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So let me get this straight...

So, let me get this straight - any time a disaster occurs that the Religious Right can possibly use to claim that "God is angry with the nation because of gays / abortion / marriage" etc., they go nuts making those claims. Make the jump»

Delusional & Deceptive: Artificially Created "Issues" Causing Real Problems

Originally posted as a note on my Facebook page.

The long & short of the ongoing "fiscal crisis" is that it is, at this point, an artificially manufactured crisis that is causing serious real-world issues. The delusion & deceptive "national conversation" that the traditional media insists on promoting isn't helping.

Case in point: a piece from the Washington Post1 makes the following statement:

Ideally, the budget environment for weather and climate research wouldn’t be an either/or situation. State of the art computing resources should be available to both areas.But during a time when our nation faces a fiscal crisis and the government is having to make tough choices about what the highest priorities are - leadership within NOAA and Congress should take a close look at the balance of resources...

There are a couple of things wrong with that. The first one that leaps out and grabs my face like one of the creatures from Alien is "during a time when our nation faces a fiscal crisis" - really? Simply letting the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich expire would substantially resolve that, but the fiscally feral Republican, Tea Party & Libertarian extremists keep pushing for more tax breaks for the wealthy...hoping, apparently, that the rest of the nation is either too pre-occupied or distracted to notice just how much damage that those tax cuts have done, or who has benefited. Make the jump»

Cataclysmic: The GOP's Politics Are Anathema To Good Government And Fiscal Responsibility

Originally posted 2011-02-17 17:54:35 -0500. Bumped and promoted. -- GH

Yes, it's their strategy. It's part of their practiced meme, and nobody's called them on it. They rinse, repeat and repackage the same tired old b.s. time and again, increasingly ginning up greater crises and fomenting unrest while claiming that government is the problem, and they're the 'solution.'

And too many people keep falling for it.

Well, now maybe more people will begin to wake up and start remembering -- and keep telling each other to stay awake, stay alert and make it through the next election cycle with one goal intact: oust the GOP and their Teapublican buddies, once and for all, from all levels of government if you want to have at least an even chance of beginning to fix the mess that this merry-go-round has been generating.

  Make the jump»

It's a practiced meme.

It's a practiced meme, one which those familiar with the GOP of today saw coming as early as 2004. During the Bush/Cheney fiasco, the GOP engaged in double-book accounting, hoping the inevitable economic disaster would hit AFTER their majority and WH left office -- but they were too greedy.

The habit of spending the country into a tailspin while using various budgeting and economic tricks to falsely stimulated a facade of 'growth' (one that would be the ultimate cause of the resulting collapse back within itself), then blame the other party that comes in to clean up the mess not only for making the mess in the first place but using the mess to further their agenda, restricting spending and cutting social service programs.

It's got to stop, folks.

They had their demands for "investigations" and "impeachment" sounding BEFORE Obama even took the Oath of Office -- what idiot would see and hear that, and still believe that the Republicans were intent on doing ANYTHING akin to actually working FOR the nation instead of actively against it?

They had fought any investigation of the lies that were unraveling which brought us to war in Iraq during their tenure, and steadfastly stood by the then-President Bush when he boldly announced that he had no exit strategy, and that would be something "for the next President" to clean up decide. Who didn't suspect that they intended to ensure that the high costs of war - TWO wars - would help seriously constrain the ability of that "next" President to curtail the spending and stem the bleeding from the GOP's reckless abandonment of duty, Constitutionality and humanity?

They've actively obstructed EVERY measure that the current Administration and the Democratic majority in Congress had tried to pass, and then lied some more in order to influence the weak-minded and the devastated into voting their incompetent, lying asses BACK into office, where they now have the capacity to do even more damage and to FURTHER obstruct any efforts to actually fix the nation's infrastrure, economy and health.

They've been lying repeatedly; the big lies of their candidates and pundits echo cavernously through the rapidly hollowing skulls of their followers and sychophants...and they are never, ever held accountable for the real, lasting and inhuman swath of destruction which their ongoing reign of (T)error wreaks across the planet.

  Make the jump»

Media Matters: Fox News Email Shows Editorial Reslant to Frank Luntz Health Care Reform Language

"You know what," Hannity replied, "it's a great point, and from now on, I'm going to call it the government option."

Time to 'Assanginate' Rupert Murdoch.

Remember the "Fair and Balanced" and "We Report, You Decide" messages that remind television viewers of the public stance of the GOP's 24/7 cable news echo-maker, Fox News Channel?

Remember, Dr. Frank Luntz , the talking points-pollster who crafts the Republican agenda into everything from the "Contract with America" through Enron's California power crisis-mandate to change national energy policy ('New Economy technology uses more electrons') to fighting the popularity of health care reform under President Obama?

Media Matters reported, today, that Fox News personalities were directed, by senior management, to make sure that on-air 'reporting' remained in-line with official Fox News verbiage for spinning references to "public option."  Make the jump»

Wikileaks Doc Dump On Afghanistan - And the Media Spins on The Previous Media Fail

Given the last week's Shirley Sherrod news cycle of pre fact checking trashing to a post fact checked resurrection, I find a little bit of humor in asking some in the traditional media to take an advance look at the most recent Wikileaks documents to help verify the fact that they were real. Ya know.... A little bit of fact checking before anybody runs with it.

Anyways, with the resources they have they can and did serve a purpose here as the Times, the Guardian and others confirmed the likelihood that the docs are the real McCoy, and even using the advance notice to take a moment to dig a story or two out of the Wikileaks documents and spin what they can: Make the jump»

The Need For And Role of Journalistic Integrity: Thwarting Breitbart Bias And Propaganda

More manipulation, propaganda and incitement stir the airwaves and reverberate through the internet as the Shirley Sherrod controversy unfolds before us. This marks yet another time that a heavily edited, doctored and flagrantly erroneous video was successfully used to smear and tear down a target of the right-wing. And yet again, the source was found to be lacking integrity; the story told by the video a complete fabrication. But the public and officials still choose to react to such trash without question, even after repeatedly finding that the source has intentionally deceived and mislead in order to affect negative change.

How can we stop this mad dash toward insanity and push for a greater degree of accountabilty, if not from the sources of such misdirection then at least in some form or capacity that prevents a knee-jerk reactionary response to such trash without a pre-requisite pause to question and verify?

Perhaps we can't. Then again, perhaps by driving home the growing facts regarding the importance of personal due-diligence, it may be possible to at least provide some underlying guidelines to protect against further future misdirections. In the spirit of optimism that such efforts would prove useful, here's a list of documented distortions made by Breitbart, taken from Big Falsehoods: An updated guide to Andrew Breitbart's lies, smears, and distortions over on Media Matters. Each link goes to the appropriate entry on that site, where there's more information about each event:

Updated July 21, 2010 3:24 pm ET

Following the dissolution of Andrew Breitbart's smear of former Obama administration official Shirley Sherrod, Media Matters provides an updated look at how his sensationalist stories have been based on speculation, gross distortions, and outright falsehoods.

Over the jump, I'm concluding this piece by quoting selected excerpts from Holding America To Her Principles from the USPatriotsUnited blog, with permission. The excerpts focus on the importance of a free and independent media, and provide some hints to the role that such a media should play in our society today. I selected them in particular because they provide some insight about the "how" and "why" the rise of the blogosphere and citizen journalism in prominence is a result of the failure of the traditional media to faithfully discharge its role.

If you find this post useful, please talk it up and send links to it far and wide. We must, as a nation of concerned citizens seeking a better & brighter future, start encouraging others like us to do our part to quell the fires of incitement.

Make the jump»

BOO!

Via McClatchy:

Shiite Iraqi militants have trained in Iran in preparation for attacks against U.S. military bases as American combat forces prepare to withdraw by September, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said on Tuesday.

In an unusually candid assessment, Gen. Ray Odierno said that Kataib Hezbollah - an Iraqi Shiite militant group backed by Iran - may be seeking to take some credit for the long-planned departure of U.S. troops.

"For years these groups have been (saying) that they are forcing the U.S. to leave," Odierno told reporters in Baghdad. A significant strike "could be a huge propaganda tool for them in the future."

I guess al Qaeda no longer scares people enough to want them to keep America in Iraq (or Afghanistan) since, now, we have the al Iran Hezbollah Qaeda super army being rolled out in one big bogeyman to try to get you to cower in support of forever war. As Laurence Lewis at dKos notes: Make the jump»

Monday Morning Open Thread: A Reagan Resurgence, Historical Rewrite Edition

This was an interesting view of Reagan, cited as "the greatest American of the 20th Century" in the piece.  Since a lot of the stuff that's currently gone sideways on the GOP originates with the Reagan "revolution" I suspect that the folks are hoping to create a rewritten historical puff piece to bring some of the wayward back into their fold...before using them to smother the nation and cover up the crimes of the Bush Regime.

(Caution: to get it all on one page, I used the "Print This" link -- you'll get prompted for your printer, but should be able to cancel and read the article as one page.)

Reagan's Love of Freedom A Lesson For Today

The piece is definitely pro-Reagan, anti-Carter, and slightly out-of-focus with a few of the realities that were in play.

In short, it's a pretty good piece to review, rebut and reflect upon for why it may be showing up now -- perhaps to recall some of the "good old days" and Reagan "revolution" magic, and perhaps to erase some of the stains and obscure the wounds of the Bush Administration and last 12 years of GOP malfeasance, mismanagement and corruption? Or simply to rewrite history, before reality sets in and too many people realize that the GOP of today evolved from the new direction that launched with the Reagan years?

It's a good time for discussion -- grab some coffee or a beverage and jump right in.

This is, of course, an Open Thread.

Media Matters Demonstrates Political Propaganda Ops Behind Fox "News"

Hat-tip to David Waldman of DailyKos.

Check this out:

To excerpt from David's piece over on dKos, here's the nub of the gist:

__________

In the evening hour opinion shows (which, poisonous though they are, Fox is perfectly entitled to broadcast), you have your Hannity types spouting their wingnut applause lines unchecked, because gosh, it's just "opinion journalism." So it's all fair game when they come right out and claim Obama's a socialist, or communist, or fascist, or whatever the flavor of the day is.

But lo and behold, come next morning, the "news" side anchors pull out the infamous "Fox Question Mark" construction, dutifully delivering their line to the audience: "Is Obama a socialist? That's what some in Washington are saying..." Nevermind that both the "some" who are saying it and the talking heads "reporting" it take their morning memos and their paychecks from the same source.
__________

In a nutshell, if you're using Fox for your political insights or news and information, you're being intentionally misinformed and manipulated. By nuts.

Make the jump»

“Spontaneous popular uprisings”??

Promoted, with thanks and a special welcome to Hello Dolly Llama. -- GH

“Spontaneous popular uprisings”??

Yet another myth the Republicans are peddling, is the myth of the spontaneous popular uprising. As Robert Heinlein observed decades ago, the notion of a handful of revolutionaries gathering in an attic or a coffeehouse around a candle, plotting to change the world, virtually never leads to anything. Anything that is really worth accomplishing takes time, money, organization, a good sense of timing, communication, logistics, intelligence, usually some security, and a fair amount of luck.

Arguably the first uprising against a government occurred in Rome, when Tarquinius Superbus, the king whose son raped a nobleman’s daughter, was removed from power by the Senate, not the people. This established the Roman Republic which was in turn overthrown by the killing of Caesar, which was a murder conspiracy by Senators, not a popular uprising.

Most of the violent upheavals in the Middle Ages came in the form of full-scale civil wars between armies led by noblemen; the only role of the common people was to be slaughtered. Even Magna Carta: people believe it was a popular uprising to secure the rights of the common man, but it was in fact a conspiracy of noblemen to secure rights for…noblemen. Make the jump»

Rachel Maddow Supports the Troops, Takes Down Fox Pundit

In case you're wondering about responses to the idiot Fox News pundit Ralph Peters who suggested that the Taliban should kill a captured American soldier, here's what Rachel Maddow had to say:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Hat-tip BarbinMD of DailyKos.

Treat this as an Open Thread.

Make the jump»

The Heirs of Joseph Goebbels

Promoted by GH. Originally posted 2009-06-15 14:04:50 -0400.

Joseph Goebbels was Adolf Hitler's propaganda minister from 1933 to 1945. In that position, he perfected an understanding of the "Big Lie" technique of propaganda, which is based on the principle that a lie, if audacious enough and repeated enough times, will be believed by the masses.

Goebbels used modern propaganda techniques to psychologically prepare the German people for aggressive war and the annihilation of civilian populations. Among other propaganda devices, he accused many of Germany's ethnic and national minorities (such as the Poles, the Jews, the French) of trying to destroy Germany.

Is there really any significant difference between the propaganda of Joseph Goebbels in the 30s and 40s, and the propaganda of people like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh? Make the jump»

Open Thread -- Musical Interlude, Supertramp Edition

YouTube: 

Posted without further comment.

This is an Open Thread.

Make the jump»

Open Thread -- Torture Talking Points Shot Down and Body Slammed Edition

From a DailyKos diary by Muzikal203, here's Jesse Ventura on The View shutting down Elisabeth Hasselbeck's attempts to propagate Reich-wing talking points:

Nicely done, Mr. Ventura.

You can also reference luaptifer's recent post about Velvet Revolution's attempts to disbar torture lawyers, or check out GreyHawk rant about the GOP's hyper-hypocrisy, if you'd like a little more reading on the topic. Make the jump»

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