Right-wing media have been hyping the claim that a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks shows that President Obama had planned to "apologize" for the bombing of Hiroshima during his 2009 visit to Japan. But the cable only shows there was speculation from "anti-nuclear groups" that Obama might travel to Hiroshima after expressing support for a "nuclear-free world," and the Obama administration has said no apology was ever planned.
Yesterday, Andrew Breitbart, Sean Hannity, and National Review Online's Andrew McCarthy claimed that, in Sean Hannity's words, then-Senator Barack Obama was "hanging out" with a group of New Black Panther Party members during a 2007 event in Selma, Alabama. The charge was totally false, as it was based on cropped photos and dishonest descriptions.
In reality, the event was the 42nd anniversary of the 1965 march from Selma, a pivotal event in the civil rights movement that ended when the marchers were attacked by law enforcement at Edmund Pettus Bridge.
During the commemoration, Obama was in the company of people like the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, who Martin Luther King Jr. once described as "the most courageous civil rights fighter in the South." Shuttlesworth died today at the age of 89.
Here's a picture from Reuters of Obama pushing Shuttlesworth in a wheelchair across the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the event mentioned by Breitbart, Hannity, and McCarthy:
This closes the book on the latest shameful attempt at race-baiting by Breitbart, McCarthy, and Hannity.
In a September 22 post on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government blog, anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller attacked the Park51 Islamic cultural center after it opened a photography exhibit because it had actually "broken ground on September 11, 2001." From Big Government (emphasis in original):
One year ago, Ground Zero Mosque leader Daisy Khan, the wife of stealth Islamic supremacist Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, said that they would be breaking ground on September 11, 2011 for the 15-story monster mosque going up in a building that was destroyed in the Islamic attack on America on 9/11. It was redundant. They had broken ground on September 11, 2001.
Still, for all this triumphalism, CNN still admits that the Park51 grifters "are not speculating about a timeline for construction." Nevertheless, "Park51's planners say they are committed to their original Lower Manhattan location. They are now seeking to raise $7 to $10 million in financing."
Give that money to the first responders. Don't build a mega-mosque at Ground Zero.
In a post on Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com touting a book titled A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism and Jew Hatred by Sol Stern, Ben Shapiro wrote that President Obama is not an actual Muslim but "an ideological Muslim in the same way Hillary Clinton was an ideological lesbian in her college days."
From Shapiro's post:
Sol is very kind when he writes that President Obama's motives are unclear with regard to his ideological support for Mahmoud Abbas' odd iteration of the Palestinian state-to-be. His motives are absolutely clear. President Obama is not who New York Magazine pretends he is -- he is our first ideologically Muslim president.
That doesn't mean he's a Muslim -- far from it (he's an atheist). He is, however, an ideological Muslim in the same way Hillary Clinton was an ideological lesbian in her college days -- he believes in the geopolitical perspective of the Muslim world, namely that the United States and Israel are responsible for all evil and that if Israel had never existed, the world would be a better place.
Right-wing media have continued their long history of attacking President Obama's speeches by scrambling to criticize his September 8 address in which he proposed the American Jobs Act.
After Fox News aired a doctored version of Teamsters president James Hoffa's Labor Day speech, the right-wing media pointed to the clearly edited video to accuse Hoffa of encouraging violence against conservatives. In fact, unaltered video -- video aired by Fox hours after the clearly edited version had been heavily promoted throughout the conservative media -- shows that Hoffa was encouraging the crowd to vote against Republicans in the 2012 election.
This morning Andrew Breitbart, Dana Loesch and Mike Flynn dropped by Media Matters asking for a copy of our IRS 990 form.
Right-wing bloggers misled by dishonest Fox News video editing are attacking Teamsters President James Hoffa for supposedly urging violence against Tea Party activists during a Labor Day speech. Conservatives are also attacking President Obama, who appeared at the event, for "sanctioning violence against fellow Americans" by failing to denounce Hoffa. But fuller context included in other Fox segments makes clear that Hoffa wasn't calling for violence but was actually urging the crowd to vote out Republican members of Congress.
During the segment that the bloggers have latched onto, Fox edited out the bolded portion of Hoffa's comments:
HOFFA: Everybody here's got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize, let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong! Thank you very much!
In an initial report on Hoffa's speech at 1 p.m. on Fox News, Ed Henry reported that Hoffa said that "we'll remember in November who's with the working people" and "said of the Tea Party and of Republicans, 'let's take these sons of bitches out.'"
Henry made clear during that segment that Hoffa's comments were references to voting out Republican members of Congress, not to violence. And roughly 20 minutes later, he explained on Twitter that the "full quote" of the "take these son of a bitches out" comment is "Everybody here's got to vote. If we go back & keep the eye on the prize, let's take these sons of bitches out":
But in a second segment that ran at roughly the same time as Henry's tweet, Fox News dishonestly edited the speech in the manner seen above. Andrew Breitbart's Big sites, Real Clear Politics, The Daily Caller, the Media Research Center, and the Drudge Report have all highlighted that footage, using it to condemn "the violence emanating from union thug bosses" and demand that Obama "denounce" the comments.
Norman Rockwell's 1963 painting "The Problem We All Live With" -- which depicts the walk by a 6-year-old black girl, escorted by U.S. marshals, to integrate a school -- is a classic and iconic piece of art. Earlier this summer, as the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Washington was approaching, the painting was temporarily installed in the West Wing of the White House, just outside the Oval Office. The White House stated of the installation:
The President likes pictures that tell a story and this painting fits that bill. Norman Rockwell was a longtime supporter of the goals of equality and tolerance. In his early career, editorial policies governed the placement of minorities in his illustrations (restricting them to service industry positions only). However, in 1963 Rockwell confronted the issue of prejudice head-on with this, one of his most powerful paintings. Inspired by the story of Ruby Bridges and school integration, the image featured a young African-American girl being escorted to school by four U.S. marshals amidst signs of protest and fearful ignorance. The painting ushered in a new era in Rockwell's career and remains an important national symbol of the struggle for racial equality.
But Jeannie DeAngelis, a blogger for Andrew Breitbart's Big Government, somehow managed to find a more sinister agenda afoot in the simple act of hanging an iconic painting in the White House. In a post titled "Obama: The Problem We All Live With," DeAngelis asserted that the display of the work, which she described as a "reminder of division and hatred," may be evidence that Obama is "uninterested in fostering unity":
The President's taste in artwork indicates that America's "post-racial president" may be secretly nursing a deep-seated wound. It's either that, or he's uninterested in fostering unity. If that weren't a distinct possibility, why didn't he choose Norman Rockwell's "Murder in Mississippi (Southern Justice)," which portrays the deaths of three civil rights workers, two of whom where white, killed for their efforts to register African American voters, or "Negro in the Suburbs," which depicts black children interacting with the white children in their new neighborhood?
Rather than displaying a reminder of division and hatred, shouldn't America's first black president be focusing on the harmony that the historic nature of his presidency promised to deliver? Instead, his attraction to an artist's rendition of one of the "ugliest racial episodes in U.S. history" indicates that the President of the United States may harbor a measure of latent acrimony.
Thus, Barack's behavior has exposed yet another example of his duplicitous insincerity. Because when it comes to the "ugliest [religious] episode in U.S. history," the President has been more than willing to extend the same level of forgiveness and understanding to Muslim Americans that hanging Norman Rockwell's disquieting painting deprives white America.
DeAngelis also compared the display of the Rockwell work to the display of a painting of 9-11 hijacker Mohamed Atta:
Conservative media have attacked Alan Krueger, President Obama's nominee to head the President's Council of Economic Advisers, for purportedly advocating a "value added tax." But the 2-year-old blog post they cite stated that he did so "only as a suggestion for serious discussion," adding that he was "not sure it is the best way to go."
Reports by industry groups have warned of dire consequences from pending EPA limits on pollution from coal-fired power plants. In recent weeks, conservative media have promoted and in some cases even overstated these predictions of a "regulatory train wreck." But according to a detailed analysis by the Congressional Research Service, many of these claims rely on unrealistic assumptions.
CRS assessed reports by the Edison Electric Institute, which concluded that new EPA regulations "would cause the unplanned retirement of" up to 18.8 percent of coal fired electric capacity by 2015, and by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, which "concluded that the implementation of four EPA rules could result in a loss of up to 19% of fossil-fuel-fired steam capacity" by 2018. CRS concluded (emphasis added):
The EEI and other analyses discussed here generally predate EPA's actual proposals and reflect assumptions about stringency and timing (especially for implementation) that differ significantly from what EPA actually may propose or has promulgated. Some of the rules are expected to be expensive; costs of others are likely to be moderate or limited, or they are unknown at this point because a rule has not yet been proposed. Rules when actually proposed or issued may well differ enough that a plant operator's decision about investing in pollution controls or facility retirement will look entirely different from what these analyses project.
The primary impacts of many of the rules will largely be on coal-fired plants more than 40 years old that have not, until now, installed state-of-the-art pollution controls. Many of these plants are inefficient and are being replaced by more efficient combined cycle natural gas plants, a development likely to be encouraged in the price of competing fuel--natural gas--continues to be low, almost regardless of EPA rules.
As the date of Sarah Palin's keynote speech at a Tea Party event in Iowa draws near, many in the right-wing media are using it to promote a possible Palin candidacy. Fox News contributor Karl Rove is also citing a "campaign-style video," writes columnist Byron York, that Palin released on her recent visit to the Iowa State Fair as evidence that Palin is "gearing up for a run."
Andrew Breitbart's website Big Government, however, saw signs of a Palin run elsewhere: namely, in a Rasmussen poll on GOP candidates that did not include Palin as a choice.
Here's how an August 21 post on the site made that case (emphasis added):
For those who like to look at numbers, then look no further than a Rasmussen Report released August 16, 2011.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary voters, taken Monday night [August 15, 2011], finds Perry with 29% support. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, earns 18% of the vote, while Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman who won the high-profile Ames Straw Poll in Iowa on Saturday, picks up 13%.
Palin was not an option in the poll, but Perry and Bachmann were and both share a base support of the TEA Party which heavily support Sarah Palin. Without Palin as a choice, the majority either went with Perry or Bachmann, unless you consider the 16 percent undecided voters. But with a Sarah Palin announcement, things change dramatically. Although Perry will capture a little more of the establishment crowd than Bachmann, you can count on a fairly equitable split of both candidates' supporters when Palin enters the ring. It's reasonable to assume that, given the prospect of a Palin candidacy, Palin will capture about 40 percent of Perry's supporters and roughly half of Bachmann's.
The author did not explain why it is "reasonable to assume that," but instead moved on to explain how Palin's candidacy would change the Rasmussen poll numbers:
If you do the math, not counting support Candidate Palin might take from Cain, Paul, Santorum and the others, the result of a Palin announcement, fresh out of the gate, looks like this:
Throw in the undecided voter who will likely swing toward Palin, given the fact that they already had the opportunity to choose one of the other candidates, and didn't; it looks even more promising for Palin. If this particular scenario plays out, then the pendulum swings toward Palin in the lead when given the Mama Grizzly option.
It's hardly unusual for political blogs to speculate on the likelihood of various presidential candidacies. But Big Government's approach is certainly an unusual way to do that.
Last month, we documented how right-wing media used the Norway terrorist attack to push for more lenient gun laws. They're at it again, now using the riots in the United Kingdom as their hook.
Today, Andrew Breitbart's Big Government published a blog post by AWR Hawkins headlined "If We Let the Government Take Our Guns, We'll Have To Run and Hide Like Londoners." Hawkins claimed that "because England banned the private ownership of handguns the "criminals are confident the citizenry is thoroughly unarmed" and are "going into homes and business ... taking whatever they want." They then attempt to strike fear into readers by suggesting "if we ever let the government take our guns, it won't be long till we'll be scrambling under tables like Londoners."
He punctuated that post with this picture, although it's unclear if this is supposed to be a picture of the rioters or those running in fear because they don't have guns:
Not to be outdone, Fox News soon got into the act.
With a possible government shutdown less than a week away, Andrew Breitbart's Big Government is embracing the conservative narrative that if the debt ceiling is reached and the government can't meet its obligations, President Obama gets the blame.
In a July 27 post under the headline "If Your Government Check Stops Due to the Debt Limit: Blame Obama," Big Government contributor Michael Angley decries what he sees as "a dirty little secret" -- that since "the Government, through Barack Obama, decides who gets paid and who doesn't" if the debt ceiling isn't raised, and "if you don't get your check, then it means he decided you were not important. Blame him." Angley continues:
Obama decides who does not get paid, and he decides who does get paid. When he threatens not to pay the elderly, the disabled, veterans, and even the military, he is saying that he has higher priorities than them. These may be things like Planned Parenthood, foreign aid to countries that may not even be friendly toward Barackistan, Michelle Obama's personal staff of 40, State-run media (like NPR), and so on.
Of course, Obama, unlike many conservatives, has made it clear that he doesn't want the government to default and put social insurance programs at risk. But even leaving that aside, Angley's suggestion that Obama may funnel money to political favorites rather than to "the elderly, the disabled, veterans, and even the military" is pure fantasy.
In reality, the government wouldn't be able to pay for all the things Angley lists, and Obama is right to warn that they are under threat.
As The Hill reports, a recent analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) estimates that a lack of a debt ceiling deal would mean a 44 percent cut in federal spending, and a 10 percent cut in GDP. This would force the Treasury to prioritize its payments. According to the report, "[h]andling all payments for important and popular programs" -- including social insurance programs and military pay -- would "quickly become impossible."
A post on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website downplayed concerns that the federal government could default if the debt ceiling is not raised by August 2, claiming that "the whole 'crisis' is as phony as a $3 Federal Reserve note." However, experts agree that if the U.S. were to default as a result of not raising the debt ceiling, it could have significant negative effects on the economy.