In a July 13 RedState.com blog post, CNN contributor Erick Erickson declared that in noting that Social Security checks might be disrupted should the default crisis not be resolved by the August 2 deadline, President Obama "declared his willingness to shoot his hostages, i.e. senior citizens." Erickson went on to say, "The GOP should do the same -- show an absolute unwillingness to raise the debt ceiling without their balanced budget amendment passing out of Congress to the states. ... the GOP should embrace the apocalyptic future, call B.S. on the fear mongering, and shoot their debt ceiling hostage."
From Erickson's blog post:
Everyone is using the hostage metaphor these days regarding the debt ceiling. Barack Obama started it back in December when he called the GOP hostage takers before the GOP gave him everything he wanted.
Well, I hope the GOP noticed Barack Obama yesterday upped the ante and declared his willingness to shoot his hostages, i.e. senior citizens. Yes, if the GOP dares to hold the line on spending cuts, Barack Obama will balk, the debt limit will not be raised, and Obama will refuse to pay senior citizens.
The President today signaled his willingness to shoot the hostage. The GOP should do the same -- show an absolute unwillingness to raise the debt ceiling without their balanced budget amendment passing out of Congress to the states.
Again and again, Congress folds to the doomsday scenarios. The Wall Street Journal again and again claims the sky will fall and the markets will crash. The suits come down from New York and paint the disaster scenario. The GOP falls in line. TARP is passed. What else will be passed?
This time, the GOP should embrace the apocalyptic future, call B.S. on the fear mongering, and shoot their debt ceiling hostage. if they engage in politics as usual as the Wall Street Journal and Mitch McConnell would have them, we'll be back in this mess again next year.
Conservative media have remained adamantly opposed to any revenue increases when covering the current negotiations over the looming default crisis. In fact, several prominent conservative economists disagree and have said that new revenue should be part of an agreement.
The right-wing media reacted to President Obama's address on troop withdrawals in Afghanistan by dredging up familiar, petty attacks, such as criticizing the number of times Obama referred to himself, and claiming the address was a "campaign speech" instead of a "war update." This follows a long history of the right-wing media launching frivolous attacks over speeches Obama makes on all manner of issues.
Following President Obama's speech announcing the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, right-wing media have strained to portray the announcement as a "mission accomplished" moment. However, Obama acknowledged that "huge challenges remain" in Afghanistan and "[w]e'll have to do the hard work of keeping the gains that we've made."
Right-wing media have attacked a recent Maryland State Board of Education ruling that requires high school students to be "environmentally literate" before graduating as "indoctrination" and "brainwash[ing]," while using it as an opportunity continue the right-wing's longstanding war on climate science.
In a June 16 post to the conservative blog Red State, Daniel Horowitz wrote that "[t]he Social Security Ponzi scheme is perhaps the most consequential government infringement upon our lives." Horowitz later called for conservatives to "offer workers the option to opt out of the Madoff-style program." From the blog:
The Social Security Ponzi scheme is perhaps the most consequential government infringement upon our lives. Conservatives are justifiably outraged that Obama egregiously mandated that we purchase health insurance. However, the individual mandate is not nearly as meddlesome and tyrannical as the government's complete control over our retirement security. The only reason why these two programs are regarded differently by the public, is because Social Security has been around for 75 years. Consequently, most Americans are conditioned to believe that a person's retirement is indissolubly tied to government-run Social Security.
Now that Social Security is running a perennial deficit and is facing insolvency, conservatives have an opportunity to reverse one of the most flagrant violations of our property rights, by offering workers the option to opt out of the Madoff-style program.
So, young Obama zombies with skulls full of mush; with whom do you trust your retirement security: your bank account or Obama's defunct ATM? How about Bernie Madoff?
Right-wing media have seized on recent comments by President Obama to claim that Obama "blame[d] ATMs for high unemployment." But Obama's full comments show that he was suggesting that businesses are investing more heavily in automated machines than in hiring new employees, a view shared by economists.
In their campaign to manufacture false attacks on health care reform, the right-wing media has seized on a new, obscure, and absurd argument: that, in oral arguments debating the merit of a legal challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (PPAC) individual mandate provision, Neal Katyal, the acting solicitor general of the United States, recommended that individuals who do not want to be subject to the mandate could choose to "make less money." Cue the right wing freakout.
The usual right-wing blogs led the charge, with Doug Powers writing: "Don't like the individual mandate in Obamacare and can't get a waiver? No problem -- just be poor." Perpetual misinformer Jim Hoft claimed: "Obama's solicitor general, Neal Kumar Katyal, told a federal appeals court that Americans who didn't like the individual mandate could always avoid it by choosing to earn less money," and concluded, "So there you have it. This is the Obama administration philosophy. Don't work so hard. Make less money and let other people pick up the tab. That should do wonders for the economy." A Red State blogger wrote (emphasis in the original): "That's Katyal advice to all of us that don't like the mandate or consider it unconstitutional...make less money."
Not to be outdone, the morning crew at Fox & Friends predictably ran with the story. After listening to the audio, co-host Steve Doocy referenced the upcoming legal challenge in Florida and asked "is that the best they can do? If you don't like it, make less money?" while co-host Brian Kilmeade called Katyal's supposed argument, "anti-American." Gretchen Carlson asked: "Do you think this guy misspoke or is telling the truth?" Watch:
Right-wing media have attacked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for using federal workers' pension funds to ensure that the government meets its obligations for the short-term while lawmakers and the White House try to reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling. In fact, Geithner's actions are in line with those of the Treasury Department under former Presidents Bush and Clinton, the government is legally required to reimburse the program once the debt limit is increased, and economic disaster could have occurred had Geithner not taken these measures.
As Media Matters has previously reported, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has filed a cloture petition on President Obama's nomination of Goodwin Liu to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the ninth Circuit. Despite bipartisan support for Liu by prominent conservative politicians, the right-wing media have continuously attacked the nominee, and in some cases called for a filibuster of the nomination.
The right-wing media is hyping a study that attempted to measure the state-by-state unemployment effects of the stimulus, to claim that the bill actually destroyed jobs. But economists, including Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, have raised questions of "cherry picking" and dismissed the study's findings.
Yesterday, noted conspiracist, Islamophobe, and Fox Business regular Pam Geller forwarded an explosive allegation: that the military had "overruled" President Obama's order to abort the Osama bin Laden kill mission. As we detailed, Geller is so committed to trying to make Obama look bad that she was willing to casually accuse the military of essentially committing sedition. (Geller later updated with a second story that contradicted the details of the first.)
Her source for the allegation and the update was an anonymous writer named "Ulsterman," who regularly posts articles at "NewsFlavor" and other sites with user-submitted content. Ulsterman can be found tackling tough issues like whether Julia Roberts has gotten a "boob job" or if "a few more pizzas really account for the considerable increase in her breast size." Of more interest, however, are Ulsterman's series of "interviews" with a "long time D.C. insider" making fantastical allegations about the goings-on in the Obama administration.
Ulsterman's interviews with the "White House Insider" don't pass the smell test.
In the lead-up to Earth Day, members of the right-wing media have ridiculed conservation efforts and downplayed the concerns of environmentalists. This is nothing new for conservative media figures who have, in the past, used the Earth Day to attack conservationists by urging audiences to cut down trees and increase their energy consumption.
Conservative media have gone to great lengths to portray Planned Parenthood as an organization of "child killers" bent on eliminating entire minority populations. These unhinged claims have led to sexist attacks on women and women's health services.
Following the president's deficit speech Wednesday, CNN's Erick Erickson quickly grasped at straws to revive one of the right-wing media's go-to falsehoods about healthcare: death panels.
From Erickson's RedState.com post, "Barack Obama Fully Embraces Death Panels":
While everyone else was focused on Barack Obama bashing Paul Ryan, I noticed that he took full ownership of death panels yesterday. Naturally, Obama did not call them death panels. He called them "an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers." But his description hits dead on with what his death panels will do.
According to Barack Obama yesterday, the death panels "will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services seniors need."
We already know what they'll recommend as "the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending". Barack Obama's own advisers have told us. They will prioritize giving health care to healthier people and let sicker people die. At end of life, they will deny people life sustaining treatment because, after all, they're going to die anyway. Note his phrasing: "protecting access to the services seniors need." Dying people, according to Obama's advisers, need hospice not hope. They certainly do not need expensive treatments that may buy them time to see the birth of a new grandchild or other reasons.
You may not like the use of the phrase "death panel," but make no mistake about it -- at the end of your life, in Barack Obama's America, his death panel will throw you under the bus in a way much closer to reality than metaphor.