Day: October 1, 2011

Fox host: Occupy Wall Street protestors are ‘dirty’ and useless

This woman epitomizes the filth that is Fox News

The Raw Story

If a tea party group has a protest, Fox News is very happy to present coverage for that event. But if a protest has anything to do with “liberal views,” the network certainly doesn’t share the same eager glee.

In the midst of a Hannity segment Friday evening that criticized and mocked the Occupy Wall Street protests, The Five co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle denigrated the now two week protestors as being virtually useless.

“It’s Woodstock meets burning man meets people with absolutely no purpose or focus in life,” she said. “They have nothing but free time to be down there, they make up a slogan or cause as they go along, and they’re just looking to go out there and dirty the streets. And they really don’t have any idea of what they’re doing there.”

Watch it here…

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Politics goes to the movies: Contagion

The Rachel Maddow Blog

So I saw Contagion recently, and I can’t get it out of my head — and not just in terms of the increased frequency of my hand sanitizer usage. If you haven’t seen it (and if you haven’t, you should — it’s a taut thriller that moves as quickly and efficiently as its viral subject), here’s the main thing I keep circling back to: basically, it’s about how the federal government saves the day. Faced with “MEV-1,” a hyper-contagious virus that becomes a global pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control isolate the bug, study it, and develop a vaccine. FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security distribute it. The picture’s primary heroes are the CDC’s “Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer” and its Level-4 Biosafety Lab tech; one gives her life in battling the virus, the other risks hers, selflessly and modestly, to test the vaccine.

That Scott Z. Burns’s screenplay creates a giant problem that is solved by a giant government is, on the face, nothing revolutionary; within the context of the film, it’s the narrative arc that makes the most sense. But Contagion’s decidedly positive portrait of government is also something of a rebuke to the notion that government is the problem and the private sector, the free market, and “individual liberties” are the solution — even to natural disasters, which Tea Party favorites like Ron Paul insist warrant no response at the federal level.

For that matter, Contagion’s only portrayal of state government (the Minnesota Department of Health) is that of an organization that serves entirely as an obstruction to the CDC — fretting over economic damage from a possible panic, pinching pennies over an emergency triage center (“Is this coming out of your budget or ours?”).

The pandemic portrayed in Contagion is one that it takes giant organizations to contain: the World Health Organization, the Red Cross, FEMA, Homeland Security, the CDC. Contrary to the bogeyman theatrics of Ronald Reagan, in this story, the words “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” are not “terrifying”; they are literally a lifesaver. You can walk away from Contagion with a lot of interpretations, but not that a virus like “MEV-1″ could have been wiped out by the private sector.

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Hannity on FLOTUS’ Target shopping: ‘We’re being manipulated’

Rush Limbaugh said the exact same thing yesterday.  I suppose Rush sent out his talking points for the day to his sycophant, Sean Hannity…

The Raw Story

Leave it to Sean Hannity to find something controversial about Michelle Obama shopping at Target.

On Friday evening’s edition of Hannity, the Fox commentator took umbrage over the First Lady shopping at the renowned retail store. Clearly upset at seeing photographs of her at such a location, Hannity deemed that she has “an image problem along with her husband” and questioned the authenticity of her shopping at Target.

“Martha’s Vineyard, golfing, basketball, extravagant trips, a lot of diamonds, all this stuff,” he said. “So here’s her with a picture at Target, and it just so happens an AP photographer happens to be there, right?”

Taken aback by Hannity’s skepticism, both Republican strategist Karen Harenty and Democratic strategist Joe Trippi tried to place the focus back on President Obama. But that didn’t stop the conservative firebrand from getting one last jab at the First Lady.

“I shop there, but we’re being manipulated here,” he said.

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Occupy Wall Street Protests Go Global

Maybe now, our own media will stand up and take notice.

Did you know that Aljazeera has done more stories on the Wall Street protests than CNN, Fox News and MSNBC combined?

TPM

The Occupy Wall Street protests, which this week received a boost from pledges of support of local unions, are expanding not only in the number of participants but in geographical scope as well: Demonstrators in BostonDenverChicago,Santa FeLexington, Kentucky, and now three big California cities, San FranciscoSan Diego and Los Angeles, have all joined or are preparing to join the movement. A website has been set up calling for Floridians to occupy cities across the state on November 5, “Guy Fawkes Day.” In total, there have been online calls to action in over 77 cities across the United States, most of them slated to occur within the first week of October.

And the call for revolution is expanding beyond well beyond the U.S. borders: On Friday, a Twitter account for Anonymous South Africa posted a call to Occupy the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Another website has been set up for an Occupy Manchester, UK event on October 2. It already boasts the support of the Manchester University Students Union, Manchester Metropolitan University, Education Activists Network, Manchester University Staff Against Cuts and other local labor organizations.

The Occupy Wall Street Facebook page lists planned protests in another 10 cities around the globe, including in Madrid, London and Amsterdam.

Continue reading here…

Think Progress

No wonder Roger Ailes is trying to change Fox News’ image from ultra conservative to moderate. Looks like Fox and Friends didn’t get the memo.

Think Progress

Despite the fact that the Obama administration succeeded in killing one of the most dangerous and wanted men on the planet, conservatives have been reluctant to give him credit.

Fox and Friends host Gretchen Carlson used the moment to both suggest that the president is too soft on terror and to make an implicit plug for the Bush administration’s use of torture:

CARLSON: Let me ask you this, would you be in the camp of having rather captured him…to try to get more information? But then I brought up the fact that under this administration it seems that we don’t prosecute or ask the same questions that we might have under the Bush administration, so would we get anything out of him anyway if we captured him?

Watch it, via Media Matters:

Think Progress, posted with vodpod

Breaking Their Promise To Focus On Job Creation, House GOP Proposes Slashing Job Training Programs

The crazy thing about the Congressional GOP is that they still expect to get the White House, a majority in the Senate, as well as maintaining their majority in the House in the 2012 election.

This is preposterous.  They are counting on the mood of the country who polls show are extremely dissatisfied with Obama.  What they tend to forget is that the American people are even more disgusted with their policies.

I have to ask, what color is the sky on the GOP’s planet?  They are certainly not living in the reality of our planet.

Think Progress

House Republicans yesterday released their draft budget proposal for labor, health, and human service, which in one fell swoop revives the assault on all their favorite bugaboos, including Planned Parenthood, National Public Radio, the National Labor Relations Board, and President Obama’s health care reform law. The GOP also targeted heat subsidies that prevent low-income families from freezing in the winter, and slashed education funding by $2.4 billion. The bill also eliminates the Administration’s “Race to the Top” education reform program and reduces eligibility for Pell Grants for low-income college students.

Perhaps most surprisingly for a party that claims to be focused on job creation, the GOP budgetreduces funding for job training programs that give the unemployed the skills they need to find work in an ailing economy:

Employment Training Administration (ETA) – The legislation provides the ETA with $7.5 billion in new discretionary budget authority – $2.2 billion (-23%) below last year’s level and $2.1 billion (-22%) below the President’s request. Much of this reduction is due to the transition of employment and training programs to a federal fiscal year and the elimination of $2.4 billion in advance appropriations for the 2013 fiscal year.

Slashing funding for these training programs by nearly a quarter will deprive thousands of workers of a better chance to find employment. The bill also cuts the Department of Labor’s funding by $2.6 billion and “increases oversight” of job training programs by requiring the GAO to conduct a study on their cost-effectiveness — a transparent pretext for further diminishing the programs. The budget also laughably claims to “foster a pro-job growth environment” through a number of anti-union measures.

The national unemployment rate remains above 9 percent and 25 million Americans are unemployed or can’t find full-time work. Yet this is not the first time congressional Republicans have tried to zero out job training programs.

In February the plan proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) — and approved by almost the entire GOP caucus — gutted federal job training funding by nearly 50 percent. Republicans’ preoccupation with abolishing these programs illustrates that their talk about creating jobs is nothing more than empty rhetoric to conceal a pro-corporate agenda.