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Archive for December 31st, 2011

Benedetto: Obama Dodging the Press

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2011 5:46 am by HL

Benedetto: Obama Dodging the Press
Richard Benedetto: Over the past five months, the Republican presidential candidates participated in 13 debates where they fielded dozens of penetrating questions on every major issue facing the nation, and some not so major … plus some uncomfortable questions about their pasts and their personal lives. Yet, during all that time, the man they hope to defeat next November has rarely been asked by news reporters about many of these issues. Since August, President Obama has held only one formal White House news conference.



Late Late Night FDL: Snackcercise

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Snackcercise
Miss PiggySnackcercise from The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show, a one hour ABC television special that aired on September 17, 1982.

Miss PiggySnackcercise from The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show, a one hour ABC television special that aired on September 17, 1982.

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the coffee table, and try to keep the spitballs off the screen please. This is Late Late Night FireDogLake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?


Brainwash, Rinse, Repeat

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2011 5:44 am by HL

Brainwash, Rinse, Repeat

By Mr. Fish

Related Entries



Lawsuit Challenging Walker’s Anti-Union Law Could Be Revived

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2011 5:43 am by HL

Lawsuit Challenging Walker’s Anti-Union Law Could Be Revived
MADISON, Wis. — A prosecutor asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday to reopen his lawsuit challenging Gov. Scott Walker’s contentious collective bargaining law, contending…

Pamela Powers Hannley: Occupy The Post Office?
..as more than 500 Tucsonans listened to a presentation by USPS rep Brian McCoy this week and waited to voice their opinions at the open mike, protesters from Jobs with Justice, Occupy Tucson, and the local postal workers’ union chanted, waived signs, and signed petitions outside… USPS proposes to cut the number of facilities from 487 to 252 and reduce the workforce through lay-offs and attrition; the Tucson mail processing plant is one that could be closed.

Imad Mesdoua: What Next for the African Union in 2012?
Africa’s Unity depends largely on the ability of the continent to move forward in its development at the national level first. One African currency and a united political system will do little to bring the continent out of poverty if political elites at the national level remain corrupt and untrustworthy.

Santorum Pushes Hard In Key State
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum pushed back Friday against criticism from a rival for his pursuit of funding for home-state projects during…


Right-Wing Media Machine Closes Out 2011 With Attacks On Girl Scouts Of America

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2011 5:42 am by HL

Right-Wing Media Machine Closes Out 2011 With Attacks On Girl Scouts Of America

The right-wing media closed out 2011 by attacking the Girl Scouts of America for, in the words of Glenn Beck website The Blaze, publishing a book that “refers young readers to Media Matters for America as one of the primary sources for debunking lies and deceit.” Fox News led the charge, devoting more than 15 minutes over two days and three programs to the GSA’s “liberal ideology,” including its purported ties to Planned Parenthood.

Beck Website: “Girl Scouts Book Refers Readers To Liberal Group Media Matters”

The Blaze: Media Matters Reference Is “A Form Of Misinformation, Bias — Potentially Even Indoctrination.” On December 27, Glenn Beck website The Blaze reported:

In 2010, the Girl Scouts of the USA published a book called “MEdia.” The publication, designed for girls in grades six through eight, is a guide that apparently offers insight into how young people should process and understand the media messages surrounding them.

Considering the pervasive nature of popular media, this seems like a viable tool. However, there’s a problem — the book refers young readers to Media Matters for America as one of the primary sources for debunking lies and deceit. […]

The Blaze called the Girl Scouts on Dec. 13 to ask about the book. Spokesperson Michelle Tompkins seemed very familiar with the controversy over the inclusion of Media Matters and said that the organization is re-printing the book this month.

During a follow-up call, Tompkins pledged to answer some e-mail questions we sent over. These particular questions sought answers about how Media Matters came to be placed in the book, who wrote the page that the reference appears on and what group, if any, will replace Media Matters once the new publications are released. To date, we have received no response despite a follow-up voicemail and e-mails.

This story was originally brought to us by Christy Volanski, a concerned parent and a former Girl Scouts leader. Her daughter, Sydney, a 15-year-old who served as a Girl Scout for eight years, left the organization in 2010 after she found that it embraces some controversial stances. Now, Sydney co-edits “Speak Now: Girl Scouts Website,” which provides plenty of other examples of what some may see as liberal bias.

Perhaps the Girl Scouts staffers were too busy to respond to us, but considering the fact that the Media Matters reference is, in itself, a form of misinformation, bias — potentially even indoctrination — we assumed that the book would no longer be on the market. But we were wrong. [TheBlaze.com, 12/27/11]

Fox News Trumpets Story, Highlights MMFA’s “Agenda” To “Destroy Fox News”

Fox & Friends Hosts Attack Media Matters‘ “Agenda”; Criticize GSA For “Steering Kids The Wrong Way,” Alleged “Liberal Bias.” In a December 28 segment, Fox & Friends hosts criticized GSA for giving “bad information” by not directing girls to a “non-partisan, objective group,” and suggested the Scouts have a “liberal bias” because “the Girl Scouts printed materials refer girls to planned important hood and other pro-abortion groups”:

ALISYN CAMEROTA (CO-HOST): The controversial part is they direct girls to Media Matters. Well Media Matters is the group that you’ve probably heard about on this program that is not nonpartisan. In fact they have an agenda and one of their stated agendas is to destroy Fox News. So the fact that the Girl Scouts are being directed in this guide to sort through the media to Media Matters is very curious because there are nonpartisan, objective groups that also do fact checking that they could have been directed to instead of Media Matters. 

STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Right, and it is curious they would direct people, young kids to Media Matters, which is funded in part by George Soros, and you know his history. The publication The Blaze which is also a blog contacted the Girl Scouts and said, “Did you know you are sending kids over to Media Matters which is a lefty blog out there?” And they go, “yeah, we know. And by the way, we are going to reprint the book.” Well, will that be in the new book? That blog, the Blaze, has not heard an answer whether or not that bad information about a site that is clearly with an agenda is going to be in the new book because it’s steering kids the wrong way. […]

DOOCY: And this came to the attention of some people because a 15-year-old Girl Scout had been doing some research and she realized there were a number of different agenda items that she felt that showed a liberal bias to the Girl Scouts. And so she started her own blog, and one of the things on her thing, according to her, is did you know the girl scouts printed materials, refer girls to Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups? So in the course of doing her research, she found the Media Matters thing and the rest is history. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/28/11]

Fox & Friends Hosts Say It Is “Laughable” To Call Media Matters “Fair,” Attack GSA’s “Lefty Point Of View.” From a second December 28 Fox & Friends segment:

CLAYTON MORRIS (CO-HOST): The book is called “MEdia” and it’s handed out to those group of girls from I think the sixth grade up to eighth grade age range and it sends them to Media Matters, the website Media Matters, to get more information about lies, they say, or distortions that may be out there in the Media. Turns out, we know one of the most recent campaigns was going after Fox News Channel. It’s also money coming from George Soros and others. So the notion that this is a–

DOOCY: Fair.

MORRIS: Nonpartisan or fair group is laughable. 

DOOCY: Absolutely. I mean, it’s fair if you’re on the left and perhaps that is perhaps the two authors who wrote this particular book have a lefty point of view and maybe they do. But then for them to say, “hey, girls out there, if you want to know what’s real, go to this lefty web site,” that’s just crazy. There is a story out there that apparently 15-year-old girl last year dropped out of the Girl Scouts because she looked at some of the policies and realized that in her estimation, the Girl Scouts in some ways embrace a lefty point of view, a liberal bias. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/28/11]

For more Fox attacks on Media Matters, click here.

Right-Wing Blogosphere Pick Up Attacks, Promotes Girl Scout Cookie Boycott

CNN Contributor And Big Journalism Editor Loesch Criticizes “Ongoing Moral Decline” Of GSA, Suggests Cookie Boycott. In a December 28 post, Loesch embedded a Fox & Friends segment and stated:

Think twice before buying Girl Scout cookies next year. Fox and Friends discussed how the Girl Scouts of America is now promoting Media Matters, in addition to its affiliation with Planned Parenthood (more). […]

By promoting Media Matters for America as a credible website, the Girl Scouts are endorsing the site’s unethical practices and stances.

The ongoing moral decline of the Girl Scouts has caused an exodus within its ranks and a decline in its formerly popular cookie sales. The absence of such a group has sparked the creation of others to take its place, most notable among them: the American Heritage Girls and the Frontier Girls.

Next year, when the green sashes come by your home and ask you to buy cookies to help support their organization, know why your answer will be “no, thanks.” [BigJournalism.com, 12/28/11]

Jawa Report: “I Guess I’ve Bought My Last Box Of Thin Mints.” On December 29, Jawa Report reported:

A publication for the Girl Scouts of the USA is promoting the blatantly biased website ‘Media Matters’ as a source to clear up media disinformation. For those who aren’t familiar with ‘Media Matters,’ the website dedicates all it’s resources to misinforming the public about conservative media, especially Fox News.

I guess I’ve bought my last box of Thin Mints. [The Jawa Report, 12/29/11]

Ace of Spades Highlights “Odd Inclusion” Of Media Matters By GSA. On December 28, Ace of Spades’ Ace wrote:

Girl Scouts Now Promoting Media Matters As Reliable Site To Clear Up “Misinformation”

The long march through the institutions.

Media Matters? Honestly?

In 2010, the Girl Scouts of the USA published a book called “MEdia.” The publication, designed for girls in grades six through eight, is a guide that apparently offers insight into how young people should process and understand the media messages surrounding them.

And if you read something that strikes you as dubious, don’t just accept it uncritically; make sure you check out an unbiased, straight-shooting source. […]

The Girl Scouts are aware of this odd inclusion, but are apparently re-printing the book for further distribution — Media Matters still cited as a legitimate source. [Ace of Spades, 12/28/11, emphasis original]

GSA Announces They Will Remove MMFA Reference In Face Of “Controversy”

Girl Scouts Statement: “Upcoming Reprints” Of Book “Will Not Include Links To Media Matters.” On December 28, right-wing website The Daily Caller reported:

In a statement to The Daily Caller, Girl Scouts of the USA confirmed on Wednesday that its literature will no longer refer scouts to Media Matters For America as a source of information to balance bias in news reporting.

“Girl Scouts constantly reviews our materials based on feedback and suggestions we receive from our members and we update our materials on a regular basis,” said the statement. “As a result of this process, upcoming reprints of journeys materials will not include links to Media Matters.”

The book in question, titled “MEdia,” currently advises Girl Scouts that “Media Matters for America (http://mediamatters.org) gets the word out about media misinformation.” [Daily Caller, 12/28/11]

Fox News Doubles Down With Nearly 12 Minutes Attacking GSA’s “Liberal Ideology”

Fox & Friends Hosts “Former Girl Scout” To Attack Media Matters Reference As Example Of “Liberal Ideology” Of Girl Scouts. During the December 29 edition of Fox & Friends, the hosts interviewed Sydney Volansky, the former Girl Scout and co-editor of the website Speak Now: Girl Scouts referenced in The Blaze:

DOOCY: I understand your family and some other families started noticing kind of what you would feel is a liberal agenda in the national Girl Scouts organization, and when you saw that book, it was suggesting if you want to know what’s really going on in the media, go to Media Matters, which is clearly a left blog, you said that’s just not going to stand, right?

VOLANSKY: Yes. My sister and I started a website to help inform families of the more leftward leanings of Girl Scouts because they promise to be neutral politically and about certain social issues, but when you examine the women they promote and the websites and books that they refer girls to, there is a clear liberal ideology, like with the Media Matters site. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/29/11]

Fox & Friends Amplifies Volansky’s Attacks On GSA’s Alleged “Lack Of Neutrality,” “Real Motives,” Ties To Planned Parenthood. From the Fox & Friends interview with Volansky:

CAMEROTA: And you were a Girl Scout for eight years, you were a proud Girl Scout.  You say it was a huge part of your life. But then because you started seeing these incidents of lack of neutrality you started the website called speaknowgirlscouts.com. What are you trying to accomplish with that?

VOLANSKY: With Speak Now: girl scouts, we are just trying to spread awareness to families because we were so deceived for eight years we were in Girl Scouts. We didn’t realize that Girl Scouts was promoting such a liberal ideology.  And so we really just want to help families to understand Girl Scouts’ real motives and what they are really promoting. 

DOOCY: In particular at the national level, we’ve got a sound bite from 2004, the woman who runs the Girl Scouts, Kathy Cloninger, and here she talks about a special relationship between the national Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood. 

CLONINGER (VIDEO CLIP): We have relationships with our church communities, with YWCAs and with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country to bring information-based sex education programs to girls. 

DOOCY: One of our producers was told that she made a misstatement back then and that there is no relationship between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood. Do you believe that to be true?

VOLANSKY: I don’t believe that is true. For one thing that statement has never been formally retracted. So that kind of makes you wonder why she doesn’t just say, “Oh, I made a mistake, let me retract that” instead of just having everyone else says it but she never comes out with that, so that’s one thing. But also, you look at the sites they are promoting, they send girls to abortion-advocacy websites which will in turn send them to Planned Parenthood, and several years ago they actually had a direct link where they were sending girls directly to Planned Parenthood in a badge called “On Your Own.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/29/11]

Fox & Friends Re-airs Portion Of Volansky Interview, Says She’s Exposing “Liberal Agenda” Of GSA. In a second December 29 segment, after re-airing a portion of the Volansky interview, Doocy said:

She got out of the Scouts a while back and then she’s been compiling a list of what looks like the liberal agenda of the national Girl Scouts and that’s when they found the Media Matters thing. When asked about why is Media Matters, which is clearly a lefty blog, George Soros-funded, left-leaning agenda wise blog, supposed to be the arbiter of media items, a spokesperson for the Girl Scouts of America said, “Girl Scouts constantly reviews our materials based on feedback and suggestions we receive from our members and we update our materials on a regular basis. As a result of the process, upcoming reprints of journeys” – that’s the  name of the publication – “the materials will not include links to Media Matters.” However, our young former Scout did say that despite the fact that the Girl Scouts say we’re not going to have that, she had friends go out and try to get that book and as it turns out, Media Matters is still in the book, although the Girl Scouts have promised to remove it from future publications. 

Doocy also again highlighted GSA’s supposed relationship with Planned Parenthood. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/29/11]

The Five Hosts Call Girl Scouts Book “Indoctrination,” Say Media Matters Is A “Biased Left Wing Liberal Rag.” From a discussion of the GSA book on the December 29 edition of The Five:

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE: This is improper, it’s indoctrination. It’s ridiculous. I don’t know what’s going on with them. They are trying to pollute minds of young girls. And I’m glad they’ve been called out on it.

ANDREA TANTAROS: What’s Media Matters?

GUILFOYLE: Irrelevant.

TANTAROS: I’ve never heard of them. […]

ERIC BOLLING: I have a son but I wouldn’t want my daughter to be learning about where to go for media training and media correctness to Media Matters, one of the most biased left wing liberal rags on the planet. So, maybe they should have vetted it a little bit better before they put the manual up – –

TANTAROS: I never heard of them. I don’t even know what they are.

GREG GUTFELD: You know, I think this is all part of a merit badge for social justice. Have you seen that? No? All right. Well, if Media Matters had a cookie – I was thinking if Media Matters had a cookie, it would be called bitter nut. 

BOLLING: And if they had a drink, it would be called Kool-Aid. [Fox News, The Five, 12/29/11]

Wallace Highlights Report On Special Report. From the December 29 edition of Fox News’ Special Report:

CHRIS WALLACE (GUEST HOST): The Girl Scouts say they will no longer recommend the liberal website Media Matters as a good source for fact checking suspected media bias. The Scouts book “MEdia” includes a section called “Consider the Source” devoted to news and urban legends. Quote, “Media Matters for America gets the world out about media misinformation.” But industry blog Mediaite says Media Matters has a, quote, “far left bent that is both transparent and indisputable.” [Fox News, Special Report, 12/29/11]


Right-Wing, Fox & Friends Warn Girl Scouts Promote ‘Liberal Agenda’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2011 5:41 am by HL

Right-Wing, Fox & Friends Warn Girl Scouts Promote ‘Liberal Agenda’
Right-wing bloggers and Fox News have managed to squeeze in one more liberal conspiracy theory before the end of 2011….


NRA’s Fundraising Growing Quickly As They Gear Up To Defeat Obama
As the National Rifle Association sets its sights on keeping President Barack Obama from a second term in the White House, a new report finds that the group’s fundraising grew twice as fast as its income from membership dues from 2004 to 2010. Bloomberg News reported that the group received $71.1 million in donations last year, up 54 percent from the $46.3 million figure they raised in 2004.

Civil Rights Groups Press Justice Department To Block Other Voter ID Laws
It wasn’t long after the Justice Department blocked South Carolina’s voter ID law on Friday that Republicans accused the Obama administration of putting their reelection ahead of preventing voter fraud.


“Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2011 5:38 am by HL

“Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!”
In “Back to the Future” did the clock on the tower always say 12:30? Where was that tower? Did someone write a song about that long before the movie was made?


Obama in Kansas

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2011 5:37 am by HL

Obama in Kansas
I’m ready to wager that when the campaign of 2012 is all over, President Obama’s speech yesterday in Osawatomie, Kansas will be seen as the turning point that led to his victory in November 2012. Readers of this blog know…

Palestinian clowns are everywhere
Some Palestinians refuse to just sit still and accept their fate as a permanently, militarily occupied people. One would think by now that Palestinians would have received the message loud and clear – the world couldn’t care less about…



McCain ?Outraged? By Sheriff Joe Arpaio?s Sex Crimes Negligence

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2011 5:36 am by HL

McCain ?Outraged? By Sheriff Joe Arpaio?s Sex Crimes Negligence
Notorious Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is facing increasing fire over his office’s failure to adequately investigate hundreds of sex crimes, including dozens of alleged child molestations. Today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who has previously gone easy on the sheriff, joined the critics. While he stopped short of calling for Apraio’s resignation, in an interview with […]

Notorious Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is facing increasing fire over his office’s failure to adequately investigate hundreds of sex crimes, including dozens of alleged child molestations. Today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who has previously gone easy on the sheriff, joined the critics. While he stopped short of calling for Apraio’s resignation, in an interview with 3TV news in Phoenix, McCain said he was “outraged” and “astonished that there hasn’t been more outcry about the failure of these investigations.” Watch it:

This week, in separate moves, local Latino and black leaders called on Arpaio to resign. A Change.org petition for his resignation had received more than 19,000 signatures as of this publishing (sign it here), just two weeks after it was created.

McCain put out a statement earlier this month taking a much more circumspect stance, saying he was merely “concerned” with the report on the sex crimes, so today’s comments suggest the political winds may be turning against Arpaio.

The sheriff, who has made a dubious name for himself as “America’s toughest sheriff” for his hardline stance on undocumented immigrants, is also facing significant heat over a Department of Justice investigation, the results of which were released earlier this month, alleging that his department has systematically violated civil rights laws.

Nonetheless, presidential hopeful Rick Perry held a campaign event with Arpaio this week in Iowa. Perry has dodged most questions on the Department of Justice investigation or the sex crimes allegations, but a spokesperson told TPM, “Governor Perry knows Sheriff Arpaio as a dedicated law enforcement professional fighting to keep his neighbors safe in the wake of federal failures to secure the border and deal with border crime,” he added.


Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis talks party-switching

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 31st, 2011 5:35 am by HL

Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis talks party-switching

Former Democratic congressman Artur Davis, who has been a thorn in the side of Democrats in the aftermath of his loss in the 2010 Alabama gubernatorial primary, is a man without a political party.

In an interview with The Fix, Davis openly speculated about running for office as an independent or even a Republican. In both cases, he suggested his decision not to make the switch has as much to do with the difficulties involved as any desire he has to remain a Democrat.

Read full article >>

The top 10 Fix posts of 2011

What did Fix readers find most interesting, most important or just most irresistible on The Fix in 2011?

Politicians’ bad poll numbers were big clickers. So were the Wisconsin recall elections and anything — seriously, anything — involving former Alaska governor Sarah Palin or Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R). Below, our top 10 most popular posts of the year, in nifty gallery form.

Read full article >>

One year of fact checking–an accounting

It’s been one year since The Washington Post relaunched The Fact Checker column as a permanent feature, and so it seems an appropriate point to review and reflect on a year of fact-checking claims made by politicians. Most important, where did we go wrong and how can we improve?

Readers frequently ask: Do you rate more Republicans than Democrats? (Or vice versa). Which party gets the most Pinocchios? We had no idea until we sat down this week and did some calculations.

Read full article >>

Through rain, threats and tears, Iowa campaign heads to Tuesday’s caucuses

DES MOINES — Newt Gingrich, who in his heyday was caricatured as the Grinch on the cover of Time magazine, revealed his weepy side Friday in an appearance with a group of moms at Java Joe’s Coffee House.

About an hour before the Gingrich waterworks, Occupy Iowa protesters disrupted morning coffee at Java Joe’s, demanding to see TV talk show host Chris Matthews of MSNBC. Matthews wasn’t there, and they went away.

Read full article >>

Rick Santorum brings homey style to Iowa sports bar, as supporters savor his rise

AMES, Iowa — Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum on Friday brought his homey person-to-person campaign style — and the kind of media throng that accompanies a candidate rising in the polls — to a sports bar full of Iowa State fans gathered to watch their team battle Rutgers in the the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

Read full article >>