A poll asking "What Do You Think the Tea Party Movement Is About?" was posted on FoxNews.com. From the site, accessed February 10:
As of 2:30 PM, the results appeared as follows:
LA Times blogger Andrew Malcolm (R-CA) writes about a new ABC/Washington Post poll, cherry-picking the results that are most favorable for Republicans. But that's nothing new for Malcolm -- he admits his blog posts about polls are not impartial. (Nor are they accurate.)
No, what's funny about Malcolm's latest post is the fig-leaf attempt to appear impartial he tacked on to the end:
But it's not all good news for the GOP. Just about half of the poll respondents characterized their mood as "anti-incumbent."
Gee, if that's the worst news for the GOP contained in the poll, they must be doing pretty well! Of course, that isn't the worst news for the GOP in the poll. It also found that most people have a favorable view of the Democratic party, and most people have an unfavorable view of the Republican party. And that 63 percent of Americans think "lawmakers in Washington" should keep trying to pass comprehensive health care reform -- and that a plurality who think reform is dead blame Republicans. And that 58 percent of Americans think Republicans are doing too little to work with President Obama, while a plurality of Americans think Obama is doing enough to work with Republicans.
But Andrew Malcolm wants you to think the only bad news for the GOP is that "just about half the poll respondents characterized their mood as 'anti-incumbent.'" He isn't telling the truth.
The nothing-wrong claim was what right-wing activist Andrew Breitbart was caught saying last weekend at the Tea Party convention:
But gee, look at what Reason reported right after O'Keefe was cuffed for an intent to commit a felony [emphasis added]:
I contacted Big Government editor in chief Mike Flynn, who initially ran the ACORN videos and hosts O'Keefe's blog, and he said this: "I have no idea what he was doing or why he was there. If he broke the law, he should face the consequences. Unlike the left, I don't believe the ends justify the means. In no way do I or anyone affiliated with the site condone his allegedly illegal behavior."
So which is it? Do folks on the Right take "consequences" seriously and O'Keefe ought to be punished if found guilty for entering a federal building under false pretenses? Or does the Right now insist the ends do justify the mean and that O'Keefe should be excused even if he broke the law?
Also, why can't Big Government make up its mind??? And will Breitbart/Flynn come up with a Plan C next week?
Behold "conservative journalism"!
UPDATED: How does Breitbart's crew even keep track of their boss's comical flip-flops?
Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson devotes today's column to lavishing praise upon GOP Rep. Paul Ryan, who -- like Gerson -- once worked on Jack Kemp's staff (Gerson later worked as a speechwriter for President George W. Bush.) Gerson lauds Ryan as "crackling with ideas and shockingly sincere" and among the "greatest long-term threats" to Democrats.
"Shockingly sincere" isn't a phrase many are likely to apply to Gerson's column. It is, instead, jaw-droppingly disingenuous. Gerson gushes over Ryan's "courageous" budget proposal, which Gerson calls a "solution to endless deficits" -- a contrast to the "deficits to infinity and beyond" and "path to economic ruin" offered by progressives. Gerson notes that Ryan's budget proposal, "according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), eventually achieves a balanced budget."
Gerson doesn't mention that "eventually" means "in about 50 years." But that isn't the really disingenuous aspect of Gerson's praise for Ryan.
The really disingenuous part is that -- at Ryan's request -- the CBO didn't actually analyze Ryan's proposal. It analyzed only the portions of Ryan's proposal that deal with spending, while ignoring his tax proposals. Here's CBO's explanation (PDF):
The proposal would make significant changes to the tax system. However, as specified by your staff, for this analysis total federal tax revenues are assumed to equal those under CBO's alternative fiscal scenario (which is one inter- pretation of what it would mean to continue current fiscal policy) until they reach 19 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2030, and to remain at that share of GDP thereafter.
Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center explains the importance of that disclaimer:
But, and this caveat is a whopper, CBO assumed this wonderful outcome would occur only if the revenue portion of Ryan's plan generated 19 percent of GDP in taxes. And there is not the slightest evidence that would happen. Even though Ryan's plan has a detailed tax component, his staff asked CBO to ignore it. Rather than estimate the true revenue effects of the Ryan plan, CBO simply assumed, as the lawmaker requested, that it would generate revenues of 19 percent of GDP.
We don't have any idea what this plan would do to revenues, but in some ways it resembles former GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson's campaign plan. TPC figured that scheme would reduce tax revenues by between $6 trillion and $8 trillion over 10 years. Unless Ryan can achieve unrealistically large cuts in spending as well, this is not exactly a roadmap to solvency in my book.
Gerson never mentions that the CBO analysis excludes Ryan's tax proposals. He simply pretends that Ryan's entire proposal leads to a balanced budget, and praises Ryan's courage and sincerity. Last March, it should be noted, Gerson lambasted an Obama budget proposal for "illusory" spending reductions based on a "phony assumption" about war spending and "growth assumptions" that are "not remotely realistic." Such criticisms apparently do not apply to those who, like Gerson, once worked for Jack Kemp.
Gerson is badly misleading readers about the CBO's assessment of Ryan's plan. There's a long tradition of columnists ignoring inconvenient facts that undercut their arguments, but this one is a whopper. You have to question the judgement of a newspaper that would choose to feature such a columnist.
From Joseph Farah's February 10 WorldNetDaily column:
I'm accused of being a "conspiracy theorist" because I want to see Barack Obama fulfill his constitutional requirement to prove he is a "natural born citizen."
You know who throws those insults around?
People like Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck.
But get the two of them together on Fox News Channel and you find out who the real conspiracy nuts are.
They think Barack Obama is leading a conspiracy to promote questions about his eligibility status.
"I think the reason they didn't ever produce the birth certificate is because they wanted these loons out there," said O'Reilly in a conversation with Beck.
Apparently O'Reilly forgot, in a moment of rare candor, that he's been peddling the idea that Obama has released his birth certificate.
Beck dutifully jumped in to ensure O'Reilly was sticking to the script: "Hang on. I think he has produced the birth certificate."
"We have a facsimile," O'Reilly asserted. "But I want him to send (the original) directly to me."
But look at the conspiracy tale the O'Reilly-Beck crowd develop around the birth-certificate issue. They believe Obama is directing a master conspiracy - leading suspicious and curious people like me who insist on seeing the Constitution observed, to serve Obama's political interests.
By the way, I would like to point out that Beck and O'Reilly (along with Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and others) are every bit as obsessed about the birth certificate as I am. They talk about it week after week, without, by the way, introducing any new information. The only difference is that their obsession is providing cover for Obama to keep his personal history secret from the American people, while my obsession is seeing the secrets revealed.
You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to believe in the Constitution and to observe that it is being cheapened by Obama, the Washington political establishment and the media every day when they insist that a fundamental, easy-to-understand requirement of the document be simply overlooked.
From Fox News contributor Sarah Palin's Twitter:
Every winter, there are two things you can count on, two things that are absolutely assured of happening. The first is that at some point somewhere in the northern hemisphere, it will snow. The second is that some thick-as-a-brick conservative will guffaw loudly that the presence of snow on the ground means that Al Gore is a moron and climate change is a fraud.
It happens all the time, and as funny as those jokes weren't the first time they were made, they're downright tiresome now.
But for Politico writers seeking to nab their latest link from Matt Drudge (a connoisseur of lame Al Gore/winter snowfall jokes), conservative mockery of the former vice president stemming from the record snowfall in Washington, DC is big news:
Conservatives mock Al Gore on snowstorms
By Andy Barr
With the nation's capital buried in several feet of snow and the federal government brought to a halt by Mother Nature, conservatives are mocking former Vice President Al Gore and his crusade to curb global climate change.
The vocal doubters of global warming frequently use any unseasonal snowfall or cold spell to mock Gore and the scientists who believe human actions are unnaturally warming the planet.
But the historic snowfall in Washington -- coinciding with a push from Democrats to enact legislation capping emissions -- has given conservatives more fodder than usual to bash the former vice president.
What follows are quotes from Sen. Jim DeMint, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and Sarah Palin all making THE SAME EXACT JOKE about Gore -- a joke they've probably all made dozens of times in the past.
Absent from the article was any indication that these conservatives, in addition to demonstrating a marked aversion to fresh comedic material, are also flat-out wrong to suggest that isolated weather phenomena, like the DC snowstorms, are at all relevant to the climate change debate. They certainly don't disprove climate change theory, much in the same way that unseasonably warm temperatures in Vancouver do nothing to confirm it.
But why let facts get in the way when there's a tired joke to flog and a Drudge link to be had?
UPDATE: Politico has since updated their article, citing Media Matters' item from yesterday documenting the plethora of conservatives using the snowstorms to make foolish and ignorant attacks on Al Gore and climate change theory. The Politico article now contains the following language:
Most climate scientists would disagree with the two senators -- both of whom are frequent critics of cap-and-trade legislation -- pointing to numerous studies indicating that carbon emissions have contributed to rising global temperatures.
The left-leaning group Media Matters wrote in its blog Tuesday that "conservative media figures have used the recent snowstorms in the Washington, D.C., area to level more science-free attacks on global warming."
But criticism of the position has not deterred global warming deniers from using an unusually snowy winter in Washington to bash Gore.
Remember back in September 2008 when candidate Obama used a common idiom to assert that his then-opponent Sen. McCain couldn't credibly claim to be "about change"? Obama said:
Let's just list this for a second. John McCain says he's about change, too. Except -- and so I guess his whole angle is, "Watch out, George Bush, except for economic policy, health-care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy, and Karl Rove-style politics. We're really gonna shake things up in Washington." That's not change. That's just calling some -- the same thing, something different. But you know, you can -- you know, you can put lipstick on a pig; it's still a pig.
How could we forget? These comments sparked one of the most embarrassing media spectacles of the presidential campaign, as pundits and journalists, conservative and otherwise, speculated that Obama was taking a shot at Sarah Palin since around the same time, she referred to herself as a pit bull wearing lipstick, nevermind that he was talking about policy and didn't mention Palin in his preceding remarks. A New York Post headline declared, "Holy Sow! Obama Takes a Pig and a Poke at Palin."
Although some reasonable media figures recognized that the "lipstick on a pig" phrase has a long, long history in political rhetoric, that both Obama and McCain had previously used the phrase during the campaign, and that this story was a stunning waste of time and resources, the whole ordeal was an unpleasant reminder that the media has ... a problem.
So we'd expect that media figures wouldn't be eager to revisit that unfortunate incident. But seventeen months later, in an article about Robert Gibbs mocking Sarah Palin in a press briefing yesterday, New York Post writer Jennifer Fermino chose to write:
Team Obama has let loose at the Alaska ex-governor before. While campaigning in 2008, Barack Obama said, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig" -- which many took as a reference to Palin's famous line, "What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."
What in 2008 was a baseless media freak-out directed by McCain campaign spin is now simply what happened according to the New York Post.
From Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich's twitter feed:
From TPM Media:
For those like me who are snowed-in on the Atlantic coast, I present some Wednesday mid-morning fun: