MRC Admits Social Security-Ponzi Scheme Is Bogus -- But Runs With It Anyway Topic: Media Research Center
Slavishly toeing the conservative line, the Media Research Center has embraced the erroneous idea that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme -- so much so that it lashes out anyone who proves otherwise.
That's what Clay Waters did in a Sept. 13 MRC TimesWatch post. He dismissed a New York Times blog post debunking the Social Security-Ponzi scheme comparison as a "liberally slanted fact check" by "two liberal reporters." Waters makes no attempt to disprove the fact-check -- thus conceding the factual basis that there is no connection -- but declares that the reporters are stupid for clinging to silly facts because the bogus comparison works as a talking point for right-wingers:
[Reporters Michael] Cooper and [Nicholas] Confessore seem unable to conceive that “Ponzi Scheme” is a (potent) metaphor for the unsustainable state of Social Security’s current financing trajectory (one that liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews has also recently employed), meaninglessly faulting Perry for his comparison not being an exact match in all particulars.
But, again, Waters offers no evidence that it matches up at all. In other words, winning a political argument matters more to Waters than the truth.
Another Dubious Islam 'Expert' Linked to WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've already noted how WorldNetDaily attempted to discredit Walid Shoebat for exposing holes in his past as a self-proclaimed former terrorist while giving presentations to law enforcement groups as a so-called expert on Islamic terrorism who engages in little more than Muslim-bashing. Now another dubious terrorism "expert" has WND ties as well.
Wired's Danger Room blog details how an FBI intelligence analyst named William Gawthrop has created Muslim-bashing research used in counterterrorism briefings for law enforcement. Before he joined the FBI, a 2006 WND article reported how Gawthrop said that the Pentagon has never conducted "a 'systematic study' of Muhammad's military doctrine" since "Muhammad's mindset is a source for terrorism," and that"hitting "soft spots" in the Islamic faith that, once exploited, "may induce a deteriorating cascade effect upon the target." But first, according to WND, Gawthrop said that "officials must first overcome the political taboo of linking Islamic violence to the religion of Islam."
Wired notes that such simplistic elevating of cherry-picked Quran verses is as useful a guide to terrorist behavior as “diving into the rite of exorcism” is to understanding Catholicism.
CNS Puts Words In Obama's Mouth Again Topic: CNSNews.com
A Sept. 16 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas carries the headline "Obama Predicts: His Plan Will Cost $235,263 Per Job." But Obama never said that.
What he did say, according to Lucas:
“It’s estimated that the American Jobs Act would add two percentage points to the GDP, and add as many as 1.9 million jobs, and bring the unemployment rate down by a full percentage point,” Obama said, according to the official White House transcript of his remarks.
Lucas then performs a bit of crude math: "$447 billion divided by 1.9 million equals approximately $235,263."
This isn't the first time CNS has portrayed Obama as saying things he did not say. In 2009, CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey asserted that Obama "referred to American opponents of amnesty for illegal aliens as 'demagogues'" when, in fact, Obama was discussing a "pathway for legalization" for illegal immigrants -- something for which Jeffrey provided no evidence is "amnesty" -- and never used the word "amnesty."
Similarly, Jeffrey claimed that then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid supported a bill "that would include giving amnesty to illegal aliens" when Reid never used the word "amnesty."
Christopher Ruddy takes a surprisingly moderate view of George Soros in his Sept. 15 Newsmax column, declaring that "he’s neither evil nor completely liberal. He is, in my mind, a liberal partisan whose own political views don’t fit neatly into any box." But he also writes this:
Despite the fact Soros has billions — an estimated fortune of $14.5 billion — he cannot determine elections at will, as 2004 and 2008 proved.
I have found that when billionaires like Soros attempt to influence matters, they often create an “equal and opposite“ reaction from others in the political system.
We saw that effect in 2010 when wealthy Republicans contributed hundreds of millions to help the GOP take back the House.
Ruddy doesn't admit it, but he knows whereof he speaks when he talks about "billionaires like Soros" who "attempt to influence matters" -- after all, that's what Newsmax owes its existence to. Conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife -- for whom Ruddy worked as a reporter for the Scaife-owned Pittsburgh Tribune-Review -- contributed money to the startup of Newsmax, and by 2002 was its third-largest shareholder. Scaife and Ruddy are the sole owners of Newsmax.
But Newsmax was but one arm of Scaife's anti-Clinton operation in the 1990s; he donated millions to right-wing, anti-Clinton causes, including to anti-Clinton (and now anti-Obama) group Judicial Watch.
It can be argued that Scaife's aggressive funding of anti-Clinton causes -- including Newsmax -- helped lead to “equal and opposite“ reaction from liberals, culminating in the election of Barack Obmaa as president in 2008. Again, don't expect Ruddy to mention that.
Richard Bartholomew catches WorldNetDaily's latest reader-fleecing scheme: selling a "9-11 / 10th Anniversary “NEVER FORGET” Challenge Coin." Turns out you can buy the coin a lot cheaper directly from its manufacturer, without WND's significant markup.
WND loves taking its readers for everything it can.
Posted by Terry K.
at 10:25 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 17, 2011 10:26 AM EDT
CNS Rewrites AP Headline To Claim Obama Wants Amnesty For "Illegal Aliens" Topic: CNSNews.com
President Obama gave a speech last night at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's Awards Gala, and the Associated Press write-up of the event led with Obama saying his jobs package "would put more money in the pockets of Latino workers and business owners and increase opportunities for Hispanics." It carried the headline "Obama pushes jobs plan as help for Hispanics."
That headline apparently wasn't exciting enough -- or sufficiently disparaging of Obama -- for CNSNews.com. Its version of the AP article carries the headline "Obama Renews Call for Amnesty for Illegal Aliens," with the original headline relegated to a subhead:
CNS made no changes to the AP article itself; rather, it decided to ignore the AP's lead and interpret a statement later in the article that Obama "remained determined to pass a rewrite the nation's immigration laws to offer a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants" as calling for "amnesty" for "illegal aliens."
Neither "amnesty" nor "illegal aliens" appears in the AP article, and the AP Stylebook rejects the use of "illegal alien," preferring the term "illegal immigrant" instead.
CNS regularly declares anything faintly resembling immigration reform to be "amnesty" -- which is a loaded term that influences people to oppose immigration reform.
CNS likes to add a right-wing reinterpretation of AP headlines to AP articles on its site, particularly when immigration issues are involved. Last month, it changed an AP article headline from "US makes criminals priority for deportation" to "Obama Administration Grants De Facto Amnesty to Many Illegal Immigrants."
In July, it changed the AP headline "AP sources: Obama ends talks brusquely" to "Obama Showboats His Way Out of Debt-Limit Talks."
WND's Farah Still Can't Take Criticism Topic: WorldNetDaily
You'd think that after all these years working in the media, Joseph Farah wouldn't be so thin-skinned about criticism. But he is, with all the petulance we've come to expect from him.
In a Sept. 13 WorldNetDaily column even he admits he's "probably better off not writing," Farah takes radio host Michael Medved to task for criticizing WND on his show ... in May. Farah only caught it last week, when the show was rebroadcast. Farah takes his usual potshots, noting that Medved once "toiled for the site as a weekly columnist – a position from which he was terminated for lack of interest by the public" and that "years after, Medved called both me and my wife, Elizabeth, to tell us, in his words, that I was the most ethical businessman he had ever worked with in his life."
Conspicuously missing from Farah's column is any direct quote of anything Medved said -- it's all paraphrase except for a single word, Medved's use of "WorldNutDaily." That evasion gives Farah license to set up straw men of Medved that he can easily knock down.
Farah then writes, "Everybody in show business or promoting a book needs a gimmick – even if it means ad hominem attacks and name-calling." You know, just like Farah.
But Farah wasn't done bashing his critics. He demonstrated he can hold a grudge for a needlessly long period of time on his Sept. 14 column, in which takes glee in how a the life of former critic has turned out more than a decade after said criticism was made.
In a 1999 column about right-wing attempts -- led by Farah -- to downplay the death of Matthew Shepard by bringing up Jesse Dirkhising, a 13-year-old boy who died as a result of sexual abuse at the hands of two homosexuals, Then-Washington Post columnist E.R. Shipp pointed out that the Post gave more coverage to Shepard's death because it "parked public expressions of outrage that themselves became news. That Jesse Dirkhising’s death has not done so is hardly the fault of The Washington Post," adding that "those who are inclined to believe the David Dukes, Joseph Farahs and Tim Grahams of the world – who have asserted that the story has been suppressed so that homosexuals won't be portrayed negatively – will not be satisfied."
Farah is still raging over that comparison:
To this day, I still don't know who Tim Graham is, but I do know who David Duke is. I didn't like the implication that association made then, and I don't like it any better today. Shipp, whose claim to fame is winning a Pulitzer Prize for commentary while with the New York Times, knows that association with David Duke is the coward's way of calling someone a bigot, a racist, a Ku Klux Klansman.
(Really? Farah is completely unfamiliar with one of the leading figures in right-wing media criticism? Or does Farah have a petty grudge against too?)
Needless to say, this all leads up to mean-spirited potshots against Shipp and what she has done since leaving the Post:
For a few years, Shipp served as a professor of journalism at Hofstra University.
You can see just how popular she was among her students.
Here are a few of the more polite and printable adjectives students used to describe her classroom demeanor: rude, condescending, belittling, unprofessional, unhappy, nasty, awful, horrible, terrible, arrogant.
Some also described her as the "worst teacher ever." One said he was "shocked that anyone would hire her." Another said she "learned nothing" in the class, while another student described the experience of taking her class as a "waste of money." There was not a single favorable comment on this faculty rating site. Not one – not even a neutral characterization.
She left Hofstra in 2008 for whereabouts unknown.
Farah also dips his toe into the Shepard revisionism pool, claiming he was killed "apparently by monsters who knew nothing about his sexual proclivities." That's the story one of the killers wants you believe now, in contradiction of all the evidence indicating otherwise, like his gay-panic defense during his murder trial.
Farah doesn't explain how Shipp's purported fate is somehow worse than his own -- doomed to fleece his readers by running a truth-challenged, conspiracy-obsessed website.
MRC's Gainor Uses Bad Math to Bash Obama Topic: Media Research Center
Dan Gainor writes in a Sept. 15 MRC Business & Media Institute post (and CNSNews.com item):
The Washington Post might be a day late and $38 billion short, but it's being honest about Barack Obama's failed green jobs program. According to the Post, the "$38.6 billion loan guarantee program" has created just "3,545 new, permanent jobs" "after giving out almost half the allocated amount."
For those not doing the math at home, that means more than $5 million per job.
Only, not so much. As former White House economist Jared Bernstein details, the government didn't actually spend $38.6 billion on the loan guarantee program -- that assumes that all the loans will go bad, an extremely unlikely occurrence. The actual cost of bad loans that will result in the government covering for them will likely end up being under $5 billion, which Bernstein points out "gets you into a much more reasonable neighborhood re bang-for-buck."
WND Joins The Chaz Bono Freakout Topic: WorldNetDaily
Apparently feeling outgunned by the Media Research Center on the Chaz Bono freakoutbeat, WorldNetDaily called in the heavy anti-gay artillery for some Bono-bashing: the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer. And he delivers his hate in a Sept. 13 WND column:
Chaz Bono is not a "he," Chaz Bono is a "she." She is a "she" in every single cell of her body and will be until the day she dies. Her DNA from the moment of conception was indisputably female, and it will always be female.
No amount of surgical mutilation and hormone injections can change that. God designed her to be a female, and a female she will be for the rest of her life.
The bottom line here is that, according to America's mental-health professionals, Chaz Bono is a mentally disturbed individual.
Chaz Bono needs to be helped, not lionized. She needs restorative therapy rather than stardom. She needs to become a patient, not a celebrity.
Anyone who cares genuinely about people will want that for her. No one who loves people would want anyone to be stuck in the swamp of pathologies that accompany such a disorder. When individuals are so mentally unsettled that they start cutting body parts off themselves, it's time to get them some help.
And it is possible for an individual like Chaz to reconcile her psychological identity with her biological identity.
Fischer goes on to cite Fox News' Dr. Keith Ablow as a supposed authority -- but even Ablow's fellow Fox Newsers want nothing to do with his attack on Bono. Fox host Megyn Kelly told Ablow that "you seem to be adding to the hate," later saying that Ablow's remarks were "irresponsible and dangerous."
It's all too appropriate that the anti-gay WND turned to one of the most virulent gay-haters out there to peddle more hate.
A Sept. 14 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers and Ashley Martella is devoted to peddling "Narcissist Nation: Reflections of a Blue-State Conservative," a new book by George Marlin, whom Meyers and Martella baselessly describe as "one of the country’s most influential conservatives." The authors quote Marlin saying that "Obama uses the ‘I’ word more than all the presidents have used it collectively in the 200 and some-odd years of our nation."
That's not even close to being true. Author James Pennebaker, unlike Marlin, has done some actual pronoun-counting:
Toward the end of his penetrating new book, “The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us,” Pennebaker crunches the numbers on presidential press conferences since Truman and finds that “Obama has distinguished himself as the lowest I-word user of any of the modern presidents.” If anything, Obama has shown a disdain for the first-person singular during his administration.
“Why,” Pennebaker wonders, “do very smart people think just the opposite?” He chalks it up the selective way we process information: “If we think that someone is arrogant, our brains will be searching for evidence to confirm our beliefs.” If we’re predisposed to look for clues that Obama is all about “me me me,” then every “me” he utters takes on outsize importance in our impressionistic view of his speechifying.
Thus, it seems that the central premise of Marlin's book has been discredited. We someone don't think Newsmax will be terribly interested in reporting that.
Why Is WND Hiding That Central Birther Premise Has Been Demolished? Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Sept. 11 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi makes a big deal out of "an authentic Hawaii Department of Health long-form birth certificate issued in 1961" as a way to attack Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate. But it appears that Corsi is hiding a crucial fact about that certificate.
The Obama Conspiracy blog is reporting that the "authentic" certificate Corsi is citing as a lower certificate number than Obama's despite being dated 19 days later. One of Corsi's major arguments to support the idea that Obama's certificate is a fake, as he detailed in an April 27 article, is that it was out of order from a pair of birth certificates known as the Nordyke twins.
Corsi asked: "how was it possible that the Nordyke twins had their birth certificates accepted by the registrar general in Hawaii three days later than the registrar general accepted Obama's birth certificate, when the twins' numbers are lower than Obama's number?" The answer, of course, is that more than one person was processing birth certificates in the Hawaii Department of Health office -- but that is too simple a answer for Corsi, who instead felt the need to blow it up into a conspiracy.
Speaking of conspiracies, it seems WND has engaged in a conspiracy of silence over this revelation. Obama Consipracy reports that WND originally posted the "authentic" birth certificate with its number faintly displayed, but later substituted it with a version with the number completely blanked out.
John Woodman, who has recently released a book debunking the claims of Corsi and other birthers (which, of course, Corsi and WND have studiously ignored so far), has the incriminating screenshots on his blog.
Any chance Corsi and WND will come clean about their deception? Don't count on it -- peddling birther conspiracies is how WND makes its money these days, and debunking one of its own conspiracies is not in its business model.
MRC's Transgender Freakout, Part 2 Topic: Media Research Center
Last week's freakout at the existence of transgendered person Chaz Bono -- and worse, his appearance on "Dancing With the Stars" -- by the Media Research Center's Erin R. Brown was duplicated by her boss, Brent Bozell, in his Sept. 9 column.
Bozell declared that ABC chosen Bono to join the "DWTS" cast "because she’s well-known as an “LGBT” activist, with an emphasis on the 'T,'" and that he's joined on the show by "Carson Kressley, the most lecherous member of the old show 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.'" We didn't know Bozell kept track of that show's lechery level with such an eye for detail.
Like his dutiful employee, Bozell is appalled by Bono's mere existence:
This is Bono’s year of media activism, complete with a book last spring called “Transition” (promoted all over the “news” channels) and a promotional one-hour Oprah Winfrey Network special called “Becoming Chaz,” hailed as the story of a “valiant struggle of a sensitive individual to become who he really is.”
Nowhere in any of this celebration is the hard reality. Despite her low voice, and her sideburns, and her awful decision to amputate her own breasts, “Chaz” remains a woman. It’s ridiculous for ABC to argue children won’t be confused by this political-correctness crusade. The entire “transgender” propaganda movement is confused. Indeed, there is a new sexual category to go alongside G, L, B, and T – “Q” for questioning.
ABC and the rest of the media universe can do all the pretending they want, but that’s not going to make Chaz a real male.
Apparently, like Brown, Bozell thinks transgenders should be hidden away, with nobody allowed to speak of their existence.
You won't hear me complain that Obama is taking his 17th vacation in the last two-and-half years.
You won't hear me suggest it sends a bad signal to the millions of Americans hurting economically – many of whom haven't been able to afford a single, modest vacation since Obama took office.
And you certainly won't hear me suggest that Obama is somehow needed in Washington to deal with a multitude of crises, especially the economy he has ravaged.
There's an old adage in Washington that the only time the country is safe is when Congress is out of session. With a president who thinks he's a legislator and a lawmaker, one who signs executive orders like Derek Jeter signs autographs, the nation is indeed safer when Obama is on an extended holiday.
We should be grateful the man has no work ethic. Just imagine the damage he would have done to the country if he did. For heaven's sake, he has turned the country into an economic basket case working part time!
The fact is, I wouldn't care if Obama was a Muslim if he weren't such an arrogant, lazy, snotty, lying socialist. So far as I can tell, he doesn't prostrate himself and pray to Mecca five times a day, and I can't quite picture him turning up his nose at a bacon cheeseburger. It's all the things he does do that make him such a pain in the butt.
Israel, thanks to the so-called "Arab Spring" so welcomed by our pro-Muslim President Barack Hussein Obama, is now surrounded by Arab states, like Egypt, that are even more hostile to the Jewish and Christian people.
To those who still think they're liberals, but who have nonetheless concluded that President Obama couldn't pour beer out of a boot with the instructions printed on its heel, I would ask: Are you really going to continue to yowl about Bush and Cheney and Halliburton as we tumble over the falls? Can you not put aside blind party loyalty and parroted catty quips aimed at Michele Bachmann and Glenn Beck long enough to realize that it is an ideology, not a party, that threatens that which we all hold dear?
Because if you really believe that hard-line socialism isn't about to overtake us, or that it is in fact an appropriate alternative for America, then you're either deluded, stupid, or evil.
It is, however, a reality that must be recognized and dealt with as we approach a United Nation's General Assembly meeting this month, which – to futher Arab interests – is bent on creating a Palestinian state on the West Bank. While our "mullah in chief," Barack Hussein Obama, has said that the United States will veto any such resolution, this "commitment" is not convincing in the long term. For Obama's support of Israel at the U.N. is simply by political necessity at this time, since his poll numbers are dismal and he needs to hold support in the American Jewish community to have any chance of being re-elected in 2012. Over the longer term, Obama and his band of self-hating Jewish leftist/socialist advisers in the White House, are bent not only on the destruction of the Jewish state, but the advancement of Muslim interests domestically and around the world. Having been born to a Muslim Kenyan father, the president is a Muslim according to Islamic law, and he certainly has shown these sympathies over the last few years – including a widely viewed YouTube clip showing a Freudian slip to ABC's George Stephanopoulos, where Obama seemingly admitted that he is of the "Muslim faith."
You would think the man who is president would be the leader in reminding Americans of what happened and would make certain we know all the details of that terrible day and their ramifications.
But then, we're not dealing with a traditional president. Barack Obama does not operate in a manner of patriotism that most Americans expect of a president and, quite frankly, are accustomed to seeing.
We expect the man who is president to put this nation first.
We expect him to honor and revere our history, our present and our future.
We expect him to be aware of our enemies and to make it a priority, for our future and safety, to locate them and wipe them out when they have attacked us and to use all means possible to prevent further incursions on our territory and freedoms.
But expectations are not reality, and the reality of today is quite different.
The man who is president, Barack Obama, has made it an ongoing practice during his term in office to diminish this country, what it stands for, what it has accomplished and its standing among other nations.
Barack Obama is so immersed in his political ideology that he cannot even speak the word "terrorists." He will not name the enemy, their identity or their goal.
Barack Obama apparently wants us to believe that everyone is a target of some amorphous group that he can't even call an "enemy."
For years, we've seen the machinations of such plans advanced by socialists. Inner plans: Convince us that they advocate for equity and brotherhood, when in fact they're the most bigoted among us. Assemble all of the stupid, the ugly, the perverted, the lazy, and enroll them into institutionalized resentment and ignorance, then mobilize them politically. Regulate and legislate medicine to the point where health care is so expensive that citizens welcome government intervention. Tax businesses to the point where they cannot afford to pay workers a living wage, nor take sufficient profit to continue operation. Sabotage major markets to stultify the economy in the aggregate, thereby proliferating widespread destitution, fear and anger. The list goes on.
The external plan: A socialist America.
Is there a cabal of black activists meeting with President Obama and high-level administration operatives to orchestrate these occurrences? I can't say for sure, but as with Cloward-Piven, it certainly would make sense, and we've seen that nothing is beneath these people. In the end, it doesn't much matter, because political operatives know how to interpret signals; many radical factions construed Obama's election as license to broaden and augment their influence. That process has only progressed, since his administration showed no inclination to condemn nor curtail their actions.
President Obama is strongly implicated. Apparently his aim is to put maximum pressure on Israel to retreat to the indefensible cease-fire lines of 1949, as he has openly demanded. While Americans are distracted by the election campaign, the administration is running an international pressure play. Stage magicians do it by misdirection. Obama does it the same way. Stage a big Jimmy Hoffa headline in Michigan, and push the Turks to provoke Israel on the same day.