Free To Be Dumb: The Republican Iowa Freedom Summit Lives Up To Its Billing

This weekend Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who maligned immigrants as drug mules who “have calves the size of cantaloupes,” and supports dog fighting because laws that protect animal welfare are, “exactly what our founding fathers wanted to avoid,” hosted his annual Iowa Freedom Summit with a star-studded cast of prospective GOP presidential candidates. And Fox News was there to capture every thrilling moment.

Fox News

For some reason Fox thinks it is breaking news that Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Rick Perry said mean things about ObamaCare. Their definition of “thrashing” must be “to mutter childish slogans and stomp your feet.” And they continue to ignore the fact that their calls to repeal it have failed repeatedly, including when the Supreme Court upheld it. Also forgotten is any mention of what they would replace it with as they throw millions of Americans off of their insurance plans.

The timing of this event couldn’t have been better as this week saw the advancement of several possible candidacies, including Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, both of whom were in attendance. Palin distinguished herself by posing with a sign that said “Fuc_ Michael Moore,” as part of her campaign to defend the box office hit, American Sniper. She addressed the same subject in her speech when she further demonstrated her grown up, Christian values by shouting “Screw the left in Hollywood.” Somebody might want to tell her that Hollywood is responsible for the movie she is defending. Note to GOP: She aint running.

The Donald was his typically arrogant, Narcissistic self. He insulted fellow Republican Mitt Romney (a no-show) saying that he would not be a good candidate because “he choked” last time around. He also raised the tender issue of Romney’s 47% remarks and said that his RomneyCare in Massachusetts was enough to disqualify him from further consideration. He also slammed Jeb Bush (another no-show) because of his name saying that “The last thing we need is another Bush.” He may get some agreement from Democrats on that. And of course, he bragged about himself. Even though there is little chance that he will enter the race, like every other time he has pretended to run, he is just promoting his own interests and image (like Palin).

Dr. Ben Carson took the stage to further prove that he must have have missed every class in college except brain surgery. He began by complaining that he doesn’t believe in taking healthcare and “putting it in the hands of the government.” Setting aside the fact that ObamaCare doesn’t do that, he expresses his preference for putting healthcare in the hands of greedy, soulless corporations. And he actually said that even if it worked he would oppose it. Um, OK. Then he declares that immigrants only come to America because it is so attractive. Therefore, he proposes that that be reversed. That might actually work. Make America less attractive and nobody will want to come. However, it’s a terrible campaign slogan, and besides, George Bush already tried that.

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The comedy extravaganza continues with featured guests like Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, and Rick Santorum. The prospective candidates from the so-called “establishment” wing of the party (Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio) all declined to attend. That may cost them some Tea-fection when the race begins in earnest. But from this small glimpse into the nascent campaign season, it is bound to be a bountiful cornucopia of laughs. Just wait for the debates to get started.

KNEE-JERKS: The Predictable Ass-Holiness Of Fox News And The GOP Post-SOTU

In a development that will surprise only a few mentally deficient cave dwellers, President Obama’s State of the Union speech was greeted by Republican politicians and conservative pundits with barefaced disdain. Naturally, Fox News took the lead in developing a hostile rapid response in order to provide the President’s foes with an easily referenced collection of attack themes. In fact, Fox was so diligent that their oppositional strategy was actually launched before the speech even began.

To set the scene, Obama presented a rosy picture of the nation after six years of his presidency. He spoke of the economic renewal that has created more than 11 million new jobs, reduced the deficit by two-thirds, and produced unprecedented private sector growth. He addressed many of the issues that have long been a part of the Democratic agenda including tax reform that eliminates loopholes for the rich and benefits the middle-class, enhancing opportunities for education, reducing our dependency on foreign oil and advancing the development and use of alternative fuels, Climate Change, equal pay for women, raising the minimum wage, Net Neutrality, and access to affordable and effective health care. And he noted that the successes of the last six years were achieved despite the fact that “At every step, we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious; that we would crush jobs and explode deficits.”

So how did the right respond to these facts? By denying them, of course. And they topped that off with some distractions and ad hominem insults. The apparent primary line of attack from the right is to accuse Obama of not having heard the message sent by voters last November. However, if there was any message at all it was delivered so faintly that the President could be excused for not hearing it. It was the lowest voter turnout in 70 years. Sixty-two percent of Americans didn’t vote at all, and the Republican victories were achieved with about 20% of eligible voters. That’s not exactly a mandate.

The GOP complained that the American people want him to work with Congress. But their definition of that is to abandon his principles and capitulate to Republicans. Obama tried to work with the GOP for six years and was rebuffed at every turn. It’s ironic that Republicans demand that Obama pay heed to the election results when they so flagrantly ignored them in 2008 and 2012, even plotting to oppose everything he did from day one of his administration. Where were the Republicans insisting on respect for the decision of the voters when Mitch McConnell declared, on inauguration day, that his first priority was making Obama a one term president? And it should be noted that Obama enjoyed landslide victories with much larger voter participation.

It didn’t take long for one of the points Obama made in his speech to get rolled over by the Fox News editorial positioning. The President sought to inspire a more substantive relationship between the White House and Congress saying…

“There are a lot of good people here, on both sides of the aisle. And many of you have told me that this isn’t what you signed up for?-?arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fundraising, always looking over your shoulder at how the base will react to every decision. […] A better politics is one where we debate without demonizing each other; where we talk issues, and values, and principles, and facts, rather than ‘gotcha’ moments, or trivial gaffes, or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people’s daily lives.”

The response to this by Fox anchors and guests was to embrace trivialization and fake controversies. Within seconds of the end of the speech, Bret Baier complained that Obama had not said the name “Al Qaeda” during the address. Of course, Obama did speak at length about terrorism and his administration’s commitment to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the enemy. The problem is that if you don’t specifically say “Al Qaeda” you are criticized for it. If you do say it you are criticized for not saying “jihad.” If you do say that you are criticized for not saying “Islamist.” If you do say that you are criticized for not saying ….. Well, you get the idea. Obama would have to make a list of every word the right obsesses over and make sure to stuff them all into every one of his speeches.

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The Fox News collective, and the Republican Party they serve (or is it the other way around) suffers from Oppositional Defiant Disorder: a persistent pattern of tantrums, arguing, and angry or disruptive behavior, generally associated with children. A perfect illustration of this is the way the Fox Nation website characterized a post-SOTU article by the Associated Press. Their headline was “AP Fact Check Obliterates Obama’s SOTU.”

Fox Nation SOTU

To be sure, the AP took a decidedly biased and negative tone, as the so-called liberal media usually does, but even so, they could not find substantive fault with Obama’s speech, much less obliteration. Here are the “facts” they allegedly checked:

  • Obama: At this moment – with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry and booming energy production – We have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.
    — The AP’s analysis essentially concurred saying that “Job growth has been healthy. […] Inflation-adjusted median household income…is about 4 percent higher than when it bottomed out in 2011. […] Booming energy production is indeed a reality.”
  • Obama: I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college to zero.
    — This, of course, is not a refutable fact and the AP didn’t bother to refute it. They simply argued that Republicans in Congress will not be receptive to the plan. But that knee-jerk obstructionism has been the GOP stance ever since Obama became President.
  • Obama: We’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history.
    — The AP acknowledged that this is true saying that “Expansion of the massive Pacific islands monument puts Obama on top.”
  • Obama: Thanks to a growing economy, the recovery is touching more and more lives. Wages are finally starting to rise again. We know that more small-business owners plan to raise their employees’ pay than at any time since 2007.
    — Yes, said the AP: “A survey of small businesses by the National Federation of Independent Business does show that a rising proportion plans to raise wages.”

It appears that Fox News is confusing the concept of “obliteration” with the diametrically opposed concept of “nearly complete concurrence.” That degree of cognitive failure explains the antsy grumbling of FoxPods and the GOP who are distressed that Obama has not concluded that the last two years of his presidency are irrelevant and that he should work on his presidential library and let Republicans in Congress govern the country. And it also explains how they can insist that his speech was defiant and combative despite these closing remarks:

“If you share the broad vision I outlined tonight, join me in the work at hand. If you disagree with parts of it, I hope you’ll at least work with me where you do agree. And I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger.”

It would be naive not to recognize that this sort of rhetorical communion is common in political discourse and is often insincere. But it was nevertheless an outstretched hand and the GOP ought to at least try to grasp it before they swat it down. But that would be totally out of character for a party that has made rancid animosity the hallmark of their tenure.

The Republican Politburo Threatens To Censor Their Own Presidential Candidates

Anyone who followed the 2012 presidential primaries for the Republican Party were treated to a circus extravaganza that featured a parade of clown-like characters humiliating themselves and their party. It included Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich. And always on the sidelines were were Sarah Palin and Donald Trump pretending that they were just about to jump in.

Right-Wing Media Circus

It’s no wonder that the Republican National Committee is so determined to prevent a repeat of that embarrassment. There were nearly two dozens debates leading up to the Republican convention in August of 2012. That was an enormous about of time for the candidates to make asses of themselves, and they used that time to good advantage.

So the RNC chairman Reince Priebus has just announced their schedule of sanctioned debates for the 2016 campaign season. There are only nine firm dates with another three penciled in as pending. That’s smart on their part because, as they learned last go around, the more people saw of their candidates, the less they liked them. And by forcing them to actually articulate their positions on issues, it made it harder for their ultimate nominee, Mitt Romney, to waver vaguely in the winds of “Etch-a-Sketchy” opportunism. But has the RNC gone too far by dictating this mandate:

“To give their push to control the debate process teeth, any candidate who participates in a non-sanctioned debate will not be allowed to participate in any more sanctioned debates.”

That is an awfully strict decree that borders on totalitarian control of what is supposed to be a democratic process. In the past, debates were sponsored by media organizations and political groups with an interest in educating the public. For instance, The League of Women Voters was a frequent sponsor of non-partisan candidate forums. And the participation of the media insured that the candidates would have access to voters.

The notion that there will be only officially sanctioned debates means that they are more likely to be propaganda affairs than contests of ideas and abilities. That outcome is even more likely since the RNC is retaining control over who the debate moderators will be, and they have signaled that they will all be GOP-friendly. So no tough questions, no adversarial jousting. And that is by design of the RNC debate architects. They have previously said that they don’t want their candidates tearing each other down during the primaries.

Consequently, whoever emerges from the Republican field (probably Bush) will not have been battle-tested for the general election. He will face his Democratic opponent unprepared for the sort of contentious discourse that is part and parcel of a national election. He will not have had an opportunity to sharpen responses to hostile questions or address his weaknesses. That’s good news for the Democrat (probably Clinton).

Another problem with limiting the debates to officially sanctioned affairs is that it’s difficult to force everyone to comply. There will be parties who will feel left out. Take for example, the Tea Party. It is hard to imagine that those notoriously antsy malcontents will be easily persuaded to sit back and let the party apparatchiks dictate who can speak and when and where.

Likewise, the media is under no obligation to refrain from offering their own candidate forums. Should they do so, the candidates would be hard-pressed not to participate and gain valuable airtime. Particularly the second tier candidates who have more trouble raising money. And if the second tier agrees to a network debate, the first tier are not going to want to let them have the stage to themselves to beat on them.

This would put the RNC in the position of having to enforce their stated punishment. Would the party actually ban viable candidates from participating in their sanctioned debates? That would anger both the candidates and their supporters. Plus, it would make them look small and unpresidential, like naughty children. That’s not a particularly flattering way to go into the convention or the general election.

In addition to the threats imposed by the RNC, they also announced that they will be partnering with Fox News for three of their sanctioned debates (two on Fox News, one on Fox Business), and another one in the pending status. CNN will get two debates, and each of the broadcast networks will get one. MSNBC was completely shut out by the good folks at the RNC. Let’s just hope that the DNC has the good sense to shut out Fox News.

The debate granted for Fox Business is unusual in that the network has no measurable audience. They do not permit Nielsen to publish their ratings, a decision generally taken when the ratings are embarrassingly low. Either the RNC feels guilty about including CNBC on their debate schedule, or they are just giving Fox a gift. Needless to say, Fox will be the favorite media outlet for the GOP for the duration of the campaign.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Republican vs. Democratic Billionaires

The toxic effect of the billions of dollars in special interest donations to political candidates and causes can be seen every day in the way that politicians rewards their most generous benefactors. It is not a coincidence that the first bill brought to a vote in the Republican-dominated 114th Congress was one to advance the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline favored by wealthy oil barons like the Koch brothers.

The current corrupt state of political funding was made possible by the notorious Citizen’s United decision that freed donors to make virtually unlimited contributions without disclosing their identity. Despite the fact that Republicans defend this practice, their media mouthpiece, Fox News, tries to play both sides of the debate by accusing Democrats of being equal offenders. Or, in the case of a new item posted on Fox Nation, even worse.

Fox Nation

According to Fox, “Dem Billionaires Donate More To Politicians Than Republicans.” The article that the Fox Nationalists cited as their source was originally published by Politico. Fox posted the first three paragraphs from the Politico story that said in part…

“Democrats spent much of the 2014 campaign castigating Republican big money, but, it turns out, their side actually finished ahead among the biggest donors of 2014 – at least among those whose contributions were disclosed.”

The key portion of that quote are the eight words at the end. It is impossible to do an analysis of political donations without taking into consideration the “dark money” made possible by Citizen’s United. In the beginning of Politico’s article they noted that donations attributed to Democrats from disclosed sources totaled $174 million in 2014. Donations from Republicans came to only $140 million. And from that data Fox declared that Democrats were the bigger donors.

However, in the fourth paragraph of the article, the one right after the point where Fox Nation cut off their excerpt, a far more relevant statistic was reported:

“Of course, that edge doesn’t take into account contributions to deep-pocketed non-profit groups that don’t disclose their donors. They heavily favored Republicans […] For instance, the network of mostly secret-money non-profit groups helmed by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers was on pace to spend $290 million in 2014.”

So the truth is that the Koch brothers all by themselves donated more money than all of the Democrats cited by Fox combined. It’s a fact that Fox left out of their excerpt and blatantly lied about in their headline.

To illustrate how dishonest it is to use numbers that only include disclosed donors, David and Charles Koch rank only 10th and 29th on the list of such contributions. But clearly they are number one by a wide margin if all of their donations are counted, including those from the dark money organizations they run like Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Partners, and Donors Trust. But don’t expect to learn about any of this from Fox News. Their mission is to disinform and to prop up the right-wing elitists, bankers, and captains of industry.

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See also this analysis of the stark differences between the Republican rich and the Democratic rich: What’s The Difference Between Wealthy (Koch) Republicans And (Soros) Democrats?

Right-Wing Media Lusts For Images That Offend Muslims

The murders of the staff of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris are universally regarded as a heinous assault on humanity and free expression. Virtually every public commentary on the crime repudiates the killers and the violently extremist ideology they claim to represent. That includes the prominent Muslim advocacy organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the major Islamic governments of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Egypt, Iran, and more.

Yet even as this international chorus of condemnation resounds throughout the world, there are some petty voices in the media that seek to take political advantage of the situation. One of the tactics they employ is to attempt to cast shame on any media enterprise that fails to publish the offensive images that are reputed to have incited the attack on Charlie Hebdo. Many conservatives are calling anyone who doesn’t repost the images cowards and terrorist appeasers.

Why is the willingness to give more attention to a specific example of insulting imagery a test of dedication to a free press? Certainly the right to publish such material is one that must not be infringed in a free society, but that doesn’t make it a requirement for everyone to do so. It is possible to protest censorship, intimidation, and terrorism aimed at free speech without engaging in the same speech.

For instance, conservative extremists like Ted Cruz have every right to compare supporters of ObamaCare to Nazis, as he did on the Senate floor. But that doesn’t mean that in order to uphold his rights I have to stand up in public and make the same asinine comparison. It is quite enough for me to articulate my opinion that he is free to say whatever idiotic and inflammatory bullcrap he wants.

The problem is that there is an ugly underpinning to the calls by the right to post offensive images of Mohammed everywhere. And that is that they get off on it. They are only too happy to malign the prophet of a religion that they hate and regard as an evil enemy. Never mind that, by far, most Muslims are as appalled by the Paris murders as everyone else. The rightist, Christian martinets of virtue won’t be happy until every magazine, newspaper and television program has featured the images on their front pages and at the top of every broadcast.

It goes without saying (though I’ll say it anyway) that these same defenders of freedom would never insist on such widespread reproduction if the images maligned their sainted Ronald Reagan. Can you imagine Todd Starnes of Fox News calling out the cowards in the media for not prominently displaying an offensive picture of Reagan? Of course not. But that’s what he did to those not displaying the Mohammed cartoons.

A few years ago there was a movie about a fictionalized assassination of President Bush. It wasn’t even a political film, but rather a crime drama that delved into the complexities of an investigation into the killing of a president. Conservatives were apoplectic, complaining about the film and demanding that it be pulled from distribution. CNN and NPR refused to air advertisements for it.

The Dixie Chicks had the temerity to exercise their rights to free speech by saying merely that they were ashamed that Bush was from Texas. That rather tame bit of criticism led to record burnings, concert boycotts, and even death threats. No one was demanding that everybody play their music on the radio to demonstrate a commitment to free speech.

And then there was the notorious parody ad that appeared in Larry Flynt’s Hustler Magazine. It was a mock ad for Compari that played off of the liquor’s ad campaign at the time. However, Hustler’s version put televangelist Jerry Falwell in, shall we say, a compromising position. The response to that was both outrage from offended Christians and a lawsuit from Falwell. Eventually, Flynt prevailed in the Supreme Court, scoring a victory for free speech. But none of the conservatives today who are so anxious to see more public displays of Mohammed cartoons were clamoring for such a movement of solidarity in defense of Flynt. And it should not be forgotten that Flynt was also the victim of a terrorist attack when he was shot by a white supremacist, severing his spinal cord and leaving him confined to a wheelchair.

Jerry Falwell Compari

What is painfully clear is that conservatives would never condone reproducing images, or promoting other forms of speech, that they find offensive. But they are drooling ravenously to see more of the images that offend Muslims. And it’s all in the name of defending free expression. But beyond the obvious hypocrisy, it is apparent that they are more interested in satisfying their own repugnant desires to denigrate their perceived foes than in standing up for freedom.

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[Addendum] As an example of some of the intrepid Fox News soldiers of press freedom, these statements were recently broadcast:

Ralph Peters: The correct response to this attack by all of us in journalism – we pretend to be so brave. If we had guts those cartoons would be reprinted on the cover pages of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times, the Washington Post tomorrow. They won’t be. We’ll cry, but we’ll continue to self-censor.

K.T. McFarland: If there is any guts, if there is any courage, if there is any role that a free media has, it is to go out and call it what it is. If we are already self-censoring, if we are already cowering under the desk because we’re afraid of this, we’re afraid of that, then you know? Free speech is already lost.

Note that the official position of Fox News is to not display the images from Charlie Hebdo. They issued a statement saying that “The safety of its correspondents and questions of taste are at issue.” So apparently, free speech is already lost. But if they are still interested in publishing images to demonstrate their solidarity with oppressed journalists, maybe they will publish this image of a cardinal giving Jesus a blow job on the cross. It was featured on the cover of the German satire magazine, Titanic, who have encountered their own problems with censorship and could use the support.

Titanic

The “Damn, These People Are Stupid” Awards For 2014

In a year that was filled to the brim with monumental idiocies, the competition for King of the Dumfux is stiffer than usual. Narrowing down the list of those deserving of special recognition was particularly difficult, but the collection below is a pretty good indication that DEVO was right and that civilization is taking huge leaps backwards. So fasten your neck bolts and let your eyes glaze over as we journey back through a year of hilarious (and frightening) intellectual vacancy.

2014 Stupid People Awards

The “Is Our Children Learning” Award

Leading off the ceremony is a Hall of Famer dolt, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, who laments that “the problem with American schools is just that kids are…learning too much.” That’s the sort of thinking that makes every other item on this list possible. It is also a recipe for growing new Fox News viewers who appreciate the stupidity of people like Carlson.

An let’s also give Carlson an honorary mention for his screed on “The Wussification Of Popeye.”


The “Speak For Yourself, Douchebag” Award

Former CIA “intelligence” officer, Michael Scheuer, is a regular guest on Fox News. He is famous for telling Glenn Beck that “the only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States.” But earlier this year in an interview with Neil Cavuto, Scheuer made a surprising distinction between America and the terrorist ISIS operation saying that the Islamists “are not dumb people. They may be brutal, but they are not dumb. We’re the dumb ones.”

Well then, that settles it. The problem we’ve been having all along is that we’re just not as smart as our adversaries. And Cavuto, notably, did not challenge that assessment. After all, how can a bunch of hillbillies who are hypnotized by reality television, designer jeans, and flame-broiled Whoppers supposed to be able to compete intellectually with such sophisticated and sociologically advanced opponents? Why did we not see this deficiency before Scheuer brought it to our attention? Oh yeah, because we’re stupid.


The “Pimp My Ride: Welfare Edition” Award

The lazy-brained right-wing media pounced on a scandalous story about President Obama’s bill to give welfare recipients free cars. And except for the fact that the story was the product of a satirical website, it would have been a great scoop. What makes it worse is that they did same thing the year before and were mercilessly shamed for their idiocy, but that didn’t prevent them from doing it again this year.


The “E Pluribus Ooh Numb” Award

After complaining about a Coca Cola ad that celebrated the diversity of the nation by singing the anthem “America the Beautiful” in several languages, the wingnuts at Breitbart News declared victory when Coke modified the ad by placing the motto “E Pluribus Unum” at the beginning. So let’s get this straight. Coke, they said, “bowed to conservative critics” who insist on English-only by inserting a short phrase in — Latin. Uhhh, OK.


The “Your Wife Is A Fat Fatty” Award

No list of stupidity would be complete without the ravings of Fox’s “psycho” analyst Keith Ablow. There are numerous entries under his name for recognition, but we’ll just settle on one that is both dumb and insulting. While visiting with the women of Fox’s Outnumbered, Ablow dispensed his routine Obama-hating rhetoric, but then added a bit of spice just for this program. As a slap at First Lady Michele Obama, who has been a devoted advocate of healthy diets, Ablow questioned her sincerity by smugly barking “How well can she be eating. She needs to drop a few.” This bit of misogyny even elicited gasps from the conservative ladies of Fox.


The “Republicans Are People Too” Award

In 2014 the Republican Party took on a public relations task that dwarfs all other efforts at opinion-making. They boldly aimed to convince the American people that Republicans are people too. And the method used to achieve this goal was to produce a video that consisted of a montage of stock photos labeled as “average” American Republicans. So the video produced in order to convince everyone that Republicans are real people is populated by fakes. Brilliant.


The “Blind Leading the Old and Stale” Award

Once known as “Bush’s Brain,” Karl Rove has deteriorated into a mentally deficient spewer of rancid rightist partisanship. In an attempt to bash Hillary Clinton, Rove’s wild pitch beaned every senior citizen in the country when he said that “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.” Never mind that almost every Republican Rove backed for the past thirty years was older or staler than Clinton. The real numbskullery of Rove is that he is insulting the nation’s most reliable voting bloc by implying that they are not fit for public service.


The “Hate Of The Union Address” Award

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. Speaker Boehner has already nixed this notion, but merely considering it hangs an “i’m a stupid baby” sign around the necks of these cretins.


The “Boobs On The Air” Award

Following reports of a female fighter pilot from the United Arab Emirates who led the UAE’s forces in attacks on ISIL, Fox News host Eric Bolling made what he must have thought was a hilarious joke by referring to her as “Boobs on the ground.” Bolling not only insulted the courageous pilot, but his associates at Fox News as well. He later apologized to his wife and Fox viewers, but egregiously left out the pilot and all other women in the armed services.


The “Flakes On A Plane” Award

Allen West, a disgraced veteran and one-term Tea Party congressman, supplied Fox News with an “exclusive” report about what really happened on the ground in Benghazi. West’s source for his exclusive was an anonymous stranger that happened to be sitting next to him on a plane who said that he knew some other anonymous dude who had the real skinny on the scandal. This is what passes for an “exclusive” news report on Fox News? A third-hand tale of conspiracy theories and previously debunked allegations?


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As special salute at the conclusion of a year of monumentally asinine behavior, News Corpse is presenting its first “Dumfux Award for Achievements in Stupidy.” Candidates for this honor were many and included Ben Carson, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Rush Limbaugh, and Keith Ablow. Sarah Palin was eliminated from the competition because her inclusion would have swamped the field. But emerging from the pack was a wholly deserving moron who proved himself through a year of failure and foolishness. So without further ado, here is the 2014 Dumfux Award for Achievements in Stupidity winner:

Darrell Issa

Congressman Darrell Issa of California

Rep. Issa chaired the House Oversight Committee through a maze of fake scandals, including Benghazi, the IRS/Tea Party affair, and ObamaCare. And in none of his persecutions did he manage to prove any of his preconceived allegations. But he sealed his victory for this award on the last day of the last hearing that he will attend as chairman. Having subpoenaed Jonathan Gruber, the economic advisor who inartfully described the American People as stupid, Issa must have believed that he was in a position to embarrass Gruber and, by association, all Democrats and supporters of ObamaCare. But Issa led off his inquisition with this idiotic question:

“Mr. Gruber, I’ve been accused that I’m going to berate you or something and I hope that you won’t feel that way when I get done. But the night before last I was at the Kennedy Center Honors where they honored Tom Hanks, famously ‘Forrest Gump,’ the ultimate in successful stupid man. Are you stupid?”

Gee…I wonder where Issa might have gotten the impression that people thought he would berate Gruber? This may be the single stupidest question Issa has ever asked anyone. What did he expect Gruber to say? And how did he think this line of questioning would benefit whatever investigation he was pretending to conduct? As usual, Issa’s motives were purely hostile and aimed at creating political theater. But by the end he once again demonstrated his impotence as even conservative colleagues and pundits criticized him for scheduling the pointless hearing in the first place. So congratulations Mr. Issa, and best wishes for a new year as a flunky who no one respects.

2014: An Epic Year For Conservative Crackpot Conspiracy Theories

Recalling the bygone year, there were enough examples of political foolishness, public embarrassment, and unabashed propaganda, to fill a trainload of FEMA caskets. But nothing comes close to boggling the mind like conspiracy theories rooted in nothing but psychotic paranoia and partisan dementia.

News Corpse has covered much of what the right-wing media has attempted to pass off as legitimate news, but was actually evidence of severe cognitive failure. So, as a reminder of 2014’s most ludicrous departures from reality, here is a compilation of some of the best (worst?) excretions from the imagination of the conservative hive mind.


CONSPIRACY: President Obama Is Trying To Impeach Himself

The evil genius in the White House orchestrated the whole Obama-hate campaign from its earliest days in 2008 just so that he would be able to use impeachment, which is every president’s dream, as an election strategy six years into his presidency. He had the foresight to anticipate that his anti-America agenda, developed in concert with the Muslims and Marxists in his inner circle, would make the 2014 midterms so difficult that he would need something positive, like having himself prosecuted before Congress for high crimes and misdemeanors, in order to stem the tide of opposition that would rise up.

Impeach Obama


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Ben Carson Fears That Obama Will Declare Himself President for Life.

The United States and its democratic system has endured for over 200 years, through economic catastrophes, civil and world wars, Nixonian corruption, and assassinations. Yet Carson thinks that it may all soon be over because of our present economy (with it’s soaring stock market, record profits, and low unemployment), and a band of desert rats 8,000 miles away?

Ben Carson


Glenn Beck Asserts That Obama Purposely Planted Ebola In Dallas

Obviously President Obama’s agenda centers around the fact that he hates Dallas so much that he arranged to have an Ebola-infected Liberian fly there and die. […] First and foremost, it is not true that Dallas “doesn’t particularly care for the President.” In 2012 Obama was reelected with 57% of the vote from Dallas County. That’s a larger margin than he won nationally. Obama also beat McCain in Dallas by the same amount in 2008.

Glenn Beck Ebolamania


Steve Doocy Discovers A Mysterious Photo Of Two Men With One Pair Of Legs.

Doocy: Fox News Alert: New questions about those two Iranian men who boarded flight 370 with stolen passports. Did somebody Photoshop this picture of them, because they both appear to have the same legs. That’s leading many to believe there is a cover-up happening. […] The Malaysians are saying ‘No, we didn’t Photoshop or anything like that. They had a Xerox copy and part of the guy on the left was put on top of the duplicate of the guy on the right. Do you buy that?

Fox News Cover Up Passengers


According To “Doctor” Keith Ablow, Obama Orchestrated The World Cup To Distract From [???]

Somehow Obama orchestrated FIFA’s scheduling of the quadrennial games to coincide with whatever scandal is presently infecting Ablow’s brain so that the American people, who usually ignore soccer, won’t notice that FEMA has already begun incarcerating Tea Party leaders and the EPA is deploying new Pentagon technology to increase global temperatures. What a devious plot our Kenyan in the White House has devised.

Keith Ablow


Conservative Media Freak Out Over Obama’s Plan To Grant Amnesty To 34 Million Illegal Aliens

The usual conservative media mouthpieces are reporting that there is a plot afoot by the Obama administration to grant amnesty to some 34 million “illegal” aliens soon after the midterm election. To put that number into perspective, that’s more than three times as many undocumented immigrants as are currently estimated to be in the United States. It’s a third of the entire population of Mexico. If they all occupied a new state it would be the second most populous state in the country after California with 38 million.

Fox News


Louie Gohmert Accuses Comcast Of Attempting To Silence Glenn Beck

Gohmert found an angle to question the [Comcast/Time Warner] merger that only he could have dreamed up. He believes that Comcast is engaged in a conspiracy to silence Glenn Beck. And Al Gore is in on it along with Al Jazeera who “wanted to get their Sharia law push into the United States.”

Glenn Beck


Pat Caddell Says That It Is Republicans That Want The IRS To Go After The Tea Party

Did the Republicans infiltrate the IRS and orchestrate a strategy to deny Tea Partiers tax-exempt status? Did they conduct sham hearings in the House, led by the crusading committee chair (and recidivist criminal) Darrel Issa, all the while maneuvering secretly to oppress Tea Party organizations and cast the blame on Democrats?

False Flag


GOP Rep Tells Fox News That Obama Plans To Flood U.S. With Foreign Ebola Patients

The plot was discovered by the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, who claims to have confidential information that came to him via an “inside source” within the administration. Naturally he takes this skimpy, unverifiable gossip to Megyn Kelly of Fox News. The alarmist anxiety of Rep. Goodlatte is typical of the fear mongering that Republican politicians and pundits engage in so frequently.

Fox News Ebola to America


Fox News Imagines Another Covert Plot Against Rick Perry (And America) By George Soros

Brent Bozell’s op-ed for Fox News is titled “Mainstream media censors Soros’ connection to Rick Perry indictment.” He begins his bill of peculiars by alleging that the media has suppressed the truth about Texans for Public Justice (TPJ), the group that originally filed the complaint against Perry. Bozell claims that “the group responsible for that indictment had received a half million dollars” from Soros. However, there is a very good reason that the press failed to disclose this information: It isn’t true.

Fox News Rick Perry


Fright-Wing News: Fox News Reports, As Fact, The Missing Libyan Planes Hoax

Fox News anchor Jon Scott introduced a segment saying “A potentially terrifying scenario is playing out as we approach September 11. Nearly a dozen airplanes are missing – flat out missing – from an airport in Tripoli, raising new fears of the possibility of another terror attack from the air.”

OMG! That is truly terrifying. I can almost hear the roar of a dozen jet engines filling the sky with thunderous evil as they aim for defenseless skyscrapers packed with unsuspecting victims. Why doesn’t Obama raise the threat level to “Unrestrained Panic” and evacuate America’s cities? Perhaps because the story is not true.

Fox News Missing Planes

Fun With Rush: Limbaugh Explains How The Dreaded Polar Vortex Was Created By Liberals

El Rushbo has dusted off his fake degree in meteorology to explain to his dittohead audience how something that has been studied for decades was just invented by some Democrats this week.

Limbaugh: So, ladies and gentlemen, we are having a record-breaking cold snap in many parts of the country. And right on schedule the media have to come up with a way to make it sound like it’s completely unprecedented. Because they’ve got to find a way to attach this to the global warming agenda, and they have. It’s called the ‘polar vortex.’ The dreaded polar vortex. […] Do you know what the polar vortex is? Have you ever heard of it? Well, they just created it for this week.

Rush Limbaugh


And there you have it. Just a taste of the insanity that has infected one of America’s two major political parties. And all of it occurring in just one hilarity-packed year. The only thing that makes these frighteningly absurd episodes of psychosis even more disturbing, is that in 2015 these are the folks who will be in charge of both the United States House of Representatives and Senate. So happy new Year America, and good luck. You’re gonna need it.

So You Thought President Obama Would Be A Lame Duck, Did You?

Six weeks ago an election concluded that brought what every Republican, and many Democrats, thought was the deathblow for the Obama administration. There was no phrase that was uttered more often than “Lame Duck” as pundits rushed to write the epitaph of Obama’s presidency and agenda. They were convinced that the Obama era was dead and, with apologies to Monty Python, it had…

“…passed on. It is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet it’s maker. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life. It rests in peace. It’s pushing up the daisies. It’s metabolic processes are now history. It’s off the twig. It’s kicked the bucket. It’s shuffled off it’s mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible. This is an ex-presidency.”

Obama Lame Duck

Well, in the subsequent forty-two days the President has demonstrated a stubborn resistance to complying with the conventional wisdom. He has defied his critics’ forecasts of an untimely demise, as well as their conviction that he is incapable of leadership. Here is a brief summary of some of the achievements that have come to pass since November 5, 2014, beginning with an historic announcement today:

  • Normalizing relations with Cuba.
  • Deferring deportation for certain undocumented immigrants.
  • Passage of a spending bill that averts another government shutdown.
  • Confirmation of his Surgeon General nominee.
  • Confirmation of twenty-seven federal judges.
  • Climate agreement with China.
  • Protection for Bristol Bay, Alaska from future oil and gas drilling.

In addition to the above, Obama has also presided over record enrollments in the second year of ObamaCare, and the deflating of Russia’s economy. And all the while the U.S. economy is performing better than any other major nation, and most indicators are firmly in positive territory.

Of course, there is still much room for improvement, but that cannot be achieved without the cooperation of Congress. There is not likely to be much of that in the next couple of years, but Obama has proven that he is able to attend to the interests of the American people even when Congress refuses to do so. And the 2016 cycle is shaping up to heavily favor Democrats.

In fact, 2016 holds decidedly bad news for Republicans and their new senate majority. The GOP will be defending 24 seats, as compared to only 10 for the Democrats. Nine of the those GOP seats are in states won by Obama in 2012. So are all of the Democratic seats. With a larger and more representative electorate it is almost a certainty that the senate will flip back to the Democrats.

It will be interesting to see where we go from here as the new congressional session begins next month. What we already know is that with Republicans in charge the Congress has set a new record for laziness. It has spent more time on vacation than working (239 total vacation days in 2014). Plus, it was the least productive session in history. It took that trophy from the session just prior.

Much of the blame has to be laid at the feet of John Boehner, the Tea Party, and the GOP’s inability and genetic aversion to governing. But if anyone is still holding onto the belief that Obama has become an irredeemable lame duck, the evidence of the past six weeks ought to shake that conviction. It is clear that Obama has no intention of being hobbled by an antagonistic Congress that cares more about their own grasp on power than they do the welfare of the people they are supposed to representing.

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So How Nuts Are The Anti-Immigration Tea Party Republicans?

One month ago a distinct minority of the nation’s voters trudged to the polls to elect just enough Tea Party Republicans to gain control of the Senate and join their GOP colleagues in the House in a ritual of Obama bashing and avoiding doing any actual work. Since then the party of “NO” has already demonstrated their determination to hogtie this president and throw a monkey wrench into the administration of government.

GOP Disciplines Obama

To illustrate just how absurd the right-wing has become, take a look at these actual proposals, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, for responding to Obama’s executive action to reform immigration policy:

    Shut down the government. A tactic that failed miserably last year and made a laughing stock of Ted Cruz and other Republicans.
    Block ambassador nominations. Because degrading international diplomacy would secure America’s borders.
    Block executive branch nominees — just about all of them. Another attempt by the party that hates government to prove that it doesn’t work by sabotaging it.
    Ground the president. Seriously? They want to cut funding for Air Force One to keep Obama stuck in Washington.
    Start the immigration fight earlier. As opposed to starting to resolve the immigration problem.
    File a lawsuit. Which they have already done and will solve nothing. It probably won’t even get to trial before becoming moot.
    Cancel the State of the Union. This idiotic and bigoted idea was covered previously by News Corpse here: Hate of the Union.

These inane, retaliatory responses to a serious problem facing the nation reveal the deliberately injurious motives of the GOP. They obviously couldn’t care less about advancing the interests of the American people. The only thing on their agenda is beating on the current resident of the White House whom they never believed was legitimate.

And it makes it all the more ludicrous considering they have a quick and simple way to do away with the executive order they profess to oppose. As reported here before, all they have to do is pass a law. They don’t even have to write one. It already exists and was passed by a bipartisan majority in the Senate. If John Boehner would allow it to be voted on in the House it would pass tomorrow, be signed by the President and – poof – no executive action.

Instead these cretins maneuver to lock Obama out of the Capital and take away his keys to Air Force One. Next thing you know they will be passing legislation to make him sit in the corner for the remainder of his term. And they want people to take them seriously?

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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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