…the purpose of the [Olympics] attack on July 27 was to confound, anger and embarrass the Washington government.
President George W. Bush in January 2008 on bringing the 2016 Olympics to Chicago:
They say that the Olympics will come to Chicago if we’re fortunate enough to be selected, but really it’s coming to America, and I can’t think of a better city to represent the United States than Chicago… This country supports your bid, strongly.
Conservative blogger Erik Erickson on the failed bid to bring the Olympics to Chicago which President Obama (like Bush) supported and lobbied heavily for: (via Washington Monthly)
Hahahahaha. I thought the world would love us more now that Bush was gone. I thought if we whored ourselves out to our enemies, great things would happen. Apparently not.
So Obama’s pimped us to every two bit thug and dictator in the world, made promises to half the Olympic committee, and they did not even kiss him. So much for improving America’s standing in the world, Barry O.
Karl Rove today via Twitter:
Instead of serving as pitchman for Chicago, Obama should focus on crafting a winning strategy in Afghanistan.
(One can safely assume that Rove is referring to creating a winning strategy in Afghanistan to replace the losing one he and the Bush Admin created.)
And, last but not least… upon news that the 2016 Olympics was not coming to Chicago, they cheered in the offices of the Weekly Standard and then felt the need to delete that fact from the official record.
Conservative Charles Johnson – who has of late seen that extremist lunatics run the conservative movement – has this to say:
This is where the rhetoric of “FAIL” leads — they’re openly celebrating when America loses, just because Barack Obama is President. And even though this Olympic bid was also promoted by George W. Bush.
This completely puts the lie to the excuse that those who say they want Obama to fail really mean they want his policies to fail.
No, they want Obama himself to fail, and if that means America fails too, they’re just fine with that.
In other words, conservatives, like Eric Rudolph, want to “confound, anger and embarrass the Washington government.”
Just too good to pass up… picking ripe fruit over at Hot Air…
Ed Morrissey thinks he’s got it all figured out how the Obama education speech controversy went down. It makes for mediocre fiction. It needs a good scare in the third act. And some sex.
Ed tries to lay blame for the speech controversy on the Obama White House. He uses four different deceptions to pull it off. The first deception:
In fact, had the White House skipped the study guide and simply released the speech from the beginning, it seems unlikely that this would have created much controversy at all.
Essentially, Ed is saying: “if Obama had done what conservatives wanted in the first place – dump the liberal stuff we hate and release the speech in advance so we could vet it and criticize it at face value – the controversy could have been avoided.” It’s bully logic, since we all know that liberal presidents base their agenda on what conservatives want and vet their upcoming speeches with right wing bloggers and right wing pundits all the time!
It’s all about the right wing asserting its role in the White House. They don’t care that a liberal is in the chair. They want the access and the control they had back, by hook or by crook. Rove and Co. listened to them. This White House does not. (Well, now they do.)
The second deception: (Emphasis added)
Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush both gave similar speeches in similar circumstances to students without creating a lot of hard feelings. That isn’t to say that their political opponents all yawned…
Ed then cites several unhappy Democratic responses to Bush’s 1991 speech at Alice Deal Junior High School. Ed’s assumption is that “They did it, so we can do it too.”
The thing is, and this is important: the Democratic responses to Bush’s speech were made after the speech was delivered at the school, not before the speech was even released. Ed is making a really ham-handed attempt at defending the controversy over Obama’s unreleased speech by saying “Democrat’s trashed Bush’s speech too”. It’s apples and oranges. You can’t equate attacking a speech before it is released with attacking a speech after it is released. Not the same thing at all.
The third deception is a bit of historical revisionism:
I think the White House and Obama fouled this up from the beginning, making it look much more political than necessary, and gave their critics a boatload of ammunition with which to attack them. The speech, included in its entirety below, turned out to be entirely innocuous.
Which is amusing since everything Obama does is political to conservatives. Everything. They are so paranoid that not releasing the speech as they demanded meant it was sure to contain an opus indoctrination of our children.
The fourth deception shines a light into the deep rooted paranoia that pervades so much of conservative thought these days. Ed writes:
But by asking teachers to impress upon children the need to “help President Obama,” they made it look blatantly political. They seem to have forgotten that they’re the public servants, and that the people do not live to serve political masters.
Apparently, the difference between a president asking citizens to help and a president ordering citizens to help is simply too nuanced a concept to grasp.
Here’s George W. Bush in a speech and press conference on October 1, 2001:
We are asking every child in America to earn or give a dollar that will be used to provide food and medical help for the children of Afghanistan. […]
This is an opportunity to help others while teaching our own children a valuable lesson about service and character. […]
Ultimately, one of the best weapons, one of the truest weapons that we have against terrorism is to show the world the true strength of character and kindness of the American people.
Americans are united in this fight against terrorism. We’re also united in our concern for the innocent people of Afghanistan.
One could certainly categorize that as indoctrination of children into the “fight against terrorism”. Where were the conservatives screaming about indoctrination then?
Both Bush and Reagan used school children in a much more partisan manner than Obama’s speech even hints at. Where were conservatives then?
Asking school students to help is a long standing tradition. It instills a sense of public duty into their lives. In the least they get to do something different that day. And speeches to students are always more about the presidency than about the president. By the time the students he will be addressing are able to vote, Obama will be long gone from the White House, and that seems to be a hard truth that is lost on conservatives like Ed: President’s come and go. The presidency does not come and go. And, one of the essential strengths of a democracy lay in the citizenry working with elected officials on everything from governmental oversight to contracts for construction of roads and bridges. Anyone who knows government and democracy understands that it’s mostly citizens, and very few elected officials.
The people are the government. And, sometimes, those in the public chairs ask the people for help. What’s the big deal? Conservatives make it sound like a bad thing. But, of course, they bend light and reality to make everything not of the conservative mind set a bad thing.
The power struggle between Obama and conservatives is about ideology, so they see every forward movement by Obama as a threat. As they’ve said many many times: they want Obama to fail. Damn the consequences. And, that’s the important point to be made here.
When Bush asked American citizens to help (on a number of occasions) by going shopping, conservatives did their patriotic duty by trumpeting this news over hill and dale and then sauntered down to the Mall and bought some stuff they probably didn’t really need. Conservatives certainly didn’t object and scream that Bush was overreaching in his authority as president by asking citizens to (gulp!) help with the economy. And, the argument could have been made (and probably was made) that going out and shopping -most likely with a credit card – was not what most Americans needed to be doing at the time.
The mere hint of a liberal president asking for anything is just too much for conservatives to handle. They’ve been fed a steady diet of “liberals are evil” for so long, they jump straight into paranoia and fear. And, there are plenty of propagandists out there to stoke the fire once it’s been ignited.
Word games and disinformation has replaced cogent discussion and the simple reading of a speech after it comes out. Why wait until you know what a speech says to attack it? It’s pre-empitve disinformation! And, once the deed is done, they don’t even have the balls to take credit for it, so they try to blame the other guy.
It just shows how ridiculous conservatives have become.
But, what is most alarming and rather new is the shrill fear based attacks on standard ceremonial presidential duties like giving a speech about staying in school to students.
The polarized atmosphere is so bad that arch conservative Newt Gingrich – who one might usually expect to be fully on board with an all out attack on Obama – felt compelled to state the blindingly obvious:
It is good to have the president of the United States saying to young people across America stay in school and do your homework. It’s good for America.
It’s staggering to think that we’ve come to a point where that actually has to be said out loud in an effort to refute ignorance and blatant disinformation. Gingrich is the consummate politician, so I expect he is playing both sides, or sees the deep hole that is being dug by a rudderless conservative movement and plans to be the rudder to bring it back from the abyss. But, I think it’s a rogue ship. No captain can steer her at this point. The base has gone off the rails.
Therein lay the disconnect: conservatives are engaging in lies like “word frequency” analysis of a speech, choosing hypocrisy over higher values such as instilling a strong desire to be educated in our children – all in the name of their ideology – which by most modern metrics very likely caused the current economic debacle which is endangering national security. And they pound away on a historically minor speech to school students like it was a matter of life and death.
The speech controversy comes down to this: why is it wrong for students to see and hear a great example of a successful American student – the president of the United States- talk about his experience and offer himself up as an example to be followed no matter what his political affiliation?
Conservative answer: “Obama is a Muslim extremist radical Black Christian, an illegal alien Manchurian Candidate, a 1/2 black, 1/2 white racist who hates whites but wants to be white, a Marxist, a Communist, a Socialist, a Nazi, a and the Antichrist all-in-one.”
That is where the conservative movement is at in the year 2009. What can any rational and intelligent human being say in response to such an onslaught of completely asinine nonsense except that they are bat shit crazy.
By attacking Obama in a fear mongering, paranoid and blatantly deceptive manner, conservatives are hurting the presidency – and it could be argued – hurting the country in the long run, because their tactics are shutting down the debate and thus the information structure that makes government work. It’s also creating an atmosphere of hatred.Read More
YouTube vid of Bob Dylan’s banned satirical song about paranoid right wing racists written in 1963 as a response to the popularity of the John Birch Society. It was dropped from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan due to political concerns and remained unreleased until the Bootleg disc in the mid 90’s.
Could have been written today. Scary.
Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues
Well, I was feelin’ sad and feelin’ blue,
I didn’t know what in the world I was gonna do,
Them Communists they wus comin’ around,
They wus in the air,
They wus on the ground.
They wouldn’t gimme no peace. . .
So I run down most hurriedly
And joined up with the John Birch Society,
I got me a secret membership card
And started off a-walkin’ down the road.
Yee-hoo, I’m a real John Bircher now!
Look out you Commies!
Now we all agree with Hitlers’ views,
Although he killed six million Jews.
It don’t matter too much that he was a Fascist,
At least you can’t say he was a Communist!
That’s to say like if you got a cold you take a shot of malaria.
Well, I wus lookin’ everywhere for them gol-darned Reds.
I got up in the mornin’ ‘n’ looked under my bed,
Looked in the sink, behind the door,
Looked in the glove compartment of my car.
Couldn’t find ’em . . .
I wus lookin’ high an’ low for them Reds everywhere,
I wus lookin’ in the sink an’ underneath the chair.
I looked way up my chimney hole,
I even looked deep inside my toilet bowl.
They got away . . .
Well, I wus sittin’ home alone an’ started to sweat,
Figured they wus in my T.V. set.
Peeked behind the picture frame,
Got a shock from my feet, hittin’ right up in the brain.
Them Reds caused it!
I know they did . . . them hard-core ones.
Well, I quit my job so I could work alone,
Then I changed my name to Sherlock Holmes.
Followed some clues from my detective bag
And discovered they wus red stripes on the American flag!
That ol’ Betty Ross . . .
Well, I investigated all the books in the library,
Ninety percent of ’em gotta be burned away.
I investigated all the people that I knowed,
Ninety-eight percent of them gotta go.
The other two percent are fellow Birchers . . . just like me.
Now Eisenhower, he’s a Russian spy,
Lincoln, Jefferson and that Roosevelt guy.
To my knowledge there’s just one man
That’s really a true American: George Lincoln Rockwell.
I know for a fact he hates Commies cus he picketed the movie Exodus.
Well, I fin’ly started thinkin’ straight
When I run outa things to investigate.
Couldn’t imagine doin’ anything else,
So now I’m sittin’ home investigatin’ myself!
Hope I don’t find out anything . . . hmm, great God!
If you haven’t watched Bill Moyers on Real Time with Bil Maher, it’s worth watching. The point that conservatives are simply employing a scorched earth campaign to insure that Obama fails is important, and has to be confronted. And, he covers corporatism as well.Read More
Links of the day:
- Who is paying for the Iraqis to have universal single payer health care? You are.
- Glenn Beck Watch: ‘Is Obama The Anti-Christ?’ – An oldie but goodie. Glenn Beck wondering aloud if Obama is the Prince of Darkness come to end the world. Fear of a black planet at play.
- Johann Hari: Republicans, religion and the triumph of unreason – “The election of Obama – a black man with an anti-conservative message – as a successor to George W. Bush has scrambled the core American right’s view of their country. In their gut, they saw the US as a white-skinned, right-wing nation forever shaped like Sarah Palin.” Read the entire thing…
A few links worth reading:
- Five Symptoms of Republican Schizophrenia – Lots of illogical minds out there… that’s what happens when hate dominates….
- Revealing Hate: Inside White Supremacist World – Much of the current political atmosphere in the USA can be traced to the increase in hate based thought…. It’s more common than you think….
- Health Care Reform: Sorting Facts From Fiction…. – Good facts versus fiction… much needed in these times…
- Why the deficit hysteria? I only wish we’d borrow more… – Robert Reich’s interesting take on the deficit…
Weekend reading list….
- Matthew Yglesias » Bias, Racism, Being a Jerk, and Abuse of Power – Good insights…
- Peter Daou: White Cop, Black Professor, Bi-Racial President: An Explosive Media Combination Even more good insights…
- You Hate Journalism? It WAS the Hiring Practice…Stupid. – Good article on how bad media became bad…
- Feeling the Wrath of Bill O’Reilly’s Army – A bit o’ the fascist tactics of Falafel Bill.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Born Identity|
The “birther” movement is an extreme right wing disinformation campaign that proffers the idea that President Obama is not a US citizen, and was born abroad in Kenya. Here’s the rub: there are no actual facts to support this claim, rather the disinfo subsists on a form of cognitive dissonance – denial – and is propped up by a series of logical fallacies, from burden of proof to sweeping generalizations to just plain old bullshit.
It’s eliminationism in its purest form: marginalize your opponent to the point that they are a non-citizen, illegitimate, then cut off the discussion by dismissing any introduced facts as untrue. (Or made up, imagined, crazy, over sensitive, etc.)
For example, when the State of Hawaii confirmed that Obana’s birth certificate was indeed real and official, the birther movement simply denied it to be true and then went one better and denied that the birth certificate has yet to be provided as proof! Brilliant in a way. But, also, the very definition of a lie. Here’s the simple true logic: denying a fact (or its existence) does not create a new fact. (IE: Denying Obama’s birth papers are real does not mean he is not a real citizen.) That’s just crazy.
As an emerging issue it’s a double edge sword and difficult to discuss since it’s clearly a disinformation campaign with one aim: to stoke the racial hatred and undermine Obama’s legitimacy as President. And, its proponents love nothing more than to keep the hate fires burning.
Yet, in reality, Obama’s citizenship is a non-issue, it’s been proven beyond a doubt according to standards that have been suitable for every US President who has been elected prior. (But of course, to the racist, those standards are not good enough for a black person, let alone a black person named Barack Hussein Obama.)
FactCheck does a superb analysis of the “scandal” and analysis of the original certificate. The allegations are so completely incorrect and fabricated that it deserves nothing more than ridicule. The problem is that it’s wrapped in hate and irrationality, thus, there’s simply no middle ground from which to establish a coherent debate. Any introduction of fact is dismissed outright. That’s why hate based tactics are so difficult to fight against. Those who wage this type of tactic, (and those who believe it) simply deny the facts, deny the existence of the hate and the racism. It’s a figment of the imagination. Those looney Liberals!
There will always be those who want to believe what they believe, damn the facts. And, that is how “conspiracies” live and breath. That is how hatred and racism gain a foothold. If they don’t really exist, then why are they a problem? Neat, right?
In the past few days the birther movement has slithered into new territory. It is now being disseminated by traditional outlets on TV and radio – Lou Dobbs of CNN and Rush Limbaugh have both lent their “support” – and that means it should be dealt with properly. No longer simply a fringe issue spun in dark dank dive bars, afluent suburb BBQ’s and hidden corners of the internet by nut job conspiracy theorists, it’s now being lent “credibility”. While it’s true that neither Dobbs nor Limbuagh are known for their objectivity or adherence to the facts, and they both clearly suffer from a deeply rooted hate based approach in their worldview and broadcasts, the fact remains that their broadcasts are swallowed whole as the gospel truth by millions. Sad, but true.
Interestingly, the birther movement can be traced back to the Obama campaign itself during the 2008 election. It’s a public relations effort gone bad. Apparently, a decision was made, in the spirit of transparency to release Obama’s birth certificate. Historically, presidential candidates have not released such information. Rather, it was presented during qualification of the candidate, but not made public. So, by releasing the birth certificate the Obama campaign opened a Pandora’s Box. Once it was made public, it meant it was open to intense scrutiny – most of it incorrect – that would be passed around the internet as fact and eventually make it’s way to less discerning minds, like Dobbs and Limbuagh, and those who listen to them.
At it’s root the birther movement is racism. It’s meant to create the impression that Obama is illegitimate, lower than a US citizen, not one of us. It’s meant to stoke the fires of suspicion and hatred towards immigrants and people of color. It’s not unlike the “Obama is a Muslim” meme. Same thing.
So, next time someone says to you that Obama’s opponents are not racist, cite the birther movement. Cite the Obama is a Muslim meme. And, if that doesn’t get their attention, show them this picture. (scroll down)
If they still don’t get it, call it as you see it.
The only way we will defeat racism is to make it unacceptable. And, those who make excuses for it are just as unacceptable as those who are openly racist.Read More
A lot of extreme right wing blogs are at Red Alert in reaction to the health care debate. Fear is the only challenge they can offer to pretty much every issue on the boards. It’s a psyche loop they can’t remove themselves from… and it’s sad to watch. Just click on some of the reaction links at Memeorandum. Fear fear fear. Disinformation. Pathetic. The party of “No” is morphing into the party of “Oh no!!!!!!”
And, the Daily Show weighs in. (via Lean Left)
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Drag Me to Health – Universal Health Care|
Don Surber on the (obvious) White House health care PR push…
A real debate would be between Obama and someone on the other side. Maybe Sarah Palin. Maybe Fred Thompson. Maybe Mitt Romney. There is no shortage of people who would love to clean his clock on this issue.
Mighty impressive list there. Nearly choked on my bagel.
Amusing how conservatives get their underwear in a twist when the Obama Admin uses the public relations tactics that the Bush White House perfected to a razor’s edge.
This is a close second:
When liberals write “faux outrage” they mean that conservatives have a legitimate concern.
Actually, no. When liberals write “faux outrage” they mean to call conservatives on their use of “paranoid style” and other mock forms of propaganda that are solely meant to incite an emotional response devoid of real facts.
It’s telling that Surber feels it entirely necessary to downgrade the point initially, since it does come from the king of right wing disinformation, Matt Drudge… Surber writes:
I was not going to bother with this issue. I saw the headline on Drudge — “ABC turns programming over to Obama; news to be anchored from inside White House” — and figured Matt was having a little fun with the news. A little summertime hype.
Always trust your gut Don. You had it right, then dropped the ball.
But, then… it’s all about us versus them, isn’t it?
While conservatives can’t seem to govern, they know who to sling propaganda with the best of them. The current theme is twofold: right wingers are the victims, and anything bad that happens, liberals are to blame for it. A few examples plucked from the interwebs…
- Beck and Goldberg team up to claim that James von Brunn was a left-winger
- A ‘PRESCRIPTION’ FOR A MANUFACTURED CONTROVERSY….
- White “Separatist” Turns “Bad PR Lemons Into Lemonade” In TV Interviews
- Toil And Trouble…. – In case you were wondering what Glenn Beck thinks about all this right wing violence (and who doesn’t?) here it is…
- Sarah Palin’s Politics Of Grievance Are Back!
- Beck: ‘[W]e’re in the same situation here’ as in Iran.
- Bill O’Reilly Selectively Edits Joan Walsh Interview
Links of the day:
- Why So Scared of a Public Plan?
- Miranda On The Battlefield
- So… Now It’s A Pandemic?
- Bill O’Reilly wonders why Dr. Tiller’s supporters want to protect their anonymity
Douglas Rushkoff on how to take back our world by seeing the current economic crisis as a great opportunity.Read More
“Gandhi famously said: First, they ignore you. Then, they ridicule you. Then, they fight you. Then, you win.”
Sara at Ornicus breaks down the Christianist killers killing “baby killers” issue…
Real world ramfications….
Digby spells it out for us…
It’s important to rmember that the person who killed Tiller is playing G-d. Literally sees himself as having the power of life and death, and righteously weilds that power. He’s shit house Charles Manson variety crazy. Guaranteed.
So, why would anyone want to actually make excuses for such behavior?
I’ll give Bill O’Reilly the benefit of the doubt. We’ll see what he says. But, I’d lay good money that he’s going to obfuscate and back pedal and make excuses without ever actually admitting that he may actually be responsible for helping to foster the hatred that killed Tiller.Read More