Racist Tea Party Revolutionaries Kill Cops In Las Vegas: Why Won’t The Media Call It Terrorism?

The media has set a precedent for itself in past events that involved tragic political hostilities and murder. Most famously, the conservative press has spent the last two years complaining about whether President Obama called the attacks in Benghazi terrorism. Of course, there is video showing him doing just that the next day in the White House rose garden, but that didn’t put an end to the ludicrous speculation and smears.

Additionally, there were murderous rampages in Frankfort, Germany, Ft. Hood, TX, Boston, MA, and even the Boko Haram kidnappings in Nigeria. All of these cases got right-wingers riled up insisting that they immediately be regarded as terrorism and called such by the nation’s press, politicians, and pundits. A few examples included:

  • Glenn Beck: Why are we still not calling it terrorism?
  • Rush Limbaugh: He just will not say it. He will not say it’s terrorism. Who knows why?
  • Neil Cavuto: Why is it so hard to call them terrorists?
  • Andy Levy: I think they’re that stupid if they’re refusing to call them terrorists anymore.
  • Catherine Herridge: After he shouted ‘God is great’ the administration did not call it terrorism.
  • Sean Hannity (Karl Rove ad): Obama and his administration wouldn’t call it terrorism for 14 days.
  • Chris Wallace: How do you explain, then, the continued refusal to call it terrorism?

Which brings us to Jerad Miller and his wife Amanda. These two nut cases were deeply involved in anti-American activities and openly expressed radical beliefs based on conspiracy theories and Fox News lies. They recently spent time in the desert threatening federal agents with deadbeat rancher Cliven Bundy. Their Facebook page is plastered with violent rants advocating the overthrow of the government and imminent bloodshed. A glance at the people and organizations that they “liked” on Facebook is highly instructive. It includes three of the biggest Tea Party groups, all bankrolled by the Koch brothers. Also, there are three organizations that are run by current Fox News guests and contributors.

Jerad Miller

Obviously Fox News can’t call the Millers terrorists because that would mean they are calling a hefty chunk of their most loyal viewers terrorists. And for many others in the Fox audience it would be offensive to apply a term that they reserve for brown-skinned people from foreign lands, to a white, married, Christian couple from Nevada via Indiana.

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But you still have to wonder why the rest of the media is suddenly so averse to using the word terrorism. If there were ever an appropriate time to employ the label, it is now. The Millers made their intentions crystal clear. They reportedly shouted that “This is the start of the revolution,” as they commenced their crime spree. They draped their victims in the Gadsden flag, a banner of the Tea Party movement. Their motives were purely to incite terror in furtherance of their seditionist agenda. Similar behavior by Nidal Hasan and the Tsarnaev brothers was referred to as terrorism from the outset. So I’ll ask again – Why won’t the media call it terrorism?

Would You Trade Bergdahl To The Taliban To Get The Gitmo Prisoners Back?

Conservative pundits and politicians are making another fuss over President Obama’s leadership, this time due to his successfully securing the freedom of American soldier Bowe Bergdahl who was a captive of the Taliban. Critics are complaining about everything from the legality of the operation, to the wisdom of releasing a few Taliban detainees, to the value of retrieving a soldier who has been accused of desertion.

All of these complaints can be resolved by requiring the critics to answer a simple question: Knowing what we know now, would you favor trading Bergdahl back to the Taliban in exchange for the former prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay?

If the answer is yes, then you have a perverse notion of patriotism. No citizen should consider the captivity of an American to be acceptable. Even if that captive is suspected of criminal behavior, it is the responsibility of our country to adjudicate his fate, not some foreign nation or military faction.

If the answer is no, then, like it or not, you agree with the actions of the President. It would be foolish and inhumane to even consider trading an American away to our enemies in exchange for some of their operatives.

In almost every commentary on this exchange, the conservative critic prefaced his remarks by saying that he was glad that Bergdahl was free and heading home. Then, just as predictably, he would say that it was unconscionable that such hardened terrorists were allowed to leave the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Of course the former would not have been possible without the latter. But what none of them are saying is that the former prisoners do not have much to look forward to. Their movements are being monitored closely by officials in Qatar and, very likely, various U.S. intelligence agencies as well. With regard to the prospect of them returning to a life of terrorism, Obama said…

“Is there a possibility of some of them trying to return to activities that are detrimental to us? Absolutely. But I wouldn’t be doing it if I thought it was contrary to American national security, and we have confidence that we will be in a position to go after them if in fact they are engaging in activities to threaten our defenses.”

In other words, the detainees swapped a life of leisure in the Caribbean for one of constantly looking over their shoulders for drones. Should they choose to rejoin their former comrades on the battlefield, they are most likely going to join more than two hundred of them in the place where they now call home – the graveyard.

Club Gitmo Limbaugh

It’s more than a little curious that so many right-wingers are now lambasting the release of the Gitmo Five when not so long ago they complained that the detention center was more like a luxury spa than a prison. For example:

  • Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX): Gitmo is lap of luxury for detainees. [...] The accommodations had a freshness and newness about them. Some of the rooms afforded waterfront views.
  • Charles Krauthammer (Fox News): How do I get two weeks at Gitmo? Sounds really good. The weather’s good. I get eighteen channels. A lot of exercise and I don’t have to work.
  • Rush Limbaugh (Loudmouth): There’s no better place than Gitmo. Club Gitmo, the Muslim resort. [...] It’s a tropical paradise down there where Muslim extremists and terrorist wannabes can get together for rest and relaxation.

You might think that these witty whiners would be happy to see some bad guys evicted from such enviable quarters. Now they are sweating in the desert, dodging bullets, and having to work for a living. Under the circumstances, the implausible hypothetical question posed above might actually offer an appealing alternative to the now “free” Taliban operatives. But all of a sudden, the wingnuts who once thought that Gitmo was coddling their guests, now think they should have remained there to suffer.

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The one common thread that runs through this affair is that conservatives, who like to fancy themselves as Constitutionalists, are all too happy to abandon that document when it suits them. That’s why they have no problem holding enemy combatants for indeterminate periods without ever charging or trying them. And they also don’t object to trying Americans like Bergdahl as a deserter (which carries a penalty of death) without ever conducting an investigation or even getting his testimony.

BACKFIRE: Wingnuts Compare ObamaCare To The VA – Which Most Veterans Love

With the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, the Republican malice machine has continued to spin at full strength. Whether or not Shinseki was a scapegoat, his departure will not satisfy the bloodlust of the GOP, nor cause them to defer attacks on President Obama long enough to actually help find solutions. However, their inbred negativity and hatred for Obama is causing them to misfire in ways that only further embarrass themselves.

In yet another right-wing assault on the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), the conservative opponents of health care have once again managed to mangle their message. Their intent has been to associate ObamaCare, which they viscerally despise despite its growing popularity, with the burgeoning scandal at the Veterans Administration.

ObamaCare vs. VA

From across the Tea Party frontier we can hear the outraged call of the Yellow Tailed Wingnut complaining that ObamaCare will doom us all to fates of suffering, death, and worse – Socialism! Their high-pitched squeal is recognizable and notable for its uniformity.

  • Rush Limbaugh: If you want to know where we’re headed as a country with health care, take a look at the VA.
  • Ann Coulter: We’re all going to be getting the same health care the vets are getting under ObamaCare.
  • Gary Graham (Actor): If you like the way the VA is working … you’re gonna love ObamaCare.
  • Jason Riley (Wall Street Journal): If you want to see where our nationalized health care system is headed, look at the VA system.
  • Wayne Allyn Root (Fox News Contributor): With Obamacare as the law of the land, we are all veterans now.
  • Phyllis Schlafly: [The VA is] A good window into the future of Obamacare
  • Kimberly Guilfoyle (Fox News Host): This is really what the rest of you all are going to get: One big fat VA system in the form of Obamacare. [Note: This one was rated a "Pants On Fire" lie by PolitiFact]

To be sure, the VA is undergoing a difficult period, exacerbated by Republicans in Congress obstructing necessary funding and the added burden of hundreds of thousands of new veterans created by Bush’s wars. And there is no excuse for falsifying records in order to mask the problems. But even with the serious issues surfacing in the past few weeks, the VA is a highly regarded institution that serves the vast majority of its patients with compassion and competence.

A recent survey completed in 2013 for the independent American Customer Satisfaction Index (during the precise time period when the latest abuses allegedly occurred) reported that customer satisfaction among veteran patients was “among the best in the nation and equal to or better than ratings for private sector hospitals.” Ratings for satisfaction and loyalty were overwhelmingly positive, exceeding 80% and 90% respectively. And specific responses regarding quality of care were off-the-charts positive.

“Veterans also responded positively to questions related to customer service for both VA inpatient care (92 percent favorable) and outpatient care (91 percent). Medical providers and appointment personnel were considered highly courteous with scores of 92 and 91, respectively. Additionally, VA medical providers ranked high in professionalism (90 percent positive).”

The positive assessment of the VA’s overall performance, however, does not mean that problems should be ignored. There is obviously room for improvement. Unfortunately, Republicans are not interested in improvement. In fact, they are ideologically shackled to failure. Their whole political philosophy revolves around the belief that government is inept and incapable of doing anything worthwhile (except wage war). Consequently, their mission is to deliberately sabotage every government initiative they encounter.

They aspire to failure because it proves their thesis that the only thing government excels at is failing. And it may even explain why the VA scandal is almost exclusively confined to red states like Arizona, Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Is it just a coincidence that all of those GOP-led states, where local managers are responsible for the VA’s operations, are battling inefficiency and fraud? Or is it consistent with the Republican agenda that is also obstructing the Medicaid expansion provided by ObamaCare in many of those same states?

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Still, with broad-based, national survey results delivering such positive assessments, the rest of the country would be overjoyed to receive the sort of care that has pleased the vast majority of veterans. And if, as the wingnut brigade above asserts, the VA represents the future of health care under ObamaCare, then America is in for a real improvement in both medical outcomes and experiences. We can only hope that the Limbaughs and Coulters of the world are right this time, for a change.

Stephen Colbert To Replace David Letterman: Stay Tuned For Right-Wing Freakout

CBS announced this morning that Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, will succeed David Letterman as the host of The Late Show.

Fox Nation vs. Reality - Colbert

Note: Not actually endorsed by Stephen Colbert, but still…
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Although Letterman only announced his pending retirement a few days ago, Colbert was almost instantly regarded as a top contender to fill the vacancy. His unique brand of characterture and satire has won him numerous Emmys and even a couple of Peabody Awards. When he assumes the position at the Late Show desk he will immediately challenge his peers to up their game in both raw comedy and creativity. It is fair to expect Colbert to reshape the concept of late-night television.

For extra added entertainment pleasure, watch the conservative martinets of Puritan culture grasp their throats and gasp for air as their lungs veritably burst with outrage. Colbert, and his Comedy Central mentor Jon Stewart, have long been targets of right-wing animosity. To the extent that they manage to get the jokes, they despise them and whine about more liberal domination of the news (as if Stewart and Colbert were actually journalists). They tried in vain to mimic the Daily Show and to launch (or relaunch) careers for conservative comics like Dennis Miller, Steven Crowder, and Victoria Jackson.

Just yesterday, Bill O’Reilly devoted his nightly Talking Points Memo segment to Colbert, whom he called “a deceiver” for mocking O’Reilly’s ludicrous defense of income inequality. O’Reilly went on to say that…

“Colbert can be dismissed as clueless, but the guy does do damage because he gives cover to the powerful people who are selling Americans a big lie, that this country is bad, that it intentionally oppresses many of its own citizens. That is a lie. That point of view is shameful.”

Well, O’Reilly is the authority when it comes to doing damage by giving cover to powerful people selling lies. But even as Fox News blasts Colbert and Stewart as hopelessly biased, they have recognized the falsehood in that characterization. News Corpse documented 29 occasions where the Fox Nation website praised Stewart for taking the conservative side on his program. That, however, has never stopped them from asserting that Stewart is a socialist who only satirizes conservatives.

In response to the Colbert promotion, Breitbart News editor, John Nolte tweeted “Low-Rated Hyper-Partisan Lefty to Replace David Letterman.” He previously critiqued Colbert saying that…

“There’s a HUGE left-wing agenda behind what Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert is doing, and it’s a serious agenda that has nothing to do with satire.”

That’s typical of the viewpoint that Nolte has held for years. In a series of ignorant columns attacking Colbert, Nolte pointed out what he considered to be the poor ratings performance of The Colbert Report. But due to his embarrassing ignorance of the television business, Nolte failed to realize that Colbert’s ratings were better than those of Fox News. What’s more, no knowledgeable person would compare the ratings of a niche cable channel with those of a broadcast TV network. When Colbert moves up to CBS he will inherit the audience that goes along with it.

Rush Limbaugh weighed in saying that…

“CBS has just declared war on the heartland of America. No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American, conservative values. Now it’s just right out in the open.”

NewsBusters’ Dan Gainor tweeted…

“Colbert: From liberal asshat pretending to be conservative to liberal asshat who gets to be honest about his asshattery.”

Karl Rove was personally offended by Colbert’s “Ham Rove” bit, which he took as a threat of violence:

“One liberal replacing another one. Only this one apparently knows how to wield a knife.”

Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post published a screed titled “Picking Colbert to replace Letterman? CBS really screwed up,” in which author Kyle Smith (who?) says that Colbert is…

“…only funny if you accept the premise (conservatives are morons) while you snort Mountain Dew out your nose.”

There will surely be more to come from these media geniuses who live in fear of Colbert’s brand of truthiness. If they were smart they would withhold their juvenile insults and accept the fact that CBS made a decision that is in the best interests of their bottom line. They could simply declare that their silly #CancelColbert boycott campaign was a huge success and return to something they have a much longer history of – insulting women and minorities.

The prospect for Colbert’s future as a late-night host are promising. He has an appealing personality and an engaging rapport with the guests he interviews. He is likely to have less political content on CBS, where their Standards and Practices department will keep a tighter rein on him. That will be a loss for those of us who cherish his outlook on society and culture, but you can’t blame him for aspiring to advance his career. And while he may tone it down, he likely will not abandon it altogether.

What many of the people commenting on this news are neglecting to mention is that there will now be a vacancy at Comedy Central. Here’s hoping that Jon Stewart, whose production company put Colbert on as his lead-out, will have some say in the matter of what follows him next. Due to his irreplaceable persona, it will not be possible to slip someone else into the same format. But another snarky news send-up is still the obvious choice to fill out the late-night hour. Perhaps Comedy Central could parody Fox News’ The Five, with a panel show featuring Daily Show regulars like Lewis Black, John Hodgeman, Kristen Schaal, Al Madrigal, Jessica Williams, Wyatt Cynac, etc.

They have no shortage of talent available. And, thanks to Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media circus, they have no shortage of material either.

[Update] On his show last night, Bill O’Reilly ignored the news about Colbert’s new job, but Time Magazine caught up with him and elicited this response: “I hope Colbert will consider me for the Ed McMahon spot.” Proving once again that O’Reilly is hopelessly stuck in the past, his attempt at humor reached back to reference a decades old sidekick, rather than a more relevant choice like Paul Shaffer or Alan Coulter. But O’Reilly would be a good choice for an Ed McMahon role, whose comedic persona was that of an old Irish loudmouth and a notorious drunk.

Bill O'Reilly/Stephen Colbert

Right-Wing Media Feeding Frenzy Over False Story About White House Press Secretary

There is a strain of faith that intertwines everything that emanates from the conservative media pulpit. They are so fiercely intent on believing any bad news about President Obama and all things liberal that they will suspend common sense entirely in order to preserve their dark fantasies.

Right-Wing Media Circus

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Such was the case when Catherine Anaya, a local reporter with the Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO, aired a segment introducing her interview with the President. She made some startling comments that reverberated throughout the right-wing mediasphere:

Anaya: We started here shortly after 8 o’clock with a coffee with press secretary Jay Carney inside his office in the West Wing. And this was off-the-record so we were able to ask him all about some of the preparation that he does on a regular basis for talking to the press in his daily press briefings. He showed us a very long list of items that he has to be well-versed on every single day.

And then he also mentioned that a lot of times, unless it’s something breaking, the questions that the reporters actually ask-or the correspondents-they are provided to him in advance. So then he knows what he’s going to be answering and sometimes those correspondents and reporters also have those answers printed in front of them, because of course it helps when they’re producing their reports for later on. So that was very interesting.

First of all, Anaya’s report began with the statement that her meeting with press secretary Jay Carney was “off-the-record,” and then proceeded to report it anyway. That’s the first sign that we are dealing with a spurious story. But the core of the controversy concerns her assertion that White House correspondents are required to supply their questions to Carney in advance. That nugget of pseudo-news set off a flurry of outrage from the usual right-wing media hacks. For instance…

  • Glenn Beck: Did a reporter just admit the daily White House press briefing is a sham?
  • Truth Revolt: WH Press Secretary Gets Questions from Reporters Before Press Briefing.
  • NewsBusters: Ariz. Reporter: Carney’s Briefing Questions ‘Are Provided to Him in Advance’
  • Weekly Standard: Reporter: WH Press Secretary Gets Questions from Reporters Before Press Briefing
  • Newsmax: Phoenix Reporter: Carney Gets Questions In Advance
  • Rush Limbaugh: Local Phoenix Reporter Reveals Jay Carney’s White House Briefings are Scripted with Questions Submitted in Advance

Needless to say, the story was not true. Anaya later corrected the record and apologized for her “bad reporting.” She admitted that “I made two major mistakes: I reported an off the record conversation and what I reported was not accurate. [...] The White House never asked for my questions in advance and never instructed me what to ask.”

The Weekly Standard is the only one of those listed above that placed a correction in their original story. Truth Revolt, a side project of Breitbart News editor Ben Shapiro (whose name candidly suggests a revolt against truth), went to the trouble of posting an update that only reported denials of the story by Carney and Fox News correspondent Ed Henry, but not Anaya’s retraction. NewsBusters, a website that purports to hold media accountable, just deleted the whole article with no acknowledgement of their error.

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None other than Fox News recognized the shoddy practices of news enterprises that fail to confirm the authenticity of their reporting. Howard Kurtz wrote for his Media Buzz column that…

“…even as this tale caught fire across the web, the only thing it proved is that a local CBS reporter mangled the facts —and has finally retracted her charge. [...] Bad reporting. Muddied. Incorrectly applied. And the apology took too long.”

Not exactly. It also proved that conservatives with partisan agendas will believe anything that fits their preconceived vision of an evil and calculating president. It also proves that they will disseminate their dishonest delusions even after they have been documented as false. The professional missteps of Anaya were unfortunate and embarrassing, but the blindness and persistence of those who continue to flog her mistakes even after she apologized is far worse because they have knowledge their deceit and engage in it anyway.

No Kidding, Snerdley: It’s Safe To Say That Fox News Is ‘In The Christie Camp’

Everyone has something to say about the revelation that Chris Christie’s office was intimately involved in the closing of the George Washington Bridge despite their prior denials. This includes Rush Limbaugh who made what might be the understatement of the decade:

“The media, with the exception of Fox, which is probably – it is safe to say – in the Christie camp, the media is salivating now at the prospect that Christie’s career is over.”

Ailes/Christie

Never mind Limbaugh’s ridiculous notion that the media that created Christie and made him a household name is suddenly anxious for him to fade into oblivion. If there is one thing we know about the media it’s that they crave the sort of ratings-rich melodrama that would almost certainly envelope a Christie vs. Clinton campaign in 2016. So no knowledgeable person would accuse the media of yearning for an election season without Christie [Note: No knowledgeable person - so that rules Limbaugh out].

However, Limbaugh’s observation that Fox News is “in the Christie camp” is as startling as the discovery of Mexican Viagra in Limbaugh’s medicine cabinet. And it isn’t just because Fox News is the cable subsidiary of the Republican Party (or is the GOP a subsidiary of Fox?), there is also the fact that Fox News CEO Roger Ailes had actively solicited Christie to run for president in 2012. What’s more, the relationship between the two went even deeper than that as Gabriel Sherman reported two years ago:

“Chris Christie had dinner with Fox News chief Roger Ailes last summer, and the two had a phone conversation a few months ago in which Ailes encouraged Christie to run for president. When Gawker requested access to any official records of such interactions under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act, they were blocked by a claim of executive privilege, meaning the New Jersey government considers Ailes an adviser to Christie.”

Sherman’s unauthorized biography of Ailes, “The Loudest Voice In The Room,” will be released next week and may contain more details of this relationship. In the meantime, there is ample evidence that Fox News is already running interference on behalf of Ailes’ crush. As Media Matters noted, Fox spent less than fifteen minutes reporting the breaking news about Bridge-gate, far less than other news outlets. When Fox did commit to cover the story they framed it as a demonstration of Christie’s “lesson in leadership.”

This obvious bias in favor of Christie should not surprise anyone. When the CEO of a cable news network has personally pursued you to become a candidate for president, it is indeed “safe” to assume that they are in your camp. Expect the love affair between Fox and Christie to continue until it becomes untenable to prop up a blatantly corrupt political bully. But don’t worry, Fox will survive the break-up and rebound quickly to former crushes like Rand Paul or Ted Cruz.

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

The ignorance that infects much of the rightist punditry has been an inexhaustible source of both frustration and humor. And no one exemplifies the pitiful state of conservatism better than the de facto head of the Tea-publican Party, Rush Limbaugh.

Rush Limbaugh

Now that much of the midwest and northeast regions of the United States have been inundated with historically frigid weather, El Rushbo has dusted off his fake degree in meteorology to explain it all to his dittohead audience. The resulting rant is so hilariously absurd that it needs little commentary to fully appreciate the depths of its dementia. So without further ado, here are some choice excerpts from Limbaugh’s Monday broadcast about the “Dreaded Polar Vortex” that he says was created by the left to “make you think winter is caused by global warming.”

“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.”

“Now, in their attempt, the left, the media, everybody, to come up with a way to make this sound like it’s something new and completely unprecedented, they’ve come up with this phrase called the ‘polar vortex.’”

Exactly. They just came up with it like seventy years ago. The truth is that scientists have been studying it for decades. Here is a brief primer on the Polar Vortex that Limbaugh should have read before making an ass of himself.

“They’re in the middle of a hoax, they’re perpetrating a hoax, but they’re relying on their total dominance of the media to lie to you each and every day about climate change and global warming. So they created the polar vortex, and the polar vortex.”

“Whatever it is that keeps the polar vortex vortexed in the Arctic Circle is vanishing, and that cold air is coming to us. Normally it stays up there. But now it’s down here. How did it get here? That’s the deepening mystery. That is the crisis. That is what is man-made. Man is destroying the invisible boundaries that keeps that air up there.”

Actually, it isn’t a mystery at all. Unless you are struggling to find new ways to make your dimwitted listeners even more stupid than when they first tuned you in.

“You take a 30-year-old. To him, history began the day he was born. He doesn’t know how cold it was 70 years ago unless he’s told. He doesn’t care. He thinks what’s happening now is either the best or the worst, whatever it is, ever. Everybody thinks that. Everybody’s historical perspective begins with the day they were born,.”

Where does Limbaugh get this stuff? And how brain damaged do you need to be to actually believe it?

“If man is responsible for this cold snap, then how’s it gonna end up back in the forties and thirties in places it’s below zero today? Who’s gonna change whatever it is their doing and keep the cold air at the North Pole? Well, to me it’s a logical question. If man’s causing this cold snap, then who is the man behind the curtain that’s gonna end the cold snap, and why? Why doesn’t he keep it cold? Why doesn’t the polar vortex stay vortexed?”

Apparently Limbaugh thinks that in order for Climate Change to be plausible, there must be some guy sitting in an office behind a console with buttons and levers that control the Earth’s weather. My guess is that it’s either Lex Luthor or Montgomery Burns.

“The Democrat agenda is: ‘We’ve got to get people’s attention distracted from Obamacare.’”

Here is a brief primer on the previous issues that served as distractions from ObamaCare.

“I’m constantly searching for ways to be more persuasive, to be taken seriously, ’cause I don’t make things up. I mean, I’m not into that. I don’t want to advance myself through falsehoods. I have an agenda, too, and I don’t want to be advance it falsely. I don’t want people believing what I say if I’m lying to ‘em — and, consequently, I don’t lie.”

Ummm…..Well then, explain the next comment.

“Global warming is a great example. It’s a full-fledged, now documented hoax.”

Near the end of Limbaugh’s dissertation he quotes Lauren Friedman of Business Insider saying that “Polar vortexes, though, are nothing new.” That would seem to contradict his insistence that the whole thing was invented last week by liberals plotting to advance the Climate Change hoax. It certainly reveals that he was aware that the phenomenon existed long before this week’s weather crisis. Nevertheless, Limbaugh continues to pretend that he doesn’t lie, and he wants you to know that he is your only source for the unvarnished truth.

“Now, I’m here to assure you this is a crock, but this is how the left works, and you don’t have anybody in the media questioning this.”

Thank goodness Limbaugh is here to point out all the crocks that might otherwise overwhelm us with devious crockery. Notably, among the media that is not questioning this Polar Vortex is Fox News. They have been blanketing their network with frantic reports of “Extreme Weather” throughout this ordeal. They have correspondents bundled up like Eskimos across the affected areas corroborating the intensity of the arctic cold. So it would seem that Fox News is an accomplice of the left-wing cabal manufacturing the Polar Vortex hysteria. With a conspiracy rooted this deeply into the very center of the conservatives main media outlet, the future may prove to be very cold indeed for Limbaugh and his disciples.

[Update 1/8/2014] PolitiFact evaluated Limbaugh’s Polar Vortex rant and, contrary to his assertion that he doesn’t lie, designated it a lie of the “Pants On Fire” variety.

PolitiFact: “Limbaugh claimed the media made up the ‘polar vortex’ to bolster global warming. What the cold snap does prove, he says, is Arctic sea ice is not melting — that global warming is a hoax.

“Climate scientists told us his rant is wildly misinformed.

“The polar vortex has been a part of science for decades, and it certainly does not prove that sea ice is not melting.”

PolitiFact did not address the potentially catastrophic environmental hazard that would occur if Limbaugh’s super-sized trousers were actually ablaze. Goodbye ozone.

The Anti-Pope: Rush Limbaugh Pimps For The Money Lenders Lobby

Poor Jesus. After going to all the trouble of throwing the Money Lenders out of the temple, now he has to deal with cretins like Rush Limbaugh who think that the church founded in his name is beholden to secular profiteers and godless corporations.

Rush Limbaugh

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How else could Limbaugh explain his opinion that the Catholic church would be lost “If it weren’t for capitalism?” It is astonishing that the people who most aggressively impose their religious beliefs on others, who demand that the whole of society celebrate their holidays and insist that their values be codified into law and school curriculum, these people seem to have the shallowest grasp of the faith they profess. And Limbaugh is not alone in his Adoration of Greed. A few years ago Bill O’Reilly said on his Fox News program that…

“Every company in America should be on its knees thanking Jesus for being born. Without Christmas, most American businesses would be far less profitable.”

O’Reilly actually believes that this country should be grateful that Jesus came along because the holiday commemorating his birth is such a boon to businesses. Now that’s the Christmas Spirit, isn’t it.

Limbaugh’s tirade was sparked by a recent paper authored by Pope Francis that articulated a version of Christianity wherein a moral society cared for the least of its citizens. He explicitly repudiated Republican values like “trickle-down economics” and preached that economic “inequality is the root of social ills.” That is the sort of talk that unhinges right-wingers whose greatest fear is to be lumped in with the unclean masses who, ironically, are the producers and consumers of the goods their businesses peddle.

All of this comports with the Christian hypocrite dogma spewed by political hacks who are only trying to exploit people who follow Christ’s teachings. These pundi-vangelists couldn’t care less about faith or service. However, the Republican Party shares something in common with the worst aspects of the Christian church. They are both trying to sell stories on faith to ill-informed people who are motivated by fear. But these religious scam artists are only concerned with their own welfare. They have no real compassion or generosity. Their tunnel-blind self-interest is a stark affirmation of the wisdom of the revered Catholic Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recife, who said…

“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.”

OBAMA SCARE: The Right’s Fright Offensive To Scare People Away From Affordable Health Care

Halloween is approaching and the hobgoblins of conservative minds are already spinning nightmarish tales of the horror of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Actually, they have been doing it for quite some time dating back to at least March of 2010 when Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller published an article headlined “IRS looking to hire thousands of armed tax agents to enforce health care laws.” Fox News re-posted the article on their community web site and Fib Factory, Fox Nation despite the fact that it was a complete fabrication and was debunked by the Annenberg Center’s FactCheck.org

Fox News
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This year the campaign to recast a program that makes health insurance accessible to millions of Americans as a plague of locusts has risen to fever pitch. The Republican Party and conservative media has pulled out all the stops in a strategy aimed at scaring people from signing up with the hope that low enrollment will collapse the system. President Obama had the same concerns last month when he said…

“What you’ve had is an unprecedented effort that you’ve seen ramp up in the past month or so that those who have opposed the idea of universal health care in the first place — and have fought this thing tooth and nail through Congress and through the courts — trying to scare and discourage people from getting a good deal.”

These are not the hackneyed GOP talking points about death panels, job killers and government bureaucrats coming between patients and doctors. These are far more fanciful efforts that stretch the limits of credulity and appear to have more in common with satire than actual news reporting. Yesterday Rush Limbaugh “ruminated” (sourced to Breitbart) that ObamaCare may just be a ruse to set up gun registries in the United States. This is what it has come to as ObamaCare has finally reached the consumer stage and conservatives are desperate to keep people from discovering its benefits. For instance…

1) Fox News Warns That If You Sign Up For ObamaCare Hackers Will Steal Your Life Savings
On an episode of “The Real Story” on Fox News, host Gretchen Carlson introduced an ominous new strain of fear mongering to demonize ObamaCare. She interviewed John McAfee, the anti-virus software developer who is presently a fugitive from a murder investigation in Belize. He asserted a wild accusation that visitors to Healthcare.gov are going to be victimized by hackers who will steal their identities and/or drain their bank accounts.

However, neither Carlson nor McAfee actually provide any evidence of such a threat. In fact, when directly asked about it. McAfee diverts from the question and lays out a completely different threat that has nothing whatsoever to do with the ObamaCare web site. He alleges that nefarious individuals could set up their own unaffiliated web sites in the hopes of luring naive people of whom they will seek to take advantage. Of course, that is a threat that exists every day for every web site, and has since the Internet began. But visiting Healthcare.gov does not expose anyone to these phony sites as implied by the fear mongers at Fox.

2) WorldNetDaily Reports “Obama ‘Crashing Health-Care Site On Purpose’”
This article asserts that the President is so afraid that insurance shoppers will learn that ObamaCare is really more expensive than the old system that he deliberately caused the website to crash to keep people from seeing the rates. No one is defending the botched launch of the insurance exchanges, however, the notion that the technical glitches were intentionally caused by Obama is delusional.

WND’s argument (supported by links to Rush Limbaugh) that rates will increase leaves out the subsidies and tax credits that are available for many applicants. With these adjustments, premiums for most people will be substantially lower. The administration would, therefore, be anxious for consumers to have access to that information and would not be putting obstacles in their path.

3) Rand Paul: Take ObamaCare Or Go To Jail
The Tea Party darling Rand Paul has made innumerable false statements about virtually every policy that has emanated from the White House. But none surpass the diversion from reality than when he said “They say take [ObamaCare] or we will put people in jail. People say we aren’t going to put anybody in jail. The heck they won’t. You will get fined first. If you don’t pay your fines, you will go to jail.”

That’s interesting coming from someone who has frequently complained that no one in Congress has read the Affordable Care Act. If he had read it himself he would have known that the law explicitly prohibits criminal consequences for non-payment of fines. It states “In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.” It rarely gets more clear than that, but the mission to frighten the public exceeds the motivation for truth on the part of GOP scare-meisters.

Notably, Bill O’Reilly insisted that no one on Fox News ever claimed that failure to enroll in ObamaCare would lead to a prison sentence, but he was hilariously embarrassed by the videos that proved otherwise, including on his own program.

4) Right-Wing Think Tank Mortified That ObamaCare Web Site Links To Voter Registration Form
This is a particularly curious horror story as it seeks to raise an alarm over something that ought to be regarded as a civic duty. Nevertheless, the conservative MacIver Institute (a Koch brothers funded operation) published an article that implied there was some sort of heinous objective on the part of the Obama administration for having included a link to a voter registration form on the ObamaCare website. This startling revelation is met with foreboding by MacIver and a flurry of right-wing media outlets that disseminated MacIver’s story including National Review, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, Breitbart News, the Daily Caller, and of course, Fox News. All of their reports agreed that this was a clandestine attempt to register only Democratic voters despite the absence of any partisan framing. MacIver even asks specifically “[W]hat does registering to vote have to do with signing up for Obamacare?”

The core of the right’s trepidation is rooted in a more fundamental aversion to the act of voting itself. It is why they are continually erecting new barriers to voting, such as unreasonably stringent identification requirements, shortening or eliminating early voting periods, wholesale purges of voter rolls, and of course, brazenly discriminatory gerrymandering. Democrats, on the other hand, have sought to expand voter turnout with bills like the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (aka Motor Voter) that mandates that certain government agencies provide people with access to voter registration. In fact, it is that twenty year old law that requires the ObamaCare administrators to make voter registration available. MacIver, and their similarly mortified conservative comrades, are either unaware of this, or are deliberately feigning ignorance in order to rile up their conspiracy-prone base.

5) Weekly Standard Finds Imaginary Threat On ObamaCare Website
The ultra-conservative Weekly Standard dispatched their crack reporters to ferret out what they portrayed as an ominous security threat on the Healthcare.gov website. What they found were comments in the site’s source code that said that “You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.” The Standard notes that these comments were not visible to users and were not part of the site’s terms and conditions. But that didn’t stop them from implying that users would be still be bound by it because “the language is nevertheless a part of the underlying code.” Not really. It’s only a part of some inoperative text that carries no more obligation than some discarded notes.

This is another situation where you have to wonder whether these people are embarrassingly stupid or brazenly dishonest. There is a reason that this language was not visible. It was deliberately removed with the use of HTML comment tags by the site’s programmers. It was undoubtedly edited out because it was not an accurate expression of the site’s privacy policy. It does not mean that users are agreeing to a secret clause permitting the government to spy on them as the Standard implied. If any of these “reporters” had a fourteen year old at home they could have learned what this is about. But that would have interfered with their goal which is to leave Americans with the false impression that some hidden danger lurks beneath the surface of ObamaCare.

6) Fox News Fears ACORN Is Back To Push ObamaCare
The Curvy Couch Potatoes over at Fox & Friends had a jolly old time resurrecting their fear of a community organizing enterprise that no longer exists. ACORN was wrongly hounded out of business by right-wing opponents after pseudo-journalist and convicted criminal, James O’Keefe, distributed some deceitfully edited and libelous videos. But that hasn’t stopped conservative media from exhuming the corpse whenever they are in need of a sensationalistic story, as demonstrated by Fox co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck who announced that “We’re getting information that ACORN operatives are trying to sign people up for the Affordable Care Act.”

While ACORN was never found to have engaged in any unlawful activity, there was a bill passed that prohibited them from receiving federal funds. However, there is nothing in the law that prevents organizations with former ACORN staff from getting federal grants. In fact, there isn’t even any current law that prevents ACORN from getting grants as the previous ban was not included in the latest Continuing Resolution. Fox is brazenly misrepresenting the facts in an attempt to reignite fears of the old ACORN bogeyman. And they upped the terror ante by further alleging that ACORN would use your personal medical and financial information against you politically. They never revealed how that would occur, or to what end, but that isn’t the point. Their only interest is in spreading fear, no matter how irrational and unsupported.

Conclusion:
The zealousness with which these right-wing propagandists pursue their disinformation campaign is evidence of their own fear that Americans will come to appreciate having access to affordable health care. Therefore, they see their mission as derailing the program before that eventuality unfolds. Their tactics get more extreme and absurd the closer the program gets to gaining acceptance. A particular target of their attack is young people whose participation is important for the program to succeed. Consequently, opponents have launched a well-funded campaign (thanks to the Koch brothers) to scare off young consumers. Generation Opportunity has already released the now notorious “Creepy Uncle Sam” videos that make false implications of government intrusion into medical care. Next they are embarking on a twenty city college tour to mislead students.

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PolitiFact has reviewed sixteen claims made by ObamaCare detractors and found all of them false. Twelve of those were designated “Pants On Fire” lies. If there is one question that begs to be asked, it is this: If ObamaCare is so terrible, then why do opponents have to lie so much about it?

ObamaCare Myths

Rush Limbaugh Compares ObamaCare To Slavery, Then Asks Why It Doesn’t Sell Itself

Not that anyone has ever mistaken Rush Limbaugh for a great scholar, but lately he is treading new avenues of stupidity that are embarrassing, even for him.

Rush Limbaugh
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Yesterday on his radio show, Limbaugh went on a tirade against Republicans, who he thinks have not made sufficient efforts to oppose ObamaCare. I’m not sure where Limbaugh was when 100% of Republicans voted against the bill in 2010. And I don’t know how he missed their having voted 41 times since then to repeal it. And who knows how he slept through the bill going all the way to the Supreme Court, only to be upheld. Perhaps he’s back on drugs.

But never mind, in Limbaugh’s demented view of reality those GOP lightweights just refuse to take a stand against this apocalyptic law. It was from that perspective that Limbaugh hauled off and swung at his Republican pals saying that…

“Well over 50% of the American people don’t want [Obamacare]. And the Republicans are like ‘well we can’t do anything about it. The law’s the law, It’s the law of the land.’ Well, so was slavery one time, the law of the land.”

See? It’s just like slavery. America had to go through a bloody Civil War to get rid of that. And the similarities are astonishing. One was an institution that forced human beings into a brutal and inhumane involuntary servitude, and the other provides health care for most Americans at a reasonable cost. No wonder Limbaugh gets them confused.

Today Limbaugh has a new take inspired by President Obama’s appearance at a rally to promote the new health care plans that become available next week. Limbaugh began by lying about Congress exempting themselves from ObamaCare. Then Limbaugh, a college dropout, insulted America’s college students by calling them all “low information voters.” And then he fired off this monumentally idiotic complaint:

“if [ObamaCare] is so wonderful, why does it even need to be sold at all? Why does Obama need to go out there and tout the thing if it is so wonderful? I mean, it ought to just sell itself, shouldn’t it?”

Of course it should. Just like Pepsi. If it is so delicious and refreshing why do they need to spend billions on advertising? Why do Ford and Campbell’s and Bank of America waste so much money every year? The companies that advertise on Limbaugh’s radio program must really suck, because they have been using those ads to push themselves on consumers for years.

Perhaps one reason that Obama finds it necessary to promote the benefits of the Affordable Care Act is because there are people like Limbaugh comparing it to slavery. There are people like Glenn Beck who tell their glassy-eyed disciples that having access to health insurance will bring about the end of the world. There are politicians like Ted Cruz and Michele Bachmann who claim that ObamaCare will “literally” kill children and seniors. I’m pretty sure that Campbell’s Soup hasn’t had to deal with these sort of marketing obstacles.

In the real world, any product, whether from Old Navy or actually recruiting for the Navy, needs to be sold to the people who are likely to use it. They need to make sure that consumers are aware that it exists and how it might benefit them. There has never been a government program that did not have a marketing campaign, including such destructive and deceitful initiatives like the war on Iraq. But in Limbaugh’s view, promoting ObamaCare ought not to be necessary because the public should learn about it through some sort of telepathy.

In the end, it says a great deal about Limbaugh that he thinks that if ObamaCare is so great then, like slavery, it should just sell itself. Although, if we still had slavery, I’m sure those slave auctions would be advertising on Limbaugh’s network with his personal endorsement.

RidicuList: The Wingnut Ranking Of The Most Influential People On The Right

If you have ever wanted an itemization of what’s wrong with contemporary conservatives, your prayers have been answered. The ultra-right-wing web site Townhall has very generously provided the perfect explanation for how a political movement gets corrupted by demagoguery and ignorance, and sinks to the level of its lowest bottom-feeding imbeciles.

Rush Limbaugh
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Townhall has compiled a list of what they regard as “The 25 Most Influential People On The Right For 2013.” The list could not be more revealing of the moronic mentality that infects the worst of the Teabagging mindset. Their idea of “influential” is almost entirely comprised of fringe-dwelling loudmouths who populate the far-right media. Here are just the top 10. In what horror story fantasy land are these people considered to be the most influential?

  1. Glenn Beck: Beck is a loser with a video blog and a radio show that doesn’t air in the nation’s biggest markets.
  2. Ted Cruz: Cruz is a freshman senator who doesn’t even have the respect of his GOP colleagues.
  3. The Koch Brothers: These guys are actually pretty influential on the basis of the cash they throw around. But their scope of influence is limited to the the Tea Party faithful.
  4. John Roberts: As the Supreme Court Chief Justice, Roberts is powerful, but not particularly influential. He isn’t out there advocating on policy positions.
  5. Sean Hannity: Hannity couldn’t influence a drowning man to get out of the water. He is a GOP shill who has never had an original thought, and he just lost his primetime show on Fox. [Update: After this article was posted, Fox announced that Hannity would be moved back an hour to 10:00pm, still primetime]. He also lost a major radio syndicator.
  6. John Boehner: If Boehner was influential in the least he wouldn’t be such a laughingstock on Capitol Hill. He can’t control his own caucus, and he is presiding over the most unproductive congress ever.
  7. Karl Rove: After his numerous losses in 2012, Rove has lost the respect of his establishment cronies, while at the same time earning the distrust of the cantankerous Tea Party flank..
  8. Sarah Palin: Influential? Are you friggen kidding me? Try incoherent, insubstantial, or intolerable.
  9. Matt Drudge: Yesterday’s snooze.
  10. Rush Limbaugh: Bingo! I’ll give ‘em this one. Limbaugh is the Gulliver of Republicanism. He towers over the Lilliputians in the party who are too timid to challenge him.

These are not just some of the right’s players, these are their biggest stars. These are the bright, shining lights about whom they are most proud. Let that sink in a minute. When they brag, they bring up these losers. No wonder the Republican Party is suffering the lowest favorability ratings in history.

The top ten features four Fox News critters. The expanded list contains more public embarrassments like Mark Levin (12), Rick Perry (16), Greg Gutfeld (23), and Michelle Malkin (25). And genuine influential types like billionaire Sheldon Adelson, and Fox News CEO Roger Ailes walked away with mere Honorable Mentions. This is not so much a list of influentials as it is a hall of shame. Yet somehow, Ted Nugent, Michelle Bachmann, and Alex Jones didn’t make the cut. Hang in there guys. There’s always next year.

Rush Limbaugh’s Conspiracy Theory Infects Congressional Tea Party Republicans

No matter what President Obama does there will be a cacophony of lunatics leaping up to foment a delusional conspiracy theory as an explanation. The crisis in Syria is no exception. As a starting point, Foreign Policy has helpfully compiled the 5 Craziest Conspiracy Theories About Syria’s Chemical Attacks.

Rush Limbaugh
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Rush Limbaugh’s contribution to the call for crackpot conjecture is a particularly obtuse fantasy in which President Obama is a prime suspect in the horrific gassing of Syrian civilians. But even worse, Limbaugh wonders whether poor Bashar Assad is merely a victim of an evil American regime, asking “What if Bashar is being framed?”

Limbaugh: We could be looking here at a frame job, a pretty big setup. [...] It’s the rebels nerve-gassing themselves, framing Bashar, setting him up so as to engineer a response that takes Bashar out; so that the Al-Qaeda guys win, and then we end up on the side of Al-Qaeda.

Talk about your brilliant Master Plan. This scheme would let Obama join his Al-Qaeda pals in a coup that unseats Assad, the Middle East’s best friend to democracy. How did we not see this coming?

Thankfully, Republicans in congress have been paying close attention to Syria and, more importantly, to Limbaugh. Several of them have advanced his theory within the halls of congress:

Joe Wilson: Why was there no call for military response in April? Was it delayed to divert attention today from the Benghazi, IRS, NSA scandals; the failure of Obamacare enforcement; the tragedy of the White House-drafted sequestration or the upcoming debt limit vote?

Of course. Obama orchestrated the gassing of 1,500 innocent people so that he could divert attention from the screwball antics of Darrell Issa and GOP attempts to derail ObamaCare that have been going nowhere.

Jeff Duncan: I can’t discuss the possibility of the U.S. involvement in Syria’s civil war without also talking about Benghazi.

This appears to be an admission of some rare form of Tourette’s Syndrome that causes the sufferer to involuntarily blurt out Benghazi whether or not it was the topic of the conversation. Hopefully he will get the medical attention he so obviously needs.

Ted Cruz: We should be focused on defending the United States of America. That’s why young men and women sign up to join the military, not to, as you know, serve as Al Qaeda’s air force.

Sen. Cruz has jumped to the front of the pack with the most offensive statement yet. He has opted to insult the members of the United States armed forces by portraying them as allies of America’s terrorist enemies.

When the level of debate over a serious matter involving the deployment of American soldiers sinks to such despicable lows, it is usually with the help of rabid extremists like Rush Limbaugh. But it is especially disturbing when elected representatives take up his baton and use it to whip up irrational hysteria based on nothing more than their warped fantasies.

Rush Limbaugh’s Spiritual Guidance On Climate Change Refuted By 200 Evangelical Scientists

Last month Rush Limbaugh put on his pastor’s bonnet and proceeded to hand out religious advice to his audience of glassy-eyed dittoheads.

Limbaugh: In my humble opinion, folks, if you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming. You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe that man controls something he can’t create.

Rush Limbaugh

How Limbaugh arrives at this spurious conclusion is never clearly explained. Obviously humans control many things that they can’t create. We split atoms, we clear-cut forests, we drive animal species into extinction, we destroy cancer cells, we defy gravity. What would make Limbaugh think that our excessive disbursement of pollutants wouldn’t have an effect on the atmosphere?

Limbaugh also makes a logical leap that a belief in God, which has a faith, rather than intellectual basis, can be a foundation for intellectually refuting science. It’s like saying that if you believe in Santa Claus, then intellectually you can’t believe in Hasbro. But it’s not as if Limbaugh’s ecumenical guidance has ever been held in high esteem. And that is still the case today as a coalition of 200 evangelical scientists smack down Limbaugh’s absurd biblical analysis, saying that they “were appalled at the ignorance behind Rush Limbaugh’s statement but we weren’t surprised.”

“For us, global warming is not a matter of belief – it is about applying our understanding of science to the climate of this planet. The author of Hebrews tells us, ‘faith is … the evidence of things not seen.’ We believe in God through faith. Science, on the other hand, is the evidence of our eyes. We can measure the extent to which natural levels of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere regulate and maintain our climate. We can track how excess heat-trapping gases, beyond what would naturally occur, are being added to the atmosphere every day by human activities. We can calculate how this artificially warms the Earth’s surface, increasing risks of extreme heat, rain, and drought. We can see how these impacts often fall disproportionately on those with the least resources to adapt, the very people we are told to care for by our faith.

“While our expertise allows us to understand the complexity of a changing climate and its causes, it is our faith that compels us to speak out and motivates us to push forward despite the opposition from voices like Rush Limbaugh and gridlock in Washington.”

In July these observant scientists sent a letter to Congress urging them to reduce carbon pollution and adopt policies consistent with God’s instructions to care for his creation. They cite scripture and verse attesting to the fact that Christians have a responsibility to be good stewards of the Earth.

This is something that Limbaugh apparently cannot comprehend in his pedestrian, political, and self-serving exploitation of faith. And it is evidence that anyone who takes Limbaugh’s spiritual advice is as foolish as anyone who takes his political advice. All of it is crafted without facts or reason, specifically for an audience that Limbaugh himself characterizes as so incapable of cogent thinking that they can only repeat his ignorant nit-witticisms.

RNC Votes To Ban CNN/MSNBC Debates – Which They Have No Power To Do

For the past couple of weeks there has been a flurry of fretful reporting about a threat by Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus to ban CNN and MSNBC from the GOP primary debate schedule. Priebus is disturbed by currently non-existent projects about Hillary Clinton that he is certain will characterize her favorably.

Today Priebus made good on his threat by shepherding a resolution though the RNC’s annual meeting that declares that they “will neither partner with these networks in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor.”

Fun Fact: How many GOP primary debates did the RNC sponsor in 2012?
Answer: Zero
There were twenty debates held and not a single one was sponsored by the RNC. However, every debate on Fox News was sponsored by a state Republican Party affiliate. Also notable is that MSNBC held a debate co-sponsored by the Reagan Library, and CNN held debates co-sponsored by Tea Party Express, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute.

There is, however, a small problem with the Priebus declaration. The RNC has no power whatsoever to prohibit any debate by an network. Sure, they can pass resolutions that make grandiose claims to authority that they don’t have, but reality trumps their hubris. The truth is that any network can announce its intention to produce a debate. They can invite candidates to participate. The candidates are free to accept or reject any offer as they see fit. Chances are, the second and third tier candidates will accept virtually any opportunity to promote themselves on national television. Subsequently, the frontrunners will be reluctant to let their competitors have the stage to themselves. So the debates will go on with a full cast of characters.

Priebus’ threat, therefore, is an impotent cry for attention. He is not empowered to force his will on the people who are vying to be the next leader of the free world. In a best case scenario he may be able to influence the number of debates, which is a goal he has previously articulated. After all, it is fairly obvious that the more Republican candidates are exposed to the American people, the more they will embarrass themselves, and the more votes they will lose. The GOP has a distinct interest in limiting their exposure, and that is what Priebus is aiming for.

The hypocrisy of Priebus’ resolution is apparent in the fact that he is only nixing CNN and MSNBC, even though there have been reports that Fox may be producing the NBC project. Priebus cannot extend his toothless ban to Fox or there would be no cable news networks available to host a GOP debate. But there is no reasonable explanation for why Fox would be given a pass (other than their role as the GOP PR division).

Fun Fact: What do you get when you remove the vowels from Reince Priebus’ name?
Answer: RNC PR BS

The full text of the resolution cites campaign donations by the head of NBC’s entertainment division to Hillary Clinton, but the head of Fox News’ parent corporation has done likewise. Also, the News Corp political PAC, News America Holdings, has given more to Democrats than Republicans in each of the last four election cycles. So if producing Clinton documentaries and donating to her campaign warrant prohibition as debate hosts, then Fox clearly qualifies.

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Rush Limbaugh

Finally, there have been recent calls for the RNC to recruit right-wing loyalists as moderators for their debates. The names mentioned most frequently include Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin. In response, Levin has said that he is ready and willing, despite the fact that he has previously said that he will do whatever he can to prevent Chris Christie from becoming the GOP nominee. As for Limbaugh, he told his radio dittoheads that he is “too famous” and would “overshadow” the candidates. That’s a telling remark in itself, as it demonstrates just how diminutive is the stature of the GOP field. Perhaps the GOP should nominate Limbaugh.

This tussle could not be better for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. If the RNC is successful in limiting the number of their debates it will have effectively cut off millions of Americans from learning about their candidates (although, as noted above, that might a good thing for the GOP). But even worse is the prospect of debates led by staunchly conservative radio talk show hosts. Priebus and company think that friendly moderators will help avoid the antagonistic questioning that he presumes would occur on other networks. But to the extent that that is true, it will also result in the candidates being woefully unprepared for the full-contact combat they will eventually encounter in the general election. What’s more, the rightist Taliban, as represented by Limbaugh et al, will be more likely to force candidates to stake out extreme positions which they will be unable to “Etch-a-Sketch” away after the primaries. The wingnut media are notoriously committed to the sort of ideological purity that voters find repugnant.

So if the RNC wants to proceed with this self-defeating initiative, they will have the full support and cooperation of their pals at the DNC. Nothing would please Democrats more than Republicans digging themselves ever deeper holes of extremism. The outrageous statements and gaffes that occur at the “official” RNC events would still be broadcast on the other networks afterwards. So Priebus’ efforts to limit the damage would be futile, and even counterproductive. As would his admonition that disobedience “may include severe penalties for candidates that participate in unsanctioned debates.” That’s right – Priebus plans on giving the reprobates a good spanking. Wouldn’t that look great on a candidates permanent record?

HUH? Fox In Talks To Produce NBC’s Hillary Clinton Project

Earlier this week, Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus went apoplectic over the announcement that NBC Entertainment was developing a miniseries based on Hillary Clinton’s post-White House life. With no script, or even a firm decision to go forward, the GOP, and their PR division, Fox News, lashed out at the network for even considering such a thing. Priebus threatened NBC and CNN (who are considering their own Clinton documentary) calling it “appalling” that they “have taken it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton’s campaign operatives.” He continued…

“If they have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC’s Summer Meeting on August 14, I will seek a binding vote stating that the RNC will neither partner with these networks in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates they sponsor.”

RNC Debates
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Both networks waived off Priebus’ threats saying that he was prematurely judging the projects that are both in very early stages of development. They also pointed out that the projects would be produced by their respective entertainment divisions and that the news divisions would have no role whatsoever in their content. Priebus dismissed those responses and persisted in his assertion that the programs would be biased and that he would not permit his Party to be engaged with the networks should they proceed. He does not believe that the distinction between the news and entertainment divisions has any merit.

Well, today this melodrama became significantly more complex. The New York Times is reporting that NBC is in talks with Fox Television Studios to produce their miniseries. Fox has confirmed the report. NBC’s decision to go with Fox would be influenced in part by Fox’s extensive experience with long-form television.

The problem for Priebus and the GOP is that now they would have to exclude Fox News from holding any of their primary debates. After all, if they are going to take it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton’s campaign operatives, then the GOP would be forced to show them the same treatment they show NBC and CNN. And Priebus couldn’t argue that Fox’s entertainment division is separate from their news division because he already rejected that argument.

So now the Republican Party may not be able to have debates on any of the cable news networks. This leaves them with only ABC and CBS. Well, technically, there is also the highest rated national network, Univision, but that doesn’t seem like a good fit for the Hispanic-hating GOP. Perhaps they could work something out with Al-Jazeera America. The GOP is getting closer to Rush Limbaugh’s ideal. Yesterday he offered some advice to Republicans:

“Do ‘em on your own network. Put on your own debates with your own moderators,” he said, because “Wherever you go outside of Fox, you are going up against the Democrat Party.””

The opportunities for Republicans are getting narrower every day. I continue to believe, as I wrote last week, that the best thing that could happen to the Democrats is for Republicans to sequester themselves in the bosom of Fox News. It would limit their exposure to the broader electorate and the independents they need to win. It would also insure that their candidates were unvetted and unprepared for the real-life battles of a campaign. If they spend the primary season being fluffed by Fox, when they eventually face the general election they will be surprised by sharp criticisms from which they were shielded in their chummy primary.

But now they may not even be able to go to Fox. What will become of them? Will they wander the countryside looking for local broadcasters to carry their debates? Will they abandon TV altogether and have their debates on talk radio? I’m sure Limbaugh would appreciate that. Or more likely, they will retreat from their pompous rhetoric and consent to have their debates wherever they are fortunate enough to get an invitation. That is, if they’re smart. So don’t hold your breath.

[Update:] Priebus made a hysterical appearance on CNN’s State of the Union and tried desperately to wriggle out of any obligation to extend his GOP boycott to Fox News if they assume production of NBC’s project. His all too obvious dependency on Fox was in evidence as he attempted to dismiss their lead production role as akin to catering. He also reiterated that his goal is to protect Republican candidates from what he believes are unfriendly moderators. So, again, let him parade his flock on networks that will fluff them lovingly. That will soften them up for the kill when they reach the general election.

Limbaugh And Hannity Getting Heaved From 40+ Radio Stations: Glenn Beck Nervous

Limbaugh Hannity
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Earlier this year a fierce feud broke out between Rush Limbaugh and one of his radio distributors, Cumulus Media. The Cumulus CEO, Lew Dickey, went public with his observation that Limbaugh’s vulgar misogyny and hate speech was sending advertisers fleeing. Dickey told the company’s shareholders that they were losing millions of dollars as a result of an audience and advertiser boycott that began after Limbaugh had called student activist Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute”

Limbaugh took umbrage at the suggestion that his boorishness was responsible for the lost ads and threatened to take his program elsewhere. However, it seems that Cumulus has beaten him to the punch according to sources who spoke to Politico, who say that Cumulus will drop both Limbaugh and Sean Hannity by year’s end:

“Cumulus has decided that it will not renew its contracts with either host, the source said, a move that would remove the two most highly rated conservative talk personalities from more than 40 Cumulus channels in major markets.”

There is the possibility that the parties are still posturing in an attempt to secure better deals, but Politco’s sources say that Limbaugh’s syndicator is unlikely to come down to a figure that Cumulus would accept. Cumulus, in the meantime, has been scouting new talent for replacement hosts. And when 48 of your 50 biggest advertisers have directed that their ads not be placed on Limbaugh and Hannity, Cumulus has little incentive to negotiate.

If Limbaugh and Hannity are evicted from their radio perches at the Cumulus stations they currently occupy, their distributor, Clear Channel, will likely find them new digs on their own Premier network. This move will not be without a fair amount of turbulence. The shows could go dark for some weeks or months while new stations are found and the contracts of the hosts residing there are unwound. Which raises another problem that is probably keeping Glenn Beck up tonight. That’s because Premiere already distributes Beck who broadcasts at the same time as Limbaugh. So if Limbaugh is moved to the Premiere stations it may be Beck who is shoved aside.

While there is a certain amount of schadenfreude derived from watching these rightist dinosaurs flailing in the tar pits of their own making, the end result is not much prettier a picture. Limbaugh and Hannity are likely to land somewhere eventually. And Cumulus could replace them with Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin, and/or Michael Savage. So the airwaves will end up with just as much repugnant blather. But the show will have an entertaining, if too brief, intermission.

Rush Limbaugh’s War On The War On Women: Attacking Huma Abedin

I suppose it had to come to this. With most of the conventional media piling on Anthony Weiner – who had no extramarital affairs, and was not unfaithful to his wife – it has been left to Rush Limbaugh to sink to the most disgusting depths of personal vilification with his attack on Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin.

Rush Limbaugh
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Limbaugh’s daily sermonette was dripping with contempt as he lashed out at Abedin for what he claimed was her effort to “normalize their depravity.” He said that Abedin was making it common and noble to stand by a misbehaving spouse, thereby enabling his misbehavior. And make no mistake, this is not Limbaugh complaining about Weiner. He is aiming his animus directly at Abedin:

Limbaugh: “Huma Abedin is doing everything she can to make sure that women are seen as steppingstones and doormats.”

It takes a truckload of gall for Limbaugh, a drug-abuser who is presently on his fourth wife, to pretend that he has any grounds for lecturing others on morality. Yet that is precisely what he did for much of his radio broadcast today. It is a typical Republican approach to ethics wherein they readily condemn their political foes for behavior they engage in at least as often.

What’s more, conservative hypocrites are all too ready to forgive those on their side of the aisle who stray. That’s why GOP scoundrels like Sen. David Vitter, Rep. Mark Sanford, and even former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, generally remain in their official posts while Democrats have the decency to resign and withdraw from public life for a while. And for some reason, the allegedly “family values” posers on the right frequently abandon their marriage vows, but still have the temerity to complain when Democratic couples succeed in keeping their families in tact. Limbaugh criticized that very aspect of the Weiners’ relationship, suggesting that by preserving their marriage Abedin was demonstrating poor character and weakness. These right-wing freaks actually root for divorce and broken families, but will surely condemn that as well should it occur down the road. Nothing irks them more than the fact that Bill and Hillary Clinton stayed together, raised their daughter, and continue to support one another.

Not surprisingly, Limbaugh couched his obnoxious assault in starkly political terms. In doing so he managed to prove that he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. He sneered that his interest in these matters was because “feminism is a political arm of the Democrat Party” (which is a plus for Democrats), and that Democrats condone the sort of activity that Weiner has engaged in. Of course, the truth is that no one is more critical of Weiner than his fellow Democrats and certainly not one has come close to condoning anything he did. But Limbaugh’s demented political perspective goes even further to entirely slip the bounds of reason:

Limbaugh: “I don’t want to ever hear another word about a Republican War on Women, because Democrat women are doing more to set women and whatever causes they might have back to the Dark Ages.”

Apparently, Limbaugh thinks that the “War on Women” has something to do with marital infidelity. Obviously it does not. When Democrats accuse Republicans of conducting a War on Women, they are referring to the GOP’s overt opposition to issues that women support and that directly impact their freedom and well being. Republicans, as a group, oppose equal pay for equal work; they voted against the Violence Against Women Act; they fought allowing women soldiers into combat roles; they resist laws mandating gender equality in the workplace; and they don’t trust women to make reproductive decisions about their own bodies. That’s what the War on Women is, not some personal melodrama. But Limbaugh can’t understand this. He complains that Democrats are “making a mockery of women” by staying in nurturing relationships with them instead of casting them aside. And then he let’s loose this tirade boasting that Republicans are somehow superior in their treatment of the women they regard as inferior:

“It’s not us using them. It’s not us chewing ‘em up and spitting ‘em out. It’s not us making fools of them. It’s not us disrespecting them. It’s not us doing any of this stuff. Not as a political party.”

Actually, Rush, it is you. It is you and your party that belittles and suppresses women. It is you who disrespect them. Ask the former Mrs. Giuliani, or the former Mrs. Sanford, or the several former Mrs. Gingrichs, or any of your own cast-offs, if they feel as if they were chewed up and spit out. Then ask Huma Abedin how she feels about you disparaging her character and passing judgment on her decision to work on and repair her marriage for the sake of herself, her husband, and her infant son.

Limbaugh began this broadcast saying that he “didn’t ever hear another word about a Republican War on Women.” Well, I don’t ever want to hear another word about Republican family values. At least not from neanderthals like Limbaugh who clearly do not value families.

[Update] Not to be outdone, Fox News hosted right-wing radio talker Michael Graham to bash Abedin. He rabidly pronounced that she is “even worse” than Weiner.

Riot Promoter Rush Limbaugh Frets About Post-Zimmerman Unrest

[Update The verdict is in: Not guilty on all counts.
And the verdict is in on Limbaugh as well: Not right about anything, as usual. But then he offered the best appraisal of himself last November:]

Rush Limbaugh

With the fate of George Zimmerman now in the hands of the jury, many on the right are openly speculating as to whether African-Americans have enough self-control to keep from turning into hostile animals. It is an obvious insult to the dignity of people who have been insulted by right-wingers for decades.

At the head of the classless, of course, is Rush Limbaugh. On his radio program today he opened with an offensive presumption that people disappointed with a potential Zimmerman acquittal were already preparing to engage in organized riots.

Limbaugh: They’d rather have the verdict on Monday so they can use the whole week to trash the country. Plus the riots are scheduled for Monday. They probably don’t have the rioters ready to go today. [...] I think the DOJ’s probably already done the organizational aspect of the riots.

There is no support for this sort of vile speculation. There are no rallies being planned. There are no protest groups forming. There has never been any threat of violence associated with the outcome of this trial. No authoritative person in the civil rights community ever prejudged Zimmerman’s guilt. The only point of contention was that law enforcement had initially declined to conduct a proper investigation or make a serious effort to ascertain liability.

Nevertheless, Limbaugh went on to make repulsive assertions that advocates for justice were plotting indiscriminate violence. He even said that they would “trash” their hotels when they arrived in Florida to embark on this imaginary rampage. The rant that Limbaugh delivered could not have been more disgusting and filled with blatant racism and hatred for people he apparently considers to be less than human.

And if that weren’t enough, Limbaugh’s tirade barely made sense. In one passage he sought to portray the non-existent protesters, who include the media and the White House, as “totally invested in a guilty verdict.” But his argument in support of that opinion was absurd:

Limbaugh: The media is desperate for a guilty verdict so that they can once again proceed on the assumption that this is a racist, biased, unfair country that refuses to allow blacks to have the slightest chance to get ahead. The civil rights movement wants much the same thing. The White House wants a guilty verdict.

That’s just asinine. If the civil rights movement, the media, the White House, et al, were looking to affirm society’s racism, they would not want a guilty verdict as Limbaugh says. A conviction, after all, would demonstrate that justice was fair and colorblind. How would that achieve the goal that Limbaugh asserts? What’s more, Limbaugh is contradicting his whole premise. From the outset of his program he insisted that there was a constituency that was preparing to riot following the acquittal they anticipated. But now Limbaugh says that they actually want a conviction, after which there would be no reason to riot and all their planning would have been for naught.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter whether Limbaugh has any idea what he’s talking about or not, so long as he says it with a deep animosity for liberals, minorities, and any other of his perceived enemies. And as for his new found aversion to rioting, here is a reminder of what he was saying a few years ago when he openly advocated such behavior by his dittoheads at the Democratic National Convention:

Rush Limbaugh Riot

Rush Limbaugh: Screw the World! Riot in Denver!
I’m dreaming of riots in Denver. Remember 1968? [...] I mean, if people say what’s your exit strategery, the dream end of this is that this keeps up to the convention and that we have a replay of Chicago 1968, with burning cars, protests, fires, literal riots, and all of that. That’s the objective here.

That’s the objective here. He could not have been more explicit in his desire for violence and destruction. And now this scumbag thinks he can characterize others as having the sub-human traits that he harbors himself. Psychiatrists call this “projection.” I’ll just call it hypocritical bullshit.

Fox News Promotes Rush Limbaugh’s Attack On Fox News

For the second time today, Fox News has attacked itself. Earlier this morning Fox Nation posted an article meant to disparage MSNBC, but also included a quote saying that Fox News is “ridiculously fact-free.” But apparently they weren’t through self-flagellating because this afternoon they decided to heap more punishment on themselves.

Rush Limbaugh
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The incident began when Rush Limbaugh took a call from a particularly incensed dittohead who was in a frenzy over something he heard on Fox News. The caller whined furiously for several minutes about the “Alinskyite Obama Democrats” who are “steeped in Leninism with their Global Warming.” Amongst those to whom he was referring were Fox contributors Bob Beckel, Geraldo Rivera, Juan Williams, Alan Colmes, and Julie Roginsky. Limbaugh didn’t know who Roginsky was, and when told that she was on Neil Cavuto’s program Limbaugh said…

“Oh, somewhere on Fox. You know, you need to stop watching these people. Because they’re not gonna change. [...] Your blood pressure is gonna suffer if you keep watching these people. They’re designed to get you ticked off. They’re designed to make you question your sanity. You’re gonna watch these people and you’re gonna say ‘How in the world can we have such idiotic people?’”

Let’s set aside for the moment the ironic projection that Limbaugh is engaging in by portraying others as idiotic people designed to tick you off. That may be the best description of Limbaugh I’ve ever heard. But the real point here is that Limbaugh has just told his listeners to stop watching Fox News. That bit of unintentionally worthwhile advice led to a swarm of media stories noting this brazen blasphemy.

It didn’t take long for Limbaugh to lash out at these reports and to deny that he was telling people not to watch Fox. Read the quote again and decide for yourself.

However, an even more absurd development occurred when Fox News itself took up Limbaugh’s retort saying that “Rush Limbaugh squashes claims he told listener to tune out Fox News.” The problem with this is that Limbaugh didn’t squash anything. In fact, by getting Fox to comment on it, the whole affair just escalates. And even if you buy Limbaugh’s explanation, the best you could say is that he only told people to stop watching the alleged “liberals” on Fox. That would be an interesting thing to observe. Would they have to sit there with the remote and mute the TV anytime Alan Colmes came on?

In the end, Fox came to Limbaugh’s defense in a matter that blasted their own pundits as idiots. So Fox is now on record as advising their viewers not to watch certain members of their staff. Sean Hannity? OK. Juan Williams? No way. Hand me the remote. You really have to wonder what those lefties on Fox must be thinking to continue to appear on the network. If fake liberals like Beckel and Roginsky serve out their contracts, they are admitting that they are idiots. And this begs the question, why would any self-respecting liberal ever go on Fox News in the first place?

By Rush Limbaugh’s Logic George Bush Should Be Executed As A War Criminal

This is one of those rare moments when we are compelled to thank Rush Limbaugh for settling an argument that liberals have been making for years. Specifically, that Bush has escaped accountability for gross malfeasance in office. Of course, Limbaugh doesn’t know what his remarks portend and would deny it he were told, but we’ll take what we can get. If Obama is guilty of political mischief, Bush’s guilt is of a far more deadly variety.

Rush Limbaugh
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On yesterday’s radio broadcast, Limbaugh went full-on Godwin as he tried (for the umpteenth time) to compare the Obama administration to Hitler’s Nazi regime. This time he inserted a brief disclaimer stating that he wasn’t saying Obama was Hitler, then went on to finish his lecture about how Obama is so much like Hitler. The inspiration for this rant came from a former Reagan national security adviser, Herbert Meyer, whom Limbaugh cited as his source for this extended bit of nonsense:

“[W]hether you believe it or not, there is not one document linking Adolf Hitler to the holocaust. Adolf Hitler never put it on paper what he intended to do. There is no smoking gun. And yet what happened? We know that the Nazis engaged in the Holocaust. Herb Meyer’s point was that the people Hitler hired didn’t have to be told. They didn’t have to be given instructions. All they had to do was listen to what Hitler was saying. All they had to do was listen to what his objectives were. And he said the same thing’s happening here with this administration.”

See? Exactly the same thing is happening now as happened with Hitler (minus the millions of corpses). Obama is deploying coded messages to his minions who will carry out the secret assignments that all two million federal employees know via telepathic transmission and, of course, the ObamaPhone.

The problem with this conspiracy blathering is that the central premise is utterly false. There were numerous documented links between Hitler and the tactics used by his regime to exterminate millions of people. The Wannsee Protocols and the doctrine of the “Final Solution” were explicit instructions to engage in mass murder. The Nuremberg Trials also made public documentary evidence of Hitler’s direct participation in the Holocaust. So right off the bat Limbaugh is revealing nothing other than his own ignorance of history, as well as his gross insensitivity to the victims of the Nazi horrors.

More to the point, the notion that Obama is somehow responsible for what has occurred at the IRS because his agenda was being carried out by underlings who just absorbed his intentions through intuition, is ludicrous. Furthermore, Rush’s twisted logic has repercussions that he may not have considered. During the Bush administration there was an abundance of initiatives that were carried out by people under his authority that were unambiguously illegal. U.S. attorneys were fired for their political affiliations. Covert CIA agents were outed in the press. Lies were used to justify military invasions of countries with whom we were not at war. Prisoners of war were tortured in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

At the time, there were no documentary links definitively tying Bush to these activities. There were also no investigations conducted to ascertain the facts. But by Limbaugh’s reasoning, none of that is necessary. Bush is obviously guilty because the perpetrators worked for him and thus were aware of his unspoken approval for what they did. And since some of those actions are war crimes, then according to Limbaugh, Bush should go on trial ala Nuremberg.

Where once there was a requirement that a “smoking gun” be found to seal the guilt of a criminal defendant, Limbaugh has literally said that such evidence is no longer needed. But the lunacy of his legal ramblings went even further:

“You don’t need to link Obama to it. He hired these people. Lois Lerner and everybody at the IRS who’s doing this is doing everything they can to please Obama.”

Limbaugh might have a point except for the fact that Lois Lerner and IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman are both Republicans who were hired by George Bush. There has not been a single person affiliated with this so-called scandal who has been identified as a Democrat or was hired by a Democratic political appointee. The IRS line workers are either career employees or were hired by the GOP managers at the tax-exempt organizations division (i.e. Lerner).

So if Limbaugh wants to blame everything that happens at the IRS (or the DoJ, or the State Department, or Benghazi, or Sandy Hook, or the JFK assassination) on Obama, then I say we send Bush to the Hague. What do you say, Rush?