12 “Pants On Fire” Myths About ObamaCare

Yesterday the Tea Party Texan, Ted Cruz, wrapped up a 21 hour talk-athon during which he couldn’t articulate a single fact that might convince an open-minded person that ObamaCare is the nightmare that he alleges. Rather, he rambled aimlessly through Dr. Seuss recitations, White Castle burger recollections, and Nazi references.

The truth about the Affordable Care Act is something that Republicans are deathly afraid of – that it will be effective and popular – which is why they lie about it so often and so flagrantly.

What Cruz could not do in 21 hours, PolitiFact has summed up nicely in a few paragraphs. They posted an article that contains sixteen “myths” that have been promulgated by right-wing disinformers, complete with links to detailed explanations that expose the brazen dishonesty of the health care law’s opponents. Included are familiar lies like “the health care law rations care, like systems in Canada and Great Britain,” and that “Congress is exempt from Obamacare.” But it is notable that of the sixteen lies listed, twelve of them earned the worst award that PolitiFact gives, the “Pants On Fire” designation.

As a public service, I have created a handy infographic with the 12 worst lies about ObamaCare as documented by PolitiFact. Please share this with your Tea Party infected friends and family.

ObamaCare Myths

And please be Sure To “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

Let’s Get Ready To CRUMBLE: Glenn Beck Ducks WWE Challenge

Glenn Beck and professional wrestling. Who could have imagined a collision between these two disparate media phenomenons?

After all, one of them is perhaps the most notorious entertainment spectacle of the last fifty years and involves a highly choreographed production of television broadcasts that purport to be genuine, but are in fact as phony as Bigfoot’s Snake Oil Elixir. Nevertheless, it hooked a surprisingly large audience of gullible viewers starved for over-the-top melodrama and sweaty, wild-eyed brawls.

And the other one is professional wrestling.

Indeed, Glenn Beck’s Acute Paranoia Revue and Holy Huckster Sideshow seems like the perfect match up with pro wrestling. They are both so divinely cartoonish and dripping with cheap theatrics that it’s a wonder someone hadn’t thought of it sooner. But Sadly, it’s not to be.

Glenn Beck Wimped Out

After the WWE debuted a couple of characters modeled after Tea Party wackos, Beck bounded into the proverbial ring to slam the sham Teabaggers and the horse they rode in on. That horse, by the way, was the property of two-time Teapublican senate loser, and WWE’s owner, Linda McMahon. Clearly this is not an organization run by Obama functionaries or progressive rabble.

Dimwitted wrestler Jack Swagger and his hillbilly manager Zeb Colter were a pretty accurate representation of the rednecks who mindlessly spew patriotic jargon and blame all their failures on minorities. But Beck wasn’t having it. He declared that he was sick and tired of being miscast and wasn’t about to allow these twits to besmirch the image of his precious Tea Party. With classic WWE bravado Beck taunted his nemeses saying…

“I can take it from a lot of people. I really can. I can’t take it from the stupid wrestling people.”

You can almost imagine him center-ring, yelling that into a microphone hanging from the ceiling. This is the Beck who has called himself a rodeo clown and just last month said that he considers what he does to be “like circus performer art.” Having thrown down the gauntlet, the ball was now in the court of the wrestling duo. So Swagger and Colter struck back inviting Beck to appear on their show and defend the honor (such as it is) of “We the Teaple.” In a video challenge they said…

“You know, Glenn, many of your followers are WWE fans and they understand the difference between reality and entertainment. Are you so out of touch with your own audience, Glenn, or are you just a ‘stupid’ political commentator.”

They were obviously giving Beck’s fans more credit than they deserved with regard to their alleged understanding of reality. But they were also giving Beck a sterling opportunity to address the millions of WWE viewers (10 times more than any audience Beck ever had), and explain why Swagger’s character offended him. But rather than meet his opponents in the ring, Beck pulled the covers up over his head and tweeted that he is “currently booked doing anything else.”

It’s inevitable that big-mouths like Beck reveal themselves to be cowards. But this exceeds all boundaries of wimposity. Beck is trembling before fictional foes. It would be one thing if Beck was afraid to debate Rachel Maddow or Bill Maher, experienced communicators who have obvious intelligence and wit. But to shrink from facing off with a fake adversary on a scripted television farce demonstrates just how paper thin Beck’s veneer of bombast really is.

Fox News Ravaged By Free Market As Viewers Flee, Primetime Ratings Dive To Pre-9/11 Lows

Continuing a downward spiral that began last September during the Democratic National Convention, Fox News primetime ratings, in the key 25-54 year old demographic, have declined to numbers they haven’t seen since August of 2001. These are numbers that revert Fox back to the George Bush, pre-9/11 era when Fox was struggling for attention.

Cable News Ratings

9/11 was an integral part of the rise of Fox News. It was the catalyst that formed their America-first persona and thrust them into a role as cheerleaders rather than journalists.

These twelve year lows for their best known programs portend trouble for Fox as their audience tires of a schedule that hasn’t changed in more than a decade. Creaky old timers O’Reilly and Hannity have been in their time slots since the network launched in 1996. Worse yet for Fox, their slump is occurring at a time when MSNBC is soaring. For most of the time since last November’s election, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell have been beating Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity in the demo. In addition to those victories, most of MSNBC’s programs are the top performers among 18-34 year olds, which means that they have a significant advantage with the next generation of television news consumers. MSNBC is also number one with African-American viewers, a status they have enjoyed for 36 consecutive months.

The graying Fox News is a phenomenon that is occurring with both their programs and their audience. While many of Fox’s shows held steady in total audience, they plunged in the younger demos. This was true across the board with primetime and all other dayparts, including their three hour morning block, Fox & Friends. Conversely, MSNBC’s audience was up in both the demo and total audience. The ratings story for MSNBC is no longer merely one of faster growth and higher percentage gains. They are now beating their Fox competition head-on in primetime and challenging them respectably in daytime.

For the most part it appears that MSNBC’s gains are coming from new, younger viewers. They certainly are not luring dissatisfied Fox viewers over to their channel. However, Fox now has to worry about a rebuilding CNN. Their new president Jeff Zucker is shaking up the roster with announcements of hirings and firings both in front of and behind the camera. Considering that the previous management at CNN was so inept and oblivious to the news marketplace, it is hard to believe that Zucker won’t produce some improvement. And with Fox viewers abandoning the network that has been lying to them so brazenly, CNN may start to look like a plausible alternative.

Of course, as the ratings race heats up, Fox may decide to stop standing around watching their lead disappear. They will need to take bold steps to keep up with the competition. While O’Reilly is still pulling in decent numbers, Hannity is ratings loser and an embarrassment in terms of credibility. He has to be the first to go. Greta Van Susteren’s claim to fame was as an O.J. Simpson groupie who has never risen out of the tabloid mold in which she was formed. Now that her best pal and frequent guest (55 times), Sarah Palin, has been dumped by Fox, Van Susteren would be wise to update her resume. The most likely candidate to fill one of those vacancies would be Megyn Kelly, who has emerged as Fox’s most stridently biased anchor in the daytime.

There are those at Fox who know that a big part of the explanation for their decline is that the audience at large is no longer interested in the vitriolic smear jobs that Fox has specialized in for most of the past decade. They just watched President Obama get reelected, along with Democratic gains in both houses of Congress, despite their fierce determination to kneecap the Democrats and prop up the flailing GOP. They did the best they could to install a Republican regime with a coordinated campaign of propaganda and hate speech, but they failed miserably even in races they were expected to win. So they are aware that the public has rejected their best arguments and lies.

The trick will be to moderate their political biases in order to appeal to a broader audience without causing their loyalist legions to pull up stakes and camp out on Alex Jones’ web site plotting a restoration of the Confederacy from their bunkers. Spurned conservative extremists of the sort that form the foundation of the Fox audience are a vengeful lot. They primary long-serving GOP incumbents and replace them with crackpots who have no chance of winning. And that’s the sort of reaction they would have to any attempt by Fox to become less wingnutty. The Fox regulars would not only stop watching a more moderate Fox, they would turn against it with the force of a swarm of rabid squirrels deranged by disease and paranoia.

That leaves Fox in the impossible position of having to cater to their faithful fringe while reaching out to more rational viewers. It simply can’t be done and they would displease both. The only sensible course for Fox would be to accept a few seasons in the cellar as they regroup with a focus on responsible journalism. But that isn’t the style of the hardcore rightists in the Fox executive suites. Neither Rupert Murdoch nor Roger Ailes would be inclined to surrender the platform they built for wealthy elitists, captains of industry, Christian evangelists, and other power mad egomaniacs who are convinced that God has selected them to rule.

The good news is that their self-centered intransigence will insure that Fox continues to slide into obscurity and the people will have a better opportunity shape a more equitable society. Of course, the people would still have to overcome the rest of the media-corporate-government complex that has long been the biggest obstacle to a truly democratic nation. But it’s a start.

If [fill in the blank] Had Guns Hitler Would Have Married Gandhi On Matching Unicorns

The Reality-Challenged Case For Arming Everyone

The conservative congregation of gun worshipers is pulling out all the stops to prevent any dialogue on gun safety and common sense measures that might protect citizens from the sort of mass carnage that has shocked Americans recently in places like Newtown, Aurora, and Tuscon. With the help of right-wing media, notably Fox News, they are promulgating fear and hostility as a response to a political difference of opinion over how to make our communities safer.

Gun Nutz Problem Solver

They mantra from the right is that Obama is a tyrant who will abolish the Constitution and confiscate all guns. While there is not even an inkling of evidence that any of that is true, the terrifying specter of a dictatorial slave state is flushing through the veins of pseudo-patriots who pretend to revere America and the soldiers who defend it, but are adamant that they retain sufficient firepower to massacre them if necessary. That’s how they thank our heroes for their service.

In the rhetorical battle to preserve their alleged right to carry weapons of carnage into schools and bars and laundromats and baseball stadiums, the Gunnies are now declaring that every threatened or oppressed group of people would have been better off if they had been armed to the hilt and prepared to blow away their assailants. Reality is at variance with these apocryphal claims, but that doesn’t lessen their feverish insistence that a fire-with-fire response to every conflict will bring about a peaceful, secure society. Despite the obvious contradiction in that view, conservative mouthpieces are expressing remarkably similar themes that arrive at the same conclusion: If [fill in the blank] had guns the good guys would always win and violence would become a thing of the past (er, like the wild west?). It’s a Fox Nation style argument that dispenses with truth in favor of hyperbole and historical revisionism. For instance…

If Civil Rights Activists Had Guns…

Rush Limbaugh: “If a lot of African-Americans back in the ’60s had guns and the legal right to use them for self-defense, you think they would have needed [to march at] Selma?”

This astonishingly blockheaded statement ignores the fact that the civil rights activists protesting segregation and discrimination in Selma, Alabama were devoted to peaceful change. They were led by Martin Luther King who was inspired by the non-violent methods practiced by Gandhi. It was a successful strategy that resulted in profound changes in both government and people’s hearts. In effect Limbaugh is expressing solidarity with the Black Panthers and suggesting that armed protesters shooting at southern sheriffs would have brought about a better result. However, the presence of guns would only have put everyone in greater danger, sapped the moral advantage of the protesters and produced more corpses all around. And Limbaugh would have been the first to condemn them for their reliance on violence.

If Slaves Had Guns…

Gun advocate Larry Ward: “If African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history.”

Of course. If the slave traders had given each of their human “cargo” a musket along with their shackles they would have been able to kill off their prospective masters and enjoy life in the new world. I’m sure that Ward and the others propounding this theory would have been delighted to hear that armed slave rebellions had put folks like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson in their graves before they ever got around to declaring independence from the British. Furthermore, the unorganized, disoriented, involuntary African immigrants would have had no problem dispatching the southern slave states that a civil war with the rest of the nation struggled with for years at horrendous human cost.

If Jews Had Guns…

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Fox News: “If the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had had the firepower and ammunition that the Nazis did, some of Poland might have stayed free and more persons would have survived the Holocaust.”

Once again, the dimwits on the right think that civilians of an oppressed minority would have managed to overcome a military power that held at bay most of the free world. Apparently Napolitano believes that the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had some superpowers that, were they armed, would have made them a more ominous opponent than the Americans, the Russians, the English, and the French combined.

If Schools Had Guns…

Ann Coulter: “Only one policy has reduced these mass shootings and the number of casualties, and that is concealed carry permits. If you want to reduce the number of dead, and the number of times this is going to happen in an area, you sort of sense this, because they so often happen at public schools.”

Something that the Gunnies seem all to willing to excise from the debate is the fact that prior incidents of shootings at schools occurred despite there being armed guards present. That was the case at Columbine. It was also the case at Virginia Tech where they had a whole armed police squad on campus. Despite their best intentions, guards cannot be everywhere at once. And they also are often at a disadvantage when confronted by an assailant with a military style arsenal and bullet-proof gear who gets the jump on them.

If Teachers Had Guns…

Pat Robertson: “The truth is, if teachers had guns in classes, these shooters wouldn’t come in because they would be afraid of getting shot themselves.”

The truth is, that teachers are frequently the first victims of school shootings. The time it would take them to retrieve a weapon from a place that is safe enough for it to be stored in a classroom full of students would be plenty of time for an assailant with an AR-15 to riddle them with bullets. Robertson also forgets that most of these assaults are perpetrated by people who end up taking their own lives, so it is ridiculous to regard them as being afraid of getting shot themselves. And the presence of others with weapons certainly didn’t deter the shooter at the Ft. Hood Army base in Texas, where he certainly had reason to believe that there were other armed persons in the vicinity.

The speculative query as to whether there would have been a different outcome in any of these situations if [fill in the blank] had guns is just plain lunacy. It would be dubious under any circumstances to pretend to predict what might have occurred in these after-the-fact scenarios, but the specific examples chosen by these Gunnies demonstrate how blinded they are by their prejudices and violent, video game fantasies. The speculation could go on indefinitely. What if the women suffragettes had guns? What if the students at Kent State had guns?

What if Jesus and his disciples had guns? Pontius Pilate might have been riddled with armor-piercing bullets. There would have been no crucifixion. In fact, the soldiers and pharisees who arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane would have been slaughtered. It was there that Jesus admonished his disciple Peter, who took up his sword to defend him, saying “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.” That’s a lesson the sanctimonious gun evangelists still haven’t learned 2,000 years later.

A Very Merry Christmas For MSNBC – A Very Unhappy Holiday For Fox News

The Christmas Wars:
It has suddenly become clear why Fox News has been so fixated on inciting a “War on Christmas.” It must be because the Christmas season has been devastatingly cruel to Fox News. This year the Nielsen ratings left a smoldering lump of coal in Fox’s stocking despite all the pandering they did to Old St. Nick. Apparently Fox was very naughty. Santa doesn’t approve of lying and, perhaps, viewers are getting tired of it as well (see Fox News Fux Up: The 12 Worst Wrongs Of 2012).

MSNBC/Fox News Ratings

Maddow and O’Donnell Jingle Fox’s Bells:
For the month of December, two-thirds of the Fox News primetime lineup came in second to MSNBC (in the critical 25-54 year old demographic). The Rachel Maddow Show’s monthly average came in 4% above the formidable Fox fixture, Sean Hannity. Lawrence O’Donnell had an even better advantage of 11% over his weaker competition, Greta Van Susteren.

This was a stark difference from last year when Hannity comfortably led Maddow by 46% and Van Susteren outpaced O’Donnell by the same amount. Those leads have now completely evaporated. Only Bill O’Reilly has managed to keep his fat head above water, although his 69% December 2011 lead over Ed Schultz was cut nearly in half in 2012 to 40%.

December 2012 was an affirmation of the superior performance MSNBC has shown since the election in November. Maddow and O’Donnell have consistently defeated Hannity and Van Susteren since President Obama did the same thing to Mitt Romney. This can no longer be explained away by Fox defenders as mere depression on the part of conservative viewers who tuned out after an electoral spanking. That excuse may have made sense for a week or two, but not a full two months later with high profile news events like the “fiscal cliff,” new cabinet appointments, Benghazi hearings, the Petraeus scandal, and the Newtown school shooting dominating news coverage.

Happy New Year:
Fox may have to get used to coming in second, or maybe even third if CNN’s new president, Jeff Zucker, is able to get that network out of idle. And if MSNBC is smart they will start to firm up their schedule with new shows and dynamic personalities. For instance, they should quickly axe the Hardball rerun at 7:00pm, perhaps moving Schultz to that time slot. Then put in his place a leadin to Maddow that takes advantage of the smart brand of analysis and commentary that she and O’Donnell represent. That would tie up their primetime package and boost the network’s reputation generally, which would help draw viewers to other dayparts.

Unsolicited programming advice for MSNBC:
Poach comedian/pundit John Fugelsang from Current TV and pair him up with MSNBC contributor Joy-Ann Reid for a combo news and entertainment hybrid to launch the evening block. A news program that intelligently presents serious issues with a sense of humor could be a compelling option that would ease their audience into a deeper dialog as the night progresses.

[Update 1/4/13] MSNBC has reported their 2011/2012 year-over-year ratings and the numbers are starkly positive compared to their competition. They are up in most categories by double digits (for both total viewers and the 25-54 demo), while Fox News had only slight gains or declines. In fact, both O’Reilly and Hannity delivered their lowest demo performance since 2007. Both Maddow and Donnell were number one for the year in the 18-34 demo, giving them a head start on next generation of viewers.

Fox News Makes Shameful Attack On MSNBC’s Touré

In a Fox News op-ed, Dan Gainor, of the uber-conservative Media Research Center, hurled some disparaging and nearly incoherent insults at Touré, one of the hosts of MSNBC’s The Cycle.

Gainor took issue with a commentary Touré delivered (video below) about the GOP’s unfounded and politically-motivated attack on UN ambassador Susan Rice. Touré made some rather cogent points about the spectacle Rice’s critics, particularly Sen. John McCain, were making over a manufactured controversy. McCain and others seem feverishly obsessed with Amb. Rice’s comments on a number of Sunday news programs regarding Benghazi. Any fair observer would have to recognize that what Rice said was provided to her by intelligence authorities and was the best information available (or permitted to be disclosed) at the time. But fair observation is not the business that Gainor and the MRC are in.

Gainor’s tirade was topped with a headline that read “MSNBC Anchor Touré makes shameful attack on McCain.” What constitutes shamefulness to Gainor is hard to figure. His specific complaints were that Touré was playing the “race card” in his remarks. But Gainor’s examples were not the least bit focused on race. For instance, Gainor cited Touré saying that McCain…

“…gave us the horrible optics of he and Lindsey Graham as old, white, establishment folks wrongly and repeatedly attacking a much younger black woman moments after an election in which blacks and women went strongly blue.”

Gainor’s shallow grasp of the English language resulted in his interpreting that as a racial criticism of McCain. However, the rest of the English speaking world would notice that Touré was speaking about the “optics” of the criticism, not whether there was any actual racism involved. Touré was plainly addressing the potential harm for the Republican Party in being perceived as insensitive to racial and gender issues by repeatedly attacking minorities and women. That’s not an accusation of racism or sexism, it is an acknowledgement that the subjects of such attacks might be less likely to support those who make the attacks. That’s not only common sense, it is precisely what occurred on election day a couple of weeks ago. And to affirm how cognitively-challenged Gainor is, he added this as further evidence of Touré’s alleged race-baiting:

“Never one to ignore a chance to paint all Republicans as racist, he added one more dig: ‘Looks like the GOP is already laying the foundation for losing in 2016.'”

How is that one more “dig” that paints anyone as racist? If anything, it is one more affirmation that Touré was speaking only about political matters. Nevertheless, Gainor is determined to turn this into a “shameful” racial affair. With that purpose in mind Gainor reached back to a September column wherein Touré wrote “Part of my job when I speak about politics is to speak up for black people and say things black people need said.” If Gainor thinks that that is shameful, he needs an EKG EEG stat, because there is good reason to suspect that there is no brain activity going on his head. The reason that it is important to have diversity in the media is precisely because it provides perspectives that otherwise would not be represented. Our media is enhanced by the inclusion of minorities and women who say the things that these previously excluded members of society need said.

Notwithstanding the fact that Gainor’s tantrum over Touré’s commentary was ridiculous and he failed to identify anything remotely racial about it, Fox News is demonstrably racist and the evidence of that is in its coverage. While it may be too broad to say that Fox’s attacks on Amb. Rice alone constitute racism, take a look at some of the most prominent targets of Fox’s smear machine and ask yourself what they have in common:

Fox News Racism

That pretty much says it all. If Touré had wanted to make an issue of racism, he would have plenty of evidence.

[Reprise] The REAL Job Creators: Share This Infographic To Undo GOP Fallacy

With the presidential election behind us, the public discourse turns once again to more substantive matters, first of which is the fearful prospect of the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Setting aside the fact that the cliff itself is a figment of media imagination, it is nevertheless necessary for congress to address tax policy.

As the debate heats up in advance of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, conservatives are trotting out their tired rhetoric about the risk of allowing tax cuts for the rich to expire and the allegedly detrimental impact it would have on what they call job creators. However, they are deliberately distorting facts in order to benefit their wealthy patrons. Last year I published an analysis of the right-wing effort to confuse the issue along with an infographic that laid out the case for who the real job creators are. This seems like a good time to re-publish it and direct credit for creating jobs to those who actually deserve it.


Occupy Messaging: Who Are The Real Job Creators?

December 13, 2011

For too long now, right-wing propagandists like Frank Luntz have been manipulating language to distort the real issues that impact so many lives of American citizens. They engage in dishonest wordcraft that disguises their true meaning in order to shape public opinion and deceive voters. It’s time to counter that rhetorical offensive by restoring definitions that actually reflect reality.

One of the most recent and insidious examples of this practice is the conservative effort to replace references to “the rich” with the phrase “job creators.” It is of no interest to these hacks that no evidence exists to validate the claim. In fact, NPR’s congressional reporter, Tamara Keith, asked members of congress and representatives of conservative business groups to refer her to business people who could substantiate the assertion that tax cuts for the wealthy would induce them to increase hiring. They were unable to come up with a single name or example to affirm their half-baked theory. However, Keith found several examples of her own that utterly refuted it. This caused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to note that “Millionaire job creators are like unicorns. They are impossible to find and don’t exist.”

The agenda that Republicans have adopted has literally no popular constituency. Every poll taken on the subject reveals that majorities of Americans (including majorities of Republicans) favor increasing taxes on the rich. Even polls of the rich show that they believe that they are not presently sharing the sacrifice required to restore the nation’s economic health. An independent group of Patriotic Millionaires released a video beseeching Congress to raise their taxes.

So the next time you hear some GOP flunky whining about the plight of the rich whose only desire is to be unburdened from the shackles of what are the lowest taxes in decades, remember that they have not, and cannot, certify any claim that lower taxes will spur hiring. In fact, the evidence is all to the contrary. And whenever possible, we need to recapture the phrase “job creators” and use it in a manner that is more in line with reality. Here is a handy, shareable chart that illustrates who the real job creators are:

(click to view larger)
Job Creators


Some conservatives are beginning to admit that lavishing benefits on those who are already wealthy does nothing to stimulate the economy. Bill Kristol recently said that “It won’t kill the country if Republicans raise taxes a little bit on millionaires.” Ben Stein, with some apparent reluctance, told Gretchen Carlson that “With all due respect to Fox…” “We’re going to have to raise taxes on very, very rich people.”

This is the beginning of the wall crumbling down. The right knows that they cannot continue to be seen as only fighting for the welfare of the rich. They know that they have already lost this argument and that now it is only a matter of finding a way to concede without losing face (or Tea Party support).

Greetings From Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts Misery

Mitt Romney has been running a campaign focused almost entirely on negative attacks against President Obama. He relentlessly misrepresents Obama’s record and public statements in a frantic effort to diminish the President, while avoiding any discussion of his own questionable qualifications for office. And there is good reason for Romney to want to run from his record. His resume contains only two items to persuade the American people to vote for him:

The first item is his tenure as the CEO of Bain Capital, an investment firm that specialized in leveraging struggling companies by downsizing their workforce (he likes firing people), drowning them in debt, and then draining those assets to enrich Bain shareholders prior to shutting the companies down. Not exactly the skill set for a nation that hopes to stick around for a while.

The second item is his reign as governor of Massachusetts. Remember that? He almost never speaks of it. And the reason why is conveniently illustrated in this handy, shareable infographic:

Massachusetts Misery

So a governor who presided over nearly the worst job creation in the nation (here’s an InfoGraphic of The Real Job Creators), raised taxes on the middle class, and left a billion dollar deficit for his successor, now tells the country that his business experience is the backbone of his candidacy. But that experience didn’t do much good for the people of Massachusetts.

The truth is, based on Romney’s experience, the failure of his administration in Massachusetts was entirely predictable. He has pretty good credentials as a corporate raider and an investment manager if you are looking to hire someone who is skilled at extracting profits from companies headed toward bankruptcy. But if you are looking for a leader with expertise in growing the economy with a long-term perspective on creating wealth for a broad range of citizens (not just the 1%), then Romney’s background is not only irrelevant, it is a contra-indicator for success.

Voting for Mitt Romney for president would be like hiring an arsonist to put out a fire.

A Pictorial History Of Gas Prices As Presented By Fox News

For most of the first half of this year Fox News has relentlessly lambasted President Obama for rising gas prices. The narrative from Fox was that the increase was entirely the fault of the President, despite the fact that experts attributed the rise to lower international demand, political volatility in the Middle East, and other strictly market-based events.

Now that gas prices have fallen significantly, failing to reach the outrageous predictions of Fox News analysts, Fox has largely ignored the issue. So it seems like a good time to offer a quick pictorial reminder of how Fox frames their brazenly biased reporting.

Fox News Gas Prices

Dishonest as always, Fox News is feverishly striving to demonize Obama and canonize Romney. If Fox continues to act as a surrogate for the GOP they should lose their broadcast license. They are not a news enterprise, they are the the PR arm of the Republican Party.

The Punisher: Mitt Romney Laughably Says Obama Is Intent On Punishing People

A few days ago President Obama delivered a speech in which he reminded his audience that everyone who succeeds in America has done so with the help of other Americans. We are all mutually dependent on the resources and civic projects that keep this country humming. The President made the point that even he was a beneficiary of the social and economic collective advancement that’s historically been a part of our nation’s framework. He noted that “Somebody gave me an education. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn’t. But somebody gave us a chance.” However, in the past few decades, something changed in our country. As Dylan Ratigan says in his book Greedy Bastards

“[S]omething has gone wrong in America. For the last few decades, the rising tide has been lifting only the yachts. Almost anywhere you look, if you just open your eyes, you will see ordinary, hardworking people struggling. Not far away you’ll find a few greedy bastards making out like bandits. What defines greedy bastards? It’s not merely that they’re rich. […] Greedy bastards have given up on creating value for others and instead get their money by rigging the game so that they can steal from the rest of us.”

That’s the heart, and what passes for the soul of Mitt Romney, who somehow extracted an interpretation of the President’s words that led to the absurd criticism that, “This is a president more intent on punishing people than he is on building our economy.” However, when even a cursory examination of the facts is made, it’s clear that it is Romney who is The Punisher. His policies, if enacted, will punish a broad spectrum of Americans from almost every possible constituent group. For instance…

1. WOMEN:
Despite telling representatives of Planned Parenthood that he supported Roe v. Wade when he was running for governor of Massachusetts, he now says that he believes that life begins at conception and that the historic Supreme Court ruling should be overturned. And while the health care plan he implemented as governor included coverage for abortions and contraception, he is now fervently opposed to such coverage. He has also expressed his opposition to the Lilly Ledbetter Act that Obama signed in order to assist women seeking equal pay and relief from workplace discrimination.

2. THE POOR:
Earlier this year Romney famously declared that he is “not concerned about the very poor [because] We have a safety net there.” Clearly Romney has never had to avail himself of the services provided to those reliant on the safety net, or he might be a little more concerned. He might also not have developed a tax plan that would further cut taxes for the wealthy while raising them for lower income citizens.

3. WORKERS:
Once again, Romney let his true feeling be known when he gushed that he “like[s] being able to fire people.” That being the case, it is no wonder that he regards unions as impediments to his goals. He blames unions for many of the nation’s economic problems and promised a policy to forbid union preferences in federal contracting beginning on his inauguration day.

4. GAYS AND LESBIANS:
Romney is adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage and open homosexuality in the armed services. This is another position that conflicts his record in Massachusetts where in 1994 he campaigned for a senate seat saying that he would be even an stronger advocate of gay rights than Ted Kennedy.

5. AUTO COMPANIES/EMPLOYEES:
Romney considers Michigan, where his father was once governor, one of his many home states. Nevertheless, he was so against a stimulus package for the auto industry that he publicly stated his preference that they should be allowed to go bankrupt. The stimulus was provided by the Obama administration and today GM has retaken its position as the number one car manufacturer in the world. And that was achieved with no help from Romney who even traveled around the country giving speeches that disparaged the company’s products, particularly the Chevy Volt which now receives high praise from industry experts and consumers.

6. LATINOS:
Romney has staked out an extremist position on immigration that will not endear him to Latinos. He has called Arizona’s SB1070, a law that nearly criminalizes being brown-skinned, “a model for the nation.” Romney opposes the DREAM Act that would establish residency for immigrants who came to the United States as children and then served in the military or completed college. But a Romney administration would expect these, and all immigrants, to self-deport.

7. SENIORS:
If you are 65 years old, or ever expect to be, Romney is intent on making your golden years somewhat less shiny. He advocates raising the retirement age to eligible for Social Security benefits. He supports moving funds into private accounts that would fluctuate with the uncertainties of the stock market. And he has proposed tying increases to the Consumer Price Index rather than the Wage Index, which would significantly undercut the purchasing power of seniors dependent on a fixed income.

8. ANYONE WHO CARES ABOUT CIVIL LIBERTIES:
For anyone concerned about the rights granted by Supreme Court decisions, Romney carries a frighteningly extreme portfolio. He has said that would nominate judges like Roberts, Alito, and Scalia to the bench. But even more disturbing, he recently brought on Robert Bork as his new top legal adviser. Bork was the man behind the “Saturday Night Massacre” where two Justice Department leaders resigned rather than fire the Special Prosecutor investigating Watergate. It was Bork who stayed and carried out Nixon’s orders. Bork also once called the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “a principle of unsurpassed ugliness.”

9. RESIDENTS OF EARTH:
Three words: Drill baby drill. Romney is a staunch advocate of exploiting fossil fuels on land and at sea. He is a critic of off-shore oil bans and a supporter the KeystoneXL pipeline that risks contaminating ground water in order to enrich refineries who intend to ship the oil products overseas. Although he has said that he believes that global warming exists and the it may be caused by human activity, he is opposed to addressing the problem with regulations that he believes would impair economic growth. Because economic growth is more important than having a planet on which to grow.

10. DOGS:
Just ask Seamus, the poor Irish Setter who was forced to ride in a cage on the roof of the family station wagon while on a 600 mile road trip.

Mitt Romney has a resume and an agenda that promises pain for average Americans. He would increase the financial burdens of the poor, reduce the protection of agencies that monitor everything from Wall Street to toxins in foods. He respects only wealth and, consequently, has assembled a program that could be called Trickle-Down on Steroids. Yet he has the audacity to accuse President Obama of wanting to punish people simply because the President’s plan asks billionaires to pay a few percentage points more on their wildly extravagant income.

Romney thinks it’s punishment to return to the tax rates of the 90s when the economy was booming, but he can’t comprehend the punishment of millions of families losing their homes, thousands of students losing their grants, innumerable sick people unable to get necessary treatment, or communities across the nation being exploited by greedy corporations and politicians like Romney. In Romney’s world it is better to protect one American millionaire than a million Americans. It’s the code of the Greedy Bastards.

Mitt Romney - The Punisher