AIM Trots Out Rabid Obama-Hater To Trash GOP Benghazi Report Topic: Accuracy in Media
WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein isn't the only right-winger who can't accept the results of the Republican-led House committee's debunking of right-wing Benghazi conspiracy theories.
Accuracy in Media -- home of the little kangaroo court of Obama-haters and birthers that calls itself the "Citizens' Commission on Benghazi" -- can't accept it either. So AIM has trotted out commission member Clare Lopez to rant that the House report is "a whitewash of the CIA" designed to "exonerate the Intelligence Community (IC), and, by extension, the Obama administration, of responsibility for intelligence failures prior, during, and after the terrorist attack that took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods."
But Lopez has shown herself -- like much of the rest of AIM's commission -- to be a rabid Obama-hater with an agenda who cannot be trusted to fairly and objectively investigate Benghazi.
In an August WND interview, Lopez made her hatred of Obama very clear, asserting that President Obama is just like Osama bin Laden because they share the same goal of removing U.S. troops from the Middle East and putting jihadis in power.
Lopez also told WND that Obama had bin Laden killed only because he “thought it might look good,” and that Obama switched sides in the war on terror by endeavoring "to bring down the secular Muslim rulers who did not enforce Islamic law."
Does this sound like someone capable of being objective on anything involving Obama? Didn't think so.
Nevertheless, AIM's Roger Aronoff is touting Lopez's "debunking" of the House report in a Dec. 2 article, complaining that the conspiracy theories the report debunked -- and to which AIM still clings -- were described as conspiracy theories.
AIM, Newsmax Also Promoting Discredited Charlatan Joel Gilbert's New Film Topic: Accuracy in Media
WorldNetDaily isn't the only ConWeb outlet that's strangely eager to promote discredited charlatan Joel Gilbert's new anti-Obama film, "There's No Place Like Utopia."
Cliff Kincaid slobbers over Gilbert's film in a July 17 Accuracy in Media column:
The film is both serious and entertaining. It makes you laugh and almost want to cry, as he skillfully describes what seems like the planned destruction of America.
Joel Gilbert is a brave filmmaker who is not interested in “debating” the likes of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn as they demand rehabilitation and acceptance. Gilbert wants to expose them and put them behind bars, where they belong.
Just as Gilbert bought Jerome Corsi's loyalty by putting him in his film, he did something similar to buy Kincaid's promotional skills: Much of his column is devoted to lovingly detailing how the late anti-communist obsessive (and Kincaid buddy) Larry Grathwohl is "one of the stars" of the film.
Gilbert appears not to have done anything to cozy up to Newsmax. Nevertheless, a July 15 Newsmax article by Andrea Billups serves as a fine press release for Gilbert. It's based in part on a WND article by Corsi; Billups doesn't disclose that the author of the article she's cribbing from is also in the film she's promoting.
Needless to say, neither Newsmax nor AIM make mention of the fact that Gilbert's previous anti-Obama film has been utterly discredited. Indeed, no alternative view of Gilbert is presented at all.
AIM's Kincaid Just Can't Stop Lying About Panetta Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid devotes a June 26 Accuracy in Media column to decrying the fact that former secretary of defense Leon Panetta is receiving an award named after Ronald Reagan.
In addition to his anti-defense record, Panetta had a relationship with Communist Party figure Hugh DeLacy, who had ties to Soviet and Chinese intelligence operatives. It was never clear if Senate investigators or the FBI, or both, investigated Panetta’s background.
DeLacy was one of only two congressmen exposed as a member of the Moscow-funded Communist Party.
Kincaid's attack is completely false. As we previouslynoted, Media Matters has documented how the correspondence between Panetta and DeLay occurred when Panetta was a congressman, and the "relationship" was nothing more than that of a congressman and a constituent.
That shoots a major hole in Kincaid's attempt to smear Panetta as a secret commie -- but Kincaid doesn't want to admit the truth.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Accuracy in Media Edition Topic: Accuracy in Media
For Barack Obama speeches are not just motivational instruments or representations of a desired state of affairs, but feats of political transubstantiation, where, if he utters them, words become reality.
It is a behavior not dissimilar to Adolf Hitler maneuvering imaginary German divisions from his Berlin bunker while Russian troops rampage throughout the city above him.
-- Lawrence Sellin, May 29 Accuracy in Media column
AIM's Kincaid Is Still Promoting Falsehood-Prone Joel Gilbert Topic: Accuracy in Media
WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi is not the only right-winger who's sticking with Joel Gilbert.
Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid follows in Corsi's footsteps by devoting a May 20 column to Gilbert's latest Obama-bashing film. Kincaid lionizes Gilbert as "the filmmaker who exposed Barack Obama’s Marxist background, and debt to a pro-Soviet Communist Party operative," and proclaims that Gilbert's previous film, "Dreams From My Real Father," "examined the hidden history of America’s first black president in a serious and matter-of-fact manner."
Kincaid, of course, refuses to acknowledge that "Dreams From My Real Father" has been utterly discredited and Gilbert himself exposed as a charlatan unconcerned with facts or reality. But Kincaid has alwaysignored that particular truth.
Kincaid works for an outfit called Accuracy in Media, yet he champions a filmmaker notorious for his inaccuracy. Funny, that.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Accuracy in Media Edition Topic: Accuracy in Media
The resignation of Barack Obama would be a victory for the American people, create an opportunity for the restoration of the Constitution and the rule of law and allow citizens to regain control of the government. At the same time, the departure of Obama will elicit a torrent of revelations that will likely taint the highest officials in government, the leadership of both political parties and the upper echelons of the media.
Like Obama, the establishment considers itself too big to fail, but no government can survive if the interests of its officials conflict with those of the people.
It is time for Obama to resign and let a hopelessly corrupt government fail.
-- Lawrence Sellin, May 20 Accuracy in Media column
Meanwhile ... Topic: Accuracy in Media Right Wing Watch does an able job of shooting down James Simpson's Accuracy in Media column alleging that voter fraud is a massive, “existential threat to our American Republic,” despite the fact that he provides no examples of large-scale voter fraud.
AIM's Kincaid Touts Its Kangaroo Court, Suggests Germany's Merkel Is A Secret Commie Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid takes a victory lap in a May 5 Accuracy in Media column:
The announcement that the House will vote on a special congressional committee to investigate Benghazi is long overdue. Accuracy in Media’s two special conferences on Benghazi helped mobilize the public and the press to demand this outcome.
Kincaid goes on to tout one of the conclusions AIM's kangaroo court came to:
At AIM’s second conference on Benghazi, held at the National Press Club on April 22, retired Admiral James “Ace” Lyons stated openly what many have been talking about privately—that the transformation of U.S. policy from opposing to supporting al Qaeda can only be understood in terms of Muslim Brotherhood “penetration into every national security agency of this government,” and “their carte blanche entry into the [Obama] White House.”
So will these agents of influence be named and exposed by the Benghazi special committee? That is why the public has to continue to be mobilized to apply pressure.
This leads to a defense of Joseph McCarthy dubious Red Scare tactics.
But Kincaid isn't done with the infiltration theme. He wrote a second May 5 column promoting the idea that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is some kind of secret Soviet agent (and, of course, brings Obama into it):
In the current context, with Putin continuing to destabilize Ukraine, the other notable case of alleged penetration is Germany. As we noted in a previous column, a book by Günther Lachmann and Ralf Georg Reuth published last year looks at the hidden communist past of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who spent 35 years of her life in East Germany, and concealed her work as an ideologue for a communist youth group.
The book grows increasingly relevant as we watch the Germans maneuver to avoid punishing Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. In the face of Russian aggression, Merkel says “…we want to continue having a reasonable partnership with Russia.”
“Germany is one of our strongest allies, and Angela is one of my closest partners,” said Obama. But since Russia is Germany’s partner, what does that say about Obama? The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place in front of our eyes.
The German book, The First Life of Angela M., only goes so far. It does not make the direct charge that Merkel is a Russian agent. That is a taboo topic, in the same way that an analysis of Obama’s grooming by Frank Marshall Davis is considered a form of “McCarthyism” directed against a civil rights activist. At least that is the rationale being offered by the media in the U.S. to avoid facing facts.
Remember, this kind of conspiracy talk is coming from the same organization that thinks its Benghazi kangaroo court is meaningful.
AIM Praises Right-Wing Media Who Promote Its Agenda Topic: Accuracy in Media
Roger Aronoff writes in an April 28 Accuracy in Media column:
On April 22, the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) released a report on the findings of its months-long search for the truth behind the Benghazi attacks of September 11, 2012. It has made its report public on its website.
New revelations in the case of Benghazi, Libya have made their rounds in the conservative media, but the mainstream media have failed to pay attention to this new information. The New York Times and Washington Post were invited to our media roundtable press briefing, but they declined to send reporters. CNN sent a camera and a producer, but failed to cover our revelations. You can now watch the press conference online. Part one is opening comments by the panelists; part two is Q&A.
But Townhall, Diana West, World Magazine, the Daily Mail, PJ Media, Front Page Magazine, Newsmax, WND, Renew America, LiveTradingNews, the Drudge Report, and, yes, even Russia Today are asking questions about Benghazi that the mainstream media apparently find less compelling.
Those outlets have one thing in common: With the exception of Russia Today, all of the outlets Aronoff praised for its coverage of AIM's little kangaroo court are all right-leaning and could be counted on to regurgitate AIM's right-wing, anti-Obama agenda.
Aronoff acknowledges this in the final paragraph of his article, declaring that "We are pleased to see the excellent coverage this story has gotten, albeit mainly in the conservative media. A World Magazine piece, a Town Hall article, and Diana West column, among several others, serve as excellent resources for our story."
Because those "excellent resources" could be counted on to provide uncritical coverage, Aronoff knows they won't bring up uncomfortable things, like the fact that the Citizens Commission on Benghazi is stacked with Obama-haters, birthers and conspiracy theorists who can't possibly be expected to bring any sense of fairness or objectivity to the issue.
Daniel Pipes Pretends He Didn't Help Inspire Norwegian Massacre Topic: Accuracy in Media
Daniel Pipes uses an April 16 Accuracy in Media column to make a big deal out of left-wing writer Max Blumenthal getting praise in a post by alleged Kansas City Jewish center shooter Frazier Glenn Miller on a racist website as evidence that Blumenthal inspired Miller:
Daniel Greenfield suggests that Miller referred here to “a Blumenthal interview on Putin’s propaganda channel RT, which he has since defended, in which he claimed that Netanyahu was targeting Ron Paul and Obama.”
Greenfield further finds that “there are 382 results for [Max Blumenthal] on the Neo-Nazi VNN forum that the Kansas City killer patronized.” Participatnts at Stormfront, the premier American Neo-Nazi site, often mention Blumenthal approvingly.
Yet a closer look reveals that Google suspects the majority of the results to be duplicates, and that—after weeding out those duplicates—Google finds only “about 71” references to “Max Blumenthal.”
Even within those 71 references, I found several more duplicates, narrowing the count to 46.
…over 300 references praising Blumenthal’s criticism of the State of Israel and American-Jewish support of Israeli policy.
Wrong. Among the VNN Forum’s approximately 46 references to “Max Blumenthal,” many of them would not be considered “praise”—nor do they reference “criticism of the State of Israel” or “American-Jewish support of Israeli policy.”
For instance, the VNN Forum has a weird way of showing “praise” when its participants refer to Blumenthal as:
“Jew Max Blumenthal”
“Kike Max Blumenthal”
“Jewish propagandists including … Max Blumenthal”
“an avowed queer like Max Blumenthal”
“Max Blumenthal … a flamboyant, exhibitionistic anti-racist”
“that douche bag sodomite Max Blumenthal”
One page on the forum even links to an article that sarcastically refers to Blumenthal as “Country Music Expert Max Blumenthal.”
A different VNN page refers to “obvious biases and outright misinterpretations contained in Max Blumenthal’s article,” while another one accuses Blumenthal of “vicious character assassinations.”
The real purpose of Pipes' column, however, is to pretend this standard can't be applied to him and other anti-Muslim activists like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller for their repeated citations in the manifesto by Norwegian massacre perpetrator Anders Breivik:
Never mind the fundamental inaccuracies of these statements – that (1) Geller, Spencer, or I ever engaged in “eliminationist” rhetoric and (2) ignoring that Breivik cited leftists about as much as rightists and Muslims as often as counter-jihadis – what’s important is that Blumenthal exploited Breivik’s murderous rampage to score cheap points against fellow American analysts.
Breivik, it is now clear, intentionally sought to discredit counter-jihadis like me; but Miller gives every appearance of being a true believer inspired in part by Blumenthal’s ravings.
That's not true either. As Daniel Luban summed up: "So, to be clear, Breivik agrees with Pipes’s allies about the threat Muslims pose to the West, and merely disagrees with them about the desirability of mass deportation, revolution, and 'armed resistance' to deal with it."
Pipes cites as evidence that Breivik "intentionally sought to discredit counter-jihadis" his own speculation as well as that of other anti-Muslim activists about Breivik's alleged move toward a Nazi-esque outlook. But that does not mean his anti-Muslim outlook wasn't inspired by the likes of Pipes, and Pipes provides no evidence of a plausible motive for Breivik to intentionally discredit him.
P.S. We've previously highlighted how Breivik's concerns about Islam and multiculturalism are closely aligned with the editorial agenda of WorldNetDaily.
AIM Co-Sponsors Right-Wing Confab Filled With Rants, Racial Humor Topic: Accuracy in Media
For the past several weeks, Accuracy in Media has had on the front page of its website a promotion for the Western Conservative Conference (see right), which was held in Phoenix this past weekend. AIM served as a co-sponsor of the event.
And what did AIM get for its co-sponsoring money? A lot of right-wing ranting and racially charged so-called humor.
The racially charged humor came from Arizona State Rep. John Kavanagh during a roast of sheriff Joe Arpaio:
Early in his tour de force monologue, Kavanagh riffed, “It’s okay. I’m not the federal monitor. How many Hispanics did you pull over on the way over here, Arpaio, huh?” The crowd roared.
Then he pivoted to an immigration joke, “Sheriff Joe is the kind of guy that you gotta love. As long as you have papers.”
Soon he was making light of the controversy around the “religious freedom” bill SB 1062, which would allow businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples. Kavanagh, who supports the bill, dismissed the criticism with a joke at the expense of Muslims and Arpaio:
Now a lot of people claim that SB 1062 is gonna cause discrimination based upon religion in Arizona.
And I scoffed at that until tonight. When a Muslim waiter serving up here walked up to Sheriff Joe, wouldn’t give him his dinner ’cause he said ‘I don’t serve swine.’
The crowd reacted with some shock, but not about the Muslim remark. Arpaio covered his face with his napkin. Kavanagh quipped that it “wasn’t quite a burka.”
The entire Western Conservative Conference was a hub of activity for far-right activists. As Media Matters notes, the conference was hosted by Floyd Brown, who has turned the Joseph Farah-founded Western Journalism Center into a hotbed of Obama-hating conspiracists (not that Farah probably thinks there's anything wrong with that). The conference also included other far-right fringers like Trevor Loudon and Russell Pearce.
These are the kind of people AIM was hanging out with in Arizona this past weekend.
Alan Caruba Pretends Right-Wing Media Isn't Failing Topic: Accuracy in Media
Professionalbamboozler Alan Caruba is at it again in his Feb. 17 Accuracy in Media column, regurgitating right-wing shibboleths about the media.
Caruba is happy that the New York Times is not making very much money, noting that "Newsweek was sold for one dollar. In 2013 The Daily Beast was projected to lose $12 million." He adds, "By contrast, The Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily are thriving."
But Caruba is making an apples-to-oranges comparison. The Journal and IBD are not general-interest news outlets like the "liberal" outlets he cites; their focus is on business and market news that is very much separate from the right-wing commentary they publish.
Further, they are not thriving. The privately held IBD is reportedly not a money-maker and is supported by other divisions of its parent company. Rupert Murdoch paid $5 billion for the Journal in 2007 -- which is the current value of all of News Corp.'s publishing assets, which include the New York Post and papers in Britain and Australia.
In noting that Newsweek was sold for $1, Caruba failed to note that the Washington Times was sold for $1 as well.
As we've documented, conservative media would have long ago failed in a free market were it not for deep-pocketed right-wing billionaires -- something Caruba fails to understand.
AIM's Kincaid Ignores Anti-Gay Agenda Of Groups Aligning With Putin Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid writes in a Feb. 7 Accuracy in Media column:
The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi aren’t the only platform for Russian President Vladimir Putin to assert himself on the international stage. He is reportedly planning to preside over a major Moscow conference in September sponsored by the World Congress of Families, a pro-family coalition that includes several high-profile American conservative organizations.
Putin, who is recently divorced and is said to have a mistress, will present himself as a defender of the Christian faith and Christian values, in contrast to the decline and decadence of the West. He is counting on conservatives in attendance to ignore the fact that he was a Soviet KGB officer and ran its successor, the FSB.
Weirdly, Kincaid is completely silent about the main reason these "pro-family" groups have latched onto Putin: the recently passed law in Russia banning alleged pro-gay "propaganda."
Right Wing Watch notes that "the WCF and the Religious Right groups it partners with are ardent promoters of anti-gay legislation worldwide, and they love Russia's anti-gay President Vladimir Putin."
Perhaps Kincaid's silence on the issue is because he actually supports Putin on this -- after all, he's been a longtime gay-basher who supports a proposed law in Uganda that would permit the execution of homosexuals.
In September, Kincaid huffed that a group headed by William Kristol "critical of Russia for passing legislation to protect children from homosexual propaganda." In a December column, Kincaid criticized the hosts of CNN's "Crossfire" for critizing the Russian anti-gay law and supporting President Obama's more to send gay athletes as part of a U.S. delegation to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Perhaps Kincaid doesn't want to admit that homophobia is a key Putin value, lest it undermine his own homophobia.
UPDATE: Kincaid finally addresses the issue in a Feb. 11 column, in which defends Putin's crackdown on gay activity as "understandable" and laments the media's "gross exaggerations" about Russia's anti-gay law:
Media coverage of Russia during the Olympic Games has proven to be extremely inaccurate, from the gross exaggerations about the effects of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, to NBC’s claim in a report for the Olympics opening ceremony that Soviet communism was a “pivotal experiment”—and not a tragedy—in the country’s history.
The topic of homosexual rights has dominated most of the coverage. Fareed Zakaria made the false claim on CNN that homosexuality has been “criminalized,” or outlawed, in Russia while Megyn Kelly of Fox News insisted that Russian President Putin is somehow guilty of “homophobia” because he signed a law prohibiting the recruitment of children to the homosexual lifestyle.
By any objective standard, the Russian response to America’s export of homosexuality under Obama is understandable, not objectionable, and it doesn’t constitute “homophobia.” They passed a law to keep homosexual propaganda from children. But this does not mean that Russia is on the right course and should be applauded by conservatives.
The narrow focus on gay rights, which is the intense concern of many in the U.S. media, misses the big picture—that Putin is posturing globally as a pro-family values champion willing to confront America’s dying and decadent culture. Some conservatives are so disgusted by the course Obama has put America on that they seem willing to suspend their critical thinking abilities and embrace Putin as sincere.
And somehow, this is all Obama's fault:
Say what you will about Putin, but he has a vision for his country that is enticing to the Russians and draws a contrast with the West, which is suffering through a period of decline and decay under Obama. The year 2014 has been declared the “Year of Culture in Russia,” and Putin says “It is intended to be a year of enlightenment, emphasis on our cultural roots, patriotism, values and ethics.”
In contrast to Obama, who embraces and promotes every deviant and perverted lifestyle choice, Putin sounds very appealing. But appearances can be deceiving and American conservatives eager to embrace this kind of “conservatism” would be wise to stop and examine what is really going on in Russia. The evidence indicates it is a clever ruse to mask the emergence of a resurgent Russia, built on the Soviet “experiment.”
It is difficult to see one area—except for gay rights—in which Obama is not doing Putin’s bidding. Obama’s homosexual agenda only makes Putin look stronger and more appealing on the world stage, even driving American conservatives into the arms of the would-be Russian dictator.
So, yeah, Kincaid is totally down with Putin's anti-gay crackdown, even if he has to hold his nose at the idea that it's the one thing that keeps him from completely rejecting Putin.
AIM Column Wants To Fix The News, But Not The Right-Wing Media Topic: Accuracy in Media
Daniel Greenfield's Feb. 2 Accuracy in Media column is called "Fixing the News," but you can't fix something properly if you misdiagnose the problem.
Greenfield starts off by getting his facts wrong in claiming that a New York Times investigation of the Benghazi attack published in December had been discredited: "It did not take very long for a Senate report and other media outlets to shoot down the story which had left out information about the Al Qaeda links of the attackers, but did include a dubious claim that the attackers had been angry about a YouTube video." In fact, the article has not been discredited, and the Times reporter stands by the article.
But never mind the facts, Greenfield is on a roll:
There are things about the news that actually do need to be fixed and political bias tops the list.
Even though David Kilpatrick’s story was discredited shortly after it was published, Kilpatrick and the New York Times suffered no personal or professional consequences for a story that supported the administration’s line on Benghazi. That is markedly different from what happened to Lara Logan and 60 Minutes for airing a Benghazi report that the administration did not approve of.
Both stories suffered from errors, but while 60 Minutes was deceived, the New York Times did the deceiving. And yet Lara Logan has been denounced for journalistic malpractice, while hardly anyone in the media has criticized Kilpatrick for attempting to sell blatantly refried nonsense that had long ago been discredited and that not even the administration was willing to stand behind.
Despite claiming that "political bias" in reporting needs to be fixes, there's only particular side he's concerned about:
Serious news however comes with so much political context that it’s easier to just rewrite Think Progress or Media Matters content than to do any original reporting on a national or international issue. There is safety in numbers because it’s harder to lynch a reporter whose only crime is reworking an AP story that is based on a Media Matters email that is based on a White House press release.
Greenfield provides no evidence that any of this has ever happened. (Disclosure: I work for Media Matters.) Further, he appears to not be aware that the right-wing media actually does what he accuses the "liberal media" of doing -- for example, CNSNews.com's enthusiasm for shilling for the oil and gas industry.
Greenfield continues his rant:
The news is broken because it follows the left’s usual model of insider highbrow content and outsider lowbrow content. That same model destroyed art, literature and theater. Now it’s wiping out the news media. The general public gets cat videos, pop stars and stories about a Republican who said something racist. The insiders get endless analyses that read like a case of college sophomore arrested development accompanied by politically correct spin on the latest trends.
"Insider highbrow content and outsider lowbrow content"? That sounds like the Daily Caller, where right-wing politics shares space with pictures of hot babes. Yet Greenfield, to our knowledge, has not raised any objections to that.
Greenfield tries to end on an overused right-wing slam:
The news media has become just another outlet in the culture war of the left. Its business model can’t be fixed because it isn’t in business to make money, but to indoctrinate. It doesn’t care about the financial bottom line, but about the political bottom line. Its future is boutique journalism funded by liberal billionaires looking to influence policy by subsidizing failed media outlets that would otherwise go on the block for a buck just like Newsweek.
Meanwhile, right-wing journalism is boutique journalism funded by conservative billionaires looking to influence policy by subsidizing failed media outlets that would otherwise go on the block for a buck just like the Washington Times.
Is there “income inequality” in America? Yes, there always has been, but what Obama does not talk about is the “income mobility” that permits low income Americans to secure employment and higher wages when the economy is improving. It is another Big Lie from a President who is wedded to Marxist “solutions” that have never worked.
Caruba seems to have missed the fact that Obama gave an entire speech last month on the subject of income mobility in which, yes, he talked about the system that "permits low income Americans to secure employment and higher wages when the economy is improving." We'll evenhighlight the key word so Caruba can find it easier:
The problem is that alongside increased inequality, we’ve seen diminished levels of upward mobility in recent years. A child born in the top 20 percent has about a 2-in-3 chance of staying at or near the top. A child born into the bottom 20 percent has a less than 1-in-20 shot at making it to the top. He’s 10 times likelier to stay where he is. In fact, statistics show not only that our levels of income inequality rank near countries like Jamaica and Argentina, but that it is harder today for a child born here in America to improve her station in life than it is for children in most of our wealthy allies -- countries like Canada or Germany or France. They have greater mobility than we do, not less.
The idea that so many children are born into poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth is heartbreaking enough. But the idea that a child may never be able to escape that poverty because she lacks a decent education or health care, or a community that views her future as their own, that should offend all of us and it should compel us to action. We are a better country than this.
So let me repeat: The combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American Dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe. And it is not simply a moral claim that I’m making here. There are practical consequences to rising inequality and reduced mobility.
And rising inequality and declining mobility are also bad for our families and social cohesion -- not just because we tend to trust our institutions less, but studies show we actually tend to trust each other less when there’s greater inequality. And greater inequality is associated with less mobility between generations. That means it’s not just temporary; the effects last. It creates a vicious cycle. For example, by the time she turns three years old, a child born into a low-income home hears 30 million fewer words than a child from a well-off family, which means by the time she starts school she’s already behind, and that deficit can compound itself over time.
And finally, rising inequality and declining mobility are bad for our democracy. Ordinary folks can’t write massive campaign checks or hire high-priced lobbyists and lawyers to secure policies that tilt the playing field in their favor at everyone else’s expense. And so people get the bad taste that the system is rigged, and that increases cynicism and polarization, and it decreases the political participation that is a requisite part of our system of self-government.
Caruba also writes:
A President who thinks that extending unemployment compensation “creates jobs” is so out of touch with reality that it should come as no surprise that Obama has the worst record of unemployment rates since the days of the Great Depression in the 1930s.
In fact, no less an authority than the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office agrees with Obama that unemployment compensation boosts the economy because that money is spent in the economy.