By a vote of 221-198, House Republicans continued to destroy their party by passing a bill that would raise student loan rates.
(Liberals Unite) - This is one of the better researched examples of Fox News deliberately editing film footage to make false accusations against President Obama.
This clip demonstrates some of the clearest evidence of dishonest Fox News quote mining I have ever seen.
You can watch the video below and if you are interested in seeing all the sources, as well as reading a scene by scene explanation you can visit the LiberalViewer’s YouTube post.
I noticed even NPR was doing it.
It’s infuriating that everyone jumped all over Benghazi when the GOP was screaming “scandal” and “cover up”.
Then, when it turned out that only selective parts of the emails had been released to make the president and his administration look bad. Suddenly everyone is treating that particular point with kid gloves. Saying shit like, “Well, it might be that the emails released weren’t entirely accurate.”
It’s almost like everyone is afraid to call out the GOP. Presumably because they are afraid of the GOP accusing them of bias.
The story will slowly fade into obscurity and only be talked about by the people still convinced there was a cover-up, when what should be happening is driving the point home that someone released falsified emails and the media reported them as fact, but instead, the story just kind of gets “dropped”.
(MN Progressive Project) - There is a reason you didn’t see any Minnesota State Senators at the marriage equality signing ceremony on the State Capitol steps. It is because the Republican Senators behaved like absolute jerks. Only the bill’s authors, Sen. Scott Dibble and Sen. Tony Lourey, attended.
The rest were called to the floor of the Senate for a series of useless, time-wasting procedural motions.
Spite. Pure spite. I honestly believe that if you waved a magic wand and suddenly wiped out all spite among humanity, the GOP would lose 3/4 of their platform.
(America Blog) - Have you ever tried to turn the deaths of four brave Americans in Benghazi, Libya into a political opportunity, even going to so far as to claim that killing a handful of American government officials on foreign soil was as significant as the murder of 3,000 people in NYC and at the Pentagon on September 11, only to have your entire wacky conspiracy blow up in your face because the email it was based on turns out to have been a fake?
And so it goes with another Republican conspiracy theory.
Benghazi email is a fake
You may have heard about today’s Benghazi bombshell. The email at the core of the Republican case that the White House “fixed” the Benghazi talking points, in the immediate aftermath of the attack on our consulate, in order to edit out any reference to “terrorism,” in a supposed effort to minimize public concern about the attack in the weeks before the 2012 election, is a fake.
The actual White House email, far from proving an attempt by the White House to “spin” Benghazi for political purposes, shows a White House concerned about getting the facts right.
CNN’s Jake Tapper has the exclusive.
CNN has obtained an e-mail sent by a top aide to President Barack Obama about White House reaction to the deadly attack last September 11 on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that apparently differs from how sources characterized it to two different media organizations.
The actual e-mail from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes appears to show that whomever leaked it did so in a way that made it appear that the White House was primarily concerned with the State Department’s desire to remove references and warnings about specific terrorist groups so as to not bring criticism to the department.
Tapper concludes that the person who leaked the false email clearly wanted to implicate the White House in a scandal that simply didn’t exist:
Whoever provided those quotes seemingly invented the notion that Rhodes wanted the concerns of the State Department specifically addressed….
So whoever leaked the inaccurate information earlier this month did so in a way that made it appear that the White House – specifically Rhodes – was more interested in the State Department’s concerns, and more focused on the talking points, than the e-mail actually stated.
Here’s the real email, in its entirety. Note the email’s concern about “wrong information” needing to be corrected, and about the most important factor being “respect” for “the investigation.”
From: Rhodes, Benjamin J.
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2012 9:34 PM
Subject: Re: Revised HPSCI Talking Points for Review
Sorry to be late to this discussion. We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.
There is a ton of wrong information getting out into the public domain from Congress and people who are not particularly informed. Insofar as we have firmed up assessments that don’t compromise intel or the investigation, we need to have the capability to correct the record, as there are significant policy and messaging ramifications that would flow from a hardened mis-impression.
We can take this up tomorrow morning at deputies.
Bush’s scandals (including IRS misconduct) were far worse — so why are liberals held to a higher standard?
The recent IRS flap shows an obvious double standard in Washington’s reactions to Bush era and Obama era misconduct
(Salon) - As your kindergarten teacher probably told you, two wrongs do not make a right. But the discrepancy in reactions to wrongs does, indeed, show how Washington so often serves the interests of the political right.
That’s one of the big – if deliberately ignored – takeaways from the reaction to news that the Internal Revenue Service allegedly targeting conservative organizations for extra scrutiny in their larger review of political groups’ tax exempt status. In the last few days, the allegations have generated a wave of national headlines, a congressional investigation, federal legislation and ever-louder calls for impeachment.
Considering the gravity of the allegations against the Obama IRS from the Treasury Department’s inspector general, congressional scrutiny is certainly warranted. However, there’s just one problem: most of the lawmakers and pundits today decrying the use of public resources against a White House’s political opponents had little – if anything – to say about equally troubling revelations about the Bush administration’s deployment of public resources against its opponents. In fact, conservatives said so little back then that Fox News apparently doesn’t even know (or is pretending not to know) the Bush administration used the IRS in the same way the Obama administration allegedly did.
And here’s the even more incredible thing: the Bush cabal didn’t just use the IRS for its political hackery – it mounted a full-scale government-wide assault on its enemies, marshaling disparate agencies in its smear efforts.
Liberals don’t know how to properly flip shit on a national level and keep hammering points even after they’re disproved.
Add to that, democratic politicians are spineless, they never want to point shit like this out and just let the republicans keep flipping shit.
I find that generally, liberals aren’t influenced by MSNBC the same way conservatives are influenced by Fox News.
That’s not to say they aren’t influenced, but most liberals I interact with will come right out and admit MSNBC is biased, but most conservatives seem to think that Fox News is infallible, or would just rather not think about the issue and blow it off by saying, “But, but, but, MSNBC.”
Plus, the right wing pretty much dominates talk radio.
Conservatives in this country (their politicians and their base) are like that kid in school that complained and pissed and moaned about everything and was rewarded for it with attention.
(Daily Kos) - Darrell Issa is outraged that the Department of Justice secretly obtained phone records through a subpoena of the AP’s telecommunications provider. He’s right to condemn the action, but as nycsouthpaw points out, it’s worth remembering that Issa voted against legislation that would have protected the AP:
Issa was one of 21 House members who opposed the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007, a measure that would have forbidden federal investigators from compelling journalists to give evidence without first obtaining a court order. The bill included a section that specifically forbid subpoenaing journalists’ phone records from “communication service providers” to the same extent that the law protected the journalists themselves.
The legislation passed the House, but it was filibustered by Republicans in the Senate and opposed by the Bush Administration. Barack Obama, at the time a U.S. Senator, didn’t vote on the bill, but was a co-sponsor. So you have a situation where Issa and Senate Republicans opposed legislation that would have prevented a government action they now decry, and you have a president who supported the legislation but whose administration is now responsible for taking the actions his legislation was supposed to prevent.
And here lies my problem with Democrats, this should be all over the place. The president should immediately shoot back that Republicans killed this legislation.
It doesn’t make what happened right, it doesn’t mean the justice department didn’t over-step its bounds, but there was legislation that would have prevented it, and the “small government” GOP helped to kill it.
Why do Democrats always let this kind of shit slide when this would be a perfect opportunity to point out that the GOP could have helped pass legislation to prevent this type of thing but didn’t.
Instead, we’ll hear about it for months from right wing media and forum posters calling for the president to resign over it.
(Think Progress) - When Republicans appointed Pablo Pantoja to State Director of Florida Hispanic Outreach for the Republican National Committee, they hoped he would be able to bridge the sizable gap that only expanded during the 2012 elections, when the state’s 4.7 million Hispanic voters supported Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by a 20 percent margin.
But after months of inaction by Congressional Republicans on comprehensive immigration reform and stiff resistance by Republican-leaning groups like the Heritage Foundation, Pantoja has had enough; on Monday, he announced via email that he was leaving the party and registering as a Democrat:
Yes, I have changed my political affiliation to the Democratic Party.
It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them.
Pantoja goes on to specifically cite last week’s revelation — that an author of Heritage’s false report on the cost of the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill wrote a dissertation in which he suggested that Hispanics are at a permanent disadvantage because they have lower IQs — as the final straw in his political evolution.
(The New Yorker) - The stories began to come to light on Friday, when the Associated Press reported that a draft report by a Treasury Department inspector general had found that the I.R.S. subjected certain Tea Party-affiliated groups to undue scrutiny. Lois Lerner, head of the I.R.S. tax-exempt-organizations division, said the agency was “apologetic” for what she termed “absolutely inappropriate” actions by lower-level workers.
It’s important to review why the Tea Party groups were petitioning the I.R.S. anyway. They were seeking approval to operate under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. This would require them to be “social welfare,” not political, operations. There are significant advantages to being a 501(c)(4). These groups don’t pay taxes; they don’t have to disclose their donors—unlike traditional political organizations, such as political-action committees. In return for the tax advantage and the secrecy, the 501(c)(4) organizations must refrain from traditional partisan political activity, like endorsing candidates.
If that definition sounds murky—that is, if it’s unclear what 501(c)(4) organizations are allowed to do—that’s because it is murky. Particularly leading up to the 2012 elections, many conservative organizations, nominally 501(c)(4)s, were all but explicitly political in their work. For example, Americans for Prosperity, which was funded in part by the Koch Brothers, was an instrumental force in helping the Republicans hold the House of Representatives. In every meaningful sense, groups like Americans for Prosperity were operating as units of the Republican Party. Democrats organized similar operations, but on a much smaller scale. (They undoubtedly would have done more, but they lacked the Republican base for funding such efforts.)
So the scandal—the real scandal—is that 501(c)(4) groups have been engaged in political activity in such a sustained and open way. As Fred Wertheimer, the President of Democracy 21, a government-ethics watchdog group, put it, “it is clear that a number of groups have improperly claimed tax-exempt status as section 501(c)(4) ‘social welfare’ organizations in order to hide the donors who financed their campaign activities in the 2010 and 2012 federal elections.”
Read the full article, it kind of sums up what my thinking on this has been since the story broke.
“If left-leaning organizations were disguising their true purposes to obtain 501(c)(4) status, the I.R.S. should have turned them down, too.”