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.”

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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.

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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.

IMPEACH! Fox News Reports That “Obama Danced to Avoid Clintons At Party”

Adding more fuel to the Republican obsession with removing President Obama from office, Fox News invited disgraced author and unrepentant birther, Edward Klein, to reveal the results of his fantasy investigation of the alleged friction between Obama and Hillary Clinton. Klein’s latest news flash, and Fox News headline, is that “Obama Danced to Avoid Clintons at Party.”

Fox News - Edward Klein

Klein appeared on Fox & Friends with the brown haired dude who is not Steve Doocy (Brian Kilmeade) to recount his tale of presidential acrimony. The discord supposedly began after Clinton expressed her opinion that more should have been done to clamp down on ISIS when they emerged in Syria. That’s a perfectly reasonable position, although one fraught with controversy. At that time there were few Syrian rebel groups that could be trusted to pursue the interests of the United States. Indeed, many of Syrian President Assad’s opponents were associated with what became ISIS.

Subsequent to the initial media frenzy over Clinton’s alleged attempt to distance herself from Obama, Clinton denied that there was any rift between her and the President. As evidence she called Obama to assure him that she had not meant to criticize his overall foreign policy. In addition, she was already scheduled to attend a birthday party for a mutual friend that the Obamas would also be attending. The media falsely turned this into some kind of a peace summit between the once, and possibly future, presidents. Of course in the real world it was a birthday party.

This is where Klein steps in to unveil his long-squawked theory that Clinton and Obama are mortal enemies. He told Kilmeade that…

“My sources tell me that what happened there at the party is that instead of it being a hug-a-thon, it became a freeze-a-thon, and the Clintons essentially ignored the Obamas, and the Obamas got up from the table and danced almost the entire night in order to avoid having to talk to the Clintons.”

OMG! The President and the First Lady were dancing as means of politically oppressing a perceived foe. It’s a tyrannical tactic that even Hitler never tried to use against his enemies. As for Klein, one has to wonder if these are the same sources that told him that Hillary was dropping out of the presidential race; or that Obama was secretly planning on endorsing Elizabeth Warren to succeed him; or that Chelsea Clinton was the spawn of Bill Clinton raping his lesbian wife, Hillary.

Klein’s sources appear to be imaginary trolls inhabiting his otherwise vacant cranial cavity. He never authenticates his allegations or conducts even the most basic principles of journalism ethics. But what he said immediately after his shocking revelation about Obama’s dance of distraction is more informative than anything that appears in any of his lie-riddled books:

“What I’m trying to say is, in a sense, what happened there in the Vineyard was ripped from the pages of my book “Blood Feud” because the blood feud continues.”

And there you have it. This is nothing more than an advertisement for his cheesy book. And Fox News is gleefully participating in the ad campaign by hosting an author who has nothing substantive to say. Although from Fox’s perspective it is another opportunity to bash both Obama and Clinton that they couldn’t pass up.

The problem that Fox, and their Republican cohorts, have is that while they have been feverishly condemning Obama’s policies, they were thrown into a cognitive mind warp when Clinton appeared to do the same. After all, what were they to do? Embrace the position of Clinton who they are expecting to face in the presidential election in 2016? Or renounce her and effectively endorse the Obama doctrine?

In the end they are awkwardly trying to do both. Obama is wrong because, in their fetid brains, he’s always wrong. But Clinton isn’t right, she is merely being looked up to for disagreeing with Obama, but even that is only for political reasons. It’s a typical right-wing illogic-loop that can spin for eternity – or at least until the hypnotic trance that Fox has imposed on their cult members (aka viewers) has faded.

Fox Nation Outrage: Obama Vacations With White People – And Other Lies And Delusions

The Fox News community website, Fox Nation, is a non-stop parade of deliberate misinformation, biased reporting, and promotion of notoriously disreputable purveyors of propaganda and conspiracy theories like Alex Jones and Breitbart News. [For more documented proof of Fox Nation's lies, read Fox Nation vs. Reality] This morning that penchant for bullpucky was in full display with a trio of stories that perfectly illustrate the Fox Nation mission.

Fox Nation

Let’s begin with a little item that alleges that “Obama Suggests Conservatives Are Greatest Threat To Nation.” This story was filched from the ultra-rightist Daily Caller (which is run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson) and referenced an interview of President Obama in the New York Times. Obama discussed gridlock in Washington and told the Times that “Our politics are dysfunctional.” That is an indisputable fact that is evidenced by this congress being the least productive in history. The article also said that…

“The president mused, the biggest threat to America — the only force that can really weaken us — is us.”

That’s quite a different statement than what was asserted in the headline. To be sure, it is Republicans that have been boasted of their obstructionism. GOP House Speaker John Boehener even said that the congress under his “leadership” “should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.” By that measure they still suck because they have repealed precisely zero laws. But the point is made that they are proud of being an obstacle to progress. Nevertheless, Obama placed the blame more broadly on “us,” not conservatives as the liars at Fox Nation and the Daily Caller said.

Next up is an article that was picked up from right-wing media distorters, NewsBusters. They in turn were citing England’s version of the National Enquirer, the Daily Mail, who reported speculation that the former Director of Communications for George W. Bush, Nicolle Wallace, had been chosen to replace Jenny McCarthy on “The View.” Fox Nation turned that item into “Liberal Nicolle Wallace Is the New ‘Conservative’ Host on The View?”

“Liberal?” Wallace, as noted above, was a long-time political operative for the Bush regime. She was also a deputy campaign manager for his reelection in 2004, and headed up Sarah Palin’s communications staff for the McCain/Palin campaign in 2008. Wallace created a stir when she spoke candidly about Palin’s shortcomings after the election. But that doesn’t make her a liberal. It makes her intelligent and honest. On second thought, maybe it does make her a liberal, because those are qualities that liberals respect and conservatives disdain. However, for Fox Nation and NewsBusters to characterize Wallace as liberal after a career of conservative politicking is just plain delusional. Apparently the only replacement they would find suitable would be someone like Ann Coulter or Michele Bachmann.

Finally, the Fox Nationalists went to their resident screeching hyena, Mark Levin, for a taste of his undisguised racism. The headline on Fox Nation said “Mark Levin Blasts Obama for Vacationing at ‘Whitest Place on Earth’” Indeed, Levin seems to have found something objectionable about our African-American president and his family hobnobbing with his Caucasian superiors, rather than serving them drinks and cleaning their rooms as God intended. Levin continued saying to Obama that “We know how you hate whites,” and that Obama would be better off vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands. [Remember what happened to Glenn Beck when he said that Obama hates white people?]

But what makes this truly despicable is that Levin is not only racist, he is stupid – or is that redundant? As noted by Mediaite’s Matt Wilstein, Martha’s Vineyard has a richly diverse history:

“While Martha’s Vineyard is no doubt a ritzy island with more than its fair share of white people, Levin is clearly unaware of its rich history as a summer destination for wealthy black families. This is particularly true of Oak Bluffs, where African-American families began summering as early as the 1890s.”

Levin does make a valid point in one respect. Perhaps Obama should stay away from “the whitest place on Earth.” But it isn’t Martha’s Vineyard. It’s Fox News, where vile bigots roam free to disparage the nation, insult its citizens, and preach a brand of faith that exalts the wealthy, white, ruling class.

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As usual, Fox News is rampant with racism, delusion, and bald-faced lies. The articles above are only a small sample of the repulsiveness that is published there every day. It’s astonishing that they get away with this and even attract devoted fans. Obviously, there is still a lot of work to be done in this country to stamp out bigotry and the ignorance from which it stems.

Operation No Name – Or Whatever Obama Does Is Wrong: The ISIS Edition

Conservative critics of President Obama wasted no time in complaining about what they said was his failure to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq where thousands of refugees are trapped on a mountain by ISIS militants. Never mind that only a few days had transpired since learning of the impending tragedy, the armchair generals in Congress and on Fox News had fully assessed the situation and were ready to fly off the handle.

The Senate’s preeminent news video hog, John McCain, blasted the administration for taking “no discernible action.” GOP Rep. Chris Smith said that “The president’s indifference is both numbing and enabling.” His colleague Frank Wolf joined in saying that “The administration has done nothing.” It was a steady chorus of complaints from the Republican caucus. That is, until Obama took decisive action within a few hours of the GOP outcry. From that point on the wingnuts criticized the President for doing something.

Among the complaints by the perennial war hawks are that Obama screwed up by removing American troops from Iraq in 2011 (which was actually Bush’s timetable); that Obama failed to secure a “status of forces” agreement (which actually Bush failed to secure); that Obama didn’t immediately strike ISIS when it first began its campaign, and generally that Obama has been detached, distracted, and even hostile to American interests. In short, the right blames Obama for everything that can possibily go wrong. They blame him for the acts of terrorists (rather than, you know, the terrorists). They blame him for doing what the American people want (which is to keep American ground troops out of Iraq). They blame him for Al Qaeda, for ebola, and for ants at picnics.

And the latest crackpot criticism of Obama is that his Defense Department has not assigned a name to the mission currently in progress. Seriously. There is no name. IMPEACH!

Fox News

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What could the President be thinking by failing to execute this critical function of his role as Commander-in-Chief? It is an insult to the soldiers risking their lives in defense of the American Dream that they don’t have a title to which they can refer. How can they be expected to fulfill their mission if they don’t know what to call it? If the President doesn’t correct this atrocious oversight expeditiously he will go down in history as a traitor to his nation.

There is another possibility that may have escaped the notice of the brilliant war strategists on the right. Perhaps Obama has named the mission “No Name.” This would be an ingenious tactic to confuse the enemy. They would never be able to respond to a ghostly maneuver that they couldn’t identify with a label. Operation No Name may be the shrewdest military gambit in modern times. And it may have been inspired by a uniquely patriotic piece of our cultural history:

I’ve Been Through The Desert On A Horse/Mission With No Name – by America!

It would nice if once – just once – Republicans and Fox News could find something positive in something President Obama does. Their unbroken record of outrage, whatever the issue, only marks them as tunnel-blind extremists who lack the ability to independently assess anything. And if nothing else it proves that their opinions are wholly unworthy of serious consideration.

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

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

Fox Nation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox Nation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pope Francis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mars Impeaches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shameless self-promotion…
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CONSPIRACY: President Obama Is Trying To Impeach Himself

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

Impeach Obama

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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