There sure is something different about President Obama. Usually, the State of the Union address is a laundry list of proposals spiced with sycophantic applause and dipped in an admixture of boredom and bravado. It is rarely a statement of basic philosophy. Not for President Obama.
President Obama’s State of the Union address was the greatest American rhetorical embrace of fascist trope since the days of Woodrow Wilson. I am not suggesting Obama is a Nazi; he isn’t. I am not suggesting that he is a jackbooted thug; he isn’t (even if we could be forgiven for mistaking Rahm Emanuel for one).
President Obama is, however, a man who embodies all the personal characteristics of a fascist leader, right down to the arrogant chin-up head tilt he utilizes when waiting for applause. He sees democracy as a filthy process that can be cured only by the centralized power of bureaucrats. He sees his presidency as a Hegelian synthesis marking the end of political conflict. He sees himself as embodiment of the collective will. No president should speak in these terms—not in a representative republic. Obama does it habitually.
It would be pointless to discuss at length the dictatorial, demagogic nature of much of Obama’s address—the attacks on the banking system; the unprecedented personal assault on the Supreme Court justices; the dictatorial demands (“I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay”); the scornful looks and high-handed put-downs directed at his political opponents. It would be even more pointless to discuss the incomprehensible stupidity of Obama’s policy proposals. (Export more of our goods? Why didn’t anyone else think of that?)
It is worth examining, however, the deeper philosophy evident from Obama’s address. From the outset, his speech was an ode to himself.
We are not he. The American spirit is not the Obama spirit. America is not defined by our collective desire to bring about political utopia through abdication of representative democracy to a body of “wise pragmatists.” America is defined by Americans—individuals fighting to support their families, to preserve their values and their freedoms. And that Americanism stands in direct opposition not only to the Obama agenda, but also to Obama’s vision of himself.
Horribly Misguided NewsBusters Post Disappears Without Explanation Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 3 NewsBusters post, David Lanza wrote:
Yesterday, The Drudge Report linked to a Reuters story that referred to the Obama administration's plan to impose "backdoor tax increases that will result in a bigger tax bill for middle-class families." Reuters described the rate hikes that will take effect if previous tax cuts are allowed to expire:
While the Reuters' report is fair enough despite the ominous content, the problem arose when Reuters pulled the story later in the day without explanation. (see screencap above at right). Those who browse to the old link find only a brief notice stating that the article was removed and will be replaced later in the week. (The story was reprinted later that day by Power Line blog, which provides the source for the above quoted portion.)
A major wire story detailing large tax increases on the middle class during an election year would seem to be big news. Yet scarcely an eye was batted when this story disappeared. The administration can ill afford to be seen as raising taxes on the middle class during a recession when the President's Congressional majority is already imperilled. Reuters should be made to explain why this story disappeared.
As Media Matters detailed, Reuters did explain why it pulled the story -- because it's false. Its claim that the Obama would not extend the Bush tax credits for those making under $250,000 is not true. A Reuters sppokesman is quoted as saying, "It definitely was not up to our standards. It had significant errors of fact." Even the conservative American Enterprise Institute pointed out the article's "appalling inaccuracies."
How did NewsBusters react to Lanza's post getting shot down in such a definitive fashion? It deleted the post entirely -- it's been replaced by an "Access denied" alert. But never fear, here's a copy of it as it appeared at the OutLoudOpinion site:
Despite the post being live for several hours, NewsBusters has not posted an explanation of why it was removed or apologized for the errors in it.
To put it another way: NewsBusters did to Lanza's post what Lanza (falsely) accused Reuters of doing. Shouldn't NewsBusters follow Reuters' example and explain to its readers why it deleted Lanza's post?
New Article: WorldNetDaily's Totally Positive Tea Party Topic: WorldNetDaily
Despite numerous controversies regarding it, WND is not going to report anything negative about the tea party convention at which editor Joseph Farah just happens to be speaking. Read more >>
Newsmax's Patten Rushes to Beck's Defense Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax managing editor David Patten has thrown himself into defending Glenn Beck from Arianna Huffington -- and getting numerous facts wrong in the process.
In a Feb. 1 article, Patten uncritically repeated Fox News president Roger Ailes' response to Huffington's criticism of Beck's inflammatory rhetoric -- specifically referending Beck's statement that "They are taking you to a place to be slaughtered" -- that "Beck was referring to massacres by Hitler and Stalin." In fact, Beck is clearly referring to the Obama administration.
Patten also asserted that Ailes "rattled off several examples of aspersions that Huffington had published about Ailes on her blog." In fact, Huffington did not make those statements herself, as Patten suggests; they were made by other bloggers at Huffington Post, and there's no evidence that Huffington played any role in approving them -- highly unlikely given the hundreds of posts that are made every day by HuffPo's numerous unpaid bloggers.
Patten followed up with a Feb. 2 article asserting that Beck and Huffington were "accusing the other of distorting the truth." But Patten does his own share of distortion as well by uncritically repeating Beck's assertion that Huffington is claming that Beck was speaking literally when he said "They are taking you to a place to be slaughtered" and that he was merely referring to the economy.
Patten ignores that Beck has offered ever-shifting explanations for his "slaughtering" remark -- at one point even denying he said it -- and Huffington has said that the point of her criticism is Beck's language is inflammatory whether or not it's a metaphor.
A Feb. 1 WorldNetDaily article by Art Moore declared the "Muslim Mafia" case "The First Amendment case the media refuse to cover," asserting that a lawsuit filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations against WND-published "Muslim Mafia" co-author David Gaubatz, whose son apparently violated confidentiality agreements by acting as a mole inside CAIR to pilfer documents "has been virtually ignored by mainstream media." dutifully quoting lawyer for the defense Daniel Horowitz as claiming that CAIR's lawsuit "has no chance of producing damages, but it is damaging simply as it chills the First Amendment rights of defendants."
Hmmmm... where have we heard this before? Oh, yes, now we remember.
A November 2006 WND article by Bob Unruh declared that the national media was "ignoring" a "$165 million lawsuit filed against WND and two freelance writers who wrote a comprehensive series exposing Al Gore's record of corruption in Tennessee during the 2000 presidential campaign," which "would smash any judgment that has ever held up in such a court proceeding." Unruh followed up with a February 2008 article quoting WND's attorney, Larry Parrish, as stating, "If what WorldNetDaily did is subject to being the basis for a libel judgment, investigative reporting will just come to a complete halt."WND editor Joseph Farah is quoted as saying that "the largest defamation case in the history of the United States has not been reported anywhere outside of the news agency involved."
Eight days after that last article, WND -- after fighting the libel and defamation lawsuit filed by Clark Jones for seven years -- abruptly settled the suit shortly before it was to go to trial by admitting that "no witness verifies the truth of what the witnesses are reported by authors to have stated" about Jones, and that "no document has been discovered that provides any verification that the statements written were true."
Given WND's legal history, plus the fact that Gaubatz's defense against the CAIR lawsuit is centered around proving that the confidentiality agreement signed by Gaubatz's son as part of working at CAIR -- which Horowitz has refused to explicitly deny -- is meaningless because CAIR changed its legal name at one point, we're not exactly rushing to give WND the benefit of the doubt here.
Is Newsmax Now Rehabilitating Fossella? Topic: Newsmax
Has Newsmax found another subject for its yet-to-be-proven conservative reputation rehabilitation program?
A Feb. 1 Newsmax article (and accompanying video) is dedicated to the views of former Republican Rep. Vito Fossella on. The article describes Fossella as "A popular congressman who served five terms," and in the video, anchor Ashley Martella describes him as "the only Republican in Congress from New York City" who "had very high scores for his votes from the American Conservative Union," and even touts rumors that he might run again.
What Newsmax and Martella don't mention is the scandal that forced Fossella from office in the first place (and explains Fossella's eagerness to shoot down Martella's suggestion he would run again anytime soon).
In May 2008, Fossella was picked up for drunken driving outside Washington. This ultimately led to the revelation that Fossella had a mistress in Washington (who picked him up from jail after the DUI arrest) and fathered a child with her. It was only after that became public that Fossella decided not to seek re-election. Fossella ultimately served two weekends in jail on the DUI charge.
Newsmax failed miserably with its attempted rehab of Bernard Kerik, and its rehab experiment on Ralph Reed is unproven. Is Newsmax really ready to take on the task of sprucing up another disgraced conservative?
NewsBusters has been on a roll of stupidity lately.
A Feb. 2 post by Tim Graham takes Arianna Huffington to task for taking Fox News to task for Glenn Beck's inflammatory rhetoric. In response, Graham cites his little report on inflammatory rhetoric at HuffPo, which, as we've detailed, could come with only 19 out of the thousands upon thousands of blog posts there as examples.
Also, an unpaid blogger is different from a TV host with a multi-million-dollar contract, as Eric Boehlert put it: "Newsbusters thinks Arianna Huffington personally approves every one of the thousands of blog posts that get published on her site? Somebody please explain blogging to Tim Graham."
(On a related subject, Jeff Poor falsely portrays HuffPo blogger Bill Mann, author of one unflattering statement about Fox News, as "Huffington Post's TV-Radio critic." In fact, he writes for another website, and his HuffPo blogging, like that of nearly every other blogger at HuffPo (including us), is unpaid.
Meanwhile, Jamison Foser points out Brent Baker's lack of comprehension in his Feb. 1 portrayal of NBC's and ABC's reporting CBO budget projections as the "presumptions" of NBC and ABC. As Foser states, Baker demonstrates an "inability to understand the difference between assuming something and reporting someone else's assumptions."
Newsmax Cruise Features Obama Fabricator Topic: Newsmax
The upcoming Newsmax cruise includes the usual suspects as" guest speakers" -- Christopher Ruddy, Dick Morris and Ronald Kessler, as well as rehabilitation subject Ralph Reed. One name caught our eye, though: James Humes, who will give a talk about Winston Churchill.
You may recall that last March, Humes wrote a Newsmax column in which he asserted that President Obama said of a bust of Churchill in the Oval Office, "Get that goddam thing out of here." In fact, there's no credible record of Obama ever saying such a thing. Nevertheless, Humes anted up with a ugly smear suggesting that Obama "took umbrage at Prime Minister Churchill’s actions in 1953 of wiping out the Mau-Mau, the Kenyan terrorists who made a specialty of slitting throats of sleeping white and Black Kenyans."
After Humes was caught in the fabrication, his column was quietly altered to concede that "the story was never fully substantiated, despite frequent repetition on radio talk shows" -- but, again, Humes offered no evidence that any radio talk show forwarded the claim at all, let alone "frequently." (The Mau-Mau smear, meanwhile, remained intact.)
It says a lot about Newsmax that it has rewarded the purveyor of this kind of hate and mendacity with the free cruise he's presumably getting for being a "guest speaker."
On the morning of Feb. 2, the Newsmax front page carried this promo:
But the Associated Press article to which the promo links doesn't claim that Obama will raise taxes on "working couples" or "successful business owners." Rather, it states that Obama's budget "would also impose nearly $1 trillion in higher taxes on couples making more than $250,000 and individuals making more than $200,000 by not renewing Bush-era tax cuts for them. Obama would extend tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush for families and individuals making less."
The article also states that Obama would "increase taxes on U.S. companies with major overseas operations, and plans to increase taxes on oil and gas companies." The budget would also "Change the way profits made by investment fund managers are taxed, raising an additional $24 billion over the next decade." Is Newsmax pretending that multinational conglomerates known for creative ways of evading taxes are nothing more than small businesses?
Marylou Barry's Feb. 2 WorldNetDaily column, headlined "Rules for living in my country," is an incredibly condescending screed that, though she doesn't use the word, is clearly anti-Muslim:
So, then, let's go over some of the principles our first two centuries of immigrants intuitively understood and that many of today's immigrants, for some reason, apparently do not. I don't mean to insult you by belaboring the obvious, but better too much clarity now than a big surprise for both of us down the road.
You cannot own people here. This includes domestic servants and family members. You cannot beat or mutilate your children. You cannot force, threaten, or sell them into arranged marriages. You cannot keep adult relatives from marrying the people they choose, getting jobs, or moving out of your house. You cannot hold your employees captive, beat or rape them, or refuse to pay agreed-upon wages. It took us 200 years to get rid of institutionalized slavery, and we are not about to reinstate it because one of your holy men thinks it's acceptable behavior.
You cannot kill people here. Not your wife. Not your children. Not your grandchildren. Not people who question your honor or hurt your feelings. Not people who quit your religion. Not people of other faiths or ethnicities whom you regard as apes, pigs, monkeys, or dogs.
You cannot take over our lawful institutions and subvert them to you own purposes. If you are a communist and want to overthrow our government, we don't want you. We have enough of our own, so try Cuba or China. If you are a Nazi sympathizer we don't want you either; a Middle Eastern country may be more to your liking anyway. If you are coming here to convert us to any ideology that abrogates our dignity or freedom, don't even get off the plane. We don't care what it says in your holy book; we are not here for you to colonize.
You need to ask questions before you accept employment. If your belief system requires a special place to bathe your feet or time off to pray at work, tell your employer before you hire on. If you are going to refuse to work next to a person of the opposite sex or refuse to perform some required function of the job, your interview is the time to make this plain. Come to think of it, before you leave your country of origin would be even better. It would also give you more time to find an employer willing to make special accommodations, not an easy sell in these times of strong competition and 10 percent unemployment. Just remember that U.S. companies are under no obligation to adapt to your newfound needs after hiring has taken place.
You get only one wife. If that's not enough, it's called bigamy -- and you would be subject to state laws regarding that particular felony. Some states also have laws against cohabitation, which is the legal definition of what you would be doing. Also, please note that the rest of us do not intend to support any surplus "spouses" with our tax money through entitlement programs.
Only one wife? Better kick out those fundamentalist Mormons, then. And arguing against colonization by religion seems to also rule out Christian evangelism, which, as a self-proclaimed "Christian Zionist," she presumably has no problem being done by Americans in other countries. And you can't hold your employees captive? Guess Wal-Mart is getting kicked out too.
But Barry doesn't just despise brown people -- it's all foreigners that give her the heebie-jeebies:
Still want to come here after knowing these things? As you may have heard, right now we are full up. If, however, someday we manage to elect a government with the intestinal fortitude to find and deport an estimated 10-20 million illegal intruders and overstayers, and if we determine that the loyalty and skills you have to offer could benefit our already great nation, then there might be a place for you here.
And, it seems, if one's skin isn't quite so dark...
Kinsolving Spreads Lie in White House Question Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 1 WorldNetDaily article documents the questions longtime right-wingtoady Les Kinsolving asked at that day's White House press briefing. The second question Kinsolving asked is based on a lie: "There have been news reports that the president's nominee for EEOC commissioner, Chai Feldblum, and the ACLU support the acceptance of polygamy. Does the president believe our armed forces should begin recruiting polygamists?"
In fact, as we've detailed when WND first started peddling this lie, Feldblum has never endorsed polygamy.
BMI, Hedgecock Peddle Obama-Toyota Conspiracy Topic: Media Research Center
There's a new conspiracy making the rounds: President Obama forced the recall of millions of Toyota vehicles in order to tarnish the competition and boost General Motors and Chrysler vehicles, which the government is bailing out.
A Jan. 29 MRC Business & Media Institute article by Jeff Poor approvingly highlighted the remarks of Republican Rep. Jeff Sessions hinting at such a conspiracy:
Sessions expressed his concern over that possibility and noted the amount of money the federal government had recently pumped into GMAC, the auto financing arm of General Motors.
“Well, you know – we were in until late last night and I hadn’t heard that,” Sessions said. “I worry about those kind of things. I worry about Ford working hard and having to compete against the federal government. With an unlimited – they just gave $3 billion more to GMAC. The President’s got to be careful here. He can not be playing politics and union politics or regional politics with the economy of this country.”
Since Toyota (NYSE:TM) announced the recall, the shares of the auto manufacturer have dropped more than 15 percent in the last seven trading sessions, down $2.10 on Jan. 28 after a $7.01 slide the day before.
Roger Hedgecock followed up by wholeheartedly embracing the conspiracy in his Feb. 1 WorldNetDaily column:
Disclosure: My family drives Toyota cars (a Prius and a Lexus SUV), and we have never had a problem with these excellent products. On our cars (and every other Toyota vehicle I've seen), the floor mats are firmly secured by hooks and cannot interfere with the gas pedal. And the gas pedal works just as it should – press down and the car moves faster. Ease up and the car slowly decelerates.
Nonetheless, Toyota faces a perfect storm from SUA. But is government "greed" a factor here? As a co-owner of Toyota rivals GM and Chrysler, is the Obama administration and its jihad against Toyota "consumer protection" or revenge against a successful, non-union, red state based rival? Given what Rahm Emanuel said about crisis as an opportunity to "advance the agenda," this question deserves closer attention.
A year ago, Toyota was riding high. With non-union manufacturing plants in Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Indiana, Toyota made the most popular and most highly regarded vehicles in the U.S. Rivals GM and Chrysler were imploding, and the president stepped in with massive taxpayer cash infusions and took over these companies as joint ventures between the federal government and the UAW.
Hedgecock goes on to falsly claim that the Pontiac Vibe is not on the recall list, even though it's a twin of the recalled Toyota Matrix. In fact, the Vibe is on the NHTSA recall list.
Given that one of Hedgecock's cars (the Prius) is on the recall list, we wonder if he will refuse to get it fixed just to spite Obama. Does he drive the Prius himself, or does he make his wife or child drive it?
He's also curiously mum about the fact that at least 24 deaths and hundreds of injuries are connected to the Toyota problems -- sticky accelerators and accelerators getting trapped under floor mats.
Is Hedgecock so conspiratorial that he's willing to put himself and his family at risk of injury just to prove a point? We shall see.
Meanwhile ... Topic: Media Research Center
The Washington Independent's David Weigel catches the Media Research Center's Tim Graham whining that a Washington Post article about conservatives uses the word "conservative" a lot.
WND Falsely Portrays Judicial Watch Study Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Jan. 29 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh falsely portrayed a Judicial Watch mini-attack on the use of Air Force aircraft by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, repeatedly portraying the $2 million spent on the flights as solely for the benefit of Pelosi and her family. In fact, the amount covers congressional delegations arranged by Pelosi's office.
Since Unruh was rewriting a Judicial Watch press release, he ignores the same things that Judicial Watch does -- namely, that Republican Dennis Hastert arranged similar CODELs when he was House speaker, that Republicans also went on the Pelosi-arranged CODELs, that Republicans were permitted to bring their wives on some of these trips, and that members of Pelosi's family who make use of the aircraft are obligated to reimburse the government for it.
Meanwhile, over at NewsBusters, Noel Sheppard similarly misportrayed the flights as being for the benefit of Pelosi only.
MRC Still Misportraying Quote About Kennedy Topic: WorldNetDaily
The Media Research Center clearly won't be issuing an apology to Charles Pierce anytime soon.
In a Feb. 1 NewsBusters post, Brent Baker writes of Boston Globe writer Charles Pierce:
Pierce is infamous for his 2003 Globe Magazine tribute to Ted Kennedy in which he ludicrously postulated: “If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.”
As we've documented, the MRC has repeatedly taken Pierce's statement out of context, portraying it as praise of Kennedy when, in fact, it's a criticism.
Baker goes on to describe Pierce as "cocky" and declare Pierce's book "Idiot America" "denigrat[ed] Sarah Palin, amongst others."
It took the MRC nine years to apologize for misleadingly stringing together quotes from Howell Raines' book and falsely portray them. Looks like Pierce has at least another two years to go before he gets his well-deserved apology.