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
A sober Richard Pryor gets back on the stage after his accident and proves why he is the best there ever was.
The Republicans and their media enablers continuously spread misinformation about the deficit and debt. For anyone who is unclear, the definitions are below.
The Federal Deficit – The deficit is the difference between the money federal government takes in, called receipts, and what it spends, called outlays, each year.
The National Debt – The amount of the Treasury securities issued to the public and to the government trust funds is considered that year’s deficit and becomes part of the larger, ongoing national debt.
An incoming president, no matter who it is, inherits the previous president(s) deficits and debts. It’s a nice welcoming gift for the person “lucky” enough to win the election. The following chart breaks down what the national debt consists of and projects it into the future. It’s been around for a while, but never gets old as far as spelling out the truth in graph form. Courtesy of Steve Benen, now of The Maddow Blog.
In the wake of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, I’ve heard many comments along the lines of – with so many guns already in the public sphere, there isn’t much we can do at this point to stem gun violence in this country. I say bullshit. If sensible gun laws can prevent just one of these tragedies, it will be worth it.
My opinion on guns is that they are a part of our culture and surely aren’t going away. And although I personally have no use for them, I completely understand that others do. I appreciate that people enjoy competitive shooting or hunting for food and even owning a gun for protection.
Where I draw the line is on guns that are only designed for killing people efficiently and in large quantities. I support limits on assault weapons, how many bullets can be in a clip and limits on other efficient killing devices. I absolutely love Chris Rock’s bit on “bullet control”…
But the idea that throwing our hands up in the air is going to help is just fucking stupid. It isn’t just with gun control where people use that argument…well it’s really a lack of an argument, it’s giving up.
This argument is similar to the one that says, if you can’t fix the problem in one fell swoop, you might just as well not even try. The idea of raising taxes on millionaires usually brings that idiotic argument out as well. President Obama responded to this concept very eloquently…
There are others who are saying, well, this is just a gimmick. Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett rule won’t do enough to close the deficit. Well, I agree. That’s not all we have to do to close the deficit. But the notion that it doesn’t solve the entire problem doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do it at all.
Every time I hear a representative of the wealthy, usually someone in the media, trot out that idiotic “argument”, I want to jump through the television and smack them upside the head. Here are just a few examples of headlines I found by just typing into Google, “taxing millionaires won’t solve the problem”.
NO ONE SAID IT WOULD “FIX THE ECONOMY” OR “SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS” you dumbass representatives of the wealthy.
It is such a blatant use of the “straw man” fallacy that it makes me sick to my stomach. In every one of those headlines above, it is implied that supporters of raising taxes on millionaires or passing “the Buffet Rule” are saying it will magically solve our deficit problems or as CBS said, “fix the economy”.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds this institutionalized stupidity frustrating. And although I would argue that Fox News is responsible for bringing this idiocy into the mainstream, the other sources of news in our country are jumping on the lunacy bandwagon. Is it any wonder that people like Louis Gohmert and Alan West were elected as one of 535 members of congress?
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.