The Watering Hole, Monday, November 30, 2015: And The Right Just Keeps On Lying

This past Friday, a lunatic with a gun he no doubt purchased legally opened fire outside a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, CO, killing three people, including a police officer responding to reports of shots fired at the clinic. From the beginning, the Right began lying about what happened and why it happened. They tried to say it had nothing to do with Planned Parenthood or abortion, and that the shooter just happened to pick that nearby building to take cover. That was not true. The entire incident took place at the Planned Parenthood facility. They tried to say it started out as a bank robbery, but that was also untrue. The shooter started shooting at Planned Parenthood and when police cars started arriving on the scene, he started shooting at them. As some took cover behind a nearby Chase bank, the shooter took shots at them. That’s how the bank robbery lie started. After he was arrested and identified, the Right tried to claim the shooter was transgendered, and a Leftist (they love using that word, “Leftist.” It’s so close to calling us “Communists” and, as we all know, Communism is Pure Evil. And since “Leftist” sounds like “Communist,” that leans Leftists must be evil, too. See how easy it is to be a Conservative? No thinking required.) The same voter registration form from which they determined he used to be female (it was an obvious typo) also listed his party affiliation as Unaffiliated. As for why he did it, the police have not released any official determination, but it has been widely repeated in the media that one cop said the shooter had muttered something about “no more baby parts” as he was being led into custody. This would appear to be a reference to the debunked videos which were purported by their publishers to show Planned Parenthood personnel negotiating the sale of human fetal tissue, but which actually, showed no such thing at all due to their being deceptively edited.

And yet the Right refuses to acknowledge that fact. Just yesterday morning, Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday allowed Carly Fiorina to further the false claim that the videos were legitimate and showed that Planned parenthood was selling baby parts. She also lied and said that they announced they would stop selling fetal tissues which would imply that they were doing so before. Again, a lie. What Planned Parenthood actually said was that they would no longer accept reimbursement for the costs of providing the tissue for medical research, which is all they were accepting money for in the first place. But Wallace just let Fiorina lie as if it was of no consequence. Even the Fox News article to which I just linked is in denial about the videos:

The attack thrust the clinic to the center of the ongoing debate over Planned Parenthood, which was reignited in July when anti-abortion activists released undercover video they said showed the organization’s personnel negotiating the sale of fetal organs.

I suppose you could say that, technically, there isn’t anything untrue about what they wrote, other than that it’s incomplete and makes no mention of them being deceptively edited. But because of that deception, there are people believing exactly what the video producers wanted them to believe – that Planned Parenthood was aborting fetuses for the purpose of selling off the body parts for profit. What other purpose would there be to making the videos?

What’s worse is that it’s impossible to deny that someone violently opposed to abortion might use that misinformation as justification to start shooting people at a clinic where abortions might be performed (though in much, much smaller numbers than the person believing the first lie might think true.) Liberals tend not to use violence against people to protest their views, but Conservatives have been known to do it many, many times in this country’s history. If heard and reported accurately, the reference the shooter made to “baby parts” is a direct reference to the doctored videos, which means the people who made those videos, as well as the media organizations that promoted them as undisputed fact, and even including the presidential candidates who intentionally lied about the videos’ content, share responsibility for the murders those videos incited. They can’t have it both ways. They can’t deliberately manipulate peoples’ emotions in a way certain to drive them to anger, and them claim no responsibility when they act on that anger and good people die. This can’t be allowed.

Nor can it be allowed that we not discuss how easy it is for such gun violence to happen in the first place. The gun supporters say there isn’t anything you can do about that, but there is. And it’s perfectly constitutional. You can tax the manufacture of guns. Put a $5,000 or even a $25,000 non-refundable tax on the manufacture of every handgun. The gun manufacturers would pay this tax as soon as they make the gun, and not when they sell it. This is perfectly legal and perfectly constitutional. Part of the problem has been that gun makers made excessive amounts of guns and then have to find ways to dump them off somewhere. And they know they can, so there’s no real downside to over-manufacturing. Unless you have to pay to do it and may never recover the taxes you pay to make the guns. No, it doesn’t solve the problem entirely, but it makes a lot of it go away. And that’s reason enough to try. Conservatives won’t see it that way. They’ll find some ridiculous reason based on the concept that this won’t stop all gun violence, and wouldn’t have stopped the Colorado shooting, so why bother? That’s why conservatives are part of the problem.

This is our daily open thread. Have fun with it.

62 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, November 30, 2015: And The Right Just Keeps On Lying

  1. Has there ever been, throughout human history, a single instance where the imposition of Fascism didn’t eventually result in the death of the subject country? And/or the deaths of huge numbers of otherwise innocent people in the process? Where otherwise ‘ordinary’ people took the bait and became murderers themselves while trying to advance the far right extremist cause?

    Just curious.

    • Perhaps the greater question is, given that Fascism results in the death of the host country, what happens to the parasites – the wealthy class – of said country? Could it be the downside costs are born solely by the masses, while the wealthy absconds with their wealth?

      If so, if the wealthy pay no price for the destruction of a country, then Fascism will always arise. The wealthy will move from country to country, building empires, building more wealth for themselves, driving those empires into ruin as they flee, taking the wealth of the empire with them to start the process over and over again.

      • Good point. Actually, right now, today, there’s a lot of personal ‘wealth’ (in the form of cash assets) that are deposited in myriad offshore rat holes. I do have to wonder, though, what happens to that “wealth” when the country collapses and its currency is no longer worth much. I suppose it’d be safer to have offshore investments than offshore bank accounts, although since the US dollar is so globally accepted, what happens to the global economy if/when the US collapses into a fascist heap?

        Brings up that other question that’s never really been answered: what is “money” really? What will be the use of money once the human race extincts itself? Who or what gets to keep all the “wealth” that’s left behind?

    • Well, there have only been two real fascist regimes in history: Mussolini’s Italy, and Nazi Germany, so the sample size doesn’t really admit of a generalization. Quoting:
      “Robert O. Paxton, a former professor of social sciences at Columbia University and longtime historian of the political movement, sets out to formulate a working definition in his new book, “The Anatomy of Fascism.” According to Paxton, there have only been two true fascist regimes, Nazi Germany and Italy under Mussolini….

      Fascism is:
      “… a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

      fascism is less a plan for governing — the Nazis and Italian Fascists were perfectly willing to eject parts of their stated programs if they interfered with forming fortuitous alliances with the rich and powerful — than it is a strategy for seizing power.”

      Quoted from “Who’s a Facist?,” Laura Miller,, Apr 19, 2004.

        • Franco was a right-wing dictator, but his regime lacked several key ingredients, including “obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity”, and there was no interest in external expansion, while the internal cleansing was focused on keeping the Basques under heel, and eliminating the communists.

          Obviously Paxton’s version is subject to debate (and I know nothing about the discussions within the scholarly literature.) But he is something of the leading expert in the world, so I’m inclined to go along with him.

          • In the 80’s I knew a refugee from Franco’s Spain. He was from the Pyrenees, a small village named Goni. His father was a teacher.When Franco assumed power in the late 30’s, Teo and his family were forced into exile — his father was considered a dangerous intellectual — and they lived in a cave for several months. Teo’s older brother essentially saved the rest of the family because he had become an officer in Franco’s army, and he pulled a few strings. After the war, however, Teo decided to sneak out of Spain because of Franco. He managed to get into Mexico, and then made his way into the US, San Antonio, where the head of a law firm there managed to get him legal entry. He eventually got his PhD from Rutgers and married an American woman. When I knew him, the horror stories about Franco and Spain were vivid and many. He went back to Spain after Franco’s death in the seventies, even visited his brother who had essentially disowned him when he fled to Mexico. He had a sister also, a cloistered nun whom he managed to see for the last time on that trip to Spain. She had survived Franco because he left the Catholic church and its traditions alone. Oh, and yes, the brother lived in a huge Barcelona “mansion”, in Teo’s words, a privilege granted him because of his military allegiance to Franco.

            I don’t know if Fascism can be adequately defined based solely on Italy and Germany, or even if Spain is included. Classical fascism, maybe, but as with any form of government, various manifestations are implicit and may not fit the narrow definition. I prefer to simply include all extremist right wing manifestations under the one-word banner — the old ‘if it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and quacks like a duck’ stream of logic. At that point, Trump, Cruz, the GOP et al. emerge from the political quagmire as genuine fascists. It suits them, even if they’re not a precise fit in the cited definition.

            • I “hear” what you are saying, but I cannot go with you there. For me, words are things to be used with precision, or not at all. Blurring real distinctions is the kind of thing that enabled progressives to pretend there was no difference between Gore and Bush (after all, Nader said so.) Had those progressives looked at Nader’s lie seriously, even with the overt corruption in Florida, Gore still would have won. But instead, they swallowed the blurry-slurry, “all the same” bullshit, and we must now live with the consequences.

              Words and concepts are not shovels, they are scalpels to be used with ruthless exactness. It is the denial of this fact that enables the tea-baggers, the extremists, and, yes, the fascists.

            • I hear you, and I too would much prefer ‘words and concepts’ to be used as ‘scalpels’ and not ‘shovels.’ In politics, that’s seldom if ever the case. Words are so often used and misused that their genuine meaning gets twisted to the point where meanings become . . . meaningless? Fascism is one prime example. The current right wing extremists in DC, for example, refuse to admit that Nazi Germany was fascist — it’s SOCIALIST they say. Some may not know the difference, but I’m pretty sure a lot of them do know but use the twisting anyway. Doing so helps to accelerate the ignorance of their constituencies, a definite plus for candidates everywhere.

              Also Marxism/Communism — not an intentionally evil concept — has been dragged into Stalinism’s sewer, even though what Stalin practiced was well removed from the theses of Marx and Engels. And today, of course, Obama is hailed by some as being a Marxist–Fascist, a Nazi, Communist, Jihadist — the twisting of meanings never ceases.

              So my bottom line is to, e.g., consider the fourteen points of Fascism (Lawrence Britt) and assessing how close ‘they’ come to meeting how many of those points. There are degrees, of course, when one uses that method of assessment, but it does indicate a direction.

              Meanwhile, I maintain that any extreme right wing politic is either fascistic or will be soon.

              Not pure, not totally accurate, but it does suggest trends and doesn’t dismiss trends because of imprecision. Something like that.

        • Putin’s Russian I’m not as sure about, because I don’t know what kinds of things are going on within. The victimhood and cultism may well be there, and the urge to regain their standing as an empire also seems to be emerging. Putin achieved his current standing long after Paxton’s book (and the cited article) were written, so Russia may indeed be coming about as a third example.

          The 14 points go back (I believe) to Umberto Eco’s Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt

      • The victimhood is very strong with Putin’s Russia – he even blew the whistle this weekend: “Stab in the back” referring to Turkey’s shootdown of his Su24.

  2. Ted Cruz tells people to stop blaming pro-lifers, because the Colorado shooter was actually a transgendered leftist activist.

    Ted has certainly upped the ante for the next derpsplosion.

    • It matters not that it is true – it matters that it has been said by a ‘true believer’. Millions will take what it is said for the truth, and act upon that truth, to justify killing non true believers in the name of their all-loving god, who only loves ‘true believers’ and condemns all others to an eternity of damnation and the fires of hell.

  3. Orrin Hatch wants to tear down the wall of separation between church and state

    According to Hatch “denying religious organizations the same opportunities afforded to secular counterparts”is unconstitutional.

    “It tells the religious believer that in order to participate fully in public life, he should cabin and hide his religious devotion,” he concludes.

    Question I’ve had and held since I was a teenager: Why can’t we all believe or not believe whatever we care to, and just keep it to ourselves and not risk boring others or worse, demanding they believe as “I” do? What lies behind the motivation to insist everyone believe the same factless mythology?

    • “participate fully in public life”

      That to me means “keep your mumbo-jumbo, talking snake, blasphemy-killing, polygamist cult, fact denying special sky friend bollocks to yourself – and deal in reality – m’kay?”

      • I would take it one step further and make it illegal for any government official to solely base public policy on his/her personal religious beliefs. The second a public official brings out the Buybull quotes? Have him/her removed by the Master at arms, throw the crap in their office in boxes in the hallway, and forever bar them from public service.

        • I notice that politicians, when advocating religion and arguing against separation of church and state, invariably discuss only the first amendment and never mention Article VI in the main body, the part that says “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

          Why do you suppose that is?

    • O.H.: It tells the religious believer that in order to participate fully in public life, he should cabin and hide his religious devotion…”

      Whoa there, did Hatch just turn “cabin” into a verb? Just stop. Now.

      • I’d think that “‘Cabinize’ and hide” would be better way to say that. Granted, ‘cabinize’ is a new word, but what the hell, at least it works. Sort of like ‘carbonize,’ ‘canonize,’ etc. Those were once new words too, right?

        How lucky for the world that I decided not to ever be an English teacher.

    • I think the “religion” she’s identifying and endorsing is fascism. And you can bet your sweet bippy that I assign some blame to every right-wing freak who has taken to the airwaves to lie about what Planned Parenthood actually does. Since Tantaros is one of those who has made absurd claims like “97% of Planned Parenthood’s business is providing abortions at a whim” then she gets an extra helping.

    • Fischer: “there is no question that the kind of pot that is available in Colorado today can drive you into psychotic episodes.”

      I’m assuming Fischer is a regular Colorado visitor.

      Actually, within a few miles of my keyboard there are now legit pot farms, also a gigantic pot greenhouse under construction. There are also lots of folks who experience regular “psychotic episodes,” but they’re not pot people. Mostly Mormons and/or Republicans, actually. Nothing new there.

    • Name me a single act of violence by a person under the influence of pot – and I don’t count arguing over the last pizza slice.

    • What’s this crapola about? I recall seeing the people of the Gaza Strip were between celebratory and “now you know what it’s like living next door to Bibi and his mates” on Sep 11. Or is it something else – sorry I don’t do Teh Donald

      • Doocy went full Ferris Bueller. You never wanna go full Bueller:

        My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Muslims celebrating on 9/11. I guess it was pretty serious.

      • The dispute is over exactly where Trump saw “thousands” of Muslims celebrating. Yes, there were thousands of Muslims in other parts of the world (Gaza, for one) cheering on 9/11, but not “thousands” in New Jersey, which is where Trump specifically said he saw “thousands” cheering.

        Yes, there were some Muslims in NJ cheering that day, but not “thousands.” Trump INSISTS that the “thousands” that he saw cheering were in Jersey City, NJ, not the Middle East. He’s trying to brush off the remark claiming that thousands were cheering, and cheering was being done in NJ, so clearly he was 100% right.

        Chuck Todd even tried to call him out over the remark. But it wasn’t a live in-person interview, Trump literally phoned it in. In case anyone didn’t know, Trump has been calling into local NYC radio stations for decades.

        • Mr. Tapper took on one of Trumpy’s lick-spittles today. I suppose we should be thankful that anyone in the “librul media” is actually challenging any of the rightwhiners but I would like it better if they just reported what they say instead of giving them a platform. By this time tomorrow the RWEC will be echoing with claims that Tapper “attacked Trumpy” and what’shisname waged a heroic defense.

          • As they reminded us in the article, the Trump campaign says this guy does not speak for Trump. So why was he being asked about it in the first place? Plus, the guy’s arguments are absurd. Just because he never witnessed Trump being a racist bigoted dick (as if he himself were capable of seeing that) doesn’t prove it never happened. And he’s saying Trump never met the reporter he mocked, so he couldn’t possibly know he had a disability. This right after saying Trump had a “fantastic” memory and remembers everything that happened. Which is it?

    • So many things wrong, where to start?

      First, I’m willing to wager money that “the overwhelming majority of violent criminals” isn’t even registered to vote, let alone are Democrats.

      Second, if by “Democrats” he means “Liberals,” registered to vote or not, he’s wrong again. Violence against people is something a Conservative is far more likely to do than a Liberal. The FBI’s reports on extremist groups (that the right howled about because it made them look bad, on account of it was true) said as much.

      Third, while I can’t prove this is his chain of “thought”, I suspect his own racism is at work here. In his mind, “violent criminals” are always black. And black people are always Democrats (except the non-violent ones, like Ben…never mind). So naturally, Made Up Fact A followed by Made Up Fact B implies Made Up Conclusion C for “Crazy.” That’s how Conservative Logic works. Or doesn’t.

    • Anti-abortion head of Homeland Security committee: Colorado shooting was not ‘domestic terrorism’

      Calling the attack on a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic more of a “mental illness” issue, the Republican chair of the House Homeland Security Committee refused to describe the assault that left three dead and eight wounded as “domestic terrorism.”

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