The Hate Of The Union Address: Right-Wing Nutjobs Want To Ban Obama From Congress

You may have thought that you’ve seen it all, but when it comes to overt expressions of rancid hatred today’s Republican politicians and pundits are just getting started. It’s apparently not enough that they have spent the last six years breaking all records for partisan obstructionism and openly displayed racist attitudes toward President Obama. Now there is talk of implementing a Jim Crow style admittance policy on Capitol Hill.

Obama Refused

President Obama has recently taken legal measures to make some progress on the immigration reforms that Congress is too inept to address. His executive actions are both constitutionally sound and overwhelmingly popular. Those facts must have driven the Republican Party into an acute psychosis that has them panting feverishly as they struggle to respond. To date they have proposed such over-the-top remedies as rejecting every administration nominee for cabinet or judgeship posts, shutting down the federal government, suing the President, and even launching impeachment proceedings.

Now, however, they have lit on a new tactic that is stretching the limits of sanity. There is boomlet of commentary on the right that thinks it would be a good idea to prohibit President Obama from delivering the annual State of the Union address to members of Congress. This is a proposal that reeks of personal animosity and is wholly inconsistent with the mission of Congress. What’s more, it certainly doesn’t advance the spirit of cooperation that the GOP pretended to embrace following the midterm election. The very words used by the advocates of this plan illustrate their divisive intent. For instance…

Joel Pollak, Breitbart News: Congress should indicate to President Obama that his presence is not welcome on Capitol Hill as long as his “executive amnesty” remains in place. The gesture would, no doubt, be perceived as rude, but it is appropriate.

Rich Lowry, National Review: If I were John Boehner I’d say to the president: “Send us your State of the Union in writing. You’re not welcome in our chamber.”

“Our chamber?” Are these miscreants suffering from the delusion that the houses of Congress belong to them and they have the tyrannical authority to deny admittance to anyone they choose, including the Commander in Chief? This would be an unprecedented rebuke aimed at the nation’s first African-American president. There is a stink of bigotry that is reminiscent of the segregationist South where blacks were not permitted into establishments reserved for whites only. These suggestions are shameless in their open disrespect for both the President and the presidency. No other White House occupant has suffered this sort of indignity. Even President Clinton’s State of the Union speeches went on as scheduled while Congress was trying at the time to impeach him.

Obama’s crime is that he is actually trying to get things done despite a congressional body that holds the title for being the least productive congress in history. They have demonstrated their obsession with opposing anything this President advocates, even legislation that their own GOP colleagues drafted. Once Obama signs on they turn and run, pretending not to have ever had anything to do with it. The most important thing to this Republican caucus is to do as much harm to the President as possible without consideration to the harm they are doing to the country.

But with all of the flagrantly hostile behavior directed at Obama from the right, there is something far more repugnant in this exclusionary gimmick that treats the President as if he were untouchable and unclean and unfit for keeping company with the oh-so-distinguished members of Congress.

Calmer heads may ultimately prevail in the weeks before the State of the Union. But if the GOP wants to proceed with this lunatic plan they do so at their own peril. It would surely be seen by the American people as vindictive and childish. It would be repudiated by a broad majority of clear thinking citizens. The Republican Party would bear the brunt of the backlash that would almost certainly ensue.

Consequently, I say “Go for it, Republicans.” Hang a big, bright “Whites Only” sign over the front door of the Congress. It will serve as a truth-in-advertising notice for the GOP. Then the President can move the speech to an auditorium where he invites all Americans (with the exception of Republican members of Congress) to hear his address. Let the media cover the speech without the predictable and orchestrated jeers and cheers that come from a legislative body that is bitterly divided by partisanship.

Come to think of it, having the State of the Union delivered outside of Congress may be such a good idea that Obama should consider taking the lead. He could preempt the GOP’s rebuke by rebuking them first with a notice that he will not be attending their soiree. There is nothing preventing a president from delivering the speech at a venue of his choosing. And if it results in a more respectful environment where he doesn’t have to deal with petulant hecklers shouting “You lie,” in the middle of his remarks, it may be worth it.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: ObamaCare Is NOT Recruiting Undocumented Immigrants

Fox News has labored vigorously to establish its reputation as America’s whites-only cable news channel. Simultaneously they have distinguished themselves as the nation’s foremost purveyor dishonest and politically biased “reporting.” But every now and then they manage to score extra points by melding these two achievements into a single story. That goal was realized today by Fox’s community website, Fox Nation, with help from their disreputable pals at Breitbart News.

Fox Nation

Read Fox Nation vs. Reality for more documented lies from Fox World.

The headline declaring that “ObamaCare [is] Recruiting Illegal Immigrants” is absolutely, provably false. As is the content of the article that says in the opening paragraph that “Covered California–the flagship of state Obamacare exchanges–is recruiting illegal (“undocumented”) immigrants to sign up for the program, regardless of their eligibility.”

There is no truth whatsoever to that claim. But adhering to factual reporting has never been the mission of Fox News. It’s especially humorous that Joel Pollak, the BreitBrat author of the article, attempts to align his bogus assertions to Republican congressman Joe Wilson who, you may recall, shouted out “You lie,” during President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union speech when the President stated that the Affordable Care Act would not cover undocumented immigrants. Pollak believes that Wilson is due an apology based on his deeply misconstrued interpretation of a page on the Covered California website.

The shoddy news sleuthing by BreitBrat Pollak turned up a page that informed readers that they did not need to worry if they were “undocumented and want your family to enroll in health insurance. That was the spark that set fire to Pollak’s active imagination. Without wasting any effort on reading further or trying to understand the context, Pollak concluded that this was an attempt to enroll undocumented immigrants in ObamaCare, which the law explicitly prohibits. This is what the very first paragraph on the page actually said:

“According to the laws and implementing regulations, the information provided by individuals for coverage can not be used for purposes other than ensuring the efficient functioning of the insurance market (Covered California) or administration of the program, or to verify certain eligibility determinations including verification of the immigration status of these people.”

If Pollak had the comprehension skills to grasp this, he would have noticed two things: 1) The page is assuring applicants that the information they provide will not be shared with immigration agencies. And 2) That verification of immigration status will be a determinant condition of their eligibility.

The importance of the first item is to reassure people that an application will not result in an investigation or potential deportation. Many Latino families have mixed immigration statuses and they are sensitive to the possibility that their families could be separated. Consequently, they refrain from enrolling in benefits programs like ObamaCare. That means that many people who are actually citizens (i.e. children who were born here, or naturalized adults) would be deprived of services to which they are entitled because of their concern for other family members who may not be documented. This assurance allows them to apply without having to fear unrelated consequences.

The second item should be an assurance to bigots like Pollak that no undocumented immigrants would receive health care benefits under ObamaCare. It is an explicit declaration that citizenship is required for eligibility. And it is what makes Pollak’s assertion that illegal immigrants are being recruited regardless of their eligibility such a blatant lie.

It’s interesting to note that the Fox News Latino website does not have a story on this matter. Fox News Latino often takes positions that sharply contrast with those of the Fox News mothership. It is their way of trying to lure in the fastest growing demographic in the country without alienating them the way Fox News does. Although, there is a story that addresses the administration’s efforts to reach out to Latinos. And in that story they correctly point out the dilemma of mixed immigration status families who worry about separation, saying that “One big issue is that the law requires that those seeking coverage provide the immigration status of members of their household to determine eligibility.” That is what the page on Covered California is there for – to alleviate that concern.

It is remarkably dishonest and unethical to portray the information provided on Covered California as attempting to recruit undocumented immigrants to enroll in ObamaCare. Yet that is precisely what Breitbart and the Fox Nationalists did. And they did this despite the fact that the correct information was plainly in front of them on the same page. Therefore, it can only be assumed that they knew the truth and deliberately chose to ignore and/or distort it. But that’s the one thing that is not surprising about this. That is, in fact, standard operating procedure at Fox News.

Media Matters Enters The Liars Den At CPAC – Gets Ambushed By Breitbart

Yesterday a panel at CPAC (which I believe stands for Conniving Propagandists And Crooks) was held following the screening of “Hating Breitbart,” a crockumentary glorifying the late Andrew Breitbart. The topic of the event was “The Uninvited,” a reference to fringe conservatives who are allegedly kept from appearing in the mainstream media. Participating on the panel were several Breitbart-affiliated folks, including the disgraced video mangler, James O’Keefe, and a lone representative of Media Matters, Ari Rabin-Havt.

In the course of the discussion (video below) O’Keefe protested that he felt he was “held to a higher standard than any Pulitzer Prize winner.” Whereupon, BreitBrat editor Larry O’Conner defended O’Keefe by rejecting the notion that just because O’Keefe’s videos were found to have been deceptively edited that “everything O’Keefe does should be considered a fraud.” Actually, that’s precisely what should be done when someone has proven he’s a fraud on multiple occasions.

The discussion eventually veered off into an attack on Media Matters with O’Conner questioning the veracity of their content. When Rabin-Havt began to defend himself, in what seemed to be a transparently staged tossing of the baton, O’Conner recognized Breitbart’s Editor in Chief Joel Pollak in the audience and asked him to weigh in on the subject.

Pollak was visibly upset at what he characterized as a smear directed at him by Media Matters. He cited an article that he claimed accused him of being a birther. Standing in the audience he pointed his finger at Rabin-Havt and arrogantly insisted that “The next word out of your mouth should be ‘Sorry.'” But that was just a small portion of the generalized indictment he made of Media Matters:

Pollak: There’s a Media Matters method, it’s this: You make a statement in the headline that is not proven in the article. The lefties to whom you sell your material, or distribute your material, don’t care about the proof, they care about the headline. So you put in that headline that I’m a birther even though you admit I’m not a birther.

Alright, let’s break this down. First of all, Pollak’s assertion that Media Matters makes unproven statements in their headlines is itself unproven. Media Matters is meticulous about documenting what they publish, and the “lefties” and others who read it care very much that thoroughness. As for the article Pollak referenced, it was posted on Media Matters on March 13, with the title “What The Media Need To Know About CPAC 2013.” Notice that there is nothing in the headline about anyone being birther and that Pollak isn’t in it at all. So much for his thesis that Media Matters composes false headlines and fails to back them up.

Ironically, Pollak’s complaint applies perfectly to his own article on Breitbart News that Media Matters was writing about in the first place. That article’s headline was “The Vetting – Exclusive – Obama’s Literary Agent in 1991 Booklet: ‘Born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii'”

Breitbart News

From the wording of that headline it would not be much of a stretch to conclude that the article was advancing birtherism by questioning Obama’s birthplace. Pollak said that he only intended to make a point that Obama, or his representatives, altered his biography when it suited him. However, that was not the inference in his headline. And it could be said of Breitbart what they said of Media Matters – that they “don’t care about the proof, they care about the headline.” What’s more, the first paragraph of the article began by affirming the birtherism in the headline:

“Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by Barack Obama’s then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts Obama as ‘born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.'”

To be fair, there was a “Note from Senior Management” appended to the top of Pollak’s article that asserted that “Andrew Breitbart was never a ‘Birther,’ and Breitbart News is a site that has never advocated the narrative of ‘Birtherism.'” The fact that that note was necessary is telling in itself. But it’s a rather hollow disclaimer when the headline and the opening paragraph seemingly contradict it. Pollak also wrote that “The errant Obama biography in the Acton & Dystel booklet does not contradict the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate.” That’s true, but as Rabin-Havt pointed out, he had not called Pollak a birther. He had simply asserted that Pollak and Breitbart were still responsible for advancing the birther theme even if they themselves did not subscribe to it. And they did that by publishing articles with misleading headlines and expecting to absolve themselves of the birther taint by rejecting it several paragraphs later.

This bit of theatrics staged by the BreitBrats fits nicely into their modus operandi. It is the sort of ambush that Breitbart himself would have enjoyed pulling off. And it even starred Breitbart’s budding video propagandist, little Jimmy O’Keefe. But once again, when the facts are revealed in full, their deceit is all too apparent. The Media Matters article did not call Pollak a birther in the headline. Although Breitbart’s article did question Obama’s birthplace in their headline.

So the BreitBrats got together and conspired to ambush Rabin-Havt with a false accusation that he had done what the BreitBrats actually did do. And then they complain when nobody will take them seriously, and they wonder why they are “The Uninvited” and why everyone hates Breitbart.

HUMILIATION: Breitbart News Tries To Blame Democrats For Dark Knight Shooting

When it comes to integrity and journalistic ethics, Breitbart News ranks somewhere between the National Enquirer and the Tehran Times. It makes Fox News look like PBS. And they can be expected to sink to ever greater depths of depravity when a story emerges that permits them to dial up the sensationalism and political rhetoric to eye-bleeding levels. The tragic Dark Knight shooting in Aurora, Colorado, was such a story.

On the morning after the shootings all the news networks were engaged in an endlessly repetitious barrage of a limited set of facts and a boundless pool of speculation. It didn’t matter what channel you turned to, you would hear the same recitation of the number of fatalities and injuries, interviews with frightened witnesses, and reminiscences of Columbine. Consequently, there was a determined effort on the part of the reporters to uncover something – anything – that was new or interesting.

In the course of their investigation, ABC News discovered that there was a man associated with the Aurora Tea Party who had the same name as the shooting suspect. They prematurely reported that fact without first verifying whether they were the same person.

George Stephanopoulos: I’m going to go to Brian Ross. You’ve been investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You found something that might be significant.
Brian Ross: There’s a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.
Stephanopoulos: Okay, we’ll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much.

ABC quickly corrected the report, but not before enduring some withering, and deserved, criticism. And it should be noted that, from the start, they acknowledged that all they had was speculation and that they were continuing to investigate. That’s not a proper justification, but it’s also not the same as making an outright accusation, which is what much of the right-wing media is saying.

Breitbart News leapt on this misstep with an article falsely charging “HUMILIATION: ABC News Tries To Blame Tea Party.” There was no attempt on the part of ABC News to blame anyone. They were following a lead and went to air before affirming it, but that’s not an assertion of blame. Breitbart’s column, by the notoriously addle-brained Joel Pollak, goes into hysterics over what he believes is an outrageous insult to his favorite extremist fringe group.

However, what makes Pollak’s pompous theatrics all the more ludicrous is that he immediately perpetrated the very same crime to which he took so much offense.

Breitbart News

Pollak’s article very directly accused the shooter of being a registered Democrat. He rambled through a list of supposed evidence that he never bothered to authenticate and arrived at a conclusion that he deemed certifiable. The only problem is that he was completely wrong – a state of being with which he must be comfortable by now. As it turns out, Pollak also had the wrong guy and the the suspect was not registered to vote at all.

So after castigating ABC for reporting incorrect information, Breitbrat Pollak did the same thing but took over five hours to make a correction. And even that was a weaselly effort that sought to explain away his incompetence by claiming that there was new information. Also, unlike ABC, Pollak included no apology for his gross error and slander of Democrats. But then that’s the sort of unprincipled, pseudo-reporting that is the hallmark of the Breitbart legacy.

Not So Breitbart: Pathetic Vetting Of Obama’s BBQ With Bill Ayers

The “vetting” of Barack Obama continues at Breitbart News and, true to form, serves only to embarrass the juvenile efforts of Breitbrat Joel Pollak and his childish pals who suffer an acute case of Obama Derangement Syndrome. Today’s banner headline at the Breitbrats sandbox blares: “Exclusive – The Vetting – Senator Barack Obama Attended Bill Ayers Barbecue, July 4, 2005.”

Breitbart News

OMG! Barack Obama has been caught at a clandestine socialist assembly of treasonous celebrants of America’s independence. These subversives were observed igniting fires (in BBQ grills) and launching explosives (fireworks). They may even have been imbibing beer and other alcoholic intoxicants.

Breitbrat Joel is clearly proud of the shocking revelation he has uncovered that puts Obama in the backyard of his neighbor, Bill Ayres, for an ostensibly patriotic party. The “proof” that so excites Pollak is an ancient blog post by another neighbor of Ayers that describes a third-hand witness to Obama sharing a picnic table at a Fourth of July gathering. The author said…

“Guess what? I spent the 4th of July evening with star Democrat Barack Obama! Actually, that’s a lie. Obama was at a barbecue at the house next door (given by a law professor who is a former member of the Weather Underground) and we saw him over the fence at our barbecue. Well, the others did. It had started raining and he had gone inside be the time I got there. Nevertheless.”

Well then, that settles it. The author of the post never saw the then-senator, but some unnamed person claims to have seen him. And there couldn’t be any possibility of this mysterious party guest making a mistake, could there? The post goes on to note that despite keeping a watch out for a confirmation siting, there were no other Obama spottings. The only corroboration was “another source” quoted by Pollak who was also not identified.

Even if true, Pollak’s unrestrained glee over this “discovery” means nothing. It stems from his false contention that Obama’s socializing with Ayers contradicts a statement his campaign issued in 2008. However, the quote that Pollak himself posted says…

“Mr. LaBolt said the men first met in 1995 through the education project, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and have encountered each other occasionally in public life or in the neighborhood. He said they have not spoken by phone or exchanged e-mail messages since Mr. Obama began serving in the United States Senate in January 2005 and last met more than a year ago when they bumped into each other on the street in Hyde Park.”

Of course, there is nothing in that statement that conflicts with an account of Obama encountering Ayers at a neighborhood party. In fact, it explicitly affirms that Obama had such contacts “in the neighborhood.” Where’s the controversy?

Pollak is plainly obsessed with smearing Obama for having had a relationship with a neighbor who was also a respected university professor and education consultant. But Pollak’s pea-brain can only contain information about Ayers that portrays him as the “radical, domestic terrorist” of his youth some forty years ago. Pollak cannot see past his hostility toward Obama, and the result is hysterical conspiracy tantrums like this. It’s the same sort of dementia that produces absurd postings on Fox Nation like today’s article that proposes that Obama had an “unpresidential” past:

Fox Nation

The past to which the Fox Nationalists refer is his adolescence when he did unpresidential things like play basketball and wear hats. Seriously? This is the best they can do?

Breitbart Birther Exclusive: Obama Born In Kenya – Or Not

The kids at Breitbart News, or as I call them, the Breitbrats, are giddily wallowing in their “exclusive” discovery of “evidence” that President Barack Obama is indeed a secret Kenyan usurper to the American presidency.

Breitbart News

That’s right. Now it finally comes out. “Obama’s Literary Agent in 1991 Booklet: ‘Born in Kenya'” This is front page news at the Breitbrat site. And why not? It proves that the President is an illegitimate occupier of the White House. Maybe now the Breitbart Tea Partiers can revoke health care and make all the tax cuts for the wealthy permanent while expanding offshore oil drilling and outlawing abortion and gays.

Except that, for some reason, the article heralding this monumental news is prefaced by an editorial disclaimer saying…

“Andrew Breitbart was never a ‘Birther,’ and Breitbart News is a site that has never advocated the narrative of ‘Birtherism.’ In fact, Andrew believed, as we do, that President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961.”

Hmmm. That sort of contradicts the whole point of the article. Or rather, the article contradicts the whole point of the disclaimer. Either way, it reflects the amateurish efforts of the Breitbrats as they endeavor to smear Obama regardless of whether their assertions make any sense.

The article by Joel Pollak is an unfocused rambling of accusations that lead nowhere. He aimlessly recites the content of a pamphlet that is promoting the clients of a literary agency that includes a young Barack Obama, and he bores readers with his description of the typography, as if it had some special significance. Then he seeks to impress with his questions directed at individuals associated with the agency, except that he doesn’t get any actual answers. And all the while he insists that his examination of the evidence that Obama is Kenyan isn’t really an attempt to suggest that Obama is Kenyan.

Perhaps even worse is a follow up article by Breitbrat John Nolte who begins his harangue by stating that…

“Never once have I doubted that President Obama was born in Hawaii. There’s no way in the world that little constitutional issue would ever have got past the Clintons during the 2008 Democratic primary. Now that we’re clear on that…”

So the only reason he discounts the claims that Obama is not an American is that Bill and Hillary would have told him if it were true. He does not discount them because they are demonstrably false and that documentary evidence is readily available. The big problem, as Nolte defines it, is “the abject failure of the mainstream media to vet” Obama, and this clipping from a twenty year old pamphlet is proof of that even though he denies that the pamphlet proves anything. Still, Nolte considers the existence of this pamphlet as proof that the media has fallen down on its duty to investigate the President.

Let’s look at that claim a little closer. Nolte is saying that the media failed because they didn’t discover and report on a pamphlet that Nolte concedes means nothing. So according to Nolte, in order for the media to have done their job properly, they should have published this story about a meaningless blurb in an old pamphlet that has zero significance to Obama’s identity. Seriously. Nolte goes on to ask “what will the humiliated media do?” But I still can’t figure out how they were humiliated if the pamphlet, by Nolte’s own reckoning, is not indicative of anything.

Not to be deterred, Nolte insists that “there are plenty of follow-up stories here; plenty of questions to ask and reporting to do.” But the only questions he suggests are “If it wasn’t a mistake, let’s ask why. If it was a mistake, let’s ask how.” But he just finished making repeated assertions that it was a mistake and that he is certain that Obama is an American citizen born in Hawaii. That leaves the only question to be how the mistake was made. I think the answer to that would be “Who cares?” It was just a mistake. And the media cannot be regarded as irresponsible for not reporting that a mistake was made twenty years ago on a promotional pamphlet that was never distributed to the public.

Nolte and Pollak need to make up their twisted little minds as to whether this is a trivial error that in no way reflects on the President’s lineage, or it is proof that the Birther conspiracy has been revealed. And via their repeated declarations, they obviously believe that Obama was born in Hawaii and, therefore, this pamphlet has no news value and the media are blameless for not harping on it – the way the Breitbrats are.

For the record, a real journalist actually did what journalists do and contacted the person responsible for the pamphlet. Taegan Goddard then reported that Miriam Goderich, of the literary agency that produced the pamphlet, issued the following statement to Political Wire:

“You’re undoubtedly aware of the brouhaha stirred up by Breitbart about the erroneous statement in a client list Acton & Dystel published in 1991 (for circulation within the publishing industry only) that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me — an agency assistant at the time. There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more.”

Case closed. Except for all the hysteria that still embroils the infected brains at Breitbart News and their fellows in the Birther community. And the ghost of Andrew Breitbart rolls his eyes.

Breitbart Whitewashing Zimmerman, Blaming Obama For Trayvon Martin Crisis

The folks over at Breitbart’s joint are feverishly striving to exonerate Trayvon Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman. Their web sites are plastered with stories that either defend Zimmerman or shift the discussion to other persons or subjects.

In one article, Breitbrat Dan Riehl makes the inane argument that ABC News was “reckless” in their decision to release a police videotape showing Zimmerman arriving at the police station for questioning. The video is significant in that it contradicts prior assertions that Zimmerman had been beaten and bloodied by Martin. There is no evidence of any injury to Zimmerman in the video.

Nevertheless, Riehl advances rebuttals that sound as if he is working for the Zimmerman legal defense team. He begins by suggesting that the video was too low quality to reveal anything conclusive. Then, contradicting himself, writes, “True, there appears to be no blood on Zimmerman’s shirt.” Then Riehl invents scenarios wherein Zimmerman was allowed by police to change his allegedly bloody clothes before arriving at the station, which would be a severe violation of procedure and ethics. What’s more, it makes no sense because a bloody shirt would be evidence of a struggle during which Zimmerman could claim to have felt threatened. Why would police suppress evidence that would have justified their decision to release Zimmerman?

Riehl’s account is blatantly biased and incoherent. And he tops it off by blasting ABC for releasing the video saying that the network “should be ashamed of its reckless highlighting of a non-story.” So apparently Riehl is of the opinion that ABC should have kept the video a secret. That’s how Breitbart’s BigJournalism practices the craft of journalism.

Another article, this time by Joel Pollak, editor of Breitbart’s BigGovernment site, seeks to tie President Obama to the Martin story. Pollak’s theory is a nearly incomprehensible mashup of Martin, Obama, and Derrick Bell, the subject of Breitbart’s failed attempt to expose the President as a college radical.

Pollak’s article is titled, “Critical Race Theory and the Trayvon Martin Case.” Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a legal/academic concept that Bell had written about and studied. It holds that there is more to racism than just the attitudes held by individuals, that it is also ingrained in society via traditional economic and judicial hierarchies. Pollak simplistically and falsely begins his narrative by defining CRT as “characterized by white supremacy–an idea Obama invoked by insisting that Americans ‘examine the laws’ that supposedly led to Martin’s death.” To be clear, Pollak is referring to the comment Obama made in response to a reporter’s question:

“I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen. And that means that we examine the laws and the context for what happened.

“And I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.”

I’m not sure how any fair person could object to that. Yet that’s the statement that Pollak regards as an evocation of white supremacy. If anything, the Martin tragedy supports CRT by demonstrating the flaws in the judicial system. This is a case where after an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed, his body was tagged as a “John Doe” and tested for drugs. The shooter, on the other hand, was never tested for drugs or alcohol and was released by police with his weapon and no plans to investigate or indict him for any crime. If that isn’t reason enough to examine the laws than what on earth would be?


Pollak continues saying that Obama “waded in, playing up the racial drama,” and then remarkably writes “Obama–the center of the crisis, and to some extent its intended beneficiary.” Obama is only the center of the controversy in the warped minds of extremist, right-wing provocateurs like Pollak. And where he gets the notion that Obama was the “intended” beneficiary is beyond comprehension. If Pollak actually believes that this crisis was conceived and executed to help the President, he is seriously in need of the psychiatric attention that is now available to him thanks to ObamaCare.

Pollak closes by saying that “To speculate that Zimmerman is guilty based on the available facts is one thing; to convict him based on his supposed race, and on Martin’s, is the classic definition of “prejudice.'” However, the people protesting the handling of this affair are not convicting Zimmerman of anything. They are merely demanding that the ordinary process of justice be observed.

Ordinarily after a shooting there is an arrest and an investigation, which could lead to a trial if the evidence warrants. But the Breitbrats are all fired up to whitewash this crime and sweep it under their racist rug. They load up their web sites with tangential stories about celebrity Tweets, and over-zealous protesters, and bogus accusations of media bias, and absurd connections to a conspiratorial White House that must have planned the whole thing.

All I can say is that it’s a damn good thing that Breitbart wasn’t around when Martin Luther King was assassinated. They would surely have defended James Earl Ray and blamed the whole thing on President Johnson.

Breitbatty: Obama To ‘Surrender America’ To The Russians

In a meeting with Russian President Medvedev this morning, President Obama had an unfortunate ‘hot mic’ incident that will surely cause a few headaches in the West Wing for a day or two. The following exchange was recorded by reporters:

Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

There really isn’t anything controversial about that statement. In fact, it would be regarded as an obvious truism by anyone with knowledge of American politics. Election year negotiations, whether foreign or domestic, are always impacted by concerns that weigh more heavily on campaigning than on substance.

Nevertheless, it was an inconvenient soundbite that can easily be misconstrued by the President’s opponents. While the only message Obama was conveying was that difficult concessions by both sides would become more plausible without electoral concerns hanging over their heads, Republicans were quick to jump on the gaffe as having more sinister implications. But nobody went to further extremes than the hyper-conspiracy freaks over at Breitbart’s place where they headlined their story: Obama to Putin: I’ll Surrender America After Re-election.

Really? Breitbrat Joel Pollak seems to actually believe that Obama has a secret agenda to make America subservient to Russia. I’m not sure I can explain what purpose would be served by such an agenda, but the Breitbrats probably think that it’s just part of an overall plot to destroy America by the Kenyan-born socialist usurper in the White House. One question that remains is why Obama would surrender to the Russians rather than to the Iranians with whom he allegedly shares a belief in Islam. But trying to find logic in the delusional schemes of these right-wing extremists is not a recommended exercise. It will almost always lead to failure and probably a bad migraine.

Breitbart’s Campaign Against Obama At Harvard Is Pure Racism

Yesterday was the day that the video Andrew Breitbart promised of a racially divisive Barack Obama in his days as a student at Harvard was released. It was almost universally panned as a pathetic and desperate boatload of nothing. After first yammering that the video posted by Buzzfeed (scooping Breitbart) was “selectively edited,” the Breitbartians posted what they said was the “uncut” video. Their version contained about two seconds more that consisted entirely of Obama hugging Prof. Derrick Bell, whom he had just introduced at a rally.

Since the video itself was proven to have no material evidence of anything the least bit detrimental to Obama, much less the cataclysmic data that would doom his career, the Breitbartians resorted to Plan B: Demonize Prof. Bell and tie him around Obama’s neck. This was a coordinated plot that began with Breitbart editor-in-chief Joel Pollak robotically repeating the mantra that “Derrick Bell was the Jeremiah Wright of academia.” Pollak even went on CNN and admitted that the video was irrelevant, and when Soledad O’Brein asked him “Then where’s the bombshell, I don’t see it?” Pollak responded that “The bombshell is the revelation of the relationship between Barack Obama and Derrick Bell.” But that wasn’t any revelation at all.

The argument that the Breitbartians are making rests on their assertion that Bell’s writings on Critical Race Theory define him as a racial radical. In fact, CRT is an aggregation of legal concepts that bring together law, politics, economics, etc., in a broad-based study of race and power in society. It posits that there are institutional barriers to eradicating racism that must be addressed at the root level. Those barriers are evident in things like employment practices and school admissions. Another example is the judicial system that incarcerates a higher percentage of African-Americans than their representation in the population. Affirming that example is the fact that crack cocaine, used by more African-Americans than whites, is punishable by sentences ten times more severe than powder cocaine, for which you find more white offenders.

Nevertheless, the Breitbartians are deliberately misinterpreting the legal theory in order to condemn its proponents, including Bell. In this way they can assert that Obama, as a result of his having studied at Harvard, is also a racial radical. The object is to incite fear among those who are ill-informed that Obama aspires to threaten their status in society. He is coming after your jobs, your schools, your churches, all the trappings of your comfortable, privileged lives.

In the wake of the initial flop of the video’s release, the right-wing media has been redoubling its efforts to stir up a phony controversy. Fox Nation has posted multiple stories on the subject (it has been at the top of their page for two days running). Fox News has featured it on their broadcasts, notably the video “exclusive” presented by Sean Hannity. Ironically, Fox Nation posted a video of a debate about Bell between Michelle Malkin and Juan Williams, but edited out Williams entirely.

Note the edit at about 2:20 where Hannity says that Juan’s gonna disagree, but then fades to Malkin saying “No, no. no.”. What Williams said in between was…

“Well, first of all, I must say, I thought this was going to be so much more. I thought this was going to be the smoking gun, as you describe it. But it really didn’t come too much. I mean, I just don’t think that there is.”

And that’s all that Williams was permitted to say in the entire segment, but they even cut that out when they put it online. And then they have the nerve to complain, falsely, that others “selectively edited” video.

Pollak and his Breitbart colleague Ben Shapiro have been making the rounds on the lamestream media. On CNN they argued with Soledad O’Brien over the meaning of Critical Race Theory, but spoke very little about what any of it had to do with Obama, despite O’Brien’s attempts to steer them back to the topic. That’s a tactic designed to keep the focus off of substance and aimed squarely at innuendo and slander. For good measure they threw in a bashing of the media for trying to suppress the video (for what reason, they never make clear), and to silence them (even while they are speaking on the air).

For its part, the Breitbart web site has been piling on with articles that reek of racism. One article was authored by J. Christian Adams, a notorious race-baiter who has accused Eric Holder’s Justice Department of coddling civil rights violators if they happened to be black. He wrote that…

“Both Obama and Bell demanded that Harvard hire professors on the basis of race. […] The Obama-Bell connection is the latest in a pattern of Barack Obama’s associations with individuals who promoted a racially divisive America.”

That’s an open assault on affirmative action, which was not developed to produce hiring on the basis of race, but to put an end to it. Adams also repeated the lie that Obama had appeared with a member of the New Black Panther Party. In fact, Obama attended a civil rights rally that was attended by thousands of people, one of whom happened to be an NBPP member. Obama had no control over who came to a massive, public rally. Adams also characterized cases of civil rights abuse as “crackpot racial grievances.” That pretty much reveals his personal bias.

Another story posted by the Breitbartians alleged that “Obama Forced His Students To Read Bell at the University of Chicago Law School.” Their evidence was a document describing a course that Obama was teaching. The course was “Current Issues in Racism and the Law.” It would be difficult to teach such a class without the textbook materials by one of this generations most respected scholars on that subject. But the allegation is made even worse by that use of the word “forced” as if it were under duress. By that measure isn’t every student forced to read something? In fact, many of the references to Bell’s writings specifically said that they were optional reading.

Meanwhile, over at NewsBusters, there was an article that alleged that the non-event video was being suppressed as part of a conspiracy orchestrated by George Soros (Isn’t it always?). The evidence of that was that Soros’ foundations had made donations to Harvard (where the video took place) and WGBH (the public TV station that owned the video). Using their logic I can surmise that the Koch brothers are behind this whole phony video scandal because they have made contributions to NewsBusters.

And, believe it or not, they even have a Plan C: It’s a Cover Up! The video was a bust. The racial attacks could backfire. So if all else fails, blame it on a massive cover up. The Breitbartians took on another black Harvard professor, Charles Ogletree, by posting a video wherein he said that “We hid this during the 2008 campaign…” He was referring to the video of Obama at Harvard. Of course there would have been no reason to do that since, if anything, the video shows Obama in a positive light. The truth is that Ogletree was joking. He even laughed immediately after, which proves that he was humorously dismissing the throw-away line. but, not surprisingly, the humor-challenged righties didn’t get, even though Ogletree’s audience did.

The absence of any substance on the video has led to a redirection by the right to their usual stance against Obama – he’s black. His associates are black. And they advocate for radical concepts like equal justice under the law. They support fairness in hiring and other social contracts. They oppose discrimination.

If anyone is advancing a racialist philosophy, it’s the right-wingers who are peddling this repulsive nonsense. And if there is anything positive to take away from this, it is that they have once again shown their true colors. It isn’t about a video of a young future president. It isn’t about health care or oil prices or deficits. It is, and always has been, about one thing for these meatheads. They just can’t accept a black man in their White House.

Buzzfeed Scoops Breitbart: The Obama Harvard Video

At last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Andrew Breitbart said that he had videos of President Obama in his college days at Harvard. The implication was that the content of the videos was so scandalous that it would have an impact on Obama’s reelection. Breitbart gleefully announced that…

“I have videos. This election we’re going to vet him from his college days to show you why racial division and class warfare are central to what hope and change was sold in 2008. The videos are going to come out, the narrative is going to come out.”

Well, they came out today. But Breitbart’s survivors at BigGovernment.com had nothing to do with it. The “vetting” was done by Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed. Kaczynski acquired video from WGBH TV in Boston of the future president speaking at a rally for more diversity in the Harvard faculty.

The Breitbart crew immediately blasted Buzzfeed for releasing what they said was a “selectively edited” copy of the video.

“[T]he video has been selectively edited–either by the Boston television station or by Buzzfeed itself. Over the course of the day, Breitbart.com will be releasing additional footage that has been hidden by Obama’s allies in the mainstream media and academia.”

Gee, I can hardly wait. This should be endlessly informative since the Breitbart clan is intimately familiar with the practice of selectively editing videos. BigGovernment’s Joel Pollak says that the unveiling of the uncut video will take place tonight on Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News. There’s another sign of how much credibility any of this will have. Hannity is famous for airing videos of sparsely attended Tea Party rallies that turned out to be from completely different, and crowded, events.


The most remarkable thing about this video is how little Obama has changed. He had the same oratorical style and poise then as now. At the time Obama was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was speaking on behalf of Prof. Derrick Bell, the first tenured African-American professor in Harvard’s law school. The occasion was a rally in support of greater diversity in general, and specifically the hiring of an African-American woman in the law school.

Pollak further promised to expose Bell as a “radical academic tied to Jeremiah Wright.” I’m surprised that he isn’t also tying him to George Soros, Van Jones, Saul Alinsky, and Che Guevara. However, Bell was a respected legal scholar and author who served in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, at the NAACP as an associate counsel, as the dean of the University of Oregon School of Law and, in addition to Harvard, also taught at USC, Stanford, and NYU. Clearly a dangerous anti-American. But Breitbart’s ghost is already setting in motion the smear campaign.

Perhaps Pollak has portions of the video where Obama advocates the violent overthrow of the government by black nationalists or discloses his Kenyan birthplace, but somehow I doubt it. It appears that the Breitbart folks are just upset that their phony plot to trickle out snippets of an entirely harmless video in order to create a fake controversy has been foiled by the lamestream media (if Buzzfeed qualifies as that). Now they will have to resort to smearing the name of a deceased law professor and pretending that there is something wrong with Obama supporting a more diversified Harvard faculty. Fox Nation has already jumped in with an item about this story headlined: Obama Harvard Video: Rally for Race-Based Hiring. So there’s your talking point, righties. Go at it.

Late Breaking: Breitbart’s site released the “uncut” video and the only additional footage on it is of Obama embracing the professor he had just introduced. It was not exactly a secret that Obama admired his Harvard law professor. But the real problem for the Breitbart clan is that they have been bashing Buzzfeed all day long about having “selectively edited” the video, but now they have been shown to be lying.

PBS/WGBH posted the REAL uncut video here.

Hannity and Co. spent over 20 minutes discussing this embarrassing flop of a scandal, even though the exclusive broadcast of the uncut video offered nothing new. The pair from Breitbart.com (Ben Shapiro and Joel Pollak) fidgeted nervously as they desperately tried to set some sort of fire under this non-event, but they utterly failed to come up with anything other than a bumper sticker criticism of Bell which they repeated incessantly to make sure the brainwashing stuck: Derrick Bell is the Jeremiah Wright of academia.

Just as I suspected, that’s the talking point they are running with. It’s so pathetic that I actually feel a little sorry for them. Their leader passed away last week and now they are floundering like lost orphans. What a sad spectacle.