About The GOP’s #47Traitors Letter To Iran…It Was All A Joke

While much of the media is obsessing over emails sent by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while she was serving the country, another letter has stirred up some controversy over whether Republicans in Congress have engaged in treason.

Clinton Email / Iran GOP Letter

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Freshman senator and Tea Party crush Tom Cotton of Arkansas managed to get forty-seven of his senate colleagues and a couple of GOP presidential hopefuls to sign a letter warning Iran not to take President Obama seriously with regard to negotiations on Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The letter took a decidedly condescending tone that presumed its recipients were unfamiliar with international diplomacy. Cotton offered to school them saying that…

“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. […] We will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”

Unfortunately for Cotton and his co-signers, Iran’s foreign minister was better prepared on these subjects than they were. Their misguided attempt to wedge their way into the negotiations was inappropriate, foolish, and possibly illegal. And worse, it probably had the opposite effect of what they were aiming for. Rather than undercutting Obama’s credibility, the letter served to more broadly discredit Congress and the nation. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif scolded Cotton & Co. saying “In truth, it told us that we cannot trust the United States.” He went on to say that the letter’s signatories…

“…not only do not understand international law, but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct of foreign policy. […] I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law. The authors may not fully understand that in international law, governments represent the entirety of their respective states, are responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs, are required to fulfill the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations.”

Zarif also pointed out that any attempt by a future Congress or President to renege on an agreement of this sort would be a violation of international law. However, compliance with the law may not be uppermost in the minds of this letter’s authors. By writing and sending the letter they may have violated a domestic law known as the Logan Act that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.

Subsequent to the letter’s publication, the Republicans associated with it have been pilloried for their both their ignorance of international diplomacy and their Constitutional role in negotiating inter-state agreements. Some in the GOP are already distancing themselves from the embarrassing letter, including Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But the most peculiar response came from some unnamed GOP aides who are now trying to characterize the whole affair as a joke. Daily Beast reports that…

“Republican aides were taken aback by the response to what what they thought was a lighthearted attempt to signal to Iran and the public that Congress should have a role in the ongoing nuclear discussions. Two GOP aides separately described their letter as a ‘cheeky’ reminder of the congressional branch’s prerogatives.

‘The administration has no sense of humor when it comes to how weakly they have been handling these negotiations,’ said a top GOP Senate aide.”

Lighthearted? Cheeky? Someone is going to have to explain the punch line in this to me because writing to Iran’s leaders to inform that they cannot trust the President of the United States hardly seems like comedy or even playful banter. What’s more, the suggestion that the President has no sense of humor is puzzling. Do they think that the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is something that Obama should be joking about? Is their assertion that he is handling these negotiations weakly a laughing matter?

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The truth is that if Obama were to have injected humor into this situation in even the smallest way, the GOP would be renewing their calls for impeachment. [Actually, Laura Ingraham has already done so on Fox News Tuesday night with Greta Van Sustern] This shift to portraying the letter as a joke is just a lame attempt to get out from under the bad publicity it has created for the imbeciles who signed it. But it also reveals that Republicans are not averse to endangering sensitive negotiations, and the security of the nation and the world, in order to satisfy their psychotic hatred of our President. And that is what they regard as patriotism.

Fox News Surrenders: Domestic Recovery Forces Narrative Shift To Foreign Policy For 2016 Election

The Republican News Network (aka Fox News) is taking a hard turn away from domestic issues in advance of the 2016 election cycle. For the past several years Fox and the rest of the Right-Wing Media Circus has focused heavily on matters that hit close to home like the economy, unemployment, immigration, marriage equality, education, and relentlessly, healthcare – or more accurately, opposition to it.

Unfortunately for the GOP, every one of those issues has been trending favorably for the Obama administration and the Democratic Party. The economy has grown by historic rates. The stock market has hit record highs. The deficit has declined by two-thirds. Unemployment dropped from 10.1 to 5.7 percent and wages are beginning to rise. The majority of the public support the President’s positions on immigration. Marriage equality is being affirmed by courts across the country. Both academic and financial education reforms proposed by Obama are hugely popular. And ObamaCare reached new plateaus of success signing up more than 11 million new people this year.

Fox News

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Also influencing the right is a Gallup poll released this week showing that terrorism has jumped in importance to the electorate. Fox News immediately began promoting this poll as evidence that Americans are convulsed with worry about being blown up in a cafe on Main Street. What they don’t mention is that terrorism in the poll shot up to a mere 8% and is still in fifth place behind four domestic issues. Also not mentioned is that another Gallup poll released the same day shows the President’s standing is on the rise. The poll shows him making significant gains with independents and even Republicans. And those gains are seen both personally and for his stance on issues.

So what is an obsessively hostile cable TV “news” network with a mission to promote conservative policies and Republican candidates to do? Of course, they have to pivot to foreign policy in a desperate bid to find a narrative that will advance their political goals. That is what’s happening now as this exchange from Fox News yesterday demonstrates:

Charles Krauthammer: This is going to be be one of those rare presidential runs in which foreign affairs is one of the dominant issues […] That is a very ripe field for the Republicans.
Ron Fournier: Charles is right. This is going to be a foreign policy election. I think that’s going to be really tough for Hillary given her last job.

Huh? Fournier didn’t elaborate on why Hillary Clinton’s last job as Secretary of State would make things harder for her if foreign policy were to take precedence. Running the State Department for four years would ordinarily be seen as a prime resume enhancement in an environment that prized international experience. Presumably the right is hankering for an opportunity to beat the Benghazi drum some more, but since they have failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing after three years and dozens of investigations (including findings that exonerate Clinton and Obama by the GOP led House Intelligence Committee), it seems rather far-fetched that they can make an issue of it now. And when the election heats up Clinton will have a strong record of achievement about which to brag.

More to the point, the effort by Fox to divert attention away from the positive domestic news is bound to fail for three reasons. First, whatever plausible case they have to make against Obama and/or Clinton on foreign policy, they aren’t making it. Instead, they are wasting breath on such ludicrous trivialities as whether or not the word “Islamic” is appended to every mention of terrorism. Their mantra on this is that you have to “call it what it is” in order to win. They seem to believe that just changing the rhetoric all by itself would cause the bad guys to throw in the towel. That, of course, is absurd. The truth is that tarring all Muslims with an association to terrorism would only alienate the Islamic allies we need to prevail. The only parties who insist on this language are GOP/Fox News conservatives and the terrorists themselves. So why is Fox taking their side? That’s a question that Fox News will answer by shouting as loudly as possible, “Benghazi!”

The second reason that latching unto a foreign affairs campaign theme would fail is that, in addition to not making a negative case against Clinton, Republicans are also not making an affirmative case for themselves. Their fierce condemnations of Obama as being weak and incompetent (besides being somewhat unpatriotic by their own definition) imply that their alternative would be to recklessly leap back into a war footing around the world with fronts ranging from Iraq to Iran to Syria to Afghanistan to Ukraine, and even to Russia and North Korea. That would be a hard sell to the American people. What’s more, Republicans are already leaning on the same people that so profoundly wrecked the nation’s international relations as the would-be architects of the next GOP administration’s foreign policy.

Finally, after failing to make a foreign policy case against Clinton or for themselves, Fox and the GOP are forgetting the universal truth about presidential campaigns. As immortalized by James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid.” No matter how much the right wants to avoid the domestic progress the nation has made in the years since George W. Bush and his cronies cratered the economy, that will always be the primary driver in voting for a national leader. And on that subject Republicans have nothing but failure to point to, while Democrats under Obama have an increasingly prosperous country and an agenda advocating on behalf of the middle-class. In addition, Clinton happens to be married to the last president to balance the budget while producing strong economic growth and job creation.

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It’s no wonder that Republicans don’t want to run on domestic issues. And as their PR division, Fox News is valiantly striving to help them to change the subject. But no matter how hard they pray their wishes will not be realized. 2016 will be decided by an economic debate, just like every other presidential election. That fact, however, won’t deter the right from trying to elevate foreign policy because it’s all they have. And in a presidential election year, when turnout is higher, demographics favor Democrats, and the GOP has more at-risk seats than their foes, the outlook for Republicans is filled with the gloom that they have been trying to project on Democrats ever since the black guy moved into the White House.

Shill Baby Shill: Sarah Palin’s Subscription Website Is Just Another Scam

In recent days there has been a flurry of activity (mostly concentrated within the Republican National Committee and Fox News) asking in faux-worried tones where Hillary Clinton is hiding. Of course, Clinton is neither a public official nor a candidate for office, so her whereabouts are strictly her own business. Nevertheless, the “Hillary Hiding” campaign was created by the RNC and Fox picked it up verbatim to enhance their already festering anti-Clinton programming. And as usual, they have a severely myopic view of the world and are oblivious to the missing persons among their own ranks.

In case you missed it, Sarah Palin has an Internet “channel” where subscribers can pay $9.95 a month to get her stream of unconsciousness meanderings on the issues of the day. The website, which launched just six months ago, tantalizes prospective fans with the promise that you can…

Connect with me every day here in my home in Alaska and on the road in our great country! Ask me anything. Every week I answer your questions. Plus, be the first to see my ideas for America and my take on the big issues of our time.”

Where's Sarah Palin?

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The only problem is that she has not updated the site with any new content for the past ten days. Subscribers might be wondering just what they are paying for right about now. Her last post was on February 5 and addressed the “big issue of our time” of how the ultra-affluent attendees of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland arrived in private jets. Oh my. For some reason Palin is disparaging the one-percenters (aka business leaders, aka job creators) for enjoying the lifestyle that God intended for them to have by virtue of their ability to create wealth.

Ever since that post her site has been silent. However, we ought not to jump to conclusions because in early January there was a similar ten day absence of Palin’s unique vision of America’s condition. So in the first two months of 2015 Palin has already shorted her subscribers at least 33% each month. Will they get a refund? Or did the Quitta From Wassila just quit again while her fans continue to get charges automatically applied to their credit cards?

Perhaps Palin was just too busy to post because of her other responsibilities making an ass of herself at campaign stops in Iowa, where even conservative allies were shocked by her embarrassing performance. Or maybe the obligation to record more lame video selfies for an audience that had already shelled over their moola was less of a priority than her paid pandering to Big Oil at a conference in Houston, Texas. Palin promoted her appearance at the North American Prospect Expo on her Facebook page saying that…

“There’s reason for great hope that American-made oil and gas supplies can energize our nation, making reliance on foreign energy sold to us by unfriendliness a thing of the past. Bottom line: drill, baby, drill works.”

“Sold to us by unfriendliness?” That’s the sort of brilliance for which organizations fork over thousands of dollars a pop for Palin’s word-salad soliloquies. Her speech focused on bragging that her bumper-sticker theory of economics, “drill baby drill,” was responsible for lowering the price of gas. Of course she ignored all of the real reasons that include declining demand, increased adoption of fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative energy, and the world oil markets that are dominated by OPEC.

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What this proves is that Palin is still the grifter that she has always been. Her primary motivation is to promote and enrich herself at the expense of all the little people (or giant corporations) who are too dumb to recognize a scam when it is bleeding them dry. While Glenn Beck is a notoriously paranoid conspiracy theorist and wannabe evangelist, at least he gives his suckers new material to chew on every day via his radio program and Internet sites. Palin simply takes their cash and jets off to a highly paid speaking engagement with contact riders that demand first-class travel and lodgings. But I’m sure her fans and benefactors are getting their money’s worth, so long as their expectations are as low as her ability to deliver.

Whose Top Corporate Donors Are Among The Most Hated Companies In America?

The headline of a current Fox Nation article just begs to be mocked. Accompanying a photo of a cackling Hillary Clinton, the headline blares “Hillary Clinton’s Top Corporate Donors Are Among The Most Hated Companies In America.”

Fox Nation

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Oh really? So which companies is the article, sourced to the ultra-rightist Washington Free Beacon, referring? They are indeed a collection of mostly financial institutions that have deservedly earned the enmity of the American people. Companies like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Lehman Brothers. All of these enterprises played a role in plunging the nation into the Great Bush Recession of 2008.

Also on the list is 21st Century Fox. It’s kinda fun to see Fox pointing out that their own corporate parent is so hated by the American people.

However, when the substance of this story is examined, there are some serious flaws to the premise. First of all, the survey (pdf) that was cited in the article was conducted by Harris Interactive. It was never intended to identify “the most hated companies in America.” What Harris was studying were 100 of the most visible companies and ranking them by what Harris called their “Reputation Quotient (RQ).” Of course there are thousands of other companies in the country that may be hated much more but were not a part of the survey. The RQ is an amalgamation of several factors including the firm’s emotional appeal, social responsibility, workplace environment, and financial performance. Not all of the criteria reflect on merely the public like or dislike of the company.

What’s more, every company in the survey scored above 50, which suggests that none of them are hated with much passion. In prior years there were some, like Halliburton, BP, AIG, and Bank of America, that did fall below the 50 threshold. Nevertheless, no company wants to be on the low end of this list even if it isn’t that low.

The big problem with the story is that it singles out Hillary Clinton as the recipient of donations from these allegedly despised outfits. But in truth, just about every candidate for political office receives donations from these corporate ogres. And for the most part, Republicans are generally the beneficiaries in much higher amounts.

So what is the point of the article. Is it to criticize Clinton for taking money from the same dirty corporate entities that Republicans take money from? If so, there is a group of Americans who would wholeheartedly agree and share in the criticism. They are called Democrats. The passion that is driving the campaign to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren as a challenger to Clinton is fueled by this very criticism.

Furthermore, while many in the Democratic Party have been working for years to remove this sort of tainted funding from the political process, Republicans have fought tooth and nail to continue and even expand it. A bright, flaming red, festering example of this is the pledge made recently by the Koch brothers to raise and spend nearly a billion dollars in the 2016 election cycle to buy power for their political puppets. Meanwhile, there are two Super PACS founded by well known liberals aimed at eliminating Super PACS: MIT’s Lawrence Lessig’s Mayday.US and George Soros’ son Jonathan’s Friends of Democracy.

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So if Fox News and the Free Beacon and the GOP want to get on board with the bashing of greedy, power-hungry corporations (who are not people, no matter what Mitt Romney and the Supreme Court say), and prohibiting them from corrupting American elections, they are most welcome. Unfortunately, it is more likely that the these right-wingers are just taking wild swings at Clinton and only hope to slander her, rather than to make a principled statement about the influence of corporate money.

Jeb Bush Plans To Run For President As Drug Dealing Charges Emerge

The big news today that surprises no one is that Jeb Bush is seriously considering a run at the presidency in 2016. He says that he will launch an exploratory effort to test the waters, but that is a well known artifice that politicians commonly use to disguise or delay their true intentions. Bush has been hinting at running for some time and he is keenly aware that there will not be too many other opportunities. If he passes on 2016, and the next president serves two terms, Bush will be 70 before he could run again.

One of the reasons politicians seek to put off official announcements of candidacy is that they will begin take fire from all sides. Already the conservative wing of the GOP is lashing out against Bush. Another reason they delay announcing is that doing so brings on a whole new level of scrutiny. And Bush’s announcement has produced a perfect example of that risk. A report now circulating in conservative circles is questioning whether Bush was a drug user and dealer while attending prep school at Andover.

Jeb Bush

The allegations stem from an article written by John LeBoutillier, a former Republican congressman and currently a co-host of Fox News Channel’s Political Insiders. Under the title “The Jeb Bush Illegal Drug and Liquor Distributorship at Andover,” LeBoutillier wrote that…

“Jeb Bush and one other fellow student back then ran an illegal drug and liquor distributorship on the Andover campus. When the heat started coming down, Bush ratted out the partner to the school authorities and saved his own skin. Jeb got away with it, was never caught, never punished, graduated unscathed and went on to the University of Texas at Austin.”

If this account is true then Bush was not only engaged in unlawful activities, he was also an untrustworthy associate who will steamroll over others to avoid personal responsibility for his own conduct.

Some will say that these allegations are dredging up a distant past that holds no relevance to the present. After all, Bush went on to complete two terms as governor of Florida without any suspicion of substance consumption or commerce. But we must not forget the manner in which President Obama was harassed by wingnut critics who mined his past back to even his birth.

Conservative conspiracy theorists hatched plots that involved Obama’s parents fabricating a birth certificate to secure his U.S. citizenship. They accused him of being indoctrinated by early childhood influences from Muslim Madrassas to alleged communist subversives like Frank Marshall. They went into his college days at Columbia and Harvard to make tenuous connections between him and his lefty professors. They went totally bonkers over his attendance at the church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And, of course, they veritably salivated over reports of his youthful indulgence in marijuana.

If Obama’s drug use was considered an election issue by Republicans in 2008, then certainly Bush should be subjected to the same inquiries today. And as LeBoutillier noted in his article, even if the use of drugs were to be excused, Bush has been accused of trafficking, a far more serious offense. These kinds of tabloid assertions were a staple of the campaigns against Obama. But will the so-called liberal media apply the same standards to Bush?

Don’t count on it. The media is already demonstrating its hypocrisy by making a controversy out of Hillary Clinton’s wealth. They assert that due to her financial status she cannot relate to average Americans even though she was never wealthy until after leaving the White House. But they have yet to question Bush’s riches or their effect on his ability to relate, despite the fact that he was born to great wealth.

Similarly, the media is obsessed with the matter of dynasty. However, the Clinton’s hardly qualify as a dynasty since there is no multi-generational component to their public service. It is simply Bill and Hillary. But Bush is the brother and son of a president, and the grandson of a senator, and the father of an officeholder in Texas. That’s four generations of Bushes in politics. Which is more than the Kennedys. Nevertheless, the media treats the two families the same. Not even Jeb’s mother does that. She was famously quoted saying that “We’ve had enough Bushes,” when asked to comment on a prospective Jeb candidacy.

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Personally, I don’t put much stock in the charges against Bush. Even though the source is more reliable than the fruitcakes that were cooking up plots about Obama, there should be more evidence and corroboration before anyone makes decisions based on them. I am also not a fan of ancient history being exploited as a weapon against people whose current lifestyles do not exhibit any misbehavior. However, I do believe that the press should be, as they say, fair and balanced, and if they go after Democrats like Obama and Clinton, then they need to do the same to Bush and any other Republican candidate. That does not seem to be the case so far.

WTF? Fox News Links Bill Cosby’s Alleged Sexual Abuse To Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Prospects

Earlier this year Fox News fortified their rabidly right-wing roster of Republican PR flacks by hiring Roger Stone, a veteran GOP dirty trickster and notorious Clinton hater. Stone cut his teeth in the nastiest campaigns of Richard Nixon and in 2008 he founded a group to oppose Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign that he called “Citizens United Not Timid,” or C.U.N.T. He said that the group’s mission was “to educate the American public about what Hillary Clinton really is.”

Hillary Clinton WTF

Well, Fox is getting their money’s worth as Stone makes appearances on the “news” network spewing outrageous allegations and vile insinuations that set the bar for decency at new lows. Last week Stone visited the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes at Fox & Friends (video below) to hurl his trademark insults and innuendo. He was asked by Elizabeth Hasselbeck for some “insight with Hillary Clinton’s relationship with Wall Street.” Stone’s answer began predictably by asserting that it “causes her real problems.” Of course, if she had no relationship with Wall Street that would also be a problem. Fox is hard-wired so that anything that happens, or doesn’t happen, is a problem for Democrats. But then he swerved to inject an unrelated criticism from far-right field.

“Frankly, the much greater issue is the new public Bill Cosby scandal, which is gonna cause a reexamination of the problems of Bill Clinton and what Hillary knew about those actions and what she did to suppress them. So I think the Bill Cosby issue, as it were, could be a real problem for Bill Clinton and, therefore, for Hillary Clinton.”

Yes. That’s “the much greater issue.” A twenty year old incident of marital infidelity that is in no way analogous to Bill Cosby. Clinton’s affairs were consensual and, by all accounts, they stopped twenty years ago. You can be sure that if he were fooling around now some tabloid would have uncovered it. The notion that the Cosby controversy would spark a reexamination of Bill Clinton exists only in Stone’s perverted mind. Nobody cares about any of that, as evidenced by Clinton’s high approval ratings. If anything, it would be a reminder that the Clintons worked through their difficulties and preserved their marriage, affirming their family values.

The fact that Fox News employs a despicable character like Stone is proof that they have no interest in ethical journalism. But he is only the tip of the viceberg. Fox’s cast of characterless mudslingers include Karl Rove, who said that Clinton is too “old and stale” for America; Dinesh D’Souza, who said that the young Clinton looks like a hippy (and young Obama looks like a thug); Edward Klein who thinks that Chelsea Clinton was the spawn of Bill after raping his lesbian wife, Hillary. If there is anyone who still thinks that Fox News is either fair or balanced they had better seek professional help and massive quantities of medication as quickly as possible.

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So F**KING What: Hillary Clinton Is OLD And Fox News Wants You To Know It

Now that the midterms are out of the way, Fox News can concentrate on the 2016 presidential race, and that means relentless and asinine criticisms of prospective Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. In fact, the obsessive bashing has already begun with Fox pulling sentence fragments out of context and making fun of her laugh. And now they are raising an issue that is certain to register with their overwhelmingly elderly audience: Millennials Have No Idea Hillary Clinton Is Old.

Fox Nation Hillary Clinton

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That’s right, Fox News thinks it’s important to know that young Americans don’t know how old Clinton is. And the reason they find significance in this is…Oh, who the hell knows. Perhaps they think that young voters won’t support a 67 year old candidate. But if that’s true they would also have to dispense with many Republicans who are even older than Clinton, including the new Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell.

This is an insult to every senior citizen in the country. There is a distinct odor of ageism in it that compliments Fox’s racism, jingoism, homophobia, and other assorted flavors of bigotry. What other purpose could there be for making an issue of this rather bland factoid?

The article that Fox published on their lie-riddled Fox Nation website was sourced to the uber-rightist Daily Caller, which happens to be run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. in the piece it is reported that “a new Pew Research poll” found that only 27% of 18-29 year olds were able to correctly say Clinton is in her sixties. On the surface that would seem to be flattering to Clinton who appears younger than her years. But Fox wants to make sure it is seen as an insult.

However, digging a little deeper and you find that this isn’t a new poll at all. Pew published this data back in March as part of a larger survey that also showed the public as generally supportive of Clinton. She was viewed by majorities as being tough, honest, and a plurality thought that this old broad has new ideas.

This isn’t the first time that Fox has gone after Clinton based on her age. Earlier this year Fox contributor Karl Rove lashed out at Clinton saying…

“In American politics, there’s a sense you want to be new, you don’t want to be too familiar, you want to be something fresh, you don’t want to be something old and stale.”

Exactly, You don’t want something old and stale like Ronald Reagan who was older than Clinton when he took office. You don’t people like Fox News viewers whose average age is 69 years old. You don’t want people who have a past filled with experience. If you’re Fox News you just want people whose thinking is from the past. You want youngsters like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz who oppose civil rights and voting rights and women’s rights, and who advocate economic policies that favor the wealthy and were responsible for the worst recession in nearly a hundred years.

And finally, if you’re Fox News you have no problem insulting the largest demographic group that makes up your audience, not to mention the most reliable voting bloc among the citizenry. Nice work, Fox. Keep it up. You have just demonstrated that you hate senior citizens and you think Millennials are stupid.

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

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

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

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

Fox News Trickle Down

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Clinton-Hater Dick Morris May Have Just Guaranteed Hillary Clinton’s Election

There is almost no one in political punditry who has been more wrong, more often than Dick Morris. He was excommunicated from the Fox News family after he laughably predicted a landslide victory for Mitt Romney just a few days before his landslide loss. He later admitted that he was lying about his prediction in order to boost the Romney campaign. But perhaps the best example of his cluelessness was his book “Condi vs. Hillary,” in which he predicted that they would be the candidates in the 2008 election. But Morris got the Democratic nominee wrong; he got the Republican nominee wrong; and the Republican who Morris said could win if he were nominated (McCain) actually was nominated and lost. He couldn’t possibly have been more wrong.

How this cretinous loser ever gets asked to pontificate on anything is a mystery. It would be difficult to come up with an example of anything he ever got right. And now, as if to cement his reputation as a recidivist crackpot, Morris is claiming that “Hillary Clinton Orchestrated Panetta’s ‘Hit’ On Obama.” And the nutballs at Fox Nation giddily published it.

Fox Nation Dick Morris

Shameless self-promotion…
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Is he FRIGGIN’ kidding? This is such an absurd and unsubstantiated piece of nonsense that it elevates Morris to new heights of idiotdom. The notion that Panetta could be coerced into doing Clinton’s dirty work against President Obama, who made Panetta both Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA, is ludicrous on its face. Likewise, the notion that Clinton has some sort of vendetta against Obama for which she is recruiting surrogates to deploy makes no sense whatsoever.

If Clinton decides to run for president in 2016, she is going to want a reserve of goodwill for the Democratic Party and its leader for eight years, Barack Obama. She is going to want to run on the successes of the Obama administration, including restoring an economy that was in full collapse, signing the first-ever health care bill, reducing unemployment from 10% to less than six, and so much more. The last thing she would want is to run against a president of her own party who was made to look bad by her own Machiavellian tactics.

In short, the theory Morris is floating can only be seen as credible by a complete moron who knows nothing about politics. That explains why Morris likes the theory. But there is something even more ridiculous in this drooling gibberish that Morris can’t possibly have noticed.

By casting Clinton as the mastermind of a clandestine plot to sink Obama, Morris has affirmed her status as a powerful, resolute, and effective leader. He is asserting that she can push around a former CIA chief, even though she currently holds no reins of power. That is a fairly positive endorsement of her leadership skills.

What’s more, Morris contends that the purpose of Clinton’s plot is bring down a president who is despised by the right-wingers who are expected to oppose her candidacy. That, of course, would immediately make her more appealing to those who would otherwise be her natural enemies. If Morris were right, then all of the people who hate Obama would have a new-found appreciation for Clinton, thus boosting her electability.

Obviously, it is not Morris’ intention to help Clinton in any way. He is just too stupid to understand the ramifications of his own blithering drivel. But the rest of us can enjoy the comic relief he provides by embarrassing himself so publicly every time he opens his scummy mouth.

Benghazi “Bombshell” Dropped Just In Time For The New Committee’s Maiden Hearing

The theatrics that go into the Fox News production of right-wing scandal mongering rival the most ambitious Broadway presentations. There is drama and conflict and complex stage management that grabs the audience and drags them through a narrative that is lurid and mysterious.

Gowdy DoodyThat applies nowhere more fully than to their long-running Benghazi blockbuster. It is what they turn to whenever they need a quick jolt of fabricated controversy. And with the first public hearing of Trey Gowdy’s brand spanking-new “Committee to Politicize Benghazi” scheduled for this week, Fox News has aired a promotional extra to accompany the premiere. Anchor Eric Shawn introduced the segment and correspondent Doug McKelway saying…

“We have a Fox News Alert, a ‘bombshell’ as they say, in the Benghazi terror attacks investigation. Turns out a former State Department employee speaking out in a new report now claims that aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, they claim, took part in after-hours sessions to quote ‘separate’ damaging documents before those allegedly damaging documents were handed over to investigators.”

Golly willikers, this can’t be good news for Miss Hillary. Even though Fox has, in conjunction with Darrell Issa’s Committee on Overstepping, declared numerous other disclosures to be bombshells that turned out to be nothing but duds, this one is fer-sure a bona fide bombshell. That’s because it was discovered by Sharyl Attkisson, the disgraced former CBS reporter who was fired as a result of her shoddy and biased reporting including about Benghazi. Attkisson’s new story was published by The Daily Signal, an arm of the uber-rightist Heritage Foundation. It contains zero evidence of the alleged activities and relies on a single, and decidedly partial, source. No wonder she was fired by CBS, but found work at the Heritage rag. Attkisson writes that…

“As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to ‘separate’ damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board (ARB) investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.”

There were a couple of notable omissions by Fox News that even Attkisson’s blatantly biased article included. First of all, Alec Gerlach, a State Department spokesman, said that “The range of sources that the ARB’s investigation drew on would have made it impossible for anyone outside of the ARB to control its access to information.” In other words, no documents could have been separated out and withheld because they would have been available elsewhere. Secondly, Attkisson’s sole source, Raymond Maxwell, was not someone who could be plausibly described as neutral. He was a deputy assistant secretary who had responsibility for North Africa. The New York Times reported in December of 2012 that he was one of…

“…four State Department officials [who] were removed from their posts on Wednesday after an independent panel criticized the ‘grossly inadequate’ security at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that was attacked on Sept. 11, leading to the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.”

Maxwell was a disgruntled employee who had filed grievances with the State Department’s Human Resources Bureau and the American Foreign Service Association. Whether or not his allegations are true, he cannot be regarded as impartial due to his obvious personnel entanglement. However, the ARB’s investigation does contain a certain measure of credibility because it was headed by Thomas Pickering, a veteran diplomat who served in the Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations, and Admiral Michael Mullen (Ret), a Navy vet who was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by George W. Bush. These are not Clinton partisans hired to whitewash her record as Secretary of State.

The emergence of this phony bombshell on the eve of the Benghazi committee’s debut is an extraordinary coincidence. And its presentation on Fox News that left out critical details is likewise a convenient happenstance. If nothing else it allowed anchor Shawn to conclude with a smarmy “Some wonder if this could be a smoking gun of a potential cover-up.” So the bombshell is also a smoking gun, and it’s all part of a cover-up. At least to a mysterious “some” who are wondering. This masterpiece of fiction has blockbuster written all over it.