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NewsBusters Clings to Bogus Claim of 2 Million Protesters; Hilarity Ensues

Monday, September 14, 2009

By Eric Boehlert
Media Matters

The punchline: This is supposed to be a site that critiques the media. But what does NewsBusters do instead? It makes stuff up.

The idiocy honors go to Tom Blumer, who states as fact that Saturday's D.C. anti-Obama rally "drew an estimated 1-2 million people." Where did that (bogus) number come from? Blumer won't say. He never provides a link and never quotes a single law enforcement source to back up that claim. Of course, Blumer can't do that because the "1-2 million people" number is a flat-out lie. It's pure right-wing fantasy.

But that does not stop Blumer from delving into all kinds of (Wikipedia!) research to explain just where Saturday's rally stands in terms of the largest D.C. events while. Blumer does this, of course, while using concocted numbers to size-up the modest crowd.

Behold the NewsBusters wonder:
If even the low end of the D.C. rally estimate holds, it would be the largest-ever gathering in Washington not related to a presidential inauguration -- larger than the misnamed Million Man March (October 16, 1995; while others claimed almost a million were there, the National Park Service estimated 400,000), larger than Moratorium Day (November 15, 1969; Wikipedia says it had 500,000; other sources report lower numbers), and larger than the day of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech (August 28, 1963; 250,000).

If the high end of the estimate holds, it would be the largest gathering of any kind in Washington, exceeding the 1.8 million claimed to have attended Barack Obama's presidential inauguration.
Again, keep in mind the "1-2 million people" is pure fiction. It's a nifty-sounding number dreamt up by right-wingers. It has no basis in reality. But that doesn't stop NewsBusters from using bogus numbers to critique the "liberal media."...(Original.)


The Rights of Gay Employees

By Editorial
The New York Times

It is remarkable how little progress gay people have made in securing the basic protection against discrimination on the job. In 29 states, it is still legal to fire workers for being gay. But momentum is building in Congress for the first federal law banning such discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Federal law has lagged behind the reality of American life. There are now openly gay members of Congress from between-the-coasts states like Colorado and Wisconsin. And according to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights advocacy group, 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies have policies protecting gay employees from discrimination.

But gay rights advocates have for years faced opposition to a federal civil rights law from the religious right, and from parts of the business community, who argue that it would lead to a flood of litigation.

Bipartisan bills have been introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, modeled on existing civil rights laws that cover race, religion and sex. Unlike some past bills, these include gender identity, protecting transgender people from discrimination.

The bills were written to meet some of the concerns of opponents. The law would not apply to religious organizations, or to businesses with fewer than 15 employees. It would not allow for quotas or “disparate impact” lawsuits, which generally use statistical disparities to prove discrimination....(Remainder.)


The Religious Right is Swiftboating Same-Sex Marriage in Maine

By Karen Ocamb
The Bilerico Project

"God has no grandchildren," the evangelical ex-Marine father of my late friend Chip Howe said, explaining how he surrendered judgment and came to accept Chip's homosexuality. Chip, a Lieutenant in the Navy during the Vietnam War, was supposed to get married and provide his parents with grandchildren. Chip's father thought being gay meant that would never happen.

That was in 1990, before there was any real hope for marriage rights for same sex couples. Though Chip had known love before he died, he never got to experience the fruition of his constitutional right to pursue happiness - marriage and a family of his own.

The story is instructive because Religious Right professionals have succeeded in making it appear as if all people of faith are antigay and anti-marriage equality. Worse yet, they are using religion as an excuse to perpetrate lies and deception - to swiftboat same sex couples in the name of God, when in fact they are just advancing another end-justifies-the-means political scheme.

That's what happened in California and that's what is now underway in Maine as opponents of same sex marriage fight to prevent Maine's marriage equality law from taking effect though a referendum on the Nov. 3 ballot....(Remainder.)


Myths of the Middle Class

Resistance to US healthcare reform springs from American belief in middle class prosperity and individual self-reliance.

By Mukoma Wa Ngugi
The Guardian

There are three critical elements standing in the way of healthcare reform in the United States that have thus far been ignored: the ghost of McCarthyism and anti-communism; a middle class that will not accept its lack of financial security; and a lack of curiosity about alternative healthcare systems elsewhere in the world.

Long after the words "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" broke the back of Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-communism, his ghost has haunted the US. From the Cuban missile crisis and the fear of a atomic cloud, to today's enduring mistrust of government, communism remained the country's bogeyman. In the 1980s Ronald Reagan battled the Soviet Union while also reducing taxes for the wealthy, destroying unions and rolling back social welfare payments. It was Reagan who introduced the term "welfare queen", a term that stereotyped black women as making a good living by milking the government. Bill Clinton continued Reagan's war on the welfare queens and all but dismantled the US welfare system.

Somewhere along the way, social welfare had turned into socialism, which to the American imagination meant supporting the lazy and freeloading at the expense of the hard working middle class. But who was in the middle class? In a 2003 Washington Times article, What is Middle Class?, author Chris Baker wrote: "There is no real definition of the middle class in the United States, assert economists and sociologists, who say "middle class" always has been more of a state of mind than an actual economic status."...(Remainder.)


You Lie! — The Glenn Beck Inspired Protesters Descend on Washington

Among the protesters at the 9/12 march on Washington.

By Christopher Beam

"Angry mob, coming through!" a protester shouted as he squeezed his way through the crowd at Freedom Plaza Saturday morning. The march from the plaza to the Capitol—the much-hyped "9/12" protest trumpeted for months by Glenn Beck and organized by the same coalition of conservative groups that backed last spring's tea parties—wasn't supposed to start until 11:30 a.m. But the plaza was so full that by 10 a.m., the police had closed Pennsylvania Avenue and the marchers were off.

A conservative protest is something of an oxymoron—partly because the biggest protests in recent memory (Vietnam, Iraq) involved liberal kids challenging conservative policies. But also because conventional wisdom says that conservatives don't go stirring the pot. After all, it's hard to agitate in favor of the status quo.

Then again, maybe it's easier when the Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress. In that case, the conceptual problem facing Saturday's protesters was different: Everyone was against the president, but no one could really agree why. Dave Johnson, who traveled from Woodstock, N.Y., for the protest, didn't necessarily think this was a bad thing. Gesturing toward the parade of signs, he noted that the message of the anti-war movement was simple: "Get out of Vietnam. This is cap-and-trade, taxes, czars, redistribution of wealth," he said. Saturday's protest, therefore, was "richer in terms of mental involvement."...(Remainder.)


When are Republican Leaders Going to Reject Talk Show Hosts Stoking White Racial Resentment

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Tim Wise asks when the Republican Party is going to reject the racist rhetoric and dog-whistle politics coming from the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and other right wing radio and television hosts. Don Lemon asks him if they are aware that they are doing it or not and as Wise notes, it doesn't matter. They still need to be held accountable for their actions and the predictable outcomes of those actions.

Don Lemon should have known better than to have even asked that question. Of course they are fully aware of what they are doing. It is exactly what they are being paid very highly to do which is to deligitimize our President in the hopes of taking him down because he has a "D" behind his name. They did the same thing to Bill Clinton even though he could have just as well been a Republican with the way he governed, and they're doing it again to Barack Obama. The GOP has been playing the same games with the dog-whistle politics and race baiting for ages now. So to answer Wise's question about when are they going to reject stoking that racism. Never. Never, ever as long as it wins them elections.
LEMON: OK. So we are going to continue our discussion now over the health care rallies and the tone of what's going on in the country. Tim Wise joins us. He's frequent here on the show. The author of "Between Barack and a Hard Place" and among the most prominent anti- racist activist in the country. Thank you, sir. Always good to see you.


LEMON: You heard the chairman from Florida say no, it is not race.

WISE: I did.

LEMON: It does a disservice. You heard David Sirota say it is the elephant in the room.


Obama Says Death Panels a Lie; Joe "KKK" Wilson Screams Like a Child, and John King Thinks They're Related

By Media Matters

CNN State of the Union host John King falsely equated President Obama's statement during his September 9 speech before a joint session of Congress that it's "a lie" that health reform proposals would "set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens" with Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) yelling "you lie" after Obama stated that reform "would not apply" to undocumented immigrants. But King ignored a crucial difference between Obama's statement about "death panels" and Wilson's interjection -- their accuracy: CNN reporters repeatedly debunked former Gov. Sarah Palin's "death panel" claim but concluded that Obama was "basically correct" in his statement regarding health care reform's coverage of undocumented immigrants....(Remainder.)


CNN's John King Finds "Bury Obamacare With Kennedy" Sign "Particularly Distasteful"


William "Intellectual Midget" Kristol Has a Hard-On for Joe Wilson, Doesn't Want Him Censured

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Bloody Bill Kristol takes up for poor little old Joe Wilson on Fox News Sunday. Bill, the only "stunt" pulled here was by Joe Wilson.
Kristol: He is leading his party off a cliff and Speaker Pelosi is going to lead the party, her party off the cliff if they try to rebuke Joe Wilson. He has apologized. It will be a disgrace if they do some stunt in the House to try to humilitate this man who is in fact, has a reputation for bipartisanship on the Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee he's on. Obama and Pelosi are leading the party off a cliff I think and I hope a lot of Democrats say slow down, let's take a look at this bill.


Mental Midget Kristol Thinks Ramming Through Tax Cuts Okay, but Health Care? "Really Wrong"


Howard Kurtz Notes That 9/12 Racist March Conceived by Reichsführer Beck


NYT's Tanenhaus Says Conservatard School Speech Freak Out Shows "Death of Cons"


Howard Dean: $ Not Being Taken from Seniors, but from Insurance Companies

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

God we need about a hundred more Howard Deans out there to put a stop to the Republican fear mongering. When Newt Gingrich tries to say that getting the waste out of Medicare Advanatage that is a giveaway to the private insurance companies is taking something away from seniors, Dean straightens him out and tells him no, it's taking away from the insurance companies that are ripping us off.

Dean and Durbin both did a good job on Meet the Press today against Gingrich and Cornyn.
MR. GREGORY: Let's talk about the deficit. And the president made a very important pledge during this speech on Wednesday.

    (Videotape, Wednesday)

PRES. OBAMA: I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit now or in the future. Period.

    (End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: Senator Durbin, a hard pledge to meet when you've got House legislation that already does that, it already breaks the deficit. It can't be paid for over 10 years, according to the CBO. Here's a Washington Post editorial this morning having to do with where are the details, does the math work: "When politicians start talking about paying for programs by cutting `waste and abuse,' you should get nervous. When they don't provide specifics--and when the amounts under discussion are in the hundreds of billions of dollars--you should get even more nervous." How does this get paid for without adding to the deficit?

SEN. DURBIN: Members of Congress should take the president at his word, he will not sign a bill that adds to the deficit. He walked into the White House and inherited a $1 trillion-plus deficit from the Republican administration because they had fought a war in Iraq they didn't pay for, the gave tax breaks to the wealthy they didn't pay for and they had a prescription drug program under Medicare they didn't pay for. This president said that's over, and members of Congress should take that seriously. Now, I disagree with The Washington Post. The fact is, under Medicare now we are providing multibillion-dollar subsidies to health insurance companies for something called Medicare Advantage. The health insurance companies said to us, let us run Medicare. We can show you how the government's not doing it efficiently, we can do it at a lower cost. Guess what, it's not at a lower cost. We are subsidizing private health insurance companies to provide the Medicare benefits that we can provide at a lower cost. That has to change. That subsidy has to end. That is the kind of savings that can come back into the system to help small businesses provide health insurance and help those with lower incomes pay their premiums in America.



Time's Joe Klein Says Limbaugh's the "Boss" Because No One in GOP Will Call Him on His Lies


Teabagger: ‘We Want to Get Back to the Way Our Country Was 100 Years Ago’


The Body Count at Home

By Nicholas D. Kristof
The New York Times

In the debate over health care, here’s an inequity to ponder: Nikki White would have been far better off if only she had been a convicted bank robber.

Nikki was a slim and athletic college graduate who had health insurance, had worked in health care and knew the system. But she had systemic lupus erythematosus, a chronic inflammatory disease that was diagnosed when she was 21 and gradually left her too sick to work. And once she lost her job, she lost her health insurance.

In any other rich country, Nikki probably would have been fine, notes T. R. Reid in his important and powerful new book, “The Healing of America.” Some 80 percent of lupus patients in the United States live a normal life span. Under a doctor’s care, lupus should be manageable. Indeed, if Nikki had been a felon, the problem could have been averted, because courts have ruled that prisoners are entitled to medical care.

As Mr. Reid recounts, Nikki tried everything to get medical care, but no insurance company would accept someone with her pre-existing condition. She spent months painfully writing letters to anyone she thought might be able to help. She fought tenaciously for her life....(Remainder.)


Fox News Isn't Covering President's Minnesota Town Hall

By Priscilla
News Hounds

While CNN and MSNBC are carrying President Obama's Minnesota Town Hall appearance in which he will talk about how, under the present system of health care, folks could end up losing their health care and how health care reform will address this issue, Fox is showing the wild and whacky world of Glenn Beck. Talk about from the sublime to the ridiculous!!!! But I get it. Obama might indoctrinate some in the Fox audience with his socialist/commie/librul agenda and we can't have that. Beck, on the other hand, provides the requisite fact based information (just kidding) that Fox viewers (all happy with their health care especially if they're on socialized Medicare!) need in order to keep that paranoia and hatred a churning and a burning. Fox knows that their viewers don't know what they don't know - and Fox aims to keep it that way....(Original.)


Why Jews Are Liberals

By desmoinesdem

Subtitle: Why Norman Podhoretz is wrong as usual.

Podhoretz began his political life on the Trotskyite left but swung sharply to the right and edited the conservative magazine Commentary for more than three decades. His latest book is called "Why Are Jews Liberals?", and he published a few thoughts on the subject in the Wall Street Journal this week.
All the other ethno-religious groups that, like the Jews, formed part of the coalition forged by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930s have followed the rule that increasing prosperity generally leads to an increasing identification with the Republican Party. But not the Jews. As the late Jewish scholar Milton Himmelfarb said in the 1950s: "Jews earn like Episcopalians"--then the most prosperous minority group in America--"and vote like Puerto Ricans," who were then the poorest.

Jews also remain far more heavily committed to the liberal agenda than any of their old ethno-religious New Deal partners. As the eminent sociologist Nathan Glazer has put it, "whatever the promptings of their economic interests," Jews have consistently supported "increased government spending, expanded benefits to the poor and lower classes, greater regulations on business, and the power of organized labor."

As with these old political and economic questions, so with the newer issues being fought out in the culture wars today. On abortion, gay rights, school prayer, gun control and assisted suicide, the survey data show that Jews are by far the most liberal of any group in America.
After the jump I'll offer my thoughts about why many Jews are liberals and, equally important, why many Jews who are not liberals vote for Democrats anyway. Podhoretz is convinced that more American Jews should identify with political conservatives, but today's Republican Party makes that unlikely....(Remainder.)


Ann Coulter, Michele Bachmann & Mike Huckabee Attack Obama


My Take on the Teabaggers: Very White, Older and Very, Very Angry

By Joe Sudbay

Today, as we all know, was Teabagger day in D.C. This morning, my running partner, Courtney and I did our long run along the Mall so we could check out the scene. We were among them.

Early on, the organizers had predicted millions would attend. Not even close. I was at the inauguration and saw what millions looked like. This was very far from it. Very far. The Washington Post reported there were "tens of thousands." Teabaggers have been tweeting a fake picture (of a sunny day and today wasn't sunny) apparently to claim they had a bigger crowd. Mike Stark has a video showing the size of the crowd, which really didn't extend too far down the Mall. In fact, the National Black Family Reunion took up most of the mall today. Yes, that event was taking place at the same time the teabaggers were protesting. (At 14 seconds into Mike Stark's video, you can see the white tents for the family reunion on the other side of a big patch of empty lawn.) Quite a juxtaposition.

I've been rooting around to find photo galleries of the protesters. Josh Nelson captured the essence of the event here. And, I did see that "Obamacare" hearse. Huffington Post has an array of photos, as does Think Progress. My overall take: The teabaggers were a very white, very angry and older crowd. There were a smattering of confederate flags around. The only thing missing was the white robes and hoods. Let's just say, if one of them had a concession stand selling white robes and hoods, they'd have made a bundle....(Remainder.)


Obama Warns Against Scare Tactics Over Health Care

By Matt Spetalnick
Photo: Jonathan Ernst (Reuters)

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - President Barack Obama warned Americans on Saturday not to be tricked by "scare tactics" he accused his opponents of using as he went on the road to rally support for his drive to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system.

Taking his healthcare pitch to a campaign-style rally in Minnesota three days after addressing a joint session of Congress, Obama hoped to keep up the pressure on wary fellow Democrats as well as Republicans to move forward on his top domestic priority.

"The time for games has passed. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to deliver on healthcare," Obama told a cheering crowd of more than 10,000 people at the Target Center sports arena in Minneapolis.

While Obama pressed his case on friendly political turf, tens of thousands of conservative opponents marched in the U.S. capital against his healthcare initiative and spending plans, arguing they amounted to a government takeover which would drive the country toward socialism.

Outside the Minneapolis arena, some 200 hundred supporters and detractors squared off. "Why are we changing what is going on for 6 percent of the population? Way too hastily and not enough input," said Laura Oberg of St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Obama's trip to the Midwest was part of his effort to seize back the initiative on the divisive issue after losing ground to critics during a tumultuous summer....(Remainder.)


President Obama Supports Public Option in Minneapolis

By John Amato
Crooks and Liars

I know there's some debate over whether the president fully supports the public option and we know that the gang of six in the House of Lords is trying to derail it. Fox News is telling us that the public option is dead and the do-nothing Republicans are calling for it to be gone, but in a huge speech Saturday that took place to a fired-up campaign-style crowd in Minnesota, Obama was as strong on the public option as I've ever heard him.
President Obama: I think one of the options should be a public insurance option. (Loud cheers) Let me clear. It would only be an option, nobody would be forced to choose it. No one with insurance affected by it. But what it would do is provide more choice and more competition. It would keep pressure on private insurers to keep the policies affordable, to treat their customers better. I mean think about it. It's the same way the public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students. That doesn't inhibit private colleges and universities from thriving out there. The same should be true on the health care front. Minnesota I have said I'm open to different ideas on how to set this up we're going to set this up but I'm not going to back down on the basic principle that if Americans can't find affordable coverage we're going to provide you a choice.
Listen to the crowd cheer wildly over the idea of a public option. If he's so against the public option, then why did he stand as strong as he did in this speech? The bottom line is that if the president wants it, then he can get it done....(Remainder.)


CNN: There's a “Dark Fringe” to These Tea Party Events


Wingnuts: Obama Infects America With Swine Flu to Break Into Your Home

By Mike Papantonio
Air America Radio

In the past week, the cable talk lunatics have turned their attention to the swine flu conspiracy. Their newest storyline is that Obama is going to use the flu season threat to authorize forceful entry into your house to administer vaccine.

As you might imagine, all those delusional “We the People” town hall patriots now have another reason to arm themselves. Nothing like a good pandemic to bring the villagers out with their pitchforks. Another variation of the Obama swine flu conspiracy is that U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is using swine flu hype to distract the terrified villagers while Obama promotes health care reform.

For the past eight years, we have seen how successfully the hysteria factor works. After 9-11, “W” kept the terrorist danger meter burning bright red to take America’s focus off issues like war, a floundering economy, and domestic spying. It worked well. But it wasn’t just the terrorist meter that helped America lose their good sense. It was also the Bird Flu epidemic that supposedly was threatening our democracy. And remember the hyped up 2003 SARS pandemic that arrived just in time to get our minds off the fact that the Iraq WMD scare was a hoax? Then there was the Anthrax scare promoted by the “W” gang. It terrified our most impressionable crowd to the point that some homemakers were out buying gas masks and chemical protective suits. “W” had middle America so terrified that 20 thousand Americans were taking the medicine Cipro. “W” was always crying wolf. But don’t forget that in the end of that children’s story, there really was a wolf who ate all the sheep and gobbled up the goofy little boy who loved to scare the villagers....(Remainder.)


Bill Maher Takes on Democrats for Bowing to Beck

By Steve Krakauer

Bill Maher’s main “new rule” Friday night on Real Time was “Democrats must get in touch with their inner asshole.”

In his monologue and on a blog post on The Huffington Post, he explained his reasoning. And a lot of it related to Glenn Beck.

The crux of Maher’s argument was how President Barack Obama and other Democrats have been so quick to acquiesce to their critics. There’s the Van Jones firing, with no comment from Obama, which can be tied directly to Beck. Maher also cites Sarah Palin and the “death panel” story and the uproar over his school speech.

“Muhammad Ali also had a way with words, but it helped enormously that he could also punch guys in the face,” said Maher. He countered the “asshole” way the GOP conducts its business with the “pussies” on the left. It’s a storyline he’s touched on before.

Here’s part of his monologue:
It bothers me that Obama didn’t say a word in defense of Mr. Van Jones and basically fired him when Glenn Beck told him to. Just like we dropped “end of life counseling” from health care reform because Sarah Palin said it meant “death panels” on her Facebook page. Crazy morons make up things for Obama to do, and he does it.


Sen Harkin: Health Plan With ‘Strong Public Option’ Will Pass by Christmas

By John Tomasic
The Colorado Independent

At a fundraiser in Iowa Sunday, the new chairman of the Senate health committee, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, declared that a health-reform bill would pass both houses of Congress "by Christmas" and that it would include a government-run, not-for-profit health-insurance plan.

"Mark my word — I'm the chairman — it's going to have a strong public option," he told the crowd.

Harkin last week replaced the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., as chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee. The Iowa Independent reported from Indianola, site of Harkin's 32nd annual "steak fry" fundraiser.
"[It] now falls to me to pick up the torch" left by Kennedy, Harkin noted.

Health care was a popular subject for all of the federal lawmakers here Sunday. Democratic U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell, a member of the conservative Blue Dog caucus, received praise from his colleagues for standing up in a Democratic caucus meeting to declare his support for a public health insurance option. Other Blue Dogs have been reluctant to sign on to that component of President Barack Obama's proposal.

Boswell and fellow Democratic U.S. Reps. Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack also expressed optimism that a final bill would include measures to reform medicare reimbursement rates. Medicare currently pays doctors in rural states like Iowa less than what doctors in densely populated states receive for the same procedures.


Charles Darwin Film ‘Too Controversial for Moronic Religious America’

A British film about Charles Darwin has failed to find a US distributor because his theory of evolution is too controversial for American audiences, according to its producer.

By Anita Singh
The Telegraph

Creation, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin's "struggle between faith and reason" as he wrote On The Origin of Species. It depicts him as a man who loses faith in God following the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter, Annie.

The film was chosen to open the Toronto Film Festival and has its British premiere on Sunday. It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, from Australia to Scandinavia.

However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution., an influential site which reviews films from a Christian perspective, described Darwin as the father of eugenics and denounced him as "a racist, a bigot and an 1800s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder". His "half-baked theory" directly influenced Adolf Hitler and led to "atrocities, crimes against humanity, cloning and genetic engineering", the site stated.

The film has sparked fierce debate on US Christian websites, with a typical comment dismissing evolution as "a silly theory with a serious lack of evidence to support it despite over a century of trying".

Jeremy Thomas, the Oscar-winning producer of Creation, said he was astonished that such attitudes exist 150 years after On The Origin of Species was published....(Remainder.)


Boy, Oh, Boy

By Maureen Dowd
The New York Times

The normally nonchalant Barack Obama looked nonplussed, as Nancy Pelosi glowered behind.

Surrounded by middle-aged white guys — a sepia snapshot of the days when such pols ran Washington like their own men’s club — Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!” at a president who didn’t.

But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!

The outburst was unexpected from a milquetoast Republican backbencher from South Carolina who had attracted little media attention. Now it has made him an overnight right-wing hero, inspiring “You lie!” bumper stickers and T-shirts.

The congressman, we learned, belonged to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, led a 2000 campaign to keep the Confederate flag waving above South Carolina’s state Capitol and denounced as a “smear” the true claim of a black woman that she was the daughter of Strom Thurmond, the ’48 segregationist candidate for president. Wilson clearly did not like being lectured and even rebuked by the brainy black president presiding over the majestic chamber.

I’ve been loath to admit that the shrieking lunacy of the summer — the frantic efforts to paint our first black president as the Other, a foreigner, socialist, fascist, Marxist, racist, Commie, Nazi; a cad who would snuff old people; a snake who would indoctrinate kids — had much to do with race....(Remainder.)


Afghan War Could Cost Obama Key Supporters

By Tom Hayden
San Francisco Chronicle

Ignoring the overwhelming Democratic-voter opposition to the Afghanistan war threatens to cost Barack Obama the support of young people and anti-war voters who helped make him president. It could destroy any possibility of achieving his robust domestic agenda as well. President Obama needs an exit strategy instead of an escalation strategy.

Consider these amazing numbers from a Washington Post-ABC News Poll taken in August: A majority of all voters say the war is not worth its costs, and 70 percent of Democrats are opposed to the war. Support has dropped overall by 10 points since March, and 20 percent among self-described liberals. According to the Washington Post, "opposition to the Iraq war reached similar levels in the summer of 2004 and grew further through the 2006 midterm elections, becoming issue No. 1 in many congressional races that year."

The mass anti-war movement, which put more than 100,000 Americans on the streets at least 10 times between 2003 and 2007, has not been visible lately, but its return in some form is predictable as the issue of Afghanistan heats up. In the meantime, public opinion has shifted sharply on its own, perhaps because Americans are preoccupied with job loss and the recession, and harbor sour memories of the Iraq debacle. Obama now has a window of opportunity to change course....(Remainder.)


Rachel Maddow: Republican Rump Roast & Their Small Angry Tent

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Rachel Maddow weighs in on the fringe elements of the conservative movement taking over the Republican party and she hits the nail on the head with this statement:
MADDOW: It doesn‘t make sense anymore to talk about the relationship between the extreme fringe of the conservative movement and the modern Republican Party, because you can only discern a relationship between two things if you can tell those two things apart.
She followed up with Lincoln Chafee who believes this is going to assure they continue to lose elections since there is no room left in the Republican party for moderates.

Transcript below the fold.
MADDOW: But we begin tonight with what could fairly be judged as a distraction from the president‘s health care message last night, but it is a distraction that‘s also turning out to be a very clarifying look at American politics. The South Carolina Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, who yelled “You lie” at the president in the middle of his address to Congress last night, today felt himself on the receiving end of support and congratulations for that outburst.

While many of his Republican colleagues in Congress express their disapproval of what Congressman Wilson did, a steady stream of well-wishers descended upon the congressman‘s office in D.C. today to say quite the opposite. Among them were radical anti-abortion activist Randall Terry and members of the Montgomery, Alabama Tea Party Patriots. Congressman Wilson also found a wealth of support from conservative outposts on the online machines.


Racist Meat Puppet Beck Complains About Being Called a Racist, Then Blames Pols


Glenn "Dumber Than a Pile of Horse Shit" Beck Uses Cool Summer Temps to Poo-Poo Science


Reichsführer Beck Whines About Media Labeling Million Moron March as "Anti-Tax", He Must Mean Fox


Neil "Elephant Man" Cavuto Allows Droopy McRetard to Lie About Immigant Coverage in Bill


Lawrence O'Donnell and Prof. Jonathan Turley Evicerates the Tenthers


New Report Counters ‘Jobs-Killer’ Rap on Waxman-Markey Climate Change Bill

By David O. Williams
The Colorado Independent

A new report on the employment benefits of House-passed climate change legislation provides some useful ammo for conservationists looking to shoot holes in the Republican – and conservative Democrat – mantra that the so-called Waxman-Markey bill is a jobs killer.

Produced by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and released earlier this week by Denver-based Environment Colorado and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, the report is a bit laboriously entitled "Energy Efficiency in the American Clean Energy Security Act of 2009: Impacts of Current Provisions and Opportunities to Enhance the Legislation."

It found that in Colorado alone, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) would create 7,100 new jobs by 2020 by improving the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings and spending $90 billion on renewable energy projects nationwide by 2025.

With the Senate back in session and about to take up deliberations on its own version, the report suggests changes to the legislation could increase the number of new jobs created in Colorado to 11,000 by 2020.

Those numbers would seem to run counter to the justifications of Colorado Republican lawmakers and blue-dog Democrat John Salazar, who voted against the narrowly passed (219-212) House bill in June. Although it remains to be seen where the majority of new jobs would be created.

"While I strongly agree the issue of climate change must be addressed, this specific bill would have placed a disproportionate financial impact on individual households in Colorado's Third Congressional District and, for that reason, I could not support it," Salazar told the Colorado Independent last week. Salazar's 3rd Congressional District is largely rural, with heavy oil and gas production in the northwest and parts of the southwest. The San Luis Valley has seen considerable renewable energy development....(Remainder.)


Judge: The Signers of Referendum 71 Can Keep on Their White Hoods

By Joe

A federal judge has ruled that the names of the bigoted signers of Referendum 71 will remain shielded from public review. If his temporary injunction stands, we'll never really know if the signers were actually registered voters or even real people, as many questions have been raised about the entire petition process, including the verifications of the names.
U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle in Tacoma granted the preliminary injunction involving petitions for Referendum 71 while a related case moves forward on the constitutionality of the state public records act. The referendum, sponsored by a group called Protect Marriage Washington, asks voters to approve or reject the "everything but marriage" domestic partnership law that state lawmakers passed earlier this year. In his ruling, Settle said he was "not persuaded that waiver of one's fundamental right to anonymous political speech is a prerequisite for participation in Washington's referendum process." Brian Zylstra, spokesman for Secretary of State Sam Reed, said that the judge's decision "is a step away from open government." "When people sign a referendum or initiative petition, they are trying to change state law," he said. "We believe that changing state law should be open to public view." A spokesman for the state attorney general's office, which is representing Reed in the case, said they are weighing whether to appeal the preliminary injunction.


Sen Lindsey Graham "Clap Fail" At Obama's Speech


Barney Frank Won't Sponsor DOMA Repeal

By Joe Sudbay

Great. This is not what we need as the story on the issue of greatest concern to many in the community.

Barney has a "strategic difference" with the DOMA repeal sponsors, so he's not sponsoring the DOMA repeal bill. Now, we all know Barney is wicked smart. Many people on the Hill and in the media look to Barney for perspective on LGBT-related legislation, so this sends a bad signal:
Frank said in an interview Friday with the Blade that he's not a co-sponsor of the legislation because he has a "strategic difference" with people supporting the repeal legislation.

"It's not anything that's achievable in the near term," he said. "I think getting [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act], a repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and full domestic partner benefits for federal employees will take up all of what we can do and maybe more in this Congress."

Frank also said that advocacy for the "certainty provision," as described by Nadler, would create "political problems" in Congress.

"The provision that says you can take your benefits as you travel, I think, will stir up unnecessary opposition with regard to the question of are you trying to export it to other states," he said. "If we had a chance to pass that, it would be a different story, but I don't think it's a good idea to rekindle that debate when there's no chance of passage in the near term."

The Human Rights Campaign, which is lobbying for DOMA repeal, declined to comment on Frank's statements.

Frank said the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders lawsuit against DOMA, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, stands a better shot of overturning DOMA than congressional action. The lawsuit specifically targets the portion of DOMA that prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

"That's very thoughtful, very well done," Frank said. "That's the way we'll win this."


CNN's Radically Misrepresents How Much Raised by Joe "KKK" Wilson's Opponent, Rob Miller

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

CNN's Joe Johns apparently decided that their viewers didn't need to know just how much money has been raised for Rep. Joe Wilson's opponent for his House seat in 2010 during this segment from AC360. While it is true that Rob Miller raised $200,000 overnight, at the time this segment aired, Miller was already right about at the half million mark, and it's now pushing $700,000 and rising.

If he hits a million in a day or two maybe these guys will be forced to finally report it.

If you'd like to help that happen you can donate to Rob Miller here.

UDATE: It's now over $800,000 and counting and some numbers from Act Blue.
  • First post-Wilson contribution came in at 9:31 on 09.09.09
  • In the 27 hours following he raised ~675k from ~18k donors
  • In 27 hours he eclipsed the 48-hour high water mark for a single candidate (incl. Prez/Sen) on ActBlue
  • Nearest apples-to-apples thing is Tinklenberg post-Bachmann. Over that post-Hardball evening and the day after Tinklenberg raised 240k.
  • For almost 3 hours yesterday he was raising $1k/minute
  • Total 9-09 to 9-10 haul represents $7/second over that period.
  • Avg contribution: $36
  • Median contribution: $25


Al Michaels Gives a Shout Out to Fox's Morning Douche-Fest During NBC's NFL Opener


Reichsführer Beck Tells Comandante Generale O'Reilly He's Tired of the "Race Thing"


Reichsführer & Moron, Beck, Thinks Levees Were "Allowed" to Fail to Cover ACORN Corruption?!?


Reich-Wing Slut, Nina Easton, Thinks "Special Prosector" is Evidence Obama Undermining CIA, Droopy McDumbass Agrees


Ed Schultz Calls out Rep Paul Broun for His Bullshit

By Heather
Crooks and Liars

Compassionate conservative Rep. Paul Broun makes Ed Schultz's Psycho Talk segment for this number- Rep. Broun walks away from man asking for plan to lower health care costs: ‘If you have a suggestion, send it.’:
Yesterday, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) held a town hall in Watkinsville, GA, where he fielded questions about health care legislation before Congress. At the conclusion of the town hall, Ryan Lewis, an Athens, GA, resident, approached the congressman and politely explained to him about how his health insurance company refuses to pay for his treatment. In response, Broun told Lewis, “We need to make insurance affordable.” Lewis then asked, “How do we do that?” Rather than offering a GOP solution to skyrocketing health care costs, Broun simply told him, “If you have a suggestion, send it to me” and quickly walked away.


Propagandaministerium, Fox, Totally Ignores Health Bills BAN on Paying for Illegals

By Media Matters

After Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) accused President Obama of lying for stating that health care reform "would not apply to those who are here illegally," media have cited a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, highlighted by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), which found that under the House bill, illegal immigrants would not be prohibited from purchasing insurance through the health insurance exchange established by the bill. However, Fox News' Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren and Fox Business Network's Peter Barnes ignored that the bill would require illegal immigrants to purchase insurance with their own money, just as they currently are able to do for private insurance, and that the CRS report they are citing specifically notes that the bill prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving federal subsidies to assist low-income families purchasing insurance....(Remainder.)


Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda Continues to Attack Senate-Confirmed Nominees

By Media Matters

As part of Fox News' witch hunt against Obama administration "czars," Fox News asserted that "czars are not subjected to congressional oversight." In fact, many of the Obama administration officials the network has labeled "czars" have been confirmed by the Senate or were appointed to positions created through legislation passed by Congress; additionally, a number of the officials had counterparts in the Bush administration....(Remainder.)


Luogotenente Generale Hannity Thinks Journalism is Dead, but Right-Wing Cunt Coulter & Fox Helping


Gruppenführer Kilmeade Thinks "Thousands" of Anti-American Wingnuts Will Attend 9:12 Douche-Fest


Gensui Rikugun Taishō Pig-Man Wants Obama to Resign


Gensui Rikugun Taishō Limbaugh Thinks Community Organizing is Fascism


Reichsführer Beck Whines About Non-Faux News Media's Not Covering His ACORN Propaganda


Sen. Carl Levin Doesn't Want to Send Anymore Troops to Afghanistan Quagmire

By John Amato
Crooks and Liars

Sen. Carl Levin isn't calling for a withdrawal out of Afghanistan, but he is the head of the Armed Services Committee, and what he's saying is that the Afghani people should protect themselves and that there should be a surge in Afghan forces.
Levin, D-Mich., urged the Obama administration to expand Afghan forces to 240,000 troops and Afghan police to 160,000 officers by 2013.

Key Congressional Democratic leaders told the administration this week that they want to see detailed plans for the war before agreeing to bolster U.S. forces in Afghanistan. A request for more troops could come within weeks from the top American commander.

Levin first warned of his reservations about more U.S. troops last week after a visit to the region.


David Axelrod Stunned When Comandante Generale O'Reilly Wants Feds to Override States Rights

By John Amato
Crooks and Liars

After Wednesday night's speech, Bill O was running with McCain's original idea to "fix" health care by opening up all insurance companies to compete in all states. The problem with that is that each state has its own laws governing health care and it would cause incredible conflicts that could not be resolved. BillO is actually stumping for the federal government to destroy states' rights and their laws. Wow.
BillO: Why wouldn't the president say, let's let everybody compete. Let's let all the insurance companies compete nation wide and that will drive the price down...

Axelrod: Well first of all we have a system of state regulation, you know that of the insurance industry that makes that difficult. What we want is these individual market places. Some markets have competition, other markets don't.

BillO: The Feds can override the states...

Axelrod: Excuse me?

BillO: The Feds can override the states, you know that. You can make it so that all health insurance companies compete nationwide.

Axelrod: This is a historic moment with you calling for the feds overriding the states. I didn't realize you had that...

O'Reilly: Federal jurisdiction, you know federal jurisdiction takes precedence in almost every legislative area...
Axelrod was so shocked that he had to ask BillO to repeat himself. O'Reilly is a socialist now....(Remainder.)


Comandante Generale O'Reilly & Oberaufseherin Coulter Bemoan Gutting of Regulations by Repuglitards

By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars

You know just how crazy Ann Coulter's worldview is getting when Bill O'Reilly serves as an honest-to-God voice of sanity in dealing with her proposals for how to reform health care, as she laid them out on The O'Reilly Factor on Thursday.

Coulter, who's evidently just wrapped up another genuflecting session before the altar of Ayn Rand, thinks the whole problem could be solved just by doing away with state regulations and "opening up competition," at which point "every problem would go away":
O'Reilly: But every problem wouldn't go away. The one thing that I would like to see the federal government do is strict oversight on the insurance companies when they hose people. I mean, I don't think they should be throwing you, Ann Coulter, off the rolls if, God forbid, you get MS or something.

Coulter: That will not happen. But Bill, that will not happen under competition. Look -- [Crosstalk] -- no, no, let me make this point. No it will not. The government was regulating, the SEC was closely watching Bernie Madoff. Government regulation doesn't stop that sort of thing. What stops it is, people knowing you're investing with this guy at your own risk, and then all these private organization develop. Competition is what enforces that.

O'Reilly: Yeah, well, I don't believe that. I think competition can drive the prices down, but it cannot make an insurance company honest. Only a federal oversight committee that says if you don't do it, we fine you.

Coulter: Yes it can. Yes it can. Otherwise, what about the SEC with Bernie Madoff?

O'Reilly: No, Bernie Madoff got away with it because the SEC, under a Republican, Christopher Cox, simply wouldn't investigate him. That's why he got away with it.

Coulter: That's the government regulation! Why do you keep thinking a different regulator will be better? Government regulation does not solve these problems, competition does.

Because if I belonged to a health-insurance company that threw me off when I got sick, people would hear about it. There would be magazine articles. And I don't mean to be me, I mean people --
She's really been drinking the Randian capitalist kool-aid, hasn't she? Hell, people get thrown off their insurance when they get sick all the freaking time and there sure as hell aren't magazine articles about it....(Remainder.)


Luogotenente Generale Retarded Baby Jesus Whines About Real Media's Downplaying of 9:12 BS


How I Missed the 2 Million Man Teabagging Flash Mob Today

By kombiz
Crooks and Liars

I apparently missed the largest flash mob in American history today, and it took place just a few blocks from my house. Michelle Malkin and the redstaters have been abuzz about how there were more than two million people marching on Washington today, (that would make it bigger than even the inauguration) but all anyone who wasn't a right-winger saw today was 30,000 to 60,000 right-wingers bused in from around the country.

Here's what the organizers themselves told us to expect. Dick Armey told the right-wing Newsmax that they're generating hundreds of responses in interest to the 9/12 March. The tea party patriots told us that they were expecting as many as one million to turn out and that they had permits for a one million man march on Washington.

After reading breathlessly on the twitter feeds of several right-wingers that millions of people were descending on the capital, Michelle Malkin on her blog estimated two million people. I went up to take pictures of crazy signs, of which there were many, many, many, many samples.

Now, there were real people at the rally. At certain points organizers for different county Republican parties would use a bullhorn to try to round up their members back to the buses for the trip back to Pennsylvania and Virginia. But one would think that after six months of organizing by Fox News and local Republican parties, the 9/12 protests could get more than thirty to sixty thousand people to come out to D.C. After all, there's apparently a groundswell of anger at the President. If nothing else, there's got to be more than 30,000 Republicans who live around the DC area....(Remainder.)



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