Day: March 23, 2010

Think Progress: Vandals hit at least five Dem offices nationwide, threaten to ‘assassinate’ children of pro-reform lawmakers.

I have a dire prediction.  Even before I saw Think Progress’ headline today, I’ve been thinking for a few weeks now that something terrible is going to happen and that “something” will be perpetuated by a “teabagger”.

When one hears Rush Limbaugh’s rhetoric, “we need to get rid of every last one of those bastards…” and Glen Beck wildly animating similar rants on TV, what else is there to think?

The lies, disinformation, ad hominem attacks are like marching orders to every psychopath that has a death wish out there.  I guarantee you that BEFORE the fall elections, something ominous is going to happen to an innocent person or people.  I believe  Beck and Limbaugh knows this as well.  Yet they refuse to let up on the hate talk and in fact. have ratcheted their hate talk up a few knots in recent days.

Of course I wish no harm on anyone and I REALLY hope my “sense” is entirely wrong.  However, recent history has shown us that there is a direct correlation between a call to “get rid of”,” eliminate” “has to go” type rhetoric inevitably leads to disaster.

Think Progress:

Yesterday, Think Progress reported that several Democratic offices around the nation had been vandalized in the days surrounding the House health care vote. Vandals have struck the Tuscon office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), the Monroe County Democratic Committee headquarters in upstate New York, Rep. Louise Slaughter’s (D-NY) Niagara Falls office, the Knox County Democratic headquarters in Ohio, and the Sedgwick County Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita, KS. The local Rochester ABC affiliate now has more information on the upstate NY vandalism, including an assassination threat against the children of lawmakers who voted for health reform:

No one was inside when the brick was hurled through the Democratic Party Headquarters on University Avenue. Attached was a note quoting conservative Barry Goldwater: “Exremism [sic] in defense of liberty is no vice”. […]

[Rep. Louise] Slaughter has been at the center of the push for reform. Last Thursday she received a chilling recorded message at her campaign office. “Assassinate is the word they used…toward the children of lawmakers who voted yes.”

The FBI is now investigating.

Question, aren’t the teabaggers part of the “anti-abortion” “pro-life” movement?  Killing children is ok?  More hypocrisy, for sure.

What Has Obama Been Doing Since Taking Office?

Just what has Barack Obama done in his 14 months in office.  Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC says this is his FIRST big achievement.  I would argue that yes, it’s an enormous achievement but not his ONLY achievements.

Here is what Obama faced when he took office– none of which was his fault:

1. An ideologically divided country to the point that America is really two countries.

2. We are in two wars, one that was mishandled from the start, and the other that was unnecessary and immoral.

3. We are in the worst economic crisis since the depression.

4. America’s standing in the world at the lowest point in history.

5. A country has been was misled into accepting the use of torture of prisoners of war, we have a health care system in free fall, an educational system in free fall, a global environmental crisis of history – altering proportions – about which the Bush administration and the Republicans had done nothing.

6. We have an impasse between culture warriors from the right and left, huge financial deficit inherited from a terminally irresponsible Bush administration…and those were only some of the problems sitting on the President’s desk!

Here is what Obama has achieved since taking office:

1. Continued to draw down the misbegotten war in Iraq (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

2. Thoughtfully and decisively picked the best of several bad choices regarding the war in Afghanistan (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

3. He gave a major precedent-setting speech supporting gay rights (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

4. Restored America’s image around the globe (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

5. Banned torture of American prisoners (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

6. Stopped the free fall of the American economy (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

7. Put the USA squarely back in the bilateral international community (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

8. Put the USA squarely into the middle of the international effort to halt global warming (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

9. Stood up for educational reform (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

10. Won a Nobel peace prize (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

11. Moved the trial of terrorists back into the American judicial system of checks and balances (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

12. Did what had to be done to start the slow, torturous and almost impossible process of health care reform that seven Presidents had failed to even begin (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

13. Responded to hatred from the right and left with measured good humor and patience (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

14. Stopped the free fall of job losses (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

15. Showed immense personal courage in the face of an armed and dangerous far right opposition that included the sort of disgusting people that show up at public meetings carrying loaded weapons and carrying Timothy McVeigh-inspired signs about the “blood of tyrants” needing to “water the tree of liberty”… (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

16. Showed that he could not only make the tough military choices but explain and defend them brilliantly (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics).

Other than those “disappointing” accomplishments — IN ONE YEAR — President Obama “failed”! Other than that he didn’t “live up to expectations”!

Who actually has failed… are the Americans that can’t see the beginning of a miracle of national rebirth right under their jaded noses. Who is failing… the smart ass ideologues of the left and right who began rooting for this President to fail so that they could be proven right in their dire and morbid predictions? Who is failing… the movers and shakers behind our obscenely dumb news cycles that have turned “news” into just more stupid entertainment for an entertainment-besotted infantile country?

Here’s the good news: President Obama is succeeding without the help of his lefty “supporters” or hate-filled Republican detractors!

H/t http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/

Fox News’ Propaganda Gone Wild

Everything the right-wing does is designed to accomplish one of two things. Either
(a) transfer wealth from everyone else to the rich, or
(b) distract everyone else from the fact that (a) is occurring.

~ Jack Clark (Blast the Right)

I was just listening to a progressive talk show podcast and heard a caller say that he watched Fox News during the Health Care debates on Sunday.  He noticed how Fox News decided to replay a Mitch McConnell speech when the man President Obama calls the dean of health care reform, Rep. Dingell, was about to make his speech. 

Fox news has made it a practice from early on, to show their viewers ONLY what they want them to see and absorb, taking a page from the Goebbels playbook on propaganda and expanding it exponentially.  They repeat a certain scene or comment over and over until their brain dead or dumbed down audience starts regurgitating the same message on talk shows, rallies and blogs. 

As mentioned above, another tactic is to CENSOR. Censorship for the sake of ‘staying on message’ in my mind, is propaganda. 

Thanks to Ronald Regan, the right-wing messiah, who totally,  and it seems irrevocably destroyed the Fairness Doctrine, stations like Fox News can say whatever they want and never have a balanced opposite opinion, as required by law once.  They can lie with impunity, which they do, without the FCC or any other regulatory “on air” group scrutinizing what they say.

That folks, was taken away by the right wing patron saint, Ronald Regan.

Wikipedia: Origins

According to Steve Rendall of the media criticism group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting,

The Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows, or editorials. The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented.[4]

Wikipedia: Revocation

Under FCC Chairman Mark S. Fowler, a communications attorney who had served on Ronald Reagan‘s presidential campaign staff in 1976 and 1980, was appointed by Reagan to head the FCC.[10] The commission began to repeal parts of the Fairness Doctrine, announcing in 1985 that the doctrine hurt the public interest and violated free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

On February 16, 2009, Fowler told conservative radio talk-show host Mark Levin that his work toward revoking the Fairness Doctrine under the Reagan Administration had been a matter of principle (his belief that the Doctrine impinged upon the First Amendment), not partisanship. Fowler described the White House staff raising concerns, at a time before the prominence of conservative talk radio and during the preeminence of the Big Three television networks and PBS in political discourse, that repealing the policy would be politically unwise. He described the staff’s position as saying to Reagan:

The only thing that really protects you from the savageness of the three networks — every day they would savage Ronald Reagan — is the Fairness Doctrine, and Fowler is proposing to repeal it![11]

Instead, Reagan supported the effort and later vetoed the Democratic-controlled Congress’s effort to make the doctrine law.

…but I digress…

 Think Progress:

Fox News Makes A ‘Big F—ing Deal’ Out Of Biden’s Private Remark At Bill Signing Ceremony

Immediately after President Obama signed the health care reform legislation, Fox News’ Trace Gallagher brought up the “news,” saying that it was crossing their “urgent wires.” “We’ll play that for you if we can,” he promised. Bret Baier called Biden’s comment “striking”:

GALLAGHER: We also had crossing the urgent wires…the possibility that Vice President Joe Biden might have slipped up and dropped an f-bomb when he was addressing the President. […]

I want to add some more context about what I was saying about the comment that Vice President Joe Biden made to the President and it says here, in our urgent queue, that when he was hugging the President, he leaned over and said, “This is a big bleeping deal.” We’ll play that for you if we can. […]

BAIER: It was pretty striking for Vice President Biden to turn to the President and say, “This is a big blanking deal,” using the f-word with the microphones picking it up, and I’m sure we’ll take about that later.

Of course, Fox is eager to find a source of distraction to avoid covering the substance of the health care policy. Over the course of the year-long health care debate, Fox propagated baseless stories about “death panels,” fears about a “government takeover,” and claims that health care beingunconstitutional.”

 

Update: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tweets, “And yes Mr. Vice President, you’re right…”

Jon Stewart expresses my same sentiments in this video compilation.

Obama signs landmark health bill into law…

After president notes ‘lumps’ taken by lawmakers, one yells, ‘Yes we did!’

MSNBC:

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama capped a yearlong political drama Tuesday, signing into law a landmark health care reform bill that had been seen as impossible just two months ago.

The president said the law “will set into motion what a generation of Americans have fought for.”

He said he was confident the Senate would make fixes to the legislation “swiftly.”

The president praised those House members who had “taken their lumps” during the overhaul debate. Shouted one lawmaker in the audience to laughter, “Yes we did!”

Obama paid tribute to what he called the “historic leadership and uncommon courage” of the members of Congress who pushed ahead with the measure amid the often heated debate. He also hailed the new law, saying it helps lift a “decades-long drag” on the economy.

With Victoria Kennedy, widow of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy in the audience, Obama took note of the long battle to bring the health overhaul measure to his desk. “He was confident we would do the right thing,” the president said of the longtime Democratic lawmaker.

“We are not a nation that does what’s easy … we are a nation that faces its challenges and faces its responsibilities.”

Now, Obama must sell the law’s merits to a wary American public.   More>>>