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Archive for August 12th, 2009

‘Colbert Report’: Euphemisms for Euthanasia

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 12th, 2009 4:47 am by HL

‘Colbert Report’: Euphemisms for Euthanasia
What exactly do those dastardly Democrats mean when they talk about “community standards” vis-à-vis health care reform? Only one thing, of course—death panels! But hold on, Mr. Gingrich and Mme. Palin, where are either of those terms written anywhere in the reform proposals? READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Colbert

What exactly do those dastardly Democrats mean when they talk about “community standards” vis-?-vis health care reform? Only one thing, of course—death panels! But hold on, Mr. Gingrich and Mme. Palin, where are either of those terms written anywhere in the reform proposals?

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Lionel: Gelt For Geezers: Obama’s New Healthcare Plan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 12th, 2009 4:46 am by HL

Lionel: Gelt For Geezers: Obama’s New Healthcare Plan
The natives are restless and royally PO’d. Remember when the term “town hall meeting” inspired a Norman Rockwell vision: peaceful, good-natured and respectful citizens waiting their turn to be called?

Laura Carlsen: An Open Letter to President Obama on “Hypocrisy”
The coup-controlled Honduran press is having a heyday with the Obama remarks. La Tribuna has a picture of Obama on the front page with the headline “Hypocrisy to Call for Intervention in Honduras”

Amy Goodman: Health-Care Reform Needs an Action Hero
Imagine the scene. America 2009. Eighteen thousand people have died in one year, an average of almost 50 a day. Who’s taking them out? What’s…

Merrill Goozner: Big Pharma has Lured Dems Into a Faustian Bargain
Reformers were naïve if they thought the world had changed simply because there were new tenants in the majority offices on the Hill or in the White House.

Phil Bronstein: Hillary Comes Out of the Bill Closet: But How Does She Really Feel?
I’ve never been a huge Hillary fan, but this was both heartbreaking and endearing, watching the cold steel of a too-often back seat passenger to power explode into the molten lava that’s been percolating all these years.


After Pelosi noted that protesters had swastika signs, media claim she called them Nazis

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 12th, 2009 4:45 am by HL

After Pelosi noted that protesters had swastika signs, media claim she called them Nazis

Following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comment that protestors are “carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on health care,” numerous conservatives have misrepresented her comment to claim that she referred to the protestors or opponents of health care reform as “Nazis.” Some conservatives have also falsely claimed Pelosi was lying or being misleading when she noted that protestors have had signs with swastika symbols.

Media falsely assert Pelosi called or suggested that opponents of health reform are “Nazis”

Joe Scarborough claimed Pelosi called opponents “Nazis.” On the August 10 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough stated, “[O]n the left, you’ve got a speaker calling Americans un-American for going to town hall meetings and accusing them of carrying swastikas in there.” After co-host Mika Brzezinski asked, “How do you respond to this ridiculous stuff that’s coming out of the right?” Scarborough replied, “[Y]ou don’t do it by calling your opponents Nazis.”

Gregg Jarrett claimed Pelosi “sort of suggested that any American citizen that dared voice an objection in a protest is a Nazi.” On that same day’s Studio B with Shepard Smith, Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett falsely asserted, “First of all, in the beginning, Pelosi sort of suggested that any American citizen who dared voice an objection in a protest is a Nazi, apparently based on one isolated incident.”

Peggy Noonan suggested Pelosi called protesters “Nazi-like.” In her August 8 Wall Street Journal column, Peggy Noonan wrote that Pelosi “accused the people at the meetings of ‘carrying swastikas and symbols like that.’ (Apparently one protester held a hand-lettered sign with a ‘no’ slash over a swastika.)” Noonan further wrote, “But they are not Nazis, they’re Americans,” later adding, “[I]f you’re president … [y]ou cannot allow your allies to call people protesting a health-care plan ‘extremists’ and ‘right wing,’ or bought, or Nazi-like, either. They’re citizens. They’re concerned. They deserve respect.”

WSJ columnist James Taranto claimed Pelosi “insinuated that they are Nazis.” In his August 7 Wall Street Journal column, Taranto wrote: “One should never in earnest liken a political opponent to the Nazis if that opponent does not practice or advocate genocide or totalitarianism.” He continued:

The easy recourse to Nazi analogies — far more common on the left than the right — debases the currency of moral outrage and can only diminish moral clarity.

So was Nancy Pelosi right? Not a chance.

Let’s review her words again: “I think they’re AstroTurf. You be the judge. They’re carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on health care.” Who carries swastikas? Nazis. Pelosi did not complain that the protesters were comparing ObamaCare to Nazism; she insinuated that they are Nazis.

Limbaugh claimed Pelosi “is saying the people who oppose this are Nazis.” On the August 6 broadcast of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh stated of Pelosi, “She’s basically saying that we are Nazis. She is saying that the people who oppose this are Nazis, and I’m going to tell you what.”

Pelosi actually said protesters were “carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on health care”

Speaking to reporters, Pelosi was asked if she thought there was “legitimate grassroots opposition” at recent town hall events. She responded:

PELOSI: I think they’re Astroturf; you be the judge. They’re carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on health care.

Media also accuse Pelosi of lying for saying protesters were “carrying swastikas”

Washington Times called Pelosi’s “carrying swastikas” statement “misleading.” In an August 10 editorial, The Washington Times wrote that Pelosi “misleadingly decried protesters ‘carrying swastikas.’ ” The Times added, “Closer examination revealed that in every case, the symbol was being used as a warning against the arrogance of power of which Mrs. Pelosi has become emblematic.”

Andrew Breitbart: Pelosi “blatantly lied and said that the protesters were wielding ‘swastikas and symbols like that.’ ” In an August 10 Washington Times op-ed, Andrew Breitbart wrote that Pelosi “blatantly lied and said that the protesters were wielding ‘swastikas and symbols like that.’ “

WSJ‘s Stephen Moore: Pelosi swastikas statement “suggests she is completely clueless.” On the August 7 edition of Fox News’ Glenn Beck, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore stated, “People just feel like the politicians aren’t paying any attention to what the voters care about.” He continued, “[T]hen they have Nancy Pelosi say, ‘Well, the people who go to these rallies have swastikas,’ just suggests she is completely clueless.”

Taranto wrote that “Pelosi’s claim about ‘swastikas’ is the product of a fevered imagination.” In his August 6 Wall Street Journal column, after defining “Astroturf[ing]” as “professionally staging protests and lending them credibility via the false impression of spontaneity,” Taranto wrote, “As far as we know, Pelosi’s claim about ‘swastikas’ is the product of a fevered imagination. If there were swastikas, they would hardly be a sign of professionalism.”

Pelosi was right: Swastikas have appeared at town hall meetings

As Media Matters for America senior fellow Eric Boehlert and Fox News contributor Alan Colmes have noted, multiple protesters at health care reform protests have held signs featuring swastikas. From Boehlert’s post titled, “Jonah Goldberg goes in search of swastikas“:

[…]

[…]

From Colmes’ post titled, “Pelosi Is Correct: They ARE Carrying Swastikas At Town Hall Meetings“:

Transcript

From the August 7 edition of Fox News’ Glenn Beck:

MOORE: I’ve never seen anything more insulting, Eric, than what’s happened in the last week where the left is attacking many of the very voters that voted for Barack Obama. In fact, Ann and Eric, I actually went to a lot of these town hall meetings and a lot of these tea parties that have happened around the country. I know, Ann, you’ve been to a lot of them, too.

And I have talked to a lot of people — they voted for Barack Obama. A lot of them were independent. Many of them, Eric, had never been to a political rally before in their whole life. And the only thing I’d add to what Ann is saying, of course, they don’t like the health care bill. But I think it’s wider than that.

I think this — it’s a kind of spontaneous combustion of frustration, not just about the health care bill, which most Americans don’t like, but it also goes back to the bailouts, to the massive stimulus bill. People just feel like the politicians aren’t paying any attention to what the voters care about. And then they have Nancy Pelosi say, “Well, the people who go to these rallies have swastikas,” just suggests she is completely clueless.


Docs Belie Rove’s Claim That His Aide Was “Freelancing” In Pushing For Iglesias Firing

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 12th, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Docs Belie Rove’s Claim That His Aide Was “Freelancing” In Pushing For Iglesias Firing
This won’t come as a shock … but the just released documents on the U.S. attorney firings make it clear that Karl Rove was far from straight with the House committee that interviewed him last month. According to the transcript…

FreedomWorks Says Jump, Tea Partiers Ask How High
Lately, there’s been an ongoing debate about the Tea Party groups that have been fighting health-care reform. Are these groups organic manifestations of popular discontent, or are they in fact controlled by corporate-funded Washington lobbying groups — in particular, FreedomWorks,…

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Ooooo…scary

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 12th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Ooooo…scary


The Tragedy of Our ‘Disappeared’ Veterans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 12th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

The Tragedy of Our ‘Disappeared’ Veterans

How the justice system has been manipulated to put astonishing numbers of vets with PTSD and other psychiatric injuries behind bars.

How the White House’s Deal With Big Pharma Undermines Democracy

When an industry gets secret concessions in return for a promise to lend its support to a key piece of legislation, we're in big trouble.

Saving Afghan Women from the "Liberators"

Lasting change must come at the hands of Afghan women themselves — and Afghan men.

Vitaminwater’s Empty Calories Are at the Heart of What’s Wrong with the Beverage Industry

Vitaminwater tells its customers to "hydrate responsibly." That means not drinking 125-calorie sugar rushes like … Vitaminwater.


Modelling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – Part II

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 12th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Modelling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – Part II
Advance apology – this is the most complicated post in the entire series… I promise if you persevere through this post you will find the rest of the series easier going… also – to state the obvious – it helps…


Sponsored Topics: Fannie MaeFreddie MacBusinessFannie and FreddieFinancial services

“Questionable”
Under the anodyne headline, “White House Adapts to New Playbook in Health Care Debate,” Jim Rutenberg and Jackie Calmes offer this in the morning NYT: WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday started a new Web site to fight questionable…


Sponsored Topics: White HouseBarack ObamaHealth careUnited StatesPresident Obama


New Hampshire right-wing protestor suggests sending ?illegals? home with a ?bullet in their head.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 12th, 2009 4:37 am by HL

New Hampshire right-wing protestor suggests sending ?illegals? home with a ?bullet in their head.?
The New Hampshire Republican Volunteer Coalition urged its members to make their voices heard today in Portsmouth, NH outside of a high school where President Obama was discussing health care reform. Sure enough, right-wing protesters came out not just in protest of health care, but also furiously offering the suggestion that undocumented immigrants should be […]

The New Hampshire Republican Volunteer Coalition urged its members to make their voices heard today in Portsmouth, NH outside of a high school where President Obama was discussing health care reform. Sure enough, right-wing protesters came out not just in protest of health care, but also furiously offering the suggestion that undocumented immigrants should be sent back to their home countries with “a bullet in their head.”

“Why are we bankrupting this country for 21 million illegals who should be sent on the first bus one way back from wherever they come from. We don’t need illegals. Send them home once. Send them home with a bullet in their head the second time. Read what Jefferson said about the Tree of Liberty — it’s coming baby.”

Watch it:

Right-wing protesters have been inspiring each other by referencing this 1787 quote by Thomas Jefferson: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” One Portsmouth protester also held a sign which read “It Is Time To Water The Tree Of Liberty.”

Weekly Standard: It?s ?likely? that the swastika at Rep. Scott?s office is a ?fake hate crime.?
This morning, Rep. David Scott (D-GA) discovered that someone had spray-painted a swastika on the sign at one of his district offices. On Twitter, various right-wing observers immediately began speculating that it was a staged stunt. Now, Weekly Standard writer John McCormack has legitimized these fringe perspectives: In recent years self-inflicted hate crimes have come into […]

This morning, Rep. David Scott (D-GA) discovered that someone had spray-painted a swastika on the sign at one of his district offices. On Twitter, various right-wing observers immediately began speculating that it was a staged stunt. Now, Weekly Standard writer John McCormack has legitimized these fringe perspectives:

In recent years self-inflicted hate crimes have come into vogue among certain citizens on the right and the left.

Of course sometimes “hate crimes” are real (for example, this spring a College Democrat desecrated crosses at George Washington University with graffiti and condoms). It’s possible that a neo-Nazi actually vandalized Rep. Scott’s offices. But given the fact that the Nazi imagery so neatly dovetails with the left’s smearing of health-care protesters as fascists, isn’t it more likely that this act of vandalism was committed by one of Scott’s supporters?

Scott’s press assistant Jennifer Wright was “taken aback — but mainly amused” by the Weekly Standard’s accusation. “Personally I think it’s funny that he thinks a David Scott supporter put the swastika on the sign,” Wright told TPM, “especially given what’s been happening in the media with the Congressman.”


Iranian Exiles Accuse U.S. of Ignoring Pact to Protect Members in Iraq

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 12th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

Iranian Exiles Accuse U.S. of Ignoring Pact to Protect Members in Iraq
PARIS, Aug. 11 — An Iranian exile group accused the Obama administration Tuesday of betraying written U.S. promises to protect several thousand of its members confined in a camp north of Baghdad that was recently stormed by Iraqi forces.

Health-Care Town Hall a Platform for Obama’s Economic Defense
On the day President Obama took the bully pulpit to New Hampshire to sell his health-care plan, it is clear that the debate has become a proxy for a much bigger fight over the size and power of the federal government. By his own actions earlier this year, the president has been thrown on the defe…

U.S. Ambassador Seeks More Money for Afghanistan Reconstruction
The United States will not meet its goals in Afghanistan without a major increase in planned spending on development and civilian reconstruction next year, the U.S. ambassador in Kabul has told the State Department.


Runaway Deficit Will Test Obama’s Luck

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 12th, 2009 4:32 am by HL

Runaway Deficit Will Test Obama’s Luck
Niall Ferguson, Financial Times

Why Is Frank Rich Mad as Hell?
Michael Wolff, Newser

Palin Could Pull A Reagan
Don Campbell, USA Today

Recycling the Contempt
Wesley Pruden, Washington Times