After Big Government blogger Kyle Olson stepped in it when he suggested White House spokesman Robert Gibbs wore a purple bracelet on his wrist during his Sunday morning TV appearances to "signal" solidarity with the SEIU union -- um, Gibbs wore it in support of a young cancer victim, as he tweeted -- the blogger was widely mocked online.
And deservedly so.
His response? Also priceless [emphasis added]:
The very fact that Robert Gibbs and the radical left felt the need to respond to a theory I myself called "doubtful" shows how sensitive they are at this point. The votes don't appear to be there for ObamaCare and they ain't happy about it.
This is almost funnier than Olson's awful post which kicked off the laughs. Olson wrote something that was factually wrong and painfully dumb. Media Matters, among others, called Olson out on his ginormous mistake and his response is that we're "sensitive."
If by "sensitive" Olson means we're laughing at you, then yeah, that's correct. But if by "sensitive" he means anything else, then no, that's not accurate.
UPDATED: Please note that Olson never corrects his massive error. In his posted response, Olson, who got the purple bracelet story about as wrong as humanly possible, still does not explicitly explain to readers that Gibbs' bracelet was worn on behalf of a young girl with cancer. Nor does Olson apologize for his mistake.
It seems Olson is literally incapable of telling the truth. No wonder he blogs for Andrew Breitbart.
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza credulously passes along some GOP health care spin, never thinking to question whether maybe -- just maybe -- there's some artifice involved:
Republican lawyers warn Democrats of "deem and pass" consequences
Less than 24 hours after House Democratic leaders floated the idea of using a parliamentary procedure to avoid a recorded vote on the Senate health care bill, a group of Republican lawyers -- including the legal counsels for the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee as well as high profile campaign attorney like Ben Ginsberg of Patton Boggs and Cleta Mitchell of Foley & Lardner -- penned an open letter making clear that such a tactic would not make Democrats immune from attacks on the bill in the fall campaign.
Citing an assertion from Rules Committee ranking member David Dreier (Calif.) that "a vote for the rule is a vote for the Senate bill," the group wrote: "We believe it is accurate to state in public communications that the effect of a vote for any rule illustrated in [Dreier's memo] is a vote for the Senate bill and all of its provisions." Put simply: Republicans believe that House Democrats using the "deem and pass" maneuver in no way prohibits GOP candidates and party committees from attacking them for "voting" for the Senate legislation.
So, Republican lawyers, citing a Republican member of congress, say Republicans can say in public communications (that's a reference to television advertising; each party frequently tries to get television stations to pull the other's ads over disputed claims) what the Republican member of congress says. How very nice and circular. And predictable. Oh, and ... meaningless. It probably won't surprise you to learn that the legal counsels for the RNC, NRSC and NRCC don't get to decide this question. That's up to television stations and their attorneys.
Unfortunately, Cillizza didn't include any indication of whether lawyers not in the employ of the GOP agree with the assessment. Or even any response from Democratic lawyers.
The letter along with House Republican leaders' vow to force a vote on the use of "deem and pass" is a reminder that GOPers believe the health care bill -- no matter the outcome of the vote later this week (or weekend) -- is something close to a silver bullet for them in the coming midterm elections.
Actually, it's a reminder that GOPers seem to want people to believe that they believe the health care bill is something close to a silver bullet for them. And, at least in this case, they got their wish.
How would Republicans behave if they believed health care was "something close to a silver bullet" for them? Pretty much they way they are behaving right now. (Or, perhaps, by laying low to encourage Democrats to walk in to their trap.)
But: How would Republicans behave if they believed health care could become a silver bullet for them, but would be much more likely to do so if there was a widespread belief that it would? Pretty much the way they are behaving right now. By thinking he can read the GOP's minds -- and concluding that their public statements are a sincere representation of their inner thoughts -- Cillizza plays right into their hands.
(Note that I'm not saying Republicans don't sincerely believe health care is their "silver bullet." I'm saying we don't know what they "believe," and that Cillizza's assumption that he does makes that outcome more likely. It's an assumption, by the way, that requires assuming that Republicans are offering Democrats sincere campaign advice, which seems more than a little unlikely.)
From the March 17 Washington Times editorial, titled, "Mrs. Clinton's hissy fit":
It says a lot when Vice President Joe Biden comes across as the Obama administration's most skilled statesman. Last week during a visit to Israel, Mr. Biden was caught off-guard by an announcement that work would progress on 1,600 apartment units in Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, a Jewish enclave in the northern part of the city claimed by Palestinians. This faux pas could have ended civilly. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for the bad timing of the announcement, and Mr. Biden reiterated the strength of the relationship between the two countries. Life should have gone on.
Instead, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in close coordination with President Obama, called Mr. Netanyahu and launched a 45-minute telephone tirade. White House senior adviser David Axelrod declared Sunday that the announcement was an "insult" and an "affront" and that resolving this issue was "important for our own security." The Obama administration is demanding the Ramat Shlomo project be cancelled or peace talks cannot continue. Meanwhile, Palestinians - emboldened by the White House chastising Israel - are rioting in the streets.
It's hard to see how throwing a hissy fit like this will make the United States appear strong. Publicly berating an ally while reaching out the hand of friendship to terrorist sponsors like Iran and Syria doesn't inspire confidence. These countries give material support and sanctuary to insurgents in Iraq who kill American troops; maybe they deserve a few angry phone calls as well.
It's been a week now since Robert Montgomery inaccurately claimed in an ESPN column that a federal strategy "could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing" and a week since ESPNOutdoors.com executive editor acknowledged that there were "errors" and a lack of "balance" in the piece. But Fox Nation is still linking to Montgomery's column and suggesting that the false claim is somehow true.
When the allegation first surfaced, Fox Nation joined other media outlets in spreading the absurd claim (not the first time Fox has jumped on debunked conspiracy theories as senior fellow Karl Frisch has noted), with the Fox Business Network and Fox News' Glenn Beck joining in. Then an interesting thing happened: a March 10 FoxNews.com article reported that government documents don't contain "language pertaining to a potential ban on recreational fishing."
And still, Fox Nation won't let this one go.
A post by Norm Ornstein on American Enterprise Institute's The Enterprise blog titled "Hypocrisy: A Parliamentary Procedure":
Any veteran observer of Congress is used to the rampant hypocrisy over the use of parliamentary procedures that shifts totally from one side to the other as a majority moves to minority status, and vice versa. But I can't recall a level of feigned indignation nearly as great as what we are seeing now from congressional Republicans and their acolytes at the Wall Street Journal, and on blogs, talk radio, and cable news. It reached a ridiculous level of misinformation and disinformation over the use of reconciliation, and now threatens to top that level over the projected use of a self-executing rule by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the last Congress that Republicans controlled, from 2005 to 2006, Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier used the self-executing rule more than 35 times, and was no stranger to the concept of "deem and pass." That strategy, then decried by the House Democrats who are now using it, and now being called unconstitutional by WSJ editorialists, was defended by House Republicans in court (and upheld). Dreier used it for a $40 billion deficit reduction package so that his fellow GOPers could avoid an embarrassing vote on immigration. I don't like self-executing rules by either party -- I prefer the "regular order" -- so I am not going to say this is a great idea by the Democrats. But even so-is there no shame anymore?
From the March 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
From the Fox Nation (accessed on March 16):
At least 80 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Here are his March 16 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
Add a new example to the right's long list of baseless, unsourced claims of "corrupt" practices that the Obama administration is using to pass health care reform: the UK's Telegraph is reporting that President Obama "has said he will not campaign for any Democratic congressmen who fails to support health care reform." The Drudge Report, Fox Nation, and NRO's Kathyrn Jean Lopez are all running with the story.
The Telegraph story is notable for what it is missing: anything resembling evidence. The article includes no sources -- named or unnamed -- making the claim that Obama has directly linked campaign fundraising with representatives' votes on health care reform. How do they know that Obama "has said" this? We don't know. The Telegraph simply asserts it as fact, and writes an entire article around this apparently baseless claim.