Come on, Roger Ailes, hire the man already why dontcha?
I stopped watching Meet the Press on a regular basis shortly after Tim Russert passed away. But I feel obligated to watch when we get near an election, just so I can keep an eye on what is going out to national audiences on the broadcast networks. It became obvious to me a long time ago that David Gregory is on an endless audition for the next Fox News gig.
This past Sunday, September 30, 2012, David Gregory grabbed the Republican torch and ran with that sucker. His interview with David Plouffe was more Fox News than Fox News is and it was noticed by a few people. As I listened to his questions, I was astounded by how loaded with GOP talking points and opinion they were.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that David Gregory was the keynote speaker at the convention of a Republican advocacy group, along with Karl Rove and Speaker John Boehner.
Let’s take a look at some of David Gregory’s questions a little closer, piece by piece. (emphasis is all mine)
Question 1 (to be analyzed)
GREGORY: “I want to talk about some issues including a foreign policy crisis in Libya…”
As you can see, Gregory calls the attack on our embassy a “foreign policy crisis”, which plays right into the Republican party’s attack by pointing at the President, rather than portraying it as a senseless act of violence against America. Gregory goes on…
“…and the fact that this administration has changed its tune when it comes to describing the raid on our compound, on our embassy in Libya that killed our ambassador Chris Stevens and others, of course, on the ground.”
Don’t you just love the phrase “changed its tune”? The implication in that phrase makes it sound like it was a “flip-flop” or worse yet, a lie. The odd thing is that David Gregory then plays a clip of Ambassador Rice from the September 16 episode of Meet the Press where she says this…
“Let me tell you the– the best information we have at present. First of all, there’s an FBI investigation which is ongoing. And we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired. But putting together the best information that we have available to us today, our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what have just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of– of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted of course by the video.”
Now seriously, Ambassador Rice made it very clear that it was “the best information we have at present” and that the FBI was investigating and we look to them for “the definitive word as to what transpired”. She then repeated “the best information we have available, our current assessment…” and went on to say that what happened in Benghazi was (according to best info at present) initially a spontaneous reaction to what happened in Cairo hours earlier. I’m not sure what else David Gregory wanted Ambassador Rice to say before he would believe that the administration was still investigating the incident and wasn’t sure exactly what happened. Maybe if it had been printed on a giant Nerf baseball bat and smacked against his head a few times, he might have heard it…or believed it.
“There was a caveat there. She said the FBI was still investigating. But the thought was it was a spontaneous reaction. A couple of days before that, the Libyan president said, no, in fact, al Qaeda was behind this attack.”
Notice how Gregory dismisses the multiple caveats Ambassador Rice gave with a quick “There was a caveat.” He then oversimplifies her statement by saying “[B]ut the thought was it was a spontaneous reaction” and then makes a lame attempt at a “gotcha” moment by pulling a but, but, but…the Libyan president said a couple days before that al Qaeda was behind the attack. And exactly where is the problem, David? Is David Gregory implying that the FBI wasn’t needed in Libya to investigate the deaths of 4 American diplomats? Does David Gregory think we should just accept the word of the new President of Libya, it’s not like the guy was under any pressure…having just failed at protecting our embassy, something that the host country is obligated to do. Or is David Gregory’s problem just that there was a contradiction, even after the many caveats preempting Amb. Rice’s answer. That’s some hard hitting journalism, David. Nice one! LOL!
There was more to the question and more Fox News-style bias…
GREGORY: (cont.) “And then days later, after Ambassador Rice is on this program and other programs, the president’s spokesman Jay Carney says this. “It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.” Well, if it was self-evident, then why didn’t the president come out and called this exactly what it was, an act of terror on the anniversary of 9/11?”
Well, Mr. Gregory, President Obama had this to say on September 12, 2012…
“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”
Maybe David Gregory was too busy sipping tea with the Romney crowd to pay attention to what our President actually said the day after America was attacked. I know the people at Fox News have selective hearing and miss things that don’t fit with their narrative, but the once great Meet the Press used to pride itself on getting things right. I guess it is just a different kind of “right” these days.
David Plouffe responded to the loaded question and touched on some of the points embedded in it. I’m sure that he wanted to hit them all, but David Gregory had to interrupt Mr. Plouffe in his confrontational style.
Question 2 (more of a follow up)
As David Plouffe is explaining to the rabid host how forthcoming the Obama administration was as new information came to light, Gregory interrupts with this…
GREGORY: No, but there’s also the question about whether you call this what it is on the day that it happens. Jay Carney said it was self-evident that this was a terrorist attack. These are people who came to a demonstration with weapons and security was an issue at the compound. Why not call it what it was?
I sensed that David Gregory wasn’t liking the fact that Plouffe was spelling out the reality of how these things work because like a petulant little child he responded, “No, but there’s also….” in a combative way, once again showing his bias and agenda with his line of questioning.
As you read above, President Obama referred to the tragedy as an “act of terror” the day after it happened. So the entire basis of Gregory’s question is bogus. Once again, I wonder if he actually saw the President’s words about the tragedy or if he is just reading from Republican talking points. I expect that sort of thing from Fox News anchors, but generally not from network anchors.
If you look at what Gregory says, “there’s also the question about whether you call this what it is on the day that it happens”, you have to ask yourself if “knee-jerk” is the new intelligence for Mr. Gregory and Republicans. Is this a new standard for all presidents or just this one? Throughout the whole process, the Obama administration has been deliberate, honest, and open about what they know as they find it out. I shouldn’t be surprised that Gregory and the GOP don’t know how to act when an administration is forthright with the American people. If you look back at the last Republican administration, they clearly decided first and then bent the facts to justify it. Do WMD’s ring a bell?
This next question was caught and tore apart by several people in the media and it was one of the more blatant falsehoods that David Gregory injected into his questions this past Sunday.
“GREGORY: The president has said as recently as May of this year that al Qaeda has not had a chance to rebuild, that al Qaeda has been defeated…”
Here’s what President Obama actually said:
And one year ago, from a base here in Afghanistan, our troops launched the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. The goal that I set — to defeat al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild — is now within our reach.
Still, there will be difficult days ahead. The enormous sacrifices of our men and women are not over.
So David Gregory claims Obama did an al Qaeda victory dance, when Obama totally didn’t.
President Obama clearly said that al Qaeda’s defeat is “within our reach” and “[T]here are difficult days ahead.” So yeah, like the opposite of saying al Qaeda is defeated.
The rest of David Gregory’s question…
“…There is an election on, as we’ve been talking about, and the president’s challenger said plain and simple, the president failed to level with the American people and call this a terrorist attack, because you had to be concerned about another terrorist attack from al Qaeda in the Middle East after the president said that al Qaeda had been defeated.”
David Gregory repeats the lie about the President saying that al Qaeda was defeated and then takes up the twisted reasoning of the Romney boneheads that the President didn’t call it a terrorist attack because then he would be contradicting himself with something he never said. It all gets so stupid when trying to follow wingnut logic, but sometimes you just have to get down in the trench of stupidity and sort it out for them.
David Plouffe’s response was spot on…
MR. PLOUFFE: That is preposterous and really offensive to suggest that. As information was received from the intelligence community, it was distributed. This president’s record on terrorism takes a backseat to no one. We obviously took out their number one leader in Osama bin Laden, the leadership of al Qaeda has been decimated just as the president promised in 2008. And by the way, in 2008, the president said he would go into Pakistan to go after Osama bin Laden. Governor Romney said he wouldn’t. Governor Romney said it was tragic that we entered the Iraq war. One of the reasons that al Qaeda strengthened during the last decade is our focus was too much on Iraq. So we are happy to have this debate and we’ll have it obviously for the duration of this campaign…
You can see from the ellipsis that Gregory interrupted Mr. Plouffe with this injection of yet another Republican talking point…
GREGORY: Was this an intelligent– intelligence failure?
Now you can’t tell from the abrupt question what exactly “this” is to David Gregory. You would assume that he was talking about the “contradictions” that he had just spent many minutes belaboring, but it may have been in reference to the intelligence leading up to the attack, which is yet another “blame the President” meme that the right has been trotting out. Once again, is there a new standard where it’s alright to blame our country, our leader, when America is attacked. Can you imagine David Gregory asking these sorts of questions of say, Karl Rove, immediately after 9/11? The fainting couches would have crumbled from the weight of all the faux right-wing patriots falling on them.
GREGORY: As you know, the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee has called for Susan Rice to resign. Does the president have a hundred percent confidence in Susan Rice?
The Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee is, of course, Rep. Peter King of New York. He’s a freakin nut, do I need to say more?
GREGORY: What about the broader point here? Security is so bad in Benghazi that the FBI can’t even go in and investigate. What about the fact that there are talk of military options to find Ambassador Stevens’ killers? What is America doing to work its will to change the trajectory in Libya?
The assumptions behind these odd questions are open to interpretation. Yes, security is bad in Libya, tell us something we don’t know. And yes, there is talk of everything being on the table in response to the attack on our embassy. But what the hell is Gregory implying with “[W]hat is America doing to ‘work its will’ to change the trajectory in Libya?” That to me is just a Palinesque word salad question. Is America really trying to “work its will” in Libya or doing what our diplomats have been saying, supporting fledgling democracies as they fight for self governance. Working our “will” on other countries is a Bush/Cheney era thing which obviously informs David Gregory’s questioning.
GREGORY: Was it inappropriate for him to go to a fund-raiser the day after this attack now in retrospect knowing that it was a– a terrorist attack, the– inappropriate for him to engage in politics as usual?
There was no fundraiser in Las Vegas the day after the Libyan attacks. You wouldn’t know that if you relied on Republicans like David Gregory and the Breitbart people, who have been pushing that lie. I looked into the President’s published schedule and many reports about his trip and there was no fundraiser.
I remembered seeing Jon Ralston, the host of Ralston Reports, a statewide television show in Nevada, say as much on my television. I was having trouble tracking that clip down, so I emailed Jon and this was his response.
There was no fundraiser. He spoke briefly to a rally and then left.
But David Gregory decided to parrot the right-wing nuts who have been pushing that lie to the world. I’m a little disappointed that David Plouffe let that one slide by, but I can imagine when so much shit is being hurled at you, you have to pick your battles and respond in a way that gets the message out.
This next one is another of the Romney campaign’s lame-ass attempts to try to undercut President Obama’s huge successes in foreign policy. David Gregory does a great job of getting in all the faux facts of this Republican attack….isn’t it hard to view David Gregory as anything other than a paid shill for the Republicans? Gregory is responding to David Plouffe’s answer that said the President is on the job 24/7.
GREGORY: 24/7, but apparently not during U.N. meetings as The New York Post highlighted here, the question about whether there was a snub not meeting with the Israeli leader, the president is on The View, this is U.N. world leaders to gab with the gals of The View that was the headline in The New York Post with their own point of view there. But is this– is he– is he not performing all the critical role of– of the presidency, particularly with the foreign policy crisis? With so many questions about management of the Middle East, when you have a key United Nations gathering, not to meet with world leaders, including Netanyahu at a time of so much concern over Iran?
Gregory’s first sentence, “24/7, but apparently not during U.N. meetings as The New York Post highlighted here…”, once again shows his right-wing perspective. He was argumentative towards Plouffe and then goes on to sprinkle in the buzz words Republicans love so much, including “snub..Israeli leader”, “on the View”, “foreign policy crisis” and he ends it with the right-wing’s next war of profit, Iran.
I think the Republicans were really pissed that President Obama didn’t meet with several leaders at the U.N. because they probably had a whole batch of lies at the ready to throw out to the gullible, lemming media. Personally, I don’t care what reasons the President had for not doing a bunch of meetings around that time, that’s his decision. When David Gregory is president, then he can decide who he meets with and when. Until then, the guy who actually got 65 million American votes will make that call.
This next question reveals that David Gregory is either stupid, a right-wing hack or what I’d put my money on, BOTH! David Plouffe responded to the previous question and at the end of his response, David Gregory’s next question followed…
…By the way, look at– let’s talk about Governor Romney’s response during this. You know, in the– in the hours as these attacks became known in Libya and the assaults on our embassy in Egypt, Mitt Romney throws out some half-baked statement. And I think that’s one of the reasons…
GREGORY: But the government– wait, but the United States government had to also disavow its own statement that came out of the embassy in Cairo that some might also call half-baked and had to be revised, did it not?
So once again, David Gregory interrupted his guest so he wouldn’t miss an opportunity to represent his Republican masters. He compares the embassy statement, which was sent out BEFORE there was any violence (in an attempt to prevent violence), with Romney’s knee-jerk statement that showed he didn’t understand the sequence of events. The two statements have no similarity, but it gave Gregory the opportunity to inject just one more Republican falsehood into the conversation. And it had that petulant child ring to it, “yeah, but they did it too, so nah!”
The final question I will examine from this “train wreck called journalism” that NBC broadcast for the world to see, brings out the class warrior in David Gregory. After playing a clip of President Obama, Gregory tees up a doozy of a question, proving yet again that he pays attention to his GOP handlers quite well. Try this one on for size.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: During campaign season, you always hear a lot about patriotism. Well, you know what, it’s time for a new economic patriotism–an economic patriotism rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong and thriving middle-class.
GREGORY: Invoking patriotism there, just trying to be clear, so raising taxes on wealthier Americans is the president considers that patriotic? I assume he also thinks sacrifice is patriotic. And yet he is not spending much time talking specifically about what he’d do, like how he would cut the Medicare program to make it solvent. Beyond the cuts that he’s talked about, and when Simpson-Bowles says he needs much more dramatic cuts. So framing this as patriotism, it’s about taxing the wealthy but not talking about where the American people should sacrifice?
Gregory bypasses the idea of a strong middle class and growing jobs at home and instead, goes right for the “taxing wealthier Americans” and then pivots quickly to sacrifices from people on Medicare. But he goes even further and pulls out the Simpson-Bowles line, but only focuses on the spending cut side of that Simpson-Bowles exercise in futility and ignores that the commission also called for increasing taxes on “wealthier Americans.” It is very similar to how the rest of the Republican party uses the Simpson-Bowles commission, plucking out what suits them and ignoring the rest.
David Gregory has been playing the role of conservative hack for quite a while by both representing the Republican agenda in his questioning, but also in his selection of guests and the panel of talking heads.
What makes David Gregory’s tactics so insidious is that he embeds so many falsehoods within his questions, that it’s impossible for his guests to respond to all of them. And when they do respond, he interrupts them if they begin to get a valid point across. With each new question, the process continues on, leaving a wasteland of bad information in its wake.
I’m thankful there are only a few more weeks left in the election so I can quit watching Meet the Press and spare myself the frustration of watching a once great show, a standard bearer for network news shows, slip down the drain.
Cross posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
UPDATE: Check out Charlie Pierce’s post on the “Dancin Master” (David Gregory)
I’m sure you’ve all had this experience before. You are conversing or tweeting or facebooking with someone and they characterize President Obama in a way that is so far from the truth that you wonder if the person is living in an alternate reality.
The prime purveyors of this alternate reality are Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. Both of those entities reach many millions of people on a daily basis and spread so much misinformation that the fact checkers and honest journalists are overwhelmed – they can’t keep up with it. If you need examples, go spend a few minutes at Media Matters for America, which does an excellent job of keeping an eye on those two propaganda machines.
I read an interesting book review in the New York Times yesterday that alluded to that alternate reality. I don’t agree with the reviewers full characterization of Obama’s first term, but he points to the above idea in a concise way in his review of Charles R. Kesler’s book I Am the Change. (emphasis is mine)
Whenever conservatives talk to me about Barack Obama, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else. But what exactly? The anger, the suspicion, the freestyle fantasizing have no perceptible object in the space-time continuum that centrist Democrats like me inhabit. What are we missing? Seen from our perspective, the country elected a moderate and cautious straight shooter committed to getting things right and giving the United States its self-respect back after the Bush-Cheney years. Unlike the crybabies at MSNBC and Harper’s Magazine, we never bought into the campaign’s hollow “hope and change” rhetoric, so aren’t crushed that, well, life got in the way. At most we hoped for a sensible health care program to end the scandal of America’s uninsured, and were relieved that Obama proposed no other grand schemes of Nixonian scale. We liked him for his political liberalism and instinctual conservatism. And we still like him. [...]
The Claremont Review doesn’t like Obama one bit. But it has usually taken the slightly higher road in criticizing him, and when Kesler begins his book by dismissing those who portray the president as “a third-world daddy’s boy, Alinskyist agitator, deep-cover Muslim or undocumented alien” the reader is relieved to know that “I Am the Change” won’t be another cheap, deflationary takedown. Instead, it is that rarest of things, a cheap inflationary takedown — a book that so exaggerates the historical significance of this four-year senator from Illinois, who’s been at his new job even less time, that he becomes both Alien and Predator.
It isn’t just Republicans who have this mindset, I hear very similar “inflations” from the libertarian trolls on Twitter and in the blogosphere. They seem to have molded their reality to fit their perceptions and of course take in any information that agrees with it and reject any that runs counter to it. This next passage is particularly good.
But his systematic exaggerations demonstrate that the right’s rage against Obama, which has seeped out into the general public, has very little to do with anything the president has or hasn’t done. It’s really directed against the historical process they believe has made America what it is today. The conservative mind, a repository of fresh ideas just two decades ago, is now little more than a click-click slide projector holding a tray of apocalyptic images of modern life that keeps spinning around, raising the viewer’s fever with every rotation. If you want to experience what it’s like to be within that mind on a better day, then you need to visit “I Am the Change.”
The reviewer doesn’t mention what I think has a lot to do with that rage, RACISM! I don’t, however, attribute all of it to racism. Having been an observer of politics for many decades, I know that at least some of it is rage against “liberals” in general. President Clinton had people accusing him of murder and all sorts of other batshit crazy stuff and of course you don’t get any whiter than Bill, at least on the surface.
So to me, it’s a combination of deep seated racism bubbling to the surface, the vilification of all “liberals” in the style of Frank Luntz and the effect of the Fox News/Limbaugh projects that have misinformed millions of Americans for right-wing political gain.
I miss the Republican party that used to be based on real ideas, as stupid and misguided as they were. It’s nearly impossible to debate a right-winger these days, because you can’t even get them to agree to objective facts and instead have to spend your time trying to educate them about reality.
On November 6, 2012, we can all do the country and our discourse a favor by sending every Republican packing.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog sums up just some of the things that Republicans have done or attempted to do to women in recent years. It was in response to Liz (chip off the ole blockhead) Cheney and a crazy rant of hers.
Consider the proposals we’ve seen from Republican officials this year: restricting contraception; cutting off Planned Parenthood; requiring state-mandated, medically-unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds; forcing physicians to lie to patients about abortion and breast cancer; fighting equal-pay laws; and delaying the Violence Against Women Act. When it came time for House Republicans to pay for lower student loan interest rates, GOP officials decided to get the funding by cutting access to breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings.
The Republican Party’s 2012 platform calls for a constitution amendment that would ban all abortions. A Republican congressman recently compared access to birth control to 9/11 and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee co-sponsored a bill to redefine “rape.”
The Republican Party’s U.S. Senate nominee in Missouri believes a woman cut “shut that whole thing down” if impregnated through a “legitimate rape,” while Republican Party’s U.S. Senate nominee in Pennsylvania believes a rape pregnancy and out-of-wedlock pregnancy are “similar.”
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
Jay Smooth on Up With Chris in response to Romney’s birther moment:
“He was cleaning his dog whistle and it just went off!”
Sums up the Romney line very concisely.
David Maraniss wrote a book about President Obama called Barack Obama: The Story. I haven’t read it yet, but I did see Maraniss on several shows discussing the book and it has caused a stir on both the left and the right. I’ve always thought he was a straight shooter and about as objective as any writer of politics can be.
I think a lot of the negative reaction from the left towards his book was because of the way the crazy right was spinning it, which has become the norm for the right these days. They take one little kernel of information (or plucked sentence) and manufacture a massive lie, complete with conspiracies and dire implications and then push it out into the public sphere through surrogates, including “respected” Senators, Representatives, Governors, pundits, bloggers and radio blowhards. And of course, network and cable talking heads then dutifully pick it up and further pound it into the public consciousness. A perfect example of this was seen when Donald Trump, or as I called him at the time, “Balloon Boy”, was appearing on the half hour at MSNBC to blow his birth certificate dog whistle.
David Maraniss wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post that is worth a read. It disproves some of the craziness floating around in right wing circles with actual facts, history and truth…what a concept. Here is a snippet…
Not all of them are “birthers,” but the notion that the president was not born in the United States remains at the epicenter of the anti-Obama mythology. Here is the conspiracy that would have had to exist if Barack Hussein Obama II were not born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Aug. 4, 1961:
First, the local newspapers would have had to have been in on the scheme, because they ran notices of his birth among all the other local births that week. Second, the Immigration and Naturalization Service would have had to have been covering something up, because INS officials were closely tracking Barack Obama Sr. when he was at the University of Hawaii on a student visa from Kenya. They thought that he was a bigamist — which he was, having married a woman in Kenya before coming to the States — and a womanizer, which he also was. INS documents in the weeks and months before and after the son’s birth clearly establish the father’s whereabouts and the birth of his son. Finally, the name of Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann, was unusual enough that doctors and nurses in Honolulu remembered it and her giving birth. One prominent doctor was asked by a young journalist if anything interesting had happened in the medical world that week, and he responded, “Well, Stanley had a baby!”
What concerns me is that many people – way too many people – when presented with these facts, still refuse to believe that he was born in Hawaii. Whether it’s because of racism, partisanship, stupidity, paranoid schizophrenia or the constant brainwashing by the above mentioned surrogates, it has gotten out of control. When the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is a couple of heartbeats away from the presidency, panders to those who believe them, it proves that the the Grand Old Party ain’t so grand anymore.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
You may have heard that Glenn Greenwald, the Rio Pundit, is leaving Salon.com and bringing his brand of hyperbole to The Guardian.
As someone who used to be a loyal reader of Salon, I hope that it signals a turn back to the days of old. I’m not exactly confident that it will, they did recently hire David Sirota – who was rightfully pegged by Oliver Willis as “serially stupid”, as pointed out by Chez Pazienza.
Yesterday, I clicked over to Salon by way of a link in one of Glenn Greenwald’s tweets. He was attacking a Democrat, of course, that’s what he does these days. The title of the post was “Dianne Feinstein’s “espionage” and the tweet that linked to the article is below. By the way, I don’t link to his crap…Google it if you want to read it.
I started reading and clicking through his links and found that the source of the statement “one of the biggest leakers in Congress” was a Tweet. No shit, a Tweet. Here is the relevant section of the post, complete with Glenn’s yellow highlights.
But what makes the case of Dianne Feinstein extra egregious is that, as is well-known in Washington, the California Senator is one of the most prolific leakers in town. Here’s what Blake Hounshell, the Managing Editor of Foreign Policy Magazine, wrote yesterday in response to Feinstein’s latest condemnation of leaks:
One hears this frequently from people like Hounshell who report on national security and intelligence matters in Washington. That the powerful Senator who has devoted herself to criminally punishing low-level leakers and increasing the wall of secrecy is herself “one of the biggest leakers in Congress” is about as perfect an expression as it gets of how the rule of law and secrecy powers are sleazily exploited in Washington (moreover, as EFF’s Trevor Timm observed yesterday: “Strange, I don’t remember Sen. Feinstein decrying leaks coming from the White House when they led to the Iraq War“).
From the looks of it, Glenn Greenwald wrote an entire post around a tweet from Blake Hounshell, the managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine. I clicked on every other link, looking for more proof that Dianne Feinstein is “one of the biggest leakers in Congress”, but mostly found Glenn linking to other hyperbolic rants by himself. I guess Glenn was fine with that one source and his statement that “[O]ne hears this frequently from people like Hounshell who report on national security…”. Glenn’s lack of sources doesn’t affect his penchant for hyperbole in the least.
Sen. Feinstein may very well be a leaker, but if you were to read Glenn Greenwald’s post, you would be hard pressed to find any real evidence of it besides the tweet from Blake Hounshell, who from what I can tell is a decent journalist. It’s kind of funny, but in researching this article, I came across a piece by Hounshell where he questions Greenwald over his attack on Wired magazine.
The second snarky tweet that Greenwald referenced from Trevor Timm said “Strange, I don’t remember Sen Feinstein decrying leaks coming from the White House when they led to the Iraq War”. There is some good evidence for you – Trevor Timm doesn’t remember Sen. Feinstein decrying leaks that led to the Iraq War. I took to Google for a minute and found this one, I know there are many more because I DO remember the Senator decrying White House leaks during the Bush years. This is from 2006, when the information came to light…
“It is deeply disturbing to learn that President Bush may have authorized the selective disclosure of our most sensitive intelligence information to the media to help justify a war and discredit critics,” Feinstein said in a statement.
One of the links in Mr. Greenwald’s post brought me to this little gem from a previous attack Glenn made on Senator Feinstein. It made me shoot Diet Lipton Green Tea out my nose.
In October of 2002, she (naturally) voted to authorize President Bush to use military force to invade Iraq. She now self-servingly claims that she “regrets” the vote and was tricked by the Bush administration into believing Saddam had WMDs…(emphasis mine)
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold up Glenny. You supported the Iraq War invasion, you have no right to type “naturally” or “self-serving”. From the intro to one of your books…
Despite these doubts, concerns, and grounds for ambivalence, I had not abandoned my trust in the Bush administration. Between the president’s performance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the swift removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the fact that I wanted the president to succeed, because my loyalty is to my country and he was the leader of my country, I still gave the administration the benefit of the doubt. I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country. (emphasis mine)
I wonder how many times he has linked to that book introduction?
Why would Glenn Greenwald give President Bush the benefit of the doubt, trust, deference and blind loyalty – even after admitting that he had doubts and concerns? Yet, he hasn’t given one bit of respect or deference to President Obama and in fact has done the exact opposite by relentlessly finding every little nuance to exaggerate, as only Glenn can do. He was clearly capable of respect and deference with his beloved W. and accepted “his judgement that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.”
All you Glenn fanboys, you got that? Glenn was just fine with President Bush invading the sovereign country of Iraq where over a hundred thousand innocent men, women and children were killed by big motherfucking bunker-buster bombs. The blood of those Iraqi civilians is on Glenn’s hands.
I’ve also noticed that Greenwald likes to conflate “whistleblowing” and “leaking”. He seems to think they are one in the same. The term “whistleblowing” as it relates to the law, has a clear definition and it is much different than the practice of “leaking”, but I guess I shouldn’t expect Greenwald to know the difference or at least be honest about it.
Once Greenwald leaves Salon.com, I’ll probably stop back over there to see what’s shaking. They have a couple of good writers and you never know, maybe they will refrain from smearing people now that Glenn Greenwald is leaving.
Hey Glenn, I hope the door hits you square in the ass on your way out.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
Below is one of the latest ads from the Obama campaign. It pushes back against the very deceptive ad from Romney that takes a couple of sentences from a speech by the President and shuffles them around to create a nice, new lie.
I picture the Romney hacks sitting around watching every word the President says, just waiting for him to utter something they can selectively edit, distort and otherwise use to mislead the American people. It really has to suck working for Romney, they have nothing but lies.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
I have to imagine that a whole lot of Republican primary voters are going to have buyers remorse once they start digesting some of the great ads that Democrats are producing. There is so much content to work this election, it’s exciting. This type of ad, real people talking about the impact of Romney’s business model on their lives, will resonate with a lot of people.
The leader of the Republican party, Rush Limbaugh, has given his blessing to Mitt Romney for his recent comments reaffirming his disdain for public workers — the great people who protect us and educate our children. Here is a reminder of exactly what Romney said.
“[Obama] wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
Rush Limbaugh, in his infinite wisdom, helps to explain the Republican position for us all. This is the Republican party in 2012.
“Nobody’s opposed to cops or firefighters or teachers — but they aren’t private sector jobs,” Limbaugh said. “They do not contribute to economic growth. Their purpose is otherwise. They have an entirely different purpose: public safety, public education, this kind of thing. But there’s no growth in the economy. “If you add those jobs — and if there aren’t other types of private sector jobs added while at the same time we’re adding to the fire rolls and the cop rolls and teachers — we are reducing the size of the private sector. This is Marxism 101. It’s also Ignorance and Sophistry 101.”
In Rush’s warped mind, I’m sure it makes perfect sense and it’s an easy sell to his mindless listeners. This zero sum argument plays well with people who lack critical thinking skills because it reduces it to a concept they’ve already accepted, the idea that if some benefit, others suffer. The problem is, it makes no sense at all. If the public sector creates more police, firefighter and teacher jobs, it has no effect on whether private sector jobs are created. Why would it? The private sector creates jobs when there is a demand for their products, as Nick Hanauer’s Ted Talk so eloquently lays out.
Limbaugh also injects another often unsaid conservative concept, that public employees don’t contribute to the economy at all. Steve Benen addresses this issue with his usual style.
But if Romney and Limbaugh actually, sincerely believe what they’re saying, I’d just ask them to consider one question: do they believe teachers, police officers, and firefighters spend money?
I mean, really. Limbaugh argued with a straight face today that cops, firefighters, and teachers may work and contribute to society, “but there’s no growth in the economy” as a result of their jobs. In other words, there are hundreds of thousands of teachers and first responders, but they never buy things and they never invest, so when they get laid off en masse, there are no economic consequences whatsoever.
I’m glad that Mitt Romney and Rush Limbaugh have taken this tact, because the vast majority of the American people disagree with them on the importance of police, firefighters and teachers.
Personally, I make a point to thank police, firefighters and teachers for the tough jobs they do. I also think they are vastly underpaid.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
Business has created over 4.2 million private sector jobs since President Obama took office and we’ve seen 27 straight months of job growth. As a comparison, in 2008, the last year of President Bush’s second term, we LOST 2.6 million jobs. In December 2008 alone, 632,000 jobs were lost. So yes, it sucks that the May 2012 jobs report only showed an INCREASE of 69,000 jobs, but if you are watching any cable TV today, you would think it was December of 2008 again.
One of the first things that came to my mind when I heard the jobs report was — I wonder how many jobs would have been created had the Republicans worked with President Obama to pass the jobs bill that he proposed back in the fall of 2011. I decided to pull out a speech he gave when he was traveling around the country selling his jobs package as a reminder of what may have been if the Republicans hadn’t blocked yet another attempt by President Obama to help American workers.
Any good American should be appalled at the recent news that Republicans conspired ON INAUGURATION DAY of 2009 to block every thing President Obama attempts to do. The blatant disregard for the American people for political reasons should send everyone to the polls on November 6, 2012 to send a message to Republicans that we are the United States of America and that politics shouldn’t take precedent over the overall good of the nation.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles (at The Raw Story)
RNC National Hispanic Outreach Director on Romney just now: “He’s still deciding what his position on immigration is.”
— Chris Moody (@Chris_Moody) May 8, 2012
It’s going to be a long, meandering campaign from the looks of it. Mitt Romney is going back to the drawing board and retooling his rhetoric for the general election.
Besides the problem of adding to his horrendous image as a serial flip-flopper, I think he will also suffer backlash from the right-wing of his own party. The primaries have shown that his support is tenuous at best as his competitors each took a turn as the “not Romney” candidate. He will have to walk a fine line to keep his support from anyone short of his immediate family.
It’s also worth appreciating the fact that it’s far too late for the presumptive Republican nominee to “decide his position on immigration” — that decision was already made quite a while ago. Romney has already said he’s an opponent of the DREAM Act; he’s palling around with Pete Wilson and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach; he endorses a “self-deportation” agenda; he’s critical of bilingualism; and his casual dismissals of “amnesty” and “illegals” are a staple of his campaign rhetoric.
He’s not “still deciding”; he’s already decided to be the most anti-immigrant major-party nominee in at least a generation.
I’m wondering when Willard will pull out the “that was my evil twin” line to explain his previous actions.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles (a part of The Raw Story)
OK, here’s the deal. There are a whole lot of us liberals/progressives/Democrats who support President Obama and NO, it isn’t some hero-worship or cult-like bullshit that frequently gets thrown in our face. We are supporting a President that is working his ass off to try to repair the damage left behind by the previous 4 presidents.
We support a president that is interested in making progress and moving the ball down the field, whether it’s huge gains like reforming health care or small gains like signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
And we don’t think President Obama can do no wrong, that is something that gets projected upon us constantly. It is the knee-jerk reaction of many of the “pundits of perpetual disappointment” who spend all their time splitting hairs and searching for something to whine about. And of course, they never give credit for any advancements, nothing is ever good enough for them.
So you folks on the left who continue to snipe, attack, antagonize and otherwise act like petulant, whiny little children…..GIVE IT UP! You aren’t going to convince us that it’s in our own best interests to help the Republicans take EVEN MORE control over our country. It ain’t going to fucking happen, sorry. No matter what President Obama might do that I disagree with, I’m not so naive to think that ANY Republican would even come close to representing me better than President Obama does.
If you are one of those people who thinks “both parties are the same”, I’m sorry, you are suffering from delusions. To me, that is one of the stupidest fucking things you can say in politics. What comes to my mind when I hear people trot out the “both sides” meme is that the person saying it has some other motivation. If they are willing to ignore things such as who gets to pick Supreme Court nominees, an impact that will be felt for decades to come, then they are clearly motivated by something other than principles. Or, how can someone who passionately supports people less fortunate than themselves ignore the Paul Ryan/Republican budget plan, which in effect says “you’re on your own buddy, but here’s a lovely parting gift…your voucher.”
To my fellow pragmatic liberals and progressives, we need to focus on fighting back against the powerful, well-funded right that is determined to completely turn our country over to big money interests. Too much of our time is wasted fighting the malcontents on the left.
Don’t let the hate driven left set the agenda, learn to ignore them. When you engage them, you are only encouraging them. Their goals aren’t to win elections or change things, because as I’ve said, if they are willing to ignore so many important differences between Democrats and Republicans and choose to spend their time blogging, tweeting, Facebooking and talking about what isn’t good about Democrats, then clearly they have different goals and the greater good of their fellow women and men isn’t one of them.
Those who claim to simply be holding politicians feet to the fire with their criticism, need to step back and see exactly which politicians are most deserving of burnt feet. By only criticizing President Obama, while letting Republicans get away with the most extreme agenda in our history, I have to question the sincerity of the principles they wrap themselves in like a Snuggie. By ignoring the much more egregious actions of Republicans, they are clearly making a choice.
Guest Blogger: RLGardner
Republicans are currently slamming Obama for mentioning Osama bin Laden and how he is dead, OMG!
How dare he!…whine the Republicans.
However, I didn’t hear any of them whining when Dubya landed on the aircraft carrier, watermelon stuffed into his flight suit, and declaring (with a big banner and everything), “Mission Accomplished.”
So I’m wondering: who was really “spiking the football” here? President Obama, who actually truly madly deeply DID give the order to take out bin Laden or Dubya with his watermelon, flight suit, and pack full o’ lies? Another question: Do you think Willard could have done the same thing?
Right. That’s what I thought.
And then there’s the “War on Women.” According to John Boehner, aka St. Orange of Julius, in his latest pearl-clutching episode on the House floor, it is the Democrats who started and are perpetuating, said war.
Which party, both on the federal level and the state level, has introduced eleventy-billion bills designed to quash the rights of women, particularly when it comes to reproductive and other health issues?
Which party, and their minions (Rush, I’m talking to you!) has engaged in slut-shaming?
Which party does the Governor who suggested that women just “close their eyes” if they didn’t want to see the on-screen results of their medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds belong to? The Democratic party?
BZZZZZ!!! I’m sorry, pasty white “R” man- it was your party, not the Democratic party that did that.
Wanna keep going? Okay. Here we go:
Here’s another one for you: Republican men (and their Stepford Wife surrogates) are going around saying that there is no wage disparity, but hey, if there really IS wage disparity between men and women, well, there is a perfectly logical reason for that. A couple of perfectly logical reasons actually:
Perfectly Logical Reason Number One: Men work more hours per week than women do on average. Okay, let’s say that’s true. However, where reason number one falls apart is that the true argument is not that men make more than women because some men work more hours than women, it’s the fact that when you look at per-hour wages, men make more per hour than women do for doing the same damned job! Got that, Republicans? Do you need me to go over that for you again?
Perfectly Logical Reason Number Two is: Well, women often take time off when they have children.
Now, I will grant you that that is indeed a truism. However, I am quite puzzled as to why you think it’s okay that women make less than men for the simple fact that we can bear children, and thus we deserve to get paid less for doing the same damned job that men do, yet when Hilary Rosen said that Ann Romney has never held a job, you once again get your tighty whities twisted into a knot and scream out, “How DARE you Democrats slam the mothers of this country?!!??! ELEVENS!!!
You say that mothers are valuable, and guess what, I agree with you. I really do. Where we part ways, however, is that mothers (and women in general) are only valuable to you when they serve your purposes, not because they are in and of themselves actually valuable.
If a woman is white, and married to a rich white man, and she stays home to raise her kids (accompanied with a cadre of housekeepers, nannies, yard workers, cooks, etc.), that’s all cool beans.
BUT, if a woman is not rich, and worse, if she is a minority woman, well then according to you, she’d best get off her lazy Welfare Queen backside and get out there, get a job (or 3 or 4) and pull herself up by her bootstraps. She’d better not DARE ask for any public assistance, because if she does, well it just confirms to the Republicans that she is, in fact, a Welfare Queen and she is having babies on purpose for the sole reason that she wants to dip into the pockets of people like the Romney’s, those poor rich souls.
And the biggest insult is that you sit on your velvet thrones, and you expect us to just bow at your feet and accept what you say as the gospel truth.
So I say again, REALLY?
We are not as dumb as you wish we were.
Just wait until November.
This made me laugh, until it made me cry. CabinGirl from Booman’s Tribune had an interesting exchange while voting in Pennsylvania on Tuesday…
So, I just voted in the PA primary today…
For the first time ever, I was asked for a photo ID to vote. When I responded that asking for that was just wrong, the suburban white lady looking up my name in the voter rolls actually defended it: “It will keep the terrorists from voting, and we’ll give you a free one.”
Oh my god, run for the hills…the terrorists are going to vote us into submission.
I don’t have to think very hard to figure out where that poll worker might have gotten that idea. I can just picture Gretchen Carlson saying it on Fox and Fiends (not a typo).
What isn’t funny about that incident is that the right has succeeded in brainwashing way too many people into believing such nonsense.
Think about how many people don’t bother to vote because its an inconvenience or they might actually have to think about things other than the Kardashians for two minutes. I’m having a hard time understanding exactly what these “terrorist voters” are going to achieve with all this voting. Democracy?
Some of the rhetoric coming from the Republican candidates for president makes me wonder if a group of paranoid schizophrenics weren’t prematurely released from a mental institution…without their meds.
I’ve pasted one example from each candidate of that paranoia. Search in Google to find many more or just watch a cable news network for a half hour.
Newt Gingrich: “All of you should be very deeply concerned about national security. Barack Obama is the most dangerous president in modern American history,” Gingrich said.
Rick Santorum: “President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob,” said the former senator from Pennsylvania. “There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor to try to indoctrinate them. Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image.”
Mitt Romney: “We stand near the threshold of profound economic misery. Four more years of the same political path would be disastrous,” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars today.
Ron Paul: “illegal immigrants enter the country for the express purpose of giving birth. But illegal immigrants also use emergency rooms, public roads, and public schools. In many cases they are able to obtain Medicaid, food stamps, public housing, and even unemployment benefits. … We must end the perverse incentives that encourage immigrants to come here illegally, including the anchor baby incentive.” – Ron Paul, (on his congressional website, not the infamous newsletters)
I can’t imagine that rhetoric appeals to more than just the “phobic” crowd. If I were a Republican, I’d be a little paranoid about my party going over the cliff while following those nutballs. Sometimes it takes a journalist from outside of America to see the big picture, from The Globe and Mail…
Those who remain in the race for the Republican nomination, and those who have departed it, made up a group characterized by insularity, intellectual shallowness and meanness of spirit, coupled with an unshakable eagerness to pander to every holy roller, Tea Partier, gun worshipper, global warming denier, government hater, nativist and billionaire financier – or, as Yeats would say, “the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
That this crop of candidates was the best that a once-great party could muster says much about the state of presidential politics, Republican-style. It says even more about the state of conservative opinion in America.
That opinion, with all its shadings, is best characterized by a consuming anger – which explains why the campaign hasn’t been about differences or vision but about resentment and fear and perfervid rhetoric that candidates have directed at each other and at real and imagined threats ranging from Barack Obama to Muslims, China, European “socialists,” excessive government and mad Iranian mullahs. (emphasis mine)
What scares me about this sort of rhetoric is the effect it might have on unstable people who may be prone to violence. In many ways, it confirms the worst instincts of those people, giving them tacit approval to act on their paranoid fears. If there are any adults left in the Republican Party, please bring some sanity back to your party for the sake of civil society.