Saturday, January 16, 2010

Satan Responds to Pat Robertson!

1-15-10 -- Letter of the day from the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Dear Pat Robertson:

I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I'm all over that action. But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating.

I may be evil incarnate, but I'm no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished. Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth -- glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven't you seen “Crossroads”? Or “Damn Yankees”? If I had a thing going with Haiti, there'd be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox -- that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it -- I'm just saying: Not how I roll. You're doing great work, Pat, and I don't want to clip your wings -- just, come on, you're making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That's working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract. Best,


LILY COYLE, MINNEAPOLIS (//Nod to the Joshua Blog)

America's Pact With the Devil

After the devastating earthquake that crushed Haiti on January 12, 2010 religious zealot Pat Robertson commented on The 700 Club that Haitians had sworn “a pact to the devil” to get “free from the French” and that “ever since, they have been cursed”:

“. . . [S]omething happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it's a deal.’

This so-called “reverend” sits atop a billion-dollar tax-exempt (“church”) enterprise, exploiting and robbing vulnerable people desperate for religious meaning in their lives. Robertson’s empire, funded by donations from victims who can ill afford to hand over their meager funds to his mobsters-for-Jesus, is an affront to every legitimate Christian church and organization on Earth.

Rev. Paul Raushenbush, the religion editor for the Huffington Post, echoed the outrage of many Christians when he wrote: “Go to Hell, Pat Robertson -- and the sooner the better. Your ‘theological’ nonsense is revolting. Don't speak for Haiti, and don't speak for God. Haiti is suffering a catastrophe and you offer silliness at best, and racism at the worst.”

When a hatemonger like Pat Robertson uses history to justify the depredations of a cruel interventionist deity that resides in his sick mind, he’d better get his history straight. For as corrected by the erudite Haitian Ambassador, Robertson’s perverted logic has turned in on himself. If ever there were an example of fire and brimstone looming over Pat Robertson’s diseased brain like the Sword of Damocles, turning his hate speech into a cudgel to smite him with the measured tones of the truth, this is it:

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What would Jesus say? He had Robertson down pat:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

“Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me.”
By Robertson’s “logic” it is poor, tiny, suffering Haiti that rests in the palm of a compassionate God and not the wealthy, prosperous American states that surround it. Haiti was the first post-colonial independent black-led nation in the world and the only nation whose independence was gained through a slave revolt. The Haitian Revolution set the conditions for America’s territorial expansion under President Thomas Jefferson –- his bargain basement Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon’s France -- that transformed the United States into a dominant continental power. Along the way “manifest destiny” unleashed westward expansion to justify the genocide of native Americans, culminating in the “Trail of Tears.”

The Haitian slaves who gained their freedom through revolution were not greeted as fraternal brothers by the young American republic also born of revolution against colonial oppressors. To the contrary, Southern slaveholders feared a similar fate would befall their profitable human cargo. And so Congress imposed a trade embargo on Haiti. (Note how history really does repeat itself.) Historically, it seems, black people and communists/socialists are interchangeable. Therein lies the source of Pat Robertson’s hideous statement about Haiti: the black man as “devil” is the white man’s most primordial racist fear.

There was no official U.S. recognition of Haiti until 1862. By then the War Between the States was underway. The bloodiest conflict in American history, which was to claim more than 600,000 lives, rendered Haitian recognition the politically correct thing to do. There is rich historical irony in this. Thomas Jefferson could have emancipated America’s slaves and spared this nation the horrors of Civil War and assassination, followed by the humiliation of Reconstruction, followed by racist KKK violence, apartheid, and the civil rights struggles that continue to this day.

Had Thomas Jefferson embraced the precepts of those famous words he wrote on parchment, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” . . .

This would have been a different and better nation.

But Jefferson’s judgment was clouded by the guilty sexual pleasures of Sally Hemings, his captive slave-girl mistress with whom he bore several illegitimate mulatto children. In the height of passion was Jefferson thinking his lofty words could not possibly apply to African slaves because, well, the fringe benefits were just too irresistible? Did he ever confront his immoral behavior, his hypocrisy? If he did, they remained buried in the deepest recesses of his brain.

The public Thomas Jefferson was a master of deception and dissimulation. Jefferson was the most prominent American politician to compartmentalize his revolutionary legacy -- one he knew would live on in American legend –- from his steamy sexual trysts in Monticello’s slave quarters. Despite the rumors and whispers that dogged his existence, Jefferson himself was the best guardian of his sanitized historical legacy. It lasted more than 200 years, protected by a loyal battalion of historians dedicated to preserving the lily-white purity of Jefferson’s standing as one of the great icons of American history.

As Fawn Brodie was to discover, woe to the historian who dared challenge the party line and explore the master-slave liaisons of Thomas Jefferson. With the advent of DNA testing, the issue for many was finally laid to rest.

The charismatic Toussaint L’Ouverture, a Haitian-born black slave, was the first leader of a revolution in the Americas to defeat the armies of three imperial powers: Spain, France, and Great Britain. After the American Revolution, his was the first to break the yoke of colonialism and presage the subsequent liberation of all of the Americas from the colonial European powers. One would think that Toussaint L’Ouverture’s Haitian Revolution would find a friendly ally among the revolutionists who then governed the fledgling independent republic of the United States of America.

But it was not to be. Thomas Jefferson, who as author of the Declaration of Independence was the natural, undisputed leader of the American idea, spurned his progressive abolitionist anti-slavery allies in favor of a policy of isolation and embargo toward Haiti, even as he seized the opportunity to purchase the Louisiana Territory from the French while Toussaint L’Ouverture had Napoleon on his heels.

The rest, as they say, is history.

A history of which Pat Robertson is ignorant. Napoleaon III wouldn’t be born for another five years to the month after Toussaint L’Ouverture died in 1803. The Haitian Revolution led by Francois-Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture was completed in 1804 when Napoleon Bonaparte ruled France, 44 years before his nephew Napoleon III came to power. If Pat Robertson’s fantasy of an interventionist, avenging God are true, it stands to reason that his hard dessicated soul will burn like dry twigs from a devastated Haitian landscape in the eternal fires of Hell.

The sin of slavery is America’s cross to bear, the dark stain on this nation’s soul. In this sense, for those who are true believers, it was not Haiti but America, perhaps even Thomas Jefferson himself in a moment of passion with Sally Hemings, that made a pact with the devil.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hatred, Inhumanity, and Racism Require Sponsors

It would be too much to ask that a boycott of Rush Limbaugh's sponsors could get this despicable racist pig off the air. But here's the list, just so you know what companies NOT to patronize with your dollars. Some of these would surprise you. Phone numbers are included to call them and inquire about their sponsorship of HATRED, INHUMANITY, and RACISM. Then we can ask what they're doing to relieve the suffering in Haiti. //Nod to Daily Kos for this.

Roger Ebert Bitchslaps Rush Limbaugh

/ / / January 14, 2010

To: Rush Limbaugh
From: Roger Ebert

You should be horse-whipped for the insult you have paid to the highest office of our nation.

Having followed President Obama's suggestion and donated money to the Red Cross for relief in Haiti, I was offended to hear you suggest the President might be a thief capable of stealing money intended for the earthquake victims.

Here is a transcript from your program on Thursday:
Justin of Raleigh, North Carolina: "Why does Obama say if you want to donate some money, you could go to to direct you how to do so? If I wanted to donate to the Red Cross, why do I have to go to the White House page to donate?"
Limbaugh: "Exactly. Would you trust the money's gonna go to Haiti?"
Justin: "No."
Rush: "But would you trust that your name's gonna end up on a mailing list for the Obama people to start asking you for campaign donations for him and other causes?"
Justin: "Absolutely!"
Limbaugh: "Absolutely!"
That's what was said.

Unlike you and Justin of Raleigh, I went to Obama's web site, and discovered the link there leads directly to the Red Cross. I can think of a reason why anyone might want to go via the White House. That way they can be absolutely sure they're clicking on the Red Cross and not a fake site set up to exploit the tragedy.

But let me be sure I have this right. You and Justin agree that Obama might steal money intended for the Red Cross to help the wretched of Haiti.

This conversation came 48 hours after many of us had seen pitiful sights from Port au Prince. Tens of thousands are believed still alive beneath the rubble. You twisted their suffering into an opportunity to demean the character of the President of the United States.

You have a sizable listening audience. You apparently know how to please them. Anybody given a $400 million contract must know what he is doing.

That's what offends me. You know exactly what you're doing.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

President Hits his Stride: Where to Now?

President Obama's response this week to the bank bailout, the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, and getting healthcare done was more assertive and forceful than, I think, he's ever been in all of 2009. The President is back in campaign mode with a sense of urgency and determination and a posture that projects leadership.

Perhaps it stems from his positive poll numbers handling the failed terrorist bombing, when he pushed back with a pointed “this is not a time for partisanship, but citizenship” against the Cheneys, who have not been heard from since. It appears the President is genuinely at the end of his cooperative tether, and not just a bit ticked off. President Obama was not pleased when the system that should have worked to protect the American people suffered a systemic failure, and he was candid about it. That, by itself, was a departure from the previous administration's secretive fearmongering over all things terrorist, and the public rewarded the President's seriousness of purpose.

With regard to the banks, the President's populist rhetoric -- “we want our money back!” -- announcing a “fee” on banks with assets of $50 billion or more to repay the rest of the TARP taxpayer bailout, comes in advance of the banks disclosing record profits and "obscene" (the President's word) bonuses. The timing is no coincidence. Even as the bankers whine that this is all “political,” the White House's perspective is “so what?” Why not dare the Republicans to defeat this by claiming it's another “tax?” Especially after being told to do so by the “phalanx of lobbyists” the President discouraged the banks from using; instead, challenging the banks to accept their responsibility to the taxpayers who bailed them out.

Heading into the 2010 elections, this is a debate the Democrats and the President welcome. Let the Republicans defeat this fee on the banks. Between this action and the bipartisan commission looking into the financial system meltdown, the banks are caught in a populist squeeze from which there is no rescue, no matter how many lobbyists are thrown into the breach. Getting out in front of this issue in an election year is one of those rare convergences in which “politics” and good policy -- i.e., financial regulatory reform -- are in perfect harmony.

And in a busy whirlwind of activity today the President knocked heads with the union bosses to reach agreement on taxing so-called “Cadillac plans,” with some adjustments and the exemption of collective bargaining agreements from the tax until 2018. Positively LBJ-esque.

But most impressive of all is President Obama's response to the humanitarian catastrophe in Haiti. To the people of Haiti, he said, “you will not be forsaken. You will not be forgotten.” This President was decisive and determined, with a rare touch of emotion, and the U.S. government's response so far has been exemplary. Everything that's been done, right down to Hillary cutting short her Asia-Pacific trip to directly supervise State and USAID's response to this disaster speaks to what seems to be on everyone's mind: “This will not be another Katrina.”

And yet the enormity of the crisis, the logistical and communications nightmare, the closing window of time to recover people who are alive, and the increasing restiveness of a population desperately in need of water, food, shelter, and medicines is an unprecedented challenge.

So why then has the President tapped George W. Bush to join Bill Clinton as a special envoy to Haiti? W., the poster boy for malignant neglect of the Homeland's natural (not to mention, man-made) disasters! Why, Mr. President? Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod would probably say, privately, that it's good politics all-round to rehabilitate the former president on arguably his weakest point (with no positives except increased AIDS relief in Africa), and neutralize him politically by driving an even bigger wedge between Bush and the hated Dick Cheney. Were it not for the former president's notable efforts to ameliorate AIDS suffering in Africa, he would not get a pass.

What's unsettling is that this idea to tap Bush did not originate in the White House. It came, in fact, from that hornet's nest of neocons known as the Heritage Foundation, whose catastrophic policy prescriptions through sinister front groups such as PNAC manipulated a tabula rasa president -- yup, W. -- into invading Iraq, with the cascading catastrophic foreign policy disaster for the U.S. that ensued. Here is a link to Naomi Klein's take on disaster capitalism, including a link to this Heritage document, which says in part:
“President Obama should tap high-level, bipartisan leadership. Clearly former President Clinton, who was already named as the U.N. envoy on Haiti, is a logical choice. President Obama should also reach out to a senior Republican figure, perhaps former President George W. Bush, to lead the bipartisan effort for the Republicans.”
Not overly controversial, as far as it goes, except that President Obama accepted Heritage's suggestion. Which begs the question: Is the President also prepared to embrace other policy suggestions from the Heritage neocons, such as:
In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the U.S. response to the tragic earthquake should address long-held concerns over the fragile political environment that exists in the region. Please to explain, mistah neocon: What, exactly, does this mean?

While on the ground in Haiti, the U.S. military can also interrupt the nightly flights of cocaine to Haiti and the Dominican Republic from the Venezuelan coast and counter the ongoing efforts of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to destabilize the island of Hispaniola. NO. WHILE ON THE GROUND, THE U.S. SHOULD BE IN THE BUSINESS OF SAVING LIVES AND STABILIZING THAT SHATTERED COUNTRY.

Long-term reforms for Haitian democracy and its economy are also badly overdue. Congress should immediately begin work on a package of assistance, trade, and reconstruction efforts needed to put Haiti on its feet and open the way for deep and lasting democratic reforms. Here we go with the neocons' nationbuilding again. What bothers me about this is that the neocons' intention for Haiti in reality is to create a buffer state, or U.S. satellite in Haiti to make mischief (trans: destabilize Cuba and Venezuela). This isn't idle speculation. They have a track record in Iraq and Afghanistan. At what cost in blood and treasure to the U.S.?

The U.S. should implement a strong and vigorous public diplomacy effort to counter the negative propaganda certain to emanate from the Castro-Chavez camp. Such an effort will also demonstrate that the U.S.’s involvement in the Caribbean remains a powerful force for good in the Americas and around the globe. Again, this is typical Cold War thinking from a bellicose crowd of neocons who can't seem to shake their “Red scare” obsessions. First off, the Venezuelans (surprise!) are already in Haiti with a contingent of doctors and rescue teams, and very well received by all; second, the Cubans have been completely silent on this catastrophe, not once trying to make political hay of it. When will these neocon jackasses ever realize that peoples with political differences can recognize our common humanity in a time of crisis?
The article, written by a Heritage Research Fellow, is beningly titled: “Things to Remember While Helping Haiti.” A rehash of the same old failed neocon Cold War era policy prescriptions that proved so disastrous for this country. Now, evidently, they're trying to get in President Obama's head. Let it go, get over it, already, neocons!

So, will the real President Obama please stand up? To mix my sports metaphors (but I don't care), just as progressives thought the President had begun tacking back toward his base he throws us a big ole Crawford, Texas curveball from deep right field.

Sarah Palin Makes Her FOX Debut

Note: For BEST RESULTS these videos should be played simultaneously!

All I can say is, this woman has SOME MEGA-SHOVEL! Hahaha . . .

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Catastrophe: Good Neighbor Brazil Suffers Losses, Contributes Much

Overlooked in the news of Haiti’s catastrophe is the role of Brazil, that commands the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti with 1,266 troops (1,310 personnel in all). At least 10 Brazilian peacekeepers are dead with more missing and injured.

The Brazilian air force had two Hercules transport planes on standby, one of which landed in the Port-Au-Prince airport today, and the other due tomorrow to ferry 11 tons of water and 10 tons of food, with more to come. Brazil said it intends to build an “aerial bridge” to supply Haiti.

Among the Brazilian dead was Zilda Arns, “the legendary founder of the Children’s Pastoral, a Roman Catholic Church-based group that has saved tens of thousands of lives by teaching uneducated women about basic health care issues.”

President Lula has pledged $15 million or more to help rebuild Haiti. Given what other nations have yet to contribute (China pledged only $1 million?), this is a noteworthy example of a good neighbor’s selfless generosity, sacrifice, and commitment to help a disaster-stricken neighbor in its time of desperate need.

Humanitarian Catastrophe in Haiti: How You Can Help

The situation is CRITICAL in Haiti following a devastating earthquake that by all accounts has destroyed much of the capital of Port-Au-Prince. There is a MAJOR NEED for immediate DONATIONS of money, food, water, temporary shelter, medicines, clothing.

Americans seeking information on family members in Haiti are urged to call the State Department at: 888-407-4747.


•The American Red Cross. They are accepting donations through their International Response Fund. Contribute online here. You may donate $10 to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting "HAITI" to "90999."
•UNICEF requests donations for relief for children in Haiti via their Haiti Earthquake Fund. You can also call 1-800-4UNICEF.
•Donate through Wyclef Jean's foundation, Yele Haiti. Text "Yele" to 501501 and $5 will be charged to your phone bill and given to relief projects through the organization.
•Operation USA is appealing for donations of funds from the public and corporate donations in bulk of health care materials, water purification supplies and food supplements which it will ship to the region from its base in the Port of Los Angeles. Donate online or by phone at 1-800-678-7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave, Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.
•Partners In Health reports its Port-au-Prince clinical director, Louise Ivers, has appealed for assistance: "Port-au-Prince is devastated, lot of deaths. SOS. SOS... Temporary field hospital by us at UNDP needs supplies, pain meds, bandages. Please help us." Contribute here.
•Mercy Corps is sending a team of emergency responders to assess damage, and seek to fulfill immediate needs of quake survivors. To donate call 1-888-256-1900 or send checks to Mercy Corps Haiti Earthquake Fund; Dept NR; PO Box 2669; Portland, OR 97208.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ironic Follow-Up to Truth vs. Optics

Last Sunday the New York Times ran a story in its Week in Review section titled, “The Label Factor: Is Obama a Wimp or a Warrior?,” intoning gravely that “like every Democratic president since John F. Kennedy, President Obama is battling the perception that he's a wimp on national security.” The article focused on the criticism and debate around the President’s handling of the foiled Christmas Day terrorist attack aboard an airliner headed for Detroit as well as his overall job performance combatting terrorism. In a nod to the optics of the issue the article noted that “labels count.”

One could reasonably conclude that CNN’s Jessica Yellin probably scanned the headline at least, thereby making her idiotic remark about the Democrats’ “history and baggage on national security.” The possibility of her reaching a similar independent conclusion would be much too coincidental as it pertains to the lazy electronic media. Then, the very next day Ms. Yellin’s network, CNN, actually polled a subset of the issue: 57% of respondents approved of the way President Obama handled the botched Christmas Day bombing of the airliner, against 39% who disapproved. Among Independents, 55% approved of how the President handled the situation.

A separate CBS News poll finds that 52% of the public approves of the President’s job performance on terrorism. So much for the “history and baggage” of Democrats on national security or, for that matter, uncritically believing the headlines in “all the news that’s fit to print.” Gray Lady down. Whoops.

Jesus and Mary in an Orange

Stories like this inevitably make me think of Sarah Palin, the dumbest vice-presidential candidate in American history, whose monumental ignorance of basic fifth-grade level history, geography, and the simplest concepts she brushed off as “God’s plan” . . . sort of like finding a religious apparition in snack food.

Welcome to Sarah Palin’s America. “I wouldn’t know,” shrugged the dishonorable John McCain. At least an orange is healthier than a potato chip, and there are no plans so far to sell the resin-preserved edible “religious” artifact on eBay.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Truth vs. Optics: Truth is the Casualty

Heard on John King's State of the Union program from CNN's Jessica Yellin:

“Lincoln notwithstanding [I love the ‘notwithstanding;’ it leaves the impression that Ms. Yellin has more than a superficial knowledge of U.S. history], the Republican Party has a different history and baggage” on civil rights. Okay, true statement, as far as it goes. But then the Anderson Cooper school of subjective reporting kicks in. It goes something like this: Truth is not the objective, parity is. And so a pseudo-scientist arguing for “intelligent design” gets equal time with a scientist explaining the truth about evolution. And history competes with revisionism, because if we don’t hear “the other side,” even if it’s patently false, CNN will hear complaints from THE STOOPID, which their suits don’t like.

And so, in the next part of her statement Yellin adds the Cooper qualifier: “. . . just as the Democrats have their own history and baggage on national security.” Tell us, Ms. Yellin, exactly what history is that? Is it the history of:
  • World War I (President Wilson, Democrat);
  • World War II (President Roosevelt, Democrat);
  • Korea (President Truman, Democrat);
  • Cuban Missile Crisis (President Kennedy, Democrat);
  • Cold War (Presidents Truman-D, Eisenhower-R, Kennedy-D, Johnson-D, Nixon-R, Ford-R, Carter-D, Reagan-R, Bush I-R: Four Democratic presidents and five Republicans who kept us out of a global thermonuclear war with the Soviet Union);
  • Vietnam (Presidents Kennedy-D, Johnson-D who escalated the war, Nixon-R who started "Vietnamization" and de-escalation, and Ford-R who presided over the fall of South Vietnam to the Communist North Vietnamese regime);
  • Bosnia (President Clinton, Democrat: The U.S. and its NATO allies successfully ended genocide and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, without a single American service personnel killed –- “the best indicator of success we could ever have,” according to Sen. John McCain on the very program in which Ms. Yellin shoved her foot down her throat -- resulting in a negotiated peace among the warring parties);
  • Iraq I (President Bush I-R, a limited war to liberate Kuwait and keep the oil lanes flowing to the West); and
  • Iraq II and Afghanistan. (President George W. Bush-R: This war of choice started by George W. Bush has passed Vietnam as the longest war in U.S. history. It ranks as the most catastrophic foreign policy disaster in our history as well. President Obama, as is so often the case with Democratic presidents, inherited the wars and ruined economy left by GWB and is in the process of cleaning up the Republican mess.)
That's the history of the wars, Ms. Yellin; tell us where the Democrats were less tough or less effective than Republicans. During World War II many Republicans were isolationists, and prominent right wingers such as Charles Lindbergh expressed open admiration for Hitler. The Republican Party, driven by its right wing much as it is today, made it a political cause to press FDR and the Democrats to stay out of the war, complicating assistance to Britain in its darkest hour of need, lest this betray our “neutrality.” We should be thankful that FDR and the Democrats (with some rational Republican support, yes) did the right thing then, just as the Democrats are presently doing the right thing with increased government spending, unpopular but necessary bailouts of the financial system and our auto industry, and healthcare reform.

Let's turn now to the baggage, Ms. Yellin. What baggage is it that Democrats have on national security? Was it President Clinton's botched intervention in Somalia early in his administration? How does that compare any less favorably with the terrorist bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, under Ronald Reagan, which claimed the lives of hundreds of Marines and caused the U.S. to withdraw from Beirut with its tail between its legs? Have you conveniently forgotten who was president when we were hit on 9/11? Considering all of the ignored intelligence and warning signs, that dark day was the single worst “national security” failure in our nation's history. It was further compounded by George W. Bush's war of choice against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, with its rising death toll of more than 4,000 American troops and tens of thousands of injured. The war has continued to bleed our national treasury, boosted Iran's power and nuclear ambitions, and vastly increased the number of terrorist recruits in the region, especially after Bush allowed OBL to escape Tora Bora when he diverted his attention to Iraq.

Is this your definition of not having baggage on national security issues, Ms. Yellin? If so, I will gladly take the Democratic Party's baggage and be thankful for it. But the larger problem, because it infects a broad swath of the electronic media, is its incapacity to process truth from Republican propaganda, history from gross Republican revisionism, fact from fiction, and reality from the perception of it. There’s a new buzzword for this that unfortunately has entered our national political lexicon: Optics.

Optics is the buzzword Republican propagandists and image shape shifters like Frank Luntz live and die for in the business. In the world of optics the truth is irrelevant; all that matters is the perception of what is the truth. Our political discourse has become a battle of who is best at twisting the facts and rolling the media. Historically, the Republicans own this battlefield.

Just recently, George Stephanopoulos had to eat crow when liberal bloggers blasted him for not correcting Rudy Giuliani’s colossal lie that we have not had a domestic terrorist attack during George W. Bush’s regime -- a Republican talking point. Would he have corrected himself had the bloggers not called him on it? Not likely, considering Stephanopoulos has made a career as a weekly network TV “interviewer” of providing a platform for unchallenged Republican talking points and propaganda that continued with the GMA Giuliani interview. On his last (?) Sunday show Stephanopoulos featured the odious partisan liar Liz Cheney on his roundtable discussion. The contrast with more serious journalists was jarring. It's not often that conservative George Will and liberal economist Robert Reich join in scolding Liz Cheney for outrageously accusing Democratic “elites” (whatever that means) of racism. I'm sure it plays well with the Teabaggers, though.

And today on John King’s State of the Union, Jessica Yellin characteristically dropped her offhand, ignorant remark regarding the Democratic Party's fictitious history and baggage on national security.

No matter how often we are reminded (most recently by Senator Al Franken) that Republicans are not entitled to their own facts, this reminder has obviously not filtered down to Jessica Yellin and much of our disgraced mainstream electronic media whose job it is, precisely, to report the facts. Were it not for the blogosphere and the advocacy TV journalism of the few (a journalism of necessity in the current environment of lies, i.e., optics), the truth would be in greater peril. Instead, because of these alternative means of communication providing a counterpoint to mainstream optics reporting, the truth may be the first casualty, but it is not the last. We should be thankful for small victories. Don’t get me wrong. Truth is not yet in balance, not as long as optics controls what is reported by the Yellins of this world in an increasingly visual medium. But the truth is still out there. Try as they might, it’s a tough thing to kill. For now, that’s the best we can do.