OH LORD: CNN’s Trump Fluffer Calls Trump ‘The Martin Luther King Of Health Care’

Last month Donald Trump watched impotently as the healthcare bill he championed went down in flames. The House of Representatives, certain of failure, didn’t even bring it up for a vote. Perhaps the fact that only seventeen percent of the American people were in favor of the GOP’s efforts to ditch ObamaCare had something to do with it.

CNN Jeffrey Lord

Now Trump is pretending that he didn’t fail at all. Contrary to reality, he contends that his plan is still being negotiated. As part of the alleged negotiations Trump threatened to withhold subsidy payments from millions of low income Americans. That would effectively cancel their insurance. So he is using these citizens as hostages to force Democrats into capitulating and voting against ObamaCare.

That was the subject of a debate on CNN Thursday morning (video below). Host Alisyn Camerota opened the discussion with a quote from Trump explicitly spelling out his attempt at blackmail:

“President Trump is considering making a drastic move to try to get Obamacare repealed. He is threatening to withhold billions of dollars in subsidies that the poorest Americans rely on. President Trump telling The Wall Street Journal, ‘Obamacare is dead next month if it doesn’t get that money. I don’t want people to get hurt. What I think should happen and will happen is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating.'”

The tone of Trump’s message is reminiscent of a Mafioso ultimatum. “That’s a nice healthy family you got there. I don’t want people to get hurt. So you better do as I say.” Sen. Chuck Schumer shouldn’t be surprised if he wakes up next to severed horse’s head. Democratic commentator Symone Sanders observed the callousness in Trump’s threat and responded:

“The president sees millions of people that are benefiting from health insurance that are on the ACA [Affordable Care Act]. But he sees bargaining chips. He doesn’t see lives. He doesn’t see that he’s putting people in danger.”

Trump’s inclination to use sick people as human shields is an amoral negotiating tactic. It would hurt innocent people who have no direct voice in the negotiations. Nevertheless, the tactic was defended by CNN’s Jeffrey Lord. And he chose perhaps the most offensive line of defense imaginable:

“Think of President Trump as the Martin Luther King of health care. When I was a kid, President Kennedy did not want to introduce the civil rights bill because he said it wasn’t popular. He didn’t have the votes for it, etc. Dr. King kept putting people in the streets in harm’s way to put the pressure on so that the bill would be introduced. That’s what finally worked.”

First of all, no sane person could compare Trump’s efforts to deny health for millions with King’s movement to bring about equality for all. Secondly, Trump isn’t asking people to voluntarily take to the streets in protest. He’s holding a knife to their throats while demanding obedience from Democrats. A fair analogy would be if King threatened to harm African-Americans if Congress didn’t accede to his demands. Try to imagine King putting a gun to the head of a citizen and saying “Pass the Civil Rights bill or the black guy gets it.” That’s the equivalent of what Trump is doing to health insurance recipients. Lord’s argument was preposterous on its face, and Sanders wasn’t having it:

“Jeffrey, you do understand that Dr. King was marching for civil rights because people that looked like me were being beaten? Dogs were being sicced on them. Basic human rights were being withheld from these people merely because the color of their skin. So let’s not equate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize winner, to the vagina-grabbing President Donald Trump.”

That pretty much says it all. By attempting to compare Trump with Dr. King, Lord only succeeded in making the differences between them more apparent. But he isn’t doing any worse than the rest of the Republican haters. None of them have any coherent arguments to support their heartless agenda, so they resort to these absurd mischaracterizations. And that makes it all the more puzzling that CNN would give someone like Lord a platform to disseminate his lies.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Cancels MLK Day Visit To African American Museum To Spite John Lewis

This Monday is the national holiday commemorating the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s a day when the whole country recognizes the contributions of one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders.

This year, for the first time, there is a Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. where people can pay their respects to his wisdom and his message of love and unity. Even President-Elect Donald Trump planned to spend some time there on the holiday. That is, until The Donald embarked on a Twitter tirade lambasting another civil rights hero for exercising his rights.

Trump MLK

Rep. John Lewis has been an advocate for equality for more than fifty years. He marched alongside King and participated in untold demonstrations for freedom for all. On more than one occasion he risked his own life for these principles.

This weekend Lewis was interviewed for a segment on Meet the Press. He told moderator Chuck Todd that he would not be attending the inauguration because he didn’t consider Trump to be a “legitimate” president:

“I don’t see this President-elect as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”

Lewis is not alone in that opinion. There are reportedly a couple of dozen members of Congress opting out of the inaugural festivities. In response to Lewis, Trump took to Twitter (as usual) and revealed his notoriously thin-skin. In a disrespectful and racist reply, Trump maligned Lewis as “All talk, talk, talk – no action.” History proves that to be a blatant lie. Trump also called Lewis’ Atlanta district “horrible” and “crime infested.” That’s also untrue.

Subsequent to this war of words, Trump’s transition team announced that he would not be visiting the museum after all. They cited an unspecified scheduling conflict as the reason. However, it seems like more than a coincidence that this conflict should arise right after Trump goes off on Lewis. What’s more, the Museum is not just a repository of African American history, including the parts where Lewis played a significant role. It is also the result of legislation first introduced in Congress by Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Does Trump really have another sudden, more pressing engagement on MLK’s birthday? Perhaps. There is some skepticism on whether Trump had ever planned to go at all. According to BuzzFeed, Trump’s transition team asked the Smithsonian about a visit, but never actually scheduled one. But people can draw their own conclusions given the available evidence. And Trump’s own temperament should be part of that analysis. His famously juvenile tendencies suggest that a spiteful rejection of this sort would be typical Trumpian behavior.

Martin Luther King: And One Day We Must Ask The Question…

Martin Luther King, 1967:

Martin Luther King

“The movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. There are forty million poor people here. And one day we must ask the question, Why are there forty million poor people in America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society.

“We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life’s marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You see, my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, Who owns the oil? You begin to ask the question, Who owns the iron ore? You begin to ask the question, Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two-thirds water? These are questions that must be asked.”

Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recife:

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”

Pope Francis:

“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems. Inequality is the root of social ills.”

President Barack Obama, 2013:

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it […] Our journey is not complete…”

Fox News Guest Distorts Martin Luther King Quote To Attack ObamaCare

The naysayers at Fox News have been working overtime to cripple the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) by inventing controversies, spinning nightmares, and just outright lying. Then, when it seems that they have traversed a line that extinguishes all manner of decency, they manage to go a step further.

In yesterday’s episode of America’s Newsroom, host Bill Hemmer introduced a debate segment with a putrid old clip of Joe the Plumber (whose name is not Joe and is not a plumber) and the deliberately misrepresented remarks of then-candidate Obama talking about the benefits of growing the middle class. At the time, Fox News twisted his words into a socialist credo of redistribution of wealth when all he was saying was the same thing folks like Ronald Reagan said about a rising tide lifting all boats.

Fox News

The segment (video below) featured right-wing radio talker Mike Slater who took liberties with the words of Martin Luther King from his iconic essay, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” In an effort to condemn the egalitarian aspirations of making health care accessible to all American citizens, Slater mangled King’s words saying…

“Here’s the bottom line. The ends do not justify the means. Martin Luther King, Jr. said ‘You cannot achieve a moral end — helping people — through an immoral means — taking from people.’ The left’s solution is always to take from people to help another group. That’s lazy.”

What anyone familiar with King’s famous essay will immediately recognize is that Slater’s butchered version of the quote where he references “helping people” and “taking from People” do not exist in the original. What King actually said was…

“I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends.”

King was reiterating his long held belief in nonviolence and the need to maintain that in the face of increasing hostility from bigots and misguided southern law enforcement officials. It certainly had nothing to do with Slater’s skewed characterization that it is somehow wrong for government policies to help people. Taken literally, Slater’s view would eliminate Social Security, public schools, fire departments, child nutrition programs, and more.

Slater’s intentional distortion is even more ironic when you know that King’s next line was “But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends.” King might as well have been speaking directly to Slater who was using the moral ideas expressed by King for the immoral purpose of deception and advocacy of the sort of selfishness that King despised.

Unfortunately, Slater’s debate opponent, Leslie Marshall, was unprepared for Slater’s misquoting of King. She nevertheless responded earnestly saying “I think MLK would be rolling in his grave. If a child has cancer and they couldn’t get insurance, I don’t think that’s immoral, I think it’s quite the opposite to provide that.”

For the record, King was an advocate of health care access for all. In 1966 he told a conference in Chicago that “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” Had Slater and Fox News made that quote available to their viewers they would have gone farther toward realizing the moral ends of which King spoke. But true to form, Fox was focused solely on advancing their own rightist agenda that only benefits the privileged.

Bill O’Reilly, Wrong Again: On Conservative Invitations To The MLK Event

Modern conservatives are obsessed with demonstrating their admiration for Martin Luther, Jr. now that he has been dead for 45 years and is universally regarded as a civil rights icon. While he was alive they despised him as a rabble-rousing commie and opposed his efforts to integrate schools, workplaces, and other social institutions.

Today they scramble to get invitations to an event commemorating King’s best remembered speech as if they were teenage girls trying to get into a Justin Beiber concert. Never mind that they continue to work furiously against the principles for which King fought, and they endeavor to roll back the clock on everything from voting rights to job opportunities.

Bill O'Reilly

On his program today, Bill O’Reilly joined the rush to pretend that King is a revered figure amongst those on the right. In a dialogue with James Carville, O’Reilly made what he must have thought was a profound observation: “Wasn’t it a little strange that they didn’t have one black conservative or one black Republican? Did their invitations get lost in the mail, or what?”

Carville began his response by noting the appearances by former presidents Carter and Clinton, but was interrupted by O’Reilly snidely remarking that “Isn’t George W. Bush a former president.” Carville replied that he didn’t know whether Bush was invited or not, to which O’Reilly matter-of-factly stated “He wasn’t. No Republicans and no conservatives were invited.”

Not surprisingly, given O’Reilly’s track record for accuracy and honesty, none of that was true. Bush was invited but declined because he is still recuperating from heart surgery. And even Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal reported that the claim that all conservatives were deliberately excluded was false. In fact, GOP House Speaker John Boehner was invited. The GOP majority leader of the House, Eric Cantor, was invited. Both declined. Former NAACP president Julian Bond appeared on MSNBC lamenting that organizers invited “a long roster of Republicans who all said no. They did, however, attend their own Republican-sponsored affair.

If this is evidence of the GOP’s re-dedication to expanding their base and reaching out to minority constituents, they are going to be sorely disappointed come election time. Conservatives didn’t like King fifty years ago, they don’t like his message today, and they snubbed efforts to participate in the tribute. No wonder they need O’Reilly to misrepresent the facts and invent a non-existent controversy, falsely blaming unnamed liberals for excluding them. I wonder what excuses these losers made up for not having been invited to their proms.

O’Reilly is famous for failing to take responsibility for his mistakes and untruths. He never admitted he was wrong when he said there weren’t any homeless veterans. He never “apologized for being an idiot,” as he promised, if ObamaCare was upheld by the Supreme Court. And you can safely expect that he will not take responsibility for these egregiously dishonest remarks either. [Credit where credit’s due: On his program tonight O’Reilly did acknowledge that he was wrong about conservatives not being invited to the MLK event. I guess there’s a first time for everything.]

[Update:] Right-wingers throughout the media have been blasting the MLK event for not inviting conservatives. However, numerous conservatives were invited, but turned it down. Amongst those was Tim Scott, the only current African-American senator (albeit an appointed one), who many pundits held up as an example of the bias shown by the event’s organizers. As it turns out, Scott was also invited and he, too, declined.

Fox News Commemorates MLK’s March On Washington By Promoting A Vulgar Racist

On this day fifty years ago, Rev. Martin Luther King led 250,000 Americans to Washington, D.C., and inspired the nation with his dream of freedom and equality. Commemorating that historical event, Fox News led their reporting with an obscure, three day old story about a thoroughly repulsive bigot who was discovered to be working for the Department of Homeland Security.

Fox Nation DHS

Ayo Kimathi was a mid-level office drone with no management authority or responsibility. His job was as a small business specialist in a unit that helps department clients procure items such as handcuffs, ammunition and guns. He was also the man behind an overtly racist web site that advocated violence and civil insurrection. When his supervisors found out what he was up to, they immediately put him on administrative leave pending further disciplinary action. On multiple occasions Fox has deceitfully said that the DHS approved of his web site, however, the approval was only granted because Kamathi misrepresented it’s content.

The web site was discovered by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that studies and documents the activities of hate groups and works to expose the dangerous extremists amongst them. In the past, Fox News has disparagingly characterized the SPLC as a leftist operation that incites terrorist acts against conservatives. But on this occasion, Fox eagerly cites the SPLC’s reporting for one reason: The bigotry is that of a black man directed at whites.

Fox is only interested in racism when whites are the victims. On every other occasion Fox will portray the accuser as a race hustler who lacks any sense of personal responsibility. But the case of Kimathi is unique in that, while he is plainly prejudiced against whites, he is also fiercely opposed to President Obama whom he called a “faggot” and belittled as a “mulatto.” Setting aside his abhorrent contempt for Caucasians, Kimathi actually has much in common with the Tea Partying viewers of Fox News. In fact, many citizens of the Fox Nation have said the very same things about Obama. For instance…

Fox Nation Comment

By the way, if you haven’t read my ebook, Fox Nation vs. Reality you are missing out on an indispensable collection of documented dishonesty from the folks at Fox Nation.

Fox Nation Comment

So, in effect, Fox gets to whine about so-called reverse racism, while still disseminating a message of hate for President Obama. It’s a Tea Party Twofer. And in the comments attached to their story, the Fox Nationalists expressed themselves in particularly repugnant ways, including advocating mass murder:

Fox Nation DHS Comments

Despite this story having been published last Wednesday by the SPLC, Fox chose to feature it as their top headline today, the anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Could there possibly have been a worse time to hype up an incident involving a lone crackpot with the only purpose being to inflame racial division?

That’s just the way Fox News operates. Rather than celebrating the achievements of one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders, or acknowledging the positive progress that has occurred over the last fifty years, Fox went for stirring up animosity and pandering to their bigoted audience.

RELATED NEWS (sorta): Glenn Beck also had something to say about this twisted freak at DHS. And as usual, it was wrapped in a cryptically insane conspiracy theory. Beck has connected the imaginary dots between Kimathi and the debunked nonsense about the DHS buying up all of America’s bullets so as to leave the citizenry unarmed and vulnerable to the jack-booted thugs of the federal government who intend to kill us all.

Beck gets pretty much everything wrong (naturally), beginning with his assertion that Kimathi “just happens to be the guy in charge of buying all of the weapons and the bullets for the Department of Homeland Security.” Of course, that’s an outright lie, but it makes for a hilarious video clip. See for yourself:

Questions Martin Luther King Might Have Asked Obama On Inauguration Day

Martin Luther King, 1967:

Martin Luther King

“The movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. There are forty million poor people here. And one day we must ask the question, Why are there forty million poor people in America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society.

We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life’s marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You see, my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, Who owns the oil? You begin to ask the question, Who owns the iron ore? You begin to ask the question, Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two-thirds water? These are questions that must be asked.”

President Barack Obama, 2013:

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it […] Our journey is not complete…”

Will The Fox News/GOP Debate Remember Martin Luther King Today In South Carolina?

Today America is celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King. It is a fitting tribute to one of the nation’s most revered advocates of freedom and justice for all.

Today is also the day that Fox News has chosen to broadcast a Republican presidential primary debate from the state of South Carolina. The obvious question arises as to whether either the Fox moderators or the candidates will take the opportunity to recognize what this day represents.

Will any of them note that South Carolina was the last state to recognize the day as a national holiday? Prior to May 2, 2000, state employees could choose between celebrating Martin Luther King Day or one of three Confederate holidays.

Will any of them note that the The U.S. Justice Department is currently challenging South Carolina’s voter ID law as being in violation of the 1965 voting rights act, which outlawed discriminatory practices that prevented blacks from voting?

Will any of them note that the Confederate flag still flies over the South Carolina state capital?

These are all matters that Dr. King would have considered significant. If Fox wants to schedule a GOP political event on a day of remembrance for a national hero, they ought to take steps to express respect for the meaning this day holds for all Americans. And that means addressing the still unresolved issues of race that plague our country, particularly in places like South Carolina. Failure to do so would be an egregious insult and an affirmation of the reputation for racial insensitivity for which both Fox News and the GOP are well known.

Martin Luther King On Restoring Honor

The real meaning of this day historically will always be the profound and transformative address delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to a quarter of a million Americans who had been denied the American dream. But Dr. King had a dream of his own [The full text of King’s speech follows]:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. [Applause]

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

Contine reading

Glenn Beck Drops Veterans From 8/28 Rally

Glenn Beck Deploring HonorIn a notice posted today at Congress.org, Glenn Beck finally got the permit for his 8/28 rally approved. It was also noted that he changed the purpose of the rally from a “demonstration to honor veterans” to simply a “restoring honor rally.”

Why would Beck alter the purpose to something so generic it that it doesn’t have any real meaning? Could it be that his little scam was revealed and he could no longer pretend that this event was for charity? It was previously revealed that the Special Operations Warrior Foundation would not receive any money until after all of Beck’s expenses had been covered. So the possibility exists that there will no donation at all.

With this more vague description of purpose, Beck can turn the affair into the evangelical revival meeting that he always wanted it to be. It can be the celebration of his “Divine Destiny” which, by the way, is the name of his event to be held the night before where he promises to “heal your soul.” We already know that he believes this event will be a turning point in history, and he said today that it will be this generation’s Woodstock (?). And don’t forget that he was told by “someone” in the Vatican that what he is doing is “wildly important.”

This isn’t the first time that Beck has changed the purpose of the event. At one time the purpose was to launch the publication of his next book, “The Plan,” a 100 year blueprint for the restoration of America. Here is how he described it in his original announcement:

“On August 28, 2010, I ask you, your family and neighbors to join me at the feet of Abraham Lincoln on the National Mall for the unveiling of The Plan and the birthday of a new national movement to restore our great country.”

After that he claimed that God had chosen the date:

I believe in divine providence. It was not my intention to select 8-28 because of the Martin Luther King tie. It is the day he made that speech. I had no idea until I announced it and I walked off stage and my researchers said, New York Times has already just published that this is Martin Luther — and I said, oh, geez. We were going to use 9-12 but 9-12 is a Sunday. I’m not going to ask anyone to work on the Sabbath. I’m not going to ask anybody to honor God on a Sunday.

I have no idea what he means by not honoring God on a Sunday. And apparently he isn’t expecting any Jews to attend his rally because for them (and many Christians for that matter), Saturday is the Sabbath.

Beck’s next explanation for the event was that he was doing it all on behalf of our brave fighting men and women and their families. That didn’t last long. Now he has dropped the reference to the veterans from his permit application, though I’m sure he will continue to exploit them.

One other amendment to the permit application concerns the attendance. He raised the projected figure from 150,000 to 300,000. He must be feeling pretty confident. Which is funny because he said on his radio program today that he was discussing the event with Bill O’Reilly who guessed that between 10 and 15 thousand people show up. Beck was obviously surprised by O’Reilly’s estimate so O’Reilly asked him how many people he thought would be there. Beck said modestly, “I don’t know. Over a hundred thousand I hope.” This seems like false modesty from someone who just doubled his official projection to 300,000.

Apparently O’Reilly is not as optimistic as Beck. According to Beck, O’Reilly told him that if that many people showed up that Beck could take over the O’Reilly Factor. Now that would be fun. I bet Beck would hold O’Reilly to this. I would love to see the two of them go at it for the primetime slot. We’ll see how that unfolds in a couple of weeks.