Right-wing media have accused Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of being a liberal activist in the wake of the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona. However, Dupnik has previously encouraged gun ownership among his constituents, has advocated for citizenship checks of students in public schools, and supported the controversial Arizona immigration law after some provisions were removed.
From the January 12 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
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This afternoon, the Huffington Post picked up the Columbia Free Times' report that the South Carolina firearms retailer Palmetto State Armory was advertising the sale of assault rifle components engraved with the phrase "You Lie." According to the Free Times' initial report, the company's website stated, "Palmetto State Armory would like to honor our esteemed congressman Joe Wilson with the release of our new 'You Lie' AR-15 lower receiver":
After they published their article, the web page was apparently removed.
Wilson, of course, is infamous for shouting "You lie" at President Obama during President Obama's September 2009 speech before a joint session of Congress. He subsequently apologized.
How does Glenn Beck fit in? Palmetto State Armory has been a Beck advertiser. Here's audio of Beck calling them the "on-line source you've trusted for years," promoting on-air their "brand new store in the Midlands," and lauding their "stock of tactical firearms":
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman takes a lot of abuse from right-wingers for his liberal political views and his economic theories that contradict the right-wing way of doing things (never mind that Krugman did receive a Nobel Prize in economics). But did you know that Krugman is just like Fred Phelps, pastor of Kansas' Westboro Baptist Church and best known for leading his tiny flock in odious protests of funerals of fallen soldiers?
That's what NewsBusters' Matthew Sheffield wants you to think. In a January 12 post (cross-posted at the Washington Examiner, where he works as an online media consultant), Sheffield asserts that any liberal who suggests that extreme right-wing rhetoric might be contributing to an environment that may have played a role in the Arizona shooting is acting just like Rev. Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church brood because, as Sheffield explained, liberals think "Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and anyone else who dares to resist the march of history are heretics. That's why they need to shut up, or in the event that they choose not to, have someone else shut them up."
Sheffield transcribed a Phelps sermon asserting that, in Sheffield's words, "Innocent people were killed because American and its leaders have sinned against the higher light." He then claimed that this "is effectively what New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said in a column printed Monday." This is followed by a lengthy section of Sheffield juxtaposing excerpts of Phelps' sermon with Krugman's column.
But Sheffield's little experiment discredits his argument. For instance, Krugman's statement that he was "expecting something like this atrocity to happen" is juxtaposed by Phelps' statement "God appointed the Afghanistan veteran to avenge himself on this evil nation." How are those statements any way analogous? We have no idea.
Krugman has never claimed he wanted to silence all views he opposes, nor does he claim divine approbation for his views; rather, he spoke in his column specifically of "eliminationist rhetoric" that he identified as "coming, overwhelmingly, from the right." Krugman has not called for his opponents to be struck down from above, nor is he running around the country picketing the funerals of those he disagreed with.
Americans may not be able to agree on much these days, but one thing both left and right do agree on is that the funeral protests held by Phelps and his fringe congregation are hateful and despicable. What purpose could Sheffield have in likening Krugman to Phelps other than revel in the vitriolic rhetoric Krugman is trying to tone down?
The latest criticism of Rush Limbaugh's offensive and false comment claiming that accused Arizona shooter Jared Loughner "has the full support" of "the Democrat [sic] Party" and that Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik is "doing everything that [he] can to make sure" Loughner is "not convicted of murder" comes from a surprising source: Tim Carney, senior political columnist at the conservative Washington Examiner.
After stating in a January 11 Examiner blog post that Limbaugh "added as much toxic waste to the Tuscon debate as Paul Krugman -- probably more" with his comments, Carney wrote:
Limbaugh is doing the same thing here Krugman and other liberals have done: he's simply making stuff up to smear the other side, and try to turn this atrocity into a political weapon.
What liberals are defending Loughner? What evidence is there Sheriff Dupnik wants to go light on the guy? And what about this guy would lead anyone to believe he wants to be the victim -- I would guess the opposite.
As I said about Krugman, Limbaugh isn't stating a viewpoint, he's making stuff up, especially where he claims to get in Loughner's mind.
Here's the best I can do to explain Limbaugh: he seems stuck in the 1990s, where we on the Right were often battling a "blame-society" relativism. But Dupnik and Krugman aren't blaming the Right in order to exculpate Loughner -- they are most likely doing it in order to vent frustration or to delegitimize our arguments. Limbaugh's fighting the wrong fight, and assigning the motive that's least likely and most offensive.
I was just beginning to think tonight that things were clearing up and the Krugman-Kos drivel was fading away. Then Limbaugh throws this garbage into the mix.
Now the countdown begins on Carney's inevitable walkback of his criticism, like every pretty much every other conservative who has committed the offense of criticizing Limbaugh in public.
Sarah Palin comments on the Arizona shootings:
Like many, I've spent the past few days reflecting on what happened and praying for guidance. After this shocking tragedy, I listened at first puzzled, then with concern, and now with sadness, to the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event.
Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election.
[E]specially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.
So, according to Sarah Palin, violent rhetoric plays no role in inspiring violent acts -- but criticism of violent acts incites "hatred and violence."
On his Fox News show, Glenn Beck claimed that lawmakers are considering "a ban on guns" in light of the recent shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Beck has previously stoked fears that the government or President Obama "will slowly but surely take away your gun or take away your ability to shoot a gun, carry a gun."
From the January 11 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
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From the January 11 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
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From the January 10 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
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A law enforcement memo reportedly states that alleged Arizona shooter Jared Loughner is "possibly linked" to the white supremacist magazine American Renaissance, edited by Jared Taylor. As the memo indicates, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was targeted in the attack, is "opposite this group's ideology" on immigration.
The Wall Street Journal today published an article on the prospects for President Obama's nominee for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel Virginia Seitz. As the article notes, the Office of Legal Counsel "has been the center of ideological battles over national security during the past decade."
The controversy is that during the Bush administration, the Office of Legal Counsel produced documents widely referred to as "torture memos." Those memos approved waterboarding and said the president could, at times, ignore the criminal law outlawing torture and even the Fourth Amendment. But the Journal goes out of its way to avoid the word torture.
Heck, the Journal doesn't even say that Office of Legal Counsel OK'd "brutal interrogation techniques," "harsh interrogation techniques" or "enhanced interrogation techniques." (Even one of the foremost defenders of the Bush administration's actions, Marc Theissen, refers to "enhanced interrogations.")
Rather, the Journal states: "the office produced legal opinions on interrogation and detention that endorsed methods used by the Central Intelligence Agency to question terror suspects. The Bush administration later withdrew several opinions, saying they were erroneous."
Former New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt has noted that the Times has been criticized for refusing to use the word torture, but rather using terms such as " 'harsh' techniques."
We must hope that the Journal hasn't gone even further than the Times and directed its news staff to refer to the CIA's use of waterboarding and other techniques simply as "methods used by the Central Intelligence Agency to question terror suspects."
A lesson for discredited conservative activist Andrew Breitbart: If you're going to cheat, don't show your cards. Even better yet: don't cheat.
Last week Breitbart released a 29-page report calling for a congressional investigation into what he claims is "widespread corruption" surrounding the 1999 USDA settlement in Pigford v. Glickman. The lawsuit was filed by black farmers who were denied loans and whose discrimination complaints were ignored by the USDA between 1981 and 1996. Breitbart asserts that most of the claims for payment under the settlement were filed by undeserving people and that then-Senator Obama pushed to extend the payments for those who missed the filing deadline in order to buy the rural black vote in 2007. (No explanation provided for why Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was such a willing accomplice.)
The allegations of massive fraud made in the report rely heavily on anecdotes apparently provided to Breitbart by what appear to be numerous unnamed USDA employees. But it turns out that Breitbart took portions of an interview with one person and presented them as though they came from several different people. How do we know that? Because after publishing his report, Breitbart posted interviews with his sources on BigGovernment.com in what I assume was an effort to draw more attention to his "Pigford investigation" (I guess the bright red headlines weren't working.)
In the following excerpt from Breitbart's report, each of the USDA sources referenced in bold is actually the same person, according to the interview posted on BigGovernment.com, but are presented in the report as several different people:
Some of the claims of discrimination didn't make sense. One employee reports that there were numerous claims of racial discrimination against the USDA offices in Jefferson County, Arkansas, for example, but the supervisors in that office were all black.
Another employee from Arkansas reports that there were literally hundreds of claims from black women stating they had been the victims of USDA discrimination but in his 15 years in Arkansas, he had only ever seen one black female applicant for a loan.
Still another USDA employee reports that he personally witnessed an example where eight Pigford applicants came from one single family, and they were accepted and granted by USDA. "Pigford was basically legalized extortion," reports this USDA employee, "it reached the point where they were just handing money to people."
Q: How twisted do you have to be to distort domestic violence guidelines in order to argue for loosening the definition of domestic violence?
A: Twisted enough to write for the Daily Caller.
Under the header "Yippee, we're all abusers now!," Carey Roberts denounces "the Abuse Mavens" of the "domestic violence industry" who "ginned up this grand scheme: Let's exponentially broaden the definition of domestic violence" because they "don't want to see their generous paychecks trimmed."
Roberts' entire column is a litany of purportedly-ridiculous things treated as "domestic violence" by "Big Sister." Here's a taste:
Go to the website of the federal Office of [sic] Violence against Women. The OVW informs us domestic violence is a "pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control."
Maintain power and control?
Ladies, if you nag your husband to mow the lawn, that's power and control. Men, quit telling your wife to not overdraw the ATM — same thing. If you get into a disagreement over the TV remote control, you guessed it, that's proof of an obsessive need for power and control. That's a heinous offense, according to Big Sister.
It goes on like that at some length. The most obvious sign that Roberts is blowing smoke is that he doesn't offer a single example of anyone ever being unjustly charged with domestic violence. He pretends that merely reminding a spouse not to "overdraw the ATM" will result in jack-booted government thugs kicking down your door (no joke: Roberts compares the Office on Violence Against Women to the KGB.) But he doesn't identify any example of anything even remotely like that ever happening, which is a pretty good indication that he's bitterly denouncing straw.
But Roberts doesn't stop at absurd caricatures of domestic violence definitions: He tells clear falsehoods about them as well. Here's Roberts:
But domestic violence runs rampant and proto-abusers need to be held accountable — or so the domestic violence industry claims — so why not swell our definitions even more?
Now, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, partner violence also includes "getting annoyed if the victim disagrees" and "withholding information from the victim." If that doesn't suffice, "disregarding what the victim wants" also counts as a punishable offense.
Well, no. According to Roberts, CDC will punish people for "partner violence" simply for being annoyed. But in reality, CDC lists "getting annoyed if the victim disagrees" and "withholding information from the victim" as potential elements of "Psychological/emotional abuse" -- not "violence." That doesn't mean that "getting annoyed" is automatically abuse, just that it could occur in a way that constitutes abuse. Perhaps more importantly, while Roberts pretends that CDC considers annoyance a form of "violence," CDC makes clear that it does so when emotional abuse comes in the context of prior physical or sexual violence:
The panel made the decision to classify psychological/emotional abuse as a type of violence only when it occurs in the context of prior physical or sexual violence, or the prior threat of physical or sexual violence. The panel suggested that "prior" be operationalized as "within the past 12 months."
Basically, Roberts is defending emotionally-abusive conduct by people who have already been physically abusive. But he doesn't dare come out and say that, so he pretends that the part about prior physical violence or threats of violence doesn't exist.
Again: You have to be pretty twisted to make a dishonest case for weakening domestic violence laws. But not so twisted that Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller won't publish you.
Oh, and just a week ago, Roberts took to the Caller to denounce restraining orders, arguing that instead, women should avoid "late-night strolls in public areas."
From the November 29 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:
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