One day after concocting the conspiracy theory that health care reform would help President Obama staff a civilian army with doctors, Judge Andrew Napolitano joined Fox Business' Charles Gasparino in likening the provision -- which would supplement a 200-year-old public health corps with a reserve corps -- to "bringing back the draft."
This is not an April Fools' joke. Napolitano, who was sitting in for Glenn Beck, and Gasparino claimed that Obama was "bringing back the draft" in order to staff his civilian army with doctors conscripted to serve as federal employees. Like in Great Britain.
Right-wing blogger Allahpundit put some Hot Air behind a working paper out of the Mercatus Institute* in an attempt to attack stimulus spending as unfairly tilted in favor of Democratic congressional districts. But as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman noted, Nate Silver demonstrated that these results are entirely logical, thereby undermining any suggestion that the data illustrate a sinister political motive: The 18 congressional districts receiving the most stimulus money represent state capitals -- where much of the stimulus money is distributed -- which are far more likely to elect Democrats to Congress.
According to a new report from The Winston Group:
"Tea Party members tend to get their news about national issues from Fox News." Some 47% "list Fox News as their top one or two sources of news, compared to 19% of the sample overall."
So, there you have it. Tea Partiers love Fox News. Is it because the network informed them about the radical anti-government movement in the first place? I guess this is one of those chicken/egg situations.
h/t: Dave Weigel
Jason Mattera has been named editor in chief of the right-wing publication Human Events.
If his name doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this video from this year's CPAC convention will jog your memory:
In response to widespread criticism over his Twitter posting today which said, "BTW, Webb's no liberal caricature. Ever met a liberal who's won a Navy Cross for heroism, a Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, 2 Purple Hearts?" Larry Sabato apologized this afternoon in several new posts to his Twitter profile:
U.S. Democrats lie low after healthcare victory
Lede [emphasis added]:
The week after passing landmark healthcare reform and handing President Barack Obama an important victory, members of the U.S. Congress returned to their home districts for a recess to face constituents and justify their votes after the bruising legislative battle.
While Obama made flying visits across the country to tout the new legislation, a number of key Democrats, who led the charge for healthcare reform, seemed to keep a low profile and are doing little to beat the drum.
Republican lawmakers, however, made quick plans to harness what they see as voter discontent over the issue -- either by lambasting those Democrats who may be politically vulnerable or by shoring up their own shaky campaigns with criticism of "Obamacare."
Slight problem. The Reuters article doesn't include any compelling evidence that Democrats are lying "low," and doesn't include any evidence Republicans have made "quick plans to harness" what they claim is their post-health care vote momentum.
Reuters seems to think it's telling that, after the bill has been signed into law, four Democratic members of Congress mentioned in the article don't have specific health care-related events scheduled during the recess. But guess what? None of the Republicans mentioned in the article have any health care-related events scheduled either. At least not any events that Reuters mentions.
So where's Reuters' proof that Democrats don't want to talk about health care, but Republicans do?
Last month, I pointed out an instance where RedState contributor "Hogan" essentially called RedState Editor and CNN Contributor Erick Erickson a "freaking idiot." Today, RedState continues the self-flagellation by hosting an article that essentially calls RedState out for "blatant misinformation."
Quick background: For the past few months, conservatives have been engaged in an ongoing campaign to demonize the census as an evil liberal plot. For example, here's Glenn Beck on March 9:
BECK: At least in 1790, they were doing it to slow the South down on slavery. To try to stop it as much as they can. Today they are asking the race question to try to increase slavery. Your dependence on the master in Washington. No way, don't answer that question.
Beck certainly wasn't alone in demonizing the census. Fox Nation fear mongered about census workers being "Obama's Army." On Fox News, Michelle Malkin called the census "indoctrination," "Alinskyite," and a "way to ensure a permanent [Dem] ruling majority."
Throughout all of this, conservatives were trying to thwart the census from gathering race data needed to enforce federal laws. This took the form of a childish campaign to fill in the "race" question on the census as "Amercan." For example, here's Moe Lane writing at RedState, in a post titled "I Am An American," subtitled "Pass it on":
With regard to the Census, that is. Particularly with regard to the Census.
So is Gabriel Major.
So is Scott Johnson.
So is Mark Krikorian:
So remember: Question 9 -- "Some other race" -- "American". Pass it on.
Indeed. Unfortunately for irresponsible conservative media figures -- and, some might say, "everyone" -- a large number of people take what they say seriously. Their campaign of fear and misinformation about the census has had some unintended consequences. Here's a Houston Chronicle article from March 27:
Texas is counting on the 2010 Census to deliver four new congressional districts, four new Electoral College votes in presidential elections, and millions of dollars in additional federal aid. But, as some elected officials are starting to worry, Uncle Sam can't deliver anything to the rapidly growing Sun Belt state unless Texas residents deliver their forms back to the government.
As of Friday afternoon, only 27 percent of Texas households had filled in and returned their census forms -- well below the national average of 34 percent -- according to computer data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In Harris County, the response rate is 23 percent. Houston's returns are running at 21 percent.
Contrary to historical trends, some of the toughest challenges facing the agency responsible for measuring the nation's population are not from counting the traditionally undercounted groups such as African-Americans and Latinos. Instead, a new and growing threat to an accurate national head count is coming from anti-government conservatives who may not fill out their forms to protest against "Big Brother" in Washington.
So, what now? Well RedState, a mere three weeks after encouraging their readers to not accurately fill out the census and to "pass it on," is hosting a piece from Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) titled "Returning the Census is Our Constitutional Duty." From the post:
No, what worries me is blatant misinformation coming from otherwise well-meaning conservatives. They are trying to do the right thing, but instead they are helping big government liberals by discouraging fellow conservatives from filling out their census forms.
Anyone who tells you that this year's census is unconstitutional and that you are not required to fill out the form completely is flat out wrong. They argue that because this year's census asks for more than a simple count of how many people live in your home, it is unconstitutional and therefore should not be completely filled out. That argument doesn't stand up to either history or the Constitution's text.
Good to know.
This entire episode is reminiscent of Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) crusade against the census. As documented by TPM back in January, Bachmann joined Glenn Beck in demonizing the census last year, claiming that she would refuse to fill it out. Surely by coincidence, once it came to light that incomplete census data could result in Minnesota losing Bachmann's seat, she dropped her opposition.
Hey, what's a little "slavery" if we can get some more congressional seats?
For all the protestations from Fox News management that there's a clear delineation between their "news" and "opinion" programming, it's frequent that you'll encounter a Fox News "journalist" mouthing the same conservative, pro-Republican talking points as their "commentator" colleagues. That's exactly what happened just now on America Live, as host Megyn Kelly offered a nonsensical defense of the tea party movement's false and inflammatory rhetoric to Alan Colmes. You have to watch it to get the full flavor.
Yesterday, Vice President Biden spoke at an anti-violence event in Illinois. Here's how local media covered the speech:
Vice President Joe Biden, speaking Wednesday at an anti-violence event in central Illinois, called for "educating the whole society" to dispel cultural attitudes that lead to sexual assaults.
Biden was joined by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., at the Center for Prevention of Abuse fundraiser, attended by 1,100 people at the Peoria Civic Center.
The vice president, a former Democratic senator from Delaware, discussed his work to pass the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. In advancing the legislation, Biden said, he had to confront state laws that permitted rape within a marriage and combat cultural assumptions that women "ask to be raped" when they wear short skirts or walk alone late at night.
Joe Biden update: Opposes domestic violence but favors shiny shoes
Wednesday was another busy day for Vice President Joe Biden. He visited that effing epicenter of perceived middle America to take on another subject, understandably not the economic stimulus plan he's been in charge of driving.
Alongside Transportation Secy. Ray LaHood and Sen. Dick Durbin, Biden came out unequivocally in favor of reiterating his long-standing opposition to domestic violence and sexual abuse.
"No man, no man, no man," the vice president told 1,100 in the audience, "under any condition other than self-defense, has the right to raise his hand to a woman. No condition. None. Zero."
Malcolm later linked to that post, calling it a "somewhat related item" in a post about a Congressman expressing concern that, in Malcolm's words, "loading too many people onto Guam could capsize the island."
If you've read Malcolm's previous coverage of Biden, you'll likely recognize his sarcastic post as a continuation of his attempts to portray Biden as ridiculous. The last several Malcolm posts about Biden have headlines like "Joe Biden update: Obama found VP's effing gaffe hilarious highlight of historic day" and "Joe Biden update: VP goes 2-for-2 today -- 2 speeches, 2 gaffes" and "Joe Biden update: Another closed day" and "Joe Biden gaffe update: A century here, a century there, pretty soon they all look alike." Andrew Malcolm simply doesn't write about Biden other than to make fun of him.
A frequent Malcolm theme is that Biden doesn't do anything important. Malcolm's wording -- "Biden came out unequivocally in favor of reiterating his long-standing opposition to domestic violence and sexual abuse" -- implies Biden's speech was on a topic so blandly uncontroversial as to not be a pointless waste of time. It isn't an uncommon construct for mocking a politician -- think: he took a bold stance in favor of mom and apple pie. But it's more than a little jarring to see it applied to a speech about domestic abuse and rape -- particularly in light of Biden's account of the circumstances surrounding the Violence Against Women Act.
Think I'm reading too much into Malcolm's tone? Think again: the LA Times reporter tagged his post "humor."
So what, exactly, is funny about Joe Biden's work to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault?
BTW Larry, Sen. John Kerry -- a Massachusetts liberal, no less -- was decorated with a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam.