On yesterday's broadcast of Fox Business Network's Cavuto, Fox Business VP and host Neil Cavuto hosted "advertising legend" Jerry Della Femina, who complained that our "slick," "socialist" president got health care passed because he "made some great deals with" members of Congress:
FEMINA: I think he is a leftist. I think he's a socialist. I think he wants to change our world. And he's, and he's very slick and he has got -- let's face it, he got - he made some great deals with these people, who is getting an airport, who is getting this, who's -- a sister is now going to be a judge. Whatever he's done, he has got a weak Congress. And, also, I think Republicans are foolish for rejoicing and saying we're going to get him. We're -- November 2nd, we'll take over. What do they gain? The horse is out of the barn.
CAVUTO: Well, it's very hard to put back. You're very right about that. Jerry Della Femina, I'm going to watch this very, very closely. [Video in extended post]
I'm going to assume that when Femina is talking about someone's "sister" getting a judgeship, he's referring to the smear that Rep. Jim Matheson's (D-UT) brother got a judicial appointment in exchange for the congressman's health care vote. In reality, both Democrats and Republicans have debunked the smear; indeed, former Bush-appointed Judge Michael McConnell definitively debunked it. And Matheson has consistently voted "No" on health care, both before and after his brother's nomination was announced.
Femina's purported airport payoff is also baseless. He's referring to the smear that Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) traded his vote for airport funding in his district; however, the grants in question were part of an FAA program that approved grants in 47 states -- not just Stupak's district.
Neil Cavuto, of course, did nothing to correct his guest's misinformation. And why would he? Fox Business Network and the Fox News Channel regularly push these smears. Indeed, Femina probably picked them up from watching Fox.
From a March 26 Newsmax column by Dick Morris:
Scott Murphy of New York, Suzanne Kosmas and Alan Boyd of Florida, Betsy Markey of Colorado, and Dennis Kucinich and John Boccieri of Ohio -- a partial list of the traitors who switched their votes in the House from no to yes on Obamacare.
Another, Bart Gordon of Tennessee voted no when running for re-election and then switched to yes when he retired rather than face defeat, so he is beyond our reach.
We need to make a point of defeating these traitors in 2010! That is what democracy is for.
We know who they are. We know where their districts are located. And we will all come looking for them in November.
These deceitful men and women voted no when their votes didn't count in November of 2009, seeking to fool us into believing that they had our interests at heart. But, when push came to shove and their votes counted, they switched and ran their true colors up the flagpole and voted yes.
Morris' column links to a page on the Newsmax website that accepts donations to the League of American Voters, for which Morris is the chief strategist. Morris did not disclose his relationship with the group in his column.
From Mediaite [emphasis added]:
The correction may be a case of too little, too late considering ACORN was officially shuttered yesterday. That said, I suspect, whether they admit it or not, the Times will be taking Breitbart a tad more seriously from here on out.
But that's the opposite of logical since Breitbart, under pressure from Media Matters and The Brad Blog, had to concede that he didn't even know what was on the ACORN tapes when he released them. Breitbart championed the tapes and launched them into the media world, but when pressed about why he lied about the pimp hoax, Breitbart belatedly claimed he'd been duped and didn't even know what was on the tapes.
Against that backdrop, the Times should take him more seriously from here on out?
In a March 25 post to his blog, Bruce Bartlett, an official in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush who was fired from the right-wing think tank National Center for Policy Analysis after criticizing President George W. Bush, writes of David Frum:
Since, he is no longer affiliated with AEI, I feel free to say publicly something he told me in private a few months ago. He asked if I had noticed any comments by AEI "scholars" on the subject of health care reform. I said no and he said that was because they had been ordered not to speak to the media because they agreed with too much of what Obama was trying to do.
It saddened me to hear this. I have always hoped that my experience was unique. But now I see that I was just the first to suffer from a closing of the conservative mind. Rigid conformity is being enforced, no dissent is allowed, and the conservative brain will slowly shrivel into dementia if it hasn't already.
Sadly, there is no place for David and me to go. The donor community is only interested in financing organizations that parrot the party line, such as the one recently established by McCain economic adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin.
In a post to his Frum Forum blog yesterday, former Bush speechwriter David Frum announced that his position with the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute had been "terminated," adding that it was an "abrupt and unexpected conclusion."
Frum had stated days before in a much-circulated blog post that conservatives and the GOP had suffered a "crushing legislative defeat" with the passage of health care reform legislation, and blamed it on the movement and the party themselves. According to Frum, they should have negotiated with the Democrats in good faith and tried to make a deal, but were "trapped" because "Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible."
Frum followed up his "Waterloo" blog post with an appearance on ABC's Nightline, in which he stated that "Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox."
This morning, Politico's Mike Allen reports Frum's explanation for his "axing" is pressure from AEI donors:
EXCLUSIVE: David Frum told us last night that he believes his axing from his $100,000-a-year "resident scholar" gig at the conservative American Enterprise Institute was related to DONOR PRESSURE following his viral blog post arguing Republicans had suffered a devastating, generational "Waterloo" in their loss to President Obama on health reform. "There's a lot about the story I don't really understand," Frum said from his iPhone. "But the core of the story is the kind of economic pressure that intellectual conservatives are under. AEI represents the best of the conservative world. [AEI President] Arthur Brooks is a brilliant man, and his books are fantastic. But the elite isn't leading anymore. It's trapped. Partly because of the desperate economic situation in the country, what were once the leading institutions of conservatism are constrained. I think Arthur took no pleasure in this. I think he was embarrassed. I think he would have avoided it if he possibly could, but he couldn't."
Conservative blogger Pamela Geller thinks she has a new, explosive scoop: Louis Farrakhan, Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright visited the White House! The visitors log says so!
There are consequential, disturbing revelations while flipping through the visitors list at the White House. Bill Ayer is there no less than three times, Louis Farrakhan, at least once but there is also a separate visit for his familyand the infamous hater Jeremiah Wright,at least five times. (four times under Jeremy, one under Jeremiah.Contemptuously, Farrakhan's visit is tagged as "MEETING WITH SCIENCE CLUB MEMBERS"...Al Sharpton is there twice and Jesse "hymietown" Jackson is a regular (six times.)
It bears noting that despite solid evidence that Obama was tight with these haters, inciters and revolutionaries and traitors, he distanced himself from them during the campaign and outright lied about his ties to them. Mr. Ayers for example, was dismissed as "a guy who lives in my neighborhood" and "somebody who worked on education issues in Chicago that I know."
Obama lied about his friends and nefarious colleagues because he he knew it was deadly. He knew these were bad characters and it would not sit well with the American people. He knew. And so he lied. And now they are regulars at the White House (while the Dalai Lama and Netanyahu who are begrudgingly ushered it in the side door or seen chilling with the trash.)
These are terrorists, inciters to genocide, America haters, the underbelly of an ugly America - and they are the House.
Had Geller spent 5 seconds doing a simple Google search, she would have found out that this was debunked long ago: the Farrakhan, Ayers and Wright listed in the logs are different people. As Obvious Logic Quarterly explained in its spring 2010 issue, different people can have the same name.
We've long documented the right-wing blogosphere's curious inability to get its facts straight, and the striking tendency of their stories to collapse under scrutiny. Today, however, it's time to give them credit: They (almost!) got one right.
It started last night, when Instapundit Glenn Reynolds commented on the Seattle Times' "implausible report" that "A rock was thrown through the window of [Rep. Steve] Driehaus' [D-OH] Cincinnati office Sunday," a paraphrase of a comment from Driehaus' spokesman.
According to Reynolds:
Justin Binik-Thomas emails from Cincinnati that Rep. Driehaus' office "is on the 30th floor of a skyscraper downtown." He also says that he spoke to Driehaus' office today and they said this never happened.
Throughout the health care debate, the Congressional Budget Office has concluded that the legislation proposed by Congressional Democrats would extend insurance coverage to 30 million people without increasing the federal budget deficit. Their most recent estimate -- for the bill that President Obama signed and the package of fixes that has now passed both the Senate and House -- stated that the proposals as written would "produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010-2019 period," and would "reduce federal budget deficits over the ensuing decade relative to those projected under current law" by around "one-half percent of GDP."
Needless to say, this was unacceptable to Fox News, which openly opposed Democrats' reform efforts from the start. So when they weren't cluelessly rejecting the basic proposition that legislation could both spend $940 billion and reduce the deficit, they were portraying the CBO estimates as unreliable, suggesting that CBO was influenced by pressure from the White House, or ignoring CBO entirely.
Fox's latest claim: CBO is incompetent.
If you've ever wondered how instrumental the dishonesty of the conservative press is to Republican electoral hopes, consider the curious case of Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-OK) crusade to deny Viagra to sex offenders.
As part of the (ultimately futile) effort to delay the passage of the health care fix in the Senate, Republican lawmakers introduced a slew of hot-button amendments to be individually voted down, such as Coburn's amendment prohibiting sex offenders from obtaining Viagra through their health insurance coverage. As Talking Points Memo explained, their purpose was twofold: first, to gum up the works, and second, to turn the Democratic votes against the amendments "into negative campaign ads ahead of this November's election." In case you doubt the purely political motivations behind Coburn's amendment, his own health care proposal does not include the Viagra provision.
Enter the Washington Times, whose staunchly conservative and devoutly dishonest editorial page published an editorial this morning denouncing "Obamacare's subsidy for the sexually depraved." The Times attacked Senate Democrats for voting "almost unanimously Wednesday night to ensure the right of rapists and child molesters to have guaranteed access to government-subsidized Viagra," and accused Democrats of playing politics with the issue for not wanting to force the House to vote on any Senate changes. The Times wrote: "Apparently, saving the House from an embarrassing vote was more important than protecting the public from chemically empowered predators."
In typical Fox & Friends fashion, Steve Doocy hyped the Tea Party Express's cross-country tour that is kicking off in Searchlight, Nevada this weekend, with the stated goal to "kick Harry [Reid] out of the Senate" in the November mid-term elections. Following a segment with Bernie Goldberg -- who discussed how the mainstream media "tarred the entire [Tea Party] movement" unfairly -- Doocy set out to portray the Tea Party movement as being unfairly "marginalized" and discredited. He challenged this "mainstream media biased coverage" by hosting "former 'Saturday Night Live' star" and Tea Partier Victoria Jackson.
Unfortunately, Doocy appeared to be unaware of what Jackson has been up to since she left SNL in 1992 -- you know, how she's said that Obama "bears traits that resemble the anti-Christ" and shares "so many similar qualities" with Adolf Hitler (i.e.: "Obama's current attitude toward Israel is in question. Hitler did not support Jews.").
Not surprisingly, the interview went south in record time:
DOOCY: So, are you ready to join the tea party people?
JACKSON: I am the tea party people. We're beginners at this political activism and it's all new to us and it's kind of cute 'cause we're shy, we hold up our signs like this, you know, despite what they say about us, I have never done anything like this, but we have to because the president is a Communist.