Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Those Wacky Wingnuts: Dem Jews Sure Love Money Edition

QOTD, Dreher: (h/t sully)

The term "RINO" -- Republican In Name Only -- doesn't have a left-wing equivalent. The ability to maintain ideological discipline on the Right has long been a key to the GOP's success, but now the habits of mind and behavior that served the conservative movement so well for so long are precisely what prevent it from listening to conservative dissidents.

digby: Crazy Fatigue
The other day I wrote about the power of the right's relentless scandal mongering and how it causes the public to just want the victim to go away and make it stop. Tom Tomorrow observes the same thing --- and gives it a name.

Here's a good example of the frenzy:

Beck's stated goal: Get administration officials fired, "take down this administration"

In recent days, Glenn Beck has said that something he is "working on" will "take the administration down" and that White House interim communications director Anita Dunn "will have to go away" after "what we show you tonight." Beck and his fellow Fox News personalities have repeatedly called for Obama administration officials to be fired, asked people to dig up information on administration officials, and fearmongered about President Obama, his advisers, and his policies.
Now imagine if the Republicans had subpoena power.
Attaturk: The Power of the Porn-Stache 
You cannot hope to stop cartoon figures that have served ABC News, from Brit Hume to Geraldo to the latest jewel in the plastic-Burger King-crown, you can only hope to contain them at an appropriate location.
John Stossel made his first appearance as a FOX News employee today on The Live Desk with Martha MacCallum and Trace Gallagher. Gallagher asked Stossel why he joined the FOX family: “The health care story is one of the reasons,” Stossel said. While still with ABC News Stossel said he’d produced an hour-long healthcare special, but, “I could not get it on the air at ABC. They were doing Michael Jackson stories. Fox covers the news, so finally, the freedom to talk about a few things I know about.”
And, as is par for the course for John Stossel, he missed the truth…by….that….much:
Update from an ABC News insider: “John knows full well that he did not produce an hour on healthcare. It was a five minute retread of a piece that had been done a year earlier.
He’s such a perfect fit for Rupert’s empire.

Think Progress: Republican officials: DeMint is ‘watching our nation’s pennies’ — like a Jew would.

On Sunday in the Orangeburg, SC Times and Democrat newspaper, local Republican Party chairmen Edwin O. Merwin Jr. and James S. Ulmer Jr. wrote an editorial defending Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) from criticisms by Democrats. As the Huffington Post’s Rachel Weiner notes, “After a Democratic state senator wrote that DeMint didn’t bring enough money back to the state,” Merwin and Ulmer invoked an ethnic stereotype about Jewish people to defend DeMint’s penny-pinching:
There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves. By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation’s pennies and trying to preserve our country’s wealth and our economy’s viability to give all an opportunity to succeed.
The conservative Palmetto Scoop writes, “Umm… who in mainstream America thinks it’s a good idea to write something like that in a guest editorial? Especially in light of the racially-motivated attention garnered by South Carolina Republican activists over the past few months. It’s people like Ulmer and Merwin that make many folks fear for the future of the once Grand Ole Party.”
Representatives suckered by cynics  Oct. 19: Rachel Maddow is joined by Suhail Khan of The Institute for Global Engagement to expose the cynical agenda behind accusations that Muslim interns on Capitol Hill are spies.

Think Progress: Impeach Obama Effort Is Too ‘Ridiculous’ Even For Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
ThinkProgress reported recently that Republican Party activist Floyd Brown is launching an impeachment campaign against President Obama. What “high crimes and misdemeanors” has Obama committed? According to Brown, the president’s supposed espousal of Marxist ideology makes him “a very dangerous man and one of the greatest threats to your personal liberty today.”
In an interview this weekend at the Western Conservative Political Action Conference, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) supported Brown’s argument, stating that Obama has a “Marxist background.” But, Rohrabacher added, the impeachment effort is just too crazy an idea for him to support:
I think that’s total nonsense and counterproductive, and quite often, people who are making statements like that are trying to put themselves in a position to raise money from the conservative movement. And any talk of that right now is ridiculous.
The fact is that the American people elected Barack Obama. They elected him! We got to face that. He is an elected President of the United States. We disagree with everything he wants to do, but he has to be treated as the President of the United States, and he has not at this time committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Rohrabacher did leave the door open to future impeachment. Obama’s involvement in Chicago-style politics means he “could be doing things that are questionable enough that they could lead to his impeachment,” the congressman said. “But for right now, that’s a ridiculous discussion.” Watch it:

It’s telling that for Rohrabacher –- who once said global warming was caused by dinosaur farts and dismissed torture as “hazing pranks from some fraternity” –- impeaching Obama is an idea that is just too absurd to support.
The conservative blog Hot Air similarly denounces Brown’s effort, calling it one of the “worst -– and worst defended –- ideas at WCPAC.”
Update Rohrabacher also said:
"The Republican leadership in the House right now is constantly trying to play a political game every day to try and get a headline, and I don't think that's going to take us anywhere," he added. [...] "The American people rightfully think the Republicans are just complaining, because we had power -- we had both houses of Congress and we had the presidency... What did we do with it? All of these changes that we could make to have improved our healthcare system we didn't do during the Bush years when we had both houses in Congress."
  •  Benen addsGOP'S PUBLIC STANDING DETERIORATES...  We talked earlier about the new Washington Post/ABC News poll and the support for the public option as part of health care reform. The news wasn't good for Republicans: Americans not only support a public plan, but they consider it significantly more important than bipartisanship. But for the GOP, that's just the beginning. Karl Rove boasted the other day that Republicans are "winning the health-care debate." It's hard to overstate how wrong this is. The Post/ABC poll points to a party moving quickly in the wrong direction.

    Overall, 57 percent approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president and 40 percent disapprove.... Despite those mixed reviews on domestic priorities, Obama continues to hold a big political advantage over Republicans.
    Poll respondents are evenly divided when asked whether they have confidence in Obama to make the right decisions for the country's future, but just 19 percent express confidence in the Republicans in Congress to do so. Even among Republicans, only 40 percent express confidence in the GOP congressional leadership to make good choices.
    Only 20 percent of adults identify themselves as Republicans, little changed in recent months, but still the lowest single number in Post-ABC polls since 1983.
    Looking through the internals, confidence in congressional Republicans to make the right decisions has fallen over the course of the year, and it's now down to just 19%. To be sure, confidence in congressional Democrats is far from stellar, but it's nearly double the GOP's numbers.
    But the fact that only 20% of adults self-identify as Republicans is the most striking result. To put the number in perspective, remember that in 1992, Ross Perot and whatever it was his party was called got about 19% of the vote nationwide. Republicans are only slightly stronger now.
    It's far too early to predict with any confidence the electoral consequences of numbers like these. It's certainly possible that by this time next year, an anti-incumbent attitude will be strong enough to deliver significant gains for the GOP in the midterms.
    But at this point, the public isn't buying what Republicans are selling. President Obama's support isn't as strong as it was -- though a 57% approval rating is pretty impressive at this point -- but the GOP has failed to capitalize. To the contrary, the minority, instead of positioning itself as a serious, credible alternative, is moving backwards.

Think Progress: Climate Spoof Forces Chamber To Decry ‘Public Relations Hoaxes’
This morning, activists from the Yes Men troupe claiming to represent the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the organization was reversing its years of opposition to any climate bill before Congress, saying in jest that the “Kerry-Boxer Bill is a good start to a strong climate bill.” CNBC and the Fox Business Network cited the many companies who have quit the Chamber as a reason for the fictional about-face.
The Chamber of Commerce quickly tried to quash the reports that it had reversed its “Scopes monkey trial” stance. Chamber of Commerce official Eric Wohlschlegel broke into the press conference held by the Yes Men at the National Press Club, shouting, “This guy is a fake!” After a “mild shoving match at the podium,” Wohlschegel told reporters, “It is a very sad day.” U.S. Chamber of Commerce official Thomas J. Collamore decried “public relations hoaxes” and called for “law enforcement authorities to investigate this event”:
Public relations hoaxes undermine the genuine effort to find solutions on the challenge of climate change. These irresponsible tactics are a foolish distraction from the serious effort by our nation to reduce greenhouse gases.
Of course, it is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other right-wing corporate groups that have been spending hundreds of millions of dollars supporting “public relations hoaxes” to “undermine the genuine effort to find solutions on the challenge of climate change.” As PG&E Chairman and CEO Peter Darbee explained his company’s departure from the Chamber, “extreme rhetoric and obstructionist tactics seem to increasingly mark the Chamber’s stance on this issue.”
It’s doubtful that the Chamber — chaired by race-baiters and corrupt global warming deniers — will now be decrying clean coal carols, climate skeptics, fearmongering, and broken economic analyses as it spends over $100 million a year to lobby Congress.
Update Watch the confrontation between the Yes Men's Andy Bichlbaum and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Eric Wohlschlegel:

Update CNBC's Larry Kudlow speculated that the Obama administration was behind this prank. Watch it:

Chamber of Commerce punked  Oct. 19: Kate Sheppard, reporter for Mother Jones Magazine, talks with Rachel Maddow about a prank press conference at which activists pretended to be representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, reversing the group's position denying global climate change.

Aravosis: Is FOX's Chris Wallace the anonymous "concerned parent" they just showed on Glenn Beck?

FOX News' Glenn Beck, who has previously talked about poisoning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been on a tear lately about all the "communists" he thinks are working in the highest levels of the Obama administration, and in the major media (Beck even found a "communist building" in downtown NYC - seriously, Beck uncovered that Rockefeller Center has secret communist drawings all over it - Keith Olbermann has a great segment on the commie building). One such "communist" who Beck thinks he's uncovered is White House communications director Anita Dunn. (I was on CNN yesterday talking about Beck's queer fixation with Dunn.)

Well, today America's favorite sociopath had a super duper double secret "anonymous" parent on to complain about a graduation speech that Ms. Dunn gave a while back. The thing is, when you look at the alleged parent, who was speaking from FOX's Washington, DC bureau, he sure looks an awful lot like FOX's own Chris Wallace. Check out the screen capture above from the TV. I posted a normal photo of Wallace to the left, and one in which I scrunched his head to the right (since the anonymous parent looks like they scrunched the video of his head, to further disguise him). Is it just me, or are those trademark ears and helmet-head hair just a little too similar to Chris Wallace's?
Araviosis: Richard Wolffe: FOX's Wallace may be linked to Dunn Smear
I wrote earlier tonight about how an alleged "concerned parent" (blacked out to "protect" their identity), shown on FOX News tonight in order to smear White House communications director Anita Dunn, sure looked an awful lot like FOX News' own Chris Wallace. Well, it seems Newsweek's richard Wollfe found a Chris Wallace connection to FOX's smear campaign as well. This would be bad news for Wallace, as he always tries to portray himself as a "real" journalist, even though he works for a GOP political operation. If Wallace is indeed tied to this smear, it will cement him as part and parcel of the FOX Republican political machine. Media Matters has the video:

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