Fox News “Psycho” Analyst Gives Terrorists Justification To Attack Americans

The fanatical warhawks that routinely appear on Fox News have distinguished themselves by always managing to find new reasons to deploy military forces against perceived threats like ISIL, Iran, North Korea, Russia, immigrants, married gays, minority voters, or MSNBC. But now, for the first time, a Fox regular has advocated declaring war on any nation that isn’t sufficiently aligned with the American model of democracy.

Keith Ablow Jihad

The Fox News “psycho” analyst, “doctor” Keith Ablow has issued a call to arms that is international in scale and universally insane. His op-ed is titled “It’s time for an ‘American jihad'” and represents the worst of nationalistic supremacy and aspirations of world domination. He followed up the editorial with an appearance on Fox & Friends where his mania was eagerly lapped up.

By invoking the term “jihad’ Ablow is deliberately plugging into the controversial mission of many of the radical Islamic forces responsible for world terrorism. He openly admits that his definition of the term includes a “war or struggle against unbelievers” and “a crusade for a principle or belief.” So he regards it as proper for the United States to take action against other sovereign nations based solely on their having different beliefs than we do. And by calling it a “crusade” he seems to be utterly insensitive to the genocidal history associated with that word.

But Ablow’s rant has an even more dangerous impact on international terrorism. He is actually validating the reasons that terrorists have for declaring their jihad against the West. They have long argued that Western democracies are the aggressors and have ambitions to overrun their countries and suppress their people. Now Ablow is telling them that they’ve been right all along. Here is how he begins his tirade:

“An American jihad would reawaken in American citizens the certain knowledge that our Constitution is a sacred document that better defines and preserves the liberty and autonomy of human beings than the charter of any other nation on earth.”

How different is that expression of superiority than the wild declarations of fundamentalist Muslims who insist that they have the spiritual authority from God to impose their theocracy on others. By referring to our Constitution as sacred, Ablow is flipping the debate from a political context to a holy war. He goes on to say that America has a “manifest destiny” to “spread around the world” our brand of government and to “insist on its reflection in every government.” In other words, global tyranny.

Ablow says that the world would be a better place if every country in it would only adopt the American way, and that his jihad would be aimed at working toward that end. His methods of achieving his goals include some profoundly disturbing notions.

First of all, he would have American children be indoctrinated with “feelings of pride in our democracy as superior to all other forms of government.” That, of course, would be contrary to the principles of free expression and critical thinking that requires good ideas to rise based on their merits.

Secondly, he would require that American aid be tied “slowly but inexorably, toward reflecting our Constitution.” That would exclude a large number of nations who are presently our allies, but worse, it would remove us from nations that we would hope to foster closer ties to. It would also transform our objectives for providing aid from humanitarian to purely political. That would only serve to drive potentially friendly countries farther away while discrediting our motives.

Thirdly, Ablow suggests using American funds to bankroll “an international mercenary force,” which is against international law. In addition to that he also proposes that our military take a role because we would have to “accept the fact that an American jihad could mean boots on the ground in many places in the world.” His justification for such missions is that “we have a God-given right to intervene.” Didn’t Osama Bin Laden say that?

Perhaps the looniest proposition offered in this supremely loony sermon is Ablow’s suggestion regarding what amounts to infiltration of foreign governments. He says that…

“We would urge our leaders, after their service in the U.S. Senate and Congress, to seek dual citizenship in other nations, like France and Italy and Sweden and Argentina and Brazil and Germany, and work to influence those nations to adopt laws very much like our own. We might even fund our leaders’ campaigns for office in these other nations.”

I wonder how Ablow would feel about other countries adopting that proposal toward the U.S. I wonder if he knows that it would violate our laws if another nation were to fund campaigns for American offices. So Ablow wants to force other countries to follow our laws while advocating that we violate them. I guess it’s OK for us because we’re ordained by God.

Finally, Ablow has to take a shot at President Obama because if he doesn’t he goes into severe withdrawal. He drools that…

“An American jihad would turn back and topple the terrible self-loathing in our citizens set in motion by President Obama.”

This is a regular theme in Ablow’s psychosis. He believes that Obama “has it in for America.” He is convinced that the President has an affinity for our enemies and hates his own country because his parents abandoned him, or were communists, or were victims of colonialism, or launched him into space from the dying planet Krypton. What’s more, Ablow believes that the American people are so gullible that they have succumbed to Obama’s hypnotic demands to hate themselves. Why else, other than self-loathing, would they have elected him to the highest office in the land twice?

Perhaps Ablow could be persuaded to leave the country for some derelict nation that hasn’t confessed its worship of America where he could run for office. I’m pretty sure he could get a significant amount of donations to advance his campaign if it meant he would not be spewing any more of these deranged theories and further polluting the public discourse here in the U.S.

Fox News: Obama Plans To Flood U.S. With Foreign Ebola Patients

With just one week left before the consequential midterm election, the crackpot right-wing conspiracy theories are starting to erupt faster than they can be recorded. And the common theme among them is a frightening tale of some dastardly scheme devised by President Obama to rain misery on the American people who elected him twice.

Fox News Ebola to America

The latest plot uncovered by the intrepid reporters on Fox News is that Obama has a secret plan to import Ebola patients from West Africa into the United States where they will consume our scarce resources and infect our children. The plot was discovered by the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, who claims to have confidential information that came to him via an “inside source” within the administration. Naturally he takes this skimpy, unverifiable gossip to Megyn Kelly of Fox News. He tells her that…

“There’s increasing evidence they’re making those plans. Members of the media, my office, have received confidential communications saying that those plans are being developed. [...] If you are concerned about this problem spreading – and this is a deadly disease that we’re even concerned about the great health care workers when they come back not spreading it – we certainly shouldn’t be bringing in the patients.”

The alarmist anxiety of Rep. Goodlatte is typical of the fear mongering that Republican politicians and pundits engage in so frequently. And as usual he has no on-record evidence of his allegations. This is just another unattributed assertion from a source whose credibility can’t be ascertained.

Not surprisingly, when the State Department was approached for a response they unambiguously shot down the conspiracy theory saying…

“There are absolutely no plans to MEDEVAC non-Americans who become ill from West Africa to the United States. We have discussed allowing other countries to use our MEDEVAC capabilities to evacuate their own citizens to their home countries or third-countries, subject to reimbursement and availability. But we are not contemplating bringing them back to the U.S. for treatment. Allegations to the contrary are completely false.”

Once again Fox News jumped way ahead of a story that had no foundation to begin with, that turns out to be untrue. In the process they terrified several million of their gullible viewers who will have heard the initial false reports on Fox, but not the State Department’s refutation. Plus, the original story got picked up by numerous right-wing media outlets (i.e. Washington Times, Breitbart News, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, etc.) that further spread the phony report.

Compounding his fake controversy, Goodlatte demonstrated his ignorance of the issue by telling Kelly that…

“The risk, of course, is that we still don’t even know exactly how this disease is spread.”

But we do know exactly how this disease is spread. Goodlatte is just trying to make the problem even scarier by characterizing it as a mysterious malady that threatens us all. This is a deliberate strategy on the part of Fox News and the Republican Party to keep the public afraid as they contemplate the coming election. The GOP stands to gain by casting the administration as evildoers plotting to harm the nation. And the more frightened they can make voters, the more voters will vote against the President’s party. It is a tactic that squarely fits the definition of terrorism: (ter-uh-riz-uh m) – noun: The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

Hillary Clinton Smeared By Fox News For Correctly Analyzing Trickle-Down Economics

During the 2012 presidential campaign President Obama gave a speech wherein he paid tribute to the American people who collectively created an environment for business to prosper. That environment included paying for the roads, bridges, water and electricity facilities, and other infrastructure necessities without which the economy would whither.

However, one sentence fragment was lifted out of context from that speech by Mitt Romney’s campaign, and his friendly media cohorts, and used to unfairly clobber the President. That sound bite, you may recall, was when Obama reminded the proprietor class that “You didn’t build that,” meaning that every business has benefited from the investments made by our society and government.

Well, here we go again. Yesterday on Fox News the curvy-couch potatoes of Fox & Friends hosted a segment that focused solely on a sentence fragment that was part of a speech by Hillary Clinton.

Fox News Trickle Down

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Clinton was speaking at a rally in support of Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley. The comment in its sliced-up form was “Don’t let anybody tell you, that, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” In essence it is barely different than Obama’s comment two years ago. But it is just as deceitfully excised from its original context. Here is what Clinton actually said:

“Don’t let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs. They always say that. I’ve been through this. My husband gave working families a raise in the 1990s. I voted to raise the minimum wage and guess what? Millions of jobs were created or paid better and more families were more secure. That’s what we want to see here, and that’s what we want to see across the country.

“And don’t let anybody tell you, that, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs. You know, that old theory, trickle-down economics. That has been tried. That has failed. That has failed rather spectacularly.

“One of the things my husband says, when people say, what did you bring to Washington? He says, well I brought arithmetic. And part of it was he demonstrated why trickle down should be consigned to the trash bin of history. More tax cuts for the top and for companies that ship jobs over seas while taxpayers and voters are stuck paying the freight just doesn’t add up.”

It’s plain as day that Clinton was referring to the discredited sham known as trickle-down economics. She also hammered Republicans for opposing a pay raise for America’s workers while simultaneously pushing for a tax cut for America’s wealthy. That is exactly the reverse of what is needed to stimulate the economy. When the middle class has more money in their pockets they spend it, increasing profits for businesses and creating the demand that spurs employers to hire. Conversely, when the rich get more money it is typically directed to Wall Street or retirement accounts which have no productive impact on job growth.

Particularly disturbing were the comments by Fox’s business maven, Maria Bartiromo. For someone who should know better, she offered an ignorant appraisal of how the job market works. She accused Clinton of calling business evil, which never happened, and turned the whole debate into a political drama saying…

“Everybody knows that businesses create jobs. I mean, this is not brain surgery. We know that businesses, people that run business actually create the jobs. And I think Hillary knows that as well. [...] Here we are a week away from the midterms, she’s gearing up for 2016, she’s firing up the base.”

Apparently Bartiromo knows even less about economics than she does about brain surgery. Businesses do not create jobs. They create products and services. But there are no jobs until there is consumer demand. That means people have to want the products and have the funds to pay for them. If a company has such demand for their product they will hire new employees. If there is no demand they will not hire anyone, no matter how many tax breaks they get.

[For a deeper look into who the "Real Job Creators" are, see this article and infographic]

The big fallacy about business is that it focused on creating jobs. But that isn’t true and the proof is that no business sits around trying to figure out ways to increase its expenditures on staff. To the contrary, they spend a great deal of time trying to find staff they can cut. Since their mission is to increase profits, their goal is to reduce expenses, and personnel are generally first on the list of cost-cutting measures. That’s one of the reasons that businesses are so drawn to outsourcing to foreign labor.

So businesses, rather than being job creators, are more often job destroyers, trying to operate with the fewest number of employees possible. And when Clinton says not to let anyone tell you that corporations and businesses that create jobs, she is spot on. It is, and has always been, consumers that create the demand that creates jobs. Trickle-down economics was a fat-cat scam from its inception. Fox News and other right-wing deceivers will perpetually mislead their ill-informed flock, but the truth is available for those clear-eyed enough to want to see it (which means no Fox News viewers or Tea Partiers).

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Rachel Maddow Deliciously Unravels The Fox News “Voter Fraud Frankenstein” Fallacy

Last Tuesday Megyn Kelly of Fox News hosted a segment on what she characterized as a frightening assault on democracy in Colorado as Democrats plotted to surreptitiously turn the “red meat state” blue. Setting aside the fact that Colorado has been a solid purple state for years, Kelly’s alarm was grossly misplaced and indicative of her extreme right-wing bias. She led off with a dire message for her easily spooked audience.

“Breaking tonight. With two weeks to the midterms we are getting warnings that a new law has opened the door to possible voter fraud in a critical senate race that could decide the balance of power in Congress.”

Fox News Voter Fraud

Saints preserve us. What malevolent disaster is looming over us now? Kelly “reported” that Colorado’s Democratic governor and legislature passed a new “first of its kind” law that “literally allows residents to print ballots from their home computers.” And with a chastening glare she facetiously asks “What could go wrong?”

What indeed? Well, the first thing that could go wrong is that Kelly’s reporting is entirely false. When local reporters with KUSA TV contacted Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State he told them that there was no truth to the story. Rachel Maddow covered the misleading reporting by Kelly in a brilliant segment that broke down the shameless dishonesty that is the hallmark of Fox News:

Kelly has still failed to acknowledge or correct her false reporting, proving that the only fraud here is that committed by Fox News on their pathetically gullible viewers. But the story doesn’t end there.

Following Kelly’s thoroughly fictional “breaking” news opening, she introduced her guests Michelle Malkin and David Bossie who were there to promote their new crocumentary “Rocky Mountain Heist,” about alleged voter fraud in Colorado. But before the interview began, Kelly played the entire two minute trailer for the film uninterrupted, giving the deceitful project free advertising worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Malkin said the film unveils a “voter fraud Frankenstein,” but like every other right-wing allegation of voter fraud, she never provides any evidence. And in this case she doesn’t even offer an example of any the fraudulent activity she alleges.

Most appalling is Malkin’s apoplectic complaint that “hundreds of thousands of dollars from unknown donors were poured into these races to target them and turn the legislature blue.” And she has the gall to whine about this supposed assault on democracy while sharing the interview with the man that made unscrupulous political donations possible on an unprecedented scale. David Bossie is the President and Chairman of Citizens United, the organization whose Supreme Court ruling permitted donations from corporations and individuals in unlimited amounts that can be kept hidden from the public.

Bossie also told Kelly that he has no problem with the spending on the part of the Democrats, but complained of a lack of transparency. Talk about hypocrisy. It was his lawsuit that made it all possible and he argued in favor of it when it was to his benefit.

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So in this one segment of Kelly’s program she proliferated lies about the Colorado elections procedures, contributed valuable airtime to advertise a brazenly partisan documentary, and gave a platform to hypocritical right-wing propagandists to smear their Democratic foes just days before a consequential election. She provided no opportunity for the maligned Democrats to respond or for a representative of the other side to rebut the scurrilous charges. But that is typical of the absurdly tagged “fair and balanced” network that is neither. And it is the reason that Kelly is no better than Sean Hannity, or Glenn Beck, or any of the other ideologically prejudiced Fox mouthpieces past and present.

The Cult Of Fox News: New Study Affirms Blind Devotion To Cable’s Church Of Disinformation

One of the fundamental methods employed by cults to assure unwavering loyalty is to demand that devotees believe only in the doctrine bestowed by the cult. All others are presumed to be deceivers and unworthy of trust.

With that in mind, consider the results of the new Pew Research study on “Political Polarization & Media Habits.” The year-long research surveyed American news consumers and categorized their relationships to thirty-six sources for news and information about government and politics by political ideology. The differences in the levels of trust exhibited by consistent conservatives and liberals are profound.

The study reveals that conservatives have drastically constrained their access to news to a very few, hard-right outlets. They behave as if any exposure to a conflicting viewpoint would be tantamount to fraternizing with Satan. Consequently, they rely almost solely on Fox News for their information intake. That is how Fox maintains their ratings position, by herding all of the conservative cattle into one corral.

Pray for Fox News

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Nearly half (47%) of conservatives identify Fox News as their “main source” for news. Nothing else even comes close. Compare that to liberals who cite CNN as a main source only 15% of the time with a half dozen other sources closely competing for their attention. What’s more, conservatives obediently trust Fox News by a larger margin (88%) than any other group of viewers. And the only other sources they trust more than 50% of the time are similarly far-right partisans: Sean Hannity (62%), Rush Limbaugh (58%), and Glenn Beck (51%). Of course, none of those sources are objective news providers, or even journalists.

While Conservatives have only four sources that they trust more than 50% of the time, liberals express trust for nine different sources at that rate: NPR (72%), PBS (71%), BBC (69%), New York Times (62%), CNN (56%), NBC (56%), MSNBC (52%), ABC (52%), and CBS (51%). Note that they are all (with the exception of MSNBC) generally regarded as legitimate journalistic enterprises. Except, that is, by conservatives who trust none of them. In fact, conservatives only have greater trust than distrust for twelve of the thirty-six sources in the study. So consistent with the cult maxim, conservatives actively distrust twenty-four (two-thirds) of the sources. Liberals flip that stat, having greater trust for twenty-eight of the sources and distrust for only eight.

The mission of Fox News from the beginning was to divide the nation by ideology. It is why they came up with their “fair and balanced” slogan with the implicit accusation that the other news providers were neither. They deliberately sectioned off their audience and told them that everyone else was lying to them. Subsequently, when they lied to their viewers (which they do constantly), there is no place for them to turn for the actual truth. The Fox version of events becomes the unqualified gospel for their audience/disciples despite being riddled with falsehoods and rancid partisanship. And additional proof of that is seen in the studies that show that Fox viewers are less informed than those who watch other media, or even those who watch nothing at all. And the more you watch Fox, the less you know.

The correlations to cult status are unmistakable: Proselytize relentlessly (Fox is #1); repeat/preach the cult’s doctrine (anti-Obama, anti-government, Benghazi); reinforce obedience with fear (tyranny, terrorism, Ebola); glorification of idols (Ronald Reagan, Ted Cruz, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin); demonization of competing views (Democrats, the rest of the media); and fabricating a comforting home for faithful followers by casting experienced propagandists and appealing, mostly blonde, presenters as reporters. It’s a closed loop society that succeeds by keeping the flock secluded, ignorant, and artificially happy. I just hope they don’t start serving Kool-Aide.

Crackpot Conservative Conspiracy Theory: Obama Secretly Planning Amnesty For Millions

Here we go again. The right-wing nut cases who think that Ebola infected terrorists are streaming across the border to confiscate our guns, get free abortions, vote for Democrats, and gay marry atheist children, have a new delusion to occupy their twisted attention.

Fox News

The usual conservative media mouthpieces like WorldNetDaily, Breitbart News, Townhall, Newsmax, and of course, Fox News, are all reporting that there is a plot afoot by the Obama administration to grant amnesty to some 34 million “illegal” aliens soon after the midterm election. To put that number into perspective, that’s more than three times as many undocumented immigrants as are currently estimated to be in the United States. It’s a third of the entire population of Mexico. If they all occupied a new state it would be the second most populous state in the country after California with 38 million.

Where would they all go? No one is saying. It’s enough just to float the conspiracy and get the Tea Party dimwits riled up and fearful of something other than Ebola and ISIS for a couple of hours.

This new panic attack was triggered by a report that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services put out a call for a vendor that could produce between four and nine million Green Cards and/or work permits a year for a five year contract. What the idiots in the rightist press conclude from that is that Obama is planning to issue all 34 million of those documents in a mass ceremony sometime around Christmas.

We have seen this sort of stupidity crop up before. The last incarnation of this sort of nonsense was a frightful scenario wherein the Department of Homeland Security had published a vendor request for more than a billion bullets. In the minds of the nutcases on the right, that was evidence that the DHS was plotting a response to some impending Zombie-driven civil unrest that would require the government to shoot every person in America five times.

In both of these cases of mass hysteria there was a simple explanation. The government, like any large enterprise, purchases routine supplies in advance and in bulk in order to get better rates. With the bullets, they were used in both field work and, more often, in ongoing training exercises. As for the immigration documents, they are often issued for new arrivals as well as replacements for lost or damaged documents. In many cases they are temporary and reissued for various types of applicants including migrant workers and technology consultants and even rock stars who come and go many times throughout the year. Work permits are even issued to American minors who take summer jobs.

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But leave it to Fox News and their sleazier cousins to make this into a doomsday plot by a determined and evil president bent on destroying the purity of our white, Christian utopia. Seriously, do these people ever get tired of being scared by fake pronouncements of doom? Do they feed off of fear like some Star Trek alien life form? Maybe if the rest of us all keep thinking happy thoughts it will weaken and float away into space. Wouldn’t that be a happy thought?

Cletus Skools GOP

Bill O’Reilly: American Women Are Emotional, Gullible, And Don’t Care About The Country

In his Talking Points Memo segment last night, Bill O’Reilly demonstrated his overt bigotry along with a pitifully shallow analysis of public polling. He cited a poll from Politico that found that 64% of respondents from battleground states believe that “things in the U.S. feel like they are out of control.” O’Reilly then reported that the poll also found that if congressional elections were held today, 41% would vote for Democrats and 36% for Republicans.

Uh oh. O’Reilly must now find a reason for that snub of his conservative pals. So he contends that the poll results are illogical and blames the ignorant American people. He can’t understand why anyone would vote for a Democrat if 64% of the people think things are out of control. Let’s help him out.

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

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The main problem is that he is assuming that the people who think things are out of control hold the Democrats responsible for it. That is the result of an inherent tunnel-blindness that wingnuts like O’Reilly suffer from wherein everything bad is the fault of President Obama and the Democrats, and that the whole country concurs. In fact, every poll in recent years show that it is Congress that the people hold in contempt with an approval rating of about 12% (compared to Obama’s 41%), and those polls also show Republicans with a much lower approval rating than Democrats. So if the people believe that things are out of control, it is more likely that they blame the Republicans in Congress.

O’Reilly goes on to say that America is “a much weaker country” since Obama has been in office. To make make that argument requires O’Reilly to recall 2008 as a year that the United States had not just suffered the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression. He would have to have forgotten that there were 150,000 American troops slogging through battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq. He would have to believe that a national deficit more than twice as large as the current one was evidence of weakness. He would have to prefer a nation where millions of Americans were unprotected by health insurance and threatened with bankruptcy and/or devastating medical problems. In short, he would have to be suffering from an acute form of ideological amnesia, because who in their right mind would want to return to the nightmare of 2008?

O’Reilly makes the absurd assertion that voting for Democrats is an act of selfishness and that “if you’re voting for the country, you’re less likely to support the Democrats.” That’s the old right-wing canard of calling your opponents unpatriotic. But it gets even worse. O’Reilly surmises that the reason people favor Democrats is emotion, and he puts the blame for that on women who he says, in effect, are too emotional and/or gullible to know what’s good for them. That, he says, is why “American women continue to favor Democrats, no matter what happens to the nation.”

Can right-wingers really still be confused about why so many Americans regard the GOP as engaging in a war on women? With their banner-carriers alleging that women are emotionally-driven dimwits who don’t care about the country, it seems pretty obvious that women would reject them. Yet the GOP continues to say these sort of idiotic and insulting things out loud, and on national television.

O’Reilly’s confusion as to why anyone would vote for a Democrat would be better expressed as why any woman would vote for a Republican. And that can be extended to why any African-American, Latino, working, or middle-class citizen would vote for the party that regards them as lazy, criminal, moochers, and spends all its time and effort tearing down democratic principles and obstructing progress on behalf of wealthy special interests and partisan prejudice.

Debating The Ebola Czar: The Fox News “Power Panel” Of Dunces

The Ebola mania continues in the media as the White House announces the appointment of an Ebola response coordinator. Ron Klain, who served as chief of staff to both Vice President Biden and former vice president Al Gore was chosen for his managerial skills to assume a purely administrative role. No sooner was the announcement made than Republican pundits and politicians piled on to criticize the move.

At this point, anyone who takes criticism from the right seriously has an acute deficiency of mental capability. President Obama’s opponents are so notoriously kneejerky that whatever they say has lost all meaning. Recall that they spent months during the President’s first term deriding his advisers as “czars,” comparing them to Soviet apparatchiks, and demanding that they be dismissed. Then the Ebola situation occurs and the same folks demand the immediate appointment of a czar. But after Obama agrees with them and appoints one, they grumble that he chose the wrong guy. This is further evidence that there is nothing that Obama can do that will satisfy these trolls.

While at the Fox News asylum, the inmates have taken over. The naming of Klain was belittled as a political gesture and Klain himself was said to be unqualified. But the people making these assessments were themselves lacking in any credentials on either public health, infectious diseases, or government administration. Take for example the “Power Panel” assembled on The Real Story with former Miss America turned Fox News anchor, Gretchen Carlson.

Fox News Ebola Panel

The panel called upon to grade the President’s performance consisted of Matt Schlapp, a right-wing activist and chairman of the American Conservative Union, Rick Reichmuth, a Fox News weatherman, and Philip Segal, a criminal defense lawyer. Not a single one of them had any experience with public health, infectious diseases, or government administration. Yet they were somehow qualified to pass judgment on Obama and Klain. And this was not some random group of talking heads who simply wanted to express their opinions. This was the “Power Panel.”

The panel began on a hilariously ironic note when Schlapp tried to raise the anxiety level by saying that the CDC “has shown incompetence” and that he would “move from being alarmed to being scared.” Then he laid into the czar question saying that “Now we’ve picked a czar over this who is more a political spinner than a health expert.” Remember, this is coming from a professional political spinner. The lawyer didn’t contribute much more to the discussion.

Surprisingly, Reichmuth the weatherman made the most cogent remarks, reminding the panel not to over hype the “crisis,” and that not responding to AiDS in a timely manner in the eighties led to a real tragedy. Reichmuth didn’t venture further on that subject, but we know that it was Ronald Reagan who said nothing about AIDS until after some 20,000 people had died. Contrast that with the current “outbreak” where there has been only one fatality in the U.S.

Fox News has been decidedly negative about every aspect of the administration’s response to Ebola. They opposed the czar. They opposed sending troops to West Africa. They opposed bringing infected Americans back home for treatment. The only measures they advocate are those that seal the United States off from the rest of the world in a continental haz-mat suit that prevents travel and border crossings. Never mind that actual experts dismiss those ideas as being ineffective and even counterproductive.

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All of this panic over an epidemic that has never materialized has drawn attention away from the midterm elections. But the idiotic rhetoric, fear mongering, and other ill-informed blathering by the right should serve as a reminder of the real importance in voting on November 4th. If the Republicans gain more control over our government, we can expect a couple of things that would be truly disastrous. First, they would initiate impeachment proceedings for Obama over Benghazi or health care or gay marriage or something something Kenyan something Muslim something. And secondly, they would contract an exterminator to tent the entire nation and fumigate to rid it of pests whom they define as Democrats, liberals, minorities, non-Christians, and women who don’t know their place.

They are praying that you don’t vote. And when they aren’t praying they are passing legislation to make it harder for you to do so. Don’t let them succeed. There are more of us then there are of them. If we vote, we win. So vote and make sure everyone you know votes. Well, except for your lost friends and family who still listen to Rush Limbaugh and watch Fox News.

Glenn Beck’s Lunatic Ebola Conspiracy Theory: Obama Hates Dallas

Whenever two of America’s most delusional alarmists get together to fan irrational panic, you know the combination is going to produce fireworks. That’s what happened Wednesday night on the O’Reilly Factor when Bill O’Reilly (who thinks the CDC chief is a lying propagandist who should resign) hosted Glenn Beck (who is Glenn Beck).

Glenn Beck Ebolamania

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In this soon-to-be classic episode, Beck erroneously says about Ebola that “With every single person that gets it, it mutates and it changes. Danger.” That claim must have come directly from the “Pundit’s Butt Reference,” which Beck keeps conveniently on his office chair. Then he continues, making the ludicrous assertion that the recent stock decline was the result of “two people in the hospital right now with Ebola,” ignoring the actual causes: the weak economies in Asia and Europe, an anticipated “correction” following one of the longest bull markets in history, and routine profit-taking. O’Reilly never refuted any of Beck’s nonsense.

As if this wasn’t enough idiotic speculation and misinformation, Beck was just getting warmed up. He still had a thorough;y insane conspiracy theory up his sleeve that he was waiting for just the right moment reveal. And when that moment came, Beck said…

“If this were happening in Washington, D.C. right now do you think the president and his administration would be acting like this? Do you think that Congress would be acting like this? This is happening in Dallas, Texas. This is a top ten city in the United States of America. Happens to be one that doesn’t particularly care for the President all that much and his policies. One that the President has not been too favorable on. We are already being squeezed on our southern border. Now we’re being squeezed on Ebola. Is there an agenda here?”

Good question, Glenn. Obviously President Obama’s agenda centers around the fact that he hates Dallas so much that he arranged to have an Ebola-infected Liberian fly there and die. In the process, Obama’s plot somehow made sure that two of the nurses attending the patient were also infected. How Obama managed to accomplish all of this is a greater mystery than how Bigfoot shot Kennedy and escaped to the moon on the alleged “landing.”

Unfortunately for Beck, his theory falls apart when facts are brought into the conversation (which never occurred on the O’Reilly show). First and foremost, it is not true that Dallas “doesn’t particularly care for the President.” In 2012 Obama was reelected with 57% of the vote from Dallas County. That’s a larger margin than he won nationally. Obama also beat McCain in Dallas by the same amount in 2008. What’s more, the current mayor of Dallas is Mike Rawlings, a Democrat. These facts make it difficult for Beck to peddle his theory based on Obama’s alleged vendetta against the city.

Like all of Beck’s theories, this one is rooted in falsehoods mixed with deranged fantasies and never approaches any sense of plausibility. They are merely vehicles for him to spread fear and panic among his gullible disciples, which translate into dollars thrown into his collection plate by desperate waifs who believe that he will save them. And Fox News cooperatively provides him a platform to advance his apocalyptic vision to a broader, but still dimwitted, audience.

Shameless self-promotion…
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Shepard Smith Blisters His Fox News Colleagues With Calm And Sense On Ebola

Credit where credit is due. Fox News anchor Shepard Smith opened his program today with a well thought out commentary that put the facts about Ebola into perspective. It was a rare moment of realism and reason from Fox News and it was delivered with passion and a sincere intention to quell the unnecessary anxieties being stirred up elsewhere in the media. Without further ado, here are Shep’s words (and video below).

For the next few minutes I’m going to give you the facts on Ebola. It’ll take just three minutes. But first today, given what we know, you should have no concerns about Ebola at all. None. I promise. Unless a medical professional has contacted you personally, and told you of some sort of possible exposure, fear not. Do not listen to the hysterical voices on the radio and the television, or read the fear provoking words online. The people who say or write hysterical things are being very irresponsible. [...]

Indeed. And that includes Fox News.
Fox News Ebola

Again, these are the facts. We do not have an outbreak of Ebola in the United States. Nowhere. We do have two health care workers who contracted the disease from a dying man. They are isolated. There is no information to suggest that the virus has spread to anyone in the general population. Not one person in the general population of the United States.

But that does not apply to Tea-Bola which is ravaging the wingnut constituency in America.
Tea-Bola

Suggestions have been made publicly that leaders and medical professionals have been lying to us. Those suggestions are completely without basis in fact. There is no evidence of any kind of which we at Fox News are aware that leaders have lied about anything regarding Ebola. I report to you with certainty this afternoon that being afraid at all is the wrong thing to do. Being petrified, and that’s a quote, is ridiculous. The panic that has tanked the stock market and left people fearful that their children will get sick at school is counterproductive and lacks basis in fact or reason.

Somebody tell Bill O’Reilly (and numerous other Fox alarmists) who says that leaders have lied and that they should resign.
Fox News Bill O'Reilly

There is no Ebola spreading in America. Should that change, our reporting will change. But there is nothing to indicate that it will. Best advise for you and your family at this moment…get a flu shot. Unlike Ebola, flu is easily transmitted. Flu, along with resulting pneumonia, killed 52,000 Americans last year alone. A flu shot will reduce your chance of getting flu. So get one.

Yet Still Fox fear mongers about an “outbreak” of two.
Fox Nation Ebola Outbreak

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This commentary is an island of rationality in a sea of animus, bluster, and rancid partisanship. It begs the question, how long does Shep have left on Fox?

OUTBREAK: Millions of Americans Exposed To Ebola-Phobia By Hysterical Media

There is a debilitating pandemic that is rapidly spreading across the nation and infecting millions of Americans. What’s more, it is airborne and spread indiscriminately by irresponsible entities that are licensed by the government.

It isn’t Ebola. It is Ebola-Phobia – the irrational fear that an extremely difficult to acquire viral fever is threatening every man, woman, and child in America. The transmission vehicle for Ebola-Phobia is a common carrier known as television news. And a new survey has revealed that the more one is exposed to an infected news source, the more likely the virus will spread, and the more serious the consequences for those infected. As reported on NJ.com

“Those who claim to be following the outbreak the most closely also have the most inaccurate information about it.

“For example, people who are paying a lot of attention to Ebola are twice as likely to hold the erroneous belief there is effective medicine to treat it. They are also more likely to believe it is spread easily, even though the deadly fever is less contagious than the flu.”

This is a shocking development. How can it be possible that accumulating more information about a news event results in being less informed about it? That is the exact reverse of what ought to be the case for conscientious news consumers.

The problem rests primarily in the fact that the news producers are not particularly conscientious. They are deliberately stirring up panic and contributing to a wholly irrational hysteria. For instance, take a look at this headline from the Fox News community website, Fox Nation:

Fox Nation Ebola Outbreak

For more proof of the toxic nature of Fox’s lies…
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Outbreak? Is that an appropriate characterization of a viral infestation that has grown to engulf fewer people than can fit into a Mini-Cooper? It is if your purpose is to frighten rather than inform. Fox News and other media outlets may be more interested in curing their ratings deficiencies than in delivering factual data.

In addition to the survey from New Jersey, a national poll by the Harvard School of Public Health was recently concluded that shed some light on the adoption of misinformation by the American people.

“The HSPH/SSRS poll found people with less education are more likely to be concerned about an outbreak in the U.S. (less than high school 50% vs. some college 36% vs. college grad or more 24%). People with less education are also more concerned they or their family will get sick with Ebola (less than high school 37% vs. some college 22% vs. college grad or more 14%).”

There is a disturbing inference from the combination of these two studies. It tells us that people with less education who watch more news are the most likely to have incorrect impressions of the facts. It has already been established that Fox News ranks near the bottom of all news sources for education level of its audience, and it is the most watched cable news network. That sets the stage for a massive epidemic of ignorant panic over Ebola (or ISIL, or Benghazi, or ObamaCare, or the IRS, or gay marriage, etc.). And the proof of this rests in surveys that confirm that the more one watches Fox News, the more misinformed one is.

The fact that Fox News would portray the discovery of a second Ebola patient from the same Texas facility that produced the first one as an “outbreak,” shows how deliberately dishonest they are. Next they will probably report that the infection rate has increased by 100%. And while that’s technically correct, it obviously doesn’t advance the understanding of what is occurring. And that is what Fox intends to do with so much of their reporting – impede the advance of understanding.

[Addendum] Shortly after this was published, Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith delivered a rare and inspiring commentary that put Ebola into realistic perspective. It’s a must read/watch.

Bill O’Reilly’s Ebola Ultimatum: CDC Chief Must Appear On My Show Or Resign

The 800 pounds of gorilla ego that is better known as Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, is bitterly dismayed by the refusal of Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, to accept his invitation to be abused for eight minutes on The Factor.

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

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O’Reilly believes that since he is the only living entity with the superpowers necessary to unravel the heinous plots that public health officials are devising to wipe out western civilization, submission to his brand of ignorant battering is mandatory for continued service. That’s why O’Reilly devoted his program’s opening Talking Points segment to lecturing the absent Dr. Frieden and calling for his resignation.

“We have asked Dr. Frieden a number of times to appear on the Factor. He will not because he is afraid. He knows that I know he’s not being candid, that he is spinning the situation and not being forthcoming about how the disease is being spread. Frieden should resign.”

Notice that O’Reilly never explains what Dr. Frieden is not being candid about or how Ebola, in his warped imagination, is actually being spread. And without any factual basis he called Dr. Frieden the government’s chief propagandist. This is typical O’Reilly intimidation tactics. He routinely accuses anyone who declines to be browbeaten on his program of being afraid of him. Of course, there are many good reasons to refuse his invitation, not the least of which is that he is an ignorant and hostile host with an inability to grasp any logic that conflicts with his pre-chewed biases. That’s the only thing scary about O’Reilly.

So now O’Reilly is terribly concerned that some horrible secret is being kept from the American people. He seems to think that Ebola is spreading by some undisclosed method that will ultimately put everyone at risk of certain death. He asserts that a second case of Ebola (count ‘em, two) in Dallas is proof of a budding pandemic that threatens to engulf the nation, and that “Americans are rightly concerned that their government will not protect them.”

The segment’s headline, “Why The Government Is Not Protecting Us,” paved the way for O’Reilly to float a bunch of loony conspiracy theories alleging that we are not being protected, but he failed to answer his own question as to why. Is it because Obama wants to punish America for slavery as Rush Limbaugh says? Is it so he can declare martial law, throw people into FEMA concentration camps, and cancel the 2016 elections, as Ben Carson asserted? Or is he simply evil and wants to see people suffer as he fulfills his mission as the Anti-Christ?

O’Reilly never bothers to say why Obama would deliberately neglect his duty to protect the nation, even though that was the premise of the whole segment. However, he does make a bold prediction saying that…

“Talking Points is just asking for common sense, which the Obama administration is rejecting outright. But I will predict tonight, they will soon reverse course.”

Specifically, O’Reilly was referring to whether or not there should be a travel ban on Ebola-infected countries, which he neglects to realize includes the U.S. (The faulty reasoning for a travel ban was covered after “doctor” Keith Ablow, another Fox News crackpot, suggested it). But a quick recap of O’Reilly’s track record with predictions exposes a pitiful success ratio. For instance, he predicted that his program would have higher ratings than President Obama’s State of the Union address. He was wrong. But my favorite flub was when he insisted that the Supreme Court would strike down ObamaCare and that he would replay his prediction and admit he is an idiot if they didn’t. Of course the Court did not strike down the law, but O’Reilly never apologized or admitted his error or his obvious idiocy.

If refusing to appear on the O’Reilly Factor is justification for forcing someone to resign from their job, then 75% of the government should be dusting off their resignation notices. Fortunately, the reverse is a better gauge of an effective public servant. That is, anyone who is smart enough to turn O’Reilly down is automatically regarded as being better suited to public service as evidenced by their good judgment to snub him.

Shameless self-promotion…
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New Study Explains Why Fox News Is Obsessed With Sex And Porn

Media observers have not missed the preponderance of titillating and sexually suggestive content that permeates so much of the Fox News broadcast day. The on-air personalities who are young, blonde women far outnumber their ratio of the population at large. Ironically Fox has a program called “Outnumbered” that features four young female co-hosts. And no cable “news” network has done more segments than Fox on Hooters and spring break and hot teachers who seduce the boys in their classrooms.

megyn-kelly-gq2
Fox’s women exclusively wear short skirts and it has been reported that they have been ordered by management to do so. Gabriel Sherman wrote in his biography of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, “The Loudest Voice In The Room,” that Ailes has repeatedly given direction to his staff regarding the display of female body parts. Furthermore, NPR’s media reporter David Folkenflik was told by knowledgeable sources about the Fox News “Leg Cam” that “goes directly for the legs.” And when host Megyn Kelly was interviewed by GQ (with an accompanying, and revealing, pictorial), she was asked about her own “glass table that shows off your legs.” She responded that “Well, It’s a visual business. People want to see the anchor.” That must be why Sean Hannity struts across the stage in those fuck-me pumps.

A new study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior sheds some light on why Fox features so much skin. The study found that “American states that identify as more religious and conservative are also more apt to search for sex online.” The researchers concluded that in parts of the country where sexuality is suppressed by religious tradition, there is a pent up demand for that forbidden fruit.

While the study is an interesting window into the lascivious psyche of conservative America, it also helps to explain the decisions by Fox News programmers. As a network devoted to a staunchly right-wing, Christian audience, much of their viewership comes from the states that this study identifies as porn fiends. Consequently, Fox is catering to the demands of their audience. No doubt Fox’s marketing executives figured out a long time ago what this study is affirming more scientifically.

Additionally, at 69 years, Fox’s viewers er … voyeurs skew much older than their competitors. So what we have here is an audience of bible-thumping, Tea Partying, leches who are cooped up in rural communities that look askance at prurient interests. Thus, Fox becomes their source of gratification for both erotic and political arousal. And make no mistake, the obsessive nature of Fox’s concentration on tabloid thrill-fiction like Benghazi and Obama’s birth certificate is the news equivalent of porn. It is presented with a lustful glee and repeated ad nauseam.

The jackpot for Fox, and their audience, comes when Fox can manage to combine porn and politics. An example of that occurred this morning in a segment on Fox & Friends that reported on a man who was acquitted for taking “upskirt” photographs. This gave the program an excuse to show sexy pictures and talk about the decadence of liberalism. One guest even provided justification for the lascivious proclivities of Fox’s viewers by blaming the victims in the case, saying that “These women made a conscious choice [...] to wear certain clothes that day, and some of their body parts were the public domain.” That is, in effect, a legal argument for Peeping Toms.

Fox News Upskirting

The conservative states that revel in pornography do so in contravention of their Puritan reputation. But the correlation to their politics makes perfect sense. In both cases they are fixated on fantasies from which they derive extreme pleasure. And Fox News is their Orgasm Channel in more ways than one.

Shameless self-promotion…
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Ebolophobia: Fox News “Psycho” Analyst Infects America With Irrational Fear

Be afraid America. President Obama’s “reticence to put America first” is making it impossible to contain the “psychological virus” of fear that is spreading across the nation due to an outbreak of the Ebola virus that has already claimed as many as one life within our borders. That’s the warning issued by Fox News “psycho” analyst Keith Ablow, who is calling the epidemic of fear “Ebolophobia.”

Keith Ablow

Ablow is best known for his astute diagnoses of prior public health threats like the Obama Virus, which Ablow alleged would result in America’s children succumbing to “the subtle, chronic, steady erosion of their belief in themselves.” He prescribed the following preventative measure:

“So it is time to immunize our sons and daughters against the president’s psychologically toxic rhetoric, which has the capacity to destroy the self-esteem of a generation of young people.”

In response to the potential of unnecessary Ebola-related anxiety, Ablow suggests taking steps that only appear to be absurdly paranoid to those who aren’t gifted with his unique strain of dementia. He notes that “fears of a deadly epidemic in the United States are bound to accelerate,” even as he warns about “worries that dogs and other animals could transmit Ebola.” Now that may seem like a peculiar way of mitigating unwarranted fear, but then you would have to be a pseudo-professional like Ablow to understand its efficacy.

Ablow’s first proposal for treating Ebolophobia is to implement a travel ban on countries that currently have a problem with the virus. Never mind that public health experts agree that this would be counterproductive and could even exacerbate the problem by prohibiting the flow of medical personnel and materials to areas that need it most. And it would be unlikely to prevent infected persons from entering the country because anyone originating travel from, say Liberia, could easily fly to Rome and continue on to the U.S. from there. What’s more, the U.S. is now an Ebola-infected country. Does that mean that Ablow would advocate an international ban on travel by Americans?

As an indication of just how serious the threat of Ebola paired with the Obama Virus is, Ablow offers his diagnosis of the President’s mental state, which Ablow surmised via the classic “Puhlit Outta Myass” protocols that enable alleged doctors to arrive at conclusions about a subject despite never having examined, or even met them. Ablow says that…

“I think [Obama] sees himself as a citizen of the world and sees Americans as having infected others with our deadly economic policies for a long time, thereby inflicting untold suffering on developing nations. To now lead the way to America insulating itself from a scourge sweeping the very countries he seems to think we have preyed upon could, of course, strike him (if only unconsciously) as profoundly unfair.

I believe the president may literally believe we should suffer along with less fortunate nations.”

In other words, Ablow thinks that the uncaring socialist Obama is willing to infect every American with a deadly disease because of his hatred for the virus of Capitalism. Ablow literally believes that the President’s anti-Americanism is leading him to deliberately launch a pandemic. Furthermore, Ablow advises that the correct response should be “a medical-military one that replicates fighting a war.” Because who isn’t for more wars? Here is the rest of his prescription:

  • “The borders should be sealed to travelers who have visited nations affected by Ebola in the last 30 days.”
    Of course, that would include travelers who have visited the United States.
  • “The surgeon general and a special assistant surgeon general for Ebola defense should be dispensing daily information about public health initiatives and medical research initiatives being undertaken to contain and combat the illness.”
    He may want to talk to the Republicans who have blocked the appointment of Obama’s Surgeon General nominee for eleven months due to their fear of the NRA.
  • “A special national fundraising drive should be launched to pour money into virology labs to jumpstart research into an Ebola cure and a vaccine.”
    Because it certainly isn’t the government’s job to protect the welfare of the nation. That would just be more socialism. So let’s make financially strapped citizens fork over more cash or die.

Ablow closes by conflating the Ebola issue with the fight against terrorism in the Middle East. He blasts Obama as “a president who seems to see America as having no particular manifest destiny” which Ablow says “may be seen in the spread of ISIS abroad.” See? They’re exactly the same thing. Maybe Ablow would support a special national fundraising drive to eradicate ISIS. After that we could implement a travel ban on anyone who has been exposed to ObamaCare. And why not direct our public health institutions to develop a cure for Benghazi?

Ablow is right about one thing. There is an epidemic of irrational fear. And its source is the miscreants and misinformers that populate the Fox News Channel. They spend the bulk of their days deliberately frightening their dimwitted viewers with fabricated nonsense and unfiltered hostility toward fellow Americans who happen to have different opinions. Ablow is just another cog in the Fear Factory of Fox News, whose transparent intention is to spread distrust and division. Fortunately, there is a way to prevent infection by this virus of hate and ignorance. Turn off Fox News. Now, if only we could quarantine those already infected.

Tea-Bola Infects The GOP: Symptoms Include Secession Obsession And California-itis

Today’s Republican Party is very, very sick. They are exhibiting symptoms of acute cognitive failure and an inability to distinguish fantasy from reality. This severe case of Tea-Bola is what accounts for their insistence that the federal government keep its hands off of Medicare; and their denial of Climate Change despite 97% of scientists affirming it; and their perception of a collapsing economy that has actually grown significantly.

The GOP, driven by its Tea Party caucus, is obsessed with repealing a health insurance reform plan that has resulted in lower costs and a substantial decrease in the number of uninsured Americans. They incessantly shout “Benghazi” as if they were suffering from a perverse form of Tourette’s Syndrome. And they want so badly to impeach President Obama that they have forgotten to establish any rationale for such a blatantly deranged legal overreach. Indeed, they are slipping away into wingnut delirium and there doesn’t seem to be any cure.

Tea-Bola

The latest manifestation of the right’s raving lunacy is illustrated in a poll conducted by Fox News (who is both suffering from, and spreading Tea-Bola). The Fox poll asked a question that reveals just how on target Jon Stewart was when he yelled at right-wing hypocrites, with exasperation, “Fuck you and your false patriotism.” The questions hinges on the notion of secession by one or more states. There have been several episodes of pseudo-patriotic Republicans articulating a desire for the United States to break apart, or for their state to secede. And now we have a survey that puts the matter into partisan perspective.

The poll asked: If your state were to hold an election on whether or not to split off from the United States, how would you vote? Democrats, at 4%, weren’t too keen on the idea, but three times as many Republicans (12%) favored it. However, it was the Tea Party that really lapped it up with 23% opting for secession. So much for American exceptionalism.

In another question, the divide was even more stark. The question asked was: Are there any states that you would vote out of the United States if you could? This wording is somewhat more hostile. It no longer wonders whether you would want to leave America yourself, but whether you would like kick out some other state. The party breakdown was: Democrats: 13%; Republicans: 21%; and a full third of the Tea Party contingent (34%) were firmly committed to banishing some other state from the land of the free.

The Tea Party’s favorite state to excommunicate is one that they frequently attack as a bastion of socialism and/or wacky secular heathens. To no one’s surprise it is California that was chosen by 83% of the Tea Party martinets of virtue. That’s six points higher than Republicans as a whole.

The incomparable idiocy of their blind hatred ignores the fact that California, by itself, accounts for about 13% of the nation’s GDP. If booted from the union it would become the sixth richest country in the world. It has all of the assets required to guarantee its ongoing prosperity, such as abundant natural resources; a diverse economy that includes agriculture, manufacturing, energy, technology, entertainment, and tourism; 800 miles of coastline and ports for access to the world’s trade routes; numerous defense plants and military installations; and an affluent population for its tax base. Let’s face, the U.S. needs California more than California needs the U.S.

If the GOP/Tea Party had its way they would end up with a much poorer America. California is a net positive contributor to the federal budget, getting back only 87 cents for every dollar paid in. Compare that to the Tea Party utopia of Mississippi where they mooch $2.47 for each dollar paid. And if the Teabaggers crusade extended to their second choice for banishment, New York, they would lose even more. New York is another prosperous (and Democratic) state that gets only 72 cents back on each dollar paid to the feds. The two-state combination of California and New York account for nearly a quarter (22%) of the entire nation’s GDP.

This display of stupidity extends to other questions in the Fox poll. For instance, when asked: How concerned are you that the Islamic extremist group known as ISIS will try to launch an attack on U.S. soil in the near future? Democrats had a reasonably healthy concern of 39%. Republicans were a bit more nervous with 59%. But the Tea Party are shivering in their bunkers with 76% consumed by the fear they’ve been fed by Fox News.

This may partially explain the serious diversion from reality that exists in the American electorate. The same poll shows that Obama’s approval rating is currently at 40%. That’s surprisingly low for a president who presided over the nation’s recovery from the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression; who disposed of Osama Bin Laden; and who signed the first major health insurance reform bill.

And yet Obama’s low rating is a drag on Democratic candidates in the upcoming midterm election. Polls show that many of the battleground states are perilously tight, with Republicans leading in some. But while Obama is riding around in the low forties, Republicans in Congress are floundering at 23%, almost half of Obama’s placing.

So why are voters considering casting their votes for Republicans whom they like much less than Obama and the Democrats? The answer is that the polling is counting “likely” voters. When a broader group of registered voters, or all eligible voters, are surveyed, the Democrats come out ahead. So the problem here is that Democrats are not considered likely to vote. That makes turnout for this year’s election the most critical objective. If Democrats vote in ratios comparable to Republicans, Democrats will win.

Of course, Republicans are doing everything they can to suppress voter turnout, and particularly to suppress Democratic turnout. They have been implementing voter ID laws that do nothing to prevent fraud, but are deliberately aimed at preventing Democrats from exercising their right to vote. Republicans are spending unprecedented sums on negative and dishonest advertising, largely bankrolled by the Koch brothers and other baldly partisan operatives.

The GOP/Tea Party wants very badly to block your ability to cast a vote. If you allow them to do that you are, in effect, aiding their cause. You are succumbing to their tactics. You are their bitch.

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It’s time to stand up for something positive, as opposed to the relentlessly negative harping of the right. A Republican senate is not a symbolic victory for the other side. It means that every chairman of every committee will be a Republican. It means a senate filled with Darrell Issas and Louis Gohmerts and Michelle Bachmanns deciding what legislation will be considered and what phony investigations will be pursued. It will put more power in the hands of Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. It will almost certainly result in an attempt to impeach the President.

But it doesn’t have to end that way. There are more of us than there are of them. All we have to do is vote. It isn’t that hard. You can register online in many states, and you can vote through the mail. Just fucking do it. Otherwise some toothless, tea-swilling, racist, moron will vote in your stead. The polls are all consistent. If we vote, we win. We can overwhelm their “likely” voter paradigm by simply showing up. And if we do, we beat back the Koch brothers, the GOP elitists, the Tea Party dimwits, and the cynical media that thinks YOU are too stupid to act in your own best interests.

As it turns out, voting is the cure for Tea-Bola.

Fear Factor: Fox News Fabricating Terror, Pure And Simple

Taking a break from their special programming highlighting the fake pandemic of Ebola, Fox News returned to their fake fear mongering over rampant domestic terrorism. This morning on Forbes On Fox, the panel took a demented view of the Oklahoma murder case wherein a disgruntled former employee decapitated a former coworker. The theme of the segment was whether this crime was workplace violence or terrorism. However, that question was quickly dismissed in favor a blatant position that was summarized by the program’s namesake:

Steve Forbes: This was a terrorist act, pure and simple.

Fox News

Having set the stage for a mostly one-sided discussion, the host, David Asman, dutifully agreed that all signs pointed to terrorism, ignoring the actual known facts.

Asman: It’s tough enough even to get them to say the word terrorism. To head off a threat though, you’ve got to be willing to acknowledge it first. That’s part of what led to the growth of ISIS, isn’t it?

Exactly. There would have been no ISIS at all if only people had said the word “terrorism” more often. Or maybe they just needed to clap louder so that Tinkerbell would have survived to kick the terrorists’ butts.

The only problem with these alarmist rants is that they are not in alignment with reality. First of all, Terrorists generally target victims either randomly or at a specific enemy, but these victims were the perpetrator’s former coworkers whom he knew personally and against whom he had grudges.

Secondly, terrorists strive to create as much damage, and thus fear, as possible in order to send a message. They seek out highly populated targets where they can harm the most number of people. But this crime scene was sparsely populated, remote, and chosen only for its connection to the perpetrator.

Thirdly, terrorists generally plan their missions in advance to have the greatest impact. This crime was spontaneous, occurring on the same day that the perp was fired, and directed at those he felt were responsible for his firing. He even used a weapon that was available at the scene, rather than acquiring or building something more broadly destructive.

So contrary to the ranting by Fox News, and other panicky fear merchants, all signs actually point to workplace violence. Is it possible that the murderer was also influenced to decapitate his victim by his exposure to radical jihadists? Might he have wanted to falsely project that as his motivation? Sure, but that would only be a secondary component of the crime. From all of the actual evidence, the motivation was personal and the perp acted spontaneously out of rage resulting from his being fired. Had he been an actual terrorist he would not have timed his crime to coincide with his termination. He would not have confined his victims to those he knew and from whom he sought revenge.

The purpose of Fox News passing judgment on this as “a terrorist act, pure and simple” is that it fits squarely into their mission to raise the boiling point of hate and fear regardless of the facts. Fox needs people to be frantic and disoriented in order to effectively brainwash them with their phony horror stories. That makes it much easier to blame liberals for all of the world’s ills and argue that only the courageous billionaires, corporations, and defense contractors have our best interests at heart.

If you buy into this you are a member of the Psycho-Chicken Little Society, and have willingly abandoned your common sense. Reality tells you that the doomsday scenarios that right-wingers preach are fiction. There is no epidemic of terrorism in America. There will always be crime, and there will likely be other attempted terrorist attacks, but to dawn combat helmets and take up defensive postures in backyard bunkers is the behavior of crackpots. With serious issues to face in this country, this is no time to let the nut cases rule our future.

Ebola Terror Threat? The Best Fox News Horror Story Since Boob Bombs

The Ebola crisis in West Africa is a truly disturbing situation that is tragically taking the lives of hundreds of people. But as painful as that is, the compulsion to turn it into a geopolitical hazard is unfounded and irrational.

Fox News Ebola

Nevertheless, Fox News is among the many media outlets who are attempting to unduly frighten the American people by speculating that terrorists are going to embrace Ebola as a mechanism for their homicidal escapades. Of course, anyone with any knowledge of biology is aware that Ebola would be an awful candidate for weaponized bioterror. It is difficult to work with without infecting oneself, and it isn’t even an effective agent because of how hard it is to spread. Every good terrorist knows that anthrax, ricin, or sarin, among others, would be far more effective. Even the conventional flu virus, which already kills about 36,000 American each year, would be a better choice.

What is abundantly clear is that the right-wing media is obsessed with turning every scary news story into a prospective terror plot. Children cross the southern border into Texas and suddenly terrorists are disguising themselves as twelve year old immigrants. A women is decapitated by a disgruntled former co-worker and now beheadings can be expected across the nation. A single man is found to have placed a bomb in his shoe in a failed attempt at bringing down a jetliner and now millions of people have to remove their shoes to board a plane.

Perhaps the most ludicrous nightmare fantasy came from Fox News when they published an article sourced to the ultra-fringe WorldNetDaily that announced that British spies were “Hunting Breast Implants of Death.” That’s right, folks. Boob Bombs have arrived to terrorize our helpless mammary-fixated nation. And while that was over four years ago, there has still not been a breast-related attack, unless you count a few angry Hooters waitresses.

To date, the number of deaths attributable to Ebola in the United States is zero. Contrast that with the 8,000+ homicides committed by guns. There is a good argument to be made that the NRA is a bigger threat to America than Ebola. In fact, the U.S. currently has no Surgeon General (a figure who could be instrumental in educating the nation during this alleged crisis) because the NRA has conservative members of Congress scared of confirming the nominee that President Obama put forward, specifically because of his views that firearms play a role in public health. That view is affirmed, of course, by the statistic cited above.

Shameless self-promotion…
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And if you’re not already sufficiently afraid of infectious terrorists from Mexico with exploding breasts hiding in every shadow, then think about this: Jihad Monkeys: A ridiculous story about the Taliban training monkeys to do battle with American soldiers. The story, sourced to the People’s Daily in China, was published by at least two Murdoch properties, Fox Nation and the New York Post. No, really. Here’s “proof.”

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

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

Fox News

See how Fox Nation shows it fangs every day.
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The blatant editorial bias of Fox News validates a small portion of Obama’s speech wherein he mentioned the network that would refuse to air his remarks. He said…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox News Gets No Emmys For News (Again). Maybe Reporting Some News Would Help

Today much of the electronic journalism world will be talking about the television ratings for the just-concluded third quarter of 2014. As expected, Fox News topped the cable news category, as it has for several years. Also, as expected, Fox will hype the crap out of this non-newsworthy information that is only an affirmation of Fox’s ability to herd all of the conservative viewers/cattle into their cable corral.

To put this news in perspective, earlier this year Fox News posted their worst ratings in thirteen years. So their achievement spotlighted in this report is that they are now slightly higher than their worst showing in thirteen years. They must be so proud.

Go Fox Yourself

However, there was another less noticed announcement today that has far more significance. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences released the recipients of the Emmys for news and documentaries. And the winners were: PBS with eleven Emmys; CBS News won ten; ABC News won three; NBC News and the BBC each got two; and CNN and Al Jazeera America both received one Emmy.

Conspicuously missing from that list was Fox “News.” Or perhaps the real surprise would be if they had actually won an Emmy. Fox has been stiffed by the Academy since their launch in 1996. That is largely due to the fact that Fox doesn’t broadcast any news. They are strictly an entertainment network that is filled with fiction, drama, scandal, soap opera, soft-porn, and a prodigious amount of unintentional comedy. What’s more, their entertainment projects are slanted heavily in favor of the Republican right for whom Fox serves as a PR agency. For instance, see if you can find a pattern in these special “Fox News Reporting” investigations:

  • Benghazi: The Truth Behind the Smokescreen.
  • Benghazi: White House Cover-Up Revealed?
  • 13 Hours In Benghazi.
  • Charles Krauthammer: A Life That Matters.
  • The Great Food Stamp Binge.
  • Behind the Obama Breakdown.
  • Surrendering America.
  • Behind Obama’s Green Agenda.
  • Live Free Or Die: Obamacare In New Hampshire.

Those are just a few of the blatant attack pieces produced by Fox to smear the Obama administration. They were laden with rumor, innuendo, unsubstantiated allegations, and outright lies, that never resulted in any noteworthy revelation. Like all of Fox’s scandal mongering, they went nowhere because there were no facts to support their made-up premises. Is it any wonder why Fox can’t snag an Emmy?

A few years ago, in an impudent rant, Fox publicly stated that they were refusing to compete in the Emmy contest, accusing the Academy of being biased against them. However, in order to take that complaint seriously, you would have to believe that all of their peers in the business were biased, because it is they who vote. The Academy merely tabulates the votes. So Fox is admitting that their own colleagues have no respect for them as journalists. Hence, they took their deflated ball and went running home whining “We don’t want your crummy Emmy anyway.” So there.

Shameless self-promotion…
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American Spectator’s Hit Job On Veterans (And Suck Up To Fox News)

The fallout from an offensive “joke” told by Fox News host Eric Bolling has quite properly reverberated throughout the media. Bolling callously insulted jet fighter pilot, Major Maryam Al-Mansouri of the UAE Air Force, as “boobs on the ground,” even as she was putting her life at risk in combat against the ISIL terrorists. Bolling’s colleague Greg Gutfeld joined in the misogyny with a childish taunt that she wouldn’t be able to park her aircraft.

It was encouraging to see the widespread condemnation of these remarks, including from many on the right. One of the responses came from a coalition of veterans who wrote an “Open Letter to Fox News” to express their outrage and disappointment. The letter signed by sixty veterans and called on Fox News to apologize.

However, the ultra-rightist magazine American Spectator couldn’t join the responsible members of our society in recognizing the harm of the Fox News hosts’ infantile remarks. They published an article that maligned the veterans as “partisan hacks” and dismissed their justifiable rage as deceptive and self-righteous. The article, by former Reagan White House political director Jeffrey Lord, was titled “The Hit Job On Fox News,” as if the veterans concern for the welfare of soldiers in the field were nothing but a slam on a notoriously biased cable news channel.

American Spectator

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

The gist of the Lord’s argument was centered on the identity of the vets who signed the letter. Lord complained that the vets were only identified by their name and the branch of service they were in. To Lord this was an opening to attack the vets as politically motivated. So he did a little research and found that some of them could be affiliated with Democratic organizations or officeholders. Oh my freakin’ Gawd, somebody call 911.

The first problem with Lord’s idiotic gripe is that it disparages the views of veterans if they have a political ideology that is different than his own. He is, in effect, dishonoring vets by dismissing them unless they agree with him. If some of those who signed the letter are in fact affiliated with Democrats that is their right. They fought for it and they are entitled to express themselves.

On a more fundamental level, Lord’s painfully trite analysis comes up far short of the conclusions he makes. There are sixty veteran signatories on the letter, but Lord only provided additional information on sixteen of them. That means that 70% of the signatories were not connected to Democrats and Lord has no idea if they are Democrats or Republicans. Nevertheless, he maligned the whole lot as partisan hacks who should be ignored. That is extraordinarily flawed logic and further indicts him as generally anti-veteran.

Lord exacerbates his anti-vet stance by actually defending against what he calls “an attack on Fox News and two of the co-hosts on the Fox show The Five — Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld.” Apparently Lord doesn’t believe the Fox hosts warranted the criticism they received. He goes out of his way to distract from the original offensive comments and bizarrely twist the narrative around to a conspiracy against Fox and an attack on women’s advocates. Lord says that…

“…this isn’t really about Eric Bolling or Greg Gutfeld. What this is really all about is a hardcore and on-going political effort to smear Fox News. This time as part of that ‘war on women’ business liberals need to survive politically.”

In other words, Lord wants us to forget about Bolling’s insult to soldiers and women, and turn our attention to the poor, beleaguered, defenseless, Fox News. That is, if nothing else, a creative take on the matter. But it doesn’t succeed unless the whole of the audience is as dimwitted as that of Fox itself.

The bottom line is that Lord’s position is even more insulting than Bolling’s because it encompasses all veterans, not just a single pilot, and denies them the respect they have earned. And all that Lord has done is to confirm the phoniness of the right’s alleged patriotism and support of the troops. Conservatives only adhere to those principles when it benefits them, or they can use it to bash liberals.