Archive for the ‘Right-Wing Slime’ Category

Republican Judge Affirms Vote Suppression Act

August 16th, 2012 1 comment

Welcome back, Mr. James Crow! You now have a wider audience to block, including the poor, the elderly, and students!

Thanks to a Republican judge, the Republican law in Pennsylvania requiring specific types of photo ID to be presented for voting is now sustained, and due to his careful wording, it may be hard to overturn, despite the clear bias inherent in the ruling itself.

Fact: there is no evidence of any kind whatsoever indicating that vote fraud even exists beyond a few scattered cases, while it is a statistical certainty that at the very least, thousands–possibly tens of thousands–of legal, eligible Democratic voters, some of whom have voted regularly for decades, will be unable to vote because of this law.

Fact: as many as 11% of all voters lack the correct ID, and some will be forced to go to unusual efforts to acquire them, while other will have been misinformed, even by the Republican governor himself, as to whether their current ID is valid or not. As many as 1 million voters in Pennsylvania lack the right ID, and 379,000 do not have the documents required to get that ID. Many in the state would have to travel to state offices in other counties which are only open once a week, and there are only funds for 1/10th of the number of people who need IDs–meaning that hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians would be subject to a poll tax. The only solution is absentee voting, which would require a visit to a doctor and a doctor’s note and then an application process, clearly an unusual hurdle just to vote.

Fact: the laws disproportionately affect Democratic voters to a great degree, and were pushed through on a wholly partisan basis by the party that stands to win the vote–a party which has already performed heavy redistricting in that state to tilt the vote further in their favor.

Fact: Republican Mike Turzai, Speaker of the House in Pennsylvania, stated outright, in a checklist of partisan goals, that Pennsylvania’s voter ID law would “allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” This bolsters the proof that state Republicans had a partisan goal in pushing through the law.

And yet, the Republican judge ruling on the case decided that none of this “clearly showed” that the voter suppression act “denied voters’ rights.”

Right, judge, it doesn’t deny voters’ rights, except for those tens or even hundreds of thousands of young, elderly, poor, and minority voters which your Republican-tinted goggles make invisible to you. And of course, those same goggles make the clear-as-day partisan vote-rigging going on also invisible to your eyes. Because we all know that Republicans are actually concerned about voter fraud and are completely unaware that the problem is in fact non-existent, and just happened to introduce a law which completely coincidentally disenfranchises hordes of voters from the other party, and statements made about how this will help Republicans win elections were completely honest mistakes and misunderstandings.

Really, how fracking blind do you have to be to take even a cursory, much less a detailed, look at this issue and not see the painfully obvious fact that this is election fraud writ large?

Those are quite some goggles, judge. Quite some goggles, indeed.

Wingnut Filter

July 26th, 2012 Comments off

You want to find knee-jerk conservative wingnut web sites fast?

I figured out a quick way: Google “James Holmes” and “Registered Democrat.” Presto.

I won’t link to the site, but Breitbart is running this headline:

Screen Shot 2012-07-26 At 11.22.03 Pm

Now, I had no idea this headline existed before I did the search. But the search was a natural one, since for the past many years, whenever there is some horrible crime, the worst, most pungent, ultra-right lunatic dingbats immediately start posting about “Registered Democrat [insert villain’s name here].”

I expected to get Free Republic posters (they were further down the page of results), but Breitbart is a natural candidate for crap like this, of course.

Categories: Right-Wing Slime Tags:

You Didn’t Invent the Internet

July 22nd, 2012 3 comments

The conservative world is gleefully playing with Obama’s statement, “If you’ve got a business–you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Out of context, just that one bit, is being used endlessly by the right wing to attack Obama, claiming that he denigrates small business owners, as if Obama was saying that no business owner built their own business.

Which, of course, is an outright lie. Obama did not say, “If you’ve got a business–you didn’t build your business. Somebody else made your business happen.” Obama did not even come close to saying that. Every politician and pundit attacking Obama with it knows they’re lying, or are blind and stupidly following the party line without checking. By now, almost certainly the former.

Here is Obama’s complete quote, with relevant parts in bold:

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business–you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

Reading the entire statement, in context, it is very clear that Obama is not saying that business owners didn’t build their own businesses; he was saying, without any doubt, that business owners did not build the support structures that helped them build their business. A business owner didn’t educate himself, didn’t build the country himself, didn’t build the roads and bridges. The society built these things, other people pitched in, and it was the community effort which gave the business owner the vital tools without which that business would not thrive. Obama followed the statement by issuing another example, that a business owner didn’t invent the Internet, which helped their business like a hundred other support structures.

His meaning was clear: we all depend on the community, and so we all owe the community. Instead, right-wingers cut off the beginning and end, and falsely claim that Obama was putting down hard-working job creators. There’s no way you could actually look at the whole context and honestly conclude that Obama was saying that small business owners had no hand in building their own businesses.

It’s complete and utter bullshit they’re pushing–but it’s the kind of bullshit that works, and perhaps can win an election.

If you’re wondering why this sounds familiar, it’s because there was another case, about 12 years ago, of a Democratic presidential candidate making a statement about creating the Internet which was taken out of context in the exact same way–and the result of it was that the American people, to this day, still believe the bullshit lie. And the Democratic candidate lost the election by a few hundred votes. (Well, technically he won by thousands, but that’s another story.)

From my 2006 article:

Let’s get one thing straight: Al Gore never said that he “invented the Internet.”

There are a lot of myths out there perpetrated by conservatives. … This one started on March 9th, 1999, when Al Gore appeared on Wolf Blitzer’s “Late Edition” show on CNN. On the program, Gore made the following statement:

During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system. [the full context of the quote in the interview can be reviewed here.]

… An unkind (and dishonest) interpretation of Gore’s quote makes it seem like Gore was claiming that he single-handedly created the Internet. But that’s not what he said. He said that he took the initiative, that he took an early leadership role–which, by definition, means that he was not alone in the task, nor does it even mean that he was the only leader.

… The irony here is that Gore, in fact, was instrumental to the creation and popularization of the Internet as we know it today. In the 1980s, DARPA had defunded civilian use of the Internet; it could have died right there had it not been for Gore pushing for funding to restart the Internet as a civilian and business network. That took the form of the 1989 National High-Performance Computer Technology Act introduced by Al Gore. The fact is, all along the way, Gore was behind the growth of the Internet, which in itself was largely responsible for the huge economic boom of the 90′s. Ironically, conservatives who enthusiastically credited Reagan with every bit of good economic news in the 80′s, churlishly denied Clinton and Gore any credit for the boom of the 90′s, claiming that it was the Internet that was responsible.

Gore was instrumental in creating a huge economic and industrial miracle worth countless trillions of dollars to the nation. In return for this, the GOP distorted his rightful claim, mocked him as a liar and made a laughingstock out of him. In an election won by only a few hundred votes, the value of the “invented the Internet” lie could easily have been worth that many votes in Florida.

Good to see that the GOP’s priorities are in order.

To back this up, you can read a letter written by Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf, the two guys most credited with “inventing” the Internet (more specifically, developing the TCP/IP protocol suite central to Internet technology), in which they praise Gore for his work. Or, if you prefer a more mainstream debunking, see Snope’s teardown of the lies told by the right wing.

Despite all of these facts being available before the 2000 election, people believed the lie. In part it was because the right-wing moved in lockstep to repeat the lie ad nauseam; in part because there was a sound bite which sounded similar to what the lie claimed (people still swear they “heard” Gore say he “invented the Internet”); in part because debunking the lie takes longer than and is more complex than perpetuating it; and in part because the “liberal media” played along with the lie.

Guess what’s happening all over again?

FAIR not only debunks the current lie, but points out how the media is implicit in perpetuating it. Some are calling it out as a “distortion,” but usually in the last line of an article; no one in the mainstream media applies the headline, “Romney and Conservatives Distort Obama’s Statement,” which would be fair and accurate. Instead, they simply report on Romney attacking Obama with it, or worse, that it is a “problem” for Obama–which, ironically, is chiefly because the media is not doing its job in debunking the outright lies.

When reporters do get around to mentioning how the attack is completely false, they usually “balance” the piece with a statement about Obama’s use of Romney’s “I’m not concerned about the very poor” line–in effect, excusing Romney’s lie instead of just reporting it. Well, Romney’s remark about not being concerned about the poor was quoted out of context, but it was not distorted in meaning. Romney said that as part of a statement about how he was not concerned about the rich, either, but instead was concerned about the middle class. While that shows he was not favoring the rich over the poor, it does not change the fact that he openly stated that he was not concerned about the very poor, that he believed they were well taken-care of. Obama’s citing that was not a distortion, and did not change the meaning of the words spoken.

In contrast, what Romney and conservatives are doing now is a bald-faced lie; they are distorting what Obama said, they are changing the meaning completely. Obama never did that. So, why are reporters, who already bury the fact that Romney and others are lying, use the story to show “equivalence,” when, in fact, there is none?

Imagine at work, you say something innocent, but another worker, trying to beat you to a promotion, takes it out of context and makes it sound like you were insulting the boss, and then spreads it all around. A coworker who knows all that has happened meets with the boss, and does not tell the boss about the real statement and the lie behind it, and instead tells the boss, “Yeah, it’s a problem for the guy who said it, all right! I can see why you’d be angry about it!” When the boss asks that worker for a detailed report on the topic, the report is titled “Smear Against Boss a Problem for Worker Seeking Promotion,” and only mentions the distortion on the last page, next to an item which points out that a year ago, the person being lied about did something that could, incorrectly, be interpreted as a similar act.

How would you feel about such “fair and impartial” reporting of your actions?

This is money in the bank for the right wing; they will not let up on this. They know, from experience, that lies like this are easy to spread, are very damaging, can have a strong effect, and that the media will let them have it.

The only think to do is to fight the lie. The problem is, that didn’t work before.

If there’s one thing that Republicans excel at, it’s playing dirty.

What It’s All About

July 16th, 2012 Comments off
The Christian Science Monitor, inadvertently, I believe, more or less made clear in their headline what Republicans are doing with their voter purges:

A victory for Republicans, Florida wins use of federal database to purge voters

The giveaway: it’s a victory for Republicans. Not for fair elections, not for democracy, not for the nation. It’s a political victory for a strategy to disenfranchise Democratic voters in an effort to illicitly win an election.

Not what the Monitor meant, I am sure, but I think that everybody pretty much knows it to be a fact. The thing is, if you’re a news agency, you can’t say what is obvious–because if you do, then you’re a stinking lame-stream liberal media elitist, and not a “real” journalist who understands that there are always two sides to any argument and you have to give equal credence to both sides, no matter how obviously stupid and corrupt one of them might be. Unless they’re Democrats, because they suck at demonizing journalists for saying bad things about them.

Florida Republicans Illegally Purging Voter Rolls, AGAIN

June 1st, 2012 1 comment

Yep. Apparently it is now an official Florida tradition. The Florida GOP’s brazen schemes to strip legitimate Democratic voters of their ability to cast their votes comes back, with a vengeance. Republicans claim they are trying to stop voter fraud, something for which there is extremely little evidence–unless, of course, you count the massive voter fraud inherent in repeated GOP attempts to disenfranchise Democrats over the years. But no, they’re not concerned with that. The purge is–surprise!–heavily biased against Democrats, Independents, and Hispanic voters (everyone except Republicans, how strange!), according to a Miami Herald study.

Back in 2000, state Attorney General Katherine Harris, partisan extremist and Bush loyalist, carried out the first politically-directed purge, one which stripped tens of thousands of legal Democratic voters of their right to vote in Florida on the bogus assertion that they were felons. This, in an election which was decided by only a few hundred votes. We have Harris to thank for eight years of G. W. Bush, and, in his wake, a stacked Supreme Court, a bitter partisan divide, a battered Constitution, two massively costly land wars in Asia, and eight trillion dollars of debt.

In 2002, the purge continued, with the company charged to maintain the list claiming that as many as 91,000 of the 94,000 names on the list were not illegal voters. Florida “promised” to clean up the list.

Jump to 2004. Guess what? The voter purge list was still alive, this time even more flawed than ever, and–like all of its iterations–it “accidentally” purged decisively against Democratic voters. Whoopsie! How could that have possibly happened?

Fast-forward to 2008, and we see the techniques to purge Democratic voters continued, albeit in a milder form: meaningless small typos and variations in how names were written (with a middle initial or full name, for example) purged tens of thousands of voters. While this would not target Democrats with the initial purge, it affected Democrats more in the end because elderly and minority voters–heavily Democratic–would be far less able to repair their status. And while ACORN (which legally registered many poor people to vote) was under a vicious attack which would eventually shut down it down, Florida imposed new laws making new registration harder, a move that would disproportionately disadvantage older and minority voters (again, Democrats).

Well, the mild-mannered days of 2008 are out the window, and we see the brazen and corrupt Republican machine surge back into action, this time with an all-new list of 182,000 voters to purge, with easily tens of thousands of them clearly legitimate–and, according to a study by the Miami Herald, “predominantly made up of Democrats, independents and Latinos.” The last groups was famously spared the purge back in 2004, but that was before the numbers shifted from Republican-friendly Cuban-Americans to a current, far greater majority of Democratic-friendly non-Cuban Latinos in the state.

And that really does highlight how this is blatantly political–every single time this happens in Florida, it just “happens” by “accident” that the majority of voters “mistakenly” stripped of their right to vote are Democrats.

Not that any of this is a surprise; Republicans have become more and more shameless and open in their attempts to disenfranchise Democrats. Expect more of this in the months and years to come.

Categories: Election 2012, Right-Wing Slime Tags:

Romney’s “Job Creating” Shell Game

May 19th, 2012 12 comments

Robert Reich explains how Romney & friends over at Bain capital got stinking rich. A teaser: they risked not a single dime of their own money and used a bunch of accounting scams, while working Americans paid the price, and footed the bill in the form of taxes and debt to pay for the debris trail they left behind.

The Shearer Is Hostile to the Sheep, Says the Wolf

April 14th, 2012 1 comment

Republicans most recently alienated women by fighting furiously against allowing contraception to be covered under new insurance plans, and famously denying a woman the chance to speak in Congress on the issue, whilst giving their full attention to a panel comprised entirely of men, all of them religious authorities. This was their statement: women’s health is all about religion, which is ruled by men. When the Democrats got their one female panel member to speak separately, Rush Limbaugh, the Voice of the Right Wing, called her a slut and a whore for suggesting contraception be covered by private health plans. Called to denounce the slurs, the presumed GOP presidential nominee only said that “slut” and “whore” were “not the language I would have used,” clearly implying that he supported the general sentiment.

Even more disturbing are recent right-wing efforts to force women, even rape victims, to undergo a form of rape before they are allowed to undergo an abortion, a legal procedure. This as part of a larger campaign to deny women reproductive rights, a campaign with a history of maligning women.

None of this is new. Conservatives have always fought against women’s civil rights, from suffrage to the ERA to the Lily Ledbetter Act. Feminists, who want nothing more than to allow women to choose whatever they want to do–including stay-at-home motherhood–and to receive equal treatment as men in doing so, have found themselves viciously attacked and dehumanized by right-wingers, reduced to an ugly stereotype and cast as villains against many of the very things they fight to defend.

The conservative, Republican “war on women” has been a longstanding, entrenched battle taken up willfully by the right wing, whose policy and language have been filled with rhetoric which, at best, misunderstands women, and, all too often at worst, is openly hostile to them.

So, according to Romney–famous for not understanding women, or taking up their causes, or speaking to them in a non-condescending manner–according to him, the real war on women is coming from the Obama camp. The two main pieces of evidence? A statistic wholly unrelated to Obama’s policies and actions, and a deliberately misinterpreted quote from a woman wholly unrelated to Obama save that she occupies the same half of the political spectrum–a quote which Obama, his administration, and even his wife all immediately condemned, no less.

The statistics? Technically true in that most net job loss has been among women, but false in that Obama has anything at all to do with that. In fact, ironically, most job losses for women have been in education and government–and Obama actually tried hard to save these precise jobs, but Republicans stripped the bill and were the deciding factor in many of these job losses. Not to mention that Republicans have always been hostile to educators and government workers, even attacking Democrats for trying to hire more people in these areas.

And yet, this is not just supposed to be an equivalency, but proof that Obama is more hostile to women than conservatives are.

You have to admire the balls on conservatives, not just to lie, but to lie as big as that.

Apologies and “Apologies”

March 4th, 2012 2 comments

So, Rush Limbaugh realizes that he stepped over a line, and instead of attacking his critics as he usually does when he’s guilty of something, he does the reasonable thing, and apologizes. Or, I should say, he “apologizes.”

This is the kind of situation where you see what a person is made of; whether they are truly penitent and seeking to right a wrong, or if they are just reluctantly taking back something they fully meant, and still mean, and are not really taking any true responsibility for it.

A real apology should hurt. It should hurt you more than it hurt the person you insulted in the first place. It should be unequivocal, should accept full responsibility, and should not include self-exculpatory language. Most of all, it should not continue the attack on one’s critics or be a platform to expound your views.

Here’s Limbaugh’s statement:

For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.

Right off, we see that the middle paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with an apology. I teach academic writing; when I see a student spend a whole paragraph writing about something which does not support the thesis (in this case, “I was wrong and I am sorry”), I tell them to strike the paragraph. Limbaugh should have done that here; it means that most of his statement is not, indeed, an apology. Reading the paragraph, you can in fact see that he is re-stating his disagreement with Fluke, and saying that he thinks what she did was wrong. That’s not just off-topic, that’s contradictory.

What remains is equivocal and self-exculpatory at best. “I chose the wrong words, did not mean a personal attack, my choice of words was not the best.”


He didn’t mean a personal attack?

When he first spoke on this, Limbaugh said:

What does it say about the college co-ed [Sandra] Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps — the johns. No, that’s right — pimp is not the right word.

After that, he said:

OK, so she’s not a slut, she’s round-heeled. I take it back.

That’s not a personal attack? Sure sounds like one to me. He’s not discussing the absurdity of this being an issue discussed at the presidential level; he was calling this woman a slut and a whore. He was not saying it in the context of, “hey, I’m just kidding.” He may have been lunging into the absurd, but it was expressed as a heartfelt insult which he did not step back from. Quote the opposite.

In response to the blowback, the next day, Limbaugh reiterated the exact same insults:

If we’re going to have to pay for this — then we want something in return, Ms. Fluke, and that would be the videos of all this sex posted online so we can see what we’re getting for our money. …

Now what did I say? I said if we’re paying for this, it makes these women sluts, prostitutes. What else could it be? We are buying it.

So, for two straight days, in the face of a storm of criticism, he continued to call Ms. Fluke a slut and a whore. Then he added that she should publish a sex tape so we could all enjoy it. So much for “not meaning a personal attack.”

As for the rest, Limbaugh was suggesting it was an instance of poor “word choice”–but even that is not an apology, because he is clearly saying that he intended the meaning, he just chose the wrong words for his insult.

Apart from that, he claims that he was just was trying to be funny (the “I’m not a commentator, I’m a comedian” dodge he uses but never actually means), and he regretted the “national stir” as much as he did the insult. So he says, and I don’t think anyone buys that for a millisecond.

Surrounded by all of that bullshit, his words “I sincerely apologize” ring hollow at best.

Now, you want to see what a real apology looks like? Try looking at the other side of the political spectrum. Look at Ed Schultz. Back in May last year, he said this on the radio:

Rain, thunderstorms, winds getting whipped into tornadoes of horrific proportions. Hot weather, all of this stuff. And what are the Republicans thinking about? They’re not thinking about their next-door neighbor. They’re just thinking about how much this is going to cost. President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday. But you know what they’re talking about? Like this right-wing slut, what’s her name, Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she’s a talk slut. You see, she was, back in the day, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas. But now that Obama’s doing it, they’re working him over.

That was just an offhand comment. He didn’t also call her a whore, did not demand a sex tape, and one could even convincingly argue that he did not mean “slut” in a sexual meaning, but rather a metaphorical one, that Ingraham was loose in her morals in terms of talking about politics and society.

Schultz did not attempt to make that argument. He did not equivocate. He did not excuse himself. He did not use an apology as an opportunity to further expound his views. He did not come back the next day and double down, he did not apologize only after a protracted battle to maintain what he said. He, in a word, apologized.

Read this. Just read it. Through and through. And then just try to imagine Limbaugh saying it.

Good evening, Americans and welcome to The Ed Show from New York tonight. Thomas Roberts will be here tonight anchoring the program, but first I want to take some time to offer an apology. On my radio show yesterday I used vile and inappropriate language when talking about talk show host Laura Ingraham. I am deeply sorry, and I apologize. It was wrong, uncalled for and I recognize the severity of what I said. I apologize to you, Laura, and ask for your forgiveness.

It doesn’t matter what the circumstances were. It doesn’t matter that it was on radio and I was ad-libbing. None of that matters. None of that matters. What matters is what I said was terribly vile and not of the standards that I or any other person should adhere to. I want all of you to know tonight that I did call Laura Ingraham today and did not make contact with her and I will apologize to her as I did in the message that I left her today.

I also met with management here at MSNBC, and understanding the severity of the situation and what I said on the radio and how it reflected terribly on this company, I have offered to take myself off the air for an indefinite period of time with no pay. I want to apologize to Laura Ingraham. I want to apologize to my family, my wife. I have embarrassed my family. I have embarrassed this company.

And I have been in this business since 1978, and I have made a lot of mistakes. This is the lowest of low for me. I stand before you tonight in front of this camera in this studio in an environment that I absolutely love. I love working here. I love communicating with all of you on the radio and the communication that I have with you when I go out and do town hall meetings and meet the people that actually watch. I stand before you tonight to take full responsibility for what I said and how I said it, and I am deeply sorry.

My wife is a wonderful woman. We have a wonderful family. And with six kids and eight grandkids, I try to set an example. In this moment, I have failed. And I want you to know that I talked to my sons especially about character and about dignity and about the truth. And I tell you the truth tonight that I am deeply sorry and I tell them every day that they have to live up to standards if they want to be a successful human being in life. And I have let them down. I have never been in this position before to the point where it has affected so many people. And I know that I have let a lot of people down.

To the staff here at MSNBC, I apologize for embarrassing the company and the only way that I can really make restitution for you is to give you a guarantee, and the only way that I can prove my sincerity in all of this is if I never use those words again. Tonight, you have my word that I won’t. Laura Ingraham, I am sorry. Very sorry. I’ll be back with you in the coming days.

Next to Schultz’s apology, Limbaugh’s comes across as what it is: not an apology, but a self-serving, insincere, pathetic, contemptible excuse for an attempt to escape responsibility for what he did mean and still wants to say but can’t because he’ll lose too much money and stature.

Limbaugh should get no credit–none, zero–for what he said. If he wants to apologize, he should study Ed Schultz’s apology, and then come back and do it even better than that, if such a thing is possible.

But he won’t. He’s toed the line, but only toed it for form, like a spoiled, reluctant child making a sullen apology after being forced to by Mommy and Daddy, and he won’t be back unless taken out to the woodshed again.

He can never say anything as sincere as Schultz said, because you can tell Schultz meant it, and Limbaugh just as certainly does not.

Limbaugh gets no break for this. He was an ass, and still is one. He may be no good at apologies, but he’s good at getting away with stuff.

Categories: Right-Wing Slime Tags:


March 3rd, 2012 2 comments

Has Rush Limbaugh just pulled a Glenn Beck?

Beck also seemed like a right-wing media giant, albeit not as long-lived as Limbaugh. However, after Beck started telling people to leave their church if they heard the words “social justice.” Christian groups never forgave him for that, and he lost sponsors and support until he finally got kicked off of Fox.

Until now, Limbaugh was the undisputed king of conservatism; any time he stepped over a line and a Republican disavowed his comments, Limbaugh fired back and within hours, the Republican started licking Limbaugh’s feet in desperate acts of prostration.

Not this time. Sponsors are pulling their ads as they did with Beck, and Republicans are criticizing Limbaugh, this time with much less chance they’ll take it back like they have before.

That said, it’s probable that Limbaugh will survive this just fine. After all, he just horrifically insulted women, who right-wingers are not really very concerned about (hence the entire situation that prompted this episode). Beck, on the other hand, insulted the church. Those guys are not quite as forgiving.

Categories: Right-Wing Slime Tags:

Making the Worst of Good News

February 4th, 2012 1 comment

The economy continues to improve, as unemployment dropped to 8.3% and the number of new jobs created was the highest in almost a year. This is very good news for Obama, as a bad economy would help Republicans defeat him in the elections later this year–a goal they have clearly been shooting for.

So it should come as no surprise who is all alone trying to find the cloud in the silver lining:

Screen Shot 2012-02-04 At 1.14.45 Am

Good to see conservatives cheering America on.

Update: They’re still at it this morning (evening in the U.S.):

Screen Shot 2012-02-04 At 10.11.58 Am-1

I can only imagine that the right-wing core watching Fox has the impression that things are worse than before. Not that the news says that we’re free and clear, or that there’s no down side to it, only that it is hardly as negative as Fox is desperately trying to paint it.

While expression of the down side of the unemployment news is warranted–and all other news sites are including it–highlighting it consistently and downplaying the better aspects is, well, Foxlike.

And if we’re pointing out lesser-known facts about the unemployment rate, another point deserves to be made regarding the oft-noted “fact” that the rate is still “above” where it was when Obama took office (it was putatively at 8.2%). This is superficially accurate, but in truth, since the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator, the “real” rate when Obama took office was between 9.5% and 10.1%–meaning that Obama has not only taken us from losing 750,000 jobs a month to gaining 250,000, a net gain of 1 million jobs per month, but has also lowered the unemployment rate, whatever its accuracy, by between 1.2% and 1.8%. They won’t mention that on Fox, though.

Categories: Economics, Right-Wing Slime Tags:

Reversing Meaning

January 6th, 2012 2 comments

Fascinating how right-wingers are vilifying positive words.

They started with “liberal.” That word, when you look it up, has associations like tolerant, unprejudiced, open-minded, enlightened, permissive, free, easygoing, advanced, modern, forward-looking, flexible, free, generous, benevolent, charitable, altruistic, unselfish, and enlightened–and is the opposite of strict, miserly, narrow-minded, and bigoted (words which are, not ironically, associated with “conservative”). They attacked the noble term as the “L” word and made it an epithet. They similarly have been trying to besmirch the word “Democratic” by severing the ending and truncating it to “Democrat,” emphasizing the “RAT” at the end.

Then they went after “elite,” a word embodying the concept of exceptionalism (a term they favor), a word which signifies extreme talent and capability–the best, the crème de la crème. They then applied it to people who never suggested they were actually elite, and snidely implied that these “elite” were snobby, arrogant assholes who lorded their superiority over everyone else. Why? Because they “know better than you,” simply for forwarding their own agenda, something everyone in politics does.

Now, when you hear Newt Gingrich (the original master of the art of subverting language to political means) attacking Mitt Romney, you hear another word being defamed and reviled: “moderate.” This is indicative of how extreme the right wing is getting: the new aspersion is aimed not at liberals but at the less extreme members of their own party. They are actually vilifying a word which describes someone who is not a frenzied radical. And that pretty much tells you where the mainstream of the Republican party is nowadays.

So, if you want something good and clean to be soiled and besmirched, you know who the experts are.

That’s Quite a Cough

December 20th, 2011 2 comments

You have to wonder what kind of checking and oversight they do on spelling when creating these banners:


Now, that’s a natural misspelling, very understandable: the spell checker would not catch that “whopping” was a misspelling of “whooping.” If these are random, then they are at least explicable if not acceptable at that level.

Fox News, on the other hand, seems to intentionally make errors. The easiest place to see this is where they paint disgraced Republicans as Democrats, usually with a “D” before their name:



If this happened just once, even twice fully at random, then maybe… but it has happened several times under specific conditions. That’s not an error, that’s a pattern.

True, Fox sometimes makes actual errors out of sheer stupidity, as they did with the graphic of Japan showing a nuclear reactor in Tokyo named “Shibuyaeggman.” This does not, however, mean that all errors are due to ineptitude; quite few are demonstrably intended.

A real tell was with this screen:


No way that was a typo. That graphic could not have been made in “error.” It was clearly intentional, intended as a swipe at Romney.

In essence, Fox intentionally makes “mistakes” to even further slant the “news” they present.

Categories: Right-Wing Slime, The Lighter Side Tags:

Republican Fingers on the Scale (More Election Fraud & Theft)

September 14th, 2011 10 comments

Republicans are set to steal more votes again, this time in Pennsylvania.

It has been true for some time that for Republicans, winning elections trumps everything else. Will a government shutdown or default on the debt wreck the nation’s economy? Who cares, so long as it trashes the Democratic president and gives Republicans a better chance to win the White House? Create jobs for American workers? Not now dude, if employment gets better before election day, Republicans won’t be able to play off it as much. Country First? Nation First? Don’t make us laugh–if it’s not run by Republicans, then it’s not worth it; if it’s not Republican, then screw the nation.

Republicans put winning first, over everything else, over the people and their welfare. And they will try to win however they can. If you lose, then try to force a recall. If you can, impeach the Democrat. However, these methods are hard to implement and don’t often work. Better to win by hook and crook. Steal the election any way you can, and, to deflect criticism and win points, accuse the other side of trying to steal it.

It’s not enough to try to get Republicans to vote–they need to stop Democrats from voting. Minorities vote Democrat most of the time, so how can we stop them? (Remember the Michigan Republican who was a bit too candid about suppressing the 88%-black “Detroit” vote?) In 2000, the answer in Florida was to create an inflated “felon’s list,” unilaterally stripping tens of thousands of people of their voting rights without informing them, tipping the scales toward disenfranchising Democrats via generalizing name selection on the list–felons are disproportionately minorities, so indiscriminate voter-roll washing of anyone with a name similar to a felon’s is a good way to steal votes from Democrats. That one act of election fraud put Bush in the White House and helped to cripple the nation.

There are many other tricks, employed with the same fervor and corruption as was common under Nixon. Voter caging is a popular one–find people who commonly vote Democrat and then try to get them kicked off voting lists. Students vote Democrat–so send registered mail to their dorms during summer vacation and then claim they don’t live there when they don’t receive the mail. (The guy who led that drive in Wisconsin now runs the GOP, by the way.) People who have lost their homes to foreclosure often vote Democratic, so get them kicked off voter lists on the basis of their not having a home any more.

Add to that nationwide efforts at forcing people to use special ID cards at the voting booth, along with a host of other schemes designed to maximize obstacles for Democratic voters.

And then there’s a classic: redistricting. This is an old one, going way back, and Republicans love it. They won a lot of state houses on a census cycle, and they are now salivating at all the seats they can steal by gerrymandering the lines. No census? No problem, gerrymander between censuses, like they did in Texas!

And if gerrymandering isn’t enough, then see if you can’t screw around with electoral votes. Remember in California, which currently is a Democratic stronghold, they tried to split the electoral vote so that as many votes as possible could be funneled to the Republican candidate? Now, if Republicans were trying to do that everywhere, I wouldn’t have so much problem with it–but they would rail against any attempts to do such a thing in a state like Texas. Bottom line, they only want this in big states that go Democratic–not for fairness, but for tipping the scales against the actual will of the people.

Well, now they are working on Pennsylvania, and they might actually be able to do it this time. Not satisfied with just gerrymandering the House seats, they want to restructure the electoral vote system so that electoral votes are awarded, not by winner-takes-all, not even by the number of votes cast for each candidate–but by how many gerrymandered districts Republicans can artificially generate. The more districts the Republicans can swing to Republican by redistricting, the more votes go to the Republican candidate.

The move in Pennsylvania would win Republicans as many as ten electoral votes, maybe more if they can gerrymander really well. This would be similar to Republicans simply stealing the whole state of Massachusetts and dropping it in their column.

All this would be accomplished without winning a single vote. Not one American would change their mind to vote Republican. Nothing would be earned, nothing would be deserved.

Taking the system as a whole, it is equivalent to Republicans grabbing and running off with, at a minimum, nearly six million votes–without any of those people actually voting Republican.

Now, THAT is “election fraud.”

Piling It On, Thick

July 18th, 2011 2 comments

You would expect Fox News to handle the News of the World scandal dishonestly–lying, obfuscating, rationalizing, and indulging in a broad variety of logical fallacies to make it sound like the issue was not only a minor thing if even an issue at all, but that Murdoch has really been the victim in the whole thing, and deserves an apology.

Well, they did not disappoint, as professional idiot Steve Doocy had on, of all people, an undisguised PR expert, even announced as such, to unabashedly try to sweep this all under the rug. It is truly a sight to behold:

Steve Doocy: Meanwhile: more fallout from Britain’s News of the World newspaper hacking scandal. Rebekah Brooks has now resigned as chief executive of our parent company’s British newspaper unit, Newscorp, just one of the recent hacking scandals. This morning we’re finding out that the Pentagon suffered one of its largest hacking events ever, a cyber-theft of more than 24,000 files, the Pentagon says they were stolen by a foreign government. Joining us right now is a man who knows about the media, Bob Dilenschneider, the head of the New York-based Dilenschneider group and he used to run one of the biggest PR firms in the country. Good morning Bob.

Bob Dilenschneider: Good morning Steve, how are you?

Doocy: Fine, thank you very much. What do you make of what…this particular hacking scandal with the News of the World?

Dilenschneider: Well, the News of the World is a hacking scandal, it can’t be denied, but the issue is why are so many people piling on at this point? We know it’s a hacking scandal, shouldn’t we really get beyond it and deal with the issue of hacking? Citicorp has been hacked into, Bank of America has been hacked into, American Express has been hacked into, insurance companies have been hacked into, we’ve got a serious hacking problem in this country, and this morning, the government’s obviously been hacked into, 24,000 files. So we’ve got to figure out a way to deal with this hacking problem.

Doocy: The company has come forward to say that it happened a long time ago, at a tabloid, in London, someone did something really bad and the company reacted. They closed the newspaper, all those people got fired, even though 99 percent of them absolutely had nothing to do with it.

Dilenschneider: And if I’m not mistaken. Murdoch, who owns it, has apologized, but for some reason, the public and the media going over this, again and again.

Doocy: The piling on!

Dilenschneider: It’s a little bit too much. But I think the bigger issue is really hacking and how we as the public going to protect our privacy and deal with it. And, I would also say, by the way, Citigroup, great bank. Bank of America, great bank. Are they getting the same attention for hacking that took place less than a year ago, that News Corp is getting today.

Doocy: Right, and then, along those lines, you got the news about this thing at the Pentagon… I mean, it sounds like the country of China, who we all owe a whole bunch of debt to, it sounds like they got into our Pentagon supercomputers and sucked out 24,000 different files, where is that as a big story?

Dilenschneider: It’s really very very scary, and I think that we should be very concerned as a public about our privacy and people getting access to what we have and we’ve got to find ways to defend ourselves.

Doocy: Sure, and one of the other things about media piling on, you know, you look at some sites, you would think that Martians had landed in New Jersey, again. Uh, we’ve got some serious problems in this country right now. We are teetering on default. And what do they do? They talk about this!

Dilenschneider: We’ve got major problems in the country. John Boehner’s dealing with tough problems, the president’s dealing with tough problems, we have problems in the states, and we’re dealing with this issue over in London that took place more than a decade ago. I don’t quite understand it.

Doocy: And Mr. Murdoch himself has said that he’s going to cooperate, he’s going to show up at Parliament next week, and news this morning that Rebekah Brooks, who headed up that unit, is calling it quits.

Dilenschneider: All the right things have been done from a crisis point of view, in terms of this News of the World issue. It really should get put behind us, investigators, the courts, should deal with this, and we should move on, and deal with the important topics of the day.

Now, that is chutzpah. Or, as Michele Bachmann would say, “chitzpah.”

The problem is, as is so often the case with conservatives these days, that this is simply exactly what you would expect from these people. Nothing is too outrageous for them.

We have the false equivalency: Mudoch’s hacking scandal is equivalent to hacking scandals at places like Bank of America. Except that in Murdoch’s case, he was the hacker. If Bank of America had spent much of the past decade hacking other people, that would be a news story, too. Over at Fox they must think their viewers are complete idiots or else willing to believe any rationalization–as if people who hack maliciously are equivalent to people who get hacked.

Then we have the misdirection: saying that attention should not be given to one crime spree just because others are happening; it’s like saying, “With all the bank robberies going on, why should anyone pay attention to corporate fraud?” Sure, Murdoch’s news industry went on a decade-long crime spree. But hey, China is hacking too! Why pay attention to us? Fear them! They are “really very very scary”!

Then we have the “it’s no big deal” excuse: it was over a decade ago! And it was in London, which is, like, so incredibly far away! Of course, distance is no issue, and it was not all “over a decade ago.” Merely one of the more reprehensible acts, the altering of Milly Dowler’s voice mail, was–well, actually, less than a decade ago. It was 2002. And News Corp continued to hack into accounts, even of the Prime Minister, over the course of the entire decade. That we know about.

But Fox wants us to take the next step–it’s all over, nothing to see here, move along. All these people were fired, Brooks “called it quits,” Murdoch apologized, he’s cooperating. Why is anyone even talking about this? It’s so stupid! We should get beyond this! Like we’re beyond Obama’s birth certificate! We only spent two, three years on that–why spend more than one week on this? What are you all, vultures?! Of course, this is far from over–the story is still just breaking, and there is probably quite a bit more that will come out in the coming weeks and months.

Which brings us to the biggest step, playing the Victim Card. The media is “piling on” (it’s the liberal media!). Even though Murdoch apologized, “the public and the media going over this, again and again,” “The piling on!” “It’s a little bit too much!” News Corp is getting more attention than Bank of America, even though BofA was the victim of hacking once and News Corp was guilty of hacking for years and years, again and again. All the way over in London, light years from here! Murdoch has done everything right and is working to help track down those truly responsible, so why, oh why, is everyone piling on???

Finally, a PR expert? Why have him on to discuss a hacking scandal? It’s as if Doocy and Fox have given up on any pretense of not trying to snow people–that they understand how far gone Fox News viewers are that they can bring on not a technology expert, not a legal expert, but a PR hack. It’s as if they said, “here to help make this scandal seem like nothing is a man whose profession it is to lie in order to save the image their paid customers,” and went from there.

I would be tempted to say, as Republicans implode over the debt ceiling issue and News Corp implodes over the phone hacking scandal, that the conservative world is heading for self-destruction and will have no credibility or future.

The problem is, these people are like cockroaches–even nuclear war won’t touch them. All that will happen is that people will come to expect this kind of behavior, the bar will be raised yet again, and these kinds of things will be just ignored more and more.

I hope I am wrong. I just don’t think so.

Update: The Wall Street journal chimes in: same message, simply written more slickly.

Categories: Right-Wing Slime Tags:

Country First

July 18th, 2011 8 comments

Erick Erickson of Red State vocalizes what Republicans have been edging around for weeks now:

Now is a time for choosing. Now is your time for choosing.As I pointed out to John Boehner yesterday, despite what the pundits in Washington are telling you, it is you and not Obama who hold most of the cards. Obama has a legacy to worry about. Should the United States lose its bond rating, it will be called the “Obama Depression”. Congress does not get pinned with this stuff. [sic: punctuation and spacing]

It’s not hard to see the message: Republicans should default on the debt, purposefully wreck the economy, and throw the country into a depression so that Obama will look bad and Republicans can regain power. Ironically, this after he disparages Republicans for failing to “pull us back from the brink of financial ruin,” as he put it.

You might argue that he sees the alternative as being worse–but how could certain financial ruin be better than potential financial ruin? The answer is likely that he believes if Social Security and/or Medicare are not abolished, then the country will be ruined anyway, so it is better to trash it now when a Democrat can be directly blamed.

And that’s what it has come down to for Republicans: not repairing the country, but doing what you can to see the other guy gets blamed for it.

If out-of-control spending was really what they worried about, why were they not outraged when Bush doubled the historical debt in just two terms? Republicans controlled the Congress and the Presidency when the worst of the spending was done; they were not concerned enough about overspending until barely seconds after Obama won the 2008 election, then it suddenly became an impending disaster that should be howled against–and, of course, all his fault. Why was the debt ceiling never an evil when Bush raised the debt from six billion to seven, to eight, to ten, to twelve billion dollars?

And the one time we needed to spend, to stimulate the economy so we could, potentially, drive our way out of the tailspin Republicans had thrown us into, it was Republicans who slammed on the brakes and refused to spend more than a tiny fraction of what they had already wasted, helping to stall the recovery. Like a plane diving toward doom and running out of gas, we needed to use most of what precious fuel remained to level out of the dive so we could come in for a safe landing. Instead, Republicans yanked the pilot’s foot off the gas pedal just in time to make sure we were committed to the dive, and then started shrieking about how the pilot had doomed us.

Now, they see the canyon floor coming, believe we can’t avoid a crash–and their only concern is to make sure that everyone believes it’s the other guy that people should blame for it, even if it means crashing the plane harder and faster in the process.

Or, the other explanation–they know the country might actually be saved, but they just don’t give a damn, and all talk about “pulling back from the brink” is more BS covering up their primary agenda at the moment–forever trashing the reputation of President Barack Hussein Obama.

Any way you look at it, it’s ugly.

We Got This One, At Least

June 24th, 2011 Comments off

Governor Perdue of North Carolina vetoed a Republican bill aimed at disenfranchising Democratic voters:

The right to choose our leaders is among the most precious freedoms we have – both as Americans and North Carolinians. North Carolinians who are eligible to vote have a constitutionally guaranteed right to cast their ballots, and no one should put up obstacles to citizens exercising that right.

We must always be vigilant in protecting the integrity of our elections. But requiring every voter to present a government-issued photo ID is not the way to do it. This bill, as written, will unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters. The legislature should pass a less extreme bill that allows for other forms of identification, such as those permitted under federal law.

There was a time in North Carolina history when the right to vote was enjoyed only by some citizens rather than by all. That time is past, and we should not revisit it.

Therefore, I veto this bill.

The veto will, thankfully, probably not be overridden. However, it should be noted that Governor Perdue is a Democrat; it would have been much more encouraging had a Republican demonstrated the moral virtue of striking down a bill by his or her own party aimed at illegitimately stripping Americans of the right to vote based on political affiliation.

Sadly, that is not likely, and in many states where the legislature and the governorship are both held by Republicans, it is almost certain that such laws, passed by legislators eager to violate the civil rights of those who would not vote for them, will be happily signed by governors of similar moral depravity.

It should also be noted that for these laws to pass in the first place, almost the entire Republican bloc must vote in unison–demonstrating how very little moral courage exists among the individual members of the right wing of our legislatures.

More Republican Election Fraud

June 18th, 2011 4 comments

Conservatives are busily trying to enact laws that will work to rob Americans of their right to vote solely because those Americans tend to vote Democratic, dishonestly claiming it is to stem “voter fraud.” However, conservatives themselves are the ones most often guilty of actual election fraud. From caging college students and victims of foreclosure, to felons lists, other types of purges, and worse, right-wingers’ attempts–all too often successful–to steal votes result in the theft or invalidation of hundreds and even thousands of votes at a time. Their targets: the poor, the elderly, the young, minorities, women–any group more likely to vote Democratic. Because if you vote for Democrats, then obviously there’s something wrong with you, and you don’t deserve to vote. This trend is only strengthening, with Republicans committed to embedding their election fraud into state and federal laws.

The latest revelation: in last year’s gubernatorial election in Maryland, former Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich Jr. was challenging Democratic incumbent Martin O’Malley, and was losing. On election night, more than a hundred thousand voters in heavily black Democratic districts in Maryland received recorded “robocalls” telling them to stay home. Voters heard a woman’s voice tell them, “I’m calling to let everyone know that Governor O’Malley and President Obama have been successful. Our goals have been met. The only thing left is to watch it on TV tonight. Congratulations and thank you.”

Republicans love this kind of deception, because they believe in social Darwinism: if you can be fooled, then you deserve to be fooled. Whenever Democratic voters are confused by ballots or deceived by robocalls, right-wingers cackle at how stupid they are, and feel this justifies the deception.

Indeed, the calls in Maryland last year came from operatives working for Ehrlich, the Republican. Now, two Ehrlich operatives have been indicted on charges that they attempted to illegally suppress votes.

Worse, a document has been discovered, referred to as the “Schurick Doctrine,” which lays out a plan to suppress the votes of African-Americans:

The plan, according to the indictments, “centered on what was termed ‘The Schurick Doctrine,’ which was designed to promote confusion, emotionalism, and frustration among African American Democrats. . . . The plan stated that [t]he first and most desired outcome [of the Schurick Doctrine strategy] is voter suppression.”

The defendants are claiming that the Schurick Doctrine was rejected as “too expensive” and was not carried out–but this does not explain why the robocalls seemed designed exactly along the plans the doctrine dictated, or why Paul Schurick, the Republican behind the doctrine, was in constant telephone contact with the man behind the robocalls throughout election night.

A defense being forwarded for the election fraud: free speech. Really. They are actually trying to use constitutionally protected free speech as a defense for attempting to deceive more than a hundred thousand voters, robbing them of their right to vote.

To these people, “free speech” is a punch line. The party line is that they cherish and protect individual freedoms, but they do more to violate them than anyone else–and want these rights to be effective only when they can be used to protect themselves from prosecution when they are found out.

This is the modern conservative movement: fraud, deception, perversion of civil rights, among many other things just as repellent and obscene. If you vote Republican, that’s a big part of what you are voting for.

Categories: Right-Wing Slime Tags:

If It Quacks

June 8th, 2011 Comments off

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz got into trouble somewhat for comparing Republican attempts to change voting laws to Jim Crow laws of old:

[I]f you go back to the year 2000, when we had an obvious disaster and – and saw that our voting process needed refinement, and we did that in the America Votes Act and made sure that we could iron out those kinks, now you have the Republicans, who want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally – and very transparently – block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote Democratic candidates than Republican candidates. And it’s nothing short of that blatant.

Andrew Sullivan, for example, puts Wasserman up for a “Moore Prize,” for “divisive, bitter and intemperate left-wing rhetoric.”


Divisive? Are you divisive for trying to illegitimately suppress voters of the other party, or for calling that out? Bitter? Are you bitter for trying to suppress the opposition just because the opposition wins sometimes, or for getting upset when Democracy is subverted? Intemperate? Is it a sign that you lack control when you overtly attempt to steal elections, or when you make all-too-fitting analogies to richly illustrate the injustice being perpetrated?

I do not see this as inappropriate at all–and am rather surprised that Wasserman took it back. Sure, the Republicans are not trying to suppress only black votes, and when they are, it is not because of the color of their skin. Remember the Michigan Republican back in 2004 who said, outright and repeatedly, that they had to “suppress the Detroit vote”–Detroit being a predominantly black city in a predominantly white state? Remember back in 2000 when Katherine Harris arranged the “felons list” in Florida that just “happened” to illegally disenfranchise thousands of legitimate black voters?

Yes, they are trying to pass laws that would stop blacks from voting–but not for the same reasons as the original Jim Crow laws. Those laws only targeted blacks.

This is worse.

Republicans are trying to suppress the votes of many groups this time–not just blacks, but most minorities, in addition to women, the poor, and college students.

In short, anyone who votes Democratic. I would not suggest that either Pappageorge or Harris were racists–I think they would have been just as happy to disenfranchise white Democrats.

How is that better than Jim Crow laws? It is a bit different, to be sure–Jim Crow laws were more focused on oppressing people than they were on changing the results of election. But is the new Jim Crow really better? In both cases, a specific class of people are being oppressed–blacks with old laws, liberals with the new laws. They just widened their scope.

Is it much better that now the reason behind it is an attempt to corrupt and subvert Democracy and grab power illegitimately rather than just to oppress a group because of racism?

And while the focus of the laws are political rather than racist, the methods are essentially the same–find some indirect way to identify the people you are oppressing as different, and use that as a filter, creating laws which intend to rob people of their votes based on that filter. If you are a college student (which means you’re more likely to vote Democratic) you change your address when moving back and forth in the summer; if you got screwed in the foreclosure game you’re more likely to vote Democratic, but you also had to move–so make laws that penalize people who change their address. If you are poor and have to work long, hard hours and it’s difficult to get around and spend time on non-essential tasks–make laws which require people to get special IDs, and restrict voting hours, making it harder for them to get through. And yes, suppress black votes as well, because they vote Democratic. And take down any organization which is doing the reverse of what you are doing–trying to enable minorities and the poor to vote.

Shame on Andrew Sullivan and all those who think it’s bitterly divisive to call out Republicans for what is essentially Jim Crow II, Jim Crow on a much wider scale, for no less hateful a motive–and certainly an even more corrupt one. This new effort by the right wing deserves to be called “Jim Crow,” and much worse.

Republican Vote Fraud Underway

May 31st, 2011 Comments off

Republicans are gearing up for the 2012 elections by trying to enact as many laws as they can to suppress Democratic votes–requiring photo IDs, shortening early voting periods, and making it harder to register to vote. All of these place a strongly disproportionate disadvantage on voters who most commonly vote for Democrats.

The new laws are based upon unsubstantiated and politically motivated claims of nation-wide voter fraud. It is ironic because the claims themselves are fraudulent; there is no evidence of such widespread voter fraud. Bush spent five years and millions of taxpayer dollars in a nation-wide search to find such fraud and found only 86 prosecutable cases, mostly in small-town elections for sheriff and the like. The claims of nation-wide fraud are mostly based upon temp workers hired by voting advocacy organizations. The temp workers falsify registration forms to get paid more; the false forms are weeded out ahead of time and never result in actual votes cast.

This non-issue is then taken, along with scattered apocryphal stories of voter fraud, to create an imaginary sense of need for controls, passed by right-wing politicians, which will–quite coincidentally we are supposed to believe–favor right-wing politicians. A non-existent crime wave fabricated so that the laws quashing legitimate Democratic votes can be passed. That’s the real election fraud. We need laws to protect us against that.

In the meantime, the greatest case of actual election fraud–Katherine Harris disenfranchising tens of thousands of Democratic voters with a mostly-manufactured “felon’s list” in 2000, resulting in trillions of dollars and thousands of lives lost due to the malfeasance of the Bush presidency–goes wholly unpunished. Quite the contrary–Harris was rewarded with a safe seat in the House.

Categories: Right-Wing Lies, Right-Wing Slime Tags:

Painting Success as Failure

May 8th, 2011 2 comments

Conservatives continue to find more and more ways to criticize Obama for his nailing bin Laden. One of the latest is Andrew Card, Bush’s former Chief of Staff:

SPIEGEL: At the beginning of the war in Iraq, you reassigned many experts. Did President Bush set any priorities higher than the hunt for bin Laden?

Card: He had many top priorities, but I honestly do not believe that the president neglected the hunt for bin Laden. People we moved out were replaced. I think there was a dedicated team whose job it was to wake up every day and say: “Where is Osama bin Laden today?”

SPIEGEL: But now President Obama is the big winner…

Card: I think he has pounded his chest a little too much. He can take pride in it, but he does not need to show it so much.

SPIEGEL: He didn’t appear triumphant while announcing bin Laden’s death.

Card: I thought his statement was subdued, but I think his schedule is not subdued. Personally, I think it is premature to go to Ground Zero, in New York. I think my role model in this would be George H. W. Bush, when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. It was a day to celebrate, but we did not dance on the Wall.

Wow. Okay, the first thing that stands out is the criticism that Obama “pounded his chest too much,” following up on the general right-wing complaints about Obama’s “narcissism” and hogging all the credit. Here, Card specifically criticizes Obama for going to Ground Zero. I mean, really?

Who here does not remember that, when the “major combat operations” had been “completed” in Iraq in May 2003, Bush famously dressed up in a flight suit and unnecessarily took a fighter jet to an aircraft carrier in a massively staged PR event culminating in a speech in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner, a banner which the White House arranged but later tried to blame the soldiers for? Especially when Card himself was in the jet that flew in right before Bush, and Bush strutted around in his flight suit and bragged about how he flew the jet himself. The right wing loved that display. And if Bush had captured bin Laden, the right wing would be criticizing him (mildly, of course) only if he didn’t pound his chest about it.

Seriously, had it been Obama on 9/11 and he went to Ground Zero with the bullhorn, right-wingers would have bashed him for “pounding his chest” instead of lionizing it as a defining moment in U.S. history.

Aside from that, we have Card trying to make it look like Bush was intent on capturing bin Laden, despite Bush’s famous “I’m not all that interested in him” statement to reporters. Card is less than convincing when he says he “believes” Bush was dedicated, and he “thinks” they had a team working on it. Card was Chief of Staff; if he wasn’t sure, then it doesn’t sound like it was really a high priority.

Finally, note that Card chose, as his role model of restraint, Bush 41–not Bush 43. I wonder why. In any case, we find conservatives clashing in their criticisms–most right-wingers bash Obama for not going farther in dancing on bin Laden’s desecrated body. No matter what Obama does, it does not matter to these people–it’s always wrong, for some reason or another.

Interesting, John Yoo’s most recent criticism is that bin Laden was killed instead of captured. Despite the fact that he never seemed to voice any concern for Bush’s “dead or alive” policy, and Card mentioned that certainly Bush had no preference.

It will be interesting to see conservatives continuing to pick over the event as time goes on, but one thing remains clear: if they have their way, Obama’s killing of bin Laden will go down in their books as a huge blunder, a failure that made Obama look horrible as a president. The idea being that they want to mitigate, as much as possible, whatever currency, political or otherwise, Obama could take away from the accomplishment.