Outrageous comments are nothing new to the conservative media -- one might even call them a defining characteristic. The Most Outrageous Comment of the 2009 came when Fox News host Glenn Beck asserted that Obama is a "racist" who has "exposed himself as a guy" with "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture," but right-wing media figures made plenty of other unhinged remarks throughout the year:
The election of the first black U.S. president led to a slew of racially charged comments that were truly outrageous:
In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, some right-wing media figures attacked the poor:
Right-wing media figures also engaged in sexism and downright misogyny:
In addition to a sustained assault on Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, right-wingers made outrageous attacks based on sexual orientation:
Right-wingers frequently employed paranoid and revolutionary rhetoric and suggested that progressives, including Obama and Democrats in Congress, were betraying America.
Conspiracy theories about Obama's birth certificate were conclusively debunked during the 2008 campaign, but that didn't stop several right-wing commentators from continuing to push the smear:
There were far more attacks on Obama and other progressives as Nazis, fascists, communists, Marxists, socialists, and similar labels than we have space for, so here are some of the most ridiculous examples:
Plenty of other remarks defied categorization but certainly merited mention among the Most Outrageous Comments of 2009:
[Ed. Note: Marcy also has a great take on Ezra's rewriting of history, and Obama's reneging on his promises. In case the news of the day prevents me from bringing it up to the front later, please go have a look.]Ezra Klein is trying to make the absurd[...]
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Did you know senate Republicans voted against filibustered the new defense appropriations bill (aka funding for the troops) to help slow down health care reform? [...]
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On Fox & Friends, Dana Perino used an apples-to-oranges comparison to raise doubts about reports that the Senate health care bill would reduce the number of uninsured people by 31 million. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has stated that under current law, 54 million people will be uninsured by the end of 2019 and that under the Senate bill, 23 million people would be uninsured -- a difference of 31 million people.
Perino usedapples-to-oranges comparison to cast doubt on whether bill will reduceuninsured by 31 million. On the December 21 edition of Fox & Friends,Perino said, "[T]hey keep saying that 31 million people are going to be insuredunder this bill. But in the CBO report, it says 23 million will remainuninsured." She added, "So, I don't know, how did we suddenly get to 54 millionuninsured? I thought we were at 30 million uninsured. It's just so convoluted,and it's the reason that Americahas very little confidence in this bill."
CBO indeedestimated that under current law, 54 million would be uninsured by 2019. In a chart included in a December19 analysis of the manager's amendment to the Senate healthcare bill, CBO said that under current law, 54 million nonelderlypeople would be uninsured by 2019:
Perino's "30 million"uninsured figure is for 2008 and excludes undocumented immigrantsand others with access to public insurance. By saying, "I thought wewere at 30 million uninsured," Perino falsely suggested that the "30 million"figure contradicted CBO's estimate that under current law, there would be 54million uninsured people in 2019 -- a comparison she used to cast doubt onreports that the Senate legislation would reduce the number of uninsured by 31million people. But this is an apples-to-oranges comparison. The 30 millionfigure that Perino cited refers to the number of uninsured in 2008 aftersubtracting undocumented immigrants,as well those already eligible for but not enrolled in public insuranceprograms.Following Obama'sSeptember 9 address to a joint session of Congress -- during which Obamasaid that "[t]here are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannotget coverage" -- Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag wrote ina September 10 blog post:
Today, the Bureau of the Census released the most recentdata on the number of uninsured Americans. The report, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage inthe United States:2008, reveals that 46 million people were uninsured in 2008, the last year forwhich there are data. These data are based on the Current Population Survey.With two different numbers, there has been some confusion as to which isaccurate. Well, both are -- and the President's version is more focused on therelevant target population for health reform since it excludes unauthorizedimmigrants.
The Census report indicates that of the 46 million uninsuredindividuals, 34 million were native born and 2.8 million were naturalizedcitizens. The report thus shows that there were 36.8 million uninsured U.S. citizens(native born and naturalized) in 2008. An alternative calculation includeslegal immigrants, which based on a figure from the Pew Hispanic Center would bring thetotal to something like 39 million.
Some ambiguity surrounds how to treat individuals who arealready eligible for public insurance programs like Medicaid and S-CHIP but donot enroll in those programs, which estimates from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and theUninsured suggest may amount to millions of individuals. Theseindividuals are uninsured but some interpretations would suggest they shouldnot be counted among those who "cannot get" coverage. Subtractingthem from the total would produce a number closer to 30 million.
To be conservative, the President thus stated that "morethan 30 million American citizens" cannot get coverage.
Elmendorf: Number of uninsured"would be reduced by about 31 million" by 2019 under Senate health care bill. CBO director Douglas Elmendorfwrote in the December 19 analysis that under the Senate health care bill, "[b]y 2019,CBO and [the Joint Committee on Taxation] estimate, the number of nonelderlypeople who are uninsured would be reduced by about 31 million, leaving about 23million nonelderly residents uninsured (about one-third of whom would beunauthorized immigrants)."
Dick Durbin takes Tom Coburn to task for his remarks earlier on the Senate floor where he said the American people should pray that somebody can't make the vote tonight.
Durbin: This statement troubles me, and I?m trying to reach him come back to the floor and explain exactly what he meant about a senator being unable to make the vote tonight.
Durbin also went after Coburn and his cohorts and their PrayerCast where they were praying for the health care bill to fail and said that's their right, but asking Americans to pray for something to happen to another member of the Senate was going to far. Of course cowardly Coburn did not respond to Durbin.
Here are Coburn's earlier remarks and Dick Durbin initially asking Coburn to return to the Senate floor to respond.
The divide between progressives on whether to support the health care bill is one of the most[...]
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The markets are moving higher today on the back of solid moves from Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). Volume has started to trail off and is expected to starting around 10:30am ET each day this week. This is due to traders leaving early for the holidays and the lack of news after the morning session on Wall Street. This week we will see quite a bit of economic news, but it is all pushed into the pre market session or the 10am ET time frame. Once 10:30am comes around, traders will be essentially done…
We've had a teachable moment here in D.C. Our police force learned about this new thing called the new media. Better late than never:
The call went out on a Web site and over Twitter, and hundreds of 20- and 30-somethings, tired of being cooped up, gathered at 14th and U streets NW on Saturday for a little restless indulgence.Yeah, all those witnesses didn't matter to the Metropolitan PD. But, all the videos did. There are many. Here's one:
People squealed as they hurled balls of snow across the largely deserted road. Then, a snowball or two slammed into a Hummer. The driver, a plainclothes detective whom D.C. police refused to identify, got out, drew his gun and exchanged angry words with revelers, according to video footage and witnesses.
Police said initially that the detective had not flashed his weapon. On Sunday, the officer was placed on desk duty after Twitter, blogs and YouTube appeared to show otherwise.
Continuing its pattern of failure to disclose the conflicts of interest of health care reform opponents who appear on its programs, Fox News hosted Frank Donatelli -- identified only as chairman of the "Republican advocacy organization" GOPAC - who claimed that Democrats "don't really want the American people to see what's in" the Senate health reform bill "because it's so bad." Donatelli also serves as executive vice president of a public affairs consulting firm whose clients include firms in the health insurance, health care provider, and pharmaceutical industries.
Donatelli identified only as GOPAC chair. During his appearance on the December 21 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, co-host Jon Scott identified Donatelli as "the GOPAC chairman, that's a Republican advocacy organization."
Donatelli uses Fox News platform to attack health care reform legislation. During his appearance, Donatelli stated: "If this bill was so good, why isn't it that the Democrats wouldn't go to the country and say, 'This is the bill that we are campaigning on, vote for us because this is such a good bill.' The fact of the matter is they don't really want the American people to see what is in this bill because it is so bad."
Donatelli is executive vice president of public affairs shop McGuireWoods Consulting. Donatelli is "Executive Vice President and Director of Federal Public Affairs for McGuireWoods Consulting," which is "a full-service public affairs firm offering infrastructure and economic development, strategic communications & grassroots, and government relations services."
McGuireWoods Consulting clients include health insurance, health care provider, pharmaceutical firms. According to its website, a "partial list" of McGuireWoods Consulting's clients include the health insurance provider association BlueCross/BlueShield, the pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Purdue Pharma, Sherman Hospital, and the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.
America's Newsroom failed to identify Healthcare Leadership Council as advocacy group for health insurance, health care provider, and pharmaceutical industries. On the December 14 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, guest host Juliet Huddy hosted Mary Grealy, identified as "the president of the Healthcare Leadership Council," who attacked a proposal to include allowing people aged 55 to 65 to buy in to Medicare as a "nonstarter," complaining about the current "cost-shift" from government programs to private insurers and underpayments to hospitals, and advocating instead for subsidies to purchase private health insurance. At no point did either Huddy or Grealy note that the Healthcare Leadership Council is an advocacy group composed of "a coalition of chief executives from all disciplines within American healthcare" whose members include "hospitals, health plans, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, biotech firms, health product distributors, pharmacies and academic health centers."
Special Report ignored Breaux's lobbying for PhRMA. On the November 10 edition of Fox News' Special Report, correspondent Carl Cameron failed to disclose that former Sen. John Breaux (D-LA), who Cameron said "warns Democratic leaders now that trying too much too fast could backfire and undermine achievable [health care] reforms," has lobbied Congress this year about health reform for the trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
Fox repeatedly provided Gingrich cover to attack health care reform without disclosing conflict of interest. Fox News has repeatedly provided contributor Newt Gingrich a forum to discuss his opposition to the inclusion of a public option and increased insurance regulations in health care reform legislation. During those appearances, Fox News has not noted that that his Center for Health Transformation -- a for-profit entity that Gingrich founded and reportedly profits from -- receives annual membership fees from several major health insurance companies, which have a financial interest in preventing the implementation of those policies.
BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph
After a summer with intimations of violence such as a representative hanged in effigy, FOX News refused to cool down for the winter.
Taking direction from Sen. John McCain, Fox & Friends attempted to make an issue out of Franken's refusal to allow Lieberman extra time on the floor last week. Steve Doocy commented that Franken's actions were "not very polite" while Gretchen Carlson wondered aloud if Franken's actions illustrated a trend of "newbie politicians that don't know exactly the protocol." Carlson probably came to that hypothesis since veteran politician McCain kept saying things such as, "I've been around here twenty-some years. First time I've ever seen a member denied an extra minute or two to finish his remarks."
Franken, however, maintained that he only followed orders from Sen. Harry Reid not to allow any extra time to senators on either side of the aisle. Sen. Mark Begich had, just earlier that very day, objected to Sen. John Cornyn's similar request for extra time. Begich eventually rescinded his objection, but McCain did not need to search far into the memory of his "twenty-some years" in office to see a member at least initially denied extra time.
Doocy also sarcastically told Franken to "stay classy" at the end of the FOX & Friends discussion of the issue. At the same time, Doocy did nothing to muzzle Brian Kilmeade for his less-than-flattering characterization of Franken as "an angry clown."
So much for the criticism on how to be "polite."