over of the region, and guess what…we’re next on the hit list. So like Barack Obama, like the rest of us, hear these bad guys, these terrorists, promising that they will raise the flag of Allah over our White House, for the life of me I don’t know why he does not take this serious, the threat, because yes, it’s more than a vision. They’re telling us, just like Hitler did all those years ago when a war could have been avoided because Hitler, too, didn’t hide his intentions. Well, ISIS, these guys are not hiding their intentions either.

The only comprehensible viewpoint that can be squeezed from that rhetorical mess is that Palin and Hannity believe that ISIL is capable of defeating and ruling the entire planet. They believe that ISIL’s 20,000 desert rats can prevail over America’s 2.2 million active and reserve forces (not to mention the rest of the world’s military). In what reality do those numbers make any sense? If they just wanted to assert that ISIL is capable of causing harm, they would have been on solid ground. But by insisting that the threat to raise the flag of ISIL over the White House is a serious potential outcome they are thrusting themselves into the realm of fools (where I am sure they would be quite comfortable).

Ending on a comedic note, Palin did relieve herself of some apparently long-suppressed guilt. She told Hannity that…

“As I watched the speech last night the thought going through my mind is: I owe America a global apology because John McCain – through all of this – John McCain should be our president.”

Indeed, an apology is definitely in order. Except it should be coming from McCain who saddled American with this addled-brained cretin. However, it is interesting that Palin is, in effect, confessing that she she was the reason that McCain lost the election. There was more to it than that, but this is the start of coming to grips with reality.

Glenn Beck’s Latest Conspiracy Theory: Why Won’t Obama Use The Oval Office

In the past couple of weeks we’ve seen Republicans go nuts because President Obama didn’t wear a tie at a press avail. Then, at the next event, where he wore a tie, he caused another uproar because he also wore a tan suit (which all presidents have done for at least the last fifty years). And now we have a new controversy involving Obama’s alleged aversion to the Oval Office.

Obama Beck Oval Office

Schlock-jock Glenn Beck dug this one up for a segment on his video Internet blog (video below). It reeks of the time-tested, delusional, wingnut tripe that made Beck what he is today. Beck ranted that…

“There’s a problem with the Oval Office and this president. There’s something wrong there.” […] It is part of the fundamental transformation. This guy’s in for eight years, not speaking [from the Oval Office]. He has erased eight years of what that office means. You know, you build up a relationship with the image and he’s changing that image. He’s changing the image of the United States, he’s changing the image of the president of the United States, he’s changing the image of what a president looks like – I’m not talking about color, I’m talking about what he looks like, what the optics are. They’re so fascinated with optics. Why won’t they use the Oval Office? Something’s not right.”

Indeed. Something is NOT right. Beck is not right. Obama has used the Oval Office for televised public addresses on at least two occasions. And on the other occasions where he spoke from the East Room or the Rose Garden, he was not changing anything about the presidency, since other presidents have done the same thing without it ever being portrayed as a problem.

The shallowness of attacks such as this reflect more on the attacker than the target. Especially since Beck would be the first person to condemn the President for exploiting optics if he did use the Oval Office more frequently.

And Beck isn’t the only one to sink to these levels of inanity. In fact, the last time Obama used the Oval Office, Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post took a different angle by complaining that Obama “looked scrawny and ill-at-ease at the large, empty desk.” It’s just more proof that Obama can’t win with these freaks no matter what he does.

And speaking of Rubin, her current column for the Post sought to school her Tea Party comrades on the subject of “How should Republicans respond to Obama’s speech on the Islamic State?” Clearly they need some guidance after last night’s embarrassing display. But Rubin’s lesson isn’t much better. She opens with this note of confusion:

“The president says the Islamic State is not Islamic nor a state. Huh? Members of the group sure consider themselves Muslim, so who is the president to pass doctrinal judgment?””

Absolutely. And Charles Manson insisted that he was God, so we mustn’t argue with that either. To support her assertion she turns to uber-hawk/fruitcake Cliff May of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who contends that ISIL is a state because “It has a flag.” Well, so does The Kiss Army. Rubin also relies on May’s assurance that ISIL’s leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, “is a fundamentalist — not a heretic,” and therefore a Muslim. However, Rubin later qoutes Fred Kagen of the ultra-rightist Weekly Standard saying that ISIL is governed by “its hateful version of an old Islamic heresy.” So he is a heretic after all? It only took until the very next paragraph for this contradiction to appear.

And, finally, Rubin closes with an unflattering comparison of Obama to his predecessor, saying that “Obama is no George Bush.” Thank God for that. I’m not sure America could endure another incompetent like Bush, who was responsible for the conditions that led to ISIL, as well as leading us into a quagmire in Iraq, fouling our environment, and bankrupting our economy.

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Via Right Wing Watch:

Just As I Predicted, Fox News Hated Obama’s Speech (Surprise)

Just as I predicted this morning, Fox News, and their Republican comrades, marched in lock-step opposition to President’s Obama speech on dealing with the threat of ISIL.

Republicans

Immediately following the speech, Fox News spent the next couple of hours picking it apart with sometimes ludicrous logic. They began with commentary from their White House correspondent Ed Henry who asserted his opinion that Obama, by calling for decisive action to destroy ISIL, had reversed himself on his prior foreign policy which, of course, was to destroy ISIL.

Megyn Kelly, who anchored the post-speech discussion, led with a series of poll results that cast the President in a negative light. She then approached her guests with blatantly leading questions, such as her wondering whether Obama’s heart was in his stated intention to take out ISIL. She also asked whether Obama’s policy to leave Iraq in 2011 caused the situation now where we have to go back “in a way that is even more dangerous.” That question ignores certain facts, such as the date for the departure of U.S. troops which was set by George W. Bush. Also, it can hardly be characterized as “more dangerous” when Obama’s plan will result in about 1,500 American soldiers in Iraq, as opposed to the 140,000 that were there previously. As for what caused the situation that allowed ISIL to emerge, that was solely due to Bush’s plundering of the government of Saddam Hussein (based on lies) and banishing his generals and other military personal, who went on to form ISIL.

Dana Perino, Bush’s former press secretary, said that she liked Obama’s line “If you threaten the United States you will have no safe haven.” But she said that the reason she liked it was because she had heard the same thing before from her old boss when he said “You are either with us or you are against us.” How is that even remotely the same?

However, the most idiotic commentary came from Brit Hume who said…

“If the threat is sufficiently great to American interests and to America itself, then it seems that one would do whatever it takes to eliminate the threat. [Obama] didn’t quite go that far. He said he was determined to destroy ISIS, but you heard at the end when he was talking about what we do in these situations. He said “We do what it takes.” He didn’t say we do whatever it takes.

Are you FRIGGIN’ kidding me? I would love to know what Hume thinks is different about those two statements. Obviously, these cretins are so consumed with finding fault that their cranial synapses are misfiring.

Every guest during the remainder of Kelly’s program was an Obama opponent, including Hume, Perino, General Jack Keane, Chris Stirewalt, and Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz launched his tirade by saying that Obama’s speech was “fundamentally unserious,” and was representative of the “failed Obama/Clinton foreign policy.” That was his way of injecting politics into the discussion by invoking the name of the women he hopes to challenge in 2016. Kelly’s show was followed by Sean Hannity who added John McCain and Rand Paul to the bitchfest.

Not a single Democrat or pundit supportive of the President or his policy was allowed on the air during the post-speech analysis. So much for the “fair and balanced” network. This is why the prediction I made earlier was so easy. The same prediction can be made for pretty much any event that involves Obama or any progressive politician or policy. Fox News single-mindedly follows the philosophy of Marx (Groucho, that is):

Whatever it is, I’m against it.

A SHOCKING Prediction For Obama’s Speech on ISIL Tonight

[Note: The post-speech results of this prediction were posted the evening of 9/10/2014]

It is long past time for wavering and skimming along the edges of political opinion. The seriousness of threats facing our nation and world require forthright language and action. Therefore, News Corpse is prepared to make a bold prediction about the aftermath of the highly anticipated speech by President Obama this evening. Are you ready?

“Republicans and Fox News are going to HATE Obama’s speech and viciously attack it and him.”

Republicans

Forgive my bluntness, but there is no time to waste on shallow courtesies. I know some of you may be stunned by this breathtaking prophecy, but its necessity precluded any other action.

As evidence of the accuracy of my forecast, I would point you to an op-ed on Fox News by “Psycho” analyst Keith Ablow, a member of Fox’s Medical “A” Team. Ablow previews his vision for Obama’s speech and offers advice that he admits at the outset wasn’t invited (for good reason). Ablow begins by telling the President that…

“You must not let your own psychology interfere with the message you send to our mortal enemies.”

This, of course, is because, in Ablow’s view, Obama’s psychology is deeply twisted and fraught with the anti-American biases that he has harbored his whole life. That is why he struggled to overcome a difficult childhood from a biracial family, with a single mother, to rise to the highest political office in the land. Only someone who truly despises the country could muster the devotion and commitment necessary for such a lofty goal.

Ablow goes on to declare that Obama “feel[s] ambivalent about the decency of America,” and that a majority of Americans shared his belief that we deserved to be attacked on 9/11. What Americans Ablow has interviewed to arrive at this theory is a mystery. Nevertheless, he contends that Obama’s misgivings are evident in his “apology tour” of Europe (which never happened) and his campaign rhetoric about whether successful business people owed some debt to a society that contributed to their success via enhancements in transportation infrastructure, tax incentives, and economic aid to the consumer class (which did indeed help businesses to succeed).

According to Ablow, Obama had the intention of “fanning the flames of hatred toward the United States.” And what’s more, he deliberately let Americans die in Benghazi, golfed while American heads were being cut off, and vacationed while terrorists took over the rest of the planet. Never mind that none of that represents a coherent view of reality, Ablow’s dementia is firmly rooted in a nightmare world where villains rule and monsters lurk in every shadow. If Ablow were to surface from his delusions long enough to realize that every president has presided over atrocities (i.e. Reagan saw more than 200 Marines murdered in Lebanon; thirteen embassies were attacked under Bush, with some 60 fatalities), he might have an irreversible mental breakdown. I mean, another one.

Finally, Ablow dispenses with all remnants of sanity as he alleges that Obama shares common ground with terrorist extremists. But not only that. Ablow also indicts the American people as being aligned with ISIL. Ablow says…

“Please know that as Americans and people all over the world listen to your speech about ISIS, they will be listening—both consciously and at a deeply unconscious level—for further clues that you, like they, think that the United States deserves an ISIS terror attack.”

So the American people will be listening to see if Obama thinks that the U.S. deserves an attack by ISIS, just like they do? As noted above, Ablow must be conferring with a very different segment of the American population to come up with this rancid bullcrap. Either that or he is simply inventing it in his acutely damaged brain.

Still, he represents a significant portion of the Fox News/GOP/Tea Party demographic of doom. And his pre-speech raving is as good an indicator of how these miscreants will respond after the actual speech is delivered, regardless of the content. Despite the presumption of right-wingers that Obama is advancing the cause of the terrorists, it is the wingnuts who are emboldening the enemy by denigrating the President as weak and incompetent. That is not exactly the best method of confronting a brutal opponent.

If Obama says anything other than that he has just personally killed Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi with his bare hands and that he was also resigning and appointing a right-wing hero (i.e. Ted Cruz, Vladimir Putin) to succeed him, the Fox News contingent will savagely pummel him with a single-minded devotion to their knee-jerk, tunnel-blind, ignorant, hysteria. That’s my prediction anyway.

It’s Obama’s Fault? Fox News Ties President To NFL-er Ray Rice’s Assault

Like clockwork, anything bad that happens anywhere in the world is somehow connected to President Obama. It was either caused by something he did, or something he didn’t do, or it requires him to comment, or to refrain from commenting, or in short, do whatever is the opposite of whatever he did, or thought about doing, or was predicted to do by dimwitted media pundits.

This morning a video was released that showed the actual assault committed by NFL running back Ray Rice on his then-fiance – now wife- Janay Palmer. It is a nauseating piece of video that captures Rice knocking out Palmer with a single punch.

So, of course, when the subject came up on the Fox News program Outnumbered (whose premise is to pit four women co-hosts “against” a rotating male guest host), someone had to immediately figure out a way to blame the whole incident on Obama. That chore fell to Fox’s Andrea Tantaros who obliged by saying that…

“My question is — and not to bring it back to politics but — this is a White House that seems to bring up a ‘war on women’ every other week. […] I wanna know, where is the President on this one?”

Really? Tantaros claims to not want to “bring it back to politics,” so she promptly castigates Obama for – who knows what. The President has spoken out repeatedly on the subject of domestic violence. Must he now have something to say about every occurrence of it? And if he did address it, you know with certainty that rabidly partisan hacks like Tantaros would criticize him for inserting himself into a criminal matter, demeaning his office, and politicizing the affair.

At the same time Tantaros cavalierly dismisses the GOP’s“War on Women” which refers to their agenda of anti-woman policies addressing reproductive health, equal pay, discrimination, and, yes, domestic violence and other criminal acts. These are very real concerns to women, who have expressed their opinion as to who better represents their interests by voting overwhelmingly for Obama and other Democrats.

Ironically, at almost the same time that Tantaros was slandering Obama for not dropping everything, including the fight against ISIL and other terrorists, to deal with this single case of domestic violence, the White House was making a statement affirming the President’s position. Noting that he cannot address a specific criminal act because it could prejudice any subsequent legal proceedings, the President’s spokesman said that “this administration and this president do believe strongly that the scourge of violence against women needs to be combated. […] it is not and cannot be tolerated.”

Furthermore, it was this president who signed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which a majority of those in Tantaros’ Republican Party voted against. In fact, all of the “no” votes in the House and the Senate were Republicans. Not a single Democrat voted against it.

Tantaros has a history of offensive statements on this subject. In 2011 she came to the defense of Herman Cain after he had been accused of sexual harassment by several women. Tantaros initially called one of Cain’s accusers a “scam artist,” but after it was clear that he was guilty, Tantaros floated a new defense blaming the victim. She asked “At what point do women need to take some responsibility?”

For Tantaros to now not-so-subtly inject Obama into this scandal is obscenely offensive. Especially when she herself could more easily be tied to Rice’s repulsive behavior if someone were looking for such a connection. Last year, after maligning the United States as being “like the Soviet Union,” Tantaros turned her wrath on the American citizens who exercised their rights in a free democracy by casting their votes for Obama. She said that

“…a lot of people voted for [Obama]. And if you see any of those people today, do me a favor. Punch them in the face.”

foxnews-tantaros-punch

So you have to wonder if perhaps Janay Palmer revealed to Rice that she voted for Obama and he responded by following Tantaros’ advice. After all, Tantaros is clearly not opposed to people being physically assaulted for their political beliefs. And she didn’t give any exemption to women who voted for Obama.

Obviously that’s an absurd scenario, and the only purpose in presenting it is to illustrate just how absurd Tantaros is for grasping at ridiculous reasons to associate everything bad with Obama. And as if this weren’t bad enough, another episode played out earlier in the day on Fox News when Brian Kilmeade of Fox & Friends thought it would be “funny” to offer his opinion of the lesson to be learned from the Rice incident. Kilmeade said that “I think the message is – take the stairs.”

Very funny, Fox. Way to trivialize a brutal beating of woman by a professional football player. Tantaros may wonder where President Obama is on this, but we all know where Fox News is. [Update: The following day, Brian Kilmeade addressed the “joke” about taking the stairs by saying only that their comments “made some feel like we were taking the situation too lightly. We are not. We were not.” That’s it. No apology or retraction or acknowledgement that the joke was vulgar and inappropriate. In effect, he blamed the audience for how they felt about it].

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[Addendum] Apparently in search of extra points for being disgusting cretins, Fox News contributor (and Tea Party darling/presidential candidate) Ben Carson actually came to Rice’s defense saying “let’s not all jump on the bandwagon of demonizing this guy.” If not Rice, then who? Funny that Carson has no problem demonizing President Obama.

Wingnuts Lament That Obama Delays An Executive Action On Immigration That They Oppose

This is how the Republican establishment came to be known as “wingnuts.” These right-wing nut cases are so befuddled by anti-Obama hysteria that they can’t seem to articulate a coherent thought. This isn’t demonstrated anywhere better than in the contentious immigration debate that has stripped naked the conservatives tendency for overt racism.

Wingnuts On Immigration

Yesterday Fox News correspondent Molly Henneberg took to the airwaves to report that the Obama administration has decided to delay an anticipated executive order to address the struggle of undocumented immigrants in the United States. It is an action that Republicans staunchly oppose as what they falsely deride as amnesty. In addition, they regard Obama’s use of executive orders as unconstitutional and are even suing him for issuing them.

However, with Obama’s decision to put off any action until after the November midterm elections, the GOP is trembling with outrage. In effect, they are infuriated because Obama isn’t breaking the law sooner by taking a step they bitterly oppose. To please these lunatics he would have to do the very things for which they are criticizing him, which wouldn’t please them at all. That’s checkmate in Bizarro World.

To be sure, the President’s decision to put off the policy is rooted in politics. Several Democratic senators in red-leaning states are worried that unilateral action by Obama would damage their reelection aspirations. But the President recognizes this and doesn’t shy away from it. He even acknowledges the political concerns in a forthright statement released by a White House spokesman:

“The reality the president has had to weigh is that we’re in the midst of the political season, and because of the Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue, the president believes it would be harmful to the policy itself and to the long-term prospects for comprehensive immigration reform to announce administrative action before the elections.”

That demonstration of transparency is being met by Republican bombast and deception. Their whining about the delay is plainly based on their own political considerations, but they refuse to admit it. They are just as concerned about the same senatorial campaigns as the Democrats. But instead of being honest, as was the White House, they assume an indefensible posture demanding that the President do something that they adamantly oppose and regard as illegal.

The coverage of this circus by Fox News reeks with their well-known right-wing bias. Henneberg’s report places all of the blame for politicization on the Democrats, saying that…

“Some Democrats had been concerned that if the President took executive action on immigration that it might energize Republican voters who want tighter border security before citizenship for illegals right before the midterms.”

There is no mention in Henneberg’s report that Republicans are just as concerned that the delay might weaken their electoral challenges. Even worse, Henneberg outright lies about the substance of the planned executive order when she cites the GOP’s interest in “tighter border security” and the question of citizenship. She fails to note that Obama’s policy actually calls for the enhancement of border enforcement and that there is nothing remotely resembling citizenship in the works. That canard is standard fare by right-wing dissemblers and propagandists. As is the use of the pejorative term “illegals,” that most credible news organizations have ceased to use.

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For the record, the anticipated executive order is only expected to address the granting of work permits and temporary relief from deportation. That is a far cry from amnesty, and an even farther cry from citizenship. But it would relieve some of the stress caused by the situation; it would reunite families; and it help the economy by turning undocumented workers into taxpayers and contributing members of the community.

What’s more, Republicans always have the opportunity to avert any executive action by doing one simple thing: pass an immigration bill in Congress. The President is only considering unilateral action because Republicans in Congress refuse to do their job. And now they are exacerbating their laziness and rank politicization by making absurd demands that are contrary to their own stated principles. Hence wingnuts.

We Are NOT At War: The Right-Wing Obsession To Declare Their Delusions

What is it about the conservative mindset that needs to turn every contentious encounter into full scale warfare? It seems that no matter the subject, if there is some unresolved difference the affair must be escalated to combat mode. We see this with everything from the drug war, to the class war, to the annual lunacy of the War on Christmas.

The so-called “War on Terror” is just as ludicrous. It is impossible to declare war on a tactic, just as you cannot declare war on a group of narcotics or a feeling or the mole people who live beneath the Earth’s crust. Wars are carried out between nations that can be engaged militarily and concluded with definable resolutions. There is no opposing general who can surrender his sword at the end of a war on terror (or Christmas) and agree to conditions for peace.

Nevertheless, conservatives are insistent that war be waged on anything they dislike. They have a psychological predisposition that researchers have studied and documented. Some of these studies were discussed in an article on Salon by Paul Rosenberg who noted that…

“Conservative fears of nonexistent or overblown boogeymen — Saddam’s WMD, Shariah law, voter fraud, Obama’s radical anti-colonial mind-set, Benghazi, etc. — make it hard not to see conservatism’s prudent risk avoidance as having morphed into a state of near permanent paranoia, especially fueled by recurrent ‘moral panics,’ a sociological phenomenon in which a group of ‘social entrepreneurs’ whips up hysterical fears over a group of relatively powerless ‘folk devils’ who are supposedly threatening the whole social order.”

Today these right-wing paranoids are clamoring over whether President Obama should declare war on ISIL, a stateless assembly of militants who have no national identity or homeland. The notion that the United States should declare war on such a non-entity is absurd. That doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be a concerted and decisive response to the brutal hostility of these terrorists. But it isn’t war. The politicians and pundits who are fixated on such a declaration are merely consumed with surface-level theatrics and partisan politics.

As evidence of their rank partisanship, Republicans are citing the murders of two American journalists as the justification for declaring war. However, there have been a lot more Americans killed by terrorists before this without a demand for such a declaration. What makes this different? Is it the manner in which the victims were killed? Or is it the person in the White House at the time?

Selective Patriotism

There is a distinct difference between the reactions by Republicans to terrorist activity during the Obama administration and during the administration of his predecessor, George W. Bush. When Bush was in charge there were also a couple of Americans who died in the same fashion as James Foley and Steven Sotloff. They were Nick Berg and Paul Johnson [Edit: Also Daniel Pearl]. After they were killed Republicans insisted that the country must rally around the President and unite against the terrorist enemy.

However, today the right-wingers are anything but united. They castigate Obama as being weak and indecisive. They even blame him outright for the deaths of innocents. Yesterday, Fox News host Andrea Tantaros told Bill O’Reilly that Obama “has a world view that is very anti-American.” O’Reilly didn’t disagree. Clearly there is a selective component to what the right calls patriotism. If a Republican is at the helm during a catastrophe he must receive our unquestioning support in the struggle against our foes. But no such loyalty is afforded a Democratic president. To the contrary, he is belittled and insulted and demeaned in the face of the enemy who, ironically, hold the same view of him as Republicans do.

It is notable that all of this vitriol comes at a time when Obama has achieved some significant victories over the terrorists. His policy of conducting airstrikes has resulted in pushing back ISIL from many of the cities they had bragged about capturing. We have regained control of the Mosul dam in Iraq. We have killed the leader of the Somali terrorist group that was responsible for murdering dozens of people in a Nairobi mall. And today there are reports that we have terminated both the right-hand man to ISIL leader Al-Baghdadi and his chief explosives expert. All of this has occurred while conservatives have baselessly complained that Obama hasn’t been doing anything at all.

I’ve noted before that by denigrating the President at times like these it has the effect of emboldening the enemy by creating a false and dangerous impression of Obama as a weakling that they can easily overcome. It almost seems that that is their objective, so that a terrorist attack on U.S. soil will take place that they can blame on Obama. Whatever their purpose, it is plain that they apply one standard of judgment for Republicans and another dangerously negative one for Democrats. And above all they have resolved to put their cynical, dishonest politics ahead of the welfare of the country. And they call that patriotism.

(CR)ISIS Strategy: President Obama vs. Republicans And Fox News Pundits

Much is being made of an off-hand sentence fragment taken from President Obama’s press conference yesterday. In response to a question from Chuck Todd about whether he needed Congress’s approval to go into Syria, Obama said

“I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet. I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we’re at than we currently are. And I think that’s not just my assessment, but the assessment of our military as well. We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans, that we’re developing them. At that point, I will consult with Congress and make sure that their voices are heard.”

Clearly the President was trying to temper speculation in the media that has been rampant with predictions of a U.S. military assault on Syria. That is not the sort of thing that commanders want to be circulating prior to the launch of a mission. So Obama prudently dismissed the gossip and focused on presenting a united front that included the White House, the Pentagon, and Congress. However, conservative politicians and pundits have a different theory that has two primary principles:

  1. Giving away our tactics
  2. Disparaging our Commander-in-Chief.

ISIS Strategy

While the President is working to keep from showing our hand, those on the right are clamoring for him to spill every secret plot that is currently under consideration. They are outraged that Obama has not told the world, and ISIS, what our strategy is for dealing with ISIS in Syria. Certainly ISIS would like to know what we are planning, and Republicans are helping them in that effort.

An example this morning on the Fox News program Outnumbered had guest co-host Pete Hegseth, head of the Koch brothers front group Concerned Veterans for America, saying that “The number one rule in war is that if there is no strategy, don’t tell the enemy that.” Hegseth never mentioned what boneheaded rule book he was referring to, but it is one that contradicts the long-respected wisdom of Sun Tzu whose “The Art of War” advises to “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” In other words, it is strategically advantageous to fool your enemies into thinking that you have no strategy. To announce your strategy would only allow them to reinforce their defenses against it.

After advocating divulging our plans, the right goes on to tell our enemies that they have little to worry about because our leadership is incompetent and may even be on their side. For some reason they think that it’s helpful to let ISIS know that some of Obama’s own countrymen have no confidence in him. Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle fantasized about having Vladimir Putin as president for forty-eight hours instead of Obama because, I guess, brutal dictators are always preferable in the eyes of the right. Perhaps they are preparing for 2016:

Putin/Palin 2016

GOP representative Louie Gohmert made an ass of himself (again) by likening Obama to Barney Fife, the bumbling deputy on the old Andy Griffith Show. The problem with that analogy is that Gohmert and the right are more like Fife than Obama. Remember that Fife was the hothead who was constantly itching for a fight and the opportunity to put his one bullet in his pistol. He couldn’t wait to confront the bad guys with deadly force whether or not a real threat existed. Doesn’t that sound like Bush’s adventures in Iraq, and what conservatives are doing right now? Certainly the right wouldn’t approve of Andy Griffith’s Sheriff Taylor, who was well known for being deliberative and resolving problems with diplomacy and intellect. Kind of like President Obama. In fact, Sheriff Taylor was so notorious for his resistance to unnecessary conflict that one episode featured a story line where Mayberry’s Sheriff was wooed by producers from Hollywood to make a movie titled “Sheriff Without A Gun.”

Shameless self-promotion…
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But the problem that the wingnuts are causing is far more serious than asinine analogies. Their criticisms have the dual risk of pressuring the President to divulge sensitive military plans, and emboldening the enemy by creating a false and dangerous impression of Obama as a weakling that they can easily overcome. How is that an expression of patriotism? Let’s face it, the right is more concerned with demonizing the President than they are with defeating ISIS, or with the welfare of our troops, or with national security in general. They are even more concerned with the color of his suit or whether he wears a tie. Gawd bless Amurca.

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

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

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

Obama WHCD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox News Tantaros/Hegseth

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

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

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

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