A Jan. 27 Newsmax article by David Patten falsely asserts that "the blockbuster Democratic stimulus package would provide up to a whopping $5.2 billion for ACORN, the left-leaning nonprofit group under federal investigation for massive voter fraud."
In fact, the Democratic stimulus plan does not even mention ACORN by name, let alone specifically allocate any money to it. Further, the plan requires that the money be distributed through competitive processes, which means that no one group, including ACORN, has a lock on the money, or that conservative groups who do the same things can make a play for that money too.
Patten gets slightly closer to the truth later in the article by hinting that the money is not specifically allocated to ACORN. he cites our old friend Matthew Vadum in claiming that the money is variously "money that ACORN often vies for successfully," part of a program that is "a specialty of ACORN’s," and "reserved for nonprofits such as ACORN." But at no point does Patten explicitly state that ACORN is not allocated the money or that it is in fact allocated via a competitive process.
Meanwhile, the American Spectator article by Vadum that Patten references shades the truth as well. Vadum avoids the explictly false claim, instead throwing in enough qualifiers to make his claims merely true enough: that the money will go to "left-of-center political advocacy groups such as ACORN" and that "Probably chief among the groups to benefit from stimulus spending will be ACORN."
Both Patten and Vadum repeat the misleading claim that Obama "led a voter drive for ACORN affiliate Project Vote." In fact, as we've noted, Project Vote wasn't an ACORN affiliate at the time Obama took part in the voter drive.
Klein Misleads on Obama Comments Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Jan. 27 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein asserted that President Obama "hailed a so-called "Saudi Peace Initiative," which offers normalization of ties with the Jewish state in exchange for extreme Israeli concessions." But the Obama excerpt Klein includes clearly demonstrates that Obama does not "hail" or "trumptet" it in the way Klein has portrayed it.
In the quote Klein includes from the "interview with an Arab television network" Obama did -- Klein bizarrely can't bring himself to name that network -- Obama states that "I might not agree with every aspect of the proposal." Further, it's clear from the full transcript of the interview, which Klein did not include his article, that Obama was speaking in terms of a peace process that would cover the entire Middle East region, not the narrow endorsement of every aspect of the Saudi Peace Initiative that Klein suggests. Further, Klein also ignored the fact that Obama stated his support for Israel. After Klein cut off Obama's remarks, Obama said:
Now, Israel is a strong ally of the United States. They will not stop being a strong ally of the United States. And I will continue to believe that Israel's security is paramount. But I also believe that there are Israelis who recognize that it is important to achieve peace. They will be willing to make sacrifices if the time is appropriate and if there is serious partnership on the other side.
And so what we want to do is to listen, set aside some of the preconceptions that have existed and have built up over the last several years. And I think if we do that, then there's a possibility at least of achieving some breakthroughs.
Klein also asserts that "Defenders of Israel warn the plan would leave the Jewish state with truncated, difficult-to-defend borders and could threaten Israel's Jewish character by compelling it to accept millions of foreign Arabs." But Klein quotes no one such claims, nor does he explain why he makes the assumption that a supporter of the plan equals not being a "defender of Israel."
A Proposition for Tim Graham Topic: Media Research Center
In a Jan. 27 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham has a minor fit over David Gregory's assertion that those who claim that NBC's news coverage is affected by opinionated hosts on MSNBC are "reach[ing] these judgments through their own ideological prism." Graham sniffs in response: "It's always annoying when liberal media elites try to insist that their critics have an 'ideological prism' that they completely lack."
Graham studiously avoids mentioning the incontrovertible fact that his employer, the Media Research Center -- one of the main promoters of the idea that NBC's news coverage is biased because of opinionated hosts on MSNBC -- sees things through an ideological prism.
If that wasn't true, Graham would also be complaining that that Fox News' opinionated hosts taint its news coverage. But, to our knowledge, he hasn't.
Why is it somehow "elitist" to point that out? It's not, of course -- it's simply the noting of relevant factual information. Graham appears to be asserting a corollary to the Colbert Principle: Reality not only has a well-known liberal bias, it's elitist as well.
If Graham is so desperate to demonstrate how non-elitist he is, we have a proposition for him: The next time he or any other MRC employee appears on Fox News, he should celebrate the spirit of egalitarianism by permitting an employee of Media Matters appear with him. (We're thinking Paul Waldman.)
If only Morgan felt that way about all "unrepentant terrorists." There's another terrorist she's in hot pursuit of -- not to "hound him to the gates of hell," but to seek his approval and participation in Move America Forward activities: G. Gordon Liddy.
A September 2007 blog post by Morgan touts Liddy -- "a former Marine who needs no introduction" -- as being among "the few male conservative commentators who were helping us out" at a "Gathering of Eagles" rally.
A June 2008 blog post places Liddy on the "honor roll" of people who have participated in a forum "to tell a story in narrative form about the success in Iraq and Afghanistan." At that same time, Liddy was among the "All-Star lineup of celebrities & patriotic leaders" taking part in MAF's effort "to send the largest shipment of care packages to U.S. troops in history."
As we've detailed, Liddy is a convicted felon who plotted to murder people and blow up buildings -- and has never apologized for doing so. Why is Morgan palling around with unrepentant terrorists?
Ronald Kessler is doing a fine job of parroting Republican talking points.
In a Jan. 26 Newsmax article, Kessler uncritically quotes former Republican House majority leader Tom DeLay claiming that President Obama's proposed stimulus package is "just complete, out-and-out writing of checks to people that don’t pay taxes. ... These are welfare checks that are called tax cuts."
Of course, as we've noted, if you're putting gas in your car or have FICA taxes deducted from your paycheck, you're paying federal taxes even if you don't pay federal income taxes.
Do Right-Wing Groups Support Outlawing Contraception? Topic: CNSNews.com
A Jan. 27 CNSNews.com article by Josiah Ryan and Susan Jones is ostensibly about how right-wing activist groups are criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "for saying that taxpayer money for contraception would save the states money," but Ryan and Jones bury the lead: The people they quote apparently want to outlaw all contraception completely and force women to carry all pregnancies to term. From the article:
"At a time of financial crisis, Nancy Pelosi's solution is to kill future taxpayers," said the American Life League.
“In other words, children are a burden to the economy, and Pelosi believes it's the government's responsibility to eliminate them,” said the Family Research Council.
"Pelosi has described herself as 'an ardent, practicing Catholic,'” the American Life League said in its news release.
“’But ardent, practicing Catholics do not treat destruction of human beings and human dignity as an economic stimulus plan. They do not see the death of countless preborn Americans through the use of abortifacient birth control as an opportunity to 'reduce state costs.'"
As we've previously noted, the American Life League is anti-contraception. And based on its statement here, it appears that the Family Research Council is as well.
Isn't the real story how right-wingers such as FRC and ALL apparently want to outlaw contraception and force women to carry pregnancies to term -- and even perhaps force women to get pregnant? It's too bad Ryan and Jones missed the scoop here.
After all, that's a much more logical, and factually supported, conclusion than asserting that Pelosi is out to "kill future taxpayers."
Within the first three days of taking office, Obama has signed five specific executive orders without any advice or the consent of the legislative or judicial branches – the same branches the founders believed were essential for effective and accountable government. This is an unprecedented number given past presidents like Kennedy, Carter and Clinton only signed one in the first few days of taking office and Presidents Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush signed zero in the same time frame.
Maybe Obama has abandoned the whole concept of a constitutional republic and is embracing early on what many of us feared: a Socialist dictatorship with our supreme, beloved leader Caesar Obama. Castro's Cuba, Stalin's Russia, Mao's China may soon see the list include Obama's America unless some of the Republicans in Congress grow a set of ... well, nerves.
Has Smith complained about any executive order signed by President Bush, or Bush's unprecedented use of signing statements, which an American Bar Association panel declared "undermine[d] the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers"? Not that we're aware of.
Newsmax Headline: 'Obama, Most Secretive President Ever' Topic: Newsmax
Barack Obama hasn't even been in office for a week, yet Scott Wheeler, in a Jan. 26 Newsmax column, has declared him to be, as the headline states, the "Most Secretive President Ever."
On what basis does Wheeler make this judgment? Not on anything Obama's done in office -- remember, he's only been there six days as of date of publication. Instead, Wheeler is trying to replay the campaign:
It should have been easy to know everything about him, yet, we know nothing. Obama’s medical records have never been released, we know only from an admission in his first autobiography that he was a recreational drug user.
We know nothing about his academic record at Columbia or Harvard except that which he wants us to know, that he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. Why can’t we see the academic record that earned him that spot?
By contrast, Wheeler defends the secrecy of the Bush administration because everything it was trying to hide from the public could only be described as related to national security:
To be clear, the openness the media and Democrats are celebrating have nothing to do with how the government is squandering your tax money or transparency of bailout funds — no, the transparency that we are now supposed to celebrate is over national security secrets. That is, how the Bush administration conducted the war on terrorism over the past seven years.
This is Shangri-La for Democrats — and terrorists. Having our game plan for the war on terrorism being laid out wide-open for the left and the enemy to openly criticize, and thereby weaken, makes it so much easier for another attack on America.
In fact, Freedom of Information Act requests were granted at a lower rate under the Bush administration than under the preceding Clinton administration -- not just for the Defense Department but also for all other major Cabinet-level office. Do, say, the Treasury or Interior departments really have all that much to do with "how the Bush administration conducted the war on terrorism" that would justify such a reduced rate of compliance? Perhaps Wheeler can explain that one.
Don't expect him to, though. Rather than being the journalist he appears to be at Newsmax, he is in fact the head of the National Republican Trust PAC, an anti-Obama group that was behind what FactCheck.org called "one of the sleaziest false TV ads of the [2008 presidential] campaign," telling the lie that Obama's health care plan provides illegal immigrants with Social Security and health care benefits and would raise taxes to pay for it. FactCheck adds: "Hardly a word in the ad is true."
Wheeler seems to have brought those same truth-telling skills to his Newsmax column.
Horowitz Repeats False Right-Wing Talking Point on Guantanamo Topic: Horowitz
In a Jan. 23 post on his FrontPageMag blog, David Horowitz mouths the right-wing canard that "Sixty-two terrorists (that we can identify) have already returned to their war against the United States after being freed from Guantanamo." In fact, the Pentagon has confirmed that only 18 -- not 62 -- have "returned to the fight."
Horowitz goes on to rant that "This would not have been possible without the support of the entire political left, led by the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, two organizations that support the agendas of the terrorists and while verbally distancing themselves from their methods in practice, do everything in their power to get them released when they are caught." Really? "The entire political left" wants to establish sharia law in Muslim countries, which involves things like stoning adultresses, and to create an Islamic caliphate? That's part of al-Qaeda's agenda.
These are the kind of ridiculous generalities that disqualify Horowitz from being taken seriously as a political commentator.
In a Jan. 26 Newsmax column that takes a convoluted way through football and baseball to declare solidarity with Barack Obama as a fellow Chicago South Sider, Bob Grant messes up some football history, claiming that the NFL's Chicago Cardinals "moved to St. Louis in 1988."
Not quite. The Cards moved from Chicago to St. Louis in 1960; they moved from St. Louis to Arizona in 1988.
The Poetry-Haters At the MRC Topic: Media Research Center
Why does the Media Research Center hate poetry?
As we've noted, MRC chief Brent Bozell used his Jan. 15 column to slam the work of Elizabeth Alexander, who read a poem during President Obama's inauguration ceremonies, as having appeal "only for a snobbish elite," mostly because she once used the words "genitals" and "buttocks" in the same poem and "wrote that the Rodney King police-brutality case in 1991 was somehow akin to blacks in professional sports." Bozell apparently prefers the opposite to Alexander's poetry, which he described as "assembly-line verses crammed into a Hallmark card."
Another apparent Hallmark-card fan is P.J. Gladnick, who in a Jan. 25 NewsBusters post likens Alexander's poetry to that allegedly written by a "crazed woman passenger" accused of biting a bus driver. Gladnick then offers an alleged sample of the biter's poetry, followed by Alexander's inaugural poem, then adds: "Which poem is more unpoetic to qualify as an Obama inaugural poem? And has anybody spotted Elizabeth Alexander biting bus drivers recently?"
Perhaps Bozell and Gladnick can provide examples of poetry they do like (if there are any) so we can judge how snobbishly anti-elitist their tastes are.
Feder's Clueless Anti-NYT Ranting Continues Topic: Accuracy in Media
Another day, another piece of clueless ranting at the New York Times by Accuracy in Media's Don Feder.
Feder's target in a Jan. 21 article at his AIM "Boycott the New York Times" website is Times columnist Maureen Dowd, whom he calls the "Queen of Liberal Mean." This overlooks the fact that Dowd kowtowed to Feder's agenda in the 1990s by being a Clinton-hater (which she continued against Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries).
Beyond that, Feder's rant is very thin gruel: bashing Dowd for writing a travel-section article on spending "several days spent at a swank Miami Beach resort getting massages and detoxifying body-wraps, while quaffing expensive vintages." Feder whines that Dowd's piece took place "within days of The Times ordering its newsroom staff to hold the line on expenses," adding: "How does lefty, feel-your-pain Dowd justify such extravagance? That’s easy. She told readers she was there to find out if the rich were experiencing 'spa-guilt' during a recession."
Despite having nothing to offer in his rant, Feder continues anyway: "The New York Times is the citadel of liberal hypocrisy and Dowd is the chatelaine. Wouldn’t it be fun if Maureen released her tax returns so we could see how much she gives to charity each year?" Wouldn't it be even more fun if Feder would release his tax returns so we can see how much of his income comes from the tax-exempt largesse of Scaife-funded groups like AIM?
Meanwhile, Feder is still repeating right-wing falsehoods elsewhere on his little website. In a Jan. 14 article, Feder asserted, "President Bill Clinton passed up at least two opportunities to nab Osama bin Laden in 1996, when the Sudan offered to give him to us on a silver platter." In fact, In fact, the bipartisan 9-11 Commission found "no reliable evidence to support" the claim that Sudan offered bin Laden to the United States.
Battle of the Childish Blog Posts Topic: NewsBusters
A Jan. 21 NewsBusters post by P.J. Gladnick takes offense at an exhibition of "incredibly childish BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome)" in a post at Democratic Underground. Gladnick uses "childish" three more times to describe the post.
For a comparison of "childish" posts, let's look at a post by a conservative blog endorsed by NewsBusters through its placement at the very top of its blogroll, Ace of Spaces HQ. From a Jan. 20 Ace post on Michelle Obama's wardrobe (h/t Sadly, No!)
President Obama Strolls Down Pennsylvania Avenue Wearing Smart Engish-Cut Suit; Michelle, Meanwhile, Wears Ceremonial T'k'arnanth Klingon Battledress
Hey, nice dress. Who shot the curtains?
I didn't realize Lt. Worf was so "hippy." The Dodge Viper looks up to her for having a wide rear wheelbase.
Hey, is this mean? Here's my response to that: Go fuck yourself sideways with a hot brick from a pizza oven.
First Lady Bush -- and her daughters -- were savaged, as was Sarah Palin.
Michelle Obama is not a good-looking woman, unless you like them "fierce" in the literal, rather than gay-fashion-lingo, sense. Last time I saw a mouth like that it had a hook in it was in Predator.
I don't want to be bitchy, but Michelle Obama looks like she just got a full-body bukake from 30 horny couches.
She looks like she just got raped by the cast of Joseph and the Amazing Monocolor Dreamcoat.
I'm not saying she's bulky, but is she wearing a coat, or is that the jibsail from a gay pirate ship?
I don't want to say she looks immense in that gold circus-costume, but Auric Goldfinger just had a stroke-inducing orgasm.
Oops, he had another one. And another one. Once is happenstance; twice is coincidence; the third time it's a fashion nightmare.
Chewbacca just called. He wants his wife's housecoat back.
Any less "childish"? Didn't think so. Will Gladnick urge his superiors to pull his blog of the NewsBusters blogroll because it is so "childish"? Don't count on it. Only liberals are "childish" in Gladnick's eyes, it seems, and there's no such thing as Obama Derangement Syndrome (even though Gladnick is a sufferer).
A Jan. 5 FactCheck.org article on the reappearance of a chain email purporting to detail "unreported stats about the 2008 election" cites a 2004 ConWebWatch article noting the false meme's appearance at Newsmax after the 2000 presidential election as evidence of its early origins.
Meanwhile ... Topic: WorldNetDaily Richard Bartholomew notes that Jerome Corsi, in a Jan. 23 WorldNetDaily article, makes the baseless and unsupported claims that the discovery of a natural gas field in in the Mediterranean Sea off Israel "lends support to the abiotic theory of the origin of oil that holds oil is created naturally within the mantle of the earth, not by biological origins" -- Corsi co-wrote a WND-published book a few years ago promoting the theory -- as well as that it's "significant for those who believe the Bible indicates Israel is sitting on a massive oil reserve that would reshape the geopolitical structure of the Middle East."