In a March 4 New York Times article, Charlie Savage reported that former Bush administration official Peter D. Keisler, "who led the Bush administration's courtroom defense against lawsuits filed by Guantanamo detainees is denouncing attacks on Obama administration appointees who previously helped such prisoners challenge their indefinite detention without trial." From the article:
Peter D. Keisler, who was assistant attorney general for the civil division in the Bush administration, said in an interview that it was "wrong" to attack lawyers who volunteered to help such lawsuits before joining the Justice Department.
"There is a longstanding and very honorable tradition of lawyers representing unpopular or controversial clients," Mr. Keisler said. "The fact that someone has acted within that tradition, as many lawyers, civilian and military, have done with respect to people who are accused of terrorism - that should never be a basis for suggesting that they are unfit in any way to serve in the Department of Justice."
Mr. Keisler spoke out one day after the Justice Department confirmed a Fox News report naming nine political appointees who had worked on detainee litigation before to joining the government. The department had declined to identify seven of those officials in response to a request by congressional Republicans.
In recent days, conservative media figures have attacked President Obama and the DOJ for employing lawyers who previously represented terror suspects or supported their legal arguments in their private practices. However, the Bush DOJ also hired lawyers who represented terror suspects.
From a March 2 article in the New York Post titled "ACORN set up by vidiots: DA":
From the Fox Nation, accessed on March 4:
Fox Nation directs readers to the conservative group FreedomWorks' petition "against ObamaCare and this last desperate effort that the Left is using to pass it at any cost!"
Politico rushes to hype the Weekly Standard's baseless speculation that the White House tried to win Rep. Jim Matheson's support for health care reform by nominating his brother to a judgeship, under the header "Some Republicans criticize judge pick."
But Politico could only come up with one such Republican, Rep. Michele Bachmann. By contrast, Politico had two Republicans who praised the nomination, including one who directly debunked the conspiracy theory.
And, of course, Politico didn't mention that The Weekly Standard, where this baseless allegation originated, has a history of making dubious claims about White House efforts to win health care votes.
Instead, Politico concluded: "As pressure mounts on Democrats to pass reform, look for Republicans to pounce on anything that looks like a backroom deal because those previous deals were key to helping sour the public on reform."
Yeah -- and look for Politico to help them do so, no matter how shaky the ground from which the Republicans are pouncing.
Yesterday on Capitol Hill, Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) hosted a press conference with fellow Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO), Lois Capps (D-CA) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY) along with former members of the military who have been hit hardest by the Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy barring openly gay men and women in uniform from serving their country.
The event served as an opportunity for these brave men and women to share their personal stories while also confronting a variety of media myths and falsehoods (detailed here) surrounding debate over the repeal of the 16 year-old policy.
Said, Rep. Moran:
"...there are opponents who will do all that they can to prevent repeal [of DADT]. Media Matters just recently released a report outlining all of the false and misleading accusations that opponents of reform have been trotting out in recent weeks...they're getting scared."
Arm yourself with the truth. Get to know the media myths and falsehoods surrounding coverage of DADT so you can fight back:
I thought conservative rhetoric on health care reform hit rock bottom during last year's "death panels" nonsense, but if there's one thing I've learned in my years here, it's never to deem anything the conservative media does "rock bottom."
In the past 24 hours, various conservative media figures have taken a new angle in attacking health care reform.
This morning, Matt Drudge informed us that Barack Obama plans to have sex with health care, or something:
Rush Limbaugh's summation of Obama's health care message is now: "Shut up, debate over. Bend over." (Though, to be fair, Limbaugh's referenced "bend[ing] over" numerous times before, and hasn't only reserved this terminology for health care.)
And now we have the Director of Health Care Policy at the Cato Institute weighing in:
Apparently, this is what happens when you have no substantive arguments: "Health care reform will kill your grandma!" Not even slightly true. "It will raise premiums!" Not for the vast majority of people. "It will increase deficits!" Another miss. "You are going to jail if you don't have health insurance!" No, you aren't. "People without health insurance should be mocked and ridiculed!" That's just crazy.
"It's the British nationalized system!" No, it's not. "It's the Canadian socialized system?" Also no. "The government is going to track everything you do!" Nope. "Dems are using the nuclear option!" No, they aren't. "Reconciliation is unprecedented!" No, it isn't.
"Barack Obama wants to have sex with your health care!"
During a Washington Post online Q&A, Lois Romano claimed that health care reform legislation would "drive up the deficit." But the Congressional Budget Office has said reform would reduce the deficit, as Romano's readers quickly pointed out. That's when things got strange:
Lois Romano: Some legislators are from conservative districts or states where constituents are not keen on the bill for various reasons-- one being that it costs too much and will drive up the deficit. Those legislators will oppose the bill in the hope of getting reelected.
Chicago: Lois: you stated: Some legislators are from conservative districts or states where constituents are not keen on the bill for various reasons-- one being that it costs too much and will drive up the deficit. The only credible referee in this matter has been the CBO which has said that the bill would contain costs and reduce the deficit. I always thought the Fox Party echo chamber was formidable but maybe I have underestimated it all these years. Please tell me you misspoke? Thanks.
Lois Romano: Perhaps I wasnt clear: the constituents in these districts have come to believe the bill is too expensive.
I dont have an opinion.
RE Health care: " one being that it costs too much and will drive up the deficit"
This is not true. The CBO Says the bill will lower the deficit by 130 billion over the next ten years.(even more in the second decade) You are willingly repeating talking points even after they have been proven false. No wonder the public is confused
Lois Romano: Again- I was stating what these constituents may believe- not what I think.
I have no opinion.
So, some people "may believe" health care reform would drive up the deficit, despite the fact that the CBO says it will reduce the deficit. But Lois Romano has "no opinion" about which is more accurate. This, of course, is exactly the reason why "the constituents in these districts have come to believe the bill is too expensive" -- reporters like Lois Romano who refuse to say whether random beliefs are less credible than the findings of the Congressional Budget Office.
Simple question. Can Andrew Breitbart provide a simple answer?
Following the news that New York prosecutors had become the latest outside investigators to find no criminal wrongdoing on the part of ACORN, Breitbart, in face-saving mode, abruptly threw this attack machine into reverse and announced that his beloved undercover ACORN tapes "were less about 'criminality' than facility with which employees all knew how to work the system for any lowlife wanting government $."
So back to my very simple question. If the ACORN crusade is not about "criminality," then why has Breitbart been demanding that the U.S. Department of Justice launch a criminal investigation into ACORN?
I mean, who can forget Breitbart's comical Fox News appearance last November, when he made his brash, tough-guy challenge [emphasis added]:
Not only are there more tapes, it's not just ACORN. And this message is to Attorney General Holder: I want you to know that we have more tapes, it's not just ACORN, and we're going to hold out until the next election cycle, or else if you want to do a clean investigation, we will give you the rest of what we have, we will comply with you, we will give you the documentation we have from countless ACORN whistleblowers who want to come forward but are fearful of this organization and the retribution that they fear that this is a dangerous organization. So if you get into an investigation, we will give you the tapes; if you don't give us the tapes, we will revisit these tapes come election time.
Everyone got the message. Even RedState:
Breitbart to Eric Holder: Investigate ACORN, or else. Yes, it's a threat.
But suddenly Breitbart has changed his tune and announced that his unhinged ACORN crusade was never about "criminality."
Except that, of course, it was.
UPDATED: Just this week Breitbart's Big Government site demanded a criminal investigation into ACORN's California practices. Even though, this isn't really about "criminality."
UPDATED: Here's Breitbart's priceless Fox News appearances from last November, when it was all about criminality.
If you were writing an article headlined "Republicans cast doubts on Senate parliamentarian," would you wait 16 paragraphs before mentioning that the Senate Parliamentarian was elevated to the job when Republicans fired his predecessor for ruling against them? Would you omit any mention of the fact that, having done so, Republicans then threatened to fire him?
If not, you just aren't cut out for Politico, which reports:
Senate Republicans are waging a pre-emptive strike against the Senate's parliamentarian - a hitherto little-known official who could determine the fate of the Democrats' health care reform efforts.
In interviews with POLITICO, several Republican senators and aides cast Parliamentarian Alan Frumin - a 33-year veteran of the Senate - as someone who is predisposed to side with the Democrats if they attempt to use the reconciliation process to pass parts of their bill.
The Senate GOP's previous behavior towards Senate parliamentarians, including Frumin, would certainly seem to undermine their "pre-emptive strike." Maybe that's why Politico glossed over it?