You Can Learn A Lot From The Headlines

His ratings are up. His employer is defending his obvious falsehoods about his career. Thus:

“Fox News Doesn’t Care If Bill O’Reilly Is A Liar”

Who thought they would? He has made them all rich. And speaking of Billo, here is some typical Billo logic:

“O’Reilly: Amanpour Is Wrong About Netanyahu Because She Was Raised In Iran”

And speaking of twisted logic, this is how conservatives are courting Hispanics:

“Mark Levin Mocks Rep. Luis Gutiérrez’s Accent, Calls Him The ‘Self Appointed Martin Luther King Of Latinos'”

This is how Republicans are courting black folks:

“GOP Leaders To Skip Selma Event”

And speaking of the anniversary of Selma, this man remembers:

“’I shouldn’t have to feel bad about being white’: N.J. deli owner serves racism with sandwiches, calls for White History Month”

Bon appétit!

Oh, get this. Republicans have finally come up with a solution, a final solution, to homelessness:

“GOP Lawmaker Suggests Wolves Could Help Get Rid Of Homeless People”

I suppose that is one way to do it. And speaking of ravenous wolves, yes, West Virginia, there is a War on Women:

“West Virginia Legislature Upholds 20-Week Abortion Ban Over Governor’s Veto”

And a domestic Holy War:

“Fox News Pundit: Muslim Holidays Discriminate Against Christians”

And a war on working people:

“Walker Wins Another War With Unions”

Nah, that is just a battle. The war has yet to be decided.

To end this little post, let’s play a game of “guess which political party.” I’ll start with an easy one. What political party is this guy from:

“Ben Carson Apologizes For Saying Prison Makes People Gay”

Okay, okay. That one was easy. Here’s a slightly harder one:

“Senator Who Used Snowball To ‘Disprove’ Climate Change Cites Scripture As Backup”

I know. Too easy. Try this one:

“Kris Kobach: ‘Not A Huge Jump’ To Think Obama Could Ban Criminal Prosecution Of Black People”

No use trying to stump you. It’s just not that hard to figure out. The conservative crezzies aren’t very subtle.

And speaking of the crezzies, there is always the founder and editor of the popular right-wing website WorldNetDaily:

“Joseph Farah Is ‘Just Asking’: Will Obama Actually Leave Office In January 2017?”

And I’m just asking, “Why should he?”

Here’s an insightful and Christianly column written by a conservative think tanker:

“End Obamacare, and people could die. That’s okay.”

Sure, that’s okay. Praise God.

In any case, speaking of ObamaCare, I do want to give credit to right-wingers for their bold predictions over the years. They said an America-hating President Obama would destroy the economy and jobs with, among other things, his ObamaCare fiasco. Except:

“Obamacare: Medicaid sign-ups rise, uninsured rate lower”

“U.S. Economy Adds 295,000 jobs, Unemployment falls to 5.5 %”

You gotta love it.

To end, this is what destroying the economy and jobs looks like:
obama and march jobs report

 

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Obama: “But I Like You Anyway, Bill.”

Dana Milbank pointed out a few facts about Bill O’Reilly’s pre-Super Bowl interview of President Obama:

The Fox News host and purveyor of anti-Obama sentiment was given 10 minutes to question the man he decries to millions nightly. O’Reilly devoted nearly 40 percent of his time to the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, 30 percent to the Obamacare rollout and 20 percent to IRS targeting.

Along the way, he interrupted the president 42 times, by my count — although, given the amount O’Reilly spoke, it may be more accurate to say Obama was interrupting him. Sometimes he argued with Obama as though the president were a guest on “The O’Reilly Factor.” Of the 2,500 words uttered during the interview, O’Reilly spoke nearly 1,000 of them.

Dang. O’Reilly only spoke about 40% of the time? I thought it was more than that.

Billo actually did two interviews that day. The second interview was aired on Monday night. In that second interview, O’Reilly actually spoke only 35% of the time (810 out of 2290 or so), so his jaws must have been tired or else the Secret Service was giving him the evil eye.

In any case, I will post the entire second interview transcript below (the video is here) partly because not only does it show again that Bill O’Reilly thinks he is president, but it also demonstrates the tried-and-true Fox formula: use false assumptions and incomplete information in order to draw preordained conclusions and make erroneous declarations.

But the real reason I post the interview transcript is because it shows the personability of Barack Obama and his easy-going nature, even as he pushes back against the stuff floating around in Bill O’Reilly’s head and as he tirelessly corrects all the things O’Reilly thinks he knows but doesn’t:

BILL O’REILLY – One of my, uh, points on the Factor is that poverty is driven by the dissolution of the American family, that is the prime mover, okay. On your watch, median income has dropped seventeen percent among working families in this country. That’s not a good record, it’s not all your fault, part of it was this terrible recession, we all know that. Everybody knows that.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Okay.

O’REILLY – All right. But 72 percent of babies in African-American community are born out of wedlock.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Yeah.

O’REILLY – Why isn’t there a campaign by you and the first lady to address that problem very explicitly?

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Actually, Bill, we address it explicitly all the time. I-I’ll send you at least 10 speeches I’ve made since I’ve been president talking about the importance of men taking responsibility for their children. Talking about the importance of, uh, young people, uh, delaying gratification. Talking about the importance of, uh, when it comes to child rearing, paying child support, spending time with your kids, reading with them. So, whether it’s getting publicity or not is a whole different question.

O’REILLY – But —

PRESIDENT OBAMA – This is something that we focus on all the time.

O’REILLY – Would you say it’s been a hallmark of your administration to make that issue, because I don’t believe it has. I know you’ve given the speeches, and I know you know — understand the problem, because you’re a community organizer from Chicago.

PRESIDENT OBAMA -Yes.

O’REILLY – All right? But I don’t see the pressure from the Federal government to go in and say, this is wrong, this is — this is killing, um, futures of babies and children.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Well first of all, I’ve just got to say, Bill, we talk about it all the time, we’ll continue to talk about it, we’re convening, for example, philanthropists and business people, city by city, who are interested in addressing these kinds of problems at the local level. There is an economic component to it as well, though.

O’REILLY -Sure.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Because — because what’s interesting, when you look at what’s going on right now, you’re starting to see in a lot of white working class homes, similar problems — when men can’t find good work, when the economy is shutting ladders of opportunity off from people, whether they’re black, white, Hispanic, it doesn’t matter. Then that puts pressure as well on the home. So you’ve got an interaction between the economy that isn’t generating enough good jobs for folks who traditionally could get blue-collar jobs even if they didn’t have a higher education, and some legitimate social concerns, uh. That compound the problem and so we want to hit both. We want to make sure that we’re putting folks back to work and making sure that they’re well-paid —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – But this is —

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – We also want to make sure that we’re dealing with some of the social issues that you’re addressing.

O’REILLY – The secret to getting a je — good job is education. And in these chaotic families, the children aren’t well-educated because it isn’t — it isn’t, um, encouraged at home as much as it is in other precincts. Now, school vouchers is a way to level the playing field. Why do you oppose school vouchers when it would give poor people a chance to go to better schools?

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Actually — every study that’s been done on school vouchers, Bill, says that it has very limited impact if any —

O’REILLY – Try it.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – On — it has been tried, it’s been tried in Milwaukee, it’s been tried right here in DC —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – And it worked here.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – No, actually it didn’t. When you end up taking a look at it, it didn’t actually make that much of a difference. So what we have been supportive of is, uh, something called charters. Which, within the public school system gives the opportunity for creative experiments by teachers, by principals to-to start schools that have a different approach. And —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – You would revisit that? I-I just think — I used be, teach in a Catholic school, a-and I just know —

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – Bill — you know, I — I’ve taken, I’ve taken — I’ve taken a look at it. As a general proposition, vouchers has not significantly improved the performance of kids that are in these poorest communities —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] [INAUDIBLE] –

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Some charters — some charters are doing great. Some Catholic schools do a great job, but what we have to do is make sure every child —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – I got three more questions.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Go ahead.

O’REILLY – All right. Keystone pipeline, new study comes in, environmental impact, negligible. Forty-two thousand jobs. You’re gonna okay it, I assume.   

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Well first of all, it’s not forty two thousand. That’s — that’s not, uh, correct, it’s a couple thousand to build the pipeline, but —       

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Forty-two all told.   

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Well, that, bottom line is what we’re gonna do is to, uh, the process now goes agencies comment on what the State Department did, public’s allowed to comment, Kerry’s gonna, uh, give me a recommendation, uh —        

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – All right, so I assume we’re gonna do that, after five years —

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] [INAUDIBLE] –

O’REILLY – Okay. I’ll take that as a yes. Little Sisters of the Poor, come on, give them the little waiver that they don’t have to —

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – They have, you know —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Come on, the Little Sisters of the Poor? Give them what they want.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Bill, I —

O’REILLY – Right now. Let’s-let’s just do this.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Bill, take, here-here’s the way this thing works. All they have to do is sign a form saying they don’t — they are a religious institution —

O’REILLY – And then they get what they want, right?

PRESIDENT OBAMA – And — and they get what they want. What they — the problem is they don’t want to sign the form —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Well, we’ll —

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Because they think that that somehow, uh, uh, makes them complicit.

O’REILLY – I’m happy now that the Little Sisters are going to get what they want. Uh, now. Um. FOX News. Uh, I can’t speak for FOX News. All right, but I’m — I’m, you know, the table setter here [INAUDIBLE] -.

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] [INAUDIBLE] –

O’REILLY – Do you think I’m being unfair to you, do you think I’ve been giving you —

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – Absolutely. Of course you have, Bill. But, I like you anyway, Bill.

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Okay, but — give me how I’m unfair.

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – It-it-but — look —

O’REILLY – Give me how I’m unfair. Come on, you can’t make that accusation without telling me.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Bill — we’ve just run through an interview in which you asked about health, uh, health care not working, IRS where-where we, uh, wholly corrupt, Benghazi —

O’REILLY – All right.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Right, so the list of issues that you talk about —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – But these are unanswered questions —

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Yeah, but-but-but they’re defined by you guys in a certain way. But this — look, this is okay. This-this is —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Do you not —

PRESIDENT OBAMA – If you want to — if you want to be President of the United States, then you know that you’re going to be subject to criticism, and —

O’REILLY – But if it’s unfair, I-I want to know if it’s unfair. Is it un — criticism is criticism. It’s my job to give you a hard time.

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – Here — here — here’s what I would say. I think regardless of whether it’s fair or not, uh, it has, uh, it has made FOX News very successful.

O’REILLY – But if I’m unfair, I want —

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – Here’s what — here’s the thing you guys — here’s what you guys are gonna have to figure out is what are — what are you gonna do when I’m gone? I’m telling you —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGHS] –

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] [INAUDIBLE] –

O’REILLY – Ah-ha-ha — ask President Clinton. Ask President Bush. I gave President Bush a real hard time. Are you the most liberal President in US History?

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Probably not.

O’REILLY – Probably not?

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Probably not. That’s-that’s fair to say.

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Who-who would be?

PRESIDENT OBAMA – You know, the truth of the matter is, is that when you look at some of my policies, um, in a lot of ways, Richard Nixon was more — more liberal than I was. Started the EPA. You know, uh, you know, started, uh, uh, a whole lot of the regulatory state that, uh, has helped make our air and water clean. Um.

O’REILLY – That’s interesting — Nixon — that’s interesting. I thought you were gonna say FDR.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Well, FDR — Johnson. But I tend not to think about these things in terms of liberal and democrat — or liberal and conservative because at any given time, the question is what does the country need right now? And what — right now what the country needs is, uh, roads, bridges, uh, infrastructure, we-we got 2 trillion dollars worth of, uh, unmet needs. We could put — be putting construction workers back to work right now, folks that you like to champion. Why aren’t we doing it? That’s not a liberal or conservative agenda —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] [INAUDIBLE] –

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – Well, why-why aren’t we funding it? The, uh, when it comes — comes to something like basic research to keep our innovation edge. That’s the thing that sent the man to space, that’s the thing that created the internet. Why aren’t we — why aren’t we funding —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Because we have a seventeen trillion dollar debt. We can’t do these things.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – No, the uh — but the reason we don’t do them is because we’re not willing to make decisions, for example, uh, our tax code is rife with loopholes —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – That’s true, you can’t —

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – And for us to close those loopholes, we could put people to work right now. Is that a Democrat — is that a Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal thing? It’s neither. It’s common sense. That’s what we should be doing.

O’REILLY -All right.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – In fact, you and I, if we sat down, we could probably agree on —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Well, I’ve said that on air. We don’t disagree on —

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – Raising the minimum wage, something that you —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – But one — one thing we do —

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – Yes, right.

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – I support this.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – I know. And that’s —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – You have to do it.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – And that’s —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – You want to get people off welfare, you raise the — minimum wage.

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – That’s not a liberal or a-a conservative agenda.

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – No, fine. But I think that you are much more friendly to a nanny state than I am. I’m more of a self-reliance guy, you’re more of a big government will solve your problems guy.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – And I — and I —

O’REILLY -That’s it.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – And I disagree with that because I think that what used to be considered sensible we now somehow label as-as liberal. Think about this — Social Security, Medicare —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – But you pay into that. It’s the freebies that are the problem.

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – Is it? What-what freebies are we talking about? Welfare, actually is worth less now than it was 20, 30 — it’s worth less than it was under Ronald Reagan. And the uh —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Take a look at the disability explosion. I mean, it’s insane. The workplace isn’t any more dangerous now than it was it was 20 —

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – Well —

O’REILLY — years ago, it’s through the roof. You know people are conning you.

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – You know, Bill, the point is, we have not massively expanded the welfare state. That’s just not true. When you take a look at it, actually, that-the-the levers of support that we provide to folks who are willing to work hard, they’re not that different than they were thirty years ago, forty years ago, fifty years ago. You and I took advantage of certain things. I don’t know about you, but I got some loans to go to college.

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – Nah, I painted houses, I didn’t get any —

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – The, uh, well, I, no —

O’REILLY [OVERLAP] – See, that’s who I am. I —

PRESIDENT OBAMA – I painted houses during the summer too. It still wasn’t enough. So, the, uh, so my point is is that that’s not a nanny state. That’s an investment in the future generation. G.I. Bill — is that a nanny state? My grandfather came back for World War II, you’re about to write a book on World War II. Smartest thing we ever did was make an investment in the American people. When those guys came back from war, that’s what created our middle class. We-we suddenly trained up and created skills for folks. We gave ‘em subsidies so they could go out and buy homes. Through the FHA, those things weren’t giveaways. We-we understood that what that would do would create a base middle class of folks who were able to, uh, work hard and get ahead.

O’REILLY – The work ethic was different then than it is now.

PRESIDENT OBAMA [OVERLAP] – Well —

O’REILLY – All right, last questions.

PRESIDENT OBAMA -We’ll have to improve the work ethic.

O’REILLY – And here’s something that you and I agree on.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – What’s that?

O’REILLY – And I’ll tell everybody. You helped the Veterans. Now I believe the VA should be doing a lot more than it’s doing. But you, I have come to you four times, and every time you have, uh, done what I have asked, and we have raised more than twenty million dollars for wounded veterans and their families. And I — you know, so when they say that you don’t care and all of that I know that’s not true. But fundamentally, the self-reliance thing in America I think is going down, and the nanny state is going up. Last word. You get it.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – Here’s-here’s-here’s what I believe. First of all, biggest honor I’ve ever had and will ever have is serving as Commander in Chief, and when you meet our military families and our men and women in uniform, they-they, uh. They are so outstanding. You just have to want to help. And you have done great work, Bill, uh, on behalf of our veterans. Number two, I think self-reliance is alive and well in America. I think the problem is people don’t see as many opportunities to get ahead. My job as President, as long as I’m in this office, is to give them the tools to get ahead. They gotta work hard, they gotta be responsible, but if they are, let’s make sure that they can make it in America. That’s what it’s all about. That’s how you and I ended up sitting here talking.

O’REILLY – Mr. President, thanks, always a pleasure to talk with you.

PRESIDENT OBAMA – I enjoyed it, Bill. Thank you very much.

Why Liberals Should Thank Bill O’Reilly

You gotta love it. First President Obama tells the truth about Fox “News” and then Hillary Clinton follows it up. Now, when CNN, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC News, ABC News, and CBS News start telling the truth about Fox, then we will be getting somewhere.

In any case, Bill O’Reilly’s interruption-plagued ObamaCare-Benghazi-IRS interview (come on, what did you expect? Billo has to eat, ya know) with Obama ended with this:

I think — I — you know, I know you think maybe we haven’t been fair, but I think your heart is in the right place.

That moment of lucidity, I knew at the time, would get Billo in trouble. One commenter on the Fox “News” site said what a lot of right-wingers were thinking:

oreilly interview

“I’m DONE with you Bill!” When they start shouting, look out!

What you should know is that, as incredible as it sounds to liberal ears, Fox “News” is now seen by many right-wingers as part of the problem. Yes, Fox isn’t conservative enough! Over at Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze,” we find this comment attached to an article on O’Reilly’s interview with President Obama:

oreilly interview

O’Reilly and Huckabee traitors? Yikes. But look at his one:

oreilly interview

Nice folks, no? But what I really want you to see is this comment:

oreilly interview

When Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Karl Rove aren’t conservative enough for you, then the political dementia on the far right is worse than we thought. And speaking of dementia, try this:

blaze

It seems that Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, and Sean Hannity, who apparently have been feuding (who knew?), are now teaming up for a kind of mischief they apparently can’t accomplish as free agents. The article reports:

Beck said he, Levin and Hannity all have a different skill set, all of which are important to bring the country together and focus on real solutions.

Yes. These guys think their brand of right-wingery will “bring the country together.”

Hey, don’t laugh. Beck is serious:

“Something big is happening. Something good is really happening,” Beck concluded. “Well, I mean, unless you’re a progressive then I don’t think you’re going to like this. It’s not good news for you.”

Oh, yes it is, Glenn! It is always good news for progressives when the reactionaries are fighting so fiercely among themselves, and if Beck and Levin and Hannity want to join forces to give their extremist followers more power to attack the Republican establishment, I say, bravo!

And they aren’t the only ones bashing the establishment. Just this afternoon, I received an email from a Tea Party group that was asking for dough. After bashing unions (“who are working diligently to pervert our system of government”), the appeal continued in bold letters:

For too long we have allowed the political establishment of both parties to drive our country into the ground. Today is the day that we stop the political elite and return America to greatness. 

Yes, Democrats and Republicans are just one big elite group working together to destroy the country! Of course!

Today on his show, Rush Limbaugh, the king of the talk radio dung heap, himself spent a lot of time attacking the Republican establishment. He has a theory about what they are up to, and it goes something like this:

By pushing immigration reform (“amnesty”), Republicans are blowing their chances of winning the upcoming election “in a landslide.” Oh, sure Republicans want to win in 2014, but they want to do it without the Tea Party. Why? Because if the Tea Party delivers another landslide election to the Republicans like it did in 2010, then the Republican establishment is in deeper trouble when it comes time to nominate their presidential candidate in 2016. Teapartiers would demand that the GOP candidate come from their ranks. That is why the establishment is trying to get rid of Tea Party influence in the House and get immigration reform passed, Limbaugh said. They want to marginalize teapartiers, eke out a victory this year, and then get their establishment guy ordained as the party’s front man against Hillary.

I know, I know. It’s nuts. But it helps our side when these folks get this way. And I personally want to think Bill O’Reilly and Fox “News” for playing their part in the chaos.

_______________________________________

limbaugh and immigration

Bill O’Reilly, Jason The Surfer, And The End Of American Civilization

Bill O’Reilly likes to talk about race hustlers and parasites. Well, it takes one to know one. Using his own standards of judgment, O’Reilly is a race-hustling parasite himself.

His show, a tribute to narcissism, has lately found him doing the race hustle in front of race-anxious whites, those who find it a bit unsettling to have someone other than a white man occupy The White’s House and who find it depressing that America is browning. O’Reilly exploits white angst and makes money off that exploitation.

But I’m particularly pissed off about the latest Fox-inspired attempt to put the blame for our financial and cultural troubles on those O’Reilly calls “parasites.” Billo once again brought up a guy now known as “Jason the Surfer“—no relation to Joe the Plumber—whom Fox managed to unearth in California, and who spends some of his monthly SNAP money (reportedly $200) on, Jesus forbid, sushi and lobster.

O’Reilly said,

This guy is a parasite. And my contention is that the Obama administration is encouraging parasites to come out and, you know, take as much as they can with no remorse and this is how a country declines. This is how we become a weak nation.

Now, if you’re like me, you find it hard to imagine that President Obama or anyone in his employ has spent a millisecond trying to figure out how to get California surfers to avail themselves of food stamps.Jason-Greenslate

And, if you’re like me, you also find it hard to believe how a kid on a surf board with a belly full of taxpayer subsidized sushi and lobster—even if it’s only a rare treat (at these prices)—can lead to the decline of American civilization, especially when all those Romney types are still out there hard at work practicing vulture capitalism, described famously by Republican Rick Perry during the 2012 campaign:

They’re sittin’ out there on the, on the tree limb, waitin’ for the company to get sick, and then they swoop in, they eat the carcass, they leave with that, and they leave the skeleton.

Newt Gingrich also famously said during that campaign the following:

I think we have to be honest about this. One of the reasons people who like free enterprise do not like Wall Street is that they see very rich financiers who rig the game, so the taxpayer loses, the worker loses, and somehow the rich guy does okay…If we identify capitalism with rich guys looting companies, we’re gonna have a very hard time protecting it…Is it fair to have a system, is it right, is it the kind of country you want to live in to have a system where somebody can come in, take over your company, take out all the cash and leave behind a wreck? And they go off to a country club having a great time and you go off to the unemployment line.

I remind you that people who do such nasty things in this country are essentially subsidized by everyone else. Many pay a lower rate of taxes because they have talked (via ca$h) the establishment into believing that all of what they do is essential to the economy and the nation’s well-being. That scam goes on while the race-baiting, cultural-angst-exploiting Bill O’Reillys of the world focus on a mixed up 29-year-old kid in California who gets a couple of hundred bucks a month in food help.

As I have said many times before, if we go down as a civilization, I’d rather it be by trying to make sure folks have enough to eat—even if a few folks game the system for a few bucks—than by making sure Mitt Romney’s vulture-money can vacation comfortably in the Cayman Islands.

“Jus Niggaz Bein Niggaz”

Last night, while watching a segment on “All In With Chris Hayes,” I heard a reference to Nat Turner.

Now, these days, you don’t often hear references to the slave Nat Turner, so a little history is in order before we get to the reason his name was invoked on MSNBC last night.

Nat Turner—the surname being the name of his owner—was born in 1800. He became a religious zealot, who believed, essentially, that God had put it upon him to lead an uprising against slave-owners, starting in Virginia. His rebellion, which began on August 21, 1831, lasted no more than 48 hours, and resulted in (the estimates are problematic) the brutal deaths of 55 to 65 white folks, including women, the brutality, presumably, meant to “strike terror and alarm,” as one newspaper reported at the time.

When the slave-loving establishment was finished with its form of justice, an estimated 100 to 200 blacks were dead, including some who were executed by the state for allegedly being part of Turner’s rebellion and some, including some who had nothing to do with the revolt, who were summarily killed by reactionary white mobs with guns, affectionately known as militias. As Wikipedia put it:

Blacks suspected of participating in the rebellion were beheaded by the militia. “Their severed heads were mounted on poles at crossroads as a grisly form of intimidation.”

Turner was eventually caught and tried for his ill-conceived rebellion. He was quickly strung up and killed, his dead body then flayed and ripped apart like an animal. As American Heritage.com put it:

His skin was made into a purse, his flesh turned to grease, his bones divvied up as souvenirs. His head was permanently separated from his body and made the rounds as a curio, reportedly spending much of the twentieth century at the College of Wooster, in Ohio.

Nice. Good Christian Justice.

I said all that to say this: since Nat Turner’s rebellion there has been a fear among many whites, sometimes open and sometimes not, that there is a sort of unruly animal spirit residing in black folks that is just waiting to rebel at even the slightest provocation, just waiting to get even with whites for the sin of slavery, for the disgrace of systematic and ongoing oppression.

Enter Fox’s Bill O’Reilly.

Billo was in typical form on Tuesday night, commenting on the George Zimmerman murder trial (which I have watched fairly religiously and about which I will likely have something to offer, if I can stomach writing about it).

Naturally, O’Reilly claims, journalists are responsible for distorting racial issues and for causing “racial division.” He cited a Rasmussen poll that purported to show that more than one-third of Americans—including almost one-third of blacks!—believe that blacks are the most racist group in America (one-half of the conservatives and one-half of Republicans surveyed believe most blacks are racist). He then, also following form, predicted:

If George Zimmerman is acquitted, there will be racial animus.

By “racial animus,” of course, Billo means Niggas Gone Wild. Blacks, being filled with the spirit of Nat Turner, ain’t gonna tolerate Zimmerman getting away with shooting to death an unarmed black teenager for the crime of being, among other things, a suspicious-looking black kid.

To be fair to the unfair Bill O’Reilly, he’s not the only one sounding the Nat Turner alarm. In Florida, the Broward County Sheriff’s Department “has coordinated a response plan in anticipation of the verdict.” The response includes the enlisting of “basketball star James Jones of the championship Miami Heat.” This is James Jones:

As you can see, Mr. Jones is well-qualified to urge certain pigmented “young people not to let their emotions get the best of them.”

This is the Sheriff of Broward County:

Scott J. Israel

As you can see, he is not necessarily well-qualified to urge certain pigmented “young people not to let their emotions get the best of them.”

The Blaze, founded by Glenn Beck, is no stranger to racial issues. It weighed in recently with an article with this header:

‘IF ZIMMERMAN GET OFF, IMA GO KILL A WHITE BOY’: TRAYVON MARTIN SUPPORTERS MAKE SHOCKING THREATS AHEAD OF VERDICT

The article consisted of stupid tweets from stupid people promising to do something violent in retaliation for an acquittal. Here was just one example among many:

Trayvon Martin Fans Tweet Death Threats If George Zimmerman Is Found Not Guilty

You get the point.

Naturally, a Glenn Beck-inspired outlet is going to document and promote such trash because doing so, predictably, results in a robust expression of the white angst that fuels so much of the subtle racism that flows through parts of conservative White America. Here is a sample of the nearly 700 responses the article received:

  • some of those tweets sound a little similar to the reports of what martin was saying the night he was shot. didn’t work out so well for him, but hey…
  • Well one more reason to own a gun and have a CCW permit. My father always said this country was ripe for a civil war of blacks vs whites and he would not live to see it. My father dies in 2011 […]
  • The apes are throwing threats again what a surprise. All I can say is BRING IT BITCHES I have some lead pie filling for ya.
  • Wow, who knew Obama had so many “sons”?????
  • Negroes are all judging Trayvon based on the color of his skin, while ignoring the content of his character. It’s sad that 95% of negroes are racist.
  • Truth be told, the WORST racists in this country are blacks….taught to be that way by the constant divisive BS pounded into them by the democrats. I figured that out when I worked at Ford in the Detroit area for 32 years.
  • It is crazy, sick, destructive and evil and it emanates from the Oval Office “design team”. Maybe martial law enacted just prior to the 2016 election………
  • You have to recall that these are the descendants of the ex-slaves that missed the free boat ride to return to Africa and they are still angry.
  • Let them try. I’m not worried about these creatures. The gun I carry is bigger and carries many more rounds than Zimmerman’s little Kel-Tec PF9. Let them try. Let them die.
  • He will be found not guilty of course and many many folks will be waiting for you boys to misbehave.
  • Ok all you afro heroes, talk your sh+t, I’ve got lots of rounds, magazines, and replacement barrels. I wonder how quick you will run when your homies bodies are being stacked like wood,eh.
  • You boys are outnumbered, even if you add the bleeding heart lib whites to help you. The race war that you yearn for won’t end the way you want so by all means let’s get this party started.
  • Civil war anyone?
  • Even these animals can see that this pig star witness is a big time failure! Hehehehehehe!
  • why aren’t these douchbags all arrested for death threats?? Come on NSA you afraid to go after them because they’re black?? As for you black punks threatening to kill a whitey, I say bring it on MF. Bring your black ass on!!
  • A Cracke_r is a person who works for a living in the hot sun herding cattle. Black MOFO’s are lazy parasites..
  • Big word from behind a computer. I am a white guy and I will be ready for that day.

As I said, that kind of stuff went on for pages and pages. Tough talk from keyboard-courageous gun-toters. But there was one particularly insightful commenter on the Blaze story, who went by the name of “BANNEDFROMCNN,” who wrote:

Jus niggaz bein niggaz.

When you think about it, that’s not much different from what Bill O’Reilly, the most popular TV conservative in America, said on Tuesday night.

Congratulations, Billo.

No Apologies Necessary, Bill

Bill O’Reilly told the world he would “apologize for being an idiot” if ‪the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.  Nah, Bill. Being an idiot means never having to say you’re sorry:

Lou Dobbs and Bill O’Reilly Are Nazi Pigs

Lou Dobbs and Bill O’Reilly are fascists. No, they are fascist pigs. No, no, no, they are depraved fascist pigs. In short, they are Nazis.

Since I am using the same logic they employed in the following clip, in which they declared Robert Reich a communist, I dare anyone to contradict me:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Sex, More Sex, And Nothing But The Sex

From the Huffington Post Saturday morning:

From the Huffington Post Saturday night:

On Friday I listened to Limbaugh explain why his “illustrating absurdity by being absurd” dodge was sufficient to cover for his calling a young woman a slut and prostitute and desiring to see her perform sex on Internet-posted videos.

The left wants to pretend they have no sense of humor,” the GOP spokesman said yesterday. It was all a big joke that chumps like us don’t get:

If anybody doesn’t realize that we are illustrating absurdity here by being absurd and that that is the trademark of this program…  But oh! No! “Oh, of everything else you’ve said, that’s the lowest of the low. Demanding sex video? Who do you think you are?” Lighten up.

While Limbaugh has used this dodge for years to get him out of some tight spots, this time some of his advertisers, who have made him wealthy, aren’t finding the humor in his comments. They are abandoning his leaking ship of hate.

But I also listened to Sean Hannity, a Catholic Obama-hater, explain on Friday why Rush’s “illustrating absurdity by being absurd” ruse was simply misunderstood by the Democrats and (guess who?) the Liberal Media.  Of course Rush “did not mean it” when he said he wanted to wildly masturbate while watching porn videos of young plaid-clad Catholic college girls.*

Then I found out that Bill O’Reilly had his own, uh, more restrained, plan of attack against law student Sandra Fluke:

Let me get this straight, Ms. Fluke, and I’m asking this with all due respect. You want me to give you my hard-earned money so you can have sex?

The sex angle, which seems to fascinate conservatives, is one that Limbaugh just couldn’t get away from. Here was Limbaugh on Friday:

Obama just called Sandra Fluke to make sure she was all right? Awwww.  (kissing sound)  That is so compassionate! What a great guy.  The president called her to make sure she’s okay.  What is she 30 years old?  Thirty years old, a student at Georgetown Law, who admits to having so much sex that she can’t afford it anymore.

“So much sex that she can’t afford it anymore.” As if the amount of birth control pills a woman takes is commensurate with the amount of sex she is having.  That kind of mentality is what we are dealing with here, whether it be talk radio or Fox “News.” Rachel Maddow destroyed Limbaugh on this point on Friday night.

Limbaugh continued:

The president tells Sandra Fluke (chuckling), 30-year-old Sandra Fluke, that her parents should be proud.  Okay.  Let me ask you a question.  I might be surprised at the answer I would get to this question.  Your daughter appears before a congressional committee and says she’s having so much sex, she can’t pay for it and wants a new welfare program to pay for it. Would you be proud?  I don’t know about you, but I’d be embarrassed.  I’d disconnect the phone. I’d go into hiding and hope the media didn’t find me…

By the way, if he had said that about my daughter, hiding might be a good idea.

More:

It’s no different than if somebody that I don’t know knocked on my door and said, “You know what? I’m outta money. I can’t afford birth control pills and I’m supposed to have sex with three guys tonight.”

“Well, why are you coming to me?”

“Well, because you’ve got the money.”

“Well, have you ever thought maybe you shouldn’t? If you can’t afford it, you can’t do it.”

Now, all of that is bad enough, but what is worse is that not a single word of it addresses what it was that Sandra Fluke actually testified to in the hearing arranged by Democrats. Most of her testimony involved third-person accounts of women who couldn’t get access to the healthcare they needed to treat, say, polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is a hormonal disorder. She relayed the account of her friend who has the condition:

For my friend, and 20% of women in her situation, she never got the insurance company to cover her prescription, despite verification of her illness from her doctor.  Her claim was denied repeatedly on the assumption that she really wanted the birth control to prevent pregnancy.  She’s gay, so clearly polycystic ovarian syndrome was a much more urgent concern than accidental pregnancy.  After months of paying over $100 out of pocket, she just couldn’t afford her medication anymore and had to stop taking it.  I learned about all of this when I walked out of a test and got a message from her that in the middle of her final exam period she’d been in the emergency room all night in excruciating pain.  She wrote, “It was so painful, I woke up thinking I’d been shot.”  Without her taking the birth control, a massive cyst the size of a tennis ball had grown on her ovary.  She had to have surgery to remove her entire ovary.

Not a word about wanting to have unlimited sex without consequences and have conservatives mystically pay for it. And speaking of that, here are some statistics from the Kinsey Institute relevant to this issue:

_____________________________

I’m just using Limbaugh’s not-so-clever “illustrating absurdity by being absurd” trick.

 

The War On The Poor

Every liberal in America who is mad at President Obama should have watched Bill O’Reilly’s show on Wednesday.  Not only was his opening “Talking Points” segment a shallow, misleading, disgusting look at welfare in America, it was a sad example of how Fox “News” is the prime mastermind of the so-called class war that it accuses Democrats of waging.

The segment began with a lie:

As just about everybody knows, America is broke.

The government owes more than 14 trillion dollars. So, spending has to be cut, possibly including some welfare payments to the poor.

In 2002 the poverty rate in America was about 12%. In 2009 it was about 14%, up two points despite—despite—more than $4 trillion in welfare spending over that period.

O’Reilly then shows this graph:

That’s the redistribution of income,” O’Reilly says, helpfully.

He then says something remarkably strange, even for him:

Welfare spending is 15%—15%—of the entire federal budget. But that is deceiving because Medicare and Social Security account for 33% of all spending. If you take those mandated expenses out of the equation, then welfare payments account for 22% of the total budget and that’s a big number.

Why would O’Reilly exclude Social Security and Medicare from “the equation”? Obviously to make the welfare number look worse, which he thinks makes his class war offensive more devastating.

But the class warfare was just heating up. He then quoted a Republican Rasmussen poll that purported to show that Americans think there are “too many people” on welfare:

And a graphic that raised, of course, the “illegal immigrant” issue:

Noting that most of those “illegals” were children, he then said,

The democratic party in general does not want to cut government assistance programs to the poor or even to illegal aliens. The basic philosophy of President Obama’s party is to redistribute income, as we said, to those who do not have very much regardless of their status.

A fair system would hold those receiving government assistance accountable. That is, if they turn things around in their lives, they would have to pay back a portion of what they received.  And they would actively have to look for work, if they don’t, the benefits cease.

President Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Act in 1996, and that slowed the “entitlement industry” down a bit, but over the past few years it has picked up steam again. The feds must—must—impose discipline here and in every other federal spending situation.

No mention of why the “entitlement industry“—notice how he conflated welfare with Social Security and Medicaid?—might have grown or “picked up steam” “over the past few years.”  No mention, that is, of the Bush years and the Great Recession he bequeathed to America as one of his parting gifts, which caused many Americans to scramble for help from their government.

Now, match that horrific and sickeningly graceless O’Reilly segment with what is going on in Florida.  The governor, Rick Scott, a multi-million dollar Medicare cheat, signed a law that required welfare recipients—who receive a stunningly low $134 in average monthly benefits—to  undergo annual drug tests—which cost $30 each— (we had the same thing proposed in Missouri) in order to collect benefits. (Some claim that Scott benefits from the forced drug testing.)

Scott argued that ,”studies show that people that [sic] are on welfare are higher users of drugs than people not on welfare.” But the preliminary data from the new drug testing contradicts that claim.  From Tampa Bay Online:

 TALLAHASSEE — Since the state began testing welfare applicants for drugs in July, about 2 percent have tested positive, preliminary data shows.

Two percent.  The problem is that, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the number of “illicit drug” users in the entire population of the state of Florida happens to be around 8%.  Whoops.

The ACLU, which is threatening a lawsuit, says that the measly “apparent” savings associated with the program— the benefit cuts for those who test positive minus the cost of drug testing—has yet to be determined because administrative costs have not yet been calculated.

Derek Newton, a spokesman for the ACLU in Florida, said this:

This is just punishing people for being poor, which is one of our main points. We’re not testing the population at-large that receives government money; we’re not testing people on scholarships, or state contractors. So why these people? It’s obvious– because they’re poor.

Yes, it is obvious, but only to those who have eyes that are willing to see.  But Bill O’Reilly, Governor Scott, Fox “News,” and the entire conservative movement’s leadership are blind to the truth—no, actually they are trying to blind others to the truth.

As a final example: On Tuesday morning I watched Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” which follows the incomparably dumb Fox and Friends.  “America’s Newsroom” is supposed to be straight news on the Republican News Network.  If you believe that, I have a FEMA trailer to sell ya.

In any case, the guest host, Gregg Jarrett, said near the beginning of a segment on Warren Buffett’s recent argument that the super rich weren’t taxed enough that, “I did a little digging and here’s what I came up with…”  In other words, the news host was about to take on Warren Buffett.

What he came up with were a series of graphics, two of which were quite deceptive:

As you can see, Mr. Jarrett tried to make the point that the very wealthy were paying more than their fair share of taxes and, as he told his sycophantic guest, Stephen Moore, “more Americans are paying nothing [his emphasis].”  The problem was that his chart didn’t let viewers know that he was only talking about federal income taxes. A very different picture develops when all taxes are included.

Thus, we know that Jarrett’s overall claim is grossly false, as Citizens for Tax Justice pointed out and I wrote about a couple of weeks ago:

As the chart demonstrates, the total tax burden—which includes not just income taxes—but payroll taxes and gas taxes and sales taxes and so on, is only slightly progressive, in terms of the tax burden as a percentage of income. 

The truth is that the rich earn most of the income and thus pay a majority of the taxes in America.  But it’s simply not the case, as Mr. Jarrett tried to claim, that “more Americans are paying nothing.”

So, yes, we have a class war in America.  Conservatives started it just after the New Deal was born, and finally succeeded in taking real ground in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan, and have steadily taken a greater share of the country’s wealth ever since.

And now, after gaining so much ground, after decimating the middle class, they are hungry for more and have declared war on the poor.

Juan Willliams Plays The Race Card, Why Isn’t Rush Limbaugh Outraged?

I haven’t noticed any criticism of Juan Williams from the right-wing since he indicted NPR as “an all-white operation,” which had “more success with white women” than black or Hispanic journalists.

Hmm. Usually, any African-Amerian who points out the pale-faced composition of an organization and accuses them of color bias is excoriated by conservatives for “playing the race card.”  But not the Right’s favorite black “liberal.”

Not that Mr. Williams offered any other evidence for his charges than his messy termination by NPR, after the comments he made on his real home, Fox “News.”  That firing, of course, had nothing to do with his pigmentation, but the company he was keeping. And for some of the things he was saying while he was with that company.

If Mr. Williams has other evidence of discrimination, let’s hear it. NPR is not exempt from accountability for any uncivil actions.

But the wisdom of that decision by NPR to fire him seems to be confirmed by Williams himself, who told HuffPo:

What you see is there a real reluctance to, despite 10 years of success…deal with me as a journalist,” Williams said. “For them, I think the fact that I was a journalist who was not being pigeonholed as just a black journalist, but something larger and sometimes even conservative in a point of view, made them have great difficulty with me.”

Not being pigeonholed as just a black journalist, but something larger and sometimes even conservative in a point of view.”  That reference to his employment at Fox is perfect. Because that’s exactly the kind of “liberal” commentator Fox “News” wants on its payroll, black or white. One with a “sometimes” conservative point of view or one who will softly spar with Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity, so as not to land any damaging blows.

NPR was right to can him, because obviously now he can say anything he wants on the network that hires only people—pale faced or not—who don’t stray too far from the Fox Nation Reservation.

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