Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Glimpse at the Lunatic Fringe: More CPAC Lowlites

Some right wingers congratulated themselves after a few CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) audience members booed this homophobe off the stage. As if behaving in a tolerant, nondiscriminatory way is cause for great celebration. Apparently it hasn’t occurred to them that welcoming bigots, racists, xenophobes, nativists, and conspiracists (among other subsets of the lunatic fringe) inevitably invites this behavior.

Conservatives are snarled in their own contradictions. They may claim they’re not anti-gay or racist till they’re blue in the face yet continue to attract that element to their ranks like moths to a light. This year CPAC is sponsored by one of the granddaddies of fringe of the fringe conspiracists, the John Birch Society:

Glenn Beck is tonight’s CPAC keynote speaker. Until their Fuehrer arrives, Rush Limbaugh (last year’s bouncy porcine blob/keynoter) and Beck himself will have to do as placeholders. It seems Jason Mattera didn’t get the Beckster memo when he said:

CPAC should strike up Eric Clapton’s Cocaine when Beck takes the stage.

Friday, February 19, 2010

CPACer Jokes About Austin Suicide Plane Attack; Brown Thinks It’s about HIM!

This happens all the time. It's just that when "conservatives" gather in Washington for their annual conference, we get to see first-hand how consistently strange, weird, and not funny these people are. Yuck-Yuck, WHAT A HOOT! Two dead and 13 injured in Austin, two critically. Now that's really rich material for a joke. And we haven't even mentioned Tim Pawlenty's Tiger Woods golf club "joke" on the day Woods asked reporters to leave his wife and kids alone: “I think we can learn a lot from that situation, not from Tiger, but from his wife. She said, ‘I’ve had enough.’ She said, ‘No more.’ I think we should take a page out of her playbook and take a nine iron and smash the window out of big government. We've had enough.” Then Pawlenty swings a phantom golf club with chopping, bashing motions. Yuck-Yuck. Another side-splitting wingnut joke.

These are examples of right wing “humor” and inappropriate expressions of hubris. Twice Senator Brown raises the “connection” with his campaign. So he’s tacitly embracing violence because “people are frustrated” and there’s a “logjam” in Washington, “at least until I got here”?

First, get over yourself, Brown “41”. Second, if you want to associate yourself and your campaign with the kind of violence that occurred in Austin, good luck justifying it. Jackass.

Is right wing conservatism a form of mental illness?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Deranged Man Crashes Plane into IRS Building; Texas Governor Perry Equates Airport Security to “Tyranny”

Absolutely unbelievable. Texas Governor Rick Perry equates “tyranny” with the federal government’s airport security measures (inconveniencing and annoying, to be sure) to keep the flying public safe from terrorism. And this in response to an anti-IRS/government madman crashing a plane into a building housing the IRS. Here is Governor Perry’s statement:
“I hope we don't turn our capitol into DFW airport or Bush international from the standpoint of security that Texans still, and visitors still have freedom to come and go and don't feel like they're being inappropriately hassled. But the other side of that is we have people's safety. So it is always a battle between anarchy and tyranny always has been.
Inciting anti-government fervor with the “tyranny” Tea Party buzzword after an anti-government lunatic crashes a plane into a building is just about the most irresponsible thing the state’s top elected official can say. After word of Stack’s semi-coherent rant spread through the “patriot” nets, several web pages popped up celebrating his act of violence against the federal government.

For Rick Perry to pander for votes with the anti-government Tea Party types at such a time is shameful. The deranged pilot, Joseph Anthony Stack, was killed and 13 people were injured, two of them critically. Judging by the building's condition, it could have been much worse. The survivors lucked out big-time.

I hope there are enough rational Texas Republicans to vote for conservative Senator Kaye Bailey Hutchison and reject Rick Perry, the Clown. This is one of those elections where issues, on the Republican side, take a back seat. Hutchison passes the rational and responsible adult test.

Sarah Palin to Tea Party Movement: DROP DEAD!

Sarah Palin disses the Tea Party mob:

“Now the smart thing will be for independents who are such a part of this Tea Party movement to, I guess, kind of start picking a party . . . Which party reflects how that smaller, smarter government steps to be taken? Which party will best fit you? And then because the Tea Party movement is not a party, and we have a two-party system, they’re going to have to pick a party and run one or the other: ‘R’ or ‘D’.”


Take the money and run, Sister Sarah . . . run, run, run!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stop the Right Wing Smear of the Kennedys by the History Channel

This expository video by progressive filmmaker Robert Greenwald is self-explanatory. In it, distinguished Kennedy historians and Ted Sorensen, JFK’s poetic speechwriter, debunk the script of a Kennedy mockumentary in the harshest terms. This isn’t history -- not even close –- it’s a politically motivated smear of the Kennedys by Fox’s Joel Surnow, creator of the series “24” and well-known Hollywood “conservative.”

If you believe that history should be truthfully and accurately portrayed, and that the “History Channel” has a special responsibility and standard to uphold in this regard –- it’s not the National Enquirer –- please sign this petition. Thanks.

G'Bayh and Good Rid-Luck

Evan Bayh’s twisted reasoning for calling it quits deserting fellow DINOs while the quitting is good, makes no sense. It may sound great to decry “too much brain-dead partisanship” until the question is asked: on whose part? Democrats -- really? Progressives -- really? Bull.

For progressives, nothing’s lost if nothing was gained. When Evan Bayh said the “the extremes of both parties have to be willing to accept compromises,” when was the left unwilling to compromise or come to the table? Specifically, Bayh cited a deficit commission that was abandoned by seven Republican co-sponsors for partisan political reasons. He also decried a “bipartisan” jobs bill crafted by those two Senate corporatists, Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley, that was stripped of $70 billion in tax giveaways to coporations by Harry Reid. There were some COBRA and unemployment extension measures that will be separately proffered.

Isn't it quaint when corporatist Democrats tap into popular discontent by echoing the demagogic line of “a pox on both houses?” Evan Bayh knows better; he knows where the obstruction is coming from. RNC Chairman Steele has a point when he said, “Senator Evan Bayh and moderate Democrats across the country are running for the hills because they sold out their constituents and don't want to face them at the ballot box.”

Exactly. When large and consistent majorities of the American people favored the public option, whose interests did Bayh and fellow DINOs represent when they voted against it? Polls in Massachusetts showed that Brown voters were upset with the Senate for reneging on a more progressive healthcare bill that included the public option.

Senator Bayh claims his “passion” for helping “people” was “not highly valued in Congress.” So he quit? Who or what are these “people?” Are they the corporations the Supreme Court has defined as persons? Are they Goldman Sachs (consistently over the years Bayh’s top contributor), Ely Lilly, United Healthcare, or Merrill Lynch? Are they the seven corporations on whose boards Mrs. Bayh sits, and from whom she collects a neat million-dollar-plus annual salary?

The Senator’s “advice” to Democrats on the left is to make common cause with moderates and independents. When did they not? This sounds more like self-serving political pitching than a realistic assessment of the political climate in Congress. It wasn’t progressives who stood in the way of “60-70 percent” of what they’d petitioned for, let alone the 30-40 percent that remained. And it wasn’t progressives who refused to come to the table and pass Bayh’s precious “half-a-loaf” 60-70 percent corporate giveaway on healthcare reform.

Senator Bayh must be suffering from short-term memory loss. He seems to forget that progressives made concession after concession after concession just to get something, anything, done on healthcare. When Bayh’s “moderate independent” pal, Joe Lieberman, killed the public option and Medicare buy-in, progressives took the hit to the solar plexus and stayed in the game, while Bayh, Lieberman et al, celebrated with corporate donors.

This transparency thing is an inconvenience for corporatist Democrats. Time was, it was much harder for the public to find out who is bankrolling their senators and representatives. The only Independent Democrats can rely on in the Senate is socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont. When Evan Bayh, Traitor Joe, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu, and Ben Nelson essentially won, what the hell else does Senator Bayh want? A valentine’s card praising his middleman role convincing health insurance companies to behave like good corporate citizens?

No thanks. Senator Bayh is such a people-person that he waited to make his retirement announcement until a few days before the filing deadline, precluding Indiana Democrats from having a primary in which the people would pick the nominee. As Senator Bayh said, the chances of the right Democrat carrying Indiana are “pretty good.” The Republican Party has a five-way primary while the Democratic candidate will be chosen by the Indiana Democratic Party with, no doubt, considerable input from Senator Bayh.

Quotable: Bill Maher on President Obama

“If only he knew someone in a position of power, because he’s got a great list of things he wants to accomplish.”

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Toyota to Apply for U.S. Citizenship After Favorable Citizens United Decision

President Obama's Bikini Chart

This is what U.S. job losses look like in a bar chart format, from December 2007, when the Bush rescession/depression began, to January 2010, roughly one year into the Obama administration recovery (not that the administration has gotten any credit for it at all):

It’s one of those “bikini charts” favored by Rachel Maddow -- a tale of two administrations: One, the failed criminal Bush regime, the other a tremendously challenging economic disaster left for President Obama to clean up. David Plouffe, the President’s political campaign wiz was called back to sharpen the President’s message after they reluctantly acknowledged losing control of it –- about six months too late. Plouffe is getting the word out. Better late than never, but with the Republican hypocrites taking credit for the stimulus (which is working!) after voting against it and trashing it in Congress, it’s high time the White House begins calling them on it.

And David, I know it isn’t your bailiwick, but why hasn’t the Obama administration been all over this story? While the Republicans posture on terrorism, attacking the President’s deputy national security adviser John Brennan (a career terrorism expert), bitching hysterically about the KSM trial, demanding military tribunals despite their dismal success/conviction record compared with Article 3 courts, and trotting out the Dark Lord Dick Cheney from his flaming-hot undisclosed location, this administration's inability to toot its own horn, tout its successes and its competence, is a total puzzler. “The White House refused to comment” is so not the right reaction. Do you only comment on your perceived blunders, not your successes?

To make matters worse, the Dark Lord sneeringly takes credit for the President's success in Iraq and Afghanistan. You guys really need to retool your message and learn to go for the jugular instead of the capillaries. One thing about these Republican cowards is they have weak chins: Hit back hard and they'll go down like a sack of potatos.

Thomas Jefferson's Smackdown of David Barton and the Wingnuts on the Texas Board of Education

David Barton, the nonacademic Christian nationalist “expert” who is rewriting the social studies curriculum for Texas with the help of Don McLeroy, a right wing revisionist member of the Texas Board of Education who is a dentist and not a historian or teacher or academic, and others of his ilk, said Jefferson’s metaphor of a “wall of separation between Church & State” is a “liberal myth.”

The New York Times Magazine reports:
David Barton reads the “church and state” letter to mean that Jefferson “believed, along with the other founders, that the First Amendment had been enacted only to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination.” Barton goes on to claim, “ ‘Separation of church and state’ currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.” That is to say, the founders were all Christian who conceived of a nation of Christians, and the purpose of the First Amendment was merely to ensure that no single Christian denomination be elevated to the role of state church.
Barton’s fundamentalist Christian views are diametrically opposed to those expressed by Thomas Jefferson. It’s almost as if Barton knows it and has embarked on a crusade to stamp out those views of the Founders that do not conform with his extremist fundamentalist religious beliefs in an act of redemptive self-righteousness. He has incessantly used the Bible to meddle in the nation's secular affairs, e.g., called for abolishing the U.S. income tax and the capital-gains tax because the Bible says, “the more profit you make the more you are rewarded.”

It is an easy exercise to cherry-pick the Bible and pluck a quotation to justify any secular or religious bias favored by religious fanatics who reject the separation of church and state or, to be biblical, rendering unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s. But it is inherently a flawed exercise. In this case, as an example, Barton would be well advised to steer clear of Ecclesiastes:
“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 5:10
In 2007, when the U.S. Senate invited a Hindu leader to open a session with a prayer, Barton strenuously objected: “In Hindu, you have not one God, but many, many, many, many, many gods. And certainly that was never in the minds of those who did the Constitution, did the Declaration when they talked about Creator.”

Such intolerant views were anathema to Thomas Jefferson and would have deeply offended his sensibilities on religious freedom. Specifically, Thomas Jefferson said (this quote bears repeating) in direct repudiation of Barton’s intolerant statement about the Hindu religion: it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” [Emphasis mine.]

Furthermore, on the question of religious freedom and pluralism Thomas Jefferson specifically repudiated Barton’s false reading of his words and the fantasy perpetrated by the Texas Board of Education of the Founders’ Christian piety. In this passage from Jefferson’s Autobiography, he describes the debate over final passage of the 1786 religious freedom law he had proposed for Virginia, the Statute for Religious Freedom:
“The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason and right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read, “a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo, and the Infidel of every denomination. [Emphasis mine.]

Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Modern Library 1993 edition, pp. 45 and 46. (shout-out to //Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub)
Exactly what part of
“[T]he insertion [of the word “Jesus Christ”] was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo, and the Infidel of every denomination. [Emphasis mine.]
. . .do David Barton and the Texas Board of Education not comprehend? Is it “the mantle of its protection [for] the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo, and the Infidel of every denomination.”? Is it “the Jew and the Gentile, […] the Mahometan, the Hindoo, and the Infidel of every denomination.”?

Because, in their censorious minds, this is what Jefferson really “meant” to say:
“[A] great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo, and the Infidel of every denomination.” [Red Text - DELETE - Texas Board of Ed. (channelling George Orwell)]

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Republican Lunatic Fringe: Yes, There Is One! Thomas Jefferson Spins in His Grave

With so many pressing issues to consider –- jobs, the economy, healthcare –- the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill last Wednesday banning companies from tracking employees with microchips. On the surface such a measure may have preemptive merit as an ethical curb on the future abuse of technology and shows notable respect for personal privacy. While implanted microchips are currently used to track pets, not humans, the bill sponsor’s motivation is straight out of the lunatic fringe of religious fundamentalist paranoia.

Delegate Mark L. Cole said he proposed the bill out of a concern that such devices could someday be used “as the mark of the beast” described in the Book of Revelation. Still unclear is why try to stop him (or her), since the rise of the Antichrist is prophesied as inevitable prologue to the end times; is it to score brownie points with the One upstairs in order to get a better place in line when the Rapture comes around? Were that the case, this could be viewed as a self-serving measure taking special-interest politics to entirely new heights. Said Cole:
“My understanding—I'm not a theologian—but there's a prophecy in the Bible that says you'll have to receive a mark, or you can neither buy nor sell things in end times. Some people think these computer chips might be that mark.”
A skeptical Democrat (he was being ironic, one hopes), Delegate Robert H. Brink, said he did not find many voters demanding microchip legislation during his campaign: “I didn't hear anything about the danger of asteroids striking the Earth, about the threat posed by giant alligators in our cities’ sewer systems or about the menace of forced implantation of microchips in human beings.” It could be he missed connecting with the Coast-to-Coast Art Bell/George Noory demographic. Perhaps if he’d held a campaign meet-and-greet event advertised as “The Alien Menace: America’s Secret Pact With the Grays.”

The biblical passage that concerns Delegate Cole and his fellow travelers is in Revelations, Chapter 13 which describes the rise of a satanic figure known as “the Beast:”
“He causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
Naturally, one of the main proponents of the microchip/Antichrist conspiracies is WorldNet Daily, the wingnut site peddling the Obama birth certificate (“Birther”) conspiracy. They’ve penned the usual paranoid articles --“Next Step in H1N1 Scare: Microchip implants” and “How Obama Prepped World for the Antichrist” –- and are set to release a book called The Islamic Antichrist. It is well documented by the Left Behind series of Jerry Jenkins and right wing activist Tim LaHaye that apocalyptic Revelation as popular fiction is big business. It is likely Delegate Cole was influenced and inspired by the series, an avid WND reader, or both.

Enter Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Jefferson, one of Virginia’s most famous sons second only to George Washington, would be appalled. The author of Virginia’s constitution would be horrified by the weirdness of state delegates such as Mark Cole and his fellow believers, not for their beliefs per se, but that they would codify those religious beliefs into law. Next, Mr. Jefferson would surely question the wisdom of any presidential actions he had taken that might have contributed to Texas joining the Union. He might even encourage the separatist Texans who wish to secede.

Jefferson’s approach to Christianity is well exemplified by his treatment of the New Testament. He edited the ethical teachings of Jesus and published them as a succinct book, known as the Jefferson Bible. In it, the teachings of Jesus are shorn of the “artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms as instruments of riches and power for themselves.”

Texas is Ground Zero for the latest assault on the legacy of Thomas Jefferson and his fellow Founding Fathers. Religious fundamentalists in control of the Texas Board of Education are making changes to our children’s textbooks that must have the author of the Declaration of Independence turning in his grave. The Texas Board sets the standards for what children will learn in all subjects from science to American history, and what their textbooks will include and omit. As the deciders of curricula that shapes young minds and educates future generations, these individuals wield enormous power.

For example, they have tried to excise C├ęsar Chavez, the legendary labor leader of the migrant workers, from Texas textbooks. Only a popular uproar saved Chavez. Ted Kennedy, widely recognized as the Senate’s greatest legislator, was nixed but Newt Gingrich, the windbag whose claim to fame is the contract on America and his unsuccessful closure of the government over deep Medicare cuts which President Clinton refused to make, was deemed worthy of mention in Texas textbooks.

The Texas Board also censored the children’s book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? because they confused its author, Bill Martin Jr., with Bill Martin, the author of a book called Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation. So what if it were the other author? What does a political science book for adults that wasn’t being considered have to do with the content of a children’s book? And we have yet to broach evolution. Worst yet, as the Washington Monthly notes, “what happens in Texas rarely stays in Texas. The reasons for this are economic: Texas is the nation’s second-largest textbook market and one of the few biggies where the state picks what books schools can buy.”

What these people are doing to Education, to the teaching of sound science instead of religious mythology, and factual, not revisionist, history is enough to make any educated, rational person’s skin crawl. This only begins to scratch the surface. Thomas Jefferson’s deism is considered an “anomaly” by the ultra-conservative ideologues in control of the Texas Board of Education who favor a historical fantasy that distorts the truth, casting the Founding Fathers as devout Christians.

David Barton, one of the “experts” being consulted by the Texas Board is the right wing religious extremist rewriting the history America’s children will “learn,” from fact to Christian fantasy. Among other Orwellian excesses, omissions, gross distortions, and outright lies, Barton and his fundamentalist allies argue that the notion of a wall of separation of church and state, penned by Jefferson, is a liberal myth.

Jefferson wrote that, as president, it was not his place to get involved in matters of religion. Under the First Amendment, he said, the state must not establish a state religion (establishment clause) and ensure the free exercise of religion (free exercise clause), which meant there was “a wall of separation between Church & State.” Barton claims that Jefferson meant to say is that no single Christian denomination should become a state religion in a Christian state.

Historians and scholars, the real experts, strongly disagree. Randall Balmer, a professor of American religious history at Barnard College and writer of the documentary “Crusade: The Life of Billy Graham,” said:
“David Barton has been out there spreading this lie, frankly, that the founders intended America to be a Christian nation. He’s been very effective. But the logic is utterly screwy. He says the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ is not in the Constitution. He’s right about that. But to make that argument work you would have to argue that the phrase is not an accurate summation of the First Amendment. And Thomas Jefferson, who penned it, thought it was.” (David Barton declined to be interviewed for this article.) In his testimony in Austin, Steven Green was challenged by a board member with the fact that the phrase does not appear in the Constitution. In response, Green pointed out that many constitutional concepts — like judicial review and separation of powers — are not found verbatim in the Constitution.”
Speaking for himself, Mr. Thomas Jefferson begs to differ with the Christian fanatics, wingnuts, and Texas Board revisionists who have deigned to dance on his grave. On religious intrusions in government (and against theocracy), Jefferson wrote:
The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man.” (Letter to J. Moore, 1800).
And here’s a zinger:
“The clergy...believe that any portion of power confided to me [as President] will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion.” (Letter to Benjamin Rush, 1800).
Jefferson forcefully rejects precisely what Barton represents. He was not in the least inclined, as Barton argues, to piously defend Christian denominations solely to prevent the installation of a Christian state religion. Instead, Jefferson is downright hostile to the “clergy” as a whole. He is an equal opportunity church and state separatist. As they say in Olympic parlance, he nails the landing.

In the following passages, Jefferson further clarifies his stance, railing against the corrosive and anti-democratic history of religion in government:
“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.” (Letter to von Humboldt, 1813).
“In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” (Letter to H. Spafford, 1814).
Finally, on the question wrongly argued by Barton that Jefferson had referred solely to the establishment of a Christian denomination in his famous declaration of a “wall of separation between Church & State” rather than the broader separation of the state from all religions, Mr. Jefferson is emphatic and worldly:
“Reading, reflection and time have convinced me that the interests of society require the observation of those moral precepts only in which all religions agree (for all forbid us to steal, murder, plunder, or bear false witness), and that we should not intermeddle with the particular dogmas in which all religions differ, and which are totally unconnected with morality.” (Letter to J. Fishback, 1809).
Here Jefferson is arguing for the protection by the state of religious customs that are not Christian, e.g., the right of a woman of the Islamic faith to wear a burka. In the U.S., unlike France where this custom is outlawed by legislative fiat, this religious custom is protected by the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. Whatever fantasies Barton and the Texas Board may harbor about the alleged Christian piety of the Founding Fathers, as far as Mr. Jefferson is concerned, “it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” (Notes on Virginia, 1785.)

In other words, Barton and the Texas Board are the very antithesis of educators; they are history’s pickpockets. Or, as George W. Bush famously said: “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”

Sunday, February 14, 2010

O'Donnell Rips Bush Flunkie; Maddow Seizes Control of Meet the Press While Gregory Dithers

Well, not quite. But this is happening more often. Journalists with guts and a penchant for cutting through the mainstream media BS to get to the truth are no longer content to be silent and well-behaved, in the corporate style of boring breezespeak that passes for “serious” discussion embraced by Gregory, his mentor Tom Brokaw, and NBC puppetmaster Charlie Rose.

There is a dirty little secret that interview shows such as MTP and its network imitators, PBS Newshour, CNN's State of the Nation, and the rest don't want viewers to know. The one thing they all share in common is a ratings-driven necessity to book interesting guests who will agree to come back. When President Obama refused to grant interviews to Fox News because of the obvious right wing bias of Murdoch's GOP network, the mainstream media rushed to Fox's defense with almost hysterical outbursts of self-righteous indignation. It was both amusing (for a profession held in such low esteem by the public) and illuminating.

The MSM's professional sustenance is based on access. Any threat to one's access is a threat to all. When Lawrence O'Donnell went off-script on “Morning Joe” with Republican Lites Joe Scarborough and Mika Brezhinsky, ripping into a GWB hack for his hatchet job book alleging President Obama is helping terrorists, Joe Scabrous cut O'Donnell short and invoked the MSM's censorship clause -- the commercial break:

This imbecile, Mark Thiessen, claims that the Obama administration's drone attacks are killing too many terrorists, which is a bad thing because: “[If] you vaporize a terrorist with a predator strike you're vaporizing all the intelligence in his head that we could be getting by interrogating him.” I see. So therefore, the U.S. should hold back on drone attacks when we have actionable intelligence on the terrorists' whereabouts in hopes of capturing them at a later date when we might extract really reliable information by waterboarding them 187 times? Where have we heard this tune before?

Somehow, wingnuts -- being wingnuts -- have automatic license to make the most ridiculous claims against Democratic presidents and get away with them. Imagine what the right wing reaction would be had liberals claimed the Bush regime was vaporizing too many terrorists instead of seeking to capture and torture them for the intel that might be gained. They'd be ridiculed as traitors and soft on terror, inviting attacks when they had the means to take out the terrorists, etc. The wingnuts might even assert with that false outrage they do so well, that torture is illegal. True to form, the wingnuts have smeared O'Donnell as a “9/11 conspiracist” (an absurd lie) and “nutty” (for exposing a wingnut smear) while praising the ferret-faced Thiessen as “classy.”

Similarly, when Rachel Maddow ripped into baby-faced Illinois Congressman Jim Schock for his hypocrisy in praising stimulus spending in his district while trashing it in Congress and voting against it, Schock's lame retort was that she wasn't giving back her Bush tax cuts for the 2% of American wage earners. In fact, Warren Buffett and other beneficiaries of welfare for the rich have said the tax cuts are ill-advised and they do not need, or want, them. Meanwhile, Gregory tried to keep things moving with an apologetic grin. While he wasn't as heavyhanded as Scabrous, the MSM is concerned that hacks, hucksters, and hypocrites may refuse to leave the friendly confines of Faux News if they are continually subjected to such truth-abuse by the Maddow-O'Donnell truth squads.

Here's what Rachel said to Congressman Hypocrite:
“You, in your district, I just read that you were at a community college touting a $350,000 green technology education program, talking about how great that was going to be for your district. You voted against the bill that created that grant. That's happening a lot with Republicans sort of taking credit for things that Democratic bills do and then Republicans simultaneously touting their votes against them and trashing them. That, I think, is a problem that needs to be resolved within your caucus. Because you seem like a very nice person but that is a very hypocritical stance to take.”

“If you vote against the omnibus bill, if you complain about the omnibus bill, if you tout your vote against the omnibus bill, it is hypocrisy to then go to your district and go to a ribbon cutting ceremony for something that is funded by the omnibus bill that you voted against.”