We live in a strange world folks. A world where cable news in particular can pick a topic and beat the hell out of it, slant it, create a narrative for it in the face of evidence to the contrary and then ride that narrative until they see a shift in public opinion that then justifies their narrative. It’s pretty fucked up to be honest. In fairness, the cable news stations have 24 fucking hours a day to fill and you can only obsess about Lindsey Lohan and Snookie so much before you have to come up with some other shit to sensationalize.
The TSA has become the boogeyman of late. There aren’t any Democrats running for any imminent elections to beat up on, so they have to pick something. Here is a good example of the blogosphere perpetuating this phenomenon. From the usually great Karoli at Crooks and Liars…
Yes, TSA procedures suck, and yes, they’re heading toward a tipping point where there will be nearly unilateral support for getting rid of them.
So am I wrong, but aren’t there a ton of polls out showing that the vast majority of the general public support using the scanners? I’m sure the media’s narrative is starting to have it’s intended results, to vilify the TSA….the latest target for populist outrage, but so far Karoli’s line “heading toward a tipping point where there will be nearly unilateral support for getting rid of them.” Really? The media has a lot of work to do to accomplish that. But they are on it, that’s for sure.
Just pay attention to how the cable news stations are just repeating, repeating, repeating….with subtle things like “groping” and “pawing” and “breasts” and “junk” or whatever the fuck. They are trying to appeal to the “knee-jerkers” who will jump into outrage mode on a dime. We’ve become a nation of fraidy cats (sp) and wimps. They will keep beating this issue relentlessly until either something drastic happens or some other natural or man-made disaster distracts them. Then, it’s off to the races on the next media obsession. What a world, what a world.
And of course there are Republicans who immediately think, how can I make some money on this or help some other rich guy make some money on it. Steve Benen (emphasis mine)
But as travelers grow more frustrated with heightened airport security, it appears Republicans are opening a new front on the privatization crusade.
A Republican lawmaker, who is faulting big government spending, is suggesting that airports dump the Transportation Security Administration altogether, and opt instead to privatize security.
And some airports, fed up with poor service in a climate where travelers are outraged about the prospect of full-body scanners, are listening.
The consideration comes after Florida Republican Rep. John Mica — a longtime critic of the TSA — wrote letters to the country’s 100 busiest airports earlier this month asking them to switch to private security.
There are a variety of angles to consider here. Note, for example, that private companies that stand to benefit from privatization also happen to be generous campaign contributors to Mica’s re-election campaign.
Even more importantly, several domestic airports already use private screeners, but it’s still the TSA that establishes mandatory security standards. If Mica or other Republicans want to have a conversation about whether those security measures are appropriate, that’s fine. But whether those doing the screening are public employees or private contractors doesn’t change the standards themselves. Selling this as some sort of cure-all for frustrated travelers is silly.
As Josh Marshall joked yesterday, “Watching cable TV this morning it seems like the new idea is that this would all be better if private sector workers rather than government employees were inspecting Americans’ crotches, boobs, etc.”
Steve Benen goes on to ponder just how wonderful it would be to have Blackwater-style companies taking over the screening, oh happy day!
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow tore into Politico Wednesday for reprinting Republican “spin” without reporting the actual truth.
Politico reported that Republicans had delayed a meeting with President Barack Obama because he had “ambushed” them at a previous meeting back in January. But Maddow pointed out that there is little truth to that version of events.
According to Glenn Thrush at Politico, Republicans rescheduled a meeting with Obama because they are distrustful after he “crashed” their January retreat and humiliated them on national television.
“The roots of the partisan standoff that led to the postponement of the bipartisan White House summit scheduled for Thursday date back to January, when President Barack Obama crashed a GOP meeting in Baltimore to deliver a humiliating rebuke of House Republicans,” Thrush reported.
That is a blatant lie, and isn’t Politico supposedly the most in touch publication, getting all the inside info from both sides….cough, spit. Whoever wrote that crap had to have known it was completely false and Republican propaganda. So much of the media just doesn’t care about the truth anymore, it is sickening, really. Rachel tells it like it is…
“Today cable news all day was driven by a story from that same website, Politico, that was purportedly about that same real event but was completely made up,” Maddow said. “I don’t mean to say it was completely made up by Politico. Quite transparently it was made up by unnamed Republican staffers who were trying to inject a new anti-Obama story into the news today that didn’t have any basis in fact whatsoever. Those were the folks who made it up. It was Politico who printed it.”
Josh Marshall weighs in on this with a reminder to everyone about the reality that didn’t seem to make it into the Politico story…
“So was it an ambush? Well, My God, not even close. Here’s the press release from Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, thanking the president on January 13th for ‘accept[ing] our invitation to meet with the Republican Conference later this month,’” Marshall continued.
“In other words, that’s more than two weeks before these House Republicans who must have spent the month in a sensory deprivation chamber were stunned to see the president’s motorcade driving up unannounced to crash their party.”
So what in the fuck is Politico doing? Why would they print completely false information, manufactured propaganda from Republican operatives? Is there journalistic integrity anywhere these days? Once again, Rachel Maddow tells it like it is…
Maddow was particularly offended by the way Politico printed this quote from a Republican staffer: “There were [House Republicans] who only knew Obama was coming when they saw Secret Service guys scouting out the place.”
“I am sure some unnamed Republican operative said exactly those words and that’s why there are quotes in the article to justify those words being written,” Maddow said. “But just printing something somebody said is not itself — what do you call it? News, right. It’s publicity. And in this case, it’s publicizing somebody’s totally fake, untrue story about a knowable, reported on, real thing.”
Later in the day, Politico edited their story to remove that quote.
Apparently all you have to do these days to get the media’s attention and dominate cable news coverage is to get really angry and make a lot of noise. I propose that we liberals and progressives start getting angry, protesting, showing up at Republican town hall meetings and getting loud. If the media has changed how it does business by only caring about those who are angry, let’s get fucking angry. I propose that during this last election their was a lot of anger remaining from the Bush demolition of our democracy, but somehow all those people got lumped in with the Tea Party people. It’s very similar to lumping all the people who supposedly didn’t like the health care bill, some who thought it was pure socialism and some who thought it didn’t go far enough towards socialism.
Melissa Harris-Lacewell made a similar point last night on The Last Word about so called “independents” that seem to all get lumped together when in reality, you have independents who are all over the political spectrum. Think Bernie Sanders….he’s not in the middle of Democrats and Republicans, he is clearly to the left of Democrats. I guess it boils down to the fact that journalists in general aren’t very bright and like to simplify things, it’s easier for their little brains to wrap around simple ideas. I return to my refrain about the media using polls as crutches, it’s just easier for them to spit out a story when they can just regurgitate poll results. One of my favorite signs from the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear says it all…“A poll about a fact is NOT news!”
Steve Benen, who is consistently the best blogger on the internet….along with the Awesome Bob Cesca…has a great post up saying what I have been thinking since the election. The bastard always steals my thoughts and then puts them in writing much more eloquently than I can, so once again….what he said. (emphasis mine)
If it seems like you’ve been seeing those same four words — was it worth it? — all week, it’s not your imagination. The ubiquitous question is based on the assumption that Democratic losses were the result, not of awful economic conditions, but of the party’s agenda. The president and his party completed some remarkable policy achievements, but, the argument goes, those breakthroughs only pay electoral dividends if the public likes the policies. Instead, voters disapproved, strengthening the GOP “wave.”
The evidence to bolster this case, rather than blaming the economy, remains thin. But for the sake of conversation, let’s go with it. Let’s say Democrats effectively made a giant trade — they forfeited their House majority, and in exchange, Dems had one of the most successful congresses of the century, passing landmark legislation generations in the making.
Of course it was worth it. This is what big majorities are for.
One of the things that drives me nuts the most about the media is the prism through which they view everything, politics. It seems like it doesn’t matter much what a politician does once they are elected, like passing laws, representing their constituents or making a difference in the country. Instead, it’s all about the next election. You almost never see cable news actually talking about policy, except how it might affect someone politically. The midterm election is barely over and they are already talking about how everything anyone does will affect them in 2012. Jeez, can we take a break for a minute and actually govern. More from Benen…
There have been plenty of pieces making the case, and I’d recommend items from Cohn, Chait, and Sargent, among others. But I was especially struck by William Saletan’s Slate piece yesterday, not only because I disagree with him from time to time, but because I was nodding in agreement when he explained, “[I]f health care did cost the party its majority, so what? The bill was more important than the election.”
Politicians have tried and failed for decades to enact universal health care. This time, they succeeded. In 2008, Democrats won the presidency and both houses of Congress, and by the thinnest of margins, they rammed a bill through. They weren’t going to get another opportunity for a very long time. It cost them their majority, and it was worth it.
And that’s not counting financial regulation, economic stimulus, college lending reform, and all the other bills that became law under Pelosi. So spare me the tears and gloating about her so-called failure. If John Boehner is speaker of the House for the next 20 years, he’ll be lucky to match her achievements. [...]
It’s funny, in a twisted way, to read all the post-election complaints that Democrats lost because they thought only of themselves. Even the chief operating officer of the party’s leading think tank, the Center for American Progress, says Obama failed to convince Americans “that he knows their jobs are as important as his.” That’s too bad, because Obama, Pelosi, and their congressional allies proved just the opposite. They risked their jobs — and in many cases lost them — to pass the health care bill. The elections were a painful defeat, and you can argue that the bill was misguided. But Democrats didn’t lose the most important battle of 2010. They won it.
Hell yes, this is one of the reasons why I support this president so much, he is there to get shit done and getting reelected isn’t his highest priority. This doesn’t quite fit in with the media’s narrative, they don’t understand it, it causes them cognitive dissonance. It does not compute for them. What it does is to give pundits the opportunity to hang themselves with their words and prove they are only about politics, fuck the people.
Yesterday I posted about Dylan Ratigan’s rant on Morning Joe where he referred to President Obama as a “little boy” and made a reference to him bending over for Wall Street. I commented on many “progressive” blogs about what I had heard and put up a post on this blog. I googled it shortly after I posted and found my post right there at the top of Google’s results. I thought to myself, woe…no one else caught that or if they did, they didn’t think anything of it? W.E.E. See You picked it up and did a post with the video of it. All day long I kept checking the big blogs and nothing, no mention of what I think were incredibly offensive comments towards our president. Not just the “boy” reference, a code word from days gone by, but the lack of respect for the office of the president itself. What a huge insult to the leader of the free world and what it stands for. I wondered if I was the only one who had seen it, are Morning Joe’s ratings so low now that no one is actually watching it? It is the lowest rated morning show on TV, you know?
Now imagine if Rush Limbaugh had said that. What do you think Media Matters would have all over their front page? Daily Kos? Huffington Post? TPM? Why has Dylan Ratigan been given a pass? Is it because he works for MSNBC, the Fox News of the left (according to some, not me)? I certainly had a lot of hits yesterday because of my post, I think it is because so many people saw it and were wondering where the outrage was and Jonathon Capehart linked to my blog as an example of Dylan “getting smacked around”, poor poor Dylan.
Now don’t get me wrong, I support my fellow leftie bloggers for the most part, a few exceptions, but I can’t believe they are ignoring this and letting Ratigan get away with it. His form of populist ranting is the worst kind, you might notice how he keeps reminding us throughout his rants that he is just representing the masses. It’s very subtle, but if you look at a transcript of what he says, he constantly drops in those populist cues. It’s very much a brainwashing technique, ala the Republican spin-meisters. Notice how he makes a general statement that most everyone can agree with, then he sprinkles in his supply-side economics propoganda and then returns to a populist statement. Since the bullshit is couched between two reasonable statements, well then the bullshit must be true too.
I’m not done with Ratigan either, stay tuned for more analysis of this wolf in sheep’s clothing.
It always enraged me that the Bush Administration so willingly sent our troops off to fight in two wars of choice, but when they returned to the states with injuries or mental problems, they turned their backs on them. President Obama has been fighting for veterans for years and now as president he is helping them even more.
First, let’s take a look at what the last Republican administration did for veterans or rather, did TO veterans. Joan McCarter at Daily Kos gives us this in a post…
As VoteVets uncovered in 2008, the VA of those days deliberately misdiagnosed Veterans to reduce the cost of treatment and disability payments:
On March 20, 2008 a VA hospital’s PTSD program coordinator sent an e-mail to a number of VA employees, including psychologists, social workers, and a psychiatrist stating that due to an increased number of “compensation seeking veterans,” the staff should “refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out” and they should “R/O [rule out] PTSD” and consider a diagnosis of “Adjustment Disorder” instead.
How shitty is that to send young men and women into a horrible, frightening, brutal environment and then when these young people suffer mental problems from it, those fuckers just abandoned them. And not just abandon but actually put up roadblocks for them, make them suffer a little more. Not many people know that each year, over 6000 veterans commit suicide. That’s twice the national average. CBS News did some excellent research on this…
Dr. Steve Rathbun is the acting head of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department at the University of Georgia. CBS News asked him to run a detailed analysis of the raw numbers that we obtained from state authorities for 2004 and 2005.
It found that veterans were more than twice as likely to commit suicide in 2005 than non-vets. (Veterans committed suicide at the rate of between 18.7 to 20.8 per 100,000, compared to other Americans, who did so at the rate of 8.9 per 100,000.)
One age group stood out. Veterans aged 20 through 24, those who have served during the war on terror. They had the highest suicide rate among all veterans, estimated between two and four times higher than civilians the same age. (The suicide rate for non-veterans is 8.3 per 100,000, while the rate for veterans was found to be between 22.9 and 31.9 per 100,000.)
President Obama has done more for veterans in 18 months than the previous administration did in 8 years. Well, really, the Bush administration made many steps backwards for veterans all the while claiming to be the party that represents the military through it’s propaganda machines like Fox News and the rest of the right wing media which was aided and abetted by the cable news networks. Check this out from VetVoice via Daily Kos…
After already increasing VA funding and signing a bill to insure advanced funding for the Department, President Obama’s Department of Veterans Affairs plans to announce next week that it is removing the speed-bumps that hindered PTSD afflicted Vets from obtaining a disability rating:
The government is making it easier for combat veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder to receive disability benefits.
The Veterans Affairs Department plans to announce Monday it will no longer require veterans to prove what might have triggered their illness. Instead, they would have to show that they served in combat in a job that could have contributed to post-traumatic stress disorder.
The nearly 20 percent of Veterans who return with signs of PTSD will now find it easier to obtain what they earned when they bravely defended their country. Making the process for obtaining benefits as smooth as possible is the least we owe these heroes. This decision to streamline the process for PTSD claims illustrates a commitment to our Veterans from this Administration that was absent for eight years under previous leadership…
…The new PTSD guidelines aren’t just a boon to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans–they apply to all veterans, and there are still many Vietnam vets suffering, who’ve waited decades for this help.
Hooray President Obama, finally someone who actually cares about the people that presidents like to send off to do their dirty work. Now I know a lot of people on the far left think Obama is just as bad as Bush was when it comes to wars and in my opinion, these people are really out of their minds. I completely understand the principled stance that no wars are good, I personally wish we lived in a world where they weren’t necessary. I never think war is a solution to any problem and am against all wars. Having said that, let me remind people that President Obama DID NOT get us into these two wars and in fact Barack Obama was one of the lone people who stood up against the Iraq war when everyone was signing from the same hymnal about WMD’s…remember that shit. Here is a Youtube post that uses people to read his speech in 2002 (before the war) which has apparently been lost…
Here is a transcript of that speech, please go read it, even you trolls who will undoubtedly go berserk over this post. And I challenge all you “Hillary inspired Obama haters” to go find what ole’ Hillary said in 2002 about the Iraq war. I only say that because some of President Obama’s harshest critics are these folks. If you watch that video or read the transcript, you might notice that this young, future president nailed it…absolutely nailed it…in predicting what would happen if we invade Iraq.
Active Duty Troops
So now onto how he cares for active troops. He’s bringing them home where they belong. This is from a blog I just came across called Musings on Iraq…
U.S. forces are scheduled to draw down to 50,000 by September 1, 2010 following President Obama’s withdrawal plan. It’s hardly been noticed, but U.S. troops are almost at that level already.
Since 2009 over 60,000 U.S. soldiers have been pulled out of Iraq. In January 2009 when Obama first took office, there were 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. After that, several thousand were withdrawn every couple months, going down to 140,000 in February, 137,000 in March, 134,000 in May, 130,000 in June, etc. According to the spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, there are currently 77,500 U.S. personnel in Iraq as of July 2010.
U.S. Troop Strength In Iraq 2003-2010
May 2003 150,000 – Invasion force
October 2007 171,000 – Height of Surge
January 2009 142,000 – Beginning Obama administration
February 2010 98,000
President Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do. How many of you have seen stories from the MSM about this? Or on the 24 hour cable news networks? I know that many of these troops are being re-assigned to Afghanistan, where the Obama administration is focusing it’s efforts to weaken Al Qaeda and help get some semblance of a stable government in place. Rachel Maddow was over there last week and did some excellent reporting about what’s going on. Her and Richard Engel are both amazing and paint a much different picture than you will hear out of the right-wing noise machine AND the MSM. Rachel had an exchange with Ann Curry from the Today show where Ann tried her hardest to be a Fox News morning host but Rachel told it like it is, like she usually does. From a Crooks and Liars post about the exchange…
This is the first time I’ve seen a journalist really try to get beyond the basics of the Afghan war and into the details of what our military is actually doing, what they hope to accomplish, and how they’re going about accomplishing it. Rachel Maddow is hardly a hawk, so part of the remarkable quality of her reporting is seeing her come to an understanding that much of what’s being done involves helping people, not killing them.
This clearly doesn’t fit the story they want to tell on The Today Show. Watch the video as Rachel is questioned about the July deadline and the supposed “delayed Kandahar strategy.”
For some reason the video C&L has up there isn’t Rachel on the Today show but here is some of the transcript, once again courtesy of Crooks and Liars…
CURRY: In fact, let’s talk about that. It’s a year from now that the US troops are scheduled to leave. We’re 104 months into this war, Afghanistan is now the longest war in US history. June was the deadliest month in the war with 60 Americans killed, Rachel. And so is this president’s deadline of leaving a year from now, beginning to withdraw a year from now, actually realistic?
Translated: FOX thinks a deadline is foolish. Don’t you think so too, Rachel?
And Rachel’s answer is perfect, because it’s the truth and it makes sense. That July deadline isn’t just there for show:
MADDOW: There have been a lot of critics who have said that that deadline doesn’t make sense in terms of military strategy. But I think that’s only true if you think of war, this kind of war, as if it’s some kind of D-Day every day. It’s really not like that. Counterinsurgency doesn’t look like that. The point of this counterinsurgency strategy is to set up an Afghan government so that Afghanistan is essentially hardened against the Taliban coming back into power and against them link — them — Afghanistan again linking up with these extremist groups. The deadline is not for military strategy in pure military terms. The deadline is so the Afghan government feels like they’ve really got to get their act together and stand up and get it done. I have to tell you that, you know, the counterinsurgency doctrine may not work. It may not work no matter what we do to set up — try to set up Afghan government here. But it definitely won’t work without a deadline, at least in Kandahar, not based on what I’ve seen after this latest embedding.
Rachel Maddow is no hawk, she’s telling the truth about what is going on in Afghanistan – which doesn’t fit in the alternate reality that some on both the left and right seem to be living in. It is creating much cognitive dissonance in their brains…..many I’m sure are just tuning it out or simply denying it. I’m sure my favorite troll will call me and President Obama murderers and all sorts of vile stuff, I really feel sorry for him, not just because his comments always end up in my spam filter but that his brain is actually so clouded that clear thoughts can’t emerge.
I firmly believe that the Obama administration really will have fighting troops out of both Iraq and Afghanistan by the end of his first term. Until then, the haters will surely claim he can’t do it, he’s a warmonger or from the right, he’s soft on terrorism or whatever else Frank Luntz tells them to say. President Obama is proving to be a much better president than I even imagined, he’s able to stay on track and stay focused even with the fickle media (MSNBC and CNN) and the hard right-wing liars (Fox News) and the lame mainstream media (thanks Sarah) trying to trump up stupid ass process stories or the latest poll of 700 people who still have land-line phones. Results really do have a huge effect on the general public, much more effect than the media does. And since the public IS so fickle, with a coordinated advertising campaign for the general election in November, the Democrats simply have to tell the truth about what has ACTUALLY happened over the first two years of Democrats in control and that is much easier when you have the truth on your side.
Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos has been blacklisted at MSNBC for calling out Joe Scarborough on his hypocrisy. It revolves around the little known “dead intern” problem that Joe Scarborough swept under the rug successfully back in July of 2001. Markos simply sent a tweet referring to the dead intern, which was really pretty random, but good for Markos for doing it. I first heard about this story from a commenter at White Noise Insanity, the very insightful Grant in Texas. I looked into it because of my dislike of the smarmy Joe Scarborough who I think is the worst kind of propagandist on television. He gets away with more bullshit on his morning show than anyone on TV. Now for the twitter exchange that Joe has blown up into a big story, and has forced me to post this long detailed post about. Thanks Joe, I’ve wanted to expose this fishy dead intern story since I found out about it. From Markos….
In case you were wondering why you haven’t seen me on MSNBC recently, it seems that Joe Scarborough, he of the lowest rated morning show in cableland, has blackballed me. And Phil Griffin, the alleged president of MSNBC, is going along with it.
It all began May 29, with Joe Scarborough taking to Twitter to whine about the media coverage of the supposed Sestak scandal (remember that one?):
JoeNBC: The Sestak story is as unbelievable a cover story as Nixon throwing little Checkers under the bus. A farce on it’s face. Luckily for the White House, the media has been negligent on this story since Day 1. The press will let this laughable story slide.
That was too much horseshit for me. If there was someone who had ZERO ground to stand on whining about media bias, it was Scarborough. So I shot back:
markos: Like story of a certain dead intern. RT @JoeNBC: Luckily for the White House, the media has been negligent on this story since Day 1.
Markos: But if you want to talk about bullshit “scandals”, @JoeNBC, there’s this one about Joe Sestak and the White House you might’ve heard of.
It degenerated from there.
JoeNBC: @markos Unbelievable. You have a long history of spreading lies suggesting I am a murderer. This is the 3rd or 4th time by my count.
Markos: @JoeNBC, I’ve never suggested you’re a murderer. I’ve noted media hypocrisy in going after Gary Condit. But he was Dem. You aren’t.
JoeNBC: Anyone in media who interviews @markos, know that you’re extending your credibility to someone who regularly suggests that I’m a murderer.
Markos: A bit touchy, @JoeNBC? Links for where I accuse you of being a murderer please.
So Joe Scarborough went crying to the president of MSNBC who put out the word to his “teams” not to book Markos for a while, kind of like a journalistic “time-out” or something. But since Joe wants us all to know about this dead intern who mysteriously died in his district office in Florida, let’s have at it. I’ll start by saying if it was someone else that it happened to and there was a “D” behind that congressman’s name, can you imagine how Joe would react? He has gone off on people with much less evidence and for much less serious offenses. Some background on the story from Conservative Babylon.
Just the facts: Scarborough got a divorce. Then he suddenly resigned from Congress, just six months after re-election. (Invoked old fallback excuse of wanting to “spend more time” with children.) Then he suddenly resigned as publisher of the Independent Florida Sun. Then, just as suddenly, Lori Klausutis, 28-year-old staffer to Scarborough, was found dead in Scarborough’s district office in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Date was July 20, 2001. Cause of death: Blow to the head. Conclusion: Heart condition caused her to collapse, fall, hit head on a desk, and die. Story barely a blip on the radar. Lots of people left with lots of questions.
Click on the blue “Read More” for the rest of the post.
Now everyone knows that Rush Limbaugh is a racist, he has made his views plenty clear over the years, so his latest racist rant is no surprise. What struck me about what he said is the alternate reality he seems to be living in. I chalk it up to his drug abuse combined with his racism, the two are a powerful combination. Here is a quote as posted by The Raw Story….
Limbaugh suggested Tuesday that Winfrey and other African-Americans owe their success to their skin color.
“If Obama weren`t black, he`d be a tour guide in Honolulu or he`d be teaching Saul Alinsky Constitutional law or lecturing on it in Chicago,” Limbaugh announced.
“He wouldn`t have been voted president if he weren`t black. Somebody asked me over the — oh, I need to remember. Somebody asked me over the weekend, why does somebody earn a lot of money, have a lot of money. I said it`s because he`s black,” he continued.
Limbaugh then went on to attack Winfrey. “It was Oprah. No, it can’t be. Yes, it is. There’s a lot of guilt out there. To show we`re not racist, we`ll make this person wealthy and big and famous and so forth,” said Limbaugh.
Who is he talking about when he says “To show we’re not racist, we’ll make this person wealthy and big and famous and so forth”. So let me get this right, the American people (whites only I guess) all got together, at a convention I imagine, and decided to show people they aren’t racist by making Oprah famous and Obama president? Really Rush? I can just imagine folks sitting around in their living rooms thinking, “I really don’t like this woman Oprah, but because she is black, I’m going to make myself like her damn it. I have to get rid of this guilt somehow, I must like this woman.” How fucking stupid is that?
During the election, a co-worker who is a right wing hack, made a similar statement that Obama got the Democratic nomination because of affirmative action. It is a similar kind of stupid as Limbaugh’s, rooted in racism. I called him out on it on the spot, it got kind of weird, but there was no way I could let such idiocy stand. Give me a fucking break, you get nominated when people vote. Real Americans going to the ballot box and casting their votes, not some cabal of white people deciding to give him the nomination because he’s black. I lost all respect for that professor when he made that statement.
This sort of fantasy thinking is permeating the right wing these days. It goes right along with Stephen Colbert’s “Truthiness” idea. Apparently these people are fine with fooling themselves, lying to themselves and everyone else, not letting facts get in the way of their fantasy thinking. They buy into the “death panels” and “birther” conspiracies, they cling to every idiotic word that Sarah Palin utters or tweets and they send money to Glenn Beck because someone has to take money from the crazy people in our country, call it affirmative action for dummies.
Of course this isn’t the first time that Rush has some weird conspiracy theory about successful black people, this is from Pensito Review…
When it comes to discussing any topic other than politics, he is clearly out of his league. For example, his one foray outside politics, into sports as a football commentator on ESPN in 2003, ended abruptly when he made a blatantly racist comment about Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb that was very similar to what he said here about Oprah Winfrey.
“I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well,” Limbaugh said then. “There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.”
You wouldn’t want to give the quarterback, the field general, the leader of the team…any credit for the success of the team. And according to Rush, it must be because he is black….apparently the “media” all got together and decided that it was “desirous that a black quarterback do well”. Once again, Rush is living in an alternate reality where groups of people come together and decide they are going to help those black people get ahead, because you know they can’t do it on their own. And the fact that a black man won the highest office in the land, is the leader of the free world, well that just doesn’t compute for Rush in his pea sized brain.
So with Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and many others within the Republican party going to extremes to fool themselves and cling to their racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic and all the rest of the “phobias” out there it seems – where is the media in all this. How can these people keep spouting this crap and get away with it. Are Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow the only ones in the media that see through the bullshit? Is the rest of the media just as stupid as the leaders of the Republican party? It sure seems that way to me.
The craziness coming out of the mouths of some people seems to have no limit. Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of GE was on Morning Joke this morning and when asked whether BP should be trusted he basically said yes the can, they are just inept. The really crazy thing that came out of his mouth, and I guess we should cut him some slack because he is getting pretty old, but he said the president should have gotten all the oil CEO’s in a room and locked them in it until they came up with a plan. He was very serious about not letting them leave, forcing them to stay in a room in the White House until they came up with a plan. That is a perfect example of the absolute craziness coming out of some people’s mouths. Let’s break this down, he thinks the president can force private individuals to come to a meeting and then lock them in a room, forcibly, and keep them locked up until they solve an unsolvable problem. Does that sound like we are living in America to you? Is that really what he wants the president to do? Or is it just the right wing hyperbole that appeals to the knuckle-draggers in the country. It President Obama were to have done that, just imagine what the idiots like Joe Scarborough would have screamed.
After Jack Welch made these crazy claims, Joe Scarborough, who loves to talk out of all 4 sides of his mouth, jumps on it and sees an opportunity to use it to his advantage. They had a good ole’ time speculating about this crazy idea and Mika attempted to throw some reality into the situation and of course was talked over and diminished. She also went after Rudy Giuliani for telling a whole bunch of lies last week when he was on several TV shows. This was of course brushed off as White House talking points, whether it was true or not didn’t seem to matter, they are talking points. Which brings me to this whole “golfing while president” talking point the Republicans are trotting out, including the Republican commentors on this site who keep claiming to not be Republicans but when the latest talking point comes off the press, they are right there spewing it.
I have to give Jack Welch credit for shooting down that talking point and saying that president’s need to have recreation and downtime, it makes them think more clearly and do their job better. It’s just one more example of how the right and the media seem obsessed with appearances and symbolism. Reality really has no place in most of their thinking, as was shown when Mika pointed out all the real things that the Obama administration did early on in the crisis and that was then dismissed because they didn’t “convey” that well enough. In their pea-sized brains apparently if you don’t convey it, it didn’t really happen. That’s the type of mentality of too many of the talking heads on TV, reality doesn’t really matter, it’s perceptions that matter. I’m sure there is plenty of room to criticize little details that were or weren’t done, but when people make the blanket, exaggerated claims like he didn’t consult with industry experts…..that’s complete horseshit, they assembled a team of people in Houston composed of experts from many oil companies, engineers, physicists etc.
I have to give Mika credit this morning, she did an excellent job pushing back against the bullshit spewing from Joe and his cronies mouths. Mark Halperin was also a voice of reason, although he never goes too far out on a limb for the president.
Thank you John Dickerson at Slate.com for giving some much-needed perspective on this crazy meme that the media and their Republican puppet masters have wrought on us cable news junkies. You know, the one that says the Barack Obama isn’t angry enough, not emotional enough. And then the leap they’ve been successfully making to date that it points to a lack of leadership. Personally, I think passing a health care bill, no matter how much it is flawed, showed tremendous leadership. People in the media who have never been elected or governed or led for that matter, seem to think they have a right to paint this president as lacking leadership, as if real leaders come out in front of the cameras and blow a fuse, go ballistic and show some emotion. When the reality is that American presidents have rarely, if ever, showed any real anger in public. John Dickerson at Slate.com weighs in on this…(emphasis mine)
While no one has yet discovered a way to plug the BP oil leak, each day does bring the discovery of yet another fundamental character defect that explains President Obama’s helplessness. He’s not emotional enough. He lacks crisis experience. He is insufficiently creative. With the leak likely to last into the summer, before long it will be blamed on Obama’s bad penmanship or his skinny legs.
The one question we’ll always be able to ask, fortunately, is whether the president is sufficiently angry. In the daily temperature reading that has become the White House press briefing, spokesman Robert Gibbs once again addressed the president’s temper. “Our point is not to feign, through method acting, anger at what environmental and economic damage has been wrought by this disaster. That wasn’t going to fill a hole. That wasn’t going to put money in the bank account of a shrimper that’s not fishing. That’s not going to help a hotel worker or a hotel owner on a beach in Florida.”
Here’s the thing about presidential anger. It’s never seen in public—not just from our first smooth jazz president, but from any president. If presidents show anger in public, they risk looking out of control, which in moments of crisis is the exact opposite of what people want.
This perspective seems to have eluded ANY of the talking heads that appear on my TV. The idea that he isn’t angry enough about the spill started with one of the pinhead media people, a right-winger no doubt. It was then picked up and ran with by many others, usually couched in “some say the president isn’t angry enough” statements. Who these “some” are never makes an appearance. It soon morphs into “The American people don’t think he’s angry enough” and then that gets repeated ad nauseum, drumming that line into the masses heads. After they’ve done that long enough, they take a poll and ask a question like “Do you think the president is angry enough about the oil spill?” The media then pretends like they weren’t the ones pushing that meme, it’s the America people that believe this.
Now I bet if you did a poll, completely separate from any questions about the oil spill and asked people, “would you rather your president was calm and in control or angry and pounding his fist on the table?” What do you suppose would be the result? Of course it would be calm and in control. But of course if you couch that question between two questions about oil gushing from a pipe in the gulf, you will get vastly different results. I love the fact that my president doesn’t lose control and let his emotions get the better of him, that IS EXACTLY WHAT I DO NOT WANT HIM TO DO! We all know that if President Obama had come out from day one and yelled and screamed, taken control of BP, put all the responsibility on the federal government….well you know what the right-wing noise machine would have done with that. In the political environment we live in, there is no winning, there is no agreed upon reality, there is no truth – only differing points of view and it doesn’t really matter what the president does or doesn’t do, the right-wing and the firebaggers will find fault with it. And if they can’t find anything factual, they’ll just make shit up like he isn’t angry enough. To me that says they can’t find anything else to criticize him about.
Stay cool, President Obama, don’t believe the right-wing, they are trying to trap you into being the “angry black man.”
Go read this most excellent post by Al Giordano over at The Field. It’s great stuff. Here is a snippet…
What I have often smacked down from this corner as “the poutrage of the week” and the panicked Chicken Little behavior of those who follow the commercial media’s constant feedbag of crisis and attention-seeking, is really, all of it, a consequence of the harms that de Botton describes. Like domesticated oxen, the population is yanked from media stoked crisis to crisis, all of which carry a whiff of apocalypse: an oil gusher in the Gulf now comes with underwater 24-hour live stream cameras, all available online and to TV networks, as experts – real and invented – jump onto our screens to tell us their version of what is happening. “We are continuously challenged to discover new works of culture,” says de Botton, “and, in the process, we don’t allow any one of them to assume a weight in our minds.” A few weeks later comes Israel’s raid on an aid flotilla (the Middle East being, for many, a Pavlov signifier for “apocalypse” and thus an easy ruse for the media to get all sides drooling and barking according to an age-old script) and the cycle starts anew. And next week or the following week, when fatigue sets in on those obsessions, it will be something else altogether.
Morning Joe always seems to get my blood pumping in the morning. David Gregory and Savannah Guthrie trotted out the ole “the statue of limitations on blaming the Bush administration is over” talking point. Isn’t that a FOXism? Whenever anyone mentions the source of a problem or what caused a particular problem, the right wing and the media trot out that tired formulaic response. It’s so stupid on it’s face, there is some arbitrary time when a previous administration is no longer responsible for what they did? What is it, one year, 18 months, the first 100 days? Using the statute of limitations analogy is basically admitting that they are responsible, but we just can’t blame them anymore. In a criminal case, even if a person is guilty, if the statute of limitations is up….they go free.
It’s just one more example of how the media likes to simplify things, make it black or white, categorize it, compare it to something else so it’s easier to digest (the whole Katrina example). The media has been taken over by the village idiots, it seems. If you listen carefully to almost any newscaster, reporter or “expert” on the cable shows, you can hear so much opinion, supposition and blatant un-sourced information. Hell, a post on a blog or a tweet from an anonymous person is sometimes used as corroboration. How screwed up is that. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a pundit cherry pick a statement from an emailer or tweeter or whatever and use that as a basis for saying “the American people believe this or that”. It’s the “Foxification of America”.
Oh this is good, Rachel is doing excellent work these days. You HAVE to watch this if you haven’t already. It’s priceless.
The other morning on “Morning Assholes Who Talk Shit”, I heard the spin artist Joe Scarborough get his panties all in a bunch because the head of the EPA, Lisa Jackson cancelled her appearance at a democratic fundraiser just one day before it happened. I’ve also heard the media criticize President Obama for playing golf or going to Chicago for Memorial Day. How can they go on with anything in their lives while the oil is still leaking? I wonder if all these critics are stopping everything in their lives while this is going on. Should the whole world just stop until the oil leak is plugged up? Is this similar to John McCain suspending his campaign during the election?
I can just hear President Obama say…
“I am suspending my administration until the oil leak is stopped. I will give endless speeches trying to console the media who can’t seem to take their eyes off that little video feed at the bottom of their TV. I will pound my fist on the table for James Carville. I will swear at BP for Keith Olbermann and I will not try to figure out how this might have happened, that would be blaming Bush and we can’t have that now, can we? I will make appearances on every morning news show, except Morning Joe, I’m sorry but they are just idiots. I will be available for the local noon news and cry on queue, maybe Glenn Beck can give me some pointers. I will sit down with Oprah and talk about my feelings, maybe I’ll jump up and down on her couch, she seems to like that. I now admit that I don’t like getting calls at 3 am and I’ve asked Hillary to answer them from now on, it’s usually Vladimir Putin after a half gallon of vodka anyway. But most of all, I will not do a damn thing else for this country until that spill is stopped and every last drop of oil is cleaned up from the gulf, you go create some fucking jobs, you deal with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, you go clean up the two fucking messes that Bush/Cheney propagated on me in the middle east but didn’t pay for and then stuck me with the bill. You try to pass a climate change bill or repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (and I’m talking to you Greenwald and Aravosis) and you try to roll back all the Bush/Cheney infringement on our basic human rights. I’m getting in a submarine and going down to fix that motherfucking leak.”
I don’t always agree with Bill Maher, but that’s a good thing in my mind. When people start thinking in “lock-step”, then we are in a dangerous place. I haven’t listened to the entire podcast of Bill’s show, which is how I get it…..no HBO for this poor sucker. Crooks and Liars has a clip of it and below you can find some of the transcript. I’d like to hang with Bill Maher, I like how he calls bullshit what it is. One of his “New Rules” from his last show is priceless.
New Rule: Al Gore Must Call His Sequel An Inconvenient Truth 2: What the Fuck Is Wrong With You People?
Bill has a column over at Huffington Post that you can read here. One of my favorite lines from it is below, he is responding to Global Warming deniers. (emphasis mine)
That’s the problem with our obsession with always seeing two sides of every issue equally — especially when one side has a lot of money. It means we have to pretend there are always two truths, and the side that doesn’t know anything has something to say. On this side of the debate: Every scientist in the world. On the other: Mr. Potato Head.
There is no debate here — just scientists vs. non-scientists, and since the topic is science, the non-scientists don’t get a vote. We shouldn’t decide everything by polling the masses. Just because most people believe something doesn’t make it true. This is the fallacy called argumentum ad numeram: the idea that something is true because great numbers believe it. As in: Eat shit, 20 trillion flies can’t be wrong.
You loyal readers know how I’ve been bitching about polling every damn thing that moves, the lazy journalism method, but it’s more than that. It’s crossing over into the realm of upending long established principles that this country was founded on. See Arizona and the “show us your papers” law if you need an example. The media is pushing the polls that show the “majority” of Americans agree with it, the constitution be damned. The media is trying to exert control over the agenda by commissioning polls with leading questions, poorly ordered questions and nonsense topics like the freakin bad call at the Detroit Tigers game last week.
I watched some of Morning Joke this morning and was treated to a constant drumming of the meme that the president hasn’t showed he cares enough about the oil spill, and Scarborough was trying his hardest to morph it into a leadership issue. Leadership is much different than stagecraft….photo ops….empathy….and fake outrage. I love the fact that my president is a serious, get things done president instead of someone standing in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner. I want him working, not acting. I want him solving problems, not flying around the country to the latest natural or man-made disaster. I know if he were that type of president, the media would be pounding him for being all about symbolism and appearances.
Morning Joke clearly has an agenda to damage the president, why else would they devote their entire show for weeks to beating that drum? It’s not like there were a couple of terrorists captured this weekend or anything else that happened in the world. And Joe and Mika (President of Joe’s fan club and lap dog) keep exaggerating and mischaracterizing what people actually have said. This morning he painted a picture that said that every democrat that’s been on in the last couple of weeks thinks the president is doing a poor job at “managing” this crisis. Which is complete horseshit. I watch almost every morning and it isn’t true. Sure, people have said he should have been “more out front” on the issue or could have tweaked his public performance, but they have all said he is doing everything he can. This morning James Cameron said that exact thing, which Joe glossed over…he hears what he wants and talks over those who he doesn’t want to be heard. Anthony Weiner had that pulled on him this morning too.