The Republican book on President Obama is that his foreign policy, like everything else he has done, is a disaster. Don't tell that to Christopher Ruddy.
Ruddy begins his Aug. 2 Newsmax column in typical right-wing fashion, claiming that Obama's "re-election seriously is in jeopardy because, in the early days of his administration, the president rejected a path of compromise and bipartisanship on domestic policy matters." This ignores the fact that Republicans also rejected compromise and bipartisanship.
Then, Ruddy doe something uncharacteristic for a right-wing activist: praises Obama's foreign policy:
Two years ago, I thought an Obama presidency would be a redux of the Jimmy Carter years. Remember them? The Soviets invaded Afghanistan and cracked down on Poland. Armed communist guerillas were prevalant throughout Latin America and Africa. Iran fell into the hands of the ayatollahs.
But I was wrong. Obama has, in fact, offered an engaged foreign policy, backed up with a strong military hand.
I hear, from time to time — on talk radio, for instance — that Obama is weak on national security and that he's dismantling the U.S. military (I am being mild here about how Obama is described).
Recently, I was in Washington and talked privately with one of the nation's highest military officers, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I asked him for the Pentagon take on Obama. He told me bluntly that Pentagon officials that worked under Bush and Obama believe them "both to be very good" on national security matters.
He added that the Obama White House has been extremely supportive of the Pentagon and its initiatives. Rarely do they have disagreements, and when they do, Obama usually comes down on the side of the Pentagon brass.
In fact, the officer said Obama had been engaged and supportive in ways that had amazed many in the upper ranks. For example, last year when the Joint Chiefs put together a document known as the Strategic Review, a white paper outlining the nation's potential threats and setting the global military priorities of the Defense Department for the next decade, Obama played a key role.
The Joint Chiefs met six or seven times to hash out the details of the Strategic Review. Typically, presidents have little involvement in the review process.
Obama, the officer, told me, joined almost all the key meetings with the Joint Chiefs, some of which lasted several hours.
"He asked a lot of really good questions; he made a lot of good comments; he really bought into the plan," the officer related, saying that no one in the Pentagon could remember a president so supportive and involved.
This vignette about Obama is part of the larger, positive picture that emerges about him on the national security front, but it is also a story about how he has used his leadership skills to bring disparate parties together for common goals and shared interests.
Of course, Ruddy may be saying such things in order to make Newsmax appear less blatantly partisan. Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid has quoted the maker of a fantastically speculative anti-Obama film claiming that Newsmax canceled the advertising campaign he bought on the website to promote the film because "they wanted to move to the Center.'" Newsmax's attempt to purchase Newsweek was another grasp at mainstream respectability.
Ruddy's blips of truth are admirable, but they are only going to get him Heathered by right-wingers who care nothing about the truth and everything about trying to destroy Obama.
Bozell's 'Religious Bigotry' Group Ignores Non-Christian Religious Bigotry Topic: Media Research Center
With a name like Citizens Against Religious Bigotry, you'd think that the group would be interested in fighting all instances of religious bigotry. But it's clear that the group cares only about one particular religion.
CARB was co-founded by the Media REsearch Center's Brent Bozell, and the MRC is essentially supporting it -- the domain name " CitizensAgainstReligiousBigotry.org" currently redirects to a page at MRC Action. Bozell's narrow-mindedness and fierce right-wing partisanship are apparently driving the group, making a mockery of its name.
An Aug. 7 press release issued on the MRC website states how "more than 20 conservative leaders have joined Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell in raising their voices in support of religious freedom and our Constitutionally protected right to free speech." So far, so good.
So what was the pressing issue Bozell and the others spoke out on? "The controversy over Chick-fil-A exposed the rampant anti-Christian bias and First Amendment double standard characteristic of liberal media."
Of the groups represented on Bozell's coalition, several are described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "anti-gay," and three -- the American Family Association, the Traditional Values Coalition and the Family Research Council -- are identified by the SPLC as "hate groups" for their "propagation of known falsehoods" about gays and their "repeated, groundless name-calling." The MRC is hostile to gays as well.
While CARB was intensely concerned about the doings of a fast-food restaurant (arguably living up to its acronym), it thus far has been completely silent about recent instances of religious bigotry that don't involve Christians:
Jerome Corsi has remained silent about how he and his Cold Case Posse colleague Mike Zullo completely botched the whole birth certificate coding thing, but he's still trying to discredit critics of himself and Joe Arpaio.
In an Aug. 6 WorldNetDaily article, Corsi complains:
WND has learned that Morgan Loew of KPHO-TV in Phoenix, a persistent and outspoken critic of WND and Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, Ariz., has joined forces with Dan Barr, the Phoenix representative of Perkins Coie, the Seattle-based law firm that continues to represent Obama on eligibility law suits. They’ve formed The First Amendment Coalition of Arizona, a free speech organization that claims it’s dedicated to obtaining transparency in government.
Loew is currently listed as the group’s president, with Barr as the registered agent legal contact for the group.
Examining the public record, Loew and Barr have established themselves not as unbiased advocates for good government, but as Democratic Party partisans willing to use Saul Alinsky-like tactics to demonize opponents. Their foes include WND, Arpaio and Republican Party presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who they view as threats to the re-election of Obama.
In fact, the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona has been around since 1982, as noted in this amicus brief. Barr is a specialist in media law who has worked with numerous media companies.
Corsi goes on to accuse both Loew and Barr of bias. Loew was targeted for committing the offense of tackling WND's behind-the-scenes role in manipulating Arpaio into doing a birther "investigation." Meanwhile, Corsi writes, "Barr has display [sic] his partisan bias in a series of anti-Arpaio and anti-Romney comments he continues to post on Twitter."
Yes, these accusations of bias are coming from Jerome Corsi, a reporter so biased he refuses to report any information that contradicts his birther conspiracies.
Corsi doesn't even bother to disprove anything either Loew or Barr had to say -- he's just attacking them for saying it.
So, yeah, that's pretty much all Corsi has at this point. His birther conspiracies are crumbling, and he's simply too dishonest to admit it.
Political Hack Noel Sheppard Enjoys When Others Are Called Political Hacks Topic: NewsBusters
In an Aug. 4 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard got a charge out of right-wing Ramesh Ponnuru having "marvelously told" liberal-leaning Roland Martin to "call these things as you see them, not just be a political hack for your team."
Aaron Klein's Co-Author Pushes An Obama Lie Topic: WorldNetDaily
The new Obama-bashing book by Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott, "Fool Me Twice," comes out today -- it appears to be nothing more than Klein's usual blend of biased speculation, guilt by association and conspiracy theories, just like their last book.
Meanwhile, co-author Elliott is peddling a lie that casts doubt on the veracity of the book. She tweets regarding President Obama, "Disenfranchising US troops is only the start."
Elliott links to a video asserting, "As part of Obama's strategy to steal every vote possible away from Mitt Romney, his minions quietly filed a lawsuit to disenfranchise our military." In fact, the lawsuit has the goal of extending the civilian early-voting deadline in Ohio to that of the military, not reducing the military early-voting window -- the exact opposite of what Elliott is claiming.
The video also claims, "As with all things associated with Obama, it was done in secret." Another falsehood -- the filing of the lawsuit was reported in the media that same day.
In other words, Elliott is lying through her teeth. If she'll lie about something so easily disproven, why should anyone trust what she and Klein write in her book?
It's a new month, which means CNSNews.com's Edwin Mora has a new update on his obsession with blaming President Obama for U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan:
For the total 1,954 deaths, 1,385 have occurred since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009. That means at least 7 out of every 10 (about 71 percent) deaths in the Afghanistan war, which started in October 2001, have taken place in the three-plus years that Obama has been in the White House.
Statistically, Obama has presided over the top three deadliest years of the war: 2010 with 497 deaths, followed by 2011 with 399 deaths, and 2009 with 303 fatalities.
As is Mora's practice, completely absent from his article are the words "Bush" and "Iraq," though it would be an entirely fair comparison to compare troop deaths in Afghanistan with troop deaths under Bush in Iraq.
But then, Mora doesn't care about fairness, does he?
WorldNetDaily has so committed itself to race-baiting, it appears, that it will even make gays -- normally a demographic WND despises -- into victims for the purpose of keeping up the attack.
Colin Flaherty's August 5 WND article is all about how "black mob violence" is targeting "gays" (scare quotes are WND's):
Black mob violence against “gay” people is a perfect storm of three secret worlds: Newspapers do not report the predators, victims do not report the crimes and being “gay” is “about the worst thing you can be in black culture,” CNN anchor Don Lemon told the New York Times.
That is why a growing number of people – black and white, “gay” and straight – say this violence is more widespread and less reported than most people think.
So let’s start the reporting, beginning with the benign and working toward the violent.
As before, Flaherty is merely compiling scattered anecdotes in order to create a "black people want to kill you" narrative.
Flaherty added at the end:
Reporters note: As part of the research for this story, I sent an email to 350 reporters who were self-identified as “gay” or as covering “gay” issues. I told them about the story of black-mob-on-”gay” violence and sent them a link as an example. I asked them if they knew of any black-on-”gay” violence.
Not one “gay” reporter said he knew of even one example.
If Flaherty put "gay" in scare quotes when emailing them (we know it's a WND stylistic quirk but not whether it's Flaherty's), it's no surprise that none of the reporters he contacted felt like dealing with him. Same for his apparent delcaration to them that he was focuson on "black mob" issues, which only further demonstrated his bias.
In an Aug. 6 FrontPageMag post, Vadum claims that President Obama is engaging in a "nickel-and-dime approach to disenfranchisement" by challenging an Ohio law that doesn't give civilians the same extended early-voting period granted to members of the military. Vadum insists that this is a "real-life example of a political candidate trying to make it harder for those Americans who don’t support him to vote.
In fact, as even the conservatives at Hot Air admit, the Obama campaign is not seeking to reduce the military early-voting window -- it's trying to increase the civilian early-voting window to that of the military. In other words, no military disenfranchisement is going on at all.
Which means that Vadum has gotten his facts wrong. Again.
WND's Farah Fails At Blaming 'Jihadist' For Sikh Shootings Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah shows off his prognostication skills in an Aug. 5 tweet, in which he declared that "I lay 10-to-1 odds jihadist behind attacks on Sikhs" in Wisconsin:
Did anyone take Farah up on that wager? If so, they would've cashed in big time. Turns out the alleged shooter, Wade Michael Page, was a white male and apparent neo-Nazi.
Farah also whined that "Media already blaming Islamophobia" for the Sikh temple shootings. Farah linked to a news article noting that Sikhs "often have been mistaken for Muslims and targeted in hate crimes," something Farah does not apparently dispute.
MRC's Anti-Bloomberg Cartoon Is Just Anti-Child Topic: Media Research Center
An Aug. 3 Media Research Center editorial cartoon by Glenn Foden is ostensibly a critique of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's effort to encourage breastfeeding, but it just comes off as the Statue of Liberty being resentful of children:
Given the MRC's longtime anti-abortion activism, having a mother being resentful of her child beause of "nursing nannyism" is probably not the impression they intended to leave.
Diana West Whines That Her Fringe Views Can't Get Published Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've written before about how WorldNetDaily columnist Diana West has complained about being dismissed as a birther -- which is exactly what she is. West is at it again, complaining some more that nobody wants to publish her increasingly fringe views.
WND's Bob Unruh gave her space in an Aug. 1 article to complain that the Washington Examiner -- which did publish her birther wackiness at one time -- won't "publish her commentary on the need to investigate the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on the U.S. government":
West, on her blog, recounted the Examiner’s handling of her column.
“The Washington Examiner spiked my syndicated column on the Muslim Brotherhood,” she said. “If the newspapers’ online search function is accurate, it is even more perplexing to note that the Examiner hasn’t run a single news story on the media-politics feeding frenzy, led by Sen. John McCain, directed at Rep. Michele Bachmann for raising questions.
“Here is how Examiner editorial page editor David Freddoso explained why the column didn’t appear: ‘We opted not to use it this week. We also passed over other syndicated columnists’ offerings about the insinuations against Huma Abedin. The reason is simply that there is no hint of proof that she has done anything improper,’” she wrote.
But West told WND that “doing something improper” is not the main issue.
Nor, apparently, is a newspaper exercising its First Amendment rights to publish what it wants.
Unruh ludicrously frames this as a "switcheroo!" of a columnist spiking a newspaper instead of a columnist petulantly ranting that her fringe views can't get published. Unruh also fails to mention the owner of the Examiner: right-wing billionaire Philip Anschutz.
West is not done whining, though. The same day over at Accuracy in Media, West published a piece further criticizing the Examiner for not publishing her fringe attacks, as well as that it "automatically spikes any syndicated column I write regarding what might be referred to as President Obama’s identity issues."
Is such petulance the mark of a truly professional columnist? West may think so, but anyone outside the far-right fringe she seems to be catering to these days will likely think differently.
Michael Reagan Thinks 'King Obama' Declared War on Chick-fil-A Topic: Newsmax
Michael Reagan writes in his Aug. 4 Newsmax column:
It’s taken more than 200 years, two world wars, an industrial revolution, and the dawn of the Internet, but the United States once again finds itself at the mercy of an intolerant king.
Instead of a tax on tea, King Barack Obama and his Democrat Knights of the Fast Food Table seem intent on imposing a penalty on chicken — but not all chicken.
They are only targeting poultry prepared by Chick-fil-A.
And it’s not because King Obama has decreed that Chick-fil-A makes a product that is any way unsuitable for the American people. It’s because Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy had the audacity to make comments supporting the “biblical definition” of marriage as between a man and a woman — comments that directly conflict with the King’s recent pronouncement on gay marriage.
Just one little problem: Obnama has not said a word about Chick-fil-A. But since Reagan cares nothing about facts, he believes he can lie with impunity.
WND's Farah On Obama's 'Alleged Mother' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah complains in his August 3 WorldNetDaily column:
The New York Times has discovered yet another way to cheerlead the “authenticity” of the paper’s favorite presidential candidate – not just in this election, but perhaps in any election.
The “newspaper of record” managed to develop a comprehensive story that speculates Barack Obama, who claims, without substantiation, to be the son of a white mother and a Kenyan visiting student, has roots in slavery – like so many other African-Americans.
The irony of this claim is that the slave genealogy comes not from his alleged father, but his alleged mother.
But the real irony of the story is that the public still really has no proof of who Obama’s biological parents were – since they are both dead and the only documentation put forward has been disputed by anyone and everyone who has examined it, including the only law-enforcement investigation to do so.
"Alleged mother"? Farah, needless to say, offer no evidence whatsover to back up his claim that Stanley Ann Dunham is not Obama's mother.
It may be that Farah is trying to distract from the fact that his birther conspiracies are collapsing. He refuses to tell its readers about the growing body of evidence that contradicts birther conspiracies -- including the fact that "the only law-enforcement investigation" to do a birther investigation has been repeatedly busted peddling discredited claims.
NewsBusters Gloats That Carbonite Making Less Money After Dropping Limbaugh Topic: NewsBusters
You'd think, what with all of the Chick-fil-a stuff lately, that NewsBusters would be respectful of a business taking a prinicpled standard that might hurt its business. But you'd be wrong.
Matthew Sheffield uses an August 3 NewsBusters post to gloat that Carbonite saw its profits fall after dropping its ads from Rush LImbaugh's show after the Sandra Fluke "brouhaha."
Of course, Sheffield doesn't explain what the "brouhaha"was actually about -- three days of Limbaugh engaging in a tirade of hate and misogyny against a woman simply for speaking in public about birth control. Then again, Sheffield's MRC co-workers found nothing offensive in Limbaugh's misogyny, so they certainly can't understand why anyone would drop their ads from Limbaugh's show because of it.
Sheffield chortles: "Limbaugh's ratings are higher than before the recent brouhaha over Sandra Fluke and the effort to remove him from the air is collapsing on itself." Not only does Sheffield provide any actual evidence that Limbaugh's ratings are higher, he didn't mention that it got bad enough that Limbaugh had to hire a crisis management specialist.
Newsmax Falsely Claims Obama Trying to 'Suppress Military Vote' Topic: Newsmax
An August 3 Newsmax article by Todd Beamon on a lawsuit the Obama administration filed in Ohio carrles the headline "Obama Campaign Sues in Bid to Suppress Military Vote." In the article, Beamon uncritically allows critics of lawsuit to suggest that the Obama campaign's motive is to suppress the military vote while also noting that "The military vote has traditionally gone Republican."
In fact, there is no evidence that the lawsuit was done in order to "suppress" the military vote. As Media Matters points out, the goal of the lawsuit is to permit civilian voters in Ohio the same extended early-voting period granted to military voters.