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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FOX NEWS HYPOCRISY: Lost IRS Emails vs. Lost Bush White House Emails

On Friday the IRS reported to the House Ways and Means Committee that some email from the account of Lois Lerner, director of the Exempt Organizations division, were missing due to a computer crash that occurred in 2011. That morsel of news set the conservative media to salivating with hopes of a new controversy to wrap around the neck of the Obama administration. Never mind that after a year of congressional hearings, independent investigations, and media scrutiny, there has not been an iota of evidence tying any of the IRS activities to the White House, right-wing pundits and politicians scurried to spread innuendo and place blame.

Leading the pack, as usual, was Fox News. They pounced on the missing email story with a barely disguised glee, despite the fact that they had little information to report. However, they did succeed at what they do best: spewing outrage over alleged improprieties by President Obama that they cavalierly dismissed during the Bush years.

Fox News

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To be sure, it is reasonable to be concerned, even suspicious, when government agencies announce that data critical to ongoing investigations is unavailable. But when a media enterprise pretends to exhibit such concern for blatantly political purposes, it can hardly be regarded as credible. What’s missing in Fox’s reporting is the context that would put this story into perspective. Their reporting went straight for the jugular with premature conclusions of wrongdoing and dishonesty. The story was presented as an outrageous and unprecedented act of probable criminality.

Flashback to April of 2007. The Bush administration was in the midst of dual scandals regarding: 1) the outing of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent whose identity was deliberately compromised as payback for her husband’s criticism of the Bush lies that led to the invasion of Iraq, and 2) the unethical firing of eight federal attorneys for politically ideological reasons. Additionally, there were questions about Karl Rove improperly using a Republican National Committee e-mail account that the White House later said disappeared. While Congress was investigating these activities, the White House announced that two years of emails were lost and unavailable to the committees of jurisdiction.

Hmmm. Sound familiar? In fact, it is identical to the story now being pushed by Fox. However, Fox News never blew a gasket over the lost emails from the Bush administration. Dana Perino, a co-host of the Fox News program The Five, was among those expressing outrage on Friday when the news of the missing IRS emails was released. She and her fellow co-hosts lit into the topic, bemoaning the administration’s “ignorance” and “incompetence.” And without any proof whatsoever, they implied that the administration was lying and covering up.

What makes this even worse is that Perino was Bush’s press secretary when it was revealed that two years of White House emails were lost. This, of course, cannot be waived off as an isolated problem that occurred at another agency. This was the White House itself that lost emails that were presently being requested by investigators. And it was Perino who came to the defense. Here she is downplaying the matter in a report on CNN by Ed Henry (now at Fox News):

Here is Perino & Co. aghast at the revelation that IRS emails went astray:

It is astonishing that Perino could be so rattled by the IRS email report when she herself was so intimately involved in spinning an identical controversy when she worked for Bush (Of course at Fox, she’s still working for the same gang). Either she has the memory of a gnat or she is purposefully deceiving the gullible waifs who watch Fox News. And since deception is an integral part of the Fox News mission, we can safely assume it’s the latter.

Geezer Karl Rove Tells Fox News That Hillary Clinton Is ‘Old And Stale’

The Republican Party already has serious problems with some of the most critical voting demographics. They have thoroughly alienated African-Americans and Latinos. Their appeal to young voters is weak and worsening. Thanks to their opposition to reproductive choice and pay equity, women are loathe to consider Republican candidates. And now the politically tone deaf GOP is determined to antagonize the nation’s most reliable voting bloc – senior citizens.

Karl Rove

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It’s not bad enough that Republicans have already put some distance between themselves and seniors by proposing cuts to Medicare and the privatization of Social Security. The latest insult to older Americans is that they are not fit to serve in public office, particularly the presidency.

This view was clumsily articulated by master GOP strategist, Karl Rove, who appeared on Fox News today to criticize Hillary Clinton. According to Rove, the former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State is in a “vulnerable position” due to her age and experience. Rove said that people won’t like Clinton because “they want to see a fighter,” which he seems to believe is a trait that only the young’uns can muster. His precise wording was…

“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.”

Make no mistake, Rove deliberately chose the words “old and stale” to invoke Clinton’s age. It was just as deliberate as his disgusting choice of words last week to falsely suggest that Clinton had suffered brain damage in a fall last year. This is typical Rovian, slash-and-burn politics.

It is also strikingly stupid when you consider the most recent Republican candidates for president, whom Rove certainly supported. There was Mitt Romney, a two-term governor who ran for president twice, making him rather familiar. There was John McCain who is even older than Clinton and served as senator for more than two decades. Before that it was Rove’s own invention, George W. Bush, another two-term governor and the son of a president and the grandson of a senator. Prior to that it was the 73 year old, 27 year senate veteran and Republican leader Bob Dole. Before him was W’s dad, who had been around Washington for decades as a congressman, CIA director, and vice-president. Preceding him was Ronald Reagan, who was also older than Clinton when he was inaugurated after serving as governor of California and multiple runs for the White House.

Do the terms “fresh,” or “new,” or “unfamiliar,” apply to any of those candidates? Does Rove’s perception of what is old and stale only apply to Democrats – or women? And is Rove suddenly enamored of the sort of inexperience and unfamiliarity that he used to disparage when talking about President Obama? In fact, the entire Republican Party that once mocked Obama as a novice, is now almost exclusively fixated on even greener pols like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Ben Carson. Those are the candidates to whom Rove is referring when he says that voters are looking for “a Republican with a constructive conservative agenda with the future.” Unfortunately they, like most Republicans, have their sights set squarely on the distant past, circa Dark Ages.

Worst of all, Rove is demonstrating open contempt for senior citizens with his insults to their capacity to be effective leaders. So even dismissing his rank hypocrisy, he is not making any friends with the older voters he clearly despises. Hopefully, Clinton’s campaign, should it materialize, will remind these mature voters just how scornfully Republicans regard them and their ability to contribute to society.

Did GOP/Fox News Plan Fort Hood Shooting To Distract From ObamaCare Success?

As the March deadline for enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) arrived, the White House proudly revealed that it had surpassed the goal of seven million enrollments set by the Congressional Budget Office. It was a target that many thought to be out of reach following the technical glitches that plagued the program’s Internet rollout. Under ordinary circumstances, such an achievement would have dominated the news for several days. The positive glow from having succeeded when most predicted failure could have permanently altered the public perception of ObamaCare which was already trending more positively in recent polls.

The very next day there was a horrific reprise of a deadly shooting at the Fort Hood army base in Texas that has sucked up every ounce of airtime across the television dial. Coincidence?

Of course it is. To be clear, there is absolutely no chance that either the Republican Party or Fox News had any part in orchestrating the Fort Hood shooting, despite the admittedly sensational headline of this article. This has been a demonstration of how Fox News would have responded if the news about ObamaCare was negative and some other news event pushed the bad news out of the spotlight. Fox would have objected strenuously to the media giving the President a pass rather than drooling over a potential White House flop.

This is not conjecture. It is precisely how Fox News has behaved in the past when they alleged that everything from the minimum wage to Syria to immigration reform were deliberate efforts to distract the public from the health care law when it appeared to be in trouble. It seemed like it would just be a matter of time before some rightist conspiracy nut (probably Glenn Beck) would come up with an alien baby for Sarah Palin as an excuse to avoid discussing ObamaCare.

Sarah Palin

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The Fort Hood shooting is a tragedy that deserves the attention of the media. However, it is usually the case that the press will fetishize a story to boost ratings, rather than to objectively inform their audience. Consequently, the uplifting success of ObamaCare will get short shrift following the Fort Hood homicides. Also bumped from the news cycle is the previous press fixation on Malaysia’s flight MH370.

One of the more interesting tangents dangling from the ObamaCare story that is now likely to be ignored, is the utter failure of right-wing critics of the law to predict the eventual outcome. Notable among them is former Bush crony and current GOP Super-PACman, Karl Rove who, when asked about the seven million sign up figure, said with complete and delusional confidence that “There is no way they’re gonna get anywhere close. It just ain’t gonna happen.” And he was not alone in mistakenly predicting failure for ObamaCare long before the numbers were in:

  • Investor’s Business Daily: Obama Just Guaranteed ObamaCare’s Failure
  • Human Events: ObamaCare’s ultimate failure
  • New York Times: Obamacare, Failing Ahead of Schedule
  • Daily Caller: New enrollment numbers suggest Obamacare is hurtling toward failure
  • New Republic: Obamacare Failure is a Threat to Liberalism
  • CNN: Opinion: Obamacare and the failure of half-baked liberalism
  • Townhall: Obamacare Is Failing Because The Product Sucks
  • Newsmax: Coburn: Obamacare is ‘A Failure Already’
  • Fox News: Former Gov. Sununu: ObamaCare ‘a complete failure
  • Fox Nation: ObamaCare: A Failure in Progress

As usual, there is no accountability for the media when they are wrong. It simply doesn’t matter how often they screw up, they will continue to enjoy a platform for their pitiful prognostications. As a result, the press gets to rant for months about what an abject failure ObamaCare is, and when all of that is proven to be bovine excrement, they pretend they never said it and hurriedly adopt a new obsession. Either that or they double down on their lies with no push-back from their pals on Fox. Even still, GOP deceivers like Sen. John Barasso go on Fox News and, without any evidence, claim that the administration is “cooking the books.” And Fox News clown-in-residence Jesse Watters alleges that Obama was “straight-up lying” about the sign-ups.

The GOP and Fox News certainly did not plan the Fort Hood shooting, but they gladly exploit it for their own partisan self-interests. So don’t expect to hear any more about the seven million ObamaCare enrollments on Fox, unless it is to claim that the numbers are fake. Ultimately this will leave Fox viewers in the dark again when everyone but them knows the truth about ObamaCare and everything else that actually happens in this world.

The GOP Alienates Another Key Constituent Group: Seniors

The Republican Party seems to be on a frantic mission to destroy their reputation with every constituency of voters in America, other than the Taliban wing of the Tea Party Christianists.

The GOP is currently engaged in nationwide battles to give government control over women’s bodies. They are exploiting every opportunity to suppress voting rights for African-Americans and other minorities. They oppose immigration reform that would eventually offer a path to legalized status for Latinos, some of whom have lived their whole lives in the United States. They obstructed the enactment of measures that would have prevented the interest rates for student loans from doubling. And, as always, they work feverishly to protect the wealthy from paying a fair tax rate, while allowing the rates to increase for those less fortunate.

So let’s see…who did they leave out? They got women, African-Americans, Latinos, youth, the poor and middle class. Who is left for Republicans to piss off?

Well, it should come as no surprise that the masterminds running the Republican machine noticed the crack in their strategic foundation and have promptly dedicated themselves to its repair.

That’s why Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the senate, jumped into action to attack Hillary Clinton, a prospective candidate for president in 2016, as an old hag, thus insulting the final demographic group that may still have had some affection for the GOP. McConnell uproariously joked…

“Don’t tell me Democrats are the party of the future when their presidential ticket for 2016 is shaping up to look like a rerun of the ‘Golden Girls.'”

Let’s just set aside the fact that “The Golden Girls” was a successful and popular sitcom that ran for seven years, with a cast of mature women who had active lives professionally, socially, and romantically. America’s seniors, who already have some cause to reject the Republican agenda that has sought to dismantle Social Security and cut funding for Medicare, can’t be too thrilled with being portrayed as useless fossils who should be consigned to history’s dustbin. Now they have been directly assaulted as has-beens, in the words of Karl Rove, who said of Clinton and her peers that “we’re at the end of her generation and that it’s time for another to step forward.”

For the record, Hillary Clinton is 65, Karl Rove is 62, and Mitch McConnell is 71. In January of 2017, when the next president is inaugurated, Clinton will be a year younger than Ronald Reagan was when his term began.

Mitch McConnell

McConnell had better start paying more attention to what’s in his own Depends. He is approaching his thirtieth year in office and has one of the lowest favorability ratings of any sitting senator. He is up for reelection next year and his first announced opponent is the 34 year old Kentucky Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes. Not exactly what you would call a “Golden Girl,” unless you what you meant by golden was someone with a rich set of skills, experience and support.

It’s hard to understand what the Republican Party is up to by alienating so many voters. Perhaps their plan to is expand their efforts to define corporations and fetuses as persons and give them the right to vote. But if they have to depend on Teabaggers, End-Timers, and NRA-theists, they are likely to find themselves elected only in districts dug into underground bunkers with ham radio reception that only gets Glenn Beck and Pat Robertson.

FoxBlocked: What Becomes Of The Fox News Rejects?

Yesterday the news broke that Karl Rove and Dick Morris were being designated pundit-non-grata, at least temporarily, by Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Apparently even a rabidly biased cable network known as the PR division of the GOP can tire of analysts who rarely get anything right.

Fox Blocked: Rove and Morris

I feel for the poor Fox viewers who are now going to miss out on the monumentally idiotic assessments and predictions by this pair of hacks. With important policy debates on the “fiscal cliff,” new cabinet appointments, immigration, Syria, etc., on the agenda, Fox viewers will be deprived of the insights that have made them so stupefyingly ignorant so long.

But I also wonder what will become of Rove and Morris. Their colleague, Rick Santorum, has already been reduced to joining WorldNetDaily, (aka Birther Central) as a columnist. Neither Rove nor Morris has commented publicly on the curb-stomping they just suffered. But I can’t help but feel that the worst part of this humiliation is that while Ailes dismissed them, he kept Sarah Palin and Donald Trump. How do they console themselves knowing that their commentaries were deemed unsuitable going forward, but Palin’s word salad jumbles, and Trump’s ego-soaked dementia, will continue to get broadcast? OUCH!

No doubt Rove will find a way to self-finance his media presence with funds misappropriated from his Super PAC. And Morris is still posting his vodcasts on his own web site for the willfully dumb and the aficionados of toe-sucking. But somehow, it just won’t be the same without their access to the vast audience of glassy-eyed Fox disciples (which is actually only about 1% of the population). At least we’ll still have Palin and Trump, and Limbaugh and Nugent and Hannity and, maybe, if we’re really, really good, Fox will hire Allen West and give us all something to brighten our holiday.

Fox News Kicks Karl Rove And Dick Morris To The Curb, But What About…?

New York Magazine is reporting that changes are afoot at Fox News following their pitifully inept coverage of the presidential campaign. Fox spent most of the year polishing the bubble within which their viewers, and even many of their favored candidates, resided. They were so averse to reality that they refused to report the results of polls that didn’t support their fantasy worldview, even when those polls were conducted by Fox News.

Fox Blocked - Rove Morris

The anchors and other spokespersons for the channel worked overtime on behalf of Mitt Romney and the Republican Party. They were unambiguously biased, which led to some rather embarrassing analyses and predictions. Most notable among these gaffes were the relentlessly anti-Obama/pro-Romney observations of Karl Rove and Dick Morris. And surprisingly, there are consequences for being so reliably wrong. According to Gabriel Sherman at NYMag:

“[Fox News CEO Roger] Ailes has issued a new directive to his staff: He wants the faces associated with the election off the air — for now. For Karl Rove and Dick Morris — a pair of pundits perhaps most closely aligned with Fox’s anti-Obama campaign — Ailes’s orders mean new rules. Ailes’s deputy, Fox News programming chief Bill Shine, has sent out orders mandating that producers must get permission before booking Rove or Morris.”

Well, that’s the least they can do – literally. While benching Rove and Morris makes perfect sense considering how dreadful their service to the network was, it doesn’t begin to address the problems at Fox. Bill Shine confirmed that the memo was authentic and that its purpose was to convey the message that “the election’s over.” If so, why is Fox continuing to feature a roster lousy with players who were every bit as disastrous as Rove and Morris.

Sarah Palin is a fixture on the network despite her nonsensical fear mongering about the creeping socialism of Obama and the Democratic Party. Mike Huckebee retains his Fox program even though he was an unrepentant supporter of Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin. Both were prolific fundraisers for a raft GOP candidates who mostly lost.

Then there is John Bolton, Laura Ingram, Tucker Carlson, Monica Crowley, Bill Kristol, Michelle Malkin, Eric Bolling, Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld, the entire cast of Fox & Friends, and Fox’s own GOP Carnival Barker, Sean Hannity. How can Fox maintain seriously that they want to move on past the election when their schedule is littered with the same political hacks who played starring roles in the biggest flop of the season?

The answer is that they have no intention of moving on. The wrist-slapping of Rove and Morris will be short-lived and the familiar partisanship at Fox will continue unabated. If anything, the month that has transpired since election day already proves that Fox is still in campaign mode with their attacks on Susan Rice, their sensationalizing of the so-called “Fiscal Cliff,” and any number of other trumped up scandals.

Oh yeah, that reminds me. There has been no mention of their sidelining the Billionaire Birther, Donald Trump. So don’t expect to see much change at Fox, other than a bit of window dressing that will all come down when the weather clears.

Fox News Audience Abandons Ship After Obama Wins

As further evidence of the tunnel-vision conservatism of Fox News, the Nielsen ratings for election night show just how intolerant their audience is of any information that is undesirable or contrary to their worldview.

As the broader television audience peaked into the evening, those watching CNN and MSNBC remained attentive to breaking news and analysis throughout the night. However, those watching Fox News switched off their media feeding tube shortly after the network declared that President Obama had been reelected.

Fox News Election Night Ratings

This chart reveals the precipitous relative decline in viewers that occurred only on Fox News. Some folks may speculate that Fox’s audience simply got tired and went to bed because the network skews older than the other channels and the geezers were sleepy. However, the percent decline for the total audience and the younger 25-54 year old demographic were nearly identical. Others may simply conclude that Fox’s conservative viewers just weren’t interested in anything they might have learned after the race was called. But that’s precisely the point.

Rather than be subjected to news that they found discomforting, the Fox audience turned away, even from their own partisan choice for what they think is news. The reelection of the President must have come as a something of a shock to Fox viewers because Fox had been relentlessly positive about Mitt Romney’s inevitable success, while portraying Obama as a failure who was destined to be rejected for a second term by a populace who despised him. Fox disparaged any polling that showed Obama ahead as biased and unreliable – even their own.

By shutting off Fox News early, they missed the spectacle of Fox contributor Karl Rove challenging the election analysis of his colleagues at the network. He insisted that the call on Ohio was premature and that he thought Romney would take the state. This resulted in anchor Megyn Kelly marching down to the newsroom to seek affirmations from the analysis staff of their projections. As it turned out, Rove was wrong, along with most of the partisan pundits that litter the Fox schedule.

The sharp drop-off in viewership that occurred only on Fox reveals the sensitivity that the Fox viewer has to actual, truthful information. That is something that Fox exploits eagerly as they load up their programming with false and prejudicial stories. And that accounts for why Fox viewers have been shown to be so much less informed than consumers of news from other sources. They have such an aversion to anything other than Fox’s pre-seasoned, right-wing brand of pseudo-knowledge that they won’t even stayed tuned to Fox if there is a chance they might be exposed to raw reality.

Update: On Wednesday night Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell handily beat their Fox competition (Hannity and Van Susteren) in the 25-54 demo.

Clint Eastwood’s Unpatriotic Ad For Mitt Romney

What is it about desperate politicians who are afraid they are losing that makes them resort to ugly and counterproductive rhetorical assaults? In 2008 we saw Sarah Palin accuse Barack Obama of “palling around with terrorists.” Now, in 2012, Mitt Romney’s surrogates have dispatched Clint Eastwood to up the ante.

Clint Eastwood

The ad featuring Eastwood (video below) was produced by Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Super PAC, which is funded by millionaires who are ashamed of disclosing their identities. Super PACs themselves are unpatriotic in that they are a perverted distortion of the democratic principle of “one person, one vote.” When millionaires are allowed to anonymously aggregate unlimited sums of money you have something more like “one dollar, one vote.”

Eastwood’s performance in this ad is a big improvement over the one he gave at the Republican convention. Of course, he had a script for this. The problem is that the script contained this bit of foolishness: “Obama’s second term would be a rerun of the first and our country just couldn’t survive that.”

Precisely how weak does Eastwood (and his handlers at American Crossroads) think this country is? Does he really believe that America will dissolve into dust if Obama is reelected? Does he think that our enemies will subdue and enslave us? What dreadful fate awaits in the second term of Obama’s presidency that would cause us not to survive? That sounds like the kind of fear mongering that is more often associated with Apocalyptic prophets or Glenn Beck’s fans. And it is a starkly different message than the one he delivered in his famous halftime ad for Chrysler when he spoke about the difficulties are nation had endured:

“But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right, and acted as one. Because that’s what we do. We find a way through tough times, and if we can’t find a way, then we’ll make one.”

Apparently Eastwood has lost that sense of optimism and now thinks that when we encounter tough times we will fold up like paper dolls and be swept away by a light breeze. Or maybe it just tells us something about the differences between a commercial trying to sell us a car and one trying to sell us a horror story about monsters from Kenya who hate freedom.

It is also curious why Eastwood thinks a rerun of Obama’s first term would be unsurvivable. Which part does he think would do us in? The part where Osama Bin Laden (and dozens of Al Qaeda leaders) was put to rest? The part where the war in Iraq was concluded? The part where the stock market doubled? The part where unemployment went from 10.1% to 7.8%? The part where a full-on depression was avoided and companies like Chrysler were rescued so they could hire actors like Eastwood to make commercials?

America survived a civil war, two world wars, a depression, presidential assassinations and corruption leading to resignation, and George W. Bush. If people like Eastwood and Rove and Romney are so pessimistic about America that they think it will not survive another four years of Obama, they have very little faith in the nation they profess to love and they should stop pretending they are patriots.

Karl Rove Inadvertantly Argues Against His Own Fundraising Machine

The Wall Street Journal, once a respected financial news publisher before Rupert Murdoch got his hands on it, is now the home of rabidly partisan propagandists who seek only to advance self-serving political agendas. One of those is former Bush flack, Karl Rove.

Karl RoveIn an op-ed today, Rove addressed the intricacies of modern campaigning and passed along some of the lessons he has learned from a lifetime of electioneering. But in his haste to demean President Obama as a profligate spender obsessed with winning reelection, Rove ended up making a convincing case for campaign finance reform, including eliminating SuperPACS like his own Crossroads GPS.

The op-ed opened with Rove regurgitating a few well-known, and widely debunked, out-of-context misrepresentations of the President’s remarks. In rapid succession he rattled off what he called Obama’s “problematic statements:”

  • “You didn’t build that.” Where Obama was actually referring to roads and bridges, not private businesses.
  • “The private sector is doing fine.” Where Obama was correctly making a relative comparison of the private sector to the public sector.
  • “We tried our plan and it worked” Where Obama was referencing the success of the Clinton era policies as opposed to the failure of the GOP’s years under Bush’s policies.

The GOP is laying the entire foundation of their campaign on these deliberate lies, and it is not surprising to see Rove commence his editorial by highlighting them. What’s surprising is what comes next. Rove squeezes out some faux sympathy for the President’s exhaustive workload. He goes into some detail enumerating the stressful itinerary of a candidate for the White House.

Rove: Many people don’t fully appreciate how much of a drain it is on a candidate—involving travel, a speech or two, private meetings with particularly energetic (or obnoxious) money bundlers, and always plenty of advice. Most fundraisers also include a long photo line where the candidate grips and grins for dozens, sometimes hundreds, of photographs.

I observed first-hand how difficult it was to wedge 86 fundraisers onto President George W. Bush’s calendar over the 14.5 months from May 16, 2003 (when he filed for re-election) through July 2004.

Indeed. Raising money for a viable presidential campaign is a back-breaking endeavor that diverts the candidate’s attention from other pressing matters, whether they be communicating with voters, developing policies and campaign platforms, or fulfilling any other duties outside of the campaign, like running a country.

Unfortunately, fundraising is a fact of campaign life. No one, including Rove, would suggest that a candidate could neglect this duty and still have a chance of winning. This is more true than ever in the post-Citizens United era where corporations and wealthy individuals have been freed to make unlimited (and sometimes undisclosed) contributions to candidates. The new electioneering environment forces candidates to spend more time and effort on soliciting donations than ever before. These observations are powerful evidence for why reform is such an imperative. Corporate cash and secret bankrolls have no place in democratic elections and they only make the practice of fair elections more difficult. Thanks for pointing that out, Karl.

Ironically, Rove is a prominent advocate of Citizens United. He is also a major beneficiary of it via his network of political action committees. Rove has boasted that he intends to raise and spend hundreds of millions of dollars this election cycle. So, in effect, Rove is cashing in on a practice that he admits is detrimental and places undue burdens on office-seekers. He further admits that, despite Obama’s best efforts, he is still trailing Romney and the GOP, largely because of Rove’s own prowess at hauling in boat loads of bucks from billionaires with aspirations to buy election outcomes.

If we were to take Rove’s initial points seriously, the country would rise up against Citizens United and the flash flood of cash that it unleashed on the electoral process. Without meaning to, Rove has made an excellent case for overturning CU and restoring the democratic principle of one-man-one-vote, rather than one-dollar-one-vote. But Rove doesn’t take his own arguments seriously because he is too heavily invested in the windfall he receives both personally and for the benefit of his GOP pals. As usual, he is demonstrating the brazen hypocrisy that is typical of his species of parasite.

Karl Rove’s Super Amazing Political Funtime Analysis Happy Hour

The man who used to be known as Bush’s Brain may have spent too much time with America’s foremost remedial president. Karl Rove seems to have leaked a significant amount of grey matter as evidenced by this stunningly inept observation about President Obama and the economy:

“It is fine for him to try and blame it on President Bush or a Japanese tsunami or on ATM, but it makes him look weak, and the American people are not that dumb! […] Let him keep doing that because the American people see that as a weak leader. That’s not somebody who’s in charge. That’s somebody who’s making excuses. And we do not like to elect people President of the United States who are excuse makers. We want a president to be big and bold.”

Romney - Not StupidGot that? America wants a big, bold, non-excuse maker. And blaming Bush for the wrecked economy won’t work because the American people aren’t stupid. That’s a mantra that Romney also likes to chant. In fact, he made it into a campaign slogan. This may be the first time a candidate has ever had to go to such lengths to remind his followers that they aren’t idiots. But that argument becomes more difficult to defend when polling shows what the American people really think. A new Gallup poll says that…

“Americans continue to place more blame for the nation’s economic problems on George W. Bush than on Barack Obama, even though Bush left office more than three years ago.”

The poll shows that two-thirds of respondents (68%) still blame Bush for the state of the economy. That includes about half of the polled Republicans who also continue to hold Rove’s former boss accountable. Consequently, Obama should not be shy about hanging this economic albatross around Romney’s neck. The Romney campaign has already affirmed that their policy agenda is “Bush on steroids.”

Ironically, I have to agree with Rove about a couple of things. First, he appears to be right that the American people are not dumb. They know exactly who is responsible for where we are today and they are not likely to to want to return to the policies that got us here. Secondly, Rove’s advice that Obama continue to blame Bush is pretty sound based on the mood of the electorate.

The problem for Rove is that he’s right for all the wrong reasons. He doesn’t understand where the American people are, and he wouldn’t agree with them if he did. He’s just trying to rehabilitate his own shattered reputation because, as the political architect of the Bush administration, he’s just as responsible for the financial hole we are in as Bush is.

It’s about time that the right quit yakking about Democrats looking backwards to blame Bush. Obama is not reaching backwards to assign responsibility for current conditions to the past president. He is forecasting the future consequences of repeating those mistakes. It is the Republicans who are bringing the Bush era back to the table by proposing nothing but what the Bush administration did. They are offering nothing new in the way of solutions. In fact, the only initiative they will articulate out loud is to preserve the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy. So the Obama administration has no choice but to rebut those proposals. That is not an attack on Bush. It is an attack on the current crop of Republicans who are parroting Bush.

And if it weren’t bad enough that Americans blame Rove and Bush for our current economic problems, they also blame Republicans in congress today for deliberately sabotaging the recovery in order to make Obama look bad. So not only are they dredging up the old Bush era policies that already failed so decisively, they are obstructing Obama’s new solutions from being enacted.

GOP Sabotaging Economy

Since the day that Obama was inaugurated, the GOP has explicitly stated that their top priority is to make Obama a one-term president. That’s not a governing agenda. That’s the purest and most cynical form of self-serving, political gamesmanship imaginable.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Obama’s War On Women

Fox Nation has taken up the tactic perfected by Karl Rove of attacking head on your opponent’s strengths and accusing them of your own weaknesses. Hence we have the Fox Nationalists declaring: “Obama’s War on Women.”

Fox Nation

Throughout this campaign cycle there have been numerous examples of conservative assaults on women. We have seen them insult a female law student, calling her a slut and a prostitute. We have seen them block the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. We have seen them oppose access to reproductive health care without first undergoing intrusive, unnecessary vaginal probes. We have seen them lobby for rolling back the availability of contraception from their own private insurance policies.

The War on Women is unquestionably being waged by conservative politicians and pundits. Therefore, consistent with the Rovian strategy, it is time for conservatives to assert that it is really the other way around and that it is Obama who is anti-woman. And in support of that mission Fox Nation has published an article sourced to the ultra-conservative Washington Free Beacon that takes the President to task for golfing and for failing to employ women amongst his senior staff and advisers.

The Beacon focuses their report on remarks by the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney who, in a response to a reporter’s question, said that the President believes that the Augusta National Golf Club, hosts of the Masters Golf Tournament, ought to admit women as members, something it has never done. The Beacon then characterized Carney’s answer by saying that…

“The remarks were viewed by some as a conscious effort by the White House to propagate the meme of a “war on women” being waged by Republicans against the fairer sex.”

The question the Beaconese and the Fox Nationalists should answer is: What is Mitt Romney trying to propagate by announcing the exact same position? And they surely know of Romney’s stance because they reported it on their web site prior to their report on Carney’s White House briefing.

The Beacon went on to say that “The president himself, however, has a well-documented history of excluding women.” They provided no evidence whatsoever to support that statement. Some examples would have helped it to make sense considering that Obama’s cabinet is full of women in the highest positions – beginning with Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton; Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis; Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius; Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano; and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Additionally, some of Obama’s closest personal advisers in the White House have been women, including Valerie Jarrett, Stephanie Cutter, and Samantha Power.

But the Fox Nationalists can’t let facts get in the way of their propaganda. They’ve got an audience to misinform, and when the lies are as big as these, they need to devote every bit of energy to the mission.

Merry Christmas Karl Rove, From Fox News

In the spirit of the holiday season, Fox News has given a Christmas gift to former George W. Bush political strategist, and current Fox employee, Karl Rove. The gift was a generous one that is worth tens of thousands of dollars, and it is exactly what Rove asked Santa Claus for: Free Advertising.

Rove’s latest attack ad bashing President Obama has received free air time on a variety of Fox News programs including Hannity, The Five and others. And the ad was not merely shown in the context of a news report, it received high praise from Fox pundits and presenters. Also, in most cases Fox never bothered to mention that the ad, which was produced by the American Crossroads PAC, was in fact Rove’s vehicle for raising millions of dollars from secret corporate donors.

This is blatant electioneering by Fox on behalf of the Republican Party. They should be required by law to report it as an in-kind contribution. It is additional evidence (as if any were necessary) that Fox’s claim to be “fair and balanced” is transparently dishonest. Can anyone imagine Fox giving the same sort of treatment to this ad by Priorities USA, a rival Democratic PAC (that coincidentally features Fox’s own Karl Rove)?

Yeah, that’ll be the day.

Priorities USA: More Of This, Please

Prioroties USA just released this video exposing the dangers of the extreme (aka mainstream) Republican/Tea Party:

Transcript: The extreme right is aptly named. They are extremely powerful, extremely well-funded, extremely frightening, extremely paranoid, extremely hateful, extremely irresponsible, extremely ill-informed. And just plain extreme. Which makes them all extremely dangerous. It’s time to stand up and fight back. Join us at Taking on the politics of fear and smear.

This video addresses the cream of the rightist assault on America. It covers everything from the Koch brothers, to Glenn Beck to Karl Rove and more. The folks behind Priorities USA are familiar Democratic operatives like Bill Burton, former deputy White House spokesman. The group appears to be a lefty version of Rove’s CrossroadsUSA.

It’s about time. While these sort of groups are exploiting the onerous Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court that permits unlimited, anonymous donations by corporations, as long as that decision is the law of the land, the GOP should not be alone in benefiting from it. In fact, Democrats should exploit the hell out of it in the hopes that Republicans will eventually see the harm and join Democrats in drafting a legislative repeal.

So, as the video says, “It’s time to stand up and fight back.”

Fox News, GOP Falling Into Obama’s Trap

Our Kenyan, socialist, terrorist sympathizing, tele-prompted President is apparently also a devious, evil mastermind. Despite frequent assertions from the right that he is an incompetent, inexperienced, failure, he has somehow managed to lure Fox News and innumerable Republican politicians and pundits into his web of deceit, reducing them to nothing more than his unwitting lackeys.

The talk about whether or not Barack Obama is a citizen of the United States with a valid birth certificate to prove it has accelerated in recent days. Fox News anchors and guests are ratcheting up the speculation as to his eligibility to serve as president. The Birther Brigade, led by conspiratorialists at WorldNetDaily, believe that they are on a crusade to rescue America from an evil, dark-skinned, interloper, but now another leader of the white-wing suspects something even more insidious:

Karl Rove: Barack Obama wants Republicans to fall into this trap because he knows it discredits us with the vast majority of the American people when they do.

That’s right. All the talk of Obama’s birth certificate is part of an over-arching plot to bring down the Republican Party. And with the vast majority of that talk emanating from Republicans you can see the danger inherent in this brilliant scheme. Obama has GOP candidates, Fox News analysts, and much of the Tea Party effectively doing his bidding as they sabotage their own agenda. Just last night on the Bill O’Reilly program Donald Trump escalated his Birther rhetoric:

“People have birth certificates. He [Obama] doesn’t have a birth certificate. He may have one but there’s something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim.”

Who knew that Republican presidential candidates could so easily be suckered into phony White House plots? Who knew that the president Rush Limbaugh refers to as a “man-child” (a synonym for “boy”) could execute such a sophisticated strategy to destroy his enemies? And who knew that so many supposedly intelligent, conservative, patriots would succumb to his scheme?

Who knew? Only the omnipotent Obama. And maybe George Soros.

Karl Rove Confesses: Most Of Fox News Is Unfair

Today on Meet the Press, Tom Brokaw (sitting in for David Gregory) interviewed Fox News contributor Karl Rove. In the course of the discussion Rove spewed the routine misrepresentations and falsehoods that one one might expect of him. But there was one exchange that was surprisingly honest:

TOM BROKAW: You’re now at Fox News. Do you think that Fox News is fair to President Obama?

KARL ROVE: I think they – on the news side, absolutely. I think that they’ve got first-rate individuals at the White House who – do their job. And in an objective, fair, and balanced way, yeah, absolutely.

Notice the qualification Rove inserts into his answer: “on the news side.” His assessment of fairness explicitly excludes those portions of the Fox schedule that are designated as opinion programs. Now recall that Michael Clemente, senior vice president of Fox News, defines the hours of 9am to 4pm, and 6pm to 8pm, as the dayparts that air straight news. So by their own calculation, that’s just nine hours of “news” programming. But the Fox & Friends morning block, plus the afternoon Cavuto/Beck double bill, plus the primetime fare (which is repeated) and the late night Red Eye, all add up to 13 hours. So the majority of their schedule is what they themselves regard as editorial content. Which means the majority of their schedule is deliberately unfair in the view of Karl Rove, who went out of his way to say so.

Taking into consideration the fact that what they do call “news” is heavily infested with opinions straight out of Beckville and Hannityland, it’s clear why Fox has zero credibility when it comes to authentic journalism. Former New York times editor Howell Raines noted this absence of objectivity in a recent op-ed. And Bill O’Reilly, never one to miss an opportunity to demonstrate the thinness of his skin, fired back back at Raines saying…

“The Factor is the signature broadcast of the Fox News Channel and we have covered the Obama-care debate carefully and with fairness, as have most of my colleagues.”

So O’Reilly is contradicting both Rove and Clemente. First he asserts that his show is fair (notwithstanding Rove’s contrary assessment). Then he describes it, not just as a “news” broadcast, but as the network’s “signature” example of one (despite not complying with Clemente’s definition).

In the end, O’Reilly’s ego confirms Rove’s confession. Fox News is utterly unfair throughout most of its broadcast day and its hired goons can’t tell the difference.

How About An Apology Mr. Rove?

Karl Rove, the former Deputy Chief of Staff, and Chief Political Adviser to President George W. Bush, has a new book coming out. “Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight,” is a memoir by the former White House aide and current Fox News contributor. The New York Times has an advance copy of the book and has published some interesting excerpts.

Chief amongst the revelations is that Rove acknowledges that the failure to find weapons of mass destruction severely damaged Bush’s presidency. He blames himself for not sufficiently countering the bad publicity generated by having started an illegitimate and illegal war. Specifically addressing the decision to invade Iraq Rove writes…

“Would the Iraq War have occurred without W.M.D.? I doubt it. Congress was very unlikely to have supported the use-of-force resolution without the W.M.D. threat. The Bush administration itself would probably have sought other ways to constrain Saddam, bring about regime change, and deal with Iraq’s horrendous human rights violations.”

Oh great! So tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of innocent Iraqis – not combatants or terrorists, but civilian men, women and children – are dead because of this brutal and unjustified assault, and the only thing for which Rove takes responsibility is a weak response to shore up Bush’s image in the press.

Rove admits that the Congressional authorization for war would not have been approved without W.M.D.’s. That certainly raises the likelihood that an administration determined to embark on this strategy would provide the Congress with what they wanted, whether or not it was true. And the administration’s determination has been well documented, even to the point of trying to pin 9/11 on Saddam Hussein two years before the Iraq war began.

Rove also admits that the administration could have developed “other ways to constrain” the Iraqi regime. So the oft-repeated insistence that war was the last resort is and was a lie. By conceding that alternatives were available, Rove makes it clear that the military solution was the only one to which they gave serious consideration.

And for all of the human costs, including more than 4,000 Americans, Rove is only sorry for not having conducted a better PR campaign. He does not apologize for the loss of life. He does not apologize for depleting our nation’s treasury. He does not apologize for soiling our reputation internationally. The only reputation he is concerned with his his own. And the thousands of grieving American families don’t enter into his consciousness – not to mention the many thousands more in Iraq.

If that isn’t enough, in another excerpt from the book Rove expresses his regret for the ill-advised fly-over of New Orleans after Katrina. Once again, his concern is for the unflattering appearance of his actions, not for the suffering of the people on the ground. His appalling egocentrism is displayed in utmost clarity when he reveals that, not withstanding the horrors of 9/11, Iraq, and Katrina, the thing that drove him to tears was when he learned that he would not be indicted by the special prosecutor in the Valerie Plame leak case.

What a despicable waste of flesh. And this is the man presently employed by Rupert Murdoch to provide insight into the public affairs of our government and social institutions. The question I have is how would Rove know anything about the human interest stories he is being asked to comment on? Wouldn’t being human be a requirement for such a job?

The Figment Of The Center-Right Imagi-Nation

Throughout much of last year’s presidential campaign, and right on through the first weeks of Barack Obama’s administration, the media has persistently peddled the falsehood that America is a center-right nation, politically and socially. Now Media Matters has published a study (full pdf here) that thoroughly debunks this notion, and they do it by using surveys and facts that realistically portray the ideological character of the country – something the media may want to check in to.

The Media Matters study is a comprehensive look at the American electorate. It covers virtually every one of the most debated subjects of public discourse: Size of government; health care; taxes; abortion; gay rights. It also examines the demographics of age, ethnicity, gender, and geography. And every case the evidence shows that America is a progressive, and yes, a center-left nation.

And nowhere is this more misunderstood than in the media:

  • Tom Brokaw (NBC): “This country, even with the election of Barack Obama last night, remains a very centered country, or maybe even center-right in a lot of places.”
  • Jon Meacham (Newsweek): “…insisted that to govern successfully, Obama had to become a center-right leader in order to match America’s ‘instinctively conservative’ streak.”
  • David Broder (Washington Post): “…warned that too many victorious Democrats in Congress had ‘ideas of their own about what should be done in energy, health care and education.'”
  • Karl Rove (Fox News): “Barack Obama understands this is a center-right country.”
  • Chris Wallace (Fox News): “You could make the argument that this is still a center-right country.”
  • Chris Matthews (MSNBC): “I’ve noted that we’re right of center except when we’re in a crisis, when we’re left of center.”
  • Bob Schieffer (CBS): “These Democrats that were elected last night are conservative Democrats.”

I’m not sure exactly why the press is so brain dead in this regard. It’s not as if the record isn’t crystal clear. Obama was portrayed by Republicans, and most of the press, as a liberal extremist – even as a Socialist, or worse. And yet, Obama won a decisive victory. Democrats have also been winning larger majorities in the Congress with each election cycle. And Obama’s approval rating have maintained stratospheric levels. The public supports the President’s policies even when they are told that it may increase their taxes.

At the other end of the scale, Republicans are descending into historical depths of disrepute. Their de facto leaders are universally despised figures like Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh. Their policies, I’m sure, would be rejected with equal disdain, if they were to articulate any. As it is, they just regurgitate the same old slogans they have been chanting for decades, and those are not particularly well received.

It will be interesting to see what it will take to get the media to recognize what the rest the country already knows. This is a nation that has had its fill of rightist greed and incompetence. We have ousted many of the representatives in public office who led the nation down a path of war and recession. While we can, and did, adjust the make up of our government to more closely reflect our values, it will not be as easy to fix the media. But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.

Now Republicans Are An Oppressed Minority

This doesn’t need much accompanying commentary:

Per Rush Limbaugh: “If ever a civil rights movement was needed in America, it is for the Republican Party. If ever we needed to start marching for freedom and constitutional rights, it’s for the Republican Party. The Republican Party is today’s oppressed minority, and it know how to behave as one.”

Per Karl Rove (speaking about George W. Bush): “And let’s be honest, a certain part of the country doesn’t like people who speak with an accent.”

I guess Rove never heard of Bill Clinton or Lyndon Johnson. And this on the heels of Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. What a couple of wankers.