Judith Miller Cops A Plea: I Took America To War In Iraq

In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, a country that was falsely accused by the administration of George W. Bush of harboring weapons of mass destruction, the media was nearly lock-step in agreement with the charges and the conclusion that war was an appropriate response. But after the stories began to fall apart and the reality that Bush and his cabal of neocons had deliberately misled the American people, some of the pundits and politicians who had been cheerleaders for the toppling of Saddam Hussein tried to backtrack and worse, to rewrite history.

Judith Miller

No one in the press was more responsible for peddling the lies of the Bush warhawks than Judith Miller of the New York Times. She had published numerous articles condemning Saddam and taking it on faith that he was guilty of everything that the administration had alleged. Her sources were insiders who had vested interests in planting their propaganda in the media. She eagerly participated in the deception and was used later by her sources as evidence of their claims. In short, they anonymously gave her false information which she published in the Times, and then they went on Meet the Press and cited her articles as proof that they were right.

Miller’s role in advocating for war and serving as a vessel for the administration’s lies eventually led to her dismissal from the Times and disgrace as as a reporter whose credibility and ethics were fatally flawed. So naturally, she was hired by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News.

Now it’s Miller’s turn to rewrite history. This week she wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal (also owned by Murdoch) that, on the surface, appears to be a mea culpa. It begins with her saying that “I took America to war in Iraq. It was all me.” Unfortunately, the article is a mix of facetiousness and a pleading to a lesser crime. As an example of the former, the first full paragraph reads…

“OK, I had some help from a duplicitous vice president, Dick Cheney. Then there was George W. Bush, a gullible president who could barely locate Iraq on a map and who wanted to avenge his father and enrich his friends in the oil business. And don’t forget the neoconservatives in the White House and the Pentagon who fed cherry-picked intelligence about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, or WMD, to reporters like me.”

That would be a stunningly candid statement of the truth and a remarkable admission of responsibility, except for the fact that she didn’t mean a word of it. The very next paragraph casts it aside as a “false narrative” as she writes “None of these assertions happens to be true.” And throughout the remainder of the article Miller dismisses her role in selling the war to a skeptical American public.

Miller insists that the “pernicious accusation that the Bush administration fabricated WMD intelligence to take the country to war,” was wrong. However, she offers no support for that assertion. She exonerates the Bush administration by claiming that they were merely mistaken, not lying. It’s a defense that attempts to confess to the crime of stupidity in order to avoid being convicted of dishonesty. And Miller is making the same sort of plea bargain for herself in confessing to having been misled by the administration, rather than to conspiring with them.

The problem for Miller is that there is already too much evidence of her complicity to deny her role. Her articles were nearly verbatim transcriptions of administration talking points. She claims to not have been “spoon-fed” lines about WMDs by senior officials. Does she regard Scooter Libby, the chief of staff to Vice-President Dick Cheney as a senior official? She doesn’t say. In fact, she famously refused to identify any of her sources so that people could decide for themselves if they were credible.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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Miller spent some time in jail for contempt of court when she declined to reveal her sources. Her defenders regard that as a noble sacrifice, but there is a difference between protecting your sources and protecting your accomplices. Miller knew very well that her sources were relying on the information they fed her when they cited it in subsequent interviews, but she never seemed the least bit disturbed at having been used for that purpose. That’s because she wasn’t being used, she was participating. And nothing in her self-serving defense in the Wall Street Journal leads to any other conclusion.

So why would she bring up this stain on her reputation after all these years? The answer appears in italics at the bottom of the article: “Ms. Miller’s new book, ‘The Story: A Reporter’s Journey,’ will be published on April 7.”

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

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

GOP Disciplines Obama

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

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

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

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

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

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WSJ: Tea Party Leader Admits Political Activities, Proving The IRS Was Right

In a fluff piece on the head of the Tea Party Patriots, Jenny Beth Martin, the Wall Street Journal contends that the recent IRS pseudo-scandal has reinvigorated the Tea-publican movement. Never mind that their own poll shows that only 37% – of Republicans – support the Tea Party. The gist of the article’s analysis rests on the improved fundraising they have enjoyed since the GOP has fanned the phony scandal.

Tea Party
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Indeed, the Tea Party Patriots raised more than $20 million last year, which makes their complaint about the IRS scrutiny ring rather hollow. Martin complains that not having tax-exempt status was “a disincentive to some potential donors.” Perhaps a bigger disincentive might be that they spend 85 cents of every dollar raised on additional fundraising. Or maybe donors weren’t impressed with the fact that their candidates (e.g. Akin, Mourdock, Angle, O’Donnell, Paladino, etc.), are mostly losers.

Martin told the WSJ that “the big donors…wouldn’t give to us without our nonprofit status.” She either doesn’t know, or is deliberately lying about, the fact that the IRS permits organizations with pending applications to solicit tax-exempt donations. She also made a remarkable admission that pretty much destroys her entire argument that her operation deserves tax-exempt status at all.

Martin: “It was harassment, pure and simple, to weaken us going into the 2012 election,”

Really? If your concern is that you will be hampered going into an election year, then your activities are unambiguously political and the IRS should immediately deny your application. Martin’s confession that election outcomes are what is driving the alleged harassment is the best argument that the IRS was right to apply stricter scrutiny to her group and others like it.

Not that this would be the first indication that the Tea Party is an overtly political operation and, in fact, nothing more than an arm of the Republican Party. GOP candidate for President, Newt Gingrich called the Tea Party “the militant wing of the Republican Party.” The corrupt Tea Party Express co-hosted a GOP primary debate on CNN. It’s hard to get more political than that.

The WSJ noted the hard times that the Tea Party endured after their brief brush with fame:

By the 2012 election, the tea-party movement was in decline. Its members failed to show up to the polls in sufficient numbers, and many Senate challengers with tea-party backing were defeated. Rep. Michele Bachmann, chairwoman of the House Tea Party Caucus, barely retained her seat.

When Mrs. Martin toured chapters in California earlier this year, they told her they wanted to drop “tea party” from their names because its brand was tarnished. Mrs. Martin was presiding over a national office full of empty desks and dwindling volunteers and donations—a period she refers to as “frightening” and “disheartening.”.

This is further evidence that their tax-exempt status had nothing to do with their misfortune, because there was no difference in their status in 2012 than in 2010. The dust up over the IRS was itself a purely political tactic, engineered by Rep. Darrell Issa and his GOP cronies in the House of Representatives. And, of course, hyped by their PR division, Fox News. The success of that tactic was heralded by Martin who told the WSJ that “From that moment, the tea party has roared back to life.”

Today the Tea Party is still an unpopular scam devised to advance the interests of the Republican Party and to enrich its principals. It enjoys an outsized measure of influence because GOP leaders in congress are too cowardly to challenge it. But anyone who thinks the Tea Party is a legitimate grassroots operation is being willfully ignorant of the facts – which kind of explains why they still support the Tea Party.

Stephen Colbert Takes On The Totalitarian Bicyclista Conspiracy (Video)

When a member of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board speaks out about the imminent threat to America’s freedom posed by subversive bike riders, you sure hope that somebody is listening and is prepared to act. Thank God for Stephen Colbert.

Stephen Colbert
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The Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz took to the airwaves to warn America about the these vile bicyclistas and the government stooges who enable them. While she declined to speculate on what is in “the mind of the totalitarians running this government,” she pointed out that…

“We now look at a city whose best neighborhoods are absolutely…“begrimed” is the word…by these blazing blue Citibank bikes.”

Exactly! It’s an abomination that must not be tolerated by freedom-loving patriots. Colbert quickly recognized the wisdom in Rabinowitz’s criticism and leaped to her defense. He astutely noted that nothing begrimes a community more than a row of two-wheeled, people-powered, vehicles that eschew the fossil fuel that is the blood coursing through America’s oily veins. Colbert lamented what would become of our neighborhoods if the bicyclistas get their way:

“Now when you’re ambulating about the historic West Village, a gaudy blue rack of bikes will take away from the simple beauty of the Cherry Boxxx Discount Dildo Shop.”

Well said. That’s the way to stand up to these peddle-pushers who, like their comrades in the drug trade, are determined to make us all slaves to a perverse and anti-American lifestyle “choice.” And it’s only a matter of time before the bi-cycle Mafia slides down that slippery slope and openly advocates gay-cycle decadence that will rip apart the fabric of our culture.

Watch the video and prepare to be outraged.

Wall Street Journal Exposes Fox News Lies About Benghazi and Susan Rice

For several weeks Fox News has been spearheading a smear campaign against U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for comments she made on Sunday news programs about Benghazi. The actual substance of her comments was specifically limited by her qualification that the information was evolving as investigations continued. Nevertheless, Fox falsely portrayed her as having misled the nation. And further, they accused the President of conspiring to alter intelligence reports in order to downplay the involvement of Al Qaeda in the attacks.

Fox Nation Benghazi

Today there is a report in the Wall Street Journal that obliterates the dishonest reporting that has been plastered on the airwaves on Fox for weeks.

“The officials said the first draft of the talking points had a reference to al Qaeda but it was removed by the Central Intelligence Agency, to protect sources and protect investigations, before the talking points were shared with the White House. No evidence has so far emerged that the White House interfered to tone down the public intelligence assessment, despite the attention the charge has received.”

The WSJ story corroborates earlier reports about what Gen. Petraeus told members of congress in closed-door meetings: That the CIA was responsible for the revisions and approved them before they were distributed to the White House. It also exonerates Amb. Rice from the allegations that she did anything inappropriate in her public appearances.

The significance that this report was published in the Wall Street Journal cannot be understated. The Journal is the kingpin of Rupert Murdoch’s news empire. The fact that it is openly contradicting his other news outlet, Fox News, is a powerful condemnation of the cable network.

Now it remains to be seen if Fox News will broadcast a retraction of the lies they have been promulgating about Rice and recant the disparaging coverage of speculation about an appointment to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. It will also be interesting to see whether John McCain, Lindsay Graham, and other Rice bashers will offer their apologies.

Karl Rove Inadvertantly Argues Against His Own Fundraising Machine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wall Street Journal: Standing Up For Poor, Defenseless Billionaires

When Rupert Murdoch bought the Wall Street Journal there was anxious speculation about what would become of the respected financial clarion. Many critics (myself included) predicted that the paper would devolve into a partisan tool for the advancement of Murdoch’s uber-conservative agenda. Now we have confirmation of the worst of our reckoning.

A few weeks ago, the Journal’s Kimberley Strassel wrote a column complaining about an Obama campaign web page that identified a few of Mitt Romney’s wealthy donors and described their inherent interests in helping Romney to buy the presidency. Strassel’s take at the time was a departure from rational thought as she dredged up delusions about McCarthyism and enemies lists. She portrayed the introduction of Romney’s contributors as an attempt to intimidate them, as if being branded a Romney supporter was in itself an insult from which they must be shielded.

The truth is that Strassel was acting as a defender of the super-rich who prefer to operate in anonymity in order to achieve their self-serving ends. And while criticizing wealthy Republicans was tantamount to treason, she had no such sympathy for the likes of George Soros or George Clooney who somehow deserved the exposure and criticism they endured. Strassel is nothing but a mouthpiece for her boss, Murdoch, who is rushing to aid his aristocratic comrades. That explains how Strassel’s looney observations traveled so briskly from the Journal to Fox News and other right-wing media.

But apparently her article didn’t do the trick. So yesterday she followed up with another piece that sought to shelter one particular Romney supporter from the slings and arrows of outrageousness due to his vast fortune. Frank VanderSloot is the CEO of Melaleuca, an Amway-ish multi-level marketing enterprise. He has been described as an ultra-conservative and virulently anti-gay activist who generously spreads his wealth in pursuit of his politically narrow and socially constricting goals. [For a revealing look at VanderSloot see Glenn Greenwald’s excellent and in-depth essay in Salon].

The focus of Strassel’s new column is her dismay that VanderSloot is the subject of research by presumably Democratic operatives. Once again, the notion that wealthy power-players should be exempt from scrutiny is the core of her complaint. She even begins her article by saying…

“Here’s what happens when the president of the United States publicly targets a private citizen for the crime of supporting his opponent.”

First of all, VanderSloot is not what any objective person would describe as just a “private citizen.” He is a prominent, big-money backer of political issues and candidates and he is the national finance co-chair of the Romney campaign. That makes him a very public person whose activities are relevant. Strassel’s position is that he is off-limits for public discourse despite making himself a notoriously vociferous spokesperson for his conservative views. This is a common stance from the right wherein they assert that they can say anything they want about anyone, including slanderous attacks on the President, but if the targets of these attacks dare to respond they are guilty of intimidation and suppression of free speech.

Just as with her previous column, this one also made the journey from print to television. Fox News committed significant airtime to the story. Megyn Kelly interviewed Strassel in one segment of her program, then came back with another segment pitting a couple of political analysts against each other. Later, Neil Cavuto did a report on the subject for one segment, and returned to “interview” a couple of right-wing, Fox legal contributors. That’s a lot of airtime to devote to protecting a billionaire from having to be accountable for his political actions.

Poor Frank VanderSloot. What a burden it must be for him to have people discover what he’s up to with his campaign spending. And what a blow to his dignity that he should have to answer questions from the peasants he is seeking to control through disbursement of his wealth. It’s a good thing he has Rupert Murdoch, and the Wall Street Journal, and Fox News to cover for him because he surely doesn’t have any means of defending himself. He can now join the Koch brothers who were aided by the Murdoch Machine earlier this year when the Journal gave space to their attorney, Ted Olsen, to make largely the same arguments that Strassel is making about McCarthyism, just because they experienced some push-back for their right-wing advocacy.

It’s startling how thin-skinned these billionaires are. With all of their financial resources, media access, and Washington connections, they still cry like babies when confronted. And it’s pathetic what the Wall Street Journal has become as it seems to be destroying it’s reputation for the sake of a few wealthy patrons.

Obama-Phobia: Wall Street Journal, Fox News Revive Nixon’s Enemies List

The classic symptoms of obsessive paranoia are exhibiting themselves again in the psyches of delusional right-wingers. The villainous shadows they conjure up in every corner of their warped minds betrays how desperately sick they have become.

The latest blood vessel to burst in these over-anxious conservative foreheads is displayed in an article published yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, the once respected financial paper that Rupert Murdoch has transformed into another of his tabloid rags. The item’s headline blared ominously that, “The President Has a List” (cue spooky music).

OMG! Is he checking it twice? The article’s author, Kimberley Strassel, seems to be alleging that President Obama has usurped the powers of Santa Claus and is preparing to rain a frosty judgment down on Republicans who were naughty this election year. They know who they are, and now, with his new North Pole Initiative, so does Obama. He even knows when they’re asleep and/or awake.

The article’s sub-head went into a little more panicky detail saying, “Barack Obama attempts to intimidate contributors to Mitt Romney’s campaign.” That’s a pretty scary thought. What will become of our democracy if powerful political players go around harassing the financial backers of their opponents? It could end up instigating slanderous attacks on private citizens who merely want to participate in the democratic process. The GOP would never contemplate doing such a thing to backers of Democrats. Notice the respect with which they always regard George Soros and Barbara Streisand. Nevertheless, Strassel rolls out the big guns with allusions to the famously paranoid Richard Nixon:

“Richard Nixon’s ‘enemies list’ appalled the country for the simple reason that presidents hold a unique trust. Unlike senators or congressmen, presidents alone represent all Americans. Their powers—to jail, to fine, to bankrupt—are also so vast as to require restraint. Any president who targets a private citizen for his politics is de facto engaged in government intimidation and threats.”

Exactly! So if mega-wealthy conservative activists drop boatloads of cash into dishonest campaigns designed to demonize the President as an anti-American, Marxist, alien, aligned with Al-Qaeda, the President and his supporters should just shut their mouths and permit those poor billionaires to do as they please. If God didn’t want filthy rich robber barons and corporations to pervert democracy he wouldn’t have given them the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision.

The source of this bubbling cauldron of conservative angst is a web site that the Obama campaign operates to counter the abundant feces-flinging from the right. It is produced by Obama’s “Truth Team” and consists entirely of disseminating documented information with the ghastly purpose of helping people to make informed decisions. In particular, there is an article titled “Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney’s donors” that reveals who is bankrolling Romney’s campaign and what their motivations might be. It begins by saying…

“As the presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney is relying on a cadre of high-dollar and special-interest donors to fund his campaign. Giving information about his real policy intentions and high-level access for cash, Romney and Republicans are working hard to pull in as much money as they can from wealthy lobbyists, corporations, and PACs.”

No wonder the right is worried. We certainly can’t have people going around telling the truth about wealthy special interests who are trying to help Romney buy this election. And even though none of the atrocities Strassel mentions in her column (“to jail, to fine, to bankrupt”) are occurring, it’s bad enough that truthful biographies and affiliations are being brought into the light of day.

Adding to the cacophony of crazy is Rupert Murdoch’s cable crew at Fox News. Neil Cavuto took up the very same topic as Strassel’s WSJ story (by coincidence, I’m sure) and engaged in a profound exchange with Fox legal analyst Lis Wiehl:

Cavuto: Called out for shelling out. Private donors to Mitt Romney outed on an Obama campaign web site. The site ripping their record, even saying that they’re betting against America by giving cash to Romney’s campaign. Is this legal?
Lis Wiehl: It may be. I went on the web site today. It is frightening. I mean, I don’t like to get on any list, unless it’s a birthday party list or something like that, but a Nixon enemy list, McCarthyism…

First of all, Cavuto and Wiehl are just plain delusional in speculating that there is anything illegal about posting truthful information about political donors. And while Cavuto is just an idiot, Wiehl is a lawyer and should know better. Secondly, the web site does not say that Romney donors are “betting against America by giving cash to Romney’s campaign.” It says they are betting against America by outsourcing American jobs, closing American factories, and unlawfully foreclosing on American homeowners. Then they take their tainted winnings and parlay them into Romney’s Wheel of Nefarious Fortune. But the best example of the looming dementia on the part of these dimwits is Wiehl’s allusion to her sterling investigative skills. She seemed so proud of herself for navigating the byzantine maze that Obama’s functionaries constructed to hide their true identities. She bragged to Cavuto that…

Wiehl: You’ve got to through a few links. It’s not that easy. I’m not a computer person, but I did manage to do it myself.

Here is the maze of deception through which Wiehl had to rummage:

Obama Truth Team

How on earth did she ever discover the real source of this web site? Only a crack investigator with Wiehl’s superior legal experience could have figured out how to scroll to the bottom of the page. Those Obama web developers are mighty crafty, but no match for Wiehl.

This isn’t the first time that the Murdoch empire has attempted to associate Obama with Nixon and McCarthy. A couple of months ago the Wall Street Journal published an article by Ted Olsen that accused the President of similar list crimes. On that occasion it was the infamous Koch brothers who were being set up for presidential attacks. It’s too bad that the billionaire Koch brothers are so defenseless that they have to resort to having their lawyer (Olsen) be given space in the Wall Street Journal to whine about being criticized by the president they have vowed to destroy.

It’s also a little ironic that the right is so vociferously disturbed by tactics made popular by people they now regard as heroes. Both Nixon and McCarthy have been the beneficiaries of recent rehabilitations by their fellow Republicans. We even have GOP stars like Allen West declaring that commies are running rampant through the corridors of congress. McCarthy would be so proud. And Glenn Beck sanitized Nixon’s enemies list by saying that it was “just about who’s not coming to state dinners.” Yet conservatives will still site these historical scumbags in a negative sense if they think they can tarnish the President with it. Oh what a tangled web…..

The Wall Street Journal Uncovers Obama’s Enemies List

When Rupert Murdoch bought Dow Jones, the parent company of the Wall Street Journal, most observers were properly concerned about how he would go about destroying the paper’s legacy. The speculation leaned toward obvious predictions of more overt bias inserted into the news pages, as well as dumbing down the articles by shortening them and diluting the journalistic content with tabloid sensationalism and a reliance on dubious sources. But I’m not sure anyone predicted this:

Today’s issue of the Journal contained an article purporting to reveal President Obama’s “Enemies List.” The author, Theodore Olsen, paints a disturbing picture of a vengeful White House bent on destroying innocent, patriotic Americans who want nothing more than to run a business, create jobs, and bring energy to America.

The ominous list that has Olsen so upset seems to have only two names: Charles and David Koch. And coincidentally, Olsen, an attorney, represents the Koch brothers. So the Wall Street Journal handed over their editorial page to the Koch brothers’ lawyer for the purpose of accusing the President of carrying out some sort of vendetta against them.

For a lawyer, he doesn’t try very hard to make his case. The article alleges several times that the President has personally, or via his direction, made the Kochs “targets of a campaign of vituperation and assault.” However, he doesn’t provide a single example to support his claim. The article begins…

“How would you feel if aides to the president of the United States singled you out by name for attack, and if you were featured prominently in the president’s re-election campaign as an enemy of the people?”

The only problem is that that never happened. If Obama ever uttered the name of the Koch brothers, I can’t find it. It would not surprise me if they were mentioned by aides, but most likely while defending the President against attacks on him. I challenge Olsen to present his evidence that anyone in the White House ever characterized the Koch brothers as enemies of the people.

On the other hand, the Koch brothers created and bankrolled the Tea Party, an AstroTurf, corporate funded, pseudo-movement, that incessantly disparages Obama as a communist, a Nazi, a Muslim, an atheist, a Kenyan, and a Manchurian agent whose mission is to deliver America to its enemies and/or Satan. The Kochs are also the money behind numerous think tanks and organizations whose purpose is to destroy the presidency through propaganda or outright manipulation and suppression of the vote. One such organization is the American Legislative Exchange Council which drafts bills and then pays GOP legislators to carry them in state houses across the country.

Olsen attempts to inoculate the Kochs from criticism by portraying them as merely private citizens going about their business. The absurdity of that depiction is downright surreal. To suggest that because the Kochs do not hold public office, that they are not an integral part of the political landscape in America, is akin to suggesting that because Charles Manson did not hold a weapon, that he is not guilty of murder. The Kochs are the masterminds and financiers of the most prominent attack groups on the right that are trying to bring the Obama administration to a crashing end. It is a role they assumed voluntarily and enthusiastically.

Olsen’s article drops names of some historical villains that he asserts have something in common with Obama. He cites Richard Nixon, who actually did have an enemies list and abused the power of his office in order to punish the people on it. But Olsen cannot seem to find even one example of Obama doing anything similar. He just brings up the Nixon name to deceitfully tie it to the President. Then Olsen does the very same thing with Joe McCarthy, who orchestrated a campaign of red-baiting that ruined the lives of countless innocent people. Again, Olsen offers nothing to show any connection to Obama. He just likes to use their names in the same sentence in the hopes of having the infamy rub off.

The article continues with ad hominem use of contentious rhetoric like “the exercise of tyrannical power” and “stand up against oppression” to falsely convey the impression that Obama is attempting to “demonize and stigmatize” the Kochs. But nowhere does Olsen justify such language.

Like many conservatives, Olsen holds a perverse definition of free speech wherein conservatives are permitted vast leeway to spew any and all slander that they like, but if the other side seeks to respond they are guilty of stomping on the rights of the right-wingers. If the Kochs want to play the political game, and by the evidence of their prodigious spending they obviously do, then they cannot complain when the victims of their assaults fire back. The Kochs are not waifs who wandered unaware onto a battlefield. They know what they are doing and they have vast resources to plot their designs on society. They even have the support of the Wall Street Journal who will publish the screeds of their attorneys on the editorial page as if it were there personal diary. What more do they want?

Message to the Kochs: Either stop disseminating self-serving propaganda and fomenting hostile division in America, or be prepared if your victims decline to roll over, or STFU.

Wall Street Journal On The GOP: If They Don’t Want To Lose, They Shouldn’t Run With Losers

Bret Stephens, the deputy editorial page editor for the Wall Street Journal, published an article this morning that begins…

“Let’s just say right now what voters will be saying in November, once Barack Obama has been re-elected: Republicans deserve to lose.

The column is an indictment of the whole Republican field, but with an emphasis on Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Stephens is no fan of President Obama either. He leads off with a litany of laments having to do with things that Stephens says don’t matter, but conveniently leaves out any of the administration’s accomplishments. And it all leads up to this…

“Above all, it doesn’t matter that Americans are generally eager to send Mr. Obama packing. All they need is to be reasonably sure that the alternative won’t be another fiasco. But they can’t be reasonably sure, so it’s going to be four more years of the disappointment you already know.”

Stephens goes on to compare the GOP field to a “terminal diagnosis” and says that neither Romney nor Gingrich are fit to be a serious Republican nominee. Then he turns his animus to Republicans who declined to enter the race (Daniels, Ryan, Christie, etc.) and blames them for the loss looming in November. It’s a loss that Stephens regards as inevitable. And he is crystal clear as to what he believes is the reason that Obama is certain to be reelected:

“…the U.S. will surely survive four more years. Who knows? By then maybe Republicans will have figured out that if they don’t want to lose, they shouldn’t run with losers.”

That is uncannily close to my own analysis of the GOP race. However, I’m not a deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal. Conservatives of all stripes are bemoaning their presidential slate this year. They know that Romney is a poor representative in an election year where the wealthy 1% are considered aloof and out of touch. And Gingrich is regarded as toxic to Republican’s hopes for both the White House and their hold on the House of Representatives.

You know it may be time to pack it in when Rupert Murdoch has come out against both GOP campaign leaders:

Uh oh. Who does that leave for Murdoch to support? Santorum? Paul? Obama? Or are we headed for a brokered convention? That would be sweet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.