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Countdown: Fox Suffers From Beck Backlash

Sunday, August 16, 2009

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Keith reports on Fox's Glenn Beck problem with their advertisers for spreading racial hatred on his network and his remarks calling the President a racist who hates white people.

Countdown didn't credit this site for the footage, but that Rick Larsen town hall clip they showed is from our own CSPANJunkie....(Original.)


Right-Wing Propaganda Machine, Fox Noise, Maliciously Edits Video to Hype Email Bullshit

By Media Matters

Even while asserting that he wasn't suggesting anything "nefarious" on the part of the White House, Fox News' Major Garrett did just that while recounting an exchange he had with White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, in which Garrett relayed complaints from people who, according to Garrett, said they received an unsolicited email from the White House. Garrett based his report in part on the false claim that it was Gibbs who first used the word "list" in reference to people receiving the email, when in fact it was Garrett himself who introduced the notion of a targeted "list" of recipients -- as well as the actual word -- into the exchange....(Remainder.)


Karl Rove's Backyard

By Ed Stein
Ed Stein Ink


The Truth Will Not Out, on Its Own

The right-wing fury at town hall meetings over health care and the Republican obstruction of any serious reform in Washington are not just symptoms of a complex debate on an issue packed with powerful special interests; it is a test of whether reality matters in the United States.

By Robert Parry
Consortium News

 When a supposedly “moderate” Republican like Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa endorses the crazed view of the “deathers” who claim that President Barack Obama’s health-care plan would promote euthanasia, it is clear that the nation’s problem is bigger than any one legislative battle, even one as big as health reform.

The overriding question has become whether the United States – as a representative democracy – is on the verge of losing its sanity.

And this is not the first time this question has arisen recently. Only seven years ago, much of the American population was persuaded that Iraq was some lethal threat to the United States.

Then, there was fear-mongering about Iraq somehow sending small remote-controlled airplanes across the Atlantic Ocean and over the United States to spray chemical and biological weapons on the American people. There were wildly exaggerated (indeed, false) alarms about Iraq developing a nuclear bomb that would be given to al-Qaeda.

Some of this Iraq War craziness tracked Vice President Dick Cheney’s view that if there were a one percent chance of a threat to the United States, that possibility needed to be treated as a certainty – a mad-hatter approach to the world that would guarantee endless warfare seeking to erase hypothetical dangers while creating an endless array of other one percent risks....(Remainder.)


Fighting the Radical Right

By Stewart Acuff
The Huffington Post

Some of us progressives mistakenly thought that when Barack Obama and his campaign and mandate for change won overwhelmingly last November and we picked up seats in the House and when Al Frankenbecame the 60th Democrat in the Senate that the new government would enact the change that was the substance of the election.

Americ's whacked out radical rightwing, however, has not given up on their agenda to create greater and greater income and wealth inequality, to make the country's public policy a captive of the bizarre free market ideas of novelist Ayn Rand, and to continue to have our healthcare determined exclusively by insurance corporations for their own profit while 50 million of us lack healthcare and its cost continues to drag down our economy.

So the August congressional recess has been a bizarre season of rightwing brown shirt tactics of real thuggery led by Dick Armey, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich.

Wow! What a revelation! Just as Hitler's brownshirts and Mussolini's blackshirts intimidated the good people of Germany and Italy in the 1930's, America's radical right is attempting to shut down healthcare reform and change by intimidation and force and the power of the Big Lies--death panels, socialism, government healthcare doesn't work. If you oppose the public plan in the healthcare proposal and you are intellectually honest, then you must favor destroying Medicare and Medicaid and the Veterans Administration and the several other completely government run healthcare systems....(Remainder.)


Funny Things Happen When You Create a Monster

By Steve Benen
Washington Monthly

As a rule, Republican leaders are delighted to see angry right-wing activists mobilizing in opposition to health care reform. Top GOP officials haven't been joining the angry mob-like protests, but they have been egging their base on, and looking the other way when conservatives go too far (death threats, swastikas, nooses, etc.).

As pleased as the party is to have the mobilizing right-wing support, there is an unexpected dilemma for Republicans: an enraged monster can be unpredictable, and can even turn in unhelpful directions.
Conservatives are calling it their August Revolt -- a surprising upsurge of activism against President Obama's proposed healthcare overhaul.

Spurred on by the success of their efforts to dominate the news at Democratic town hall meetings, conservative groups are reporting increases in membership lists and are joining forces to plan at least one mass demonstration in Washington next month.

But the conservative mobilization has also created an unusual dilemma for Republican leaders, who want to turn the enthusiasm into election victories next year but find themselves the target of ire from many of the same activists.
It seems some far-right lawmakers aren't far-right enough for the mob. Sen. John Cornyn (R) of Texas was booed by the Tea Baggers. Rep. Bob Inglis (R) of South Carolina was shouted down for mild criticism of Glenn Beck. Rep. John Sullivan (R) of Oklahoma was chastised by his constituents this week for not working harder to investigate the president's place of birth....(Remainder.)


Obama Punches Back

By Transplanted Texan

Alright, about bloody time: The President is finally taking on the hypocrital politicians and fear-mongering media clownalists who claim he wants to kill Grandma and euthanize Trig. From Politico:
He used his Saturday evening town hall to pointedly criticize Republicans who have spread the false rumor that "death panels" would be formed as a result of his health care reform plan. In hitting "members of Congress in the other party" who "it turns out" sponsored end-of-life counseling provisions in 2003 similar to the one that led to the current uproar over death panels, Obama directly attacked Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson as "a Republican congressman a Republican congressman who is now a senator."

Obama also indirectly went after Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who was the most high-profile purveyor of the rumor this past week and is among the GOP lawmakers who supported a similar provision in the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill.

"So when I have people who just a couple of years ago thought this was a good idea now getting on television suggesting that it's a plot against grandma or to sneak euthanasia into our health care system, that feels dishonest to me," Obama said...

On Saturday Obama highlighted a provision he wants in a health care bill that would put an annual cap on how much insurers can charge for out-of-pocket expenses. In fighting back against Republicans who continue to spread the rumor that health care reform will change the laws "so we can pull the plug on grandma," Obama also invoked his own grandmother.

"I just lost my grandmother last year," he said, adding that it is outrageous to suggest "that I ran for public office, or that members of Congress are in this so they can pull the plug on grandma."...

Rather than let Obama's message percolate following an aggressive week, the White House has dispatched spokesman Robert Gibbs and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to the Sunday talk shows, and scheduled more town hall events for next week.
Charles Grassley, Virginia Foxx, John Boehner, you are behaving like pond scum. We know it, your president knows it, but worst of all, you know it too....(Original.)


Death Panels

By Steve Sack
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune


Tell Sen. Grassley to End Socialism in America! Repeal MEDICARE


Yankin' Your Chain

By David Cohen
Ashville Citizen-Times


Why the Right's ‘Astroturfing’ Propaganda is Textbook Psychopathic

Faux grassroots firms are exhibiting all the tell-tale signs.

By Byard Duncan

Here's a quick test, a sort of free-association game: What do egocentrism, deceitfulness and aggressive criminality have in common?

If you guessed that they are characteristics of disturbed behavior, you're half right. They are in fact features of the Psychopathy Checklist Revised, a template for diagnosing psychopaths, designed by Canadian psychologist Robert D. Hare.

But what's more interesting about this triumvirate is the fact that it's being employed in the recent slew of corporate-backed, faux grassroots outbursts (also known as "astroturfing" campaigns) across the country.

Organizations behind these events, like Bonner & Associates and FreedomWorks, are promoting a mind-set that's textbook psychopathy. And like many psychopaths, they've been getting away with it for years.

It's easiest to understand this (admittedly nonexpert) diagnosis by breaking the behavior into individual categories. Let's kick it off with egocentrism.

In 2002, dozens of Maryland's community leaders received a faxed petition urging them to protect 600,000 lower-income families from escalating medical costs. The petition condemned a piece of legislation before the General Assembly that would purportedly devastate poor communities across the state....(Remainder.)


Anti-Immigrant Hate Group Director Dan Stein Thinks ‘Illegal Aliens’ Will Receive Health Care

By Andrea Nill
The Wonk Room

Yesterday, Dan Stein, Executive Director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) — an anti-immigrant designated hate group — appeared on MSNBC's Dr. Nancy claiming that his years of experience tell him that "illegal aliens" will receive coverage if health care reform passes:
STEIN: Well, I've been working this issue for almost thirty years. The way H.R. 3200 is drafted, this is the way it's drafted: illegal aliens can qualify for the public plan. And the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is pushing to retain that language. And for the affordability credits for the subsidy, if one member of the family is here legally, then the entire family can qualify. And most importantly, there's no way to verify that eligibility standard. So, the bottom line is, based on all these years of watching and experience at FAIR, we know illegal aliens under this bill will get health care.
Watch it:



Dr. Howard Dean at Netroots Nation

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7


Rep. Earl Blumenauer Rebuts Right-Wing "Death Panel" Claims


Homobigot Rick Santorum - StraigH8 to the White House?

By Max P.
The Progressive Puppy

Oh, please please please let Little Ricky Johnny Santorum be the Republican presidential candidate in 2012.  He wants it.  He really wants it.  (And it would work out so well for Democrats!)  The failed senator who believes birth control is damaging to women and that Creationism should be taught in every public school has been tirelessly dragging his bucket of horseshit across Iowa, promising the world to gay-hating Christians and anti-choice activists.  Getting the lay of the land, one Bible thumper at a time.  His designs on the White House are in fact a fait accompli, according to political insiders.  From Politico:
"Your voice becomes more amplified when you go to a place like Iowa or New Hampshire,” Santorum explained in an interview Tuesday about the (Iowa) visit.  Like other potential White House aspirants, he insisted it was too early to consider a presidential run. But he acknowledged that he was interested in taking a higher profile in the party.  "I’m very concerned about the state of affairs in this country and how Republicans are dealing with [issues], so this is an opportunity for me to go out and talk about things I think we need to be doing to turn this country in the right direction," Santorum said of the Iowa trek — a visit invariably seen as presidential water-testing for any ambitious politician...  Santorum, an outspoken social conservative known by Republicans nationwide for his anti-abortion activism, could find support among the many conservative Christians who reliably participate in the GOP’s presidential caucuses.  Citing energy and health care, Santorum said: “One of the reasons I wanted to talk to the Right to Life folks is we can’t lose the moral component of those two bills as well as a lot of other things going on in Washington." ... "What this country needs is someone with strong conviction who can articulate those convictions and who can provide a vision for America that is an alternative to the big government, freedom-depriving vision of Barack Obama," he added. "I don’t know who that is."
From MSNBC's First Read:  So add Rick Santorum to the list of 2012 GOP candidates?  Apparently so.  Just askin’: Can a guy who lost Pennsylvania -- a battleground state -- by almost 60%-40% be a presidential contender?

Rick Santorum, who famously equated gay lovemaking to "man on dog" sex, seems oddly preoccupied (titillated?) with depraved behavior.  He likens same-sex unions to bestiality, pedophilia, incest, necrophilia, and anything else that pops into his dirty mind.  After his extreme views were roundly criticized by the LGBT community, Ricky took umgrage:  "To suggest that my comments, which (were) the law of the land and were the reason the Supreme Court decided the case in 1986, are somehow intolerant, I would just argue that it is not."  (The 1986 case Santorum referred to was based on police witnessing a - gasp! - "homosexual act" in Georgia, and the subsequent SCOTUS decision that upheld the government’s right to regulate sex between consenting adults.  That ruling was overturned by Lawrence v. Texas.)...(Remainder.)


Fox News' Democratic Wanker of the Week: Doug Schoen

By Ellen
News Hounds

Is Doug Schoen really a Democrat? Even Sean Hannity wondered during the “Sleep-In Sunday Panel” segment on last night's (8/14/09) Hannity show. Schoen, purportedly the lone Democrat among three conservatives, barely had a good word to say for what was supposed to be his own side and repeatedly joined in the partisan attacks coming from the others. I would never advocate for anyone to misrepresent, for the sake of partisanship or any other reason, their political opinions but surely Schoen could have found ways of expressing his centrist outlook without betraying what was ostensibly his own team. I'm also sure Schoen could have found ways to advocate for Democrats without betraying his principles. Perhaps on other shows or on other networks a frank, open critique of Democrats may be in order. But not on Fox. If “Democratic pollster” Schoen doesn’t know or doesn’t care that he’s there not because the network – and Hannity, in particular – is interested in any Democratic soul-searching, but because his presence offers a pretext of fairness and balance under which most of the rest of the network demonizes Democrats 24/7, well, it says a lot more about Schoen than it does about any Democratic strategy he was so eager to criticize last night. With video.

Hannity bragged that the discussion would give all the news of the week so that viewers don’t have to watch the Sunday talk shows. But right off the bat, he started distorting. He began by playing a clip of someone at Obama’s town hall earlier in the day, saying, “You can’t tell us how you’re going to pay for (health care reform).”

We saw Obama saying, “You are absolutely right that I can’t cover another 46 million people for free.”

The clip ended without the rest of the president’s answer. Hannity said, “Can we all agree on the panel… that this was a well-choreographed, ticketed event?”

“Absolutely,” Schoen jumped in. Then, without further prompting from Hannity, Schoen added, “But as you heard, Sean, the president didn’t have a good answer to that question.”...(Remainder.)


UK Conservatives' Links to GOP Being Used Against Them

By Daniel Tencer
The Raw Story

The US debate about health care reform has spilled over in a major way to Great Britain, where the public and the media are recoiling against attacks on the country’s National Health Service by US Republicans.

Members of Britain’s Conservative Party are coming under attack from critics linking them to Republican politicians in the US who have been portraying the NHS as a bureaucratic nightmare that forces the sick and elderly to their deathbeds.

And now word is emerging that Prime Minister Gordon Brown may make the Conservatives’ views on the NHS a central part of his party’s strategy for the upcoming election.

With Britain’s economy in tatters, Brown and his ruling Labour Party appeared to be heading to almost certain defeat in parliamentary elections that have to be held no later than next year. But, with British newspapers frantically exposing links between the British Conservative Party and the GOP, Brown appears to smell an opportunity to push the Conservatives into a corner on the issue of health care.

Thus, improbably, it is now possible that Britain’s Conservatives may lose the next election because of what Republican politicians are saying about British health care.

The controversy exploded when a Conservative Member of the European Parliament, Daniel Hannan, went on US TV to warn Americans against an NHS-style health system. In a reflection of just how popular the NHS is among Britons, Conservative Party Leader David Cameron was forced to distance himself from Hannan’s words and “pledge support for the NHS.”...(Remainder.)


President Obama Op-Ed: Why We Need Health Care Reform

By Barack Obama

The New York Times
Photo:  Doug Mills (NYT)

OUR nation is now engaged in a great debate about the future of health care in America. And over the past few weeks, much of the media attention has been focused on the loudest voices. What we haven’t heard are the voices of the millions upon millions of Americans who quietly struggle every day with a system that often works better for the health-insurance companies than it does for them.

These are people like Lori Hitchcock, whom I met in New Hampshire last week. Lori is currently self-employed and trying to start a business, but because she has hepatitis C, she cannot find an insurance company that will cover her. Another woman testified that an insurance company would not cover illnesses related to her internal organs because of an accident she had when she was 5 years old. A man lost his health coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because the insurance company discovered that he had gallstones, which he hadn’t known about when he applied for his policy. Because his treatment was delayed, he died.

I hear more and more stories like these every single day, and it is why we are acting so urgently to pass health-insurance reform this year. I don’t have to explain to the nearly 46 million Americans who don’t have health insurance how important this is. But it’s just as important for Americans who do have health insurance.

There are four main ways the reform we’re proposing will provide more stability and security to every American....(Remainder.)


French Minister Calls for Burka Ban

By Al Jazeera English

A ban on wearing the all covering burka in France would stem the spread of the "cancer" of radical Islam, a Muslim French minister has said.

Fadela Amara, the minister for urban regeneration who is of Algerian descent, told the Financial Times newspaper on Saturday that the head-to-toe body covering and veil represented the "oppression of women, their enslavement, their humiliation."

France was a beacon for an enlightened Islam at ease with modernity, so it was necessary to fight the "gangrene, the cancer of radical Islam which completely distorts the message of Islam," Amara was quoted as saying.

"The vast majority of Muslims are against the burka. It is obvious why," she told the newspaper.

"Those who have struggled for women's rights back home in their own countries - I'm thinking particularly of Algeria - we know what it represents and what the obscurantist political project is that lies behind it, to confiscate the most fundamental of liberties," she said....(Remainder.)


Gay Marriage Fight, ‘Kiss-Ins’ Smack Mormon Image

Good!  Maybe this freak show that calls itself a "religion" will finally just DIE!

By Jennifer Dobner
Associated Press via Yahoo! News

SALT LAKE CITY – The Mormon church's vigorous, well-heeled support for Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California last year, has turned the Utah-based faith into a lightning rod for gay rights activism, including a nationwide "kiss-in" Saturday.

The event comes after gay couples here and in San Antonio and El Paso, Texas, were arrested, cited for trespassing or harassed by police for publicly kissing. In Utah, the July 9 trespassing incident occurred after a couple were observed by security guards on a downtown park-like plaza owned by the 13 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The court case was dismissed, but the kiss sparked a community backlash and criticism of the church.

"I don't think that kiss would have turned out to be the kiss heard round the world if it were not for Proposition 8," said Ash Johnsdottir, organizer of the Salt Lake City Kiss-In.

Atali Staffler, a Brigham Young University graduate student from Geneva, Switzerland, said she joined the 200 or so people who filled a downtown amphitheater for the event because she has watched her gay father and many gay friends struggle to find their place.

The 31-year-old, who was raised Mormon but is not active in the church, said the church shouldn't be involved in Prop. 8.

"I encourage them to promote the values they believe in and to defend their religious principles in advertisements, but civil rights have nothing to do with religious principles," she said....(Remainder.)


Creationists Believe the Darndest Things!

By Phil Plait

Finding young Earth creationist lunacy is like walking into an elephant paddock at a zoo and hoping to find poop. All too easy.

I say this because in England, thinking the Loch Ness monster disproves evolution can help get you a job! A group there called The National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) provides information on vocational and academic skills — they’re something like an accreditation group. They reviewed the curriculum involved in getting an International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE): a certificate granted after passing a creationist course that’s taught in about 50 private Christian schools in the UK. And what did the NARIC find? That this certificate is just fine and dandy, and equivalent to international A levels (a scholastic certificate that shows competency in a particular course).

Here’s a sample from a textbook (printed — gasp — here in the US) that is used in this course. Remember, this is part of a course being used by teenagers in the UK:
Have you heard of the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ in Scotland? ‘Nessie,’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.

Could a fish have developed into a dinosaur? As astonishing as it may seem, many evolutionists theorize that fish evolved into amphibians and amphibians into reptiles. This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. No transitional fossils have been or ever will be discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsmen fashioned them all.
Riiiiight. Nessie disproves evolution. Turns out there’s a whole field of science in there I missed. Faeries disprove the ability of birds to fly! Godzilla clearly shows the surface area/volume law of biology is a crock! Spiderman flies in the face of humans breeding with arachnids!

And, of course, the irony is that creationism itself shows us that despite our highly-evolved brains, humans still cling to easily-disproven nonsense if it’s taught early enough and with fervor....(Original.)


The GOP's Sex Scandal Dodge

Sen. David Vitter’s career seemed finished after his brush with the D.C. Madam, but his new ploy to provoke the Obama-hating town-hall mobs just might get him reelected.

By Max Blumenthal
The Daily Beast

While Democratic members of Congress confront indignant town-hall crowds opposed to President Barack Obama’s health-care policies, Republican Sen. David Vitter is enjoying a Louisiana love fest. Vitter is barnstorming through the Bayou backwoods, hosting town-halls meetings before packed houses of ferociously anti-Obama audiences. They come to praise rather than shout. Billed as public forums to discuss Obama’s health-care proposals, or what Vitter has derisively referred to as “Obamacare,” the pre-screened events appear to be functioning effectively as surrogate campaign rallies for the scandal-scarred senator’s 2010 reelection bid.

On August 8, inside a chapel at conservative Louisiana Baptist College in the rural town of Pineville, an evangelical minister reportedly saluted Vitter before a packed house for “doing God’s work.” When Vitter took the stage, he mocked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s concerns about those she referred to in an op-ed as “angry mobs” disrupting meetings across the country.

"Please know that this and any other angry mob is welcome at my town-hall meetings whenever you want to come,” Vitter declared, bringing the audience to its feet with a raucous ovation. In the back of the chapel, an elderly woman waved a placard reading, “Send Obama & congress back to USSR.”...(Remainder.)



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