Archive for: July, 2010

Dancers Responding to Aids: Surreal Beauty on Fire Island

Jul 31 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues

“There are times when the simple dignity of movement can fulfill the function of a volume of words.”

– Doris Humphrey

Fire Island Dance Festival 16; DRA 2012

It was Sunday afternoon, I was lounging in the poolside…reading a now unavailable Dorothy Parker book just like the evil liberal heathen patriarchy-fighting femiNazi that I am. Life was good.

It’s been unusually hot (by New York standards), but there’s a cool breeze blowing off of the ocean. Happy voices from the pool drift my way. I’m thinking seriously about a nap. As my eyes start to close, friends announce that they have a ticket to the 16th Fire Island Dance Festival DRA: Dancers Respond to Aids. It starts in ten minutes. Did I want to go?

Miami City Ballet Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

These tickets are coveted. Not only is DRA an Experience (hello, it’s not just me, Whoopi Goldberg Emceed for two years and said, “To be part of this is amazing”), but it supports people living with HIV/AIDS, provides social services for performing professionals and women’s health programs. DRA is a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA). Since its 1995 debut, the Fire Island Dance Festival has raised cumulatively more than $1.9 million in the fight against AIDS.

I missed the DRA performance last year. Of course, I wanted to go.

Cut to: I’m sitting under the blazing late afternoon sun, at what Sunday Styles of New York Times calls “One of the 12 best parties of the Year,” watching the dancers — from Camille A. Brown of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to Fabrice Calmels & Erica Lynette Edwards ,Principals of the Joffrey Ballet Chicago — perform some of their most memorable works. The stage set at the edge of the ocean, so the backdrop is sparkling eternity. It’s heaven for the senses. Fire Island News succinctly and accurately reported it thusly, “It’s surreal…the beauty of the people and the place.”

Danny Tidwell Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

I’m surrounded by art lovers, all here to witness beauty in motion. A gift from those who spend their lives gaining control over every muscle in their bodies (and meanwhile, some of our politicians can’t seem to master the English language, but I digress). Each dance seems to have been chosen to represent a human emotion or experience – and they run the entire gamut.

Take a peek at the promo video:

Watching the dancers backlit by the sunset on the Great South Bay, I started to cry.

I cry because it’s so damn beautiful. I cry because I know how hard it is to get those perfect arms. But mostly I cry because I remember exactly who I am and why I think the way I do. What else are vacations good for?

I grew up the daughter of a professional dancer. My mother hosted the first ever AIDS benefit in the city where we lived. Yes, there were gay people there. And brown people and yellow people and white people, too. Only when you grow up like that, you don’t know that there’s a world where people are defined by these things. They are just your mother’s friends and colleagues. No one bats an eye.

There, in the setting sun of South Bay, I’m reminded why I care so passionately about American politics and why I volunteered on President Obama’s campaign. To be a part of humanity, to give back, to leave something for the next generation—this is what encounters with the arts do — and this is also inherent in the liberal platform.

The arts play an important foundation in our culture — studying or experiencing the liberal arts gives us a glimpse into the hidden structure of our beliefs, a dance of intellectual inquiry and discovery. The term “liberal arts” has been blackened by the scourge of its association with the heathen liberals who want to educate people, so often we must revisit the literal definition of the word liberal. The dictionary definition of “liberal”: (1) expressing social and political policies that favor progress and reform; (2) following policies that favor the freedom of individuals to act or express themselves in a manner of their own choosing.

What can be more progressive than artists banding together to help causes they care about and an audience of diverse supporters of said cause? This spirit of united humanity is the root of liberalism, the driving force behind liberal policies, and an ideal culmination of the concept of liberalism. It is rarely so perfectly actualized, but endlessly and profoundly worth striving for.

Apparently I am not the only one who cried; According to sources who prefer to remain unnamed, weeping from joy is de rigueur at DRA.

For more information on DRA and to find out how you can support this great cause, click here.

Note: Thank you to Erin Stacey of Pulse Communications for the additional materials.

6 responses so far

Reagan’s Son Hatches Another Scam to Make Money off His Dad’s Name

Jul 30 2010 Published by under Featured News, Republican Party

Gipper’s Family Hatches Another Scam to Make Money off of His Name

Seemingly, the sainthood of Ronald Reagan is nearing. Increasingly, the dubious virtues he espoused are coming to be seen as the goal of every good conservative; McCain, Palin and others hearken to a mythical legacy of deficit reduction (Reagan tripled it) and federal fiscal responsibility (Reagan spent money like it was going out of style). The astounding difference between rhetoric and actual deeds seems lost on conservatives, who apparently believe simply stating something often enough makes it true, in complete disregard of the actual facts.

There is a strange obsession with money in conservatism. It’s almost sexual, and perhaps unsurprisingly, as sex is another conservative obsession. War on the wealthy! Class warfare! Redistribution of wealth! Socialism! Conservatives today are more obsessed with this than Karl Marx. But it’s always the wealthy who are the oppressed in conservative discourse, not the trod upon proletariat. No, the true victims are the corporations, those poor bastards who want nothing more than to let their wealth trickle down to the rest of us.

The only problem is, of course, as Reaganomics demonstrated, that wealth does not trickle down. Instead, it has a disturbing habit of defying this seemingly natural law and trickling up!

It is no wonder that the GOP can out-raise the Democrats, with all the rich donors they can summon. The leaders of the religious right who figure so prominently in Republican politics today also seem to do quite well with that trickling-up wealth. They all seem determined to start their own universities, perhaps to pass down the mysteries of the divine trickle.

One thing is beyond certainty and that is the conservative ability to get rich, and having gotten rich, to defend that wealth, and indeed, to subvert the poor who patiently await their share of the trickle, not noticing all the while that it is flowing the wrong way. Victims have never suffered so badly from Stockholm Syndrome as the Republican Base.

And now yet another Republican in the fine tradition of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and others, has found a way to get rich. Michael Reagan, the Great Trickler’s son, has announced the email address for “real” Americans. Yes, for only $39.95 a month, you can send your email from @reagan.com ($34.95 if you do so by Saturday). Yes, you too have the opportunity to enrich a Republican!

Check it out:

How can anyone resist?

And why would they? After all, as the Little Trickler says, those conservatives who avail themselves of outfits like Google, AOL, Yahoo and Hotmail are helping the liberals! We can’t have that! Of course, those not-so-clever liberals apparently forgot to charge for their email services. Yes, those nasty email services, and by extension those unwary conservatives emailers, are “hurting our country” (in the immortal words of the Little Trickler).

But these email services are not about politics. They are about money, and so is Michael Reagan, just as is Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and so many others who decry the evils of liberalism.

But if you want to make Michael rich, by all means, show him the money. He’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. So will we liberals.

10 responses so far

Taking a Stand against Sarah Palin’s Jealous Contempt For Barack Obama

Jul 30 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, Republican Party, White House

Sarah Palin's Bitter Rage and Contempt

For the last, oh my Gosh, almost TWO years since Palin hit the national scene, conservatives have been salivating over the Democrats’ alleged fear of Sarah Palin. Striking “fear” into their “enemies” is part of the entire worldview of these folks. Everything is seen as a war, a power structure of over and under, best exemplified by Palin’s selling herself as a hunter and someone who just got things done in Alaska (contrary to her actual record and her quitting of her job). While I reject this worldview, it’s important to note that their largest strategic failure is not their worldview, but their misinterpretation of the Left’s outrage over Palin.

We don’t fear her. We fear for our country if she were to be anywhere near in charge of it.

The worldview of the Left is based on more egalitarian and inclusive ideals; The Left wants to negotiate with other countries, use diplomacy and strategy before force, but not INSTEAD of force, and this is nuance is so often misunderstood by the black and white world view of the Right, the Left values intelligence (and this need not come from books, but from a curiosity about the world and other cultures) and a gathering of information before making decisions.

Sarah Palin is clearly a knee-jerk responder; someone who doesn’t value listening or learning, but instead goes in guns a blazin’. Sarah also brings with her a history of anger, bitterness, and misplaced and abused power.

Sarah Palin a dictator who is too willfully ignorant to understand that her tactics are dangerous to the national security of this country. A perfect example of this was during Palin’s time as mayor of Wasilla. Palin was confronted by Wasilla City Council member Nick Carney, a now estranged former mentor of Palin’s who actually picked her to run for Mayor of Wasilla, regarding her despotic style of management. Carney, recounting Palin’s illegal and lavish expenditures on redecorating her office, recalled, “I told her it was against the law to make such a large expenditure without the council taking a vote. She (Sarah Palin) said, ‘I’m the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can’t.'”

As is typical among the incompetent, Palin is a rabid back-seat driver who can’t seem to let a day go by without desperately inserting herself into the national dialogue, in a transparent attempt to both equate herself with the President and get his attention. President Obama had Palin’s number from day one, and he’s never given her the attention she so craves. He’s dismissed her with a respectful nod, rising above Palin’s crude tactics.

Palin uses drama and conflict to gin up support for herself. She isn’t actually running on ideas and can’t run on her history of governing, so she has to run on feelings. She stirs up the Tea Bagging base by getting them angry. They read her anger and rage and contempt as strength, but it really comes from weakness. It’s all Palin has.

Palin uses her contempt to mask her fear of the Press. She uses her anger to mask her envy of the President. She uses her rage to mask her disgust that a black man beat her (this is how she sees it, never mind that she was not running against Obama).

If you watch Sarah Palin’s face in any speech or TV interview, she gives herself away with a thousand micro-expressions of rage, contempt and disgust. Micro expressions such as:

Envy: Eyes staring; mouth corners turned down; nose turned in sneer; chin jutting.
Disgust: Eyes and head turned away; nostrils flared; nose twisted in sneer; mouth closed, possibly with tongue protruding; chin jutting.
Anger: Eyes wide and staring; eyebrows pulled down (especially in middle); wrinkled forehead; flared nostrils; mouth flattened or clenched teeth bared; jutting chin, red face.
Contempt: Curled lips and wrinkled nose.

Palin often manages to plaster a fake smile over her predominantly negative emotions, but this only makes her less trustworthy to the astute viewer who senses the disconnect between her emotions and her smile. When her expressions aren’t giving her away, her pointed fingers jabbing outward do. And if that fails, there are always her words.

Palin consistently uses negative emotion words, which are all indicators of a guilty conscience. Sarah invented the Death Panel lie (which was actually a confession of the very real Death Panels in Alaska wherein over 250 people died under Palin’s Medicare program waiting for care — the only state Medicare program to ever be shut down by the feds for incompetence). Sarah came out with “pallin’ around with terrorists” when in fact she was sleeping with a secessionist.

Palin uses words to incite fear, anger and rage in her followers. They connect with Sarah because of her anger, not in spite of it. In a very real sense, many of the accusations against Obama and the Democrats that we hear from Republicans right now are confessions of their own reckless crusade of deregulation. And their accusations are more often than not couched in negative emotional words like “rape” and “Hitler”.

Democrats and frankly, Independents as well as thinking Republicans, worry about Sarah Palin coming anywhere near our White House. Not only is Sarah Palin incompetent and lazy, but she’s also a demagogue so full of negative emotions she would endanger this country every time she opened her mouth. As much as George W Bush was a cause for concern given his emotional make up, I have to say that Sarah Palin makes Bush seem sane, reasonable and smart. She has the temperament of a jealous, angry Junior High “mean girl” and she is clearly incapable of rising above her own emotions.

And that’s not OK in any adult, let alone a political leader. It’s irresponsible of the Right to champion this person who has been called a “sociopathic narcissist” by her own mentors and supporters as well as being referred to as “Frightening, Dangerous, Mentally Limited” by the McCain staff, as a possible leader for this country.

So what the Right senses as fear of Palin is actually fear for our country and fear that the Conservatives will once again endanger this country by electing another Fascist-styled dictator who just so happens to also, too be a war hawk and a religious extremist. We’re not afraid of her because she’s a powerful Conservative leader or a good Christian. She is neither and the Right will not be taken seriously until they come clean about what exactly they stand for.

We’re afraid of what she does to this country because she allows her bitter, jealous contempt of our President to come before the good of this nation.

55 responses so far

D’oh: Glenn Beck Targets Homer Simpson

Jul 29 2010 Published by under Featured News

Glenn Beck has had so many jump the shark moments of late, but he may have topped them all today on his Fox News show when he managed to connect Homer Simpson to the decline of the American family. Beck claimed America was Father Knows Best, but the liberal ideology has turned us all into Homer Simpson.

Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:

Beck was off on his Weather Underground conspiracy theory, and while he was trying to claim that the group has caused the destruction of the American family, “Is this line of thought is this apparent in our world today? I hate to sound like my grandfather, but I want to show you something. Before the Weather Underground came the father and the role of father in the house, the family unit is being attacked….With the exception of The Cosby Show, I can’t think of very many TV shows where the dad is the smart one.

He continued, “Before the 1960s these were the shows on television. This was Father Knows Best. Can you even imagine a show named that? This is My Three Sons, Ward Cleaver, Leave it to Beaver. The role of the father was strong, but now….but look at this difference. This is before these guys showed up, but now look at our culture. This is the funniest show ever written on television (The Simpsons). I love this show. The dad’s a shlub. How about Everybody Loves Raymond? The dad’s shlub, great show, one of my favorite shows again, but the roles are reversed. This isn’t a mistake.

Later Beck claimed that far left ideology has broken down our culture, “The breakdown in our culture isn’t a cause of the rise of this crazy ideology. It is the result of this. It depends on it. It is a path to power for the radicals. They must have it. They consume it. They feed off it.” You may be asking yourself how did a small group of 1960s radicals get an entire ideology into society and what in the hell does this have to do with Homer Simpson?

The answer is that this is just another Beck reinvention of history, but there is a deeper theme here, and it is the tried and true conservative notion that the good old days were always better. Women should feel insulted that by Beck’s idea that the 1950s family unit was the ideal, that all women should be submissive and aspire to be June Cleaver, or in the case of My Three Sons, women aren’t necessary at all.

Beck tried to use classic television to justify an attack on the rights of women. It should be noted that the kids of the Father Knows Best 1950s became the liberal radicals of the 1960s. If we turn Beck’s example on its ear, we see that The Simpsons is a program that glorifies strong women. Marge is the strong independent family member. Lisa is an ambitious girl with intelligence. On Everybody Loves Raymond, the women were the strength of the family. Both Ray’s wife and his mother were forceful characters. Sure the men were written as overgrown children, and the cultural message that sends could be a post all by itself, but I don’t think Beck’s problem is with the weakness of the men, but the strength of the women.

A dominant theme in conservative thought is returning to the past. Change frightens conservatives. They resist change to the point where most of the change they advocate involves rolling things back to the way they used to be, for example, the Tea Party and the size of government, repealing Social Security. Glenn Beck dreams of an America where women are the Homer Simpsons whose ambitions are limited to pleasing their man. When viewed through patriarchal eyes, Homer Simpson is weak for not controlling his family, and he is dangerous to Beck’s utopian vision of an America that never really existed in the first place.

10 responses so far

Sarah Palin Claims Obama’s Appearance on The View Endangers National Security

Jul 29 2010 Published by under Featured News

After President Obama appeared on The View today, Sarah Palin took to her Twitter account to criticize Obama for ignoring national security and instead chatting on daytime TV, “President w/no time to visit porous US/Mexican border to offer help to those risking life to secure us,but lotso’ time to chat on The View?”

In a couple of hit and run attacks on Obama via Twitter, Palin said, “I’m headed to border in near future… let’s see how quickly his travel schedule will allow that border visit after all. President w/no time to visit porous US/Mexican border to offer help to those risking life to secure us,but lotso’ time to chat on The View.”

In order to understand the degree of brainless hypocrisy in Sarah Palin’s Tweets you must remember that the same woman who is criticizing the President for doing an interview on The View is starring in her own reality TV show on TLC. Palin does not seem to understand the difference between a taped interview, which was shot yesterday, and national security, which Obama’s appearance on The View had nothing to do with.

Wow, so Palin is visiting the border. Gee, that’s great. Now she just needs to come with an immigration policy. Her current policy on immigration as she described it to Bill O’Reilly earlier this month is, “whatever it takes.” Her entire policy is whatever it takes. Yet she insists on pretending like she is acting presidential because she is going to run down to the Mexican border and pose for a photo-op, which will most likely be used in the next SarahPAC direct mailer.

The notion that Obama somehow does not care about national security, and you can argue until the cows come home over whether or not immigration is a national security issue, because he went on The View is preposterous. Much like the rest of the Right, Palin is so desperate to attack Obama that has a blind spot when it comes to her own hypocrisy. Obama’s appearance on The View had nothing to do with immigration. America is no less safe because Obama went on The View. Unlike Palin, Obama wasn’t afraid to go on The View, and unlike Palin, Obama actually offers solutions to the nation’s problems, as opposed to the empty nonsensical rhetoric of Sarah Palin.

56 responses so far

The Party of No Sabotages Small Business

Obama Tries to Protect Small Business from Senate Republicans' Political Agenda

For years, Republicans have been selling themselves as the party of business, using Small Business as the banner from which to launch their tax cuts for huge corporations. In Joe the Plumber, they epitomized this tactic; Using the sometimes less than accurate “Joe the Plumber” — who wasn’t a licensed plumber and didn’t, in fact, pay all of those taxes he moaned about on TV — to prop up the agenda for Big Business.

And for years, the American public has bought the costly mistaken guise of the Republican Party as being good for small business. In fact, many moderate Main Streeters were only nudged into Obama territory over Palin outrage, but their hard-working fiscal hearts remained with the Republican Party. Yes, the Republican Party, the party of hard work, fiscal accountability, balanced budgets, personal responsibility and meritocracy.

Only that party is no longer recognizable. While the actions of the Republican Party are those of a Party whose ideology has been bastardized beyond recognition until it is being used to justify some sort of social Darwinistic “Christian” jihad on humanity justified by the “Jesus-blessed” “free market” “winners”, this reality has been slow to dim on the heartland. We were, after all, used to believing what they tell us they stand for. We might not have agreed, but we took them at their word regarding their ideology.

We can no longer afford to take Republicans at their word.

Yesterday, President Obama urged Senate Republicans to stand by their own ideology by backing a bill designed to cut taxes for small businesses. The President spoke at a New Jersey sandwich shop, and called this bill “as American as apple pie”. Obama also noted its provisions were “things the Republican Party has said it supported for years,” and today Senate Republicans responded by blocking the small business jobs bill 58-42. As Sen. Patty Murray said on the Senate floor, according to Bloomberg, “Once again a common-sense bill that would help Americans is being held hostage by political calculation.”

On paper, it seemed a non-issue. CNN reported:

“The small-business bill before the Senate would set up a $30 billion lending fund to help community banks offer small businesses credit. It also would provide tax breaks to small businesses that invest in new equipment and hire unemployed workers. The House passed a similar bill in June.”

Lower taxes for small business? Isn’t that what the Republicans are always nattering on about? Don’t they say that creates jobs? And isn’t this bill designed to give tax cuts precisely for hiring new workers and buying equipment? And aren’t economists all in agreement about the necessity to get money moving in this economy, something a small business loan does quite effectively?

Hmmm. What’s the problem?

Well, this bill would also eliminate capital gains taxes for key investments and allow small businesses to write off appreciation on new equipment. Um, yeah. I dunno know about you, but when I hear “eliminate capital gains taxes”, I think “capitalism”, “free market” and maybe on a bad day of too much Right Wing Radio, “liberty”. But I sure as heck don’t think that Republicans will be voting NO on eliminating capital gains taxes.

Unless, of course, said bill would actually help our economy……seeing as a boost in our economy would not help the Republicans this fall.

Yes, in that case, I can sure imagine the Republicans voting no on their own ideas. And of course, they’ll need to take cover for their desperate politics.

Cut to: Republicans claim to be worried about the “Cost” of the measure.

Yes, that’s right ladies and gentlemen. The Republican Party has found their Fiscal Political Savior and her name is “Cost”. You heard a lot about “Cost” during the healthcare debates, during the unemployment extension debates, and now you’re hearing it as an excuse to not cut taxes for small businesses. Cost.

Cost, as in, the cost of the Iraq War. Cost, as in the Bush unpaid for tax cuts. Cost, as in the Medicare prescription drug bill. Cost.

So, suddenly the Republicans don’t want to give small businesses a tax break because of “Cost”. And yet, they are still campaigning on cutting taxes for small businesses. Yes, in fact, I’m watching one of their ads right now on my TV. It’s really tough to vote against your own platform and claim you stand for anything. Tough, if not impossible, in fact.

Maybe someone should tell the Republicans that even when they leave something off of the budget all together, it still has to be paid for. I mean, heck, that’s how it runs in my small business. Maybe it’s different when you’re running the country, eh? Maybe “cost” doesn’t matter when you’re in charge. Maybe it only matters when you’ve been trounced/whooped/clobbered in an election and the guy who won just keeps on passing liberal legislation that will change the role government will play in American lives for a very long time. Yeah. That has to hurt.

And they have nothing to run on. Their ideology failed when implemented and their politicians turned out to be the opposite of everything the party claims to stand for. All they can do at this point is hope that America, still struggling to overcome their last dangerously drunken turn at the wheel, will fail. And that Americans are too stupid to remember who caused this problem.

So, when Obama wants to give a tax cut to the small business owners, the Republicans call that a “hand out” but when they give tax cuts to big business, they call it “stimulating job growth” (and hush, not a word about those jobs they “incentivized” right out of the country). And still, when they campaign, they wave their American flags and stand next to Joe the Plumber, touting themselves as the Only Choice for Small Business owners.

I don’t know about you, but where I come from, we call that talkin’ outta both sides of your mouth. Now that Senate Republicans have voted ‘No’ on tax cuts for small businesses, they have definitively jumped their ideological shark.

Show-Me-The-Money Joe the Plumber turned out to be the perfect poster child for the modern day Republican Party: One embarrassing fib after another, piled onto a dung heap of hypocrisy and sketchy ethics, all topped off with a healthy dose of misinformation and not a drop of shame after being exposed.

7 responses so far

Even Bill O’Reilly is More Liberal than Barack Obama on DADT

Jul 28 2010 Published by under Featured News

Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly was on The Tonight Show last night where revealed that he seems to have changed his position on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. When asked about it by Jay Leno, Bill-O said, “Just sign an executive order. I don’t know why it’s taking so long.” Good Lord, even O’Reilly is further to the left than Obama on this one.

Here is the video and transcript from Think Progress:

Transcript:

LENO: I don’t know if you heard the thing I was mentioning, it actually made me angry. That kid, the West Point kid [Dan Choi], what’s your take on that?

O’REILLY: Well I don’t get it. President Obama has the power to stop this Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell business. Just sign an executive order. I don’t know why it’s taking so long.

LENO: And to me, doesn’t it cost like $300,000 to send a kid to West Point? He speaks Arabic…Anybody that’s willing to take a bullet for me is OK in my book.

O’REILLY: Yeah, but $300,000 to the government – that’s like $0.30, you know what I mean? So, they don’t care about cost. But, look, it’s just not fair, we should stop this nonsense.

For some odd reason the Obama administration has already rejected the idea of using an executive order to repeal DADT. In June 2009, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated Obama’s preference for repealing DADT through legislation, “I mean, I think there could be differences on strategy. I think our belief is that the only and best way to do this is through a durable, comprehensive legislative process.”

Watch the video of Gibbs:

The White House reluctance is extremely bizarre because not only did Obama campaign on repealing DADT in 2008, but the American public is overwhelmingly in favor of getting rid of it. May CNN poll revealed that 78% of the American people favor repealing DADT. Pardon me, if I express a fair degree of skepticism about O’Reilly’s leftward turn on DADT.

Bill-O is most consistent in his inconsistency, so no one should be surprised if later this week, he is on his Fox News show telling us why DADT should be the law of the land. Repealing DADT would be an easy popular victory for Barack Obama. Plus, if even O’Reilly can see that this is a good idea, at least for one day, what is taking the President so long? DADT was a flawed half baked compromise from the get go. Obama has said as much. It is time for this president to do the right thing and end this silly policy.

5 responses so far

The Drudge Report Trolls with Foxonian Visual Lies

Jul 28 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, White House

The Drudge Trolls with Foxonian Visual Lies

Foxonian Visual Lies Courtesy of a Desperate Drudge Report

While Right Wing screams about liberal media bias, and they scream even louder when they’re busted flat out lying to their audience (Acorn video, Sherrod video, etc), they continue their assault on reality via any means necessary. To this end, The Drudge Report felt compelled to use the Foxian trick of using visual imagery to lie for them yesterday when they attempted to lay blame for missing Iraq reconstruction money at Obama’s feet.

We all know, of course, that that money went missing during the Bush administration – but that’s because we are….not Fox Drudge drones. In other words, we read and we are informed. Sadly, the folks in the Right Wing Echo Chamber rarely — if ever — hear anything resembling the news, which might explain why they are so angry all of the time, but heck, that’s a chicken or the egg thing.

Media Matters reports:

“The Drudge Report is attempting to link $8.7 billion in Iraq reconstruction money that the DOD reportedly cannot account for to the Obama administration by blaring the headline “Defense Dept. can’t account for $8.7 billion” under an image of President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. But the Associated Press article Drudge linked to reported that the funds in question predate the Obama administration.”

Gosh, that is so cute! That’s like when Fox rolls footage of officers arresting people and then has a lower third crawling that asks if YOU think it’s right if Obama let’s police intimidate people. Naturally, people tend to blur the two sources of information together and assume they are related, because, well, they would be if Fox were a real news station. And let’s face it, your average Fox viewer is not someone used to thinking for themselves, which is exactly why they love that slogan “We Report, You Decide”. Anyone who so values the appearance of independent thought that they want to wear it like a badge rarely possesses it. It’s kinda sad.

Media Matters points to the original AP article that the Drudge reported from:

“A U.S. audit has found that the Pentagon cannot account for over 95 percent of $9.1 billion in Iraq reconstruction money, spotlighting Iraqi complaints that there is little to show for the massive funds pumped into their cash-strapped, war-ravaged nation.

[…]

The $9.1 billion in question came from the Development Fund for Iraq, which was set up by the U.N. Security Council in 2003. The DFI includes revenues from Iraq’s oil and gas exports, as well as frozen Iraqi assets and surplus funds from the defunct, Saddam Hussein-era U.N. oil-for-food program.

Iraq had given the U.S. authorization to tap into the fund, which is held in New York, for humanitarian and reconstruction efforts, withdrawing that approval in December 2007.

With the establishment of the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran Iraq shortly after the start of the U.S. invasion in 2003 until mid-2004, about $20 billion was placed into the account. The $9.1 billion audited by the Iraq reconstruction inspector general were funds withdrawn from that account between 2004 and 2007.”

So, I guess those guys over at Drudge can’t add or can’t read or are just kinda trolling for hits of rage by lying to their already misinformed and thus vulnerable readers.

I would start a fund for these poor people if they weren’t so gosh darn irritating with their science denying purple dinosaurs walking among us end times abstinence only social Darwinism baloney. We can only hope that the Fox Drudge drones never wake up, because if they’re this angry now, imagine how angry they would be if they ever realized just how used they had been. Luckily for them, Texas is conspiring to make sure that never happens.

What kinda ticks me off is they lost all of this money under Bush and yet they have spent the last year and half screaming bloody murder about deficits. Kinda makes you wonder if they’re really mad about the deficit….or they’re just…mad that they lost an election.

The next time you hear a Right Winger screeching about the “liberal media” (or just see Sarah Palin’s mouth moving), remember that their chief belief is that the best defense is a good offense, so always check your back before apologizing. I guarantee you will find some kind of media knife lodged thusly.

5 responses so far

Rachel Maddow Dominates in the July Ratings

Jul 27 2010 Published by under Featured News

If you are looking for a reason why CNN was so eager to push Larry King out of his long running talk show and into cable news retirement, look no further than the July ratings where MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow defeated Larry King for the sixth straight month and for the seventeenth time in twenty four months, and her audience continues to grow.

From the MSNBC press release, “The Rachel Maddow Show” beat CNN’s “Larry King Live” for the sixth month in a row among both total viewers and A25-54, out-drawing King by 50 percent among A25-54 (236,000 vs. 157,000) and by 37 percent in total viewers (891,000 vs. 652,000). July marks the 17th month “The Rachel Maddow Show” has beaten “Larry King Live” in its 23 months.” Those are some pretty solid numbers for Rachel Maddow’s unabashedly wonkish MSNBC program. Maddow managed to defeat King without the benefit of celebrity guests that King features.

Even though CNN is struggling mightily in prime time, they used their press release to point out just the ratings decline of what they referred to as Fox News’ non-news programming, “Both FNC’s news and non-news programs posted substantial audience loss when comparing July to their peak in January 2010, with the network’s audience dropping off by 20-33% every hour during the day in the demo 25-54. FNC’s non-news program Fox and Friends was down 21%, Your World with Cavuto was down 33%, Glenn Beck was off 33%, The O’Reilly Factor declined 26%, Hannity lost 29% of its audience and On the Record was down 29%. Other double-digit demo losses included the 9a hour (-26%), 10a (-20%), 11a (-27%), Noon (-32%), 1p (-26%), 2p (-26%), 3p (-30%), 6p (-32%) and 7p (-32%).”

As Mediaite recently pointed out Maddow is becoming a player in the ratings, “Rachel Maddow further cemented her place as a ratings player at MSNBC, especially in Keith Olbermann’s absence, with a strong performance Thursday night. Her 9pmET show nearly doubled Larry King in the A25-54 demographic and was the only non-FNC program to have more than one million total viewers.”

Overall, FNC is still the dominant network. They are the third highest rated network in all of cable and have more viewers than MSNBC and CNN combined. The contempt that the folks at CNN have for Fox News’ non-news programming as they called it almost jumps off the page. CNN has a whole lot of problems, especially in prime time, so while I am sure that pointing out FNC’s drop felt good, unlike MSNBC, they stayed far away from discussing the ratings of their individual programs.

It isn’t any surprise that Rachel Maddow is dominating CNN. Larry King went stale a long time ago, however I think her ability to draw an audience with the kind of show that she does, calm, understated, and fact based, shows that there is an audience out there for programming that is willing to actually be more journalistic than entertainment. Whoever CNN hires is going to face an uphill battle against Maddow.

If I were running CNN I would dump the ideas for a Crossfire revival, and the celebrity interview show. Instead take a page from Maddow’s book. Start treating viewers like they are smart and offer them an intelligent alternative. CNN needs an identity in prime time in the worst way. Keith Olbermann may still have MSNBC’s top show, but Rachel Maddow is the real rising star. Her show has a unique style that seems to reflect her interests, and the bad news for the rest of cable news is that she is expanding her audience.

36 responses so far

Breitbart Claims That His Edited Sherrod Video is an Obama Plot to Destroy Him

Jul 27 2010 Published by under Featured News

Andrew Breitbart was on Michael Savage’s show today, where he claimed that his own edited video of Shirley Sherrod is really a campaign by Barack Obama to destroy him. Breitbart said, “I believe that he is orchestrating the campaign to destroy me and my reputation.”

Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:

In response to a caller who asked if Obama’s appearance on The View this week is payback for his possibly asking program last week to put on Shirley Sherrod, Breitbart said, “I don’t know, but I think, I’m not going to say I feel bad for President Obama because I believe that he is orchestrating the campaign to destroy me and my reputation.”

Okay, so according to Breitbart, Obama was behind his editing of a 25 year old video of Shirley Sherrod, to give the false impression that she was racist. Obama also told Breitbart to post the video to his own website for the sole purpose of using the doctored video as grounds for firing Ms. Sherrod so that the truth could soon emerge, which would destroy Breitbart’s reputation as a, “credible journalist.” The problem is that even before this Breitbart had no credibility after the ACORN video was exposed as a doctored fraud.

It is revealing that Breitbart did not get to go on Fox News, Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh’s radio shows in order to make his case, but that he has been reduced to going on Michael Savage’s show, which is most decidedly part of the B team in the right wing media. It would appear that all of the A list big audience programs are distancing themselves from him. Despite what he thinks of himself, Andrew Breitbart is not important enough for the President of the United States to waste one second thinking about him, much less hatch a plot to destroy him.

Breitbart is trying to appeal to the natural paranoia of the conservative mindset in order to save his own hide. If we suspend all logic and reality for a second, and believe Breitbart’s story, then he is the biggest idiot on the face of the earth. His defense is that he is a victim of an Obama plot, which means that he played a role in setting himself up, because he edited the video and ran it on his site. Even the most die hard Obama hating conspiracy theorists have to shake their heads at that one. Breitbart should have been finished after his ACORN video was debunked, but now he and his race baiting really are done. Let’s hope Shirley Sherrod sues him for every dime he’s got, and maybe she can take over his website and use it to combat racism. That would be some true poetic justice.

17 responses so far

Older posts »