As voters head to the polls today for primaries in 12 states, their anger is showing.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released today shows that fewer than three in 10 voters say they will support their representative in the House in the mid-term election four months from now. That's a lower percentage than in 1994 -- when Republicans recaptured the House and Senate.
Their anger is rooted in the continuing awfulness of the economy. Fed Chair Ben Bernanke said today the economy appeared to have enough momentum to avoid a double-dip recession. That's hardly reassuring to 15 million jobless Americans. Nor to all those with jobs who are earning less than they did three years ago because they're temps or part-timers or have had to settle for lower wages.
I put the chances of a double-dip at 50 percent. Consumers don't and can't keep the recovery going because they don't have the dough. They can't use their homes as ATMs as they did before the crash, and they're trying to get out from under a pile of debt. Meanwhile, the states are raising taxes and cutting services - just the opposite of what's needed. State constitutions bar them from running deficits even when deficit spending is appropriate. Their fiscal drag on the economy comes at precisely the wrong time. (Europe and China are moving toward fiscal austerity, too.)
The White House should present a plan to Congress to give states interest-free loans, which they can repay when the economy turns up and their revenues return.
Meanwhile, the gusher in the Gulf continues - a symbol of the government's impotence. President Obama said this morning he'd fire BP's Tony Hayward if he were his boss. Obama said he's looking for an "ass to kick."
But he has no ass to kick until he's in charge. Obama should take over BP's rescue operation. That's the only way the public can be sure all necessary resources are being put to the job, that public risks are being properly weighed, and it's getting the truth.
The President says the company will pay for its mistake. He should act now to make sure. He should also order BP to set aside at least $5 billion for the cleanup, and create a new Civilian Conservation Corps to do it.
The public is angry because everything seems out of control. The President can't control the economy or the gusher. But he can at least take charge.
Last week, AP photographer Charlie Riedel published disturbing photographs of oil-soaked birds suffering in the wake of the BP disaster on the Gulf Coast. The images quickly spread, appearing on the front pages of newspapers around the country. But as the oil keeps gushing, the devastation to Gulf wildlife continues to spread. As of yesterday, 874 animals (birds, sea turtles, other mammals, and reptiles) had been collected dead in the affected area. Another 466 had been collected with alive, but visibly oiled. Some new pictures from the AP, including dead sea turtles, fish, and birds, as well as pelican chicks discolored by oil:
We’re into dueling competitive narrative territory now. However, there is a much bigger story, which goes beyond what’s being talked about now and it’s not a good one for the Democratic Party currently in power. Democrats control the[...]
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Glenn Beck has presented Fox News with an interesting dilemma:
Does the cable network hang onto its star tea-partying pundit with the once-stellar (but now rapidly declining) ratings, or does it now give its official imprimatur to a talk-show host who openly promotes the work of a Nazi sympathizer -- and then refuses to apologize for it or even acknowedge that his endorsement was misbegotten?
Because yesterday, faced with the insurmountable fact that he had avidly promoted the work of Hitler apologist/American fascist Elizabeth Dilling, Beck refused to back down, and in fact tried to pretend that it was somehow that fault of liberals that he had done so.
Simon Maloy at Media Matters has the whole sordid story. Here's Beck's response:
BECK: But I'm also getting some amazing mail from the left that now says I'm a Nazi anti-Semite because I quoted a book on Friday -- it was the Red Book, or something like that. It was a who's who, who's in the communist party in 1935. Apparently, I don't know, apparently written by a Nazi sympathizer here in America. Part of the, I'm sure -- I don't know because I didn't look it up -- but I'm sure part of the Father Coughlin, social justice crowd, because this is the choice that progressives give you -- you're either a Nazi or a communist. No, I'm neither. But now -- so now I'm kind of stuck between the place where the left says that I'm a Nazi sympathizer and a Jew lover. So I guess the left can have it all, that I'm a Jew-loving Nazi sympathizer. It's a really interesting place that I don't know if anybody's ever been.
Sorry, but WTF? Beck's understanding of fascism has been so completely polluted by Jonah Goldberg's Newspeak that he is incapable of any kind of coherent understanding of what Americans fascists were all about in the 1930s and afterward.
As Maloy puts it:
First of all, you don't get to play like you don't even really remember what book you were talking about. You told everyone that you spent all of Thursday night reading it, and you were praising it to the skies on Friday as an early example of the sort of communist documentation you yourself claim to be currently undertaking: "This is a book -- and I'm a getting a ton of these -- from people who were doing what we're doing now. We now are documenting who all of these people are. Well, there were Americans in the first 50 years of this nation that took this seriously, and they documented it." I mean, really, Glenn -- you held the book in your hand as you feted it...
MM's Eric Hananoki notes that Dilling actually attended Nazi meetings in Germany.
And if you want to sample Dilling's work for yourself, the text of The Red Network can be found online.
It's really very simple: If Fox News continues to employ Glenn Beck after this, it will forever after be known as a TV network that employs an apologist and advocate for Nazism.
If so, it will have irrevocably proven itself to be not a news organization, but a propaganda organ for the worst kind of racial and ethnic hatred known to man. It's pretty close to that judgment now.
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Right-wing media have rushed to attack President Obama for responding to criticism that he spends too much time consulting experts rather than "kick[ing some butt]" by saying, "I want to know whose ass to kick." Many conservative media figures previously hyped criticism that Obama lacked emotion in his response to the oil spill.
Carlson compared Obama's response to Bush's 9-11 "bullhorn moment." On the June 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson said: "People can remember back to other crises. And they remember George W. Bush down at 9-11 in the pit, and they remember Ronald Reagan with the family members of the Challenger hugging them. And those are poignant moments that are forever emblazoned in people's heads, and that puts emotion in their hearts as well. They're still waiting for that picture from President Obama."
Briggs: "[W]here is the fire and emotion?" On the June 5 edition of Fox & Friends Saturday, after playing a clip of Obama's Larry King Live interview, co-host Dave Briggs claimed, "Some Americans saying where is the fire and emotion that this country's been begging for?"
Bolling: "Emotion, right? A little emotion!" On the June 6 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Sunday, guest host Eric Bolling said: "President Obama has been facing a lot of criticism in his handling of the Gulf oil crisis, not only for showing a lack of emotion, but for failing to do much beyond pointing the finger at BP." Later, while introducing a guest, Bolling asked him, "I mean, emotion, right? A little emotion!"
Drudge: "Spike Lee Tells Obama: 'Go off!' ": On June 3, the Drudge Report blared the headline: "Oil Balls Bobbing Toward FL; Spike Lee Tells Obama: 'Go Off!' "
Hannity: "[T]he rap now is the president -- he's so cool under pressure that he hasn't been able to ... show enough emotion to the American people." On the June 3 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity said: "I find it interesting. Spike Lee saying -- well, the rap now is the president -- he's so cool under pressure that he hasn't been able to -- or show enough emotion to the American people. I don't think it's going to fly." (transcript accessed via Nexis)
Ace of Spades: "Mr. Spock is trying to do emotion and it's not working well." A May 28 Ace of Spades blog post responded to Obama's remarks during his second trip to the Gulf Coast by saying: "Ah, here's his 'I feel your pain bit'...'you are not alone'. The media will leave you at some point but I won't. Mr. Spock is trying to do emotion and it's not working well."
Obama responded to criticism that he was spending too much time consulting "experts and advisers" rather than "kick[ing] some butt" by saying "we talk to these folks" to get answers "so I know whose ass to kick."During a Today show interview which aired on June 8, co-host Matt Lauer asked Obama to respond to critics who say: "This is not the time to meet with experts and advisers. This is a time to spend more time in the Gulf and -- I never thought I'd say this to a president but -- kick some butt." Obama replied: "I'm going to push back hard on this, because I think that this is a -- just a -- an idea that got into folks' heads, and the media has run with it. I was down there a month ago before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf. A month ago I was meeting with fisherman down there, standing in the rain, talking about what a potential crisis this could be. And I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick."
Kilmeade calls the comment an "artificial, I'm tough because you wanted me to be tough" moment. On the June 8 edition ofFox & Friends, after playing the clip, co-host Brian Kilmeade called it "artificial, I am tough just like you wanted me to be tough." Carlson admitted that Obama is "in a no-win situation" regarding the emotional appeal but criticized him for "us[ing] the language that he used," calling it "phony," while co-host Steve Doocy called it "less presidential."
Fox & Friends hosts Ingraham to attack Obama's comments as "defensiveness" and un-Presidential. Later on the June 8 Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham said Obama "is now leading by being defensive. So he's -- 'People say I'm not tough enough in my response, so I'm going to use an expletive on television. I'm gonna be really tough.' That's not leadership. That's defensiveness, and it just doesn't look all that presidential." After playing the clip of Obama's comments, Kilmeade called it a "tough guy act," while Doocy joked, "He's blown his top."
RedState: "Obama tries tough guy act on for size." A June 8 RedState post claimed Obama had "decided to try to inherit something else from Bush: a spine and fortitude. However, in true incompetent Obama form, he failed, as always." The post called Obama's comment "[p]itifully feigning an attempt at opening up a can of whoop arse" which "fails miserably when we've all seen Obama daintily sip beer, pinkie extended."
Hoft: "Oh Brother...Obama Ready to "Kick Some A$$." In a June 7 Gateway Pundit post, Jim Hoft wrote: "Is this real or some kind of weird joke? Obama's looking for some a$$ to kick."
Allahpundit calls Obama's comment "a feeble show of command." In a June 7 Hot Air post, Allahpundit wrote, "I thought nothing would top 'plug the damn hole' as a feeble show of command in the teeth of pure federal impotence, but never underestimate The One." Allahpundit also wrote:
So here's his attempt at damage control with another two months of this nightmare (at least) still to go, imitating the same sort of bravado that the left used to detest in Bush in hopes that it'll stop their caterwauling about his dispassion and give them a happy new meme to push. "See? He's mad. He cares." It's completely out of character with his Cool Hand Luke persona and roughly six weeks too late, which means it's as phony as a three-dollar bill, but so what? This is all about changing the subject from the spill itself to Obama's engagement with it, and for low-information voters, it'll do nicely. Three cheers for the cynical scripted soundbite!
It's hard to know whether the New York Time's content or the timing of the piece are more suspect, but appearing as it does on a hotly contested election day it does not rise to the level of responsible journalism.[...]
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by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger In the fall of 2008, decades of finance-first,[...]
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I'm glad Union Carbide execs will finally see some prison time. But it's not enough to hold executives accountable 26 years after huge disasters. We need to get more serious about holding corporations -- and corporate executives -- accountable for their[...]
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The biggest primary day of the 2010 election cycle is now upon us, as polls are now open from coast to coast. A total of roughly a dozen states head to the ballot boxes today, and, as you have come to expect, the crew here at Daily Kos will be all over it this afternoon and evening.
What follows is a short clip-and-save guide of what to expect, and when to expect it, later today. If you want the unabridged version, you can check out exhaustive previews of the night's festivities from both The Swing State Project and Sunday Kos.
7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT--Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia
8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT--Maine, New Jersey
8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT--Arkansas
9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT--North Dakota, South Dakota
10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT--Iowa, Montana, Nevada
11:00 PM ET/8:00 PM PT--California
Check with us later this afternoon, and we will have many of these answers by the close of the night.