The Washington Examiner's Mark Tapscott -- apparently taking cues from his fellow conservatives at CNSNews.com -- tried to gin up some outrage over a remark by Vice President Joe Biden that really wasn't all that outrageous.
In a Wall Street Journal interview published July 25, Biden, in a discussion of Russia, said: "I can see Putin sitting in Moscow saying, 'Jesus Christ, Iran gets the nuclear weapon, who goes first?' Moscow, not Washington."
Tapscott proclaimed himself, in a blog post that same day, to be offended at Biden's "incredible use of 'Jesus Christ' as a curse word," adding:
This is not merely a gaffe or "insensitivity." Taking in vain the name of the man billions of Christians for two millenia have accepted as the creator and Savior of the entire world is either a consciously chosen insult or the kind of unthinking idiocy that disqualifies this guy from being one heartbeat away from the presidency.
How many more stupid comments does it take before his handlers in the White House realize it's time for this dunce to retire?
Tapscott later appended an apology to Biden for calling him a dunce.
Tapscott refrained from direct insults in a July 28 column, but he still managed to escalate the rhetoric, declaring Biden's words to be "hate speech":
Hate speech is hate speech, whether it is aimed at Christians, Muslims, Gays, or African-Americans. Whether or not it should prosecuted or, as Thomas Jefferson argued, left undisturbed as a monument to tolerance and the strength of rational argument is a different issue. Here, it is sufficient to note that hate speech is speech meant to demean, ridicule, and discredit all who are associated with its target.
So where is the outrage about Biden's hate speech against Christians? We've not heard a peep of protest from the Southern Baptist Convention. Nothing from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Nothing from the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Nothing from the United Methodist Church.
Biden's uncorrected cursing is indicative of the slow strangling by the unrelenting forces of political correctness of the religious tolerance that is Christianity's greatest gift to America.
We've reached a point in which the nation's second highest official can without fear insult and degrade the name revered by millions of Americans, but woe unto him who says a word even remotely critical of the PC flavors of the day.
It's worth noting that in neither article did Tapscott provide the full context in which Biden used the exclamation so readers could judge for themselves.
Also worth noting: Tapscott's later column drew a large number of comments, many of whom dismissed his claim. Given that the Examiner is little more than a conservative hangoug these days, that can only be seen as a big thumbs-down to Tapscott's manufactured outrage.
WND Falsely Claims It Was Called Racist Topic: WorldNetDaily
For most of the day on July 30, WorldNetDaily carried on its front page the headline "WND labeled racist by AFP":
But the AFP article to which WND links does no such thing:
WASHINGTON — A small group of fringe conservatives, many fundamentally opposed to the notion of an African-American as president, are challenging President Barack Obama's eligibility for the US presidency.
On blogs and even before US courts, the so-called "Birthers" are using the Constitution, with its stipulation that presidents be US natural born citizens, to argue Obama should not be in the White House.
Despite proof that Obama was born in the US state of Hawaii, including a birth certificate affirming that fact, rumors continue to spread, fueled by a group that critics say includes right-wing militants, racists and Holocaust deniers.
"These are people who are fundamentally either racist or extreme right-wingers. That's where the whole movement is coming from," said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which studies extremist groups.
The movement is composed of "people who very much do not want Barack Obama to be president, largely because he is black, certainly because he is liberal," he added.
On sites like WorldNetDaily.com, where a petition questioning Obama's place of birth has attracted more than 400,000 electronic "signatories," the so-called Birthers are daily raising "new doubts about the story of Obama's birth."
While AFP correctly points out that there are those in the birther movement who are opposed to a black man in the White House, at no point does the article specifically assert that WND has a racist intent, let alone "label" WND as "racist," as the WND headline asserts.
To the contrary, WND has generally avoided any overtly racist implications in its birther crusade, to the point of refusing to acknowledge that some of its fellow compatriots are racists. But as the leader in the birther movement, WND's silence and apparent ends-justify-the-means attitude runs the risk of effectively condoning racism as a legitimate argument against Obama's presidency.
Instead of playing the victim by hurling false accusations, WND should confront the issue in a direct and honest manner by explicitly denouncing the racists in the birther ranks.
Newsmax Repeats False Health Reform Claim Topic: Newsmax
In a July 28 Newsmax article, Dan Weil uncritically repeats claims attacking health care reform made by Harvard economist Martin Feldstein in a Washington Post op-ed. Among the claims by Feldstein Weil repeated was an assertion that a surcharge on the wealthy to pay for health care reform "will drive the top tax rate to 45 percent from 35 percent today."
In fact, Feldstein's suggestion that all taxpayers in the 35 percent bracket will pay the highest surcharge rate is false. The 35 percent rate currently begins at $372,950, while the highest surcharge applies only to incomes over $1 million.
The Horowitz Empire Flip-Flops on Racial Profiling Topic: Horowitz
Does the left hand of the David Horowitz empire know what its right hand is doing?
We noted the other day that Horowitz himself has defended racial profiling because most drug dealers are black, a sentiment endorsed by the Horowitz-operated NewsReal blog.
Now, a July 30 FrontPageMag article by Lloyd Billingsley asserts that there's no such thing as racial profiling, insisting that it is a "bogus construct " and it is "not ... a reality that the police target any group based on race or ethnicity."
So, which is it, guys? Is racial profiling imaginary, or is it entirely justified?
Your WND Birther Lies of the Day Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily continues its flip-flopping on whether the birth certificate released by Barack Obama's campaign is authentic, with a July 29 article by Bob Unruh uncritically repeating a claim by an anti-Obama blogger that the certificate is a "forgery." Unruh failed to note WND's own reporting calling it authentic, which subsequent WND reporting has never directly contradicted.
Unruh fails to explain why anyone should accept the views of the blogger, whom Unruh describes only as "a 70-year-old retiree" who denigrates Obama as a "son of a b-tch ... communist," can be considered credible, especially given the extrordinarily high standards WND editor Joseph Farah has established before one is permitted to criticize him or WND.
Another July 29 article by Unruh cites "a report by an investigator commissioned by a retired CIA officer," published by the Western Journalism Center, to claim that there were "several ways to generate a 'Certificate of Birth'" in Hawaii in 1961. But the WJC curiously does not name the "retired CIA officer" or the "investigator" involved in the purported "investigation."
This raises doubts about the motivation and veracity of the report -- not to mention contradicting the transparency WND and the WJC are demanding from Obama. Why should this "invesigation" be trusted when the investigator and his financier won't put their names on their work? Unruh is curiously incurious about that.
Activist Group Repeats Hate-Crime Bill Falsehoods Topic: Newsmax
A July 24 email sent out on Newsmax's mailing list by Pray in Jesus Name -- headed by former military chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former WorldNetDaily cause celebre whom we've documented praying for the imminent deaths of his critics -- repeats discredited falsehoods regarding efforts to add gays to hate-crime laws.
The email calls the bill "the pro-homosexual 'Pedophile Protection Act'" and asserts that the bill does not define the phrase "sexual orientation" and "protects up to 547 types of sexually deviant behaviors." As we've detailed, the bill does not protect pedophilia or any other "sexually deviant behavior," and "sexual orientation" is already defined under federal law, so doing so inthis bill would be redundant.
Klingenschmitt also writes:
In 2004 my friend Michael Marcavage was arrested along with ten other Christians (including two elderly grandmothers), and charged with violating Pennsylvania’s "hate crimes" laws, because they carried signs conveying God’s love at a Gay Pride rally. One member of "The Philadelphia Eleven," Arlene Elshinnawy, 75 year-old grandmother of three, was holding a sign: "Truth is hate to those who hate the truth," before she was hauled off to jail by police officers. They were literally threatened with 50 years in jail for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ on a public sidewalk, because it offended gays.
In fact, as we've detailed, Maracavage was not merely "carrying signs conveying God’s love"; he wielded a bullhorn and tried to interrupt a stage performance during the gay festival, and they were arrested only after they refused a police order to go to an area on the edge of the event. Further, the protesters were never in any danger of serving "50 years in jail"; even the lawyer for the gay event the protesters disrupted speculated that they would not receive anything more severe than probation (indeed, the charges were later dropped).
Klingenschmitt also portrayed himself in the email as "a former Navy Chaplain who was punished (in writing, three times) for quoting the Bible in chapel during optionally-attended worship." In fact, as we've noted, Klingenschmitt was never punished for praying in Jesus' name; he was punished for disobeying the lawful order of a senior officer by appearing in uniform at a partisan event.
Molotov Lies About GM Dealer Closings Topic: WorldNetDaily
Molotov Mitchell begins his July 29 WorldNetDaily video with a blatant falsehood:
American businesses are dropping like flies. Across the country, our citizens are being manhandled by this new gangster government. As the new owners of General Motors, the feds recently passed out 3,400 pink slips to dealerships, regardless of their productivity. Thirty-four-hundred dealerships got shut down by Democrats.
In fact, GM is not "shutting down" more than half of its 6,000 dealers -- it is withdrawing the franchise from these dealers to sell some of all of its vehicles, and plans to withdraw them from 1,300 dealers -- not 3,400. An additional 500 dealers will be affected by the shutdown of the Pontiac line and the sale of Saturn and Hummer. The Saturn and Hummer dealers, however, will not close; they will merely will no longer be associated with GM.
Further, not all of the 1,300 dealers will "shut down" as a result of losing a franchise. For instance, one dealer is losing the Cadillac franchise but keeping the Buick, Chevrolet and GMC franchises. And contrary to Michell's assertion, dealers were not shut down "regardless of their productivity." As the Detroit News reported:
GM did not reveal the names or community locations of the dealerships it plans to close, but it did disclose the criteria that it used in reviewing which dealers would be sacrificed:
• 50 percent of the rating was based sales performance. • 30 percent was customer satisfaction. • Profitability and capitalization each accounted for 10 percent.
Dealers whose score was less than 70 got termination notices.
Another 400 GM dealerships that sold 50 or fewer vehicles a year also got closing notices. Some dealers who were selling non-GM brands lost their dealerships even if they had higher scores, as did dealers with brands that are being phased out, such as Pontiac.
Presumably, dealerships selling non-GM brands will stay in business after losing the GM franchise.
Oh, and most of those dealership cuts were announced in May, before GM filed for bankruptcy and "the feds" became "the new owners of General Motors."
You gotta love the sheer audaciousness of WorldNetDaily's hypocrisy.
After demanding that Hawaii hospitals violate federal privacy laws by opening up so that WND can rifle through them to find out if Barack Obama was born there, WND's Jerome Corsi accuses Hawaii state health director Chiyome Fukino of speaking "in apparent contravention of Hawaiian law" by making a statement about Obama's birth certificate because "Hawaii law prohibited her from commenting on the birth records of any specific person."
So, which is it, WND? Do you want people to violate privacy laws or not? Or is it only acceptable when the violation forwards Joseph Farah's anti-Obama agenda (which Fukino's statement did not)?
Joseph Farah's Birther Lie of the Day Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah writes in his July 29 WorldNetDaily column regarding Barack Obama's birth: "Who are the two U.S. citizen parents to whom he was born – an absolute requirement to be a 'natural born citizen' circa 1961?"
In fact, it's not. As the Farah-founded Western Journalism Center detailed:
Orly Taitz asserts that “to be president there have to be two parents who are citizens.” This is false. Here is Blackstone’s classic exposition in 1765 of the legal meaning of the term from the Commentaries on the Laws of England. William Blackstone, Commentaries 1: 354 361–62
Natural-born subjects are such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England, that is, within the ligeance, or as it is generally called, the allegiance of the king; and aliens, such as are born out of it…all children, born out of the king’s ligeance [i.e on foreign soil], whose fatherswere natural-born subjects, are now natural-born subjects themselves, to all intents and purposes, without any exception; unless their said fathers were attainted, or banished beyond sea, for high treason; or were then in the service of a prince at enmity with Great Britain.” [The italics are Blackstone's]
Blackstone explicitly grounds natural-born status on location (jus soli), not parentage, except when the child is born abroad. The notion that both parents have to be citizens is false. All children born on American soil are natural-born subjects or citizens.
Given that Farah has provided no credible evidence that Obama was not born in the U.S., this is not an issue.
Farah adds: "But clearly, this is not a left-right issue. This is not a conservative-liberal issue. This is not a Democrat-Republican issue. This is not an ideological issue. This is a matter of what's true and what's not." We know how Farah and WND rate on that last statement.
Brent Baker, in a July 28 NewsBusters post, complains about NBC's "cutesy take" on the upcoming mutual beer-drinking session with President Obama, Henry Louis Gates and the policeman who arrested Gates -- but gets too cute himself in baselessly portraying Obama as an effete.
AFter noting the beer preferences of Gates and the policeman, Baker adds: "Or maybe the President prefers wine over beer and is just agreeing to beer in a political effort to re-connect with blue-collar voters he offended."
In fact, Obama is on record as drinking Budweiser. But mentioning that didn't fit in with Baker's need to smear Obama.
Right-wingers are trying to score political points in the controversy over the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and President Obama's remarks on it: by seeking to justify racial profiling.
In a July 23 Newsmax column, Ronald Kessler wrote:
Then Obama cited the history of blacks and Hispanics “being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately . . . and even when there are honest misunderstandings, the fact that blacks and Hispanics are picked up more frequently, and often time for no cause, casts suspicion even when there is good cause.”
In saying that, Obama ignored the unfortunate fact that blacks account for four times more violent crimes than people of other races.
Then, in a July 23 appearance on Glenn Beck's Fox News show, David Horowitz responded to complaints by Beck's black crew members about racial profiling by saying: "If he’s on the New Jersey Turnpike or in that area, 70 percent of the drug dealers are black. And who do you think they’re dealing the drugs to? Poor blacks in the -- in Newark, in the inner cities there. So the fact that they stopped him -- I mean, it’s an inconvenience. I have an inconvenience. I get searched every single time every time I jump a plane -- take a plane because I have an artificial hip, but I put up with it."
David Swindle reiterated and sycophantically defended Horowitz's remarks in a July 25 post at the (Horowitz-operated) NewsReal blog:
In explaining why it might be appropriate to search an African-American man’s truck when he gets pulled over Horowitz threw out something Media Matters doesn’t want people to think about: a high percentage of drug dealers in the New York-New Jersey area were black and were making money addicting young blacks to drugs.
This isn’t a “racist” point. He’s not saying that blacks are ethnically inclined to be drug dealers. Horowitz has black family members and has been a civil rights activist for his entire life. He’s primarily concerned with seeing that black children grow up in a safe environment so they too can participate in the American Dream. And part of that means confronting the criminals that are standing in the way of that pursuit.
Are Kessler, Horowitz and Swindle really claiming that racial profiling is not racist? And Horowitz having "black family members" somehow give him a free pass to advocate racial profiling? It appears so.
Corsi Still Can't Stop Peddling Bogus Obama Attacks Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily originally reported that the birth certificate released by Barack Obama's campaign is authentic. Even WND editor Joseph Farah, after months of lying about what WND originally reported, has finally conceded that he believes it's authentic.
So why is Jerome Corsi, in a July 28 WND article, referring to "Obama's purported short-form certificate"? He offers no evidence that is anything but authentic -- and any such evidence would contradict what his own news organization has reported.
The only possible conclusion is that Corsi cares nothing about reporting facts. But we already knowthat.
UPDATE: If WND and Farah (if not Corsi) have concluded that the certificate is authentic, why did it just post a video -- liftclaiming that it isn't? The video itself -- anonymously posted on YouTube-- contains a major factual error, claiming that "there's not even a hint of a [raised] seal" on the certificate released by the Obama campaign. In fact, it contains a raised seal.
Could it be that Farah was lying when he said he believed the certificate is authentic? It appears so -- just another lie he and WND have told.
Media Matters' Simon Maloy catches Clay Waters making the claim, in a July 27 NewsBusters post and TimesWatch item, that the New York Times had dismissed the birthers as conspiracy theorists, but couldn't bring themselves to do the same for the 9/11 Truthers, to whom the paper showed "respect," citing a 2006 Times article in which the writer "not once ... dismiss the 9-11 Truthers bizarre charge as a "conspiracy theory," as the Times article on the birthers did. Waters somehow overlooked the word "conspiracy" in the headline of that truther article, or that its overall tone was hardly "respectful."
UPDATE: Media Matters' Jamison Foser catches MRC director of communicaions Seton Motley, in a July 28 NewsBusters post, responding to New York Times columnist Paul Krugman's assertion that a new auto plant in Canada won't result in additional costs to the government under its nationalized health care system by asserting, "Really? Adding workers brought in from outside Canada to the government rolls won't increase government spending?" Yes, really, since nobody said anything about bringing in workers "from outside Canada."
The problem with the short-form certification is that it could easily be obtained for a birth that took place out of the state or out of the country. All it would take is the word of one parent.
In fact, as the Joseph Farah-founded Western Journalism Center pointed out, there is no evidence that Hawaii issues birth certificates "for a birth that took place out of the state or out of the country" that claim the person was born in Hawaii.
If WND can't prove that this happens -- and it hasn't so far -- this issue is irrelevant, and the letter is irrelevant ... and this is just another lie from WorldNetDaily.