GOP Folly · GOP Myopia

Congressman Posts Satirical Attack On Planned Parenthood From The Onion As News

How dense  DUMB can this “politician” be?

Think Progress

Fool him once, shame on you. Fool him once with a widely circulated and obviously fake story  from satirical newspaper The Onion that was published nine months ago? Yeah, that’s all on him.

Congressman John Fleming (R-LA) is going to have a rough news cycle after his office posted a link  to an outrageous story about Planned Parenthood’s intentions to build an $8 billion “abortionplex,” complete with shopping mall, movie theater and three-story night club. It’s a laughable commentary on the outrageous charges that anti-choice groups use to attack Planned Parenthood, from one of the finest purveyors of satire, but the joke appears to have been lost on Fleming.

“More on Planned Parenthood, abortion by the wholesale,” wrote Rep. Fleming (or more likely an overzealous staffer) before linking to the post. Just hours after the link was posted, Rep. Fleming’s office deleted the post, but not before the blog Literally Unbelievable  grabbed a screenshot:

Getting duped by false stories in The Onion is a common occurrence, as Literally Unbelievable demonstrates. But rarely does it happen to someone so public. And adding another layer of humor to the incident, the story Fleming posted is nine months old and was already a viral Internet phenomenon: several fake Yelp reviews  of the abortionplex were published, and the story was the basis  for Literally Unbelievable in the first place.

Fleming has been a punch line before. Think Progress reported in September that Fleming complained that he and his family struggled to live on an annual income of $400,000, more than enough to qualify Fleming as a member of the 1 percent.

Super Bowl XLVI

The 6 best Super Bowl commercials: A video roundup

Did your friends talk over all the good commercials during Sunday’s big game? Catch up on the top ads that have fans and critics buzzing…

The Week

At $3.5 million per 30-second pop, Super Bowl ads have to be pretty memorable to make it worth advertisers’ while. About half of this year’s advertisers decided novelty wasn’t as important as early buzz, releasing talked-about spots featuring everyone from Ferris Bueller to Jerry Seinfeld to Darth Vader. But other companies waited until the big game for the “big reveal,” to varying degrees of success. Here, six of the commercials that broke through all the dogs, talking babies, and half-naked celebrities to win the hearts, or at least admiration, of critics:

1. Chrysler and Clint Eastwood’s “Halftime in America”

Following up on its Eminem-promotes-Detroit ad in last year’s Super Bowl, Chrysler enlisted Clint Eastwood for this year’s “Imported from Detroit” halftime commercial. Neither Detroit nor America can be “knocked out with one punch,” Eastwood growls. “We’ll get back up again and when we do, the world’s gonna hear the roar of our engines. Yeah, it’s halftime, America. And our second half’s about to begin.” Eastwood’s “stirring pep talk” simply “made us want to pump our fists… and buy a Dodge,” says Chuck Barney in the San Jose Mercury News. “When Clint Eastwood speaks, people listen.” A dozen ads went for “the lump in the throat” this year, but only Eastwood delivered, says David Hinckley in the New York Daily News. Judge for yourself:


2. Chevy’s apocalypse–surviving Silverado

Chevrolet takes the prize for the “only world-ends-in-2012-themed ad of the night,” showing its Silverado trucks surviving the Mayan apocalypse while lesser trucks get crushed, says Seth Stevenson at Slate. And there’s a “nice touch with the raining frogs at the end.” Aside from the “if you do not own a Chevy Silverado, you will die” message, says Jon Bois at SB Nation, this was “one of the better Super Bowl ads of the year,” with its “simple gag and top-notch production value.” Check it out:


3. Samsung’s mockery of Apple fans

For its Super Bowl ad debut, Samsung took its teasing of Apple fanboys (and girls) to a new level. In the 90-second spot, a massive crowd of “the Apple faithful lose the faith” after one look at the Galaxy Note smartphone — a device over which they immediately (and musically) go gaga, says Chris Matyszczyk at CNET News. The best part, says Kelly West at Television Blend, is at the end, when after a joyous musical interlude by The Darkness, only “one man is left standing (or sitting), unimpressed.” Watch:


4. An explosive Avengers trailer

“You can’t have Super Bowl commercials without including a few trailers for the biggest, loudest, explosion-est movies of the upcoming year,” says Sean Keeley at SB Nation. And I’m “pretty sure The Avengers qualifies in all three of those categories.” Plus, the black-cat-suited Scarlett Johansson, who plays Black Widow in this star-studded superhero ensemble blockbuster, will certainly draw more than the usual comic book nerds, says Mof Gimmers at Heckler Spray. Otherwise, if the trailer is anything to go by, “The Avengers film is going to be pleasingly dumb.” Judge for yourself:


5. Skechers’ moonwalking dog

“Canines were everywhere” in this year’s Super Bowl ads, “but none of them shined as brightly as Mr. Quiggly did for Skechers footwear,” says Barney in the San Jose Mercury News. Quiggly, an “adorably cocky little French bulldog,” uses his sneakers to beat greyhounds in a dog race, “but the pièce de résistance was his moonwalk across the finish line. It had us howling in delight.” Watch Mr. Quiggly run:


6. Budweiser’s Canada-only “flash fans” ad

“Budweiser is responsible for the greatest commercial of the 2012 Super Bowl,” but it certainly isn’t any of the clunkers it aired in the U.S., says SB Nation‘s Jon Bois. In a two-minute spot that only aired in Canada, recreational hockey teams in Ontario are surprised by a flash mob of fans, and “the players are so damned happy about it.” It’s not jokey or ironic — just a case of doing something really nice. “I have to call this commercial the best of the year.” Bud erred in only running this in Canada, saysTelevision Blend‘s West. “I can’t seem to get through it without tearing up.” Check it out:

Fox News Distortions

Fox And Friends Pretty Sure The Labor Department Is ‘Cooking The Books’ On Jobs Numbers | ThinkProgress

Think Progress

On Friday, ThinkProgress noted that Fox News appeared to be systematically ignoring the strong jobs report that day, perhaps in an effort to avoid giving President Obama any credit. The network mentioned the jobs numbers half as often as some of their competitors, and buried the big news on their website, but on Fox and Friends today, the network went a step further.

Hosts Eric Bolling, Steve Doocy, and Gretchen Carlson went beyond merely downplaying the numbers to contriving a conspiracy theory to explain them away:

BOLLING: So are they playing around with the numbers? Look, it’s the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s supposed to be non-partisan, but that’s the Department of Labor. Hilda Solis heads the Department of Labor, Hilda Solis works directly to Obama. I’m — you know.

DOOCY: Are you saying they’re cooking the books?

BOLLING: I’m saying there’s room for error. There’s room — when you’re talking about 4 million people, how do you know?

DOOCY: How do you know?

CARLSON: I don’t think anyone should surprised that in an election year — […]So it’s interpretation, I think is the way in which we’d describe it.

Watch it, via Media Matters:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

If it weren’t improper to psychologically analyse strangers, one might think the Fox hosts are displaying a textbook example of cogitative dissonance here, a psychological phenomena in which people who hold on strong belief about something invent (sometimes far fetched) explanations for new evidence that conflicts with their existing views. Obama is bad for the economy, the jobs numbers show the economy is doing better, so there must be something wrong with the jobs numbers. Needless to say, this is hardly the behavior one expects from fair and balanced journalists Fox hosts claim to be.

Meanwhile, some conservatives have developed a more sophisticated excuse for the jobs report, saying the drop in unemployment rate is only due to decreasing participation in the jobs market. Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman and others have refuted this claim.

Related articles

Right-wing disinformation campaign

Right Wing Denial and the Legacy of Slavery

Politicus USA

Slavery ended nearly 150 years ago. It’s over. Nothing left to see here. Except that it’s Black History Month, and those damnable minorities and their liberal allies keep bringing up the past, reminding everyone of that darkest blemish on American history. The only times you hear conservatives talking about it are to revise history as politicians like Ron Paul have been doing by mainstreaming the belief that the Civil War was not primarily fought over slavery. There is no acknowledgement from conservatives that slavery and its aftermath had any consequences that can be observed today. They continue to argue that everyone has an equal chance of success on an equal playing field. While a disproportionately high number of African Americans remain in deep poverty, conservatives bend over backwards to blame them for their circumstances.

With the way that generations overlap, there are living African Americans who have heard their great-grandparents tell stories of their relatives’ firsthand experiences surviving slavery. During the Great Depression, firsthand accounts by slaves were collected for those who are interested to hear them personally. What kinds of stories would be most relevant to the social circumstances of African Americans today? Certainly, there was the commonplace policy of purposely breaking up families for over 240 years. Ever since the Moynihan Report first identified the struggles of the black family, conservatives have been quick to pounce and attribute the high percentage of single parent families to their moral laxity. They are chronically unable to acknowledge that a systemic decimation of families perpetrated by white people plays a significant role in the instability of male-female relationships to this day.  We have no precedent for the recovery time required to overcome this type of assault on a fundamental societal institution.

Speaking of recovery time, it’s been approximately seven generations since formal slavery ended. But that’s not the whole story; this month on February 13th, PBS will be airing the documentary, Slavery by Another Name, based on the book by Douglas Blackmon of The Wall Street Journal. This documentary will focus on the period from 1865 to World War II when African Americans experienced neo-slavery, a time of legal discrimination, widespread and brutal violence, and rampant criminalization. For example, “black codes,” or laws that were written to arrest and confine African Americans for crimes such as “vagrancy,” resulted in forced labor camps with conditions indistinguishable from slavery. Of note, a black man could be arrested for vagrancy for not having a job in a community that refused to employ him. As Blackmon states, “African Americans know this story in their hearts…and so people come up to me and say, ‘Gosh the story that my grandmother used to tell…I never believed it because she would describe that she was still a slave in Georgia after WWII or just before, and it never made sense to me, and now it does’…These are things that connect directly to the lives of people and the shape and pattern and structure of our society today.”

Continue reading here…

U.S. Politics

Oops: CNN host calls Romney ‘Governor Mormon’

This appears to be an honest mistake…

The Raw Story

Almost everyone knows that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but CNN host John King made the association all to clear Saturday by referring to him as “Governor Mormon.”

Following the former Massachusetts governor’s decisive win in the Nevada caucuses, King attempted to break down the vote based on religion.

“Obviously, Governor Mormon is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” King said. “He won big among Mormons. He won every nine out of ten votes among Mormons.”

According to CNN entrance polls , about 25 percent of caucus-goers in Nevada identified themselves as Mormons. Romney was also the top choice among all other Christian voters, while Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul got over 50 percent of the voters who did not identify with a religion.

Church membership records  show that only Wyoming, Idaho and Utah have a higher percentage of Mormons in their populations.

Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Feb. 4, 2012.

Half-Time In America · Super Bowl XLVI

Rachel Maddow Blog: Clint Eastwood wins the Super Bowl

The Rachel Maddow Blog  says that Clint Eastwood won the Super Bowl!  The way people are talking about it (she has more than 90 comments on this title alone) she may be right.

It’s interesting that Clint Eastwood, a Republican who supported John McCain in 2008 and most recently, Herman Cain touts the regrowth of Detroit and the auto industry’s comeback.  I was under the impression that one of the biggest faux pas ever committed by a Republican is to tout any Obama successes.

Granted, Eastwood never mentions Obama in the commercial because it is really a centric commercial, however, most folks know that the GOP was adamantly against a bail out for the auto industry from the time The President proposed it.  So it only stands to reason that some GOPers will not be too happy with Eastwood’s Chrysler commercial.

In the following  Reganesque titled Super Bowl commercial: It’s Half-time in America,  Eastwood and Chrysler appear to have a hit Super Bowl commercial on their hands…