Congressional Republicans are rightly outraged about President Barack Obama’s eagerness to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program while he refuses to meet with House Speaker John Boehner to discuss GOP differences over Obamacare that led to Obama's government shutdown.
There also has been a stark difference in the rhetoric Obama and his allies have used concerning Iran and what they are saying about congressional Republicans.
It’s clear that the Obama administration is prepared to put just about everything on the table in talks with Iran. But President Obama refuses to talk with the GOP at all.
As we've pointed out, Obama has met with Boehner and other Republican congressional leaders to seek a reasonable compromise to end the government shutdown -- something the Republicans aren't too keen on looking for.
Birther Erik Rush 'Won't Even Go There' On Ted Cruz's Eligibility Topic: WorldNetDaily
We'vedocumented how WorldNetDaily, which has been aggressively birther (to the point of refusing to acknowledge undisputed facts) regarding Barack Obama's eligibility to be president, is doing its best to avoid the issue when it comes to Ted Cruz. Add Erik Rush to the list, in an Oct. 2 WND column touting Cruz's presidential prospects:
Ted Cruz looks like a white guy, but he’s not – which is a non-issue to people who judge character over color. After all, our president looks like a black guy, but he’s not, and few of us make any bones about that. There are also questions with regard to Cruz’s eligibility for the office (having been born in Canada), but given the history of this issue on the same subject with regard to President Obama, I won’t even go there.
Why not, Erik? By all accounts, Cruz is even less eligible to be president than Obama since he was documented to be born outside the U.S. to a non-citizen father. Or does Cruz's right-wing politics mitigate those eligibility questions you thought were so important regarding Obama?
CNS Makes Apparently False Article Quietly Disappear Topic: CNSNews.com
On Oct. 1, CNS published an article by Barbara Hollingsworth claiming that "The latest version of the House-passed continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government until December includes funding for Planned Parenthood (PP), the nation’s largest abortion provider."
Within a day, however, the article mysteriously disappeared. The link to the article has gone dead, and the article has disappeared from Hollingsworth's CNS archive.
Here's a screenshot of part of the article as taken from Google cache:
CNS has provided no explanation why Hollingsworth's article was deleted, but given that we could find nobody else reporting the claim, which tells us that the article was false.
Instead of simply making a false article disappear, shouldn't CNS follow standard journalistic procedure and issue a correction and apology? If CNS actually cared about journalism, that might make sense.
WND Regurgitates Obama-Bashing Talking Point Topic: WorldNetDaily
Garth Kant huffs in an Oct. 1 WorldNetDaily article:
President Obama is willing to negotiate with the Syrian dictator he wanted to bomb for gassing his own people.
He is willing to negotiate with the president of Iran and the Taliban.
But, Obama said, “Absoutely, I will not negotiate” with Republicans.
But Kant is taking Obama's statement out of context. The statement in question -- as proven by the NPR article to which Kant links -- was a response to whether Obama would negotiate on raising the debt ceiling, not the current government shutdown:
Absolutely, I will not negotiate. And the reason, Steve, is because if we establish a pattern whereby one faction of one party controlling one chamber in Congress can threaten default, that the United States of America is no longer meeting its obligations and fulfilling the full faith and credit of the United States unless they get 100 percent of what they want, then we've established a pattern that fundamentally changes the nature of our government. At that point, any president — not just me — any president is subject to that kind of blackmail continuously.
If you had a Republican president in here and a Democratic speaker said, "We're not going to raise the debt ceiling unless you pass background checks on guns. We're not going to pass the debt ceiling unless you raise the corporate income tax by 30 percent," you know, that Republican president would find him- or herself in a similar position. That's not how our Constitution was designed. Raising the debt ceiling is not raising the debt; it is simply saying Congress is authorizing the Treasury to pay for those things that Congress has already approved.
Further, Obama and his administration have repeatedly stated their willingness to negotiate in a reasonable fashion, and Obama has met with congressional leaders trying to reach an accommodation.
Kant also appears not to have considered Jon Stewart's advice: "If it turns out that President Barack Obama can make a deal with the most intransigent, hardline, unreasonable, totalitarian mullahs in the world but not with Republicans, maybe he's not the problem."
CNS Hurls Gotcha Questions At Democrats (Not Republicans) Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com loves hurling gotcha questions at politicians it doesn't like, and getting its ambush tactic turned on it by the likes of Barney Frank hasn't deterred them a bit.
CNS now has a new gotcha ambush it's unleashing on Democratic politicians, as illustrated in an Oct. 2 article by Penny Starr:
When asked by CNSNews.com whether he had read all 10,535 pages of final Obamacare regulations that have so far been published in the Federal Register, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) asked in return whether it was "important" the he read them, dismissed the inquiry as a "propaganda question," and did not ultimately anwer [sic].
Waxman is right, of course -- Starr was indeed asking a "propaganda question," something she so far has found no need to ask of Republican congressmen -- say, Ted Cruz or Mike Lee.
That's not stopping CNS from rolling out the ambush. James Beattie grumbles in another Oct. 2 article:
When Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) was asked on Wednesday whether he has read all 10,535 pages of final Obamacare that the administration has so for published in the Federal Register, he first gave a response that did not address the question.
When Warner was asked the question a second time, he walked away without answering.
We don't see Beattie rushing to ask this question of Republicans either. Perhaps he and Starr should try that -- they'd probably get the same reaction.
UPDATE: Beattie has now ambushed Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin with the question. Still no sign that anyone at CNS will ask this question of a Republican politician.
Colin Flaherty's Latest Race-Baiting Fail: Hispanics Are Blacks Now, Apparently Topic: WorldNetDaily
Colin Flaherty has included dogs and white people in his list of perpetrators of "black mob violence." Now he's added another non-black mammal to the list: Hispanics.
Flaherty writes in an Oct. 1 WorldNetDaily article:
Here is what the local newspapers did not report about the mob of dozens of motorcycle riders who chased, stopped and beat the father of a young Asian family on a Sunday afternoon in New York City: One, the mob was black, says the police report. Two, this is merely the latest of several such examples of racial violence on wheels, witnesses say.
The police report (which Flaherty provides no evidence of) may or may have said black, but the only people he names as having taken part in this"mob" are pretty clearly Hispanic, no matter how much he pretends otherwise.
Flaherty did name one biker suspect, Christopher Cruz, but he didn't pass racial judgment on Cruz for some reason.
Regarding the other named suspect, Flaherty contorts himself to pretend he's not really Hispanic:
Despite initial reports that one biker sustained minor injuries, later it was learned the rapper Jay Meezee is hospitalized and may be paralyzed after the SUV allegedly ran him over.
Meezee’s father is a prominent Boston-area Hispanic evangelical minister. But his son’s appearance and music are racially ambiguous: The lyrics – and his frequent appearances on black radio – are full of N-Bombs and contain stories of prison, drug addiction, violence and life “in the hood.”
So Meezee is no longer a Hispanic because his "appearance and music are racially ambiguous" and -- horrors! -- uses the N-word?
If Flaherty is this desperate to shoehorn this incident into his "black mob violence" race-baiting, this certainly raises the question about how black his other clamed "black mobs" really are.
MRC's Graham Sneers At 'Hippie' Bob Dylan Topic: NewsBusters
There haven't been any authentic hippies for years. Bob Dylan hasn't been a hippie for a good 40 years, if he ever was.
But what's the first thing that comes into the head of the Media Research Center's Tim Graham when he reads a New York Times story arguing that Dylan should receive a Nobel Prize for literature for his lyrics? Hippies!
Under a NewsBusters headline that references the "New York (Hippie) Times," Graham sneers:
The New York Times knows that the Nobel Prizes, like the Pulitzers, can be awarded for political advocacy. So writer Bill Wyman has decided to push for an unconventional pick for the Nobel Literature Prize: hippie favorite Bob Dylan. The headline was "Knock, Knock, Knockin' on Nobel's Door."
Stating the obvious, he admitted “Mr. Dylan is no Solzhenitsyn, but he is a figure who genuinely challenges the established order.” Perhaps the Times should see that intense novels resisting the Soviet Union has a little more gravitas than the shock of outraging folkies by playing an electric guitar.
Wyman thinks a songwriter should be considered: “Why discount what has been written because of where it ends up? Those who would use the word ‘pop’ as a cudgel or tool of exclusion do so at their peril. Dickens and Twain, Hugo and Shakespeare and Euripides — all soaked up the acclaim of their day.”
Let’s bet all of those literary greats had a better singing voice than Dylan’s croak.
Or, we could argue with much less verbiage: outside the bubble of liberal hippies who actually like artists who can sing and not croak, Dylan's relevance has long passed. He is not Twain or Dickens or Shakespeare or Solzhenitsyn. He may be great if you can remember the musical "Hair," but not if you watch "Glee." Or will there be a special Dylan episode?
Yes, yes, Tim, we know that conservatives disdain hippies and their damn hippie music. But you look like a total square (to use the hippie terminology you're apparently so fond of) by mocking Dylan. Not to mention a petulant right-winger who can't stand the idea that conservative songwriters can't hold a candle to folks like Dylan.
WND Downplays Effects of Government Shutdown Topic: WorldNetDaily
Garth Kant writes in an Oct. 1 WorldNetDaily article:
Would most people really see a difference in their daily lives if the government shuts down?
Maybe not, judging by various surveys of services that would be affected.
Social Security checks would still be mailed, Medicare and unemployment benefits would keep coming and food stamps would still be issued.
The military would still be up and running, and Congress passed legislation Monday to ensure pay for the military’s 1.4 million active duty personnel, although the Pentagon could furlough 400,000 civilian workers and delay training and contracts.
And so on. It's not until the 16th paragraph of his article that Kant gets around to mentioning any negative effects -- and even then, he mentions only the mostly benign ones:
National parks, monuments and museums would close, the Census Bureau would stop collecting data, gun permits would be delayed and applications for small business loans would be suspended.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said senior nutrition grants, which provide meals for 2.5 million elderly Americans, would not be funded in a shutdown.
Borrowers and first-time home buyers seeking government-backed mortgages could face delays. The Federal Housing Administration would not underwrite or approve new loans during a shutdown.
Processing of government-backed loans to small businesses would be suspended.
Federal occupational safety and health inspectors would probably suspend workplace inspections, except in situations in which danger is imminent.
Meanwhile, outside the right-wing bubble of Kant and WND, the effects of a protracted shutdown would be devastating. But Kant doesn't want to tell you that since he presumably agrees with his fellow WND co-workers that government is evil.
Alveda King Disingenuously Defends Personhood Laws Topic: Newsmax
Alveda King (which Newsmax still insists on calling "Dr." even though her doctorate is honorary and not earned) writes in her Sept. 27 Newsmax column:
If media members print distortions, half-truths, or lies, they are duty-bound to print corrections. The Associated Press has printed what I would consider a lie. Below is an excerpt from The Washington Post article headlined “In little-noted LG race, GOP’s voluble and volatile Jackson debates wonky Dem doctor, Northam."
"Virginia’s lieutenant governor candidates . . . clashed over healthcare, how to care for the dangerously mentally ill, and women’s access to reproductive health services.”
In their story on the Virginia lieutenant governor candidates’ debate, it is printed as fact a false claim [easily fact-checked as false] of one of the candidates. The article states that the “personhood” bill considered by the Virginia legislature last year would have outlawed most forms of abortion in the state. In fact, the bill would have outlawed no abortions in the state.
A brief Google search can reveal that the personhood bill’s summary declares that any rights granted to an unborn child are “subject only to the laws and Constitutions of Virginia and the United States, precedents of the United States Supreme Court, and provisions to the contrary in the statutes of the Commonwealth.”
So the bill is restricted by Roe v. Wade and every subsequent abortion decision by the Supreme Court. In other words, it would prohibit no abortions. Missouri has had almost identical language in its state code for years, language that has been upheld in court and which has barred zero abortions.
King is being quite disingenuous. While a personhood law in and of itself may not bar abortions, the strategy behind them is to use such laws as a basis to ban abortion in the future:
One supporter of a personhood bill in North Dakota said that "We are intending that it be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, since (Justice Antonin) Scalia said that the Supreme Court is waiting for states to raise a case."
A supporter of a personhood law in Mississippi said: "In the Roe decision, [Justice Henry] Blackmun said, 'We're not gonna answer the question of whether the fetus is a person,' and so in the 38 years since, we have had a tragic number of abortions. We think that God has already told us when life begins, and science has confirmed it, and the court has just not dealt with it, so we're hoping the people of Mississippi make the right decision."
King herself made her ulterior motive clear later in her column:
Obviously, The Associated Press and perhaps millions of Americans don’t understand the concept of “personhood” that upholds the constitutional mantra that all men [people] are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Now that the door is open wider on the discussion of unalienable [civil] rights, let’s demand the basic and intrinsic civil right of life for all persons, born and preborn.
On the wings of the 50th anniversary of The Civil Rights Act enacted July 2, 1964, are the cries of the aborted babies. While the landmark legislation outlawed major forms of racial, ethnic, national, religious, minority, and female discrimination, people in the womb were left out.
If a personhood law does not prevent abortion, why would King be pushing so hard for it? Because she knows that the anti-abortion strategy is to use the personhood law as leverage to ban abortion in the future. She should just admit that this is her goal.
WND To Defend Deceptive Evidence In Esquire Lawsuit Topic: WorldNetDaily
In touting a hearing on its moribund defamation lawsuit against Esquire magazine, a unbylined Sept. 30 WND article does its best to pretend that it's still alive and kicking. Indeed, it's not until the 12th paragraph that WND gets around to mentioning that the lawsuit has been dismissed.
“They lied about what was originally published,” Klayman told WND in March. “They lied to the lower court, and now they’ve lied to the appellate court.”
As we documented in March, it's Farah and Klayman who appear to be lying. The screenshots WND submitted cut off the part of the post where the tags normally appear.
That makes the affidavit by Farah very interesting. He swears "under penalty of perjury" that he "took a screen capture of a true and correct copy of the Blog Post." But since the post submitted as evidence cuts off the tags, it cannot be a "true and correct copy."
Also, we're pretty sure the original blog post doesn't have a rectangular border around it like the one submitted as evidence. That's more proof it's not a "true and correct copy."
This means there may be a case to be made that Farah has committed perjury.
And, as per usual, the article doesn't mention the key reason that the lawsuit had been dismissed: Farah, in the judge's words, "immediately recognized the satiric nature of the Blog Post," as demonstrated by his public statements following the initial posting, until it "became inconvenient" for him to do so.
WND is actually inviting its readers to attend the hearing. Unfortunately, we have to work for a living and are unable to attend -- we would like to see Farah and Klayman deal with perjury instead of the frivolous lawsuit it intended to discuss.
Noel Sheppard's reignoferror continues in a Sept. 29 NewsBusters post uncritically touting Mort Zuckerman's claim that "88 percent of the jobs that have been created this year are part-time jobs. A large part of the reason for that number of part-time jobs which is unprecedented in American history is because people are apprehensive about the impact of ObamaCare on and the costs of ObamaCare on full-time jobs." Sheppard endorsed Zuckerman's claim by touting how he had "harsh words for the President's signature piece of legislation."
But had Sheppard bothered to do any research before copying-and-pasting Zuckerman's transcript, he would know that Zuckerman is wrong.
As the Christian Science Monitor points out, the number of part-time jobs created in the U.S. this year is actually around 60 percent, and a Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco study suggests that part-time work as a share of all jobs was not unprecedented, although unusually persistent.
Further, according to the Monitor, it's not clear at all what link, if any, the number of part-time jobs has to do with Obamacare:
Using part-time jobs to judge the strength of a recovery is a little misleading, anyway. Most people work part-time because they choose to, not because a bad economy is forcing them to. According to the BLS, 18.9 million workers in August worked part-time for noneconomic reasons (they had to take care of children or other family members, attend school, keep their earnings below certain Social Security limits, and so on). Only 7.8 million workers worked part time for economic reasons (for example, they couldn’t find work or their hours got cut). It’s this second group of so-called involuntary part-time workers who highlight the weak and unsatisfying economic recovery now under way.
There’s strong anecdotal evidence that some employers are cutting back employee hours below 30 to avoid having to pay health benefits. Investor’s Business Daily has cataloged 258 employers who appear to have made the move. Other companies have cited economic reasons for cutting their employees’ hours. The question is: How much of an impact is that having?
“It seems at least clear that some [employers] were shifting their emphasis to part-time workers,” says Rob Valletta, research adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and coauthor of the recent report. “But … it seems pretty small.” Long before Obamacare, employers had an incentive to create part-time jobs to avoid federal tax rules that protected health benefits of full-time workers, he points out. Also, research suggests no more than a rise of 2 percentage points in the incidence of part-time work.
In the grand scheme of things, the Obamacare effect may not loom large. As a share of the total work force, those involuntary part-time workers make up only 5.7 percent of all employed workers, down from a peak of 7.1 percent in September 2010. If anything, the US has a shrinking share of those workers, although we seem to have been treading water since the beginning of 2012.
We'd ask whether Sheppard will correct his post, but he's not into doing that sort of thing lately.
How Many WND Twitter Followers Are Fake? Topic: WorldNetDaily
After writing about WorldNetDaily's interest in the number of fake followers that Barack Obama's Twitter account allegedly has, we got a tip from a concerned reader: Check how many fake followers WND has.
So we used the same StatusPeople.com Fake Follower Check used in the story on Obama's Twitter followers. The surprising result: A full one-third of WND's Twitter followers are either fake or inactive:
Apparently, WND's Craige McMillan didn't want to tell his readers about that unflattering number.
Newsmax Attacks Global Warming Report Topic: Newsmax
Only in right-wing politics would a scientific consensus draw anger.
But that's what Newsmax is telling us in the headline of a Sept. 27 article by Lisa Barron: "Anger as UN Claims 95 Certainty on Manmade Global Warming." And by hunting down only climate "skeptics," anger is what Barron finds:
Reaction came thick and fast Friday to the United Nations' latest report on climate change that claimed it is 95 percent certain that global warming is manmade.
Even that figure was slammed as meaningless. "Ninety-five percent doesn't mean anything," David Kreutzer, the Heritage Foundation's Research Fellow in Energy, Economics, and Climate Change told Newsmax. "It's not a scientific term.
House Energy Committee member Michael Burgess said he viewed the report "very skeptically." In an interview with Newsmax TV, the Texan said, "The current data from the very recent past does not support the previous prefaced proposition that it was getting worse and worse from 2009 onward."
Only in right-wing politics would 95 percent certainty be considered meaningless. (Unless you're going after terrorists, in which case one percent is sufficient.)
Barron also claimed that "The UN report also failed to explain why temperatures have stayed basically steady since 1998." In fact, as Media Matters notes, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change report did address the issue of temperatures plateauing over the past 15 years, calling it a short-term trend that does "not in general reflect long-term climate trends."
Barron devotes a significant portion of her article to a group called the Nongovernment International Panel on Climate Change, which she benignly describes as "a group of independent scientists and scholars from 15 countries." In fact, unlike the IPCC report, the skeptic-dominated NIPCC report was compiled by paid contributors and did not go through rigorous peer review. Barron did not mention that the NIPCC is a joint project of three fossil-fuel-backed groups. Previous editions of NIPCC work have been discredited.
WND's Klein Fails At Fact-Checking A Fact-Checker Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein writes in a Sept. 26 WorldNetDaily article:
As Democrats and Republicans feud over the funding of Obamacare, a widely published PolitiFact article claims it is a “myth” that President Obama’s health-care law contains rationing and “death panels.”
However, a WND review of the legislation found largely unreported sections with evidence of both health-care rationing and so-called death panels.
The health-care law further contains language that raises some concern for preferential treatment based on race, ethnicity and so-called life preferences.
The Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact this week published a piece titled “The top 16 myths about Obamacare.”
One “myth” the group claims to debunk is that the health-care law “rations care like systems in Canada and Great Britain.” PolitiFact said it “has rated this claim and others like it False.”
Another myth PolitiFact purports to disprove is the widely held belief the health-care law has “death panels.”
“We rated the ‘death panels’ claim Pants on Fire,” concluded PolitiFact.
However, the legislation evidences both health-care rationing and possible death panels.
First: Who uses "evidences" as a verb?
Second: At no point does Klein respond to, or even cite, the arguments PolitiFact made in reaching its conclusions -- Klein is simply throwing right-wing talking points at the conclusions, presumably copied-and-pasted from his pro-impeachment book.
Third: Notice Klein's use of the weasel word "possible." It takes several paragraphs to explain the convoluted way that an institute Obamacare creates could fulfill that "death panel" possibility.
Klein then tries to push an alleged example of how this "death panel" might work by citing a case involving Britain's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which he claims is analogous to an institute funded under Obamacare:
There were recent reports that NICE was refusing to fund four new treatments for kidney cancer because they only change a patient’s life expectancy from six months to a year.
Andrew Dillon, NICE chief executive, commented on the denial of one drug for kidney cancer.
“Before we recommend any new treatment we have to be sure the evidence on how well it works is robust and that it is cost effective,” he said. ‘We do not want to divert NHS funds to a treatment that costs more but doesn’t help people live longer.”
Klein won't tell you that NICE is probably prudent to wait. One preliminary study released earlier this year notes that while the medication in question increased life expectancy, it also generates more adverse events in patients than existing medication. Reuters reports that the drug costs nearly $9,000 a month, which says that NICE is right to weigh such a cost against effectiveness.
Contradiction is not the same thing as a rebuttal, and cherry-picked examples are not real evidence. Perhaps that's one reason why PolitiFact has a Pulitizer and Aaron Klein doesn't.
MRC's Bozell Joins The Right-Wing Matthew Shepard Revisionism Topic: Media Research Center
Add Brent Bozell's voice to those in the ConWeb uncritically touting the Matthew Shepard revisionism of Steve Jimenez's book on Shepard's death. Bozell writes in his Sept. 27 column:
Jimenez argues after years of research and interviews that Shepard and his killers Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson were deeply involved in drugs. Not only that, they may not be straight men. McKinney presented himself as a "straight hustler," turning tricks for money or drugs, but others say he's bisexual. A former lover of Shepard's claims Shepard and McKinney had sex while doing drugs in the back of a limo. As Hicklin recounted, "A manager of a gay bar in Denver recalls seeing photos of McKinney and Henderson in the papers and recognizing them as patrons of his bar. He recounts his shock at realizing, 'these guys who killed that kid came from inside our own community.'"
The media don't have to accept this theory whole. But after the countless stories claiming Shepard was a victim of an anti-gay hate crime, shouldn't they cover it? But it shouldn't be surprising that the liberal media have completely ignored Jimenez.
The Shepard gay hate crime victim story was exposed as false ... almost 10 years ago.
ABC's "20/20" took apart the legend in 2004. Elizabeth Vargas told Bill O'Reilly that the prosecutor in the Shepard case never believed it was a hate crime. Instead, it was about drugs: "Aaron McKinney, according to Aaron McKinney himself and to several other witnesses, was coming down from a five-day methamphetamine binge. He freely admits he not only used methamphetamine but dealt them, sold them. Five days up with no sleep, strung out on drugs, desperate to buy more, desperate to rob somebody to get money to buy more drugs."ABC did not consider that McKinney was a lover of Shepard's.
Bozell doesn't mention that Jimenez was a producer of that 2004 ABC segment. He also doesn't mention that not only has McKinney denied having sex with Shepard, he mounted a "gay panic" defense at his trial.
Bozell demands that we accept Jimenez's revisionism, but he doesn't explain -- or even breathe a word of -- the holes in Jimenez's logic because it conforms to his "watchdog" organization's anti-gay agenda.