It’s tough to be a Latino representative for the Republican Party. This is true no matter how you slice it. However, “slicing it” with a serving of Donald Trump as Republican nominee for president makes it virtually inedible. Ruth Guerra has been the head of Hispanic media relations at the Republican National Committee for the past couple of years. She’s a rising star in the party, at the age of 28. She’s also going to be “moving on.”
Ruth Guerra, who is of Mexican descent and was in charge of carrying the party’s message to Latino voters, is joining the American Action Network, a Republican-alignedSuper PAC, she confirmed in a brief interview on Wednesday.
While some are calling this a natural, upward move for the young Republican, it’s hard to see it that way when you look at facts and reality.
But Ms. Guerra told colleagues this year that she was uncomfortable working for Mr. Trump, according two R.N.C. aides who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the difficulties surrounding the party’s presumptive standard-bearer.
It is relatively rare for party staff members to leave the national committee in the midst of a presidential campaign unless they are going to work directly for the nominee.
The dichotomy of being a Republican paid to defend a candidate attacking Hispanics on a near-daily basis proved to be too much for Guerra, according to multiple Latino Democratic and Republican operatives familiar with her thinking. Despite differences in party affiliation, Latino Democratic and Republican aides in Washington are a tight-knit group, given that just a handful hold prominent positions.
“I’m so proud of her” for leaving, one Hispanic Republican said Wednesday night when told the news. “I don’t know how she held on for this long.”
Good for Ms. Guerra. We will not agree on much of anything in the coming months or years, as her politics are as conservative as the Republican Party expects them to be. But we can agree on one thing—Donald Trump is a scary racist.
Daily Caller editor-in-chief and Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson is not happy with how Glenn Beck acted at the Facebook meeting for conservatives this week.
In an interview, Carlson blasted the radio and television host, saying he was sucking up to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
“I went to that meeting expecting Beck to cry, rend his garments while quoting James Madison, but that’s not at all what happened. He began the most extended assiduous suck-up I think I’ve ever seen a grown man commit. He acted like he was auditioning to be Mark Zuckerberg’s manservant — it was awe-inspiring,’ Carlson said. “I don’t know what his agenda is; it’s either he’s looking to put his tanking Web properties up for sale or he just can’t help himself. There’s a billionaire there, so he sniffs the throne.”
In April, Beck’s company The Blaze laid off about 40 employees and announced that it was relocating its operations almost entirely to Texas, where it is headquartered. Matt Frucci, whose hiring to run The Blaze’s television operation in New York was announced the same week of the layoffs, quietly departed the company about a week later. In an unsigned post, The Blaze announced a reorganization and said that the changes were made because the company had “grown into a company [Beck] no longer believed in” and urging people to “stay tuned” for the company’s next chapter.
In a post after the meeting, Beck offered up high praise for Zuckerberg and his team, saying he “was convinced that Facebook is behaving appropriately and trying to do the right thing. They were humble, open, and listened intently to everyone in the room.”
But Beck also hit on some of his fellow attendees for asking for what he called “affirmative action for conservatives.”
“When did conservatives start demanding quotas AND diversity training AND less people from Ivy League Colleges. I sat there, looking around the room at ‘our side’ wondering, ‘Who are we?’ Who am I?'” Beck wrote. “What happened to us? When did we become them? When did we become the people who demand the Oscars add black actors based on race?”
Carlson said he was one person at the meeting who brought up increasing diversity at the company, and that Beck’s description was a “total mischaracterization” of what he was trying to say.
“My point was a simple one, which is diversity is deeper than ethnicity,” Carlson said. “You can look different but have the same values. That’s not diversity; it’s conformity. … You want people with different life experiences as a backstop against bad decision.”
Carlson said he “despises” affirmative action but was “making a pretty conventional point.”
“It’s hardly a deep insight. [Beck] turns around and says ‘You’re acting like Jesse Jackson trying to shake down Facebook or demand quotas.’ Which of course is the opposite of what I’m in favor of,’ Carlson said.
A spokesperson for Beck’s company The Blaze did not immediately respond to a request for comment. UPDATE 7:56p.m.:
In a statement Beck responded to Carlson:
“I have no beef with Tucker or any other progressive Republican, I just disagree with shakedowns of private or publicly traded companies. It is a proven fact – and Small government Conservatives have made the case – that affirmative action, quotas and sensitivity training do not work. The movement on the right is split, just as it is on the left. The left is now choosing between progressives and Marxists while the right must choose between progressives and constitutionalists. There are those who believe winning at all costs is the goal. While I understand the frustration, a Conservative by definition conserves. I don’t believe we wish to conserve winning or affirmative action — I wish to conserve principles over party.”
This last election cycle has revealed an increasing divide over how segments of the population understand political issues. According to Pew, “Partisan polarization – the vast and growing gap between Republicans and Democrats – is a defining feature of politics today.” The problem is not simply connected to opposing ideologies, though. Today polarization is the defining feature of Tea Party politics. From the Bundy gang to Donald Trump’s rallies, we are witnessing a rise in aggressive and divisive politics.
But here’s the thing: Palin incites violence, but she is also incredibly dumb. So dumb, in fact, that she doesn’t seem to be able to speak in complete sentences.
It is time to take seriously the role that stupidity is playing in shaping GOP politics. We have followed the rampant lying of candidates, and we have followed the rhetoric of anger and hostility. Maybe it is time to look more closely at the role of stupidity. And there is no better figure to help us think about that problem than Sarah Palin.
Throughout her entire career she has surprised us with her stupidity. Remember when she couldn’t answer Katie Couric’s questions about which magazines she reads or when she wrote on her hand to help her remember her talking points at a Tea Party Nation event? And yet, in comparison to the nonsense that came out of her mouth at her Trump endorsement speech, those moments seem relatively lucid.
Almost everyone covering the story of her Trump endorsement was absolutely astonished by her incoherent blathering. The New York Times covered “the most mystifying lines” of her speech.
James Corden compared her speech to a Dr. Seuss book—if Dr. Seuss “wanted to deport all of the Woozles.” Corden called her speech “particularly confusing,” and reminded his audience of the role that Palin played in destroying John McCain’s run for the presidency: “You just know that John McCain is on his couch at home watching the TV being like, Donald – dude – this is a bad idea.”
In one of his best lines yet, he claimed that: “It’s like the only thing Sarah Palin hates more than Obama is punctuation. Nobody talks like that. It’s almost like she’s a malfunctioning robot.” He then went on do to a pretty hilarious impersonation of her talking to the people of Iowa as though they were cavemen who didn’t understand English.
And to the delight of many, Tina Fey reprised her Palin impersonation on “SaturdayNight Live”. Her angle? Just basically repeat verbatim what Palin said. That simple comedic tactic worked to effectively destroy the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008—and it is working again now. When the nonsense Palin spews is repeated through Fey’s impersonating parody, it immediately reveals the depths of Palin’s stupidity.
The best Palin comedy came from seasoned Palin-basher Stephen Colbert who referred to Palin as “the original material girl” –since every time she makes a public appearance she offers more easy comedy material. “God, I have missed you! It’s like a magical eagle made a wish on a flag pin, and it came to life,” he exclaimed. He, too, keyed in to the incoherence of her remarks: “Sarah Palin just guaranteed Trump the evangelical vote, because I think she was speaking in tongues.” He then went on to Tase the part of his brain that understands sentence structure so that he could speak in Palin about the other candidates.
The most important benefits of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan do not involve either President Obama or his “legacy” — seriously, New York Times?
The Clean Power Plan is primarily about public health and preserving a livable climate by reducing carbon pollution from the dirtiest coal plants. It is directly aimed at improving the health of tens of thousands of Americans — and enabling a global treaty that might ultimately save most of the country from turning into a near-permanent Dust Bowl.
At one time, the New York Times was considered the pinnacle of “serious” journalism, the “paper of record.” But consider their Politico-style analysis of Obama’s Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants — a plan that he was legally obligated to put forward, a plan that is objectively the bare minimum the United States can do in the global fight to prevent catastrophic climate change from ruining the lives of billions of people for decades and centuries to come.
The Times’ front-page headline in its big Sunday story with leaked details of the plan is “Obama to Unveil Tougher Environmental Plan With His Legacy in Mind.” That is the print headline, the web headline, and the URL — so apparently the editors were in complete agreement from the start that this dreadful headline captures the most important news about why the President unveiled this plan.
Significantly, the Times provides exactly ZERO named sources to justify this “view from nowhere” headline and story:
As the president came to see the fight against climate change as central to his legacy, as important as the Affordable Care Act, he moved to strengthen the energy proposals, advisers said. The health law became the dominant political issue of the 2010 congressional elections and faced dozens of legislative assaults before surviving two Supreme Court challenges largely intact.
It’s all about politics and legacy, according to the Times panjandrums … and those famous unnamed “advisers.” The Times further asserts (baselessly): “But over all, the final rule is even stronger than earlier drafts and can be seen as an effort by Mr. Obama to stake out an uncompromising position on the issue during his final months in office.”
“Uncompromising?” Really? The Times is aware that Team Obama tried the legislative route in its first term: “Mr. Obama tried but failed to push through a cap-and-trade bill in his first term….” I guess Obama failed to “push through” that bill — if that phrase means “making concession after concession to get any Republicans to actually vote for it.”
The Times never mentions the fact the president is legally obligated to put forward a plan. As I’veexplained, after Senate conservatives rejected any compromise over legislation that would have reduced carbon pollution from power plants, something from the EPA very much like the Clean Power Plan became legally inevitable.
At no time does the Times even entertain the notion that the president cares about the health and well-being of Americans — or the moral responsibility the country bears as the biggest cumulative polluter. This despite Obama holding a major “White House Public Health and Climate Change Summit” on June 23!
You have to read more than 900 words to even get to the scientific necessity of the matter:
Climate scientists warn that rising greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly moving the planet toward a global atmospheric temperature increase of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the point past which the world will be locked into a future of rising sea levels, more devastating storms and droughts, and shortages of food and water. Mr. Obama’s new rules alone will not be enough to stave off that future. But experts say that if the rules are combined with similar action from the world’s other major economies, as well as additional action by the next American president, emissions could level off enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change.
That would have been great as a third or fourth paragraph, but as an 18th paragraph, it’s unlikely many people who see the headline will ever get that far.
Also, the statement in boldface is not scientifically accurate because of the phrase “emissions could level off enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change.” Emissions leveling off will NOT cause carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere to level off. In fact, they would continue rising and rising, which would guarantee the worst effects of climate change.
What the New York Times should have written was “global emissions could eventually drop fast enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change.” We need a 50 percent drop in global emissions by mid-century. The public and policymakers and the media remain very confused on this point — and with stories like this it’s no wonder.
NOTE: I was originally going to criticize the AP for its Clean Power Plan story, “Who wins and loses under Obama’s stricter power plant limits” (viewable here). It had many of the same Politico-style flaws as the Times piece — especially an “inside the DC beltway” focus whereby the “winners” included environmentalists, but not actually public health or a livable climate.
But the AP appears to have replaced that with a vastly superior piece, “Obama heralds impact of power plant greenhouse gas limits,” which makes the key moral point that the most newsworthy beneficiaries are humanity: “Calling it a moral obligation, President Barack Obama unveiled the final version of his plan to dramatically cut emissions from U.S. power plants, as he warned anew that climate change will threaten future generations if left unchecked.”
As we found out earlier today, the GOP belief that Chuck Hagel had been on the payroll of an organization called “Friends of Hamas” crashed and burned when it turned out to be a bad joke that conservative morons took seriously.
Like their unshakable belief in “skewed polls”, Republicans consistently cling to any craziness that validates their world view. And like their unskewed election results shocker, they don’t appear ready to learn from their mistakes. They would much rather whine instead.
Opponents of Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel are fuming in the aftermath of sloppy work by their allies that has backfired and risks turning their cause into a joke.The bumble: A thinly sourced claim that Hagel had taken money from a heretofore unheard of group called “Friends of Hamas,” floated by the conservative website Breitbart.com, and sourced to Capitol Hill.
“This sort of thing drives me crazy because it undermines legitimate concerns about Sen. Hagel, his views and financial associations,” said a Senate Republican aide involved with the anti-Hagel efforts. “In this business we deal in facts or the pursuit of facts and making up groups like the Friends of Hamas distracts us from legitimate questions as to what private foreign foundations and wealthy foreign individuals are contributing to the Atlantic Council or investing in Sen. Hagel’s firms.”
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! This Republican staffer thinks Republicans “deal in facts”, when they gave up that ghost decades ago. Their entire campaign against Hagel has been nothing but one round of bullshit after another. Or put another way, there hasn’t been a single “legitimate concern” floated against Hagel. The fact that one of their most fantastic conspiracy theories was exposed as (literally) a big joke only underscores how little they have against Hagel.
I mean, think about this: Some random GOPer staffer hears some random thing about “Friends of Hamas”, and rather than research it (and discover that no such organization actually exists), he runs to Breitbart, which then runs it uncritically, again refusing to do any research.
Now, conservatives should know better than to trust anything Breitbart says, because, you know, they’re Breitbart. They don’t research or check facts (an actual fact). But no, the rest of conservative media then uncritically runs that ridiculous story. And not just their fringy outlets, but their supposedly respectable ones like the National Review and Lou Dobbs at Fox Business.
But the chain of stupid doesn’t end with their bubble-creating media, as a U.S. SENATOR (Rand Paul!) then runs with the story, because like the rest of the conservative movement, he also lacks a single person able to check a fact.
Can’t blame them, though. Facts do have a well-known liberal bias. If Republicans actually got around to checking theirs, they would be left with nothing else to work with. Which is why Breitbart continues to cling to its story.
“Our Senate source denies that Friedman is the source of this information,” [Breitbart writer Ben] Shapiro wrote in a post that also referred to Friedman as a “hack.” “‘I have received this information from three separate sources, none of whom was Friedman,’ the source said.”
That’s the takeaway from much of Friday’s media coverage of another disappointing monthly jobs report and unchanged unemployment number of 8.2 percent. Like clockwork, political reporters quickly sized up whether the addition of 80,000 jobs in June would help or hurt President Barack Obama’s chances of keeping his own job, rather than the broader impact on millions of unemployed Americans.
The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza tweeted that June’s number presents a “major political problem for Obama.” He later suggested in a blog post that any hope the president “will be able to run for reelection bolstered by an improving financial picture is rapidly disappearing.”
Kicking off MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown,” host Chuck Todd said that “another disappointing jobs report puts more pressure on the president with just four months until election day.” On Twitter, Politico’s Ben White said the report is “not good news for Obama.”
In covering the campaign horse race, reporters often make snap judgements following statements, reports, or “gaffes” that are mostly forgotten days later amid the stream of non-stop election coverage.
Earlier this week, the consensus among reporters was that Team Romney was down, following adviser Eric Fehrnstrom’s comment that the individual health care mandate is a “penalty” rather than a “tax.” Similar to health care — where the media focused more on the politics of the bill rather than its contents — the jobs numbers could be reduced to a win or loss in a long election season.
But as the summer holiday week came to a close, Team Obama was on the defensive, as Friday’s news was ruled a tough blow for the president — at least according to the news media.
“The U.S. unemployment rate remained flat in June, which is bad news for President Obama,” began an ABC News piece.
The network excoriates its fired anchor by painting him as an arrogant and uncooperative slacker. Howard Kurtz on the latest round in the legal war.
Moving a day after Olbermann sued the network for up to $70 million, the suit says that he “completely shut himself off from the rest of the network”—and backed it up with a series of intemperate-sounding emails from its former star.
For instance, after a problem with an unspecified employee during an appearance by Michael Moore on his show, Olbermann wrote Joel Hyatt, Al Gore’s cofounder at Current: “Give me a name so I know which of them to kill with my bare hands.”
After learning that a photo of the Countdown set had been given to the press, Olbermann wrote Hyatt about the leaker: “Can you assassinate him please?”
Even allowing for comedic overstatement, Olbermann’s tone is often harsh. When Current president David Bohrman asked about the unauthorized purchase of a $5,300 desk for the program, Olbermann responded: “When you are prepared to act like an adult you are welcome to contact us again.”
In response, Olbermann said in a statement: “The Mets put Andres Torres on the DL today. That seems to have as much relevance to my lawsuit as the Current counterclaim I just read.”
How a disturbed would-be presidential assassin became another bizarre conservative meme
Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez tried to kill President Barack Obama, by firing a gun at the White House, and one would think that that combination of “hating Obama” and “using a gun” would make using him to smear liberals a bit of a stretch, even for Fox and the rest of the right-wing press. You’d think that they’d shy away from even mentioning the guy, as they generally do in prominent cases of decidedly right-wing politically motivated violence. You’d be wrong, though, because they’ve all decided that Ortega-Hernandez is the Occupy Wall Street shooter.
Ortega-Hernandez will soon be a minor historical footnote, like the guy who tried to crash a plane into Nixon’s White House, Squeaky Fromme and Sara Jane Moore, the weird guy who may have been a part of a secret plot to kill or scare Jimmy Carter, John Hinkley, the guy who tried to crash an airplane into Bill Clinton’s White House, the guy who fired bullets at Bill Clinton’s White House and the guy who fired bullets at George W. Bush’s White House. What did all of these people have in common? Their motives were … slightly difficult for rational people to comprehend. They tended to be paranoid and disturbed and their stated reasons for wishing the president dead were usually fairly incoherent.
Discussing race in this country is such a divisive topic that most people would rather deny its existence or at least sweep it under the rug and discuss it at a later date. In my years online, I have learned to stay away from the topic in general discussion forums. People will attack you as being a “militant”, “prejudice”, “racist” and “anti-white” or one is “playing the race card”. Mostly because they don’t want to talk about it.
I suspect Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee will get the same response…(See related articles, below.)
We have never seen the debt ceiling issue play out like this before. We have never seen or heard talk of the United States of America defaulting on its loans, but we also have never had a black president before. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee raised this issue on the floor of Congress. I have heard several people that I know ask this same question this week. So tell me what you think is race a factor?
It appears to me that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in the News International/News Corp scandal. With the Obama administration’s FBI and Department of Justice poised to investigate the American side of any possible breaking of the law by Murdoch’s publications here, one can only imagine the blow-back from Fox News’ conservative commentators during this protracted election season. Or, will they hold back on the usual vitriol tossed at Obama and his administration? I certain it will be the former.
The spiraling crisis at News Corp.’s London tabloids, which on Friday claimed its first American scalp, is threatening increasingly to spill over into American politics.
The scandal has handed talking points to Democrats and a political cudgel to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, which is bracing for what’s become the usual battle with Fox News, whose evening lineup features some of the most powerful voices of conservative opposition, but whose corporate cousin is now being investigated by the Obama administration.
For News Corp., Friday seemed to mark a watershed moment in its position as a dominant – and often intimidating – media conglomerate.
Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed the “ongoing investigation” into allegations that reporters for its defunct News of the World hacked into the telephone of September 11 victims in the United States. And a day after chairman Rupert Murdoch downplayed the scandal in an interview with his own newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, two of his top lieutenants, Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton – the paper’s publisher and a naturalized American citizen — were forced to resign, as the company pivoted from defiance to contrition.
Mainstream American politicians of both parties have generally avoided open combat with Murdoch, with Bill and then Hillary Clinton famously seeking to court him and reach an accommodation. Even Obama, who has warred openly with Fox at times, has more recently pulled back, even after seven-figure contributions to groups tied to the Republican Party were reported last year.
But Murdoch, wounded, suddenly appears mortal, and his enemies are emboldened.
Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes “is going to be hamstrung,” said Murdoch biographer and AdWeek editor Michael Wolff. Ailes “operates independently, but in this context he will not be able to operate independently: This is going to be in the hands of lawyers and higher PR officials, and it will not be about what’s good for Fox, it’ll be what’s good for News Corp. and for an ultimate settlement.”
A Fox spokesperson dismissed Wolff as a “gadfly” and didn’t respond to a question about the News Corp.’s scandal’s impact on the network. A New York Post spokesman referred questions to a News Corp. spokeswoman, who didn’t respond to an inquiry on the topic.