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The Politics of Spite

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times

There was what President Obama likes to call a teachable moment last week, when the International Olympic Committee rejected Chicago’s bid to be host of the 2016 Summer Games.

“Cheers erupted” at the headquarters of the conservative Weekly Standard, according to a blog post by a member of the magazine’s staff, with the headline “Obama loses! Obama loses!” Rush Limbaugh declared himself “gleeful.” “World Rejects Obama,” gloated the Drudge Report. And so on.

So what did we learn from this moment? For one thing, we learned that the modern conservative movement, which dominates the modern Republican Party, has the emotional maturity of a bratty 13-year-old.

But more important, the episode illustrated an essential truth about the state of American politics: at this point, the guiding principle of one of our nation’s two great political parties is spite pure and simple. If Republicans think something might be good for the president, they’re against it — whether or not it’s good for America.

To be sure, while celebrating America’s rebuff by the Olympic Committee was puerile, it didn’t do any real harm. But the same principle of spite has determined Republican positions on more serious matters, with potentially serious consequences — in particular, in the debate over health care reform....(Remainder.)


The High Price of Being a Gay Couple

By Tara Siegel Bernard and Ron Lieber
The New York Times

Much of the debate over legalizing gay marriage has focused on God and Scripture, the Constitution and equal protection.

But we see the world through the prism of money. And for years, we’ve heard from gay couples about all the extra health, legal and other costs they bear. So we set out to determine what they were and to come up with a round number — a couple’s lifetime cost of being gay.

It was much more complicated than we initially imagined, and that’s probably why we’ve never seen similar efforts. We looked at benefits that routinely go to married heterosexual couples but not to gay couples, like certain Social Security payments. We plotted out the cost of health insurance for couples whose employers don’t offer it to domestic partners. Even tax preparation can cost more, since gay couples have to file two sets of returns. Still, many couples may come out ahead in one area: they owe less in income taxes because they’re not hit with the so-called marriage penalty.

Our goal was to create a hypothetical gay couple whose situation would be similar to a heterosexual couple’s. So we gave the couple two children and assumed that one partner would stay home for five years to take care of them. We also considered the taxes in the three states that have the highest estimated gay populations — New York, California and Florida. We gave our couple an income of $140,000, which is about the average income in those three states for unmarried same-sex partners who are college-educated, 30 to 40 years old and raising children under the age of 18....(Remainder.)


Don Imus "Sarah Palin? She's A Dope! Write A Book? She Can't Read A Book!"


Conservatives Make Fool of Themselves as They Cheer Against American Over the Olympics

By John Amato

Crooks and Liars

Conservatives are so against President Obama that they actually hoped America would lose the 2016 bid for the Olympics. That would have been a huge stimulus package, but Republicans show their true colors about job creation for their own country.

Americans For Prosperity show their hatred for America.
During the Americans For Prosperity's "Defending the American Dream Summit," blogger Emily Marie Zanotti of American Princess interrupted a discussion about engaging the right online to announce that Chicago was out of the running -- and the room erupted in applause.

"If anyone cares, Chicago is out," Zanotti said. When the crowd asked what happened, she said, "The very first vote, they did not have any chance at even negotiating. They were out on the first vote." That news was met with more cheers and high-fives.


Beck and Others Repeat Claim that WH Political Director, Patrick Gaspard, Once Political Director for ACORN

By Robert Farley

A throwaway line in a blog posting in May -- which turns out to be wrong - provided just enough fodder to allow political pundits to brand a top White House official with the political scarlet letter A, for ACORN.

Under the spotlight is Patrick Gaspard, director of the White House Office of Political Affairs. It's a high-level position. In fact, that's the title Karl Rove held in President Bush's White House (though senior adviser David Axelrod is probably closer to Rove's role for Obama). Gaspard had kept a very low media profile until this week, when some political pundits began calling him ACORN's man in the White House.

The hosts of Fox and Friends ran with the claim about Gaspard's alleged ties to ACORN in a Sept, 29, 2009, interview with Fox News commentator Glenn Beck.

"The White House political director is a fellow by the name of Patrick Gaspard," said host Steve Doocy. "And he apparently has been in bed with ACORN and, in fact, Bertha Lewis, who heads up ACORN. He, Mr. Gaspard, was her right-hand man.

"So does ACORN have somebody in the White House in one way or another?" Doocy asked.

"The answer to that is yes," said Beck. "You know what's really weird is he was also one of the top guys at SEIU (Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers East, the largest local union in America). SEIU and ACORN, the same organization . . . The president has zero credibility when he says, 'I haven't been following this ACORN thing.' This is his army, SEIU and ACORN."

Fox News host Sean Hannity also ran with the story....(Remainder.)


Humana is Medicare Contractor, AARP is Not

By Angie Drobnic Holan

A controversial mailing from Humana to Medicare recipients has Republicans charging unfair treatment in the way the government handled private insurance companies versus the AARP.

The House Republican Conference said the government is silencing Humana about reforms that would change Medicare Advantage, while the AARP -- a notable reform supporter -- gets off scott-free.

"This week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it was investigating Humana for providing 'misleading' information regarding the Administration's proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage policies -- and prohibited other Medicare Advantage plans from providing similar information on how Democrat health 'reform' could take away their current coverage," the release said.

"Yet the Administration's edict prohibiting plans from communicating with their beneficiaries failed to include AARP, which sponsors a Medicare Advantage plan but has been a prime advocate of Democrats' government takeover of health care -- quite possibly because AARP has been supporting a health care overhaul from which it stands to gain overall handsomely," the statement said.

We wanted to investigate whether there were two different standards at work. We found that AARP and Humana actually have very different roles with Medicare plans. AARP makes money by licensing its name to a private insurer that offers a Medicare Advantage plan. Humana is a different private insurer that takes money from the government to provide an Advantage plan....(Remainder.)


Marxist Teleprompters Attempt to Sabotage Glenn Beck Show

By Jason Linkins
The Huffington Post

We'll leave you this Friday with this bit of video from our ace Media Monitoring friend Jon from News1News, which captures Glenn Beck reacting to a minor failure with his teleprompters. But why does Glenn Beck use these infernal devices, which were built to foment OLIGARHY! And why does Glenn Beck speak to his crew so snidely, saying in his best sarcastic dialect, "Prompter? Prompter please? Thank you! A little farther, prompter! There!" Probably because they're all in a union. Anyway, they get it fixed, so that Beck can clearly read where he's supposed to "PAUSE, GET TEARY" and "PAUSE, ACT INCREDULOUS" and "JUST GO AHEAD AND LOSE YOUR EVERLOVING MIND, ON THE TEEVEE."...(Remainder.)


The Rachel Maddow Show: SEIU the Next Target for the Right Wing Smear Machine


Grand Imperial Wizard Dobbs Vomits Up Drudge Headlines to Attack Obama


"Benedict Arnold" Beck Revels in US Loosing Olympic Bid; Claims "No Problem" With Them Getting It


Insane Nazi Loving Ass Clown, Beck, Claims US on Some Mystical Road to "Death Camps"


Rancid Anal Discharge for Brains Beck, Calls Chicago Loss "Sweet"


Joe Conason Slams Anti-Gay Hate Merchant Dobbs' False Claims About Jennings


Feckless & Impotent Dobbs Joins Ass Clown & Pig-Man in Cheering Chicago's Olympic Bid Loss


Baron of Batshit Beck Dreams Up Fantastical Community-Organizer Conspiracy to Attack Financial System


UK Supermarket Pulls ALL Ads From Fox Noise Over Reichsführer Beck's Hate Speech

By Raphael G. Satter
The Washington Post

LONDON -- Upscale British supermarket chain Waitrose said Monday it was pulling its advertisements from Fox News in the U.K. after customers complained about the cable news channel's Glenn Beck program.

The popular and controversial talk show host is already the target of a boycott campaign in the United States after he accused President Barack Obama of harboring "a deep-seated hatred for white people."

Waitrose, known for its upmarket fare and focus on organic foods, said in a statement it was responding to customer concerns, and that the move was not politically motivated.

The wide coverage afforded to Beck's tirade against the U.S. president and the subsequent boycott campaign has also been noticed in Britain - where Fox owner Rupert Murdoch controls a powerful news and broadcasting empire.

Color of Change, the group which has lobbied advertisers to steer clear of Beck's show, claims that about 80 U.S. companies, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., have deserted the pugnacious television host.

Last month The Independent newspaper quoted James Rucker, Color of Change's executive director, as urging British companies to put similar pressure on Fox in the U.K., where it is broadcast by British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC - a satellite TV service 39 percent owned by Murdoch's News Corp.

Although most U.S. companies who have dropped Beck's program still continue to advertise on other segments of Fox News, Waitrose spokesman James Armstrong said the company was pulling out of the channel as a whole....(Remainder.)


Fox News Tirelessly Advances False Accusation that Jennings Covered Up “Statutory Rape”

By Media Matters

Fox News and its websites Fox Nation and repeatedly advanced the falsehood that Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, in the words of Fox News host Bill Hemmer, knew of a "statutory rape" and "never reported it." While pushing this attack on Jennings, Fox News ignored evidence that the student who told Jennings about his relationship with an older man was of legal age, and Media Matters for America has since confirmed that the student was of legal age and that Fox News' smears of Jennings were scurrilous and false.

Fox figures ran with false smear of Jennings

Sean Hannity: "As The Washington Times said, 'At the very least, statutory rape occurred,' and he didn't report it." On the September 30 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity said: "We have the safe schools czar, a guy by the name of Kevin Jennings, OK? And he writes this book, and he gives information to a 15-year-old -- ABC News and Jake Tapper write about this tonight -- a 15-year-old sophomore, and his advice to him when he's having a gay relationship is, you know, 'Did you use a condom?' He knew it was an older adult. Now, as The Washington Times said, 'At the very least, statutory rape occurred,' and he didn't report it. Now he's saying that he made a mistake, only because it's been reported on. My question is, where's the vetting process? Why was he even put in this position?" Hannity went on to call for Jennings to be "fired."


The Race

By Ed Stein
Ed Stein Ink



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