The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 27, 2013: The Acerebralists™ Are Still Among Us


I own a great book (thank you, Jane) called “The Superior Person’s Book of Words”, by Peter Bowler (1985). It’s very funny and has definitions (or explanations) of a bunch of great and, almost always, actual words that describe things perfectly. Not quite Ambrose Bierce, but chosen to effect an air of superiority when the occasion calls for it. Words like

CONTRADISTINCTION n. Why say “in contrast with” when you can say “in contradistinction to”?

There’s another great entry for

EREPTION n. Snatching away. Do not confuse with EREPTATION (creeping forth). Snuggling up to your beloved at the drive-in, you say, “I sense an ereption coming on,” and suddenly snatch the M&Ms from her lap. If it transpires that she has put the M&Ms somewhere else, you will be compelled to perform an ereptation.

The whole book is like that. It’s great. On the back cover can be found this:

ACEREBRAL a.Without a brain. A word for which there would at first sight appear to be no use, since no entity to which there would be any point in applying the term could in fact possess this attribute. (There would be no point in speaking of an acerebral windowsill.) However, recent researches into the central nervous system of the wire-haired terrier have conclusively demonstrated the need for such a word.

I then (technically improperly, I think) applied a suffix to indicate a person who practices or is concerned with something (“-ist”), and came up with

ACEREBRALIST n. A person who tries to think without having the capacity to do so. (i.e. A person without a brain who insists on trying to use it.)

You’ll probably derive your own variations on the theme, but it’s one of those words that you either get it and know to whom it applies or you don’t, and probably never will. Remember, you heard it from me first. Don’t go trying to steal it, Colbert!

[The above was part of a post first published more than six years ago on my original blog.]

Fast forward six years later and a word with what seemed like limited application then is almost indispensable in describing large segments of our society today. What other word best describes the faithful and believing viewers of Fox News Channel? I’ve written about Fox News in my song parodies (here, here, here, and especially here), and yet despite my efforts people still watch that network to get their news. And the sad part is that the Acerebralists™ in America (their target audience) believe every lie they’re told. Whether it’s about Benghazi or polls based on the lies about Benghazi, misinformation about the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down one section of the Voting Rights Act (not all of it), or denying that racism is still a major problem in this country, Fox News knows their audience lacks the brain power to think for themselves (or do their own internet research). If it weren’t for brainless people, Fox News Channel wouldn’t have enough viewers to stay on the air. (BTW, all of the examples I linked to were just from the past few days on Fox News Channel. The rest of the year is no better.)

But cable TV news is not the only place dependent on Acerebralists™ to make a living. Right-wing talk radio not only counts on them for their audiences, they even employ some Acerebralists™ as on-air hosts. I’m not talking about Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. Those guys aren’t stupid, they’re just plain evil in all sorts of ways. I’m talking about people like Bryan Fischer, who once regaled his audience with tales of his bravely fighting off demons, who thinks Liz Cheney isn’t anti-gay enough to be a US Senator, and who thinks it’s your patriotic duty (as Americans) to worship God. You can read about soem of the others at Right Wing Watch (A Project of People For the American Way).

And maybe all of that wouldn’t be so bad, wouldn’t be so detrimental to the country, if there weren’t any Acerebralists™ in Congress. Unfortunately for us as a nation, there are. On just the anti-immigration front, there’s Rep Michele Bachmann, who predicted that if any kind of immigration reform legislation passes, the Republicans will lose the House of Representatives because President Obama “will wave his magic wand” and declare that all immigrants have the right to vote (he can’t and won’t); Rep Louie Gohmert, who thinks that not only are black people “embracing” the Republican Party, but that “Hispanic voters will do likewise once they understand that the GOP wants them to learn to speak English and assimilate so that they don’t have to work as ditch diggers.”; and Rep Steve King (IA), who thinks that most of the undocumented immigrants are “130-pound” drug mules with “calves the size of cantaloupes.” [Not to be confused with Rep Peter King (NY), the famous terrorist supporter.] Acerebralists™ can truly feel they have one of their own (or, in this case, at least three) representing them in our Congress.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss the Acerebralists™ in your life, the ones who watch Fox News Channel, or even the ones in Congress, or anything else you wish to discuss. I only ask that you use your brain, which I know you have because you’re here at The Zoo right now.

The Watering Hole, Thursday, January 24th, 2013: A Brief Glimpse into FauxGnus

I decided to hold my nose and take a look at some of the recent stories on foxnews.com, to see what the current spin looks like. While Media Matters is the best source for the real low-down and dirty lies from Fox, I’m just going to skim a bit of the scum off the surface of their cesspool:

First, so-called journalist Wayne Allyn Root discusses “Why I am a newly-minted Member of NRA” (basically because he believes the right-wing hype, and that he’s always been anti-Obama), and uses ‘facts’ and ‘statistics’ helpfully provided by Gun Owners of America, along with referencing a Rasmussen poll. A brief, but telling, excerpt:

“I want to protect the Second Amendment. And I don’t want government telling me what to do. And if any of those rights are going to be threatened, then I realized it’s time for me to stand up for the NRA…Leftist, big government, Nanny State politicians always come to the wrong conclusion about most issues.”

and, after the obligatory Hitler reference:

“The reality is that throughout history, the first thing all tyrants do is disarm the citizens. Then the mass killings begin.”

In another reverse-reality story by entitled “Crabby Obama Caught in Budget Trap” by Chris Stirewalt, the author, who must have come out of a coma after the Bush Administration, unblushingly pulls this bit of hypocrisy out of his posterior:

“But it was the political calculation by Democrats to spend without budgeting – to avoid the process by which the pleasure of spending and pain of borrowing and taxing are intertwined – that has left the president in this bind.”

In “Barack Obama–our Imperial Emperor In Chief”, Cal Thomas shows the depths of his delusion:

“At his news conference Monday [January 14th], a petulant, threatening and confrontational President Obama spoke like an emperor or supreme ruler. All that was missing was a scepter, a crown and a robe trimmed in ermine.
This president exceeds even Bill Clinton in his ability to evade, prevaricate and dissemble. I didn’t think that possible.”

“Judge” Anthony P. Napolitano brings us his particular and somewhat unique interpretation of the Constitution and, in particular, the 2nd Amendment in “Guns and the Government.” Here’s something I’ve never heard floated before:

“The opening line of the Constitution contains a serious typographical error: “We the People” should read “We the States.”

and then the tired old right-wing bullshit (and this man was a JUDGE?):

“The Constitution expressly prohibits all governments from infringing upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms. This permits us to defend ourselves when the police can’t or won’t, and it permits a residue of firepower in the hands of the people with which to stop any tyrant who might try to infringe upon our natural rights, and it will give second thoughts to anyone thinking about tyranny.”

Just for fun, we have crazy ol’ Tom Tancredo promising to smoke a joint.

Lastly (since even I couldn’t stand any more), more fantasy about the United Nations, this time regarding gun control, in “Does UN Arms Trade Treaty Figure in Obama Administration’s Gun Control Plans?” This piece includes the lie:

“The Administration first agreed to take part in the U.N. arms treaty negotiations in 2009—the same year in which it launched the now-notorious Fast and Furious operation, which provided weapons to illicit gun traders, ostensibly to track gun-running operations to Mexican drug cartels.”

[The FandF operation started in 2006 under the Bush Administration.]

This is our Open Thread. Try not to catch teh Crazy!

The Watering Hole, Thursday, November 8th, 2012: “Political Capital”

George W. Bush appears to have had a long-term “thing” about “political capital. From Slate, November 2004:

“Bush has long been smitten with the notion of getting and spending “political capital.” In December 2000, Time asked him, “What did you learn about being president from watching your father?” Bush’s answer: “I learned how to earn political capital and how to spend it.” The interview continued:
TIME: You think he didn’t spend it well late in his term?
BUSH: I think he did not. History has shown that he had some capital in the bank that was not properly spent.”

…and…

“…during an interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press in 1999. Bush told Russert he would spend “capital” on his plan for Social Security.”  [Yes, we remember his cross-country "Privatize Social Security Tour" (sigh)]

W’s first press conference after his re-election, on November 4, 2004, has a couple of gems when viewed an eternity later (2012):

On “political capital”:

PRESIDENT BUSH:
I feel — I feel — I feel it is necessary to move an agenda that I told the American people I would move…you go out and you make your case and you tell the people, “This is what I intend to do.” And after hundreds of speeches and three debates and interviews and the whole process, where you keep basically saying the same thing over and over again, that when — when that — when you win, there is a — a feeling that the people have spoken and embraced your point of view. And that’s what I intend to tell the Congress, that I made it clear what I intend to do as the president; now let’s work — and the people made it clear what they wanted — now let’s work together. And it’s one of the wonderful — it’s one of the — it’s like earning capital. … I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. That’s what happened in — after the 2000 election. I earned some capital. I’ve earned capital in this election, and I’m going to spend it for — for what — what I told the people I’d spend it on…

On the supposedly all-important Deficit:

“Q Thank you, sir. Many within your own party are unhappy over the deficit, and they say keeping down discretional spending alone won’t help you reach your goal of halving the deficit in five years. What else do you plan to do to cut costs? [emphasis mine]
PRESIDENT BUSH: (Chuckles.) Well, I — I — you know, I would suggest they look at our budget that we’ve submitted to Congress, which does in fact get the deficit cut in half in five years. And it is a specific, line-by-line budget that we are required to submit, and have done so.

The key to making sure that the deficit is reduced is for there to be on the one hand spending discipline — and I — as you noticed in my opening remarks, I talked about these appropriations bills that are beginning to move. And I thought I was pretty clear about the need for those bills to be — to be fiscally responsible, and I meant it…

The revenues are exceeding projections, and as a result the projected deficit is less. But my point there is is that — so with — with good economic policy that encourages economic growth, the revenue streams begin to increase. And as the revenue streams increase coupled with fiscal discipline, you’ll see the deficit shrinking, and we’re focused on that.”

Now, I have been puzzled about this whole “political capital” idea since I originally saw George W. Bush swagger and leer about it. Back then, the other election buzzword was “mandate”, as in “the re-election of GWB proved that he has a ‘mandate’ from the American people,” even though only a little more than half of the American people had actually voted for him. I’ve never seen Democratic Presidents utilize this reasoning; nor would I actually expect them to do so, for the same reason why I would never use the term “landslide” to describe a win of only a few percentage points.

Three questions:

-Using Bush’s “political capital” logic, shouldn’t President Obama have now earned some of his own, to spend on doing what he promised America he would do?
-Would Republicans and the TV cheerleaders at Faux News admit that President Obama had earned “political capital” to spend, since he had won a “mandate” from the people? …and…
-Will President Obama and the Democrats ignore the Republican obstructionists and actually try to spend that “political capital”?

This is our daily open thread–what do you think?

The Watering Hole: Tuesday July 12, 2011 – Media Moguls

This has not been a good week for media moguls. On a small scale Silvio Berlusconi had to suffer a defeat if you can call EUR 530 million small scale. Anyhow it is the first time in years he wasn’t able to ward off the consequences of his doings. He announced by the way, he won’t run for another four years when the next elections come up in 2013. I wish, however, there’s more than only four years in store for him, though not in office, but in jail. He’s done enough damage as it is.

Much worse, and I am grinning here, is the fate of Rupert Murdoch. He seems to have helped himself to a corporate meltdown. Just have a look at the latest revelations on how his media empire acts:

Gordon Brown
9/11 victims
Royalty
Crime Victims
War casualties
And look who was in bed with them 

It would be totally naive to think Murdoch’s US flagship FOX wasn’t using the same tactics of intimidation and blackmail. So lets keep the stories coming in, FOX News may be in the news before long and ultimately damaged enough, so their influence on your politics will be greatly diminished, too. Wishful thinking?

This is our Open Thread. What do you wish for? And go see, there may be new stories coming up during the day below this and we don’t do hacking just thinking.

Tone Def Poetry Jam

From The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, aired May 11, 2011.

A White House invitation to Grammy-winning vegetarian Common sparks controversy at Fox News… The only way to express the ridiculousness of Fox News is through a musical iteration of the spoken word.

It’s clear the bubble heads on Fox Noise — I’m looking at you Sean Hannity — loves them some violent lyrics, as long as they’re written by white guys like Johnny Cash and Ted Nugent.

Jon Stewart ends with his own, free-style rap to put this NON-ISSUE in perspective, and FOX NOISE in their place (which is back in their hole).

PART 1:

PART 2:

The Parent Company Trap

TDS: “Fox News is either evil or stupid for not mentioning that Alwaleed bin Talal is News Corp.’s largest shareholder.”

In last night’s episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart summarized all the stuff he had previously said about Fox News Channel and the misnamed Ground Zero Mosque (which is neither at Grounds Zero or, properly speaking, a mosque), and he said, “And then this morning I heard this…”

And it was former Bushie Dan Senor talking about how the funding for the mosque might come from this guy who gives money to all kinds of terrorist networks. He even tried to give $10 million to Rudy Giuliani after the 9/11 attacks. (Rudy turned it down.) And they insisted that THIS guy might be the one funding the “GZM”. Of course, the entire time they were talking about this terrorist funder, they kept not mentioning his name while showing pictures of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

It turns out that the guy they were talking about, the guy who funded terrorists all over the world—is the Saudi Prince (Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal) who is the largest shareholder in NewsCorp outside the Murdoch family. (Does that mean that News Corp and Fox News is owned in part by a funder of ‘terrorism’?? Does that make them a terrorist organization??? Just asking..)

Jon’s inescapable conclusion? The only way to stop funding the Ground Zero Mosque is to stop watching Fox News.

Perhaps one of the best segments ever..

Today Juan Cole posted this video as well. He wrote:

Apparently most of the country actually prefers Democrats to Republicans, thinks well of Obama’s major initiatives, and just wants the jobs to come back. All this noise about tea parties and vilifying Muslim Americans is being generated by just three guys– the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch. And poor Prince Alwaleed’s capital is being used for Islamophobia. For a Saudi prince to help fund Fox Cable News is like having a prominent African American entrepreneur fund a Steppin Fetchit remake. If I were he, I’d sell my shares in Fox, or maybe sue Newscorp for libel. I know suing yourself for libel could be complicated, but surely there is a tax break in there somewhere.

Ralph Peters Wants The Taliban To Kill An American Soldier (updated)

Wonder if Peters has a yellow ribbon magnet on his SUV.

Amazing.  This jerk (Ralph Peters) starts with “we should wait for all the facts,” and then proceeds to call Bowe Bergdahl deserter and a liar, and says that as far as he’s concerned, “the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills,” leaving hanging in the air the implication that if the Taliban kills Bergdahl, it would be just fine with him.

Here’s Cenk on The Young Turks showing Mr Peters saying that the prisoners at Gitmo should be killed:

Mr Peters, I think you’re an un-American death-fetishist asshole.  But we’ll wait for all the facts…

UPDATE:  Our Mr Peters (sorry, I won’t call him by his military rank after he called for the death of Pfc Bergdhl) is more of a loose cannon than we knew.  The Wonk Room has a lovely piece regarding Peters’ ideas for dealing with the Somali pirates:

Attack their harbors with land, sea and air power. Kill pirates, sink their vessels (including those dual-use fishing boats) and wreck their support infrastructure. The clans behind the pirates must feel sufficient pain to rein in their young thugs. The price for piracy should be stunning.

And we don’t need to stay to rebuild Somalia. End the fix-it fetish now. We need to leave while their boats are still burning down to the waterline.

Also, Matthew Yglesias posted a video of Mr Peters’ “unhinged rant” about the DHS memo regarding rightwing extremism:

Rock on, dude.

I think we now have enough evidence to say quite conclusively that Peters is in fact an un-American death-fetishist asshole.

Glenn Beck Antics Are Dangerous

Steve Benen over at the Washington Monthly had this to say:

AFTER THE SEGMENT…. It was a very special episode of Glenn Beck’s Fox News show, when he pretended to douse a colleague in gasoline while talking about setting himself on fire, but what I found especially interesting is what happened immediately afterwards.

After learning that President Obama might eventually embrace an immigration-reform legislation along the lines of the proposal touted by George W. Bush and John McCain (in at least one of McCain’s various personas), Beck said, “President Obama, why don’t you just set us on fire?”

Alex Koppelman from Salon writes:

Unfortunately, not captured in the video is what happened next, when Texas Gov. Rick Perry came on and Beck asked, “Governor, you’re regretting being on this program at this point, are you not, sir?” Perry responded, “Not at all, Glenn Beck. I’m proud to be with you.”

Bob Cesca from Huffington Post on Glenn Beck and The Consequences of Crazy Talk:

It’s no secret that Beck fancies himself as a real-life Howard Beale. He’s deluded himself into cherrypicking just the heroic “mad as hell” rant while conveniently overlooking that Beale was a tragic, suicidal man who was suffering from an extended nervous breakdown. Beck has to know on some level that Paddy Chayefsky’s eerily prescient screenplay for Network wasn’t written to glorify people like Beck — it was a warning to us about the emergence of people like Beck. It was a warning to us about how the line between fantasy and the news was beginning to blur in the face of ratings and profit.

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Sanchez Condemns Fox News On Guns & Fear

A statement issued by Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General on January 15th: “This administration has no intention of doing anything that would affect a states regulation of firearms, or who could carry a firearm..  There is nothing that we have discussed, nothing is in planning, nothing I can imagine that we’re going to be doing in that regard.”

I don’t think Eric Holder left any grey area in that statement.  It is very cut and dry that the Obama administration is not taking anyone’s right to own a firearm away.

The Ignorance of the Right

In my reading over the last few days, I found a couple of items which really hammered home the point of just how ignorant people on the right are. First up, from RedState (yes, I read right-wing blogs so you don’t have to).

In a diary written about an article in the Boston Globe about Rush Limbaugh, the writer first copies the Globe author then provides commentary.

Globe author:

Yes, our pinup boy has a following of about 20 million listeners. But last time I looked, Obama won with nearly 70 million voters. At this rate, The Party That Won’t Change is going to have to rename itself the Grand Old Ditto Heads.

Redstate commentary:

Sorry, Mz Goodman, but Obama did not win by 70 million votes as your rhetoric tries to cajole the reader into imagining. The popular vote was 69,456,897 for Obama (52.9%) and 59,934,814 for McCain (45.7%).

Hey, what’s a preposition (or .9%)  between friends.

I usually don’t link to the RedState articles, but this one is too good to pass up. It is a must read for its sheer comedic value.

Next up, we have the tried and true lunacy from the Glenn Beck show (via Crooks and Liars). This time, it is Beck’s guest Mark McKinney who, along with Beck, are railing against unions for having the nerve to have a conference at a place which usually charges $400-$1400 per night. (How dare them use their own funds for this type of soriee! Don’t they know that it is only TARP bail-out funds which are supposed to be used for an event? Whoops…slightly off topic there.  My bad!)

So, what did Mr. McKinney say?

This is the hotel that recently sponsored the Victoria’s Secrets fashion show, which is ironic, because now they’re planning to take away the secret ballot from American employees when they’re being organized by union — by union folks trying to organize the workplace.

Someone, please tell me what is ironic in that sentence? I am missing it. Do you see something ironic there? A play on words, perhaps.  (We all know that wingnuts don’t have a well-honed sense of humor, so this is what, I assume, passes as humor to them.  That said, the unintended humor in the previous example had me rolling.)  Would someone please send these guys a dictionary/thesaurus?

What is ironic is that the union, which are known for negotiating, had negotiated a room rate of less than $200.00 per night.  And on the show prior to Beck, Cavuto had acknowledged that it was a stellar negotiation by saying: “The most expensive room for your members attending is $200? Really. [Pause] All right, then everything’s off. You did OK. If I could get one of those deals — that’s not bad!”   That I find ironic.

The intellectual deficiency of the right is, simply put, stunning.

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Fox News: Chambliss lies about not knowing what a recession is

This video courtesy of Think Progress.

On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) defended his July claim that he didn’t think we’re in a recession and that he didn’t know what the term meant. He then lied and said he was only quoting Alan Greenspan.

Fox News: GOP Governor laughs at suggestion of Palin being future star

This is from the Hannity and Colmes show, which features Republican Governor Mark Sanford.  Not only does he laugh, but he starts naming off many other possible rising stars for the Republican Party.

Fox News: Wallace Repeats Talking Points Of A Republican “Sham Front Group”

Chris Wallace repeats the talking points from an Americans for Job Security commercial which follows the segment almost word for word.  Wallace asks Steny Hoyer about choosing the Democratic Caucas by secret ballots but deprive workers of the secret ballot to vote for unions.  The Card Check Bill is what they are talking about.

Watch the video, you will see that the commercial comes on in the middle of this discussion from the Americans for Job Security.  Talk about propaganda, they hit this one out of the park.  Let me give you a little background into this GOP group.

Americans for Job Security (AJS) is a Republican “sham front group that would be better called Corporations Influencing Elections … masquerading as a non-profit to conceal its funders and the scope of its electioneering activities,”the Center for Responsive Politics wrote in April 2007. Incorporated October 1997 in Virginia, AJS was described by the Center as “pro-Republican”, “pro-business”, and “established to directly counter labor’s influence”.

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Palin: Bush Administration to blame for failure of McCain/Palin ticket

Governor Palin doesn’t want anybody to worry about “Troopergate” anymore, nothing to see here folks!  When she protests as much as she has on this subject, you know it should be investigated further.  Oh, and by the way, it’s business as usual again.  Palin is still going to be charging the government of Alaska a per diem to work out of her house and the state is still going to be picking up the tab for her children to fly everywhere with her.

The really bad news, we are going to be hearing more about Sarah Palin.  She refuses to fade from the limelight.

McClatchy

Palin also said she loved her time in the national spotlight and won’t rule out a run for president or vice president in 2012.

Those were some of Palin’s responses to questions posed Sunday afternoon in a wide-ranging interview with the Anchorage Daily News and KTUU Channel 2 at the governor’s Wasilla home.

Greta Von Susteren of Fox News had just finished an interview with her and was chatting with the governor and her husband in the kitchen. Moose chili cooked in the crock pot and moose hot dogs lay on the table. Palin insisted they weren’t a prop for the national media but just how the family likes to dine.

Here’s some of what she had to say:
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Fox News: Colmes Nails Joe the Plumber for Being on Welfare

Joe the Plumber hates spreading around the wealth and says that is stealing; but as Colmes points out he was on Welfare.  Joe the Plumber’s argument is that he paid into it.  What Joe the Plumber is not looking up or is ignoring; the fact that social security and welfare are both government programs designed to protect citizens from the economic risks and insecurities of life.   The very idea that he is condemning, he has taken advantage of.

Fox News had dubbed Olbermann “the devil”

You have to go to the half way point to get to where they discuss Ben Affleck supposedly being intimidated by Keith Olbermann visiting the SNL set as he was rehearsing his anti-Olbermann skit.  I apologize this video was made by some guy who calls himself the “Olbermann Watch.”  They even make fun of Olbermann about “restless leg syndrome.”  The one commentator closes the segment by saying he is the devil everyday and that he has horns popping through his hair.  Obviously it is a slow day at Fox News; they don’t like when Keith hits them with the truth.  Or maybe a misguided attempt to defend Bill-O’s honor.

Media Matters: Fox News Three Strikes, You’re Out!

Media Matters nails Fox News three times yesterday for false assertations.  Do they honestly believe no one is listening or checking the facts?  In this age of YouTube, Media Matters and FactCheck.org nothing usually slips by without someone catching you lying on tevee or the radio.

Gretchen Carlson was the first one they caught, no surprise there.  The Fox and Friends Show is always making ludicrous claims that they try to pass off as facts – in there so called Fair & Balanced reporting.

Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson falsely claimed that “roughly 40 percent” of Sen. Barack Obama’s plan to cut taxes “is a handout to people who do not pay taxes.” In fact, all American workers are required to pay taxes on their wages for Social Security and Medicare, and according to an Obama economic adviser, “every person that receives a tax cut under Barack Obama’s plan is working.”

Next up Brit Hume, the GOP cheerleader, and Gretchen yet again – repeated a report of Sarkozy comments about Obama, without noting French Embassy dismissed report as “groundless”.

Special Report host Brit Hume, Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson, and New York Post writer Geoff Earle uncritically repeated a report by Israeli newspaper Haaretz that French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Sen. Barack Obama’s position on Iran “utterly immature” and “formulations empty of all content” without noting that the French Embassy issued a statement calling the Haaretz report about Sarkozy’s comments “groundless.”

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Fox News: Shep Smith Made Disclaimer After Joe the Plumber Interview

You can see that Shep Smith is visually upset with the frightening message from Joe the Plumber.  Joe the Plumber is on the campaign trail with John McCain scaring people with a vote for Obama is “death to Israel.”

The Huffington Post reported on this very disturbing interview that upsets me on many levels.  This fear-mongering is unconscionable, it’s the lie that upset Smith so much.

“It’s all a part of Joe the Plumber’s “Maybe I’m A Foreign Policy Expert, But Anyway, You Should Go Out And Get Your Own Opinions On Things Instead Of Listening To Mine, Even Though I’m Going To Keep Opining If You Give Me Half A Chance, And Anyway, I Don’t Even Really Know What John McCain’s Position Is On Anything Anyway, And Probably I Should Be Snaking A Sink Trap Or Something, Instead Of Dragging Myself All Over The Country Making Statements Which I Then Sort Of Disavow A Few Minutes Later Anyway, Who Knows?” Tour of 2008!

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Obama Aide Pushes Back At Fox News On Biased Reporting

(Fox News Anchor and Bill Burton have a heated exchange over their blatant conservative biased reporting.)

Today, Obama’s campaign stepped up their pushback to Fox News: in response to McCain’s latest lie about “spreading the wealth,” spokesman Bill Burton called out the biased messenger right along with the dishonest message: “This is a fake news controversy drummed up by the all too common alliance of Fox News, the Drudge Report and John McCain, who apparently decided to close out his campaign with the same false, desperate attacks that have failed for months. In this seven year old interview, Senator Obama did not say that the courts should get into the business of redistributing wealth at all. Americans know that the real choice in this election is between four more years of Bush-McCain policies that redistribute billions to billionaires and big corporations and Barack Obama’s plan to help the middle class by giving tax relief to 95% of workers and companies that create new jobs here in America. That’s the change we need, and no amount of eleventh-hour distractions from the McCain campaign will change that,” said Obama-Biden campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

It’s great to see the Obama campaign continuing this fight.

(H/T to ThePatriotsMaxims for the video)

Manufacturing Sympathy: Sarah Palin, Special Needs and Identity Politics

CommonDreams

As the older brother of someone with Down Syndrome, I’ve been intrigued by Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s use of her son Trig during the campaign. It’s strange to listen to her speak so tenderly about the “special love” that special needs children bring into the world on the heels of Republican rallies resembling lynch mobs, often incited by her characteristic vitriol. On Friday, Palin gave her first policy speech, which was-not surprisingly-dedicated to issues confronting special needs families. Watching it live on FOX News, I couldn’t help but wonder if something was wrong with my television as she proceeded to announce how profoundly being the parent of a child with Down Syndrome has touched her life. It was the perfect advertisement for compassionate conservatism. Who could criticize this dedicated mother of a special needs baby?

It’s tough. In her emotional speech, not only did Palin announce that she supports fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Act, she also stressed that she would fund more school services to meet the demands of special needs students, strengthen the National Institute of Health so that every family has a place to go for support and guidance, and modernize the Vocational Rehabilitation Act so that special needs adults can live independently if they are able and choose to do so. It sounds like the dream of every special needs family.

So what’s the problem?

First of all, if elected, Sarah Palin will report to a powerful boss in the White House who has repeatedly called for a government-spending freeze during what is shaping up to be a long economic crisis. During the last presidential debate, Senator John McCain praised Palin’s dedication to the special needs cause and commended what she has accomplished for the community as governor of Alaska. Senator Barack Obama also applaud Palin for increasing spending to special needs programs, but quickly pointed out that he doesn’t understand how McCain would pay for doing the same thing across the nation if elected President-a contradiction worth exploring further.

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