Doods! All ya all is crazy. But, in a good way. A very good way.
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What primarily stands between us and misrule, however, is the Constitution, buttressed by an independent judiciary. …He is the first presidential candidate to propose a thorough assault on the rule of law. – George Will How The Gingrich Stole[...]
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Mitt Romney, who hasn't had a job in years because America won't hire him, doesn't want to subject himself to a credit check as a condition of maybe finally landing a job.[...]
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House Speaker John Boehner conceded to the inevitable and agreed to approve the Senate compromise that extends the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance two months. That bill also includes, at the GOP’s insistence, a requirement that Obama make a decision within 60 days on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline (see “GOP Threaten to Harm the Economy If Obama Won?t Embrace Tar Sands Pipeline“).
Jeremy Symons of National Wildlife Federation has the latest on Keystone, including quotes from Bill McKibben of 350.org, Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska:
Press reports indicate this afternoon that the House GOP will blink on the payroll tax bill and sign off on the version passed by a bi-partisan margin in the Senate. Of course, we have heard this before, so no telling for sure what will happen until it is on the president?s desk.
The bill heading to the president will likely include the rider that rushes the decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. So what does this mean for the pipeline? Speaker Boehner is trying to satisfy Big Oil?s lobbyists and some of the GOP?s top corporate donors by forcing the president to make a hasty decision, but it will backfire. I am confident that President Obama will stand up to big oil and reject this dangerous and unnecessary pipeline because it is the right thing to do, and that the American public will support him. Americans understand that it is wrong to play political games and strip families of our right to protect our land and our clean water from foreign oil companies, because you can?t drink oil.
I asked Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska and Bill McKibben of 350.org, two of the leading fighters to stop this pipeline, for their reaction today as well. Here is what they wrote me:
Bill McKibben: ?The administration?s promise to deny this permit, if fulfilled, will be one of the rare pieces of good news for the climate in a year which saw America shatter all records for billion-dollar weather disasters. The president campaigned hard in 2008 on trying to slow the climate crisis, and this would be a strong sign he meant what he said.?
Jane Kleeb: ?The pipeline is unnecessary and a scam that would export the oil while burdening our families with all the risks.?
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Why does Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) hate Christmas?
The Arizona senator slammed President Barack Obama on Thursday for buying Christmas gifts for his daughters instead of meeting with the House Republicans who are refusing to pass a payroll tax cut extension.
"The four previous presidents I served under, including President Clinton, would be calling them over to the White House and sitting down with them and looking them in the eye and saying, 'Look, we need to fix this,'" McCain told CNN's Ali Velshi.
"The Republicans are losing this fight. We need to get back on track. There is no doubt about that," the senator admitted. "But I think it requires some presidential leadership as well as a little bit of bipartisanship."
"In times like the past, in the past, four presidents that I served under, they have exerted a lot more leadership than going shopping."
A two-month extension of the payroll tax cut was passed with the bipartisan approval of 89 senators -- something that is almost unheard of on serious legislation -- but House Republicans are demanding that cut be extended for a year. Americans' taxes will automatically go up if a bill is not signed in the next week.
The pre-trial hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of releasing classified information to WikiLeaks, concluded with the government revealing in its closing argument for the first time the enemy, which they believe Manning?s actions aided: the[...]
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So John Boehner has given his surrender press conference. But there were some things he said in his very dispirited recitation that I suspect we'll be hearing in TV commercials next year. I get the sense that Boehner's been beat up so bad over the last[...]
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Memo to Politifact: This is why your stupid characterization of the truth as a lie drives me crazy. You bent over to appease the whacked-out, crazy right-wing and guess what! Fox News took that and ran with it.
Neil Cavuto just could not wait to crow today over it, and in the process, take a few pot shots at Democrats' framing of other issues. In Fox News-land, a Satan sandwich is a tasty morsel meant to be savored.
CAVUTO: Well it's official. It's a lie. And apparently a whopper of a lie. I am talking ?Lie of the Year? whopper of a lie. PolitiFact, the nonpartisan source, every politician, Democrat and Republican, trusts, has just released its choice for the lie of 2011, the ad about granny's a big time doozie.
They know it and I've warned you about it.
(Video May 18, 2011)
CAVUTO: This is why we're not moving the ball. Big government fans are having a ball, by lying and exaggerating and insisting everything's fine, while folks who want to reign in these entitlements are not.
Let's just establish that Politifact is no longer nonpartisan nor trustworthy. Now that we agree on that, let's move on to the next Cavuto Crazy moment: Democrats cast the guy in the wheelchair commercial to look like Paul Ryan. Now I don't know if they did or they didn't. But if they did, they should have.
The intellectual dishonesty of Cavuto's take on this commercial really emerges when he starts going on about how granny wasn't going to be thrown off the cliff, because maybe today's granny wasn't, but the one who turns 65 in 10 years surely was.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Many seniors in America will be forced into poverty and worse, some seniors will end up dying.
CAVUTO: It just gets worse. I want you to look at this ad again. It is very well done. But look at the guy pushing grandma. Does he look familiar to you? You think they wanted to make him look like Paul Ryan, the head of the Budget Committee? Came up with the Medicare plan? I do.
So now the guy who had the guts to address Medicare costs, that are slowly killing us, well now, he's killing us. I think it's nuts.
CAVUTO: Okay, that was seven months ago. I told you then no one was throwing grannie off the cliff, is trying to fix Medicare. More like throwing all us off the cliff if we don't.
And now we get to the truly rich part of Cavuto's little rant, where he takes the truth and lies through his teeth about it.
But the only thing scarier my friends than making Paul Ryan look like a murderer is butchering the facts like your ad, like saying Ryan was out to cut Medicare when at best he was only slowing the growth in Medicare.
Or later saying that draconian cuts in a debt deal spread out over ten years, while conveniently leaving out the reality we still have $9 trillion in more debt after those ten years.
Those are the same folks who brought you strategic investments because it sounded better than stimulus, or revenue enhancements, because they sounded better than taxes. The truth, words matter. Lies matter too. I know their words and I know the truth. Right here we distinguish, you decide.
Only slowing the growth in Medicare? How exactly was it only slowing the growth in Medicare to change it from a single payer efficient plan into a voucher plan for private insurance? Let's call it what it was: Wealth redistribution. Redistribution of wealth from grannies to wealthy doctors, insurers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, device manufacturers, insurance agents and other assorted players, not to mention the fact that Ryan proposed partial privatization of Social Security in that budget AND even more tax cuts for the rich. It wasn't slowing growth; it was simply lining the pockets of Paul Ryan's overlords.
As for the last line, excuse my loud and prolonged paroxysm of laughter.
House Republicans finally waved a white flag over the payroll tax cut extension this afternoon?but not before they?d given President Obama what The New Yorker?s John Cassidy aptly called an ?early Christmas present.?And just the one he wanted and needed: a nice big boost to his re-election prospects. The White House?s crafty handling of the Tea Party?s latest hissy fit, along with Obama?s recent turn toward a more populist economic message, has boosted his approval ratings to 49 percent and given him a seven-point edge over his closest Republican rivals, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, in one recent national poll. That?s basically the same lead he held over John McCain in the late stages of the 2008 general election. The standoff was doing so much damage to Republicans that even McCain and Gingrich and The Wall Street Journal had begun calling for House Republicans to give in?and in Gingrich?s words, ?to do it calmly and pleasantly and happily.? But for the president?s purposes, of course, ?grudgingly? is even better.
If I were a PolitiFact editor, and I were responding to a wave of criticisms while simultaneously attempting to reassure readers that I was a serious person worthy of their future confidence, I would not have printed this self-promoting, narcissistic, reader-blaming whinefest:
At a Republican campaign rally a few years ago, I asked one of the attendees how he got his news.
"I listen to Rush and read NewsMax," he said. "And to make sure I'm getting a balanced view, I watch Fox."
My liberal friends get their information from distinctly different sources ? Huffington Post, Daily Kos and Rachel Maddow. To make sure they get a balanced view, they click Facebook links ? from their liberal friends.
This is life in our echo chamber nation. We protect ourselves from opinions we don't like and seek reinforcement from like-minded allies. [...]
PolitiFact had its latest brush with the Echo Chamber Nation this week. We gave our Lie of the Year to the Democrats' claim that the Republicans "voted to end Medicare." That set off a firestorm in the liberal blogosphere, with many saying that claim was not actually wrong. We've received about 1,500 e-mails about our choice and only a few agreed with us.
The (only) theme here is that the current criticisms of PolitiFact are because people are whiners who only want to hear news that affirms their own world view; ergo, PolitiFact is right, so there. If this requires lumping people like Paul Krugman in as someone who can't be bothered to read news that's not forwarded on from Facebook friends, so be it: A premise is a premise. We can't possibly be wrong on this because we're the fact checkers, damn it?it says so in our name?so the only other explanation is that the entire rest of the nation sucks. Eh, fine, whatever.
I think it is probably a bad idea for a fact-checking institution devoted entirely to politics to generically assert that all of the people who read them are little more than flighty little morons, but PolitiFact has not exactly made a name for itself for consistency or impeccable judgment. So break out the tiny violins: having apparently failed to convince critics of their rightness the first time around, now they're just going full-on into "our enemies are all around us" territory.
But like Newt Gingrich, they shall rise up through the fire and brimstone and that barely functional ethernet router sitting over there, and prove the haters wrong.
In reality, fact-checking is growing and thriving because people who live outside the partisan bubbles want help sorting out the truth. PolitiFact now has nine state sites run by news organizations around the country that employ more than 30 full-time journalists for fact-checking. We've inspired many copycat sites around the nation and roughly a dozen in other countries.
And yet, for many of our readers, the love for PolitiFact has always been conditional. They love us when we confirm their views that the other side is wrong ? and they hate us when we don't.
Yes, PolitiFact is dangerous. We have disrupted the status quo because we're doing what journalists should have been doing for a long time ? holding politicians and pundits accountable for their words.
Jeebus. Talk about unnecessary Braveheart moments (didn't check that one, did you, PolitiFact? You should have. It was hilarious.)
Again, to the editors at PolitiFact: Why did you publish this? If you are confident in your judgment, stand on your judgment and be done with it. When trying to convince people that you are impeccably objective and invariably rational, writing overemotional screeds claiming your critics are merely hate-filled, narrow-minded dimwits does nothing to inspire confidence.