Thursday, January 30, 2014

Southern Republican says racism drives GOP opposition to immigration reform


A Republican lawmaker admitted yesterday that his party is having difficulty moving forward with immigration reform due to deeply rooted racist animus expressed by a portion of their own constituent base. In an interview with Buzzfeed, the Southern congressman, who wished to remain anonymous, explained that members of his party felt handcuffed and unable to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package due to fear of push back from hometown constituents. 

 “Part of it, I think — and I hate to say this, because these are my people — but I hate to say it, but it’s racial,” admitted the lawmaker. “If you go to town halls people say things like, ‘These people have different cultural customs than we do.’ And that’s code for race.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) added , “There will always be people [who have] different reasons for opposing the change. We have a history in this country of demagoguery when it comes [to immigration]. You know, ‘Irish Need Not Apply.’ There’s nothing new going on today that’s gone on before. This isn’t the first time that there’s been some ugliness around the issue of immigration.”

 Despite widespread bipartisan support for immigration reform that would include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented children and immigrants who are already in the United States, progress has been glacial due in no small part to high profile members of the Republican party including Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who often uses incendiary rhetoric to bolster his national ambitions. On Tuesday night, President Obama made immigration reform a major point of his inaugural address calling it ” …a responsible pathway to earned citizenship—a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.”

Sarah Palin Disrespects President Obama with Jealous, Racist SOTU Rant

Sarah Palin was very busy last night. Too busy and important to watch the State of the Union, but she did catch it on her “truck radio” and she’s very concerned about that man in the White House. He’s arrogant and dangerously full of hubris. He dared to act like a President and use presidential powers. Something must be done!
She warned her flock on Facebook today, “We the People” don’t have to be “We the Sheeple” and just get shepherded towards a fundamental transformation that’s against America’s will.” To remedy this horrible, big government intrusion, she says we can elect more Republicans this November. Because if anyone knows how to do nothing while getting paid a lot of money for it and using taxpayer funded health insurance, it’s the GOP.
Yes, Ms. Palin did not watch “the fantasy declaration of ‘utopia’s-on-its-way’”, which is good, because I’m beginning to suspect that she allergic to hope and optimism, so certainly utopia is out.
Listening on her truck radio, she heard what she “forebodingly anticipated.” She was alarmed by the President’s hubris, “But the extreme hubris and naïveté that emanated from that speech was something new and alarming.” It’s as if he is President or something. Uppity Obama.
Palin cited Ronald Reagan and claimed that Obama’s speech “confirms we need rescuing from government like never before.” Who’s gonna rescue us from the “government”? Governmental employees like Republicans. Don’t try to work this out in your head. It works on a bumper sticker and that’s all that matters.
Apparently, Ms. Palin, who had health insurance via her husband’s union at one point and certainly as a governor, even if she did quit, lost her health insurance because of affordable health insurance being made available to everyone else. I think you know who wins in this case, and it’s not you. “In an attempt to “fix” our health care system, government has taken away our health insurance and forced us to buy worse plans we don’t want and can’t afford.”
She worried about the deficit but never mentioned the 24 billion dollars her tea party doppelgänger Republican Senator Ted Cruz cost the country with his shutdown over nothing. And while she hates green energy (she was the most socialist governor in America by the way – she pushed for oil companies to pay citizens for the privilege of using their land), nothing gets her down like amnesty. Obama amnesty.
"Speaking of which, while claiming to be concerned with job creation for American workers, our government is trying to ram through amnesty, which will result in a flood of foreign workers competing with Americans for the few jobs there are."
Fear! I tell you fear! They’re coming for your stuff! VOTE GOP in 2014 because they already have your stuff and they want to keep it. They don’t want you getting a piece of the pie before some “foreign worker” comes in to snatch it from you, so it’s best if you just don’t have health insurance at all, and it’s best if Republicans keep obstructing job bills.
Palin is very hot under the collar about Obama’s “arrogance” and “hubris”, which she mentioned yet again in her clearly not over her 2008 defeat tome, “Between the hubris of an executive branch governing by fiat, to the arrogance of believing it can spy on citizens’ communications and unleash the IRS to harass people who happen to disagree with the President, it’s now more important than ever for us to press in and pay attention.”
Yes, pay attention! The IRS investigated liberals and conservatives, but if we ignore the facts, we can feel really scared and sorry for ourselves, which is always a bonus in Palin world. This is leading up to an implied request for money. Are you scared enough yet? (Please don’t ask about Republicans wanting the IRS to investigate rape victims, because we are on a one-way ticket to utopia here and reality does not apply.)
"Why? Because we’re obviously on a dangerous path, but “We the People” don’t have to be “We the Sheeple” and just get shepherded towards a fundamental transformation that’s against America’s will."
You are being manipulated by evil, “alarmingly” “dangerous” Obama. Glenn Beck, is that you?
"Understand the way words are manipulated by politicians who practice to deceive, so that we can DO something about it. For instance, proving he’s immune to irony, the President used the phrase “fairness and equality under the law” at the end of last night’s address. This is the same President who has been arbitrarily amending his signature legislation, Obamacare, practically every other day to give breaks to his cronies and leave the rest of us without “connections” out in the cold. I guess some of us are less fair and equal under Obama’s laws."
Oh, God yes, if anyone is without connections, it’s Sarah Palin and her new TV show, her Fox gig, her PAC, and her standing as a person of importance in the Republican Party in spite of having quit on Alaska mid term in order to pursue reality TV appearances and make some cold hard cash. Sparkly flags and God, please donate.
The last thing we need is “big government”, so send Republicans to DC:
"The last thing we need right now is more “help” from big government. In this mid-term year, we need to send new leadership to D.C. to get government back on our side and off our aching backs.
Thankfully, November is just around the corner."
Now you know what to do. There’s a nice little button going to SarahPAC at the top of the page. Donate to her so she can keep the cash in her PAC, which allows her to send Republicans to DC because it frees her up to write things like this on Facebook.
Arrogant Obama needs to stop acting like he was elected, stop using that executive power, which he uses much less than Bush, but Bush was President so… Obama needs to stop being so “arrogant” by acting like a president. It burns. The jealousy is palpable.
Many say Sarah Palin is a has-been and irrelevant, but she perfectly embodies the problems of the modern day GOP. She is all hot rage and vague fear tactics, lots of accusations steeped in not so veiled southern strategy and no solutions, and most troubling of all, there is zero consistency in the policy positions. You can’t fear monger about big government while you try to use the IRS to harass rape victims. Sarah Palin is all bitter Obama hate and nothing else. Just like the entire modern day Republican Party.
Go ahead, laugh, because ultimately, this is what is behind every Republican politician right now. They are all Sarah Palin, some of them just manage to hide it better. They are the party of spoiled children who do nothing but point fingers at others and call names. That is their only contribution, and for that, they expect to be paid by you.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lawmakers won’t have to disclose the farm subsidies they receive


A provision requiring members of Congress and the administration to disclose what crop insurance subsidies they receive was quietly dropped from the farm bill that the House passed on Wednesday.
Section 11001 of the House-passed farm bill had a provision that “requires disclosure (by name) of the amount of crop insurance assistance received by Members of Congress, Cabinet Secretaries, and members of their immediate families.”
That provision was taken out in closed-door conference negotiations before the bill was released on Monday. The bill cleared the House in less than 72 hours, before many lawmakers had a chance to review it, and now heads to the Senate.
Taxpayers for Common Sense spotted the change in the bill.
“Considering a bunch of lawmakers receive those subsidies (including those on the Conference Committee) it’s a wonder how it got in there in the first place,” said Taxpayers for Common Sense staffer Steve Ellis. 
In 2012, 15 members of Congress received direct farm commodity payments according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group. Direct crop payments are already public, while crop insurance premium assistance has not been subject to disclosure in the past. 
With the new farm bill, that secrecy will continue.

Frank Rich - Stop Beating a Dead Fox

New York Magazine

“There ain’t no sanity clause,” Chico Marx told Groucho. There is also no Santa Claus. And there was no sanity in the Santa fracas that became an embarrassing liberal-media fixation just before Christmas. For those who missed it, what happened was this: A Fox News anchor, Megyn Kelly, came upon a tongue-in-cheek blog post at Slate in which a black writer, Aisha Harris, proposed that Santa be recast as a penguin for the sake of racial inclusiveness. After tossing this scrap of red meat to her all-white panel of prime-time guests, Kelly reassured any “kids watching” (this was nearing 10 p.m.) that “Santa just is white.” (For good measure, she added, “Jesus was a white man, too.”) Soon and sure enough, Kelly’s sound bites were being masticated in op-ed pieces, online, and especially on cable, where a passing wisecrack best left to the satirical stylings of Stewart and Colbert became a call to arms. At CNN, one anchor brought on Santas of four races to debunk Kelly. BuzzFeed reported that MSNBC ­programs hopped on the story fourteen times in a single week.
Of course what Kelly said was dumb. But the reaction was even dumber. Every year, Fox News whips up some phantom “war on Christmas” plotted by what the network’s blowhard-in-chief Bill O’Reilly calls “secular progressives.” This seasonal stunt has long been old news, yet many in the liberal media still can’t resist the bait. You had to feel for the NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker, who was drafted into filing a Kelly-Santa story on the Today show for no ­discernible reason other than that she is not white.
When this supposed “national firestorm” (as Al Sharpton inflated it on his MSNBC show) finally died down, only two things had been accomplished beyond the waste of everyone’s time. Liberals had played right into Fox’s stereotype of them—as killjoy p.c. police. And Fox News could once again brag about its power to set an agenda for its adversaries even as it also played the woebegone ­victim. “Because they can’t defeat us on the media battlefield, the far left seeks to demonize Fox News as a right-wing propaganda machine and a racist enterprise,” said O’Reilly when sermonizing about the episode on his show. “That’s why Miss Megyn got headlines about a Santa Claus remark that was totally harmless.” Fox News is a right-wing propaganda machine and at times (if not this one) a racist enterprise (witness, among other examples, its fruitless effort to drum up a “New Black Panther Party” scandal over some 95 segments in the summer of 2010). But O’Reilly was half-right. Kelly’s inane remark was harmless and unworthy of headlines. Without the left’s overreaction, there wouldn’t have been any pseudo “national firestorm.”
Still, O’Reilly’s summation was predicated on an erroneous underlying assumption that few bother to question: In truth, Fox News has been defeated on the media battlefield—and on the political battlefield as well. Even the 73-year-old wizard of Fox, Roger Ailes, now in full Lear-raging-on-the-heath mode as ­portrayed in my colleague Gabriel ­Sherman’s definitive new biography, The Loudest Voice in the Room, seems to sense the waning of his power. The only people who seem not to know or accept Fox’s decline, besides its own audience, are ­liberals, including Barack Obama, whose White House mounted a short-lived, pointless freeze-out of Fox News in 2009, and who convinced himself that the network has shaved five points off his approval rating.
Ailes would like the president and everyone else to keep believing he has that clout. But these days Fox News is the loudest voice in the room only in the sense that a bawling baby is the loudest voice in the room. In being so easily bullied by Fox’s childish provocations, the left gives the network the attention on which it thrives and hands it power that it otherwise has lost. As the post-Obama era approaches, the energy spent combating Ailes might be better devoted to real political battles against more powerful adversaries—not to mention questioning the ideological slant of legitimate news operations like, say, 60 Minutes, which has recently given airtime to a fraudulent account of the murders at Benghazi and to a credulous puff piece on the NSA’s domestic surveillance.
The most interesting news about Fox News is that for some years now it has been damaging the right far more than the left. As a pair of political analysts wrote at Reuters last year, “When the mainstream media reigned supreme, between 1952 and 1988, Republicans won seven out of the ten presidential elections,” but since 1992, when “conservative media began to flourish” (first with Rush Limbaugh’s ascendancy, then with Fox), Democrats have won the popular vote five out of six times. You’d think they’d be well advised to leave Fox News to its own devices so that it can continue to shoot its own party in the foot.
The notion that Fox News has been defeated would seem absurd if you judge solely by the numbers. The year just ended was the network’s twelfth in a row as the most-watched cable-news network. Its number of total viewers surpasses CNN and MSNBC combined. As the longtime Rupert Murdoch–Fox News watcher Michael Wolff wrote of the cumulative 2013 ratings, “Nobody has come close to competing” with Ailes. “He gets larger, everybody else gets lesser.” But as Wolff also observed, “The cable audience, for all the attention heaped on it for its theoretical political sway, is not that large.” To put it mildly. As the overwhelming leader in its field, Fox draws just over a million viewers in prime time—a ­pittance and a niche next to even the ever-declining network newscasts, of which the lowest rated (CBS Evening News) still can attract a nightly audience as large as 8 million.
Fox News’s political sway in the real world, as opposed to its power to drive MSNBC viewers and their fellow travelers nuts and to generate ridicule from late-night comics, is also on the wane. Speaking to the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles in January, Jeff Zucker, the former NBC chief executive now trying to revive CNN (averaging a mere 568,000 prime-time viewers in 2013), complained like countless before him that Fox is an arm of the GOP “masquerading as a cable-news channel.” It doesn’t take rocket science to figure that out: No fewer than five Republican presidential hopefuls, not to mention Karl Rove and Glenn Beck, were on-camera as paid Fox personalities at the start of the 2012 election season; Murdoch is a GOP donor; and Ailes is a former Republican political operative whose partisan record extends back to his big break as Richard Nixon’s media guru in 1968. But there’s nothing in Fox’s viewership numbers, either in magnitude or in demographic hue, to suggest that there’s a significant number of voting-age Americans who at this point do not already know that Fox News is a GOP auxiliary and view it, hate-watch it, or avoid it accordingly. The masquerade that Zucker seems to find a revelation was unmasked years ago.

Back at its creation, in 1996, Fox News was a true stealth threat to the body politic. The network was assumed by many viewers to be as advertised: a good-faith competitor to CNN, which then was in its sixteenth year of dominating the still-developing genre of 24/7 television news. (MSNBC also would arrive in 1996.) Fox’s guise of impartiality would start to erode with its prurient overkill on the Lewinsky scandal, but still, its Clinton coverage wasn’t all that more sensational than the competition’s. It wasn’t until Fox threatened to dethrone CNN in the ratings after the Bush-Gore debacle of 2000 that the left started to take serious notice and decry what Fox was peddling under its Orwellian rubrics of “We Report. You Decide” and “Fair & Balanced.” By 2004, when Fox lent its growing might to the Swift Boat smears of John Kerry, a concerted opposition started to crystallize. It took the form of a revelatory documentary (Outfoxed) by the television producer Robert Greenwald, the advent of the ill-fated liberal radio network Air America, the creation of an explicit O’Reilly Factor parody in The Colbert Report, and the formation of Media Matters, an aggressive and well-financed watchdog operation conceived by the right-wing journalistic hit man turned Clinton acolyte David Brock. Media Matters also policed MSNBC, which had yet to adopt an ideological identity and was still fielding prime-time shows like Scarborough Country, in which the former Gingrich revolutionary Joe Scarborough compared lesbians to “barnyard animals” and cheered on a Dixie Chicks boycott after Natalie Maines opposed the Iraq War. MSNBC’s marketing strategy would start to evolve (as would Scarborough’s) once Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” and “Special Comment” monologues attacking the Bush White House and its Fox shills struck pay dirt in 2006. But it was too late to overtake Fox News in the Nielsens. The tidal wave of mass liberal rage aimed at Bush-Cheney would start to recede with the 2008 election, and once Obama entered the White House, MSNBC no longer could draw on the fierce anger that might have pushed its viewership numbers into Fox territory.
On the eve of Obama’s reelection campaign, in early 2012, Brock co-authored a book cataloguing Media Matters’ long-running brief against Fox News’s transgressions, The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network Into a Propaganda Machine. But by that point, it was more a valedictory than an exposé. The world knew Fox was a propaganda machine. At the end of 2013, a Media Matters executive, Angelo Carusone, acknowledged as much, declaring that “the war on Fox is over.” His organization devised a three-year strategic plan to devote more resources to monitoring the fast-growing sectors of online, social, and Hispanic media.
It was the right call. For all its ratings prowess and fat profits, Fox, like the GOP itself, is under existential threat in a fast-changing 21st-century America. Indeed, Megyn Kelly, the latest blonde star in an Ailes stable that seems to emulate Hitchcock’s leading-lady predilections in looks and inchoate malevolence, was promoted to her prime-time perch last year precisely to bring in a younger, less monochromatic audience. It’s a mission that neither she nor any other on-camera talent can accomplish. All three cable-news networks are hemorrhaging young viewers (as are their network-news counterparts) in an era when television is hardly the news medium of choice for Americans raised online and on smartphones. But Fox News is losing younger viewers at an even faster rate than its competitors. With a median viewer age now at 68 according to Nielsen data through mid-January (compared with 60 for MSNBC and CNN, and 62 to 64 for the broadcast networks), Fox is in essence a retirement community.

The million or so viewers who remain fiercely loyal to the network are not, for the most part, and as some liberals still imagine, naïve swing voters who stumble onto Fox News under the delusion it’s a bona fide news channel and then are brainwashed by Ailes’s talking points into becoming climate-change deniers. They arrive at the channel as proud, self-selected citizens of Fox Nation and are unlikely to defect from the channel or its politics until death do them part. (As Sherman writes, “Ailes’s audience seldom watches anything” on television but Fox News.) Hard as it may be to fathom, Fox Nation is even more monochromatically white than the GOP is, let alone the American nation. Two percent of Mitt Romney’s voters were black. According to new Nielsen data, only 1.1 percent of Fox News’s prime-time viewership is (as opposed to 25 percent for MSNBC, 14 percent for CNN, and an average of roughly 12 percent for the three broadcast networks’ evening news programs).
The Fox News membership is more than happy to be cocooned in an echo chamber where its own hopes and fears will be reinforced by other old white “people like us.” This Stockholm syndrome applies even to its more upscale members. On Election Day 2012, to take a representative example, Kelly interviewed Peggy Noonan, the Wall Street Journal pundit, about the likely results that night. Noonan, citing “all the data that I get,” concluded that “something is going on there” and that “the dynamism” is on “the Romney side.” The “data” that persuaded her of victory was Fox News data: The only pollster she cited was a network favorite, Scott Rasmussen. Nate Silver could have told her that Rasmussen’s polls were untrustworthy, having shown a four-point pro-GOP bias in 2010 (as would also prove roughly the case in 2012), but why would she or any other Fox talking head or viewer listen to the likes of that rank outsider? Clearly few if any of them did. When the reality-based data of actual votes came in on Election Night, it only followed that Fox Nation would be shocked, as most dramatically revealed by Karl Rove’s famous on-camera meltdown. Anyone who had spent the entire year in the Fox News cocoon—repeatedly hearing happy-news polls from Rasmussen and the even more egregious Dick Morris, repeatedly being assured that Benghazi was the silver bullet certain to take out Obama—knew the election was in the bag. Even Romney was blindsided by defeat, as befit a candidate whose campaign did its best to shield him from any non-Fox press. “We’d much rather go on a Fox program where we know the question is going to come up and Mitt can give his answer and it’s not going to a frenzy of questioning,” was how a Romney senior adviser, Eric Fehrn­strom, explained this self-immolating all-Fox strategy.
Rather than waste time bemoaning Fox’s bogus journalism, liberals should encourage it. The more that Fox News viewers are duped into believing that the misinformation they are fed by Ailes is fair and balanced, the more easily they can be ambushed by reality as they were on Election Night 2012. We are all fond of quoting the Daniel Patrick Moynihan dictum that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” But we should start considering the possibility that it now works to the Democrats’ advantage that Fox News does manufacture its own facts. Much as it lulled its audience in 2012 into believing that Romney’s “47 percent” tape was just a passing storm, so it is now peddling similar assurances about Chris Christie’s travails.
Fox News’s theoretical political power is further compromised by the internal crisis it shares with the GOP: its inability to navigate the conflict between the party Establishment and the radical base that is dividing the conservative ranks. The network has veered all over the place to try to placate both camps, only to end up wounded in the crossfire. In the early stages, the tea party was a heavily promoted Fox News cause, with Glenn Beck, then in residence, leading the charge. “It’s tea-party time, from sea to shining sea!” was how Kelly kicked off wall-to-wall coverage of the various Tax Day rallies held around the country on April 15, 2009. The network gave ample promotion to every flaky tea-party novelty act, from Michele Bachmann to the Delaware senatorial candidate Christine (“I’m not a witch”) O’Donnell, and promoted any and all tea-party fantasy presidents, from Sarah Palin to Herman Cain. When, finally, there was no choice for Fox but to fall in behind Romney—a last-ditch option for Ailes after his own preferred standard-bearers, Christie and David Petraeus, rebuffed his recruitment efforts—the anyone-but-Mitt GOP base disdained Fox much as it did the nominee himself. Popular talk-radio hosts like Mark Levin and Michael Savage belittled Mitt, Rove, and his Fox cheerleaders during the campaign, as at times did Rush Limbaugh. That schism has only widened since Romney’s defeat. When Fox regulars like Rove, O’Reilly, Brit Hume, Dana Perino, and Greg Gutfeld agreed with John Boehner that shutting down the government to defund Obama­care had proved a self-destructive strategy for the GOP, the base was having none of it. “Karl Rove, your record sucks!” ranted Levin in September. “Why would we listen to you?” On the other side of the right’s spectrum, the few surviving moderate conservative commentators favored by liberal outlets, from David Frum to Michael Gerson, disdain Ailes’s operation as well: “More people own ferrets than watch Fox News,” said David Brooks.
As long as Ailes is around, Fox News is likely to grow ever more isolated from the country beyond its “Nation.” If it is actuarially possible, its median viewer age will keep creeping upward. (It rose by two years over the course of 2013.) The network’s chauvinistic Christianity, whatever Santa’s race, is hardly an inducement to a younger America that is eschewing religious affiliation in numbers larger than any in the history of Pew polling. Fox News’s unreconstructed knee-jerk homophobia, most recently dramatized by its almost unanimous defense of the Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson’s likening of gay sex to bestiality, drives away viewers of all ages but especially the young. O’Reilly’s latest moralistic crusade (“Is America Going to Pot?”)—best encapsulated by a scare piece about a 2-year-old in Colorado eating “a marijuana-laced cookie”—seems almost calculated to alienate conservatives who subscribe to Rand Paul’s ever-more-popular style of libertarianism.
Many have mined Sherman’s Loudest Voice in the Room for its portrait of Ailes’s grim childhood and its account of the adult Ailes’s paranoia, his bitchy remarks about his own stars, and his alleged anti-Semitic verbal assault on a once-prized executive. Ailes was driven so berserk by the mere fact of a thorough book on his life and career that he gave exclusive interviews to another, hagiographic biography intended to preempt it and countenanced a reported $8 million settlement to a recently discharged Fox News flack who might have gone public with his own inner-office tales. But the more damning aspects of Sherman’s portrait are not what Ailes apparently most feared: the scandalous personal anecdotes, the incidents of bigotry and sexism, or even the full accounting of his darkest partisan activities. It’s through far more mundane details that the portrait of Ailes’s decline and Fox News’s obsolescence emerges.
More than in any political credo, Ailes believes most of all in the power of television, the medium he grew up in and mastered as a political tool well before many of his competitors. But as his viewers were gobsmacked by the reelection of Obama, so he has been blindsided by the fading of television as the dominant news medium. About new media Ailes knows very little and has never wanted to learn much. When MSNBC emerged in 1996, he mocked it not because of its political identity (it hadn’t chosen one yet) but because of its connection to Microsoft; he wisecracked that Fox News was not in business to “tell people to turn off their television set and go to their computer to get more information.” He failed to invest in new technology in the years that followed, and by his own account he doesn’t “do a lot of web at Fox News.” As the McCain and Romney campaigns were successively confounded by the Obama forces’ technological prowess, so Ailes has been repeatedly ambushed and frustrated by new media, from Gawker, which tortured him with gossipy revelations from a “Fox Mole,” to Google, which earned his ire by refusing to accede to his demand that it rejigger its search algorithms to smite an anti-Ailes blog. Even the success of a one-man website challenging the local newspaper Ailes owns near his home in Putnam County has taken him by surprise and brought him to apoplectic fury. He doesn’t have a clue that his great cable-news innovation at Fox, The Crawl, is aging as fast in the day of Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr as ticker tape did with the advent of computer terminals. He is so tech-phobic that when Glenn Beck left Fox to start his own empire online, he pronounced him “crazy” because “no one walks away from television.”
But even as Ailes is aging out of the media business, he is making no plans for succession. Ever more isolated from other Murdoch executives and the younger generation of Murdochs—if still protected by Rupert—he may not care that much if the ship goes down with him. His irreplaceability will only add to his legend. “Roger is Fox News,” the editor-in-chief of the right-wing website Newsmax, Christopher Ruddy, told Sherman. “Without him you don’t have it.”
Without Ailes and his Fox News to kick around anymore, the left may feel a bit disoriented—much as the right most certainly will once its unifying bête noire (literal and figurative), Obama, is gone from the White House. But while the right remains obsessed with fighting its unending war against a nearly lame-duck president, it behooves liberals to move on and start transitioning out of their Fox fixation. Paradoxically enough, the most powerful right-wing movement in the country, the insurgency in the Republican grassroots, loathes the Boehner-Christie-Rove-centric Fox News nearly as much as the left does. The more liberals keep fighting the last war against the more and more irrelevant Ailes, the less prepared they’ll be for the political war to come.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wendy's Wants Consumers To Know It's Fine With Gays, Disapproves Of Interracial Marriage

DUBLIN, OH—Responding to Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy's recent controversial admission of the company's donations to antigay groups, a statement from competing fast food chain Wendy’s let consumers know Monday that it has long supported same-sex couples and only harbors strong objections to interracial marriage. "It's important that Wendy’s customers know our restaurant proudly stands by the right of all Americans to marry whomever they choose, so long as it isn't someone of a different race,” said spokeswoman Jenna Knox, adding that while Wendy’s has always backed pro-gay legislation, it found miscegenation "an abominable offense to God’s will." "Just like our founder Dave Thomas, we dream of living in an America where two loving people of the same sex can freely wed, provided of course that both people are also of the same race, and that no black, Asian, Latin American, or other non-European heritage is allowed to de-purify the white racial bloodline." Following the Wendy’s statement, executives from Jack in the Box confirmed that they too had always supported gay rights and the Holocaust never happened.  :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Pennsylvania Man Confronts His Governor For Refusing To Expand Medicaid: ‘How Many People Have To Die?’


This week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) had a run-in with one of his constituents as he was leaving a fundraising event. Scot Rosenzweig — who identified himself as a fellow Republican — showed Corbett a large photograph of his fiancee, Dina Nelson, who died at the age of 41 because she was uninsured and couldn’t afford a liver transplant. “I think maybe we should consider accepting the Medicaid expansion,” Rosenzweig told his governor, explaining that people like Nelson need access to lifesaving health treatment.
“I can’t do that,” Corbett responded.
Corbett is one of 25 governors who have declined to accept Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion, a move that is preventing an estimated 700,000 low-income Pennsylvanians from accessing public health insurance. Rather than accepting the federal funds designated for expanding his state’s Medicaid pool, Corbett is trying to win federal approval for an alternate plan, called “Healthy Pennsylvania,” that would give low-income people subsidies to buy private coverage. But Corbett’s plan has been sharply criticized by anti-poverty advocates, who say it could actually reduce benefits for the state’s neediest constituents.
In his exchange with Rosenzweig, Corbett reiterated his desire to implement “Healthy Pennsylvania,” which he hopes to put in place by 2015. He said he can’t both accept Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and fix the existing problems he sees with the Medicaid program. But that didn’t satisfy Rosenzweig.
“How many people have to die while we work on the problems?” he asked Corbett.

Rosenzweig was one of several activists protesting outside of the closed-door luncheon that Corbett attended on Tuesday with representatives from the Chamber of Commerce. Press was not allowed at the event. The handful of Pennsylvania residents — all of whom knew Nelson, and some of whom were involved in the Homecare Workers Union with her — protested for a chance to have a seat at the table and discuss Medicaid expansion with the governor.
“If Dina had access to good, preventative healthcare services when she needed it, her life would have been saved,” Rosenzweig told the Sun Gazette. “Gov. Corbett needs to hear more stories like Dina’s about the real impact of his decision to delay Medicaid expansion. How many lives lost are enough?”
Pennsylvania residents have been pushing for Medicaid expansion for months. This past summer, health care advocates staged a “sick-in” outside the governor’s mansion to pressure Corbett to consider the human cost of neglecting to expand the public program. One activist was arrested after chalking a message on the sidewalk — “Governor Corbett has health insurance, we should too” — because local law enforcement claimed it was a “derogatory remark” about the Pennsylvania leader.
Across the country, an estimated five million low-income Americans will be unable to access affordable health coverage because of their governors’ refusal to expand Medicaid. The resistance to this particular Obamacare provision has a disproportionate impact on people of color. It also has the potential to put a financial strain on businesses and hospitals.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Obama suggests racism animates some critics, animated conservative critics freak out


President Barack Obama predictably angered his critics by suggesting that some of them don’t like him because he’s black.
“There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President,” Obama said in a 17,000-word profile by The New Yorker’s David Remnick in the magazine’s Jan. 27 issue.
“Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black president,” he said.
The article notes that Obama lost among white voters in 2012 by a greater margin than any previous presidential victor in U.S. history and argues that his opponents are generally older white people who feel threatened by demographic changes or overlooked by the government and corporations.
White, working class voters are increasingly turning away from the president, whose approval ratings fell to historic lows late last year.
Conservatives suggested that Obama blamed his drooping approval ratings on racism, but that’s not exactly what he said.
In fact, he goes on to add some historical context to what drives opponents of his policies – particularly his signature Affordable Care Act legislation.
“There is a historic connection between some of the arguments that we have politically and the history of race in our country, and sometimes it’s hard to disentangle those issues,” Obama told The New Yorker. “You can be somebody who, for very legitimate reasons, worries about the power of the federal government — that it’s distant, that it’s bureaucratic, that it’s not accountable — and as a consequence you think that more power should reside in the hands of state governments.”
“But what’s also true, obviously, is that philosophy is wrapped up in the history of states’ rights in the context of the civil-rights movement and the Civil War and Calhoun,” the president continued. “There’s a pretty long history there.”
Obama called on his supporters to give greater consideration to arguments presented by his opponents, even if they are steeped in racially fraught language.
“I think it’s important for progressives not to dismiss out of hand arguments against my presidency or the Democratic Party or Bill Clinton or anybody just because there’s some overlap between those criticisms and the criticisms that traditionally were directed against those who were trying to bring about greater equality for African-Americans,” Obama said.
“The flip side is I think it’s important for conservatives to recognize and answer some of the problems that are posed by that history, so that they understand if I am concerned about leaving it up to states to expand Medicaid that it may not simply be because I am this power-hungry guy in Washington who wants to crush states’ rights but, rather, because we are one country and I think it is going to be important for the entire country to make sure that poor folks in Mississippi and not just Massachusetts are healthy,” the president added.

Prison nation: Rash sentences, not crime, have filled U.S. jails

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With 2.2 million people behind bars the United States has become the world’s leading jailer. Nearly 5 million more people are on probation or parole.
Although the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that the prison population in 2012 declined slightly, for the third straight year, inmate counts rose every year between 1973 and 2010. Sentencing reforms and policy changes are needed to bring prison populations back to rational, sustainable levels.
The rising incarceration numbers were driven by policy changes — not crime rates — including harsh mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders, so-called three-strikes laws and other get-tough measures.
Nearly half of state-prison inmates in 2011 were convicted of nonviolent drug, property or public-order crimes, according to the bureau. The nation needs, among other things, shorter but more intense prison stays for many probation and parole violators and parole opportunities for the growing number of aging and sick inmates.
In recent years, a growing number of activists, policymakers and politicians — including budget-conscious conservatives — have questioned the prison-building boom. Today’s prisons are big business and come with a big price tag, $75 billion a year.
Mass incarceration has severed community social networks, especially in poor neighborhoods, left one in 14 African-American children with a parent in prison and created lifelong employment barriers for the 95 percent of prisoners who eventually go home.
The United States has much to gain by ending its insidious, costly incarceration spree. By having the courage to right-size prison populations, state and federal officials can transfer the billions of dollars wasted on warehousing inmates and spend them on education, transportation and other vital needs.

World's 85 richest own 46% of global wealth


Research conducted by the British charity Oxfam has concluded that the combined wealth of the world's 85 richest people is equivalent to that owned by the bottom half — in wealth terms —of the world's population.
The report, titled "Working for the Few," claims that the 1% richest people on the planet are rich to the tune of $110 trillion.
"This capture of opportunities by the rich at the expense of the poor and middle classes has helped create a situation where seven out of every ten people in the world live in countries where inequality has increased since the 1980s and one per cent of the world's families now own 46% of its wealth ($110 trillion), Oxfam said in a statement announcing the study, published in time for this week's annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.
The WEF has identified income inequality as one of the greatest risks facing the world in 2014.
Oxfam's study notes that "In many countries, extreme economic inequality is worrying because of the pernicious impact that wealth concentrations can have on equal political representation. When wealth captures government policymaking, the rules bend to favor the rich, often to the detriment of everyone else. The consequences include the erosion of democratic governance, the pulling apart of social cohesion, and the vanishing of equal opportunities for all. Unless bold political solutions are instituted to curb the influence of wealth on politics, governments will work for the interests of the rich, while economic and political inequalities continue to rise."
The development charity did not identify the 85 richest people.

Friday, January 17, 2014

How To Ignore Reality And Keep A Scandal Going: Benghazi Edition

Media Matters for America.

A bipartisan Senate report released this week concludes that the intelligence community was behind the Obama administration's suggestion that the 2012 Benghazi attacks grew out of a protest against an anti-Islam video. The revelation is yet another devastating blow to Fox News' efforts to scandalize the administration's focus on the video. But instead of reporting on that conclusion, Fox News instead spent last night reporting that they "were told" that President Obama and his closest advisers held a meeting the night of the attack and issued "marching orders" for the "video explanation."
For more than a year, Fox News has been fixated on a set of administration talking points that linked the September 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, to the video. Those talking points were used by then-U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice in a series of highly-criticized September 15, 2012, interviews on the broadcast Sunday shows. Fox has suggested that the talking points were part of an elaborate plot to conceal the reality of the attacks as part of a scheme to protect President Obama's re-election effort. The network has continued to push this conspiracy long after the revelation that the initial draft of the talking points -- which was generated by the CIA -- promoted the video connection, and emails indicated that then-CIA director Gen. David Petraeus was disappointed that the final draft didn't do enough to link the two.
On January 15, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released the results of its investigation into the attacks. Notably, the committee's report indicated that the intelligence community (IC) received and disseminated an account in the immediate aftermath of the assault that there had been protests against the anti-Islam video at the diplomatic facility prior to the attack, based largely on press accounts that made that claim. 
According to the report, it took days for eyewitness statements by U.S. personnel indicating that there had been no protests to make their way into CIA assessments. Closed circuit television feed from the facility showing that there had been no protest was not reviewed until September 18, 2012 -- three days after Rice's interviews -- and the FBI did not disseminate its interviews with eyewitnesses until two days later (recent reporting has indicated that while there was no protest, the attackers were fueled by anger at the video). According to the report:
As a result of evidence from closed circuit videos and other reports, the IC changed its assessment about a protest in classified intelligence reports on September 24, 2012, to state there were no demonstrations or protests at the Temporary Mission Facility prior to the attacks. This slow change in the official assessment affected the public statements of government officials, who continued to state in press interviews that there were protests outside the Mission compound.
While Fox News heavily covered the Senate report -- which the network claimed was a "bombshell" damaging to the Obama administration -- it did not mention the CIA revelations during its January 15 programs, according to a review of the Nexis database.
Instead, during On the Record with Greta van Susteren, chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reported that the network has "had information" and "were told" that during a meeting at the White House between President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the "marching orders were laid out for the video explanation."
It's unclear who "told" Fox News of the contents of the meeting. In nearly-identical reports on Fox's Special Report and The Kelly File, Herridge claimed only that that the administration is "block[ing] access to witnesses and documents that should explain whether" the meeting "on the day of the assault" was about those purported "marching orders," and quoted Sen. Saxby Chambliss' (R-GA) assertion that he had sought information about that meeting but was rebuffed.

 At no point in the three segments did Fox point to any actual evidence from Chambliss or elsewhere that this meeting dealt with the so-called "marching orders." Instead of discussing the Senate report revelations that demolish their conspiracy, they are running with baseless speculation to keep the "scandal" going.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

‘Hannity’ regular Erik Rush calls for military coup against Obama


Right-wing author and anti-Obama crusader Erik Rush called on members of the U.S. military to remove President Barack Obama from office.
Right Wing Watch reported Thursday that the African-American conservative and frequent Fox News commentator has realized his attempts to have Obama impeached by Congress are not going to work out, so he is changing his tack and asking for a military coup.
In a column for the far-right conspiracy website World Net Daily, Rush wrote, “Were there members of Congress with the courage to do so, ample evidence and leverage exists to quietly demand the resignation of this president and his Cabinet.”
However, since no such heroes have arisen from the Republican-led House of Representatives, “There is the possibility that certain military personnel might lend their support to an effort by Congress to remove the president through methods other than impeachment.”
Rush said that because of a supposed “widespread purge” in the military of officers hostile to the Commander in Chief, other “tactics…might be used (within the law) to oust the Obama cabal.”
Rush wrote that he is not opposed to the United States government itself, but that Obama is a dangerously irresponsible steward of its legacy.
“In truth, there is nothing wrong with the government per se,” he said. “It is like unto a vintage automobile with an intoxicated driver at the wheel. It’s just a matter of getting the keys away.”
Rush recently proclaimed that the “synthetic symbolism” around the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela was overblown. Mandela, he wrote, “you know, didn’t do much.”
South Africa was better off under apartheid, Rush argued, saying, “Apartheid went away, great. There are South African blacks who have told friends of mine they wish it was back because the country was safer, if you can believe that.”
In November, Rush wrote that Americans should be wary of reports of hate crime attacks on non-whites. President Obama could be fabricating the attacks, he said, to stir up racial resentment and disenfranchise whites.
“Should some high profile, highly unpleasant race-related incident occur in the near future,” he wrote, “it wouldn’t be the first time such a thing happened at a juncture that proved to be advantageous to the administration.”

Fox Benghazi Myths Dispelled By New Bipartisan Review

On January 15, 2014, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a bipartisan review of its findings in an investigation of the September 11, 2012, attacks on an American diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. Much of the report dispels myths perpetuated by Fox News over the last sixteen months.

Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Releases Bipartisan Review

Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Releases Review On September 11, 2012 Attack On A Diplomatic Facility In Benghazi, Libya. A January 15, 2014 U.S. Senate Select Committee investigation released a review of the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi and made recommendations to prevent future attacks on American interests around the world. [Review Of The Terrorist Attacks On U.S. Facilities In Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 1/15/14]

Fox Benghazi Myth: "Stand Down" Order Was Given To Benghazi Response Teams  

Fox Pushed Myth That Forces In Libya Were Given A "Stand Down" Order At Least 85 Times. In the ten months following the Benghazi attacks, Fox News claimed at least 85 times that troops in Tripoli, Libya, were ordered to "stand down" and not assist those under attack that night in Benghazi.  [Media Matters6/27/13

Senate Review: No Evidence Of A "Stand Down" Order

Senate Select Committee On Intelligence: Committee Found No Evidence Of Intentional Delay Or Obstruction By The Chief Of Base Or Any Other Party. A Senate Committee on Intelligence review of the Benghazi attacks found no evidence of a "stand down" order given to responding units during the attack:
The Committee explored claims that there was a "stand down" order given to the security team at the Annex. Although some members of the security team expressed frustration that they were unable to respond more quickly to the Mission compound, 12 the Committee found no evidence of intentional delay or obstruction by the Chief of Base or any other party. The Committee has reviewed the allegations that U.S. personnel, including in the IC (Intelligence Community) or DoD, prevented the mounting of any military relief effort during the attacks, but the Committee has not found any of these allegations to be substantiated.
The Committee has reviewed the allegations that U.S. personnel, including in the IC or DoD, prevented the mounting of any military relief effort during the attacks, but the Committee has not found any of these allegations to be substantiated. [Review Of The Terrorist Attacks On U.S. Facilities In Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 1/15/14]

Fox Benghazi Myth: Obama Administration Ignored Benghazi Threats 

Fox's Jennifer Griffin: The Declassified Transcripts Show A "Woefully Ill Prepared And Ill Postured Military." On the January 14 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Fox national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reported that the declassified transcript of Benghazi hearings revealed that the military was "ill prepared" to respond to the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi. [Fox News, America's Newsroom1/14/14via Media Matters
Fox Host Kilmeade: "The U.S. Government Knew An Attack Was Imminent And Didn't Do A Thing About It." On the October 28 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed that "the U.S. government knew an attack was imminent [in Benghazi] and didn't do a thing about it." [Fox News, Fox & Friends10/28/13, via Media Matters]

Senate Review: No "Tactical Warning" Predicting An Attack

Senate Select Committee On Intelligence: "There Was No Singular 'Tactical Warning' In The Intelligence Reporting Leading Up To The Events On September 11, 2012, Predicting An Attack On U.S." The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence review found that no specific warnings predicted the attack in Benghazi (emphasis added):
There was no singular "tactical warning" in the intelligence reporting leading up to the events on September 11, 2012, predicting an attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi on the 9/11 anniversary, although State and the CIA both sent general warning notices to facilities worldwide noting the potential security concerns associated with the anniversary. Such a specific warning should not have been expected, however, given the limited intelligence collection of the Benghazi area at the time.
To date, the Committee has not identified any intelligence or other information received prior to September 11, 2012, by the IC or State Department indicating specific terrorist planning to attack the U.S. facilities in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
Although it did not reach the U.S. Intelligence Community until after the attacks, it is important to note that a former Transitional National Council (TNC) security official in Benghazi, had received information of a possible imminent attack against the Mission facility in advance. The official said that approximately four hours prior to the attack, he attempted to notify the Libyan Intelligence Service (LIS) that an attack was expected, but he was unable to reach two contacts he had in the LIS as they were out of the country. [Review Of The Terrorist Attacks On U.S. Facilities In Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 1/15/14]

Fox Benghazi Myth: Obama Administration Engaged In Cover-Up Over Benghazi

Hannity: "We Are Witnessing A Widespread Cover-Up Based On Flat-Out Lies." Hannity began his September 20, 2012, Fox News show by airing a montage of Obama administration officials speaking about the Benghazi attacks, then said:
HANNITY: All right now, how this event can evolve from an impromptu riot about a YouTube video to a premeditated terrorist attack in the span of a week -- well, that can be explained in one of three ways. Number one, this administration is stupid, simple as that. Number two, this administration is on the receiving end of some of the worst intelligence in American history. Or number three, we are witnessing a widespread cover-up based on flat-out lies, all aimed to protect a president who happens to be running for reelection. I'm going with number three, and in a moment, I'm going to show you the evidence to back it up. [Fox News, Hannity, 9/20/12, via Media Matters]
Van Susteren: "Incompetence, Or Cover-Up, Or Something Else?" On her September 20, 2012, Fox News show, Greta Van Susteren introduced a segment on Benghazi with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich by asking, "Why does the Obama administration keep changing its tune? Incompetence, or cover-up, or something else?" [Fox News, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren9/20/12, via Media Matters
Chris Wallace: "Did The Obama Administration Play Down What Happened" In Benghazi? Host Chris Wallace asked then-Obama adviser Robert Gibbs, "Specific question, because this is looking at the bottom line: Did the Obama administration play down what happened in Libya, what happened in Cairo, because it would make Obama foreign policy look better?" [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 9/23/12, via Media Matters]

Senate Review: No Effort By Obama Administration To Cover-Up Or Alter Facts

Senate Select Committee On Intelligence: "There Were No Efforts By The White House Or Any Other Executive Branch Entities To 'Cover-Up' Facts Or Make Alterations For Political Purposes." The Senate Committee on Intelligence review determined there was no effort by the administration to cover-up or alter the facts for political purposes:
The Majority concludes that the interagency coordination process on the talking points followed normal, but rushed coordination procedures and that there were no efforts by the White House or any other Executive Branch entities to "cover-up" facts or make alterations for political purposes.  Indeed, former CIA Director David Petraeus testified to the Committee on November 16, 2012, "They went through the normal process that talking points-unclassified public talking points-go through."  In fact, the purpose of the National Security Council (NSC) is to coordinate the many national security agencies of the government, especially when information about a terrorist attack is flowing in and being analyzed quickly-and the NSC used this role appropriately in the case of the talking points coordination.  Furthermore, such coordination processes were also standardized, often at the urging of Congress, following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with the explicit goal of reducing information "stovepipes" between and among agencies. [Review Of The Terrorist Attacks On U.S. Facilities In Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 1/15/14]

Fox Benghazi Myth: No Link To Anti-Muslim YouTube Video

Hannity: Anti-Muslim Film Is "Convenient Excuse" To Avoid Admitting Attack Was Terrorism. During the September 17 edition of Hannity, host Sean Hannity said the Obama administration is blaming the anti-Islam video for attacks on our consulate to avoid admitting it was a terrorist attack. From the segment:
HANNITY: Wasn't that part of the whole spin, that it had to do with the movie trailer? Well, that's a convenient excuse, considering the movie trailer was released back in July. So it's a convenient excuse. It gets them off the hook. Now they had to admit, because the evidence has been overwhelming and incontrovertible -- granted, our media in this country, they don't do their job. So now there's some culpability here. And I think there's some fair questions. [Fox News, Hannity9/17/12, via Media Matters]
Megyn Kelly: Susan Rice Linked Benghazi Attacks To Anti-Muslim Video, "Which We Know Now Was Not The Case." America Live host Megyn Kelly said, "I think now all of our viewers know [Rice], because she's the one who went on all the Sunday talk shows and told us that everything that happened in Benghazi was linked to this video, which we now know was not the case. Can she possibly ascend into the Cabinet, into this position in the Cabinet, given that?" [Fox News, America Live11/13/12, via Media Matters]

Senate Review: Reports Suggested Link To Inflammatory YouTube Video

Senate Select Committee On Intelligence: Intel Reports Linked Inflammatory Video To Benghazi Attack. A Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found that "some intelligence suggests" an inflammatory video linked to violent protests around the region led terror groups to conduct "similar attacks with advanced warning":
It remains unclear if any group or person exercised overall command and control of the attacks or whether extremist group leaders directed their members to participate. Some intelligence suggests the attacks were likely put together in short order, following that day's violent protests in Cairo against an inflammatory video, suggesting that these and other terrorist groups could conduct similar attacks with little advance warning. [Review Of The Terrorist Attacks On U.S. Facilities In Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 1/15/14]

Fox Benghazi Myth: Obama Left Americans To Die In Benghazi

Fox's Johnson Suggests Obama Admin May Have "Sacrificed Americans" As A "Political Calculation" During Benghazi Attacks. On the October 25 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson, Jr. asked if there was a "political calculation that was made to sacrifice Americans on the ground so we didn't kill innocents in front of the consulate." [Fox News, Fox & Friends10/25/12via Media Matters]
Fox's McFarland: "It Was Probably A Political Decision Not To Rescue Them." Fox News national security analyst K.T. McFarland claimed the supposed absence of aid to the consulate was "probably" politically motivated. From America Live:
ALISYN CAMEROTA (guest host): K.T., who is responsible for answering all of these questions?
McFARLAND: Well, that's the question you want to know. I mean, here's what's happened is, bad stuff happened, all right? So what is the administration doing? They're throwing a lot of dust up in the air to try to make sure you're not sure quite what happened, who to blame. Is it the movie's fault? Is it the intelligence community? Is it the security? Is it the State Department diplomats? We don't know the answers to that. I've got a guess that it's something that was a political decision. And not only a political decision not to give them the kind of security they wanted, but it was probably a political decision not to rescue them. And finally, is it a political decision to try to put a lot of blue smoke and mirrors in front of everybody so they don't know what really happened, and they won't know what really happened until after the election? [Fox News, America Live10/10/12via Media Matters]

Senate Review: Response Saved Lives, No Military In Position

Senate Select Committee On Intelligence: "The Committee Interviewed U.S. Personnel In Benghazi That Night, And They Credited Their Lives Being Saved To The Personnel Who Responded To The Attacks." The Senate Committee on Intelligence review found that the groups responding to the Benghazi attack were credited with saving lives of the personnel in diplomatic facility: 
Although there was no formal written agreement about how security should be handled between the two facilities in Benghazi, there was a common understanding that each group would come to the other's aid if attacked, which is what happened the night of September 11, 2012.102 IC personnel immediately came to the aid of their colleagues at the Temporary Mission Facility, and fought bravely to secure TMF [The Mission Facility] personnel and their own Annex facility. The Committee interviewed U.S. personnel in Benghazi that night, and they credited their lives being saved to the personnel who responded to the attacks. [Review Of The Terrorist Attacks On U.S. Facilities In Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 1/15/14]
Senate Select Committee On Intelligence: "There Were No U.S. Military Resources In Position To Intervene In Short Order In Benghazi To Help Defend The Temporary Mission Facility." A Senate Committee on Intelligence found that military assets were not in place to respond in time:
According to Major General Darryl Roberson, Vice Director of Operations for the Joint Staff:  There were no ships available to provide any support that were anywhere close to the facility at Benghazi. The assets that we had available were Strike Eagles loaded with live weapons that could have responded, but they were located in Djibouti, which is the equivalent of the distance between here [Washington D.C.] and Los Angeles. The other fighters that might have been available were located in Aviano, Italy. They were not loaded with weapons. They were not on an alert status. We would've had to build weapons, load weapons, get tankers to support it, and get it there. There was no way that we were going to be able to do that. Unfortunately, there was not a carrier in the Mediterranean that could have been able to support; the assets that we mobilized immediately were the only assets we had available to try to support.
There have been congressional and public questions about why military assets were not used from the U.S. military base in Souda Bay, Crete. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 7, 2013, that (1) the military asset in Souda Bay, Crete, "wasn't the right tool for the particular threat we faced;" (2) " ... the aircraft were not  among the forces that we had at heightened alert;" and (3) the "boots-on-the ground capabilities" that DoD deployed would have arrived too late, so they did not deploy to Benghazi. [Review Of The Terrorist Attacks On U.S. Facilities In Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 1/15/14]