Day: November 16, 2010

For Conservatives, Soros Is the New ACORN

If I recall correctly, despite the incessant vilification of ACORN from the right, all investigations and court documents show that ACORN was not guilty of the many accusations hurled at that organization…

AOL News

With ACORN now officially out of business, conservative ire has found a new focal point: billionaire George Soros.

As the one-man bank behind a plethora of liberal causes, seemingly lefty nonprofits, reviled media outlets like NPR, Democratic candidates and agitating websites like Media Matters, Soros has received an awful lot of attention in the past year, much of it from the commentators at Fox News. In fact, at Fox, Soros’ name has replaced ACORN as the new synonym for all that is wrong with the world. 

The past week alone two rather significant Soros stories have made news:

Soros helped the Nazis hunt Jews?
Glenn Beck, who often speaks of Soros as a liberal “puppet master,” unleashed a three-day prolonged attack on the man last week, alleging, among other things, that Soros, who is Jewish, helped the Nazis hunt down fellow Jews during the occupation of Hungary. Those claims did not go down so well with Jewish groups.  

“Glenn Beck’s description of George Soros’ actions during the Holocaust is completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top. For a political commentator or entertainer to have the audacity to say — inaccurately — that there’s a Jewish boy sending Jews to death camps, as part of a broader assault on Mr. Soros, that’s horrific,” The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles said in a statement.

Sarah Palin staffer on Soros’ payroll?
Salon.com gleefully pointed out today that one of Sarah Palin’s staffers is, in fact, on Soros’ payroll. Randy Scheunemann, one of Palin’s foreign policy advisers, runs a D.C. consulting firm Called Orion Strategies, Salon reported, that since 2003 has been paid more than $150,000 for lobbying work by the Open Society Policy Center, one of Soros’ outfits.

As Politico’s Ben Smith points out, the Scheunemann-Soros connection really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

There’s no gotcha, and no contradiction, here. Despite Soros’s left-leaning domestic politics and his sympathies for the Palestinians — the issues that make headlines here — his biggest investment, and his historic impact, was in dismantling real Communism in Central and Eastern Europe. He backed dissidents before the Soviet Union collapsed, and anybody who spent time out there in the ’90s saw a new liberal civil society of which he was the earliest and most important underwriter. His work to undermine Burma’s brutal dictatorship is an extension of that.

In fact, as The New York Times pointed out today, Soros, the so-called puppet master, has even been used as something of a political puppet by the government of Iran, which suspects the billionaire of plotting to overthrow that nation’s government.

Still, back in the United States, it is conservatives like Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin who rail the loudest about Soros’ influence and designs on America’s future. And the heart of the critique is perhaps best summed up by Beck himself, who stated on his program that “not only does [Soros] want to bring America to her knees financially, he wants to reap obscene profits off us as well.”

Poll Finds Midterm Elections Were NOT A GOP Mandate

I wonder how long will it take for this information to sink into the very thick skulls of the GOP “leaders”?

Huffington Post

Americans overwhelmingly say that the midterm election results that gave Republicans control of the House represented a rejection of the Democrats and not a mandate for the GOP, according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll conducted Nov. 11-14. (Story; Poll data).

Seventy percent of those surveyed said the results were a rejection of Democratic rule in the House while 17 percent called it a mandate for Republicans. Eight percent answered “neither” and 5 percent had no opinion.

Read the whole story: Politics Daily

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Lisa Murkowski: Sarah Palin Lacks ‘Leadership Qualities’ & ‘Intellectual Curiosity’ To Be President

Huffington Post

Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she doesn’t think Sarah Palin has the leadership qualities to be president, nor the “intellectual curiosity” needed to make good policy.

Murkowski shared her take on the matter during an appearance on Monday’s edition of “CBS Evening News” with Katie Couric.

“I just do not think that she has those leadership qualities, that intellectual curiosity that allows for building good and great policies,” explained the incumbent lawmaker when asked about a previous suggestion she’s made that she wouldn’t support Palin for president. “You know, she was my governor for two years. And I don’t think that she enjoyed governing.”

Elaborating on her view, Murkowski continued, “I want somebody that goes to bed at night and wakes up in the morning thinking about how we’re going to deal with our national security issues, how we’re going to deal with our economy, how we’re going to deal with providing better education or peace in the Middle East.”

An e-mail sent Monday from The Associated Press to Palin’s media team wasn’t immediately returned.

Palin, a former vice presidential nominee, resigned midway through her first term as Alaska’s governor last year. She’s seen as a potential 2012 presidential contender.

Despite their differences, Murkowski she says she’s still Palin’s senator and will “work hard to represent her, too.”

Murkowski is seeking to defeat Palin-backed candidate Joe Miller in the still-undecided Alaska Senate race. Murkowski ran as a write-in candidate after losing the primary to Miller.

See videos here…  http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/15/eveningnews/main7057976.shtml

Anti-Union O’Keefe Video Smears Teacher Who Jumped In Front Of Van To Save Students, Gets Her Suspended

I will never understand the mind of a conservative…

Think Progress

There are few members of the teaching profession who more symbolize the sacrifices that exemplary instructors make for their students than New Jersey teacher Alissa Ploshnick. In 1997, Ploshnick, upon seeing a runaway van about to strike a group of students, threw herself in front of the vehicle to save the students, landing herself in the hospital “with broken ribs, a fractured wrist, a badly bruised pelvis and glass cuts in her eyes.” Following the accident, President Bill Clinton sent her a letter thanking her for her act of courage, writing, “You are an example for all of us, and I applaud you for your sense of duty.”

Yet as the Shirley Sherrod scandal showed earlier this year, even exemplary public servants can fall prey to the antics of smear artists. Late last month, right-wing video activist James O’Keefe released a set of YouTube videos titled “Teachers Unions Gone Wild.” The videos feature various New Jersey teachers opining about Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), using crude language, and criticizing the state’s teachers unions.

In one segment, Ploshnick is recorded explaining an incident she witnessed as a teacher. She explained that she saw another teacher refer to a student as the n-word, and that the teacher was demoted, but was allowed to continue to teach. O’Keefe’s video crew then showed up at Ploshnick’s personal residence and tried to get her to repeat her story on video tape. She refused, understanding the repercussions that would come to a teacher who used that language on video.

Watch:

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Scalia Jumps On The Anti-Seventeenth Amendment Bandwagon

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, we have a real problem with Supreme Court Justices who have ignored the canons of Judicial “decor” and have become totally political while sitting on the Supreme Court Of The United States…

Think Progress

One of the most bizarre developments of the last several months is the growing right-wing calls to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment, the provision of the Constitution that empowers voters — as opposed to state legislatures — to elect their senators. On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia joined Senator-elect Mike Lee (R-UT) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) in opposing the century-old amendment:

Scalia called the writing of the Constitution “providential,” and the birth of political science.

“There’s very little that I would change,” he said. “I would change it back to what they wrote, in some respects. The 17th Amendment has changed things enormously.

That amendment allowed for U.S. Senators to be elected by the people, rather than by individual state legislatures.

“We changed that in a burst of progressivism in 1913, and you can trace the decline of so-called states’ rights throughout the rest of the 20th century. So, don’t mess with the Constitution.

Justice Scalia’s use of extremist “states’ rights” rhetoric is an ominous sign. Although Scalia has a well-deserved reputation as an ultra-conservative, his record on federal/state power issues is surprisingly sensible. Indeed, his concurring opinion in Gonzales v. Raich could have been written as a blueprint for why President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is constitutional.

It’s puzzling why Scalia, or anyone else for that matter, would suddenly take a swipe at this entirely uncontroversial amendment — although the Wonk Room offers one possible explanation. Before the Seventeenth Amendment was enacted, corporate interest groups were able to lean on state lawmakers and thus effectively buy U.S. Senate seats. In other words, repealing the Seventeenth Amendment “would be like Citizens United on steroids.”

Glenn Beck lashes out at the Anti-Defamation League

The batshit crazy Glenn Beck just never lets up.  He constantly doubles down when he knows he has pushed certain buttons.  The man is certifiable…

Media Matters

Glenn Beck lashed out at the Anti-Defamation League over its condemnation of his outrageous smear of George Soros as a Nazi collaborator. Beck said that the criticism of his comments was part of a “Soros-started” “smear campaign” and directed his staff to find out “if there’s any George Soros money that has gone to ADL.”

ADL director calls Beck’s smears of Soros as a collaborator “over the top” and “horrific”

Foxman calls Beck’s attack “repugnant.” On November 11, ADL national director Abraham Foxman released a statement condemning Beck for claiming, during his falsehood-laden three-part series on Soros, that Soros collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust. Foxman’s statement said, in part, “Glenn Beck’s description of George Soros’ actions during the Holocaust is completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top. For a political commentator or entertainer to have the audacity to say — inaccurately — that there’s a Jewish boy sending Jews to death camps, as part of a broader assault on Mr. Soros, that’s horrific. While I, too, may disagree with many of Soros’ views and analysis on the issues, to bring in this kind of innuendo about his past is unacceptable. To hold a young boy responsible for what was going on around him during the Holocaust as part of a larger effort to denigrate the man is repugnant.”

Beck on NY Times report about ADL criticism: “They will destroy themselves.” On the November 12 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Glenn Beck Program, Beck responded to the criticism from the ADL, saying:

After the program last night, some of the executives came down on the floor. And they said, “The New York Times is writing a story on you tomorrow.” And I said, “OK. What a surprise that is.” And they said, “And so it begins.” And I said, “What is the angle?” They said, “Well, The New York Times is writing a story that you are an anti-Semite because the ADL, the Anti-Defamation League, has come out and made a statement against you that you are doing this and what you’re saying is anti-Semitic about George Soros.”

And they started planning on different things — that how they should respond and everything else, and I said, “It’s not worth it, guys. It’s just not worth it. They will destroy themselves. Anybody who watches the show knows the truth.”

And I know the point is that a lot of people don’t watch the show, and the disinformation campaign is phenomenal. There’s a story this morning in the London Guardian, and the source that they use to quote that I’m anti-Semitic is Media Matters. You mean the one that got the million-dollar check from George Soros to make sure that they got me off the air?