Born A Crime: Trevor Noah To Succeed Jon Stewart As Host Of The Daily Show

In an announcement confirming recent speculation, South African comedian Trevor Noah has been named as the successor to Jon Stewart. After sixteen years of entertaining and thought provoking comedy, Stewart will be stepping down later this year, leaving a gaping hole in the world of political satire just as the 2016 presidential cycle is warming up.

Trevor Noah

The selection of Noah came as a surprise to many who regard him as an untested novice who cannot possibly fill Stewart’s shoes. That assessment comes from ignorance because a little research reveals that Noah is an accomplished performer who sells out shows around the world and has even hosted his own late night program in South Africa. He is also a smart observer of culture and politics who speaks several languages.

Some critics are pointing out that Noah has only appeared on the Daily Show three times. However, that is not a prerequisite for becoming host. Jon Stewart had never appeared on the Daily Show prior to his selection as host. Yet he leap-frogged a correspondent already working there named Stephen Colbert.

Noah’s personal journey holds promise for a unique perspective on American politics and media. He jokes that he was “born a crime,” which is actually no joke. His mother was a black South African and his father a white man from Switzerland. Under the racist Apartheid regime it was literally against the law for them get married and have children. Nevertheless, Noah transcended the harsh realities of his youth in Soweto to become a successful entertainer. No doubt America’s mush-brained birthers will note the parallels with Kenyan-born Barack Obama’s mixed-race heritage.

The future of the Daily Show is still in doubt. There have been rumors circulating that Comedy Central wants to take the program in a less political direction. That would be huge mistake from a business perspective because they would be abandoning a large and loyal audience that Stewart spent sixteen years building. But worse, it would be huge loss for the state of satire on television. There are few other places where it is available in such quantity and quality.

The selection of Noah suggests that the network may intend to maintain the current theme of the show. And Noah has praised the current production staff, which hopefully signals an intention to retain the writers and producers that have contributed so much to the show’s success.

After the departure of Colbert, Comedy Central made an inspired choice to give the timeslot to Larry Wilmore. Unfortunately, they delivered a program that doesn’t have the energy and edginess of its predecessor. Replacing an expertly scripted and rehearsed comedy program with one that is mostly a panel of talking heads could not possibly live up to the iconic stature of the Colbert Report. [More on that here]

Reaction to Noah’s selection has been mostly positive, citing his youth and international outlook as assets that could expand the audience and make it relevant to a new generation. Ironically, those are the same qualities that some critics are citing as drawbacks. In a hilarious critique by the cretins at Breitbart News, editor-in-chief Joel Pollack complains that Noah will be limited by “his specialty in racial and ethnic humor,” and that the new show “probably won’t last more than six months on the air.” But the Breitbrats have been trash-talking the Daily Show for years. So it comes as no surprise that Pollak would compose this bit of dumbfuckery:

“The reason Stewart is funny–even, at times to conservatives–is that he has a deep understanding of American politics, and especially American media, even if his ideological blinders prevent him from understanding every issue. That is not something a crack team of writers can produce on demand for any host, much less one from overseas, even for a fast learner like Noah.”

As usual Pollak’s brain is AWOL. Never mind his first-ever admissions that Stewart is funny and “has a deep understanding of American politics,” Pollak’s own ideological blinders have prevented him from recalling that John Oliver, another overseas alien invader, adroitly filled-in for Stewart for three months in 2013, and went on to achieve his own success at HBO.

You do not need to be born in America to understand American politics and media. Pollak, of all people, should know this as someone who was born in South Africa. Now he runs an American political media website and has the nerve to presume that another South African is unable to grasp the same subjects.

If Noah brings half the wit and charm that Oliver did, the next generation Daily Show has a good chance of matching and surpassing the program’s historic appeal. And as the video below shows, Noah has a pretty good handle on the wit and charm stuff.

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The “Damn, These People Are Stupid” Awards For 2014

In a year that was filled to the brim with monumental idiocies, the competition for King of the Dumfux is stiffer than usual. Narrowing down the list of those deserving of special recognition was particularly difficult, but the collection below is a pretty good indication that DEVO was right and that civilization is taking huge leaps backwards. So fasten your neck bolts and let your eyes glaze over as we journey back through a year of hilarious (and frightening) intellectual vacancy.

2014 Stupid People Awards

The “Is Our Children Learning” Award

Leading off the ceremony is a Hall of Famer dolt, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, who laments that “the problem with American schools is just that kids are…learning too much.” That’s the sort of thinking that makes every other item on this list possible. It is also a recipe for growing new Fox News viewers who appreciate the stupidity of people like Carlson.

An let’s also give Carlson an honorary mention for his screed on “The Wussification Of Popeye.”


The “Speak For Yourself, Douchebag” Award

Former CIA “intelligence” officer, Michael Scheuer, is a regular guest on Fox News. He is famous for telling Glenn Beck that “the only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States.” But earlier this year in an interview with Neil Cavuto, Scheuer made a surprising distinction between America and the terrorist ISIS operation saying that the Islamists “are not dumb people. They may be brutal, but they are not dumb. We’re the dumb ones.”

Well then, that settles it. The problem we’ve been having all along is that we’re just not as smart as our adversaries. And Cavuto, notably, did not challenge that assessment. After all, how can a bunch of hillbillies who are hypnotized by reality television, designer jeans, and flame-broiled Whoppers supposed to be able to compete intellectually with such sophisticated and sociologically advanced opponents? Why did we not see this deficiency before Scheuer brought it to our attention? Oh yeah, because we’re stupid.


The “Pimp My Ride: Welfare Edition” Award

The lazy-brained right-wing media pounced on a scandalous story about President Obama’s bill to give welfare recipients free cars. And except for the fact that the story was the product of a satirical website, it would have been a great scoop. What makes it worse is that they did same thing the year before and were mercilessly shamed for their idiocy, but that didn’t prevent them from doing it again this year.


The “E Pluribus Ooh Numb” Award

After complaining about a Coca Cola ad that celebrated the diversity of the nation by singing the anthem “America the Beautiful” in several languages, the wingnuts at Breitbart News declared victory when Coke modified the ad by placing the motto “E Pluribus Unum” at the beginning. So let’s get this straight. Coke, they said, “bowed to conservative critics” who insist on English-only by inserting a short phrase in — Latin. Uhhh, OK.


The “Your Wife Is A Fat Fatty” Award

No list of stupidity would be complete without the ravings of Fox’s “psycho” analyst Keith Ablow. There are numerous entries under his name for recognition, but we’ll just settle on one that is both dumb and insulting. While visiting with the women of Fox’s Outnumbered, Ablow dispensed his routine Obama-hating rhetoric, but then added a bit of spice just for this program. As a slap at First Lady Michele Obama, who has been a devoted advocate of healthy diets, Ablow questioned her sincerity by smugly barking “How well can she be eating. She needs to drop a few.” This bit of misogyny even elicited gasps from the conservative ladies of Fox.


The “Republicans Are People Too” Award

In 2014 the Republican Party took on a public relations task that dwarfs all other efforts at opinion-making. They boldly aimed to convince the American people that Republicans are people too. And the method used to achieve this goal was to produce a video that consisted of a montage of stock photos labeled as “average” American Republicans. So the video produced in order to convince everyone that Republicans are real people is populated by fakes. Brilliant.


The “Blind Leading the Old and Stale” Award

Once known as “Bush’s Brain,” Karl Rove has deteriorated into a mentally deficient spewer of rancid rightist partisanship. In an attempt to bash Hillary Clinton, Rove’s wild pitch beaned every senior citizen in the country when he said that “In American politics, there’s a sense you want to be new, you don’t want to be too familiar, you want to be something fresh, you don’t want to be something old and stale.” Never mind that almost every Republican Rove backed for the past thirty years was older or staler than Clinton. The real numbskullery of Rove is that he is insulting the nation’s most reliable voting bloc by implying that they are not fit for public service.


The “Hate Of The Union Address” Award

There is boomlet of commentary on the right that thinks it would be a good idea to prohibit President Obama from delivering the annual State of the Union address to members of Congress. This is a proposal that reeks of personal animosity and is wholly inconsistent with the mission of Congress. What’s more, it certainly doesn’t advance the spirit of cooperation that the GOP pretended to embrace following the midterm election. Speaker Boehner has already nixed this notion, but merely considering it hangs an “i’m a stupid baby” sign around the necks of these cretins.


The “Boobs On The Air” Award

Following reports of a female fighter pilot from the United Arab Emirates who led the UAE’s forces in attacks on ISIL, Fox News host Eric Bolling made what he must have thought was a hilarious joke by referring to her as “Boobs on the ground.” Bolling not only insulted the courageous pilot, but his associates at Fox News as well. He later apologized to his wife and Fox viewers, but egregiously left out the pilot and all other women in the armed services.


The “Flakes On A Plane” Award

Allen West, a disgraced veteran and one-term Tea Party congressman, supplied Fox News with an “exclusive” report about what really happened on the ground in Benghazi. West’s source for his exclusive was an anonymous stranger that happened to be sitting next to him on a plane who said that he knew some other anonymous dude who had the real skinny on the scandal. This is what passes for an “exclusive” news report on Fox News? A third-hand tale of conspiracy theories and previously debunked allegations?


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As special salute at the conclusion of a year of monumentally asinine behavior, News Corpse is presenting its first “Dumfux Award for Achievements in Stupidy.” Candidates for this honor were many and included Ben Carson, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Rush Limbaugh, and Keith Ablow. Sarah Palin was eliminated from the competition because her inclusion would have swamped the field. But emerging from the pack was a wholly deserving moron who proved himself through a year of failure and foolishness. So without further ado, here is the 2014 Dumfux Award for Achievements in Stupidity winner:

Darrell Issa

Congressman Darrell Issa of California

Rep. Issa chaired the House Oversight Committee through a maze of fake scandals, including Benghazi, the IRS/Tea Party affair, and ObamaCare. And in none of his persecutions did he manage to prove any of his preconceived allegations. But he sealed his victory for this award on the last day of the last hearing that he will attend as chairman. Having subpoenaed Jonathan Gruber, the economic advisor who inartfully described the American People as stupid, Issa must have believed that he was in a position to embarrass Gruber and, by association, all Democrats and supporters of ObamaCare. But Issa led off his inquisition with this idiotic question:

“Mr. Gruber, I’ve been accused that I’m going to berate you or something and I hope that you won’t feel that way when I get done. But the night before last I was at the Kennedy Center Honors where they honored Tom Hanks, famously ‘Forrest Gump,’ the ultimate in successful stupid man. Are you stupid?”

Gee…I wonder where Issa might have gotten the impression that people thought he would berate Gruber? This may be the single stupidest question Issa has ever asked anyone. What did he expect Gruber to say? And how did he think this line of questioning would benefit whatever investigation he was pretending to conduct? As usual, Issa’s motives were purely hostile and aimed at creating political theater. But by the end he once again demonstrated his impotence as even conservative colleagues and pundits criticized him for scheduling the pointless hearing in the first place. So congratulations Mr. Issa, and best wishes for a new year as a flunky who no one respects.

The Hate Of The Union Address: Right-Wing Nutjobs Want To Ban Obama From Congress

You may have thought that you’ve seen it all, but when it comes to overt expressions of rancid hatred today’s Republican politicians and pundits are just getting started. It’s apparently not enough that they have spent the last six years breaking all records for partisan obstructionism and openly displayed racist attitudes toward President Obama. Now there is talk of implementing a Jim Crow style admittance policy on Capitol Hill.

Obama Refused

President Obama has recently taken legal measures to make some progress on the immigration reforms that Congress is too inept to address. His executive actions are both constitutionally sound and overwhelmingly popular. Those facts must have driven the Republican Party into an acute psychosis that has them panting feverishly as they struggle to respond. To date they have proposed such over-the-top remedies as rejecting every administration nominee for cabinet or judgeship posts, shutting down the federal government, suing the President, and even launching impeachment proceedings.

Now, however, they have lit on a new tactic that is stretching the limits of sanity. There is boomlet of commentary on the right that thinks it would be a good idea to prohibit President Obama from delivering the annual State of the Union address to members of Congress. This is a proposal that reeks of personal animosity and is wholly inconsistent with the mission of Congress. What’s more, it certainly doesn’t advance the spirit of cooperation that the GOP pretended to embrace following the midterm election. The very words used by the advocates of this plan illustrate their divisive intent. For instance…

Joel Pollak, Breitbart News: Congress should indicate to President Obama that his presence is not welcome on Capitol Hill as long as his “executive amnesty” remains in place. The gesture would, no doubt, be perceived as rude, but it is appropriate.

Rich Lowry, National Review: If I were John Boehner I’d say to the president: “Send us your State of the Union in writing. You’re not welcome in our chamber.”

“Our chamber?” Are these miscreants suffering from the delusion that the houses of Congress belong to them and they have the tyrannical authority to deny admittance to anyone they choose, including the Commander in Chief? This would be an unprecedented rebuke aimed at the nation’s first African-American president. There is a stink of bigotry that is reminiscent of the segregationist South where blacks were not permitted into establishments reserved for whites only. These suggestions are shameless in their open disrespect for both the President and the presidency. No other White House occupant has suffered this sort of indignity. Even President Clinton’s State of the Union speeches went on as scheduled while Congress was trying at the time to impeach him.

Obama’s crime is that he is actually trying to get things done despite a congressional body that holds the title for being the least productive congress in history. They have demonstrated their obsession with opposing anything this President advocates, even legislation that their own GOP colleagues drafted. Once Obama signs on they turn and run, pretending not to have ever had anything to do with it. The most important thing to this Republican caucus is to do as much harm to the President as possible without consideration to the harm they are doing to the country.

But with all of the flagrantly hostile behavior directed at Obama from the right, there is something far more repugnant in this exclusionary gimmick that treats the President as if he were untouchable and unclean and unfit for keeping company with the oh-so-distinguished members of Congress.

Calmer heads may ultimately prevail in the weeks before the State of the Union. But if the GOP wants to proceed with this lunatic plan they do so at their own peril. It would surely be seen by the American people as vindictive and childish. It would be repudiated by a broad majority of clear thinking citizens. The Republican Party would bear the brunt of the backlash that would almost certainly ensue.

Consequently, I say “Go for it, Republicans.” Hang a big, bright “Whites Only” sign over the front door of the Congress. It will serve as a truth-in-advertising notice for the GOP. Then the President can move the speech to an auditorium where he invites all Americans (with the exception of Republican members of Congress) to hear his address. Let the media cover the speech without the predictable and orchestrated jeers and cheers that come from a legislative body that is bitterly divided by partisanship.

Come to think of it, having the State of the Union delivered outside of Congress may be such a good idea that Obama should consider taking the lead. He could preempt the GOP’s rebuke by rebuking them first with a notice that he will not be attending their soiree. There is nothing preventing a president from delivering the speech at a venue of his choosing. And if it results in a more respectful environment where he doesn’t have to deal with petulant hecklers shouting “You lie,” in the middle of his remarks, it may be worth it.

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Stupid On Steroids: Right-Wing Reprises The Preposterous ObamaCARS Lie

A little known website with no reputation or credibility recently published a story that purported to reveal a shocking abuse of the American people’s treasury. The headline from the “American News” wailed that “Congress Approves Bill Offering Free Cars To Welfare Recipients.”

Goodness me. That won’t do at all. What’s wrong with those dippy congress critters?

As it turns out, there may be plenty wrong with our representatives in Washington, but giving cars away to welfare recipients isn’t one of them. The article was originally published by the openly satirical website Empire News. American News picked it up without attribution and tens of thousands of conservative blockheads thrust it into viral status. The article said in part that…

“Recently, the White House announced a plan to offer free vehicles to welfare recipients. According to reports, the bill passed in a narrow vote. The program was initiated by President Barack Obama, and in many way mirrors what has become known as ‘The Obama Phone’, or the program through which welfare recipients can get free cell phone service. […] This free vehicle assistance program is designed to change the way Americans are currently living. The President will sign the bill later this week, and the planning will be put into motion.”

For the record, the Obama Phone affair was another fabrication of the rightist Fib Factory that distorted the real purpose of the program and then sought to blame Obama for the invented travesty, while neglecting to disclose that the program began under Ronald Reagan.

The American News story was reviewed by PolitiFact who declared it a Pants-On-Fire lie. However, this isn’t the first time the ObamaCars nonsense surfaced in the wingnut world. In June of 2013 the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes of Fox & Friends displayed their crack journalistic skills by reporting on an outrageous breach of the public trust. Here is an excerpt from my article at the time:

ObamaCars

“On Fox & Friends, the curvy couch potatoes were joined by radio shrew Laura Ingraham, Bush’s former press secretary, Dana Perino, and Rupert Murdoch’s personal lawyer, Peter Johnson, Jr. (the man with three names that are all synonyms for penis). In the course of their conversation they introduced a budding scandalette that they clearly believe will rip the heart out of their beastly foe in the White House.

“What the Foxies are alleging is that, in the words of Steve Doocy, “there’s a provision in the Immigration bill that could be used to give free cars, motorcycles, scooters, and other vehicles, to young people.” Oh my. That would troubling – if there were even a scintilla of truth to it which, of course, there is not. This laughably ridiculous claim seems to have originated at the Official Birthplace of Laughably Ridiculous Claims, Breitbart News, where they extrapolated a nonsensical analysis of an amendment attached to the bill to allocate funding for youth job programs. The language that Breitbart and Fox found so offensive simply described that the funds were to be used … [for busfare] (Continue reading this article here)

Back in 2013 PolitiFact also analyzed the Breitbart article and gave it a Pants-On-Fire rating as well. Fox News, in keeping with their no-apologies corporate doctrine never acknowledged or corrected their erroneous reporting. And since the psychotic wingnut brigades are reluctant to ever let any phony scandal fade into the obscurity it deserves, the ObamaCar business is once again hitting the streets. It can join the recently resurrected ObamaCare Death Panels, and look for the currently out-of-favor Ebola and Benghazi freakouts to regain momentum soon.

For more outrageous examples of proven Fox lies…
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Not So Breitbart: Attack On Obama’s Attorney General Nominee Snares Wrong Victim

On Friday the White House announced that President Obama would nominate United States Attorney Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General. Almost immediately the sharpened knives on the right came out to express their intentions to gum up the works, which is the only thing that they have proven to be adept at in the past six years. But the announcement also inspired an epic failure by a wingnut website that is no stranger to failure.

Breitbart

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The President’s critics, led by Ted Cruz (TX-Teabagger) burst out of the gate with a ridiculous insistence that the nominee preemptively declare a position on whether the President has the legal authority to issue an executive order addressing immigration. What makes it ridiculous is that there is no executive order pending that Lynch could evaluate. Additionally, it is settled law that president’s have broad authority with regard to executive orders that has never before been used to blackmail Cabinet nominees. But that won’t stop the current crop of Tea-publicans who have also floated demands related to Fast & Furious, the IRS, and Benghazi as potential ransoms for confirming Lynch.

Republicans are also complaining that Obama should wait until after the next session of Congress is seated before seeking Lynch’s confirmation or, for that matter, any judicial appointments or other critical work of the government. They are, in effect, asking to take another two month vacation where nothing of significance is accomplished on behalf of the American people they pretend to represent. It is cynical and hypocritical posturing such as this that infuriates the nation and results in Congress having an abysmal approval rating of 13%.

But sinking to the bottom of the barrel is an alleged “news” enterprise that went out of its way to attack Lynch. Breitbart News published an article with the scandalous headline “OBAMA’S ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE LORETTA LYNCH REPRESENTED CLINTONS DURING WHITEWATER.”

That is really a rather dull revelation, as scandals go. What would be wrong with an attorney performing legal services for a client, particularly when the client was later found not to have been implicated in any wrongdoing?

However, the big problem with Breitbart’s article is that it failed on one small measure of journalism: It isn’t true. The article made the amateurish mistake of confusing the AG nominee with an entirely different person who happened to have the same name. This is typical of the shoddy reporting for which Breitbart is known. Apparently it was too much of a strain to simply verify the identity of the person they were citing.

All of this would be bad enough, but Breitbart wasn’t through screwing up. Another article on the site repeated the false claims, also without bothering to verify them. Then the original article was just disappeared so as to make it look like the mistake never happened. Of course, the article still lives on in Google cache, where it can be seen with a meager attempt at a correction that appears at the end of the article. The correction said simply that…

“The Loretta Lynch identified earlier as the Whitewater attorney was, in fact, a different attorney.”

That’s an awfully timid way of saying that the entire premise of the article was a fraud. And it was so inconspicuous that anyone who didn’t bother to read all the way to the end, or neglected to pay attention to an addendum attached at the bottom, would never know the all-consuming nature of the error. And by deleting it entirely, the original false assertions remain uncorrected in the right-wing blogosphere where it had already taken root. If you have the patience (and the stomach) you may want to explore some of the 800+ comments attached to phantom article.

While the usual crackpots on Fox News and elsewhere are fulminating over whether Obama is attempting to ram another commie, lesbian, radical, gun confiscator through a lame duck Congress (and don’t forget the virulent racism spewing on Fox Nation), Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox’s parent corporation, has endorsed the nominee tweeting

“Seems Obama made good choice for new AG. Reputation for fairness and strict legality.”

That, however will not prevent his wingnut roster at Fox from castigating Lynch and smearing the reputation that Murdoch praised. Fox also disagrees with Murdoch’s positions on Climate Change and immigration. Apparently it is more important (or profitable) at Fox News to attack liberal policies and values, even if it means attacking the corporate boss.

For more examples of blatant dishonesty…
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So F*cking What? Wingnuts Freak Out Over Wendy Davis Ad With Wheelchair

Since when is a wheelchair an attack? Since the excitable pearl-clutchers at Breitbart News (and their fainting Fionas at Fox Nation) got wind of an effective campaign ad by Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for Governor of Texas.

Fox Nation

The Davis ad (video below) is a stinging indictment of her Republican opponent, Greg Abbot, who has handsomely benefited from a personal injury lawsuit, while throwing legal roadblocks in front of others seeking just compensation for similar negligent or malicious conduct. The ad reveals an abhorrent hypocrisy that deals out misery to people who have already been victimized.

Yet somehow, the rightist media hacks have dredged up a phony sense of outrage over the image of a wheelchair in the ad. Abbott has been confined to a wheelchair since he suffered injuries from a falling tree. The Abbott campaign joined in on the bitch-fest, issuing a furious response that oozes with artificial anger over this alleged affront:

“It is challenging to find language strong enough to condemn Sen. Davis’ disgusting television ad, which represents a historic low for someone seeking to represetn Texans,” said Abbott spokeswoman Amelia Chase. “Sen. Davis’ ad shows a disturbing lack of judgment from a desperate politician and completely disqualifies her from seeking higher office in Texas.”

Curiously, Abbott’s statement never explains what they found “disgusting” about the ad. It also never bothers to refute any of the substantive allegations that the ad presented, including Abbott’s legal efforts against a rape victim and an amputee. Those overtly anti-victim, pro-corporation actions by Abbott are ignored by his spokesperson in favor of an irrational rant about the image of a wheelchair.

Yet the reason why a wheelchair is considered insulting is unclear. It hardly seems likely that most wheelchair users regard their form of transportation as offensive or the sight of it as a smear. In fact, the implication that just showing a picture of a wheelchair constitutes an attack says more about the accuser than the party who ran the ad. It says that the wingnut press and the Abbott campaign regard a wheelchair as something objectionable and not proper to be seen in civil society. That, of course, is insane. But when a campaign has nothing else of substance to say, they will resort to absurdities like this and fake outrage.

For the record, Davis’ ad is in no way disparaging to anyone who uses a wheelchair. The ad criticizes Abbott for seeking and receiving legal redress for his injuries and then making it his mission to prevent anyone else from having the same rights. If you want to see politicians disparaging disabled people, you need to look at the Republicans like Saxby Chambliss, who morphed triple-amputee Vietnam veteran Max Cleland into Osama Bin Laden; or Rush Limbaugh who repulsively mocked Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease; or former congressmen Joe Walsh and Allen West who questioned the patriotism of another wounded warrior, Rep. Tammy Duckworth. Those are real examples of despicable disrespect, unlike the made up controversy that Abbott is peddling.

For more documented absurdities from Fox…
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[Update: 10/13/14] Fox News joins the fray asking if the Davis ad is the most offensive of the year. They must have missed the ad for GOP candidate Wendy Rogers that disgustingly exploits the execution of James Foley by ISIL terrorists. The Rogers ad follows one by another GOP candidate, Allen Weh, who did the same thing.

Fox News

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

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

Breitbart

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

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

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

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

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

Rush Limbaugh

Five Years Old And Acting Like It: Happy Birthday, Fox Nation

The Fox News community website, Fox Nation, is celebrating their fifth birthday. That’s five years of lies and propaganda in their signature juvenile style.

Fox Nation

Click here to see this ebook on Amazon.

Like the Tea Party, Fox Nation is turning five and behaving very much like any other five year old. They whine when they don’t get their way. They throw tantrums if they are denied. They invent their own reality and dismiss facts that don’t validate their delusional world view. They exaggerate their victories and insult their perceived enemies. It’s a truly pathetic display of childish egoism.

However, this day of celebration is the perfect time get yourself a copy of the acclaimed ebook “Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Community’s Assault On Truth.” This book is a compilation of more than fifty documented examples of outright lies published on Fox Nation. As the introduction says…

“These are not mere differences of opinion or discussions that might have varying degrees of perspective. They are obvious, provable, out and out lies. They are manifestations of a disconnect with the real world. But they are not the result of psychosis or mistake. They are deliberate and purposeful. They are aimed at an ill-informed audience that is only interested in having their prejudices affirmed. And Fox News is only too happy to accommodate them.”

As an example from the book of one of the blatant departures from reality employed by Fox, take a look at this article where Fox Nation published an item with the headline “Obama More Unpopular Than Tea Party.” However, the New York Times poll cited in the article actually reported Obama’s favorability at 48% and the Tea Party at 20% – a complete reversal of the declaration in the headline.

That’s typical of the way Fox Nation distorts the real world for the benefit of readers who prefer fantasy. And now Fox Nation is bragging about how they have been providing these tales for half a decade. So let’s wish them a happy birthday, but continue to keep an eye on their falsifications and deception as they endeavor to defend the wealthy individuals and corporations they were created to support.

[Update] Joining Fox Nation’s birthday celebration is Breitbart News who interviewed the website’s editor, Jesse Watters (who is rarely identified as the editor in public). Watters revealed that “Matt Drudge and Andrew Breitbart were inspirations” for the site, removing all doubt that it was designed as a right-wing propaganda outlet from its inception. Watters also admits that he is unconcerned with truth-telling:

“If there were any stories his Fox Nation promoted that turned out to be less than factual, Watters won’t dwell on such things. ‘Everyone has regrets about things that are posted. You learn from mistakes and move on,’ he said.”

Of course, what Watters means by “learning” is not taking care to be more truthful, but taking care to avoid getting caught when lying. He also expressed his pride in the site’s followers whom he described as “vibrant, engaged and fiercely loyal.” He left out fiercely racist – like this, or this, or this.

IDIOT TAX: Breitbart’s Bonehead Defense Of Matt Drudge’s ‘Liberty Tax’

Anyone familiar with Breitbart News will not be surprised to learn that they did something stupid, again. After all, they are the geniuses who think that “E Pluribus Unum” is English. But their latest inanity stretches the boundary of blockheadedness even for them.

Drudge Idiot Tax

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The story began when conservative muckraker Matt Drudge boasted on Twitter that he had just paid what he called his “Liberty Tax,” a reference to the penalty for not getting health care coverage. The problem is that this fee is not payable until his 2014 taxes are due in 2015. Subsequently, Drudge was chastised by more knowledgeable people (e.g. almost anyone) who wondered whether he was deliberately lying or just ignorant.

Coming to Drudge’s defense is Matthew Boyle of Breitbart News. Boyle proceeds to back up Drudge by accusing his critics of not understanding how businesses pay taxes. So Boyle sets out to explain it to them and cites language from the IRS form for filing estimated taxes:

[S]ince he is self-employed as the proprietor of The Drudge Report, he files as a small business. According to the IRS’s website for self-employed individuals, they are required to pay taxes quarterly. […] So, when they file and pay those 2014 first quarter taxes, such individuals have to pay the Obamacare Individual Mandate tax if they opted to not have health insurance—like Drudge just did. […] Additionally, the IRS form (1040-ES) for estimating quarterly taxes specifically recommends adding the mandate penalty to line 12 for ‘other taxes’ — to pay before the first quarterly deadline of April 15.”

It’s true that some self-employed individuals are required to make quarterly estimated payments on their taxes. However, none of them are required to include the penalty for not getting health insurance until the following year. In fact, it says just that in the same paragraph that BreitBrat Boyle quoted only a portion of. Here is the whole paragraph:

“Health care coverage. When you file your 2014 tax return in 2015, you will need to either (1) indicate on your return that you and your family had health care coverage throughout 2014, (2) claim an exemption from the health care coverage requirement for some or all of 2014, or (3) make a payment if you do not have coverage or an exemption(s) for all 12 months of 2014. For examples on how this payment works, go to www.IRS.gov/aca and click under the ‘Individuals & Families’ section. You may want to consider this when figuring your ‘Other taxes’ on Line 12 of the 2014 Estimated Tax Worksheet. For general information on these requirements, go to www.IRS.gov/aca.”

Furthermore, Boyle’s defense is based on Drudge’s assertion that he is filing as a business, not as an individual. But what both Boyle and Drudge neglect to mention is that the mandate for businesses with fewer than 100 employees (which certainly includes Drudge) to provide health insurance to their employees was delayed until 2016. So no matter how you slice, Drudge has no tax liability for the coverage mandate in 2014.

So Drudge’s “Liberty Tax” really turns out to be an “Idiot Tax,” because he doesn’t actually owe it. If he did pay the penalty (which we don’t have any proof of) it’s his own ignorance of the law that is to blame, not ObamaCare. And Breitbart’s lame-brained attempt to rescue Drudge only proves that when dumb right-wingers do dumb things, other dumb right-wingers will jump at the chance to compound the dumbness. And dumbest of all is that Drudge is bragging about putting his health in jeopardy by not having insurance. He regards liberty as being at risk for devastating financial hardship that would ultimately fall to other Americans in the form of higher premiums and fees for services.

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Further evidence of this cycle of stupidity is that Fox News featured this Breitbart story as the top headline on their lie-riddled Fox Nation website. And round and round it goes.

President Obama Makes Breitbart Editor’s Brain Hurt

The staff at Breitbart News has never distinguished itself as particularly astute or intellectually gifted. A recent case in point was their giddy victory dance when Coca-Cola supposedly validated the right-wing campaign for English-only ads by adding the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum” to a TV commercial.

Breitbart Ben Shapiro

Today Breitbart’s senior editor-at-large, Ben Shapiro, penned a column outlining what he called “Obama’s Top 5 Distractions.” The article regurgitates a well-worn attack strategy that alleges that anything the President says or does that is not about ObamaCare is a deliberate attempt to distract from that issue, rather than the responsible performance of the duties of his office. BreitBrat Ben begins by admitting his own mental shortcomings:

“Psychologists posit that the brain can only handle so many narratives at one point; if we are distracted by problems at home, for example, we tend to perform less well at work. The same holds true in politics: if our brains are occupied with worries about the war on women, for example, we’re less likely to be thinking about the horrors of Obamacare.”

Poor Ben. By inconsiderately managing the broad array of issues that any president must address, Obama is taxing the shallow capabilities of one of Breitbart’s senior staffers. How dare Obama deal with trivialities like raising workers out of poverty; or mitigating the environmental, economic, and national security threats of Climate Change; or taking action to relieve the suffering of poor families and hungry children; or advocating on behalf women who are exploited, abused, and discriminated against; or endeavoring to advance solutions to the long-term hostilities in the Middle East.

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In Shapiro’s world, placing those five items on the presidential agenda are merely attempts to distract people from the only issue that really exists: ObamaCare. And for the White House to engage in any other domestic or foreign policy can only result in a cognitive breakdown, emotional distress, and a severe brain owie. In the view of these mental deficients, political leaders must always concentrate on a single issue to the exclusion of every other event in the world. Shapiro closes by claiming that…

“…the bottom line is that the Obama administration will do everything in its power over the course of the next few months to distract from the issues Americans care about most.”

For the record, according to the Pew Research Center, the top five issues that Americans care about most are:

  • Strengthening the nation’s economy.
  • Improving the job situation.
  • Defending the country from terrorism.
  • Improving the educational system.
  • Making Social Security system sound.

These are all issues that the Obama administration has identified as priorities. The American people expect him to work toward advancing their interests on these and many other areas, including health care, taxes, crime, the environment, and immigration. And he must do them all simultaneously. In fact, if Obama were to abandon other issues and focus solely on health care, Shapiro would be among the first in a long line of hypocritical right-wingers to criticize him for being too narrowly focused and negligent.

If BreitBrat Ben has his way the nation will be stuck in a single-issue ditch that doesn’t put a burden on the limited brainpower of dimwitted conservatives and Tea Party twerps like himself. So at least we can be grateful that he will not get his way no matter how noisy his juvenile tantrums.