Thursday, March 31, 2011

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-31-11

Experts Reject Fox News' Claim That Drilling Can Solve Dependence On Foreign Oil
On Fox News, Eric Bolling advanced several energy myths that have been debunked by experts, including the claim that the U.S. could end its dependence on foreign oil by expanding domestic drilling. Read More

Broken Record: Right-Wing Media Spread Falsehoods About Obama's Energy Policies
Right-wing media have predictably blamed a recent rise in gas prices on President Obama's energy policies and have called for more offshore drilling, claiming he has allowed America to remain "increasingly dependent" on oil imports from "unstable parts of the world." However, experts agree that it's "not credible" to blame Obama for the gas price spike, offshore drilling would not substantially decrease prices, and U.S. domestic oil production has in fact increased under Obama. Read More

Breitbart Is Wrong: Texas Planned Parenthood Clinics DO Offer Mammograms
Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism questioned the accuracy of Media Matters research showing that a Planned Parenthood clinic in Waco, Texas, provides mammograms. In fact, the clinic is partnered with outside organizations to provide mammograms. Read More

The War On Child Labor Laws: Maine Republicans Want Longer Hours, Lower Pay For Kids

THINK PROGRESS

Maine State Rep. David Burns is the latest of many Republican lawmakers concerned that employers aren’t allowed to do enough to exploit child workers:

LD 1346 suggests several significant changes to Maine’s child labor law, most notably a 180-day period during which workers under age 20 would earn $5.25 an hour.

The state’s current minimum wage is $7.50 an hour.

Rep. David Burns, R-Whiting, is sponsoring the bill, which also would eliminate the maximum number of hours a minor over 16 can work during school days.

Burns’ bill is particularly insidious, because it directly encourages employers to hire children or teenagers instead of adult workers. Because workers under 20 could be paid less than adults under this GOP proposal, minimum wage workers throughout Maine would likely receive a pink slip as their twentieth birthday present so that their boss could replace them with someone younger and cheaper.

And Burns is just one of many prominent Republicans who believe that America’s robust protections against the exploitation of children are wrongheaded:

Republicans’ contempt for workers is hardly news. GOP governors throughout the country have declared war on collective bargaining, and the national minimum wage remained stagnant for nearly a decade the last time Republicans controlled Congress. Nevertheless, the GOP’s increasingly widespread assaults on child labor laws is a significant escalation from their longstanding war on adult workers.

Maine Governor Broke Law By Removing and Hiding Labor Mural

Teabagger-piglet Paul LePage, who somehow became governor of Maine this year despite winning just 38% of the vote, has been aggressively trying to destroy the public worker unions as per his instructions from the Tea Party (Koch Industries).

Just to make sure everyone knew he was going to be an incredible jackass in this attack on the people of Maine, LePage decided the labor history mural in the state’s Department of Labor building was, well, labor oriented. And everybody (Koch Industries) knows that’s a very bad thing, for American workers to be fairly compensated for their labor.

So portly wingnut Paul LePage had this 36-foot-long mural ripped out, and then he hid it in an “undisclosed location,” and now it turns out he illegally violated the terms of the contract with the mural’s artist. READ MORE »

Gohmert: Obama In Libya So He Can Call Up Secret Health-Care-Law Troops

Most conservatives hate everything President Obama does. But they love war. Love it! They would go to war with half the world if they had a Republican president in office who would let them. So the cognitive dissonance has been pretty tough on this Libya thing. On the one hand, evil Kenyan!

On the other hand, look at all those sexy bombs we’re dropping on the brown people! But finally Rep. Louie Gohmert figured out why Obama seems to also like war a lot right now: he’s secretly HURTING our military so he can create troops made entirely out of health care reform.

Nooooo! That health care reform is poison! They’re going to be poison troops! (But also THANK GOD. This means Republicans aren’t REALLY opposing an actual war. Just health care for people who desperately need it.) READ MORE »

Montana Legislator Wearing Dumb Tie Decries Drunk Driving Laws

(To be fair, everyone in the Montana legislature is wearing a stupid tie. But c’mon, look at that thing.) Drunk driving is a way of life in Montana, and bars can only survive if they get their patrons drunk enough to go out and kill people? Yeah, sounds about right. [Youtube]

Dave Weigel Proves Michele Bachmann Is Kenyan Idiot


Jabbering fucktard clownfish Michele Bachmann was one of the twelve or so teabaggers to “protest” in Washington today, by utterly failing to have a protest. But at least she posed with this sign announcing that she had escaped from Kenya, and that this strange white suburban wingnut village in Kenya was now missing its main idiot. Then Michele Bachmann walked into a tree and thanked George Washington for ending slavery and writing the bible, the end. [Dave Weigel's Twitter thing]

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Right-Wing Media Ready To Impeach Obama, Again

http://mediamatters.org/research/201103300053

This month, right-wing media figures are arguing that President Obama should be impeached for actions he has taken with respect to Libya. Undermining the possibility that they really care about the constitutional issues involved, this argument is just the latest in the right-wing media's neverending quest to see Obama impeached.

Top Democratic Aide Says Breakthrough Possible To Avert Government Shutdown

Top Dem aide tells TPM there's been a possible breakthrough on efforts to avert a government shutdown.

--Josh Marshall

Pastor had sex with teens to cure their homosexuality

WI Gazette

A former youth pastor in Council Bluffs, Iowa, says he had sex with teenage boys because it was his pastoral duty “to help (the teen) with homosexual urges by praying while he had sexual contact with him.”

But law enforcement has a different view of his actions. Earlier this month, Brent Girouex, 31, was arrested on 60 counts of suspicion of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist, reported The Daily Nonpareil.

In February, Girouex told Council Bluffs police detectives that he had sexual contact with four young men starting in 2007 in order to help them gain “sexual purity in the eyes of God.”

But Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber told the Nonpareil that at least eight men have come forward with complaints that Girouex molested them.

Court documents indicated Girouex told investigators the most sexual contact he had was with one teen over a four-year period, starting when the boy was 14 years old. Calling the contact “mutual,” he said it had occurred between “25 and 50 times” during that period.

When investigators spoke to the teen, who’s now an adult, he told them the number was between 50 and 100.

Three other young men who were teenagers when the incidents occurred told investigators the sex occurred at Girouex’s home. All said they went to be helped with “sexual purity.”

“When they would ejaculate, they would be getting rid of the evil thoughts in their mind,” Girouex allegedly told detectives.

Wilber said investigators are following leads to see if there are more victims. Girouex is currently free on $30,000 bond.

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-30-11

Beck's Theory That Israel May Come Under U.S. Attack Is Riddled With Falsehoods
Glenn Beck continues to push the lunatic theory that recent events show that the left and the Obama administration are laying the groundwork for military action against Israel. In fact, Beck's theory rests on utter falsehoods and wild distortions. Read More

Fox & Friends Hosts Hate Group Head To Push "Anchor Baby" Myth
Fox & Friends hosted Dan Stein, head of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), to fearmonger both about "anchor babies" and so-called "birth tourism." But the "anchor baby" concept is a myth, pushed by anti-immigrant groups like FAIR, which is considered a "hate group," and the number of children born to women visiting the United States is "fairly miniscule." Read More

Right-Wing Media Promote Latest Lila Rose Hoax Falsely Smearing Planned Parenthood President
Discredited right-wing activist Lila Rose is promoting yet another video hoax, falsely claiming to have caught Planned Parenthood officials lying about the organization's work providing patients with access to cancer screenings, including mammograms. But the comments Rose highlights in no way contradict the undisputed fact that Planned Parenthood provides patients with access to these services. Read More

Wash. Times Takes Power's Quote Out Of Context To Smear Her As An "Enemy" Of Israel
The Washington Times took comments from Obama adviser Samantha Power out of context to claim that she "counseled a massive intervention in Israel to protect Palestinians" and smear her as "a decided enemy" of Israel. In fact, Power was asked what would be necessary to stop a move toward genocide by "one party or another" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; she said it may require investment in a new Palestinian state and a "meaningful military presence." Read More

GOP Communications Arm Fox News Attacks Democrats For Using Talking Points
Following audio of Sen. Chuck Schumer coaching other senators on language to use when discussing budgetary issues and a potential government shutdown, Fox News figures have attacked Democrats for coordinating talking points. Their criticism comes despite the fact that, among other things, Fox News itself consistently adopts GOP talking points as its own, has been caught broadcasting GOP press releases -- typos and all -- and its Washington managing editor, Bill Sammon, has been caught instructing Fox's anchors and reporters to use GOP-friendly language in their reporting. Read More

Limbaugh, Hannity Repeat Wash. Times Misquote of Obama Adviser
A Washington Times article contained a purported statement by Obama adviser Samantha Power that President Obama inspired the uprising in Libya -- a claim later exposed as "badly misquoted." Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity were among the hosts who repeated the misquoted remark. Read More

GOPers Demand WI Rep. Salary Tape Be Pulled From Internet

Okay, in the words of the immortal Beastie Boys, we are going to fight, for your right, to hear freshman Rep. Sean Duffy say his family is struggling to get by on his $174,000 salary. Yesterday we posted a short clip of Duffy, at a townhall in his district, telling a constituent that his family was "struggling" to get by on his $174,000 annual congressional salary.

Let's be honest: Duffy is probably in a majority of members of Congress of both parties who feel this way. He's in a minority of one who in this economic climate had the poor judgment to say it. In any case, the fact that Duffy said it was always secondary for us to the fact that the local Polk County Republican party was trying to prevent anyone from seeing the video after they posted it on their own website.

Then this morning, our video hosting service received a take down notice from the Polk County Republican party trying again to prevent anyone from seeing the video. We believe that it's wrong for a political party to use copyright to prevent the public from seeing something a member of Congress said in the course of his public duties. (This was a townhall meeting.) Equally important, our legal counsel believes they have no case. So we have now reposted the video on our own site along with a news report on the Polk County GOP's effort to prevent anyone from seeing the video. See it here.

--Josh Marshall

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

House GOP Kills Program That Stopped 600,000 Foreclosures

The U.S. economy will continue to be terrible, as far as jobs and housing and state tax revenues, as long as the Housing Crisis continues. And, based on today’s news and basically all housing news for several years now, the collapse of the Housing Bubble is an ongoing catastrophe — with prices still falling, terrible loans still “resetting,” 9% unemployment sending ever more families into default, 14 million homeowners “underwater,” 3 million foreclosures last year and another 3 million foreclosures expected this year.

How might the House Republicans help America “get back to work” or whatever? By eliminating the four federal programs that have helped 1.5 million homeowners temporarily reset their mortgages and 600,000 permanently modify their loans to more affordable amounts. READ MORE »

Sarah Palin: Is Libya a War Or Is It a ‘Squirmish’?

Why is nobody talking about this? According to leading military scientist Dr. Sarah Palin, this conflict could very well be a squirmish, which just sounds awful. Actual, no, that sounds rather cute. Can we buy it for the kids this summer and set it up in the backyard? READ MORE »

Recall The Republicans

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-29-11

Beck Pretends His Shows Are Not In "Decline"
On his Fox News show today, Glenn Beck suggested that the efforts of Jewish Funds for Justice and Media Matters to "accelerat[e] Beck's decline" are not working because "the lights are on" in his studio. In fact, Beck's Fox News program has lost over 300 advertisers, he has lost more than 1 million viewers over the last year, his radio show has been kicked off various stations including ones in New York and Philadelphia, and there is a possibility that Fox News executives are reportedly "contemplating life without" Beck. Read More

Fox's Bill Sammon Problem
Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon boasted that he repeatedly lied during the final days of the 2008 presidential campaign when he speculated on-air "about whether Barack Obama really advocated socialism." Sammon has repeatedly used his position at Fox to slant the network's news coverage to the right. Read More

New Low? Fox & Friends Hosts Conspiracy Theorist Cashill To Peddle Claim That Ayers Wrote Obama's Memoir
Fox & Friends hosted WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill to promote his discredited conspiracy theory that Bill Ayers wrote President Obama's memoir, Dreams from My Father. Cashill has a long history of pushing insane conspiracy theories about Obama. Read More

Revenge Of The Bush DOJ: Mukasey's War Against The Obama Administration
Bush administration Attorney General Michael Mukasey has regularly used platforms on the op-ed pages of major newspapers and as a guest on cable and broadcast news programs to serve as an attack dog seeking to undermine President Obama, his administration, and in particular Attorney General Eric Holder on a wide variety of issues. Most recently, Mukasey has slammed the Obama Justice department for bringing a discrimination lawsuit against a school on behalf of a Muslim teacher who resigned after her request for time off to make hajj, a religious pilgrimage observant Muslims must take, was denied. Read More

Right-Wing Media Attacked Muslim Advocates For Giving Muslims Common Legal Advice
As a Senate subcommittee is poised to begin a hearing on Muslim civil rights, several right-wing media outlets are attacking Farhana Khera, a witness at the hearing and the executive director of the Muslim legal advocacy group Muslim Advocates, for urging American Muslims to have an attorney present when speaking to law enforcement. But this is standard advice given by many legal rights advocacy groups, including the American Bar Association and the Naval Legal Service Office. Read More

Fox & Friends: A Loving Home For The Right's Craziest Conspiracy Theories
Fox & Friends invited conspiracy theorist Jack Cashill to push his insane theory that Bill Ayers ghostwrote Obama's first book, Dreams from My Father. Fox & Friends has an extensive history of pushing right-wing conspiracy theories and hosting discredited guests to back up their outrageous claims. Read More

Right-Wing Media Falsely Claim Obama "Bashe[d] Bush" During Libya Speech
Following President Obama's national address on the crisis in Libya, the right-wing media has complained that he "bashe[d] Bush" by referencing the Iraq war, with Fox & Friends going so far as to suggest that Obama's reference was gratuitous because "nobody" is comparing Libya to Iraq. In fact, Obama made no mention of Bush and cited Iraq as an illustration of what could happen "[i]f we tried to overthrow Qaddafi by force"; additionally, Fox & Friends itself has pushed comparisons of Libya to Iraq. Read More

Special Report's Contrasting Previews Of The King And Durbin Hearings On American Muslims
On the night before Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) was scheduled to hold hearings on the civil rights of Muslims in America, Fox News aired a segment on Special Report that promoted a right-wing group's attacks on Durbin for his appearance in what they described as "a controversial picture... that critics say undermines the hearing." By contrast, the program did not point out Congressman Peter King's (R-NY) extensive efforts on behalf of the Irish Republican Army before his hearings earlier this month on Muslim radicalization. Read More

More Hypocrisy: Glenn Beck Takes Issue With Calling Opponents "Demons"
Prompted by Louis Farrakhan's remark that America is a "habitation of devils," Glenn Beck asked, "[W]hat happens when you can convince enough people" that something is "full of demons"? Beck himself has a long history of linking progressives to "the devil" and calling them "enemies of God." Read More

Sea Level Researchers Debunk Wash. Times' Distortion Of Their Work
A Washington Times editorial falsely claims that a recent sea level study "shows oceans are not rising." In fact, the study does not dispute that sea levels are rising, and the study's author calls the Washington Times' claim "a mischaracterization of our work." Read More

After Congressional Progressives Ask ‘Where Are The Jobs?,’ GOP Rep. Biggert Says ‘Stop Talking About Jobs’

THINK PROGRESS

One of the mantras of congressional Republicans over the past two years has been to ask, “Where are the jobs?” House GOP leader John Boehner (OH) made this into a theme of the campaign last fall. As then-GOP chairman Michael Steele summarized the argument: “Americans are still asking, ‘Where are the jobs?’ … Washington Democrats still have no answers.”

This afternoon, Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and other progressives took to the floor of the House of Representatives to turn this question back on their Republican colleagues. Ellison and the others asked where all the jobs-creation legislation was, excoriating their conservative colleagues for focusing on legislation like terminating the HAMP program, which would do nothing to create jobs:

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN): “The Republicans’ no-jobs agenda has been exposed, Mr. Chair. The majority has done nothing to create jobs or protect homes. All they do is criticize programs that could use some improvement. Rather, they would get rid of them altogether.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY): “[The Republicans] have no plans of their own to address the foreclosure crisis that is hurting neighborhoods and disrupting lives throughout their country. Like the jobs bills they said they would have. We have yet to see them.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX): “Your cities have been impacted positively by the HAMP program. Job growth is picking up. Investing and growing jobs should be the mindset of the American Congress for that’s what we were sent back to Washington to do.”

At one point, Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) took to the floor to respond to the progressives. She attacked the HAMP program, urging her colleagues to end it, and signaled that she would oppose progressive amendments to the GOP’s bill for ending the mortgage modification program. Then, she incredulously told her colleagues to stop talking about jobs and focus rather on the substance of the amendments:

BIGGERT: I would urge my colleagues to support — oppose this amendment. And stop talking about jobs, let’s focus on the substance of these amendments............

Judge Blocks Wisconsin Law Again

Remember the judge who last week issued a preliminary injunction against Wisconsin Gov. Walker's anti-union legislation? After Wisconsin Republicans defied that order on Friday, everybody met in court again today. The judge again enjoined any efforts to put the law into effect. And the Governor's representative again said, who cares?

--Josh Marshall

Sarah Palin Exaggerates Cost of Libya Intervention By 700%

THINK PROGRESS

Last night on Fox News, Greta van Susteren hosted former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) to discuss what Palin termed the “squirmish” in Libya. True to form, the former governor was reckless with basic facts and casually septupled the cost of U.S. intervention. According to figures released by the Pentagon, the intervention cost $600 million in the first seven days. Palin, however, claimed that the no-fly zone — which, for the record, she called for — cost that amount daily:

PALIN: Yes, that’s — that’s a good question. And that’s the $600 million dollar-a-day question that is being asked now because that’s the cost incurred by Americans as we support the no-fly zone, which, of course, the no-fly zone, the intervention or enactment is turning into more than that.............

(FOX NEWS LIES) Fox exec. admits he lied in linking Obama, socialism

RAW STORY

During the 2008 presidential campaign one Fox News executive repeatedly tried to smear Barack Obama with charges of "socialism."

Liberal watchdog group Media Matters has uncovered audio that indicates Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon was just engaging in what he called "mischievous speculation."

In 2009, Sammon told an audience aboard Mediterranean cruise sponsored by a right-wing college that his 2008 attempt to link Obama to socialism was "a premise that privately I found rather far-fetched."

"Last year, candidate Barack Obama stood on a sidewalk in Toledo, Ohio, and first let it slip to Joe the Plumber that he wanted to quote, 'spread the wealth around,'" Sammon said. "At that time, I have to admit, that I went on TV on Fox News and publicly engaged in what I guess was some rather mischievous speculation about whether Barack Obama really advocated socialism, a premise that privately I found rather far-fetched."

During the 2008 campaign, the then-Washington deputy managing editor repeatedly suggested that Obama had socialist tendencies.

On Oct. 14, 2008, Sammon said that Obama's comment to Joe Wurzelbacher "is red meat when you're talking to conservatives and you start talking about 'spread the wealth around.' That is tantamount to socialism."

In early February, Media Matters obtained an email where Sammon offered talking points to Fox News staff, linking Obama to socialism and Marxism during the 2008 campaign............

Monday, March 28, 2011

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-28-11

Fox Pushes False Claim That Gates "Contradicted" Obama On Libya
Fox News has seized on recent comments Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made about U.S. military involvement in Libya to claim that Gates "contradicted" President Obama's statements about the military action in Libya. In fact, Obama has not contradicted Gates' statement that Libya is "not a vital interest" for the U.S., and both agree that the U.S. has an interest in acting there. Read More

WSJ Dubiously Hypes RI Medicaid Waiver As Model For Other States
The Wall Street Journal stated that "[i]f Congress and the White House are serious about reducing the cost of entitlements, they'll grant a Rhode Island-style [Medicaid] waiver to any state that requests one." However, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has stated that claims touting the Rhode Island waiver as a model for other states "generally do not withstand scrutiny." Read More

Hannity Wages All-Out Campaign To Promote Birther Conspiracy Theory
Sean Hannity has aggressively embraced false claims that President Obama has not produced a copy of his birth certificate. In fact, Obama's campaign released a birth certificate during the 2008 campaign. Read More

Geoffrey Dunn Digs Down Deep Into Sarah Palin’s Pathology of Deceit

By Sarah Jones

As Sarah Palin wraps up her days-around-the-world-tour gaining “foreign policy experience” by staying holed up in her hotel room in India, Americans are braced for her eventual announcement that she is going to impose herself on us even more than she already does by running for President. The only question we have is will she run 3rd party or does she have something on the GOP that will force them to accept her doomed candidacy if their Huckabee-block plan doesn’t work.

At any rate, no matter how much we want her to go away, she refuses. We reject her as overtly as we can, and yet she refuses to get the message, so sure is she that she is God’s Chosen One, meant to lead the United States “back to Jesus” one vindictive slam at a time. The only fun we’re going to have during the upcoming Palin for President Debacle is taking bets on how low she’ll go to battle the “devil”, while sifting through the assault of words that never tie together in any recognizable manner.

Palin will of course never realize that with every insult she tosses into the President’s path, she’s merely revealing her own faults as her inability to be honest with herself causes her to project her secret shame onto others. After all, if there’s an anti-American agent of evil, divisiveness or terrorism, it’s residing within her. As for her language issues, if you think you’re tired of it, imagine having to transcribe it. We shall overcome.

Just in time for this race to the bottom, the Final Embarrassment the GOP can inflict upon this country, Geoffrey Dunn’s Palin book is going to be released early this May by St. Martin’s Press. His book is titled, “The Lies of Sarah Palin – The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power”...........

As 60% Disapprove Sarah Palin Is America’s Most Hated Politician

politicususa.com

A new Bloomberg poll released today illustrated just how far Sarah Palin has fallen since her heady pit bull with lipstick days of the 2008 presidential campaign. Palin only registered a 28% approval rating in the poll. To put this in perspective, Wall Street, you know the guys who wrecked the global economy, get a 30% approval rating from the American people.

The Bloomberg poll
offered a strong reality check to those Americans who are counting on Sarah Palin to defeat President Obama in 2012. President Obama’s favorable rating was 55%. His unfavorable rating was 41%. In contrast, Lou Sarah a.k.a. former Gov. Palin had a favorable rating of 28%, and an unfavorable rating of 60%. President Obama’s favorable rating was almost as high as Palin’s unfavorable rating, and he had a very favorable rating with 22% of Americans. Sarah Palin’s very favorable rating was 9%.

Palin is so unpopular that Donald Trump is more popular than she is. Trump had an approval rating nearly ten percent higher than Palin’s (37%-28%). Trumps unfavorable rating was a 17 points better than Palin’s (43%-60%). The only person with a lower favorability rating than Sarah Palin was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who had a 22% favorable rating, but 50% of Americans didn’t know who he was.

To put Sarah Palin’s unpopularity into its proper context consider that Wall Street had a higher favorability rating in the poll than she did (30%-28%). Wall Street’s unfavorable rating was also 11 points lower than Palin’s (49%-60%). The people who completely wrecked the economy through greed, incompetence, illegal activity, and in some cases theft are more popular that than the Queen Esther wanna be herself...........

Sunday, March 27, 2011

NASA Completes 52-Year Mission To Find, Kill God

WASHINGTON—After more than five decades of tireless work, brave exploration, and technological innovation aimed at a single objective, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced Wednesday that it had finally completed its mission to find and kill God.

"I am ecstatic to tell you all today that we have beheld the awesome visage of the supreme architect of the cosmos, and we have murdered Him," jubilant administrator Charles Bolden said after being drenched with champagne by other celebrating NASA employees. "There have been innumerable setbacks, missteps, and hardships over the past 50 years, but we always stayed true to our ultimate goal and we never gave up."

"We finally got the son of a bitch!" Bolden continued. "He's dead! God is dead!"

According to officials, God was killed this morning on the moon by a highly trained team of seven astronauts. He was reportedly lured into a trap after coming into contact with the Voyager 2 probe, which was transmitting a false message that NASA wanted to broker a truce with God on "neutral ground."


"One of our lunar rovers captured an image of God at approximately 2100 hours last night, and we immediately launched a vessel manned by our best assassins," said Richard Egan, Mission Control Chief at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "After exiting the lunar lander, the astronauts approached God under the false pretense of peace, but He must have sensed something was amiss and fled. Our men gave chase in a moon buggy, finally overtaking Him in a crater where He was subdued after several minutes of violent hand-to-hand combat."

Egan told reporters that it took as many as five highly trained astronauts to fully restrain the Supreme Being. He also confirmed that three of the astronauts sent to kill God were badly injured, but were expected to recover.

"He was damn fast. And strong—as strong as anyone I've ever engaged," said Captain Trevor Sullivan, the astronaut who, after his weary team dragged a bloodied and beaten God back to the lunar module, executed Him with a single gunshot to the head. "He fought like a wild animal, and the fact that He's omnipotent really worked against us. But we know a few tricks ourselves, and after all was said and done, we took Him down for good."

"Gotta give Him credit, though, God was defiant right up until the end. Scrappy bastard spit right in my face just before I pulled the trigger," added Sullivan, smiling.

NASA was founded in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower for the express purpose of locating and assassinating God. By 1969, it had completed a successful lunar landing, bringing mankind that much closer to neutralizing the Almighty. It was in that year that U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first to step on the moon, and uttered the legendary phrase, "Where are you, God, you fucking faggot? Come and get me!"

Over the years, officials told reporters, God had proved to be an elusive and formidable foe. In 1986, He destroyed the Challenger shuttle, killing all seven crew members, including Christa McAuliffe, a special operative who had been given orders to seduce and then strangle God with garrote wire. The Lord subsequently blew up the Columbia Destroyer Shuttle on reentry in 2003, and several times sabotaged the Hubble Space Telescope, a large piece of surveillance equipment launched into orbit in 1990 to monitor His activities.

"I can't tell you how many times God gave us the slip," NASA aerospace engineer David Williamson said. "We learned pretty quickly that you couldn't underestimate Him, not for a second. He was an unbelievably intelligent and resourceful enemy, and if you made even the smallest mistake, you can bet He'd make you pay for it."

Sullivan's begrudging respect for God was echoed by many other NASA officials and employees. Though most have spent the majority of their adult lives working toward killing God, a certain reverence for the deceased deity pervaded NASA headquarters.

"It's ironic that despite all of the technological advances and powerful weapons we've made, it was God's trusting and compassionate nature that was His final undoing," said Buzz Aldrin, a former astronaut who ripped out pages of the Bible on the moon's surface in an effort to enrage God and draw Him out of hiding. "I mean, you've really got to hand it to Him. He gave us one hell of a fight."

"I only wish it had been me personally who got to pull the trigger on that cocksucker," Aldrin added.

FOXLEAKS - FOX NEWS History Of Fabricating Stories

A Partial List

Report: Rebels Take Sirte

Reuters is reporting that Libyan rebels claim that Col. Qaddafi's hometown of Sirte has fallen into rebel hands. This comes on the heels of earlier rebel successes over the weekend.

--Josh Marshall

Sarah Palin Media Addict

London: Half A Million In The Streets To Protest Massive Government Cuts

THINK PROGRESS

Fueled by anger at drastic government cuts, 500,000 protesters took to the streets of London yesterday in the largest protest since the city’s 2003 march against the Iraq war.

Few parts of British life will remain untouched by the massive $130 billion in cuts to public services now being rolled out by the coalition government. Local budgets are being slashed by up to 30 percent, leading to cuts in child care, public safety, programs for retirees, and library closures — and an increasing privatization of the popular, publicly-funded National Health Services.

“Women, parents, carers, disabled people, teenagers and elderly people” are likely to be hardest hit, reported the Guardian in a study of the cuts’ devastating impact. On top of services, the job losses are expected to be enormous. Amidst the UK’s current record 17-year unemployment high, the cuts will mean a loss of 490,000 public sector jobs.

The crowd at yesterday’s protest — the major march organized by the Trades Union Congress — was as diverse as the cuts people came out to rally against. On the streets, I stood next to firefighters wearing ‘Cuts cost lives’ shirts, a ‘book block’ of 20-somethings wielding large pink cardboard books as shields, kids on parents’ shoulders, and loads of homemade signs: ‘Give me back my future,’ ‘Stop teabagging the public sector,’ and ‘Hands off — the NHS is ours’ were just a few.

UK Uncut, the distributed effort that calls attention to corporate tax avoidance by taking over stores, used the march as a jumping off point for occupations throughout London’s major shopping areas. The spin-off group US Uncut also spent the day targeting more than 40 Bank of America branches across the United States.

UK Uncut peacefully took over London’s upscale Fortnum and Mason department store, whose owners they say have dodged more than 40 million pounds in taxes. Others climbed onto the store’s second-story roof, where they strung up tape saying ‘Closed by UK Uncut’ and sprinkled glitter on the crowd. Later in the evening protesters danced in Trafalgar Square when they were surrounded by riot police, who prevented them from leaving by using the harsh ‘kettling’ technique that was introduced during this winter’s UK student protests.

While the line that played out in the media focused on a small minority of protesters throwing paint and smashing windows, the vast majority were parents, students, health care workers, and union members there to voice their anger about the cuts. The real power of the day came from its dual nature: both the smaller groups ready to take more direct action combined with the strength in the numbers and stories of ordinary people standing up to say ‘no more.’ Their half-a-million strong presence in London’s streets yesterday gave rise to the feeling amongst many that this is just the beginning of something much larger.

Brit Hume Resurrects Myths About Health Care Reform's Passage

http://mediamatters.org/research/201103270004

While discussing the first anniversary of the passage of the health care reform law, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume claimed that the legislation had been "rammed through" by the Democrats and did not incorporate "Republican ideas." In reality, Congress debated health care reform for more than a year and included numerous Republican proposals.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Media Matters' war against Fox

POLITICO

The liberal group Media Matters has quietly transformed itself in preparation for what its founder, David Brock, described in an interview as an all-out campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” aimed at the Fox News Channel.

The group, launched as a more traditional media critic, has all but abandoned its monitoring of newspapers and other television networks and is narrowing its focus to Fox and a handful of conservative websites, which its leaders view as political organizations and the “nerve center” of the conservative movement. The shift reflects the centrality of the cable channel to the contemporary conservative movement, as well as the loathing it inspires among liberals — not least among the donors who fund Media Matters’ staff of about 90, who are arrayed in neat rows in a giant war room above Massachusetts Avenue.

“The strategy that we had had toward Fox was basically a strategy of containment,” said Brock, Media Matters’ chairman and founder and a former conservative journalist, adding that the group’s main aim had been to challenge the factual claims of the channel and to attempt to prevent them from reaching the mainstream media.

The new strategy, he said, is a “war on Fox.”

In an interview and a 2010 planning memo shared with POLITICO, Brock listed the fronts on which Media Matters — which he said is operating on a $10 million-plus annual budget — is working to chip away at Fox and its parent company, News Corp. They include its bread-and-butter distribution of embarrassing clips and attempts to rebut Fox points, as well as a series of under-the-radar tactics.

Media Matters, Brock said, is assembling opposition research files not only on Fox’s top executives but on a series of midlevel officials. It has hired an activist who has led a successful campaign to press advertisers to avoid Glenn Beck’s show. The group is assembling a legal team to help people who have clashed with Fox to file lawsuits for defamation, invasion of privacy or other causes. And it has hired two experienced reporters, Joe Strupp and Alexander Zaitchik, to dig into Fox’s operation to help assemble a book on the network, due out in 2012 from Vintage/Anchor. (In the interest of full disclosure, Media Matters last month also issued a report criticizing “Fox and Friends” co-host Steve Doocy’s criticism of this reporter’s blog.)

Brock said Media Matters also plans to run a broad campaign against Fox’s parent company, News Corp., an effort which most likely will involve opening a United Kingdom arm in London to attack the company’s interests there. The group hired an executive from MoveOn.org to work on developing campaigns among News Corp. shareholders and also is looking for ways to turn regulators in the U.S., U.K., and elsewhere against the network.

The group will “focus on [News Corp. CEO Rupert] Murdoch and trying to disrupt his commercial interests — whether that be here or looking at what’s going on in London right now,” Brock said, referring to News Corp.’s — apparently successful — move to take a majority stake in the satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

A spokeswoman for Fox News, Irena Briganti, declined to comment on Media Matters’ efforts, but the group draws regular barbs from Fox hosts Beck and Bill O’Reilly.

“Tonight is not an episode you casually watch and take out of context like Media Matters does,” Beck remarked last month.

A more extended attack came in February on the freewheeling late night show Red Eye, which conducted a mock interview with a purported Media Matters employee.

“It’s horrible. All we do is sit and watch Fox News and make up stuff about Fox News. It is the saddest place I have ever seen in my life. I think about it, and I want to throw up,” the mock employee said. “I get to work and I take off my clothes, and they strap me into a chair in front of a TV with [Fox News Channel] on. They keep my eyelids propped open like in “Clockwork Orange,” and I sit and type all day.

“If there was no Beck, George Soros would come down and demand we make it up,” the “interviewee” continued. “I would watch the “Flintstones” and transcribe Fred Flintstone’s words and attribute them to Beck. It was the only way to get Soros to stop hitting me.”

(A Soros associate said the financier, who gave Media Matters $1 million last year, did not earmark it for the Fox campaign. Soros suggested in a recent CNN interview that the Fox depictions of him as a sinister media manipulator would better be applied to Murdoch.)

In some views, the war between Media Matters and Fox is not, necessarily, bad for either side. Media Matters has transformed itself into a pillar of the progressive movement with its aggressive new brand of media campaigning. And the attacks cement Fox’s status on the right.

“Fox is happy about it — and it makes their position more vivid among their supporters,” said Paul Levinson, a media studies professor at Fordham University. “One way of keeping your core supporters happy is to be attacked by people your core supporters don’t like.”

But Media Matters says its digging has begun to pay off. The group has trickled out a series of emails from Washington Bureau Chief Bill Sammon, leaks from inside the network, which show him, for instance, circulating a memo on “Obama’s references to socialism, liberalism, Marxism and Marxists.”

The leaks are part of a broader project to take advantage of internal dissent, Media Matters Executive Vice President Ari Rabin-Havt said.

“We made a list of every single person who works for Fox and tried to figure out who might be disgruntled and why, and we went out to try to meet them,” he said. “Clearly, somebody in that organization is giving us primary source documents.”

Media Matters, he said, is also conducting “opposition research” on a dozen or so “mid- and senior-level execs and producers,” a campaign style move that he and Brock said would simply involve recording their public appearances and digging into public records associated with them.

And Brock’s 2010 planning memo offers a glimpse at Media Matters’ shift from media critic to a new species of political animal.

“Criticizing Fox News has nothing to do with criticizing the press,” its memo says. “Fox News is not a news organization. It is the de facto leader of the GOP, and it is long past time that it is treated as such by the media, elected officials and the public.”

Insane Clown Posse - Miracles

Insane Clown Posse - Lets Go All The Way!

Who Is G. Edward Griffin, Beck's Expert On The Federal Reserve?

On his Fox News show, Glenn Beck presented author G. Edward Griffin as a credible authority on the Federal Reserve. But Griffin has an extensive history of promoting wild conspiracy theories, including the notions that HIV does not exist and that cancer is a dietary deficiency that can be cured with "an essential food compound." Read More

Most Montana legislators receive state-subsidized health benefits

Missoulian

HELENA - Legislative officials agreed Friday to a Lee Newspapers request to release the names of all legislators accepting health insurance benefits from the state, revealing that all but seven of the 150 lawmakers chose to receive the health benefits, worth up to $733 a month.

Within hours of the information's release, the Montana House refused to consider a bill putting into state law that the information on lawmaker health benefits should always be made public.

The House voted 54-38 to defeat a motion to bring Senate Bill 284 to the House floor, two days after majority Republicans on a House panel voted to kill the measure.

"This bill was a stunt to try to embarrass Republicans over national health care," said Rep. Cary Smith, R-Billings. "I voted against this bill because I think it's a political stunt and I think it's a silly stunt."

All voting not to bring the bill to the floor were Republicans. Eight Republicans and 30 Democrats voted for the motion.

Rep. Ellie Hill, D-Missoula, who made the motion to bring the bill to the floor, said the public should have the permanent right to know which lawmakers are accepting taxpayer-funded health coverage.

"The same members of this body who introduced and voted for bills to overturn the federal health reform act are the same members who want to hide the fact that they get subsidized government health care from the very people who pay for it," she said. "I think the hypocrisy of this is thick."

Failure of the bill, however, had no effect on Friday's public release of lawmakers' choices on whether to accept taxpayer-funded health coverage or subsidies.

Legislative officials released the information after reconsidering an earlier legal opinion that said the names could not be released, because of privacy concerns - a decision that prompted the introduction of Senate Bill 284 by Sen. Anders Blewett, D-Great Falls.

Blewett said he introduced the bill so there would be no legal question over whether that information should be made public now or in the future.

***

Legislators, who are in session for four months every two years, can choose to be on the state employee health plan for their entire term - and get $733 a month from the state to offset their share of the cost of that coverage. The lawmaker's share of the coverage can range up to $922 a month, if they add family members to the policy.

If they don't choose to be on the state plan, they can accept up to $733 a month from the state to offset the cost of their own private health insurance.

Information released Friday showed that 94 legislators have signed on to the state health plan and 49 chose to accept payments to offset their private health insurance costs.

Two Democrats and five Republicans declined any coverage or subsidy.

Ninety-five percent of Republicans in the Legislature are accepting the health coverage benefits, and 96 percent of Democrats are doing the same.

The Missoulian State Bureau asked in mid-January for the names of lawmakers accepting taxpayer-funded health coverage.

That request was denied after the Legislature's chief counsel, Rob Stutz, said lawmakers' privacy overrode the public's right to know.

Blewett then introduced SB284 to require disclosure of the names. The measure easily passed the Senate last month, but the Republican-controlled House Human Services Committee killed it Wednesday.

Lee Newspapers then renewed its request for release of the names and said it was prepared to file suit to get them.

On Friday morning, Susan Fox, executive director of the Legislative Services Division, said the Legislature had reviewed its position further and decided to provide the information.

Tool Time: Fake Assassination Plot in WI (Video)

Carlos Lam has admitted writing the email and resigned as deputy prosecutor of Johnson County, according to a statement from the Johnson County Prosecutor.

The new, post-resignation version of the story is here.



Bachmann (R-Mars) to kick off 2012 campaign by hiring a birther


RAW STORY

WASHINGTON – Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has all but made it official that she'll run for president in 2012. And the tea party darling's first hire for her campaign, according to CNN, will be a prominent Iowa birther.

On Thursday, Bachmann told ABC News, "I'm in for 2012," but didn't officially declare her candidacy. CNN reported on the same day that the Minnesota Republican has privately decided she'll mount a bid.

CNN also reported that, for her political director in the key state of Iowa, Bachmann intends to hire state Sen. Kent Sorenson (R), who authored a birther bill in the Iowa legislature this month.

Sorenson's four-line legislation declared that all presidential and vice presidential contenders must file their birth certificates along with affidavits of candidacy -- a clear wink and nod to the significant minority of conservatives who incorrectly believe President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and is therefore ineligible for the office.

Meanwhile, Bachmann has promised that the "first thing" she would do in the presidential debates is produce her birth certificate -- which, contrary to rumors, Obama has done.

Sorenson said earlier this month he would support Bachmann if she decided to run.

"There is a void out there that needs to be filled," he told CNN. "I hope she decides to run. She is somebody that has the credentials to fire up the grassroots. She would be someone who could unite different factions of the party. She is a strong fiscal and social conservative."

Maher: GOP birthers think Obama’s race is “un-American”

RAW STORY

Bill Maher, upon learning that 51 percent of Republican voters now believe that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, thus making the GOP majority birthers, he asked his conservative panel, "At what point do you say, I can't be a Republican anymore?"

Maher attributed the birthers' views to Obama's race.

"There is nothing about this man that is un-American, except, to them, his color,"

The segment was originally broadcast on HBO on "Real Time with Bill Maher," on March 25, 2011. Watch the clip at Mediaite (not embeddable.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

BOB HERBERT - Losing Our Way

NYT

So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home.

Welcome to America in the second decade of the 21st century. An army of long-term unemployed workers is spread across the land, the human fallout from the Great Recession and long years of misguided economic policies. Optimism is in short supply. The few jobs now being created too often pay a pittance, not nearly enough to pry open the doors to a middle-class standard of living.

Arthur Miller, echoing the poet Archibald MacLeish, liked to say that the essence of America was its promises. That was a long time ago. Limitless greed, unrestrained corporate power and a ferocious addiction to foreign oil have led us to an era of perpetual war and economic decline. Young people today are staring at a future in which they will be less well off than their elders, a reversal of fortune that should send a shudder through everyone.

The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.

Nearly 14 million Americans are jobless and the outlook for many of them is grim. Since there is just one job available for every five individuals looking for work, four of the five are out of luck. Instead of a land of opportunity, the U.S. is increasingly becoming a place of limited expectations. A college professor in Washington told me this week that graduates from his program were finding jobs, but they were not making very much money, certainly not enough to think about raising a family.

There is plenty of economic activity in the U.S., and plenty of wealth. But like greedy children, the folks at the top are seizing virtually all the marbles. Income and wealth inequality in the U.S. have reached stages that would make the third world blush. As the Economic Policy Institute has reported, the richest 10 percent of Americans received an unconscionable 100 percent of the average income growth in the years 2000 to 2007, the most recent extended period of economic expansion.

Americans behave as if this is somehow normal or acceptable. It shouldn’t be, and didn’t used to be. Through much of the post-World War II era, income distribution was far more equitable, with the top 10 percent of families accounting for just a third of average income growth, and the bottom 90 percent receiving two-thirds. That seems like ancient history now.

The current maldistribution of wealth is also scandalous. In 2009, the richest 5 percent claimed 63.5 percent of the nation’s wealth. The overwhelming majority, the bottom 80 percent, collectively held just 12.8 percent.

This inequality, in which an enormous segment of the population struggles while the fortunate few ride the gravy train, is a world-class recipe for social unrest. Downward mobility is an ever-shortening fuse leading to profound consequences.

A stark example of the fundamental unfairness that is now so widespread was in The New York Times on Friday under the headline: “G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether.” Despite profits of $14.2 billion — $5.1 billion from its operations in the United States — General Electric did not have to pay any U.S. taxes last year.

As The Times’s David Kocieniewski reported, “Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore.”

G.E. is the nation’s largest corporation. Its chief executive, Jeffrey Immelt, is the leader of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. You can understand how ordinary workers might look at this cozy corporate-government arrangement and conclude that it is not fully committed to the best interests of working people.

Overwhelming imbalances in wealth and income inevitably result in enormous imbalances of political power. So the corporations and the very wealthy continue to do well. The employment crisis never gets addressed. The wars never end. And nation-building never gets a foothold here at home.

New ideas and new leadership have seldom been more urgently needed.

This is my last column for The New York Times after an exhilarating, nearly 18-year run. I’m off to write a book and expand my efforts on behalf of working people, the poor and others who are struggling in our society. My thanks to all the readers who have been so kind to me over the years. I can be reached going forward at bobherbert88@gmail.com.

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-25-11

Beck Twists Statement By Obama Adviser To Portray Her As Anti-Israel
Glenn Beck played an edited video clip of Obama adviser Samantha Power to suggest she favors a "mammoth protection force" to "protect against Israel." In fact, Power was asked what would be necessary to stop a move toward genocide by "one party or another" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; she said it may require investment in a new Palestinian state and a "meaningful military presence." Read More

Glenn Beck Lies About NH Court Case To Continue To Vilify Public Schools
Glenn Beck falsely claimed that the New Hampshire Supreme Court prevented "parents" from home schooling their children based on a case that simply resolved a dispute between two divorced parents over the best way to educate their daughter. Beck has previously demonized public schools for "indoctrinat[ing]" children and "beg[ged]" people to home-school their children. Read More

Right-Wing Media's Evidence-Free Attack That Obama Is Lying About Ground Troops In Libya
Following the president's military action, the right-wing media launched an evidence-free attack that Obama is lying when he claims that the United States will not deploy ground troops in Libya. Media conservatives have baselessly speculated that special operative troops may be operating in Libya, despite acknowledging that publicly announcing the presence of such might endanger them. Read More

Hemmer Cherry Picks "Unscientific Poll" To Distort Public Support For Collective Bargaining
Fox News' Bill Hemmer mischaracterized public opinion as strongly opposed to union rights, citing what he himself called an "unscientific poll." In fact, actual scientific polls - including a Fox News poll - have shown widespread public opposition to restricting collective bargaining rights for public employees. Read More

Fox Mocks DOJ For Bringing Lawsuit To Defend Religious Practices Of Muslim
Bill O'Reilly, Jeanine Pirro, Gretchen Carlson are ridiculing and attacking the Justice Department for suing a school district for discrimination on behalf of a Muslim teacher who resigned after her request for time off to make hajj, a religious pilgrimage observant Muslims must take, was denied. But the Justice Department is acting on the recommendation of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which previously engaged in a similar lawsuit during the Bush administration, and even Fox's Megyn Kelly has acknowledged that the DOJ may have a case. Read More

Limbaugh Smears Obama Administration For Using Common Military Term "Kinetic"
Rush Limbaugh mocked the Obama administration for use of the term "kinetic" to describe military action in Libya, saying that the administration had "come up with the ludicrous term." In reality, "kinetic" is a common military term used by military and civilian leaders under both Democratic and Republican administrations, including former President George W. Bush andformer Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Read More

Newt Gingrich Loves ‘Historian’ Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage

It’s nut-pickin’ time in Iowa! That’s why Newt Gingrich — a man so amoral and crooked that he has to be screwed into his albino-rat wig each morning — is buddying up with the best wingnuts Texas has to offer, in Iowa. Meet make-believe “historian” David Barton, who brought two important beliefs to Iowa so that corn-growing people who breathed too much pesticide can pick the best Republican nominee to distractedly pretend to care about Fundamentalist Christians while actually answering an email from David Koch on the Blackberry.

David Barton has proven that Jesus, the probably-mythological Jewish radical who repeatedly called for both wealth redistribution and the payment of taxes due to the government, actually opposed America’s minimum-wage laws.

Well duh! Also: The same Justice Department that spends most of its time dreaming up phony terror plots and then duping some bored/lonely Muslim teen-ager into agreeing to do the plot? It’s a Muslim terrorist organization. Makes sense, kind of? READ MORE »

Wisconsin Republicans Defy Court Order

There's been an amazing turn of events late this afternoon and this evening in Wisconsin. State Republican leaders have pushed ahead with an effort to put Gov. Walker's union-busting bill into immediate effect in defiance of a state court order blocking the law from going into effect. Here's our report.

--Josh Marshall

Sarah Palin Unable To Quit Whining Cold Turkey

With Michele Bachmann about to embark on her run for president and make Teabaggers forget about Sarah Palin forever, now’s not the time for old Lou to be abandoning her tried and true methods of getting attention.

But that’s just what she seemed to do the other day, when she promised to quit “whining” about media coverage. This must have worried her advisors, because the snowbilly grifter has now refocused her remarks: She will continue to whine, but not about herself. Yeah, sure thing. READ MORE »

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-24-11

Zombie Lie: Right-Wing Media Revive "The 'Wall'" To Smear Gorelick As "Tied To 9-11"
Right-wing media have repeated the discredited claim that former Justice Department official Jamie Gorelick created a "wall" that blocked sharing of information between intelligence and law enforcement officials and used it to smear her as being "tied to 9-11." In fact, Gorelick did not create the "wall"; it existed before her Justice Department tenure. Read More

Right-Wing Media Misconstrue Rep. Weiner's Comments On NYC Health Care Waiver
The right-wing media reacted to news that Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) may be considering suggesting that New York City request a waiver from the health care reform law in order to create "a better plan" for New York City's Medicaid program by claiming he was "lying about [health care reform] from the very beginning." But Weiner's comments make clear that he considers the ability to grant waivers a sign of the law's "flexibility" and was citing this to refute the "notion that the government is shoving the bill down people's throats." Read More

Fox Hypes Trump's Birtherism
Fox News is promoting Donald Trump's recent call for President Obama to "show his birth certificate." Several Fox News hosts have hyped Trump's comments without noting that Obama released his certificate of live birth from the state of Hawaii when he was a candidate in 2008. Read More

"Birther Idiot" From "The Fringe Elements" At Glenn Beck's The Blaze
Glenn Beck's website The Blaze is promoting Donald Trump's demand that Obama show his birth certificate, arguing that Trump's "logic is hard to argue with." Beck himself has repeatedly criticized the birther movement, calling birthers "idiot[s]" and "the fringe elements." Read More

WND Spots Another Bogus Example Of "Sexual Indoctrination" By LGBT Activists
In a WorldNetDaily piece, Bob Unruh advanced the argument that California legislation aimed at having the history of the LGBT movement taught more extensively in social studies classes is "the worst school sexual indoctrination ever" and "sexual brainwashing." In fact, the bill instructs educators to teach about the "role and contribution of ... lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans." Read More

Fox News Resurrects Petrobras Conspiracy Theory
Fox News has revived the false conspiracy theory that President Obama arranged for an Export-Import Bank loan to a Brazilian oil company in order to enrich George Soros at the expense of the United States. In fact, the loan in question was approved by a Bush-appointed bank board and will go toward the purchase of U.S. goods and services. Read More

Hoft Advances Proposal That Congress Defund American Lung Association
Advancing a proposal that Congress defund the American Lung Association (ALA), Jim Hoft is claiming that the Environmental Protection Agency is paying the ALA to attack Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). In fact, the money given by the EPA to the ALA cannot legally be used for lobbying purposes, and that money represents a small fraction of the total revenue the organization receives. Read More

Indiana Official Reportedly Advised Scott Walker To Stage A Phony Violent Attack By Union Supporters

THINK PROGRESS

During the intense public battle with public employee unions last month, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) received an intriguing email from an admirer claiming to be a deputy prosecutor from Indiana. The email suggested that Walker should fake an attack on himself, in order to create sympathy for his cause and damage the reputation of the unions. The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has the email:

The e-mail was signed by “Carlos F. Lam.” WCIJ did some digging and discovered that indeed, there is a Carlos F. Lam who is a GOP public official in Indiana. He is a deputy prosecutor in Johnson County, Indiana — which is the same area the e-mail was sent from, according to its IP information. Lam also has a history of anti-union comments online: he’s written that Indiana is “an unsustainable public worker gravy train bubble.” In another, he said “unions & companies that feed at the gov’t trough will fight tooth & nail against anything that un-feathers their nests.”

WCIJ contacted Lam and asked him if the Hotmail address on the email belongs to him. Lam confirmed that it does — but categorically denied sending the email. “I am flabbergasted and would never advocate for something like this, and would like everyone to be sure that that’s just not me,” he said, after being read the email. He said he plans to file a police report about the matter this week.

Oddly, the email was sent on the very same day that another Indiana law enforcement official tweeted out violent plans for the protests. Jeffrey Cox, a deputy attorney general for the state, tweeted that police should “use live ammunition” against the protestors. He was fired the next day – but for now, Lam’s boss is backing him. “He didn’t send it,” he told WCIJ.

Update - According to the Johnson County Prosecutor's office, Lam has admitted that he wrote the email and resigned his post.