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

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

Fox News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stupid On Purpose: Fox News Demonstrates Willful Ignorance Of Economics

There is a very good reason why Fox News viewers have been shown in numerous studies to be less informed than consumers of other media, or even those who consume no media at all. The reason is that Fox News deliberately misreports and distorts facts in order to advance their right-wing ideology. A perfect example of this was demonstrated in an article that Fox posted today on their community website, the lie-riddled Fox Nation. The article was titled “OBAMANOMICS IN ACTION: Typical US household Worth One-Third Less Than Under Bush.”

Fox Nation

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The source for the highly inaccurate assertion in the headline was a study performed by the Russel Sage Foundation (RSF) and published by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality: Wealth Levels, Wealth Inequality, and the Great Recession (pdf). The RSF describes itself as “the principal American foundation devoted exclusively to research in the social sciences.” The study itself is a well-researched and scholarly examination of the effects of the Great Recession on wealth inequality in the U.S. It took a fair degree of determination and willful ignorance for Fox to twist the report’s well-founded and non-partisan conclusions into a criticism of President Obama’s economic policies. And yet, Fox managed to do so, and they began by proving that they don’t know the difference between “median” households and “typical” households.

For the record, median, in this context, is referring to the dollar value of the subject’s net worth. It has nothing to do with the number of subjects in that value range. In fact, there are many more people on the lower end of the wealth spectrum than the upper end. Therefore, median does not translate to typical. As an example, if Bill Gates (net worth approx. $50 billion) were in a room with ten people whose net worth were $1 million each, the average net worth of the people in that room would be about $4.5 billion. Obviously, that is not the typical net worth of those people.

What the study shows is that wealth increased among the richest Americans throughout most of the Bush years, beginning with the GOP tax cut for the rich in 2001. That cut, along with two off-budget wars, also produced the massive deficits that sprung from the budget surplus Clinton left for Bush. During the same time period the rest of the country languished. Those in the 25th percentile actually began to decline in 2005, before the Great Recession hit. Following the Bush Debacle at the end of 2008 everyone lost money, but those at the bottom lost a far greater percentage of their net worth than those at the top.

Also, the characterization by Fox that things were so much better while Bush was president is based on measuring the difference from the beginning of the Bush term in 2001. But by using that as the starting point it diminishes his responsibility for the economic collapse over which he presided in 2008, and places more of the consequences of it on Obama. A more significant measure would start with the Great Recession in late 2008. From that point on there has been steady progress. The RSF report stated that…

“The housing, stock and job markets have all improved since 2009, but at very different rates. The stock market rebounded relatively quickly and returned to prerecession levels by the middle of 2013. The July 2013 unemployment rate of 7.4 percent was below the recession peak of 10.0 percent, but was still substantially higher than the 4.7 percent rate of mid-2007. However, the most important source of wealth for most Americans is their home, and by mid-2013 home prices were still 20 percent below their mid-2007 values.”

Indeed, it was home ownership that had the biggest impact on the wealth of the middle class because it is such a larger portion of their net worth. For the wealthy their homes represent only a portion of their total worth, and it may not even be the largest portion. They may also have millions in investments, retirement funds, and other financial assets. And since the Great Recession resulted in millions of foreclosures on the middle and lower classes, many of which were unwarranted, or even fraudulent, those on the bottom of the scale were hurt the most. This had the effect of making an already historically prominent level of wealth inequality even worse. This was also noted in the conclusions of the RSF report:

“While large absolute amounts of wealth were destroyed at the top of the wealth distribution, households at the bottom of the wealth distribution lost the largest share of their total wealth. As a result, wealth inequality increased significantly from 2007 through 2013; by some metrics inequality roughly doubled.”

Anyone giving this report a fair reading would come away with the impression that wealth inequality has risen to dangerous levels, and that much of the reason is the Bush recession. But the folks at the falsely named “fair and balanced” network brought their own biases to the table and delivered a preposterous mutation of the study’s findings. Their intention is clearly to deceive the public by persuading them of the fiction that Obama’s economic policies have failed, and that Bush’s were superior. However, you would have to be pretty stupid to buy that argument. Therefore, there are at least a couple of million Fox News viewers who will eat up with relish.

On Fox News: Religious Intolerance Is An Atrocity Unless It’s Practiced By Christians

Last week Megyn Kelly of Fox News featured a segment that was crammed full of outrage over the bigotry demonstrated by the extremist ISIS brigade that is terrorizing much of Iraq. As ISIS marches through the nation that was fatally destabilized by George W. Bush and his confederacy of liars, any religious faction that is not aligned with the ISIS brand of Sunni Islam is dealt with brutally and mercilessly. This, of course, includes the Christians in the region. And it is the Christians for whom Fox News is solely concerned.

In a delivery dripping with fear, Kelly gravely reported on an alleged directive from ISIS that Christians in the city of Mosul “could leave, they could convert to Islam, or they could die.” This is certainly further evidence of the extremist intentions of the group and Fox News is correct to repudiate the threat as an assault on religious freedom.

However, there are a couple of problems with their newly acquired aversion to intolerance (a subject they generally dismiss as political correctness). For one thing, it never bothered them when conservative firebrand, and Fox News fave, Ann Coulter said pretty much the same thing, but with a somewhat different emphasis.

Fox News

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Coulter’s doctrine on Islam that “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity,” is just as repugnant, bigoted, and hostile as that of the ISIS ultimatum. So why does Fox News tolerate hate-speech from Coulter that is identical to that of terrorist extremists?

It may help to understand the Fox editorial philosophy by noting that the “expert” Kelly solicited to analyze the events in Iraq was Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who immediately blamed President Obama for this rancid display of religious intolerance. In fact, Perkins and Kelly spent more time castigating the President than they did ISIS. This tells you who they really regard as their enemy.

Perkins, and the FRC, are notable for their place on the list of hate groups published by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The FRC has been one of the most vicious opponents of the LGBT community. Their opposition is based wholly on their view that anyone who strays from the Christian dogma advocated by the FRC is deviant, sinful, harmful to society, and an affront to God. In other words, it is an entirely religious prejudice that condemns those with different beliefs. The SPLC’s report on the FRC begins…

“The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as ‘the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,’ but its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians. The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.”

Despite their “Vision Statement” which calls for a culture in which “religious liberty thrives,” the FRC is unarguably a practitioner of religious intolerance. It’s sole purpose for existing is to rebuke those who fail to adopt their religious views. If a culture wherein religious liberty were thriving was truly their mission, there would be a place in it for those with whom they disagree. However, in that regard they are no different than ISIS.

It is telling that Kelly chose to invite the religiously intolerant Perkins to her Fox News program to discuss the religious intolerance of others. She might have considered people who are actually involved in anti-discrimination organizations, whose opinions would be more credible. That, however, would require her to violate the gospel of Fox News which demands strict adherence to right-wing, conservative, Christian principles. As I have noted previously

Fox News is the closest thing in media to a Vatican PR office, with a roster that is heavily weighted with Roman-Catholics. They include: Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, Brian Kilmeade, Andrew Napolitano, Jeanine Pirro, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Kucinich, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Father Morris. Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox News parent News Corp was himself inducted into the ‘Knights of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great’ by Pope John Paul II. And if that isn’t enough, the current Senior Communications Adviser in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, Greg Burke, was previously the Fox News correspondent covering the Vatican, a position he held for ten years.

So remember this the next time you hear Fox News pretending to be the champions of religious freedom. Remember that their experts are actually bigoted hate mongers. Remember that their political commentators advocate genocide and ethnic cleansing. The only freedom that Fox News supports is the freedom to plaster the airwaves with lies and propaganda in the furtherance of the right-wing theocracy they hope to foist on America.

Amid Reckless Talk Of Impeachment, Fox News Questions President Obama’s Loyalty

It’s taken four years, but the least productive Congress in recent history has finally found something they consider worthy of their time: Impeachment. The Tea Party Republicans running the House of Representatives have managed to avoid or deliberately obstruct everything from tax reform to job creation to immigration to climate change, and much more. In place of doing their actual jobs they have repeatedly attempted to cripple or repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), deny women access to reproductive care, legislate their conservative flavor of religion, and conduct endless and unwarranted investigations into a slew of phony scandals.

The GOP has had help in their avoidance of their responsibilities. Fox News has been right beside them in diverting attention and tax dollars from useful services to wasteful partisan exercises. Specifically with regard to the Impeachment issue, it was a Fox News regular, Sarah Palin, who fired the most recent volleys.

Now Fox is setting its sights on bolstering the impeachment argument by orchestrating a campaign of propaganda to characterize President Obama as disloyal to the country. And they aren’t mincing words about it.

Fox News

On their lie-riddled community website, Fox Nation, there are currently two articles that raise questions with regard to Obama’s patriotism. They overtly suggest that the President may be rooting for our enemies, including violent terrorists.

One article, with a headline that asserts that “Obama Needs to Choose Sides – Israel or Hamas,” blatantly accuses Obama of potentially being on the side of Hamas terrorists. It’s author, Todd Starnes of Fox News, responds to the FAA’s temporary ban on flights to Israel (which has already been lifted) by accusing Obama of implementing an economic boycott against Israel. Starnes says that “There have been no such flight bans over other war-torn nations. So why Israel?” However, in addition to defaming Obama, Starnes is demonstrating his ignorance of world affairs because there are other flight bans, including two hot spots in the news recently, Ukraine and Mali.

The second article’s headline asks “Whose Side is the President Really on?” Again, the Fox Nationalists are implying that Obama is not on the side of the nation he leads. This article concerns the immigration crisis on the southwestern border, and its right-wing author, Ed Rogers of the Washington Post, writes that “It is not hard to believe the president has a bias on the side of the foreigners.” Although it may not be hard for Rogers to believe it, he offers little of substance to support his theory. It appears to based solely on the administrations efforts to resolve the unfolding humanitarian crisis.

Ironically, it is over the immigration issue that the GOP Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has chosen to respond to a White House comment regarding the GOP impeachment fixation. Senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer is properly concerned that the extremists in the GOP are serious about trying to remove Obama from office. He told reporters that Republican talk of impeachment should not be summarily dismissed:

“I think a lot of people in this town laugh that off. I would not discount that possibility. I think that Speaker Boehner, by going down this path of this lawsuit, has opened the door to Republicans possibly considering impeachment at some point in the future.”

Boehner’s office responded in a painfully twisted manner that criticized Pfeiffer for reacting to the impeachment talk that Republicans began. Boehner’s spokesman lamented that the White House “is focused on political games, rather than helping these kids and securing the border.” That comment begs the question: Has Boehner lost touch with reality? It is the administration that is trying to resolve the border crisis but, as usual, Boehner’s comrades in Congress are refusing to cooperate on passing the necessary legislation.

What’s more, it is Boehner himself who is playing political games with his ludicrous lawsuit against the President. Remember, this is a lawsuit by a party with a long history of opposing frivolous lawsuits. They are also known for opposing regulations that burden small business. So, of course, they are now filing a frivolous suit against the President for easing regulations on small business. And then Boehner complains about political game-playing.

Pfeiffer, the White House adviser, is quite correct to worry about impeachment. The Republican Party is so thoroughly demented and/or corrupt that they may just be crazy enough to try it. For that reason, it is critical that Democrats wake up and make a commitment to vote in November. Democrats have been notoriously absent during midterm elections. But this time they must recognize that the President is on the ballot just as surely as he was in 2008 and 2012.

If anyone should be impeached it’s Fox News. They spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, disparaging America and its elected representatives. They tear the country down and call it weak and its people stupid. They practically invite enemies to attack us. What’s more disloyal than that? And if their disinformation helps Republicans seize control of the Senate it will empower the House GOP to draft Articles of Impeachment. And while they will still undoubtedly fail in the end, they will detour the nation from doing any of the important work that needs to be done to revive the nation’s economy, create jobs, and restore our reputation throughout the world.

Get To Know Rupert Murdoch, The Man Who Wants To Buy Time Warner

Last week there was a surprising announcement that international media baron Rupert Murdoch had made a bid to expand his empire even further. He submitted an offer to acquire Time Warner in an $80 billion stock transaction.

Rupert Murdoch

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This would be an atrocious development for a myriad of reasons. It would create an anti-competitive monopoly in several media markets including film production and distribution, and cable TV operations. Furthermore it would make Murdoch the most powerful force in media with control over an unprecedented percentage of both news and entertainment businesses. This would only enhance his already dominant position in worldwide newspaper publishing and satellite television.

Murdoch has demonstrated his cravenly biased approach to business management with his current corporate holdings. These include the world’s most flagrant disseminator of right-wing propaganda, Fox News. Particularly notable is the shift at the Wall Street Journal where, prior to his acquisition, it was a respected leader in business and general reporting. Today it is a hollow shell of its former glory. It had been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for news journalism thirty-four times in its celebrated history, but has not received a single one since Murdoch assumed control seven years ago and turned it into just another of his tabloid rags.

Taking all of that into consideration, it is important to know precisely the sort of man who is proposing to become the head of the most powerful media conglomerate in history. So here is a brief summary of Murdoch’s recent resume:

  • Murdoch’s News of the World hacked into phone and email accounst of hundreds of private citizens, celebrities, and politicians, including a murdered schoolgirl.
  • Murdoch called the victims of his hacking “scumbags.”
  • Murdoch’s New York Post repeatedly publishes racist political cartoons.
  • Murdoch posts anti-Semitic Tweet.
  • Murdoch’s criminal enterprise protects him from any negative reporting.
  • Murdoch’s Fox News deployed hundreds of fake blog accounts in order to rebut critics on the Internet.
  • Murdoch’s companies deleted incriminating emails to avoid responsibility in the hacking scandal.

The scope of the corporate megalith that would result from a Murdoch takeover of Time Warner should be more than enough to prohibit the acquisition. It would create an unholy monopoly that our anti-trust laws were specifically put in place to prevent. But the depraved and criminal character of Rupert Murdoch should also be a fatal impediment to a Time Warner deal. There are morals clauses in business that ought to exempt Murdoch from completing this purchase. In fact, they ought to force him out of his current position and commence a discussion of whether his citizenship should be revoked.

If you’re interested in taking some concrete action to hold Murdoch accountable and protest the proposed Time Warner deal, Media Matters has started a petition to fight back against Murdoch’s encroaching media tyranny. Please sign it and share it with everyone you know.

American Expect-ionalism: Why Is Every World Crisis America’s Responsibility?

The tragic downing of a civilian aircraft in Ukraine has opened a window on a peculiar phenomenon that emerges whenever there is an event, anywhere in the world, that has some international significance. The spotlight that this particular event casts is instructive because of the specific details and how they relate to the global distribution of obligations.

Let’s begin with the fact that the plane that was shot down was owned and operated by Malaysian Air. The passengers were from many nations, but mostly the Netherlands. There was only one American on the flight. The attack occurred along the eastern border of Ukraine on a flight path through Europe and Southeast Asia. And the perpetrators were almost certainly pro-Russian separatists with help from Russia itself.

American Expect-ionalism

So obviously it is up to the United States to take control of the situation and resolve all of the mysteries and criminal conspiracies that arise. It is expected of us. Never mind that there is almost no direct American connection to the attackers or the victims.

Conservative American politicians and pundits have been vocal in demanding that President Obama assume a leadership role in investigating the affair and punishing those responsible. Some have harshly criticized him for not being more aggressive. John McCain positioned himself in front of every TV news camera he could find to imply that Obama has been derelict by not imposing stiff sanctions in advance of possessing all the facts. McCain was joined by several other hyperactive Republicans whose advice ranged from empty rhetoric to declaring war on Russia.

One of the worst reactions from the press was from Fox News (surprise) anchor Jeanine Pirro. She launched into a tirade that called for the President to “put on his big boy pants.” Her venomous spew could only be interpreted as a call to arms. She had the audacity to cite Vladimir Putin as an example of the virile leadership she advocates. The very same Putin who is likely complicit in the jet attack. Pirro’s other example of manliness was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who she admires for his deployment of 50,000 troops in Gaza. In both cases she is clearly expressing her fondness for military involvement and her opinion that no other response is sufficient. What’s more, she falsely projects her bloodlust unto the American people by claiming that…

“Americans don’t want a spectator, they want a leader who’s also not kidding around. Americans want a president not afraid to get in the game, secure our future and re-assert himself on the world stage.”

Actually, Americans have made their views known in recent polling, and they do not agree with Pirro’s assessment of them. Only 17% of those polled said that the U.S should do more to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine. Furthermore, only 23% favor continuing a military presence in Afghanistan, and only 19% want us to go back to Iraq. Pirro obviously has her finger on the pulse of some other country, because she really doesn’t understand Americans.

Pirro’s lament included the already debunked comparison of Obama’s response to the Ukraine incident and Ronald Reagan’s response to Russia shooting down a Korean airliner in 1983. It’s just another of her detours from the real world. Although she is consistent in that she advocates for American military intervention in Iraq, Syria, and Israel, in addition to Russia. That’s what the macho man in her feverish fantasies would do. And after defeating Putin and Assad and various factions of Al Qaeda, he would carry her off to his Fortress of Solitude.

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There is no question that the United States has a role in the world that includes varying degrees of intervention. But a wise leader would always exhaust every diplomatic measure available before committing to warfare. The U.S. currently has a great many options that include diplomacy, economics, and international pressure. The conservative war mongers who believe that every foreign dust up requires the Marines to invade are delusional and dangerous. This is a time for collective composure and strategic thinking, not panicky overreactions. And our nation is fortunate that people like Pirro and McCain aren’t in positions of power where they could act on their bad judgment.

Myth vs. Reality: Reagan vs. Obama On Planes Being Shot Down

The compulsion of right-wing politicians and pundits to reflexively denigrate President Obama is once again outstripping their devotion to country or respect for the truth. It is uncanny how predictable it is that conservative blowhards will leap at the opportunity to bash the President, even as events of critical significance to our national security are still unfolding.

Reagan vs. Obama

That is the case as information continues to be uncovered concerning the shooting down of Malaysian flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. Some of the more obscenely irresponsible comments come from the usual suspects, such as…

John McCain: I don’t understand this president … this is what we used to call in the military AWOL. There’s a direct loss of American lives here.
Rush Limbaugh: I don’t want appear to be callous here, folks, but you talk about an opportunity to abandon the Obama news at the border?
Todd Starnes: Obama won’t comment on Malaysian jetliner crash until he’s had a chance to read tomorrow’s paper.

On Fox News there has been a specific effort to compare the response of President Obama to that of President Reagan following the shooting down of a Korean jet on September 1, 1983. Of course the Fox position is that St. Reagan acted quickly and boldly to assert America’s outrage and leadership. However, an examination of the facts present a very different picture.

The gist of the criticism hurled at Obama was that his reaction was too timid, too slow, and tainted by his decision to keep his previous obligations with meetings on his schedule. The evidence provided to illustrate the differences between Obama and Reagan was a video of an Oval Office address by Reagan regarding the Korean jet disaster.

The first notable fact that was undisclosed by the right-wing nags is that Reagan’s Oval Office address came five days after the Korean jet was shot down. The Malaysian jet was downed only yesterday but, according to his critics, that is still too long for Obama to have waited to comment. As for the video itself, the depth of Reagan’s outrage extended to his declaration that the attack was a “crime against humanity [that] must never be forgotten” and that the Russians “owe the world an apology.” That’s telling ‘em, Gipper. Make them say they are sorry.

Compare that to Obama’s initial remarks that stated that the attack was “An outrage of unspeakable proportions,” and included a challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin to make a decision whether to continue to support violent separatists.

Obama: Time and again, Russia has refused to take the concrete steps necessary to deescalate the situation. [...] We have been very clear from the outset that we want Russia to take the path that would result in peace in Ukraine, but so far at least, Russia has failed to take that path. Instead, it has continued to violate Ukrainian sovereignty and to support violent separatists.

There you have it. Obama laid the blame squarely at Putin’s feet and reiterated his demand that Russia take concrete steps to deescalate. Additionally, Obama called for an immediate cease-fire and an end to Russia’s provision of weapons and training to the separatists. It is an unarguably more aggressive first-response than Reagan’s, but he didn’t ask Putin to apologize so he must be weak.

Fox News and other conservative outlets have also been criticizing Obama for not canceling a couple of previously scheduled fundraising events. But there are some very good reasons for not doing so. First of all, the United States president should not be seen as being so easy to manipulate that an isolated terrorist act, not directed at the U.S., can force him to alter his plans. We are not, and must not be, at the mercy of the terrorists. Secondly, the President made an obligation to the people that organized and attended the events and he should honor that unless his presence would prevent him from taking necessary actions elsewhere, which was not the case.

Furthermore, those making the Obama/Reagan comparison also failed to note that Reagan himself jaunted off to fundraising events shortly following the Korean jet attack. On September 14 he helped raise funds for the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. On September 20 he helped fill the coffers of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond. On September 27 it was a dinner for the Republican Majority Fund. Apparently it’s OK for St. Ronnie to engage in financial glad-handing after an international incident, but not a malingerer like Obama. For the record, less than a month after Reagan’s tour of GOP fundraisers, terrorists blew up the military barracks in Beirut killing 250 Marines. Can we say he was really on the job? Maybe Darrell Issa should open an investigation into that.

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Perhaps the most peculiar change in the right-wing media due to the Malaysian jet attack is that it has soured the right on their former hero, Vladimir Putin. For months pundits at Fox News and elsewhere were singing the praises of Putin as the model of strength, leadership, and Christian purity. Folks like Ben Carson and Sarah Palin expressed their glowing admiration. There was even a featured article on Fox News that asserted that “Putin Is The One Who Really Deserves That Nobel Peace Prize.”

At this point it’s hard to tell who the right admires more: Reagan or Putin. But it’s clear that they have a visceral hatred for our current president. You know, the one who is charged with leading the nation right now, and for whom patriotism would ordinarily compel conservatives to support in troubled times. But for some reason, right-wingers have chosen to disparage their president at every turn and before they even have facts to form a credible opinion. Not that they ever cared about facts. For them it’s shoot first and ignore the facts later. God Bless America.

The Republican’s Dr. Strangelove Promotes Book By Nazi Sympathizer On Fox News

In the most recent polling of Republican voters, their top choices for president almost always include Dr. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon-turned-Fox News pundit who viscerally hates President Obama and advocates Christian supremacy in America.

Carson appeared on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News program last night to warn that the United States is “going down the tubes” like the great empires of the past because we have “become enamored of sports and entertainment,” and have “lost our moral compass.” This downward spiral, Carson says, is an extremely dangerous situation that threatens to subject America to the same dreadful fate as previous historical dynasties like Greece, Rome, and Britain.

Ben Carson

The segment was mostly a paper thin discourse on vague apocalyptic generalities that provided scant insight into anything other than Carson’s embarrassingly poor grasp of history and government. His main points were cliched right-wing admonitions against progressivism and straying from Christian faith. And in the midst of this harangue, Carson made a note of the risks of divisiveness:

Kelly: To what extent do you feel divisiveness is playing a role in what we’re seeing right now?
Carson: It’s playing an extremely large role in what we are doing.

In what “WE” are doing? That was certainly a clumsy phrasing that Carson would probably like to retract. However, it is also ironically truthful. For the better part of the eight minute segment Carson was fiercely divisive, referring to his ideological foes as neo-Marxists, specifically aligning them with Marx, Lenin, and one of the right’s favorite bogeymen, Saul Alinsky. Which is why his unintended admission that divisiveness plays a large role in what “WE” are doing rings true.

Even Kelly observed that calling people neo-Marxists could cause others to view him as unpresidential and too extreme to ever be elected president. Carson’s response to that was to encourage viewers to do their own research. He then offered this as an example of the sort of troubling things they would find:

Carson: Number one rule of Saul Alinsky: You make the majority think that what they believe is no longer in vogue; that nobody with any intelligence thinks that way; and that the way you believe is the only way that intelligent people believe.

The only problem with that example is that it does not happen to be the number one rule of Saul Alinsky. Nor is it any other rule. It appears that Carson just made it up as it doesn’t even resemble any of the actual rules that Alinsky laid out in his book “Rules For Radicals”. Or, more likely, he adopted it from some disreputable source that he naively believed. [For reference I have included all of Alinsky's Rules for Radicals at the bottom of this post] But it wasn’t until Carson sought to buttress his criticism with additional girders of fringy philosophy that he went spinning off the rails entirely. And in the process he demonstrated how vulnerable he is to disreputable sources.

Carson: There was a guy who was a former CIA agent by the name of Cleon Skousen who wrote a book in 1958 called “The Naked Communist,” that laid out the whole agenda. You would think by reading it that it was written last year. Showing what they’re trying to do to American families, what they’re trying to do to our Judeo-Christian faith, what they’re doing to morality.

W. Cleon Skousen was a disgraced Mormon whackjob whom even the Mormon church repudiated. He was a rabid anti-communist who veered off into conspiracy theories and fabricated prophecy. His extreme views led him to support other contemporary opponents of communism, better known as Nazis. And for good measure, Carson shares his admiration of Skousen with another popular whackjob, Glenn Beck, who insisted that his followers read Skousen’s “The 5,000 Year Leap,” which Beck said was divinely inspired.

And so it has come to pass that Ben Carson is the darling of the Tea Party and other far-right dimwits. It is a strange love, so to speak, because despite having absolutely zero expertise in government, law, social sciences, public service, or any other study relevant to statecraft, the Republican base has embraced him and are striving mightily to persuade him to throw his hat in the ring for the presidency, a job for which he is profoundly unqualified.

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

But what is truly dumbfounding is that he isn’t much less qualified than many of the other prospective GOP candidates (Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio) or candidates past (Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin). Scary, isn’t it?

From Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals:

  • Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.
  • Never go outside the expertise of your people.
  • Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.
  • Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
  • Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
  • A good tactic is one your people enjoy.
  • A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
  • Keep the pressure on. Never let up.
  • The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
  • The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
  • If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.
  • The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
  • Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Brand Spanking New Fox News Conspiracy Theory Has Obama “Murdering” The Middle Class

It’s getting difficult to keep track of all of the plots against America that have been perpetrated by our Satanic Kenyan socialist president. When Obama isn’t conspiring to provide material support for Al Qaeda and other terrorists, he is scheming to use the EPA or health care to transform Americans into his personal stable of slaves. But those are small potatoes compared to what seminal birther Wayne Allyn Root is now alleging with the help of Fox News.

Fox News

Root’s newest Obama derangement is that he is purposefully orchestrating “The Murder of the Middle Class,” (which just happens to be the title of his new book, but I’m sure that’s merely coincidental). Root commences his anti-Obama escapade with the assertion that “This is the boldest, grandest criminal conspiracy in world history.” Wow. Even bolder and grander than the Nazi holocaust, the Gunpowder Plot, or the betrayal of Jesus by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane? As the Impeachy Queen Palin would say, “You betcha.”

This isn’t the first time that Root has exposed Obama’s obsession with destroying America. In fact, Root alleges that Obama has been planning this since his days as a student at Columbia University. However, Obama’s new and nefarious designs on the nation, that elected him as its leader twice, put past conspiracies to shame. Root writes that…

“Although the man at the center of this massive world-class fraud is Barack Obama and in my book I prove it…there are many moving parts and co-conspirators. These include famous billionaire businessmen, corporate CEOs, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street bankers, central bankers, government employee unions, the IRS, EPA, NSA, the Bar Association, assorted communists and America-haters, and even some well-known D.C. establishment Republicans. It’s quite a shocking list of conspirators.”

It certainly is. especially when most them (the billionaires, CEOs, bankers, etc.) have profited handsomely during the Obama era. That’s just how devious this plot is. It has incorporated the beneficiaries of Obama’s policies as participants in his cabal to crush the very system that has enriched them.

Root has identified pretty much every component of the Obama agenda as a critical gear in the super-destructo machine that Obama is building. Never mind the administration’s claims about assuring health care for everyone, or protecting the environment, Root has uncovered the true and frightening aspirations of this president and his team of evildoers. Here is what he says lies behind Obama’s campaign of fraud and lies:

The Real Objective…

  • Of ObamaCare: “is income redistribution (through higher taxes and higher premiums) to make the middle class poor and dependent on government.”
  • Of Environmental Regulation: “is bankrupting the middle class by tripling utility bills, gas bills and grocery bills.”
  • Of Immigration Reform: “is to create 12 million new low-wage employees in the labor force” and “12 million future Democratic voters.”
  • Of Income Equality: “is income redistribution and starving the biggest donors to conservative causes and candidates- small business and the middle class.”
  • Of Higher Education: “is enriching teachers unions so they can funnel hundreds of millions back to Democrat politicians.”
  • Of Quantitative Easing: “is printing enough fake money to pay for $3.7 trillion in government handout bribes to Obama’s voters.”

There is so much contradiction in there that it’s hard to know where to begin. For instance, where is the income redistribution in health care if the money is going right back into the pockets of the wealthy insurance companies? Likewise, higher utility bill would also benefit the rich energy concerns (Hello Koch brothers). However, would that be possible if those bills were bankrupting the middle class who would then be unable to pay them? Also, who does Root think it would help if immigrant labor produced more low-wage employees? That is certainly not a redistribution of wealth to the poor. And the liberal solution to raise the minimum wage, which would actually bolster the middle class, as does affordable health care, is ignored by Root entirely in order to continue bashing unions and stereotyping the poor as lazy moochers who will vote for whoever throws cash in their path.

There is really only one thing in this pile of tripe stands out as motivation for having published it. And that is the frequent and shameless references to the book Root is peddling. The whole article is nothing more than an advertisement for a work of fiction that mangles the facts, distorts reality, and disparages the American working class. And Fox News presents it as a piece of opinion journalism rather than as a crass pitch for a disgraced author’s latest collection of lies.

Speaking of shameless book peddling, have you read
Fox Nation vs. Reality? It’s Available now at Amazon.

But then what else could we expect of Fox? Their whole media enterprise is a collection of lies and partisan garbage aimed at advancing an agenda that benefits the rich, advocates for war, and proselytizes hate for minorities, women, and progressives.

A Fight With Obama: Fox News Admits That Their Immigration Coverage Is Purely Political

The ongoing protests at Murrieta, California have exposed a nauseating dark side of nativist prejudice on the part of right-wing anti-immigrant activists. Their hostile screamfests aimed at frightened children on buses is almost too barbaric to be believed. And now their media champions at Fox News have revealed that the motivation behind the coverage of these troglodytes is purely political.

Fox Nation

The headline on the lie-riddled Fox Nation website cheers that “Murrieta Wins Fight With Obama.” With Obama? So the Fox Nationalists see this humanitarian crisis as just another partisan scuffle with the president they despise so ferociously? They don’t recognize the plight of children who are alone, impoverished, scared, and uncertain of their future? They obviously aren’t concerned with working on possible resolutions to the problem. The only thing relevant to them is that their designated enemy in the White House can be tagged with a defeat.

And what is the victory of which they are so proud? Hundreds of kids are terrorized by bitter, hateful clods with grimacing faces and intimidating signs that the kids can’t even read. The process of getting these kids through the immigration bureaucracy is stalled, exacerbating the problem to which the protesters supposedly are objecting. And politicians are swept up in the tide of racism that makes legislative solutions even more remote. Congratulations.

It should also be noted that the victory of hate being celebrated by Fox is another Fox lie. Although officials have temporarily halted the busloads of children into the San Diego area, citing reduced backlogs in Texas, Lombardo Amaya, union president of the El Centro chapter of the National Border Patrol Council, told The Desert Sun that “This does not mean that we will not continue to receive more loads in the future.” No doubt the child-haters will be back on the protest line should the busing resume. And with them will be Fox News and the rest of the wingnut press who will hype this beastly crusade just like they did for deadbeat rancher, Cliven Bundy.

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

Finally, the reaction from the right to Obama’s proposal for $3.7 billion to address the current crisis has been resoundingly negative. On Fox News they resorted to complaining that this is a large sum of money to be allocating to immigrant children when there are still American children who are hungry, homeless, or otherwise deprived. ARE YOU FRIGGIN’ KIDDING ME? These are the same jerkwads who have been viciously condemning what they derisively refer to as “The Welfare State.” They oppose every form of relief from housing aid, to food stamps, to school lunches, to Head Start, to tax reform, etc.

Now Fox News expects us to believe that they favor allocating funds to needy American kids? Message to Fox News: We are not as stupid as your standard viewer. If you really care about American kids, then show it by supporting the programs listed above. And if you still think that immigrant kids should be left to starve, or be returned to poverty and violence in their home country, then just make that argument without pretending to care about Americans.

Darrell Issa Discovers More Emails He Can Brazenly Lie About On Fox News

In an entirely unsurprising development, rabidly partisan congressman, and recidivist criminal, Darrell Issa, has popped up again on Fox News to peddle his dishonest allegations concerning the trumped up IRS controversy.

Darrell Issa

The latest wrinkle in Issa’s permanently furrowed brow is an email exchange that he selectively leaked that he alleges is the long-lost smoking gun that proves – well, whatever it is that has his panties in a twist that day. The emails are a discussion between the former IRS Tax-Exempt Organizations division director, Lois Lerner, and Maria Hooke from the IT department, wherein Lerner seeks information regarding document storage. Here are excerpts from the emails:

Lerner: I had a question today about OCS [instant messages]. I was cautioning folks about email and how we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails–so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails.
Hooke: OCS messages are not set to automatically save as the standard; however the functionality exits within the software. [...] My general recommendation is to treat the conversation as if it could/is being saved somewhere, as it is possible for either party of the conversation to retain the information and have it turn up as part of an electronic search. Make sense?
Lerner: Perfect.

From this rather innocuous exchange, Issa managed to extract something nefarious. His interpretation points to a deliberate attempt to conceal information from congressional investigators. Here is his analysis as adoringly received by Brian Kilmeade on Fox News:

Kilmeade: What do you get from this correspondence?
Issa: What we get is, perhaps what CNN was asking me for a couple weeks ago – a smoking gun. This is Lois Lerner clearly cautioning people not to say things on email. [...] Why? She didn’t want an audit trail for what they were doing, and they were targeting conservatives for their views. No question at all.
Kilmeade: As so many others are choosing not to follow you, we will.

If Issa gets a smoking gun from this, you have to ask what he’s smoking. First of all, Lerner is merely articulating a common business instruction to keep all communications professional. Cautioning her staff about what they say in emails that might later be made public is prudent advice. Not because they are engaging in a cover up, but because people often lapse into inappropriately casual conversations in routine work life. They certainly would not want to have accounts of last night’s party, or off-color jokes, turning up in official investigations.

Issa’s laughably absurd assertion that Lerner is ordering a cover up of emails requires one to accept that she would do such a thing in an email. That would be like calling a criminal accomplice on the phone to tell him not to talk about the crime they just committed because the phone might be tapped. And Issa went further to answer his own question as to why Lerner would issue her cautionary advice. He said it was because she “didn’t want an audit trail for what they were doing.” Of course, the only evidence he has of that is his supernatural ability to read minds.

Perhaps the most blatant distortion Issa whips up refers to Lerner’s response to the IT rep’s explanation of instant message storage. Lerner said simply “Perfect.” Issa contorted that into her being “delighted” that instant messaging wasn’t being tracked. However, that isn’t what the IT rep said. In fact, she said quite the opposite, advising that the messages be treated as if they were saved because either party could do so.

But the worst mangling of this portion of the exchange is that Lerner’s response came immediately following the IT rep signing off her last email by asking “Make sense?” That is what Lerner was responding to when she said “Perfect,” as in “it makes perfect sense.” She was simply acknowledging that she understood the explanation.

This is typical of Issa’s unethical practice of cherry-picking documents from his committee’s hearings that he can spin negatively. It is something that he gets away with because far too many so-called journalists allow themselves to be manipulated by his intentionally deceptive leaks. And, of course, Fox News is all to happy to cooperate with the charade. Already Bill O’Reilly has featured a segment on this subject wherein he referred to these new emails as “hard evidence” of a cover up. Someone needs to give these cretins a remedial course on the meaning of “evidence.”

The O’Reilly Fester: Fox’s Super-Pundit Criticizes Media He Never Watches

Last night on Bill O’Reilly’s show, the Fester aired a segment on whether or not the media can be trusted. You have to wonder whether O’Reilly was looking in a mirror when he came up with this subject.

Fox News - Bill O'Reilly

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

However, it wasn’t O’Reilly who went completely off the rails this time. His guest was Charles Krauthammer, widely considered to be the “brainy” Fox fact distorter. Krauthammer was brought in specifically to offer his expertise in media analysis culled from decades of observation and study. Even O’Reilly realized that in order to make informed judgments about something you need to be immersed in it and continually reinforcing your knowledge. It was in that vein that O’Reilly asked Krauthammer…

O’Reilly: You as a commentator…you have to watch the media reports come in. You have to be well informed. You have to be up to date, as do I. Is there anybody that you trust?
Kruathammer: Well, again, apart from Fox, no, of course not.

So the only media outlet that Krauthammer regards as trustworthy is Fox News. That’s a pretty limited range of media sources. Surely he must have reasons for why no other source has any credibility in his view. O’Reilly pressed him (softly) on this to ascertain what he finds lacking at other networks like, for instance, CNN. O’Reilly presumed that “You must watch it.” To which Krauthammer replied…

“I don’t watch it. The only place I watch it is when I’m waiting for an airplane in some lounge somewhere. [...] I have not watched a network newscast on any of the three networks in 20 years.”

Well then. No wonder he is considered an expert in media. His opinion is informed by having never seen any of it since Clinton was in his first term in the White House. Krauthammer is the model of the Fox News pundit. He has absolutely no knowledge of, or expertise in, the subjects he is called upon to pontificate about. What’s more, he has no interest in becoming knowledgeable. That’s how we get people like Sean Hannity talking about military operations; or Neil Cavuto talking about climate change; or Steve Doocy talking about the economy; or Sarah Palin talking about anything. It is also how we get O’Reilly talking about race and poverty.

This does, however, explain why Fox News viewers are less informed than viewers of other media – or even people who watch no news media at all. It is a network devoted to mis/disinformation and ignorance. And to their credit, they are quite good at it.

Congress Allocates More Money To Phony Benghazi Investigations Than To Veterans

Two months ago GOP House Speaker John Boehner announced that he would concede to pressure from Fox News and the Tea Party by creating the House Select Committee On Politicizing Benghazi. He then packed the committee on the Republican side with rabidly partisan attack dogs, led by alpha dog Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.

Gowdy Doody

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

Since that announcement there has been nothing of note to report. There are no scheduled hearings and no estimated timeline for the investigation. Count on it to drag out long enough for Republicans to exploit it during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The one bit of news that has just emerged is that the Speakers office has allocated $3.3 million to the committee for the current year. So after spending untold millions by four other partisan committees who, despite making wild predictions about White House malfeasance and cover ups, never found anything to support their manufactured accusations, they are now proposing to up the ante with no indication that the result will be any different.

To put the budgeting in perspective, the House Veterans Affairs Committee will only be receiving $3 million this year, even though they have more than twice as many members and a legitimate scandal to investigate with legitimate victims who continue to suffer. The Benghazi Circus will spend more in its first year than the Intelligence Committee which deals with numerous international matters that have far-reaching impact on national security.

The financial priority that is demonstrated by these budget choices is evidence that the Republican House is more obsessed with phony scandals and political sabotage than with actually solving real problems for the American people. The tragic events in Benghazi have always been merely a crude weapon for the rightist politicians and pundits who are fixated on destroying all things Obama. And the new committee is just another means of achieving political goals that they couldn’t achieve at the ballot box. This was illustrated with certainty when back in May of 2013, Fox News aired a tribute to their chief, CEO Roger Ailes, for his efforts as “The Driving Force” in “Keeping Benghazi Alive.”

Fox News Ailes Benghazi

This was one of the most brazen admissions of the abandonment of journalistic ethics ever broadcast. The arrogance they display with on-air graphics confessing that they “made terror attack a story” in response to a “push” by their CEO, is unprecedented. Credible news organizations do not permit executives to interfere with editorial decisions. But the operative word there is “credible,” which has never applied to Fox News.

Days Of Our Lies: This Means Warren – The Clash Of Hillary And Elizabeth

The saga of the Clinton Dynasty continues on Fox News as they deliver a new episode of their blithering soap opera, Days of Our Lies.

Days of Our Lies

In the last chapter, you will recall that disgraced author Edward Klein laughably asserted that he had access to private conversations between Hillary and Bill Clinton. In those intimate liaisons it was revealed that Hillary was sinking into despair and losing her enthusiasm for public service. That despite the fact that she is handily out-polling all of her potential Democratic and Republican rivals.

The story continues with another excerpt from Klein’s new book wherein he is still managing to get insider scoops that any rational person would know are unavailable to the likes of him. He again cites sources who we are supposed to believe are among the closest confidants to the Clintons, yet are betraying them by blabbing to the right-wing media’s most vociferous and vicious Clinton enemy. Klein’s account of the private world inside the Clinton fortress includes these unlikely scenarios:

“President Obama has quietly promised Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren complete support if she runs for president — a stinging rebuke to his nemesis Hillary Clinton.”

“Obama has authorized his chief political adviser, Valerie Jarrett, to conduct a full-court press to convince Warren to throw her hat into the ring.”

“The Obamas believe that Warren sees things from the same ideological point of view as they do. She is a committed progressive who, like Obama, wants to transform America into a European-style democratic-socialist state.”

“Both Valerie and Michelle Obama have convinced the president that Elizabeth Warren is his Mini-Me.”

Warren, of course, has said repeatedly and emphatically that she is not running for president. She pledged explicitly to finish her term in the senate which ends in 2019. She even signed a letter, along with fellow senate Democrats, urging Clinton to run for President. These are not typical actions by someone plotting to mount an opposition candidacy in pursuit of a shared dream of European socialism.

Nevertheless, Fox News, along with their partner in melodrama, the New York Post (which is also their partner in the notoriously dishonest Murdoch media empire) are providing a platform for Klein’s delusional chronicles. Not only is there no evidence that any of Klein’s ravings are true, there is no conceivable way that he could have had access to the encounters that he is pretending to describe. And to top it all off, Fox illustrates the article with a deceptively edited photo that makes it appear that Obama and Warren are about to lock lips in a heated embrace.

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

However, like the soap operas that are broadcast on other daytime television programs, the audience of gullible wingnuts is woefully undiscriminating and will believe whatever is put in front of them by the yarn spinners at Fox. Stay tuned for the next episode of Days of Our Lies, brought to you by Fox News, when Hillary reveals that she is hopelessly in love with daughter Chelsea’s husband, who has gone missing after stumbling unto a mysterious Kenyan birth certificate.

Fox News Falsely Reports That Court Docs “Shatter” Benghazi Video Narrative

The attempt by Fox News to manufacture a phony version of events leading up to the terrorist attack in Benghazi continues at full speed. The latest chapter in their fictional tale revolves around court documents released by the Department of Justice in a pretrial motion to secure the detention of suspect Ahmed Abu Khatalla. The report by Fox News begins with the allegation that…

“Court documents filed by the U.S. Justice Department in the criminal case against Benghazi attack suspect Ahmed Abu Khatallah provide unprecedented details about the evolution of the assault and further shatter the Obama administration’s initial claim that it sprouted from protests over an anti-Islam film.”

Fox News

The problem with Fox’s reporting is that nothing in the rest of their story supports the charge in their opening paragraph. Not only is there nothing that shatters the claim that an anti-Islam video played a part in the violence that night, there isn’t any reference to the video at all. There is no assertion that the video was a trigger for the attack, and no assertion that it was free of some responsibility for motivating the attackers.

A possible reason for there being nothing conclusive regarding the video is that the court documents referenced by Fox were merely a motion presenting the state’s arguments for maintaining Khatalla in custody while awaiting trial. The purpose of this motion is solely to establish that the defendant is a flight risk and a potential danger to the community. It does not pretend to include every bit of evidence or testimony that will be presented in court.

Nevertheless, Fox sought to portray the motion as containing material that it simply does not contain. That’s why the article never bothers to quote anything from the motion that supports the contention that the video narrative was put to rest. The best they could do was to say that…

“The motion says that in the days preceding the attack, the defendant ‘voiced concern and opposition to the presence of an American facility in Benghazi.’” [and that] “The motion filed this week said Khatallah ‘was motivated by his extremist ideology.’”

There’s no surprise there. The defendant, after all, was a leader of the anti-Western extremist group, Ansar al-Sharia. Of course he was opposed to the American presence on Benghazi. That, however, doesn’t negate the possibility that Khatalla’s plans to attack the diplomatic facility may have been inspired by, or opportunistically coordinated to, the numerous protests that were occurring simultaneously throughout much of the Middle East that were directly the result of the anti-Islam video.

What Fox fails to mention in their story is that Khatalla himself is reported to have admitted that the Benghazi attack was revenge for the video. According to the New York Times…

“What he did in the period just before the attack has remained unclear. But Mr. Abu Khattala told other Libyans in private conversations during the night of the attack that he was moved to attack the diplomatic mission to take revenge for an insult to Islam in an American-made online video.”

Fox’s reporting on this is all over the map. Aside from their obsessive fixation on the issue as a cudgel with which to pummel President Obama, Fox has previously labeled Khatalla the ringleader of the Benghazi attack, only to demote him to an irrelevant foot soldier after his capture.

What this tells us is that the value of any element of this story to Fox News is determined solely by its ability to reflect negatively on the President. Consequently, anyone who buys into anything that Fox says is being deliberately and willingly deluded.

Happy Birthday News Corpse – And America. Plus: See How Fox News Dishonors This Holiday

Today is the ninth anniversary of the launch of News Corpse. It has brought great satisfaction exposing the deceit and inbred hatred of the right-wing media for these past nine years. On the other hand, it has brought great frustration that such unethical miscreants continue to distort the truth in pursuit of their extremist, uber-conservative agenda. On the other hand (that’s three hands so far if you’re counting), the wingnut press is a bottomless pit of material for satire and mockery.

News Corpse Birthday

For any of you who wish to give News Corpse a birthday present, you can buy our book, Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Community’s Assault On Truth, on Amazon. Or you could dump your Tea Party, KeystoneXL, GOP funding, mobile phone providers (i.e. AT&T and Verizon) and switch to the progressive cell phone service, CREDOMobile Be sure to use the special offer code “newscorpse”, for which we will receive a modest commission. Both presents will be a gift for you as well.


In other news…

Fox News is engaging in a peculiar manner of celebration this Independence Day. Their Fox Nation website decided to display their patriotism by posting an editorial by impeachment advocate, and Fox senior legal analyst, Andrew Napolitano, that declared that America has “Gone From An Inherited Tyrant To An Elected One.” Hooray for the USA!


Over on the Fox News website they featured an article by Dan Gainor, the VP of the ultra-rightist propaganda factory, the Media Research Center. Gainor’s column was headlined “July Fourth: Be especially proud to be an American in 2014.” It was long discourse that covered many subjects, but left out just one: Any reason to be especially proud. Gainor just ranted about the evils of liberals and President Obama. For example, note these excerpts:

  • [Liberals are] largely in charge of educating our children, running our government and manipulating the media we consume.
  • Government is both pro-left and pro-union.
  • No wonder America is in trouble. The Us in USA have a $17.5 trillion national debt, an unchecked parade of illegal immigration and off-the-charts moral decay (including epic out-of-wedlock births).
  • Look who they learn love of country from – the president.
  • Patriotism and love of country are under attack, just like faith.
  • The flag and those who care for it are under attack across the nation.
  • Don’t let liberals talk down the Founders unopposed. Don’t let local tyrants force you to take down the American flag.
  • The next time someone asks you if you are proud to be an American, you can answer: “Damn right I am.”

Yippie-Ki-Yay, America.


Richard Mellon Scaife died. Scaife was the media baron who spent a lifetime attacking Democrats, and particularly the Clinton family who he accused of everything from drug-running to murder. He was an early and aggressive advocate of Clinton’s impeachment. He was 82.


Disgusting, hate-filled, Tea Party, racist, protesters continue to camp out at the site of a Murrieta, California, facility where immigration officials are hoping to temporarily house women and children while being processed. These pseudo-patriots are actually impeding the authorities from completing deportation proceedings, and at the same time they are subjecting the children to terrifying experiences and forcing them into unsafe, overcrowded facilities. What a wonderful way to spend the Fourth of July and honor these words:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Finally, let’s all wish this beautiful young woman the very happiest Sweet Sixteen ever. That’s right, Malia Obama is a real Yankee Doodle Dandy who was born on the Fourth of July.

Malia Obama

While Suppressing Good Jobs Data, Fox News Slams Obama For Trying To Create More Jobs

This morning the new unemployment report was released showing that 288,000 jobs were added during the month of June and the unemployment rate went down to 6.1%, the lowest since September of 2008. Not surprisingly, Fox News virtually ignored this report as they do with anything that might reflect positively on this administration. And in their abbreviated coverage they made sure to focus on whatever negative spin they could muster.

Making matters worse, Fox Nation chose this day of uplifting economic news to criticize President Obama for paying too much attention to improving the economy. Yes, you read that right. Fox is very upset that Obama has made economic renewal a key part of his agenda. It’s just another reason for them to commence impeachment hearings.

Fox Nation

For more absurdities from the liars at Fox Nation…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

The Fox Nationalists posted an article from the Washington Examiner that took the President to task for raising the issue of our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and urging Congress to act on his proposals to fund the repair of roads, bridges, and other public works projects. The Examiner’s story began sarcastically by saying…

“When the going gets tough, and it seems like everything is falling apart, everyone likes to retreat to their safe place. Some find comfort in their faith. Others find comfort in family. For President Obama, it’s a ‘pivot’ to jobs and the economy.”

Setting aside the clumsy backhand at Obama’s commitment to faith and family, the charge that he is seeking to exploit the issue of jobs and the economy as a refuge from other more pressing matters couldn’t be more ridiculous. It would require one to be so dense and/or dishonest that they fail to recognize that jobs and the economy are consistently the most important issues to the American people in poll after poll, including the latest Fox News poll. And Obama addressed this in his latest speech highlighting what he called “Economic Patriotism.”

“It’s not crazy, it’s not socialism. It’s not the imperial presidency — no laws are broken. We’re just building roads and bridges like we’ve been doing for the last, I don’t know, 50, 100 years. But so far, House Republicans have refused to act on this idea. I haven’t heard a good reason why they haven’t acted — it’s not like they’ve been busy with other stuff.”

Obama and Do-Nothing Congress

The fact that Fox regards jobs and the economy as distractions, and downplays positive economic news, tells us that they have a weak grasp of what’s important to the American people. And instead of taking these issues seriously, Fox obsesses over IRS emails, and Hillary Clinton’s book tour. The result is that Fox and their mush-brained viewers will be caught off-guard again, just as they were in 2012 when they were certain that Romney would crush Obama in a landslide.

When you construct a fantasy dream world of heroes and villains and contrived realities, it will always end badly when you wake up and learn that you were lied to by the media storytellers in whom you put your faith. So thank you, Fox News, for keeping your audience mired in myths and irrelevancies while the rest of the country tries to move forward. And in November, if the Democrats make unexpected gains in the congressional midterm elections, you can console yourselves with the knowledge that you built that.

Fox News Champions Right-Wing Bigots Protesting Against Immigrant Children

The American conservative, as represented by the Republican/Tea Party, is so consumed with hatred that they are now forming blockades to prevent busloads of children from being transported to safe and secure facilities while waiting to be processed by immigration authorities.

Fox News Children Bus Protest

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After weeks of media reports showing severely overpopulated facilities in Texas, where young children and even infants are housed in prison-like conditions, sleeping on concrete, lacking air-conditioning, federal officials are attempting to provide some relief by dispersing the thousands of child immigrants to various locations so that they can be processed faster and under more humane conditions. And this act of compassion and responsibility is being met with opposition by right-wing, bigoted protesters who favor mistreatment of kids simply because of their immigrant status.

The protesters literally blocked the roads preventing the buses from arriving at their destination in Murrieta, California. The kids had already been traveling for hours, and now were forced to remain in the buses for an additional two hour trek to a different facility. They chanted “USA,” “Impeach Obama,” and “Deport,” with a hostility that could only have exacerbated the kids anxiety and fear.

This unconscionable behavior was reported on Fox News in glowing terms, elevating the protesters to heroes and patriots who had simply “had enough.” It was reminiscent of the Fox News glorification of the criminally deadbeat rancher Cliven Bundy and his militia thugs. On Fox & Friends Steve Doocy introduced the segment saying…

“Now some people in one city in California have had it. There was a plane full of people flown from Texas to California and they were then put on a bus and they were taken up to Murrieta, California where they were gonna be processed. That was the plan. It did not go as planned.”

Notice that his intro left out entirely the age of the people on the buses. He and his co-hosts later acknowledged that these were children, but disparaged them as disease-ridden carriers of scabies, lice, Ebola, dengue virus, and Tuberculosis. To the extent that any of that were true it would be further justification for more humane treatment, not less. The Fox & Friends Krew seems to think that sick kids should be thrown back across the border to die.

Fox News continues to use repulsive language like their on-screen graphic that likened the kids in this relief effort to garbage by calling it a “Federal Dumping Grounds.” They also use the insulting term “illegals” even though almost every other media enterprise has banned its use. Note that wingnuts justify using the term because laws were broken. But they never call burglars, or rapists, or bank robbers, or bank presidents, illegals.

It takes a special kind of bitter soullessness to protest children who are being brought to safety. These cretins apparently prefer that the kids remain corralled in hazardous conditions where they will suffer and be vulnerable to greater harm. And, ironically, the effort to transport the kids to other facilities is not only meant to ease their suffering, it is also necessary to expedite their processing. That would result in many of them being reunited with their families in their native countries, something the protesters ostensibly favor. But their actions, born of hate and ignorance, actually delay that. What a sad picture of American goodwill these vile protesters paint for the rest of the world to see and judge us by.

Days Of Our Lies: The Epically Stupid Fox News Soap Opera Starring Hillary Clinton

Much of the routine disinformation and scandal mongering that is the core of Fox News programming is designed to produce melodrama in order to enrapt their dimwitted viewers and warp their grasp of world affairs. It is key to the editorial philosophy of Fox’s chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes, who conceived the “Orchestra Pit” theory of journalism.

Fox News Soap Opera

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So it is no wonder that Fox would recruit Edward Klein, an author so disreputable that he is has been renounced by a broad range of critics, both liberal and conservative. In an editorial for Fox, Klein delivered an account of a conversation between Bill and Hillary Clinton to which he could not possibly have had access without having hidden in the broom closet. Here is the opening scene:

“During a recent break in her national book tour, Hillary Clinton sat at her kitchen table in Chappaqua, N.Y., rubbing her forehead. She had been experiencing splitting headaches and was finding it increasingly difficult to hide the throbbing pain in her head while doing television interviews.”

From his vantage point in the closet, Klein managed to observe Clinton alone in her kitchen nursing her headache and sinking into despair. His representation of her mood is in stark contrast with the video evidence of her media interviews where she appears to be engaged and upbeat. Klein also contends that she is depressed because her book is an historic flop. However, that is also contrary to the facts. But the real drama has yet to begin.

Enter Bill Clinton, who Klein apparently observed as he “poured Hillary a glass of green tea, and massaged her shoulders.” Then, in the privacy of their kitchen, unaware of the guest in the closet, they began to discuss the hardships of her book tour and prospective presidential campaign. And for some reason they chose to speak in a dialog that emulated junior high school playacting. Here is the script exactly as Klein “heard” it:

Hillary: The media have me in their cross-hairs. Everything I say is twisted and used against me. I can’t get any traction. They are pouncing on everything I say.

Hillary hesitated for a moment, and then continued.

Hillary: I’m seriously losing my appetite for combat. I never thought I’d say that. I’ve been a fighter all my life. You guys have never seen me back down, but right now I am punch drunk.

Bill bit his lip and said…

Bill: We all have a right to feel sorry for ourselves from time to time. But you’ve got history to make.

Hillary: Right now I’m feeling like they can all go f**k themselves. I know the country needs us, but they aren’t acting like they deserve us. Just f**k ‘me (sic).

Bill: We’re going to fight and win the White House. That will be our reward and our revenge.

It would be one thing if this was a fanciful dramatization of a conversation that Klein imagined might have taken place. But he is offering it as factual account of an actual discussion between two people in their own home. And Fox News was so impressed with its veracity that they went ahead and published it. But anyone who believes that this is how adults talk, particularly Yale-educated lawyers with decades of political experience, is flakier than a day-old croissant.

It’s pathetic that Fox would post this nonsense, but it’s even worse that they know their audience so well that they can have a fair measure of confidence that it will be accepted as reality.

Sunday Morning Republicans Gone Wild: Boehner, Issa, Krauthammer, And Gohmert

This week has been a festival of Republican derangement on a scale that is impressive for its magnitude and breadth. A party that is notorious for inane policies and political stunts has really knuckled down and exceeded its previous masterworks of idiocy. And it starts at the top with GOP House Speaker John Boehner.

Obama Mic Drop

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This week John Boehner leaped to the front of the pack by announcing the Tea Party’s wet dream of a lawsuit against President Obama for abuse of power and political overreach. However, when asked precisely what actions by the President were going to be the basis for the litigation, Boehner responded “When I make that decision, I’ll let you know.”

Brilliant! Boehner has invented the “Mad-Libs” lawsuit. Just fill in the blanks as you go along. For instance: Whereas the President has violated the ________ Act by issuing an order to _________ citizens, he is guilty of _________ing the _________. Case closed.

Next up we have Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Phony Scandals Committee. This week he appeared on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News program to discuss the IRS and said of Lois Lerner, without qualification, that “Of course she broke laws and of course she broke regulations and we need to hold her accountable.”

That is a remarkably irresponsible position to take for someone who is ostensibly undertaking an investigation with the pretense of relying solely on the facts. But when Issa was challenged Sunday by CNN’s Candy Crowley as to whether he had any proof of wrongdoing by Lerner, the IRS, or the White House, Darrell Issa said “I don’t play the game of ‘no evidence.’” Just let that one sink in for a while.

Enter Fox News super-pundit Charles Krauthammer. Old Chuckie Sleaze visited with his Fox colleague Greta Van Susteren this week to pontificate over the Supreme Court decision on presidential recess appointments. Krauthammer opined that the court’s rebuke was proof that Obama is a lawless tyrant who rules by fiat. And then he introduced the “I” word saying that “If this were a Republican president, he’d be impeached now over all of these abuses.”

The problem with Krauthammer’s analysis is that Republican presidents have been far more generous with their recess appointments than Obama. Since 1981, Ronald Reagan led the field with 232. He was followed by Bush, Jr (171), Clinton (139), Bush, Sr. (78), and then Obama trailing with a mere 32 recess appointments. So Krauthammer’s speculation about what would happen to a Republican couldn’t be more wrong.

And saving the best for last, GOP Reps. Bill Flores and Louis Gohmert (aka Flo-Mert) have drafted legislation that would pay a million dollars to anyone who can provide the emails that were allegedly lost by Lois Lerner. Setting aside the fact that there may not be any lost emails at all because they may have been retrieved from servers or files residing with the recipients, Flo-Mert’s bill is epically idiotic.

First of all, they are essentially outsourcing their duties to unknown persons who they are enticing, via greed, to produce evidence of crime. That can result in unscrupulous individuals manufacturing evidence or breaking the law to acquire it. Secondly, they are proposing to spend taxpayer money on a purely partisan activity. Thirdly, they are conceding that they are too incompetent to do their own jobs. Fourthly, they are implying that there is a conspiracy to conceal the emails that can only be broken by cold, hard cash. And lastly, they included a provision in the bill to cut the salaries of all IRS employees by 20% until the possibly non-existent emails are turned over to Congress. That would punish people who have nothing to do with the matter, not to mention everyone in perpetuity if, in fact, there are no lost emails to recover.

This brief collection of Republican stupidity demonstrates how seriously devolved the GOP (Greedy One Percent) have become. They appear to have entirely stopped trying to be a reputable political enterprise and are competing to see who can be the imbecile of the week (although it will be hard to beat the inimitable Fox News “Psycho” analyst, Keith Ablow). But stay tuned as the contest continues and new aspirants arise to challenge the old hands. This is entertainment at its best.