In Search Of A Scandal, Any Scandal Will Do!

I find myself thinking of this quote from Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride a lot lately. It is overused, I know, but it works so well.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

The word I’ve been hearing a lot lately that fits Inigo’s observation is “scandal”.

According to Merriam Webster, the word scandal is defined as

2 : loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety.

The #1 definition was a religious one.

We’ve all heard the Republicans and their stenographers, the press, say the word “scandal” about a million times in the last couple of months. But do any of these issues really qualify as a “scandal”? I say NO.

The Benghazi Scandal That Isn’t

American embassies and consulates have been attacked many times in our history, particularly in dangerous areas. Bob Cesca did an amazing job in compiling the attacks on America during the Bush administration. Here is a portion of that post.

January 22, 2002. Calcutta, India. Gunmen associated with Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami attack the U.S. Consulate. Five people are killed.

June 14, 2002. Karachi, Pakistan. Suicide bomber connected with al-Qaida attacks the U.S. Consulate, killing 12 and injuring 51.

October 12, 2002. Denpasar, Indonesia. U.S. diplomatic offices bombed as part of a string of “Bali Bombings.” No fatalities.

February 28, 2003. Islamabad, Pakistan. Several gunmen fire upon the U.S. Embassy. Two people are killed.

May 12, 2003. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Armed al-Qaida terrorists storm the diplomatic compound killing 36 people including nine Americans. The assailants committed suicide by detonating a truck bomb.

July 30, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A suicide bomber from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacks the U.S. Embassy, killing two people.

December 6, 2004. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaida terrorists storm the U.S. Consulate and occupy the perimeter wall. Nine people are killed.

March 2, 2006. Karachi, Pakistan again. Suicide bomber attacks the U.S. Consulate killing four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy who was directly targeted by the attackers. (I wonder if Lindsey Graham or Fox News would even recognize the name “David Foy.” This is the third Karachi terrorist attack in four years on what’s considered American soil.)

September 12, 2006. Damascus, Syria. Four armed gunmen shouting “Allahu akbar” storm the U.S. Embassy using grenades, automatic weapons, a car bomb and a truck bomb. Four people are killed, 13 are wounded.

January 12, 2007. Athens, Greece. Members of a Greek terrorist group called the Revolutionary Struggle fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the U.S. Embassy. No fatalities.

March 18, 2008. Sana’a, Yemen. Members of the al-Qaida-linked Islamic Jihad of Yemen fire a mortar at the U.S. Embassy. The shot misses the embassy, but hits nearby school killing two.

July 9, 2008. Istanbul, Turkey. Four armed terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate. Six people are killed.

September 17, 2008. Sana’a, Yemen. Terrorists dressed as military officials attack the U.S. Embassy with an arsenal of weapons including RPGs and detonate two car bombs. Sixteen people are killed, including an American student and her husband (they had been married for three weeks when the attack occurred). This is the second attack on this embassy in seven months.

I’m racking my brain trying to remember a “scandal” coming from any of these attacks.

The idea that changing “talking points” to not tip off the terrorists responsible for the attacks was some sort of massive conspiracy to make the President look good is just ridiculous. We shouldn’t forget that this “scandal” started with Mitt Romney putting his foot in his mouth during the campaign and since then, the GOP has doubled down on it many times. They were so sure that it was the one thing that could take the President out, if only someone would listen. The real reason that Republicans are trying to create a “scandal” where there is none is because they can’t accept that they got their asses kicked again by President Obama. It’s one giant case of sore-loseritus. The next step is for the Republicans to ask for a “do over” or a “mulligan” on the 2012 elections. Get over it, you lost. And a free tip for you Republicans, Americans don’t like sore losers, you look like fucking weasels.

And remember, the media and the GOP are calling this an “Obama scandal”. First off, there IS no scandal there. There was no violation of “morality or propriety” by anybody, let alone the President. There hasn’t been any connections to the President at all. With the release of the emails that Jon Karl of ABC News was duped about (being generous), that show that the White House let the agencies involved fight over the infamous talking points, this whole issue should be but a bad memory. And my god, they were freaking talking points. Talking points that were prefaced by Susan Rice in the following way.

“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…”

What exactly is so hard to understand about this, unless you just don’t want to understand…then it is understandable. :)

The AP And Fox News Leak Investigations Continue reading

MY Take On The News Of The Day!

I’ve decided that I’m going to try to do short takes on the news of the day and provide links when appropriate. Finding the time to write longer pieces would entail quitting one of my jobs and living in a trailer somewhere. So instead, I’ll try this. If you want to consider this an open thread, please do so. And you trolls, please read the comment policy and don’t be surprised if your vile comments never make the cut.

I got a good laugh watching the reports about Mark Sanford attempting to rehabilitate himself after his fall from politics. He was, of course, hiking the Appalachian Trail, which a lot of people didn’t know extends all the way to Argentina.

The story about Oscar Pistorius shooting his girlfriend is a perfect example of why having a gun in the home often leads to tragedy. Whether he did it on purpose or it was an “accident”, she would be alive today if there wasn’t a gun in the house.

I’ve seen quite enough of Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, why don’t they get jobs or something and contribute to the economy, instead of pretending like Republicans in Washington actually give a shit about the future of our country.

Reminder of the day: Republicans held our economy hostage in the summer of 2011, our President negotiated a deal to prevent a financial meltdown and at the time, Politico called Mitch McConnell “the chief Republican architect of the compromise”.  Media, please stop letting the Republican stooges keep repeating that the sequester was the President’s idea, just stop. You look like damn fools….again.

And of course, Mitch McConnell wasn’t the only Republican counting on nobody paying attention to reality for the last 4 years. Paul Ryan tried some serious revisionist history by trying to use his “baffle them with bullshit” techniques when asked about his touting the sequester back when it happened. It didn’t work. Busted!

I’ve been seeing on Twitter that the White House Press Corp is whining about access to the president or the number of press conferences or some horseshit. Considering what the WHPC has become, they should be glad he even acknowledges their existence.

The Extremely Liberal Podcast Talks Media With A Veteran Reporter/Professor

We welcome a special guest who worked for CNN for many years and now teaches broadcasting. He offers great insight into the issue of media bias and how social media is becoming a big part of local news operations. We talk politics as well, so give us a listen.

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Soledad O’Brien Challenges The Republican’s Attack On Amb. Susan Rice

I love it when Soledad O’Brien gives the press a lesson on how to be a journalist and digs down deeper into the GOP’s idiotic arguments and faux outrage. The Republican party thinks that their audience is stupid and the vast majority of the press actually is stupid and lets politicians get away with the crap that McCain and Graham are attempting. The fact that while John McCain and Lindsey Graham were holding their very serious, cranked to 11, press conference screaming about not having information about Benghazi while other Senators were being briefed on the incident, pretty much says it all.

Watch as Soledad O’Brien and Charles Blow make Republican congressman Joe Heck look rather foolish and reveal how misguided the Republican attack on Ambassador Susan Rice is.

Romney Excels At Lying In All His Ads, Not Just The Jeep Ad!

In light of the “Jeep lie” that Governor Romney has been using to scare workers in Ohio, I thought I’d take a look at the many other ads Romney has run that were also blatant lies.

Turns out, it’s all of them.

It’s quite a collection that Romney has accumulated over his time in the national spotlight. The 2012 presidential election will provide a lot of material for those of us who study the media and criticize it.

When the ad wars began, it was clear that the truth wasn’t going to play a major role in Mitt Romney’s advertising campaign. In his very first ad, Mitt Romney channeled Andrew Breitbart and just plucked a sentence out of a speech by President Obama and told a massive lie with it. Let the games begin…

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has displayed a special level of shamelessness in its ads and attacks since its very first one, when it ran a clip of Barack Obama saying “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose”—a clip from 2008 when Obama was quoting an aide to then GOP nominee Sen. John McCain.

Here is the dishonest ad that became a pillar of the Republican convention in Tampa, the one where they plucked “you didn’t build that” out of a longer statement having to do with infrastructure like roads and bridges, which all American businesses use.

The Romney campaign has released an astonishingly deceptive new ad, containing a blatant, flat-out lie. The new ad actually edits together snippets of words and sentences to make it sound as if President Obama said something he did not say, and then attacks him for saying it.

Here is another example of Romney trying to twist a positive into a negative when the Obama campaign went to court to restore early voting for all of the people of Ohio after the Republican legislature passed laws restricting early voting for all but military personnel. The Republicans didn’t like how the African American churches loaded up their parishioners on buses and headed to the polls on the final Sunday before the election. So what the hell, they passed a law stopping it…because they could.

Mitt Romney wrongly suggests the Obama campaign is trying to “undermine” the voting rights of military members through a lawsuit filed in Ohio. The suit seeks to block state legislation that limited early voting times for nonmilitary members; it doesn’t seek to impose restrictions on service members.

The welfare lie was one of the big whoppers that the Romney campaign told and it received a lot of push back from the media, but that didn’t stop the Romney campaign from continuing to run it. This lie is something that 15 or 20 years ago would have made the media camp out in front of his mansion until he retracted it. But today, eh, just another day, nothing to see here.

Mitt Romney released a new ad today about welfare reform. It’s a stone-cold lie.

The ad’s narrator says: “Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check.”

That’s a wild fabrication. As my colleague Isaiah J. Poole and I have both detailed, Obama’s HHS department merely heeded the concerns from a bipartisan group of governors and established a waiver program so states could experiment with different ways to help welfare recipients transition to work.

Another of the big lies being sold to the American people is the $716 billion lie. Romney and Ryan have told it in many different ways, but basically are trying to scare seniors into thinking that “Obamacare” cut $716 billion in benefits, which is not true at all.

In reality, the $716 billion is not a “cut” in benefits but rather the savings in costs that the Congressional Budget Office projects over the next decade from wholly reasonable provisions in the reform law.

One big chunk of money will be saved by reducing unjustifiably high subsidies to private Medicare Advantage plans that enroll many beneficiaries at a higher average cost than traditional Medicare. Another will come from reducing the annual increases in federal reimbursements to health care providers — like hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies — to force the notoriously inefficient system to find ways to improve productivity. […]

What the Republicans fail to say is that the budget resolutions crafted by Paul Ryan and approved by the Republican-controlled House retained virtually the same cut in Medicare.

Who can forget about the Solyndra lie where Romney tried to imply that the Obama administration steered contracts to friends and family.

So last Thursday Romney held a surprise press conference at Solyndra’s shuttered headquarters. During his prepared statement, Romney said:

“An independent inspector general looked at this investment and concluded that the Administration had steered money to friends and family and campaign contributors.”

Romney then repeated the claim later in the press conference.

Small problem: No inspector general ever “concluded” such a thing, at least not based on any written reports or public statements.

When you consider the above and the great work that Steve Benen has been doing at “Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity” at the Maddowblog, it all adds up to the most brazenly dishonest campaign that has ever been known. Historians will be busy for quite a while parsing the piles and piles of lies left behind by Romney and his cynical, manipulative, soulless campaign team.

I began this post yesterday and after just visiting the Maddowblog to see what Mr. Benen was writing today, I noticed he has a similar post up where he looks at just the ads Romney has run since the 3rd debate. I’m pasting a bit of it below, but go read the whole thing.

I went through the Romney campaign’s website and YouTube channel, and found that Team Romney has unveiled six English-language television ads since the third and final debate with President Obama last week, an average of nearly one per day.

1. The day after the debate, Romney unveiled this spot, accusing the president of having gone on an “apology tour.” The ad was based on a lie.

2. Romney then unveiled a minute-long spot, boasting about his plan to create “12 million new jobs.” The promise has been exposed as completely fraudulent.

3. The next Romney ad accused Obama of shrinking the military to the point that our Navy is now the smallest since 1917. The claim has been exposed as ridiculous.

4. This week, Romney unveiled an ad suggesting Chrysler is moving Jeep jobs to China. It’s an absurd lie.

5. Romney then launched a Pennsylvania-only ad, boasting about how much he loves coal. Romney is also on record saying he believes coal plants kill people.

6. Romney’s latest spot says Obama “gutted the work requirement for welfare.” That’s a lie.

I’m not cherry picking the offensive ads built around falsehoods; I’m merely listing all of the ads Romney has unveiled since the third debate.

This isn’t normal. It’s also not healthy for our democracy. Mitt Romney — who keeps telling reporters about how great his “momentum” is — has reached some kind of Peak Lying moment in which he spews falsehoods at an almost uncontrollable pace.

This segment below by Rachel Maddow, Steve Benen’s boss, gets to the heart of what has been going on in this election. Watch it, share it and let’s all hope that the 2012 election is an anomaly.

Cross posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

Real Liberal Political Talk On The Extremely Liberal Podcast – NEW!

If you are tired of watching pundits playing “both sides” and revealing their conservative biases, check out our little podcast where we say it like it is and delve into topics you won’t hear anywhere else. Listen, enjoy!

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David Gregory Auditions For Fox News On Meet The Press

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’s more…

“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?

Question 3

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…”

Except the President NEVER said that al Qaeda was defeated. From Imani, THE Angry Black Lady…

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.

Question 4

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?

Question 5

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.

Question 6

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.

Question 7

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.

Question 8

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!”

Question 9

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.

(Videotape, Thursday)

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.

(End videotape)

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)

Throwing Your Gun Filled Hands In The Air Isn’t A Solution!

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”.

Budget expert: Taxing millionaires won’t fix the economy – CBS News

Taxing the Rich Won’t Solve Our Problems

Obama ‘Buffett Rule’ Won’t Solve America’s Budget Problems

Raising Taxes Won’t Solve America’s Debt Problem

President Obama’s Buffett Tax Won’t Solve Our Problems, It Will Only

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?

Salon.com Parts Ways With Glenn Greenwald – But Will Salon Continue To Smear Good People?

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