Conservative columnist Ruben Navarrette pulls a neat trick over at CNN.com. Dishing out the latest, warmed-over GOP talking points about Obama's proposed stimulus package, the RNC-friendly writer claims to be able to read minds. Specifically, he can read the mind of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who last week was at the center of a mini-controversy regarding the proposed expansion of Medicaid funding for family planning services.
Navarrette though, was able to spot very nasty, vile and racist undertones to Pelosi's comments:
When you make the argument that contraception is a cost-saving measure for state and federal government, some might think what you're implying is that the babies who would otherwise have been born were destined to become dependent on welfare and other public services. And for those who think wrongly that welfare dependents only come in two colors -- black and brown -- it's easy to see which births need to be controlled. That's how you connect the dots. Now, maybe that isn't where Pelosi was headed with her comments. It doesn't matter.
Did you follow? According to Navarrette, "some might think" that Pelosi was implying that "black and brown" babies are a bad thing. And that if you "connect the dots," that's where Pelosi's comments were "headed."
But did Pelosi ever say or even imply such a ugly thing? According to Navarrette, "It doesn't matter." He's going to smear her nonetheless.
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With a Democrat back in the White House, Rush Limbaugh has wasted no time in hurling false and baseless attacks against President Obama, echoing his slanders and smears of President Clinton, his family, and his administration during the 1990s.
Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity have falsely asserted or suggested that Robert Reich, speaking at a congressional forum, proposed that jobs created by the economic stimulus package should exclude white males. In fact, Reich has repeatedly stated that he favors a stimulus plan that "includ[es] women and minorities, and the long-term unemployed" in addition to skilled professionals and white male construction workers, not one that is solely limited to them.
From the January 21 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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It was made in the context of the unfolding Blago/Burris controversy. Jackson, who had been considered by Blago as a possible candidate to fill Barack Obama's senate seat, told CNN that it would be unfortunate if the issue of whether to seat Burris or not became "racialized."
The Hill reported it this way:
"The longer this process takes the more racialized this seat becomes and the more difficult it becomes for Democrats to hold it in 2010," Jackson, a onetime candidate for the seat, told CNN.
From that, The Hill made this rather sweeping, and damning, generalization about Democrats [emphasis added]:
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D) warned Tuesday that Senate Democrats risk alienating black voters by refusing to seat Roland Burris, creating racial tension that could result in the party losing the Illinois Senate seat in 2010.
Is that really what Jackson claimed, that Democrats would alienate black voters? That's not how I read Jackson's somewhat amorphous CNN quote and I'm not sure how The Hill came to that conclusion. Because that same day Jackson also spoke to Politico about the Burris situation and seemed to making the opposite point from what The Hill claimed:
But [Jackson] said that use of the race card by Burris' supporters hurts Democrats' chances for holding the seat in 2010. "A racialized Senate seat is not something that the people of Illinois want," Jackson said. "They want people to speak to their concerns and the genuine economic hardships they confront. So the racialization of Senate seat is going to be a profound problem for Democrats," he said.
On Hardball, Pat Buchanan said of Roland Burris' appointment to the Senate and the Senate leadership's refusal to seat him: "[W]hy does [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid not want this guy? Why can't he get elected? Because he's an African-American." However, neither Matthews nor Buchanan mentioned that Reid stated -- well before Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed Burris -- that the Senate would consider rejecting anyone appointed by Blagojevich. Nor did they mention that Reid previously denied that his opposition to Burris was based on race.
Former Laura Bush flack and LA Times blogger Andrew Malcolm returned to the topic of Sen. Harry Reid and how people now think he's biased against blacks. And why do they think that? Because of people like Malcolm.
Over the weekend, as CF noted, Malcolm hyped a nasty Chicago Sun-Times article, leaked by Blago sources, that pretty much suggested Reid insisted a black not be appointed to fill Barack Obama's senate seat. Malcolm thought that revelation added to the "molten stew" that was the Blago scandal.
Again, as CF noted, Reid appeared on MTP over the weekend and categorically denied ever making that claim to Blago about black candidates. But for some reason Malcolm never found time/space to update his "molten stew" post to include Reid's unequivocal denial.
Now in his follow-up post, Malcolm stresses that there's a "public perception" that Reid's biased against blacks. Who helped plant that perception? People like Malcolm.
This is quite amazing, as ABC, like lots of media outlets, continues to jack up the racial angle to the Blago-Burris story.
From ABC's David Wright:
"Not since Mr. Smith came to Washington, in that old Frank Capra film, has an idealistic senator appointed by a corrupt party boss been so unwelcome at the Capitol. But at least Mr. Smith got his seat," David Wright reported on ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday. "But it's also distinctly possible the scene will look more like 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?' The senators may seem out of touch, if this overwhelmingly white group refuses to admit the one and only black man seeking to join their exclusive club."
Wright went on to stress that Burris' "only sin" was that he was appointed by a "tainted politician," which may represent new heights in the art of the understatement.
Former Laura Bush flack and LA Times blogger Andrew Malcolm posted a weekend round-up regarding Blago-related developments. Or the "molten stew that is the scandal," as Malcolm panted.
Malcolm stressed this point:
According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, Reid attempted to influence the governor's nominee choice by expressing serious reservations over the 2010 electability of three potential Blagojevich picks -- Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Danny Davis and state Senate President Emil Jones. All three men happen to be black, as is Burris.
Nasty stuff, right? The U.S. Senate Majority Leader dictating who and who could not be selected to fill Obama's senate seat? And worse, Reid announced no blacks were allowed. Yikes, no wonder the Blago story has morphed into a "molten stew."
You know what's great about blogging, though? The ability to update stories when new information surfaces. But for some reason Malcolm had no interest in doing that at the LA Time blog after Reid, while appearing on Sunday's MTP, categorically denied ever making those claims to Blago about Jackson, David or Jones. According to Reid, the claim that he opposed black candidates is completely false.
Nonetheless, 24 hours later Malcolm still hadn't updated his blog post. Maybe that's because with that additional information the Blago story would become less molten stew-ish.
BTW, we loved how an LA Times blogger reader demolished another part of Malcolm's Blago account, where he wrote:
By naming the 71-year-old Burris, who's never lost an election to a Republican, Blagojevich places Reid in the uncomfortable political position of blocking an experienced black political vote-getter from replacing a black and becoming the Senate's only black member.
The point here isn't about Burris' qualifications, it's about how Malcolm spins vs. reports. Here's what "Phil" wrote:
It is very misleading to describe Burris as having "never lost an election to a Republican." It is equally misleading to describe him as "an experienced...political vote-getter." In 1984, Burris ran for the U.S. Senate and lost in the primaries to Paul Simon. Then, in 1994, he ran for Governor of Illinois and lost in the primaries. In 1995, the following year, he ran for Mayor of Chicago and lost to another Democratc, Richard Daley. In 1998, he ran for Governor of Illinois and lost in the primaries. He ran for Governor again in 2002 and lost in the primaries to Blagojevich. Sure, he's never lost to a Republican. Most of the time he is unable to make it that far!
Malcolm.....stop with the talking points!!!
What Phil said.
On Morning Joe, shortly after Mika Brzezinski remarked that the weather was "so cold" that "[i]t'll freeze your car door shut," Joe Scarborough recounted, "I tried to turn the key, and it was ... locked." Then, in response to Brzezinski's comment, "Oh, American car. That's the problem," Scarborough declared: "The American car -- you know what? It's probably some Japanese engineer that made the key hold -- just sabotaged us. Kinda like blowing up things at Pearl Harbor."
Radio host Bill Cunningham compared the Cincinnati Zoo to Eugene "Bull" Connor, the Birmingham Public Safety commissioner infamous for using dogs and fire hoses against civil rights demonstrators in the 1960s. Cunningham made the remark while criticizing the zoo's decision to pull out of a promotional partnership with the Creation Museum, which seeks to "affirm the truth of the biblical record of the real origin and history of the world and mankind" and reportedly contains a display featuring "a triceratops with a saddle on its back."
Following Obama's unveiling of new administration players today:
Chris Matthews: "Clearly [the team] has the picture we're looking for. The many faces of Benetton or whatever you want to call it. But clearly representative of America more than previous administrations..."
Joe Scarborough: "We were talking on the set here and we decided they had to split up the white guys up there to make it look more like America."