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

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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.

Ben Carson Reveals Himself To Be A Delusional Conspiracy Theorist On Fox News Sunday

This weekend Fox News Sunday interviewed the Tea Party flavor of the week, Dr. Ben Carson. The interview (video below) was notable for some of the uncharacteristically clear-headed questions from host Chris Wallace that exposed Carson as the extremist nut case that he is.

Ben Carson

Wallace introduced the segment by noting that Carson has made some controversial remarks for which he will be held to account. That is an understatement, to say the least. Comparing ObamaCare to slavery, and America to Nazi Germany are not your conventional campaign slogans. Wallace even told Carson point blank that “I think you would agree that, at best, your a distinct long shot.” But the statement that Wallace singled out was when Carson warned that, somehow, the 2016 election would be canceled. It was a profoundly stupid notion without any rational foundation, which Wallace seemed to recognize when he asked his question.

Wallace: You said recently that you thought that there might not actually be elections in 2016 because of wide spread anarchy. Do really believe that?

Carson: Well, I hope that that’s not going to be the case, but certainly there is the potential because you have to recognize that we have a rapidly increasing national debt, a very unstable financial foundation, and you have all these things going on like the ISIS crisis, that could very rapidly change things that are going on in our nation. And unless we begin to deal with these things in a comprehensive way, and in a logical way, there is no telling what could happen in just the matter of a couple of years.

Huh? There is a potential that democracy will be dispensed with because of the national debt and ISIS? What in holy hell is he talking about? The United States and its democratic system has endured for over 200 years, through economic catastrophes, civil and world wars, Nixonian corruption, and assassinations. Yet Carson thinks that it may all soon be over because of our present economy (with it’s soaring stock market, record profits, and low unemployment), and a band of desert rats 8,000 miles away?

It is stunning that anyone would take this man seriously as a candidate for president. But the party that has previously placed at the top of their presidential wish list people like Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, and Sarah Palin, is just the party to hoist Carson’s flag. He recently placed a close second (after fellow Tea-publican Ted Cruz) in a straw poll by attendees of the right-wing, evangelical Values Voters conference.

For a party that vehemently castigated President Obama as lacking the necessary experience to be president when he launched his campaign, the Republicans have an intense infatuation for candidates with even less experience. Wallace also addressed this hypocrisy in the interview with a cleverly worded question.

Wallace: After looking at Barack Obama and what’s happened with his lack of political experience in the last six years, wouldn’t putting Ben Carson in the Oval Office be akin to putting a politician in an operating room and having him perform one of your brain surgeries?

Carson: I don’t think so. What is required for leadership is wisdom.

Indeed. And the wisdom demonstrated by a political neophyte who thinks that there may not be an election in 2016, but if there is it will be dominated by voters who “have been beaten into submission,” is exactly what the “doctor” ordered, if that doctor is Dr. Strangelove.

Even the Wall Street Journal noticed that the bizarre rantings of Carson were trouble for the GOP. Columnist Peter Wehner, who served in the past three Republican administrations, wrote that “This is the kind of rhetorical recklessness that convinces many Americans that Republican leaders are extreme, irresponsible, and fundamentally unserious.” [...and that...] “Dr. Carson’s comments are evidence of a political mind that is not simply undisciplined but also fanatical.” [...and that...] “Any political party or movement that is associated with such utterances will pay a price.”

Carson recently declared that the “likelihood is strong” that he will run for president, despite his having none of the requisite knowledge or skills for the job. His putative candidacy rests entirely on his support from Tea Party zealots and Fox News who, in breach of every code of journalistic ethics, continues to employ him as a commentator despite his admitted status as a candidate.

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Zombie Reagan’s Fake Declaration Of War Inspires Fox Nationalists

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

Fox Nation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Fox News War On Women Presents: Boobs On The Air

Yesterday’s broadcast of The Five on Fox News featured a brief segment (video below) wherein Kimberly Guilfoyle delivered a rather inspiring tribute Maj. Maryam Al Mansouri, a female fighter pilot from the United Arab Emirates who led the UAE’s forces in attacks on ISIL.

Guilfoyle aimed her comments directly at the terrorists saying “Hey ISIS, you were bombed by a woman.” She highlighted the poetic justice of religious extremists who won’t even allow women to drive cars, getting blown away by a competent, accomplished female soldier from an Arab nation. Unfortunately, the response from her male colleagues on the program was somewhat less dignified.

Fox News

The panel’s resident troll, Greg Gutfeld hurled a stereotypical insult at the Major saying that “The problem is, after she bombed it, she couldn’t park it.” Then Eric Bolling chimed in with a demeaning and sexist query, “Would that be considered boobs on the ground?” And all Guilfoyle could do was plaintively ask why they were ruining her piece.

If that were the only example of offensive, juvenile, anti-woman behavior by Fox News jerks it would be bad enough. But this came shortly after Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy of Fox & Friends made “jokes” about the lesson from the video of Ray Rice beating his girlfriend into unconsciousness is that he should have taken the stairs where there were no cameras to capture his assault. It came after Fox News “psycho” analyst Keith Ablow belittled First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts on behalf of healthier children saying that “How well can she be eating. She needs to drop a few.” It came after Fox’s Anna Kooiman introduced right-wing YouTubers, the PolitiChicks, as “A lot of hotness on the couch this morning.”

The pattern of demonstrating such brazen disrespect for women is a familiar part of Fox News programming. They regard women as little more than eye candy for their predominantly old, male viewers. Fox CEO Roger Ailes has been reported as insisting that his female anchors wear skirts and show leg. But to carry this boorishness over to demean a woman who is putting her life on the line against terrorists is especially repulsive. Sadly though, it is not unexpected from Fox News.

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[Update] The following day Bolling made an apology of sorts. He said…

“I realized some people didn’t think it was funny at all. I said sorry to my wife and I apologize to all of you as well.”

So he was only apologizing because the joke wasn’t funny, not because it was brazenly offensive and demeaning to women and soldiers? And the “apology” was only directed to his wife and Fox viewers, but not to the pilot or others he insulted? Typical Fox avoidance of responsibility and ethics.

Fox & Friends Lament “The Wussification Of Popeye”

The competition for most epically stupid program on Fox News is always a thrilling spectacle. With contestants like Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Steve Doocy, and so many more, it’s impossible to predict who will hold the top spot at any given moment in time. However, for this week the prize has to be awarded to the weekend cast of Fox & Friends for their in-depth analysis of “The Wussification Of Popeye” (video below).

Fox News Popeye

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This nearly unbearable babbling by three of the most puerile pundits in television kicked off with a segment on some possible modifications to the Popeye character in an upcoming movie. Here is how the exchange began:

Clayton Morris: According to leaked photos, the new Sony Pictures version of Popeye will look like this – without the iconic anchor tattoo and the smoking pipe. Are they wussifying Popeye?

Tucker Carlson: Of course they’re wuss… Nothing is scarier to a modern liberal than tobacco. If Popeye were driving around giving the morning after pill to fourth graders, that would totally fine. But smoking a pipe – a single (sic) of freedom and masculinity in America itself – the reason this country exists – tobacco – that’s like, oh, that’s outrageous.

There is so much idiocy in that brief observation it needs to be broken down into pieces for examination.

First of all, if liberals are scared of tobacco it may have something to do with the fact that it kills 400,000 Americans every year. That’s more than a hundred 9/11’s, not once thirteen years ago, but every single year. And that’s not counting the thousands of victims who survive with debilitating health problems that devastate families emotionally and financially.

Secondly, while Carlson may not fear the epidemic of cancer, he does seem to be afraid of fourth graders who aren’t pumping out babies. His snarky hyperbole about giving out morning after pills is a deliberate trivialization of a serious problem. Nine year old girls should have options to avoid pregnancy in the event that they have engaged in sex, which at that age is often the result of an rape or incest. Apparently Carlson is fine with forcing children to become parents before they enter junior high school.

Thirdly, Carlson’s characterization of pipe smoking as a symbol (?) of freedom is best represented by a man who is a notorious pipe smoker and certainly a hero of Carlson’s – communist dictator Joseph Stalin. The notion that smoking a pipe is uniquely American exists only in his cartoon-fed brain. And by invoking tobacco as “the reason this country exists” Carlson is also reminding us that the tobacco trade was largely successful in our country’s early days because the plantation owners had the benefit of free (i.e. slave) labor. If that’s his idea of an iconic symbol of freedom, there may be several million Americans who disagree. The legacy of tobacco in America is one of bondage and brutality and suffering and death.

The truth is that Carlson and his cranky cohorts are rattling off an old wingnut whine about what they perceive as political correctness. They think it’s the PC police who demand that Popeye quit his filthy habit and stick with spinach. However, it is actually the fact that we have learned a thing or two about the health risks of tobacco and most parents don’t want their children to be exposed to positive images of a product that will kill them. Would Carlson be just as happy if his kids were influenced by an alcoholic superhero guzzling whiskey in between clobbering villains?

The video of this derpitude is proof that the Fox & Friends crew have earned special recognition for ass-holiness this week. And for extra credit, they segued from the Popeye story to one about Wonder Woman wherein they complained that her new costume wasn’t sexy enough. That’s just another example of these pathetic wretches projecting their fetishes on kids by advocating sexualizing cartoon characters.

On Hannity: Fox News Strategic Analyst Calls For More Civilian Casualties

The hopelessly hysterical war hawks and fear mongers that populate Fox News seem to have no bar too low to slither under. Their primary mission is to lambaste President Obama no matter what he does. The President is in a perpetual no-win spiral of knee-jerk negativity from his robo-critics on the right.

As an example, following the horrific beheadings by ISIL terrorists, panicky conservatives demanded that Obama respond without hesitation. Never mind developing a plan or assembling allies, the need to act was more urgent than the need to act effectively. Consequently, Fox News contributor and bloodthirsty former diplomat, John Bolton, accused Obama of orchestrating a politically motivated October Surprise.

Bolton: I have the sinking feeling, based on six years of performance, particularly the timing of this attack, last night had more to do for the President’s politics than for national security.

Setting aside the fact that it is still September, Bolton’s unfounded criticism comes after being one of those who complained that if action were not taken immediately it would be tantamount to dereliction of duty. So the President acts and all of sudden his action is denounced as political. In Bolton’s twisted view, any delay until after the November election would be treasonous, but any strike prior to it is electioneering. As noted above, the President cannot win with these nutcases.

However, the new standard for nauseating tirades was unleashed later in the day when an utterly deranged rant on the Sean Hannity program was delivered by Fox News strategic analyst, Ralph Peters (video below). The dripping bile in his painfully falsetto caterwauling was steaming with rancid hostility as he proposed that the United States emulate the ruthless brutality of our enemies.

Fox News Ralph Peters

Peters: Another thing we’ve gotta get over. This nonsense about you can’t have any civilian casualties. War is ugly, sloppy, and messy, and sometimes there are civilian casualties, especially when your enemy uses human shields. If you’re gonna go after ISIS you gotta suck it up and do what’s right. And by the way, civilian casualties? Look what ISIS is doing and it’s actually gaining them recruits as they slaughter civilians.

There you have it. If ISIS can attract new recruits by slaughtering civilians, then why shouldn’t America do it? After all, we are seeking the same sort of psychologically demented murderers that ISIS is, and leaving a trail civilian corpses throughout Syria and the Middle East would only endear us to the regional population. Right?

This isn’t the first time that Peters has suggested something so inhumane and contrary to American values. He has advocated for letting terrorists murder American soldiers (Bowe Bergdahl). He accused Obama of seeking common ground with terrorists. Indeed, on last night’s Hannity he asserted that the airstrikes in Syria were “designed to limit terrorist casualties.” But his repeated advocacy of what amounts to international war crimes is what sets him apart from your run of the mill wingnut. Here are a few quotes from Peters:

“We must dispose of one last mantra that has been too broadly and uncritically accepted: the nonsense that, if we win by fighting as fiercely as our enemies, we will ‘become just like them.'”

“Sometimes a heavy hand and brutality works. [The Russians] don’t do stop-and-frisk, they do stop-and-frisk and beat the hell out of you. And you know what? It’s brutal, it’s ugly, and sometimes it works.”

[In calling for attacks on the media] “Rejecting the god of their fathers, the neo-pagans who dominate the media serve as lackeys at the terrorists’ bloody altar.”

Pair this with the idiocy of Bill O’Reilly’s recent plan to build an army of mercenaries to combat terrorists around the world, because what could be better than legions of paid fighters with no loyalty to anything but their paycheck? And of course, their moral standards would be out of our control. O’Reilly seems to think these sort of characters would be immune to accepting a higher bid for their services and turning on their American bosses. He also rejected the criticisms of military experts on his own program who called the idea “ridiculous.” Even his pal Charles Krauthammer couldn’t dissuade him from his crackpot theory.

The tendency of right-wingers with undisguised blood-lust to tolerate, and even advocate, barbarism and criminal atrocity exposes them for the heathens they are. They want to turn America’s sons and daughters in the armed forces into savages and then expect them to come home and live normal lives. And they believe that by acting like terrorists, America can eradicate terrorism. That’s how irreparably delusional they are. It is more than wrong, it is dangerous. And it doesn’t belong in the discourse of a civilized society.

Shepard Smith Owes Obama’s Press Secretary “Every Penny He Will Ever Make” At Fox News

The military operation executed last night against ISIL in Syria surprised many in the nation and the media by its timing and force. However, there was another consequence of the mission that will have an impact on a much smaller scale, except for those involved.

Fox News

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White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest just became a very rich man. Last week he was interviewed on Fox News by Shepard Smith (video below) about the coalition that President Obama was building to “degrade and destroy” the terrorist organization ISIL. In the course of their discussion they had this exchange that included a very specific challenge from Smith to Earnest in the form of a wager:

Earnest: We are going to have Muslim majority countries, Muslim led countries, as part of this coalition. This is not going to be the United States against ISIL. This will be the international community, including the Muslim world, against these extremists.

Smith: Like Saudi Arabia’s going to have some boots over there, or Jordan.

Earnest: Well, I will let the individual members of the coalition announce the commitments that they’re prepared to make.

Smith: There will be no commitment from those two. On this I will bet every penny I will ever make at this network.

Earnest: That’s a substantial bet.

Smith: It is a big bet, and it is a good bet, because it’s not going to happen and the whole world knows it.

Of course the whole world now knows that the United States led a series of airstrikes last night in Syria against ISIL and other terrorist operations. The mission was conducted with substantial participation from neighboring Muslim nations. According to the Pentagon

“U.S. military forces and partner nations, including Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, undertook military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria overnight.”

So the question is: How and when will Smith pay up? Will he even acknowledge the debt he owes or his horribly off-base prediction? At the very least he should apologize to Earnest, as well as to his viewers for misinforming them.

The smug and mocking tone Smith used when challenging Earnest only exacerbates his pitiful analysis of the situation. However, he proved that he fits right in on the network that gets everything else wrong, particularly when it comes to reporting on anything this president is doing, plans to do, or has done.

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Fox News Feminism: A Lot Of Hotness On The Couch This Morning

In recent weeks Fox News has been promoting a new book by a trio of conservative women who purport to have an inside track into “What Women Really Want.” The authors, Gina Loudon, Ann-Marie Murrell, and Morgan Brittany, comprise the Internet video non-sensation, Politichicks.

Fox News

The PolitiChicks contend that modern feminism is hurting women and does not represent their interests. But it’s hard to take them seriously when they appear on Fox & Friends with an introduction by co-host Anna Kooiman saying that there are “A lot of ladies, a lot of hotness on the couch this morning.” Not a lot of wisdom, or a lot of dignity, or experience, or intelligence, but that all-important component of feminine identity, hotness. Now try to imagine three men promoting a book on the male agenda in American politics being described that way. Kooiman went on to assert that “Feminists claim they help empower women, but are they really suppressing them? Our next guests say yes.”

The whole segment, and a similar one on Fox’s Huckabee program, conveyed much of the same offensive attitude. Their basic contention is that a women’s movement is no longer necessary because “We earned the right to vote. We have equality in the workplace.” Well, one out of two is pretty good for a Tea Partier. But despite the book’s title claiming to reveal what women want, the discussion on these programs was primarily about what they don’t want, most of which, according to the PolitiChicks, was the liberal brand of feminism. For instance, Murrell said that…

“[Feminism] has nothing to do with empowering women anymore. Everything they’re about now is from the head down. It has nothing to do with women’s brains or their hearts.”

First of all, Murrell might want to take a refresher course in anatomy, because the heart happens to below the head. As for her assertion about the focus on issues that involve women’s bodies, there is some truth to that. But that’s only because the men in power have been so insistent on forcing their decisions on them with regard to their health care and reproductive freedom. It is a proper area of concern for women’s advocates. Continuing to enumerate the things women don’t want, Loudon offered that…

“Women don’t want to be objectified, and what the feminist movement has successfully done is sexualize women instead of feminizing women.”

Indeed, objectification is a dehumanizing act, but it’s one that feminists have fought against from the start. What Loudon means by “feminizing” women sounds very much like a contradiction that would result in further objectification. Particularly when you pair it with her later comment that…

“It’s time for women who really want to be women, who want to be feminine, who want to be what God designed them to be.”

Apparently Loudon has a fixed notion of what women are and what God intended when he built them from Adam’s spare rib. That sort of intransigence conflicts with her accusation that it’s “old feminism” that puts women in shackles. What could be more confining than a divinely dictated state of being? And if that weren’t bad enough, Murrell added that…

“[Feminists] are like cave women waiting for a caveman to bonk them on the head and drag them into the cave by the hair.”

With that comment you have to wonder if Murrell has ever met a feminist. These authors keep going back and forth between advocating choices for women (including forsaking a career to stay at home and raise kids), and confining them to narrow gender roles that have long ago been discarded as sexist. And they don’t seem to recognize the irony in their positions as they advance choice, but not in all things. As an example, Brittany correctly noted that…

“Women want less government in their lives, they want to make their own decisions, they want freedom to choose for their children, for their families.”

However, that doesn’t apply to reproductive choice. In that case the PolitiChicks defend big government’s role in making the most personal of decisions for women, who cannot be trusted to decide for themselves with the counsel of their doctors and their family. They even support forcing women to undergo unnecessary and invasive procedures and endure arbitrary waiting periods and patronizing lectures. That is not a position in accord with small government or free choice.

The hypocrisy and disrespect that is represented by these so-called feminists does nothing to improve the status of women in America. It does not end discrimination, or wage disparity, or harassment, or the welfare of children. What it does is advance the agenda of extremist, right-wing Christianists who seek to impose their beliefs on the nation’s women, and men too, for that matter.

The PolitiChicks are being aided and abetted by Fox News who are providing them with a platform to deliver their partisan sermons. But if they think that this is the way to appeal to women voters who have been staunchly supporting Democrats, they will be sorely disappointed. Their method of reaching out to voter constituencies by advocating positions that are detrimental has not worked for Latinos or African-Americans, or seniors, or students. And it won’t work on women either. They are all much smarter than Republicans give them credit for, and they won’t fall for this wingnut propaganda.

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Unhinged Fox News Reporter Warns Of Immigrant Children Trained By ISIL To Kill Us

The frenzy of frightened Fox News figures who have been consumed by panic over the threat of ISIL terrorists invading our tranquil communities continues to grow in numbers and intensity. On Saturday morning a panel of business correspondents took up the issue on Fox’s Bulls and Bears (and Immigrant Children, oh my).

Fox News Kids Trained To Kill Us

The segment (video below) was introduced by host Brenda Buttner as “the ISIS border threat we may all regret if we don’t stop it now.” She summarized the imminent doom facing America from terrorists plotting to sneak across our porous southern border to wipe us out as we sleep. This gruesome prospect was presented as more than speculation and she wondered how many more warnings would be required before Washington “gets it.”. Of course she never offered any evidence that any terror suspects had entered the U.S. in this manner, or that there was any credible intelligence of it . She just unloaded a series of allegations without any factual basis.

That was enough for the first panelist, John Layfield, a retired professional wrestler, to spew a stream of unrelated assertions involving ISIL’s alleged blueprint for international terrorism and the presence of murderous drug cartels in Mexico. Layfield’s background makes him the perfect guest to provide analysis on these sort of national security issues. He was rebutted rather effectively by Gary B. Smith, a hedge fund manager, who wisely kept his commentary limited to his area of expertise, the economic aspects of securing the border. He questioned the efficacy of building a border fence for an estimated $22 billion when none of the perpetrators of 9/11 entered the country illegally and other border barriers like the Berlin Wall were commonly breached thousands of times a year.

But Stealing the thunder of prominent members of the Psycho-Chicken Little Society like Lindsey Graham, was Fox regular Tracy Byrnes. Her hysterical assessment of the looming threat was riddled with indignation that nobody was treating the situation with the appropriate measure of urgency.

“It’s really serious and this has been something that has been bothering me for a while now. We are not taking it serious enough. ISIS is here. I don’t care what anybody says. They’re here.”

How typical of a Fox News commentator to declare that she doesn’t care what anybody says. She has her own delusional, nightmare scenarios firmly affixed in her mind and she will not be distracted by reality. But she’s only just getting started. She goes on…

“What scares me the most, Brenda, is that they infiltrate the minds of children and when children cross the border everyone, you know, the tears start coming down. We want to take care of them, but so many of these kids are trained to hate us and potentially kill us. And yet we are just letting them in, welcoming them with open arms, paying for their medical, paying for everything and it’s just going to come back to bite us.”

Exactly! Somehow ISIL has gotten to these gullible waifs, who are fleeing violence in their native countries, and brainwashing them to hate the Americans who are providing them with safety, food, and health care. All the while these kids are plotting to grow up and cut our throats or blow up our shopping malls. Byrnes didn’t reveal where the terrorists were conducting this training or why children who have been rescued from lives of misery, danger, and fear would succumb to an ideology that just perpetuated it and was directed at their rescuers.

Surprisingly, other than Byrnes and Layfield, the panel was fairly united in dismissing the most outlandish claims by the Fear Caucus. The frantic whimpering of the bed-wetting set has been shown to be utterly without foundation. Recently PolitiFact assessed a claim by GOP/Tea Party Rep. Trent Franks, who said that “It is true that we know that ISIS is present in Ciudad Juarez (Mexico)” And except for the fact that it isn’t true and that we don’t know it, it was a pretty good soundbite. PolitFact rated it “mostly false,” while noting that similar false claims were made by Sen. Marco Rubio and many in the right-wing media such as the Daily Caller, Breitbart News, and Sean Hannity. PolitiFact also revealed that the source of the claim was the ultra-conservative organization, Judicial Watch. When asked for more information to affirm their allegations, JW’s president Tom Fitton simply refused.

Not to be outdone, Fox host Jeanine Pirro served up her own steaming plate of crazy with a paranoia drenched tirade that boosted the profile of ISIL over the tyrant King George of England, Jefferson Davis’ Confederacy, Hirohito’s Japan, Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, and even the genocidal regime of Adolf Hitler:

“Tonight America faces the single biggest threat in her more than 200-year history. Worse than what we faced in World War I, World War II, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Al Qaeda on 9/11. [...] The damage will be painful and it will be extensive. [...] I’ve been telling you for months that you need to be afraid.”

Pirro’s grasp of history is pitifully weak. For the record, ISIL is, so far, responsible for the deaths of two Americans. They have a long way to go before they can be regarded as worse than World War I (116,000 fatalities), World War II (405,000), the Civil War (625,000), or even Al Qaeda who lag behind at 9,700 if you include 9/11 plus all casualties endured during both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars (which, of course, are not all attributable to Al Qaeda). And on the basis of her stupendously ignorant raving, she boasts that “for months” she’s been telling her wretched viewers that they “need to be afraid.” How dumb do you need to be to continue following her advice?

The fanatics at Fox News are desperately trying to drive their viewers into a sky-is-falling state of psychotic distress, and they have no qualms about using blatant lies to achieve their ends. It’s a shameful and unethical 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.

For more examples of Fox’s fear fetish…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

PolitiFact Proves Fox News Bias On ISIL Hearings – Also That Greg Gutfeld Is An Ass

On Tuesday Media Matters published their analysis of Fox News bias during coverage of a Senate hearing on President Obama’s plans for dealing with ISIL. Media Matters showed that during Fox’s broadcast they would air remarks by Republicans on the committee and then cut away when Democrats began to speak. The result was that Republicans were given twice as much airtime as Democrats on the allegedly “fair and balanced” network. This is an old tactic by Fox which News Corpse documented last year in another Senate hearing.

Today PolitiFact weighed in with an article seeking to confirm the data that Media Matters reported. They found that…

“Media Matters said that Fox News gave Republican senators twice as much air time as Democratic ones during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. They said Republicans got 16 minutes compared to the Democrats’ eight. That matches our count.

“We also found that other networks provided more time and more evenly divided time to members of both parties.

“We rate the claim True.”

Fox News Greg Gutfeld

This is not exactly breaking news. Media Matters is a reliably consistent source for accurate information about the biases and partisan excesses of right-wing media. What makes this interesting at this time is that it occurred almost simultaneously to a feverish rant by Fox’s Greg Gutfeld, co-host of The Five. Gutfeld was perturbed by reports that cited Media Matters research showing the obsession that Fox News has for the Benghazi hoax. The study revealed that Fox aired nearly 1,100 reports on the subject, most of which were decidedly slanted to the right. For instance, 97% of the congressional interviews on Fox relating to Benghazi were with Republicans.

The accuracy of Media Matters’ reporting, however, was immaterial to Gutfeld’s rightist indignation. He let loose on Media Matters saying that…

“…the left-wing hacks would just work from Media Matters’ press releases [...] It’s much easier than doing original research to just read from a press release.”

That’s true. And it’s also hilariously ironic coming from a Fox News flunky. The reporting that Gutfeld was complaining about just happened to be unarguably correct, as noted by PolitiFact. But his griping over journalists using research from Media Matters is just plain stupid. Every media organization uses research from independent sources to augment their reporting. Often they latch onto providers with viewpoints that are aligned to their own. And, of course, Fox News is one of those media enterprises that does this. In fact, Fox’s Brit Hume gave a slobbering endorsement to one of the most blatantly partisan research outfits, the Media Research Center. Hume praised them saying…

“I want to say a word, however, of thanks to Brent and the team at the Media Research Center [...] for the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report, I don’t know what we would’ve done without them. It was a daily buffet of material to work from, and we certainly made tremendous use of it.”

So according to Gutfeld, Hume is a “lazy hack sitting with his laptop, covered in Cheetos.” And if that weren’t bad enough. Gutfeld must have entirely missed the scandal when Fox News was caught red-handed reporting verbatim from a Republican Senate press release as if it were their own reporting, complete with a typo that appeared on the original. And then there was the time that Fox’s Megyn Kelly did the same thing with a press release issued by the Republican National Committee, pretending it was authored by the Fox news staff.

Clearly Gutfeld doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s too focused on being the comic relief for the network, but instead comes off like the boneheaded sitcom neighbor who mistakenly thinks he is either funny or suave. In the end he is little more than a troll working for a network that has once again been proven to be an unrepentant purveyor of lies. And their practice of airing Democrat-free Senate hearing just insures that their audience of misinformed dimwits will remain ignorant.

And speaking of Fox News lies…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

Benghazi A Mini Iran/Contra? Fox News Should Ask Their Own In-House Felon

Earlier this week Fox News helped to promote a shoddily constructed story by a discredited reporter about an alleged effort by the State Department to dispose of documents that might be harmful to then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The story, that they laughably called a “bombshell,” did not provide a single bit of evidence and relied entirely on allegations by a former State Department official who had been reprimanded for being “grossly inadequate” and who clearly had an ax to grind.

Fox News Oliver North

Today Fox News upped the ante by adding new scenarios with even less connection to reality. On Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade introduced a segment with retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer saying that…

“Anything that could have got them into trouble, Colonel, was grinded up, was shredded, and the review board never got all the documents.”

Of course, none of that was ever verified, and the allegations were merely speculation by someone who the reporter admits never witnessed any such thing. So in order to take the focus off of how thin this whole fictional account is, Kilmeade allowed his guest to offer up a complete fantasy that neither of them bothered to support with any facts.

Shaffer: Some of these documents we’re talking about were probably the direct link to some of the bad incidents, to include the holy grail here that nobody wants to talk about, is the obtaining of weapons from the Libyan rebels, moving them out of the country, to the Turks, through Turkey to the Syrian rebels. Some of those rebels ended up being the ISIS threat we’re now facing.

Kilmeade: So you mean this is almost like a mini Iran/Contra thing?

Shaffer responded “Absolutely,” to this question, apparently ignorant of what the Iran/Contra scandal was all about. Shaffer’s invention of a plot to transfer weapons that were lawfully provided to Qaddafi foes in Libya, to dubious characters in Syria, is nothing like Iran/Contra, and there is no evidence that it even happened. In the Reagan era scandal weapons were illegally sold to Iran while the nation was under an international arms embargo. The proceeds were then used to illegally fund the Nicaraguan Contras, which was explicitly prohibited by federal law.

The funny thing about this is that Fox News could have gotten all of this straight if they had instead interviewed their own employee, Oliver North. It was North who ran the Iran/Contra affair and was convicted by a jury for his felonious behavior. However, he is now a Fox News anchor and military commentator for the network. You have to wonder whether it was his violations of federal and international arms trading laws, or his perjury conviction for lying under oath to Congress, that made him such an attractive candidate for employment at Fox.

Actually, it may be overly optimistic to suggest that North would have straightened anybody out, since he has been lying about the scandal for more than two decades. But it’s interesting that Fox is now using Iran/Contra as an example of grossly unlawful practices with their comparison to the fiction they are hyping about the Clinton State Department purging documents. If this “holy grail” that they are now trying to smear Clinton with is so bad that they are calling it a “mini Iran/Contra,” then how can they ethically employ the leader of the actual, full-sized Iran/Contra?

Of course, the answer to that question is that Fox News has never considered it within their charter to act ethically. That makes their job of lying and distorting the news a lot easier.

Fox News Is Worried That American Children Are “Learning Too Much”

In troubled times, with Americans getting beheaded by terrorists, women being abused, teenage African-Americans being gunned down by police, working people struggling to lift themselves out of poverty, and all the while wealthy individuals and corporations assume ever more dominance of our social and political institutions, Fox News has managed to cast a spotlight on little-known but disturbing facet of life in these United States:

Fox News Tucker Carlson

For more shameless stupidity from Fox News…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

That’s right, American children are suffering under the burden of becoming too smart. On Sunday’s episode of Fox & Friends, co-host Tucker Carlson presented a segment (video below) wherein he suggested that an alleged reduction in homework assignments was actually a well-coordinated conspiracy by teachers unions to achieve their long-held goal of reducing work for their lazy members. And everyone knows that teachers are among society’s most notorious slackers who yearn only for longer lunches and wasteful leisure. The industrious Carlson began his hyper-rant by saying that…

“A growing number of schools are opting out of giving kids homework. They say that students should use the time to be with family and friends. But is this really about the kids, or could it be a move by teachers unions to get teachers to do less work for, of course, the same pay?”

This is a remarkable turnaround for the Fox set who ordinarily praise initiatives that bring families closer together. It is such an obsession with them that they fiercely advocate homeschooling which, of course, means nothing but homework for the kids, and much less work for teachers. And pay no attention to the fact that Carlson offers no shred of evidence that unions played any role in this alleged trend.

Carlson interviewed Whitney Neal of the Bill of Rights Institute, which was founded by Charles Koch. Undisclosed by Fox News is that Whitney Neal is also the Director of Grassroots at FreedomWorks, another Koch brothers operation. The Kochs are heavily invested in twisting the nation’s academic institutions to conform to their personal, political, social, and business interests. Neal agreed with Carlson’s unsupported insinuations, but went further to say that she believes the whole thing is “more of a ploy to keep parents out of the classroom [...] because if kids aren’t bringing home homework, the parents don’t know what’s going on.”

So by providing kids with more time to be with their parents, teachers are somehow inhibiting the interaction between kids and parents. How insidious. What’s more, Neal believes that homework is the only way that parents can have any idea of what is going on with their children in school. They certainly couldn’t go to the school, or ask the kids, or the teachers, or the administrators, or otherwise involve themselves in their child’s education. Neal’s argument is that kids should be getting more homework, not for the benefit of the student, but so that parents can see what kind of homework they get.

If you think that was stupid, just wait until you hear Carlson’s next question:

“Also, do you think the problem with American schools is just that kids are working too hard; they’re just doing too much work; they’re just learning too much? Is that a major problem?”

Well, it is if you’re Fox News. The last thing they need right now is an educated populace. That would decimate their viewer demographic (if you know a Fox News viewer, please tell them what “decimate” means). Not to mention how it would shrink the ranks of the Tea Party and the Republican establishment that feeds off of its innate ignorance.

For the record, teachers are among the hardest working, least appreciated professionals in the country. They are often belittled as nothing more than babysitters and criticized for having a truncated work schedule. See this lovely infographic for the truth. And watch this video from Fox & Friends to observe some real failures in the education system who nevertheless achieved success in television punditry (for which there are no academic requirements and requires no certification).

Wars-R-Us: How The Media Promotes War Profiteers

The manic preoccupation of the right-wing media for war is a persistent component of coverage of the Middle East and the rise of ISIL. There is so much sophomoric and useless debate over whether President Obama uses the word “war” or not, that the television punditry seem to have abandoned reporting on what’s actually taking place. New Corpse covered this retreat to surface-level theatrics and partisan politics last week, but an article by Lee Fang in The Nation brings to light another critical element that is dangerously absent from the media presentation.

Wars-R-Us

Fang’s “Who’s Paying the Pro-War Pundits?” reports that the proliferation of former Pentagon and other government officials who comprise much of the commentator class on TV are not disinterested analysts expressing their opinions and showing off their patriotism. In fact, many are self-serving lobbyists and corporate insiders whose war fever will have a direct and positive effect on their bank accounts. For example, Fang cites the frequent appearances of former General Jack Keane, whose advice is invariably supportive of escalating the military conflict. Among Keane’s business interests is the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a think tank he runs with Fox News contributors Liz Cheney and William Kristol. Fang writes…

“Left unsaid during his media appearances (and left unmentioned on his congressional witness disclosure form) are Keane’s other gigs: as special adviser to Academi, the contractor formerly known as Blackwater; as a board member to tank and aircraft manufacturer General Dynamics; a ‘venture partner’ to SCP Partners, an investment firm that partners with defense contractors, including XVionics, an ‘operations management decision support system’ company used in Air Force drone training; and as president of his own consulting firm, GSI LLC.

“To portray Keane as simply a think tank leader and a former military official, as the media have done, obscures a fairly lucrative career in the contracting world. For the General Dynamics role alone, Keane has been paid a six-figure salary in cash and stock options since he joined the firm in 2004; last year, General Dynamics paid him $258,006.”

The Nation’s article contains several more disturbing examples of this conflict of interest in armed conflict. The presence of so many people with a profit motive advocating a full-scale, boots-on-the-ground war, is cause for concern. The American people need to be informed when news networks serve up lobbyists and corporate executives from the defense industry, but fail to disclose their affiliations. The question we must ask ourselves is: Are we being seduced into another quagmire in order to line the pockets of the military-industrial-media complex?

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This is not a war, should not be called a war, and should definitely not become a war. Despite the panicky blatherings of media Chicken Littles, ISIL is not the biggest, most fearsome enemy we’ve ever faced. Al Qaeda had both more fighters and more money. The army of Saddam Hussein was bigger, richer, better armed, and better trained. And much of their wealth, armory, and training came straight from the United States. Remember this when you hear the partisans and profiteers in the media declaring that the fate of the planet rests on defeating this puny brigade of impotent crackpots.

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

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

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

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

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Fox News Sarah Palin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Republicans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whatever it is, I’m against it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

foxnews-tantaros-punch

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wingnuts On Immigration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fright-Wing News: Fox News Reports, As Fact, The Missing Libyan Planes Hoax

Given the acute paranoid tendencies of the Fox News management, they spend an inordinate amount of time either inventing or disseminating hoaxes aimed at frightening their dimwitted and gullible viewers. It’s why they promoted so many horror stories about the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) that never had a smidgen of truth to them. It’s why they squeal incessantly about the threat of immigrant children amassing to conquer America. It’s why they are convinced that our Manchurian president from Kenya is conspiring to confiscate their guns and declare himself emperor of the United Global Caliphate. Fear is their drug of choice.

Consequently, it should surprise no one that Fox News broadcast a story that is nothing more than a hoax perpetrated by wingnut bloggers and a coalition of disreputable pseudo-news sources. On Friday, Fox anchor Jon Scott introduced the segment saying…

“A potentially terrifying scenario is playing out as we approach September 11. Nearly a dozen airplanes are missing – flat out missing – from an airport in Tripoli, raising new fears of the possibility of another terror attack from the air.”

Fox News Missing Planes

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OMG! That is truly terrifying. I can almost hear the roar of a dozen jet engines filling the sky with thunderous evil as they aim for defenseless skyscrapers packed with unsuspecting victims. Why doesn’t Obama raise the threat level to “Unrestrained Panic” and evacuate America’s cities?

Perhaps because the story is not true. Snopes researched the allegations and found that they originated from highly suspect blogs and emails in North Africa. And then…

“…translations of the blog posts began to be picked up by news outlets in Western Europe and passed on as fact rather than gossip; by early September those tales from translations of blogs had spread to the United States under the guise of real news.”

However…

“…there have been no statements from the State Department, the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, or any other authority warning of stolen airliners.” [...and that...] “…several of the planes claimed in rumors as ‘missing’ or ‘stolen’ have actually been accounted for, having been either caught outside of Tripoli at the time the airport fell to opposition forces or relocated by their operators (Air Contractors pf Dublin) to an airport in Malta for safekeeping. Some of the other airliners were likely destroyed in the fighting or damaged beyond the possibility of operation.”

Fox News relied on the reporting of the Washington Free Beacon, an ultra-rightist conspiracy theory disseminator that is affiliated with Republican operatives and the Koch brothers. The Beacon’s Bill Gertz was interviewed by Fox and related a story that consisted of nothing but speculation and unnamed sources. In his article for the website he wrote that…

“Intelligence reports of the stolen jetliners were distributed within the U.S. government over the past two weeks and included a warning that one or more of the aircraft could be used in an attack later this month on the date marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, said U.S. officials familiar with the reports.”

Of course, there are no documents that confirm the alleged reports and no officials were on record corroborating Gertz’s claims. In fact, when Gertz sought a comment from the State Department they explicitly told him that “We can’t confirm that.” But that didn’t stop Gertz, and subsequently Fox News, from reporting the fake news as fact.

Since the debunking of this phony story, Fox news has not bothered to update their reporting with a correction or any acknowledgement of the dubious allegations and sources. That is in keeping with their practice of deliberately misinforming their audience and spreading lies that are intended to create fear and an artificial sense of impending doom. It is the Apocalyptic mindset of pseudo-journalistic propagandists seeking to advance an extremist political agenda through intimidation and inciting panic. It is, in fact, the definition of terrorism.

Terrorism (ter-uh-riz-uh m): noun – The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. [See Fox News]

[Update:] Fox News has still not retracted this phony story, nor issued any correction that notes the dubious sources. However, I did find an earlier segment of this on Fox & Friends (surprise) that aired September 3, two days before this segment.

OOPS: Bill O’Reilly Advises People Not To Believe His Partisan Distortions

Jon Stewart has been doing exceptional work ridiculing the systemic racism that was demonstrated so tragically by the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Last week, for instance, Stewart laid into Bill O’Reilly (video below) for returning to his program early from a vacation because he was “furious” – not about the the needless loss of life – but about how it was being reported. O’Reilly took offense at this and scolded Stewart for “distorting” his words. He then attempted to defend himself by playing a clip from his program showing him expressing some sympathy for Brown:

O’Reilly: “What happened to Michael Brown shouldn’t happen to any American. [...] Eighteen year olds make mistakes … If Michael Brown did something wrong, it doesn’t mean that you end up dead in the street.”

OK, fine. But while O’Reilly managed to utter some rather tepid sympathy for Brown, that was not the reason he cut his vacation short and rushed back to the studio. He didn’t hurry back because he was furious that an unarmed black teenager, who witnesses say had his hands up and posed no threat, was killed by an over-zealous, white police officer. His fury didn’t compel him to get back on the air because of the militarized Police department response to mostly peaceful protesters, and even members of the press. Nope, he was “furious about how the shooting of Michael Brown, 18, is being reported and how some are reacting to it.”

So Stewart’s criticism of O’Reilly for being outraged about the reporting, but not the shooting, was entirely on target. The whole point of that portion of Stewart’s program was that O’Reilly’s fury only surfaced after he saw the how the media was covering the story. The story itself wasn’t sufficient to abort his holiday. O’Reilly’s defense never even addressed the reason that Stewart had mocked him in the first place, which makes O’Reilly’s smug satisfaction that, in his mind, he had demolished Stewart’s mockery seem pretty pathetic.

Well, O’Reilly’s fury at Stewart had the ancillary effect of clouding his mind to the point where he actually said something that was true, albeit inadvertently. His Tip of the Day was…

O’Reilly: When you hear something on a partisan program, do NOT believe it … Distortions are how some people make a living.”

Bill O'Reilly

Thanks, Billo. That’s excellent advice. Now we all know how we should regard the grade A crapola you dish out every day, not to mention the steaming heap that the rest of the Fox News crew shovels 24/7.

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Convert Or Die: Tea-Publicans Embrace The ISIS Doctrine

The American conservative movement has been crystal clear about their devotion to religious intolerance, racial bigotry, and political obstinance. They have honed an ideology of hatred and obstructionism that is unprecedented in our nation’s history. And in the wake of an escalation of brutality by our terrorist enemies, the right-wing only affirms their hard-line views and, even worse, adopts the rhetoric of our foes.

Convert or Die

The latest whack job to jump on the hayride is Duck Dynasty’s patriarch, Phil Robertson. Sean Hannity brought the Duck Dick onto his program to contribute his expertise in national security matters. However, the segment devolved into a sermon with Robertson spending most of his airtime reading from the bible. In one of the few off-the-cuff analyses of current affairs, Robertson offered this bit of wisdom about how to deal with ISIS:

“I’m just saying either convert them or kill them. One or the other.”

Well then, that certainly justified giving him twenty minutes to pontificate on a cable news program. Although it does coincide with previous Fox News pundits like Ann Coulter who said about Muslims generally:

“We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.”

If this rhetoric sounds familiar it’s because we’ve heard from none other than ISIS operatives themselves. As Fox’s Megyn Kelly noted, they invaded towns in Iraq telling the residents that they had to “convert, die, or leave.” So Coulter, Rpbertson, et al, are now cribbing their speeches from the terrorist set. If you’re going to engage in plagiarism, it might be better to follow the Herman Cain model and stick to ripping off Pokemon movie theme lyrics.

Not one to be shut out of the circus, Dr. Ben Carson raised the issue of the “convert-or-die” doctrine in an op-ed for the uber-rightist National Review. But he took a somewhat unique approach in that he wasn’t explicitly advocating it. No, the doctor was citing it to demonstrate the similarities between other Americans and marauding armies of terror.

“Their convert-or-die doctrine parallels some of the social philosophies enforced by the political-correctness police in this country. Either you accept their interpretation of what is moral and correct, or the name-calling starts. We despise the Islamic State but do not see the same ugliness in our own tactics.”

See there? The PC police in America are just like extremists who behead people. And decapitation is no worse than name-calling. How could we not see these same ugly characteristics of our own tactics without Carson’s visionary guidance? No wonder he is such a darling of the Tea-jadist community. And don’t forget, he’s the same guy who said that “ObamaCare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” and that “America is very much like Nazi Germany.”

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So what we have to learn from these folks is that America is already in the same moral cesspool as our terrorist enemies, or that we ought to be. And it is this philosophy that has enraptured so much of the Republican base. If that doesn’t motivate you to vote this November, well, then the terrorists have already won. So there.